Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Charles H. Allen to Commodore Arent S. Crowninshield, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation

June 4th, 1898.

In addition to the light-draft vessels of the regular Navy, such as the [Leyden], Annapolis, Vicksburg, Helena, Bancroft, Wilmington, etc., three lighthouse tenders and six revenue cutters,1 there are, at the disposal of Admiral Sampson, the following named purchased yachts and tugs, all at the present time on the coast of Cuba:

     The Eagle, Gloucester, Hawk, Hornet, Oneida, Scorpion, Vixen, Wasp, Uncas, Wompatuck and Osceola.2 This list does not include any of the tugs assigned to duty in the harbor of Key West.

     The Department asks to be informed whether it is considered advisable to send any more of the purchased vessels south. The Dorthea is available.

     The following yachts were assigned to duty under Admiral Erben and are now ready for service: The Hist, Viking, Restless, Aileen, Uncanoomick;3 the following are assigned to duty under Admiral Erben, but are not ready for service: The Inca, Enquirier, Free Lance and Frolic, and Yankton. These boats are all small.

     The Department requests to be informed whether the War Board considers it advisable to send them to the coast of Cuba.

CH Allen

     Acting Secretary.

Source Note: TDS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 231. Document is written in two columns on “NAVY DEPARTMENT, Bureau of Navigation,” stationery. Typist’s initials: “FSH.”

Footnote 1: There were four Lighthouse tenders assigned to RAdm. William T. Sampson: Armeria, Mangrove, Maple, and Mayflower. Eight Revenue Cutters were also assigned to him: Calumet, Hamilton, Hudson, Manning, McLane, Morrill, Windom, and Woodbury. The United States Revenue Cutter Service in the War with Spain: 1898 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1898), 5-7.

Footnote 2: Converted yachts: Eagle, Gloucester, Hawk, Hornet, Oneida, Scorpion, Vixen, and Wasp.  Armed tugs: Osceola, Uncas, and Wompatuck.

Footnote 3: RAdm. Henry Erben, Commander, Auxiliary Defense Fleet. Allen ordered these ships dispatched to assist RAdm. Sampson in the Caribbean on 6 June 1898. Allen to Erben, 6 June 1898, DNA, RG 45, Entry 29.

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