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Captain Alexander B. Bates - Manuscript Collection.

(25 November 1842 - 19 February 1917)

An Inventory of His Collection

Table of Contents

Overview of the Collection

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents


Detailed Description of the Collection


Index Terms

Administrative Information


Overview of the Collection


Navy Department Library


Alexander B. Bates


Alexander B. Bates Collection


1861-1917 (inclusive)


1893-1899 (bulk)


1 Folder


Captain Bates was chief engineer on the battleship Texas during the Battle of Santiago. The collection consists mainly of his personal correspondence during the 1890s.


The records are in English.


Biographical Note


Captain Alexander B. Bates, USN (1842-1917)

Alexander B. Bates was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 25 November 1842. He entered the United States Navy on 16 January 1863 as a third assistant engineer and served on the ironclad steamer Sagamore.

During the Spanish-American War Bates served on the battleship Texas as chief engineer. His ship was engaged several times with forts at Santiago and Guantanamo, Cuba. He was in the engagement with Admiral Cherver's fleet at the Battle of Santiago, for which he was advanced three numbers. It will be recalled that the Texas outdid herself in speed in the pursuit of the Spanish ships which, of course, was due to the energy and spirit of the engineering department of which Bates was the chief, and thus she was able to place herself to such advantage that she scored a high percentage of hits as compared with the other ships of the fleet.

Later he served as fleet engineer of a Pacific station and was engaged in the affairs of Samoa. He was appointed commander on 3 March 1899, and was ordered to steel inspection service. Afterward he was on duty at League Island. He received three stars for conspicuous service at the Battle of Santiago, Cuba. He was promoted to captain, and retired under the law as a rear admiral on 13 July 1903 after forty years of service.

He died in Binghamton, New York, on 19 February 1917.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection consists of personal correspondence and obituaries written at the time of Bates' death.




The collection is arranged by subject into four archival envelopes housed in a single folder.


Detailed Description of the Collection


Biographical Data and Obituaries


Personal Correspondence (1861, 1893-95, 1897-1899)

Brochure on the "Dinner and Reception at the Engineers Club in New York on 1 September 1898 for Engineering Officers Onboard Ships at the Battle of Santiago, Cuba."



Restrictions on Use

Manuscripts are unavailable for loan and must be consulted in the library. Photocopying of manuscripts is generally prohibited, though the use of digital cameras by researchers to reproduce non-copyrighted materials is permitted. Permission to photocopy a limited number of pages may be granted by the reference staff, contingent upon the physical state of items. All photocopying of materials shall be done by the reference staff, or under their close supervision. The use of personal scanners by non-library staff personnel must be approved by the reference staff on a document-by-document basis (Reference: Naval History and Heritage Command Instruction [NAVHISTCENTINST] 5070.1C.).


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Personal name:

Bates, Alexander B.



Sailors--History--19th Century

Santiago, Battle Of, Santiago De Cuba 1898


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

 Cite as: Historical Manuscripts, Navy Department Library, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington DC, Alexander B. Bates Collection.


Processing Information

 The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Thomas Wildenberg in August 2006.

Published: Tue Jan 06 10:35:19 EST 2015