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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Oleander

 

A poisonous evergreen shrub of the dogbane family.

 

I

 

(SwStr: t. 246; l. 143’; b. 22’6”; dph. 8’; dr. 6’; s. 11 k.; Cpl. 35; a. 2 20–pdr. P.r.)

 

Oleander, a wooden, side-wheel steamer built at Keyport, N.J., was launched 10 January 1863; purchased by the Navy at New York from James Howe and C. W. Copeland 28 March 1863; and commissioned sometime during the following fortnight as she joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron upon arriving at Port Royal, N.C. 11 April.

 

Originally commanded by Acting Master Woodbury H. Polley, the steamer served in Union blockade of the Confederate coast operating along the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. On 28 July 1863, with Beauregard and boats from Sagamore and Para, Oleander attacked New Smyrna, Fla., shelling the town and capturing a sloop loaded with cotton and ready to sail. They also caused Confederates to burn several other vessels to prevent capture and the Union force destroyed a number of buildings and large quantities of cotton ashore.

 

After the fighting stopped, Oleander decommissioned at New York 18 August 1865, and was sold at auction there 5 September 1865 to Smith and Downing.