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Log of the U.S.S. Hartford, the U.S.S. Wachusett, and the U.S.S. Iroquois, 1884-1885: Finding Aid

Published in April 2020

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 120
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Log of the U.S.S. Hartford, the U.S.S. Wachusett, and the U.S.S. Iroquois
  • Dates: 1884-1885
  • Size: 0.3 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume of 175 leaves
  • Creator: Hartford (Screw sloop-of-war)
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: U.S.S. Hartford, Wachusett, and Iroquois were United States Navy screw sloops-of-war. The Log of the U.S.S. Hartford, the U.S.S. Wachusett, and the U.S.S. Iroquois spans from 1884 to 1885. The log was compiled by either a naval cadet or officer, likely while performing his two years of mandatory sea service prior to commissioning.

History of U.S.S. Hartford (Screw sloop-of-war)

U.S.S. Hartford was launched by the Boston Navy Yard on November 22, 1858 and commissioned on May 27, 1859, Captain Charles Lowndes in command. After shakedown, she sailed for Cape Hope and the Far East as flagship of the East India Squadron. In November she embarked the American Minister to China, John Elliott Ward, at Hong Kong and carried him to various Far Eastern ports to settle American claims and advocate for the Nation's interests.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Hartford was ordered home to be fitted out for wartime service. She departed the Delaware Capes January 28, 1862 as flagship of David G. Farragut and the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. As flagship, she participated in the Union victories at the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the capture of New Orleans, and numerous other engagements along the Mississippi.

After her service in the Civil War, Hartford decommissioned for repairs in New York. Beginning in July 1865, she served as flagship of a newly-organized Asiatic Station Squadron until August 1868 when she returned to New York and decommissioned. Recommissioned on October 9, 1872, she resumed Asiatic Station patrol until returning home on October 19, 1875. In 1882, as Captain Stephen B. Luce's flagship of the North Atlantic Station, Hartford visited the Caroline Islands, Hawaii, and Valparaiso, Chile, before arriving San Francisco on March 17, 1884. She then cruised in the Pacific until decommissioning on January 14, 1887 at Mare Island for apprentice sea-training use.

From 1890 to 1899 Hartford was laid up at Mare Island, the last 5 years of which she was being rebuilt. On October 2, 1899, she recommissioned, then transferred to the Atlantic coast to be used as a training and practice cruise ship for midshipmen until October 24, 1912 when she was transferred to Charleston, South Carolina for use as a station ship.

Again placed out of commission on August 20, 1926, Hartford remained at Charleston until moved to Washington, D.C., on October 18, 1938. On October 19, 1945, she was towed to the Norfolk Navy Yard and classified as a relic. Hartford sank at her berth November 20, 1956. She was subsequently dismantled. Major components from her are at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Washington (D.C.) Navy Yard, and elsewhere.

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History of U.S.S. Wachusett (Screw sloop-of-war)

The first U.S.S. Wachusett, one of seven screw sloops-of-war authorized by Congress in February 1861, was laid down by the Boston Navy Yard in June 1861, launched on October 10, and commissioned on 3 March 3, 1862, Commander John S. Missroon in command.

Wachusett's career began on March 10, 1862 with her assignment to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. In the spring of 1862, she was deployed in the York and James rivers in support of Major General George B. McClellan's Peninsular Campaign. On September 8 of that year, she was deployed to the West Indies as flagship of a squadron searching for the Confederate commerce raiders C.S.S. Alabama and Florida. Having failed in that goal, Wachusett returned to Boston in May 1863 and was later decommissioned.

Wachusett was recommissioned on January 28, 1864 and deployed to the coast of Brazil to once again hunt Confederate commerce raiders. After months of searching, Wachusett finally tracked down C.S.S. Florida, capturing her in the harbor at Bahia, Brazil on October 7, 1864. After undergoing repairs at the Boston Navy Yard, Wachusett sailed for the East Indies on March 5, 1865 to join U.S.S. Wyoming and U.S.S. Iroquois in an effort to track down the Confederate commerce raider CSS Shenandoah. She remained in Chinese waters into 1867 and was decommissioned on February 4, 1868.

Recommissioned on June 1, 1871, Wachusett left New York for the Mediterranean, where she cruised until November 1873. Returning home, she served along the Atlantic and gulf coasts for a year before she was decommissioned at Boston on December 29, 1874. Wachusett remained laid up at Boston for five years and was recommissioned on May 26, 1879. She sailed for the Gulf of Mexico on June 5 and visited New Orleans and Vicksburg to enlist seamen before returning to Boston in August.

On October 2, 1879, Wachusett left Boston for the South Atlantic Station where she cruised until May 1880. She then sailed for the Pacific, arriving off the coast of Chile in June. The vessel remained on the Pacific Station, cruising extensively until September 1885 when she was decommissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard. Wachusett was sold there to W. T. Garratt & Co. on July 30, 1887.

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History of U.S.S. Iroquois (Screw sloop-of-war

The first U.S.S. Iroquois, a steam sloop of war, was launched by the New York Navy Yard on April 12, 1859 and commissioned on November 24, 1859, Commander J. S. Palmer in command. Iroquois was deployed to the Mediterranean on January 19, 1860, while the movement for Italian unification in its beginning stages. On June 20, Giuseppe Garibaldi came aboard and conferred with Commander Palmer.

Iroquois operated in the Mediterranean into 1861, but the impending Civil War forced her recall. On June 15, 1861, she was sent to the Caribbean to hunt commerce raiders. At Martinique, she nearly captured C.S.S. Sumter, under the command of Raphael Semmes that November. In 1862, Iroquois was sent to join David G. Farragut's force in the attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and the subsequent capture of New Orleans. She then advanced up river, passing the Vicksburg batteries on June 28, where she remained until late July. She returned to the Gulf of Mexico in September, and decommissioned on October 6, 1862 at New York for repairs. Iroquois recommissioned on January 8, 1863 and joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron off North Carolina. After several months of blockade duty, including the capture of several blockade runners, she decommissioned at Baltimore for repairs on October 8, 1863.

Recommissioned on March 31, 1864, Iroquois served briefly in the North Atlantic, before steaming to the Mediterranean to protect American commerce and take part in the search for the Confederate raider Shenandoah. She then sailed to the Far East, arriving Singapore in May 1865. With the war over, she sailed in July for the United States, and decommissioned at New York on October 6, 1865.

Upon recommissioning on January 7, 1867, she sailed for duty with the Asiatic Squadron. She was present at Osaka, Japan, when that port was opened to foreign commerce in January 1868, taking part in the rescue attempts of Rear Admiral Henry H. Bell, protecting American interests, and carrying the foreign ministers to Hiogo when they were expelled from Osaka. She remained on duty with the Asiatic Squadron until returning to the United States in February 1870, and decommissioned at League Island on April 23, 1870. Iroquois recommissioned on August 23, 1871, and operated on the East Coast until March 18, 1872. She then sailed for another cruise with the Asiatic Fleet and remained off China and Japan until returning to San Francisco, where she decommissioned for repairs on July 23, 1874.

Iroquois did not recommission again until April 12, 1882, when she assumed duty on the Pacific station, patrolling the waters of South America, Hawaii, Australia, and Pacific islands. She took part in naval action in Panama in the spring of 1885, helping to land during the revolution. After ten years of service on the Pacific Station, Iroquois decommissioned at Mare Island on May 12, 1892.

The ship was transferred to the Marine Hospital Service and served until she recommissioned on December 13, 1898 for service in the Pacific, before decommissioning again at Honolulu June 30, 1899. Iroquois was then transferred again to the Marine Hospital Service. Her name was changed to Ionie on November 30, 1904. Her name was struck from the Navy List August 26, 1910.

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Description of Contents

The Log of the U.S.S. Hartford, the U.S.S. Wachusett, and the U.S.S. Iroquois, comprising 0.3 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 175 leaves, spans from 1884 to 1885. The log was compiled by either a naval cadet or officer, likely while performing his two years of mandatory sea service prior to commissioning.

The logbook includes sections for U.S.S. Hartford, spanning July 1, 1884 to September 10, 1884, under the command of George H. Perkins; U.S.S. Wachusett, spanning September 10, 1844 to March 1, 1885, under the command of Alfred Thayer Mahan; and U.S.S. Iroquois, spanning March 4, 1885 to June 7, 1885, under the command of Yates Stirling. For each vessel, the logbook records the ship's course, sailing/steaming conditions, and daily occurrences, as well as a list of officers.

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The Log of the U.S.S. Hartford, the U.S.S. Wachusett, and the U.S.S. Iroquois comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use


Patron use restricted to microfilm.

Copyright and Permission

The Log of the U.S.S. Hartford, the U.S.S. Wachusett, and the U.S.S. Iroquois is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Accession No. 132561.

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Related Materials

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

This collection also available on microfilm.

Related Archival Material

Additional material in this repository pertaining to U.S.S. Hartford and her role in training midshipmen can be found in the Watch, Quarter, Fire, Boat, Battalion Station Bills, Etc. of the U.S. Steamer Hartford, 1884, MS 84; Log of the U.S.S. Hartford 1884-1885, MS 121; Log of the U.S.S. Hartford, the U.S.S. Lackawanna, and the U.S.S. Mohican, 1884-1886, MS 119; and Log of the U.S.S. Hartford and U.S.S. Shenandoah, 1884-1886, MS 122.

Official logbooks of the three vessels may be available in Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, ca. 1801 - 1940, Record Group 24: Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798-2007 at the National Archives and Records Administration.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Log of the U.S.S. Hartford, the U.S.S. Wachusett, and the U.S.S. Iroquois, MS 120

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

"Hartford I." Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2015,

"Iroquois I (Sloop-of-War)." Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2015,

"Wachusett I (ScSlp)." Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2015,

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in April 2020.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Hartford (Screw sloop-of-war)
  • Iroquois (Steam sloop-of-war)
  • Naval education -- United States
  • United States. Navy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • United States. Navy. Pacific Squadron
  • Wachusett (Screw sloop)

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Ships' logs

Additional Creator/Author

  • Iroquois (Steam sloop-of-war)
  • Wachusett (Screw sloop)
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Log of the U.S.S. Hartford, the U.S.S. Wachusett, and the U.S.S. Iroquois, 1884-1885

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