Secretary of War Russell A. Alger to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
May 31, 1898.
In answer to you inquiry of this date as to what means are to be employed by the War Department for landing troops, etc., I beg to reply that the Major-General Commanding1 the expedition will land his own troops. All that is required of the Navy is to convoy and protect with the guns of the convoy while the military forces are landed.2
R A Alger
Secretary of War.
Source Note: TDS, AFNRC, M625, roll 363. Addressed below close: “Hon. John D. Long,/Secretary of the Navy.” Document on War Department stationery.
Footnote 1: Maj. Gen. William R. Shafter.
Footnote 2: An order from President Grover Cleveland to Secretary of the Navy Hilary A. Herbert that was appended to the Plan of Operations Against Spain prepared by William Kimball of 1896, delineates Navy and Army port and convoy jurisdictions. It states, in part, that: “The Military authorities will select and charter such vessels as they may deem suited to their needs, but every vessel engaged in sea transport or sailing under convoy with military supplies or troops will be commanded by a commissioned Naval Officer.” See: Plan of Operations Against Spain prepared by William Kimball of 1896.