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Cambridge I (ScStr)

(ScStr: t. 868; l. 200'; b. 32'; dr. 13'6"; s. 10 k.; cpl. 96; a. 2 8" r.)

Thirteen of the United States have cities named Cambridge.


The first Cambridge, an armed steamer, was built in 1860 by Paul Curtis, Medford, Mass.; purchased at Boston 30 July 1861; and commissioned 29 August 1861, Commander W. A. Parker in command.

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from 9 September 1861 to 5 October 1864, and to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron from 9 February 1865 until the close of the war, Cambridge helped tighten the stranglehold on the Confederacy as she cruised off the coasts of Virginia and North and South Carolina. Determined vigilance and alert action won her 11 prizes, some of them taken under the guns of Confederate shore batteries. In a brief 5 days, she and two other ships in company took four blockade runners, and chased a fifth ashore. In one of her most daring exploits, Cambridge's guns drove a schooner ashore near Masonboro Inlet, N.C., on 17 November 1862. Boat parties rowed through boiling surf, which swamped one of the boats, to burn the schooner, only to be made prisoner themselves by a party of armed men who sprang out of the brush.

Cambridge was decommissioned at Philadelphia, and sold there 20 June 1865.


Cambridge, a screw sloop, was renamed Congress (q.v.) on 10 August 1869 prior to her commissioning.

Published: Mon Jun 29 14:48:00 EDT 2015