Commander Thomas T. Hunter commanded the CSS Curlew during the battle of Roanoke Island (7-8 Feb 1862). He served as a commander in the United States Navy prior to the Civil War. Prior to his service in the North Carolina Squadron, Hunter commanded the naval defenses of the navy yard at Gosport. The CSS Curlew was sunk on the second day of the battle of Roanoke Island. On February 9, 1862, Flag Officer Lynch sent Hunter and his crew to repair the locks at South Mills on the Dismal Swamp Canal. Hunter was ordered to reenlist his crew and place them on the C.S. Receiving Ship United States until his new command, the CSS Old Dominion, was ready to place in commission. The Old Dominion was destroyed to prevent her capture when Gosport was abandoned.
Hunter commanded the CSS Gaines in the Mobile Squadron later in 1862. He commanded the CSS Chicora in the Charleston Squadron in 1863-1864. Hunter was captured at Sailor’s Creek on April 6, 1865, and released on oath July 24, 1865, at Fort Warren.