Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Monday, August 19, 2013

Maritime Monday - U.S.S. Somers

Sinking of U.S.S. Somers off Vera Cruz, Mexico
On 20 March 1843, Lt. John West assumed command of Somers, and the brig was assigned to the Home Squadron. For the next few years, she served along the Atlantic coast and in the West Indies.

Somers was in the Gulf of Mexico off Vera Cruz at the opening of the Mexican War in the spring of 1846; and, but for runs to Pensacola for logistics, she remained in that area on blockade duty until winter. On the evening of 26 November, the brig, commanded by Raphael Semmes [later commanding officer of CSS Alabama], was blockading Vera Cruz when Mexican schooner Criolla slipped into that port. Somers launched a boat party which boarded and captured the schooner. However, a calm prevented the Americans from getting their prize out to sea so they set fire to the vessel and returned through gunfire from the shore to Somers, bringing back seven prisoners. Unfortunately, Criolla proved to be an American spy ship operating for Commodore Conner.
On 8 December, while chasing a blockade runner off Vera Cruz, Somers capsized and foundered in a sudden squall. Thirty-two members of her crew drowned and seven were captured. (U.S. Naval History Center)

My 2nd great-grand uncle's name, William Rose, is among those listed as having been lost when the Somers capsized. 


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