The USS St. Louis was a sloop-of-war built at the Washington Navy Yard and commissioned 20 December 1828.
On 24 December 1860, St. Louis was ordered to sail from Vera Cruz to Pensacola by then Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey as a precaution due to deteriorating political affairs, but the orders didn't arrive in Vera Cruz until 28 January 1861. She stayed on blockade duty off the coasts of Pensacola, Mobile and Southwest Pass until ordered North in October of 1861.
RADM George E. Belknap gave an address in 1898 to the New Hampshire Historical Society about his cruise aboard the St. Louis as a lieutenant during the time period she was in the Gulf.
A letter written by an anonymous sailor aboard the St. Louis that was published in the New York Times on 3 September 1861 mentions there were a number of deaths aboard her during the period she was on blockade duty in the Gulf. Until the St. Louis' log book gets digitized and hopefully covers 1861, they are unknown for the time being since there are no names listed in Officers and Enlisted Men who died in the Active Service of the U.S. Navy, 1776-1885 for that year.
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