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U.S.S. Cairo (pronounced Care-o), a Union ironclad commanded by Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., was named for Cairo, Illinois, and commissioned on January 16, 1862. On December 12, 1862, in the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg, Cairo struck two underwater torpedoes (today called mines) sinking in less than 12 minutes with no loss of life. Preserved by mud and silt, Cairo sat on the bottom of the Yazoo River for 102 years. It was raised in 1964, and later restored. The ironclad is now on display within Vicksburg National Military Park.
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