USS Texas (1892)

Texas in the 1890s. US Navy photo.

Nation
Ship Class
Laid Down
1889
Launched
1892
Commissioned
1895
Decommissioned
1911
AD/BC
AD
History

USS Texas was one of two "prototype" battleships built by the United States in the wake of Alfred Thayer Mahan's 'The Influence of Sea Power Upon History,' the other being her semi-sister USS Maine. Laid down 1 June, 1889, Texas was already outdated by the time she commissioned on 15 August, 1895. Nicknamed Old Hoodoo after a string of accidents early in her career, Texas earned her keep during the Battle of Santiago, 3 July, 1898, engaging both cruisers and torpedo boats simultaneously. Texas underwent a major refit from 3 November, 1900 to the same date in 1902, and in 1908 was reduced to the role of Station Ship in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1911, Texas was renamed San Marcos, in order to pass her name to the next generation (BB-35, now a memorial). She was expended as a target in Chesapeake Bay for the battleship New Hampshire on 21-22 March that year, and the wreck continued to be pounded for weapon practice through World War II. Her remains were deemed a threat to navigation, and explosives were used to break her up and drive the remains into the bottom. Whats left of her is still there.

Bonus Information

Note that there is some discrepancy in the classification of Texas and Maine. Colloquially referred to as battleships, they were in a weird evolutionary space between protected cruisers, armored cruisers, and pre-dreadnought battleships.