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XCL Resolute - Armed Merchant Cruiser / Auxiliary Cruiser

USS Resolute, a 4,175-ton auxiliary cruiser and transport, was built at Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1894 as the passenger steamer Yorktown. Resolute was launched 10 February 1894 as the iron passenger liner Yorktown by Delaware River Shipbuilding & Engine Works, Chester, Pa. Purchased by the Navy in April 1898 from her owner, Old Dominion S.S. Co.;, renamed Resolute, and commissioned 11 May 1898, Comdr. Joseph G. Eaton in command.

She was employed during the Spanish-American War as a lightly-armed auxiliary cruiser and as a transport. Departing New York 25 May 1898, Resolute's first assignment was to cruise between St. Nicholas Mole, Haiti, and Santiago de Cuba in search of the Spanish squadron under Admiral Cervera. After calling at Key West 8 June, Resolute returned to the southeast Cuban coast to assist the fleet in scouting, relying on her high speed for protection. She was present 3 July at the Battle of Santiago, steaming eastward to warn Army transports of the Spanish squadron's possible emergence. Subsequently, Resolute transported Spanish prisoners to the United States, departing the Cuban coast 8 July for Charleston, S.C., Newport News, Va., Tompkinsville, N.Y., and New York City.

Resolute returned to the Cuban war zone late in July. She engaged Spanish shore batteries at Manzanillo, Cuba, 13 August, but again returned to New York 23 August. During October, she embarked the evacuation commission at Nuevitas, Cuba, for transportation to Havana and Key West, and again to Havana. Then, following the war's end, she returned troops home. The ship was out of service until December while being fumigated following an outbreak of yellow fever on board. Resolute then steamed between Havana and Key West on transport missions through March 1899. Her final service was as a marker vessel for the steam trials of the new battleship Kearsarge (BB-5) at Portsmouth, N.H., from May to September 1899.

Returning southward to Philadelphia 2 October 1899, Resolute was decommissioned 15 December 1898 at League Island Navy Yard.

She was transferred to the War Department 22 January 1900 for transport duty and renamed the U.S. Army Transport Rawlins.

Returned to mercantile service in 1902, she operated under the names Powhatan, Cuba, and Seneca into 1926, when she burned and sank at New York. She was refloated 2 September 1928 and subsequently scrapped in about 1928.

(AP: displacement 4,175; length 310'; beam 40'; draft 18'; depth of hold 26'9"; speed 16 knots; complement 87; armament 4 6-pounders)

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Page last modified: 22-07-2011 17:43:32 ZULU