Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commander Richardson Clover, Chief of the Office of Naval Intelligence, to Commodore Winfield S. Schley, Commander, Flying Squadron

OFFICER OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE.

Memorandum of Information.

for the

COMMANDER IN CHIEF, FLYING SQUADRON.1

     The following is a copy of a communication dated April 4, 1898, received by the Department of State from the U. S. Consul, San Juan, Puerto Rico:2

     I have the honor to call your attention to the fact that the supply of coal at this port, which is a naval coaling station for the Spanish Government, has become very low and Spain has here a very small supply of coal. They are however, now renewing the supply and one large steamship is unloading coal for the Government at the Navy Yard. The Captain of the coal steamer told me he was chartered to bring for (4) more loads and that three other large English steamers with coal were on their way to this port. The work on the fortifications is being pushed night and day. This port is the key to the whole island. If any nation were at war with Spain and should take this port, they would have the whole island and all the coal supply would be shut off.

Richardson Clover      

Chief Intelligence Officer. 

April 16, 1898.

Source Note: TDS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 228. First two lines are printed stationery. Stamp 1: “RECEIVED/FLAG-SHIP BROOKLYN/APR 17 1898” Stamp 2: “CONFIDENTIAL.”

Footnote 1: Cmdr. Richardson Clover sent an identical memorandum to Commander-in-Chief of the North Atlantic Station, Commo.  William T. Sampson. Clover to RAdm. William T. Sampson, 16 April 1898, DNA, RG 313, Entry 43.

Footnote 2: United States Consul at San Juan Philip C. Hanna.

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