A U. S. Coast Survey name retained.
Howell Cobb, a Coast Survey schooner, was taken over by the Navy 10 June 1861 by Comdr. J. H. Ward, commanding Potomac Flotilla. Her first commanding officer was Acting Master's Mate A. J. Frank. Howell Cobb was actively employed on the Potomac River as a convoy ship, assisting the Army to insure smooth movement of supplies. This was vital service at a time when rail traffic north of Washington had been cut off by riots in Baltimore. She was also engaged, in Breton's Bay and vicinity, in suppressing illegal trade on the shores of the waters controlled by the Union. Sent to Philadelphia Navy Yard for repairs, she arrived Philadelphia 9 July 1862, and did not return to active service in the Civil War. She was later returned to the Coast Survey.