Secretaryof the Navy John D. Long to Captain James H. Sands
Washington, April 23, 1898.
You will proceed to Newport, R. I., and from there you will run to the northeastward, along the New England coast, calling at the principal ports, and either appearing off the port, or communicating by boat, or entering the harbor, with the ship, as may seem to you best.
2. The object of this cruise is to reassure the inhabitants of the cities and towns on the New England coast by showing a few of our vessels in their vicinity. Therefore it is important to either enter the harbors, or to send in a boat to get the mail, or communicate with the local authorities, or make such inquiries regarding the enemy’s vessels as will demonstrate to the people the fact that one of our ships is on the lookout in the neighborhood.
3. You will extend this cruise as far as Eastport, Maine, after which you will rejoin the Commander-in-Chief at Hampton Roads1 or elsewhere, if you are not otherwise advised.
4. You should not remain more than a day in any port, and should keep the Department and Commodore Schley constantly informed of your whereabouts.
5. You will understand that the Department does not desire you to remain in or off any of the ports longer than may be necessary for making enquiries, etc., herein mentioned. As a rule you should stop only an hour or two.2
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, p. 9. Addressed before opening: “Commanding Officer,/U.S.S. “Columbia,”/Ft. Monroe, Va.” Commo. William S. Schley, Commander, Flying Squadron was also sent a copy of this order.
Footnote 1: Commo. Winfield S. Schley, Commander, Flying Squadron.
Footnote 2: On the same date, the commanding officer of Minneapolis, Capt. Theodore F. Jewell, was ordered to steam directly to Eastport, Maine, and then to work his way south along the coast of New England. Ibid., 10.