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Full text of "The log of the Oregon; a sailor's story of the voyage from San Francisco to Santiago in 1898"






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HE LOG OF THE 
OREGON 



^THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

A Sailor's Story of the Voyage from 

San Francisco to Santiago 

in J898 



E. A. HALL & COMPANY 

eBEBNFIELD, HASS. 

1914 



L 



n n 



CopTBieHT, 1914 

BT 

Edwabd Kibk TiTtrs 



All Rights Reserved 



ms 9? mid 



©C1,A874J81 \_ 



to the officers of the oregon 

the seamen firemen and marines 

and to the naval reserves 

who joined the ship before the battle 

of santiago 

all of whom showed themselves so 

brave and capable 

this little volume 

is respectfuiily dedicated 

Edward K. Titus 



INTRODUCTORY 



THE interest aroused by the first publica- 
tion of the narrative contained within 
these pages has suggested to the friends of 
Rear-Admiral Charles E. Clark that it be given 
a somewhat wider distribution. That this new 
edition would be welcome is indicated by a 
letter received by the Admiral from the late 
Dr. S. Weir Mitchell of Philadelphia, as fol- 
lows : — 

Bar Harbor, Maine. 
My dear Admiral: — 

I have read with the utmost pleasure the 
naive log of the Oregon kept by the seaman and 
think that more than this present writer should 
have the pleasure of reading what a sailor had 
to say of that famous voyage. I wish I could 
add to this your own account of it which I 
wrung from you one pleasant evening in my 
home, when I got from you what you will prob- 
ably be unwilling to put on paper for anyone 
else. It is a historic story which has not as 
yet been fitly told, and so redounds to the credit 
of the navy and so expresses the feeling of 
officers and men, that I still entertain hope that 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

you may print it with the sailor's story of a 
voyage which must ever live in the annals of 
the navy. 

Yours always, 

WEIR MITCHELL. 
July 24th, 1912. 
Rear Admiral Charles Clark, 
Mansfield Stowe, 
Vermont. 

In the year 1908, Chief Justice John Adams 
Aiken of Massachusetts had printed for private 
distribution a limited edition of this little vol- 
ume, with an introduction in his own graceful 
style, the book being entitled "The Voyage of 
the Oregon from San Francisco to Santiago in 
1898." The narrative therein contained and 
reprinted in the following pages was a sailor's 
log, a story of the life on board the battle-ship 
Oregon during this famous passage. 

The writer of this journal, one of the crew 
of the vessel, had entered these notes day by 
day on the voyage, his purpose being merely to 
give his home circle an account of the journey. 
A friend to whom his sisters gave the log, noting 
a newspaper contribution by Admiral Clark re- 
lative to the straits of Magellan, sent the manu- 



INTRODUCTORY 

script to him. The Admiral showed it to his 
friends, who insisted that it be published. 

Although an uneducated man, the writer of 
this journal had an observant habit of mind 
and a knack for story-telling, so that his recital 
is a vivacious description of the scenes and in- 
cidents of a famous undertaking. It reflects 
the pride which the crew felt in their com- 
mander, Capt. Charles E. Clark, now rear- 
admiral of the United States navy, and their 
implicit confidence in his capacity as a naval 
commander. The reader also finds intimate per- 
sonal glimpses of the American blue- jacket, his 
fervent patriotism, his courageous assumption 
of the hazards of war, his faith in the success of 
his cause. The picture thus drawn suggests 
the mariners of Ulysses: — 

^^ Souls that have toiled, and wrought and 

thought with me — 
That ever with a frolic welcome took 
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed 
Free hearts, free foreheads *^ 

Since the stirring days in which this log 
was written, many tributes have been offered 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

by naval and other authorities to the splendor 
of the Oregon's achievement: — 

Senator Lodge, when he heard of Clark's 
dispatch assuring the department that he could 
cope with the Spanish fleet, wrote that it re- 
called "Sir Eichard Grenville and the days 
gone by, and proved that the spirit of our Norse 
ancestors was burning brightly in this Ameri- 
can captain, officers, and crew." 

Alfred T. Mahan, the foremost naval writer 
of the day, when he heard of Clark's plan for 
a running fight with the Spanish cruisers off 
the coast of Brazil, in Avhich reference was made 
to the manner in which Horatius overcame the 
Curiatii, wrote: ''Capt. Clark drew for sup- 
port from the very fountain heads of history, 
from the remote and even legendary past." 

Admiral Lord Charles Beresford of the 
British navy said: "I confess to a feeling of 
pride in the Oregon." 

Capt. Paget, naval attache of the British 
legation at Washington, added: *'Capt. Clark 
is my beau ideal of a naval officer." 

Concerning this achievement the following 
remark was made by Sir Almeric Rich : ' ' Such 
a service by an English officer would have 
meant not only promotion but a peerage." 

10 



INTRODUCTORY 

The full measure of Capt. Clark's respon- 
sibility was not known to the writers quoted 
above, nor has the public understood it. On 
reaching the port of Rio Janeiro, he had orders 
to beware of the Spanish fleet, that he must 
avoid it if possible, and also that if he felt it 
necessary, he would be allowed to remain in a 
Brazilian port on the plea of injured boilers 
and machinery. 

Capt. Clark was unwilling to cower in a 
foreign port under cover of this permission, 
which would have had a disheartening effect at 
home. On the other hand, he was seeking no 
conflict with a superior force, the issue of which 
might be a damaging blow to our naval strength. 
He weighed the chances coolly and promptly 
sailed out of port in accordance with the mis- 
sion of the voyage, which was to reinforce the 
United States fleet in Cuban waters with the 
least possible delay. 

If worst came to worst he felt he could win 
in a running fight. But at the best it was a 
departure into an ominous unknown, like the 
sailing of a viking of old, and again Ulysses and 
his mariners came to mind: 



11 



THE LOG- OF THE OREGON 

''Push off', and sitting ivell in order smite 
The sounding furroivs: 

It may he that the gulfs will tvash us down: 
It may he ive shall touch the Happy Isles, 

that which we are, 

we are; 
One equal temper of heroic hearts, 
Made weak hy time and fate, hut strong in will 
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.'' 

For 4000 miles the Spaniards had every 
opportunity to strike the Oregon on her lone 
way. There was a thrilling moment when the 
union with Sampson's fleet was successfully 
accomplished. The ship's companies paraded 
on deck with bands playing as the Oregon 
passed down the line. The reinforcement 
brought a thrill of relief to many anxious 
hearts, particularly in the Atlantic ports, where 
the threat of bombardment had seemed a real 
menace. The glorious sequel at Santiago is 
known to every school boy. 

Admiral Clark, in an official letter to the 
department, paid this tribute: — 

12 



INTRODUCTORY 

''Therefore, in justice to the officers and men 
who exerted themselves so much and endured 
such hardships during the long and arduous 
voyage from the Pacific, that their ship might 
be present and efficient in the hour of need, 
whose willingness to encounter single handed 
the enemy's fleet if it should cross her track, 
was so evident, and whose enthusiasm in battle 
was so inspiring, I feel that I should emphasize 
the following facts: That the Oregon speedily 
gained a position nearest the enemy, that she 
held that position during the crisis of the battle, 
that she attacked in succession all four of the 
enemy's ships, and that she passed none until 
they turned for the beach, three on fire and the 
fourth with her colors coming down." 

The following from another official letter of 
Admiral Clark is an interesting comment on 
the action of the navy department, and also as 
to his personal feeling, in the much debated 
matter of rewards: — 

"Of the twenty-five officers senior to me on 
the navy list and who have ranked me nearly 
forty-one years, Watson, whom Farragut es- 
teemed above all the young officers who fought 
under him, Cassey, whose place in the assault at 



13 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

Chemulpo, was shown by his coat, cut by spear 
thrusts, Barker, who fought on board the Miss- 
issippi when she was destroyed under the bat- 
teries at Port Hudson, Cotton, on board the 
Oneida, when she suffered so much at Mobile, 
Wadleigh, so distinguished by his Arctic ser- 
vice in the Alliance, Sands, who went beyond 
other officers, promoted for bravery at Fort 
Fisher, Cook, who received the surrender of 
the Colon,* and others I believe have said they 
would gladly see me placed above them in rank. 
And they, my life long friends, know that I 
would rather not be so advanced." 

Admiral Clark never cared for fighting for 
its own sake, his wish being merely to perform 
his duty. When one of his brother officers em- 
braced him after the battle of Santiago, saying : 
' ' This is a glorious day for you, ' ' Clark replied, 
looking upon the scene of death about him, ' ' To 
me it is truly a fearful day. I can only rejoice 
that we are breaking down the bridge to Spain, 
so that every life sacrificed here to-day may 
save a hundred hereafter." 

* Also Higginson, who after his boat had been 
raked, led the boarders over the Judith's side in 
an exploit so inspiring- at the beginning of the Civil 
war, and Chester, who served on board the Rich- 
mond next in line to the Hartford at Mobile. 

14 



INTRODUCTORY 

One phase of the Oregon's achievement, 
never known to the general public, might well 
be mentioned here. 

The superb mechanical efficiency of the 
Oregon, shown at Santiago when she passed 
battle-ships classed as superior to her in speed, 
taking the lead in the attack on each Spanish 
vessel, was largely due to the self-denial of the 
ship's company in the matter of drinking water. 
On an ordinary cruise salt water could have 
been taken into one of the boilers, the steam 
thus obtained condensed to water again, and a 
sufficient supply set aside to become cool and 
sweet drinking water. But such use of salt 
water would have crusted the boiler with scale. 
That the consequent loss of steaming efficiency 
might be avoided, the officers and crew on their 
long journey from San Francisco had been 
content with the supply made by the fresh 
water condensers, w^hich was so insufficient that 
it had to be used while w^arm. In a voyage 
through the tropics, this involved a serious 
hardship, which was cheerfully accepted by all. 



15 



SKETCH OF REAR-ADMIRAL CLARK 

Charles Edgar Clark, rear-admiral of the 
TTiiited States navy, was born in Bradford, 
Orange county, Vermont, August 10, 1843. He 
was the son of James Dayton Clark, whose 
grandfather, Thomas Clark of Roxbury, Mass- 
achusetts, joined the Revolutionary army when 
a battle was expected, and was a member of the 
Cxeneral Court before the close of the war. 
His mother was Mary Sexton Clark, daughter 
of Major Hiram Sexton of Bradford, Vermont, 
who served in the last war with England, and 
granddaughter of Captain Williams of Wil- 
mington, Vermont, an officer in the Revolution- 
ary army. 

Admiral Clark thus came of fighting 
stock, and when 16 years of age, was already 
hoping to become a soldier. Hon. Justin S. 
Morrill, whose service in Congress of forty-four 
years exceeded in duration that of any other 
American, knowing that otherwise young Clark 
could only be educated in the schools of his 
native village, and must soon take some employ- 
ment not suited to his tastes and ambitions, ap- 



17 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

pointed him to the naval academy at Annapolis. 
He passed his fourth class year at that insti- 
tution on board the school-ship Constitution, 
known as Old Ironsides, never dreaming of such 
a ship as the iron-clad he was later to command. 

One of his associates at the Academy was 
his father's cousin and namesake, James Day- 
ton, who as a rear-admiral commanded on one 
occasion an assembled fleet of 23 battle-ships 
and armored cruisers. 

As Old Ironsides, with only sail power and 
smooth bore guns, was classed as one of our ef- 
fective cruising ships, these young men were to 
see changes in naval architecture almost as great 
as those of the preceding two thousand years. 

As the Oregon, after Clark commanded her, 
was called by the Secretary of the Navy in an 
official dispatch ''the Constitution of the new 
navy," the Admiral's connection with the fa- 
mous old fighting ship is of interest. The Con- 
stitution sailed from Annapolis at the beginning 
of the last war with England, in which she was 
to win three signal victories. Clark first went 
to sea when she sailed from the same anchorage 
at the beginning of the Civil war, carrying the 
loyal midshipmen to Newport. On the way up 

18 



SKETCH OF REAH-ADMIRAL CLAEK 

the coast she passed over the ground where in 
the earlier conflict she was attacked by a power- 
ful squadron, and was so intrepidly handled by 
Commodore Hull, that seaman from New Eng- 
land who brought down the flag of Old England 
for the first time in single frigate action. For- 
tunately the Constitution got to sea on that 
occasion before orders could arrive that would 
have detained her in port. The battle with the 
Guerriere was the first of a series of naval 
triumphs, which, as Jackson said, was all that 
enabled us to hold up our heads during two 
years of mismanagement and defeat on shore. 
While a fourth classman at the naval acad- 
emy, Clark was called upon to take part in the 
last preparations made for the defense of the 
historic ship, when Annapolis was cut off from 
the North by the attack upon the Union troops 
in Baltimore. The guns on shore that could 
have been used against her were added to the 
ship's battery. As there was only a handful 
of seamen on board, the midshipmen were 
armed and stationed to repel an attack. 

A large number of the officers and midship- 
men were secessionists. But no changes seemed 
to have been made in the assignment to stations. 



19 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

One night, when an alarm was sounded on 
shore, Lieutenant Davidson, the officer on duty, 
and Midshipman Carnes, who commanded a 
company, and both of whom were Southerners, 
were questioned. They answered that their res- 
ignations had not yet been accepted, and that 
they still wore the uniform. 

Clark made a cruise on board the practice 
ship Macedonian to the coast of Europe and the 
Madeira Isles. This craft could be handled 
like a yacht by the noted seaman in command, 
S. B. Luce. If attacked in a calm, she could 
fight, two guns right ahead and astern. After 
leaving Cherbourg, France, she was disguised 
as an Englishman, her royal poles being cut off. 
The midshipmen were confident of victory if 
the Alabama or Florida could be lured within 
close range. But the only Confederates Clark 
met on this expedition were former companions 
at the Academy who were waiting in Europe for 
a chance to join their cruisers. Clark's exper- 
ience in the ship was a good one for him as the 
later commander of the Oregon. 

Clark and his classmates were detached from 
the Academy and given the rank of ensign at 
the end of the second class year. He joined the 



20 



SKETCH OF REAR-ADMIRAL CLARK 

Ossipee, which then with several smaller vessels 
was blockading the port of Galveston. He 
served in her during the last two years of the 
war. Galveston was a place of misfortune for 
the navy. The Westfield had been destroyed 
there, and the Harriet Lane was carried by 
boarding, both Captains Renshaw and Wain- 
right and both Executive Officers Zimmerman 
and Lea being lost. Outside, the Hatteras had 
been sunk by the Alabama. 

The Ossipee v/as commanded by Fighting 
John Gillis, so called from his record in the 
Monticello and the Seminole. He was soon to 
be deeply chagrined when a sailing vessel 
broke through the blockade in broad daylight. 
A heavy sea was running, and the ships could 
not keep down the fire of Fort Magruder and 
the Pellican Spit batteries, nor cripple the ad- 
venturous vessel. Her intrepid master kept 
close to the breakers where he could not be 
rammed, and braved the fire until the entrance 
was reached. Clark was on the topgallant 
forecastle at the pivot gun, and when one of 
the training levers came adrift he nearly went 
overboard with it from a violent roll of the ship. 
Capt. W. M. Walker, who soon relieved Cap- 

21 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

tain Gillis, incurred Admiral Farragut's dis- 
pleasure as the result of an effort to capture 
some vessels outside. This weakened the force 
off Mobile so much that the enemy could have 
driven off the remaining ships and could have 
legally raised the blockade for sixty days. A 
little later Clark, who was on board the flag- 
ship, was called into the cabin by one of the 
staff, concerning a requisition from the Ossipee. 
Seated at a desk some distance aft was "the 
doughty Admiral," so called by a European 
writer, "whose deeds in war had placed him at 
the head of the nautical profession upon the 
earth," and who perhaps was even better de- 
scribed by the affectionate remark "in some 
respects he never quite grew up." Hearing the 
word Ossipee, his impetuosity was manifest at 
once. 

"Cut that brass plate out," he cried. 

"But," began Clark, "That is for a cover 
to the pivot gun socket." 

"Nonsense, no such thing in the ordnance 
manual, too much brass now on board the 
Ossipee," came the reply with a threatening 
forefinger. 

"Well, but Admiral, Captain "Walker wants " 



22 



SKETCH OF REAR-ADMIRAL CLARK 

This was a red rag, and Clark rushed out of 
the cabin well in the lead. Modest as the Ad- 
miral was about his great achievements, Clark 
knew he had loudly boasted as to what he would 
do if his son Loyal, who stood at his side at 
Port Hudson, Grand Gulf, and Warrenton, 
should presume upon his youthful strength. 
This was the only marked attention Clark ever 
received from the great Admiral. 

A little later Commander W. E. LeRoy, a 
favorite of Admiral Farragut and his fleet cap- 
tain after the war, was put in command of the 
Ossipee. While forcing the entrance of Mobile 
Bay, a shot coming through the Ossipee 's side 
sent a lot of splinters flying about. One went 
on board the Itasca, which was lashed alongside 
to carry her through if disabled, and struck her 
captain, George Brown, on the leg, setting him 
dancing around. 

"Oh! Brown," cried LeRoy, ''Have you 
been struck by a splinter?" 

"Well, you may call it a splinter on board 
your big ship," cried the sufferer, "but over 
here it ranks as a log of wood." 

A few minutes later the iron-clad Tennessee 
came out of the smoke on the starboard bow 



23 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

and raked the Ossipee with her bow and one of 
her broadside gnns. Clark was so absorbed 
watching their frowning muzzles that he forgot 
the Ossipee might be rammed and sunk within 
range of the forts. Lieutenant Howell called to 
Commander LeRoy : ' ' Shall we port and ram ? ' ' 
The latter answered: "No, steady, I think we 
will go clear." The ships passed so close 
aboard that the flash of the guns and the crash 
of shot was instantaneous. Farragut's fore- 
sight in having the ships paired was shown in 
case of the Oneida, next astern of the Ossipee, 
which was disabled by a shot in her boilers, but 
was carried in by her consort the Galena. The 
Ossipee had a narrow escape, as a ten inch shot 
from the water battery grazed the main steam- 
pipe, tearing away the wooden battens and the 
fearnought with which it was encased. 

When Admiral Farragut made his famous 
signal to run down the enemy's iron-clad flag- 
ship at full speed, the Ossipee was one of the 
wooden ships whose distinguishing pennant was 
shown. Farragut, after referring to the signal 
in his detailed official report, says that the com- 
bat that followed was one of the fiercest on 
record. 



24 



SKETCH OF REAE-ADMIRAL CLARK 

The Ossipee was the fourth vessel that 
rammed or tried to ram the Tennessee. As En- 
sign Clark was on the forecastle in charge of 
the three forward guns, it happened that though 
so young in the service he was the first officer 
to exchange words with the captain of the Tenn- 
essee, when the latter came out of the casemates 
with a white flag to surrender the ship. To 
help him avoid a collision, and having heard 
the orders given on his own ship to put the 
helm over and reverse the engines, Ensign Clark 
shouted to the confederate captain that the 
Ossipee 's helm had been put to starboard. The 
Tennessee's captain replied that he was help- 
less, his wheel-ropes being shot away. 

Ensign Clark commanded the Ossipee 's 
quarter-deck battery in the successful attack on 
Fort Morgan, also on the lower Mississippi 
when Reed, the ''Cushing" of the Confederate 
navy, vainly attempted to escape with the ram 
Webb, by running past ships and batteries from 
the Red river to the Gulf. The shots fired on 
the latter occasion were probably the last dis- 
charged by the navy during the Civil war, as 
the Confederate armies had surrendered. 

The next service of Ensign Clark was on 



25 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

board the flag-ship of Commodore John Rogers, 
of Galena and Weehawken fame, when the 
Monadnock, the first monitor to make an ocean 
voyage, was convoyed to the Pacific. He wit- 
nessed the bombardment of Valparaiso and the 
battle of Callao, when the Spanish Admiral was 
wounded and four of his wooden frigates were 
disabled or driven out of action. As Valpar- 
aiso was a defenceless town, there was a sugges- 
tion of interference by the United States and 
European naval forces, and our ships prepared 
for battle, but a collision was averted. 

Promotion in the lower grades of the navy 
was rapid just after the war, and Clark reached 
the grade of lieutenant-commander at the age 
of twenty-four. 

When the Suwanee in 1868, steaming at full 
speed, struck an unknown rock and imme- 
diately broke in two, Lieutenant-Commander 
Clark had the watch, and during the first few 
moments of excitement, was the only officer on 
deck. All landed safely on Hope island near 
the north end of Vancouver. When the cap- 
tain and the greater number of the crew were 
taken off by the English gunboat Sparrowhawk, 
Captain Porcher, the command of the party 



SKETCH OF REAR-ADMIRAL CLARK 

left on the island was given to Clark, who was 
the fifth line officer in rank. 

The English officers and crew did every- 
thing possible for the comfort and welfare of 
the Americans. Admiral Clark always felt 
especially indebted to Lieutenant Reginald 
Townsend for the solicitous care for his com- 
fort. He also felt deeply grateful to Admiral 
Hastings of the English navy, who protested 
against sending the rescued men from Victoria 
to San Francisco in an unseaworthy vessel, and 
said he would gladly take them in his flag-ship, 
the Zealous. 

In 1876 Clark was at Ichang on the Yang- 
tse-Ki-ang river, 1000 miles above its mouth, 
when China was obliged to declare the port 
open to commerce. His first command was the 
line-of -battle ship New Hampshire, in 1881. 
The second night at sea she and the steam 
frigate Powhatan struck on the southeast and 
most exposed point of Block island, but both 
vessels got off without serious injury. 

In command of the Ranger, Clark carried 
on from 1883 to 1886 with a large detail of 
officers, the survey of the west coast of Mexico 
and Central America. While holding the rank 



27 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

of commander, he was ordered in 1894 to en- 
force the decree, just issued, of the Behring 
Sea Arbitration Court of Paris, and was given 
command of one of the largest cruising fleets 
that had been assembled since the Civil war. 
It was composed of the Mohican, Yorktown, 
Concord, Adams, Ranger, Alert and Petrel, 
men of war, the Fish Commission steamer Al- 
batross, and the revenue cutters Corwin and 
Bear. 

When it was decided to send the battle- 
ship Oregon from San Francisco to the Atlantic 
ocean on account of the threatened war with 
Spain, Clark, then a captain, was ordered to 
command. He joined the ship March 18, 1898, 
and sailed two days later on the voyage that 
became historic. 



28 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 



So we started on the 19th of March 
and I will try and give you some idea 
of our trip on this side of the U. S. Capt Mc- 
Commick got sick and had to be relieved to go 
on sick leif. Capt Clark was in command of 
the Monteray at the time and he was a young 
Capt too. there was no other one around there 
at that time, so he was detailed to take com- 
and of the Oregon and a prowed man he was 
too, and we wer a prowed crew along with him. 
he was glad he got the ship and we wer glad 
we got him. we knew he was a good Seaman, 
any way he called us all aft on the quarter deck 
and read out his orders and told us that we 
wer going towards south America. I will now 
try and give you the trip. 
3Iarch 19. 1898 Up anchor at 8 A. M. in San 
Francisco Bay. I had the 8 to 12 watch and 
we past through the Golden Gate at 9.15 A. M. 
and left the Fairwell Bouy at 10.5 A. M. and 
shaped our course for Callao, Peru, it being 
S. E. 1/2 E, and at the same time we drop over 



29 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

the Patent Log in the Briny, the Capt gave 
orders to give 75 turns and that brought her 
out about 11.5 knots. Every thing is runing 
smooth and all Hunk. 

March 20. Sliding along at 11.8 knots gate. 
Every thing working beautyfull. nothing of 
interest going on, except the fine Wether. 

March 21. Changed course at 10 A. M to S. E. 
Will not put down any thing for some time to 
come as there is nothing unusal going on, But 
I wonder if we will get there to catch up with 
the Band Wagon. 

April 4 Arived at Calao, Peru, 5.30 A. M., very 
pleasant trip all the way down the coast, we 
are doing quick work so far. started to coal 
ship at 8 A. M. and as soon as we get enough 
on board we will pull right out for the straights 
of Magellan and there join the Marietta, our 
little Gun Boat, which will scout the straights 
for us in case there is a Spanish Torpedo Boat 
in one of the Many Coves. She can go in 
shallow water as she is a light draft boat and 
at the same time order coal for us. 



30 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

We have allready made one of the grandest 
runs on record. Just think of it, a First Class 
Battle Ship making 4800 miles in just 16 days 
and used 900 Tons of Coal, That being the 
longest trip on record for a First Class Battle 
Ship. 

April 5. We are now laying over an old city 
in Peru, they say when some of the ships 
hoist there anchor they sometimes rais some of 
the old houses or part of them with the anchor. 
This old place is some 109 years old, the Old 
Callao, I mean. 109 years ago they had an 
Earthquake and Tidle Wave hear together and 
did up the city. The public hear speak noth- 
ing put Spanish and the Capt thinks there 
might be som sympathizers amongst Them, so 
we are keeping the strickest Kind of watch on 
the ship. We have two steam cutters pattrol- 
ing the ship all night and men station in the 
fighting tops as sharp shooters, the steam cut- 
ters are armed with two automatic 22 m. m. 
Hifles, so that would more than be a match for 
a ordinary Torpedo Boat, and while all the 
Post on Deck were Double we consider our 
selves pretty safe. They are puting coal on 



31 



THE LOG OP THE OREGON 

board as fast as they can, working night and 
day to get it all on. we are going to take a big 
lot this time. 

April 6. Pay day today, put on Sea stors to- 
day along with the coal, it all gos togather. 
But what is the diferance, this is War times 
and we are trying to get in it and I think we 
will if we get a show. I bought a nice pair of 
shoes today for 3.50 in U. S. Gold, there is 
no liberty to any one hear so we have to buy 
something that is some good to us. Expect to 
coal ship all night so as to pull out to morrow. 

April 7. Got the coal on this morning at 4 A. 
M. there is about 1750 tons on now, never had 
so much on before, got 100 tons on deck in 
sacks, w^e are knocking some of the coal dust 
off the sides. She is a very dirty ship now and 
expect to remain so for a long time to come. 
There is some talk of a Spanish Gun Boat or 
a Torpedo Boat in the Straights waiting for 
us. But I think that will be all right when the 
Marietta gets there to patrole the place for us. 
We expect to go out to night some time. 7 
p. m. left Port. The Capt dont know wether 

32 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

to go round the Horn or not. But if we go, 
as the Dutchman says By the Horn around, 
we will get a shaking up. But every body 
seems to think we can take care of our selves 
where ever we go. Capt Clark is all right, we 
dont think he is afraid of the whole Spanish 
Navy, the wether is very fogy. Expect it to 
lift when we get a little ways. 

Aijril 9. Alls Well, every thing doing fine. 

April 10. Just came on watch; have all four 
boilers on now and we are peging along at a 
13.7 and a 14 knot gate, you dont know you 
are at sea in this ship if you would stop be- 
tween Decks, guess there is not much doing 
to day, so I will steal forward for a while the 
old gent sleeps a little. I forgot to speak of 
having a little practis with the 6 pounders. 
They threw over Boxes and barrels and as we 
would get away from them we would fire on 
them for Torpedo Boats, we did some good 
shooting. All the Marines Man the seccondary 
Battry. The Capt got the chief engineer to 
fix the 8 inch turets to turn in Board 9 more 
degrees so as to shoot over the stern of the 



33 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

ship. So that would bring to bear on one point 
2, 13 inch Guns 4, 8 inch Guns 2, 6 inch Guns 
and six 6 Pounders aft, and the same forward. 
We could shoot for a Broad side 4, 13 inch 4, 
8 inch 2, 6inch and about 12, 6 Pounders on 
either side. 

Of corse this is Sunday and we all ought to 
be good. But we will be as good as we can By 
having a Gen feild day and clean up a little, 
as this is the first chance we have had to do 
any scrubing since we left San Francisco, Cal. 
I think we will meet the Marietta in the 
Straights of Magellan, we have found some 
grate Bars for her under the coal dust. We 
all think Capt Clark is going to be a ring tail 
snorter for fighting. I dont think it will be 
easy to whip him, he seems to be so quick to 
catch on to every little thing, he is all over 
the ship at once and he talks to every body, 
stops any one to ask them any thing he wants 
to know about the ship, he is very quick to 
take the advantage of every little thing. 

April 11. Very heavy wether. Wind Blowing 
Great Guns and a head sea. But we are Buck- 
ing it and making 11.6 knots, the Capt dont 



34 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

think we will run up against any thing in the 
shape of a Torpedo Boat in the Straights. We 
had some more practis today with the 6 Poun- 
ders and did some good work. I think we 
could make it very interesting for a Torpedo 
Boat. I dont see how they could get at us, 
unless it was in the night and then there would 
have to be something the matter with our 
search lights and all hands on Board would 
have to have the "Buck Feaver." 

April 12. We lost a little today on account 
of the forward 13 inch Turet, somthing got 
Jamed. all going well once more, and still 
bucking a head sea and making 11.7 knots right 
along. 4 P. M. Heavy wind has turned into 
a gale, but she is like a duck on a Mill Pond 
and still making 10 knots, Gale or no Gale, 
she has not roled over 10 degrees since we left 
Port Orchard, Wash. 

April 15. Whooping her up for all she is worth, 
want to make all she can. Wether is fine but 
quite Cold. Making all the way from 14 to 15 
knots. 



35 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

ApiHl 16. Everything is still doing well, and 
still going a mill tail. Passed Smiths Straights 
the first part of this morning, early, and in the 
fog that has Just come on we are still going it. 
the fog raised for a while and showed us the 
Destination Island, and then we wer shure we 
had only 30 miles to go to get in the Straights. 
Just at Dark we droped our mud hook in just 
45 fathoms of water in the entrence of the 
Straights of Magellan. 9.45 P. M. had the 8 
to 12 watch and She more than blew. I 
thought the ship would drift. But she held on 
like grim Deth to a dead nigger. The wind 
Blowed so hard I expected to be lifted off my 
feet. 

ApiHl 17. Making all posable speed to Sandy 
Point, making about 15 knots ever since we 
started this morning. 12 O clock Midday, 
there is some of the most beautyfull and 
grandest sights I have ever had the pleasure 
to look upon. I am shure if I could only 
write on the subject I could make it very in- 
teresting. I never seen such beautifuU wild 
nature in all my travels; there is mountain 
after mountain of Glacier and they seem to 



36 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

have all the colors of the rainbow, it was a little 
cold too and the whole Mountain sparkled like 
diamonds. 6. P. M. drop anchor in the Har- 
ber of Sandy Point, Chili. Had the public bin 
able to see us, They would not stop runing for 
the next week to come, for we cleared ship for 
action and had the guns all loaded up and 
ready for business and to Blaze away at any 
thing that looked as thoe it wanted to fight. 
Capt Clark belives in for warned for armed, 
and takes no chances, had the two Steam Cut- 
ters patroling the ship as usual. 

She made one of the grandest runs on rec- 
ord, for 11 hours making an average of I51/2 
knots; it knocks the Worlds record sky high. 
Just think of a first Class Battle Ship making 
15% knots for 11 straight hours on a straight 
away run, and we all think she could beat that 
time. But we had over the bow 2 anchors with 
the flukes of both in the water 3 feet. I am 
sure that held her Back 2 tenths of a knot. 
And the Marietta is not hear, the Capt dont 
know what has become of her. 

April 18. Well the Marietta is hear this morn- 
ing, she came in at 12.15 this morning. She 

37 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

was in the straights when we past her, she was 
laying off in one of the coves waiting for us, 
the man on look-out sighted us as we pased her, 
and told his capt and he said let her go, we 
will up anchor and overhall her in a short 
time, it hapened that the lookout was on 
board of the Oregon and he told his Capt that 
the Marietta could never catch the Oregon. 
Well any way she came in a little after mid- 
night. 

The first thing this morning we started to 
coal up. I havent found out how many tons 
we are going to take hear. But the price is 
$25 a ton. I think we will take about 800 tons, 
all the men on the Marietta say they had a very 
rough trip. We are in a great rush to get out 
of hear. Capt Clark asked Capt Simons if he 
had any towing Bits. Looks as thoe we were 
going to snake him along with us. I am de- 
tailed to go into the fighting top to night as 
capt of one Pounder and look out, we have a 
double watch on now all the time and it makes 
the Duty very hard thies war times. 

April 19. Still coaling up, was working all 
night to night, expect to be through to night 

38 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

sometime. Puting on sea stors along with the 
coal. Meat, Can goods, coal dust, all mixed up 
togather. What is the defirance, it all goes 
thies times. The Marietta had some trouble in 
geting coal to day. She only got 40 tons since 
1 A. M. this morning, so Capt Clark ordered 
him to go along side of the Coal Hulk and 
take all he wanted, for Capt sais we must have 
the coal and therefor must take it as we are 
going out of hear to morrow. 3.30 P. M. there 
was an Argentine Gun Boat came in Port and 
I would not be surprised to see a scrap hear 
before we left. Chili and Argentine are in 
hot disput over this place, it seems they both 
clame it to there Boundry line. Chili sent 
a company of Soldiers hear the 18th and they 
expect a Transport with som Soldiers from Ar- 
gentine to night som time, so I for one would 
like to see a good scrap of som kind for an ap- 
petizer for us, Just to take the rough edge off 
you know, w^e are standing by our Guns all 
the time and sleep by them by night. While 
the Jackies coal ship all hands are doing there 
part and there is no fudging going on. of 
corse there is all kinds of War talk in the air. 



39 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

April 20. At 12.30 A. M. still coaling up. 
Every thing working smooth and nothing to 
stop, it is a beantyfull night and the Southern 
Cross looms up with more beauty than I ever 
seen befor. But the ships bum Boat is all 
right too, she loomed up with a big ketle of 
hot Steaming cocoa, Just the thing a man 
wants when he has the mid watch, the wether 
is very cold down hear, a few of the men is go- 
ing ashore to morrow. I dont think I will be 
able to go as I will have the afternoon watch, 
any way I dont care much as I am use to the 
ship now. I could stay hear for a year. I 
wish we wer around to Key West so as to be 
with the Band wagon when she starts. Mr. 
Giles, Midshipman, is a very sick man, he was 
taken ill in the Cabin this morning. I went 
for the Doctor for him at 1.45 A. M. Doc said 
he had a hemorrhage of the lungs caused by 
concussion. 3 A. M. he is asleep and doing 
fine now. I woulden like to see him die, he is 
a fine fellow. 3.45 A. M. coal all on board. 4.30 
P. M. the Capt is on the warpath, he is mader 
than a wet hen for he tryed to get out of hear 
by 2 P. M. to day. But could not on the account 
of the Marietta having some trouble with her 

40 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

coal, so we both go tomorrow morning at day- 
break. 

April 21. Called all hands at 5.30 A. M. and np 
anchor at 6 A. M. I called the old man at 5.40 
A. M. Signaled over to puUout and we are 
tailing on behind untill we get out of the 
Straights, going about 10 knots; at 6 Bells met 
a steamer Bound for Klondyke, we drop a 
whale boat and sent our Boarding officer to find 
out the news if there was any But was dis- 
apointed. She had no news, she was 15 days 
from Rio Janeiro. 7.30 P. M. All is going well. 
The Marietta is astern now and likely to re- 
main so untill we get in the next Port, we 
past another steamer about 3 P. M. and when 
I go on watch to night at 8 I will try and find 
out something about her. Came off at 12 mid- 
night and she signaled to us no news of War. 
We have to go slow on account of the Marietta, 
had some targate practis today with all the 
Guns. We travel at night with all lights out 
now adays so as not to let any thing slip up on 
us, and at the same time slip up on them. 

April 22. Wind is very high, lost a life Boat 

41 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

this morning at 5.20 A. M. from the after 
Davits, good thing the wind is head on, the Sea 
is runing high. 8 P. M. Sea and wind has gon 
down considerable. Making about 10% knots. 
Ellis is sick poor man, I am standing his watch 
to night. 11.45 P. M. going about the same 
and all is well. 

April 23. I think we will have a dash of Gen 
Quarters, Just to shake the Boys up. the old 
man is anxious to have targate Practis, he be- 
lieves this ship whips the shoes off any thing 
that floats in the line of Battle ships, of corse 
Baring a Torpedo if one should hapen to hit, 
and I think the old man is right too, for this 
crew feels scrapy now. I think we would fight 
fer Keeps. Had Gen Quarters in the morning 
and Church in the afternoon. 

April 24. All is well, at 12 Oclock noon to day 
we wer in Lat. 44° 23m and Lon 57° 48m. 
had some fire drill to day mixed with a little 
collision drill. 

April 25. 4 A. M. Just came on watch and I 
am going on deck to get a cup of cocoa to wake 

42 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

me up abit. the old man is in the Chart house 
snoozing, so I guess it is safe to go. Every- 
thing has settled down to the same old thing 
except when we have some Targate Practis By 
throwing boxes over board. 

April 26. 8 A. M. All is well, same thing. Mak- 
ing 101/2 sometimes 11 knots. Had clear ship 
for action today. 

April 27. Every body begins to feal the trip 
now, geting tiresome now. since they have 
taken all of our ditty Boxes and benches and 
ail extra mess chests and stored them away, we 
have no place to sit down except on deck and 
let our feet hang over, then the men forward 
cant get enough water to keep themselves clean. 
I am more lucky than most of them for I have 
a chance to steal a Bucketful one every night, 
our cook is no good, he makes sour Bread and 
would make good schrapnel for clearing the 
decks, and of corse your humble servant has 
to chew Hard Tack, had more Targate practis 
to day. 

April 28. good stiff Breeze to day. Expect to 

43 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

have more targate practis to day with ful 
charges of amanition ; no practis, wind too high. 

April 29. good day to day, guess we will have 
it to day, no we dont have it. the old man 
has changed his mind and we will try and make 
Port to morrow. 

April 30. Started to pnl out this morning at 
5.30 A. M, useing forsed draught, making 14.5 
knots, going to try and make it by 4 P. M, have 
a head wind and light head sea. Droped an- 
chor at 3 P. M. in the beautyfuU harber of Rio 
de Janeiro, and befor the Mud hook struck the 
botom we had the news that war was declared 
on the 21st of April 1898, the very day we 
puled out of Sandy Point, as soon as every 
thing was put to order we Broke out the Band 
to give us the Star Spangled Baner, and the 
Crew diden do a thing But yell and whoop 
her up, so they had to play it over 4 times. 
The Marietta got in at 7 P. M. The Forts at 
this place were not going to let her in. But 
when they see her Signal they let her pass 0. K. 
started to coal up at 8.25 P. M. and we get out 
of hear as soon as we can. I hear the Spanish 

44 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

has got one of our Merchant ships, the Shanan- 
dore, loaded with Eng'lish goods. I wonder 
how that is going to com out. Every one on 
this ship is crasie to get at the Spanish. 

May 1. Just com on watch. Beautyfull morn- 
ing and still coaling ship. Hear is where you 
can get lots of sour frute and Bananas by the 
ship load for a little mony. But we are not 
aloud to Buy any thing that isent sour on ac- 
count of Yellow Feaver at this place. The Bra- 
zilian soldiers stop up all night to be up erly 
in the morning; they started to give us Revelee 
about 3 Oclock this morning, dident get 
through until 4 A. M. it sounds very pretty 
early in the morning when you are all ready 
awake, and such a beautifull morning as this 
is you can hear the echo of the drums up in 
the hils far away. You would all most wish 
you could stop hear all the time and be a Bra- 
zilian for good. But I coulden leave my Dear 
land for all the pretty sights Ive seen togather. 

May 2. American Minerster Just com on board 
and told us the news of the Battle of Manila, 
the Yanks did up every thing there, coal is 

45 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

coming on very slow and the old man is gating 
ancious to get out. 

May 3. going out to-morrow morning at 6 A. M. 
The crew is very enthusiastic over the war. got 
out this morning all right But going slow. I 
think we are fooling around hear. Have Nicth- 
eroy as a transport boat. She has 2000 tons of 
coal on Board for us and they say she is an 18 
knoter. 

May 4. I guess the war is on for keeps now. 
We have com back to Rio or near it to wate 
for a Spanish Torpedo Boat that has bin laying 
around hear for the last 3 days and at the same 
time to take the Nictheroy. 

May 5. lost some time waiting for the Nictheroy 
But she came along at dark, the Marietta will 
look out for her and we will pull out for Key 
West I think. 

May 6. Every thing doing well and making 10 
and 11 knots right off the reel now. at 8 P. M. 
the old man called all the Ward Room officers 
in the Cabin and read the tellegrams to them 

46 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

from Washington Which wer his sealed Orders 
and one of them reads like this: four armered 
Cruisers left Cape de Verde at some date and 
2 Torpedo Boal^s, Destination u^nknown, and 
the old man is told to beware. The old man 
had a consul of War to night, so if we have to 
scrap, we will have to cut a lively gate for 
them, they say the Spanish is some Kind of 
a fighter him self. But we all think we can 
show him a trick with a hole in it. that was 
a great fight of the Manilla bay. 

3Iay 7. Every thing doing well, except this 
morning at 4.50 A. M. Gen Quarters sounded 
and there was a lively old time for a while. 
Every body thought we wer in for it then and 
there. I cannot desscribe the fealing of en- 
thusiasm about the Decks, you see we had our 
orders to send in a Gen alarm when ever any 
thing looked like a Manowar got in sight, 
there was a little rain squall and some old sail- 
ing ship was in it, and just as she cleared away 
our lookout sighted the ship and sent in the 
alarm; it was the Capts orders to send in the 
alarm even if he was not there as he would get 
there all right, at 9 A. M. the old man called 

47 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

all hands to muster on the Quarter deck and 
told us the news he had received at Rio: there 
was 4 first class cruisers and three Torpedo 
Boats going to meet around hear some where 
and do us up. we all expect they will if they 
can, But the pruf of the Puding is the eat- 
ing of it and we will have something to say 
about that. And after telling us about the 
fleet that was going to whip the socks off us he 
made a little speach to us; he said of corse it 
was his duty to the Goverment to get the ship 
around on the other side and stear clear of the 
fleet if posable. But in case he did meet the 
fleet he was sure Spain's fighting efficiency on 
the sea would be demineshed. So we all gave 
him three rousen Cheers and the old man 
Blushed, but he is a dandy Just the same. 

May 8. got to Bahia, Bra. at 8.30 P. M. after 
making a good run and having Targate practis 
with full charges of Powder, don some fine 
shooting with the Big Guns. I dont think it 
will be a bit too healthy for the Spanish to 
bump up against us, for w^e have a good eye. 
We put in hear as an excuse to put on War 
paint saying our engines wer Brok down and 
at the same time to get more coal if we can. 

48 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

3Iaij 9. Put on War paint to day and we are 
out for it now. we have the ship cleared for 
action now for keeps, got some coal and fresh 
water, filed up with every thing we wanted. 
at 8 P. M. the old man got a telagram and at 
10 P. M. we wer on our corse for the West 
Indias. 

3Iay 10. going along smooth and nothing doing. 

Maij 11. still expect to meet that fleet and if we 
do meet them there is going to be a "Hot time 
in the old town to night." 

May 12. Every thing the same, some of us think 
we past through the fleet last night, there wer 
several lights all around and acted Mighty quer. 

May 13. Nothing doing and will wate untill we 
get in Port. 

May 18. got into Barbadoes at 4 A. M. this 
morning and found lots of war talk going on; 
we are puting on coal Just now, expect to go 
out of hear to morrow morning erly. 8 P. M. 
up anchor once more after geting 250 tons of 

49 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

coal on and ready for buisness. Guess the 
Spanish dont want any of this craft, it seems 
we will get there without firering a shot. 

May 24. arived at Jupiter light house after 
making a flank movement to the northard and 
not a ship to be be seen. 

May 25. up anchor once more for Key West, 
got there on the 26th ; of corse the Capt dident 
know how things stud so he had to go slow, 
About 4.30 A. M. the man on the life Bouy 
gave the alarm, saying there was a small dark 
objict coming this way; the Officer of the Deck 
roused up the Capt and the next thing we knew 
G^n Quarters sounded. What should it be 
But the tug with our Pilot on board for us, the 
"Hudson" was the name of the tug. 

3Iay 27. still puting on coal, expect to go down 
to Cuba with the New York. 

June 1. I herd the first shot in this war to day, 
Santiago de Cuba and with the flying squadron. 

June 2. we had a wild goose chase. 

50 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

June 3. notliing doing but laying off hear and 
watching what looks like to me a big hole in the 
grond. same thing the 4th and 5th. 

June 6. Stand from under, we Bombard the 
forts and water Baterys to day for 4 hours 
but dont know how much damage we don. 

June 7. staying out hear and doing nothing. 
June 8. same thing, 
Jmie 9. " 

June 10. we went down to Guantanamo Bay to 
put some coal on and landed 40 Marines in the 
Morning, we wer the first to put foot on 
Cuban soil in this war. The 9th the Marble- 
head and Dolphin Bombarded the place and 
made them look like Munkys; they ran away 
and left every thing behind them. 

June 11. came back to Santiago on the 10th. 
and laying off hear as befor. 

June 12. Same old thing. Expecting Troops 
every day. 

51 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 
June 13. Dito. 

June 14. the New Orleans was ordered to run 
in close to the shore and do som Bombarding: 
By her self Just to break the Monotony and to 
let us believe we wer at war. we don a good 
Job all right, she silenced the east Battry and 
the west one too, and made them show up a 
water Battry which we did not know any thing 
about, havent herd how many got kild or 
wounded on the other side. But I know they 
never hert any one on this side. Got some 
news from Guantanamo to day. Co. Hunting- 
ton and his Marines of 800 Had a Brush with 
the Spanish, it is reported that 6 marines wer 
kild and Doctor Gibbs was shot through the 
head by accident, there is at Guantanamo 
Bay the Texas, Marblehead and Porter and 
800 Marines; they expect to have the cable 
work soon and the Harbor well under Hand. 
I forgot to say the Vesuvius landed 3 shots of 
dinomite in the Harbor on the night of the 13th 
at Santiago and did great damage to the Shore 
Batterys; the latest report is that the Cubans 
are flocking in to Huntingtons camp. 



52 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

June 15. coaling ship and still retain our posi- 
sion on the Blockade. 

June 16. At 3.30 A. M. this morning all hands 
was called and the coffie was passed around 
with som hardtack and cand Beef at 4 A. M. 
Turn to, some 15 to 20 Minutes later Qen Quar- 
ters sounded. Then we went at it to try and 
see if we could not knock thoes Batterys off 
the earth. Bombarded untill 7.15 A. M. No- 
body knows how much damage was don, except 
we silinced all the Batterys they had and made 
them show up a nother one inside of the har- 
bor of which there seems to be lots of them. 
I will say right hear that if we take this place 
its going to be a hot old Job, and som of us 
will think we run up against a Hornets nest 
when we get in side, they have been talking 
of forsing the Chanell and Capt Clark signaled 
over to the flag ship and asked permishion to 
take the leed, and I am sure we will stay with 
him as long as the ship floats for we love him. 
The Vesuvius fired three more shots last night 
at about 12. dont know what damage was don 
But I know we are all tired of this fooling, if 
they would only send some soldiers down here 

53 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

from the regular army, say 6 Regiments of In- 
fantry and 3 of Cavalry, I think, with what 
we could put up, that forse would more than 
be a match for them and take the place with 
all ease. The latest Bulitin of the day is that 
the Porses at Guantanamo have bin Joined by 
some Cubans and had a Brush with the Span- 
ish, and the report is that 40 wer kild on the 
Spanish side and 17 taken prisoners of war, 
one Spanish Lut. 2 Corp and 14 Privates. On 
our side 3 Cubans Kild and 2 wounded, 3 Mar- 
ines wounded and 17 overcome by the heat. 
But all recovered. Routed the Spanish and 
distroyed the water suply and Block House. 
The Dolphin held there posision from the water 
frount and the Texas sunk 2 small Gun boats. 

Jime 17. come down to Guantanamo Bay this 
morning, put some 300 tons of coal on and 
throde some shells over in an old Fort and then 
puled out right away for Santiago. 

June 20. Bully for the Soldiers, they are hear 
at last, "I thought they would com tomorrow,'' 
some of the papers say there is 20.000 of them, 
that is enough to eat the plase up for lunch. 

54 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

Well I hope we will soon crack this nut that is 
so hard to crack. I hear there is 15000 Span- 
ish soldiers over hear. 

June 22. the soldiers are landing all O. K. and 
doing well, and only a few horses and 2 men 
lost so far, so the Flag Ship says. 

Jime 26. Started in this morning so see if we 
coulden knock down that Spanish old Morro or 
else knock somthing cruckit around it. Well 
we pelted away for an hour or more and the 
flag ship signaled over to the Iowa to close in 
and pump at the Smith Key Battry. The Iowa 
signaled Back that her forward Turet was out 
of order, so it fel to us, we went in to 700 yards 
of the shore Battry and did knock down the 
Spanish flag with an 8 inch shell and knocked 
over one of there Big Guns. I belive if the 
flag ship had not called us off Capt Clark would 
have went in along side of old Morro and give 
him a tutching up. 

June 28. I am geting tired of trying to keep 
cases on this thing, there is nothing doing but 
laying around hear like a lot of sharks watch- 
ing for a fish. 

55 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

July 4. The fish has come out to see us. On 
the 3rd the Spanish fleet came out of the Har- 
bor to fight and get a way if posable. (I would 
have put this down on the 3rd But I dident 
have time and was too tired that night so put 
it off for today.) Well the Fleet came out and 
went to Davy Joneses locker. It was Just 9.25 
A. M., first call had sounded on our ship for 
Quarters and we all had our best dudds on; 
we wer going to listen to the Articles of War 
this morning and to have chirch right affter, 
But we never did. all of a suden the Ordly on 
watch made a dive for the Cabin head first, 
and told the old man the Fleet was coming out 
of the Harbor, the old man jumpt up a stand- 
ing, as soon as some of the men seen the ships 
there, they went to there Quarters with out any 
further delay. I was standing on the Quarter 
Deck waiting for the last call to go. I heard 
the news and looking around the affter Terets 
seen the first one. I thought she looked Biger 
than a Mountain. But then I thought affter- 
wards we could cut her down to her natchral 
size, of corse it takes longer to tell about it 
than it taken us to get ready, for we wer allways 
ready, and all we had to do was to sound the 

56 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

Bells and stand By our Guns, they wer allways 
loaded so all we had to do was to turn on the 
fors draught and pull the triger. 

By 9.27 the Oregon fired the first shot of 
the Battle of July 3rd, 1898 at the first ship 
that came out of the Harbor. I dont remember 
the ships as they come out. But we went in to 
meet them and passed them som good shots as 
they cep coming, about 7 or 9 minuts after 
they got started good, one of our 6 inch guns 
blew up one of the Torpedo Boats, struck her 
squar amidships, she sunk like a rock with all 
on board, and right hear is where I had to 
stop for a moment to admire one of there Gun- 
ers. I do think he was one of the bravest men 
I ever had the pleasure to look upon. That 
man must have known he was going to a shure 
Deth, he stud on Deck and cep firing at us all 
the time, and the last time I seen him he was 
Just going up in the air. As the ships came 
out of the harbor they sircled to the right, or 
Westward, and Capt Clark knew they were try- 
ing to escape, they did not think the old Ore- 
gon was such a runer as she was a fighter, so 
we Just tailed on with them and giving them 
shot for shot. In about 20 minuts the first 



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THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

ship went on the Beach, plumb knocked out, 
and 15 minuts later the secon one went on the 
Beach, a short ways from the first. Then came 
the tug of war for we had to run to catch the 
Vizcaya and the Colon, but we catched them 
both, the Vizcaya was about 4000 yards ahead 
and the Colon was about 3 miles ahead, and 
the poor men in the fireroom was working like 
horses, and to cheer them up we passed the 
word down the ventlators how things was go- 
ing on, and they passed the word back if we 
would cut them down they would get us to 
where we could do it. So we got in rainge of 
the Vizcaya and we sent her ashore with the 
secondary Battry and 6 inch guns, and then 
we settled down for a good chase for the Colon. 
I thought she was going to run a way from us. 
But she had to make a curv and we headed for 
a point that she had to come out at. We all 
think there is no man in the Navy like Capt 
Clark, he is a Brave man, he stud on the For- 
ward 13 inch turet though the thickest of this 
fight and directed his ship to the final results. 
Coming back to Santiago we waited untill 
we got to where the first ship went on the 
Beach and there fired the national salut. We 



58 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

have 3 Spanish prisoners on board and they 
thought we wer at it a gain, and it was all the 
sick Bay man could do as to quiet them. I 
hear there is over 1800 Prisoners and 650 kild 
and 800 wounded on the third, the three men 
on board tells the sickbayman that we run 
through there fleet coming around hear, for 
the next day they found a Pork Barrel ful of 
holes and had marked on the head IJ. S. S. 
Oregon. We all seem to think we could take 
care of our selves Just the same, it is Just 
6.50 P. M. now and the men all say there is no 
flag flying in the Morro. But I can see Just 
as good as any and I can not see any either, 
But then I think we are out too far. 

July 5. At about 11.45 the danger Signal was 
flashed by the lookout from the IMassachusetts, 
she being the one to show her serchlight at the 
entrance of the Harbor for the night, the Span- 
ish was trying to sink one of there old ships 
in the Chanel so as not to let us in. But Just 
3 or 4 shots from the Massachusetts Big 13 
inch Guns help them to do the Job, for she 
sunk befor they got to the Chanal. there is 
Spanish menowar and Torpedo boats strung 
all along the Beach for 60 miles. 

59 



THE LOG OF THE OREGON 

July 10. We are laying off now in Guantanamo 
Bay filing out to go to Porto Rico or on the 
Coast of Spain. 

This is all in regards to the trip of the 
Oregon. 

R. Cross. 



60