History of USS Ability - History

History of USS Ability - History


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Sibyl

(SwStr: t. 176; a. 2 30-par. P.r., 2 24-pdrs.)

Sibyl– a wooden-hulled, side wheel steamer built at Cincinnati, Ohio, as Hartford in 1863—was purchased by the Navy at Cincinnati on 27 April 1864, renamed Sybyl on 26 May 1864, and commissioned at Mound City, Ill., on 16 June 1864, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Henry H. Gorringe in command.

Sibyl was based at Cairo, Ill., and used as a dispatch boat for Rear Admiral David D. Porter, the commander of the Mississippi Squadron. Her first cruise began early in July and took her downriver as far as Natchez, Miss., delivering messages to Navy ships en route. She continued this type of service through the
end of the Civil War, gathering intelligence of Confederate activity as she steamed up and down the river. She was decommissioned at Mound City on 31 July 1865 was sold at public auction there on 17 August 1865 to R. J. Trunstoll, and was redocumented as Comet on 28 September 1865. After more than a decade of mercantile service, the ship was abandoned in 1876.