Virtual Civil War Lecture: Uss Cumberland

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“U.S. Frigate Cumberland, 54 Guns. The flagship of the Gulf Squadron, Com. Perry.” Lithograph, hand-colored. Currier & Ives. ca. 1843-1848. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. 


Join us for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein when he presents on the first wooden warship sunk by an ironclad during the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 8, 1862.

Viewers are welcome to send John any comments or questions during the presentation, and he will answer following his talk. 
About this presentation: The USS Cumberland was a Raritan-class 50-gun sailing frigate. Ordered initially in 1816, the warship was not launched until 1842. The vessel served in the Mediterranean Squadron for three cruises and fought during the Mexican War. The frigate was razed into a sloop of war at Charlestown Navy Yard, 1855-57. The remodeled warship was assigned to the Africa Station on slave patrol. In 1860, Cumberland was the flagship of the Home Squadron. The Cumberland escaped destruction when Federal officials abandoned Gosport Navy Yard in April 1861. Eleven months later, Cumberland earned the dubious distinction of being the first wooden warship sunk by an ironclad when on March 8, 1862, CSS Virginia destroyed the obsolete sloop proving the power of iron over wood.