Captain Charles D. Sigsbee, commander of the USS Maine
In this letter, dated February 1898, Captain Charles D. Sigsbee recounts his experience when the Maine exploded.
Captain Sigsbee's superiors
To describe his experience
This letter provides a first-hand account of the explosion by the captain of the ship. Significantly, the account does not offer any explanation for the explosion.
"I was just closing a letter to my family when I felt the crash of the explosion. It was a bursting, rending, and crashing sound, or roar of immense volume, largely metallic in character. It was succeeded by a metallic sound — probably of falling debris — a trembling and lurching motion of the vessel, then an impression of subsidence, attended by an eclipse of the electric lights and intense darkness within the cabin. I knew immediately that the MAINE had been blown up and that she was sinking."