File No. 763.72111/2234

The Secretary of the Navy (Daniels) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of May 15, in which you inquire whether the action of Commander Palmer of the Iroquois in communicating with the shore at the port of Martinique and arranging for signals as to the movements of the Sumter, as indicated in his reports, received the approval or disapproval of the Navy Department at the time.

A careful search of the records in the department fails to show that the department expressed either approval or disapproval of his action.

There are enclosed herewith copies of orders to Commander Palmer,1 which show that shortly after the incident in question he was ordered home in order that a full inquiry might be conducted in reference to the incidents connected with the escape of the Sumter. The records of the proceedings of this inquiry are, unfortunately, not on file.

Very sincerely yours,

Josephus Daniels
  1. Not printed.↩