Gloucester was a gunboat in the United States Navy. She was
built in 1891 as the yacht Corsair II for J. P. Morgan by
Neafie & Levy of Philadelphia, to a design by John Beavor-Webb.
The yacht was acquired by the Navy on 23 April 1898 and
commissioned Gloucester on 16 May 1898 with Lieutenant
Commander Richard Wainwright in command.
Gloucester served in Cuban waters in 1898 with the North
Atlantic Fleet, Blockading Station. She participated in the
Battle of Santiago de Cuba on 3 July against Cervera's
fleet. While the main fleets were engaged Gloucester closed
with the Spanish torpedo-boat destroyers Pluton and Furor
driving them ashore as wrecks with her 6-pounders. The
victory came with no casualties, which was attributed to
"The accuracy and rapidity of her fire, making the proper
service of the guns on the Spanish ships impossible."
On 25 July, she entered the harbor before the fleet at
Guánica, Puerto Rico, and captured the place for the U.S.
Army in what is known as the Puerto Rican Campaign. The
handling and fighting of Gloucester merited the commendation
of the Navy Department. As the Army was anxious to transfer
the place of disembarkation to the harbor of Ponce, the
Fleet was directed to proceed to Ponce to reconnoiter;
capture all lighters found there; and occupy such positions
necessary for holding the port until the arrival of the
Army. On 1 August, with assistance from Wasp, Gloucester
took possession of Arroyo, and hoisting the U.S. flag,
Wainwright held it until arrival of the Army, a day later.
Subsequently Gloucester cruised along the Eastern seaboard
from New York City to Provincetown, Massachusetts in the
fall of 1898, and from 1899-1902 served as a schoolship at
Annapolis, Maryland. Recommissioned at Norfolk, Virginia on
15 November 1902, she served as tender to the Commander in
Chief, South Atlantic Squadron, and cruised to ports in the
West Indies and along the east coast of South America.
Decommissioned on 8 February 1905, at Pensacola, Florida,
the ship was on duty with the Massachusetts and New York
Naval Militias at New York City until recommissioned on 7
April 1917 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Gloucester conducted harbor patrols at New York City until
her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 12
August 1919, and she was sold on 21 November.