The 2011 lower right stamp in the MS of Gambia showed us the attack on the Secession Batteries at Aquia Creek, Potomac River, by the U.S. vessels PAWNEE, LIVE YANKEE (must be YANKEE), FREEBORN (must be THOMAS FREEBORN), ANACOSTIA and LIONESS (must be RESOLUTE) on 1 June 1861.
The stamp is designed after a line engraving, based on a sketch by an “Officer of the Expedition” published in “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper”, 1861.
Ships depicted are (from left to right-centre, in the foreground): U.S. tug RESOLUTE (called LIONESS in the original text) She is omitted from the stamp design.
USS ANACOSTIA, USS THOMAS FREEBORN, USS YANKEE (called LIVE YANKEE in the original text) and USS PAWNEE. A two-masted schooner in the right foreground which is not identified.
Built as a steam powered side-wheel tugboat in 1860 at New York City as the YANKEE.
Displacement 328 tons, dim. 45 x 7.80m.
Engine and power?
Armament when under navy control 2 – 32pdr guns.
She was acquired by the Union Navy just prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War.
The YANKEE -- a side-wheel steamer built in 1860 at New York City -- was one of three steam tugs chartered early in April 1861 at New York City for use on the expedition to provision Fort Sumter, South Carolina. She departed New York on April 8, 1861 and arrived off Charleston Bar on the 15th, a few hours after Major Robert Anderson's command had evacuated the fort and embarked in Federal transport BALTIC. On the 20th, YANKEE assisted in the evacuation of the Norfolk Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia, towing USS CUMBERLAND (1842) to safety. She then returned to the New York Navy Yard.
YANKEE left the navy yard on the April 26, 1861 for duty as a dispatch and escort vessel between Annapolis, Maryland, and Havre de Grace, Maryland. On April 30, 1861, she received orders to Hampton Roads for reconnaissance duty between the Rip Raps and Cape Henry, Virginia. Batteries manned by Virginia forces that had not yet been formally incorporated into the Confederate States Army at Gloucester Point, Virginia, fired upon YANKEE on May 7, 1861, doing little damage but reportedly wounding two Union sailors. YANKEE returned fire with four shots and two shells but the crew could not elevate its guns high enough to reach the shore batteries and YANKEE broke off the action and returned to Hampton Roads. After further reconnaissance duty along the eastern shore of Virginia and the James River, YANKEE proceeded to the Washington Navy Yard on May 25, 1861 to deliver prize schooners GENERAL KNOX and GEORGEANNA. She sailed for Hampton Roads on the last day of May 1861 and arrived on June 2, 1861 but was sent north a week later for major repairs at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
On July 2, 1861, YANKEE departed Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, bound via the Washington Navy Yard for Hampton Roads. However, Confederate activity along the Potomac River necessitated that the vessel remain at Washington; and she was formally attached to the Potomac Flotilla on the July 9, 1861.
In ensuing months, YANKEE was busy operating against Confederate vessels in the Potomac and Southern forces along its banks. On July 18, 1861, she captured the Confederate schooner FAVORITE in the Yeocomico River, Virginia. On July 29, she and USS RELIANCE (1860) engaged a Confederate battery at Marlborough Point, Virginia. YANKEE destroyed the sloops T. W. RILEY and JANE WRIGHT near Smith's Island, Virginia, on August 16, 1861 and captured the schooner REMITTANCE near Piney Point, Maryland, on August 28, 1861. A landing party from USS ANACOSTIA (1856) and YANKEE destroyed abandoned Confederate entrenchments and batteries at Cockpit Point and Evansport, Virginia, on March 9, 1862, the day of the engagement between the Union ironclad USS MONITOR and the Confederate armored ram CSS VIRGINIA
During brief service with the James River Flotilla supporting General George B. McClellan's beleaguered army at Harrison's Landing in July and August 1862, YANKEE assisted in the capture on July 27, 1862 of J. W. STURGES in Chippoak Creek, Virginia. She returned to the Potomac Flotilla on August 30, 1862 and guarded the water approaches to the Federal capital until the following spring.
USS COEUR DE LION (1861), USS PRIMROSE (1863), USS TEASER (1861), and YANKEE left the Potomac Flotilla for Hampton Roads and duty with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in April 1863. YANKEE participated in the capture of the strong Confederate position at Hill's Point, Virginia, on the Nansemond River on April 20, 1863, even though the armed tug's length and draft impaired her maneuverability. She returned to the Rappahannock River on May 1, 1863.
During duty on the Rappahannock, YANKEE captured the schooner CASSANDRA and her cargo of whiskey and soda on July 11, 1863. She took the schooner NANJEMOY in the Coan River, Virginia, on July 15, 1863; and captured the sloop CLARA ANN on August 1, 1863. YANKEE assisted in landing Union cavalry and infantry under General Gilman Marston on the Potomac-Rappahannock peninsula on January 12, 1864 and helped destroy a Confederate encampment under construction at Carter's Creek, Virginia, on April 29, 1864.
YANKEE 's last major operation of the war occurred on March 7, 1865, when the tug joined USS COMMODORE READ (1857), USS DELAWARE (1861), USS HELIOTROPE (1863) and Army troops in a raid upon Hamilton's Crossing near Fredericksburg, Virginia. The force destroyed a train depot, a railroad bridge, 28 loaded freight cars, and a Confederate army wagon train. Moreover, she made prisoners of 30 Confederates as well.
On May 5, 1865, YANKEE sailed to the Washington Navy Yard. YANKEE was decommissioned there on May 16, 1865 and was sold at public auction on September 15, 1865 to George B. Collier. Fate unknown.
Gambia 2011 30D sg?, scott? (she is the third vessel from the left on the stamp.)
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