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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Santiago de Cuba

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Side Wheel Steamer:
  • Built in 1861, as Santiago de Cuba, a wooden, brigantine-rigged, side wheel steamer at Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Purchased by the US Navy, 6 September 1861, at New York City
  • Commissioned USS Santiago de Cuba at New York Navy Yard, 5 November 1861, CDR, Daniel B. Ridgely in command
  • Initially ordered to Havana, Cuba, USS Santiago de Cuba roamed the Caribbean Sea and along the Southern US coastline seeking out and capturing blockade runners
  • USS Santiago de Cuba was assigned to the newly organized "Flying Squadron," in September 1862, to find and capture the Confederate commerce raiders Alabama and Florida
  • Decommissioned, 30 December 1863, for repairs
  • Recommissioned, 6 June 1864, USS Santiago de Cuba resumed her chase
  • Reassigned to the attack on Fort Fisher in December 1864
  • Decommissioned, 17 June 1865, at Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • Sold at public auction in Philadelphia, 21 September 1865
  • Re-documented, 16 November 1865, for operation in commercial service
  • Engines removed, 7 December 1886, rigged as a schooner, date unknown
  • Converted to a barge, renamed Marion, date unknown
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 1,567 t.
    Length 229'
    Beam 38'
    Depth 27'
    Draft 16' 2"
    Speed 14 kts
    Complement 114
    two 20-pdr Parrott rifles
    eighth 32-pdrs.
    Propulsion steam and sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merchant Service3
    Santiago de Cuba 65k Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1947 of the sidewheel steamer SS Santiago de Cuba painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I. Built at New York City in 1861, this steamer was commercially employed as SS Santiago de Cuba in 1861 and in 1865-1886. Between 1861 and 1865, she served as USS Santiago de Cuba. She was converted to a barge in 1886 and renamed Marion.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #: NH 63852. Courtesy of Erik Heyl.
    Robert Hurst
    USS Santiago de Cuba
    Alabama 186k "Merchant Steamers Converted into Gun-boats."
    Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume. Depicts thirteen merchant steamships acquired by the U.S. Navy between April and August 1861 and subsequently converted into warships, plus the steamer Nashville (far left), which became a Confederate cruiser. US Navy ships as identified below the image bottom, are (from left to right:
    USS Alabama,
    USS Quaker City,
    USS Santiago de Cuba, (listed as "St. Jago de Cuba")
    USS Mount Vernon,
    USS Massachusetts,
    USS South Carolina,
    USS Florida,
    USS De Soto,
    USS Augusta,
    USS James Adger,
    USS Monticello,
    USS Bienville and
    USS R.R. Cuyler.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59366.
    Robert Hurst
    Santiago de Cuba 84k USS Santiago de Cuba at anchor, 1 January 1865, location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61919.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Santiago de Cuba
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 3 March 2017