Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commodore Winfield S. Schley, Commander, Flying Squadron, to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

Flying Squadron.

U. S. FLAGSHIP BROOKLYN, 1st Rate.

Off Santiago de Cuba,  

June   6,   1898.

Sir:-

     1. I have the honor to report that the Second Squadron, composed of BROOKLYN, MARBLEHEAD, TEXAS, MASSACHUSETTS, VIXEN and SUWANEE, under my command, carried out your instructions to engage the Batteries to the westward of the Morro this morning.

     2. During the two hours of the bombardment, there was a furious rain of shell upon these fortifications, but with little visible effect, though for over an hour no reply came from them.

     3. Advancing into position, quite a number of shell were fired at the ships from these batteries, but fortunately none struck them, though a number came quite close. There were no casualties in the vessels other than those caused by their own fire upon their own mechanisms. In this vessel, three of the 5-inch rapid fire guns were disabled on account of the weakness of the elevating gear and apparatus for taking up the shock due to the jump. The bracket springs under recoil to such an extent that the threads of the worm wheel land on top of the teeth of the elevating arc and jamb the piece.1

     4. I beg to enclose a list of the ammunition expended from the ships of the Second Squadron during the bombardment.

Very respectfully,

W.S. Schley

Commodore, U.S. Navy,       

Commander-in-Chief Flying Squadron.

Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 52, Box 9. Addressed below close: “Rear Admiral W.T.Sampson,U.S.N./Commander-in-Chief U.S. NAVAL Force,/North Atlantic Station.” Document reference: “M48.”

Footnote 1: The 5-inch rapid-fire gun used by the U.S. Navy weighed 3.1 tons and fired a 50-pound shell at a rate of five rounds per minute. Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American War, 2: 426.

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