USS Commodore McDonough, a 532-ton (burden) light-draft gunboat, was built in 1862 as a civilian ferryboat. The new ship was purchased by the Navy, converted to a combatant and placed in commission in November 1862. Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron for her entire active career, Commodore McDonough served in the coastal waters of South Carolina enforcing the blockade of the Confederacy and supporting Federal offensives in the vicinity of Charleston. Among her activities were engagements with enemy batteries in January and April 1863, an expedition on the South Edisto River in May 1864 and the final operations against Charleston in February 1865. Following the Civil War's end she took part in harbor clearance work at Port Royal, S.C. Commodore McDonough foundered at sea on 23 August 1865, while being towed to New York for decommissioning.
USS Commodore McDonough was named in honor of Commodore Thomas Macdonough (1783-1825), who commanded American naval forces on Lake Champlain during the War of 1812.
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