Kearsarge Cap

Grade Range: 5-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 12/28/2010

Cap worn by Landsman Nathan Ives of the USS Kearsarge.

The CSS Alabama was a 1,050-ton screw steam sloop of war. Built in Liverpool, England, it took to sea as a merchant ship, but on August 24, 1862, it rendezvoused with a supply ship and was outfitted for war. For the next two years the Alabama wreaked havoc on the seaborne commerce of the North by destroying more than 60 ships valued at nearly $6,000,000. On June 11, 1864, the Alabama was in need of repair and docked in Cherbourg, France. Then the Union steam sloop Kearsarge arrived in port and on June 19 the two ships sailed out to do battle. As they circled, each trying to cross the others bow, the Alabama fired 150 rounds, but its powder and shells were of lesser quality than that of the Kearsarge. Of the 100 rounds fired by the Kearsarge, one shell tore open a section of the Alabama at its waterline and it sank.

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