July 13, 1899 The Telegraph- Courier
NEW CUTTER HERE.
REVENUE CUTTER MORRILL MAKES KENOSHA A VISIT TODY.
WITH A CARGO OF MEMORIES
Chief Engineer Webber Tells of the Work of the Cutter in the Late War with Spain. Before Havana-Was with Sampson’s Squadron.
Freighted down with a cargo of memories of the Spanish war the revenue cutter MORRILL tied up in the local harbor at 10 o’clock this morning and unfuried the flag in honor of her first visit to this city.
It was soon noted about the city that the little vessel which had taken important a part in the late war was tied up in the harbor and during her two hours’ stay she was the one thing of interest.
A reporter of this paper boarded the Morrill shortly after its arrival and had the pleasure of an hour’s visit with the boys who had seen so much of the history making epoch of the last few years. The crew had been changed but little, and almost every sailor is able to tell some interesting story of the time spent by the cutter in defense of the flag. Chief Engineer Webber was with the Morrill all the time during the war and had many interesting incidents to tell of the time when the little cutter was a part of the squadron under Admiral Sampson. In speaking of the boat during the war, he said:
“When the Spanish war broke out she was fitted out at Norfolk for blockade duty. Two four-inch rifles, enormous guns for a boat her size, were mounted on deck, one forward and one aft, and a secondary battery of two one pounders and two Colt rapid fie guns given her. The pilot house and engine house were heavily armored, and, thus quipped, the Morrill, was sent to Havana to help blockade that port. Capt. H.D. Smith went to war in her, with C.S. Craig and H.G. Fisher, lieutenants. The full complement was eight officers and fifty-two men. “At Havana”, said Engineer Webber, “we went on the inner patrol. If we got inside the three mile limit the Spaniards would fire at us.”
On May 7 we were chasing a fishing vessel, with the Vicksburg, and ran pretty close in. The Sana Clara battery opened on us and a big shell burst over our deck, between the man on the bridge and the man at the masthead. That as too warm for a little boat like this, but as we drew out Lieut. Craig fired a shell at the fisherman from the after four inch gun which clipped a small boat off her stern and sent the splinters flying.
At the close of the war the Morrill returned to revenue service and at Philadelphia navy yard was restored to her former condition. Her armor and her heavy battery were taken off and a single six-pounder rifle was mounted forward. But the glory of this great, for it is the famous six-pounder of the gunboat Hudson, which mounted aft on that vessel, fought off the Spaniards from the crippled torpedo boat Winslow when that little craft was so nearly lost and Ensign Worth Bagley killed. Under direction of Lieutenant Scott it did magnificent service, and is the pride of every man on board the Morrill.
At Philadelphia Capt. A.B. Davis took command of the Morrill and brought her up the St. Lawrence River and up the lakes. She left New York Nov. 2 last and went to Montreal, where she was delayed a day waiting permission to pass up the canals.
Her station on the lakes is at Milwaukee, where she takes the Gresham’s place. She was at tat city during the carnival, and came here from Chicago. Her captain inspected the papers, condition and life saving devices of all vessels at this port.
Ed. C. Werner