Today in History:

Sangamon (1863-1904), later renamed Jason

USS Sangamon, an 1335-ton Passaic-class monitor built at Chester, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in February 1863. During most of 1863 she served in the James River, Virginia, taking part in offensive moves up that river in July and August. In early 1864, Sangamon was transferred to the blockade off Charleston, South Carolina, but returned to the James later in the year. In March and April 1865, she took part in operations to counter the threat of Confederate ironclads and to clear mines from the river. Following the end of the Civil War, Sangamon was placed out of commission at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Renamed Jason in June 1869, the monitor was apparently inactive from 1865 until 1898.

Jason recommissioned in May 1898 for Spanish-American War service. Stationed on Long Island, she provided the New York area with some degree of naval protection against the perceived threat of a raid by Spanish cruisers. Again laid up at Philadelphia after the end of the conflict, USS Jason was sold in April 1904.

This page features our only views related to USS Sangamon, which was renamed Jason in 1869.

Photo #: NH 44266

USS Jason
(1863-1904, ex-Sangamon)

Photographed on 27 May 1898, probably at the New York Navy Yard, after she had been recommissioned for coastal defense service during the Spanish-American War.

Photo #: NH 51953

Passaic Class Monitor

Ship's officers on the deck of a Passaic class monitor, circa 1864-65.
This ship has been identified in one published source as USS Sangamon and in another as USS Patapsco. Other photographs (see Photo # 111-B-80 and Photo # 111-B-1961) strongly indicate that it is the former.
Note anchor chain on deck, ventilators erected over deck fittings, thin white band painted around the turret top, uneven height of the turret gunports, and Dahlgren howitzer on a field carriage.

The following depictions of what is probably USS Sangamon show her distantly, as an element in a view that is mainly of another subject:

Photo #: 111-B-80

Federal ironclads in Trent's Reach, James River, Virginia

Photographed circa early 1865.
Nearest ship is USS Saugus, with a mine sweeping "torpedo rake" attached to her bow. Next monitor astern is probably USS Sangamon. Visible just to the right of her is either USS Mahopac or USS Canonicus. Last two ships are USS Atlanta and USS Onondaga.
Photographed by the Matthew Brady organization.
Note the log boom across the river in the foreground and the signal tower atop the hill in the right distance.

Photograph from the Collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Photo #: 111-B-1961

Federal ironclads in the James River, Virginia

Photographed circa early 1865, probably in Trent's Reach.
Ships are (from left to right): USS Saugus, USS Sangamon (probably), USS Atlanta and USS Onondaga.
Photographed by the Matthew Brady organization.

Photograph from the Collections of the U.S. National Archives.