Josiah Cutter Freeman (1828-1862) | Hamilton.
Naval history was made on 8 March 1862 at Hampton Roads, when Virginia, a steam-powered Confederate ironclad warship, rammed and sank Cumberland, an imposing Union sloop of war that had been rebuilt (razeed) just five years earlier, and was on blockade duty to keep supplies from reaching the rebellious states. The day was calm, and Cumberland, which depended upon the wind to sail, lay helpless at Newport News, though her crew fought valiantly and refused to surrender to the Confederate ship. Virginia‘s easy victory against Cumberland and Congress that day terrorized the United States. “That she would have been able to destroy every vessel in the Roads … and make her way out to sea may now be considered a demonstrated fact,” The New-York Times wrote on 10 March. “Once out on the rampage, she would play the bull in the crockery-shop with our wooden blockaders; and it is difficult to see what would have prevented her going down the coast like a destroying angel and annihilating our whole fleet.” The role of 34-year-old Josiah Freeman in the Battle of Hampton Roads was to have perished aboard Cumberland. For that sacrifice, he was honored as the namesake of Provincetown’s post of the Grand Army of the Republic, chartered in 1884. [Lot No. 84.]
¶ Last updated on 23 January 2018.
Provincetown’s Historic Cemeteries and Memorials, Key H-49, Page 12.