Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
Mole, Hayti, June 4, 1898.
Succeeded in sinking Merrimac in the channel of Santiago today 4 a.m., June 3rd. This was carried out most gallantly under the command of Naval Constructor Hobson and seven men. By flag of truce from the Spanish Admiral, Cervera, sent in recognition of their bravery, am informed all are prisoners of war, two slightly wounded. Request authority to approve action exchange if possible between these and prisoners Atlanta, Georgia. Beg troops move with all possible celerity. Of paramount importance. Six ships Spanish squadron in the harbor of Santiago, unable to avoid being captured or destroyed.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, p. 163. Addressed below close: “Secretary of Navy,/Washington.”