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Commodore Winfield S. Schley, Commander, Flying Squadron, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long



U.S.Flagship BROOKLYN,

Off Santiago de Cuba, Cuba,

June 20, 1898.


1.     After an experience of a month or six weeks, coaling from colliers in the open sea in various weathers, I am of the opinion that they should be more adequately supplied with fenders, with a view to preventing accidents incidental to this work. These fenders should consist of cotton bales, covered with heavy canvas, well roped and slung, to withstand the wear and tear on them or, they should be made of coils of old manila hawsers, such as some of the colliers are now supplied with, except that they should be larger and of greater thickness, in order better to withstand the grinding action of a 5000 ton collier against a 10000 ton ship in even a very moderate seaway.

2.     The colliers for this service should also be furnished with their own outfit of heavy coaling bags, holding about 800 or 900 pounds, in addition to their buckets for tubs which occasionally are dangerous to handle when there is much [sea?] on, causing any considerable motion to the vessels. Shovels and coal picks should also be included, for the transfer of all these articles to the collier causes much delay in beginning work, which might immediately be proceeded with if they were already at hand on the coal vessels.

3.     In addition to the supplies of oil,1 which have been liberally drawn upon, and without which some special provision would have had to be made for its supply, waste2 and other articles of Engineer’s stores should be carried and in this connection, I have the honor to enclose a list of articles which while possibly incomplete, certainly include many things that might be advantageously sent to the Fleet by this means. These articles are most necessary and would be of the greatest service.

Very respectfully,

W.S. Schley

Commodore, U. S. Navy,


Flying Squadron.

Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 68. Identifying number at top right corner: “165.” Addressed below close: “The Secretary of the Navy,/Navy Department, Washington, D.C.” A two-page list of items was appended to the letter.

Footnote 1: Oil was used for lubricating machinery.

Footnote 2: The issue of used lubricant oil and other waste matter was essential to maintain a clean ship.

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