Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
Off Santiago [Cuba], July 16, 1898.
Referring to your telegram of June 24th, the Commanding General of the Army desires to move for Porto Rico, with the troops remaining here aboard the “Columbia,” “Yale,” and “Duchess,” which have not been landed, probably under 3,000 men. They have requested convoy of heavy ships, capable of rendering very decided naval support. As the various expeditions ordered by the Department require nearly all of our naval force, I suggest no x x x convoy to accompany these ships. The “Columbia” has now on board 400 tons of coal and can get more at Guantanamo. Think as the “New Orleans” is blockading San Juan, not far from the proposed landing, she can render any further assistance, if it is required by the Army. I recommend the “Columbia” detain Cape San Juan until relieved by the convoy from Tampa, as the troops leaving here must await arrival of Tampa troops before attacking.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, pp. 285-86. Addressed before opening: “Secretary of Navy,/Washington.”