Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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.

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