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Major General Nelson A. Miles to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

Headquarters of the Army,

On board U. S. S. Yale,

Guantanamo Bay, [Cuba]

July 20, 1898.


     I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated July 19th, and to apprise you of the fact that there are now ten transports in this harbor and Daiquiri and Santiago ready to proceed immediately to Porto Rico. They are loaded with troops and munitions of war. The horses are suffering from close confinement on the transports, the men subjected to much discomfort, and I think it advisable to proceed immediately.

     In addition to this there are transports loaded with troops and war material now en route from Tampa, Charleston, New York and possibly other points, whose destination is Porto Rico, some going there direct, and I think it highly important that there should be ample naval force at Pt. Fajardo, Cape de San Juan.1 I would also suggest the importance of keeping naval vessels at seaports from which Spanish gunboats might emerge and capture or destroy the transports en route; and I respectfully request that you give the necessary assistance for the landing of troops from all the transports and maintaining their landing on the Island of Porto Rico.

Very respectfully,

Nelson A. Miles

Major General Commanding U. S. Army.

Source Note: TLS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 235. Addressed before salutation: “Admiral Sampson,/Commanding North Atlantic Squadron.” Written on stationery.

Footnote 1: In a letter to Sampson of 19 July, Miles included a list of the transports “CONVEYING TROOPS, MATERIALS, ETC., TO PORTO RICO.” He indicated that 11 sailed from Tampa and one each from Charleston and New York. DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 235.

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