Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Caspar F. Goodrich to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

U.S.S. St. LOUIS,                   

Off Cuba,                    

May 18, 1898.          

     Sir:-

          On the night of the 16th I made an attempt to cut the Santiago-Jamaica cables, going myself in the U.S.S. Wampatuck. Unluckily we were discovered by a patrol boat,and,not knowing what might be the resources of the defence in guns and search lights, I deemed it prudent to withdraw.

     I took with me Lieut Catlin and eight marines, Chief Officer Segrave, 3d Officer Smith, 2d Engineer Preston and certain men,as per enclosed list,1from the St. LOUIS ships company,under Mr Segrave’s orders, for the purpose of picking up the cable.

     It is a pleasure as well as a duty to speak in commendatory terms of the conduct of Lieutenant Carl Jungen, commanding the Wampatuck.2

     Mr. Segrave and his associates were volunteers,yet they did not hesitate to incur great risk and to expose their lives to attack from an unseen foe in the dark.

     It was a simple duty discharged by the officers and men of the Navy there present. We merit no special approval, but I feel it incumbent on me to suggest that for this dangerous voluntary service taken in connection with the sharp action of the 18th May, with the forts of Santiago, that Mr. Segrave be given a gold, and the others each a silver medal of honor. I am, Sir,

Very respectfully           

C.F. Goodrich          

Captain, U.S.Navy,

Commanding.  

Source Note: TCyS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 230. Addressed below close: “The commander-in-Chief,/North Atlantic Station,/U.S.F.SNew York.”Note at top of the first page: “[Duplicate of letter forwarded by U.S.S. Wompatuck, May 20, 1898].” Document features a “BUREAU OF NAVIGATION” stamp with “1151 011” in the center. Docketed: “U.S.S. St. LOUIS,/Off Cuba,/May 18,1898/Goodrich, C.F./Captain U.S.Navy,/Reporting operations of/ship and commendatory/of certain persons.”

Footnote 1: Interlineation: “list mailed at St. Thomas.” On this list were: Lt. Albertus W. Catlin, Civilian Chief Officer Thomas G. Segrave, En. William A.F. Smith, 2nd Eng. Vernon F. Preston, Oiler M. Koning, Quartermaster James Lindsay, Quartermaster F. Albrecht, Quartermaster J. B. Wickersham, Seaman John Donalson, Seaman George Campbell, Seaman William Wynn. See, “List of Volunteers from U.S.S. St. LOUIS to cut cable off Santiago de Cuba May 16/98,” DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 230.

Footnote 2: Lt. Carl W. Jungen, commanding Wompatuck.

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