Reina Mercedes, a 3042-ton Alfonso XII class cruiser, was launched at Cartagena, Spain, in September 1887. By 1898, she had become nearly inoperational and was stationed in Cuban waters. During the Spanish-American War, she acted as guardship at Santiago. Partially disarmed to provide guns for coast-defense batteries, she was scuttled to block the Santiago harbor entrance following the great naval battle of 3 July 1898. Raised by the US Navy following the war, she became the USS Reina Mercedes. Never restored to operational condition, the ship was converted to a barracks ship. From 1912 until she was scrapped in 1957, she served as station ship at the US Naval Academy.
—Naval Historical Center
The sunken Reina Mercedes in the channel at Santiago de Cuba