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The first of the six new warships Congress appropriated for at the start of the war is launched in Philadelphia

Civil War at Sea Topic Image, Crew members of the USS Pawnee
The sloop-of-war U.S.S. Tuscarora had been laid down in June at the Philadelphia Naval Yard by Merrick and Sons shipbuilders as the first of the six new vessels the Congress authorized at the opening of the war.  Almost fifteen hundred tons and 198 feel, she was commissioned on December 3, 1861 and sailed soon after to search for Confederate raiders in the Atlantic. The Tuscarora served throughout the war and in the years following, and was finally sold in 1883.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Thomas Scharf and Thompson Wescott, History of Philadelphia 1609-1884, in three volumes (Philadelphia, PA: L.H. Everts & Co., 1884), 777.