CDV IMAGE OF THE COMMANDER OF THE ILL-FATED USS CUMBERLAND DURING HER FIGHT WITH THE CSS VIRGINIA

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Item Code: 259-80

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Full standing image of Morris with one hand resting on a draped column. He wears a dark double-breasted frock coat with a single row of braid on each cuff and Lieutenant’s shoulder straps. He also wears matching dark trousers

Image is crisp and clear but the contrast is a bit dark on the left side of the subjects face.

Reverse has an E. ANTHONY FROM A BRADY NEGATIVE back mark and an old pencil inscription that reads “CAPTAIN MORRIS OF CUMBERLAND.”

His obituary from The National Republican tells his story:

“Tuesday Morning, August 17, 1875

Death of Commander George Upman Morris, United States Navy

We regret to announce the death of one of the bravest officers of the American navy, Commander George U. Morris, of consumption, at the Alum Springs, Virginia, on the 15th instant. He was the youngest son of the illustrious Commodore Morris and was born at the Charleston Navy Yard, where his father was in command of that station forty-five years ago and was named for his father’s old friend, the gallant Colonel Upman, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Entering the navy in 1846, he served in the Gulf during the Mexican War and was present in the actions of Taspan and Tobasco. He was in the Pacific from 1854 to 1857 and on the 8th of March 1862, was First Lieutenant of the Cumberland in the Hampton Roads and temporarily in command during the absence of Captain Radford. When the Confederate iron clad Merrimac, commanded by Buchanan, came out of the Elizabeth River, she made a serious onset upon the Cumberland and was received by a vigorous and well directed fire, which produced unfortunately, but little effect. The Merrimac ran furiously against the Cumberland and sank her in a few minutes.

She went down with a parting broadside at her enemy and with her colors flying. Many of her officers and crew were enabled to reach the shore, but a large number perished with the ship. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander July 1862, he commanded from 1862 to 1864 the gunboat Port Royal in the Gulf, the Shawmut in 1864-1865 in the Atlantic and the Brooklyn in 1866. Commander Morris was twice married. His first wife, a lady of Fredericksburg, died in this city a few years ago. His second wife, a daughter [Mary] of Franklin Steele Esq., of Georgetown survives him. He leaves no children. His mother is still living in this city as the venerable age of eighty-three. Commander Morris was distinguished throughout his whole career as a naval officer by his rigid adherence to duty. He enjoyed to an unusual degree the respect and esteem of his brother officers, who will regret his death in the meridian of life, as the severance of many ties of friendship and a loss to the service of which he was an ornament.”

He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D. C.  [ad]

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