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March 20, 2009

USS Minnesota Photograph and Relic

Filed under: What's New — Matt Anderson @ 8:15 am

The Society recently acquired a pair of interesting items associated with the Navy frigate USS Minnesota. The vessel was launched in 1855 and served as flagship of the Union’s Atlantic Blockading Squadron during the Civil War. The Minnesota is best remembered for her participation in the 1862 Battle of Hampton Roads, the famed clash between the ironclads Monitor and Virginia.

The acquired items include a photograph of the Minnesota, and a relic made from her hull. The photo, taken around 1898, shows the venerable frigate in her last assignment as an apparent barracks ship with the Massachusetts Naval Militia. The relic is a small fragment of the vessel’s oak hull, with a silver plaque proclaiming its origin. The fragment was made by Thomas Buttler & Company of Boston, the firm that scrapped the ship in 1901.

The photo and relic complement two other pieces already in the Society’s collection: the Minnesota’s wheel and bell. Together, they preserve the memory of the first Navy ship named for the state (er, territory) and a witness to one of the most remarkable naval battles in history.

Matt Anderson, Objects Curator

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3 Responses to “USS Minnesota Photograph and Relic”

  1. Lorne Marmet Says:

    I am a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Camp 04. My great-great-great-grandfather Seaman David Bass, earned the Medal of Honor while serving aboard the USS Minnesota. I am putting together a presentation about him and would like a large portion be about the ship. I am looking for the “official version” of the 2nd battle of Fort Fisher. Assistance would be deeply appreciated.

    Lori reply on August 28th, 2012:

    Here are some of the resources about Fort Fisher we have in the Library Collection:
    If you need more than that I recommend contacting our Reference Department directly:
    Thank you for your interest and good luck with your presentation!
    - Lori

    Jim Lowery reply on September 5th, 2012:

    Lorne My great great grandfather James Lowery/Lowry also served on the Minnesota and was at the second battle of Ft. Fisher. He was a boy 1st. class 15 years old. I have found info. where he saved a Confederate Soldier and years later while buying lumber to build boats he was talking to the landowner about the War turns out the landowner was the same soldier he saved years before. If you have any information on the Minnesota I would appreciate your help. Thanks Jim Lowery

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