|Type and class|| Turreted ironclad monitor|
|Shipyard|| Continental Iron Works|
Greenpoint, New York
|Launched||August 30, 1862|
|Commissioned||November 25, 1862|
|Fate|| Sold for scrapping|
October 10, 1899
|Draft||10 feet 6 inches|
|Propulsion||Steam engine; single screw propeller|
|Armament|| One 15-inch Dahlgren smoothbore|
One 11-inch Dahlgren smoothbore
|Compliment||75 officers and men|
USS Passaic was the lead ship in the first major class of warships built upon the success of USS Monitor, and saw action primarily during the siege of Charleston, South Carolina.
The first of the United States Navy's ships named Passaic was built by Continental Iron Works, Greenport, New York, under subcontract from John Ericsson, and was launched 30 August 1862. She was commissioned on 25 November 1862, Captain Percival Drayton her first commanding officer.
Outwardly, her appearance and that of her sisters differed little from Monitor, but Ericsson made improvements which enhanced overall operability. The ship was slightly larger for enhanced sea-keeping, and the funnel was a permanent installation. Most importantly, the pilot house - previously installed on Monitor forward of the turret - was placed on top of the turret for the Passaic-class, improving pilot-to-gunner communications as well as increasing visibility.
Two days after her commissioning, the new monitor departed New York and joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Hampton Roads on the 29th but was immediately sent to the Washington Navy Yard for repairs. There President Abraham Lincoln visited the ship with members of his cabinet 6 December. After returning to Hampton Roads on the 26th, Passaic, towed by State of Georgia, got underway three days later with Monitor, towed by Rhode Island, heading for Beaufort, N.C. Encountering bad weather off Cape Hatteras, N.C., she leaked badly and was forced to work her pumps and throw all shot overboard to remain afloat, but she reached Beaufort on New Year’s Day 1863. Monitor foundered during the storm.
Anchoring off Port Royal, South Carolina, on 21 January, she proceeded to Wassau. Sound. On 23 February with Marblehead, Passaic captured schooner Glide laden with cotton. With her sister monitors, Passaic attacked Fort McAllister to test her fighting capabilities in action. On 7 April, she took part in Rear Admiral Samuel Du Pont’s attack on Charleston. Severely battered during the engagement, she returned to New York and decommissioned for repairs 12 May.
Recommissioned 19 July, Passaic arrrived off Morris Island in Charleston Harbor on the 25th, and took part in all operations against that place. Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren used her as his flagship during the attack on Fort Moultrie, and she assisted in rescuing Lehigh when that monitor ran aground under the fire of Fort Moultrie.
On 16 June 1865, Passaic decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and was laid up there from 1866 to 1874. Repaired during the following year, she recommissioned in Hampton Roads, 24 November 1876. From 1878 to 1882 she served as Receiving Ship at Washington, D.C. From 1883 to 1892 she was stationed at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, and from 1893 to 1894 at the Navy Yard, Boston, Mass. During 1895 and 1896 she was loaned to the Massachusetts Naval Militia and during the next two years to the Naval Militia at Brunswick, Ga.
On 16 May 1898 Passaic again recommissioned, was assigned to the Naval Auxiliary Force and sent to Key West and Pensacola. She decommissioned at the Navy Yard, Pensacola, Fla., 11 September 1898 and was sold to Frank Samuels 10 October 1899.
Part of the text is incorporated from the United States Navy's Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, a work in the public domain.