USS Hornet (1865-1869)
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USS Hornet, an 835-ton side-wheel steam gunboat, was built at Blackwall, England, in 1864. Under the name Lady Sterling, she was captured by USS Eolus and USS Calypso on 28 October 1864 while attempting to run the blockade of Wilmington, North Carolina. Subsequently acquired by the Navy and converted into a gunboat, she was commissioned in April 1865 as USS Lady Sterling. She was renamed Hornet in June 1865 and operated in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay area during the next few months. In October 1865, Hornet escorted the former Confederate ironclad Stonewall to the United States from Cuba. After brief service along the U.S. east coast, she was decommissioned in December 1865.
USS Hornet was sold by the Navy in June 1869. As the merchant ship Hornet, she became active in supporting insurrections in Haiti and Cuba. Taken into Spanish service in 1872 and renamed Marco Aurelia, she was broken up in about 1894.
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