The first Banshee was built in 1862 by Jones, Quiggin and Co., Liverpool, England; captured by Fulton and Grand Gulf off Wilmington, N.C., 21 November 1863, while attempting to run the blockade; purchased 12 March 1864 from the New York Prize Court; and fitted out as a gunboat. On 14 June 1864 Acting Volunteer Lieutenant W. H. Garfield was ordered to take command of Banshee and proceed to Wilmington, D.C., for duty with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
Banshee served with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron until 3 January 1865, taking part in the attack on Fort Fisher (24 December 1864). She joined the Potomac Flotilla 16 January 1865 and was sold at New York 30 November 1865.
See also Banshee-II.