Commander William H. Emory to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet
COPY U. S. S. Yosemite, at sea June 18/98
Between Montejo Bay & Cape Cruz
Lat. 18 50 00 N.
Long. 77 49 00 W
1. I have the honor to make the following report concerning the cruise of the Yosemite, commencing Sunday June 12, and ending Sunday June 19, 1898.
2. About 10 a. m. Sunday June 12, the Yosemite proceeded on this cruise in obedience to your order, conveyed personally by Comdr. Brownson, commanding the U. S. S. Yankee. The order was for the Yosemite to cruise in the vicinity of Jamaica, where the commanding officer in his judgment thought best, to intercept the Spanish steamer Purissima Concepcion, which vessel was loading at Kingston, Jamaica, and about to sail for a port on the southern coast of Cuba. The Purissima Concepcion was to sail from Kingston not later than Monday morning June 15. While the Yosemite looked out for the Jamaica end of the line, the Yankee would take her station at some place on the Cuban coast. Commander Brownson also informed me that if he was not successful in overhauling the vessel sought for by Thursday June 16, he would sail for Santiago. I was also informed that if I desired2 information I could proceed to Montejo Bay or Kingston.
3. Since Sunday night June 12th until midnight of Wednesday June 15, the Yosemite cruised on a line between Point Negrill on the west coast of Jamaica and Cape Cruz,
4. This cruising ground was selected by me as the zone most favorable for the capture of the Purissima Concepcion, as involving the shortest distance between the neutral waters of England and the Cuban coast. On Thursday morning at 11 a. m., the Yosemite anchored in Kingston Harbor. The weather at the time being thick and stormy on the coast.
5. On communicating with the United States Consul, Mr. Dent, it was ascertained that the Purissima Concepcion had sailed at 4 a. m. Thursday morning, and had cleared for Manzanillo.
6. I informed the Consul that acting upon his information that the Purissima Concepcion would sail not later than Monday the 13th of June, I had come into port to get information about her. He replied that her detention until Thursday was caused by his own act. That the vessel was about to change her nationality from Spanish to English, and that his successful protest against this action was the cause of the vessel’s delay.
7. Before sailing from Kingston, a telegram dated June 17 was received from Manzanillo, stating that the Purissima Concepcion had arrived at that port. The United States Consul does not believe that this telegram is true. My surmise is that it is true, and that had the Consul acted consistently after his information to Commander Brownson, viz., that the Purissima Concepcion would not sail later than Monday 13th, that vessel would now be a prize of the Yosemite.
8. Sailed from Kingston Harbor, Friday June 17; stopped an hour at Port Royal, to call on Commodore Henderson, and then proceeded to sea.
9. In compliance with the request of Mr. Dent, United States Consul at Kingston, turned to the westward when out of sight of Kingston, rounded Point Negrill on the west coast of Jamaica, and intended this morning to call at Montejo Bay for dispatches from Mr. Dent, who still believes that the Purissima Concepcion is on the coast of Jamaica. (Enclose please find his letter marked “A.”) When off Montejo Bay found by inspection that the only vessel in ports was H. M. S. Talbot. As her presence would cause delay did not stop but proceeded under slow steam towards Cape Cruz.
10. The Yosemite is proceeding to Cape Cruz under half speed---eight knots--- and from there will proceed along the coast until she joins the Flagship.
I have the honor to be,
Commander, U. S. N., Comdg.