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Rear Admiral Montgomery Sicard, President, Naval War Board, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long

Navy Department,

office of naval war board.

Washington, D. C.,   July 1st, 1898.


The Board recommends that the following telegram be sent to Admiral Sampson.1


M Sicard

Rear Adml. Pres. of Board.


     Referring to Department’s telegram of the 24th ultimo,2 beginning MAZZERINO CONSPIRATO, the prospective advance of Camara towards the East makes it very desirable that Watson’s Squadron should begin to move.3 Telegraph when you can send it, having regard to your necessities at Santiago.4 His cruisers and armored ships should be full of coal. The Department does not wish to weaken you, but a diversion in Dewey’s favor by positive operations is necessary.5


Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 372. Document on “Naval War Board,” stationery.

Footnote 1: RAdm. William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 2: The word “ultimo” means last month.

Footnote 3: The Eastern Squadron under the command of Commo. John C. Watson was intended to sail for Spanish waters, in part, to force the return of Vice Adm. Manuel de la Cámara y Libermoore’s fleet, which was heading to the Philippines. For more information, see, Sampson to Watson, 11 July 1898, DNA, RG 313, Entry 53.

Footnote 4: On 1 July, the date of this letter, RAdm. Willliam T. Sampson’s fleet was blockading RAdm. Pascual Cervera y Topete’s squadron in Santiago de Cuba harbor.

Footnote 5: The intentions of the Spanish Ministry of Marine were to send Vice Adm. Cámara’s fleet to the Philippines in order to challenge RAdm. George Dewey’s squadron. Trask, War With Spain, 270-85.

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