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(SwStr: T. 1558; l. 253'; b. 38'; dr. 16'2"; s. 15 k.; cpl. 185; a. 8 32-pdr. S. B., 1 30-pdr. R.; cl. Bienville)

Jean Baptiste de Bienville (1680-1768) was the founder of New Orleans, La., and first French governor of Louisiana.

Bienville, an armed side-wheel steamer, was built in 1860 by Lawrence and Foulkes, Brooklyn, N. Y.; purchased by the Navy 14 August 1861; and commissioned 23 October 1861, Commander C. Steedman in command.

Bienville reported to the south Atlantic Blockading Squadron and took part in the capture of Port Royal, S. C. (7 November 1861). After carrying the news of the fall of Port Royal to Hampton Roads, Va., she took up her blockading station off St. John's river, Fla. Remaining with the south Atlantic Blockading Squadron into 1863, she took part in the blockades of Charleston, S.C.; Fernandina, Fla.; Wilmington, D.C.; and the capture of Fernadina (4 March 1862). Bienville captured 12 blockade runners (sharing one with Mohican) and forced the destruction of two others. During 1863-65 she served with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron taking part in the Battle of Mobile Bay (5 August 1864) and blockading Galveston, Tex. She captured on blockade runner while off Galveston. The steamer returned to Boston and was laid up until sold 5 October 1867.

3 February 2006