Its Place In History

USS Maine's Last Sunset


"The explosion of the Maine at Havana, on February 15, 1898, was the ultimate incident which impelled the people of the United States to regard Spain as an impossible neighbor. Although the war which followed was not founded on the destruction of the Maine as a political cause, that disaster was the pivotal event of the conflict which has terminated Spanish possession in the Western World. Considerations like these must continue to give the Maine a unique place in the history of the United States, especially since the character and magnitude of the disaster make it one of the most shocking on record." --Captain Charles D. Sigsbee



The Ship: B & W Photos - Colored Prints - Drawings - Other Photos & Prints

Articles Describing the The Ship

The List of the USS Maine Officers and Crew

The USS Maine was built as a second class battleship and commissioned in 1895 at a cost of $2,500,000. It had a length of 318 feet with a breadth of 57 feet and a mean draft of 21 feet 6 inches. The displacement was 6,648 tons with its armor being 12 inches on the sides, 8 inches on the turrets, and from 10 to 12 inches on the barbettes. The engines were of the vertical triple expansion type with 9,293 horse power which produced a top speed of 17.4 knots. The boiler was a forced draft system type.


Photos of the Armament

The main battery consisted of four 10-inch and six 6-inch breech-loading rifles. The secondary battery consisted of seven 6-pounder and eight 1-pounder rapid-fire guns and four Gatling Guns. There was, in the bunker, which had a capacity of 896 tons, four torpedo tubes.


Officers Group Photos and Quarters

The ship had a crew of 26 officers, 290 men and 39 Marines. A total of 355 men. The officers consisted of the Captain and Senior Officers, the Junior Officers, and the Petty Officers. The Captain and Senior Officers station, while on duty, were on the Quarter Deck. The Captain had his own stateroom. Some to the Senior Officers also had their own stateroom while other officers shared their stateroom. There also existed two Ward Rooms for the ships officers.


Photos of the Ships Company and Quarters - Assigned Duties - Rest & Relaxsation

The Ships Company had many assigned duties such as cooks, firemen, gunners, torpedo men, signalers, spotters, marines, and pioneers. Other activities which the crew did aboard ship while on duty, was fencing, swordsmanship, handgun marksmanship, polishing the fittings, knotting. Off duty hours sailors could be seen telling yarns, sleeping in their hammocks or singing with the Maine's Bachelors Glee Club


Photos & Prints of the USS Maine In Cuba Before the Disaster

The Disaster

Articles and Eye Witness Accounts of the USS Maine Disaster

(The Encyclopedia Americana states that "When the explosion occurred, all but 4 of the crew of 26 officers and 328 men were on board; 2 officers and 250 men were killed at once, and 8 men were fatally injured. . . .Part of the wreck was raised in 1911 and was sunk at sea, with appropriate ceremonies, in 1912." The official account found in the report given by President William McKinley to Congress told that 2 Officers, 230 Sailors and 28 Marines were killed in the disaster. That 186 bodies were recovered from the wreckage and 74 bodies remained with the Maine.)

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