USS Resolute (1894)
USS Resolute off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, probably while serving as a marker ship for the sea trials of the new battleship Kearsarge in May-September 1899.
|Career (United States)|
|Namesake:||Resolute: marked by firm determination; resolved.|
|Builder:||Delaware River Shipbuilding and Engine Works, Chester, Pennsylvania|
|Launched:||10 February 1894|
|Acquired:||21 April 1898|
|Commissioned:||11 May 1898|
|Decommissioned:||15 December 1899|
|Fate:||Transferred to United States Department of War 22 January 1900|
|Notes:||In service as commercial passenger ship SS Yorktown 1894-1898, as U.S. Army transport Rawlins 1900-1902, and as commercial passenger ship SS Powhatan, SS Cuba, and SS Seneca 1902-1926
Burned and sank 1926
Refloated 2 September 1928
|Type:||Auxiliary cruiser and transport|
|Displacement:||4,175 long tons (4,242 t)|
|Length:||310 ft (94 m)|
|Beam:||40 ft (12 m)|
|Draft:||18 ft (5.5 m)|
|Depth of hold:||26 ft 9 in (8.15 m)|
|Speed:||16 kn (18 mph; 30 km/h)|
|Armament:||4 × 6-pounder guns|
Construction, acquisition, and commissioning
Resolute was launched on 10 February 1894 as the iron-hulled passenger ship SS Yorktown by Delaware River Shipbuilding and Engine Works at Chester, Pennsylvania. The U.S. Navy purchased her from her owner, the Old Dominion Steamship Company, on 21 April 1898 for service during the Spanish-American War and commissioned her as USS Resolute on 11 May 1898 with Commander Joseph G. Eaton in command.
Departing New York City on 25 May 1898, Resolute's first assignment was to cruise between St. Nicholas Mole, Haiti, and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, in search of the Spanish Navy squadron commanded by Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete. After calling at Key West, Florida, on 8 June, Resolute returned to the southeast Cuban coast to assist the U.S. fleet in scouting, relying on her high speed for protection. She was present on 3 July at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, steaming eastward to warn United States Army transports of the Spanish squadron's emergence from the harbor of Santiago de Cuba. Subsequently, Resolute transported Spanish prisoners-of-war to the United States, departing the Cuban coast on 8 July for Charleston, South Carolina; Newport News, Virginia; Tompkinsville, New York; and New York City.
Resolute returned to the Cuban war zone late in July. She engaged Spanish shore batteries at Manzanillo, Cuba, on 13 August, but sailed for the United States carrying returning Marines from the First Battalion who had made the first assault landing at Guantánamo Bay. The ship reached New York on 23 August and after inspection continued to Portsmouth Harbor the next day, where the First Marine Battalion was disembarked.
Resolute was out of service until December, while being fumigated following an outbreak of yellow fever on board. She then steamed between Havana and Key West on transport missions through March 1899. Her final service was as a marker vessel for the steam trials of the new battleship Kearsarge at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from May-September 1899.
Later career, 1900-1928
Resolute was transferred to the United States Department of War on 22 January 1900 for service as the United States Army Transport USAT Rawlins. Returned to mercantile service in 1902, she operated under the names SS Powhatan, SS Cuba, and SS Seneca until 1926, when she burned and sank at New York City. She was refloated on 2 September 1928 and subsequently scrapped.
- The suggestion at the U.S. Naval Historical Center Online Library of Selected Images (see http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-r/reslte-2.htm) that the photo possibly shows Resolute in July 1898 while transporting Spanish prisoners-of-war captured during the Spanish-American War does not appear possible, as the ship operated off Portsmouth only during the Kearsarge trials of 1899.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Department of the Navy: Naval Historical Center Online Library of Selected Images: U.S. Navy Ships: USS Resolute (1898-1900)