Join us on Friday, December 4 at 12 p.m. for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein! Quarstein will give a presentation live from his home in Hampton, Virginia, about a Confederate commerce raider that entered service as a United States Mail Service ship. Viewers are welcome to send Quarstein any comments or questions during the presentation, and he will answer following his talk.
About this presentation:
One of the first Confederate commerce raiders, Nashville, entered service in 1853 as a United States Mail Service ship. The USMS Nashville steamed into Charleston harbor during the bombardment of Fort Sumter. The ship was taken by the Confederates and commissioned as the sidewheeler CSS Nashville and placed under the command of Lieutenant Robert Pegram. This commerce raider made its first capture, Harvey Birch, just before the steamer made it to Southampton, Great Britain. This made Nashville the first warship to fly the Confederate flag in Britain. After several escapes from Southampton, Beaufort, North Carolina, and Georgetown, South Carolina, Nashville made it to Savannah, Georgia, where the sidewheeler would eventually be destroyed.
Image credit: Clipper Ship Harvey Birch. Set Afire by CSS Nashville in 1861. Reproduction of painting by Duncan McFarlane, 1864. Courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command # NH 53687.