Secretary of the Navy John D. Long to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet
Washington, June 18, 1898.
Keep the “Iowa”, the “Oregon” and the “Brooklyn” full of coal and ammunition, as they may be sent to coast of Spain in the event of Cadiz division passing Suez.1 Auxiliaries “Harvard”, “Yale,” “Yosemite,” “Dixie,” destined same service. If in your opinion those armored vessels are not in repair to make the above mentioned cruise, which would you recommend?2
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, p. 204. Addressed below close: “Sampson,/Mole, Hayti.”
Footnote 1: Secretary Long was referring to the Spanish squadron in the Mediterranean under the command of Vice Adm. Manuel de la Cámara y Libermoore. That same day Long had the Bureau of Equipment send Sampson ten sets of charts of the Spanish coastline and of Spanish possessions off Africa and in the Mediterranean. Ibid., 205.
Footnote 2: Sampson was blockading Adm. Pascual Cervera y Topete’s fleet at Santiago de Cuba when he received this message. According to Long, it and a large scale publicity campaign touting the forming of the Eastern Squadron in late June were meant to intimidate and discourage the Spanish from sending Camara’s squadron to the Philippines. See: Sampson to Long, 26 June 1898; and Long, New American Navy, Vol. 2, 18.