Kankakee, 1863

Feb. 3, 2021

Kankakee, 1863

A river rising in northern Indiana and flowing 362 km (225 mi) southwest to join the Des Plaines River and form the Illinois River in northeast Illinois.

Builder: Westervelt, Gray, New York

Rig: Topsail schooner

Length: 138'

Beam: 26' 6"

Draft: 11'

Displacement: 350-tons

Cost: $103,000

Commissioned: 1864 

Decommissioned: 1867

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: 2 oscillating cylinder steam engines; 8-foot propeller

Performance & Endurance:


Deck Gear: 

Complement: 41

Armament: 1 30-pounder Parrott rifle; 5 x 24-pounders

Tender History:

The United States Revenue Cutter Kankakee was one of six Pawtuxet-class tenders that entered service in 1863-1864.  This class was the first steam-powered cutters to enter service since the 1840s.  Their contracts called for hulls of oak, locust, and white oak with iron diagonal bracing.  Their machinery was considered to be too complicated, however, and each had only a short career.

Kankakee was launched on 15 September 1863 but did not undergo trials until November, 1864.  She saw service out of Savannah, Georgia; Norfolk, Virginia, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She was laid up at Staten Island, New York and was sold on 28 May 1867.  She was sent to Japan as the Kawachi.


Cutter History File.  USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.

Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).