It was a U.S.-protected cruiser. The Montgomery, which is the name of the class, was able to carry 2,094 tons, which made it among the smallest vessels that were built by the U.S. Navy. The Montgomery was first launched in December 1891 in Baltimore, Maryland. It was initially equipped with nine 5-inch guns, six 6-pounders, two 1-pounders, and three 18-inch torpedo tubes. The ship was launched at Norfolk, Virginia, on June 21, 1894, under the command of Captain Charles W. Davis.
It was a part of the North Atlantic Squadron after its shake-down and was then able to begin regular service throughout the Atlantic and the Caribbean. In February 1898, the Montgomery was commanded by Commander George A. Converse, who visited numerous Cuban ports, including Santiago de Cuba, in combination with a trip of the battleship Maine to Havana and Havana of the U.S. battleship Maine.
Converse submitted reports to the Navy Department detailing the appalling conditions endured by Cuban civilians. Following the tragic loss in Maine on February 15, 1898, Converse sent Montgomery into Havana on the 9th of March in order to assist in the investigation that was conducted by the government of the catastrophe.
The Montgomery quickly left for Key West, Florida, due to fears expressed by Converse Captain Charles D. Sigsbee of Maine that the cruiser would get exactly the same fate as Maine. After the declaration of war on Spain at the beginning of April 1898, Montgomery transported the transport Panther that carried members of the 1st Marine Battalion (Provisional) from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to Key West.
The Montgomery later joined the Rear Admiral’s squadron, William T. Sampson, in the blockade of Havana on May 1 and took two Spanish sailing vessels, the Frasquito and the Lorenzo, on May 5. Lorenzo and Frasquito at the end of May. On the 12th of May, Montgomery took part in the shelling of Spanish forts that guarded the harbor in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which was where Sampson had been looking for Rear-Admiral Pascual Cervera and Topete’s squadron.
The ship had a small part but was instrumental in the suppression of Fort Canuelo during the bombardment. The Montgomery returned to its post in the midst of the blockade of Havana and remained there until Sampson transferred the bulk of his group towards Santiago de Cuba, where Cervera was seeking refuge. In the latter part of May, Montgomery designated the mainstay of Commodore John Watson, commander of U.S. naval forces along the northern coast of Cuba.
The ship was later involved in the Puerto Rico Campaign, which was in progress when the hostilities ended on August 12, 1898. At the beginning of 1899, Montgomery was commissioned in early 1899. Montgomery became part of the South Atlantic Squadron and patrolled the South American coast until it was decommissioned in September.
It was officially launched in May 1902, and it was used throughout the West Indies until decommissioned again in September 1904. The Montgomery was restored in January 1908 and was used as a torpedo-testing vessel within the Fifth Naval District, having all of its guns except for its torpedo tubes as well as four 6-pounder guns taken away.
It was engaged by the Maryland Naval Militia from 1914 until 1918. Named the Anniston on March 14, 1918, the ship was then assigned to the American Patrol Detachment along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean until its final decommissioning on May 16, 1918. The Anniston was auctioned off on November 14, 1919.