The Suwanee was launched at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and commissioned 23 January 1865> It cost $171,000.
Ordered to the Pacific on 17 February 1865 and went to New York City and then cruised the Atlantic coast looking for Confederate commerce raiders.
It passed around South America and steamed up its Pacific coast and arrived at Acapulco where it joined the Pacific Squadron. It was promptly ordered to look for the Shenandoah.
On 9 July 1868, it was wrecked in Shadwell Passage, Queen Charlotte Sound, British Columbia.