MAY 20TH, 1861: The USS Crusader, Lt. T.A. craven, captured the Neptune near Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida. The Crusader had been under the command of J.N. Maffitt before this and he had relinquished the command to join the Confederacy.
MAY 21ST, 1861: The USS Constellation, the oldest United States warship afloat, Captain John S. Nicholas, captured the slaver brig Triton at the mouth of the Congo River, Africa.
** The Confederate government guaranteed the right of patent for any invention beneficial to the war effort, reserving for the government the right to use it, and provided that, in addition to bounties otherwise provided, the government "will pay to any private armed vessel commissioned under said act 20 percentum on the value of each and every vessel of war belonging to the enemy that may be sunk or destroyed."