Sunday, June 22, 2014

An Unusual Civil War Cemetery

Grave site of CSN Seaman James King. Naval History and Heritage Command.

This past Thursday, June 19, was the 150th anniversary of the engagement of the USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama, probably the second most famous ship-to-ship fight of the Civil War after the Monitor and Virginia. This leads to the CW Navy trivia question of the week; what is the only official Civil War historical site outside of the U.S.? The answer is, the City of Cherbourg, France. In a cemetery on a hillside overlooking the French port city lie the graves of three seamen, two Confederate and one Union. The Confederate seamen are George Appleby and James King, killed on the Alabama during the engagement. The Union sailor is William Gowen, who was rescued adrift in the waters of the English Channel. He was brought to shore and died eight days later, of wounds he received while serving on the Kearsarge in the combat. In September 2004, the Civil War Preservation Trust designated Cherbourg and its cemetery an official site of the American Civil War. This is the only such site outside of the U.S.

Deck scene on USS Kearsarge after the engagement with CSS Alabama. Naval History and Heritage Command.

1 comment:

  1. Nice story on the graves at Cherbourg. a small correction - the CWT has recognised the Wirral on Merseyisde (Liverpool) as a Civil War site so it joins Cherbourg as being the only two sites outside of the US. We have lot of articles about the Alabama on our website.