The following letter describes the condition of the wreck of the VIZCAYA as seen three and a half years after the war, in 1902. The cruiser was destroyed in the Battle of Santiago. Notes have been added in brackets to make the letter more readable. A copy of the page of the letter with the drawing of the wreck has been included.
Dear Mother, I didn't get enough time to write. We just arrived here today and while we were goin in the Massachusits [MASSACHUSETTS] ran aground and they had to send one hundred men from each ship to carry amunition and stores aft to get her off but she isn't off yet. We left Guantanamo on the fifteenth and we had to leave the Indiana ther on acout of [mumps?]
We have been getting bum grub here and we all hope it will be better when we get back to the states. We have been having great gun target practice at Culebra they built a target sixty feet long and the Kearsarge made the best lined shots in the fleat [fleet]. They had a race with the Alabama's rais [race?] boat for twenty too hundred dollars and the Kearsarge lost. When we wer comming from hampton roads to Havana we had a bad storm it went down the ventilators in the fire rooms and wet every body on the flying bridge, see ware "x" on first pag [page] flying bridge.
We expect to go back to Havana and if we do I will get pop a box of cigars what he will be very proud of and tell Ida and the rest of the kids if I can get any thing for them I will and tell Amelia that we won't go to St tomas this trip so if I can I will try to get some thing else nice in stead. And I will try to get frank a little wite [white] suit if you will send me the measure of him before I get back to New York the 26 of Apr. The measurements I want is around his waist, hips, length of leg and acrost the shoulders and length of sleve. Now don't tell them about this before you get it fore I am not sure of getting it maid [made].
When we wer comming from Guantanamo we could just [see] off Santirgo [Santiago] some of the fleat that that ran the block ade and has ben run on the beach just as the Spaniards left them one of them just had a little of here [her] stern under the water but she was riddled with holes it was the Viscaya the large cruiser that lay in New York just before the war. I put this picture in the letter so you can [see] how we look before and after we coal ship, me and my friend. Hoping this will find you the same as it leaves me with love to all
Your son Frank
[drawing of Vizcaya] Tell all the boys and girls I (swim best racr... ters??)