of the Maine at Havana, on February 15, 1898, was
the ultimate incident which impelled the people
of the United States to regard Spain as an impossible
neighbor. Although the war which followed was not
founded on the destruction of the Maine as a political
cause, that disaster was the pivotal event of the
conflict which has terminated Spanish possession
in the Western World. Considerations like these
must continue to give the Maine a unique place in
the history of the United States, especially since
the character and magnitude of the disaster make
it one of the most shocking on record."
--Captain Charles D. Sigsbee
The USS Maine
was built as a second class battleship and
commissioned in 1895 at a cost of $2,500,000.
It had a length of 318 feet with a breadth
of 57 feet and a mean draft of 21 feet 6 inches.
The displacement was 6,648 tons with its armor
being 12 inches on the sides, 8 inches on
the turrets, and from 10 to 12 inches on the
barbettes. The engines were of the vertical
triple expansion type with 9,293 horse power
which produced a top speed of 17.4 knots.
The boiler was a forced draft system type.
The main battery consisted
of four 10-inch and six 6-inch breech-loading rifles.
The secondary battery consisted of seven 6-pounder
and eight 1-pounder rapid-fire guns and four Gatling
Guns. There was, in the bunker, which had a capacity
of 896 tons, four torpedo tubes.
The ship had a crew
of 26 officers, 290 men and 39 Marines. A total
of 355 men. The officers consisted of the Captain
and Senior Officers, the Junior Officers, and the
Petty Officers. The Captain and Senior Officers
station, while on duty, were on the Quarter Deck.
The Captain had his own stateroom. Some to the Senior
Officers also had their own stateroom while other
officers shared their stateroom. There also existed
two Ward Rooms for the ships officers.
The Ships Company had
many assigned duties such as cooks, firemen, gunners,
torpedo men, signalers, spotters, marines, and pioneers.
activities which the crew did aboard ship while
on duty, was fencing, swordsmanship, handgun marksmanship,
polishing the fittings, knotting. Off duty hours
sailors could be seen telling yarns, sleeping in
their hammocks or singing with the Maine's Bachelors
Articles and Eye
Witness Accounts of the USS Maine Disaster
Americana states that "When the explosion occurred,
all but 4 of the crew of 26 officers and 328 men
were on board; 2 officers and 250 men were killed
at once, and 8 men were fatally injured. . . .Part
of the wreck was raised in 1911 and was sunk at
sea, with appropriate ceremonies, in 1912."
The official account found in the report given by
President William McKinley to Congress told that
2 Officers, 230 Sailors and 28 Marines were killed
in the disaster. That 186 bodies were recovered
from the wreckage and 74 bodies remained with the
for dropping by. Please tell your friends about
the USS Maine and come again soon.