Dick Keys, sometimes reported as Dick Keyes, was captured by the Confederate fleet off Mobile on 8 May 1861, sold into private ownership and chartered to assist blockade runners out of that port. She joined steamer Crescent in saving 30,000 pounds of powder and a million musket caps from the British steamer Ann, 29-30 June, 1862, when that ship grounded under the guns of Fort Morgan. Ann floated out on the ebb tide to be taken by Union ships before all of her cargo could be removed. In the following years Dick Keys gave valuable service in Mobile Bay as a transport between the forts and the city of Mobile. She assisted in towing CSS Tennessee down the Mobile River on 29 February 1864 and came under Federal gunfire off Fort Gaines on 5-6 August 1864.
On the night of 24 October 1864 Dick Keys was to leave Mobile carrying Lt. J. M. Baker, CSN, bound for Blakely, Ala., whence a boat expedition of 100 men would be launched overland in wagons to sail the Perdido River for a landing near Fort Pickens, Fla. No further record of her service has been found.