Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Schooner Yacht America at Galveston, October 27-30

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on October 26, 2016



Sorry for the short notice on this one, folks, but tomorrow through Sunday, October 27-30, a sailing replica of the famous schooner yacht America will be visiting the Texas Seaport Museum here for both tours and short sailing excursions. As some of you will likely know, America was used briefly as a blockade runner during the first months of the Civil War, but was scuttled, raised and put into service with the U.S. Navy with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and later was used as a training ship for the U.S. Naval Academy. At one point, she was even owned and raced by Ben Butler (yes, that one), who reportedly maintained her in good shaped and sailing trim. Not all of her owners did, though, and she was eventually broken up and burned in the 1940s.

From the Galveston Historical Foundation website:

GHF’s Texas Seaport Museum will play host to another legendary ship in October as the Schooner AMERICA makes a stop in Galveston from Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 30 from 10am – 5pm daily (last ticket is sold at 4 pm). During their stay, the public is invited to tour the ship each morning and even take a rare journey onboard during special afternoon sail-aways. Viewing tickets are $18 per person, available at Texas Seaport Museum, and allow access to both AMERICA and the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA and are available at the Texas Seaport Museum. Sail-away tickets are $85 per person for adults and $42.50 for children 17 and under.


AMERICA will be available for tours on:

Thursday, October 27 : 10 am – 1:30 pm
Friday, October 28 : 9 am – 12 pm
Saturday, October 29 : 9 am – 11:30 am
Sunday, October 30 : 9 am – 11:30 am


AMERICA will be available for sail aways on:

Thursday, October 27 : 2:30 & 5 pm
Friday, October 28 : 1 & 3:30 pm
Saturday, October 29 : 12:30 & 3 pm
Sunday, October 30 : 12:30 & 3 pm


Additionally, GHF will host a special happy hour, complete with sunset cannon fire, for the ship featuring seasonal craft beers from Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Held on Friday, October 28 from 6-8 p.m., tickets are $30 per person and include complimentary beer.

The original AMERICA put yachting on the map and, without exaggerating, is the world’s most famous racing yacht. In 1851, a boat named ‘AMERICA’ won the ‘Royal Yacht Squadrons’ 100 Guinea Cup given to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight. It is said that the margin was so great that watching AMERICA sail past the royal yacht, Queen Victoria famously asked “Who came second?” “Your majesty, there is no second” was the reply. The winners, members of the New York Yacht Club, donated the trophy to the Club, to be held as a ‘challenge’ trophy. Thus was born the America’s Cup, named after the boat, not the country.

Her later career was equally as colorful. Conveyor of secret agents, Confederate blockade runner, Union warship, Naval Academy training vessel, and pride and joy of a famous Civil War general and politician. By her end in 1945, she was one of the most honored vessels in the United States. While the original was destroyed during World War II, this AMERICA is a near perfect replica built in 1995 at a cost of more than $6 million. Now, AMERICA has been selected as the ambassador for the America’s Cup Tour, visiting sites along the west coast, Mexico, U.S. gulf and east coast, and the Caribbean.


Should be fun. Maybe I’ll see y’all down there.


Image: Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.



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