Commodore George Dewey, Commander, Asiatic Squadron, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
HONG KONG, May 7, 1898.1
Secretary of Navy,
Washington. Cavite, May 4th. I have taken possession of naval station at Cavite, Philippine Islands, and destroyed its fortifications. Have destroyed fortifications Bay entrance, paroling garrison. Have cut cable to mainland. I control Bay completely and can take city at any time, but have not sufficient men to hold. Have circulated information transports Manila (word gone) I am permitted intercourse with small tug. The squadron in excellent health and spirits. The Spanish loss not fully known. Very heavy. 150 killed, including captain on Reina Christina alone.2 I am assisting and protecting Spanish sick and wounded 250 in number in hospital xxxxxxx within our lines. Will ammunition be sent?3 I request answer without delay. I can supply squadron coal provisions for a long period. Much excitement at Manila. Scarcity of provisions on account of not having economized stores. Will protect foreign residents.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 363.
Footnote 1: This coded message was sent to Long via cable from Hong Kong on May 7.
Footnote 2: Capt. Luis Cadarso y Rey.
Footnote 3: Dewey sent Long his first report on 1 May 1898, and it reached Washington on 7 May. Long’s first official response to Dewey after the battle was made on the same day this cable was sent and answers all of Dewey’s questions. See: Dewey to Long, 1 May 1898; and Long to Dewey, 7 May 1898.