From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, V. 5, 1970 (1979 reprint), p. 155.


Counties in Idaho, New York and Wisconsin. Name originates from an Iroquoian tribe (Oneida) living in New York State and environs.


(ScSlp: dp. 1,488. l. 201'5"; b. 33'10"; dr. 8'11"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 186; a . 3 30-pdrs., 2 9", 4 32-pdrs., 1 12-pdr.)

Oneida, screw sloop of war, was authorized by Act of Congress, February 1861, and built at the New York Navy Yard; launched 20 November 1861; and commissioned 28 February 1862, Comdr. S. P. Lee in command.

Shortly after commissioning Oneida sailed from New York and joined the West Gulf Blockading Squadron commanded by Flag Officer David G. Farragut. On 24 April she participated in the attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip below New Orleans, and drove off the confederate ram which sank USS Varuna. Oneida destroyed CSS Governor Moore in a following engagement, the same date.

On 27 April Oneida destroyed obstructions in the Mississippi River above Carollton, Miss.

In both passages of the Confederate Works at Vicksburg, 28 June 1862 and 15 July 1862, by the Union Fleet under Admiral Farragut, Oneida was second in line.

In August 1862 under command of Comdr. George H. Preble, Oneida sank the steamer Lewis Whitman loaded with wounded troops. Early in the following month she failed in an attempt to stop the passage of CSS Florida into Mobile Bay.

From 15 October 1863 to 23 August 1864, Oneida served in blockade operations off Mobile, where on 5 August she participated in the Battle of Mobile Bay and the subsequent capture of CSS Tennessee. At a later date she witnessed the surrender of Fort Morgan at Mobile.

Oneida decommissioned 11 August 1865 at New York. Recommissioned in May 1867, she was attached to the Asiatic Squadron and continued in that capacity until January 1870.

Sailing out of Yokohama, Japan on 24 January 1870, Oneida was struck by the British P. & O. Steamer City of Bombay, at 6:30 pm near Saratoga Spit. The starboard quarter was cut off Oneida and she was left to sink, as the City of Bombay steamed on without stopping to render assistance. Oneida sank at 6:45 pm in 20 fathoms of water with the loss of 125.

The wreck of the Oneida was sold at public auction at Yokohama 9 October 1872, to Mr. Tatchobonaiya.

Transcribed by Richard H. Bouchard.