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Commander Bowman H. McCalla to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

U.S.S. Marblehead, 3rd Rate.

Guantanamo, Cuba,

June 30th, 1898.


1. I have the honor to transmit here with a communication from Lieutenant Jones of the Army Signal Corps and to report that the cable was unsealed at 5.27 this morning.

2. Yesterday 124 Cuban officers and soldiers were received on board the ship from the western point of the harbor, fed, clothed, and 70 of them armed and equipped. These 70 were disembarked in the afternoon at the place of embarkation to rejoin the Commander General Perez.1 The Captain of the remaining 50 was ordered to report to me for duty with the Marines, and this number are still to be armed, the Commander–in–Chief's2 instructions to receive 50 rifles from the New Orleans not having been received until after that ship had sailed. I shall be very glad if 50 Standard of Arms3 can be sent here from the fleet.

3. In connection with the Adula, I am reliably informed that that vessel arrived at Kingston on Saturday last from Cienfuegos.

4. I shall be very pleased if the Surgeon of the fleet4 can visit this port, when convenient, in order to examine the sanitary condition of the camp and the health of the command, with neither of which I am quite satisfied.

5. I am expecting today an informal visit from General Perez and his Chief of Staff.


Very respectfully,

B.H. McCalla

Commander, U.S. Navy,


Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 48. As docketed: “U.S.S. Marblehead 3rd Rate/Guantanamo,Cuba/June 30th, 1898/McCalla, Bowman H./Commander, U.S.N./_____ June___.” At top left center: “No. 117.” At top right corner stamped: “RECEIVED/FLAG-SHIP N.A. STATION,/JUN 30 1898.” At left top of second page: “No. 117 – C-in-C.” Addressed below close: “The Commander-in-Chief,/North Atlantic Station./One (1) Enclosure.” (not included).

Footnote 1: General Pancho Perez.

Footnote 2: RAdm. William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 3: The standard arms issue was either the Springfield rifle, or the newly introduced Krag-Jörgensen. See Cosmas, Army for Empire, 12.

Footnote 4: Medical Inspector Michael C. Drennan.

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