Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Rear Admiral Henry Erben, Commander, Auxiliary Naval Force

Navy Department, Washington, May 6, 1898.

Commander in Chief,

            Patrol Fleet, etc.

Sir: The Department incloses herewith a tracing of a section of northern coast, with patrol lines marked on it in red.1

Your aim should be to distribute your vessels to the best advantage upon or near these lines, and have them patrol, on their respective cruising grounds, as a protection to the coast and coastwise trade. The lines are approximate only.

The flying squadron is expected to patrol between the capes of Virginia and the capes of Delaware.2                              Your patrol ships on the northern lines will coal at Boston; those on the Block Island line at Tompkinsville.3           

If you have, at any time, more ships than are necessary to patrol these lines, you should so inform the Department.              Respectfully,     

John D. Long,

Secretary.

Source Note: Report of the Bureau of Navigation, 1898, p. 59.

Footnote 1: The map mentioned has not been found.

Footnote 2: The object was to guard the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, the water route to Washington.

Footnote 3: Block Island is located thirteen miles south of the Rhode Island coast and fourteen miles east of Montauk Point, Long Island; Tompkinsville is located on Staten Island, New York.

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