Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Monday, January 18, 2016

USS Arctic-- Part 2: Service Before the Civil War

Continued from Jan. 8, 2016.  This is continuing with the story of the CSS Arctic, located at Wilmington, N.C., during the war.

In July 1856, the USS Arctic put to sea to make depth soundings in preparation for the laying of the first transatlantic cable.  Late in the month the Arctic was at St. John's, Newfoundland and 23 August 1856, was at Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland.

After completion of this, it was commissioned into the Coast Survey and in 1857 and early 1858 made further cable soundings in the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommissioned into the U.S. navy, from May to July 1858 was part of the American squadron off Cuba protecting American ships from British ships using their "right of search and seizure."

In early 1859, the Arctic's propulsion machinery was removed and the ship was turned over to the U.S. Lighthouse Board as a lightship.  It was placed off the coast of North Carolina where it was captured by Confederate forces and turned into a warship.

After the war, it was raised and repaired and served another career as a lightship before being sold at public auction 16 April 1879.

--Old B-R'er

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