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The Crew

Portsmouth, N.H.

This is a great contribution from a friend of the Afterguard. This is an unpublished photo of the original Afterguard. Ron Tarburton, the gentleman who provided us this pic, has also identified a number of the sailors who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. In the coming weeks I'll include their stories and close-ups at this site. Thanks Ron for all your hard work in preserving our history.

Who Are These Guys?

The Kearsarge Afterguard is incorporated into the State of New Hampshire as a nonprofit educational organization. Our goal is to preserve the maritime history of the American Civil War. We are currently working on obtaining tax exempt status as a nonprofit organization.


On Sunday June 19, 1864 The CSS Alabama made her way out of Cherbourg France. She was escorted by the French iron clad Couronne and the steam yacht Deerhound. On board the USS Kearsarge the decks had been holystoned and the crew were dressed handsomely for Sunday services. At 10:20 am the officer of the deck gave word that a steamer rounding the breakwater was the Alabama. Captain Winslow put away his bible and the ship readied for action. Kearsarge headed for sea ensureing the battle take place in international waters. At 1,800 yards the Alabama fired her first volley. The shot rippled across the water. Alabama fired volley after volley doing no serious harm to Kearsarge. At 500 yards Keararge's 11 inch guns began thier work, pouring accurate fire into Alabama. Captain Semmes of the Alabama, unaccustomed to attacking armed vessels, realized he was outmatched and attempted to disengage and flee back to France. Winslow was not going to lose his prize however, and positioned Kearsarge between the Alabama and The French coast. There was no escape for Alabama. Her fires were out and she was taking on more water than the pumps could remove. Semmes gave the order to surrender. After the crew had evacuated , the ship that had been built by neutural England, armed by neutural England, and manned by many neutural Englishman, sank stern first into the English channel.

Specifics gathered from Ivan Musicant's book Divided Waters, Harper-Collins books 1995

Todays Afterguard.

We are comprised of members from every walk of life, spread all across New England. We all share a common interest in the American Civil War. Some of us are Navy and Marine veterans others are not. Our focus is to accurately portray the life of the common sailor in detail. We've done living history presentations at a number of historical sites including the USS Constitution. Our uniforms are museum quality reproductions as are our personal effects and equipment. We pride ourselves in our attention to historical details. If this sounds like something you have an interest in feel free to e-mail me. A vast knowledge of the Naval aspects of the Civil War is not necessary. We focus on recruits with the right attitude and the desire to learn with us.

Description of USS Kearsarge


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). She was 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

HearWhat Yosemite Sam had to say after a recent trip to the New Hampshire sea coast.

Someday I hope to include the following...

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