Commodore John C. Watson, Commander, Eastern Squadron, to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet
U. S. F. S. OREGON,
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
1. In consequence of the condemnation by Medical Survey of Captain Charles E. Clark, U. S. N. , Commanding the U. S. Battleship OREGON, flying my Broad pennant, I have to request that you will order Captain A. S. Barker,1 U. S. N., to report to me for duty in command of that ship and as my Chief of Staff.
2. Aside from my personal preference for this officer, with whom I will have to mess, is the superior consideration of his through knowledge of this battleship, her officers and crew.
Commodore, U. S. N. ,
Comdr.-in-Chief, Eastern Squadron.
Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 53. Addressed below close: “Commander-in-Chief,/U. S. Naval Force on the North Atlantic Station./U. S. F. S. NEW YORK,/Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Footnote 1: Capt. Albert S. Barker. Clark was diagnosed with “tropical fever,” attributed to the Caribbean heat and the strain from commanding Oregon since March. Barker previously commanded Oregon, from 20 March 1897 to 17 January 1897 and replaced Clark on 6 August 1898. Sternlicht, McKinley’s Bulldog: The Battleship Oregon, 44-45, 98.