Secretary of War Russell A. Alger to Major General William M. Shafter
The Supreme Courts of the United States has held that captures made by the Armies and by the Navy jointly or by the Army unassisted by the Navy, are not a subject of prize, in view of this I suggest the floating Marine and Naval property captured should be turned over to the Navy, as the War Department is not to be troubled with them, while the Navy is better fitter to man and take care of them or tow them to U.S. as the President may hereafter order.
Secretary of War.
A true copy.
Assistant Adjutant general.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 235. Stamped at top left: “x RECEIVED/FLAG-SHIP N.A. STATION/JUL 19 1898.”