Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Annapolis Comes to Newport

From the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial Blog by John Pentangelo.

On May 8, 1861, the USS Constitution sailed into Newport, Rhode, Island, with the United States Naval Academy Classes of 1861-1864 aboard.

Initially, the Plebes (1st Year midshipmen) were both berthed and had classes aboard the Constitution.

Captain George S. Blake was superintendent of the USNA during this move to a safer site as Annapolis was a hotbed of secession and Southern supporters.

The Navy then leased the Atlantic House, a hotel at the corner of Bellevue Avenue and Pelham Street opposite Touro Park.  This new structure provided mess facilities, administrative offices, classrooms and quarters for upper classmen.

As much as we love the USS Constitution today, the plebes didn't share that opinion, referring to the legendary ship as "Purgatory."  Going to anything at the Atlantic House was "Paradise."

--Old B-Runner

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