Daniel Ladd, a Newport, Florida, cotton and general mercantile businessman purchased the Spray for $15,100. The ship operated for him as far south as Cedar Key, Fl., up the Appalachicola River to Columbus, Ga., up the Suwannee River and west to New Orleans. It transported cotton, naval stores, hides, tobacco and beeswax.
It operated in St. Marks area as a Confederate gunboat 1863-1864. (But it was there in 1862 as well.) The ship really had the federal forces after it. On September 12, 1863, the captain of the USS Stars and Stripes reported an unsuccessful attack on her in the St, Marks River.