USS Miami, a 730-ton "double-ender" side-wheel gunboat, was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania. Commissioned on 29 January 1862, she was sent to the Gulf of Mexico to participate in the campaign against New Orleans. Once that city was captured, Miami operated in the Gulf and the Mississippi river until September 1862, when she was transferred to the Atlantic.

During the next two years, Miami was employed in the North Carolina Sounds area, participating in a number of actions. On 19 April 1864, she engaged the Confederate ironclad Albemarle, a battle that resulted in the death of Miami's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Charles W. Flusser. Later in 1864, she shifted to the James River, Virginia, and spent the remainder of the Civil War in that area. USS Miami was decommissioned in May 1865 and sold the following August. From then until 1869, she was employed as a commercial vessel.

The above photo is of members of the ship's crew on the forecastle, circa 1864-65. Frank W. Hackett, a former officer of the ship, wrote in 1910: "The officer standing in the background, at the extreme prow of the ship, is W.N. Wells, Executive Officer. The man in the fore ground with his arm on the nine-inch gun is White, the gunner. Sergeant of Marines, Stanley, is sitting in the fore-ground, near the capstan". Men are playing checkers by the capstan. Anti-boarding nettings are rigged on each side of the ship but rolled up in way of the bow guns. There are a number of black sailors visible among the crew. The text of Mr. Hackett's comments was provided by John W. Hinds in 1994. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

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