Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Nimitz Library
Nimitz Library

Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Santee, 1864: Finding Aid

Published in May 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 123
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Santee
  • Dates: 1864
  • Size: 0.17 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume of 136 leaves
  • Creator: Santee (Frigate)
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: U.S.S. Santee was a United States Navy frigate. The Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Santee spans from January 1 to December 31, 1864. The journal was kept while Santee was attached to the Naval Academy at Newport, Rhode Island as a school ship.

History of U.S.S. Santee (Frigate)

The first U.S.S. Santee, a sailing frigate rated at 44 guns, was laid down in 1820 by the Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Navy Yard, but due to a shortage of funds, was not completed and launched until February 16, 1855. She was commissioned on June 6, 1861, Captain Henry Eagle in command.

Santee departed Portsmouth on June 20, 1861, stopped at Hampton Roads to load ammunition, and resumed her voyage to the Gulf of Mexico on July 10. On August 8, she captured the schooner C. P. Knapp 350 miles south of Pensacola and on October 27, took her second prize, Delta, off Galveston.

Shortly before midnight on November 7, boats left the frigate and entered Galveston Bay hoping to capture and burn the Confederate armed steamer General Rusk, but ran aground. Having lost the element of surprise, the expedition's commander, Lieutenant James E. Jouett, turned instead to capture the Confederate lookout vessel, Royal Yacht. On December 30, boats from Santee captured the Confederate schooner Garonne, which Captain Eagle stripped the prize for use as a lighter.

In January 1862, Santee was assigned to David Farragut's new West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Under the new organization, she continued to blockade the Texas coast, primarily off Galveston, until summer, when an outbreak of scurvy forced her to sail north. She reached Boston on August 22 and was decommissioned on September 4.

Refitted at the Boston Navy Yard, Santee was recommissioned one month later and sailed for Newport, Rhode Island, to serve as a school ship at the United States Naval Academy, which had been moved there from Annapolis for security during the Civil War. At Newport, midshipmen lived, studied, and attended classes aboard the frigates Santee and Constitution.

After the close of the Civil War, the Naval Academy returned to Annapolis, and Santee, carrying midshipmen, sailed from Newport and moored near Fort Severn on August 2, 1865, where she continued her duty as school ship. The following year, she became a gunnery ship. About the same time, the frigate began to be used as a barracks ship for midshipmen being punished and for new plebes receiving their first taste of Navy life, serving in this role for decades.

Then, before dawn on April 2, 1912, Santee sank at her mooring. Efforts to refloat the frigate proved unsuccessful. She was sold to Joseph G. Hitner, of Philadelphia, on August 2, 1912, the anniversary of her arrival at Annapolis. After six months of effort, she was finally raised and, on May 8, 1913, Santee departed the Severn under tow and proceeded to Boston where she was burned for the copper and brass in her hull.

Back to Top

Description of Contents

The Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Santee, comprising 0.17 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 136 leaves, spans from January 1 to December 31, 1864. The journal was kept while Santee was attached to the Naval Academy at Newport, Rhode Island as a school ship.

The journal records weather conditions, watch changes, personnel movements, and midshipman activities. Several general orders, as well as the orders for the Officer of the Day, have been tipped into the volume.

Back to Top


The Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Santee comprises a single volume.

Back to Top

Access and Use


Patron use restricted to microfilm.

Copyright and Permission

The Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Santee 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.

Back to Top

Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition


Back to Top

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. Santee's service as a school ship can be found in Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Santee, 1865, MS 124; Office of the Superintendent/Correspondence: Letters Received by the Superintendent, RG 405.2.1 Entry 25; and Office of the Superintendent/Correspondence: General Correspondence, RG 405.2.1 Entry 33.

Official logbooks of U.S.S. Santee 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.

Back to Top

Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Santee, MS 123

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

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

"Santee I (Frigate)." 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 May 2020.

Back to Top

Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Naval education -- United States
  • Santee (Frigate)
  • Training-ships -- United States
  • United States Naval Academy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • United States Naval Academy -- School ships
  • United States. Navy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources

Genre Terms

  • Journals (accounts)
  • Manuscripts
  • Ships' logs
Back to Top

Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Journal of the Officer of the Day, U.S.S. Santee, 1864

Back to Top