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The Atahualpa of Peru was originally ordered by the United States Navy by a contract dated 10 September 1862. Launhced 13 April 1864 by Alex Swift&Co. at Cincinnati, Ohio, USA was she 10 June 1865 completed. Her engines were made by the same yard. Due to the fact the Civil War ended, the United States Navy did not longer needed her and she was laid up in ordinary.