Rear Admiral Montgomery Sicard, President, Naval War Board, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
NAVAL WAR BOARD
Washington, June 17, 1898.
The Board recommends that the following telegram be sent to Admiral Sampson:1
President of the Board.
The Naval Vessels accompanying the convoy of troops to Santiago are the following: Indiana, Detroit, Bancroft, Helena, Wasp, Wompatuck, Ericcson, Eagle, Annapolis, Hornet, Osceola, Vesuvius, Manning.2
As soon as possible after they join you, you will despatch all the ships that can be spared from the operations about Santiago to re-enforce the blockades, which are suffering for want of vessels.3
The President purposes to extend the blockade to cover ports of Southern coast of Cuba, from Batabano to Cape Cruz, as soon as such can be effectively maintained.4
Notify Department, therefore, at what date you will be ready, with the force at your command, to enforce such blockade, in order that the proclamation may issue.
The Department will depend upon you solely from that time to maintain the blockade; but you may entrust to Commodore Watson4 the particular disposition of the vessels on any part of the blockade that you may designate.
Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 372. This document is typed on “Theodore Roosevelt,/Asst. Secretary” stationery in the left corner.
Footnote 1: RAdm. William T. Sampson, Commander of the North Atlantic Fleet.
Footnote 2: The convoy of troops left Tampa, FL on 14 June, and arrived at Daiquirí, Cuba six days later. Cosmas, Army for Empire, 197, 203.
Footnote 3: For more information, see: Blockade of Northern Cuba; and Blockade of Southern Cuba.
Footnote 4: The blockade of the southern Cuban coast was proclaimed by President William McKinley on 28 June. See: Blockade of Southern Cuba.
Footnote 5: Commo. John C. Watson, Commander of the Squadron Blockading Northern Cuba.