Today in History:

State of Georgia (1861-1865)

State of Georgia, a 1204-ton (burden) side-wheel steamship, was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1851-52 for commercial employment. She was purchased by the U.S. Navy in September 1861 for Civil War service and placed in commission two months later as USS State of Georgia. Assigned to the blockade of the North Carolina and Virginia coasts, she began that duty in late November 1861. In April 1862 she was one of the ships that bombarded and captured Fort Macon, N.C., and in May she assisted in the capture of two blockade runners. The following September she helped destroy or seize two more. State of Georgia was under repair for collision damage for most of the rest of 1862, but returned to the blockade in January 1863. In February and March of that year she was involved in taking three sailing blockade runners.

Out of commission for repairs between August and November 1863, State of Georgia was back on station from late 1863 until mid-1864. After more repairs, in January 1865 she joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and served along the South Carolina Coast for the next three months. Among her activities during this time was participation in an amphibious operation to capture Bull's Bay, S.C., in February. State of Georgia went south in April, taking dispatches to Aspinwall, in Central America, and remaining to protect U.S. interests in the region. She was decommissioned at New York in September 1865 and sold in October. The steamer soon resumed civilian trade, receiving the name Andrew Johnson in May 1866. However, her new career was short. On 5 October 1866, during a hurricane, she was wrecked at Currituck Inlet, N.C.

This page features our only views of USS State of Georgia and the civilian steamship State of Georgia.

Photo #: NH 63893

State of Georgia
(American Steamship, 1852-1866)

Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1951, painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I.
This steamer served as USS State of Georgia in 1861-1865, and was briefly the civilian merchant steamer Andrew Johnson in 1866.

Courtesy of Erik Heyl.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Photo #: NH 59175

"Landing of General Potter's and Admiral Dahlgren's Troops at Bull's Bay, South Carolina"

Line engraving, based on a sketch by John Everding, published in "Harper's Weekly", March 1865, depicting the landings made on 16-17 February 1865.
Ships shown include (as identified below the print, from left to right -- all U.S. Navy): State of Georgia, Pawnee, Juniata, Harvest Moon -- flagship, Wando, Winona, Shenandoah and Canandaigua.