Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Lieutenant Commander William P. Potter to Captain French E. Chadwick

U. S. Flagship New York, 1st Rate,

Off Santiago de Cuba,  

June 7th, 1898.   

Sir:-

     In accordance with paragraph 525 U. S. Navy regulations,1 I have the honor to submit the following report on the engagement of the batteries of Santiago de Cuba on June 6th, 1898.

     2.   The ships were formed in two columns, the right column, composed of the New York, Yankee, New Orleans, Oregon and Iowa engaging the batteries to the right of the Morro, and the left column, composed of the Brooklyn, Marblehead, Texas and Massachusetts, engaging the batteries to the left of the entrance.

     3.   The call to General Quarters was sounded at 6:40 and the ship opened fire on the battery to the Eastward of the Morro at 7:38

     4.   The range varied from 3,000 to 1,900 yards, and the fire was kept up, except when the range was obscured by smoke, until 10:15, when the ships hauled off and resumed blockading stations.

     5.   Total ammunition expended,

              54 - 8 in.

              42 - 4 in.

              42 - 6 pdr.

              39 - 1 pdr.

     6.   Very few of the enemy’s shell fell in the vicinity, and none struck the ship. Some little damage was done by the concussion of the ship’s guns.

     7.   After firing several rounds from the forward turret, the bolts securing the slide of the port 8 in. gun to the fore and aft girder were sheared, thereby disabling the gun.

     8.   The conduct of all coming under my observation was exemplary.

Very respectfully,          

W. P. Potter           

Lieutenant Commander,  

Executive Officer.

Source Note: TDS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 231. Addressed below close: “The Commanding Officer.” Docketed: “U.S.S. New York, 1ST RATE./off Santiago de Cuba/June 7th1898.Potter W.P/Lieut-Commander U. S. N./Executive Officer/Contents:/Reports Engagement of/Santiago Batteries June 6 1898.” Note: Handwritten edits beneath the dateline indicates the document relates to operations on “June 6.”

Footnote 1: Paragraph 525, in the 1896 edition of the Regulations for the Government of the Navy of the United States, states that the Executive Officer:

. . . shall, after the battle make out a detailed report comprising all the noteworthy incidents that have come to his notice, including a statement of the conduct of his subordinates, with particular mention of individual instances deserving praise or censure.

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