Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Rear Admiral Montgomery Sicard, President of the Naval War Board

“Hingham, Mass., Aug. 21 [1898].

“My Dear Admiral: In view of the practical ending of the war with Spain and the well-earned relief from further duty to which the naval war board is not entitled. I cannot, though absent from the department, forbear to express to you and through you to your associates of the board, Commodore Crowninshield and Captain Mahan (retired),1 the very high appreciation which the department has of the services it has rendered since the war began. That its members have been faithful and diligent in the highest measure goes without saying, for they are animated by the high professional spirit which distinguishes the navy, and which they have themselves done much to stimulate and maintain. But from my personal knowledge and observation, I desire to add this, that equally marked have been the intelligence, the wise judgment, and comprehensive forethought and the unfailing competency to meet every exigency which have distinguished their deliberations and actions. May it not be said that not one error has been made? Proper control by the department has been exercised over all movements in the field, and yet at the same time commanding officers have been duly left to exercise discretion and have never been hampered in their work. I do not know how your work as a member of that important board could have been better done, or where in the arena of the war you could have rendered better service or deserved more honor.

Very truly yours,

(Signed)           John D. Long,

“Secretary of the Navy.

“To Rear Admiral Montgomery Sicard, U. S. N., War Board, Washington, D. C.”

Source Note Print: Newport News Daily Press, 25 August 1898.

Footnote 1: The members of the Naval War Board were: RAdm. Montgomery Sicard (President), Commo. Arent S. Crowninshield, and Capt. Alfred T. Mahan.

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