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Wyandotte II (Monitor)

(Mon.: dp. 2,100; l. 224'0"; b. 43'0"; dr. 11'6"; s. 13 k.; cpl. 100; a. 2 15" D. sb.; cl. Canonicus)

A city in Wayne County, Michigan, on the Detroit River, 11 miles southwest of Detroit, and a county in Kansas. Both are named for the Wyandotte Indians. The county was established on 29 January 1859 and was the location of the constitutional convention in July of that year which framed the antislavery constitution under which Kansas was admitted to the Union on 25 January 1861.


Tippecanoe, a Canonicus-class monitor constructed by Miles Greenwood at the shipyard of John Litherbury at Cincinnati, Ohio, was laid down on 28 September 1862; and launched on 22 December 1864. However, she was not completed until 1866 when she was laid up at New Orleans. In the year 1869, she was twice renamed: to Vesuvius on 15 June and to Wyandotte on 10 August.

Between the years 1870 and 1872, the monitor was laid up at Key West, Fla., and at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. In 1873 and 1874, Wyandotte underwent extensive repairs by John Roach at Chester, Pa. On 24 January 1876, the warship was commissioned, with Lt. Thomas C. Terrell in command.

Wyandotte operated with the North Atlantic Squadron off the east coast into 1879, on exercises and training cruises, basing for a time out of Hampton Roads, Va. She later served as station ship at Washington, D.C., before being laid up in 1885 and placed in ordinary, first at Richmond and then at Norfolk, Va.

Transferred to the Connecticut state militia in 1896, she was serving in this capacity when, at the opening of the Spanish-American War, some Americans along the eastern seaboard felt apprehensive, lest the Spanish Navy attack American cities. Their anxiety was fed by the fact that the major warships of the United States Fleet had gathered around Key West far from the major metropolitan centers to the north. This uneasiness swept over the east coast and produced a clamor for the Navy to take steps to protect the "endangered" cities.

As a result, the Navy reactivated old ships, for the most part, of Civil War vintage, for local defense. Recommissioned on 30 April 1898, with Lt. John B. Milton in command, Wyandotte sailed from New Haven, Conn., on 17 May, to guard Boston. The venerable warship remained on station from 19 May to 5 September, but no Spanish armada ever appeared.

After hostilities ended, Wyandotte steamed to Philadelphia, where she arrived on 9 September. She was decommissioned there on 20 September and later sold for scrap on 17 January 1899.

Published: Wed Nov 04 10:09:17 EST 2015