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Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet, to Commander Robert E. Impey

U.S. Flagship New York, 1st Rate,

Off Santiago de Cuba, Cuba,

JUNE 12, 1898.


When a torpedo boat1 comes alongside your collier for coal you will offer every facility and assistance in your power to the full capacity of your crew, opening your hatches, manning the winches, and handling the coal. Their own crews are small, and are hard-worked, and when they are sent for coal it is a case of urgent service on your part to supply it, and will be so regarded.2

Very respectfully,

W T Sampson

Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy,

Commander in Chief, U.S.Naval Forces

North Atlantic Station

Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 48. At top rght corner: “No.2.” Addressed below close: “The Commanding Officer,/U.S.S. STERLING.”

Footnote 1: Torpedo boats were fast vessels with smaller coal bunkers; and expended greater proportions of their stores of coal over shorter periods of time.

Footnote 2: It seems that complaints were lodged against Cmdr. Impey for his lackluster help. His report of 27 June, suggests that there were no difficulties with the transshipment of coal and his collier Sterling had a busy schedule. Impey also complained about the lack of necessary equipment and the parlous conditions for his ship. See: Impey to Commo. Winfield S. Schley, 27 June 1898.

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