The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Commodore Perry (Cutter), 25 May 1865

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THE NEW U.S. REVENUE CUTTER. - The U.S. Revenue cutter " COMMODORE PERRY " came into this port on Tuesday, from Buffalo. She was on a trial trip, and left for Buffalo last night. We took the occasion of her presence to go on board, and were quite pleased with her general build and arrangements. The COMMODORE PERRY was built at Black Rock, and is a very neat, trim-looking craft, of about 350 tons, with a finely modeled hull. She measures 150 feet keel, 25 feet beam and carries at present two 24 pound Dahlgren guns and two 20 pound rifle Parrots. Her motive power is of a peculiar kind -- the vessel being called a sidewheel propeller. The boiler and engines are placed amidship, and the wheel are of the regular propeller pattern, placed alongside the vessel in the same position as the ordinary side-paddle wheel. The boiler is in the middle of the vessel, and the engines are on each side, mostly on the upper deck - occupying in fact the same place that now is taken up by the wheel house of the common side-wheel steamer. Captain Whittaker of Buffalo is the inventor of this arrangement, and this is, we believe, the first time the government has put it in use. The engines in all are equal to fifteen hundred horse power, and are expected to propel the vessel fifteen knots per hour. The engine room is subject to be flooded with water during a heavy sea, as the connecting rod extends directly from the engine-room to the shaft of the wheel, and several large openings in the floor or side of the room are unavoidable. So far, the engines have succeeded fully as well as could be reasonably expected. They seemed to be very finely constructed, and were in excellent order.
      After viewing the engines we were met by Lieut. Webster, the executive officer in command, who very kindly conducted us throughout the vessel, and gave us much valuable information. The Lieutenant is evidently thoroughly posted in his profession, and we take this occasion to return our thanks for his gentlemanly courtesy, hoping to meet many like him as we voyage through life. The COMMODORE PERRY is commanded by Captain Ottinger, a resident of this place, and so well and favorably known as an officer and citizen that we need say nothing concerning him. The present Chief Engineer is Mr. June. This being only a trial trip, the full complement of officers and men is not on board.
      The forward deck shows to advantage the beautiful contour of the hull. It was in fine order, as was everything connected with the vessel. Underneath the forward deck is the men's "berth-deck," the compartment where the men cook, eat and sleep. This contained an immense stove, convenient arrangements for cooking and eating, slinging and stowing away hammocks, &c. Lockers, store-rooms, etc. were furnished in abundance. Just aft of this were the boilers, coal bunkers, etc. We then ascended again and proceeded to the quarter deck, upon which were located the compass box, wheel, companion way, &c. Unlike most steamers the helmsman on the COMMODORE PERRY is stationed within a few feet of the stern, and steers the vessel in accordance with signals given him by a lookout on the
hurricane deck.
      Descending the companion way leading to the Captain's room, we found ourselves in a very neat and elegantly fitted up apartment, with berth rooms on each side, pantry, cupboard, &c. Everything here was in perfect order and neatness, and reflects credit upon the designer. Being informed that the magazine was located directly beneath we hastily finished our inspection, and passed through the sliding doors which divided the Captain's room from the ward room, where the officers are provided for. This room lies between the Captain' quarters and amidships. It also connects with the main deck by a companian way and is flanked on either side by two comfortable berth rooms and at the bottom of the companion way by the armory on one side and a store room on the other. The ward room was evidently a comfortable place, and quite neatly fitted up.
      Various other arrangements on board we have not room to describe. Suffice to say that the COMMODORE PERRY is in many respects a model craft, is in excellent order, commanded in the best manner, and in either peace or war will be of great value to the government. If her engines do not work to advantage, she will be furnished with the regular side-wheel machinery. Capt. Ottinger says, however, that they will be fairly and thoroughly tested. Descending into one of the four boats which the vessel carries, we were soon bounding the water and in a few minutes found ourselves once more on terra firma, much pleased with the trip to and inspection of this valuable addition to our lake naval force.
      Erie Daily Dispatch
      May 25, 1865

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new U.S. revenue cutter
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Commodore Perry (Cutter), 25 May 1865