In February 1898 Sampson, then a captain, was president of Board of Inquiry as to the cause of destruction of the "Maine."
When it was known that Admiral Cervera, with a Spanish fleet, had left the Cape Verde Islands, Sampson withdrew a force from the blockade to cruise in the Windward Passage, and made an attack upon the forts at San Juan, Porto Rico.
Sampson himself was not actually present at the battle, having started for Siboney just before it began to confer with General .Shafter, commanding the land forces.
Messrs Sampson and Davies, refusing to appeal to the executive for a reconsideration of their sentence, were retained for over a year.
But a month or so later Cromwell was made earl of Essex, Gardiner's friend, Bishop Sampson, was sent to the Tower, and Barnes reverted to Lutheranism.