Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Rear Admiral William B. Caperton, Commander, Pacific Fleet
11 May 1917.
USS PITTSBURG, Flag.
Sigcode: Guatamala has broken with Germany period Department desires you stop long enough on route to call on President of Guatamala in order to show the good-will of United States and encourage friendly relations period Explain that on account of war visit must be made short period Make full report conditions Acknowledge 10011.
Source Note: C, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517. At the top right of the cable is the identifier “OM-140.” At the top left is another identifier “Op-11-D.” Below the signature is a final identifier, “Class SP”. Caperton was ordered to patrol the east coast of South America with his flotilla to clear those waters of German raiders and to promote goodwill. On Caperton’s mission, see David Healy, “Admiral William B. Caperton and United States Naval Diplomacy in South America, 1917-1919,” Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 8, no. 2 (Nov. 1976), 297-323.