T.N.S. Elyssa

17" x 16" x 7"


Photography by: Killy Photography

The Art of :

Older than the Savannah, it was initially believed that the Elyssa was slower. However, the Elyssa had the advantage in that it utilized a steam engine with a screw that could be raised and lowered when the sails were being used, which proved invaluable as a blockade runner. It did not take long to determine that no ship in the Mexican Navy could outmaneuver the Elyssa. This was showcased in the famous battle between the Elyssa and the Mexican Navy’s 400 foot six masted schooner, the Debora.  For six days, the Elyssa outmanuvered and slugged it out with a ship that was twice its size. Ultimately, the Elyssa forced Admiral Diego Johnson into a catastrophic mistake that resulted in the Debora  hitting a sandbar at full speed. Unable to move and rapidly filling with water, the Debora was forced to surrender and the ship and its crew were stripped of everything, including the clothes off their backs.

Michael Horvath