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Galena II (SStr)

(SStr: dp. 1,900; l. 216' (b.p.); b. 37'; d. 16'6"; s. 9.5 k.; cpl. 214; a. 6 9" sb., 1 8" r., 1 60-pdr. blr.)


Cities in Kansas and Illinois; towns in Maryland and Missouri; and villages in Ohio and Alaska named for a native lead sulfide, the chief ore of lead.


The second Galena, a wooden steamer, was built by the Norfolk Navy Yard in 1879; and commissioned at Norfolk 26 August 1880, Comdr. James O'Kane in command.

Galena departed Hampton Roads 19 December 1880 and reached Gibraltar 12 January 1881. She cruised between the ports of France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, along the coast of Africa; and to the Canary, Cape Verde and Madeira Islands. On 7 April 1881 she arrived at Kastro, Chios, in the Aegean Sea and remained until the 15th helping to relieve the distress caused by a severe earthquake. Her surgeon went ashore to treat the injured; her crew furnished work parties to help clear the rubble; and her steam launch moved relief supplies. Another mercy mission began 10 June 1882 when she reached Alexandria, Egypt, to embark American citizens and personnel of the American Consulate for protection aboard during a rebellion. An Italian ship was chartered as a haven for about 135 refugees until 27 June when Admiral J. W. A. Nicholson arrived in Lancaster to relieve Galena.

Galena departed Alexandria 11 July 1882 for operations along the eastern seaboard of South America out of Rio de Janeiro. From 19 October 1882 to 31 January 1883 she was the flagship of Rear Admiral P. Crosby, commanding American Naval Forces in the South Atlantic. She arrived in New York 10 September 1883 to serve in the North Atlantic along the eastern seaboard and throughout the Caribbean Sea to the shores of Aspinwall, Colombia (now Colon, Panama). This included station duty at Key West (1 May-16 August 1884) to prevent illegal filibustering expeditions from the United States to Cuba.

Another special service began 11 March 1885 when she arrived at Aspinwall from New Orleans to offer protection to the lives and property of American citizens during a serious revolution that threatened to interrupt traffic over the Isthmus of Panama. On 30 March 1885 after a party of revolutionists had seized Pacific Mail Line steamer Colon, Galena regained the steamer and returned her the same day. The next day Galena's landing force went ashore to save a part of the town of Colon which had been set afire by the revolutionists. Through utmost exertion the landing force saved a part of the town and all the property of the Pacific Mail Company. On 10 April Admiral Jouett arrived in Tennessee and with a force of 600 Blue Jackets and Marines, assisted by Galena, kept the Isthmus open to crossing travelers and enforced treaty obligations until order was restored in May.

Galena departed Colon 9 June and reached Portsmouth, N.H., 26 June 1885 to begin several months cruising along the eastern seaboard. Galena returned to Columbian waters 27 November 1885 for service in the Caribbean. She visited St. Andrew Island 114 miles east of the Nicaraguan coast 14 February 1886 to investigate the detention of American steamer City of Mexico. Finding United States neutrality laws had been violated by the steamer, Galena seized City of Mexico and sailed her under a prize crew to Key West where the steamer was turned over to the U.S. marshall.

Galena returned to New York 23 May 1886 to join the squadron in battle practice along the New England coast. She then sailed to the Newfoundland fishing banks and back. She departed Portsmouth, N.H., 15 December 1886 to cruise among ports of the West Indies and off Colombia until 18 April 1887.

Galena returned north in time to participate in ceremonies for the unveiling of the soldiers and sailors monument at New Haven, Conn., 14 June. After a cruise that took her to Halifax, Quebec, Montreal, and Habitant's Bay, Galena arrived at Philadelphia 12 September 1887 to join other ships of the Navy in celebrating the centennial of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. Target practice in Gardner's Bay, N.Y., was followed by repairs in the Norfolk Navy Yard until 9 April 1888. Galena then cruised with her squadron along the eastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast visiting New Orleans, La.; Mobile, Ala.; and Port Royal, S.C. From 18 August to 15 September 1888 she watched over American interests during political disturbances at Port-au-Prince, Haiti, then proceeded to New York.

Galena departed New York 12 December 1888 as flagship of Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, Commander in Chief, North Atlantic Station, and reached Port-au-Prince 20 December. Here, the American steamer Haytien Republic, seized by Haitian authorities for alleged violation of the blockade, was surrendered to the force under Admiral Luce.

Galena arrived in Key West, Fla., 19 January 1889. Here, on 16 February Rear Admiral Bancroft Gherardi relieved Admiral Luce as Commander in Chief, North Atlantic Station, and broke his flag in Galena. She sailed the following day for Haitian waters and then returned to New York 29 May. Admiral Gherardi transferred his flag to Kearsarge on 15 June.

After repairs at New York, Galena arrived at Cap Haitien 6 September 1889 and relieved Kearsarge as flagship. At the island of Navassa 6 October, she took on board nine ring-leaders of a riot, then proceeded to Baltimore, Md., where they were turned over to the custody of the United States marshal 25 October. She repaired at the New York Navy Yard, then sailed 3 December to serve once more as Admiral Gherardi's flagship out of Key West in a series of cruises to waters of Haiti; She was relieved as flagship by Dolphin while at St. Nicholas Mole 14 February 1890 and departed Key West 25 May for calls at Port Royal and Charleston before arriving New York Navy Yard 1 July. She decommissioned 23 July 1890 and remained there until 12 March 1891 when she was towed by tug Nina toward the Portsmouth Navy Yard, N.H., to be fitted with new boilers. The following day, both ships ran aground on a beach about a mile south of Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Salvaged under a contract to the Boston Tow Boat Co., Galena arrived at the Portsmouth Navy Yard 6 April 1891. However, it was decided that repairs would be too costly. Galena was stricken from the Navy List 29 February 1892 and she was sold to E. J. Butler of Arlington, Mass., 9 May.

Published: Thu Jul 09 14:42:21 EDT 2015