Secretaryof the Navy John D. Long to Captain Charles S. Cotton
Washington, May 28, 1898.
Care of American Consul,1
Following must be delivered to Schley2 as soon as possible, utmost urgency: Unless it is unsafe for your squadron, Department wishes you to remain off Santiago so cannot you take possession of Guantanamo, occupy as a coaling station? If you must leave, are authorized to sink collier in the mouth of harbor, if you can obstruct thereby, but if not so used, and not necessary to you, it would not be desirable to leave her Nicolas Mole or vicinity.3 You must not leave the vicinity of Santiago de Cuba unless it is unsafe your squadron, or unless Spanish division is not there.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 80, Entry 194, vol. 1, p. 135.
Footnote 1: United States Consul at Kingston Louis A. Dent.
Footnote 2: Commodore Winfield S. Schley, Commander, Flying Squadron.
Footnote 3: This order shaped much of the early campaign off Santiago de Cuba. The collier Merrimac was eventually sunk in Santiago Harbor on 3 June, but was unsuccessful in blocking the channel. Cmdr. Bowman H. McCalla used United States Marines and Cuban insurgents to lay siege to Guantanamo in hopes of capturing the Bay to establish a temporary American Naval Base. See: Sampson to Long, 4 June 1898; and Extracts from the Autobiography pf Cmdr. Bowman H. McCalla.