Start Date: April 22, 1898
End Date: August 14, 1898
On April 25, 1898, the United States officially declared war on Spain. On April 21, in anticipation of certain war, President William McKinley ordered a naval blockade of key Cuban ports on Cuba’s northern coast to prevent Spanish reinforcements from reaching the island and to eliminate commercial trade with Cuba.
As early as March 23, 1898, Secretary of the Navy John D. Long produced a plan to close the ports along the western half of Cuba’s northern coast. On April 18, Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, commander of the North Atlantic Squadron, issued a memorandum concerning ship dispositions for such a blockade. In early 1898, the U.S. Navy possessed 96 ships of varying qualities and capabilities. However, the navy’s ability to enforce a blockade of Cuba was augmented substantially by a $50 million emergency congressional appropriations ...read more