EXPLODED CONFEDERATE 3” READ SHELL FIRED INTO THE U.S.S. COMMODORE HULL

$2,250.00

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Item Code: 1179-183A

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Offered here is about two-thirds of a fired and exploded Confederate 3” Read artillery shell. The bottom portion has blown away. This Read shell features the typical raised bourrelet and lathe lug. The wood fuse adaptor is still in the fuse hole. An old paper tag with “20” is glued to the nose section; likely out of a museum or veteran’s post. There is also an old label with corresponding “20” which reads, “Shell partly exploded on USS Commodore Hull.” Label has multiple cracks and one corner is missing.

USS Commodore Hull, a 376-ton gunboat, was built at the New York in 1861 as the civilian ferryboat Nuestra Señora del Regla, intended for use at Havana, Cuba. Purchased by the Navy in September 1862, she was converted to a gunboat and commissioned in the following November.

Her ferryboat design made her especially useful for operations in sheltered waters, and Commodore Hull spent most of her service as part of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and in the North Carolina Sounds and its adjacent rivers. In that area, she took part in the May 5, 1864 battle with the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle.

She joined in the operations around Plymouth, N.C. on October 29 – 31, 1864. Here she was heavily damaged by Confederate field batteries, losing four killed and three wounded. This is likely when this shell was fired at the Commodore Hull. After repairs she returned to her patrols and remained active until the end of the Civil War.

Commodore Hull was decommissioned at New York Navy Yard on June 8, 1865. She subsequently was named Waccamaw in civilian employment, which lasted until sometime prior to 1885.

Coxswain Patrick Colbert was awarded the Medal of Honor on December 31, 1864. The citation reads, “Served on board the U.S.S. Commodore Hull at the capture of Plymouth, 31 October 1864. Painfully wounded by a shell which killed the man at his side, Colbert, as captain of the forward pivot gun, remained at his post until the end of the action, braving the heavy enemy fire and appearing as cool as if at mere target practice.

The U.S.S. Commodore Hull was a side wheeler that displaced 376 tons with a length of 141'. She was armed with two 30-pounder and four-24 pounder cannons. Crew of 68.

Isaac Hull (March 9, 1773 – February 13, 1843) was a Commodore in the United States Navy. He commanded several famous U.S. naval warships including USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") and saw service in the undeclared naval Quasi War with the revolutionary French Republic 1796–1800; the Barbary Wars (1801–1805, 1815), and the War of 1812 (1812–1815). In the latter part of his career he was Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard, and later the Commodore of the Mediterranean Squadron. For the infant U.S. Navy, the battle of USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere on August 19, 1812, at the beginning of the war, was the most important single ship action of the War of 1812 and one that made Isaac Hull a national hero.

This is a great relic from an interesting ship and engagement. [jet] [ph:L]

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