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[113]

Officers on deck of the U. S. S. “Rhode Island This proved to be one of the most useful of the vessels purchased by the Navy Department during the war. Commissioned in May, 1861, she was one of the last of the Federal warships to go out of service, June, 1865. During the entire war she was commanded by Commander (later Rear-Admiral) Stephen Decatur Trenchard. At the time this picture was taken at Cape Haytien, her executive officers were Lieutenant Pennell, Lieutenant Farquhar, and Master Rodney Brown. Other officers were Chief-Engineer McCutcheon, Captain's Clerk F. C. T. Beck, Paymaster R. Hall Douglas, Paymaster's Clerk, Langdon Rodgers. She had first been employed as a special despatch-boat for the rapid transmission of Government orders to all squadron commanders. Her speed proved so great that she was soon converted into a heavily armed cruiser (twelve guns) and sent to West Indian waters to search for Confederate privateers and blockade-runners. She made numerous prizes and was subsequently transferred to Wilkes' flying squadron. She was finally attached to Admiral Porter's South Atlantic squadron and took part in both attacks on Fort Fisher. For his conduct there Commander Trenchard was specially mentioned in orders by his chief.

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