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Protected Cruiser U.S.S. Detroit

By Jose Poncet

USS Detroit 
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Click here for the Crew Roster of the U.S.S. DETROIT

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MONTGOMERY (C- 9), DETROIT (C-10) and MARBLEHEAD (C-11) were protected cruisers, the smallest of that type in the 1898 U.S. Navy. All three were completed in 1894. During the Spanish-American War, they were actively employed in the Cuban and Caribbean areas. DETROIT was disposed of in 1910, but the other two continued in service through the First World War.


The cruiser DETROIT (C-10) was launched 28 October 1891 by the Columbian Iron Works, Baltimore, Md.; sponsored by Miss F. Malster; and commissioned 20 July 1893; Commander W. H. Brownson in command.

Since revolutionary riots were taking place in Brazil, DETROIT had to leave Norfolk, Virginia's waters on 6 October 1893 in order to protect American citizens and interests. She had to stay in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro during almost six months and returned to Norfolk on 24 April 1894. Six months later DETROIT sailed to serve on the Asiatic Station for two years. During said period of time, she cruised along the Chinese coast and visited some Asiatic countries. On 17 May 1897 DETROIT returned to New York and, some time later, sailed for Key West where, because of the difficult political situation in Cuba, she remained from 16 October 1897.

When the Spanish-American War broke out, in order to prevent the American littoral from an attack of the Spanish fleet, two squadrons of the US Navy were formed: the “Flying Squadron”, under. the command of Commodore Schley, (responsible for the defense of the East coast), and the “North Atlantic Squadron”, under the command of Captain Sampson, promoted to Rear Admiral on the first day of the war, (responsible for the offensive against the Spanish ships). This division induced an angry criticism from Captain Mahan, the most prestigious theorist of naval warfare in the US Navy.

DETROIT served on the North Atlantic Squadron and, when Rear Admiral Sampson was ordered to blockade the Cuban coast from Cardenas to Bahia Honda, she was sent to the northwest of the island and was put in charge of carrying out attacking the Spanish boats. During the war, two days after the imposition of the Cuban blockade, she captured the Spanish steamer CATALINA , which had left New Orleans bound for Havana with a load of cotton, staves and provisions. On May 12, 1898, the vessel took part in the controversial bombardment of San Juan, Puerto Rico. During this action, DETROIT received minor damage to her boats, joinery, wiring and a stanchion from the effects of her own guns. She then remained on patrol in the Caribbean until she returned to Boston.

DETROIT returned to Caribbean waters in February 1899 and was sent to Nicaragua and Venezuela to protect national interests. On December 1899 she returned to her base at Key West where, except for two short cruises in 1900 into the Caribbean, she remained until May when she sailed to Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine and, once more, was decommissioned.

DETROIT was recommissioned on 23 September 1902 and carried out several operations in the Caribbean, Trinidad, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Santo Domingo, (most of them for protecting national interests, except for a brief cruise to Boston and on to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the summer of 1904). She returned to Boston in July 1905 and was definitively placed out of commission 1 August 1905. DETROIT was sold 22 December 1910.


The watertight deck of this class of cruisers was more a risk than a protection. Their stability was poor and, because of this, the two initially installed 152 mm bow gun had to be replaced by only one 127 mm gun and their apron shields had to be removed. The engine room was very uncomfortable.


Montgomery Class Protected Cruiser C-10
Keel Laid:
February, 1890
October 28,1891
July 20, 1893
Two masted Schooner rig.
Ten 127 mm (5 inches) rapid fire guns

Six 57 mm (6-pounder) rapid fire guns

Two one-pounder rapid fire guns

Two Colt revolving cannons

One 3 inch field gun

Two 18" above-surface torpedo tubes
Columbian Iron Works, Baltimore, MD
257 feet
37 feet
Mean draft:
14 feet, 7 inches
Max. Draft, fully loaded
16 feet, 8 inches
2,094 tons
20 Officers and 236 Enlisted Men, under the command of Commander J. H. Dayton.
Engine type:
 Two Vertical triple expansion engines,

each generating 5,400 hp. at 19 knots
Boiler type:
3 doule-ended and 2 single-ended "scotch" boilers
Coal Bunker Capacity
340 tons
Normal Coal Supply
200 tons
18.71 knots
Endurance at 10 knots
3,280 nautical miles
Protective Deck: 8 mm (5/16 inch) on the flat; 11 mm; (7/16 inch) on the slope. 

Wing turrets and blockhouse: 56 mm thick, (2.2 inches).

“Woodite” (cellulose) packed cofferdam 1.20 m (3 feet, 11 inches) height, at the openings of the armored deck for a total of  878 Cubic feet

No inner bottom

The Roster:

Officers (partial roster):

HDAYTON, James H., Commander (Commanding)
COLAHAN, Charles E., Lieutenant Commander
CLARK, Lewis J., Lieutenant
HODGES, Harry M., Lieutenant
MUIR, William C.P., Lieutenant
CHRISTY, Harley H., Ensign
LUBY, John McC., Ensign
WATSON, Edward H., Ensign
POTTS, Stacy, Chief Engineer
MEANS, Victor C.B., Surgeon
ARMS, Frank T., Passed Assistant Paymaster
GILMORE, John W., Assistant Engineer
KARNS, Franklin D., Assistant Engineer
MANSFIELD, Newton, Assistant Engineer
HUNT, W.M., Naval Cadet
KRESS, J.C., Naval Cadet
YATES, R.F.H., Naval Cadet


AHL, Frank, Boatswain’s Mate First Class
ALBERTSON, Louis, Gunner’s Mate First Class
ANDERSON, Anders, Gunner’s Mate Second Class
BAILEY, Joseph C., Coal Passer
BARRY, George H., Coal Passer
BELLFIELD, M., Mess Attendant
BENNETT, Eugene, Ordinary Seaman
BROWN, John, Chief Yeoman
BRUNDST, Otto, Water Tender
CAESER, William, Coal Passer
CAMERON, Herbert W., Fireman First Class
CANTY, Patrick, Fireman First Class
CARNEY, Patrick, Coal Passer
CASLANDER, Peter, Coal Passer
CASSIDY, John, Ordinary Seaman
CASTOR, Joseph, Seaman
CHARLAND, Israel, Coal Passer
CHERRY, William, Gunner’s Mate Second Class
CHVY, Jeng, Cabin Cook
CLEMENCE, Joseph, Mess Attendant
COCHRAN, William, Water Tender
COLBUM, Chester L., Painter
CONDON, James, Oiler
CONNOLLY, Frank, Fireman First Class
CONNOR, Charles T., Fireman Second Class
DAMAVE, Eugene, Coal Passer
DAVID, George, Ordinary Seaman
DAVIS, William, Mess Attendant
DAYTON, William H., Ordinary Seaman
DEANS, John E., Cabin Steward
DEITRICH, William H., Seaman
DELONG, John, Apprentice First Class
DENBOER, William C., Ordinary Seaman
DENIG, John, Coal Passer
DITTRICH, Otto, Chief Machinist
DOKI, Handel, Wardroom Steward
DONALDSON, George, Fireman Second Class
DONOVAN, John, Apprentice First Class
DORY, Peter, Sailmaker’s Mate
DUCKGEISCHEL, Henry, Boatswain’s Mate First Class
DUKE, John, Landsman
DUNFORD, William T., Blacksmith
DUNN, Francis, Seaman
DUSINE, Albert, Landsman
EDWARDS, Joseph A., Apprentice Second Class
EHRET, Lee, Landsman
ENGLEHART, Martin, Landsman
ERICKSON, John, Fireman Second Class
FARLL, Carl H., Boatswain’s Mate Second Class
FARRELL, Andrew, Oiler
FITZGERALD, Edward J., Ordinary Seaman
FITZGERALD, John F., Apprentice Second Class
FLOYD, Edward, Boilermaker
FLYNN, James, Quartermaster Second Class
FONG, Jim, Mess Attendant
FORBES, George B., Quartermaster Third Class
FORD, Andrew, Apprentice First Class
FREELAND, Andrew, Ordinary Seaman
FREEMAN, Carl, Oiler
FRENTZ, Richard, Ordinary Seaman
FRESHMAN, Arthur D., Apprentice Second Class
FREUND, Joseph, Quartermaster Third Class
GALLAGHER, Hugh J., Landsman
GAY, George A., Apprentice Second Class
GIBNEY, Albert, Apprentice Second Class
GILFILLIAN, Arthur, Ordinary Seaman
GILLIS, Joseph, Ordinary Seaman
GLORIER, Neils P., Coxswain
GORDON, James, Ordinary Seaman
GRACE, Thomas, Landsman
GRIFFIN, Thomas E., Oiler
GRINDLER, Thomas J., Apprentice First Class
HANSEN, Herman, Seaman
HARDER, August, Boatswain’s Mate Second Class
HART, James, Master at Arms Third Class
HASWELL, Jesse, Landsman
HECKENDOM, John, Jr., Apprentice Second Class
HEDELL, Peter G., Gunner’s Mate First Class
HELBECK, Frederick J., Chief Carpenter’s Mate
HENNESSEY, Michael W., Chief Machinist
HERNISS, A.B., Gunner’s Mate Third Class
HILLI, Abram, Ordinary Seaman
HINES, William R., Gunner’s Mate Third Class
HORN, George R., Apprentice Second Class
HOUGHTON, Eugene, Yeoman Third Class
HOWARD, Frederick, Plumbers and Fitters
HOWARD, William, Landsman
HUGHES, Robert J., Steward
HUMBLE, George, Seaman
HUTLEE, Oscar, Apprentice Second Class
INMAN, John J., Coal Passer
JELUSIC, Eminic, Gunner’s Mate Second Class
JESSEN, Peter, Quartermaster First Class
JOHNSON, Carl J., Fireman First Class
JOHNSON, Charles A., Fireman Second Class
JOHNSON, Charles E., Seaman
JOHNSON, John F., Chief Quartermaster
JOHNSON, William H., Mess Attendant
JOHNSON, Wilson, Fireman First Class
JONES, Edward, Ship’s Cook Fourth Class
JONES, Joseph M., Mess Attendant
JORDAN, Louis R., Landsman
JUDSON, Emmett, Seaman
KEILGAST, Ernest, Oiler
KENNEDY, George, Apprentice Second Class
KETTERING, Edward W., Machinist Second Class
KING, Charles C., Apprentice Second Class
KING, Michael D., Coxswain
KOBB, John B., Yeoman Third Class
KROHN, Emil, Landsman
KUNEN, Abram, Seaman
LAMBERT, Henry, Fireman First Class
LAMIETTA, Thomas J., Coal Passer
LANAHAN, Michael, Landsman
LARSEN, Peter, Seaman
LEVITT, Benjamin F., Coxswain
LEWIS, David L., Carpenter’s Mate Third Class
LINDGREN, Carl O., Gunner’s Mate First Class
LOHMAN, Charles A., Coal Passer
LOURY, Robert J., Ordinary Seaman
LOVETT, E.M.H., Gunner’s Mate Second Class
LUNDQUIST, John B., Ordinary Seaman
MAPP, Leicester, Oiler
MARA, Jeremiah M., Blacksmith
MARION, Henry, Oiler
MARSHALL, Horace W., Chief Yeoman
MARTIN, Charles, Landsman
MATTSEN, Edward, Ordinary Seaman
MCCORMACK, James L., Machinist First Class
MCDERMOTT, James C., Chief Gunner’s Mate
MCDERMOTT, Patrick F., Ordinary Seaman
MCGANN, Henry, Seaman
MCGILL, James, Seaman
MCGILLIWAY, Charles, Water Tender
MCGINN, John, Chief Boatswain’s Mate
MCGOLDRICK, Thomas P., Machinist First Class
MCGOVERN, John, Water Tender
MCGUINNESS, Thomas, Ordinary Seaman
MCKENNA, William J., Machinist Second Class
MEANEY, William P., Coal Passer
MELVILLE, Thomas, Coal Passer
MERCADES, Nicholas, Water Tender
MIKKELSEN, Peter, Seaman
MILLER, Frederick D., Coal Passer
MONNIERE, Louis, Seaman
MONROE, John R., Coal Passer
MOORE, Robert W., Fireman Second Class
MURPHY, Edward, Fireman Second Class
MURPHY, Peter, Seaman
NAKAGAWA, Hashimoto B., Mess Attendant
NEEDRITH, Charles, Seaman
NELSON, Andrew, Fireman Second Class
NEWMAN, George A., Apprentice Second Class
NEWSOME, George W., Apprentice Second Class
NILSON, Frederick, Coxswain
NOBLE, E.J., Gunner’s Mate First Class
NOLAN, Martin, Boatswain’s Mate Second Class
OASEN, Lars O., Chief Machinist
OBERMANN, John W., Apprentice First Class
O’DONNELL, Michael, Fireman First Class
O’DONNELL, Thomas W., Coxswain
O’KEEFE, Dennis, Coal Passer
OLSON, Ole A., Seaman
OLSSON, Oscar, Ordinary Seaman
O’NEILL, Edward L., Coal Passer
ONO, Sovavola, Steward Cook
PALMER, Edward A., Machinist Second Class
PEARCE, Edward, Apprentice Second Class
PENDER, Benjamin D., Chief Machinist
PERDUE, Joseph P., Landsman
PETTIT, John T., Apprentice Second Class
PHILLIPS, George, Gunner’s Mate Third Class
PHILLIPS, Herbert H., Landsman
PICKARD, John, Ordinary Seaman
PLEASURE, Thomas J., Mess Attendant
PRICE, Matthew, Fireman Second Class
QUINN, John F., Coal Passer
RASMUSSEN, Peter, Seaman
REILLY, Frank, Fireman First Class
REILLY, Thomas, Fireman First Class
REYNOLDS, Peter, Coal Passer
RIKER, John E., Coxswain
RILEY, Martin, Fireman Second Class
RODDY, John J., Coal Passer
RYAN, George, Coal Passer
SATO, Gisaban, Wardroom Cook
SCHATZ, Elmer A., Landsman
SCHIERLOH, John, Coppersmith
SCHRIEBER, Richard, Landsman
SETNER, John, Landsman
SEWELL, Alexander, Landsman
SHERROCK, Henry L., Landsman
SHIPMAN, Joseph, Bayman
SHOULTZ, Lodric, Landsman
SHUHART, Henry, Landsman
SILVA, Antonio, Ship’s Cook First Class
SMITH, James, Coal Passer
SMITH, James, Shipwright
SOPP, Louis W., Master at Arms, First Class
SPANNHAKE, John H., Seaman
STEVENS, Harold M., Apprentice Second Class
SWAINE, Arthur N., Apprentice First Class
THOMAS, Ledgard G., Bayman
THOMAS, William, Coal Passer
TINNIN, Archa, Landsman
TRIGGER, Andrew, Water Tender
VOLLMER, Charles, Coal Passer
VON DEN ABEELE, Hippolet, Ordinary Seaman
WAITE, Orrin, Ordinary Seaman
WAKEFIELD, Harry, Oiler
WALLIN, Joseph, Apprentice First Class
WARD, Peter, Fireman Second Class
WARLEY, Charles F., Chief Yeoman
WASHBURN, Hennig, Machinist First Class
WASHINGTON, George E., Fireman First Class
WATKINS, Murray, Mess Attendant
WEDIN, Franz W., Seaman
WESMAN, Henry A., Seaman
WESTLEY, Robert, Landsman
WILLIAMS, William J., Apothecary
WOOD, George, Fireman First Class
WOODHOUSE, Louise, Fireman Second Class
ZIMMER, Phillip, Landsman


RIKEMAN, J.W., First Sergeant
ANTHONY, William, Sergeant
FOX, Edward F., Corporal
MCCAULEY, I.F., Corporal
THOMPSON, F.G., Corporal
BELL, John V., Private
COFFEE, John, Private
COOGAN, John, Private
HEAL, Carter, Private
KELLEY, James, Private
KINAHAN, M.C., Private
MCDEVITT, William, Private
MCGUINESS, William, Private
MCKENNON, John, Private
PIPER, Kirk J., Private
RONAN, John, Private
SCHEIB, G.C., Private
SWEENEY, Daniel, Private
WILLIAMS, W.W., Private


Clerk of Joint Committee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899) Vol II, 1094, 1186-1187; Vol. IV 318-319, 373-374

Commandant de Balincourt. Les Flottes de Combat en 1908. Libraire Militaire Berger-Levrault & Cie. Paris. 1908.

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER. Online Library of Selected Images. Ships of the Spanish-American War--Cruisers--USS Montgomery, USS Detroit and USS Marblehead. 

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER. Online Library of Selected Images. Ships of the Spanish-American War--U.S. NAVY SHIPS -- Other Auxiliary Cruisers.

“Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships,” (1963) Vol. 2, p.269. 

NavSource Online: Cruiser Photo Archive. C-10 USS DETROIT.

Weaver, Barry,  Col Albert F. Gleim and Danny J. Farak, The West Indies Naval Campaign Medal of 1898 - The Sampson Medal, the Ships and Men. (Arlington, VA: Planchet Press, 1986) (data contributed by Douglas Davis).

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