From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. I p 117-118


Bennington is a city in Vermont and a battle of the American Revolution (16 August 1777).

(PG-4: dp. 1700 ; 1. 244'6'' ; b. 36' ; dr. 14' ; s. 17.5 k. ; cpl. 197; a. 6 6''; cl. Yorktown)

The first Bennington (Gunboat No. 4) was launched 3 June 1800 by Dela. River Iron Works, Chester, Pa. ; sponsored by Miss Anne Aston ; and commissioned 20 June 1891, Commander R. B. Bradford in command.

Bennington joined the Squadron of Evolution and left New York 19 November 1891 on the Squadron's cruise to Brazil. Transferred to the South Atlantic Squadron 5 May 1892, she cruised in South American waters until 19 July. She then visited Spain and Italy to participate in the celebrations marking the quarter-centenary of the discovery of America. Bennington returned to Hampton Roads, Va., 26 March 1893 with the replicas of Columbus' vessels in tow. Departing New York 6 August 1893, the gunboat cruised in the Mediterranean until leaving Gibraltar 18 July 1894 for the Pacific Station. She arrived at Valparaiso, Chile, 3 April and Mare Island Navy Yard 30 April.

She cruised along the Pacific coasts of North and Central America and in the Hawaiian Islands until leaving Mare Island 15 September 1898. She steamed, via Honolulu, T. H., and Guam, to Manila, arriving 22 February 1899, and enroute took possession of Wake Island 17 January. Bennington cruised in the Philippines assisting the Army in putting down the insurrection until 3 January 1901. She returned to Mare Island 19 August and went out of commission 5 September 1901.

Recommissioned 2 March 1903 she cruised along the Pacific coasts of North and South America for the next two years, On the morning of 21 July 1905, while preparing to get underway in San Diego Bay, two boilers burst showering the vessel with live steam and scalding water. Sixty men were killed and 40 burned. On 17 August Bennington arrived at Mare Island and was decommissioned 31 October. She was sold 14 November 1910.