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Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.

-- Ernest Miller Hemmingway

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
1757: The Austrian army defeats the Prussians at Breslau in the Seven Years War.

1864: Confederate General John Bell Hood invades Tennessee in a desperate attempt to draw General William T. Sherman out of Georgia.

1915: The Anglo-Indian army, led by British General Sir Charles Townshend, attacks a larger Turkish force under General Nur-ud-Din at Ctesiphon, Iraq, but is repulsed.

1936: 1,200 soldiers are killed in a battle between the Japanese and Mongolians in China.

1942: Soviet troops complete the encirclement of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad.

1963: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated during a visit to Dallas, Texas.

1967: General William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, briefs officials at the Pentagon and says that the battle around Dak To was "the beginning of a great defeat for the enemy."

1972: The United States loses its first B-52 of the war. The eight-engine bomber was brought down by a North Vietnamese surface-to-air missile near Vinh on the day when B-52s flew their heaviest raids of the war over North Vietnam.

1982: President Ronald Reagan calls for defense-pact deployment of the MX missile.