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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Oriole

 

Any of various birds in America with a highly specialized vocal apparatus-commonly referred to as “singing birds,” although many among them do not sing—of the Icteridae family: the males are usually bright black and yellow or orange, the females chiefly greenish or yellowish, as the Baltimore oriole and the orchard oriole.

 

I

 

(StwGbt: t. 137; l. 125’; b. 26’5”; dph. 7’7”; dr. 6’3”; a. 2 30–pdr. P.r., I 12–pdr. r., 6 24–pdrs.)

 

The first Oriole, a river sternwheel steamer, was acquired as Florence Miller from John Swassey & Co. at Cincinnati, Ohio, 7 December 1864; converted to a sternwheel gunboat by Mr. Joseph Brown at Mound City, Ill.; and commissioned as Oriole 22 March 1865, Acting Master Edward Alford in command.

 

Assigned to the Mississippi Squadron 3 February 1865 while still named Florence Miller, Oriole departed Mound City 22 March for service in the 5th Naval District under Lt. Comdr. E. Y. McCauley. She performed blockading duties on the Mississippi River from Natchez to Vicksburg, Miss., until General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to General Grant at Appomattox, Va., 9 April.

 

The gunboat was retained in the Mississippi Squadron for towing and patrol duties through July. On 4 August Oriole decommissioned at Mound City and was sold there to Mr. Thomas Scott 17 August 1865.