USS Kansas, first of a class of 836-ton screw steam gunboats, was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania. Commissioned in December 1863, she was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron for operations in North Carolina and Virginia waters. While off New Inlet, North Carolina, on 6 May 1864, Kansas saw combat against the Confederate ironclad ram Raleigh. Later in the month, she captured the blockade running steamer Tristam Shandy, and in October and December 1864 participated capturing the blockade runner Annie and destroying the Stormy Petrel. Kansas took part in the abortive attempt to capture Fort Fisher in late December and the successful effort the next month.
In February 1865, Kansas was sent to the James River, Virginia, where she remained until April. Decommissioned at Philadelphia in May, she returned to active service in July to join the South Atlantic Squadron. Again decommissioned in September 1869 and recommissioned in September 1870, Kansas served mainly in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico during the next five years, including surveying duty along the coast of Central America. She decommissioned for the last time in August 1875. After eight years laid up "in ordinary", USS Kansas was sold in September 1883.
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