STEREO CARD VIEW OF THE GUN BOAT COMMODORE PERRY IN THE JAMES RIVER

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Item Code: 490-2373

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Stereo card has a yellow mount and is titled on the edges “PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY” and “THE WAR FOR THE UNION.”

Reverse has a blue label with a printed caption that reads “WAR VIEWS’ and GUN BOAT COMM. PERRY, MONITOR IN THE DISTANCE, JAMES RIVER, VA. NO. 2687.” Label also has a canceled 2 cent tax stamp attached.

Image is a full length view of the COMMODORE PERRY from the stern with an unnamed Monitor in the distance. View is clear with excellent contrast.

COMMODORE PERRY, an armed, side-wheel ferry, was built in 1859 by Stack and Joyce, Williamsburg, New York; purchased by the Navy on 2 October 1861; and commissioned later in the month, Acting Master F. J. Thomas in command. She carried two 9 inch guns, two 32-pounder smoothbore guns and one 12-pounder howitzer.

COMMODORE PERRY sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia on 17 January 1862 to join the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and on 7–8 February took part in the attack, in cooperation with the Union Army, which resulted in the surrender of Roanoke Island, part of the long campaign through which the Navy secured key coastal points.

On the 9th of July, 1862, at 2 a. m., the United States gunboats COMMODORE PERRY, SHAWSHEEN and CERES left Plymouth, N.C., and steamed up the Roanoke River on an expedition to Hamilton, where a large force of Confederates was reported to be stationed. On the PERRY, which was commanded by Lieut. O. W. Flusser. U. S. N., were 20 men of Co. F, of the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, (Hawkins' Zouaves,) under Capt. W. W. Hammell. On the SHAWSHEEN were 10 men of the same company under Sergeant David J. Green, and ten men on the CERES, commanded by Lieut. Joseph A. Greene, also of Co. F.

Lieut. Flusser of the PERRY in his report says: "About 1 o'clock p.m. in. we were fired upon from the south bank of the river by musketry, returned the fire with great guns and small arms, and pushed on for Hamilton, where I hoped to meet the enemy in force. We were under fire for two hours running very slowly and keeping a lookout for a battery. Two or three miles below Hamilton we found a deserted battery. At Hamilton we landed 100 men, soldiers and sailors, and one field piece, but the rebels, who fired on us from high banks, where they were comparatively safe, were afraid to meet us. The steamer WILSON, belonging to the rebels, run into our hands at Hamilton and was taken possession of. The officers and men both soldiers and sailors behaved with great spirit."

COMMODORE PERRY took part in the capture of Elizabeth City, North Carolina on 10 February, and the next day captured the schooner LYNNHAVEN. As operations along the North Carolina coast continued, she joined in the capture of New Berne and Washington in March, and in April took singly or in concert with others of her squadron four schooners and a sloop in the Pasquotank River and New Begun Creek.

On 3 October, COMMODORE PERRY joined in an Army-Navy expedition against Franklin, Virginia, and on 10 December joined an attack against Plymouth, North Carolina. Four crewmen were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the expedition against Franklin: Boatswain's Mate John Breen, Seaman Daniel Lakin, Seaman Alfred Peterson, and Seaman John Williams. After another combined expedition against Hertford, North Carolina on 30 January 1863, COMMODORE PERRY patrolled constantly in Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds and the streams which enter them, frequently exchanging fire with small detachments of Confederates ashore.

Repaired at Norfolk, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland late in 1863, she returned to her squadron in March 1864 for duty in the inland and coastal waters of Virginia on picket, guard, and patrol duty, joining in many amphibious expeditions, until the close of the war.

She sailed from Norfolk for New York City on 12 June 1865, and there was decommissioned on 26 June. On 12 July, she was sold to the New York and Brooklyn Ferry Company for $16,500.  [ad]

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