Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Nicoll Ludlow to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

U.S.S.TERROR,2d Rate,            

At sea off Cardenas,Cuba,     

April 25,1898.         

Sir:-

     1. I have the honor to report that I arrived off Cardenas early Sunday morning. At daylight sighted two steamers anchored in the harbor. Shortly after the Machias hove in sight & signaled her to go in and investigate these steamers. They proved to be a Britisher loaded with coal ( about 1000 tons ) and a Norwegian taking in a cargo of sugar. Both of these vessels were allowed to depart,which they did at once.1

     2. The same morning I boarded a small schooner,theAlmansa” of Havana, & took possession of him. This vessel proved to be the property of a poor Cuban,and was clearly of little value the cargo being charcoal & firewood. About the same time the Foote,Puritan and Dupont appeared,and I communicated with Captain Harrington.2

     The “Almansa” was released as being Cuban,instead of Spanish property and worthless moreover.

     3. Sunday afternoon the Foote boarded the schooner “Tres Hermanas,of Sierra Morena,laden with sugar and bound for Havana.3

     This schooner was brought alongside the TERROR and I took possession & sent her in to Key West for adjudication,in charge of Paymaster G.W.Simpson,4prizemaster,with a crew of three men from this vessel; also the master as a witness in the case.

     4.  While the Machias was looking at the steamers inside,two very small gun boats were observed. This afternoon the Foote,while reconnoitering in the vicinity of Diana Cay,exchanged shots with one of these gun boats. Being greatly overmatched by weight of metal,the Foote, after several shots,withdrew unharmed,

     I sent the Machias in to her assistance, but the gunboats had retreated into shallow water. They were evidently engaged in laying mines to the westward of Diana Cay.

     5.  The Hornet, with collier, has just arrived, at 8:30 p.m. All are well on board.

Very respectfully,               

Nicoll Ludlow               

Captain, U.S. Navy, Commanding.

Senior Officer Present      

Off Cardenas, Cuba.    

Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 48. Addressed below close: “The Commander-in-Chief,/U. S. Naval Force, N. A. Station,/off Havana, Cuba.” At the top left of the first page, document reference: “No. 17.” Docketed on the back of the last page of letter: “U. S. S. TERROR/Off Cardenas, Cuba,/Apr. 25, 1898./Ludlow, N./Capt., U.S.N. Com’d’g/Operations of the TERROR, etc.”

Footnote 1: For more on these vessels, see: Purnell F. Harrington to Sampson, 24 April 1898.

Footnote 2: Capt. Purnell F. Harrington of Puritan.

Footnote 3: Sierra Morena is a village on the north coast of Cuba.

Footnote 4: Paymaster George W. Simpson.

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