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Flat hat from the USS Kearsarge
National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Flat hat from the USS Kearsarge

Catalog #: 5854    Accession #: 25148
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 3" H x 11" W x 9.5" D

Physical Description

Blue wool with black ribbon band embossed in gold with Kearsarge.

Specific History

Flat hat worn by Landsman Nathan Ives of the USS Kearsarge.

General History

The CSS Alabama was a 1050-ton screw steam sloop of war. Built in Liverpool, England, it took to the sea as a merchant ship, but on 24 August 1862 she rendezvoused with a supply ship and was outfitted for war. For the next two years the CSS Alabama wreaked havoc on the sea borne commerce of the North by destroying more than 60 ships valued at nearly $6,000,000. On 11 June 1864, the Alabama was in need of repair and docked in Cherbourg, France. The Union steam sloop Kearsarge arrived in port and on 19 June the two ships sailed out to do battle. As the two ships circled, each trying to cross the others bow, the Alabama fired 150 rounds, but her powder and shells were of lesser quality than the Kearsarge. Of the 100 rounds fired by the Kearsarge, one shell tore open a section of the Alabama at her waterline and she sank. In 1984, the French Navy mine hunter Circe discovered the wreck of the Alabama under 200 feet of water off the coast of Cherbourg. In 1988, a nonprofit organization was founded to conduct scientific exploration of the wreck.


Countries: France, United States
War: Civil War
Service: Navy
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