The Boys of '98
by James Otis
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"She was lying about two miles from the harbour entrance to the southward and eastward, and immediately steamed in, opening fire upon the large ships.

"Anticipating the appearance of the Pluton and Furor, the Gloucester was slowed, thereby gaining more rapidly a high pressure of steam, and when the destroyers came out she steamed for them at full speed and was able to close at short range, where her fire was accurate, deadly, and of great volume.

"During this fight the Gloucester was under the fire of the Socapa battery. Within twenty minutes from the time they emerged from Santiago Harbour the careers of the Furor and the Pluton were ended, and two-thirds of their people killed. The Furor was beached and sunk in the surf; the Pluton sank in deep water a few minutes later. The destroyer probably suffered much injury from the fire of the secondary batteries of the battle-ships Iowa, Indiana, and the Texas, yet I think a very considerable factor in their speedy destruction was the fire, at close range, of the Gloucester's battery.

"After rescuing the survivors of the destroyers, the Gloucester did excellent service in landing and securing the crew of the Infanta Maria Teresa.

"8. The method of escape attempted by the Spaniards—all steering in the same direction, and in formation—removed all practical doubts or difficulties, and made plain the duty of every United States vessel to close in, immediately engage and pursue. This was promptly and effectively done.

"As already stated, the first rush of the Spanish squadron carried it past a number of the blockading ships, which could not immediately work up to their best speed, but they suffered heavily in passing, and the Infanta Maria Teresa and the Oquendo were probably set on fire by the shells fired during the first fifteen minutes of the engagement. It was afterward learned that the Infanta Maria Teresa's fire main had been cut by one of our first shots, and that she was unable to extinguish the fire.

"With large volumes of smoke rising from their lower deck aft these vessels gave up both fight and flight, and ran in on the beach, the Infanta Maria Teresa at about 10.15 A. M., at Nima, nine and one-half miles from Santiago Harbour entrance, and the Almirante Oquendo at about 10.30 A. M., at Juan Gonzales, seven miles from the port.

"9. The _Vizcaya_ was still under the fire of the leading vessels. The _Cristobal Colon_ had drawn ahead, leading the chase, and soon passed beyond the range of the guns of the leading American ships. The _Viz_caya_ was soon set on fire, and at 11.15 she turned inshore and was beached at Acerraderos, fifteen miles from Santiago, burning fiercely, and with her reserves of ammunition on deck already beginning to explode.

"When about ten miles west of Santiago the Indiana had been signalled to go back to the harbour entrance, and at Acerraderos the Iowa was signalled to 'resume blockading station.' The Iowa, assisted by the Ericsson and the Hist, took off the crew of the Vizcaya, while the Harvard and the Gloucester rescued those of the Infanta Maria Teresa and the Almirante Oquendo.

"This rescue of prisoners, including the wounded from the burning Spanish vessels, was the occasion of some of the most daring and gallant conduct of the day. The ships were burning fore and aft, their guns and reserve ammunition were exploding, and it was not known at what moment the fire would reach the main magazine.

"In addition to this a heavy surf was running just inside of the Spanish ships. But no risk deterred our officers and men until their work of humanity was complete.

"10. There remained now of the Spanish ships only the Cristobal Colon, but she was their best and fastest vessel. Forced by the situation to hug the Cuban coast, her only chance of escape was by superior and sustained speed.

"When the Vizcaya went ashore the Colon was about six miles ahead of the Brooklyn and the Oregon, but her spurt was finished, and the American ships were now gaining upon her. Behind the Brooklyn and the Oregon came the Texas, Vixen, and New York.

"It was evident from the bridge of the New York that all the American ships were gradually overhauling the chase, and that she had no chance of escape. At 12.50 the Brooklyn and the Oregon opened fire and got her range,—the Oregon's heavy shells striking beyond her,—and at 1.20 she gave up without firing another shot, hauled down her colours and ran ashore at Rio Tarquino, forty-eight miles from Santiago.

"Captain Cook of the Brooklyn went on board to receive the surrender. While his boat was alongside I came up in the New York, receiving his report, and placed the Oregon in charge of the wreck to save her, if possible, and directed the prisoners to be transferred to the Resolute, which had followed the chase. Commodore Schley, whose chief of staff had gone on board to receive the surrender, had directed that all their personal effects should be retained by the officers. This order I did not modify.

"The Cristobal Colon was not injured by our firing, and probably is not injured by beaching, though she ran ashore at high speed. The beach was so steep that she came off by the working of the sea. But her sea valves were opened or broken, treacherously, I am sure, after her surrender, and despite all efforts she sank. When it became evident that she could not be kept afloat she was pushed by the New York bodily upon the beach, the New York's stem being placed against her for this purpose, the ship being handled by Captain Chadwick with admirable judgment, and sank in shoal water, and may be saved. Had this not been done she would have gone down in deep water, and would have been to a certainty a complete loss.

"11. I regard this complete and important victory over the Spanish forces as the successful finish of several weeks of arduous and close blockade, so stringent and effective during the night that the enemy was deterred from making the attempt to escape at night, and deliberately elected to make the attempt in daylight. That this was the case I was informed by the commanding officer of the Cristobal Colon.

"12. It seems proper to briefly describe here the manner in which this was accomplished. The harbour of Santiago is naturally easy to blockade, there being but one entrance and that a narrow one, and the deep water extending close up to the shore line, presenting no difficulties of navigation outside of the entrance. At the time of my arrival before the port, June 1st, the moon was at its full, and there was sufficient light during the night to enable any movement outside of the entrance to be detected; but with the waning of the moon and the coming of dark nights there was opportunity for the enemy to escape, or for his torpedo-boats to make an attack upon the blockading vessels.

"It was ascertained with fair conclusiveness that the Merrimac, so gallantly taken into the channel on June 3d, did not obstruct it. I therefore maintained the blockade as follows: To the battle-ships was assigned the duty, in turn, of lighting the channel. Moving up to the port, at a distance of from one to two miles from the Morro,—dependent upon the condition of the atmosphere,—they threw a search-light beam directly up the channel and held it steadily there.

"This lighted up the entire breadth of the channel for half a mile inside of the entrance so brilliantly that the movement of small boats could be detected.

"Why the batteries never opened fire upon the search-light-ship was always a matter of surprise to me; but they never did. Stationed close to the entrance of the port were three picket-launches, and, at a little distance further out, three small picket-vessels—usually converted yachts—and, when they were available, one or two of our torpedo-boats.

"With this arrangement there was at least a certainty that nothing could get out of the harbour undetected.

"After the arrival of the army, when the situation forced upon the Spanish admiral a decision, our vigilance increased. The night blockading distance was reduced to two miles for all vessels, and a battle-ship was placed alongside the search-light-ship, with her broadside trained upon the channel in readiness to fire the instant a Spanish ship should appear. The commanding officers merit great praise for the perfect manner in which they entered into this plan, and put it into execution. The Massachusetts, which, according to routine, was sent that morning to coal at Guantanamo, like the others, had spent weary nights upon this work, and deserved a better fate than to be absent that morning.

"I enclose, for the information of the department, copies of orders and memorandums issued from time to time, relating to the manner of maintaining the blockade. When all the work was done so well, it is difficult to discriminate in praise.

"The object of the blockade of Cervera's squadron was fully accomplished, and each individual bore well his part in it, the commodore in command of the second division, the captains of ships, their officers, and men.

"13. The fire of the battle-ships was powerful and destructive, and the resistance of the Spanish squadron was, in great part, broken almost before they had got beyond the range of their own force.

"The fine speed of the Oregon enabled her to take a front position in the chase, and the Cristobal Colon did not give up until the Oregon had thrown a 13-inch shell beyond her. This performance adds to the already brilliant record of this fine battle-ship, and speaks highly of the skill and care with which her admirable efficiency has been maintained during a service unprecedented in the history of vessels of her class.

"The Brooklyn's westerly blockading position gave her an advantage in the chase which she maintained to the end, and she employed her fine battery with telling effect.

"The Texas and the New York were gaining on the chase during the last hour, and, had any accident befallen the Brooklyn or the Oregon, would have speedily overhauled the Cristobal Colon.

"From the moment the Spanish vessel exhausted her first burst of speed, the result was never in doubt. She fell, in fact, far below what might reasonably have been expected of her.

"Careful measurements of time and distance give her an average speed, from the time she cleared the harbour mouth until the time she was run on shore at Rio Tarquino, of 13.7 knots.

"Neither the New York nor the Brooklyn stopped to couple up their forward engines, but ran out of the chase with one pair, getting steam, of course, as rapidly as possible on all boilers. To stop to couple up the forward engines would have meant a delay of fifteen minutes, or four miles in the chase.

"14. Several of the ships were struck, the Brooklyn more often than the others, but very light material injury was done, the greatest being aboard the Iowa.

"Our loss was one man killed and one wounded, both on the Brooklyn. It is difficult to explain the immunity from loss of life or injury to ships in a combat with modern vessels of the best type, but Spanish gunnery is poor at the best, and the superior weight and accuracy of our fire speedily drove the men from their guns and silenced their fire.

"This is borne out by the statements of prisoners and by observation. The Spanish vessels, as they dashed out of the harbour, were covered with the smoke from their own guns, but this speedily diminished in volume, and soon almost disappeared.

"The fire from the rapid-fire batteries of the battle-ships appears to have been remarkably destructive. An examination of the stranded vessels shows that the Almirante Oquendo especially had suffered terribly from this fire. Her sides are everywhere pierced, and her decks were strewn with the charred remains of those who had fallen.

"15. The reports of Commodore W. S. Schley and the commanding officers are enclosed.

"16. A board, appointed by me several days ago, has made a critical examination of the stranded vessels, both with a view of reporting upon the result of our fire and the military features involved, and of reporting upon the chance of saving any of them, and of wrecking the remainder. The report of the board will be speedily forwarded. Very respectfully,

"W. T. SAMPSON, "Rear-Admiral U. S. Navy, Commander-in-Chief U. S. Naval Force, North Atlantic Station.

"The Secretary of the Navy, Navy Department, Washington, D. C."

A letter from Captain Chadwick of the flag-ship New York, to his wife, is an entertaining addition to the story of this most marvellous sea fight:

"FLAGSHIP NEW YORK, July 4, 1898.

"Yesterday was a wonderful day, as you will know in a few hours after my writing this.

"We were in a rather disgruntled frame of mind on account of a little note from Shafter. He wanted to know why the navy could not go under a destructive fire as well as the army. It was decided to go and have a consultation with him, explain the situation, and lay our plans before him, which were to countermine the harbour, going in at the same time, and also trying to carry the Morro by assault with one thousand marines landed in Estrella cove.

"It was arranged we were to go to Siboney about 9.30, so Sampson, Staunton, and I put on our leggings, got some sandwiches, filled a flask, and the ship started to go the seven miles to Siboney, where we were to find horses and a cavalry escort.

"We were within a mile or so of the place when a message came to me that a ship was coming out, and by the time I was on deck I found the New York turned around, and headed back, and there they were, coming out one after the other, and putting west as hard as they could go.

"The situation was one which rather left us out of it. We were too far off to shoot, but could see the rest banging away. The last to come were the two torpedo-boat destroyers, so we headed in to cut off any attempt on their part to return to port, and we saw Wainwright in the Gloucester firing at them for all he was worth, and soon one evidently had a hole through her boiler, as there was a great white cloud of steam which shot into the air. We fired two or three 4-inch shots at the other, which was moving back toward the entrance, and then left him to Wainwright's mercy, as it was a clear case, and stood on; in a few moments we came, first to one and then the other, but a little way apart, the Infanta Maria Teresa and the Oquendo afire and ashore.

"As we were going past the torpedo-boats, I ought to have mentioned two men in the water, stripped, to whom we threw life-buoys, with which they expressed themselves satisfied. It is impossible in such a case, with two of the enemy's ships going ahead of us, to stop.

"We had not passed the two ships I mentioned far, until we saw the Vizcaya head in, and soon she was on the beach and aflame, at Ascerraderos, right under the old Cuban camp.

"There was still the Cristobal Colon, a good way ahead, the newest and fastest and much more powerful. We had passed the Iowa (which we left with the burning Vizcaya) and the Indiana, which we ordered to return off the harbour, and tailed on to the procession after the Cristobal Colon, which consisted of the Oregon, the Brooklyn, and Texas, and the Vixen. We got each of our extra boilers into operation until we were going a good fifteen knots, and we were overhauling the advance somewhat.

"The Oregon and Brooklyn kept well up, and soon the Oregon began to fire, and we could see the Cristobal Colon gradually edge inshore, so that we knew the game was up and the victory complete; soon she headed in, and went under one of the points which come down from the mountains, which here (some sixty miles west of Santiago) are close at the water's edge, and are the highest (seventy-eight hundred feet) in Cuba. We hurried forward and soon saw she had hauled her flag down, and was ashore.

"The Brooklyn had sent a boat, and Cook, who had gone in it, came alongside on his return, and stated he had received their surrender, stating he was not empowered to make any condition as to personal effects, etc., as to which they seemed anxious.

"I then went on board and arranged things, the admiral allowing them, of course, to take with them all their personal belongings, so while we were dividing them up among the ships (525 men) along came the Resolute, reporting having been chased by a Spanish armoured ship, so we put all the prisoners in her. This was a long job.

"The thing was to save the Cristobal Colon, as she is one of the finest modern ships of her class. We hurried a prize-crew aboard from the Oregon, closed all water-tight doors, as she was evidently leaking somewhere, but for all we could do she settled down on the beach after floating with the rising tide. It was a great pity, but the rascally engineers' force had opened all the valves connecting with the sea, and we could not get at them.

"We finally, after eight hours of hard work, left her in charge of the Texas and Oregon, and are now steaming back to our post off Santiago. The failure to save the Colon was too bad. It is possible to do so, of course, with the assistance of a wrecking company, but she was practically in an undamaged condition. She had one man killed and twenty-five wounded.

"I am only too thankful we did not get ashore this morning. Poor Higginson, who was down at Guantanamo coaling, will be full of grief, as also Watson, in the Newark.

"I had forgotten to mention that day before yesterday we bombarded the forts very heavily, knocking off a good deal of the poor old Morro, and bringing down the flagstaff and the flag which was so proudly flaunted in our eyes for more than a month.

"We did this at the request of the army, as a demonstration while they attacked. They did not, however, make the attack, as it turned out.

"These bombardments are very unsatisfactory; one reads lurid accounts of them in the papers, but nothing really is gained unless we strike the guns themselves, and this we have not done.

"As we steamed by to-day in close range, our friends of the western battery, who paid a great deal of attention to us yesterday, banged away at us in fine style, and a number of shells burst around us. Finally, when I had them entirely off my mind and was paying attention only to the torpedo-boat destroyers, came a tremendous screech, and everybody on the forecastle dodged. It was their last; it fell about two hundred yards to our right. We did not reply as we came along. I thought it a waste of material, and thought they might have their amusement so long as they did no damage.

"There—the engines have stopped and we are back at Santiago; it is 4.30, and I shall turn in again for a final nap. The captain of the Colon is occupying my room; very nice fellow, about fifty-six, indeed, as are most Spanish naval officers, who, as a Cuban officer said to me, are the flower of the Spanish blood.

"We also have a general and his aid-de-camp, whom we took in the Colon, a nice old boy and very chirpy. The captain, of course, takes the loss of his ship to heart very much, but the general and his aid seem as cheerful as possible. I suppose they think 'it's none of their funeral.'

"I stored the general in Staunton's room, Staunton going to Santiago in a torpedo-boat to send the news.

"We have got off our Spanish friends, and are now loafing. It is a great relief to feel that there is nothing to look after to-night.

"This goes in the St. Louis, so I hope you will have it before many days, and I hope, too, it won't be long before I get to see you. I think this terrific defeat must go far toward ending things."



With the victory at El Caney and San Juan Hill fresh in their minds, the American people believed that the war was well-nigh at an end. Information that Spain had sued for peace was hourly expected.

There was much to be done, however, before the enemy was willing to admit himself beaten. The city of Santiago yet remained in the hands of the Spaniards, Manila was still defiant; and until those two strongholds had been reduced, the boys of '98 must continue to struggle in the trenches and on the field.

The end was not far away, however.

July 5. General Shafter telegraphed to the War Department on the fifth of July to the effect that the people of Santiago were not only panic-stricken through fear of bombardment, but were suffering from lack of actual necessaries of life. There was no food save rice, and the supply of that was exceedingly limited. The belief of the war officials, however, was that the Spaniards would fight to the last, and capitulate only when it should become absolutely necessary.

Meanwhile the soldiers were waiting eagerly for the close of the truce, and, as the hour set by General Shafter drew near, every nerve was strained to its utmost tension once more. Then a white flag was carried down the line, and all knew the truce had been prolonged.

General Kent, whose division was facing the hospital and barracks of Santiago, was notified by the enemy that Assistant Naval Constructor Hobson and his companions were confined in the extreme northern building, over which two white flags were flying.

The citizens of Santiago, learning that General Toral refused to consider the question of surrender, began to leave the city,—a mournful procession.

General Shafter cabled to the government at Washington under date of July 5th:

"I am just in receipt of a letter from General Toral, agreeing to exchange Hobson and men here; to make exchange in the morning. Yesterday he refused my proposition of exchange."

July 7. General Miles and staff left Washington en route for Santiago.

Lieutenant Hobson and the other Merrimac heroes were brought into the American lines on the morning of the seventh. The exchange of prisoners had been arranged to take place under a tree midway between the entrenchments occupied by the Rough Riders and the first lines of the Spanish position. Col. John Jacob Astor represented the American commander, and took with him to the rendezvous three Spanish lieutenants and fourteen other prisoners. Major Irles, a Spanish staff officer, acted for the enemy. The transfer was quickly effected, and once more the brave fellows who had set their lives as a sacrifice on the altar of their country were free.

July 10. The truce continued, with the exception of a brief time on the tenth, when the bombardment was resumed by the fleet, until the thirteenth, when Generals Miles, Shafter, Wheeler, and Gilmour had an interview with General Toral and his staff at a point about halfway between the lines.

July 13. During this interview the situation was placed frankly before General Toral, and he was offered the alternative of being sent home with his garrison, or leaving Santiago province, the only condition imposed being that he should not destroy the existing fortifications, and should leave his arms behind.

July 15. Not until two days later were the details arranged, and then the Spanish commander sent the following letter:

"SANTIAGO DE CUBA, July 15, 1898.


"Excellent Sir:—I am now authorised by my government to capitulate. I have the honour to so advise you, requesting you to designate hour and place where my representatives should appear to compare with those of your excellency, to effect that article of capitulation on the basis of what has been agreed upon to this date.

"In due time I wish to manifest to your excellency that I desire to know the resolution of the United States government respecting the return of arms, so as to note on the capitulation, also the great courtesy and gentlemanly deportment of your great grace's representatives, and return for their generous and noble impulse for the Spanish soldiers, will allow them to return to the peninsula with the arms that the American army do them the honour to acknowledge as dutifully descended.

(Signed) "JOSE TORAL, "Commander-in-Chief Fourth Army Corps."

July 16. Commissioners on behalf of the United States and of Spain were appointed, and after but little discussion an agreement between them was arrived at.

The agreement consists of nine articles.

The first declared that all hostilities cease pending the agreement of final capitulation.

Second: That the capitulation includes all the Spanish forces and the surrender of all war material within the prescribed limits.

Third: The transportation of the troops to Spain at the earliest possible moment, each force to be embarked at the nearest port.

Fourth: That the Spanish officers shall retain their side-arms and the enlisted men their personal property.

Fifth: That after the final capitulation, the Spanish forces shall assist in the removal of all obstructions to navigation in Santiago Harbour.

Sixth: That after the final capitulation the commanding officers shall furnish a complete inventory of all arms and munitions of war, and a roster of all the soldiers in the district.

Seventh: That the Spanish general shall be permitted to take the military archives and records with him.

Eighth: That all guerrillas and Spanish regulars shall be permitted to remain in Cuba if they so elect, giving a parole that they will not again take up arms against the United States unless properly paroled.

Ninth: That the Spanish forces shall be permitted to march out with all the honours of war, depositing their arms to be disposed of by the United States in the future. The American commissioners to recommend to their government that the arms of the soldiers be returned to those "who so bravely defended them."

General Shafter cabled at once to Washington the cheering news:


"The surrender has been definitely settled and the arms will be turned over to-morrow morning, and the troops will be marched out as prisoners of war.

"The Spanish colours will be hauled down at nine o'clock, and the American flag hoisted.

"SHAFTER, Major-General."

July 17. The ceremony of surrendering the city was impressive, and, as can well be imagined, thrilling for those boys of '98 who had been standing face to face with death in the trenches.

At six o'clock in the morning Lieutenant Cook, of General Shafter's staff, entered the city, and all the arms in the arsenal were turned over to him. The work of removing the mines which obstructed navigation at the entrance of the harbour had been progressing all night. At about seven o'clock General Toral, the Spanish commander, sent his sword to General Shafter, as evidence of his submission, and at 8.45 A. M. all the general officers and their staffs assembled at General Shafter's headquarters. Each regiment was drawn up along the crest of the heights.

Shortly after nine o'clock the Ninth Infantry entered the city. This position of honour was given them as a reward for their heroic assault on San Juan Hill.

The details of the surrender are thus described by a correspondent of the Associated Press, who accompanied General Shafter's staff:

"General Shafter and his generals, with mounted escort of one hundred picked men of the Second Cavalry, then rode over our trenches to the open ground at the foot of the hill on the main road to Santiago, midway to the then deserted Spanish works. There they were met by General Toral and his staff, all in full uniform and mounted, and a select detachment of Spanish troops.

"What followed took place in full view of our troops.

"The scene was picturesque and dramatic. General Shafter, with his generals and their staffs grouped immediately in their rear, and with the troops of dashing cavalrymen with drawn sabres on the left, advanced to meet the vanquished foe.

"After a few words of courteous greeting, General Shafter's first act was to return General Toral's sword. The Spanish general appeared to be touched by the complimentary words with which General Shafter accompanied this action, and he thanked the American commander feelingly.

"Then followed a short conversation as to the place selected for the Spanish forces to deposit their arms, and a Spanish infantry detachment marched forward to a position facing our cavalry, where the Spaniards were halted. The latter were without their colours.

"Eight Spanish trumpeters then saluted, and were saluted, in turn, by our trumpeters, both giving flourishes for lieutenant and major-generals.

"General Toral then personally ordered the Spanish company, which in miniature represented the forces under his command, to ground arms. Next, by his direction, the company wheeled and marched across our lines to the rear, and thence to the place selected for camping them. The Spaniards moved rapidly, to the quick notes of the Spanish march, played by the companies; but it impressed one like the 'Dead March' from Saul.

"Although no attempt was made to humiliate them, the Spanish soldiers seemed to feel their disgrace keenly, and scarcely glanced at their conquerors as they passed by. But this apparent depth of feeling was not displayed by the other regiments. Without being sullen, the Spaniards appeared to be utterly indifferent to the reverses suffered by the Spanish arms, and some of them, when not under the eyes of their officers, seemed to secretly rejoice at the prospect of food and an immediate return to Spain.

"General Toral, throughout the ceremony, was sorely dejected. When General Shafter introduced him by name to each member of his staff, the Spanish general appeared to be a very broken man. He seems to be about sixty years of age, and of frail constitution, although stern resolution shone in every feature. The lines are strongly marked, and his face is deep drawn, as if with physical pain.

"General Toral replied with an air of abstraction to the words addressed to him, and when he accompanied General Shafter at the head of the escort into the city, to take formal possession of Santiago, he spoke but few words. The appealing faces of the starving refugees streaming back into the city did not move him, nor did the groups of Spanish soldiers lining the road and gazing curiously at the fair-skinned, stalwart-framed conquerors. Only once did a faint shadow of a smile lurk about the corners of his mouth.

"This was when the cavalcade passed through a barbed-wire entanglement. No body of infantry could ever have got through this defence alive, and General Shafter's remark about its resisting power found the first gratifying echo in the defeated general's heart.

"Farther along the desperate character of the Spanish resistance, as planned, amazed our officers. Although primitive, it was well done. Each approach to the city was thrice barricaded and wired, and the barricades were high enough and sufficiently strong to withstand shrapnel. The slaughter among our troops would have been frightful had it ever become necessary to storm the city.

"Around the hospitals and public buildings and along the west side of the line there were additional works and emplacements for guns, though no guns were mounted in them.

"The streets of Santiago are crooked, with narrow lines of one-storied houses, most of which are very dilapidated, but every veranda of every house was thronged by its curious inhabitants,—disarmed soldiers. These were mostly of the lower classes.

"Few expressions of any kind were heard along the route. Here and there was a shout for free Cuba from some Cuban sympathiser, but as a rule there were only low mutterings. The better class of Spaniards remained indoors, or satisfied their curiosity from behind drawn blinds.

"Several Spanish ladies in tumble-down carriages averted their faces as we passed. The squalor in the streets was frightful. The bones of dead horses and other animals were bleaching in the streets, and buzzards, as tame as sparrows, hopped aside to let us pass.

"The windows of the hospitals, in which there are over fifteen hundred sick men, were crowded with invalids, who dragged themselves there to witness our incoming.

"The palace was reached soon after ten o'clock. There General Toral introduced General Shafter and the other American generals to the alcalde, Senor Feror, and to the chief of police, Senor Guiltillerrez, as well as to the other municipal authorities.

"Luncheon was then served at the palace. The meal consisted mainly of rum, wine, coffee, rice, and toasted cake. This scant fare occasioned many apologies on the part of the Spaniards, but it spoke eloquently of their heroic resistance. The fruit supply of the city was absolutely exhausted, and the Spaniards had nothing to live on except rice, on which the soldiers in the trenches of Santiago have subsisted for the last twelve days."

Ten thousand people witnessed the ceremony of hoisting the stars and stripes over the governor's palace in Santiago.

A finer stage setting for a dramatic episode it would be difficult to imagine. The palace, a picturesque old dwelling in the Moorish style of architecture, faces the Plaza de la Reina, the principal public square. Opposite rises the imposing Catholic cathedral. On one side is a quaint, brilliantly painted building with broad verandas, the club of San Carlos; on the other a building of much the same description, the Cafe de la Venus.

Across the plaza was drawn up the Ninth Infantry, headed by the Sixth Cavalry band. In the street facing the palace stood a picked troop of the Second Cavalry, with drawn sabres, under command of Captain Brett. Massed on the stone flagging between the band and the line of horsemen were the brigade commanders of General Shafter's division, with their staffs. On the red-tiled roof of the palace stood Captain McKittrick, Lieutenant Miles, and Lieutenant Wheeler. Immediately above them, above the flagstaff, was the illuminated Spanish arms, and the legend, "Vive Alphonso XIII."

All about, pressing against the veranda rails, crowding to windows and doors, and lining the roofs, were the people of the town, principally women and non-combatants.

As the chimes of the old cathedral rang out the hour of twelve, the infantry and cavalry presented arms. Every American uncovered, and Captain McKittrick hoisted the stars and stripes. As the brilliant folds unfurled in the gentle breeze against the fleckless sky, the cavalry band broke into the strains of "The Star Spangled Banner," making the American pulse leap and the American heart thrill with joy.

At the same instant the sound of the distant booming of Captain Capron's battery, firing a salute of twenty-one guns, drifted in.

When the music ceased, from all directions around our lines came flying across the plaza the strains of the regimental bands and the muffled, hoarse cheers of our troops.

The infantry came to "order arms" a moment later, after the flag was up, and the band played "Rally Round the Flag, Boys."

Instantly General McKibben called for three cheers for General Shafter, which were given with great enthusiasm, the band playing "The Stars and Stripes For Ever."

The ceremony over, General Shafter and his staff returned to the American lines, leaving the city in the possession of the municipal authorities subject to the control of General McKibben, who had been appointed temporary military governor.



June 24. The details of the bloodless capture of the principal of the Ladrone Islands are thus told by a private letter from the naval officer who figured in the leading role of the exploit, Lieutenant William Braunerzruther, executive officer of the cruiser Charleston:


"We have just carried out our orders to capture the Spanish authorities at the capital of the Ladrone Islands, Agana. I was selected by the captain to undertake this job, and given 160 men to land as a starter.

"I went ashore to have a talk with the governor about affairs, and the results were that I did not lose even a single man. The matter was all settled in one day, and we are carrying with us fifty-four soldiers (Spanish) and six officers, besides a lot of Mauser rifles and nearly ten thousand pounds of ammunition.

"I had the whole to handle, and did it quickly. The captain's instructions were to wait a half hour for his answer to our ultimatum, then use my troops. I waited, and in just twenty-nine minutes the governor handed me his sealed reply addressed to the captain of our ship out in the harbour about four or five miles off.

"I knew this was sealed with the sole object of gaining time, and hence I broke the seal, read the contents, the governor protesting and saying that was a letter for my captain. I replied: 'I represent him here. You are now my prisoners, and will have to come on board ship with me.'

"They protested and pleaded, and finally the governor said:

"'You came on shore to talk over matters, and you make us prisoners instead.' I replied: 'I came on shore to hand you a letter and to get your reply; in this reply, now in my hand, you agree to surrender all under your jurisdiction. If this means anything at all, it means that you will accede to any demands I may deem proper to make. You will at once write an order to your military man at Agana (the capital; this place was five miles distant), directing him to deliver at this place at four P. M. (it was 10.30 A. M., June 21st) all ammunition and flags in the island, each soldier to bring his own rifle and ammunition, and all soldiers, native and Spanish, with their officers, must witness this.'

"They protested and demurred, saying there was not time enough to do it, but I said: 'Senors, it must be done.'

"The letter was written, read by me, and sent. I took all the officers with me in a boat, and at four P. M. went ashore again and rounded in the whole outfit. I was three miles away from my troops, and I had only four men with me. At four P. M., when I disarmed 108 men and two officers, I had forty-six men and three officers with me.

"The key-note to the whole business was my breaking the seal of that letter and acting at once. They had no time to delay or prepare any treacherous tricks, and I got the 'drop' on the whole outfit, as they say out West.

"The native troops I released and allowed to return to their homes unrestricted; they had manifested great joy in being relieved from Spanish rule. While it is harsh, it is war, and in connection with the Spanish treachery it was all that could be done.

"Twenty-four hours would have—yes, I believe even four hours with a leader such as the governor was, a lieutenant-colonel in the Spanish army—given them a chance to hide along the road to Agana, and at intervals in the dense tropical foliage they could have almost annihilated any force that could land.

"The approaches to the landing over shallow coral reefs would have made a landing without a terrible loss of life almost an impossibility.

"We have increased by conquest the population of the United States by nearly twelve thousand people. The capital has a population of six thousand people. This harbour in which we were is beautiful, easy of access, plenty of deep water, admitting of the presence of a large number of vessels at the same time, and is an ideal place for a coaling station.

"If our government decided to hold the Philippines it would then come in so well; San Francisco to Honolulu twenty-one hundred miles, Honolulu to island of Guam thirty-three hundred, and thence to Manila sixteen hundred miles. With a chain of supply stations like this, we could send troops the whole year round if necessary, and any vessel with a steaming capacity of thirty-five hundred miles could reach a base of supplies.

"The details I have scarcely touched upon, but had the officers and soldiers dreamed for one moment that they were to be torn from their homes, there would, I feel sure, have been another story to tell, and I am firmly convinced this letter would never have been written.

"The captain, in extending to me his congratulations, remarked: 'Braunerzruther, you'll never, as long as you live, have another experience such as this. I congratulate you on your work.'

"All this whole affair was transacted in Spanish. I had an interpreter with me, but forgot all about using him. I did not want them to get a chance to think, even, before it was too late."

June 25. The Florida and the Fanita left Key West Saturday, June 25th, under convoy of the Peoria, commanded by Lieut. C. W. Rice. On board the steamers were 650 Cubans under Gen. Emilio Nunez, fifty troopers of the Tenth U. S. Cavalry under Lieutenants Johnson and Ahearn, and twenty-five Rough Riders under Winthrop Chanler, brother of Col. William Astor Chanler.

The cargoes were enormous. There were the horses of the cavalry and 167 sacks of oats and 216 bales of hay to feed them. Topping the list of arms were two dynamite guns, with 50-pound projectiles to fit them, and two full batteries of light field-pieces, ten 3-inch rifles of regular ordnance pattern, with harnesses that go with them, and 1,500 cartridges. In the matter of infantry rifles there were 4,000 Springfields, with 954,000 cartridges, and 200 Mausers, with 2,000 shells.

Fifty of the Cubans aboard were armed with Mausers, and the others had Springfields. For the insurgent officers were provided 200 army Colts and 2,700 cartridges. Two hundred books of United States cavalry and infantry tactics, translated into Spanish, were taken along. In the expedition were also 1,475 saddles, 950 saddle-cloths, and 450 bridles. For the Cuban soldiers there were taken 7,663 uniforms, 5,080 pairs of shoes, 1,275 blankets, 400 shirts, 450 hats and 250 hammocks.

There were these commissary stores carried, calculated by pounds: Bacon, 67,275; corn-meal, 31,250; roasted coffee, 10,200; raw coffee, 3,250; sugar, 2,425; mess pork and beef, 9,600; corned beef, 24,000; beans 18,900; hardtack, 1,250; cans of corn, 1250.

June 29. The expectation was that the landing would be effected at San Juan Point, on the south coast of Cuba, midway between Cienfuegos and Trinidad. This place was reached Wednesday evening, June 29th. A scouting party put off in a small boat and sculled toward shore, but had made only half the distance when there came a lively fire from what had been taken to be an abandoned blockhouse near the point. The men were called back and the three ships moved to the eastward. About four o'clock the next afternoon they arrived at Las Tunas, forty miles away.

Four miles west of the town, at the mouth of the Tallabacoa River, stood a large fort built of railroad iron and surrounded by earthworks. The Peoria ran boldly in and fired several shots from her 3-pounders, but brought no response and no signs of life. Here was thought to be the desired opportunity, and another scouting party was organised. This was made up of fifteen volunteers under Winthrop Chanler, and as many Cubans under Captain Nunez.

The Peoria took a position within short range of the fort to protect a landing or cover a retreat, and the small boats headed for the shore. They reached it five hundred yards east of the fort; the boats were beached, and their occupants cautiously scrambled toward the brush. But at almost the very moment they set foot on the sand, the fort and the entrenchments around it burst into flame, and shot and shell screamed about the little band of invaders. Captain Nunez was stepping from his boat when a shot struck him between the eyes and he went down dead. Chanler fell with a broken arm. The others safely gained a thicket and replied with a sharp fire directed at the entrenchments.

Meanwhile the Peoria set all her guns at work, and rained shells upon the fort until the enemy's fire ceased. The moment the gunboat slackened fire, however, the Spanish fire was renewed with fury, and it became evident that their forces were too large to allow a landing there. A retreat was ordered, and the party on shore rushed to the boats, but volley after volley came from the shore, and they were compelled to throw themselves into the water, and paddle alongside the boats with only their heads exposed, until the ships were reached. The Spaniards had the range, however, and five Cubans were wounded, though none seriously. Returning to the Peoria, the men reported that a vicious fire had come from a grove of cocoanut palms to the eastward of the fort. The Peoria opened her guns on the place indicated, and must have killed many Spaniards, for her shells dropped into the smoke and flash of the adversary's fire, silenced it at once, and forced them to send up rockets for help.

A number of volleys were sent at the Peoria with a view to disabling her gunners, but they were badly directed, and fell against her side and into the water. When the small boats reached the ship it was dark. Then the discovery was made that, besides Captain Nunez, whose body was left on the beach, there were missing, Chanler, Doctors Lund and Abbott, Lieutenant Agramonte, and two Cubans. It was reported that Chanler had been mortally wounded, and was kept hidden in the bushes along the shore by the two doctors. Rescue parties were immediately organised, composed of volunteers, and no less than four were sent ashore during the night. Toward morning Lieutenant Ahearn, in charge of one of these, found Chanler and his companion.

Chanler's wound proved to be in the right elbow. After sunrise Agramonte and his Cubans were discovered and brought off.

July 1. The next day the gunboat Helena, under Captain Swynburn, arrived, and she and the Peoria steamed in toward Las Tunas, which the Spaniards had been vigorously fortifying.

Tunas is connected by rail with Sancti Spiritus, a town of considerable size, and reinforcements and artillery had been rapidly coming in. Range buoys had been placed in the bay, but avoiding these, the ships drew in to close range, and opened fire, the Peoria at twelve hundred and the Helena at fourteen hundred yards. The Spaniards had several Krupp field-pieces of three or four inches, mounted on earthworks along the water-front, and they began a vigorous, but ill-directed reply with shell and shrapnel. The fire of the American ships was most accurate and terribly destructive. The Spanish gunners had not fired more than fifteen or twenty shots before their guns were flying in the air, their earthworks a mass of blood-stained dust, and their gunners running for their lives. Both the Peoria and the Helena were struck several times, chiefly by shrapnel, but no one on either ship was injured. As they withdrew, several buildings on shore were in flames.

That afternoon both ships again turned their attention to the fort and the entrenchments at the mouth of the Tallabacoa River, and for half an hour poured a wicked fire upon them. The Spaniards had been largely reinforced during the day, and some field-pieces had been mounted near the fort. These replied to the American fire, but without effect, and the shells of the two ships speedily silenced them. The iron blockhouse was struck repeatedly, and the earthworks were partially destroyed. No damage was done to the ships, and they again withdrew.

That night the Spaniards burned a large wharf and the adjacent buildings, evidently expecting a landing in force the next day.

It was learned from various sources that reinforcements were pouring into Las Tunas from all directions; a newspaper from Sancti Spiritus stated that two thousand men had been despatched from the nearest trocha. It was determined to proceed during the night to Palo Alto, fifty miles to the eastward, the Helena remaining at Las Tunas to confirm the Spaniards in the belief that an attempt was to be made to land there.

July 2. At ten o'clock Saturday night, while the Helena lay offshore, making lively play with her search-lights toward shore, the Peoria, the Florida, and the Fanita, with all lights out, slipped silently away. Palo Alto was reached at daybreak. There was not a Spaniard to be seen, and the men and cargo were put ashore without a single obstacle.

July 4. Gomez, with two thousand men, was known to be in the vicinity, and scouts hurried into his lines. On Monday the old warrior appeared in person at Palo Alto.

July 5. A steamer was sighted about midnight by the U. S. S. Hawk, formerly the yacht Hermione, off the north coast of Pinar del Rio, steaming eastward, close inshore. She paid no attention to three shots across her bow, or a signal to heave to. The Hawk then opened fire and gave chase.

Twenty-five shots were fired, of which only three were without effect. The vessel was soon on fire, and flew signals of distress while making full speed head on to the beach. The Hawk ceased firing, and manned a relief-boat just as the Spaniard ran high and dry on a reef, under cover of Fort Mariel.

Though the Spaniard as yet had not fired a shot in response to the Hawk's attack, and was burning signals calling for help, the American relief-boat was received with a joint volley from both the sinking steamer and the neighbouring fort, turning her back, luckily unscathed, By this time daylight was breaking, and another Yankee ship, the gunboat Castine, hove in sight, reinforcing the Hawk.

The two opened fire upon the Spanish vessel and fort. A well-directed 4-inch shell from the Castine blew the steamer up.

Most of the latter's crew and passengers by this time had, however, escaped by rowing or swimming ashore. Just at sunrise, while the Castine and Hawk were reconnoitring in the vicinity of the wreck, a big Spanish gunboat hove in sight, training all her batteries on the two American boats. It was an exciting moment.

The Castine's 4-inchers opened promptly, and the Spaniard returned at full speed to cover, under Morro Castle.

The Spanish fleet, commanded by Admiral Camara, arrived at Suez, and was notified by the officials of the Egyptian government that it must leave the port within twenty-four hours.

The government also notified Admiral Camara that he would not be allowed to coal.

While the U. S. gunboat Eagle was on the blockading route in the vicinity of the Isle of Pines, on the south Cuban coast, about five miles from the shore, she sighted the schooner Gallito, provision laden. She immediately gave chase, and the schooner ran in until about a quarter of a mile from the shore, when she dropped her anchor, and those aboard slipped over her side and swam ashore.

Ensign J. H. Roys and a crew of eight men from the Eagle were sent in a small boat to board the schooner. They found her deserted, and while examining her were fired upon by her crew from the beach. Several rifle-shots went through the schooner's sails, but no one was injured. The Eagle drew closer in, and sent half a dozen shots toward the beach from her 6-pounders, whereupon the Spaniards disappeared. The Gallito was taken into Key West.

July 7. Congress having passed resolutions to the effect that Hawaii be annexed to the United States, the President added his signature, and a new territory was thus added to the American nation.

Secretary Long gave orders for the departure of the Philadelphia from Mare Island for Hawaii. She was to carry the flag of the United States to those islands and include them within the Union. Admiral Miller, commanding the Pacific station, was charged with the function of hoisting the flag.

July 8. Admiral Camara, commander of the Spanish fleet, which was bound for the Philippines, informed the Egyptian government that he had been ordered to return home, and would, therefore, reenter the Suez Canal.

July 12. The auxiliary gunboat Eagle sighted the Spanish steamer Santo Domingo, fifty-five hundred tons, aground near the Cuban coast, off Cape Francis, and opened fire with her 6-pounders, sending seventy shots at her, nearly all of which took effect.

While this was going on, another steamer came out of the bay and took off the officers and crew of the Santo Domingo. When the men from the Eagle boarded the latter they found that she carried two 5-inch and two 12-inch guns, the latter being loaded and her magazines open. The steamer had been drawing twenty-four feet of water and had gone aground in twenty feet.

The men from the Eagle decided that the steamer could not be floated, and she was set on fire after fifty head of cattle, which were on board, had been shot.

The Santo Domingo carried a large cargo of grain, corn, etc. While the steamer was burning, the vessel which had previously taken off the crew emerged from the bay, and tried to get off some of the cargo, but failed. The Spanish steamer burned for three days, and was totally destroyed.

July 17. The cruiser New Orleans captured the French steamer Olinde Rodriguez off San Juan de Porto Rico, as she was trying to enter the port with passengers and a cargo of coffee and tobacco.

The U. S. S. Mayflower captured the British steamer Newfoundland off Cienfuegos while the latter was trying to run the Cuban blockade.

The Spanish sloop Domingo Aurello was captured by the U. S. S. Maple as the former was leaving the port of Sagua de Tanamo, province of Santiago, with a cargo of tobacco.

July 22. The following cablegram was received at the Navy Department:

"PLAYA, July 22.

"Expedition to Nipe has been entirely successful, although the mines have not been removed for want of time.

"The Spanish cruiser Jorge Juan, defending the place, was destroyed, without loss on our part.

"The Annapolis and Wasp afterward proceeded from Nipe to assist in the landing of the commanding general of the army on arrival at Porto Rico.

(Signed) "SAMPSON."

July 30. Another "jackie" achieved the reputation of a hero. He is boatswain's mate Nevis of the gunboat Bancroft, and the tale of his valour is not unmixed with humour.

The Bancroft, accompanied by the converted yacht Eagle, which had been covering the blockading station around the Isle of Pines, sighted a small Spanish schooner in Sigunea Bay.

The Bancroft's steam launch, in charge of Nevis and one seaman, each armed with a rifle, were sent in to take the schooner. This was only a task of minutes, and the launch returned with the prize, which proved to be the schooner Nito, little more than a smack, and with no cargo.

Commander Clover sent Nevis in with her to anchor near the wreck of the Spanish transatlantic liner Santo Domingo, sunk by the Eagle a few weeks ago. Then the Bancroft and Eagle cruised off to Mangle Point, where they happened to be put in communication with the insurgent camp.

Two hours later they returned. For a time nothing could be seen of the launch or the prize. Suddenly Commander Clover, who was scanning the waters with his glass, shouted to Captain Sutherland of the Eagle: "By heavens, they have recaptured my prize." The little schooner lay near the wrecked steamer, but the Spanish flag was flying from her mast, and, instead of only Nevis and his companion, she was apparently filled with men.

Meanwhile the gunboat Maple had drawn up, and Commander Clover ordered her into the work of rescue. With guns ready she steamed toward the schooner, but the sight that greeted her was not what was expected.

Nevis and his companion sat at one end of the boat attempting to navigate her out of the harbour. Each had his rifle across his knee and was keeping a wary eye on a party of half a dozen cowering Spaniards huddled in the other end of the boat.

The Maple asked for information, and offered Nevis a tow, but he replied with a joke and declined the proffered assistance. Then it developed that, in going in to anchor, he had observed two other small Spanish boats near the wreck of the Santo Domingo, and had resolved to capture them, too. He knew it was hazardous work, but "bluff" carried him through.

He took the Spanish colours of the schooner, ran them up, and boldly sailed in. There were six men on the two other boats, and they watched the approach of their supposed compatriots with calmness that speedily changed to consternation when Nevis and the other "jackie" suddenly whipped their rifles to their shoulders, and demanded an immediate surrender.

The scared Spanish seamen lost no time in complying, and had the unique experience of surrendering to their own flag. Then, scorning all aid, Nevis took them out to his ship, and in the most matter-of-fact manner reported the adventure to his astonished commander.

The capture was no mean one, for these six men gave important information to the American ships.

August 1. The Norwegian steamer Franklin, of about five hundred tons, bound from Vera Cruz with a cargo of food supplies, was captured by the converted yacht Siren off Francis Key, near Caibarien.

August 6. The Norwegian steamer Aladdin, sugar-laden, was captured by the auxiliary gunboat Hawk off Cadiz Light, Isle of Pines.

August 7. The auxiliary gunboat Viking captured the Norwegian steamer Bergen off Francis Key.

August 8. General Shafter and the Spanish General Toral held a consultation at the palace in Santiago, with regard to the embarkation of the Spanish prisoners of war. As a result of the conference, one thousand of the Spanish sick and wounded were taken on board the Alicante next morning, to be sent to Spain as soon as the vessel was properly loaded.

August 10. The President to-day promoted Sampson and Schley to be rear-admirals, ranking in the order named.

A department of the army, to be known as the Department of Santiago, was created, and Maj.-Gen. Henry W. Lawton assigned to its command.

The Norwegian steamers Aladdin and Bergen were released, by orders from Washington.

August 12. The flag-ship San Francisco, the monitor Miantonomah, and the auxiliary yacht Sylvia were fired upon by the Havana batteries. One 10 or 12-inch shell struck the San Francisco's stern as she turned to get out of range, and tore a hole about a foot in diameter, completely wrecking Commodore Howell's quarters, and smashing his book-case to fragments. Nobody was injured, and, being under orders not to attack the batteries, the ships retreated as fast as their engines could carry them.

August 13. General Shafter, at Santiago, learned that Manzanillo had been bombarded for twenty hours.

General Shafter at once cabled to the Spanish commander at Manzanillo that peace had been declared,(35) and requesting him to advise the American commander of the fact under a flag of truce, which he did, and the shelling of the town ceased.

August 16. The following message was the first received in this country from the territory so lately annexed:

"HONOLULU, August 16.

"Day, State Department:—Flag raised Friday, the twelfth, at noon. Ceremonies of transfer produced excellent impression.

(Signed) "SEWALL."



July 20. With bands playing and thirty thousand people cheering, the first expedition to Porto Rico left Charleston, S. C., at seven o'clock in the evening, under command of Maj.-Gen. J. H. Wilson. The Second and Third Wisconsin and Sixteenth Pennsylvania regiments, and two companies of the Sixth Illinois, made up the list of troops.

July 21. General Miles accompanied the expedition bound for Porto Rico, which left Guantanamo Bay, made up of eight transports convoyed by the New Orleans, Annapolis, Cincinnati, Leyden, and Wasp.

July 22. An expedition under command of Brig.-Gen. Theo. Schwan left Tampa on five transports, bound for Porto Rico.

July 25. The expedition under the command of Major-General Miles landed at Guanica de Porto Rico, the Gloucester, in charge of Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright, steaming into the harbour in order to reconnoitre the place. With the fleet waiting outside, the gallant little fighting yacht Gloucester braved the mines which were supposed to be in this harbour, and, upon sounding, found that there were five fathoms of water close inshore.

The Spaniards were completely taken by surprise. Almost the first they knew of the approach of the army of invasion was the firing of a gun from the Gloucester, saucily demanding that the Spaniards haul down the flag of Spain, which was floating from the flagstaff in front of a blockhouse standing to the east of the village.

The first 3-pounders were aimed at the hills right and left of the bay and in order to scare the enemy, the fighting yacht purposely avoiding firing into the town.

The Gloucester then hove to within about six hundred yards of the shore, and lowered a launch, having on board a colt rapid-fire gun and thirty men, under the command of Lieutenant Huse. She was sent ashore without encountering any opposition.

Quartermaster Beck thereupon told Yeoman Lacey to haul down the Spanish flag, which was done, and then they raised the first United States flag to float over Porto Rican soil.

Suddenly about thirty Spaniards opened fire with Mauser rifles upon the American party. Lieutenant Huse and his men responded with great gallantry, the Colt gun doing effective work.

Norman, who received Admiral Cervera's surrender, and Wood, a volunteer lieutenant, shared the honours with Lieutenant Huse.

Almost immediately after the Spaniards fired on the Americans, the Gloucester opened fire on the enemy with all her 3 and 6-pounders which could be brought to bear, shelling the town and also dropping shells into the hills to the west of Guanica, where a number of Spanish cavalry were to be seen hastening toward the spot where the Americans had landed.

Lieutenant Huse then threw up a little fort, which he named Fort Wainwright, and laid barbed wire in the street in front of it in order to repel the expected cavalry attack. The lieutenant also mounted the Colt gun and signalled for reinforcements, which were sent from the Gloucester.

Presently a few of the Spanish cavalry joined those who were fighting in the streets of Guanica, but the Colt barked to a purpose, killing four of them.

Soon afterward white-coated galloping cavalrymen were seen climbing the hills to the westward, and the foot-soldiers were scurrying along the fences from the town.

By 9.45, with the exception of a few guerrilla shots, the town was won, and the enemy driven out of the neighbourhood.

The troops from the transports were landed before nightfall.

July 26. Near Yauco, while the Americans were pushing toward the mountains, the Spaniards ambushed eight companies of the Sixth Massachusetts and Sixth Illinois regiments, but the enemy was repulsed and driven back a mile to a ridge, where the Spanish cavalry charged and were routed by our infantry.

General Garretson led the fight with the men from Illinois and Massachusetts, and the enemy retreated to Yauco, leaving three dead on the field and thirteen wounded. None of our men were killed, and only three were slightly wounded.

June 27. The port of Ponce, Porto Rico, surrendered to Commander C. H. Davis of the auxiliary gunboat Dixie. There was no resistance, and the Americans were welcomed with enthusiasm. General Miles issued the following proclamation:

"In the prosecution of the war against the kingdom of Spain by the people of the United States, in the cause of liberty, justice, and humanity, its military forces have come to occupy the island of Porto Rico. They come bearing the banners of freedom, inspired by a noble purpose, to seek the enemies of our government and of yours, and to destroy or capture all in armed resistance.

"They bring you the fostering arms of a free people, whose greatest power is justice and humanity to all living within their fold. Hence they release you from your former political relations, and it is hoped your cheerful acceptance of the government of the United States will follow.

"The chief object of the military forces will be to overthrow the armed authority of Spain, and give the people of your beautiful island the largest measure of liberty consistent with this military occupation.

"They have not come to make war on the people of the country, who for centuries have been oppressed, but, on the contrary, they bring protection not only to yourselves, but to your property, will promote your prosperity and bestow upon you the immunities and blessings of our enlightened and liberal institutions and government.

"It is not their purpose to interfere with the existing laws and customs which are wholesome and beneficial to the people, so long as they conform to the rules of the military administration, order, and justice. This is not a war of devastation and desolation, but one to give all within the control of the military and naval forces the advantages and blessings of enlightened civilisation."

July 28. The expedition destined for Porto Rico, under command of Major-General Brooke, left Newport News. Four transports and the auxiliary cruisers St. Louis and St. Paul comprises the fleet.

The Navy Department made public the following telegram:


"Commander Davis with Dixie, Annapolis, Wasp, and Gloucester left Guanica July 27th to blockade Ponce and capture lighters for United States army. City of Ponce and Playa surrendered to Commander Davis upon demand at 12.30 A. M., July 28th. American flag hoisted 6 A. M., 28th.

"Spanish garrison evacuated.

"Provisional articles of surrender until occupation by army: first, garrison to be allowed to retire; second, civil government to remain in force; third, police and fire brigade to be maintained without arms; fourth, captain of port not to be made prisoner.

"Arrived at Ponce from Guanica with Massachusetts and Cincinnati, General Miles and General Wilson and transport, at 6.40 A. M., 28th; commenced landing army in captured sugar lighters.

"No resistance. Troops welcomed by inhabitants; great enthusiasm.

"Captured sixty lighters, twenty sailing vessels, and 120 tons of coal.


July 29. The advance guard of General Henry's division, which landed at Guanica on Tuesday, arrived at Ponce, taking en route the cities of Yauco, Tallaboa, Sabana, Grande, and Penuelas.

Attempts by the Spaniards to blow up bridges and otherwise destroy the railroad between Yauco and Ponce failed, only a few flat cars being burned. At Yauco the Americans were welcomed in an address made by the alcalde, and a public proclamation was issued, dated "Yauco, Porto Rico, United States of America, July 27th."

July 31. In General Miles's despatches to the War Department, the following statements are made regarding the condition of affairs on the island:

"Volunteers are surrendering themselves with arms and ammunition. Four-fifths of the people are overjoyed at the arrival of the army. Two thousand from one place have volunteered to serve with it. They are bringing in transportation, beef, and other needed supplies.

"The custom-house has already yielded fourteen thousand dollars. As soon as all the troops are disembarked they will be in readiness to move."

Colonel Hulings, with ten companies of the Sixteenth Pennsylvania, occupied Juan Diaz, about eight miles northeast of Ponce, on the road to San Juan. The American flag was raised, and greeted with great enthusiasm by the populace.

August 1. The American scouts were within six miles of Coamo, and the Spanish rear guard was retiring fast. The Spanish had fled toward Aibonito, thirty miles from Ponce, and the place was being fortified. There the road winds around among the mountains, and the artillery commanding it rendered the position impregnable. Detours were to be made by the Americans from Coamo through Arroyo and Guayamo, thus avoiding the main road, which had been mined for three miles. Captain Confields of the engineers went ahead to kill these mines. The Fifth Signal Corps men in advance of the Sixteenth Pennsylvania sent word to General Stone that it had reconnoitred the road to Adjuntas. A signal-station was established, and the stars and stripes run up at Santa Isabel amid great enthusiasm. Yabricoa, Patillas, Arroyo, Guayanillo, Penuelas, Adjuntas, Guayamo, and Salinas had all surrendered.

The Spaniards hurried from these towns towards San Juan before an attack was made. The second fleet of transports arrived safely at Fort Ponce, the Roumanian bringing the cavalry detachment, and the Indiana and Missouri the batteries. Generals Brooke, Schwan, and Haines, with their staffs, were on board. The troops carried included the Thirteenth Illinois, Seventh Ohio, Fourth Pennsylvania, Nineteenth Regulars, and Troops A and C of the New York volunteer cavalry.

There were also one thousand animals, thirty days' rations for thirty thousand men, a signal corps detachment, and an ambulance corps. The whole force, as well as the ammunition and quartermaster's stores, was landed, and the men were camping on the outskirts of the town.

August 2. San Juan blockaded by the New Orleans, Puritan, Prairie, Dixie, and Gloucester, which kept out of range of the masked batteries ashore.

The railroad from Ponce to Yauco in possession of U. S. troops. Spanish volunteers continued to come into the American lines and give themselves up.

August 4. A portion of General Grant's brigade, on the transport Hudson, sailed from Newport News.

A correspondent for the Associated Press, with the invading army, thus wrote under date of August 4th:

"The Americans have taken peaceful possession of the eastern portion of the island.

"Small parties of marines have been landed, who have lighted the lamps in the lighthouse at Cape San Juan, and in other lighthouses along the coast. They met with no resistance.

"Indeed, at Cape San Juan, deputations of citizens came out to meet them.

"The war-ships now in this vicinity are the Montgomery, the Annapolis, the Puritan, and the Amphitrite. The two former are looking for the transports with troops which left the United States and have scattered all about the island.

"The Annapolis rounded up the Whitney, the Florida, and the Raleigh, yesterday, and they are now at Cape San Juan. There seems to have been a serious mistake as to the rendezvous, for no two ships go to the same place, and it will take several days to overtake them and get them to Ponce, where General Miles is waiting.

"Off San Juan the cruiser New Orleans alone maintains the blockade. The city is grim and silent, but back of her yellow walls there will be plenty of determination to fight when the Americans fire.

"Captain-General Macias has issued a proclamation, in the course of which he says:

"'Spain has not sued for peace, and I can drive off the American boats now as I did Sampson's attempt before.'

"The daughter of the captain-general is helping to drill the gunners in the fort. Altogether there are ninety-five hundred Spanish regulars in the city. The troops of the enemy, who are retreating from Ponce and the other towns on the south coast occupied by the Americans, have not yet arrived."

August 5. General Haines, with the Fourth Ohio and the Third Illinois, left Arroyo for the Spanish stronghold of Guayama. The Fourth Ohio was placed in the lead, and when only three miles from Arroyo its skirmish-lines were attacked by the Spaniards from ambush. There was a hot running fight from this time on until the American troops reached and captured Guayama, which is about six miles from Arroyo. The Americans lost three wounded, and the enemy, one killed and two wounded.

August 6. The foreign consuls at San Juan de Porto Rico advised the Spanish authorities to surrender the island to the American troops. The Spaniards, however, in reply, announced that they had resolved to fight; thereupon the consuls notified the Spanish commander, Captain-General Macias, that they would establish a neutral zone between Bayamon and Rio Piedrass, in which to gather the foreign residents and their portable properties in order to ensure their safety in the event of a bombardment of the place by the American forces. The consul sent a similar notification to General Miles.

August 7. A general advance of the American forces. The custom-house in the village of Farjardo was seized.

August 8. The town of Coamo was taken by the Sixteenth Pennsylvania and the Second and Third Wisconsin. Artillery was used on an outlying blockhouse, and under cover of this fire the advance was made.

Two hundred Spaniards were captured and twenty killed, including the commander, Rafael Igleseas, and three other officers.

Five Americans were wounded.

August 9. Gen. Fred Grant, his staff, and six companies of the First Kentucky regiment sailed for Porto Rico from Newport News on the transport Alamo.

"PONCE, August 9.

"Secretary of War, Washington:—The following received from General Wilson:

"'General Ernst's brigade captured Coamo 8.30 this morning. Sixteenth Pennsylvania, Colonel Hulings commanding, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Biddle, of my staff, having made a turning movement through the mountains, striking the Aibonito road half a mile beyond town, captured the entire garrison of Coamo, about 150 men.

"'Spanish commander, Igleseas, and Captain Lopez killed. Our loss reported six wounded, only one severely. Men and officers behaving excellently.'

"Colonel Hulings and Colonel Biddle are especially to be commended. This is a very important capture, and well executed. Names of wounded as soon as received here.

(Signed) "MILES."

Troop C, of New York, pursued a party of fleeing Spanish engineers, after the capture of Coamo, a distance of four miles along the road to Aibonito.

The Americans were checked at the Cuyon River, where the Spaniards had blown up the bridge, and were shelled from a Spanish battery on the crest of Asoniante Mountain. The dismounted cavalry returned the fire, receiving no damage, and holding the position. A battalion of the Third Wisconsin Volunteers went to their support.

August 11.


"Secretary of War, Washington:—The following message received from Schwan:


"'Advance guard, including cavalry of this command, while reconnoitring northwest of Rosario River, near Hormigueros, developed strong Spanish force, which lay concealed in hills north of Mayaguez.

"'In general engagement that followed, Lieutenant Byron, Eighth Cavalry, my aid-de-camp, was wounded in foot, and Private Fermberger, Company D, Eleventh Infantry, and one other private were killed, and fourteen enlisted men were wounded.

"'It is reported that the most, if not the entire Spanish garrison of Mayaguez and surrounding country, consisting of one thousand regulars and two hundred volunteers, took part in the engagement. We drove enemy from his position, and it is believed inflicted heavy loss.

"'A wounded Spanish lieutenant was found in the field and brought into our line. Conduct of officers and men was beyond all praise. I propose to continue my march on Mayaguez at early hour to-morrow.


(Signed) "MILES."

August 12. General Wilson moved one Lancaster battery out to the front for the purpose of shelling the Spanish position on the crest of the mountain at the head of the pass through which the road winds.

The enemy occupied a position of great natural strength, protected by seven lines of entrenchments, and a battery of two howitzers.

The Spaniards were eager for the fray, and early in the day had fired upon Colonel Biddle of the engineer corps, who, with a platoon of Troop C, of New York, was reconnoitring on their right flank.

As the American battery rounded a curve in the road, two thousand yards away, the enemy opened an artillery and infantry fire. Four companies of the Third Wisconsin, which were posted on the bluff to the right of the road, were not permitted to respond.

The guns advanced at a gallop in the face of a terrific fire, were unlimbered, and were soon hurling common shell and shrapnel at the enemy at a lively rate, striking the emplacements, batteries, and entrenchments with the rhythmic regularity of a triphammer.

The enemy soon abandoned one gun, but continued to serve the other at intervals for over an hour. They had the range, and their shrapnel burst repeatedly over the Americans.

In about two hours the enemy abandoned the other gun, and the men began to flee from the entrenchments toward a banana growth near the gorge. Then the guns shelled them as they ran. One gun was ordered to advance a position a quarter of a mile farther on. It had just reached the new position when Spanish infantry reinforcements filed into the trenches and began a deadly fire upon the Americans, compelling the battery to retire at a gallop. Then both the enemy's howitzers reopened, the shrapnel screamed, and Mausers sang. Another gun galloped from the rear, but the American ammunition was exhausted.

Colonel Bliss of General Wilson's staff went forward to the enemy's lines with a flag of truce, and explained that peace negotiations were almost concluded, that their position was untenable, and demanded their surrender. The Spanish had had no communication with the outside world, and the commander asked until the next morning in order that he might communicate with General Macias at San Juan.

August 13. Twelve hours later the Spanish commander gave the following command to one of his staff:

"Tell the American general, if he desires to avoid further shedding of blood, to remain where he is."

General Miles telegraphed the War Department that he was in receipt of Secretary Alger's order to suspend hostilities in Porto Rico. The soldiers of the American army generally received the news of peace with delight, although some were disappointed that there was to be no further fighting, and many officers expressed regrets at the suspension of hostilities in the midst of the campaign.

August 14. General Schwan's column was attacked between Mayaguez and Lares. As the Eleventh Infantry under Colonel Burke was descending the valley of the Rio Grande they were fired upon from a hillside by a force of fifteen hundred Spaniards, who were retreating toward the north. The fire was returned, and the Spaniards were repulsed with, it was believed, considerable loss.

Colonel Soto, the commander of the Mayaguez district, was wounded and afterward captured in a wayside cottage. He was attended by two sergeants, who surrendered. The Americans suffered no loss. The artillery and cavalry were not engaged.

General Schwan had not received news of the signing of the protocol when the action occurred, but obtained it later in the day.



With the opening of the month of July, affairs at Manila, so far as concerned the American forces, were at a standstill.

June 30. Admiral Dewey awaited the coming of the army, the first transports of the fleet having arrived at Cavite, June 30th, before beginning offensive operations.

The situation on and around the island of Luzon was much the same as it had been nearly all the month of June, except that the gunboat Leite, which ran up a river on May 1st, the day of the battle, came out and surrendered, having on board fifty-two army and navy officers and ninety-four men. The Leite has a battery of one 3 1-2-inch hontoria guns, and several 2.7-inch rapid-fire guns.

July 1. Aguinaldo proclaimed himself President of the Revolutionary Republic on the first of July. The progress of the insurgents can be readily understood by the following extract from a letter written by Mr. E. W. Harden:

"There are persistent rumours that it is the desire of Governor-General Augusti to surrender Manila to the Americans, but the command of the Spanish troops is practically held by the senior colonel of artillery, who opposes surrender.

"The rebels have captured the water-works beyond Santa Mesa, which supplied Manila, and the Spanish fear that their water will be cut off.

"The rebels have also captured the strongly fortified positions of San Juan and Delmonte, where the Spaniards were to make their last stand if Manila capitulated. The city is still surrounded by insurgents.

July 2. "There was fierce fighting Saturday before Malate. The Spaniards had modern guns to command the rebel trenches, and maintained a steady fire throughout the afternoon, but found it impossible to drive the natives out. Forty rebels were killed. The Spaniards finally were driven back."

July 4. Brigadier-General Green, in command of the second army detachment, on the way from San Francisco to Manila, rediscovered and took formal possession of the long lost Wake Island, in north latitude 19 deg. 15' and east longitude 166 deg. 33'.

July 5. To the Spanish consul at Singapore, Captain-General Augusti telegraphed:

"The situation is unchanged. My family has succeeded in miraculously escaping from Macabora in a boat, and, having passed through the American vessels, all arrived safely at Manila. General Monet's column is besieged and attacked at Macabora."

July 15. The steamers City of Puebla and Peru sailed from San Francisco with the fourth Manila expedition, under command of Major-General Otis.

July 16. The steamer China, of the second Manila expedition, arrived at Cavite, and was followed on the next day by the steamers Zealandia, Colon, and Senator.

July 19. The work of surrounding Manila by American forces was begun by advancing the First California regiment to Jaubo, only two miles from the Spanish lines. The Colorado and Utah batteries were landed at Paranaque, directly from the transports. Over fifteen hundred men encamped between Manila and Cavite. The Tenth Pennsylvania, with the rest of the artillery, landed at Malabon, north of the besieged city.

July 23. The transport steamer Rio Janeiro, bearing two battalions of South Dakota volunteers, recruits for the Utah Light Artillery, and a detachment of the signal corps, sailed from San Francisco for Manila.

July 25. Major-General Merritt arrived at Cavite. Secretary Long forwarded to Admiral Dewey the joint resolution of Congress, extending the thanks of Congress for the victory achieved at Cavite. The resolution was beautifully engrossed, and prefaced by a formal attestation of its authenticity by Secretary of State Day, the whole being enclosed in richly ornamented Russia covers.

Secretary Long, in his letter of transmittal, makes reference to a letter from the Secretary of State complimenting Admiral Dewey upon his direction of affairs since the great naval victory, a formal evidence that the State Department is thoroughly well satisfied with the diplomatic qualities the admiral has exhibited. The letter of Secretary Long is as follows:


"Sir:—The Department has received from the Secretary of State an engrossed and certified copy of a joint resolution of Congress, tendering the thanks of Congress to you, and the officers and men of the squadron under your command, for transmission to you, and herewith encloses the same.

"Accompanying the copy of the joint resolutions, the Department received a letter from the Secretary of State requesting that there be conveyed to you his high appreciation of your character as a naval officer, and of the good judgment and prudence you have shown in directing affairs since the date of your great achievement in destroying the Spanish fleet.

"This I take great pleasure in doing, and join most heartily on behalf of the Navy Department, as well as personally, in the commendation of the Secretary of State. Very respectfully,

"JOHN D. LONG, Secretary.

"Rear-Admiral George Dewey, U. S. N., Commander-in-Chief U. S. Naval Force, Asiatic Station."

July 29. The transport steamer St. Paul, bearing the first battalion of North Dakota volunteers, the Minnesota and Colorado recruits, sailed from San Francisco for Manila.

July 31. The transports Indiana, Ohio, Valencia, Para, and Morgan City arrived at Cavite with American troops.

At 11.30, on the last night of July, the Spanish forces in Manila attacked the American lines. A typhoon had set in, rain was falling in torrents, and the blackness of the night was almost palpable. Three thousand Spaniards made a descent upon an entrenched line of not more than nine hundred Americans.

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