Home > Archive > USS CHARLESTON (C-2)


August 2012 Cover


John Young (USCS #L-8219)

The Postal Laws & Regulations, Sec 515 provides that soldiers and sailors ”in the field” who have no access to postage stamps could sent letters with no stamps affixed, if signed by his Commanding Officer. The recipient was charged the amount of postage due with no penalty. This piece of “Sailor’s Letter” was sent (August 1899) by Navy Warrant Officer Dominick Glynn to his wife in Vallejo California.

Apparently Boatswain Glynn had no postage stamps and letter was forwarded with ship’s “Sailor’s Letter” stamp, signed by Captain George W. Pigman, USN. Letter had two cents Washington stamp (Sc #279B) applied and canceled at Military Station P, Jolo, Philippine Islands on 9 AUG 1899. Reverse back-stamped Rec’d Vallejo, CA dated September 23, 1899.Letter was carried between States and its Pacific Dominion with the domestic rate by steamship.

A 320-foot protected cruiser built by Union Iron Works, San Francisco (1888) and commissioned on December 26, 1889. CHARLESTON served with the Pacific and Asiatic Squadrons before participating in the 1893 International Naval Review in New York harbor. CHARLESTON protected American interests during the Brazilian Revolt of 1893 before returning to the Asiatic Squadron. Returning to San Francisco, she was placed out of commission in June 1896.

Our War with Spain caused the re-commissioning in May 1898. She steamed with chartered ships carrying troops to Guam, arriving there and capturing the island with only one salvo on June 20, 1898. The Spanish came out to apologize for not returning a salute, as they had no gun powder. CHARLESTON went on the Philippines, where participated in the final bombardment of Manila on August 13, 1898.

CHARLETON remained in the Philippines (1898-99) providing support fire for the Army against the insurgents and taking part in the capture Subic Bay in September 1899. She grounded on an uncharted reef, north of Luzon on November 2, 1899 and the crew was rescued from Camiguin Island by USS HELENA (PG 9) ten days later. The cruiser had a compliment of 300 men.

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USS Tutuila (PR-4)
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