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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Wars & Conflicts
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United States
(Fr: t. 1,576; l. 175'10"; b. 44'8"; dph. 21'2"; a. 44 guns)

United States was built at Philadelphia, Pa., under Act of Congress dated 27 March 1794. She was launched 10 May 1798 and commissioned 11 July. 1798, one of the first 3 ships built for the U.S. Navy. The other two are still in existence: Constellation in Baltimore, Constitution in Boston.

At the beginning of the Civil War she lay in ordinary at Gosport Navy Yard. The Union, thinking it unnecessary to destroy a decayed relic, let her fall into Confederate hands when Norfolk surrendered. She was used as a receiving ship, Lt. V. R. Morgan, CSN, in command, and was oftentimes called Confederate States.

In April 1862 the Confederates sank her in the Elizabeth River, N.C., to obstruct approaching Union vessels. Later she was raised and broken up by the Navy.