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Captain William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Station, to Commander Bowman H. McCalla and Commander James H. Dayton

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

Key West, Florida.

April 15, 1898.

S I R :--

          Upon the outbreak of war, I shall probably send the “INDIANA”, “MARBLEHEAD” and “DETROIT” upon a coasting cruise about the Island of Cuba, with the main purpose of destroying the cables on the South Coast, fitting particularly one of the ships for this purpose.

     2.  I have learned that there are certain appliances at the cable-office at Key West,1 which will probably serve, when supplied with a sufficient length of cable for grappling, which is not on hand at the cable-office.  I have directed Captain Taylor2 to examine into this matter, and learn whether either the “MARBLEHEAD” or “DETROIT” is properly fitted for weighing the sub-marine cable when caught in the channel.  Captain Taylor will arrange a consultation and you will together decide what means shall be employed for this work.

Very respectfully,

W.T. Sampsoncom              

Captain, U. S. Navy,        

Commander in Chief, U. S.Naval Force 

North Atlantic Station.

Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 48. Addressed below close: “The Commanding Officer” Copies of this letter were sent to both Commander Bowman H. McCalla and Commander James H. Dayton. Document reference: “ No.5 to MARBLEHEAD./No. 4. To DETROIT.”

Footnote 1: Sampson is probably referring to the special type of grappling hook used to drag for submerges cables.

Footnote 2: Capt. Henry C. Taylor, Commander of the Indiana.

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