Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Charles H. Allen to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

(COPY)

Washington, June 8, 1898.   

Spanish armored cruiser, Spanish second class cruiser, Spanish torpedo boat destroyer are reported by Eagle and Resolute Nicholas Channel yesterday and last night;1 therefore the army expedition is stopped temporarily; convoy is distributed to scour the strait and reinforce the blockade of Cuba. Send two of your fastest armored vessels to search through Nicholas Channel and then to coal at Key West, and then reinforce convoy for we mean to start this expedition as soon as convoy is strong enough, the delay being only temporary. Are you sure all of four Spanish Armored cruisers are in Santiago. The battalion of 600 marines in Panther started for you last evening convoyed by YOSEMITE.

Allen,

Acting Secretary.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 231. Addressed before open: “Sampson, care Cable Office,/St. Nicholas Mole, Hayti.”

Footnote 1: The reported turned out to be false. On 10 June Adm. Sampson realized that the Eagle and Resolute had mistaken the American ships Ameria, Scorpion, and Supply for Spanish warships and Adm. Sampson ordered that no further ships would be dispatched to assist the convoy as the reported Spanish “ghost squadron” did not exist. Trask, War with Spain, 187.

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