ARTIST: Joseph P. Mickley, Commander
WORK DATE: c. 1890
MATERIALS: Relic Wood, Brass
SIZE: Top 18" square x 31" H.
The following images relate to a phenomenal wood table top, with brass base, made from relic wood by (Commander) Joseph P. Mickley, U.S.N. (previously served as engineer).
Wood from the following ships are laid out in a diagram/blueprint drawn by Mickley and laid in the drawer:
1. U.S.S. Congress
2. Confederate Ram Merrimac
3. U.S.S. United States
4. Flagship of Commodore Perry
5. U.S.S. Constitution
6. U.S.S. Alliance
8. U.S.S. Cumberland
9. U.S.S. Kearsarge
10. The House in which I was Born
11. English ship sunk by Count D'Estances Fleet in
1779 in Newport Harbor & raised 1892.
12. Last and probably the rarest. *****The Elm tree under which William Penn Made the Treaty!***** Mickley was from Pennsylvania!! History of the ships whose wood is contained in the table top: 1.USS Congress was a 38-gun frigate of the United States Navy and the third ship to carry the name. She was one of the six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794. Built at a shipyard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire by James Hackett, and launched on 15 August 1799, she would see service during the Quasi War with France and patrolled the Mediterranean during the First Barbary War. During the War of 1812 she captured or assisted in the capture of twenty British merchant ships but at the end of 1813 she was laid up in ordinary. Throughout her career she would serve as a classroom and training ship and made several patrols in the West Indies but spent most of her time laid up in ordinary. A survey of her condition was performed in 1834 which found her unfit for repair and she was broken up the same year. Construction Main article: Original six frigates of the United States Navy The keel of "Frigate F" was laid down at a shipyard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire sometime during 1795 with Naval Constructor James Hackett in charge of her construction. Construction was interrupted in March 1796 upon conclusion of peace terms with Algiers but resumed again in 1798 with the start of the Quasi War. She was named Congress by President George Washington and launched on 15 August 1799 under the command of Captain James Sever. Congress was built to the same dimensions as her sister-ship Constellation being 163.3 ft (49.8 m) in length and 40.6 ft (12.4 m) in width. The Naval Act of 1794 had specified 36-gun frigates however, due to the large dimensions of Congress she was re-rated as a 38-gun frigate. As a 38-gun frigate, her rating was meant only as an approximation, and she would often carry up to 50 guns at a time. For her patrols during the War of 1812, Congress was armed with a battery of 48 guns. On the gun deck, she carried twenty-eight 18-pounder long cannon, fourteen on each side and twenty 32-pounder carronades on the spar deck. Quasi War Main article: Quasi War After fitting-out in Rhode Island, Captain James Sever started her maiden voyage, on 6 January 1800, in company with Essex, escorting merchant ships to the East Indies. Six days later she lost all of her masts as her rigging had been set and tightened in a cold climate. The rigging had slackened once she was in warmer temperatures causing the masts to have no support. She limped back to the Gosport Navy Yard for repairs and while there, some of the junior officers announced that they had no confidence in Captain Sever's ability as a Commanding Officer. A hearing was held aboard Chesapeake but Captain Sever was found to be a competent officer and remained in command of Congress, though many of his crew soon transferred out to Chesapeake. Remaining in port for six months while her rigging was repaired she finally sailed again 26 July towards the West Indies. On 29 August, she recaptured the merchant ship Experiment, seized three days previously by a French privateer. Sailing on the Santo Domingo station until the following year, Congress returned to Boston in April 1801 and was thereafter placed in ordinary at the Washington Navy Yard. First Barbary War Main article: First Barbary War Congress was returned to commission in April 1804 with Captain John Rodgers in command. She arrived at Gibraltar on 11 August to join the ships of the Mediterranean Squadron, among them her sister ships Constellation, Constitution and President. Stephen Decatur became her Captain in November and Congress was at hand during the Battle of Derne which finally produced a peace treaty with Tripoli on 3 June 1805. Sailing in company with a squadron of thirteen US Navy vessels she arrived at Tunisia on 1 August and was assigned to carry the Tunisian ambassador back to Washington DC, she arrived there in November. She then was placed in ordinary at the Washington Navy Yard  where she was used as a classroom for midshipman training through 1807. War of 1812 Commodore RodgersMain article: War of 1812 After undergoing a period of repair in 1811, Congress was recommissioned under the command of Captain John Smith and early in 1812 she made several brief cruises along the eastern coast of the United States. When war was declared on 18 June Congress was assigned to the squadron of Commodore Rodgers, patrolling the North Atlantic, from June to August 1812 in company with Argus, Essex, Hornet, President and United States. During the squadron's seventy day cruise they captured seven merchant ships and recaptured one American flagged ship. Making her second cruise against the enemy with President, she sailed from Boston, on 8 October and on the 31st, President and Congress began to pursue HMS Galatea which was escorting two merchant ships. Galatea and her ships were chased for about three hours during which Congress captured the merchant ship Argo. Meanwhile, President kept after Galatea and had drawn very close but the night was very dark, and President lost sight of her. Congress and President remained together but during November they did not find a single ship to capture. On their return to the United States they passed north of Bermuda, and towards the Virginia capes, and they arrived back in Boston on 31 December having taken nine prizes. Congress would find herself blockaded there by the Royal Navy until April 1813 when she, along with President, were able to escape the blockade and put to sea again. On 30 April 1813, Congress, again with President escaped through the Royal Navy blockade of Boston and put to sea where she parted with President a month later. While patrolling the Cape Verde Islands and the Brazil coast she captured four small British merchant ships returning to the Portsmouth Navy Yard for repairs in late 1813. At this time materials and personnel were being diverted to the Great Lakes which created a lack of materials to repair her. It was decided to place her ordinary where she remained for the duration of the war. Aftermath Congress was reportedly deployed in 1815 with a large squadron of ships under Commodore Stephen Decatur to participate in the Second Barbary War[Note 2] and in 1816 under Captain Morris she patrolled in the Gulf of Mexico. From October 1822 to April 1823, Congress was part of a squadron under the command of Commodore James Biddle and later David Porter, where she operated against piracy in the West Indies. During the second half of 1823, she carried the United States Ministers to Spain and the Argentine Republic. In 1824 Congress was placed in ordinary at the Norfolk Navy Yard for most of that year then towed to the Washington Navy Yard for repairs in December. In November 1829, she returned to the Norfolk Navy Yard where she spent the next ten years serving as a receiving ship and laid up in ordinary. A survey of her condition was performed in 1834 which found her unfit for repair and Congress was broken up the same year. 2. CSS Virginia was a steam-powered battery design ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War, built using the remains of the scuttled USS Merrimack in 1862. She was one of the participants in the Battle of Hampton Roads in March 1862 opposite the USS Monitor. The battle is chiefly significant in naval history as the first battle between two ironclads. Ironclads were only a recent innovation, starting with the 1854 steam-powered ironclad battery Lave, which was designed for coastal warfare and had a speed of 4 knots (7.4 km/h), with a crew of 282 men. Throughout the war, the Confederacy built many ironclad steam-powered batteries, and like the CSS Virginia, they were not designed to be ocean cruisers. Due to the success of the CSS Virginia, the CS Navy tried to procure turreted ironclad cruisers, but only succeeded in procuring one ironclad frigate, the CSS Stonewall, which arrived too late to make an impact in the war. USS Merrimack becomes CSS Virginia When the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, one of the important federal military bases threatened was Gosport Shipyard (now Norfolk Naval Shipyard) in Portsmouth, Virginia. Accordingly, the order was sent to destroy the base rather than allow it to fall into Confederate hands. Unfortunately for the Union, the execution of these orders was bungled. The steam frigate USS Merrimack sank before she completely burned. When the Confederate government took possession of the yard, the hulk of the Merrimack was raised and moved pierside to clear the main channel of the Elizabeth River of the obstruction. About two months later, Confederate Navy Lieutenants John Brooke and John Porter surveyed the hull and found the running gear satisfactory to base conversion of the hull to an ironclad ram. Cut away view showing the 4 inches (100 mm) of iron armor and 24 inches (610 mm) of wood backing it.Rebuilt under the supervision of Captain French Forrest, the new ship was named Virginia. The burned hull timbers were cut down to the waterline, and a new deck and armored casemate (fortress) were added. The deck was four inch (102 mm)-thick iron. The casemate was built up of 24" of oak and pine in several layers, topped with two 2-inch (51 mm) layers of iron plating oriented perpendicular to each other, and angled to deflect shot hits. The battery consisted of four single-banded Brooke rifles and six nine-inch (229 mm) Dahlgren smoothbore shell guns. Two of the rifles, bow and stern pivots, were seven-inch (178 mm) , of 14,500 pounds; the other two were 6.4 inch (32 pound calibre) of 9000 pounds, one on each broadside. The nine-inch (229 mm) gun on each side nearest the furnaces was fitted for firing hot shot. A few nine-inch (229 mm) shot with extra windage (slightly smaller diameter) were cast for hot shot. No other solid shot were on board during the fight. As Virginia’s designers had heard of plans by the North to build an ironclad, and figuring her guns would be unable to harm such a ship, they equipped her with a ram— at that time an anachronism in a warship. Merrimack's engines, now part of Virginia, had not been in good working order, and the salty Elizabeth River water and addition of tons of iron armor and ballast did not improve the situation. The commanding officer, Flag Officer Franklin Buchanan, arrived to take command only a few days before sailing. The ship was placed in commission and equipped by the executive officer, Catesby ap R. Jones. Battle of Hampton Roads Painting depicting the Battle of Hampton RoadsMain article: Battle of Hampton Roads The Battle of Hampton Roads began on March 8 1862 when Virginia sortied. Despite an all-out effort to complete her, the ship still had workmen on board when she sailed. Supported by Raleigh and Beaufort, and accompanied by Patrick Henry, Jamestown, and Teaser, Virginia took on the blockading fleet. The first ship engaged, USS Cumberland, was sunk after being rammed. However, in sinking, Cumberland broke off Virginia's ram. Seeing what happened to Cumberland, the captain of USS Congress ordered his ship grounded in shallow water. Congress and Virginia traded fire for an hour, after which the badly-damaged Congress surrendered. While the surviving crewmen of Congress were being ferried off the ship, a Union battery on the north shore opened fire on Virginia. In retaliation, the captain of Virginia ordered to fire upon the surrendered Congress with red-hot shot, to set her ablaze. Virginia did not emerge from the battle unscathed. Shot from Cumberland, Congress, and the shore-based Union troops had riddled her smokestack, reducing her already low speed. Two of her guns were out of order, and a number of armor plates had been loosened. Even so, her captain attacked USS Minnesota, which had run aground on a sandbank trying to escape Virginia. However, because of her deep draft, Virginia was unable to do significant damage. It being late in the day, Virginia left with the expectation of returning the next day and completing the destruction of the Union blockaders. Later that night, USS Monitor arrived at Union-held Fort Monroe, rushed to Hampton Roads in hopes of protecting the Union force and preventing Virginia from threatening Union cities. The next day, on March 9, 1862, the world's first battle between ironclads took place. The smaller, nimbler Monitor was able to outmaneuver Virginia, but neither ship proved able to do significant damage, despite numerous hits. Monitor was much closer to the water, and thus much harder to hit by the Virginia's guns, but vulnerable to ramming and boarding. Finally, Monitor retreated. This was because the captain of the Monitor was hit by gunpowder in his eyes while looking through the pilothouse's peepholes, which caused Monitor to haul off. The Monitor had retreated off into the shoals and remained there, and so the battle was a draw. The captain of Virginia, Lieutenant Catesby ap Roger Jones, CSN received the advice from his pilots to take the midnight high tide to depart back over the bar toward the CS Navy base at Norfolk until noon of the next day. Lieutenant Jones wanted, instead, to re-attack, but to "turn the ship and fight the starboard gun, was impossible, for heading up stream on a strong flood-tide, she would have been wholly unmanageable." The pilots emphasized that the Virginia had "nearly three miles to run to the bar" and that she could not remain and "take the ground on a falling tide." So to prevent getting stuck, Lieutenant Jones called off the battle and moved back toward harbor. In the following nine weeks, the crew of the Virginia were unsuccessful in their attempts to lure the Monitor out of the shallows. The Virginia made several sorties back over to Hampton Roads hoping to draw Monitor into battle. Monitor, however, was under orders not to engage. Eventually the Confederate Navy sent Lieutenant Joseph Nicholson Barney in command of the CSS Jamestown, along with the Virginia and five other ships in full view of the Union squadron, enticing them to fight. When it became clear that the US Navy ships were unwilling to fight, the CS Navy squadron moved in and captured three merchant ships, the brigs Marcus and Sabout and the schooner Catherine T. Dix. Their flags were then hoisted "Union-side down" to further taunt the US Navy into a fight, as they were towed back to Norfolk, with the help of the CSS Raleigh. Neither ironclad was ever to fight again. On May 10, 1862, advancing Union troops occupied Norfolk. Virginia was unable to retreat further up the James River due to her deep draft, and since she was a steam-powered battery and not a cruiser, she was not seaworthy enough to enter the ocean. Without a home port, Virginia was ordered blown up to keep her from being captured. This task fell to Lieutenant Jones, the last man to leave CSS Virginia after all of her guns had been safely removed and carried to the CS Marine Corps base and fortifications at Drewy's Bluff to fight again. Early on the morning of May 11, 1862, off Craney Island, fire reached her magazine and she was destroyed by a great explosion. Later that same year, despite the fact that the Monitor was essentially an armored raft designed for riverine warfare, the US Navy attempted to tow it out into the Atlantic Ocean and past the ship graveyard of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, where the Monitor sank and was added to the collection. Destruction of "Merrimack", by Currier and Ives Historical names: Merrimack, Virginia, Merrimac The name of the warship which served the Confederacy in the Battle of Hampton Roads has become a source of confusion, which continues to the present day. When she was first commissioned into the United States Navy in 1856, her name was Merrimack, with the K. The name derived from the Merrimack River near where she was built. She was the second ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for the Merrimack River, which is formed by the junction of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee Rivers at Franklin, New Hampshire. The Merrimack flows south across New Hampshire, and then eastward across northeastern Massachusetts before emptying in the Atlantic at Newburyport, Massachusetts. The Confederacy bestowed the name Virginia on her when she was raised, restored, and outfitted as an ironclad warship, but the Union preferred to call the Confederate ironclad warship by either its earlier name, "Merrimack", or by the nickname, "The Monster". Perhaps because the Union won the Civil War, the history of the United States generally records the Union version. In the aftermath of the battle, the names Virginia and Merrimack were used equally by both sides, as attested by the newspapers and correspondence of the day. Some Navy reports and pre-1900 historians misspelled the name as "Merrimac," which is actually an unrelated ship. Hence "the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac". Both spellings are still in use in the Hampton Roads area. Memorial, heritage It is said the most popular exhibit at Jamestown Exposition held in 1907 at Sewell's Point was the "Battle of the Merrimac and Monitor," a diorama that was in a special building. The small community in Montgomery County, Virginia near where the coal burned by the Confederate ironclad was mined is now known as Merrimac, Virginia. Other pieces of Virginia are on display at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News and the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, where the anchor has resided on the front lawn for many years. A gun recovered from the wreckage of the Virginia rests in Fredericksburg, VA next to the old city hall, now a museum. Wikisource has original text related to this article: Joint Resolution Authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to Furnish Metal for a Bell In 1907, an armor plate from the ship was melted down and used in the casting of the Pokahuntas Bell for the Jamestown Exposition. Starting in roughly 1883, numerous souvenirs, made from recently salvaged iron and wood raised from Virginia's sunken hulk, found a ready and willing market among eastern seaboard residents who remembered the historic first battle between ironclads. Various tokens, medals, medalets, sectional watch fobs, and other similar metal keepsakes are known to have been struck by private mints in limited quantities. Known examples still exist today, being held in both public and private collections, rarely coming up for public auction. Nine examples made from Virginia's iron and copper can be found catalogued in great detail, with front and back photos, in David Schenkman's 1979 numismatic booklet. The name of the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, built in Hampton Roads in the general vicinity of the famous engagement, with both Virginia and federal funds, also reflects the more recent version. Should periodic modern efforts to recover more of the Confederate vessel from the depths of Hampton Roads prove successful, it is unclear what name will be applied to the remains. CSS Virginia's battle ensigns & other naval flags See also: Flags of the Confederate States of America The practice of using primary and secondary naval flags after the British tradition was common practice for the Confederacy, linked as she was by both heritage and economy to the British Isles. The fledgling Confederate Navy therefore adopted and used ensigns, jacks, small boat ensigns, commissioning pennants, designating and signal flags aboard its warships during the Civil War. The stars and bars Typical First National Flag (Stars and Bars) 7-star battle ensign design. (4 May, 1861 - 21 May, 1861)On 4 March 1861, the committee of the first Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America established the general requirements for the First National Flag of the Confederacy. Many designs were submitted by the public, but the new flag's approved design came from Marion, Alabama, Prussian artist Nicola Marschall, who had married into a Montgomery, Alabama family. The new Confederate flag was loosely adapted from his homeland's Austrian flag (with a dark blue canton added), quickly becoming known in the South as the Stars and Bars. Its hoist-to-fly (width-to-height) proportion was later established by the committee with the 2:3 ratio. The flag's dark blue canton would have a 1:1 (square) ratio and contain seven white, 5-pointed stars placed in a circular layout. The flag's three horizontal stripes would be red over white over red and were to be of equal height. The newly adopted Star and Bars made its first public appearance outside the Ben Johnson House in Bardstown, Kentucky. It was then raised over the dome of the first Confederate capitol in Montgomery, Alabama where it flew until 26 May 1863 when it was replaced with the new Second National Flag design. (Detailed descriptions of CSS Virginia 's two surviving 7-star and 11-star battle ensigns and one 7-star small boat flag will follow here at a later time.) Jacks and commissioning pennants The First Confederate Navy Jack, 1861-1863Virginia's original seven-star naval jack would have flown forward of her battle ensign at prescribed times. It could have flown at two possible locations on the ironclad: atop a tall, portable jackstaff located behind the bow's v-shaped cutwater or atop the tall flagstaff directly behind the conical-shaped pilot house on the casemate's upper deck (historic accounts vary). Her original jack would have duplicated the circular seven-star arrangement seen on the square canton of Virginia's original battle ensign. (That 7-star ensign still survives today and is located in the flag collection of the Museum of the Confederacy). Her later 11-star naval jack would have also flown atop the ironclad's jackstaff, matching the circular star arrangement of Virginia's 11-star battle ensign. (That 11-star battle ensign also survives, less four of its stars, and today resides in the collection of the Chicago Historical Society). All pre-1863 Confederate jacks were of a rectangular shape, rather than square, because the Confederate Navy emulated the overall designs being used by their U. S. Navy counterparts. There is one piece of evidence—the still surviving seven-star naval jack of the captured ironclad CSS Atlanta—that strongly suggests all early Confederate jacks were not a medium blue color but actually a dark blue, matching the color of the ensigns' cantons. Whatever shade of blue, later versions of Virginia's jack would have contained, like her ensign, 9, 11 and 13 white, 5-pointed stars, as additional Southern states seceded and joined the Confederacy during 1861. Both of Virginia's pre-1863 commissioning pennants would have closely followed the designs used by the U. S. Navy. They would have been long and narrow and one of five approved sizes, being anywhere from 25 feet (7.6 m) to 70 feet (21 m) in their overall lengths. They would have also flown atop the forward flagstaff on her upper casemate. Their medium or possibly dark blue cantons (hoists) would have been one-quarter of their overall flys (widths). Each could have carried from 7 to 13 white, 5-pointed stars, as the number of states in the Confederacy grew: 7 to 13 on Virginia's daylight pennant but only 7 on her smaller and shorter, after sunset pennant. Their star patterns could have been staggered up and down or laid out in a single, horizonital row across their blue cantons (historic accounts vary). The remaining three-quarters of these very long, narrow streamers would have been divided equally with two stripes, red-over-white (some accounts say white-over-red), with both stripes terminating in twin-forked points. A slightly modified third pennant variant with three long, horizontal red-over-white-over-red stripes, terminating in twin-forked points, was also in use before 1863 by the Confederate Navy. 3. USS United States was the first frigate in the United States Navy in 1797. United States was the first of the six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794. It was designed by naval architect Joshua Humphreys and William Doughty. She was built at the shipyard in Philadelphia. The ship was named by George Washington and launched on 10 May 1797. She was commissioned on 11 July 1797 with American Revolutionary War naval hero Captain John Barry in command. In 1861 the United States was in port at Norfolk and was seized and subsequently commissioned into the Confederate States Navy as CSS United States, but was later scuttled by Confederate forces. Union forces raised the scuttled ship, and retained control of the ship until it was broken up in 1865. Construction Main article: Original six frigates of the United States Navy United States was the first American warship to be launched under the Naval Act of 1794, four months before the launching of her sister ship USS Constellation at Baltimore, and five and one-half months before the USS Constitution at Boston. In this sense, she was the first ship of the United States Navy. United States was commissioned under the orders of Captain John Barry by President George Washington, as Commission "No. 1" dated 22 February 1797. She was fitted out at Philadelphia during the spring of 1798 and, on 3 July, was ordered to proceed to sea. At this time, relations with the French government had deteriorated, and the Quasi-War had commenced. Quasi War Main article: Quasi War Ten days later, United States in company with USS Delaware, Cape Henlopen and stood out to sea. The two ships quickly set a course for Boston where they were to add the newly purchased 20-gun ship USS Herald and the revenue cutter USS Pickering to their little fleet. During her voyage north, United States performed admirably, constantly pulling ahead of Delaware and exceeding Barry's most sanguine expectations. However, when he reached Boston, Barry learned that Herald and Pickering would not be ready to sail for several weeks. The Commodore decided that the need for American naval power in the Caribbean Sea was too great to permit him to wait for them, so United States and Delaware departed Nantasket Roads on 26 July and headed for Barbados. The voyage south was enlivened by encounters with several ships, but none proved to be French. The two warships reached Bridgetown, Barbados, on 21 August but stood back out to sea some three hours later. At dawn the next day, a lookout spotted a strange sail; and the Americans gave chase. During the pursuit the United States quickly outstripped Delaware and, by early afternoon, was within range of the fleeing ship. Two rounds from the frigate brought the quarry to, and she proved to be the French, ten-gun privateer Sans Pareil of Guadaloupe. The frigate continued to hunt for French vessels in ensuing weeks but did not take her next prize until 4 September when a day-long chase was rewarded by eight-gun privateer Jalouse`s surrender. At noon on 7 September, United States, escorting the latter prize, and Delaware, shepherding Sans Pareil, got underway for home. Three days later, Delaware and her prize set off in pursuit of a strange sail; and, on 13 September during a gale at night, United States became separated from Jalouse. Thus, she was alone when she entered the Delaware River on 18 September. After almost a month in home waters, the frigate put to sea again on 17 October with orders to cruise between Cape May, New Jersey, and the New England coast. However, a fierce storm arose the following day and battered United States as it forced her south to a point some 250 miles (400 km) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. When the tempest abated, the frigate painfully began working her way back north; but she did not anchor in the Delaware River until the evening of 30 October. More than a month and a half ensued as the ship underwent repairs. On 18 December, she put to sea again and headed back to the West Indies where Barry was to command the American squadron. She reached the Caribbean a fortnight later and began cruising among the islands of the West Indies. On the morning of 3 February 1799, United States sighted a strange sail near Martinique and set out in pursuit. Over five hours later, she pulled within range of the fleeing vessel and opened fire. Her third round struck the schooner and went through the unfortunate vessel from stern to stem, leaving her in a sinking condition. The frigate then attempted to close the foundering ship, but her victim sank before United States could reach her. The men on the frigate rescued the schooner's survivors and learned that the sunken vessel had been L'Amour de la Patrie, a six-gun privateer. On 16 February, the frigate arrived in waters off Guadaloupe and attempted to negotiate an exchange of prisoners under a flag of truce. However, shore batteries opened fire on the boat carrying Barry's envoy, forcing it to return to the frigate. Six days later, a similar effort met with better luck, and Barry arranged to exchange his 58 prisoners from L'Amour de la Patrie for an equal number of American sailors. On 26 February, Barry sighted two unknown sails east of Marie Galente and overtook one, the 430-ton Cicero which had been taken by the French privateer Democrat. He put a prize crew on her and resumed his pursuit of Democrat. However, by dark, the privateer escaped into shoal water off Maria Galente. Meanwhile, more commissioned ships of the United States Navy had been arriving in the Caribbean so that by mid-March Barry's squadron contained two frigates, three ships, and four revenue cutters. The Commodore deployed these warships throughout the West Indies so that he could afford maximum protection to American merchant shipping while discouraging French aggression. On 26 March, United States took the French privateer schooner La Tartueffe and its prize American sloop Vermont southeast of Antigua. On 19 April, off St. Christopher, Barry turned over command of the squadron to Commodore Thomas Truxtun; and United States sailed for home escorting a convoy of some 30 merchantmen. Barry wanted to be back in waters near Philadelphia so that he could discharge the members of her crew whose enlistments were expiring and so that he could protect shipping from Europe expected to be approaching the American coast during the late spring and summer. The frigate reached New Castle, Delaware, on 10 May. At the end of some two months in home waters, United States got underway from New Castle unexpectedly during a storm on 6 July when her cable parted. Since Barry had already received sailing orders, he let the ship move right on downriver. She emerged from the Delaware Capes that night and sailed down the coast to Hampton Roads where she anchored on 22 July. After receiving a new bowsprit, the frigate got underway on 13 August in company with Insurgent. Sometime after she got out to sea, the ships parted, and United States sailed south along the Atlantic coast to the mouth of the St. Mary's River. She then turned north and moved back up the seaboard and anchored off Newport, Rhode Island, on 12 September. There, Barry received orders to wait for further instructions. When they arrived, they sent Barry and his ship across the Atlantic to Europe. On 3 November 1799, United States sailed for France with American commissioners appointed by President John Adams to negotiate a settlement of the issues dividing the two erstwhile allies. She returned to New York City in April 1800 and was laid up for repair of the damage she had suffered during a severe storm in the Bay of Biscay. In the fall, the frigate received orders to resume duty as flagship of the West Indies Squadron but, because a treaty of peace with France had been signed, she was recalled soon after she reached the Caribbean and returned to Chester, Pennsylvania, on 28 April. On the last day of his administration, President Adams signed a bill authorizing his successor, Thomas Jefferson, to dispose of all naval vessels except the frigates. Accordingly, United States departed Chester on 17 May and proceeded to the eastern branch of the Potomac River, where the Federal government was establishing the Washington Navy Yard. United States was decommissioned there on 6 June 1801 and was laid up with four other frigates built under the legislation of 27 March 1794: President, Constellation, Congress, and Chesapeake. War of 1812 Main article: War of 1812 United States remained in the Potomac until 1809 when orders were given to ready her for active service. On 10 June 1810, the frigate, now under the command of Captain Stephen Decatur, Jr., who had been a midshipman aboard her first cruise, sailed to Norfolk, Virginia, for refitting. While she was at Norfolk, Captain John S. Carden of the Royal Navy, commander of the new British frigate HMS Macedonian, wagered Captain Decatur a beaver hat that his vessel would take United States if the two should ever meet in battle. The United States declared war on the United Kingdom on 19 June 1812. United States, the frigate Congress, and the brig Argus joined Commodore John Rodgers' squadron at New York City and put to sea immediately, cruising off the east coast until the end of August. The squadron again sailed on 8 October 1812, this time from Boston. Three days later, after capturing Mandarin, United States parted company and continued to cruise eastward. At dawn, on 25 October, five hundred miles south of the Azores, lookouts on board United States reported seeing a sail 12 miles (19 km) to windward. As the ship rose over the horizon, Captain Decatur made out the familiar lines of HMS Macedonian. United States vs HMS Macedonian Both ships were immediately cleared for action and commenced maneuvers at 0900. Captain Carden elected not to risk crossing the bows of United States to rake her, but chose instead to haul closer to the wind on a parallel course with the American vessel. For his part, Decatur intended to engage Macedonian from fairly long range, where his 24 pounders (11 kg) would have the advantage over the 18 pounders (8 kg) of the British, and then move in for the kill. Naval Battle Between the United States & The Macedonian on Oct. 30, 1812 by Thomas Birch, 1813The actual battle developed according to Decatur's plan. United States began the action at 0920 by firing an inaccurate broadside at Macedonian.This was answered immediately by the British vessel, bringing down a small spar of United States. Decatur's next broadside had better luck, as it destroyed Macedonian's mizzen top mast, letting her driver gaff fall and so giving the advantage in maneuver to the American frigate. United States next took up position off Macedonian's quarter and proceeded to riddle Macedonian with shot. By noon, Macedonian was a dismasted hulk and was forced to surrender. She had suffered 104 casualties as against 12 in United States, which emerged from the battle relatively unscathed. The two ships lay alongside each other for over two weeks while Macedonian was repaired sufficiently to sail. United States and her prize entered New York Harbor on 4 December amid jubilation over the victory. Wherever they went, Captain Decatur and his crew were received with praise from both Congress and President James Madison. Aftermath Macedonian was subsequently purchased by the United States Navy, repaired, and placed in service. After repairs, United States -- accompanied by USS Macedonian and the sloop Hornet -- sailed from New York on 24 May 1813. On 1 June, the three vessels were driven into New London, Connecticut, by a powerful British squadron, and United States and Macedonian were kept blocked there until the end of the war. Hornet managed to slip through the blockade on 14 November 1814 and escaped to sea. However, Decatur was transferred to the frigate President in the spring of 1814, and he took the officers and crew of United States with him to his new command. Second Barbary War Main article: Second Barbary War After the end of the War of 1812, the American government turned its attention back to the Mediterranean Sea where Algiers had resumed preying upon American shipping while the United States was preoccupied by its recently concluded war with the UK. On 23 February 1815, President Madison requested that Congress declare war on Algiers; and it voted favorably on his recommendation on 2 March. Work fitting out two American squadrons promptly began - one at Boston under Commodore William Bainbridge and one at New York under Commodore Steven Decatur, Jr. United States was assigned to the former but required, after being bottled up in port for the latter part of the War of 1812, some repairs and refitting. Thus, she was not ready for sea when Bainbridge departed Boston on 3 July. Exactly two months later, the frigate, under the command of Captain John Shaw, departed that port and headed for the Mediterranean. When the frigate reached Gibraltar, Shaw learned that a treaty of peace with Algiers had been signed; but, since the Barbary states had made a habit of changing their minds when no longer under duress, it seemed prudent to keep an American squadron in the Mediterranean. Thus, after both Decatur and Bainbridge had sailed for home, United States remained behind, within easy reach of the North African coast and ready to remind Barbary rulers of their treaty commitments. The senior American naval officer in the region, Captain Shaw became commodore and commanded the squadron consisting of Constellation, Java, Erie and Ontario  until Commodore Isaac Chauncey arrived on 1 July 1816 and took overall command. Nevertheless, United States, despite losing her position as flagship, continued to serve in the Mediterranean until she sailed for home in the spring of 1819 and reached Hampton Roads on 18 May of that year. The frigate was decommissioned on 9 June 1819 and laid up at Norfolk. Squadron duty United States was commissioned 19 November 1823, and sailed 5 January 1824, from Norfolk, as the flagship of Commodore Isaac Hull, to relieve Commodore Charles Stewart in the Pacific. On her way out the frigate touched at Rio de Janeiro and reached Valparaiso, March 7. Commodore Hull found that Chilean independence had been acknowledged by Spain and hostilities had ceased, but the war was still in progress in Peru, Callao being held by the Spaniards and loosely blockaded by the Peruvian fleet. The Commodore, therefore, at once sailed for Callao, where he found Franklin and relieved Commodore Stewart, who sailed for home. The squadron which included the Vincennes, Peacock, and Dolphin, maintained a strict neutrality during the war, which dragged on for another year. Lieutenant John Percival, who was first lieutenant of United States during this cruise, was put in command of Dolphin at Callao and soon after sailed with her for a long cruise among the then little-known islands of the Pacific Archipelago. She put into the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1828 for extensive repairs and remained there until 1830 when she was placed in ordinary at the New York Navy Yard. The frigate remained at New York through 1832 and was thoroughly modernized. She served in the Mediterranean Squadron from 1833 to 1838 and was deployed with the Home Squadron during 1839 and 1840. After three years on the Pacific station the United States returned to New York April 23, 1827. On July 3, 1832, she sailed for New York under Capt. J. B. Nicholson to join Commodore Patterson's squadron in the Mediterranean, returning to New York December 11, 1834. From 1836 to 1838, under Capt. J. Wilkinson, the United States was again in the Mediterranean, and from 1839 to 1840 she was in the Home squadron under Captain Lawrence Kearney. United States was repaired at Norfolk in 1841 and was designated the new flagship of the Pacific Squadron in January 1842. She left Hampton Roads on 9 January, bound for the Pacific via Cape Horn. January 9, 1842, the old frigate sailed from Norfolk under Captain James Armstrong as the flagship of Commodore T. Ap. Catesby Jones's Pacific squadron. On the night of September 6, 1842, while lying in Callao, the British frigate Dublin, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Thomas, appeared off the port, and, seeing the American fleet, at once put to sea. The suspicions of Commodore Jones were immediately aroused, and, having heard that war was about to be declared between the United States and Mexico, the Commodore suspected Dublin intended to run up the coast and take possession of California, a country that England had long had her eye upon. United States got under way, and in company with the Cyane Jones hastened to the northward. They reached Monterey on October 16, and Jones immediately demanded the surrender of the place, hoisting the American flag over the town. But the next day. having satisfied himself that the United States and Mexico were still at peace, he made such amends as were possible for his hasty action. A protest was made by the Mexican government as a consequence of this incident, and Commodore Jones was relieved from the command of the squadron, and United States was ordered home, arriving in Boston October 4, 1844. Herman Melville, the future author of Moby-Dick, enlisted as an ordinary seaman on board United States at Honolulu, Hawaii, on 17 August 1843. His novel White-Jacket, published in 1850 is a fictionalized account of his experiences on board, highly critical of the captain of the United States and of naval customs in general. The vessel returned to the United States in 1844 and was placed out of commission at Boston on 14 October. She was recommissioned there on 18 May 1846 and was detailed to the African Squadron for duty helping to suppress the illicit slave trade. United States joined the Mediterranean Squadron in 1847 and served in European waters until ordered home late in 1848. She was decommissioned on 24 February 1849 and placed in ordinary at Norfolk. In June, 1846, she went out to the coast of Africa under command of Captain J. Smoot as the flagship of Commodore George C. Read, returning to Norfolk, February 17, 1849. Civil War Main article: American Civil War United States rotted away at Norfolk until 20 April 1861 when the navy yard was captured by Confederate troops. Before leaving the yard, Union fire crews failed to burn the vessel along with other abandoned ships, thinking it unnecessary to destroy the decayed relic. The Confederates, pressed for vessels in any kind of condition, thought otherwise and, after pumping her out, commissioned the frigate CSS United States (though they often called her Confederate States) on 29 April. On 15 June, she was ordered to be fitted out as a receiving ship and was provided with a deck battery of 19 guns for harbor defense. In this role, she served her new owners well but was ordered sunk in the Elizabeth River, Virginia, to form an obstruction to Union vessels when the Confederates abandoned the navy yard in May 1862. The ancient timbers of the frigate were found to be so strong and well-preserved as to ruin one whole box of axes when attempts were made to scuttle her, and it was necessary to bore through the hull from inside before she settled to the muddy bottom of the river. Shortly after the destruction of ironclad ram Virginia on 11 May 1862 and the surrender of the Norfolk Navy Yard to Union troops, United States was raised and towed to the yard by federal authorities. She remained there until March 1864, when the Bureau of Construction and Repair decided to break her up and sell the wood. This work was delayed until late 1865, when the Bureau ordered on 18 December that the gallant old frigate be docked at Norfolk and immediately broken up. 4. USS Olympia (C-6/CA-15/CL-15/IX-40) was a protected cruiser in the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War. She is most notable for being the flagship of Commodore George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay. The cruiser continued in service throughout World War I and was decommissioned in 1922. As of 2008[update], Olympia is a museum ship at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Design and construction Olympia was laid down on 17 June 1891 by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California; launched on 5 November 1892; sponsored by Miss Ann B. Dickie; and commissioned on 5 February 1895, Captain John Joseph Read in command. She was built in a transitional period for warship design and for the US Navy. The Navy was expanding its fleet to move beyond coastal defense onto the world stage. Olympia was larger and faster than the previous generation of Navy ships, built with a new type of vertical triple-expansion steam engine. Yet she retained a vestigial suit of sails for emergency propulsion. She was one of the first naval ships to have electricity and powered steering gear. Spanish-American War Her initial service was as flagship on the Asiatic Station. In that role, she participated in Philippines-area Spanish-American War operations, including the Battle of Manila Bay, and returned to the US in September 1899. It was from her deck that Commodore George Dewey spoke the famous words "You may fire when ready, Gridley", which launched the attack that resulted in the sinking or capture of the entire Spanish Pacific fleet under Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasarón and silenced the shore batteries at Manila, all within the span of six hours. The precise spot where Dewey is believed to have stood when he gave the order is marked on the ship today. She was decommissioned at Boston on 8 November 1899, and recommissioned in January 1902 CAPT Thomas Benton Howard, in command. World War I From 1902-1906, Olympia was active in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean. She was decommissioned at Norfolk on 1 April 1906, and recommissioned on 15 May 1907. She also saw occasional service as a United States Naval Academy training ship into 1909. She was a barracks ship at Charleston, South Carolina from 1912-1916, and recommissioned for sea duty in the latter year. Olympia spent World War I and the early post-war years in the Atlantic, the Russian Arctic as part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War and in the Mediterranean area. She was briefly reclassified as CA-15 on 17 July 1920, then CL-15 on 8 August 1921. In October-November 1921, she brought home the body of the "Great War's" Unknown Soldier. Olympia was the first ship in the US Navy to have a mechanically chilled fresh water dispenser, or "Scuttlebutt". Preservation of Olympia Decommissioned on 9 December 1922, Olympia was preserved as a relic, being again reclassified IX-40 in 30 June 1931. On 11 September 1957, she was released to the Cruiser Olympia Association and modified back to her 1898 configuration and became a museum ship under their auspices until 1995 when, faced with mounting debt, the Cruiser Olympia Society merged — on 1 January 1996 — with the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Investigators studied Olympia for clues to the explosion of the Maine. Two of its guns are located in the Captain's and Admiral's Quarters, which resemble Victorian sitting rooms, complete with tall cupboards, overstuffed furniture, and fireplace. Today, Olympia is a museum at the Independence Seaport Museum, at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. She is the sole floating survivor of the US Navy's Spanish-American War fleet. NROTC Midshipmen from Villanova University NROTC and University of Pennsylvania NROTC regularly work on Olympia, functioning as maintenance crew. 5. USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named after the Constitution of the United States of America by President George Washington, she is the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat in the world.[Note 1] Launched in 1797, Constitution was one of the six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794. Joshua Humphreys designed these frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so Constitution and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than the standard frigates of the period. Built in Boston, Massachusetts at Edmund Hartt's shipyard, her first duties with the newly formed United States Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War. Constitution is most famous for her actions during the War of 1812 against Great Britain, when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated five British warships: HMS Guerriere, HMS Java, HMS Pictou, HMS Cyane and HMS Levant. The battle with Guerriere earned her the nickname of "Old Ironsides" and public adoration that has repeatedly saved her from scrapping. She continued to actively serve the nation as flagship in the Mediterranean and African squadrons and circled the world in the 1840s. During the American Civil War she served as a training ship for the United States Naval Academy and carried artwork and industrial displays to the Paris Exposition of 1878. Retired from active service in 1881, she served as a receiving ship until designated a museum ship in 1907. In 1931 she started a three year 90-port tour of the nation and in 1997 she finally sailed again under her own power for her 200th birthday. Constitution's mission today is to promote understanding of the Navy’s role in war and peace through educational outreach, historic demonstration, and active participation in public events. As a fully commissioned US Navy ship, her crew of 60 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs and special events while keeping the ship open to visitors year-round and providing free tours. The officers and crew are all active-duty US Navy personnel and the assignment is considered special duty in the Navy. Traditionally, command of the vessel is assigned to a Navy Commander.[Note 2] Claghorn's announcement of the launchingMain article: Original six frigates of the United States Navy The Naval Act of 1794 provided for the construction of four ships carrying forty-four guns each, and two ships carrying thirty-six guns each. Constitution was the third of the forty-four gun frigates to be completed, and was given her name by President George Washington. Her keel was laid down on 1 November 1794 at Edmund Hartt's shipyard in Boston, Massachusetts, under the supervision of Captain Samuel Nicholson and naval constructor George Claghorn.[Note 3] Primary materials used in her construction were white pine, longleaf pine, white oak, and, most importantly, southern live oak, which was cut and milled at Gascoigne Bluff in St. Simons, Georgia. Southern live oak, a particularly dense wood, can weigh up to 75 lb (34 kg) per cubic foot (1,201 kg/m3). Constitution's hull was built 21 inches (530 mm) thick in an era when 18 inches (460 mm) was common. Her vertical hull ribbing was placed 2 in (51 mm) apart instead of the standard 24 in (610 mm). Her length between perpendiculars was 175 ft (53 m), with a 204 ft (62 m) length overall and a width of 45 ft 2 in (13.8 m). In total, 60 acres (24 ha) of trees were needed for her construction. Paul Revere forged the copper bolts and breasthooks. The copper sheathing installed to prevent shipworm was imported from England.[Note 4] In March 1796, as construction of Constitution slowly progressed, a peace accord was announced between the United States and the Dey of Algiers and, in accordance with the Naval Act of 1794, construction was halted. After some debate and prompting by President Washington, Congress agreed to continue to fund the construction of the three ships nearest to completion: United States, Constellation and Constitution. Constitution's launching ceremony on 20 September 1797 was attended by then President John Adams and Massachusetts Governor Increase Sumner. Upon launch, she only slid down the ways 27 feet (8.2 m) before stopping. Her weight caused the ways to settle into the ground, preventing further movement. An attempt two days later only resulted in an additional 31 feet (9.4 m) of travel before stopping on the ways. After a month of rebuilding the ways, Constitution finally slipped into Boston Harbor on 21 October 1797 with Captain James Sever breaking a bottle of Madeira wine on her bowsprit.  Armament Carronade on the spar deck of ConstitutionThough listed as a 44-gun frigate, Constitution's rating was meant only as an approximation, and she would often carry over 50 guns at a time. In comparison, a British ship of the line, depending on rating, carried between 50 and 100 guns. Ships of Constitution's era had no permanent battery of guns as modern Navy ships carry. The guns and cannons were designed to be completely portable and often were exchanged between ships as situations warranted. Each commanding officer outfitted armaments to his liking, taking into consideration factors such as the overall tonnage of cargo, complements of personnel onboard, and planned routes to be sailed. Consequently, the armaments on Constitution changed many times during her career, and records of the changes were not generally kept. During the War of 1812, Constitution's battery of guns typically consisted of thirty 24-pounder cannons, divided to 15 on each side of the gun deck. Twenty-two 32-pounder carronades on the spar deck divided to 11 on each side. Four chase guns would also be positioned, two each at the stern and bow. Twelve men and a powder boy were required to operate each gun. Some men were designated to take stations as boarders, to man the bilge pumps, or to fight fires as needed. Guns were normally manned on the engaged side only; if a ship engaged two opponents, gun crews had to be divided. All of the guns were capable of using several different kinds of projectiles: round shot, bar shot, chain shot, grape shot and heated shot. Each gun was mounted on a wooden gun carriage controlled by an arrangement of rope and tackle. The Captain ordered the gun crews to either open fire together in a single broadside, or allowed each crew to fire-at-will as the target came close alongside. The gun captain pulled the lanyard to trip the flintlock which sent a spark into the pan. The ignited powder in the pan sent a flame through the priming tube to set off the powder charge in the gun and hurl its projectile at the enemy. The marine detachment onboard were the naval infantry that manned the fighting tops, armed with rifles to fire down onto the decks of the enemy ship.  Quasi-War Main article: Quasi-War Near the end of the fitting out period, Nicholson was authorized to recruit sailors and midshipmen to serve in Constitution, but met with a lack of interest from potential recruits. The Naval Agent at Boston attributed Nicholson's difficulties to Nicholson's character, describing him as "a rough, blustering tar merely, a man whose noise and vanity is disgusting to the sailors". President Adams ordered all Navy ships to sea in late May to patrol for armed ships of France and to free any American ship captured by them. Constitution was still not ready to sail, and eventually had to borrow sixteen 18-pound cannons from Castle Island before finally being readied. Constitution put to sea on the evening of 22 July 1798 with orders to patrol the Eastern Seaboard between New Hampshire and New York. A month later she was patrolling between Chesapeake Bay and Savannah, Georgia when Nicholson found his first opportunity for capturing a prize: off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, on 8 September, he intercepted Niger, a 24-gun ship sailing with a French crew en route from Jamaica to Philadelphia, claiming to have been under the orders of Great Britain. Perhaps not understanding his orders correctly, Nicholson had the crewmen imprisoned, placed a prize crew aboard Niger, and brought her into Norfolk, Virginia. Constitution sailed south again a week later to escort a merchant convoy, but her bowsprit was damaged severely in a gale, requiring her return to Boston for repairs. In the meantime, Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert had determined Niger was operating under Great Britain as claimed, and the ship and her crew were released to continue their voyage, with the American government paying a restitution of $11,000 to Great Britain. Departing Boston on 29 December, Nicholson was to report to Commodore John Barry near the island of Dominica for patrols in the West Indies. On 15 January 1799 Constitution intercepted the English merchantman Spencer, which had been taken prize by the French frigate L'Insurgente a few days prior. Technically, Spencer was a French ship operated by a French prize crew; but Nicholson, perhaps hesitant after the affair with Niger, released the ship and her crew the next morning. Joining Barry's command from United States, Constitution almost immediately had to put in for repairs to her rigging due to storm damage, and it was not until 1 March that anything of note occurred. On this date, she encountered HMS Santa Margarita,[Note 5] the captain of which was an acquaintance of Nicholson.[Note 6] The two agreed to a sailing duel, which the English captain was confident he would win, but after 11 hours of sailing, Santa Margarita lowered her sails and admitted defeat, paying her reward of a cask of wine to Nicholson. Resuming her patrols, Constitution managed to recapture the American sloop Neutrality on 27 March and, a few days later, the French ship Carteret. Secretary Stoddert had other plans, however, and recalled Constitution back to Boston. She arrived there on 14 May, and Nicholson was relieved of command.  Change of command Captain Silas Talbot was recalled to duty for the command of Constitution as the Commodore of operations in the West Indies. After repairs and resupply were completed, Constitution departed Boston on 23 July with a destination of Saint-Domingue via Norfolk to interrupt French shipping. She took the prize Amelia from a French prize crew on 15 September and Talbot sent it back to New York City with an American prize crew. Constitution arrived at Saint-Domingue on 15 October and rendezvoused with Boston, General Greene and Norfolk. Nothing of note occurred over the next six months as French hostilities in the area had declined. Constitution busied herself with routine patrols and Talbot made diplomatic visits. It was not until April 1800 that Talbot investigated increasing ship traffic near Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, and discovered the French privateer Sandwich had taken refuge there. On 8 May the squadron captured the sloop Sally and Talbot hatched his plan to capture Sandwich, utilizing the familiarity of Sally to allow the Americans access to the harbor. First Lieutenant Isaac Hull led 90 sailors and Marines into Puerto Plata without challenge on 11 May, capturing Sandwich and spiking the guns of the nearby Spanish fort. It was later determined that Sandwich had been captured from a neutral port; she was returned to the French with apologies, and no prize money was awarded to the squadron. Routine patrols again occupied Constitution for the next two months, until 13 July when the mainmast trouble of a few months before returned, requiring that she put into Cap Francois for repairs. With the terms of enlistment soon to expire for the sailors aboard her, she made preparations for return to the United States, being relieved from duty by Constellation on 23 July. Constitution set out on her return voyage, escorting twelve merchantmen to Philadelphia, and putting in on 24 August to Boston, where she received new masts, sails and rigging. Even with peace imminent for the United States and France, Constitution again sailed for the West Indies on 17 December as squadron flagship, rendezvousing with Congress,Adams, Augusta, Richmond and Trumbull. Although no longer allowed to pursue French shipping, the squadron was assigned to protect American shipping and continued in that capacity until April 1801 when Herald arrived with orders for the squadron to return to the United States. Constitution returned to Boston where she lingered, finally being scheduled for an overhaul in October that was later canceled. She was placed in ordinary on 2 July 1802.  First Barbary War Main article: First Barbary War In response to a demand in 1801 from Yusuf Karamanli, of Tripoli, for $225,000 in tribute from the United States, Thomas Jefferson sent a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean. The first squadron was under the command of Richard Dale in President and the second under the command of Richard Valentine Morris in Chesapeake Both squadrons were unsuccessful in blockading shipping of the Barbary States, leading to the dismissal of Morris in 1803. Captain Edward Preble recommissioned Constitution 13 May 1803 as his flagship, making preparations to command a new squadron and to begin a third blockade attempt. Constitution required copper sheathing on her hull to be replaced and it was the first of many times that Paul Revere supplied the copper sheets necessary for the job.[Note 7] Constitution departed Boston on 14 August and on 6 September, near the Rock of Gibraltar, encountered an unknown ship in the darkness. Constitution went to general quarters then ran alongside of her. Preble hailed the unknown ship, only to receive a hail in return. After identifying as the United States frigate Constitution, he received the same question again. Preble, losing his patience, said: "I am now going to hail you for the last time. If a proper answer is not returned, I will fire a shot into you." The stranger returned, "If you give me a shot, I'll give you a broadside." Asking once more, Preble demanded an answer, to which he received, "This is His Britannic Majesty's ship Donegal, 84 guns, Sir Richard Strachan, an English commodore." as well as a command to, "Send your boat on board." Preble, now devoid of all patience, exclaimed, "This is United States ship Constitution, 44 guns, Edward Preble, an American commodore, who will be damned before he sends his boat on board of any vessel." And then to his gun crews: "Blow your matches, boys!"[Note 8] Before the incident escalated further, a boat arrived from the ship and a British lieutenant relayed his Captain's apologies. The ship was in fact not Donegal but was HMS Maidstone, a 32-gun frigate. Constitution had come alongside her so quietly that Maidstone had delayed answering with the proper hail while readying her guns. This act began the strong allegiance between Preble and the officers under his command, known as "Preble's boys", as he had shown he was willing to defy a ship of the line. Arriving at Gibraltar on 12 September, Preble waited for the other ships of the squadron. His first order of business was to arrange a treaty with Sultan Slimane of Morocco, who was holding American ships hostage to ensure the return of two vessels the Americans had captured. Departing Gibraltar on 3 October, Constitution and Nautilus arrived at Tangiers on the 4th and by the next day Adams and New York had arrived. With four American warships in his harbor, the Sultan was more than glad to arrange the transfer of ships between the two nations, and Preble departed with his squadron on 14 October, headed back to Gibraltar.  Battle of Tripoli Harbor Main article: Battle of Tripoli Harbor On 31 October Philadelphia, under the command of William Bainbridge, ran aground off Tripoli while pursuing a Tripoline vessel. The crew were taken prisoner and Philadelphia was refloated by the Tripolines and brought into their harbor. Preble planned to scuttle Philadelphia using the captured ship Mastico. She was renamed Intrepid and under the command of Stephen Decatur entered Tripoli Harbor on 16 February 1804, quickly overpowering the Tripoline crew and then setting Philadelphia ablaze. Philadelphia burning in Tripoli HarborWithdrawing the squadron to Syracuse, Sicily, Preble began planning for a summer attack on Tripoli, procuring a number of smaller gunboats that could move in closer to Tripoli than was feasible with Constitution's deep draft. Arriving the morning of 3 August, Constitution, Argus, Enterprise, Scourge, Syren, the six gunboats and two bomb ketches began operations. Twenty-two Tripoline gunboats met them in the harbor and, in a series of attacks in the coming month, Constitution and her squadron severely damaged or destroyed several gunboats, taking their crews prisoner. Yusuf Karamanli remained firm in his demand for ransom and tribute. On the evening of 3 September, Richard Somers assumed command of Intrepid, which had been fitted out as a "floating volcano" with 100 short tons (91 t) of gunpowder, and was to sail into Tripoli harbor and blow up in the midst of the corsair fleet close under the walls of the city. That night, she got underway into the harbor, but exploded prematurely, killing Somers and his entire crew of thirteen volunteers. Constellation and President arrived on 9 September with Samuel Barron in command, and Preble was forced to relinquish his command of the squadron to Barron, who was senior in rank. Constitution was ordered to Malta on the 11th for repairs, and while en route captured two Greek vessels attempting to deliver wheat into Tripoli. On 12 October a collision with President severely damaged Constitution's bow area including her figurehead of Hercules. The collision was attributed to an "Act of God" from a sudden change in wind direction.  Battle of Derne Main article: Battle of Derne Captain John Rodgers assumed command of Constitution on 9 November while she underwent repairs and resupply in Malta, and resumed the blockade of Tripoli on 5 April 1805, capturing a Tripoline xebec and the two prizes she had captured. Meanwhile, Commodore Barron gave William Eaton naval support to bombard Derne, while a detachment of US Marines under the command of Presley O’Bannon were assembled to attack the city by land, capturing it on 27 April. A peace treaty with Tripoli was signed aboard Constitution on 3 June upon which she embarked the crew of Philadelphia and returned them to Syracuse. Dispatched to Tunis, Constitution arrived there on 30 July and by 1 August had gathered seventeen additional American warships in the harbor of Tunis: Congress, Constellation, Enterprise, Essex, Franklin, Hornet, John Adams, Nautilus, Syren, and eight gunboats. Negotiations went on for several days until a short-term blockade of the harbor finally produced a peace treaty on 14 August. Rodgers remained in command of the squadron, tasked with sending warships back to the United States when they were no longer needed. Eventually all that remained were Constitution, Enterprise and Hornet for routine patrols and observance of the French and Royal Navy operations of the Napoleonic Wars. Rodgers turned command of the squadron and Constitution over to Captain Hugh G. Campbell on 29 May 1806 and, after more routine patrols, she put into Lisbon for refitting in September, lasting three months. Captain James Barron and Chesapeake were ordered to sail on 15 May 1807 to replace Constitution as the flagship of the Mediterranean squadron, but soon out of Norfolk encountered HMS Leopard, resulting in the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, and thereby delaying the relief of Constitution. Unaware of the delay of Chesapeake, Constitution continued patrols, arriving in late June at Leghorn where she took aboard the disassembled Tripoli Monument for transport back to the United States. Arriving at Málaga, she learned the fate of Chesapeake and Campbell immediately began preparing Constitution and Hornet for possible war against England. The crew, upon learning of the delay in their relief, became mutinous and refused to sail any further unless the destination was the United States. Campbell and his officers threatened to fire a cannon full of grape shot at the crew if they did not comply, thereby putting an end to the conflict. Ordered home on 18 August, Campbell and the squadron set sail for Boston on 8 September, arriving there 14 October. Constitution had been gone over four years.  War of 1812 Main article: War of 1812 Forecastle of Constitution during the chaseConstitution was recommissioned in December with Captain John Rodgers again taking command to oversee a major refitting. She was overhauled at a cost just under $100,000; however, Rodgers inexplicably ignored her copper sheathing, later leading him to declare her a "slow sailer". She spent most of the following two years on training runs and ordinary duty. When Isaac Hull took command in June 1810, he immediately recognized the necessity to have her hull bottom cleaned, removing a noted "ten waggon loads" of barnacles and seaweed. Hull then prepared for a voyage to France, carrying the new Ambassador to France Joel Barlow and his family, departing on 5 August 1811 and arriving on 1 September. Remaining near France and Holland through the winter months, Hull continually held sail and gun drills to keep the crew ready for possible hostilities with the British. After the events of the Little Belt Affair the previous May, tensions were high between the United States and Britain, resulting in Constitution being shadowed by British frigates while awaiting dispatches from Barlow to carry back to the United States, where she arrived on 18 February 1812. War was declared on 18 June and Hull put to sea on 12 July, attempting to join the five ships of a squadron under the command of Rodgers in President. Hull sighted five ships off Egg Harbor, New Jersey on 17 July and at first believed them to be Rodgers' squadron, but by the following morning the lookouts had determined they were a British squadron (HMS Aeolus, HMS Africa, HMS Belvidera, HMS Guerriere and HMS Shannon) out of Halifax that had sighted Constitution and were giving chase. Finding themselves becalmed, Hull, from a suggestion given by Charles Morris, instructed the crew to put boats over the side to tow their ship out of range, using kedge anchors to draw the ship forward, and wetting the sails down to take advantage of every breath of wind. The British ships soon imitated the tactic of kedging and remained in pursuit. The resulting 57 hour chase in the July heat saw the crew of Constitution employ a myriad of methods to outrun the squadron, finally pumping overboard 2,300 US gal (8.7 kl) of drinking water. Cannon fire was exchanged several times, though the British attempts fell short or over their mark, including an attempted broadside from Belvidera. On 19 July Constitution pulled far enough ahead of the British squadron that they abandoned the pursuit. She arrived in Boston on 27 July and remained there just long enough to replenish her supplies; Hull sailed without orders on 2 August to avoid being blockaded in port. Heading on a northeast route towards the British shipping lanes near Halifax and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, she captured three British merchantmen, which Hull ordered burned rather than risk taking them back to an American port. On 16 August Hull was informed of the presence of a British frigate 100 nmi (190 km; 120 mi) to the south and sailed in pursuit.  Constitution vs Guerriere Main article: USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere Gun crew on Constitution preparing to do battle with Guerriere.A frigate sighted on 19 August was determined to be HMS Guerriere, with the words "Not The Little Belt"[Note 9] painted on one of her topsails. Guerriere opened fire upon entering range of Constitution, but Hull held his ship's guns in check until the two warships were a mere 25 yards (23 m) apart, at which point he ordered a full double-loaded broadside of grape and round shot. Over the course of the engagement, the ships collided, and at one point they rotated together counter-clockwise while Constitution continued firing broadsides. Guerriere's bowsprit became entangled in Constitution's rigging. When the two ships pulled apart, the force of the extracting bowsprit sent shockwaves through Guerriere's rigging. Her foremast soon collapsed and it took the mainmast down with it shortly afterward. Guerriere was now a dismasted hulk, so badly damaged that she was not worth towing to port, and Hull ordered her burned the next morning. Using his heavier broadsides and his ship's sailing ability, Hull had managed to surprise the British and to their astonishment, their shot seemed to rebound harmlessly off Constitution's strong hull. A sailor reportedly exclaimed "Huzzah! her sides are made of iron!"[Note 10] and Constitution acquired the nickname "Old Ironsides". Arriving back in Boston on 30 August, Hull and his crew found that news of their victory had spread like wildfire, and they were hailed as heroes.  Constitution vs Java On 8 September William Bainbridge, senior to Hull, took command of "Old Ironsides" and prepared her for another mission in British shipping lanes near Brazil. Sailing with Hornet on 27 October, they arrived near Sao Salvador on 13 December sighting HMS Bonne Citoyenne in the harbor. Bonne Citoyenne reportedly was carrying $1,600,000 in currency to England, but her Captain refused to leave the neutral harbor lest he risk losing his cargo. Leaving Hornet to await the departure of Bonne Citoyenne, Constitution sailed offshore in search of prizes. On 29 December she met with HMS Java under Captain Henry Lambert, a frigate of the same class as the Guerriere, and at the initial hail from Bainbridge, Java answered with a broadside that severely damaged Constitution's rigging. She was able to recover, and returned a series of broadsides to Java. A shot from Java destroyed her helm, and Bainbridge, wounded twice during the battle, directed the crew to steer her manually from the tiller for the duration of the engagement. Similar to the battle with Guerriere, Java's bowsprit became entangled in Constitution's rigging, allowing Bainbridge to continue raking her with broadsides until her foremast collapsed, sending the fighting top crashing down two decks below. Drawing off to make emergency repairs, Bainbridge approached Java an hour later, and the British ship surrendered. Determining that Java was far too damaged to retain as a prize, Bainbridge ordered her burned, but not before having her helm salvaged and installed on Constitution. Returning to Sao Salvador on 1 January 1813, she met with Hornet and that ship's two British prizes to disembark the prisoners of Java. Being far away from a friendly port and needing extensive repairs, Bainbridge ordered Constitution to sail for Boston on 5 January, leaving Hornet behind to continue waiting for Bonne Citoyenne in the hopes that she would leave the harbor (she did not). Her victory over Java, the third British ship in as many months to be captured by the United States, would prompt the British Admiralty to order their frigates not to engage American frigates one-on-one. Only British ships of the line or squadrons were permitted to come close enough to these ships to attack. Constitution arrived in Boston on 15 February to even greater celebrations than Hull had received a few months prior.  Marblehead and blockade Bainbridge determined that Constitution required new spar deck planking and beams along with entirely new masts, sails, rigging and replacement of her copper bottom. Personnel and supplies were being diverted to the Great Lakes, causing shortages that would keep her in Boston intermittently with her sister ships Chesapeake, Congress and President for the majority of the year. Charles Stewart took command on 18 July and struggled to complete the construction and recruiting of a new crew. Finally making sail on 31 December, she set course for the West Indies to harass British shipping, and by late March 1814 had captured five merchant ships and HMS Pictou. She had also pursued HMS Columbine and HMS Pique, though both ships escaped after realizing she was an American frigate. Off the coast of Bermuda on 27 March, it was discovered that her mainmast had split, requiring immediate repair. Stewart set a course for Boston, where on 3 April two British ships HMS Junon and HMS Tenedos picked up pursuit. Stewart began ordering drinking water and food to be cast overboard to lighten her load to gain speed, trusting that her mainmast would hold together long enough to make way into Marblehead, Massachusetts. The last item thrown overboard was the supply of spirits. Upon Constitution's arrival in the harbor, the citizens of Marblehead rallied in support, assembling what cannons they possessed at Fort Sewall, and the British called off the pursuit. Two weeks later, Constitution made her way into Boston, where she would remain blockaded in port until mid-December.  HMS Cyane and HMS Levant Main article: Capture of Cyane Captain George Collier of the Royal Navy received command of the 50-gun HMS Leander and was sent to North America to deal with the American frigates that were causing losses to British merchant shipping. Meanwhile, Charles Stewart saw his chance to escape out of Boston Harbor on the afternoon of 18 December, and again set course for Bermuda. Collier gathered a squadron consisting of Leander, HMS Newcastle and HMS Acasta, and set off in pursuit but were unable to overtake Constitution. On 24 December Constitution intercepted the merchantman Lord Nelson and placed a prize crew aboard. Lord Nelson's stores readily supplied a Christmas dinner for the crew of Constitution as she had left Boston not fully supplied. Off Cape Finisterre on 8 February 1815, Stewart learned the Treaty of Ghent had been signed, but realized that before it was ratified, a state of war would still exist. On 16 February Constitution captured the British merchantman Susanna with her cargo of animal hides valued at $75,000. Sighting two British ships on 20 February she gave chase to HMS Cyane and HMS Levant, sailing in company. Cyane and Levant began a series of broadsides against Constitution, but Stewart soon out-maneuvered both of them. Forcing Levant to draw off for repairs, he concentrated fire on Cyane, which soon struck her colors. Levant returned to engage Constitution, but once she saw that Cyane had been defeated she turned and attempted escape. Constitution soon overtook her, and after several more broadsides, she too struck her colors. Stewart remained with his new prizes overnight while ordering repairs to all ships. Constitution had suffered little damage in the battle, though it was later discovered she had twelve 32-pound British cannonballs embedded in her hull, none of which had penetrated through. Setting a course for the Cape Verde Islands, the trio arrived at Porto Praya on 10 March. The next morning Collier's squadron was spotted on a course for the harbor, and Stewart ordered all ships to sail immediately. Stewart had until now been unaware of the pursuit by Collier. Cyane was able to elude the squadron and make sail for America, where she arrived on 10 April, but Levant was overtaken and recaptured. While Collier's squadron was distracted with Levant, Constitution made another escape from overwhelming forces.  Aftermath Constitution set a course towards Guinea and then west towards Brazil, as Stewart had learned from the capture of Susanna that HMS Inconstant was transporting gold bullion back to England, and wanted her as a prize. Constitution put into Maranhão on 2 April to offload her British prisoners and replenish her drinking water. While there, Stewart learned by rumor that the Treaty of Ghent had been ratified, and set course for America. Receiving verification of peace at San Juan, Puerto Rico on 28 April, he set course for New York and arrived home 15 May to large celebrations. While Constitution had emerged from the war undefeated, her sister ships Chesapeake and President were not so fortunate, as they had been captured in 1813 and 1815 respectively. Constitution was moved to Boston and placed in ordinary in January 1816, sitting out the action of the Second Barbary War. In April 1820 Isaac Hull, commandant of the Charlestown Navy Yard, directed a refitting of Constitution to prepare her for duty with the Mediterranean Squadron. Joshua Humphreys' diagonal riders were removed to make room for two iron freshwater tanks, and timbers below the waterline along with the copper sheathing were replaced. She was also subjected to an unusual experiment in which, at the direction of Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson, manually operated paddle wheels were fitted to her hull. If stranded by calm seas, the paddle wheels were designed to propel her up to 3 knots (5.6 km/h) by the crew using the ships capstan. Initial testing was successful, but Hull and the new commanding officer of Constitution Jacob Jones were reportedly unimpressed with paddle wheels on a US Navy ship; Jones had them removed and stowed in the cargo hold before he departed 13 May 1821 for a three year tour of duty in the Mediterranean. Constitution experienced an uneventful tour, sailing in company with Ontario and Nonsuch, until the behavior of the crews during shore leave gave Jones a reputation as a Commodore who was lax in discipline. Weary of receiving complaints of the crew's antics while in port, the Navy ordered Jones to return, and Constitution arrived in Boston on 31 May 1824, upon which Jones was relieved of command. Thomas MacDonough took command and sailed again on 29 October for the Mediterranean under the direction of John Rodgers in North Carolina. With discipline restored, Constitution resumed uneventful duty. MacDonough resigned his command for health reasons on 9 October 1825. Constitution put in for repairs during December and into January 1826, until Daniel Todd Patterson assumed command on 21 February. By August she had put into Port Mahon, suffering decay of her spar deck, and she remained there until temporary repairs were made in March 1827. Constitution returned to Boston on 4 July 1828 and was placed in ordinary.  Old Ironsides The Andrew Jackson figurehead as depicted by Harpers Weekly in 1875Built in an era when a wooden ship had an expected service life of ten to fifteen years, Constitution was now thirty-one years old. A routine order for surveys of ships held in ordinary was requested by the Secretary of the Navy John Branch; the commandant of the Charlestown Navy Yard, Charles Morris, estimated a repair cost of over $157,000. On 14 September 1830, an article appeared in the Boston Advertiser that erroneously claimed the Navy intended to scrap Constitution.[Note 11] Two days later, Oliver Wendell Holmes' poem "Old Ironsides" was published in the same paper and later all over the country, igniting public indignation and inciting efforts to save "Old Ironsides" from the scrap yard. Secretary Branch approved the costs, and she began a leisurely repair period while awaiting completion of the dry dock then under construction at the yard. In contrast to the efforts to save Constitution, another round of surveys in 1834 would find Congress unfit for repair; she was unceremoniously broken up in 1835. On 24 June 1833 Constitution entered dry dock in company of a crowd of observers, among them Vice President Martin Van Buren, Levi Woodbury, Lewis Cass and Levi Lincoln. Captain Jesse Elliott, the new commander of the Navy yard, would oversee her reconstruction. With 30 in (760 mm) of hog in her keel, Constitution remained in dry dock until 21 June 1834. This would be the first of many times that souvenirs would be made from her old planking; Isaac Hull ordered walking canes, picture frames and even a phaeton that was presented to President Andrew Jackson. Meanwhile, Elliot directed the installation of a new figurehead of President Jackson under the bowsprit, which became a subject of much controversy due to Jackson's political unpopularity in Boston at the time. Elliot, a Jacksonian Democrat, received death threats. Rumors circulated about the citizens of Boston storming the Navy yard to remove the figurehead themselves. A merchant captain named Samuel Dewey accepted a small wager that he could complete the task of removal. Elliot had posted guards on Constitution to ensure safety of the figurehead, but—using the noise of thunderstorms to mask his movements—Dewey crossed the Charles River in a small boat and managed to saw off Jackson's head. The severed head made rounds between taverns and meeting houses in Boston until Dewey personally returned it to Secretary of the Navy Mahlon Dickerson; it remained on Dickerson's library shelf for many years. An 1855 letter to the editor of The New York Times reported the story again. The addition of busts to her stern depicting Isaac Hull, William Bainbridge and Charles Stewart escaped controversy of any kind and the busts would remain in place for the next forty years.  Mediterranean and Pacific Squadrons Elliot was appointed Captain of Constitution and got underway in March 1835 to New York, where he ordered repairs to the Jackson figurehead, avoiding a second round of controversy. Departing on 16 March, Constitution set a course for France to deliver Edward Livingston to his post as Minister. She arrived on 10 April and began the return voyage on 16 May, narrowly avoiding being wrecked off the Isles of Scilly due to the mistaken navigation of her Officer of the Deck. She arrived back in Boston on 23 June and sailed on 19 August to take her station as flagship in the Mediterranean, arriving at Port Mahon on 19 September. Her duty over the next two years was uneventful as she and United States made routine patrols and diplomatic visits. From April 1837 into February 1838 Elliot collected various ancient artifacts to carry back to America, adding various livestock during the return voyage from which Constitution arrived in Norfolk on 31 July. Elliot was later suspended from duty for transporting livestock on a Navy ship. As flagship of the Pacific Squadron under the command of Captain Daniel Turner, she began her voyage on 1 March 1839 with the duty of patrolling the western side of South America. Often spending months in one port or another, she visited Valparaíso, Callao, Paita and Puna while her crew amused themselves with the beaches and taverns in each locality. The return voyage found her at Rio de Janeiro where Emperor Pedro II of Brazil visited her about 29 August 1841. Departing Rio, she collided with the ketch Queen Victoria,[Note 12] suffering minor damage, and returned to Norfolk on 31 October. On 22 June 1842 she was recommissioned under the command of Foxhall Alexander Parker for duty with the Home Squadron. After spending months in port she put to sea for three weeks during December and was again put in ordinary.  Around the world Under the command of John Percival, she underwent a refitting and was recommissioned on 24 March 1844 for a scheduled three-year circumnavigation of the world. She got underway on 29 May, carrying Henry A. Wise, the new Ambassador to Brazil and his family, arriving at Rio de Janeiro on 2 August after making two port visits along the way. Remaining there to pack away supplies for the planned journey, she sailed again on 8 September, making port calls at Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zanzibar and arriving at Sumatra on 1 January 1845. Many of her crew began to suffer from dysentery and fevers, causing several deaths, which led Percival to set course for Singapore, arriving there 8 February. While in Singapore, Commodore Henry Ducie Chads of HMS Cambrian paid a visit to Constitution, offering what medical assistance his squadron could provide. Chads had been the Lieutenant of HMS Java when surrendering to William Bainbridge thirty-three years earlier. Leaving Singapore she arrived at Turon, Cochinchina (present day Da Nang, Vietnam) on 10 May. Not long after, Percival was informed that a French missionary, Dominique Lefèbvre, was being held captive and had been sentenced to death. Percival and a squad of Marines went ashore to speak with the local Mandarin. Percival demanded the return of Lefèbvre and took three local leaders hostage to ensure his demands were met. When no communication was forthcoming, he ordered the capture of three junks, which were brought to Constitution. Percival released the hostages after two days, attempting to show good faith towards the Mandarin who had demanded their return. During a storm the three junks escaped upriver, requiring a detachment of Marines to pursue and recapture them. When the supply of food and water from shore was stopped, Percival had to give in to another demand for the release of the junks in order to keep his ship supplied, which he did, expecting Lefèbvre to be released. Soon realizing that no return would be made, Percival ordered Constitution to depart on 26 May. Arriving at Canton, China on 20 June, she spent the next six weeks there while Percival made shore and diplomatic visits. Again the crew suffered from dysentery due to poor drinking water, resulting in three more deaths by the time she reached Manila on 18 September. Spending a week there preparing to enter the Pacific Ocean, she sailed on 28 September for the Hawaiian Islands, arriving at Honolulu on 16 November. At Honolulu was Commodore John D. Sloat and his flagship Savannah; Sloat informed Percival that Constitution was needed in Mexico as the United States was preparing for war after the Texas Annexation. Provisioning for six months, she sailed for Mazatlán, arriving there 13 January 1846. Sitting at anchor for over three months, she was finally allowed to sail for home on 22 April, rounding Cape Horn on 4 July. Arriving in Rio de Janeiro, they learned the Mexican War had begun on 13 May, soon after their departure from Mazatlán. Arriving in Boston on 27 September, she was placed in ordinary 5 October.  Mediterranean and African Squadrons She began a refitting in 1847 for duty with the Mediterranean Squadron. The figurehead of Andrew Jackson that had caused so much controversy fifteen years earlier was replaced with another, this time sans the top hat and with a more Napoleonic pose for Jackson. Captain John Gwinn commanded her on this voyage, departing on 9 December 1848 and arriving at Tripoli on 19 January 1849. She carried Daniel Smith McCauley and his family to Egypt; McCauley's wife gave birth en route to a son, who was named Constitution Stewart McCauley. At Gaeta on 1 August she received onboard King Ferdinand II and Pope Pius IX, giving a 21-gun salute. This would be the first time a Pope had set foot on American territory. At Palermo on 1 September, Captain Gwinn died of chronic gastritis and was buried near Lazaretto on the 9th. Captain Thomas Conover assumed command on the 18th and resumed routine patrolling for the rest of the tour. Heading home on 1 December 1850, she was involved in a severe collision with the English brig Confidence which sank with the loss of her Captain. The surviving crew members were carried back to America where Constitution was placed in ordinary at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in January 1851. Recommissioning on 22 December 1852, under the command of John Rudd, Constitution carried Commodore Isaac Mayo for duty with the African Squadron, departing the yard on 2 March 1853 on a leisurely sail towards Africa, arriving there 18 June. Making a diplomatic visit in Liberia, Mayo arranged a treaty between the Barbo and the Grebo tribes. Mayo had to resort to firing cannons into the village of the Barbo in order for them to agree to the treaty. This may have been the last time Constitution fired her cannons in anger. Near Angola on 3 November, in what would be her last capture, the American ship H. N. Gambrill was determined to be involved in the slave trade and was taken as a prize. About 22 June 1854, Mayo arranged another peace treaty between the Grahway and Half Cavally tribes. The rest of her tour passed uneventfully and she sailed for home on 31 March 1855. She was diverted to Cuba, arriving at Havana on 16 May. Departing there on the 24th, she arrived at Portsmouth Navy Yard and was decommissioned on 14 June, ending what was to be her last duty on the front lines. In June 1853, her sister ship Constellation had been ordered broken up; part of her timbers would be used to construct the next Constellation.  Civil War Main article: American Civil War The last sailing frigate of the US Navy, Santee, had been launched in 1855, and as steamships began service with the US Navy in growing numbers during the 1850s, many sail powered ships were assigned to training duty. Since the formation of the United States Naval Academy in 1845, there had been a growing need for quarters in which to house the students. In 1857, Constitution was moved to dry dock at the Portsmouth Navy Yard for conversion into a training ship. Some of the earliest known photographs of her were taken during this refitting, which added classrooms on her spar and gun decks. Reduced in armament to only 16 guns, her rating was changed to a "2nd rate ship". She was recommissioned on 1 August 1860 and moved from Portsmouth to the Naval Academy. The earliest known photograph of Constitution, undergoing repairs at Portsmouth in 1858.At the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, Constitution was ordered to relocate farther north after threats had been made against her by Confederate sympathizers. Several companies of Massachusetts volunteer soldiers were stationed aboard for her protection. R. R. Cuyler towed her to New York City, where she arrived on 29 April. She was subsequently relocated, along with the Naval Academy, to Fort Adams near Newport, Rhode Island, for the duration of the war. Her sister ship United States was abandoned by the Union and then captured by Confederate forces at the Gosport Shipyard in Norfolk, leaving Constitution the only remaining frigate of the original six frigates. During the war, to honor Constitution's tradition of service, the US Navy bestowed the name New Ironsides on an ironclad that was launched on 10 May 1862 as part of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and participated in the bombardment of Fort Sumter on 7 April 1863. Unfortunately, New Ironsides' naval career was short-lived; she was destroyed by fire on 16 December 1865 while in ordinary at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. In August 1865 Constitution moved back to Annapolis, along with the rest of the Naval Academy. During the voyage she was allowed to drop her tow lines from the tug and continue alone under sail. Despite her age, she was recorded running at 9 knots (17 km/h) and arrived at Hampton Roads ten hours ahead of the tug. Settling in again at the Academy, a series of upgrades were installed that included steam pipes and radiators to supply heat from shore along with gas lighting. From June to August each year she would depart with midshipman for their summer training cruise and then return to operate for the rest of the year as a classroom. In June 1867 her last known plank owner, William Bryant, died in Maine. George Dewey assumed command in November and served as her commanding officer until 1870. In 1871 her condition had deteriorated to the point where she was retired as a training ship and towed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard where she was placed in ordinary on 26 September.  Paris Exposition In the early months of 1873 it was decided that Constitution would be overhauled to participate in the centennial celebrations of the United States. Work began slowly and was intermittently delayed by the transition of the Philadelphia Navy Yard to League Island. By late 1875 the Navy opened bids for an outside contractor to complete her work, and Constitution was moved to Wood, Dialogue and Company in May 1876 where a small boiler for heat and a coal bin were installed. The Andrew Jackson figurehead was removed at this time and given to the Naval Academy Museum where it remains today. Her construction dragged on during the rest of 1876, and when the centennial celebrations had long passed, it was decided that she would be used as a training and school ship for apprentices entering the Navy. Oscar C. Badger took command on 9 January 1878 to prepare her for a voyage to the Paris Exposition of 1878, transporting the artwork and industrial displays of American manufacturers to France. Three railroad cars were lashed to her spar deck and all but two cannons were removed when she departed on 4 March. While docking at Le Havre she collided with Ville de Paris, which resulted in Constitution later entering dry dock for repairs. Remaining in France for the rest of 1878, she got underway for the United States on 16 January 1879 but poor navigation ran her aground the next day near Bollard Head. She was towed into the Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, where only minor damage was found and repaired. Her problem-plagued voyage would continue on 13 February when her rudder was damaged during heavy storms, resulting in a total loss of steering control. With the rudder smashing into the hull at random, three crewman went over the stern on ropes and boatswain's chairs, managing to secure the rudder and the next morning rigging together a temporary steering system. Badger set a course for the nearest port and she arrived in Lisbon on 18 February. Slow dock services delayed her departure until 11 April and her voyage home did not end until 24 May. Crewmen Henry Williams, Joseph Matthews and James Horton would receive the Medal of Honor for their actions in repairing the damaged rudder at sea. Constitution returned to her previous duties of training apprentice boys, and on 16 November another crewman, James Thayer, received a Medal of Honor for saving a boy from drowning. Over the next two years she continued her training cruises, but it soon became apparent that her overhaul in 1876 had been of poor quality, and she was determined to be unfit for service in 1881. As funds were lacking for another overhaul, she was decommissioned, ending her days as an active duty naval ship; she would not sail again for 116 years. Moved to the Portsmouth Navy Yard sometime in 1882, she was used as a receiving ship. There, she had a housing structure built over her spar deck, and her condition continued to deteriorate, with only a minimal amount of maintenance performed to keep her afloat. In 1896, Massachusetts Congressman John F. Fitzgerald became aware of her condition and proposed to Congress that funds be appropriated to restore her enough to return to Boston. She arrived at the Charlestown Navy Yard under tow on 21 September 1897, and after her centennial celebrations in October, she lay there with an uncertain future.   Museum ship Constitution in Boston c. 1905In 1900 Congress authorized restoration of Constitution, but did not appropriate any funds for the project; funding was to be raised privately. The Massachusetts Society of the United Daughters of the War of 1812 spearheaded an effort to raise funds, but ultimately failed. In 1903 the Massachusetts Historical Society's president Charles Francis Adams requested of Congress that she be rehabilitated and placed back into active service. In 1905, Secretary of the Navy Charles Joseph Bonaparte suggested that she be towed out to sea and used as target practice, after which she would be allowed to sink. Storms of protest over this proposal prompted Congress to authorize $100,000 for her restoration in 1906. First to be removed was the barracks structure on her spar deck, but the limited amount of funds allowed just a partial restoration. By 1907 she began to serve as a museum ship with tours offered to the public. On 1 December 1917 she was renamed Old Constitution, to free her name for a planned new Lexington-class battlecruiser. Originally destined for the lead ship of the class, the name Constitution was shuffled around between hulls until CC-5 was given the name, only to be canceled in 1923 due to the Washington Naval Treaty. The incomplete hull was sold for scrap, and Old Constitution was granted the return of her name on 24 July 1925.  1925 restoration and tour Admiral Edward Walter Eberle, Chief of Naval Operations, ordered the Board of Inspection and Survey to compile a report on her condition, and the inspection of 19 February 1924 found her in grave condition. Water had to be pumped out of her hold on a daily basis just to keep her afloat, and her stern was in danger of falling off. Almost all deck areas and structural components were filled with rot and she was considered to be on the verge of ruin. Yet the Board recommended that she be thoroughly repaired in order to preserve her as long as possible. The estimated cost of repairs was $400,000. Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur proposed to Congress that the required funds be raised privately, and he was authorized to assemble the committee charged with her restoration. The first effort was sponsored by the national Elks Lodge with programs presented to schoolchildren about "Old Ironsides" encouraging them to donate pennies towards her restoration, eventually raising $148,000. In the meantime, the estimates for repair began to climb, eventually reaching over $745,000 after costs of materials were realized. In September 1926, Wilbur began to sell copies of a painting of Constitution at 50 cents per copy. The silent film Old Ironsides, which portrayed Constitution during the First Barbary War, premiered in December and helped spur more contributions to her restoration fund. The final campaign allowed memorabilia to be made of her discarded planking and metal. Among the items sold were ashtrays, bookends and picture frames. The committee eventually raised over $600,000 after expenses—still short of the required amount—and Congress approved up to $300,000 to complete the restoration. The final cost of the restoration was $946,000. Lieutenant John A. Lord was selected to oversee the reconstruction project, and work began while the efforts to raise funds were underway. Materials were difficult to find, especially the live oak needed; Lord uncovered a long-forgotten stash of live oak (some 1,500 short tons (1,400 t)) at Naval Air Station Pensacola that had been cut sometime in the 1850s for a ship building program that never began. By the mid 1920s even the tools needed for the restoration were difficult to find, and some came from as far away as Maine. Constitution entered dry dock with a crowd of 10,000 observers on 16 June 1927. Meanwhile, Charles Francis Adams had been appointed Secretary of the Navy and he proposed that Constitution make a tour of the United States upon her completion as a gift to the nation for its efforts to help restore her. She emerged from dry dock on 15 March 1930, and many amenities were installed to prepare her for the three year tour of the country, including water piping throughout, modern toilet and shower facilities, electric lighting to make the interior visible for visitors and several peloruses for ease of navigation. The old camboose was replaced with a modern stove to prepare meals for the crew. No stranger to controversy, Constitution experienced another episode when Assistant Secretary of the Navy Ernest Jahncke made comments doubting the ability of the modern US Navy to still sail a vessel of her type. Veterans groups from around the country had proposed that she should make the tour under sail, but due to the schedule of visits on her itinerary, she was towed by Grebe. Nevertheless, she was recommissioned on 1 July 1931 under the command of Louis J. Gulliver with a crew of sixty officers and sailors, fifteen Marines, and their mascot, a pet monkey named Rosie. Setting out with much celebration and a 21-gun salute, the tour of 90 port cities along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts began at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a port well known to her from the War of 1812. She went as far north as Bar Harbor, Maine on the Atlantic coast, south through the Panama Canal Zone, and north again to Bellingham, Washington on the Pacific coast. Bushnell shared part of the towing duties on the return trip from San Diego to the Canal Zone during March and April 1934. Constitution returned to her home port of Boston in May 1934 after more than 4.6 million people had visited her during the three-year journey.  Bicentennial celebrations Settled in Boston again, she returned to serving as a museum ship, receiving 100,000 visitors per year. She was maintained by a small crew that watched over her and were berthed on the ship, requiring that a more reliable heating system be installed, eventually leading to a forced-air system in the 1950s and the addition of a sprinkler system that would help protect her from fire. On 21 September 1938 during the New England Hurricane, Constitution broke loose from her dock and was blown out into Boston Harbor where she collided with the destroyer Ralph Talbot but only suffered minor damage. With limited funds available, she experienced more deterioration over the years, and items began to disappear from the ship as souvenir hunters picked away at the more portable objects available. In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt placed her in permanent commission. General Bruce Magruder gave the nickname "Old Ironsides" to the 1st Armor Division of the United States Army in honor of the ship. In early 1941, she was assigned the hull classification symbol IX-21 and began to serve as a brig for officers awaiting court-martial. The United States Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating "Old Ironsides" in 1947 and an act of Congress in 1954 made the Secretary of the Navy responsible for her upkeep. In 1970 another survey of her condition was performed, this time noting that repairs were required, but not as extensive as those she had needed in the 1920s. The US Navy determined that the rank of Commander, those with about twenty years of seniority, would be required for commanding officer, as persons of that rank have the experience to organize the maintenance that she required. Funds were approved in 1972 for her restoration and she entered dry dock from April 1973 to April 1974. During this period, large quantities of red oak were removed and replaced. The red oak had been added in the 1950s as an experiment to see if it would be of better quality than the live oak, but it had mostly rotted away by 1970. Commander Tyrone G. Martin became her Captain in August 1974, as preparations for the upcoming United States Bicentennial celebrations began. Commander Martin was able to set the precedent that all construction work on Constitution was aimed at maintaining her to the 1812 configuration for which she is most famous. In September 1975 her hull classification of IX-21 was officially canceled. The privately run USS Constitution Museum opened on 8 April 1976, and one month later Commander Martin dedicated a tract of land located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indiana as "Constitution Grove". The 25,000 acres (100 km2) now supply the majority of the white oak required for repair work on Constitution. On 10 July Constitution led the parade of tall ships up Boston Harbor for Operation Sail, firing her guns at one minute intervals for the first time in approximately 100 years. On the 11th she rendered a 21-gun salute to the Royal Yacht Britannia as Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, arrived for a state visit. Her Majesty and Prince Philip were piped aboard and privately toured the ship for approximately thirty minutes with Commander Martin and Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf. Upon Her Majesty's departure the crew of Constitution rendered three cheers for the Queen. Over 900,000 visitors toured "Old Ironsides" that year.  1995 reconstruction Constitution entered dry dock in 1992 for what had been planned as an inspection and minor repair period but turned out to be her most comprehensive structural restoration and repair since she was launched in 1797. Over the 200 years of her career, as her mission changed from a fighting warship to a training ship and eventually a receiving ship, multiple refittings removed most of her original construction components and design. As early as 1820 the diagonal riders originally specified by Joshua Humphreys had been removed to make room for drinking water tanks. In 1993 the Naval Historical Center Detachment Boston reviewed Humphreys' original plans and identified five main structural components that were required to prevent hogging of a ship's hull, as Constitution had at this point 13 in (330 mm) of hog. Using a 1:16 scale model of the ship, they were able to determine that restoring the original components would result in a 10% increase in hull stiffness. Constitution sails unassisted for the first time in 116 yearsUsing radiography, a technique unavailable during previous reconstruction, 300 scans of her timbers were completed to find any hidden problems otherwise undetectable from the outside. Aided by the United States Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory, the repair crew used sound wave testing to determine the condition of the remaining timbers that may have been rotting from the inside. The 13 in (330 mm) of hog was removed from her keel by allowing the ship to settle naturally while in dry dock. The most difficult task, as during her 1920s restoration, was the procurement of timber in the quantity and sizes needed. The city of Charleston, South Carolina donated live oak trees that had been felled by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, and the International Paper Company also donated live oak from its own property. The project would continue to reconstruct her to 1812 specifications while she remained open to visitors who were allowed to observe the process and converse with workers. The twelve million dollar project was completed in 1995.  Sail 200 Walter Cronkite takes the helmAs early as 1991, Commander David Cashman had suggested that Constitution should sail under her own power to celebrate her 200th anniversary in 1997. The proposal was approved, though it was thought to be a large undertaking since she had not sailed in over 100 years. When she emerged from dry dock in 1995, a more serious effort was begun to prepare her for sail. As in the 1920s, education programs aimed at school children helped collect pennies to purchase the sails to make the voyage possible. Eventually her six-sail battle configuration would consist of jibs, topsails, and driver. Commander Mike Beck began training the crew for the historic sail using an 1819 navy sailing manual and several months of practice, including time spent aboard the Coast Guard cutter Eagle. On 20 July 1997, she was towed from her usual berth in Boston to an overnight mooring in Marblehead, Massachusetts. En route she made her first sail in 116 years at a recorded 6 kn (11 km/h) and marked the first time since 1934 that she had been absent overnight from her berth in Charlestown. Embarked dignitaries onboard included the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and avid sailor Walter Cronkite. The next day she was towed 5 nmi (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) offshore where the tow line was dropped, and Commander Beck ordered her six sails set. She then sailed unassisted for 40 minutes on a south-south-east course. With true wind speeds of about 12 kn (22 km/h), she attained a top recorded speed of 4 kn (7.4 km/h). While under sail, her modern naval combatant escorts, Ramage and Halyburton, rendered passing honors to "Old Ironsides" and she was overflown by the Blue Angels. Inbound to her permanent berth at Charlestown she rendered a 21-gun salute to the nation off Fort Independence in Boston Harbor.  Present day Constitution's mission is to promote understanding of the Navy’s role in war and peace through active participation in public events and education through outreach programs, public access and historic demonstration. Her crew of 60 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping the ship open to visitors year-round and providing free tours. The crew are all active-duty US Navy personnel and the assignment is considered special duty in the Navy. Constitution is the oldest commissioned vessel afloat in the world. Constitution is currently undergoing repairs.The Naval Historical Center Detachment Boston is responsible for planning and performing her maintenance, repair and restoration, keeping her as close to her 1812 configuration as possible. She is berthed at Pier 1 of the former Charlestown Navy Yard, at one end of Boston's Freedom Trail. She is open to the public year round. The privately run USS Constitution Museum is nearby, located in a restored shipyard building at the foot of Pier 2. Constitution normally makes one "turnaround cruise" each year and is towed out into Boston Harbor to perform underway demonstrations, including gun drill, and then is returned to her dock where she is berthed in the opposite direction to ensure that she weathers evenly. The "turnaround cruise" is open to the general public based on a "lottery draw" of interested persons each year. In 2003 the special effects crew from the production of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World spent several days using Constitution as a computer model for the fictional French frigate Acheron, using stem to stern digital image scans of "Old Ironsides". In 2007, her commanding officer, Commander Thomas C. Graves, was relieved of command and reassigned after being accused of abusing his subordinates. The charges were settled at a private U.S. Navy hearing on 26 October 2007. Also in October 2007, she entered a period of repair expected to last until September 2010. During this time the entire spar deck will be stripped down to the support beams and the current Douglas fir decking will be restored to the original white oak and yellow pine. The maintenance will restore the original curvature to the deck which will allow water to drain overboard and not remain standing on the deck area. Constitution will remain open for visitors but there will be no public "turnaround cruise". Lieutenant Commander John Scivier of the Royal Navy, commanding officer of HMS Victory, paid a visit to Constitution in November, touring the local facilities with Commander William A. Bullard III, the 70th commanding officer of "Old Ironsides".[ They discussed arranging an exchange program between the two ships. Bullard is scheduled to turn command of Constitution over to Commander Tim Cooper in July 2009. 6.The first USS Alliance of the United States Navy was a 36-gun sailing frigate of the American Revolutionary War, notable for having fired the last shot of the war. Originally named Hancock, she was laid down in 1777 on the Merrimack River at Amesbury, Massachusetts, by the partners and cousins, William and James K. Hackett, launched on 28 April 1778, and renamed Alliance on 29 May 1778 by resolution of the Continental Congress. Her first commanding officer was Capt. Pierre Landais, a former officer of the French Navy who had come to the New World hoping to become a naval counterpart of Lafayette. The frigate's first captain was widely accepted as such in America. Massachusetts made him an honorary citizen and the Continental Congress gave him command of Alliance, the finest warship built to that date on the western side of the Atlantic. 1779 The new frigate's first assignment was to carry Lafayette back to France to petition the French Court for increased support in the American struggle for independence. Manned by a crew composed largely of British and Irish sailors, Alliance departed Boston on 14 January 1779 bound for Brest, France. During the crossing, a plot to seize the ship, involving 38 members of the crew, was uncovered on 2 February before the mutiny could begin. The disloyal sailors were put in irons and the remainder of the voyage, in which the frigate captured two prizes, was peaceful. The ship reached Brest safely on the 6th. After the marquis and his suite had disembarked, Benjamin Franklin, one of the American commissioners in Paris, ordered her to remain in France despite the fact that Landais' original instructions had called for him to load the frigate with munitions and then to sail promptly for America. Instead, Franklin assigned the frigate to a squadron to be commanded by Captain John Paul Jones. The squadron departed Groix Roads, near Lorient, France on 19 June to escort a convoy of merchantmen to Bordeaux and other French ports. During a storm that night, Alliance collided with Jones' flagship, Bonhomme Richard, damaging the rigging of both vessels. Nevertheless, each was able to continue, and the squadron successfully completed its mission before returning to L'Orient where the two damaged warships were repaired. The French planned an invasion of southern England that summer, and asked Jones to carry out a diversionary raid in the northern British Isles. His flotilla sortied from Groix Roads on 14 August and headed for the southwestern corner of Ireland to begin a clockwise circumnavigation of the British Isles. Not many days passed before Landais - who in Jones' opinion had been the real culprit in the collision two months before - began to show his disinclination toward obeying orders. On the 23rd, he was enraged when the commodore refused to allow him to chase a ship into shallow and unknown waters "... when there was not sufficient wind to govern a ship." The next day, Jones later reported, Alliance's unruly captain came on board the flagship and addressed the commodore "... in the most gross and insulting terms." From that point on, Landais seemed to ignore orders entirely and operated Alliance according to his own whims. Thus, the only really American warship in Jones' squadron belied her name by refusing to cooperate with the French vessels. She left her consorts during a squall on the night of 26 and 27 August and did not rejoin the squadron until 1 September. Betsy, a letter-of-marque ship she had just taken then accompanied the frigate. About this time, Bonhomme Richard captured a similar ship named Union off Cape Wrath at the northwestern corner of Scotland, and Jones allowed Landais to man both vessels. The latter again showed his complete contempt for the commodore by sending the captured ships (which would become known as the Bergen Prizes) to Bergen, Norway, where the Danish Government turned the ships over to the British consul, depriving their captors of the satisfaction of having hurt the enemy and of any hope of being rewarded for their efforts. In the next few days, Alliance took two more small ships prompting Jones to signal Landais to board Bonhomme Richard for a conference. The American frigate's commander refused to obey, but instead again sailed off on his own. For more than two weeks thereafter, Alliance worked her way south independently along the eastern shore of Great Britain while the remainder of the squadron followed a similar course from out of sight. A bit before midnight on 22 September, a lookout in Bonhomme Richard reported seeing two ships. Jones hoisted recognition signals which were unanswered. Landais was continuing to ignore the flagship's efforts to communicate. Nevertheless, at dawn, Jones was able to recognize Alliance and Pallas, a frigate of his squadron which had recently parted from the flagship with the commodore's permission to hunt prizes. About mid-afternoon on 23 September, the squadron, off Bridlington, sighted ships rounding Flamborough Head to the north. The oncoming vessels were part of a convoy of over 40 British merchantmen which had sailed from the Baltic Sea under the escort of the 44-gun frigate HMS Serapis and the 20 gun sloop of war HMS Countess of Scarborough. The convoy had been warned about the American squadron, and turned back northward towards Scarborough, the two escort vessels placing themselves between the merchant ships and the approaching threat. As the gap closed, Jones signaled his ships to form a line of battle, but Landais ignored the order and sailed off to one side, forcing Countess of Scarborough to do likewise. In the ensuing four-hour Battle of Flamborough Head off England's Yorkshire coast, Landais, after briefly engaging the Countess took little part in the action. On the way to check up on the duel which developed between the Countess and the Pallas, Landais fired a broadside at Serapis, which was by then immobile, and lashed firmly alongside Bonhomme Richard- as a result both ships were damaged. Some time later, with Bonhomme Richard losing its duel, Alliance returned to the main battle, and Jones happily "... thought the battle was at an end ...." But, to his "... utter astonishment", Landais' ship "... discharged a broadside full into the stern of the Bonhomme Richard." Jones and his crew "... called to him [Landais] for God's sake to forbear firing into the Bonhomme Richard, yet he passed along off the side of the ship and continued firing." This, however, was just more collateral damage, resulting from Landais' policy of keeping well out of the line of the guns on the free side of Serapis. Unable to move his ship (either to escape or to aim a broadside at Alliance) Captain Pearson of Serapis surrendered within a short time. Following the surrender, Alliance stood by during a desperate struggle to save the shattered, burning, leaking hulks. On the evening of the day after the battle, Jones realized that, while his flagship was doomed, her conquered opponent would probably survive. He, therefore, transferred his crew from Bonhomme Richard to Serapis and, the next morning, sadly watched the former sink. All this time, the squadron was simply drifting away from the British coast, but by 29 September, untiring labor had enabled Serapis to get underway, and, following French orders which were somewhat contrary to Jones's wishes, they headed for the coast of the Netherlands. Alliance sighted land on the evening of 2 October and, the following morning, she anchored in Texel Roads, Amsterdam's deep-water harbor, with the rest of the squadron. When word of the battle reached London, the Admiralty ordered its nearby men-of-war to search for Jones' flotilla; the Royal Navy proceeded to look in all of the wrong places. By the time a merchantman informed London that Jones was at Texel Roads, the victorious allies and their prizes had been safe at anchor there for a week. The Royal Navy then set up a tight blockade off the Dutch port to check any seaward movement that the American squadron might attempt. Meanwhile, the British ambassador - hoping to win for his country by diplomacy the victory and vindication it had been denied in ordeal by combat pressed the Government of the Dutch Republic to return both Serapis and Countess of Scarborough to England. Failing that he demanded that Jones' squadron be expelled from Texel and thus forced into the jaws of the Royal Navy's blockading squadron. Indeed, on 12 November, the Netherlands Navy had moved a squadron of ships of the line to Texel, and its commanding officer had ordered Jones to sail with the first favorable wind. Nevertheless, the adroit commodore managed to stall his departure for over six weeks. By that time, he had managed to restore Alliance to top trim and to ready her for sea. Since the other ships in his squadron had by this time, for complex diplomatic and legalistic reasons, shifted to flying French colors Jones decided to leave them behind when he left Holland in Alliance. He had long since relieved Landais in command of that frigate, pending an official inquiry into his conduct during the cruise. On the morning of 27 December, after foul weather had forced the British blockaders off their stations, an easterly wind sprang up and enabled Alliance to stand out to sea. She dropped the pilot an hour before noon and headed southwest along the Netherlands coast. Less than a day later the frigate transited Dover Strait and entered the English Channel. On the night of 31 December, she was off Ushant, an island off the westernmost tip of Brittany, when 1779 gave way to 1780.  1780 For just over a fortnight thereafter, she cruised to the south looking for British shipping; but, with the exception of one small English brig which she took, the ship encountered only friendly or neutral vessels. On 16 January 1780, Jones decided to visit Corunna, Spain, for provisions and maintenance which entailed shortening the frigate's main yard and scraping her bottom. On the 27th, she got underway in company with the French frigate Le Sensible. Want of winter clothing then prevented Jones from beginning an extended cruise in quest of prizes; and, instead, the ship struggled across the Bay of Biscay against head winds along a roughly northeasterly course toward L'Orient. En route, she recaptured a wine-laden French barque - a prize which had been taken by an English privateer - and saved the foundering vessel's cargo before the barque sank. She also chanced upon Livingston and escorted that tobacco-laden American merchantman to the French coast. Alliance anchored in Groix Roads on 10 February and moved into L'Orient harbor on the 19th. That day, Benjamin Franklin suggested that Jones take on a cargo of arms and uniform cloth for the American Army and promptly get underway for home. Jones agreed with Franklin's suggestion, but was kept in France for many months thereafter, attending to military, diplomatic, and social matters which he felt to be important to his country, to his crew, and to himself. Most of this time, he was away from his ship in Paris. Meanwhile, the deposed Landais had arrived at L'Orient seeking passage to America where he hoped to be vindicated in a trial by court-martial. There, he met Arthur Lee, a disaffected fellow commissioner of Franklin, who also wanted to return home. Lee - who also hated Jones - persuaded Alliance's former captain that neither Jones nor Franklin had had the authority to relieve him of command since Landais had held a Continental commission. Convinced that he had been wronged, Landais went on board the frigate and assumed command on 12 or 13 June. Jones arrived at L'Orient, where he heard of this coup. He journeyed to Paris and obtained support from Franklin and M. de Sartine, the French Minister of Marine. When Jones returned to L'Orient on 20 June, he found that Alliance had already weighed anchor and moved to Port Louis, where a recently emplaced boom blocked her path. The batteries that guarded the port, as well as three French warships, had received orders to fire on the frigate it she attempted to stand out to sea. Surprisingly, Jones then interceded with the French authorities asking them to allow the ship to pass. He justified this action as springing from a desire to avoid wasting lives, losing the fine frigate, and straining Franco-American friendship by having French forces attack an American warship. It must be noted that the hero of Flamborough may have been rationalizing to conceal less lofty motives. Samuel Eliot Morison strongly endorsed this hypothesis: "The conclusion is inescapable, that Jones was not particularly eager to regain command of Alliance. He had to pretend that he was, of course, but actually he felt well rid of her, and of Landais too." Alliance was allowed to leave France unmolested. Her homeward voyage proved to be anything but routine. Landais quarreled with his officers, abused his men, and made life miserable for his passengers. The ship had hardly lost sight of land when he locked up Capt. Matthew Parke because the commanding officer of the embarked Marine Corps contingent refused to swear unconditional obedience under all possible circumstances. Any seamen who had joined the frigate after Bonhomme Richard had sunk were suspected of disloyalty, many were shackled and imprisoned in the ship's rat-infested hold. Even Arthur Lee, who had urged the Frenchman to take command, came close to being stabbed with a carving knife for taking the first slice of roast pig at dinner. In operating and navigating the ship Landais gave orders which violated the rules of safe and sensible seamanship. The fearful and exasperated officers and passengers finally agreed that the commanding officer must be insane, and they forcibly relieved him of command on 11 August. Alliance continued on to America in a happier and more orderly fashion under the command of Lt. James A. Degge. She arrived at Boston on 19 August 1780. The Navy Board at that port promptly gathered information on the events of the voyage and sent a hasty report to Philadelphia where the Board of Admiralty immediately ordered a thorough investigation of the whole affair. At the same time it appointed Capt. John Barry to take command of the ship and make her ready for sea with great dispatch. Barry arrived at Boston on 19 September with orders stripping Landais of all claim to command of the frigate. That unfortunate officer had shut himself up in the captain's cabin and refused to leave, and he was now forcibly carried off the ship by a party of marines led by his first adversary of the voyage, Capt. Parke. Trials of Landais and Degge resulted in the ousting of both men from the service.  1781 Meanwhile, efforts to restore Alliance to fighting trim progressed slowly - when they moved at all - because of a dearth of both men and money. Funds for the necessary yard work and for provisioning and manning the ship were slow in reaching Boston until Col. John Laurens - a former aide-de-camp to General George Washington, a successful battlefield commander, and an exchanged prisoner of war - appeared there on 25 January 1781. Congress had appointed Laurens as its envoy extraordinary to France because his military experience seemed to fit him to become a convincing spokesman for Washington's needy army. It had also selected Alliance as the speediest and safest ship to carry the dashing young officer to Europe. The urgency of Alliance's new mission made the funds and crew available so that the ship was ready to sail by the end of the first week of February. A favorable wind came up on the 11th enabling her to depart Nantasket Roads and stand out to sea. Five days later, she entered crowded ice fields and suffered "considerable damage" as she forced her way through. Her crew contained many British sailors, a group of whom plotted to take over the frigate and to kill all her officers but one who would be spared to navigate the vessel to an English port. However, Barry took careful precautions to prevent the mutiny from erupting. While she sailed eastward Barry, followed the orders of the Naval Committee to not pursue any shipping which would delay his progress. Yet, on 4 March, the frigate encountered a ship and a British cruiser. . One shot brought both vessels to. The cruiser proved to be the English privateer Alert and her consort was Buono Campagnia, a prize which the Britisher had recently taken. Barry took Alert as a prize, but released the merchantman. Five days later, on 9 March, the frigate anchored in Groix Roads and disembarked her important passenger and his three companions: Thomas Paine, whose writings had exerted great influence in persuading the colonies to seek independence, Major William Jackson, a Continental Army officer from South Carolina, and the vicomte de Noailles, a cousin of Lafayette. After almost three weeks in port, Alliance headed home on the afternoon of 29 March, escorting Marquis De Lafayette, an old, French East Indiaman which an American agent had chartered to carry a valuable cargo of arms and uniforms for the Continental Army. Before the month was out, Barry discovered and investigated a mutiny plot and punished the conspirators. At dawn on 2 April a lookout sighted two ships to the northwest, Barry headed toward the strangers and ordered the Indiaman to follow. Undaunted, the distant vessels - which proved to be two British brigs - continued to approach the little American convoy and fired a broadside at the frigate as they passed abreast. Two answering salvoes from Alliance robbed the larger English vessel of her rigging and forced her to strike her colors. Barry ordered Marquis De Lafayette to attend to the captured foe while he pursued and took the second brig. The first prize, a new and fast privateer from Guernsey named Mars though badly damaged, was repaired and sent to Philadelphia under an American crew. Marquis De Lafayette provided the prize crew for the smaller vessel, a Jersey privateer named Minerva. Barry ordered the prizemaster of this vessel to head for Philadelphia but Marquis De Lafayette's captain had secretly ordered him to head for France if he had a chance to slip away. On the night of 17 April, foul weather separated Mars from the convoy. Nevertheless, that prize dutifully continued on toward the Delaware capes. Minerva slipped away during the next night and apparently set course for the Bay of Biscay. Marquis De Lafayette dropped out of sight during a fierce storm on the night of the 25th. After spending two days looking for her lost charge, Alliance continued on toward America alone. On 2 May, she took two sugar-laden Jamaicamen. Off Newfoundland Banks later that day, the frigate sighted, but escaped the attention of a large convoy from Jamaica and its Royal Navy escorts. Ironically, a few days before, the missing Marquis De Lafayette and her treacherous master had fallen prey to this same British force. Almost continuous bad weather plagued Barry's little force in the days that followed until Alliance permanently lost sight of her two prizes on 12 May. During a tempest on the 17th, lightning shattered the frigate's main topmast and carried away her main yard while damaging her foremast and injuring almost a score of men. Jury-rigged repairs had been completed when Barry observed two vessels approaching him from windward 10 days later but his ship was still far from her best fighting trim. The two strangers kept pace with Alliance roughly a league off her starboard beam. At first dawn, they hoisted British colors and prepared for battle. Although all three ships were almost completely becalmed, the American drifted within hailing distance of larger vessel about an hour before noon; Barry learned that was the sloop of war HMS Atalanta. Her smaller consort proved to be Trepassey, also a sloop of war. The American captain then identified his own vessel and invited Atalanta's commanding officer surrender. A few moments later, Barry opened the inevitable battle with a broadside. The sloops immediately pulled out of field of fire of the frigate's broadsides and took positions as of their foe where their guns could pound her with near impunity In the motionless air, Alliance - too large to be propelled by sweeps - was powerless to maneuver. A grapeshot hit Barry's left shoulder, seriously wounding him, but he continued to direct the fighting until loss of blood almost robbed him of consciousness. Capt. Hoystead Hacker, the frigate's executive officer, took command as Barry was carried to the cockpit for treatment. Hacker fought the ship with valor and determination until her inability to maneuver out of her relatively defenseless position prompted him to seek Barry's permission to surrender. Indignantly, the wounded captain refused to allow this and asked to be brought back on deck to resume command. Inspired by Barry's zeal, Hacker returned to the fray. Then a wind sprang up and restored the battered frigate's steerage way, enabling her to bring her battery back into action. Two devastating broadsides knocked Trepassey out of the fight. Another broadside forced Atalanta to strike, ending the bloody affair. The next day, while carpenters labored to repair all three ships, Barry transferred all of his prisoners to Trepassey which - as a cartel ship - would carry them to St. John's, Newfoundland, to be exchanged for American prisoners. Temporary repairs to Atalanta ended on the last day of May, and the prize got underway for Boston. After more patching her battered hull and rigging, Alliance set out the next day and reached Boston on 6 June. While Barry recuperated, her repairs were again delayed by want of funds. Lord Cornwallis surrendered his army at Yorktown, ending the war's last major action on land, but not the war, well before she was ready for sea. As had happened before, her restoration to service was hastened by decision to use the frigate to carry an important person to France. Lafayette - who had completed his work in America with a major role in the Yorktown campaign - arrived in Boston on 10 December 1781, wanting to return home. Even with the aid of the Marquis' great influence, a full fortnight passed before she could put to sea on Christmas Eve 1781.  1782 The ship arrived off L'Orient on 17 January 1782 and disembarked Lafayette and his party. Barry wanted to make a cruise in European waters to capture British shipping which would yield crewmen to be used in freeing American prisoners by exchange. Alliance got underway in February and headed for the Bay of Biscay. Accompanying her out was the American letter-of-marque brig Antonio which was bound for home. Three days later, she chased and overhauled an American brigantine which jettisoned her guns in an effort to escape. Antonio's commander offered to escort the unfortunate, and now defenseless, merchantman to Philadelphia and they parted from Barry the next day. Alliance encountered only friendly and neutral shipping before putting in at L'Orient on February. Barry remained in port more than two weeks awaiting dispatches from Paris containing Franklin's observations on the diplomatic scene and on prospects for England's recognition of American independence and negotiations for peace. The messages arrived on 15 March, and the following day Alliance headed home. Wretched weather and contrary winds plagued the ship for much of the voyage. The almost incessant northerly blasts forced her south into hot, unhealthful climes. Eight men died before the end of April when she managed to turn north with the trade winds and head for the Delaware River. The frigate reached Cape Henlopen on 10 May, but found it guarded by a Royal Navy ship of the line which - in company with a tender - gave chase. Fleeing south and eluding her pursuers, Alliance turned north around Montauk Point and across Long Island Sound to New London, Connecticut, where she arrived on 13 May. Although hopeful of soon beginning another cruise, Barry again was frustrated by the inevitable shortages of men, money, and material. Almost three months passed before Alliance was finally ready for sea. She reentered Long Island Sound on 4 August and almost immediately took Adventure, a Rhode Island brigantine which had fallen prey to an English privateer. Barry sent the prize back to New London and unsuccessfully sought her captor. On the 10th, while sailing toward Bermuda, the frigate captured the schooner Polly and sent her to Boston. On the 25th, she retook Fortune, a Connecticut sloop which the British privateer Hawk had seized on the 16th. At the end of August, Barry headed north in quest of stragglers from a convoy which had sailed from Jamaica a bit over a month before. A week later he made a prize of Somerset, a Nantucket whaler that had been sailing under a British pass. On 18 September Alliance captured a damaged British brig and learned that a storm had scattered the Jamaica convoy sinking or crippling both escorts and merchantmen. Making temporary repairs to this prize, Barry sent her to Boston and then began looking for the Jamaicamen. On the 24th he captured Britannia and Anna, carrying coffee, logwood, sugar, and rum. On the 27th the snow Commerce became his prize. The next day he captured the dismasted Kingston. Though he would have preferred to take his prizes home Barry was now closer to Europe. Prevailing westerly winds clinched the matter, prompting him to head for France. The eastward passage was slow and stormy, but the convoy reached Groix Roads on 17 October. Alliance got underway again on 9 December 1782 for the West Indies.  1783 At the end of a largely uneventful passage, she anchored off Saint-Pierre, Martinique, on 8 January 1783. There Barry found orders to sail to Havana to pick up a large quantity of gold and to deliver it to Congress at Philadelphia. After brief repairs, Alliance resumed her voyage on the 13th, touched at St. Eustatius and Cape Francois, and reached Havana on the last day of January. However, another American warship, USS Duc de Lauzun, was already in port on the same mission. The specie had already been loaded on that ship, and Barry decided to escort her home. The inevitable delays kept both ships in port until 6 March. The next day, they encountered two Royal Navy frigates which gave chase. Barry chose not to fight these warships rather than risk losing the funds his consort carried, and the American vessels successfully eluded their pursuers. Three days later they encountered the same pair - HMS Alarm and HMS Sibyl - in company with sloop-of-war HMS Tobago. Still striving to avoid risk to the desperately needed money he was carrying to Congress, Barry again headed southwest to escape from these unidentified strangers and ordered her consort to follow. Far off in that direction, the rigging of another ship appeared over the horizon, sailing away from the others. Soon Alliance was noticeably pulling away from the pursuers but Duc de Lauzun - second in line - was losing ground to Alarm. In the distance, the newcomer was seen to change course and head toward Alliance. Alarm evidently gave up the chase and headed away. Sybil pressed on and soon began firing at Duc de Lauzun. Confident in both Alliance's speed and her fighting ability, Barry maneuvered her between Sybil and Duc De Lauzun to demand the full attention of the former so that the latter might slip away to safety. Sybil then turned her fire toward Alliance and managed to send one shot from her bow chaser into the American frigate's cabin, mortally wounding a junior officer and scattering many splinters. Yet Barry held Alliance's fire until she was within a "pistol's shot" of her opponent. At that point, a broadside from the American warship opened some 40 minutes of close-in fighting which finally forced Sybil to flee in the wake of Alarm and Tobago. Ship's logs indicate that this battle was fought off the coast of Cape Canaveral. Captain Vashon, commander HMS Sybil, is recorded as saying “he had never seen a ship so ably fought as the Alliance.” Captain Vashon is further quoted as saying of Barry, “every quality of a great commander was brought out with extraordinary brilliancy”. Meanwhile, the Treaty of Paris which ended the war and recognized the independence of the United States had been ratified on 3 February 1783, some five weeks before the battle in which Alliance fired the last shot of the American Revolutionary War. The two American ships again headed home on the day following their brush with the British, 11 March, but separated off Cape Hatteras a week later. On the 19th, Alliance met a British ship of the line as she headed in toward the Delaware capes. She gave chase and forced Alliance back out to sea. This created a diversion which allowed Duc De Lauzun to slip into the Delaware unmolested and ascend the river to Philadelphia. Alliance continued on northward and arrived at Newport, Rhode Island, at midafternoon on 20 March 1783. Since that port could easily be raided by British men-of-war, she soon proceeded up Narragansett Bay and anchored just below Providence. There, her crew was reduced to peacetime needs, and she was thoroughly overhauled. Ordered to proceed to Chesapeake Bay to take on a cargo of tobacco for shipment to Europe, the frigate got underway on 20 June, but, headed for sea, she struck a rock and was stranded until high tide. Upon floating free, Alliance still seemed to be tight and resumed her voyage via the Virginia Capes and the lower Chesapeake Bay to the Rappahannock River. She then moved up that river where she began taking on tobacco. When completely loaded, she headed downstream on 21 August and sailed into the Atlantic three days later. Soon after the ship entered the open sea, water rose rapidly in her hold. A hasty investigation revealed that a leak had developed where she had struck the rock weeks before. The crew's attempts to stem the influx failed, forcing Barry to head for the Delaware. Further examination of the ship at Philadelphia ruled out any quick remedy and caused Congress to cancel the voyage. Her tobacco was transferred to other ships and her crew was further reduced to the bare minimum necessary to keep her in reasonably satisfactory condition. When the survey board reported that the necessary repairs would be quite expensive, no funds were available for the task.  1785-1788 It seems that the work was never done before Alliance - the last ship left in the Continental Navy - was sold in Philadelphia on 1 August 1785 to John Coburn and a partner named Whitehead. These gentlemen subsequently sold her to Robert Morris who converted the vessel to an East Indiaman. Her new owner - who, as the guiding spirit on naval matters in the Continental Congress and that body's Agent of Marine in the later years of the American struggle for independence, had directed her operations - selected Thomas Read as her master during her first merchant service. That former captain in the Continental Navy took her to China by a new route through the Dutch East Indies and the Solomon Islands. She departed Philadelphia in June 1787 and arrived at Canton on 22 December of that year. While passing through the Carolines on the outward voyage Read found two islands which were not on his chart and named the first - probably Ponape - Morris, and the second, Alliance. At Canton he loaded the ship with tea which he delivered back at Philadelphia on 17 September 1788, ending a record voyage.  After 1788 Apparently, no details of Alliance's subsequent career have survived. However, when she was no longer seaworthy, the former frigate was abandoned on the shore of Petty Island across the Delaware from Philadelphia. At low tide, some of her timbers could be seen in the sands there until her remaining hulk was destroyed during dredging operations in 1901. 7. USS Hartford, a sloop-of-war, was the first ship of the United States Navy named for Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. Hartford was launched 22 November 1858 at the Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Miss Carrie Downes, Miss Lizzie Stringham, and Lieutenant G. J. H. Preble; and commissioned 27 May 1859, Captain Charles Lowndes in command.  Service history  East India Squadron, 1859–1861 After shakedown out of Boston, the new screw sloop of war, carrying Flag Officer Cornelius K. Stribling, the newly appointed commander of the East India Squadron, sailed for the Cape of Good Hope and the Far East. Upon reaching the Orient, Hartford relieved Mississippi as flagship. In November she embarked the American Minister to China, John Elliott Ward, at Hong Kong and carried him to Canton, Manila, Swatow, Shanghai, and other Far Eastern ports to settle American claims and to arrange for favorable consideration of the Nation's interests.  Civil War, 1861–1865 With the outbreak of the American Civil War, Hartford was ordered home. She departed the Sunda Strait with Dacotah on 30 August 1861 and arrived Philadelphia on 2 December to be fitted out for wartime service. She departed the Delaware Capes on 28 January as flagship of Flag Officer David G. Farragut, the commander of the newly created West Gulf Blockading Squadron. An even larger purpose than the important blockade of the South's Gulf Coast lay behind Farragut's assignment. Late in 1861, the Union high command decided to capture New Orleans, the South's richest and most populous city, to begin a drive of sea-based power up the Mississippi River to meet the Union Army which was to drive down the Mississippi valley behind a spearhead of armored gunboats. "Other operations," Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles warned Farragut, "must not be allowed to interfere with the great object in view—the certain capture of the city of New Orleans." Hartford arrived 20 February at Ship Island, Mississippi, midway between Mobile Bay and the mouths of the Mississippi. Several Union ships and a few Army units were already in the vicinity when the squadron's flagship dropped anchor at the advanced staging area for the attack on New Orleans. In ensuing weeks a mighty fleet assembled for the campaign. In mid-March Commander David Dixon Porter's flotilla of mortar schooners arrived towed by steam gunboats. The next task was to get Farragut's ships across the bar, a constantly shifting mud bank at the mouth of each pass entering the Mississippi. Farragut managed to get all of his ships but Colorado across the bar and into the river where Forts St. Philip and Jackson challenged further advance. A line of hulks connected by strong barrier chains, six ships of the Confederate Navy—including ironclad Manassas and unfinished but potentially deadly ironclad Louisiana, two ships of the Louisiana Navy, a group of converted river steamers called the Confederate River Defense Fleet, and a number of fire rafts also stood between Farragut and the great Southern metropolis. On 16 April, the Union ships moved up the river to a position below the forts, and David Porter's gunboats first exchanged fire with the Southern guns. Two days later his mortar schooners opened a heavy barrage which continued for six days. On the 21st, the squadron's Fleet Captain, Henry H. Bell, led a daring expedition up river and, despite a tremendous fire on him, cut the chain across the river. In the early hours of 24 April, a red lantern on Hartford's mizzen peak signaled the fleet to get underway and steam through the breach in the obstructions. As the ships closed the forts their broadsides answered a fire from the Confederate guns. Porter's mortar schooners and gunboats remained at their stations below the southern fortifications covering the movement with rapid fire. Hartford dodged a run by ironclad ram Manassas; then, while attempting to avoid a fireraft, grounded in the swift current near Fort St. Philip. When the burning barge was shoved alongside the flagship, only Farragut's leadership and the training of the crew saved Hartford from being destroyed by flames which at one point engulfed a large portion of the ship. Meanwhile the sloop's gunners never slackened the pace at which they poured broadsides into the forts. As her firefighters snuffed out the flames, the flagship backed free of the bank. When Farragut's ships had run the gantlet and passed out of range of the fort's guns, the Confederate River Defense Fleet attempted to stop their progress. In the ensuing melee, they managed to sink converted merchantman Varwut, the only Union ship lost during the historic night.  Battle of New Orleans, 1862 Main article: Battle of New Orleans (American Civil War) The next day, after silencing Confederate batteries, a few miles below New Orleans, Hartford and her sister ships anchored off the city early in the afternoon. A handful of ships and men had won a great decisive victory that secured the South could not win the war. Early in May, Farragut ordered several of his ships up stream to clear the river and followed himself in Hartford on the 7th to join in the conquest of the valley. Defenseless, Baton Rouge and Natchez promptly surrendered to the Union ships and no significant opposition was encountered until 18 May when the Confederate commandant at Vicksburg replied to Commander Samuel P. Lee's demand for surrender: "... Mississippians don't know and refuse to learn, how to surrender to an enemy. If Commodore Farragut or Brigadier General Butler can teach them, let them come and try." When Farragut arrived on the scene a few days later, he learned that heavy Southern guns mounted on the bluff at Vicksburg some 200 feet (60 m) above the river could shell his ships while his own guns could not be elevated enough to hit them back. Since sufficient troops were not available to take the fortress by storm, the Flag Officer headed downstream on 27 May leaving gunboats to blockade it from below. Orders awaited Farragut at New Orleans, where he arrived on 30 May, directing him to open the river and join the Western Flotilla and stating that Abraham Lincoln himself had given the task highest priority. The Flag Officer recalled Porter's mortar schooners from Mobile, Alabama and dutifully got underway up the Mississippi in Hartford on 8 June.  Battle of Vicksburg, 1863 Main article: Siege of Vicksburg The Union Squadron was assembled just below Vicksburg by 26 June. Two days later the Union ships, their own guns blazing at rapid fire and covered by an intense barrage from the mortars, suffered little damage while running past the batteries. Flag Officer Davis, commanding the Western Flotilla, joined Farragut above Vicksburg on the 30th; but again, naval efforts to take Vicksburg were frustrated by a lack of troops. "Ships," Porter commented, "... cannot crawl up hills 300 feet high, and it is that part of Vicksburg which must be taken by the Army." On 22 July, Farragut received orders to return down the river at his discretion and he got underway on 24 July, reached New Orleans in four days, and after a fortnight sailed to Pensacola, Florida, for repairs. The flagship returned to New Orleans on 9 November to prepare for further operations in the unpredictable waters of the Mississippi. The Union Army, ably supported by the Mississippi Squadron, was pressing, on Vicksburg from above, and Farragut wanted to assist in the campaign by blockading the mouth of the Red River from which supplies were pouring eastward to the Confederate Army. Meanwhile, the South had been fortifying its defenses along the river and had erected powerful batteries at Port Hudson, Louisiana. On the night of 14 March, Farragut in Hartford and accompanied by six other ships, attempted to run by these batteries. However, they encountered such heavy and accurate fire that only the flagship and Albatross, lashed alongside, succeeded in running the gantlet. Thereafter, Hartford and her consort patrolled between Port Hudson and Vicksburg denying the Confederacy desperately needed supplies from the West. Porter's Mississippi Squadron, cloaked by night, dashed downstream past the Vicksburg batteries on 16 April, while General Ulysses S. Grant marched his troops overland to a new base also below the Southern stronghold. April closed with the Navy ferrying Grant's troops across the river to Bruinsburg whence they encircled Vicksburg and forced the beleaguered fortress to surrender on 4 July. With the Mississippi River now opened, Farragut turned his attention to Mobile, a Confederate industrial center still building ships and turning out war supplies. The Battle of Mobile Bay took place on 5 August 1864. Farragut, with Hartford as his flagship, led a fleet consisting of four ironclad monitors and 14 wooden vessels. The Confederate naval force was composed of newly built ram Tennessee, Admiral Franklin Buchanan's flagship, and gunboats Selma, Morgan, and Gaines; and backed by the powerful guns of Forts Morgan and Gaines in the Bay. From the firing of the first gun by Fort Morgan to the raising of the white flag of surrender by Tennessee little more than three hours elapsed—but three hours of terrific fighting on both sides. The Confederates had only 32 casualties, while the Union forces suffered 335 casualties, including 113 men drowned in Tecumseh when the monitor struck a torpedo and sank.  Pacific, 1865–1926 Returning to New York on 13 December, Hartford decommissioned for repairs a week later. Back in shape in July 1865, she served as flagship of a newly-organized Asiatic Squadron until August 1868 when she returned to New York and decommissioned. Recommissioned 9 October 1872, she resumed Asiatic Station patrol until returning home 19 October 1875. In 1882, as Captain Stephen B. Luce's flagship of the North Atlantic Station, Hartford visited the Caroline Islands, Hawaii, and Valparaíso, Chile, before arriving San Francisco on 17 March 1884. She then cruised in the Pacific until decommissioning 14 January 1887 at Mare Island, California, for apprentice sea-training use. From 1890 to 1899 Hartford was laid up at Mare Island, the last five years of which she was being rebuilt. On 2 October 1899, she recommissioned, then transferred to the Atlantic coast to be used for a training and cruise ship for midshipmen until 24 October 1912 when she was transferred to Charleston, for use as a station ship.  Final years, 1926–1956 Wheel and fife rail from the USS Hartford; displayed at the U.S. Navy Museum in Washington, D.C.Again placed out of commission 20 August 1926, Hartford remained at Charleston until moved to Washington, D.C., on 18 October 1938. On 19 October 1945, she was towed to the Norfolk Navy Yard and classified as a relic. Unfortunately she was allowed to deteriorate and as a result Hartford sank at her berth on 20 November 1956. She proved beyond salvage and was subsequently dismantled. Remains Major relics from her are at various locations: Her wheel and fife rail are displayed at the U.S. Navy Museum in Washington, D.C. A rowboat from the Hartford is located at the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus One of her anchors now sits at the University of Hartford One of her Parrott rifles is on display in Freeport, New York. Two of her Dahlgren smoothbore cannon are on display at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut Her figurehead is displayed in the Connecticut State Capitol Her capstan resides in St. Petersburg, Florida at Admiral Farragut Academy, a college preparatory school named after her captain Metal from the propeller of the Hartford was used in the statue of David Farragut at Farragut Square in downtown Washington, D.C. Unspecified relic(s) are at the Washington Navy Yard Her Ship's bell can be found on Constitution Plaza in Hartford, Connecticut, (in front of the old state house) in the eastern court yard by the clock tower. 8. The first USS Cumberland was a 50-gun sailing frigate of the United States Navy. She was the first ship sunk by the ironclad CSS Virginia. Cumberland began in the pages of a Congressional Act. Congress passed in 1816 'An act for the gradual increase of the Navy of the United States.' The act called for the United States to build several ships-of-the-line and several new frigates, of which Cumberland was one of them. Money issues, however, prevented Cumberland from being finished in a timely manner. It was not until Secretary of the Navy Able Parker Upshaw came to office that the ship was finished. A war scare with Britain led Upshaw to order the completion of several wooden sailing ships and for the construction of new steam powered ships. Designed by famed American designer William Doughty, Cumberland was one a series of frigates in a class called the Raritan-class. The design borrowed heavily from older American frigate designs such as Constitution and Chesapeake. Specifically, Doughty liked the idea of giving a frigate more guns than European designs called for. As a result, he called for Cumberland and her sister ships to have a fully armed spar deck, along with guns on the gun deck. The result was a heavily armed, 50-gun warship.  First Mediterranean Cruise She was launched 24 May 1842 by Boston Navy Yard. Her first commanding officer was Captain S. L. Breese, and her first service was as flagship of the Mediterranean Squadron from 1843 to 1845 where she had among her officers men like Foote (who served as executive officer) and Dahlgren (who served as a flag aide to Commodore Joseph Smith). The ship sailed to several parts of the Mediterranean including Port Mahon (homeport for U.S. Navy ships operating in the Mediterranean at this time), Genoa, Naples, Toulon, Jaffa, and Alexandria. The cruise was largely uneventful, though there was a diplomatic scuffle with the Sultan of Morocco who refused to recognize the newly appointed American ambassador. The incident possibly was the result of the Sultan being misled by the outgoing American ambassador who did not want to leave his post. Smith cleared up the misunderstanding and the new ambassador assumed his duties. The most notable event was Foote's successful effort to ban the grog ration. He believed it was a grand success in turning sailors into harder working, upstanding men. It later became Department policy in 1862 and it is still in effect to this day (with some exceptions.)  Mexican-American War As the ship was being made ready for a second trip to the Mediterranean, the Secretary of the Navy ordered the vessel to Mexico to assist in a show of force off the coast of Vera Cruz. Here she was flagship of the Home Squadron between February and December 1846, serving in the Gulf of Mexico during the Mexican-American War under the command of Commodore David Conner and Captain Thomas Dulay. Captain French Forrest later took command when Dulay fell ill. Other notable officers in this cruise were future Civil War rivals Raphael Semmes and John Winslow. The ship oversaw the blockade of the eastern Mexican coast for most of the war. She participated in several aborted attacks on Mexican ports, before running aground on 28 July off the coast of Alvarado. The ship was freed and her ship's company later participated in a raid on Tabasco. The grounding damaged her enough to force her to retire to Norfolk for repairs. Her crew, however, stayed behind and swapped ships with the crew of the sister frigate USS Raritan, which had been at sea for three years. The old crew participated in the siege of Vera Cruz as part of the Naval battery. Cumberland returned to Mexico just as a cease fire was in place. Commodore Matthew C. Perry took over as flag officer from Conner. From Cumberland, Perry was instructed by the Polk Administration to assist settlers fleeing a major Mayan insurrection (known as the Caste War of Yucatán). Perry was also ordered to enforce the Monroe Doctrine and keep Spanish and English forces from interfering. With no realistic way to assist the setters Perry partially ignored the order when Spanish warships arrived from Cuba loaded with guns, bullets, and money. Perry left the region when he read that the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo had been ratified.  Second Mediterranean Cruise Cumberland made her second cruise to the Mediterranean from 1849 to 1851. Notable officers on board during the second and third cruises to the Mediterranean included Louis Goldsborough, John Upshur, Silas Stringham, Andrew Hardwood, John Worden (future commanding of officer of USS Monitor), and naval surgeon Dr. Edward Squibb (co-founder of the company now known as Bristol Myers Squibb) Cumberland's primary mission during these two cruises was to uphold American neutrality during a very turbulent period in European history by assisting American diplomats, merchants, and increasingly large number of American missionaries. The ship made visits to La Spezia (the U.S. Navy's new overseas homeport after being expelled from Port Mahon), Naples, Trieste, and Brindisi. At one point police in Naples boarded the ship based on a false rumor that Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi was on board. The ship also sailed to the eastern half the Mediterranean and visited Athens, Beirut, and Alexandria.  Third Mediterranean Cruise USS Cumberland holding a grand ball in the harbor of La Spezia, Kingdom of Sardinia, 1853During the third cruise, the ship worked closely with diplomat and early environmentalist George Perkins Marsh who was serving as American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Marsh needed Cumberland's help in dealing with zealous Greek priests who were harassing American missionaries, notably Rev. Jonas King. Commodore Stringham and Marsh met with Greek monarch King Otto and stopped the harassment. Marsh needed Cumberland a second time when the powers of Europe were about to clash in the Crimean War. Stringham invited any American on board who felt they needed protection or assistance. Abd-ul-Mejid I, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, invited Stringham and Marsh for an official visit to determine the position of the United States in a possible war with Russia. Both Stringham and Marsh expressed their sympathies to the Sultan but maintained American neutrality on the subject. The third was long even by 19th century standards. Due to a lack of sailors to man a replacement ship, Secretary of the Navy James C. Dobbin did not recall Cumberland until the ship had been at sea for three years. The ship returned home to Boston in 1855.  Conversion Between 1855 and 1857, Cumberland was razeed at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. From his office in Washington, D.C., John L. Lenhart, the chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, directed the changes to the ship. The Navy gave her new weapons in the form of 24 Dahlgren smoothbore cannons (22 IX-inch and 2 X-inch). By razeeing the ship, Cumberland got an extension of life. The Navy made her a lighter ship and thus slightly faster. Specifically, the shipyard workers removed the top deck, removed the quarter galleries, removed all guns from the spar deck, and removed several of sections of wood. This move was assisted by the revolution in naval weapons that provided more powerful guns (and thus needing fewer guns). While steam powered ships were entering the fleet, there was still a need for all the sail ships. As late as 1860, Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey suggested that all Potomac-class frigates be razeed.  Africa/Slave Trade Patrol From 1857 to 1859 she cruised on the coast of Africa as flagship of the African Squadron patrolling for the suppression of the slave trade. Like many U.S. Navy ships in Africa, Cumberland employed a number of Krooman (indigenous Africans who lived on the western coast) to serve as scouts, interpreters, and fishermen. The ship's surgeons had to deal with a number of issues, including an outbreak of smallpox. Cumberland boarded several dozen merchant ships. Her crew almost seized one, the schooner Cortez, after shackles and known slave trading items had been found on the deck of the schooner, a slave trading holding pen had been spotted in the distance, the ship's papers were highly suspect, and the ship was far from any port. Cumberland's boarding officer, however, chose not seize the ship possibly realizing the legal difficulty of bringing slave traders to trial without overwhelming evidence. Cortez was later captured by HMS Arrow in 1858 off the coast of Cuba. Otherwise, the ship served as the squadron's supply vessel providing supplies to the other three ships in the squadron, the sloops-of-war Dale, Vincennes, and Marion and served as roving diplomat along the three thousand mile coast line.  Home Squadron After her return from Africa, Cumberland became flagship of the Home Squadron in 1860. She made a return trip to Vera Cruz Mexico, which was in the middle of a civil war. The Navy recalled her to Hampton Roads, VA when domestic issues in the United States took a turn for the worse.  American Civil War At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Cumberland was at the Gosport Navy Yard, with orders to monitor the situation in Norfolk and Portsmouth. After the attack on Fort Sumter, the ship's company was ordered to gather up or destroy U.S. Government property. This included several crates of small arms and possibly (not yet confirmed) gold from the U.S. Customs House in Norfolk. The company was also ordered to spike all 3,000 guns at the Navy Yard within just a few hours. This latter task was impossible, given that only 100 sailors were assigned to the task. Sailors from the Yard and the barracks ship USS Pennsylvania boarded Cumberland as a part of the evacuation. She was towed out of the yard by the steam sloop USS Pawnee, escaping destruction when other ships there were scuttled and burned by Union forces 20 April 1861 to prevent their capture. She sailed back to Boston for repairs. The aft X-inch Dahlgren was removed and replaced with what many officers referred to as a 70-pounder rifle. This gun did not exist in the Navy's inventory at the time. It was possibly a 5.3-inch, 60-pounder Parrott Rifle. CSS Virginia ramming and sinking USS Cumberland, 1862.She sailed back to Hampton Roads and took up station as a blockader. She served as one several ships of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron until 8 March 1862. The sloop-of-war engaged Confederate forces in several minor actions in Hampton Roads and captured many small ships in the harbor. Additionally, Cumberland was a part of the expedition that captured the forts at Cape Hatteras. Cumberland was rammed and sunk in an engagement with the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) at Newport News, Virginia on 8 March 1862. The engagement known as the first day of the Battle of Hampton Roads between the two ships is considered to be a turning point in the history of world naval affairs as it showed the advantage of steam powered, armored ships over sail powered wooden hulled ships. It should be noted that because of Cumberland, Virginia lost two of her guns, her ram, and suffered some internal damage. Congress later recognized that Cumberland did more damage to Virginia than the U.S. Navy's ironclad USS Monitor, which did battle with Virginia the next day. The battle with CSS Virginia was commemorated in a poem On Board the Cumberland that was illustrated by F. O. C. Darley.  Salvage Cumberland became an archaeological site the moment she sank to a watery grave, in that the federal government almost immediately solicited work from salvage companies to secure valuable items from the shipwreck. In his memoir "When the Yankees Came" Virginia resident George Benjamin West described some post-war work on the USS Cumberland: "After the war ... I have very often been on the boats that worked on the Cumberland, first by a German named West and then by a company of Detroit, Michigan, which purchased her from West and which brought down a great many of the [Great] Lakes divers to try to secure the $40,000 in gold said to be in an iron chest in the paymaster's stateroom. ... ... His [the German diver West's] plan, as told to me, was to start under the stern, which lay down the river, and blow a hole in her and work towards the paymaster's stateroom. He did the diving himself and did not attempt to get any wreckage save the pieces he blew out of the side and brought up on deck, and the copper bolts cut out. The difficulty he had was the foiling-in of mud and sand, and having to grope in the utter darkness. It was very dangerous, and several times he was brought up unconscious." USS Cumberland. Image taken by a joint U.S. Navy/NOAA expedition.Occasional salvage of the shipwrecks continued into the early 20th century. In 1909 part of the Cumberland's anchor chain was recovered and sent to the museum of the Confederacy in Richmond (Newport News Daily Press, 12 November 1909). In 1981, the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) contracted with Underwater Archaeological Joint Ventures (UAJV), a private firm based in Yorktown, VA. UAJV team members consulted local watermen whose oyster dredges had picked up artifacts for years) to help locate the ships. This information and a remote sensing survey, led archaeologists to two significant wrecks. The recovery of numerous artifacts confirmed that these shipwrecks were most likely USS Cumberland and CSS Florida. Artifacts recovered included fasteners, fittings, apothecary vessels, a ship's bell (from Cumberland), canon fuses and other ordnance items. The artifacts proved the NUMA/UAJV team had indeed found Cumberland and Florida. Most of the artifacts from this NUMA/UAJV excavation are on exhibit at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in Norfolk, VA (Newport News Daily Press, 8 March 1987).  Cumberland today USS Cumberland is currently a ship wreck under the protection of several Federal laws including the Sunken Military Craft Act of 2005, the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987, and the Territorial Clause of the U.S. Constitution (which gives the U.S. Government exclusive rights to its own property). Federal courts have upheld these laws and the U.S. Government's exclusive rights to its own ships. Since her sinking, the ship has been the subject of many expeditions. Some of these expeditions have been in violation of Federal law and artifacts were seized by Federal agents. Many artifacts from these expeditions (both legal and illegal) are at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Wreck is facing west to east, with the bow of the vessel slightly above the floor of Hampton Roads. 9. USS Kearsarge, a Mohican-class sloop-of-war, is best known for her defeat of the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama during the American Civil War. The Kearsarge was the only ship of the United States Navy named for Mount Kearsarge in New Hampshire. Subsequent ships were named Kearsarge in honor of this ship, not of the mountain.  Hunting Confederate raiders She was built at Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine under the 1861 American Civil War emergency shipbuilding program. The new 1550-ton steam sloop of war was launched 11 September 1861 sponsored by Mrs. McFarland, wife of the editor of the Concord Statement, and commissioned on January 24, 1862, with Captain Charles W. Pickering in command. Soon after, she was hunting for Confederate raiders in European waters. Kearsarge departed Portsmouth on February 5, 1862, for the coast of Spain. She thence sailed to Gibraltar to join the blockade of Confederate raider Sumter, forcing her abandonment in December. However, Sumter's commanding captain, Raphael Semmes, soon commissioned Confederate raider CSS Alabama on the high seas off the Azores. From November 1862 through March 1863 Kearsarge prepared for her fight with Alabama at Cádiz, then searched for the raider from along the coast of Northern Europe to the Canaries, Madeira, and the Outer Hebrides. Arriving at Cherbourg, France, on June 14, 1864, she found Alabama in port where she had gone for repairs after a devastating cruise at the expense of 65 ships of the United States' merchant marine. Kearsarge took up patrol at the harbor's entrance to await Semmes' next move.  Sinking the Alabama Sinking of the CSS AlabamaOn June 19, Alabama stood out of Cherbourg Harbor for her last action. Mindful of French neutrality, Kearsarge's new commanding officer, Captain John Winslow, took the sloop-of-war clear of territorial waters, then turned to meet the Confederate cruiser. Alabama was the first to open fire, while Kearsarge held her reply until she had closed to less than 1,000 yards (1 km). Steaming on opposite courses, the ships moved in seven spiraling, circles on a southwesterly course as each commander tried to cross his opponent's bow to deliver deadly raking fire. The battle quickly turned against Alabama due to the quality of her long-stored and deteriorated powder, fuses, and shells. Unknown at the time to Captain Semmes aboard the Confederate raider, Kearsarge had been given added protection by chain cable triced in tiers along her port and starboard midsection abreast vital machinery. This hull armor had been installed in just three days, more than a year before, while Kearsarge was in port at the Azores. It was made using 120 fathoms (720 feet) of 1.7-inch (43 mm) single link iron chain and covered hull spaces 49 feet (15 m), six-inches (152 mm) long by six-feet, two-inches deep. It was stopped up and down to eye-bolts with marlines and secured by iron dogs. It was concealed behind one-inch deal-boards painted black to match the upper hull's color. This chaincladding was placed along Kearsarge's port and starboard midsection down to the waterline, for the purpose of protecting her engines and boilers when the upper portion of the cruiser's coal bunkers were empty. This armor belt was hit twice during the fight: First in the starboard gangway by one of Alabama's 32-pounder shells that cut the chain armor, denting the hull planking underneath, then again by a second 32-pounder shell that exploded and broke a link of the chain armor, tearing away a portion of the deal-board covering. If those rounds had come from Alabama's more powerful 100-pounder Blakely pivot rifle, the likely result would not have been too serious, as both struck the chain armor a little more than five feet above the waterline. Even if both shots had penetrated Kearsarge's side, they would have completely missed her vital machinery. One hour after she fired her first salvo, Alabama had been reduced to a sinking wreck by Kearsarge's powerful 11-inch Dahlgren smoothbore pivot cannons. Semmes struck his colors and sent a boat to Kearsarge with a message of surrender and an appeal for help. Kearsarge rescued the majority of Alabama's survivors, but Semmes and 41 others were picked up by British yacht Deerhound and escaped in her to the United Kingdom. "The Battle of the Kearsarge and the Alabama" by Édouard ManetThe battle between Kearsarge and Alabama is honored by the United States Navy by a battle star on the Civil War campaign streamer. In addition, 17 of the Kearsarge's crew received the Medal of Honor for valor during this action: Michael Ahern John F. Bickford William Bond James Haley Mark G. Ham George H. Harrison John Hayes James H. Lee Charles Moore Joachim Pease Thomas Perry William B. Poole Charles A. Read George E. Read James Saunders William Smith Robert Strahan The medals were awarded on December 31, 1864.  Home for repairs A photo of naval officers onboard the USS Kearsarge, including Captain John A. Winslow (foreground, third from the left), shortly after the sinking of the CSS Alabama.Kearsarge sailed along the French coast in an unsuccessful search for CSS Florida, thence proceeded to the Caribbean before turning northward for Boston, Massachusetts, where she decommissioned on November 26, 1864, for repairs. She recommissioned April 1, 1865, and sailed on April 14 for the coast of Spain in an attempt to intercept CSS Stonewall, but the Confederate ram eluded Federal ships and surrendered to Spanish authorities at Havana, Cuba, on May 19. After cruising the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel south to Monrovia, Liberia, Kearsarge decommissioned August 14, 1866, in the Boston Navy Yard.  Post War service Kearsarge recommissioned January 16, 1868, and sailed February 12 to serve in the South Pacific operating out of Valparaíso, Chile. On August 22 she landed provisions for destitute earthquake victims in Peru. She continued to watch over American commercial interests along the coast of South America until April 17, 1869. Then she sailed to watch over American interests among the Marquesas, Society Islands, Navigators Islands, and Fiji Islands. She also called at ports in New South Wales and New Zealand before returning to Callao, Peru, on October 31, 1869. She resumed duties on the South Pacific Station until July 21, 1870, then cruised to the Hawaiian Islands before decommissioning in the Mare Island Navy Yard on 11 October 1870. A replica of the USS Kearsarge was on display at the 1893 GAR National Convention in Indianapolis, IndianaKearsarge recommissioned on December 8, 1873, and departed on March 4, 1874, for Yokohama, Japan, arriving May 11. She cruised on Asiatic Station for three years, protecting American citizens and commerce in China, Japan, and the Philippines. From September 4 to December 13, 1874, she carried Professor Asaph Hall's scientific party from Nagasaki, Japan, to Vladivostok, Russia, to observe the transit of Venus. She departed Nagasaki on September 3, 1877, and returned to Boston December 30 via the Suez Canal and Mediterranean ports. She decommissioned at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on January 15, 1878. Kearsarge recommissioned May 15, 1879, for four years of duty in the North Atlantic ranging from Newfoundland to the Caribbean Sea and the coast of Panama. She departed New York August 21, 1883, to cruise for three years in Mediterranean, Northern European waters, and along the coast of Africa. She returned to Portsmouth on November 12 and decommissioned in the Portsmouth Navy Yard 1 December 1886.  Wrecked A cannon from the Kearsarge stood in West Park in Stamford, Connecticut from Memorial Day, 1901 until 1942, when it was hauled away as scrap metal during World War II. Cast at West Point in 1827, it had also been used on the USS Lancaster.Kearsarge recommissioned November 2, 1888, and largely spent her remaining years protecting American interests in the West Indies, off Venezuela, and along the Central Americas. She departed Haiti on January 30, 1894, for Bluefields, Nicaragua, but was wrecked on a reef off Roncador Cay on February 2, 1894. Her officers and crew safely made it ashore. Congress appropriated $45,000 to raise Kearsarge and tow her home; but a salvage team of the Boston Towboat Company found that she could not be raised. Some artifacts were saved from the ship, including the ship's Bible. The salvaged items, along with a damaged section of the stern post with an unexploded shell from Alabama still embedded in it, are now stored or displayed at the Washington Navy Yard. Kearsarge was struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1894. Liverpool writer Jimmy McGovern has written a play King Cotton which culminates with the battle between the Kearsage and the Alabama. It premiered at The Lowry in September 2007.