A god of the Sea.
(ScStr: t. 1,244; l. 203’; b. 36’; dph. 20’8”; dr. 13’9”; s. 11 k; a. I 100-pdr. P.r.; 2 30-pdr. P.r.; 6 32-pdrs.; 2 12-pdr. r.)
The first Proteus, a wooden screw steamer, was purchased from William P. Williams, at New York, 5 October 1863 and commissioned 10 March 1864, Comdr. Robert W. Shufeldt in command.
Sailing south from New York 11 April, Proteus arrived at Key West on the 22nd. On 14 May she got underway for Cuba, where she watched for blockade runners bound for Wilmington from the Windwards. Back at Key West 24 May, she headed for the Bahama Banks to intercept traffic from Nassau. On 9 June she took the British schooner R. S. Hood and on the 27th, Jupiter out of London. In early September she captured Ann Louisa out of Havana, and on 27 February 1865, the steamer Ruby, also out of Havana.
On 4 March Proteus arrived off the St. Marks River, Fla., to support Union forces marching on Tallahassee. Shallow water prevented the Naval force from following the troops up the river and the Army, without support, fell back. The mouth, however, was retained by Union forces to prevent its use as a port for the South.
Proteus returned to Key West, 12 March, and on the 21st headed north to New York. There on 12 July 1865 she was sold at public auction to Hooper and Co.