Today in History:

Montauk (1862-1904)

USS Montauk, a 1335-ton Passaic class monitor built at Greenpoint, New York, was commissioned in December 1862 under the command of Commander John L. Worden. She arrived at Port Royal, South Carolina, in mid-January 1863 to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Late in the month she bombarded Fort McAllister, Georgia, in a test of her combat abilities. At the end of February, Montauk returned to Ft. McAllister to shell and destroy the Confederate privateer Rattlesnake and early in the next month covered another bombardment of the fort by three of her sister monitors. She was hit several times by enemy cannon fire in these actions and also received damage when a mine (or "torpedo" in the terminology of the day) detonated near her hull just after she had attacked the Rattlesnake.

On 7 April 1863, Montauk was one of nine ironclads, including seven monitors, that made a close-range bombardment of Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor, S.C. During the summer of that year, she participated in a series of attacks on the Charleston harbor fortifications that led to the capture of Battery Wagner in September. Montauk continued to serve in the vicinity of Charleston until February 1865, when she moved north to take part in operations on the Cape Fear River, North Carolina.

While stationed off Washington, D.C., in late April 1865, Montauk served as the platform for an examination of the body of John Wilkes Booth, the murderer of President Abraham Lincoln. She also was a temporary prison for some of Booth's co-conspirators. Decommissioned later in 1865, the ship was placed in what turned out to be permanent lay up at the League Island Navy Yard, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. USS Montauk remained there for nearly four decades and was sold for scrapping in April 1904.

This page features, or provides links to, all our views related to USS Montauk.

For additional views related to USS Montauk, see:,

  • USS Montauk -- Actions & Activities;
  • USS Montauk -- On Board Views.

    Photo #: NH 45896

    USS Montauk
    (1862-1904) - at left, and
    USS Lehigh (1863-1904) - at right

    Laid up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, circa late 1902 or early 1903.
    Other ships present, at extreme left and in center beyond Montauk and Lehigh, include three other old monitors and two new destroyers (probably Bainbridge and Chauncey, both in reserve at Philadelphia from November 1902 to February 1903).

    The following depictions of USS Montauk show her distantly or partially, as an element in a view that is mainly of another subject:

    Photo #: NH 93868

    Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia

    Four monitors laid up in the Anacostia River, off the Washington Navy Yard, circa 1866.
    Ships are (from left to right): USS Mahopac, USS Saugus, USS Montauk (probably); and either USS Casco or USS Chimo. Photo mounted on a stereograph card, marked: "Photographed and published by Kilburn Brothers, Littleton, N.H.".

    Courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1982.

    A stereo pair version of this image is available as Photo # NH 93868-A

    Online Image of stereo pair: 47KB; 675 x 370 pixels

    Photo #: NH 58936

    Washington Navy Yard, D.C.

    Ships moored in the Anacostia River off the Yard's waterfront, after the end of the Civil War, about 1865.
    The large twin-turret monitor in the center is Miantonomoh, with the smaller monitor Montauk tied up alongside her, to the left. In the left distance are the "light draft" monitor Chimo and the twin-turret monitor Tonawanda. The former Confederate ironclad Stonewall is beyond them.
    In the right distance is the Yard's western shiphouse. Ship at right is probably USS Resaca.
    The original print is mounted on a carte de visite produced by Christimo, 45 Rua de Quitanda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Courtesy of Mrs. W.E. Taylor, 1941, from the collection of Medical Inspector William E. Taylor, USN.

    Photo #: NH 86239

    USS Miantonomoh

    Moored off the Washington Navy Yard, D.C., in 1865-66. USS Montauk is tied up alongside, to the left.
    The Navy Yard's western shiphouse is visible in the right background.
    Photo mounted on a stereograph card.

    Courtesy of the Steamship Historical Society of America, 1952. Collection of Rosmar S. Devereaux.

    A stereo pair version of this image is available as Photo # NH 86239-A

    Online Image of stereo pair: 58KB; 675 x 375 pixels

    The following depictions of USS Montauk are relatively inaccurate:

    Photo #: NH 58737

    USS Catskill
    USS Passaic (1862-1899); and
    USS Montauk (1862-1904)

    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, rather crudely depicting the appearance of these ships and others of their class.

    Photo #: NH 58752

    U.S. Navy Warships, 1862

    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting several contemporary U.S. Navy ironclad and conventional warships. They are (from left to right: Puritan (in the original twin-turret design); Catskill; Montauk, Keokuk (citing her original name, "Woodna"); Passaic; Galena (behind Roanoke, with name not cited); Roanoke; Winona; New Ironsides; Naugatuck; Brooklyn and Monitor.

    For additional views related to USS Montauk, see:,

  • USS Montauk -- Actions & Activities;
  • USS Montauk -- On Board Views.