Initially, the vessel cruised off of New York, Massachusetts and Delaware until the scare of possible attack on the coastal cities by Admiral Cervera’s squadron was laid to rest when the Spanish squadron was located and blockaded in Cuba. At the end of June, 1898, the vessel was sent south, fist calling at Key West before heading to Cuba to take part in the blockade. She first served off Havana beginning on July 2. On July 5, she took part in the destruction of the ALPHONSO XII, a four-masted schooner that attempted to run the blockade near Mariel. On July 13 she was sent to cruise off Gibara, and then on July 25 to cruise of Guantanamo.
At the end of July, she was sent to Puerto Rico as the American invasion of the island began. She cruise off San Juan initially, and the cruised off Ponce from August 1 until August 18. On August 12, an armistice was agreed to by Spain and the U.S. ending the war’s fighting. On August 20, the vessel was sent back to Santiago, Cuba before proceeding north to New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania’s League Island Naval Yard. She was decommissioned there on March 15, 1899.
Following the war, beginning on March 23, 1899 she served with the New York Naval Militia as a training vessel. She served in this capacity until February 18, 1901. Later she carried exhibits to the Paris Exposition. In November 9, 1901 she was recommissioned as a U.S. Navy training vessel, and continued to serve in that capacity until June 14, 1905 when she was again decommissioned.
Later, she was recommisioned to serve as a transport in 1906. She also served as a naval training vessel for the Naval Militia during parts of 1907, 1908 and 1909. During World War One she was outfitted as a destroyer tender.
PRAIRIE was decommissioned for the last time on November 22, 1922
at San Diego, California. She was struck from the Navy rolls and sold
Louis Rothenberg on June 22, 1923.
|Commissioned:||April 24, 2898|
|Armament:||Ten 6 inches rapid fire guns|
|Six 6 pounder rapid fire guns|
|Two Colt revolving cannons|
|One 3 inch field gun|
|Contractor:||William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia|
|Length:||390 feet, 6 inches|
|Beam:||46 feet, 10 inches|
|Mean draft:||22 feet|
|Complement:||18 Officers and 267 Enlisted Men, under the command of Commander C. J. Train|
|Engine type:||Vertical triple expansion engine generating 3,800 hp,|
|turning a single screw|
|Coal Bunker Capacity||1,000 tons|
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, (1970) Vol. 5, 366.
Spears, John R., Our Navy in The War with Spain. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1898) 312.