The fourth USS Baltimore (C-3) (later CM-1) was a United States Navy cruiser, the second protected cruiser to be built by an American yard. Like the previous one, Charleston, the design was commissioned from the British company of W. Armstrong, Mitchell, and Company of Newcastle.
She was launched on 6 October 1888 by William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sponsored by Mrs. Theodore D. Wilson, wife of Chief Constructor Theodore D. Wilson; and commissioned on 7 January 1890, with Captain W. S. Schley in command.
Baltimore became the flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron on 24 May 1890, and, from 15–23 August, conveyed the remains of the late Captain John Ericsson from New York City to Stockholm, Sweden. Captain Pilot Joseph Henderson one of the oldest pilots in the service piloted the Balimore to sea. After cruising in European and Mediterranean waters with the European Squadron, she arrived at Valparaíso, Chile on 7 April 1891 to join the Pacific Squadron. She protected American citizens during the Chile revolution and landing men at Valparaíso on 28 August. Her activities in Chile around this time became known as the Baltimore Crisis. Arriving at the Mare Island Navy Yard on 5 January 1892, she cruised on the west coast of the U.S. until 7 October and then returned to the Atlantic. She took part in the naval rendezvous and review in Hampton Roads during March and April 1893 before the World’s Columbian Exposition. Proceeding via the Suez Canal, she cruised as flagship of the Asiatic Station from 22 December 1893– 3 December 1895, protecting American interests. Returning to Mare Island on 21 January 1896, she went out of commission on 17 February.
Recommissioned on 12 October 1897, Baltimore sailed on 20 October for the Hawaiian Islands and remained there from 7 November 1897 – 25 March 1898. She then joined Commodore George Dewey's squadron at Hong Kong on 22 April.
The squadron sailed from Mirs Bay, China on 27 April for the Philippines, and on the morning of 1 May entered Manila Bay and destroyed the Spanish fleet stationed there. Baltimore was second in line behind Olympia. In the Battle of Manila Bay, the Baltimore was commanded by future rear admiral Nehemiah Dyer, who had served with Farragut at Mobile Bay.
Baltimore remained in the Philippines on the Asiatic Station as the Spanish-American War transitioned into the Philippine-American War, convoying transports and protecting American interests until 23 May 1900, when she sailed for the United States, via the Suez Canal, arriving at New York on 8 September. In one instance, just before the outbreak of the Philippine-American War, the Baltimore sailed for Iloilo City accompanying troops whose mission was the occupy the city before General Martin Delgado's forces, loosely part of Emilio Aquinaldo's Philippine Revolutionary Army, could do so. When the American forces arrived, Gen. Delgardo already occupied the city in the name of the Federal State of the Visayas. After several weeks of a tense but peaceful stand-off, American troops and ships, including the Baltimore withdrew to Manila without landing on either Panay or Guimaras islands.
Pre-World War I
Between 27 September 1900– 6 May 1903, Baltimore was out of commission at New York Navy Yard. From 5 August – 23 December, she served with the Caribbean Squadron, North Atlantic Fleet, taking part in summer maneuvers off the coast of Maine, in the Presidential Review at Oyster Bay, New York (15–17 August), and in Santo Domingo waters. From 28 May-26 August 1904, she was attached to the European Squadron and cruised in the Mediterranean. On 26 September, she sailed from Genoa, Italy, for the Asiatic Station and spent the next two years cruising in Asiatic, Philippine, and Australian waters.
Baltimore returned to New York on 24 April 1907 and went out of commission at New York Navy Yard on 15 May. On 20 January 1911, she was placed in commission in reserve and served as a receiving ship at Charleston Navy Yard (30 January 1911 – 20 September 1912). From 1913–1914, she was converted to a minelayer at the Charleston Navy Yard and recommissioned on 8 March 1915. From 1915–1918, she carried out mining experiments and operations in Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast.
World War I
At the time of the American entry into World War I, Baltimore was training personnel. Early in March 1918, she was detailed to assist in laying a deep mine field off the north coast of Ireland in the North Channel. She arrived at the Clyde on 8 March, and, from 13 April – 2 May, laid approximately 900 mines in the North Channel. On 2 June, she joined Mine Squadron 1 at Inverness, Scotland, and for four months participated in laying the North Sea Mine Barrage between the Orkneys and Norway by:
- planting 180 mines during the 1st minelaying excursion on 7 June,
- planting 180 mines during the 3rd minelaying excursion on 14 July,
- planting 180 mines during the 4th minelaying excursion on 29 July,
- planting 180 mines during the 5th minelaying excursion on 8 August,
- planting 180 mines during the 6th minelaying excursion on 18 August,
- planting 180 mines during the 7th minelaying excursion on 26 August, and
- planting 180 mines during the 9th minelaying excursion on 20 September.
On 28 September, Baltimore sailed from Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands back to the U.S. She carried out mining experiments in the vicinity of the Virgin Islands until the end of the year.
In September 1919, she joined the Pacific Fleet, received the designation CM-1, and remained on the west coast until January 1921. She then proceeded to Pearl Harbor, where she was subsequently placed out of commission on 15 September 1922. She then served as a receiving ship at Pearl Harbor, and was present during the Japanese attack there on 7 December 1941. She was sold for scrapping on 16 February 1942.
- New York Herald, August 24, 1890
- Linn, Brian McAllister (2000). The Philippine War: 1899-1902. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kanasa. pp. 37–41. ISBN 0-7006-1225-4.
- Belknap, Reginald Rowan The Yankee mining squadron; or, Laying the North Sea mining barrage (1920) United States Naval Institute p.110
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
- Taylor, Michael J.H. (1990). Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I. Studio. ISBN 1-85170-378-0.
- The White Squadron. [Toledo, Ohio]: Woolson Spice Co., 1891. OCLC 45112425
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