A Greek mythological sea nymph whose lover Acis was destroyed in a jealous rage by the Cyclops Polyphemus, and an ivory statue fashioned by Pygmalion and endowed with life by Aphrodite.
(ScStr: t. 1,244; l. 209'6"; b. 35'6"; dph. 20'8"; s. 10 k.; a. 8 32-pdrs., 1 100-pdr., 2 30-pdrs.)
The first Galatea was built at New York in 1862 under the direction of J. B. and J. D. Van Dusen, Master Builders; purchased by the Navy 31 July 1863 from the Neptune Steamship Co.; and commissioned 29 January 1864, Comdr. John Guest in command.
Galatea departed New York 21 February 1864 for service as a unit of the West India Squadron. Based at Cape Haitien, where she arrived 29 February, she gave convoy protection in the West Indies to California mail steamers plying between New York and Aspinwall (Colon, Panama). She had twice returned to New York for repairs by 10 November 1864 when she was assigned with two other ships to convoy California mail streamers from Cap Haitien through the Windward Passage, between the islands of Nacassa and Mariguana. During this cruise leaks developed which made Galatea unfit for arduous convoy duty. Remaining on station at Cape Haitien, she cruised to Key West for provisions and dispatches and afforded protection to American citizens in Haiti until convoy service was discontinued in June 1865.
Galatea arrived New York from Cap Haitien 1 July 1865; decommissioned 12 July; and was sold to the Haitian government 15 August.