Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long

TELEGRAM

Off Santiago de Cuba,            

June 8, 1898.          

     Yesterday morning sent from the blockade the “Marblehead” and “Yankee” to arrive at Guantanamo early daylight. They entered harbor, taking possession of lower bay. Immediately after their arrival and small gun boat defending position, retreated without delay to upper bay which is connected with lower bay by a narrow passage, defended by eleven mines. Their instructions were not to enter upper portion of bay but to hold lower bay for the accommodation of our ships and this was successfully accomplished. The “Marblehead” will remain at Guantanamo. The crew of cable steamer Adria spent several days searching for Jamaica cable from Santiago and destroyed second cable, “St. Louis” having cut first, but the crew of Adria have refused to do any more work on grounds that work required of them is illegal; therefore cable from Santiago to Cienfuegos has not been cut, but all communication between Cuba and outside world has been cut off. As there is some doubt that both the Jamaica cables have been cut, suggest that Department make inquiries into this subject. I suggest further that as the crew of the “Adria” have failed to hold by their contract, they should not receive compensation after time at which they refused to do duty. As soon as possible I hope to have communication by telegraph between Guantanamo and - - - - through French cable. Will inform Department as soon as it has been established. Under the circumstances again urge upon the Department to expedite the arrival of troops to Santiago. The difficulty of blockading the Spanish fleet daily increasing and as dark nights approach difficulty must be increased greatly. Army should be here now. The Spanish forces on north side of Cuba are absolutely insignificant and can offer no impediment whatever. One cruiser could look after the whole. “Yankee” will wait until one for answer.

SAMPSON.        

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, p. 172. Addressed before opening: “Secretary of Navy,/Washington.”

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