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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Arizona

 

(SwStr: t. 578 [582, 670, 959]; l. 200'; b. 34'; dph. 17'6"; dr. 8')

 

Arizona was one of the well known 14 Southern S. S. Co. ships and tugs "impressed for public service" at New Orleans, 15 January 1862, by Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell, CSA, acting under Secretary of War Benjamin's orders.

 

An iron paddle-steamer, barkentine rigged, she was built on the Delaware for Charles Morgan by Harlan and Hollingsworth as Hull No. 57 in 1858, with a beam engine and single boiler. As a "sea steamer" she was not the best choice for a river gunboat; from the springof 1862, she became very valuable as a Government-operated blockade-runner to the Caribbean, carrying over a thousand bales of cotton per voyage under command of a Captain Forbes of New Orleans.

 

On 28 October 1862, USS Montgomery caught the former Arizona trying to run into Mobile from Havana with saltpeter and other munitions. She had become Caroline under "provisional British register"—the usual routine cloak for blockade running—but like many others made it an open secret by carrying the Confederate ensign forward, British colors aft, as she was reported at Havana in October 1862.

 

She brought $84,500 in Philadelphia prize court 23 June 1863 and followed the familiar pattern: Commodore C. K. Stribling sent her back to her old locale as USS Arizona, an armed member of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron that captured her. She took part in the fight at Sabine Pass, Tex., in September 1863. On 27 February 1865 she burned 38 miles below New Orleans.