A nymph in Greek mythology who lived in and gave life to lakes, rivers, springs, and fountains.
(StwStr: t. 183; l. 156’10”; b. 30’4”; dr. 6’; dph. 4’5”; s. 6 mph; a. 8 24–pdrs.)
Naiad, a stern-wheel steamer built as Princess in 1863 at Freedom, Pa., was purchased by the Navy from F. Martin at Cincinnati, Ohio, 3 March 1864; and commissioned 3 April 1864, Acting Master Harry T. Keene in command.
Acquired to bolster Union strength along the Mississippi and its tributaries against Confederate cavalry and guerilla raids, Naiad served in the shallow and dangerous waters of these ever changing streams through the end of the Civil War, from time to time fighting southern shore batteries. On 15 and 16 June 1864, with General Bragg and Winnebago, she dueled Southern artillery at Ratliff’s Landing, La., silencing the riverbank guns on both occasions. Again on 2 September, she snuffed out the fire of a Confederate battery near Rowe’s Landing, La. The constant patrol of the rivers by Naiad and her sister tinclads helped the Union to maintain open communications and supply lines in the West while preventing the South from mustering her dwindling and far flung resources to oppose Sherman and Grant.
Naiad decommissioned at Cairo, III., 30 June 1865 and was sold at auction at Mound City, III. to B. F. Beansly, 17 August 1865.