The monument marks the smallest federal cemetery in the nation. Originally built for China’s military, in 1863, the Tulip was purchased by the Navy for use in the Potomac Flotilla. On November 11, 1864, she left the flotilla base at St. Inigoes on her way to the Navy shipyards in Washington D.C., for repair. Not long underway, as she passed the Piney Point lighthouse, the boiler exploded and she sank immediately. Only eight of the crew of fifty-seven survived.