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I had rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain, that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that you call a Gentle-man and is nothing else.

-- Oliver Cromwell

USS Wampanoag (1867-1885)

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USS Wampanoag, a 4215-ton steam frigate, was laid down at the New York Navy Yard in 1863 as part of a Civil War program of large, very fast, steam cruisers. Launched in December 1864, her completion was slowed by the coming of peace and she was not commissioned until September 1867. Wampanoag ran trials in February 1868, reaching speeds in excess of 17 knots, a very high figure for that time. Following brief service as flagship of the North Atlantic Fleet, she decommissioned in May 1868. A year later, while laid up, her name was changed to Florida. In 1874, the ship was refitted for use as storeship at the New London Naval Station, Connecticut, where she remained until sold in February 1885.

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This Day in History
1789: Congress votes to create a U.S. Army.

1862: Union General Jefferson C. Davis mortally wounds his commanding officer, General William Nelson, in Louisville, Kentucky. Davis had been upset by a reprimand handed down by Nelson.

1864: Union General Ulysses S. Grant tries to break the stalemate around Richmond and Petersburg, 25 miles south of Richmond, by attacking two points along the defenses of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The assault against Richmond, called the Battle of New Market Heights, and the assault against Petersburg, known as the Battle of Poplar Springs Church (Peebles Farm), both failed.

1915: Russians repulse Austrian attacks in the Uzsok Pass.

1915: The Germans bombard Reims and Dunkirk.

1916: German gas attacks at Hulluch and Wulverghem fail.

1917: The British occupy German trenches south of Oppy, east of Vimy Ridge.

1918: The French regain Locre.

1918: The Germans launch heavy bombardment between Meteren and Voormezeele followed by violent infantry attacks by thirteen Divisions. Three British divisions repulse every attack.

1939: Germany and the Soviet Union agree to divide control of occupied Poland roughly along the Bug River—the Germans taking everything west, the Soviets taking everything east.