Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long

Trans-Atlantic Cablegram

POSTAL TELEGRAPH-CABLE COMPANY.

SecNav Washn.1

 

COMMANDER MC CALLA’S ACTION IS BY MY ORDERS, IF GEN. GREELY2 DESIRES TO COMMUNICATE WITH MY SUBORDINATES HE SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO DO SO THROUGH THE PROPER CHANNELS. REQUEST THAT PRESIDENT BE IMMEDIAELY CONSULTED AND ADVISED REGARDING GREELY’S ACTION.3

 

I REGARD THIS PROPOSAL AS MOST UNWISE, COMPLETELY NULLIFYING OUR ENDEAVORS TO ISOLATE SANTIAGO. IN MY OPINION THE CONTROL OF MILITARY TELEGRAPHS SHOULD FOLLOW THE INVARIABLE CUSTOM AND BE UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THOSE CHARGED WITH MILITARY OPERATIONS. I SHALL NOT PERMIT COMMUNICATIONS TO BE ESTABLISHED WITH SANTIAGO EXCEPT BY ORDERS FROM NAVY DEPARTMENT.

 

SAMPSON

Source Note: C, DNA, ANFRC, M625, roll 232. Company information placed in upper section. In left corner below company information: “8W BN T/95 G R Via Hayti June 28-98/From Play del Este.” In lower left corner: “9:51 P.M.”

Footnote 1: “Secnav” is the portmanteau for Secretary of the Navy and “Washn.” is a shortened form for Washington, D.C.

Footnote 2: Brig. Gen. Adolphus W. Greely, the Chief Signal Corps Officer of the U.S Army.

Footnote 3: President William McKinley interceded in the Navy/Army feud over control of the cable lines. Ultimate control was given to the Army. See: Brig. Gen. Adolphus W. Greely to Cmdr. Bowman H. McCalla, 27 June 1898.

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