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USS Kearsarge (1862-1894)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Kearsarge (1862-1894)

The first USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) was launched 11 September 1861 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H.; sponsored by Mrs. McFarland, wife of the editor of the Concord Statement; and commissioned 24 January 1862, Captain Charles W. Pickering in command.

USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) departed Portsmouth 5 February 1862 for the coast of Spain; thence sailed to Gibraltar to join the blockade of Confederate raider Sumter, forcing her abandonment in December. But her commanding captain, Raphael Semmes, soon commissioned Confederate raider Alabama on the high seas off the Azores. USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) prepared for her fight with Alabama at Cadiz (November 1862-March 1863), then searched for the raider from along the coast of Northern Europe to the Canaries, Madeira, and the Western Islands Arriving at Cherbourg, France. 14 June 1864, she found Alabama in port and took up patrol at the harbor's entrance to await Semmes' next move.

USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) steamed along the French coast in an unsuccessful search for OS'S Florida, thence proceeded to the Caribbean before turning northward for Boston where she decommissioned 26 November 1864 for repairs. She recommissioned 1 April 1865 and sailed on the 14th for the coast of Spain in an attempt to intercept Stonewall; but the Confederate ram eluded Federal ships and surrendered to Spanish authorities at Havana, Cuba, 19 May. After cruising the Mediterranean and the English Channel south to Monrovia, Liberia, USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) decommissioned 14 August 1866 in the Boston Navy Yard.

USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) recommissioned 16 January 1868 and sailed 12 February to serve in the South Pacific operating out of Valparaiso, Chile. On 22 August she landed provisions for destitute earthquake victims at Africa, Peru. She continued to watch over American commercial interests along the coast of South America until 17 April 1869. USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) resumed duties on the South Pacific Station until 21 July 1870, then cruised to the Hawaiian Islands before decommissioning in the Mare Island Navy Yard, Calif., 11 October 1870.

USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) recommissioned 8 December 1873 and departed 4 March 1874 for Yokohama, Japan, arriving 11 May. She cruised on Asiatic Station for 3 years, protecting American citizens and commerce in China, Japan, and the Philippines. She decommissioned at Portsmouth, N.H., 15 January 1878. USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) recommissioned 15 May 1879 for 4 years of duty in the North Atlantic ranging from Newfoundland to the Caribbean Sea and the coast of Panama. USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) departed New York 21 August 1883 to cruise for 3 years in Mediterranean, Northern European waters, and along the coast of Africa. She returned to Portsmouth, N.H., 12 November and decommissioned in the Portsmouth Navy Yard 1 December 1886.

USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) recommissioned 2 November 1888 and largely spent her remaining years protecting American interests in the West Indies, off Venezuela, and along the Central Americas. She departed Haiti 30 January 1894 for Bluefields, Nicaragua, but was wrecked on Roncador Reef off Central America 2 February 1894. Her officers and crew safely made it ashore.

For a complete history of USS Kearsarge (1862-1894) please see its DANFS page.