U.S.S. Kearsarge (1861)

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U.S.S. Kearsarge (1861)
Builder: Portsmouth NYd[1]
Ordered: 21 February, 1861[2]
Laid down: May 1861[3]
Launched: 11 September, 1861[4]
Commissioned: 24 January, 1862[5]
Stricken: 1894
Wrecked: 2 February, 1894[6]
Fate: on Roncador Reef[7]
U.S.S. Kearsage was a screw sloop-of-war commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1862.

Construction

This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Kearsarge was part of a group of seven "steam screw sloops of war of the 2nd class of not over 14' draft" for oceangoing serivce authorized on 21 February, 1861 as the succession crisis grew ever more severe. To accelerate construction, Kearsarge was built as a sister ship to William L. Hanscom's Mohican of 1858.[8]

Kearsarge's construction is of interest. She was laid down on a marine railway in May 1861. Instead of a more tradition launching, she was transferred to a drydock on 11 September, 1861. She was sponsored by Mrs. McFarland, wife of the editor of the Concord Statement. She was put afloat a month later on 5 October, 1861.[9]

Service

Commissioned on 24 January, 1862, Kearsarge became famous worldwide for sinking the Confederate raider C.S.S. Alabama off Cherbourg on 19 June, 1864.

She recommissioned on 2 November, 1888 and joined the North Atlantic Station, protecting American interests in the West Indies and Latin America. She departed Haiti on 30 January, 1894 for Bluefields, Nicaragua, but was wrecked on Roncador Reef on 2 February, 1894. Her officers and crew safely made it ashore.

Congress appropriated $45,000 to tow Kearsarge home, but a salvage team of the Boston Towboat Company found that she could not be refloated. Some artifacts were saved from the ship, including the ship's Bible. The salvaged items, along with a damaged section of her stern post with an unexploded shell from one of the Alabama's guns still embedded in it, are now stored or on display at the Washington Navy Yard.

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

Armament

[13]

1879

  • two 8-inch muzzle-loading rifles
  • four 9-inch smoothbores
  • one 60-pounder breech-loading rifle

1890

  • two 8-inch muzzle-loading rifles
  • four 9-inch smoothbores
  • one 60-pounder breech-loading rifle
  • two 20-pounder breech-loading rifles

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. p. 64.
  2. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. p. 64.
  3. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. p. 64.
  4. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. p. 64.
  5. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. p. 64.
  6. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. p. 64.
  7. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. p. 64.
  8. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. pp. 64, 67.
  9. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. p. 64.
  10. Register of Officers, 1880. p. 10.
  11. Register of Officers, 1882. p. 10.
  12. Register of Officers, 1892. p. 8.
  13. Bauer and Roberts. Register of Ships. p. 64.

Bibliography

  • Bauer, K. Jack and Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775-1990: Major Combatants. New York: Greenwood Press.
  • Chesneau, Robert; Kolesnik, Eugene (editors) (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (2006). The U.S. Navy Warship Series: Civil War Navies, 1855-1883. New York: Routledge.
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (2006). The U.S. Navy Warship Series: The New Navy 1883-1922. New York: Routledge.


Screw Sloop U.S.S. Kearsarge