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USS Mercedita (1861-1865)

USS Mercedita, an 840-ton screw steamer, was built at Brooklyn, New York, in 1861 as the civilian vessel Mercedita. Purchased by the Navy in July 1861 and converted to a warship, she was commissioned in the following December. For the first eight months of 1862, she served in the Gulf Blockading Squadron, where she destroyed one blockade runner, captured several others and took part in actions against Confederate coastal positions.Mercedita was reassigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in September 1862 and joined the blockade of Charleston, South Carolina. On 31 January 1863, she was attacked by the Confederate ironclads Chicora and Palmetto State. Disabled by ramming and gunfire, she surrendered but escaped when the two ironclads moved on to assault other ships.Repaired by April 1863, Mercedita served for the rest of the Civil War in the West Indies, off the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. In August 1865, after the war had ended, she was sent to Santo Domingo to protect American interests during a period of local unrest. USS Mercedita was decommissioned and sold in October 1865. She resumed civilian employment shortly afterwards.

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