USS Nashville PG-7
by Warren Kirbo
USS Nashville PG-7
Authorized by Congress, 3 March,1893, built at Newport News S.B.&D.D.
Co., Commissioned 19 August 1897. Ship’s compliment: 11 officers. 165
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The year marks the 100th Anniversary of Panamanian
Independence, thanks to the Gunboat USS Nashville.
The Patrol Gunboat, U.S.S. NASHVILLE is credited
with firing the first American shot of the Spanish-American war on 22
April, 1898, the day Congress ratified the formal declaration.
NASHVILLE’s shot across the bow of a Spanish merchant steamer became the
first round fired in retaliation for the sinking of the U.S.S. MAINE in
Havana Harbor in February of that year.
In July NASHVILLE joined with the U.S.S. MARBLEHEAD
in a raid to cut a cable in the Cuban city of Cienfuegos that resulted
in a score of the NASHVILLE’s crew being honored with the Congressional
Medal of Honor.
Five years later, on 3 November, 1903, NASHVILLE
was off the coast of what is now Panama with orders to support rebels
who were about to secede from the Republic of Colombia. A landing party
from NASHVILLE secured a railroad bridge to deny reinforcement of the
Colon detachment while NASHVILLE anchored in Colon’s harbor to keep the
garrison there in its barracks. A few days later a treaty was signed
with representatives of the new government of Panama for the
construction of the Panama Canal.
The U.S.S. NASHVILLE was decommissioned in 1909,
but was reactivated when the war-clouds brewing in Europe put strains on
American relations with Mexico. NASHVILLE served until the end of World
War One, and was finally decommissioned in 1919, and sold in 1921, to
the Richmond (VA.) Lumber Company where she was used as a cedar barge.
She was scrapped in 1957.
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Page Created 24 September, 2003
25 March, 2004
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