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TEXAS. The first United States battleship to be named USS Texas was built at the Norfolk Navy Yard and commissioned August 15, 1895. It was the first commissioned American steel-hulled battleship and was 309 feet long. During the battle of Santiago on July 3, 1898, the USS Texas helped in the defeat of the Spanish squadron commanded by Admiral Pascual Cervera. The USS Texas brought home the bodies of those killed on the Maine. In 1908 it was used as a station ship in Charleston, South Carolina. Its name was changed to USS San Marcos in 1911 so that the name Texas could be assigned to a new, more modern battleship. The San Marcos became a gunnery target in 1920 and was eventually sunk in Chesapeake Bay, seven miles south of Tangier Island, by the USS New Hampshire. While a target the ship was bombed from the air by Gen. William L. (Billy) Mitchell in 1921. The hulk became a hazard to navigation and was finally blasted by the Navy to send it twenty feet under the surface.


Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 1, 1959.

Art Leatherwood


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Art Leatherwood, "TEXAS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 25, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.