Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Station, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
U.S.Flagship New York,1st Rate,
1. I respectfully recommend that the MASSACHUSETTS be ordered to return to this Squadron at Key West.
2. I am convinced that the Country has nothing to fear from an attack along our Northern Coast. The only two vessels to undertake such a raid are the VISCAYA and OQUENDO now in the harbor of Havana. I dont think they will venture to leave that place except possibly to assist the flotilla. I shall keep a close watch upon them and,if necessary,send the New York to follow them in case they leave.
3. In this connection I trust you will send the MAYFLOWER or some other vessel to which I can transfer my flag in case of necessity or when heavy work does not require the use of armored vessels for the Commander-in-Chief.
4. The MASACHUSETTS is like the other battleships well adapted to silencing the new batteries at Havana,and after she has assisted in this operation she can be sent North if the Department desires.
5. I thank you for sending the PURITAN, TERROR, and AMPHITRITE, which will [be] of great service in the capture of Havana.
U.S.Naval Forces on North Atlantic Station
Source Note: CbCy, DNA, RG 313, Entry 32, vol. 9. Addressed below close: “The Secretary of the Navy,” Document reference: “No. 1.”