Commodore Francis M. Bunce, Commandant, New York Navy Yard, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
U.S. Navy Yard, New York,
February 21, 1898
1. I have to report that the Spanish Armored Cruiser VIZCAYA anchored off Tompkinsville, S.I., on Sunday the 20th instant, at 3.27 P.M.
2. The arrangements for the protection of the vessel, as previously reported to the Department, were at once put in force.
3. Lieutenant A. Ward, U.S.N., one of my aides, boarded the VIZCAYA, immediately after the vessel came to anchor, and extended the usual offer of civilities. The Commanding Officer, upon being notified by him of the disaster to the MAINE, immediately ordered his colors to be displayed at half-mast, and stated that they would remain half-masted during his stay in this port. He further expressed his extreme regret at the news of the disaster above mentioned.
4. This day, at 11 O’clock A.M., I received a visit of the Commanding Officer of the VIZCAYA, who was accompanied by Mr. Arturo Baldasano,the Spanish Consul General at this port. They were received with the usual honors.
5. The Commanding Officer of the VIZCAYA renewed to me the Expressions of his regret at the recent calamity in the harbor at Havana and stated, through the Consul General, that he should take no part in any of the intended festivities to be given in his honor while at this port. He also stated that, for the same reason, his visit would be shorter than he had intended.
6. Having been informed of the intended celebration of Washington’s Birthday, the Commanding Officer of the VIZCAYA stated that he would participate in the same, but would again half-mast his colors on the following day.
7. Up to the present time, the arrangements for the protection of the VIZCAYA have been found entirely satisfactory, except that owing to the continued bad weather it is difficult for the smaller police launches to maintain their position in the immediate neighborhood of the ship.
Commodore, U.S. Navy,
Commandant, Nay Yard & Station.
Source Note: TLS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 127. Addressed below close: “The Secretary of the Navy,/Navy Department, Washington, D.C.” Notation under the date in the place/date line: “20.” On a separate address sheet is a stamp from the Navy Department indicating that the letter “94446” was sent from Bunce at the New York Navy Yard and concerned “‘VIZCAYA’ Rel. to visit of.” In friendly reciprocity to the visit of U.S.S. MAINE to Havana, the Spanish sent one of their newest and best ships, the cruiser VIZCAYA, Capt. Antonio Eulate y Fery, commanding, to visit New York City.