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Captain Purnell F. Harrington’s Memorandum for the Second Division, North Atlantic Fleet

Memorandum for Commanding Officers--Second Division--North Atlantic Station.

U.S.S. Puritan,1st Rate,      

Off Matanzas,Cuba,       

April 23,1898.    

1. According to Par.11,Confidential instructions,dated April 18,1the blockade in daytime will be from East to West:

Newport -Foote-Auxiliaries }

Machias-Cushing-  do.         }

off Cardenas and keeping touch with Eastern vessels off Matanzas.

     2.Off Matanzas from East to West:

Cincinnati -      Auxiliaries}

Amphitrite-Winslow -    do.   }

     3. The Puritan,with the Dupont in company, will take station between the Cincinnati and Machias.

     4. The day stations are:1 Newport,2 Machias,3 Puritan,4 Cincinnati,5 Amphitrite from East to West.

     5.The day patrol will be from Piedras Key2 westward to Guanos Point3-about 30 miles or about five miles for each vessel to patrol. The vessels near Piedras Key may chase to the Eastward to cover Cardenas.

     6.At night the second part of Par.11,Confidential Instructions,will be followed,vessels taking their stations as soon after sunset as possible. The torpedo boats close in,the cruisers four miles to seaward of the torpedo boats,and the two armored vessels more to the seaward,all with screened lights. Private signal to be used as required. At night form thus: A Foote,B Cushing,C Dupont,D Winslow;1 Newport,2 Machias;4 Cincinnati;3 Puritan,5 Amphitrite from East to West.At daylight proceed to day stations.

     7.At night the inner line will be from Braba Point4 West (mag)5 10 miles,to be divided among the torpedo boats for patrol.

     8.The middle line will be parallel to and four miles seaward of the inner line,from abreat Guanos Point 20 miles West (mag) to be divided among the cruisers present.

9.The outer line will be parallel to and four miles seaward of the middle line.The east end will be North (mag) of Braba Point and extend West (mag) 10 miles,to be divided among the armored vessels present.

     10.Steam slowly with reserve steaming power.

     11.See Par.14-Very’s red stars.

Very respectfully,               

P.F. Harrington,            


Senior Officer Present.     

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 313 Entry 48.

Footnote 2: Piedras Key was a small sandy island north east of Matanzas Bay that featured a light to ward ships of a shallow reef. Military Notes on Cuba (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1898), 298.

Footnote 3: That is, Guanes Point, Cuba.

Footnote 4: Punta Brava is located on the north cost of Cuba midway between Matanzas and Cardenas.

Footnote 5: That is, the bearing using magnetic north (the direction the north end of a compass needle points, corresponding to the direction of the Earth's magnetic field lines) as opposed to the geographical or true north (the direction along a meridian towards the geographic North Pole).

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