USS Brooklyn emerged during the lead-up to the American Civil War (1861-1865) and she subsequently led a storied wartime career that took her through some of its most notable campaigns. Her keel was laid down in 1857 by builder Jacob A. Westervelt & Son and she was launched to sea the following year. She was formally commissioned on January 26th, 1859, named after the Long Island city of Brooklyn (New York). Five "screw sloops" - of which Brooklyn was one - were authorize by the United States government in 1857.
As built, USS Brooklyn displaced 2,532 tons and held an overall length of 233 feet, a beam of 43 feet and a draught of 16.2 feet. For propulsion she was given a hybrid scheme in which she retained her three primary masts but relied more so on her steam engine within. She made headway at 11.5 knots which gave her good speed against her contemporaries in the war. 335 officers and enlisted personnel made up her crew. The armament suite was 1 x 10" smoothbore gun with 20 x 9" smoothbores.
Her first command was Captain David G. Farragut and sea trials led her to South Carolina waters. From there she voyaged to various points in the Caribbean including Mexico where the "Reform War" (1857-1861) raged. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, USS Brooklyn tried, unsuccessfully, to resupply / reinforce Union elements confined to Fort Sumter (South Carolina). She then repelled Confederate attacks at Fort Pickens (Pensacola, Florida) and found her way to Ship Island (Mississippi) where she captured the escaping vessel "Magnolia". From there USS Brooklyn took part in the attacks on Fort St. Phillip and Fort Jackson, surviving a ramming attempt from CSS Manassas and she participated in the capture of New Orleans and supported forces at Vicksburg. After a time in Gulf waters, the Battle of Mobile Bay followed after which point she joined other navy and land forces in taking Fort Fisher.
With the end of the war arriving in May of 1865, USS Brooklyn claimed ten total war prizes. She managed a post-war career that took her from the South Atlantic and the Mediterranean to circumnavigating the globe. She ended her storied career on April 24th, 1889 by entering New York waters. On May 14th of that year she was decommissioned and her name struck from the Naval Register. The warship was sold off on March 25th, 1891 through auction at the Norfolk Navy Yard.