Commodore George C. Remey, Commandant, Key West Naval Base, to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet
NAVAL BASE, KEY WEST
U.S. Flagship Lnacaster, June 12, 18981
My dear Admiral:
A telegram just received announces that the troops will sail from Tampa today; the convoying vessels from Key West will join the expedition near Tortugas tomorrow, and the whole will sail for Santiago.2
If you can spare them, the convoying vessels should be returned for blockade duty; the blockade is too thin.3
I have just received your telegram to send provisions. I have sent to the blockade for the collier Lebanon, as being the only vessel available, and will send by her the provisions.
The Resolute I have sent to Tampa for ammunition and had hoped to get her off with the expedition. I shall send her anyway, thinking you may need ammunition.
I am almost constantly getting telegrams to do this and that, and am often forced to the wish that I had the wherewith to do all. With the assistance of more Pay Officers I hope in a little time to straighten out the pay accounts of the small vessels and men in hospitals. It is not an easy thing to do, but will be accomplished in time.
This ship4 was sent to Key West almost empty; no provision whatever for a flagship; required money the day of her arrival.
I find my billet no sinecure, but if I can succeed in being of any material assistance to you, I will be repaid, notwithstanding the many annoyances of the situation.
Very truly yours,
Geo. C. Remey
Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 51. Addressed after close: “Rear Admiral/W. T. Sampson, U. S. Navy,/U. S. Flagship New York.” Stamped on first page: “RECEIVED/FLAG-SHIP N. A. STATION/JUN 20 1898.”
Footnote 1: That is, the screw sloop-of-war Lancaster. Recommissioned at Boston on 5 May 1898, it sailed on 19 May, and arrived at Key West on the 31st, where it served as station ship. DANFS
Footnote 2: On the convoy, see: Charles H. Allen to Russell A. Alger, 11 June 1898.
Footnote 3: Remey is referring to the squadron under the command of Commo. John Watson blockading ports on the northern coast of Cuba.
Footnote 4: That is, Lancaster.