On this date in 1898, Rear Admiral William T. Sampson’s squadron destroyed the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Santiago, Cuba. The article Sampson and Shafter at Santiago, by Commander Louis J. Gulliver, U.S. Navy, which detailed the battle and aftermath, was originally published in The Proceedings in June, 1939.
SAMPSON AND SHAFTER AT SANTIAGO
The inherent and ancient difficulties involved in joint operations of army and naval forces in war have never been more unhappily illustrated than in the war with Spain when army troops under General William R. Shafter, U. S. Army, encircled Santiago, and the Fleet commanded by Admiral William T. Sampson blockaded the port during the months of June and July, 1898. Here where success of joint action depended vitally on the sine qua non of swift and sure communications and the maximum in co-operation, one observes evidence of lamentably poor communications from shore to ship and vice versa, a condition that can be understood and partially excused. Not so easy to account for, however, are the relations-not making for co-operation that existed between General Shafter and Admiral Sampson. It is with these relations, as they are revealed in the communications between the two officers, that this article is concerned.
The question most likely to puzzle the reader as he examines the Sampson-Shafter communications, as each strove, for the most part at cross purposes with the other, to capture or destroy the enemy, is why the two commanders in chief neglected to employ the conference method for composing their radically differing opinions instead of standing apart and firing letters, telegrams, telephone messages, and bridge signals at each other. They conferred only once during the period of hostilities and then only for a short time on the day that Shafter arrived in Cuba, before co-operative joint action could be effectively got under way.
The reasons why the two commanders never conferred thereafter are not easy to understand. Only a few miles of relatively smooth water on which no enemy could threaten separated the General’s headquarters tent at Siboney on the coast and the Admiral’s blockading station outside Santiago. Conceivably, General Shafter could have come out to the flagship, though the boat trip for one of his reported excessive weight might be considered hazardous. Absences from the fleet to engage in conferences on shore were forbidden to Admiral Sampson at the outset by the exigencies of the situation; he never left the blockading line but once and that, the fates alone can explain, was on the morning of July 3, when he set out in the ‘ flagship New York for Siboney to confer with General Shafter. At that precise moment, the Spanish Admiral Cervera decided to lead his fleet out of Santiago Harbor.
After the fleet engagement when nothing of moment existed to interfere with personal conferences and after both officers had forwarded their differences to their respective secretaries, President McKinley, his great patience exhausted, directed the dispatch of the following on July 5, 1898:
The President has just issued this order to the Secretary of War and to the Secretary of the Navy:-”General Shafter and Admiral Sampson should confer at once for co-operation in taking Santiago after the fullest exchange of views, they should determine ‘the time and manner of attack.” The Department desires you carry out these instructions …. Signature, LONG.
This resulted in no personal conference, because, as the Admiral reported, “I was unable on the 6th to meet with General Shafter as I was ill abed.”
One factor can be deemed to account in part for the strained relations between Shafter and Sampson. In neither service in that era was ‘the necessity understood for a personal staff to commanders in chief afloat and ashore, organized, trained, and efficient in the co-operative endeavors that obtain as a matter of course in joint operations today. Both officers had a staff, but it is evident from their communications that Sampson and Shafter attended personally to all matters that concerned their mutual relations.
The hoped for co-operation between the two officers struck a snag at the very outset while the loosely knit components of regulars, National Guardsmen, and volunteers labored heavily at Tampa to create a unified fighting force. Impatient at what he considered to be delays in embarking the troops in transports, Admiral Sampson dispatched this message to his superiors at Washington. Its implications augured ill for co-operation in the days to come. Thus,
From Sampson off Santiago to Secretary of Navy, June 7th, 1898. If 10,000 men were here, the city and fleet would be ours within 48 hours. Every consideration demands immediate Army movement. If delayed, city will be defended more strongly by guns taken from [enemy] fleet.
The primary cause of disagreement between Shafter and Sampson was the methods each thought the other should employ to the end that Santiago would be captured. Shafter, believing that the Fleet ought to force its entrance into the harbor, wrote on July 2 to the Admiral:
Terrible fight yesterday. I urge that you make effort immediately to force the entrance to avoid future losses among my men …. already very heavy. You can now operate with less loss of life than I can. Please telephone answer.
The answered telephoned was:
Admiral Sampson has this morning bombarded forts at entrance … silencing their fire. Do you wish further firing …. Impossible to force entrance until we can clear channel of mines,—a work of some time after forts are taken possession of by your troops.
In reply to this message, General Shafter wrote:
Impossible for me to say when I can take batteries at entrance to harbor … it will be some time and great loss of life. I am at a loss to understand why the Navy cannot work under a destructive fire as well as the Army … keep up fire on everything in sight of you until demolished. I expect in time and with sufficient men to capture the forts along the Bay.
Thereupon, Sampson wrote to Shafter that he was’ willing to undertake to force the harbor entrance, “if it is your earnest wish.” Dispatched the day before Cervera came out, the letter is highly important. It reads:
Sir: I have your note of this morning just received at 11.20. An officer of my staff has just reported to you the firing which we did this morning but I must say in addition to what he told you that the forts which we silenced were not the forts which would give you any inconvenience in capturing the city as they cannot fire except to sea ward. They cannot even prevent our entrance into the harbor of Santiago. Our trouble from the first has been that the harbor channel is strewn with observation mines which would certainly result in the sinking of one or more of our ships if we attempted to enter the harbor, and by the sinking of a ship, the object of the attempt to enter the harbor would be defeated by the preventing of further progress on our part.
It was my hope that an attack on your part of these shore batteries from the rear would leave us at liberty to drag the channel for torpedoes.
If it is your earnest desire that we should force our entrance, I will at once prepare to undertake it. I think, however, that our position and yours would be made more difficult if, as is possible, we fail.
We have in our outfit at Guantanamo, 40 countermining mines which I will bring here with us with as little delay as possible and if we can succeed in freeing the entrance of mines by their use, I will enter the harbor. This work [countermining], which is unfamiliar to us, will require considerable time. It is not the loss of men as it is the loss of ships which until now has deterred me from making a direct attack on the ships within the port.
The receipt of this seems to have had the effect of increasing General Shafter’s pleadings that the Fleet should force the entrance. On the day after the destruction of the Spanish Fleet, Shafter sent the following to Sampson:
… Now if you will force your way into that harbor, the town will surrender without further sacrifice of life. My present position has cost me 1,000 men … no wish to lose more. With my forces on one side and yours on the other,-they have a great terror of the Navy,—we shall have them.
“This dispatch,” states Admiral Sampson, “shows a complete misapprehension of the circumstances which had to be met.” He adds that previously General Shafter had agreed that the harbor defense batteries must be destroyed before countermining the channel. Only after this could the Fleet enter the harbor.
At this juncture the Admiral sent word to General Shafter of his wish to meet the general and discuss the situation. This brought the following from Shafter:
… General Shafter desires very much to see Admiral Sampson and especially if an attempt is to be made to enter the harbor … Gen. Shafter is not able to go to Siboney [for this conference],
and this message a few hours later:
I am directed by the President to confer with you fully as to a joint attack on Santiago … am unable to ride in to see you. Can you not come here to see me? If not will send in two staff officers to represent me.
Then ensued a number of messages, having to do with the methods of naval bombardment of the entrance fortifications culminating in this letter from Sampson to Shafter:
Admiral Sampson proposes to begin bombardment to-morrow morning with 13 inch shell, unless there are reasons for not doing so. Will General Shafter please inform him of the distance of the fall of shot from the Cathedral, using the Cathedral as a point of reference? And he would like particularly to know immediately if any shell fall in the water.
After the battleships had bombarded intermittently with 8-inch guns, the Admiral again wrote:
Admiral Sampson’s compliments to General Shafter and says he has fired several 8 inch shells into Santiago and is in a position to keep it up. Desires to know if this is of any assistance.
Following a truce with the enemy on July 13 Admiral Sampson again expressed readiness to bombard the entrance batteries in this message to General Shafter:
I am now prepared to shell the city of Santiago with three of my largest ironclads with 13 inch projectiles. Can commence at short notice. Will await your signal.
Meanwhile back in Washington, the disagreements between Sampson and Shafter had been shuttling back and forth between the War and Navy Departments. In consequence the Secretary of the Navy sent this cablegram to Admiral Sampson on July 13:
The Commanding General of the Army urges and the Secretary of War asks that the Navy force the harbor of Santiago. Confer with the commander of the Army. Wishing to do all that is reasonably possible to insure the surrender of the enemy, I leave the matter to your discretion, except that the United States armoured vessels must not be risked. Signature, LONG.
Commenting on this, Admiral Sampson later stated:
I think the falsity of the suggestion that the Navy was unwilling to cooperate in forcing an entrance to Santiago is already sufficiently shown … to show the good will of the Navy, preparations were completed for countermining … the only reasons for postponement came from the general commanding the Army. The Navy has been placed in such an invidious and false position before the country through the very unwise publication of Gen. Shafter’s telegrams, that I think this matter should be made clear to the public.
General Shafter’s telegrams reflect on the Navy. I wish the Department and the President to understand that the first requisite to opening the harbor of Santiago is the occupation of the forts and intrenchments at its entrance guarding the mine fields and that the general has never made a move to do this, although before his army landed, he stated that such was his primary object. If the general chooses to ignore the sea approaches and to attack Santiago to the east and north, that is his affair, but it should be clearly understood that this attack does not influence the situation at the harbor entrance from which his left flank is distant not less than four miles. I have been ready at any time during the last three weeks to silence the works, clear entrance of mines and to enter the harbor whenever the Army will do the part which the proper conduct of war assigns to it. To throw my ships to certain destruction upon mine fields would be suicidal folly and I have not the force to form landing party strong enough to insure the capture of the forts. None of the disagreements mentioned by the Herald have have been brought to my notice by General Shafter.
During the next three days, climaxed by the formal surrender on July 17, false rumors of surrender spread through the Fleet. General Nelson A. Miles, uninformed of the status of negotiations, sent this message to the Admiral, July 13: “The enemy has surrendered. Will be down to see you soon.”
As matters eventuated, the absence of Admiral Sampson from the ceremonies of capitulation was the cause of acrimonious communications between him and General Shafter in the days immediately thereafter. To forestall any trouble on this score, the Admiral sent this letter to General Shafter on July 13:
As commander in chief of the Naval Forces engaged in the operation I expect to be represented at any conference held to arrange the terms of surrender of Santiago, including the surrender of the shipping and the harbor; questions of importance, involving both branches of the Service.
In reply to a request for suggestions as to specifications in the surrender terms, the Admiral signaled to General Miles, July 14:
The only suggestion which I have to make to the terms of surrender are that the Spanish shall remove or destroy all torpedoes in the channel to the harbor and the harbor itself. I understand by siege guns are meant the guns in the batteries facing the sea…. With these guns, I shall be satisfied.
On July 15, Sampson and Shafter exchanged these messages:
To General Shafter-”What are terms of surrender and when is it proposed to occupy city and harbor?”
To Admiral Sampson-”Hitch in negotiations. We may have to fight for it yet. They wish to refer to Spain.”
On the 16th, this message was received by Sampson from Shafter: “Enemy has surrendered. Will you send some one to represent the Navy in the matter?”
Accordingly, states Admiral Sampson,
Captain Chadwick [his chief of staff] arrived at the front at the earliest possible hour and informed General Shafter of my expectancy in the matter [of being represented in the negotiations], but General Shafter peremptorily refused. The convention had already been signed and he stated as one reason that nothing had been said of the Army in my report of the fleet action of July 3rd.
No mention was made of the shipping in the capitulations and Captain Chadwick informed General Shafter that all Spanish ships would be regarded by us as property to be turned over to the Navy. He [the general] said he would refer such a matter to the Secretary of War, but that of course could have no bearing upon what I considered my duty, particularly in view of our late experience with Spanish perfidy in regard to injury of ships which made it necessary to look after their safety at once. I thus after the hauling down of the Spanish flag, sent prize crews on board the gunboat Alvarado and to the five merchant ships in the harbor. An officer of the Army was found on board the Alvarado who stated he had been sent to take charge of her, whereupon I addressed the following letter to General Shafter.
“No. 17. U.S. FLAGSHIP New York, 1ST RATE, OFF SANTIAGO, July 17th
Sir: Upon sending in an officer to take charge of the captured Spanish gunboat Alvarado, it was found that one of your officers was on board, evidently with the expectation of taking charge of her. It should hardly be necessary to remind you that in all joint operations of the character of those which resulted in the fall of Santiago, all floating materials are turned over to the Navy as all forts etc. go to the Army.
I have been lying off the Morro all the morning [day of the surrender], within 500 yards of the fort from which the Spanish flag was hauled down at nine o’clock and upon which the United States flag has not yet, at 2 P.M. been hoisted. Although my forces have frequently engaged these forts and yours have not exchanged a shot with them, I await the arrival of a detachment of your troops to take possession as they must eventually occupy them. I expect the same consideration. I request that you will relieve Lieut. Carruthers of the duty given him [in charge of the Alvarado], as I have directed Lieutenant Marble to assume temporary command of the Alvarado.
W. T. SAMPSON
Rear Admiral U.S. Navy, Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces.”
It will be seen from another communication hereafter that Lieutenant Marble did in fact assume command of the gunboat, but the means by which he accomplished this was deemed seriously questionable by the American Army commander of Santiago.
At the same time that the disagreement as to the Alvarado was unsettled, army personnel, in pursuance to orders, had taken over the Spanish merchant vessels in the harbor. This was the situation which confronted Lieutenant Doyle when he arrived on board under orders from Admiral Sampson to take charge of the ships.
Doyle, it appears from the letters, asked for a showdown from the army commander and got it and at once sent it off to the New York, where the Admiral read it. Although the hour was 1 :40 A.M.; Sampson wrote and dispatched the following to Shafter:
U. S. FLAGSHIP New York
July 18th. 1.40 A.M.
Sir: The following has been sent me by Lieut. Doyle, in charge of the Spanish prizes in the harbor of Santiago:
“Santiago, July 17th.
Lieut. Doyle can keep his men on the ships for the night and in the morning, one of the tugs will get up steam and transfer him and his men to their respective ships.
SIGNED, C. McKIBBINS, Brig. Gen. comdg.”
I will not enter into any expression of surprise at the reception of such a paper.
No mention was made of the shipping in the Articles of Capitulation, although I especially requested that it be included by my message to you of July 12th.
Our operations leading to the fall of Santiago have been joint,’ so directed by the President, and so confirmed by their character. All propriety and usage surrenders the floating materials in such case to the Naval Force and I have taken possession of it.
I am unable to recognize the authority of the Secretary of War over my actions. I have telegraphed the Secretary of the Navy and await his instructions.
In the event of a difference of opinion between the Departments, the question will of course be decided by the President of the United States. Until then, my prize crews must remain in charge and I have so directed them.
W. T. SAMPSON
Rear Admiral U.S. Navy, Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces.
Approximately coincident with the foregoing, Brigadier General McKibbin, Commander of Santiago, was writing down his opinions on the same subject and sending his letter to · Colonel E. J. McClernand, Adjutant General to General Shafter. He stated:
The letters sent herewith were turned over to me by a naval officer with the request that I read and forward. The note quoted was given me by Lieutenant Doyle, as he had no means of getting back to his ship and would be compelled to stay on the wharf all night if I sent him on shore. Lieutenant Doyle said nothing about taking possession [of the Spanish merchant ships]. On the contrary, he said he was sent to assist in the care and management of the vessels. Admiral Sampson expresses no surprise at the dishonorable trick on the part of Lieutenant Marble to get possession of the Alvarado, nor does he express surprise at the equivocal language of Lieutenant Doyle. Again, there is no mention of the fact that in every case, except the Spanish vessel San Juan, armed guards of our Army were on board the vessels.
Joint occupation of the vessels continues and I await your orders.
Very respectfully, Your Obedient Servant,
SIGNED, C. McKIBBIN, Brig. Gen. Commanding.
The impasse was dissolved by the President and under his orders the position of Sampson was upheld. Accordingly, the army guards were removed from the vessels, leaving the Navy in solitary possession. The decision to this effect having been conveyed to Sampson in a message from Shafter, the Admiral at once dispatched the following letter to him:
No. 25. U.S. FLAGSHIP New York, 1ST RATE Off Santiago, Jul. 19th
(1) I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of yours of this date, enclosing telegram from the Secretary of War, for which please accept my thanks.
(2) I propose removing the Spanish steamers Mexico, Reina de Los Angeles, Mortena, San Juan, and Tomas Brooks tomorrow, July 20th, to Guantanamo in order that they may be overhauled, cleaned and disinfected.
(3) The crews, I suppose, came under the provisions of the capitulation,—that is, they should be treated in the same manner as the men of the Army. Most of the crews of the steamers are enrolled men in the Spanish Naval Reserve.
(4) It would be convenient to us if the crews remain on board until the ships are taken to Guantanamo, as it would save putting a large additional number of our men on board to move them.
W. T. SAMPSON
Rear Admiral U. S. Navy, Commander in Chief, U. S. Naval Forces.
Ironically enough, the vessels which had created so much vexation had to be transferred to the Army five days later for service in transporting troops back to the United States. Having, it is presumed, been overhauled, cleaned, and disinfected, they were delivered over to General Shafter’s representatives at Santiago in accordance with this communication from Sampson to the General:
I have been directed to transfer to you the merchant ships captured at Santiago as they are needed for troops. They will be sent to Santiago tomorrow, Monday morning, July 24th.
W. T. SAMPSON
Thus ended the “battle” for the possession of the captured Spanish ships at Santiago and both sides had reason to be satisfied. The Alvarado, being an armed vessel and moreover of very slight value for any purpose, was retained by Sampson and eventually was sent to the Naval Academy. Here she was used by the midshipmen for seamanship drills. She is of less than fragrant memory to the older officers of the Navy.
Admiral Sampson felt aggrieved that he was not permitted to be represented at the surrender ceremonies but in due time his sensibilities were partially appeased on receipt of a cablegram that directed him to affix his signature to the Articles of Capitulation. Concerning this disagreement with General Shafter, the Admiral wrote Secretary Long:
The act of surrender took place at 9 o’clock on the morning of the 17th. The Commander in Chief, or any other officer of the squadron which had been acting to the best of its powers in assisting in the reduction of the place, was not asked to be present. This may have been a mere oversight, but it is of course to be regretted that any such should take place. Had the Navy been withdrawn after the action of the 3rd.,—after which all the fleet’s operations were to aid the Army,—all the shipping referred to would have escaped and our Army become the besieged instead of the besiegers, as of course the Reina Mercedes and the Alvarado would have been free to destroy or drive off the transport fleet. I do not think the Commanding General quite appreciates how necessary a part our forces were to the reduction of Santiago and the surrender of its garrison in any case independently of our shell, which latter was undoubtedly one of the principal causes of the surrender at this time.
Sampson’s views being concurred in by Secretary Long, the Admiral received orders on which he based this letter to General Shafter:
General:—As I am directed by the Secretary of the Navy to sign the Articles of Capitulation of Santiago, may I request that you send by an officer such papers as were signed by the Military Branch of the United States in order that I may sign them as Commander in Chief of the Naval Branch of the United States Force. [Sent July 25.]
In reply, General Shafter protested vigorously in a telegram to Sampson:
I do not acknowledge the authority of the Secretary of the Navy in the matter in which you wire me. The surrender of Santiago was made to me by General Toral in person, in surrendering verbally all the prisoners and public property of Spain in the district commanded by him, and I accepting the same in the presence of troops representing all the respective armies. The details for carrying this into effect were arranged by three commissioners on each side. These articles were signed by the respective commissioners in duplicate, one copy handed to General Toral, and the other was sent by me to the Secretary of War. Neither Gen. Toral or myself signed them. Certainly could not and would not present these articles to any other officer for signature, my own not being affixed, and I shall protest to the Secretary of War against your signature to that document. I respectfully invite your attention to the fact that no claim for any credit for the capture of Cervera and his fleet has been made by the Army, although it is a fact that the Spanish Fleet did not leave the harbor until the investment of the city was practically completed, and Cervera had sufficient losses on land on July 1 and 2, notably among them his chief of staff.
Admiral Sampson acknowledged receipt of this as he stated to Secretary Long,
… without any argument or discussion on my part. The fact that General Shafter did not sign the terms of capitulation may be a reason that I should not. This matter should be decided at Washington. I beg to call your attention to the fact that, in every possible way, General Shafter has had the assistance of this fleet in compelling the surrender of the city of Santiago.
Personal recriminations between Sampson and Shafter continued though peace with the enemy was only a matter of days. On July 23 Shafter asked Sampson to explain a letter that was alleged to have been written by the Admiral to General Pereja, Spanish Commandant at Guantanamo. The implications therein strike one as being preposterous. Admiral Sampson sent this reply to General Shafter:
U.S. FLAGSHIP New York, 1ST RATE
Guantanamo, Jul. 24th
My dear General Shafter:
I have received your note of the 23rd. respecting what purports to be a translation of a letter from me to the Spanish general at Guantanamo in which I am made to say that “it is a fact that 22,000 men in the province of Santiago have surrendered to the American squadron.”
No letter has been written by me or by any of my officers to the Spanish commander at Guantanamo, excepting a note yesterday which informed him that a quantity of maize and flour, taken from a captured lighter loaded at Kingston, Jamaica, was sent to the relief of the needy inhabitants of Guantanamo. The translation referred to was not enclosed, or if enclosed, accidentally failed to be taken from the envelope which cannot now be found. It is possible that the phrase referred to may have been used inadvisedly by General Pereja himself in some communication to General Toral.
W. T. SAMPSON
Rear Admiral U. S. Navy, Commander In Chief U. S. Naval Forces.
After the surrender of Santiago on July 17, it became of great importance to General Shafter that the entrance channel and the harbor be cleared of mines so that shipping could enter and depart from the port in safety to facilitate the movement of troops and supplies. This task was designated as the responsibility of the naval forces and a report that it had been accomplished was in due time forwarded from Sampson to Shafter.
The unfamiliar work of removing the mines had been anticipated by Admiral Sampson even before the surrender. He was of the opinion that this should be done by the Spaniards and that moreover it should be so specified in the Articles of Capitulation. With this in mind, the Admiral wrote to General Shafter on July 9 (8 days before the surrender):
I think all batteries with guns, magazines, etc. and all fortifications and their materials should be surrendered intact. All contact mines taken up and all observation mines destroyed so that ships can enter at once without danger.
The Spanish forces were not made to take up or destroy the mines and in consequence Sampson detailed Lieutenant Capehart to this responsibility. He is the “expert electrician” referred to in the following report submitted by Sampson to Shafter on July 19:
Sir: The enclosed memo was made by an expert electrician who states that the entrance to the harbor of Santiago de Cuba is now perfectly safe.
“Memorandum for the Commander in Chief.
“After three days careful work in the harbor of Santiago, I have the honor to report that seven contact mines have been secured, placed on the beach, and dismantled.
“Two electric mines were exploded and two failed to fire opposite the Socapa Controlling Station. The condition of the harbor at present, therefore, is this: to the eastward of the Merrimac, there remains one contact mine,—on a line from her mainmast to a small cove on the beach, easily distinguishable. The approximate position of this mine is shown by two white cork buoys lashed together. The mine is undoubtably on the bottom as it sank and carried its buoy with it.
“There is therefore little possible danger from it if it remains where it is from this time on. I am informed that on this same range, close to the counter of the Merrimac, there is another contact mine which sank, but as the Merrimac masks it completely at the present time, there is no danger from it.
“The five electric mines, controlled by the Estrella Station, were fired at the Merrimac and it is thought that all exploded but to make absolutely sure that there was nothing dangerous at that point, I have carried away the key board and broken the cable. I consider the entrance to the harbor to be perfectly safe for any vessel, the electric mines remaining there being innocuous and the contact mines being so far off the channel that no vessel would ever go near them.
E. E. CAPEHART LIEUT.”
Harmony having thus been restored, Sampson ordered his two cruiser-transports to report to Shafter to carry troops back home. Captain Goodrich in the St. Louis reported to Shafter:
St. Louis ready to carry troops wherever you wish. Capacity 802,—more in proportion to crowding. Brought 1,200 to Porto Rico. Can feed troops on fresh provisions at $.30 a day per head. Don’t send horses or sick men.
Captain Sigsbee (late in command of the Maine) reported in these words:
St. Paul has carried a full regiment and can do it again if the men are well. Troops will have to subsist themselves. Will cook their coffee. Troops should have seven days rations.
This was co-operation but it wasn’t at the top and came moreover when the war was over.
SAMPSON’S OLD FLAGSHIP DROPPED FROM NAVY LIST.—The U.S.S. Rochester which as the old U.S.S. New York was the flagship of the Atlantic Squadron under the command of Rear Admiral William T. Sampson during the Spanish-American War has been deleted from the official Navy Register by Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Naval Operations. The ancient vessel, last of the pre-World War heavy cruisers, now lies a hulk at Manila, P.I. She was decommissioned April 29, 1933, and had then completed the longest span of service of any vessel in the modern Navy. She was commissioned as the U.S.S. New York in 1893 and was renamed the U.S.S. Saratoga subsequent to the Spanish-American War and later the Rochester. After decommissioning she was carried until the present inthe keavy cruiser category of the Navy Register as being out of commission.-From ‘Washington Evening Star, November 2, 1938.