The USS Sciota was a Unadilla-class "90 day" gunboat, launched 15 October 1861 and commissioned 15 December 1861. She was assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron and arrived on station 8 January 1862.
Actions Sciota participated in include the Battle of Forts St. Philip and Jackson, the Siege of Vicksburg and attacks upon Galveston.
On 14 April 1865, Sciota was returning a working party to the USS Elk when a mine exploded under the berth deck and she sank in the Blakely River. From her CO's report to Acting RADM Henry K. Thatcher:
UNITED STATES STEAMER SCIOTA
Off Mobile, Ala., April 14, 1865
Admiral, I have the painful duty to respectfully report the sinking of the United States steamer Sciota, under my command, by a rebel torpedo, and the loss of four men and wounding of six others. In obedience to orders from Fleet-Captain E. Simpson, I had finished coaling the barge from the brig American Union, and had delivered to the Itasca, Sebago, and Genesee the working parties belonging to the aforesaid vessels, and were proceeding towards the eastern shore on a east-southeast course for the purpose of delivering ten men of the working party to the United States steamer Elk, when I ran against a torpedo, which was below the surface of the water, exploding it, causing the vessel to sink immediately nearly decks to the water. The explosion was terrible, breaking the beams of the spar-deck, tearing open the water-ways, ripping off starboard fore chancels, and breaking fore top-mast. I have examined the decks and water-days immediately over the pace where the explosion took place, and, in my opinion, the damage is not so extensive as to prevent raising her. I have also questioned those of the crew who were on the berth-deck at the time of the explosion, and their evidence in regard to the effect upon the berth-deck by the explosion leads me to think that it struck the vessel below the line of the berth-deck, and under and abreast of the fore rigging at the first bow cant or round of the bow.
Since the sinking of the vessel I have recovered three of the bodies of the missing men. I must thank the captain of the Cowslip for his prompt assistance in removing the wounded from this vessel.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. Maguire, U.S.N.
Volunteer Lieut., Commanding.
APRIL 15, 1865
P.S. - Since writing this report, I have recovered the body of another man belonging to the United States steamer Elk.
|Name||Rate/Rank||Date of Death|
|ø||John W. Bayard||Boatswain's Mate||14 April 1865|
|ø||Jacob Brown||Boatswain's Mate||14 April 1865|
|Augustine Ellsworth||Ordinary Seaman||28 June 1862|
|✚||George Faulkenberg||Fireman 1st Class||24 October 1863|
|✚||Charles E. Hammond||Assistant Paymaster||27 February 1862|
|George Holland||Boatswain's Mate||13 April 1862|
|ø||Jeremiah Horrigan||Coxswain||14 April 1865|
|✚ ⋂||Morris O'Brien||Surgeon's Steward||17 April 1865|
|✚||William Prendwell||Sailmaker's Mate||5 May 1865|
|✚||William Reid||Sailmaker's Mate||20 October 1863|
|ø||John S. Robinson||Captain of the Forecastle||14 April 1865|
|✚ ⋂||Simon Robshaw||Ordinary Seaman||23 September 1864|
|〰||Charles Rogers||Gunner's Mate||18 April 1863|
|⚔ ⋂||Charles H. Swasey||Lieutenant||4 October 1862|