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Commodore Arent S. Crowninshield, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, to Commander Bowman H. McCalla


(official business.)



Navy Department,


Washington, July 8, 1898.


McCalla, Guantanamo, Cuba.

     Please see Colonel Allen1 or his representative and find out what is the cause of great delay in transmission of navy messages, and reason for frightful mutilation of ciphers. A telegram sent forty-eight hours ago to Sampson2 I have has just been informed cannot be read. A telegram received at the Department yesterday had sixteen out of twenty-six words so badly mutilated as to be almost unrecognizable. In the whole history of the secret code there has never been so much trouble with cipher messages before.


Source Note: CS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 29. The file no. “124983” was handwritten. Handwritten interlineations were typed.

Footnote 1: Col. James Allen was the chief signal officer for the Army at the Santiago de Cuba operations.

Footnote 2: RAdm. William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet.

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