Beef Boat Extraordinaire
Logistics. If Napoleon declared that an army travels on its stomach, how much less could a navy keep the sea if its sailors did not eat? Soldiers could forage, sailors could not.
To support this need, the Culgoa was acquired in the wake of Commodore George Dewey's victory at Manila Bay over a Spanish squadron in the spring of 1898. The schooner-rigged steamer, fitted to carry cargo and a limited number of first-class passengers, had been launched on 25 October 1889 at the North Sands yard of Joseph L. Thompson and Sons, Ltd., of Sunderland, England, and completed in 1890 for William Lund's Australian Line. She was purchased at Cavite, Philippine Islands, on 4 June 1898 from G. F. Walford for $247,705 to serve as a supply ship and was placed in commission at Manila on 3 December, Lieutenant Commander James W. Carlin in command.