Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Lieutenant Lucien Young to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

Copy.                                      U. S. S. H I S T ,

Off Cape Cruz,Cuba,July 11th,1898.  

Sir:-

     It is with pleasure that I am able to report the successful cutting of the cable connecting Santa Cruz del Sur, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Havana, with the stronghold of Manzanillo, and the east of Cuba.

          In obedience to your verbal instructions, I got underway in the afternoon of July 10th, and, with the U.S S.Hornet, and Wompatuck in company and proceeded by way Quatre Reales Channel to an anchorage for the night behind the cays, just east of Santa Cruz del Sur. I was informed by the pilot that the cable was laid in the San Juan Channel between two Cays guizare and Calabra and believing it lay in the deepest water I got underway early in the morning, and all three vessels commenced to drag midway between the two Cays in ten fathoms of water, muddy bottom.

     In about fifteen minutes I succeeded in hooking on twice, but the very light grapnel slipped, and the third time the light line parted in lifting the cable.

     The Wompatuck being provided with a heavy grapnel and line, was more successful, and the third time slipping the grapnel brought up a piece of the insulation, which showed I had properly located the cable; and, in an hour and a half from the time we commenced to drag, the Wompatuck succeeded in picking it up, and a length of 30 fathoms cut off, which will leave it extremely difficult to repair, should the enemy attempt it.

     The work having been accomplished, I returned with the three vessels to the station off Cape Cruz. In conclusion I believe the cutting of this cable will not only prevent telegraphic communications between the points above mentioned, but will have the great moral effect of checking the inland traffic with Manzanillo, and will certainly prevent the calling of reinforcements now in the west, to resist our ultimate attack and capture of Manzanillo.1

     I herewith submit a sketch of the locality, and lay of the cable as cut.2

I am respectfully,

Lucien Young,                        

Lieut., U.S.Navy, and Senior Officer Present.

Source Note: TCy, DNA, RG 313, Entry 44. Addressed below close: “To Rear Admiral W.T.Sampson, U.S.N.,/Commander-in-Chief,U.S.Naval Force,N.A.Station.” Young commanded Hist.

Footnote 1: The Cuban port of Manzanillo was attacked by the United States Navy three times but never captured. See: Naval Operations at Manzanillo.

Footnote 2: The referenced sketch has not been found.

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