USS Cumberland (1842) - Conversion


From 1855–1857, Cumberland was razeed at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. From his office in Washington, D.C., John L. Lenhart, the chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, directed the changes to the ship. The Navy gave her new weapons in the form of 24 Dahlgren smoothbore cannons (22 x IX-inch and 2 x X-inch). By razeeing the ship, Cumberland got an extension of life. The Navy made her a lighter ship and thus slightly faster. Specifically, the shipyard workers removed the top deck, removed the quarter galleries, removed all guns from the spar deck, and removed several of sections of wood.

This move was assisted by the revolution in naval weapons that provided more powerful guns (and thus needing fewer guns). While steam powered ships were entering the fleet, there was still a need for all the sail ships. As late as 1860, SecNav Isaac Toucey suggested that all Potomac-class frigates be razeed.

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Famous quotes containing the word conversion:

    The conversion of a savage to Christianity is the conversion of Christianity to savagery.
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