In 1859, Construction began on the first of four ships, each bearing the new classification "corvette". They were brigs like their earlier cousins, but had steam propulsion:
The Nueces class was unique for several reasons. First, lessons learned from the Repulblic eliminated most of the flagship's problems. Her internal arrangement was more efficient, the stack was well forward of the mainmast to reduce the fire hazard. The mechanism to raise and lower the screw was more robust and less prone to jamming.
Like the Republic, she and her sister the Trinity made use of Armstrong breech-loaders. But unlike her earlier cousins, all her armament was on the weather deck. Her gun deck was clear and used exclusively for berthing and crew sustainment. As a result, duty aboard the corvettes was much sought after because of the increased comfort.
Nueces and Trinity were built in the United States but the third ship of the class, Sabine, was re-contracted after the outbreak of the American Civil War. Trinity was nearly confiscated on the stocks by the US Navy, which was scrambling to build up her fleet in a short time. As a result the last two ships, Sabine and Angelina, were built in British shipyards. Though their dimensions and armament are the same, Sabine and Angelina are known as the "step-sisters" of the class, since they were rigged differently than the first two.
This was my first attempt at sails. Obviously, there is room for improvement, but I don't think it's too bad for a first try.