From: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL FIGHTING SHIPS, V.5, p. 312, 1970 (1979 reprint).
An Indian name meaning cotton and a Spanish word meaning parched corn.
(ScGbt: t. 507; l. 158'; b. 28'; dph. 12'; dr. 10'6"; s. 8 k.; cpl. 75; a. 1 11" D.sb., 1 20-pd. P.r., 2 24-pdrs. how.)
The first Pinola (also called Panola) was one of the so-called 90-day gunboats built during the Civil War. She was built in 1861-62 by J.J. Abrahams and Charles Reeder of Baltimore; and commissioned 29 January 1862, Lt. Pierce Crosby in command.
She departed for the Gulf of Mexico early in February, and on 6 March 1862 she made her first capture, schooner Cora with 208 bales of cotton.
The Pinola operated with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron during the opening of the Mississippi River. On 20 April 1862, with Itasca, she broke the chain across the Mississippi which protected New Orleans from naval attack. During the fierce engagement with Forts Jackson and St. Philip 24 April 1862, she was struck 12 times, one of the shots passing entirely through her hull. On the following day she assisted in silencing the batteries at Chalmette, La., and on 28 June passed Vicksburg with Farragut's ships.
After the opening of the Mississippi she was actively engaged in the blockade off Mobile and other ports in the Gulf of Mexico.
On 2 February 1865, she captured schooner Ben Willis with a cargo of 167 bales of cotton, and on the 18th she took and destroyed the armed schooner Anna Dale as she lay tied to a wharf at Pass Cavallo.
Decommissioned at Philadelphia 15 July 1865, Pinola was sold 30 November 1865.
Transcribed by Richard H. Bouchard.