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Commander Chapman C. Todd to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet


JULY 1898.

U.S.S.WILMINGTON, 3d Rate.   

Off Cienfuegos, Cuba, 

August 1, 1898.   


     1. The following is the report of the Condition and Employment of the U.S.S.WILMINGTON during the month of July, 1898:-

     Condition of the ship, very good, except the boilers which are fair. Ship should be docked when practicable.

     Employment of the ship as follows:-

July 1,   Ship at Key West, waiting for transports from Tampa.

 "   5,   Left Key West with MACHIAS and LEYDEN for Siboney, Cuba, convoying six army transports.

 "   8,   Arrived at Guantanamo Bay and delivered mail.

 "   9,   Left Guantanamo Bay and proceeded off Siboney, commenced landing troops from the transports.

 "  11,   Finish landing of troops.

 "  12,   Proceeded to Guantanamo Bay to coal ship.

 "  13,   Left Guantanamo Bay; communicated with Flagship New York, off Santiago, then proceeded westward along coast.

 "  14,   Arrived off Cape Cruz, later proceeded to and anchored in Cuatro Reales Channel.1

"  16,   Proceeded off Santa Cruz del Sur, overhauled two small sloops on the way. Dragged for the cable from Santa Cruz to Jucaro, in the Honda Passage, caught and cut it; then returned to anchorage in Cuatro Reales Channel. HELENA, HIST and WOMPATUCK arrived and anchored outside of entrance to channel.

"   17,   Proceeded to Guayabal2 with the HELENA, HIST and WOMPATUCK; found there the SCORPION, OSCEOLA and HORNET.

 "  18,   Entered the harbor of Manzanillo with the HELENA, SCORPION, HIST, HORNET, OSCEOLA and WOMPATUCK. Destroyed 3 transports, 1 ponton, 4 gunboats, one gunboat was driven ashore and sunk, one other was driven ashore and believed to be disabled. After the engagement anchored with the other vessels off Manzanillo.3 MANNING joined after engagement.

 "  19,   Proceeded to Guayabal with the HELENA, MANNING, SCORPION and OSCEOLA. Turned over to the Cuban Commandante of Guayabal,4 for use of Cubans, 20 Lee rifles and belts, 6 revolvers, 2000 rounds 6mm ball cartridges, 500 rounds 38 calibre ammunition.

July 20, Left Guayabal with HELENA, MANNING, SCORPION and OSCEOLA, proceeded off Santa Cruz del Sur, where HIST joined the force. Shelled a block house and a signal station; then steamed with HELENA, MANNING and HIST through the Outer Mate Passage, later anchored in Gitano Pass.

 "   21, Proceeded with vessels off Jucaro. Dragged for the cable from Jucaro to Tunas.5 Cable was caught and cut by boat from this ship. Later anchored about four miles to eastward of Pasabano Point.

 "  22,   Proceeded to westward of Tunas with HELENA, MANNING and HIST. The MANNING was sent to Cienfuegos. Other vessels dragged for the cable from Tunas to Trinidad. Boat from this ship caught and cut the cable; HIST dragging end away. Anchored off Tunas. About 8.00 p.m., proceeded with HIST about twenty miles to eastward of Tunas and anchored there, leaving HELENA off Tunas.

 "  23,   Proceeded off Jucaro and then proceeded and anchored off Pingue Pass. HIST proceeded further to eastward.

"  24,   Proceeded off Santa Cruz del Sur and fired a few shots at public buildings; then proceeded to Guayabal. SCORPION, HIST and OSCEOLA joined near the latter place.

 "  25,   Left Guayabal and proceeded to Cuatro Reales Channel.

 "  28,   Left Cuarto Reales Channel for Cienfuegos, Cuba.

 "  29,   Arrived off Cienfuegos and took blockading station, being joined there by the HELENA.

 "  31,   Blockading off Cienfuegos. HELENA left for Isle of Pines and Key West, Florida.

Very respectfully,          

C. C. Todd.            

Commander, U.S.N.,     


Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 47. Addressed below close: “The Commander-in-Chief,/U. S. Naval Force,/ North Atlantic Station.”

Footnote 1: Cuatro Reales channel was off Camagüey, Cuba.

Footnote 2: Guayabal is a province in southeastern Cuba; presumably Todd was referring to Puerto de Guayabal.

Footnote 4: Gervacio Sabio.

Footnote 5: That is, Júcaro and Las Tunas, Cuba.

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