Thomas Troy, from Waterbury Connecticut, was a coal passer aboard the USS MAINE. He was listed among the missing following the explosion of the vessel on February 15, 1898, less than a month after he wrote the following letter, dated January 23, 1898. On the following day, January 24, the vessel was ordered on its ill-fated trip to Havana.
"We are going to stay down south here, I think a good while. The whole
fleet of ships is manoeuvering and drilling at sea. I don't believe we
will have any trouble down here with Spain. We are within about 80 miles
of Havana. There was a rumor aboard one of the ships a couple of weks
ago that we were to proceed to Havana, but the order was postponed. I
was thinking of making out a will when I heard that.We are watching for
filibusters here in Key West since we came here-I mean ships that were
smuggling arms and ammunition down to Cuba"
(As a service to our readers, clicking on title in red will take you to that book on Amazon.com)
Weems, John Edward. The Fate of the Maine. Reprint, (College Station: Texas A&M University Press,1992). (info. on Troy himself)