USS Wyandotte (1864)

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The USS Wyandotte at Boston Navy Yrad during the Spanish-American War.
The USS Wyandotte at Boston Navy Yard during the Spanish-American War.
Career 48px
Ordered: 15 September 1862
Builder: Miles Greenwood
Laid down: 28 September 1862
Launched: 22 December 1864
Commissioned: 16 April 1864
Decommissioned: 20 September 1898
Renamed: USS Vesuvius, 15 June 1869
USS Wyandotte, 10 August 1869
Fate: Sold, 17 January 1899
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,100 tons
Length: 223 ft (68 m)
Beam: 43 ft 4 in (13.21 m)
Draft: 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
Propulsion: 2 boilers, 1-shaft Ericsson vibrating lever engine, 320 ihp (235 kW)
Speed: 8 knots
Complement: 85 officers and enlisted
Armament: 2 × 15 in (381 mm) Dahlgren smoothbore guns
Armor: Iron
Side: 5 - 3 in (12.7 - 7.6 cm)
Turret: 10 in (25.4 cm)
Pilothouse: 8 in (20.3 cm)
Deck: 1½ in (3.8 cm)

USS Wyandotte was a Canonicus class monitor originally named Tippecanoe. Constructed by Miles Greenwood at the shipyard of John Litherbury at Cincinnati, Ohio, Tippecanoe was laid down on 28 September 1862 and launched on 22 December 1864. However, she was not completed until 1866 when she was laid up at New Orleans, LA. In 1869, she was twice renamed: to Vesuvius on 15 June and to Wyandotte on 10 August.

Between 1870 and 1872, the monitor was laid up at Key West, FL, and at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. In 1873 and 1874, Wyandotte underwent extensive repairs by John Roach & Sons at Chester, Pennsylvania. On 24 January 1876, the warship was commissioned, with Lieutenant Thomas C. Terrell in command.

Service history

Wyandotte operated with the North Atlantic Squadron off the east coast into 1879, on exercises and training cruises, basing for a time out of Hampton Roads, VA. She later served as station ship at Washington, DC, before being laid up in 1885 and placed in ordinary - first at Richmond, VA and then at Norfolk, VA.

Transferred to the Connecticut state militia in 1896, she was serving in this capacity when, at the opening of the Spanish-American War, some citizens along the eastern seaboard felt apprehensive, lest the Spanish Navy attack American cities. Their anxiety was fed by the fact that the major warships of the United States Navy had gathered around Key West far from the major metropolitan centers to the north. This uneasiness swept over the east coast and produced a clamor for the Navy to take steps to protect the "endangered" cities.

As a result, the Navy reactivated old ships - for the most part, of Civil War vintage - for local defense. Recommissioned on 30 April 1898, with Lt. John B. Milton in command, Wyandotte sailed from New Haven, CT, on 17 May, to guard Boston, MA. The venerable warship remained on station from 19 May to 5 September, but no Spanish armada ever appeared.

After hostilities ended, Wyandotte steamed to Philadelphia, PA, where she arrived on 9 September. She was decommissioned there on 20 September and later sold for scrap on 17 January 1899.

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