The Boys of '98
by James Otis
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A scouting party, made up of nine officers, two hundred and eighty marines, and forty-one Cubans, was divided into four divisions, the first of which had orders to destroy a water-tank from which the enemy drew supplies. The second was to attack the Spanish camp beyond the first range of hills. The third had for its objective point a signal-station from which information as to the movements of the American fleet had been flashed into Santiago. The fourth division was to act as the reserve.

In half an hour from the time of leaving camp the signal-station was in the hands of the Americans, and the heliograph outfit lost to the enemy. The boys of '98 had suffered no loss, while eight Spaniards lay with faces upturned to the rays of the burning sun.

At noon the Spanish camp had been taken, with a loss of two Cubans killed, one American and four Cubans wounded. Twenty-three Spaniards were dead.

The water-tank was destroyed, and the enemy, panic-stricken, was fleeing here and there, yet further harassed by a heavy fire from the Dolphin, who sent her shells among the fugitives whenever they came in view.

When the day drew near its close, and the weary but triumphant marines returned to camp, a hundred of the enemy lay out on the hills dead; more than twice that number must have been wounded, and eighteen were being brought in as prisoners.

On this night of June 14th, at the entrance to Santiago Harbour, the dynamite cruiser Vesuvius—that experimental engine of destruction—was given a test in actual warfare, and the result is thus graphically pictured by a correspondent of the New York Herald:

"Three shells, each containing two hundred pounds of guncotton, were fired last night from the dynamite guns of the Vesuvius at the hill at the western entrance to Santiago Harbour, on which there is a fort.

"The frightful execution done by those three shots will be historic.

"Guns in that fort had not been silenced when the fleet drew off after the attack that followed the discovery of the presence of the Spanish fleet in the harbour.

"In the intense darkness of last night the Vesuvius steamed into close range and let go one of her mysterious missiles.

"There was no flash, no smoke. There was no noise at first. The pneumatic guns on the little cruiser did their work silently. It was only when they felt the shock that the men on the other war-ships knew the Vesuvius was in action.

"A few seconds after the gun was fired there was a frightful convulsion on the land. On the hill, where the Spanish guns had withstood the missiles of the ordinary ships of war, tons of rock and soil leaped in air. The land was smitten as by an earthquake.

"Terrible echoes rolled around through the shaken hills and mountains. Sampson's ships, far out at sea, trembled with the awful shock. Dust rose to the clouds and hid the scene of destruction.

"Then came a long silence; next another frightful upheaval, and following it a third, so quickly that the results of the work of the two mingled in mid-air.

"Another still, and then two shots from a Spanish battery, that, after the noise of the dynamite, sounded like the crackle of firecrackers.

"The Vesuvius had tested herself. She was found perfect as a destroyer. She proved that no fortification can withstand her terrible missiles.

"Just what damage she did I could not tell from the sea. Whatever was within hundreds of feet of the point of impact must have gone to destruction."

June 16. On the fifteenth of June the marines at Guantanamo Bay were given an opportunity to rest, for the lesson the Spaniards received on the fourteenth had been a severe one, and the fleet off Santiago remained inactive. It was but the lull before the storm of iron which was rained upon the Spanish on the sixteenth.

The prelude to this third bombardment of Santiago was a second trial of the Vesuvius at midnight on the fifteenth, when she sent three more 250-pound charges of guncotton into the fortifications. This done, the fleet remained like spectres, each vessel at its respective station, until half-past three o'clock on the morning of the sixteenth, when the bluejackets were aroused and served with coffee.

Immediately the first gray light of dawn appeared, the ships steamed in toward the fortifications of Santiago until within three thousand yards, and there, lying broadside on, three cables'-lengths apart, they waited for the day to break.

It was 5.25 when the New York opened with a broadside from her main battery, and the bombardment was begun.

All along the crescent-shaped line the big guns roared and the smaller ones crackled and snapped, each piece throughout the entire squadron being worked with such energy that it was like one mighty, continuous wave of crashing thunder, and from out this convulsion came projectiles of enormous weight, until it seemed as if all that line of shore must be rent and riven.

Not a gun was directed at El Morro, for there it was believed the brave Hobson and his gallant comrades were held prisoners.

When the signal was given for the fleet to retire, not a man had been wounded, nor a vessel struck by the fire from the shore.

The governor of Santiago sent the following message to Madrid relative to the bombardment:

"The Americans fired one thousand shots. Several Spanish shells hit the enemy's vessels. Our losses are three killed and twenty wounded, including two officers. The Spanish squadron was not damaged."

While the Americans were making their presence felt at Santiago, those who held Guantanamo Bay were not idle. The Texas, Marblehead, and the Suwanee bombarded the brick fort and earthworks at Caimanera, at the terminus of the railroad leading to the city of Guantanamo, demolishing them entirely after an hour and a half of firing. When the Spaniards fled from the fortifications, the St. Paul shelled them until they were hidden in the surrounding forest.

An hour or more after the bombardment ceased the Marblehead's steam launch began dragging the harbour near the fort for mines. One was found and taken up, and while it was being towed to the war-ship a party of Spaniards on shore opened fire. The launch headed toward shore and began banging away, but the bow gun finally kicked overboard, carrying the gunner with it. At this moment the enemy beat a prompt retreat; the gunner was pulled inboard, and the bluejackets continued their interrupted work.

June 17. Next day the batteries on Hicacal Point and Hospital Cay were shelled, the Marblehead and the St. Paul attending to the first, and the Suwanee caring for the latter, while the Dolphin and even the collier Scindia fired a few shots for diversion. The task was concluded in less than half an hour, and had no more than come to an end when a small sloop was sighted off the entrance to the bay.

The Marblehead's steam launch was sent in pursuit, and an hour later returned with the prize, which proved to be the Chato. Her crew of five were taken on board the Marblehead as prisoners.

June 18. The active little steam launch made another capture next day while cruising outside the bay; a nameless sloop, on which were four men who claimed to have been sent from the lighthouse at Cape Maysi to Guantanamo City for oil. There were strong reasons for believing this party had come to spy out the position of the American ships, and all were transferred to the Marblehead.

The crew of the Oregon had gun practice again on this day when they shelled and destroyed a blockhouse three miles up the bay, killing, so it was reported, no less than twenty of the enemy.

The first vessel of a long-expected fleet of transports, carrying the second detachment of General Shafter's army, hove in sight of Admiral Sampson's squadron on the evening of June 18th, and next morning at daylight the launches of the New York and Massachusetts reconnoitred the shore between Cabanas, two miles off the entrance to Santiago Harbour, and Guayaganaco, two miles farther west, in search of a landing-place.

Lieutenant Harlow, in command of the expedition, made the following report:

"The expedition consisted of a steam launch from the Massachusetts, in charge of Cadet Hart, and a launch from the New York, in charge of Cadet Powell. I took passage on the Massachusetts' launch, leading the way. Soundings were taken on entering the bay close under the old fort, and we were preparing to circumnavigate the bay at full speed when fire was opened from the fort and rocks on the shore. The Massachusetts' launch was some distance ahead and about forty yards off the fort. There was no room to turn, and our 1-pounder could not be brought to bear. We backed and turned under a heavy fire.

"Cadet Hart operated the gun as soon as it could be brought to bear, sitting exposed in the bow, and working the gun as coolly and carefully as at target practice.

"Cadet Powell had been firing since the Spaniards opened. He was also perfectly cool. Both launches ran out under a heavy fire of from six to eight minutes. I estimate that there were twenty-five Spaniards on the parapet of the old fort. The number along shore was larger, but indefinite. The launches, as soon as it was practicable, sheered to give the Vixen the range of the fort. The Vixen and the Texas silenced the shore fire promptly.

"I strongly commend Cadet Hart and Cadet Powell for the cool management of the launches. One launch was struck seven times. Nobody in either was hurt. A bullet struck a shell at Cadet Hart's feet between the projectile and the powder, but failed to explode the latter.

"Coxswain O'Donnell and Seaman Bloom are commended, as is also the coolness with which the marines and sailors worked under the Spanish fire.

"Nothing was learned at Cabanas Bay, but at Guayaganaco it is evident a landing is practicable for ships' boats. The same is true of Rancho Cruz, a small bay to the eastward. Both would be valuable with Cabanas, but useless without it.

"I am informed that to the north and westward of Cabanas Bay there is a large clearing, with plenty of grass and water.

"I think a simultaneous landing at the three places named would be practicable if the ships shelled the adjacent wood. A junction would naturally follow at the clearing."

Cuban scouts reported to Colonel Huntington on Guantanamo Bay that the streets of Caimanera have been covered with straw saturated in oil, in order that the city may be destroyed when the Americans evince any disposition to take possession. The Spanish gunboat Sandoval, lying at one of the piers, has been loaded with inflammables, and will be burned with the city, her commander declaring that she shall never become an American prize.

During this Sunday night the Vesuvius again discharged her dynamite guns, with the western battery as a target, and because of the frightful report which followed the second shot, it was believed a magazine had been exploded.

June 20. The fleet of transports arrived off Santiago at noon on the twentieth, and hove to outside the cordon of war-vessels. General Shafter immediately went on board the flag-ship, and returned to his own ship an hour later in company with Admiral Sampson, when the two officers sailed for Asserradero, seventeen miles from Santiago, where General Calixto Garcia was encamped with his army of four thousand Cubans. Here a long conference was held with the insurgent general, after which the two commanders returned to the fleet.

June 21. The despatch quoted below was sent by Admiral Sampson to the Navy Department, and gives in full the work of the day:

"Landing of the army is progressing favorably at Daiquiri. There is very little, if any, resistance. The New Orleans, Detroit, Castine, Wasp, and Suwanee shelled the vicinity before the landing. We made a demonstration at Cabanas to engage the attention of the enemy. The Texas engaged the west battery for some hours. She had one man killed. Ten submarine mines have been recovered from the channel of Guantanamo. Communication by telegraph has been established at Guantanamo."

Daiquiri was chosen as the point of debarkation by General Shafter, and its only fortifications were a blockhouse on a high cliff to the right of an iron pier, together with a small fort and earthworks in the rear. From this town extends a good road to Santiago, and in the immediate vicinity of the port the water-supply is plentiful.

June 22. Bombarding the coast as a cover for the troops which were being disembarked, was the principal work of the war-ships on the twenty-second of June, except in Guantanamo Harbour, where volunteers were called for from the Marblehead and the Dolphin to grapple for and remove the contact mines in the harbour. It was an undertaking as perilous as anything that had yet been accomplished, but the bluejackets showed no fear. Four times the designated number came forward in response to the call, and before nightfall seven mines had been removed.

The battle-ship Texas was assigned to duty off Matamoras, the works of which were to be bombarded as a portion of the general programme for this day while the troops were being landed. The men of the Texas performed their part well; the Socapa battery was quickly silenced; but not quite soon enough to save the life of one brave bluejacket. The last shell fired by the retreating Spaniards struck the battle-ship twenty feet abaft the stem on the port side. It passed through the hull about three feet below the main-deck line, and failed to explode until striking an iron stanchion at the centre line of the berth-deck. Here were two guns' crews, and among them the fragments of the shell flew in a deadly shower, killing one and wounding eight. Later in the day the Texas steamed out to sea to bury the dead, and, this sad duty performed, returned before nightfall to her station on the blockade.

June 23. General Shafter thus reported to the War Department:

"Daiquiri, June 23.—Had very fine voyage; lost less than fifty animals, six or eight to-day; lost more putting them through the surf to land, than on transports.

"Command as healthy as when we left; eighty men sick; only deaths, two men drowned in landing; landings difficult; coast quite similar to that in vicinity of San Francisco, and covered with dense growth of bushes. Landing at Daiquiri unopposed; all points occupied by Spanish troops heavily bombarded by navy to clear them out.

"Sent troops toward Santiago, and occupied Juragua, a naturally strong place, this morning. Spanish troops retreating as soon as our advance was known. Had no mounted troops, or could have captured them, about six hundred all told.

"Railroad from there in. Have cars and engine in possession.

"With assistance of navy disembarked six thousand men yesterday, and as many more to-day.

"Will get all troops off to-morrow, including light artillery and greater portion of pack-train, probably all of it, with some of the wagons; animals have to be jumped to the water and towed ashore.

"Had consultation with Generals Garcia, Rader and Castillo, on afternoon of twentieth, twenty miles west of Santiago. These officers were unanimously of the opinion that the landing should be made east of Santiago. I had come to the same conclusion.

"General Garcia promises to join me at Juragua to-morrow with between three thousand and four thousand men, who will be brought from west of Santiago by ships of the navy to Juragua, and there disembarked.

"This will give me between four thousand and five thousand Cubans, and leave one thousand under General Rabi to threaten Santiago from the west.

"General Kent's division is being disembarked this afternoon at Juragua, and this will be continued during the night. The assistance of the navy has been of the greatest benefit and enthusiastically given; without them I could not have landed in ten days, and perhaps not at all, as I believe I should have lost so many boats in the surf.

"At present want nothing; weather has been good, no rain on land, and prospects of fair weather.

"SHAFTER, "Major-General U. S. Commanding."

The boys of '98 occupied the town of Aguadores before nightfall on the twenty-third of June, the Spaniards having applied the torch to many buildings before they fled. The enemy was driven back on to Santiago, General Linares commanding in person, and close to his heels hung General Lawton and the advance of the American forces.

June 24. It was evident that the Spanish intended to make a stand at Sevilla, six miles from Juragua, and five miles from Santiago. The Americans were pressing them hotly to prevent General Linares from gaining time to make preparations for an encounter, when the Rough Riders, as Colonel Wood's regiment was termed, and the First and Tenth Cavalry fell into an ambuscade. Then what will probably be known as the battle of La Quasina was fought.

It is thus described by a correspondent of the Associated Press:

That the Spaniards were thoroughly posted as to the route to be taken by the Americans in their movement toward Sevilla was evident, as shown by the careful preparations they had made.

The main body of the Spaniards was posted on a hill, on the heavily wooded slopes of which had been erected two blockhouses flanked by irregular intrenchments of stone and fallen trees. At the bottom of these hills run two roads, along which Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt's men, and eight troops of the First and Tenth Cavalry, with a battery of four howitzers, advanced. These roads are but little more than gullies, rough and narrow, and at places almost impassable.

In these trails the fight occurred. Nearly half a mile separated Roosevelt's men from the regulars, and between, and on both sides of the road in the thick underbrush, was concealed a force of Spaniards that must have been large, judging from the terrific and constant fire they poured in on the Americans.

The fight was opened by the First and Tenth Cavalry, under General Young. A force of Spaniards was known to be in the vicinity of La Quasina, and early in the morning Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt's men started off up the precipitous bluff, back of Siboney, to attack the enemy on his right flank. General Young at the same time took the road at the foot of the hill.

About two and one-half miles out from Siboney some Cubans, breathless and excited, rushed into camp with the announcement that the Spaniards were but a little way in front, and were strongly entrenched. Quickly the Hotchkiss guns in the front were brought to the rear, while a strong scouting line was thrown out.

Then cautiously and in silence the troops moved forward until a bend in the road disclosed a hill where the Spaniards were located. The guns were again brought to the front and placed in position, while the men crouched down in the road, waiting impatiently to give Roosevelt's men, who were toiling over the little trail along the crest of the hill, time to get up.

At 7.30 A. M. General Young gave the command to the men at the Hotchkiss guns to open fire. That command was the signal for a fight that for stubbornness has seldom been equalled. The instant the Hotchkiss guns were fired, from the hillside commanding the road came volley after volley from the Mausers of the Spaniards.

"Don't shoot until you see something to shoot at," yelled General Young, and the men, with set jaws and gleaming eyes, obeyed the order. Crawling along the edge of the road, they protected themselves as much as possible from the fearful fire of the Spaniards, the troopers, some of them stripped to the waist, watching the base of the hill, and when any part of a Spaniard became visible, they fired. Never for an instant did they falter.

One dusky warrior of the Tenth Cavalry, with a ragged wound in his thigh, coolly knelt behind a rock, loading and firing, and when told by one of his comrades that he was wounded, laughed and said:

"Oh, that's all right. That's been there for some time."

In the meantime, away off to the left could be heard the crack of the rifles of Colonel Wood's men, and the regular, deeper-toned volley-firing of the Spaniards.

Over there the American losses were the greatest. Colonel Wood's men, with an advance-guard well out in front, and two Cuban guides before them, but apparently with no flankers, went squarely into the trap set for them by the Spaniards, and only the unfaltering courage of the men in the face of a fire that would even make a veteran quail, prevented what might easily have been a disaster. As it was, Troop L, the advance-guard under the unfortunate Captain Capron, was almost surrounded, and but for the reinforcement hurriedly sent forward every man would probably have been killed or wounded.

When the reserves came up there was no hesitation. Colonel Wood, with the right wing, charged straight at a blockhouse eight hundred yards away, and Colonel Roosevelt, on the left, charged at the same time. Up the men went, yelling like fiends, and never stopping to return the fire of the Spaniards, but keeping on with a grim determination to capture that blockhouse.

That charge was the end. When within five hundred yards of the coveted point, the Spaniards broke and ran, and for the first time the boys of '98 had the pleasure which the Spaniards had been experiencing all through the engagement, of shooting with the enemy in sight.

The losses among the Rough Riders were reported as thirteen killed and forty wounded; while the First Cavalry lost sixteen wounded. Edward Marshall, a newspaper correspondent, was seriously wounded.

While the land-forces were fighting four miles northwest of Juragua, Rear-Admiral Sampson learned that the Spaniards were endeavouring to destroy the railroad leading from Juragua to Santiago de Cuba.

This road runs west along the seashore, under cover of the guns of the American fleet, until within three miles of El Morro, and then cuts through the mountains along the river into Santiago.

When the attempt of the Spaniards was discovered, the New York, Scorpion, and Wasp closed in and cleared the hill and brush of Spaniards.

June 26. The American lines were advanced to within four miles of Santiago, and the boys could look into the doomed city. It was possible to make accurate note of the defences, and most likely officers as well as men were astonished by the preparations which had been made.

There were blockhouses on every hill; from the harbour batteries, sweeping in a semicircle to the eastward of the city, were rifle-pits and intrenchments skilfully arranged. Earthworks, in a regular line, completely shut off approach to the city, and in front of the entrenchments and rifle-pits were barbed-wire fences, or trochas.

Three more charges of guncotton did the dynamite cruiser Vesuvius throw into the batteries at the mouth of Santiago Harbour on the night of June 26th, and next morning the evidences of her work could be seen on the western battery, a portion of which was in ruins. The water-mains which supplied the city of Santiago were cut on the same night, and the doomed city thus brought so much nearer to capitulation.

July 1. Knowing that with the close of June the American army was in readiness for a decisive action, the people waited anxiously, tearfully, for the first terrible word which should be received telling of slaughter and woeful suffering, and it came on the evening of July 1st, when the cablegram given below was flashed over the wires to the War Department:

"PLAYA DEL ESTE, July 1, 1898.

"A. G. O., U. S. Army, Washington:

"Siboney, July 1. Had a very heavy engagement to-day, which lasted from eight A. M. till sundown.

"We have carried their outer works and are now in possession of them.

"There is now about three-quarters of a mile of open country between my lines and city; by morning troops will be entrenched and considerable augmentation of forces will be there.

"General Lawton's division and General Bates's brigade, which had been engaged all day in carrying El Caney, which was accomplished at four P. M., will be in line and in front of Santiago during the night.

"I regret to say that our casualties will be above four hundred; of these not many are killed.

(Signed) "W. R. SHAFTER, Major-General."



General W. R. Shafter, in his official report of the operations around Santiago, says:

"On June 30th I reconnoitred the country about Santiago and made my plan of attack. From a high hill, from which the city was in plain view, I could see the San Juan Hill and the country about El Caney. The roads were very poor and, indeed, little better than bridle-paths until the San Juan River and El Caney were reached. The position of El Caney, to the northeast of Santiago, was of great importance to the enemy, as holding the Guantanamo road, as well as furnishing shelter for a strong outpost that might be used to assail the right flank of any force operating against San Juan Hill. In view of this, I decided to begin the attack next day at El Caney with one division, while sending two divisions on the direct road to Santiago, passing by the El Pozo house, and as a diversion to direct a small force against Aguadores, from Siboney along the railroad by the sea, with a view of attracting the attention of the Spaniards in the latter direction, and of preventing them from attacking our left flank.... But we were in a sickly climate; our supplies had to be brought forward by a narrow wagon-road which the rain might at any time render impassable; fear was entertained that a storm might drive the vessels containing our stores to sea, thus separating us from our base of supplies, and, lastly, it was reported that General Pando, with eight thousand reinforcements for the enemy, was en route for Manzanillo, and might be expected in a few days. Under these conditions I determined to give battle without delay.

"Early on the morning of July 1st Lawton was in position around El Caney, Chaffee's brigade on the right across the Guantanamo road, Miles's brigade in the centre and Ludlow's on the left. The duty of cutting off the enemy's retreat along the Santiago road was assigned to the latter brigade. The artillery opened on the town at 6.15 A. M. The battle here soon became general, and was hotly contested. The enemy's position was naturally strong, and was rendered more so by blockhouses, a stone fort and entrenchments cut in solid rock, and the loopholing of a solidly built stone church. The opposition offered by the enemy was greater than had been anticipated, and prevented Lawton from joining the right of the main line during the day, as had been intended. After the battle had continued for some time, Bates's brigade of two regiments reached my headquarters from Siboney. I directed him to move near El Caney, to give assistance if necessary. He did so, and was put in position between Miles and Chaffee. The battle continued with varying intensity during most of the day and until the place was carried by assault about 4.30 P. M. As the Spaniards endeavoured to retreat along the Santiago road, Ludlow's position enabled him to do very effective work, and practically to cut off all retreat in that direction.

"After the battle at El Caney was well opened, and the sound of the small-arms fire caused us to believe that Lawton was driving the enemy before him, I directed Grimes's battery to open fire from the heights of El Pozo on the San Juan blockhouse, situated in the enemy's entrenchments, extending along the crest of San Juan Hill. This fire was effective, and the enemy could be seen running away from the vicinity of the blockhouse. The artillery fire from El Pozo was soon returned by the enemy's artillery. They evidently had the range of this hill, and their first shells killed and wounded several men. As the Spaniards used smokeless powder, it was very difficult to locate the position of their pieces, while, on the contrary, the smoke caused by our black powder plainly indicated the position of our battery.

"At this time the cavalry division, under General Sumner, which was lying concealed in the general vicinity of the El Pozo house, was ordered forward with directions to cross the San Juan River and deploy to the right on the Santiago side, while Kent's division was to follow closely in its rear and deploy to the left. These troops moved forward in compliance with orders, but the road was so narrow as to render it impracticable to retain the column of fours formation at all points, while the undergrowth on both sides was so dense as to preclude the possibility of deploying skirmishers. It naturally resulted that the progress made was slow, and the long-range rifles of the enemy's infantry killed and wounded a number of our men while marching along this road, and before there was any opportunity to return this fire. At this time Generals Kent and Sumner were ordered to push forward with all possible haste, and place their troops in position to engage the enemy. General Kent, with this end in view, forced the head of his column alongside the cavalry column as far as the narrow trail permitted, and thus hurried his arrival at the San Juan, and the formation beyond that stream. A few hundred yards before reaching the San Juan, the road forks, a fact that was discovered by Lieutenant-Colonel Derby of my staff, who had approached well to the front in a war balloon. This information he furnished to the troops, resulting in Sumner moving on the right-hand road while Kent was enabled to utilise the road to the left. General Wheeler, the permanent commander of the cavalry division, who had been ill, came forward during the morning, and later returned to duty and rendered most gallant and efficient service during the remainder of the day. After crossing the stream the cavalry moved to the right, with a view to connecting with Lawton's left when he would come up, with their left resting near the Santiago road.

"In the meantime, Kent's division, with the exception of two regiments of Hawkins's brigade, being thus uncovered, moved rapidly to the front from the forks previously mentioned in the road, utilising both trails, but more especially the one to the left, and, crossing the creek, formed for attack in the front of San Juan Hill. During this formation the Third Brigade suffered severely. While personally superintending this movement its gallant commander, Colonel Wikoff, was killed. The command of the brigade then devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Worth, Thirteenth Infantry, who was soon severely wounded, and next upon Lieutenant-Colonel Liscum, Twenty-fourth Infantry, who, five minutes later, also fell under the terrible fire of the enemy, and the command of the brigade then devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Ewers of the Ninth Infantry.

"While the formation just described was taking place, General Kent took measures to hurry forward his rear brigade. The Tenth and Second Infantry were ordered to follow Wikoff's brigade, while the Twenty-first was sent on the right-hand road to support the First Brigade under General Hawkins, who had crossed the stream and formed on the right of the division. The Second and Tenth Infantry, Colonel E. P. Pearson commanding, moved forward in good order on the left of the division, passing over a green knoll, and drove the enemy back toward his trenches.

"After completing their formation under a destructive fire, advancing a short distance, both divisions found in their front a wide bottom, in which had been placed a barbed-wire entanglement, and beyond which there was a high hill, along the crest of which the enemy was strongly posted. Nothing daunted, these gallant men pushed on to drive the enemy from his chosen position, both divisions losing heavily. In this assault Colonel Hamilton, Lieutenants Smith and Shipp were killed, and Colonel Carroll, Lieutenants Thayer and Myer, all in the cavalry, were wounded. Great credit is due to Brigadier-General H. S. Hawkins, who, placing himself between his regiments, urged them on by voice and bugle-call to the attack so brilliantly executed.

"In this fierce encounter words fail to do justice to the gallant regimental commanders and their heroic men, for, while the generals indicated the formation and the points of attack, it was, after all, the intrepid bravery of the subordinate officers and men that planted our colours on the crest of San Juan Hill and drove the enemy from his trenches and blockhouses, thus gaining a position which sealed the fate of Santiago.

"In the action on this part of the field, most efficient service was rendered by Lieutenant J. H. Parker, Thirteenth Infantry, and the Gatling gun detachment under his command.

"The fighting continued at intervals until nightfall, but our men held resolutely to the position gained at the cost of so much blood and toil.

"On the night of July 1st I ordered General Duffield, at Siboney, to send forward the Thirty-fourth Michigan and the Ninth Massachusetts, both of which had just arrived from the United States.

"All day on the second the battle raged with more or less fury, but such of our troops as were in position at daylight held their ground, and Lawton gained a strong and commanding position on the right. About ten P. M. the enemy made a vigorous assault to break through my lines, but he was repulsed at all points.

"On the morning of the third the battle was renewed, but the enemy seemed to have expended his energy in the assault of the previous night, and the firing along the line was desultory."

Such is the official report of the battle before Santiago, where were killed of the American forces twenty-three officers, and 208 men; wounded eighty officers, and 1,203 men; missing, eighty-one; total, 1,595.

An account of any engagement is made more vivid by a recital of those who participated in the bloody work, since the commanding officer views the action as a whole, and purely from a military standpoint, while the private, who may know little or nothing regarding the general outcome, understands full well what took place immediately around him. Mr. W. K. Hearst, the proprietor of the New York Journal, told the following graphic story in the columns of his paper:

"I set out before daybreak this morning on horseback with Honore Laine, who is a colonel in the Cuban army. We rode over eight miles of difficult country which intervenes between the army base, on the coast, and the fighting line, which is being driven forward toward Santiago.

"Pozo, as a position for our battery, was ill chosen. The Spaniards had formerly occupied it as a fort, and they knew precisely the distance to it from their guns, and so began their fight with the advantage of a perfect knowledge of the range.

"Their first shell spattered shrapnel in a very unpleasant way all over the tiled roof of the white house at the back of the ridge. It was the doors of this house which we were approaching for shelter, and later, when we came to take our luncheon, we found that a shrapnel ball had passed clean through one of our cans of pressed beef which our pack-mule was carrying.

"We turned here to the right toward our battery on the ridge. When we were half-way between the white house and the battery, the second shell which the Spaniards fired burst above the American battery, not ten feet over the heads of our men. Six of our fellows were killed, and sixteen wounded.

"The men in the battery wavered for a minute; then rallied and returned to their guns, and the firing went on. We passed from there to the right again, where General Shafter's war balloon was ascending. Six shells fell in this vicinity, and then our batteries ceased firing.

"The smoke clouds from our guns were forming altogether too plain a target for the Spaniards. There was no trace to be seen of the enemy's batteries, by reason of their use of smokeless powder.

"Off to the far right of our line of formation, Captain Capron's artillery, which had come through from Daiquiri without rest, could be heard banging away at Caney. We had started with a view of getting where we could observe artillery operations, so we directed our force thither.

"We found Captain Capron blazing away with four guns, where he should have had a dozen. He had begun shelling Caney at four o'clock in the morning. It was now noon, and he was still firing. He was aiming to reduce the large stone fort which stood on the hill above the town and commanded it. Captain O'Connell had laid a wager that the first shot of some one of the four guns would hit the fort, and he had won his bet. Since that time dozens of shells had struck the fort, but it was not yet reduced. It had been much weakened, however.

"Through glasses our infantry could be seen advancing toward this fort. As the cannon at our side would bang, and the shell would swish through the air with its querulous, vicious, whining note, we would watch its explosion, and then turn our attention to the little black specks of infantry dodging in and out among the groups of trees. Now they would disappear wholly from sight in the brush, and again would be seen hurrying along the open spaces, over the grass-covered slopes, or across ploughed fields. The infantry firing was ceaseless, our men popping away continuously, as a string of firecrackers pops.

"The Spaniards fired in volleys against our men. Many times we heard the volley fire, and saw the brave fellows pitch forward and lie still on the turf, while the others hurried on to the next protecting clump of bushes.

"For hours the Spaniards had poured their fire from slits in the stone fort, from their deep trenches, and from the windows of the town. For hours our men answered back from trees and brush and gullies. For hours cannon at our side banged and shells screamed through air and fell upon fort and town. Always our infantry advanced, drawing nearer and closing up on the village, till at last they formed under a group of mangrove-trees at the foot of the very hill on which the stone fort stood.

"With a rush they swept up the slope and the stone fort was ours. Then you should have heard the yells that went up from the knoll on which our battery stood. Gunners, drivers, Cubans, correspondents, swung their hats and gave a mighty cheer. Immediately our battery stopped firing for fear we should hurt our own men, and, dashing down into the valley, hurried across to take up a position near the infantry, who were now firing on Caney from the blockhouse. The town artillery had not sent half a dozen shots from its new position before the musketry firing ceased, and the Spaniards, broken into small bunches, fled from Caney in the direction of Santiago.

"Laine and I hurried up to the stone fort and found that James Creelman, a Journal correspondent with the infantry column, had been seriously wounded and was lying in the Twelfth Infantry hospital. Our men were still firing an occasional shot, and from blockhouses and isolated trenches, from which the Spaniards could not safely retreat, flags of truce were waving.

"Guns and side-arms were being taken away from such Spaniards as had outlived the pitiless fire, and their dead were being dumped without ceremony into the trenches, after the Spanish fashion.

"When I left the fort to hunt for Creelman, I found him, bloody and bandaged, lying on his back on a blanket on the ground, but shown all care and attention that kindly and skilful surgeons could give him. His first words to me were that he was afraid he could not write much of a story, as he was pretty well dazed, but if I would write for him he would dictate the best he could. I sat down among the wounded, and Creelman told me his story of the fight. Here it is:

"'The extraordinary thing in this fight of all the fights I have seen, is the enormous amount of ammunition fired. There was a continuous roar of musketry from four o'clock in the morning until four in the afternoon.

"'Chaffee's brigade began the fight by moving along the extreme right, with Ludlow down in the low country to the left of Caney. General Chaffee's brigade consisted of the Seventeenth, Seventh, and Twelfth Infantry, and was without artillery. It occupied the extreme right.

"'The formation was like two sides of an equilateral triangle, Ludlow to the south, and Chaffee to the east.

"'Ludlow began firing through the brush, and we could see through the palm-trees and tangle of bushes the brown and blue figures of our soldiers in a line a mile long, stealing from tree to tree, bush to bush, firing as they went.

"'Up here on the heights General Chaffee, facing Caney, moved his troops very early in the morning, and the battle opened by Ludlow's artillery firing on the fort and knocking several holes in it.

"'The artillery kept up a steady fire on the fort and town, and finally demolished the fort. Several times the Spaniards were driven from it, but each time they returned before our infantry could approach it.

"'Our artillery had but four small guns, and, though they fired with great accuracy, it was ten hours before they finally reduced the stone fort on the hill and enabled our infantry to take possession.

"'The Twelfth Infantry constituted the left of our attack, the Seventeenth held the right, while the Seventh, made up largely of recruits, occupied the centre.

"'The Spanish fired from loopholes in the stone houses of the town, and, furthermore, were massed in trenches on the east side of the fort. They fought like devils.

"'From all the ridges round about the stream of fire was kept up on Chaffee's men, who were kept wondering how they were being wounded. For a time they thought General Ludlow's men were on the opposite side of the fort and were firing over it.

"'The fact was the fire came from heavy breastworks on the northwest corner of Caney, where the principal Spanish force lay, with their hats on sticks to deceive our riflemen. From this position the enemy poured in a fearful fire. The Seventeenth had to lie down flat under the pounding, but even then men were killed.

"'General Chaffee dashed about with his hat on the back of his head like a magnificent cowboy, urging his men on, crying to them to get in and help their country win a victory. Smokeless powder makes it impossible to locate the enemy, and you wonder where the fire comes from. When you stand up to see you get a bullet.

"'We finally located the trenches, and could see the officers moving about urging their men. The enemy was making a turning movement to the right. To turn the left of the Spanish position it was necessary to get a blockhouse, which held the right of our line. General Chaffee detailed Captain Clark to approach and occupy this blockhouse as soon as the artillery had sufficiently harried its Spanish defenders.

"'Clark and Captain Haskell started up the slope. I told them I had been on the ridge and knew the condition of affairs, so I would show them the way.

"'We pushed right up to the trench around the fort, and, getting out our wire-cutters, severed the barbed wire in front of it. I jumped over the severed strand and got into the trench.

"'It was a horrible, blood-splashed thing, and an inferno of agony. Many men lay dead, with gleaming teeth, and hands clutching their throats. Others were crawling there alive.

"'I shouted to the survivors to surrender, and they held up their hands.

"'Then I ran into the fort and found there a Spanish officer and four men alive, while seven lay dead in one room. The whole floor ran with blood. Blood splashed all the walls. It was a perfect hog-pen of butchery.

"'Three poor wretches put their hands together in supplication. One had a white handkerchief tied on a stick. This he lifted and moved toward me. The other held up his hands, while the third began to pray and plead.

"'I took the guns from all three and threw them outside the fort. Then I called some of our men and put them in charge of the prisoners.

"'I then got out of the fort, ran around to the other side, and secured the Spanish flag. I displayed it to our troops, and they cheered lustily.

"'Just as I turned to speak to Captain Haskell I was struck by a bullet from the trenches on the Spanish side.'"

Before five o'clock, on the morning of July 2d, the crew of the flag-ship New York was astir, eating a hurried breakfast.

At 5.50 general quarters was sounded, and the flag-ship headed in toward Aguadores, about three miles east of Morro Castle. The other ships retained their blockading stations. Along the surf-beaten shore the smoke of an approaching train from Altares was seen. It was composed of open cars full of General Duffield's troops.

At a cutting a mile east of Aguadores the train stopped, and the Cuban scouts proceeded along the railroad track. The troops got out of the cars, and soon formed in a long, thin line, standing out vividly against the yellow rocks that rose perpendicularly above, shutting them off from the main body of the army, which was on the other side of the hill, several miles north.

From the quarter of the flag-ship there was a signal, by a vigorously wigwagged letter, and a few minutes later, from a clump of green at the water's edge, came an answer from the army. This was the first cooeperation for offensive purposes between the army and navy. The landing of the army at Daiquiri and Altares was purely a naval affair.

With the flag in his hand, the soldier ashore looked like a butterfly.

"Are you waiting for us to begin?" was the signal made by Rear-Admiral Sampson to the army.

"General Duffield is ahead with the scouts," came the answer from the shore to the flag-ship.

By this time it was seven A. M. The admiral ran the flag-ship's bow within three-quarters of a mile of the beach. She remained almost as near during the forenoon, and the daring way she was handled by Captain Chadwick, within sound of the breakers, made the Cuban pilot on board stare with astonishment.

The Suwanee was in company with the flag-ship, still closer inshore, and the Gloucester was to the westward, near Morro Castle. From the southward the Newark came up and took a position to the westward. Her decks were black with fifteen hundred or more troops.

She went alongside of the flag-ship, and was told to disembark the troops at Altares.

Then Admiral Sampson signalled to General Duffield:

"When do you want us to commence firing?"

In a little while a white flag on shore sent back the answer:

"When the rest of the command arrives; then I will signal you."

It was a long and tedious wait for the ships before the second fifty car-loads of troops came puffing along from Altares.

By 9.30 the last of the soldiers had left the open railroad tracks, disappearing in the thick brush that covered the eastern side of Aguadores inlet.

The water in the sponge tubes under the breeches of the big guns was growing hot in the burning sun.

Ashore there was no sign of the Spaniards. They were believed to be on the western bluff.

Between the bluffs ran a rocky gully, leading into Santiago City. On the extremity of the western arm was an old castellated fort, from which the Spanish flag was flying, and on the parapet on the eastern hill, commanding the gully, two stretches of red earth could easily be seen against the brush. These were the rifle-pits.

At 10.15 a signal-flag ashore wigwagged to Admiral Sampson to commence firing, and a minute later the New York's guns blazed away at the rifle-pits and at the old fort.

The Suwanee and Gloucester joined in the firing.

Of our troops ashore in the brush nothing could be seen, but the ping, ping, of the small arms of the army floated out to sea during the occasional lull in the firing of the big guns, which peppered the rifle-pits until clouds of red earth rose above them.

An 8-inch shell from the Newark dropped in the massive old fort, and clouds of white dust and huge stones filled the air. When the small shells hit its battlements, almost hidden by green creepers, fragments of masonry came tumbling down. A shot from the Suwanee hit the eastern parapet, and it crumbled away. Amid the smoke and debris, the flagstaff was seen to fall forward.

"The flag has been shot down!" shouted the ship's crew, but, when the smoke cleared away, the emblem of Spain was seen to be still flying and blazing brilliantly in the sun, though the flagstaff was bending toward the earth.

A few more shots from the Suwanee levelled the battlements until the old castle was a pitiful sight.

When the firing ceased, Lieutenant Delehanty of the Suwanee was anxious to finish his work, so he signalled to the New York, asking permission to knock down the Spanish flag.

"Yes," replied Admiral Sampson, "if you can do it in three shots."

The Suwanee then lay about sixteen hundred yards from the old fort. She took her time. Lieutenant Blue carefully aimed the 4-inch gun, and the crews of all the ships watched the incident amid intense excitement.

When the smoke of the Suwanee's first shot cleared away, only two red streamers of the flag were left. The shell had gone through the centre of the bunting.

A delighted yell broke from the crew of the Suwanee.

Two or three minutes later the Suwanee fired again, and a huge cloud of debris rose from the base of the flagstaff.

For a few seconds it was impossible to tell what had been the effect of the shot. Then it was seen that the shell had only added to the ruin of the fort.

The flagstaff seemed to have a charmed existence, and the Suwanee only had one charge left. It seemed hardly possible for her to achieve her object with the big gun, such a distance, and such a tiny target.

There was breathless silence among the watching crews. They crowded on the ships' decks, and all eyes were on that tattered flag, bending toward the top of what had once been a grand old castle. But it was only bending, not yet down. Lieutenant-Commander Delehanty and Lieutenant Blue took their time. The Suwanee changed her position slightly.

Then a puff of smoke shot out from her side, up went a shooting cloud of debris from the parapet, and down fell the banner of Spain.

Such yells from the flag-ship will probably never be heard again. There was more excitement than witnessed at the finish of a college boat-race, or a popular race between first-class thoroughbreds on some big track.

The Suwanee's last shot had struck right at the base of the flagstaff, and had blown it clear of the wreckage, which had held it from finishing its fall.

"Well done!" signalled Admiral Sampson to Lieutenant-Commander Delehanty.

At 11.30 General Duffield signalled that his scouts reported that no damage had been done to the Spanish rifle-pits by the shells from the ships, and Admiral Sampson told him they had been hit several times, but that there was no one in the pits. However, the Suwanee was ordered to fire a few more shots in their direction.

At 12.18 P. M. the New York having discontinued fire at Aguadores, commenced firing 8-inch shells clear over the gully into the city of Santiago de Cuba. Every five minutes the shells went roaring over the hillside. What destruction they wrought it was impossible to tell, as the smoke hid everything. In reply to General Duffield's question:

"What is the news?"

Admiral Sampson replied:

"There is not a Spaniard left in the rifle-pits."

Later General Duffield signalled that his scouts thought reinforcements were marching to the battered old fort, and Admiral Sampson wigwagged him:

"There is no Spaniard left there. If any come the Gloucester will take care of them."

A little later the Oregon joined the New York intending 8-inch shells into the city of Santiago. This was kept up until 1.40 P. M. By that time General Duffield had sent a message saying that his troops could not cross the stream, but would return to Altares.

On the report that some Spanish troops were still in the gully, the New York and Gloucester shelled it once more, and Newark, which had not fired, signalled:

"Can I fire for target practice? Have had no previous opportunity."

Permission for her to do so was signalled, and she blazed away, shooting well, her 6-inch shells exploding with remarkable force among the rocks.

At 2.40 P. M. Admiral Sampson hoisted the signal to cease firing, and the flag-ship returned to the blockading station.

On the railroad a train-load of troops had already left for Altares.

Mr. A. Maurice Low, of the Boston Globe, thus relates his personal experience:

"When the fighting ceased on Friday evening, July 1st, every man was physically spent, and needed food and rest more than anything else. For a majority of the troops there was a chance to cook bacon and make coffee; for the men of the hospital corps, the work of the day was commencing. At convenient points hospitals were established, and men from every company were sent out to search the battle-ground for the dead and wounded.

"It is the men of the hospital corps who have the ghastly side of war. There is never any popular glory for them; there is no passion of excitement to sustain them. The emotion of battle keeps a man up under fire. Something in the air makes even a coward brave. But all that is wanting when the surgeons go into action.

"Men come staggering into the hospital with blood dripping from their wounds; squads of four follow one another rapidly, bearing stretchers and blankets, on which are limp, motionless, groaning forms.

"To those of us at home who are in the habit of seeing our sick and injured treated with the utmost consideration and delicacy, who see the poor and outcast and criminal put into clean beds and surrounded with luxuries, the way in which the wounded on a battle-field are disposed of seems barbarous in the extreme. Of course it is unavoidable, but it is nevertheless horrible.

"As soon as men were brought in they were at once taken off the litters and placed on the bare ground. Time was too precious, and there were too many men needing attention for a soldier to monopolise a stretcher until the surgeon could reach him.

"There was no shelter. The men lay on the bare ground with the sun streaming down on them, many of them suffering the greatest agony, and yet very few giving utterance to a groan. Where I watched operations for a time there was only one surgeon, who took every man in his turn, and necessarily had to make many of them wait a long time.

"And yet these men were much more fortunate than many others, some of whom lay on the battle-field for twenty-four hours before they were found. There was no chloroform; very little of anything to numb pain. Painful gunshot wounds were dressed hastily, almost roughly, until ambulances could be sent out to take the men to the divisional hospitals in the rear.

"It is claimed that the hospital arrangements were inadequate, and that many regiments went into action without a surgeon. From what I saw I think the criticism to be justified. Naturally the wounded were taken care of first,—the last duties to the dead could be performed later.

"It was ghastly as one moved over the battle-field to come across an upturned face lying in a pool of blood, to see what was once a man, bent, and twisted, and doubled. And still more horrible was it as the moonlight fell over the field, and at unexpected places one ran against this fruit of war and saw faces in the pallor of death made even more ghostlike by the light, while the inevitable sea of crimson stood out in more startling vividness by the contrast.

"We had won the battle, but our position was a somewhat precarious one.

"Our line was long and thin, and there was a danger of the Spaniards breaking through and attacking us in the rear or left flank. To guard against this possibility, Lawton's division at El Caney was ordered to move on to El Pozo, and Kent's division was under orders to draw in its left. The men who had fought at El Caney were hoping to be allowed to sleep on the battle-field and obtain the rest which they so badly needed, but after supper they were placed under arms and the march commenced.

"The Seventh U. S. Infantry led. It was a weird march. Immediately after leaving El Caney we crossed an open field, a skirmish line was thrown out, and the men were commanded to maintain absolute silence. We were in the heart of the enemy's country, and caution was necessary.

"After crossing this field we came to a deep gully through which ran a swift stream almost knee-deep. Our way led across this stream, and there was only one means of getting over. That was to plunge in and splash through. Tired as we all were, after getting thoroughly wet our feet felt like lead, and marching was perfect torture. Still there was no let-up.

"We pressed steadily forward until we came to where the road forked off. Our directions had not been very explicit, we had no maps, and our commander took the road which he thought was the right one. It soon led between high banks of dense growth of chaparral on either side. The moon had disappeared behind the clouds, and had the Spaniards wanted to ambuscade us we were at their mercy.

"I will not say that we were nervous, exactly, but I think we would all rather have been out of that lane. The fear that your enemy may be crouching behind bushes, that you know nothing of his presence until he pours a rifle fire into you, is rather trying on the nerves.

"The command was frequently halted for the officers to consult, and after we had gone about a mile they concluded they were on the wrong road, and went to the right about. When we came out where we had started we found Brigadier-General Chaffee sitting silent on a big horse and watching a seemingly never-ending line of men marching past him. We fell into position and pushed on the road to Santiago.

"How long we marched that night I cannot tell. It seemed interminable. My watch had run down and no one around me had the time. Finally we were ordered to halt, and the men were told to stack arms, take off their packs, and rest.

"I dropped my blanket roll, which seemed to me weighed not less than two hundred pounds, on the muddy road, and sat down to rest. The next thing I knew some one tapped me on the shoulder. It was three o'clock, and I had been asleep for some hours. The regiment was again under arms, and was receiving ammunition from a pack-train which had come up from the rear. We pressed on until early dawn, when we were well in front of Santiago. Entrenchments were hastily thrown up, and we were ready for the enemy. The enemy did not give us much time for rest. They made an assault upon our position early in the morning, which we repulsed....

"While the Spaniards were unable to dislodge us, they succeeded in forcing our artillery back, which had taken a position that subjected it to a withering infantry fire. Later in the day this position was recovered and entrenchments thrown up, which, it was claimed, made the position impregnable. The guns were so placed they could do tremendous destruction.

"There was a lull that afternoon, but in the evening the Spaniards opened up an attack along our entire line, with the intention, evidently, of taking us by surprise and rushing us out of our entrenchments. But their purpose was a failure."

General Lawton, in his report after the assault upon and the capture of El Caney by his division during the first day's fighting, says:

"It may not be out of place to call attention to this peculiar phase of the battle.

"It was fought against an enemy fortified and entrenched within a compact town of stone and concrete houses, some with walls several feet thick, and supported by a number of covered solid stone forts, and the enemy continued to resist until nearly every man was killed or wounded, with a seemingly desperate resolution."

It was Sergeant McKinnery, of Company B, Ninth Infantry, who shot and disabled General Linares, the commander of the Spanish forces in Santiago. The Spanish general was hit about an hour after San Juan Hill was taken, during the first day's fighting. The American saw a Spaniard, evidently a general officer, followed by his staff, riding frantically about the Spanish position, rallying his men.

Sergeant McKinnery asked Lieutenant Wiser's permission to try a shot at the officer, and greatly regretted to find the request refused. Major Bole was consulted. He acquiesced, with the injunction that no one else should fire. Sergeant McKinnery slipped a shell into his rifle, adjusted the sights for one thousand yards, and fired. The shell fell short. Then he put in another, raised the sights for another one thousand yards, took careful aim, and let her go. The officer on the white horse threw up his arms and fell forward.

"That is for Corporal Joyce," said McKinnery as he saw that his ball had reached the mark. The officer on the white horse was General Linares himself. It was afterward learned that he was shot in the left shoulder. He immediately relinquished the command to General Toral.

On the evening of July 3d, General Shafter sent the following cablegram to the War Department:


"To-night my lines completely surrounded the town from beyond the north of the city to point of San Juan River on the south. The enemy holds from west bend San Juan River at its mouth up the railroad to the city. General Pando, I find to-night, is some distance away, and will not get into Santiago.

(Signed) "SHAFTER."

July 4th Secretary Alger received the communication given below:


"The following is my demand for the surrender of the city of Santiago:



"'Sir:—I shall be obliged, unless you surrender, to shell Santiago de Cuba. Please inform the citizens of foreign countries and all women and children that they should leave the city before ten o'clock to-morrow morning. Very respectfully,

"'Your obedient servant, "'W. R. SHAFTER, "'Major-General, U. S. A.'

"Following is the Spanish reply which Colonel Dorst has returned at 6.30 P. M.:

"'SANTIAGO DE CUBA, 2 P. M., July 3, 1898.


"'Sir:—I have the honour to reply to your communication of to-day, written at 8.30 A. M. and received at 1 P. M., demanding the surrender of this city; on the contrary case announcing to me that you will bombard this city, and that I advise the foreigners, women, and children that they must leave the city before ten o'clock to-morrow morning. It is my duty to say to you that this city will not surrender, and that I will inform the foreign consuls and inhabitants of the contents of your message.

"'Very respectfully, "'JOSE TORAL, "'Commander-in-chief, Fourth Corps.'

"The British, Portuguese, Chinese, and Norwegian consuls have come to my line with Colonel Dorst. They ask if non-combatants can occupy the town of Caney and railroad points, and ask until ten o'clock of fifth instant before city is fired on. They claim that there are between fifteen thousand and twenty thousand people, many of them old, who will leave. They ask if I can supply them with food, which I cannot do for want of transportation to Caney, which is fifteen miles from my landing. The following is my reply:


"'Sir:—In consideration of the request of the consuls and officers in your city for delay in carrying out my intention to fire on the city, and in the interest of the poor women and children, who will suffer very greatly by their hasty and enforced departure from the city, I have the honour to announce that I will delay such action solely in their interest until noon of the fifth, providing, during the interval, your forces make no demonstration whatever upon those of my own. I am, with great respect,

"'Your obedient servant, "'W. R. SHAFTER, "'Major-General U. S. A.'

(Signed) "SHAFTER, "Major-General Commanding."



"Don't cheer; the poor devils are dying."

It was Sunday morning (July 3d), and the American squadron lay off Santiago Harbour intent only on blockade duty. No signs of life were visible about old Morro. Beyond and toward the city all was still. After two days of fighting the armies of both nations were resting in their trenches.

The fleet had drifted three miles or more from the land. The battle-ship Massachusetts, the protected cruiser New Orleans, and Commodore Watson's flag-ship, the cruiser Newark, were absent, coaling fifty miles or more away.

Shortly before nine o'clock Admiral Sampson, desiring to ascertain the exact condition of the Spanish coast defences about Aguadores, ordered the flag-ship to go that way, and after flying the signal, "Disregard the motions of the commander-in-chief," the New York steamed leisurely off to the eastward.

The little Gloucester lay nearest the shore; the Vixen was opposite in a straight line, and to the eastward of her about five miles. A mile or less from the Gloucester, to the seaward, was the Indiana. Nearly as far from the latter ship, and southeast of her, lay the Oregon. The Iowa was the outermost ship of the fleet, lying four miles from the harbour entrance; next her, to the eastward, each vessel slightly nearer inshore, were the Texas and the Brooklyn in the order named.

Shoreward, inside the harbour, could be seen a long line of black smoke. On board the fleet religious services were being held, but the lookouts of every ship were at their stations.

Suddenly, at about half past nine, a dark hull was seen coming out past the point of the harbour, and instantly all was seemingly confusion on the big fighting machines.

"The enemy is escaping," was the signal run up on Commodore Schley's flag-ship, and within a few seconds the roar of a 6-pounder on the Iowa broke the stillness of the Sabbath morning.

It was as if every American vessel was put in motion at the same instant, and even as the flag-ship's signal appeared, the clouds of dense smoke from their stacks told that the men in the furnace-rooms had already begun their portion of the task so unexpectedly set for all the fleet.

John R. Spear, author of "The History of our Navy," who was with Sampson's fleet, wrote this complete story of the marvellous naval battle off Santiago and along the southern shore of Cuba, for the World:

"The enemy was first seen at 9.30, and at 9.32 the men of the American batteries were standing erect and silent beside their loaded guns, waiting for the order to commence firing, and watching out of the corners of their eyes the boys who were still sprinkling the decks with sand that no one's foot might slip when blood began to flow across the planks.

"But though silence prevailed among the guns, down in the sealed stoke-hole the click and ring of the shovels that sprayed the coal over the glowing grate-bars, the song of the fans that raised the air pressure, and the throb of pump and engine made music for the whole crew, for the steam-gauges were climbing, and the engineers were standing by the wide-open throttles as the ships were driven straight at the enemy.

"For, as it happened, the Texas had been lying directly off the harbour, and a little more than two miles away the Iowa was but a few lengths farther out and to the westward, while Capt. Jack Philip of the one, and 'Fighting Bob' Evans of the other, were both on deck when the cry was raised announcing the enemy. Hastening to their bridges, they headed away at once for the Spaniards, while the Oregon and the Brooklyn went flying to westward to intercept the leader.

"The mightiest race known to the history of the world, and the most thrilling, was begun.

"They were all away in less time than it has taken the reader to get thus far in the story, and in much less time still,—indeed, before the gongs in the engine-rooms of the Yankee ships had ceased to vibrate under the imperative order of 'Ahead, full speed!'—the Almirante Oquendo, fugitive as she was, had opened the battle. With impetuous haste, and while yet more than two miles away, the Spaniard pointed one of his long 11-inch hontoria rifles in the direction of the Texas and pulled the lanyard. The shell came shrieking out to sea, but to sea only.

"Instantly the great guns of the Morro, 180 feet above the water, and those of the Socapa battery, lying higher still, with all the batteries beneath those two, began to belch and roar as their crews strove with frantic energy to aid the flying squadron.

"Now, it was about three minutes from the appearance of the first Spaniard to the firing of the first American gun.

"In these three minutes the distance between the squadrons was lessened by at least a mile,—the range was not more than two thousand yards.

"But while two thousand yards is the range (about one and one-sixth miles) selected for great gun target practice, it will never do for an eager fight, and as the trend of the land still headed the Spanish off to southward, the battle-ships were able to reduce the range to fifteen hundred yards before they were obliged to head a course parallel with the Spaniards.

"Meantime the Oregon and the Brooklyn, as they were stretching away toward the coast, had opened fire also, and then the last of the big Spaniards, the Infanta Maria Teresa, having rounded the point, the magnificent spectacle of a squadron battle on the open sea—of a battle between four of the best modern armed cruisers on the Spanish side, against three battle-ships and an armoured cruiser on our side—was spread out to view.

"And their best was the worst struggle the world ever saw, for it was a struggle to get out of range while firing with hysterical vehemence their unaimed guns.

"The first shot from the American ships fell short, and a second, in like fashion, dropped into the sea. At that the gunner said things to himself under his breath (it was in the forward turret of the Iowa), and tried it once more.

"For a moment after it the cloud of gun smoke shrouded the turret, but as that thinned away the eager crew saw the 12-inch shell strike into the hull of the Infanta Maria Teresa. Instantly it exploded with tremendous effect. Flame and smoke belched from the hole the shell had made, and puffed from port and hatch. And then in the wake of the driven blast rolled up a volume of flame-streaked smoke that showed the woodwork had taken fire and was burning fiercely all over the after part of the stricken ship.

"The yell that rose from the Yankee throats at that sight swelled to a roar of triumph a moment later, for as he saw that smoke, the captain of the Teresa threw her helm over to port, and headed her for the rocky beach. The one shell had given a mortal wound.

"And then came Wainwright of the Maine,—Lieut.-Commander Richard Wainwright, who for weeks conducted the weary search for the dead bodies of shipmates on the wreck in the harbour of Havana. He was captain of the Gloucester, that was once known as the yacht Corsair. A swift and beautiful craft she, but only armed with lean 6-pounders.

"'Ahead, full speed,' said Wainwright.

"And fortune once more favoured the brave, for in the wake of the mighty Maria Teresa came Spain's two big torpedo-boats, called destroyers, because of their size,—the Pluton and the Furor. Either was more than a match for the Gloucester, for one carried two 12-pounders, and the other two 14-pounders, besides the 6-pounders that both carried.

"Moreover, both overmatched the speed of the Gloucester by at least ten knots per hour. But both had thin-plated sides. The shells of the Gloucester could pierce them, and at them went Wainwright, with the memory of that night in Havana uppermost in his mind.

"The two boats—even the whole Spanish fleet—were still within easy range of the Spanish forts, and to reach his choice of enemies the Gloucester was obliged to risk not only the land fire, but that of the Vizcaya and the Teresa. Nevertheless, as the torpedo-boats steered toward the Brooklyn, evidently bound to torpedo her, Wainwright headed them off, and they never got beyond range of the forts.

"The shots they threw at him outweighed his three to one, but theirs flew wild, and his struck home.

"The day of the destroyers was done. As the big Maria Teresa turned toward the shore, these two destroyers, like stricken wild fowl, fled fluttering and splashing in the same direction, and they floundered as they fled.

"While the Infanta Maria Teresa was on fire, and running for the beach, her crew was still working their guns, and the big Vizcaya was handily by to double the storm of projectiles she was hurling at the Iowa and Texas.

"It was not that the Vizcaya's crew were manfully striving to protect the Teresa; they were making the snarling, clawing fight of a lifetime to escape the relentless Yankees that were closing upon them. For both the Texas and the Iowa had the range, and it was only when the smoke of their own guns blinded them that their fire was withheld, or a shot went astray.

"The Iowa and the Texas had headed off both the Vizcaya and the Infanta Maria Teresa, while the Indiana was coming with tremendous speed to join them.

"And then came the finishing stroke. A 12-inch shell from the Texas went crashing into the stoke-hole, and the Vizcaya,—the ship whose beauty and power once thrilled the hearts of New Yorkers with mingled pleasure and fear—was mortally wounded. Hope was gone, and with helm aport she headed away for the beach, as her consort had done.

"The battle had opened on our side at 9.33 o'clock, and at 9.58 two of the magnificent armoured cruisers of the Spanish navy were quivering, flaming wrecks on the Cuban beach, with the Texas rounding to less than a thousand yards away off the stern of the Vizcaya.

"For a moment the Texas tarried there to let the smoke clear, and to see accurately the condition of the enemy, but while her gunners were taking aim for a final broadside a half-naked quartermaster on the Vizcaya, with clawing hands on the halliards, hauled down the fever-hued ensign from her peak and hoisted the white flag instead.

"'Cease firing!' commanded Captain Jack Philip of the Texas.

"So far as the Vizcaya and the Infanta Maria Teresa were concerned, the battle—and for that matter the war—was ended.

"Huge volumes of black smoke, edged with red flame, rolled from every port and shot hole of the Vizcaya, as from the Teresa. They were both furnaces of glowing fire. Though they had come from the harbour to certain battle, not a wooden bulkhead, nor a partition in the quarters either of officers or men had been taken out, nor had trunks and chests been sent ashore. Neither had the wooden decks nor any other wooden fixtures been prepared to resist fire. Apparently the crew had not even wet down the decks.

"But the Texas tarried at this gruesome scene only for a moment. They wished only to make sure that the two Spaniards were really out of the fight, and when they saw the Iowa was going to stand by both, away they went to join the race between the Brooklyn and the Oregon on our side, and the Cristobal Colon and Almirante Oquendo on the other.

"In spite of the original superior speed on the part of the Spaniards, and in spite of the delay on the part of the Texas, the Spaniards were not yet wholly out of range, though the Cristobal Colon was reaching away at a speed that gave the Spanish shore forces hope.

"Under battened hatches the Yankee firemen, stripped to their trousers, plied their shovels and raised the steam-gauges higher. The Yankee ships were grass-grown and barnacled, but now they were driven as never before since their trial trips. The Spaniards had called us pigs, but Nemesis had turned us into spear-armed huntsmen in chase of game that neither tusks nor legs could save.

"For while the Colon was showing a speed that was the equal at least of our own Brooklyn, long-headed Commodore Schley saw that she was hugging the coast, although a point of land loomed in the distance to cut her off or drive her out to sea.

"Instead of striving to close in on the Spaniards, Schley headed straight for that point,—took the shortest cut for it, so to speak,—and in that way drew steadily ahead of the Colon, leaving to the Oregon and Texas the task of holding the Spaniards from turning out across the Brooklyn's stern.

"It was a splendid piece of strategy, well worthy of the gallant officer, and it won.

"The task of the battle-ships was well within their powers. It is not without reason that both the Oregon and the Texas are the pride of the nation as well as of their crews.

"The Oregon and the Brooklyn had hurled a relentless fire at the flying Spaniards, and it had told on the Almirante Oquendo with increasing effect.

"For the Oregon was fair on the Oquendo's beam, and there was not enough armour on any Spanish ship to stop the massive 13-inch projectiles the ship from the Pacific was driving into her with unerring aim.

"At ten o'clock sharp the Oquendo was apparently still fore and aft, but within five minutes she wavered and lagged, and a little later, flag-ship though she was, she put her helm to port, as her consorts had done, and fled for life to the beach.

"The Texas was coming with unflagging speed astern, and off to the east could be seen the flag-ship of Admiral Sampson racing as never before to get a shot in at the finish. An auxiliary had been sent by Commodore Schley to call her, and it had met her coming at the call of the guns of the Spanish fleet. She had overhauled and passed the Indiana long since, and was well-nigh abreast of the Texas. So the Oregon, in order to vie with the New York in the last of the mighty race, abandoned the Oquendo to her fate and stretched away after the Cristobal Colon.

"Some of the crew who looked back saw the Texas bring to near the Oquendo, and then the sea trembled under the impulse of a tremendous explosion on board the doomed Spaniard, while a vast volume of smoke filled with splintered wreck rose in the air. Had they been near enough they would have heard the crew of the Texas start in to cheer, and have heard as well the voice of Captain Philip say, as he raised his hand to check it:

"'Don't cheer; the poor devils are dying.'

"Only a man fit to command could have had that thought.

"The battle was well-nigh over. But one ship of the Spanish squadron remained, and she was now in the last desperate struggle, the flurry of a monster of the deep. Her officers peered with frowning brows through gilded glasses at the Brooklyn forging ahead far off their port bow; at the Oregon within range off the port quarter; at the New York just getting the range with her beautiful 8-inch rifles astern. They shivered in unison with the quivering hulk as shot after shot struck home. They screamed at their crews and stamped and fumed. At the guns their crews worked with drunken desperation, but down in the stoke-hole the firemen plied their shovels with a will and a skill that formed the most surprising feature of the Spanish side of the battle. Because of them this was a race worthy of the American mettle, for it put to the full test the powers of the men of the three ships in chase.

"In the open sea they might have led the Yankees for an hour or more beyond, but the strategy of Schley had cut them off, and yet it was not until 1.15 o'clock—three hours and three-quarters after the first gun of the Oquendo—that the Colon's gallant captain lost all hope, and, from a race to save the ship, turned to the work of destroying her, so that we should not be able to float the stars and stripes above her.

"The Oregon had drawn up abeam of her, and was about a mile away. The shots from the New York astern were beginning to tell, and those from the Brooklyn had all along been smiting her in the face.

"Baffled and beaten she turned to the shore, ran hard aground near Tarquino Point, fifty miles from Santiago, and then hauled down her flag.

"The most powerful sea force that ever fought under the American flag had triumphed; the most remarkable race in the history of the world was ended."

On board the flag-ship New York is published a tiny daily newspaper, 4 x 7 inches in size, with the name "Squadron Bulletin" on the title-page. Following is the account of the destruction of the Spanish fleet as given in that publication:

"This is a red-letter day for the American navy, as dating the entire destruction of Admiral Cervera's formidable fleet; the Infanta Maria Teresa, Vizcaya, Oquendo, Cristobal Colon, and the deep-sea torpedo-boats Furor and Pluton.

"The flag-ship had started from her station about nine to go to Siboney, whence the admiral had proposed going for a consultation with General Shafter; the other ships, with the exception of the Massachusetts and Suwanee, which had, unfortunately, gone this morning to Guantanamo for coal, were in their usual positions, viz., beginning at the east, the Gloucester, Indiana, Oregon, Iowa, Texas, Brooklyn, and Vixen.

"When about two miles off from Altares Bay, and about four miles east of her usual position, the Spanish fleet was observed coming out and making westward in the following order: Infanta Maria Teresa (flag), Vizcaya, Cristobal Colon, Almirante Oquendo, Furor, and Pluton.

"They were at once engaged by the ships nearest, and the result was practically established in a very short time. The heavy and rapid shell fire was very destructive to both ships and men. The cruisers Infanta Maria Teresa, Almirante Oquendo, and Vizcaya were run ashore in the order named, afire and burning fiercely. The first ship was beached at Nima, nine and one-half miles west of the port; the second at Juan Gonzalez, six miles west; the third at Acerraderos, fifteen miles. The torpedo-boat destroyers were both sunk, one near the beach, the other in deep water about three miles west of the harbour entrance.

"The remaining ship, the Cristobal Colon, stood on and gave a long chase of forty-eight miles, in which the Brooklyn, Oregon, Texas, Vixen, and New York took part. The Colon is reputed by her captain to have been going at times as much as seventeen and a half knots, but they could not keep this up, chiefly on account of the fatigue of her men, who, many of them, had been ashore at Santiago the day before, and had been, while there, long without food; her average speed was actually thirteen and seven-tenths knots, the ship leaving the harbour at 9.43 A. M., and reaching Rio Tarquino (forty-eight miles from Santiago entrance) at 1.15.

"She was gradually forced in toward the shore, and, seeing no chance of an escape from so overwhelming a force, the heavy shells of the Oregon already dropping around and beyond her, she ran ashore at Rio Tarquino and hauled down her flag.

"She was practically uninjured, but her sea-valves were treacherously opened, and in spite of all efforts she gradually sank, and now lies near the beach in water of moderate depth. It is to be hoped that she may be floated, as she was far the finest ship of the squadron. All her breech plugs were thrown overboard after the surrender, and the breech-blocks of her Mauser rifles thrown away.

"The flag-ship remained at Rio Tarquino until eleven P. M., and then returned to Santiago. The Texas, Oregon, and Vixen remained by the prize. Commodore second in command of fleet, Captain de Navio of the first class, Don Jose de Paredes y Chacon, Captain de Navio Don Emilio Moreu, commanding the Colon, and Teniente de Navio Don Pablo Marina y Briengas, aid and secretary to the commodore, were taken on board the New York. The 525 men of the crew of the Colon were placed aboard the Resolute, which came from Santiago to report sighting a Spanish armoured cruiser, which turned out to be the Austrian Maria Teresa. The other officers were placed aboard the Resolute and Vixen.

"Admiral Cervera and many of his officers were taken off the shore by the Gloucester, and transferred to the Iowa, which ship had already taken off many from the Vizcaya; thirty-eight officers and 238 men were on board the Iowa, and seven officers and 203 men were aboard the Indiana.

"All these were in a perfectly destitute condition, having been saved by swimming, or having been taken from the water by our boats. Admiral Cervera was in a like plight. He was received with the usual honours when he came aboard, and was heartily cheered by the Iowa's crew."

The Independence Day number is very brief. It announces that the prisoners are to be sent north on the Harvard and St. Louis; that they number 1,750; that the dead among the Spanish ships were over six hundred; that General Pando had reached Santiago with five thousand men; that the Brooklyn and Marblehead had gone to Guantanamo to overhaul and coal, and then tells of the Reina Mercedes's skirmish on that day, saying:

"Just before midnight of this date the Massachusetts, which was in front of the port with her search-light up to the entrance, reported an enemy's vessel coming out, and she and the Texas fired a number of shots in the direction of the harbour mouth. The batteries also opened, and a number of shell fell at various points, the attention paid by the batteries to the ships being general. The Indiana was struck on the starboard side of the quarter-deck by a mortar shell, which exploded on reaching the second deck near the ward-room ladder; it caused a fire which was quickly extinguished. This was the first accident of the kind to the fleet. The vessel inside turned out to be the Reina Mercedes, which was sunk on the east edge of the channel just by the Estrella battery. She heads north, and is canted over to port with her port rail under water. She does not appear to obstruct the channel."

The issue of July 5th is of greater interest:

"Mention of the presence of the torpedo-boat Ericsson, on the third instant, was unfortunately omitted. She was in company with a flag-ship, and turned at once upon sighting the enemy. As she was drawing away from the New York she signalled, asking permission to continue in chase, but she was directed to pick up two men in the water, which she did, and on reaching the Vizcaya she was directed by the Iowa, the flag-ship having gone ahead, to assist in the rescue of the Vizcaya's crew. She took off eleven officers and ninety men. The guns of the Vizcaya during the operation were going off from the heat, and explosions were frequent, so that the work was trying and perilous for the boats of the two vessels (Iowa and Ericsson) engaged.

"The former report from the army, which was official, regarding General Pando's entry into Santiago, was an error. General Shafter thought that he had been enabled to form a junction, but some few of his men only had been able to do so; the general himself and his remaining force, it is thought, will not be able.

"The day was an uneventful one from a naval standpoint. The flag-ship went to the wrecks of the Infanta Maria Teresa and the Almirante. The former lies in an easy position on sand, and with almost her normal draught of water. She is, of course, completely burned out inside above her protective deck, but the shell of her hull seems very good, and her machinery is probably not seriously injured.

"It looks very much as if she were salvable. The Almirante was much worse off. She had been subjected to a much heavier gun fire, being racked and torn in every part; she is much more out of water, and the forward part is much distorted and torn by the explosion of her magazine and torpedoes. The loss of life was very great. Charred bodies are strewn everywhere, the vicinity of the port forward torpedo-room, particularly, was almost covered. The torpedo exploded in the tube; it may be by a shot. This is a question which it is hoped may be conclusively decided. The fact of so many bodies being about would seem to bear this out, but two of her crew, taken off the beach this afternoon, were questioned, and both stated that it was the result of fire, and that the number of bodies is to be accounted for by the fact that the operating-room is just below, and that many wounded came up that far and were suffocated. The two men were intelligent young fellows, and talked freely. They said that the gun fire was such that it was impossible to keep the men at the guns. One was a powder passer, the other at a 57-mm gun. In the forward turret were two officers and five men, evidently killed by the entry of a 6-pounder shell between the top of the turret and the gun shield. Altogether the ship was a most striking instance of what rapid and well-directed gun fire may accomplish. She was terribly battered about.

"While the flag-ship was lying near the Almirante, and her steam cutter was alongside, and a small boat from the press tug Hercules lying on the starboard quarter, a shell exploded in a 15-centimetre gun, and a piece went through the tug's boat, cutting it in two; the man in the boat was not hurt. It is somewhat extraordinary that this shell should have waited so long to act, as the after part of the ship was generally well cooled off. There was still much heat and some flames about the bow. One extraordinary fact is the survival, in proper shape, of many powder grains, baked hard; several of these were picked up about the deck.

"A board has been ordered by the commander-in-chief to report in detail upon the stranded ships."

On the fifteenth of July Admiral Sampson made his official report, which is given in full:


"Sir:—I have the honour to make the following report upon the battle with and the destruction of the Spanish squadron, commanded by Admiral Cervera, off Santiago de Cuba, on Sunday, July 3, 1898:

"2. The enemy's vessels came out of the harbour between 9.35 and 10 A. M., the head of the column appearing around Cay Smith at 9.31, and emerging from the channel five or six minutes later.

"3. The positions of the vessels of my command off Santiago at that moment were as follows: The flag-ship New York was four miles east of her blockading station and about seven miles from the harbour entrance. She had started for Siboney, where I had intended to land, accompanied by several of my staff, and go to the front to consult with General Shafter. A discussion of the situation, and a more definite understanding between us of the operations proposed, had been rendered necessary by the unexpectedly strong resistance of the Spanish garrison at Santiago.

"I had sent my chief of staff on shore the day before to arrange an interview with General Shafter, who had been suffering from heat prostration. I made arrangements to go to his headquarters, and my flag-ship was in the position mentioned above when the Spanish squadron appeared in the channel.

"The remaining vessels were in or near their usual blockading positions, distributed in a semicircle about the harbour entrance, counting from the eastward to the westward in the following order: The Indiana, about a mile and a half from shore, the Oregon,—the New York's place between these two,—the Iowa, Texas, and Brooklyn, the latter two miles from the shore west of Santiago.

"The distance of the vessels from the harbour entrance was two and a half to four miles,—the latter being the limit of day blockading distance. The length of the arc formed by the ships was about eight miles.

"The Massachusetts had left at four A. M. for Guantanamo for coal. Her station was between the Iowa and Texas. The auxiliaries, Gloucester and Vixen, lay close to the land and nearer the harbour entrance than the large vessels, the Gloucester to the eastward and the Vixen to the westward.

"The torpedo-boat Ericsson was in company with the flag-ship, and remained with her during the chase until ordered to discontinue, when she rendered very efficient service in rescuing prisoners from the burning Vizcaya. I enclose a diagram showing approximately the positions of the vessels as described above.

"4. The Spanish vessels came rapidly out of the harbour, at a speed estimated at from eight to ten knots, and in the following order: Infanta Maria Teresa (flag-ship), Vizcaya, Cristobal Colon, and the Almirante Oquendo.

"The distance between these ships was about eight hundred yards, which means that, from the time the first one became visible in the upper reach of the channel until the last one was out of the harbour, an interval of only about twelve minutes elapsed.

"Following the Oquendo, at a distance of about twelve hundred yards, came the torpedo-boat destroyer Pluton, and after her came the Furor. The armoured cruisers, as rapidly as they could bring their guns to bear, opened a vigorous fire upon the blockading vessels, and emerged from the channel shrouded in the smoke from their guns.

"5. The men of our ships in front of the port were at Sunday 'quarters for inspection.' The signal was given simultaneously from several vessels, 'Enemy's ships escaping,' and general quarters were sounded. The men cheered as they sprang to their guns, and fire was opened, probably within eight minutes, by the vessels whose guns commanded the entrance.

"The New York turned about and steamed for the escaping fleet, flying the signal, 'Close in toward harbour entrance and attack vessels,' and gradually increasing speed until toward the end of the chase she was making sixteen and one-half knots, and was rapidly closing on the Cristobal Colon.

"She was not, at any time, within the range of the heavy Spanish ships, and her only part in the firing was to receive the undivided fire from the forts in passing the harbour entrance, and to fire a few shots at one of the destroyers, thought at the moment to be attempting to escape from the Gloucester.

"6. The Spanish vessels, upon clearing the harbour, turned to the westward in column, increasing their speed to the full power of their engines. The heavy blockading vessels, which had closed in toward the Morro, at the instant of the enemy's appearance, and at their best speed, delivered a rapid fire, well sustained and destructive, which speedily overwhelmed and silenced the Spanish fire.

"The initial speed of the Spaniards carried them rapidly past the blockading vessels, and the battle developed into a chase in which the Brooklyn and Texas had at the start the advantage of position. The Brooklyn maintained this lead.

"The Oregon, steaming with amazing speed from the commencement of the action, took first place. The Iowa and the Indiana having done good work, and not having the speed of the other ships, were directed by me, in succession, at about the time the Vizcaya was beached, to drop out of the chase and resume blockading stations. These vessels rescued many prisoners. The Vixen, finding that the rush of the Spanish ships would put her between two fires, ran outside of our own column and remained there during the battle and chase.

"7. The skilful handling and gallant firing of the Gloucester excited the admiration of every one who witnessed it, and merits the commendation of the Navy Department. She is a fast and entirely unprotected auxiliary vessel,—the yacht Corsair,—and has a good battery of light rapid-fire guns.

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