Tag Archives: USS Cumberland

The First Draft of Naval History: USS Minnesota’s Deck Log and the Battle of Hampton Roads

In naval circles, the deck log is sacred. It is a ship’s official record, documenting location, weather, personnel and supply transfers, and changes in course and speed. Anything significant, important, or novel is recorded in a ship’s log and signed … Continue reading

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Ships vs Forts 1861: Off to the Races

L to R: USS Harriet Lane (background), USS Wabash, USS Minnesota, USS Pawnee It was unthinkable for wooden warships in the long age of sail to engage massive forts mounting huge guns often firing heated shot plunging from the heights. … Continue reading

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Under Fire — Feeling Something Warm: A Gunner on USS Congress in the Battle of Hampton Roads

The fearsome Rebel ironclad CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack, aka Merrimac) materialized in Hampton Roads, Virginia, that calm and clear Saturday morning, March 8, 1862. “The ‘Merrimac’ was steaming slowly towards us,” recalled Seaman Frederick H. Curtis of the wooden … Continue reading

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An Ancient and Fearsome Weapon: The Ram

The ram—the main armament of sleek and swift Greek triremes powered by 180 rowers—turned back a Persian invasion at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC and launched Western Civilization. Rowing galleys ruled the Mediterranean for two more millennia, the … Continue reading

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Watching the “Merrimac”

One of the joys of a historian is finding that perfect eye-witness account of momentous events, one that puts you alongside our ancestors and sees through their eyes. The following is just such a viewpoint. “IN March, 1862, I was … Continue reading

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Civil War Echoes: Pearl Harbor

Today 75 years ago the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, catapulting the United States into World War II – a conflict that turned out to be the country’s bloodiest save for the Civil War. Many of the U.S. ships in Pearl … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Ties to the War, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments