The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Friday, June 6, 2008

USS Monterrey-- Here a Monitor, There a Monitor

An article in the Dec. 28, 2007, Carmel Pine Cone "USS Monterrey-stealthy predecessor of the modern battleship" by George Sabato discussed this second-generation of monitors in the service of the US Navy.

When folks think of the name "monitor" they immediately think of the USS Monitor which fought the CSS Virginia in 1862. That battle opened a whole new chapter in naval architecture. The Monitor class of Union ironclads too its name from the original vessel.

USS Monterrey

The USS Monterrey was the second generation of monitors. Like the originals used in the Civil War, it was mastless, steam-powered, low-in-the-water, and had powerful gun turrets.

It was completed in 1893 and had the honor of being the first ship in the United States' new "Steel Navy."

It weighed 4.084 tons, steamed as fast as 13.6 knots and cost $2 million and was built at the Oakland Union Ironworks. It's mission was to patrol the US west coast.

During the Spanish-American War it was order from San Diego to join Admiral Dewey in the Philippines. It took part in other operations in the area.

It was decommissioned in Dec. 1904 and recommissioned in WW I as a submarine tender. It was again decommissioned in Pearl Harbor in 1921 and later scrapped back in Oakland.


The Monterrey was 260 feet long, 57 feet beam and had a crew of 210. It mounted 2 x 12 inch, 2 x 10 inch, and 6 x 6-pdrs.

It joined Dewey's fleet in the Philippines after the victory to provide big-gun support. It sasiled from the US to the Philippines despite the fact it was not designed for extended ocean cruising because of its low freeboard.

So, Monitors Didn't End After the Civil War. --Old B-Runner