Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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James L. Davis

(Bark: t. 461; l. 133'; b. 30'7"; dr. 12'; cpl. 75; a. 4 8")

A former name retained.

James L. Davis (also called J. L. Davis), a wooden sailing vessel, was purchased at Philadelphia 29 September 1861; and commissioned 30 December, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Joseph Winn in command.

James L. Davis departed Philadelphia 2 January 1862 for the Gulf of Mexico. She joined Flag Officer Farragut's West Gulf Blockading Squadron off Pass a L'Outre 5 February but was soon transferred to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron in exchange for Preble.

James L. Davis arrived Cedar Keys, Fla., 2 March and 8 days later captured schooner Florida attempting to slip in through the blockade with a cargo of coffee, soda ash, and other supplies already in short supply in the South. After 6 months of blockade duty on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida, the bark took English schooner Isabel attempting to dash out of St. Mark's, Fla., with a cargo of cotton in late September.

On 2 October James L. Davis interrupted her blockade duty to serve as a supply ship, carrying stores and provisions to other vessels of the squadron. The bark continued this essential work until ordered to relieve Ethan Allen at St. Joseph's Bay, Fla., in March 1863. She remained at this station until ordered to Key West for repairs 15 November.

At the beginning of 1864 James L. Davis was ordered to Tampa Bay where she served until fall. On 4 May 1864 she joined Sunflower and Honduras in landing Army troops at Tampa and in providing men for a naval, landing party which helped to capture the town 6 May. During the operation the three ships cooperated in capturing blockade-running sloop Neptune with a cargo of cotton. In July and August, James L. Davis participated in a series of successful boat expeditions which destroyed salt works, a large saw and grist mill, and a sugar mill belonging to Jefferson Davis.

James L. Davis was ordered to St. Joseph's Bay 1 September and served there until ordered to Key West for repairs 1 April 1865. The war ended while the bark was at Key West. She was ordered to Philadelphia 21 April where she was sold at public auction 20 June 1865.

Published: Wed Jul 22 13:35:16 EDT 2015