Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Commodore George C. Remey, Commaandant, Key West Naval Base
Naval Station, Key West, Fla.
Informed by State Department Legation of Sweden and Norway state <that> Swedish Vice Consul Key West telegraphed Norwegian steamer Bratsberg has been captured and held as prize. Cleared from Progreso, Mexico in ballast1 for Sagua La Grande which is not blockaded. At time of her capture, she was on course for destination. Investigate immediately and if facts are as stated release vessel at once, otherwise hold and report by telegraph Department.2
Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 29. Handwritten file no. at top left of the page: “109828.” The word in angle brackets is a handwritten interlineation.
Footnote 1: The term “in ballast” means the ship was not carrying cargo.
Footnote 2: Bratsberg was captured by the gunboats Newport and Mayflower off Havana on 8 May, but was later released because “there was not sufficient to show that she was endeavoring to break the law of the blockade.” Paul Silverstone, The New Navy, 1883-1922. (London: Routledge, 2006), 70, 78; Goode, With Sampson through the War, p. 92. The quote is from Goode.