The 22-gun sloop-of-war USS Constellation was launched in 1854. Before the Civil War, Constellation served as flagship of the U.S. Africa Squadron patrolling the waters off of West Africa in search of ships engaging in the illegal slave trade. She captured three slavers, including the barque Cora, and freed 705 Africans destined for slavery. At the outbreak of the Civil War, she made the first Union Navy capture at sea, overpowering Triton, a slaver brig sailing in coastal waters off Africa. She then spent two years on the Mediterranean station protecting American shipping from Confederate commerce raiders. In 1864, Constellation reported for duty with Rear Admiral David Farragut's West Gulf Blockading Squadron. USS Constellation is the last Civil War era naval vessel still afloat and the last all sail warship built by the U.S. Navy. Since 1955, the ship has been preserved as a museum in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. A nine million dollar restoration project, completed in 1999, returned the ship's exterior to its 1860s configuration. Now, with all four decks open for exploration, visitors can enjoy a completely restored captain's cabin, sick bay, and wardroom in addition to engaging in hands-on demonstrations that take them back in time to a life at sea during the Civil War. Other sites available for visitation: Pearl Harbor survivor USCGC Taney; WWII submarine USS Torsk; Lightship 116 Chesapeake; and Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse.
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