The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Vandalia (Sloop of War)
Vandalia I (Sloop of War)
4.25 linear feet (6 boxes, 1 flat file)
The Vandalia I records are from
her time as a receiving ship at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, specifically the years
1864 to 1865.
SERIES I. Personnel SERIES II. Provisions SERIES III. Financial SERIES IV. Correspondence SERIES V. Other
Scope and Content Note
The Vandalia I records are from her time as a receiving
ship at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, specifically the years 1864 to 1865. During this
time, William H. Gilman was the Active Assistant Paymaster onboard the ship, and it
appears that most of the material in this collection came from his office, as the
original boxes were labeled as "Correspondence of Paymaster William H. Gilman." This
collection has been divided into five series.
Series I. Personnel contains papers relating to the
personnel on board the Vandalia I. This series includes
transfers, resignations, discharges, descriptions of deserters, lists of men
drafted, certificates, certifications, rating orders, and lists of personnel. The
discharges are not only for Vandalia I sailors, but are
also for prisoners of war. Also included is a pamphlet published by the Navy on
court martial procedures and muster books.
Series II. Provisions contains material relating to
the procurement of the ships' provisions. This includes requests, return of items
quarterly, allotments, memo book, and an account book of items furnished to the
Series III. Financial contains financial related
materials from the ship. This series includes security notes, which were guarantees
signed by fellow seamen that if an individual did not return to the ship from leave
on time, the others would pay a fine. The notes often said if they were forfeited
due to desertion, or if they were returned to the individuals. There are a number of
empty envelopes in this series, which contain information on them about the security
notes or private funds that they once held. This series also contains invoices,
receipts, bills, requests for payment, donations to fellow personnel, discontinued
allotments, a promissory note, transfer accounts, reconciling statements, and
payroll. This series also includes bounties, which were sign on bonuses or
recruitment bonuses given out by the federal government, lists of prizes, papers
concerning money forfeited due to desertion, and some papers having to do with
Series IV. Correspondence contains circulars and
correspondence. A majority of the correspondence is to Active Assistant Paymaster
William H. Gilman. The correspondence has been arranged by date.
Series V. Other contains miscellaneous items, such as
signed powers of attorney, an order of dances, and a blank form.
Vandalia I was an 18-gun
sloop of war, which was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1825. She was
launched in 1828, with Commander John Gallagher in command, and bound for duty with
the Brazil Squadron off the eastern coast of South America. There she remained off
the coasts of Brazil and Argentina for three years helping to protect American
citizens and mercantile interests. In 1832, the Vandalia
I joined the West Indies Squadron, protecting American citizens and
property in the West Indies, where she remained, in between periods of repairs,
until 1838. During this time, the Squadron cooperated with land forces in Florida
during the second Seminole Indian War, and helped to suppress the slave trade.
From November 1838, to November 1839, the Vandalia
I was on duty in the Caribbean, until returning at the end of November
1839 to Norfolk, Virginia. There she spent the next two years "on the stocks" (Naval
History and Heritage Command), until being commissioned on February 3, 1842, to join
the Home Squadron to perform routine patrol and reconnaissance duties at scattered
points between Newfoundland and the Amazon River. She returned to Norfolk to be
decommissioned on April 30, 1848, following a yellow fever epidemic onboard; during
this time, the ship was lengthened 13 feet. She was recommissioned on August 9, 1849
for service with the Pacific Squadron, as it expanded its' service to the newly
acquired Hawaiian Islands. The Vandalia I was
decommissioned again at the end of 1852.
In February 1853, the Vandalia I was recommissioned
and joined Commodore Matthew C. Perry's East Indies Squadron, witnessing Perry's
historic entrance into Tokyo Bay in 1854. She was then decommissioned and
recommissioned once more, this time for duty with the Pacific Squadron again for a
few years before returning to the East Indies Squadron. Once the American Civil War
began, she was assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, participating in
blockades, captures, amphibious assaults, and acting as a guard ship. The Vandalia I was decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard
on February 4, 1863. She then sailed for Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she was
used as a receiving and guard ship, until she was broken up sometime between 1870
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons,
or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Gilman, William H.
United States. Navy--Provisioning
Vandalia (Sloop of War)
Bounties, Military--United States
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex
Vandalia I (Sloop of War) Records, MH 222, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum,
This material was found in the collection.
Collection processed by Hilary Streifer, January 2017.
The Vandalia I records are from her time as a receiving ship at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, specifically the years 1864 to 1865.
Vandalia (Sloop of War); United States. Navy--Provisioning; Portsmouth (N.H.); United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Gilman, William H.; Bounties, Military--United States; Military discharge; Sailors
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.