Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commander Joseph G. Eaton to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

U.S.S. Resolute,

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,

June 30, 1898.

Sir:

     I have the honor to report that on the morning of June 1st, 1898, the Resolute passed Cape Hatteras, bound for the Mole, Haiti.1

     She arrived at that port June 4th, and after communicating with Commander MacKenzie,2 of the Mayflower, proceeded the same evening to Santiago, to report to the Commander in Chief.

     We arrived off Santiago June 5th, and after having transferred eighty (80) apprentices to the vessels of your Command, and having received the mail; sailed the same evening at 11:30 for Key West. While off Bahia de Cadiz on the evening of June 7th, we sighted two strange lights. As they did not answer our night signals, we put on steam and soon left them astern.

     We arrived at Key West on the morning of June 8th, and after coaling, sailed the evening of June 11th for Port Tampa.

      We arrived at Port Tampa June 12th, and having completed our coal, received on board fourteen (14) car loads of ammunition for the fleet.

     We sailed from Port Tampa on the afternoon of June 15th on an ebb tide, under charge of Pilot W.A. Switzer, and having to put the helm over to avoid a tow, grounded in the “narrow cut” where we remained four hours, until, with the rising tide and the help of the steamer “Margaret” belonging to the Plant System,3 the ship proceeded to a safe anchorage for the night. As the bottom was smooth sand, and the least depth we had was 16 ft. aft, no injury whatever was received.

     Sailing from Tampa on June 16th, we arrived at Key West June 17th where we discharged all of our 10” powder and shell. After receiving on board the prize crews from the St. Paul and St. Louis,4 we sailed from Key West the same evening under convoy of the U.S.S. Newport. In passing through the Santaren channel, our convoy left us on the evening of the 18th.

     We arrived off Santiago June 20th, and having communicated with the Commander in Chief, and transferred the St. Louis prize crews to her, sailed the same afternoon for Guantanamo, where we arrived about 4 P.M.

     Upon arrival at Guantanamo, the goods and supplies belonging to the Marine Battalion were transferred to this ship from the U.S.S. Panther.5

     Since the last named date the ship has been engaged in supplying the Marines with provisions and water, and transferring shell and ammunition to such vessels of the fleet as required it.

     With the exception of one man transferred to the “Solace” with venereal disease,6 the health of the ship’s company has been excellent.

     The hull, engines and appurtenances are in excellent order, and the ship is ready for any service for which she may be assigned.

Very Respectfully

J.G. Eaton

Comd’r. Comd’g.

Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 47. Upper right corner: “No. 14.” Upper left corner: “: RECEIVED/FLAG-SHIP N.A. STATION,/JUL 5 1898.” Addressed below close: “Commander in Chief,/North Atlantic Station,/U.S.F.S. New York.” As docketed on the rear of the third page: “U.S.S. Resolute/Guantanama Bay, Cuba,/June 30, 1898/Eaton, J.G./Comd’r./In reference to the move-/ments of this ship since June/1st, 1898.”

Footnote 1: Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti was used as a provisioning station for American warships.

Footnote 2: Cmdr. Morris R.S. Mackenzie.

Footnote 3: Henry Plant created the Plant System, which was a conglomeration of different railroads and steamboats in the south.

Footnote 4: When an enemy ship was captured, it was seized with its cargo and was regarded as a prize. It was manned by a prize crew that took it to an American port to be adjudicated in a prize court. After, a portion of the prize's sale was distributed among the officers, crew, and fleet commander.

Footnote 5: The 1st Battalion U.S. Marines, under the command of Lt. Col. Robert W. Huntington, landed at Guantánamo Bay on 10 June 1898.

Footnote 6: U.S. Hospital Ship Solace.

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