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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Hornet

 

A large strong wasp whose sting is severe

 

V

 

(SwStr: t. 835,l. 242'; b. 26'6";dr. 13'3" ; a. 8g.)

 

The fifth Hornet was built as the Confederate blockade runner Lady Sterling at Blackwell, England, in 1864; taken prize and set afire off Wilmington, N.C., by Bolus and Calypso of the Atlantic Blockading Squadron 28 October 1864; sold by the New York Prize Court to the Navy; commissioned 24 April 1865, Acting Master Joseph Avant in command; and renamed Hornet 17 June.

 

After fitting out at the Washington Navy Yard, Hornet carried President Andrew Johnson, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, and their party to Point Lookout 22 to 24 July and subsequently cruised to Norfolk in late September. Departing Washington 22 October, she joined Rhode Island at Norfolk and sailed south to escort the surrendered Confederate ram Stonewall from Havana to Washington. Separated from the other two ships in a severe gale, Hornet returned to Washington 24 November, two days ahead of them. She then transported 115 men from Norfolk to the Receiving Ship at New York, putting in at Philadelphia after her voyage. Hornet decommissioned there 15 December 1865 and was sold to private citizens 26 June 1869.