Steam Log of U.S. Steamer Tacony, 1865: Finding Aid
Published in February 2022
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 559
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Steam Log of U.S. Steamer Tacony
- Dates: 1865
- Size: 1.67 linear feet
- Container Summary: 1 flat box
- Creator: Tacony (Side-wheel steamer)
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: U.S.S. Tacony (Side-wheel steamer) was a vessel of the United States Navy during and shortly after the Civil War. The Steam Log of U.S. Steamer Tacony spans from the ship's recommissioning on September 16, 1865 until December 15, 1865. The log records the activities of the Tacony's engineering department and the operations and maintenance of the ship's engines and boilers while she was under the command of William G. Temple and operating at Charleston, Port Royal, Fernandina, Savannah, Wilmington, and Cape Fear.
History of U.S.S. Tacony
U.S.S. Tacony, a double-ended, side-wheel steamer was built by the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Sponsored by Miss Ellie M. Wells, daughter of Lieutenant Commander Clark H. Wells, captain of the yard at Philadelphia, Tacony, was launched on May 7, 1863 and commissioned on February 12, 1864, Lieutenant Commander William T. Truxtun in command.
Tacony was assigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron and sailed south from Philadelphia soon thereafter, bound for Key West. She reached Newport News on February 15 and entered the Norfolk Navy Yard for repairs to her steering machinery. While undergoing repairs, she was reassigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She departed Hampton Roads on the morning of February 27, bound for the North Carolina sounds to strengthen Union Navy forces against attack by the C.S.S. Albemarle, which was reportedly nearing completion. With the exception of a period of repairs at Washington, she served in the sounds until after the destruction of the Albemarle on the night of October 27-28.
In December 1864, Tacony joined Rear Admiral David D. Porter's forces to attack the defenses of Wilmington, and participated in the abortive attack against Fort Fisher on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She was also part of the fleet which Porter led back to Fort Fisher in January 1865, and she supported the effort which finally resulted in Fort Fisher's surrender on January 15. She then participated in the attack against Fort Anderson later in the month.
The ship continued blockade duty through the end of the Civil War. She was decommissioned at Boston on June 21, 1865 for repairs. Recommissioned on September 16, 1865, the ship served until October 7, 1867, when she was decommissioned for the final time at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Tacony remained in ordinary until August 26, 1868 when she was sold.
Description of Contents
The Steam Log of U.S. Steamer Tacony, comprising 1.67 linear feet of documentation, spans from the ship's recommissioning on September 16, 1865 until December 15, 1865. The log records the activities of the Tacony's engineering department and the operations and maintenance of the ship's engines and boilers while she was under the command of William G. Temple and operating at Charleston, Port Royal, Fernandina, Savannah, Wilmington, and Cape Fear.
The Tacony's steam log comprises a single, chronologically arranged volume. On the verso of each page appears a table for hourly recordings of the ship's speed, winds, engine status, coal status, temperature, and concentration of water in the boilers, as well as daily consumption of fuel and supplies. While many of the tables corresponding to periods in or near port are blank or mostly blank, the tables corresponding to periods at sea (namely October 5-10 and November 17-28) are populated with varying levels of completeness, with entries appearing in the following subsections: Number of the Counter; Revolutions of Engines per minute; Steam pressure in boilers in pounds per square inch; Number holes of throttle valve open; Vacuum in Condenser, in inches of Mercury; Barometer; Pounds of coal consumer per hour; Pounds of refuse from coal in ashes; Engine room temperature; Deck temperature; Injection water temperature; Discharge water temperature; Feed water temperature; and Concentration of Water in Boilers 1 and 2.
The recto of each page is reserved for remarks of the department's officer of the watch in four hour increments. Topics of remarks include: status of and repairs to the engines, including such components as the cylinders, gauges, valves, and steam eccentric; lists of supplies taken aboard; liberty for the firemen and other men of the department; status of the fires; routine cleaning of the department; maintenance and status of the boilers, including their tendency to foam; overheating and subsequent repair of the crank pin; repair and painting of the paddle wheels; and speed of the engines when at sea. The remarks bear the signatures of the Engineering Department's officers: First Assistant Engineer N. B. Clark; Second Assistant Engineers George E. Tower and Henry C. Blye; and Acting Third Assistant Engineers W. Holland and Marcus H. Perry.
Prior to the first set of daily remarks is a list of the officers and enlisted sailors of the Tacony's engineering department.
The Steam Log of U.S. Steamer Tacony comprises a single volume with chronological entries.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Copyright and Permission
The Steam Log of U.S. Steamer Tacony 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.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Purchased from Ten Pound Island Book Company in January 2022. Accession No. 22-02.
Related Archival Material
Logbooks for U.S.S. Tacony can be found in Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships, ca. 1801 - 1940, Record Group 24: Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel at the National Archives and Records Administration.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Processing and Other Information
Steam Log of U.S. Steamer Tacony, MS 559
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
"Tacony I (SwStr)." Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2005, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/t/tacony-i.html.
This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in February 2022. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in February 2022.
Name and Subject Terms
- Ships -- United States -- Maintenance and repair
- Steam engineering
- Steam engines
- Tacony (Side-wheel steamer)
- Ships' logs