USS Kearsarge was built at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, NH
in 1862. The name Kearsarge comes from a mountain in Carroll county, New Hampshire (not Merrimack county).
232 feet long, 33 feet across her beam and displaced 1,550 tons. She
was a steam sloop, meaning she had sails for cross ocean navigation but
also used two 400hp blower engines for restricted manoeuvreing and combat.
She was armed with two 11 inch Dahlgren guns, four 32 pounder smoothbores
, and one 30 pounder rifled gun. Combined she could fire 430 pounds of
iron in a volley. Her crew was made up of 162 officers and enlisted men
, mostly from the New England area. After the Civil War, USS Kearsarge
served honorably, continualy being upgraded and reworked until 1894 when
she struck Roncador Reef off Central America. Because of the gallant
action against the CSS Alabama there has been a ship with the name
Kearsarge in the U S Navy ever since.
Specifics taken from Historical New Hampshire magazine
Spring/Summer 1986 article, The Pride of Portsmouth: The Cruise of the
USS Kearsarge by William Marvel
What Yosemite Sam had to say after a recent trip to the New Hampshire sea coast.
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