After a two year hiatus, I'm back in the game. I acquired this past week an outstanding grouping of CW Union Naval artifacts. I will share the other artifacts in a later thread, but will start off by showcasing this. This is the official ship's Bible presented to the U.S.S. Virginia. The CW period Virginia started off as a British merchantman ship Pet built in Dumbarton, Scotland in 1861. In December, 1862 it was acquired by a Havana merchant for use as a Confederate blockade runner. Renamed Virginia, the vessel was captured by the Wachusett and Sonoma on 18 January 1863; was purchased by the Navy and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard 12 June 1863. Virginia was assigned to Farragut's West Gulf Blockading Squadron, eventually being deployed off the Texas Coast for the duration of the war. She racked up an impressive list of captures during her career, as well as supporting General Nathaniel Banks landing at Brazos Santiago, TX near the mouth of the Rio Grande River. She served in the department until the end of the war, returning to Philadelphia 17 July, 1865, and sold at public auction in New York on 30 November, 1865.