Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Adjutant General Henry C. Corbin to Major General William R. Shafter

Cipher dispatch

     Washington D.C.

     July 6- 1898

     Your telegram concerning the navy - - Santiago harbor is received and your action thoroughly approved. The Secretary of War1 directs that if the Navy will not undertake to break through you take a transport cover the pilot house in most exposed point with bail hay attach an anchor to a tow line and if possible grapple the torpedo cables and call for volunteers from the army not a large number, to run fast(?) into the harbor to make a way for the navy.2

     Before acting telegraph what you think of it. What is certain is that the navy must go into the harbor and must save the lives of our brave men who will be sacrificed if we assault the enemy in his entrenchment without aid.

     This is strictly confidential to you

H.C. Corbin

A. G.

Source Note: Df, DLC-MSS, William R. Shafter Papers. Addressed before opening: “Major Gen’l Wm. R Shafter.”

Footnote 1: Secretary of War Russell A. Alger.

Footnote 2: This plan was never executed.

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