Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

KN-10867:   USS Kearsarge.  Artwork by unidentified artist depicting the ship as she was during the 1880.   Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collection of the National Archives.

USS Kearsarge (Steam Sloop of War)

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USS Kearsarge, 1862-1894

The Mohican-class steam sloop-of-war, USS Kearsarge, was commissioned on January 24, 1862, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.   Deployed to European waters during the Civil War, she searched for Confederate raiders.  On June 19, 1864, in the Battle of Cherbourg, Kearsarge, commanded by Captain John A. Winslow, sank CSS Alabama, commanded by Raphael Semmes, ending the career of the South's most famous commerce raider.   The engagement lasted an hour and ten minutes.   Seventeen of Kearsarge's crew received the Medal of Honor for their actions.   During her career, Alabama had captured and burned 55 vessels at sea.  Captain Semmes was rescued by the British private yacht Deerhound, causing an international dispute between the United States and Great Britain.   Decommissioned after the war, Kearsarge was in and out of commissioned for nearly the next thirty years serving in the Pacific, the Atlantic, Central American waters, and in the Caribbean.   On February 2, 1894, while en-route from Haiti to Nicaragua, she wrecked on Roncador Reef.  Efforts to salvage her proved fruitless, and Kearsarge was stricken from the Navy List later that year.  

A model of Kearsarge is in the Civil War section of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.    

Image:  KN-10867:  USS Kearsarge.  Artwork by unidentified artist depicting the ship as she was during the 1890s.   Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.