Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Order of Battle for the North Atlantic Fleet Blockading Santiago De Cuba

O R D E R of B A T T L E .

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

Off Santiago de Cuba, Cuba,      

June 2nd, 1898.             

The fleet off Santiago de Cuba will be organized during the operations against that port and the Spanish Squadron as follows:--

First Squadron:---Under the personal command of the Commander in Chief.1

N E W Y O R K ,

I O W A

O R E G O N

N E W O R L E A N S

M A Y F L O W E R

P O R T E R

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Second Squadron:---Commodore Schley.2

B R O O K L Y N ,

M A S S A C H U S E T T S,

T E X A S

M A R B L E H E A D,

V I X E N .

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     Vessels joining subsequently will be assigned by the Commander in Chief. The vessels will blockade Santiago de Cuba, closely, keeping about six miles from the Morro in the daytime, and closing in at night, the lighter vessels well in shore. The first Squadron will blockade on the East side of the port, and the second Squadron on the West side. If the enemy tries to escape the ships must close and engage as soon as possible, and endeavor to sink his vessels or force them to run ashore in the channel. It is not considered that the shore batteries are of sufficient power to do any material injury to the battle ships.

     In smooth weather the vessels will coal on station. If withdrawn to coal elsewhere or for other duty, the blockading vessels on either side will cover the angle thus left vacant.

Source Note: TD, DLC-MSS, William Fullam Papers. Note: On the back of the document there is a hand-drawn diagram of how the blockade should be arranged. It can be seen in the illustrations attached to this section of the edition. The order of the ships from left to right (West to East) were: Vixen, Marblehead, Brooklyn, Texas, [Massachusetts], Iowa, Oregon, New York, Porter, New Orleans, Mayflower.

Footnote 1: RAdm. William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 2: Commo. Winfield S. Schley, Commander, Flying Squadron.

Footnote 3: In his history of the war, Secretary of the Navy John D. Long wrote of this order:

On the 2d of June, he [Sampson] issued his general order providing for the most thorough precautions to prevent Cervera’s escape and for battling and destroying his fleet in case he attempted escape. Under it our fleet line was kept in an inclosing semicircle day and night before the harbor, closely vigilant. . . . the later famous battle of July 3 was actually fought and the great victory won in accordance with the plan of the commander-in-chief, to whom is due the credit that is always given to the man on whom is the responsibility of the command and of the preparation of the plans for execution by those under him. Long, New American Navy, 2: 7-8.

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