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Full text of "Message from the President of the United States, transmitting the report of the Naval Court of Inquiry upon the Destruction of the United States Battle Ship Maine in Havana Harbor, February 15, 1898, together with the testimony taken before the court"

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UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



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This book is due at the LOUIS R. WILSON LIBRARY on the 
last date stamped under "Date Due." If not on hold it may be 
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MESSAGE. 



To the Congress of the United States: 

For some time prior to the visit of the Maine to Havana Harbor our 
consular representatives pointed out the advantages to flow from the 
visit of national ships to the Cuban waters, in accustoming the people 
to the presence of our flag as the symbol of good will and of our ships 
in the fulfillment of the mission of protection to American interests, 
even though no immediate need therefor might exist. 

Accordingly on the 24th of January last, after conference with the 
Spanish minister in which the renewal of visits of our war vessels to 
Spanish waters was discussed and accepted, the peninsular authorities 
at Madrid and Havana were advised of the purpose of this Govern- 
ment to resume friendly naval visits at Cuban ports, and that in that 
view the Maine would forthwith call at the port of Havana. 

This announcement was received by the Spanish Government with 
appreciation of the friendly character of the visit of the Maine, and 
with notification of intention to return the courtesy by sending Spanish 
ships to the principal ports of the United States. Meanwhile the Maine 
entered the port of Havana on the 25th of January, her arrival being 
marked with no special incident besides the exchange of customary 
salutes and ceremonial visits. 

The Maine continued in the harbor of Havana during the three 
weeks following her arrival. No appreciable excitement attended her 
stay; on the contrary, a feeling of relief and confidence followed the 
resumption of the long interrupted friendly intercourse. So noticeable 
was this immediate effect of her visit that the consul-general strongly 
urged that the presence of our ships in Cuban waters should be kept 
up by retaining the Maine at Havana or, in the event of her recall, by 
sending another vessel there to take her place. 

At forty minutes past 9 in the evening of the 15th of February the 
Maine was destroyed by an explosion, by which the entire forward part 
of the ship was utterly wrecked. In this catastrophe two officers and 
two hundred and sixty-four of her crew perished, th^ose who were not 
killed outright by her explosion being penned between decks by the 
tangle of wreckage and drowned by the immediate sinking of the hull. 

Prompt assistance was rendered by the neighboring vessels anchored 
in the harbor, aid being especially given by the boats of the Spanish 

r -* 



4 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

cruiser Alfonso XII and the Ward Line steamer City of Washington, 
which lay not far distant. The wounded were generously cared for by 
the authorities of Havana, the hospitals being freely opened to them, 
while the earliest recovered bodies of the dead were interred by the 
municipality in a public cemetery in the city. Tributes of grief and 
sympathy were offered from all official quarters of the island. 

The appalling calamity fell upon the people of our country with 
crushing force, and for a brief time an intense excitement prevailed, 
which in a community less just and self-controlled than ours- might 
have led to hasty acts of blind resentment. This spirit, however, soon 
gave way to the calmer processes of reason and to the resolve to inves- 
tigate the facts and await material proof before forming a judgment as 
to the cause, the responsibility, and, if the facts warranted, the remedy 
due. This course necessarily recommended itself from the outset to 
the Executive, for only in the light of a dispassionately ascertained 
certainty could it determine the nature and measure of its full duty in 
the matter. 

The usual procedure was followed, as in all cases of casualty or dis- 
aster to national vessels of any maritime State. A naval court of 
inquiry was at once organized, composed of officers well qualified by 
rank and practical experience to discharge the onerous duty imposed 
upon them. Aided by a strong force of wreckers and divers, the court 
proceeded to make a thorough investigation on the spot, employing 
every available means for the impartial and exact determination of the 
causes of the explosion. Its operations have been conducted with the 
utmost deliberation and judgment, and while independently pursued no 
attainable source of information was neglected, and the fullest oppor- 
tunity was allowed for a simultaneous investigation by the Spanish 
authorities. 

The finding of the court of inquiry was reached, after twenty-three 
days of continuous labor, on the 21st of March, instant, and, having 
been approved on the 22d by the commander in chief of the United 
States naval force on the North Atlantic Station, was transmitted to 
the Executive. 

It is herewith laid before the Congress, together with the voluminous 
testimony taken before the court. 

Its purport is, in brief, as follows: 

When the Maine arrived at Havana she was conducted by the reg- 
ular Government pilot to buoy No. 4, to which she was moored in from 
5£ to 6 fathoms of water. 

The state of discipline on board, and the condition of her magazines, 
boilers, coal bunkers, and storage compartments, are passed in review, 
with the conclusion that excellent order prevailed, and that no indica- 
tion of any cause for an internal explosion existed in any quarter. 

At 8 o'clock in the evening of February 15 everything had been 
reported secure, and all was quiet. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 5 

At forty minutes past 9 o'clock the vessel was suddenly destroyed. 

There were two distinct explosions, with a brief interval between 
them. 

The first lifted the forward part of the ship very perceptibly ; the 
second, which was more open, prolonged, and of greater volume, is 
attributed by the court to the partial explosion of two or more of the 
forward magazines. 

The evidence of the divers establishes that the after part of the ship 
was practically intact and sank in that condition a very few moments 
after the explosion. The forward part was completely demolished. 

Upon the evidence of a concurrent external cause the finding of the 
court is as follows : 

At frame 17 the outer shell of the ship, from a point Hi feet from the middle line 
of the ship and 6 feet above the keel when in its normal position, has been forced 
up so as to be now about 4 feet above the surface of the water, therefore about 34 
feet above where it would be had the ship sunk uninjured. 

The outside bottom plating is bent into a reversed V shape (A)? *^ e after wing of 
which, about 15 feet broad and 32 feet in length (from frame 17 to frame 25), is 
doubled back upon itself against the continuation of the same plating, extending 
forward. 

At frame 18 the vertical keel is broken in two and the flat keel bent into an angle 
similar to the angle formed by the outside bottom plates. This break is now about 
6 feet below the surface of the water and about 30 feet above its normal position. 

In the opinion of the court this effect could have been produced only by the 
explosion of a mine situated under the bottom of the ship at about frame 18 and 
somewhat on the port side of the ship. 

The conclusions of the court are : 

That the loss of the Maine was not in any respect due to fault or 
negligence on the part of any of the officers or members of her crew ; 

That the ship was destroyed by the explosion of a submarine mine, 
which caused the partial explosion of two or more of her forward 
magazines; and 

That no evidence has been obtainable fixing the responsibility for the 
destruction of the Maine upon any person or persons. 

I have directed that the finding of the court of inquiry and the views 
of this Government thereon be communicated to the Government of 
Her Majesty x Le Queen Eegent, and I do not permit myself to doubt 
that the sense ^'justice of the Spanish nation will dictate a course 
of action suggested by honor and the friendly relations of the two 
Governments. 

It will be the duty of the Executive to advise the Congress of the 
result, and in the meantime deliberate consideration is invoked. 

William McKinley. 

Executive Mansion, 

March 28, 1898. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://archive.org/details/messagefrompresiunitnava 



RECORD 



OF THE 



PROCEEDINGS OF A COURT OF INQUIRY 

CONVENED 

ON BOARD THE UNITED STATES LIGHT-HOUSE TENDER MANGROVE, 

BY VIRTUE OF A PRECEPT SIGNED BY REAR-ADMIRAL 

MONTGOMERY SICARD, U, S. NAVY, COMMANDER IN 

CHIEF, UNITED STATES NAVAL FORCE ON 

NORTH ATLANTIC STATION, 

TO 

INQUIRE INTO THE LOSS OF THE U. S. B. S. MAINE, 
IN THE HARBOR OF HAVANA, CUBA, 



NIGHT OF FEBRUARY FIFTEENTH, EIGHTEEN 
HUNDRED AND NINETY-EIGHT. 



PROCEEDINGS 



Court of inquiry convened on board the United States light-house tender 
Mangrove, by virtue of a precept signed by Bear-Admiral Montgomery 
Sicard, United States Navy, commander in chief United States naval 
force on North Atlantic Station. 



FIRST DAY. 



U. S. Light-House Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, Monday, February 21, 1898 — 10 a. m. 

The court met pursuant to the above-mentioned precept. 

Present: Capt. William T. Sampson, United States Navy, president; 
Capt. French E. Chadwick, United States Navy, and Lieut. Commander 
William P. Potter, United States Navy, members; and Lieut. Com- 
mander Adolph Marix, United States Navy, judge advocate. 

The court was cleared and the orders constituting it, together with 
all the accompanying instructions, were read aloud and appended, 
marked as follows : 

Precept, together with two accompanying telegrams forming a part 
of it, marked "A." 

Letter from the convening authority to the president of the court, 
giving certain officers the right to be present at the investigation, 
marked "B." 

Second letter from the convening authority to the president of the 
court, allowing any other persons to be present during the investigation 
should the evidence develop any facts which might implicate such per- 
sons, marked "C." All other matters preliminary to the inquiry were 
determined, and, after deciding to sit with closed doors, the court was 
opened. 

The judge-advocate, having requested and received permission, intro- 
duced as stenographer Frederick J. Buenzle, chief yeoman, United 
States Navy. 

Captain Sigsbee, United States Navy, commanding the U. S. battle 
ship Maine, whom the convening authority had notified of his right to be 
present during the investigation, appeared and requested permission 
to be present at such times during the investigation as he might desire, 
but did not want any counsel. 

The judge-advocate read aloud the precept and accompanying 
instructions heretofore referred to. 

Captain Sigsbee was asked if he objected to any member of the court, 
to which he replied in the negative. 

9 



10 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

The members were severally duly sworn by the judge- advocate, and 
the judge- advocate was duly sworn by the president, all of which oaths 
were administered according to law. 

Chief Yeoman Frederick J. Buenzle, United States Navy, was duly 
sworn as stenographer by the judge-advocate. 

All witnesses were directed to withdraw. 

The court being duly organized, the inquiry proceeded as follows : 

Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee, United States Navy, a witness called by 
the judge-advocate, was duly sworn by the president. 

EXAMINATION IN CHIEF. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station? 

A. Charles D. Sigsbee; captain, United States Navy; commanding 
U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. When did you take command of the Maine? 

A. On the 10th day of April, 1897. 

Q. When did the Maine arrive at Havana the last time ? 

A. On the 24th day of January, 1 898. 

Q. About what time? 

A. About half past 9 in the morning. 

Q. Do you know, or have you any reason to believe, that the author- 
ities of Havana knew of the Maine's coming? 

A. Yes; I understand that they were notified by the United States 
consul-general. 

Q. Upon your arrival, did you take a pilot? 

A. I did ; I took an official pilot sent off by the captain of the port 
of Havana. 

Q. Hid he berth the Maine? 

A. He did. 

Q. Where? 

A. The berth is in the man-of-war anchorage off the Machina, or the 
Shears. It is to all appearances one of the regular mooring buoys of 
the place. My recollection is that the pilot said that it was buoy No. 
4. Our bearings, taken soon after mooring, did not place it exactly 
according to the charted position of buoy No. 4, but no note was taken 
of this because it was assumed that the charted position might repre- 
sent former positions, and the buoys might have been changed some- 
what in the examinations of the moorings. 

Q. Have you been to Havana before frequently or recently? 

A. I was here about 1872, and again about 1878. 

Q. Do you know if you were placed in the usual berth for men-of-war? 

A. No. I can only state that by remarks I have heard since the 
explosion. 

Q. State what you heard. 

A. I have been informed, since the explosion on board the Maine, by 
Captain Stevens, who is temporarily in command of the steamer City of 
Washington, of the Ward Line of steamers, that he had never known in 
all his experience, which covers visits to Havana for five or six years, 
a man-of-war to be anchored at that buoy, and that he had rarely known 
merchant vessels to be anchored there, and that it was the least used 
buoy in the harbor. 

Q. Will you please describe the surroundings when first moored to 
this buoy? 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 11 

A. The Spanish man-of-war Alfonso XII was moored in the posi- 
tion now occupied by the Fern — about 250 yards to the northward and 
westward of the Maine. The German ship Gniesenau was anchored at 
the berth now occupied by the Spanish man-of-war Segaspe, which is 
about 400 yards about due north from the Maine. A day or two after 
the arrival of the Maine the German man-of-war Charlotte came in and 
was anchored about four or five hundred yards to the southward of 
the Maine's berth. Other vessels, merchant vessels, came and went, 
anchored and moored in localities more or less remote, from 200 yards 
upward. 

Q. Will you please describe your surroundings at the time of the 
explosion ? 

A. It was a calm and still night. At the time of the accident the 
Spanish man-of-war Alfonso XII was at the berth, as before stated. 
The small Spanish dispatch boat Segaspe had come out, I think, the 
day before and taken the berth occupied by the Spanish man-of-war, 
the Gniesenau having left. The steamer City of Washington was 
anchored about two hundred yards to the southward and eastward of 
the Maine's stern, slightly on the port quarter. That is as much as I 
can give. Other vessels were remote, so far as my recollection goes. 

Q. When did you coal before the last coaling 1 ? 

A. We coaled at Key West within a week of the time of our arrival. 

Q. How much coal did you take at that time, if you remember 1 ? 

A. I think about one hundred and fifty tons. 

Q. Was the coal regularly inspected"? 

A. My recollection is that it was. It was from the Government coal 
pile, and we had the usual men on shore ; and while I can not now state 
specifically, it was our invariable custom on board the Maine to inspect 
all coal before it was brought on board. 

Q, How much coal did you take in the last coaling previous to this, 
and where? 

A. It was at Key West, and I think in the neighborhood of 300 tons. 

Q. Into what bunkers was the coal placed at these coalings? 

A. Generally in the forward bunkers, because it was customary to 
use coal from the forward bunkers first. These bunkers naturally, there- 
fore, were replenished with new coal. 

Q. There is a peculiar bunker under the forward turret, abreast the 
10-inch magazine. Do you know when that was last emptied? 

A. I can not personally recollect that particular bunker. 

Q. Did you ever receive any report from the chief engineer of your 
ship that any coal had been too long in any bunker? 

A. Never that I can recollect. 

Q. Did the fire-alarms in the bunkers work? 

A. They were sensitive. They worked occasionally when there was 
no undue heat in the bunkers, on which occasions we invariably 
examined the bunkers and got a report. 

Q. Eegarding inflammables and paints on board the Maine, were the 
regulations strictly carried out in regard to the stowage? 

A. Strictly, so far as my knowledge and my orders were concerned. 
I was very particular on points of that kind. I was especially particu- 
lar in my directions to the chief engineer concerning the disposition of 
waste which had been used. He had informed me that it was always 
kept in a covered metal bucket until thrown overboard with the ashes. 
He has since informed me that it was habitual to throw it overboard 
every day with the ashes. 

Q. How often did you discharge ashes in Havana? 

A. I can not now recollect; but I remember giving certain directions 



12 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

in connection with hired lighters and not dumping in the harbor. The 
chief engineer was generally very solicitous about getting ashes out of 
the ship promptly. 

Q. Where were ashes kept until discharged ? 

A. Those that I saw were dumped about the region of the bulkhead 
between the two fire rooms. There was a passage out of the forward 
part of the forward fire room whicli would have been blocked by ashes. 

Q. Eegarding paints and inflammables, was there not a paint room 
well forward below the berth deck ? 

A. The paint room was in what is called the eyes of the ship, just 
below the berth deck, the extreme forward compartment. 

Q. What were the regulations in regard to that paint room? Was 
the painter allowed to stow any inflammables there? 

A. He was not. The inflammables were stowed in chests aft, accord- 
ing to regulations, and when inflammables were in excess of our chest 
capacity they were allowed to be kept in the bathroom of the port or 
admiral's cabin. 

Q. I believe Japan dryers, turpentine, and such were kept forward 
inside the superstructure. Am I not correct? 

A. That is my recollection. 

Q. Eegarding the electric plant of the Maine, have you any reason 
to believe, from your observation of the lights or from any reports that 
may have been made to you, that there had been serious grounding? 

A. None whatever; and there was no sudden flaring up of the lights 
before the explosion. 

Q. No perceptible disturbance of the lights? 

A. None whatever; there was a total and sudden eclipse. 

Q. What were the regulations of the ship in regard to taking the 
temperature of the magazines, etc. ? 

A. There were no special regulations other than those that were 
regulations. The magazines were examined according to regulations, 
and reports made accordingly and sent to the Department. I always 
examined the temperature myself and conversed with the ordnance 
officer as to the effect of various temperatures on the contents of the 
magazines, and in his opinion, and my own, the temperatures were 
never near the danger point. I do not think there was any laxity in this 
direction. I can not recollect any. When I joined the ship I found it 
was considered unnecessary to use slippers in the magazine, and I 
directed that they should be used. 

Q. Do you recollect any work going on in the magazine or shell rooms 
on the day of the disaster? 

A. My recollection is that the keys were called for that morning at 
quarters in the usual way. I can not recollect any other call for the 
keys on that day. 

Q. Were the keys properly returned after quarters? 

A. Yes; so far as I can recollect. The regulation reports were made 
at 8 o'clock by the executive officer. The keys of all the shell rooms 
and magazines, and the spare keys, have been recovered by the diver 
in my stateroom, where they were always kept. 

Q. At the time of the disaster what boilers were being used? 

A. The two after boilers in the after fire room. More than one boiler 
was in use, for the reason that our hydraulic system was somewhat 
leaky. 

Q. Please inform the court in a general way, giving any particulars 
you wish to give, in regard to your relations to the Spanish authorities 
and native authorities or people, from the time of the arrival of the 
Maine until the time of your disaster. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 13 

A. My relations with the officials were outwardly cordial, and I have 
no ground for assuming that they were not really cordial. The mem- 
bers of the autonomistic council of the Government, however, seemed 
to have brought to the attention of the Navy Department the fact that 
I did not visit them. They made me no suggestions to visit them. 
From the letters and telegrams received from the Navy Department 
there seems to have been some embarrassment caused the Government 
at Washington by the fact that I made them no visit. I took the ground 
to the department that it was unknown etiquette to call on the civil 
members of the colonial government other than the governor, but that 
I would have exceeded etiquette at anytime on suggestion from the 
council. Without waiting for orders I made a visit afterwards. My 
visit was pleasantly received, and promptly returned by certain mem- 
bers of the council. They sent on board a large party of ladies a day or 
two afterwards. The president of the council, on board the Maine^ 
made me a very cordial address, which I could not understand, and 
which was interpreted to me briefly. I replied briefly, expressing kind 
sentiments and a hope for the continuance of cordial relations between 
Spain and the United States. Fancying that some expression cordial 
to the colonial or autonomistic government might be expected of me, 
I evaded the point, and used only this expression: "I beg to express 
my admiration for the high purpose of your honorable body." My 
reply was afterwards printed in at least two papers in Havana, but the 
terms made me favor autonomistic government in the Island. I am 
informed that the autonomistic government in Havana is unpopular 
among a large class of Spanish and Cuban residents. I have no means 
of knowing whether my apparent interference in the political concerns 
of the island had any relation to the destruction of the Maine. 

Q. Was there ever any demonstration of animosity by people afloat 1 ? 

A. Never on shore, so far as I am informed; but afloat there was a 
demonstration. It was the first Sunday after our arrival, on board a 
ferryboat, densely crowded with people, both civil and military, who 
were returning to Havana from a bull fight in Eegla. The demonstra- 
tion consisted of yells, whistles, and apparently derisive calls ema- 
nating from about thirty or forty people at most. It was not general. 

Q. During the stay of the Maine at Havana did you take other than 
the ordinary precautions which are usually taken on every man-of-war 
for her protection? 

A. I did. 

Q. Please state them fully. 

A. I had sentries on the forecastle and poop, quartermaster and sig- 
nal boy on the bridge, signal boy on the poop ; the corporal of the guard 
especially instructed to look out for the port gangway; the officer of 
the deck and quartermaster especially instructed to look out for the 
starboard gangway; a quarter watch was kept on deck all night; sen- 
tries' cartridge boxes were filled, their arms kept loaded, a number of 
rounds of rapid-firing ammunition kept in the pilot house, and, in the 
spare captain's pantry, under the after superstructure, additional 
charges of shell close at hand for the secondary battery; steam kept up 
in two boilers instead of one; especial instructions given to watch care- 
fully all the hydraulic gear and report defects ; the officer of the deck 
charged with the necessity for making detailed reports to me, even in 
minor matters. I had personally instructed the master at arms and 
the orderly sergeant to keep a careful eye on everybody that came 
on board, and to charge all their subordinates to the same purpose. I 
instructed them that, when any persons came on board to go below, 
they were to go with them, and carefully observe any packages that 



14 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

might be held, on the supposition that dynamite or other high explo- 
sive might be employed ; and to afterwards inspect the routes these peo- 
ple had taken, and never to lose sight of the importance of my order. 
I further instructed the marine officer to make at least two visits dur- 
ing the night to the posts of the vessel. The whole purport of my 
orders and directions was that we should consider the Maine in a posi- 
tion demanding extreme vigilance. Doubtless 1 gave many other 
detailed orders of a minor character that I can not now recall. 

Q. Eegarding strangers being in the ship, at what time were they 
compelled to leave the ship? 

A. I think Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright was rather severe on 
desultory visitors. Very few visited the ship, except people of the 
highest social standing in the city. They came commonly from 2 to say 
5 o'clock. They were always accompanied about the ship by officers, 
and of course under the supervisory orders of the master at arms and 
sergeant of marines. People were allowed to visit the ship from about 
10 to 12, and about 1 to 4. I think there were but two visits of Spanish 
military officers. Once, about two weeks ago, a party of five or six 
Spanish officers came on board during my absence. They were reported 
to me as having been constrained, and not desirous to accept much 
courtesy. They accepted no refreshments, but I afterwards learned 
that it is Spanish custom not to accept refreshments unless they are at 
hand at the time the offer is made. On another occasion, about the 
same time, a Spanish officer came off with his wife. He made a visit 
to my cabin, and was shown about the ship by an officer under my direc- 
tion. I invited Spanish officers to visit the ship ; in fact, I made con- 
siderable effort to get them on board socially in order to show good will 
according to the spirit of the Maine's visit to Havana; but with the 
exceptions noted, no military officer of Spain visited the ship socially, so 
far as I can remember. I know that the purser of the Alfonso XII 
made a social visit; but I can not recollect a purely social visit from 
other Spanish officers. The ward-room officers of the Maine, perhaps, 
have further information on this point. 

Q. Among the precautions which you took was the fact of having 
extra lookouts on the deck. Was there ever any report of any unau- 
thorized boats attempting to approach the ship and being ordered off? 

A. Never, to my knowledge. 

Q. On the night of the disaster, were all your extra precautions in 
force? I mean, in regard to quarter watches? 

A. I assume that they were; they were never rescinded, and up to 
the night of the explosion, as far as my observation could go, my 
knowledge is that they were carried out. I was especially impressed 
during the whole visit here by the prompt tendency of the sentries to 
report any infractions of orders on the part of the crew. 

Q. At the time of the accident, do you know what boats were down, 
and where? 

A. I assume that one of the cutters was down, and one of the steam 
launches. I think the first steam launch was down. The steam launch, 
I have since been informed, was riding at the starboard boom, and that 
one of her crew was saved. He is now in the hospital at Havana. 

Q. What kind of a night was it at the time of the explosion? 

A. It was a very quiet and warm night, and I remember distinctly 
that the echoes of the bugle at tattoo were singularly distinct and. 
pleasant. A little rain fell after the explosion, which may have been 
precipitated by the concussion of the explosion. 

Q. Was it a dry night? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 15 

A. There were stars, but I think it was somewhat overcast. I think 
I saw several stars after the accident, but it was somewhat overcast 
according to my recollection. 

Q. How was the Maine heading at the time of the explosion? 

A. Approximately northwest. She pointed toward the shears — some- 
what to the right of the shears, near the admiral's residence. 

Q. Where were you at the time? 

A. I was writing at my port-cabin table, after side. I was dressed. 

Q. Please give your experience in full? 

A. I was just closing a letter to my family when I felt the crash of 
the explosion. It was a bursting, rending, and crashing sound or roar 
of immense volume, largely metallic in its character. It was succeeded 
by a metallic sound — probably of falling debris — a trembling and lurch- 
ing motion of the vessel, then an impression of subsidence, attended 
by an eclipse of the electric lights and intense darkness within the 
cabin. I knew immediately that the Maine had been blown up and 
that she was sinking. I hurried to the starboard cabin ports, thinking 
it might be necessary for me to make my exit in that way. Upon look- 
ing out I decided that I could go by the passage leading to the super- 
structure. I therefore took the latter route, feeling my way along and 
steadying myself by the bulkheads. The superstructure was filled with 
smoke, and it was dark. Nearing the outer entrance I met Private 
Anthony, the orderly at the cabin door at the time. He ran into me 
and, as I remember, apologized in some fashion, and reported to me 
that the ship had been blown up and was sinking. 

I reached the quarter-deck, asked a few questions of those standing 
about me — Lieutenant Commander Wainwright, I think, for one — then 
I asked the orderly for the time. He said that the exact time of the 
explosion was 9.40 p. m. I proceeded to the poop deck, stood on the 
side rail, and held on to the main rigging in order to see over the poop 
awning, which was baggy and covered with debris ; also in order that 
I might observe details in the black mass ahead. I directed the exec- 
utive officer to post sentries all around the ship, but soon saw that 
there were no marines available, and no place forward to post them. 
Not being quite clear as to the condition of things forward, I next 
directed the forward magazine to be flooded if practicable, and about 
the same time shouted out myself for perfect silence everywhere. This 
was, I think, repeated by the executive officer. The surviving officers 
were about me at the time on the poop. I was informed that the for- 
ward magazine was already under water, and after inquiring about the 
after magazine was told that it was also under water, as shown by 
the condition below reported by those coming from the wardroom and 
steerage. 

About this time fire broke out in the mass forward, over the central 
superstructure, and I inquired as to the spare ammunition in the cap- 
tain's pantry. That region was found to be subsiding very fast. At 
this time I observed, among the shouts or noises apparently on shore, 
that faint cries were coming from the water, and I could see dimly 
white, floating bodies, which gave me a better knowledge of the real 
situation than anything else. I at once ordered all boats to be lowered, 
when it was reported that there were only two boats available, namely, 
the gig and whaleboat. Both were lowered and manned by officers and 
men, and by my direction they left the ship and assisted in saving the 
wounded jointly with other boats that had arrived on the scene from 
the Spanish man-of-war, from the steamer City of Washington, and from 
other sources. Later — I can not state precisely how long — these two 



16 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

boats of the Maine returned to the starboard quarter alongside, and 
reported that they had gathered in from the wreck all the wounded 
that could be found and had transferred them to the other boats — to the 
Alfonso XII or to the City of Washington. 

The poop deck of the Maine, the highest point, was by that time 
level with the gig's gunwale while she was afloat in the water along- 
side. The fire amidships was burning more fiercely and the spare 
ammunition in the pilot house was explodiug in detail. We had done 
everything that could be done so far as I could see. Lieutenant Com- 
mander Wain wright whispered to me that he thought the 10-inch maga- 
zine forward had been thrown up into the burning mass, and might 
explode in time. I directed him then to get everybody into the boats 
over the stern, and this was done, although there was some little delay 
in curbing the extreme politeness of the officers, who wanted to help 
me into the boat. I directed them to go first, as a matter of course, 
and I followed and got into the gig. We proceeded to the steamer 
City of Washington, and on the way I shouted, to the boats to leave the 
vicinity of the wreck, and that there might be an explosion. I got Mr. 
Sylvester Scovell to translate my desire to one or two boats which were 
at that time somewhat nearer the fire than we ourselves were. 

Having succeeded in this, I went on board the City of Washington, 
where I found our wounded all below in the dining saloon on mattresses, 
covered up, and being carefully attended by the officers and crew of 
that vessel. Every attention that the resources of the vessel admitted 
was being rapidly brought into use. I then went on deck and observed 
the wreck for a few minutes, and gave directions to have a muster taken 
on board the City of Washington and other vessels, and sat down in the 
captain's cabin and dictated a telegram to the Navy Department. At 
this time various Spanish officers — civil, military, and naval — appeared 
on board, in their own behalf and in representative capacity, expressing 
sympathy and sorrow for the accident. The representatives of General 
Blanco and of the admiral of the station came on board, and the civil 
governor of the province was on board in person. I asked them to 
excuse me for a few minutes, until I completed my telegram to the 
Navy Department. 

After finishing the telegram and putting it in the hands of a mes- 
senger to be taken on shore, I conversed for a few minutes with the 
various Spanish gentlemen around me, thanking them for the visit 
and their sympathy. I was asked by many of them the cause of the 
explosion, and I invariably answered that I must await further investi- 
gation. For a long time the rapid-fire ammunition continued to 
explode in detail. The number of the wounded was reported to me 
later. I have some difficulty in remembering figures. I think we found 
about 84 or 85 men that night who survived. It was also reported 
to me that the wounded on board Spanish vessels had been taken to 
the hospitals on shore, as were also the survivors who had reached the 
machina, in the neighborhood of the shears on shore. To keep a clear 
head for the emergency I turned in about 2 o'clock, getting little sleep 
that night, owing to the distressing groans of the wounded. 

Q. By the time you reached the quarter deck, were all the large 
explosions over"? 

A. So far as my experience is concerned there was simply one 
impression of an overwhelming explosion. I do not recollect details. 
I have already stated the explosions of minor character. 

Q. But you yourself saw no large upshoot of flame? 

A. When I came from the cabin, I was practically blinded for a few 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 1 7 

seconds. I thought only of the vessel, and took no note of the phe- 
nomena of explosion. It is probable that the explosive column had 
subsided wholly or practically by the time I reached the deck. I am 
not sure, because of the intense blackness. 

Q. You state in your story that the City of Washington attended to 
the wounded. Did not the Spanish man-of-war also do the same? 

A. I am not very sure personally, but the reports were that they 
were doing all that was possible. There was no reference to me on the 
part of the Spanish officers for sending the wounded on shore. I 
assume and believe that they did everything in their power to care for 
the wounded, and have continued to do so most conscientiously ever 
since. 

Q. How many were wounded; how many killed; and how many were 
saved not wounded % 

A. I would have to refer to my figures for that, and they are not now 
at hand. The muster, I think, shows 101 saved, including the wounded, 
and 253 lost. Some of the wounded have since died. My duties have 
been too complex since the explosion to enable me to memorize all the 
figures. 

Q. From your examination of the wreck, as far as you have been able 
to make, what magazines or shell rooms, if any, should you say were 
blown up ? 

A. From the appearance of things about the wreck it is extremely 
difficult to come to any conclusion. The center of the explosion appears 
to have been beneath and a little forward of the conning tower, and on 
the port side. The forward part of the superstructure has been 
thrown upward backward over the after part and toward the starboard 
side, indicating an explosion on the port side of the ship. In the 
region of the center or axis of explosion was the 6 inch reserve mag- 
azine, which contained very little powder — probably, I am informed, 
about 300 pounds. The 10 inch magazine is in the general region, 
but it is on the starboard side, under the forward turret, which is 
well out on the starboard side. Over the 10-inch magazine in the 
loading room of the turret, and in the adjoining passage, and well on 
the starboard side, were a number of 10-inch shell, permanently placed. 
There were also several additional shell in the loading room. It is 
difficult, therefore, to conceive that the explosion involved the 10-inch 
magazine, because of the location of the explosion, and because I have 
had no reports that any 10-inch shell were hurled into the air by the 
explosion. The violence of the explosion, although not its immediate 
locality, indicates that the 10-inch magazine may have been involved. 

Q. Where was the 10-inch shell room ? 

A. The 10-inch shell room was abreast the 10-inch magazine on the 
port side. It opened on the port side of the vessel. 

Q. Was it not between the reserve 6-inch and 10-inch magazines f 

A. It was. 

Q. Do you know the thickness of the bulkhead between those three 
divisions? 

A. I can not recollect. I should say that it was of ordinary metal, 
the thickness of a bulkhead of similar construction in other parts of 
the ship. 

Q. Do you know what was between the coal bunker and the magazine ? 

A. I think nothing but the ordinary steel plate. It is so aft. 

Q. Where was the small-arm ammunition locker forward, and what 
was in it? 

A. We had received a new supply of ammunition, and this was kept 
S. Doc. 207 2 



18 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

forward of the thwartship armor bulkhead. I mean the small-arm and 
rapid-fire ammunition. 

Q. Was there any smokeless powder? 

A. There was no great gun smokeless powder ammunition. All the 
great gun ammunition was the ordinary brown powder. 

Q. Was there not a 6-inch ammunition room forward of the small- 
arm ammunition rooms? 

A. There was ; supply for the forward. C-inch guns. 

Q. On what side was the powder stowed in that one? 

A. I have visited it, but I can not now exactly recall the exact posi- 
tion of the stowage. I know the powder chute is on the starboard side. 

Q. Do you think that the forward 6-inch magazine blew up ? 

A. I do not think so. I can not find reason to suppose so. One man 
at least was blown out of the forward superstructure into the water. 
It is more than probable that he would have been blown to atoms if 
that magazine had exploded. 

Q. Where did you keep your gun cotton? 

A. Aft, under the cabin. The war heads were all stowed in that 
part of the ship which was not affected by the explosion. It was 
away aft. 

Q. Where were the gun-cotton primers and detonators kept? 

A. They were always kept in my cabin. 

Q. Was any torpedo of the Maine fitted with its war head at the 
time of the explosion ? 

A. It was not. They were put in especially good condition, but 
none were fitted with war heads. 

Q. Please state all the steps you have taken since the accident to 
ascertain its cause, and any results you may have obtained. 

A. I have examined the wreck myself, conversed with other officers 
and men, and to some slight extent, in a categorical way, with the 
Spanish admiral. I have had a board of three officers make inquiries 
throughout the bay, but I have not yet received the reports from all the 
officers ; nor have I had time to read the preliminary reports now in 
hand. I have not sent down any divers until this morning, not having 
had the necessary facilities. The best divers here are apparently in 
the employ of private parties, and since the Spanish authorities are 
very much averse to an investigation except officially, on the ground, 
as stated by the Spanish admiral, that the honor of Spain is involved, 
I have foreborne to examine the submarine portion of the wreck for the 
cause of the explosion until this morning. The divers of the fleet are 
now at work. I have had divers down in the cabin, and have recovered 
by that means the cipher code and magazine keys. 

Q. What was the state or the condition of the Maine as far as dis- 
cipline was concerned? 

A. It was excellent. This is attested by the fact that the Maine was 
chosen for the duty on which she was engaged. She would not have 
been chosen had she been in any other than good discipline. The 
marine guard was in excellent condition. The medical reports from 
the medical department will show, I think, that about one man and 
one-quarter per diem were on the sick list during the past year. In the 
paymaster's department I think I am justified in saying that none of 
the reports of the paymaster to the Government at Washington were 
returned to the vessel for correction during my period of command. In 
the engineer's department the vessel was always ready and always 
responsive. I can recollect no letter from any source relating to the 
engineer's department which could be considered in the least of an 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 19 

'adverse nature, except that the bureau once objected to a boiler being 
used in any degree as a tank. I think the punishment reports of the 
Maine are as small as those of any other vessel of the Navy in propor- 
tion to complement. They were uncommonly small. A quieter, better - 
n«i/ared, well-ordered, and apparently satisfied crew I have never 
known on board any vessel in which I have served. 

Q. Have you any fault to find with the behavior of any officer or man 
at the time of the disaster? 

A. None. I consider that the conduct of all was admirable. The 
behavior of the officers toward me personally and the prompt and re- 
sponsive recognition of my authority was admirable, and instances of 
bravery are known both among the officers and crew in the direction 
of rescuing shipmates. 

(The judge-advocate announced that at present he had no further 
questions to ask Captain Sigsbee.) 

Examination by the Court: 

Q. What is the highest temperature you remember to have been re- 
ported in the forward magazines? 

A. The highest temperature that I remember — and I think I can recall 
the figures — was 112°; but that was in the after magazine, where the 
temperatures were higher than in the forward magazines. I do not 
recollect the temperature in the forward magazine, because they were 
not so high as in the after magazine. 

Q. Was any loose powder kept in the magazines, or was it all stowed 
in the usual air or water-tight cylinders, which each contains a charge? 

A. I never permitted any to be kept loose, and do not believe that 
any was so kept. 

Q. What was the status of the coal bunkers next to the forward 
magazines? Were they full, or had there been any coal used out? 

A. All the bunkers were ventilated through air tubes, examined 
weekly by the chief engineer, and otherwise as was necessary, and 
they were connected electrically to the annunciator near my cabin door. 
The forward coal bunker on the port side was full, so I understand; 
the forward coal bunker on the starboard side adjoining the magazine 
has been reported to me as being one-half full, and it was in use at the 
time of the explosion. 

(The judge advocate here informed Captain Sigsbee that no further 
testimony would be taken from him at present, and that he should 
appear to morrow, Tuesday, at 10 a. m,, when the testimony given by 
him to-day will be submitted to him for his approval.) 

The court then, at 1 p. m., adjourned to meet to morrow, Tuesday, the 
22d instant, on board the United States light-house tender Mangrove, at 
10 o'clock a. m. 



SECOND DAY. 

U. S. Light-House Tender Mangrove, 

Harbor of Havana, 
Tuesday, February 22, 1898 — 11 o'clock a. m. 
The court met pursuant to adjournment of yesterday, but was one 
hour late on account of official visits to the captain-general and the 
admiral commanding the naval forces. 

Present : All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and Capt. 
Charles D. Sigsbee, U. S. Navy. 



20 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

The record, of the proceedings of yesterday was read and approved. 
Lieut. G. F. M. Holman, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness, and was 
sworn by the president. 

Examination by the judge-advocate: 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and present station. 

A. George F. M. Holman, Lieutenant, U. S. Navy, stationed on board 
the IT. S. S. Maine. 

Q. When did you join the Maine ? 

A. When she went into commission, on the 17th day of September, 
1895. 

Q. What duty have you performed on board the Maine during that 
time? 

A. The duty of navigator and ordnance officer. 

Q. Did this duty also put you in charge of the electric plant? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine when she last came into the harbor 
of Havana, Cuba? 

A. I was. 

Q. Upon what day was that? 

A. The date of arrival — January 24, 1898, this year. 

Q. You have been on duty on board the Maine ever since? 

A. Yes. 

Q. In what depth of water was the Maine moored? 

A. Five and a half fathoms. Around the mooring buoy the water 
varied in depth from 5£ to 6 fathoms. 

Q. What kind of bottom? 

A. Very soft, muddy bottom. 

Q. Were you on duty on board the Maine from tbe time she arrived 
here up to the present? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Kegarding the magazines of the Maine, what precautions do you 
know were taken for safety whenever the magazines were opened ? 

A. The usual precautions were taken with regard to all lights, if any 
were burning, and to stop smoking. The police, the master at arms, 
and others were always notified, and word sent, in fact, all over the 
ship. The galley was screened and the flag was hoisted in receiving 
ammunition on board, or putting it out. On all occasions, when maga- 
zines were opened, word was sent, as already said, all over the ship. 

Q. What precautions were taken by the men in entering the maga- 
zines or shell rooms? 

A. The question came up some time ago as to putting on the maga- 
zine shoes, that is, a short time after Captain Sigsbee took command. 
Prior to that time the order had not been enforced in regard to maga- 
zine shoes and slippers. Captain Sigsbee gave the order to make them 
wear their magazine shoes when they went down. 

Q. Were all other precautions taken described by regulations? 

A. Yes; so far as I know. 

Q. Please state whether any work had been going on in the maga- 
zine or shell rooms, or in the small-arm ammunition rooms, within a day 
or so of the explosion ? 

A. On Monday we had our usual drills, and part of it being a drill 
of the powder division at their stations. I do not know of any work 
going on around the magazines. I would, no doubt, have known if any 
had been undertaken. 

Q. Was Monday the day of the explosion? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 21 

A. No; Tuesday was the day of the explosion. 

Q. On the night of the explosion, at 8 o'clock in the evening, when 
the reports are usually made, were the magazines and shell rooms 
reported secure? 

A. That I do not know. The reports were not made to me. 

Q. But you have no reason to believe that any of them were opened? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Who was in charge of the gunner's work at that time? 

A. Chief Gunner's Mate Brofeld; the gunner had not been on duty 
for something like three weeks. 

Q. Had Brofeld been chief gunner's mate of the Maine during her 
whole commission ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Did you consider him a thoroughly reliable man ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Do you consider the individual members of the gunner's gang 
reliable ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. How many of the gunner's gang were saved ? 

A. I have not seen the list. 

Q. Please state to the court how the orders in regard to the taking 
of the temperatures of the magazines and shell rooms were carried out 
on board the Maine. 

A. The temperature was taken daily of the magazines and shell 
rooms and ammunition rooms, and recorded in monthly reports to the 
Bureau. 

Q. Was this fully carried out up to the time of the explosion? 

A. I have no doubt that it was. I know of its having been carried 
out to within at least two or three days previous. I presume that it 
was carried out the remaining part of the time. 

Q. Who took this temperature? 

A. The chief gunner's mate; previously the gunner. 

Q. How high did the temperature reach during your experience on 
board the Maine? 

A. The hottest magazine was the 10-inch after magazine, where it 
reached as high as one hundred and ten in hot weather, remaining there 
for some time. 

Q. Can you state to the court how much ammunition was stowed in 
the G-inch reserve magazine which was on the port side of the ship 
abreast of the 10-inch shell room? 

A. I think there were about 200 pounds of saluting powder in tanks. 
If there was any other powder there, it was of small amount. I am 
not sure. 

Q. Were there any 6-inch charges stowed there? 

A. I think not. We had room for all our 6-inch powder in the regu 
lar 6-inch magazines. I know of no 6-inch charges. 

Q. How are the magazines and shell rooms on board the Maine con- 
structed? Are they lined with wood? 

A. No ; the bulkheads are iron and not lined with wood. They are 
floored with gratings — a wooden flooring; the powder is kept on 
wooden racks. The shells are stowed in chocks. 

Q. Do you know the thickness of the bulkhead between the reserve 
magazine and the 10-inch shell room? 

A. No; I do not. 

Q. There is, I believe, a steel bulkhead between the two? 

A. Yes ; I think so. 



22 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. How much powder was stowed in the forward 10-inch magazine? 

A. I think there were about 150 or 160 tanks, representing seventy- 
five or eighty charges, say, approximately, some of these being full and 
others reduced charges, some 125 pounds to the tank, that being the 
weight of one of the tanks of a full charge. These figures I give I 
can not be exact in. 

Q. I suppose there were about as many shell in the shell rooms as 
there were full charges in the magazine? 

A. Yes, probably the same number. 

Q. How was the fixed ammunition room forward located? 

A. Over near themidship line of the vessel, abaft the 6-inch magazine. 

Q. Can you state approximately what that contained at the time of 
the explosion ? 

A. That contained 6-pounder and 1-pounder shell and small-arm — 
that is, rifle and 6-millimeter — ammunition. I can not say how much. 

Q. What was in the forward 6-inch magazine? 

A. About two hundred or more 6-inch charges and a corresponding 
number of shell in the shell room adjoining. 

Q. On which side was the powder stowed? 

A. A little over to the port side of the midship line. 

Q. In the 10-inch magazine forward the powder was to starboard of 
the shell, was it not? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Do you know what there was between the coal bunkers and the 
reserve magazine — how thick a partition, and of what material? 

A. I do not know positively. 

Q. You have stated that you were also the electric officer of the 
ship. Will you please state what wiring went down into the maga- 
zines and shell rooms? I mean the forward one. 

A. None. There were electric lamps in the light boxes, and wires 
leading to these lamps, but they were separated from the magazine by 
a double plating of glass. 

Q. Were there any steam pipes in dangerous proximity to the maga- 
zine or shell room? 

A. No. 

Q. Were you on board at the time of the explosion ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Did you notice any serious action of the electric light which would 
indicate grounding just previous to the explosion? 

A. No. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion ? 

A. In the after part of the wardroom mess room. 

Q. With whom? 

A. With Lieutenants Jungen and Jenkins and with Chief Engineer 
Howell. 

Q. Please describe your experience in full. 

A. While conversing with Mr. Jungen and Jenkins, a heavy explo- 
sion occurred, which was evidently in the forward part of the ship. 
This explosion shook the ship violently, and the noise it made con- 
sisted of a low grumbling, comparatively speaking, a low and heavy 
grumbling, followed by a heavy booming explosion. It was precisely 
similar to many other submarine explosions I have heard, except that 
it was on a much larger scale. A submarine explosion always gives 
two shocks — one transmitted by the water, the other immediately fol- 
lowing — the atmospheric shock. The lights went out at once, and we 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 23 

were left in darkness. My first impression was that the ship had been 
attacked. I called to the rest, "We have been torpedoed. Get up on 
deck." In the darkness I could not see whether the others were ahead 
of me or following me. I made my way to the wardroom ladder, and 
found the ladder intact, so far as I could judge by feeling, and went 
up this ladder and out through the door in the after superstructure to 
the main deck. I found the ship settling very fast, and a great deal of 
wreckage about, so I went up on the poop, where I found Captain 
Sigsbee and a number of officers and a few of the men. 

The quarter boats that were in condition were lowered at once and 
sent to pick up men who were around the ship in the water crying for 
help. Efforts were made to extinguish the fire, which had broken 
out in the wreck of the middle superstructure. These efforts were 
unavailing, and there was little that could be done beyond rescuing a 
few people who could be gotten at forward. The ship settled slowly, 
and careened slightly to port. After everything had been done that 
could be done the ship was abandoned, Captain Sigsbee being the last 
one to leave. The condition of the wreck was practically the same as 
now, except that the ship has settled lower in the water since we left 
her. When we got into the boats the poop deck was dry, and, I should 
judge, about 2 feet above the water. The condition of the forward part 
I do not know. I did not know the state of the tide at the time. 

Q. When you first heard the rumbling noise you spoke of, did the 
ship list either way? 

A. Not so far as I observed. I observed a heavy shaking of the ship. 
If there was any lifting either way, it was not perceptible to me. 

Q. When the heavy explosion took place which followed it, had you 
reached the upper deck ? 

A. No. The first part of this explosion I have spoken of and the 
second part, the heavy one, succeeded each other almost simultaneously, 
and a very short interval of time separated the two features. 

Q. Did the second explosion list the ship, as far as you can recollect? 

A. No ; not as far as I can recollect or observed. 

Q. You have had considerable experience at Newport in matters of 
explosives, I believe. What was your impression of the whole affair? 

A. My impression, not verified yet by what the divers are finding, 
is that a very heavy mine went off under the Maine's bottom. 

Q. Did you think that the explosion of this mine — remember I am 
only speaking of your impression — was followed by the blowing up of 
any of the Maine's magazines? 

A. The noise produced by a heavy mine would be groat in itself, and 
adding this noise to it would probably be coincident, practically form- 
ing one and the same explosion. From the noise alone I can hardly 
form an opinion whether the magazine went off also. 

Q. During the stay of the Maine at Havana were you executive 
officer at times? 

A. No. 

Q. Were you acquainted with the special orders issued by your 
commanding officer in regard to extra lookouts at night and the 
quarter watches on deck ? 

A. I heard them spoken of officially. 

Q. Did you ever hear of any unfriendly demonstration being made 
at night, or any unauthorized boats attempting to approach the ship 
and being ordered off ? 

A. No. 



24 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

By Capt. Charles D. Sig-sbee : 
Q. What was the state of discipline on board the Maine just follow- 
ing the disaster? 

A. Remarkably excellent, every one doing his duty with coolness. 

By the Court : 

Q. Would, in your opinion, the noise produced by the explosion of 
her magazine so low in the water as those of the Maine be very similar 
to an explosion of a mine from the outside of the ship ? 

A. I think it might be. 

Q. Was there any private ammunition or loose ammunition stowed 
in the forward magazine 1 ? 

A. No. 

Q. Was there any other ammunition other than the ordinary powder 
used on board? 

A. No; none that I know of. I am sure there was none. 

By the Judge-Ad vocate : 

Q. Where were the fixed torpedo charges stowed 1 ? 

A. We had only a few filled ready for use in the torpedoes, and they 
were kept by the officer of the powder division, Mr. Hood. I think 
that he had them in the supply boxes of the torpedoes, together with 
the other accessories. 

Q. Where was the gun cotton stowed? 

A. The wet gun cotton in the war heads was stowed in the torpedo- 
head room, which was aft, under the forward part of the steering- 
engine room. The dry gun cotton for the torpedo primers and the 
exploders were stowed in lockers in the cabin. 

By the Court: 

Q. At what times were the temperatures of the magazines taken, and 
was it necessary to open the magazines and shell rooms to do so? 

A. The order which I gave for taking the temperatures of the maga- 
zines and shell rooms, and which, I believe, was generally carried out, 
was to take the temperatures after quarters, or as near quarters as may 
be convenient. It was not necessary to open them to take the temper- 
ature — not to open them completely — a small plate, ordinarily closed, 
being removable from the hole through which the thermometer could 
be reached. 

Q. In describing the manner in which the magazines were fitted, you 
say the floor of the steel deck of the magazine was covered with a grat- 
ing. Was there any grating on the sides of the magazines? 

A. No. 

Q. Did the tanks stow against the steel bulkheads? 

A. No, they were not stowed to touch the steel bulkheads, as I recol- 
lect; the uprights and the framework for holding the tanks were set a 
little ways from the bulkhead. I do not think that it would have been 
possible to stow the powder tanks to touch the side. They rested in 
chocks and did not touch the sides. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, he was notified 
to appear to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock to read over his testimony, 
and after having been cautioned by the president of the court not to 
converse in regard to matters of the inquiry, he withdrew. 

The court here took a recess until 1.45 p. m. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 25 

The court reassembled at 1.45 p. m. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge- advocate, and 
Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee, XJ. S. Navy. 

Lieut. Commander Richard Wainwright, U. S. Navy, appeared 
as a witness and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station? 

A. Eichard Wainwright, lieutenant-commander, U. S. Navy, exec- 
utive officer of the United States battle sbip Maine. 

Q. Since when have you been executive officer of the Maine f 

A. I relieved Lieut. Commander A. Marix at Norfolk on the 7th day 
of December, 1897. 

Q. Have you been on board the Maine ever since then ? 

A. Every day; until February 15. 

Q. Will you please tell the court how the regulations in regard to 
paints and inflammables were carried out on board the Maine f 

A. Strictly carried out. None below. 

Q. What were the regulations on board the Maine about closing the 
doors and everything below decks at 8 p. in., when holds and store- 
rooms were reported? 

A. Not only the holds and storerooms were closed, but all the water- 
tight doors, excepting those absolutely needed for communication. All 
the hatches from the protective deck up, excepting those over the 
dynamo room, and those two that communicate through over the evap- 
orators and allow the heat to come up. 

Q. Was the usual report made by you to the commanding officer at 
8 p. m., on the night of the disaster? 

A. It was. I can state here in special connection that the captain 
instructed me on Saturday to be particular to see if the inner passages 
were closed. Yes, it was about Saturday. We had a board with 
hooks on it, and tallies for all the doors that were not regularly closed, 
but only closed for collision, or for night, or for guard quarters, etc. I 
made an examination myself of that, and found some of the tallies 
missing about the same time, and gave special instructions to Mr. 
Cluverius to go through the inner passages prior to the time of closing, 
and see all the tallies in place, and to afterwards examine the board so 
as to see if they had been closed ; and I had also the intention on 
Tuesday night in my mind to examine the board, but I did not get 
around. 

Q. Were the regular reports made to you at 8 o'clock that night? 

A. They were. 

Q. Had the magazines been opened that day? 

A. Not to my recollection. 

Q. What were the orders in regard to visitors and people not belong- 
ing to the ship while you were in Havana? 

A. All visitors were scrutinized by the officer of the deck before 
coming on board, and only those that were thought desirable were 
allowed to come on board. Unless a special party belonging to the offi- 
cers, only a few at a time were allowed on board. All the masters-at- 
arms and sentries had special orders to allow nobody below unaccom- 
panied. When there were people not taken around by officers, but who 
the officer of the deck thought desirable to be shown around, they were 
always accompanied by a reliable member of the crew, and at such 



26 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

times they were not to take them into intricate parts of the ship, and 
they were confined to the berth deck. 

Q. Captain Sigsbee, of the Maine, issued certain orders and instruc- 
tions in regard to special lookouts at night and a quarter watch to be 
kept on deck. Did you take steps to see this order carried out ? 

A. I did. 

Q. Were they in force and being carried out at the time of the dis- 
aster? 

A. They were. I heard the quarter watch mustered, and the officer 
inquiring whether they all understood their stations, where their sta- 
tions were at the guns, etc. The men had been standing quarter 
watches for some time, knew their stations, and therefore the officer of 
the deck merely questioned those he was doubtful about as to whether 
they knew their stations. I saw the sentry from the poop after the 
disaster. He came on board the City of Washington and brought his 
belt and rifle. None of the other lookouts were saved that I know of. 

Q. Who was the officer of the deck at the time of the disaster ? 

A. Mr. Blandin. 

Q. During the stay of the Maine at Havana, did any hostile demon- 
stration afloat ever come to your notice"? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Do you know of any case, either reported to you or from your 
personal observation, of an unautborized boat attempting to approach 
the ship and being warned off? 

A. Not warned off; but frequently these small boats were hailed and 
came very close. The hail was answered and they went on. 

Q. Did you have confidence in the police force of the Maine% 

A. The utmost confidence. 

Q. Did you have confidence in the marine guard of the Maine f 

A. Yes; a good marine guard and under good discipline. 

Q. What is your opinion of the discipline and the character of the 
crew of the Maine f 

A. Fine discipline; the crew were very obedient, very quiet men. 
They needed a little more exercise, that was the only fault that I could 
find. 

Q. Do you know what boats were down at the time of the explosion? 

A. I know that the first steam cutter was down. I believe that to 
be the only boat. 

Q. Where was she at the time? 

A. At the starboard boom. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the disaster? 

A. When the explosion took place I was in what is used as the cap- 
tain's office, called on the plan the admiral's office. 

Q. Will you please state your experience at the time of the explo- 
sion? 

A. I was standing in the office with Mr. Holden, who was in there 
at the time. 1 felt a very heavy shock, and heard the noise of objects 
falling on deck. I was under the impression, from tbe character of the 
noises, that we were being fired upon. I moved out and came on the 
main deck through the starboard door, and passed up on the after- 
superstructure deck by the ladder on the starboard forward corner. I 
then recognized the captain's voice. As near as I can recollect the 
course of events, the captain told me to see the boats ready to be low- 
ered, and I gave the order to clear away the boats. I saw very few 
men coming, and I went from davit to davit to see someone ready to 
cast oil' the falls. I found generally that they were all officers. Most 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 27 

of the officers I recognized from time to time right on the poop. I then 
noticed indications of fire forward. This all occurred very quickly 
together. I spoke to the captain about flooding the magazines, or he 
spoke to me about it. Someone then pointed down the hatch, where 
the water was coming up, and of course there could be no reason to 
flood the magazines. I then called someone to help me to go forward 
and see if we could get the fire out. 

I remember Mr. Hood and Mr. Boyd started with me, and we suc- 
ceeded together by going over the awning to what was apparently the 
break of the central superstructure — the afterpart. As soon as I got 
there it was evident from the mass of what appeared to be burning 
cellulose there was no chance of fighting the fire. Mr. Boyd got upon 
the superstructure and passed two men who were crying out very 
loudly — one had his arm broken, I think — and got them both in the gig. 
They were both able to belp themselves after they recovered from the 
shock. Before going forward I gave the order to lower the gig, the 
captain acquiescing to this order, and when I returned lowered the two 
remaining boats — the second whale boat and the barge. The three 
boats had different officers in them that I had detailed to go into this 
boat or that. We pulled about the afterpart of the ship and picked 
people out of the water. By that time the ship was crowded with 
boats. The first one that I noticed was from the City of Washington. 
I noticed a number of Spanish boats. I suggested to the captain that 
there might be danger from the mass that was burning of further 
explosion. I was equally confident that there was no one left in the 
water, and that we had better get the crowd of boats out of the way. 
He authorized me to shove the boats off. 

I ordered the gig to back in, and ordered the other boats off. The 
captain did not want to go. I pressed him finally, and the only way 
to get rid of the men was to shove off ourselves. When the captain 
followed me into the gig, we pushed in among the boats and induced 
them to go off, taking the wounded to different vessels. The captain 
then took the gig to the City of Washington, lying on our port quarter, 
say between three and four hundred yards distant. I then ordered an 
officer to commence taking a list of the saved and wounded of the 
Maine's crew. I sent Mr. Blandin in the gig to pull around the ship, 
and sent Mr. Holman over to the Spanish flagship to get our well men, 
if there were any, and take a list of the wounded. Not having suffi- 
cient men to keep up the patrol, I called the gig in by the captain's 
direction. That was some considerable time after the disaster, when 
there was no chance of any wounded being left. 

Q. What was the discipline on the part of the officers and men 
immediately following the exxdosion? 

A. I consider it excellent. All orders were obeyed with the prompt- 
ness of a drill. The captain told me what orders he wished me to give, 
and the only order not promptly obeyed was the final order to leave the 
ship, and the officers hesitated until it was given in an imperative 
manner. 

Q. Please state your experience of the shocks and noises you heard 
during the explosion. 

A. I only remember one very heavy shock. I was so much shaken 
up that it took me an appreciable time to find the handle of the door, 
the door having been closed by the shock, and pull it open. 

Q. Did the ship list any at this time? 

A. The first list I noticed was after we commenced lowering the 
boats — a list to port. 



28 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. When did you first see and examine the wreck after the disaster? 

A. At daylight the following morning I took the gig and Lieutenant 
Hood and a few of the men and attempted to board the wreck. I was 
warned off by an armed boat's crew — Spaniards. I then pulled around 
the wreck. It was not fully daylight enough to make my impression at 
that time valuable. There were still some burning fragments. I know 
that parts of the wreck which I thought I recognized then I found I 
was mistaken in when I had a chance to examine it in daylight. 

Q. Will you please describe the wreck as you found it after you had 
a full chance to examine it by daylight? 

A. The after part of the ship appeared to be intact from the crane 
aft, with a heavy list to port, the port turret being about 2 feet under 
water. The main deck was folded back, carrying the central super- 
structure with it at a line between the two cranes and about the line 
between the two fire rooms. It was folded in a direction from port to 
starboard, so that the port 6-inch gun was lying nearly over the star- 
board 6-inch gun, the conning tower pointing downward about where 
the armory was — that is, the starboard after corner of the superstruc- 
ture. The forward smokestack was lying abreast and partly over 
where the first whaleboat nung; the siren was on the starboard side 
of the after superstructure. The after smokestack was lying on the 
port side abreast of the fore-and-aft bridge, between the after and cen- 
tral superstructure. At the lowest tide we had I stood on the port 
waterways, and could see nothing that I could recognize as any part 
of the ship forward of the crane on the port side of the main deck. 

There were some portions of the wreck forward of this line mentioned 
on the starboard side. By looking in underneath it I saw a torpedo 
port, apparently of the starboard forward torpedo. I recognized part 
of the washroom — I believe it was part of the foremen's washroom — 
immediately abaft the starboard turret having a small scupper with a 
lip, a hold-down valve, and also a half round bulkhead separating por- 
tions of the washroom. Forward of that again I recognized pieces of 
bottom plating with anchor scars. They had a triangular piece that 
led me to believe it to have been under the starboard anchor. Forward 
of that was some wreckage with old rope, which I think had been 
where the anchor gear was stowed. Forward of that one of the fore 
yardarms was sticking up. As far as I can tell from the above water 
view, there is an angle between the after body of the ship and the 
forward, with an apex to starboard. 

Q. You have had charge since then of the wreck? 

A. With Captain Sigsbee's orders, I have had general charge. 

Q. Have divers been at work? If so, since when? 

A. Since about the 17th. 

Q. Will you please describe any discoveries of importance that have 
been made by any of these divers, and, if it is a matter of importance, 
give the name of the diver, if you can? 

A. The first thing of importance that I know of having been found 
was the finding yesterday of two powder tanks, one 6-inch and one 
10-inch. They were crushed together and flattened in. The divers 
could report very little that day. That diver was Chief Gunner's 
Mate A. Olsen. I will bring those tanks to the court to-morrow. 
These cases did not contain any powder. The 6-inch case, while rup- 
tured and torn, did not appear to me as if it had been injured by au 
explosion of powder within it. The 10-inch case I thought to have 
been ruptured by the powder within it when I examined it, but I was 
far from certain. I could not understand its not being more seriously 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. 8. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 29 

torn apart. If I had seen the case without any knowledge of an 
explosion, I should have said it was not an exploded case. These were 
found in the forward body of the ship, and I now believe them to have 
been found in the reserve magazine. 

This morning a 10-inch tank was recovered full of powder, with the 
cover slightly opened. That gave me the impression that the tank had 
been forced open by weights or pressure without flame or heat, as there 
was sufficient opening, had there been flame or excessive heat, to reach 
the powder, and as I carried it in my mind, with pressure in there it 
would have been fired before any water could have possibly reached 
and drowned it. Ensign Bromby is looking out for the divers forward 
and Navel Cadet Cluverius for the divers aft. The divers tell me that 
they can find nothing of the port side of the ship forward of this gen- 
eral line that I have mentioned. They find the cellulose belt, I am not 
certain on which side. They also think they have been in the coal 
bunkers. They found one shell fused for 6-pounder near where they 
found the full case, or somewhere in that vicinity, only approximately. 

Q. I forgot to ask you in speaking of the crew, to give me the record 
of Chief Gunner's Mate Brofeld, as far as you know*? 

A. He was the most painstaking, obedient, hard-working man. I 
have known him to be working in the turrets most of the night. 

Q. Do you know anything about his good-conduct medals and con- 
tinuous-service certificate ? 

A. No. 

Q. But you do know that he had a permanent appointment'? 

A. I do. I can say that he was well acquainted with all the work 
of the ship, and while he was acting gunner things went in a very sat- 
isfactory manner, whereas they had not done so before. 

Witness desired to state the following: 

I saw in the chief engineer's room of the City of Washington a large 
piece of cement heavily coated with oil. I then thought it was a piece 
of bottom cement. I now am inclined to believe it came from the for- 
ward blower on the port side. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, he was notified 
to appear before the court to-morrow at 10 a. m. and read over his tes- 
timony; and he was furthermore informed that it was the wish of the 
court that at any time any important discoveries were made in the 
wreck he should at once appear and notify the court. 

The witness having been cautioned by the president not to converse 
on matters relating to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

Naval Cadet W. T. Cluverius, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station % 

A. Wat Tyler Cluverius ; cadet U. S. Navy ; attached to the U. S. 
battle ship Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine f 

A. Ever since the 15th day of May, 1897. 

Q. Have you, during that time, ever been assistant navigator 1 ? 

A. About four months of that time. 

Q. Do you know all about the electric wiring of the ship"? 

A. A great portion of it, sir. 

Q. Is there any electric wire on board the Maine so laid as to endan- 
ger the magazines or shell rooms? 



30 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. To my knowledge there is not. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine on the night of the explosion? 

A. I was, sir. 

Q. Where were you? 

A. I was in room 3 of the junior officers' quarters. 

Q. Will you please state to the court what shocks you experienced 
and what next you heard? 

A. My first knowledge of anything occurring was a slight shock as 
if a 6-pounder gnu had been fired somewhere about the deck. After 
that a very great vibration in my room, which was then followed by a 
very heavy shock, and still continued vibration and rushing of water 
through the junior officers' mess room, and the sound as if something 
breaking up all the time. 

Q. Were you asleep when you felt the first shock ? 

A. I was not, sir. 

Q. What work have you been engaged on since the disaster? 

A. I have been engaged in working with the divers. 

Q. Will you please state to the court any important discovery or 
discoveries made by the divers? Give the name of the diver or any 
important reports made to you which might give us some information 
as to the state of the wreck and the cause of the explosion. 

A. I was in charge of the diving aft, from the after part of the ship, 
when we found several important papers, which were turned in to the 
commanding officer. I was present this forenoon on the float forward 
where they had gotten up a 10-inch powder tank intact. That is about 
all of importance that I know of in connection with this. My work 
has been wholly aft. 

Q. What is the situation of the junior officers' mess room? 

A. The junior officers' mess room is in the same compartment as the 
wardroom officers' mess room, directly forward of it. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, he was notified 
to appear before the court to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock and read 
over his testimony; and, after being cautioned by the president not to 
converse on matters relating to the inquiry, the witness withdrew. 

Naval Cadet J. H. Holden, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Ad vocate : 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station? 

A. Jonas Hannibal Holden, naval cadet, IT. S. Navy, attached to 
and recently serving on board the U. S. S. Maine, now wrecked in the 
harbor of Havana, Cuba. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine f 

A. Since the 15th day of May, 1897. 

Q. How much of that time have you been assistant navigator? 

A. About four or five months. 

Q. Do you know of any electric wiring on board the Maine that would 
endanger the magazines or shell rooms? 

A. I do not. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion ? 

A. I was in the captain's office with Lieut. Commander Wainwright, 
the executive officer of the Maine. 

Q. By the captain's office you mean, I suppose, the one marked as 
the admiral's office on the plan? 

A. Yes, sir. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 31 

Q. Will you please state to the court what shocks you experienced 

>d what noises you heard at the time of the explosion? 

A. At the time of the explosion, first, there was an explosion of con- 
siderable force, and about three or four seconds afterwards there was 
another explosion of far greater force, and a terrible shaking; then we 
rushed up on deck. 

Q. Did the ship list any during either of these explosions'? 

A. She seemed to be picked up and listed slightly to starboard. 

Q. Was that the first or second explosion, this list to starboard? 

A. It seemed to me to be the first. 

Q. What duty have you been on since the explosion? 

A. On duty as aide to the captain. 

Q. Have you had anything to do with the divers ? 

A. No, sir. 

Examined by the Couiit : 

Q. Where would you locate either of these two explosions — on the 
starboard or on the port side ? 

A. The first explosion, my impression is, occurred on the port side. 
I saw a shoot of flame, which seemed to be on the port side. 

Q. How about the next and larger explosion ? 

A. I could not distinguish anything at the second explosion. 

Q. Was there any water? 

A. All I saw was a column of flame. 

Q. Did this column of flame seem to come up through the ship or up 
through the decks? 

A. I could not tell. It seemed to be well to port. It was well over 
to port. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, he was notified 
to return to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock and read over his testimony 
when convenient. 

The court then adjourned to meet to-morrow, Wednesday, February 
23, 1898, at 10 o'clock a, m. 

The court then proceeded to make a personal examination of the 
wreck. 



THIRD DAY. 



U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, Wednesday, February 23, 1898—10 a. m. 
The court met pursuant to adjournment of yesterday. 
Present: All the members of the court, the Judge- Advocate, and 
Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee. 

The record of the proceedings of yesterday, the second day of the 
inquiry, was read and approved. 

Lieutenant Holman was called before the court and handed so much 
of the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon he 
withdrew, after being directed to read over his testimony and indicate 
any corrections he desired to make. 

The Judge-Advocate. I now ask the permission of the court to 
introduce as stenographer Mr. John W. Hulse, and Mr. H. L. Bisselle, 
assistant to the stenographer. I should like to have them sworn, and 
assist me in preparing the record of the court. 



32 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Permission being granted, the stenographer, John W. Hulse, was 
duly sworn by the judge-advocate, in accordance with U. S. Navy 
regulations, and took his seat as stenographer of the court. Mr H. 
L. Bisselle was also sworn as assistant to the stenographer. 

Chief Engineer Charles P. Howell, U. S. Navy, appeared as a 
witness for the prosecution, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station ? 

A. Charles P. Howell, chief engineer, U. S. Navy, stationed on the 
Maine. 

Q. When did you join the Maine? 

A. The 21st day of December, 1895, to the best of my recollection. 
It was either the 19th or 21st, I have forgotten which — about the 21st. 

Q. You have been chief engineer of the Maine ever since? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What coal bunkers on board the Maine are adjacent to the maga- 
zines in the forward half of the ship; I mean magazines and shell 
rooms? 

A. If I could refer to the blue print I could tell you the numbers of 
them. A15 is on the forward starboard side under the forward turret. 
That is adjacent to the 10-iuch magazine. A16 is similarly situated on 
the port side, and that is adjacent to the 6-inch reserve magazine, I 
think they call it. B3 is on the starboard side, and B5 is also on the 
starboard side. They are adjacent to the magazine. B4 and B6 are 
on the port side, also adjacent to the 6-inch reserve magazine. 

Examined by the Court : 
Q. The first two are adjacent to the 10-inch magazine? 
A. Yes, sir. Perhaps I could state that a little better now, as I first 
went from the starboard side to the port side and back again. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Go ahead in your own way. Make it as plain as you can. 

A. On the starboard side, adjacent to the 10-inch magazine, are coal 
bunkers A15, B3, and B5. On the port side, adjacent to the 6-inch 
reserve magazine, are coal bunkers A16, B4, and B6. 

Q. Please state to the court, as near as you can recollect, the history 
of coal bunker A 15, from the time you joined the ship up to the time 
of the explosion? 

A. A15 is a bunker which it is difficult to put coal in or to take coal out 
of, and, besides, you have to go through B4 and B5. To take coal out 
of A15 you first have to empty B3 and B5, and to put coal in A15 
you have to partially fill B5, and then fill from B5 into A15. As I 
say, it is a difficult bunker to put coal in and take coal out. Those 
bunkers forward have been emptied as frequently as possible in order 
to lighten the ship forward. We have always tried to take coal out of 
the forward bunkers as much as possible, because when they are full 
the ship has a tendency to go down forward. It was the same way on 
the port side. A16 is a difficult bunker to fill, and is the last one that 
is emptied on the port side, because we have to take coal out of B4 
and B6 before we can take any out of A16. 

Q. Have you always inspected coal on board the Maine before receiv- 
ing it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Have you, during the time you have been chief engineer of the 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 33 

Maine, had any signs of any kind of spontaneous combustion in the 
coal bunkers'? 

A. No, sir; none whatever. In connection with that I have frequently 
examined the different bunkers all around everywhere, and the differ- 
ent kinds of coal. I have never seen any signs whatever of any bunker 
heating. I have examined them from the outside, and when they have 
taken coal out of them ; also particularly when we have taken in coal 
that I thought was more liable to spontaneous combustion than other 
coal. I have never seen any signs of heating. 

Q. When did you make your last examination of these bunkers, pre- 
vious to the explosion? 

A. Bunkers B3, B5, B4, and B6 — unless you want to consider some 
others, I will not mention any others — are emptied, and they have been 
emptied about two weeks. 

Q. That is, previous to the explosion"? 

A. Yes, sir; B3, B5, B4, and B6. 

Q. Those have been empty"? 

A. They have been empty ten days or two weeks. All of those have 
been entirely empty. In that time we have painted all those bunkers 
and we have scaled them. Also we have scaled the chutes that led 
down to them, and painted them. A15 was about half empty until the 
day of this explosion. On that day, at 4 o'clock, we began taking coal 
from A15, to keep the ship on an even trim. I have not been in that 
bunker personally since they began taking coal out of it, though I have 
passed around these bunkers, and I felt of them within a week on both 
sides. I have been to the wing passages, and every time I go through 
there I can feel those bunkers. I pass right by the bunkers. It is a 
quarter of an inch thick, and I put my hand on them. I never have 
gone through there without putting my hand on them to feel the tem- 
perature. 

Q. You never found any signs of heating? 

A. I never found any signs of heating — any variation. 

Q. At the time of the explosion what was the condition of bunker 
A16? 

A. It was full of coal. 

Q. Is it easy of access for the purpose of feeling the temperature? 

A. Yes, sir ; on all four sides. 

Q. Do you mean that it can be easily felt for temperature on all four 
sides ? 

A. Outside ; yes, sir, for temperature. 

Q. How close is this bunker to the magazine itself ? 

A. Personally I do not know what is between the bunker and the 
magazine. I know there is sheet iron, but whether that is lined with 
wood on the magazine side I do not know. 

Q. The inboard bulkhead of the bunker is against the magazine, is 
it not? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is not a portion of the inboard bulkhead of this bunker easily 
accessible without going into the magazine? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. The escape hole is there, I believe? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Leading into the loading room? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Then, in case there should be any spontaneous combustion in 
S. Doc. 207 3 



34 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

bunker A16, would it not be likely that it would be felt by people 
going to and fro in the passing room 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; decidedly so. 

Q. What kind of coal was in bunker A16? 

A. To the best of my recollection, it was New River coal. I have a 
memorandum of that in my notebook, but I haven't it here. It is lost. 

Q. Where do you receive New Eiver coal ! 

A. At Newport News. 

Q. Regarding the steam piping of the Maine, was there any piping 
in dangerous proximity to the forward magazines or shell rooms'? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Did any steam pipes lead through bunker A16"? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. What boilers were in use at the time of the explosion? 

A. The two aftermost boilers in the ship, one on each side. 

Q. What was the condition of those boilers? 

A. In good condition. We were in the habit of carrying about 80 to 
100 pounds of steam in port. 

Q. For auxiliary purposes? 

A. For auxiliary purposes, in port. 

Q. How much did you carry in those same boilers when steaming at 
sea? 

A. One hundred and twenty pounds. 

Q. Who was the engineer of the watch at the time of the explosion? 

A. Assistant Engineer Merritt. 

Q. I believe he was lost? 

A. Excuse me; I made a mistake. It was Mr. Morris — Assistant 
Engineer Morris. 

Q. Did you have what you consider a competent watch on duty for 
two boilers? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. A watch of reliable men? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. In your opinion it would have been impossible for those two 
boilers to explode with the pressure they were carrying? 

A. Yes, sir; the explosion would not have done much damage under 
ordinary circumstances. 

Q. What is the approximate length of the two fire rooms? 

A. Each fire room is about 48 feet long. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion? 

A. In the wardroom mess room. 

Q. Will you please state to the court what noises you heard and 
what shocks you felt at the time of the explosion ? 

A. I was suddenly startled with an unusual shock. There was then 
a continued series of convulsions and a noise like the tearing of the 
ship to pieces, then a tremendous crash, then apparently the sound of 
falling debris. Then the ship felt as if it was waving and unsteady on 
the <le< k. 

Q. Did you notice any list of the ship at the first explosion or the 
first shock? 

A. No, sir; I did not notice it until after this series of shocks, when I 
started to go on deck. Then the ship appeared to be listed over about 
L0°. 

Examined by Ihe Court; 

Q. Which way? 

A. To port. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 35 

Q. That is a great list, you know. 

A. Let ine modify that. I should say it was listed over about 5° to 
port. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. After you reached the deck, did you see any upshoot of flame, or 
anything of that kind? 

A. No; none to any extent. Now and then there would be a small 
explosion, like the explosion of a 6-iuch shell, perhaps. 

Examined by Captain Sigsbee : 

Q. You have said that bunker A16 was full of coal ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Was that bunker not exposed on two sides on the deck immedi- 
ately above the 6-inch reserve magazine? 

A. It was. 

Q. Was not the immediate vicinity used by the men employed in the 
hydraulic room as a sleeping place or loafing place? 

A. There was a storeroom 

Q. I mean on the inboard side? 

A. Yes, sir; there was a storeroom on the port side of the hydraulic 
room. One side of it was up to the bunker, and that room was much 
frequented. 

Q. But was there not another side of that bunker in the hydraulic 
room itself — the in board side of the bunker ? 

A. No, sir; there was a storeroom between the hydraulic rocm and 
the bunker. 

Examined by the Court : 
Q. It was the electric storeroom ? 
A. The electric storeroom. 

Examined by Captain Sigsbee : 

Q. What I am trying to get at is that the men used to habitually lie 
in that corner — the port forward corner in the hydraulic room — with 
their heads right against what must have been that bunker? 

A. There is a storeroom between the hydraulic room and the bunker. 

Q. There was? 

A. Yes, sir ; on the same level. 

Q. Was not that bunker exposed on three sides at the forward entrance 
of the port- wing passage? 

A. Yes, sir; that bunker was exposed on three sides, which was much 
frequented. It was exposed on the fourth side by an empty bunker at 
this time, and we had had men in there painting. 

Q. It is not likely that the hands of the crew must have rested on 
that bunker many times a day through the use of that wing passage? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. In traversing the passage? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Examined by the Court : 

Q. Could the entire length of the bunker A16, abutting against the 
6-inch reserve magazine, be examined from the outside of the bunker? 

A. Not from the magazine itself. 

Q. That is, from the outside of the coal bunker ? 

A. Allowme to explain that. I have never been in that magazine, 
but I do not see any reason why the temperature could not be found 
from the magazine as well as any other place. 



36 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. How could you examine the temperature of that coal bunker on 
the outside where it abutted against the top of the magazine? 

A. We did not examine it from the magazine; we examined it from 
aft and outboard. 

Q. This coal bunker is represented ou the same deck as this maga- 
zine. How could you get at the outside of that coal bunker on this 
deck? 

A. Not on the deck shown here, but on another deck. 

Q. But the magazine is not on another deck. 

(Captain Sigsbee here made a rough drawing of the bunkers and 
explained it to the court.) 

Examined by the Court : 

Q. Would the heating of coal in the bottom of such a bunker cause 
such a heat two decks above as to be very noticeable? 

A. I should say yes, sir. 

Q. That is, no heating could take place in one part of the coal bunker 
which would not diffuse itself through the mass? 

A. Without rising up to the highest point of the bunker. 

Chief Engineer Howell desired to add the following testimony : 

The dynamo room also goes out of that bunker, in addition to what 
has been brought up. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which ho will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted and the witness was instructed accordingly, 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not 
to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Lieutenant Holman appeared before the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. If the court please, I request that the wit- 
ness be cautioned that the oath previously taken by him is stdl 
binding. 

The witness was duly cautioned as requested by the judge-advocate. 

The Judge- Advocate. Lieutenant Holman, you have read over the 
testimony given by you on yesterday. As it it now recorded, is it cor- 
rect? 

Lieutenant Holman. It is correct, as now recorded, with one excep- 
tion. 

The Judge-Advocate. Sit down, please, and make that correction. 

Lieutenant Holman. I would like to change my evidence with regard 
to the amount of saluting powder that was on board. 

The Judge-Advocate. Make your statement. 

Lieutenant Holman. I stated 200 pounds. It must have been con- 
siderably more than that, but how much more I do not know. On 
reflection, thinking of the amount that we used for one salute, and the 
saluting powder not being down so as to require a new supply or a new 
requisition, we must have had very much more than 200 pounds. 

The Judgk- Advocate. You can not give us approximately how 
much was in that magazine? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHTP MAINE. 37 

Lieutenant Holman. No; I can not. 
Examined by the Court : 

Q. What was the ordinary temperature of the dynamo room 1 ? 

A. The temperature of the dynamo room in weather such as exists at 
present was about 90° — not far from 90°. 

Q. If there bad been a serious rise of temperature in bunker A16, 
which abuts on the port side of the dynamo room, do you think it would 
have been quickly noticed in the dynamo room? 

A. No; not unless it were such a rise in temperature as to set fire to 
woodwork — such as to manifest itself in that way, setting fire to the 
woodwork in that bulkhead. 

Q. Would not the men naturally frequently come in contact with that 
bulkhead? 

A. No. 

Q. It was the port side, and it formed in that way [indicating]? 

A. In the port side dynamo room, aft, between the entrance to the 
central station and the side of the ship, was a desk and several search- 
light ammeters. 

(A blue print was here shown to the witness.) 

Q. What 1 wish to know is whether in case of a serious rise of tem- 
perature in the bunker would it not have been noticed in the dynamo 
room? 

A. I do not think it would. 

Q. You said, in answer to a question, that a rise in temperature would 
not be noticed unless it were such a rise as would set fire to the wood- 
work on that bulkhead. There was woodwork on that bulkhead, was 
there? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Was that in such close contact with the bulkhead that in case 
that bulkhead had become very hot, or heated to a heat which would 
have ignited wood, it probably would have ignited that switchboard or 
caused it to char ? 

A. Yes; if the heat had been maintained for some time. The wood- 
work, as I recollect, was not in immediate contact with the bulkhead, 
but set off a little way from it. 

Q. But would not a serious rise of temperature in that bulkhead have 
made itself felt in the general temperature of the dynamo room to such 
a degree as to be very noticeable ; because a temperature which will 
ignite anything like coal or wood is a very high one? 

A. Yes; I can conceive that there might be such a temperature as to 
manifest itself in that way. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read aloud to him, and by him pronounced to be correct ; and, having 
been cautioned by the president not to discuss matters pertaining to 
the trial, he withdrew. 

Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright here appeared before the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright, I now 
hand you so much of the record of the proceedings of yesterday as 
contains your testimony before the court of inquiry. I ask you to 
withdraw, read it over, and make any corrections you desire, after 
which you will please return and inform the court of those corrections. 



38 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Paymaster Charles M. Eay, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness and 
was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station? 

A. Charles M. Eay, paymaster, U. S. Navy, attached to the TJ. S. S. 
Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine f 

A. I joined her on the 2d of February last. 

Q. Referring to your storerooms in the forward part of the Maine, 
was there any inflammable or dangerous matter stowed in any of those 
storerooms ? 

A. Not to my knowledge and belief, sir. 

Q. What was stowed forward belonging to your department, and 
where was it stowed? 

A. I think these are the only two rooms I had [indicating on blue 
print]. There was stored in them preserved meats, small stores, and 
some clothing. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion ? 

A. I was in my own room, sir. 

Q. In the wardroom? 

A. In the wardroom. 

Q. Will you please state to the court what shocks you experienced, 
and what noises you heard? 

A. My first impression, my first shock, you might say, was a sort of 
an upheaval. My impression then was, from the downward tendency, 
that the ship had been broken in half, and that she was sinking. I 
immediately got out of my chair and stood under the lintel of the door. 
There were small pieces falling from above — small pieces of the deck, 
I suppose. I gathered myself together from that, and heard the water 
rushing in from forward, arid then I made my way on the superstruc- 
ture. After that, the only explosions I heard were from the City of 
Washington, of the small arms. 

Q. At the first shock you felt, did you notice any perceptible list of 
the ship? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. After you reached the deck, did you notice any upshoot of flame, 
or anything of that kind? 

A. No, sir; not except the ordinary burning of fire. 

Examined by the Court : 
Q. What was the usual temperature of your storerooms just forward 
of that magazine? 
A. That lean not say. I am not familiar enough with the storerooms. 
Q. You had not been in the ship long? 
A. No, sir; just two weeks, and I had not settled down, in fact. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. Was your jack-of-the-dust saved? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Was your yeoman saved? 

A. No, sir; their names are not on the list. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness his testimony 
was read alond to him and by him pronounced to be correct; and, hav- 
ing been cautioned by the president not to discuss matters pertaining 
to the trial, he withdrew. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 39 

Surg. Lucien G. Henneberger, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station 1 ? 

A. Lucien G. Henneberger, surgeon TJ. S. Navy, attached to the 
Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine*! 

A. Since November 10, 1896. 

Q. Where did you stow inflammable matters belonging to your 
department 1 ? 

A. We had alcohol, whiskies, and brandies in the medical storeroom, 
and a few bottles of each for immediate use in the dispensary. 

Q. Where was the medical storeroom you speak of situated 1 ? 

A. Beneath the wardroom. 

Q. Did the dispensary lead into the sick bay ? 

A. It did. 

Q. Were there any sick at the time of the explosion? 

A. There were three or four on the sick list at the time of the explo- 
sion. 

Q. Were there any attendants to the sick? 

A. Three. 

Q. Did the apothecary sleep in the dispensary ? 

A. He did. 

Q. Then you feel reasonably certain that if there had been any ex- 
plosion of any kind there it would have been noticed at once? 

A. At once. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion ? 

A. In my bunk. 

Q. Will you please state to the court what shocks you felt and what 
noises you heard at the time of the explosion? 

A. I was lying in my bunk reading, and I felt a sudden upheaving of 
the ship. The lights were extinguished, and this was followed imme- 
diately by a deep boom, as of an explosion. That was all I heard. 

Q. Did you notice any list of the ship at the first shock? 

A. A list to port. As I went up the ladders the ladders inclined 
toward the port side. 

Q. That was after you had felt the first shock — this list? 

A. Yes, sir. I felt the shock before getting out of my bunk; but just 
as I got out of my bunk I made ray way forward to the wardroom door 
and began to climb the ladders. 

Q. What I wish to know is whether, at the very first shock you felt, 
there was a perceptible list? 

A. No. 

Q. After you reached the upper deck did you notice any upshoot of 
flame or anything of that kind — anymore than the ordinary burning of 
fire? 

A. No. 

Q. Can you give the number of the wounded that were sent to the 
hospital at Havana? 

A. There were 29 sent to the San Ambrosia — approximately 29; I do 
not know whether that is the exact number — and 6 to the Alphonso 
Treize. 

Q. How many of these patients have since died? 

A. Six. 

Q. How many of the wounded were sent to Key West? 



40 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. I do not know how many went by the Olivette the first trip. 
She left in such a hurry that it was almost impossible to tell. There 
were 10 sent by the Mangrove the following day but one. 

Q. You are not able to give this court the number of killed, are you? 

A. No, sir. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read aloud to him and by him pronounced to be correct; and, having 
been cautioned by the president not to discuss matters pertaining to 
the trial, he withdrew. 

Private William Anthony, TJ. S. Marine Corps, appeared as a 
witness, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Jtjdoe-Advocate : 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station ? 

A. William Anthony, private, U. S. Marine Corps, TJ. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you one of the marine guard of the Maine during her last 
stay at Havana? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you on board the day of the explosion? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On what duty f 

A. On orderly duty, aft. 

Q. What watches had you had that day? 

A. I had the 8 to 12 p. m. watch — the first watch, sir. 

Q. Had you had any watch during the daytime? 

A. Yes, sir ; from 8 to 12 in the forenoon. 1 had both watches, 8 to 
12 p. m. and 8 to 12 a. m. 

Q. During the forenoon watch had the magazine keys been taken 
out of the cabin? 

A. Not by me, sir; not by anybody, to my recollection. The drill 
was that day, and it did not necessitate opening the magazine. 

Q. Do you know whether the keys of the magazine and shell rooms 
were in their proper place in the cabin at 8 p. m. that night? 

A. No, sir; my business did not call me as far as the captain's 
stateroom. 

Q. You made the usual reports to the captain that the magazines 
were in proper condition that night? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion ? 

A. I was standing on the main deck, just outside of the door, on the 
starboard side. 

Q. Please tell the court what you felt and what you saw. 

A. I first noticed a trembling and buckling of the decks, and then 
this prolonged roar — not a short report, but a prolonged roar. The 
awnings were spread, and where the wing awning and the quarter-deck 
awning should join there was a space of at least 18 inches. I looked 
out and saw an immense sheet of flame, and then I started in to warn 
the captain. 

Q. Did you notice any perceptible list to the ship at the first shock? 

A. At the first shock the ship instantly — that is, the quarter deck, 
where I was standing — dipped forward and to port, just like that [indi- 
cating]. It apparently broke in the middle like that [indicating] and 
surged forward, and then canted over to port. 

Q. Canted over to port after tho first shock? 

A. Yes; it Avas continually settling more to port while I was on 
board. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 41 

Examined by the Court : 

Q. I would like to have you describe a little more particularly where 
you saw this upshoot of flame. 

A. It was well forward. It must have been forward of the super- 
structure. I could see the debris going up with it. I do not know 
what it was, but I saw firebrands going up. 

Q. Was it on the port side or the starboard side? 

A. It looked more to port than it did on the midship line. It looked 
like it covered the whole ship. It was an immense glare that illumined 
the whole heavens for the moment, as much as I could see for the awn- 
ings. 

Q. Did you see any water with if? 

A. I didn't notice that, sir. I started in the cabin at once. 

The court had no further questions to ask the witness. 
There were no further questions to ask the witness. 

The judge-ad vooate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony, and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony «s recorded, or pronounce it correct. 

The request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the trial. 

The Judge-Advocate. I would like to state to the court that there 
are three gentlemen of whom I have knowledge not belonging to the 
Government who, I believe, saw the explosion from outside the ship, 
and if the court wishes their testimony, I think I can produce them 
to-morrow morning. One of them is Captain Teasdale, of the British 
baik Deva; another one is the engineer of the floating dock, Mr. Rolfe. 
and the third one is the manager of the oil works at Eegla, Mr. Van 
Sickle. 

The President. We should have them. 

The Judge-Advocate. I think they are willing to come to-morrow 
morning. I only got this information over night. 

Lieutenant Commander Wainwright here appeared before the 
court. 

The Judge- Advocate. You have read over your testimony given 
before the court on yesterday. Is your testimony as recorded correct? 

Lieutenant Commander Wainwright. It is. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee was then called upon by the judge- 
advocate to sta e whether his testimony as given to the court in the 
first day's proceedings was correct as recorded, and he announced that 
it was correct as recorded. 

Captain Sigsbee was then requested to take the stand and did so, 
being cautioned by the president that the oath previously taken by him 
was still binding. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate: 
Q. What officers have been detailed by you to obtain information in 
regard to any outsiders who may have seen the explosion of the Mainel 



42 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright, Lieutenant Holman, and 
Chief Engineer Howell, all of the Maine. 

Q. Have any of those officers made any report to you as to obtaining 
any information? 

A. I have had no report made to me yet, but I know that Mr. Hol- 
man has some notes. 

Q. I have Mr. Holman's notes before me, and I know the witnesses 
he has found. 

A. I submitted to the board, especially to Mr. Holman, whose time 
was available when I made out the order, a series of questions relating 
to the phenomena of the explosion, and I gave him directions to inter- 
view persons about the bay and in the city, in order to gather informa- 
tion relative to these questions. 

Q. Mr. Holman's notes are the only reports that have been made? 

A. That is all I have now. 

Q. He is one of the members of that board? 

A. He is one of the members of that board. 

Q. Do you wish to give any further testimony in regard to coal 
bunker A1C? You informed me that you did. 

A. Is that the one on the port side? 

Q. Yes. 

A. It is my opinion that if the interior of coal bunker A16 had been 
so hot as to be dangerous to the 0-inch reserve magazine that this heat 
would have shown itself in the outside plating of the bunker, in the 
passing room of the forward turret, in the wing passage connecting 
therewith, and in the passage communicating with these two apart- 
ments. In passing from the passing room into the wing passage there 
was a turn to the left. On three sides of this turn the plating of the 
bunker was exposed. The passage was narrow. The tendency, there- 
fore, of a person in passing and in turning to the left would have been 
to place the left hand on the plating. 1 went through this interme- 
diate passage, I think, the day before, and observing that one of the 
dogs of the manhole escape from that bunker was not tightly wedged 
in place, I gave directions to see that it was always kept tightly closed, 
except when intended to be opened altogether. I put my hand on the 
dog and there was then no appearance of undue heat. This was either 
the day before or two days before — I think the day before the explosion. 
Also, there were electric leaves on the outside of this banker, in the 
wing passage, and it is probable that undue heat would have interfered 
with the insulation, and have given warning somewhere. That is all 
I desire to say on that. 

Q. Do you also wish to testify in regard to the record and character of 
Chief Gunner's Mate Brofeldt? 

A. Yes, sir; I had occasion to send Brofeldt's record to the Navy 
Department two or three weeks ago. His record was a very fine one. 
He had three good-conduct medals on his present enlistment record, cov- 
ering about two years. According to my recollection, every mark under 
every heading was a maximum. He had received no punishment what- 
ever. His record was absolutely perfect, and he would have gained on 
it, had he continued in the same course, another good-conduct medal. 

The court had no further questions to ask this witness. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be furnished 
with as much of the record as contains his testimony upon the meeting 
of the court to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock; that he be directed to 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 43 

examine the same, upon the completion of which he will be given an 
opportunity to amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. 

The court then (at 12 o'clock noon) took a recess until 1.30 o'clock p.m. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, the 
stenographer, and Oapt. Charles JJ. Sigsbee. 

Ensign W. V. IS". Powelson, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness, and 
was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station? 

A. W. V. N. Powelson; ensign, U. S. Navy; serving on board the 
U. S. S. Fern. 

Q. Were you on board the Fern when she arrived at Havana shortly 
after the explosion of the Maine? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How long after the explosion did you arrive*? The explosion took 
place at 9.40 p. m. 

A. We arrived on Wednesday at about 3 p. m. 

Q. What duty have you been engaged on since you have been in 
Havana, regarding the wreck of the Maine 11 . 

A. I have not been on any official duty in connection with the Maine. 

Q. What duty have you done with regard to the wreck of the Maine? 
Have you not been present a great deal during the diving ? 

A. Yes, sir; 1 have been on the Maine every day since the Fern has 
been here, and have been present most all day. 

Q. Will you please tell the court, as far as you can, the condition of 
the wreck, and also of any important discoveries made by any of the 
divers, giving the name of the diver, if you can? 

A. The forward part of the ship, forward of the after smoke pipe, 
has been completely destroyed, as far as all appearances go. The con- 
ning tower now lies in a position opposite the door leading into the 
superstructure aft, and to starboard. The conning tower is inclined at 
about 110 degrees to the vertical, with the top of the conning tower 
inboard. The forward 6-inch superstructure gun now lies completely 
turned upside down over the after starboard 0-inch superstructure gun. 
The frames which supported the deck plating and planking of the port 
gangway forward of the main deck are bent upward and against the 
superstructure, the angle of bend decreasing as you go aft. The 
fixtures underneath the main deck on the port side, consisting of pipes, 
wood casing for the electric wires, standing lights, etc., have been com- 
pletely wrecked, while on the starboard side these fixtures, occupying a 
similar position, are in some cases almost intact. 

This is especially so under the conning tower at the starboard side, 
where the woodwork of the electric wires is scarcely burned at all. 
The port bulkhead, between the main deck and the berth deck at the 
conning-tower support, has been blown aft on both sides, but a great 
deal more on the port side than on the starboard. The fire-room hatch 
immediately abaft the conning-tower support, between the main and 
the berth deck, has been blown open in three directions, aft, to star- 
board, and to port. The forward side of the hatch, being stronger, 
forming the support of the conning tower, was not much injured. The 
pipes in this hatch were very little injured. The protective deck under 
the conning-tower supports, where it is secured to the armor tube 
from the conning tower is bent in two directions. The plates on the 
port side are bent up and the plate on the starboard side is bent down. 



44 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

By the Court : 

Q. Do you mean with reference to their original positions'? 

A. With reference to their original positions. There is a beam sup- 
porting the protective deck a few inches abaft the armored tube. This 
beam, to port of the midship line, was bent up to starboard of the midship 
line. The rivets were sheared. The beam broke at the midship line, 
due to weakening at this point by pipes passing through it. These 
rivets, holding the beam to the deck, were sheared almost at right 
angles to the fore-and-aft line. The starboard crane was broken com- 
pletely off, due to the superstructure falling upon it. The port crane 
supports are bent, but the crane itself seems intact. The forward 
smokestack now lies forward side up along the starboard quarter-deck, 
about the position of the waterways, and almost clear of the awnings 
stanchions. The after smokepipe lies with its forward side uppermost, 
just inboard of the port turret. The main masthead was broken at a 
point about 4 feet from the lantern. The foremast fell forward and a 
little to port. The break just forward of the port crane at the main 
deck is a very clean one, the wood still remaining fastened to the deck 
plating at the edge of the break. 

Just toward ot the conning tower, underneath the main deck, two 
beams meet at right angles, one fore and aft, and the other athwart 
ships. The fore -and aft beam is broken at the point where it touches 
the athwartship beam. Both parts of the broken beam are pushed 
from port to starboard. A grating was found on the poop awning, just 
toward of the after search light. A piece of the side plating, just 
abaft the starboard turret, between the torpedo tube and the turret, is 
now visible, about 15 feet forward of the starboard crane, and about at 
the position of the ship's side. This plate was bent outward, and then 
the forward end bent upward and folded backward upon itself. This 
plate was sheared from the rest of the plating below the water line. 
This plating below the water line has been pushed out to starboard. 
The gratings from the engine room hatch were blown off. 

Q. Those were the unarmored gratings'? 

A. Yes, sir; the superstructure gratings. In hauling in some wires 
a strainer was picked up from the bottom at a point about opposite the 
poop capstan and 70 feet from it — a composition strainer. 

Q. The composition strainer, you say, was picked up where? 

A. It was picked up on the starboard quarter. 1 was hauling in the 
electric wires yesterday and hooked on to it, and picked it up at that 
point. 

Q. Is there anything to show where the strainer came from? 

A. The chief engineer thinks it was a strainer from the firemen's wash- 
room. 

Q. It was not an exterior strainer? 

A. No, sir; it was not a strainer in the ship's side. The athwartship 
beam, at the point where the break occurs on the port side, is pushed a 
little forward at the point where it joined the outside plating. 

Q. When you speak of the break, you mean the break in the main 
deck? 

A. Yes, sir; the break in the main deck. Near the piece of outside 
plating, near the turret to which I have just referred, and just inboard 
of it are some pieces of red shellacked planks. On these planks is bolted 
a composition track about 2 inches wide and an inch thick. At the 
ceiling of the central station a standing light on the port side was 
found completely blown from its supports, only three screws remaining 
in the protective deck to mark its position. On the starboard side, 
about 5 feet from this light, was another deck light, fastened to the 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 45 

protective deck, and nothing Jin tbis light was destroyed except the 
glass globe protecting the light and the glass of the incandescent light 
itself. The woodwork and wires were intact. Did you mean for me to 
say anything about what the divers reported, or just what I saw? 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. I would like to have you state any important discoveries which 
might lead us to draw some conclusion as to the cause, and if the dis- 
covery of a diver gave you the information, state the name of the 
diver; but before you do that, I would like to ask you whether the for- 
ward and after parts of the ship were in line. 

A. As far as I could judge, the forward and after parts of the ship 
were not in line. The ends, where the explosion occurred, seemed to 
have been pushed from port to starboard, I should judge from 5 to 10 
degrees. 

Q. That makes an angle of the ship with the apex to starboard? 

A. With the apex to starboard ; yes, sir. 

Q. Will you please go ahead with the discoveries of the divers? 

A. The divers reported to me that at a point where the 10-inch shell 
room should be they discovered 10-inch shell, regularly arranged, but 
the ship had sunk down so much that some of the shell were in the 
mud. 

By the Court : 

Q. That mud was inside the ship, of course? 

A. Yes, sir. They were not able to determine that exactly. The 
name of one diver was Olsen, I think. The diver Smith reported that 
he saw a number of broken 10 inch powder tanks. He secured a 10-inch 
powder tank that still contained powder, and it was hoisted to the sur- 
face, and is now on board the Fern. He also secured some tanks in a 
better condition, one 0-inch and one 10-inch tank that I saw. This 
diver reported that he had found more full tanks, but a diver who went 
down next after Smith was unable to secure any. At a place where 
the paymaster's storeroom should be we found a great many vegetable 
cans. Gunner Morgan reported that in walking on the bottom he fell 
into a hole on the port side and went down in the mud. He also 
reported that, as far as he could judge, everything seemed to be bent 
upward in the vicinity of this hole. He also reported that the plates 
seemed to have been pushed over to starboard and bent down over the 
top of the 10-inch magazine, from which he reasoned that he would be 
able to find, perhaps intact, powder tanks farther down; that the 
broken ones on top had been broken up by these plates. The one 6-inch 
tank that I saw appeared to me to have been an empty tank, broken 
by the explosion, as it was not badly dented, and merely ripped the 
length of the seam. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. How did the empty 10-inch tank appear to you? 

A. The empty 10-inch tank was badly battered. When I saw it it 
had been already dipped in a sterilizing solution, and I could see no 
evidences of powder upon it. 

Q. Was it ruptured, as if a charge had exploded inside of it? 

A. It was flattened out and battered out of all conceivable shape. I 
could not say. 

By the Court : 

Q. Have either of the divers been on what you consider the outside 
of the ship? 
A. They had not up to last night. They report that the mud is so 



46 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

deep that it will be impossible for them to walk on the bottom, and 
they wish some large scow moored over that part, so that they can be 
supported from the scow, and that, I believe, is being done to-day. I 
requested the diver to go aft and see if he could see the condition of 
the port forward boiler. He started aft and found coal, and discontinued 
his work belore he got as far aft as the boiler. 

Q. What is the condition of the starboard turret? 

A. To my knowledge it has not been found, sir. 

Q. That is, the place where it belongs has been examined, and you 
think it is not there? 

A. 1 understand that something was found at or about the place 
under which the turret formerly was, but they have not been able to 
determine exactly what it was. I have had no information from the 
wreck to-day. I have not been there. 

Q. What impression is produced upon your mind by the reports, so 
far as you have quoted them? 

A. From reports alone, or from the appearance of the wreck? 

Q. I mean either the reports that have been made to you, or the con- 
ditions which you believe to exist. 

A. The impression produced upon me is that an explosion took place 
well to port of the midship line and at a point in the length about oppo- 
site the conning tower. 

Q. What weight are you giving now to the statement made by the 
gunner, Mr. Morgan? 

A. That opinion is based entirely upon the observation of things above 
water. The fact that a full powder case was found and the fact that 
empty powder cases were found does not, in my mind, admit of an 
expression of opinion until something further is produced. 

Q. You do not see anything upon which to base an opinion? 

A. No reports so far from the divers upon which to base an opinion. 

Q. I say again, what weight do you give to the statement made by 
Mr. Morgan as to his falling into a hole on the port side? 

A. No weight, sir. 

Q. You give no weight to that? 

A. No, sir; because I think he may be mistaken about it. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. You have stated all that you know about it, have you? 

A. I think I have, sir. I have a little notebook in my pocket, in 
which I made notes of things at the time. 

Q. Please refer to that and see if there is anything else? 

A. The arc of the engine-room telegraph and the shaft of the steer- 
ing gear, coming down through the armored tube (turret), was bent 
from port to starboard underneath the protective deck, and the port 
side of the protective deck under the conning-tower supports was covered 
with a greasy sort of deposit, while the starboard, side was compara- 
tively free from it. 

(At this point Naval Cadet Holden entered the court and was handed 
so much of the record of the court as contained his testimony. He 
was then directed to retire, examine it, and return and state whether 
or not his testimony as recorded was correct.) 

Ensign Powelson then resumed his testimony. 

The Witness. The forward smoke-pipe hatch, between the main and 
the superstructure decks, while it is dented, does not show signs of 
internal pressure of gases. I said that the fire-room hatch did; that 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 47 

it was blown out in all directions, and the Latch at the engine room 
where the funnel came through was not exploded. It is dented. The 
fire main running along under the main deck had its asbestos covering 
and canvas burned much more on the port than on the starboard side. 
On the main deck, just forward of the conning tower, where the fore^ 
and aft angle bulb beam to which 1 have referred was located, the 
planking was blown off on the only remaiuing plate of the main deck on 
the port side, while the wood was still attached to that part on the star- 
board side between the base of the conning tower and the turrets. The 
wood planking there on the plating was still fast to that, while on the 
port side it had blown off the plating. All the wood deck planking and 
the plating was blown off the main-deck beams of the port gangway 
forward of the break. On the starboard side of the conniug-tower sup- 
port the protective deck is pulled away from the support about 5 inches. 
On the port side it is not. 

By the Court : 

Q. Would that show a pressure from port to starboard % 

A. That would indicate that the pressure lifted the protective deck 
up on the port side, and the protective deck on the starboard side held 
fast and bent that deck downward, away from the couning-tower sup- 
port, broke that one end of that beam off, and sheared it right straight 
across. I have a little sketch here, which the court might look at, to 
make clear what I have said. 

(Witness here exhibited to the court two sketches, showing diagram 
of various parts of the sunken ship, and explained them to the court.) 

Q. Mr. Powelson, you spoke of that strip which is on the starboard 
side of the outside plating of the ship, which was folded and rolled 
back? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And. you gave it as your opinion that the portion of the outer 
plating underneath that, from which that was torn, was bent outward? 

A. Yes, sir ; I can see that. That is about 2 feet under water, where 
that shear occurs. 

Q. Can you see the outside plating on the opposite side? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You can not? 

A. I took some soundings. I forgot to tell you about that. I found 
about 5 fathoms of water all along the ship, on both sides, down to the 
mud. I took a 14-pound lead line, 4£ fathoms, and I dragged with a 
wherry along on the port side for obstructions. I dragged right close 
to where I imagined the waterways on the port side of the ship had 
been, judging from the position of the ship, and I found no obstructions 
at all. With 4^ fathoms of line out, going along slowly on the star- 
board side, I did find obstructions for a distance of 20 feet from where 
I had reason to suppose the waterways had originally been. 

Q. That is to say, the fact that there were obstructions on the star- 
board side and not on the port side would indicate that while the port 
side was not ruptured, if it was ruptured, the burr was on the inside? 

A. 1 do not think you understood me exactly. There is nothing left 
of the port plating at all. As you go right in across the ship there is 
nothing. I dragged along the outside to see if there had been any- 
thing that had fallen out, and I could find nothing. As I came in, tak- 
ing soundings right along from the port side, after I got inside a few 
feet, or nearly under the waterway, then I began to find obstructions 
in about 3£ fathoms of water. I dragged right along here [indicating] 



48 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

on the port side, and I found nothing along in there; but over on this 
side [indicating] I did find things all along bere; and I found some- 
thing hard right in here, just abaft that crane [indicating], 

Q. Which may be the turret? 

A. It was hard for about 15 or 16 feet along there, as near as I could 
judge, and not much out of mud; probably only 4 feet out of mud; 
but the lead had a different feel there from what it had anywhere else. 
That is what I thought was the turret. Of course, I could not be cer- 
tain, and there is not enough evidence to state that opinion absolutely. 

Q. Have you ever been attached to the Maine f 

A. No, sir ; I have never been attached to the Maine. 

Q. How have you become so well acquainted with the Maine? 

A. I thought I was going to the Maine when she went in commis- 
sion. I was on the Vermont at that time, and I used to go over to the 
ship frequently and go through her, with an idea of learning. Then I 
was on the staff of Admiral Bunce, and made an inspection of the 
Maine and learned more at that time. 

Q. You think the ship on the port side opposite that support is 
entirely gone*? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Entirely blown out? 

A. Yes, sir; because I could get nothing less inside, I think, than 
three fathoms and a half of water; but from the break itself it goes 
right down standing here over the waterway [indicating]. You can go 
down there about 4 fathoms with the lead line, but there does not seem 
to be anything out here [indicating]. That little plate to which Captain 
Chadwick referred is exactly in line with the mainmast. 

Q. That protective deck ? 

A. The protective deck of which you speak. It is on a line with the 
mainmast at the port crane, and goes to this plate [indicating]. That 
is the reason I thought that, whether it was the starboard or the port 
plate, there would not be much difference, except as to the angle, because 
that was so far over from the side, coming from the mainmast [wit- 
ness indicates on diagram]. 

Q. It is an important thing to know. That [indicating] is a piece of 
the quarter deck. If that had been broken off the ship's side, and was 
thrown up in here [indicating], that is very material. 

A. It is over to port. You can not tell exactly where that place was 
in the beginning. 

Q. Could you not tell by very careful soundings around that or by 
the divers? You see the divers are even now down at the door of that 
[pointing out of the window at the wreck]. 

A. The divers do not seem to be able to express themselves as to 
what they see down below. I have talked to them and have not been 
able to learn very much. 

Q. That is the difficulty; they do not know what they find. 

A. They see things there, but they do not know exactly what they 
are or what the conditions are. 

Q. How often were you on duty over there at the wreck? 

A. As I said, we are not detailed for the duty over there. We have 
days duty on the Fern, but of course Mr. Bookwalter and myself 
attend to the work on the ship, or on the wreck, or anything Lieutenant 
Wainwright wants us to do. 

There being no further questions to ask the witness, the judge- 
advocate requested that the testimony given by the witness be not 
read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to report 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 49 

to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, bringing with him an ink sketch 
similar to the one shown to the court to-day, lettering the different 
parts, and also an ink sketch of that piece of protective deck referred 
to in the testimony, the sketches to be on foolscap paper, either on 
separate sheets or on the same sheet, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to with- 
draw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which 
he will be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to 
amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. 

The request was granted and the witness was instructed accordingly, 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Naval Cadet H olden here appeared before the court. 

The Judge Advocate. Naval Cadet Holden, is the testimony given 
by you before the court on yesterday correct as recorded! 

^Naval Cadet Holden. It is. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

The court then (at 2.30 p. m.) adjourned to meet to-morrow, the 24th 
instant, at 10 o'clock a. m. 



FOURTH DAY. 

IT. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Havana Harbor, 10 a. on., Thursday, February 24, 1898. 
The court met pursuant to adjournment of yesterday (Wednesday). 
Present: All the members of the court, the Judge- Advocate, the ste- 
nographer, and Captain Sigsbee. 

Previous to the meeting of the court the members were engaged in 
making an examination of the wreck. 
The record of the proceedings of yesterday was read and approved. 

Chief Engineer Howell appeared before the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Chief Engineer Howell, I now hand you so 
much of the record of the proceedings of yesterday as contains the tes- 
timony given by you before the court. Please withdraw, read it over, 
and then return to the court and state whether you desire to make any 
corrections in the testimony, or whether it is correct as recorded. 

The witness then withdrew. 

Naval Cadet Cluverius appeared before the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Naval Cadet Cluverius, I now hand you so 
much of the record of the second day's proceedings as contains the 
testimony given by you before this court. Please withdraw, read it 
over, and return to the court and state whether you desire to make 
any corrections in the testimony, or whether it is correct as recorded. 

The witness then withdrew. 

Mr. William H. Van Syckel appeared as a witness, and was duly 
sworn by the president of the court. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name, your residence, and what business 
you are engaged in. 

S. Doc. 207 4 



50 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. My name is William H. Van Syckel. My business is superintend- 
ent of the West India Oil Refining Company. 

Q. Are you a resident of Havana? 

A. No; I am a resident of what would be a part of Reglas. 

Q. Were you in either Havana or Reglas on the night of February 
15, when the Maine exploded? 

A. I am in a part of the Province of Reglas, but my situation is in 
the building which they called formerly Billott's Hospital, now the 
petroleum works ; but we belong in part to Reglas. I was in the house, 
answering your question, at the time of the explosion. 

Q. Will you please state to the court all you saw and heard in regard 
to that explosion ? 

A. I was inside at the time of the explosion, and immediately went 
outside. What I saw was a bad sight. Everything was flying in the 
air. There were columns of black smoke, and pieces and parts of the 
ship. 

Q. Was there any flame flying up into the air? 

A. Yes; all those pieces of timber were aflame. It was like pieces 
of rag and pieces of timber. 

Q. You saw no solid upshoot of flame? 

A. No; that had passed. There were particles. When I saw it, 
there were still particles arising. 

Q. Please state to the court what sound you first heard which made 
you leave your house and go out. What was the nature of it? 

A. First a rumble. Then the terrific explosion. That rumble startled 
us, and then the explosion was almost instantaneous. That is, no quicker 
had we heard the rumble than the shot came. 

Q. How long a time elapsed from the time you first started until you 
came out and saw these pieces in the air? 

A. That is hard to state. If you are sitting here at the table and 
run right to the door when you hear a concussion, it is perhaps one or 
two seconds. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 

Q. Did you see anything like shooting or falling stars or fireworks? 

A. Yes; apparently. Those pieces afterwards came down. We stood 
and saw them come down. There were different colors amongst them, 
apparently different kinds of timber or different pieces of coal or ash. 
Some fell very slowly. Others came down more rapidly. 

By the Court : 

Q. Were there many small pieces that were on fire? 

A. Seemingly, yes; thousands of them. 

Q. I mean pieces 

A. They were all sizes from what I should judge from where I stood. 
My position was about a mile and three-quarters from here. 

Q. In sight of the ship? 

A. In sight of the ship; yes, sir. 

Q. Did you notice whether there were a great many of these what 
Captain Sigsbee describes as stars, all of one size? 

A. No; I could not say that. I couldn't say there were. They 
appeared to be all of different sizes, going in all directions. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 
Q. Did you see any bursting shell? 

A. That was afterwards; but they all appeared to be aboard. 
Q. There were no bursting shell in the air? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE XL S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 51 

A. No; no bursting shells in the air. I saw nothing that appeared 
to be bursting in the air, any place. 

Q. Did any stuff fall in Reglas, near you 1 ? 

A. No. 

Q. Have you heard of any shell or pieces of shell being picked up 
on shore? 

A. No; I have not. 

By the Court : 

Q. Was your view such that you could tell from which part of the 
ship this explosion took place? 

A. No; not at the moment. We were not in a position — that is, we 
knew that the forward funnel had gone immediately alter the explosion. 
That we could see by the glasses. 

Q. That the forward funnel had gone? 

A. Had gone. In fact, both funnels had gone, but we could see after- 
wards with the light that the forward funnel appeared to be lost — 
thrown overboard — and of course the forward mast also. We could 
see these things from there. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read aloud to him by the stenographer, and by him pronounced to 
be correct; and, after being cautioned by the president not to converse 
about matters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

The witness then added the following testimony: 

The people who would be able to give more exact information, and 
who were at the time looking at it, were aboard the bark Matanzas. 
They are on their way to New York. They were there in that vessel, 
and they could see if there was any water column or anything of that 
description. Of course they were closer by, and would be better judges, 
and could give better ideas than we could from shore. 

The Court. But they, you say, are on their way to New York? 

A. They are on their way to New York. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his additional 
testimony was read over to him by the stenographer, and by him pro- 
nounced correct. The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by 
the president not to converse about the matters pertaining to inquiry. 

Chief Engineer Howell here appeared before the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Mr. Howell, you have read over your testi- 
mony? 
Mr. Howell. I have. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 
Mr. Howell. It is. 

Chief Engineer Howell then resumed the witness chair, and gave 
the following additional testimony: 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. After the explosion, Captain Sigsbee appointed you a member of 
the board to make certain inquiries and get certain information. Is 
there any information which you have obtained which would be useful 
to this court? 

A. No, sir ; I have heard a number of versions of the explosion. I 
do not see how they could be of particular use to the court, unless it 
be with one exception. If you would like to have that man come aboard, 
he was on the City of Washington. 



52 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Do you refer to Mr. Bothschild ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Will you send liira over, if you can % 

A. I will do the best I can. 

Q. Are there any combustibles of any kind stored below decks belong- 
ing to your department! If so, please state what and where. 

A. Cotton waste is the only one I think of at this moment. That is 
stowed in the storeroom abaft of the engine room. 

By the Court : 

Q. Clean cotton waste? 

A. Clean cotton waste, stowed in a storeroom abaft of the engine 
room. s. 

Q. Did you have no driers or anything of that sort belonging to 
your department? 

A. They are kept on deck in proper tanks, with wooden boxes outside 
the tanks. 

By the Judge-Ad vocate : 

Q. What instructions did you have from your commanding officer in 
regard to old cotton waste that had been used? 

A. We have a number of copper tanks in the engine room and fire 
room, about 22 inches high and 15 inches in diameter, with covers on 
them. They are kept there for the purpose of putting old refuse in 
them, and oil waste and anything of that style that has been used. 
Every day they are carried away, thrown in the ash pile and thrown 
overboard. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer, and by him pronounced 
correct. 

After being cautioned by the president not to converse about matters 
pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

Naval Cadet Cluverius appeared before the court. 

The Judge-Ad vocate. Mr. Cluverius, is your testimony as recorded 
correct? 

Mr. Cluverius. It is correct, sir. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Capt. Frederick G. Teasdale appeared before the court as a 
witness, and was sworn by the president of the court : 

Examined by the Judge Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name, residence, and profession. 

A. Capt. Frederick G. Teasdale, Walker Hall, Winston, Darlington, 
County of Durham, England. I am master of the Deva. 

Q. What is the Deva? 

A. It is a bark. 

Q. Where is the bark Deva now? 

A. Lying at the Beglas wharf. 

Q. How far from the place where the Maine was anchored on the 
15th of February ? 

A. Nearly half a mile ; between quarter and half a mile. 

Q. Were you on board the Deva when the Maine exploded? 

A. I was on board, writing my mail, getting ready for the next day. 

Q. Where were you ? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 53 

A. Sitting at the cabin table writing when I beard tbe explosion. I 
thought the ship had been collided with. I ran on deck when I heard 
the explosion. I felt a very severe shock in my head also. I seized my 
head this way [indicating], I thought I was shot, or something. The 
transoms of the doors of the cabin are fitted in the studs on the side, 
and they were knocked out of place with the shock. The first seemed 
to be a shot, and then a second, or probably two seconds, after the first 
report that I heard, I heard a tremendous explosion ; but as soon as I 
heard the first report — it was a very small one — thinking something had 
happened to the ship, I rushed on deck, and was on deck just in time 
to see the whole debris going up in the air. 

Q. Please describe, as graphically as you can, how this appeared to 
you — what you saw. 

A. The stuff ascended, I should say, 150 or 1G0 feet up in the air. It 
seemed to go comparatively straight until it reached its highest point 
of ascent. Then it divided and passed off in kinds of rolls or clouds. 
Then I saw a series of lights fiyiug from it again. Some of them were 
lights — incandescent lights. Sometimes they appeared to be brighter, 
and sometimes they appeared to be dim, as they passed through the 
smoke, I should presume. The color of the smoke, I should say, was 
very dark slate color. There were fifteen to twenty of those lights that 
looked like incandescent lights. The smoke did not seem to be black, 
as you would imagine from an explosion like that. It seemed to be 
more a slate color. 

Q. Was there anything that appeared to you to be shooting stars or 
anything like that? 

A. No; I never saw anything like that; only a series of smaller 
explosions, after the first one, you know. That occurred at stated 
intervals, probably twenty minutes or half an hour each. You would 
hear small reports from the deck, as if they were scattered shells about 
the deck which were going off, but they would not do any harm; some 
going in one direction and some in another. 

Q. When you first saw this thing, was there a large batch of solid 
flame ? 

A. No; I didn't see any flame whatever. There never was any flame 
whatever. 

Q. You are sure you reached the deck in time to see the large explo- 
sion? 

A. I was on deck in time to see everything. I could bring forward 
evidence by bringing my mate or any of my officers. I was the first 
one on deck, and they came up afterwards. The stuff had not reached 
its final ascent when they came up, and I was up two or three seconds 
before they were. The stuff was still ascending when they came up. 

Q. Could you see whether water was thrown up? 

A. No; I was too far away to testify whether there was water or 
not. 

By the Court : 

Q. Could you tell from where you were at what part of the ship this 
explosion took place? 

A. Oh, yes; I could see the ship distinctly from stem to stern. They 
were working a search light from the shore, and they threw the search 
light on the ship, and that is the first time I knew it was the American 
man-of-war had blown up. We were under the impression before that 
that it was one of these large Spanish steamers that had blown up. 
They put the search light on the vessel, and the first thing I saw about 
her was the davit for lifting the steam launch out with. Then I saw the 



54 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

fighting top on the mizzenmast, or the mainmast, as we call it. 1 could 
distinctly see the stem of the vessel, and I could see this patch of debris 
right in the light. I could see that the funnel was lying at an angle of 
about 35 degrees, I should say, on the top of the debris, but it seems to 
have altered its position during the night. I suppose when the stuff 
finally got settled it changed its position somewhat. 

Q. What I refer to particularly was, when you saw this column of 
smoke and debris ascending, could you tell then what part of the ship 
it was coming from 1 ? 

A. No; I could not see anything then. It was too dark then. I 
don't suppose we noticed very particularly for that, because we were 
so much interested in seeing the stuff going up that we couldn't see 
anything of that sort, I suppose. I should say it was somewhere about 
the middle of the vessel from the appearance of other craft about there 
at that time. I passed the ship the afternoon before, about 7 o'clock, 
in a boat. 

Q. How many explosions did you hear 1 ? 

A. I heard two distinct explosions. The first one was a very sharp 
one, and when that explosion took place it was as though some steamer 
had collided, and the shock was something tremendous. 

Q. That is to your own ship? 

A. Yes; I am alluding to our own vessel at the present time. Then 
there was a tremendous explosion after that, but before the second 
explosion took place I rushed out of the cabin on deck, thinking some- 
thing was the matter with our vessel; that she had collided, or some- 
thing. I rushed up on deck to see what was the matter, and I do not 
suppose I was more than a second from the time I heard the first explo- 
sion until I was on deck. The sound was not fully gone from the sec- 
ond explosion when I reached the deck. 

By Captain Sig-sbee : 

Q. Did you see the vessel lift in the water at all ? 

A. No, sir; I can't say that I saw that, but I could distinctly see the 
vessel from the fore end to the after end — the whole of the stem and 
stern and everything. I mentioned something to my officers then. 
There was something on the forecastle head. I think they appeared 
like two men standing there. I was looking at the ship with a long 
telescope. It may have been a gun or something of that sort. I do not 
see how a man could have been standing there, the state the ship was 
in. I could distinctly see the guns on the foredeck, but there was 
nothing surrounding them. It seemed as if the protections of the guns 
had been blown away. The ship was lying with the deck over toward 
me, from the position we were in at that time, and I could see one gun 
distinctly there and another one up here again [indicating]. Then on 
the forward deck I could see two objects. They appeared to me, with 
a glass, in the dark, like two men standing there; but, of course, it 
may have been something else. 

Q. How much of a wave was thrown over in your direction? 

A. There didn't seem to be much of a wave with us, but there was 
a decided movement of the vessel shortly afterwards. My mate re- 
marked to me afterwards — he said: "Do you feel the vessel rolling 
now?" And that was my first mate remarked that to me. 

Q. Was the vessel heading as she is now? 

A. No; we were lying at anchor. 

Q. I mean the Maine f 

A. No ; 1 think the wind was northwest at the time. 

Q. I mean the Maine. Was she heading practically as she is now? 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 55 

A. Yes; practically as she is now; but she seems to have moved lier 
position somewhat from what I saw her the afternoon before. 

Q. I am speaking now of the time of the explosion. 

A. Yes ; she is lying' much in the same position as she was at the time 
of the explosions. She did not seem to have altered her position in 
any way since that night— not the slighest. 

Q. Did you see any dead fish around the bay"? 

A. I never saw any; no, sir. 

Q. Have you ever heard that fish leave this harbor at night and j.o 
outside? 

A. I never heard any remark about that. I have seen a good many 
fish here, but they were very small fish, just spluttering about on the 
top of the water. I have never seen any in the night time, but any 
time when there is any spluttering among the fish it generally occurs 
in the daytime, so far as my observation has gone. The wind coming 
in that direction carried a lot of light material over our vessel that 
night. Quantities of paper and small fragments fell over onr ship, 
and for some time after. I picked up some boiler coating or coating 
from steam pipes the next morning. There also seemed to be felt 
and hair. I also picked up an envelope addressed to Mr. Silley, United 
States ship Maine. The stamp was gone from the envelope. The 
envelope was somewhat charred, and showed as though it had been in 
the midst of an explosion, or something like that, and where the stamp 
came off the place underneath was perfectly clean. I gave it to the 
officer who came aboard our vessel. 

Q. You gave it to Mr. Holman? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. To whom was that addressed? 

A. I think Silley or Seller. The writing was rather bad and hard to 
make out. 

Q. Is that all, Captain? 

A. I think that is all, sir. If you wish to ask me any questions, I 
will be glad to answer them. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced cor- 
rect. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Private Anthony here appeared before the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Private Anthony, I hand you so much of 
the record of the proceedings of this court as contains the testimony 
given by you. Please withdraw, read it over, and then return to the 
eourt and state whether you desire to make any corrections, or whether 
the testimony is correct. 

The witness then withdrew. 

Chaplain John P. Chidwick, TJ. S.Navy, appeared before the court 
as a witness, and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 
Q. Please state your full name, rank, and present duty. 
A. John Patrick Chidwick, chaplain, U.S. Navy. I have no relative 
rank. 

Q. You are attached to the Maine? 
A. Attached to the Maine. 



56 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Where were you on the night of the 15th of February, when the 
Maine was blown up? 

A. In my room, aboard the ship. 

Q. Please state to the court what shocks you felt, what noises you 
heard, and what you saw in regard to the explosion. 

A. I heard a loud report, and everything became dark as soon as I 
heard the report. The lights were out, and there was a crashing sound 
of things falling. I then rushed on deck. I got on the captain's poop 
and saw the captain there giving his orders. After trying to cheer up 
the men who were crying out in the water for help, I was ordered by 
Lieutenant Jungen to go into a boat, which I did. We rowed around 
the ship and picked up one man. Then, at the orders of the captain, 
we pulled off for the City of Washington. 

Q. How many shocks did you feel? 

A. I remember only one. 

Q. Did you notice any list to the ship when that shock was expe- 
rienced ? 

A. It struck me that I did, to the port side. I am not positive about 
that. 

Q. Port down? 

A. Port down ; yes, sir. 

Q. But you are not positive? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. At the time you reached the deck had the large explosion taken 
place and was it over? 

A. Yes; it was over and the forward part was then aflame. 

By the Court : 

Q. From what direction did this first explosion or shock seem to 
proceed ? 

A. The impression on my mind can not very well verify anything I 
would say. It was like a loud report; everything became dark, and 
then the noise of falling things. As I say, I have an indistinct remem- 
brance of the ship falling toward the port. 

Q. Afterwards or at the same time? 

A. Yes, sir; when I was in the room; when I heard the report. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced cor- 
rect. The witness then withdrew. 

Private Anthony here appeared before the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is your testimony as recorded correct? 
Mr. Anthony. Yes, sir. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Ensign Powelson then appeared before the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Mr. Powelson, have you brought the draw- 
ings you were instructed to make? 

Ensign Powelson. I have one. I have not quite finished the other. 

The Judge-Advocate. You can bring that later. 

Ensign Powelson. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. If the court please, Mr. Powelson has brought 
with him one of the drawings he was instructed to make, which I request 
may be appended to the record. 

(Said drawing is hereto appended, marked B.) 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 57 

The Judge- Advocate. Mr. Powelson, I now hand you so much of 
the record of the proceedings of this court on yesterday as contains 
your testimony. Please withdraw, read it over, and tlieu return to the 
court and state whether you desire to make any corrections, or whether 
the testimony as recorded is correct. 

The witness then withdrew. 

The Judge-Advocate. I ask that the court be cleared. 

The court was cleared, all persons except the members of the court 
and the judge- advocate withdrawing. 

The court was opened, and the stenographer and Captain Sigsbee 
entered. 

The Judge- Advocate. Captain Sigsbee, the court was cleared in 
order to permit me to tell the court what steps T had taken to ascertain 
what mining had been done in the harbor of Havana, and the difficulty 
experienced in obtaining any testimony on that subject; also to submit 
to the court certain letters, which can not be used as evidence, but 
which also bear on the same subject, and to receive instructions of the 
court in regard to this matter. 

The court (at 1.2 o'clock noon) took a recess until 1.30 o'clock p. m. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 

Present : All the members, the judge-advocate, the stenographer, and 
Captain Sigsbee. 

Ensign Powelson appeared before the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Mr. Powelson, is the testimony given by you 
as recorded correct? 

Ensign Powelson. I wish to make the following corrections in the 
testimony: 

On page 27 insert the words "top of the" before "conning tower." 

On page 28, in the fifth line, strike out the word "port." In the fifth 
line from the bottom, the sentence should end with "up." Tn the 
fourth line from the bottom add: "From port to starboard," after the 
word "sheared." 

On page 30, third line, change "the" to "a." 

On page 32, first line, change "one" to "the," making it read 
"name of the diver." 

On page 33, sixth line, "better" should read "battered." 

On page 35, the first one in the first line, "turret," should be erased. 
In the seventeenth line "exploded" should be "burst." 

On page. 30, fifth line, "five inches" should be "twenty inches." In 
the twelfth line the words "with one end of" should be erased. 

On page 39, fourth line, change the phrase "at port crane" to "and 
port crane." In the fourteenth line, change "quarter" to " protective." 

The Judge-Advocate. Is your testimony as now changed correct as 
recorded? 

Ensign Powelson. Yes, sir. I have with me now the other sketch 
which I was directed by the court to make. 

The Judge- Advocate. If the court please, I ask permission to 
append the sketch produced by the witness to the record. 

(Said sketch is appended hereto, marked E.) 

Sigmond Rothschild appeared as a witness before the court and was 
sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. Please state your full name, residence, and business. 
A. My full name is Aigmund Rothschild. My residence is in Detroit, 



58 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Mich. My business is packing tobacco on the Island of Cuba, being 
here since 1871. 

Q. Were you in Havana on the 15th day of February when the Maine 
was blown up? 

A. I was. 

Q. Where were you? 

A. On the City of Washington, coming that evening. 

Q. How far was the City of Washington from the Maine at the time 
of the explosion ? 

A. I can not give the exact distance, but I asked Captain Stevens, 
captain of the Washington, what distance he would call it, and he said 
about 300 feet. 

Q. Where were you at the time it happened? 

A. Eight on the stern of the boat, and for the following reasons: 
Let me explain, gentlemen. We were only 17 passengers, and after 
the Washington, which came in about 8.30, had received her place, all 
the other passengers went down to take beer. They invited me and I 
said I wouldn't drink any, and my friend who is upstairs, Mr. Wer- 
theimer, also said he would not drink any. We were sitting then in 
the smoking room. This was about 9.30. I said, "Let us go to the 
stern of the boat and watch the Maine." I made a joke about it. I 
said, "We are under the guns of the United States; we are well pro- 
tected, and we can sit here." The chairs were sitting in the center of 
the open place aft, and we wanted to pull the chairs toward the bench, 
toward the railing. In doing so, I had brought my chair just about in 
this condition [indicating], and had not sat down when I heard a shot, 
the noise of a shot. I looked around and I saw the bow of the Maine 
rise a little, go a little out of the water. It couldn't have been more 
than a few seconds after that noise, that shot, that there came in the 
center of the ship a terrible mass of fire and explosion, and everything 
went over our heads, a black mass. We could not tell what it was. 
It was all black. Then we heard a noise of falling material on the place 
where we had been, right near the smoking room. 

One of the lifeboats which was hanging had a piece go through it and 
make a big hole in it. After we seen that mast go up, the whole boat 
lifted out, I should judge, about 2 feet. As she lifted out, the bow 
went right down. It didn't take a minute after the lifting of the boat 
until the bow went down. We stood spellbound, and cried to the cap- 
tain. The captain gave orders to lower the boats, and two of the boats 
which were partly lowered were found broken through with big holes. 
Some iron pieces had fallen through them. .Naturally, that made a delay, 
and they had to run for the other boats, or else we would have been a 
few minutes sooner in the water. Then the stern stood out like this, 
in this direction [indicating], and there was a cry from the people "Help," 
and "Lord God help us," and " Help ! Help !" The noise of the cry from 
the mass of human voices in the boat did not last but a minute or two. 
When the ship was going down, there was the cry of a mass of people, 
but that was a murmur. That was not so loud as the single voices 
which were in the water. That did not last but a minute, and by that 
time we saw somebody on the deck in the stern of the ship, and it 
took about a few minutes when the boats commenced to bring in the 
officers. We took them to our rooms. A great many of them came 
without anything on but a pair of pants and nothing else. That is 
about the whole story in regard to the shot. 

To prove to you, gentlemen, about that shot which was heard, the 
gentlemen who have gone on to Mexico in the same steamer, they were 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 59 

drinking beer, and they were about as far from the portholes as this 
would be [indicating]. They heard the shot first, and the shot brought 
the gentlemen sitting on this side of the table immediately to the port- 
hole. Then the fire came out of the center. So the shot was heard by 
everyone, as we stated that night in the papers. It was a shot similar 
to a cannon shot. I do not know what it was, because I am used to 
this island, and I know at 8 o'clock they fire a shot. This was about 
9.35 or 9.40, and it was an unusual time for hearing a shot. If it had 
been about 8, I would not have been looking around, because every 
night we hear that here; but being an unusual hour I looked around, 
and I saw the upheaving bow ot the Maine, just a little, not very much ; 
but the next minute the middle section commenced to go up. She com- 
menced to go down, and in less than a minute after the upheaving she 
was down in the water. 

Q. Which side of the Maine was toward you? 

A. We were lying in the same direction ; that is to say, when we sat 
on the stern we looked at the stern of the Maine. Our boat lay pretty 
near in the same direction. I looked out from the stern to my right 
side. 

Q. You mean the Maine was pointing right toward you — the stern of 
you? 

A. No. 

Q. Which side of the Maine was toward your vessel? 

A. The right. 

Q. The starboard side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. You were lying here somewhere [indicating] ? 

A. Yes; just like looking in this direction, on this side [indicating]. 

Q. You were looking toward the port side of the Maine then. Were 
you on the Morro Castle side of the Maine or on the other side of the 
Maine? 

A. We were on the side away from Havana. If this is the bow 
[indicating] this is our boat. I was looking from here to here. 

Q. Then you were looking at the port side of the Maine? 

A. Whatever you call it. I am not a good sailor. I must make that 
confession. I was looking from this stern to this stern [indicating]. 
Here is where our stern was, and I was standing about here [indicat- 
ing]. Here is the place where I stood. That is the smoking room, and 
this is where all that stuff fell down, the iron ; and here, a little nearer 
the engine room, was where the engiueer was sitting when that cement 
fell. Have you seen that? 

Q. We have heard of it. 

A. It is kept by the engineer for me. He says he will bring it back 
from Mexico. It broke a chair and made a large hole through the deck. 
It is a large piece. I think it must weigh about 30 pounds. 

<$. How thick was the cement? 

A. The cement was about 2 inches in thickness. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. When you heard that first explosion, did you feel any vibration on 
board of your own vessel? 
A. No, sir ; none — nothing but hearing it. There was no feeling at all. 
Q. Did you feel any vibration when the Maine blew up? 
A. I did. 



60 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. You are certain there was a distinct interval between the first 
shot and the blowing - up? 

A. Sure, because it was the shot which made me look first in that 
direction. 

Q. Which side of the Maine did the explosion seem to come out of? 

A. This we will call the Maine [indicating]. The explosion came about 
here. Take that as the entire boat. There is where it came [pointing 
at about the middle of the Maine], I am positive, because I saw the 
whole width of it. 

Q. Was it on the side toward you or away from you ? 

A. On our side. The whole mass came over our heads. 

Q. On your side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Will you tell us whether you saw anything going up in the air 
which exploded alter it got there, like rockets? 

A. No, sir; nothing exploded in the air, because we would have seen 
everything. Nothing exploded. It was merely a dropping against our 
boat. It came over our boat and on our boat, but nothing exploded 
after it went in the air. 

Q. At the time of the first report, or at the time of the second 
explosion, did you see any water flying up? 

A. From the boat, nothing, except when the Maine went down. 
Then there was a splurge of water from the lurch of the boat. 

Q. You saw no great upshoot of flame at the second explosion, either? 

A. No; the flame came after, more like a burning fire flame. It was 
an explosion which showed that it was fire, you know, but not that 
flame which we seen afterwards, burning for hours — what we call a 
flame. It was an explosion, and it ended with that and set it on fire 
afterwards. This ship was burning until 2 o'clock in the morning. 

Q. That is, the explosion made no great illumination ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. This upheaval caused by the second explosion was limited, you 
say, to that portion of the ship which you have marked out there? 

A. No; the first shot I heard I saw the upheaval here at the bow — 
not a great deal. W T hen the second explosion came the whole of it 
was raised, only less from the stern, and immediately she went down 
just as fast as she could. 

The Judge-Advocate. The forward half of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. Did that extend clear across the ship? 

A. Naturally, we couldn't tell from the masses and from the fire how 
far it extended on the other side, because we were on one side of it; 
but it looked as if that whole center here was torn out, from the place 
where I looked at it. Whether there was anything untouched here 
[indicating] we couldn't see it from this end. It was impossible, 
because on this end everything came out clean, so that the whole 
surface was taken out. We couldn't tell from our side exactly how 
much it took out. 

Q. In regard to the interval of time between the first explosion and 
the second, did you do anything which would enable you to make a 
measure of that time? 

A. No; and I will tell you why. When that shot, or that noise, was 
heard, it gave me merely time to look around to see where it came from. 
It was night on the water, and I couldn't tell. I just turned my eye 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 61 

around, and by the time I turned my eye around this explosion com- 
menced to come. 

Q. One or two seconds only*? 

A. Not more than few seconds, just as a man could look around. It 
would only take a few seconds. 

Q. A second is a long time under such circumstances. 

A. I know what seconds are since that time, when we were getting 
our boats down to help the people that were drowning. I know what 
seconds are since that time. I never knew it before. The noises of 
these two explosions had no connection, but they were two distinct 
things. That is to say, the noise and the fire did not come together. 
First was the noise, the shot, and when the shot was over, then this 
explosion took place. 

Q. You saw the ship move at each one of these explosions! 

A. At the first shot the bow of the boat just lifted about that much 
[indicating]. At the second one it was more of an upheaval of the 
hull, with the exception of less here at the stern. Then the bow went 
straight down like this in this direction [indicating]. 

Q. The people on board the Maine were quiet before this? 

A. They were all down stairs, with the exception of Mr. Wertheimer 
and myself, only two. 

Q. I mean on board the Maine t 

A. Perfectly quiet. We even made the remark how quiet everything 
looked on board of that vessel. 

Q. You saw no strange boats about her 1 ? 

A. Not from our side, and it was pretty well lit up, if everything could 
have been seen. We were interested because we had just arrived, and 
having read so much in America about the Maine. We were interested 
to inspect the boat, not to look for any strange thing; but we saw noth- 
ing under the boat or near the boat. When we came in, all these harbor 
boats were on the other side of the Maine, up toward this part of the 
city [indicating]. The ferry which runs from here to here [indicating] 
was taking her regular course amidst all the cry. She was right here 
then and she did not come to help. The ferry runs across from here to 
here [indicating]. I went to Captain Stevens and I said: "For God's 
sake, can't you holler to that boat to go nearer"?" Naturally, being in 
midstream, I did not expect she would with a lot of passengers, because 
it looked threatening with that stern part out, as if another explosion 
might happen ; but after she had taken her passengers off she had ample 
time to go to their assistance before we could get there. She was under 
steam and she ran steady. Those boats run steady. 

Q. The Spanish man of- war in the harbor did send boats'? 

A. Oh, yes. By the time our boats were in the water we saw the 
flash light coming toward the Maine and their boats were ahead of the 
light, so they came immediately. They also got a big piece of iron, 
which fell on our boat, which was used for binding the boat together 
on both sides. 

Q. An angle iron"? 

A. An angle iron. That also fell on our deck. 

Q. Did you notice any very large pieces of iron plate that were torn 
off or thrown up? 

A. No, I did not see any large pieces. I saw a big bulk flying. It 
didn't look like heavy pieces. It might have been a human body, 
because everything that came over us looked dark. We saw large 
pieces of timber in front of our vessel which flew against it, but noth- 
ing you could see with your eyes, because it was so glaring on account 



62 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

of this explosion when it went up that you could see nothing until it 
went over, and then you could see it as a mass and not as an article 
which was lit up. You could see it as a dark mass. 

Q. Some of the pieces, you think, went over the Washington"! 

A. I am sure they went over our heads. You see, this stern of the 
Washington is pretty clear. Everything would go over, while here in 
front they would fall against something. We were sitting back of the 
cabins, which was a large sx)ace free from the deck, and everything went 
over us; some of them went not more than about 10 or 12 feet over 
us; the others went very high, but you could not tell what it was, 
except it was a dark matter. There was afterwards many single shots 
going off; that kept on for hours afterwards until about 2.15 in the 
morning, but it was nothing like an explosion. It was single pieces of 
something going oh, that stopped right there. 

Q. Did you notice anything flying aloft when the first shock was 
heard ? 

A. No. 

Q. Nothing flew up in the air? 

A. Nothing flew up in the air. I looked around. I thought the shot 
may have come from something else. If anything flew up I would have 
seen it ; but my eye went not alone to the boat but went all over, to 
see where that shot could have come from. Nothing went up, because 
my eye was directed the moment the shot was heard. 1 saw no com- 
motion, no lurch, like this [indicating]; just a little lift. Then came 
the explosion, which gave the whole mass a lift. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
of the court not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Louis Wertheimer appeared before the court as a witness and 
was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. Will you please give your full name, residence, and what business 
you are in I 

A. Louis Wertheimer; business address, 148 Water street, New 
York; private address, 133 West Ninety-third street, New York City. 

Q. What business are you engaged in 1 ? 

A. Dealer in leaf tobacco. 

Q. Were you in the harbor of Havana on the 15th day of February 
when the Maine exploded ? 

A. I was a passenger on the City of Washington. 

Q. How far was the City of Washington from the Maine at the time? 

A. I should judge between 100 and 125 yards. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion? 

A. At the actual moment of the explosion I was in the stern of the 
Washington, having left about halfway between the smokestack and 
the chief engineer's cabin, where I was standing talking with Mr. 
Rothschild, to take a seat on the chairs which were on the stern of the 
Washington. We left our post because there were no chairs there, and 
when we reached the stern of the boat and had just taken hold of the 
chairs to move them out from the center of the vessel the explosion 
occurred. 

Q. Then the Maine was in full view of you at the time. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 63 

A. We were looking directly at her at the time. 

Q. On which side of the Maine were you looking? 

A. We were on the starboard side of our boat — the stern starboard 
side — and we were looking at the Maine. 

Q. The Maine was abreast of you ? 

A. I should judge she was parallel to us. The same tide must have 
put her in the same position we were in. 

Q. Please tell us what you felt and saw. 

A. We heard a report. 

Q. You? 

A. I heard a report, a minor report, minor in comparison with the 
greater report which immediately followed, and at an interval of any- 
where from five to fifteen seconds following this first minor report came 
a great explosion. We saw an upheaval, and the air was black with 
flying objects which we could not distinguish, but there were sufficient 
of them to blacken the sky. In the same burst of flame which followed 
this immense upheaval I saw, clearly and plainly, the vessel rise in the 
water a distance which apparently was 3 yards, but which in reality 
must have been greater, and then settle down before the light of the 
explosion went out. The whole thing was over so quickly that I could 
not hazard a guess at the time, but suffice it to say that in the burst 
of flame which followed the upheaval of this flying mass 1 saw the ves- 
sel settle in the water. 

Q. Do you say you noticed an upheaval at the first explosion or first 
shock — an upheaval of the vessel? 

A. As closely as I can say, I should say the upheaval followed the 
flying objects — either that or simultaneously. The time was so very, 
very short between them, if there was a difference between the rising 
of the vessel, the upheaval of the vessel and the upheaval of the 
objects flying in the air, that it would be difficult to mark it. 

Q. I am now referring to the first shot you heard. Did you notice 
any movement of the Maine together with that? 

A. No; not at all; and bear in mind that the interval was very, very 
short between the first and the great explosion. 

Q. You probably meant, when you said from five to fifteen seconds, 
less time than that, if you count in your own mind how long five seconds 
would take. 

A. Let me see how long five seconds actually took and I can judge 
better. [Witness examines his watch.] It certainly was less. 

Q. Less than five seconds ? 

A. Yes, sir; it certainly was less. 

Q. Did you feel any shock aboard the Washington at the first explo- 
sion that you heard? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you at the second? 

A. Yes, sir; decidedly — a strong tremor running through the vessel. 

Q. Did you see any shell explode in the air at this second upheaval? 

A. No; nor was I looking upward at the time. My eyes were fixed 
then on what was left? of the Maine — the deck — settling in the water. 
I didn't look in the air at all. I have heard it said here that people in 
the city saw a great burst of colored lights in the sky, as though signal 
rockets were exploding there. I saw nothing of that from the Wash 
inc/ton, because my sight was not fixed in the sky. It was fixed on the 
vessel itself — the hull. 

Q. Had you been looking at the Maine for some little time previous 
to this? 



64 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. Fully ten minutes. 

Q. Did you see any boats around her? 

A. Nothing; but the nigbt was very dark. Between the M; J " 
the cornet — 1 took it to be the cornet — sounded on the Maine 
extinguishing of lights at the explosion there was very little n* 
the bay. It was a very, very dark night, so much so t : at Mr. It 
child, myself, and another passenger were discussing the cc, o. *l 
Maine, whether she were white or gray. 

Q. There were some electric lights showing on board the Main 
though, were there not? 

A. When we entered, yes; as we came up to our buoy there was a 
great deal of light. There seemed to be a good deal of moving about. 
We heard a concertina playing when we moored, which was all pre- 
vious to the cornet sounding. 

By the Court : 

Q. I would like to ask if, on thinking it over, there is in your mind 
any confusion between the upheaval of the ship following the principal 
explosion and the fact that she immediately went down? 

A. Will you repeat that question, please. I didn't quite catch it. 

Q. You say when this explosion took place, either siinultaneously or 
instantly after, you saw the vessel rise in the water? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You should say at least 5 feet? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Of course she immediately stopped and went down entirely under 
the water? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you suppose that if she had simply gone back to the position 
from whicn she started, it would appear in your mind to be as much as 
5 feet that she rose out of the water? 

A. 1 think she raised more than 5 feet. I say it was what appeared 
to me to be 3 yards — 9 feet — but I think in reality it must have 
been more, judging from the size of the vessel. She certainly settled 
deeper when she came down after being heaved up than she had been 
originally. 

Q. Yes; she went entirely under the water then. 

A. Yes; she settled immediately in the water. 

Q. You think it was as much as 9 feet that she was raised? 

A. I should estimate it at that; yes, sir. 

(^. What part of the ship was it that was lifted so much? 

A. The part that was nearest to us, which was the part we were look- 
ing at. It must have been her stern, because her stern was probably 
parallel with our own. 

Q. Whereabouts did this explosion occur with reference to the Maine 1 ? 

A. In what part of the Maine 1 ? 

Q. Yes. 

A. That would be very difficult for me to say, because I am not famil- 
iar enough with the ship. It looked to be rather more forward thau 
the middle of the ship. 

Q. Was it that part of the ship that was lifted out of the water? 

A. No; not the part that I refer to as being lifted out of the water, 
because what I saw lifted out of the water must have been her stern, 
being the nearest to us, while the part that exploded was farther away 
from us. 

Q. Was not this lifting of the stern due to the fact that the bow was 
depressed ? 



„1 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 65 

A. That I wouldn't say. 

Q. Just as if this [indicating] was the bow of the ship, and the explo- 
aak /place here forward of the center, could the raising of the 
:;a>due to the fact that this end went down? 

tUg'ifej sir; it was too quick for that. It was too sudden a lift. It 
thave bten an independent force tbat lifted that hull as I saw it 

tftti. loifc could not possibly be the depression of the forward end rais- 
ing tht hind end, because that would result in a gradual motion, and 
ihis was & decided lifting up. 

Q. Could not that [indicating] have been the portion of the ship 
where the explosion took place? 

A. No; the explosion was forward of the stern which I speak of 
seeing raised from the water. 

Q. That part which was raised was to your right hand as you looked, 
was it, or to your left hand? 

A. To the right. We were lying reversed from this, were we not, 
with the stern to the mouth of the bay? 

Q. The Maine is lying now just as she was on that occasion. You 
were on that side of her, looking this way, and the stern was to your 
right hand. 

A. Yes, sir; the stern was to our right hand. 

Q. It would depend on how you were facing, yourself; but the explo- 
sion was to your left, if you were not looking directly at it? 

A. We were looking directly at her, though. 

Q. Then the explosion was to the left end of the part you saw raised? 

A. I really can not agree with you on that, because I take it that we 
were looking immediately at her. She was in front of us. We were 
facing the vessel directly. Supposing that she was lying parallel to 
us — yes, you would be right, it would be to the left then. I should 
prefer, as a layman, to omit the words "bow" and "stern" because I 
distinctly say that part of the vessel nearest to us. I was standing on 
the stern of the Washington. That I can say positively, but I can not 
say positively which was the stern or bow of the Maine. I simply take 
it for granted that she was lying parallel to us, and that the same tide 
that swung us swung her. 

Q. Suppose this is the Maine [illustrating]. Instead of lying in that 
position, she might have been lying in that position [indicatingf? 

A. We looked to that part of the Maine which was nearest to us, and 
we were on the stern of the Washington. 

Q. If you were looking right opposite you, and she was in that posi- 
tion, then it was the part you were looking at that was raised? 

A. Yes, sir; decidedly and emphatically. 

Q. That is the bow of your ship [indicating]. Did the Maine appear 
in that direction or in that direction [indicating]? 

A. That I didn't notice. 

Q. For instance, as you stood on the deck of the Washington, was 
your head turned somewhat toward the bow of the Washington, or 
were you looking over the stern somewhat? 

A. Somewhat astern ; yes, sir. 

Q. In other words, there would be the Maine and here would be the 
Washington [indicating]. 

A. If this was our ship, my line of vision, more or less, was directed 
in this direction [indicating]. The Maine was to the right of us. That 
part I am reasonably positive of. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
S. Doc. 207 5 



66 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

was read over to him by the stenographer, and by him pronounced 
correct. 

Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright asked permission at this point 
to be present, and permission was granted. 

Gunner Charles Morgan, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness and 
was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and present duty. 

A. Gunner Charles Morgan, serving on board the U. S. S. New York, 
of Key West, Fla. I am on duty here, diving. 

Q. Have you personally done any diving about the wreck of the 
Maine ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How often have you been down? 

A. I was down once. 

Q. How long did you remain down 1 ? 

A. An hour and twenty -five minutes. 

Q. Will you describe to the court, from your own knowledge, what 
you yourself saw and felt, the condition of the wreck of the Maine, and 
anything you may have discovered down there of importance. 

A. On being dressed and going down the ladder and lowered down 
to the bottom, I was landed among a lot of tanks, some being 6-inch 
and some being 10-inch powder tanks, all being empty and broken up. 
I also found what I supposed to be the ceiling and the linings of the 
magazine woodwork. Then walking around a little way from the tanks, 
1 tell off. I landed down in soft mud. I tried to pick my way back 
again and I came across what I supposed to be the bulkhead. Placing 
my hands upon it, I found it went in, and overhauling it a little more, 
coming up higher on it all the time until I got to the top, I found 
myself back among the tanks again. Then moving away from there a 
little way, I found that I got among a lot of wires, which I supposed 
to be in the dynamo room, and also among some accumulators; and 
everything in the line of bulkheads and frames had a tendency of show- 
ing from port to starboard. After overhauling these frames, I started 
to walk away from that direction, going along a little way to the left, 
as I supposed it to be, and there I came across a lot of frames, as they 
seemed to be. They were turned up and over. A little way from there 
I got among the paymaster's stores, canned wet provisions. In turning 
around again, I began going back toward the same amount of powder 
tanks — the empty tanks. Being satisfied I was around the 10 and 
6 inch tanks, I had the signal to be called up. 

Q. You say the tanks were empty and broken. Broken in what way? 

A. Some were just split and others had their heads off, and others 
were just simply pressed down; some had the impression of the pow- 
der showing on them. 

Q. Did many tanks appear to have been burst open by the charge 
inside of them having been exploded? 

A. Not so many as those which appeared to be just split open. 

Q. Would the brown powder, exposed to constant weather, like the 
powder aboard the Maine has been exposed in an open tank, be likely 
to melt out? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Dissolved? 

A. Yes, sir. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 67 

Q. And some of these tanks might have been full at the time of the 
sinking, and the powder has since been dissolved and leaked out? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Will you explain what you mean by saying the frames went from 
port to starboard ? 

A. I would say that the edges of what I supposed to be frames that 
held the bulkheads and things of that kind had a tendency of being 
turned over from port, facing down to starboard, from left to right. 
They had a curve. 

Q. Are you fairly well acquainted with the construction of the Maine f 

A. Not very well. I have been on board of her two or three times. 

Q. You have looked at the plans since you commenced diving 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where do you think you were when you struck all these tanks? 

A. I thought I was forward of the boilers and in around the hydraulic 
pumps. I ought to have been. 

Q. Did you ever explore what you consider to be the outside of the 
ship? 

A. I was down in the soft mud there, but I suppose I was on the 
outside. 

Q. What is the condition of the port side of the ship? 

A. The place I was at was all gone. 

Q. Perfectly open to port? 

A. Perfectly open, except little ragged edges from the pieces there 
on the bottom ? 

Q. Did you touch the starboard side of the ship at all; did you reach 
that? 

A. Just on the starboard side, over the 10-inch magazine. That 
was all. 

Q. Did you touch the starboard side? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. It has been stated in this court by another witness that you fell 
into a hole. What about that? 

A. There is a space there where it is deeper than any other place. 
That is where the soft mud is. 

Q. You could find no bottom to that hole at all? 

A. Yes; there is bottom there. 

Q. How far did you get in? 

A. About half waist. Near the armpits. 

Q. What was the nature of the hole? Did you find the boundaries 
oftheholeatall? 

A. No ; it is an open space, very soft, slushy mud. 

Q. But you did not touch the edges of this hole? 

A. It is simply an incline, but nothing to make a round hole. 

Q. You do not know how big the hole was then? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You do not know how the metal was bent at the hole? 

A. There was no metal at the hole. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 

Q. Do you know whether you reached the outside shell of the ship 
anywhere? 
A. I couldn't say, sir. 

By the Court : 
Q. You spoke of being among the 6 and 10 inch powder tanks when 



68 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

you first went down. How many powder tanks do you estimate you 
found? 

A. I would say there were at least from 20 to 25 there, sir. 

Q. If the powder had dissolved and leaked out of the tanks, would 
not the powder bag have been left intact in the tank? 

A. It would depend if they were cut and jammed in the tank. We 
found pieces and brought them up to the surface. If they were not cut, 
they would be found in the tank. 

Q. Where would they go? 

A. Down there among the wreckage. 

Q. Do you think powder would dissolve sufficiently to entirely leak 
out through the cartridge bag? 

A. If it was broken and crushed — yes, sir. 

Q. But if the cartridge bag were not broken? 

A. It would stay in the tank, just the same as the 10-inch, if it was 
not broken, but it would dissolve. 

Q. Did you find any powder cases that were full and closed tight? 

A. At the time I was down? 

Q. Yes. 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You said in answer to a question as to where you were when you 
found these powder tanks, that you thought you were in the hydraulic 
room? 

A. Because the accumulators were there, and also the position of the 
accumulators, and the magazine would make it around that room, near 
the 10-inch magazine. 

Q. But the hydraulic room is over the magazine? 

A. Yes, sir; but the lining of the top floor and the magazine all 
being broken open, just as though it had been crushed up to the wood- 
work and sticking out, the woodwork being tongued and grooved, and 
the woodwork leaving an open space there, showed the accumulators 
lying around. 

Q. I am referring to the powder tanks. I asked you where you were 
when you found these tanks. You said you were in the hydraulic pump 
room. Is it possible that during all the time you were down you had. 
not been as low as the magazine? 

A. I am quite sure I was as low as the magazine, because no wood 
of that kind would be down there below that deck. 

Q. Were you ever in her magazines when she was in order, before 
this occurrence? 

A. No, sir; I never was in her magazines. I took special notice of 
it when I struck it, knowing that that was something strange to be 
down there. I put my hands over it and noticed it particularly, and 
found it was an inch thick. Then I put my hand right along aud 
noticed it was a part of the flooring. Then when I came across these 
other things together it led me to understand 1 was at the magazine. 

Q. How could these powder tanks have been in the hydraulic room? 

A. There probably being no solid deck there, probably they got down 
in below there. The accumulators were right around in that surface, 
and they were secured to that after bulkhead above the magazine. 

Q. But they were not in the hydraulic room? 

A. No, sir; they were all around the magazine at that time. 

Q. They just dropped down into the magazine. Is that it? 

A. Yes, sir; they just dropped down in there. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 
Q. Do you find any 10 or 6 inch shell below ? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE IT. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 69 

A. There were four 6 inch shell lying- there. The man wanted to 
hook them up, and I told him not to, because we didn't have men to 
haul them up. He also put a 10-inch sbell on. 

Q. Was this your own experience when you went down under the 
water? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You did not find any shell yourself, individually? 

A. No, sir. 

There being* no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read aloud to him, and by him pronounced to be correct, and hav- 
ing been cautioned by the president not to discuss matters pertaining 
to the trial, he withdrew. 

Chief Gunner's Mate Andrew Olsen, U. S. Navy, appeared as a 
witness and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. What is your name, rate, and to what ship are you attached? 

A. My name is Andrew Olsen, chief gunner's mate, U. S. S. Iowa. 

Q. Have you been sent over here for the purpose of doing diving 
duty on the wreck of the Maine? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How many times have you been down? 

A. I have been down four times. 

Q. About how many hours in all? 

A. About eight or nine hours, I guess — around there. I couldn't 
say exactly how many. 

Q. State to the court your own experience while under water, as far 
as the condition of the Maine is concerned, and any discoveries of any 
importance that you may have made while under water yourself. 

A. The first time I went down, I went right down over the forward 
part where she was blown up, seemingly over some fire rooms. I found 
the wreck all blowed up. I found a lot of grate bars down there. The 
second time I went down, I went down farther forward. I struck a lot 
of 10-inch shells. Forward of the 10-inch shell, the plates were bent 
right inboard over them. 

By the Court : 

Q. Forward of the shell? 

A. Yes, sir; forward and outside of the 10-inch shells. Some of the 
shells are laid with the point of the shell pointing up. Some are armor- 
piercing shell and some are common shell. The points of some are 
standing up and some are lying down. Eight forward and to the left 
of them, and seemingly on the left side of the shells, there are plates bent 
inboard over the shells. 

Q. You imagine yourself looking forward? 

A. Yes, sir. Going over them plates, I struck into a lot of 6-inch 
shells with their slings on them. Then going to the right from there 
over in that direction [indicating], I found a lot of wreckage over that 
way. It seemed blown over to starboard. I put my hand in some of 
the cracks and pulled out some 6-pounder shells. I pulled out one com- 
plete 6-pounder cartridge, shell, and all, and one shell that was all 
blown up — all of them 6-pounder cartridges. 

The next time I went down I went right down outside the ship, right 
forward of the crane on the port side. I followed the bottom along. 
The ship's side was blown outward, and right alongside the crane you 
can walk on it. Following the ship's side from there forward, the ship's 



70 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHrP MAINE. 

side seemingly goes into shape again. You come to the part where she 
is blown up completely. Then part of her bottom plates are turned up. 
Then you follow the bottom from there up and the plates are blown 
outward. At the top and underneath the bottom they are blown in- 
board like that [indicating] — bent in. About 3 feet forward of that 
there is a piece of iron laid along, seemingly the bulkhead. The skin 
of the inside of the double bottoms is curled over like a sheet of paper 
inboard, from stem to stern. Eight in amidships on the same place 
there is an armor plate, one plate complete, the top of the plate stand- 
ing up. 

The plate is inclined over to starboard. It is laid over to starboard 
completely. It stands up with the thick part of the plate down. It is 
inclined forward, like that [indicating], and over to starboard — one 
whole, complete plate. The thickness of the plate on top is 7 inches 
exactly. I measured it. On the forward part of that plate is wooden 
backing, and forward of that wooden backing there is a thin sheet of 
steel, and the bolts holding the armor plate into the backing are there, 
two of them. 1 felt them. I could feel the hexagonal ends, with 
washers. Whether they are rubber or leather washers I couldn't say. 
I couldn't see them. I could feel tliem underneath those ends; and 
that place extends over to starboard about the midship line of the 
ship. Inside the 10-inch shell room, seemingly, where all those shells 
are, I found a lot of empty tanks. Some of them were small pieces — 
three or four small pieces there which I couldn't get hold of. Most of 
the tanks are cracked right in the seam, and there are some 10-inch 
leaves or parts of tanks in there in amongst the shells. Right over this 
place that is bent in by the 10-inch shell room there seemed to be the 
frame of the ship, standing up and bent inboard on the port side. 

On the edge of this armor plate, on this thin sheet of steel that is in- 
side of the backing, you can see the rivet holes, and seemingly some 
kind of an angle iron inside this steel. You can feel the rivet holes on 
the edge of it. If you follow this armor plate you do not strike any- 
thing at all. Everything is completely blown away. There is nothing 
but the bare bottom, mud. If there is anything in the mud I can not 
find it, because it is so deep down ; but I have been trying to dig down 
as far as I could. I have been down about five feet in the mud, digging 
and scraping. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Whereabouts on this plan would you put that armor plate? Here 
is the shell room, you see. There is the 6-inch spare magazine and here 
is the 10-inch powder magazine. 

A. This plate would be around here [indicating], 

Q. At the after end of that shell room ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. To the port of the midship line? 

A. Yes, sir; port of the midship line. May be it might be a little 
over on the midship line; but if it is, it is not much. 

Q. Near frame 30? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where did you find the skin of the double bottom turned up 
and in? 

A. A little abaft here, seemingly. 

Q. A little abaft of frame 30? 

A. Yes, sir ; a little abaft this armor plate — a few feet abaft it. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 71 

Q. How far out from the middle Hue of the ship would you estimate 
it to be — halfway, or two-thirds of the way to the side? 

A. I should judge it was about here [indicating]. 

Q. About two-thirds of the way from the middle line of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. At frame 30? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where did you find the bottom entirely blown away? 

A. Right about here [indicating]. 

Q. Between frames 24 and 28? 

A. Yes, sir. This armor plate, I should judge, would be about here 
[indicating]. The bottom seems to be gone there. 

Q. How about these shell? Are those shell there still? 

A. Yes, sir; there are some shells right in the after end of it, I judge, 
right here [indicating]. 

Q. There are no shell in the forward end? 

A. No, sir; not there, but right over here, seemingly. At those 
shells the plates are bent in over them. 

Q. That is on the port side of the shell room the plates are bent in 
over the shell? 

A. Over the shells; yes, sir, and right over here [indicating], that 
is where I found some tanks broken up. About here, I should judge 
about the end of the ship's bottom, that is the part that is blown out. 
You can walk in on it. 

By the Court : 
Q. In speaking of being able to walk on the top of the plate- 



A. The plate seemed to be flat, like that [indicating], and I could 
walk on it. 

Q. Was there nothing above that? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. How deep was that under water? 

A. 1 judge between 4 and 5 fathoms — about 5 fathoms, I think. 

Q. Pretty well down toward the bottom ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. That would be from frame 36 to frame 41? 

A. I walked on them, and then they began to take their proper shape 
again. As you feel the bottom up, you can feel the shape of it. I 
crawled over in the mud, and that is where 1 found the plate bent up — 
the bottom plate, the bottom of the ship, bent up. As I walked in a 
place higher up I found them bent out. 

Q. But under the bottom, about in the vicinity of the 6-inch spare 
magazine, they were bent up? 

A. This place must be abaft here [indicating]. 

Q. That is between frames 30 and 32? 

A. About here there is a space that is nothing. 

Q. What I am trying to get at is where you found the bottom of the 
ship bent in? 

A. That is where I found it, right about here [indicating]. 

Q. Between frames 30 and 32? 

A. Yes, sir; right abaft where this armor plate is. 

Q. How far out from the middle line of the ship? 

A. I couldn't say exactly how far from the middle line of the ship on 
account of I could not get underneath the mud far enough to tell the 
middle line on that part. 

Q. Was it a hole blown into the ship, apparently ? 



72 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. In most places the plate is cracked off, spread in ragged edges, 
and in three or four places the plates are bent in like a curve. Then 
as far as you go up the ship's bottom from there up, she is bent out 
that way [indicating]. 

Q. I will draw a little sketch here to indicate what I mean. That is 
the ship's side [indicating]. Do you mean that is bent in so here and 
out so here? 

A. This plate I am talking about on the bottom is complete, like that 
[indicating]. There are no holes through the bottom at all. It is just 
the edge where, seemingly, it has been blown apart, and here the plates 
are bent in, curved in a little, and up here they are bent out on that 
side like that [indicating]. They seemed to be about that curve. That 
is about the curve of the bottom itself, right there. 

Q. Is there not a hole blown through 1 ? 

A. No, sir; it is no hole. It is a ragged edge which is bent out. 
From here aft the bottom is whole [indicating]. 

Q. What do you mean by bent in 1 Is it simply a depression or a 
hole? 

A. It is no hole. It is a co ve. The plate is warped like, like some 
external force drove it in like that [indicating]. 

Q. You did not find a hole? 

A. No, sir; no hole, not in that part. From here aft the bottom is 
complete as far as you can see for the mud. Where I struck those 10- 
inch shells there are plates bent in like that right over them. You go 
down like in a little hole and find plates over you like that [indicating]. 
You can stand right underneath that plate. It is bent from the out- 
board in, over the starboard, and the shells are down below. I tried to 
dig down underneath the shells; but it there was anything underneath 
in the bottom I could not find it. I couldn't get below them. If you 
go away over to starboard like that [indicating], you strike mud again. 
There is nothing there. Then you go over where this plate is. You can 
climb over that until it is bent over like that [indicating], and you go down 
into some 6-inch shell. That is seemingly outside of this outboard 
plate, which is bent over like that. Going from that place over there 
[indicating], there are some pieces of wreckage. Then there is a lot of 
wreckage blown over to starboard. Then underneath of that I put my 
hands way underneath. I couldn't get my body in there. I pulled out 
two 6-pound cartridges. 

Q. What was the condition of the tanks? 

A. The majority of the tanks — I found a few pieces blown up entirely — 
that is, small pieces left of the tanks; but the majority of the tanks I 
seen down there were split in the center — that is, the seam of the tank 
was split, just melted away like. 

Q. Can you imagine a 10-iiick charge bursting inside of a tank? 
Would they look like that? 

A. If a 10-inch charge burst inside of a tank, there would be nothing 
left of the tank. It would be blown into small pieces. 

Q. Did you bring up any tanks? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What did you bring up? 

A. Six inch and 10 inch tanks. 

Q. Describe fully the condition of those tanks. 

A. The 6 inch tanks I brought up were corrugated, the outside of 
the tanks, and the seam was split. The tank, seemingly, was not 
hurt, merely the seam being split, and the whole tank was corrugated. 

Q. Crushed in? 

A. No; corrugated, in waves like; the whole tank itself on the outside. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 73 

Q. Was it empty ? 

A . It was empty ; yes, sir 

Q. Were both cylinder Leads on? 

A. No, sir; the top was out of one of them. In fact, 1 didn't fetch 
up the whole tank. One of the tanks I fetched up the lid was on it 
and the bottom was out of it. It was corrugated and split up. Then 
I fetched up a 10-inch tank that Avas merely the sheeting of it. The 
lid was gone and the bottom was gone, and the tank was all bent in as 
though it struck some place and was doubled out of shape. In the fire- 
room, or where the fire-room had been, where I found those grate bars, 
I found a couple of tanks. 

Q. Were they full or empty ? 

A. Empty. 

Q. Apparently blown to pieces by a charge inside? 

A. No, sir; not blown to pieces. They were ripped, the same as the 
rest of them, in the seam. 

Q. You have given considerable testimony according to your best 
knowledge and belief, as you have sworn. Do you think that all you 
have stated is quite correct, or do you imagine considerable of this? 
You know you are not supposed to be as good a judge under water as 
you are above water. Above water I would not question your testi- 
mony at all ; but do you feel positive of what you have stated here, and 
are you satisfied that it is perfectly correct? 

A. Yes, sir. I am perfectly sure it is all correct, the way I found the 
deck. 

Q. Are you a good diver? 

A. I have had a couple of years' experience of it, sir. 

Q. Do you feel comfortable under the water? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you know what you are feeling when you feel anything? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you have your gloves on? 

A. No, sir; bare hands. 

Q. You do not feel ill under water? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You fully believe that what you have testified to is quite correct? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you able to see at all? 

A. Yes, sir; I could see, and when I was not quite sure of what I did 
see I used to wait until the mud cleared away, so I could see perfectly 
clear. 

Q. Were you using any electric lights in diving? 

A. Yes, sir; but the electric light was not much use to me. It 
merely showed a red glare, and I came to the conclusion that I was 
better without the light. 

By the Court : 
Q. You could make out forms better? 
A. Yes, sir;. better without a light. 

By Lieutenant- Commander Wainwright: 

Q. In describing where you saw the plate blown in from the outside, 
was there any part of the outside of the ship above that plate? You 
say it did not make a hole. I want to know whether that was the upper 
plate, or whether there were other plates above it? 

A. On the outside of this armor plate were a couple of frames of the 
ship sticking up, bent inboard on the outside of the plate. 

Q. The armor plate I am speaking of now? 



74 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. On the outboard port side of the armor plate. 

Q. What I particularly wanted to know was this. Captain Chad wick 
asked you whether it was a hole or whether it was bent in, and you said 
it was no hole. 

A. No hole. 

Q. Was there anything above it; was it a plate bent in, or was it 
just an indentation in the plate? 

A. It was a plate bent in. 

Q. Were there any plates above that"? 

A. Yes, sir; I could feel above it something that felt like a coal 
bunker, above it and abaft. Where this place was bent in 1 found a 
lot of cement. 

Q. We will say this was the plate bent in [indicating]. 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Was that plate attached to any other plate, or was it the last 
plate you could get hold of? 

A. It was not attached to anything. 

Q. It was bent in? 

A. Yes, sir; and above it there seemed to be some cement inside. I 
could reach away in, and then from there up was something like a coal 
bunker. I couldn't say whether it was a coal bunker or what it was. 

Q. Did you make any effort to reach the region of the 6-inch maga- 
zine forward? 

A. Yes, sir ; but I couldn't get there on account of mud. To get 
tbere I will have to go on the starboard side where this 6-inch maga- 
zine was originally. Down among that wreckage is where I want to 
go down. Abaft that wreckage, sticking up out of the water, there is 
nothing but mud right beneath that. 

Q. You find wreckage above where you think the 6-inch magazine 
was? 

A. Yes, sir ; it must be right where that big pile of wreckage is, 
over there. 

By the Court : 

Q. Speaking of this plate that is doubled back over the 10-inch maga- 
zine, is that, do you think, a bulkhead, or is it the outside of the ship? 

A. Over the 10-inch magazine? 

Q. Yes, or the 6-inch. Which was it you referred to? 

A. The 10 inch shell room. If it had been outside of the ship, I 
should have judged there must be green paint on it, but I couldn't find 
any green paint on that part of the plate. It seems to be a plate in- 
side of the double bottom. 

Q. It might be a vertical bulkhead, might it not? 

A. It might have been a bulkhead or an inside part of a double 
bottom. It turned inward over to starboard. 

Q. To have a clear understanding of where that plate was bent in, 
was it separated from any plate above, or was the ship's side continuous? 

A. Where this plate in the 10 inch shell room was bent in? 

Q. This plate you speak of. You walked forward on. what had been 
the ship's side, bent outward? Then you came to a place where the 
ship's side was bent in ? 

A. That is on the bottom. To get into where these 10-inch shells 
are, I get clear of that entirely. That is above me, and I get into those 
10-inch shells, and there seems to be a plate. Outside of this plate is 
mud, nothing but the bottom, and right over here is this plate bent in, 
like that. By that I mean that the ship seems to be broken off for- 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 75 

ward, and a little way from the midship line the plating is bent in. 
Higher up, in the same section, it is bent out — that is, on the cross- 
section of the ship. The last plate I refer to is the one that is thrown 
over to starboard, over the shell, but not the bottom plate. 

Q. That is, it is bent in parallel to the keel of the ship? 

A. It is bent in, not exactly parallel with the ship. It is more on an 
angle over to starboard. Take this as the line of the ship, it is thrown 
over like that — thrown over to starboard. 

Q. Here is the keel of the ship [illustrating with a piece of paper]; 
here is the magazine. Is that bent in over it like that? [Placing the 
piece of paper parallel to the keel of the ship on the magazine plan.] 

A No, sir; there is a piece sticking down at the bottom and bent in, 
and it comes up to a point like that [indicating]. That is the way it is 
bent in. There was a vertical fore and aft plate, the lower part stuck 
in the mud, and the top part bent over to starboard on top of the shell 
in the 10-inch shell room. 

Q. You say outside ol that is nothing but the mud bottom? 

A. Nothing but mud ; and between this plate here and this part that 
is blown away, where the bottom stops, there is no more bottom there. 
There is a plate. It seems to lay over a part of the plate. It lays over 
where this plate is bent in, and it is rolled up from port to starboard. 

Q. Is that a part of the ship's skin? 

A. I can't tell what part of the ship that is, sir; it is very thin plate, 
whatever it is. 

Q. Do you think the ship is cut right in two there? 

A. It is cut in two from out here to pretty near the midship line, but 
I couldu't get underneath it. I found that part is down in the mud, 
but from here in here it is blown right in two. That is about the bend 
of it, like that, and here it is blown out, like that, and here it is 
bent in. 

(Witness points to the region of the afterpart of the 6-inch reserve 
magazine.) 

By the Court : 

Q. Do you know how many salient angles there are in a 6 and a 10 
inch charge as made up? You know, when you build up a 10-inch 
charge, it is made of a number of grains. How many salient angles 
are there; how many edges when it is piled up there? 

A. I don't know how many in a 10-inch charge. Every part of the 
powder comes out and forms an angle in itself. I don't know just how 
many grains of powder there are on the outside of it. I don't know 
exactly the amount. 

The President. The question that occurred to me was whether these 
corrugations on the outside of the powder tank are produced by a 
pressure on the outside, which makes the circular section of the tank 
press in to take the hexagonal form of the powder charge itself, or 
whether it is due, in the first place, to the first ignition of the powder, 
acting outward and making the tank take the hexagonal form of the 
powder charge. It does not look very probable that it is due to a pres- 
sure from the inside, but that it is due to a pressure from the outside, in 
which the hexagonal pile of powder forms the base on which the pres- 
sure forces the tanns to take the same shape. 

The judge advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to with- 



76 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

draw for tbe consideration of the same, upon the completion of which 
lie will be again called before the court, and be given an opportunity to 
amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. 

The request was granted, and the witness was instructed accord- 
ingly; whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

The court then (at 4.15 o'clock p. m.) adjourned until to-morrow, the 
25th instant, at 10 o'clock a. m. 



FIFTH DAY. 



U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, Cuba — 10 a. m., Friday, February 25, 1898. 
The court met pursuant to adjournment of yesterday, the fourth day 
of the inquiry. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, the stenog- 
rapher, and Captain Sigsbee. 
The record of the proceedings of yesterday was read and approved. 

Gunner's Mate Thomas Smith, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. My name is Thomas Smith; gunner's mate, second class, serving 
on board the U. S. S. Iowa, lying at Key West, Fla. 

Q. You have been engaged in diving here recently? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How many times have you been down? 

A. I have been down altogether four times. 

Q. In the wreck of the Maine f 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. About how long a time in all? 

A. Eight hours. 

Q. Are you a good diver? 

A. Yes, sir; I am a fair one. I have been down lots of times. 

Q. Do you get sick under water? 

A. No, sir; I do not. 

Q. Do you feel perfectly well? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Strong? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Can you see well? 

A. I can see well, when the water is anyway clear, but this water is not 
clear. We can't see any more than about a foot or eighteen inches out 
from you. 

Q. I want you to give certain testimony, and in giving it I want you 
to be sure that what you testify to is perfectly correct, and not make 
any guess. You will please state to the court exactly what you found 
under water as far as the construction of the Maine is concerned, and 
any other important discoveries, or any discoveries that you may have 
made. 

A. First, when I was lowered over the side I landed into a 10-inch 
shell room — the flooring of it. I knew it was the 10-inch shell room, as 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 77 

the 10-inch shells were lying there in good order. Some of them were 
lying with their noses up, others down. There was also pieces of the 
wood used as linings in the magazines lying around them. In this 
10-inch shell room the fore-and-aft bulkhead is blown from port to star- 
board, over toward the 10 inch magazine. I crawled up and over this 
and down behind it. I found a 10 inch powder tank. It was sort of 
bent, but it was not burst. I didn't see it after it came up. It was 
full of powder, and the bag and everything was in it, I guess. That 
was lying in the mud, well underneath this sheet of a bulkhead that 
was thrown over. Then I came up out of the water and I went down 
again in the afternoon. I came down from the port crane. I followed 
the ship right down until I struck plates that were blown from port to 
starboard, inboard. I followed that right down uutil I struck the 
6-inch shells. The shells there had their slings on them — what is used 
for sending them up out of the shell room. They were lying with the 
noses of them pointing up and to starboard. The forward part of the 
G-inch reserve magazine, it seems to me, was gone altogether — com- 
pletely blown away. The ragged edges of the shell-room steel are 
turned up. 

By the Court : 

Q. The ragged edges whereabouts in the shell room? Do you mean 
in the bottom of the shell room? 

A. Eight at the bottom of it; yes, sir. As you leave that you walk 
right over into the mud. There is nothing left there at all. 

Q. Going still forward? 

A. Still farther forward. I came back on the wreckage, and walked 
over to my right, and I came across a lot of 6 pounder shells, and also 
the 6-pounder cases. Some of the cases were not broken away from 
the shells. They were sent up on the deck of the lighter that we were 
using. 

Q. In your description, include the number of these things. 

A. I sent up two shells and one cartridge case. I also found lying 
around there lots of accumulators, used for accumulating the air for 
the torpedoes. 

Q. You can read these plans, can you not? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. There is the 10-inch magazine [indicating on plan] ? 

A. I have something else I want to say before that. Lying right 
across this 10-inch shell room there is an armor plate. The end of it 
that is sticking up is thinner than the part that is down in the mud. 
The reason I take this for an armor plate is that the plate has been 
torn right from the ship's side aud turned completely over, so that the 
thin sheet of steel where the bolts pass through to bolt the oak back- 
ing and the armor plate of the ship's side is right over, pointing to 
port. The thick part of this plate is down in the mud, and the thin 
part of it is sticking up. 

Q. Just where is that plate? 

A. Eight across this part of the 10-inch shell room [pointing to the 
middle of the 10-inch shell room], pointing from port to starboard. 

Q. It runs from aft forward? 

A. Just in that angle, like that, across it [indicating]. I felt the 
bolts that go through this oak backing and the thin sheet that screws 
into the armor plate. I felt those. Then around here [indicating] 
there were lots of those 6-inch powder tanks. In most of them the 
seams are split. They are lying all over in the 10-inch shell room and 
the magazine — all around it. 



78 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Have they all been sent np ? 

A. No, sir; they have not. There was a number of them sent up, 
though, and the excelsior — long- strips of stuff, which was put in the bot- 
tom to help fill the tanks, is iu them yet. There is a number of these 
tanks down there, that are in pieces as big as your hand, all torn to 
pieces. This 6-inch forward magazine, I don't think we have been in it. 
It is away forward. This one here we have been all through and all 
around, and that one [indicating]. 

By the Judge- Advcate : 

Q. Describe what you found the other times you went down? 

A. The third time I was lowered down I was landed right about in 
the same place as the first, and I took the same direction toward the 
10-inch magazine, to the starboard side of the ship. I can not make 
much headway there because the plates and everything seemed to be 
blown right down that way. I had to climb up and get in under them 
That is where the 10-inch powder tank came out of. I traveled well 
forward there as far as I could where this fixed ammunition was, and 
I found any number of them still there. There are 6-pounder shellls 
and cartridge cases. Yesterday when I went down — this was the 
fourth time — I went down where this crane was. I followed the skin 
of the ship right under. The skin of the ship looks in good condition 
right there until you walk out to where this G-iuch shell room starts. 
The plates are bent that way, from out inboard. They are all ragged 
edges. You can get in there. You can crawl up and go into a place 
and find the double bottom. I can feel the pieces of cement and things 
where you crawl over these ragged plates. That is about all I can 
explain now, I think. 

Q. The first time you went down you struck a 10-inch tank, and you 
described it. Did you find any more 10-inch tanks at that time? 

A. I found lots of 10-inch tanks; yes, sir. 

Q. None of them had been blown open by a charge exploded inside 
of them, according to your opinion? 

A. The seams in the majority of them are just split fore and aft. It 
seems as if the solder had been melted away from it, and it burst right 
in and flatted out. In that one part I was in you would find the lids 
of them. 

Q. You say you never reached, according to your opinion, the forward 
6-inch magazine and shell room? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Suppose I were to tell you there are no 6-inch shell in that 
reserve magazine. How would you account for the 6-inch shell you 
found there? 

A. They had been blown there from the forward one. 

Q. Blown aft? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You also said there were certain plates blown inboard. Show on 
the plan and describe fully where those plates are that you say were 
blown inboard. 

A. Do you want me to take the bottom ones? 

Q. Yes ; the ones you said were blown inboard. I do not mean the 
bulkhead that was blown across the 10-inch shell room that you crawled 
over to get at the magazine. I mean the plates that you said were 
blown inboard. Describe exactly where they were. 

A. They are about in the middle of the 6 inch reserve magazine and 
the 10-inch shell room, from about frame 26 forward. This plate rnns 
right across. Those other plates are blown up. They are coiled right 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 79 

up in that shape [indicating], from out inward. One of them particu- 
larly that I noticed is coiled right over, just the same as if you took a 
piece of paper like that [indicating]. 

Q. Do you think that was the bulkhead or the inboard lining of the 
double bottom? 

A. No, sir; I do not. 

Q. What do you think it is? 

A. It is the ship's bottom. 

Q. The outside skin of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You place that about the middle of the C-inch shell room? 

A. The middle of the 6-inch shell room. 

Q. The reserve shell room ? 

A. Yes, sir ; and from there it comes in a circle, like that [indicating], 
and there is nothing of the outside of the ship there at all. 1 do not 
know what is forward here, because I have not been there. There is 
nothing of the ship's skin thei e at all [indicating]. 

Q. Nothing forward of the reserve shell room ? 

A. No, sir ; as far as I went. About half of that reserve magazine 
is there, but it is blown that way [indicating to starboard]. There is 
just the position the shells are sticking [indicating]. They are stand- 
ing right on their bases, the points sticking up and pointing toward 
starboard. I counted six of them standing right close together. 
About three out of that six had the slings on them, the hemp slings 
used for sending them out of the magazine. In that part of it, there is 
nothing of the ship's bottom at all [pointing to the forward part of the 
6-inch reserve magazine and the 10-inch shell room on the plan]. 

Q. Give a little more full description of the side and skin of the ship 
abaft that reserve magazine. 

The Court. May I suggest one thing? He mentioned that [indicat- 
ing] as the crane. The crane stands about there [pointing to the middle 
of the side]. 

A. I started down from the crane. 

Q. When you walked forward to the magazine, the skin of the ship 
was in good condition, you say? 

A. In good condition as you go down, in that shape [indicating], 

Q. And the first sudden break is abreast of the reserve magazine? 

A. Yes, sir.. 

Q. You think abaft that, as far as the crane where you started your 
work, it is complete up to the waterways? 

A. I think it is all right from there aft, sir. 

Q. From where alt? 

A. From the break in the 6-inch shell room to the crane. 

Q. Here is the crane right here [indicating]. You went down at the 
crane, did you not? 

A. Yes. 

By the Court : 

Q. What do you mean, Smith, when you say you walked down? It 
would seem as though there was an inclined plane there? 

A. There is an incline from there down; yes, sir. It is all old 
wreckage. There is so much of it right in there that I couldn't tell 
really what it was. We will come across a ventilator or a piece of air 
compressor or something else right aft there, where the boiler origi- 
nally was. You can't make any head or tail of anything until you 
come to this place here [indicating]. My work is confined right 
around these magazines all the time. 




80 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE.. 

By the Judge Advocate : , 

Q. Have you been down on the starboard side? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Anywhere on the starboard side? 

A. No, sir; I have been a little over the center line of the p' 

Q. Coming- from port"? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. But you have not gone down on the starboard side 1 ? 

A. No, sir . 

Q. Do you know whether the bulkhead outboard of the 10-inch maga- 
zine is still standing? 

A. I can't tell, because I haven't been over there. 

Q. You did not reach that far? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Will you describe fully the different articles you brought up? 

A. The first thing I brought up was a 10-inch powder tank, full. 
The next thing I sent up was a 6-pounder shell that had been 
broken away from its case. I sent up a 6-pouuder charge complete. I 
sent up one case that was broken away and one 0-inch powder tank that 
had been split open. That is all I sent up. 

Q. What was inside that last 0-inch powder tank? 

A. Excelsior packing. 

Q. Was it full or was it empty? 

A. Empty. 

Q. Were both cylinder heads on ? 

A. Yes, sir; just the seam was split. That is all. 

Q. Was the bag inside that had contained the powder? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Then it might have been an empty tank stowed down there? 

A. It might have been an empty tank. 

Q. You can not account for the powder getting out and the bag get- 
ting out with both cylinder heads on, can you? 

A. If they had been burst open, the powder would have melted as 
soon as it got wet and probably have floated out of it. 

Q. Was the split in the side big enough to let the bag come out? 

A. The whole length of the case; yes, sir. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 

Q. Is there any great difficulty in getting over to the starboard side 
below in the magazine? 

A. There is; yes, sir; because everything is blown from port to star- 
board. 

Q. You think, then, it is not possible to get into the 10-inch maga- 
zine? 

A. Yes, sir; I can get in there. Any one of us can get in there; by 
very hard work, though. 

Q. Nobody has been in there yet? 

A. No, sir; not right into it. They have been on the edge of it, but 
they have not been properly into it. 

Q. Would it be very dangerous to go in there? 

A. It is a pretty dangerous place; yes, sir, on account of you have to 
go up some frames and crawl down, and you are right underneath them. 

Q. Could you tell anything about the location of the barbette, or tur- 
ret, while you were down ? 

A. I didn't run across it at all, sir. I seen no part of it. 

Q. Did you come to the conclusion that it was missing from its regu- 
lar place on the forward side starboard, abreast of where you were ? 



OBSTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 81 

v ~es : it was missing from its proper place. 

as it on the port side? 
it was on the starboard side, forward. It was right plumb over 
?azine. I didn't come across anything that would lead me to 
^at I was around the turret at all. 

By the Court : 

Smith, you described that forward portion of the 6-inch reserve 
.""ne as being entirely gone. The outside of the ship has entirely 
disappeared ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. There is a hole through the bottom of the ship at that point? 

A. The side and everything is gone right away from it. 

Q. Then, there must be a hole through the ship*? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How high up does that extend — that hole ? Here is the side of the 
ship, you know, and you go down underneath. This is entirely gone, 
a certain portion of it | indicating] ? 

A. Entirely gone; yes, sir. 

Q. How high up on the side does it extend, or is that all gone, clear 
to the water? 

A. Yes, sir; you can take me and lower me right from the diving 
launch down into the mud, and I can walk. 

Q. That might be, too, and if you were inside of the ship, there might 
be continuous metal outside of you ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Suppose this were the magazine [indicating]. 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You say that portion is all gone? 

A. That portion is all gone; yes, sir. 

Q. Why do you say this portion is all gone [indicating]? 

A. That is the upper part. 

Q. That is the upper part, I know, but when you are lowered down, 
you go right down into the mud? 

A. I can walk oft" iu this direction [indicating to port] and I come 
across nothing. I walk in here [indicating to starboard] and I come 
across the wreckage. 

Q. That is, you say you can go right out there into the mud [indica- 
ting]? 

A. Yes, sir; and there is nothing there at all until you walk aft. 

Q. That is, the whole side has disappeared there ? 

A. The whole side has disappeared. It is completely gone right up 
to there [indicating frame 26]. Then you can walk over. I don't know 
about this side [indicating]. 

Q. Do you mean all that part of the ship is gone [indicating every- 
thing over the 6-inch reserve magazine and 10-inch shell room]? 

A. That part of the ship is gone, and everything up here is gone. 
Taking this for the port side of the ship, it seems that the midship bulk- 
head and everything on here is off in that direction [pointing to star- 
board]. 

Q. You have not been far enough to see what there is beyond? You 
do not know whether this hole extends clear forward or not? 

A. No, sir; I don't know where that part goes. As far as I can give 
any good explanation, this was up to the fixed ammunition magazine 
[indicating]. Around in this part here [pointing to the 10-inch maga- 
S. Doc. 207 6 



82 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

zine] we have not been much. Here is that armor plate [indicating on 
plan]. If you wish me to give a better explanation than I did before, 
probably I can do it now. This is the part [indicating the midship sec- 
tion] that is sticking up out of the mud [pointing to the lower part]. 
That has been torn off the ship altogether, and turned right over, and 
it is at that angle across the 10-inch room [showing an angle of 45 
degrees to the keel]. 

Q. The greatest force of the explosion seems to have been forward 
here [indicating] ? 

A. Yes, sir; in the forward part of the 10-inch shell room, and the 
6-inch spare magazine. 

Q. Is forward of that? 

A. It takes in part of the 6-inch shell room and part of the 10-inch 
shell room, too. Where these plates are ripped up, and all forward of 
that, is completely blown out. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Suppose the part that you say is blown away is a hole with a por- 
tion of the ship's side still over it. Could you walk athwartships out 
of the ship or into the ship without catching your tubes and life lines? 

A. No, sir; I could not. 

Q. Then if there were a part of the ship still standing above that 
hole 

A. I could feel my life lines hauling over it. Besides, I have a guide 
line right from the diving lines down, and made fast into the shell 
room — into the after part of it. 

Q. Beferring to that armor plate, you say it is thin edge up? 

A. Thin edge np; yes, sir. 

Q. It is at an angle of 45 degrees across the keel ! 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. The face which used to be outboard. Is that toward the star- 
board quarter of the ship or the port bow"? 

A. You take that [indicating] for an angle of 45°. It is pointing to 
the starboard quarter of the ship. 

Q. And the place that has the nuts and bolts on it is facing which 
way? 

A. To the port bow. 

Q. I want to ask you one more question in regard to the port side of 
the ship, from the derrick forward to the part which was exploded most 
severely. What is the condition of the ship's side from the derrick 
forward to the reserve magazine? 

A. The condition of the side seems to be pretty good. 

Q. Give it a little more plainly than that. Is it complete up to the 
waterways, or is it gradually torn away down to this hole? 

A. It is gradually torn away down to that; yes, sir. 

Q. Commencing abreast of the derrick, it is gradually torn down 
until it reaches this hole of the large explosion ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is that it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 

Q. Did you see any indications in the direction of the metal below 
or otherwise to indicate that the 10-iuch magazine had exploded? 

A. No, sir; I can't see anything that indicates that the 10-inch 
magazine has exploded so far, because the plates all point to starboard. 

Q. Did you notice any tendency or plates away from this 10-inch 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 83 

magazine over toward the port side — of the plates bent from the 
magazine to port ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. They were all in the other direction ? 

A. They were all in the other direction — to starboard. 

The testimony of the witness was then read over to him by the sten 
ographer, and by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Martin Reden, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name, rate, and to what ship you are 
attached. 

A. Martin Eeden ; seaman; attached to the Maine. 

Q. Have you been diving into the wreck of the Maine since her 
explosion ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How many times have you been down forward ? 

A. Twice. 

Q. Twice forward? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What was your profession before you entered the Navy? 

A. Diving, sir. 

Q. You are a professional diver? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. For how many years? 

A. Seven or eight years; eight years, I think, sir. 

Q. Have you done much wrecking diving? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where? 

A. Key West, Oldtown, Mexico, Colon, and on the Mosquito Coast. 

Q. Were you in good health when you went down to the wreck of 
the Maine f 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Ho you think you can give testimony correctly as to what you 
saw and felt down there? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How long were you down each time forward? 

A. The first time, I think, I was down about three hours, sir. 

Q. Tell the court all you saw down there during that time which 
can give them information as to the condition of the Maine, and any 
discoveries you made, and describe anything you may have brought up 
during that dive. 

A. The first time 1 went down, I went down about where the dynamo 
room is. There is nothing left whatever, only some plates and beams. 
I can not tell if there has been a dynamo there, or anything else. 
Everything is gone entirely. I felt away down in the mud as far as I 
could go from outside. I walked from outside the ship into the ship, 
and I could feel nothing else there. I only came across a plate or a 
beam or a shell. That is all, sir. I went from aft the superstructure, 
and went right down, and the mud goes aft I couldn't say how far. It 
is very dark there. I struck one bottom plate away down in the mud, 
and the plate is bent in this way, and up that way [indicating]. 

Q. It is bent in and up? 



84 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. It is bent in this way, right underneath the bulge of the plate. 
I went into the mud down to the plate, and the rivet is bent out. The 
plate is bent in this way. 

By the Court: 

Q. You say it is bent "in this way." Which way do you mean; 
bent to starboard, or to port ? 

A. Bent right out. That is the ship's side [indicating]. The plate is 
bent this way, and the rivet comes out that way, and so the plate lies. 

Q. Inboard or outboard ? 

A. That is outboard, sir. The plate goes this way [indicating]. The 
lower part of the plate is bent in, and the upper part is thrown out. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. The middie of the plate is bent in, and the upper part, where it is 
fastened to another plate, is thrown outboard ? 
A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. Let him tell where that is. Is that near the keel 1 ? 

A. I can't tell how far it is from the keel, sir, because I can't see 
nothing. I can only feel, and put my face close up and see these plates. 
I don't know what part of the ship it is. I can't even see the paint, if 
it is green paint, or red paint, or white paint. As I walk along for- 
ward from aft on the port side, there is nothing left. When I get 
about 20 feet from that break, there is nothing left of the ship what- 
ever, out for 30 feet I should think. Everything is gone underneath 
there. You can walk from the bottom right into the ship, only you 
go down in mud about 2 feet. There are lots of shells. Then when I 
get past them shells, I come to the armor plate. It is thrown into the 
ship. The armor lies about like that [indicating]. 

Q. Describe it. When you say " like that" we can not put it on paper. 

A. It lies at an angle. 

Q. At an angle with the keel? 

A. Yes, sir; I should think at that place about midship; right inside, 
you know, there is nothing the matter with the plate whatever. I could 
find only two of them armor bolts or screws on the plate below. That 
is the only bolt you can find. The rest of them is so far down in the 
mud you can't find them. I should think that plate is about 7 or 8 
inches thick. I didn't measure them, sir. Then forward of that 
plate I find nothing else but iron heaped up all over. I can't make 
nothing out of it, sir. They are bursted in and bursted out in all kinds 
of directions. There was lots of rope here [indicating], and one thing 
and another. I believe that came out of the holds way down below. 
There is no deck in there, and nothing whatever, only plates all torn up. 

Q. In what part of the ship should you say that bent plate was? 

A. I should think that plate is about 10 feet from the break of the 
superstructure. 

Q. Forward or aft? 

A. Forward. 

Q. Then it was about abreast of the forward turret? 

A. Somewhere around the forward turret; yes, sir. 

Q. Only on the port side? 

A. Only on the port side; yes, sir. 

Q, This armor plate, you say, was thrown in at an angle to the keel. 
Is the edge sticking up? 

A. The edge is sticking up. 

Q. Is the thick edge or the thin edge sticking up? 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 85 

A. The thick edge. 

Q. How do you know? 

A. If there is a top place, it must be smaller on top and thicker 
underneath, about as broad as that [indicating]. I could feel right 
down. 

Q. How many inches should you say it was on top — the top edge? 

A. Seven or eight. 

Q. You do not know whether it was thicker at the bottom part or not? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You only felt the top part? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. If it was at an angle to the keel, one side must have been facing 
one of the quarters of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. One was facing forward and the other was facing aft? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Which was facing aft, the original outboard portion or the origi- 
nal inboard portion? 

A. The inboard portion is facing out, sir. 

Q. The inboard portion which has the nuts on it is facing forward? 

A. Facing out and forward; yes, sir. 

Q. And the smooth side, which used to be against the water, is 
facing how ? 

A. Inside, aft and starboard. 

Q. Did you bring anything up this time when you went down diving? 

A. Only about three tanks of powder — powder tanks. 

Q. Describe what they were, and what condition they were in. 

A. They was all torn up, mashed together in that way [indicating]. 
Another one was burst right out, torn right in pieces. 

Q. Were they 10 or 6 inch tanks? 

A. Ten-inch. 

Q. You used to work at the 10-inch guns, I believe? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Your second descent — describe that, where you went down and 
what you did. 

A. I mixed it about all up, the second descent and the first one. 

Q. You have described both descents, have you? 

A. Yes, sir; both of them. 

Q. Did you approach the starboard side of the ship — the forward 
turret? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. How far toward the starboard side of the ship did you go when 
you were down ? 

A. I must have been, I should judge, away over — right where the 
turret ought to be. 

Q. You do not think there was any ship's side left there? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. But you are not certain you went beyond ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you find anything of the turret at all ? 

A. Nothing at all — nothing whatever. 

Q. Your explorations were more on the port side than on the star- 
board side, though ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you go into what you thought to be the 10-inch magazine ? 

A. I felt holes there. I couldn't say whether it was the magazine 
or not. 



86 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. 8. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. It was full of holes there I 

A. Yes, sir ; I don't know what it was. I found a heap of shells there, 
and I found them all over there — them shells. 

Q. You found more shells than powder? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You probably got as far as the 10-inch shell room, but not to 
starboard of it. The forward 10-inch magazine is to starboard of the 
shell room ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And you went in from the port side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. So, probably, you did not go farther than the shell room. Do you 
think that is so? 

A. No ; I walked farther than that. I passed them shell. 

Q. Did you strike the tanks'? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Where did you find the tanks you brought up? 

A. I found them tanks not very far from them 10-inch shells. 

Q. On top of them ? 

A. No, sir; on one side. 

Q. Which side? 

A. On the starboard side of them. 

Q. That must have been the magazine? 

A. You can't tell nothing. Everything is only a piece of iron. There 
is nothing left at all. 

Q. Do you think there is anything of the forward part of the ship 
left, forward of this 10-inch shell room? 

A. There is some plates left there, all bent out. You can't make 
out what it is. I was away up amongst those. 

Q. How far forward do you think you got iu you travels? 

A. I went as far as I could. I couldn't say exactly. 

Q. Did you reach this fixed ammunition room? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You did not strike any 6-pounders or 1-pounders? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you find any paymasters' stores of any kind? 

A. Yes, sir ; I found them all over the ship — canned stuff. 

Q. What condition were the cans in? 

A. I picked up a few cans that were all right. Some was busted. 

Q. What was the character of the break of the vegetable cans? 

A. They were torn up. Some of them was crushed together and 
some of them torn out — all kinds of shapes. 

Q. Split open along the seams? 

A. Some was split and some was crushed together. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 

Q. Was the metal of the ship, in a general way, bent from port to 
starboard or from starboard to port, below the water? 

A. The plates of the ship, you mean? 

Q. Yes. 

A. The plates was bent in from port to starboard. 

Q. Inboard, you mean? 

A. Inboard; yes, sir. 

Q. From port to starboard? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Was there anything in the condition of the metal below to indi- 
cate that the 10-inch magazine had exploded ? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 8? 

A. Why, no. 

Q. That is, did you see any tendency of the metal from starboard to 
port to indicate that the 10 inch magazine had exploded? 

A. I don't understand yon. 

Q. Was the bending of the metal below — the direction in which the 
metal was bent— such as to indicate that the starboard magazine had 
exploded? That is to say, did you see the metal bent from starboard 
to port? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Let me ask that question over again. I assume that if the star- 
board magazine had exploded, it would have shown a certaiu amount 
of the metal bent from starboard over to port. Did you see metal bent 
that way in general — anything to indicate it? 

A. There was metal all around there. I couldn't say, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. Then you did not notice any general tendency of the metal. For 
instance, we will assume that it is fastened at the bottom of the ship, 
unless you go into the space where the bottom is entirely gone; but 
outside of that, where the ship is less completely destroyed, there must 
be bulkheads that stand up around there? 

A. There are some. 

Q. Suppose it is fore and aft. Is it bent that way, or is it bent that 
way [indicating] ? 

A. They are bent in all directions. Them pieces that are left inside 
the ship are bent in all shapes, sir. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion of the Maine f 

A. In the after turret, sir. 

Q. Were you asleep? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What was the first thing you knew? 

A. The first thing I knew, I didn't see nothing else but flames, and 
evervthing come in the turret, and the roar of the water. 

Q." You got out? 

A. Yes, sir; I got out. 

Q. How? 

A. I am not certain whether I come through the hatch or the venti- 
lator; I don't know. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 
Q. Were you well acquainted with the compartments of the Maine 
forward ? 
A. Yes, sir. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Did you say you are well acquainted with them? 

A. Yes ; I know the compartments. 

Q. When you went down did you recognize anything that you can 
describe ? 

A. I couldn't recognize nothing, sir. I know the compartments well, 
and if I had seen anything I could have recognized them; but there 
was nothing left to recognize, sir. 

The testimony of the witness was then read over to him by the 
stenogiapher and by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 



88 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Gunner's Mate W. H. F. Schluter, IT. S. Navy, appeared as a 
witness before the court and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, rate, and the ship to which you are 
attached. 

A. W. H. F. Schluter, gunner's mate, second class, serving aboard 
the U. S. S. New York, lyiug off Key West, Fla. 

Q. Have you been engaged in diving in Havana Harbor since the 
explosion of the Maine f 

A. Yes, sir 5 I was down once for one hour. 

Q. What part of the ship did you go down in? 

A. I was lowered down from the side a little forward of the turret, 
which was broke off. I was let down about 6 feet or 8 feet, I can't 
exactly say which. I landed on some ragged edges, bent inboard from 
the port side over to the starboard side. I crawled then a little ways, 
and I dropped down about 3 or 4 feet farther, and I landed on some- 
thing solid. It was something like little lumps laying along. Then I 
crawled along and landed on some coal. The coal was in good condi- 
tion, for I picked it up and looked at it. Then I crawled along over 

Q. Which way were you going? 

A. Forward, on the port side. Then I ran against something that 
was going up. It looked like a partition. I crawled up on the top of 
that, and it was one of them beams going down that was broke off. I 
crawled around that, and it was kind of bulged under like, inboard. 
Then I stood there a little while, and I come back again and went on 
the inside of this plate. I went down a little ways, and I couldn't 
touch no bottom, so I crawled back again. That is as far as I went. 

Q. You really recognized nothing? 

A. ISTo, sir. 

Q. You brought up nothing? 

A. I went after one of them haversacks. I found that right near the 
coal. 

Q. Were you feeling well when you went down under the water? 

A. Yes, sir ; I felt well. I am sure it was coal, because I picked it 
up and looked at it. 

Q. Were you yourself feeling well? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you all right? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Why did you not go down again? 

A. It was dinner time, and after that we were told to come over to 
the court. 

Q. You had just commenced? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On what day did you go down — yesterday? 

A. It was yesterday morning; yes, sir. Most of the diving I have 
done in Havana has been aft except this one time I have just described. 

The testimony of the witness was then read over to him by the ste- 
nographer, and by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 89 

Gunner's Mate Carl Kundquist, U. S. Navy, appsared as a witness 
before the court and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name, rate, and to what ship you are 
attached. 

A. My name is Carl Kundquist; gunner's mate, first class; on board 
U. S. S. New York. 

Q. Have you been diving in the harbor of Havana since the Maine 
exploded ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Have you been down forward? 

A. I have been down forward. 

Q. How often ? 

A. I have been down once, sir. 

Q. How long did you remain down? 

A. I should judge a little over two hours. 

Q. Have you been down aft? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Are you a good diver? 

A. I have been down before, sir. 

Q. Can you see well under water? 

A. I could see not very well, but when I put my face close to an 
object I had a pretty good view of it. 

Q. Did you feel well whilst you were under water? 

A. Yes, sir; I never felt bad. 

Q. Please describe to the court just what you saw as to what was left 
of the Maine, and any objects that you recognized; their condition, or 
anything you may have brought up. Give us the whole history of your 
descent. 

A. When I left the lighter I got, as far as I could judge, down in the 
after part of the 10-inch magazine, because when 1 came down I came 
down among plates, etc. I walked 2 or 3 feet more, and I came across 
a lot of empty 10 inch powder tanks. Some of the seams were open, 
and others looked like they had been in a pressure from both ends. I 
sent one of them up, and there was lots of them down there. 

Q. Just tell us how many. 

A. I couldn't say how many, because I had to feel for it, but there 
were dozens of them — pieces of them blown in all directions. I left 
then, and went aft from where I was standing. I should judge that 
would be aft. I came across lots of cans that looked like it was pre- 
served stuff. It looked to be the paymaster's stores or something, and 
close to there I found a jriece of armor plate. On one side of it was 
the backing, and that plate looked to be turned over, because the end 
I got hold of was between 6 and 7 inches in thickness. I measured 
with my fingers. I put the end of my thumb on one edge and my mid- 
dle finger on the other. It looked to be thicker downward. I went 
down as far as I could, down in the mud, and the edge of it was down 
in the mud. I couldn'tfind out the exact thickness there. From there I 
went outside. I went to the left. That would be to the port side of 
the ship, and I followed the bottom there for about 8 or 10 feet. I 
know I was on the bottom of the ship, because I could see the green 

paint on it, and as far as I could judge 

Q. Was this green paint inside the ship or outside the ship? 

A. This was on the outside of the ship, because 1 put my face close 
to it, and it looked to be the bottom of the ship, because that must 



90 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

have been below the armor plates, where the armor belts go, because 
it was only the exact thickness of the skin of the ship — the thickness 
of a plate. One side was pretty rough. It must have been inside the 
double bottom or something. It was a rough paint, and the outside 
was slippery and green. In some places it was all ragged. The pieces 
were all torn ragged and it looked to be inward. That is about all I 
saw down there, sir. 

Q. Where were you lowered down; on the starboard side of the 
ship? 

A. No, sir; I was lowered down about midships, a little to the port 
side. We had a lighter lying right across the ship. 

Q. You think you landed in the 10-inch magazine? 

A. I landed close to it, because there was lots of empty powder 
tanks. 

Q. Of all those tanks that were there, were any of them in good 
condition ? 

A. None that I came across. They were all bent over. I came 
across two or three of them that the seams were opened. 

Q. Were any of them full ? 

A. No, sir; none of them I came across. 

Q. Do you think they had been exploded by a charge inside? 

A. It didn't look that way, sir, from where I was. It looked like 
there had been a pressure from the outside that opened them up. 

Q. What was the condition of the cans of provisions you found? 

A. They were in good condition. 

Q. Describe a little more plainly this hole that you found. You say 
the ragged edges were pointing inboard. How large were these ragged 
edges; how long? 

A. Of the plates? 

Q. Yes. 

A. This plate I found. It looked to be the whole plate or the biggest 
part of a plate, and it looked like it had been torn off from another 
plate, because there was only one side of it I found was raggy, and I 
found a plate standing in that direction [indicating]. 

Q. Describe it. 

A. It was pointing to port, aft, and the raggy end, I found, was the 
upper end. I landed on it, and I slipped down from it once and 
crawled up on it again. 

Q. Was that a plate still made fast to the ship's bottom? 

A. No, sir; that was a plate that was loose. It looked to be turned 
completely over. 

Q. That is the armor plate? 

A. The armor plate. 

Q. I am not speaking of the armor plate. You said when you went 
further along you found a place where the ship's side had a hole in it, 
you saw the green paint; and you said the edges were ragged and 
bent in. I want you to describe the edges a little better. 

A. That looked to be the bottom of the ship, or a piece solid, fastened 
to the plate. 

Q. Was it a round hole, or was it completely turned up to the water's 
edge? 

A. Completely turned up to the water's edge. 

Q. There was nothing above this place? 

A. Nothing above it whatever. It looked to be no plates there, or 
anything there. 

Q. The ragged edges were directly bent inboard ? 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 91 

A. Bent inboard. 

Q. You are sure they were not bent out 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; I am sure. 

Q. And the green paint you saw was on the part bent inboard 1 ? 

A. Tbe green paint was on the part bent inboard, that was coming 
on top like. 

Q. About this piece of armor plate you speak of, the part that had 
the bolts on it. Which way was that facing in regard to the ship? 

A. That was facing outboard. 

Q. Which way — forward or aft? 

A. Facing aft. 

Q. Explain fully how this piece of armor plate was lying, and the 
direction of the keel, and how the original outboard side was facing, 
and also how the side with nuts was facing? 

A. That plate was fast in the mud so I couldn't get hold of the lower 
edge of it. The top edge, 1 should say, was about 7 inches in thickness, 
and that side of the plate where the bolts and backing was on, was 
facing to port. 

By the Court : 

Q. Did it stand that way, or did it stand that way [indicating] ? 

A. It stood the way it is on that drawing, sir, so far as I could make 
it out down there. 

Q. How does that plate face now ? 

A. The part of the plate that is supposed to be inboard is facing out- 
board. 

Q. That is, it was turned clean over? 

A. Turned clean over, sir. 

Q. I would like to ask, for my own information, whether this armor 
plate was inside of the ship? 

A. It was on the inside of the ship; yes, sir. It was about half way 
from the midship, and out to the portside of the ship, half way inboard. 

Q. Yet you say that it was not resting on anything but the mud? 

A. It was resting on the mud. There was a big piece of the ship 
there that was entirely gone. The bottom of the ship was all blown 
up. There was nothing there. 

Q. You speak of starting from some point near these copper tanks 
or powder tanks and walking toward the port side, and you say you 
were walking on the bottom ; that you knew it to be the bottom because 
it was painted green ? 

A. I didn't mean to say that I walked on the ship's bottom. I was 
walking in the mud, or rather crawling in the mud, because in some 
places I had to haul myself along. I was going alongside the ship's 
bottom, on the piece that was left of the ship's bottom. I know it was 
the ship's bottom because I could see the paint was green and slippery. 

Q. Was this piece detached from the ship? 

A. That looked to be just on the edges of the ship. 

Q. You said you walked some distance, you thought about 10 feet? 

A. About 10 feet. 

Q. You could not have been walking on the bottom of the ship? 

A. No, sir; not on the bottom of the ship. On the bottom of the 
harbor, in the mud. 

Q. You said you were walking on the bottom of the ship, and you 
knew it to be so because it was painted green ? 

A. I mean to say that I was walking on the outside of the ship, close 
to the ship's bottom. 



92 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. You were walking in the bole where the ship's bottom ought to 
have been? 

A. No, sir; on the outside of the ship, sir. 

Q. How did you come to go outside of tbe ship? 

A. There was lots of wreckage out tbere. I slipped on from one piece 
to another, and I happened, to get on it more by accident than anything 
else, because 1 slipped on, and I landed on the mud. 

Q. How do you know you were outside the ship when you landed in 
che mud? 

A. I couldn't see anything around me. I was crawling around for a 
couple of feet on each side, and couldn't see anything. It must have 
been on the outside, or else it was an empty space, where there was 
nothing, or else the ship must be completely blown away. 

Q. That is the ship'ssection there [indicating]. You understand that? 

A. Yes, sir; I understand that. 

Q. Were you out here, or were you here [pointing to outboard and 
then inboard], or where were you? 

A. I judge I was somewhere around here [pointing to the longitudinal 
shown on the midship section], by the curve of the ship. 

Q. I thought you said that was all blown away there? 

A. This was on the forward part of it; but I took a walk aft 8 or 10 
feet, somewhere around there — I couldn't say exactly how far — after I 
left this hole, and found this plate; and going from one piece of the 
wreckage to another I came down in the mud, and I was rolling along 
in the mud when I happened to strike my hand up against something. 
I felt, and I felt this green slippery piece of steel or something. I put 
my face close to the plate and 1 could see it was this green paint. It 
must have been the outside of the ship. I followed that along, I could 
not say how far — some 8 or 10 feet — and I come to this raggy edge 
of it, and there at the edge it was standing in this direction, like 
[indicating]. 

Q. Describe the direction. "This direction" does not describe it on 
paper. 

A. It looked to be inboard, bent over — more rolled up than anything 
else, on the edge of it. 

Q. Was that all around the edge? 

A. It was all around the edge. It was all torn. 

Q. I understand it was torn if there was a hole there, but you must 
be very careful when you say that that edge of it was turned inboard. 

A. It looked to me it was laying inboard. 

Q. How much of it did you examine? 

A. I examined parts of the edges of it. This piece I followed along 
in the bottom, that looked to be a good solid piece of the ship. That 
must have been close to the hole where the explosion took place, because 
that seemed to be a good solid piece. 

Q. How did you think this hole was made in the bottom of the ship? 

A. My opinion is, I believe that she was blown up from the outside 
and in, because there was no explosion from the inside could make a 
hole like that, from the way them plates stood around in different 
directions. 

Q. Do you think there was no explosion from the inside that could 
make that hole? 

A. There may have been an explosion from the inside afterwards, but 
in the first place there was an explosion from the outside. 

Q. Why do you think so? 

A. Because I would never have found them plates in the way I did. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 93 

This piece of armor plate and the edges of that hole, I would never 
have found it that way. 

Q. What strikes me is this — that you did not examine enough of that 
edge to form an opinion. 

A. 1 didn't examine all of it, no; but I examined some parts of it, 
and that part that I examined looked like it had been bent inboard. 

The testimony of the witness was then read over to him by the ste- 
nographer, and by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

The Judge-Advocate. I notify the court that Ensign Powelsonhas 
a little additional testimony to give this afternoon, and that besides 
him Gunner Morgan and Gunner's Mate Olsen have to read over and 
correct their testimony. I have no other evidence to offer at present. 

The court then (at 12.50 o'clock p. m.) took a recess until 2 o'clock. 
The court assembled at the expiration of the recess. 
Present: All the members of the court, the judge advocate, the ste- 
nographer, and Captain Sigsbee. 

Gunner Morgan here appeared before the court and was handed so 
much of the record as contained his testimony. He was directed to 
withdraw, read it over, return to the court and state whether it is cor- 
rect as recorded. 

The Judge Advocate. If the court please, I ask permission to intro- 
duce Mr. Henry Drain, clerk at the United States consulate in Havana, 
and have him sworn, to act as interpreter. 

Mr. Henry Drain, by permission of the court, was duly sworn by tho 
judge-advocate, in accordance with the United States Navy regulations, 
and took his seat as interpreter of the court. 

A witness then appeared before the court, whose name and address 
are suppressed by agreement with the witness that his identity should 
not be revealed, and was sworn by the president, through the inter- 
preter. 

Examined by Judge-Advocate (through the interpreter) : 
Q. I have heard that on Tuesday morning you overheard a certain 
conversation in a ferryboat which referred to the possible sinking of 
the Maine. Will you please state to the court all you can in regard to 
that matter? 

The Interpreter. At about half-past 7 on the morning of the 15th, 
he was crossing from Havana to Reg las. He was sitting on a front 
seat in the bow of the vessel — the ferryboat. There were, about 4 feet 
distant, three officers, two of the army aud one of the navy, of Spain, 
and besides a citizen, a stout man, about fifty years of age. They were 
conversing about the Maine. He says one of the army officers said that 
in the circulio militario, the military club here on the Prado, "That is 
nearly arranged." The citizen inquired: "Will not making explosions 
in the bay run great risk to the city of Havana?" The citizen inquired 
that from the Spanish officer who had made the first remark. He says 
that the officer replied "no;" that it was arranged so that it would sim- 
ply explode, open the vessel, and she would sink immediately. Then the 
other man, with an exclamation apparently of joy, said: "I will take 
plenty of beer on that occasion." At that moment a cartman came 



94 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE/' 

forward and one of the men touched the other and stopped the con- 
versation, and then he could not hear any more. He said they kept on 
speaking, but he did not hear any more. 

Q. What was the first remark made by the army officer 1 ? 

The Interpreter. That he had heard in the circulio militario that 
the plans were all arranged, and they were going to blow her up any- 
how ; that it was a shame to Spain that she should be here in the bay. 
The lieutenant said : " Then if you blow her up, there would be another 
one come," and the superior officer said: "They would take care not to 
send another." 

Q. Did the second army officer make any other remark? 

The Interpreter. He says yes; they were all speaking, but they 
were speaking in a low voice; he could not catch all they said. He 
was standing up, close to the wall, so that they would not notice he 
was listening to them. 

Q. Could you distinguish what the navy officer said 1 ? 

The Interpreter. No ; he could not. 

Q. Are you personally acquainted with any one of these four persons ? 

The Interpreter. He says that he does not know any of them. 
He could not recognize any of the three officers, but that very prob- 
ably he could recognize the citizen. 

Q. How often do you cross in the ferry from Havana to Eeglas? 

The Interpreter. He says in those days he crossed twice, in the 
morning and in the afternoon, but now he only crosses in the after- 
noon, there and back again; that he went at half past 7 in the morn- 
ing, and would return at 10 to breakfast; that he would go at 4 or 5 
o'clock in the afternoon back to Eeglas again; and that about 9 or 
half past 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening he would return to Havana. 

Q. Did you ever meet any of these four men before on the ferryboat? 

The Interpreter. He can not say, because he had never noticed 
them. He went every day, and he did not notice them. 

Q. What was the character of the uniform of the army officers? 

The Interpreter. One was a lieutenant, and the other one had 
stars down below the stripes. He had two stripes, which would indi- 
cate that he was from a major upward. He also had a belt — that 
would indicate that he is of the general's staff. 

Q. What was the color of the uniform? 

The Interpreter. All of that little stripe that they wear here. 

Q. Blue linen? 

The Interpreter. Yes; blue linen. The marine officer was dressed 
in dark blue, but he did not notice the iusignias that he had on at all. 

Q. Which one of the army officers made the remark you spoke 
about — the staff* officer or the lieutenant? 

The Interpreter. The staff officer. He spoke with the citizen. 

Q. What was that you said about a diamond? 

The Interpreter. The citizen had on a big diamond ring. 

Q. Please describe the citizen. 

The Interpreter. He was a large, stout man, about 50 years of 
age. He had a mustache only, somewhat gray. He used one of these 
black derby hats, and dark clothes. 

Q. Can you describe the staff officer a little more fully, his age and 
appearance? 

The Interpreter. Somewhere around about the same age, about 
50 years of age. He did not notice very well, but he thinks he used 
chin whiskers. 

Q. And the lieutenant? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 95 

The Interpreter. He says lie must be about 40 or 42 years of age, 
and used a mustache. 

Q. And the naval officer ? 

The Interpreter. He was over 40. 

Q. Did they wear swords'? 

The Interpreter. None of them used swords. 

Q. Would you be able to recognize these persons again 1 ? 

The Interpreter. He sticks to the same thing, that the officers he 
could not recognize, because he did not pay much attention, that the 
thing went out of his head afterwards; but he thinks he would recog- 
nize the citizen. He says there are a great many officers crossing con- 
tinually. 

Q. Are you quite positive of the conversation you have repeated 1 ? 

The Interpreter. Yes, sir. 

Q. What object did you have in informing the consul-general of this 
conversation ? 

The Interpreter. The substance of what he says is that he was 
talking with a friend of his in the Cafe San Nicholas after this occur- 
rence, and he told him all the conversation he had heard. The friend 
told him: "Why don't you go and say something about this to the con- 
sulate?" He says he was afraid to say anything about it, that he would 
get himself into trouble. The friend said: "I will go and inquire from 
some of these newspapers — the Journal or the World — and see if there 
is any danger in it." The friend went and inquired, and said there 
would be no danger whatever, and he then determined to tell the consul. 

Q. Did you go to the consul at all? 

The Interpreter. No, sir. 

Q. What was the name of the friend you spoke to? 

The Interpreter. He says he will find out the name ; that he is one 
of these friends whom you know without knowing who they are. He 
will find out the name. He sees him every day. 

Q. Is he a Spaniard? 

The Interpreter. He is a Cuban. 

Q. Are you a married man ? 

The Interpreter. No, sir; single. 

Q. Have you any family here? 

The Interpreter. He says he and his father are here, and he has 
been living eighteen years with a woman, but he is not married to her. 

Q. How many people were on board the ferryboat at the time of this 
conversation? State about how many; whether it was crowded or not 
crowded is the main issue. 

The Interpreter. Very few, and nearly all were in the after part 
It was somewhat cool, and there were very few people. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer through the interpreter, and 
by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president, 
through the interpreter, not to converse about matters pertaining to 
the inquiry, and after saying that it was not to his interest to converse 
with anybody about it. 

Gunner's Mate Olsen here appeared before the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Olsen, I now hand you so much of the 
record of the court as contains the testimony given by you. Please 
withdraw, read it over, and then return to the court and state whether 
it is correct as recorded, or whether you desire to make any corrections. 

The witness then withdrew. 



96 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Gunner Morgan here appeared before the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Gunner Morgan, have you read over the 
testimony given by you before this court on yesterday? 

Gunner Morgan. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct as recorded in the smooth 
record 1 ? 

Gunner Morgan. It is. 

The witness then withdrew, after , being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Ensign Powleson, U. S. Navy, a witness heretofore examined, was 
recalled to the witness stand, and, after being cautioned by the presi 
dent that the oath previously taken by him was still binding, testified 
as follows: 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Have you any further information to give to the court in regard 
to the wreck of the Maine f 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Please state what you have. 

A. May I refer to some drawings that I have brought with me? 

Q. Certainly. 

A. These are the blue prints of the drainage system of the Maine, 
taken from the wreck. I have succeeded in identifying the part of 
the protective deck of which I submitted a sketch yesterday or the 
day before. This is a plan of the protective deck of the Maine. The 
frame spaces aft of frame 18 are 4 feet; forward of frame 18 they are 
3 feet 6 inches; forward of frame 12 they are 3 feet. This is drawn 
to the scale of 1 inch equals 1 foot. These frame spaces in between 
frames 18 and 12 are 3£ feet; those aft of frame 18, as I said, are 4 feet. 
In the sketch which I have submitted the distance between beams I 
have made 3 feet 7 inches, which was the measurement that I took 
from the wreck. That was probably an error of an inch. That, then, 
places this part of the protective deck somewhere between frame 18 
and frame 12. At frame 16 is a water-tight bulkhead and at frame 18 
is a water-tight bulkhead. The surface of this plate submitted shows 
no evidence of bulkhead angle iron on the upper surface. This, then, 
eliminates the space between frames 18 and 16. Therefore the plate is 
somewhere between 16 and 13. 

As you will see, the outward plate of the protective deck is cut off 
a little on one point. The width of the plates of the protective deck 
is 4 feet. The width of the ship at frame 13 is 12 feet 9 nine inches. 
Then, if the edge of the protective-deck plating at the midship line 
were exactly at the midship line, this would take three full plates with 
9 inches left over. Between the upper plating of the two plates of 
the protective deck and the side is an angle iron, running along the 
side with 4-inch flange. That would leave, then, a space of about 5 
inches to be filled in by a wedge-shaped piece. It is not probable that 
the edge of the upper plating of the protective deck is exactly at the 
midship line. It is probable that it is to one side or the other, to allow 
for the lapping of the upper plating on the lower plating. This frame 
13 corresponds more closely with the drawing measurements taken 
from the wreck than would frame 14. Since these two frames are con- 
fined to frames 15, 14, and 13, that narrows the deck down to the parts 
between 15 and 12 along the port side compartment A36. This plate, 
which I have shown in the sketch I submitted yesterday, shows the 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 97 

rivets for the cofferdam bulkhead. My conclusion is that the sketch 
which I have shown comes from compartment A36, between frames 15 
and 12. 

Q. What is there in the ship above compartment A36 between frames 
12 and 15? 

A. A3P> is the cellulose compartment, and just inside of that is A34. 
This is part of A34. This plate is taken from both A36 and A34. 

Q. Then that would be forward of the forward C inch magazine? 

A. Yes, sir. I have also succeeded in identifying a part of the bot- 
tom plating, which is now about 4 feet above water, 12 feet abaft the 
piece of protective deck which I have just referred to. 

Q. That is over the magazine, is it? 

A. No, sir ; I will explain where that plate comes from and my reasons 
for believing so. This plate shows the split in the reverse, and the 
frame angle irons, where the floor plating first begins at the ship's side. 
It also shows a water-tight longitudinal with the cement along the 
bottom and a part of the inner bottom plating. The distance between 
the frame that is highest out of water and the frame next below it is 
3 feet 6 inches. The distance between this frame and the one next 
below that is 4 feet. There is only one place in the ship at which such 
frame spacing occurs. That is at bulkhead 18, the space between 18 
and 19 being 4 feet and between 18 and 17 being 3 feet 6 inches. Be- 
tween frames 18 and 17 I found a sluice valve about 3 inches square. 
This sluice valve is on the under side of the water-tight longitudinal. 
The longitudinal at this point was about 17£ inches in depth. From 
the drawings of the inner bottom of the Maine, 1 locate this sluice valve 
at the second longitudinal, near the water-tight bulkhead at frame 18. 
This drawing which I have does not show a sluice valve it that point, 
nor does it show that the second longitudinal is water-tight. 

There has evidently been some change since these plans, and the 
second longitudinal has been made water-tight, and a sluice valve has 
been put in the after part of it next to the bulkhead at frame 18, to 
drain from compartment All. Frame 17 shows about 5 feet above 
the water-tight longitudinal to which I have referred at the point where 
the frame and reverse angle irons divide and the floor plates are first 
inserted. That can be seen better on the sectional plan at frame 18. 
This is the sectional plan at frame 18. Here is the second longitudinal 
at which I fixed the sluice valve to which I have referred. The height 
of the second longitudinal at this point is 18 inches, which corresponds 
very closely with the measurement taken from the wreck. In this piece 
of bottom plating, to which the longitudinal was attached, I found an 
opening in the ship's side, being the Kingston valve or a similar valve. 
The inner bottom drawings show such a valve to exist in that compart- 
ment for the purpose of flushing the main drains and secondary drains 
at this point. The plates of the inner bottom are plainly visible for a 
distance of 8 feet from the longitudinal to which I have referred and 
about two or three feet under water. Forward of frame 17 the outside 
plating has been again split, forming a V, with the outboard wing of 
higher plating than the starboard or inboard wing. 

The angle of the V is about horizontal, and the ridge stands nearly 
fore and aft. The plating just abaft this V seems to have been broken 
across and pushed up to form a V, of which frame 17 is the apex. This 
shows that the bottom plating, about 11 feet from the keel, has been 
raised to a point about 4 feet out of water now. This bottom to which 
I referred is almost directly under the forward port edge of the for- 
ward 6-inch magazine. 
S. Doc. 207 7 



98 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. The forward edge of it comes to frame 18? 
A. The forward edge of it stops at frame 18. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Where is that sluice valve situated — also uuder the forward part 
of the 6-inch magazine? 

A. Yes, sir; at frame 18. 

Q. That forward 6-inch magazine is between what frames? 

A. Between frames 18 and 21. There are several other sluice valves 
in the longitudinals of the double bottoms, but with the exception of 
sluice valve No. 4, are in frame spaces of 4 feet. All other sluice valves 
in t-he longitudinals, according to the drawings, are in frame spaces of 
4 feet, showing that this sluice valve is forward of frame 18. The only 
other water-tight bulkhead forward of frame 18 is at frame 12, and in 
the space forward of frame 12 there are no water-tight longitudinals. 

Q. Then the appearance of that V-shape that you saw, and the 
appearance of the plate, now makes you feel convinced that the bottom 
of the ship was thrown up? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And not out? 

A. Not out. 

Q. This is under the forward part of the forward 6-inch magazine? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And you have seen no other bottom plating as yet to confirm this? 

A. This bottom plating is very large in extent. It extends down 
under the water on both sides from the angle of the V as far as I could 
touch with an oar or boat hook. I took one of the divers over this 
afternoon and explained to him what I wanted him to do. I wanted 
him to go down and follow the frames along as far as possible, aud 
follow the longitudinals and keep track of them, so that he could tell 
me at what point the bottom plate ended, and the condition of the 
break at that point. 

Q. Who was the diver? 

A. The diver's name is Olsen. 

Q. Can you state the amount of ship's bottom that is now visible 
and between what frames? 

A. I can see now frames 16, 17, 18, 19. I can see water-tight longi- 
tudinal No. 2, port. I can feel with the boat hook longitudinal No. 1. 
I can see plating running down under the water for about 15 feet aft 
of frame 17 and 20 feet forward of frame 17. 

By the Court : 

Q. All on the port side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How far from the center line of the ship do you place the upper 
plate of the bottom plates now showing above the water, which is bent 
into this V form ? 

A. The upper plate is between 11 and 15 feet from the center line of 
the ship. 

Q. You mean that is the highest point? 

A. The highest point; the upper plate. 

Q. Taking the section, at what depth would that be? 

A. Six and a quarter feet, sir, above the plane of the keel. 

Q. How much has that been raised; that is, according to the draft of 
the ship before the explosion ? 

A. The forecastle superstructure would be about at the water now — 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 99 

about where the water line is now — so that it would have been lifted 
about 38 or 39 feet from its original position when the ship was floating. 

Q. Was there any paint on the outside of that bottom plating? 

A. The outside of the bottom plating is covered with greenish paint. 
Inside, between frames 17 and 18, it is cemented for a distance of 18 
inches above the longitudinal. It is calk paint beyond that. Abaft 
frame 18 it is cemented as far as the plate extends to the points broken 
off, about 4 feet from the longitudinal. I also found between frames 18 
and 19 a piece of piping, with two right-angle turns, such as is repre- 
sented on the drawing of the inner bottom at compartment A10. 
Compartment A4 contained piping of this description. This piping 
showed the caps at right angles, the same as shown here, and I found 
this piece of piping lying in an angle of one of the frames and the 
longitudinal. 

Q. Mr. Powelson, you have not come across any portion except that 
protective deck of either of the decks above that point, have you? 

A. Yes, sir ■ there is a part of the berth deck which was thrown some 
20 feet forward of the part of the protective deck of which I have made 
a sketch; but as to just where that was on the berth deck I am unable 
to determine. It has the planking and red shellac of the main deck. 

Q. Is there any of the main deck visible? 

A. No, sir; none of the main deck is visible forward. 

Q. None of the main deck is visible forward of the end of the midship 
superstructure ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Forward of frame 30? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Starting from the point at which this bottom has been lifted, frame 
11, and running aft to the points where the divers have testified that 
the bottom plating is cut through to the after side of that opening, how 
many frames are there? What is the distance? 

A. The frame which I said formed the apex of this V ? 
! Q. Yes. 

A. I do not know, of course, what they testified to. I only know 
what they tell me. The diver to-day told me that he had found a hole 
just starboard of that plate I was speaking of, down below — a hole 
through the ship's side; and that is what I sent him down to investi- 
gate still further. He bent a line on some plating around this hole. I 
think myself this plating on the port side was torn from that on the 
starboard. The diver told me this morning that he had found the 
ammunition from the 6-pounder magazine pushed over to the starboard 
side. 

Q. Was that Olsen? 
i A. Yes, sir. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony be not read over to 
the witness by the stenographer, but that he be directed to report to-mor- 
row morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with so much of 
the record as contains his testimony, and asked to withdraw for the 
consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will be 
again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend his 
testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. 

The request was granted, and the witness'was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the trial. 



100 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

GunDers Mate Olsen appeared before the court. 

The Judge Advocate. Olsen, do you wish to make any corrections 
in your testimony? ,, 

Gunner's Mate Olsen. J>wish to make the following corrections : 

On page 140, line 14, after^the word " right" strike out " over in that 
direction [indicating] " and insert " over to starboard." 

On page 141, line 5, after the words, "paper inboard," strike out 
"from stem to stern." In line 7, after "one plate complete," strike out 
"the top of the plate standing up." In line 17, after "hexagonal," strike 
out "ends" and insert "nuts." In line 27, after the words "10-mch," 
strike out "leaves" and insert "covers," so as to read "10-inch covers." 
In line 28, after the word "in," at the beginning of the line, strike out 
"by" and insert "over," so as to read "in over the 10-inch shell room." 

On page 148, line 19, after the words "the way I found the," strike 
out "deck" and insert "wreck." 

The Judge-Advocate. Is your testimony, as now amended, cor- 
rect ? 

Gunner's Mate Olsen. Yes, sir. 

The court then (at 4.40 o'clock p. m.) adjourned until to-morrow, the 
26th instant, at 10 o'clock a. m. 



SIXTH DAY. 



U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, 10 a. m. Saturday, February 26, 1898. 

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday, the 25th 
instant. 

Present : All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and the 
stenographer. 

Captain Sigsbee had not yet appeared. 

The record of the proceedings of yesterday, the fifth day of the 
inquiry, was read and approved. 

The court then took a recess, ready to assemble at any moment when 
any additional evidence might be ready to be presented to the court. 

The court (at 12 o'clock noon) took a recess until 1.30 o'clock p. m. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, the ste- 
nographer, and Captain Sigsbee. 

Mr. Henry Drain, who acted as interpreter before the court yes- 
terday, appeared as a witness before the court, and was duly sworn by 
the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Please give your name, residence, and profession. 

A. Henry Drain, 91 San Lazero street, Havana; clerk in the United 
States consulate at Havana. 

Q. Do you know of an anonymus letter received by the consul-gen- 
eral in regard to the explosion of the M.aine% 

A. I do. 

Q. Can you produce it? 

A. I can. [Witness produces letter.] 

Q. What is the date? 

A. February 18,1898. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 101 

Q. Is there any signature to it? 

A. No signature. It is signed "An admirer." 

Q. Have you read the letter? 

A. I have. 

Q. Is it the document of an educated man? 

A. I would say a man of common education, as far as I can judge. 

Q. In what language is it written? 

A. In Spanish. 

(The letter was shown to the court.) 

Q. Have you made a correct translation of this letter? 

A. To the best of my ability, I have. 

Q. Please produce the translation. 

(The translation of the letter referred to was handed to the judge- 
advocate, and by him read aloud.) 

The Judge-Advocate. If the court please, I ask permission to 
append this letter to the record. 

(The request was granted, and said letter is appended hereto, 
marked F.) 

Q. Has anything been done to ascertain the truth of the statements 
contained in this letter? 

A. I myself tried to discover the whereabouts of this Pepe Taco, 
and the one to whom I spoke said that the name was a mistake; that 
the Pepe Taco mentioned had died a few days before the explosion of 
the Maine, and that the letter referred to a Pepe Barquin; that he also 
had died suddenly about two or three days after the explosion of the 
Maine. 

Q. Who was your informant? 

A. Mr. Charles Carbon ell. 

Q. How do you suppose he knows so much about this? 

A. In the first place, he is an American citizen, and interested in 
anything that pertains to the matter. I think he brought to General 
Lee's attention the clipping from La Lucha, and this letter. He told 
me that his boatman gave him the information of the death of this 
man. His boatman lives in Reglas. 

Q. Did you ask General Lee to look into this matter? 

A. I did, and he did not know just what to do, saying he has no secret- 
service money; but he told me to consult with Mr. Carbon ell, who 
would probably know more about it than anybody else. 

Q. Do you consider Mr. Carbonell a perfectly reliable man? 

A. I do, from having known him several years. 

Q. Could it not be ascertained whether this dead man's family have 
really moved from a poorhouse into a good one ? 

A. I think it could. 

Q. Will you kindly have it tried? 

A. I will try. I was consulting with him yesterday afternoon. He 
said he would send his boatman to see about it. I think it would be 
better to send some reliable person. 

Q. I suppose you informed Consul-General Lee that the court would 
be glad to have the matter of the letter investigated? 

A. I did. 

The witness here stated that in the evidence given by witness of 
previous day the latter spoke of a man whom he had consulted in 
regard to giving the evidence which he gave before the court. The 
witness now states that man's name to be Aurelio Pla. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 
Q. Do you know anything of this Aurelio Pla? 



102 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. I never heard of him, sir. 

Q. Who told you it was Aurelio Pla? 

A. The witness himself came up to the consulate this morning. 

The testimony of the witness was then read over to him by the ste- 
nographer, and by him pronounced correct. The witness then withdrew, 
after neing cautioned by the president not to converse about matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

The Judge- Advocate. I ask that Captain Sigsbee take the stand. 

Oapt. Charles D. Sigsbee, U. S. Navy, heretofore examined as a 
witness, resumed the stand, and was cautioned by the president that 
the oath previously taken by him was still binding. 

Examined by the'JuDGE- Advocate : 

Q. I have a letter here, Captain Sigsbee, which was sent to me by 
the chief constructor of the Navy, which purports to be a copy of a 
letter sent by you, dated June 30, 1897, at Hampton Eoads, to the com- 
mandant of the navy-yard and station at Norfolk. I will read this 
letter to you. 

(The judge advocate then read aloud the letter above referred to.) 

Q. As far as you can remember, you think this is a correct copy of 
your letter ? 

A. I think so. 

The Judge-Advocate. I ask permission of the court to append this 
letter to the record. 

Permission was granted, and the letter above referred to is hereto 
appended, marked "G." 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. What changes do you know of having been been made in the 
storage rooms of the Maine and the shell rooms of the Maine, as stated 
in this letter, from June 30, 1897, up to the time of her explosion? 

A. I could not give it in figures. I think there has been consider- 
able change in the 6-inch reserve magazine forward, because we 
have done a good deal of saluting. I had so many figures to remember 
that I could not tell exactly. I want to see first how many shell there 
were. (After examination.) I think there were several more shell 
stowed in the forward 10-inch loading room and forward 10-inch pass- 
ing room. A great deal of the small-arm ammunition shown in the 
forward fixed-ammunition room had been discharged, sent on shore, on 
the acquisition of the new navy rifle. We had just gotten in, before leav- 
ing Key West, a new supply of the«new ammunition. I have forgotten 
whether it was our complete supply. It came at a time when I was 
exceedingly busy, looking forward to coming to Havana. 

(Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright here entered the court.) 

The Witness. I know we had 6,000 rounds before we got the last 
supply. Mr. Holman could state the exact amount of that. Although 
we had had target firing after this letter was written, we had practically 
filled up again on going to Norfolk the last time; so that I take it, 
except perhaps in regard to stuff stowed in the 6 inch reserve magazine 
forward and in the fixed ammunition room forward, at the time of the 
explosion the state of things was practically as shown in that letter. 

Q. Do you know where the additional charges for the new rifle 
were stowed when they were received on board ; in the forward or in 
the after fixed ammunition room? 

A. My impression is that they were stowed forward. 

Q. You spoke of the changes in the 0-inch reserve magazine, and 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 103 

then you spoke of saluting. The changes you refer to apply to saluting 
powder f 

A. Chiefly; but I have also understood that there was very little left 
in that magazine. It was probably put in other places — in the regular 
6-inch. 

Q. Do you remember when the last changes were made in your mag- 
azines, taking powder out of the reserve and stowing them in the reg- 
ular magazines'? 

A. No ; I do not remember. It was probably referred to me at the 
time. It undoubtedly was, but I can not now recall. I suppose three 
months ago I visited all the magazines and shell rooms, personally, and 
inspected them, going over every one and examining them in detail, 
but I have not the happy faculty of remembering details and figures, p 

Q. In a part of your letter here, you speak of the after torpedo head 
and fixed-ammunition room. Are those one compartment"? 

A. No. 

Q. The torpedo heads are stowed in a different compartment from 
the fixed ammunition ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Forward of it? 

A. Yes ; it is forward of it. 

Q. When you wrote this letter you gave a statement of all the 
ammunition that was in the different compartments, and there is no 
statement of high explosives or gun cotton, or detonators, or any other 
material which the regulations prohibit from being in magazines and 
shell rooms. None of that material is mentioned in this letter. In 
that respect the letter is correct? 

A. The letter is correct. 

Q. Was that also the state of affairs in regard to such material on 
the day of the explosion? 

A. It was. 

Q. You are quite certain that no torpedo warhead was fitted to a 
torpedo on board the Maine the day of the explosion? 

A. I am certain I gave no order to fit them, and it was well known 
to the executive officer that I did not intend to fit them. 

Q. Bid you enter the harbor of Havana with a torpedo warhead 
fixed? 

A. No. 

By the Court : 

Q. Did you, at any time subsequent to your entry of the harbor, have 
the warheads on any of the torpedoes? 

A. The warheads have not been disturbed in any respect since I have 
had command of the ship. 

The testimony of the witness was then read over to him by the 
stenographer, and by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then left the witness stand and resumed his seat in the 
court room. 

Lieut. Commander Kichard Wainwrtght, U. S. Navy, a witness 
heretofore examined, resumed the witness stand, and was cautioned by 
the president that the oath previously taken by him was still binding. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. I believe, Mr. Wainwright, that you were on board the Maine all 
the time during her last stay in Havana? 
A. Yes, sir. 



104 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Were you on board the whole day on the evening of which the 
explosion occurred ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Are you certain that no warheads were fitted to the torpedoes of 
the Maine on that day? 

A. I am positive of it. It could not Lave been done without my see 
ing it. I knew what work was going on on the torpedoes, always. 1 
took a special interest in them and consulted frequently with the officer 
in charge of the division. The Captain has ordered us not to put the 
warheads on. I mentioned the subject of the warheads to the com- 
manding officer at least twice, and both times he told me not to do so. 

Q. Had the warheads ever been fitted to the torpedoes at any time 
while you were executive officer of the Maine? 

A. They had not. 

Q. Do you remember when there was any large transfer of ammuni- 
tion from one magazine into another on board the Maine? 

A. None during my stay on board, to my knowledge. 

Q. Then you do not believe that any large amount of G-inch charges 
had been taken out of the reserve 0-inch magazine and sent to the 
others'? 

A. 1 should say not, during the two months and over I was on 
board. 

Q. As you were on board the Maine during her last stay in Havana, 
and were frequently on deck, did it ever occur to you that the ship was 
almost always swinging in any certain direction? 

A. A large portion of the time the wind was to the eastward, and we 
always swung to the wind, generally a little to the southward of east, 
as I remember now, though I am not positive about the points of the 
compass. We generally pointed to the eastern shore. 

Q. Do you consider that the way she swung at the time she blew 
up was an unusual way for her to swing? 

A. I never remember her swinging in that direction — remaining 
in that direction — for any length of time. She probably swung past 
that direction several times, but not to remain in that direction for any 
length of time. 

Q. Are you able to testify whether she was heading in that direction 
for any length of time previous to the explosion ? 

A. Not in the absolute direction she is now; but after the usual 
morning drill, I directed the officer of the deck to get up the gallery 
target and rifle. They placed that always on the starboard turret, 
forward. Therefore we would have to fire in the direction of the keel. 
The officer of the deck, after some little time had elapsed, said that we 
were swinging in the general direction of the Alfonso and the other 
Spanish vessel. He asked me if it was safe to fire, and I told him not 
to fire. I thought it was safe, but I considered it better not to fire in 
the direction of those ships. We held that general direction, which 
was quite as much toward the shore as we were afterwards, but more 
to the westward than usual, but not as much as she was when she 
went down. As far as I can remember, she was heading in the general 
direction in which she went down when the City of Washington came 
in, and remained about in that direction up to the time of the explosion. 

Q. Could you tell us how the City of Washington was lying at the 
time of the explosion, in regard to the Maine? 

A. She was on the port quarter of the Maine, at a distance of about 
400 feet, I should say. I thought she was too close to swing properly, 
only I knew that almost every vessel followed the direction of the 
wind, and there was very little danger of fouling. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 105 

Q. Was she heading in the same direction as the Maine f 
A. The same general direction — yes, sir. 

There being no further question to ask, the testimony of the witness 
was read over to him by the stenographer, and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The witness then left the witness stand and resumed his seat in the 
court room. 

Ensign Powelson here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Mr. Powelson, is the testimony given by 
you yesterday, as recorded, correct? 

Ensign Powelson. It is, with the exception of the corrections which 
I have made. 

The Judge-Advocate. Please give them to the stenographer. 

Ensign Powelson. On page 201, in the ninth line from the bottom, 
"one inch" should read " a quarter inch." 

On page 203, in the thirteenth line from the bottom, insert " plating" 
after " bottom." 

On page 204, in line 10, scratch out the word "at." In the fourth 
line from the bottom insert "are" between "and" and "about." The 
last line should read "wing of after plating and the starboard wing of 
forward plating. The V occurs at about frame 15." 

On page 205, in the eleventh line from the bottom, after "but" omit 
everything down to the sentence commencing in the next line with "All 
other sluice valves." 

On page 207, in the ninth line from the bottom, change "calk" to 
"cork." 

On page 208, in the ninth line, change "main" to "berth." In the 
twelfth line from the bottom "eleven" should read " seventeen." 

The Judge- Advocate. Is your testimony as now amended correct? 

Ensign Powelson. Yes, sir. 

Ensign Powelson, U. S. Navy, resumed the witness stand, and was 
cautioned by the president that the oath previously taken by him was 
still binding. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Since you gave your testimony yesterday, have you received a 
book of specifications of the Maine? 

A. I have; yes, sir. 

Q. Have you done anything toward verifying your testimony by 
that book in regard to the thickness of the plates that you referred to 
in your testimony? 

A. I do not think I mentioned the thickness of any plates in my tes- 
timony. 

Q. But by reading the book and seeing the thickness of the plates 
you can tell whether you are sure in your surmises. 

A. I have looked over the drawings again with reference to what I 
said in my last testimony. The only plates to which I could refer for 
thickness would be those of the protective deck. Those that I meas- 
ured were 1 inch in thickness. 

By the Court : 
Q. Double plating? 

A. Double plating, each 1 inch in thickness. (After examination of 
book.) Forty pounds per square foot. That is, 1 inch plating. 



106 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q, You spoke of* a plate which had green paint on it. Did you verify 
the thickness of that with what you testified to by the specifications? 

A. No, sir; I did not. 

The Judge-Advocate. I would like to say to the court that Mr. 
Powelson has some additional testimony to give. All this forenoon 
he has worked in unison with the diver, and the diver has made expla- 
nations to him which it would be impossible, so it is thought by Mr. 
Wainwright, who is in charge of that work, to give to the court intel- 
ligibly by the diver. I would request that the diver, Olsen, be admitted 
to the court room while Mr. Powelson gives his testimony, in order to 
correct him in anything he might not state correctly, and in that way 
we will get the testimony of the two men who worked together at the 
same time. 

Permission was granted, and Gunner's Mate Olsen entered the court 
and was warned by the president that the oath previously taken by 
him was still binding 

By the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. Olsen, Mr. Powelson is going to give testimony in regard to your 
work and his work this morning. You reported to him, and he has put 
the work together, and is going to testify. If he says anything at all 
which is not exactly according to your recollection, you must at once 
state it and correct him. 

A. All right, sir. 

The examination of Ensign POWELSON was then resumed. 
Examined by the Judge- Ad vocate : 

Q. Mr. Powelson, we are now ready for your additional testimony. 

A. On February 26, to-day, at 10 a. m., Diver Olsen reported to me 
on coming up from below that he had followed the forward and after 
wings of the V shape made by the bottom plating at frame 17. He 
said on the forward wing of the V the plates ran down on a very steep 
slant, and then turned under and out under the starboard side. That 
just above where the plates turned to go under the starboard side he 
found two dents, as if the plating had been bulged in between the 
frames from outside in. 

By the Court: 

Q. How big were those? 

A. He reported to me in this way: He held up his hands at a dis- 
tance which I measured with a ruler. He said they were about 2£ 
feet long and bulged in about 6 inches, if I remember correctly. He 
then went down again, and came to the surface at 11 o'clock. I asked 
him what he saw, and he said: "I think 1 have found the flat keel." 
I asked him what reasons he had for thinking this. Then he made me 
a sketch in the notebook which I have in my hand. This sketch is 
approximately the shape of the section at about frame 10 or 11. 

(The sketch referred to by the witness was shown to the court.) 

On this sketch he has correctly arranged the garboard strake, show- 
ing that his idea of the construction was correct. He reported that the 
keel was sloping downward about 45 degrees and to port, with the 
after part of the keep uppermost. I then asked him to describe to me 
the method in which he managed to reach the keel, as the V formed by 
the bottom plating at frame 17 spread out at the water line. He told 
me that after going down some distance under the water, these two 
wings of the bottom plating again converged, so that he was able to put 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. F. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 107 

his feet against one wing and his back against the other and support 
himself. There was nothing to stand on below. He said he put his 
back against the after wing and his feet against the forward wing and 
worked himself from port to starboard. He drew a sketch to illustrate 
to me the manner in which he did it. 

(The sketch referred to by the witness was shown to the court.) 
The Witness. He felt along the forward wing with his right hand, 
wedging himself between the forward and after wings. With his right 
hand he felt an angle in the plate. He ran his hand along it, and 
found on the other side of the angle a flat piece of plate. He ran his 
hand along a little farther, and found another angle. He ran his arm 
around the angle, and up, until he found the edge of the plate, which 
he described by a measurement I took between his hands as he held 
them up, as being about 10 inches. He said the flat plate was about 
16 inches in width between the two angles to which I have referred. I 
took this measurement with a ruler, Olsen holding up his hands. Then 
he told me that he reached around to feel still farther, and in doing so 
lost his balance and fell down. I asked him if he struck bottom. He 
said that he did not; that he brought up on the life line. He then 
signaled to the attendant on the scow to pull him up. He told me 
thattheplate nextto the point which he had just felt when hefell over — 
as I took it, the starboard edge of the outer flat keel plate — was lapped 
under the keel plate, which is the construction with the garboard 
strake. I then asked him if he had explored any of the after wing of 
the V. He told me that he had. He told me that he had found a semi- 
circular hole about two feet in diameter, with rivet holes all around it. 
I asked him about how far on this plating that semicircular hole was 
from the top of the V made by the bottom plating. He told me it was 
about 20 feet. I asked him whether the edge of the plate at which he 
found this semicircular hole was the natural edge, with rivet holes, or 
whether it presented a jagged appearance. He told me that the plate 
at this point presented a jagged appearance, as if it had been torn. 
He also told me that a crack had extended from the bottom edge of the 
semicircular hole to a distance of about 8 inches, and that the plates 
about this hole were bent away from the green side of the plating. He 
told me that he followed the after wing still farther, and at a point 
about 25 feet from the angle of the V he found a plate about 2 feet 6 
inches in width, from a measurement I took from his hands as he indi 
cated the width, and that this plate was at right angles to the inside 
plating and at right angles to the edge of the plating. He told me 
that this plate had a round hole cut in it. I then asked him to be par- 
ticular about the direction in which he found the keel. I drew a sketch, 
indicating a direction upward and a direction to port and a direction 
to starboard, and I asked him to draw upon this sketch a direction of 
the keel looking from aft forward. He did so, and this is the sketch. 
(The sketch above referred to by the witness was shown to the court.) 
The Witness. The line sloped about 05 degrees below the horizontal 
down and to port. I then made another sketch indicating forward, aft, 
starboard, and port, and I asked him to draw the position of the keel 
upon this sketch, looking down upon it. This is the sketch that he 
drew me. 

(The sketch above referred to by the witness was shown to the court.) 

The Witness: That shows a line from port to starboard, the port 

end about 80 degrees in azimuth from a head. He told me that the 

highest point of this keel was the starboard part. The point where he 

found the keel, he told me, was about 20 feet under water. I asked 



108 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

him why he did not follow the keel up farther, and he told me that the 
plating's between which he was wedged opened out so that he had 
nothing to support him. I asked him if he could see any more of the 
keel above, and he said he could see the keel for 5 feet. I asked him 
if the keel ended there, and he said no, it continued still farther. He 
then told me that the geueral direction of the keel was parallel to the 
upper edge of the forward wing of the V-shaped plating at frame 17. 
This is what it should be, by a deduction from the appearance of the 
plating above. When I got on board the Fern I showed Olsen a plan 
of the ship, having sections at frame 6 and at frame 16. I pointed to 
the frame at 16, aud I asked him if the angle he felt was as great as that 
at frame 1G on the plan. He told me that the angle was not. I am 
now referring to the angle made by the flat plate of the keel and the 
plating on the port side. 

I then pointed to frame 6, and I asked him if the angle he saw was 
as sbarp as that at frame 6. He told me that it was not. This, then, 
would make the point at which it found the keel, according to his state- 
ment, somewhere between frame 1G aud frame 6. Now, frame 17 is at 
the water's edge, and as he went down on the forward wing of the 
V-plating, he went forward, as the ship was in its original position. He 
says he went down 20 feet. This would put him, as the frame spacing 
here is 3 feet 6 inches, about six frame spaces, or he was at that time 
at about frame 10, which checks up very well with his statement as to 
the angles at frame 16 and frame 6. On the plan of the inner-bottom 
drainage system, I find there is an opening in the ship's side for sea 
suction aloug the edge of the plating where Olsen said he found it, and 
at a distance of 21 feet from the angle of the V. Olsen told me that he 
found it at 20 feet, which agrees very closely. 

By the Court : 
Q. That is, in which direction ? 
A. Aloug the edge of the plating. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Are you now through with what Olsen told you % 

A. Yes, sir; I am through with what Olsen told me. 

The Judge-Advocate. I ask that Olsen be directed to withdraw, 
and to stand by for recall. 

Gunner's Mate Olsen then withdrew, after being directed to stand by 
for recall, and cautioned not to converse about matters pertaining to 
the inquiry. 

The witness Powelson then produced the drainage plans, and testified 
as follows: 

At frame 18, the second longitudinal, is where I found the sluice 
valve. Olsen testified that at about 20 feet from the sluice valve 
he found an opening in the ship's side. The sea suction in compartment 
A-10 follows the direction taken by Olsen, and is situated about 21 
feet from the sluice valve, which checks up very well. 1 found some 
boarding forward of frame 17. This boarding was originally horizontal, 
and next the ship's side, under the pieces of the protective deck to 
which I have already referred, and of which I have made a sketch. 
These boards are now in an almost vertical position, aud the plating is 
now away from the after end of these boards in a plane almost at right 
angles to them. If you consider the section of the ship between frames 
18 and 13, and consider that the part of the bottom plating between 
frame 18 and frame 15 is bent out at a right angle, and then that the 
whole section is turned forward through 90°, you will picture the 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 109 

position in which the plates are now found. This plating could either 
have been shoved out from the after side or it could have been pushed 
in from the forward side. The only indication as to how this was done 
is the wooden boarding. If the after part of the plating had been 
pushed out from the inside, the boarding would have broken at the 
V which the plates make. If the forward part of the plating had 
been pushed in, the boards would have been pulled away from the after 
plating, as is the case with the plates now. In other words, the side of 
the ship between frames 13 and 18 has two Vs. Frame 17 has been 
pushed in, forming a V from a point 4 feet above the second longitudi- 
nal downward. The plating has been pushed in at about frame 15, 
from a point 4 feet above the second longitudinal forward. 

By the Court : 

Q. All you have told us relates to the part of the ship between 
frames 18 and 24*? 

A. Yes, sir; and from frames 13 to 24. I sent the diver down, and 
he found where that piece of protective deck is fast to the outside plat- 
ing. He found that, and when it got down there by the protective 
deck a lot of cellulose came up, showing he was walking in the cellu- 
lose compartment. 

Q. That piece of plating is fastened to the starboard side of the 
ship, is it? 

A. The port side. You can see it, sir. 

Q. There is no hole in the outside plating at that point 1 ? 

A. It is torn. I do not know where the rest of it is. 

Q. Was he able to follow the after side of the V until he came to the 
end of that? 

A. The forward side of the V took him right up toward the water- 
ways of the spar deck, where that V is turned. It starts down and is 
broken off. All that you can see going along horizontally is fastened 
to the deck. He followed the forward wing, and went around down in 
under the ship, and the keel is fast to the forward wing. 

By the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. From your knowledge of the Maine and the drawings of the Maine, 
how do you look upon the information that diver Olsen gave you? 

A. I think it is extremely accurate. 

The Judge- Advocate. Shall I ask the witness what deduction he 
derives from all this ? 

The Court. Yes; you can. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. What do you deduce from this information received from the diver 
this forenoon, together with such information as you had before? 

A. I thiuk that an explosion occurred on the port side somewhere 
about frame 18, center of impact. 

Q. Would you put 18 as the center of impact? Because it seems to 
me that has to be taken in connection with other injuries. 

A. Frame 18 was the water- tight bulkhead, and consequently was 
stronger than frame 16. The ship yielded at 17, and also yielded at 
15. It is pretty hard to say where it came. Frame 15 was blown in. 

Q. You see everything at frame 26 is gone? 

A. Yes, sir; there is nothing there. I should say, then, between 
frames 16 and 18 was the center of impact, and that this was under the 
ship, a little on the port side. 

Q. How far from the keel? 



110 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. Frame 17 is broken off at the third longitudinal, approximately, 
so that I should say the distance from the keel would be 15 feet in a 
horizontal line. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. How high up would that be, up the ship's side from the keel 1 ? 

A. That point of the ship's side is about 10 feet above the plane of 
the keel. 

Q. Ten vertical feet ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How do you account for the immense damage done abreast of the 
reserve magazine, where there is nothing left, whereas between frames 
16 and 18 you have found damaged plates ? 

A. My idea is that after the ship was raised up at frame 18, the 
magazines, one or all of them, after that were exploded, for some pow- 
der tanks that I have seen I think were exploded, while others I have 
seen were not exploded. I saw a coffee can that was brought up this 
morning which was about as badly battered as most of the powder 
cases that came up. It looked in very much the same condition. 

Q. When you say some of the powder tanks had, in your opinion, 
exploded, and some had not, do you refer to 6-inch tanks only or to 10- 
inch tanks also? 

A. I refer to both, as I have seen a 6-inch tank that was very little 
ripped open, and I saw one this morning that had been first opened 
and flattened out, with evidences of burnt powder upon it. I saw one 
10-inch tank that was scarcely battered at all, and only the head of it 
gone. I also saw 10-inch tanks with the packing, which looked like 
excelsior, unburnt; so that, in my opinion, some but not all of the 10- 
inch and 6-inch charges were exploded. 

Q. Do you know how many tanks were brought up this morning? 

A. The divers started getting tanks so late in the forenoon that they 
did not get many. I think probably four or five. 

Q. And of these how many were exploded and how many were not? 

A. I did not see all of them. The only one I remember distinctly 
was the one to which I have referred, which was exploded and burst 
out, so that the case formed almost a plane surface. 

Q. You say one had the head gone. Did you see that one? 

A. I saw the 10-inch tank with the head gone. That was not brought 
up this morning. It had preserved its proximate shape, and did not 
look much more damaged than if it had been dropped or rolled down 
the staircase. 

Q. Had the head of the cylinder been torn off? 

A. The head of the cylinder was a removable head. The fastenings 
were still there. 

Q. Who could give testimony about the tanks brought up to-day? 

A. Ensign Brumby or Gunner Morgan. 

By the Court : 

Q. I suppose you saw the 10 inch full tank that was recovered some 
days ago, did you? 

A. No, sir; I did not see that tank, but I was told by the officer of 
the deck of the Fern that such tank had been recovered, and was now 
in the magazine of the Fern. 

Q. Do you suppose you could make a perspective sketch of the dif- 
erent parts of the ship as you understand them to exist at present? 

A. No, sir; I tried, but I have no talent at all for perspective draw- 
ing. I tried to do it. 






DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. Ill 

Q. We would not expect a finished drawing, but I think you under- 
stand it better than anybody else. 

A. I could try to do it, sir. 

Q. I do not mean immediately, but putting together the sketches 
which you have obtained from time to time, so that if the board should 
return at some future day you might be able to give us a drawing 
which would show the present condition of the bottom of the ship? 

A. I think I can get someone who does perspective drawing, tell him 
just what I want, and have him make it. I could tell whether it is 
correct or not when I see it, although I can not make it myself. 

Q. I would like to ask whether you do not think that this same means 
carried away the body of the ship just forward of frame 20, that is, the 
forward part of the reserve 6-inch magazine, and produced the distor- 
tion that we have been discussing? 

A. That question, sir, is rather a difficult one, because it brings in so 
much conjecture. If anything definite were known about the amount 
of powder that was under the ship 

Q. Or what shape it was in? 

A. Or what shape it was in, you might draw some conclusion. 

Q. Is it not likely that if there is a large hole in the ship abaft the 
point we have been discussing, say frame 18, and also if there were a 
large hole driven up through the ship at frame 26, is it not likely that 
that same force would be the force that lifted and distorted the ship at 
frame 18, 25 or 30 feet away? 

A. I think a very heavy explosion farther aft than frame 18 — as the 
ship was much weaker forward of frame 24 than aft — such an explo- 
sion of the forward body could have been produced by a force farthei 
aft. 

Q. It is only a question of the area of the effect of the explosion. It 
is not likely there were two outside forces. 

The President. No; but suppose it were a mine, and if it were cir- 
cular or spherical and placed in a certain position, say 10 or 15 feet 
from the keel, then -the center of effort and the destruction produced 
would be around the center, and it would be circular; but if it were 
a cylinder and, instead of being parallel to the keel, it inclined from, 
say, frame 26, where it approached the keel, outward — not parallel to the 
keel, but crosswise across the bottom of the ship — then the destruction 
would be greatest at the after end. 

A. That is such a difficult question that 1 think I would rather not 
answer. 

By the Court : 

Q. Then I think I would not say definitely that it was at that par- 
ticular place. 

The President. Yes; he is basing his opinion now on what he has 
seen. When you come to take in the big hole, as we imagine it to be, 
that may have been produced by still another mine. 

Q. It was only with reference to the question of fixing it definitely 
that I asked the question. 

A. On the bottom forward, where that frame was thrown up, it would 
seem to me the force was communicated some distance through the 
water, because this thing was lifted up instead of being battered in. 
It was a force that was cushioned in some way, because the diver tells 
me there was a bulge in plates between the two frames, and such a 
force as that would be a cushion pressure. So, the plates not having 
been broken in, or anything of that kind, this explosion may have 
occurred aft, and the frames forward of the transverse armor being 



112 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

weaker than they are aft, the ship might have been lifted up there by 
this cushion pressure from farther aft. 

Q. You have never been down in a diving- suit, have you? 

A. No, sir; I never have. It struck me, as I was looking at it, that 
the mine there could not have been very close to those plates that were 
lifted up, because, as I say, the plates are not so much damaged as 
bent in the form of a V and raised up a vertical distance. It seemed 
to me that mine was somewhat removed, and the pressure came through 
the water, which produced that cushioned sort of pressure. 

The testimony of the witness was then read over to him by the ste- 
nographer, and by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then desired to add the following testimony: 

I desire to amend my answer as to the center of impact of the explo- 
sion. Not being in possession of information as to the condition of the 
bottom plating aft of frame 18, 1 based my answer entirely upon what 
I had seen above water. If the bottom plating aft of frame 18 is in a 
broken condition from outside in, I should say that an explosion at this 
point could very easily have produced, by lifting that part of the ship, 
the corrugated appearance which the forward body at frames 18 and 15 
now presents. 

The additional testimony was then read over by the stenographer to 
the witness, and by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters relating to the inquiry. 

Gunner's Mate Olsen was then called before the court and warned 
by the president that the oath previously taken by him was still binding. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. You have heard the statements made by Mr. Powelson before this 
court in your presence. Are they correct in every way ? 

A . Yes ; they are correct. 

Q. All the statements that he told the court you had made to him — 
are they quoted correctly ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

The testimony of the witness was then read over to him by the 
stenographer, and by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters relating to the inquiry. 

The court then (at 5.15 o'clock p. m.) adjourned to meet at Key West, 
Fla., Monday, February 28, at 10 o'clock a. m. 



SEVENTH DAY. 

U. S. Court-House, Key West, Fla., 
k Monday, February 28, 1898 — 10 a. m. 

The court met pursuant to adjournment of Saturday, which adjourn- 
ment took place on board the Mangrove, in the harbor of Havana. The 
court reconvened in the United States court-house at Key West, Fla. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge- advocate, and the 
stenographer. 

Captain Sigsbee, who remained in Havana, informed the judge- 
advocate that he would waive the right to be present during the ses- 
sions of the court, provided the judge-advocate would inform him in 
case he considered Captain Sigsbee's presence necessary for his interests. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 113 

No other officer desired to be present at the meeting except Lieuten- 
ant- Commander Wainwright, who is also in Havana, and who desired 
to be presen 4- only when the testimony of the divers is being taken. 

The record of the proceedings of Saturday, the sixth day of the 
inquiry, was read and approved. 

Lieut. John J. Blandin, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached 
at present. 

A. Lieut. John J. Blandin, U. S. Navy, attached to the U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. How long were you attached to the Maine before her destruction? 

A. Since the 20th of June, 1897. 

Q. What duty did you perform during that time 1 ? 

A. Watch and division officer. 

Q. What division did you have 1 ? 

A. The fourth division. 

Q. Is that the after division of the ship? 

A. That was the after division of the ship. 

Q. While in the harbor of Havana were you doing the duty of an 
officer of the deck ? 

A. 1 was. 

Q. Do you know of any special orders that were issued by the com- 
manding officer while in Havana in order to guard the ship more 
securely than at any other place? 

A. The quarter watch was on watch all night. Small-arm ammuni- 
tion was placed in the belts of the marines and of the quarter watch in 
the gun divisions, one hundred rounds. The boxes of 1-pounder and 
6-pounder ammunition were stored in the cabin pantry (which is not 
used for anything else), the armory, and the pilot house. Sentries were 
posted on the forecastle and on the poop, with cartridges in their belts, 
but with orders not to load their pieces unless ordered by an officer. 
Orders were given to see that strict watch was kept, which was done. 
I think those were the principal precautions taken. 

Q. During the time you stood watch in the harbor of Havana, did 
you ever know of any hostile demonstration afloat, in the way of boats 
approaching the ship that had to be warned off? 

A. None whatever. 

Q. On the night of the explosion were all the orders that you have 
just named faithfully carried out? 

A. They were, sir. 

Q. What was your duty on that night? 

A. I had the watch from 8 until 12. 

Q. P.m.? 

A. P. m. 

Q. What time did you relieve the deck? 

A. At 8 o'clock. I relieved Lieutenant Blow. 

Q. Had the 8 p. m. reports been made when you took the deck? 

A. They were being made when I was relieving. 

Q. Did you hear them made? 

A. I did not. 

Q. Mr. Blow received those reports ? 

A. The first lieutenant received them, sir. 

Q. The reports of lights and fires. Who received those? 
S. Doc. 207 8 



114 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. Those reports were received by Naval Cadet Cluverius, as I 
remember, just as I was relieving. 

Q. What was Naval Cadet Cluverius doing there? 

A. He was the midshipman who had two deck watches under Mr, 
Blow. 

Q. Mr. Blow was there? 

A. Mr. Blow was there, sir. 

Q. When you took the deck, was everything reported perfectly secure 
to you, and the ordinary state of affairs? 

A. Everything was perfectly normal. The usual reports were made. 

Q. After 8 p. m. did you attend to your duties faithfully as an officer 
of the deck? 

A. I did. 

Q. Please state to the court fully your experience of the explosion, 
giving all the noises you heard, all the shocks you felt, and everything 
you can tell the court in regard to the matter. 

A. After the third quarter watch at 9 o'clock was piped down, I was 
on the starboard side of the deck walking up and down. I looked over 
the side and then went over to the port side and took a look. I don't 
remember seeing any boats at all in sight. I thought at the time the 
harbor was very free from boats. I thought it was about 3 bells, 
and 1 walked over to the port side of the deck just abaft the after turret. 
Mr. Hood came up shortly afterwards and was talking to me when the 
explosion occurred. I am under the impression that there were two 
explosions, though I could not be sure of it. Mr. Hood started aft to 
get on the poop to lower the boats, I suppose, and I followed him. 
Something struck me on the head. My cap was in my hand. My head 
was slightly cut and I was partially knocked over, but not stunned. I 
climbed on the poop and went on the starboard side and found Captain 
Sigsbee there. I reported to him. He ordered the boats lowered at 
once to pick up any of the wounded. The officers very rapidly got on 
the poop, and there were one or two men there, but very few. 

The barge and gig were lowered, and just then I heard a man crying 
out down on the quarter deck. I went to the ladder, and I saw Mr. 
Hood trying to pull a ventilator off the man's legs. He was lying in 
the wreckage; jammed there. The water then was not deep. I went 
down and helped Mr. Hood pull this ventilator off and carried the man 
on the poop, with the help of Private Loftus, I think it was. It was a 
private man. Then the captain told Mr. Wainwright to see if anything 
could be done to put out the fire. Mr. Wainwright went forward to 
the middle superstructure, and shortly afterwards came back and 
reported to the captain that it was hopeless to try to do anything. 
Then in a very few moments the captain decided that it was hopeless, 
and gave the order to abandon ship. Boats came from the Alfonso 
Boce, and two boats from the City of Washington, and those, with our 
boats, picked up the wounded and sent most of them, by the captain's 
order, to the Alfonso. There were thirty-four sent there. We aban- 
doned ship, the captain getting in his gig after everybody had left, and 
went to the City of Washington. 

Q. When you first felt the explosion did you notice any list of the 
ship? 

A. None whatever. 

Q. Was there a very severe shock where you were standing? 

A. No; it was a shock, but I should not call it a very severe shock? 

Q. I suppose you at once looked forward? 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 115 

A. I at once looked over the port side, as I thought the explosion 
occurred on the port side, forward. That was my impression. 

Q. Did you see any water thrown up? 

A. Not a particle. 

Q. Tell us what you did see go up in the air? 

A. I didn't see anything go up in the air, but I saw all kinds of 
stuff falling down — wreckage. 

Q. You saw no upshoot of flame ? 

A. Mr. Hood saw the flame. It was ou the starboard side, and he 
looked to starboard. 

Q. You saw none? 

A. I saw a flare. I didn't see the actual flame. 

Q. You spoke of ammunition being stowed forward for ready use. 
Will you please state where that was stowed? 

A. In the pilot house. 

Q. How high up is the pilot house? It is some distance above the 
superstructure deck, is it not? 

A. It is about 10 feet, I should say, above the superstructure deck. 

Q. There was no ammunition forward below that? 

A. None below that; no, sir. This was only secondary battery 
ammunition that was in the pilot house. 

Q. How was the ship swinging at the time of that explosion? 

A. She was riding to the ebb current. 

Q. The ship is now lying pointing almost toward the admiralty 
house or Machina. I suppose that is the way she was when she ex- 
ploded? 

A. I don't remember her heading, but the Alfonso was on our star- 
board quarter, the little gunboat was almost astern, and the City of 
Washington was on our port quarter. 

Q. Would you be able to tell the court whether she was riding in an 
unusual direction for that harbor? 

A. It didn't strike me so from the general appearance. I took no 
notice of her heading. She swung around the buoy for three weeks, 
about. She had probably been on every heading. 

Q. Did she seem to be pretty steady on that heading that night ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. She was heading steadily in that direction ? 

A. She seemed to be. I had no cause to suspect any change. 

Q. You know that ships swing a great deal in the harbor of Havana. 
Could you not tell us whether, from the time you took the deck until 
the time of the explosion, the Maine seemed to be heading almost 
steadily in one direction ? 

A. So for as I know, she was, from the bearings of other ships. 

By the Court : 

Q. Were you so situated that you could see the point at which the 
explosion took place? 

A. No, sir; I was abaft the after turret and could see on the port 
side well aft, but the turret bulges a little and would cut off the sight 
of the side of the ship forward of the gangway. I do not know where 
the explosion took place, but my impression is it was on the port side 
forward. 

Q. You were not so situated that you could have seen the burst of 
flame or the effect of the first explosion — whether it was thrown up? 

A. I could have seen the burst of flame where I was if 1 had looked 
in that direction. I looked over the port side. I saw the glare as it 



116 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

went up, but 1 didn't see this burst of flame that others have described. 
That was more amidships. 

Q. You did not notice any ascent of a column of water as the result 
of the explosion ? 

A. None at all, and none fell, to my knowledge. None fell on me, and 
I saw none fall around me. 

Q. How soon after the explosion do you think the forward part of the 
ship was under water? 

A. The forward part, almost within a minute. 1 should estimate 
that, at the most, two minntes after the explosion the quarter deck was 
knee deep in water. She was on bottom in, I think, less than three 
minutes, all over. 

Q. You say you heard two explosions? 

A. That is my impression, sir; though I could not be positive. I 
think there were two. 

Q. Similar explosions? 

A. So far as I can judge, sir. When the first explosion took place 
the ship quivered. The shock, as I said, was not so great where I was, 
and my impression is there was a second one, but the difference in 
similarity I could not describe. 

Q. As I understand, Mr. Blandin, you only saw the fragments 
coming down? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You did not see anything go up? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. So that whatever was thrown upward was not under your 
observation? 

A. No, sir; I really saw very little coming down, but I heard them 
and felt them. 

Q. Was there any perceptible upheaval of the ship that you noticed? 

A. Not that I noticed; no, sir. 

By the Judge- Advocate: 
Q. Were you riding head to the wind? 

A. There was practically no wind. It was, if anything, a very light 
air. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of tho record as contains his testimony, and asked to with- 
draw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which 
he will be again called before the court, and be given an opportunity 
to amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The 
request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned, by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Lieut. John Hood, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before the 
court, and was sworn by the president: 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. Please state your full name, rank, and to what ship you are 
attached. 

A. John Hood, lieutenant, U. S. Navy, attached to the late TJ. S. S. 
Maine. 

Q. Since when have you been attached to the Mainef 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 117 

A. Since November 5, 1897. 

Q. What was your duty during that time? 

A. My duty was as watch officer. 

Q. Senior watch officer? 

A. Senior watch officer. 

Q. In charge of the powder division f 

A. Yes, sir; in charge of the powder division and the torpedo 
division. 

Q. Since you have been senior watch officer in charge of the powder 
division have you been down in the magazines and shell rooms? 

A. I have been through all of them. 

Q. Do you know of any matter being stowed in the shell rooms or 
magazines which was prohibited by ordnance instructions and regula- 
tions from being stowed there? 

A. I do not. I inspected all the magazines after I joined the ship, 
and saw them all properly stowed. I saw nothing there except the 
proper and authorized articles. 

Q. You consider that on the night of the explosion there was exist- 
ing the same state of affairs — no violation of the ordnance regulations 
in regard to the stowage of explosives? 

A. I do. I did not inspect it then, but I am absolutely sure that 
there was nothing done beyond the ordinary work down there. 

Q. Who was acting in the gunner's place at the time of the explo- 
sion, and who had been for some time previously? 

A. Chief Gunner's Mate Brofelt. 

Q. What is the record and character of that man? 

A. His record and character are both excellent. He is a very excel- 
lent man, a thoroughly reliable man, and a very intelligent man. 

Q. Whenever the magazines or shell rooms are open for drill or oth- 
erwise are the keys always returned to the captain and the magazines 
and shell rooms reported locked? 

A. The keys are always returned. The magazine is reported closed. 
The report is made to the officer of the deck, and by him to the cap- 
tain. The keys are never gotten out except by a report, first, to the 
officer of the deck, as to what they are wanted for. That report has to 
be turned in to the captain, and the captain sends them out. 

Q. Do you remember whether on the day of the explosion, February 
15, the magazines or shell rooms had been opened for any purpose? 

A. They were not opened that day for drill ; but it is the routine of 
the ship to open them to take the temperature. That I had nothing to 
do with personally. I know that is the routine of the ship. 

Q. The temperature can be taken from the small plate holes, can 
it not? 

A. Yes. 

Q. And it is done that way? 

A. It can be taken through the small holes. I never examined that 
personally at all. All the magazines were opened the day before at 
drill, and I passed up and down through all the magazines of the ship. 

Q. That was Monday gunnery drill there? 

A. Gunnery drill day. 

Q. Did you ever pay any attention to the temperature of magazines 
and shell rooms? 

A. No; that was not my special business. I noticed the temperature 
of the magazines myself when I was in them, but that was all. 

Q. Which were the hottest magazines? 



118 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. The hottest magazines were what we called amidship magazines; 
the midship 10-inch and G-inch. 

Q. Which is the midship, the forward or the after 10-inch? 

A. The after 10-inch, down between the engine room and fire room, 
and they were much warmer than any of the forward magazines. The 
forward magazines were comparatively cool. 

Q. During drill, were all regulations properly carried out in regard 
to men going down to magazines and shell rooms'? 

A. I think I am sure they were. They were, so far as I know. 

Q. You had no drills since Monday forenoon, the day before 1 ? 

A. I had no drill after Monday forenoon, the day before. 

Q. Do you know where the rockets were stowed? 

A. They were stowed on deck, aft somewhere. I never paid any 
attention to that, because I had nothing to do with that. 

Q. I suppose a few were in the pilot house ? 

A. A few were always up in the pilot house for use. That is all I 
ever looked at. 

Q. While you were officer of the deck, in the harbor of Havana, were 
there any special regulations made by your commanding officer, and 
any special orders given in regard to keeping an extra lookout; and, if 
so, were they faithfully carried out? 

A. They were, while I was on watch. Of course, I did not see it all 
the time. 

Q. That is what I mean. Did you ever notice any hostile demon- 
stration afloat in the way of boats approaching the ship that had to be 
warned off ? 

A. No; I never saw any demonstration of any kind afloat. The 
only passing crafts were ordinary passing boats, and they were all 
hailed as they went along. 

Q. Where were the torpedo war heads stowed ? 

A. They were stowed in the* storeroom for them, down underneath 
the forward end of the wardroom. 

Q. When had they been handled last before the explosion ? 

A. About the 26th or 27th of December, if I recollect right. They 
were taken up just at the end of December and weighed, and restowed 
again, and they had not been touched since. 

Q. No torpedo war heads were fitted at the time of the explosion? 

A. No, sir; no torpedo warheads were out of the torpedo storeroom. 

Q. Do you remember the kind of ammunition and, as near as you can 
tell us, the amount that was stowed in the reserve 6-inch magazine? 

A. The reserve 6-inch magazine struck me as being practically 
empty when I went through it. I didn't take any account of the stock, 
but there was very little ammunition of any kind in it, and the gunner 
who went through the magazine with me told me that he had the salut- 
ing charges and a few extra shell stowed in there, I think. I am not 
sure about that, but it was a very small quantity of ammunition of any 
kind that was stowed in that reserve magazine. 

Q. On June 30, 1897, it was reported that there was quite an amount 
of 6-inch charges there. Do you know whether there were any there 
at the time of the explosion? 

A. 1 do not know. I did not take any account of the stock there. 

Q. Are there any wooden linings to the magazines of the Maine f 

A. There were gratings on the floors, but I don't recollect how the 
sides of the magazines were fitted. 

Q. During your inspections, did you notice whether there were any 
electric wires which might endanger the magazines? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 119 

A. I never saw any wires there except the light wires which were in 
the light box. They were not in the magazines. 

Q. Did you notice any steam pipes which might endanger the maga- 
zines? 

A. No, sir; I don't think there were any steam pipes in the maga- 
zines at all. 

Q. I believe, in answer to a previous question, you stated that while 
you were officer of the deck all ordnance regulations were faithfully 
carried out. I believe you were on deck at the time of the explosion. 
For how long previous to that moment were you on deck? 

A. I came on deck about half past 9. It may have been a little 
before that; and the explosion occurred about 9.40. It might have 
been a little longer. I was on deck probably about fifteen minutes. 

Q. Could you state whether proper vigilance was exercised or not in 
respect to these orders ? 

A. The men were on watch on deck and all the sentries were posted. 

Q. The officers were at their stations? 

A. No other officer was on deck except the officer of the deck and 
myself. The officer of the deck was on deck at his station, but there 
was no other officer on deck that I saw. 

Q. Did you notice which way the ship was riding? 

A. I did. 

Q. From your experience while at Havana, did you think she was 
riding in an unusual way or in a way in which she had frequently been 
riding? 

A. She was riding in a direction that I never remember having seen 
her ride in before. 

Q. Was she heading steadily in that direction, so far as you could 
judge ? 

A. Just at that time she was pretty still. 

Q. Will you please state to the court your experience of the explo- 
sion in full — what you felt, what you heard, and what you saw. 

A. I was sitting on the port side of the deck with my feet on the rail, 
and I both heard and felt — felt more than I heard — a big explosion, that 
sounded and felt like an underwater explosion. I was under the 
impression that it came from forward, -starboard, at the time. I 
instantly turned my head, and the instant I turned my head there 
was a second explosion. I saw the whole starboard side of the deck 
and everything above it as far aft as the after end of the superstructure 
spring up in the air with all kinds of objects in it — a regular crater-like 
performance, with flames and everything else coming up. I imme- 
diately sprang myself behind the edge of the superstructure, as there 
were a number of objects flying in my direction, for shelter. I ran 
very quickly aft, as fast as I could, along the after end of the super- 
structure, and climbed up on a kind of step. I went under the barge, and 
by the time I went up on the superstructure this explosion had passed. 
The objects had stopped flying around. Then I saw on the starboard 
side there was an immense mass of foaming water and wreckage and 
groaning men out there. It was scattered around in a circle, I should 
say about a hundred yards in diameter, off on the starboard side. I im- 
mediately proceeded to lower the gig, with the help of another man. 
After I got that in the water several officers jumped in it and one or 
two men. In the meantime somebody else was lowering the other boat 
on the port side. I heard some groans forward, and ran forward on 
the quarter deck down the poop ladder, and I immediately brought up 
on an immense pile of wreckage. I saw one man there, who had been 
thrown from somewhere, pinned down by a ventilator. 



120 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

The Court. May I interrupt Mr. Hood a moment. He said several 
officers jumped into the gig. He does not say for what purpose or 
what they did. That might leave a bad impression unless lie states 
what the object was. 

A. They jumped into the gig, commanded to pick up these wounded 
men whom we heard out in the water. The orders had been given by 
the captain and the executive officer to lower the boats as soon as they 
came on deck. I spoke o flowering the gig, because I was on the deck 
before they got up there, and began to lower it anyway, to pick up 
these men. As I was saying a minute ago, 1 found this one man lying 
there on the quarter deck in this wreckage, pinned down by a venti- 
lator. With Mr. Blandin's help, we got him up just in time before the 
water rose over him. The captain and the executive officer ordered 
the magazines to be closed. We all saw at once that it would be no 
use flooding the magazines. We saw that the magazines were flooding 
themselves. Then the captain said he wanted the fire put out that was 
starting up in the wreckage. I made my way forward through the 
wreck and debris, up to the middle superstructure, to see if anything 
could be done toward putting out this fire. When I got there I found 
nothing could be done because the whole thing was gone. 

When I climbed up on this wreck on the superstructure I saw simi- 
lar piles of wreckage .on the port side which I had not seen before, and 
I saw some men struggling in that, in the water; but there were half 
a dozen boats there, I suppose, picking them up and hauling them out; 
and after pulling down some burning swings and things that were 
starting to burn ait, to stop any fire from catching aft, I came aft 
again out of the wreckage. There was no living thing up there at that 
time. Shortly after that we all left the ship. There were two distinct 
explosions — big ones — and they were followed by a number of smaller 
explosions, which I took at once to be what they were, I suppose — 
explosions of separate charges of the bl own-up magazine. The instant 
this first explosion occurred, I knew the ship was gone completely, and 
the second explosion only assisted her to go a little quicker. She 
began to go down instantly. The interval between the two was so 
short that I only had time to turn my head and see the second. She 
sank on the forward end — went down like a shot. In the short time 
that I took to run the length of that short superstructure aft the deck 
canted down, showing that her bow had gone at once. 

At the same time the ship heeled over considerably to port, I should 
say about 10 degrees, the highest amount, and then the stern began to 
sink very rapidly, too; so rapidly that by the time I got that gig low- 
ered, with the assistance of another man or two, the upper quarter deck 
was under water, and the stern was sinking so quickly that when I 
began to pick this man up, whom I spoke of on the quarter deck, the 
deck was still out of water. Before 1 got this ventilator off him — it 
didn't take very long, as Mr. Blandin assisted to move that to get him 
up — the water was up over my knees, and just catching this fellow's 
head. The stern was sinking that quickly. The bow had gone down, 
as I say, instantly. I do not suppose you want my impressions. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. No; I will ask you some questions. Which was the larger 
explosion; which gave you the greater shock, the first or the second? 

A. The first was more of a feel. I mean, you felt the first explosion 
rather more than you saw it. I felt the whole ship just go up and 
tremble an'" vibrate all over. The first explosion was a duller sound, 
to me. The second was a kind of an open explosion, you might say, 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 121 

which was the one that I saw, which came right up at once. The other 
one had come up, too, but I had not been able to see it. 

Q. Was tbere any lifting of the ship at the time of the first explosion ? 

A. The ship began to list immediately. The explosions followed each 
other very quickly. I just had time to turn my head, and the ship 
began to list to port immediately. There was no appreciable interval 
of time between these two explosions. 

Q. What I mean is, Did the ship give a sudden list to either star- 
board or port at the first explosion, as if something had struck hex' on 
either side? I don't mean a gradual sinking, as she did afterwards. 

A. I didn't notice any special list at the first shot, but she began to 
list immediately. 

Q. As I understand from your description, the first explosion was 
more as if something had run into her, and trembled the whole ship? 

A. No; not as if something had run into her at all; as though some- 
thing had exploded under her. 

Q. It affected the whole ship more than the second explosion, which 
has a bursting of the forward part? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On which side did you think the explosion was, at the moment ? 

A. My instantaneous impression was that it was on the starboard 
side; but that was an impression. It was the starboard side that I 
saw blow up myself. I couldn't sec the port side. I was sitting behind 
the after turret, and the awning was spread, coming down, and I 
couldn't see that at all. I felt the explosion was forward, and rather 
to starboard. I naturally supposed it must have been to starboard, 
because it was to starboard that I looked. 

Q. And could see ? 

A. And could see. 

Q. The turret obstructed the view of the port gangway, did it not? 

A. It entirely obstructed the view of the port gangway. I could not 
see anything at all to port. The turret was there, and the awning was 
spread, coming down through the top of the turret, so that I could see 
neither above nor ahead. 

Q. The quarter- deck awning was spread, was it? 

A. Yes; and my only line of sight forward was in a diagonal star- 
board line, between the after superstructure and the turret gun, look- 
ing out toward the starboard gangway. 

Q. Was any water thrown up at the time of either explosion? 

A. I didn't see any water thrown up. 

Q. Did you feel any? 

A. I didn't feel any. 

Q. Were there any upshoots of flame in either explosion? 

A. The first explosion, I do not know what there was, because I did 
not see it; but in the second explosion, there was an upshoot of flame, 
and deck ana everything else in sight, along the starboard side. I saw 
the whole starboard side of the deck, as far as I could see it, nearly as 
far aft as the after end of the middle superstructure — I saw the whole 
thing go up in the air, and the part of the superstructure there along 
with it. 

Q. Did you notice any explosions in the air? 

A. No. 

By the Court : 
Q. You connect that movement of the lifting of the deck of the middle 
superstructure distinctly with the second explosion, do you? 
A. The deck, not the superstructure at all. During this first explo- 



122 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHTP MAINE. 

sion there was nothing in the way of the starboard gangway of that 
vast mass of wreckage that is lying there now. My first sight through 
the starboard side was a perfectly clear sight, and there was nothing 
lying there, or there was no wreckage there, of that immense pile of 
wreckage that is piled on the starboard and after side of the ship after 
the whole thing was over. There was nothing there at that time. 
There was a clear view through, right past that superstructure, and I 
just happened to get a look in time to see all that go up itself. When 
I climbed up after the thing was over, and we got the boats out, and I 
climbed up in this mass of wreckage at night, I found an immense mass 
of wreckage piled up where I had seen this thing go up. In the dark- 
ness of the night I took that mass of wreckage to be the starboard side 
of the ship, that had just blown up and tilted up. That was my 
impression during that night, that this big mass of wreckage was the 
end of those beams that I discovered the next morning. That night I 
thought they might be the end of the beams themselves thrown up in 
the air. When that second explosion took place there was nothing in 
the line of my sight forward. It was perfectly clear. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Where were you at the time of the first explosion"? What was 
exactly your position ? 

A. I was sitting, I should say, just between — I can point it out 
exactly on the plan. 

Q. We would rather have you tell where you were, because your 
pointing can not go in the record. 

A. I was sitting almost opposite the door, I should say, almost under 
the forward davit of the whaleboat. 

Q. On the port side? 

A. On the port side. 

By the Court : 

Q. Fix it exactly by the number of the frame? 

A. I don't know what the number of the frame is. I was sitting 
right there, almost opposite this door [indicating]. 

Q. The door that leads into the admiral's cabin? 

A. The door that leads into the admiral's cabm, yes, sir. 

Q. The frames are numbered here. 

A. (After examination of the plan.) I was sitting about on frame 
06, close to the port rail. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. I understand you to say you jumped right up and ran over to 
starboard ? 

A. First, before I jumped out of my chair, I turned. I was sitting 
in the chair with my feet on the rail. Before I jumped, I turned to the 
right to look forward, and I had a view just between the turret and the 
aftersuperstructure, across the deck, over to the starboard gangway. 
I did not start to run until after the second explosion, when 1 saw the 
whole deck and everything above there, and below, too, I suppose, rise 
up in the air. I saw various missiles of all kinds flying around loose, 
and some of them were flying toward me. One of them whisked off 
my cap as it came by. It didn't touch my head, but I felt the wind of 
it as it went by, and I quickly jumped against the port side of the after- 
superstructure, to be under shelter from these flying missiles. 

Q. Your position did not give you a full view of the starboard gang- 
way ? 

A. No. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 123 

Q. The wreck shows now that the forward part of tbe superstructure 
was thrown forward of the afterpart? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you think it might have been possible that it was thrown up 
at the first explosion but not landed in time for you to see the wreckage ? 

A. That is exactly what I tbink. It was not there when I saw this 
second explosion. Just immediately after I got up on tbe superstruc 
ture, the thing was there. My belief is that tbe whole forward part of 
the superstructure that is lying there on tbe starboard gangway now 
was in tbe air at the time I saw the second explosion. 

Q. You think the first explosion threw up tbe middle superstructure"? 

A. I do. Tbe explosion that I saw myself was on the starboard 
side, and that would have raised and thrown anything in the other 
direction — thrown it off. 

Q. You saw tbe second explosion on tbe starboard side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. But could it not have been on both sides and you not able to 
see it? 

A. It could have been, except that when I examined the wreck tbe 
next morning the afterpart of the port side of the middle superstruc- 
ture was apparently intact. It is intact there yet, almost, and the star- 
board side aft is all gone. As I say, I saw this deck go up almost as 
far aft as the after end of the superstructure. 

Q. Tben it is your belief that the deck was raised at the first 
explosion? 

A. It is my belief that the forward deck — that main deck forward — 
was raised at the first explosion. 

Q. And the second explosion might have been on the port side as 
well as the starboard, but you would only see the starboard? Is that 
correct? 

A. No; I tbink the second explosion was more to starboard. Tbe 
flames and tbe crater that I saw were to starboard. 

Q. None on the port side? 

A. I could not see the port side. I do not know what was on the 
port. 

Q. That is what I am trying to say. You could not testify as to the 
port side? 

A. I could not see the port side at all. Of course, I only have my 
impressions of it alter I climbed up on tbe wreckage and saw what was 
left — saw what the thing was; but I could not see anytbing to port. I 
did see the starboard side go up, and when I saw that starboard side 
go up my first sight of it was clear. There was nothing piled up there, 
and it was perfectly clear. Shortly after the explosion, the next time 
I saw it, there was a great mass of wreckage piled up there, which I 
saw afterwards was the forward end of the main deck and the middle 
superstructure. That was not there when this second explosion that I 
saw took place. 

Q. You could not be positive, then, which explosion threw up the 
forward part of the superstructure, but you are positive tbat it was 
not there when you got a view? 

A. I am positive it was not there when I saw it, and that the explo- 
sion that I saw on the starboard side would have thrown things away 
from there. 

By the Court : 
Q. How do you account, Mr. Hood, for the fact that the missiles 



124 DESTRUCTION OF THE IT. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

which you saw, some of which were coming your way, followed the 
second explosion ? 

A. They were things that had blown up from below in this explo- 
sion — parts of the deck and parts of the superstructure, the starboard 
side of the superstructure, and whatever was in the way there. The 
thing opened out just like a big crater. It is only a matter of judg- 
ment, of course, as to just how far aft that came; but my line of sight 
did not take so very far forward of the line of the after end of the 
superstructure from where I was sitting. 

Q. It is only a question of separating the impression, or estimating 
the interval between the first and the second explosion, and whether 
the first one could have produced a result which you did not see at the 
time of the second explosion. That is, the wreckage which had been 
produced by the first explosion only landed in its place after the second 
explosion? 

A. After the second explosion. 

Q. Or whether the result of the second explosion was what you sub- 
sequently saw and recognized as being the result of either the first 
explosion or of both explosions, or of only the second explosion. That 
is, you can not separate the result of the two explosions? 

A. No; I could not separate them fully, of course, but I know that 
my line of sight was perfectly clear when I saw this thing open up. 

Q. Un til the second explosion occurred ? 

A. Yes; they followed so closely on each other that of course it is a 
mere matter of impression as to how close they were together. 

Q. Yes; I am aware of that. 

A. I turned my head, and before I got my head around I heard the 
second one, and I just got around in time to see. 

Q. You saw that your view at that time was unobstructed. 

A. Was unobstructed. Of course it was an instantaneous action on 
my part — as near as a human action can be to look — around. 

Q. Why do you think the second explosion occurred on the starboard 
side? 

A. Because I saw the starboard side of the deck go up in the air, 
and everything about there going up. As soon as I got on top of the 
after superstructure, I saw this mass of wreckage, and foam, and 
things skimming in a semicircle around on the starboard side. 

Q. Could you see the port side from the superstructure after you got 
up there? 

A. No; the wreckage and other things were in the way from where 
I was. I did not see that until a minute or two after that, when I 
climbed forward on the wreck of the middle superstructure. Then I 
saw the port side, too. That was the first I had seen of the port side. 

Q. Will you tell us what your impression was the following day, or 
when you had a distinct impression of the wreck, as to the point at 
which the explosion had taken place. 

A. In the morning 1 went around the wreck when it was not abso- 
lutely full daylight. Mr. Wainwright and myself got in a boat and 
pulled around it, and my impression that morning in this darkness was 
that 

Q. But you were there how long afterwards? 

A. I was not near the wreck at all after that. I watched it through 
glasses as I was coming out on the steamer, but the steamer did not 
pass very near the wreck. I was in doubt as to just what that mass of 
wreckage that is turned up there was at that time. I knew those were 
beams, and that was a part of the superstructure, but whether that was 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 125 

the main deck in the after end of the superstructure, turned up in the 
air, or whether it was the port end of the forward part of the super- 
structure that was turned up in the air I could not exactly make out. 
I could not place exactly what that protuberance was that stuck out 
there on the starboard side. 

Q. You know now, do you 1 ? 

A. I know what it is ; yes. I have studied the thing out since, and 
I know it is the base of the conning tower. I thought that is what it 
looked like, but I could not see that morning how it could get there. 
I could not place it. I thought it might have been the starboard side 
of the deck, aft, blown up in the air, with the starboard ends of the 
beam sticking up. At the distance I saw it from the steamer I took it 
that it might have been one of the drying rooms — I think they call 
them — around the smokestack, or something of that kind; but I saw 
that the whole ship was gone from the cranes forward. 

Q. Bearing in mind the second impression, or the impressions you 
got the following day of the condition of the wreck, does that accord 
with the impression made upon you at the time the explosion occurred? 

A. Yes, sir; my impression has never changed at all, except in that 
1 was not sure at the first instant just where the explosion took place, 
whether it was more to starboard or more to port. 

Q. Your impression was at first 

A. My impression at first was that it was a little starboard. 

Q. That it was on the starboard side, and now, after knowing the 
position of the wreck, you are still of the same impression, are you? 

A. No ; I am of the impression that the explosion was on the port 
side. 

Q. Yes; but the second one? 

A. The second explosion, I am under the impression, was on the 
starboard side. It may have been, of course, that the main explosion 
at first threw a lot of these things out to starboard, but I could not see 
that. 

Q. I would like to ask a question about the agitation of the water. 
What did you notice about the agitation of the water f 

A. I just noticed a semicircular space of water opposite the star- 
board side. It was just a mass of foam and wreckage. There were 
quite a lot of groaning men in it. It extended out, I thought at the 
time, about 75 yards. 

Q. Was there any wave? 

A. There was no big wave; no. There would not be any wave. 

Q. How close to the port side of the magazine was any of the powder 
stowed — I mean the 6-inch reserve magazine? 

A. The 6 inch reserve magazine was well in. Just the exact dis- 
tance I do not know; but it was well in from the side of the ship. It 
was on the port side of amidships. 

Q. I mean from the coal bunker bulkhead, which is the outboard 
bulkhead of the magazine? 

A. I do not remember. 

Q. You did not notice any smoke or flame rising above the deck 
until the second explosion occurred ? 

A. I did not; but I could not see anything on the port side at all. 

Q. You did not notice? 

A. I did not notice, because I could not see anything, except on the 
starboard side. 

Q. I mean above the deck. I do not refer to either side. You did 
not notice any smoke or flame rising above the decks until the second 
explosion occurred? 



126 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A.. No; I could not see. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 
Q. When did you see the steam launch last, or did you see her at 
all? 
A. I didn't notice her that night at all. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to with- 
draw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which 
he will be again called before the court and be given an oportunity to 
amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request 
was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon 
he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss 
matters pertaining to the trial. 

Lieut. George P. Blow, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before the 
court and was sworn by the president: 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. George P. Blow, lieutenant, United States Navy, attached to the 
IT. S. battle ship Maine. 

Q. How long have you been in the Maine f 

A. I have been in the Maine since September, 1895, I think it was. 

Q. As what? 

A. As lieutenant and watch officer. 

Q. What division have you"? 

A. I had the fourth division first, and later the third division, in 
charge of the after turret. 

Q. When did you last have gunnery drill in the Maine? 

A. On Monday. 

Q. The day previous to the explosion? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Was all powder that was sent up sent below and properly stowed 
away? 

A. No powder was sent up, sir. 

Q. While you were watch officer of the Maine did you ever notice 
any hostile demonstrations afloat, in the way of boats attempting to 
approach the vessel at night that had to be warned off? 

A. No, sir; nothing hostile. I have noticed a number of shore 
boats which were warned off by the sentries ; but nothing of a hostile 
nature. 

Q. Do you know the direction in which the Maine was heading at 
the time of the explosion? 

A. I know the direction, approximately. 

Q. Was that an unusual heading, from your experience during your 
stay in that harbor, for that ship? 

A. Rather unusual; yes, sir. As a rule, we swung so that the 
Alfonso, which was lying at the buoy inside of us, was either on our 
port quarter or starboard quarter. That was the customary heading. 

Q. Were you officer of the deck from 4 to 8 p. m. the night of this 
explosion ? 

A. I was the officer of the day — officer on day's duty. 

Q. Were you on duty when the reports at 8 p. m. were made? 

A. Yes, sir. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 127 

Q. Who made them? 

A. Do you meau the regular reports to the executive officer? 

Q. Yes. 

A. The usual reports were made at the mast by the warrant officers, 
and by petty officers in charge of their departments. 

Q. What reports were made to the officer of the deck in your pres- 
ence or hearing? 

A. The reports were made that the captain, the executive officer, and 
other officers were on board. 

Q. I refer to the master at arms' reports about lights and tires. 

A. The usual report was made and repeated by Mr. Cluverius, before 
the deck was delivered over to the orderly, that the lights and fires 
were secure and everything was secure. 

Q. You were officer of the day of the Maine on February 15 up to 8 
p. in., and you consider that everything was secure below on the ship 
at 8 p.m.? 

A. To the best of my knowledge, everything was secure as usual. 

Q. Did you, as an officer who had been on the ship for a long while, 
have perfect confidence in the reports of these men that everything 
below was secure? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion? 

A. I was in my room, writing. 

Q. Where is your room situated? 

A. My room is the after room on the starboard side, in the wardroom 
proper, just forward of the bulkhead separating it from the after com- 
partment. 

Q. Do you remember the number of that bulkhead? 

A. No, sir. (After looking at the plan.) It was just abaft of frame 
iSTo. 76 on the starboard side. 

Q. Will you state to the court what you experienced during that 
explosion? We wish to know what you felt, what you heard, or what 
you saw. 

A. I was writing at the time, and heard forward, and apparently at 
some distance — that is to say, well up in the bow, as far as I could judge 
from the sound — an explosion. 

Instantly the lights went out. I rushed out of my room to see the 
cause of it, and before I could get more than probably feet from my 
room a second and much more violent explosion followed. Thisexplosiou 
I would describe as being a continuous explosion, lasting for some sec- 
onds, and accompanied by the falling of lights, electric fittings, furni- 
ture, and by a crashing and rending of metal, and immediately by a 
sharp heel of the ship to port; the sound of rushing water from for- 
ward, and the cries and screams of men from about amidships. My 
first impression was that we had been fired on, and I remember feeling 
surprised that it should have been by such a heavy gun. When the 
second explosion occurred, followed by the listing of the ship, 1 recog- 
nized the fact that the ship was sinking, and had been blown up. 

My impulse had been at first to go to my quarters, but at the second 
explosion I abandoned all thought of this, and realized that it was a 
question of whether I could reach the deck or not before the ship sank. 
A sharp heel of the ship, as I rushed forward feeling my way along 
the starboard bulkhead, caused me to lose my way amidst the wreck- 
age, and for probably a moment I was confused as to my position. I 
soon found the bulkhead again, and, feeling my way along, reached a 
small china jar on top of the starboard steam heater, and recognizing 



128 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

this by feeling, found the starboard door leading forward. This door 
was closed and jammed. It could not be opened. I then felt my way 
across the deck to the port door. The list of the ship, which had prob- 
ably closed the starboard door, had kept the port door open, and I had 
no difficulty in finding it. Stepping through the door, I reached the 
ladder, and ran into someone in the dark. 

By the Court : 
Q. What ladder was that? The one just outside the bulkhead? 
A. Yes, sir; just outside the bulkhead, leading up to the wardroom 
proper. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. It leads into the cabin passage? 

A. Yes, sir. We both fell, owing to the inclination of the deck, but, 
helping each other up again, we immediately crawled up the ladder, 
which was then nearly vertical. 1 am under the impression that this 
ladder fell immediately afterwards, as I heard a crash behind us. The 
water was then rushing in on the berth deck, though it was not quite 
up to the ladder, as she was heeled to port. Beaching the main deck, 
I felt my way through the starboard door in the after superstructure 
out on deck, and was surprised to find that everything was pitch dark, 
as dark as it had been below. 

By the Court : 

Q. That starboard door opens right out on the starboard deck? 

A. It opens right out on the starboard deck; yes, sir. 

Q. After passing through that you found it dark? 

A. I found it perfectly dark there. I was surprised at the time to 
find it so dark. This was probably due to the fact that the quarter- 
deck awning had been dragged down by the fall of the third cutter. As 
I passed through the door I ran against someone hanging from the 
poop deck rail, who asked me to give him a push up on deck. This I 
did, and believing that there must be some good cause for his having 
taken that way of reaching safety, I quickly followed. At this time 
the main deck was still above water. On reaching the poop deck I 
glanced forward and found the whole forward part of the ship a mass 
of confused wreckage, and apparently submerged up to and above the 
main deck. There were about a dozen men only to be seen on the 
poop deck. Among these I recognized the captain and the executive 
officer, Lieutenant-Commander Wainright, who were giving orders to 
get out the boats for the purpose of saving the lives of the men in the 
water. 

On the starboard side the beam and forward there were cries for 
help. Kealizing at a glance that my boat, the third cutter, and that 
all the boats, in fact, forward, were gone, I turned aft to help to get 
out the only boats remaining. I found the gig manned and about to 
be lowered. 1 lowered the forward fall, and was surprised to find that 
the boat only went down about 6 or 8 feet. Thinking the stopper 
might have passed, or the blocks jammed, I asked the man in the bow 
if everything was all right. He replied yes. I asked him why the 
boat would not go down. He informed me that the boat was afloat. 
By that time the water had nearly reached the top of the superstruc- 
ture deck. I then went forward again, and noticed that the wreckage 
had broken into flames, and I heard someone, I think the executive 
officer, say to the captain. "There is the wreck of the fire ship which 



DESTEUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 129 ; 

they have sent down on us," pointing to the wreckage forward, which 
was now illuminated from the burning cellulose. 

I then went to the port side to assist in lowering the barge. I found 
that she had already been lowered and was afloat. Before that, how- 
ever, I would like to insert something. I am a little too fast. Before 
going forward again one of the midshipmen — I think it was Mr. Olu- 
verius — came and asked me if he could be of any service. I told him 
to jump in the gig and take charge and save what life he could on the 
starboard side, which I believe he did. After this I went to the port 
side to assist in lowering the barge and I found that she was already 
in the water and afloat. There were already, I think, four men in her, 
however, to man her. So I went back again and called several who 
were standing on the poop and put them in the boat, and afterwards 
got in myself. I took charge of the boat, ordering the man at the helm 
to steer around on the starboard side, where most of the cries for help 
had been heard. After shoving off I fouud Lieutenant Jungen was in 
the boat, and he being my senior I turned the boat over to him and 
requested that he put me back. He said it was impossible, which was 
perfectly right. He pulled completely around the ship, and only suc- 
ceeded in picking up one man on the starboard side, as we became 
involved in the wreckage and debris which was floating from a beam 
around the bow. The barge being very long, and only half manned, 
was very difficult to maneuver. We were continually backing and 
pulling out. 

In that way we did not get around as quickly as we might have done. 
By this time the wreckage was all in flames, and I called Mr. Jungen's 
attention to the fact that I thought I saw men on the forecastle, as I 
supposed it to be, and asked him to pull in there and see if he could 
not get them off. We headed in for the wreckage, but ran into other 
wreckage, which we found out there to be the submerged portion of the 
forecastle and forward superstructure. We backed out and again 
pulled in toward the flames. We then found that it was the after part 
of the middle superstructure, abreast of the port crane. There were 
several boats there, which had already taken off all the men, so we 
pulled around on the port quarter, and again reported to the captain 
that the boat was there ready to take off anybody else. In the mean- 
while, the captain had ordered the ship to be abandoned. Mr. Wain- 
wright asked us if we were all right. We told him yes, and asked the 
captain if he would not get in the barge. He replied, " No ; I want my 
own boat," and then ordered all of our boats to go on board of the Ward 
Line steamer the City of Washington. He then put his orderly and 
everyone else into the gig and got into the gig himself. We obeyed 
orders and went aboard the City of Washington. Do you wish me to 
go any further? 

By the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. No. Will you please describe your sensation of the hrst shock a 
little more fully f 

A. The first shock was not a very severe one, although it was suffi- 
cient to put all of the lights out. It impressed me as sounding, as 
nearly as I can recollect, like a 10-inch gun fired close aboard. My 
recollection is that I was surprised that they should fire on us with such 
large guns so close aboard. 

Q. I suppose you had heard no report in connection with this — what 
would you have supposed? What was the shock like? 

A. It was a dull concussion ; not like the shock of a rapid-firing gun 
S. Doc. 207 9 



130 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

or a 6 inch gun. It was longer and deeper in tone, and also with more 
of a shake. 

Q. Did this first explosion, or whatever it was, list the ship any? 

A. I think not. 

Q. By the time you had reached the deck in the method you have 
described, had the second explosion finished completely 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Then by the time you reached the deck there was no more upshoot 
of flame or debris or anything"? 

A. Only a few cinders and sparks. 

By the Court : 

Q. When you got up on the poop deck, did you notice whether the 
men who had been thrown into the water were all on one side of the 
ship or not? 

A. My impression was that those in the water were all on the star- 
board side; but I was on the starboard side myself, and it is possible 
that there may have been men on the port side whom I did not hear. 
That was my impression, and I ordered the boat to pull to the star- 
board side to pick up the men rather than the port side. 

Q. How did you reach the starboard side? 

A. We pulled, around the stern, sir. The stern was cleared of wreck- 
age and debris. We had no difficulty around the stern. 

Q. Yet the ship, you say, was listed sharply to port at this time? 

A. To port at this time. She had straightened up more, which led 
me to believe that she was on bottom. 

Q. But she was listed? 

A. Yes, sir; she was still listed; not so much, I think, as when she 
was sinking. 

Q. From where you were could you tell from the shock, etc., about 
where the explosion occurred? 

A. Only that the explosion seemed to me to come from well forward. 

Q. Could you tell from which side it came from ? 

A. No, sir. I had an impression, but I do not think it is strong 
enough. My impression was at the time — that is to saj , my impression 
now is — that it came from port, if there is any distinction; but I do 
not think it was strong enough at the time to notice — simply that it 
was an explosion from forward. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Lieut. Carl W. Jtjngen, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was duly sworn by the president: 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. Carl W. Jungen, lieutenant, United States Navy, attached to the 

U. S. S. Maine. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 131 

Q. How long have you been aboard the Maine ? 

A. Nearly two years and a half, sir. 

Q. Ever since her commission? 

A. Ever since her commission. I went into commission with her. 

Q. What have been your duties since that time? 

A. Watch and division officer, sir. 

Q. What division did you have at the time of her destruction ? 

A. I had command of the second division, the forward turret. 

Q. How long had you had that division? 

A. About a year and a half, sir. 

Q. When did you last have gunnery drill on board the Maine f 

A. On the Thursday previous to the accident. I don't remember the 
date — general quarters. 

Q. Did you not have gunnery drill the day before, on Monday? 

A. ^es, sir; we did. 

Q. After that drill, was all powder that was gotten up properly sent 
below and stowed away? 

A. We didn't get up any powder at all at that drill. 

Q. Then there was no powder outside the magazines, as far as you 
know, subsequent to the last time it was gotten up? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. It was all properly stowed in the magazine ? 

A. All properly stowed away. That is, I have not charp-e of the 
stowing away, but there was none gotten up. 

Q. Was there anything kept in the loading or passing rooms which 
should not be there? 

A. No, sir; nothing that should not be there, although there was an 
extra supply of 10-inch shell ready for immediate use, which had been 
gotten up on the night that we started over for Havana from Tortugas. 

Q. Who was the gunner's mate of your division ? 

A. Eieger. I don't remember his first name. 

Q. He was a reliable man ? 

A. Yes, sir; he was. 

Q. Do you know a seaman by the name of Neilson, who used to be on 
the steam launch of the Maine f 

A. I do, sir. 

Q. What duties was he performing just lately before the explosion? 

A. I don't know, sir, that he was performing any special duties other 
than those of seaman in the forecastle, where he belonged. 

Q. What was the man's record and character 1 ? 

A. Excellent, sir. 

Q. Was he a very reliable man? 

A. I should say he was. 

Q. At the time of the explosion he was in Lieutenant Jenkins's divi- 
sion, was he not? 

A. Yes, in the first division. 

Q. And the regular captain of the hold, was he in the ship? 

A. No, sir; the regular captain of the hold was sent to the marine 
hospital some days before we left Key West, on or about the 20th of 
January. 

Q. I have reason to believe, and I shall prove before the court that 
this seaman, Neilson, was acting captain of the hold at the time of the 
explosion. I therefore ask you his character. It was thoroughly 
reliable? 

A. I consider him so, sir. 

Q. While officer of the deck of the Maine, in the harbor of Havana, 



132 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

did you ever notice any hostile demonstration afloat, in the way of boats 
attempting to approach the ship, that had to be warned off? 

A. No, sir; I never did. 

Q. From your knowledge of the swinging of the ship, do you think 
that at the time of her explosion she was swinging in an unusual 
direction ? 

A. I could not tell that positively without referring to the log' book, 
but I think not. 

Q. Were you below at the time of the explosion ? 

A. I was, sir. 

Q. Where? 

A. I was sitting in the mess room, the after part, at the small table. 
Assuming that the ship was heading north, I was sitting at the south- 
west corner of that table, talking to Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Holman. Mr. 
Holman was sitting at nearly the opposite corner, and Mr. Jenkins, I 
think, was standing at the time. 

Q. Will you please describe to the court your experiences of this 
explosion, all you saw, heard, and felt up to the time that the whole 
thing was over? 

A. I had just arisen from my seat. I had finished smoking a cigar 
which I had in a cigar holder. I had flicked the cigar out of it, and a 
piece of the wrapper was adhering to the inside, which I pulled out. 
As I pulled that out the explosion occurred. I remember that dis- 
tinctly. It was not an explosion. It was a dull, deafening roar, fol- 
lowed immediately by a tremendous crash, and it seemed as though 
the whole ship was falling to pieces. Mr. Holman jumped up and 
remarked, " We have been torpedoed," which was the general impres- 
sion we all had. He added : " Follow me." 

There was a sufficient interval between the time it took me to get 
from that end of the table to the door opposite in the mess room before 
the lights were extinguished, so that I saw what appeared to me a thick 
dust or ashes or brown smoke. It may have been the dust that was 
shaken up from the ship. I detected no odor, nor did I experience any 
discomfort from it in passing through it. This lasted long enough — 
that is, the interval of time was sufficiently long — for me to reach the 
door and see that. I believed at the time that Mr. Jenkins and Mr. 
Holman were — I know Mr. Holman was and I believe Mr. Jenkins was — 
right ahead of me. Total darkness followed, and I saw no one then. 
I stretched out my hands. I knew where I was, but I was afraid of 
missing my way. So I stretched out my hands to catch hold of the 
engine-room hatch, which was right there. I followed along that with 
my other hand and reached the ladder. I got up the ladder and into 
the passageway of the after superstructure. I thought I saw the cap- 
tain's orderly there, though I am not sure it was he. I ran out through 
that passageway and turned to the left, with the intention of going 
forward. As I was coming up the ladder I heard three — I think it was 
three — distinct explosions. One of them was more powerful than the 
other two. The other two were of a character that at the moment 
impressed me as being the fire of a 6 or 8 inch gun, and the thought 
flashed through my mind that we were being fired on, after being tor- 
pedoed, by the Spanish cruiser that was lying within 200 yards of us 
at her usual buoy, where she had been ever since we had been in there. 

Q. The A l/onso Doce f 

A. Yes, sir. As I turned to the left, I encountered a mass of wreckage 
and debris which had fallen on top of the awning. The awnings had 
been spread, so that I could not get forward. I intended at the time 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 133 

to go to my station at general quarters. Then I made an effort to get to 
the ladder, and I could not — the ladder that leads up the poop. Find- 
ing that I could not get on the poop that way, I turned around and 
caught hold of the iron water-tight door on that superstructure — the 
door that I had passed through — and tried to raise myself on it. I 
failed the first time, and then, by a superhuman effort, I swung myself 
up. I got my foot up on the waterway, and then I let go one hand and 
grabbed where I knew there ought to be a rail. It was a chain that 
had been replaced by a rail. I caught hold of that and swung myself 
up. The captain and the executive officer were on deck at the time. 
They had gotten there in the meanwhile, and I heard the captain give 
some order about flooding the magazines. 

Mr. Wainwright made the remark, "There is no use flooding the mag- 
azines; the ship is sinking." I, myself, then realized that the ship was 
settling. Then the captain gave the order to lower the boats. There 
were very few people on the poop that I could see. I groped my way aft, 
over the skylights and the wreckage that was there, to the barge. I 
found Mr. Morris at the forward boat. I recognized him and Mr. Catlin 
at the after boat. I directed Mr. Catlin to get into the boat and see 
that the plug was in it. I could not see then. There was a dark shadow, 
jl suppose, which was cast on the water by the light forward, and I 
could not see how high the water was up on the ship's side. He said 
at first he could not find the plug. I told him to throw the grating over- 
board and see if he could not get at it. Finally he got it, and I reported 
that the boat was ready for lowering. Without waiting for further 
orders I lowered the boat. I lowered it about 8 feet, I suppose, when I 
sung out to Mr. Catlin to let me know when the boat was in the water. 
»He said she was in the -water then. Then the sentry on the poop, who 
;had loaded his rifle when the explosion took place — he had orders in a 
sudden emergency to load his rifle, which he did — got in the boat. 

There were two men — I don't remember who they were; I think one 
of them was a mess attendant and a man by the name of Eush — who I 
i directed to get in the boat. Then I got in the boat myself to go around 
and help pick up the men who were in the water. There was a great 
deal of hallooing and screaming for help. As I was about to shove 
!off, only having four people in the boat, Mr. Morris got in. The pay- 
master and the chaplain, and Mr. Blow, and another man appeared at 
J the rail, and I told them to get in. It was the barge — a large boat. 
I They got in and they all took oars, and I took the boat and pulled 
around. I had to pull around clear of all the wreckage that had 
fallen in the water, which was very thick, like the driftwood you see 
sometimes in the Mississippi Eiver. You could not pull through it. 
You had to pull around it. We pulled around on the starboard side. 1 
saw no one aft, but I picked up a man opposite the forward turret. 
Then I went around the bows of the ship, or what has since transpired 
were the bows, but which we took at the time to be the wreck of a fire- 
ship, because I heard someone remark while I was on the poop that 
there was a fire ship down on us. I worked my way aft on the star- 
board side again to the quarter, and the ship by that time was, as near 
as I could make out, sunk until the upper superstructure was flush 
with the water. 

There were several boats standing by to take the captain and execu- 
tive officer, who were the last people to leave, as I remember. I offered 
the captain my boat and he said he wanted to go in his own. Other 
officers offered their boats. When I got around on the starboad side, 
I found several boats there, two Spanish boats, and two boats which I 



134 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

took to be merchant boats, and some smaller boats from shore. Besides 
our two boats, I believe, and the second whaleboat, which had been 
lowered, they all had survivors, people they had picked up. When I 
got around to the quarter again, the captain gave the order, before he 
got in bis boat, for all the boats to go alongside the Ward Line steamer. 
I shoved off then with the people I had in the boat and went alongside. 
I put this man on board, and just then it began to rain quite hard. It 
rained harder a little later, for about ten or fifteen minutes, I should 
say. Then I got all the officers and the wounded man out. I directed 
them to go ahead, as the other boats were coming alongside. Then I 
went down into the cabin, and my first thought was to see if Doctor 
Henneberger was there. I found him attending the wounded. Mr. 
Blow went down to assist him. That is all that I can think of. 

Q. In the first part of your evidence you spoke of an interval several 
times. What interval do you refer to? 

A. It seemed to me an appreciable interval between the roar and the 
crash and the extinguishment of the lights, which was, as I say, suffi- 
ciently long to enable me to travel from that end of the table to the 
door, which was probably 8 feet, but the way I went around the table 
it was probably a longer distance. 

Q. Did you not testify to two shocks, two explosions? 

A. I testified to the original roar and crash, and then, as I remember, 
three distinct explosions, one of them being more violent than the rest 
of them. The other two that I speak of reminded me of the firing of 
a 6 or 8 inch gun. 

Q. Will you describe a little more distinctly the three different explo- 
sions ; how they took place and the interval between them ! 

A. I can not give you a proper conception of the time. 

Q. You have not stated yet whether the big explosion was the first 
or the second or the third, and you have not stated definitely at which 
time the lights went out. Which explosion came first; the small one? 

A. The first explosion, as I said, was a dull, deafening roar, followed 
immediately by a crash. By the time I got to the door, I should say, 
the lights all went out. Then there was another explosion, which was 
more violent than any explosion I had heard, that I could not liken to 
anything except possibly the explosion of a magazine. 

Q. When did the lights go out in reference to this second explosion! 

A. About simultaneously. 

Q. Then you think the dynamo may have been destroyed at the second 
explosion. 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And not by the first? 

A. Not by the first. 

Q. Was there any perceptible list or lifting of the ship at the first 
explosion ? 

A. I did not notice that. 

Q. Did you locate in your own mind this first explosion? 

A. Yes, sir; I located it on the starboard side, as I supposed. 

Q. Forward or aft? 

A. Starboard forward, and as I supposed about under the forward 
turret. 

Q. That was your impression ? 

A. That was my impression. 

Q. And the second one; where did you locate that? 

A. Forward; but I could not tell whether it was a magazine or 
whether it was a second explosion similar to the first. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 135 

Q. By the time you reached the deck the explosions had finished? 

A. The explosion had finished ; yes, sir. 

Q. As to the boats in the water ; were there more on one side than 
on the other, and which side? 

A. I couldn't tell you that, sir; because when I went around to the 
stern of the ship I only saw one man in the water on the starboard 
side. 

Q. You went around on the port side from starboard ? 

A. I went around; yes, sir. 

Q. Why did you not go right out to port? 

A. Because I thought the explosion was on the starboard side. 

Q. You heard the hallooing more on the starboard side? 

A. I didn't hear any hallooing at first. My attention was called to 
it. The men were yelling, and it appeared to me to come from the 
other side of the ship. 

By the Court : 

Q. When did you first notice the list of the ship? 

A. I didn't notice that until I caught hold of the door to go up on 
the superstructure. Then I noticed that the ship listed. 

Q. After you had been up through 

A. Up over the ladder and through this passageway to turn to go 
forward. 

Q. Which ladder did you go up from the berth deck to the main deck ? 

A. The ladder that is usually designated as the wardroom ladder. 

Q. Which one is that? 

A. That goes up from forward of the water-tight bulkhead separat- 
ing the wardroom proper from the after torpedo room. 

Q. That is not quite the answer I want. Was it the starboard lad- 
der? Did it land you on the starboard side of the main deck or the 
port side? 

A. It landed me on the starboard side of the main deck. 

Q. So you did not notice that that ladder was unusually steep? 

A. No, sir; I did not. 

Q. You did not notice whether it was or not? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Are there two ladders there ? 

A. There are two ladders there, alongside of each other. It is really 
all one ladder. There is a crossbar from the hatch to the grating. 

Q. The ladders lead the same way? 

A. Yes, sir; the ladders lead from port to starboard. 

Q. To make it perfectly clear, between these two heavy explosions 
you had time after the first explosion to turn around and go about 
10 feet? 

A. Yes, sir; so it appeared to me. 

Q. The other explosions to which yon refer were smaller ones? 

A. Smaller; yes, sir. 

Q. And occurred some time after? 

A. They occurred while I was going up the ladder and before I got 
to the superstructure door. 

Q. But the fact that there were at first two explosions made a dis 
tinct impression upon your mind ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Which would you designate as the more severe explosion, the first 
one or the second one? 

A. The first one; because the crash and everything came with that, 



136 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

and the second one sounded as though it were an explosion without 
being attended with the same effects. Where I was at the time, as I 
found out afterwards, toward that part of the ship the smokestacks had 
fallen — and I suppose they made as much crash as anything — one on 
one side and one on the other. 

By the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. I want to ask you about two more men in the ship, as you have 
been in her since her commission. Sailmaker's Mate Boos — is he on 
board ship a reliable man 1 ? 

A. In his duties he is a very reliable man. He was sometimes given 
to insobriety when he went on liberty, but I never noticed anything on 
board ship. 

Q. I believe he was one of the two men who made the 8 p. m. reports 
to the executive officer ! 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How do you consider Master-at-Arms White as to reliability? 

A. He seemed to be a very reliable man — very attentive to his duties. 

The judge advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Naval Cadet Amon Bronson, Jr., TJ. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. State your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached? 

A. Amon Bronson, jr., naval cadet, attached to the U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine ? 

A. Since May 17, 1897. 

Q. What duties have you performed during that time? 

A. I have performed boat duty, deck duty — that is, supervision as the 
commissioned officer of the deck — and mate of the deck. 

Q. Mate of the upper deck? 

A. Mate of the upper deck and mate of the main deck. 

Q. What division were you in last? 

A. The second division, all the time I was on the ship. 

Q. That is the forward turret division? 

A. The forward turret division. 

Q. At all times when gunnery occurred in that division, has powder 
always been sent below properly after the exercise ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion of the Maine f 

A. I was lying in my bunk in my room. 

Q. Which room is that? 

A. The forward room of the steerage. 

Q. Please describe what you heard and felt and saw. 

A. My first impression was that a salute was being fired. That was 
before the crash came. That is the impression which 1 have now. That 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 137 

was the first thought that entered my mind. Then my bunk was lifted 
beneath me, and the ship listed over to port. The lights were out, and 
I heard the water rushing outside in the passageway. I could hear the 
cries of the men in the marines' compartment. For a very small amount 
of time I listened to these cries. 

Q. When you thought there was a salute being fired, did you feel a 
shock of the ship ! 

A. Yes, sir; that was just merely the first idea that flashed through 
my mind. I felt a tremendous shock. 

Q. How long after that shock did you feel the explosion ? 

A. I can not state, sir. 

Q. Was there a distinct interval? 

A. I am not prepared to state, sir. 

Q. Was there a list of the ship at the first explosion? 

A. Almost simultaneously with the explosion. 

Q. There was a list? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Which way? 

A. To port. 

Q. The ship settled to port? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. But she never was lifted up ? 

A. I was lying in my bunk, and I felt the bunk lifted beneath me. 

Q. That was at the first shock? 

A. The first shock; yes, sir. 

Q. Everything was over by the time you reached the deck in the way 
of explosions and small shots ? 

A. I heard no small shots until about half an hour afterwards, when 
I heard the small-arm ammunition going off. I heard no small shot. 
The explosion did nob sound loud in the steerage at all. 

By the Court : 

Q. You are only conscious of one shock? 

The Judge Advocate. He says he is not prepared to say. He says 
there was a shock and an explosion, but he is not prepared to state 
there was a distinct interval. 

By the Judge- Advocate: 
Q. Were you asleep at the time? 
A. No, sir; I was reading. 
Q. In your bunk? 
A. In my bunk. 
Q. Upper bunk? 
A. Lower bunk. 

By the Court : 

Q. You say you do not remember; you did not say that either, but 
you say you did not separate the explosion into two parts? 

A. No, sir; I simply know that the first idea that flashed across my 
mind was 

Q. We do not care about that. You are convinced yourself that 
that was not correct; that there was no salute being fired? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You are convinced that that is not so? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And you were convinced immediately of that, were you not? 

A. Yes, sir. 



138 DESTKUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE, 

Q. When you felt the bunk being lifted ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And from what followed, you knew that it was not a salute? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you or do you not remember that there were two parts to that? 

A. I do not remember. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Naval Cadet D. F. Boyd, Jr., U. P. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. David F. Boyd, jr.; naval cadet, U. S. Navy; attached to auu 
serving on board the U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine? 

A. Since the 19th of June, 1897. 

Q. What duties have you performed in that time? 

A. The duties of junior officer of division, junior watch officer, and 
mate of the deck. 

Q. What deck have you been mate of? 

A. Mate of the berth deck and mate of the superstructure deck. 

Q. How long were you mate of the berth deck ? 

A. From the latter part of August until the 1st of January. 

Q. Who relieved you then? 

A. Naval Cadet W. T. Cluverius. 

Q. What are your duties as mate of the berth deck? 

A. To see that all compartments are not open, except those author- 
ized to be open, and to see that those compartments are water-tight. 

Q. Which compartments are authorized to be kept open by the rules 
of tl e ship? 

A. The clothing issuing room, the dynamo room, the forward and 
fter 10-inch handling room, and the passage between the steerage and 
wardroom. 

Q. What do you mean by keeping the forward 10-inch handling room 
open ? 

A. It necessarily must be kept open, because there is a track run- 
ning in to the base of the turret. The compartment can not be water- 
tight. 

Q. That compartment is open below deck ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. It does not open on the berth deck at all? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. But the after 10-inch handling room does open on the berth deck? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On account of there being more heat there? 

A. Yes, sir; it is over the evaporating room. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 139 

Q. Everything else is locked up at night, and reported so at 8 o'clock? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Who are the men who make these reports? 

A. The captain of the hold, the equipment yeoman, and the sail- 
maker's mate. 

Q. Are they reliable men on board ship? 

A. So far as I know ; yes, sir. 

Q. Did you yourself see these compartments closed at night, as a 
rule? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you always find the duty properly executed by the men doing 
it? 

A. I did. 

Q. The regular captain of the hold, I believe, was sick at the time 
of the explosion. Do you know anything about the acting captain 
of the hold? 

A. I do not. 

Q. What division were you in last? 

A. The third division. 

Q. That is the after-turret division ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion? 

A. I was in the steerage messroom — the junior officers' messroom. 

Q. Please state what you saw, heard, and felt. 

A. I was sitting in the steerage reading at the time. The lights 
went out. A crashing booming was heard. I was struck in the back 
of the head with a splinter, and remember no more of the explosion. 

Q. Were you made senseless? 

A. Yes, sir; so far as 1 know. I have an indistinct memory at the 
time. 

Q. You rushed up on deck, yon say, and were struck in the head 
there? 

A. No, sir; I was in the steerage. 

Q. Do you remember how many shocks you felt? 

A. It was one continuous shock. 

Q. One continuous shock was all you felt? 

A. All I felt. 

Q. You do not know how you got on deck? 

A. Yes, sir ; I remember perfectly. 

Q. Did you feel any list of the ship or any lift of the ship ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Describe it a little more fully, please. 

A. When I collected my wits I grasped Assistant Engineer Merritt 
by the hand and told him to go up on deck. I pulled him out in the 
passage in the after torpedo room. We groped along the bulkhead 
until we came to the turn going over to the port side. At this moment 
the ship sank down amidships and heeled over on the port side. The 
rush of water swept us apart. I grasped the steam pipe overhead — 
the small steam-heater pipe — and worked my way down toward the 
steerage ladder, but it was gone. I worked my way over to the port 
side — on this steam heater pipe — hoping to escape through some hole 
on the port side. The water was rushing through the air ports, so that 
I was not able to hang onto this small pipe. I grasped the torpedoes 
that were triced up under the deck beam, and, twining both arms and 
legs around it, I worked my way inboard toward the hatch, feeling 
the deck most of the time to find the hatch. The water at this time 



140 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

was almost over my bead; almost up to the deck. Some burning 
cellulose flared up on deck, and I saw the batch and made for it. I 
escaped through a mass of debris, on the hatch part of which was the 
second cutter. 

Q. Again referring to the shocks, what kind of a shock did you first 
feel? 

A. As well as I can describe, the shock was more that of a large 
freight train being coupled up together. 

Q. That was the first shock? 

A. That was the first shock. 

Q. The other was continuous, so far as you can remember, you say? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. A continual roar? 

A. Yes, sir; and splinters and glass falling in the steerage. 

Q. Was there any list to the ship? 

A. Not until we got in the passage. 

Q. Then she listed which way? 

A. She listed to port. 

Q. Was there any lifting of the ship? 

A. She sank amidships. 

Q. Was there any lifting of the ship? 

A. No, sir; none that I remember. 

By the Court : 

Q. You speak of being knocked senseless by a splinter. What kind 
of a splinter? 

A. I think it must have been wooden. 

Q. Where did the wood come from ? The thing in my mind is, if you 
were knocked senseless with a splinter, how could you state that it 
was by a splinter? 

A. I was struck on the back of the head. That is all I know. 

Q. By something? 

A. By something. There was a wooden bulkhead at the forward 
bulkhead of the steerage. I suppose it was wood from that. 

Q. Did you, as mate of the deck, have anything to do with the care 
of the decks below the berth deck ? 

A. I did. 

Q. How far down did your duties extend? 

A. My duties extended to every compartment below the berth deck 
except the engine room and fire room and the engineer's storeroom. 

Q. How did you get from the platform deck down to the hold or level 
of the magazines? 

A. How could you get from the berth deck down to the hold? 

Q. Yes ; from the platform deck ? 

A. The lore hold? 

Q. Yes; the fore hold. 

A. There is a hatch in forward compartment A101. You go down 
two flights of ladders. The first is in the passage betweeu the rooms. 
The second goes down to the fore hold itself. A101 is a berth-deck 
compartment. 

Q. How did you get down to the magazines? 

A. From the 10-inch magazine hatch in the loading room for the 
10-inch turret. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 141 

i 

report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he 
will be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to 
amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request 
was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly. Whereupon 
he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss 
matters pertaining to the inquiry. 
The court then (at 1 o'clock p. m.) took a recess until 2 o'clock p. m. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 
Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and the 
stenographer. 

Lieut. George F. W. Holman, U. S. Navy, a witness heretofore 
examined, was recalled as a witness before the court, and after being 
cautioned by the president of the court that the oath previously taken 
by him was still binding, testified as follows: 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Mr. Holman, on June 30, 1897, the commanding officer of the 
Maine, Captain Sigsbee, made out a report, giving the amount of ammu- 
nition in each magazine and shell room. I hold a copy of that report 
in my hand. Will you look at it and tell us whether it is a report made 
out from data furnished by you? (Exhibit G shown to the witness.) 

A. I have no doubt it is. I can not recognize it from anything except 
the official letter transmitting it. 

Q. You did assist your commanding officer in making up such a 
report? 

A. I did ; yes. 

Q. Can you state what material changes have been made in the stow- 
age since that report was made? 

A. No material changes. 

Q. Then you think it is a practically correct report at the time of the 
explosion? 

A. I do. 

Q. Will you please state where rockets and blue lights and such 
things were stowed on board the Maine f 

A. In the chart house or the pilot house, upon the bridge. 

Q. All of them? 

A. All of them, I think. I do not know of any having been moved 
from there. They were stowed there originally, and I know of no move 
having been made. 

By the Court : 

Q. Were you asked in your testimony before how many explosions 
you heard? 

A. I heard and felt two, one a small one, a grumble I may call it, and 
then, after a very short interval, probably a fraction of a second, 
came the heavy, loud, booming explosion. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioued by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 



142 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Lieut. A. W. Catlin, TJ. S. Marine Corps, appeared as a witness 
before the court and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. A. W. Catlin, first lieutenant TJ. S. Marine Corps, attached to the 
U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine f 

A. Since the 1st of August. 

Q. In charge of the marine guard of that ship ? 

A. In charge of the marine guard; yes, sir. 

Q. August of last year? 

A. August of last year, 1897; yes, sir. 

Q. What special orders were given the marine guard of your ship 
during her last stay in Havana Harbor in the way of special precau- 
tions? 

A. When we first went into the harbor, there were two extra senti- 
nels put on, one on the forecastle and one on the poop, armed with 
rifles. They had special orders to challenge all boats which approached 
the ship near enough for a challenge, and in case any boat came 
toward the ship, evidently coming to the ship, to report immediately 
to the corporal of the guard, by the sentinel, and to the officer of the 
deck. These sentinels were on from 7 o'clock at night until daylight. 

Q. Where was the corporal of the guard stationed ? 

A. The corporal of the guard was stationed in the starboard gang- 
way. 

Q. Was there an extra man in the port gangway ? 

A. There was a patrol in the port gangway. 

Q. What do you mean by a patrol ? 

A. He went by the name of patrol, because his beat went up in the 
forward superstructure, as well as in the port gangway. 

Q. He was a picked man ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Acting as corporal? 

A. He was an acting corporal; yes, sir. 

Q. Doing a corporal's duties? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What duties did the corporal of the guard and the patrol have, in 
the way of inspecting the ship at night? 

A. The corporal's guard went below every half hour to inspect the 
ship lights, etc., and the patrol took his place in the starboard gang- 
way while he was gone. 

Q. All this was faithfully carried out to the best of your knowledge? 

A. It was. I visited the sentries every night, once before and once 
after midnight, while we were in Havana Harbor, and always found 
them vigilant and attending to their duties properly. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion ? 

A. On the port side, in the wardroom. I was in room No. 8, which 
is the fourtih room from forward. 

Q. Just state to the court what you felt, heard, and saw of the actual 
explosion or explosions that may have occurred. 

A. I was sitting in my room reading, when I heard — I do not know 
how to explain it — a dull sound, a loud coucussion, and the shaking of 
the ship. What impressed me most was the falling of things around 
the deck — I suppose electric-light fixtures, etc. I immediately rushed 
up on deck. The lights went out immediately. I rushed up on deck, 
and as I came on deck I saw the whole heavens full of sparks. There 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 143 

was no flame then, only sparks up above. Lieut. Commander Wain- 
wright had just called away the boats. I went to where the barge was 
hanging. Do you wish me to go on from there 1 ? 

Q. No; I only want the actual explosion. 

A. That is all I know, sir. 

Q. How many shocks did you feel? 

A. I only felt one, sir. 

Q. The lights went out at that shock ? 

A. Yes, sir; immediately. 

Q. And it was all over by the time you reached the deck? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Was there any listing of the ship? 

A. The ship listed to port. 

Q. Immediately? 

A. I don't know, sir. She was listed by the time I got on deck. 

Q. Did she seem to be lifted at the time of the shock? 

A. I didn't notice it, sir. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Gunner Joseph Hill, IT. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before the 
court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. Joseph Hill, gunner, United States Navy, attached to the U. S. S. 
Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine f 

A. About twenty-nine months. 

Q. Ever since her commission? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. When were you relieved from duty as gunner last? 

A. It was on or about the 18th of January, 1898. 

Q. Will you look at this report of Captain Sigsbee, this being a copy 
of it, and state whether that seems to be practically correct in regard 
to the stowage of ammunition on board the Maine [Exhibit G- shown to 
the witness]. 

A. This is about it. Do you mean at the time of the accident? 

Q. I mean whether that is a correct report on June 30? 

A. Yes, sir ; that is about right. 

Q. State to the court what material changes have been made since 
June 30, 1897, of any kind, in the stowage of ammunition. 

A. I believe we have had small-arm target practice once. I think 
most of the small-arm ammunition was used up on board, but, as I 
understand, some time after I was put under suspension, they received 
about 70,000 rounds of 6-minimeter ball cartridges; also about 7,000 
rounds of blank cartridges, 6-minimeter, and as near as I can under- 
stand there was some of that stored in the forward fixed-ammunition 



144 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

room and some in the after fixed-ammunition room, and perhaps some 
was stowed in the armory. I am not sure about it. 

Q. Where was the armory situated? 

A. It was a little abaft of the midship line. 

Q. On the main deck? 

A. On the upper deck; yes, sir. 

Q. Will you look specially at the amount of ammunition in the 6-inch 
reserve magazine, and tell us whether that was practically the amount 
there at the time of the explosion ? 

A. I see there is a lot of saluting powder here. Of course at the time 
I was put under suspension I believe it was somewhere about that, but 
since that I could not state what changes have been made there. 

Q. Do you think the 6 inch charges were put there at that time 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How were those 6-inch charges stowed 1 ? Were they stowed 
against the bulkheads or clear of the bulkheads, or how? 

A. They were stowed on wooden racks that were made fast to the 
metal bulkheads. 

Q. Did the powder tanks abut against the bulkheads? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did they abut against the bulkhead which divided the coal bunker 
from the 6-inch reserve magazine? 

A. Yes, sir; the after tier did. The forward tier did not, because 
they were still forward. 

Q. They were against the bulkhead? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. They abutted against the outboard bulkhead, I understand you 
to say ? 

A. In the reserve magazine? 

Q. Yes. 

A. No, sir; in the after one. 

Q. You do not know which bunker that was against? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. But they did not abut against the fore and aft bulkhead on the 
outboard of the magazine? 

A. The side of the tank was laying up there, I understand, but the 
end of the tank was aft. The tanks were stored fore and aft. 

Q. You think they touched that outboard bulkhead which divides 
the magazine from the coal bunker? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. I will show you the plan. This bulkhead [pointing to a fore- 
and-aft bulkhead] divides the magazine from coal bunker A16. Did 
powder touch that bulkhead in its stowage? 

A. Yes, sir; it did aft here. 

Q. It did in the after part of the magazine. 

A. Yes, sir; and it did in the forward part, too, because there was 
a lot of spare saluting powder stowed there. 

Q. And that was close against the bulkhead? 

A. Yes, sir; as near as I can remember the date of my suspension. 

Q. Did you take the temperature of the magazines and shell rooms, 
as prescribed by regulations, regularly? 

A. Yes, sir; I always made a practice of seeing the gunners take it. 

Q. It was regularly taken, was it? 

A. Once a day. 

Q. Was there anything stowed in the magazines and shell rooms in 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 145 

the way of high explosives or anything of that kind which should not 
have been stowed there according to ordnance instructions'? 

A. No, sir; I don't know of anything, to the date of my suspension. 

Q. Were magazines and shell rooms always carefully locked after 
they had been opened? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And the keys turned in ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. There was always a regular care taken in the delivery of the keys 
and the locking of the shell room and magazines? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Are the magazines lined with wood? 

A. No, sir; not as I remember. The plates are bare, of course, and 
the only woodwork I remember there is the stowage racks, holding 
powder, tanks, and shells. They are made fast to the metal bulkhead. 

Q. Is there any electric wiring that leads into the magazine that 
would be dangerous? 

A. No, sir; the wires seemed to be well insulated. Of course they 
led into the light box, but, as I remember, they came down through 
the deck, and then went at an angle into the light box itself. As I 
remember it, the wires went through a metal casing. 

Q. You considered the wiring perfectly secure? 

A. Yes, sir; of course it may have been woodwork painted over 
white, but I never examined it very closely. It looked very much to me 
as if it was metal. 

Q. You never had any trouble with the light boxes in the way ot 
grounding — with the lights in the light boxes? 

A. Yes, sir; the dynamo tenders found considerable trouble in keep- 
ing the magazine lights in order. They always gave as an excuse that 
the system was grounded down around the boxes. 

Q. But the wiring laid directly from the upper deck into the boxes, 
in two metal cases? 

A. Yes, sir; but as I remember it, I think it went down through the 
deck in some places, and then went at an angle into the light box itself. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion? 

A. I was in Havana. 

Q. Onshore? 

A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. How were the (3-inch powder tanks stowed with reference to the 
keel of the ship in the reserve magazines? 

A. They are stowed in line with the keel, I should judge about 8 or 
10 feet away from the keel, to port. 

Q. How were they stowed? What kept them in place? 

A. Some wooden racks which secured the metal bulkheads in the 
magazine, and the powder was stowed right on the racks. 

Q. Tell us how these racks were made. 

A. The magazine itself seemed to be divided. The after half of it 
was divided into two compartments, fore and aft like, and there were 
strong wooden uprights, secured in place to the deck above and to the 
inner bottom of the ship, and from this ran athwartships some other 
battens, a sufficient distance apart so as to have the bottom tank rest 
on one and the lid or upper part of the tank on the other. 

Q. They were stowed on the side, were they not? 

A. Yes, sir; the tanks were stowed on the side, 
S. Doc. 207 10 



146 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Were these battens on which the tauks rested straight? 

A. Yes, sir; they were horizontal. 

Q. They were not cut out to receive the tank? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Were these upright supports between the horizontal battens placed 
on both sides, at the ends of these horizonal battens? 

A. Yes, sir ; as near as I can remember. 

Q. Then one was against the bulkhead and the other was inside the 
magazine? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Please explain how the powder tanks could have rested against 
the bulkheads. 

A. The racks were secured with crosspieces, horizontal and athwart- 
ships. When the tank was shoved in place, it was shoved right aft, 
directly against the metal bulkheads. 

Q. Where were these upright strips? 

A. The upright strips were fore and aft in the magazine, making two 
bends like that [indicating]. 

Q. Fore and aft? 

A. Two compartments, like. 

(The witness here drew a sketch and explained what he meant by 
reference to the sketch.) 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony, and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Boatswain Francis E. Larkin, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court and was duly sworn by the president: 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. Francis E. Larkin, boatswain, U. S. Navy, attached to the U. S. 
S. Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to tne Maine? 

A. From September, at the time of going in commission, until the 
present time. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine the night of her explosion? 

A. I was. 

Q. Did you make the usual 8 p. m. reports to the executive officer? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. 

Q. Was everything secure in your department when you so reported ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion 1 

A. Sitting abaft the after turret. 

Q. On the main deck? 

A. On the main deck. 

Q. Please describe what you saw, felt, and heard. 

A. I remember hearing an explosion. I do not remember i/ne violence 
of it. I was struck on the head about the same time and dazed. I 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 147 

attempted to rise and fell again. Then I remember crawling over the 
wing awning on the port side of tbe cabin up on the poop deck. 

Q. How did you get there 1 

A. 1 climbed over a small wing awning on the poop deck. I helped to 
lower the gig, letting down a 6-inch gun port in the rear, and breasting 
the gig off as she lowered. I then jumped in and took an oar. 

Q. You do not remember distinctly the explosions, then? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You do not know whether there was one or whether there was 
two, three, or four explosions? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You do not remember any movement of the ship when the explo- 
sion first occurred ? 

A. Just a rendering and swaying all around me. It may have been 
from my dazed condition, or it may have been from the ship. 

By the Court : 

Q. You went out in the boat to pick up the people in the water! 

A. Yes, sir; we were pretty close to the wreck all the time. We 
picked up two or three men and handed them in other boats alongside. 

Q. Where were these men ? 

A. There was one man picked out of a mass of wreckage there. I 
don't know what it was. I think Thompson was the man's name. I 
remember him being landed in the gig and given to another boat. 

Q. On which side of the ship did you pick the man up ? 

A. On the starboard side. 

Q. Were you at any time on the port side? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Were there any men in the water on that side? 

A. I didn't see any. 

Q. You did not see any men on the port side? 

A. On the starboard side. I didn't see anything at all on the port 
side. 

Q. I asked you if you saw any men on the port side, and you said 
you did not. 

A. No, sir. 

Q. The gig lowered on the starboard side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Carpenter George Helm, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 
Q. State your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 
A. George Helm; carpenter, U. S. Navy; attached to U. S. S. Maine. 
Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine? 



148 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. Since the 17th of September, 1895. 

Q. That is, since her commission ? 

A. I was ordered to her two weeks before then. 

Q. And you became acquainted with the Maine, then, sometime before 
she went into commission? 

A. About two weeks. 

Q. Since you have been attached to the Maine you have done a great 
deal of work below the berth deck in regard to keeping the compart- 
ments clean and in proper order, and all that? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You are well acquainted with the Maine ? 

A. Yes, sir; thoroughly. 

Q. Do you know anything about the construction of the magazines 
of the Maine f 

A. I have an idea. 

Q. Could you tell how the powder is stored in the reserve 6-inch 
magazines? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You do not know how the racks are constructed ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. What is the thickness of the bulkhead between the reserve mag- 
azine and the 10-inch shell room ? 

A. A quarter of an inch, 10 pounds plating. 

Q. And the same between the 10-inch shell room and the 10-inch 
magazine? 

A. The same. 

Q. Where is the water-tight bulkhead abaft the reserve magazine; 
immediately next to it? 

A. I don't quite understand that. 

Q. What water-tight bulkhead is there abaft the reserve magazine? 
Does it abut against it or not? 

A. That is a continuous bulkhead. 

Q. There is a water-tight bulkhead immediately abaft it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What is the thickness of that bulkhead? 

A. Quarter inch 10 pound plating. 

Q. Is there one immediately forward of the reserve magazine? 

A. Yes; that is a water-tight bulkhead. 

Q. Is there one between the forward 6-inch magazine and the fixed 
ammunition room ? 

A. Yes ; that is water-tight. 

Q. Is there one immediately forward of the forward 6-inch magazine? 

A. That is water-tight. 

Q. Were all bulkheads and everything in good condition on board 
the Maine just previous to her explosion? 

A. First-class condition. 

Q. What water-tight doors were in good condition? 

A. They were all in good condition. 

Q. Had the regular inspections been made all the time the ship was 
in commission? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you make the 8 p. m. reports on the night of her explosion to 
the executive officer? 

A. I did, sir. 

Q. Was everything secure, as you reported it? 

A. Everything was secure. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 149 

A. I was in my bunk. 

Q. Where is your bunk located ? 

A. Compartment G100. 

Q. The forward end of that compartment 1 

A. The forward end, right alongside of the armor of the barbette or 
turret. 

Q. It is on the berth deck? 

A. On the port side. 

Q. Well outboard? 

A. Well outboard, near the skin of the ship. 

Q. Just forward of the torpedoes I 

A. Just forward of the torpedoes. 

Q. Please state what you felt, heard, and saw during the time of the 
explosions. 

A. I only heard one report. 

Q. What did it feel like? 

A. It just felt about like a 6-inch or a 10-inch gun going off, as near 
as I can remember. 

Q. That is all you heard? 

A. That is all I heard. 

Q. Were you injured in any way? 

A. None that I know of; no, sir. 

Q. You got on deck without any trouble? 

A. I got on deck with considerable trouble; that is, onto the main 
deck. 

Q. Did the ship seem to shake or shiver any during this report? 

A. None that I can remember. 

Q. Did she list any? 

A. She listed to starboard. That is about all I can say. 

Q. Were you wide awake when the thing first happened? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Were you asleep ? 

A. Tes, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. Are you so intimately acquainted with the construction of the 
Maine that you could recognize portions of the wreck — that is, I mean 
of the hull — take a part of the hull detached from where it belongs 
entirely ? 

A. I don't know about that. 

Q. Longitudinals and so on? 

A. I guess they would be pretty hard to recognize, unless there is 
something there to go by, such as main drains or sluice valves, or some- 
thing like that, that you could locate. 

Q. Could you tell anything of the longitudinals? Are they not dif- 
ferent in width or in depth? 

A. Very little. I don't suppose there is more than 3 or 4 inches dif- 
ference. 

Q. How many longitudinals were there? 

A. There were three, first, second, and third, and the bottom of the 
lower wing passage formed the fourth, and the upper wing passage 
formed the fifth. 

Q. How high did the highest longitudinal come? 

A. The third longitudinal is water-tight. The fifth is formed by the 
upper wing passage. 

Q. Are not these longitudinals sufficient in depth to be able to recog- 
nize them from their depth ? 



150 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. Forward you could ; yes. I guess you could recognize them for- 
ward as they taper so low there. 

Q. What was the thickness of the protective deck of that ship? 

A. Two inches. That is, two 1-inch plates riveted together. 

Q. What was the thickness of her side armor? 

A. Her side armor was 11 inch. 

Q. All over? 

A. No; it tapered down to 7 inches. 

Q. Did it taper fore and aft ? 

A. It tapered aft. 

Q. What was the thickness of the wood backing ? 

A. That I don't know. 

Q. What were the sizes of the armor bolts? 

A. The wooden backing was 8 inches. 

Q. As far as you remember, how big were the bolts? 

A. The bolts for screwing the armor were between 3f and 4 inches in 
diameter. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. You said the armor belt was 11 inches. Are you certain of that? 
Was it not 12? 

A. All I have to go by is the plan. [After examination of the plan.] 
They are 12 inches on top; yes, sir. 

Q. What do you mean by saying the armor belt tapered aft? 

A. She tapered aft abaft the engine room. 

Q. You mean it sloped down aft? 

A. It sloped; yes, sir. 

Q. It did not taper and get thinner as it went aft, did it? 

A. Oh, no. 

By the Court : 
Q. That is what I understood you to mean. 
A. That they get thinner? 
Q. Yes. 

A. No; it slopes. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 
Q. How far down did the double bottoms extend? 
A. The double bottoms extended from frame 12 forward to frame 73 
forward. 

Q. How far did the bilge keel extend forward? 
A. The bilge keel started in, I think, at frame 28. 
Q. Do you know how far they were from the keel ? 
A. No, I do not. 

The judge advocate requested that the testimony given by the witness 
be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to report 
to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with so 
much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

The court then, at 3.10 o'clock p. m., adjourned until 10 o'clock 
to-morrow morning, Tuesday, March 1, 1898. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 151 



EIGHTH DAY. 

U. S. Court-House, Key West, Fla., 

Tuesday, March 1, 1898—10 a. m. 
The court met pursuant to adjournment of yesterday. 
Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and the 
stenographer. 

The record of the proceedings of yesterday, the seventh day of the 
trial, was read and approved. 

Lieutenant Blandin, U. S. Navy, was called before the court and 
handed so much of the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, 
whereupon he withdrew. 

Lieutenant Hood was called before the court and handed so much 
of the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon he 
withdrew. 

Lieutenant Blow was called before the court and handed so much 
of the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon he 
withdrew. 

Lieutenant Jungen was called before the court and handed so much 
of the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon he 
withdrew. 

Naval Cadet Bronson was called before the court and handed so 
much of the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon 
he withdrew. 

Lieutenant Oatlin was called before the court and handed so much 
of the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon he 
withdrew. 

Gunner Hill was called before the court and handed so much of the 
record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon he withdrew. 

Boatswain Larkin was called before the court and handed so much 
of the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon he 
withdrew. 

Carpenter Helm was called before the court and handed so much of 
the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon he 
withdrew. 

P. A. Eng. Frederick C. Bowers, IT. S. Navy, appeared as a 
witness before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name, rank, and to what ship you are 
attached. 

A. Frederick C. Bowers; passed assistant engineer, U. S. Navy; 
attached to the U. S. 8. Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine; since her 
commission 1 ? 

A. Since her commission. 

Q. Are you the senior assistant engineer to the chief ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And you have been all the time since the ship has been in com- 
mission ? 

A. I have. 

Q. Please state to the court what precautions have been taken on 
board the Maine during her commission against spontaneous com- 
bustion of coal 1 ? 



152 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. The order has been to inspect the bunkers every day, and log it. 
In the case of every bunker that had an escape door, we have always 
opened those doors to examine the bunkers; and generally the coal 
that has been in the ship the longest has been used the first, as near 
as possible. 

Q. As far as you know, these orders have been carried out, have 
they? 

A. Whenever I was on duty they were. 

Q. When were you on duty last on board the Maine? 

A. The 14th day of February. 

Q. The day before the explosion? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You came off that morning at what time? 

A. At 8 o'clock. 

Q. Can you give the history of bunker A16, which is the port bunker 
forward abreast of the 6-inch reserve magazine? Give the history of 
the coal inside. 

A. That bunker was stored in either Newport News, Va., or at Nor- 
folk. It contained soft coal; Pocahontas, I think. If it came from 
Norfolk, I inspected it. It was full of soft coal, about 40 tons. 

Q. Were not the bunkers immediately abaft of it, B4 and B6, 
empty ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. The after bulkhead of A16 was easily accessible? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What other sides were accessible to ascertain the temperature in 
case it should have been over hot? 

A. You could feel it from the wing passage, and there was an escape 
door on platform deck A. There was a sign there, "Keep that door 
closed." That was on account of the opening into the passing room, 
the loading room. 

Q. The 10-inch loading room? 

A. Yes, sir; I have a sketch here that I made of the bunker showing 
the capacity. 

Q. We only care for A16. 

By the Court : 

Q. Just show me on the plan here where that bunker was accessible. 
Was it on that deck [indicating] ? 

A. No, sir; it was the deck above that — on the dynamo deck. That 
escape door came out here to go into the wing passage. There was an 
escape door in this corner, away forward — the inboard forward corner. 

Q. That was not on the same deck as the magazines? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. The magazine was below that? 

A. Below that; yes, sir. It was just the reverse of the other side. 
The other tank had an escape door below on the hydraulic room, plat- 
form B deck, at the after end. I mean the bunker on the otber side, 
No. A15. That escape door was aft, and was on the platform deck 
below. 

Q. There were two platform decks? 

A. Yes; one for the dynamos, and the other for the hydraulic plant. 

Q. On this deck [indicating] there was no way of reaching that 
bunker on the inside, was there? 

A. On the outside. 

Q. On the outside, but next to the 6-inch magazine? 

A. No, sir. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 153 

Q. There was no way of reaching that? 

A. We generally stored that bunker full, and did not use that escape 
door for the man to come out. We let him come out of the chute. We 
always wanted to keep that bunker full. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. You say you inspected that coal when it was put into bunker 
A16? 

A. If the coal came from Norfolk, I did. I was sent over there to 
inspect it. 

Q. Did you consider it safe and reliable coal, from your inspection? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q What is your opinion as to the heat generated in a bunker which 
has become lighted by spontaneous combustion in the bottom? Would 
it affect the upper part of the bottom materially and heat the bulk- 
heads? 

A. We could notice it very materially, I should think. 

Q. In the upper part of the bunker? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Was bunker A15 being used at the time? 

A. When I went off watch we were using what we used from No. 4 
bunker. We numbered them all. 

Q. It is the forward starboard bunker, is it not ? 

A. Yes ; when I went off watch we were using the after bunker in the 
forward fire room — the wing bunker — at 8 o'clock. 

Q. Please point it out on the plan. 

A. We were using coal out of this bunker, BIO. 

Q. Had you not been using coal out of A15? 

A. Previously; yes, sir. When we were using coal out of BIO, we 
had possibly about fifteen tons in this bunker. 

Q. That is all? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How much would it hold? 

A. Twenty-five tons, when full. 

Q. Do you know of any steam pipes in the Maine that were in dan- 
gerous proximity to the magazines and shell rooms? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. What was the condition of the after boilers — the two that were 
used for auxiliary purposes ? 

A. The fires were practically banked on the six furnaces of the two 
boilers. In what respect do you mean? 

Q. The condition of the boilers. 

A. The boilers were in good condition — in very good condition. 

Q. You do not consider there was any danger of their having too 
much pressure on for safety when you were working them for auxiliary 
purposes on the evening of the explosion? 

A. No, sir ; the safety valves blow at about 130 pounds, and we usually 
carried 80 to 100 for auxiliary purposes. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion? 

A. I was ashore. 

By the Court : 

Q. In reference to taking the temperature of the bunkers, you say 
there was an order to examine them daily where they were accessible? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. In what did the examination consist? 

A. Opening the escape doors where they had them, and feeling 
around the sides of the bunkers. 



154 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Did you have tbe usual thermostats in tbe bunkers? 

A. Yes, sir; but tbey didn't work very well. Sometimes they rang 
when tbere was no coal in the bunker. 

Q. I believe you never had a fire from spontaneous combustion in 
that ship, did you ? 

A. No, sir. We thought we did once, but it was a leaky steampipe — 
a leaky exhaust pipe from the ice machine. 

By the Judge- Advocate: 
Q. It gave the alarm ? 
A. It gave the alarm, and they moved the coal. 

The Judge- Advocate requested that the testimony given by the 
witness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The 
request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; where- 
upon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss 
matters pertaining to tbe trial. 

Lieutenant Jungen was called before the court and handed so much 
of the record of yesterday as contained his testimony, whereupon he 
withdrew. 

Asst. Eng. John R. Morris, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, rank, and to what ship you are at present 
attached. 

A. John R. Morris, assistant engineer, U. S. Navy; attached to the 
U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine? 

A. Fourteen months and fifteen days. 

Q. What has been your duty? 

A. Serving as assistant engineer. 

Q. Do you know of the orders of the ship in regard to taking tem- 
peratures of coal bunkers when you were on duty 1 ? 

A. The bunkers were to be inspected every day, to see how they 
were heated. They were taken every day. 

Q. Have you always carried out that order when on duty? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Wheu were you on duty last in the Maine f 

A. February 15. 

Q. You were on duty the day of the explosion ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. When did you inspect the bunkers on that day? 

A. It was some time daring the forenoon; I think between 10 and 11 
o'clock. 

Q. Can you remember distinctly making a careful inspection of 
bunker A10, the port forward bunker? 

A. I remember of opening the escape doors, and there was no heat 
perceptible, more than just the temperature of the hydraulic room, 
which is next to the bunker. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 155 

Q. You made a careful inspection of that bunker on that day? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. In the forenoon? 

A. In the forenoon ; yes, sir. 

Q. About what time? 

A. About 10.30. 

Q. Had you any occasion to go in coal bunkers B4 and B6, which 
were being painted? They are just abaft A1G. 

A. Yes, sir; I had had those bunker doors closed that night — the 
bunkers we had been painting. 

Q. Which night? 

A. The night of the explosion. The inspection was at 7.45. 

Q. P. in.? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you go into B4 and BG at 7.45 p. m.? 

A. Yes, sir; I went into B6. 

Q. If there had been any combustion going on in A16 would you 
have noticed it when you went in BG? 

A. Yes, sir; I looked into A15. 

Q. I am speaking of A1G, the port bunker. Which bunker did you 
go into at 7.45? 

A. It was A15 that closed the door to B4. 

Q. You did not go into B4? 

A. I looked inside; yes, sir. There was nothing unusual there. I 
simply had the door closed down, as it was night inspection. I did 
not enter B6. 

Q. What work had been going on in B4 and B6 that day? 

A. None at all, sir. We had completed painting in those bunkers, 

Q. Before you came on duty? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the time of the explosion? 

A. I was sitting on the quarterdeck — on the port side of the quarter 
deck, just abaft the after turret. 

Q. Will you please state to the court what you felt, heard, and saw 
of the explosion? 

A. I was thrown from a chair, and what I remember of the explosion 
seemed to me continuous for an appreciable length of time. I was then 
partially overcome by escaping gases from the smokestack from live 
boilers, and I was not conscious of anything further so that I could 
recall anything until I had gained the poop deck. 

Q. What was the first sensation you had — the first shock you felt? 

A. I saw fire and felt the ship going from under me. I can hardly 
describe my sensation. 

Q. Were you asleep at the time in your chair? 

A. >'o, sir; I was talking. 

Q. Your view forward was obstructed by the turret, was it not.? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You could not describe any sensation you had or what you really 
heard or felt? 

A. No, sir, I can not. I don't even remember the noise. 

By the Court : 

Q. How were you thrown from your chair? 

A. I was thrown aft, sir. At least I thought I was. I think I 
remember falling over that way. I was sitting talking to one of the 
other officers. 



156 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Were you sitting abaft Mr. Hood 9 

A. Mr. Hood was on the other side of the deck. I was sitting abaft 
Mr. Larkin. 

Q. On which side? 

A. On the port side. 

Q. You were on the port side? 

A. I was on the port side, yes, sir; right out to the rail. 

Q. That was Mr. Hood's side. 

A. I don't remember where he was. 

Q. You were thrown from your chair by the motion of the deck of 
the ship on which you sat? 

A. Yes, sir; that is my recollection. 

Q. You can not say what that motion was? 

A. No, sir; I can not. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the 
witness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Naval Cadet Pope Washington, U. S. Navy, appeared as a wit- 
ness before the court and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. State your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 
A. Pope Washington; naval cadet; TJ. S. Navy. 
Q. You are in the engineer department? 
A. I am an engineer cadet; yes, sir. 
Q. Attached to the TJ. S. S. Maine? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How long have you been attached to the Maine f 
A. Since the 17th of May, 1897. 

Q. Where were you on the night of the destruction of the Maine f 
A. I was in Havana. 
Q. You were not on board? 
A. No, sir. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced cor- 
rect. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Naval Cadet Arthur Crenshaw, TJ. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate: 
Q. State your name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 
A. Arthur Crenshaw; naval cadet, engineer division; attached to the 
TJ. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Where were you on the night of the destruction of the Mainef 
A. I was in my room, sir. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 157 

Q. Which was your room? 

A. The forward room of the junior officers' quarters. 

Q. Was there anyone else in you room % 

A. Mr. Bronson. 

Q. Please state to the court what you felt, heard, and saw of the 
destruction of the Maine f 

A. I don't remember of hearing anything. The lights went out, and 
I felt a shock, but I don't remember of hearing any noise of any kind. 

Q. Were you asleep at the time"? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. How many shocks did you feel? 

A. I can't say that I felt but one, sir. 

Q. Was it a lurch of the ship or a shaking of the ship, or what? 

A. It seemed to be a lurch of the ship. 

Q. You are quite sure you were not asleep and that this woke you up ? 

A. I am quite sure I was not asleep sir, 

Q. That is all you know about it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. You say you were in your room? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Your room was which one? 

A. The forward room of the junior officers' quarters. 

Q. Was there anybody else in that room with you? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Who was it? 

A. Mr. Bronson. 

Q. Were you in your berth ? 

A. No, sir; I was sitting down at my desk. 

Q. You heard no noise? 

A. No, sir; not that I can remember. It was simply a shock and 
the lights were extinguished. 

Q. When the lights went out what did you do? 

A. I rushed out of my room, sir, into the junior officers' mess room 
and then out of the forward door of the junior officers' mess room, and, 
it seemed to me, through the door that leads into the compartment 
just forward of that. There was a rushing noise of some kind. I 
couldn't tell just exactly what it was, so I made my way aft. 

Q. You went aft through the passage? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Then what did you do ? 

A. I ran for the steerage ladder. 

Q. Just abaft the turret? 

A. Yes, sir; it leads up just abaft the turret. There was no ladder 
there, though. 

Q. There was no ladder there? 

A. No, sir; not that I could feel. I couldn't see anything. I could 
feel no ladder there. 

Q. Then what did you do? 

A. Then I felt for the engine-hatch bulkhead, that leads up in that 
compartment and felt my way along that to the wardroom ladder. 

Q. You went up the wardroom ladder? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you know what the other officer, your roommate, did? 

A. No, sir ; I do not. I supposed he was right behind me, though, 
sir. I couldn't say. 



158 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Was lie in the room at the time you were? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did the water reach the compartment where you were before you 
left it? 
A. No, sir. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The 
request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Lieutenant Blandin here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Do you wish to make some corrections in 
your testimony ? 

Lieutenant Blandin. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Please state them to the stenographer. 

Lieutenant Blandin. On page 242, in next to the last line, it should 
read "dogwatches" instead of "deck watches." 

On page 243, the last paragraph should read: "After the third 
quarter watch was set at 9 o'clock at pipe down." 

On page 241, in the eighth line, it should be "knee deep" instead of 
"not deep." 

In the tenth line, on the same page, it should read, after the word 
"poop," "it was Private Loftus, I think." 

On page 246, in the tenth line, insert "had" before "swung." 

On page 247, in the seventh paragraph, it should read "almost 
immediate" instead of "almost within a minute." 

The Judge- Advocate. Is your testimony as amended correct? 

Lieutenant Blandin. Yes, sir. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Naval Cadet Bronson entered. 

The Judge-Advocate. You have read over your testimony ? 

Naval Cadet Bronson. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct ? 

Naval Cadet Bronson. With the exception of two small mistakes. 

The Judge Advocate. Please state what the mistakes are that you 
wish to correct. 

Naval Cadet BRONSON. In the third answer, on page 294, it should 
read: "I have performed boat duty, deck duty under the supervision of 
the commissioned officer of the deck." 

On page 295, the third answer — the third sentence of that answer — 
should be removed — " That is the impression which I have now.' 1 I 
have not any such impression as that now. 

The Judge- Advocate. What is the third sentence which you wish 
removed ? 

Naval Cadet Bronson. " That is the impression which I have now." 

The Judge- Advocate. You want that stricken out? 

Naval Cadet Bronson. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is your testimony as amended correct? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 159 

Naval-Cadet Bronson. Yes, sir. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse on matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Lieutenant Oatlin entered. 

The Judge-Advocate. You have read over your testimony? 

Lieutenant Catlin. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct? 

Lieutenaut Oatlin. Except in one instance. 

The Judge-Advocate. Please read to the stenographer the correc- 
tions you wish to make. 

Lieutenant Oatlin. In answer to question 5, on page 300, 1 wish to 
change the language as follows: 

When we first went into the harbor, there were two extra sentinels put on — one ou 
the forecastle and one on the poop — armed with rifles. They had special orders to 
challenge all boats which approached the ship near enough for a challenge, and in 
case any boat came toward the ship — evidently coming to the ship — to report imme- 
diately to the corporal of the guard, who would report to the officer of the deck. 

On page 307, line 12, it should read, "The corporal ol the guard." 
instead of " The corporal's guard." 

At the bottom of the page it should be "a heavy concussion," instead 
of " a loud concussion." 

The Judge- Advocate. Is your testimony as amended now correct? 

Lieutenant Catlin. Yes, sir. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse on matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Boatswain Larkin entered. 

The Judge- Advocate. You have read over your testimony? 

Boatswain Larkin. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct, as recorded ? 

Boatswain Larkin. With two changes. 

The Judge- Advocate. State what corrections you wish to make. 

Boatswain Larkin. I wish the answer to the question "How did you 
get there?" meaning the poop deck, on page 318, to appear as follows: 
"I climbed over a small wing awning on the main deck leading to the 
poop deck, on the port side of the cabin." 

The Judge-Advocate. You wish to change the first sentence in 
that answer, do you, to what you have just said? 

Boatswain Larkin. "I climbed over a small wing awning on the 
poop deck" should be "I climbed over a small wing awning on the 
main deck leading to the poop deck, on the port side of the cabin." 

The Judge-Advocate. That is the way you want it to read — that 
first sentence? 

Boatswain Larkin. Yes, sir. 

On page 319, in answer to the question "You did not see any men on 
the port side?" I wish to say, "I didn't see anything at all on the port 
side." 

The Judge-Advocate. That is the way you wish your answer to 
read? 

Boatswain Larkin. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is your testimony, as amended, correct? 

Boatswain Larkin. Yes, sir. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse on matters pertaining to the inquiry. 



160 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Private Edward McKay, U. S. Marine Corps, appeared as a wit- 
ness betore the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, rank, and to what ship you are attached? 

A. Edward McKay, private, U". S. Marine Corps, attached to U. S. 
battle ship Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. State exactly where you were at the first intimation there was of 
any trouble. 

A. I was right on the poop. 

Q. On which side ? 

A. I was on the starboard side. 

Q. Aft or forward ? 

A. Aft. 

Q. What were you doing there 1 

A. I was on watch, sir. 

Q. Tell the court what you felt, heard, and saw, in regard to the 
destruction of the Maine. 

A. I walked over to the starboard side and was looking over the side to 
see if there was any boats around the ship, and there didn't seem to be 
a ripple on the water at all. There wasn't a boat in sight; I didn't 
have to challenge a boat that night above all nights. I was looking 
over the starboard side, and all at once there was a flash of fire hit me 
right in the face and knocked me about half way across the deck, and 
during the flash the explosion came — just immediately afterwards. After 
the flash hit me in the face, then the explosion was, and the wood and 
iron commenced to fall around and lit on the awning all around me; 
and shortly after the officers came up. I thought I was the only one 
left on the ship when the explosion came, and the officers came up and 
we lowered the two boats and jumped into the boats to pick up the 
men floating around. 

Q. Were the poop awnings spread? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What was the first thing you felt? 

A. The first thing I felt was a shock. 

Q. Of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How did it feel? 

A. It felt as if it was rising up. 

Q. Did you feel more than one of these shocks? 

A. Only one, sir. 

Q. Did you hear any noise? 

A. I didn't hear a bit of noise, only the explosion. 

Q. One explosion? 

A. One explosion. 

Q. Did the explosion come before this first shock or afterwards? 

A. It came after the shock. 

Q. Did you feel any water thrown up into the air? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you see any shoot of flame up into the air? 

A. No, sir; I did not. 

Q. The awning obstructed your view, did it? 

A. Yes; the forward part of the ship. All I saw was the flash hit 
me in the face; the flash of fire, and then the explosion. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 161 

By the Court : 

Q. What do you mean by a flash in your face? 

A. The same as if anything would strike you in the face. It seemed 
like a flash of fire. 

Q. You do not mean that it was right in your face ? 

A. No, sir; but it seemed as if it was striking you in the face — the 
flash was, and then the explosion followed afterwards. 

Q. Where was the fire? 

A. It seemed to be coming from about the middle part of the ship. 

Q. It was a long way from where you were? 

A. Yes, sir; it was. 

Q. How far forward could you see? 

A. I could see to the superstructure, about amidships, sir. 

Q. Why could you not see farther than that? 

A. The awnings stopped my view, sir. 

Q. You were sensitive of a vivid flash of flame or light, as I under- 
stand it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you have the sensation of the shock to the ship before that, 
or at the same instant? 

A. They came both very near the same instant, but there was a small 
shock before the flame came up. 

Q. The ship seemed to rise, did it? 

A. Yes, sir; it seemed as if something lifted her up and tipped her 
right over on the port side. 

Q. Then was there an explosion besides that? 

A. The explosion was just after the light was, when the fire seemed 
to strike me in the face. The fire came right instantly afterwards. Then 
the ship blew up and keeled over onto the port side. 

Q. But the first shock, the lifting of the deck under your feet, was 
the first thing you felt? 

A. Yes, sir; there was only one shock that I felt. 

Q. Do you mean to say you did not feel the explosion? 

A. Oh, yes, sir. 

Q. Was that the shock? 

A. The shock and the explosion was at the same time. 

Q. Where did the flash come in with reference to the lifting of the 
deck and the explosion ? 

A. It seemed to come from about 

Q. I did not ask where it came from. You were standing on your 
feet when the shock came? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. When you heard the explosion? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were they together, instantly ? 

A. They were instantly together. You could not notice the differ- 
ence between. It was just like that [indicating]. 

Q. Was the flash between them? 

A. Yes, sir. 

The judge- advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
S. Doc. 207 11 



162 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

tunity to amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Apprentice Ambeose Ham, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Give your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. Ambrose Ham, apprentice, first class, U. S. Navy. 

Q. What ship? 

A U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. At the first intimation of any trouble, tell us exactly where you 
were. 

A. I was on the starboard side of the poop, near the forward 
6 pounder. 

Q. Near the forward break of the poop? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What were you doing there ? 

A. I was standing there. I had just been talking to Waters. I 
don't know his first name. He was a lamplighter. 

Q. What were you doing there; were you on duty? 

A. Yes, sir ; I was on duty. 

Q. What duty? 

A. Signal duty. 

Q. Tell the court exactly what you felt, heard, and saw of the 
destruction of the Maine. 

A. I was standing facing forward, and I was about to turn around 
when I saw a flash of light — a flame, which seemed to envelop the 
whole ship — followed by a report. I was struck in the face by a flying 
piece of iron. Then there was a perfect hail of flying iron fell all about 
me. Then the second report. I saw the things flying from forward. I 
didn't know exactly where the explosion was. After that the officers 
came up on the poop, and I assisted in lowering the gig. 

Q. You speak of two explosions? 

A. Yes, sir; it sounded like a roar, the second one. 

Q. What did the first one sound like? 

A. It was a sharp report. 

Q. How far were they apart? 

A. There was only an interval of a couple of seconds. 

Q. Did you feel the ship shake at either explosion? 

A. The ship seemed to lift right out of the water. 

Q. At which explosion? 

A. At the second explosion. 

Q. Did you feel any trembling or shaking or lifting of the ship at the 
first explosion ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. When did you see the flame you speak of? 

A. The first thing. 

Q. Before you heard either explosion ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You say there was a decided, distinct interval between the two 
explosions ? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 163 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. One was like a shot and the other like a roar ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. The second one being the roar ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Could you see any large upshoot of flame forward ? 

A. Yes, sir; there is where I saw it first. 

Q. Before either one? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. But at the second explosion did you see any large upshoot of 
flame? 

A. No, sir. At the second explosion I was hit in the face, and I had 
to cover my face like that [indicating] to avoid some flying pieces of 
iron. So I couldn't see no more after that. 

Q. Was there any trembling of the ship at the first shot? 

A. No, sir. 

By the Court : 
Q. Were you looking forward at the time? 
A. I was about to turn around when I saw the flash. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains histestimony and asked to withdraw for 
the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will be 
again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Lieutenant Hood here appeared before the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Lieutenant Hood, have you read over your 
testimony? 

Lieutenant Hood. I have. 

The Judge- Advocate. Do you find it correct? 

Lieutenant Hood. I find it correct with the exception of a few slight 
changes. 

The Judge-Advocate. Will you please read them to the stenog- 
rapher? 

Lieutenant Hood. On page 249, in the first answer, leave out " late." 

On page 251, in the second answer, leave out "I" and substitute 
"ammunition was." 

On page 256, in the first line, leave out "went up on" and substitute 
"reached." On the same page, in the ninth line, insert "had" at the 
beginning of the line. 

On page 260, in the third line, substitute "to " for "through." In the 
second answer on the same page, leave out the word "gun." In the 
third line from the bottom on page 261, put a period after "air" and 
leave out the word "but." 

The Judge- Advocate. Is your testimony as amended correct? 

Lieutenant Hood. It is correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Lieutenant Blow here entered the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Lieutenant Blow, have you read over your 
testimony? 



164 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Lieutenant Blow. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded 1 ? 

Lieutenant Blow. It is practically correct, with one exception. On 
page 272, I wish to say: "I can recall two occasions when the ship was 
heading in the same direction, approximately." 

Lieutenant Blow, U. S. Navy, a witness heretofore examined, 
resumed the witness stand, and, after being cautioned by the president 
that the oath previously taken by him was still binding, testified as 
follows : 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. I wish to ask you, Mr. Blow, the comparative amount of wreckage 
on the port and starboard sides, as you pulled around the ship. 

A. The wreckage on the starboard side was much greater. It began, 
I should say, about on the starboard beam, and extended completely 
around what was the bow of the ship. There was wreckage on the 
port bow, but a small amount, as I remember it. I should think the 
wreckage on the starboard side extended as much as half a ship's 
length from the side. 

The testimony of the witness was then read over to him by the 
stenographer, and by him pronounced correct. The witness then with- 
drew, after being cautioned not to converse about matters pertaining 
to the inquiry. 

Naval Cadet Boyd here entered the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Mr. Boyd, have you read over your testimony ! 

Naval Cadet Boyd. I have. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Naval Cadet Boyd. It is not. 

The Judge- Advocate. Do you wish to make some corrections'? 

Naval Cadet Boyd. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Please state them to the stenographer. 

Naval Cadet Boyd. On page 298 the question is understood to 
mean "What are your duties as mate of the berth deck after sunset?" 
My answer should read: "To see that all compartments are water-tight 
except those authorized to be open." One unnecessary sentence should 
be struck out. 

On page 302, "Was there any listing of the ship?" should be: "Was 
there any lifting of the ship," the word "lifting" being emphatic. 

On page 303, in the answer reading "There is a hatch in the for- 
ward compartment," strike out the word "forward." On the same 
page, in the sentence reading "There is a passage between the rooms," 
the word "sail" should be inserted before the word "room." On the 
same page the question "How did you get down to the magazines?" is 
understood as " How did you get down to the 10-inch magazine?" 

The Judge- Advocate. As amended, your testimony is correct? 

Naval Cadet Boyd. It is correct. 

The witness then withdrew after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Apprentice C. J. Dressler, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. State your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 
A. G. J. Dressier; apprentice, first-class, U. S. Navy; attached to the 
U. S. S. Maine. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 165 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. State to the court exactly where you were at the first intimation 
there was of any trouble. 

A. I was up in the midship superstructure, on the port side, right 
abreast the crane locker. 

Q. What were you doing there? 

A. I had been writing a letter at the time. 

Q. You were writing at the time it started? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Tell the court exactly what you heard, felt, and saw. 

A. I didn't feel anything, nor I didn't see anything; but I must have 
lost my senses at the time, because when I came to again I had been 
sitting on the hammock netting on the same side. I didn't feel no 
shock, nor I didn't see anything at all. I guess something must have 
struck me and knocked me senseless; but as soon as I came to, two or 
three minutes afterwards, I had been sitting on a hammock netting. 

Q. I understood you to tell me yesterday that you felt the shocks. 
Did I misunderstand you ? 

A. I believe you misunderstood me. 

Q. The first thing you knew was when you recovered from being 
knocked senseless? 

A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. What did you see? 

A. While I was sitting on the hammock netting I saw the boats. 
Mr. Bronson was in the whaleboat. He pulled around the ship and 
tried to save those that he could. There was two or three Spanish 
boats came alongside, and all those that they could rescue they took 
off, I suppose. I didn't see anything further, .because I went in one of 
the Spanish boats and went aboard of the Spanish man-of-war myself. 

Q. You were sitting on the hammock rail of the superstructure deck, 
were you ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Whereabouts? Which side? 

A. On the port side. 

Q. On the port side of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What was just in front of you that was not there usually? 

A. The boats were there — the two Spanish boats — right there on the 
port side. 

Q. I am not speaking about that. I am speaking about the wreck 
now. 

A. The smokestacks. They went right over the superstructure. They 
laid right slantingly across the after part of the superstructure, and the 
crane was doubled right up. It hadn't been knocked down though. 

Q. That was on which side ? 

A. On the port side, The water was just even with the awning on 
that side. The awning was flapping up and down in the water. 

Q. What awning was that 1 

A. That was the main-deck awning. 

Q. You were sitting above that? 

A. Yes, sir ; I was over on top of the hammock netting. 

Q. How far was this from the place you were sitting before the explo- 
sion? 



166 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. I don't suppose more than two or three steps. I was sitting right 
down on deck, under a light. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Carpenter Helm here appeared before the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Mr. Helm, is your testimony, as recorded, 

correct ? 

Carpenter Helm. It is except for the following corrections : 

On page 3122 my answer should read, "One water-tight door frame 

of paymaster's issuing room was not in good condition, and wasreeom- 

mened to be repaired at the navy-yard, as it could not be repaired 

by the ship's force." 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. You wish to add that to the answer you have given? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where was this issuing room? 

A. It was forward, over the 6-inch magazine, two decks above. 

On page 323 I would like to change " she listed to starboard" to "she 
listed to port." I would like to have the word "none" changed, on that 
same page, to "not" in, answer to the question "Were you injured in 
anyway?" 

On page 324, in the fourth answer, I wish to strike out "as they taper 
so low there," and in the same answer strike out the word "guess" and 
insert "think." 

On page 325, in the third answer, change "three and three- quarters" 
to "four and three-quarters." 

Q. As amended, is your testimony correct? 

A. It is. 

The witness then withdrew after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Sergeant Michael Mehan, U. S. Marine Corps, appeared as a wit- 
ness before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate: 
Q. State your full name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 
A. Michael Mehan; sergeant U. S. Marine Corps; serving on board 
the U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What were you doing? Were you on duty? - 

A. On duty, sir. 

Q. As what? 

A. As sergeant of the guard, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the first sign of any trouble? 

A. On the starboard gangway. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 167 

Q. On what part of the gangway? 

A. It was about midways in the gangway, between the forward turret 
and the after part of the gangway. 

Q. About abreast of the crane ? 

A. About abreast of the crane; yes, sir. 

Q. On the main deck? 

A. On the main deck. 

Q. You were standing up? 

A. Standing up. 

Q. Lookiug which way? 

A. I was looking outboard, sir. 

Q. State exactly what you felt, heard, and saw. 

A. I was in the gangway when I first heard this explosion. The 
next thing I knew about it I was fired overboard in the water — lifted 
clean off the gangway and fired in the water. The next thing I was 
picked up by a boat. 

Q. You heard only one explosion ? 

A. Only one explosion. 

Q. Did you feel any shock before that explosion ? 

A. The explosion and the shock, I thought, was both together. 

Q. How far from the ship were you thrown? 

A. When I came up from the surface of the water I was about 15 or 
20 feet out from the gangway on the starboard side of the ship. 

Q. Were you knocked senseless ? 

A. No. 

Q. Simply lifted up and out? 

A. Lifted up and thrown out in the water. 

Q. How high did you go ? 

A. I don't think I went very high in the air. I was simply thrown 
out in the water. When I left the ship I must have swam oat, because 
when I came up I was about 15 or 20 feet from the side of the ship. 
That is about all I know about it. Afterwards I was picked up by a 
boat. 

By the Court : 

Q. You were thrown off where? 

A. I was thrown off the starboard gangway out in the water. 

Q. Could you describe the kind of motion of the deck? 

A. I could not, sir; I thought the deck came right up and fired 
me out. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony, and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Corporal Frank G-. Thompson, U. S. Marine Corps, appeared as a 
witness before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 
Q. State your fuli name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 
A. Frank G-. Thompson; corporal, U. S. Marine Corps; attached to 
and serving on board of the U. S. S. Maine. 



168 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction ! 

A. I was, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the first intimation of any trouble? 

A. Lying in my hammock. 

Q. Where was your hammock? 

A. On the port gangway. 

Q. Describe where on the port gangway and how it was slung. 

A. It was slung from the first stanchion forward of the gangway — 
from the stanchion to the port. 

Q. Eight across the main deck, then? 

A. Eight across the main deck. 

Q. In the afterpart of the gangway? 

A. In the afterpart of the gangway. 

Q. About how far forward of the turret? 

A. About 25 feet— 20 feet. 

Q. Which way was your head? 

A. Inboard, sir. 

Q. Were you wide awake? 

A. I was wide awake. I was looking aft, with the blanket just over 
my head. I was lying there just making my self comfortable. Itseems 
as though I had made myself comfortable to have a night's rest. It 
was my night off, and I had just turned in. I hadn't turned in more 
than fifteen minutes — ten minutes, I don't believe, at the latest. 

Q. Tell the court exactly what you felt, heard, and saw of the destruc- 
tion of the Maine. 

A. The first 1 realized, lying in my hammock, I was deliberately 
thrown in the air through the port awning on the port side. I went as 
high as the superstructure, because I could see the superstructure. I 
landed on my side, here where I have the scar. I laid on the deck 
stunned for about two or three seconds, it would seem. Just then the 
ship seemed to give a lurch, and she gradually commenced to sink. 
As she commenced to sink I realized where my position was and I 
regained my feet. I grasped the ridgerope, and hung onto the ridge- 
rope until the water had come up almost to my neck. Just then naval 
cadet Mr. Bronson came along in the boat and threw me a line. He 
told me I would either have to sink or swim for my life. I let go, and 
I went down once and came up. I grasped the rope and they pulled 
me to the boat. 

Q. That was the ridgerope that was going along the port gangway! 

A. The port gangway, where the awning was made fast. 

Q. The awning was in the port gangway? 

A. In the port gangway. 

Q. You think you were thrown through that awning? 

A. I was thrown deliberately through it, because I remember coming 
down through it to where I was lying there. 

Q. I suppose the awning itself was thrown up? 

A. It must have been, because I remember there was a rent in the 
awning where I came through. 

Q. Did you go up in the air at the very first shock you felt? 

A. That was the first thing I realized. 

Q. What did you hear at that time? 

A. I didn't hear anything. 

Q. Did you see anything? 

A. I couldn't see anything on account of the darkness and smoke, 
and I smelt steam. 

Q. Were you stunned? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 169 

A. I was stunned; yes, sir. I was stunned for two or three seconds 
before I realized where I was. I thought at first that war had taken 
place and the Spaniards had opened on us. I heard groaning and men 
crying for help. 

By the Court : 

Q. This was outside the superstructure 1 ? You were on the main 
deck? 

A. On the main deck; yes, sir; port side. 

Q. That, of course, was not your billet? 

A. No, sir ; my billet was below in the marine quarters, but being so 
close down below, there was two or three of the boys slept on the port 
gangway. 

Q. Were you forward or abaft of the crane? 

A. I was abaft the crane. I had been reading up to 9 o'clock that 
night. Sergeant Brown, the mail orderly, wanted me to give him the 
book I had after I was through with it. I read until very nearly 10 
minutes past 9. Then I took the book down below to the master-at- 
arms compartment. Sergeant Brown was lying down there, where he 
always slept, and I gave him the book and went up to the head. From 
the head I came down to the port gangway, and had just turned in in 
my hammock. 

The judge- advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony, and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Lieutenant Jungken here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Mr. Jungen, you have read over your testi- 
mony? 

A. I have, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded ? 

A. I desire to make some corrections, as follows: 

Page 283, line 14, for the word "watch " substitute the word " hold." 

Page 284, line 16, for the word "an" substitute the word "a," and 
between "a" and the word "explosion" insert the words "well 
defined," so that the whole sentence will read "It was not a well- 
defined explosion." 

Same page, line 25, erase the word "or" after the word "ashes," and 
in place thereof insert "mingled with," so as to read "ashes mingled 
with brown smoke." 

Same page, last line, for the word "try" insert "see." 

Page 285, line 4, for the word "then" substitute the words "after 
that." 

Same page, line 21, erase the word "there" and substitute the words 
"the harbor." 

Page 286, line 19, after the first word "boat" insert the word "fall." 

Same page, same line, after the second word "boat" insert the word 
"fall." 

Page 287, line 2, for the word " got" substitute the word " was." 



170 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Same page, line 12, put the following word "having" before the word 
"only." 

Same page, line 13, erase the last two words "and myself." 

Same page, line 17, between the words "took" and "the" insert the 
words "charge of," and in the same line, after the word "around," add 
the words "the stern of the ship." 

Same page, line 23, after the word "turret" insert the words "On the 
starboard side." 

Same page, line 28, for the word "starboard" substitute the word 
"port" and erase the word "again." 

Same page, line 29, erase the word "then" after the word "ship." 

Page 290, line 20, for the word "boat" substitute the word "men." 

Same page, line 26, after the word "around" add the words "that 
way." 

The Judge- Advocate. Is your testimony as amended correct? 

A. It is. 

Lieut. 0. W. Jungen, recalled to the witness stand and warned by 
the president that the oath previously taken by him was still binding. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Please state the comparative amount of wreckage on the port and 
starboard sides when you were pulling around the ship in the barge. 

A. It appeared to me most of it was on the starboard side. 

Q. Was not nearly all of it on the starboard side? 

A. The only noticeable wreckage on the port side that I could see at 
all was the smoke pipe. I would like to add that my impression at 
first was, when I saw the wreckage, that the explosion was on the 
starboard side, because I saw something that looked to me like the 
starboard forward turret having been thrown up to port. That turned 
out afterwards to be the superstructure, as I learned; also that what I 
took to be the port crane was standing. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Master at Arms John B. Load, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. John B. Load, master at arms, third class, U. S. Navy, attached 
to the U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on duty as master at arms the night of the destruction 
of the Maine? 

A. No, sir; I was not. The second-class master at arms was on 
duty. 

Q. Where were you at the first intimation of any trouble ? 

A. I had just left the second-class master at arms, and he was telling 
me if I wanted the keys during the night, or in case they should be 
wanted, where to get them. I left him to go to my hammock, which 
was slung underneath the middle superstructure, right outside the 
armory door. 

Q. Where were you at the moment you felt the first trouble? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 171 

A. I was just taking off my shirt, and was going to turn in. From 
where I was standing I could look out the after door. 

Q. That is right by the armory'? 

A. Eight by the armory, sir; on the starboard side. 

Q. On the after part of the superstructure 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Your hammock was inside the superstructure, forward of the 
armory? 

A. Forward of the armory. 

Q. And nearly abreast of the door? 

A. Nearly abreast of the door. 

Q. You were about abreast of the refrigerator? 

A. I was close to where that steerage ice box stood ; yes, sir. 

Q. You were standing up at the time? 

A. I was standing up at the time. 1 had just put my shirt on the 
hammock. 

Q. Please state to the court exactly what you felt, heard, and saw. 

A. You could see a red flame outside the ship. It seemed as if it 
was a small boat had struck the ship at first. She seemed to tremble, 
and then the whole deck where I was standing seemed to open, and there 
was a flash of flame came up, and whether 1 went up in the air, or 
whether I went down, 1 couldn't say at first. Then I found myself down 
below, and the water rushing in on me. I could hear a second explo- 
sion, and it seemed to lift the weight off of what was on me where I 
was lying down, and I managed to crawl out of there. I found myself 
on the port side of the upper superstructure. That place all seemed to 
be cleared. At that time the port awning was burning, and people 
was lying on it. Schwartz was one. He called me byname and asked 
me to give him some help to get off of there. The only thing I could 
find was a piece of wire rope. I helped him and two or three others, 
but I don't know their names. Privates Lutz, Marine, and Galpin 
were up there. Then I called out for assistance, for a boat, the Ward 
Line boat. At that time Mr. Bronson was coming along in the whale- 
boat, and he called out "Courage." He says: "Help is coming." 

Then 1 asked him for his painter, and I made it fast to one of the 
cradles that was remaining there, and I helped these others to get into 
the boat. I was going to get in myself, but Lutz called out "Give me 
some help here; there is two men dying." We managed to get them 
and throw them over. We had no way of putting them down. One 
was Erricson and the other was Smith. Smith fell in the water too far 
from the boat to receive assistance, and Mr. Bronson jumped out of the 
boat and swam to him. It was only a short distance, but the water 
appeared to be boiling up around there at the time. Then I got up 
from there and was intending to make the boat myself. I walked, 
around the hammock netting a little, and I slipped and fell overboard. 
I got onto a chest, and I was picked up by a Spanish shore boat. We 
went all around the ship in the boat and picked up Bau, seaman, and 
Mike Malone, fireman, but Mike fell out of the boat afterwards ; he was so 
badly hurt we couldn't hold him in. Then I was transferred to another 
Spanish boat, and we were taken ashore. 

Q. You say at the first shock you were knocked down somewhere? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Below? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where did you find yourself? 

A. I thought I was on the berth deck. 



172 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. But you were not on the berth deck, were you? 

A. I think not, sir. 

Q. The next thing you found yourself on top of the middle super- 
structure? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How did you get up there? 

A. I can remember coming out of the after hatch, sir. 

Q. You got on top ? 

A. On top, sir. I can remember all that was with me at the time 
down there. There was Williams, the armorer; he was sleeping on 
deck close to me; and Kane was standing with his arms on the ice 
chest. McGinnis, the marine, was sleeping on the port side. 

Q. They were all saved ? 

A. They were all saved, sir, but the man that was sleeping in his 
hammock above, next to me, was lost. 

Q. Who was that? 

A. That was Calfield. 

The Judge-Advocate. These men, I want to say to the court, were 
mostly asleep. I have questioned most of the men he has mentioned, 
and they were asleep at the time. 

By the Court : 
Q. You mentioned two explosions ? 
A. Two explosions, sir. 

By the Judge -Advocate : 
Q. How far apart were the two explosions ? 

A. About a minute, as near as I can judge; that is, from the time the 
deck opened up until I heard the second explosion. 

Q. By a minute you mean a very small period of time? 
A. Very small. 
Q. Very quick ? 
A. Very quick. 

By the Court: 

Q. You do not mean a minute, then? 

A. No, sir; it would hardly be a minute; but it happened a little 
after three bells, as near as I can judge, and I was ashore before four 
bells struck. 

Q. Describe the two explosions. 

A. One seemed to be a deafening report. 

Q. Which one? 

A. The one when the deck opened. Then, when I was down below, 
I imagined it was a boiler went up, on account of the water down there. 
It was hot, but the flame that I saw — the deck seemed to open. It was 
the same as if some one had taken a revolver and fired it close to your 
face, and you almost suffocated. It felt as if cotton was in our mouths 
when we were down below. We were choking down there, and we were 
drinking water as it was coming up on us, to try to get a little relief. 

Q. Do you mean to say that you tried to get a drink of water during 
this time? 

A. I was drinking the water as it was coming up on me, sir. As we 
were sinking, we were drinking water to get relief. This man Kane 
and myself were together nearly the whole time. 

Q. Did you speak with each other ? 

A. Oh, yes, sir ; we were speaking. I told him I had given up all 
hope once, and he told me he had given up all hope. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 1 73 

Q. Were the lights out at this time f 

A. The lights were out as soon as the first flash. Everything was in 
darkness. 

Q. Then you recognized these people how ? 

A. By their voices, sir. 

Q. How did the second explosion differ from the first one ? 

A. It didn't seem to be as loud a report, to me, as the first one was. 

Q. It did not seem to be as loud? 

A. Not as loud, sir. 

Q. The first thing you knew following the first report was that you 
were thrown down through the deck ? 

A. It seemed to me as if I fell through the deck instead of going up. 
The whole deck seemed to open. It sounded then as if a wagon with a 
lot of old iron had been dumped into a hole. That was the noise it was 
making, cracking up all the time. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to with- 
draw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he 
will be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to 
amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request 
was granted and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Peter Larsen, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Ad vocate : 
Q. State your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 
A. My name is Peter Larsen; I was born in Norway; seaman; 
attached to the U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine on the night of her destruction? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You were standing on the quarter-deck of the Maine at that time? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Doing extra duty ? 

A. Extra duty; yes, sir. 

Q. What part of the quarter-deck were you on? 

A. Close to the after turret, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. It was not on the superstructure deck? 

A. No, sir; just that little passage going between the after turret 
and the bulkhead. 

Q. On the port side ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Eight near the gangway between the turret and the middle 
superstructure ? 

A. The galley door that leads out on the superstructure. 

Q. Which way were you facing? 

A. Port side, sir. 

Q. What were you facing? 

A. I just came walking up, like this, and I stopped there. 

Q. Tell the court exactly what you felt, heard, and saw. 

A. The first thing, when I came ofl to that side and was walking up 



174 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

and down, I heard some explosion in the port gangway; something 
like an explosion. I just turned around, and then the big explosion 
came, and I got thrown aft on the poop. 

Q. What do you mean by the first explosion ? What did it sound 
Uke? 

A. Something like a shot, sir. 

Q. What did it feel like? 

A. It jarred the ship. 

Q. Did you see any flame or anything ? 

A. Yes, sir; just around the corner came the flame. 

Q. Show us on the plan where you were. 

A. Eight here [pointing between the turret and the galley]. The 
first noise I heard was around the port gangway, where the ice 
machine is. 

Q. The first what? 

A. The first explosion, and the next thing I got thrown up here on 
the poop deck. 

Q. You got thrown up there? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On top of the deck? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You did not walk up there at all? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You were thrown up there? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You saw the light around this corner? 

A. Just coming around this corner; and the next thing I found 
myself up there. 

Q. Were you hurt? 

A. No, sir; just across the back a little, and my arm. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. What kind of a sensation did the second explosion make in 
regard to the ship? 

A. At the second explosion I got thrown away, and everything 
around me was flying. 

Q. Was there a distinct interval between the two, do you think? 

A. There was a very little between each other, because I didn't have 
time to turn around, because I got thrown out. 

Q. They were distinct, in your opinion? 

A. Yes, sir; they were distinct. 

Q. When did you see the flames — after the first and before the second ? 

A. No, sir; just with the second. 

Q. It was the second shot, then, that threw you up on the poop deck? 

A. Yes, sir; the second shot, because at the first I had just turned 
around. The second took me away from the quarter-deck altogether. 

Q. Can you describe any more carefully the first shock ? 

A. No, sir ; it was just ajar, shaking all over. 

Q. It did not throw you off your feet? 

A. No, sir ; it didn't throw me off my feet. It was something like 
the ship had gone aground. She was shaking. 

Q. How long do you think it was after the first shock before the 
second one? 

A. I don't think there was more than about two seconds, or some^ 
thing like that. 

Q. A very short time? 

A. Yes, sir. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 175 

Q. The two were perfectly separate? 
A. Yes, sir. 

The judge advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when be will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Louis Moriniere, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was duly sworn by the president: 

Examined by the Judge-Ad vocate : 

Q. Give your full name. 

A. Louis Moriniere. 

Q. What rate? 

A. Seaman. 

Q. Attached to the Maine? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You were on the quarter-deck, I believe? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On the main deck? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Whereabouts? 

A. Between the after superstructure and the main superstructure; 
abreast the after turret, sir. 

Q. About halfway between the two superstructures? 

A. Yes, sir; closer to the after superstructure. 

Q. Near the barbette? 

A. No, sir; near that reel there that the fire hose is on, under the 
ladder ; close to the ladder. 

Q. That is not the after superstructure. That is the middle super- 
structure. You were close to the ladder leading up the middle super- 
structure. I will show it to you on the plan. Which way were you 
facing at the time the trouble commenced? 

A. Aft, sir. 

Q. Tell the court exactly what you felt, what you heard, and what 
you saw ; not what you have been told since — what you remember your- 
self feeling. 

A. I heard a jar, and after this jar the explosion went up through 
the middle superstructure. I heard ajar first, and almost at the same 
time of this jar the whole middle superstructure went up in fire, sir. 
I was thrown up off my feet and sent aft against my will, and I fell on 
all fours. 

Q. You were thrown down ? 

A. Yes, sir; I looked forward and saw no more smokestacks. The 
smokestacks were done. 

Q. They had gone? 

A. Yes, sir; the two smokestacks were gone. 

Q. That was after you picked yourself up? 



176 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. Yes, sir ; I got hold of an awning stanchion and crawled up over 
something around there; I don't know what it was. I looked around, 
and I couldn't see no smokestacks. 

Q. What did the first explosion feel like to you? 

A. Just ajar, sir. 

Q. How long was it between that and the second explosion? 

A. It was hardly two seconds. 

Q. When did you see flame? 

A. The flame was in the port gangway. 

Q. When did that first come? 

A. Just soon after this second explosion started. 

Q. Which knocked you down? 

A. It was the second explosion. 

Q. How far aft were you thrown? 

A. Just about fifteen feet, in my judgment. 

Q. You landed on your hands and knees? 

A. Yes, sir ; I couldn't get on my feet again. 

Q. You could not get your feet again? 

A. No, sir; I couldn't get on my feet. There was so much vibration 
in the deck that I couldn't stand up. When I got up in the boat along- 
side the ship, after the captain left the ship, we saw the berth deck on 
fire through the ports. 

Q. That was after you had left the ship ? 

A. Yes, sir. She was very deep down in the water then. She was 
almost level with the ports. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Boatswain's Mate Charles Bergman, U. S. Navy, appeared as a 
witness before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. Give your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 
A. Charles Bergman; boatswain's mate; first-class; TJ. S. S. Maine. 
Q. Were you on board the Maine on the night of her destruction? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you asleep when it happened? 
A. I was just between waking and sleeping. 
Q. Just going to sleep? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you in your hammock? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where was your hammock swung? 

A. Forward on the berth deck, in the forward compartment. 
Q. Which side? 
A. The starboard side. 
Q. Near the brig? 
A. On the afterpart of the starboard brig. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 177 

Q. The hammock swung fore and aft? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Well outboard? 

A. Yes, sir ; the first hammock outboard, alongside the mess locker. 
I swung on top from the hooks, and two others were swinging under- 
neath. 

Q. What were the other men's names ? 

A. Atkin and Fountain. 

Q. They were both killed? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Tell us what you felt and what you experienced. Which way was 
your head ? 

A. Aft, sir. 

Q. Tell us what you felt — what you experienced. 

A. I heard a terrible crash, an explosion I suppose that was. Some- 
thing fell, and then after that I got thrown somewhere in a hot place. 
Wherever that was I don't know. I got burned on my legs and arms, 
and I got my mouth full of ashes and one thing and another. Then the 
next thing I was in the water — away under the water somewhere, with 
a lot of wreckage on top of me that was sinking me down. After I got 
clear of that I started to come up to the surface of the water again, and 
I got afoul of some other wreckage. I got my head jammed in, and I 
couldn't get loose, so I let myself go down. Then it carried me down 
farther. I suppose when it touched the bottom somewhere it sort of 
opened out a bit, and I got my head out and started for the surface of 
the water again. I hit a lot of other stuff with my head, and then I got 
my head above the water. I got picked up by a Spanish boat, one of 
these shore boats, I think. 

Q. When you found yourself in the water first, how far were you 
from this ship ? 

A. I must have been underneath the ship, as far as I can make out. 
At least, I come up on the side. 

Q. Near the ship ? 

A. Yes, sir. I got out through the bottom or the side, as near as I 
can make out. 

Q. You were the only man in that compartment that was saved? 

A. Yes, sir; the only man from the whole berth deck except Jerry 
Shea, I believe. 

Q. Where was he? 

A. He was in the fireman's compartment, I believe, forward of the 
marines' compartment. 

Q. Where is Shea now ? 

A. He is in the hospital at Havana, I think. I don't know of no 
other one. When I come up, she was all settled down in the water. 
She was all torn to pieces then, and settled down. 

Q. Had you swallowed much water ? 

A. I was full of it. I was pretty near drowned when I came up. 
When I got in the boat the water was running out of me. I must 
have been under there for a couple of minutes, as far as I can make out. 

By the Court : 
Q. Do you remember more than one shock ? 
A. That is all, sir; one terrible crash. That is all I know about. 
Q. You say you went which way; what became of you ? 
A. That I couldn't say. I must have got out from the bottom or the 
side. That is what I think. I don't know which way I got thrown 
S. Doc. 207 12 



178 DESTRUCTION OF THE U S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

or fired. It was something fearful. There is nothing to compare with 
it at all. 

Q. You were not conscious of having your head above water from 
the start until you were picked up 1 ? You did not know during that 
time that your head had been above water at all? 

A. No, sir; I was under all the time. After I once got my head 
above water I had it there all the time. 

Q. You say your legs and arms were burned ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Those are the burns on your hands now, are they? 

A. Yes, sir; and that leg and arm [indicating his left leg and 
left arm]. 

Q. How large spaces were burned? 

A. It is burned across this leg here [indicating]. My arm is pretty 
well healed up now. There was a big, raw burn on my left elbow. 

Q. Y"ou say at one time you felt you were in a very hot place? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you mean that it was hot air, hot gases? 

A. It must have been hot iron or something, I guess, that I fell 
against. I got a lot of ashes in my mouth and face. I know that. 

The judge- advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Gunner Hill here entered the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Mr. Hill, have you read over your testimony 
of yesterday? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded? 

A. I wish to make a few changes. On page 315, in the fourth answer, 
strike out the word " yes" and insert "no." 

In the fifth answer, add to the answer " I can remember no upright 
in the after end of the magazine except those in the center forming the 
two fore and aft bins." 

Q. Is your testimony as amended correct? 

A. Yes, sir. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaiuiug to the inquiry. 
The court then (at 12.40 p. m.) took a recess until 2 p. m. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 
Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and the 
stenographer. 

Landsman George Fox, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 
Q. State your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached T 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 179 

A. George Fox, landsman, U. S. Navy, attached to the U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction | 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. I believe you were a lamplighter I 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the time it happened ! 

A. In the lamp room, sir. 

Q. Where is that lamp room situated? 

A. On the port side of the superstructure forward. 

Q. The middle superstructure 1 ? 

A. The middle superstructure. 

Q. Is it inside the 6-inch gun rest? 

A. Yes, sir; right under the port 6-inch gun. 

Q. Were you in there in your hammock 1 ? 

A. No, sir; I had a bunk rigged up in there. 

Q. Was the door locked ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. In what way was the door locked ? 

A. I had a catch and a hook, just a kind of a hook. I don't know 
how to explain it. It was caught over a port. 

Q. Were you asleep when this commenced ! 

A. I was just dozing off. 

Q. Tell us what happened to you. 

A. As well as I can remember I was thrown up in the air and I came 
down feet first. I heard the rattling and the roar around me, but it 
was pitch dark and I couldn't see nothing. I had to feel around. I 
heard the men groaning around me. I felt a hole and I crawled through 
that. Then I seen the wreck burning on top, and that gave me light to 
see to climb up. I found myself in the middle of the wreck, pretty high 
up, because I could look down and see the boats all around there. Then 
I went down to the water's edge and swam out to a boat. 

Q. Did the lamp room seem to be upside down ? 

A. Yes, sir; it seemed to be pretty well demolished, as well as I could 
make out. 

Q. Was it perfectly open on the outside for you to crawl out*? 

A. No, sir ; I had to crawl through a pretty small hole. It scratched 
me all here [indicating]. 

Q. Did you feel any particular shock except this upheaving? 

A. No, sir; I was dazed for a minute. I was stunned. 

Q. You were dazed at the very first shock ? 

A. Yes, sir; but I realized that we had been blown up some way. 
There was a strong smell of powder there somewhere that nearly gagged 
me. It was some kind of explosive that smelled like powder, and also 
the burning of cotton. I don't know what it was or what made it. 

By the Court : 

Q. Of cotton? 

A. Yes, sir; it smelled like burning cloth of some kind. 

Q. Were your own clothes burned ? 

A. No, sir; not as I know of. I was stripped, myself. Of course my 
bedding might have taken fire; I don't know. Anyway, that smoke 
seemed to come from below somewhere. 

Q. Do you mean that you were stripped? 

A. Yes, sir; I was naked, myself. I didn't have a stitch on me, it 
being very warm there. 

Q. Did you go to bed that way? 



180 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. Tea, sir ; I went to bed that way. 

Q. You heard but one explosion? 

A. Yes, sir; but one explosion. 

Q. When you came down to the water's edge to swim out into the 
water, which side of the ship were you on ? 

A. I was on the port side, sir. I am sure of that, sir, because I seen 
Mr. Boyd on top of the wreck. He called out to all hands to turn to 
and fight the fire. He said we had settled down. That is the first 
thing I heard when I came on top of the wreck, and I weut down to 
the water's edge and swam out to one of these boats. 

Q. You are sure that was on the port side 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; I am certain of that. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the witness 
be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to re- 
port to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony, and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Landsman Michael Lanahan, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, your rate, and the ship to which you are 
attached. 

A. My name is Michael Lanahan; landsman; U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you ? 

A. I was in my hammock, over the starboard 6-inch gun, in the fore- 
castle. 

Q. Over the starboard 6-inch forecastle gun? 

A. Yes, sir; my foot was over the starboard 6-inch gun, and my head 
was aft. 

Q. Inside the forward superstructure? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What happened to you? Were you asleep when it started? 

A. No, sir; I wasn't asleep. I was just turning into my hammock. 
I was about to lie down in my hammock when I felt a jar, and that is 
all I remember. 

Q. Where did you find yourself? 

A. I found myself about 50 feet from the ship, out in the water. 

Q. On which side? 

A. On the starboard side. 

Q. Were you injured? 

A. No, sir ; I had a slight cut in my head. 

Q. Was anyone else in that superstructure saved? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Who? 

A. Michael Flynn, Durkin, Bloomer, and a young fellow — I forget his 
name. He is out in the hospital. He was a new fellow that had just 
come. There was four or five of them came out of that first part. 



DESTRUCTION OP THE II. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 181 

Q. You do not remember anything at all until you landed in the 
water? 

A. No, sir; I didn't know anything at all about it until I came up in 
the water. 

Q. Some distance from the ship ? 

A. Yes, sir ; about 50 feet out in the water. 

Q. To starboard? 

A. To starboard ; yes, sir. 

Q. What did you feel in the way of shocks or explosions'? 

A. I just felt a jar, and that was all — just a trembling, and that is 
the last I remember of it. 

By the Court : 

Q. You did not hear any noise? 

A. No, sir ; I did not hear any noise ; just a trembling, and everything 
seemed dumb then. When I came up out of the water, I realized what 
had happened, and I swam for a buoy. 

Q. Swam for what? 

A. One of those small buoys that are anchored there. 

Q. The door into that superstructure was abaft your head, was 
it not? 

A. Yes, sir; just abaft of the gun. 

Q. You do not know whether you went through the deck or through 
the side? 

A. No, sir; I went right straight up and went out. The deck must 
have been blown up. If it hadn't, I would have been hurt worse than 
I was. I couldn't make any statement about that. I know I went up 
through it. 

Q. Were you burned at all? 

A. No, sir; I wasn't burned. I was just cut in the head; that 
was all. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to with- 
draw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which 
he will be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to 
amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request 
was granted and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon 
he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss mat- 
ters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Coal Passer Thomas Melville, U. S. Navy, appeared as a wit- 
ness before the court, and was duly sworn by the president: 

Examined by the Judge Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, rank, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. Thomas Melville, coal passer, U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. I believe you were on the quarter-deck of the Maine at the time 
of her destruction? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What part of the deck were you on ? 

A. Just right between the after turret and the bulkhead of tha 
galley. 

Q. In that passageway? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Which way were you facing? 



182 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. With iny back turned to it, sir, and my face toward aft. 

Q. Were you standing near Larsen? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Tell the court exactly what you felt, heard, and saw. 

A. I felt something like electrician right under my feet. 

Q. You felt what? 

A. Something that appeared to me like electrician — a loud report — 
just about amidships. 

Q. An electric shock, I suppose you mean? 

A. Yes, sir; and she listed over on the port side. The port was under 
water. Her starboard side was up. I made my way to the starboard 
gangway, and then I heard the second report. I had an idea that was 
the boilers, from the ashes and soot and stuff. I tried to make my way 
amidships on the starboard gangway, and I got hit with ashes. I had 
an idea it was the boilers had exploded. That opened up the super- 
structure and carried everything forward. By that time I made my way 
aft for the second whaleboat. Before me and a man by the name of 
McCann could reach her she was under water. I came back again to 
the starboard gangway, when the captain's gig came along aft with the 
boatswain in her. He hollered for me and McCann to come to him. 
We dove overboard and swam for the cutter and manned her to save 
lives, which we couldn't. Then the captain's writer — I don't know 
what you call him; I guess it was the writer — hollered for us to come 
back. We came back and stood there, and the first lieutenant and the 
captain got in the gig. The captain gave orders to shove off and for 
all boats to leave her, to look out for the magazines. That was the 
captain's orders. We went around her a couple of times and looked 
for lives, but couldn't find any. Then we rowed to the City of Wash- 
ington, at the captain's order, with all the men we had in the boat. 

Q. When you felt the first shock, were you knocked oif your feet? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. How long was it before the explosion, which you call a boiler explo- 
sion, occurred after the first shock? 

A. It appeared to me about a half a minute between the two explosions. 

Q. Almost immediately, do you think? Haifa minute, you know, is 
quite a little space. 

A. The first explosion raised up part of the superstructure, etc., and 
twisted it right over my head, and the awning came down over my head. 
I made under it for the starboard gangway. When I got to the star- 
board gangway the second explosion occurred. 

Q. Did the ship shake as much after the second explosion as after the 
first? 

A. No, sir ; I think it shook more at the first. 

Q. How was the sound? 

A. It appeared to me, when she was hit starboard, it came about 
amidships, and then turned and everything went forward. 

Q. Did you see any flame? 

A. Not before the second explosion. The first explosion appeared to 
be right under the berth deck. 

Q. Did the ship seem to lift any at the first explosion? 

A. No. sir. 

Q. She just trembled? 

A. She trembled, and the port side went down just as she was sti uck. 

By the Court : 
Q. You say that this second explosion threw everything forward ? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 183 

A. It threw everything forward, sir. That is what it appeared to 
me — that it opened up the superstructure, and the second explosion 
carried the ironwork out and struck the steam launch, made fast to 
the guess warp of the starboard side. I seen that myself. 

Q. You saw what? 

A. I saw when the steam launch went down, from the ironwork of 
the superstructure, at the second explosion. 

Q. What seemed to be the cause of the steam launch going down ? 

A. The ironwork tipped her over like, and everything went right on 
to her — smothered her right up. It appeared to me that way. There 
was a good deal of iron blown out from her. Our two boilers was 
going forward down below. That is what made me think it was so 
long, half a minute or so, between the two explosions. There was no 
boilers going aft. We had two going forward. 

Q. You had two boilers going forward? 

A. Yes, sir; I knew that myself, and we had four primed ready to 
steam at the time. 

Q. You are wrong. The after boilers were in use! 

A. Yes, sir; the two after boilers. I know the steam launch was 
lying there at the second explosion. I am sure of that. 

Q. What was the name of the man who was standing in that passage 
way between the turret and the galley with you? 

A. Pete Larsen. 

Q. Where did he go; what did he do? 

A. I couldn't tell you, sir. I didn't see him at ail. 

Q. You did not see him afterwards? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Larsen simply went overboard? 

A. He disappeared from me, sir. I couldn't say how he disappeared. 
Of course the shock took all the life out of me for a second — for half a 
second. When I came to myself, I knew where the starboard gangway 
was, and I made for it. When I got there I found a fellow by the name 
of Gartrell praying, and one fellow by the name of Lancaster, he was 
dead, and another fellow was holding on the gangway. I pulled him 
out of the water, and saw that he was dead, and I left him there. 

Q. You are sure that the ship listed after the first explosion? 

A. Oh, yes, sir; the port gangway went under water in two seconds, 
right after she was hit. She went down so quick that when I got to 
the starboard gangway it was away up. The gangway was clean out 
of water. 

Q. The second explosion had not occurred at that time? 

A. No, sir; not before I reached the starboard side. 

Q. Were you standing up at the time of the first shock? 

A. Yes, sir; me and this man by the name of McCann and Wilber, 
coxswain of the steam launch, we tried to make for the second whale- 
boat. We did make it, and we seen it was under water, and couldn't 
do anything with it. So we came back to the gangway again, and by 
that time Wilber fell overboard. He disappeared, and he told us after- 
wards in the hospital that he fell overboard. The boatswain holloed 
for me and McCann, and we dove overboard and swam to the captain's 
gig- 

The judge advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony, and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 



184 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Coxswain Benjamin E. Wilbee, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, your rate, and the ship to which you are 
attached. 

A. Benjamin E. Wilber; coxswain; U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction? 

A. Yes, sir; not on the Maine. I was in the steam launch alongside 
the ship. 

Q. Where was the steam launch? 

A. On the starboard boom, sir. 

Q. Did you have steam up? 

A. Steam up; yes, sir. 

Q. Hanging to what; a guess warp? 

A. No, sir; made fast to the Jacob's ladder, and the stern hauled aft 
to the grab rope, so that she couldn't swing and catch the smokestack. 

Q. Who were in the boat with you ? 

A. There was five of us — Pank, Lowman, Nicholson, and Eau — five 
men with myself. 

Q. Are any of those men alive now? 

A. All of them are alive : yes, sir. 

Q. Were you awake when it happened? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What part of the boat were you in? 

A. In the stern sheets, sir. 

Q. Tell the court what happened. 

A. What I know of it; it seemed to me as if something hit me in 
the face, and I didn't know any more until I came up under the water, 
some distance from the ship, when I came up close to one of our coal- 
ing booms or strong back. I don't know what it was. Pank, one of 
the men in the boat, was on it. I don't know how long I stayed there, 
but then I happened to think of the sharks that was in the water 
around there, and I swam to the ship, to the starboard gangway. I 
took off my clothes and shoes and jumped overboard again, and swam 
to the Spanish cutter that was pretty close to the ship then, and they 
took me on board the Spanish man-of-war that was lying there. 

Q. You do not know how you got out of the launch? 

A. No, sir; I don't remember one single thing. I don't know what 
became of the boat either. 

Q. Did you see any flame? 

A. Just like a flash it hit me in the face. I didn't see any flame. 

Q. You were immediately knocked senseless? 
I A. Yes, sir; I think I was knocked senseless. 

Q. How far were you from the ship when you found yourself in the 
water ? 

A. I can't exactly say. I should say about 20 yards, or something 
like that. 

Q. Which way from the ship? 

A. Eight directly out — right broadside off from the ship. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 185 

Q. You were some distance from where the launch had been? 
A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court: 
Q. You heard no explosion; you heard nothing? 
A. Fo, sir; I didn't hear nothing. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. How were you injured? 

A. I was struck on the side of the head here by something. 

Q. The right side of your face? 

A. Yes, right here. 

Q. Around the temple? 

A. Yes, sir; and I think it has injured the jawbone. I don't know. 
I can't open my mouth. I can't hear in the left ear, and I am cut on 
the right arm below the elbow. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony, and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Fireman John H. Pank, TJ. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. State your full name, rate, and the ship to which you are attached. 

A. John Henry Pank; fireman, first-class; U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you the fireman that ran the first steam launch? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you in that launch at the time of her destruction? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What part of that boat were you in? 

A. I was amidships, near the engine room. 

Q. Between the boiler and the stern sheets? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On which side of the boat? 

A. On the port side. 

Q. Which way were you looking when this thing happened? 

A. I was looking out to starboard. 

Q. Away from the ship ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Tell the court what happened to you? 

A. All I can say, sir, is that I heard a big explosion, and I was just 
about to look around to see where it came from, when something must 
have struck the steam launch on the port side. It just capsized her 
right over. It taken us about 25 or 30 feet under the water before we 
could get out. By the time we got up it was all over. We landed 
about 30 yards from the ship. That is about all I can say, sir. 

Q. You heard an explosion on board the ship ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. One or two? 



186 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. I only heard one, sir. 

Q. You felt the boat going over? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You were not blown out of the boat? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. You scrambled out as the boat turned over? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What is the matter with your arm ? 

A. I lost two of the fingers. 

Q. How do you suppose that happened? 

A. I don't know, sir; unless it was because we had a pretty good fire 
in the boilers at the time — we had about 160 pounds of steam — and I 
can't account for it no other way except that when the boiler struck 
the water, the boiler was so hot at the time it must have exploded. 

Q. You were knocked senseless? 

A. No, sir; I wasn't knocked senseless at all. The only place I was 
hurt was on the hand, and I felt that just as I started to come up. 

Q. Did you turn toward the ship when you heard the explosion? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you see any flame shoot up ? 

A. No, sir ; I didn't see anything at all. 

Q. I suppose the boat was between you and the ship when she was 
turning over? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You are sure the boat keeled over and went down that way? 

A. Yes, sir ; I am certain of that. 

By the Court: 

Q. Were you carried down in the boat? 

A. Yes, sir; iu the boat. 

Q. Did the boat turn over toward the ship or from the ship ? 

A. From the ship, sir. 

Q. You say you think the boat must have been struck by something 
which keeled her over? 

A. Yes, sir; something struck her on the starboard side and just 
keeled her right over. 

Q. Was that any of the flying debris? Was it a piece of metal, or 
was there anything about it that would enable you to form a conclu- 
sion as to what it was struck her? 

A. No, sir ; I couldn't tell what it was struck her. 

Q. You do not know whether it was a wave or the water disturbed 
by the explosion, or whether it was a piece of the debris? 

A. No, sir. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, on account of 
his crippled condition his testimony was read over to him by the 
stenographer, and by him pronounced correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Otto Rau, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before the 
court and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 
Q. State your name, rate, and the ship to which you are attached. 
A. Otto Rau, seaman, U. S. S. Maine. 
Q. You were in the steam launch at the time of her destruction? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 187 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you awake? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What part of the boat were you in I 

A. I was standing right in front of the boilers. 

Q. Forward of the boilers'? 

A. In front of the boilers ; yes, sir. I had scrubbed the tape with my 
shirt and put it on top of the boiler, and at that minute I felt the pres- 
sure. I don't know which way I went out of the launch. I only know 
that I next felt myself coming up from the water. Three times I struck 
myself against things, and could not come right on top of the water. 
After I did come on top of the water, I was a good distance from the 
ship, close up to Nicholson. He cried for help, and so did I, and we 
got picked up by a boat. 

Q. How far do you suppose you came up from where the wreckage 
originally was? 

A. I don't know exactly how far. It was a good distance. 

Q. How many explosions did you hear? 

A. I can't remember. I didn't hear none at all. 

Q. You do not know anything about it? 

A. No, sir. I thought at first it was a boiler from the steam launch 
that had exploded, and after I came on top of the water I took a look 
around and seen the ship burning. 

The judge- advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Fireman William Gartrell, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. William Gartrell, born in Washington. I am a first-class fireman 
by rate; attached to the U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you? 

A. I were right down at the magazine, on top of the magazine, when 
it happened; at the tiller room, right by the storeroom. I was lying 
down at the time. 

Q. You were lying down in the tiller room? 

A. Yes, sir; I had just laid down. It wasn't a second. I had no 
sooner laid down, than it happened. 

Q. You were right in front of the storeroom door? 

A. No, sir; that is a torpedo on the edge of the storeroom. It was 
back of that, where the gunners keep their storeroom. 

Q. About abreast of the three wheels ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On which side? 



188 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. On the port side. 

Q. You were on the port side, abreast of the three wheels ? 

A. On the port side; yes, sir. 

Q. You were in the steering room, then 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. In the steam steering engine room $ 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Not in the tiller room. 

A. You know, there are two magazines. 

Q. You were right by the three wheels'? 

A. Yes, sir; I were lying right in here, sir [indicating]. There is a 
hatch there. 

Q. On the starboard side or the port side ? 

A. On the port side the hatches are. I was lying right on that 
hatch. I had a mattress there. 

Q. You were in the steam steering room ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. The tiller room is abaft that? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Tell the court exactly what you felt, and heard, and saw. 

A. Just a second before that Rushford, chief machinist, came to me 
and asked me for the loan of the keys to go in the storeroom. He said 
he was restless and couldn't sleep. I gave him the keys and told him to 
put the keys near my shoes, that I was going to sleep there that night. 
I laid there. I had a book in my hand and was going to read. Just 
then Charley Quinn, an oiler, that was on watch, came up and said: 
"We want some oil." I said: "It is funny there is no oil out," and 
everything like that; but I gave him the key and he got the oil and 
throwed the key back. Then I walked back and laid down and went 
to sleep. Frank Gardiner, coal passer, was lying down beside of me. 
Just as soon as I laid down, I was talking to him and I hadn't spoke 
three words. He was telling me his time was out in May, and I said 
mine was out in June, and he made the remark that he was going to 
wait for me — all like that, just fooling, and just then a flash came. It 
was a blue flash. It seemed to me like it was right by the lamp in the 
engine room. I could see as plain as day. 

Q. How could you see into the engine room? 

A. I could see through the door, sir. It was a kind of a blue flame, 
and it came all at once. The two of us jumped up, and I went on the 
port side up the engine-room ladder, and Frank Gardiner, he went up 
the starboard side — at least he didn't go up, because he hollered to me. 
He struck the door right there where the partition separates the two 
doors, and he must have struck his head. He hollered to me ; he says : 
" O Jesus, Billy, I am gone." I didn't stop then, because the water 
was then up to my knees. 1 made a break as quick as I could up the 
ladder, and when I got up the ladder into the steerage room the ladder 
was gone. Everything was dark. I couldn't see nothing ; everything 
was pitch dark, and I gave up, or I started to give up. There was a 
colored fellow with me ; I didn't know his name until afterwards. His 
name was Harris. We got hold of each other. I says : "Let's give 
up ; there is no hope." I started in to say a prayer the best I knew 
how, and I heard a voice. It must have been an officer ; it couldn't 
have been a man's voice, because he says : " There is hope, men." I 
knew from that that he was an officer. After that I seen a little light. 
It looked like an awful distance from me, but I made for that light, and 
when I got there it seemed like I could see the heavens. I got jammed 
in the ladder. My head was right up against the deck. I seen the 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 189 

ladder, and I caught hold of Harris, and the two of us hugged each 
other. 

Q. You got hold of who ? 

A. The ladder was hung crossways on top. There wasn't no ladder 
that we could walk up. The ladder was up above us, and we got 
jammed in the ladder, the two of us. I don't know whether I got out 
first or this colored fellow, but when I did get out I tried to say a 
prayer. I looked where I was and I saw the heavens and everything, 
and I tried to say a prayer or something, and I fainted away. I felt 
someone picking me up and they throwed me overboard. 

Q. When you saw this blue flame in the engine room, did you feel 
any shock to the ship 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; she was going like this all the time [indicating]. 

Q. The ship was? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How long did that last? 

A. It lasted until I got up to the top of the ladder. Then I was in 
the water. 

Q. You only felt one continuous shaking? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you hear any noise, any report? 

A. Yes, sir ; I heard a terrible report. 

Q. How did it sound; like a gun? 

A. No, sir; it wasn't a gun. I couldn't hardly tell you how it 
sounded — like the whole earth had opened up. 
By the Court: 

Q. There was bur one shock — one continuous shock ? 

A. I don't know. It seemed like it was just the roaring of the ship, 
and then the shock came. 

Q. You felt the ship tremble before this explosion? 

A. Before this explosion ; yes, sir. 

Q. You were right in the bottom of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you say you were lying on your hammock? 

A. On the mattress, on the after magazine on the port side, right in 
the engineers' storeroom. As you come out of the door and right down 
about 8 or 9 feet, I think, there are these magazine hatches. I had 
my mattress there. Frank Gardiner, coal passer, he was lying this 
way, just between the wheels, with his mattress. 

The judge- advocate requested tnat the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 
tunity to amend his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Edward Mattson, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by'tne Judge- Advocate : 
Q. State your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 
A. My name is Edward Mattson; ordinary seaman; attached to the 
U. S. S. Maine. 



190 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. You were on anchor watch at the time the Maine was destroyed? 

A. We were standing quarter watches, and I had the messenger 
watch. 

Q. You were wide awake at the time it happened, were you? 

A. Yes, sir; I and another fellow was walking up in the starboard 
gangway. 

Q. Will you tell the court exactly where you were when you felt the 
first shock? 

A. I was right abreast of the starboard crane. 

Q. In the starboard gangway ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Facing which way? 

A. Facing forward. 

Q. Then state exactly what you felt, and heard, and saw. 

A. It was just the same as if I seen lots of smoke, and I went right 
up in the air. I don't know where I went to. After that I didn't 
remember until I was lying aft on the quarter-deck. 

Q. What part of the quarter-deck? 

A. I was lying right by the smokestack, and when I come to my 
senses I slid down on the quarter-deck. 

Q. When the ship shook were you knocked off your feet immediately? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. At the very first shock ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you see any fire flying up in the air? 

A. No, sir ; I didn't see anything else but smoke. 

Q. You only felt one shock ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And that landed you aft on the quarter-deck? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Are you sure you went up in the air? 

A. Yes, sir; I didn't strike the water. I must have gone in the air. 

By the Court : 

Q. You say you felt but one shock ? 

A. One shock; that is all, sir. 

Q. You were walking up and down the gangway? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You were facing downward ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Then you were thrown backward, were you? 

A. Backward on the quarter deck. 

Q. How did you fall? 

A. I suppose I fell on my shoulder, for I felt kind of sore there [indi- 
cating left shoulder]. 

Q. Did you say you were alongside of the smokestack? 

A. Yes, sir; by the smokestack, just where the third cutter was 
standing. 

Q. You said you were by the crane, did you not? 

A. Yes; abreast of the starboard crane. 

The judge- advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded, or pronounce it correct. The request was 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 191 

granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly ; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Mess Attendant John H. Turpin, TJ. S. Navy, appeared as a wit- 
ness before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judoe-Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, your rate, and the ship to which you are 
attached. 

A. John Henry Turpin, mess attendant, attached to the TJ. S. S. 
Maine. 

Q. Where were you when the first indication of any trouble occurred 
on the night the Maine was destroyed ? 

A. Down below in the wardroom pantry. 

Q. In the wardroom pantry? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Sitting down or standing up ? 

A. Sitting down. 

Q. Facing which way? 

A. Facing the door as you come out of the pantry. 

Q. Facing the inboard door? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. The pantry is on the starboard side, is it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You were facing inboard? 

A. The pantry is situated like this [indicating]. As you come in 
from the wardroom, you come in so [indicating]. I was facing the door 
as you come out. 

Q. Facing the inboard door? 

A. The inboard door. 

Q. Not the door leading into the wardroom? 

A. No, sir; not the door leading into the wardroom. 

Q. The door leading into the passage amidships? 

A. The door leading into the passage. 

Q. How far were you out into the pantry; how far away from the 
door? 

A. Eight by the ice box. 

Q. Tell us how far that is — about halfway ? 

A. About halfway. 

Q. Tell the court exactly what you felt and heard and saw. 

A. I just felt the ship heave, and it seemed to lift, like that [indica- 
ting]. I just felt the ship heave and lift. 

Q. Lift which way? 

A. She lifted up and kind of listed to port. 

Q. What made her do that? 

A. It was a jarring explosion — -just one solid explosion, and the ship 
heaved and lifted like that, and then all was dark. I met Mr. Jenkins 
in the mess room, and by that time the water was up to my waist, and 
the water was running aft. It was all dark in there, and he hollered to 
me, and he says, "Which way?" I don't know what he meant by 
that. I says, " I don't know which way." He hollered again, il Which 
way?" I says, "I don't know, sir, which way." And he hollered the 
last time; he says, " Which way?" I says, " I don't know, sir." Then 
I was groping my way, and the water was up to my breast. Mr. Jen- 
kins started forward, and then the whole compartment lit right up. 
That whole compartment where the torpedoes were lit right up, and 



192 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

I seen Mr. Jenkins then throw up both hands and fall, right by the 
steerage pantry. Then I groped my way aft, and got to the captain's 
ladder — the ladder coming out of the wardroom — just as you come out 
of the wardroom to go up in the cabin. When I got there the ladder 
was carried away, aud somehow or other the manrope kept fast upon 
deck, but the ladder got adrift from it down below in the water. 

By that time the water was right up even with my chin. Then I 
commenced to get scared, and in fooling around it happened that a rope 
touched my arm, and I commenced to climb overhand and got on deck. 
When I got outside the passageway in the cabin on the starboard side, 
I climbed up on some — I don't know what it was I climbed up on. 
Anyhow, I got up on the poop, and as soon as I got up on the poop Mr. 
Holman gave the order to me. He says, "Go down below and get 
some cutlasses." I says, " Aye, aye, sir." I went down in the after 
gunroom, and the water was coming in at such a rush I had to come 
up again. So I came up again and got on the after search-light rail, 
and I dove overboard. When I dove overboard I swam a little ways, 
and John Herbert, an ordinary seaman, was right up behind me. He 
grabbed hold of my ankle. I says, "Let go, please; you will drown 
the two of us." He wouldn't let go. He kept climbing on me; so I 
hit him. By that time he relinquished his hold, and he was picked up 
afterwards. So I swam out, and the Spanish boat passed me, and I 
went under the water again. I was afraid there was some danger, so 
I went under water again, and when I rose again the barge passed, and 
I got inside. 

By the Court : 
Q. Where were you at the time; right astern of the ship? 
A. Bight astern of the ship ; yes, sir. That is my experience about it. 

By the Judge-advocate : 
Q. You felt only one shock f 
A. I felt only one shock. 
Q. Only one lift of the ship ? 
A. Only one lift of the ship. 
Q. She lifted first and then went down to port? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What kind of noises did you hear? 
A. It sounded like distant thunder— just a rumbling. 

By the Court : 

Q. Were you asleep ? 

A. No, sir; I was not asleep. I had just as good sense about me 
and was as wide awake as 1 am now. 

Q. How do you know you were not asleep ? 

A. I know I was not asleep because I was standing there talking. 

Q. I thought you said you were sitting down ? 

A. I was sitting down. I was talking to a couple of the boys in 
there — Harris and Robert White. 

Q. What became of them? 

A. Harris — how he got on deck, I don't remember. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the 
witness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 j o'clock, when he will be fur- 
nished with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked 
to withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and be given an oppor- 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 193 

tunity to amend his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to 
discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Martin Larsen, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before 
the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. State your full name, rate, and to what ship you are attached. 

A. Martin Larsen, captain of the hold, seaman; attached to the 
TJ. S. S. Maine. 

Q. When did you leave the Maine ? 

A. The 21st of January. 

Q. How long had you been captain of the hold ? 

A. Fifteen months, sir. 

Q. What were your duties at night in securing the hold 1 ? 

A. Closing all the hatches, and seeing that everything was secure 
and all lights out. 

Q. You always saw that securely done before reporting at 8 o'clock? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Who relieved you when you left the ship ? 

A. Neilson. 

Q. What kind of a man is Neilson ? 

A. He is a very good man. 

Q. A reliable man? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you explain all of your duties to him? 

A. Yes, sir; I didn't have time to. I was sick at the time, and they 
seemed to be in a hurry to get me off the ship. 

Q. He is a very good man ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Looking after everything is always done before reporting? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Neilson was killed? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You were not on board at the time of the explosion? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Tell the court what places you closed at night before making your 
8 p. m. report. 

A. In port we closed the hatches leading down from the berth deck — 
leading down through A33. 

Q. And at sea? 

A. At sea every hatch was closed. 

The judge- advocate requested that the testimony given by the witness 
be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to amend 
his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

The court then (at 3.35 p. m.) adjourned until to-morrow morning, 
March 2, 1898, at 11 o'clock. 
S. Doc. 207 13 



194 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 



ninth day. 

United States Court-House, 
Key West, Fla., 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 2, 1898. 
The court met pursuant to adjournment of yesterday, the first instant. 
Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and the 
stenographers. 

The record of the proceedings of yesterday, the eighth day of the 
inquiry, was read and approved. 

Passed Assistant Engineer Bowers here appeared before the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Mr. Bowers, have you read over the record 
of your testimony given yesterday 1 ? 

Mr. Bowers. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Mr. Bowers. I should like to make some few corrections. 

The Judge Advocate. Please name them. 

Mr. Bowers. On page 330, in the second line from the bottom, I 
should like to leave out the words "the other tank," and say "the star- 
board bunker." 

On page 332, the fourth line from the top, "When I went off watch 
we were using what we used, No. 4 bunker," should be, "When I went 
oft" watch we were using No. 4 bunker." 

The Judge- Advocate. You wish to leave out, "what we used"? 

Mr. Bowers. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is your testimony as amended correct? 

Mr. Bowers. Yes, sir. 

Assistant Engineer Morris appeared before the court: 

The Judge-Advocate. Have you read over the testimony given by 
you yesterday as recorded? 

Mr. Morris. Yes, sir. 

The Judge Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Mr. Morris. No, sir; I have one change to make. 

The Judge Advocate. State what it is. 

Mr. Morris. On page 336, in the twelfth line, the answer should be: 
"I looked into B4." The record from there down to the tenth line 
from the bottom of the page should be struck out. 

The Judge-Advocate. 1 can not strike out the record. I will have 
to repeat the questions to you as I put them, and you can answer them 
any way you like. I will repeat them: 

"By the Judge-Advocate: 

"Q. If there had been any combustion going on in A16, would you 
have noticed it when you went into B6"? 

"A. 1 did not go into BO." 

Q. You want to strike out "I did not go into B6"? 

A. Yes, sir. 

"Q. 1 am speaking of A10, not A15, the port bunker. Which 
bunker did you go into at 7.45?" 

A. There is a misunderstanding there. I was in B3, B5, and A15. 

Q. Which port bunker did you go into at 7.45? 

A. I looked into B4. 

Q. Your previous answer read: "I looked inside ; yes, sir, into B 4. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 195 

There was nothing unusual there. I simply had the door closed down, 
as it was night inspection. I did not enter B6." Is that correct? 

A. That is correct. 

The Judge- Advocate. Then your testimony as amended is correct? 

Mr. Morris. Yes, sir. 

The judge-advocate asked and received permission to ask some addi- 
tional questions of Lieutenant Bowers. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. You were on watch during the day of February 15? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What boilers were in use ? 

A. Boilers Gr and H. 

Q. Those were the two after boilers? 

A. The two after boilers. 

Q. What was the condition of these boilers? 

A. I looked at the tires and noted the water in the glass. There was 
three-quarters of a column of water. The boilers were in every way in 
a normal condition. 

Q. At what time did you make this inspection last? 

A. 7.45. 

Q. Was there a careful watch on over these boilers? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Good men? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. They were all at their stations ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. They all went to their stations at 8 o'clock, the relief watch? 

A. Half the relief was down there at the time. The water tender was 
down there and one of the firemen. 

Q. At what time? 

A. At 7.45, or when I came out. At about five minutes to 8 I left 
the compartment. 

Q. I am speaking of the first watch that night. You have every 
reason to believe the watch was carefully set at 8 o'clock, and that they 
did their duty? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. They were good men in that watch? 

A. Yes, sir; the water tender was the most reliable water tender in 
the ship. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer, and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Naval Cadet Crenshaw here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. You have read over your testimony of yes- 
terday as recorded ? 

Mr. Crenshaw. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct? 

Mr. Crenshaw. No, sir; there is one mistake. 

The Judge- Advocate. Please state what correction you wish to 
make. 



196 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Mr. Crenshaw. At the end of line 23, page 341, strike out the period, 
so that it will read : " It seemed to ine that through the door that leads 
into the compartment just forward of that there was a rushing noise 
of some kind." 

The Judge-Advoca.te. Is your testimony as amended correct? 

Mr. Crenshaw. It is. 

The witness then retired after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Private McKay, IT. S. Marine Corps, here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Private McKay, you have had read to you 
the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Private McKay. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct as recorded ? 

Private McKay. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Apprentice Ham here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Apprentice Ham, you have had read to you 
the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Apprentice Ham. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Apprentice Ham. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Apprentice Dressler here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Apprentice Dressier, you have had read to 
you the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Apprentice Dressler. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Apprentice Dressler. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Sergeant Mehan here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Sergeant Mehan, you have had read to you 
the testimony which you gave yesterday ? 

Sergeant Mehan. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Sergeant Mehan. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Corporal Thompson here entered the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Corporal Thompson, you have had read to 
you the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Corporal Thompson. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Corporal Thompson. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTL^ SHIP MAINE. 197 

Master-at-Arms Load here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Master-at-Arins Load, you have had read to 
you the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Master-at-Arms Load. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Master-at-Arms Load. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Peter Larsen here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Seaman Peter Larsen, yon have had read to 
you the testimony which you gave yesterday. 

Seaman Peter Larsen. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Seaman Peter Larsen. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Moliniere here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Seaman Moliniere, you have had read to 
you the testimony which you gave yesterday. 

Seaman Moliniere. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Seaman Moliniere. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Boatswain's Mate Bergman here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Boatswain's Mate Bergman, you have had 
read to you the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Boatswain's Mate Bergman. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Boatswain's Mate Bergman. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Landsman Fox here entered the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Landsman Fox, you have had read to you 
the testimony which you gave yesterday ? 

Landsman Fox. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Landsman Fox. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Landsman Lanahan here entered the court. 

The Judge Advocate. Landsman Lanahan, you have had read to 
you the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Landsman Lanahan. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Landsman Lanahan. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 



198 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Coal Passer Melville here entered the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Coal Passer Melville, you have had read to 
you the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Coal Tasser Melville. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded"? 

Coal Passer Melville. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Coxswain Wilber here entered the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Coxswain Wilber, you have had read to you 
the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Coxswain Wilber. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded f 

Coxswain Wilber. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Eau here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Seaman Rau, you have had read to you the 
testimony which you gave yesterday 1 ? 

Seaman Rau. Yes, sir. 

The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Seaman Rau. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Fireman Gartrell here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Fireman Gartrell, you have had read tc you 
the testimony which you gave yesterday? 
Fireman Gartrell. Yes, sir. 
The Judge-Advocate. Is it correct as recorded ? 
Fireman Gartrell. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Seaman Mattson here entered the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Seaman Mattson, you have had read to you 
the testimony which you gave yesterday? 
Seaman Mattson. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded ? 
Seaman Mattson. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Mess Attendant Turpin here entered the court. 

The Judge- Advocate. Mess Attendant Turpin, you have had read 
to you the testimony which you gave yesterday? 

Mess Attendant Turpin. Yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. Is it correct as recorded? 

Mess Attendant Turpin. Yes, sir. 

The witness then retired, after being cautioned by the president not 
to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 199 

Seaman Harry S. McCann, U. S. Navy, appeared as a witness 
before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name, your rate, and to what ship you are 
attached. 

A. Harry S. McCann; seaman; serving on board the U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction in 
Havana? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What part of the ship were you in at the moment it commenced? 

A. I was in the after part of the ship, on the quarter deck, right 
abaft the middle superstructure. 

Q. What part of the superstructure were you nearest to? 

A. I was nearest to the ladder leading up to the superstructure. 

Q. The one that has the rail underneath! 

A. Yes, sir ; I was within 5 feet of the ladder. 

Q. Which way were you facing"? 

A. Outboard. My head was facing the superstructure. My feet 
was aft — lying down. 

Q. You were lying down? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you asleep? 

A. I was neither awake nor asleep. I was in a sort of doze. 

Q. Tell the court exactly what you felt, saw, and heard. 

A. I felt ajar and I saw a flash of light — a red fire and an explosion. 
That is all, sir. 

Q. What kind of ajar was it you felt? 

A. I don't know — like a lifting. 

Q. Did the ship tremble? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How soon did the explosion come in regard to the jar? 

A. I should say about au interval of a second or so. 

Q. Did that jar the ship — did the explosion jar the ship much? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. W T hat became of you? 

A. I remained where I was. I wasn't thrown. I just stayed right 
there. 

Q. Were you knocked senseless ? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. What made you stay there? 

A. I waited there until the debris and stuff stopped dropping, and I 
came from underneath the awning and went to the starboard rail, right 
there at the starboard gangway; then 1 jumped overboard and got 
under the gig. 

By the Court : 

Q. Was the first shock that you felt accompanied by any sound; was 
there any report? 

A. No; not the jar. There was no report to the jar, sir. I got in a 
sitting position; then came the flash and the report. 

Q. Then there was but one report, was there? 

A. That is all I remember hearing; there might have been more. 

Q. That is what we want to know. 

A. I couldn't swear there was any more, sir. 

Q. That is what we want. You heard only one report, but you felt 
the jar before the report came? 

A. Yes, sir. 



200 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony- 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Landsman Kane, IT. S. Navy, appeared as a witness before the court, 
and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name, rate, and to what ship you are 
attached. 

A. Joseph H. Kane; landsman; U. S. S. Maine. 

Q. Were you on board the Maine at the time of her destruction in 
Havana? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Tell the court exactly where you were at the beginning of the 
trouble. 

A. I was in the after part of the superstructure, on the starboard 
side. 

Q. Which superstructure; the middle superstructure? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You were right over the armory? 

A. Eight forward of the armory; as far aft as I could be on that side. 

Q. Inside? 

A. Yes, sir; on the starboard side. 

Q. You were inside the superstructure? 

A. Yes, sir; looking out to port, where the ice chest is. I was look- 
ing out to port on the starboard side, and I seen a flash, followed by an 
explosion. I didn't see the fire itself, but I seen the reflection, as from 
afire, a light. I was thrown below decks somewhere; I don't know 
where. I guess it must have been below decks. When I emerged I 
was on the port side, under the port craoe. I came out on the main 
deck. It must have been below decks, and I came through a manhole. 

By the Court : 

Q. You stood looking out of this air port [indicating]? 

A. I was standing abaft the 6-iuch gun support, and I saw a flash of 
light in the starboard gangway. 

Q. Were you under water during that time? 

A. When I first went down I was pinned down. It must have been 
wood, and the water came and lifted the weight off my body, and I was 
able to get up. By that time the water was up to my waist. 

Q. It is impossible to explain how you got there? 

A. Yes, sir; I didn't walk a step. Load was with me all the time. 

Q. Did you crawl up? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You crawled up through this manhole? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Or bunker plate, whatever it was? 

A. It was a natural hole. There was nothing broken in there, because 
the iron rim on there was perfectly smooth. I think it was a coal chute, 
or something of that sort. 

By the Judge Advocate : 
Q. What was the first thing you felt; the very first thing? 
A. The first thing 1 felt was the shock, and 1 was thrown very quick. 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 201 

Q. Did you hear a noise with it 1 ? 

A. Yes; I heard a noise. 

Q. What kind of a noise? 

A. Like the report of a gun, very close. 

Q. What did you hear next? 

A. Nothing but a roar right along until I got out. 

Q. You mean, when you first heard the noise begin, the roar came 
immediately; or was there an interval? 

A. It sounded like the gun was fired, and you heard the roar for a 
good while afterwards; for two or three seconds. 

Q. Interval? 

A. No; following. 

Q. The roar lasted two or three seconds? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Then you found yourself below decks? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And you crawled out on the port side of the mam deck ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court. 

Q. What is the height between the main and berth decks; could you 
reach up ? 

A. It is about 10 feet. 

Q. How do you suppose you got hold of that opening to get up? 

A. As I say, there was water there, and debris, ditty-boxes, and all 
such stuff, piled up. Then there was some kind of a tank there — some 
kind of an iron or copper, or some kind of a metal tank there — that 
broke. I could see that. That helped me up. I got up on it, and I 
had a long stick, probably three or four feet long. I stood it upright, 
and put it straignt on the plate, and I hauled myself up. I got my 
elbows on it, and crawled up through it. The water raised a good deal. 
It was up to my waist. There was debris of every kind and wreckage 
lying around there. 

Q. What happened to you after that? 

A. After that I crawled from the main deck up on to the hammock 
nettings and into the whaleboat. The painter of the boat was thrown 
up and made fast. All the men that was there with me got in the boat. 

Q. When were you hurt? 

A. Where was I hurt? 

Q. When or where? 

A. The wreckage was falling on me, and I hurt myself trying to lift 
the wreckage off. Whatever was on me, it must have been wood, 
because when the water came it lifted off itself. 

Q. You broke your arm then, did you? 

A. My shoulder. I dislocated it. My breast is hurt, too. 

There being no further questions to a'sk this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer, and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Commander James M. Forsyth, U. S. Navy, appeared before the 
court as a witness, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. Please state your full name, rank, and to what ship duty you are 
at present assigned. 



202 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. James M. Forsyth; commander, U. S. Navy; commandant of the 
Key West Naval Station. 

Q. Did you receive any orders recently in regard to examining the 
coal pile at Key West, which is the property of the Government? 

A. I did. 

Q. Please state what orders you received. 

A. On the 17th of February I received a telegram from the Chief of 
the Bureau of Equipment to "examine anthracite coal pile thoroughly 
for infernals. Signed, Bradford." 

Q. What steps did you take to carry out this order? 

A. I appointed three of the employees as inspectors, and hired a 
gang of shovelers to turn the coal over with shovels — to shift it with 
shovels. 

Q. Whom did you put in charge of the whole work ? 

A. Charles Goodwin, machinist. 

Q. A reliable man ? 

A. I consider him a very reliable man. 

Q. Has the work been completed? 

A. The work was completed in about three days. 

Q. How much coal was in the pile, about? 

A. About one thousand tons. 

Q. When did the Maine coal here recently — since her coming down 
from the north? 

A. Twice. 

Q. What coal did she receive, and how much each time; the kind of 
coal, I mean? 

A. She received anthracite coal, 280 tons at the first coaling, and I 
think 270 tons at the second. I have a memorandum of that. 

Q. Eefer to that paper. 

A. This is taken from the log of the station; 280 tons at the first, 
and 271 tons at the last coaling. 

Q. Can you give the dates of the coalings? 

A. Yes, sir; the first was December 20 to 22, 1897, and the second 
January 18 and 19, 1898. 

Q. Did she receive the coal from the pile which you have examined? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. What became of the coal that was in that pile at that time? 

A. The coal that she received was mostly Morea coal from the Morea 
coal mine; anthracite Morea coal. 

Q. That has all been given to ships? 

A. It has all been given to ships. There may be a few tons of it left 
outside, on the eastern end, but I am not sure, because the two coals 
were mixed ; but her main body of coal that she received was Morea 
coal. I would further say that she may have received some red-ash coal 
that was sent down later from the Natalie. There may have been some 
carloads of the Natalie coal; but the main body of her coal was Morea. 

Q. How did the coal arrive here that she received? 

A. In schooners. 

Q. Alongside the wharf? 

A. Alongside the wharf. 

Q. It was taken up in the regular method to the storehouse? 

A. Taken up in the regular method to the storehouse, and handled in 
the regular way. 

Q. How long had that coal been here which the Maine received? 

A. It was received in January, 1897. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 203 

Q. What report did Mr. Goodwin make to you after his inspection ? 

A. He reported that there had been nothing unusual discovered, 
lean also say that I visited the work at intervals myself, and also had 
Paymaster Jewett visit the work at intervals while it was going on, to 
see that it was carried on so that the inspector could see every shovel- 
ful of coal that was moved; and they said that all of it was examined 
lump by lump. 

Q. The coal was taken to the Maine in the usual method pursued in 
the coaling of ships'? 

A. No, sir; rather unusual. It was coaled by lighter. Ships gen- 
erally come alongside the wharf and coal, but the Maine's draft was 
excessive. The draft was too great. The captain did not wish to 
bring her alongside the wharf; so it was put on lighters. So the coal 
was really handled twice more than it would have been if it had been 
coaled in the usual way. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Machinist Charles Goodwin appeared as a witness before the 
court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name, your business, at present, and your 
residence. 

A. Charles Goodwin ; foreman of the Government machine shop in 
Key West. 

Q. You reside in Key West ? 

A. I reside in Key West. I reside in the shop. 

Q. Did you, about the middle of February, receive an order from the 
commandant of this station to make an inspection of the coal pile for 
internals'? 

A. I did, sir. 

Q. Do you remember when you received the order? 

A. I received it on last Saturday, a week ago. 

Q. Did you carry out the order? 

A. I did. 

Q. In what way"? 

A. I had all the pile of coal turned directly over, so that 1 could see 
through every particle. I had two assistants with me, but I was there 
all the time myself. Not a particle of coal was left unturned over — of the 
anthracite coal, not the bituminous coal. There was bituminous coal 
there, too. Of the anthracite coal there was not a particle that was 
not turned thoroughly over, so that I could see through the whole 
of it. 

Q. Was anything found wrong by anybody during this work 1 ? 

A. Nothing at all. 

By the Court : 

Q. What did you expect to find 1 

A. I thought I might find some unforeseen bombs or something like 
that. That is what I expected. I found one piece of coal with a hole 
drilled through it, but that was nothing more than where they drilled 
to blast it. I was careful, of course, to see. I could tell pretty near 



204 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

the difference between the coal and any substance of iron or anything 
that way. 

Q. You could have seen a bomb or a piece of pipe or anything of 
that sort"? 

A. Anything that way. I found one old tin can with some white 
lead in it. That might have dropped from the ship. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to converse about matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

The Judge- Advocate. I would like to inform the court that I have 
no more testimony to offer from any of the survivors of the Maine at 
Key West. All who can give any testimony in the matter, as far as I 
can learn, have been before the court. There is only left the testimony 
of the survivors in a body, which the court desires to take. 

At the request of the judge-advocate, the court was then cleared for 
deliberation. The stenographer withdrew. 

The doors were then opened and the stenographer entered. 

The court then (at 1.15 p. m.) took a recess until 2 p. m., at which 
time it was decided that the court would proceed to the military sta- 
tion, Key West, at which place the wounded were being cared for and 
the other men were quartered. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 

Present: All the members, the judge-advocate, and the stenog- 
rapher. 

'lhe court then proceeded in a body to the army barracks at Key 
West. On reaching there, all the survivors of the Maine, officers and 
men, who were able to attend, were assembled in the presence of the 
whole court. The president of the court administered the oath to them 
which is usually administered to witnesses, whereupon the judge-advo- 
cate asked the following questions: 

The Judge Advocate. Is there present any officer or man who has 
any complaint to make or any fault to find with any officer or man 
belonging to the Maine on the night of the destruction of that ship, at 
Havana, February 15, of this year? If so, let such officer or such man 
step to the front. 

No one stepping to the front, each one of you declares under oath 
that you have no fault to find and no complaint to make of any officer 
or man belonging to the Maine on that night. 

Is there any officer or man here present who has any complaint to 
make against or fault to find with any officer or man belonging to the 
Maine as to the care and guarding of that ship in the harbor of Havana 
previous to her destruction on February 15, 1898? If any such officer 
or man has any such complaint to make or fault to find, let him step to 
the front. 

No one stepping to the front, each one of you declares under oath 
that you have no complaint to make against or fault to find with any 
officer or man as to the care and guarding of the ship previous to her 
destruction. 

The court then (at 2.35 p. m.) adjourned to meet to-morrow, at — 
o'clock — m., at its usual place of meeting, the United States court-house, 
Key West. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 205 

TENTH DAY. 

TJ. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, 10 a. m., Saturday, March 6, 1898. 
The court met pursuant to the last adjournment on Wednesday, the 
2d instant, at Key West, Fla. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and the 
stenographer. Captain Sigsbee and Lieut. Commander Wainwright 
were also present, at their own request. 

The record of the proceedings of the last meeting were read and 
approved. 

Ensign Powelson here appeared before the court and was warned 
by the president of the court that he was still under the oath he had 
previously taken. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Ensign Powelson, have you any further evidence to offer to this 
court — evidence that you may have discovered since the court left 
Havana? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is the nature of the evidence such as is derived from your own 
observation or from the reports made to you from time to time by the 
divers ! 

A. It is from reports made to me by the divers. 

Q. Did you take notes at the time such reports were made to you by 
the divers ? 

A. I did. 

Q. You will please give your evidence as far as possible, giving each 
diver separately; also, in giving your evidence give it in such a manner 
that the convening authority and the authorities in Washington will 
be able to understand it without having before them the sketches upon 
which you may point out different objects in the course of your testi- 
mony. Please proceed. 

A. I will first take up the reports of Chief Gunner's Mate Olsen, one 
of the divers. I will first submit to the court a rough sketch showing 
the forward body of the ship, forward oi about frame 28. 

The Judge-Advocate. I request that this sketch be appended to 
the record as one of the exhibits. 

The request was granted, and the sketch was appended to the rec- 
ord, marked "H." 

The Witness. This is the report Diver Olsen made to me at 11.40 
a. m. March 1, 1898 : 

He went down the after wing of the after V, marked "A" in sketch 
submitted, and he counted 9 frames, counting the highest frame No. 1. 
This highest frame is frame 17. Frames 21 and 22 had floor plates 
still attached. The other frames had only the angle irons next the 
slrin left. The floor plates on 21 and 22 were bent forward from their 
original position. He found the first longitudinal at about frame 24. He 
saw it for about two frame spaces. This first longitudinal was not 
shown in the sketch, because it is under the inside plating. 

By the Court: 

Q. Will you please put in explanations ? 

A. He saw it for about two frame spaces. The outer skin was broken 
with the rivet holes at the edge between the first and second longitudi- 
nals, at frame 24. This break was at the butt of the plate. Following 



206 DESTKUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

the second longitudinal down, he came to the end where it is broken off 
and very ragged. He followed the plate A in the sketch until it turns 
underneath the keel about 10 inches. There it ends with ragged edges 
touching the flat part of the keel. He then came up and went forward 
of this plate A of which I have spoken, and went on to the plate marked 
B in the sketch. He went down the plate B and found it extended 10 
frame spaces. There, at the end of 10 frame spaces, he found the plat- 
ing ended with ragged edges about 2 feet from the green outside bot- 
tom plating. Plate B is forward in the sketch, and plate A aft. He 
followed the longitudinal down. The green plating is underneath the 
plate B. He went down, and it slopes in the same general direction, 
inclined about 45 degrees. 

He could step at the bottom of plating B down onto the green outside 
plating. He followed the green plating down about 10 feet and got 
into the mud. The green plating is attached to the flat keel. The keel 
seems to go forward under the mud. He could feel the keel sloping 
upward aft and to starboard where he was standing in the mud. On 
the flat part of the keel he felt for the outside keel plating, but he could 
not find where it lapped, although he felt in from the keel about 10 
feet. He found a plate with rivets along the edge about 10 inches 
from the angle of the flat part of the keel. He found no raised and 
sunken plating. It was smooth for about 12 feet up at right angles to 
the flat part of the keel. He then found something which he sketched 
for me, and by the way he described it it was like a small bilge keel. 
This projection that he found was about 12 feet from the mud. He 
then went out clear of the ship into the mud and found some boxes of 
canned goods and some loose cans seemingly unhurt. Some of the 
cans were square, like beef cans; others were cylindrical. He took a 
2-foot rule with him and measured the dimensions of the outside keel 
plate, and he found that the flat part of the outside keel plate was 
between 14 and 15 inches wide, and also found it extended up the sides 
from the flat part on each side a distance of 18 inches. 

I would like to say that from the studying of the drawings, after 
Olsen's report, and his distances, I find that he found the keel go into 
the mud at about frame 7, and above that he found the ram plate 
which stick out from the side of the ship on each side at the bows. 

Olsen went down the next time in the forenoon of March 3. This 
time I gave him orders to see if he could find the top part of the 
keel — that is, the highest point of the keel — as he had reported to me it 
had extended upward and starboard quite a steep slope. He went 
down on the top part of the plate marked "A" in the sketch, and fol- 
lowed frame 17 until he found the break in the keel. I had ordered 
him to take a 2-foot rule with him in order to get the exact dimensions 
of the plates at the point where he might find a break in the keel. He 
took the following measurements at the break: First he measured the 
inner keel plate, and found that the total width of the plate was 35 
inches. He then measured the outer keel plate and found the total 
width to be about 45 inches. It is so dark where the divers work that 
they can not see the numbers on the 2-foot rule, and they have to guess 
at the distance of anything under a foot by the proportion, so that 
these measurements may be in error an inch or two. 

He found at the first frame forward of the break in the keel a light- 
ening hole in the floor plate. He took the measurement of this hole, 
and found that the major axis was 20 inches and the minor axis 12 
inches. He then found a manhole in the inner skin just forward of the 
break in the vertical keel on the port side. He took measurements of 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 207 

this manhole, and found the major axis 22 inches and the minor axis 15 
inches. He then measured the spacings of the rivets on the angle 
irons of the vertical keel, and found them to be 3 inches. He found 
between the outer and inner skins at the point where the break occurs 
in the vertical keel a four-way pipe. This was on the port side of the 
vertical keel. One branch was horizontal, and extended starboard to 
the vertical keel and ended there with a blank flange. Another branch 
of the pipe extended athwartships to port. Another extended verti- 
cally up through the inner bottom, and the fourth extended vertically 
downward. 

The horizontal branches were found to measure 4 inches in diame- 
ter. The lower vertical branch measured 3 inches in diameter. The 
vertical keel was broken at about the point where the pipe with 
the blank flange pierced it. He measured the height of the ver- 
tical keel and found it to be 30 inches. In this compartment he 
found a water alarm and sent it up on a line. This was just forward 
of the break in the vertical keel on the port side, about 9 inches at its 
lowest point from the outer skin. The angle irons along the vertical 
keel he measured and found to be 3-inch flange, and the angle between 
the broken parts of the vertical keel he found to be considerably more 
than a right angle. He found a manhole 14 or 15 inches below the break 
in the vertical keel on the port side, in the inner skin. He also found 
one in a similar place on the starboard side of the vertical keel. About 
8 or 10 feet farther down the keel, which at this point runs down in a 
vertical line, he found on the starboard side a manhole. Near this 
manhole he found a blank flange and three pipe holes in the inner 
skin. About 10 or 12 feet farther down than this last manhole he 
found two more manholes, symmetrically placed on each side of the 
vertical keel, in the inner skin. 

These two manholes were in the part of the keel which in the sketch 
is represented as turning and going nearly horizontal at the point 
marked 0. He found that abaft this point O the inner bottom was of 
a corrugated form, having large corrugations bent in it. The bottom 
plating on each side of the keel along in the vicinity of the point O 
slopes downward from the keel. Near the starboard manhole of the 
last pair of manholes he described there was a pipe running down 
through the inner bottom just to port of it. He could not see whether 
this pipe belonged there or was driven there. The edges of the plate, 
I would say, were all ragged. He felt down through the starboard 
manhole and found a piece of pipe with an elbow in it. This elbow and 
the piece of pipe he referred to as coming down through the«double 
bottom, looked as if they had originally been the same piece. On top 
of the inner skin, a little abaft these last two manholes to which he 
referred, he found two 3-inch pipes running across the ship. He could 
not say whether they were originally there or not. Between these two 
manholes and the keel and forward of them was a blank flange. These 
two manholes were in the level part of the keel about 10 feet abaft 
where the vertical part comes down to the horizontal part. These two 
manholes in the inner skin were 6 or 7 feet apart. Abaft these man- 
holes there is a great deal of wreckage, and he could not tell anything 
about what it was. 

The Court. This is Olsen's report all the time, is it? 

A. Olsen; yes, sir. 

At about frame 22, on the starboard side, he found, 8 or 10 feet from 
the keel, 30 or 40 6-pounder shells detached from the cases, a lot of 
brass cases, 6-pounder, seemingly exploded. He found many more 



208 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

projectiles than cases. He found at the same place one 6-inch shell, 
which he sent up. I examined this shell and found that it was still 
in its slings, with its wooden nose cap still attached, the wood of which 
was uninjured and unburned. The slings were unburned and uninjured, 
except one part which had been cut. Just forward of that place he 
found a lot of knapsacks, rubber blankets, haversacks, and canteens, 
some of which he sent up. They were unburned and uninjured. He 
also found a lot of blacksmith's tools where he found the 0-inch shell. 
The place for the 10-inch magazine he found covered with wreckage, 
which seemed to have been from port to starboard. 

On the forenoon of March 4 Olsen went down again. He went down 
until he found the break in the vertical keel; then he slid down the 
vertical part of the keel until he came to about frame 24, as I deter- 
mined from all the measurements and data that he and Smith had in 
the meantime taken in reference to the keel. Then he walked out to 
starboard. He found a good many 0-inch shell, and some powder tanks, 
one of which he sent up. 

By the Court : 

Q, What size? 

A. Six-inch powder tank. I examined this tank, and found it was 
battered up and opened up along the seam for only about a foot. It 
had evidently not exploded. Excelsior in good condition was found 
in it. The bag was also sent up with it. Olsen then found the outboard 
bulkhead of the 10-inch magazine bent outward and about horizontal. 
In this bulkhead was a square box, with one hole in it for a deadlight. 
The box was built in the bulkhead from the coal bunker side. This box 
was apparently uninjured, except the glass light in it was gone. The rim 
holding the circular glass disk was not injured. He took the cover off 
the box and sent up the frail, light box, which holds the incandescent 
magazine light. When this box reached the top of the water I examined 
it and found that it was in very good shape. The joinings at the corner 
of the box had been shaken loose, but the box itself was very slightly 
bent, and still had two wires about three feet in length attached to it. 
The small water-tight cover to the light box was also sent up. It was 
very slightly bent, and its rubber gasket was not burnt and was intact. 

On this starboard 10-inch magazine bulkhead, to which the light box 
was attached and which>is now bent down to starboard and nearly hor- 
izontal, he found a manhole plate near the light box. This plate he sent 
up. I examined it and found that it was bent up a little on one end. 
The rim which holds the hinges, and which is riveted to the inner skin, 
was broken in two. Half of it was still attached to the manhole plate 
by one hinge. This rim was bent up on one side and the rubber gasket 
in the manhole plate was entirely gone. I found the paint burned on 
the under side. 

Olsen felt under the light box on the bulkhead, to which he referred, 
the rungs of an iron ladder, riveted to the bulkhead. He followed 
these rungs down until he reached the floor of the magazine. There 
he found a crack in the inner bottom about 3 feet wide. I ques- 
tioned him particularly about the edges, and he told me they were 
ragged and bent neither in nor out. He crawled into this double- 
bottom compartment and found a 10-inch gas check and two 10-inch 
gas-check pads, one in perfect condition, the other jammed. Neither 
of them was burned. He also found a cutlass scabbard in this double- 
bottom compartment. While in the compartment he saw the floor 
plates of a frame, and said the floor plates had lightening holes in 
them. The plate was buckled a little. He then went farther aft to 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 209 

examine the condition of the aft part of the magazine. He found that 
that was covered with wreckage, going high up into the air, so that he 
could not climb over it. He found 6-inch shells on top of the 10-inch 
tanks; also paymaster's stores on top of the tanks. He broke off a 
piece of magazine grating and tongued-and-grooved woodwork of the 
10-inch magazine, which I secured as it came to the surface. This 
wood was unburned. 

This finishes Olsen's testimony up to this morning. He is now 
diving. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Does any other diver testify by the sketch you have submitted 1 ? 

A. Yes; Smith's work and Olsen's work are corroborative. 

The following is the evidence as derived from information given to 
me by Diver Smith : 

On the morning of February 28 I sent Smith down on plate marked 
A in the sketch. 

By the Court : 

Q. On top or inside? 

A. On top the plate marked A in the sketch. He followed the 
second longitudinal down until he got to frame 19. Then he worked 
himself down toward the direction of the keel, and there he found 
the first longitudinal which is not shown on the sketch, because 
it is covered by inside plating. He found the top part of this first 
longitudinal at frame 19. He found the bottom plating broken, and 
edges pushed in from the green paint. This was on the outside of the 
ship. These edges were pushed in about 18 inches from the original 
surface of the bottom plate. He then felt along the edge of the break 
about 2 feet, but could not find the plating lower down, which had 
originally been attached to this edge. On account of the inner and 
outer plating being jammed together he could not reach further up than 
frame 18, nor could he reach lower down than frame 20 for the same 
reason. He then went down inside of the V formed by the bottom 
plating at frame 17 at a point marked D in the sketch. 

The bottom plating at frame 17 diverges for about 15 feet; lower 
down it converges and comes nearly together about 20 feet down, at 
that point being only a few inches apart. The after wing of the V 
marked "A," ends at the point nearest the bottom plating, near the keel. 
In the afternoon of February 28, 1 sent Smith down to look for a circu- 
lar hole which Olsen had said he found in the upper edge of the plate 
marked "A" on the sketch. I wished to locate this hole exactly in 
order to determine exactly whether the highest frame in the sketch 
was frame 17 or not. He counted the frame spaces along the upper 
edge of the plate marked "A," and found that the semicircular hole with 
the rivet holes around it to which sea valve had evidently been 
attached, was between the sixth and seventh frames, counting frame 
18 as No. 1. I referred to the drawing afterwards and found that this 
checked up exactly, calling the highest frame in the sketch No. 17, as 
has been done. He found between frames 19 and 20, and near the sec- 
ond longitudinal, a dozen 6-pounder shells with the cartridge gone. 
He was unable to get any more data connected with the break in the 
outside plating between the first and second longitudinals at frame 19, 
to which he referred in his morning report. The testimony in regard 
to the situations of various holes, and details of construction have 
checked up exactly on the supposition that the highest frame sketched 
is frame 17, and with previous testimony given before this court. 
S. Doc. 207 H 



210 DESTKUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

On the morning of March 2, I sent Smith down to corroborate the 
evidence which Olsen had given in regard to the break in the vertical 
keel at frame 18. Smith took with him a 2-foot ruler. He found the 
thickness of the vertical keel not quite an inch. He found the four- way 
pipe which Olsen testified as having found, and he found that the small- 
est inside diameter of the horizontal branch of the pipe was 3 inches. 
He found that 5 inches was the largest inside diameter of the vertical 
branch of the pipe — Olsen testified to having found it 4 inches. He 
measured the distance from the vertical keel to a flange to which the 
port horizontal branch of the pipe is riveted. This he found to be 21 
inches. He found that the diameter of the blank flange at the end of 
the pipe which pierced the vertical keel from port to starboard was 5 
inches. He found the distance from the break in the vertical keel to 
the next frame forward to be 36 inches. He found the distance between 
the outer edges of the horizontal flanges of the two angle irons on each 
side at the bottom of the vertical keel plating to be 7 inches. 

He measured the width of the inner keel plate and found it to be 37 
inches. He found the outer keel plate lapped 4 inches beyond the 
inner keel plate. He found the large pipe in the double bottoms along- 
side the vertical keel at the point where the break occurs and rueas 
ured it, and found it to be 12 inches in diameter. This pipe had a 
flange on the end. He measured the length of the pipe, and found it 
was 5 feet between this flange and where it went through the next 
plate. At this point he found two manholes in the inner bottom, on 
opposite sides of the keel, just forward of the piece of pipe to which he 
referred. 

Smith went down again the afternoon of March 2, and went down to 
the break in the vertical keel, and followed the vertical point down to 
the point where it bends up again to the horizontal. He found the 
after part of the keel almost horizontal — part marked "0." When he 
was at this point the diving machine registered a depth of 35 feet. 

Q. That is the horizontal part of the keel 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. The machine is not accurate within 5 feet, I find. At 
this place, near the point C in the sketch, he found a 10-inch shell, a 
bunch of knapsacks, and a magazine swab. He reported that the swab 
was not burned and was uninjured. 

Smith took certain measurements of the keel at the point where it 
bends to go horizontally. He finds that there is a bend in the keel, ex- 
tending forward for about 3 feet from the lowest part of the keel, which 
is now vertical ; it then turns down and around through about 360 
degrees and runs aft. He got in the double bottoms at a point a little 
way abaft where the vertical keel comes down vertically, and he found 
that the vertical keel itself was buckled out to starboard. He drew 
me a sketch of it, showing it was buckled to starboard at about the 
point marked C. 

On February 28, in the afternoon, Smith went down to examine the 
forward part of the keel as far forward to the bow as he could get. He 
went down at the point D and walked down on the green plating until 
he got near the keel. He then put his back against the green side of 
the plate marked A on the sketch and his feet against the green side of 
the bottom plating under the point marked D. He worked himself 
along aft. He worked along about 8 feet and found the boitom to take 
a form of which he made me a, sketch. This sketch is a cross section of 
the keel of the ship at about frame 12, from the measurements he took. 
He found the flat part of the keel to be 14 inches wide, and found that 
the outer keel plate lapped up along the bottom plating on each side a 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 211 

distance of 1 foot 8 inches. He took these measurements with a 2-foot 
rule. He then worked himself forward until he came to the edge of 
plate A and then went down to the keel on the bottom plating until 
ne got into the mud. At the point where the flat keel goes into the 
mud he found a hole in the mud. He made out that the bottom of this 
hole was about 6 inches deep. He then made me a sketch indicating 
the form of the hole. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 

Q. Six inches, you say? 

A. No, sir 5 he found the hole to be about 6 feet deep and about 15 
feet in diameter. In the bottom of the hole he found sticking in the 
mud a sort of metal tank, which was hauled up by a line bent onto it. 
This tank was a very thin metal, and riveted together by spacing of 
rivets, which was not water-tight, and evidently came from part of the 
ventilating system of the ship. This finishes my evidence from infor- 
mation derived from Smith, the diver. 

The court then (at 12.15 p. m.) took a recess until 1.30. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 

Present : All the members of the court, the j iidge- advocate, the stenog- 
rapher, Captain Sigsbee, and Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright. 

Ensign Powelson, who was on the stand before the recess, resumed 
the stand and proceeded with his testimony as follows : 

On the forenoon of March 1 Kundquist, gunner's mate, went down 
on the port side of the ship abaft the port crane, and he made a report 
to me as follows : He said he went down a ladder placed about 5 feet 
abaft the port crane against the port superstructure and leading down 
to the main deck. Then he went over the side at a point about 12 feet 
abaft the break in the main deck. He found still attached to the side, 
underneath the waterways of the main deck, a strip of plating 3 or 4 
feet wide. This plating he said was bent inboard. He lowered him- 
self over the side until his feet struck something about the position of 
the berth deck. He did not notice any armor at that point. He said 
the deck sloped down to starboard and aft in such a manner that a ball 
would roll toward the starboard quarter or a little more aft. He found 
a hole in this deck, which he supposed to be the berth deck. 

The hole was about 6 or 7 feet from where his feet first touched on 
the berth deck. The wood was all broken at the edge of the hole. He 
just lowered himself down over the edge. He reached out with his arm, 
but didn't find the other edge of the deck opposite the break. He went 
down 10 or 12 feet, perhaps a little more, and then his feet struck in 
the coal. He reported that there were tons of coal down there. He 
then moved to port and found a fore-and-aft bulkhead. This bulkhead 
had rivet holes in it from which the rivets had been pulled. He put 
his fingers in the rivet holes, and hauled himself up about 6 or 7 feet 
until he reached the top of the bulkhead. I asked him how he judged 
his distance, and he said, he put his hands up three times, and the fourth 
time he got hold of the upper edge of the bulkhead. The upper edge was 
ragged, and the break was clean, meaning that the edge was approxi- 
mately horizontal. 

He climbed over this bulkhead, and went outboard. Across the top 
of this bulkhead he found a plank. This plank was about a foot wide 
and the end edge was beveled off about 45 degrees. He went down on 
the other side of the bulkhead — outboard side — and found lots of small 
compartments about 3 or 4 feet apart. The upper part of the compart- 
ment he was in was large and the bottom of it was divided into small 



212 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

compartments. The outboard side of these compartments looked 
curved like the ship's side in the sketch, which he drew for me. This 
sketch showed the portion of the ship's side and fore and aft vertical 
bulkhead. There was a floor plate with lightening hole in it which 
went up the lower angle between the ship's side and the bulkhead. 

The plates with the round lightening holes in them were loose, some 
of them, from the curved side of the compartment, and were bent in 
toward the vertical bulkhead. He then walked with the vertical bulk- 
head on his right side, and walked forward over four or five of these 
small compartments. He then struck his helmet against something 
and climbed back over the vertical bulkhead to which he had referred, 
and got into some 10-inch powder tanks, one of which he sent up on a 
line. I examined this tank and found that one end of it was still cir- 
cular in form. This was the end to which the cover was attached. 
The other end looked as if it had been struck on the side and flattened 
together at right angles to its length. It was very much battered. I 
found in a tear in this tank a piece of the tape sewed on the powder 
bags to support them. Eundquist told me that when he bent a line on 
the tank, it had a bag in it. This bag probably fell out on the way up. 
He then went farther forward and got tangled up among a lot of elec- 
tric wires. This was 5 or 6 feet forward of where he found the 10-inch 
powder tank. I asked him what the water looked like at this place, 
for I thought he had walked outside the ship forward into the gap, 
which is apparently all blown away. He told me that where he was 
the water looked pretty clear, meaning there was more light there than 
there had been inside the ship. He then came up, back through the 
hole in the berth deck. 

Eundquist went down again on the afternoon of March 1. I gave 
him orders to examine the side plating under the waterways on the 
port side, abaft the port crane, and also to examine the armor belt, 
and any details of interest he might And at the point where the ship 
appears to be broken about frame 41. He went down as before on the 
port side and examined the strip of side plating attached to the water- 
ways, and found that the break in the side plating extended as far aft 
as the after boat cradle, abaft the port crane. He then lowered himself 
down over the side until he felt the armor. He had his body outside of 
the ship, and his arms over the armor plate. He said the plate looked 
normal. He followed the armor plate along until he came to the end 
of it. I asked him about how far, aud he said it was the length of a 
plate and a half. I asked him how he could distinguish the ends of the 
plates, and he said that at the place where the plates abutted together, 
the outer surfaces were not flush, that the outer aft corner of the for- 
ward plate was about 4 inches farther outboard than the upper forward 
edge of the after plate. He then followed this seam down to the bot- 
tom of the armor plate and found the plates were flush at the bottom. 
He then went up the seam to the upper edge of the armor aud worked 
his way forward until he came to the end of the armor plating. 

This armor ended a little forward of the port crane. He then went 
down to the lower edge of the armor plate and found the edge about a 
foot in the mud. He said the forward plate looked to be about in its 
original position. He went out about 12 feet from the ship's side, try- 
ing to find any of the plates. He found some old pieces of tin that 
appeared to belong to air conductors, and a piece of wire which he sent 
up. This wire was lead covered and had a junction box attached. He 
found some small pieces of coal and some small pieces of plating about 
the size of his hand. He found no large plates. He then went back 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 213 

to the ship's side and examined the backing of the armor. That looked 
to be pushed from out in, because at the place where the plate was 
gone the wood backing, about or 7 inches thick, was splintered, and 
all the splinters pointed inboard. He examined the top of the wood 
backing level with the armor plate. He drew me a sketch of its 
condition. 

The backing was split in a fore and aft vertical plane, and the inboard 
part of the backing was torn off. The outboard part of the backing 
was still attached to the plate. The splinters were on the forward edge 
of the backing and pointed inboard, as he indicated in a sketch. These 
splinters were about 6 or 7 inches long, and pointed inboard, as he 
drew them, at an angle of about 45 degrees. He went over all the work 
two or three times to make sure, and is positive there is no plating 
attached to the main deck forward of the break in the ship's side, to 
which he referred, at a point aft of the crane equal to the length of a 
plate and a half of armor, with the exception of the strip from 3 to 4 
feet wide, running along under and parallel to the waterways. 

He sent up a splinter from the backing, on which he had measured 
the thickness of the armor plate, by cutting nicks in it with a diver's 
knife. I measured these distances with a ruler, and found them to be 
12 and 8 inches. 

By the Court : 

Q. Twelve at the top and eight at the bottom, I suppose? 

A. Yes, sir. He then came up, and to make perfectly sure of what 
he had reported, I sent him down again to examine the strip of plating 
under the waterways more closely. He said he found that way aft, a 
short distance forward of the turret, side plating was bent out. At 
this point he slipped from the ship's side and fell out into the mud. He 
worked himself back to the ship, feeling around in the mud, but did 
not find any plates. The strip of plating at the waterway he found 
ragged on the edge. He then came up. 

Eundquist went down again the forenoon of March 2. This time 
he went down on the port side, forward of the port crane, where the 
break in the ship occurs. He reported that he got in among a lot of 
wreckage which he could not distinguish. He found some empty pow- 
der tanks, 6-inch and 10-inch. Some of them were in pretty good con- 
dition. He found rags in three; the others he reported were opened 
up at the seams. He found one 10-inch tank with only the cover gone. 
He said there were lots more rags lying about, but it was so dark he 
could not be positive whether they were powder bags. He walked 
around and got into a place where there was lots of canvas rolled up. 
He found a plate standing in the mud on a slant, the upper edge point- 
ing inboard. One side of it was white cork paint, the other was slip- 
pery and looked green. The cork side was to port. 

On the afternoon of March 3 I sent Eundquist down on the starboard 
side to make an examination there, similar to the one he had made on 
the port side. He went down first under the supports of the conning 
tower as they now are. He went directly down into the mud, and then 
walked in toward the ship's side. The mud was about 2 feet deep. 
He found the ship's side at that point intact, and followed it forward 
until he reached the end of his guide line. He made the guide line 
fast to a piece of coal, put it in the mud, and followed the side along 
about 10 feet more, until he came to the break in the ship. I was 
unable to determine his exact position by the bubbles on account of the 
wreckage of the superstructure and other plates, which deflected the 
bubbles and made them come up at widely different places in a very 



214 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

short space of time. The edges in the break were all ragged and looked 
as if they had been broken between two frames. 

The edges were bent neither in nor out, but presented a ragged 
appearance. He then took hold of the break, which was vertical, and 
pulled himself up 6 or 7 feet. There the break turned and went aft in 
a horizontal line about 2 feet. The forward corner of the plate — upper 
part — at the break was bent down and aft. This horizontal top edge 
was not ragged, but had rivet holes in it. This was level with the 
bottom of the armor. He then found the armor and crawled vertically 
up along the forward edge. He found the wood backing projected far- 
ther forward than the armor plate, and in it he found two bolts. The 
ends of the bolts were smooth and appeared not to have been broken 
off, and had screw threads. There was a washer on the bolt that felt 
like rubber. He felt forward of the armor for about a foot and a half, 
and found the wood backing, but could not feel the end of it. He then 
climbed up until he got to the top of the armor and worked himself 
aft, hanging on it with his arms over it and his body outside the ship. 

He went aft for about 12 feet. Then his hand slipped, and he fell 
down in the mud. He worked himself forward again to the break in 
the ship's side, and worked himself up and over the same corner as 
before. He found that the bottom of the armor was about 12 feet above 
the mud at the place where the break occurred. He worked himself 
back along the top of the armor as before, and at about the same place 
slipped again. He put his hands over the armor going back and found 
a foot of armor and 6 or 7 inches of wood, if not more. He did not 
have a measure with him. There was something beyond the wood, but 
he did not have time to examine it. When he slipped from the side he 
went out about 12 feet in the mud. He found pieces of plating, which 
he took for side plating. One side was slippery and the other rough. 
It was so dark he could not distinguish colors. The slippery side was 
down and about horizontal. The plating was a little curved, and the 
concave side was up. He then looked for the end of his guide line, and, 
when he found it, went up. He found a great deal of coal in the mud. 

I sent Eundquist down again in the afternoon of March 4 to go over 
the same ground. He went down near the conning-tower supports, as 
before, and got into the mud and walked into the ship's side. He fol- 
lowed it forward until he came to the break. I was able to distinguish 
the bubbles more clearly at this time, and concluded that the break in 
the ship's side was at the same frame as the frame on the port side — 
about frame 41. He climbed up the vertical break until he came to 
the corner, which is bent over as he described before. He followed it 
a couple of feet until he struck the forward edge of the armor plate. 
He climbed up the forward edge of the armor plate and examined the 
backing as he went up. The backing extended fully 5 feet farther 
forward than the armor plate. The splinters on the forward edge of 
the backing pointed outboard. Then he went up on top of the armor 
and crawled along about 4 or 5 feet until his helmet struck up 
against something which looked like athwartship bulkhead, painted 
white. It extended above the armor, and the upper part was bent 
forward. It had an angle iron on the outboard edge, after side. 

There was a fore and aft vertical plate riveted to this angle iron at right 
angles to the bulkhead he had just mentioned. He said he was sure 
this did not belong to the outside plating. He went farther aft for fully 
two lengths of an armor plate. I asked him how he could tell the ends of 
the plate, and he told me that the ends of the plate were not flush at the 
top; the forward plate was about 4 or 5 inches farther out from the ship 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 215 

than the after one, but they were flush at the bottom. He could not 
go farther aft than two plates' length, because there was a lot of wreck- 
age from above hanging over him, which seemed to be a part of the for- 
ward wreckage of the superstructure. He said as he worked aft the 
armor projected about 6 inches farther out than the side plating above 
it. He was not able to determine exactly the distance to which the side 
plating above the armor was blown out, on account of all the wreckage 
over the main deck on the starboard side. 

The armor stuck out this way about 6 inches all the way aft to where 
he found the wreckage which he has just spoken of. He then went 
forward again until he got nearly to the break in the ship's side at the 
armor belt, and then he went over inside the armor and found what he 
took to be a deck with two plates riveted together. He is sure the 
total thickness of both plates together was not more than an inch. 
These plates were painted reddish brown. The plate was a little curved 
and extended inboard horizontally about 2 feet, and was then broken 
off, with ragged edges bent down. This plate was flush with the top 
of the backing. He then went forward to the end of the armor plating, 
where the break occurs, and made his guide line fast to one of the bolts 
going through the wood backing. Then he lowered himself down inside 
the wood backing. He found a number of pieces of board, planking, 
and coal, and plates. The boards were about 2£ inches in thickness. 
He could not distinguish the color. 

Inside he found a vertical fore and aft bulkhead, about 4 feet 
from the wood backing. He found athwartship bulkheads about 4 
feet apart and states that he could lincl no holes in them, and thinks he 
was in a pocket of some kind. He found some pieces of inch piping in 
this compartment. He hauled himself up again on the line, and then 
went over the side at the break of the armor belt, and went down in 
the mud and found the side plating underneath where the armor plates 
that are missing had been, and found where it had been torn down in 
a vertical line and bent out nearly horizontally, and the extreme out- 
board end bent vertically down in the mud. He scraped away the 
mud as far as he could, but could not find the end of the plating. He 
found a small pipe attached to these plates, made of composition, three- 
fourths of an inch in diameter. He sent this pipe up. He felt in the 
mud and found a great many pieces of broken crockery, and found six 
mess plates all together. These were about 15 feet from the ship's 
side; he also found a 10-inch powder tank with rags of powder bag 
inside. He sent the tank up. I examined the tank and found that it 
still preserved its cylindrical shape, but the head and bottom were 
missing. Otherwise the tank was practically uninjured. He sent up 
the bag. He found this tank about 15 feet from the ship's side. This 
bag was ragged in appearance, but on being opened up presented a 
square foot or more of intact surface. 

Q. Were there any signs of fire? 

A. I could not tell whether it had been burned or not. The sup- 
porting tapes were ragged and were blackened. Everything down on 
the bottom looked as if the iusides of the ship had been blowu right 
out to starboard. He found coal wherevei he went. He went out 
about 20 feet, but believes the coal goes out much farther. I then 
asked him how this condition compared with what he found on the port 
side opposite the break, and he told me at that point there was no coal — 
nothing but mud. That concludes my testimony with reference to the 
diving of Rundquist. 

In the afternoon of March 2 I sent Schluter down on the port side 



216 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

forward of the break. I told hiin to see if he could find any of the armor 
of the ship. He went down about 30 feet forward of the port crane 
and landed on what he thought was a deck light. He said there were 
planks about it running in athwartship direction. This was about 15 
feet from where the ship's side would have been. He felt all around 
among the wreckage, but did not recognize anything until he found the 
armor plate, to which he attached a line. He measured the plate with 
a ruler. This plate stood on an angle with the thick armored side for- 
ward. He measured this plate and found that the part which he called 
the thick armored side was 6 inches in width. Behind that he found 
9 inches of wood backing, and behind the wood backing he found 3^-inch 
plate of armor. The bolt-head came out of this 3.^-inch armored side. 
I plumbed this plate with a line which he attached to it, and found it 
in line with the mainmast and port crane, about 40 feet forward of the 
crane, inside the line of the ship. 

I sent Schluter down on the morning of the 5th and told him to examine 
the plating on the port side abaft the crane, just under the main deck. 
He went over the side to fore and aft above the port crane and felt the 
side plating. The main deck sloped down to starboard. The outside 
plating was bent sharply from outside in, making an acute angle at 
the waterway. Then he crawled away aft and felt over the edge, and 
in places could not find any side plating attached to the end of the 
waterways. He went as far aft as the turret. He said the plating 
about 10 feet forward of the turret is broken right out. A little for- 
ward of that was another plate, blown up and out. 

Q. On the starboard side? 

A. On the port side, sir. This had beams fast to it and looked like 
a deck. Forward of this plate for about 7 or 8 ieet is wreckage inside 
the line of the ship. It looks as if it had been blown outboard to port. 
He then crawled along the top of the armor, which was all clear as far 
forward as the crane, and there it is broken clear off. 

Q. What is? 

A. The armor. 

This is corroborative of the testimony of Eundquist. Just at the 
break of the armor about 8 inches inboard from the armor the wood 
backing is blown up and inboard. 

Q. Which deck is that? 

A. I take that to be the berth-deck, as that was the upper edge of 
the armor. That covored the protective deck. He did not examine 
the strip of plating under the waterway farther aft than 10 feet from the 
craiie, but all that he felt was blown inboard. That is as much of the 
diver's statements as I have up to the present time. 

By the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. Mr. Powelson, look at the sketch you have presented the court of 
the frame plates and broken keel of the ship. When you look at A, is 
that in the inboard side of the ship? 

A. That is the inboard side of the ship, between frames 26 and 17, 
and is broken off between the first and second logitudinals and between 
the second and third longitudinals, embracing a space of about two 
longitudinals between frames. 

Q. jSTow, the right-hand edge of this plate, as you see it — where 
would that be if the plate was bent back into its original position? 

A. It would be the lower part of the plate — the garboard strake. 

Q. And the left-hand edge — what would that be? 

A. The upper part of the plating. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE IT. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 217 

Q. And the longitudinal which is marked on Plate A — which longi- 
tudinal is that? 

A. The second longitudinal, from keel, on the port side. 

By the Court : 
Q. That would be this one [indicating on sketch] 1 ? 
A. Yes, sir; the second one. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Looking at plate B, on the sketch, the face which you see there, 
is that in the inboard side of the ship? 

A. It is. 

Q. What longitudinal is that marked on this plate? 

A. This is a part of the third longitudinal. 

Q. If this plate was put back into its original position, in which 
direction would the right edge be? 

A. The lower edge. 

Q. And the left edge? 

A. That would be the upper edge. 

Q. And the dark part marked " D," between plates A and B, what 
is that? 

A. Outside of the outer skin of the ship. 

Q. That is painted green? 

A. It is. 

Q. And above plate A there is a place torn in the keel of the ship, 
where the keel goes downward. About what frame is that? 

A. Between frame 17 and 18. 

Q. And how far down does this keel go in the vertical position it now 
has, between what frames? 

A. Between frames 22 and 23. 

By the Court: 

Q. Where is the 6-inch shell room, the forward 6-inch shell room, on 
that keel? 

A. The forward 6 inch shell room rested on the upper half of the 
vertical part of the keel, as shown. 

Q. And the fixed ammunition room, where was that? 

A. Eight over the angle of the keel, at frame 22 and 23. 

Q. Where would the 10-inch shell room have been? 

A. The 10-inch shell room and magazine are on the flat part of the 
keel, marked "C." 

By the Judge -Advocate: 

Q. How much plating is there attached to the keel, which is up and 
down on the sketch, do you know ? 

A. I could not state that definitely. You might ask Smith or Olsen 
about that. 

Q. But the horizontal keel which is marked " C," has the ship's side 
attached to it for some distance on the starboard side? 

A. The inner skin is for some distance on the starboard side, but 
through a crack in the inner skin, the diver found the outer skin, but 
as to the full extent, it would be pretty difficult to find out, on account 
of all the wreckage thrown down around it. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. Did you locate that four- way pipe? 
A. Yes, sir. 



218 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Where was that originally, according to your deduction? 

A. Between frame 17 and frame 18. 

Smith says he measured 21 inches from the midship line to the 
flange, and that agrees with the drawing. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness to-day, he was 
directed to come before the court at 10 a. m. on Monday next. 

The court then (at 3.40 p. m.) adjourned to meet Monday, March 7, 
1898, at 10 a. m., on board the U. S. L. H. tender Mangrove, harbor of 
Havana. 

SPECIAL SESSION. 

The court reassembled at 5 p. in. to take some additional testimony 
of the captain and first officer of the City of Washington, which is to 
sail to-night. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and the 
stenographer. 

First Officer George Cornell, of the City of Washington, appeared 
as a witness before the court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name and profession. 

A. George Cornell, first officer of the steamer City of Washington. 

Q. To what line of steamers does she belong? 

A. The Ward Line. 

Q. Were you on board the City of Washington, in the harbor of 
Havana, on the night of the 15th of February, when the Maine was 
blown up? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What part of the City of Washington were you in? 

A. I was standing amidships, on the starboard side. 

Q. On the upper deck ? 

A. On the upper deck ; yes, sir. 

Q. Were you looking right at the Maine? 

A. Yes. sir. 

Q. Will you please state what you heard and what you saw? 

A. Yes, sir; I was standing on the gangway, and giving the quarter- 
master orders to call the men at 5 o'clock in tbe morning. While I was 
standing there 1 heard a rumbling sound, and we saw the Maine raise 
up forward. After that the explosion occurred, and the stuff was fly- 
ing in the air in all directions. She sank immediately at the forward 
end, sir. 

Q. At the first noise or rumbling did anything fly up, or did she only 
lift? 

A. The ship lifted. 

Q. Forward? 

A. Forward; yes, sir. 

Q. What interval was there between the rumbling noise and the ex- 
plosion ? 

A. I think there must have been about sixteen or eighteen seconds — 
not a full minute. 

Q. That is, a long time? 

A. Almost immediately; there was not very much of an interval. 

Q. What part of the ship did the explosion come out of when you 
saw it? 

A. Amidships. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 219 

Q. Was there much flame coming up? 

A. There was not much flame. 

Q. Did a large piece of cement drop on your deck ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Can you identify it? 

A. Yes, sir. 

(A large piece of cement was trought into the court room and showed 
to witness.) 

Q. Is this the piece of cement ? 

A. Yes, sir; that is the piece of cement. A small piece has been 
cut off at one end. 

By the Court: 

Q. How were you anchored with reference to the Maine? 

A. We were anchored fast to a buoy. 

Q. But what direction was the Maine from you? 

A. The Maine was lying on her starboard side, sir. We were off 
the port quarter of the Maine. 

Q. How much did she lift at the first sound you heard? 

A. She lifted most nearly all out of water. She raised up consider- 
ably, but it was kind of dark, and how high she lifted up I couldn't 
exactly say. We saw her raising by her lights. 

Q. The next thing you saw was the debris? 

A. The debris ; yes, sir. 

Q. Did you see any water thrown up? 

A. No, sir; I don't think so. I only seen these large pieces flying in 
the air close by where I stood looking over the rail. We couldn't get 
out of the way of the debris, and it fell on the deck and all over us. 

Q. You could not tell whether you saw her ram or not when she was 
lifted up? 

A. No, sir; it was too dark to see that. 

Q. You say she raised almost out of the water forward? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You can not say how much she raised? 

A. No, sir; I could not. 

Q. There was a very decided interval between the first sound you 
heard and the explosion, was there? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. There was a very decided interval, was there? 

A. There was not much. Between fifteen and eighteen seconds. It 
might have seemed to me longer than it really was. It was immedi- 
ately after the rumbling noise. 

(The president of the court produced a watch and counted the sec- 
onds. The witness stopped him at the third second, saying the time 
was less than that.) 

By the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. The interval between the two was decided? 
A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court : 
Q. Did you feel anything? 
A. Yes; the ship was kind of shaking. 
Q. When did you feel that? 
A. Bight after the rumbling sound. 
Q. Before the explosion ? 
A. At the same time the explosion happened. 



220 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

There being no further questions to ask the witness his testimony 
was read aloud to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced 
correct. Whereupon he withdrew. 

Oapt. Frank Stevens, of the City of Washington, appeared as a 
witness before the court, and was duly sworn by the president: 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name and profession. 

A. Frank Stevens, master mariner. 

Q. You are captain of the steamer City of Washington, Ward Line? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you in the harbor of Havana last month when the Maine 
exploded t 

A. I was. 

Q. Were you at that time in command of the City of Washington? 

A. I was. 

Q. How far were you anchored from the Maine at the time? 

A. About 300 feet. 

Q. In what direction was your ship from the Maine ? 

A. We were on the Maine's port quarter, nearly astern. 

Q. Nearly astern ? 

A. Nearly astern; yes, sir. 

Q. Where were you at the time this happened? 

A. I was standing along amidships, abaft the smokestack on the 
port side, where I could look through between the smokestack and for- 
ward end of the midship deck house, toward the Maine. 

Q. Please tell the court what you heard and what you saw. 

A. I heard a dull, muffled explosion, and commotion, like as though it 
was under the water, followed instantly by a terrific explosion, lighting 
up the air with a dull red glare, filling the air fall of flying missies which 
lit all around us. We were struck, I think, in four places. 

By the Oourt : 

Q. By the fragments ? 

A. Yes, sir ; and I could hear it dropping into the water the other 
side of us. After getting out the starboard forward boat we found 
there was a hole in it, and got the port one out. I noticed that the 
water on the port side of us was full of floating wreckage from the 
Maine. I got out three boats, two quarter boats and the port forward 
boat, and sent them out in charge of officers to save lives. 

Q. Did you feel any trembling of your own ship at either of these 
explosions? 

A. The last one I did, but the first one I did not. Everything shook. 

Q. Was there a very decided interval between the first noise and the 
explosion ? 

A. There was. 

Q. Were you looking at the Maine at the time of the first noise? 

A. I was. 

Q. What did the Maine appear to do? 

A. My first impression was when I heard this noise that it was a gun 
or a salute, but that changed instantly, and then it flashed across my 
mind that there was dynamite under the bottom of that ship. That 
was my impression. 

Q. Did you see the Maine lift at all ? 

A. I did not, I being on the opposite side and looking through. I 
seen the mainmast and part of her outline, but could not see her lift. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 221 

There being 110 farther questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read aloud to him by the stenographer, and by him pronounced 
correct. 

The court then (at 5.20 p. m.) adjourned to meet Monday, March 7, 
1898, at 10 a. m., ou board the U. 8. light-house tender Mangrove, har- 
bor of Havana. 



ELEVENTH DAY. 

U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, March 7, 1898 — 11 a. m. 
The court met pursuant to the adjournment of Saturday, after having 
proceeded in a body to the wreck to make a personal inspection. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, the 
stenographer, and Captain Sigsbee. 
The record of the proceedings of Saturday was read and approved. 

Chief Engineer Howell, a former wituess, was then recalled, and 
cautioned by the president of the court that he was still under oath 
taken. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

(The piece of cement here brought into the court on Saturday and 
identified by the first officer, Cornell, was then shown to the witness). 

Q. Will you examine this piece of cement and identify it if you can? 

A. I saw that piece of cement on the City of Washington, and now 
identify it as the same piece. My opinion is that it was blown from the 
Maine, and came from underneath the berth-deck blower on the port 
side. 

Q. Upon what do you base your opinion ? 

A. That blower was not placed at right angles to the bulkhead on the 
forward side, and this piece of cement shows marks of an angle similar 
to the acute angle, which is the base of the blower. 

Q. Is it not a very heavy piece of cement for the base of the blower 1 ? 

A. I do not know exactly how this cement was, but I believe it was 
2£ inches thick, similar to this. I mean to say, I do not know how 
thick that cement was, but this piece is about 2£ inches thick, and that 
is a very reasonable thickness to put either. The cement has also indi- 
cations of oil on both sides of it, and I also know that that cement had 
oil on the under side, because I have seen oil drop through from that deck 
down into the bunker underneath. This cement showed oil on both sides 
while on the City of Washington. The marks of rivet heads on this 
cement and the imprint also of the angle iron and the running in line, 
similar to the acute angle I have spoken of before, which is also 
another indication that it came from the bottom of that blower. I 
should say that the top and bottom sides are parallel. 

Q. There is a set of photographs of 12 views on the table here. Can 
you inform the court how they were obtained 1 ? 

A. I received orders from the commanding officer to instruct the 
photographer of the 12 views that were desirable, and was with the 
photographer when he took about 8 of these views. After that time there 
were so many boats around the wreck that I could not get the views 
that were wanted, and the whole set of 12 was then made up from plates 
which the photographer had already taken. 

Q. Would you be able to get photographs — starboard view and port 



222 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

view — of the three projections above the water, of wreckage, which 
are forward of the superstructure, the three together, and the three 
separately ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Will you consult with Captain Sigsbee and receive orders to that 
effect? 

A. Yes, sir. 

By Captain Sigsbee : 

Q. You are a photographer yourself, are you not ! 

A. I have done a good deal of work in photography; yes, sir. 

The Judge- Advocate. I request that the above photographs be 
appended to the record and marked Exhibit I. 

The request was granted, and the said photographs were appended 
to the record marked Exhibit I. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced cor- 
rect; whereupon, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss 
matters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

Ensign W. Y. N. Powelson, U. S. Navy, a former witness, was then 
recalled, and cautioned by the president of the court that he was still 
under oath taken. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Have you read over the testimony which you gave before this 
court on Saturday last ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded ? 

A. Yes, sir; with some exceptions which I have noted. 

Q. Will you please give the corrections to the stenographer? 

A. On page 453, fifth line from the bottom, insert "to" before "star- 
board" and "at" before "quite." 

Page 456, fourth line, "I would say" should be "He said." 

Page 460, twelfth line from the bottom, change "apart" to "from 
the keel." 

Page 463, last line, insert after "the" "mud at the." 

Page 465, tenth line from the bottom, "far aft V should be "fore and 
aft." 

Page 469, eleventh line, insert "the" between "turret" and "side." 

Page 476, tenth line, change "to fore and aft above" to "a little 
baft." 

Page 477, third line, change "backing" to "planking of the deck." 

Same page, thirteenth line, "between the first and second longitudi- 
nal" should be "between the keel and first longitudinal." 

That is all. 

Q. Is the testimony, as now amended, correct ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Lieut. Commander Richard Wainwright here entered the court. 

The Judge-Advocate. Mr. Powelson, have you any further testi- 
mony to offer of the nature that you gave on Saturday last — that is, 
testimony derived from what was reported to you by divers? 

Mr. Powelson. Yes, sir; I have the work of Olsen on Saturday 
morning. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 223 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please give it. 

A. On Saturday morning last, March 5, I sent Olsen down to the 
piece of the keel — the vertical keel — which is now vertical, with instruc- 
tions to make farther explorations in the region of the 10-inch magazine. 
He went down to where the keel becomes horizontal at frame 23. Then 
he walked aft about 25 feet, climbed over a lot of wreckage consisting 
of plates or bulkheads standing upright. The upper ends of these plates 
were ragged, and he crawled over them and on the other side found 
what he thought was part of a boiler. 

I asked him how he could distinguish the boiler; whether there was 
any of its original shape or not, and he could not give me any definite 
details, but said from the general look of the piece of wreckage he 
would take it for a boiler. He went a little farther aft from this, which 
he considered a boiler, and walked out to port, clear of the ship, into 
the mud. He was at this time forward of the break of the ship at 
frame No. 41. He found nothing in the mud and came back, walking to 
starboard. About 10 feet in he found some wreckage. He examined 
this plate and found that it was curved as if it were a part of the side 
plating. This, he said, was about 10 feet inboard of the side of the ship. 
It did not lay exactly fore and aft; it pointed toward the starboard 
bow. It was so dark he could not distinguish the color. He walked 
up on top of the plating and found all the edges rough. From the top 
of the plate he found a horizontal plate about 2 or 3 feet wide, and in 
a corner some cellulose packed in tightly. He said the compartment 
seemed to be about 2£ or 3 feet wide. Abaft that he found something 
like a boiler. It was very black, all crushed up, and he could not 
recognize any definite form. He was not absolutely sure that it was a 
boiler. 

He went forward from this point about 10 feet and found some loose 
wreckage, and he lifted up a couple of plates and threw them aside. 
He felt around and found a G-inch tank. He found it intact. He lifted 
it and found it was heavy, and sent it up. This afterwards proved to 
be a full tank. He found a lot of broken tanks split up on the seams, 
and in one tank, at the cover, which has holes in it, he found a lot of mud 
which he brought up, and which he said looked like dissolved powder. 
He said there was any quantity of similar mud in the same place. The 
mud around the tanks was very dark in color, but the mud outside, 
forming the bottom of the harbor, is of a gray color. He also found a 
plate of angle iron and U-bar stiffen ers riveted to it, about 1 foot apart. 

Q. Is that all of this nature 1 ? 

A. That is all up to this morning. 

Q. What side did he go down when he found what he supposed to be 
a broken boiler 1 ? 

A. He found the boiler first in the midship line, and then walked to 
port. 

Q. Where did you locate Olsen, when he found the full 6-inch tank f 

A. I was at that time on board the Mangrove. 

Q. Have you any further testimony to give 1 ? 

A. No, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. Did Olsen mention the thickness of this wreckage which he sup- 
posed to be the boiler 1 ? 

A. No, sir; he said it was without shape, and he could not distin- 
guish anything about it. 



224 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Do you know the thickness of the Maine's boilers'? 

A. I do not. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, he was directed 
to hold himself in readiness for further evidence and to read over the 
evidence just now given. Whereupon he withdrew. 

Chief Engineer Howell, TJ. S. Navy, a former witness, was then 
recalled and cautioned by the president of the court that he was under 
the oath which he had previously taken. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. What was the thickness of the Blaine's boilers — the shell 

A. About 1^ inches. 

Q. All over ? 

A. All the shell. 

Q. What is the thickness of the heads? 

A. They were approximately the same. Some parts of the heads 
were different. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer, and by him pronounced cor- 
rect; whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Gunner's Mate Rundquist, U. S. Navy, a former witness, was recalled 
and cautioned by the president of the court that he was still under the 
oath which he had taken. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Since you gave your last testimony, have you done any more div- 
ing at the wreck of the Maine f 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. To whom did you report the results of what you had found when 
you came up out of the water ? 

A. Ensign Powelson. 

Q. Referring to the reports that you made to him — were they strictly 
correct as if you had been under oath? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You went down on the forenoon of March 1. Do you remember 
going down the ladder on the port side? 

A. I went down the ladder on the port side of the Maine. 

Q. Did you find anything made fast to the waterways ? 

A. I found a piece of the side plating. 

Q. You then went on to what you supposed to be the berth deck, did 
you not? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Which way did it slope? 

A. It inclined aft and to the starboard side. 

Q. Did you find a hole in the berth deck ? 

A. I found a hole; that is, it looked to me to be a hole. 

Q. How large? 

A. T could not say how large it was. 

Q. Was the wood broken at the edges? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You then went farther down ? 

A. I went farther down. 

Q. What did you find — do you remember? 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 225 

A. There was a lot of coal, in the first place. I sent a big piece of 
coal up. 

Q. What part of the ship do you think yon were in then? 

A. I should judge I was in the port side of the ship, and in one of 
the coal bunkers. There was lots of coal — two or three feet deep. 

Q. How far forward or abaft the crane were you? 

A. I must have been on the forward part of the crane. 

Q. Was this coal outside of the ship or inside of the ship? 

A. Inside of the ship. 

Q. None of it had been blown out? 

A. No, sir; at least, I could not say not. 

Q. You found a vertical bulkhead about this time did you not, on 
your right side, walking forward? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What did you do? 

A. I examined this bulkhead. I believe I went over it. 

Q. Did you strike your helmet against something? 

A. I struck my helmet against something, and it prevented my 
going forward in that direction. 

Q. What did you find about this time; do you remember'? 

A. I believe that is the time I found some powder inside a tank. 

Q. What kind of a tank? 

A. Ten-inch tank. 

Q. Did you send the tank up ? 

A. Yes, sir; I sent up a tank with what looked to me to be powder 
bags. 

Q. Did the bags fall outside the tank when you sent it up? 

A. The men that received it said that they fell out. 

Q. You then got tangled up in Avhat? 

A. I then got tangled up in a line. 

Q. What kind of a line? 

A. A line that was leading down. 

Q. Did you not find a lot of wires — a lot of electric wires? 

A. Yes, sir; about fifty of them in a bunch. That was as much as 
I could take in two hands. 

Q. You went down again on the afternoon of the same day? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. As before? 

A. In the same place, sir. 

Q. How far aft did you find that the break in the side plate extended ? 

A. I could not say exactly how far aft from above it was, but I fol- 
lowed the armor plate, and it extended for fully two lengths of the 
armor plate aft. 

Q. What do you call the break in the ship — where? 

A. Where the ship was blown apart. 

Q. What part of the ship was that? 

A. That was where the armor plate ended, on the forward part of the 
ship. 

Q. Can you describe about what part of the ship it was, what you 
call a break ? 

A. I could not say exactly; but it was where the ship had been 
blown up. 

Q. Do you mean about opposite the forward part of the middle 
superstructure, as it was? 

A. I should say it was forward of that. 

Q. Did you crawl with your arms over the armor? 
S.Dec. 207 15 



226 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. No, sir; I was outside the armor, and was walking with my 
hands on top of the armor plate. 

Q. You informed Mr. Powelson that you had gone a certain distance 
and a certain number of plates. How could you tell that? 

A. I could tell by that the two plates had been joined together. One 
plate extended further out than the other. 

Q. Which plate was the one that was farther out? 

A. The forward one; the one that was closer to the break. 

Q. About how much out were they? 

A. About 5 or 6 inches. 

Q. In your dive on this occasion you found some pieces of tin with 
wire attached? 

A. I found some wires; I sent some of them up. There was a long 
string, about 15 feet, of heavy wire. 

Q. After you sent that wire up, I understand, you examined the back 
of the armor plate. What condition did you find this backing then? 

A. The end was all twisted and torn and ragged edges; and then 
they all looked and pointed inboard. I also examined the upper part 
of the backing and found the iuside corner of it was gone. 

Q. Did you send a splinter of this backing up? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you measure the armor plate by this splinter? 

A. I did, sir. 

Q. Top and bottom? 

A. Top and bottom. 

Q. How could you measure the bottom ? 

A. The lower edge of the armor plate was a foot beneath the mud, 
and I could stick my hand beneath it. 

Q. Then there was no plate of the ship under the armor plate? 

A. This was just at the first break of the armor belt, and there was 
no plate left underneath of it. There was nothing of the ship's side 
left. This was just at the end of it. 

Q. How much of the armor plating had no ship's plate under it? 

A. I could not say, because I did not measure. 

Q. How much do you think? 

A. I felt a couple of feet and there was nothing there left of it. Fore 
and aft there was side plating standing, but I do not know how far it 
extended. 

Q. You went down again the next forenoon? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you remember where? 

A. I believe I went down on the same place on the port side. 

Q. Are you sure you did not go down forward of the port crane? 

A. I may have gone down forward of it, but it was on the port side. 

Q. You found the powder tanks on this occasion? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Please describe them. 

A. They were all pressed in, and I also found some powder bags. I 
put this powder bag in a pocket of my overalls for fear of losing it. 
I was trying to send this tank up, but it got afoul of something and 
so I let it go. I left it down there. 

Q. Do you remember in how many you found rags? 

A. I found rags in three or four of them. 

Q. Did you find any 10-inch tanks with the covers on? 

A. Yes, sir. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 227 

Q. What were these tanks, what size, 6 or 10 inch? Can you state 
about how many? 

A. I could not say how many, because there were tanks and pieces 
of tanks all around. I could not say how many there were. 

Q. What do you mean by pieces of tanks ? 

A. Tanks pressed together. They feel very small down there. 

Q. Then you mean tanks which do not have their shape as well as 
others'? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You then got among a lot of canvas ? 

A. I got among a lot of canvas all rolled up. It must have been a 
sail locker. 

Q. Did you find a plate standing in the mud at this time? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Please describe it. 

A. I found a plate standing on the edge down in the mad. I believe 
I went over this plate and I got down along the hole, which looked to 
be an inner passage or double bottom. It may have been an inner pas- 
sage, and a lot of compartments and sections, like. The compartment 
had a big, round, circular hole in it. 

Q. This one plate which I referred to, did it have cork paint on it, 
on one side ? 

A. Cork paint on one side and on the outside it was slippery. 

Q. Was the cork paint to the port or starboard? 

A. It was to starboard. 

Q. Think again. 

A. The slippery side was to starboard and the cork paint to port. 

Q. You went down again on the afternoon of the 3d of March, on 
the same day? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On which side? 

A. Starboard side. 

Q. Abreast of what ? 

A. Abreast of the crane and wreckage, a little forward of the 
wreckage. 

Q. Abreast of the conning tower? 

A, Abreast of the conning tower, sir. 

Q. What did you drop into? 

A. I dropped into a lot of wreckage, pieces of the ship. 

Q. Did you not drop into the mud first? 

A. Yes, I walked toward inboard of the ship, and got in amongst a lot 
of wreckage. 

Q. How did you find the ship's side at this place? 

A. I did not find the ship's side at that time, because I got fouled 
twice and got pulled up, and then I went forward and aft on the star- 
board side, from the whaleboat, and dropped down into the mud and 
walked into the ship's side, and followed that until I came to the break. 

Q. Which side were you on then ? 

A. On the starboard side of the ship. 

Q. Where did you find the break on the starboard side? 

A. A good way forward. I could not say how many feet. I came to 
the end of the guide line, and made the line fast to the piece of the 
keel and followed the ship's side until I came to the break. 

Q. Will you please describe the break as you found it? 

A. This break was vertical, and with ragged edges. I climbed up 
the edge until I got to where it went off in the corner, where the lower 



228 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

edge of the ram plate had been made fast to it. This extended 2 or 
3 feet in that direction. The corner of this side plate was nearly- 
doubled over, and bent outboard. I got to the ram plate and found 
lots of backing there, extending out 5 or 6 feet, and the bolts were 
left in the backing. This backing was all pointed outboard. I went 
up to the upper edge of the ram plate and followed it aft for some dis- 
tance. I could not say how many feet. My hand slipped on account 
of not having a guide line. I went back to the same break and came 
to the same place, and slipped again. I did not make any more 
attempts that day, because I had not enough guide line. 

Q. Can you locate this break that you have just described on the 
starboard side? 

A. No, sir; I could not locate it here. When I found this break, I 
gave a signal on the line. The man told Mr. Powelson about it. He 
said, when I came up, that he could not tell where the break was, because 
the bubbles came up from underneath the wreckage. 

Q. When you slipped down the second time did you slip into the 
mud? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How deep? 

A. Above my waist. 

Q. How far, about, did you go ? 

A. I fell down close to the ship's side when I struck the mud. 

Q. Did you find pieces of plate when you fell down into the mud? 

A. Not where I fell; but I went outboard and forward toward the 
break, and found pieces that did belong to the ship. 

Q. Were they curved ? 

A. They were curved. 

Q. Which way was the concave side? 

A. I believe it was up. 

Q. You then looked for your guide line? 

A. I did; in the meantime I got a signal to get up. 

Q. Did you get amongst a lot of coal before you came up? 

A. Yes, sir ; there was a lot outside of the ship — a good way out. 

Q. What do you mean by a good way? 

A. Ten or twelve feet from the ship's side. 

Q. You went down again in the afternoon of that day, March the 4th? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Near the conning tower, as in the morning? 

A. As in the morning. 

Q. You landed in the mud; and then what did you do? 

A. I was walking in the mud until I struck the ship's side again. I 
went over and examined the break in the backing better than I did the 
day before. I went up the same way and followed up the part of the 
ram plate aft. I first struck against something that pointed up and 
forward. I was first trying to walk on top of the ram plate, but my 
helmet struck against this, so I had to walk on the side of it with my 
hands hanging over the ship's side. I went aft about the length of two 
plates, I should say, and then I got stuck. I could not go any further 
aft. 

Q. Why? 

A. Because there was lots of wreckage extending over the ship's side 
which prevented me 

Q. Wreckage under the water, or dropping from above? 

A. From above, and extending over the ship's side. 

Q. Did you find a plate about this time — two plates riveted together? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 229 

A. Afterwards I found these two plates. 

Q. How were they painted ? 

A. These two plates? They looked to be a red-colored brown. 

Q. Was the plate curved ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How far in did it extend in the ship's side. 

A. It extended a couple of feet. 

Q. Was it ragged where it had broken off? 

A. It looked as if it had been carried away; as if something heavy 
had fallen on it. 

Q. Was this plate flush with the top of the backing? 

A. Yes, sir; I could barely lay the point of my fingers down there. 

Q. You also found a number of pieces of board and planking at this 
time, did you not? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. 

Q. You sent up a pipe for examination ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where did you find it? 

A. I found it made fast to the ship's starboard side — to the bottom 
plate. I broke it loose and sent it up. 

Q. What else did you find about here? 

A. I examined the ram plate and where the break was, and found 
the bottom plate of the ship down in the mud standing outboard. I 
was following up this plate, trying to find the armor plate, but could 
not get to the end of it. It looked to be rolled over, and was too deep 
for me to get hold of it. 

Q. This was the plate underneath the armor plate? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Was there any crockery about here? 

A. Yes, sir; I found lots of crockery, pieces of wash stands, clothes, 
and a 10-inch powder tank. I sent the tank up, and there were some 
power bags inside. 

Q. You sent the bag up also ? 

A. I put the bag in my pocket and brought it up when I came. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to hold himself in readiness to appear before the court, when he will 
be furnished with so much of the record as contains his testimony and 
asked to withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the comple- 
tion of which he will be again called before the court and be given an 
opportunity to amend his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. 
The request was granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; 
whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not 
to discuss matters pertaining to the trial. 

Gunner's Mate Schluter, U. S. Navy, a former witness, was then 
recalled and cautioned by the president of the court that he was still 
under oath which he had taken. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. Since you gave your last testimony before this court have you 
been engaged in any diving at the wreck of the Maine? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. To whom did you report the results of your diving? 
A. To Mr. Powelson. 

Q. Were your reports as true as if they had been given under oath? 
A. Yes, sir. 



230 DESTEUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. I believe you were down on the forenoon of Tuesday, March 2. 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you remember where you went down ! 

A. I believe that was the day I was down after some powder tanks. 

Q. I refer to the time you went down on the port side forward of the 
break. You went down on the port side forward of the break, do you 
remember? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you told to look for any armor 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q, What did you find? 

A. I was lowered over the side to the bottom of the ladder until I 
struck the main deck. The main deck sloped over toward the star- 
board side. Then I crawled right out straight to the port side of the 
sihip and put my hand over the ship's side and felt the plates were 
bent inboard up to about 5 or 6 feet along the ship's side and the water- 
ways. Then I crept on over some stanchions going aft on the port 
side and kept on going aft until I struck up against the after turret, 
and was crawling along when I made out two distinct plates of the 
ship's side. Both were bent from port side outboard. I was going to 
crawl out over one when the signal was made for me to come up on 
account of the wrecking tug which was going to move the smokestack. 

Q. Did you not find the armor- plate, to which you attached a line"? 

A. That was the next time I went down, sir. 

Q. Whenever you did find that armor-plate to which you attached a 
line, what did you do? Did you measure this plate with a rule? 

A. That was the one amidship, which stands in a vertical position; 
vertical angle on its end. It was leaning a little over forward. The 
lower end was pointed aft. 

Q. The thick side was forward or aft? 

A. The thick side was in the mud, sir; the heavy side. I believe I 
found 6 inches on top. 

Q. That is what you call the thick armor side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What did you find behind this plate? 

A. A wood backing, sir. 

Q. How many inches was this wood backing? 

A. About 9 inches, I think. 

Q. Behind that what did you find? 

A. Three and a halfinch armor plating. 

Q. Was there any bolt there? 

A. Yes, sir; there was bolts sticking out 2 or 3 inches, and I felt a 
soft washer, or something. That is all I could feel right up against the 
armor plate; and going right through the wood and armor. 

Q. Was this, apparently, athwartship armor or fore and aft armor? 

A. Athwartship armor. I found the ship's side armor since. 

Q. You are quite sure of the wood backing and plate backing? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You went down again on the morning of the 5th, and were told to 
examine the port side abaft the crane. Do you remember? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You found the main deck? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How did it slope? 

A. It sloped to starboard, sir. 

Q. Was the outside plate bent? 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 231 

A. Yes, sir; the outside plate was bent inboard, about the length of 
5 feet, at a sharp angle with the waterways. 

Q. You then crawled aft? 

A. Yes, sir; I crawled up the aft turret and found two distinct 
breaks — that is, the sheathing was bent over to port side, outboard — and 
I was going to crawl over the first plate when I got the signal to 
come up. 

Q. You crawled aft and felt over the edge, did you not"? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. 

Q. You could not find any side plating attached to the waterways in 
places'? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You went as far aft as the after turret? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How many feet forward of the turret is broken right out — the 
plates? 

A. Six or 7 feet forward of the turret. 

Q. What side was this on? 

A. Port side, sir. It looked as if it had been blown outboard. 

Q. You then crawled along on the top of the armor forward ? 

A. Yes, sir; the last time I was down there. 

Q. How far does that clear? 

A. As far forward as the crane. 

Q. What happened there? 

A. The armor appeared to be broken off, and 2 feet abaft it was all 
clear. The inside armor backing was hanging on at an angle from port 
up, and over to starboard at the top of the armor belt. The backing 
was broken off from the armor as far down as I could reach, and sloped 
inboard. 

Q. Explain what you mean by the armor being broken off. 

A. By broken off I mean that it looked as if another piece had been 
blown right away from it. It was gone. 

By the Court : 

Q. In your answers you have spoken of plates attached to the water- 
ways being blown in ; also some being blown out. What do you mean? 

A. I mean that aft it was blown out and forward it was blown in. 

Q. How far apart were these places ? 

A. Ten or 12 feet, sir. It might have been a little less— 8 or 9 feet. 
It is hard to judge under water how far one goes. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed 
to report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished 
with so much of the record as contains his testimony and asked to 
withdraw for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of 
which he will be again called before the court and given an opportunity 
to amend his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The 
request was granted, and the witness instructed accordingly; where- 
upon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss 
matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

The court then (at 12.45 p. m.) took a recess until 2 o'clock. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 
Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, the 
stenographer, Captain Sigsbee, and Mr. Wainwright. 



232 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Chief Guimer's Mate Olsen, U. S. Navy, a former witness, was re- 
called, and cautioned by the president of the court that he was still 
under oath which he had taken. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. Have you done any diving on the wreck of the Maine since your 
last testimony before this court? 

A. Yes, sir; I have. 

Q. To whom did you report the results of your diving! 

A. To Mr. Powelson, of the Fern. 

Q. When you made these reports to him were they as true as if given 
under oath? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You went down on the morning of March 1 — Tuesday 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. 

Q. Do you remember where you went down ? Was it not at the 
after V-shaped plate? 

A. Yes; I went down at the after V-shaped plate. 

Q. Where did you find the first longitudinal? 

A. The first longitudinal I found about 20 feet under water, and 
about 4 feet abaft of the second longitudinal. 

Q. Taking frame 17 as the highest frame on this V, where do you 
think you found the first longitudinal 1 ? 

A. About frame 23. 

Q. For how many frame spaces did you see? 

A. About two frame spaces. 

Q. What was the condition of the outer skin of the ship between the 
first and second longitudinals? 

A. Between the first and second longitudinal on the outer skin of the 
ship ? 

Q. Yes ; was it broken ? 

A. The skin of the ship was cracked off. 

Q. Did you follow the second longitudinal down? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. 

Q. What did you find at the end? 

A. I followed it down to about nine frame spaces. I found a plate 
on which this longitudinal was attached bent underneath the keel on 
the afterpart of the V. 

Q. What is the condition of the longitudinal at the end? 

A. Broken off and ragged. 

Q. When you went to plate B, what was the color of plate B; plate 
plate B being the forward one inside the V? 

A. Green inside the V — Mclnniss's paint. 

Q. Did you folloAv the green plate along to the flat keel? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. 

Q. How does the keel go from there? 

A. I followed the greeu paint along the ship's bottom until I found 
the flat part of the keel. J> extended down and over to port, up and 
over to starboard, at an angle, I should judge, of about 00 degrees 
from the bottom of the mud itself. 

Q. Which makes the angle of 00 degrees, the one going forward or 
the one going aft? 

A. The angle between the keel and the mud is about 00 degrees. 

Q. Did you find the forward part of the ship and the keel sloping 
downward? 

A. Yes, sir. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 233 

Q. About how many degrees ! 

A. It seemed to me that this part of the ship is lying on the star- 
board side — the starboard side on the mud, the port side up, and the 
keel to port. 

Q. Does not her ram seem lower than her after part! 

A. Yes, sir; it does. 

Q. What inclination does her keel seem to be to horizontal 1 ? 

A. Sixty degrees from the bottom. 

Q. Abaft both of these V-shaped plates, how does the keel lay? 

A. A little farther to starboard and amidships I found the continua- 
tion of the keel and broken part. The inside angle irons standing up 
and the inside and outside keel plates broken off for the space of about 
3 feet from the bottom angle irons and vertical keel, and sloping down. 

Q. What direction does the keel take then, aft? 

A. Almost vertical, going down. 

Q. About how long a space do you think it goes vertical? 

A. About 20 feet, I should judge. 

Q. Then what does it do? 

A. It runs aft parallel to the bottom. 

Q. What kind of a break is on the bottom ; that is, that part that 
stands vertical and the part that stands horizontal? 

A. A regular bending. It bends forward and then it bends aft. 

Q. About how far forward does it bend ? 

A. About 2 feet. 

Q. Eeferring to this part of the keel which stands vertical, how much 
plate is attached to that part of the keel which stands vertical? 

A. The bottom plate of that part of the keel extends 4 or 5 feet on 
each side of the keel. Some places along these I slipped. 

Q. You went down again on the forenoon of March 3, which was 
Thursday, did you not? 

A. Yes, sir: I did. 

Q. Did you have orders to find the top part of the keel? 

A. Which top part of the keel do you mean? 

Q. The inside of the keel. 

A. I was told to locate the keel outside, if I possibly could. 

Q. How far did you get down this time? 

A. I went down over the break and followed the vertical part down 
to where it bends aft again. Afterwards I located some manholes with 
high combings around it. I located two right at the break where the 
keel goes aft on the vertical part, and two farther aft. 

Q. Did you find a lightening hole the first frame forward of the 
break ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you measure this hole? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you remember the measure in both cases? 

A. Twelve by 21 inches. 

Q. Did you find a manhole in the inner skin just forward of the 
break? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you measure that? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you remember the measurements? 

A. Fifteen by 22 inches. 

Q. You found a four- way pipe? 

A. Yes, sir. 



234 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Where? 

A. Alongside the vertical keel forward of the break. The smaller 
part of the pipe going through the inner skin of the double bottom. 
This pipe was 3 inches in diameter, inside diameter of the pipe, and 
then there was a curved pipe going through the vertical keel. This 
was a 4-inch pipe. 

Q. Did you take measurements of the vertical keel at this time? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How large? 

A. Thirty-six inches between the inner and outer skin of the double 
bottom. 

Q. You found several other manholes, did you not? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. They all had high combings? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How high would you say these combings were? 

A. About 3 inches. 

Q. Now, along the flat part of the keel, which is abaft the vertical 
part, did you find the inner bottom corrugated? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. 

Q. In what way? Describe the appearance of the keel. 

A. It was corrugated right over the keel. I am sure it was the 
inner bottom. The corrugations ran fore and aft. The inside skin of 
these plates of the keel were bent downward. The vertical keel stands 
up and the inside skin alongside of it slopes downward on both sides 
of the keel. 

Q. In accounting for the depression of the bottom on both sides of 
the keel, did you think that the bottom had been knocked down or the 
keel been shoved up? 

A. It may have been from the keel being shoved up, or the inner 
plate being shoved down; I could not tell which. 

By the Court: 
Q. Was there any keel in the bottom at this place? 
A. No, sir. That part of the bottom seemed all right. I could not 
go further on account of the wreckage. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. At that place, how much bottom was there on each side of the 
keel, as far as you could tell? 

A. I could feel about' 6 feet on each side. It might have gone 
farther, but I could not tell. 

Q. Do you know what frame you were at? 

A. I must have gone abaft of frame 24. 

Q. Did you find some 6-pounder ammunition? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On which side of the keel? 

A. On the starboard side of the keel. 

Q. Did you find any C-inch shell there? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. 

Q. On which side of the keel? 

A. On the starboard side of the keel? 

Q. Did you send the shell up ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. On the next forenoon you went down again. From the break in 
the vertical keel, which way did you go? 

A. I went down the vertical keel; followed the flat part of the keel 
aft and worked my way over to starboard. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 235 

Q. What did you find then? 

A. I worked my way over to starboard, and continuing in that direc- 
tion I found a light box. 

Q. Before you found this light box did you not get amoug a lot of 
6-inch shell? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How far were these shell from the keel ? 

A. It must have been about 10 or 12 feet on the starboard side. 

Q. Are you sure they were 6-inch shell? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you find a powder tank the same place? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Describe the tank; 6-inch or 10-inch? 

A. I can uot recollect. 

Q. Did you send it up ? 

A. I sent one 6-inch drill tank up. 

Q. Did you then work your way over to starboard? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What did you find? 

A. A light box. 

Q. Where was that light box made fast? 

A. It was made fast in the proper light box in which the lamps go. 
I lifted up the cover of the light box proper. 

Q. Was this light box in the bulkhead? 

A. Yes, sir; between the coal bunker and what I think was formerly 
the 10-inch magazine. 

Q. How do you know? 

A. The 10-inch magazine light only shows one light in the drawings, 
which shows that this is the only place where there was only one light. 

Q. What was the general direction of the bulkhead that you found 
this light box in? 

A. It was flat and lying down. 

Q. Which way was it bent down ? 

A. It was lying flat parallel with the bottom. 

Q. Had it been bent to starboard or to port? 

A. Over to starboard. 

Q. Did you feel the end of this bulkhead? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What did you find? 

A. I followed the continuation of this bulkhead down about 10 feet, 
and underneath it I crawled into the double bottom. 

Q. Did you find the rungs of an iron ladder there? 

A. Yes, sir; underneath the deadlight in the bulkhead. 

Q. You then went into the 10-inch magazine as you suppose? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Did you find 10-inch tanks there? 

A. I found some 6-inch shells in the space; some of them had slings 
on them and wooden nose pieces; they were in good condition. Dig- 
ging underneath these shells I located some tanks. 

Q. What kind of tanks? 

A. I should judge them to be 10-inch tanks. 

Q. Were they in good condition? 

A. I could not tell. I could only feel them on account of the shell 
being on top of them, but they showed that they were tanks by their 
shape. 

Q. Did you find in your dive any cutlass or scabbard? 

A. Yes, sir; I found a scabbard. 



236 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Where? 

A. I found one on this plate, going from the light box down about J 
feet and in the double bottom, a scabbard and gas check disks in pads, 
which I sent up. 

Q. Did you find any paymaster's stores on top of the tanks you were 
just speaking about 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; I found canned goods, some low-cut paymaster's shoes. 

Q. Did you find a piece of wooden grating from the floor of the mag- 
azine? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. I sent it up. 

Q. Had it been burned? 

A. I could not tell. Mr. Powelson looked at it after it came up. 

Q. You went down again Saturday? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where did you go? 

A. I went aft, trying to locate the armor plate. 

Q. Did you find anything that looked to you like a boiler? 

A. Yes, sir; it looked to me like a boiler, but I did not stay down 
there long enough to get a good look at it. It was very dark. 

Q. Was it very much out of shape? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You then walked over to starboard, I believe, after walking aft, 
and found a plate. 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Will you please describe this plate that you found? 

A. I found a plate with angle iron — V-iron. These irons were about 
12 inches apart, forming a regular square in two rows. 

Q. What direction was this plate standing in? 

A. Up and over to starboard, standing at an angle up and leaning 
to starboard. 

Q. Did you find any cellulose? 

A. Yes, sir; I found the cellulose compartment. 

Q. Where were you then? 

A. I must have been at the midship line of the ship on the port 
side aft. 

Q. What do you mean by midship line of the ship? About the place 
of the crane? 

A. Yes, sir; about somewhere in that line. 

Q. Are you sure this was cellulose? 

A. Yes, sir. I took it out in my hand and looked at it. It was 
packed in the compartment. 

Q. What was the size of the compartment and the shape of the com- 
partment that the cellulose was in? 

A. I could feel the outside and inside skin of this compartment. It 
must have been 3 or 4 feet wide from the inside to the outside. 
It might have been larger or smaller — 4 feet I judge it to be. 
It was standing up and pointed, one pointing aft about the port 
quarter and the other pointing forward to the starboard bow. It was 
way abaft. I know exactly where 24 frame is ; it is 20 or 30 feet abaft 
frame 24. 

By the Court : 
Q. Do you know where the forward end of the belt is — the armor 
belt? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What frame is that? 

A. About frame 30. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 237 

By the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. Did you after this lift up a couple of plates and throw them aside? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where were they ! 

A. They were below this portion described — below and forward of the 
cellulose compartment. I picked up a 6-inch powder tank. This tank 
was full of powder, the bottom and head of the tank being on the tank. 

Q. Did you send this tank up? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you find a lot of other broken tanks about here? 

A. Yes, sir; a lot of them split in the seam. On the head of this 
tank I sent up there was a lot of black mud. We dried it and found it 
was powder. Where all the broken tanks were I could pick up a lot of 
this mud. I found that mad in several places around that place, and I 
think it is all powder. I can tell the difference between these and the 
mud which is outside the bottom of the ship. This is very black, and 
the mud on the outside turns a greenish color when you stir it up. 

Q. What made you think it was powder, only the color of it? 

A. I tried to burn some, and it burned all right. 

Q. Who made this experiment? 

A. Chief gunner's mate of the New York, Fisher. 

Q. You were there ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And you say there is plenty of this black mud around the ship? 

A. Yes, sir; especially where the broken tanks are you will find 
some of that mud all around. It seemed to me that the tanks in this 
place had been spilled all around. 

Q. What did you do this morning in the way of diving? 

A. I went down, took a lead line down plunib in line with the ship. 
I came up again ; I made a line fast at the broken part of the keel, and 
then I went down again, and was towed outside, clear of the ship, and 
was told to go down and see if I could find any coal. I went aft until 
I came to the break where the armor ends, and could not find any sign 
of coal on the port side. 

Q. How far away from the ship did you walk when you were looking 
for coal? 

A. I must have walked about 20 feet out — and I walked in a zigzag 
out and in, 20 feet clear — and back again to where the armor ends. 

Q. How far forward did you commence the search? 

A. I started forward, about at the ram, a little further out, and as 
far forward as the ram. 

Q. When you put your lead down had you found the ram itself? 

A. The end of the ram ; that is, the bow of the ship itself, was down 
in the mud. I should judge the place was about 6 feet from the bow, 
that part of the keel and the ram being about 6 feet apart, and the 
flat part of the keel sloping forward at this point. The ram itself 1 
should judge to be about G feet. 

Q. Did you find the ram plates? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And you were well forward of the afterend of the ram plates? 

A. Yes, sir. I could not feel the afterpart of the ram plate. It 
extends underneath the side. 

Q. What is the condition of the ship's side under the after one of the 
two V-shaped plates? 

A. Going down about half-way down, on the after end of B, and then 
getting onto the ship's bottom properly, I found two dents extending 
between two frames and bulged into the ship's bottom itself. 



238 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Are these two dents in a horizontal line 1 

A. They are in a parallel line to the keel. 

Q. How deep should you say they were? 

A. About 3 or 4 inches deep. 

Q. And about what is their diameter? 

A. About 4 feet in diameter. 

Q. Is there a frame between the two dents? 

A. It looks so from the outside. 

The judge-advocate requested that the testimony given by the wit- 
ness be not read to him by the stenographer, but that he be directed to 
report to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, when he will be furnished with 
so much of the record as contains his testimony, and asked to withdraw 
for the consideration of the same, upon the completion of which he will 
be again called before the court and be given an opportunity to ameud 
his testimony as recorded or pronounce it correct. The request was 
granted, and the witness was instructed accordingly; whereupon he 
withdrew, after being cautioned by the president not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry. 

Naval Cadet Cluverius, U. S. Navy, a former witness, was recalled 
and warned by the president that he was still under the oath that he 
had taken. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Were you the mate of the berth deck of the Maine at the time of 
her destruction ? 

A. I was. 

Q. What were your duties as regards the securing of the ship for 
the night? 

A. The duties I had in securing the ship for the night were to instruct 
the persons in charge of such departments as by the ship regulations 
were to be closed at sunset that these departments were to be closed, 
and that the tag keys placed upon the keyboard, which was at the for- 
ward part of the engine room hatch in compartment C100, were placed 
there. 

Q. What part of this duty did you do that night? 

A. I was on watch from 4 until 8, and did not personally instruct the 
men in charge of these compartments, but had warned them the night 
before, and I remember that they had all been turned in the night 
before, and on the night of February 15 I am almost positive that 
these men reported to me that their compartments were closed while I 
was officer of the deck. 

Q. Did you look at the keyboard that night? 

A. Yes, sir; when I was relieved for my dinner, in passing the key- 
board I glanced at it and remember seeing the numbers solid. 

Q. Were the regular 8 p. m. reports made to you that night? 

A. They were, sir. 

Q. Did you consider Seaman Neilson, temporarily in charge of the 
hold, a reliable man? 

A. I did, sir. 

Q. Had the magazines or shell rooms or any of them been open 
during your tour of duty, the dog watches that day? 

A. To my knowledge they had not, sir. 

Q. Had any of them been reported to you as open when you took 
the deck? 

A. Thev had not. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 239 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer, and by him pronounced cor- 
rect; whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

The court then (at 3.30 p. m.) adjourned until to-morrow Tuesday, 
March 8, 1898. at 10 o'clock a. m. 



TWELFTH DAY. 

U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, 10 a. m., Tuesday, March 8, 1898. 

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. 
Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and the 
stenographer. 
The proceedings of yesterday were then read over and approved. 

Gunner's Mate T. Smith, IT. S. Navy, a former witness, was then 
recalled, and cautioned by the president of the court that he was still 
under the oath he had taken. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Have you done any diving at the wreck of the Maine since your 
last testimony was given before this court ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. To whom did you report the results of your searches % 

A. Ensign Powelson. 

Q. When you made these reports were they as truthful as if you had 
been under oath 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you remember going down on Monday morning, February 28? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where did you go down? 

A. I went down along the after wing which forms the V. 

Q. Did you find the first longitudinal? 

A. The first longitudinal; yes, sir. 

Q. Did you find the bottom plate? 

A. Yes, sir; I did. 

Q. What was its condition? 

A. Condition, it was good. 

Q. Did you find any bottom plate broken with the edges pushed in? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where? 

A. The lower edges of the wing, and all around the edges of it was 
broken and jagged. 

Q. Was it pushed in from the green paint? 

A. It comes closer to the forward part of where it forms the V as 
you go down deep, and it has a sort of corrugated shape to it. 

Q. You went down' again on the afternoon of the same day, did you 
not? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You were sent down, I believe, to look for a circular hole. Do you 
remember? 

A. Yes, sir; that is what I was sent down for. 



240 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Where did you locate it? 

A. Between the sixth and seventh frame, and from the water's edge 
down. 

Q. What was the nature of the hole? 

A. It was a circular hole, sir, like one that had been there. There 
was just half of it there with the rivet holes. 

By the Court: 
Q. The rivet holes were in a straight line? 
A. No, sir; in a circular line. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Did you find a number of 6-pound shell there? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were there cartridges on them? 

A. Just the shell, sir. 

Q. On the morning of March 2, which is Wednesday morning, you 
went down again, I believe? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What was your purpose in going down that time; do you 
remember? 

A. I remember it was to find where the break of the vertical keel was. 

Q. Did you take anything with you for measurements? 

A. A 2-foot rule, sir. 

Q. What was the thickness of the vertical keel as you found it? 

A. About 5£ inches, sir, on the flange. 

Q. You found a four-way pipe, did you not? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you measure the distance from the vertical-keel break to the 
next frame forward ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you remember what this measurement was? 

A. Thirty-six inches, sir. 

Q. What was the width of the inner keel plate? 

A. The inner keel plate was 37 inches. 

Q. You went down again in the afternoon of the same dav, did you 
not? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. You looked then for the keel and found the vertical part, did you 
not ? 

A. Yes, sir. The horizontal part abaft the part which is now vertical, 

Q. Abaft the vertical part ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What did you find ? 

A. I found the vertical keel lying in a horizontal position. 

Q. Did you find a 10-inch shell there? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What else? 

A. A powder tank. 

Q. What else? 

A. A bunch of knapsacks. I sent them up from below. 

Q. Did you find a swab ? 

A. Yes, sir; I found a big magazine swab. 

Q. Was it burnt? 

A. No, sir; it was not. 

Q. What kind of a bend has the keel where it goes to the horizontal 
again? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 241 

A. It forms a sort of a V in there with the two angle irons that are 
bolted to the vertical keel, and also bolted to the skin of the double 
bottom, which is broken right in the corner where it forms the V. 

Q. Do I understand that the keel first bends forward and then goes 
aft? 

A. It first goes forward and then goes aft. 

Q. What is the distance, do you think, that it goes forward? 

A. Thirty-six inches, sir. 

Q. You then went down the keel into the mud? 

A. Yes, sir; I went off to the bottom of the plate. 

Q. What did you find there in the mud where the flat keel goes into 
the mud? 

A. I do not remember what I found there. 

Q. Do you remember finding a hole in the mud ? 

A. Yes, but in a different place, sir. It is by the bow where I found 
the hole. 

Q. Now tell us exactly where you found that hole. 

A. I followed the forward part of the wing that forms the V down 
until I came to the mud. I took a couple of steps aft and felt the 
vertical keel again, and followed it down until I came to the mud; then 
I was standing up straight until I could take my two hands so [wit- 
ness illustrated by extending his arms horizontally], out that way, and 
feel the mud all around. 

Q. How deep was this hole, do you think ? 

A. I should judge 7 feet. 

Q. How wide was it — the diameter, I mean ? 

A. About the same, sir. 

Q. Was the bottom of the hole hard at this place? 

A. The mud was a little harder than the other mud. You would not 
sink over 18 inches in that mud. 

Q. Can you locate this hole? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. By the frames, where was it? Locate it with the two V-shaped 
plates. Was it forward of the after V-shaped plate? 

A. The hole was about under the forward V-shaped plate. The 
largest part of the hole is on the port side of the ship. The keel can 
not be felt from the hole, and it seemed to be under the forward part of 
the forward V-shaped plate. 

Q. What did you find in this hole? 

A. I found a tin I should judge to be about 20 inches long and 10 
inches square. It looked like a can made up in a square, and 20 inches 
long. There was a place where a big square hole had been with a 
gasket. I sent it up to Mr. Powelson. 

Q. Were you down yesterday afternoon? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Tell to the court what you found. 

A. I was landed on top of the boiler — the forward boiler on the port 
side. What I found of it seemed to be in good condition. Between 
that boiler and the forward athwartship bulkhead I found two 10-inch 
shells and a 6-inch powder tank, and also a large copper pipe, about 4 
inches in diameter. That is all I haye to say about that for the present. 

Q. Where was this bulkhead, in regard to the boiler? 

A. It seemed to me to be between that boiler and some other boiler. 

Q. Was it forward of the boiler or abaft the boiler? 

A. It was abaft the boiler. 

Q. Did you send the 10-inch tank up? 
S. Doc. 207 16 



242 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. No, sir ; I did not. 

Q. What was its condition? 

A. It was split in the seam, the same as the rest. 

Q. Nothing in it? 

A. Excelsior. 

Q. You have no other report to make of yesterday's diving, have 
you? 

A. No, sir; I was hauled up at that time. 

Q. What is fast to the keel which now stands up and down? 

A. The vertical keel. On the starboard side there is the inner skin 
of the double bottom made fast to it, and on the port side part of the 
way it is torn off". 

Q. Torn off altogether? 

A. In some places on the port side it is torn off altogether. 

Q. What appearance does it make next to the keel; which way does 
it bulge? 

A. From the present position of the keel it bulges aft. 

Q. Were the keel horizontal would it bulge up? 

A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. All this is the inner bottom ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. In that part of the keel in the inner bend where the inner bottom 
is torn from the keel, can you tell us anything of the condition of the 
outer bottom? 

A. No, sir; I can not. I would have to walk around there and find 
that out to see what condition it is in. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness he was directed 
to hold himself in readiness to appear before the court whenever he had 
further testimony to give; whereupon, after being cautioned by the 
president not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

The court was then cleared (at 11.40 a. m.) for further discussion. 

The doors being opened, the court at 12.30 took a recess until 2 p. m. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge-advocate, and the 
stenographer. 

Naval Constructor J. B. Hoover appeared as a witness before the 
court and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. Please state your name, rank, and station. 

A. John B. Hoover, naval constructor, United States Navy. 

Q. Were you ordered by the Secretary of the Navy to assist this 
court of inquiry in their work? 

A. I was. 

Q. Have you visited the wreck of the Maine, and examined such 
portions as are above water? 

A. I have. 

Q. Do you recollect the three portions of wreck which are in a fore- 
and-aft line some distance forward of the middle superstructure? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Can you identify the after one of these three of this wreckage? 

A. I can. It is a portion of the ship from frame 17 showing a por- 
tion of the second longitudinal, and main frame 17, and the outside 



DESTKUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 243 

platings doubled — thrown up and doubled to starboard. Bottom plat- 
ings thrown up and doubled back. 

Q. What is the direction of frame 17 with regard to the fore-and-aft 
line of the ship at she now lies? 

A. Frame 17 f In relation to the fore-and-aft line of the ship ? Well, 
it is canted. The port frame is come up and gone over to starboard. 

Q. How far from the center line of the ship does the doubling in the 
plate occur? 

A. I can not say. 

Q. The frame 17 which appears above water, you say, how near was 
that to the vertical keel when in its normal state? 

A. About 5 feet from the middle line of the ship. 

Q. Did you measure the distance of frame 17 from some part of the 
ship which is in its normal position? 

A. Yes. I measured the distance from the after funnel, which is at 
frame 43, and which is about 93 feet G inches; that is, to the after object 
seen. 

Q. What would have been that distance had the ship been in its 
original shape from frame 43 to frame 17? 

A. It would be 103 feet and one-half. 

Q. Did you examine the next object forward of this one? What is 
that? 

A. That is a portion of the protective deck abreast of the chain 
locker. 

Q. Which side of the protective deck ? 

A. The port side. 

Q. Did you measure that from the same normal part of the ship ? 

A. I did. 

Q. What was the distance? 

A. 109 feet 6 inches. 

Q. What would that distance have been with the ship in its normal 
condition ? 

A. That was opposite the chain lockers. It ought to be just the 
same, 103 feet 6 inches. 

Q. Did you examine the the third piece of wreckage forward of the 
second ? 

A. I did. 

Q. What did you identify that to be? 

A. As a portion of the berth deck, but broken off at frame 19 with 
the part of the cellulose compartment bulkhead attached to it, and 
showing one scupper hole, going up from frame 19 and taking in frames 
18 and 17. 

Q. Which side of the berth deck was this? 

A. That was on the port side, and it was twisted right around to 
starboard looking forward. 

Q. What was the distance from the same normal point in the ship? 

A. That would be 130 feet. 

Q. Then, according to your statement, the lower portion of the ship 
near the keel, at frame 17, was thrown up and abaft the same portion 
of the ship at a higher deck. 

A. Thrown up and abaft the same portion of the ship at the berth 
deck and at the protective deck. 

Q. The part of the protective deck was thrown up between the lower 
portion and the berth deck portion, was it not? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Did you examine the line of keel which these three pieces of 



244 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

wreckage show you and compare it with the line of keel in the after 
part of the ship! 

A. I did in this way only — by sighting through as near as I could see. 

Q. Did you find that this line of keel in the wreck is in line with the 
after keel line of the ship? 

A. They are on the port side of the original keel. 

Q. How much? 

A. In the neighborhood of 4 to 5 feet, but they are canted to star- 
board. 

Q. Were you able to see anything below water at these three pieces 
of wreckage? 

A. Nothing that I could recognize. 

By the Court : 

Q. According to your statement, these three pieces of wreckage — the 
bottom of the ship, the protective deck, and the berth deck — all three 
of which show above the water at present, and all coining from points 
which were nearly in the same vertical plane: Now, then, the piece of 
the berth deck, forward portion of the three, which is now forward of 
the other two. 

A. The protective deck comes next and the bottom comes last. 
Then the bottom of the ship, as it now stands, has been turned nearly 
90 degrees — revolved nearly 90 degrees. 

Q. The protective deck has been revolved how much? 

A. About the same. 

Q. And the berth deck? 

A. The berth deck, I think, a little more than the others. It seems 
to be twisted more. 

Q. With these three decks, one above the other, the upper one has 
gone forward and been turned through an angle of 90 degrees? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Did all these pieces that show above water belong to the port 
side on the port side of the keel? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Except the protective deck? Is that on the port side? 

A. The protective deck is on the port side also, but not all of it. 

Q. Yes, but what there is on it came from the port side? 

A. I did not mean that, exactly. 

Q. What position does the forward G-inch magazine occupy with 
reference to this portion of the bottom of the ship, the protective deck, 
and the berth deck which have been displaced as described? 

A. The forward part of the 6-inch magazine is just below the three 
pieces of deck as they originally were. The forward 6-inch magazine 
begins at frame 18. The wreckage goes from 17 to 19. 18 is a water-tight 
bulkhead. The magazine goes from 18 to 21. There are two maga- 
zines there. In 18 to 21 is the forward magazine. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, he was directed 
to appear to morrow, to read his testimony, at 10 a. in.; and after being 
warned by the president of the court not to converse regarding the 
inquiry he withdrew. 

Carpenter Helm, U. S. Navy, a former witness, was recalled and 
warned by the president of the court that he was still under oath which 
he had taken. 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. Since you have given your last testimony before this court have 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 245 

you made an examination of that portion of the wreck of the Maine 
which is above the water? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do yon remember the three portions of wreckage which appeared 
in a normal fore-and-aft line some distance forward of the middle super- 
structure? 

A. Tes, sir. 

Q. Can you identify the after one of these three pieces of wreckage 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; that is a piece of outside plating with second longitudinal, 
frame 17 and frame 18. 

Q. How near the keel is that portion of frame 17 which you see above 
the water? 

A. About 10 feet. 

Q. Can you identify the second piece of wreckage — the one forward 
of this? 

A. Yes, sir; that is the protective deck, in wake of the sheet-chain 
locker, on the port side. The highest point is frame 18, being below 
frame 17, and frame 16 just under the water. 

Q. Are these three frames 18, 17, and 16 in a vertical line? 

A. Well, they are at about an angle of nearly about 60 degrees. 

Q. Is the upper frame forward or aft? 

A. The upper frame is forward. 

Q. What do you mean by the upper frame? 

A. Eighteen is the highest one. 

Q. What is the third and forward piece of wreckage? 

A. That is part of the first deck bulkhead which helped to form the 
cellulose compartment. The highest point is frame 19, 18 next, and 17 
is under the water. The pipe hole through that deck belongs to one of 
the forward scuppers. 

Q. What is the general direction of these three frames 19, 18, and 17 ? 

A. I guess they would be pretty near at an angle of 80 degrees from 
the horizontal. 

Q. The top one forward or aft? 

A. No. 19 forward. 

Q. Which side of the berth deck and what portion of it do you iden- 
tify this as being? 

A. Port side, frame 19. 

Q. And the cellulose bulkhead is also from the port side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do these three pieces of wreckage seem to you to be twisted 
around? 

A. From aft to forward they are twisted about 90 degrees and turned 
completely around. 

By the Court : 

Q. What was originally the relative positions of these three pieces 
of wreckage? 

A. Well, they were all parts of decks running fore and aft. They 
were practically in a vertical position over one another. 19, 18, and 
17 are within the vicinity of 16, 17, 18, and 19 frames. 

Q. How do you think they got into their present condition? 

A. That is beyond me, Captain. 

Q. Are they all in the same position with reference to the horizontal 
that they were originally? 

A. No, they are thrown forward of one another. They are right for- 
ward of one another. The inner bottom seems to come right up and 
over. The berth deck extends nearly vertical now, with the upper side 



246 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

of the deck to pbit. The protective deck stands about 60 degrees to 
port and slants about 60 degrees to vertical. The upper side faces for- 
ward. The top of the protective deck faces also to port and slightly- 
forward. 

Q. Taking the superstructure of the ship between frames 18 and 24, 
which do you regard as affording the greater resistance, the pressure 
from the interior or the exterior? 

A. I think the double bottom. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. Where were the knapsacks and infantry equipments stowed in the 
Maine f 

A. I think they were stowed in the compartment All. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness he was directed 
to appear to-morrow at 10 a. m. to read over his testimony ; whereupon, 
after being warned by the president of the court not to discuss matters 
pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

Consul-General Fitzhugh Lee appeared as a witness before the 
court, and was duly sworn by the president. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state your full name and your official position. 

A. Fitzhugh Lee, United States consul-general at Havana. 

Q. When were you first notified of the intended arrival of the battle 
ship Maine f 

A. Twenty-fourth of January, 1898. I have the telegram here and 
will read it: 

It is the purpose of this Government to resume the friendly naval visits at Cuban 
ports. In that view the Maine will call at the port of Havana in a day or two. 
Please arrange for the friendly interchange of calls with the authorities. 

Day. 

Q. How long after the receipt of this telegram did the Maine arrive? 

A. She arrived the next morning, at about 11 o'clock, I think. 

Q. Had you notified the authorities at Havana of her intended 
arrival ? 

A. After receiving that telegram I went down to the palace and no- 
tified the authorities, and read the telegram to them. That was on the 
afternoon of the 24th of January. Immediately after having received 
the telegram above referred to I sent the following reply to the State 
Department : 

Havana, January 24. 

Advise visit be postponed six or seven days to give last excitement more time to 
disappear. Will see authorities and let you know. Governor-General away for two 
weeks. I should know day and hour visit. 

Lee. 

The following morning I sent the following telegram to the State 
Department : 

[In cipher.] 

Havana, January 25. 
At an interview authorities profess to think United States has ulterior pur- 
pose in sending ship. Say it will obstruct autonomy, produce excitement, and most 
probably a demonstration. Ask that it is not done until they can get instructions 
from Madrid, and say that if for friendly purposes, as claimed, delay unimportant. 

Lee. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 247 

And after arrival of the Maine I sent the following telegram to the 
Department : 

Havana, January 25. 
Ship quietly arrived, 11 a. m. to-day; no demonstration so far. 

Lee. 

After sending the telegram of the 24th I received the following reply 
on the 25th: 

Maine has been ordered. Will probably arrive at Havana some time to-morrow, 
Tuesday. Can not tell hour. Possibly early. Cooperate with the authorities for 
her friendly visit. Keep us advised by frequent telegrams. 

Day. 

There being no further questions to ask the witness, his testimony 
was read over to him by the stenographer and by him pronounced cor- 
rect; whereupon he withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

The court then (at 5 p. m.) adjourned to meet to-morrow, Wednesday, 
March 9, at 10 o'clock a. m. 



THIRTEENTH DAY. 

U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, Wednesday, March 9, 1898 — 10 a. m. 
The court met, pursuant to adjournment of yesterday, the twelfth 
day of the inquiry. 

Present: All the members of the court, the judge- advocate, and the 
stenographer. 
The record of the proceedings of yesterday was read and approved. 

Naval Constructor Hoover appeared before the court. 

By the Judge-Advocate : 
Q. Have you read over the testimony .which you gave yesterday 
before this court 1 ? 
A. I have. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded? 
A. It is. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

Carpenter Helm appeared before the court. 

By the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. Have you read over the testimony which you gave before the 
court yesterday ? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded"? 
A. Yes, sir; it is. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 



248 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Ensign W. V. IS. Powelson, U. S. Navy, a former witness, was 
recalled, and, having been warned by the president that he was still 
under the oath he had previously taken, testified as follows: 

Examined by tin Judgke-Advocate : 

Q. Have you read over the testimony which you gave before this 
court last Monday ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded ? 

A. With one exception. On page 492, third line from the bottom, 
next to the last word, change "of" to "with." 

Q. Is yonr testimony as amended now correct? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Since giving that testimony have you taken an angle which would 
show the position of the rani with regard to the keel of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Will you please state how you dia it, and the result? 

A. I sent a diver down to make a lead line fast as near to the point 
on the ram as possible. He could not find the point of the ram, as it 
was in the mud, and he made his lead line fast to some weights along- 
side a ram plate at a distance which he estimated from the curve of 
the keel at that point and the stem of the ship to be about 5 feet 
abaft the ram point. I sent a man out in a boat to plumb this point on 
the ram plate. I also sent a diver down to make a line fast to the verti- 
cal keel where this broken place occurs at frame 18. I then got in a 
boat and plumbed this latter point, and took an angle between the 
plumb line of the armor plate and the center of the after funnel of the 
Maine, which occupied probably its original position. 

This angle I measured to be 104°. Standing in the same position I 
measured an angle between the funnel to which I have referred and the 
mainmast of the ship. The angle was 2° 10'. I was at that time to 
port of the line connecting the funnel and the mainmast. I took a 
measurement with a tape line from the plumb of the ram and the 
plumb of the break in the vertical keel, at frame 18. I found this to be 
42 feet. I measured the distance from the funnel to the plumb of 
the ram and found it to be 99 feet. I measured the distance from the 
funnel to the plumb of the vertical keel at frame 18 and found it to be 
8G feet. 

Q. Did you yesterday afternoon send Diver Olsen down to examine 
the break in the ship's side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where did he descend? 

A. He went down at about frame 41, that being the most forward 
point of the armor plate which is now attached to the ship. 

Q. On which side of the ship? 

A. On the port side. 

Q. How much water was there at the plumb line to the ram? 

A. I think it was about 35 feet. 

By the Court: 

Q. Now, did the measurements which you made with reference to the 
position of the ram enable you to determine how the keel of the ship 
attached to the ram laid? 

A. I have not made any drawings from these measurements. / 

Q. That is one thing we would like to know — how the keel lies. 

A. I will take measurements of everything and let you know. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 249 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, he was directed 
to hold himself in readiness to give further testimony, and after being 
cautioned by the president not to converse about matters pertaining to 
the inquiry he withdrew. 

Chief Gunner's Mate A. Olsen, U. S. Navy, a former witness, was 
recalled, and, having been warned by the president that he was still 
under the oath he had previously taken, testified as follows: 

Examined by the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. Have you read over the testimony which you gave before this 
court last Monday? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded ? 

A. It is correct except in two places. 

On page 523, eleventh line, after the words "with the," insert "ram 
plate on bow of ship." 

On page 521, fifth line, it should be " U iron" instead of "V iron." 

Q. Is your testimony, as amended, now correct? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Olsen, will you state to the court what you mean by the ram plate 
which you can feel? 

A, The ram plate — it is fastened on the bow of the ship. It extends 
out from the ship about 10 or 12 inches — a heavy plate. 

Q. Is it convex on the outside? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Does this plate you speak of extend fore and aft on the whole of 
the ship? 

A. Fore and aft; yes, sir. 

Q. Have you been down diviug since you gave your last testimony? 

A. Yes, sir; I was down yesterday, Monday evening, and yesterday 
all day. 

Q. Please state what you found. 

A. I went down Monday night, after I left the court here, to look for 
a piece of wire, of which I spoke, but I could not find it. Then I went 
down again yesterday morning, following the outside of the ship fore 
and aft, looking for this wire, which I could not find. I gave that up 
entirely and started to overhaul the bottom of the ship at that point. 
I found where I went down, at frame 31, at the armor plate, that I could 
feel the bottom of the ship forward for ten frame spaces. At the end of 
ten frame spaces and at frame 31, 1 found her to be cut off entirely. That 
is as far as I could walk in the mud. Then I went back again, and I 
counted six frame spaces from the armor plate forward. That is about 
frame 35, and from there forward I found to be blown up and over to 
starboard, this point of the bottom being much higher than at any other 
place along the edge of the bottom abaft this point. Then I tried to 
locate this point, where she was broken up, and I found a manhole, to 
which I attached a line, which is fast over there now on the scow. You 
can plumb that point at any time by the line. 

At frame 31 I found the bilge keel, and followed the break in amid- 
ships as far as I could. I followed it in to about 4 or 5 feet inside of 
the bilge keel, and could not go farther on account of wreckage. Then 
I came up and went down in the afternoon forward to locate the bow. 
I went down the bow of the ship at the ram plate, and I could not walk 
any farther forward on account of the wreckage, but I walked out clear 
of the ship to port and forward about 10 feet. Then I walked in again 



250 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

over to starboard, and I got right down to the bow of the ship and fol- 
lowed the flat surface of the bow right forward until I came to a hawse 
pipe. I felt all around this to see if I could feel the chain, but I could 
not ; but I dug the mud out underneath and found another hawse pipe 
with chain. 

Q. Which bow was that? 

A. The port bow. Then I went farther forward, about 5 or 6 feet, 
and I could feel the top keel of the ship. I found the shape of the keel 
bent, the iron keel, around the forecastle. Underneath the keel I found 
scroll work on the bow of the ship and over this hawse pipe, but I 
found no chain. I found a cover that covers the hawse pipe, with two 
hinges and a guy made fast on this plate, down in the mud — I think 
originally made fast on the bow of the ship — and tried to haul it in, 
but could not get in the slack, so I cut the mousing that hooks where it 
was hooked into the plate. Then I followed the chain out from the 
hawse pipe, out to port from the ship, and found the port anchor in the 
mud. Then I found another chain leading out, I think, from the star- 
board bow underneath and out. I think that chain runs to a bow, but 
I did not locate that spot. 

Q. When you first descended where the armor is broken off, what 
frame is that? 

A. Frame 41, sir. 

Q. What is the appearance of the edge of the ship's bottom, from 
frame 41 to frame 35? 

A. The edge is ragged, going forward between frames 35 and 41, sir. 

Q. Are there any ragged points tending in or out? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. From frame 35 to frame 31, you say, the ragged edge slopes in 
toward the keel? 

A. Yes, sir; in and up. 

Q. Then the appearance of things there at frame 35 would indicate 
that the ship's keel commences to be lifted? 

A. Yes, sir; seemingly on account of the plates here being so much 
higher, and further aft the rest of the ship being in the mud so far. 

Q. Then you are able to get underneath the bottom of the ship for- 
ward of frame 35 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How much plating should you say is left on the keel at frame 35? 

A. The bottom of the ship is attached to about the fourth longitudinal. 

Q. At frame 31 how much plating is attached to the bottom of the 
ship from the keel out? 

A. To about the fourth longitudinal at this point also. 

Q. At frame 31 you say the bottom of the ship seems to have disap- 
peared forward of 31 ? 

A. Forward of 31, yes, sir. 

Q. Have you endeavored to find the keel itself forward of 31 ? 

A. Yes, sir; but could not get in amidships as far as the keel ought 
to be, on account of the wreckage. 

Q. Where did you again find the keel forward of 31? 

A. The only place forward of 31 where 1 found the bottom of the 
keel is at frame 18. 

Q. What is the condition of the keel between 18 and 22? 

A. From 18 aft the keel goes down vertically — that is, the inner skin 
of the double bottom, not the keel — goes down vertically for a space of 
about 20 feet, and then goes aft, sloping lower and lower as far aft as 
you go. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 251 

Q. At what frame did you find the bilge keel? 

A. At frame 31. 

Q. What was the appearance of this bilge keel? 

A. It was the wood part of that keel that was ragged and torn. 

Q. Could you feel the after break of the keel — the bilge keel? 

A. I could feel the break of the bilge keel where she was broken at 
frame 31; forward of that it was gone. 

Q. What was the condition of the bilge keel and the wood on it, as 
you say; where you did find it? 

A. The steel part of the bilge keel was broken off, showing rough 
edges, and the wooden part, extending forward of it, was ragged and 
torn in splinters. 

Q. At what frame did you find the fourth longitudinal, clear of the 
bottom plating of the ship? 

A. At frame 31. 

Q. How far did the longitudinal extend forward clear of the plating? 

A. About 2 or 3 feet. I didn't measure it. 

Q. What became of it then ? 

A. It was broken off. It did not extend any farther forward. 

Q. In what direction did this few feet of longitudinal run? 

A. Seemingly it appeared to be in its normal condition, not bent out 
of shape. 

Q. When you looked for the bow of the ship did you again find it 
was over on the starboard side? 

A. Yes, sir. I could feel over the rail on the bow of the ship and 
feel the mud. The starboard side must be covered with mud. 

Q. She seemed to be lying on the starboard side? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Which way did the keel go, with the line of the mud — up and out? 
Did it go aft and parallel to the line of the mud? 

A. The keel is up and over to starboard a little aft. 

Q. Counting from the stem aft? 

A. Where the keel is out of the mud, up over to starboard, a little 
aft. 

Q. Did you take the depth of water over the break of the keel at 
frame 18? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How much was it? 

A. Six feet of water, sir. 

Q. Did you plumb it at the top of the frame, or where? 

A. At the point where the keel plates are broken away from the 
bottom angle irons of the vertical keel. 

Q. Did you plumb and take depths of the bend of the keel lower 
down? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What depth did you find? 

A. It was 25 feet. 

Q. Twenty- three feet? 

A. I think so. 

Q. I would like you to get that exact. What part of the bend did 
you plumb with your line ? 

A. I plumbed the point where she starts to go aft — where the vertical 
keel comes down and goes aft. 

Q. Did you plumb the top of the vertical keel? 

A. It was the inner skin of the double bottom. 



252 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. While down diving since you gave your last testimony have you 
looked for the keel on the port side of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir; I have been looking for the coal. I was told Monday to 
look for the coal, and every time 1 have been down since I have looked 
for it, but have not been able to find it. 

Q. On the port side of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Have you looked as far forward as "B?" 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And as far aft as frame 41 f 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Well out from the ship? 

A. Yes, sir; as much as 20 feet from the ship. 

Q. In toward the ship? 

A. Yes, sir; inside, and bottom. 

Q. Did you find much wreckage on the port side? 

A. No, sir; no wreckage there. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, he was directed 
to appear to-morrow to read over his testimony, and to hold himself in 
readiness to give further testimony. Whereupon, having been cau- 
tioned by the president not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry, 
he withdrew. 

Gunner's Mate T. Smith appeared before the court. 
By the Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Have you read over your testimony which you gave before this 
court yesterday? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as it is recorded? 

A. Yes, sir; with the exception of one mistake. On the seventh line 

of page , change "five and one-half to "five-eighths," so as to read 

" five-eighths of an inch." 

Q. Is your testimony as now recorded correct? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Have you been down since you gave your last testimony? 

A. No, sir ; I have not. 

The witness then withdrew, after being cautioned by the president 
not to discuss matters pertaining to the inquiry. 

The court then, at 11.45, took a recess until 2 p. m. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 

Present: All the members, the judge-advocate, and the stenographer. 

Gunner's Mate Schluter, a former witness, was then recalled, and, 
after being warned by the president of the court that he was still under 
the oath he had taken, testified as follows : 

Examined by Judge- Advocate : 

Q. Have you read over the record of your testimony which you gave 
before this court last Monday? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded ? 

A. It is, sir, with the exception of two lines. On page 507, eighth 
line, the word "plates" should read "breaks." On page 509, second 
line, the word "plate" should read "break." 

Q. As amended, is it now a correct record? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 253 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Have you been down diving since you gave your last testimony? 

A. Yes, sir. I was down yesterday. 

Q. Please tell to the court what you did and found. 

A. I was dressed and lowered down by order of Mr. Powelson to 
look for boilers, if I could find them. While I was down, crawling 
down a little ways I found a boiler. I crawled all around it and all 
over it, and found it to be in good condition. Then, while I was on top 
of the boiler, I hit my helmet up against a plate overhead, and while 
crawling up on top of there I found a piece of wire. This wire looked 
to me not to belong to the ship, so I cut off a piece of it and sent it 
up on the line. After Mr. Powelson had inspected it, he called me up, 
and then sent me down again, telling me to saw off a piece of the wire 
and send it up. I went down again in the afternoon and tried to locate 
it, and did so after an hour or so. I tied the line to it and pulled in as 
much slack as I could, then sawed it off. Then I signaled for them to 
haul it up. They took it on board the Fern to Mr. Wainwright, who 
said it was telophotos wire. 

Q. Where was this boiler situated that you found? 

A. This boiler was situated about 20 feet forward of the crane, 
thwart ships. 

Q. On which side of the ship? 

A. A little over on the port side, sir. 

Q. Did you find any other boilers? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you look for them? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Where? 

A. In the same place and a little to the left of the one I found and 
abaft of it. 

By the Court : 

Q. What prevented you from finding them? 

A. A lot of wreckage, sir, over which I had to crawl. 

Q. Looking at the plan of the ship, which boiler is it that you think 
you found? 

A. I think it is the forward one. [Here witness pointed out the port 
forward boiler.] 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him and by him pronounced to be correct; after 
which he withdrew. 

Gunner's Mate Rundquist, a former witness, was then recalled, and 
after having been cautioned by the president of the court that he was 
still under the oath which he had taken, he testified as follows: 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Have you read over the record of your testimony given before 
this court on Monday last? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded? 

A. Yes, sir; it is, with the exception of on page 501, end of line 6, 
strike out "forward of." Same page, line 16, "piece of keel" should 
read "piece of coal." After that the word "ram-plate" appears several 
times, and should in each case read "armor- plate." 

Q. Is your testimony, as amended, now correct? 



254 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Have you been down diving since you gave that testimony? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Tell us what you did. 

A. I went down on Monday afternoon and examined the boilers. I 
landed in a place that looked to be something like a big shell or compart- 
ment. It may have been a boiler blown in. The top part of it was 
blown away; the sides were sloping up. I could not say what it was. 
I examined it, and it looked to be a place measuring inside 10 feet wide, 
and of the same length. I found a big square hole in the bottom of it, 
and going through, got out among a lot of coal. I was feeling around 
for some time and got hold of some pipe. I sent up a piece of pipe and 
also got some asbestus after I had come up out of the square hole. 

Then I went to the other side of this place where I came down and 
found some wire netting. I put my hand through this netting, and it 
was all carried away, and found something that looked to be the end of 
a boiler or what appeared to be the end of a boiler. There were lots of 
nuts. I think there were eleven of them ; but I found I could not count 
them all. They were six-cornered nuts and measured 4£ inches across. 
The top of the boiler looked to be in good condition. I was sitting on 
top of this boiler and examining it when I got the signal to come up. 
I was down only a short time. I also found three 10-inch shells inside 
this place where I landed when I first came down. That was all 
that day. 

Q. What part of the ship was this place in where you first landed? 

A. That was on the port side of the ship. I should say it must have 
been somewhere about there. [Witness pointed out coal bunker B. 4.] 

Q. Where was this boiler that you landed on; can you point that 
out ? 

A. No, sir; I do not know where I landed. 

Q. Where did you go down when you landed on that boiler? 

A. From the lighter on the port side. 

Q. Then you went down forward of the crane? 

A. Forward of the crane; yes, sir. 

Q. Have you looked for any coal on the port side of the ship ? 

A. Yes, sir; I have been looking for coal. I found some coal after 
going through the square hole. I was not on the bottom of the ship. 
It must have been some place inside of the ship. It may have been in 
a coal .bunker. 

Q. Did you go down again ? 

A. Not that day. I went down this morning. 

Q. State to the court where you went down and what you found. 

A. I had orders to go down and look for powder tanks. I went 
down from the lighter on the starboard side and landed about midships 
among a lot of wreckage. I was walkiug around there and got hold 
of three 10-inch shells lying fiat down. I tried to lift them up, but 
could not on account of the wreckage. I walked away from there 
and found a 6-inch shell with the straps on. I sent it up. I also found 
a 10-inch powder tank, which I sent up. I was walking over a lot of 
plates and wreckage down there and did not find any more powder 
tanks, but found different parts of the ship. I then got a signal to 
come up. The second time to day I landed close to a heavy piece of 
plating. I examined it and found it to be armor belonging to the 
transverse armor, because it was about the same thickness all over. I 
should say that it was about inches thick, as well as I could measure 
it with my fingers. I went over this and lowered myself over the other 



DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 255 

side to what looked to be a wing passage, and this plate was standing 
up. I examined this for some time, when I got the signal to come up. 

Q. When you first landed on the 10-inch shell, were these three shells 
ranged together 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; they were lying side by side. 

Q. Noses which way! 

A. Toward starboard, I should say, from where I was, down below. 

Q. Which way did you walk before you found the 6-inch shell 1 ? 

A. I found the 6-inch shell close to these — only a few feet apart. 

Q. What was the condition of the powder tank you sent up? 

A. The top and the bottom of it was gone; the rest of it was in good 
condition ; not split or anything in it. 

Q. Empty? 

A. Empty. 

Q. Which way did you walk when you found the armor that you 
speak of? 

A. I walked aft. 

Q. Aft? 

A. Aft and to starboard. 

Q. Which way was this armor plating standing? 

A. It was standing on the end, sloping over to port. 

Q. Was it fore and aft, or was it athwartships? 

A. No, sir; it was neither way. It was standing in an angle facing 
the starboard bow and port quarter. 

Q. How large was this plate? 

A. I did not measure the length of it, but I extended my two arms 
and could not reach the end of it. 

Q. What side of the ship was it in? 

A. Starboard side, sir. 

Q. Are yon sure it did not increase in thickness as it went down? 

A. Yes, sir; it may have increased, but if it did, it was very little. 

Q. How far from the top did you feel? 

A. I felt and followed one edge down until I got to the corner, and 
felt the same thickness. 

Q. How deep did you say it was? 

A. Six or seven feet. 

By the Court : 

Q. What did it rest on? 

A. It looked like it had been jammed in amongst some wreckage, and 
it also rested on the bottom of the ship and the passageway that I got 
into. I went over the plate and got into the wing passage on the star- 
board side of the ship. It was very dark, and I could hardly distin- 
guish anything. 

Q= Did you see the armor plate that has been reported in previous 
testimony ? 

A. Yes, sir; I seen the armor plate on the port side the first time I 
went dowu. This is not the same armor, because that plate had some 
wood backing, but I could not find any wood backing on this one. 

Q. Was not that first plate in the neighborhood of the one you just 
described? 

A. No, sir; the first plate was more on the port side. This one was 
well out toward starboard. 

Q. Did you, on that occasion, feel the side of the ship when you 
examined that plate? 

A. Do you mean the first plate or the one I examined to-day? 



256 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. The one you examined to-day. 

A. Yes, sir ; I found the inside of the ship ; that is, it felt to ine like the 
inside of the ship. I found the slope of the ship and found beams 
extending out — 4 or 5 feet between each beam. 

Q. Were there any bolts in this armor plate 1 ? 

A. No, sir; I could not feel any. I was feeling all over with my 
hands, but could not feel either bolts or places for them. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, the testimony 
was read over to him, and by him pronounced correct, and after being 
cautioned by the president of the court not to converse upon matters 
pertaining to the court he withdrew. 

There being no further testimony ready to give, the court (at 3.45) 
adjourned to meet to-morrow, Thursday, at 10 in the morning. 



FOURTEENTH DAY. 

U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, Cuba, Thursday, March 10, 1898 — 10 a. m. 
The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. 
Present: All the members, the judge-advocate, and stenographer, 
Chief Yeoman F. J. Buenzle, U. S. Navy; Messrs. Hulse and Bisselle 
having been discharged. 

The record of proceedings of yesterday was then read over and 
approved. 

The court was then cleared for deliberation. 

The doors were opened at 12 o'clock and the court proceeded to the 
wreck. On the return of the court from the wreck a recess was taken 
until 2 p. m. 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 

Present: All the members, the judge advocate, and the stenog- 
rapher. 

The court again visited the wreck. 

On returning from the wreck, at 3 p. in., there being no further evi- 
dence ready, the court adjourned to meet to-morrow at 10 a. m. 



FIFTEENTH DAY. 

U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, Cuba, Friday, March 11, 1898 — 10 a. m. 

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. 

Present: All the members, the judge advocate, and the stenogra- 
pher. 

The court was then cleared for consultation. 

Two members of the court visited the wreck, and returned with some 
of the mud taken from the bottom of the harbor where the wreck of 
the Maine is now lying. This mud, after having been dried, was ignited 
by a match, and burned readily, the smoke having a strong odor of gun- 
powder. 

At 12.15 the court took a recess until 2 p. m. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 257 

Tlie court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 
Present: All the members, the judge-advocate, and the stenogra- 
pher. Captain Sigsbee also entered the court. 

Commander G. A. Converse, U. S. Navy, was summoned by the 
court as an expert witness, and, having been duly sworn by the presi- 
dent of the court, testified as follows : 

Questioned by Judge-Advocate: 

Q. What is your name, rank, and present station ? 

A. George A. Converse; commander, TJ. S. Navy; commanding the 
U. S. S. Montgomery: 

Q. How long have you been in the naval service? 

A. Thirty-six and one-half years, sir. 

Q. Have you made a study of the nature and effects of explosives? 

A. Yes, sir; considerable. 

Q. Please state to the court what duties you have had on shore which 
brought you in close contact with this subject. 

A. About eleven years at the torpedo station ; commencing in 1869. 

Q. When were you at the torpedo station last! 

A. In June, 1897. 

Q. Had you then been in charge of torpedo supplies'? 

A. Yes, sir; for over four years. 

Examined by the Court: 

Q. Did you, while at the torpedo station, have many opportunities 
to witness the explosion of submarine mines'? 

A. Yes, sir; very frequent opportunities. 

Q. What material — what explosives w T ere used 1 ? 

A. Gunpowder, nitroglycerin, dynamite, and gun cotton. 

Q. What quantities of these materials have you seen used for such 
purposes at any one time? 

A. The largest quantity I have ever seen used consisted of a torpedo 
containing 300 pounds of gunpowder and 200 pounds of dyuamite, all 
in separate cases — 100 pounds in each case — securely lashed together. 
Single charges of gunpowder of 150 pounds; charges of nitroglycerin 
of about 100 pounds; charges of dynamite of about 100 pounds, and 
charges of gun cotton of about 120 pounds. 

(A plan of the forward magazine and shell room of the Maine was 
then shown to the witness.) 

Q. Examine that blue print, Captain Converse, and tell the court if, 
in your opinion, one or more of those magazines should explode or par- 
tially explode in that ship would such an explosion lift the forward 
body of the ship partly out of the water? 

A. I don't think it would lift the ship out of the water. 

Q. Will you please give the court your reasons for thinking so? 

A. I think that the body of the ship, water borne in all directions, 
would tend to offer a resistance which would cause a general effect of 
a large explosion to be exerted upward; and that an explosion tend- 
ing to lift the ship up would necessarily have to be diffused over a very 
large surface. 

Q. Suppose that a submarine mine explodes adjacent to the side or 
bottom of a ship thus water borne; what will be the direction of the 
explosion ? 

A. It exerts some effect in all directions, but the most violent effect 
S, Doc, 207 17 



258 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

in the direction of the least resistance, and that depends entirely upon 
the depth of the explosion below the surface of the water. 1 believe it 
to be possible to explode moderate charges of gunpowder against the 
sides of a strong ship and do very little damage, if the center of the 
charge is comparatively near the surface of the water; but if the cen- 
ter of the charge is well below the surface of the water, so that it will 
afford a large amount of water-tamping, then an injury will be done 
to the ship, while there will be comparatively little disturbance of the 
water at the surface. 

Q. Supposing the charge to be a large one, and placed under the 
bottom of the ship where the water is only 8 or 10 feet below the bottom 
of the ship, what will be the direction of the explosion? 

A. It would depend very much upon the position of the torpedo with 
regard to the bottom of the ship ; that is to say, whether the torpedo 
was in close contact with the bottom, or was lying on the ground at 
some distance below the bottom of the ship, with water intervening. 
If the torpedo contained a large amount of explosive, and were placed 
in contact with the bottom of the ship, it is my opinion that it would 
endanger the ship by blowing a well-defined hole through it. The size 
of the hole depends, of coarse, upon the distance of the center of the 
charge from the skin of the ship. If, however, the charge is on the 
bottom of the harbor, and a depth of water of several feet intervened 
between it and the bottom of the ship, I think the tendency would be 
to lift the ship bodily ; in other words, it would cause a large upheaval 
of water similar in effect to a large wave striking the ship, at a point 
directly over the mine — would tend to lift the body of the ship at that 
place exactly as the crest of a wave. 

Q. In case of the explosion of a submarine mine under the bottom 
of a vessel, as you have described it, the effect upon a vessel, either 
in lifting her bodily, of blowing a hole in the bottom, would depend 
upon the size of the charge and its proximity to the bottom of the 
ship, would it not? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. If the charge is sufficiently large, and near enough to the bottom 
of the ship, both of these phenomena would take place — ship lifted up 
and the bottom blown in? 

A. Yes, sir. A point to be taken into consideration is the nature of 
the explosives employed. Gunpowder is the more moderate explosive, 
and tends to produce a greater upheaval of water, as a rule, than do 
the more violent explosives, which, in proportion to their violence, 
seem to cut a hole out of the water, lifting in the shape of a line spray 
all that directly above the charge. To illustrate this point, and the 
injury sometimes done by high explosives, I cite the case of the 
Aquidaban, which, according to authentic photographs, had holes 
blown completely through from one side to the other by charges of gun 
cotton; whereas I have seen wooden vessels of comparatively good size, 
in which large quantities of gunpowder have been exploded, without 
injuring the vessel to any great extent, there being in the latter case 
simply a large upheaval of water, to which the vessel rose and fell 
exactly as she would have done in a heavy sea. 

Q. What is your experience, Captain, in the case of the explosion of 
a submarine mine, as to what becomes of the mine; of the case itself? 

A. I have rarely seen any considerable pieces of mine, whether they 
consisted of powder or of more violent explosives which have been found ; 
they are almost invariably ruptured and lost. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 259 

Q. That is to say they are not blown up? 

A. They are blown up. That is noticeable in the case of spar torpe- 
does, in which I have exploded gunpowder and gun cotton, in cases 
made of wood, cast iron, copper, and steel, and perhaps other metals. 
In all my experience I do not recollect to have seen any considerable 
pieces of any case after an explosion. Sometimes small fragments of 
cast iron have been seen, and, on one or two occasions, thrown into a 
boat, indicating a complete demolition of the case containing the explo- 
sive. 

. Q. In the case of a submarine mine that was exploded under the 
bottom of the ship, and containing sufficient explosive to completely 
destroy the ship in that region, would your remarks about the subma- 
rine mine case itself apply to the bottom of the ship which is submerged, 
not referring at all to the interior portion of the ship? 

A. In the case of all mines the form of the mine is usually such as 
to contain only the amount of the explosives used, and hence there 
must be a rupture of the case for the gases to escape. Were the mine 
in contact with the ship, or quite close to it, I think the effect on the 
bottom of the ship would be — depending, of course, upon the size of 
the mine — to blow to pieces that part of the ship directly over the 
center of the explosion, and rending and tearing the bottom of the ship 
from the center in different directions, the amount of damage depend- 
ing entirely upon the quantity and nature of the explosive employed. 
In other words, that the violent explosive would cut a hole, blowing 
that part that was cut out into small fragments, and that the size of 
the hole would depend entirely upon the size of the charge employed. 

Q. Captain, will you please examine the sketches which have been 
shown you aud tell the court whether, in your opinion, the explosion 
of one or all of these forward magazines, or their partial explosion, 
would leave the bottom of the ship in the condition which now exists, 
as represented in these sketches? 

(Exhibit H was shown witness.) 

A. The sketch might represent two explosions of entirely different 
natures. That part of the sketch represented here as frame 14£ to 
frame 18£, aft, in a direction of frame 23, might be produced by the 
explosion of a comparatively large mine of not violent explosive matter 
at some distance below the bottom of the ship ; whereas the part abaft of 
frame 23 has all the appearance of the effect produced on iron plates by a 
high explosive in close proximity to it. There are in all explosions two 
general effects: First, the upheaval of the water, caused by the direct 
action of the explosion, followed almost immediately afterwards by the 
second upheaval of water and mud, being the reaction of the water 
from the sides and the bottom, which rushes in to till the crater pro- 
duced by the first explosion. But the location of this upheaval and the 
distortion of the keel in the present instance does not appear to have 
been formed by the secondary effect referred to above. It is too far for- 
ward; too remote. It is too far from the place marked "Debris," which 
must be somewhere about frame 27. If that is 27, then the distance, 
as marked, from frame 18, will be eleven frame spaces, or 44 feet 
forward of what would appear to be the crater of the most violent 
explosion. 

Q. Then to what kind of an explosion do you attribute the force 
that caused this bending of plates and keel on sketch? 

A. I am of the opinion that it could be produced by the explosion of 
a submarine mine containing a large amount of the lower explosives — 



260 DESTRUCTION OP THE XL S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

gunpowder or similar — not in contact with the ship, but some distance 
below it, perhaps on the bottom. 

Q. Looking at the sketch shown you, especially at that portion of 
the keel which has frame 18 on top, and the plates — bent plates — for- 
ward of it, excluding entirely all portion abaft of it, could this part 
which you are now told to consider have become so distorted from the 
effects of an internal explosion alone? 

A. I do not think it could. I have never seen anything in my experi- 
ence which would lead me to believe that it is possible to produce the 
effect indicated by any explosion within the interior of the ship in that 
immediate vicinity. 

Q. Looking at the sketch shown you, and informing you that the for- 
ward 6 inch magazine and the fixed ammunition room were at that part 
of the keel which is represented as nearly vertical — that is, frame 18 to 
frame 21 — could the conditions as shown forward of frame 21 have been 
caused by an explosion of those two magazines, or of any magazine 
abaft of frame 21 ? 

A. I do not think it could. 

Q. Do you think, then, necessarily, there must have been an under- 
water mine to produce these explosions! 

A. Indications are that an under- water explosion produce the condi- 
tions there. 

Examined by the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. Looking at the plan of the Blaine's forward 10-inch and 6-inch 
magazines, would it be possible for them to have exploded, torn out the 
ship's side on both sides, and leave that part of the ship forward of 
frame 18 so water borne as to raise the after portion of that part of the 
ship, drag it aft, and bring the vertical keel into the condition that you 
see on the sketch? 

A. It is difficult for me to realize that that effect could have been 
produced by an explosion of the kind supposed. 

Q. You said in your previous testimony that the distortion of the 
plates forward of frame 18 could have been caused by an outside mine 
of moderate explosive power. Could such a mine, if producing that 
effect, also set fire to the magazine? 

A. I am unable to answer that question. 

Q. Can you consider it possible, under any circumstances, to have a 
portion of the 6-iucli magazine exploded and not all the powder in that 
magazine explode? If so, please state under what circumstances this 
would be possible. 

A. I think I am positively certain an explosion might occur ATithout 
exploding all the powder in separate tanks. 

Q. But if the explosion originated on the inside of the magazine, 
without any water on the inside of it, would it not be almost certain 
that all the powder in that magazine would explode? 

A. I think it would be much more certain. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, he was directed 
to hold himself in readiness to appear before the court when summoned, 
and to give further evidence, if desired, whereupon he withdrew. 

The court then adjourned (at 5.20) to meet to-morrow at 10 a. m. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE tf. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 261 



SIXTEENTH DAY. 

U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 

Harbor of Havana, Cuba, 
Saturday, March 12, 1898—10 a, m. 
The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. 
Present: All the members, the judge-advocate, and the stenog- 
rapher. 

The record of the proceedings of yesterday was read over and ap- 
proved. 

Capt. John Haggerty, of the Merritt Wrecking Company, was 
called as a witness, and, having been duly sworn by the president of the 
court, testified as follows: 

By Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please state to the court your full name and your profession. 

A. John Haggerty, a submarine diver of the Merritt & Chapman 
Derrick and Wrecking Company. 

Q. Are you one of the officers of that company 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; I am one of the Merritt's divers. I am in charge of the 
diving department. 

Q. How long have you been a diver? 

A. Thirty- seven years, sir. 

Q. Have you recently gone down to the wreck of the Maine, and out- 
side of the wreck of the Maine f 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. About how many hours in all have you been down? 

A. I could not state that exactly; about seven days, at three and 
one half hours per day. 

Q. Which side of the ship did you go down? 

A. Inside first, looking for the dead bodies. 

Q. And then did you go down on the port side or the starboard side? 

A. I went down both the port and starboard sides; also into the 
staterooms, and got the doctor's watch and chain and his rings, and in 
the afterroom I got those gold cups and some other things. 

Q. Did you make an examination of the ship itself on the outside? 

A. Yes, sir; partly. 

Q. Please state to the court how you found the Maine when you 
examined her. 

A. I found the deck — that is, the protective deck — aft, and it lays aft 
now, with the upper side against the ship's side and the waterways 
and juts out on an angle of about 30 degrees from the horizontal — 
that is, the thick steel deck — 2-inch plate. It lies on the port side, with 
the outer edge right in the mud. That is what we are trying to pull 
out, so as to get inside to examine her. 

Q. About what part of her did you find the deck in this condition; 
how far aft and how far forward? 

A. It is just forward of the turret on the port side. The forward part 
of the turret on the port side is about 2 or 3 feet abaft of that. I could 
stand on that deck and reach my hands over to the forward part of the 
turret. 

Q. How far forward does this deck go in this condition? 

A. About 35 to 40 feet forward of the break. On the bottom it runs 
a little farther forward than it does on top. . 



262 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Did you feel the armor belt underneath this protective deck? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is the court to understand that this protective deck has been 
pulled over to port so as to bring the beams of the deck on top? 

A. Yes, sir; the beams are on top. 

Q. And you further mean to say that which is now the outer edge 
was formerly inboard ? 

A. Yes, sir; that is, when it was on the ship. 

Q. And, furthermore, that this edge extends farther out from the 
ship's side forward than it does aft? 

A. It does. If it is anything, it goes down at more of an angle. 

Q. How far forward from the after part can you go under this pro- 
tective deck to feel the armor belt? 

A. About 8 feet; I don't think you can get any farther than 8 feet. 
Probably G or 8 feet. 

Q. And what is the condition of this armor belt for these 8 feet? 

A. I found it all right. Another thing I found forward of this port 
turret, I think that the iron is broken, and I have not made a good 
examination. From the main deck down it looks like a split of about 
2 feet. 

Q. Does it seem to be an up-and-down break? 

A. Yes, sir; up and down. 

Q. How wide do you think this piece of protective deck which has 
been folded outboard is? 

A. I dare say it is somewhere about 30 feet. 

Q. Is it wider forward or wider aft? 

A. It looks to me, if anything, to be wider forward, as it runs out 
and more down into the mud. 

Q. Can you tell whether the break of the protective deck on the 
inside of the ship runs fore and aft? 

A. The break runs athwartship, and the deck is folded back from 
forward and to port, and the edge which was forward and is now aft is 
cut off sharp. 

By the Court : 
Q. Captain, have you been down forward of this protective deck? 
A. Not yet, sir. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, the testimony 
was read over to him and by him pronounced to be correct, whereupon 
he withdrew. 

William Henry Dwyer, a submarine diver, was then called as a 
witness by the court, and, having been duly sworn by the president of 
the court, he testified as follows: 

By the Judge- Advocate : 
Q. Please state to the court your full name and your profession. 
A. William Henry Dwyer; a submarine diver. 

Q. Are you one of the regular divers of the Merritt Wrecking Com- 
pany ? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How long have you been a diver? 
A. Since 1876. 

Q. Have you been down to the wreck of the Maine recently? 
A. Yes, sir. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE IT. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 263 

Q. About how many hours have you been under water examining- the 
Maine f 

A. Six hours every day; for three days I have been down examining 
her. 

Q. Please tell the court in what condition you found the wreck of the 
Maine where you examined her. 

A. On the starboard side, about 20 feet aft of the midship torpedo 
tube, about frame 43, I found tbe armor belt started from the side. 
From that point forward to about 8 feet forward of the torpedo tube 
the top of the armor belt gradually leaned out until 8 feet forward of 
the torpedo tube it leaned out the whole thickness of the armor and 
about 2 inches more. That is all abaft the turret. About 4 feet for- 
ward of the torpedo tube — that is, at about frame 36 — the top side ; that 
is, from the top of the armor up to the main deck, leaned out until it 
was almost horizontal at the forward edge, where the armor is broken 
off. About 18 inches forward of the end of the armor the skin of the 
ship below the armor was cut down. The next plate forward was gone 
completely — that is, between that and the turret. Then, I should judge, 
about 18 inches beyond the end of the last plate, the side itself was 
cut down plumb for three plates deep — that is, the skin of the ship. It 
was cut down level with the bottom, so that I could walk right in on 
the inner bottom. Inside, the fore-and-aft bulkhead, between the side 
of the wing passage and the bunker, was intact up to the berth deck, 
and stood perpendicular. 

The bulkhead between the coal bunker and the boiler room was also 
plumb up to the forward end of the bunker back of the starboard for- 
ward boiler; but the forward thwartship bulkhead of that bunker was 
blown aft and torn out completely. There is a thwartship bulkhead 
about in line with the after side of the forward boiler, and that was 
also intact, but the protective deck was lifted 3 or 4 feet up off of it. I 
went over that thwartship bulkhead into the next bunker — that was 
by the alter boiler of the forward fire room. I went over there and 
went back through the next bunker nearly to the thwartship pocket. 
It is a coal bunker abaft of the after boiler in the forward tire room. 
At that point the protective deck is down in its place. The inner bulk- 
head of the wing passage is intact right forward — as far forward as 
frame 30. I went in over the top of the armor, at frame 35, over the 
three bulkheads, and got in on boiler A, and then on boiler C, and 
after tearing off the felting and wiring I could feel the boiler itself 
Then I found the same on boiler A. At the bottom of the armor ueit, 
all along, it is flush with the side. It is not started out. 

As far as the armor extends, which is at frame 35, the bottom edge 
of the armor is all right, but the top leans out. By boiler A I mean 
the starboard forward boiler, and by boiler I mean the next after 
boiler on the starboard side. That ended the inspection on the star- 
board side. On the port side I went down at about frame 35, dropping 
a weight at the end of boiler B. I crossed the top of boiler B and then 
back across the back of it, along the back of the boiler to the starting 
point. From there I went to boiler D, striking it at about the middle, 
and went to the back end of it. I took off the cover and felting and 
felt the iron in that. I found the boilers not materially damaged. The 
felting was all burned off the forward part of boiler B. The protective 
deck over boilers B and D seems to have been broken off at about the 
middle of these boilers, and the outboard edge is resting just above 
these two boilers, somewhat at an angle from the fore-and-aft line, 
sloping to starboard and upward. 



264 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Outboard of this outer edge the protective deck is gone altogether. 
The starboard side of the protective deck rests in its place at the after 
end of boiler C, but is raised at the after end of boiler A about 3 feet. 
At the forward end of boiler Ait is raised almost vertical and projects 
out of the water. Along the forward side of boiler D I crawled in 
under the protective deck and crossed the face of boiler D. On the 
face of boiler D I could feel the tubes, the hand hold, and the forward 
furnace door. The boiler appeared to have rolled about one-eighth of 
a turn aft. From that boiler I came out again, and, crossing over the 
protective deck, found an opening in the protective deck and went 
down through that about the inner frame 30, and from there I crawled 
dingonally forward to starboard, and found the front end of boiler A, 
took the felting off and felt the plates myself. Returned to this start- 
ing point, frame 30, amidships, and went down again under the pro- 
tective deck, through the same opening, and found boiler C. The A, 
B, and C boilers appeared to be in their proper positions. 

I forgot to mention that the forward bulkhead of the coal bunker 
abaft boiler C is buckled aft and horizontally. That is all. 

Q. Could you not describe that openingin the protective deck through 
which you passed, a little better? 

A. I think it is a hatch. 

Q. Did you ascertain how far aft the protective deck was carried away 1 

A. No, sir. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness his testimony 
was read over to him and by him pronounced to be correct, and, after 
having been cautioned by the president of the court not to converse 
upon matters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

The court then proceeded to the wreck. 

After returning from the wreck, the court reassembled, and took a 
recess subject to being reassembled upon being called upon. 

At the expiration of the recess, 10 a. m., Sunday, March 13, 1898, the 
court reassembled. 

Present : All the members, the judge-advocate, and the stenographer. 
Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright entered the court. 

Ensign Powelson, a former witness, was called by the court, and 
after having been warned by the president of the court that he was still 
under oath which he had taken, he testified as follows: 

By Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Mr. Powelson, have you read over the testimony which you gave 
before this court the last time'? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded? 

A. Yes, sir; it is with the exception of, on page 549, fourth line, next 
to last word, "a" should be "the." I wish to change the testimony in 
regard to the horizontal angle that the keel forward of the frame 18 
makes with the keel abaft of frame 18. J* was 104 degrees, and I have 
since ascertained that it is about 91 degrees. The angle had been 
recorded wrong in my notebook. 

Q. Have you made any further discoveries that you wish to testify 
to before this court since your last testimony? 

A. I have taken some soundings, and have cut in prominent jioints 
in the keel by taking angles on fixed points of the ship, but have not 
yet completed my work. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 265 

Q. When do you think that your drawings will be ready"? 
A. I think by to-night or early to-morrow morning. 

By the Court : 
Q. Is this work that the court had directed you previously to do 1 ? 
A. Yes, sir. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his amended 
testimony of previous day and his testimony of to-day was read over to 
him and by him approved and pronounced correct, whereupon he with- 
drew. 

Chief Gunner's Mate Andrew Olsen, a former witness, appeared 
before the court, and having been warned by the president of the court 
that he was still under the oath which he had taken, testified as follows: 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Have you read over the record of your testimony given before 
this court on Wednesday last? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded! 

A. It is, with a few exceptions. On page 552, eighth line, second 
word, change 31 to 41. On page 553, ninth line, " keel" should be 
changed to "rail," and the same corrections made twice on the tenth 
line. Page 553, seventh line from the bottom, change " bow " to "buoy." 
Page 557, tenth line, " 25 " to "23." 

Q. Is your testimony, as now amended, correct? 

A. Y"es, sir. 

Q. Have you done any diving since you gave your last testimony 
before this court? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. About how many hours in all? 

A. About eight or ten hours since I gave my last testimony. 

Q. With what object did you go down? 

A. To look for the armor plate which I had previously reported. 

Q. Did you find it? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Are you still confident, in your own mind, that you had found it 
before. 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How can you account for its disappearance? 

A. The only way I can account for it is that it sunk in the mud at 
that point. It is three weeks now since I found it. There has not been 
any diving since two weeks at that place. 

Q. Have you made any further discoveries while down during these 
last hours which make you wish to change any of your testimony pre- 
viously given before this court? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Have you made any additional discoveries that you wish to testify 
to before this court? 

A. Yes, sir. About some loose powder that I have reported before. 
I scooped some of it up and sent it up to Mr. Powelson. It was sent 
up in a bag. 

Q. Powder and mud mixed? 

A. Both, sir. 

By the Court : 
Q. Has that fore-and-aft bulkhead, which was bent over the 10 inch 



266 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

shell room, and which, was near the plate which you formerly described, 
disappeared "? 

A. Yes, sir; I can not locate it. 

Q. What plates have you found there lately % 

A. Around the vicinity I found a thwartship bulkhead — an armor 
bulkhead 

Q. In how many parts? 

A. One plate. I found something that looked like the bulkhead plate — 
6-inch — farther in amidships, but I could only feel it for a space of a 
few inches underneath some wreckage. 

Q. How high did the fore-and-aft bulkhead which leaned over the 
10-inch shell room appear to you when you were down there, as you 
stood in the 10-inch shell room? 

A. I went down in a hole and the curved part just touched my helmet. 

Q. And that bulkhead you have not lately been able to locate"? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Does not that plate lead you to believe that you have not been down 
in the same j)lace where you at first found the outside armor plate"? 

A. My belief is that I was down in the vicinity. 

Q. Does not that make you doubt that you have not been down in 
the same place? 

A. Yes; I might not have been down in the same place. I might be 
within 5 or 6 inches of that place without seeing the plate. You can 
not tell where you are down there. 

Q. That would be a more reasonable explanation than to suppose 
that this plate has disappeared in some way? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. In locating the points under Mr. Powelson's direction, have you 
been again to the stem of the ship? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And you are confident of its position? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Have you followed up again the keel from the stem? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Does the bottom of the ship, then, forward of frame 17, appear 
to be fairly intact? 

A. It seems to be in a pretty good condition. 

Q. Did you get around at all so as to feel up on the forecastle deck? 

A. Yes, sir; 1 could feel the scupper inside the rail. 

Q. At what angle did the deck seem to lie? 

A. At about 45 or 50 degrees from the horizontal. 

Q. That is, the whole bow lies over on its starboard side? 

A. Yes, sir; I am confident of that, because I can put my hand over 
the port rail and down into the mud. 

Q. How high does the mud go up on the deck? Does it come pretty 
nearly up to the port rail? 

A. Taking a point level between the two hawse pipes of the sheet 
chain and of the bow chain, the mud is just on a level at that point. 

Q. Are you understood to have said that this stem lies nearly parallel 
with the general direction of the ship? 

A. Nearly parallel with the general direction of the ship. 

Q. What is the direction of the keel of this part of the ship, forward 
of frame 17? 

A. The keel there is up and over to starboard and aft, at an angle of 
about 60 degrees with the horizontal. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 267 

Q. Did you see anything of a deep depression in the mud forward 
there? 

A. Yes, sir; right at the bow of the ship. 

Q. Under the bow, do you mean? 

A. Eight where the keel goes into the mud I found a big hole in the 
mud. I could go right down into the hole, and extend my arms and 
feel the top of the hole. It was about level with my armpits. 

Q. How deep was if? 

A. About 4 or 5 feet. 

Q. Was it solid at the bottom? 

A. It was muddy. It was seemingly more solid than any other mud 
higher up. 

Q. How wide was this at the top? 

A. It extended out from the ship about 4 or 5 feet, then it seems 
to extend around the keel — abaft and around the keel. I was down at 
this point yesterday. The ship is rapidly sinking into it and the hole 
is closing up. 

Q. When were you there? 

A. Yesterday. 

Q. Is it to be understood that this hole extends under the after part 
of the remainder of the bow ? 

A. Underneath the keel, as it goes aft; yes, sir. The bottom of the 
stem is in the hole, and the hole goes around and to starboard, under- 
neath the keel. 

Q. How far, according to your observation, has the powder been 
mixed with the mud ; over how great an area ? 

A. In several places where I found tanks split up, in the seams I found 
this mud and powder mixed. I think it is powder and mud. When 
you stirred it up you can not see a thing. When you go outside of the 
ship and walk in the mud it shows a kind of greenish light color. 
That is what made me think it is powder. Mr. Powelson has what I 
brought up. 

Q. Does the quantity of this mixed material down there seem to be 
large? 

A. No; not very large, sir. You can find it in small spots here and 
there. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him, and by him pronounced to be correct; and, after 
being warned by the president of the court not to converse upon mat- 
ters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

Gunner's Mate Thomas Smith, a former witness, was called by the 
court, and having been warned by the president of the court that he 
was still under the oath which he had taken, he testified as follows: 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Have you done any diving in the wreck of the Maine since you 
gave your last testimony before this court? 

A. I was down for about one hour. 

Q. What was your object in going down? 

A. To search for the armor plate. 

Q. Did you find it? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. What, then, did you find? 

A. I found the one that has been already reported — the transverse 
armor. 



268 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. Are yon confident you found this side armor plate before, as 
you reported? 

A. The plate that I found now I am sure is not the one I found first 
when I came here. 

By the Court : 

Q. Smith, how can you account for the fact that you can not find this 
plate ? 

A. The only thing is that it may be in the mud. 

Q. What was there near the plate — the side armor plate — as you 
originally found it, by which you might identify it? 

A. I remember there was some of tbe frames of the ship stood up 
vertically. 

Q. Did you find those frames'? 

A. No, sir; I have not found those frames yet. Eight near this 
transverse armor plate there seems to be an inner bottom rolled up 
over on top of it. I can not tell whether it is an inner bottom or a bulk- 
head. 

Q. Beferring to the hole that you testified to on a previous occasion, 
as having found near the bow of the ship, will you please describe that 
hole and its location again. 

A. The hole is chiefly abaft the keel on the port side on the bow, 
and extends a little way forward along the stem as it lies. 

Q. How deep do you think that it was? 

A. I should judge it to be about 7 feet deep. 

Q. How wide across the top? 

A. About the same, sir. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him and by him approved; and, after having been 
cautioned by the president of the court not to converse upon matters 
pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

Gunner's Mate Eundquist, a former witness, was called by the 
court, and after having been warned by the president of the court that 
he was still under the oath which he had taken, he testified as follows: 

By the Judge-Advocate: 

Q. Have you done any diving in the wreck of the Maine since you 
last testified before this court? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. About how many hours in all? 

A. I went down about eight hours. 

Q. Did you have any special object in going down? 

A. I was sent down to look for the side armor plate. 

Q. Did you find it? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Are you confident that you found it before? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. By what localities could you identify the spot where it was before? 

A. Well, 1 won't say I am unable to identify the place. I was not 
down long enough that day. I happened to come across it more by 
accident than anything else. I slipped and fell, and landed close to 
this plate. 

Q. And that is the only time you saw it before? 

A. Yes, sir; the only time I saw it before. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 269 

Q. Then you are sure it was the side armor plate, with the thinuer 
edge up 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. During this recent diving of eight hours have you made any 
further discoveries that would change your previous testimony 1 ? 

A. No, sir; I have not. 

Q. Have you made any additional discoveries that you wish to tes- 
tify before this court 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; I found lots of shells down there — 6 pounders and 10- 
inch ; I also found some powder tanks. I sent some of them up — about 
six of them ; and I also found another boiler — two boilers in all. I 
only saw one before. That is all. 

Q. Where did you find the shell; in what part of the ship? 

A. I found it right amidships, forward of the boiler. 

Q. Where did you find the tanks? 

A. In the same localities; close to it; not very far from it. 

Q. In which direction from the shell? 

A. Forward and to port. 

Q. How many tanks did you send up? 

A. I sent up about five tanks. 

Q. Were these boilers that you found forward boilers? 

A. They looked to be forward boilers, sir. I also found a piece 01 
transverse armor which I never saw before. 

By the Court : 

Q. Are you certain, absolutely certain, that the piece of armor which 
you first reported was as much as 11 or 12 inches thick at the thickest 
part? 

A. I could not say what thickness it was, because I did not measure 
it. I measured the top of it with my fingers, and then followed the 
armor plate with my two hands, and it felt to me that it was getting 
thicker down below. 

Q. You are confident it was thicker at one part than it was at 
another ? 

A. Yes, sir; I am certain of it. 

Q. How far down in the mud did you follow it? 

A. I followed it to about one-half a foot down into the mud. It 
extended way down, sir. I could not say how far down. 

By Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright : 

Q. Did you notice any difference in the condition of the wood back- 
ing of the transverse and side armor? 

A. Yes, sir; on the side armor the backing looked to be all ragged, 
but on the back of the transverse armor the backing is all in good con- 
dition. I also found on the side armor, where the bolts went through 
the backing, the backing is broken away, and left the part of the bolt 
uncovered where the wood is gone. 

By the Court : 
Q. Was there anything besides the nut on it? 

A. I found some rubber gaskets, and it felt soft when I put my hand 
on the bolt. Nothing else. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read out to him and by him pronounced to be correct; and, after 
having been cautioned by the president of the court not to converse 
upon matters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew, 



270 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Gunner's Mate Sohluter, a former witness, was called by the court, 
and, after having been warned by the president of the court that he was 
still under the oath which he had taken, he testified as follows : 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Have you done any diving on the wreck of the Maine since your 
last testimony before this court? 

A. Yes, sir; I have been down forward in the magazine for shells 
and powder tanks. 

Q. Is that all the diving you have done? 

A. I have been looking for the armor plate, sir. 

Q. Looking for the side armor plate? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you find it? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. What did you find in the way of tanks? 

A. I found some 6-pounders, sir. Some of them had the shell in 
them; some of them had the shell out, and there was still some 
dark stuff left that looked like powder. I brought them up. Some 
6-pounder empty ones with the side burst out, and the top of a 10-inch 
tank. 

Q. How many 6-inch tanks did you send up ? 

A. Three or four. 

Q. What part of the ship did you find them in? 

A. Eight around the 10-inch magazine. I also found another boiler 
on the starboard side, in good condition, as far as I could feel. 

Q. Was it a forward boiler? 

A. Yes, sir; it looked to me like the second boiler forward on the 
starboard side. 

Oj. Did you make any discoveries which would now cause you to 
change any of your previous testimony? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you make any other discoveries which you wish to testify 
before this court? 

A. No, sir. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him and by him pronounced to be correct; and after 
having been cautioned by the president of the court not to converse 
upon matters pertaining to the inquiry he withdrew. 

Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright, a former witness, was then 
called by the court, and after having been warned that he was still 
under the oath which he had taken he testified as follows: 

By the Judge-Ad vocate : 

Q. Have you kept an account of the powder tanks that have been 
sent up out of the wreck of the Maine t 

A. Only in my memory. 

Q. Can you state to the court about how many have been sent up of 
each kind, and also their condition? 

A. About thirty -five 6-inch and about ten 10-inch. I have seen one 
10-inch tank and two 6-inch tanks that contained powder in bags, and 
the remainder were either empty and contaiued parts of excelsior pack- 
ing or parts of powder bags. All the tanks were more or less injured, 
a large proportion opening lengthwise along the seam. Nearly all the 
tanks show signs of having been subjected to outside pressure, as if 
pressed against the powder inside; and their ends are also crushed in. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 271 

I saw two 6-inch tanks that were opened at the seams and were 
pressed down flat, as if by an exertion of considerable force. Those 
two have more the appearance of having been exploded, in my mind, 
than any other, and though not the appearance I would expect powder 
tanks to exhibit after a charge inside had burst. Others are not suffi- 
ciently destroyed to give me the impression of having been exploded, 
although 1 have never seen powder tanks after an explosion and can 
only draw my own ideas. The damage to the tanks seems to have been 
caused by contact with some hard object, and as the shells were found 
on top of these tanks accounts for the damage. 

Q. How was the Maine made fast to her buoy at the time of her 
destruction ? 

A. Starboard bow chain. 

Q. Do you know whether there was any private ammunition on board 
the Maine — that is, ammunition belonging to individuals and not to 
the Government? 

A. None that came to my knowledge. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him and by him pronounced to be correct, whereupon 
he took his seat as an interested party. 

Naval Constructor Hoover, IT. S. Navy, a former witness, was called 
by the court, and having been cautioned that he was still under the 
oath which he had taken, he testified as follows : 

By the Court: 

Q. In the examination you made of the portion of the wreck above 
water, recognized as being about frame 17, what do you make out the 
thin plate in that vicinity to be? 

A. It is the forward part of the forward water tank, on the port side, 
beneath the platform deck at frame 18. 

Q. What is the portion painted white? 

A. It is a portion of the bulkhead at frame 18, forming the forward 
side of the 6 inch magazine. 

Q. Is the forward side of the water tank crushed in at all, or is it 
approximately still a plane surface? 

A. Nearly a plane surface. It is distorted a little; but it is torn 
away from its fastenings to frame 18. The after side of this water-tank 
bulkhead now faces forward. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read to him and by him pronounced to be correct, and after being 
cautioned by the president of the court not to converse upon matters 
pertaining to the inquiry he withdrew. 

The court then took a recess at 12.20 p. in., to meet to-morrow at 10 a. m. 



SEVENTEENTH DAY. 

IT. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 
Harbor of Havana, Cuba, Monday, March 14, 1898 — 10 a. m. 
The court met pursuant to adjournment. 

Present : All the members, the judge- advocate, and the stenographer. 
The record of yesterday's proceedings was read and approved. 



272 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Lieut. H. Hutchins, IT. S. Navy, a witness called by the court, 
appeared, aud, after Laving been duly sworn by the president of the 
court, testified as follows : 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Please give to the court your full name, rank, and present station? 

A. Hamilton Hutchins; lieutenant, U. S. Navy, serving as navigator 
on the U. S. S. Montgomery. 

Q. Is the Montgomery at Havana"? 

A. She is; at buoy No. 3. 

Q. How long has the Montgomery been at Havana? 

A. Since the morning of the 9th instant. 

Q. Have you, since her arrival here, been engaged in taking soundings 
around the wreck of the Maine f 

A. I have; assisted by Lieutenant Fields, of the Montgomery. 

Q. Have you with you a chart of these soundings? 

A. I have; in original and blue-print copy. 

(The witness presented to the court the two charts in question.) 

Q. This chart was made from soundings taken under your supervision ? 

A. Yes, sir; from soundings taken under my supervision on the 9th 
and 10th instants. 

Q. Is it a correct chart? 

A. It is; as nearly as possible under the conditions. The depths are 
correct, although their positions may not be accurate. 

(The chart was presented to the court, with the request that it be 
appended to the record, marked I.) 

Q. Was the depth of the soundings reduced to datum line, or the 
mean low water? 

A. No, sir; the soundings around the after body were all taken in 
the forenoon, aud the soundings around the forward body in the after- 
noon. The time of high water on these two days I made to be about 
9.30 on the morning of the 9th. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read to him and by him pronounced to be correct; and, after hav- 
ing been cautioned by the president of the court not to converse upon 
matters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

Chief Engineer Howell, XI. S. Navy, a former witness, was recalled 
by the court, and, after having been cautioned by the president of the 
court that he was still under the oath which he had taken, he testified 
as follows : 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. During the stay of the Maine at Havana the last time, what for- 
ward coal bunkers were painted, and at what times were they painted? 

A. B 3, B 5, B 4, and B 6 were painted. They were painted between 
February 1 and about February 10. Somewhere between the 1st and 
the 10th. 

Q. Did the paint you used contain dryer and turpentine? 

A. The first paint we used was made of red lead, oil, and turpentine. 
The turpentine gave out, and after that the paint was without any tur- 
pentine or dryers. I don't remember when this change took place. 

Q. After having painted the bunkers, were they kept closed in such 
a manner as to endanger any accumulation of combustible gases? 

A. No, sir; these bunkers were opened frequently by the battle 
doors and schutes which led up to the open air on the main deck. The 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 273 

chutes were opened, and the battle doors were worked to keep them 
in good order; also these bunkers have air- ventilating pipes leading to 
the open air. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, bis testimony 
was read over to him and by him pronounced to be correct; and, after 
having been cautioned by the president of the court not to converse 
upon matters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

The court thereupon took a recess, to reassemble upon being called. 

At 2 p. m. the court reassembled at the expiration of the recess. 

Present: All the members, the judge-advocate, and the stenog- 
rapher. 

Commander Converse, U. S. Navy, a former witness, was called by 
the court, and having been cautioned that he was still under the oath 
which he had taken, he testified as follows: 

By the Judge-Advocate : 
Q. Have you read over the record of the testimony that you gave 
before this court on Friday last? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Is it correct as recorded? 
A. Yes, sir. 

By the Court : 

Q. Having somewhat examined the wreck, and being informed as to 
the conditions existing in the forward part of the ship, as she now is, 
are you able to express an opinion as to the initial cause of the 
damage? 

A. I am unable to form any opinion from the observations of the 
wreck which I have seen above water. Assuming that the sketch of 
the forward part of the ship, from frame 18 forward, is approximately 
correct, [witness here looked at Exhibit HI, it would appear to me that 
the result indicated or shown might have been produced by an explo- 
sion of a large quantity of explosive material of small power, which, by 
causing a large upheaval of water, would lift the vessel bodily, and at 
the same time throw it slightly over to starboard. 

The rupture of the vertical keel, and of the skin plating on the port 
side occurred, and that, as the vessel was still farther lifted, the edges 
of the skin plating came in contact with the water, and by being lifted 
still farther, these fragments, marked B and A, were bent forward and 
downward in the position shown ; and that, when the vessel slowly sank 
again, having her starboard bow water borne, would naturally cause 
the whole bow to slide off to port. The amount by which the piece of 
A and B are bent forward corresponds approximately with the amount 
by which the vessel has been shortened. I can not realize that pieces 
of the bottom as large as A and B could have been blown forward and 
downward by any interior explosion, the surfaces being, as they were, 
supported by water on the outside. 

Q. Supposing the initial cause of the disaster had been exterior, by 
such a mine as you have described, and this explosion had exploded 
the forward magazines of the Maine, what would have been the result 
to the Maine, caused by this second explosion? 

A. The explosion of a magazine, entirely or partially flooded, con- 
taining powder in tanks, would undoubtedly, on account of the water 
tamping given the charges, produce marked local effects. Escaping 
gases, if in sufficient quantity, would tend to blow open and back the 
sides and deck of the ship. It is thought that an explosion of this 
S. Doc. 207 18 



274 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

kind would be, in its nature, progressive, and that the accumulation of 
gases would become more and more rapid until all obstacles were 
removed. Judging also from the effects of explosions which I have 
witnessed, much of the explosive material in the magazine, if contained 
in separate cases or tanks, would be dispersed and scattered without 
exploding. 

Q. Frame 18, as shown on the plan of the Maine, represents the 
highest point of the keel at present, and the point at which the keel is 
broken. Do you think that, in the case of a powder pressure in this 
compartment of the berth deck, between irames 12 and 18, sufficient to 
rend asunder the sides of the ship, it would have been possible for any 
man to have escaped alive? 

A. I think it not impossible. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him and by him pronounced to be correct; and, after 
having been warned by the president of the court not to converse upon 
matters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

The court then adjourned at 3.40 p. m. to meet to-morrow at 10 a. m. 



EIGHTEENTH DAY. 

U. S. L. H. Tender Mangrove, 

Harbor of Havana, Cuba, 

Tuesday, March 15, 1898—2 p. m. 

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday, but not 
until 2 p. m., as no testimony was ready during the forenoon. 
Present : All the members, the judge-advocate, and the stenographer. 
Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright entered the court. 
The record of yesterday's proceedings was read over and approved. 

Submarine Diver Dwyer, a former witness, was called by the court, 
and after having been warned by the president of the court that he was 
still under the oath which he had taken, he testified as follows : 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Have you done any diving in the wreck of the Maine since you 
gave your last testimony before this court'? 

A. Yes, sir ; about one-half day on Saturday, one-half day on Sun- 
day, all day Monday, and this forenoon. 

Q. Please state to the court what you found. 

A. I found the bow portion of the ship laying on its starboard broad- 
side, with the stem laying flat on the bottom. The port side of the 
main deck to the berth deck was torn loose and thrown forward — bent 
forward — and slightly upward. The break from the main deck started 
at the forward shutter of the 6-inch gun port. At the same point the 
main deck was turned up at right angles from its proper position. The 
break begins aft and extends as far forward as the forward shutter of 
the 6-inch port. Forward of this the deck is in place, and also the bow. 
The port 6 inch gun lays across the knightheads; the port 6 pounder 
is still attached to the deck, and so is the port anchor davit. The 
6-pounder is trained aft on its own deck. 

(Sketch II was here shown to the witness. 
By the Court: 

Q. Do you recognize that, Mr. Dwyer 1 ? 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 275 

A. On the sketch the stem seems to come up out of the mud. In 
reality the ram is in the mud and the stem lies flat along the mud. For 
the hrst eighteen frames from forward the keel of the ship slants up- 
ward. The keel is then thrown up from its original position for a dis- 
tance of about IS inches; after that it makes a sharp bend up at an 
angle of 45 degrees, aud then it bends down. At this upper point the 
vertical keel is broken sharp off and bent right down, comes straight 
down, almost plumb, for a distance of, I should judge, of about 16 feet. 
The vertical keel is then bent back on itself for a distance of about 2 
feet. The flat keel itself, at this lower point, appears to be broken. 
Then the keel is bent aft and downward for about 20 feet, when the 
vertical keel appears to end. I could feel the broken end. 

By the Judge -Advocate : 

Q. How much of the vertical keel, as you have described it, had the 
flat keel still attached to it? 

A. That would be difficult to answer. The inner bottom covers the 
vertical keel almost the whole length of it, so that it is impossible to 
see whether the flat keel is underneath or not, except that one point, 
about ten feet forward of the end of the vertical keel, where it is possi- 
ble to reach down there. At that point, on feeling the vertical keel, it 
appeared to be crushed — the lower portion up toward the upper por- 
tion or reverse. 

The inner bottom on the starboard side of the vertical keel appeared 
to be pressed downward, showing the sharp outline of the vertical keel. 
It was in that shape from where I found the vertical keel to end for 
about fifteen feet forward. The port side of the bow appears to be 
blown outward to within one or two plates of the keel. On the star- 
bard side, abreast of where the keel is bent, there are two bottom plates 
attached to the keel, and the outer edge of these plates take the same 
general curvature as the keel does, bat with a larger radius. 

Q. What is the general direction of the inner bottom which is attached 
to the keel, and how much of it is attached to different portions of the 
keel? 

A. From frame 18 down to about frame 21 there is none of the inner 
bottom attached to the vertical keel on the port side, while there is on 
the starboard side from 3 to 4 feet. Abaft of this the inner bottom is 
intact, and the end of the vertical keel, except at one point, about 10 
feet forward from the after end, where the inner bottom is split from 
the vertical keel out to port. 

Q. How much of the bottom plating is attached to the keel on each 
side, as far as you could find? What is its general condition? 

A. At about frame 16 I counted five plates from the starboard side of 
the keel down to the mud. They did not seem to be damaged in any 
way. About 10 feet forward of that point I counted two plates to port 
of the keel. Farther forward I could not tell how many plates it was. 
Near the ram I was unable to find the edge of the plates so as to count 
them, as the plates appeared to be but seams. 

Q. Was there any bottom plating attached to the keel on the port 
side in the vicinity of frame 17? 

A. Yes, sir; on the port side of the keel, at frame 17, there was plat- 
ing attached, but I could not get the general contour of it. 

By the Court : 
Q. Mr. Dwyer, did you examine the outside of the ship, from the 
turret, forward on the starboard side? 
A. Yes, sir. 



276 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

Q. What condition of things did you find there? 

A. It was a bewildering mass of bulkhead and iron plates. I could 
not keep track of it, especially as I had to work from aft forward. 

Q. Could you tell us anything about the armor forward of what you 
testified to the last time? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you examine the port side abaft? 

A. No, sir. 

Q. Where the bow of the ship lies on its bilge, as you might say, on 
its starboard side, is the position of that portion of the ship due to its 
form, or is it held there by the keel and by the bow, or stem, sticking 
in the mud? 

A. No, sir ; I should say it was the form of the ship. I should say, 
from the position of the keel in relation to the bottom plating, that she 
is lying a little farther over than on her beam end. In regard to the 
depression in the mud which you spoke of, I searched for that, and find 
no hollow such as was described. What I found was that the ram, when 
the bow fell over on its side, had turned up quite an amount of mud, 
and on going from the top of tbat aft I appeared to go down in a hol- 
low; but going from aft forward you find the general bottom, and then 
the mound raised up to the ram. 

Q. You are assuming, then, that the bow went down first? 

A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And that it struck a blow in the mud and threw this up? 

A. Yes, sir; I assume that from the condition of the bottom just 
forward of the ram. 

Q. Just forward of the ram or just abaft? 

A. Well, you might say under the ram. There is one point to men- 
tion about the main deck. After turning at right angles it takes a 
general twist over to starboard, so that the point where the hatch is — 
the forward hatch — the deck was upside down at that point. 

Q. What hatch? 

A. Forward hatch on the forecastle. 

Q. Are you referring to the upper deck or the main deck? 

A. Main deck, sir. 

Q. Did you find the foremast? 

A. No, sir ; I did not. I crossed the deck just by the hatch and found 
a brass plate on the under side of the deck which spoke of '' showers." 

Q. Did you come across any projectiles or powder tanks when you 
were in the vicinity of frame 18 or abaft of it? 

A. I found a 10-inch shell laying close to the vertical keel on the inner 
bottom at about frame 21 — a percussion 10-inch shell. 1 found no pow- 
der tanks here. Further aft to port I found quite a number of powder 
tanks, 0-inch, G-pounder, and 10-inch shell, and also some brass car- 
tridges about the same diameter as the 6 pounders, but they were 
exploded. 

By Lieutenant-Commander Wainwrighi-: 

Q. When you stood in the mud at the point where the keel entered 
the mud forward, did there appear to be any depression there — a hol- 
low? 

A. No, sir; the mud appeared to be, as I stood at the side of the 
keel, facing toward the ram, on the left, appeared to be turned up 
higher on one side, and the ram appeared to be going down into the 
bottom. Following the keel down with my hands toward the point of 
the ram I found the ram was covered with the mud. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE TJ. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 277 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him, and by him pronounced to be correct, and after 
being 1 cautioned by the president of the court not to converse upon 
matters pertaining to the court, he withdrew. 

The court thereupon took a recess at 3.30 

The court reassembled at the expiration of the recess at 4.30 p. m. 
Present: All the members, the judge - advocate, and the stenog- 
rapher. 

Lieutenant Hutchins, a former witness, was called by the court, 
and having been cautioned by the president of the court that he was 
still under the oath which he had taken, he testified as follows: 
By the Judge- Advocate: 

Q. Have you observed and can you tell the court the magnetic direc- 
tion of the keel of the Maine — the after part of the ship 1 ? 

A. Yes, sir; I examined it by horizontal angles and checked it as 
near as possible with the compass. It is north 85 degrees west mag- 
netic, looking forward. The ship is lying head north 85 degrees west. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness, his testimony 
was read over to him and by him pronounced to be correct, and after 
having been cautioned by the president of the court not to converse 
upon matters pertaining to the inquiry, he withdrew. 

Ensign Powelson, IT. S. Navy, a former witness, was recalled by 
the court, and after having been cautioned by the president of the 
court that he was still under the oath which he had taken, he testified 
as follows : 

By the Judge-Advocate : 

Q. Mr. Powelson, have you made the drawings you were directed to 
make by the court of the wreck of the Maine? 

A. They are not quite complete; but nearly so. 

Q. Will you please explain to the court how you obtained the data 
for these drawings? 

A. I sent divers down to various points on the line of the keel, and 
then sent a lead line down to the diver; got into a boat; plumbed the 
point; took soundings and two angles on stations that I had established 
on the ship and wreckage near the ship. Station A is the mainmast; 
Station O the port crane; Station D the forward edge of the after 
smoke-pipe, and Station B is at a piece of wreckage 126 degrees in 
azimuth from Station A, measured at Station D, and distant 41£ feet 
from Station D. Station E is the piece of wreckage in azimuth 64 
degrees from Station B, measured at Station D, and distant 94 feet from 
Station 13. After establishing several points on the line of the keel, I 
sent the diver down to get points on the line of the break of the bot- 
tom plating on the port side. These points are one, two, three, and 
four E. These points were angled on, and depths taken as I have 
described. 

Mr. Powelson was then directed to complete the drawing and send it 
to the court, at Key West, on board the Iowa, to-morrow, and attest the 
correctness over his signature. 

There being no further questions to ask this witness his testimony 
was read over to him, and by him pronounced to be correct, and after 
having been cautioned by the president of the court not to converse 
upon matters pertaining to the court, he withdrew. 

The court then, at 5.10, adjourned to hold its next meeting on board 
the battle ship Ioiva, off Key West, Ela. 



278 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 



NINETEENTH DAY. 

U. S. Battle Ship Iowa (1st rate), 
Off Key West, Fla., Thursday, March 17, 1898—10 a, m. 
The court met pursuant to the last adjournment. 
Present: All the members, the judge- advocate, and the stenographer. 
The record of last day's proceedings was read over and approved. 
The court was then cleared for deliberation. 

The doors being opened at 5 p. m., the court adjourned to meet to- 
morrow at 10 a. m. 

TWENTIETH DAY. 

U. S. Battle Ship Iowa (1st rate), 
Off Key West, Fla., Friday, March 18, 1898—10 a. m. 

The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. 

Present : All the members, the judge-advocate, and the stenographer. 

The record of yesterday's proceedings was read over and approved. 

The judge-advocate informed the court that he had received seven 
more photographs from Chief Engineer C. P. Howell — the ones that 
Chief Engineer C. P. Howell had been directed by the court to have 
taken — and asked permission of the court to place them with Exhibit I. 

The request was granted. 

The judge-advocate then informed the court that he had received the 
plan of the wreck of the Maine that Ensign Powelson had not finished 
before the court had left Havana. 

The plan was shown to the court, with the request to have it appended 
to the record, marked L. 

The request was granted. 

The judge-advocate then informed the court that he had also received 
the plan of the broken part of the vertical and flat keel of the Maine 
which Gunner's Mate A. Olsen had sent to him, the same not having 
been quite complete when the court left Havana. 

This plan was shown to the court, with the request that it be appended 
to the record, marked M. 

This request was granted. 

The judge-advocate also requested to- have five views taken by Pho- 
tographer Hart — which he had requested Photographer Hart to take — 
and added to Exhibit I. 

The request was granted. 

The court was then cleared for deliberation. 

At 3.50 p. m. the doors were opened, and court adjourned to meet 
to-morrow at 10 a. m. 

TWENTY-FIRST DAY. 

U. S. Battle Ship Iowa (1st rate), 
Off Key West, Fla., /Saturday, March 19, 1898—10 a. m. 
The court met pursuant to the last adjournment. 
Present: All the members and the judge- advocate. 
The record of last day's proceedings was read over and approved. 
The court was then cleared for deliberation. 

The doors being opened, the court adjourned to meet to-morrow, 
Sunday, March 20, 1898, at 10 a. m. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 279 



TWENTY-SECOND DAY. 

U. S. S. Iowa (1st rate), 
Off Key West, Fla., Sunday, March 20, 1898— 2 p. m. 
The court met pursuant to the last adjournment. 
Present: All the members and the judge-advocate. 
The record of last day's proceedings was read over and approved. 
The court was then cleared for deliberation. 

The doors being- opened, the court adjourned at 4.30 p. m. to meet 
to-morrow, Monday, the 21st day of March, 1898. 

TWENTY-THIRD DAY. 

tT. S. S. Iowa (1st rate), 
Key West, Fla., Monday, March 21, 1898—10 a, nu 
The court met pursuant to the adjournment of yesterday. 
Present: All the members and the judge-advocate. 
The record of last day's proceedings was read over and approved. 
The court was then cleared for deliberation. 

After full and mature consideration of all the testimony before it, 
the court finds as follows: 

1. That the United States battle ship Maine arrived in the harbor of 
Habana, Cuba, on the 25th day of January, 1898, and was taken to 
buoy No. 4, in from 5£ to 6 fathoms of water by the regular Govern- 
ment pilot. 

The United States consul-general at Havana had notified the au- 
thorities at that place, the previous evening, of the intended arrival of 
the Maine. 

2. The state of discipline on board the Maine was excellent, and all 
orders and regulations in regard to the care and safety of the ship 
were strictly carried out. 

All ammunition was stowed in accordance with prescribed instruc- 
tions, and proper care was taken whenever ammunition was handled. 

Nothing was stowed in any one of the magazines or shell rooms which 
was not permitted to be stowed there. 

The magazines and shell rooms were always locked after having been 
opened, and after the destruction of the Maine the keys were found in 
their proper place in the captain's cabin, everything having been 
reported secure that evening at 8 p. m. 

The temperatures of the magazines and shell rooms were taken daily 
and reported. The only magazine which had an undue amount of heat 
was the after 10-inch magazine, and that did not explode at the time 
the Maine was destroyed. 

The torpedo war heads were all stowed in the after part of the ship, 
under the ward room, and neither caused nor jiarticipated in the de- 
struction of the Maine. 

The dry gun-cotton primers and detonators were stowed in the cabin 
aft, and remote from the scene of the explosion. 

Waste was carefully looked after on board the Maine to obviate 
danger. Special orders in regard to this had been given by the com- 
manding officer. 

Varnishes, driers, alcohol, and other combustibles of this nature were 
stowed on or above the main deck and could not have had anything to 
do with the destruction of the Maine. 



280 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

The medical stores were stowed aft, under the ward room, and remote 
from the scene of the explosion. 

No dangerous stores of any kind were stowed below in any of the 
other storerooms. 

The coal bunkers were inspected daily. Of those bunkers adjacent 
to the forward magazines and shell rooms four were empty, name^: 
B3, B4, B5, BO. A15 had been in use that day, and A10 was full of 
New Biver coal. This coal had been carefully inspected before receiv- 
ing it on board. The bunker in which it was stowed was accessible on 
three sides at all times, and the fourth side at this time on account 
of bunkers B4 and Bti being empty. This bunker, A1G, had been 
inspected that day by the engineer officer on duty. 

The fire alarms in the bunkers were in working order, and there had 
never been a case of spontaneous combustion of coal on board the 
Maine. 

The two after boilers of the ship were in use at the time of the dis- 
aster, but for auxiliary purposes only, with a comparatively low pres- 
sure of steam, and being tended by a reliable watch. 

These boilers could not have caused the explosion of the ship. The 
four forward boilers have since been found by the divers, and are in a 
fair condition. 

On the night of the destruction of the Maine everything had been 
reported secure for the night at 8 p. m. by reliable persons, through 
the proper authorities, to the commanding officer. At the time the 
Maine was destroyed the ship was quiet, and, therefore, least liable to 
accident caused by movements from those on board. 

EXPLOSIONS. 

3. The destruction of the Maine occurred at 9.40 p. m. on the loth 
day of February, 1898, in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, she being at the 
time moored to the same buoy to which she had been taken upon her 
arrival. There were two explosions of a distinctly different character, 
with a very short but distinct interval between them, and the forward 
part of the ship was lifted to a marked degree at the time of the first 
explosion. The first explosion was more in the nature of a report like 
that of a gun, while the second explosion was more open, prolonged, 
and of greater volume. This second explosion was, in the opinion of 
the court, caused by the partial explosion of two or more of the forward 
magazines of the Maine. 

CONDITION OF THE WRECK. 

4. The evidence bearing upon this, being principally obtained from 
divers, did not enable the court to form a definite conclusion as to the 
condition of the wreck, although it was established that the after part 
of the ship was practically intact, and sank in that condition a very 
few minutes after the destruction of the forward part. 

The following facts in regard to the forward part of the ship are, 
however, established by the testimony: 

A portion of the port side of the protective deck, which extends 
from about frame 30 to about frame 41, was blown up, aft, and over to 
port. The main deck, from about frame 30 to about frame 41, was 
blown up, aft, and slightly over to starboard, folding the forward part 
of the middle superstructure over and on top of the after part. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 281 

This was, in the opinion of the court, caused by the partial explosion 
of two or more of the forward magazines of the Maine. 

5. At frame 17 the outer shell of the ship, from a point 11£ feet 
from the middle line of the ship, and G feet above the keel when in its 
normal position, has been forced up so as to be now about 4 feet above 
the surface of the water, therefore about 31 feet above where it would 
be had the ship sunk uninjured. 

The outside bottom plating is bent into a reversed V shape (A), the 
after wing of which, about 15 feet broad and 32 feet in length (from 
frame 17 to frame 25), is doubled back upon itself against the continu- 
ation of the same plating, extending forward. 

At frame 18 the vertical keel is broken in two, and the flat keel bent 
into an angle similar to the angle formed by the outside bottom plating. 
This break is now about G feet below the surface of the water, and 
about 30 feet above its normal position. 

In the opinion of the court this effect could have been produced only 
by the explosion of a mine situated under the bottom of the ship at 
about frame 18 and somewhat on the port side of the ship. 

6. The court finds that the loss of the Maine on the occasion named 
was not in any respect due to fault or negligence on the part of any of 
the officers or members of the crew of said vessel. 

7. In the opinion of the court the Maine was destroyed by the explo- 
sion of a submarine mine, which caused the partial explosion of two or 
more of the forward magazines. 

8. The court has been unable to obtain evidence fixing the responsi- 
bility for the destruction of the Maine upon any person or persons. 

W. T. Sampson, 
Captain, TJ. 8. N., President. 
A. Marix, 
Lieut. Com., TJ. S. 2V., Judge-Advocate. 



The court having finished the inquiry it was ordered to make, 
adjourned at 11 a. m., to await the action of the convening authority. 

W. T. Sampson, 
Captain, TJ. 8. iV"., President. 
A. Marix, 
Lieut.- Com., TJ. 8. 2V., Judge- Advocate. 



TJ. S. Flagship New York, 

Off Key West, Fla., March 22, 1898. 
The proceedings and findings of the court of inquiry in the above 
case are approved. 

M. SlCARD, 
Bear Admiral, Commander in Chief of the 
United States Naval force on the North Atlantic Station. 



INDEX TO EXHIBITS. 



A. — Precept, with telegrams forming part of it. 

B. — Letter from convening authority, permitting certain officers to be present dur- 
ing the inquiry. 

C. — Letter from the convening authority upon the same subject. 

D„ — Sketch of portions of underside of protective deck. 

E^ — Sketuh of protective deck where it shows above water. 

F. — Translation of an anonymous letter in regard to a plot. 

G. — Letter showing the amount of ammunition on board the Maine June 30, 1897. 

H. — Sketch showing forward part of the ship under water; keel about as far aft as 
frame 28, and two plates bent into a V shape. 

I. — Photographs of wreck. 

K. — Survey of soundings around the wreck of the Maine. 

L. — Plans of the keel and other permanent points of the wreck. 

M. — Plan made by diver of break of vertical and flat keel of the Maine, frame 18. 

283 



EXHIBITS. 



A. 

U. S. Flagship New York (1st rate), 

Key West, Fla., February 19, 1898. 
Oapt. William T. Sampson, U. S. N., 

Commanding U. IS. 8. Iowa, Key West, Fla. 

Sir: A court of inquiry, consisting of yourself as president, and of 
Capt. French E. Chadwick and Lieut. Commander William P. Potter, 
United States Navy, as additional members, and of Lieut. Commander 
Adolph Marix, United States Navy, as judge advocate, is hereby ordered 
to convene at noon on Monday, February 21, 1898, or as soon thereafter 
as practicable, for the purpose of inquiring into the circumstances con- 
nected with the loss by explosion of the United States battle ship Maine, 
in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, on the night of Tuesday, February 15, 
1898. 

The court is authorized to hold its sessions on board any ship of the 
North Atlantic Squadron, or in the city of Key West, Fla., or in the 
harbor of the city of Havana, Cuba. 

The attention of the court is invited to the instructions, concerning 
the particulars to be investigated in the case of the loss or grounding 
of a ship of the Navy, contained in the United States Navy Eegula- 
tions. 

The following-described papers relating to the loss of the U. S. S. 
Maine on the occasion referred to are attached to and made part of this 
precept : 

1. The copy of a telegram sent by Capt. C. D. Sigsbee, United States 
Navy, at Havana, Cuba, to Commander James M. Forsyth, United 
States Navy, at Key West, Fla., without date, but probably sent on 
the night of February 15, as it was received at Key West, Fla., by 
Lieut. Commander William S. Cowles, United States Navy, at 1 a. m. 
of February 16, 1898, and by the commander in chief at 5.30 a. m. of 
February 1G, at Dry Tortugas, Fla. 

2. A telegram sent by Capt. C. D. Sigsbee, United States Navy, to 
the commander in chief at Key West, Fla., dated Havana, Cuba, Feb- 
ruary 16, 1898. 

The court will diligently and thoroughly inquire into all the circum- 
stances attending the loss of said vessel on the date named, and upon 
the conclusion of the investigation will report to the commander in 
chief its proceedings, all the testimony taken, and the facts which it 
may deem established by the evidence adduced, together with its opin- 
ion as to what farther proceedings, if any, should be had in the matter. 

The court will also report whether or not the loss of said vessel was, 
on the occasion named, in any respect due to fault or negligence on the 

285 



286 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

part of any of the officers or members of the crew of said vessel, and 
if so, the names of such officers or members of the crew, and in what 
respect and to what extent any or either of them were so at fault or 
negligent. 

If the court shall be of opinion that further proceedings should be- 
had in the matter, it will include in its report a succinct statement as 
to the person or persons against whom, and the specific matter upon 
which, such proceedings should be had. 

The court will also report its opinion as to the cause or causes of the 
explosion, or other incidents that bore directly or indirectly upon the 
loss of the Maine. 

It will also record any information that it may be able to obtain by 
testimony and evidence, as to any person or persons not connected with 
the Navy of the United States, who are, in its opinion, responsible, in 
part or wholly, directly or indirectly, for the explosion and loss of the 
Maine, and will include their names, in its opinion, together with the 
degree of responsibility in each case. 

M. Sicard, 
Bear- Admiral, Commander in Chief, 
TJ. S. Naval Force on North Atlantic Station- 

I certify the above to be a true copy. 

A. Marix, 

Lieut.-Com., U. S. N., Judge- Advocate. 



No. 1. 
Forsyth, Key West: 

Tell admiral Maine blown up and destroyed. Send light-house tend- 
ers. Many killed and wounded. Don't send war vessels if others 
available. 

Sigsbee. 

I certify the above to be a true copy. 

A. Marix, 

Lieut. Com., IT. 8. N., Judge-Advocate. 



No. 2. 

February 16. 
Commander in Chief, Key West: 

Maine blown up in Habana harbor at 9.40 last night and destroyed. 
Many wounded and doubtless more killed or drowned. Wounded and 
others on board Spanish man of- war and Ward Line steamers. Send 
light-house tender from Key West for crew and the few pieces of 
equipment above water. None has clothing other than that upon him. 
Public opinion should be suspended until further report. All officers 
believed to be saved; Jenkins and Merritt not yet accounted for. 
Many Spanish officers, including representatives of General Blanco, 
now with me to express sympathy. 

Sigsbee. 

I certify the above to be a true copy. 

A. Marix, 
Lieut. Com., U. 8. N., Judge- Advocate. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 287 



B. 

U. S. Flagship New York (1st rate), 

Key West, Fla., February 19, 1898. i 

Sir : Referring to my order of this date convening a court of inquiry, 
of which you are president, to meet at such place as the president of 
the court may deem proper, on Monday, February 21, 1898, at noon, for 
the purpose of inquiring into the circumstances connected with the loss 
of the U. S. battle ship Maine in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, on the night 
of Tuesday, February 15, 1898, 1 have to inform you that Capt. Charles D. 
Sigsbee, United States Navy, commanding the U. S. S. Maine, and 
Lieut. Commander Richard Wainwright, United States Navy, the execu- 
tive officer, and Lieut. George F. W. Holman, United States Navy, the 
navigator, and Chief Engineer Charles P. Howell, United States Navy, 
the chief engineer of that vessel, have been informed of their right to 
be present during the investigation, to cross examine witnesses, and offer 
evidence before the court should they desire to do so. 

As the court has been directed to report whether or not the loss of 
the U. S. S. Maine was in any respect due to fault or negligence on the 
part of any of the officers or crew of said vessel, etc., you will inform 
the officers and such of the crew as may have filled positions of special 
responsibility upon the occasion referred to that they have the same 
right to be present during the sessions of the court, to offer evidence, 
and to cross-examine witnesses, if they so desire. 
Yery respectfully, 

M.. SlCARD, 

Rear -Admiral, Commander in Chief, 
U. 8. Naval Force on North Atlantic Station. 
Capt. William T. Sampson, U. S. N., 

Commanding U. 8. 8. Iowa, Key West, Fla. 
I certify the above to be a true copy. 

A. Marix, 
Lieut. Com., U. 8. N., Judge-Advocate. 



288 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 



c. 

U. S. Flagship New York (1st rate), 

Key West, Fla., February 19, 1898. 

Sir: Beferring to rny communication of this date informing you that 
Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee, United States Navy; Lieut. Commander 
Richard Wainwright, United States Navy ; Lieut. George F. W. Hol- 
man, United States Navy, and Chief Engineer Charles P. Howell, 
United States Navy, have been informed of their rigbt to be present 
during the investigation to cross-examine witnesses and offer evidence 
before the court should they desire to do so, 1 have to inform you that 
if, during the progress of the investigation it shall appear that others 
than those above mentioned should be entitled to appear as defendants, 
they will be called before the court and informed of their right to be 
present and cross-examine witnesses and offer such evidence as they 
may desire. 

Very respectfully, M. Sicard, 

Rear- Admiral, Commander in Chief 
JJ. 8. Naval Force on North Atlantic Station. 

Capt. William T. Sampson, U. S. N., 

Commanding JJ. 8. 8. Ioiva, Key West, Fla. 

I certify the above to be a true copy. 

A. Marix, 

Lieut. Com., JJ. 8. N., Judge-Advocate. 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 289 

D. 






J37 






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S. Doc. 207 19 



290 DESTRUCTION OP THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 



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DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 291 



F. 

It should be remembered that at dawn of the day of the terrible 
catastrophe an individual was killed in a small boat, together with 
another, who is to be found wounded and a prisoner. They were going 
about the cruisers Maine and Alfonso XII, and as the said individuals 
are the worst antecedents as harbor thieves, I have interested myself 
in investigating what connection this occurrence could have with the 
explosion of the Maine, and I have discovered that those two men, 
together with another, who is called Pepe Taco, had bought in a hard- 
ware store in Mercaderes street, called La Marina, a hose such as is 
used by divers, and that the three left Eegla in a small boat, which 
they placed under the wharves of Sta. Oataliua, and they were loiter- 
ing more than an hour and a half, while Pepe Taco, who is a calker 
and diver, probably the best in these parts, did the work to bring about 
the explosion of the Maine. With this data I went to Eegla and dis- 
covered that the family of the dead man, who lived in the utmost 
misery in a house in Eodriguez Batista street, had moved to a well- 
furnished one in Gelabert street. There I learned that they had agreed 
with some merchants of Muralla street for the work of blowing up the 
ship for the sum of $6,000—12,000 in advance, the other $4,000 after 
seeing the result. But as they did not come out of the adventure very 
well, having been attacked when they were retiring, the result of which 
was the death of one, who left his teeth in the boat, and another one 
wounded, the third one has not presented himself to collect the rest 
of the money, and it could probably be secretly done that, by paying 
him the rest that the others will not now pay him, he would declare 
the truth of all this. The one whom I call the third is the diver Pepe 
Taco, who was un wounded, who no doubt is afraid to present himself 
to collect the rest. In Muralla street they tell me was the place where 
the business was arranged with Messrs. Garcia Corujedo, Villasuso, 
Maribona, and others, whom I do not remember. The man arrested is 
being administered morphine constantly to see if he will die and not 
give evidence, so as not, as they express it, to spoil the affair after it 
has come off so much to their taste. 

Havana, Feb. nth, 1898. 

(V. 
I certify the above to be a true copy. 

A. Marix, 
Lieut. Com. JJ. S. Navy, Judge- Advocate. 



292 DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 

G. 

TJ. S. S. Maine (1st rate), 
Hampton Roads, Va., June 30, 1897. 
Sir : In compliance with the commandant's indorsement of the Bureau 
of Construction letter, No. 1096-E3, of June 23, 1897, directing that a 
statement of the amount of ammunition of each size stowed in the vari- 
ous ammunition rooms be given, I make the following report, which 
gives the amount stowed in the ammunition rooms as well as that stowed 
outside in the handling and passing rooms. 
The amount given is the full allowance of ammunition. 
Very respectfully, 

0. D. Sigsbee, 
Captain, TJ. 8. N, Commanding TJ. S. 8. Maine. 
The Commandant, Navy- Yard and Station. 

TJ. S. Flagship New York, 
Fortress Monroe, Va., June 30, 1897. 
Forwarded by direction of commander in chief. 

C. H. West, 
Commander, TJ. 8. N., Chief of Staff. 

> [Second indorsement.] 

Navy- Yard, New York, July 2, 1897. 

1. Respectfully referred to the Bureau of Construction and Repair. 

2. This letter is in reply to the Bureau's No. 1096-E3 of the 23d 
ultimo. 

F. M. Bunce, 
Commodore, TJ. 8. Navy, Commandant Navy- Yard and Station. 

Forward magazine (Compartment A 6M). — 99 full charges for 6-inch 
B. L. R.; 164 reduced charges for 6-inch B. L. R. ; 146 common shell, in 
slings, for 6-inch B. L. R. ; 100 armor-piercing shells, in slings, for 6-inch 
B. L. R. ; 24 shrapnel, in slings, for 6-inch B. L. R. 

Forward fixed ammunition room (A 9M). — 152 chests 6-pounder steel 
shell (1,672 rounds) ; 112 chests 6-pounder common shell (1,232 rounds) ; 
27 chests 6-pounder blank (297 rounds); 17 chests 1-pounder steel shell 
(1,020 rounds); 11 chests 1-pounder common shell (660 rounds); 10 
chests 6mm. cartridge, ball (10,000 rounds); 3 chests ,38-caliber car- 
tridges, ball (9,000 rounds). 

Forward 10-ineli shell room (A 12M). — 90 common shell for 10-inch 
B. L. R.; 74 armor-piercing shell for 10 inch B. L. R. 

Forward 10-inch magazine (A 13M). — 92 full charges for 10-inch B. L. 
R. ; 88 reduced charges for 10-inch B. L. R. 

Reserve magazine (A 14 M). — 113 full charges for 6-inch B. L. R; 51 
reduced charges for 6-inch B. L. R. ; 3,400 pounds of spare saluting 
powder (19 tanks); 100 pounds of shrapnel and impulse powder. 

10-inch shell room amidships (C 3M). — 90 armor-piercing shell for 10- 
inch B. L. R.; 90 common shell, loaded and fused, for 10-inch B. L. R. 

10-inch magazine amidships (C 4M). — 88 full charges for 10-inch B. L. 
R. ; 91 reduced charges for 10-inch B. L. R. 

6-inch magazine amidships (C 5M). — 101 full charges for 6-inch B. L. R.; 
131 reduced charges for 6-inch B. L. R. ; 208 common shell, loaded and 



DESTRUCTION OF THE U. S. BATTLE SHIP MAINE. 293 

fused, for 6-inch B. L. R.; 100 arinor-piercmg shell for 6-inch B. L. R. ; 
23 shrapnel, in slings, for 6-inch B. L. R. 

After torpedo head and fixed ammunition room (D 1M). — 8 Whitehead 
torpedo warheads, filled ; 8 Whitehead torpedo wet primer cases, filled ; 
76 chests of 6-pounder steel shell (836 rounds); 32 chests of 6-pounder 
common shell (396 rounds); 32 chests of 1-pounder steel shell (1,920 
rounds) ; 20 chests of 1-pounder common shell (1,200 rounds) ; 20 chests 
of .45-caliber cartridges, ball (20,000 rounds) ; 7 chests of .3'caliber 
cartridges, ball (21,000 rounds); 100 chests of 6 mm. cartridges, ball 
(100,000 rounds) ; 10 chests of .22 caliber cartridges, ball (93,000 rounds) ; 
11 chests of 6 mm. cartridges, blank (11,000 rounds) ; 7 chests of United 
States cannon primers, 3,700 rounds ; 8 boat ammunition tanks, small 
arm, 7,000 rounds. 

In addition to the shell stowed in the shell rooms there are stowed 
10-inch shells as follows : 

Forward 10-inch loading room (A55). — 2 common shell for 10-inch B. 
L. B.; 2 armor-piercing shells for 10-inch B. L. R. 

Forivard 10-inch passing room. — 2 drill shells for 10-inch B. L. R. 

Midship 10-inch loading room (Ol'). — 1 armor-piercing shell for 10-inch 
B. L. R. ; 2 drill shells for 10-inch B. L. R. 

Midship 10-inch passing room. — 15 armor-piercing shells for 10-inch 
B. L. R. 



I certify the above to be a true copy. 

A. Maeix, 
Lieut. Com., U. S. JV., Judge- Advocate. 



EXHIBIT H. 



SKETCH SHOWING FOEWAED PAET OF THE SHIP UNDEE 
WATEE, KEEL ABOUT AS FAE AFT AS FEAME 28, AND 
TWO PLATES BENT INTO A V SHAPE. 



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EXHIBIT I. 



PHOTOGRAPHS OF WRECK. 



297 
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EXHIBIT K. 



SURVEY OF SOUNDINGS AROUND THE WRECK 
OF THE MAINE. 



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PLANS OF THE KEEL AND OTHER PROMINENT 
POINTS OF THE WRECK. 



301 



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EXHIBIT M. 



PLAN MADE BY DIVER OF BREAK OP VERTICAL AND 
FLAT KEEL OF THE MAINE, FRAME 18. 



303 



INDEX TO TESTIMONY. 



Page. 

First day : 

Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee, U. S. Navy 10-19 

Second day : 

Lieut. F. M. G. Holman, U.S. Navy 20-24 

Lieut. Commander Richard Wainwright, U. S. Navy 25-29 

Naval Cadet W. T. Cluverius, U. S. Navy 29,30 

Naval Cadet J. H. Holden, U. S. Navy 30,31 

Third day : 

Chief Engineer Charles P. Howell, U. S. Navy 32-36 

Lieut. P. M. G. Holman (recalled) 36, 37 

Paymaster Charles M. Ray, U. S. Navy 38 

Surg. L. G. Henneberger, U. S. Navy 39,40 

Private William Anthony, U. S. Navy 40, 41 

Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee (recalled) 41-43 

Ensign W. V. N. Powelson, U. S. Navy 43-49 

Fourth day : 

' William H. Van Syckel 49-51 

Chief Engineer Charles P. Howell, U. S. Navy 51,52 

Capt. Frederick G. Teasdale 52-55 

Chaplain John P. Chidwick, U. S. Navy 55,56 

Sigmond Rothschild 57-62 

Louis Wertheimer » 62-66 

Gunner Charles Morgan, U. S. Navy 66-69 

Chief Gunner's Mate Andrew Olsen, U. S. Navy 69-76 

Fifth day : 

Gunner's Mate Thomas Smith, U.S. Navy 76-83 

Seaman Martin Reden, U. S. Navy 83-87 

Gunner's Mate W. H. F. Schluter, U.S. Navy . 88 

Gunner's Mate Carl Rundquist, U. S. Navy 89-93 

Witness, name not given. (See testimony) 93-95 

Ensign W. V. N. Powelson (recalled) 96-100 

Sixth day : 

Henry Drain 100-102 

Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee (recalled) 102,103 

Lieut. Commander Richard Wainwright (recalled) 103-105 

Ensign W. V. N. Powelson (recalled) 105-112 

Gunner's Mate Olsen (recalled) 112 

Seventh day : 

Lieut. John J. Blandin, U. S. Navy 113-116 

Lieut. John Hood, U. S. Navy 116-126 

Lieut. George P. Blow, U. S. Navy 126-130 

Lieut. Carl W. Jungen, U. S. Navy 130-136 

Naval Cadet Amon Bronson, jr. , U. S. Navy 136-138 

Naval Cadet D. F. Boyd, jr., U. S. Navy 138-141 

Lieut. George F. W. Holman, U. S. Navy (recalled) .' 141 

Lieut. A. W. Catlin, U. S. Marine Corps 142,143 

Gunner Joseph Hill, U. S. Navy 143-146 

Boatswain Francis E. Larkin, U. S. Navy J 146, 147 

Carpenter George Helm, U. S. Navy 147-150 

Eighth day : 

Past Asst. Engineer Frederick C. Bowers 151-154 

Asst. Engineer John R. Morris 154-156 

Naval Cadet Pope Washington 156 

Naval Cadet Arthur Crenshaw 156-158 

Private Edward McKay, U. S. Marine Corps 160-162 

S. Doc. 207 21 305 



306 INDEX. 



Eighth day — Continued. 

Apprentice Ambrose Ham, U. S. Navy 162, 163 

Lieutenant Blow, recalled 164 

Apprentice C. J. Dressier, U. S. Navy 164-166 

Sergeant Michael Mehan, U. S. Marine Corps 166, 167 

Corporal Frank G. Thompson, U. S. Marine Corps 167-169 

Lieut. C. W. Jungen, recalled 170 

Master at Arms John B. Load, U. S. Navy 170-173 

Seaman Peter Larsen, U. S. Navy 173-175 

Seaman Louis Moriniere, U. S. Navy 175, 176 

Boatswain's Mate Charles Bergman 176-178 

Landsman George Fox, U. S. Navy 178-180 

Landsman Michael Lanahan, U. S. Navy 180, 181 

Coalpasser Thomas Melville, U. S. Navy 181-184 

Coxswain Benjamin R. Wilber, U. S. Navy 184, 185 

Fireman John H. Pank, U. S. Navy 185,186 

Seaman Otto Rau, U. S. Navv 186, 187 

Fireman William Gartrell, U. S. Navy 187-189 

Seaman Edward Mattson, U. S. Navy 189-191 

Mess Attendant John H. Turpin, U. S. Navy 191-193 

Seaman Martin Larsen, U. S. Navy 193 

Ninth day: 

Passed Assistant Engineer Bowers (recalled) 194 

Seaman Harry S. McCann, U. S. Navy 199,200 

Landsman Kane, U.S. Navy 200,201 

Commander James M. Forsyth, U. S. Navy 201-203 

Machinist Charles Goodwin 203,204 

Interrogation of survivors, officers and men, of the Maine, at military 

barracks, Key West , 204 

Tenth day : 

Ensign W. V. N. Powelson (recalled) 205-218 

George Cornell 218-220 

Capt. Frank Stevens 220,221 

Eleventh dav : 

Chief Engineer Howell (recalled) 221, 222 

Ensign Powelson (recalled) 222 

Chief Engineer Howell (recalled) .1 224 

Gunner's Mate Rundquist (recalled) 224-229 

Gunner's Mate Schluter (recalled) 229-231 

Chief Gunner's Mate Olsen (recalled) 232-238 

Naval Cadet Cluverius (recalled) 238,239 

Twelfth dav : 

Guuner's Mate Smith 239-242 

Naval Constructor J. B. Hoover 242-244 

Carpenter Helm (recalled) 244-246 

Consul-General Fitzhugh Lee 246, 247 

Thirteenth and fourteenth days : 

Naval Constructor Hoover 247 

Carpenter Helm, U. S. Navy 247 

Ensign Powelson, U. S. Navy 248 

Chief Gunner's Mate Olsen, U. S. Navv 249-252 

Gunner's Mate T. Smith, U.S. Navy..*. 252 

Gunner's Mate Schluter, U. S. Navy 252,253 

Gunner's Mate Rundquist, U. S. Navy 253-256 

Fifteenth day: 

Commander G. A. Converse, U. S. Navy 257-260 

Sixteenth day : 

Capt. John Haggerty 261,262 

William Henry Dwyer, submarine diver 262-264 

Ensign Powelson (recalled) V6i, 265 

Andrew Olsen, chief gunner's mate (recalled) 265-267 

T. Smith, gunner's mate (recalled) 267,268 

Carl Rundquist, gunner's mate (recalled) 268, 269 

Gunner's Mate Schluter (recalled) 270 

Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright (recalled) 270,271 

Naval Constructor Hoover (recalled) 271 

Seventeenth day: 

Lieut. H. Hutchins 272 

Chief Engineer Howell (recalled) 272,273 

Commander Converse ( recalled") 273, 274 



INDEX. 307 

Page. 
Eighteenth day : 

Submarine Diver Dwyer (recalled) 274-277 

Lieutenant Hutchins (recalled) 277 

Ensign Powelson (recalled) 277 

Nineteenth day 278 

Twentieth day 278 

Twenty-first day 278 

Twenty-second day 279 

Twenty-third day : 

Findings of the court 279-281 

Adjournment 281 

Exhibits : 

A 285 

B 287 

C 288 

D 289 

E 290 

F 291 

G 292 

H 295 

I 297 

K 299 

L 301 

M 303