USS Commodore Jones, a 542-ton (burden) shallow-draft side-wheel gunboat, was built at New York City in 1863 as a civilian ferryboat. She was purchased by the Navy, converted for armed Civil War service, and placed in commission in May 1863. Of a type suitable for operations in sheltered waters, Commodore Jones primarily spent her brief career in James and other southern Virginia rivers that feed into Chesapeake Bay. She took part in a raid up the Mattapony River in early June that destroyed a foundry producing weapons for the Confederacy. Later in the month she briefly went to sea to search for the raider Tacony and in mid-July 1863 assisted in the capture of Fort Powhatan, on the James. After hardly a year's active service, on 6 May 1864 USS Commodore Jones was blown "to splinters" by a very large electrically-fired mine during operations on the James River.
This page features the only view we have concerning USS Commodore Jones (1863-1864).
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