Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Charles D. Sigsbee to Eliza Lockwood Sigsbee

Havana Feby 16 [1898]

Maine blown up last night totally wrecked all officers Saved but Jenkins and Merritt who were probably Killed1 about 250 Killed I am uninjured but have lost absolutely Everything but thin Sack Coat trousers and shirt will borrow money of General Lee2 estimate My pecuniary loss fifteen hundred dollars

CD Sigsbee

Source Note: C, N, Charles D. Sigsbee Papers. The cable, which is two pages long, lacks punctuation. It is addressed before opening: “Mrs CD Sigsbee 1632 Riggs Place/Washington.” It is on a regular cable message form of the Western Union Telegraph Company with all the standard information and advertising. There are a series of informational boxes immediately before the text of the cable. These boxes, which are filled, appear: “NUMBER SENT BY REC’D BY No. OF WORDS FROM/ 10C U O US Govt 62 Havana Feby 16.” Also written on the cable is “1 PM” which is presumably the time the cable was received in Washington. On the second page of the cable only the box for “NUMBER” and “FROM” is filled in. In the former is “10C”; in the latter is “Sigsbee” with a “2” enclosed in a circle.

Footnote 1: Capt. Sigsbee was correct as Lt. Friend W. Jenkins and Assistant Engineer Darwin R. Merritt had been killed.

Footnote 2: American consul-general in Havana Fitzhugh Lee. Sigsbee was dressed in a serge suit from Saks when the explosion occurred. See: Sigsbee to Eliza Lockwood Sigsbee, 17 February 1898.

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