Spanish American War Website Banner

A History and Roster of the

of the U.S.S. CASTINE

by Patrick McSherry

Gunboat U.S.S. Castine

The Patrol Gunboat U.S.S. CASTINE This photo was apparently taken before her length was extended and her stack shortened.

Visit our Home Page to learn more about the Spanish American War

 History of the CASTINE ||| Technotes on CASTINE ||| Crew Roster of the CASTINE


The CASTINE was a gunboat that served in the North Atlantic squadron, seeing service in Cuba and Puerto Rico during the Spanish American War.


The CASTINE was launched on May 11, 1892 by the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine and was commissioned two and a half years later on October 22, 1894. She was commissioned under the command of Commander T. Perry.

CASTINE was assigned to the South Atlantic Squadron. She departed for Pernambuco, Brazil by way of the Azores, Gibraltar, the Suez Canal and around the Cape of Good Hope. With the sinking of the Battleship MAINE in Havana harbor, CASTINE was ordered north and underwent a brief overhaul in March 1898. She served in the blockade of Cuba and apparently took part in the bombardment of San Juan, Puerto Rico on May 12, 1898. During the action one of boilers developed a leak and Boilermaker Evan Thomas Hunley actually had to crawl within the boiler to make the repair during the fight. CASTINE was one of the vessels that escorted the the fleet of Army transports taking the U.S. Army's Fifth Corps to Cuba. She served off Havana, Bahia Honda, and Guantanamo Bay. In July, 1898 CASTINE joined the U.S.S. HAWK in sinking a blockade runner, the ALFONSO XII, and shelling a nearby fort at Mariel, Cuba. HAWK's guns did not have the range to damage the vessel which had run aground and her cargo of ammunition, weapons, etc., was being unloaded. CASTINE fired upon the merchantman, which exploded. The CASTINE also fired on several gunboats that had some out to aid the merchantman, which were driven back. in another action CASTINE evacuated the Americans from the island of Navassa, located south of Cuba, who were concerned about a Spanish attack.

Following the armistice, CASTINE steamed for Hampton Roads, Virginia and then Provincetown and Boston, Massachusetts. She apparently remained in the Boston area until the war ended with the Treaty of Paris on December, 10, 1898. She was then ordered to the Philippines by way of the Suez Canal where she supported the U.S. Army during its actions in the Philippine American War. She operated around the southern Islands of the archipelago, and was in charge of the evacuation from Zamboanga in 1899. CASTINE remained in the Far East until 1901, in which year she returned to the U.S. again via the Suez Canal.

CASTINE was decommissioned at Philadelphia on October 8, 1901 and was recommissioned two years later in November, of 1903. CASTINE then served in in the South Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean until being again decommissioned  in 1905 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She remained out of commission until 1908. Between 1908 and 1913 she served as a submarine tender. With the outbreak of World War One she served in the Caribbean, cruising off Mexico. In August of 1917 she was ordered to Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. She remained there until the conclusion of the war, and then returned to the U.S., and was decommissioned for the last time at New Orleans on August 28, 1919.

CASTINE was sold on August 5, 1921.


The vessel carried a full schooner sail rig, meaning that she was not truly designed to be fully part of the modern steam navy. To man the sails, she likely had to carry additional crew for that purpose.

Her initial design provided for relatively small coal bunkers, limiting her range. However it was discovered that the ships of the MACHIAS Class, including the CASTINE had stability issues. To resolve the issue, the CASTINE was removed from the water, literally cut in half and had a fourteen foot section added. Also, armor was removed from the gun sponsons. Additional ballast was added forward, and the height of her stack and masts were also reduced. Because the section added amidships housed mainly coal bunkers, the work not only increased her stability but also her cruising range.

The gun sponsons that protruded from the side of the ship would have made coaling at sea difficult.

Her battery was significantly large for a ship of her size.


Profile of the U.S.S. Castine
The Profile of the CASTINE

Machias Class Gunboat 
Keel Laid:
May 11, 1892
December 23, 1896
October 22, 1894
Eight 4-inch rapid-fire guns

Four 6-pounder rapid fire guns

Two 1-pounder rapid-fire guns

One Colt machine gun

1 Field Gun
Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine

204 feet
32 feet, 1 1/2 inches
Mean draft:
12 feet
Max. draft fully loaded:
14 feet, four inches
1,177 tons
11 Officers and 140 enlisted men
Engine type:
Vertical triple expansion engines, generating 2,199 hp.; Twin screws
Boiler type:
Two Marine Locomotive
16.03 knots
Coal bunker capacity:
292.6 tons
Endurance @ 10 knots: 
5,008 nautical miles

The Roster:

Below is a list of officers, sailors and Marines assigned to the USS CASTINE.


BERRY, Robert M., Commander (Commanding)
BRONAUGH, William V., Lieutenant
HOUSTON, Nelson T., Lieutenant
MORRELL, Henry, Lieutenant
STRAUSS, Joseph, Lieutenant Junior Grade
GATES, Herbert G., Ensign
ROBERTSON, Ashley H., Ensign
WILSON, Henry D., Passed Assistant Surgeon
LUKESH, George M., Assistant Paymaster
REID, Robert I., Passed Assistant Engineer
LACKEY, H. E., Naval Cadet


AMER, John, Seaman
ANDERSON, Herman M., Apprentice First Class
ASKEW, Mack Daniel, Fireman First Class
BACKSTROM, Harold, Coal Passer
BAKER, Frank Herbert, Apprentice First Class
BESEKE, Herman, Coxswain
BOW, Michael, Chief Boatswain’s Mate
BRESLIN, David, Blacksmith
BROWN, Charles Henry, Ordinary Seaman
BROWN, John, Coxswain
BROWN, John Thomas, Coal Passer
BURGER, Fletcher Lynn, Landsman
BURNS, William J., Apprentice First Class
CAHILL, John, Apprentice First Class
CAMPBELL, Frank, Chief Machinist
CASEY, Thomas, Landsman
COBB, Junius, Mess Attendant
COGHILL, George Edward, Fireman First Class
CROSS, Richard Joseph, Machinist Second Class
CURTIS, Edward B., Coppersmith
CONNOR, Michael J., Ordinary Seaman
CROSSMAN, Fred Earl, Chief Yeoman
DARLEY, Joseph Henry, Chief Yeoman
DEENGLAND, Roloff, Ordinary Seaman
DITTRICK, Charles Herman, Coal Passer
DONOHUE, James Joseph, Landsman
DUNCAN, John Henry, Coal Passer
ELEY, Herbert Sheldon, Yeoman Third Class
FOGT, Axel, Seaman
GALLAGHER, James F. J., Boatswain’s Mate First Class
GOFF, Orlo Seward, Yeoman Second Class
GOLDBERG, Louis, Apprentice Second Class
GOLEY, Bernard Joseph, Coxswain
GRADY, Michael James, Oiler
GRAMBO, Gustav, Chief Quartermaster
GUSTAFSSON, Carl, Ordinary Seaman
HALL, Charles, Mess Attendant
HENNINGSEN, Heinrich, Quartermaster Second Class
HIGGINS, William Henry, Ordinary Seaman
HIND, Philip, Landsman
HUNLEY, Evan Thomas, Boilermaker
HUNT, Edwin Lucius, Apprentice First Class
HOVEN, Johannes, Gunner’s Mate First Class
JACKSON, Alfred, Seaman
JENNINGS, Frederick G., Seaman
JESSUP, Arthur E., Gunner’s Mate Third Class
JOHANSON, Karl Johan, Seaman
JOHNSON, Charles P., Oiler
JOHNSON, Harvey A., Apprentice Second Class
JONES, Richard Henry, Mess Attendant
JOSEPH, Frank, Landsman
KELLEY, John, Landsman
KINDO, Yasro, Mess Attendant
KING, Aire Clement, Seaman
LACEY, Thomas Edward, Seaman
LAWLER, Patrick H., Shipwright
LOCHBOEHLER, Frank Joseph, Coal Passer
LOVETT, James O’ S., Apprentice Third Class
LUSBY, James Ellsworth, Coal Passer
MAHONEY, Michael, Chief Gunner’s Mate
MAPP, William A. S., Painter
MARLIN, Frank, Ordinary Seaman
MARTIN, Joseph, Landsman
MCFOY, Edward Patrick, Seaman
MENZ, Richard, Coxswain
MIHARA, Shigetoshi, Chief Steward
MILLER, Thomas, Seaman
MITCHELL, Frank, Coxswain
MODZEROSKI, Johannes, Seaman
MOLLOY, Frederick Joseph, Fireman First Class
MULDOWNEY, John Andrew, Oiler
MURDOCK, Thomas Lowry, Landsman
MURPHEY, Edgar Benjamin, Seaman
NIERMAN, Peter, Chief Gunner’s Mate
NILSEN, Helmer, Ordinary Seaman
NOBLE, William Wright, Seaman
NORDMAN, Karl Wilhelm, Seaman
NORRINGTON, Charles W., Seaman
OBRIEN, James, Fireman First Class
OLIVER, John Herbert, Mess Attendant
OLSON, Frederik, Gunner’s Mate Second Class
O’TOOLE, James, Gunner’s Mate Third Class
PATTERSON, Charles J., Apprentice Second Class
PERKIN, Harry Marine, Landsman
PERSSON, Ernest John, Gunner’s Mate Second Class
PFLUGHAUPT, Albert, Landsman
PIME, Charles Frank, Quartermaster First Class
PLUNKETT, James P., Plumbers and Fitters
PORTER, Frank C., Chief Master at Arms
PRICE, James, Boatswain’s Mate First Class
RAGONE, Nicola, Landsman
RAYNOR, Charles H., Yeoman Third Class
REEDY, Daniel J., Chief Machinist
RINES, Lorenzo, Oiler
ROBINSON, Robert, Apprentice First Class
RUSSELL, John W., Wardroom Steward
RYAN, George, Quartermaster Third Class
RYAN, John Thomas, Ordinary Seaman
SAARM, Henry, Gunner’s Mate Second Class
SCHULER, Herman, Apprentice First Class
SEAMAN, Edgar Franklin, Seaman
SJADACENE, Sylvestor, Coal Passer
SMITH, Samuel G., Wardroom Cook
STAVANSON, Martin, Ordinary Seaman
STEVENS, Edwin Arthur, Apprentice First Class
STOAKLEY, John W., Boatswain’s Mate First Class
STREET, Lester Chapin, Ordinary Seaman
STRUHS, Albert, Seaman
TAAFFE, Viggo, Machinist Second Class
TAKEJIRO, Marsui, Cabin Cook
TOMMOSINO, Francesco, Ordinary Seaman
UFFORD, Robert Henry, Gunner’s Mate Third Class
VISELE, John, Landsman
WEIL, Sydney S., Machinist Second Class
WENDEL, John Paul, Chief Yeoman
WHITE, Fred, Sailmaker’s Mate
WHITFIELD, Thomas, Fireman First Class
WILLIAMS, George, Mess Attendant

WINFIELD, Richard, Coal Passer
WISE, George Washington, Coal Passer
WRIGHT, Richard T., Steerage Cook
WOOD, Robert B., Chief Machinist
WOOD, Samuel, Boatswain’s Mate Second Class
YARNELL, Eugene A., Master at Arms Third Class
ZIMMERMAN, JR., Gustav, Apprentice First Class


FOX, Francis M., First Sergeant
LUDWIG, John, Corporal
WILLY, Nicholas G., Corporal
ARNOLD, William, Private
BUSH, George, Private
CRONIN, Hunter S., Private
DANFORTH, William R., Private
FAIRCLOUGH, Walter, Private
GARRISS, John W., Private
MITCHELL, George, Private
WILSON, James R., Private


Alden, John D., The American Steel Navy. (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1972) 39, 377.

"A Royal Welcome," Evening Express (Portland, Maine). September 2, 1898, p. 1.

Clerk of Joint Committee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899). Vol. 2 1188-1191, 1248-1249; Vol. 4, 252, 266.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Vol.2  (Washington: Naval Department, 1963) 50.

"Hero of the Gunboat Castine," Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, MA). September 15, 1898. p. 12.

"Letter from Lester Street," Dixon Evening Telegraph (Dixon, Illinois). July 18, 1898, p. 4.

Report of the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1898) 15-16.

"Ships and Men," Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts). September 2, 1898, p. 5

"Spanish Merchantman Sunk," Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas). July 10, 1898, p. 1.

Weaver, Barry,  Col Albert F. Gleim and Danny J. Farak, The West Indies Naval Campaign Medal of 1898 - The Sampson Medal, the Ships and Men. (Arlington, VA: Planchet Press, 1986) (data contributed by Douglas Davis).

Support this Site by Visiting the Website Store! (help us defray costs!)
We are providing the following service for our readers. If you are interested in books, videos, CD's etc. related to the Spanish American War, simply type in "Spanish American War" (or whatever you are interested in) as the keyword and click on "go" to get a list of titles available through

Visit Main Page for copyright data

Return to Main Page

Return to the U.S. Navy Page

Return to Researching a Spanish American War Veteran Page

Return to the Unit Histories and Rosters Page