(SwStr: t. 279; l. 56'; b. 31'; dph. 6'2")
Empire Parish was built at New Albany, Ind., in 1859, to operate out of New Orleans, La. She continued duty there as a tow and dispatch boat for the Confederacy on the outbreak of the Civil War. On 23 June 1863 she carried dispatches from Semmes' famed Confederate raider Sumter into the city. Empire Parish came into Union possession with the fall of New Orleans in April 1862 and was taken into the United States Navy for duty as a towboat of the West Blockading Squadron in that same locale.