This ship was actually the fourth in the US Navy to be named USS Delaware. She was a 375-ton sidewheel steamer, 161' x 27', with a six foot draft. She was a rather fast vessel, capable of 13 knots and carried a crew of 65 officers and men. She was armed with four 32-pounders (smoothbore) and a 12-pounder rifle of unspecified design. She was built in 1861 in Wilmington, Delaware and purchased by the US Navy in October of that year.
The ship was commanded by Lt. S.P. Quackenbush and assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, sailing from Philadelphia in December 1861. She patrolled the North Carolina coast from January-May 1862 and participated in a number of engagements in coastal waters in association with the Burnside Expedition, including the capture of New Bern in March. She then saw service in Virginia waters from June-October, when she made her way back to coastal North Carolina. For the remainder of the war this pattern of operations continued, splitting time between Virginia and North Carolina. At war's end she reported to the Washington Navy Yard, was decommissioned and sold to the US Treasury Department.