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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

US Frigate Cumberland (I)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Frigate:
  • Built between 1825 and 1843 at Boston Navy Yard
  • Launched, 24 May 1842
  • Commissioned USF Cumberland in November 1843, CAPT. S. L. Breese in command
  • USS Cumberland served as flagship of the Mediterranean Squadron from 1843 to 1845
  • Reassigned as flagship to the Home Squadron in February 1846 to July 1848
  • Cumberland served in the Gulf of Mexico during the Mexican War
  • Reassigned to the Mediterranean Squadron from 1849 to 1855, flagship from 1852 to 1855
  • USS Cumberland cruised the coast of Africa as flagship of the African Squadron from 1857 to 1859
  • Reassigned as flagship of the Home Squadron in 1860
  • Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Hampton Roads in 1861
  • Final Disposition, During the Battle of Hampton Roads - Rammed and sunk by CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack), 8 March 1862, off Newport News, VA.
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,726 t.
    Length 175'
    Beam 45'
    Draft 21' 1"
    Speed unknown
    Complement 400
    Armament
    1842: 40 32 pdr guns, 10 42 pdr carronades
    1843: 36 32 pdr guns, 10 42 pdr carronades, 4 8 in shell guns
    1857: 2 10 in Dahlgren guns, 22 9 in Dahlgrens
    1861: 1 10 in Dahlgren, 22 9 in Dahlgrens, 1 70-pdr rifle
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    Cumberland 350k Colored lithograph by N. Currier, 1843, entitled: "U.S. Frigate Cumberland, 54 Guns. The flag ship of the Gulf Squadron, Com. Perry."
    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 64089-KN (Color)
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 96k Oil painting on wood, owned in 1938 by Charles E. Goodspeed of Boston, Massachusetts. In a letter of 14 May 1938, Captain D.W. Knox, Officer-in-Charge of the Office of Naval Records and Library, speculated that the painting depicts USF Cumberland off Boston Light circa the mid-1840s. Courtesy of Charles E. Goodspeed, 1938.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 55529
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 304k USF Cumberland holding a grand ball in the harbor of La Spezia, Kingdom of Sardinia. (1853). Engraving from "Ball on board Cumberland" Ballou's pictorial drawing, 5 April 1856. Tommy Trampp
    Cumberland 25k Sketch of USF Cumberland after being razzed to a sloop-of-war. Robert Hurst
    Cumberland 85k Halftone reproduction of a wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, circa 1900, depicting USF Cumberland after her 1855-56 conversion from a frigate to a sloop of war.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 57518
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 115k USF Cumberland docked between the Ferry House and the Paymaster's building (at right), at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, probably in September 1860. The reverse of the original print is marked "H.K. Halsey, Sept., 1860". Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation; Raymond Stone Collection.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 61867
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Patrick Henry 134k Naval Skirmish between the Rebel Iron-plated War Steamer CSS Patrick Henry), and a portion of the Federal Fleet anchored in James River, Va., off Newport News. Line engraving published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated, 1861. It probably depicts the action of 13 September 1861. Ships shown are (from left to right):
    USS Louisiana,
    CSS Patrick Henry,
    USS Savannah and
    USS Cumberland.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59210
    Robert Hurst
    Cumberland 642k From "The Illustrated London News", 5 April 1862 - The Civil War in America - Naval Engagement in Hampton Roads: The Confederate Iron-Plated Steamer Merrimac (or Virginia) Running into the Federal Sloop Cumberland. - From a Sketch by T. Nast. Tommy Trampp
    Cumberland 115k "Destruction of the United States Navy-Yard at Norfolk, Virginia, by Fire, by the United States Troops, on April 20, 1861" A line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1861, providing two scenes of the burning of Norfolk Navy Yard and the destruction of ships located there. Ships shown in the lower scene (as identified below the print), from left to right: USF United States (afire); tug Yankee with USS Cumberland (underway, leaving the area); USS Merrimack (afire in left center distance); USS Pawnee (underway, leaving the area), and USS Pennsylvania (afire).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59179
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 93k "Bombardment of Forts Hatteras & Clark, by the U.S. Fleet" "Under the command of Flag Officer Silas H. Stringham, on the 28th and 29th of August 1861" A colored lithograph by J.P. Newell after a drawing by Francis Garland, Seaman in USF Cumberland, published by J.H. Buford, Boston, Massachusetts, 1862. Features identified below the image are (from left to right):
    USS Susquehanna;
    tug Fanny;
    Fort Hatteras;
    USS Harriet Lane;
    Fort Clark;
    USS Cumberland;
    steamer Adelaide;
    USS Minnesota;
    steamer George Peabody;
    USS Wabash;
    USS Pawnee; and
    USS Monticello.
    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 66576-KN (Color)
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 161k Line engraving of "Lieutenant Gordon, of the Frigate Cumberland, Rescuing the 9-inch Sawyer Gun from the Burning Steamer Cataline." Published in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Magazine", 1861, depicting an incident in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in late 1861. The Sawyer gun was eventually emplaced on the steamer Rip-Raps and used to bombard Confederate positions on the water approaches to Norfolk, Virginia.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #: NH 57926
    Robert Hurst
    Cumberland 594k USF Cumberland and USS Congress at Newport News Point, Hampton Roads shortly before the March 8-9, 1862 battle of Hampton Roads.
    From Harper's Weekly
    Tommy Trampp
    Cumberland 121k CSS Virginia rams and sinks USF Cumberland, 8 March 1862. Halftone reproduction of an artwork, copyright 1906 by G.S. Richardson. The original print was presented by the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59215.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 100k CSS Virginia rams and sinks USF Cumberland, 8 March 1862. Halftone reproduction of an artwork, published in Fiveash, "Virginia-Monitor Engagement", Norfolk, Va., 1907
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59212.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 82k "The Rebel Steamer 'Merrimac' running down the Frigate 'Cumberland' off Newport News" A line engraving, published in the "Harper's Weekly", January-June 1862, pages 184-185, depicting CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack) ramming USS Cumberland, 8 March 1862. USS Congress and the bow of a Confederate gunboat are shown at right.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59222.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 124k An oil painting by an unidentified "Eyewitness" of CSS Virginia sinking USF Cumberland, 8 March 1862. Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 2048.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 141k Sinking of USS Cumberland by CSS Virginia, 8 March 1862 Line engraving published in "Leslie's Weekly", circa 1862, depicting the scene on board the Cumberland as she went down off Newport News, Virginia, with her crew still firing on the Confederate ironclad.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 65698.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 67k "Iron versus Wood -- Sinking of the Cumberland by the Merrimac. In Hampton Roads, March 8, 1862." Oil painting by Edward Moran (1829-1901), depicting CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack) ramming USF Cumberland in the teeth of a broadside from the wooden warship. This painting was presented to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1941 by Paul E. Sutro, of Philadelphia. It was photographed by Taggart in December 1953.
    US Navy Photo # 80-G-K-17106 (Color) now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 124k Colored lithograph by Currier and Ives, 1862, entitled "The Sinking of the 'Cumberland' by the Iron Clad 'Merrimac', off Newport News, Va., March 8th 1862. 'Cumberland' went down with all her Flags flying: -- destroyed, but not conquered. Her gallant Commander Lieut. Morris calling to his crew 'Given them a Broadside boys, as she goes'."
    Courtesy of the Beverly Robinson Collection, US Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 64088-KN (Color).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 279k CSS Virginia sinking USF Cumberland in the Battle of Hampton Roads, 8 March 1862. Tommy Trampp
    Cumberland 70k At the outbreak of war in 1861, Flag Officer Captain Garrett Jesse Pendergrast was in command of the sloop USS Cumberland. At age 58, he was one of the oldest officers in service. The first significant victory for the US Navy during the early phases of the Union blockade occurred on April 24, 1861 when USS Cumberland, with CAPT. Pendergrast in command, accompanied by a small flotilla of support ships, began seizing Confederate ships and privateers in the vicinity of Fort Monroe off the Virginia coastline. Within the next two weeks, Pendergrast had captured 16 enemy vessels, serving early notice to the Confederate War Department that the blockade would be effective if extended. Promoted to Commodore on July 16, 1862, Pendergrast was assigned to command the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and held that position when he died of a paralytic stroke on November 7, 1862. Bill Gonyo
    Cumberland 81k LT. George Upham Morris was assigned to USF Cumberland during 1861-62, and was her acting commanding officer when she was lost in a heroically-fought action with CSS Virginia on 8 March 1862. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in July 1862, Morris was Commanding Officer of the gunboats USS Port Royal and USS Shawmut during the next three years. He was Executive Officer of USS Brooklyn in 1865-66 and achieved the rank of Commander in July of the latter year. His remaining active service was limited to duty at the Pensacola Navy Yard, Florida, in 1869-72, and he retired in 1874. Commander George U. Morris died at Jordan Alum Springs, Virginia, on 15 August 1875.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 66690
    Bill Gonyo
    Cumberland 94k John L. Lenhart was born in Pennsylvania in 1805. A Methodist Minister, he became a Navy Chaplain in February 1847 and served for the next three years in USS Brandywine. His next tour of duty was performed at the Receiving Ship, New York, during 1851-56, after which he was apparently inactive until joining USF Constellation in about 1859. In 1860-62 he served on board USF Cumberland. Chaplain John L. Lenhart was killed in action during his ship's heroic fight with the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia on 8 March 1862, the first Navy Chaplain to lose his life in battle.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 73421
    Bill Gonyo
    Cumberland 213k Watercolor by Prince de Joinville, 1863 of the wreck of USF Cumberland shortly after the Battle of Hampton Roads. Tommy Trampp
    Cumberland 140k United States' Centennial Exhibition, Fairmont Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1876. Photograph by Edward L. Wilson and W. Irving Adams, showing part of the U.S. Navy's exhibit at the exhibition, featuring a U.S. flag; Charles O. Cole's portrait of Dick Libby; models of drydocks, with a monitor in the one at left; heavy iron bars bent by the Boston Navy Yard's bending mill; and a monument made of wood from ships lost in the Norfolk-Hampton Roads area during the Civil War, including (from top to bottom):
    CSS Florida,
    USF Cumberland,
    USS Merrimack,
    USS Delaware,
    USS Columbia,
    USS Columbus,
    USS Pennsylvania,
    USF United States and
    USS Raritan. Copied from the book "Photographic Views of the Naval Department of the United States, International Centennial Exhibition of 1876", held by the Navy Department Library in 1974.
    US Navy photo # NH 80855, courtesy of Charles E. Goodspeed, 1938
    US Navy History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 213k The wreck of the Cumberland as she looks today. The picture shows the ship facing west to east. Image taken by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Navy. Tommy Trampp

    USS Cumberland (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 7 January 2017