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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
1865: The U.S. House of Representatives passes the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States. It read, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

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1943: The Battle of Stalingrad ends as small groups of German soldiers of the Sixth Army surrender to the victorious Red Army forces.

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1945: Pvt. Eddie Slovik becomes the first American soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion and the only one who suffered such a fate during World War II.

1951: Belgian troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Albert Crahay arrived in Korea to join Eighth Army.

1966: U.S. planes resume bombing of North Vietnam after a 37-day pause.

1967: U.S.M.C. Lt. Frank Reasoner of Kellogg, Idaho, leading the Viet Cong ambush Company A of the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, wins the first Marine Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.