State of Georgia—a side wheel steamer built at Philadelphia in 1851 by Vaughn & Lynn—was purchased by the Navy at Philadelphia on 25 September 1861 from Philadelphia and Savannah Steamship Co. and was commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 20 November 1861, Comdr. James F. Armstrong in command.
The side wheel steamer joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Hampton Roads on 26 November, and sailed the next day for blockade station off Beaufort, N.C., and arrived there on the 28th. On 22 May off Wilmington, N.C., she helped Mount Vernon and Victoria capture steamer Constitution of Albany, N.Y., and sent her to port for adjudication for trading with the enemy. Six days later, she and Victoria captured steamer Nassau—the former notorious blockade runner Gordon—near Fort Casswell, N.C. The prize—which had been carrying Enfield rifles, ammunition, and military stores for the Southern Army—was sent to New York for action by the prize court.
On 26 September, State of Georgia and Mystic chased an unidentified schooner ashore at New Inlet, N.C., and destroyed her. Two days later, the two blockaders again cooperated in seizing English steamer Sunbeam as it attempted to run the blockade off Wilmington. Unfortunately, the two Union ships were becoming so accustomed to working close together that they collided in the dark; and State of Georgia was forced to sail to the Washington Navy Yard early in October for repairs which kept her out of action until late in December.
She then towed monitor Passaic from Hampton Roads to Beaufort, N.C., and returned to Norfolk on 3 January 1863 before resuming blockade duty off Wilmington.
In February, she towed Union ironclad Nahant to Port Royal, S.C., but soon returned to New Inlet, N.C. There, she took possession of abandoned English schooner Annie of Nassau, laden with salt and medicine. On 24 March, State of Georgia and Mount Vernon chased schooner Mary Jane ashore where she was abandoned by her crew. Boat parties from the blockaders boarded the schooner and the steamer towed her to deep water. The next day, the two blockaders seized blockade-running schooner Rising Dawn with a large cargo of salt.
Late in July, State of Georgia returned to Philadelphia for extensive repairs and was decommissioned there on 10 August. Recommissioned on 27 November 1863. the steamer returned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and served on blockade duty primarily off Wilmington until forced to sail north again late in the summer of 1864 for yard work. She was decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 10 September 1864.
Recommissioned on 5 January 1865, State of Georgia was assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron for the closing months of the Civil War. She proceeded to the coast of South Carolina to join in naval operations clearing the way and supporting General William T. Sherman's path as he started marching north from Savannah. On 24 January, she was at
Georgetown, S.C., to prevent the erection of Southern batteries. In February, she participated in the operations which took Bull's Bay, S.C. In March, the ship moved to Port Royal, S.C., and remained in that vicinity through the last days of the Confederacy.
On 11 April State of Georgia got underway from Port Royal and proceeded to Aspinwall, New Granada to carry dispatches to the American minister at Bogota and to learn of conditions on the isthmus and to protect the interests of the United States.
On 9 June, State of Georgia and Huntsville departed Aspinwall and proceeded to a position near Roncador Reef to rescue the survivors of the wrecked Golden Rolle.
After returning home late in the summer, State of Georgia was decommissioned at New York on 9 September 1865. She was sold at public auction there on 25 October 1865 to a Capt. G. Wright and was redocumented as Andrew Johnson on 9 May 1866. On 5 October 1866, she was driven ashore at Currituck Inlet, N.C., during a hurricane, and was a total loss.