"The "America" and sloop of war "Marion" leave Boston in the summer of 1863."

During a summer cruise of 1863, "America", acting as a United States Naval Academy training ship for midshipmen together with the sloops of war "Marion" and "Macedonian", visited Boston. In the painting, "America", with all sails pulling hard in the fresh breeze' sails across the bow of the sloop of war "Marion". "Marion" is still busy lowering her foresail and mainsail and hoisting one of her jibs. She is sailing under a reduced rig with no yards "crossed" on the topmast sections. On board "America" can be seen the 24 pounder Dahlgren deck guns that she carried to apprehend Confederate blockade runners. Sections of her deck are wet from water splashing aboard. Crew are hauling in the jib sheet on the port side for'ard. A cloud casts a shadow on the foreground water but sunlight lights up the water around "America" and "Marion" and creates a wonderful glow through "America's cotton sails. The old North Church, in the background is also sunlit but a shadow passes over the buildings and ships along part of the waterfront. Trees can be seen on Cropp's Hill, behind the "Marion". On the right hand side a schooner's sails flap as she tacks. She has furled her jib in preparation for anchoring.

"America" was scuttled by the Confederates in Dunn's Creek approximately 70 miles up St John's River from Jacksonville in March 1862. Thomas H. Stevens, a Lieutenant in the Union Navy, found her, raised her, and she was taken to Port Royal, South Carolina where she was dried out, masts restepped and she was put to blockade duty near Rattlesnake Shoal, Charleston from June 1862 to March 1863. She captured or forced ashore three Confederate blockade runners during that time. Next she was ordered to Newport, Rhode Island, to serve as a training ship. "America" remained in the navy until 1873 when she was sold to Benjamin Frank Butler.

The sloop of war "Marion" was a small ship rigged warship carrying guns on her spar deck only. Five sloops were built in 1839 (one in Boston) with the "Dale" lasting until 1905. "As a general characteristic, small American Naval vessels suffered from being over sparred, over gunned and over canvassed."( Quote from Howard I. Chapelle- "The History of the American Sailing Navy")
Dimensions30" x 40"
Mediaoil on canvas.


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