Kewanee, 1863

Feb. 3, 2021

Kewanee, 1863

A town in Illinois on the Spoon River.  The town's name derives from a Winnebago term for prairie chicken.

Type/Rig/Class: Topsail Schooner / Steamer

Builder: Messrs. J. A. Robb and Company at Baltimore, Maryland

Dates of Service: 1863-1867

Disposition: Sold

Displacement: 350 tons

Length: 138'

Beam: 26' 6"

Draft: 11'

Machinery: Steam engine with 2 oscillating cylinders; single 8' screw

Complement: 7 officers, 34 enlisted

Armament: 1 x 30-pound Parrott rifle; 5 x 24-pound howitzers

Cutter History:

The Kewanee was a steam-powered revenue cutter built in 1863 and 1864 by J. A. Robb and Company at Baltimore, Maryland.  She was launched on 23 September 1863.  She 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, save Mahoning, had only a short career.

She was first ordered to Charleston, South Carolina and then to Savannah, Georgia.  She also saw service out of Key West before being ordered sold on 28 May 1867.  She was sold on 10 July 1867 for $25,100.

She ended up in Japan as the Musashi and was involved with the Japanese struggle between the Emperor and his forces and those of the Shogun.  Musashi exploded in Yokohama, Japan, in 1869.


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).