USS Richmond (1860)
The USS Richmond was a wooden steam sloop in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. Richmond was launched on 26 January 1860 by the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia. Richmond, commanded by Captain D. N. Ingraham, departed Virginia 13 October 1860 for the Mediterranean. Upon her return to New York City 3 July 1861, the nation had been plunged into civil war so she was readied for sea, her first war service began 31 July 1861 when she sailed for Kingston, Jamaica to search for the elusive Confederate raider Sumter commanded by Raphael Semmes. Leaving Trinidad on 5 September, Richmond cruised along the southern coast of Cuba and around Cape San Antonio. Semmes, reached New Orleans, Louisiana. Departing 25 August, Richmond arrived at Key West on 2 September en route north to join the Gulf Blockading Squadron. After cruising before Fort Pickens, Richmond was ordered to the Head of the Passes at the mouth of the Mississippi River where she patrolled the river's mouth to maintain the blockade.
Richmond's captain became commander of a small flotilla, which included the sloop of war, USS Preble, the despatch vessel, USS Water Witch. The ships were taken across the bar at the Head of the Passes during the first week of October. In the early morning darkness of the 12th, the Confederate ram Manassas and three armed steamers of Commodore Hollins's Mosquito Fleet attacked the Richmond and her consorts in an attempt to break the blockade in what became the Battle of the Head of Passes. Steaming under cover of darkness, the Confederate ships took the Union squadron by surprise. Richmond was taking on coal from the schooner, Joseph N. Toone, when Manassas rammed Richmond tearing a hole in the sloop's side. Passing aft, the ram failed to hit Richmond again before disappearing astern. Richmond's gunners got away one complete broadside from the port battery though, somewhat evening the score. While USS Vincennes and Preble retired down the southwest Pass, Richmond covered their retreat. Three Confederate fire rafts were sighted floating down river, several large steamers were seen astern of them.
In attempting to cross the bar, both Vincennes and Richmond grounded and were taken under fire by Confederate gunners afloat and ashore. The Army transport, McClellan, arrived with long range rifled guns on loan from Fort Pickens. Richmond cruised off the mouth of the river, blockading Confederate forces and aiding Army engineers erecting batteries on the banks of the South and Southwest passages. In mid-November 1861, she returned to Pensacola Bay for temporary repairs. On 22 November Richmond joined the steam sloop of war Niagara and the guns of Fort Pickens to bombard Pensacola Navy Yard, the Confederate defenses at Fort McRee, the town of Warrington. On the second day of firing Richmond had one man killed and seven wounded when hit twice by shore fire. One shell hit forward, destroying railing and hammock nettings, one aft on the starboard side glanced under her counter, exploding 4 feet underwater, damaging her bottom and causing serious leaks. Richmond retired to Key West and stood out from that port 27 November 1861 for repairs at the New York Navy Yard.
Richmond departed New York on 13 February 1862. Richmond joined the West Gulf Blockading Squadron off Ship Island on 5 March as Flag Officer David Farragut prepared to seize New Orleans, Louisiana. Richmond began making preparations for battle. On 16 April, Farragut's fleet moved to a position below St. Philip. Mounting over 100 guns, these forts were the principal shore defenses of New Orleans; the Confederates had gathered a flotilla of requisitioned gunboats and were trying to complete the powerful casemate ram Louisiana as well. They further counted on using fire ships to disrupt the large Union squadron. Hidden by intervening woods, the Union mortar flotilla under Commander David D. Porter began a 6-day bombardment of the Confederate forts on 18 April 1862; the Confederates began sending fire rafts downstream, Richmond reported dodging one in the early morning of 21 April which "passed between us and the Hartford, the great flames shooting as high as the masts." On 24 April Farragut's fleet ran past the forts and defeated the Confederate flotilla, continued upriver for about 12 miles.
Though Richmond was hit 17 times above the waterline, her chain armor kept out many rounds and limited her casualties to two killed and three wounded. Richmond landed her Marine detachment at New Orleans to help keep order until General Benjamin Franklin Butler's Army troops arrived. Richmond helped take possession of military installations at Baton Rouge, Louisiana on 10 May 1862. Four days she cruised upriver, first to a point 12 miles below the juncture of the Red River, thence off Natchez River and to a position below the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg on 18 June 1862. Farragut's squadron, with Richmond in company passed Vicksburg exchanging heavy fire on 28 June 1862 and was present when Farragut's fleet joined with Commodore Charles H. Davis' Western Flotilla above Vicksburg on 1 July 1862. Richmond again suffered two killed and was damaged as as during the New Orleans campaign. On 15 July 1862 the Confederate casemate ram Arkansas came out of the Yazoo River and ran past the Union Fleet above Vicksburg.
Although hotly pursued by Richmond and other ships, the ram escaped to shelter under the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg. Farragut's fleet again raced past Vicksburg and Richmond continued to provide escort for supply steamers and shore bombardment support. In one of the fiercest engag
USS Contoocook (1864)
USS Contoocook was a screw sloop-of-war built for the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She is named after a village in New Hampshire, she was launched 3 December 1864 at Portsmouth Navy Yard and commissioned 14 March 1868, commanded by Captain George Balch. Her first cruise, as flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron, took her to the West Indies where she patrolled extensively for the protection of American interests during 1868 and 1869, her name was changed to Albany on 15 May 1869. After another cruise to the West Indies in the fall of that year, Albany was placed out of commission on 7 January 1870, she served as a quarantine ship at New York until sold 12 December 1872. USS Contoocook USS Worcester USS Severn USS Congress Cancelled ships include: USS Tahgayuta USS Arapahoe USS Keosauqua USS Mondamin USS Wanaloset USS Willamette This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships; the entry can be found here
Albert Goodwill Spalding was an American pitcher and executive in the early years of professional baseball, the co-founder of A. G. Spalding sporting goods company, he was born and raised in Byron, Illinois yet graduated from Rockford Central High School in Rockford, Illinois. He played major league baseball between 1871 and 1878. Spalding set a trend. After his retirement as a player, Spalding remained active with the Chicago White Stockings as president and part-owner. In the 1880s, he took players on the first world tour of baseball. With William Hulbert, Spalding organized the National League, he called for the commission that investigated the origins of baseball and credited Abner Doubleday with creating the game. He wrote the first set of official baseball rules. Having played baseball throughout his youth, Spalding first played competitively with the Rockford Pioneers, a youth team, which he joined in 1865. After pitching his team to a 26–2 victory over a local men's amateur team, he was approached at the age of 15 by another squad, the Forest Citys, for whom he played for two years.
In the autumn of 1867 he accepted a $40 per week contract, nominally as a clerk, but to play professionally for the Chicago Excelsiors, not an uncommon arrangement used to circumvent the rules of the time, which forbade the hiring of professional players. Following the formation of baseball's first professional organization, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in 1871, Spalding joined the Boston Red Stockings and was successful. William Hulbert, principal owner of the Chicago White Stockings, did not like the loose organization of the National Association and the gambling element that influenced it, so he decided to create a new organization, which he dubbed the National League of Baseball Clubs. To aid him in this venture, Hulbert enlisted the help of Spalding. Playing to the pitcher's desire to return to his Midwestern roots and challenging Spalding's integrity, Hulbert convinced Spalding to sign a contract to play for the White Stockings in 1876. Spalding coaxed teammates Deacon White, Ross Barnes and Cal McVey, as well as Philadelphia Athletics players Cap Anson and Bob Addy, to sign with Chicago.
This was all done under complete secrecy during the playing season because players were all free agents in those days and they did not want their current club and the fans to know they were leaving to play elsewhere the next year. News of the signings by the Boston and Philadelphia players leaked to the press before the season ended and all of them faced verbal abuse and physical threats from the fans of those cities, he was "the premier pitcher of the 1870s", leading the league in victories for each of his six full seasons as a professional. During each of those years he was his team's only pitcher. In 1876, Spalding won 47 games as the prime pitcher for the White Stockings and led them to win the first-ever National League pennant by a wide margin. In 1877, Spalding began to use a glove to protect his catching hand. People had used gloves but they were not popular, Spalding himself was skeptical of wearing one at first. However, once he began donning gloves, he influenced other players to do so.
Spalding retired from playing baseball in 1878 at the age of 27, although he continued as president and part owner of the White Stockings and a major influence on the National League. Spalding's.796 career winning percentage is the highest by a baseball pitcher, far exceeding the second-best.690. In the months after signing for Chicago and Spalding organized the National League by enlisting the two major teams in the East and the four other top teams in what was considered to be the West known as the jungle. Joining Chicago were the leading teams from Cincinnati, St. Louis; the owners of these western clubs accompanied Hulbert and Spalding to New York where they secretly met with owners from New York City, Philadelphia and Boston. Each signed the league's constitution, the National League was born. "Spalding was thus involved in the transformation of baseball from a game of gentlemen athletes into a business and a professional sport." Although the National Association held on for a few more seasons, it was no longer recognized as the premier organization for professional baseball.
It faded out of existence and was replaced by myriad minor leagues and associations around the country. In 1886, with Spalding as President of the franchise, the Chicago White Stockings, began holding spring training in Hot Springs, which subsequently has been called the "birthplace" of spring training baseball; the location and the training concept was the brainchild of Spalding and his player/manager Cap Anson, who saw that the city and the natural springs created positives for their players. They first played in an area called the Hot Springs Baseball Grounds. Many other teams began training in Hot Springs and other locations. In 1905, after Henry Chadwick wrote an article saying that baseball grew from the British sports of cricket and rounders, Spalding called for a commission to find out the real source of baseball; the commission called for citizens who knew anything about the founding of baseball to send in letters. After three years of searching, on December 30, 1907, Spalding rece
USS Wachusett (1861)
USS Wachusett – the first U. S. Navy ship to be so named – was a large steam sloop-of-war that served the United States Navy during the American Civil War, she was outfitted as a gunboat and used by the Navy as part of the Union blockade of the Confederate States of America. When the war was over, Wachusett continued to serve the Navy, protecting American interests in both the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Pacific Ocean until she was decommissioned. Wachusett—one of seven screw sloops-of-war authorized by the U. S. Congress in February 1861—was laid down by the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, in June 1861. John S. Missroon in command. Wachusett's long career began on 10 March 1862 with her assignment to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron; the warship left Boston two days and arrived in Hampton Roads, Virginia, on the 16th. She was deployed in the York and James rivers and performed service in support of Major General George B. McClellan's Peninsular Campaign of spring, 1862. On 4 May, a boat crew from Wachusett raised the Stars and Stripes at Gloucester Point, following the Union occupation of Yorktown, Virginia.
Soon thereafter, the screw sloop moved to the James and, on the 15th, participated in the attack on Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, Virginia. She remained in the York and James rivers through August and served with the Potomac Flotilla as Commodore Charles Wilkes' flagship from 29 August to 7 September. On 8 September, Wachusett was designated flagship of a special "Flying Squadron" under Commodore Wilkes; this squadron of seven vessels was deployed in the West Indies with orders to search for the destructive and elusive Confederate commerce raiders CSS Alabama and Florida. On 18 January 1863, Wachusett and Sonoma captured the Southern merchant steamer Virginia off Isla Mujeres and took the British blockade runner Dolphin between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas Island on 25 March. However, all efforts to track down Alabama and Florida failed, she was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 19 June 1863. Repairs completed, Wachusett was recommissioned on 28 January 1864. On 4 February, she sailed for the coast of Brazil to protect American commerce from the Confederacy's "piratical cruisers," Alabama and Florida.
Many months passed tracking down fruitless leads as to the whereabouts of the two vessels. On 4 October, Comdr. Napoleon Collins of Wachusett sighted Florida, Lt. Charles Manigault Morris, CSN, entering Bahia harbor, Brazil. Comdr. Collins dared Lt. Morris to come out and fight. However, Collins was determined not to allow Florida to slip away. In the early morning darkness of the 7th, Wachusett got underway, steamed past the Brazilian gunboat anchored between his ship and Florida, rammed the raider on her starboard quarter. After a brief exchange of cannon fire, Lt. Porter, commanding Florida in Morris's absence, surrendered the ship. Aroused by the commotion, the Brazilian coastal fort at Bahia opened fire on Wachusett as she towed her prize to sea; the two vessels escaped unscathed, steamed north, reached Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 11 November. Commander Collins was promptly court-martialed for the incident, but soon after was restored to his command by U. S. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.
After undergoing repairs at the Boston Navy Yard, under its new captain, Commander Robert Townsend, got underway on 5 March 1865 and sailed, via the Cape of Good Hope, for the East Indies. There, she joined Wyoming and Iroquois in an effort to track down the Confederate commerce raider CSS Shenandoah. While in China the ship was engaged in efforts to track down outlaws and pirates who were harming American interests. In mid-August the ship sailed up the Yangtze River in this mission; the heat was 107 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade and the ship made difficult passage up the river. A number of cases of heat stroke, some of them fatal, occurred. At 1:45 am on 15 August 1866, Robert Townsend died of heat stroke; the executive officer John Woodward Philip, assumed command of the Wachusett and sailed it downriver with the goal of making it to Japan for the health of the crew. That evening the ship held a funeral for their commander, she remained in Chinese waters into 1867, when under Captain Robert W. Schufeldt she attempted to enter Korea in order to investigate the demise of the USS General Sherman.
Upon her return to the United States, she was decommissioned on 4 February 1868 and was placed in ordinary at the New York Navy Yard. Recommissioned on 1 June 1871, Wachusett left New York City a week bound for the Mediterranean where she cruised until November 1873. On 7 August 1872, Landsman Alexander Bradley jumped overboard to rescue another sailor from drowning, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Returning home, Wachusett served along the Atlantic and gulf coasts for a year before she was decommissioned at Boston on 29 December 1874, she remained laid up at Boston for five years and was recommissioned on 26 May 1879. She sailed for the Gulf of Mexico on 5 June and visited New Orleans and Vicksburg, Mississippi, to enlist seamen before returning to Boston in August. On 2 October 1879, Wachusett left Boston for the South Atlantic Station where she cruised until May 1880. Wachusett, with Alfred Thayer Mahan in command, was stationed at Callao, protecting American inte
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, or as the Loyal Legion is a United States patriotic order, organized April 15, 1865, by officers of the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States who "had aided in maintaining the honor and supremacy of the national movement" during the American Civil War. It was formed by loyal union military officers in response to rumors from Washington of a conspiracy to destroy the Federal government by assassination of its leaders, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, they stated their purpose as the cherishing of the memories and associations of the war waged in defense of the unity and indivisibility of the Republic. As the original officers died off, the veterans organization became an all-male hereditary society; the modern organization is composed of male descendants of these officers, others who share the ideals of the Order, who collectively are considered "Companions". A female auxiliary, Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States, was formed in 1899 and accepted as an affiliate in 1915.
Following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, rumors spread that the act had been part of a wider conspiracy to overthrow the constituted government of the United States by assassinating its chief men. Many people at first gave credence to these rumors, including three of the officers assigned to the honor guard for Lincoln's body as it was transported to Springfield, for burial. To demonstrate their loyalty, they decided to form a "Legion" modeled on the Revolutionary War Society of the Cincinnati; the Loyal Legion was organized during the same meetings that planned Lincoln's funeral, culminating in a meeting on May 31, 1865, in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, at which the name was chosen. The Order was composed of three classes of members: Officers who had fought in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States in the suppression of the Rebellion, or enlisted men who had so served and were subsequently commissioned in the regular forces of the United States, constituted the "Original Companions of the First Class."
The eldest direct male lineal descendants of deceased Original Companions or deceased eligible officers could be admitted as "hereditary Companions of the First Class." "Companions of the Second Class" were the eldest direct male lineal descendants of living Original Companions or of living individuals who were eligible for membership in the First Class. The Third Class comprised distinguished civilians who had rendered faithful and conspicuous service to the Union during the Civil War. By the law of the Order, no new elections to this class were made after 1890; the Loyal Legion grew in the late 19th Century and had Companions in every Northern state, in many of the states that had once formed the Confederacy. The Commandery in Chief was established on October 21, 1885 with authority over the 14 state commanderies in existence; the Pennsylvania Commandery functioned as the "first among equals" of the commanderies as it was both the oldest and largest. At its height about 1900, the Order had more than 8,000 Civil War veterans as active members, including nearly all notable general and flag officers and several presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Philip H. Sheridan, George B.
McClellan, Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley; the Order's fame was great enough to inspire John Philip Sousa to compose the "Loyal Legion March" in its honor in 1890. Today, the Order serves as a hereditary society rather than as a functioning military order. Among other activities, Companions organize and participate in commemorative events, provide awards to deserving ROTC cadets, assist with preservation efforts. Of special note is that, each year, the Loyal Legion commemorates President Lincoln's birthday with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. In 2009, the MOLLUS helped coordinate an extended tribute with the help of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of Lincoln's birthday. There are now three basic categories of membership: Hereditary and Honorary. Just as many Original Companions of the Order were members of the Grand Army of the Republic, many current Companions of the Order are members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the legal heir to the GAR.
Organizationally, the Loyal Legion is composed of a National Commandery-in-Chief and individual state Commanderies. There are 20 state Commanderies. States without their own Commandery are placed under the jurisdiction of an exi
Sweden the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre; the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats and Swedes and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia; the climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture and languages; this led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and the Swedish Empire was formed; this became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs; the union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 moved towards cooperation with NATO. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens, it has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality and human development.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes"; this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi and Rootsi are used, names considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, who were known as the Rus', through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia; the etymology of Swedes, thus Sweden, is not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end. Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC; as for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating th