Name commemorating the Puritans of New England
(Mon: t. 3,265; l. 351’0"; b. 50’0"; dr. 20’0"; a. 2 15"D.sb.; cl. Puritan)
Originally designed as a double-turreted ironclad monitor the plans were altered to the specifications of John Ericsson, Puritan’s builder, following a long debate with the Navy; she was built with a single turret. Contracted 28 July 1862 to Ericsson, who in turn subcontracted the hull to Continental Iron Works of Greenpoint, N.Y., and the machinery to Allaire Works of New York, N.Y., she was launched 2 July 1864. However, due to delays in construction and the casting of the 15-inch smoothbores she was never completed, her construction being suspended in 1865.
During the years following the war, Puritan along with several other monitors suffered extensive deterioration with their combat value likewise decreasing. In 1874-75 Secretary of the Navy George Robeson decided to carry out extensive repairs on Puritan and four monitors of the Miantononomoh class. Funds were not appropriated for new construction, but the condition of the ship’s hulls particularly, necessitated building essentially new ships, bearing no real resemblance to the originals. A scandal resulted when the fact came to light that Robeson was paying for new ships with the old ones. As a result, the first Puritan was turned over to John Roach of Chester, Pa. as partial payment for the "unauthorized" construction of the second Puritan: the name was not changed on the Navy list due to the belief that the "repaired" vessel was still the Civil War monitor.
(Mon: t. 6,060; l. 296’3"; b. 60’11/2"; dr. 18’; s. 12.4 k.; cpl. 200; a. 4 12" blr., 6 4" blr., some 6-pdrs.; cl. Puritan)
The never completed Puritan of the Civil War underwent the same extent of rebuilding as the four Miantonomohs under the direction of Secretary of the Navy George Robeson. The revised design of the "repaired" Puritan called for two turrets, and with her superstructure, tall stack, and military mast, she had the characteristics which identified the monitors built between 1889 and 1903. The new Puritan was built by John Roach and Son, Chester, Pa. and completed by the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y. She was launched 6 December 1882 and commisioned 10 December 1896, Capt. J. R. Bartlett in command.
Puritan had a busy career in 1898 during the Spanish-American War. Assigned to the Cuban blockade in April, she joined New York and Cincinatti in shelling Matanzas the 27th. At Key West in early May, she departed the 20th to join the force then building under Rear Admiral William T. Sampson to move against Santiago. Puritan linked up on the 22nd and Sampson moved his ships to Key Frances on the Nicholas Channel to execute his plan to contain the Spanish Fleet at Santiago. The success of Sampson’s squadron at Santiago 3 July resulted in almost complete destruction of the Spanish Fleet.
Following war-time service, Puritan served as a practice ship for the Naval Academy from 1899 to 1902. She decommissioned 16 April 1903 at Philadelphia but recommissioned 3 June to serve as receiving ship at League Island. In 1904 she was loaned to the Naval Militia of Washington, D.C. and served with them until 14 September 1909. Puritan then moved to Norfolk where she decommissioned 23 April 1910. She was struck from the Navy list 27 February 1918 and sold, 26 January 1922, to J.G. Hetner and W.F. Cutler of Philadelphia.