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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

USS TECUMSEH


Canonicus Class Monitor: Displacement: 1,034 tons. Dimensions: 225 x 43.8 x 13.6 feet. Propulsion: Ericsson VL engines, 2 boilers, 320 hp, 1 shaft, 7 knots. Crew: 85. Armor: Iron: 3-5 inch sides, 1 inch deck, 11 inch turret. Armament: 1 dual turret with 2x15 inch Dahlgren smoothbore.

Operational and Building Data: Tecumseh, built by Secor & Co. at Joseph Coldwell, Jersey City, NJ. Contracted 15 September 1862, launched 12 September 1863, commissioned 19 April 1864. Operated in the James River, then in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fate: Mined in Mobile Bay 5 August 1864; capsized and sank in 25-30 seconds.

In Memorium:

In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 19th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S.sailors who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay..."

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TECUMSEH 144k Rare Brady photograph of Tecumseh (left) and Manhattan under construction at Jersey City, New Jersey. Note the fine ship-like bow of Tecumseh which necessitated the redesign of the anchor and hoisting mechanism. Photo courtesy of City Museums of Mobile via explorersclub.ca.
TECUMSEH 150k Rare painiting of Tecumseh at sea en route to Mobile Bay, accompanied by Augusta (right) and Eutaw. Oil on canvas (1912) by Xanthus Smith, Captain's Clerk aboard Augusta. Photo courtesy of Dr. Charles V. Peery via explorersclub.ca.
TECUMSEH 145k "Destruction of the Monitor Tecumseh by a Rebel Torpedo, in Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864." Line engraving, after a sketch by Robert Weir, published in "Harper's Weekly", 10 September 1864, depicting the loss of Tecumseh during the Battle of Mobile Bay. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 61473.
TECUMSEH 81k "Battle of Mobile Bay ... Passing Fort Morgan and the Torpedoes". Print after an artwork by J.O. Davidson, 1886, depicting the Union and Confederate squadrons at the moment that Tecumseh sank after striking a mine ("torpedo"). Confederate ships (left foreground) are Morgan, Gaines and Tennessee. Union monitors visible astern of Tecumseh are Manhattan and Winnebago. Brooklyn is leading the outer line of Union warships, immediately followed by Hartford. Courtesy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 42396.
TECUMSEH 135k "Battle of Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864". Reproduction of an 1864 pen & ink drawing by George S. Waterman, C.S.N., depicting the action as seen from above and inside the entrance to Mobile Bay. Confederate ships present are (as identified on the drawing): Selma, Morgan, Gaines (shown twice, in the battle line, and beached off Fort Morgan after the battle) and Tennessee.
Union monitors shown are (from the front of the line): Tecumseh (sinking after striking a mine), Manhattan, Winnebago and Chickasaw. The leading two steam sloops in the Union line are Brooklyn and Hartford. Small diagram in the lower right represents the various efforts by Union ships to ram the Tennessee later in the action.
Photo courtesy of flickriver.com.
Text courtesy of U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 42392.
TECUMSEH 146k "Rescuing the Crew of the Monitor Tecumseh." Artwork by Bacon, published in "Deeds of Valor", Volume II, page 65, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907. It depicts Federal sailors in boats rescuing survivors of Tecumseh off Fort Morgan, Alabama, as the Battle of Mobile Bay rages around them. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 79925.
TECUMSEH 277k "Entrance of Rear Admiral Farragut in to Mobile Bay. August 5th 1864" Chart of the action, prepared by RAdm. D.G. Farragut, Washington, D.C., March 1st, 1865. "Explanation of Diagram from the five stand points of the Mobile fight." (printed in the lower left): "No.1. Ships lashed together and running in from Sea, and the monitors running out of "Monitor Bay" to take their station inside or eastward of the line." "No.2. Running up the channel in line of battle, and engaging 'Fort Morgan' leading ship Brooklyn encounters what she supposes to be 'torpedoes' monitor 'Tecumseh' is struck by one and sinks; Brooklyn backs astern causing confusion; Flag Ship takes the lead and passes up and engages the ram Tennessee and the gun boats of the enemy." "No.3. Running fight with the enemy's fleet which ends in the capture of one, destruction of another, and the ram and one gun boat take shelter again under Fort Morgan." "No.4. Fleet passes up and are in the act of anchoring when the ram Tennessee is seen coming out to attack them" "No.5. Shows the manner the attack was made by the fleet upon the ram by ramming her in succession and keeping up a constant fire upon her at the same time." "The points of contact are shown by the sketch in the north east corner of the plate." "De Kraft's flotilla bombarding Fort Powell." (in upper left of the chart). Ships are (as numbered in "Reference" list at left): 1. Tecumseh; 2. Manhattan; 3. Winnebago; 4. Chickasaw; 5. Brooklyn; 6. Octorara; 7. Hartford, Flag Ship; 8. Metacomet; 9. Richmond; 10. Port Royal; 11. Lackawanna; 12. Seminole; 13. Admiral's barge Loyal; 14. Monongahela; 15. Kennebec; 16. Ossipee; 17. Itaska; 18. Oneida; 19. Galena. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 83136.
TECUMSEH 142k Cutout of the Union ironclad ship Tecumseh lost during the Civil War battle of Mobile Bay. Photo courtesy of suite101.com.
TECUMSEH 333k Captain Tunis Augustus Macdonough Craven of the Tecumseh, K.I.A. with 92 other crewmen when his ship was lost during the battle of Mobile Bay. Photo courtesy of photolib.noaa.gov.
TECUMSEH519kTHE MIRACLE OF MOBILE BAY
Image and text provided by University of Utah, Marriott Library.
Photo & text by Deseret Evening News. (Great Salt Lake City [Utah]) 1867-1920, 20 August 1910, Last Edition, Part Two, Image 14, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
TECUMSEH 95k People watch from the beach as the guided missile cruiser Mobile Bay (CG 53) sails by on its commissioning day, 16 Feb 1987. The Mobile Bay is also conducting memorial services onboard in commemoration of the sinking of the Union ironclad ship Tecumseh lost during the Civil War battle of Mobile Bay. USN photo # DN-ST-88-02646 by PHC C. Duvall, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
(NISMF)376kA guest studies a painting depicting the history of battleships. The artwork was painted by George Skybeck and presented to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association during their annual banquet at Honolulu, Hawaii, on 8 December 1991. USN photo # DN-SC-92-05391, by PHC Carolyn Harris, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Not Applicable To This Ship
Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.
USS Tecumesh Shipwreck Management Plan.
Monitor National Marine Santuary, NOAA.
CambrianFoundation.org USS Monitor, The Sinking.
Tour the Wreck of the Monitor.

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