Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet, to Major General William R. Schafter
U. S. Flagship New York,1st Rate,
Off Santiago de Cuba,
July 17th, 1898.
Three Spanish Officers stationed at the battery on the summit of Socapa reported to the officer charged with lifting the mines today,that they had been obliged to leave the battery on account of it being entered and taken possession of by some Cuban forces. These officers were unarmed and claim to have reported to this officer that it would probably be unsafe for them to remain there. They had been left at the battery with invoices, &c. to turn over to our people when the fort should be taken possession of. Lieutenant Capehart,1our officer mentioned,took their personal parole and allowed them to go to Santiago for the night, with the understanding that they should return early in the morning.
I beg to suggest that some authorized persons be sent to the battery as early as possible tomorrow to take over the same and receive from the Spanish officer the papers with which they are charged.
W T Sampson
Rear Admiral,U. S. Navy,
North Atlantic Station.
Source Note: TDS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 235. Addressed below close: “Major General Schafter,/Comdg. 5th Army Corps.” Document reference: “No. 17.”
Footnote 1: Lt. Edward E. Capehart.