Wednesday, October 12, 2011

USS Minnesota Ship Model and USS Congress Jack


This is a model of the magnificently designed 48-gun steam frigate USS Minnesota that is on display in the museum's gallery. C. Lester McLeod built the 1/8" to 1 foot scale model and delivered it to the museum in 1990. Launched in the 1850s, Minnesota served as the flagship to the locally-based North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She served in several actions during the Civil War including the Battle of Hampton Roads (both days), the 1861 Hatteras Expedition, and both 1864 and 1865 Fort Fisher campaigns. The frigate's design was respected (and feared) by naval observers worldwide as she provided a perfect balance of speed and firepower.

Behind the model is the jack from the sail frigate USS Congress. The frigate is most famous for being the second ship sunk by the ironclad CSS Virginia on March 8, 1862. A jack is a flag flown by a ship at the bow of the vessel. It typically is a partial design of the ship's national ensign and traditionally indicates that the ship is open for visitors. This particular artifact is one of the few artifacts from USS Congress known to exist.

7 comments:

patjoyce said...

My father's grandfather. Patrick Joyce, served aboard the USS Minnesota during the "Battle of the Ironclads". When he mustered out of the USN, he was "given" the "jack" flag from this ship. I also have copies of his USN pension paperwork that shows his service on the Uss Minnesota. I have the flag in my possession.

CWPhotograher said...

That is so very cool that you have the flag still from the USS Minnesota. I am part of a Civil War Reenacting group that runs a naval cannon, and we portray ourselves as crew members of the USS Minnesota. If you have any information that could help us educate at events I would really be interested!

CWPhotograher said...

That is so very cool that you have the flag still from the USS Minnesota. I am part of a Civil War Reenacting group that runs a naval cannon, and we portray ourselves as crew members of the USS Minnesota. If you have any information that could help us educate at events I would really be interested!

Gordon Calhoun said...

The next issue of the museum's publication The Daybook is all about USS Minnesota during the Battle of Hampton Roads. See it here---> http://www.history.navy.mil/museums/hrnm/resources-daybook-16.html

Gordon Calhoun said...

...and patjoyce, if you are ever looking for a permamant home for the jack, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum (www.hrnm.navy.mil) would perfect place for it

CWPhotograher said...

How can I get a copy of that publication? Or should I just print a copy myself? Wouldn't mind an original if it is something you send out.

Gordon Calhoun said...

Just send me your postal address to gordon.b.calhoun@navy.mil and I will send a copy to you.