|USS New Hampshire housed over ()|
|Laid down:||June 1819|
|Launched:||23 April 1864|
|Commissioned:||13 May 1864|
|Length:||203.7 ft ( m)|
|Beam:||51.3 ft ( m)|
|Draft:||21.5 ft ( m)|
|Complement:||820 officers and men|
|Armament:||4 x 100-pounders, 6 x 9-inch shell guns(?)|
The first USS New Hampshire of the United States Navy was originally to be the 74-gun ship of the line Alabama, but remained on the stocks for nearly 40 years, well into the age of steam, before being renamed and launched as a stores and depot ship during the American Civil War. She was later renamed to Granite State.
As Alabama, she was one of "nine ships to rate not less than 74 guns each" authorized by Congress 29 April 1816, and was laid down by the Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire, in June 1819, the year the State of Alabama was admitted to the Union. Though ready for launch by 1825, she remained on the stocks for preservation; an economical measure that avoided the expense of manning and maintaining a ship of the line. Renamed New Hampshire 28 October 1863, she was launched 23 April 1864, fitted out as a stores and depot ship of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and commissioned 13 May 1864, Commodore Henry K. Thatcher in command.
New Hampshire sailed from Portsmouth 15 June and relieved sister ship Vermont 29 July 1864 as store and depot ship at Port Royal, South Carolina, and served there through the end of the Civil War. She returned to Norfolk 8 June 1866, serving as a receiving ship there until 10 May 1876 when she sailed back to Port Royal. She resumed duty at Norfolk in 1881 but soon shifted to Newport, Rhode Island. She became flagship of Commodore Stephen B. Luce's newly formed Apprentice Training Squadron, marking the commencement of an effective apprentice training program for the Navy.
New Hampshire was towed from Newport to New London, Connecticut, in 1891 and was receiving ship there until decommissioned 5 June 1892. The following year she was loaned as a training ship for the New York State Naval Militia, which was to furnish nearly a thousand officers and men to the Navy during the Spanish-American War.
New Hampshire was renamed Granite State 30 November 1904 to free the name "New Hampshire" for a newly authorized battleship (BB-25). Stationed in the Hudson River, Granite State continued training service throughout the years leading to World War I when State naval militia were practically the only trained and equipped men available to the Navy for immediate service. They were mustered into the Navy as National Naval Volunteers. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels wrote in his Our Navy at War: "Never again will men dare ridicule the Volunteer, the Reservist, the man who in a national crisis lays aside civilian duty to become a soldier or sailor - they fought well. They died well. They have left in deeds and words a record that will be an inspiration to unborn generations."
Granite State served the New York State Militia until she caught fire and sank at her pier in the Hudson River 23 May 1921. Her hull was sold for salvage 19 August 1921 to the Mulholland Machinery Corporation Refloated in July 1922, she and was taken in tow to the Bay of Fundy. The towline parted during a storm, she again caught fire and sank off Half Way Rock in Massachusetts Bay on July 26.
The shipwreck is in 30 ft (9 m) of water, and is an easy scuba dive. Although the hull is mostly buried in the sand, small artifacts and copper spikes may still be found.
This article includes information collected from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.