Cary T. Grayson Diary




Cary T. Grayson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Staunton, Virginia





This morning the NEW MEXICO signalled for us to proceed and drop out of line, saying that she would try to catch us as soon as she was able to make necessary repairs to her machinery. Her condition, however, was such that we never again saw her, although we were in wireless touch with her for a matter of twelve hours. The President after talking the matter over with me decided that it would be just as well to allow Captain Macauley to head directly for Boston. To do this would give us an advantage of some four hundred miles, and in view of the poor coal which was on the GEORGE WASHINGTON we needed all of that advantage in order to maintain our schedule. The most annoying part of the breaking down of the NEW MEXICO’S machinery was the fact that it necessitated us getting out of wireless touch. Under ordinary circumstances, this would not have amounted to so very much but with the President of the United States as passenger it was a serious proposition. The wireless of the GEORGE WASHINGTON had a carrying radius of less than two hundred miles, and the idea of having a battleship to act as a convoy was that we should be at all times in constant communication with the shore. After we lost the NEW MEXICO we picked up signals from the Cruiser NORTH CAROLINA, which was some two hundred miles away and headed towards Europe. I issued orders to Captain Macauley to have the NORTH CAROLINA head directly for us and to remain with us until we picked up either the land wireless or the escort that would be sent out from Boston to meet us. The NORTH CAROLINA arrived late in the afternoon and took up a position a thousand yards astern, and we were able then to resume touch with the American shore.

The President, unfortunately, caught cold as a result of a promenade about the deck, so I persuaded him to remain in his stateroom and proceeded to give him the usual treatment. His cold was not particularly deep-seated and speedily yielded to treatment. But it was unfortunate that he contracted it at this particular time when he needed all of his strength.

Original Format




Grayson, Cary T. (Cary Travers), 1878-1938, “Cary T. Grayson Diary,” 1919 February 20, WWP17073, Cary T. Grayson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.