A collective designation for the southern states of the United States.
(Auxiliary Cruiser: displacement 6,114; length 405'10"; beam 48'3"; draft 19'11"; speed 14 knots; complement 224; armament 10 6-inch, 6 6-pounders, 2 Colt .30 caliber machine guns)
The first Dixie, a screw steamer, was built at Newport News, Va. in 1893 as El Rio by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co.; purchased by the Navy from the Southern Pacific Co. on 15 April 1898; converted to an auxiliary cruiser by her builder; and commissioned at Newport News on 19 April 1898, Cmdr. Charles H. Davis in command.
Dixie shifted from Newport News to Hampton Roads, Va. on 27 May 1898. She got underway from there for brief periods to 11 June, when she moored at Lynnhaven Bay, Va. Later departing on 13 June bound for the Caribbean, she touched at Mole St. Nicolas, Haiti, on 18 June, before arriving at Santiago de Cuba on the 19th. Attached to Eastern Squadron, North Atlantic Fleet, she was to cruise in West Indian waters on blockade duty and to convoy U.S. Army transports. On 19 June, she reached Cape Cruz, Cuba, and cruised off the entrances to the port of Manzanillo. Unable to enter the harbor, she departed Cape Cruz the following day and proceeded to the mouths of the San Juan and Guayximico rivers, each of which was defended by a garrisoned blockhouse. The auxiliary cruiser engaged both with her batteries and drove off the Spaniards. She then moved on to Cienfuegos on the 21st. Arriving at 5:00 p.m., she noted the area’s defenses, but did not engage the enemy. The following day, she took fire from a gunboat lying inside the point at Casilda, Cuba. Dixie returned fire, but could not judge the rounds’ effectiveness. Maneuvering on 23 June, she stood in as close as the reefs off Maria Aguilar Point would allow and again exchanged fire with the gunboat, scoring one discernible hit. Meanwhile another, faster gunboat armed with six guns, stood out from the harbor. After being engaged, the gunboat sped back into the protection of the harbor. Afterward, Dixie continued to cruise the waters off Cuba performing her blockading duties.
Later on 24 July 1898, Capt. Francis J. Higginson, commanding officer of Massachusetts (Battleship No. 2) dispatched Dixie to San Juan, Puerto Rico (P.R.), where after standing in, she found the protected cruiser New Orleans, Capt. William M. Folger commanding, the sole U.S. ship blockading the port. The cruiser, however, could not approach within six miles of the harbor’s entrance for fear of drawing the fire of the defending 8-inch guns. The enemy ships in the harbor included the torpedo gunboat Terror, the cruiser Isabella II, a torpedo boat and another gunboat. Dixie continued to cruise off the Puerto Rican coast on 25 July in search of other U.S. vessels. She intercepted the French steamer Manoubia, based from Marseilles. Bound to Sagua la Grande, Cuba, from Martinique, Dixie seized the ship and embarked a prize crew before dispatching her to Charleston, S.C., for adjudication.
Again acting on Higginson’s orders, Dixie sailed from Guánica, P.R. at 1:45 p.m. on 27 July 1898, in company with the gunboat Annapolis and the yacht Wasp. They entered the channel at Ponce, P.R. at 3:00 p.m. and at 5:25 p.m., anchored before the town. The ships were positioned advantageously to bombard Ponce and the adjoin town of La Playa. Having dispatched a junior officer to demand the surrender of the town. After a time, the officer returned with requested terms by the Spanish ashore. Cmdr. Davis ordered landing parties ashore from both ships at 5:30 a.m. on 28 July and in short order they seized the customs house and raised the U.S. flag above the town. Having established security, they manned their stations until relieved by the first Army detachment under Maj. Gen. Nelson A. Miles which landed at 7:00 a.m. Dixie and Annapolis also dispatched parties to board and search the Spanish and neutral vessels in the port. Meanwhile, as surrender negotiations were ongoing, the gunboat Gloucester, Lt. Cmdr. Richard Wainwright commanding, arrived. With the subsequent arrival of Capt. Higginson in Massachusetts, Davis lowered his senior officer present pennant.
With the Spanish forces in the area having surrendered, Dixie claimed 89 of the 91 vessels in the port as prizes. After appointing a prize master, she departed later during the afternoon of the 28th, and proceeded via St. Thomas, Danish West Indies (D.W.I.) to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (3–11 August) before touching at Cape San Domingo (13–14 August). She stood back in to Guantánamo on 15 August, then cleared Cuba on 24 August and transited via Baltimore, Md. (11–20 September) to League Island at the Philadelphia (Pa.) Navy Yard on 22 September, where she was placed out of commission on 7 March 1899. The auxiliary was then loaned to the War Department for use as an Army transport (15 March–15 July).
Dixie recommissioned at League Island, Philadelphia Navy Yard, on 15 November 1899, Cmdr. Charles Belknap in command, and began her service as a recruit training ship. She remained at League Island, until getting underway on 17 December. En route to the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., she arrived the next day and then departed again the following. She reached Tompkinsville [Staten Island], N.Y. on 20 December and shifted into the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y. on the 21st. Clearing the yard a week later on 28 December, she returned to the lower Chesapeake Bay at Hampton Roads the following day and remained there into January 1900.
Dixie departed Hampton Roads on 15 January 1900. Initially bound for the Caribbean, she conducted a training cruise for landsmen and engaged in target practice while underway. The steamer arrived at San Juan, Puerto Rico [P.R.] (30 January–5 February) before continuing on to St. Thomas (6–15 February) and Culebra Island, P.R. (15–16 February). Setting an easterly course, the training cruise continued as the ship made its way to Funchal, Madeira Islands (5–7 March); Gibraltar (11–15 March); Algiers, French North Africa [Algeria] (19–25 March); and Naples, Italy (2–16 April). While at the Italian port, Dixie received orders directing her to steam to the Philippine Islands [P.I.] to transfer the trainees slated for the naval station at Cavite. Clearing Naples, she steamed to her destination via Port Said, Egypt (21 April); Suez, Egypt (22 April); Colombo, Ceylon [Sri Lanka] (4–5 May); and Singapore (11–12 June), before reaching Cavite on 15 May. Having disembarked those sailors to be stationed at the navy yard, she cleared Cavite on 3 June and shifted to Iloilo, P.I. (4–5 June), in advance of her ordered return to the United States. Making her return home via the aforementioned ports in reverse, Dixie touched at Singapore (11–12 June); Colombo (19–21 June); Suez (7 July); Port Said (8 July); Algiers (15–18 June); and Gibraltar (20-23 June) before crossing the Atlantic and raising Tompkinsville on 8 August. Later that same day, she shifted to the New York Navy Yard where she dry docked to repair her boilers.
With her overhaul completed, Dixie cleared the New York Navy Yard on 29 September 1900 and steamed to Philadelphia (30 September) and Hampton Roads (1–3 October) to embark more landsmen for another training cruise. Clearing the Virginia capes on 3 October, the ship raised Fayal, Azores on 20 October. Getting underway the following day, she steamed to Gibraltar, where she conducted gunnery practice (29-31 October) in advance of extended cruising in the Mediterranean. The ship made port calls at Algiers (3-11 November); Bizerte, French North Africa [Tunisia] (14–19 November); Corfu, Greece (22–27 November); Malta (29 November–1 December); Naples (3–11 December); Villefranche, France (13–19 December), before arriving at Genoa, Italy on 20 December to spend the Christmas holidays in port. She was underway again on Boxing Day and made landfall again at Gibraltar on 1 January 1901.
Dixie departed Gibraltar on 9 January 1901 and crossed the Mediterranean to Tangier, Morocco (9–10 January) before steaming westward into the Atlantic to touch at Funchal (15–16 January) en route to the West Indies. After her transatlantic passage, she arrived at Barbados, British West Indies (4–10 February) before coaling at Castries, St. Lucia (11 February), en route to La Guairá, Venezuela (14 February). After embarking invalids from the training ship Lancaster, she steamed to Pensacola, Fla. (23 February) before making her return to Hampton Roads on 28 February. Ordered to participate in inauguration ceremonies, the ship grounded off Maryland Point in the Potomac River on 1 March and remained grounded until the 9th. She was again underway on 13 March and returned to Hampton Roads the following day. That same day she shifted to the Norfolk Navy Yard to be docked for repairs.
With the work completed she cleared the yard on 22 April 1901 and steamed to New York, reaching on 24 April. At New York, she exchanged sailors and took on stores until 7 May, when she stood out bound for St. Lucia en route to the South Atlantic Station. She arrived on 14 May and after exchanging sailors and receiving stores, she departed the next day for Montevideo, Uruguay, where she did likewise (1–6 June). Dixie then proceeded to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (10–13 June), before returning to St. Lucia (24 June) en route to St. Croix, Danish West Indies (25–26 June), where she conducted target practice and San Juan to coal (26–29 June). Having refueled, the ship made her return to New York on 3 July. While there, she embarked another contingent of landsmen for another training cruise to northern European waters and the Mediterranean.
Dixie cleared New York on 24 July 1901 and stopped at Boston, Mass. (26–28 July) and Gardiners Bay [Long Island], N.Y. (29 July–9 August) before crossing the Atlantic and reaching Southampton, England, on 21 August. Departing on 4 September, she crossed the English Channel to Antwerp, Belgium (5–16 September) before setting a southerly course for the Mediterranean via Lisbon, Portugal (26 September–6 October) and Gibraltar (16–18 October). While in the Mediterranean, the training ship made visits to Villefranche (28 October–13 November), Naples (22 November–29 November), and Smyrna, Ottoman Empire [Izmir, Turkey] (6 December–4 January 1902). While at Smyrna the ship got underway to conduct target practice on 30 December and returned to the city for the New Year’s holidays.
With the new year Dixie got underway on 4 January 1902 and steamed to Algiers conducting training while en route. Arriving on 19 January, she remained a week before standing out on 26 January bound for Gibraltar (31 January–3 February). Departing the British colony, she steamed eastward to Palermo, Italy, to coal and embark short-time sailors from the European Squadron (7–15 February). After touching at Gibraltar on 20 February to embark landsmen at hospital, she steamed back into the Atlantic and visited Funchal (24–27 February) to coal and Tenerife, Canary Islands (1–3 March) to conduct target practice. Continuing across the Atlantic, she visited San Juan to coal (15–22 March), Guantánamo to conduct small arms training (24 March–4 April), and Havana, Cuba (10–17 April) before making her return to Hampton Roads via Key West, Fla. (18-25 April). She reached Hampton Roads on 30 April and remained there until 6 May.
Dixie then proceeded to New York (7–14 May 1902) in advance of steaming to the Lesser Antilles to provide relief to the native populations suffering from the volcanic eruption of Mount Pelée on Martinique, French West Indies (2–8 May) that leveled St. Pierre, killing thousands. She arrived at Martinique (21–22 May) and then proceeded to carry supplies and render assistance at St. Vincent (23–29 May) and St. Lucia (29–30 May) before returning to Martinique (30–31 May). She then proceeded to New York (6–10 June) where she received orders to move to League Island to assist with the re-commissioning of the training ship Panther. She arrived on 11 June and the commissioning ceremony took place on 19 June. The ship departed the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 10 July and proceeded to the New York Navy Yard, where she arrived the next day to prepare Dixie for decommissioning. The auxiliary was placed out of commission at New York on 21 July 1902.
Dixie was placed back into commission at the New York Navy Yard on 1 October 1903, Cmdr. Greenlief A. Merriam in command. The ship was assigned to the Caribbean Squadron, North Atlantic Fleet, and served principally as a transport on the east coast, in the Caribbean, and Canal Zone, carrying marines, recruits for training, and drafts of men for other vessels, as well as engaging in target practice for her crew and the naval militia. After her commissioning and fitting out, Dixie departed New York on 21 October and arrived at League Island on 23 October. Having embarked a marine battalion under Maj. John A. Lejeune, the ship stood down the Delaware River on 24 October and disembarked the marines at Guantánamo on the 29th. Standing there until 31 October, she awaited further orders. With their arrival, she steamed to Kingston, Jamaica (1–3 November) to coal from contractors.
Clearing Kingston, Dixie raced to Colon, Colombia [Panama] in response to the outbreak of a rebellion in the isthmian territory. Lejeune’s embarked battalion, originally scheduled to participate in fleet maneuvers off Puerto Rico, arrived at Colon on 5 November. The following day, the U.S. recognized the fledgling Panamanian state and Lejeune’s marines landed to protect the new government from any possible Colombian effort to crush the nascent republic. The marines built a camp near Colon and then deployed throughout Panama, eventually establishing a barracks at Panama City. The U.S., on 18 November, negotiated the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, a new canal treaty which established the Panama Canal Zone (C.Z.) and authorized the subsequent construction of the Panama Canal under far more favorable terms for the U.S. than the Hay-Herran Treaty signed with Colombia on 22 January 1903.
The ship remained at Colon (5 November–2 December 1903) before shifting to Chiriqui Lagoon, Panama, to coal from the collier Hannibal (3–5 December) before returning to Colon (6–16 December). She departed on 16 December and arrived at League Island on 22 December. Over the succeeding six days, she embarked a marine battalion and its equipment and loaded stores for a return to Panama.
Dixie stood out from Philadelphia on 28 December 1903 and sped to Colon. Raising the port on 3 January 1904, the transport disembarked the marines and remained at the port until the 20th. Getting underway on 21 January, she shifted to Chiriqui Lagoon to conduct surveys and take soundings until 5 February. The ship then proceeded to Rovalo Point, Panama, to coal (5–11 February to coal. Once refueled, she returned to Colon to serve as the temporary flagship for the U.S. vessels present (12–23 February). She shifted to Porto Bello, Panama (23–24 February), to await orders, then returned to Colon later on the 24th to re-embark the landed marine battalion. With the marines on board, the ship moved to Rovalo Point to conduct target practice (26 February–5 March) before returning to Colon to await further orders (6–7 March). Having received those instructions, the ship steamed to San Juan (11–20 March) and put 23 marines ashore on Culebra Island, P.R. and coaled the ship. Departing on the 20th, she steamed for League Island and stood in to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 26 March. Upon her arrival, she disembarked the marines and docked for repairs and overhaul until 22 April.
Clearing the yard on 22 April 1904, she proceeded to Hampton Roads (23-25 April), where she coaled and received drafts from the auxiliary cruiser Prairie and the protected cruiser Atlanta. She then shifted to Newport News, Va. (25–30 April) where she transferred a draft of sailors to Atlanta. She then proceeded to San Juan. Arriving on 4 May, she towed the storeship Monongahela, transferred a draft to Prairie, and received marine apprentices from the stores ship. Departing on 7 May, she steamed to Guantánamo, where she arrived 9 May and transferred the apprentices to Lancaster and landed the embarked marines. The following day, she departed bound for League Island, where she arrived on 14 May and transferred a draft to the gunboat Gloucester. Getting underway again on 28 May, she transported sailors to Amphitrite (Monitor No. 2) at San Juan upon her arrival on 1 June. The following day she shifted to Guantánamo Bay. Arriving on the 4th, she continued to transfer sailors before departing that same day for Colon. She arrived on 6 June and remained there for three weeks, departing on 27 June bound for Tompkinsville.
Dixie arrived off Staten Island on 3 July 1904 and after mooring transferred men and freight until 5 July. She shifted to the New York Navy Yard (5–8 July) in preparation for the upcoming weeks’ summer cruise which consisted of target practices and training for naval militia in the waters off New England (8 July–12 August). After this training, she touched at Camden, N.J. on 14 August before shifting across the Delaware River that same day to dock at the Philadelphia Navy Yard until 12 September.
Dixie cleared the yard on 12 September 1904 in company with Columbia (Cruiser No. 12) and the dispatch vessel Dolphin to cruise in the Caribbean basin. They reached Colon on 19 September and remained in those waters into December. Departing on 3 December, they proceeded to Jamaica, arriving at the British naval base at Kingston on 5 December. She parted company and departed on 15 December to conduct preliminary target practice in the gulf off Colon (17–18 December). She then shifted to Chiriqui Lagoon to conduct additional training (19–29 December) before returning to Colon on the 29th. The ship remained off the Panamanian Atlantic coast until 26 January, when having embarked marines, she departed for Cuba. Dixie arrived at Guantánamo on 30 January 1905, and remained there until 11 February.
Political unrest in the Dominican Republic (D.R.), on Hispaniola’s eastern end, in 1903 made Campbell L. Maxwell, U.S. Consul-General there to become apprehensive for the safety of U.S. and property. This prompted a marine landing on 1 April, that lasted until the 19th. Over the succeeding months, tensions increased between the Dominican and U.S. governments. Revolutionary forces, on 1 February 1904, fired upon and killed a sailor from the auxiliary cruiser Yankee, then at Santo Domingo. This prompted the landing of bluejackets and marines on 11 February, which resulted in a persistent U.S. presence in the country through the end of the year.
Departing Guantánamo on 11 February 1905, Dixie steamed to Monte Cristi, D.R. to embark marines. Arriving the following day, she remained until 26 March supporting the marines ashore. Having embarked those marines to be transferred, she cleared the Dominican coast and arrived at Colon on 29 March. There she engaged in the transfer of sailors and marines and then departed on 2 April. Reaching Guantánamo on the 5th, she joined with Brooklyn (Armored Cruiser No. 3). Getting underway the following day, she returned to Hispaniola, making landfall at Monte Cristi on 7 April to transfer marines ashore and stores to the auxiliary cruiser Yankee. She remained in those waters until 2 May, when she got underway and shifted to Sanchez, D.R. (3–4 May) before making a liberty visit to San Juan (5–6 May). Afterward, she proceeded to St. Thomas to hold record target practice (6–15 May) with Newport (Gunboat No. 12). Upon the completion of these gunnery exercises, she proceeded to Fajardo, P.R. to coal (15–23 May) and then moved on to San Juan, where she rendezvoused with Cleveland (Cruiser No. 19), Olympia (Cruiser No. 6), and Yankee (24–26 May). She departed on 26 May and reached Monte Cristi, the following day, where she joined the Special Service Squadron. She got underway on 1 June and charted a course to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, reaching on 6 June.
Clearing Philadelphia on 26 June 1905, she conveyed a party of scientists to the Mediterranean to observe the solar eclipse of 30 August. She arrived at Bone, Algeria, on 21 July, and established Eclipse Station No. 2 for these observations. Dixie returned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 13 October, where she was again placed out of commission on 23 October.
Dixie was re-commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 2 June 1906, Cmdr. Herbert O. Dunn commanding. After a short trip to Red Bank, N.J. and back again on 21 June, the ship departed the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 30 June, en route to Monte Cristi with an embarked contingent of marines. Arriving at her destination on 5 July, she remained there until 17 July protecting U.S. interests. She shifted to Santo Domingo, D.R. (18–26 July) to relieve Dubuque (Gunboat No. 17) off the Dominican capital. She then proceeded to San Juan to transfer the sick (27–28 July) before moving on to Sanchez, D.R. with a load of stores for the U.S. forces ashore (29 July–3 August). The ship then returned to Monte Cristi to report to the senior officer present (SOP) (4–8 August) before returning to Sanchez to relieve the yacht Mayflower (9–14 August). She then returned to Monte Cristi to again report to the SOP and ensure U.S. interests (15 August–11 September).
Having embarked a contingent of marines, the ship cleared the Dominican coast and transported the marines to Guantánamo (12–13 September 1906) in advance of moving to Havana (15–17 September) and Cienfuegos, Cuba (18–21 September) in order to protect U.S. interests at both locations. She then returned to Monte Cristi to report to the SOP (23–30 September). Again clearing Hispaniola, she moved to San Juan to embark a marine contingent (2–3 October) and returned to Monte Cristi, remaining on station there (5–24 October). She then returned to san Juan to disembark the marines (25–26 October) before again making a return to Monte Cristi to protect U.S. interests. (28–31 October). At the conclusion of this time, she got underway and steamed back northward for the Virginia capes. She arrived at Hampton Roads on 4 November. She remained there until 28 November, when she shifted to the Norfolk Navy Yard and docked for repairs until 21 December.
Dixie, with her yard work completed, got underway on 21 December 1906 and stood in to Guantánamo on Christmas Day. She remained there in port through the New Year’s holidays. Engaging in special duties in Cuban waters supporting annual fleet training operations, she got underway on 6 January 1907 and proceeded to make port calls at Cienfuegos (7 –30 January; 26 February–11 March; and 20 March–18 April); Havana (31 January–24 February); and Guantánamo (12–19 March), before returning to Havana on 19 April. Dixie remained there until 18 August, when she got underway for a return to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She reached on 22 August and docked to undergo repairs. While still at the yard, she was again decommissioned on 1 November.
Dixie was again re-commissioned, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, on 2 February 1909, Cmdr. Harry George in command. The ship was assigned as a tender to the Atlantic Torpedo Flotilla and the Destroyer Squadron, Atlantic Fleet. She spent the weeks following her re-commissioning fitting out at the Navy Yard. She departed on 18 February and entered the Chesapeake Bay en route to the Patuxent River (Md.) to conduct her shakedown (20–23 February). She then spent the time to 5 March operating in the Chesapeake and making a visit to Washington, D.C. (2–5 March). After briefly touching at Hampton Roads on 5 March, Dixie steamed to Newport to take on a load of torpedoes (16–17 March) before continuing on to the Boston (Mass.) Navy Yard (18–19 March). After clearing Boston, she entered the New York Navy Yard (20–26 March) in advance of steaming to Pensacola to operate as parent ship for the Third Torpedo Flotilla (31 March–21 April). With the completion of that training cycle, she steamed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Arriving on 26 April, she entered the yard and underwent repairs until 17 June. After clearing the yard, she reached Hampton Roads the next day. With the assembly of the Torpedo Flotilla, they departed on 20 June and steamed north to Provincetown, Mass., to conduct the routine annual summer training in the waters off New England. The flotilla reached two days later on 22 June.
Dixie was underway again on 2 July 1909. Over the next two months, she supported training as the parent ship for the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet. Clearing Buzzards Bay, Mass. on 4 September, she steamed to Hampton Roads. Reaching on 6 September, she shifted to the Southern Drill Grounds on 8 September where she conducted target practice until the 11th, when she returned to Hampton Roads. Upon her return on 13 September, she resumed her duties as parent ship for the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet and remained in the lower Chesapeake Bay until getting underway bound for Lewes, Del. on 21 September. Arriving later that day, she departed the next, 22 September, for Tompkinsville (23–30 September). Steaming into New York harbor on 30 September, she arrived later that day at the North River anchorage to participate in the Hudson-Fulton Centennial celebrations on the Hudson River (1 October–12 October). Returning to New York on 12 October, she rejoined the flotilla.
While at New York, Dixie embarked a draft of sailors and cleared the port on 21 October 1909. She reached Boston the following day and disembarked the draft for service on board Flusser (Destroyer No. 20). Standing out on 28 October, she steamed south and reached Hampton Roads on the 30th. Ordered to tow submarines, she departed on 1 November and steamed to Charleston, S.C. (4–7 November) and New York (9–11 November) before returning to Charleston (14–19 November). Making a return to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, she coaled and embarked an expeditionary force bound for Nicaragua. Departing on 5 December, she reached Cristóbal, Canal Zone on 12 December and disembarked the troops on board. Underway again on 17 December, she steamed northward to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, arriving on Christmas Eve. She remained at the yard through the new year taking a machine shop on board. While in port she was assigned to serve as a tender for the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet.
Dixie stood out from the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 20 January and steamed to Boston (22–26 January); New York (27–30 January); and Tompkinsville (30–31 January) before making her return to Philadelphia on 1 February. While serving as the tender for the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet, she departed southward on 10 February. Initially cruising the lower Chesapeake with visits to Hampton Roads and the Norfolk Navy Yard (11–19 February), she proceeded on to Charleston. Arriving on 20 February, she entered the Charleston Navy Yard (23 February–20 March). Clearing the yard, she departed Charleston on 21 March and steamed for Pensacola, where she reached on 25 March. She remained around Pensacola until 21 April, this included a time at the Pensacola Navy Yard (12–15 April). The ship arrived at the Charleston Navy Yard on 25 April and remained there until 5 May, when she stood out for Hampton Roads. Arriving on 7 May, she later transported 500 sailors to Washington, D.C. for the unveiling of the statue of Polish-born Revolutionary War hero Tadeusz Kościuszko (9–10 May) before returning on the 13th. The following day she departed en route to Boston.
Reaching her destination on 16 May 1910, Dixie remained there until the 22nd, when she got underway as the tender for the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet’s annual summer training. Aside from a visit to Lewes (29 May–4 June), the flotilla operated on New England waters conducting training and exercises through 23 August. Departing Newport on the 23rd, she reached Lynnhaven Roads, Va., on 25 August. From this time through 9 September, she served as a tender in the waters around the Virginia capes, then visited the Norfolk Navy Yard (9–18 September). Upon clearing the yard, she steamed back to New England, first visiting Boston (20–25 September), then Newport (25–26 September) en route to New York (27 September–3 October). She then returned to Hampton Roads on 4 October. Getting underway again on the 11th, she made a run to Solomons Island, Md. (11–13 October) before briefly touching at Hampton Roads (13–14 October) en route to New York. Arriving on 15 October, the ship remained in New York harbor until 9 November.
Dixie stood out from New York on 9 November 1910 and steamed directly for the West Indies. She arrived at San Juan (13–16 November) before steaming on to Port of Spain, Trinidad (18–28 November); St. George, Grenada (29–30 November); Fort de France, Martinique (1–3 December); St. Pierre, Martinique (3 December); Roseau, Dominica (3–6 December); Basse Terre, St. Kitts (7–10 December); and St. Thomas, Danish Virgin Islands (10–12 December) before returning to San Juan on 12 December. She remained at the Puerto Rican port through the new year.
Dixie, having been re-assigned to duty as the tender for the Seventh Division, Atlantic Torpedo Fleet, departed San Juan for Cuba on 7 January 1911. She proceeded to Guantánamo (9–18 January) and then Media Luna Cay, Cuba (19 January–1 February), where she supported division target practice, after which she returned to Guantánamo (2–18 February). En route to New York, she visited Key West (20–25 February) before raising her destination on 1 March. After a week, she proceeded to Philadelphia (9 March) and Norfolk (10–11 March) to embark marines and conveyed them to Guantánamo. Arriving on 15 March, she remained at the base in Cuba until 25 April, when she got underway to conduct elementary target practice at Media Luna Cay (26 April–1 May). She returned to Guantánamo and embarked marines for transport back to the U.S. Clearing on 1 June, she steamed to the Norfolk Navy Yard (14–16 June) and the Philadelphia Navy Yard (17–20 June) to disembark marines. She then proceeded to the New York Navy Yard transporting a marine contingent for North Dakota (Battleship No. 29). Arriving on 21 June, she transferred the marines and departed on 23 June, bound for Boston to resume her duties as a tender. She arrived on 24 June.
Dixie replenished stores and refueled at Boston to 5 July 1911, after which she sortied with the flotilla to conduct training in New England waters through the summer. Clearing Newport on 14 September, she steamed to Lynnhaven Bay, Va. and reaching on 16 September. Shifting to Newport News, Va. on 20 September, she remained there until 28 September when she departed for New York. Steaming through the Ambrose Channel, she arrived at New York on 29 September. Ordered to be converted to a destroyer tender on 30 September, she had to wait until 1 October to enter the New York Navy Yard. She underwent this conversion through the end of the year, with the exception of 28 October–2 November when she cleared the yard to participate in a naval review.
Her conversion completed, Dixie cleared the New York Navy Yard on 4 January 1912, bound for Guantánamo for the fleet’s annual winter tactical exercises and gunnery training. Diverted to Bermuda due to a storm, the ship arrived on 7 January. While moored at Grassy Bay, however, a fire broke out on board the ship on 9 January. She departed the following day, but while underway a board of investigation was convened on 13 January. The board’s findings supported the opinion that the fire resulted from spontaneous combustion and that it was not due to any act of negligence on the part of the crew. Dixie reached Guantánamo on 14 January and over the next week, supported torpedo exercises until 21 January, when she shifted to Guacanayabo Bay, Cuba for work with the torpedo flotilla (9 February–16 March). With the completion of those evolutions, she steamed to Pensacola to base with the torpedo flotilla for target practice (20 March–11 April). With their completion, she returned to Guantánamo (15–17 April) to receive torpedoes and equipment in advance of steaming to New York and mooring at the North River anchorage (21–23 April) before putting in to the New York Navy Yard (23 April–15 May).
After overhaul, Dixie cleared the New York Navy Yard on 15 May 1912 and steamed to Newport, where she rejoined the Torpedo Flotilla to serve as a tender. After conducting training in Block Island Sound on 20 May, she returned to Newport on the 21st, remaining there until 1 July when she got underway to assist Louisiana (Battleship No. 19) which had run aground off Hog Island Light, R.I. She returned to Newport on 2 July and remained there until 7 August tending to the flotilla. She continued to serve in that capacity as the flotilla conducted exercises and training in the waters off New England to 13 September. On that day, she steamed south to Lynnhaven Bay (14–18 September) before making her return to Newport on 19 September. She remained there until 9 October, when she departed bound for the North River to participate in a naval review (10 October–8 November) before entering the New York Navy Yard for repairs on 8 November, maintenance that continued through the year’s end.
Dixie cleared the New York Navy Yard on 5 January 1913 and immediately steamed southward for the Atlantic Fleet’s annual winter tactical training and gunnery practices in Caribbean waters. Serving as the tender for the Torpedo Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet, Dixie arrived at Guantánamo on 9 January. Departing on 17 January, she shuttled to Cristóbal (20–24 January) before returning to Guantánamo on the 27th. She remained at Guantánamo into April with the exception of two periods of training in the Gulf of Guacanayabo (3–16 February and 20 March–4 April). Dixie sortied from the Cuban coast on 10 April and raised New York and anchoring in the North river on 14 April. Two days later on the 16th, she docked at the New York Navy Yard and underwent repairs until 30 June. With her yard work completed, she undocked and proceeded to Newport.
Reaching Newport on 1 July 1913, Dixie to rejoin the Torpedo Flotilla for its summer training regimen in the waters off New England and Long Island. Aside from making a brief visit to the lower Chesapeake at Lynnhaven Roads and Hampton Roads (25 August–1 September), the ship remained in those northern waters until 25 September. She then stood off Cape Henry, Va. (27–28 September) preparing for target practice, then entered the Chesapeake and paused at Hampton Roads (28–29 September) until conducting elementary and battle target practice in Tangier Sound (29 September–2 October). After a brief visit to Hampton Roads (2–3 October), she steamed to Newport to conduct additional exercises with the flotilla (5–31 October) before entering the New York Navy Yard on 1 November for repairs.
Following the completion of her work, Dixie stood out from the New York Navy Yard on 9 January 1914 and steamed south for the Atlantic Fleet’s winter exercises via Hampton Roads (10 January). Arriving at Culebra Island, P.R. on 16 January, the ship conducted maneuvers and a search problem with the flotilla until 24 January. With the completion of those exercises, Dixie proceeded with the flotilla to Guantánamo (26 January–1 February) before moving into Guacanayabo Bay for additional maneuver and target practices (2–14 February). Afterward, she returned to Guantánamo for a month (15 February–15 March). Continuing the annual training, she returned to Guacanayabo Bay (16–29 March) for flotilla target practice. At the completion of the qualification, the tender returned to Guantánamo (30 March–1 April) to turn in target gear in advance of steaming to Pensacola to coal and await orders (6–20 April).
During this time Mexico struggled in the throes of revolution (1910–1920). President Victoriano Huerta faced challenges from Emiliano Zapata and his rebels in southern Mexico and the Constitutionalists under Venustiano Carranza in the north. With this ongoing internecine conflict and heightening tension between the U.S. and Mexico, President Woodrow Wilson had concerns for the safety of American citizens and business interests in Mexico. On 9 April the commanding officer of the gunboat Dolphin at the Mexican port of Tampico dispatched a purser and eight sailors to purchase fuel. Though the sailors were on board a whaleboat flying a U.S. flag, forces loyal to Huerta seized the sailors and escorted them to the nearby regimental headquarters. Learning of the incident, Rear Adm. Henry T. Mayo, Commander, Fourth Division, Atlantic Fleet, demanded a 21-gun salute and formal apology from Huerta's government. Huerta ordered the release of the sailors within 24 hours and gave a written apology, but refused to have his forces raise the U.S. flag to provide a 21-gun salute.
As a result of the “Tampico Affair,” President Wilson asked Congress for permission for a landing at Vera Cruz, Mexico. At the direction of Rear Adm. Frank Friday Fletcher, on the morning of 21 April 1914, Capt. William R. Rush, as the Naval Brigade commander, led a combined force of bluejackets and marines ashore. Also participating in the assault were the marines from the Second Advanced Base regiment on board the auxiliary cruiser Prairie. These units along with the Utah (Battleship No. 31) Battalion seized the Customs House. Two members of the battalion were killed in the assault. The initial landing forces were subsequently augmented the next day, 22 April, from other ships of the fleet. The bluejackets and marines secured the city and held it for a week until relieved by U.S. Army forces commanded by Brig. Gen. Frederick N. Funston.
With these landings Dixie received orders dispatching her to the Mexican coast. Departing on 20 April 1914, she reached Tampico on 23 April and embarked U.S. refugees overnight. Clearing the next day, she steamed to Galveston, Texas, where she disembarked her passengers (26–30 April). Getting underway again, she returned to Tampico (2–4 May) to act as the torpedo flotilla’s tender before shifting to Lobos Island, Mexico to tend the lighthouse there (4–27 May). After that duty, she steamed directly to the Boston Navy Yard where she docked for overhaul and repairs on 3 June.
With her yard work completed, Dixie cleared on 7 August 1914 and proceeded to Newport, where she took on supplies for the Torpedo Flotilla (8 August–2 September). She then returned to Boston where she underwent additional work (3 September–24 October). She cleared the yard on 24 October with her repairs completed and rejoined the flotilla at Newport the next day. Staying only briefly, she departed that same day and arrived with the flotilla at Hampton Roads on the 27th. Over the succeeding month, she operated in the lower Chesapeake conducting training, tactical problems, and target practices as well as providing assistance (28 October–4 November) to Paulding (Destroyer No. 22). After coaling, Dixie stood out from Hampton Roads on 30 November. Raising the Boston Navy Yard on 3 December, she docked and underwent overhaul for five weeks.
Still undergoing overhaul at the Boston Navy Yard on New Year’s Day 1915, Dixie undocked on 14 January and got underway bound for the Torpedo Station at Melville, R.I. to onload torpedoes (15–16 January). She then proceeded to the lower Chesapeake, where she rejoined the flotilla and conducted training maneuvers (17–21 January). Standing out from the Virginia capes on the 21st, she proceeded via Mathewtown, Bahamas, British West Indies (24–26 January), to Guantánamo for the Atlantic Fleet’s winter training. Arriving late on the 26th, the tender remained in Cuban waters supporting the fleet’s training through 3 April. Steaming northward, she reached the Southern Drill Grounds off the Virginia capes and assisted with target practice (6–7 April) before steaming to the Boston Navy Yard for overhaul. The tender entered the yard and docked on 9 May and remained there into May.
With her yard work completed, she cleared on 6 May 1915 and turned in torpedoes at the Torpedo Station (7 May) before continuing on to the North River for a review of the Atlantic Fleet (8–17 May). After carrying guests to the review (17–18 May), she sped to the New England coast to serve as a radio relay ship (19–25 May). Ordered to Newport, she arrived on the 28th and the next day shifted to the Boston Navy Yard, where she remained until 27 June. Standing out from Boston, she assisted vessels .at torpedo target practice in Fort Pond Bay [Long Island], N.Y., on the 28th, before returning that evening to Newport.
Dixie got underway again with the destroyer division, clearing Newport on 16 August 1915. Over the following two months, she supported tactical maneuvers and battle and target practices in the waters off New England and Long Island. She stood in to the Boston Navy Yard on 30 October. She remained there until 13 December, when she got underway after receiving orders dispatching her to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Reaching on 16 December, she was placed in reserve on 29 December.
Placed back into active status and assigned to the Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet, Dixie departed the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 18 June 1916 bound for the Mexican coast. Arriving at Tampico on 25 June, she embarked refugees and departed the next day, shifting to Lobos Island (26–27 June) en route to Galveston, where she arrived to disembark the refugees on the 29th.
Dixie remained at Galveston until 6 July 1916, when she got underway and steamed back to Mexico. Arriving at Tampico on 8 July. In the subsequent weeks, the tender operated between Tampico and Vera Cruz. On 28 August, she departed Vera Cruz and proceeded to Key West, reaching on 1 September. Later that same day, she was again underway. Initially bound for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (D.R.), she instead arrived at Guantánamo on the 3rd. After a very brief visit, the tender was again underway, en route to Hispaniola to support the marines who had initially landed on 5 May to protect the U.S. Legation and the U.S. Consulate. That mission had expanded in the intervening months and the marines were now engaged in the occupation of the eastern part of Hispaniola. Thus, matching that of the western part of the island, Haiti, the preceding year. The ship’s first port visit was to Port-au-Prince, Haiti (4 September) in advance of reaching Santo Domingo (6–8 September).
Dixie departed on 8 September 1916 and the next day stood in to Guantánamo. Remaining there a week, she cleared on 16 September en route to a return to the U.S. via the Dominican Republic. She made visits to Santo Domingo (18 September) and Puerto Plata, D.R. (20 September) in advance of making her return to Hampton Roads on 23 September. Over the ensuing weeks, the tender operated in the waters around the Virginia capes with periods of training at Lynnhaven Roads and on the Southern Drill Grounds as well as spending time in port at Hampton Roads and Norfolk. Dixie stood out from the lower Chesapeake on 24 October 1916. Bound for Newport, she reached on 26 October. After five days, she was again underway on 31 October having set a course for Philadelphia. Arriving on 2 November, the tender entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard and remained there undergoing overhaul through the New Year’s holidays.
Dixie stood on 7 January 1917. Steaming southward for the Atlantic Fleet’s annual winter training, she raised Culebra on 15 January and remained there until the 18th. Having gone to sea, she steamed to Hispaniola and made visits to Santo Domingo (22 January) and Port-au-Prince (25–26 January). Afterward, she moved to Guantánamo (27 January–5 February).
During this time tensions between the U.S. and Imperial Germany heightened as a result of the latter’s resumption of its unrestricted submarine warfare campaign on 1 February. The U.S. severed diplomatic relations and the Atlantic Fleet was consolidated in the Gulf of Guacanayabo. Dixie stood there with the fleet (6–16 February) before being ordered to Havana (18 February–25 March). Clearing the Cuban capital on 25 March, the tender returned to Hampton Roads on the 28th. Nine days later, on 6 April, the U.S. declared war on Germany and the U.S. entered the World War on the side of the Allies.
With the U.S. now engaged in the conflict, Dixie was ordered to Key West. As a result, she departed on 12 April and reached on 16 April and reported to Commander, Squadron Four, Patrol Force, to serve as the base ship there. Having received orders the previous day, she was again underway on 2 May. Clearing Key West, she stood in to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 6 May. Docking at the yard the next day, the tender underwent preparations for distant service. With the work completed, she undocked and cleared the yard on 31 May. Steaming directly eastward across the Atlantic, she was bound for Queenstown [Cobh], Ireland (Base No. 6) to serve as the tender for the U.S. destroyers deployed to European Waters. While en route on 11 June, she sighted a suspicious object which appeared to be a submarine periscope on her port bow and opened fire with her No. 2 and No. 8 guns at the object which disappeared from view. Continuing onward, she arrived at Queenstown at 7:50 a.m. on 12 June and the ship’s commanding officer reported to Vice Adm. Sir Lewis Bayly, RN, Commander-in-Chief, Coast of Ireland.
Dixie remained at Queenstown (12 June–20 June 1917), then departed on 21 June at 8:00 a.m. bound for Berehaven [Castletownbere], Ireland in company with Cushing (Destroyer No. 55), Cassin (Destroyer No. 43), O’Brien (Destroyer No. 51), Tucker (Destroyer No. 57), and Winslow (Destroyer No. 53). She arrived at her destination later that same day at 8:06 p.m.
The auxiliary cruiser took up station at Berehaven on 22 June 1917 to serve as a support ship for the U.S. Navy vessels operating from this base. She continued in this capacity until 27 August when she got underway in company with Wilkes (Destroyer No. 67) and Perkins (Destroyer No. 26) and steamed to Queenstown. Arriving later that same day, she resumed her duties tending to the destroyers stationed at Base No. 6, keeping those vessels in the best material condition and forwarding provisions and supplies. She continued serving in this capacity through 16 January 1918.
The ship entered the dry dock at the Haulbowline Yard at Queenstown on 17 January 1918 in order to clean and paint her bottom and to overhaul her bottom valves. She undocked two days later on 19 January and anchored at Queenstown in advance of resuming her tending duties. She continued to serve in this capacity throughout the remainder of the war, which ended with the Armistice of 11 November. Having provided invaluable service in maintaining the destroyers and submarines of the U.S. Patrol Force in European Waters engaged in convoy escort and antisubmarine patrols, Dixie’s crew now set to preparing her to return home.
Dixie remained at Queenstown until 15 December 1918, when she raised steam and cleared the Irish port to make her return to the U.S. Transiting via the Azores, she arrived at Ponta Delgada (Base No. 13) on 19 December. Having spent the Christmas holidays in port, she would remain there into the new year. Having tended U.S. vessels en route back home while at Ponta Delgada, Dixie finally cleared the Portuguese archipelago on 9 February 1919. Though originally bound for New York, she received orders while underway. Re-routed, she made her return to the U.S., standing in to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 22 February.
After undergoing post-deployment repairs and overhaul, Dixie was initially assigned as the tender for Group One, Flotilla One, Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet. With her yard work completed, the tender cleared Philadelphia on 24 March 1919 and arrived the following day at Newport to onload torpedo equipment. Standing out on 27 March, she steamed southward to Guantánamo. Arriving on 3 April, she remained until the 9th, when she departed for New York, where she moored in the North River on 19 April. Four days later on 23 April, Commander, Squadron Two, Destroyer Force, shifted his flag to Dixie from Columbia (Cruiser No. 12). She cleared the Hudson River and went to sea on 1 May, standing in to Newport the next day. She remained at Newport through 25 June, when she departed, arriving at New York on the 26th.
Departing the North River on 8 July 1919, Dixie returned to Newport on the 9th. She remained in those waters through most of the summer, departing on 2 September and steaming to Philadelphia, where she arrived on 3 September to dock at the navy yard. Undocking on 13 October, she stood down the Delaware River. Bound for the Gulf of Mexico, she raised Pensacola on 18 October. The tender operated in Gulf waters around Pensacola into December. During this time she made also made two port visits to New Orleans (7–12 November and 26 November–2 December). The tender stood out from Pensacola on 13 December and proceeded to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Arriving on 18 December, the tender remained there through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Dixie stood out into the Atlantic on 8 January 1920 and made her way south to Guantánamo for the fleet’s annual winter training. Initially touching at Guantánamo on 15 January, she quickly departed that same day and shifted to the Gulf of Guacanayabo, where she arrived shortly thereafter. The tender returned to Guantánamo and then departed on 8 February. Bound for the Panama Canal Zone, she arrived at Cristobal on 11 February before getting underway again on the 16th. Returning toward Guantánamo, the tender visited Kingston, Jamaica. Arriving on 18 February, the ship ran aground on the 24th. The ship departed Kingston on 29 February. Having arrived at Guantánamo later that same day. A court of inquiry was convened on board the ship on 2 March, as there was no damage to the ship the court adjourned the proceedings with no further action taken. She remained at Guantánamo until 27 March when she shifted to Guacanayabo (27 March–16 April) to support training exercises. Afterward, she returned to Guantánamo for a week (17–14 April) before setting a northerly course for New York. Arriving on 1 May, she moored in the North River until 17 May, when she departed for Newport and arriving the next day. She remained in the waters around Newport until 14 July, when she departed for the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Arriving on 16 July, she was to tend the destroyers in reserve at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Four days later, Dixie was re-designated AD-1 on 17 July 1920 as part of a Navy-wide administrative re-organization.
Again a tender to the Destroyer Forces, Atlantic Fleet, Dixie departed the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 5 April 1921 and proceeded south to Charleston (7 April–10 May) before visiting New York (12 May–31 May). During this time, she served as the flagship for Destroyer Squadron 14.
Dixie shifted to Newport, whence she operated for most of the summer (1 June–16 September). Making a brief run to New York (17–25 September), she returned to the Narragansett Bay and Newport (27 September–10 October). Departing Newport for the final time on 10 October, the tender steamed to Charleston (13 October–20 December) before returning to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where she would spend Christmas and New Year’s Day. Underway again on 3 January 1922, she made one last visit to Charleston (5 January–15 May) before returning to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 18 May to undergo preparations for final inactivation.
Decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 30 June 1922, Dixie was sold on 25 September to Joseph G. Hitner Co., of Philadelphia. Stricken from the Navy list on 5 August 1922, Dixie was delivered to the purchaser and removed from the Philadelphia Navy Yard for scrapping on 14 November.
||Dates of Command
|Cmdr. Charles H. Davis
||19 April 1898–7 March 1899
|Cmdr. Charles Belknap
||15 November 1899–23 March 1901
|Cmdr. Seth M. Ackley
||23 March 1901–17 July 1901
|Capt. Robert M. Berry
||17 July 1901–23 July 1902
|Cmdr. Greenlief A. Merriam
||1 October 1903–23 October 1905
|Cmdr. Herbert O. Dunn
||2 June 1906–20 August 1906
|Capt. William H.H. Southerland
||20 August 1906–20 November 1906
|Cmdr. Moses L. Wood
||20 November 1906–1 November 1907
|Cmdr. Harry George
||2 February 1909–30 June 1909
|Lt. Paul Foley
||30 June 1909–8 July 1911
|Cmdr. John K. Robison
||8 July 1911–14 March 1914
|Lt. John S. Abbott
||14 March 1914–7 May 1914
|Cmdr. Hutchinson I. Cone
||7 May 1914–24 July 1915
|Cmdr. Joel R. P. Pringle
||24 July 1915–29 December 1915
|Cmdr. David W. Todd
||29 December 1915–15 June 1916
|Cmdr. Joel R. P. Pringle
||15 June 1916–20 June 1917
|Cmdr. Henry B. Price
||20 June 1917–2 December 1918
|Capt. Allen Buchanan
||2 December 1918–21 March 1919
|Cmdr. William T. Conn
||21 March 1919–26 November 1920
|Cmdr. William V. Tomb
||26 November 1920–30 June 1922
Christopher B. Havern Sr.
11 January 2019