Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commodore Winfield S. Schley, Commander, Flying Squadron, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long

Cipher telegram for Sampson and Navy Department.

     Collier now having been temporarily repaired and able to make six knots or seven, will endeavor to coal TEXAS and MARBLEHEAD in open sea and hold position off Santiago until coal supply of larger ships is [raised?] to lowest safe limit. Will then go to Gonaives or coast near, or in vicinity of Port au Prince to coal. Good opportunity occurring yesterday took a good quantity of coal on board TEXAS and MARBELHEAD about 25 miles west of Santiago which enables me to hold that place till coal is reduced so much as to force us over to Haiti coast to replenish. Two more colliers well fitted to report at Gonaives urgently needed to hastily coal all vessels when chances occur. Need also another auxiliary for picket work and for communication. I send YALE and MINNEAPOLIS Key West. ST PAUL still off Santiago. Repairs to MERRIMAC’S machinery being completed on board Flagship. Sigsbee on 26th captured British collier bound in with coal undoubtedly for fleet; collier had touched previously at San Juan, and Curacao.1

SCHLEY.                

     Will Captain Wise2 put the above in cipher and send one to Department and one to Sampson.3

Sgd W.S. Schley             

Commodore, U.S.N.           

Commander-in-Chief Flying Squadron        

Source Note: CbCyS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 68, p. 372. Note 1: This document was written on 28 May 1898. The text after “Sigsbee on...” was handwritten on the first signature line.

Footnote 1: Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee captured the British collier Restormel. See: Sigsbee to Long, 29 May 1898.

Footnote 2: Capt. William C. Wise.

Footnote 3: RAdm. William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet.

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