The Gunboats Uncas and Norwich
The Norwichwas a 431-ton (burden) gunboat built at Norwich, Connecticut in 1861 as a wooden-hulled civilian steamship. Purchased by the U.S. Navy in September 1861, she was refitted as a warship and assigned to the Georgia and Florida coastal area for the remainder of the war. The Uncas was a screw steamer built at New York City in 1843 and purchased by the U.S. Navy in September 1861. After refitting at the New York Navy Yard, the ship was placed in Federal service in early March 1862. Assigned first to the Hampton Road, Virginia area, and later to the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River entrance, the Uncas was assigned to Flag Officer Samuel F. Du Pont’s South Atlantic Blockading Squadron on April 26, 1862. In June she was assigned to the St. Johns River. Both the Norwich and the Uncas steamed upriver to Jacksonville on March 10, 1863, carrying troops and military supplies.