The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Ada (Propeller), 1 Oct 1865

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BLOCKADE RUNNER. -- A strange looking craft made its appearance in our harbor last evening which has started considerable attention. It is the blockade runner "LITTLE ADA," a Clyde built, iron, screw steamer, which was captured by the blockade squadron during the war, off Wilmington. It is a craft of about 311 tons burthen, built for speed, and can make 10 and a half knots per hour under 25 pounds of steam. She is now under the command of Lieut. Com. J.H. Gillis. The LITTLE ADA left Washington on the 6th of September, and has reached this port by way of the St. Lawrence, touching at the various ports on the route. She goes to Detroit to be turned over to the military authorities to assist in the completion of the coast survey of the lakes. -- Oswego Times.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      October 9, 1865

The Survey Steamer ADA came into port yesterday; from her station down the St. Lawrence, for the purpose of coaling, as she burns soft coal which cannot be obtained down the river. The craft is of but little personal beauty, although cleanly and neat in her appearance. She is however rendered interesting to Northerners, especially by the strange and rather eventful nature of her hustory.
The ADA, or as she was originally known, the LITTLE ADA, is an iron Clyde steamer. Built where boats are made to run, her speed when first launched was 18 miles per hour. During the war she was in the blockade running business, and had made several successful trips, when an accident occurred which put a sudden and unexpected finis to her brilliant career.
Some time in January 1865, she left Nassau, (New Providence,) with a cargo of medicines, bound for Wilmington, N.C. A pleasant trip, a silent run past the grim mouthed guns of the blockading fleet in the night, and the LITTLE ADA lay at anchor under the protecting guns of Fort Fisher, with the Confederate stars and bars floating from her peak. The morning sun roused the drowsy watch who casually turned his eyes to the fort above him. The Stars and Stripes floated over its walls, and the merry bugles rang out "Yankee Doodle" through the still morning air! Fort Fisher was no longer a Confederate post, and the LITTLE ADA lay a captured blockade runner, under guns manned by Union men! It was a rather sudden shock to the jolly captain.
The fort was taken by the U.S. forces on the 15th of January 1865, while the steamer was at sea, on her way from Nassau. By order of the government the captured steamer was docked, upper works put on her, her hull materially altered and he name changed, after which the Ada was appointed to survey work.
Her speed is at present 12 miles an hour. Having been built for an ocean craft, she is of course a good sea boat, and these little gales in our "ponds" do not disturb her much. The ADA may well be proud of her officers, for better men never trod a deck. They are as follows: Capt. W.R. Livermore, of the U.S. Corps of Engineers; 1st Asst. E. York; 2d Asst. Mr. Wells; Sailing Master, Mr. Morrison; 1st Mate, Mr. McCarthy; 2d Mate, C.H. Dodge; Steward, J. Dogherty. The gentlemen now comprising the survey party number some seventy-five, the major portion of them at present being in camp down the river. Work with them begins about the first of May, lasting until the end of October or the first of November. There are this summer two camps down the river, both of them near Alexandria Bay, and under the charge respectively of Mr. Lampson and Mr. Towers. Government employs in this work three steamers, two of them being stationed on the upper lakes, and the ADA on this lake and the river.
      Oswego Commercial Advertiser
      Wed., Sept. 4, 1872

NOTE:- ADA was renamed the PETER SMITH

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Ada (Propeller), 1 Oct 1865