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USS Two Sisters (1856)
Career (US)
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1856
Commissioned: 30 January 1863
Decommissioned: 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Captured: by Union forces
21 September 1862
Fate: sold, 28 June 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 54 tons
Length: not known
Beam: not known
Draught: not known
Propulsion: sail
Speed: varied
Complement: not known
Armament: one 12-pounder gun

USS Two Sisters (1856) was a small 54-ton captured Confederate schooner acquired by the Union Navy from the prize court during the American Civil War.

Two Sisters was put into service as a gunboat and, when required, as a ship's tender, by the Union Navy to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederacy to prevent the South from trading with other countries.

Captured and acquired by the Union Navy[edit | edit source]

Two Sisters, a schooner built in 1856 at Baltimore, Maryland, was captured on 21 September 1862 by Union steamer USS Albatross off the mouth of the Rio Grande while attempting to slip through the Federal blockade to Brownsville, Texas, with a cargo of 87 bales of gunny cloth needed by the Confederacy for baling cotton.

Subsequently purchased by the Navy from the Prize Court at Key West, Florida, Two Sisters was commissioned on 30 January 1863 at Key West, Acting Master William A. Arthur in command.

Civil War operations[edit | edit source]

Assigned to the East Gulf Blockade[edit | edit source]

Assigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron, Two Sisters took her first prize on 1 February—seizing sloop Richards off Boca Grande, Florida. On 30 April, the Union schooner captured cotton-carrying blockade runner Agnes off the Tortugasdisambiguation needed, before taking schooner Oliver S. Breese off Anclote Keys, Florida.

Two Sisters continued her patrols on the blockade through the spring, summer, and early fall, keeping a wary eye on the route between Bayport, Florida, and Havana, Cuba. On 15 October, she, USS Sea Bird, and USS Fox assisted USS Honduras in the capture of the Havana-bound British steamer Mail, which had attempted to run the blockade laden with cotton and turpentine. Bayport proved to be a good hunting ground. Two Sisters also captured schooner Maria Alberta there on 27 November.

Assigned to independent patrol duty[edit | edit source]

On 13 January 1864, while Two Sisters was stationed off the mouth of the Suwanee River, a boat crew debarked from her and captured schooner William with its cargo of salt, bagging, and rope. The Union schooner's patrol duty was broken in May by service as tender to steam frigate USS San Jacinto. She then resumed independent blockade service through the onset of winter.

On 3 December 1864, Two Sisters participated in an early amphibious-type operation. Her boats and crews joined others from USS Nita, USS Stars and Stripes, and USS Hendrick Hudson, all under the command of Acting Lt. Robert B. Smith, in a raid on Tampa Bay, Florida, in which they destroyed the large Confederate salt work at Rocky Point.

Post-war decommissioning and sale[edit | edit source]

Two Sisters subsequently remained on duty blockading the Florida coast for the duration of the Civil War. Two Sisters was sold in a public auction to J. Jones on 28 June 1865.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit | edit source]

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