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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Kearsarge (I)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Mohican Class Screw Sloop of War:
  • Laid down, date unknown, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME.
  • Launched, 11 September 1861
  • Commissioned USS Kearsarge, 24 January 1862, CAPT. Charles W. Pickering in command
    During the Civil War USS Kearsarge participated in the following:
    Participated in the blockade of Confederate raider CSS Sumter at Gibraltar in February 1862
    Defeated CSS Alabama off the coast of France, 19 June 1864
    Decommissioned, 26 November 1864, at Boston for repairs
    Recommissioned, 1 April 1865
    Sailed for the coast of Spain in a failed attempt to intercept the Confederate ram CSS Stonewall
  • Decommissioned, 14 August 1866, at Boston Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned, 16 January 1868 for service in the South Pacific at Valparaiso, Chile, looking out for American commercial interests along the South American coast
  • Sailed, 17 April 1869, for the Marquesas, Society, Samoa and Fiji Islands to watch over American commercial interests
  • Resumed duties on the South Pacific Station, at Calao, Peru, 21 July 1870
  • Decommissioned, 11 October 1870, at Mare Island Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned, 8 December 1873, for duty on the Asiatic Station, protecting citizens and commerce in China, Japan and the Philippines
  • Decommissioned, 15 January 1878, at Portsmouth, N.H.
  • Recommissioned, 15 May 1879, for duty in the North Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and coast of Panama
  • Cruised the Mediterranean, Northern European waters, and along the coast of Africa, from 21 August 1883 until 12 November 1886
  • Decommissioned at Portsmouth Navy Yard, N. H., 1 December 1886
  • Recommissioned, 2 November 1888, to protect American interests in the West Indies, off Venezuela, and along the Central Americas.
  • Departing Haiti, 30 January 1894, for Bluefields, Nicaragua, Kearsarge was wrecked on Roncador Reef off Central America, 2 February 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 Co. found that she could not be raised
  • Kearsarge was struck from the Navy List in 1894
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,550 t.
    Length 201' 4"
    Beam 33' 10"
    Depth unknown
    Draft 14' 3"
    Speed 11 kts
    Complement 163
    Armament
    As Built
    two 11" smoothbores
    four 32-pdr/42s
    1864 - added
    one 30-pdr muzzle loading rifle
    one 12-pdr smoothbore
    1873
    two 11" smoothbores
    four 9" smoothbores
    two 20-pdr muzzle loading rifles
    Propulsion
    two horizontal back-acting engines (54" x 2' 6"), 2 boilers; IHP 842 = 11 kts
    single propeller

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Kearsarge 125k Pen and ink drawing of USS Kearsarge by R.G. Skerrett, circa 1900, depicting the ship as she appeared during the Civil War. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 52026. Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 234k "Steam Sloop of War Kearsarge"
    From Louis Prang's "Vessels and Marine Views, 3 different sets" 19th Century / 1800's"
    Louis Prang & Co. Lithography, Boston.
    Tommy Trampp
    CSS Sumter 112k USS Kearsarge, USS Tuscarora and CSS Sumter at Gibraltar.
    Artwork published in "Service Afloat: or, the Remarkable Career of the Confederate Cruisers Sumter and Alabama" ..., by Admiral Raphael Semmes, CSN, 1887. It depicts the Tuscarora and Kearsarge keeping watch on the Confederate cruiser Sumter, on 12 April 1862.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59410
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 192k "Pinhole" lens photos of USS Kearsarge at anchor, date and location unknown. Jonathan Eno
    Kearsarge 176k
    Kearsarge 84k USS Kearsarge. Drawing made by Midshipman Edward E. Preble, while at Fayal, Azores, opposite Mount Pico, in 1864, a few months before the battle with CSS Alabama. Preble was Navigating Officer during that action.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 52024. Courtesy of Mrs. J.E. Palmer, from the collection of Surgeon General John Mills Browne, 1937.
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 368k The duel off Cherbourg, France between USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama, 19 June 1864. The Alabama sinking. "The Illustrated London News" June 24, 1864. Tommy Trampp
    Kearsarge 86k Painting by Xanthus Smith, 1922, depicting CSS Alabama sinking, at left, after her fight with the USS Kearsarge (seen at right).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # K-29827 (Color) . Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 855k Oil on canvas painting by Edouard Monet (1832-1883) of the battle between USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama, off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art/Bridgeman Art Library. Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 153k "USS Kearsarge vs. CSS Alabama, 19 June 1864".
    Line engraving published in the Illustrated London News, 2 July 1864, depicting an early stage in the battle. Kearsarge is on the left, with CSS Alabama in the right distance.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 65736.
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 118k Louis Prang Original Aquarelle Print "Battle Of USS Kearsarge & CSS Alabama", 1867. Tommy Trampp
    Kearsarge 135k CAPT. John Ancrum Winslow (later RADM) commanded USS Kearsarge in defeating CSS Alabama off the coast of France, 19 June 1864. Tommy Trampp
    Kearsarge 161k Piece of the USS Kearsarge's pennant she was flying when defeating CSS Alabama off the coast of France, 19 June 1864. Presented to Martin Hussey by the daughter of RADM Winslow. Tommy Trampp
    Kearsarge 38k USS Kearsarge at anchor, circa 1860s, location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 512k USS Kearsarge Ship's officers pose on deck, at Cherbourg, France, soon after her 19 June 1864 victory over CSS Alabama. Her Commanding Officer, Captain John A. Winslow, is 3rd from left, wearing a uniform of the 1862 pattern. Other officers are generally dressed in uniforms of 1863-64 types. View looks aft on the port side. At left is Kearsarge's after XI-inch Dahlgren pivot gun, with its training tracks on the deck alongside. Those present are (from left to right): Chief Engineer William H. Cushman; Surgeon John M. Browne; Captain John A. Winslow; Acting Master's Mate Ezra Bartlett; Paymaster's Clerk Daniel B. Sargent; Lieutenant Commander James S. Thornton, Executive Officer; 2nd Assistant Engineer William H. Badlam; 3rd Assistant Engineer Henry McConnell; Acting Master James R. Wheeler; Boatswain James C. Walton; 3rd Assistant Engineer Sidney L. Smith; Gunner Franklin A. Graham; Acting Master's Mate Charles C. Danforth; Acting Master Eben M. Stoddard; 3rd Assistant Engineer Frederick L. Miller; and Paymaster Joseph A. Smith.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61669. The original glass negative is held by the Library of Congress.
    Bill Gonyo
    Kearsarge 109k Photos of USS Kearsarge and crew taken in June 1864 after the battle with CSS Alabama by Francois Rondin, a photographer in Cherbourg, France. Bill Gonyo
    Kearsarge 244k
    Kearsarge 176k
    Kearsarge 68k USS Kearsarge off Portsmouth, N. H., shortly after her return from European waters in 1864.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 78638 Donated by Hamilton Cochran, 1974.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 73k Halftone reproduction of a photograph of USS Kearsarge taken in late 1864, upon the ship's return to the United States from European waters.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52023
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Marion 79k Lithograph after a drawing by Joseph L. Jones, circa 1877-1880 depicting a Naval Review in Hampton-Roads, VA. dedicated to Secretary of the Navy Richard W. Thompson. Ships present include (from left):
    USS Marion,
    USS Tallapoosa (flying the Secretary of the Navy's Flag),
    USS Constitution,
    USS Kearsarge,
    USS Saratoga,
    USS Powhatan,
    USS Portsmouth and
    USS Minnesota.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61193. Courtesy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936.
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 153k Pen and ink drawing by Samuel Ward Stanton depicting USS Kearsarge under full sail, rigged as a ship, as she was during most of the 1870s and 1880s. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 65471. Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 67k Watercolor of USS Kearsarge by Clary Ray, circa the 1890s, as she appeared during the Civil War.

    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # KN-571 (Color). Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 1474k This albumen view of the officer's and crew on board USS Kearsarge circa 1869 somewhere in the South Pacific. While this image is apparently depicted in "Images of War", Vol VI, P.427, it is actually identified on the verso as having been taken between 17 April and 31 October 1869 off either New South Wales or New Zealand. This would put it at the time she sailed, 17 April 1869, for the Marquesas, Society, Samoa and Fiji Islands to watch over American commercial interests. The image with the ships officer's standing in the foreground and enlisted men, along with two Marines, in the background. A dog is lying on the deck next to Commander James S. Thornton, commanding officer of the Kearsarge. He just returned to active duty after five years and eleven months of being unemployed by the Navy. The image from Heritage Auctions (Public Domain)
    Officers present:
    CDR. James S. Thornton Surgeon Charles H. Burbank LCDR. John Weidman Paymaster Henry M. Meade LCDR. Charles Vernon (Steve) Gridley 1st Asst. Eng. Sidney Albert Lt. John C. Kennett 2nd Asst. Eng. Burdett C. Gowing Master Abraham B.H. Lillie 2nd Asst. Eng. Edwin T. Phillippi Master Charles S. Sperry 2nd Asst. Eng. Charles F. Purdie Master William T. Swinburne 2nd Asst. Eng. James Wesley Gardner Ens. Willie Swift 2nd Lt. Francis H. Harrington, USMC Ens. William D. Nicholson Boatswain Thomas Bennett
    Ens. Horace E. Jones
    Bill Gonyo
    Kearsarge 137k Photograph of USS Kearsarge E.H. Hart, New York, circa the 1880s. Kearsarge is seen as she was in 1879-1886, with ship rig.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 86058.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 90k View of the waterfront at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, circa 1883. Ships present include USS Kearsarge (left), unidentified steam sloop, and the receiving ship USS Constitution.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 46353.
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 90k USS Kearsarge at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, after her 1886-88 overhaul, when her rig was reduced from a ship to a bark. The receiving ship USS Constitution is in the center background.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 86057.
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 83k USS Kearsarge in New York Harbor, in about 1890. Her rig had been reduced from a ship to a bark in 1886-88.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 63151.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 81k USS Kearsarge, oil on canvas, 22" x 36", by an unidentified artist. The painting depicts Kearsarge as she was during the 1890s.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # KN-10867 (Color). Painting in the US Naval Academy Museum Collection. Gift of George R. Thompson, 1924.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 119k USS Kearsarge's crew at their battle stations, shortly after her June 1864 action with CSS Alabama. View looks aft from the forecastle, showing both XI-inch Dahlgren smoothbore cannon trained to starboard, as they were during the fight. Portly officer in the center foreground appears to be Acting Master James R. Wheeler.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52027.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 147k USS Kearsarge view on deck, looking aft along the starboard side in June 1864. Acting Master James R. Wheeler (left) and Assistant Engineer Sidney L. Smith are standing beside the ship's forward XI-inch pivot gun, which is trained out to starboard, as it was during the action with CSS Alabama on 19 June. Note ammunition for the gun on deck at left, including canister (or a powder charge), shell and grape.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61670
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 124k USS Kearsarge view on deck, looking forward along the starboard side in June 1864. Acting Master Eben M. Stoddard (left) and Chief Engineer William H. Cushman are beside the ship's after XI-inch pivot gun, which is trained out to starboard, as it was during the action with CSS Alabama on 19 June. Note ammunition for the gun on deck at left, including grape, shell and what appears to be a powder charge.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61671
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 154k USS Kearsarge's personnel of the Engineering Department, circa June 1864. The officer at the right is 3rd Assistant Engineer Sidney L. Smith.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52028
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 140k USS Kearsarge officers pose by her forward XI-inch Dahlgren pivot gun, which is trained to starboard. Taken at Sydney, Australia, circa mid 1869. View looks aft from the forecastle. Identified officers include: Lieutenant Commander Charles V. Gridley (front, far left); Surgeon C.H. Burbank (front, just left of gun muzzle, with full beard); and Commander James S. Thornton, Commanding Officer (front, center, with gun trunnion behind him). Note telescoping smokestack, boiler room cowls turned to port, spare spars stowed along the port side bulwark, and dog on deck in front of the officers.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 92921. Courtesy of Tom Halpin, 1981.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 146k "The Gun that Sunk the 'Alabama'...". Halftone reproduction of a photograph of USS Kearsarge's after XI-inch Dahlgren pivot gun, with ship's officers and the quarter deck beyond, circa the 1870s. This gun has an iron pivot mounting, of a type adopted after the Civil War, and may or may not be the same weapon that was on board the ship at the time of her battle with CSS Alabama in June 1864. Copied from Francis T. Miller's "The Photographic History of the Civil War, Volume VI: The Navies", page 303.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52029
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 105k USS Kearsarge's after XI-inch Dahlgren pivot gun, trained out to port, circa the 1870s. This gun has an iron pivot mounting, of a type adopted after the Civil War. Mounted on the right side of the gun carriage, just behind the gun trunnion, is a plaque bearing the name "Winslow", after Kearsarge's commanding officer in 1864, CAPT. John A. Winslow. The port side ladder to the quarter deck is at the left
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52025
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 63k USS Kearsarge's XI-inch Dahlgren pivot gun on display at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Arnold Putnam
    Kearsarge 108k Post card of USS Kearsarge's forward XI-inch Dahlgren pivot gun in action. Arnold Putnam
    Kearsarge 66k USS Kearsarge off Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA., in 1873-74.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 57984 Courtesy of Mrs. J.E. Palmer, from the collection of Surgeon General John Mills Browne, 1937.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 124k USS Kearsarge undergoing overhaul, at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, in 1878-79 or in 1886-88.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52021
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 76k USS Kearsarge at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME., between 1879 and 1886, when she was rigged as a ship. The receiving ship USS Constitution is in the center background.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 86060
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 116k USS Kearsarge at anchor, circa 1880s, location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Barius Bar from "Warships of The Civil War Navies" by Paul H. Silverstone
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 63k USS Kearsarge at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, ME., circa 1890. USS Vesuvius is in the left background.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 75890
    Arnold Putnam and the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 111k USS Kearsarge anchored off Bath, Maine, in July 1890.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52022
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 74k USS Kearsarge with her sails partially furled. Note large star decoration on her stern, just above her name.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 51019 Photograph from the A.S. Murray Collection, at the Peale Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, 1963.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 92k Painting by Yonono, 1950, of USS Kearsarge. This painting was received from USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) in 1970
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 86317-KN (Color)
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kearsarge 131k USS Kearsarge lithograph entitled The Brave Old 'Kearsarge' depicting the ship as she appeared in 1889-94.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 60638..
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 226k USS Kearsarge at anchor, circa 1890-94, location unknown.
    Detroit Publishing Company photo now in the collections of the US Library of Congress
    Bill Gonyo
    Kearsarge 197k USS Kearsarge's Winslow gun that helped her defeat the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama during the Civil War.
    US Library of Congress photo
    Bill Gonyo
    Kearsarge 150k An Eleven-inch Dahlgren smoothbore gun in an artillery park, probably at the New York Navy Yard, sometime after the Civil War. Photograph published by E.H. Hart, 1162 Broadway, New York, circa the later 1880s. This gun is presumably one of the two 11" Dahlgrens carried by USS Kearsarge during her battle with CSS Alabama off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 60958
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 184k A section of USS Kearsarge's sternpost, with a shell imbedded in it that had been fired by the CSS Alabama during the battle. This rifle shell is about seven inches in diameter and weighs about 56 pounds. Photograph was taken circa 1960, by which time the sternpost section had been encased in an expanded metal protective covering. By 1972, it was on exhibit at the U.S. Navy Memorial Museum, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 58781
    Robert Hurst
    Kearsarge 106k Watercolor by an unidentified artist, depicting USS Kearsarge wrecked on Roncador Reef, in the Caribbean Sea, on 2 February 1894.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 52030. Courtesy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Kearsarge (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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