USS Merrimac (1894)

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USS Merrimac
Career 60px
Name: 1894: Solveig
1897: Merrimac
Namesake: Merrimack River
Port of registry: 1894: Template:Country data NOR Norway
1897: Template:Country data US United States
Builder: Swan & Hunter, Wallsend
Yard number: 194
Completed: November 1894 (as Solveig)
Acquired: 12 April 1898
Commissioned: 11 April 1898
Fate: Sunk, 2 June 1898
General characteristics
Type: steamship
Displacement: 3,362 long tons (3,416 t)
Length: 322 ft 9 in (98.37 m)
Beam: 44 ft 2 in (13.46 m)
Depth: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)
Propulsion: 1 × triple-expansion steam engine

USS Merrimac was a steamship in the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War.

Merrimac was built by Swan & Hunter shipyard as SS Solveig in Wallsend, England, in November 1894. She was purchased by the US Navy in April 1898. Rear Admiral William T. Sampson ordered her to be sunk as a blockship at the entrance of Santiago Harbor, Cuba, in an attempt to trap the Spanish fleet in the harbor. On the night of 2-3 June 1898, eight volunteers attempted to execute this mission, but Merrimac's steering gear was disabled by the fire of Spanish land-based howitzers. The American steamer was later sunk by the combined gunfire and the torpedoes of the protected cruiser Vizcaya,[1] the unprotected cruiser Reina Mercedes, and the destroyer Pluton[2] without obstructing the harbor entrance. Her crewmen were rescued by the Spanish and made prisoners-of-war.[3] After the Battle of Santiago de Cuba destroyed the Spanish fleet a month later, the men were released. All eight were awarded Medals of Honor for their part in the mission.[4]

The eight volunteer crewman of the Merrimac were:


  1. The Boys of '98, By James Otis
  2. "What Hobson and his own men could not do by means of their own torpedoes, the Spaniards did with theirs, for they launched several from the Mercedes and the Pluton which gave the coup de grace, sinking the Merrimack just off Socapa Point." Wiley, Edwin and Everett Rines, Irving (1915). Lectures on the growth and development of the United States, Volume 10. American Educational Alliance, p. 126
  3. Hobson, p. 90
  4. Hobson, p. xxiv


Coordinates: 19°58′37″N 75°52′18″W / 19.97694°N 75.87167°W / 19.97694; -75.87167

pl:USS Merrimac (1898)