CSS Beaufort, an armed tugboat, was built at Wilmington, Delaware in 1854 as Caledonia. Beaufort was put in commission at Norfolk, Virginia on July 9, 1861 by Lieutenant Robert C. Duvall, North Carolina Navy, and sailed immediately for New Bern, North Carolina. While en route she engaged the large steamer USS Albatross in an inconclusive battle off Oregon Inlet.
After North Carolina seceded, Beaufort was turned over to the Confederate States Navy, and on September 9 Lieutenant William Harwar Parker, CSN, was placed in command. Thereafter she participated in the battles of Roanoke Island on February 7-8, 1862, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina 2 days later. Escaping via the Dismal Swamp Canal to Norfolk, she was tender to CSS Virginia off Hampton Roads on March 8-9, 1862. The Confederate Congress tendered thanks to the officers and crew for their gallantry during the action.
From May 1862, Beaufort operated on the James River, her commander in November 1863 being Lieutenant William Sharp, CSN. Beaufort served until the evacuation of Richmond, Virginia on April 3, 1865 when she was taken into the United States Navy. She was sold September 15, 1865.