Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet, to Captain William M. Folger
U. S. Flagship New York, 1st Rate,
St. Nicholas Channel,
May 27, 1898.
S I R : --
You will proceed to Santiago de Cuba to convoy the Collier Merrimac.
2. You will communicate with Commodore Schley and direct him to remain on the blockade of Santiago at all hazard, assuming that the Spanish vessels are in that port.
3. Tell him that I desire that he should use the Collier Sterling to obstruct the channel at its narrowest part leading into this harbor. Inform him that I believe that it would be perfectly practicable to steam this vessel into position and drop all her anchors, allow her to swing across the channel, then sink her, either by opening the valves, or whatever means may be best in his judgment.
4. Inform Commodore Schley that the details of this plan are left to his judgment. In the meantime he must exercise the utmost care that none of the vessels already in port are allowed to escape; and say to the Commodore that I have the utmost confidence in his ability to carry this plan to a successful conclusion, and earnestly wish him good luck.
W.T. Sampson com
Rear Admiral, U.S.Navy,
Commander in Chief, U.S.Naval Force, N.A. Station.
Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 313, Entry 48. Addressed below close: “Commanding Officer,/U.S.S.NewOrleans.” Document reference: “No. 2.”