Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long.
Playa del Este, Cuba, July 22, 1898.
The expedition to Nipe has been entirely successful. Although the mines have not been removed for the want of time. The Spanish Cruiser Jorge Juan, defending the place, was destroyed without loss to our side.1 The “Annapolis” and the “Wasp” afterwards proceeded from Nipe to assist in the landing of the Commanding General of the Army2 (and) troops, on arrival at Cape San Juan.3 If the report of the “Prairie” made regarding the condition of affairs at Cibara and Holquin,4 dated the 21st instant, has not yet reached the Department through Commodore Howell,5 telegraph for it as it represents a state of affairs which should be known to the Navy and State Departments without delay.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, p. 314. Addressed before opening: “Secretary of Navy,/Washington,”
Footnote 1: See: Lt. George W. Mentz to Cmdr. John J. Hunker, 21 July 1898.
Footnote 2: Maj. Gen. Nelson A. Miles.
Footnote 3: See: Cmdr. Charles J. Train to Commo. John A. Howell, 21 July 1898.
Footnote 4: That is, Gibara and Holguin. Gibara had recently been abandoned by a Spanish garrison after a siege by Cuban insurgents. Spanish troops took most of the town’s provisions when they evacuated and left 536 sick Spanish soldiers under protection of the Red Cross in Gibara’s hospital. When the American Navy arrived in late July the town of 6,000 people was on the verge of mass starvation and suffering from rampant illness. The report from the Prairie has not been found, but for more information on Gibara, see, Cmdr. Washburn Maynard to Sampson, 26 July 1898, in Report of the Bureau of Navigation, 1898, 281-82.
Footnote 5: Commo. John A. Howell, Commander, First Blockading Squadron.