Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
Port Antonio, [Jamaica] June 10, 1898.
Have no confidence in the report of “Eagle”1 as to nationality of character of vessels, and consider very unwise to suspend operations on this account. But, even if it is found correct, there is sufficient force to furnish convoy. Armored vessel was probably “Talbot” which was sighted 9 a.m., Thursday by the “Scorpion” standing to the east. Am confident no large ships could have escaped from there. Am endeavoring to obtain information from Santiago as to what vessels are inside today. Delay seems to me most unfortunate. Marine battalion arrived this morning and will land at Guantanamo today.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, p. 177. Addressed below close: “Secretary of Navy,/Washington.”
Footnote 1: The Eagle reported seeing and chasing a Spanish cruiser escorted by two torpedo destroyers east of Bahia de Cadiz. This caused alarm in both the Navy and War Departments and the departure of the troop convoy at Tampa was postponed until more information could be gathered as to whether this was indeed a Spanish fleet. See: Asst. Sec. Charles A. Allen to Sampson, 8 June 1898; Remey to Long, 8 June 1898, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, p. 171; and Asst. Sec. Charles A. Allen to Remey, 8 June 1898, Ibid.