(Vicksburg, Mississippi, site of significant Union victory in American Civil War)

Type and Characteristics - Patrol gunboat, Gunboat No.11, later PG-11, Annapolis-class, built by Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME, laid down March 1896, launched 5 December 1896, commissioned at Portsmouth Navy Yard, NH, 23 October 1897, 1,010 tons, 204ft long x 36ft beam x 12ft 9in beam, 12kts, armed with 6-4in, 4-6pdr rifled, 2-1pdr rifled guns and 1 Colt machine gun 143 crew. First commanded by Cdr A B H Lillie.

Log Period and Areas of Service - 1897-1944 (including later Coast Guard service), Caribbean, 1898 Cuban patrols (Spanish-American War), Asiatic Squadron, Philippines, Far Eastern waters, Pacific coast of Central America.

Summary of Service, 1897-1944

1898 After two months in the Caribbean, returned to Norfolk, VA, and on outbreak of 1898 Spanish-American War, took part in blockade of Cuba, capturing three small blockade-runners.

1898-99 Continued patrol duties along East coast and in Caribbean. Decommissioned at Boston.

1900-04 Recommissioned and spent six months in the Atlantic, before sailing for Asiatic Station via Suez Canal. Off the Philippines in 1901 supporting Army operations against the guerrillas. In Chinese, Japanese and Korean waters 1902-04, including protecting American interests at the end of the Russo-Japanese war. Returned to US and decommissioned at Mare Island.

1904-09 Out of commission.

1909-12 Patrol duties off Pacific coast of Central America, again protecting American interests in the "revolution-prone" nations in the area, including Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and above all Nicaragua. Concluded 1912 with patrols off California and again to Mexico before returning to San Diego.

1913-17 Following repairs, served with Washington State Naval Militia, broken in May/June 1914 when placed back in commission for cruise to Mexico.

1917-19 On outbreak of war, again placed back in full commission, patrolling Pacific coasts of the US and Mexico.

17 March 1918 Captured schooner Alexander Agassiz off Mexico carrying German nationals.

1919-21 - Transferred to the Washington State Nautical School as a training ship. During this period, numbered PG-11 as part of the Navy's introduction of alphanumeric hull designations.

1921-30 - Transferred to US Coast Guard and in 1922 renamed Alexander Hamilton. Served as a training ship at the USCG Academy until 1930, then decommissioned, stripped and towed to Curtis Bay, MD depot as station ship.

1930-40 - Continued duties at Curtis Bay, sometime between 1935 and 1936, renamed Beta, and by 1940, reassigned to New London, CT as station ship.

1940-44 - Towed back to Curtis Bay in 1942 as training hulk for machinist's mates and water tenders.

Fate - Placed out of service December 1944. Hulk transferred to War Shipping Administration in March 1946 for disposition, and presumably scrapped.

Links: DANFS, NHHC Photographic Site

Vicksburg 2

At anchor, early 1900's (Courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

Vicksburg 3

Off Mare Island Navy yard, 1904 after returning from East Asian waters

..... below, mainly the men (full details can be found in the NHHC Photographic Site links, above)

Vicksburg 4

Cdr Edward Barry, during Philippines' operations 1901 (Courtesy Captain Fletcher L Sheffield, USN)

Vicksburg 5

Ship's officers and crew, c1904, photographed by Karl Lewis. (From collection of Captain Frederick R Naile, USN)

Vicksburg 13

Ship's officers 1900. Cdr Edward Barry seated centre (Courtesy Navy/Marine Corps Museum San Francisco)

Vicksburg 07

Commanding Officer's inspection

Vicksburg 08

Blacksmith at work

Vicksburg 09

Diver preparing to go down

Above three images (and last one) taken during World War 1. From collection of William Crawford, who served on her at this time

Vicksburg 12

Three members of the crew photographed by McMillan, Vallejo, CA, early 1900's (Courtesy Navy/Marine Museum, San Francisco)
Left to right - Machinist 2nd Class A E Flesher, Shipfitter 2nd Class F R Shuster, Carpenter's Mate 2nd Class C A Kilwinski

Vicksburg 11

Chief Water Tender John King, 1865-1938, awarded Medal of Honor after a boiler accident in USS Vicksburg 20 May 1901. Awarded to him again in 1909

Vicksburg 10

German prisoners captured on schooner Alexander Agassiz off Mazatlan, Mexico, 17 March 1918

Vicksburg 06

View from foremast

  Vicksburg Log

Log Book page from 1897

A general note on the sources.