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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Tritonia

 

A plant cultivated for its long, sharply-pointed leaves and yellow, red, and orange flowers.

 

(SwGbt: dp. 202; 1. 178'; b. 22'4"; a. 1 heavy 12-pdr., 1 light 12-pdr.)

 

Tritonia—a side-wheel steamer built as Sarah S. B. Gary in 1863 at East Haddam, Conn.—was purchased by the Navy at Hartford, Conn., on 1 December 1863; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 23 April 1864, Lt. Roswell H. Lamson in command.

 

With Stepping Stones and Delaware, Tritonia served in a special torpedo and picket division established in the James River, Va., on 12 May 1864. The division patrolled the river to keep it clear of Confederate vessels, torpedoes, and fire rafts.

 

On 26 July, Tritonia left the division for duty with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. She arrived in Mississippi Sound on 5 August, the day of Admiral Farragut's victory in Mobile Bay, and spent the remainder of the month operating as a dispatch vessel between New Orleans and that historic body of water. On 8 and 9 September, boat crews from Tritonia, Rodolph, Stockdale, and Army transport Planter destroyed several large Confederate salt works at Salt House Point in Bon Secours Bay, Ala. As they returned to Mobile Bay on 11 September, the vessels were fired upon but suffered no casualties.

 

Tritonia resumed blockade duty, towing the captured schooner Medora to New Orleans on 15 December for adjudication. She then operated in Mobile Bay until the end of the war and later at Pensacola and New Orleans. On 29 January 1866, Tritonia carried a company of Army troops up the Tombigbee River and recaptured the steamer Belfast which had been seized by guerrillas and taken up that stream. The joint expedition also recovered the steamer's cargo of cotton and captured five guerrillas as well.

 

Tritonia was sold at public auction at New York on 5 October 1866; redocumented as Belle Brown on 19 November; and lost at sea in 1880.