Admiral Sampson's temporary absence forever
created a public dispute over which officer could claim credit for the
complete destruction of the Spanish force - Sampson
or Commodore Schley of the USS
The Armored Cruiser NEW YORK's first assignment was with the South Atlantic Squadron, where she stayed from January to March of 1894. In August, she was transferred to the North Atlantic Squadron. The vessel was in the West Indies for winter exercises, and was commended for aiding in the extinguishing of a fire that threatened Port of Spain, Trinidad.
In 1895, the Armored Cruiser NEW YORK was transferred to the European Squadron. She represented the United States at the opening of the Kiel Canal. In 1897, she was back with the North Atlantic Squadron, operating off of the east coast of United States.
As tensions with Spain rose over Cuba, the Armored Cruiser NEW YORK sailed to Key West. When war was declared, the vessel steamed to Cuba, and bombarded Matanzas, and then joined the ill-fated search for the Spanish fleet at San Juan, Puerto Rico. With the discovery of the Spanish fleet and the concentrating of naval forces off of Santiago, the Armored Cruiser NEW YORK became the overall flagship. On July, 1898, the Spanish fleet attempted to break out of the blockade at Santiago, and was destroyed by the assembled American fleet. The Armored Cruiser NEW YORK, temporarily off station to take Admiral Sampson to a meeting with Major General Rufus Shafter, returned only in time to participate in the closing actions of the battle, taking a few passing shots at the Spanish Torpedo Boat Destroyer FUROR.
During the War, the NEW YORK is credited with actions against eleven Spanish vessels - BUENA VENTURA, PEDRO, PANAMA, LORENZO, CARLOS F. ROZES, ALMIRANTE OQUENTO, INFANTA MARIA TERESA, VIZCAYA, CRISTOBAL COLON, PLUTON AND FUROR. The last six were at the Battle of Santiago.
On August 14, 1898 she sailed to New York, and was received with great celebrations. After the war, NEW YORK found herself shuttled around the world. In 1899, she took naval militia on training cruises to Latin America. Later she served at various trouble spots around South America. During this year, the vessel also became one of the first three U.S. naval units to have a wireless installed. In 1901, the NEW YORK sailed to Cavite, Philippines via Gibraltar to become the flagship of the Asiatic Fleet. She was in Yokohama, Japan for the unveiling of the Perry Expedition Monument in July, 1901, and took part in the actions against the Filipino Insurgents. She also visited Hong Kong, Vladivostok, Russia and Korea, before returning to the United States in 1902.
By 1903, the vessel was part of the Pacific Squadron, patrolling off the coast of Honduras. Later, she was present for a reception with President Theodore Roosevelt in San Francisco. In 1904, the NEW YORK became the flagship of Pacific Squadron, which took her all along the coast of the North, Central and South America from Puget Sound to Chile. She served to enforce Roosevelt's neutrality order during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904.
In January of 1905, the NEW YORK was decommissioned for overhaul. In 1909, she was recommissioned and served briefly with the Armored Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean, and then operated out of various southern ports until being put into reserve at the end of the year.
Fully recommissioned in 1910, the USS NEW YORK steamed for Manila to rejoin the Asiatic Fleet. In February, 1911, she was renamed the USS SARATOGA, to free up her former name for a new battleship. She returned to the United States in 1916, and was temporarily placed in reserve at Bremerton, Washington.
The USS SARATOGA was recommissioned for World War I as part of Pacific Patrol Force 7. While on this duty, she captured a merchantman carrying thirty-two German agents and several Americans trying to avoid the draft.
In November,1917 she transitted the Panama Canal and joined the Cruiser Force in Hampton Roads. Here she was again renamed to allow her name to go to a new vessel, this time she was dubbed USS ROCHESTER. As part of this force, she escorted a convoy to Europe, and then began training cruises in the Chesapeake Bay. In March, 1918 she resumed convoy duty. After the war, she helped to transport troops home from Europe, and then became the flagship of the vessels sent to guard the navy's seaplanes on their transatlantic flight.
In the 1920's the USS ROCHESTER served off of the east coast of the United States and Central and South America. In 1925, she transported General John J. Pershing to Chile to arbitrate the Tacna-Arica dispute, and later served with expeditionary forces sent against bandits in Nicaragua in 1928 and Haiti in 1929. She aided Nicaraguan refugees from an earthquake in 1931.
In 1932 she rejoined the Pacific Fleet. She was decommissioned at Cavite in 1933, and struck from the Navy rolls in 1938. In December, 1941, still in the Philippines, she was scuttled to prevent her capture by the Japanese.
|Classification:||Armored Cruiser, First-rate, ACR-2|
|Keel Laid:||September 30, 1890|
|Completed:||January 1, 1893|
|Comissioned:||August 1, 1893|
|Rig:||Two military masts.|
|Armament:||Six 8-inch guns|
|Twelve 4-inch guns|
|Two Colt Gatling Guns|
|Two 3" field piece|
|Two Whitehead torpedos|
|Contractor:||William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, PA.|
|Length:||380 feet, 6-1/2 inches|
|Beam:||64 feet, 10 inches|
|Mean draft:||23 feet, 3-1/2 inches|
|Max. draft fully loaded:||26 feet, 8 inches|
|Complement:||40 officers and 516 enlisted men commanded by Capt. French E.Chadwick|
|Engine type:||Four horizontal triple expansion engines with a 42 inch stroke generating 17,401 hp. Twin screw|
|Boiler type:||Six double-ended and two single-ended cylindrical boilers.|
|Coal bunker capacity:||1,290 tons|
|Normal coal supply:||750 tons|
|Endurance @ 10 knots:||5,000 nautical miles|
|Armor:||Sides - 4 inches, Turrets - 5-1/2 inches,
Barbettes - 10 inches,
|Protective deck slopes - 6 inches,
Protective deck flat - 3 inches.
|Cofferdams with 25,387 cubic feet of cocoa.|
(As a service to our readers, clicking on title in red will take you to that book on Amazon.com)
Alden, Cmdr. John D., USN (Ret.), American Steel Navy , (Annapolis: United States Naval Institute Press, 1972)
Clerk of Joint Comittee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899). Vols. 2,4.
Harris, Lt. Cmdr. Brayton, The Age of the Battleship, (New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1965).
Naval History Department, Navy Department, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1959).