During a full hour—and in that time nearly three hundred shells had been sent on errands of destruction—the Wilmington continued her bombardment of the defences.
When the work was completed two gunboats had been sunk so quickly that their crews had no more than sufficient time to escape. Two schooners were converted into wrecks at their moorings. One blockhouse was consumed by flames, and signal-stations, masked batteries, and forts were in ruins.
While this lesson was in progress the Spaniards did their best to bring it to a close; but despite all efforts the Wilmington was unharmed. There was absolutely no evidence of conflict about her when she finally steamed away, save such as might have been read on the smoke-begrimed faces of the hard-worked but triumphant and satisfied crew.
May 13. An English correspondent, cabling from Hongkong regarding the Spaniards in the Philippine Islands, made the following statement:
"They are in a position to give the Americans a deal of trouble. There are twenty-five thousand Spanish soldiers in the garrison at Manila, and one hundred thousand volunteers enrolled. Scores of coasting steamers are imprisoned on the river Pasig, which is blocked at the mouth by some sunken schooners.
"Mr. Wildman, the American consul here, tells me that, according to his despatches, a flag of truce is flying over Manila, and the people are allowed to proceed freely to and from the ships in the harbour.
"The Americans are on duty night and day on the lookout for boats which endeavour to run the blockade with food supplies. The hospital is supported by the Americans. The Spaniards are boasting that their big battle-ship Pelayo is coming, and will demolish the Americans in ten minutes."
On the afternoon of May 13th the flying squadron, Commodore W. S. Schley commanding, set sail from Old Point Comfort, heading southeast. The following vessels comprised the fleet. The cruiser Brooklyn, the flag-ship, the battle-ships Massachusetts and Texas, and the torpedo-boat destroyer Scorpion. The Sterling, with 4,000 tons of coal, was the collier of the squadron. At eight o'clock in the evening the Minneapolis followed, and Captain Sigsbee of the St. Paul received orders to get under way at midnight.
May 14. Eleven steamers, chartered by the government as troop-ships, sailed from New York for Key West. At San Francisco, the cruiser Charleston, with supplies and reinforcements for Admiral Dewey's fleet at Manila, had been made ready for sea.
At Havana General Blanco had shown great energy in preparing for the expected siege by American forces. The city and forts were reported as being provisioned sufficiently for three or four months, and Havana was surrounded by entrenchments for a distance of thirty miles. The troops in the garrison numbered seventy thousand, and a like number were in the interior fighting the insurgents.
The condition of the reconcentrados in Havana had grown steadily worse. The mortality increased among this wretched class, who had taken to begging morsels of food.
Nobody in Havana except a few higher officers knew that the Spanish fleet was annihilated at Manila, and the story was believed that the Americans were beaten there.
At Madrid in the Chamber of Deputies Senor Bores asked the government to inform the house of the condition of the Philippines. After the pacification of the islands, he said, outbreaks had occurred at Pansy and Cebu and even in Manila. Was this a new rebellion, he asked, or a continuation of the old one? If it was a continuation of the old rebellion, then General Prima de Rivera's pacification of the islands had been a perfect fraud. General Correa, Minister of War, replied that the old insurrection was absolutely over. The present one, he said, arose from the incitements of the Americans.
Senor Bores retorted that he had received a private letter from the Philippines, dated April 10th, prior to the arising of any fear of war with the United States, giving pessimistic accounts of the risings there, and passengers arriving by the steamer Leon III. had told similar stories. Now, he declared, the Spanish troops in the Philippines were in a terrible condition, being between two fires, the natives and the Americans. Senor Bores's remarks created a profound sensation.
The cruiser Charleston was reported as being ready to sail from San Francisco for Manila. Three hundred sailors and marines to reinforce Admiral Dewey's fleet were to be sent on the cruiser.
The U. S. S. Oregon, Marietta, and Nictheroy arrived at Bahia, Brazil.
The Spanish torpedo-boat Terror, of the Cape Verde fleet, reported as yet remaining at Port de France, Martinique.
A press correspondent gives the following spirited account, under the date of May 14th, of a second attempt to entice the American blockading squadron within range of the Santa Clara battery guns:
"Captain-General Blanco, two hours before sunset to-night, attempted to execute a ruse, which, if successful, would have cleared the front of Havana of six ships on that blockading station.
"Unable to come out to do battle, he adopted the tactics of the spider, and cunningly planned to draw the prey into his net, but, though a clever and pretty scheme as an original proposition, it was practically a repetition of the trick by which the gunboat Vicksburg and the little converted revenue cutter Morrill were last week decoyed by a fishing-smack under the big Krupp guns of Santa Clara batteries.
"Thanks to bad gunnery, both ships on that occasion managed to get out of range without being sunk, though some of the shells burst close aboard, and the Vicksburg's Jacob's-ladder was cut adrift.
"Late this afternoon the ships on the Havana station were dumfounded to see two vessels steam out of Havana Harbour and head east. Dense smoke was streaming like black ribbons from their stacks, and a glance showed that they were under full head of steam.
"By aid of glasses Commander Lilly of the Mayflower, which was flying the pennant, made out the larger vessel of the two, which was two hundred feet long and about forty-five hundred tons displacement, to be the cruiser Alphonso XII., and the small one to be the gunboat Legaspi, both of which were known to be bottled up in Havana Harbour.
"At first he supposed that they were taking advantage of the absence of the heavy fighting-ships, and were making a bona-fide run for the open sea.
"As superior officer, he immediately signalled the other war-ships on the station, the Vicksburg, Annapolis, Wasp, Tecumseh, and Osceola. The little squadron gave chase to the flying Spaniards, keeping up a running fire as they advanced. The Alphonso and her consort circled inshore about five miles below Havana, and headed back for Morro Castle.
"Our gunboats and the vessels of the mosquito fleet did not follow them in. Commander Lilly saw that the wily Spanish ruse was to draw them in under the guns of the heavy batteries, where Spanish artillery officers could plot out the exact range with their telemeters. So the return was made in line ahead, parallel with the shore.
"Commander Lilly had not been mistaken. As his ships came abreast of Santa Clara battery the big guns opened, and fired thirteen shells at a distance of about five miles. The range was badly judged, as more than half the missiles overshot the mark, and others fell short, some as much as a mile.
"The big Alphonso and her convoy steamed swiftly from the dark shadow of the harbour's mouth, and, turning sharply east, ran along the coast as though to slip through the cordon of blockade.
"It was a bold trick and not at first transparent, although the folly of it created a suspicion.
"The Spanish boats crowded on steam and stood along the coast as long as they dared, to give zest to the chase. The Mayflower signalled her consorts, 'Close in and charge.'
"Seeing that the bait had apparently taken, the Spaniards veered about, and, bringing their stern-chasers to bear on the Americans, doubled back for Morro.
"Two of the shells from the Vicksburg burst in the rigging of the Alphonso, and some of it came down, but it was, of course, impossible to know whether any fatalities occurred. The American fire was much more accurate than the Spanish, as every shell of the latter fell short of their pursuers.
"The Spaniards were a mile off Morro, and our ships fully four miles out, when flame leaped from the batteries of the Santa Clara forts, and clouds of white smoke drifted up the coast. Half a minute later a dull, heavy roar of a great gun came like a deep diapason of an organ on high treble of smaller guns. It was from one of the 12-inch Krupp guns mounted there, and an 85-pound projectile plunged into the water half a mile inside of the American line, throwing up a tower of white spray. It ricochetted and struck again half a mile outside.
"The mask was now off. Maddened by the failure of their plot, the Spaniards continued to fire at intervals of about ten minutes. In all, thirteen shots were fired, but not one struck within two hundred yards of our ships.
"As soon as the battery opened, Commander Lilly signalled, and his fleet stood offshore. Captain McKensie, on the bridge of the Vicksburg, watched the fall of the shells, but he considered it useless to waste ammunition at that distance. He appeased the desire of the men at the guns, however, by letting go a final broadside at the Spanish ships, in the chance hope of making them pay for their daring before they gained the harbour, but they steamed under Morro's guns untouched, and, as they disappeared, discharged several guns.
"Half a dozen shots were sent after them at that moment by the Annapolis, which dropped inside the harbour, probably creating consternation among scores of boats on the water-front."
May 15. The Spanish cruisers Maria Teresa, Vizcaya, Almirante Oquendo, and Cristobal Colon, and torpedo-boat destroyers, which arrived off the port of Curacoa, sailed at sunset on the 15th, after having purchased coal and provisions.
The flying squadron under command of Commodore Schley arrived off Charleston, S. C.
Admiral Sampson's squadron passed Cape Haytien.
All the members of the Spanish Cabinet have resigned.
A report from Ponce, Porto Rico, under date of May 15th, describes the inhabitants of the island as living in constant fear of a renewal of the bombardment of San Juan by Admiral's Sampson's fleet. There are no submarine mines in the harbour of Ponce, and the generally unprotected condition of the place is a cause of much anxiety.
May 16. Freeman Halstead, an American newspaper correspondent, arrested at San Juan de Porto Rico, while in the act of making photographs of the fortifications. He was sentenced by a military tribunal to nine years' imprisonment.
In a general order issued at the War Department, the assignments to the different corps and other important commands were announced. The order is as follows:
"The following assignments of general officers to command is hereby made by the President:
"Maj.-Gen. Wesley Merritt, U. S. A., the Department of the Pacific.
"Maj.-Gen. John R. Brooke, U. S. A., the first corps and the Department of the Gulf.
"Maj.-Gen. W. M. Graham, U. S. Volunteers, the second corps, with headquarters at Falls Church, Va.
"Maj.-Gen. James M. Wade, U. S. Volunteers, the third corps, reporting to Major-General Brooke, Chickamauga.
"Maj.-Gen. John J. Coppinger, U. S. Volunteers, the fourth corps, Mobile, Ala.
"Maj.-Gen. William R. Shafter, U. S. Volunteers, the fifth corps, Tampa, Fla.
"Maj.-Gen. Elwell S. Otis, U. S. Volunteers, to report to Major-General Merritt, U. S. A., for duty with troops in the Department of the Pacific.
"Maj.-Gen. James H. Wilson, U. S. Volunteers, the sixth corps, Chickamauga, reporting to Major-General Brooke.
"Maj.-Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, U. S. Volunteers, the seventh corps, Tampa, Fla.
"Maj.-Gen. Joseph H. Wheeler, U. S. Volunteers, the cavalry division, Tampa, Fla."
Orders were given by Admiral Sampson to Captain Goodrich of the St. Louis, on May 15th, to take the fleet tender in tow and proceed to Santiago de Cuba to cut the cables at that point. The grappling implements were secured from the tug Wampatuck on May 16th, and at eleven P. M. the expedition, in the small boats, left the cruiser for the entrance of Santiago. It was then perfectly dark and hazy, but the Santiago light was burning brightly. Moonrise was not until 3.45 A. M. At three A. M. on May 17th the expedition returned with part of one cable, but it had failed to find a second cable, which is close under the fort, and was protected by two patrol-boats. Then a start was made to cut the cable on the other side of the island. At seven A. M. the St. Louis fired her first gun at the forts protecting the entrance to Santiago Harbour, and after a little time the fire was returned by what must have been a 2-pounder.
At eight A. M. the _St. Louis_ was about two miles distant from the fort, which seemed to be unprovided with modern guns. After three hours grappling in over five hundred fathoms, the cable had not been found. At 12.15 P. M. the guns of Morro Castle opened fire, followed by the shore battery on the southerly point, and also the west battery. The _St. _Louis_ kept up a constant fire from her bow guns, and soon succeeded in silencing the guns of Morro Castle, the Spaniards running in all directions.
Most of the shots from the fort fell short of the ship. Shells from the mortar battery went over the cruiser and exploded in the water quite close to the St. Louis. The mortar battery ceased at 12.56 P. M., after a fusilade of forty-one minutes. After firing the cable was grappled, hauled on board, and cut.
May 17. The Spanish squadron reported as yet remaining at Cadiz.
The U. S. S. Wilmington had a slight action with a Spanish gunboat off the Cuban coast, during which the latter was disabled.
May 18. The U. S. cruiser Charleston left San Francisco for the Philippines with supplies for Commodore Dewey's fleet.
May 19. By cable from Madrid it was learned that the Spanish fleet had arrived at Santiago de Cuba.
The cruiser Charleston, which sailed for Manila, returned to Mare Island navy yard with her condensers out of order.
May 21. An order was despatched to San Francisco to prepare the Monterey for a voyage to Manila, where she would join Commodore Dewey's fleet. The Monterey is probably the most formidable monitor in the world; technically described she is a barbed turret, low freeboard monitor of four thousand tons displacement, 256 feet long, fifty-nine feet beam, and fourteen feet six inches draught. She carries in two turrets, surrounded by barbettes, two 12-inch and two 10-inch guns, while on her superstructure, between the turrets, are mounted six 6-pounders, four 1-pounders, and two Gatlings. The turrets are seven and one-half and eight inches thick, and the surrounding barbettes are fourteen inches and eleven and one-half inches of steel.
One of the most important prizes captured during the war was taken by the U. S. S. Minneapolis off the eastern coast of Cuba. The craft was the Spanish brig Santa Maria de Lourdes, loaded with coal, ammunition, arms, and supplies for Admiral Cervera.
Nearly four hundred men, with a pack-train and a large quantity of arms and ammunition, sailed for a point about twenty-five miles east of Havana, on the steamer Florida. These men and their equipment constituted an expedition able to operate independently, and to defend itself against any body of Spanish troops which might oppose it.
The Florida returned to Key West on the thirty-first, after having successfully landed the ammunition and men.
May 22. The U. S. S. Charleston again left San Francisco, bound for Manila.
May 25. The U. S. S. St. Paul captured the British steamer Restormel, loaded with coal, off Santiago de Cuba. The prize is a long, low tramp collier belonging to the Troy company of Cardiff, Wales. She left there on April 22d, the day before war was declared, with twenty-eight hundred tons of the finest grade of Cardiff coal consigned to a Spanish firm in San Juan de Porto Rico, where the Spanish fleet was supposed to make its first stop.
"When we reached San Juan," said the captain of the Restormel, "the consignees told me very curtly that the persons for whom the coal was destined were in Curacoa. At Porto Rico I learned that war had been declared. I began to suspect that the coal was going to Cervera's fleet, but my Spanish consignees said it would be all right. They told me not to ask any questions, but to go to Curacoa as soon as possible. I did so, placing my cargo under orders.
"The consignee at Curacoa was a Spanish officer. He said there had been another change of base, and that the coal was wanted at Santiago de Cuba. I tried to cable my owners for instructions, but found that the cables had been cut. Under the circumstances there was nothing for me to do but to go to Santiago. By this time I was pretty well convinced that the cargo was for Cervera. I suspected that coal had been made a contraband of war, so I wasn't a bit surprised when the St. Paul brought us to, with a shot, three and a half miles from shore."
In the prize court it was decided to confiscate the coal, and release the steamer.
The President issued a proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand men.
Three troop-ships, laden with soldiers, sailed from San Francisco for Manila.
May 26. The battle-ship Oregon, which left San Francisco March 19th, arrived at Key West.
May 27. The Spanish torpedo-boat destroyer arrived at San Juan de Porto Rico.
May 28. From Commodore Dewey the following cablegram was received:
"CAVITE, May 25th, via Hongkong, May 27th.
"Secretary Navy, Washington:—No change in the situation of the blockade. Is effective. It is impossible for the people of Manila to buy provisions, except rice.
"The captain of the Olympia, Gridley, condemned by medical survey. Is ordered home. Leaves by Occidental and Oriental steamship from Hongkong the twenty-eighth. Commander Lamberton appointed commander of the Olympia."
May 29. Maj.-Gen. Wesley Merritt issued an order formally announcing that he had taken command of the Philippine forces and expeditions.
May 31. United States troops board transports for Cuba.
The beginning of June saw the opening of the first regular campaign of the war, and it is eminently proper the operations around and about Santiago de Cuba be told in a continuous narrative, rather than with any further attempt at giving the news from the various parts of the world in chronological order.
Therefore such events, aside from the Santiago campaign, as are worthy a place in history, will be set down in regular sequence after certain deeds of the boys of '98 have been related in such detail as is warranted by the heroism displayed.
HOBSON AND THE MERRIMAC.
May 29. The blockading fleet, under command of Commodore Schley, off Santiago de Cuba, was composed of the Brooklyn, Iowa, Massachusetts, Texas, New Orleans, Marblehead, and Vixen.
At about midnight on May 29th the officer of the deck on board the Texas saw, by aid of his night-glass, two low-lying, swiftly-running steamers stealing out of Santiago Harbour, and keeping well within the shadows of the land.
As soon as might be thereafter the war-vessel's search-lights were turned full on, and at the same moment the sleeping crew were awakened.
It was known beyond a question that the Spanish fleet under Admiral Cervera was hidden within the harbour, not daring to come boldly out while the blockading squadron was so strong, and the first thought of men as well as officers, when these stealthily moving vessels were sighted, was that the Spaniards were making a desperate effort to escape from the trap they had voluntarily entered.
The search-lights of the Texas revealed the fact that the two strangers were torpedo-boats, and a heavy fire was opened upon them instantly.
With the report of the first gun the call to quarters was sounded on all the other ships, and a dozen rays of blinding light flashed here and there across the entrance to the harbour, until the waters were so brilliantly illumined that the smallest craft in which mariner ever set sail could not have come out unobserved.
The same report which aroused the squadron told the Spaniards that their purpose was no longer a secret, and the two torpedo-boats were headed for the Brooklyn and the Texas, running at full speed in the hope of discharging their tubes before the fire should become too heavy.
The enemy had not calculated, however, upon such a warm and immediate reception. It was as if every gun on board both the Brooklyn and Texas was in action within sixty seconds after the Spaniards were sighted, and there remained nothing for the venturesome craft save to seek the shelter of the harbour again, fortunate indeed if such opportunity was allowed them.
May 31. The U. S. S. Marblehead, cruising inshore to relieve the monotony of blockading duties, discovered that lying behind the batteries at the mouth of Santiago Harbour were four Spanish cruisers and two torpedo-boat destroyers.
When this fact was reported to the commodore he decided to tempt the Spanish fleet into a fight, and at the same time discover the location of the masked batteries. In pursuance of this plan he transferred his flag from the Brooklyn to the more heavily armed Massachusetts.
Two hours after noon the Massachusetts, New Orleans, and Iowa, in the order named, and not more than a cable length apart, steamed up to the harbour mouth to within four thousand yards of Morro Castle.
Two miles out to sea lay the Brooklyn, Texas, and other ships of the blockading fleet awaiting the summons which should bring them into the fight; but none came.
The Massachusetts opened fire first, taking the Spanish flag-ship for its target. An 8-inch shell was the missile, and it fell far short of its mark. Then the big machine tried her 13-inch guns.
The Cristobal Colon and four batteries—two on the east side, one on the west, and one on an island in the middle of the channel, replied. Their 10 and 12-inch Krupps spoke shot for shot with our sixes, eights and thirteens. It was noisy and spectacular, but not effective on either side.
The American fleet steamed across before the batteries at full speed; circled, and passed again. Both sides had found the range by the time of the second passing, and began to shoot close. Several shots burst directly over the Iowa, three fell dangerously near the New Orleans, and one sprayed the bow of the Massachusetts.
After half an hour both forts on the east and the one on the island were silenced. Five minutes later our ships ceased firing. The western battery and the Spanish flag-ship kept up the din fifteen minutes longer, but their work was ineffective.
June 1. Rear-Admiral Sampson, with the New York as his flag-ship, and accompanied by the Oregon, the Mayflower, and the torpedo-boat Porter, joined Commodore Schley's squadron off Santiago on the first of June.
A naval officer with the squadron summed up the situation in a communication to his friend at home:
"Pending the execution of Admiral Sampson's plan of campaign, our ships form a cordon about the entrance of Santiago Harbour to prevent the possible egress of the Spaniards, should Admiral Cervera be foolhardy enough to attempt to cut his way out."
The officers of the blockading squadron were well informed as to the situation ashore. Communication with the Cubans had been established, and it was known that a line of insurgents had been drawn around Santiago, in order that they might be of assistance when the big war-vessels had struck the first blow.
The defences of the harbour were fairly well-known despite the vigilance of the enemy, and it was no secret that within the narrow neck of the channel, which at the entrance is hardly more than three hundred feet wide, eighteen or twenty mines had been planted.
A report from one of the newspaper correspondents, under date of June 1st, was as follows:
"So far as has been ascertained, there are three new batteries on the west side of the entrance. These appear to be formed entirely of earthworks.
"The embrasures for the guns can easily be discerned with the glasses. Cayo Smith, a small island which lies directly beyond the entrance, is fortified, and back of Morro, which sits on the rocky eminences at the right of the entrance, are Estrella battery and St. Carolina fort. Further up the bay, guarding the last approach to the city of Santiago, is Blanco battery.
"The first are of stone, and were constructed in the early sixties. St. Carolina fort is partially in ruins. The guns in Morro Castle and Estrella are of old pattern, 18 and 24-pounders, and would not even be considered were it not for the great height of the fortifications, which would enable these weapons to deliver a plunging fire.
"Modern guns are mounted on the batteries to the left of the entrance. On Cayo Smith and at Blanco battery there are also four modern guns. The mines in the narrow, tortuous channel, and the elevation of the forts and batteries, which must increase the effectiveness of the enemy's fire, and at the same time decrease that of our own, reinforced by the guns of the Spanish fleet inside, make the harbour, as it now appears, almost impregnable. Unless the entrance is countermined it would be folly to attempt to force its passage with our ships.
"But the Spanish fleet is bottled up, and a plan is being considered to drive in the cork. If that is done, the next news may be a thrilling story of closing the harbour. It would release a part of our fleet, and leave the Spaniards to starve and rot until they were ready to hoist the white flag."
"To drive in the cork," was the subject nearest Rear-Admiral Sampson's heart, and he at once went into consultation with his officers as to how it could best be done. One plan after another was discussed and rejected, and then Assistant Naval Constructor Richmond Pearson Hobson proposed that the big collier Merrimac, which then had on board about six hundred tons of coal, be sunk across the channel in such a manner as to completely block it.
The plan was a good one; but yet it seemed certain death for those who should attempt to carry it out as proposed. Lieutenant Hobson, however, claimed that, if the scheme was accepted, he should by right be allowed to take command of the enterprise.
The end to be attained was so great that Admiral Sampson decided that the lives of six or seven men could not be allowed to outweigh the advantage to be gained, and Lieutenant Hobson was notified that his services were accepted; the big steamer was at his disposal to do with as he saw fit.
June 11. The preliminary work of this desperate undertaking was a strain upon the officers and men. On Wednesday morning the preparations to scuttle the Merrimac in the channel were commenced. All day long crews from the New York and Brooklyn were on board the collier, never resting in their efforts to prepare her. She lay alongside the Massachusetts, discharging coal, when the work was first begun.
The news of the intended expedition travelled quickly through the fleet, and it soon became known that volunteers were needed for a desperate undertaking. From the Iowa's signal-yard quickly fluttered the announcement that she had 140 volunteers, and the other ships were not far behind. On the New York the enthusiasm was intense. Over two hundred members of the crew volunteered to go into that narrow harbour and face death. The junior officers literally tumbled over each other in their eagerness to get their names on the volunteer list.
When it was learned that only six men and Lieutenant Hobson were to go, there was much disappointment on all sides. All Wednesday night the crews worked on board the Merrimac; and the other ships, as they passed the collier, before sundown, cheered her. Lieutenant Hobson paid a brief visit to the flag-ship shortly before midnight, and then returned to the Merrimac.
While on board the flag-ship Lieutenant Hobson thus detailed his plan of action:
"I shall go right into the harbour until about four hundred yards past the Estrella battery, which is behind Morro Castle. I do not think they can sink me before I reach somewhere near that point. The Merrimac has seven thousand tons buoyancy, and I shall keep her full speed ahead. She can make about ten knots. When the narrowest part of the channel is reached I shall put her helm hard aport, stop the engines, drop the anchors, open the sea connections, touch off the torpedoes, and leave the Merrimac a wreck, lying athwart the channel, which is not as broad as the Merrimac is long. There are ten 8-inch improvised torpedoes below the water-line, on the Merrimac's port-side. They are placed on her side against the bulk-heads and vital spots, connected with each other by a wire under the ship's keel. Each torpedo contains eighty-two pounds of gunpowder. Each torpedo is also connected with the bridge; they should do their work in a minute, and it will be quick work even if done in a minute and a quarter.
"On deck there will be four men and myself. In the engine-room there will be two other men. This is the total crew, and all of us will be in our underclothing, with revolvers and ammunition in water-tight packing strapped around our waists. Forward there will be a man on deck, and around his waist will be a line, the other end of the line being made fast to the bridge, where I will stand. By that man's side will be an axe. When I stop the engines I shall jerk this cord, and he will thus get the signal to cut the lashing which will be holding the forward anchor. He will then jump overboard and swim to the four-oared dingy, which we shall tow astern. The dingy is full of life-buoys, and is unsinkable. In it are rifles. It is to be held by two ropes, one made fast at her bow and one at her stern. The first man to reach her will haul in the tow-line and pull the dingy to starboard. The next to leave the ship are the rest of the crew. The quartermaster at the wheel will not leave until after having put it hard aport, and lashed it so; he will then jump overboard.
"Down below, the man at the reversing gear will stop the engines, scramble up on deck, and get over the side as quickly as he is able. The man in the engine-room will break open the sea connections with a sledge-hammer, and will follow his leader into the water. This last step ensures the sinking of the Merrimac whether the torpedoes work or not. By this time I calculate the six men will be in the dingy and the Merrimac will have swung athwart the channel, to the full length of her three hundred yards of cable, which will have been paid out before the anchors are cut loose. Then, all that is left for me is to touch the button. I shall stand on the starboard side of the bridge. The explosion will throw the Merrimac on her starboard side. Nothing on this side of New York City will be able to raise her after that."
In reply to frequent questions, Hobson said:
"I suppose the Estrella battery will fire down on us a bit, but the ships will throw their search-lights in the gunners' faces, and they won't see much of us. If we are torpedoed we should even then be able to make the desired position in the channel. It won't be easy to hit us, and I think the men should be able to swim to the dingy. I may jump before I am blown up. But I don't see that it makes much difference what I do. I have a fair chance of life either way. If our dingy gets shot to pieces we shall then try to swim for the beach right under Morro Castle. We shall keep together at all hazards. Then we may be able to make our way alongside, and perhaps get back to the ship. We shall fight the sentries or a squad until the last, and shall only surrender to overwhelming numbers, and our surrender will only take place as a last and almost uncontemplated emergency."
The volunteers accepted for this most hazardous enterprise were, after Lieutenant Hobson: George F. Phillips, machinist on the Merrimac; Francis Kelly, water tender on the Merrimac; Randolph Clausen, coxswain on the New York; George Charette, first-class gunner's mate on the New York; Daniel Montague, first-class machinist on the New York; Osburn Deignan, coxswain on the Merrimac; J. C. Murphy, coxswain on the Iowa.
June 21. At three o'clock in the morning the admiral and Flag Lieutenant Staunton got into the launch to make an inspection of the Merrimac. The working gangs were still on board of her, and the officers of the flag-ship stood with their glasses focused on the big black hull that was to form an impassable obstacle for Spain's best ships.
The minutes slipped by, the crews had not completed their work on the Merrimac, but at last a boatload of men, black and tired out, came over to the flag-ship. Last of all, at 4.30, came the admiral. He had been delayed by a breakdown of the steam launch.
Dawn was breaking over Santiago de Cuba, and nearly everybody thought it was too late for the attempt to be made that morning. Then somebody cried:
"She is going in."
Surely enough, the seemingly deserted collier was seen heading straight for Morro Castle. A few moments later, however, she was recalled by Admiral Sampson, who thought it sure death for Hobson to venture in at that hour. The Merrimac did not return at once. Word came back:
"Lieutenant Hobson asks permission to continue on his course. He thinks he can make it."
The admiral sent Hobson a message to the effect that the Merrimac must return at once, and in due course of time the doomed collier slowly steamed back, her commander evidently disappointed with the order. All day Thursday the collier lay near the flag-ship, and more elaborate preparations were made to carry out the mission of the Merrimac successfully. During these preparations Hobson was cool and confident, supervising personally every little detail.
When, finally, he went on board the Merrimac Thursday night, he had been without sleep since Wednesday morning. His uniform was begrimed, his hands were black, and he looked like a man who had been hard at work in and about an engine-room for a long time. As he said good-bye, the lieutenant remarked that his only regret was that all of the New York's volunteers could not go with him.
June 3. The hazardous voyage was begun at three o'clock Friday morning. The Merrimac was lying to the westward. Under cover of the clouds over the moon, she stole in toward the coast and made her way to the eastward, followed by a steam launch from the New York, with the following crew on board: Naval Cadet J. W. Powell, of Oswego, N. Y.; P. K. Peterson, coxswain; H. Handford, apprentice of the first class; J. Mullings, coal passer; G. L. Russell, machinist of the second class. In the launch were bandages and appliances for the wounded.
From the crowded decks of the New York nothing could be seen of the Merrimac after she got under the shadow of the hills. For half an hour officers and men strained their eyes peering into the gloom, when, suddenly, the flash of a gun streamed out from Morro Castle, and then all on board the New York knew the Merrimac was nearing her end.
The guns from the Spanish battery opposite Morro Castle answered quickly with more flashes, and for about twenty minutes tongues of fire seemed to leap across the harbour entrance. The flag-ship was too far away to hear the reports, and when the firing ceased it was judged that Hobson had blown up the Merrimac.
During an hour the anxious watchers waited for daylight. Rear-Admiral Sampson and Captain Chadwick were on the bridge of the New York during the entire time. At five o'clock thin streams of smoke were seen against the western shore, quite close to the Spanish batteries, and strong glasses made out the launch of the New York returning to the flag-ship.
Scarcely had the small craft been sighted before a puff of smoke issued from a battery on the western arm of the harbour, and a shot plunged far over the launch. Then for fifteen minutes the big guns ashore kept up an irregular fire on the little craft. As the shells fell without hitting the object for which they were intended, the men on board the New York jeered at the Spanish marksmanship, and cheered their shipmates.
At 6.15 the launch came alongside the flag-ship, but she did not have on board any of the Merrimac's crew. Cadet Powell reported that he had been unable to see any of the men. It was learned that the cadet had gone directly under the batteries, and only returned when he found his efforts were useless.
He also reported that he had clearly seen the Merrimac's masts sticking up just where Hobson hoped to sink her, north of the Estrella battery, and well past the guns of Morro Castle.
Cadet Powell thus related the last interview he had with the officer whom it seemed certain had voluntarily gone to his death:
"Lieutenant Hobson took a short sleep for a few hours, which was often interrupted. At a quarter before two he came on deck and made a final inspection, giving his last instructions. Then we had a little lunch. Hobson was as cool as a cucumber. At about half past two I took the men who were not going on the trip into the launch, and started for the Texas, the nearest ship, but had to go back for one of the assistant engineers, whom Hobson finally compelled to leave. I shook hands with Hobson last of all. He said:
"'Powell, watch the boat's crew when we pull out of the harbour. We will be cracks, pulling thirty strokes to the minute.'
"After leaving the Texas I saw the Merrimac steaming slowly in.
"It was only fairly dark then, and the shore was quite visible. We followed about three-quarters of a mile astern. The Merrimac stood about a mile to the westward of the harbour, and seemed a bit mixed, turning completely around, and finally heading to the east, she ran down and then turned in. We were then chasing him because I thought Hobson had lost his bearings.
"When Hobson was about two hundred yards from the harbour the first gun was fired, from the eastern bluff. We were then about half a mile offshore, and nearing the batteries. The firing increased rapidly. We steamed in slowly, and lost sight of the Merrimac in the smoke which the wind carried offshore. It hung heavily. Before Hobson could have blown up the Merrimac the western battery picked us up and commenced firing. They shot wild, however, and we ran in still farther to the shore until the gunners lost sight of us. Then we heard the explosion of the torpedoes on the Merrimac.
"Until daylight we waited just outside the breakers, half a mile to the westward of Morro, keeping a sharp lookout for the boat or for swimmers, but saw nothing. Hobson had arranged to meet us at that point, but thinking that some one might have drifted out, we crossed in front of Morro and the mouth of the harbour, to the eastward.
"At about five o'clock we crossed the harbour again, and stood to the westward. In passing we saw one spar of the Merrimac sticking out of the water. We hugged the shore just outside of the breakers for a mile, and then turned toward the Texas, when the batteries saw us and opened fire. It was then broad daylight. The first shot dropped thirty yards astern, but the others went wild. I drove the launch for all she was worth, finally making the New York. The men behaved splendidly."
June 3. Later in the day a boat with a white flag put out from the harbour, and Captain Oviedo, chief of staff of Admiral Cervera, boarded the New York, and informed Admiral Sampson that the whole party had been captured; that only two were injured. Lieutenant Hobson was not hurt. The Spanish admiral was so impressed with the courage of the Merrimac's crew that he decided to inform Admiral Sampson of the fact that they had not lost their lives, but were prisoners of war and could be exchanged.
To a newspaper correspondent Commodore Schley said, as he stood on his flag-ship pointing towards Morro Castle:
"History does not record an act of finer heroism than that of the gallant men who are prisoners over there. I watched the Merrimac as she made her way to the entrance of the harbour, and my heart sank as I saw the perfect hell of fire that fell upon those devoted men. I did not think it possible one of them could have gone through it alive.
"They went into the jaws of death. It was Balaklava over again without the means of defence which the Light Brigade had. Hobson led a forlorn hope without the power to cut his way out; but fortune once more favoured the brave, and I hope he will have the recognition and promotion he deserves. His name will live as long as the heroes of the world are remembered."
Admiral Sampson made the following report to the Navy Department:
"Permit me to call your especial attention to Assistant Naval Constructor Hobson.
"As stated in a special telegram, before coming here I decided to make the harbour entrance secure against the possibility of egress by Spanish ships, by obstructing the narrow part of the entrance by sinking a collier at that point.
"Upon calling upon Mr. Hobson for his professional opinion as to a sure method of sinking the ship, he manifested the most lively interest in the problem. After several days' consideration, he presented a solution which he considered would ensure the immediate sinking of the ship when she reached the desired point in the channel. This plan we prepared for execution when we reached Santiago.
"The plan contemplated a crew of only seven men and Mr. Hobson, who begged that it might be entrusted to him. The anchor chains were arranged on deck for both the anchors, forward and aft, the plan including the anchoring of the ship automatically. As soon as I reached Santiago, and I had the collier to work upon, the details were completed and diligently prosecuted, hoping to complete them in one day, as the moon and tide served best the first night after our arrival.
"Notwithstanding every effort the hour of four o'clock arrived, and the preparation was scarcely completed. After a careful inspection of the final preparations, I was forced to relinquish the plan for that morning, as dawn was breaking. Mr. Hobson begged to try it at all hazards.
"This morning proved more propitious, as a prompt start could be made. Nothing could have been more gallantly executed.
"We waited impatiently after the firing by the Spaniards had ceased. When they did not reappear from the harbour at six o'clock, I feared that they had all perished. A steam launch, which had been sent in charge of Naval Cadet Powell to rescue the men, appeared at this time, coming out under a persistent fire of the batteries, but brought none of the crew.
"A careful inspection of the harbour from this ship showed that the vessel Merrimac had been sunk in the channel.
"This afternoon the chief of staff of Admiral Cervera came out under a flag of truce, with a letter from the admiral, extolling the bravery of the crew in an unusual manner.
"I cannot myself too earnestly express my appreciation of the conduct of Mr. Hobson and his gallant crew. I venture to say that a more brave or daring thing has not been done since Cushing blew up the Albemarle.
"Referring to the inspiring letter which you addressed to the officers at the beginning of the war, I am sure you will offer a suitable professional reward to Mr. Hobson and his companions. I must add that Commander J. M. Miller relinquished his command with the very greatest reluctance, believing he should retain his command under all circumstances.
"He was, however, finally convinced that the attempt of another person to carry out the multitude of details which had been in preparation by Mr. Hobson might endanger its proper execution. I therefore took the liberty to relieve him, for this reason only.
"There were hundreds of volunteers who were anxious to participate. There were a hundred and fifty men from the Iowa, nearly as many from this ship, and large numbers from all the other ships, officers and men alike.
"W. T. SAMPSON."
Not until the sixth of July were Hobson and his brave comrades exchanged, and then to his messmates the gallant lieutenant told the story of his perilous voyage on that morning of June 4th:
"I did not miss the entrance to the harbour," he said, "as Cadet Powell in the launch supposed. I headed east until I got my bearings, and then made for it straight in. Then came the firing. It was grand, flashing out first from one side of the harbour and then from the other, from those big guns on the hill, the Vizcaya, lying inside the harbour, joining in.
"Troops from Santiago had rushed down when the news of the Merrimac's coming was telegraphed, and soldiers lined the foot of the cliffs, firing wildly across, and killing each other with the cross-fire.
"The Merrimac's steering-gear broke as she got to Estrella Point. Only three of the torpedoes on her side exploded when I touched the button. A huge submarine mine caught her full amidships, hurling the water high in the air, and tearing a great rent in her side.
"Her stern ran upon Estrella Point. Chiefly owing to the work done by the mine, she began to sink slowly. At that time she was across the channel, but before she settled the tide drifted her around. We were all aft, lying on the deck. Shells and bullets whistled around. Six-inch shells from the Vizcaya came tearing into the Merrimac, crashing into wood and iron, and passing clear through, while the plunging shots from the forts broke through her deck.
"'Not a man must move,' I said, and it was only owing to the splendid discipline of the men that we all were not killed, as the shells rained over us, and the minutes became hours of suspense. The men's mouths became parched, but we must lie there till daylight, I told them. Now and again, one or the other of the men, lying with his face glued to the deck and wondering whether the next shell might not come our way, would say, 'Hadn't we better drop off now, sir?' But I said, 'Wait till daylight.'
"It would have been impossible to get the catamaran anywhere but on to the shore, where the soldiers stood shooting, and I hoped that by daylight we might be recognised and saved.
"The grand old Merrimac kept sinking. I wanted to go forward and see the damage done there, where nearly all the fire was directed. One man said that if I rose it would draw all the fire on the rest. So I lay motionless. It was splendid the way these men behaved.
"The fire of the soldiers, the batteries and the Vizcaya was awful. When the water came up on the Merrimac's deck the catamaran floated amid the wreckage, but she was still made fast to the boom, and we caught hold of the edges and clung on, our heads only being above water.
"One man thought we were safer right there; it was quite light, the firing had ceased, except that on the New York's launch, and I feared Cadet Powell and his men had been killed.
"A Spanish launch came toward the Merrimac. We agreed to capture her and run. Just as she came close the Spaniards saw us, and half a dozen marines jumped up and pointed their rifles at our heads sticking out of the water.
"'Is there any officer in that boat to receive a surrender of prisoners of war?' I shouted.
"An old man leaned out under the awning and waved his hand. It was Admiral Cervera. The marines lowered their rifles and we were helped into the launch.
"Then we were put in cells in Morro Castle. It was a grand sight a few days later to see the bombardment, the shells striking and bursting around El Morro. Then we were taken into Santiago. I had the court martial room in the barracks. My men were kept prisoners in the hospital.
"From my window I could see the army moving, and it was terrible to watch those poor lads coming across the opening and being shot down by the Spaniards in the rifle-pits in front of me.
"Yesterday the Spaniards became as polite as could be. I knew something was coming, and then I was exchanged."
May 30. The auxiliary cruisers Leyden and Uncas made an attack on one of the outlying blockhouses at Cardenas, plying their 3-pounders until the Spaniards deserted their batteries.
June 1. The government of Paraguay represented to the American consul at Asuncion that the Spanish torpedo-boat Temerario was disabled, and had been granted permission to remain at that port until the war between the United States and Spain had come to an end.
In Spain there are many differences of opinion regarding the conduct of the war, as evinced by a newspaper article to which was signed the name of Emilio Castelar, the distinguished republican statesman.
Senor Castelar attacked the queen regent, reproaching her with being a foreigner and unpopular, and with interfering unjustifiably in political affairs. He compared her position with that of Queen Marie Antoinette on the eve of the French revolution.
The matter came before the Senate; Duke de Roca demanded the prosecution of Castelar, and other Senators expressed in violent terms their indignation at Senor Castelar's conduct.
June 2. The British steamer Restormel, captured by the auxiliary cruiser St. Paul off Santiago de Cuba, was released by the government. It was shown that the Restormel sailed previous to the declaration of war, there being no evidence that the steamer's owners were wilfully and knowingly guilty of aiding the enemy's fleet, and she was ordered released. The cargo was condemned.
The names of the captains and commanders of the ships in Admiral Dewey's squadron were sent to the Senate, by the President, for advancement because of their conspicuous conduct.
The House of Representatives passed an urgency appropriation of nearly eighteen million dollars for war purposes.
From Captain Clark's report, the Navy Department made public the following extract relative to the extraordinary voyage of the Oregon:
"It is gratifying to call the department's attention to the spirit aboard this ship in both officers and men. This best can be described by referring to instances such as that of the engineer officers in voluntarily doubling their watches when high speed was to be made, to the attempt of men to return to the fire-room after being carried out of it insensible, and to the fact that most of the whole crew, who were working by watches by day and night at Sandy Point, preferred to leave their hammocks in the nettings until they could get the ship coaled and ready to sail from Sandy Point."
June 3. The collier Merrimac was sunk in the channel of Santiago Harbour, as has already been told.
June 4. Captain Charles Vernon Gridley, commander of the cruiser Olympia, and commanding her during the battle of Manila Bay, died at Kobe, Japan.
June 5. An account of personal heroism which should be set down in every history, that future generations may know of what metal the boys of '98 were made, was telegraphed from Tampa, Florida.
Lieutenant Parker, who was in charge of the old clubhouse on Lafayette Street, near the brigade headquarters, and which was being used by the government as a storehouse, and Thomas McGee, a veteran of the civil war, prevented what might have been a calamity.
While a force of soldiers was engaged in carrying boxes of ammunition from the warehouse and loading them to waiting army wagons, smoke was seen issuing from a box of ammunition. In an instant the cry of fire went up, and soldiers and negro roustabouts piled over each other in their scramble for safety. McGee, however, rushed toward the box, picked it up, and was staggering in the direction of the river, some distance away, when Lieutenant Parker, who had heard the warning cry, came to his assistance. Together they carried the smoking box until it was possible to throw it into the water.
How the fire originated is a mystery. In the storehouse were piled hundreds of boxes of ammunition, each containing one thousand cartridges. Had the cartridges in the burning box exploded, a great loss of life might have resulted, as there were at least a score of soldiers working in and around the building.
At Madrid the Spanish Minister of Marine issued orders that every one connected with the admiralty must abstain from giving information of any kind regarding naval affairs.
General Blanco in Havana published an order prohibiting foreign newspaper correspondents from remaining in Cuba, under the penalty of being treated as spies.
June 6. As is told in that chapter relating to Santiago de Cuba, American troops were landed a few miles east of the city, at a place known as Aguadores; the forts at the entrance of Santiago Harbour were bombarded.
The Navy Department made public a cablegram from Admiral Dewey:
"The insurgents are acting energetically in the province of Cavite. During the past week they have won several victories, and have taken prisoners about eighteen hundred men and fifty officers of the Spanish troops, not natives. The arsenal of Cavite is being prepared for occupation by United States troops on the arrival of the transports."
Cablegrams from Hongkong announced that the insurgents had cut the railway lines and were closing in on Manila. Frequent actions between Aguinaldo's forces and the Spaniards had taken place, and the foreign residents were making all haste to leave the city. A proclamation issued by the insurgent chief points to a desire to set up a native administration in the Philippines under an American protectorate. Aguinaldo, with an advisory council, would hold the dictatorship until the conquest of the islands, and would then establish a republican assembly.
June 7. The monitor Monterey and the collier Brutus sailed from San Francisco for Manila. The double-turreted monitor Monadnock has been ordered to set out for the same port within ten days.
June 9. The Spanish bark Maria Dolores, laden with coal and patent fuel, was captured by the cruiser Minneapolis twelve miles off San Juan de Porto Rico.
June 10. A battalion of marines was landed in the harbour of Guantanamo, forty miles east of Santiago.(3)
A blockhouse at Daiquiri shelled by the transport steamer Panther.(4)
June 11-12. Attack upon American marines in Guantanamo Bay by Spanish regulars and guerillas.(5)
June 11. The British steamer Twickenham, laden with coal for Admiral Cervera's fleet, was captured off San Juan de Porto Rico by the U. S. S. St. Louis.
June 12. Major-General Merritt issued orders to the officers assigned to the second Philippine expedition, to the effect that they must be ready to embark their troops not later than the fifteenth instant.
The following cablegram was made public by the Navy Department:
"Cavite, June 12.—The insurgents continue hostilities, and have practically surrounded Manila. They have taken twenty-five hundred Spanish prisoners, whom they treat most humanely. They do not intend to attack the city at the present time.
"Twelve merchant vessels are anchored in the bay, with refugees on board, under guard of neutral men-of-war; this with my permission. Health of the squadron continues excellent. German commander-in-chief arrived to-day. Three Germans, two British, one French, one Japanese man-of-war in port. Another German man-of-war expected.
"The following is a corrected list of vessels captured or destroyed: Two protected cruisers, five unprotected cruisers, one transport, one surveying vessel, both armed. The following are captured: Transport Manila, gunboat Callao.
Advices from Honolulu report that on June 1st H. Renjes, vice-consul for Spain, at Honolulu, sent the following letter to H. E. Cooper, Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs, relative to the entertainment of the American troops at Honolulu:
"Sir:—In my capacity as vice-consul for Spain, I have the honour to-day to enter formal protest with the Hawaiian government against the constant violation of neutrality in this harbour, while actual war exists between Spain and the United States of America."
June 6. On June 6th Minister Cooper replied as follows:
"Sir:—In reply to your note of the first instant, I have the honour to say that, owing to the intimate relations now existing between this country and the United States, this government has not proclaimed a proclamation of neutrality having reference to the present conflict between the United States and Spain, but, on the contrary, has tendered to the United States privileges and assistance, for which reason your protest can receive no further consideration than to acknowledge its receipt."
June 13. American troops sailed from Tampa and Key West for Santiago.
The Spaniards again attacked the American marines at Guantanamo Bay, and were repulsed after seven hours' hard fighting.(6)
President McKinley signed the war revenue bill.
Secretary Gage issued a circular inviting subscriptions to the popular loan.
The dynamite cruiser Vesuvius joined Admiral Sampson's fleet.(7)
While the U. S. S. Yankee was off Cienfuegos on this day, a Spanish gunboat steamed out of the harbour, evidently mistaking the character of the newcomer; but on learning that the Yankee was ready for business, put back in hot haste. Both vessels opened fire, and after the gunboat had gained the security of the harbour the Yankee engaged the eastern and western batteries. During the brief action a shell burst over the American ship, its fragments wounding one man.
June 14. The American marines at Guantanamo Bay again attacked by the Spaniards.(8)
The heroes of Santiago Bay, who sank the Merrimac, rewarded by the Navy Department.(9)
First trial of the dynamite cruiser Vesuvius.(10)
The war tax on beer, ale, tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes went into effect on this date.
June 14. From Manila on June 14th much of interest was received. A severe engagement occurred, when one thousand insurgents attacked twice that number of Spaniards, inflicting heavy losses. The insurgents had drawn their lines closely around the landward side of the city, and Captain-General Augusti published a decree ordering all the male population under arms. Mr. E. W. Harden, correspondent of the New York World, thus summed up the situation:
"Terrific fighting has been going on for six days between the Philippine insurgents and the Spaniards. The rebels, under Aguinaldo, more than held their ground, while the Spaniards lost heavily. The insurgents now hold three thousand prisoners, mostly Spanish soldiers.
"I have been in the field with the rebels, and I was present at the taking of the garrisoned church at Old Cavite, June 7th, where three hundred insurgents captured a superior force of Spaniards after an eight days' bombardment. The rebels are competent, courageous fighters. They have captured the entire provinces of Cavite and Bataan, and parts of the provinces of Pampagna, Bulucan, and Manila.
"Aguinaldo's troops, in three divisions, have now surrounded Manila. They have the Spaniards hemmed in, and could capture the city if they wanted to, but will await the arrival of the American troops before doing so.
"The rebels have captured Gov. Leopoldo Garcia Penas, of Cavite province, and Gov. Antonio Cardola, of Bataan province. Cardola tried to commit suicide before surrendering. He shot himself three times in the head, but will recover. The insurgents behaved gallantly in the fight for the possession of the stone convent in Old Cavite, June 1st. General Augusti sent two thousand Spanish regulars of the Manila force to attack Aguinaldo's forces at Cavite. The fight lasted all day. The Spaniards were repulsed, and the officers led in retreat. They took refuge in the old convent, a substantial building, with walls five feet thick, built for all time.
"Aguinaldo surrounded the convent, and his first plan was to starve out the beleaguered ones, but he found, June 6th, that provisions were being smuggled in to them, and so he attacked the building, beginning by opening fire with his mountain guns. Meantime, General Augusti, hearing of his soldiers' plight, sent four thousand regulars to relieve them.
"Aguinaldo led the attack on these four thousand. But after the first brush he adopted another method. He sent detachments of three hundred or four hundred men, armed with machetes, on the flanks of the Spaniards, who constantly harassed them. In the first attack of these detachments one hundred and fifty Spanish soldiers and a lieutenant-colonel were killed. In the second onslaught four officers and sixty men were killed.
"Again and again these attacks were repeated until nine hundred Spaniards had been killed, the insurgents report. The convent, too, became untenable. The Spaniards retreated along the road to Manila, but made a stand at Bacoor.
"Aguinaldo and his men fought them fiercely there, and the Spanish fled again. The rebels pursued the enemy to within sight of Manila. Returning, Aguinaldo stormed the old convent, and of the Spaniards who remained there he killed ninety and captured 250."
June 15. The second fleet of transports, comprised of the steamers China, Colon, Senator, and Zealandia, carrying 3,465 men, left San Francisco for Manila.
The war loan of two hundred million dollars subscribed for twice over.
Bombardment of the fortifications in Guantanamo Bay.(11)
The House of Representatives passed the Hawaiian annexation resolution.
June 16. Third bombardment of the batteries near Santiago.(12)
The Spanish forces in and near Cardenas had repaired the damages inflicted by the American vessels when they bombarded the works, and on June 16th another lesson was given those who killed Ensign Bagley and his brave comrades. Five blockhouses were completely demolished, the enemy beating a hasty retreat without having fired a shot.
June 17. Fortifications in Guantanamo Bay shelled by American naval force.(13)
Capture of the Spanish sloop Chato in Guantanamo Bay.(14)
June 18. Bombardment of blockhouse in Guantanamo Bay.(15)
Battery at Cabanas shelled by the U. S. S. Texas.(16)
June 19. First American troops landed on Cuban soil.(17)
June 20. General Shafter and Admiral Sampson visit General Garcia in his camp.(18)
June 21. Landing of General Shafter's army begun.(19)
Bombardment of all the fortifications near about Santiago.(20)
Captain-General Augusti cabled the Madrid government that he, having been forced to take refuge in the walled city,(21) would be unable to continue communication.
June 22. By a decision of the Attorney-General, the United States government will surrender to the ambassadors of France and Germany, as the diplomatic representatives of Spain, the non-combatants and crews of the prize merchant vessels captured by ships of the American navy since the declaration of war.
Boats' crews from the U. S. S. Marblehead and Dolphin remove the mines from Guantanamo Bay.(22)
Bombardment of the Socapa battery near Santiago.(23)
Spaniards set fire to the town of Aguadores.(24)
The U. S. S. Texas engages the west battery of Cabanas.(25)
Captain Sigsbee of the U. S. S. St. Paul, in reporting his cruise of twenty-three days, gave the following account of a meeting with the enemy off San Juan de Porto Rico on the 22d of June:
June 22. "We came off the port on the twenty-second. The weather was fair, the trade wind blowing fresh from the eastward and raising somewhat of a sea. At about 12.40 the third-class cruiser Isabel III. came out, and, steaming under the Morro until she was abreast of the batteries, commenced edging out toward us, firing at such a long range that her shots were ineffective.
"As her purpose evidently was to put us within fire of the batteries, we took but little notice of her, lying still and occasionally sending in our largest shell at her to try the range.
"Soon afterward she dropped to the westward, and the torpedo-boat destroyer Terror, or it may have been her sister ship, the Furor, was sighted steaming along shore under the batteries.
"We watched her for awhile, and worked along with her, in order to separate her from the cruiser and keep her in trough if she came for us. She then circled to get up speed, and headed for us, firing straight as far as direction went, but her shots fell short.
"When within range of our guns, the signal 'commence firing' was made, and for several minutes we let fly our starboard battery at her at from fifty-five hundred to six thousand yards, the shells striking all around her.
"This stopped her. She turned her broadside to us and her fire soon ceased. She then headed inshore, to the southward and westward, going slow, and it was evident to all on board that she was crippled. Off the Morro she flashed some signals to the shore, and afterward a tug came out and towed her into the harbour.
"All this time the cruiser was firing at us, and some of her shots and those of the Terror fell pretty close. The cruiser followed the Terror back toward the port and soon afterward was joined by a gunboat, and the two steamed under the batteries to the eastward; but when the St. Paul, making an inshore turn, seemed to be going for them, they returned to the harbour, and we saw no more of them."
June 23. The U. S. monitor Monadnock left San Francisco for Manila.
The U. S. dynamite cruiser Vesuvius again shells the Santiago fortifications.(26)
June 24. The Spanish Cortes suspended by royal decree. The Chamber of Deputies adjourned without the customary cheers for the throne.
Major-General Lawton advancing on Santiago.(27)
Action near Juragua.(28)
June 25. Skirmish near Sevilla.
The American government protested a draft drawn by its consul at St. Thomas, D. W. I., under circumstances calculated to make an extremely dangerous precedent. The draft was made by Consul Van Horne for the purchase of twenty-seven hundred tons of coal, which arrived in St. Thomas in the Ardenrose about the twenty-eighth of May. The consul bought it for ten dollars a ton when the Spanish consul had offered twenty dollars a ton for it. Van Horne apparently did the proper thing and did not exceed instructions.
June 26. General Garcia with three thousand Cuban insurgents landed at Juragua by American transports.(29)
The troops comprising the third expedition to Manila embarked at San Francisco.
The sloop Isabel arrived at Key West flying the Cuban flag. On her were Capt. Rafael Mora, Lieut. Felix de los Rios and four others of the Cuban army, carrying sealed dispatches from the Cuban government to Senor T. Estrada Palma, of the New York junta.
The U. S. dynamite cruiser Vesuvius shelled the fortifications at the entrance to Santiago harbour.(30)
The water-supply of Santiago cut off by the American forces.(31)
A Spanish fleet entered the harbour of Port Said, Egypt, at the head of the Suez Canal, on the twenty-sixth. It was composed of:
Battle-ship Pelayo, Admiral Camara's flag-ship.
Armoured cruiser Emperador Carlos V.
Auxiliary cruiser Patriota, equipped with twelve guns, and carrying troops and marines.
Auxiliary cruiser Buenos Ayres, equipped with ten guns, and carrying stores and a few troops.
Torpedo destroyer Audaz.
Armed merchantman Isla de Pany, equipped with two guns, and carrying stores and a few troops.
Auxiliary cruiser Rapido, equipped with twelve guns.
Steamship Colon, unarmed and with no troops.
Torpedo destroyer Proserpina.
Torpedo-boat destroyer Osada.
Transport Covadonga, carrying no guns.
Collier San Francisco.
June 27. The United States government, determined to delay, if possible, the progress of the fleet toward the Philippines, instructed its consul to protest to the English government against the coaling of the fleet at Port Said. In response to such protest the Egyptian government refused Admiral Camara's request to buy coal, and also refused to allow him to hire a hundred and fifty native stokers.
The U. S. transport Yale, laden with troops, arrived at Daiquiri.(32)
The President sent to Congress the following messages:
"To the Congress of the United States:—On the morning of the third of June, 1898, Assistant Naval Constructor Richmond P. Hobson, U. S. N., with a volunteer crew of seven men, in charge of the partially dismantled collier Merrimac, entered the fortified harbour of Santiago, Cuba, for the purpose of sinking the collier in the narrowest portion of the channel and thus interposing a serious obstacle to the egress of the Spanish fleet, which had recently entered that harbour.
"This enterprise, demanding coolness, judgment and bravery amounting to heroism, was carried into successful execution in the face of a persistent fire from the hostile fleet as well as from the fortifications on shore. Rear-Admiral Sampson, commander-in-chief of our naval force in Cuban waters, in an official report addressed to the Secretary of the Navy, referring to Mr. Hobson's gallant exploit, says:
"'I decided to make the harbour entrance secure against the possibility of egress of the Spanish ships by obstructing the narrow part of the entrance, by sinking a collier at that point.
"'Mr. Hobson, after several days consideration, presented a solution which he considered would ensure the immediate sinking of the ship when she had reached the desired point in the channel. The plan contemplated a crew of only seven men, and Mr. Hobson begged that it might be entrusted to him.
"'I cannot myself too earnestly express my appreciation of the conduct of Mr. Hobson and his gallant crew. I venture to say that a more brave and daring thing has not been done since Cushing blew up the Albemarle.'
"The members of the crew who were with Mr. Hobson on the memorable occasion have already been rewarded for their services by advancement, which, under the provisions of law and regulation, the Secretary of the Navy was authorised to make; and the nomination to the Senate of Naval Cadet Powell, who, in a steam launch, followed the Merrimac on her perilous trip, for the purpose of rescuing her force after the sinking of that vessel, to be advanced in rank to the grade of ensign, has been prepared and will be submitted.
"Cushing, with whose gallant act in blowing up the Albemarle, during the civil war, Admiral Sampson compares Mr. Hobson's sinking of the Merrimac, received the thanks of Congress upon recommendation of the President, by name, and was in consequence, under the provisions of Section 1,508 of the Revised Statutes, advanced one grade, such advancement embracing fifty-six numbers. The section cited applies, however, to line officers only, and Mr. Hobson, being a member of the staff of the navy, could not, under the provisions, be so advanced.
"In considering the question of suitably rewarding Assistant Naval Constructor Hobson for his valiant conduct on the occasion referred to, I have deemed it proper to address this message to you with the recommendation that he receive the thanks of Congress, and further that he be transferred to the line of the navy and promoted to such position therein as the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, may determine.
"Mr. Hobson's transfer from the construction corps to the line is fully warranted, he having received the necessary technical training as a graduate of the naval academy, where he stood number one in his class, and such action is recommended partly in deference to what is understood to be his own desire, although, he being a prisoner now in the hands of the enemy, no direct communication on the subject has been received from him, and partly for the reason that the abilities displayed by him at Santiago are of such a character as to indicate especial fitness for the duties of the line.
"WILLIAM MCKINLEY. "Executive Mansion, June 27."
The second message was as follows:
"To the Congress of the United States:—On the eleventh day of May, 1898, there occurred a conflict in the bay of Cardenas, Cuba, in which the naval torpedo-boat Winslow was disabled, her commander wounded, and one of her officers and a part of her crew killed by the enemy's fire.
"In the face of a most galling fire from the enemy's guns the revenue cutter Hudson, commanded by First Lieut. Frank H. Newcomb, U. S. Revenue Cutter Service, rescued the disabled Winslow and her wounded crew. The commander of the Hudson kept his vessel in the very hottest fire of the action, although in constant danger of going ashore on account of the shallow water, until he finally got a line made fast to the Winslow, and towed that vessel out of range of the enemy's guns, a deed of special gallantry.
"I recommend that, in recognition of the signal act of heroism of First Lieut. Frank H. Newcomb, U. S. Revenue Cutter Service, above set forth, the thanks of Congress be extended to him and to his officers and men of the Hudson, and that a gold medal of honour be presented to Lieutenant Newcomb, a silver medal of honour to each of his officers, and a bronze medal of honour to each member of his crew who served with him at Cardenas.
(Signed) "WILLIAM MCKINLEY."
The President also sent the following special nomination to Congress:
"EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, June 27, 1898.
"To the Senate of the United States:—I nominate Naval Cadet Joseph W. Powell to be advanced two numbers under the provisions of section 1,506 of the Revised Statutes, and to be an ensign in the navy, for extraordinary heroism while in charge of the steam launch which accompanied the collier Merrimac, for the purpose of rescuing her gallant force when that vessel was, under the command of Naval Constructor Hobson, run into the mouth of the harbour of Santiago, Cuba, on the third instant, and dexterously sunk in the channel.
(Signed) "WILLIAM MCKINLEY."
June 27. The third fleet of vessels, laden with soldiers, sailed from San Francisco for the Philippines.
From London the following news was received from the Canary Islands:
Most of the new forts have guns mounted, but are still quite exposed to view. The earthworks are not nearly completed. It is reported that ten thousand more soldiers are on the way from Spain. Of these five thousand are for the Grand Canary, and the others are for Teneriffe. The Spanish government is determined to hold the islands at any cost.
Nearly all business is absolutely at a standstill, and many of the sugar mills are closed. If this state of uncertainty continues much longer it will mean starvation to the working classes. All lights that can be seen from the sea are ordered extinguished at night, though the lighthouse on Isletta is still lighted.
The U. S. S. Yankee, off the Isle of Pines, captured and destroyed the Spanish sloops Nemesia, of Batabano, Amistad and Manuelita, of Coloma, and the pilot-boats Luz and Jacinto.
June 28. The President issued a proclamation extending the blockade of Cuba to the southern coast, from Cape Frances to Cape Cruz, inclusive, and also blockading San Juan, Porto Rico.
The proclamation was as follows:
"Whereas, for the reasons set forth in my proclamation of April 22, 1898, a blockade of ports on the northern coast of Cuba, from Cardenas to Bahia Honda, inclusive, and of the port of Cienfuegos, on the south coast of Cuba, was declared to have been instituted, and
"Whereas, it has become desirable to extend the blockade to other southern ports,
"Now, therefore, I, William McKinley, President of the United States, do hereby declare and proclaim that, in addition to the blockade of the ports specified in my proclamation of April 22, 1898, the United States of America has instituted and will maintain an effective blockade of all of the ports on the south coast of Cuba, from Cape Frances to Cape Cruz, inclusive, and also of the port of San Juan in the island of Porto Rico.
"Neutral vessels lying in any of the ports to which the blockade is by the present proclamation extended, will be allowed thirty days to issue therefrom with cargo."
The Spanish cruiser Antonio Lopez, while trying to enter the river San Juan, near San Juan de Porto Rico, secretly, with a cargo of provisions and war material, was detected by two American war-ships, but escaped by swiftly changing her course. Her captain, determined to land his cargo, headed for the shore at Salinas. The shock of grounding exploded the boiler. The Spanish gunboats Concha and Isabella issued to the assistance of the Antonio Lopez, whereupon the Americans withdrew, and the Antonio Lopez landed her cargo.
Captain-General Augusti sent the following by cable from Manila to the government at Madrid:
"The situation is still as grave. I continue to maintain my position inside the line of blockhouses, but the enemy is increasing in numbers, as the rebels occupy the provinces, which are surrendering. Torrential rains are inundating the entrenchments, rendering the work of defence difficult. The number of sick among the troops is increasing, making the situation very distressing, and causing increased desertions of the native soldiers.
"It is estimated that the insurgents number thirty thousand armed with rifles, and one hundred thousand armed with swords, etc.
"Aguinaldo has summoned me to surrender, but I have treated his proposals with disdain, for I am resolved to maintain the sovereignty of Spain and the honour of the flag to the last extremity.
"I have more than one thousand sick and two hundred wounded. The citadel has been invaded by the suburban inhabitants, who have abandoned their homes, owing to the barbarity of the rebels. These inhabitants constitute an embarrassment, aggravating the situation, in view of a bombardment, which, however, is not seriously apprehended for the moment."
The captain-general's family was made prisoners by the insurgents several days prior to the sending of this despatch, and all efforts to effect their release had thus far been in vain.
From all parts of the world the Spanish people, during the last days of June, looked toward Santiago de Cuba, in whose harbour was imprisoned Cervera's fleet, for there only could they hope to resist the American arms.
SANTIAGO DE CUBA.
The campaign of Santiago, during which the Spanish fleet under Admiral Cervera was entirely destroyed, and which ended with the capture of the city, can best be told as a continuous story. The record of other events will be found elsewhere in regular order.
Even though a repetition, it should be set down that the North Atlantic fleet, Rear-Admiral W. T. Sampson commanding, with Commodores J. C. Watson and W. S. Schley of the first and second squadrons respectively, which blockaded the port of Santiago, consisted of the battle-ships Massachusetts, Iowa, Texas, Indiana, Oregon; armoured cruisers New York, Admiral Sampson's flag-ship, Brooklyn, Commodore Schley's flag-ship; protected cruisers New Orleans, Newark, Commodore Watson's flag-ship; converted yachts Vixen, Gloucester.(33)
Inside the harbour, caught like rats in a trap of their own making, lay the Spanish fleet under command of Admiral Pasquale Cervera, consisting of the armoured cruisers Cristobal Colon, Vizcaya, Almirante Oquendo, Maria Teresa, Admiral Cervera's flag-ship; torpedo-boat destroyers Furor and Pluton.
The Americans were on the alert, lest by some inadvertence their prey should escape, and it may well be supposed that the Spaniards, knowing full well they were not in sufficient strength to give battle, awaited a favourable opportunity to slip through the blockading squadron.
June 2. The first detachment of troops, including heavy and light artillery and the engineer corps, embarked for Santiago on the second of June. Four days later this force was landed at Aguadores, a few miles east of Santiago, under the cover of Admiral Sampson's guns.
June 6. The American fleet began the bombardment of the batteries guarding the entrance to the harbour at six o'clock in the morning, having steamed in to within three thousand yards of the shore, the Brooklyn in advance of the first column, with the Marblehead, the Texas, and the Massachusetts in line. The second column was led by the New York, with the New Orleans, Yankee, Iowa, and Oregon in the order named. On the left flank were the Vixen and the Suwanee, and on the right the Dolphin and the Porter kept watchful eyes upon the riflemen ashore. The first column took station opposite the Estrella and Catalina batteries,(34) while the second was stationed off the new earthworks near Morro Castle. Orders had been given that no shots should be thrown into El Morro, because of the fact that Lieutenant Hobson and his crew were imprisoned there.
The fleet continued the bombardment without moving from the stations originally taken. It was the Iowa which opened the action with a 12-inch shell, and the skill of the gunners was shown by the shower of stone which spouted up from the base of the Estrella battery. As if this shot was the signal agreed upon, the other vessels of the fleet opened fire, the enemy answering promptly but ineffectively.
Very quickly were the shore-batteries silenced by the Brooklyn and the Texas. Estrella Fort was soon on fire; the Catalina battery gave up the struggle in less than an hour, and the Vixen and Suwanee engaged with some light inshore works, speedily reducing them to ruins. Until nine o'clock the bombardment continued without interruption, and then the American fire ceased until the ships could be turned, in order that their port batteries might be brought into play.
One hour more, that is to say, until ten o'clock, this terrible rain of iron was sent from the fleet to the shore, and then on the flag-ship was hoisted the signal: "Cease firing."
The American fleet withdrew absolutely uninjured,—not a ship had been hit by the Spaniards nor a man wounded.
On board the Spanish ship Reina Mercedes, a lieutenant and five seamen had been killed, and seventeen wounded; the vessel was set on fire no less than three times, and otherwise seriously damaged by the missiles. Near about Morro Castle, although none of the American guns were aimed at that structure, two were killed and four wounded, while on Smith Cay great havoc was wrought.
Admiral Cervera made the following report to his government:
"Six American vessels have bombarded the fortifications at Santiago and along the adjacent coast.
"Six were killed and seventeen were wounded on board the Reina Mercedes; three officers were killed and an officer and seventeen men were wounded among the troops.
"The Americans fired fifteen hundred shells of different calibres. The damage inflicted upon the batteries of La Socapa and Morro Castle were unimportant. The barracks at Morro Castle suffered damage.
"The enemy had noticeable losses."
June 8. Nearly, if not quite, twenty-seven thousand men were embarked at Tampa for Santiago on the eighth of June, under the command of Maj.-Gen. William R. Shafter.
Fire was opened by the Marblehead and the Yankee of the blockading squadron upon the fortifications of Camianera, a port on Cumberland Harbour fifteen miles distant from Guantanamo. The enemy was forced to retire to the town, but no great injury was inflicted.
The Vixen entered Santiago Harbour under a flag of truce from Admiral Sampson, to arrange for an exchange of Lieutenant Hobson and his men. Admiral Cervera said in reply that the matter had been referred to General Blanco.
The Suwanee landed weapons, ammunition, and provisions for the insurgents at a point fifteen miles west of Santiago.
In Santiago were about twenty thousand Spanish soldiers, mostly infantry; but with cavalry and artillery that may be drawn from the surrounding country. On the mountains five thousand insurgents, many unarmed, watched for a favourable opportunity to make a descent upon the city.
Orders were sent by the Navy Department to Admiral Sampson to notify Admiral Cervera that, if the latter destroyed his four armoured cruisers and two torpedo-boat destroyers to prevent their capture, Spain, at the end of the war, would be made to pay an additional indemnity at least equivalent to the value of these vessels.
June 10. The American troops made a landing on the eastern side of Guantanamo Harbour, forty miles east of Santiago, at two P. M. on the tenth of June. The debarkation was effected under the cover of the guns of the Oregon, Marblehead, Dolphin, and Vixen.
The war-vessels prepared the way by opening fire on the earthworks which lined the shore, a blockhouse, and a cable station which was occupied by Spanish soldiers. The defence was feeble; the enemy retreated in hot haste after firing a few shots. A small gunboat came down from Guantanamo, four miles away, at the beginning of the bombardment, but she put back with all speed after having approached within range.
Soon after the enemy had been driven away, the steamer Panther arrived with a battalion of marines under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Huntington. She reported having shelled a blockhouse at Daiquiri, ten miles east of Santiago, but without provoking any reply.
Colonel Huntington's force took possession of the heights overlooking the bay, where was a fortified camp which had been abandoned by the Spaniards. There was nothing to betoken the presence of the enemy in strong numbers, and the men soon settled down to ordinary camp duties, believing their first serious work would be begun by an attack on Guantanamo.
June 11. It was three o'clock on Saturday afternoon; Colonel Huntington's marines were disposed about the camp according to duty or fancy; some were bathing, and a detail was engaged in the work of carrying water. Suddenly the sharp report of a musket was heard, followed by another and another until the rattle of firearms told that a skirmish of considerable importance was in progress on the picket-line.
The principal portion of the enemy's fire appeared to come from a small island about a thousand yards away, and a squad of men was detailed with a 3-inch field-gun to look out for the enemy in this direction, while the main force defended the camp.
After perhaps an hour had passed, during which time the boys of '98 were virtually firing at random, the men on the picket-line fell back on the camp. Two of their number were missing. The battalion was formed on three sides of a hollow square, and stood ready to resist an attack which was not to be made until considerably later.
The firing ceased as abruptly as it had begun. Skirmishers were sent out and failed to find anything save a broad trail, marked here and there by blood, which came to an end at the water's edge.
There were no longer detonations to be heard from the island. The 3-inch gun had been well served.
The skirmishers which had been sent out returned, bearing the bodies of two boys in blue who had been killed by the first shots, and, after death, mutilated by blows from Spanish machetes.
Night came; heavy clouds hung low in the sky; the force of the wind had increased almost to a gale; below in the bay the war-ships were anchored, their search-lights streaming out here and there like ribbons of gold on a pall of black velvet.
No signs of the enemy on land or sea, and, save for those two cold, lifeless forms on the heights, one might have believed the previous rattle of musketry had been heard only by the imagination.
Until nine o'clock in the evening the occupants of the camp kept careful watch, and then without warning, as before, the crack of repeating rifles broke the almost painful stillness.
The enemy was making his presence known once more, and this time it became evident he was in larger force.
Another 3-inch gun was brought into play; a launch from the Marblehead, with a Colt machine gun in her bow, steamed swiftly shoreward and opened fire; skirmish lines were thrown out through the tangle of foliage, and only when a dark form was seen, which might have been that of a Spaniard, or only the swaying branches of the trees, did the boys in blue have a target.
It was guerrilla warfare, and well-calculated to test the nerves of the young soldiers who were receiving their "baptism of blood."
Until midnight this random firing continued, and then a large body of Spanish troops charged up the hill until they were face to face with the defenders of the camp, when they retreated, being lost to view almost immediately in the blackness of the night.
June 12. Again and again the firing was renewed from this quarter or that, but the enemy did not show himself until the morning came like a flash of light, as it does in the tropics, disclosing scurrying bands of Spanish soldiers as they sought shelter in the thicket.
Now more guns were brought into play at the camp; the war-ships began shelling the shore, and the action was speedily brought to an end. Four Americans had been killed, and among them one of the surgeons.
At intervals during the day the crack of a rifle would tell that Spanish sharpshooters were hovering around the camp; but not until eight o'clock in the evening did the enemy approach in any great numbers.
Then the battle was on once more; again did the little band of bluejackets stand to their posts, fighting against an unseen foe. Again the war-ships flashed their search-lights and sent shell after shell into the thicket, and all the while the Spanish fire was continued with deadly effect.
Lieutenants Neville and Shaw, each with a squad of ten men, were sent out to dislodge the advance line of the enemy, and as the boys in blue swung around into the thicket with a steady, swinging stride, the Spaniards gave way, firing rapidly while so doing.
The Americans, heeding not the danger, pursued, following the foe nearly to a small stone house near the coast, which had been used as a fort. They were well up to this structure when the bullets rained upon them in every direction from out the darkness. Sergeant Goode fell fatally wounded, and the Spaniards charged, forcing the Americans to the very edge of a cliff, over which one man fell and was killed; another fell, but with no further injury than a broken leg. A third was shot through the arm, after which he and the man with the broken limb joined forces, fighting on their own account. One more was wounded, and then the Americans made a desperate charge, forcing the enemy back into the stone house, and then out again, after fifteen had been killed.
Meanwhile severe fighting was going on in the vicinity of the camp; but six field-pieces were brought up, and the second battle was ended after two Americans had been killed and seven wounded.
June 13. The camp was moved to a less exposed position, while the war-ships poured shell and shrapnel into the woods, and then the marines filed solemnly out to a portion of the hill overlooking the bay where were six newly made graves.
All the marines could not attend the funeral, many having to continue the work of moving camp, or to rest on their guns, keeping a constant watch for the lurking Spaniards; but all who could do so followed the stumbling bearers of the dead over the loose gravel, and grouped themselves about the graves.
The stretcher bearing the bodies had just been lifted to its place, and Chaplain Jones of the Texas was about to begin the reading of the burial service, when the Spaniards began shooting at the party from the western chaparral.
"Fall in, Company A, Company B, Company C, fall in!"
"Fall in!" was the word from one end of the camp to the other. The graves were deserted by all save the chaplain and escort, who still stood unmoved.
The men sprang to arms, and then placed themselves behind the rolled tents, their knapsacks, the bushes in the hollows, boxes and piles of stones, their rifles ready, their eyes strained into the brush.
Howitzers roared, blue smoke arose where the shells struck and burst in the chaparral, and rifles sounded angrily.
The Texas fired seven shots at the place from which the shooting came, and the Spaniards, as usual, fled out of sight.
The funeral services had hardly been resumed when there was another attack; but this time the pits near the old blockhouse got the range of the malignant marksmen and shattered them with a few shots. The Texas and Panther shelled the brush to the eastward, but the chaplain kept right on with the service, and from that time until night there was little shooting from the cover.
On this day the dynamite cruiser Vesuvius joined Admiral Sampson's fleet, and the weary marines, holding their posts on shore against overwhelming odds, hoped that her arrival betokened the speedy coming of the soldiers who were so sadly needed.
June 14. Substantial recognition was given by the Navy Department to the members of the gallant crew who took the Merrimac into the entrance of Santiago Harbour and sunk her across the channel under the very muzzles of the Spanish guns.
The orders sent to Admiral Sampson directed the promotion of the men as follows:
Daniel Montague, master-at-arms, to be a boatswain, from fifty dollars a month to thirteen hundred dollars a year.
George Charette, gunner's mate, to be a gunner, from fifty dollars a month to thirteen hundred dollars a year.
Rudolph Clausen, Osborne Deignan, and —— Murphy, coxswains, to be chief boatswain's mates, an increase of twenty dollars a month.
George F. Phillips, machinist, from forty dollars a month to seventy dollars a month.
Francis Kelly, water tender, to be chief machinist, from thirty-seven dollars a month to seventy dollars a month.
Lieutenant Hobson's reward would come through Congress.
While a grateful people were discussing the manner in which their heroes should be crowned, that little band of marines on the shore of Guantanamo Bay, worn almost to exhaustion by the harassing fire of the enemy during seventy-two hours, was once more battling against a vastly superior force in point of numbers.
From the afternoon of the eleventh of June until this morning of the fourteenth, the Americans had remained on the defensive,—seven hundred against two thousand or more. Now, however, different tactics were to be used. Colonel Huntington had decided that it was time to turn the tables, and before the night was come the occupants of the graves on the crest of the hill had been avenged.