Two Sisters


Two Sisters

(Sch.: t. 54; a. 112-pdr.)

Two Sisters-a schooner built in 1856 at Baltimore— was captured on 21 September 1862 by Union steamer Albatross off the mouth of the Rio Grande River while attempting to slip through the Federal blockade to Brownsville, Tex., with a cargo of 87 bales of gunny cloth needed by the Confederacy for baling cotton. Subsequently purchased by the Navy from the Prize Court at Key West, Fla., Two Surters was commissioned on

30 January 1863 at Key West, Acting Master William A. Arthur in command.

Assigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron Two Sisters took her first prize on 1 February-seizing sloop Richards off Boca Grande, Mexico. On 30 April the Union schooner captured cotton-carrying blockade runner Agnes off the Tortugas, before taking schooner Oliver S. Breese off Anclote Keys, Fla.

Two Sisters continued her patrols on the blockade through the spring, summer, and early fall, keeping a wary eye on the route between Bayport, Fla., and Havana, Cuba. On 15 October, she, Sea Bird, and Fox assisted Honduras in the capture of the Havana-bound British steamer Mail, which had attempted to run the blockade laden with cotton and turpentine. Bayport proved to be a good hunting ground. Two Sisters also captured schooner Maria Alberta there on 27 November.

On 13 January 1864, while Two Sisters was stationed off the mouth of the Suwanee River, a boat crew debarked from her and captured schooner William with its cargo of salt, bagging, and rope. The Union schooner's patrol duty was broken in May by service as tender to steam frigate San Jacinto. She then resumed independent blockade service through the onset of winter.

On 3 December 1864, Two Sisters participated in an early amphibious-type operation. Her boats and crews joined others from Nita, Stars and Stripes, and Hendrick Hudson, all under the command of Acting Lt. Robert B. Smith, in a raid on Tampa Bay, Fla., in which they destroyed the large Confederate salt work at Rocky Point.

Two Sisters subsequently remained on duty blockading the Florida coast for the duration of the Civil War. Two Sisters was sold in a public auction to J. Jones on 28 June 1866.