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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Second Lieutenant John H. Russell, United States Marine Corp, to Captain Francis J. Higginson

U.S.S.Massachusetts, (1st Rate,)    

Off Santiago de Cuba,       

June 7, 1898.          

Sir, -

     1. - I have the honor to report that the following signals were sent or received during the engagement yesterday:

5:55 a.m. New York to Fleet- Preparatory 18, Battleships prepare to take positions assigned.

6:15 a.m. Brooklyn to Squadron. - 61, Compass O. Form column heading North.

6:50 a.m. Brooklyn to Squadron. 99.- Take distance.

6:55 a.m.                 18.- Battleships take positions assigned.

7:00 a.m.  Brooklyn to Squadron. 80, Numeral 24. Steam at six knots.

7:10 a.m.                 23, Compass O. Ships right, heading North.

7:35 a.m. Brooklyn to Squadron. 22- Ships left half turn.

7:35 a.m. Texas to Massachusetts. - Starboard turret disabled, I am going to use port battery, and when in position head to the Eastward.

7:40 a.m. Massachusetts to Texas. - If you head to the Eastward you had better change position with us.

8:00 a.m. Texas to Massachusetts. - All right.

8:15 a.m.                     Starboard battery all right, will turn.

8:30 a.m. Brooklyn to Squadron. 19.- Resume blockading stations.

8:40 a.m. Massachusetts to Texas.- Go ahead.

9:45 a.m. Texas to Massachusetts.- Is heading right for us ?

9:50 a.m. Massachusetts to Brooklyn.- Batteries seem silent, shall I keep up fire?

9.55 a.m. Brooklyn to Massachusetts. Yes.

10:20 a.m.          Squadron. - 19. Resume blockading stations.

11:00 a.m. Sterling to Massachusetts. I complement you.

11:16 a.m. Massachusetts to Sterling. Many thanks, I hope you are well.

11:40 a.m. Brooklyn to Squadron. - 614. Account send or communicate by telegraphic signal damage to      vessel and armament.

12:40 a.m. Brooklyn ot [i.e., to] Massachusetts.- Cannot understand your signal, please send by wigwag.

12:45 a.m. Massachusetts to Brooklyn.- Crew and vessel uninjured. Tooth on after thirteen inch gun-     rach broken, pinion scored. Repairing damage now. Struck aloft once.

1:20 p.m. Brooklyn to Squadron.- 173. Well done.

Very respectfully,

John H Russell              

Second Lieutenant, U.S.M.C.          

Signal Officer.                  

Source Note: TDS, DNA, M625, roll 231. Addressed below close: “The Commanding Officer.” Stamp: Document has “BUREA OF NAVIGATION,” stamp for 22 August 1898, with the reference numbers “133698.” Docketed: “U.S.S.Massachusetts,/Off Santiago de Cuba/June 7, 1898/Russell, J.H./2nd Lieut.-U.S.M.C./Signal Officer./Subject :/Report of signals sent/and received during the/engagement of yesterday.”

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