Originally the humble Richmond iron steam tug James Gray, the 250-ton ship Lady Davis had a distinguished if brief career in the American Civil War. After being commissioned in the Confederate Navy in 1861 it captured the AB Thmpson, a full-rigged ship of 980 tons and a crew of 23 out of Maine into Beaufort, S.C.
- The confederate ship, “Lady Davis,” served as a blockade runner for three years.
- She began her military life, after being bought by Governor Francis Wilkinson Pickens of South Carolina, with orders to stop Union troop reinforcements from arriving at Fort Sumter.
- “Lady Davis” served her time with merit, capturing the “A.B.Thompson” a ship out of Maine and also serving in the Battle of Port Royal, South Carolina.
“Originally the Richmond iron steam tug James Gray, built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1858, Lady Davis was purchased in March 1861 by Governor Francis Wilkinson Pickens of South Carolina, who armed her and placed in command Lieutenant William Gaillard Dozier, South Carolina Navy, with orders to thwart reinforcement of Fort Sumter by Union troops.”