Captain Nehemiah M. Dyer to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
April 11 th, 1898.
I have the honor to confirm my cable message to the Department, of this date, as follows.-“Sec Nav Washington D.C., BALTIMORE Dyer”.
2. I left Honolulu at 10 A.M. of March 25th under the Departments order as transmitted to me by Rear Admiral J.N. Miller1 to proceed to Hong Kong-a careful measurement of the coal on board taken on March 19th, showed 562 tons in bunkers, 579.5 tons were received up to March 24th of which 60 tons were in bags on deck - 43.8 tons had been consumed to noon of the 25th, so that the coal account showed 1097.7 tons at noon of that day- the ship drew 23’6” forward and 23’4” aft- and her bottom very foul being 6 months out of dock 4 1-22 months of the time in Honolulu harbor- Six days of most favorable conditions of steaming under two Boilers and coal consumption of 47.7 tons per day gave an average, per log of 190.2 miles per day; It was evident that the ship could not reach Hong-Kong with the coal on board and on March 31st I decided to use coal liberally and proceed here hoping to reach Hong Kong as soon or sooner than could have been done direct- even if we had had coal enough to have allowed 50 tons per day consumption.
3. I found on arrival a message from the Commander in Chief instructing me to fill up with stores and provisions as well as coal which is being done as rapidly as possible.3
4. The usual salutes and visits of ceremony were made and returned upon our arrival.
Captain U.S. Navy.
Source Note: CyS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 363. Addressed below close: “The Secretary of the Navy,/(Bureau of Navigation)” Document reference No.: “129-13-B.N.” This copy was sent to the Bureau of Navigation.
Footnote 1: RAdm. Joseph N. Miller, Commander, Pacific Station.
Footnote 2: This should be read as 4 and months.
Footnote 3: Commo. George Dewey was Commander on the Asiatic Station. He was at Hong Kong and wanted Dyer to hurry because the Baltimore was on the final leg of a transpacific journey to deliver ammunition to the Asiatic Station. With war looming against Spain, Dewey needed his fleet fully armed and ready to attack Manila. Dewey, Autobiography, 171-172.