USS Tennessee (1865)

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USS Tennessee (1865)
USS Tennessee after the addition of a spar deck in 1869
Career 100x35px
Name: Madawaska
Launched: 8 July 1865
Renamed: Tennessee 15 May 1869
Fate: Sold 15 September 1886
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 3,281 Tons
Length: 355 ft (108 m)
Beam: 45 ft 2 in (13.77 m)
Draft: 21 ft 8 in (6.60 m)
Propulsion: 2 x vibrating lever engines
Sail plan: 10 principal sails = 22,500 sq ft (2,090 m2).
Complement: 480
Armament: 2 x 8" rifles; 2 x 100 pounder; 1 x 60 pounder; 18 x 9" smooth bore.

USS Tennessee, originally USS Madawaska, was a screw frigate built of wood at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and launched 8 July 1865. Powered by two Ericsson vibrating lever engines, Madawaska departed New York City for sea trials 14 January 1867, Comdr. Francis A. Roe in command. Remaining at sea for 1 week, she steamed nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 km) before returning when her supply of coal was exhausted.

She was renamed Tennessee 15 May 1869 and timbered up to the necessary height to allow a spar deck to be installed. She was fitted with new compound back‑acting engines capable of developing 3,200 horsepower (2,400 kW). She carried 380 tons of coal but she was also rigged for sail, the area of her 10 principal sails being 22,500 square feet (2,090 m2).

Her duties included service as flagship of the Asiatic Squadron under Rear Adm. William Reynolds, with Capt. William W. Low in command. By 1879 she was flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron under Rear Adm. Robert W. Wyman, with Capt. David B. Harmony in command.

In “The Steam Navy of the United StatesFrank M. Bennet relates that during the time Tennessee was flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron she was “the largest vessel then in commission in the American Navy, and the era of mastless steel cruisers was yet so far away that she was not suspected, by the youngsters at least, of being obsolete and stood as the type of all that was excellent and majestic in ship construction.”

Her spaciousness and the comfort of her quarters as well as her handling characteristics made her a favorite duty station. Tennessee was sold on 15 September 1886 to Burdett Pond of Meriden, Conn.


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