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Captain Henry C. Taylor to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

U.S.S.INDIANA, 1st Rate,

Off Santiago de Cuba,

June 23, 1898.


    I. I have the honor to report that having gone inshore yesterday in obedience to signal I opened fire on the batteries at 9:40 A.M. Our firing was first directed upon the battery east of Morro. The direction of the wind causing the smoke to interfere with the accuracy of fire I steered to the westward across the mouth of the harbor and opened fire from that quarter. As soon as the western battery and those on Smith Cay1 bore on us they opened fire and we engaged them until signal was made by the Brooklyn to discontinue the action, at 11.10A.M.2

    2. There were no special incidents to note. Some of our projectiles seemed to cause damage to the batteries and one exploded near the centre of the battery in the west of the entrance.

    3. The enemy's aim was good and nearly all their shots fell near us, one exploding underwater within a few feet of the ship's side causing a severe shock but no damage.

Very respectfully,               

H. C. Taylor                

Captain, Commanding.   

Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 48. Addressed below close: “The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Force/on North Atlantic Station.” Identification number in top right corner: “#196.” At top center of page is stamped: “RECEIVED/FLAG-SHIP N.A. STATION,/JUN 25 1898.”

Footnote 1: In addition to the Morro on the east and Socapa on the west side of the Santiago de Cuba harbor entrance, the Spanish had placed some guns on Smith Cay, a small island in the middle of the harbor near the entrance.

Footnote 2: Commo. Winfield S. Schley on Brooklyn, commander of the Second Blockading Squadron, was in charge of this operation. the bombardment was done in support of the army’s landing at Daiquiri. See: Sampson to Long, Cumulative Overview Report, 3 August 1898.

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