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Secretary of War Russell A. Alger to Major General Nelson A. Miles


Washington,D.C.July 13, 1898.   

     You may accept surrender by granting parole to officers and men. The officers retaining their side arms. The officers and men after parole to be permitted to return to Spain, the United States assistant. If not accepted then assault unless in your judgment an assault would fail. Consult with Sampson1 and pursue such course as to the affair, as you jointly agree upon. Matter should be settled promptly.2

R. A. Alger,           

Secretary of War. 

Source Note: TCy, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 234. Addressed open: “Major General Miles.” Stamped in right-hand corner: “RECEIVED/FLAG-SHIP N. A. STATION/JUL 14 1898.” In handwriting below sign off: “Please consider this confidential/Nelson A. Miles/[major genrl]/comdg.”

Footnote 1: RAdm.  William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet. Sampson gave his own list of surrender terms. See: Sampson to Maj. Gen. William R. Shafter, 14 July 1898.

Footnote 2: Brig. General José Toral y Vázquez and Maj. Gen. William R. Shafter were engaged in negotiations over the surrender terms.

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