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e 714 UU LAC 






The General Libraries 

University of Texas 

at Austin 








I. Batttei and CspitnUtioii of Santiago da Cnlia. By Lieut. Joe6 Muller y Tejeiro, 

Spanish Navy. 
II. Commanti of Bear-Admiral Fltddemann, German Navy, on the Main Teatnrea of 
the War with Spain. 

III. Sketehet from the Spaniih-Ameriean War. By Commander J., German Navy. 

IV. Sketchei from Ithe Spaniah-Amerioan War. By Ck)mmander J., German Navy. 

V. XfllBot of the Onn Fire of the United Statea Veaaela in Battle of Kanila Bay. By 
Lieut. John M. Ellicott, United States Navy. 
VI. The Spaniah-Amerioan War. Blockades and Coast Defense. By Capt. Severo 

G6mez Nrifiez, Spanish Army. 
VII. The Spaniah-Amerioan War. A Collection of Documents relative to the Squad- 
ron Operations in the West Indies. Arranged by Rear-Admiral Pascual 
Cervera y Topete, Spanish Navy. 
VIII. The Squadron of Admiral Cervera. By Capt. Victor M. Concas y Palau, Spanish 



The pnblication by this office of the partial translation of " Battles and Ca- 
pitulation of Santiago de Cuba/' by Lieutenant MfUler y Tejeiro, was received 
with so much interest both in and out of the service that the small edition of 
1,000 copies was soon exhausted. The chapters there omitted were : 

I. Some Historical Antecedents. ^ 

n. The United States and the Maine. 
m. The First Shots. 
lY. The Scene of Events. 
y. Forces of the Jurisdiction (Santiago). 
VI. Works of Defense. 
Vn. Artillery Set Up. 
ym. The Cruiser Beina Mercedes, 
XIV. The Volunteers. 

XXX. Escario's Column (being a description of General Escario's march 
across the country from Manzanillo to Santiago). 
XXXTTT. Suspension of HostUities. 

XXXVn. Traders, not the Spanish People (resx>onsible for the Cuban trouble). 
XXXVm. G^erona and Santiago de Chiba (comx>ari8on of the two battles). 

These have since been translated, and are given in this edition, excepting 
Chapters 1, 11, and m, which are again omitted, as they contain no original or 
new matter, and have no connection with the subject of the jook. 

Among the newly translated chapters, the one giving the diary of G^eneral 
Escario's march, with 3,752 men, from Manzanillo to Santiago, a distance of 
52 leagues through the enemy's country, is one of great interest. Considering 
the nature of the country, which forced them generally to march single file, the 
heavy rains, and the continual harassment by the (Cubans, the effectiveness of 
which is shown by the large number of killed and wounded on both sides, it may 
be classed as one of the most noticeable military feats of the war. It shows what 
the Cubans did toward the fall of Santiago, and a study of the situation will be 
interesting, considering what would have been the temx>orary effect if Escario's 
march had been unopx>osed, and he had arrived at Santiago with his force unim- 
paired a day or two before that critical i)eriod— July 2 — just previous to the 
departure and destruction of Cervera's fleet. 


Chief Intelligence Officer, 
December SI, 1898. 




Introductory notes — 8 

Preface -4. - 7 

Chap.I-ni. Omitted. 

IV. The Scene of Events 9 

V. Forces of the Jurisdiction 14 

VI. Works of Defense 17 

Vn. ArtiUery Set Up 21 

VUL The Cruiser jBetTia Jlf(ercede« _ 24 

IX. The Two Fleets 27 

X. Provisions of the City .- 81 

XI. Coaling >. 84 

Xn. Opinions as to Why the Fleet did not go out "87 

XTTT. The Blockade 40 

XIV. The Volunteers 46 

XV. Waiting 48 

XVI. The Merrimac 51 

XVTL The Blockade Continues 65 

XVnL The Bombardment Increases 58 

XIX. The Firing Continues 62 

TCX The Landing Expedition Appears 66 

XXI. Line of Observation 69 

XXn. Events of June 22d to 27th 74 

XXIIL End of the Month of June 81 

XXrV. Battles of El Caney and San Juan 86 

XXV. Actions of the 2d and 8d 92 

XXVI. Sortie of the Fleet 96 

XXVn. Naval Battle of Santiago de Cuba 100 

XXVin. Causes of the Loss of the Naval Battle of Santiago de Cuba 108 

XXTY Sinking of the Jfgroedea 118 

XXX. Escario's Column 116 

XXXI. In the CHty and in the Bay . 126 

XXXn. Battles and Bombardments of the 10th and 11th 180 

XXXTTI. Suspension of Hostilities 188 

XX XIV. Capitulation 144 

XXXV. The Emigration to El Caney 146 

XXXVL Surrender of the City 160 

XXXVn. Traders, not the Spanish People 166 

XXXVm. Gerona and Santiago de Cuba 169 



On the 18th of May, the first hostile ships were sighted from the Morro oi 
Santiago de Gnba and the first gunshots were heard, which since that date, for 
the space of two months, have hardly ceased for a single day. 

On the following day, the 19th, the Spanish fieet, commanded by Bear Admi- 
ral Cervera, entered with very little coal, which it was absolutely necessary to 

It did not require g^eat 'poyrer of penetration to understand that, owing to 
the scant resources available at this harbor, it would take more days to get the 
necessary fuel on board than it would take Admiral Sampson, Commander of 
the United States fieet, to find out that circumstance, and that consequently the 
Spanish fieet would be blockaded, as indeed it was ; and as a natural and logical 
inference, that the enemy's objective would be the city and harlx)r of Santiago, 
where the only battle ships that Spain had in the Antilles, or at least in the 
Greater Antilla, had taken refuge. 

Thus, the arrival of the fieet gave this city a military imx>ortance which 
without that event it would never have acquired, and changed it to the princi- 
pal — ^not to say, the only— scene of operations in the island, the denouement of 
which would necessarily be of great interest and of x)owerful infiuence on the 
result of the campaign and the war. Subsequent events have shown the truth 
of my assumption, which was also the assumption of everybody else in the city. 

From that time on, I have kept an exact diary, from day to day, from hour 
to hour, from minute to minute even— and when I say this I am not exagger- 
ating, for it is still in existence and may be seen — of everything I saw, or that 
came to my notice, or that passed through my hands in my official capacity, or 
that I knew to be accurate and trustworthy. 

When some official duty prevented me, I was ably replaced by my friend, Mr. 
Dario Laguna, aid of the captaincy of the port (ayudante de la capitanfa de 
puerto), who gladly rendered the service I asked of him, in spite of his 
constant and manifold obligations. 

If truth is a merit, these "Notes " (begging pardon for my want of modesty) 
possess it, though it may be their only merit. Whatever they contain has 
actually happened, and those who have returned from Santiago will testify to 
it. Not a single fact, no matter how insignificant, herein related, is doubtful 
or hypotheticsJ. Wherever I did not know the outcome of any event, or where 
its objects or consequences have remained a mystery, I have openly acknowl- 
edged it, without circumlocution, as any one may see who reads these notes. 
There is in them nothing of my own invention, and my imagination has had 
nothing to do with them, fortunately, for I do not possess the gift of invention, 
which I admire so much in others. My work has been confined to gathering 
data and obtaining as much information as possible, my only care having been to 
see that everything was correct, and I have made sure of this by comparing the 
data colleoted with the information obtained. 



Feeling sure that the events which have taken place from May 18 to July 17 — 
hence the true situation in which were Santiago de Onba and the forces defend- 
ing it — can not be known in Spain in detail, but only in general, I am desirons 
of making them known in their whole tmth, so that the country, to whom I 
think that we who were intrusted with defending its honor and interests at a 
distance of fifteen hundred leagues, owe the strictest account, may be able, 
with a complete knowledge of the facts, to call us to account, if it thinks that 
we have incurred any responsibility. 

Such has been my object, and I trust that my comrades of Santiago de Cuba, 
both in the Army and in the Navy, will approve of it. 

Santiago de Cuba, August 10, 1898. 



In order to be able to form at least an approximate idea of the 
events which are taking place here, and of which no one knows as 
yet when and how they will end, it is indispensable to know the 
location of the places where they are occurring, and for that 
reason I will describe them as briefly as possible, referring the 
reader to the sketch at the end of this book and the explanations 
concerning the different places. 

Santiago de Cuba, the capital of the province of the same name, 
occupying the eastern part of the island, contained at the begin- 
ning of the present insurrection about 45,000 inhabitants; but the 
population has been reduced to about three-fourths of that, owing 
to emigrations and epidemics. The city is built on very hilly 
ground, at the head of a bay which is almost entirely closed in 
and very safe, so that, when seen from the city, it looks more like 
a lake than an arm of the sea. The distance to the mouth of the 
harbor in a straight line is about 4 miles. 

This mouth, which is extremely narrow, is bounded on the east 
by the heights of the Morro and on the west by those of the Socapa, 
both of which are very steep toward the south, that is, where they 
border on the sea. 

At Punta Morrillo, the western extremity of the Morro heights, 
which latter rise about 65 meters above the level of the sea, is sit- 
uated Morro Castle, which was at one time a very good fort, well 
built, but in these days of modem artillery it is not only useless, 
but even dangerous on account of the target which it presents, and 
this was the opinion of the junta of defense when they decided that 
whatever artillery was to be installed there should be erected on 
the plateau of the Morro and not inside of the castle. On this 
plateau are also situated the houses of the governor, the adjutant 
of the fort, the engineers and gunners, the lookout and the light- 
house keepers, also the light-house itself, which is a white light, 
fixed, flashing every two minutes, and visible ,16 miles. Since 
May 18, in consequence of the events of that day, it has not been 

The heights of the Socapa, whose elevation is about the same as 
that of the Morro heights, bound on the west, as already stated, 
the mouth of the harbor, and contain no fortification nor defense 
of any kind. 



Ships wanting to enter Santiago Harbor must follow the Morro 
shore, which is bold and comparatively clear, while on the Socapa 
shore is Diamante Bank, consisting of rocks, leaving a channel 
whose depth varies between 6 and 11 meters. Between the place 
where Diamante buoy is anchored (in 30 feet of water) and Estrella 
Cove the channel is not over 50 fathoms wide. At the head of 
this cove, which only small boats can enter, is the hut of the 
English cable. 

The course to be taken in order to enter the harbor is NE. 6° 
N. (true), until coming close to Estrella battery, an old fort 
which, like the Morro, was good in its time, but is now useless. 
From this point to Punta Soldado, which is on the eastern shore of 
the bay and which, with Punta Churruca, forms the entrance of 
N ispero Bay, the course is north, leaving to starboard Santa Cata- 
lina battery, which is abandoned and in ruinls. 

Prom Punta Soldado the course is NNW. until coming close to 
Cay Smith, which is to be left to port ; from there the course must 
be shaped so as to avoid the Punta Gorda Bank, whose beacon, 
marking 18 feet, is to be left to starboard. 

Cay Smith is a small island, or rather a large rock of small sur- 
face and great elevation, on the top of which is a small stone 
hermitage of modern construction; on its southern slope are 111 
houses and cottages belonging to pilots, fishermen, and private citi- 
zens, who have built them for the purpose of spending the hottest 
season there. In the northern part there are no buildings what- 
ever, the groimd being inaccessible. 

After passing Punta Gorda, the course is to be shaped for Punta 
Jutias, leaving to port Colorado Shoals, containing a beacon, and 
Cay Ratones. The latter is a small low island devoid of all vegeta- 
tion. In the extreme north is a powder magazine, and in the south 
the guardroom of the same. ' 

From Punta Jutias, the course is N NE. until reaching the gen- 
eral anchoring place, which is 8 meters deep (oozy bottom). 

Santiago de Cuba has, besides many minor piers for boats and 
small craft, the Royal Pier and the piers of Luz and San Jos^, 
all built of wood ; only ships of less than 14 feet draft can go 
alongside of these. Between the city and Punta Jutias, at a place 
called Las Cruces, is the pier of the same name, built of iron with 
stone abutments, belonging to the American company of the Ju- 
ragua iron mines ; it has a watering place, the water coming from 
Aguadores in pipes. Ships of large draft can go alongside of 
this pier. A narrow-gauge railroad from the mines, passing over 
26 kilometres of ground, goes to the extreme end of the pier. 

Santiago is an open city, with not a vestige of fortification in its 
precinct (I am speaking of the beginning of the present war), and 


only at Punta Blanca, situated just south of it, is a battery of the 
same name, with a small powder magazine, intended only for 
saluting purposes and to answer salutes of war ships casting anchor 
in the harbor. 

From the above it will be seen that the mouth of Santiago Har- 
bor is defended by nature in such a manner that nothing is easier 
than to render it truly impregnable in a ^ort time by installing 
modem artillery in batteries erected where it would be most 
necessary and convenient. The heights of the Morro and Socapa 
have a full view of the sea, and being difficult of access by land, 
they are easy to defend. Punta Gorda, owing to its admirable 
location and being high above the level of the sea, has entire 
control of the channel, and any ship trying to enter would neces- 
sarily be exposed to its fire and present her bow and port fof at 
least twenty minutes. The very narrow entrance is well adapted 
for laying lines of torpedoes which could be easily protected by 
rapid-fire artillery erected on the western shore, preventing them 
from being dragged or blown up. Moreover, no matter how large 
a fleet might attempt to force the harbor, as but one vessel can 
pass through the channel at a time, and that only with the great- 
est care and precautions if it is over 80 meters long, nothing is 
easier than to sink it; and in that event, the channel would be 
completely obstructed and the harbor closed, until the submerged 
vessel is blown up. 

It is evident, and almost superfluous for me to mention it, that 
with the same ease that a fleet trying to force the harbor can be 
prevented from entering, another fleet can be prevented from leav- 
ing it. But since Spain, in spite of all that was being done in the 
United States, never for a moment- believed that war would come, 
it has not occurred to her to fortify this harbor. There were no 
guns; but on the other hand, plenty of good plans and designs 
which the military authorities in Santiago have never been able to 
have carried into effect, for the simple reason that the Gk)vemment 
never got around to ordering that it be done. 

Three miles west of the entrance of the Morro is the small har- 
bor of Cabafias, which, while accessible only for small vessels, is 
very safe and well suited for landing purposes. It has 6 feet of 
water at the bar and 5 fathoms inside. The distance by land from 
Cabafias to Cabafiitas on Santiago Bay is about a league. 

Six miles farther west, or 9 miles from Santiago, is Punta 
Cabrera, the headland extending farthest south and the last one 
which can be seen. It is a high cone-shaped mountain. As the 
coast is very accessible, vessels of great draft can approach it. 
At the small cove of Guaicabon, east of said point, boats can land 
and communicate with the shore, which, in fact, is being done at 


this time by a steam yacht of the American fleet, which is proba- 
bly receiving confidential information from the insurgents. Guai- 
cabon is about 2 leagues from Santiago by land and the road is 

Three miles east of the Morro is Aguadores Bay ; it is crossed 
by a high bridge, over which passes the railroad of the Juragua 
mines. Boats can enter the river which empties into this bay ; it 
is an excellent place for landing. 

A quarter of a mile farther east is the roadstead of Sardinero, 
with a river emptying into it. 

Three-fourths of a mile from there is Jutici, a small roadstead 
with a watering place. 

Ten miles farther on is Juragua Beach, with a river that boats 
can enter. 

Fifteen miles from there is Daiquiri Bay, with a river and water- 
ing place. Boats can enter here. Daiquiri Bay has a very fine 
stone and iron pier, also a small one for minor craft. ' Ashore, a 
short distance from the pier, are the offices of the employees of the 
mines and railroad for the transportation of the mineral from the 
mines to the pier, about § miles long. Large vessels can go along- 
side the iron pier. 

Finally, 20 miles farther east is Punta Berracos, the last point 
which can be distinguished from the Morro, and the one projecting 
farthest south. Although it is possible to land here, with a great 
deal of w«rk, it is not advisable to do so, there being no watering 
place and no road. 

In all these places, east as well as west of Santiago, vessels can 
not remain with strong south or southeast winds, but must neces- 
sarily put to sea. 

Aguadores and Santiago are connected by the Juragua railroad. 
The road along the coast is bad ; it is a little over a league long. 

From Sardinero to Santiago there are 2 leagues of good road. 

The road leading from Juraguacito to Santiago is the Gu^simas 
road, which is good, beginning at El Caney. It is 4 leagues long. 

From Juragua to Santiago is the Sevilla road, which also leads 
to El Caney. This road and the former meet at a place called Dos 
Caminos. It is a good road, and about 4 leagues long. Moreover, 
as has been stated, there is a narrow-gauge railroad from the mines, 
which passes through Aguadores and terminates at Las Cruces Pier. 

At Berracos there are no roads whatever, only paths, over which 
it is not possible to transport artillery. 

The railroad to San Luis, 32,460 meters long, starts from San- 
tiago and passes through the following points: Santiago, Cua- 
vitas (station), Boniato, San Vicente, Dos Bocas (station), Cristo, 
Moron, Dos Caminos, and San Luis. 


From Cristo a branch line of 10,300 meters goes to Songo. Trains 
are now running as far as Socorro. 

These are the different places which form the scene of the events 
now claiming the attention of the island of Cuba, and probably 
also of the Peninsula; and these events, whatever may be their 
outcome, will be of great importance and powerful influence on 
the result of the war. 


The present insurrection broke out on February 24, 1895, in the 
eastern provinces, but it soon invaded the western provinces and 
spread over the whole island from Cape San Antonio to Cape Maysi. 

In order to check it, or at least reduce it to narrower limits. Gen- 
eral Weyler conceived and carried out the plan of moving his forces 
from west to east, building trochas to prevent the insurgents from 
again invading the pacified provinces, or to inclose them between 
two lines of soldiers more or less difficult to force. 

Consequently the greater part of the forces of the army of Cuba 
occupied the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Havana, Matanzas, and 
Las Villas, for the purpose of carrying on active operations 
there, leaving a very small number at Camaguey, and still less 
in the eastern provinces. These latter provinces, therefore, could 
do nothing more than defend the country and the cities and 
towns and prevent the enemy from entering them. Hence, when 
the war with^he United States broke out, the division of Santiago, 
consisting of two brigades, had to cover the districts of Santiago, 
Guant^namo, Baracoa, and Sagua ; and it is only necessary to cast 
a glance at the map in order to understand how difficult it would 
be to control such an immense territory with such scant forces, 
which had to garrison many cities, towns, forts, and redoubts, 
cover four railway lines (from Santiago to Sabanillo and Maroto, 
to Juragua, to Daiquiri, and from Caimanera to Guantfinamo), act 
as convoys, protect the mineral regions, and provide also for the 
formation of more or less numerous flying columns to harass the 
enemy incessantly. Fortunately this division was in command of 
General Linares, whose energy and zeal can never be sufficiently 
praised, and whose well-deserved promotion to lieutenant general 
was learned here by cable about the middle of May. 

As the events which I propose to relate are only those directly 
concerning Santiago de Cuba and its jurisdiction, where they have 
taken place and which I have had a chance to witness, they will be 
the only ones that I shall refer to. 

The first brigade of the division consisted of the following forces : 

Chief of division, Lieut. Q^n. Arsenic Linares Pombo; 

Chief of staflP, Lieut. Col. Ventura Fontin ; 

Military governor of Santiago and chief of the forces of that 
division. General of Division Jos6 Toral; 



Chief of staflF, Luis IrWs; 

Chief of the San Luis brigade, General of Brigade Joaquin Vara 
del Key ; 

Chief of staff, Captain Juan Ramos. 

It will be seen from the above that the brigade was really divided 
into two divisions, one under the orders of General Toral, and the 
other under the orders of General Vara del Rey. The forces com- 
posing both divisions were as follows : 

Twelve companies of mobilized troops ; 

Two squads of the regiment of royal cavalry (less than 200 horse) ; 

Two battalions of the regiment of Santiago infantry ; 

One Asiatic battalion; 

One provincial battalion of Puerto Rico, No. 1 ; 

One battalion of San Fernando ; 

One battalion **Constitucion;" 

Also half a battery of artillery and a small force of the civil 
guard and engineers. 

To these forces must be added the battalion of Talavera, which 
General Linares ordered from Baracoa as soon as the present war 
was declared and in anticipation of coming events. 

These forces form at most a total of 8,000 men. 

General of Brigade Antero Rubin was under orders of General 

Colonel of Engineers Florencio Caula was commander of engi- 
neers of the city, and Lieut. Col. Luis Melgar commander of artil- 
lery; the latter turned his command over to Colonel Orddflez on 
April 29 upon being appointed superintendent of the artillery 

Administrative chief, First-class Commissary Julio Cuevas. 

Chief of the civil guard, Col. Francisco Oliveros. 

Superintendent of the military hospital, Sub-inspector Pedro 
Martin Garcia. 

Governor of Morro Castle, Commander of Infantry Antonio Ros. 

When the first insurrection broke out in the Island of Cuba in 
1868, bodies of volunteers were formed which have rendered good 
services as garrisons of .the fortified places. At Santiago, accord- 
ing to official statements, there were the following : 


First battalion : Col. Manuel Barmeco 680 

Second battalion : Lieut. Col. Jos6 Marim6n 485 

Firemen: Col. Emilio Aguerriz&bal . .-— 824 

Comx>any of gnides: Capt. Federico Bosch 200 

Company of veterans: Capt. Jo86 Prat 180 

Squad of cavalry _ 100 

Total - 1,869 


Santiago de Guba is the capital of the maritime comandanciaof 
the same name, bounded on the south by Junco Creek and on the 
north by Sagua de Tinamo, and divided into four districts : Man- 
zanillo, Santiago de Cuba, Guant^amo, and Baracoa. The com- 
mander of this maritime comandancia was Capt. Pelayo Pede- 
monte, of the navy. 

The prelate of the archdiocese was Francisco S^enz de Urturi. 

Governor of the province, Leonardo Ros. 

President of the audencia territorial, Rafa^el Nacarino Brabo. 

Mayor, Gabriel Ferrer. 

The consular corps was represented by the following gentlemen : 

Frederick W. Ramsden, England; 

Hermann Michaelsen, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, 
Italy ; 

E. Hippean, France; 

Pablo Bory, Mexico; 

Juan E. Siabelo, Santo Domingo ; 

Temlstocles Rabelo, Paraguay ; 

Juan Rey, Hayti. 

The vice-consuls were : 

Jacobo Bravo, United States of Colombia ; 

Isidore Agustini, Sweden and Norway; 

Leonardo Ros, Netherlands; 

Modesto Ros, Portugal ; 

Eduardo Miranda, Venezuela ; 

Robert Mason, China ; 

Jos6 J. Hemfindez, Argentine Republic. 

The United States consul left on April 7 in an English steamer 
bound for Jamaica, having turned over the archives of his consu- 
late to the British consul. 


■^j. «. 

: .« P; VI. 


ij .-. 

1 ^ 

The governments of Spain have thought more than once of 
fortifying the coasts of the Island of Cuba, and for that purpose 
committees have been appointed who have studied the matter and 
submitted many good, even excellent, plans, which have been 
approved, but never carried into eflfect. 

There was at Santiago a junta of land and marine defenses of 
the city, composed of the following persons : 

President, the military governor of the city, General of Division 
Jos6 Toral; voting members, the commander of marine, Capt. 
Pelayo Pedemonte; the commander of engineers of the city. 
Col. Florencio Caula; the commander of artillery of the city, 
Lieut. Col. Luis Melgar; and the chief of submarine defenses. 
First Lieut. Jos6 Miiller, of the navy. 

The latter officer, whose regular office was that of second com- 
mander of marine, was only temporarily chief of submarine 
defenses, in the absence of torpedo officers, he not being one. 

This junta held meetings whenever it was deemed necessary, 
until April 8, when a cablegram from the captain general of the 
island ordered that it become permanent, and that the commander 
of marine give his opinion as to the suitability of laying torpedoes. 
The junta, taking into account the grave situation, the imminence 
of war, and the scarcity of artillery material and appliances and 
resources of every kind, expressed the unanimous opinion that the 
only defense that could be counted on for the harbor were the torpe- 
does, for which the material was at hand, and consequently that 
they should be given preference, and everything within human 
power done to protect th^ and prevent their being dragged or 
blown up; in a word, that the torpedoes should be placed as the 
only veritable defense and everything else subordinated to them. 

As early as the second day of the same month (April) the com- 
mander of submarine defenses, in compliance with orders received, 
had already commenced to charge the Latiner-Clark torpedoes, 
transferring them to Cay Ratones, where the powder magazine 
was located that contained the gun-cotton, also to place the buoys 
for the first row of torpedoes, and to carry out other operations in 

connection therewith. 




The junta of defense, in view of the poor condition of Morro 
Castle and Estrella and Catalina batteries and of the informa- 
tion which the American consul would probably give his Govern- 
ment, decided to remove the torpedo-firing and converging stations 
from said forts where they were and erect them at places on the 
bay where they would be protected and sheltered from the hostile 
fire, and this was done. 

On April 14 the second commander of marine turned over the 
submarine defenses to a torpedo officer, Lieut. Mauricio Arauco, 
commander of the gunboat Alvarado^ who continued the work of 
laying the torpedoes ; the first row, consisting of seven, with their 
firing stations at the Estrella and Socapa, was finished by April 21, 
and the second row, consisting of six, with stations at the Socapa 
and Cay Smith, on the 27th. 

By orders of the commander general of marine (Havana), the 
second commander of marine of the province, together with Col- 
onel of Engineers Angel Rosell and Captain of Artillery Ballenilla, 
left for Guant&namo on April 21, for the purpose of selecting the 
most suitable site for planting Bustamante torpedoes in that harbor 
so as to prevent ships from reaching Caimanera, returning to San- 
tiago on the 25th after finishing the investigation. The torpedoes 
were subsequently placed by First Lieut. Julian Garcia Durdn at 
the site selected. 

On the 23d, the gunboat Sandoval left for Guantinamo, where 
her crew was to plant the Bustamante torpedoes. She has since 
remained at that harbor. 

Two days before, on the 21st, orders were received from Havana 
to remove from the interior of the harbor all light buoys and bea- 
cons, which orders were promptly complied with. 

It was also agreed by the junta of defense to establish at Punta 
Gorda a battery composed of two 15-cm. Mata howitzers and two 
9-cm. Krupp guns, and the corps of engineers at once proceeded to 
clear the plateau of the mountain, build the road, and do other 
work preparatory to erecting such battery. By the 26th, the two 
howitzers were ready to fire, and the two guns by the 27th, all of 
them being breechloaders. This batteSy, which, as will be seen 
later, had two 16-cm. Hontoria guns, is the best of all the bMteries 
erected, because it was done with less haste, and perhaps also be- 
cause the ground was particularly well adapted. It was placed in 
command of Captain of Artillery Seijas, who had previously had 
command of the Morro battery. 

On April 18 there arrived from Havana three 21-cm. muzzle- 
loading howitzers, and a few days later, in the steamer Reina de 
los Angeles, three more from the same city. 


A cablegram from Havana stated that, according to information 
received, the steamer Margrave would try to cut the cable at San- 
tiago, thereby cutting oflP our communications, and it was there- 
fore ordered to erect on the esplanade of the Morro two old 16-cm. 
guns, more for the purpose of making signals than to attack the 
enemy. They were both taken up there ; one of them was mounted 
on a wooden carriage and the other was not mounted. 

On April 21, two short 8-cm. Plasencia guns (breech-loading) 
were mounted at Estrella Cove. 

At the Estrella battery there had been installed some time ago 
an old 21-cm. rifled howitzer, and another partly installed. In 
view of the unfavorable location of the battery, it was decided to 
abandon both ; but after the 28th, the second was mounted, also 
the two Plasencia guns that had previously been erected at Estrella 
Cove, together with two short 12-cm. rifled bronze guns. Not a 
single one of these pieces was fired. The battery was in command 
of Lieutenant of Artillery Sanchez of the reserve forces; he was 
subsequently assigned to the artillery of the precinct. 

By May 28, five 16-cm. rifled muzzle-loading bronze guns had 
been mounted on the esplanade of the Morro. 

On June 21, a 21-cm. muzzle-loading howitzer was erecte<l at 
the same place, and another on the 25th. 

On the high battery of the Socapa were mounted : on June 13, a 
21-cm. muzzle-loading howitzer; another on the 16th; another on 
the 17th. 


Punta Qorda battery, in command of Captain of Artillery Seijas : 
Two 15-cm. Mata howitzers ; 
Two 9-cm. breech-loading Krupp guns. 
Estrella battery, in command of Lieutenant S&nchez : 
Two 21-cm. old howitzers ; 
Two 8-cm. modem Plasencia guns ; 
Two short 12-cm. rifled bronze guns (old). 
None of these were fired. 
Morro battery, first in command of Captain Seijas, later of Lieu- 
tenant Ledn: 

Five old 16-cm. guns; 
Two old 21-cm. howitzers. 
High battery of the Socapa: 

Three old 21-cm. howitzers. 
It will be seen that this whole artillery includes only six breech- 
loading guns, four erected at Punta Gorda and two Plasencia guns 
at Estrella, which latter two, owing to the location of said bat- 
tery, could not be fired. All the others were old guns, and it is 


well known that it takes a long time to load them and that their 
fire is very uncertain. 

The dates when these different guns were erected and ready to 
fire should be kept in mind, so as to know which could answer hos- 
tile attacks and which not on the different days when the enemy 
bombarded the mouth of the harbor and the bay. 



It will be sufficient to remember what has been said in the pre- 
ceding chapter to understand that, in spite of the fact that Santiago 
has a harbor which is so easy to defend and the possession of 
which it was so imperative to maintain, in spite of its being the 
capital of the eastern half of the island and at such a long dis- 
tance from Havana, there were at Santiago at the time the present 
war broke out not more than six modern breech-loading guns, 
namely, two 15-cm. Mata howitzers, two 9-cm. Krupp guns, and 
two 8-cm. Plasencia guns. That was all the artillery worthy of 
the name, and even these guns, owing to their small calibers, were 
useless, or almost so, against armorclads and cruisers. 

The others, as has been seen, were old bronze and even iron 
muzzle-loaders which could not fire more than one shot to every 
twenty fired from one of the enemy's guns, and all they sent us 
from Havana were six 21-cm. howitzers, likewise old muzzle-loaders, 
this being all the material received here to oppose a powerful 
modem fleet. These facts might appear exaggerated if there were 
not others that appear still more so, but which are shown in official 
statements and statistics of forces available, and these can not h^ 
doubted. For the service of all the guns, including those set up 
in the precinct, there were only 79 gunners; of course, it became 
necessary to complete the indispensable number with soldiers of 
the infantry. 

To mount this artillery, which was defective if not entirely 
useless, but which was nevertheless set up at the Morro, Punta 
Gk)rda, and the Socapa, endless difficulties had to be overcome and 
work done which only the intelligence, energy, and perseverance 
of the chiefs and officers and the subordination and good will of 
the soldiers could accomplish, 'when resources and aids of every 
kind were absolutely lacking. 

'By simply looking at the esplanade of the Morro, one would 
realize the work it must have required to take guns up there 
weighing three or four thousand kilos, by a road which, I believe, 
has not been repaired once since the castle was first built. 

To install the guns at Punta Gorda everything had to be done 
from building the pier, where the guns were landed, to clearing 
the summit of the mountain, where they were set up, a.nd opening 
a zigzag road by which they were taken there. 



To mount the howitzers at the Socapa was truly a piece of work 
worthy of Romans, and of the six received only three could be 
set up. 

But where the corps of engineers never rested for a moment, and 
accomplished the most difficult work with the smallest force, was 
around the city in a line about 14 kilometers long. 

Closer to the city three lines of defenses were built, with trenches, 
breastworks, inclosures, wire fences, and whatever other obstacles 
the configuration of the ground might suggest; the so-called forts, 
already in existence, were improved and new ones built; in a word, 
an open city, which had no fortifications of any kind to oppose to 
the enemy, was, in the short space of a few days, placed in condi- 
tion of resistance with chances of success. 

From the moment that our fleet entered Santiago Harbor, it was 
not difficult to surmise that it would become the enemy's objective, 
upon which all his efforts would be concentrated, and it was for 
that reason, always expecting the landing which was finally effected, 
that the work above described was carried out, and the rest of the 
artillery of the city, likewise old, mounted in the following posi- 
tions : 

June 12 — One 16-cm. rifled bronze gun, at Fort San Antonio; 
One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun at Santa Inds ; 
Two short 8-cm. rifled bronze guns at Fort San 
June 13 — One 16-cm. rifled bronze gun, and 

One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun at the entrance to 
El Caney. 
June 14 — One 16-cm. rifled bronze gun; 

One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun, and 
Two short 8-cm. rifled bronze guns at El Suefio. 
June 16 — One 16-cm. gun, and 

Two short 8-cm. guns at Santa Ursula. 
June 17 — One 16-cm. rifled bronze gun at Cafladas. 
June 25 — One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun at Fort Homo; 
One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun at Fort Nuevo. 
After the battle of July 1 the following were mounted : 
At Santa Ursula — Two long 12-cm. rifled bronze guns. 
At entrance of El Caney — Two guns of same type as above. 
At Santa Inds — One long 8-cm. bronze gun (old). The breech 
pieces of this latter gun were missing. 

With General Escario's column two 8-cm. Plasencia guns arrived 
from Manzanilo ; but, like all those mounted since July 1 , they did not 
get a chance of being fired, the battles having ceased by that time. 


Hence the only modern artillery existing in the precinct of the 
city, namely, one 9-cm. Hontoria, two 76-mm. Maxim, and two 
8-cin. Plascencia guns, was not fired. 

All the 8-cm. guns had been pronounced useless by the central 
junta of Havana, and, far from being effective, they were even 

The 12-cm. guns were mounted in carriages of other guns, and 
were therefore useless in themselves, without being disabled by 
the enemy. 


It does not require a deep knowledge of artillery to understand 
that the batteries, erected at the Morro and Socapa, and even at 
Punta Gorda, were powerless, or almost so, against armored and 
protected ships. As to the Estrella battery, I even refrain from 
mentioning it, because owing to its location it was not fired at all. 
Of the only modern artillery, at Punta Gtorda, the guns were of 
small caliber, and the howitzers, owing to their indirect fire, are 
very uncertain against ships which occupy comparatively very 
little space. As to the guns of the Morro and Socapa, when I say 
that they were old howitzers I think I have said enough. Having 
had no other artillery, it may well be supposed that we, who wit- 
nessed and sustained the blockade of Santiago, feel satisfaction 
and pride in being able to say that we kept the American fleet, 
notwithstanding its power and the number of its guns, for seventy 
days, namely, from May 18 to July 17, in front of the mouth of 
the harbor, on the sea, and at a respectable distance from our bat- 
teries, which they were unable to silence, and not daring to force 
the entrance. 

It is only just to say, and I take pleasure in doing so, that this 
result is due, in the first place, to the cruiser Reina Mercedes^ 
under the command of Captain Rafael Mic<5n, and in the second 
place, to our fleet anchored in the bay, and which the enemy would 
have had to fight after forcing the harbor, provided they had suc- 
ceeded in doing so, but they do not appear to have thought of it. 

Owing to the very bad condition of the boilers of the Reina 
Mercedes^ it was impossible for her to proceed to Havana, as most 
of the vessels cruising in. these waters did sooner or later, and it 
was taken for granted that, in view of her condition, she would 
play but a very secondary part during the events here; it did not 
occur to anyone that the Mercedes might become, if not the salva- 
tion, yet the providence, so to speak, of Santiago Harbor, and that 
she was to be of such great assistance to the heroic defense made 
by the batteries. 

Her crew had been considerably reduced by detachments and 
sickness, but it was well disciplined and enthusiastic, and com- 
manded by chiefs and officers as intelligent as they were energetic 
and indefatigable. The vessel cast anchor at the Socapa on March 



23 and proceeded to send down her yards and topmasts and pro- 
tect her starboard side (the one she presented to the mouth of the 
harbor) with her light cables, thereby protecting the torpedo maga- 
zine as much as possible from the hostile fire. 

On the 26th, in obedience to superior orders, she had to undo 
everything that had been done and again anchor in the bay, return- 
ing to the Socapa a few days later, when she went to work once 
more sending down the masts, protecting her side, etc. 

At the same time one of her steam launches, with a crew from the 
Mercedes^ rendered service at the comandancia de marina, where 
she became indispensable, and the other steam launch and the 
boats assisted in laying the torpedoes, towing launches, and did a 
thousand other things, some of them not properly belonging to 
vessels, but all equally indispensable. 

On May 7 work was commenced on dismounting four of the 
16-cm. Hontoria guns, under the direction of Boatswain Antonio 
Rodriguez Dfaz, a derrick having been erected for that purpose, 
which removed the guns with their mounts from the vessel. The 
latter now had only the two bow guns left to defend the mouth of 
the harbor and rows of torpedoes. 

All of the four guns were taken up to the Socapa by fifty sailors 
of the Mercedes and forty of Captain Mateu's guerrillas. One was 
mounted and ready to fire by the evening of the 18th, the other by 
the 28th, the engineers having previously finished the trenches and 
cement foundations for setting them up. 

The third gun was mounted at Punta Gorda by a crew from the 
vessel by June 2, and by the 17th the fourth and last ope had been 
mounted. These two 16-cm. Hontoria guns, erected on the western 
slope of Punta Qorda, were placed in charge of Ensign Vial, under 
the command of Captain of Artillery Seijas. 

The two Hontoria guns at the Socapa were placed in charge of 
Ensigns Nardiz and Bruquetas respectively. 

The erection of the last gun mounted at Punta Gk)rda was super- 
intended by Boatswain Ricardo Rodriguez Paz, Boatswain Rod- 
riguez who had superintended the others having been wounded. 

These four guns were moimted for the purpose of directly attack- 
ing the hostile fleet. 

The crew of the MercedeSy besides defending the tori)edo lines 
and preventing the approach of small craft that might attempt to 
disable them, also mounted at the lower battery of the Socapa, 
west of the channel of the harbor, the following guns : 

One 57-mm. Nordenf eldt gun ; 

Four 37-mm. Hotchkiss revolving guns ; 

One 25-mm. Nordenf eldt machine gun. 

26 • 

The latter belonged to the submarine defenses, the others to the 
Mercedes. Lieutenant Camino was placed in command of this 

It seems almost superfluous to state that all the artillery from 
the Mercedes set up ashore was served by men and commanded by 
officers from the crew of the vessel and that the same difficulties 
were encountered in this work as in the land defenses, there being 
the same obstacles and the same lack of resources and appliances ; 
moreover, two of the torpedo firing stations were manned by officers 
from the Mercedes; they actually seemed to multiply themselves 
to be able to render all these services. Words fail me to do justice 
to the officers and men for the work accomplished, especially while 
the guns were being mounted in the batteries. 

Although it may be anticipating events, I can not help but say 
that some ships, like some men, seem preordained to be martyrs. 
When long afterwards the Mercedes returned .to the bay, having 
left the anchoring place at the Socapa on account of the many 
casualties which she had suffered passively^ if I may be permitted 
the expression, the American ships, by a singular coincidence, 
threw their projectiles at the very spot where she was at anchor, 
as though an invisible hand had been guiding them. * 

Finally, when she had nothing left her but her hull to oflfer in 
sacrifice, she went down in the channel of the harbor, in order to 
oppose to the very last moment, and even after death, * an enemy 
whom she had so fiercely fought during her life-time. Peace to 
her remains! 


When the war between Spain and the United States became a 
fact, it is hard to tell how much was said and written about the 
Spanish fleet, or rather, fleets ; everybody knows of the thousands 
of items which appeared in the newspapers concerning the pur- 
chase of ships, to such an extent that, 4f all could have been believed, 
our navy would have been vastly superior to that of the United 
States, in number and quality. And this is so true that the least 
optimistic, the most reasonable people, those whom we considered 
best informed as belonging to the profession and who knew to a cer- 
tain extent what we could expect, counted on not less than eight 
battle ships leaving the Peninsula, to say nothing of the transports, 
torpedo boats, destroyers, etc. How much we were mistaken I 

On the 19th of May, at 6.60 o'clock a. m., the look-out signaled 
five steamers' to the south; shortly after it was signaled that the 
five steamers were five warships, and a little later that they were 
Spanish. So the much wished-f or fleet had arrived, which, accord- 
ing to the newspapers, was under the command of Vice Admiral 

At 7.16, the Infanta Maria Teresa, hoisting the rear admiral's 
flag, was sighted from the captaincy of the port ; a few minutes 
later, she cast anchor in the bay, some distance from the royal pier, 
her draught not permitting her to go nearer. Then the Vizcaya^ 
OquendOj and Cristdbal Coldn anchored one after the other, the last 
named with the flag of the second-in-command (brigadier) ; then 
the destroyer Plutdn entered, went out again without anchoring, 
and returned an hour later with the Furor ^ of the same class, and 
both anchored at a convenient place. 

The day when the fleet entered Santiago harbor was one of those 
beautiful mornings that are so frequent in tropical countries; not 
the slightest breeze rippled the surface of the water, not the least 
cloud was to be seen in the deep blue sky, and still, notwithstand- 
ing all that the local papers have said, very few were the people 
who came down to witness the arrival of the ships. With the ex- 
ception of the ofiicial element and a small number of Peninsulars, 
the arrival of our warships inspired no interest, nor even curiosity. 



And I say this and want it understood, because it is the best proof 
of the sympathies which the country professes for us and of which 
it gives us constantly unquestionable proofs whenever opportunity 

The fleet was under the command of the eminent Rear Admiral 
Pasoual Cervera, who, as already stated, had hoisted his flag on the 
Infanta Maria Teresa^ Captain Joaquin Bustamente being chief 
of the general staff. The second in command was Captain Josd 
de Paredes, who had hoisted his flag on the Cristdbal Coldn. 

The Infanta Maria Teresa^ built at the Nervidn shipyards, is a 
ship of 103.63 metres length, 19.81 beam, and 7,000 tons displace- 
ment, with a draught of 6.66 metres. Her engines develop 13,700 
I. H. P., giving her a speed of 20.26 miles. Her armament con- 
sists of two 28-cm. Hontoria guns (mounted in turrets, one for- 
ward and one aft) ; ten 14-cm. Hontoria guns ; eight 67-mm. Nor- 
denfeldt rapid-fire guns; eight 37-mm. HotchMss revolving guns, 
and two 11-mm. machine guns. She was commanded by Captain 
Victor Concas. 

The Vizcaya^ commanded by Captain Antonio Eulate, and the 
Oquendo^ commanded by Captain Juan B. Lagaza, are exactly 
like the Maria Teresa and built at the same yards. 

The Cristdbal Coldn^ under the command of Captain Emilio 
Diaz Moreu, was acquired in Gtenoa from the firm, of Ansaldo. 
She is 100 metres long by 18.20 beam; her displacement is 6,840 
tons and her draught 7.76 metres; her speed is 20 miles and her 
engines develop 13,000 I. H. P. Her armament consists of two 
25.4-cm. Armstromg guns (in turrets); ten 13.2-cm. guns; six 
12-cm. guns; ten 67-mm. Nordenfeldt guns; ten 37-mm. and two 
machine guns. 

Important note: The last-named ship, her 26.4-cm. or large 
calibre guns mounted in turrets not being ready, had to go with- 
out them. 

The destroyer Plutdn was commanded by Lieutenant Pedro Vdz- 
quez, and the Fv/ror^ of the same class, by Lieutenant Diego 
Carlier ; both of them were under the command of Captain Fer- 
nando Villaamil. 

The arrival of these six ships produced real enthusiasm among 
the better peninsular element in Santiago, especially as nobody 
wanted to believe that they were the only ones that Spain was 
going to send, since they were called the "first division," and at 
least two more divisions were expected. The only ones who had 
no illusions, who knew what to expect, who were acquainted with 
the true condition of affairs, were those who had arrived in the 
ships. From the admiral down to the last midshipman, they 


knew perfectly well that there were no more fleets, no more divis- 
ions, no more vessels, and that those six ships (if the destroyers 
may be counted as such) were all that could be counted on to 
oppose the American fleet, which consists of the following ships, 
not including those in construction, and taking into account only 
armored and protected ships — ^that is, those of the first and second 
classes : 

lowa^ 11,340 tons, steel, first-class battle ship, 18 guns. 

Indiana^ 10,288 tons, steel, first-class battle ship, 16 guns. 

Massachusetts^ 10,288 tons, steel, first-class battle ship, 16 guns. 

Oregon^ 10,288 tons, steel, first-class battle ship, 16 guns. 

BrooTdyUy 9,215 tons, steel, first-class protected cruiser, 20 guns. 

New Yorky 9,200 tons, steel, first-class protected cruiser, 18 guns. 

Columbia^ 7,375 tons, steel, first-class protected cruiser, 11 guns. 

Minneapolis^ 7,375 tons, steel, first-class protected cruiser, 11 

Teajos, 6,315 tons, steel, first-class protected cruiser, 8 guns. 

Puritan^ 6,060 tons, steel, first-class protected cruiser, 10 guns. 

Olympian 5,870 tons, steel, first-class protected cruiser, 14 guns. 

Chicago^ 4,500 tons, steel, second-class protected cruiser, 18 

BaUimorey 4,413 tons, steel, second-class protected cruiser, 10 

Philadelphia^ 4,324 tons, steel, second-class protected cruiser, 12 

Monterey y 4,084 tons, steel, second-class protected cruiser (with 
turrets), 4 guns. 

NewarJcy 4,098 tons, steel, second-class protected cruiser, 12 guns. 

8a/n Fra/aciscOy 4,098 tons, steel, second-class protected cruiser, 
12 guns. 

Charlestony 3,730 tons, steel, second-class protected cruiser, 8 

Miamionomohy 3,990 tons, iron, monitor, 4 guns. 

AmphUritey 3,990 tons, iron, monitor, 6 guns. 

Monadnocky 3,990 tons, iron, monitor, 6 guns. 

Terror y 3,990 tons, iron, monitor, 4 guns. 

Cincirvnatiy 3,213 tons, iron, second-class protected cruiser, 11 

Raleighy 3,213 tons, iron, second-class protected cruiser, 11 guns. 

Note : Before war was declared, they bought of Brazil the Amor 
zona^, a magnificent protected cruiser of more than 6,000 tons, with 
perfect armament. She was one of the ships that blockaded this 

It is to be noted that in the first eleven ships enumerated, the 
number of guns stated is only that of the large-calibre guns, that 


is, from 16-cin. upward, without including rapid-fire, revolving, 
machine guns, etc. 

The first four, namely, the lowa^ Indiana^ Massachuaetts^ and 
Oregon^ have four 32-cm. guns each, that is to say, larger guns 
than the medium-calibre ones of the Maria Teresa^ Oquendo^ and 
Viscaya^ each of which had but two 28-cm. guns. The Cristdbal 
Coldn^ as has already been stated, did not have her large guns 

Shortly after the fleet had anchored, the civil and military author- 
ities went on board to pay their respects to Admiral Cervera. 

It wHl be remembered that these ships had been assembled at 
the Cape Verde Islands and that many notes were exchanged on 
that subject between the Governments of Spain and the United 
States, until finally the Spanish Government gave definite orders 
for the ships to proceed to the Island of Cuba. 

They arrived at Martinique, where they left the destroyer Terror^ 
commanded by Lieut. Francisco de la Rocha, for the reason that 
the vessel had sustained injuries to her boiler and was no longer 
able to follow the fleet. From Martinique, the ships proceeded to 
Curasao, where only two ships could take a small quantity of coal, 
as the laws of that Dutch colony did not allow any more to enter 
the harbor. Finally, as stated above, the fleet reached this harbor, 
without having met Admiral Sampson's fleet, whether accident- 
ally, or whether Admiral Cervera went by way of Curasao on 
purpose to mislead the American admiral, I do not know. 



So far my task has been, if not easy, at least pleasant, for in 
honor of the truth and deference to justice, I will say that all per- 
sons who have so far figured, directly or indirectly, in the events 
under discussion, deserve praise and congratulations. Unfortu- 
nately, I can not say as much regarding the question of provisions, 
which is of such great importance, and has had so much to do with 
the capitulation of this city. 

It is far from me to want to mention or censure any person or 
I>ersons in particular. I am citing facts which everyone knows, 
and I believe it to be a duty which I must not shun to set forth 
everything with perfect impartiality. I am making history, and 
with that I have said everything. 

The city of Santiago de Cuba has never been very well supplied 
and provisions have never been abundant there. 

It is only just to state that the whole military element of the 
province and also the hospitals were nine or ten months in arrears 
in the payment of consignments. They had been living on credit 
for some time, and the firms furnishing the supplies, not being 
able to order new ones and meet their obligations, had allowed 
their stores to run very low. We were passing through one of 
those crises which were so frequent in our last war, and which, 
unfortxmately, are being repeated in this, owing to the parsimony 
of the Treasury. 

But now, under the circumstances in which Santiago de Cuba 
was, the problem assumed more serious shape, for living became 
almost impossible. Everything was lacking: articles of food, 
prospects, money; our credit and purchasing resources were ex- 
hausted. And this was the case not only at the capital, but extended 
to the whole division. What happened at Santiago, also happened 
at Manzanillo, Holg^in, Puerto Principe, Ciego de Avila, Mordn, 
Spiritus, and other places of the island, namely, the cities supplied 
the people of the surrounding country and the latter had no pro- 
visions or stores to furnish in return. 

Moreover, the merchants of this city, little given to great enter- 
prises and risky speculations, did not have on hand any more than 



what they felt sure they could sell in a short time. And, there- 
fore, I repeat it, provisions, even those of first necessity, were cer- 
tainly not abundant, and everybody knew that when the hostile 
ships should arrive to blockade the city, as must happen sooner or 
later, these would soon give out. A few families understood it 
and laid in supplies in anticipation of what was to come, and they 
certainly did not regret it, for their fears were realized, although, 
be it said in honor of the truth, there was no motive or reason to 
justify such a condition of affairs. 

War was oflSicially declared on April 21, and until the 18th of 
May not a single hostile ship appeared in sight of the harbor. 
There were in it five Spanish merchant vessels, which were pre- 
vented from leaving by the breaking out of hostilities, the MejicOy 
Morteray San Juan^ Reina de los Angeles^ and Tomas Brooks. 
Jamaica is only 80 miles from Santiago, and yet not a single sack 
of flour entered the city since before the 21st of April, when a 
small English sailing schooner came from there with a cargo of 
butter, potatoes, onions, and com meal, which she sold for a good 
price without landing it at the custom-house. The example was 
not followed; everybody saw the possibility of the conflict, which 
had to come, without trying to prevent it. 

Had it not been for the arrival of the German steamer Polaria, 
which, fortunately, left at Santiago 1,700 sacks of rice intended 
for Havana, there would have been an absolute lack of provisions, 
as neither the merchants nor anyone else attempted to import them. 

The last provisions entering the trading houses were brought by 
the steamer Mortera on the 26th of April, consisting of 160 head 
of cattle, 180,000 rations of flour, 149,000 of peas, 197,000 of rice, 
79,000 of beans, and 96,000 of wine. Now, without including the 
forces of Quant^namo, Baracoa, and Sagua de T^namo, the needs 
of the troops of Santiago de Cuba amounted to 360,000 rations a 
month. Thus it will be seen that the provisions on hand in the 
trading houses the last days of April were hardly sufficient for 
half a month. 

And this is not the worst ; but the merchants, far from contrib- 
uting to the welfare of the army, which in reality was defending 
their interests, hid whatever they could and raised the prices in a 
manner which I do not wish to qualify, taking advantage of the 
sad stress to which the blockade had reduced the city. 

An example will show this better than anything I may say on 
the subject. The man who had the contract of furnishing water 
at the bay, relying on the letter of his contract, tried to charge the 
ships of the fleet for the water which they were getting at Las 
Cruces pier, this water being the property of the American com- 
pany of the Juragua mines, for which the Spanish Qovernmeut 


could therefore not contract, and was conveyed on board by means 
of the water pipes, which are there for that purpose, the pump 
being kept going night and day by the soldiers of Colonel Borry'h 
column. Nearly all the ships took over 500 pipes of water each, 
which, at 4 pesetas a pipe, amounts to several thousand dollars. 
The contractor in question, whose name I do not wish to remem- 
ber, is f rom^the Peninsula, a captain of volunteers, and, as he say^s 
himself, " a better Spaniard than telayo." 

I do not know what news may have reached the Peninsula about 
the conditions at Santiago de Cuba. It is possible that people believe 
there that only certain articles of food were lacking; if that is the 
case, they are greatly mistaken. People here have suffered from 
actual hunger, and many persons have starved to death, although 
the population had been greatly decreased, since whole families 
had left prior to the 21st day of April. I, myself, saw a man who 
had died of hunger in the entrance of the Brooks House opposite 
the captaincy of the port — died because he had nothing to eat. 

Horses, dogs, and other animals were dying from hunger in the 
streets and public places and the worst thing was that their car- 
casses were not removed. I also saw — this is significant on account 
of the fatal consequences that might follow — I saw, I repeat, a dog 
throw himself upon a smaller one and kill and devour him. The 
water from the aqueduct had been cut off, as will be seen, and 
the city was exposed to the danger of the dogs going mad, and we 
should have had that calamity to add to the many that were weigh- 
ing ux)on us. But why go on? What I have said is more than 
sufficient to show the immense responsibility incurred by those who 
might have supplied the city with provisions, and who neglected 
and eluded sorsacred a duty. 

There were orders and decrees published regulating the price of 
articles of first necessity, but the merchants paid no attention to 
them, as though they did not concern them, and the raising of 
prices was the more unjustifiable and inexcusable, as everything 
that was in the city had been there prior to the declaration of war, 
and had cost no more freight or duty than in normal times. 

If there had been flour and bacon, the soldiers might not have 
become weakened and sick, and yet they fought as the Spanish 
soldier always has fought. What a contrast between him and the 
merchant of this city ! But there are things which it is better not 
to air and this is one of them. 


The fleet which left the Cape Verde Islands, which took no coal 
at Martinique where it touched, and which at Curasao took on 
only a few tons in two of the ships, arrived here, as was natural, 
with the bunkers almost empty. Admiral Cervera prepared to 
replenish them, and it may be easily imagined how imperative it 
was to hasten an operation without which the ships were unable 
to execute a single maneuver, even though their very salvation 
might depend on it. 

Unfortunately, the harbor of Santiago, where there is little 
movement of shipping, has but very scant means and resources, 
especially since the breaking out of the present insurrection. 

There were only four steamers — the Alcyon^ Juragud^ Esme- 
ralda^ and Coldn. The first two do not possess the necessary re- 
quirements for towing launches ; the Esmeralda does very well 
when the sea is calm and there is not much head wind; the only 
one that has all the necessary requirements is the Colony but the 
Coldn was having her boiler overhauled and it required a week to 
finish the work, which was indispensable. Unfortunately, the 
gunboat Alvarado, which might have rendered good services, was 
in dock renewing her bottom planks, and the work was very slow. 

The army, in its turn, also had a great deal of work on hand 
which it could not possibly leave, such as taking supplies to the 
Morro, water to Punta Qorda, and war material and ammunition 
to both of these j^laces and to the Socapa, and the chiefs and offi- 
cers were needed for directing all the work undertaken. 

The only launches and lighters in the harbor were those of 
Messrs. Ros, some of them useless, others in bad repair, and a few 
only in condition to be used ; besides these there were those of the 
Juragud Company, which were gopd but few in number, and, as 
they belong to American subjects, it was not easy for the Govern- 
ment to get them. With such small resources and with so much 
that had to be done, it will be understood how difficult it was, not 
to say impossible, to accomplish everything. 

To give even an imperfect idea of the lack of appliances of every 
description, I will mention that the contractor of water, which 



latter is very bad and for which he charges exorbitant prices, had, 
for the purpose of supplying the ships, only two small rudder 
boats, each with two pipes (about four hogsheads), and there 
were four ships requiring 1,500 pipes each, without counting the 

Naturally all the demands, requests, and complaints, everything 
the fleet needed, wanted or desired, went to the comandancia de 
marina, the personnel of which consisted of the commander, the 
second in command, the aide, the pajrmaster, three enlisted seamen 
(cabos de matrfcula), one of whom had charge of the provision 
stores, and two orderlies, and with this personnel everything had 
to be done^that was asked for and everything furnished that was 

The army wanted a tug, the military government wanted a tug 
and launches, and the fleet wanted launches and a tug, and all 
want-ed them badly, and all the services were important and urgent, 
and at the captaincy of the port we constantly had to solve prob- 
lems that had no solution, and furnish launches that did not exist 
and tugs that were not to be found. , 

The coaling, which went on day and night, progressed very 
slowly, in spite of everything; for at the two piers where the coal 
was there was very little water, and at the end of each pier only 
one lighter could be accommodated without danger of running 
aground, in which case it would have been necessary to wait for 
high water to float it again. 

There is no end to the time and work which it took to put the 
Cardiff coal of the navy d^pot on board the ships, and though 
laborers were hired for the Cumberland coal of the Juragufi mines, 
the ships, which never stopped coaling as long as as they stayed 
at Santiago, never succeeded in filling their bunkers. One detail 
will show th^ lack of means available at the port. Although every 
store in the town was visited and any price offered for baskets, only 
a very limited number could be found for carrying the coal ; it had 
to be put in as best it could. 

There is some work that can neither be understood nor appreci- 
ated, that passes by unnoticed and of which people do not even 
have an idea, because it does not constitute actions of war, more or 
less brilliant, and which yet can not be kept up nor stood for any 
length of time. We who belonged to the captaincy of the port 
finally dined, breakfasted, and slept there — or rather, did not sleep 
there, for there never was a night when it was not necessary to 
transmit to the admiral two or three urgent papers, orders, or other 
cablegrams, at all hours, and the telephone did not stop a minute 
and did UQt give us any rest. Still it was not the work that made 


the sil^aation unbearable; what soldier or sailor did not work des- 
perately at Santiago de Cuba? No, the sad, the lamentable thing 
was that, being so anxious to please all, we were unable to satisfy 

The coal belonging to the navy, consisting of 2,300 tons of Car- 
diff, was taken on at the piers of Bellavista, situated in the western 
part of the bay. Besides this, General Linares placed at Admiral 
Cervera's disposal about 600 tons of Cumberland coal from the 
Juragu& mines and 600 tons from the Sabanilla railway. 

The water had to be gotten by the boats of the fleet in bulk at> 
the piers of Las Cruces and at the faucet near the Royal Pier. 
Some of the ships got their own water by going alongside the first- 
named pier. 



In narrating the events of Santiago, it was not my intention to 
make remarks of any kind on them, nor to permit myself com- 
ments thereon, as I consider that I have neither the authority, nor 
the ability (and this I do not say from false modesty), nor the 
right to do so. My object has been to give a simple account of 
what I witnessed, what I saw, and what I heard from trustworthy 
sources, and of the authenticity of which I am certain, feeling 
sure that in Spain, though the facts are known as a whole, they 
are not known there in detail ; but in the presence of certain insin- 
uations and certain doubts I can not remain silent and indifferent. 

Qreat was the joy caused by the arrival of the fleet among the 
peninsular element generally and some of the sons of Cuba who 
truly love us. But after a few days, a number of intelligent and 
prominent people, or at least recognized as such, showed great 
impatience and surprise that the ships should remain in port, and 
never got tired asking what the fleet was doing there and why it 
did not go out. 

It is easy to answer that question. 

If Admiral Cervera can be accused of anything, it is an excess 
of courage. One need only read his record of service to be con- 
vinced of that, and the third day of July proved it only too well. 
Admiral Cervera received many cablegrams and official letters ; no 
one knew better than he did what was going on in Spain and in 
Cuba, and what was being ordered and required of him, and that 
Admii'al Cervera acted as he should have done admits of no dis- 
cussion. My only object is to answer the question which so many 
were asking in Santiago: "What was the fleet doing there?" 
What was it doing ? Well, a great deal. 

It is not always great battles or great fights that decide the out- 
come of a campaign. Napoleon I, by an admirable maneuver, 
closed in on the Austrian General Marck at Ulm, and the latter 
had to surrender with his whole army without having fired a single 




When Admiral Villeneuve, who unfortunately commanded 
the allied fleets of France and Spain, learned that Admiral Ros- 
silly, appointed to relieve him, was at Madrid, he preferred to 
fight with Nelson rather than present himself before Napoleon. 
So he decided to leave Cadiz, and he called together the com- 
manders of both fleets on the ship Bucentawre. The Spanish 
objected, on the grounds that, in order to leave Cadiz, they needed 
time and a favorable wind, that the ships were in need of repairs, 
had to replenish their provisions and ammunition and complete 
their crews, that the season was far advanced, and that, if the 
English were compelled to blockade them in winter, it would be 
equivalent for them to the loss of a naval battle; that was the 
opinion of men like Gravina, Churruca, and Gktliano. 

They added that, moreover, the barometer was very low and 
that a storm was imminent, whereupon Bear Admiral Mag<5n replied 
"that what was low was the courage in some hearts." At this 
insult, the Spanish, losing all prudence and calm, decided to go 
out in search of the enemy to prove that they still retained their 
courage. That was all that the French admiral wanted. The 
combined fleets went out, and what happened at Cape Trafalgar 
is well known. 

Now, then, the question is answered already: the ships were 
compelling the enemy to sustain with superior forces the blockade 
of Santiago de Cuba, with all its difficulties and dangers. While 
our ships were in port, safe from the ordinary dangers of the sea, 
using hardly any coal, not exhausting their engines, and waiting 
for a favorable opi)ortunity to maneuver, when and as best they 
could, the hostile fleet was obliged to cruise on the coast day and 
night, using a great deal of coal, constantly doing sea service, 
which is always laborious, especially in time of war, exhausting 
their engines, and exposed to the danger of having to abandon the 
blockade in case of a storm from the south or east, still more if 
the season of cyclones should come. 

It is certainly true that a victory can be achieved without the 
necessity of giving battle, so much so that, if it had been 
possible for us, besides the ships that were at Santiago, to have 
two at Cienf uegos, for instance, and two more at Nuevitas, which 
ports are well suited for placing lines of torpedoes, owing to their 
narrow entrances, there is no doubt but that the Americans, who, 
outside of the ships they had in the Philippines, had sent their 
whole fleet to the island of Cuba, would have had to blockade 
those three ports with forces superior to ours and to keep watch at 
Key West if they did not want to expose themselves to a serious 
disaster, or would have had to force one of the ports, thereby 
exposing themselves to a hecatomb ; and we only need think of 


the nnmber of their ships to understand that they could not suc- 
cessfully threaten so many points ; though they only had to deal 
with Santiago and had almost all the ships of the fleet in front of 
it, they would have found it necessary to desist from taking the 

The foregoing shows that ships do not necessarily have to give 
battle in order to obtain results. Those in Santiago harbor suc- 
ceeded for forty-six days in keeping before the mouth of the har- 
bor a vastly superior fleet, which performed no special acts of 
prowess except to throw a hail of projectiles which comparatively 
did very little damage. One could not obtain better results with 
less work; and if provisions had not been wanting in Santiago, 
God knows, if our fleet had remained there, to what extremes 
impatience and despair might not have carried Admiral Sampson ! 



As I have already given a description, thongh very deficient, of 
the sites and places that were the scene of these events (IV : Scene 
of Events), and of the miserable resources we had for their defense, 
it will be easy to understand what follows by remembering and 
fixing the attention on what has been said. 

I have already stated that on the 18th of May, the Saint Louis^ 
equipped for war, and a gunboat whose name could not be ascer- 
tained, fired about 80 shots, which were answered by Punta Qorda, 
the only battery that was then in condition to answer the attack. 
If it had happened a few hours later, one of the 16-cm. Hontoria 
guns of the Socapa could have been fired, but as stated, it was not 
mounted until the night of the 18th. The hostile ships disappeared 
to the east. The next day, the 19th, the Spanish fleet, coming from 
Curagao, entered the harbor and commenced to coal on the 20th. 

21st. — This day, a ship coming from the south came close to the 
mouth of the harbor, then shaping her course westward. At 10.30 
p. m. the Morro telephone gave notice that two ships had been fir- 
ing on Punta Cabrera for 16 minutes, ten shots in all. Probably 
they were firing at Colonel Aldea's forces, which covered that part 
of the coast. 

22d, — At 7 a. m. the look-out signaled a steamer to the east and 
another half an hour later. We learned from the Morro that one 
of them appeared to be the same that had been sighted the day 
before; the other was a three-master. Both of them were thought 
to be hostile vessels because they were going very slowly and 
reconnoitering the coast. The new one had three smokestacks. 

At 11.30 the vessels were south of the Morro (that is, in front of 
it), proceeding very slowly westward, where they disappeared at 
half-past four. 

23d. — ^At 5.46 a vessel was signaled to the south and an hour 
later two to the east. At 9 the Morro said that one of the three 
vessels had three smokestacks, the same that had been sighted the 
day before, and one was a battle ship, and that flag signals were 
being made. 



At 11.30 a vessel was signaled to the west; at 12.30 the Morro 
said that the vessel just arrived had three masts and three smoke- 

At 4.10 we learned by telephone that one of the four vessels had 
disappeared to the south and the others were coming closer to the 
mouth of the harbor. 

At 7 the three ships disappeared, one to the east and two to 
the south. 

24th. — At 2 o'clock the lookout signaled two steamers to the 
south. The sky was clouded and nothing could be distinguished 
beyond a certain distance. 

At 11.45 the destroyer PlxMn went out. 

At 12.30 four hostile vessels were distinguished, though with 
difficulty, owing to the cloudy weather, to the east of the mouth of 
the harbor. 

When seeing the Pluidn go out, one of them shaped her course 
to the westward and passed close to the destroyer without being 
able to attack her, then proceeded westward. The others started 
in the same direction, also in pilrsuit of her, but without success, 
as the Flvi&n had naturally eluded meeting them. 

The four vessels disappeared to the westward. 

At 2 o'clock, the Spanish flagship {Infanta Maria Teresa) started 
up and went alongside the Las Cruces Pier for water. 

At 5.30 two vessels w^re signaled to the south ; they disappeared 
in that direction after dark. 

^5th. — ^At 6 o'clock two steamers were signaled, one to the south 
and one to the west. 

At 7.30 the Cristdbal Cdldn started up and shortly after cast 
anchor again. 

At the same hour, the Morro reported that one of the two ves- 
sels signaled was apparently heading toward the harbor at full 
speed, and the other seemed to be chasing her. Three-quarters of 
an hour later it was reported that the vessel appeared to have-been 
captured at quite a distance from the mouth of Santiago harbor, 
and that both were going south, the captured vessel ahead and the 
other following. 

The Infamia Maria Teresa sheered oflE from Las Cruces Pier at 
1 o'clock p. m., and the Oqaendo then went alongside, also to take 
water ; the former anchored again in the bay. 

At 2 o'clock the Vizcaya cast anchor south of Cay Ratones, near 
Cajuma Bay. The Cristdbal Coldn anchored south of Punta Gk)rda. 

^6th, — At 2 o'clock p. m. the Oqaendo left Las Cruces Pier and 
anchored again in the bay. 

The position of the fleet was as follows : The Cristdbal Coldn was 
at anchor south of Punta Qorda, close to it, presenting her broad- 
side to the mouth of the harbor, in line with the channel to which 


she presented her guns, so as to be able to attack the enemy in case 
he should try to force it. 

The Vizcaya close to Cajumas Bay, facing the same as the Coldn 
so as to unite their fire in case the enemy should succeed in passing 
Punta Soldado. 

The Maria Teresa and Oquendo south of Cay Ratones, so as to 
defend the channel of Punta Gorda as well as the general anchor- 
ing place and the city. During the day three ships were sighted 
to the south, and disappeared shortly after in the same direction 

27th. — At 6 the lookout signaled two vessels to the south. 

At 11.30 it signaled five more ships. There were now seven in 

At 12.15 General Linares went to the Morro in the steamboat of 
the captaincy of the port. 

At 12.30 four more ships were sighted; total, elevpn ships. 

Of the eleven ships in sight, four are battle ships. 

At 2.30 p. m. another ship arrived. 

At nightfall General Linares returned from the Morro. The 
ships disappeared to the south. 

28th. — At 6.15 the lookout signaled a vessel within 5 miles of 
the Morro, and at noon she disappeared to the south. 

At 4.30 p. m. six large ships were signaled, disappearing to the 
south at nightfall. 

29th. — ^At daybreak the destroyers Plut&n, and Furor went out 
to reconnoiter, returning at 8. 

During the day they anchored in the bay ; at night they cast 
anchor at the Socapa and at Nispero Bay in order to guard the en- 
trance of the harbor. 

General Linares went to the Morro in the tug Alcyon. 

At 7, seven hostile ships were sighted reconnoitering the coast, 
at a distance of about 8 miles ; they withdrew to the south before 

30th. — ^At 5. 30 the hostile fleet was signaled approaching to within 
9 miles of the harbor. It consisted of seven ships. 

At noon three others arrived from the south and joined the former. 

31st. — At 5.45 the lookout signaled eleven ships to the south. 

At 2 p. m. gun fire was heard. The lookout reported that the 
coast was being fired on. 

At 2.40 Punta Gorda battery opened fire, ceasing again shortly 

The ships of the Spanish fleet hoisted their battle flags and fired 
up their boilers. 

At 2.30 the firing was quite lively. 

By 3 it became slower and ceased at 3.30. 


The enemy had been firing on the Morro and Socapa batteries, 
without any casualty in either. 

The ships disappeared, as usual, to the south before dark. 

Thus end the events of the month of May, insignificant on the 
whole and only a prologue to those that were to follow. 

During the days of May ^th to 22d, the insurgent chief Calixto 
Garcia, with a numerous contingent of troops and artillery, at- 
tacked the village of Palma Soriano on the Canto river. General 
Vara de Rey, at the head of 1,000 men and two guns, repulsed the 
hostile forces, routing them and killing a great many. On our 
side we had 16 wounded. This operation of the soldier hero, sim- 
ulating a surrounding movement by crossing the Cauto at three or 
four fords, and pursuing the rebels 2 miles beyond Palma Soriano, 
was due to the skillful distribution of the scant forces of the line 
of observation. This line, as will be readily understood from the 
chart at the end of the book, was weak, very weak, in almost its 
whole extent. It was, indeed, work that deserves praise, to guard, 
patrol, and sustain strategic points, cultivated land, coasts, roads, 
and railro€uls, with such a small and weak contingent of troops. 
And the forces that we were expecting from Havana, and the arrival 
of which had been annoimced, did not appear. 

As a collier was being expected, it was supi>osed that the vessel 
captured on the 25th was the one. It is possible; but, on the other 
hand, it may not have been. In any event, there was much sur- 
prise expressed at Santiago that, since the hostile fleet was not in 
sight, but only one or two vessels. Admiral Cervera had not pre- 
vented the capture, or at least recovered the prize. 

The reason why he did not is very simple. Our fleet had taken 
on board all the CardiflE coal that was at the navy depot, without 
succeeding, as has been seen, in filling its bunkers, and there 
remained only the 1,100 tons of Cumberland coal of which Gen. 
Linares could dispose ; this latter coal is inferior to the former, and 
I believe it is hardly necessary for me to point out how important 
it is that a fleet should have good fuel ; H may be its salvation at 
a given moment; consequently the fleet, which had the prospect of 
having extremely difficult maneuvers of the highest importance to 
execute, could not aflEord to waste even a single piece of coal to no 

The capture took place a long distance from the mouth of the 
harbor ; before a ship could weigh anchor, clear the channel, get 
up full steam and traverse that distauce, at least three hours must 
elapse, and where would have been the captor and the prize by that 
time? And even granting that the former could not bring the 
latter in safety, would he allow it to fall into our hands ? Certainly 
not. Two gunshots would have sunk her very quickly, especially 


if, as was believed, she had a heavy cargo; and the Coldn, or any 
other ship that had gone out on that errand, would have consumed, 
probably to no purpose, a quantity of coal which it was impera- 
tive to keep for much more important and less hazardous opera- 
tions than pursuing merchant steamers equipped for war and tak- 
ing or recapturing prizes. Moreover, from the 22d to the 28th, the 
swell of the sea prevented the ships from going out; the pilots of 
the harbor were not willing to take them out, saying that in view 
of the state of the sea, they might touch bottom, especially the 
Cristdbal Col6n. 



Although the comparison may perhaps not be considered very 
apt, I might say that the month of May was the paradise of the 
blockade, while the month of June was its purgatory, and the 
month of July its hell. 

The appearance of the first hostile ships before the Morro of San- 
tiago, as the natural result of the war decided upon by the Gov- 
ernment of the United States and accepted by ours, and the noise 
of the first gunshots caused both consternation and curiosity among 
the inhabitants of the city; but as man becomes accustomed to 
everything, so the situation, which at that time was, if not dan- 
gerous, yet certainly very unpleasant and disagreeable, was finally 
looked upon with indifference. 

The boats of the fleet were constantly going back and forth be- 
tween the ships and the piers to supply the innumerable wants of 
the former, and gave to the marina an aspect of animation which 
it never wore in normal times. The Alameda, where the music of 
the Santiago regiment played, as usual, on Sunday evenings, by 
order of the the military authorities who were desirous of raising 
the spirit of the inhabitants as much as possible, and the Plaza de 
Armas, where the drums continued to beat the tattoo every Thurs- 
day and Sunday, were always full of people, although so many had 
left the city. People fond of giving sensational news, especially 
those who took pleasure in inventing it, had a wide field and plenty 
material to satisfy their desire; and anyone having patience and 
curiosity enough to collect the news floating through the city 
might have written a very original and amusing book. 

The children were playing war, pelting each other with stones 
inside and aroimd the city, divided into parties in command of a 
Cervera of ten summers or a Sampson of twelve Aprils. 

The different corps of volunteers were considerably increased by 

the many men who came to swell their ranks, especially chiefs and 

oflBcers; the city was full of sabers, machetes, stars, and galloons, 

and I believe not even in Berlin, the capital of the most military 

nation of Europe, are as many uniforms seen as we saw in this 

city, usually so quiet. Even the clerks of the guardhouse and 

employees of the civil guard armed themselves with carbines and 




And while I am talking of the volunteers I will finish their his- 
tory to the end, which is not without interest. 

After sunset and during the first hours of the night the volun- 
teers would gather at the Alameda, which they filled completely, 
divided into more or less numerous platoons, which officers of the 
regular army, or their own officers, undertook to drill, and at the 
first gun or the first blast of the bugle, they reported promptly, 
especially the chiefs and officers, kt the posts which had been as- 
signed to them beforehand. 

Every night a guard of twenty-five men, commanded by an offi- 
cer, occupied the large shed of the Alameda and placed its senti- 
nels, and from that time until dawn the noise of musket butts 
striking on the wooden floor was constantly heard, and by many 
people mistaken for gunshots, and the "Who goes there?" ad- 
dressed to every moving object was an evident proof of the extreme 
vigilance observed, and showed that it would not be easy to sur- 
prise them. 

The firemen were always on hand whenever they were needed at 
the pier to take the wounded from the Morro and Socapa to the 
hospital on their stretchers, and their energy, good will, and zeal 
can not be sufficiently praised. 

On the 1st, 2d, and 3d of July, as will be seen later, a large num- 
ber of volunteers hurried to the trenches of the third line, where 
they fought the enemy like brave men, and where some of them 
were wounded. 

Unfortunately, after that day, with a few honorable exceptions, 
the spirit animating them underwent a complete change; their 
enthusiasm became indifference, their valor prudence; they left 
the trenches to which they never returned, and exchanged the uni- 
form for civilians' clothes and the gun or machete for the measur- 
ing-stick or weighing scales. 

Why this change? There is an explanation for it. It is an 
error to suppose that the soldier is braver than the volunteer; 
there is no reason why he should be ; they are both Spanish. But 
the soldier has military habits and discipline which the volunteer 
lacks ; he has chiefs and officers whom he must needs respect and 
obey, the volunteer has not ; and that is the whole explanation. 

As long as the enemy was making attacks which it was neces- 
sary to repel the volunteers fought with energy and enthusiasm ; 
but when the battle and excitement were over, when the period of 
trenches arrived, with the hot sun in daytime and dampness at 
night, with rains, sickness, privations, and want, in a word, the 
hour of suffering in silence and with resignation, the hour of sub- 
ordination, of sacrifice and duty, then, one after another, under 


this pretext or that, they returned to the city, determined not to 
go back. 

The circle narrowed more and more, the probabilities of capitu- 
lation and death increased as those of triumph and success dimin- 
ished, and then it was that they remembered their families, their 
own interests, and themselves, that they took off their uniforms, 
which, in their opinion, might cause them trouble, and, not con- 
sidering themselves safe in the city, they went to hide at Cinco 
Reales, Las Cruces, and on board of merchant steamers, or any 
other place where they thought themselves safe from projectiles, 
and there were even those who epiigrated to El Caney and Cuabitas, 
occupied by the Americans and the insurgents respectively. 

What I relate I do not know from hearsay ; I saw it myself at 
Cinco Beales, upon my return from the cruiser Reina Mercedes, 
sunk in the entrance of the harbor, where I had gone by orders of 
the commander of marine in order to report to him on the exact 
position then occupied by the vessel. At Cinco Reales I found 
many in hiding, in civilians' clothes, some with their families and 
others alone. 

But while men who had carried the gun did such things, others 
who had girded the sword, with a show of doing great things, did 
even worse. 


The events of the month of May, although they are not, or rather 
do not appear to be, of great imi)ortance in themselves, because 
there were no special movements on the part of the enemy and no 
casualties of any kind on ours, are in reality of great importance, 
and their consequences have had great influence and weight on the 
result of the war, which has been decided, so to speak, in the waters 
of Santiago de Cuba and in front of the trenches in this precinct. 

If we take into consideration the position of Santiago de Cuba, 
situated at the southern extremity of the island, and therefore 
at a comparative distance from the United States and Key West, 
the base of operations of the Yankees ; the tojKDgraphy of its harbor, 
difficult in itself to force; the absence of military importance of 
the city, which is not a stronghold or even a military city, and the 
scarcity of roads and railways so that it is almost cut off from com- 
munication with any important or strategic point, it is not too much 
to assume that the Americans had no idea of making great demon- 
strations or operations, but thought that it would be sufficient to 
blockade it, and throw in a few projectiles as they had done at other 
cities on the coast, and a proof of this is that, until the 18th of May, 
that is, nearly a month after the declaration of war, not a single 
hostile vessel was seen, and the two that appeared then were a 
merchant vessel equipped for war and a small gunboat, which, after 
reconnoitering, disappeared to the east. 

But the arrival of the Spanish fleet, though composed of only 

four battleships, but these the only ones of that class which we had 

in the island, and therefore the only ones that could inspire any 

fear, the absolute necessity of replenishing them with coal, which 

took a number of days, because, in view of the scarcity of facilities 

of any kind it could not be done in less time, compelled the enemy 

to make the city, and especially the harbor where the fleet was at 

anchor, their objective, although they had not taken much thought 

of it at first ; to concentrate upon this objective all their forces on 

sea and on land, and to take for the scene of the war one which 

was least adapted for their plans and which they had least thought 

of choosing. 



When did they learn that our ships had anchored in the harbor? 
I do not know; nor do I believe that anybody in Santiago knows 
it. If the SL Lands and the gunboat which has been mentioned 
several times returned from Guant4namo on the 19th, where they 
went presumably to continue the blockade when they left these 
waters, there is no doubt but that they could see our ships and 
some people think that they at once notified their admiral, but I 
doubt it, because it was not imtil the 27th that ships appeared in 
snch numbers as would make it possible to check or defeat ours. 

It might be said in answer to this that the hostile fleet may have 
had a thousand reasons, which we could not know, for this delay 
in assembling and appearing at the harbor. It is possible, but in 
that case, if the enemy knew ever since the 19th, what had hap- 
pened, why did they continue to appear in small numbers before 
the mouth of the harbor, exposing themselves to serious trouble? 
I do not believe that the enemy received any information on the 
subject, or at least complete evidence, until the 24th, when the 
vessels which were cruising in Santiago waters, saw the PliUdn 
come out and go back again, for they knew that she accompanied 
the fleet and formed part of it. It was three days later, the 27th, 
that eleven ships appeared, four of them, at least, battle ships. 
This interval of time was necessary, of course, to advise the hostile 
fleet, which was perhaps between Cape San Antonio and Havana, 
or Cape San Antonio and Cienf uegos. 

In any event, the operations of the month of May assumed great 
imi)ortance, for the harbor remained closed, where since before the 
declaration of war no provisions of any kind had entered, if we 
except those which the small English schooner already mentioned 
brought from Jamaica, and which are hardly worth taking into 

Another problem : Why did the hostile ships which remained 
all day long in front of the mouth of the harbor disappear at dark 
instead of continuing to watch it during the night? I do not 
know that either. The whole coast is accessible and the ground 
so high that it can be distinguished perfectly even in stormy 
weather, so that there was no danger in remaining there in calm 
weather such as we have had all this year (for even in that Provi- 
dence had favored them), and what I say is true, as shown by the 
fact that afterwards they never left the mouth of the harbor for a 
single moment, day or night, as will be seen. 

Was it perhaps because they had become convinced of the diffi- 
culty of forcing the harbor, especially with a fleet inside, and 
wanted, by opening a passage, give the fleet a chance to come out 
in order to take refuge in another harbor less difficult of access ? 
But such tactics might have had fatal results, because if our ships 

tOMfr-— 4 


should reach Havana harbor, a few hours from Key West, under 
the protection of its 300 guns, and united with the other warships 
that were there, the situation would have become materially 
changed, and the Americans might have had a chance to regret 
such tactics. That they should have made such a mistake is not 
to be thought of; besides, if that had been their intention, they 
would not have maintained such vigilance during the day. Were 
they simulating a retreat to return at night to the harbor, without 
lights, so as not to be seen? That is not probable; in order to see 
the mouth of the harbor they must have been seen themselves 
from the heights of the Morro or Socapa, where the strictest watch 
was also exercised. I suppose, for I can not think of anything 
else, that, not having been able as yet to unite all their naval 
forces, they did not want to run the risk of a battle at night with 
a fleet that had destroyers, the number of which they probably did 
not know, and did not learn until later, through the secret infor- 
mation which they probably received from the insurgents. 

But all this is only supposition and hypothesis, perhaps entirely 
erroneous. The incontrovertible, undeniable fact is that, on the 
27th, the enemy appeared with forces much superior to ours and 
remained all day long opposite the Morro, retreating at night, or 
simulating retreat. Thus ended the month of May. 


Jwae 1st. — At 6 o'clock the look-out signaled the hostile fleet in 
sight, consisting of thirteen ships; five battle ships and eight 
merchant and warships, among them one torpedo boat. 

At 7 o'clock gunshots were heard. 

At 12.30 the fleet started up, moving away from the harbor 
from which it was about 6 miles distant ; half an hour later it 
reversed its course and came again closer. 

At night the Spanish fleet changed its anchoring place. 

The Maria Teresa and Vizcaya anchored south of, and with 
their broadsides toward Cay Ratones and were forming the first 
line for the defense of the harbor. The Coldn and Oqibendo 
anchored north of the same Cay and were forming the second line. 

2nd, — At 5.30 nineteen ships appeared at the mouth of the 
harbor, at a distance of about 5 miles. 

At 7 the Morro reported that they were going to fire a few 
shots to discharge some of the guns. 

3rd, — At 3.30 gunshots were being heard toward the mouth of 
the harbor and the firing became very lively. 

At 4 o'clock it was learned at the comandancia de marina that 
a merchant vessel had come very close to the mouth of the chan- 
nel; that the batteries had fired at her and she had not answered; 
and at that moment she was already inside; shortly after she 
passed by the bow of the Reina Mercedes^ which, it will be 
remembered, was moored between the Socapa and Cay Smith, 
with her bow towards the channel which she was defending with 
her two 16-cm. Hontoria guns and Whitehead torpedoes. 

By 4.20 the firing, which had been very violent, ceased. 

At 4.30 it was learned that the hostile ship had gone down in 
the mouth of the channel, close to Punta Soldado, but without 
obstructing it. 

At 5.30, it now being daylight, very slow firing was again heard 
and ceased at 6. 

At 5.30 the commandant of marine went to the mouth of the 
harbor in the steam launch. 



When he returned, we learned that one of the merchant vessels 
forming part of the American fleet, called the Merrimac^ with two 
masts and one smokestack, larger than the MijicOj had forced the 
entrance at 5.30; that she had been sunk in the channel close to 
Punta Soldado, by the guns of the Mercedes and the rapid-fire 
guns of the battery below the Socapa, and was lying in the direc- 
tion of the Socapa, without obstructing the entrance or preventing 
our ships from going out, and that one lieutenant and seven sailors 
forming her crew had been captured and were on board the Mer- 

Besides the firing on the vessel from the guns, the PltUdn 
launched two torpedoes and the Mercedes two more. Two sub- 
marine mines were discharged from the first line and one from the 

During the events related above, General Linares was at the 
Morro, where he had repaired by land on receipt of the first news. 
At daybreak, General Toral, military governor of Santiago, came 
to assist the navy with a force of regulars and volunteers. 

At 7 a company went to reenf orce the forces at the Socapa and 
the Morro. 

At 7.30 the forces that had come to assist the navy withdrew. 

At 11 p. m. firing was heard at a great distance in a south- 
easterly direction ; it ceased at 12.16. The fire was extremely slow. 

As may have been noticed, on June 1 the enemy appeared before 
the Morro with thirteen ships, five of them battle ships and eight 
merchant and war vessels; that is to say, with forces superior to 
ours, in number as well as caliber of armament, and also from the 
fact that they were better protected than ours, as may be seen 
from the report of the United States Navy, and as unfortunately 
we found out ourselves later. From that time on the hostile 
ships, which were afterwards increased in number, established day 
and night a constant watch, without withdrawing at nightfall, as 
they used to do. Probably they suspected — for they never lacked 
advices and secret information — ^that our fleet, for want of pro- 
visions, would before very long be compelled to go out, and that 
is what they were waiting for. 

On the 2d, nineteen ships were present. 

At daybreak of the 3d, the Merrimac forced the entrance of the 
harbor, at 3.30, with the result above set forth. 

In spite of the time that has elapsed, we, at Santiago, have not 
succeeded in ascertaining definitely — though it is probably known 
in Spain from American newspapers that are in the habit of pub- 
lishing everything — ^what was the real object that the Merrimac 
had in view. 


She had gans and did not fire ; she had torpedoes, though imper- 
fect and primitive, if I may be permitted the expression, or nidi- 
mental, which she did not use; if she was trying to explode our 
mines, she did not accomplish her design; and, finally, she had 
2,000 tons of coal on board. The lieutenant who commanded her 
refused to state the object of his maneuver, saying only that it wacr 
made by order of Admiral Sampson; later, he said to Mr. Rams- 
den, British consul, that if the vessel were examined, it would b" 
found that she carried torpedoes, as indeed was the case. There- 
fore, it may be reasonably supposed that the object was to sink the 
vessel across the channel, so as to obstruct it and prevent our ships 
from going out ; and having made sure of that, to use part of their 
ships in other operations ; and if the vessel did not come to lie 
across the channel and did not obstruct it, it was because she lost 
control of her movements, her rudder having been disabled by 
some projectile, so that she went down where it suited her least. 

There is another fact in this connection which may and should 
arrest the attention of experts in that subject : The Flvidn launched 
two torpedoes, the Mercedes two more, all of them Whitehead ; two 
mines were discharged from the first line and one from the second ; 
and yet the vessel was not blown up and passed both lines in safety, 
which shows that the effect of torpedoes is moral rather than 
material, and that it is not easy to discharge them at the right 
moment. To do so requires a degree of experience, a range of sight, 
and a presence of mind not easily found united in a single man. 
The occurrence to which I have reference demonstrates this very 

During the day the officer and seven men of the MerrimdCj who 
had first been taken on board the Mercedes^ were temporarily 
transferred to the Morro. 

From 11 to 12.30 in the night, the hostile ships were firing, 
though slowly, outside of the harbor and towards the southeast. 
The object of this has never been ascertained. 

I have several times spoken with Qeneral Bos, governor of the 
Morro, and he has always repeated these and similar words: 
''From the beginning of the hostilities to the end I have remained 
in the castle, from where, as you know, everything can be seen 
and observed. Sooner or later I have always learned the object of 
everything the enemy has done and the reason for it ; but the firing 
of that night, though I saw and heard it myself, I have never 
Tinderstood. I believe they were firing on some ship they saw, or 
thought they saw ; but it may be that they were firing on the land ; 
bxit I believe in that case the object and result of the firing would 
have become known sooner or later." 


That same day Captain (General) Paredes, second in command 
of the fleet, disembarked from the Cristdbal Coldn and embarked 
temporarily on the Mercedes^ where he remained until the 21st, 
taking command of all the defenses at the mouth of the harbor. 


Jwn.e Jith. — There were to be seen at the mouth of the harbor 
seyenteen ships : Six battle ships, five war ships, and six merchant 

At 11.30 a. m., the second commander of the local naval forces 
(being the writer of this book), as judge, accompanied by the aid 
of the captaincy of the port, Mr. Leguina, as secretary, and the 
Government interpreter, Mr. Isidoro Agostini, went to the Morro 
in the steam launch of the captaincy of the i)ort, for the purpose 
of taking the depositions of the lieutenant and seven men who had 
been taken prisoners. 

The former, Mr. Hobson, 27 years old, bom in the State of Ala- 
bama, is a lieutenant in the corps of naval constructors, who, in 
the United States, study in the naval college, and those first pro- 
moted are assigned to that corps; I state this so that it may not 
seem strange that he commanded the MerrimaCy for, as they are 
officers of the Navy, they can both build and command ships. 

Upon learning the object of the visit, the prisoner, from whose 
room a great extent of the sea and part of the blockading fleet 
could be seen, asked why the British Consul, who was in charge 
of the United States Consulate, was not present when his deposi- 
tion was to be taken, and he wanted to know whether I belonged 
to the army or the navy ; what might be the consequences of his 
statements; by whose authority he was being examined; and he 
stated that, since he had been taken prisoner by Admiral Cervera 
himself in his own boat (as was true), it was his understanding 
that he coijld and should answer only Admiral Cervera. or some 
one delegated by him. And although all this was said in the very 
best form and with- a thousand protestations of his respect and 
deference for me, it did not prevent our positions from being 
reversed, and far from my asking the prisoner questions, it was 
he, on the contrary, who asked them of me. I told him so, asking 
him through the interpreter to state categorically whether he was 
disposed to answer. He replied he was ready to answer the ques- 
tions which he thought he ought to answer, but not those which 




he deemed untimely* Therefore, and in order not to lose time, I 
at once asked him one question which I knew beforehand he would 
refuse to answer, namely, by whose order and for what purpose 
he entered the harbor; he replied: "By order of Admiral Samp- 
son; the second part I can not answer." I then deemed my mis- 
sion at an end and had the fact set down. 

A few days later, this officer was transferred to quarters on the 
Reina Mercedes that had been prepared for him, and the seven 
men to others on the vessel, where they remained until they were 

As I left the Morro and stood on the esplanade in front of it, I 
had an opportunity for the first time to admire the spectacle that 
presented itself to my eyes; I say "admire," for the picture was 
truly worthy of admiration. 

The evening was most beautiful; the sea' was as smooth as a 
lake, there was hardly any wind and the sky was perfectly clear. 

At a distance of about five miles, seventeen ships could be seen : 
eleven war ships, among them seven battle ships and one torpedo 
boat, and the other six merchant vessels, the nearest one about six 
miles from the harbor, formed a large arc, one extremity of which 
was at Aguadores and the other at Punta Cabrera. The largest 
and most powerful ships were in the center. Among them were 
the lowa^ Indiana^ BrooTdyn^ and New York; the latter two may 
be easily recognized by their three smokestacks. The fifth was 
presumably the Massachusetts; and finally the Texas and Ama- 
zonas. The New York and BrooMyn^taMng advantage of the 
state of the sea, had a merchant steamer alongside and were coal- 
ing. All of them had their engines stopped and their bows in dif- 
ferent directions according to the current. From time to time, one 
of them would move a short distance forward and then return again 
to her place. Among the merchant vessels were specially notice- 
able the Saint Lcmis (the first vessel that had been seen at Santiago), 
a huge transatlantic steamer of over 10,000 tons, which looked larj^er 
than any of the other ships, including the armorclads, and a steam 
yacht of great speed, very small, on the contrary, and which looked 
like a ship's boat. This is the yacht that was in constant com- 
munication with Punta Cabrera. There also was a torpedo boat 
or destroyer. A few days later, I saw the same spectacle from the 
high battery of the Socapa, and I shall never forget it. 

Before I continue, I will state that on May 26, the cable had been 
cut at Cape Cruz, so that communication with Manzanillo was 
interrupted until June 17-, when the connection was reestablished. 

5th. — The American fleet could be seen at the mouth of the har- 
bor, being the same ships we had seen the night before. 

• 57 

General Linares returned from the Morro at 8 o'clock p. zn. and 
ordered the launches and a tng to be gotten ready to take 150 men 
to the mouth of the harbor. 

At 10.30, a chief, two officers, and 120 soldiers embarked and 
went out in a launch towed by the Coldn^ assisted by the Alcyon; 
the tugs returned at 1 o'clock at night. 

At 2 o'clock in the morning, through the fault of a collier coaling 
near the hut of the English cable at Las Cruces, said hut was 
burned; it was an accident, but nojie the less deplorable. 



June 6th. — Eighteen ships were visible at the mouth of the har- 
bor. At 7.30 the lookout reported that the ships were starting up 
and approaching. 

At 8.30 ten ships — the lowa^ Indiana^ Massachusetts^ BrooTdyn^ 
New York^ Texas^ Amazonas^ Minneapolis^ and two other war- 
ships — forming two divisions, opened fire, the first division, on 
the Morro and Aguadores, the second on the Socapa; one ship was 
detached from the latter division to bombard Mazamorra and 
adjoining points on the coast, where the column of Colonel Aldea 
(Asiatic battalion) had detachments and was operating. 

When the American fleet opened fire, it was so intense and the 
shots followed each other in such quick succession that it might 
have seemed like a fusillade if the mighty thunder of guns can be 
compared with the crackling of small arms. 

By 9 o'clock it became somewhat slower, shortly after reaching 
again the same intensity, then decreasing once more at 10.15, and 
again becoming terribly intense at 10.30. 

At 11.2 it ceased. 

Punta Gorda battery fired only 7 shots. 

At 12.15 intense firing was heard again in the distance to the 
east; it ceased at 1.45. 

At 2 p. m. there arrived at the royal pier a boat from the Reina 
Mercedes, towed by her steam launch, with Lieutenant Ozamiz, 
bringing three seriously wounded sailors, who were taken to the 
military hospital. This officer reported the death of Commander 
Emilio de Acosta y Eyermann, second in command of the cruiser, 
and of five sailors ; also, that Ensign Molins, one boatswain, and 
several other sailors had been wounded; their names could not be 
ascertained owing to the condition of the ship, nor could even the 
exact number of wounded be stated, as it had been necessary to 
extinguish two fires on board. 

At 2.45 a private boat arrived at the pier, carrying a sergeant 
and a wounded soldier from the Mazamorra detachment. They 
were also taken to the military hospital. 

There were no more remarkable events during the night* 



Ten warships, eight of them battle ships, divided into two divi- 
sions, opened fire shortly after 8 a. m., on the batteries at the 
mouth, and by elevation on the bay. During the first moments, 
the firing was so intense that it resembled one prolonged thunder. 
In fact, I had no idea that any firing could be as terrific as that of 
those ten ships. Much has been said of the bombardments of 
Sebastopol and Alexandria, but I do not believe that they could 
have been as terrible as the bombardment we suffered that Cth day 
of June — a day which the inhabitants of Santiago will never for- 
get. I might write pages about it, and even then would probably 
not give the faintest idea of what it really was. 

The hostile ships (see list of ships and armaments) had at least 
120 large guns, that is to say, of 14, 20 and 32-cm. calibers, and 
about 80 small-caliber guns, that is to say, of 57 and 42-mm., or a 
total of 192 guns, for they fired with guns of all sizes; and as I 
am far from wanting to exaggerate and since ttie guns of the two 
sides of a ship can not be fired at the same time (those mounted 
in turrets forward and aft can), I will say that 91 guns were 
firing upon four 16-cm. muzzle-loading guns attheMorro and two 
16-cm. breech-loading Hontoria guns of the Socapa battery. 

I do not count the guns of Punta Gorda battery, which fired 
only seven shots ; for the Americans, in spite of their enormous 

superiority, still had the prudence of avoiding it and not 

engaging it so as to keep outside of its range. Before the eloquence 
of numbers, anything else that I might say becomes unnecessary. 

How did it happen that the Morro was not razed to the ground 
and that its guns and those of the Socapa were not dismounted ? 
How did it happen that those who served these guns were not 
buried under the ruins ? I do not know ; that is all I can say ; and 
those who were in those forts may be sure that, since they were 
not killed that day, they will die of old age. 

Captain Concas, who is very clever at computations of a certain 
nature, counted at different times the number of shots fired in a 
minute, and his deduction is that about 8,000 projectiles were 
fired; though this figure may appear exaggerated at first sight, it 
is not so in reality; the firing lasted 175 minutes, which would 
give an average of 45 shots per minute. I believe, if anything, 
the computation falls below the truth. 

I have always believed that the hostile fleet, which, by means of 
the yacht referred to, communicated with the insurgents on the 
coast by way of Punta Cabrera, knew everything that was going 
on in Santiago as well as in the harbor and the position of our 
ships. But if I had had any doubts on that subject, they would 
have been dispelled that 6th day of June when I saw the aim of 


their projectiles. Most of them dropped in the bay in the direc- 
tion of the Maria Teresa and Vizcaya^ which were covering the 
first line, and it was a miracle that both of them were not seriously 
damaged ; for the large-caliber shells fell all around them ; there 
were moments when it seemed as though some had hit them, especi- 
ally the Vizcaya, 

They were also perfectly acquainted with the position of the 
MercedeSy which is proved by the fact that the ships to the east, 
being the division which bombarded the Morro, were firing their 
projectiles right at the cruiser, and though protected by the hill of 
the Socapa, she received in her hull and rigging 35 shells, causing 
two fires, one of them quite extensive, being in the paint locker 

Commander Emilio Acosta y Eyermann was directing the extin- 
guishing of the fire in the forecastle, when a large shell cut off his 
right leg at the hip and also his right hand, mutilating him horribly - 
But he lived for half an hour after that and kept on looking after 
the fire, as I was told by Mr. Ozamiz, who was close to him in 
those critical moments. I do not like to think of it ; he had been 
a fellow-student of mine at college and our old friendship had 
always remained the same. As there was no safe place in the 
ship, his body was placed on a cot and taken to the Socapa coast; 
five soldiers who had been killed the same day were also carried 
there, and all of them were covered with the flag which they had 
been defending and for which they had died. May he rest in peace, 
this first chief of the navy killed in this war. 

The large projectiles shot through the space across the bay, 
causing a tremendous noise which only those who heard it can 
understand; some fell on the opposite coast (to the westward), 
raising, as they exploded, clouds of dust and smoke; others could 
not be seen falling, which proves that they must have dropped in 
the hills at a great distance. This shows that they did not only 
reach the city, but went thousands of meters beyond. 

Toward evening, the ships also fired twice on Daiquiri, probably 
at the forts and the detachments in the mineral region and at Fir- 
meza, but without any effect worth mentioning. The high bat- 
tery of the Socapa (two 16-cm. Hontoria guns) fired 47 shots; that 
was all they could fire, because during the bombardment the ships 
were hidden most of the time through the smoke. 

The inhabitants of Cay Smith had to take refuge in the northern 
part, which is very abrupt, and many were in the water up to the 
waist ; if they had not gone there most of them would have been 
killed, for nearly all the dwellings which were located on the south- 
ern slope suffered from the effects of the shells. The following day 
the C^y was abandoned and the inhabitants transferred to the city. 


Lieutenant Julian Garcia Durdn was appointed second in com- 
mand of the cruiser Reina Mercedes; he had arrived a short time 
before in command of the merchant steamer Mejico, with torpedo 
supplies, which he landed at the port of Guantanamo. 

Later, after the Mercedes sank, this same officer was placed in 
comiaand of the naval forces that occupied the Socapa; and finally, 
of the whole navy encampment, until they were embarked and 
taken back to Spain. 


June 7th. — ^At daybreak nineteen ships in front of the month. 

At 9.15 the body of Commander Emilio Acosta was brought on 

At 9.30 the funeral procession started, headed by Admiral Cer- 
vera and Generals Toral and Rubin, and including, in spite of the 
rain, the civil and military authorities of the city, delegations from 
all the different divisions, and a great many private citizens. On 
both sides of the body walked the battalion of volunteers and the 
company of guides, the only forces that were in the city, with the 
music of the Santiago regiment. 

At 6.30 p. m. the ships increased the distance that separated 
them from the coast. 

The French cable had been cut, and we were not in communica- 
tion with Guantanamo. 

8th. — Nineteen ships were in sight at daybreak, about 6 miles from 
the mouth. 

During the night the fleet had constantly thrown its search- 
lights on the coast. 

9th. — At daybreak eighteen ships, at a distance of about 7 miles. 

The steamer Tornas Brooks delivered 25 planks at the mouth of 
the harbor, which were attached to a steel cable stretched from Cay 
Smith to Punta Soldado, the object of the planks being to keep it 
at the surface of the water ; the cable was laid to prevent the pas- 
sage of any torpedoes which the enemy might attempt to send into 
the harbor with the entering tide. 

10th. — At daybreak the eighteen ships of the preceding day were 
to be seen about 10 miles distant. At 7 o'clock another one, a mer- 
chant vessel, arrived from the south. 

The Plut&n and Fv/ror went alongside the steamer Mifjico^ one 
at each side, to rest from the service of the night. 

At 11 the lookout made a signal, taking it down shortly after, 
that fire was being opened. Nothing was heard in the city. 

The Morro said that the enemy had fired upon Punta Berracos, 
but had stopped very soon. 



Daring the night the American fleet continued to examine the 
coast by means of the searchlights. 

11th. — Seventeen ships, some 6 miles distant, others 10. 

IWi. — The same seventeen ships, from 6 to 6 miles distant from 
the Morro. 

13th. — Fifteen ships, 6 miles from the harbor. 

IJith. — ^At 6.16 the enemy opened fire on the mouth of the harbor; 
it ceased at 6.50. 

The projectiles fell toward Cajuma Bay, close to the Vizcaya. 

Only one ship kept up the fire on the Morro and Socapa, both 
batteries answering it. 

At the latter battery Ensign Bruquetas and two sailors were 
slightly wounded. 

At 10 General Linares went to the Socapa and the Morro, re- 
turning at 12.30. 

The enemy continued the fire during the night, aiming his pro- 
jectile^ upon the coast, especially above the mouth of the harbor. 

15th. — At daybreak seventeen hostile ships in sight, among them 
the Veswoius^ this being her first appearance before the harbor. 

The Veawvius is a vessel of 900 tons displacement and of peculiar 
construction, being very long, narrow, and low. She is the only 
one of her class in the world, and throws, by means of guns or 
pneumatic tubes, dynamite bombs or projectiles a distance of 
about 2 miles ; they are probably provided with a screw ; nobody 
knows them exactly. I do not believe this vessel, though it may 
cause serious destruction, would be able to sustain a fight with 
another, even though smaller, for the reason that the range of her 
projectiles is very short and she has no protection. 

From the 7th to the 16th the hostile fleet hardly threatened the 
batteries which defended the harbor, nor the coast either, contenting 
themselves with watching it incessantly day and night. 

In the city nothing appeared to have changed, and yet the situ- 
ation was very far from being what it was a month ago. 

In the stores many articles were wanting, and those that could 
be had brought fabulous prices. Unfortunately, one of the first 
articles that gave out was flour, and no bread could be baked. 
Hardtack (gaUeta) was used instead, but only a few people could 
pay for it; there was no milk to be had, indispensable for the sick 
and for babies. The soldiers commenced to eat bread made of rice 
and rice boiled in water, which weakened them very much ; and 
though they were not suflfering actual hunger, everybody knew 
that calamity was not far off and was inevitable, for no provisions 
could be expected, either by land or sea. 

Fortunately, the sailors of the ships and defenses, thanks to the 
foresight of the general commandant of the naval station, were 


still receiving full rations and had them for some time to come, 
thanks also to the interest taken in this matter by the Comman- 
dant of Marine. 

The music continued to play at the Alameda and in the market 
place, but the people, who had nothing to eat, had no desire to go 
walking, and the market place and Alameda were deserted. 

Horses and dogs were dying before our eyes. Carriages stopped 
going about for want of horses, which the scavenger carried off at 
night, and gradually the city acquired that stamp of sadness and 
absence of life which is seen in places into which cholera and 
plagues carry sorrow and death. The situation became more 
serious every day, and the discouragement was general, for every- 
one knew that if the blockade should continue, the ruin of the city 
was imminent. 

I must state that while the ships of the hostile fleet were firing 
on Punta Cabrera and Mazamorra on the 7th, 9th, and days fol- 
lowing, insurgent bands, commanded by their principal, chiefs, 
sustained a continued musket fire on land. In these attacks they 
were repulsed with great losses. 


Jv/ae 16th, — Eighteen ships in sight. 

At 5.45 the hostile fleet opened fire. 

At 6. 15 Punta Gorda commenced firing, but stopped shortly after. 

The greater part of the projectiles dropped close to the Spanish 

At 6.30 the fire became more intense. 

At 6.35 smoke was seen for a few minutes issuing from the In- 
fanta Maria Teresa, It was learned afterwards that a fragment 
of shell had caused a slight injury in the starboard gallery. 

At 6.40 Punta Gorda again opened fire; ten shots. 

At 7 the firing ceased. n 

At 7.15 the Furor and Plutdn^ which had their steam up during 
the firing, went alongside the steamer Mejico, 

It was reported from the Morro that the ships which had been 
firing were eight in number ; that the fire had been directed against 
the castle and the Socapa, both of them answering ; that at the 
Morro battery a gunner had been killed and an officer and five 
soldiers (all belonging to the artillery) wounded ; that at the Socapa 
two sailors had been killed and four sailors and Ensign Bruquetas 
wounded, the latter for the second time ; and that one of the Hon- 
toria guns had been put out of action by ddbris obstructing it, but 
that thje enemy had not succeeded in dismounting a single gun. 

At 11.45 the four sailors who had been wounded at the Socapa 
arrived in a boat at the royal pier and were taken to the military 
hospital, one of them, who was seriously wounded, on a stretcher 
from the firemen's headquarters, the other three in carriages. 

At 12 a second lieutenant and a gunner arrived from the Morro 
and were also taken to the hospital. 

During the night the ships continued to illuminate the coast with 
their search lights. 

The d6bris was removed from the Hontoria gun, which was 
again made ready for firing. 

17th, — At 5.30 steady gun fire commenced in the distance to the 
west. It was learned that one ship was firing on Punta Cabrera. 
A few minutes later another opened fire on the Socapa. 

Thirteen ships in sight. 



The ship firing on Punta Cabrera was also firing on Mazamorra. 

At 7.30 the firing ceased. 

There was nothing further of importance during the day and the 
following night. 

18th, — ^Fonrteen ships in sight at daybreak. The Iowa left and 
the Massachusetts^ which had been absent for several days, took 
her place. 

At 7.45 p. m. gun fire was heard. 

It was learned that it was from the Socapa firing at a ship which 
had passed within a short distance and had answered. About 20 
shots were exchanged. 

19th. — Fifteen vessels in sight. 

At 7 two battle ships arrived from the south ; total, 17. 

At 2.30 p. m. General Linares went to the mouth of the harbor, 
returning at 7 p.m. 

During the night the ships were again running their search lights 
along the coast and the entrance of the harbor. 

20th. — At daybreak there were 21 vessels in sight, 7 of them 
battle ships. 

The Oquendo changed her anchoring place and went farther to 
the north. 

At 12 the Morro reported that 39 hostile vessels had arrived; 
shortly after 3 more came, so that, with the 21 that were already 
opposite the Morro, there was a total of 63. 

At 12.05 a loud detonation was heard and a great deal of smoke 
was seen at the piers of Luz and San Jos^ ; it came from the schooner 
Trafalgar J where a shell had exploded while being fired, killing a 
sailor of the steamer San Juan and wounding three of the Morteraj 
on© of whom died a few minutes later. The schooner had to be run 
ashore to prevent her going down. 

Orders were received for the formation of the fourth army 
corps, in command of General Linares, composed of the division 
of Santiago, which was already under his command, and the 
division of Manzanillo. 

Another cable was stretched between the Socapa and Cay Smith, 
like the one stretched between Cay Smith and Punta Soldado, and 
twelve Bustamante torpedoes were planted, half of them between 
Cay Smith and the Merrimac^ and the other six between the latter 
and Punta Soldado. 

21st. — It was learned that the 42 vessels that had arrived the 
previous day had proceeded in an easterly direction during the 
night, leaving only the former 21, most of them war ships. 

At 2.30 p. m. the Morro stated that the 42 vessels were again 
returning from the south. 


The cruiser Reina Mercedes left her anchoring place at the 
Socapa and cast anchor in the bay, west of the captaincy of the 

On the 16th the American fleet had again opened fire on the 
batteries at the mouth of the harbor, and although it could not be 
compared with that of the 6th, either in intensity or duration, yet 
it had caused us two deaths at the Socapa, and two officers and 
several sailors and soldiers had been wounded there and at the 
Morro. A 32-cm. shell, which exploded at the former of said 
batteries, raised such a quantity of earth that it partly buried one 
of the Hontoria guns, making it useless for the time being, and 
came near burying also the men serving it. During the night the 
earth covering the gun was removed, so that it was again ready 
for service. 

The names of the Morro and Socapa have been repeated many 
times, and it has been shown that these two poor batteries were the 
main objective of the hostile fleet and had to withstand the fire of 
over 90 guns, most of them of large caliber, which they always 
answered; yet, I can not help but speak once more of the heroism, 
truly worthy of admiration, displayed by those who served them, 
constantly exposing their lives and having to watch after fighting, 
without a moment's rest or sleep; for the enemy was always on 
the lookout for the least remission in watchfulness in order to sur- 
prise them and attempt a coup de main on the harbor. 

Each one of them, and the governor of the castle first of all, 
earned the gratitude of the country every day for two months. 
Their self-denial and valor kept a powerful fleet in check for sev- 
enty days. The resistance which the Morro and the Socapa offered 
under the prevailing circumstances is a true feat of heroism. 

On the 17th the ships reconnoitered along Punta Cabrera and 
Mazamorra, firing on the detachments of the Asiatic column. 

On the 20th, the day when the 42 vessels of the convoy appeared 
with the landing expedition, a shell exploded in the hold of the 
schooner Trafalgar^ causing several deaths and injuring the huU 
of the schooner, which had to be run ashore in order to prevent 
her from sinking. 

I shall not speak at length of a matter which is of no importance, 
but will mention it briefly, because it gives an idea of the craze 
reigning at Santiagp, to which the frequent bombardments, which 
must have cost at least a million dollars, gave rise. 

Whether by reason of the type of their fuzes, or because many 
of the shells did not have the requisite powder charge (I have dis- 
charged a 57-mm. shell myself, which had only one-eighth of it), 
certain it is that many did not explode and remained intact as 
though they had not been discharged ; as they were being thrown 


in such large numbers, many peopfle wanted to keep one as a curi- 
osity or as a souvenir of an event which does not happen often in 
a lifetime. Some wanted them of small, others of large caliber ; 
others wanted to make a collection of all sizes. I have a friend 
who called on me one evening to show me a 20-cm. shell which had 
been discharged and had not suffered the least deformation. The 
fad had cost him 20 pesos, and he was as happy over it as a child 
over a new toy. But I was thoughtless enough to tell him that 
there were 32-cm. ones, and he was inconsolable. It will be under- 
stood from the above that the fad was being paid for dearly; and 
as capital is always made out of everything, many people made a 
business of gathering up and discharging projectiles and selling 
them. That was the cause of the unfortunate occurrence on board 
the Trafalgar ; a shell had been discharged without the necessary 
care, and what happened was but the natural consequence. 

Another monomania of this period : As the Americans kept up 
the bombardments all through the month of June, so that there 
hardly was a day when gunshots were not heard at a greater or less 
distance, people were hearing them all the time ; the falling of a 
chair, the closing of a door or window, the noise of carriage wheels 
in the distance, the crying of a child — everything was taken for 
gunshots, and gunshots was all that was being talked about. 
When they finally ceased, Santiago had become so identified with 
them that people almost missed them and were surprised to hear 
them no longer. 


We have now reached a period when the events acquire the 
greatest interest and assume exceptional importance. So far it 
was only the fleet that had been antagonizing us ; and numerous 
and i)owerful though it was, it had threatened only one point, 
which experience showed us it did not dare attack or force. Hence- 
forth we shall find ourselves menaced also on land by an army 
equipped with numerous modem artillery, which, supported by 
the ships that had control of the sea and could therefore, without 
trouble, communicate with their depots and base of operations, 
and further supi)orted by the insurgents who had control of the 
field, was constantly receiving reenf orcements of men and material 
and had at its disposal everything which we, unfortunately, were 

From this time on the events are precipitated, so to speak, and 
lead with dizzy rapidity to a denouement which it is not difficult 
to foresee. In view of the exceptional location of the island of 
Cuba, we can not hope for help either from within or without; we 
can not hope for provisions nor ammunition, and without these the 
soldier can not be fed and can not fight — a sad and desperate 
situation for men who ask for nothing else and whom fate seems 
to pursue. 

When speaking of military operations and movements of troops, 
it is not always possible to give a full account of them as they 
happen ; there is danger that some of the occurrences, the situation 
of the forces, and the points they defend or attack, may not be 
known. In order to obviate this, and to give the reader a better 
understanding of the events that took place later, I will give an 
outline, though perhaps incomplete, of the distribution which 
(General Linares made of the forces he had at his disposal. 

It has already been stated that on the 20th the Fourth Army 

Corps was organized, consisting of the Santiago division and the 

Manzanillo division. General Linares was made commander in 

chief, and Lieutenant Colonel Ventura Fontin, who had been chief 

of staff of the latter division, retained the same position relative to 

the corps. 



General Toral, though in command of the division of Santiago, 
remained at the head of the military government of the city, with 
the same chief of staff. It may, therefore, be said that nothing 
was changed. 

From telegrams received, the enemy's plans could be, if not accu- 
rately known, at least surmised, and as it was supposed that they 
might effect a landing at a point on the coast more or less close to 
the city, Gteneral Linares ordered the concentration of his forces so 
that they might be assigned to convenient positions. First of all, 
orders were sent from Havana to Manzanillo, by telegraph, for 
General Escario to proceed with all the forces available, and with 
the least possible delay, to Santiago de Cuba. Said general left 
Manzanillo on the 22d with 3,300 infantry, 260 cavalry, two Plas- 
encia guns and 60 transport mules. The infantry was composed 
of the battalions of Alcantara, Andalusia, Puerto Bico chasseurs 
and two battalions of the Isabel la Catdlica regiment. These 3,300 
men who, from the time they left Manzanillo, had encounters every- 
day with the insurgents, who killed and wounded 97 of them, could 
not arrive here, in spite of forced marches, until the evening of 
July 3 ; this should not be lost sight of. 

At another place I have spoken of the scarcity of provisions in 
the city. The authorities, in order not to diminish the chances of 
assistance which they might obtain from the region under cultiva- 
tion, for the men as well as the horses and mules, combined the 
operations and i)osition of the troops 'vrtth the object of attempting 
to preserve that region and looking out for the enemy in adl di- 

With this object in view, a line of observation was established, 
as follows : To the north, from Palma Soriano through San Luis, 
El Oristo, and Socorro ; to the west, from Punta Cabrera through 
Monte Heal and El Cobre, on the roads which lead to the city on 
that side, and to the east, from Daiquiri through Vinent and Fir- 
meza to the harbor of Escandell. 

On the 22d the first companies of the Spanish fleet disembarked, 
with a force of about 130 men each, under orders of the third com- 
manders of the ships respectively ; two companies were stationed 
at San Miguel de Paradas, to guard the coast west of the bay and 
assist the Socapa or the city ; the third company at the Socapa, to 
reenf orce that point, and the fourth and last company at Las Cruces, 
to assist the Morro, Aguadores, or the city. 

At night of the same day, the second companies disembarked, 
including men from the Mercedes and the destroyers, a total of 450, 
who, under command of Capt. Joaquin Bustamante, went the fol- 
lowing day to occupy the line from Dos Caminos del Cobre to the 
Plaza de Toros; that is, south and southwest of the precinct. 


The only forces in the Santiago district prior to the declaration 
of the present war were nine companies of mobilized troops and 
two of the Santiago Regiment, to garrison the city and the forts of 
the precinct, besides a small number of the Civil Guard and a few 
artillerymen, and as much cavalry as was indispensable for convoy 
and other services properly belonging to the cavalry. 

When war was declared, six more companies of the Santiago 
regiment came for the purpose of commencing the fortification works 
of the precinct of the city, under the directions of the chiefs and 
oflBcers of the corps of engineers ; another company was occupying 
the position of ErmitafLo (east of the city) and another was at 

I believe I have already stated that by orders of Grenefal Linares 
the Talavera battalion had come from Baracoa and was stationed, 
with three companies of mobilized troops, along the coast to watch 
the same, occupying Daiquiri, Siboney, the railroads, and the forts. 

The Asiatic battalion, in command of Colonel Aldea, took up its 
position of observation west of Santiago: Four companies, with 
the colonel at Punta Cabrera, covering the coast road; another, 
with one mobilized company, occupying Mazamorra, both to be 
ready to reenforce the former four or the forces at the Socapa, if 
necessary, and to prevent in due time a landing at Cabafias; 
another occupied the camp at Monte Real, and finally another, 
with one mobilized company, garrisoned El Cobre. With these 
forces all the roads leading to Santiago from the west had to be 

Gradually, as information was being received concerning the 
enemy's plans, the available forces of the San Luis brigade, in 
command of General Vara del Rey, were concentrated in the 

First, four companies of the Provincial Battalion of Puerto Rico 
(No. 1) arrived, one company remaining at El Cristo and one at 
Songo, both of them occupying also the forts on the railroad of 
both towns. Later came three companies of the San Fernando 
battalion, one remaining at El Cristo and two at Palma Soriano. 
Finally, General Vara del Rey, with three companies of the twenty- 
ninth regiment (Constitucidn), one company of guerrillas on foot, 
and two Plasencia gurte, occupied El Caney, where there were only 
40 men of the Santiago regiment and 50 of the mobilized troops, 
leaving three companies of the twenty-ninth regiment at the towns 
of San Luis, Dos Caminos, and Mor<5n. Two squads of cavalry 
were distributed in said three towns. 

It is only necessary to cast a glance at the chart, without much 
study, to understand that the line which our troops occupied was 
too extensive to be solidly covered and effectively defended by such 
small forces. 


Why did General Linares not limit it and occupy positions closer 
to the precinct and more susceptible of effective defense? For a 
reason which outweighs all others. He could not do so without 
condemning its defenders from the outset to an inevitable disaster. 

I will repeat once more — for to this must be attributed the 
reverses we suflEered — ^that there was nothing left in Santiago 
except rice, and only 500,000 extra cartridges outside of the regu- 
lar supply of the soldiers, namely, 150 each; for although there 
were many more included in the surrender of the Park, they are 
of the Remington, Argentine Mauser, and other types, and of cali- 
bers differing from those of the Spanish Mauser, which is the 
weapon carried by almost all of our forces. Of course, 150 car- 
tridges are used up very rapidly. It was the scarcity of provis- 
ions, confined almost entirely to rice, which, more than anything 
else, compelled General Linares to defend the line which, begin- 
ning at Ermitafio and passing through El Caney, San Miguel de 
Lajasj Quintero Hill and the hills of La Caridad and Veguita, 
would protect the railway to Sabanilla and Mor<5n and the aque- 
duct. If the troops could have maintained this line, they would not 
have suffered for lack of water, as they did in some positions, nor 
would the food, as long as we remained in possession of the culti- 
vated region, have been reduced to rice bread and rice boiled in 
water, which the soldiers could not stand and which made them 
unfit for the active operations necessary in war. 

The Morro and the Socapa had to be not only occupied, but well 
protected ; they were the key to the harbor. If the enemy had 
taken possession of them, it would have been easy to remove the 
torpedoes and force the bay, and then the city and its defenders 
would necessarily have had to surrender. 

It was equally necessary to occupy Daiquiri, Siboney, and Agua- 
dores, so as not to allow the enemy to make a landing at any of 
them with impunity (as they did after all, supported by the war 
ships, at the first-named place) and gain possession of the railroad. 
For the same reasons also, it was necessary to cover the landing 
places of Cabafias and Guaicab<5n (near Punta Cabrera), as also 
the west coast of the bay, and preserve the railroads leading to 
the city. 

All this proves that it was not only desirable, but absolutely 
necessary to defend said line. To give it up would have meant to 
be resigned from the outset to perish from hunger, and perhaps 
from thirst, which is worse. 

If El Caney and the San Juan position had not been taken we 
should not have lost our communications with the cultivated 
region, nor would the aqueduct have been cut, and it is easy 
enough to understand how much these two things had to do with 


later events, and how diflEerent the sitnation would have been with- 
out them. Unfortunately the small number of our forces made 
it impossible to save these positions. 

The ships would no doubt have reduced the city to ashes and 
ruin, but there would have been water and more provisions, and 
the army would have been able to maintain itself and fight, at 
least until the last cartridge was gone. 

Unfortunately the insurgents, firing from ambush, as usual, 
on General (then Colonel) Escario's column, succeeded in delaying 
its march long enough so that it could not arrive before the 1st of 
July. Fate is not always just. 

EVENTS OF JUNE 2 2d TO 27th. 

The reader being acquainted with the number of our troops, the 
positions they occupied and the sites they covered and their object, 
it will not be difficult to understand and appreciate the operations 
carried on and the events taking place here. 

On the evening of the 21st it was learned, as has been stated, 
that the enemy was effecting a landing at Punta Berracos. 

June 22d. — At 6.30, the usual ships were opposite the mouth of 
the harbor; in Aguadores Bay there were two yachts and one 
monitor; at Punta Berracos, the 42 vessels of the convoy, among 
them the Saint Louis^ with the Indiana, A steamer, with tugs, 
could also be seen. We therefore knew that the landing was being 
effected. We also saw the house on fire that the English had on 
San Juan river. 

At 8 the enemy opened fire and Punta Gorda answered. 

At the same time, one ship fired upon Aguadores. 

The Brooklyn^ loiva^ and Texas were firing on the Morro and 
Socapa, and the batteries were answering. 

At noon the firing ceased in the mouth of the harbor. 

Punta Gorda only fired five shots. 

The firing continued on the coast toward the east. 

During the day the first companies of the Spanish fleet (4 com- 
panies, about 520 men) disembarked. At midnight the second 
companies (about 460 men) disembarked. It has already been 
stated what part of the ground they were to cover. 

At 11 o'clock p. m. two shots were heard and a loud detonation, 
followed by a noise resembling that of a screw revolving in the 
air. Shortly after, another similar detonation was heard. 

2Sd. — Opposite the Morro entrance, and at a distance of about 6 
miles from it, 8 battle ships, 2 destroyers, the Vesuvius^ and 8 
merchant vessels. The rest, as many as 63, continued the landing 
on the coast, protected by some of the war ships. 

At 2.30 a yacht, with a white flag, left the fleet and approached 
the Morro. The tug Coldn went out to speak with her. At this 
time there were 24 ships opposite the harbor. 

During the night the enemy examined the coast again by means 
of search lights. 

24th. — Eight battle ships, 2 destroyers, the Vesuvitbs (which, at 
11 o'clock on the previous night, had thrown two dynamite bombs 



on the port, fortunately without doing any harm) and 12 merchant 
vessels, are guarding the mouth of the harbor, stretched out from 
Aguadores to Punta Cabrera. The others, as many as 63, among 
them six war ships protecting them, continued the landing at 

The yacht that Came up yesterday with a flag of truce was sent 
by Admiral Sampson, who inquired whether the lieutenant who 
had been made prisoner was being kept in the Morro. Mr. Ooncas, 
who was delegated to parley, answered evasively, as was natural, 
that the prisoner was in a safe place. 

At 11.65 the Brooklyn opened a slow fire on Daiquiri and adjoin- 
ing points on the coast. 

At 1.30 the firing ceased. 

At 1.55 it was again heard in the same direction, ceasing at 2.30. 

At night the hostile fleet used the projectors again. 

25th, — At 4 a. m. 14 shots were heard in the direction of Daiquiri, 
It was presumed that they were firing on General Rubin's column. 

At daybreak there were at the mouth of the harbor 8 battle ships 
and 12 merchant vessels. 

From 12.30 to 2 o'clock the hostile fleet kept up a slow fire on 
the coast from Aguadores to Daiquiri. 

It was noticed that the vessels landing troops or material were 
going back and forth, so we felt sure that new reenforcements 
were constantly arriving from the United States. 

26th, — At daybreak the New YorJc^ Brooklyn^ Indiana^ Oregon, 
MdssachusettSj Texas, Vesvmus, 1 monitor, and 6 merchant ves- 
sels were in front of the harbor. To the east, in the direction of 
Berracos, 11 steamers could be seen, and 8 at Daiquiri, inside of the 

The Veawvius had discharged two bombs the preceding night, 
one completely destroying the house of the lighthouse keeper, the 
other seriously damaging the fortress, wounding three sailors of 
the Mercedes and a, soldier of the garrison. 

27th, — ^The same ships blockading the harbor as the preceding 

During the night the Vesv/oius threw 3 dynamite bombs, doing 
no damage, as they fell in the water, although inside of the harbor. 

The search lights were going again during the night. 

On the evening of the 21st the enemy had commenced to effect 
the disembarkation of the landing expedition (which according to 
New York newspai)ers consisted of 50,000 men), and in order to do 
80 in perfect security, even though they had in all 63 vessels, countr 
ing both merchant and war ships, they landed them at Punta Berra- 
cos, 20 miles from Santiago, in spite of there being no water and 


no roculs, because our troops, few in number, could not cover such 
an extensive region. 

To assist the landing, the ships were firing on the whole coast 
from Berracos, east of Santiago, to Punta Cabrera, 27 miles west. 
How could we cover so many threatened points and occupy so 
extensive a territory ? Impossible, e "^en if we had had much supe- 
rior forces than we did. 

The battle ships, always in imposing numbers, remained in front 
of the harbor so as to keep our, fleet in. The war ships were pro- 
tecting the landing, and as they controlled the sea it was impossi- 
ble for soldiers with small arms to prevent it." 

How many men did the Americans disembark ? 

As Santiago was cut oflE from the rest of the world, or almost so, 
it was not easy to ascertain the exact number, nor was it neces- 
sary. The vessels of the convoy, as soon as they had landed men 
and material, returned to the United States and came back with 
fresh contingents. But it may be safely stated that the first 
expedition consisted of at least 15,000 men, with more or less war 

I base this estimate on the fact that forty-three vessels arrived, 
including six war ships apparently convoying them, and although 
the latter can, and generally do transport troops, I do not count 
them, nor do I count five small tugs; hence there remain thirty- 
two of all sizes, and modern steamers can surely carry on an aver- 
age not less than 1,000 men each, especially in view of the short 
distance from Key West to Santiago and the fine weather prevail- 
ing. But taking into consideration the circumstance that they 
had to carry war material as well, I will reduce the figure to one- 
half, namely, 500 men to each steamer, and there would still be 
16,000. There can be no doubt, as everybody will admit, that, if 
I err in my calculation, my figures are below rather than above 
the actual number. Moreover, as I have said, this matter is not 
of great importance, for new contingents kept constantly arriving, 
and the Americans also knew that the insurgents, who were await- 
ing their arrival, would swell their forces. 

Every night, with great regularity (between 11 and 2), the 
Vesv/viiLS threw her three dynamite bombs on the batteries at the 
mouth of the harbor, with the greatest humanity possible, for it 
will be remembered that such was the pretext of this war. For 
that purpose she would come close to the coast, accompanied by 
another ship, usually a battle ship — for the mission of the Vesu^ 
vius is only the offensive, she has no defensive qualities — ^and as 
soon as she was within convenient distance she would discharge 
three tubes at regular intervals. If the projectiles dropped close 
to a battery its ruin was certain, for one must see the effects of 


one of these projectiles to understand them. Fortunately, they 
do not appear to be very sure, either in range or in aim. 

On the sea, matters continued in the same condition. Let us now 
see the operations carried out on land by the Army forces during 
this period, the latter events taking place at diametrically opposed 

On the 22d Daiquiri and Siboney were bombarded by the ships. 
At the same time the enemy appeared at the former place. As the 
force guarding it could not cope with the ships, it retreated by way 
of Vinnent to Pirmeza, gathering up all the detachments from the 

Gteneral Rubf n, with three companies of the provisional battalion 
of Puerto Rico, three of San Fernando, and two artillery guns 
(Plasencia), proceeded to Siboney. There he received orders to 
proceed with his column and with the whole force in the mineral 
region to the heights of Sevilla before daybreak, where they were 
to take position in three echelons, the foremost one under Com- 
mander Alcafiiz, formed of the three companies of Puerto Bico and 
one mobilized company. 

On the 23d this echelon alone checked the enemy's advance in 
the morning, and again in the evening, the echelon having been 
reenf orced by one company from San Fernando, half engineers, and 
two guns. When the battle was over the forces withdrew to their 
former positions, the echelon remaining on the same site. 

At daybreak on the 24th the echelon was reenf orced by two com- 
panies from Talavero, and not only resisted a strong attack of the 
enemy, but also forced the latter to retreat. 

In spite of this advantage they received orders to withdraw be- 
cause the enemy was approaching the Morro by rail, and as there 
were not forces enough to oppose him, it would have been sur- 
rounded. In compliance with the order received the column with- 
drew to the city. 
The official report of this battle is as follows : 
"General Rubin's column, under orders of the commander in 
chief of the Fourth Army Corps, was attacked yesterday at noon 
and in the evening. 

"This morning considerable forces with artillery guns made a 
resolute attack and were repulsed, losing many men. 

"On our side we had in the two days seven dead; Jos^ Lances, 
captain of the provisional battalion of Puerto Bico, and Zendn 
Borregdn, second lieutenant of the same battalion, seriously 
wounded ; Francisco las Tortas, first lieutenant of the regiment of 
Royal Artillery, slightly wounded ; two privates seriously wounded, 
two slightly wounded. Various contusions." 



Later on it was learned that the forces which attacked General 
Rubin's column, or rather the echelon of the same, under Com- 
mander Alcaiiiz, were as follows : 

The seventh, twelfth, and seventeenth regiments of United States 
infantry, the second Massachusetts, the seventy-first New York, 
and 16 dismounted squadrons. 

On the 26th the following was published : 

"General order of the Fourth Army Corps, dated June 26, at 
Santiago de Cuba: 

"Soldiers: We left the mineral region because I did not wish to 
sacrifice your lives in vain in unequal battle, with musket fire, 
against the pompous superiority of the enemy, who was fighting 
us under cover of his armored ships, armed with the most modern 
and i)Owerful guns. 

"The enemy, rid of our presence at the points referred to, has 
already landed his troops and proposes to take the city of Santiago. 

"The encounter is at hand and it will take place under equal 

" Your military virtues and your valor are the best guarantee of 

"Let us defend the right, ignored and trampled upon by the 
Americans, who have united themselves with the Cuban rebels. 

"The nation and the army look to us. 

"More than a thousand sailors, disembarked from the fleet, will 
assist us. Volunteers and firemen will take part in the task of 
repulsing and defeating the enemies of Spain. 

"The other division of this army corps is hastening toward us 
to reenforce us. 

" I make no recommendations, because I feel sure that all will vie 
in the defense of their posts with firmness and resolve; but I will 
say that those assigned to any position, be it in the precincts of 
the city or at the foremost points, must stand firm at any cost, 
without vacillating, without thinking of retreating, but only of 
saving the honor of our arms. 

"I shall comply with my duties, and, in conclusion, I say with 

all. Long live Spain ! 


"The foregoing was published to-day, by order of His Excellency, 

for the information of all. 

"Ventura Font an, 

^^ Lieutenant Colonel^ chief of staff ,^^ 

In order to convey a better understanding of the foregoing oper- 
aticms of General Rubin's column, I will give below a copy of the 
instructions and orders which said general received from General 


Linares, all of which were drawn up in camp and written with 

lead pencil. 

They are as follows : 

*'Pozo, Jime 23, 1898. 

"Civilians have handed to me the paper which you wrote to me, 
and we have heard firing since a quarter to five, and afterwards 
gnin fire. 

'* I have impressed upon Colonel Borry to guard well the path 
or road to the Redonda, where he is encamped, so that the troops 
of the line, if they should find Sardinero occupied, can take that 
road to the Redonda. 

**I have sent to Santiago for all the transport mules and ten 
carts, which will be at your camp by 7.30 or 8 o'clock. You will 
have the sick ready, and also the ammunition, so that they may 
at once be taken to Santiago, with the same convoy that will go 
with the mules. 

"Make arrangements to have the first mess of the morning taken 

there and then you will receive further orders. 

"To General Antero Rubin." 

(Seal: "Army of Operations of Santiago — 4th Army Corps — 
General Staff.") 

"After eating the first mess you will march with the whole 
column to Santiago, effecting a retreat from that point by eche- 
lons as carefully and slowly as may be necessary, so as to be in 
good condition to repulse any attack of the enemy. 

"The Talavero Battalion will go to Suefio and will there meet 
the chief of the town, who will indicate to it the points to be 

"The Puerto Rico Battalion, with the two mobilized companies 
from the mineral region, will proceed to Cafladas and will there 
receive orders concerning the points it is to occupy, and the San 
Fernando Battalion is to proceed to Central Benefice, and will also 
receive instructions. The section of artillery will go to the quar- 
ters at Dolores. The section of engineers will proceed to Cruces, 
taking quarters in the offices of the mineral company. 

" Pozo, Jvms 2Ji,, 1898. 

"Note: The captain of engineers is to return to Santiago with 
the convoy of sick and to report to Colonel Caula. 

"To General Antero del RubIn." 


(Seal: "Army of Operations of Santiago— 4th Army Corps — 
General StaflP.") 

"You have already received orders to retreat, which is to be 
done when the convoy of sick has started under the protection of 
two mobilized companies and one Talavero company. 

" The whole train will retreat first, and upon arriving at San- 
tiago, they will go to the points designated, and with the three 
echelons of Puerto Rico, San Fernando, and Talavero, you will 
make the retreat, alternating by echelons in such manner that 
when the forward echelon leaves a position the other two will be 
in position, until arriving at Santiago. There I shall await you. 

"To General RubIn." 


Jv/ne 28th. — ^The Morro said that the Maaaachusetts^ which* had 
been gone, had returned ; that the Iowa hQ,d left instead, and that 
at 7 a. m. a merchant vessel was embarking the sick of the fleet, 
estimated at about 60, judging from what could be made out with 
the help of glasses ; that to the east, at a distance, the ships were 
firing slowly. 

During the night they continued to watch with search lights. 

29th, — ^The Iowa returned. 

In the evening, firing on Daiquiri was heard. 

30th, — The same ships are blockading the harbor. 

The Morro said that at 3 p. m. a steamer was sighted to the 
south; that, when she saw the American fieet, she shaped her 
course eastward at full speed ; that a yacht and a battleship went 
out to chase her; that the latter returned with the steamer which, 
with the American flag hoisted, joined the convoy at Daiquiri. 

At 8 p. m. a few musket shots were heard in the direction of 
Campo de Marte (east of the city). 

Later the sound came from the Plaza de Toros (northeast). 

At 9 firing was again heard at the cemetery (to the north). 

Nothing further occurred. 

The last three days of the month of June are devoid of interest 
and we enjoyed unusual quiet. So much had the people of San- 
tiago become accustomed to the sound of gunshots that they almost 
missed them. 

But how true it is that when a calm comes after a storm, it is 
often only the precursor of another storm. The enemy was prepar- 
ing to begin the month of July in a manner that Santiago de Cuba 
will remember many a day. 

The hostile fieet continued to antagonize the coast as usual. 
But without neglecting their main objective and their constant 
care, that of watching our fieet, which, being short of provisions, 
would sooner or later be compelled to take some decisive action, 
they were gathering at the entrance of the harbor a large number 
of their most powerful ships, and the army, no doubt intrenching 
itself at Daiquiri, so as to have anothe#shelter besides that of the 

10645 6 (81) 


ships, and a safe base of operations, was preparing to attack the 
city, supported by the insurgents who had joined them in large 
numbers under their leaders Calixto Garcia, Demetrio Castillo, 
Cebrecos, and others less known. 

This is proved by the musket fire which was heard a short dis- 
tance from the city, to the northeast, on the night of the 30th. 

From the news we had received from the Morro it might have 
been inferred that about 3 o'clock in the afternoon of that same 
day, the hostile fleet had captured a merchant vessel, which; after 
the American flag had been hoisted upon her, joined the convoy; 
but this is not probable. Aside from the fact that the flag of a ship 
is not changed as easily as that, the truth would have become 
known sooner or later. It is more probable that it was a vessel that 
was not expected and they went out to reconnoitre. That is my 
opinion about this incident, which, in reality, is not of much 

A few words more about the Vesuvius that gave us so much 
trouble for a few nights — that time, it seems, suiting her best to 
carry out her exploits. This ship is the only one of her class; her 
projectiles and the apparatus throwing them are not known, and 
she has made her d6but here. One of the projectiles which fell on the 
northern slope of the Socapa, tore up trees right and left for a dis- 
tance of about 20 metres. From a certain distance, as I could see 
the day I went to the Mercedes^ it looked as though a road had 
been opened across the mountain. 

Another, which fell a short distance from the one just referred 
to, made an excavation, not very deep, but very wide ; I was told 
that it would hold twenty horses. This would seem to indicate that 
the screw with which they are provided keeps on revolving even on 
solid ground.* 

Still another dropped in the water, but close to one of the destroy- 
ers, which was violently shaken, as also the Mercedes^ anchored at 
a short distance. I heard this from the commander of the former 
and the officers of the latter. 

The forces of the army which, as has been stated, abandoned the 
mineral region, not being able to maintain it, concentrated in the 
city, preserving, as was indispensable, the line from Aguadores to 
Cruces, after destroying the bridge at the former point. The line 
(4 kilometers) was covered by six companies of the Santiago regi- 
ment and two of mobilized troops, a total contingent of about 800 

* The reference to the "screw " in this para«nraph probably refers to the vanes 
or feathers on the rear end of these shells. They are for the pnrpose of giving 
the shell rotation in its flight, and being fixed to the shell tney have no inde- 
pendent motion.~0. N. I. ||| 


The advance post of El Caney (a league and a half, about 6 miles, 
from the city), in command of General Vara del Rey, was defended 
by three companies of the battalion "Oonstitucidn" (the 29th), 
one company of guerrillas on foot, in all 430 men, 40 soldiers of 
the Santiago regiment and 50 of the mobilized troops, being a total 
of 520 men. 

The line of the precinct (9 kilometers), extending from Dos 
Caminos del Cobre, west of the city, to the fort of Punta Blanca, 
to the east, on the seashore, was defended by the following forces: 

Corps of sailors from the fleet (f onr second companies) 468 

Four companies of the Provisional Battalion of Paerto Bico 450 

Talavera Battalion, No. 4 (Peninsnlar) 850 

Four companies of the San Fernando Battalion, No. 11 440 

Total, army 2,198 

Three companies of mobilized trooxNS 880 

Volunteers - -—— 440 

Total 2,968 

Also a small number of gunners, for there was not a sufficient 
number to serve the guns installed, the number and place of which 
has been mentioned. It may therefore be said that there were, in 
round numbers, 3,000 men. 

This was the fighting force. Within the city was the cavalry 
force (for which the ground, being hilly and cut up by trenches, 
was not adapted), and a small force of the civil guard assigned to 
duty in the city, and the firemen with their engines in readiness. 

This line is divided into sections in command of colonels. 

Of the 3,000 men defending it, two companies, one of the Pro- 
visional Battalion of Puerto Rico and the other of the Talavera 
Battalion, defended the advance positioii at San Juan, one being 
assigned to the right, the other to the left side of the road. 

Finally, at the Socapa, that is, at points in an opposite direction 
from that line, there were 400 men, 460 at the Morro, and 120 at 
Punta Qorda. It must be remembered that these three positions 
overlook the entrance of the harbor, and are its key, and must for 
that reason be maintained at any cost; and these forces were in- 
dispensable there, as the enemy might attack them, as indeed he 
did attack them the next day. 

The same day, the 30th, the following telegram, addressed to 
the aid of marine (ayudante de marina) of that district, was re- 
ceived at the comandancia de marina from Manzanillo : 

^^CoMMAKDBR MARINE, Santiago-: 

" Last evening, for about an hour, we sustained in the waters of 
this harbor a battle against three hostile vessels of medium ton- 
nage, which passed, at a distance of about a mile from the head of 
the piers, in a northeasterly direction, under low steam. 


" The following took part : Gunboata GhuintdnaTno^ EstreUa^ and 
DelgadO'Parejo^ under my command, and a group of vessels that 
were disabled, consisting of the pontoon Maria and gunboats Cuba 
Espafiola and QuardiAn. With the former three we arrived in 
time at the other group, as the enemy passed by, who, finding him- 
self attacked, stopped his progi'ess only a short time on account of 
an injury which our vessels had inflicted on the second of theirs, 
which made it necessary for the third one to tow her to windward, 
and then, with slow speed, though keeping up a steady fire during 
the retreat, they doubled the headland northeast of the Manza- 
nillo Cays, heading north, and soon disappeared from sight. The 
city cooperated efl&ciently with the few guns it has. We had two 
dead, two slightly wounded, and one bruised, on the Ddgado- 
Parejo; two slightly wounded and two contusions on the other 
ships; in the city, a few wounded; injuries to all the ships, but 

not material. 




JvJ/y 1st, — At 7 gun and musket fire were being heard in the 
direction of the Plaza de Marte (east of the city). 

According to the Morro the Minneapolis arrived to reenforce 
the hostile fleet. 

At the commandancia de marina we could hear a slow gun and 
steady musket fire in the direction of Campo de Marte. 

The enemy had a captive balloon, from which he observed our 
positions; from the Reina Mercedes headquarters (converted into 
a hospital) it could be plainly seen. It was in the direction of 

The American fleet is firing from Aguadores, the greater part 
of the projectiles passing over the city. Others fall inside, some 
exploding and some not. Many have already fallen in the houses, 
among others a 20-cm. shell, which fell in the house of the chief 
pilot of the port, but did not explode. The ships firing from 
Aguadores are the New York and the Oregon. 

The streets of the city are almost deserted ; only soldiers and 
volunteers are seen as they go to their posts. As usual, many 
projectiles are falling in tiie bay near our fleet. 

The firing from the ships ceased at 11. 

At 2 intense musket-fire was heard in the direction of El Caney ; 
at 2 :30 also gun-fire. 

By 3 o'clock the musket-fire became steadier; constant volleys 
were being heard ; at 4 it became less intense. 

At 10 p. m. General Cervera left his ship, returning at 12. 

On July Ist, at 6 a. m., the nucleus of the hostile army under 
command of General Shaf ter, and which must have consisted of 
at least 15,000 men, with many modem guns, without including 
the insurgent parties, attacked the lines of the precinct east and 
east-northeast of the city, that is El Caney, defended by General 
Vara del Eey with 520 men and two Plasencia guns, and the position 
of San Juan, occupied by two companies comprising 250 soldiers. 

The attack which the Americans made with 12,000 men, as stated 
by themselves, was commanded by General Wheeler, second in 
command of the army. 



A brigade of 3,600 men, also under the orders of said Generav 
Wheeler, and supjKjrted by another, directed its efforts upon El 
Caney, while Colonel Chaffee with 2,000 men attacked the hill and 
fort of San Juan. 

The Americans, it must be acknowledged, fought that day with 
truly admirable courage and spirit. The houses of El Caney, 
which General Vara with his 620 men converted into as many 
fortresses, threw forth a hail of projectiles upon the enemy, while 
one company after another, without any protection, rushed with 
veritable fury upon the city. The first company having been deci- 
mated, another appeared, then a third, and still another, and those 
soldiers resembled moving statues (if I may be permitted that 
expression for want of a better) rather than men ; but they met 
heroes, and although the houses had been riddled with bullets 
by the artillery and musketry, and although the streets were 
obstructed with dead and wounded. El Caney had been converted 
into a veritable volcano, vomiting forth lava and making it impos- 
sible to go near it. 

Both sides being shoft of forces and out of breath, almost with- 
out having stirred from their relative positions, the battle ceased 
for some time, and General Vara del Rey took advantage of this 
circumstance to have his soldiers re-form the lines and again get 
ready for the battle. 

General Linares, who was repulsing the attacks at the position 
of San Juan, upon learning the result of these assaults, warmly 
congratulated the handful of lions in these words: "When the 
American army attacked El Caney they had not counted on a 
general of Vara del Rey's stamp and on troops as fiery and inured 
to warfare as those he had under his command." 

The fight commenced once more and the enemy attacked again 
and again, being always repulsed, but as we had no reserve forces, 
and the Americans, on the contrary, had a great many, the battle 
was no longer possible under these circumstances. The General 
was wounded almost simultaneously in both legs by two musket 
balls, and as he was being carried away on a stretcher, the bullets 
falling around him like hail, he was killed by a third one, at the 
same moment as two of the men who were carrying him. The 
greater part of the commanders and officers (among them two rela- 
tives of the General) were dead or wounded, as also the majority 
of the soldiers. Finally, at 7 p. m., the commander being dead 
and those 620 men having been reduced to less than 100 and most 
of these slightly wounded and bruised, that handful of heroes, for 
want of forces and a commander, retreated from the site, which 
for ten hours they had been defending without being able to get 
any reenforcements, for thers were none to be had, and the enemv 


occupied the position on which he, in his turn, had made such a 
bold attack. • 

Of the 620 defenders of El Caney only 80 returned, most of them 
crippled and bruised. The Americans acknowledged that they 
had 900 casualties. 

As has been stated, 2,000 men under the command of Colonel 
Chaffee, well protected, attacked in the morning the position of 
San Juan with the same spirit and enthusiasm with which Wheel- 
er's men made the attack on El Caney. 

Our headquarters were situated in an excellent jKJsition, at the 
crossing of the roads to El Caney and Pozo. General Linares had 
no ayailable reserves; he therefore formed the echelon close to the 
positions of San Juan where he could observe the movements of 
the enemy and assist personally at points where his presence might 
be necessary. 

With him was General Ordofiez with two rapid-fire guns. 

In the foremost echelon at San Juan was Colonel Jos^ Baquero^ 
of the Simancas regiment of infantry, who had come from Guan, 
t^namo with a message, and could not return on account of th& 
blockade. This echelon was two companies strong, and before the 
Americans opened fire, it was reenf orced by another company. It 
is here that Colonel Ordofiez was, with the rapid-fire division ; the 
position being defended by 300 infantry and two guns. 

The echelon nearest San Juan consisted of three companies of 
Talavero, one company with General Linares to the right of the 
Pozo road, forming an angle, in order to prevent a surrounding 
movement on the part of the enemy from the right of San Juan; 
another at the angle of the two roads referred to, and a third at 
Veguita toward El Caney, crossing their fire with that of the forces 
at Suefio. 

In view of the small numbers of our forces and the ever increas- 
ing numbers of those of the Americans and their war material, we 
reenforced our positions by some trenches, under shelter of which 
we might be able to prolong the fight for a longer time. 

The cavalry formed the third line at the fort of Canosa, pro- 
tected by a small hill. 

After the cannonade of the morning, in which our guns with 
accurate aim succeeded in causing the enemy many casualties and 
silencing the fire of one of his batteries erected at Pozo, and wlien 
the Americans had brought together considerable forces of infantry, 
they attacked about noon with cannon, machine-gun, and musket 

The situation of the line commanded by Baquero was critical. 
Colonel Ordofiez and the commander of the Puerto Rico battalion, 
Mr. Lamadrid, had been wounded. One-half of the officers had 


also fallen nnder the action of the l^ad that was pouring down 
upon the line. The enemy was advancing in large and compact 
masses, firmly resolved to take the positions, but Baquero, the 
brave soldier, who had distinguished himself so highly in the cam- 
paign, was there, keeping up by his example the spirit of the 
troops, almost annihilated by hunger and fatigue, and decimated 
by the clouds of bullets and grapeshot. 

At this critical moment the cavalry was ordered to advance rap- 
idly in order to protect the retreat of Colonel Baquero's forces and 
save the artillery if possible. Lieutenant Colonel Sierra hastened 
to carry out the order, as Commander Arraiz had done before him 
at San Juan. 

The line which General Linares commanded personally now 
formed the vanguard. With his assistance the General's aids and 
his chief of staff had to organize the remnants of the first line. 

It was necessary to maintain that position at' any cost, for its 
loss would give the enemy free entrance into the city. The brave 
men of the first line were retreating. Colonel Baquero had dis- 
api)eared, killed, no doubt, when he led that retreat under the hail 
of grapeshot and lead. The enemy was advancing in compact 
masses, and rushing upon what was now the first line. Fortunately 
the fire of our infantry, accurately aimed, compelled the Ameri- 
cans to recede, and they retreated behind the positions of San 
Juan. At that moment General Linares and the brave com- 
mander of infantry, Arraiz, fell wounded ; the latter officer, who 
had already shed his blood at Cacarajfcara, was one of the most 
beautiful examples of the army. 

While these cruel battles of El Caney and San Juan were carried 
on the enemy sent forces against our whole line, for the purpose, no 
doubt, of harassing us and making the attack more general. 

The San Juan forces tried once more to recover themselves. 
Others came to their assistance, among them the company of 
marines which had been stationed at the Plazp de Toros with Cap- 
tain Bustamante; but the enemy was already strongly occupying 
the position, our forces were scant, and success was impossible. 
Our artillery was steadily firing at many points of the line, load- 
ing the guns (old ones, as has been stated) without any protection, 
but the fire was extremely slow and therefore of little efficacy. 

At 3.30 p. m. I went toward the Campo de Marte, impatient to 
learn what had happened. At the Plaza de Dolores I met General 
Linares. His arm, which had been seriously wounded in the first 
trenches, as stated, had been dressed at the military hospital and 
he was now being taken to his house on a stretcher, escorted by a 
few horsemen. 


When I arrived at the end of Enramadas street and was only a 
few feet from a trench of the third line, covered by a section of 
volunteers, I saw a part of the battlefield. The musket fire was 
very slow, and although Santa Ursula fort, situated to the right 
and somewhat in the rear of the trenches referred to, was firing 
as rapidly as its muzzle-loading guns permitted, it will be easily 
understood that there was no new attack that day. 

I then went to the headquarters of the cavalry, at the entrance 
of El Caney road, where a section of the cavalrymen were ready to 
hasten wherever they might be ordered. 

It may be said that the battle was at an end and many com- 
manders and ofl&cers were arriving, all tired out and almost dying 
from thirst. Among others, I saw Commander Irlds, of the 
general staff, who had had either one or two horses killed under 
him, and there I learned that the number of commanders and offi- 
cers wounded had been comparatively very large. Mr. Molina, 
lieutenant colonel of the civil guard, arrived and said that Com- 
mander Bustamante of the navy had been seriously wounded and 
was being carried on a stretcher. My consternation may be 
imagined. I hurried out to meet him and found him a few min- 
utes later. In spite of the heat, he had been wearing his blue- 
cloth suit in the fight, by which he could be easily distinguished 
from all others. He was covered with blood, pale and disfigured, 
his eyes closed, and without his saber and revolver. I learned 
that before he was wounded his horse was killed under him and 
his hat shot through. I accompanied him to the military hos- 
pital. In spite of his insignias of a commander, nobody paid 
much attention to him. This can be readily understood, for that 
day, in a short time, over 300 wounded had been received, and 
they were still coming. It was difficult to find beds and the 
attendant personnel, although increasing, was not sufficient to 
look after all. 

I succeeded in finding Antonio Cafiaz, the surgeon of marine, 
whom I know, and in whom I have unlimited confidence, and 
thanks to him, the wounded man was placed on a bed and his 
clothes taken off. They had to be cut with scissors. The wound 
was in the right side of the abdomen; his legs were covered with 
blood. The position of the bullet, the aspect of the wounded man, 
and above all the look with which Dr. CafiLaz answered mine, left 
me no doubt. I knew that he had only a few moments to live and 
I left the hospital deeply affected. 

I will add that, as the hospital was situated in the sector 
attacked by the enemy and near the trenches, being outside the 
city, musket balls were falling in great quantities in the court 
and on the roof; later on, shells were flying over it in all 


As has been seen, two battle ships from Aguadores were throw- 
ing projectiles upon the city and the bay, causing victims among 
the inhabitants and damages to the buildings. As I went to the 
captaincy of the port in the morning when the firing commenced, 
I saw at the ambulance improvised at the Bottino pharmacy, a 
woman who was having her head dressed, which had been struck 
by a fragment of shell. The wound, although not deep, was wide, 
and looked as though made with a razor. 

At nightfall the firing ceased along the whole line. 
' Such were the battles of that day, so serious by reason of the 
blood that had been shed, as well as by their results. 

With the loss of El Caney, we lost the line which it had been 
so imperative for us to keep, and also the aqueduct and the region 
under cultivation — ^that is, provisions and water. We had to con- 
fine ourselves to the defense of the precinct, knowing full well 
that, though the sad end might be held off for a day or two longey, 
there was no possibility of avoiding it. 

Our casualties were as follows : 

Killed : Brigadier General Joaquin Vara del Rey,3 commanders, 
12 officers, and 78 men. 

Missing: Colonel of Infantry Jos^ Baquero, 4 officers, and 116 
men. The colonel was probably killed, but this could not be 

Prisoners : Two officers. 

Wounded : Lieutenant General Arsenio Linares Pombo, 6 com- 
manders, 30 officers, and 339 men. 

(Among the wounded officers was Colonel of Engineers Caula 
and Colonel of Artillery Ordofiez.) 


Generals 2 

Commanders _. 10 

Officers 48 

Men 583 

Total 593 

Almost one-fifth of the combatants covering the whole line, and 
the whole line was not even attacked, but only a sector of it; con- 
sequently not all of them fought. 

The casualties of the enemy, as acknowledged by themselves, 
were : 

In the attack on El Caney 900 

In the attack on San Juan 482 

At other points of attack 828 

Total 1,7«0* 

* This is the fignre of the original Spanish but is probably intended for l,6d0. — 
O. N. L 


In these cruel battles the army inspired the enemy with respect 
and true admiration, perhaps because he had supposed that they 
fought in the same manner as the insurgents. The foregoing is 
my firm conviction, because I have seen and observed the events 
which I narrate and have dwelt much upon them. 

On the 1st day of July the Americans fought, as I have stated,* 
without protection and with truly admirable courage, but they 
did not fight again as they did that day. They entrenched them- 
selves and set up their artillery as fast as they received it, and did 
not again come out from behind their fortifications. Did they 
think on that first day that all they Lad to do was to attack our 
soldiers en masse to put them to flight? Gk)d knows. 

It was difficult to convince them that only 620 men had been 
defending El Cauey for ten hours. When doubt was no longer 
possible their admiration had no limits. When they entered San- 
tiago de Cuba, the American soldiers and ours looked upon each 
other without any prejudice or jealousy, perhaps because they 
knew that both had fought like brave men, and whenever the 
Americans saw one of our men of the twenty-ninth (the number 
of the battalion "Oonstitucidn," which had defended the city, 
and has been referred to so many times) they would call him, 
look at him, and treat him with great admiration, wondering 
perhaps, how so simple a soldier could do such great things. 

The men of the twenty-ninth, known to have done something 
worth doing, were loved and feasted by everyone and spent whole 
hours with the Americans, who did not understand them, but 
applauded everything they said, on the assumption, perhaps, that 
he who is brave must also be bright. 

Incidents like these I saw, not once, but a hundred times, and 
they have made ine believe and say what I have stated. I may be 
mistaken, but I do not believe it, because I have also noticed that 
the Yankees treat the insurgents, although they are their allies, 
very differently. Besides, I am only citing facts, and anyone can 
construe them to his own satisfaction. 

From the foregoing, it is reasonable to believe that when 520 men 
maintained themselves at El Caney for ten hours, and 250 at San 
Juan for four hours, if Escario could have been there that day, so 
that there had been 3,000 men more in our lines, neither El Caney 
nor San Juan would have been lost, though attacked by almost the 
whole hostile army. 

General Linares surrendered the command to General Toral. 

In the battle of July 1, General Rubfn, who commanded the 
forces of San Juan and Portillo del Caney, had his horse killed 
under him at the latter place at 5 o'clock p. m. 



July 2d. — At 5 o'clock gun and musket fire commenced, well 
sustained in the direction of the land. 

At 6 the hostile fleet opened fire on the Morro and the Socapa. 
The greater part of the projectiles fell in the bay and on our fleet. 

The firing ceased at 8.30. 

Punta Qorda, which also opened fire, discharged 8 shots. 

The musket fire was intense. 

At 8.15 Punta Gorda again opened fire. At the same time the 
Flut&n started up toward the mouth of the harbor. The musket 
fire ceased. 

At 9.30 the military governor said by telephone: "I ask your 
excellency to send a boat, so that by going as close to the coast as 
possible, the enemy may be checked at San Antonio and Plaza de 
Toros." At this time the enemy opened musket fire in the same 
direction. It ceased shortly after. 

The companies of the fleet embarked again. A pilot was sent 
to each one of the ships. 

The body of sailors that disembarked was protected in a line of 
trenches by Colonel Aldea's column (Asiatic batta»lion), which 
withdrew from the coast to the city. 

At 8 o'clock four wounded from the Socapa were brought to 
the pier. A shell which exploded on one of the guns killed three 
men and wounded six, completely disabling the mount of the 
Hontoria gun, which could no longer be used. Among the 
wounded was Ensign Fernandez Pifia, who was in command of the 

At 1.30 a slow gun fire was heard in the distance. 

The French consul, on horseback, with a flag of his nation on a 
very long pole, left for Cuabitas, followed by many people. 

During the firing several projectiles of all calibers fell on the 

At 3.15 musket and gun fire was being heard in the direction of 
Campo de Marte. The line of fire was very extensive and the 
musket fire intensa 



At 4 o'clock the musket fire ceased, only the gun fire being 
heard now. • 

At 4.40 musket fire was again opened; volleys could be heard at 

At 6 the firing ceased. 

At 7 musket fire broke out again; ceasing at 7.30. 

At 8.30 two blazes could be seen at the top of Monte Real to the 

At 9.45 the enemy opened a violent musket and gun fire from 
the Plaza de Toros to the Campo de Marte (from east to east-north- 
east). To the left (Plaza de Toros) frequent volleys could be 

At 10.30 the musket and gun fire ceased. 

The night was extremely dark. Srom 10 to 11.30 the ships of 
our fleet spoke by means of the Ardois (light signals). 

The enemy, during the night of the battle of El Caney, and after 
burying the dead, not without paying due honors to Gteneral Vara 
del Rey, commenced work on the trenches, which they never left 
again, continued to surroxmd our lines with the new reenforce- 
ments constantly arriving, and installed modern artillery and ma- 
chine guns on the heights. The insurgents were covering Cuabitas 
and adjoining points, although in second line. We were decidedly 
surrounded and all our communications by land cut off, as they 
had been by sea for over a month and a half. Each hour that 
elapsed the enemy fortified the circle that inclosed us. 

During the night the enemy kept up most incessantly a violent 
musket and terrific gun fire which we hardly answered, so as not 
to waste the little ammunition that we had left, which was, no 
doubt, what the enemy intended. 

The Asiatic column (Colonel Aldea) arrived from the coast and 
occupied in line the post vacated by the companies of the fleet, sit- 
uated on the road to El Caney (in the entrance). 

In the meantime the fleet was once more bombarding the Morro 
and the Socapa, where, after killing several men, they finally suc- 
ceeded in dismounting one of the two Hontoria guns, which they 
had been constantly antagonizing since the 18th of May. At the 
same time they were bombarding the city from Aguadores, wound- 
ing several persons and ruining several houses. 

The cruiser Reina Mercedes changed her anchoring place and 
remained at the head of the bay as much as possible, awaiting 
orders to open fire on Quintero Hill to check the enemy if he should 
appear there. 

The French consul was the first to leave the city^ which was 
abandoned by almost the whole population a few days lat?^ 


A little before 10 a. m. the enemy, who no doubt intended to 
surprise us, furiously attacked our lines, and was j*epulsed with 
great loss. 

The events of the second of July may be summed up as follows : 

Lively bombardment by sea and land, killing several men and 
disabling one of the only two guns with which we could attack the 
enemy from the mouth of the harbor; bombarding with impunity 
the defenseless city; a battle from trenches, the fire of which we 
hardly answered, and finally a night surprise that resulted in 

The companies of the fleet embarked rapidly in spite of the pre- 
vailing conditions. A pilot was sent to each one of the ships, whicli 
latter took in their boats and steam launches and loosened the spring 
on their cables, and the gunbpat AlvaradOy which had come out of 
the slip and was afloat, raised at night the six Bustamante torpe- 
does that were obstructing the channel to the west. Everything 
indicated, without leaving room for doubt, that the fleet was about 
to go out; but when and how? 

It occurred to me (and nobody could have dissuaded me from it) 
that a fleet from the Peninsula was on its way to Santiago ; that it 
would pass in sight of the semaphore of Puerto Rico; that conse- 
quently Admiral Cervera would know, given the distance and the 
speed of the former and allowing for the difference in time, when 
it would reach Santiago; and when fire was opened on the enemy 
it would leave the mouth free, he would go out and the two fleets 
combined would defeat the enemy. I remembered everything I 
had read in newspapers about the purchase of ships, and the date 
when those building had been launched. Everything became clear 
to me. We had ships and they were coming. No doubt they were 
quite near, or perhaps only a few miles distant, but where had the 
ships come from ? I do not know — from heaven, from earth, from 
the air, from nothing at all — I do not know. But everything ap- 
peared possible to me, except that our fleet should go out alone to 
fight the ships that were assembled at the Morro. 

The aid of marine, Mr. Dario Leguinia, even more optimistic 
than I (and that is saying a great deal), could not rest a minute. 
I shall never forget how during that night of the 2d we were sitting 
on the doorsteps of the captaincy of the port, making calculations 
as to the number of ships that might arrive and the probabilities 
of success that we could count on. Our ships communicating by 
means of the Ardois were another proof of this. The event 
announced was near, and we were to see great things happening. 
At times we even thought we heard firing out there on the sea at 
a great distance and in a southeasterly direction. How much 
desire and imagination can do I 


At 1 o'clock at night there was nothing special to be seen, and 
so, feeling sure that important events were to take place the fol- 
lowing day, I retired, not without repeatedly impressing upon the 
seaman (cabo de matrfcula) to notify me at once at the first move- 
ment of the fleet, or the first gun shot. It would not have been 
necessary. My impatience and anxiety would have taken care of 
that much better than the cabo. 

The next day it was learned that the blazes we had seen on the 
Monte Keal were from the burning of the forts and the heliograph, 
which the detachment there had abandoned to hasten to Santiago, 
in order not to be cut ofiE and surrounded. During the march, 
which was full of hardships, it became necessary to kill a horse 
for food. 



If I were to live a thousand years and a thousand centuries, never 
should I forget that 3d day of July, 1898, nor do I believe that Spain 
will ever forget it. The day dawned beautifully. One of those 
summer days when not the slightest breath of air stirs the leaves 
of the trees, when not the smallest cloud is visible in the skies; 
when not the slightest vapor fills the atmosphere, which was won- 
derfully transparent, so that the horizon could be observed at a 
great distance. 

Nothing special was to be noticed among the ships of our fleet; 
motionless on the quiet waters of the bay, that reflected their hulls, 
though inverted, with wonderful accuracy, they looked as though 
they ought not to leave an anchoring place where they could 
remain in such perfect safety. 

It was 8.30. Feeling sure that the ships would not go out, and 
taking advantage of the chance of getting a horse, for the distance 
was great, I went to the military hospital to see Mr. Joaquin Bus- 
tamante, whom I found a different man, as the saying is. His 
voice was strong, his eyes bright, and his cheekp flushed. He 
moved with ease and did not appear to experience any difficulty in 
doing so. I was agreeably surprised. 

Why does one remember things that are really not of great im- 
portance? Is it perhaps because they are connected with others 
that are ? I cannot explain it. I only know that I remember, 
word for word, the conversation that took place between us. It 
was as follows : 

"Is the fleet not going out?" he asked, without giving me a 
chance to say anything. 

"Not just now, I believe, though it is ready to go out. Is it 
known when the other fleet will arrive?" I said. 

"What other fleet?" 

"The one that is supposed to come from Spain; they probably 
know at about what time it may be expected at the mouth of the 

"Don't be simple." (I don't remember whether he called me 
simple, or innocent, or a fool. ) * ' There is no other fleet ; the ships 



are going out and that is all there is to it. I have a letter from 
Don Pascnal (Admiral Cervera) in which he tells me so." 

I remained thunderstruck. I could doubt no longer. I know 
Admiral Cervera sufficiently well, as does everybody else, to know 
that he does not say, and still less write, what he does not intend 
to do. 

Do you think he will go out to-day?" I said. 
I thought he was going even now." 

I could not answer. A gunshot which, judging from the direc- 
tion, could only be from one of the two fleets, left me motionless. 

Two or three minutes later a terrific cannonade commenced, 
such as I have never heard, nor will probably ever hear again, a 
cannonade more intense than that of June 6, a thing which I be- 
lieved impossible, shaking the building, thundering through the 
air. I could not think coherently. I kept looking at Mr. Busta- 
mante like an imbecile, and he looked at me and didn't say a word. 
I felt something that commenced at my feet and went up to my 
head, and my hair must have stood on end. Then suddenly, with- 
out taking leave, I went out, got on my horse and rode down the 
hill at breakneck speed, and I hardly understand how it was that 
I did not break my neck. I arrived at the captaincy of the port, 
where I found them all, from the commander of marine to the last 
clerk, with emotion painted on every face, and all looking in the 
direction of the mouth of the harbor, the mountains of which, that 
had been such a protection to us, and which now prevented us 
from seeing what was going on outside, we should have liked to 
grind to powder. 

The noise caused by the gunshots which the mountains and 
valleys echoed was truly infernal and comparable to nothing. 
An idea may be gained of what it was when it is remembered 
that over 250 guns, most of them of large caliber and all breech- 
loading, were firing incessantly. The earth trembled, and very 
soon Punta Gorda, the Morro and the Socapa took part in the 
frightful concert, adding the thunder of their guns to the noise 
of those of the two fleets. 

But the firing continued and that is what puzzled me. I 
thought, taking into account the number and class of hostile ships 
and of our own, that the catastrophe of the latter must necessarily 
take place in the very channel of the harbor, which is such a 
difficult one, even for ships of less length and draft than those 
which formed our fleet, under normal conditions ; how much more, 
then, when sustaining a battle. A deviation, a change of course 
ahead of time, an injury to the rudder or the engine, even though 
slight and momentary, the least carelessness, in a word, might 
run a ship aground, and such a disaster would cause also the 


destruction of the other ships that were coming after and which 
would have collided with the first; the hostile ships might sink 
the first right there and then ; for the same reasons, the disaster of 
the others became inevitable. 

To my mind, the going out from Santiago harbor under the cir- 
cumstances Admiral Cer vera did, and as confirmed by the command- 
ers of the ships of the fleet, constitutes the greatest act of valor 
imaginable, for it meant to go out to certain death, not only with 
fearlessness, but with a clear head, for a man must be completely 
master of himself in order to command a ship without becoming 
excited nor losing his head. One may form an idea of it from the 
horror which I experienced, who was not in any of the ships, but 
I knew perfectly well the dangers of the enterprise, which, in my 
opinion, was impossible. 

The day, as I said, was most beautiful and the calm perfect. 
Therefore, the smoke, far from vanishing, rose up in a straight line. 
When the first moments of excitement were over and we had some- 
what cooled down, we could see perfectly that the smoke from the 
firing formed four groups more or less distant from each other, 
but what group did our fleet form? If the one farthest to the 
west, then no doubt it was uot surrounded and had the open sea 
before it, and this was a great advantage. If, on the contrary, it 
formed the second or third, then it was between two fires. 

Later on it was noticed that the firing was at a greater distance 
and decreased in intensity^, and that the columns of smoke were 
moving farther to the west. Had they succeeded in escaping and 
outwitting the hostile fleet ? For the present one thing was cer- 
tain : Our ships had not gone down in the entrance of the harbor, 
nor even close to it, and that was of great importance, for the great- 
est danger was in the channel. Imagine our joy when the Morro 
advised us by telephone that our fleet was fighting in wing forma- 
tion and that the enemy did not have the range. Evidently the age 
of miracles is not over. I will not try to describe what we felt that 
day — we, at Santiago, who have the honor of belonging to the 

I still had the horse at my disposal, and as I remembered the 
anxiety in which I had left Mr. Bustamante and his delicate state 
of health, I hastened to bring him the news, which I thought 
would do him a great deal of good. When I arrived, he knew it 
already, as everyone else did in Santiago. It had spread all over 
the city. I found him radiant with satisfaction. 

I may safely say that the 3d of July was a day of true rejoicing, 
for, as will be seen later when I relate the events of that day, 
it was believed that our ships had accomplished their object, 
although at the cost of the destroyers, the loss of which was 


already known. And although we felt very sad over the victims 
there must have beeq, the result, on the whole, was so brilliant 
that it surpassed all reasonable expectations. 

How great were my consternation and sorrow when, at 6 o'clock 
in the evening, I saw the pilot Miguel L<5pez arrive, his appearance 
changed and his clothing and shoes wet from the drizzling rain, 
with the news that he had at his house at Cinco Beales five ship- 
wrecked from the Maria Teresa and OqitendOy worn out and weak; 
that both ships, on fire, had run aground on the coast close to each 
other west of Punta Cabrera and about 8 miles from the harbor of 
Santiago, and that a great many more, some wounded and all tired, 
were on the road. 

The Teresa and Oquendo lost, besides the Plvidn and Fwror! 
What a horrible contrast and what a sad awakening! In the 
morning I had believed the ships safe and was already thinking of 
a telegram from Havana announcing their arrival at that port. 
At night the news of the catastrophe, the full extent of which I 
did not know even then I 

But as my comments and lamentations do not explain what had 
happened, I will give the news as it was received in the course of 
the day at the captaincy of the port. It will explain why, for 
eight hours, we believed at Santiago de Cuba that the Spanish fleet 
was in safety. 



July 3d, — The hostile fleet in sight, about 5 miles distant. 

At 9.45 the Spanish fleet went out. Shortly after, a violent 
bombardment was heard. 

At 10.40 the Morro said: '' The Spanish fleet is fighting in wing 
formation at Punta Cabrera; the enemy does not have the range 
and it seems as though they would succeed in escaping. The 
American fleet is composed of the Brooklyn^ Indiana^ lowa^ Texas, 
Mdssachusetts, Oregon, and one yacht. The ships from Aguadores 
have come to assist in the battle." 

At 11.15 no more firing was heard. 

At 12.30 the Morro said: *'When the fleet went out it did so 
slowly. After the four large ships had gone out the destroyers 
went, and all of the American ships fell upon them. Our fleet 
opposed the attack and the destroyers hurried to join them, but 
near Punta Cabrera one of them took fire and ran ashore. The 
other continued to fire and when she saw herself lost she lowered 
two boats filled with men ; one reached the coast, the other was 
captured. On leaving the destroyer they set it afire and she ran 
aground burning." 

So they are both lost. When our fleet passed Punta Cabrera one 
of the ships, apparently the Teresa, went close to the shore and a 
great deal of smoke was seen. The Iowa and New York were pur- 
suing her and the others followed them. By this time the hostile 
ships from Aguadores were already taking part in the fight. 

At 2 an English warship was signaled to the south. 

At 3 the Morro said that the ships which pursued our fleet were 
24 in all; 15 warships, armored and unarmored; the others mer- 
chant vessels equipped for war. 

At 6.30 the pilot, Miguel L6pez, said that at his house at Cinco 
Reales, he had five shipwrecked from the Teresa and Oquendo, and 
they said there must be others at Cabafiitas. 

The tug Esmeralda, with the second commander of Marine and 
Ensign Nardiz, with the pilot, Ldpez, and ten armed sailors, went 
out to gather them up. Forces of the army also went out in the 


101 • 

steamer Coldn to protect those who might be returning by roads 
and paths along the coast. 

At nightfall Colonel Escario's column arrived from Manzanillo. 

My friend, Mr. Robert Mason, Chinese consul, who is interested 
in naval i^atters, and has a good understanding of everything 
concerning them, witnessed the battle from the Vigla del Medio, 
which is the highest mountain in the bay and overlooks a great 
part of it. But we must take into account that, as it is quite dis- 
tant from the coast, the ships that pass close to it can not be seen. 
As soon as he arrived he told me what had happened as he had 
seen it, and I put it down as he dictated it to me. The following 
is what I heard from his own lips,* word for word, without chang- 
ing anything in this interesting account : 

"The Teresa went out first, then the Vizcaya and Coldn; after 
a somewhat longer interval, the Oquendo^ then the destroyers. 
The Admiral passed the Morro at 9.45. A little to windward of 
the Morro (west) was the Brooklyn, Opposite the Morro another 
ship, apparently the Massachusetts^ and I could distinguish no other 
war ships from the Vigla. When the Admiral passed the Morro 
the hostile ships and the Morro and Socapa opened a violent fire 
simultaneously ; the hostile ships that could not be seen and that 
were at Aguadores also opened fire at the same time. After pass- 
ing the Morro, the Admiral went west and was lost from sight on 
account of the Socapa. The Vizcaya followed, and then the other 
two. In the meantime the destroyers remained in the bay. The 
Spanish ships were now visible again, the Vizcaya in the lead, the 
Coldn^ Oquendo^ and Maria Teresa in line ahead at a certain dis- 
tance from the American fleet. The Spanish fleet was firing slowly, 
the American ships lively, so that I did not lose sight again of the 
Spanish ships, but often of the American ships on account of 
the smoke. In the meantime the American war ships and two 
yachts were gathered opposite the Socapa, and when the destroyers 
came out it seemed impossible that they should be able to escape. 
The fire was horrible from the large guns, as well as from the 
rapid-fire guns. Nevertheless, the destroyers were lost from sight, 
but they appeared again, firing from their stem guns. As long as 
the ships could be distinguished it cAuld not be estimated whether 
they had received injuries of any kind. When they disappeared 
from sight, at 10.30, we could see no injuries in the masts or smoke- 
stacks, or anything special. At this time we saw all the American 
ships firing in a westerly direction, and at that hour the New YorJc^ 
which had not yet entered the fight, passed the bay headed west- 
ward. When I left the battle I had not seen any ship run aground 
nor on fire, either Spanish or American." 


Before I continue, in order to give a better understanding, I will 
recall the fact that the coast between Santiago and Punta Cabrera, 
a stretch of about 6 miles, forms a kind of bay on which are situ- 
ated Cabaflas and Quaicabdn ; that Punta Cabrera projects south 
and is very high land, consequently the ships which arp west of it 
and close to the coast can not be seen. It is absolutely necessary 
to remember this in order to understand why it was that the final 
result of the battle was not seen. 

At 9.30 the Spanish fleet started up; first the Maria Teresa, 
Admiral Cervera's flagship, the Vizcaya, then the Cristobal Coldny 
and Oquendo. Behind these the Plvidn and Furor. This was the 
order of sortie as I learned from the pilots, Ldpez and Ntiflez. 

The Brooklyny Iowa, Indianay Texa^, Massachusetts^ Oregon, 
and one yacht were waiting at the mouth of the' harbor. The 
others arrived soon from Aguadores, where they had been, with 
their engines going and under steam. One of the last ones to 
arrive was the New York, which, the same as the BrooJdyn, has a 
20-mile speed. 

The Spanish ships, which necessarily had to go out in line-ahead, 
received, as each went out, the fire of all the American ships, 
which they could not answer until they had passed the bank of 
Diamante, because they could not present the broadside, conse- 
quently their guns, to the enemy. Therefore, as long as they 
were inside of the harbor, they all sustained a terrible fire. 

Nevertheless they came out without serious injuries and reached 
the open sea. 

The Vizcaya, which was the fastest ship, but had not had her 
bottom cleaned, was making only 13 miles, and the other ships had 
to regulate their speed by hers in order to preserve the line. 

I suppose from what happened and taking into account the order 
of the sortie that Admiral Cervera intended to protect the retreat 
of the Vizcaya, accompanied by the Col6n (which did not have her 
turret guns mounted), with the Oquendo and Maria Teresa, and 
then have the latter, by putting on forced draft, rejoin the former, 
but both were set on fire by the stem, which they presented to the 
hostile fire, and they were soon converted into one immense blaze 
and went aground on the coast, the Teresa about 7 miles from San- 
tiago harbor, west of Punta Cabrera, then close to her the Oquendo. 
These events I learned at nightfall from the shipwrecked who had 
arrived. The fate of the Vizcaya and Cristdbal Coldn I will antici- 
pate, in order to complete the account of what happened to the 
whole fleet as it was told me by an officer of the Austrian cruiser 
Maria Teresa (same name as ours) the next day. 

When the Oquendo and Teresa had been lost, two or three 
American ships remained there to consummate the surrender and 


gather up the shipwrecked and wounded and take the others pris- 
oners. The other ships continued to pursue the Vizcaya and the 
Coldn. The first of the two also took fire at the stern and stranded 
at a distance of about 20 miles (toward Aserradero) ; the second 
did not take fire. Probably her engine was damaged and she ran 
up on the coast about 60 miles distant (off Turquino). 

Such was the hecatomb (for there is no other name for it) of 
our ill-fated fleet, and I do not believe that history records 
another like it. Not a single ship was saved from the catastrophe. 
The commanders and ofl&cers of all the ships knew well what was 
going to happen, when, calm and serene in spite of everything and 
ready to do their duty fully, they took leave of each other and of 
their comrades who remained on shore, as they did not belong to 
the fleet. 

A person who has witnessed and seen with his own eyes an 
event like the one which I have in vain tried to describe, must 
necessarily be of interest, even though of little prominence and 
education. For that reason I have had the pilots Miguel L6pez 
and Apolonio NfiSez, who took out the Teresa and Oquendo 
respectively, repeat to me a hundred times what they had seen. I 
shall not copy everything they said ; that would be too much of a 
task, but only what relates to the battle and which gives an idea 
of that veritable hell, for that is what the mouth of Santiago 
harbor was for fifteen minutes. 

Miguel L6pez, who is cool-headed and daring on land as well as 
on the sea, said to me about as follows : 

" I was in the forward tower by the side of Admiral- Cervera, 
who was as calm as though he had been at anchor and in his own 
cabin, and was observing the channel and the hostile ships and 
only said these words : 

*' 'Pilot, when can we shift the helm?' He had reference to 
turning to starboard, which could only be done after we had passed 
Diamante Bank. After a few seconds he said : 

" * Pilot, advise me when we can shift the helm.* 

*"I will advise you. Admiral,' I answered. 

" A few moments later I said : * Admiral, the helm may be shifted 

" In a moment the Admiral, without shouting, without becom- 
ing excited, as calm as usual, said: *To starboard,' and the next 
minute, * Fire ! ' At the same moment, simultaneously, the two guns 
of the turret and those of the port battery fired on a ship which 
seemed to me to be the Indiana. I thought the ship was sinking. 
I can not tell you, Don Jos^, all that passed. By this time there 
were already many dead and wounded in the battery, because they 
had been firing on us for some time, and I believe that in spite of 


the water that was in the ship she was already on fire then. The 
Admiral said to me : 

" 'Qood-by, pilot; go now; go, and be sure you let them pay 
you, because you have earned it well.' And he continued to give 
orders. " 

These were, more or less, the words that Miguel L<5pez spoke to 
me, and which he repeats to anyone who wishes to hear them. 

Apolonio NufXez, who took out the Oqusndo^ is very different 
from Ldpez, not daring, but rather easily frightened. These were 
his impressions: 

*' When we arrived at Santa Catalina battery, they were already 
firing. There was a hail of bullets on board which can not be com- 
pared to anything. I was in the tower looking after the course of 
the ship. The commander, who is very kind, and who knew me 
because I had taken the ship in on the 19th, said to me : 

"'You can go, pilot; we can get along now, and later on per- 
haps you will not be able to go.' I thanked him and should have 
gone gladly enough, I can tell you, but I was afraid they might 
shift the helm before they passed Diamante, and you can imagine, 
Don Jos6, what would have happened. I remained on board, and 
when we had passed the bank I said to him : ' Commander, you can 
shift the helm.' 

" 'Go, pilot, go,' he said, and then he commanded to put to star- 
board and shouted, 'Fire!' The noise caused by the big forward 
gun and the shaking of the ship made more impression on me than 
the fire of the Yankees. I thought the Oqicendo had been cut in 
two. I do not even want to remember it. I was lowered in a boat 
and then I thought I was a dead man. The bullets were falling all 
around me. Finally I reached Estrella Cove, where Miguel L6pez 
had already arrived. I did not even dare look at the battle, which 
was now outside of the harbor." 

These two accounts, which perhaps, do not inspire the interest 
which no doubt they possess, because I have not been able to 
remember the exact words of the men, although in substance they 
are the same, may give an idea of that never-to-be-forgotten sortie 
which had such fatal consequences. 

I supposed that the American fleet would await the Spanish 
fleet at the mouth of the harbor and absolutely prevent it from 
going out, under penalty of having the ships attacked. But that 
requires a great deal of courage and presence of mind. Neverthe- 
less, it would have been the safest means for accomplishing it. 
By not doing so they exposed themselves to being outwitted and 
this is proved by the fact that our ships succeeded in getting out 
of the harbor and as far as Punta Cabrera (about 6 miles), so that 


they really accomplished the most difficult part, and there is no 
doubt that if they had not been set on fire and if they had had a 
speed of even 18 miles they would have run the blockade. 

It will also have been noticed that the three ships built in Spain 
all had the same fate ; they were burned. The one built in Italy, 
although not having the turret guns, and which had suffered from 
the hostile fire much longer, because she "died" later than the 
others, was not burned; she had a different fate, but not that. I 
believe I am not bold in affirming that if the four ships had been 
protected like the ColdUy they would have eluded the enemy's pur- 
suit. In that event they might have reached Havana, for as the 
whole, or nearly the whole, American fleet was in front of Santiago, 
they would have met no one to prevent them and the situation 
would have been very different. 

A few of the shipwrecked arrived in the tug Coldn and were 
embarked by order of the commander of marine in the cruiser 
Reina Mercedes. 

The tug Esmeralda^ with Ensign Nardiz, ten armed sailors, 
and the pilot Ldpez, went to Cabafiitas Cove to gather up ship- 
wrecked; but, although they made a careful search, they found 

At night Colonel Escario's column, whose forces have already 
been mentioned, arrived from Manzanillo. The next day General 
E^cario told me that when he heard the fire of the battle in the 
morning, he proceeded with a small vanguard to the heights of 
the harbor of Bayamo, and that the detachment there told him the 
same thing, viz, that they saw our ships run the blockade and dis- 
appear past Punta Cabrera. 

To my mind there is nothing so interesting and eloquent as the 
account of a naval battle by persons who have taken part in it. 
Lieutenants Bustamante and Caballero, second in command of the 
destroyers Fv/ror and Plvidn, respectively, who escaped by a mira- 
cle from the horrible hecatomb, in which the greater part of their 
crews perished, told me two days after the catastrophe, still sick 
and tired, of the battle which their ships sustained. Their accounts 
follow : 

Mr. Caballero: "The last ships were already outside of the 
harbor when the destroyers, which had stopped between the Socapa 
and Cay Smith for the purpose of getting up steam, proceeded and 
passed through the channel as far as Punta Morrillo, where the 
Fv/roTy which was in the lead, put to port as though trying to go 
east, but when she discovered the Qloucester and other ships which 
were near Aguadores, she put to starboard, following the lead of 
our fleet, which was already at some distance, opening fire on the 
Gloucester which we (the two destroyers) had left astern. And 


tlie Indiana^ Oregon^ lowa^ and Textw, which we had passed in 
the order named on the port hand, continued to fire very rapidly, 
which made it extremely difficult for us to serve the guns. After 
we had passed Cabaflas we commenced to gain on the Furor, and 
when we came up with her and were about 60 meters to starboard, 
she listed rapidly on that side, her rudder having been disabled, 
and passed astern of us at a distance of 1 meter, and sank by the 
stern, standing up almost vertically, and was buried in the sea a 
moment later, before reaching Punta Cabrera. 

"As we (the Pluldn) were making a great deal of water we con- 
tinued close to the shore to reach Punta Cabrera, and when we 
were close to the headland Which it forms, we received a 32-centi- 
meter projectile which exploded the forward group of boilers, 
blowing up the whole deck and cutting off communication between 
the two ends. She then veered to starboard and struck on the 
headland, tearing off a great part of the bow. The shock threw 
her back some distance, then she struck again. I jumped into the 
water and reached the shore. 

** I climbed up on the headland of Punta Cabrera and lay there 
for about fifteen minutes, during which the fire continued. When 
it was at an end I went into the mountains and gathered up such 
personnel of the ship as I met — ^about 20 or 25 — and with them I 
went around a small hill for the purpose of hiding from the coast 
and took the road to Santiago de Cuba, avoiding the roads and 
seeking the densest thickets and woods. The pilot, on pretext that 
the road which I was following was not a good one, left us and did 
not again put in an appearance. We continued walking in an 
easterly direction — some clothed, others naked, and the rest half 
clothed — for two hours, resting now and then, and trying to keep 
close to the coast. When we reached the beach we met Lieutenant 
Bustamante with a group of shipwrecked from the Furor (his ship) 
and some from the Maria Teresa, We saw a yacht with the 
English flag close to the coast maneuvering back of Punta Cabrera, 
as though trying to gather up the shipwrecked there. We made sig- 
nals to her with a shirt, and seeing that she paid no attention to us 
we walked on, avoiding the formation of large groups and hiding 
ourselves as much as possible. 

"About 3.30 we reached the harbor of Cabailas, which we had to 
cross swimming, and on the opposite shore, about 9 o'clock at 
night, we reached the trenches of the Socapa, where at last we 
could rest for the night, with the assistance of some guerrillas, 
who supplied us with what they could." 

Mr. Bustamante : "When we (the Furor) reached the mouth of 
the harbor and saw the Spanish fleet, we thought that by shaping 
our course westward we could seek the protection of the Spanish 


fleet, wtich. was already at some distance, and we maneuvered 
accordingly. One of the projectiles struck one of the hatches of 
the boiler ventilators, thereby reducing the pressure and conse- 
quently the speed of the ship. By this time the projectiles were 
falling on board in large numbers. One of the shells struck Boat- 
swain Dueflas, cutting him in two; one part fell between the tiller- 
ropes, interrupting them momentarily, and it was necessary to 
take it out in pieces. Another projectile destroyed the engine 
and the servo-motor, so that the ship could neither proceed nor 
maneuver. Another had struck the after shell room, exploding 
and destroying it. 

Our torpedoes had their war-heads on and were ready to be used, 
but we did not launch them because we were never at a convenient 
distance from the enemy. Under these circumstances the com- 
mander of the destroyers. Captain Fernando Villaamil, gave 
orders to abandon the ship, and I with part of the crew jumped 
into the water, about 3 miles from the coast. In the water, one of 
the men near me, I believe the first boatswain, was struck by a 
bullet in the head and was buried in the water forever. The ship 
in the mean time, after a horrible series of explosions, went down. 
When we reached the land we went in an easterly direction 
towards Santiago. Shortly after we met Lieutenant Caballero and 
with him and his men we reached Santiago, and following the 
same road and the same fortunes ; as they are identical, I will not 
here relate them." 

To what has been said it is useless to add another word. 



Words fail me to describe the painful impression produced upon 
me by the disaster of the four cruisers and two destroyers under 
Admiral Cervera's command, and by what I may call the hfecatomb 
of their crews, which was not complete for the only reason that the 
battle had taken place so near the shore, where the ships, all on 
fire, could run aground, rather than surrender to the enemy. In 
less than two hours the ships were destroyed, and yet, this is not 
strange. I am surprised, on the contrary, that they were not sunk 
in the channel. 

The loss of the fleet had been foretold by all its commanders, 
with whom I have talked more than once, and was prophesied, so 
to speak, as soon as the order was received at the Cape Verde 
Islands to start for Cuba, and the admiral who was in command 
advised the Government to that effect several times; these official 
communications are still in existence. But it seems that public 
opinion in the island of Cuba, especially at Havana, required the 
presence of the fleet in those waters, and between that and the very 
sensible and logical reasons advanced by the admiral, the Govern- 
ment decided in favor of the former, and the fleet departed, shaping 
its course to the west. From that moment the loss of the fleet 
became inevitable, and it was only a question of time, as will be 
easily understood from what follows. 

The fleet left the Cape Verde Islands with no more coal than was 
in the bunkers, the greater part of which must necessarily be used 
up during the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. The three de- 
stroyers, PlutdUj Furor ^ and Terror accompanied it and had 1 o be 
convoyed and supplied with coal, which involved difficulties and 

At Martinique (where the Terror was left, being no longer able 
to follow the fleet) the ships could not coal ; and at OuraQao, in 
spite of the government's promise that they were to find a ship 
there with fuel, which did not put in an appearance, only two of 
the ships could get a small number of tons. 



The order to proceed to the island of Cuba was there ; what could 
they do under guch circumstances? The only natural and logical 
thing : go to the harbor that was nearest and for that reason oflEered 
the least dangers, go to Santiago de Cuba, which Admiral Cervera 
believed well defended, as the harbor is suited f ob that purpose, 
and supplied with provisions. How great was his surprise when 
he found that only two guns worthy of the name defended its en- 
trance, and that provisions were lacking in the city, as well as 
ammunition and everything else. 

I have already stated, and will here repeat it, that during those 
days of May, before the hostile fleet appeared with forces superior 
to oilrs (that is, from the 20th to the 27th) the ships could not go 
out, not only because they did not have coal enough, but also be- 
cause there was considerable swell in the sea, which prevented them 
from going out, as was stated by all the pilots of the locality, who 
said that the ships were almost sure to touch bottom, especially 
the Colon^ which drew more water than the others. 

We must take into account, for it means everything for a fleet, 
that they had not cleaned their bottoms for a long time and their 
speed was therefore far from what it should have been ; the Vizcayaj 
above all, was not able to make 13 miles, and later, after being in 
Santiago harbor for 46 days, her speed was reduced to even less. 

But even if there had been no swell in the sea to the south and 
the ships could have gone out, where would they have gone ? To 
Havana by the shortest route ? They would have met Sampson's 
fleet, as Admiral Cervera knew only too well, and that was just 
what he wished to avoid. Perhaps he might have succeeded by 
taking a course which he would have been least expected to take, 
through Providence Channel, for instance ; and this did occur to 
Admiral Cervera, but it was impossible, for the simple reason that 
he did not have fuel enough for so many days of navigation. 

Moreover, when the fleet reached Santiago harbor, everybody 
there, as well as in the Peninsula, believed it safe and congratu- 
lated its commander on his success and his clever maneuver; and 
when I say " everybody " I do not mean the common people only, 
but the official element. Could there be a better proof that Ad- 
miral Cervera complied with the wishes of the Government? 

The fleet received definite order from the Captain General of the 
Island of Cuba to leave the harbor of Santiago, which he reiterated, 
in spite of Admiral Cervera's remonstrances. After that, what 
was to be done? Only one thing: go out, as indeed they did, 
resigned, but calm and serene, those heroes ; for all those who went 
out with the fleet to certain death, as every one knew, deserve that 
name. And I say that they went out calm and serene, and shall 
say it a thousand times, for only thus can ships be maneuvered in 


so narrow and dangerous a channel, without any of them running 
aground, whicli can happen so easily even under ordinary circum- 
stances, when it is not necessary to oppose the fire of a hostile 
fleet, and with ships of less draught and length. The sortie from 
that harbor, under the circumstances under which those ships 
effected it, I do not hesitate in calling the greatest act of valor, 
fearlessness, skill, intelligence and practical experience in seaman- 
ship that can be conceived. This was stated repeatedly and with 
great admiration by the commanders and officers of the English 
corvette Alert and the Austrian cruiser Maria Teresa^ who, it may 
be said, witnessed the battle. 

The number of ships that were awaiting ours at the mouth of 
the harbor, and with which the latter had to fight, as well as their 
nature and the kind of armament they mounted, was given in one 
of the first chapters, from statistics of the American Navy. This 
alone is more than sufficient to demonstrate that, in view of the 
inferiority of ours in quantity and. quality, it was impossible to 
sustain the battle. 

But there is more, much more, to be added in order to explain 
what happened in the naval battle of Santiago de Cuba, the greater 
part of which is not known by the x>eople in Spain. 

I have already stated that the Coldn^ the only really protected 
ship of the four that composed the fleet, did not have her turret 
guns. Of the 14-cm. guns of the Teresa^ Oquendo^ and Vizcaya^ 
which are the ones that do most of the firing in a battle, six had 
been declared useless ; and while the Teresa could change hers, the 
Oqvsndo and Vizcaya could not do so, and had to fight, the former 
with one, the latter with two useless guns, as I have stated. 

Moreover, the supply of ammunition for all of the ships was 
inadequate, and the Teresa had 70 useless charges. The greater 
part of the primers were no good, and consequently the guns did 
not go off. The breech-plugs were imperfect, so that after the 
second or third shot they no longer closed. The firing-pins blew 
out, and from many of the survivors of the Oquendo and Teresa 
I have learned that a number of the men serving the guns were 
wounded by their own pieces. Therefore, if the whole thing were 
not so sad and serious, it might be said that the guns of our ships 
were like the "carbine of Ambrosius," which went off at the 
breech; that is, that far from injuring the enemy, they were a 
danger to those who had charge of firing them. 

The majority of the cartridge cases did not have the required 
diameter, and on the Maria Teresa it happened that seven had to 
be discarded before one good one could be found. Under these 
conditions, it will be readily understood that the armament, which 
was intended to be converted into rapid-fire artillery, was instead 



converted into artillery — I do not know what to call it, but it was 
certainly entirely useless. 

After what has been stated, can the result of the battle of San- 
tiago be wondered at? Certainly not. The only thing that may 
appear strange is that, under such conditions, a fleet should have 
been sent to the scene of war. 

It was under these circumstances that the sortie was made from 
the difficult harbor of Santiago by those commanders and officers 
who, convinced that they would all perish, contented themselves 
with saying farewell to the comrades who remained on shore and 
whom they never expected to see again. 

We Spanish are very proud of the disaster of Trafalgar on 
account of the heroism which our navy, showed on that occasion, 
when they placed honor above everything else, though our ships 
were buried in the sea. The battle of Santiago de Cuba is much 
more glorious even than that of 1805. In this latter battle, thirty- 
two allied ships of 64, 80, and 120 guns fought with twenty-eight 
English ships, also of 120, 80, and 64 guns; the forces, therefore, 
were almost equal ; and if the battle was lost, while it might very 
well have been won, it was because our fleet was commanded by 
Villeneuve, and the hostile fleet by Nelson. In the battle of San- 
tiago, six ships (if the Flutdn and Fv/ror may be called such), had 
to fight against twenty-four* that were better protected and armed. 
After these figures, anything else that might be added would 
appear to be useless. 

I have never been able to understand the reason why there 
was sent to the Island of Cuba a fleet that was in no manner 
able to cope with that of the United States and which therefore 
could in no wise prevent the ships of the latter from blockading 
our ports and controlling the sea ; but since it was sent, without its 
arrival being able to prevent the loss of the island, which was lost, 
as experience has shown, from the very moment when war was 
accepted, owing to the conditions prevailing there, then it should 
have been prevented from being destroyed, as it was, without 
resulting in any advantage whatever. 

The only way of gaining any advantage would have been, in my 
opinion, taking advantage of the fact that all the hostile ships were 

* The writer makes a strange error in the nhmber of the American ships en- 
gaged in this fight. He has evidently counted aU those enxmierated in Chapter 
IX. Those ships, however, were scattered among the fleets at Manila, Havana, 
Key West, and Santiago, lliose actually engaged were as follows : Brooklyn (flag), 
Oregon, Indiana, lotoa, Texas, and yachts Oloucester and Vixen. The flagship 
New York, with the torpedo boat JSricsson, took part toward the latter end of 
the en^^ement, the battle being practically fought by the six ships first named. 
Counting only numbers of ships, therefore, the Americans had five fighting 
Hhips against the Spanish four, with two armed yachts against the two Spanish 
torpedo-boat destroyers.— O. N. I. 


in Cuba, to send a few ships of great speed, more or less well 
armed, to the commercial ports of the United States and bombard 
them, even though not very effectively. It is probable that public 
opinion, especially of those who did not participate in the war, would 
have exacted the return of the ships, and then the Spanish fleet 
could have left Santiago in perfect safety, and a catastrophe would 
have been avoided which has brought us no advantage. At the 
same time, the ports of the island, freed from the blockade, could 
have supplied themselves with provisions ; and although the final 
result would probably have been the same, it would not have been 
so immediate. 

But all this is nothing more than hypothesis and supposition, 
and not timely ; besides, it was not my object in writing this book. 
I have told how Admiral Cervera's fleet started from the Cape 
Verde Islands, how it arrived at Santiago, and how it went out to 
fight with Admiral Sampson's fleet, convinced that the greater 
part of the people living in Spain are ignorant of what I have, set 
forth, and also convinced that, when the facts are known, the 
results will be judged differently. 


Jvly Mh. — Opposite the mouth of the harbor, the New Yorky 
Brooklyn^ Indiana^ Massachusetts^ Minneapolis^ Vesv/viuSy one 
yacht, and seventeen merchant vessels. 

At 7 an English corvette arrived and asked for a pilot. 

At 9 the Austrian cruiser Maria Teresa arrived. 

The boats of both ships entered the harbor. 

At 4 they departed with subjects of their respective nations. 

At 8 p. m. the cruiser Reina Mercedes started up. 

At 11.30 two gunshots were heard in the entrance at the foot of 
the Morro ; afterwards many more. 

At 12.46 the fire ceased. It was answered by the Socapa. 

There was hardly a day when the hostile fleet and the Morro 
and Socapa did not exchange shots, or when some information was 
not received of injuries to one or more of the hostile ships, even of 
their having been burned and sunk, but as this has never been 
proved I have said nothing on the subject, being resolved to say 
nothing except what has been positively proved and what everybody 
knew who remained at Santiago during the time when the events 
that are the object of these notes occurred. It is natural that the 
ships which sustained the fire so many times (the opposite would 
be improbable) should have suffered some damages and casualties, 
although they were stationed at a considerable distance, but there 
is no doubt that they were not serious; if so, they would have been 
clearly seen. 

On the day of the battle of the two fleets I was assured by sailors 
from the Socapa and by those shipwrecked that they had seen such 
and such a ship sunk, or such other one on fire, and such and such 
a tug had taken off some other ship. It seemed probable, but noth- 
ing of the kind happened. The next day the ships that had fought 
with ours were all at Daiquiri, at Aguadores, or opposite the mouth 
of the harbor ; that is the reason why I have never spoken of the 
damages done to the blockading ships. 

The English corvette Alert and the Austrian cruiser Maria 
Teresa could, of course, not enter the harbor, because we had 




planted Bustamante torpedoes (although only a part of them) and 
stretched wires across. The tug Colon went out with a flag of 
truce to notify them to that effect, and they sent in their boats, 
towed by steam launches. 

From the Austrian officers it was learned at the commandancia 
de marina what had happened to the Vizcaya and Oquendo in the 
battle of the preceding day, for they had arrived just in time to 
hear the gunshots and to see the ships stranded and lost on the 
coast. All agreed, of course, that our fleet had fought admirably, 
and, above all, that the sortie of the ships from the harbor under 
the circumstances underwhich they executed it, showed a courage, 
skill, «.nd practical seamanship truly admirable. It is always a 
comfort to see that justice is being done, and that comfort I had at 
that time. 

As the interior of the harbor did no longer have the safeguard 
of the fleet, as the Bustamante torpedoes (six of them) had been 
taken up so that the fleet could go out and had not yet been 
replaced, and as, finally, the first line of mines no longer existed, 
the commander of marine decided — General Toral also being of 
his opinion — to sink the Mercedes (the only ship that was suitable 
for that purpose) in the narrow part of the channel ; consequently, 
the commander of the cruiser received orders to do so. Hurriedly, 
for time was pressing, the wounded and sick from the lost fleet 
were transferred to the steamer Mejico^ which had been converted 
into a hospital and hoisted the flag of the Red Cross. Important 
papers that had been saved, memoranda, portable arms, beds, and 
the most necessary things, were taken off the Mercedes^ and at 8 
p. m., with her commander. Ensign Nardiz, a few engineers, the 
necessary sailors, and Pilots Apolonio Nuiiez and Miguel L<5pez, 
started toward the entrance, with her bow anchor and stem spring 
on the cable ready. 

At 11.30, as soon as the enemy, who was watching with search 
lights, sighted her, he opened a continuous fire on the ship. In 
spite of this the ship was sunk at the intended place, a very diffi- 
cult operation under any circumstances and especially under fire, 
as will be readily understood. Unfortunately the ship did not 
come to lie across the channel, because it seems a projectile cut 
the spring on the cable ; the sacrifice was useless and the harbor 
was not obstructed. Yet it was not entirely useless, since the 
enemy could not take possession of her, as she is all riddled by 
bullets which she received that night, and I do not believe she can 
ever again be used. 

And since so much has been said of this ship, I will give an 
account of all the victims of her crew, some on board, some at the 
Socapa, Punta Gorda, and the Morro, from the beginning to the 
end of the war. 


Commander Emilio Acosta, second in command, was killed. 
(Here follow the names of the killed and wounded. The list 
includes 5 dead, 11 seriously wounded — two of them fatally — 16 
slightly wounded.) 

The enemy cut off the aqueduct so that there was no water left 
in the city, except in the wells and cisterns. 

The shipwrecked, who have arrived from the fleet, are Lieuten- 
ants Bustamante and Caballero, second in command of the destroy- 
ers, respectively; Midshipman Navia; several engineers and about 
150 sailors. 

Many were murdered by the insurgents with guns and machetes. 
I say murdered, because I believe there is no other name for kill- 
ing with guns and machetes men who were not only disarmed, but 
almost naked, sick, and many of them wounded. I realize the seri- 
ousness of such an accusation, but it is the statement of all who 
have succeeded in escaping. 



As the column which the commander in chief had ordered by 
telegraph from Manzanillo took such an active part in the military 
events from the time of its arrival at Santiago on July 3, it seems 
proper that I should give an account of its diflBcult and laborious 
march, covering a distance of 62 leagues over territory which had 
been abandoned two months ago and was in the hands of the enemy 
and where no help or support could be looked for anywhere. 

In order to give an idea of this march, which reflects great honor 
on the general at the head of the column, the chiefs and oflBcers 
accompanying it, and the patient soldiers, I will state that of the 
62 leagues the only distance where the column could march two 
abreast was from Almirante to Santa Rita; all the rest of the dis- 
tance they had to march single file, opening the road with machetes 
as they went along, as everything was overgrown with manigua. 
In order that the reader may better understand this march, I will 
copy the diary of operations of the column. 

This diary is as follows r 


[Diary of the operations of campaign of the forces of the Manzanillo division 

from June 2!^ to July 8, 1898.] 


" In compliance with orders from the lieutenant general, com- 
mander in chief of the fourth army corps, in his cablegram of the 
20th instant, ordering that the forces of the Manzanillo division 
should proceed to Santiago de Cuba, Colonel Federico Escario, 
for the time being commanding general of said division, having 
made the necessary preparations for such a long journey, properly 
equipped the troops and rationed them for six days, commenced the 
march on the /i2d at the head of a column composed of the first 
and second battalions of the Isabel la Catdlica regiment of infan- 
try, No. 76 ; the first battalion of the Andalusia regiment, No. 62 ; 
the Alcdntara Peninsular battalion. No. 3 ; the battalion of Puerto 
Rico chasseurs, No. 19; the second section of the first battery of 
the fifth mountain regiment ; part of the eighth company of the 
first regiment of sappers ; mounted guerillas from Calicito, Bay- 
amo, and Manzanillo ; five medical officers and thirty men of the 



medical department destined for the Santiago hospitals, and the 
tenth company of the transportation column in charge of 13,000 
rations of hardtack (gaUeta), and 16,000 extra rations loaded on 148 
mules, and 60 private beasts of burden properly loaded. 

" This column, comprising a total of 3,762 men, left Manzanillo 
at 5 o'clock p. m., and at nightfall reached Palmas Altas, where 
its commander gave orders to encamp for the night, which, how- 
ever, did not afford the soldiers the rest that it was intended it 
should, owing to a steady downpour, so that only a few could lie 

"The 23d dawned more brightly than the preceding day; the 
camp was struck, the column reorganized, and the difficult march 
continued at 6.30; high weeds had to be cut down to open a road 
on the left bank of the Yara River, which route the commander 
chose in order to obviate passing through towns which might be 
occupied by the enemy, thereby complying with the order to 
avoid encounters, contained in the cablegram of the 20th, above 
referred to. 

"The column passed through the Don Pedro plain and arrived 
at dark«at the ford of the Yara River, near the town of the same 
name. Orders were given to encamp here. The column had 
been harassed all day, especially while preparing to occupy the 
camp, when the enemy opened a steady, lively fire, which lasted 
ten minutes, killing one of our men and wounding three. The fire 
was answered by the vanguard of the column. The usual recon-" 
noissance having been made by the mounted force, which reported 
that the enemy had withdrawn, the column encamped and the 
night was spent without further events and under more favorable 
conditions than the previous night, for a clear sky and a dense 
grove allowed our soldiers comparative rest until daybreak of the 
24th, when the column, rising at the sound of the reveille, and 
after drinking coffee, was again formed and organized by 6 
o'clock, when it continued its march through Arroyo Pavon, Ana 
L<5pez, and Sabana la Loma, sustaining slight skirmishes, in which 
the column had one man killed and one wounded. The column 
encamped on the banks of the Canabacoa River. 

"On the 26th, at the usual hour, the camp of the preceding day 
was struck and the column reorganized while heavy showers were 
falling; the march was continued through Las Peladas, Palmarito, 
and across the Buey and Yao rivers. The camp was pitched at 
Babatuaba. The same as yesterday, the column was harassed all 
day, always repulsing and dispersing the enemy. One man was 
killed during the skirmishes. 

"The night passed quietly, and at 6.30 a. m. of the 26th the 
march was recommenced. The day was eventful and of excellent 


moral and material results for the Spanish cause, as will be seen 
from the fact that our forces entered the city of Bayamo after a 
long march and pursued and scattered hostile detachments through 
the heights of San Francisco, Peralejo, across the Mabay River, 
and at Almirante, where the camp was pitched, not without some 
resistance from the enemy, who was severely punished by the 
accurate fire of the column, without causing us the least damage. 

''The diary of those days would not be complete without an 
account of the entrance into Bayamo above referred to. This 
maneuver was undertaken, contrary to the orders to avoid encoun- 
ters contained in said cablegram of the JiOth from the commander in 
chief of the fourth army corps, for the reason that the commander 
of the column thought it would be discouraging to the soldiers to be 
so near said city without entering it, and that their spirits would 
rise, on the other hand, if they were allowed to do so and show the 
enemy and the ungrateful people of Bayamo that there were still 
Spaniards left in Cuba, and to disperse the enemy, for which pur- 
poses there was strength and time enough left that day. The com- 
mander therefore decided to explain these reasons to the commander 
in chief and ordered that Colonel Manual Ruiz, second commander 
of the column, should occupy the city with the cavalry and 600 
infantry, the latter to be divided into two columns and the cavalry 
to form the third. Interpreting faithfully the wishes and orders 
of Colonel Escario, Colonel Ruiz left the camp at Almirante at 3 
o'clock p. m., after the troops had taken their first mess, and 
divided his forces into the three groups mentioned, himself taking 
command of one of the groups of infantry, placing the other in 
charge of Lieutenant Colonel Baldomero Barbdn, first commander 
of the Alcantara battalion, and the mounted force in charge of 
Luis Torrecilla, commander of the first battalion of the Isabel la 
Catdlica regiment. These three columns of attack, advancing 
steadily on three different points, succeeded in approaching the 
city without disturbance or interruption. Evidently the enemy 
was desirous of saving his fire, for alarm signals were heard and 
groups were seen running from one place to another of the pre- 
cinct, leaving no doubt that the enemy was near. 

"The columns in the meantime continued to advance rapidly 
and in silence, deployed in perfect order of battle, and thus they 
arrived at the banks of the Bayamo River, where hostile forces 
tried to check them by a steady musket fire from the city. But 
this attempt became futile when the signal of attack was given, at 
the sound of which our soldiers, arms in hand and without firing 
a single shot, crossed the river at a run ; with only one casualty 
and without further resistance, they triumphantly entered the 
stronghold of the enemies of Spain. In disorderly and precipitate 


flight that savage tribe retreated. Our forces went to occupy the 
^orts and principal avenues, and in separate groups they recon- 
noitered the whole city, gathering up at the military command- 
ancia of the insurgents several packages of their records and cor- 
respondence, and the station and part of the telegraph line which 
the rebels had established with Jiguanl and Santa Rita were 

"No information concerning the enemy could be obtained from 
the people of Bayamo, who, as usual, kept silent; a few only opened 
their doors from sheer curiosity, plainly showing in their faces the 
disgust they felt at the presence of Spanish soldiers on that soil 
where it had been believed that they would never again set foot. 

* ' Our forces then returned to the camp at Almirante. The result 
of that day's work was not known at first, but it was afterwards 
learned that the enemy had 19 casualties, 10 killed and 9 wounded. 
The night at Almirante passed without further incidents, and thus 
ended the first part of what may well be called the glorious march 
from Manzanillo to Sa;!ntiago. 

*'from bayamo to baire. 

"At daybreak of the 27th the camp at Almirante was strucK 
and the column continued its march across the plain of Guan^bano, 
through Chapala and across the Cautillo River, destroying on their 
way the enemy's telegraph line from Bayamo to Santa Rita, where 
the camp was pitched for the night, which was spent without any 
further incidents. 

"At 6 a. m. of the 28th the march was resumed, the column pro- 
ceeding to Baire via Cruz Alta, Jiguanf River, Upper Jiguanl, 
Piedro de Oro, Granizo, Cruz del Yarey, and Salada. The enemy, 
in greater number than on preceding days and in control of the 
heights which overlook the ford of the Jiguanl River, tried to pre- 
vent our forces from crossing; but their intention was foiled by 
timely flank attacks ordered by the commander of the column, 
protected by accurate artillery fire. After the river had been 
forded, the march was continued without interruption to Cruz del 
Yarey, where the rebels appeared again, offering less resistance, 
and we defeated them once more. They seemed inclined, however, 
to continue to impede the march, which was apparent upon the 
arrival of our column at the ruins of what was formerly the town 
of Baire; they were waiting there, and as soon as they espied the 
column they opened a galling musket fire, which was silenced by 
the rapid advance of our vanguard, who compelled them to retreat 
in shameful and precipitate flight. In this encounter Colonel 
Manual Ruiz, second commander of the column, was wounded and 
his horse killed under him; four soldiers were killed and five 
wounded. The column encamped and spent the night at Baire. 


*'The high weeds which during almost all those days completely- 
covered the soldiers and hampered their progress, causing at the 
same time a suffocating heat, which made it almost impossible to 
breathe, and cutting off the road, which had to be opened by dint 
of hard work, rendering the march extremely laborious and often 
making it necessary to proceed in single file; the frequent rains, 
which not only soaked the clothing, but also the ground, making 
it slippery and difficult to walk on for such large numbers ; the 
sickness caused by the inclement weather and the hard work of 
these operations; the ever-increasing convoy of stretchers; the 
consideration that one-half of the journey had been accomplished, 
and the further very important consideration that the column had 
arrived at a place where it would be easy to throw the enemy off 
the track, as they would not know what direction our forces might 
take, there being three roads leading from here to Santiago ; all 
these were reasons which the commander of the column took into 
consideration when he decided to suspend the march and rest dur- 
ing the day of the 29th. It was so ordered owing to fatigue ; but 
the enemy kept harassing us and we had three more wounded. 

"la mantonia. 

**At daybreak of the 30th the camp at Baire was struck and the 
column proceeded to Palma Soriano, where the wounded and dead 
were left, and continued its march via Ratonera, Doncella Creek, 
and the Contramaestre River to La Mantonia, where the camp was 
pitched and the night spent. 

"Before the column was deployed on the road to Ratonera, the 
enemy from intrenched positions opened fire, which was answered 
and silenced by the first forces leaving the camp. The commander 
of the column foresaw that such attack would be repeated, and in 
order to obviate casualties, thus further complying with the order 
of the aforesaid cablegram from the commander in chief of the 
fourth army corps, he changed the route, and our forces, thus 
eluding the ambuscades, arrived at the slopes of Doncella Creek, 
the ford of which was reached by a narrow pass and difficult 
ravine. The rebels occupied positions here ; our vanguard brought 
them out without answering their fire. When the column had 
been reconcentrated after fording the Doncella, they prepared to 
ford the Contramaestre River, where the enemy was awaiting us, 
which fact they had announced themselves by written challenges 
and threats which they had left along the road. Lieutenant 
Colonel Baldomero Barbdn, of the Alcantara battalion, who since 
Colonel Ruiz was wounded had been in command of one-half of 
the vanguard brigade, deployed his forces in perfect order of bat- 
tle and advanced resolutely. Commanding positions overlooked 


the clear and unobstructed road which the column had to follow 
after coming out of the mountains through the narrow valley of 
the Contramaestre, and moreover they had to scale the steep and 
tortuous ascent of the opposite bank. Without other shelter than 
the high weeds which, as usual, impeded the march, without other 
trenches than their own hearts, these brave soldiers, with their 
commander at their head, advanced calmly and in perfect order, 
accepting the challenge which had been addressed to them. The 
enemy had told the truth ; there they were in large numbers occu- 
pying those favorable positions which would have been impregna- 
ble if they had been held by any one who knew how to defend 
them ; but not expecting that we would accept the challenge, they 
allowed themselves to be surprised by a lively musket fire and effec- 
tive artillery discharges, which demoralized and dispersed them, and 
the rapid advance of our forces rushing upon them arms in hand 
did not give them a chance to rally. The enemy, being unable to 
do much firing, retreated with little resistance and having suffered 
a number of casualties, leaving the field and their positions to 
those who, understanding the sacred duty imposed by honor, had 
known how to pick up the glove that had been thrown to them, 
and regardless of danger and without measuring their strength 
had marched on unflinchingly in search of the death with which 
they had been threatened. Having crossed the Contramaestre 
and passed through extensive pastures, the column arrived at a 
farm {fined) known as La Mantonia, where a number of huts of 
all sizes and many recent tracks indicated the proximity of a large 
hostile force. And indeed, soon after the first forces of the van- 
guard had entered that large encampment, the enemy tried to 
check our advance by a galling fire from the slope of a mountain 
where they were intrenched, controlling a line of 1,200 meters, 
through which it was necessary for us to pass unprotected, as the 
high weeds made any deployment of the column and advance of 
cavalry impossible. By order of Lieutenant Colonel Barb(5n, the 
two companies of the vanguard of the Alcdntara battalion, in 
command of Francisco Gonzales, who rendered himself an exact 
account of the hostile position, advanced steadily and without 
answering the fire, following the only passable trail, and engaged 
the hostile position on the left flank, compelling the enemy by 
rei)eated discharges crossed with the few that the column was able 
to fire, to abandon the trenches, leaving us a great deal of ammu- 
nition, mostly of the Remington type. 

" In the fierce battles of that day Captain Jenaro Ramiro, of the 
Alcantara battalion, and 9 privates were wounded and 6 killed. 



" At daybreak of July 1 the column resumed the march and 
reached the ford of the Quarinao River, after passing through Las 
'Lajas, where the enemy held advantageous positions from which 
our vanguard routed them without much resistance. After cross- 
ing the Guarinao, small detachments sent out surprised two ambus- 
cades ; the column sustained insignificant skirmishes with outposts 
and small reconnoitering parties, which indicated that large hostile 
forces were not far off. Subsequent events showed that this theory 
was correct. When the column arrived at a rugged place dom- 
inated by steep heights forming an amphitheatre, they discovered 
in its center a camp of recent construction, suflBciently large to 
accommodate 2,000 men. A rapid glance convinced us that the 
site was specially adapted for an ambuscade. Colonel Escario, 
realizing this and taking precautions accordingly, gave orders for 
the column to proceed in its advance and for the artillery to take 
positions. The enemy did not wait to be surprised, but opened 
fire at once from Aguacate hill, the station of our heliograph, and 
adjoining hills to the right and left in an extensive intrenched 
line. Our soldiers maneuvered as though on drill, and advancing 
steadily, two-thirds of the column entered the battle, and that hail 
of lead which strewed death in its path was not suflBcient to make 
them retreat or even check them. Calmly, with fearless heroism, 
they advanced, protected by the frequent and sure fire of the artil- 
lery, and skillfully guided by their chiefs, and with the cry '* Long 
live Spain I" and charging with bayonets, they simultaneously took 
those heights which were so difficult and dangerous to scale, beat- 
ing the enemy into precipitate retreat, so that they could not gather 
up their dead and wounded. Seventeen dead were left on the field, 
also ammunition of various modem types. There were moments 
during that battle when the tenacity of the enemy and the order 
with which they fought gave the impression that they might belong 
to our own column. This report spread rapidly and reached 
Colonel Escario's ears, who, fearing that this might really be the 
case, gave orders to suspend the fire, and tried to make himself 
known by bugle signals. But this precaution was useless, and the 
commander becoming convinced that he was fighting rebel forces, 
ordered the attack to be renewed and the hostile positions to be 
taken. To do the enemy justice it must be stated that they 
defended these well-chosen positions with persistency and in good 
order, and that they rose to unusual heights that day, making this 
the fiercest battle which we sustained on the march from Manzanillo 
to Santiago and one of the most remarkable ones of the present 
campaign. Our casualties consisted of 7 dead and 1 lieutenant and 
42 privates wounded. Large pools of blood on the battlefield 


showed the severe chastisement which the enemy had suffered at 
onr hands. When the column had been reorganized, the march 
was continued to Arroyo Blanco, where the night was spent. 



*'From Arroyo Blanco, where the column had camped during 
the night, it proceeded to Palma Soriano, fighting the enemy all 
along the road, on both sides of which the latter occupied good 
positions and endeavored to detain the column at any price. 
Engaging the enemy in front and on the flank, a passage was 
forced and the column reached Palma Soriano at 3 o'clock p. m. 
The battle of that day caused us 4 dead and 6 wounded. 

"From Palma Soriano the commander of the column, by helio- 
gram sent to San Luis, announced his arrival to the commander 
in chief of the fourth army corps at Santiago, and in reply he was 
notified that large United States forces had landed and were sur- 
rounding a part of the city, and that it was, therefore, of urgent 
necessity to reenf orce the place, the defenders of which were few, 
and to force the march as much as possible; Desirous of comply- 
ing with this order. Colonel Escario, who realized that the soldiers 
must be prepared to accomplish the rest of the journey with the 
greatest possible speed, had the following order of the column, 
dated at Palma Soriano, July 2, 1898, read to the companies : 

" * Soldiers: We left Manzanillo because the enemy was threat- 
ening Santiago do Cuba. We must hasten to the assistance of our 
comrades; our honor, which is the honor of our fathers, calls us 

'* 'I, who am proud of having been able to be with you in these 
days when our country requires of us twofold energy and courage, 
€tddress these few words to you in order to tell you that I am 
highly pleased with your behavior and to point out to you the 
necessity of making a supreme effort to save the honor of our 
beloved country, as we have done so far. 

*' *Then say with me, 'Long live Spain!' and let us go in search 
of those who are desirous of finding out what each one of you is 
worth. The victory is ours. 

* * ' Your Colonel, Escario . ' 

"After a plentiful and nourishing meal the troops were ordered 
to rest. At 2 o'clock in the night the reveille was sounded, and 
the column, organizing immediately, resumed its march, which the 
soldiers tried to hasten as much as possible, with no other stimulus 
than that imposed by duty, of which they were constantly reminded 
by the cannonades that could be heard in the distance in the direc- 
tion of Santiago. With slight skirmishes, and without eating nor 


resting, these brave soldiers reached the pass of Bayamo, where 
they had the first view of the city of Santiago. Here it was learned 
that on the same day our fleet, forcing the entrance of the channel, 
which was blockaded by the American ships, had gone out in 
search of death, which is the fate reserved for heroes. 

" It was now between 10 and 11 o'clock in the morning of the 3d, 
and when Colonel Escario noted the intense cannonade in the 
direction of the city, he organized a flying column which was to 
march as fast as possible, leaving the rest of the column with the 
train, in command of Colonel Ruiz Railoy, to follow at once. 

"The flying column was formed of the first battalion of the 
Isabel la Catdlica regiment, in command of Commander Torrecilla, 
with 30 of the strongest men of each company, the whole cavalry, 
and the two artillery pieces. The command of this column^was 
placed in charge of Lieutenant Colonel Baldomero Barbdn of the 
Alcantara battalion. 

"This column advanced toward Puerto Bayamo, from which 
point Colonel Escario proceeded to the city with a section of cav- 
alry, arriving there at 3 o'clock p. m. The rest of the flying col- 
umn reached Santiago between 4 and 4.30, and the nucleus of the 
column with the train between 9 and 10 o'clock p. m. 

"Those worthy chiefs, oflBcers, and long-suffering soldiers, that 
handful of brave men, constantly defeating the enemy who per- 
sistently tried to check them, rising superior to the inclement 
weather, to sickness and fatigue, had arrived at the post of honor 
after a supreme effort and after victoriously crossing the Alps of 
Cuba. It is not to be wondered at that, when they came in sight 
of the city, they took off their hats, and with tears in their eyes 
opened their lips in a unanimous shout of ' Long live Spain ! ' which 
rose spontaneously from those noble hearts. 

"The casualties during the whole march were-l colonel, 2 oflBcers, 
and 68 privates wounded and 27 killed. Twenty-eight thousand 
six hundred and seventy Mauser cartridges had been used and 38 
rounds of artillery fired. 

"At 10 o'clock the last rear guard entered the city of Santiago 
de Cuba, and the battalions at once repaired to the different trenches 
assigned to them by the chief of staff, and from that time on they 
formed part of the forces defending the city. 

"Santiago dk Cuba, July 3, 1898 r 

The column went to occupy the following positions : 
Canosa : Lieutenant Colonel Baldomero Barbdn at the most ad- 
vanced point ; the Alcd.ntara battalion which relieved the Asiatic 

Match factory: The Isabel la Catdlica regiment, under Com- 
mander Luis Torrecilla. 


Campo'de Marte: The other battalion, under Commander Eu- 
genio Bricefio. 

Dos Caminos del Cobre : The Puerto Rico chasseurs, under Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Arana. 

Plaza de Toros: The Andalusia battalion, under Commander 
Julian Llorens. 

9th. — The Alcantara battalion was relieved from the diflBcult 
position it occupied by six companies of the Isabel la Catdlica regi- 
ment, one of the Asiatic regiment, one companyof guerrillas, all 
under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Barbdn. . On the morn- 
ing of the 10th this line was reenforced by two companies of the 
Alcantara battalion. 

lOfh. — The Puerto Rico chasseurs receded to the city. 



July 6th, — The usual ships blockading the harbor. 

The greater part of the population has left the city, fleeing from 
the bombardment. 

The merchant steamers are firing up. 

The Morro says that there are 28 merchant and war vessels in 
sight. The Oregon and Brooklyn are missing. 

In the city the streets are deserted and nearly all the houses 
locked up. 

6th, — The two 9-cm. Krupp guns at Punta Qorda were taken 
.down to be installed in the precinct of the city. 

A German war ship was signaled to the south. 

Mr. Mason, with a flag of truce, went out in the tug Colon to 
communicate with her. When he arrived at the mouth of the 
harbor the ship had already left. 

At 6 General Toral was advised by General Shaf ter that the 
suspension of hostilities was at an end. 

Lieutenant Hobson, of the Merrimac, and the seven men were 

In the American fleet there are 1,100 Spanish prisoners, among 
them over 300 wounded. 

7th. — It was learned that the prisoners of our fleet are being sent 
to the United States. 

The two 42-centimeter guns of the Mejico were disembarked for 
the purpose of being erected in the precinct of the city. Forty 
Mauser rifles were also taken off the ship. The former could not 
be set up. 

8th. — ^The hostile fleet continues the blockade. 

Orders were given by the commandancia de marina to the cap- 
tains of the merchant steamers to sink their ships. 

A private house was prepared to receive the sick and wounded 
of the fleet. The convalescents were sent to the quarters of the 

9th, — The hostile fleet in sight as usual. 

Order of General Toral to have the merchant vessels refill their 
bunkers at the piers of Las Cruces and the Railway. 



The wounded and sick of the fleet were transferred from the 
Mejico to the house fitted out for a hospital by the Navy. 

On the 4th General Shafter notified the consuls that the city 
would be bombarded, so that all those might leave who did not 
form part of the garrison. At their request for more time in order 
to take away their families, the term was prolonged twenty-four 
hours. • 

The panic became general, and at daybreak of the 5th the pop- 
ulation almost en masse left in the direction of El Caney, so as to 
avoid a bombardment which all supposed would be horrible and 
not leave one stone upon the other. 

The steamers, full of people, were ready to proceed to Las 

' Cruces, Cinco Reales, and all the coves on the eastern coast of the 

bay, where they thought they would be better protected and safer. 

All along the coast regular camps were established within the 
shelter of the mountains. It may be safely said that there were 
not 6,0(i0 inhabitants left in the city. All the windows and doors 
were closed, and Santiago presented the same aspect that Pompeii 
and Herculaneum must have offered. Not a single store was 
open, not even the drug stores. The desertion and solitude were 

A few horses were running through the city, pulling up tlie 
grass growing along the sidewalks. Many dogs are staying at the 
entrances of the houses, which their masters have abandoned, 
without having anything to eat, nor anything to drink, which is 
worse. At night they bark incessantly, which makes the scene 
still more impressive. I have several times gone from the capr 
taincy of the port to the military hospital, that is, across the city 
from one end to the other, without seeing a single door open or 
meeting a single person in the streets or public places, except a 
guerrilla or one or two couples of the civil guard. The solitude 
and the silence were absolute. 

At night the city was truly impressive. The streets, the lamps 
not being lit, were as dark as wolves' dens, and it was not possible 
to cross them without being in constant danger of stumbling. A 
few guerrillas, taking advantage of the circumstances, were break- 
ing into abandoned stores and houses, which they ransacked ; for 
instance, the house of my friend, Commander Ros, governor of 
the Morro, situated in San Tadeo street, which I saw with my 
own eyes. They left nothing whole, and him only with the cloth- 
ing he wore and 20 pesos which he had with him. The criminals, 
who were caught in the act, were four guerrillas. I speak with a 
perfect knowledge of what happened, and, as will be seen, I cite 
f;xamples of well-known persons. 


There is no excuse for such action^, and I shall not try to exten- 
uate them ; but it is also just to say, in honor of the truth, that the 
soldiers, who had hardly anything to eat and little water to drink, 
and who spent day and night in the trenches, were not to be found 
in the city, and when on rare occasions one would go there to see 
whether he could not get a glass of water or buy a box of sardines 
or a piece of hardtack, which the merchants were hiding, the latter 
asked him six times what it was worth, and fleeced him (I find no 
other word for it) without shame or compassion. 

I must also add that such abuses, which were repressed as soon 
as they were commenced — thanks to the civil guard and patrols, 
who walked through the city day and night — ^were not committed 
by the troops, except in isolated cases, as in that of Mr. Ros. 
They were committed by citizens, although they were imputed to 
those who knew how to enter the houses without forcing the prin- 
cipal door. I might cite a thousand examples which would con- 
vince the most incredulous and which I omit for the sake of brev- 
ity. Thanks to the energy displayed by General Toral, the street 
lamps were finally lighted, so that it became possible to venture 
into the streets at night. As a proof of the proportions which 
this plundering reached, I will copy a decree which the General 
found it necessary to promulgate. The decree was as follows : 

"I, Jos6 Toral y Velazquez, General of Division, Commander 
General of the Division of Santiago de Cuba, and Military Gov- 
ernor of the City and Province, 

" In view of the frequent robberies which are being committed 
in this city, by reason of the peculiar circumstances in which it 
finds itself, in order to repress them, and by virtue of the author- 
ity vested in me under Article 670 of the Campaign Begulations, 
issue the following : 


"Article 1. All soldiers who, in disobedience of this decree, shall 
destroy or set on fire buildings or property, or commit any acts 
of violence on persons, shall be punished by confinement in the 
penitentiary for life, after previous degradation, in conformity 
with Article 239 of the Code of Military Justice. 

" The penalty of death shall be imposed upon the instigators, or 
persons employing soldiers for this purpose. 

" Criminals caught in the act of committing these offenses shall 
be summarily judged in conformity with Article 649 of the Code 
of Military Justice. 

''Article 2. Civilians who shall commit the same offenses shall 
be adjudged in conformity with the Civil Code in force in this 
island, and the law shall be applied in its whole rigor by the 
respective Council of War. 


"Article 3. Anyone surprised in the act, who shall not give 
himself up at the first intimation, shall be fired upon. 


"Santiago db Cuba, Jvly 16^ 1898:^ 

As it is my object to relate everything that happened at Santiago 
de Cuba, without omitting even the most insignificent events, so 
that ail exact idea may be formed of everything, I must also state 
that, as I was told by Mr. Romero, captain of the civil guard, who 
was wounded at El Caney on the evening of the 1st, where he had 
arrived in the morning to take charge of the military commandancia 
of that place, and taken prisoner by the Americans, he was nursed, 
attended, and treated with all the attention due to his rank and 
condition, as also others who were in the same case. This proves 
that only the GK>vemment of the United States and the jingoes are 
the authors of the unjust war that is being carried on, but not the 
people in general, and still less the Army, which, as its own officers 
and soldiers have assured me, is desirous of having it terminated 
as soon as possible. 



Jidy 10th. — The jisual ships opposite the harbor. The general 
staff of the fourth army corps has asked for a statement as to the 
personnel and armament of the navy, which was forwarded to him. 

General Shaf ter gave notice that hostilities had again broken out 
since 4 in the afternoon. 

At 3 the hamlet of Dos Caminos was burned. 

At 5 a gunshot was heard which had been fired by the fleet; im- 
mediately after a sustained musket fire, which became very intense. 

The artillery on land is firing, ours is answering. 

At 6.16 the fleet opened fire on the coast. 

At 6.30 the firing ceased by sea and by land. 

The enemy has abandoned two trenches. 

11th. — The fleet is guarding the harbor and Aguadores. 

At 6 a slow musket fire commenced on land ; a few volleys are 

At 8.30 two ships opened fire on the city from Aguadores. A 
few projectiles fall at the head of the bay, where the Alvarado is 
at anchor. 

During yesterday 46 wounded were received at the military hos- 
pital. There were seven dead. 

At 2 p. m. the bombardment ceased. 

At 2.30 firing ceased in the precinct. 

At 6 the enemy hoisted a flag of truce on the Fort San Juan. 

At night many fires were seen on the heights near the cemetery 
and at the head of the bay (to the northwest). 

The gunboat Alvarado asked for permission to fire; it was 
denied on account of the truce. 

On the 10th the enemy, already in the trenches and being in 
possession of all the adjoining heights where he has installed 
numerous modem guns, opened a lively musket and gun fire, at 5 
p. m., upon a great extent of our line. The artillery answered 
firmly, but there was hardly any musket fire, because orders had 
been given and complied with to economize ammunition at an]^ 



Two hours previously, our advance forces had withdrawn to the 
city, abandoning the foremost position at Dos Caminos del Cobre, 
first setting it on fire. 

The fleet at the same time opened fire on Aguadores and sur- 
rounding points on the coast, and on our lines. The battle was 
limited to firing from the trenches. Nevertheless, as the enemy 
was very numerous and his lines only a few meters from ours, we 
had 7 dead and 47 wounded. During the engagement the Ameri- 
cans abandoned two trenches which they could not hold because 
they were flanked by ours. 

At 8.30 the following day the fleet bombarded the city from 
Aguadores, having given notice to that effect as early as the 4th. 
As I said, the ships of the fleet, taking turns two by two, fired 
rather slowly, and only until 2.30 p. m., but notwithstanding, there 
were 59 houses that suffered considerable damage. One shell went 
through a foundation in San Basilic street, where it dropped and ex- 
ploded, and a shell cut an iron column of a provision store in two, 
penetrating into a house in Marina street, after piercing the wall. 
Another shell i)enetrated at No. 9 Santa Lucia High street, destroy- 
ing the hall and one room. In the provision store of Messrs. Brauet, 
in Fundicion street, two 20-cm. shells (nearly all were of this cali- 
bre, or of 16 centimeters) fell; one only exploded, causing great 
havoc. The most remarkable case of all was Mr. Marcan^'s house, 
in Santo Tomas Place. A single shell ruined it completely. It is 
hard to understand how a single projectile can do what that one 

Between the garden of the Alameda and the railway station, 
being a distance of about 800 meters, 23 projectiles fell. Many of 
them did not explode. One of them went through a tree, as though 
it had been a gimlet. At the ice factory two fell, and three at tlj^Q 
railway station. A great many fell near the piers, and still more 
near the place where the gunboat Alvarado was at anchor. 

As the city was almost abandoned, there was no loss of life. 

In the meantime the enemy continued to antagonize our lines 
in order to compel the soldiers to consume the scant ammunition 
that remained, but orders had been given not to answer the fire, 
and so there was hardly any musket fire. Gun fire only answered 
very slowly, as is necessary with antiquated guns. The enemy, on 
the other hand, was constantly receiving modem guns and setting 
them up rapidly. We were within a circle of fire, and although 
that phrase has been somewhat abused, I find no other that better 
describes the situation. 

At 5 p. m. the enemy hoisted a white flag on Fort San Juan 
and a spokesman was received. 


Though this may not be the right moment, I want to make an 
observation. It has been asked many times why Admiral Cer- 
vera's fleet, whose object was to run the blockade and elude the 
hostile fleet, did not go out at night. 

Of course, the Admiral did not tell me his reasons, but it is easy 
to understand them. 

The hostile fleet was constantly watching the entrance of the 
harbor with its search lights, making it as light as though it were 
day. There the ships would probably have been seen just the same. 
On the other hand, the sortie, which even in daytime is extremely 
difficult, would have been short of impossible at night, when 
blinded by the search lights, and would necessarily have resulted 
in a catastrophe. The sortie at night was impracticable. It was 
absolutely necessary to effect it in daytime ; at least, if the enemy 
saw us, we also saw him, and the chances for not running aground 
in the channel were much better. From the foregoing I believe 
that anyone, even though not acquainted with naval matters, will 
understand why Admiral Cervera did not go out at night. 

As a proof of this, I will say that on the night when the cruiser 
Reina Mercedes was sunk the hostile ships fired upon her with the 
same accuracy as though it had been daytime. 

For a better understanding of the events and engagements of the 
10th and 11th of July, I will eopy below the official report of Lieu- 
tenant Colonel BarbiJn and that of Lieutenant of Artillery Moreno 
to General Esoario, as also a statement of the shots which our guns 
fired during those days. One need only glance at the statement 
referred to to see at once that on the first day 167 shots could be 
fired, and the next day, being the 11th, only 36, because the enemy 
had dismounted and disabled some of our guns. A simple calcu- 
lation is sufficient to understand that the following day not a sin- 
gle gun could probably have been fired. Before such proofs, com- 
ments are unnecessary. 

** Having been placed in charge of the forces on the right hand 
of the plantation called El Suefio, on the heights and in the 
glens which border on the avenues of El Caney and Canosa, and the 
roads of Pozo and San Juan, comjwsed of six companies of the 
Isabel la Cat<51ica Regiment, two of the Alcantara Battalion, one 
of the Asiatic Battalion, and one of guerrillas as stretchermen, I 
have the honor to report to you that at 4.30 a. m. yesterday the 
enemy opened machine-gun and musket fire on our positions, with- 
out daring to make any forward movement; such prudence being 
founded, no doubt, on the respect inspired by our sepulchral silence 
before the thunderous noise of their many guns, for only 10 marks- 
men, in convenient positions, had orders to fire on a trench which 
they attacked on the flank and dislodged at the end of 15 minutes. 
At nightfall, 7.30 p. m., the enemy ceased firing. 


"To-day, at 6.30 a. m., the enemy again opened fire, while our 
side did not waste a single cartridge, the enemy continuing with 
the same activity as yesterday, without coming out of his trenches, 
until 4.30 p. m., when he ceased firing and asked for suspension. 

" The casualties on our side were, on the 10th, 6 dead and 29 
woxinded, and to-day, one dead, 5 wounded, and one bruised; total 
casualties during the two days, 42. 

** You will see from the above that I have exactly complied with 
your orders not to fire until the enemy should come out of his 
trenches to attack. 

" I only need add that all the forces without exception did their 
duty as brave men, fxdl of enthusiasm, and I had to recommend 
rex>eatedly that they should conceal in order to avoid needless 
casualties, which seemed difficult, and there is nothing strange 
about it, as our men, for the first time in three years of campaign, 
were enclosed in trenches and on the defensive. 

(Here follow special recommendations for bravery of three 
officers, being 1 commander and 2 lieutenants.) 

(Signed) ''Baldombbo Barb(5n." 

" Santiago db Cuba, August 11 ^ 1898 J*^ 

Copy of the report made by the first lieutenant in charge of the 
artillery of the sector: 

"Abtillbby, City of Santiago db Cuba, 
Sectob fbom thb Pobtillo del Canby to San Antonio. 
** HoNOBED Sib : Fire was opened by the enemy yesterday at 4.45 
p. m., and the batteries of this sector made it their business to 
silence it, or at least diminish it as much as possible, given the 
limited eflEecti veness of the guns which formed them — most of them 
muzzle-loading — and the reduced caliber of the only four which 
are of modem tyi)es, and can therefore keep up an accurate and 
rapid fire. The enemy's batteries, as has been observed on pre- 
vious days by means of glasses, and as we have experienced practi- 
cally to-day, are quite numerous, very well installed without leav- 
ing any space uncovered, and occupy positions overlooking ours, 
and are for that latter reason well adapted to train successfully, 
and to be of great moral effect on our troops, who are harassed 
almost vertically by the grai)eshot (shrapnel ?) inside the trenches. 
The guns of these batteries are of small and medium caliber, as 
may be seen from the size of their projectiles, and the shape of 
the latter shows that they are breech-loading guns, and for that 
reason alone, of the greatest advantage over ours. A few fire 
dynamite projectiles, but it was noticed that they are of little 
accuracy, although very effective when they explode. At the 
same moment when the musket and machine-gun fire was opened, 


which was hardly answered from the city, gun fire also commenced, 
and as the effect of the shells began to be felt at the first shots, it 
became necessary for us to do what we could to decrease the can- 
nonade. Firing was commenced on the whole sector at the same 
tiiue and with such rapidity as each gun permitted, except the 
Plasencia guns, for if we had continued to fire them with the same 
rapidity as the gunners, anxious to injure the enemy, had com- 
menced, we should have consumed the whole of the ammunition in 
two hours. All the shots were made under the action of a constant 
musket and machine-gun fire, aimed particularly at the batteries, 
for the apparent purpose of not allowing us to come out of the 
trenches to load and train our guns. In view of the sustained 
artillery fire from the city the enemy moderated his somewhat, 
especially in the sector between Nispero and San Antonio, and 
by 6 p. m. the only guns that were doing any firing worthy 
of mention were those installed opposite the Portillo del Caney. 
This circumstance was very favorable for us. The ostentatious 
artillery fire which we did during the first moments checked the 
enemy's rapid fire along the greater part of the line, and if this 
had not been the case we should have been compelled to keep silent 
before his batteries, for of the 12 guns of different calibers of the 
batteries of Nispero, Sueflo, Santo In^s, and San Antonio, we had 
left at the hour mentioned only three 8-cm. and two 16-cm. guns; 
the others had been put out of action, the carriages of most of 
them having been disabled. The batteries of Portillo del Oaney 
continued to answer the fire, which was aimed at them partic- 
ularly without a moment's cessation, and in one of them I was 
an eye witness of an incident worthy of mention. A training 
gunner of one of the 8-cm. Plasencia guns, whose captain 
had been previously wounded, was shot through one arm, and he 
continued to train, for fear that there would be no one to relieve 
him, until, a relief having been effected, he was obliged to go to 
the nearest hospital. At the same moment an artillerist came out 
with a mule and ran in the direction of the headquarters at Con- 
cha, passing through the musket and machine-gun fire, shouting, 
' Long live Spain I ' through the streets. He was on his way to get 
another supply of common shells for the gun, its supply having 
been consumed during the first shots. These incidents, and similar 
ones which no doubt occurred all along the line and in the trenches, 
show, honored General, that while the enemy had succeeded, owing 
to the superior position of his batteries, in acquiring greater accu- 
racy of fire, he had not been able to quell the courage of our sol- 
diers, always cool-headed before the greatest danger, even to the 
very last moment. 


"At 7 p. m. the firing ceased, leaving us in bad condition for 
to-day, because, as I have already stated, only two 16-cm. and three 
8-cm. guns, and two 8-cm. Plasencia, and two rapid-fire Krupp 
guns, are all that are available for the defense, and the majority 
of the mounts for the old ones are somewhat defective. * * * 

*'At 6.30 a. m. to-day fire was opened by a few musket shots, 
and a few minutes after the artillery battle commenced. The bat- 
teries with which the enemy fired yesterday are not the only ones 
he has ; he also has large-caliber guns, or i)erhaps howitzers, which, 
being installed at a considerable distance from the city and covered 
by the hills, keep up a constant fire upon us, which we are not able 
to answer. Yesterday we could distinguish the flashing from the 
batteries erected between the Portillo del Caney and San Antonio, 
and to-day we can see only three opposite the said Portillo ; the 
others were firing completely under cover, and we were not even 
able to disturb the composure with which they were trained. It 
is known that we did them some damage yesterday, and that is 
perhaps the reason why they have taken this position to-day. Only 
two shots were fired in the morning at Santa In^s and two more at 
San Antonio. And the rest of the day we have been able to fire only 
from the 8-cm. Plasencia battery and the 7.5-cm. rapid-fire Krupp 
battery, erected at the Portillo del Caney and Palomar, respect- 
ively, which had opposite them three 9-cm. batteries of the enemy 
at a distance of 1,100 meters from the former and 1,600 meters 
from the latter. From the first moment it could be seen that the 
enemy's objective was to bombard the city, and his fire was aimed 
entirely at that target. Yesterday they took the exact distance 
from their batteries to the principal points of the city, and to-day, 
making use of yesterday's notes, they put the shells just where 
they wanted, and the trajectories of those from the same battery 
were almost identical. I repeat that there were only three in sight, 
and upon these three we opened fire at 6 a. m. with the rapid-fire 
guns. When the first shot was discharged the enemy partly 
changed his objective, and soon the battery mentioned and one of 
the hidden ones aimed their fire at Palomar, but were not able to 
hit the rapid-fire guns until 10 a. m., because these guns, being of 
reduced dimensions, in sunken battery, and with hardly any smoke 
from the discharge, were hardly visible to the enemy. For four 
hours we fired without knowing where we were, but very slowly, 
because the number of ordinary shells and grapeshot for the guns 
referred to is already very small. After these first four hours were 
over, the enemy answered each shot with 8 or 10 of his, which, with* 
almost mathematical precision, were aimed at the battery. About 
the same thing, but on a greater scale owing to the proximity of the 
opposing batteries and the good target formed by the smoke which 


developed at each shot, happened at the Plasencia guns. Since 8 
o'clock in the morning, when tJie fire was opened, until 3 in the after- 
noon, the places where the guns were erected were veritable centers 
of impact, since we had only two batteries and the enemy a great 
many. And when a shot was fired, all concentrated their fire on 
the one that had discharged. In order to fire at all, it was neces- 
sary to make the enemy believe, by using artificial means, that the 
gun had been put out of action. When this did not succeed, the 
gun fire aimed at the battery was incessant, and made it impossible 
for us to load and train. As I have stated, at 3 p. m. the firing 
ceased, and yesterday as well as to-day I noticed the greatest order 
among the officers and men in charge of the different batteries. 
At the Plasencia guns, the second gunner, Antonio Escriba Escriba, 
belonging to the 2d section of the 1st battery of the 5th Mountain 
Regiment, was wounded. The total number of shots fired yester- 
day and to-day is as follows: 16, with the rapid-fire guns; 33, with 
the 8-cm. Plasencia guns ; 29, with the 8-cm. guns ; 63, with the 
8-cm. short breech-loaders; 10, with the 16-cm. and 10 with the 
12-cm. bronze guns. 
"May God guard your excellency for many years. 

"Juan Moreno, 

* * First lieutenant^ 
Commander of artillery of the sector, 

"Santiago db Cuba, July 11, 1898.'' 

The guns which the Americans had in the batteries of the circle, 
were all of modem type, with calibers of 8, 9, 7, and 7.6 cm. They 
fired mostly grapeshot (shrapnel ?) with 10 per cent ordinary shells. 
They also made use of dynamite shells, but the number of these 
projectiles did not exceed 5 per cent of the total number thrown 
upon the city. 

The batteries that were most persistent in firing on the 10th 
were those erected in the vicinity of the Caney road, and they fired 
only about 150 shots, with an average rapidity of 14 or 16 shots 
per hour and battery. The others, which ceased firing an hour 
earlier, discharged about 100 shots. 

On the 11th the gun fire was more sustained, but slower. All 
the batteries fired about alike and discharged in all about 700 shots. 



No. of shots. 

Battcriw and riiiih. 



Fnerte Nnevo: 

OriA Id-rmn mnKKlA-lnAdinflr YtmngsA flrnn 





« 25 












Santa Ursula: 

Battery No. 1 : Two 8-cin. muzzle-loading bronze gnns 

Battery No. 2: Two8-cm. long mozzle-loading bronze guns.. 

Battery No. 8: Two 9-cin. long mozzle-loading bronze gnns.. 
Portillo Ganey: 

Battery No. 1 : Two B-cm. short breech-loading bronze gnns 
f Plawncia system) ..,,^^- .___ 


Battery No. 2: Two 8-cm. long mozzle-loading bronze gons.. 

Battery No. 1: One 16-cm. mozzle-loading bronze gon 

Battery No. 2: One 12-cm. mozzle-loading bronze gon 

Battery No. 8: Two 8-cm. short breech-loading bronze gons.- 

Battery No. 1 : One 16-cm. mozzle-loading bronze gon 

Battery No. 2: One 12-cm. mozzle-loading bronze gon ....... 

Battery No. 8: Two 8-cm. short breech-loaders .. ..... 

Santa In6s: 

Battery No. 1: One 16-cm. mozzle-loading bronze gon 

Battery No. 2 : One 12-cm. mozzle-loading bronze gon 

Bf^ttery No, 8 : Two 8-cm. short bTeech-loadinflr firons 


San Antonio: 
One 16-cm. Tn"9f95l^l'^fl^^T»ir b'tw^z-A Rxin ^ ^-- . .-, . 


Two 7.5-cm. short breech -loftdlnjr rapid -fire Kropp umns , ^ 


During the firing on the 10th, the following guns were put out 
of action : The gun of the battery of Fuerte Nuevo; one of each of 
the Santa Ursula batteries ; the two of battery No. 2 of the Portillo 
del Caney ; those of the Nispero batteries Nos. 2 and 3 ; those of 
batteries Nbs. 1 and 2 and one of battery No. 3 of SueSo; and that 
of Battery No. 2 and one of Battery No. 3 of Santa In^s. 

To sum up, there were disabled: four 12-cm., one 16-cm., eight 
8-cm. guns, old systems, and one 9-cm. breechloader. 

The 9-cm. gun was disabled by the enemy, as also one of the 
12-cm. guns of Sueflo, the cause being that the 12-cm. guns were 
mounted on ** skeleton" carriages that did not belong to them, and 
broke at the first or second shot, and that the 8-cm. old guns, 
although mounted in their own carriages, these being of wood and 
in bad repair, they had the same fate as soon as a few shots were 
fired. The 16-em. gun was disabled by the cartridge sticking in 
the chamber. 


July 12th, — The hostile fleet is still in sight. 

The archbishop, escorted by a detachment of the mounted civil 
guard, left the city, returning soon after. 

General Linares has forwarded to the commander in chief and 
to the minister of war the following cablegram, which I copy 
literally : 

"official cablegram, JULY 12. 

"To the commander in chief and the minister of war: 

"Though confined to my bed by great weakness and sharp pains, 
I am so much worried over the situation of these long-suffering 
troops that I deem it my duty to address your excellency and the 
minister of war for the purpose of setting forth the true state of 

"Hostile positions very close to precinct of city, favored by 
nature of ground; ours spread out over 14 kilometers; troopg 
attenuated; large number sick; not sent to hospitals because 
necessary to retain them in trenches. Horses and mules without 
food and shelter; rain has been pouring into the trenches inces- 
santly for twenty hours. Soldiers without permanent shelter; rice 
the only food; can not change or wash clothes. Many casualties; 
chiefs and officers killed; forces without proper command in crit- 
ical moments. Under these circumstances, impossible to open 
passage, because one-third of the men of our contingent would be 
unable to go out; enemy would reduce forces still further; result 
would be great disaster without accomplishing the salvation of 
eleven much-thinned battalions, as desired by your excellency. 
In order to go out under protection of Holguin division, it would 
be necessary for the latter to break through the hostile line, and 
then with combined forces to break through another part of the 
same line. This would mean an eight days' journey for Holguin 
division, bringing with them a number of rations which they^i^ 
unable to transport. The situation is fatal; surrender inevitable; 
we are only prolonging the agony ; the sacrifice is useless ; the 
enemy knows it, fully realizing our situation. Their circle being 
well established, they will exhaust our forces without exposing 
theirs as they did yesterday, bombarding on land by elevation 
without our being able to see their batteries, and from the sea by 



the fleet, which has full advices, and is bombarding the city in 
sections with mathematical accuracy. 

*^ Santiago de Cuba is not Qerona, a city inclosed by walls, on 
the soil of the mother country, defended inch by inch by her own 
sons, by old men, women, and children without distinction, who 
encouraged and assisted the combatants and exposed their lives, 
impelled by the sacred idea of independence, while awaiting aid 
which they received. Here solitude, the total emigration of the 
population, insular as well as peninsular, including public officials, 
with a few exceptions. Only the clergy remains, and they intend 
to leave to-day headed by their prelate. 

"These defenders are not just beginning a campaign, full of 
enthusiasm and energy; they have been fighting for three years 
with the climate, privations, and fatigue; and now that the most 
critical time has arrived their courage and physical strength are 
exhausted, and there are no means for building them up again. 
The ideal is lacking; they are defending the property of people who 
have abandoned it in their very presence, and of their own foes, 
the allies of the American forces. 

" There is a limit to the honor of arms, and I appeal to the judg- 
ment of the Government and the whole nation; for these long- 
suflEering troops have saved that honor many times since the 18th 
day of May, when they sustained the first bombardment. 

" If it should be necessary to consummate the sacrifice for reasons 
which I ignore, or if there is need of some one to assume the re- 
sponsibility of the dSrumement anticipated and announced by me 
in several cablegrams, I oflFer myself loyally on the altar of my 
coxmtry for the one purpose or the other, and I will take it upon 
myself to perform the act of signing the surrender, for my humble 
reputation is worth very little when it comes to a question of 

national interests. 


ISth. — ^The ships are still blockading the harbor. 

By order of the commander of marine, I went to the cruiser Reina 
Mercedes in order to ascertain her exact i)osition. 

In crossing the channel we saw two hostile ships, but at a great 

The cruiser which I visited is aground on the Morro shore. The 
port side is completely under water, the starboard side above water ; 
here the eflEects of the hostile shells may be observed. She lies in 
the line of the channel, and therefore does not interfere with the 
entering or going out of ships. I do not believe that the enemy 
will be able to use her; besides the injuries caused by the shells, 
the sea has commenced to destroy the bottom. 


Upon returning I saw and 8i)oke to many volunteer officers who 
have taken refuge there, dressed in civilians' clothes. 

The conferences with th^ enemy have come to nothing, and it was 
decided that the suspension of hostilities and the armistice should 
cease and the bombardment be continued. 

The sailors from the fleet, 98 in number, who were at the fire- 
men's headquarters, have gone, under the command of Ensign 
Gtfmez, to protect the match factory near the gasometer. 

There was a suspension of hostilities during the days of the 12th 
and 13th, and conferences were held with the enemy, which evi- 
dently have come to nothing, and from General Linares's eloquent 
cablegram, setting forth so graphically and accurately the true 
state of affairs in this unfortified city and the situation of its 
defenders, it may be inferred that the capitulation was objected 
to, although it was absolutely necessary and further resistance 

lUh. — The chief pilot of this harbor, Apolonio Ntifiiez, was taken 
prisoner by the insurgents at Rentd, situated west of the bay. The 
commander of marine at once notified General Toral, and as the 
suspension of hostilities had been extended, the latter, in his turn, 
advised General Shafter, commander in chief of the American 
forces operating at Santiago. 

16th, — Pilot Ndfiez was delivered up and escorted to the city by 
American soldiers. 

At night the chiefs of the army assembled in the apartments 
occupied by the staff of the division, and as a result of the meeting 
the following memorandum was drawn up : 

"On the 16th day of July, 1898, in the city of Santiago de Cuba, 
the following-named persons assembled, previous notice having 
been given of such meeting: General of Division Jos^ Toral y 
Velazquez, for the time being commander in chief of the fourth 
army corps, as president; General of Brigade Federico Escario; 
Colonel Francisco Oliveros Jimenez, of the civil guard; the follow- 
ing lieutenant colonels of the different battalions: Jos^ Cotrina 
Q^labert, of the Asiatic battalion; Juan Pufiet, of the battalion. 
*Constituci6n;' Pedro Rodriguez, of the Talavera battalion; Ven- 
tura Fontfin, of the staff; Baldomero Barb<5n, of the Alcantara 
battalion; Segundo P^rez, of the San Fernando battalion; Jos(5 
Escudero, of the provisional battalion of Puerto Rico No. 1 ; Luis 
Melgar, of the artillery; and Ramdn Arana, of the Puerto Rico 
chasseurs; Julio Cuevas, commissary of war; Pedro Martin, sub- 
inspector of the medical department of the army, and Juan Dfaz 
Muelas, captain of engineers, all as voting members, and the last 
named as secretary. 


''The president stated that although he did not consider Santiago 
de Cuba a stronghold of war, and though he was in direct commu- 
nication with the commander in chief, from whom he received pre- 
cise instructions, so that it was not necessary to proceed to the 
convocation of the council of defense referred to in Article 683 of 


the Regulation of Campaign, he desired nevertheless to learn the 
opinion of said council, constituted in accordance with the provi- 
sions of the regulation referred to, and of the lieutenant colonels 
of the battalions, as to whether, in view of the condition of the 
forces defending the city, it would be advisable to prolong the 
defense, or, on the contrary, to capitulate on the most favorable 
terms obtainable. 

''The junta, considering that Santiago has no other works of 
defense of a permanent nature than a castle without artillery at the 
mouth of the harbor and a few forts in the precinct, none of them 
substantial, so that its only real defense consists in the trenches 
which have been dug in suitable positions in the circuit of the city, 
and other earthworks in said circuit and in more advanced posi- 
tions, all effected hurriedly and with scant resources ; 

"Considering further that for the defense of this line of trenches, 
about 14 kilometers long, not continuous, there are available oi\ly 
about 7,000 infantry and 1,000 guerrillas, all of whom have been 
doing constant service in the trenches, with hardly any troops to 
support them and without any reserves of any kind, the rest of the 
forces (the total forces consistingof about 11,500 men), belonging 
to other arms and garrisoning the Morro and the batteries of So- 
capa and Punta Gk>rda, or being assigned to other services, such as 
supplying all the posts with water, patrolling the city, etc., which 
services would have been rendered by the inhabitants if the city 
had remained loyal, but which must now be performed by the 
army, the inhabitants having abandoned the city; 

"Considering further that, in view of the great extent of the 
line referred to, the position of the forces on the same, the difficulty 
of communication and the proximity of the hostile positions to 
ours, it is difficult for the troops stationed at one part of the line 
to render prompt assistance to those stationed at another part 
which might be more seriously threatened ; 

"Considering further that at the present time the only available 
artillery of the precinct consists of four 16-cm. rifled bronze guns, 
one 12-cm., one 9-cm. bronze gun, two long 8-cm. rifled bronze 
guns, four short ones of the same caliber, two 8-cm. Plasenciarand 
two 75-mm. Krupp guns; that the 12 and 16-cm. guns, according 
to reliable information, are about to give out and will admit of 
only a few more shots, and that the 75-mm. Krupp guns have 
hardly any ammunition, and that the above is all the artillery we 
have to opi)ose to the enemy's numerous modern guns; 


"Considering further that the million Spanish Mauser cartridges, 
being the total available, counting those at the artillery park and 
the spare cartridges of the troops, will be used up in two or three 
attacks made by the enemy ; that the Argentine Mauser cartridges 
can hardly be used, and the Remington only by the irregular forces; 

"Considering further that, owing to the failure of the commer- 
cial element to lay in supplies prior to the blockade which had 
long been foreseen, there is a great scarcity of meat and of all 
other articles of food for the troops, it being necessary to reserve 
for the military hospital the few heads of cattle now on hand, so 
that the only available food for the soldiers consists of rice, salt, 
oil, coflEee, sugar, and whisky, and this only for about ten days 
longer ; 

"Considering further that, if the food of the 1,700 sick at the 
hospital is inadequate, the food furnished the soldiers is still more 
so, and yet they have to spend night and day in the trenches, after 
three years of campaign, the last three months without meat except 
on rare days, and for some time past reduced to the rations above 

"Considering further that with such inadequate rations the sol- 
diers, whose physical strength is already considerably shaken, far 
from being able to repair their strength, must necessarily become 
weaker every minute, especially since, in spite of their poor nour- 
ishment, the greatest fatigues are required of them; 

"Considering further that there is an ever-growing contingent 
of soldiers among the troops who, though not in hospitals, are sick 
and who are enabled to remain at their posts only by their superior 
courage, which circumstances, however, can not fail to weaken the 
resistance of the only line of defense we have; 

"Considering further that, since the cutting of the aqueduct, 
great difficulties are experienced by the small forces available for 
furnishing water to the majority of the forces in the trenches of 
the precinct, especially those near the coast, which difficulties 
must naturally increase when the city is bombarded by sea and 
by land, so that there is well-founded fear that the soldiers who 
are unable to leave the trenches may find themselves without the 
water of which they are so much in need; 

" Considering further that, in view of the location of the hostile 
positions, mostly in the immediate vicinity of ours, completely sur- 
rounding the city and in control of all the avenues, there is no 
possibility of abandoning the city without a fierce battle under the 
most unfavorable circumstances for us, owing to the impoverished 
condition of the soldiers and the fact that it would be necessary to 
eflEect the concentration of the forces in sight of the enemy ; 


** Considering further the great superiority of the enemy who, 
besides a contingent of men said to exceed 40,000, possesses 70 pieces 
of modem artillery and a powerful fleet; 

*' Considering further that no supplied can reach the city except 
by sea, and that there is no prospect of receiving any as long as a 
po^werf ul hostile fleet completely closes the entrance of the harbor ; 

"Considering further that, under these circumstances, to con- 
timie so unequal a fight would lead to nothing except the sacrifice 
of a large number of lives ; 

**And considering, finally, that the honor of our arms has been 
completely vindicated by these troops who have fought so nobly 
and whose behavior has been lauded by our own and other na- 
tions, and that by an immediate capitulation terms could be 
obtained which it would not be possible to obtain after hostilities 
have again broken out : 

" The junta is of unanimous opinion that the necessity for capitu- 
lation has arrived. In witness thereof they sign these proceedings. " 

(Signatures of members.) 



Jvly 16th. — ^The people have returned from El Oaney. 
Negotiations for the capitulation having been opened, we think 
it proper to give the f oUowing important document : 

*^ Neutral Oahp nbar Santiago db Cuba, 

Under the Flag of Truce, July IMK -^^^^. 

"Recognizing the nobleness, valor, and bravery of Generals 
Linares and Toral and of the Spanish troops who took part in the 
actions that have recently occurred in the vicinity of Santiago de 
Cuba, as shown in said battles, we, the undersigned, officers of the 
United States Army, who had the honor of taking part in the 
actions referred to, and who now constitute a committee, duly 
authorized, treating with a similar committee of officers of the 
Spanish Army for the capitulation of Santiago de Cuba, unani- 
mously join in asking the proper authorities that these brave and 
gallant soldiers may be granted the privilege of returning to their 
country carrying the arms which they have so* nobly defended. 

(Signed) "Joseph Wheeler, 

Major General U. S. V. 

"W. H. Lawton, 

Major General U. 8. V. 

"J. D. MiLEY, 

First Lieutenant^ Second Artillery^ AideJ*^ 

Under a giant cotton tree the following capitulation was signed : 

"ist. The hostilities between the Spanish and American f65pces 
shall cease absolutely and finally. 

"2d. The capitulation shall include all the forces and war 
material in said territory (territory of the division of Santiago). 

" 3d. The United States agree to transport all the Spanish forces 
in said territory to the Kingdom of Spain with the least delay pos- 
.sible, the troops to be embarked, as early as can be done, at the 
nearest ports they occupy. 



**4tli. The officers of the Spanish army shall be permitted to 
carry their arms with them, and officers as well as men shall retain 
their private property, 

*' 5th. The Spanish authorities agree to raise, or assist the Amer- 
ican Navy in raising, all the mines and other obstructions to navi- 
gation now existing in the bay of Santiago de Cuba and its entrance. 

"6th. The commander of the Spanish forces shall deliver, with- 
out delay, to the commander of the American forces, a complete 
inventory of the arms and munitions of war in the district above 
referred to, as also a statement of the number of troops in the same. 

" 7th. The commander of the Spanish forces, upon leaving said dis- 
trict, shall be authorized to take with him all the military archives 
and documents belonging to the Spanish army now in said district. 

"8th. All that portion of the Spanish forces known as volun- 
teers, mobilized troops, and guerrillas who may desire to remain in 
the Island of Cuba shall be allowed to do so, on condition that they 
will deliver up their arms and give their word of honor not again 
to take up arms against the United States during the continuation 
of the present war with Spain. 

"9th. The Spanish forces shall leave Santiago de Cuba with 
honors of war, afterwards depositing their arms at a place mutu- 
ally agreed upon, to await the disposition which the Government 
of the United States shall make of them, it being understood that 
the United States Commissioners shall recommend that the Spanish 
soldiers be permitted to return to Spain with the arms which they 
have so gallantly defended. 

" 10th. The clauses of the foregoing document shall go into effect 
immediately after having been signed. 

"Entered into this 16thday of July, 1898, by the undersigned com- 
missioners, acting under instructions of their respective command- 
ers in chief, and with the approval of their respective governments. 

"Joseph Whbblbr, "Fbdbrico Escario, 

Major General U. 8. V. Brigadier General. 

"W. H. Lawton, "Vbntura Pont an. 

Major General U. 8. V. Lieutenant Colonel^ 

"J. D. MiLBY, General Staff. 

First LieiUenant^ 

Second Artillery. 

"Robert Mason, 


The reason why the archbishop went out of the city on the 12th 
was to ask General Shafter to permit him and thirty priests to 
leave Santiago. The American general refused to grant this request 
as long as the negotiations were pending. 

10M6— 10 


I will here speak of a matter which, though not directly related 
to the military operations, nor the movements of troops, nor the 
attack or defense of positions, is yet so graphic and typical and so 
remarkable and far-reaching in the consequences which it entailed 
and still entails, that to omit it would be to omit one of the most 
important episodes of this eventful period, an episode that has been 
much commented upon and discussed. I have reference to what 
may well be called the emigration to El Caney. 

At daybreak of July 6, a compact crowd, composed for the greater 
part of old men, women, and children, though strong, robust men — 
some of them volunteers, now in civilians' clothes — ^were not want- 
ing, started from the city toward El Caney, about a league and a 
half distant, where they were going on foot, there being no car- 
riages, nor wagons, nor vehicles of any kind, nor even horses, 
which the enemy, moreover, would not have allowed to pass. All 
these people we^^e crossing the ditches and trenches by which the 
whole road was cut and obstructed, all anxious to escape from the 
dangers of a bombardment of which notice had been given to the 

Many of those who emigrated were people of wealth, women not 
accustomed to such fatigues and hardships, which fear and terror 
alone enabled them to bear. 

Being convinced, though I do not know why they should have 
been, that their absence would not be for more than sixty or seventy 
hours at most, the majority of them had nothing with them but 
the clothes on their backs and a little underclothing, and no pro- 
visions except what they could carry themselves. 

I have been told, not by one person alone, but by many who 
were there and with whom I have talked, that there were no l^ss 
than eighty people in any one house, and in some of them as many 
as two hundred. As in the cemetery, each person had no more 
space than he or she occupied ; and thus they were housed together, 
men and women, children and old people, white persons and black 



The provisions whicli were calculated for ttree days at most were 
naturally soon exhausted, and this is probably the only instance in 
the nineteenth century when money was looked upon with disdain 
and when gold was of no value. Trading was going on, it is true, 
but it was exchanging rice for coflfee, hardtack for beans, or sugar 
for codfish. 

The bodies of those who had been killed on the 1st of July had 
only partly been buried, and the houses in that portion of the 
town which had been shelled were riddled with bullets and there- 
fore leaking everywhere. Carcasses of horses and other animals, 
even corpses of persons, were thrown into the river, and people 
washed their dirty clothes and bathed in the water, which was all 
there was to -drink. Most of the people lived on mangoes and 
mamoncillos, and it is no wonder that malaria, fevers, and dysen- 
tery broke out and assumed alarming proportions. 

The houses*had no sanitary provisions of any kind, and as the 
doors were kept closed in order to prevent new invasions, the 
atmosphere was terrible. • The children, sick from lack of nourish- 
ment or from taking food which they could not digest, were cry- 
ing day and night, and quiet or rest became impossible. 

The faces of those who died were covered with a sheet or hand- 
kerchief, and the living remained by the side of the dead bodies, 
knowing that, if they should leave their places, others would 
come to occupy them. 

Why go on? I might write a hundred chapters and still not 
give an idea of the suffering during those days; suffice it to say 
that El Caney, which was a town of 200 houses, was invaded by 
20,000 people, who had counted on being there two days and 
who remained eleven, namely, until the 16th. 

Those eleven days at El Caney have caused more victims in 
Santiago than the three years of war; for the epidemic that broke 
out still continues. When the inhabitants of the city numbered 
45,000 there were, on an average, not over five deaths a day; and 
now, that the number of inhabitants is reduced to 30,000, there 
are not less than fifty a day. The house that does not contain one 
or more sick is an exception, and people who are well and hearty 
one day are buried a day or two later. The physicians can not 
attend all the sick, and the dead are carried to the cemeteries by 
members of their own families. The city wears that stamp of 
sadness and absence of life which is the mark of great calamities, 
and we hear nothing but wailing and sobbing. 

A bombardment, of course, inspires women with the greatest 
horror, and yet, they preferred its dangers and consequences to 
the sadness and miseries of El Caney and asked, as the greatest 


of blessings, to be allowed to return to Santiago, and to that end 
they signed a petition drawn up by the British consul, Mr. Fred- 
erick Bamsden, a literal translation of which follows : 

"We, the undersigned women, in the name and at the request 
of all the women and children who are staying in this town with- 
out food or shelter, set forth to your excellency as follows : 

"At 3 o'clock in the afternoon of the 3d instant, the consuls of 
Santiago de Cuba were notified that your excellency intended to 
bombard the city the following day at 10 o'clock in the morning, 
unless the Spanish army should surrender by that time, and that 
your excellency had ordered that the women and children should 
leave the city prior to that hour. 

" The same evening, at the request of the consular committee, 
your excellency consented to defer the bombardment until noon 
of the 5th, and it was agreed upon that the noncombsitants should 
proceed to El Caney, Cuabitas, and other places on the line of 
railway. • 

"In conformity therewith, the civil governor of Santiago de 
Cuba issued a decree permitting all noncombatants to leave the 
following morning, between the hours of 6 and 9, on foot, and 
without vehicles or beasts of burden. Consequently, old and 
young, rich and poor, sick and invalid, went out in confusion, 
without extra clothing and with only the food they could carry 
themselves, fleeing from certain death, and firmly convinced that 
the city would be bombarded that same day, and that in two days 
they would be able to return to what might be left of their homes. 
Far from this being the case, it is now ten days since they came 
here; many are without a roof over their heads and the others 
housed together like hogs, without even having room enough to 
lie down on the floor, which is all the bed they have; the scant 
supply of food is exhausted and no more can be had at any price. 
The praiseworthy efforts of the army and of the Society of the Red 
Cross are inadequate to better the situation; they are perishing 
themselves of hunger; the old and the sick are dying for want of 
care and medicines and as a result of so much suffering. And 
still the city has not yet been taken or bombarded, except a partial 
bombardment last Sunday and Monday, by which no result appears 
to have been attained, nor does there seem to be any probability 
of a change in the horrible situation for the near future. 

"They now invoke that same hv/mcmity which has been the 
motive of this war, to ask that something be done as soon as possi- 
ble to put an end to this terrible state of affairs, or that arrange- 
ments be made with the Spanish authorities permitting us to return 


to the city, where we would rather die from the shells or be buried 
under the ruins of our homes than perish slowly from hunger and 
disease, and the privations we are suffering. 

"Canby, July U, 1898. 

(Here follow signatures.) 

"To His Excellency General Shaptbr, 

Commander-in-Chief of the United Stcdea ArmyJ*^ 

This document, remarkable under all aspects, describes the situa- 
tion better than anything that I might say. 

% - 



July 17th. — In conformity with tte terms of the capitulation, 
the surrender of the city to the American army took place to-day. 

At 9 a. m. the Spanish flag was hoisted on Punta Blanca Fort 
and saluted by 21 guns; shortly after it was lowered. 

At 9.30 Generals Toral and Shafter, commanders in chief of the 
Spanish and American forces, respectively, the latter accompanied 
by his staff and many of the commanders and officers of the Ameri- 
can fleet, witnessed the marching by, under arms, of a company 
of the former, representing all the Spanish forces, as it was difficult 
to assemble them. The American forces presented arms and beat 
a march. 

The heights of Conosa were the theater of this sad scene. The 
morning was very beautiful, and the clearness of the sky formed 
a singular contrast with the gloom that enwrapped the spirit of 
our troops. 

When the march was ended, the American forces remained at 
their posts, while ours left the trenches and proceeded to the city 
for the purpose of depositing their arms. 

The forces of the Socapa and Punta Qorda were taken by sea, in 
the steamer Reina de Los Angeles^ to Las Cruces pier, and from 
there they marched to the Artillery Park, where they delivered 
arms and ammunition. Without them, they proceeded to the 
camp outside of the city, where all the forces were to assemble 
until the arrival of the vessels which, as agreed upon, were to con- 
vey them to Spanish soil. The other troops did the same thing, 
after depositing their arms at the points designated beforehand. 

The troops having evacuated the city, 1,000 men of the United 
States Army entered it, hoisting the flag of that nation at the Pal- 
ace and Morro Castle. It is the only flag that has been raised in 
the city. No insurgent forces; nor individuals belonging to the 
same, have entered the city with arms. The situation remained 
the same till the day wher the army embarked for Spain. 

As the operations at the Park lasted several hours, it was curious 
to see the avidity with which the Americans were looking for num- 
bers worn by the 29th battalion (Constitucidn), sabres, buttons, and 



decorations Of our officers and soldiers. It was noticed with what 
satisfaction they kept -whatever articles and arms they could 
gather. Some of them put on the crosses, covered with dirt and 
blood, that had adorned the breasts of the Spanish. There were 
so many incidents on the same order that it would really be tedious 
to enumerate them. They showed the high conception which the 
American forces had of the valor of our army. 

One incident, in conclusion, relative to this matter: When a 
Yankee officer of artillery and another of engineers took possession 
of the Morro, they inquired about the defenses and artillery of the 
fort. *' There they are," said the governor, pointing to the land 
, batteries and old guns. The American officers did not believe 
him; personally they went all over the place in search of guns 
and more important works of fortification. And when they had 
convinced themselves that they had been told the truth, they 
exclaimed: "That fleet" (pointipg to Admiral Sampson's) "has 
no excuse for not having gained possession of the harbor and 
defeated the city and its defenses in so many days."* 

The Commander in Chief of the American Army is General 
Miles. (Here follow the names of the different commanders in 
chief of the United States Army and Navy.) 

At 10 a. m., an officer of the American Army, delegated for that 
purpose, took possession of the comandancia de marina and cap- 
taincy of the port, which were surrendered to him, after we had 
gathered up such documents and communications as should be 
preserved, and destroyed the others, or made them useless. 

The forces are still depositing arms and ammunition, preserving 
excellent order, which has not been disturbed for a moment. Then 
they march to the camp outside the city. The arms were all 
deposited at the park, and not surrendered to the enemy. In order 
to form an idea, though only approximately, of the number of the 
forces defending the city, I give below a statement which gives 
the number at the hospitals, several having been fitted up. 

On the 17th of July there were — 

In the military hospital 800 sick and wounded. 

At the Concha headquarters 600 sick and wounded. 

At the Mercedes hospital 500 sick and wounded. 

AtBarracones 300 sick and wounded. 

Total 2, 100 sick and wounded. 

*On July 2, Admiral Sampson wrote General Shafter : "It was my hope that 
an attack on your part of these shore batteries from the rear would leave us at 
liberty to drag the channel for torpedoes.'' — O. N. I. 


Note 2 : At the hospital, only the seriously woanded and sick 
were admitted ; those who could stand on their feet were refused 
and sent back to the trenches. If this had not been the case, there 
would not have been beds enough in which to put them nor phy- 
sicians to attend them. Therefore, the number of sick was in 
reality much greater than shown by the statement furnished by 
the hospital. 

The soldiers had but little to eat, and that little was bad, and not 
enough water. The latter was scarce, and means were lacking for 
transporting it to all the points on the extensive line they covered 
and which it was indispensable to maintain. 

The horses of the cavalry, as well as the animals of the artillery 
and military administration, had had no corn to eat for a long time, 
and the hay, their only food, was very difficult to get and caused 
sickness, which was worse. 

In conclusion, I will give a statement of the stock on hand which 
tlie artillery park tuAied over to the American officer commis- 
sioned to receive it : 

arulleby park of santiaqo db cuba. 

Statement of stock on hand, in arms and^ ammunition, of which the officer of 
the American Army, commissioned to receive it, takes charge. 


Mauser rifles, Spanish model, 7-inin., No. 1898 '.. . 

Manser rifles, Argentine model, 7.65-mm., No. 1891 ) 

Manser rifles, Tnrkish model, 7.66-mm., No. 1892 ) 

Remington rifles, 11-mm., No. 71 ) 

Remington rifles, 11-mm., No. 7189 ) 

Manser carbines, Spanish model 

Manser carbines, Argentine model - 

Remington carbines 

Revolvers — 


Machetes ^ 

Number of 








Bounds of 





Santiago de Cuba, July — , 1898. 

Luis Melgar, 
Lieut. Ool.y Commander of Artillery. 

Fonnd correct by the officer commissioned. Ehrors and omissions excepted. 

A. D. BoBUP, 
Lieut Col, U. S. V., Chief Ord. Officer. 

It will be seen that nearly the whole armament with which the 
Spanish army was equipped consisted of Mauser rifles, Spanish 
model (the Remington was that of the volunteers and a few 
mobilized companies); hence the ammunition for those was all 
^at could be used and should be counted ; the rest was useless. 


Therefore, the number of cartridges on hand and surrendered was 
1,500,000, and the number of rifles 7,902. Hence there were 191 
cartridges for each soldier. Every army man will know the time 
it takes to use them up. 

Here end the events and military operations that took place at San- 
tiago de Cuba, and which are the subject of these notes. I should 
therefore stop here, but I do not wish to do so without venturing 
a few ideas suggested to me by certain scenes of which I was an 
unwilling witness (for I have naturally avoided sights in which 
there could be nothing pleasant), and without making a compari- 
son between two sieges, upon one of which judgment has already 
been passed and which has become a matter of history known to 
every one, and upon the other of which judgment can not yet be 
passed because we are not as yet in possession of the necessary data 
and information which would make a just and impartial sentence 

I give below the official statement of all the casualties sustained 
by the forces of Santiago de Cuba in the diflEerent bombardments 
and battles from the 18th of May to the date of the signing of the 
capitulation. Those caused by sickness are not included. 


























Jiine6— MoiTO 


















Cmlaer Beina M«roede».- 






Jiine 16 — Morro __— - 



June 21 — Morro 

Jane 22— Socaiia 


Aguadores _ ' — 








June 23 and 24— Sevllla 


June 26 — Aguadoree 

June 20— Morro 

Jnly 2— Morro - 








July 1,2, 3— Oaney and Santiago. 
Jnly 10 — Bantlago , _ , , , 









July 11 — Santiairo 

















PriBonen and miasing-. 

General total 















I was sent to the Island of Cuba for the first time in 1868 and 
have remained there, if not constantly, yet quite long enough to 
understand, even though I am but a poor observer, that one of the 
most important causes which have led to the deep aversion which 
the sons of Cuba generally show for the mother coimtry is the con- 
duct of a certain number of people who come from the Peninsula 
with no other object in view than to accumulate a fortune in more 
or less of a hurry, the majority of them having no education or 
knowledge of any kind. 

In order to better attain their desires and ambitions, they inces- 
santly boast of everything Spanish, whereby they must necessarily 
come into conflict with the Cubans, whose feelings and dignity they 
hurt and oflfend. When they have acquired money, they aspire to 
lucrative and important offices, which they obtain because they are 
Spanish, to the prejudice of others, who by their intelligence and 
ability are better fitted to hold them ; and the aversion is intensi- 
fied into hatred, which, always latent, though concealed, was only 
waiting for an opportunity to break out openly. This opportunity 
presented itself for the first time in 1868, and the battle cry of Yara 
became the signal of vengeance and extermination, to which these 
Peninsulars responded by organizing the corps of volimteers. 

To deny that they have since rendered important and constant 
services to the cause of Spain, would be both unjust and useless; 
but it must also be acknowledged that they have committed many 
serious errors, often becoming overbearing and having compelled 
more than one captain general to resign his command — ^a fatal 
example which hurt us in our country and impaired our reputation 
in other countries. 

The first Cuban insurrection and all those which we have had to 
fight since have acquired that stamp of cruelty and extermination 
which is a characteristic of savage people, but not of civilized 
nations, and the war has given an opportunity to satisfy vengeances, 
which have given rise to reprisals and furnished the Government 
of the United States with a pretext — both unjust and hypocritical, 
as I know only two well, but still a pretext — for deciding on armed 
intervention, in the name of humanity, or which is the same, on 
war, which could not help but be its natural outcome. 



If all those errors and offenses which have been attributed to 
Spain and the country had really been committed by them, such 
intervention would have been justified and even worthy of com- 
mendation. But events have shown very plainly that to them 
(the Peninsulars referred to) the nation was but a pretext and that 
the object was quite a different one, namely, the attainment of 
their aspirations and the realization of their desires. And this is 
further evidenced by the fact, previously mentioned, that, taking 
advantage of the scarcity of provisions, the natural consequence 
of the blockade, they hid such provisions as they had on hand or 
asked exorbitant prices for them, without any reason to justify 
such proceeding, after taking good care to place their funds 
abroad, in anticipation of what might happen. I need hardly 
state again that those who were so enthusiastic and loyal in 
normal times were the first to strip off the uniform and hide 
where they believed themselves safest. Finally, when they 
became convinced that the sun in whose light they had been 
living, and in whose rays they had thrived, was yielding his place 
to another sun, larger in size, but not in luster, they sought its 
protection and benefits, without remembering any longer the one 
which their eyes had seen when they opened them for the first 
time. "The King is dead — long live the King!" 

They advertised their merchandise in "The Times," of Santiago 
de Cuba, a newspaper of recent publication, printed in Spanish 
for the information of the Cubans, the hatred of whom does not 
prevent their fleecing them, and in English for the purpose of 
doing the same thing with their new masters, whom they did not 
hesitate in recognizing. And so great is their love and affection 
for Spain, of which they were so proud, that where they ask one 
dollar of American silver they require two in Spanish coin of 
the same metal. They consider the latter worth one-half of the 
former. Perhaps this may seem exaggerated, the same as many 
other truths contained in my "Notes;" but a letter signed by a 
Peninsular, published in number 7 of said "Times," of Santiago 
de Cuba, of August 8, will convince the most incredulous. The 
following is a literal copy of the letter : 

"emigration at present is folly. 

" Your southern race has many vices, but it also possesses great 
virtues. Its weak point is that it is extremely impressionable. 
Any orator speaking to you carries you completely away, and with 
childlike weakness you accept everything just as it is painted and 
described to you. 

" During the six months last past the Spanish race at Santiago 
de Cuba has lived in this fictitious atmosphere; I say 'fictitious' 


because the bitter reality has not realized our patriotic and enthusi- 
astic aspirations. 

"Hbw many useless sacrifices! How many illusions destroyed! 
But that should not discourage us, because history, when dealing 
with the events and the suflFering of this poor people, will take 
good care to transmit them to posterity with impartial rudeness. 

** At present, as long as we are acquainted only with the occur- 
rences that haye taken place in this province alone and know abso- 
lutely nothing of what is going on in the rest of the world, includ- 
ing our mother country, why do we not wait until the black clouds 
hanging over us have passed away and until the horizon has cleared 
up so that we may be able to judge of our true situation and decide 
what is to be done? Be calm, very calm, peninsular residents of 
this city ; let us condemn right here the voluntary desertion which 
prejudices your sacred interests, and whose current you have fol- 
lowed without considering whether it would lead to your happi- 
ness or to your ruin. However much you may think about the 
extremes which I have just pointed out to you, it will still be little 
enough. • 

** Let us suppose for a moment that the dismemberment of our 
poor Spain becomes a fact, a thing which we do not know. What 
painful scenes are you going to witness ? What business will you 
resort to to recover from the ruin of your interests? Unfortu- 
nately none, for your long absence will keep you in ignorance of 
everything, and the radical change of climate, when winter is 
almost at hand, will aflfect your, health and that of your families. 

"If you remain here, in this locality which is occupied by sol- 
diers of a strong nation, until we shall learn definitely what has 
happened, you will lose nothing either in your business or your 

"The noble and farsighted chiefs who are at present ruling the 
destinies of this country have shown you plainly that all they wish 
is that peace and order may reign in all the branches of our public 
administration ; 

"That they have called upon you as well as the industrious 
Cubans to^cooperate in the work of progress iand social recon- 
struction ; 

"That they have neglected nothing in order that the inhabitants 
may have cheap and wholesome food ; 

"That they have established banks for the development of our 
agriculture and commerce. 

" They have also shown us, and have so far proved it, that they 
have not come here in the interest of any faction or political party, 
but are desirous only of promoting the progress of this island and 
the well-being of its inhabitants. 


"Since the situation which I have just described to you is the 
undeniable truth, why should you want to join this insensate and 
shortsighted emigration which can cause you nothing but expense? 

"Do you not understand that by remaining here where you are 
well known by the people and the local trade, you have an ample 
fiield for rebuilding your deteriorated business and provide for 
your families and secure for them a bright future? 

" Whatever may be the final fate which Providence reserves for 
this country, whether we remain Spanish or pass over to foreigners, 
our hard-working and honorable race will always remain deserv- 
ing. There are instances in the Spanish- American Republics of 
fellow-countrymen of ours who are holding the most prominent 
places in those nations and who have been honored by their gov- 

" If all that I have set forth is tangible truth, why should you 

abandon the field, why flee from this beautiful country where you 

have spent the years of your youth, raised families and acquired a 

good standing? If you consider my disinterested advice you can 

not help but become convinced that, as matters now stand, your 

voluntary emigration is an absurdity. 

"A Peninsular." 

I have copied the letter literally, and it must be admitted that it 
is remarkable in every respect for diction, aspiration, and intention. 
I believe this example is quite sufficient, so I will refrain from cit- 
ing others. 

Those who to-day call and sign themselves Peninsulars, who have 
always called themselves Spaniards, what will they call themselves 
to-morrow ? 



When sieges are spoken of in Spain, those of Numancia and 
Sagunto, Saragossa, and Gerona are always mentioned specially 
as instances worthy of imitation. 

As twenty centuries have elapsed since the first two took place 
and I do not know what happened there, and am not sufl&ciently 
acquainted with the facts to venture on a comparison, I will leave 
them entirely out of the question ; for since the customs and usages 
of warfare, as well as international law, and the rights of the peo- 
ple were, and could not help but he, very different from those of 
our days, there is nothing remarkable in the fact that, as capitu- 
lations were not respected, people should have preferred to die like 
lions rather than be butchered like sheep. 

Therefore I shall refer only to the siege of Gerona (no doubt 
quite as glorious as that of Saragosa) of which all Spaniards, my- 
self included, are justly proud ; and judging from General Linares's 
telegram, somebody had evidently had that siege in mind as a 
pattern or model to be followed here at Santiago de Cuba. 

Everybody is acquainted with the circumstances of the siege of 
Gerona, but probably no one in the Peninsula with those of the 
siege of Santiago. All that I am going to say concerning it is pure 
truth, as can be testified by the 30,000 inhabitants of the city and 
the 40,000 Americans and 8,000 or 10,000 insurgents who laid siege 
to it. 

It is true that Gerona in 1809 was far from being a Metz or a 
Sebastopol ; but after all, it was a city surrounded by walls, with 
forts and redoubts on the outside communicating with the main 
precinct by open roads. For that reason the city could not be en- 
tered by surprise, but had to be regularly besieged, which made it 
necessary to construct parallel lines, set up batteries, cut off com- 
munications with the outside to prevent assistance from reaching 
the city, open a breach, or determine upon the assault, all of which 
costs time ai\d lives. 

Great was the anger caused in Spain by the invasion of Napoleon 
the First, and especially by the means which he employed to effect 
it. The Spanish believed their religion and independence threat- 
ened, and like one man they rose up in arms with an enthusiasm 
and energy not often paralleled in history. 



Thus it was that the garrison of Gerona, which at the beginning 
of the siege consisted of about 6,000 men, enthusiastic as well as 
being Spanish, was not the only garrison that did the hghting. 
For all its inhabitants fought as well ; the young and the strong with 
arms, the old and the weak by carrying cartridges and ammuni- 
tion, the women by gathering up and caring for the sick and 
wounded, the clergy by absolving the dying, burying the dead, and 
stimulating the zeal of all. There everybody fought, everybody 
toiled, all were heroes, because it was their own property they were 
defending, their own hearths, their families, the soil where their 
forefathers were buried, their religion, their independence — ^in a 
word, their native country, and that is saying everything. They 
well earned their country's gratitude, from Mariano Alvarez de 
Oastro to the last woman, the last child. 

The troops which surrounded the city under Verdier and the 
Saint-Cyr troops protecting thqm and occupying the roads which 
lead to the city did not exceed in all 30,000, and although their 
artillery was more numerous and better manned, Gerona had artil- 
lery of the same caliber and the same range; that is to say — ^and 
this should be well borne in mind — ^that the Spanish projectiles 
carried as far as the French projectiles. 

The firearms of that time arp well known; the small arms were 
loaded in eleven movements, and I do not know how many it took 
to load the guns; the effect of the bombshells was moral rather 
than material, for it will be remembered that, in order to avoid 
tliem as much as possible, men were stationed in church steeples 
and other high places where they indicated the direction of such 
bombshells by prearranged signals. Besides it was easy to elude 
them in caves and cellars. If the powder gave out, the supply 
could always be renewed by burning a few doors and windows to 
obtain charcoal and mix it with a little saltpeter that could be 
found in any damp place, and a little sulphur. Any blacksmith 
could make cannon balls, and so on. Such were the firearms at the 
beginning of this century and their effects were accordingly. 

Moreover, Gerona was aware that all Spain looked upon her 
with admiration and compassion; that each month, each week, 
each day that the resistance was prolonged and the French were 
kept outside the walls of the city, armies were being organized, 
regiments improvised, and armed bodies raised, and that there 
was but one idea and one desire in Catalonia, namely, that of 
helping Gerona, as, indeed, it had been helped once by getting in 
a convoy with provisions and over 3,000 men, and a second was 
ready. The city also knew that all assistance which it could get 
did really help to prolong the resistance, and the garrison was 
well aware that, if it should go out en masse and break through the 


hostile circle at any time, they would be safe and free, on their 
own s^oil, where they would have found all the resources and 
supplies they could wish for. 

When they were not fighting, and did not have to be at the 
breach to repulse the columns of attack, or at the walls to force 
back an assault, they stationed their sentinels, guards, and patrols 
to keep watch, while the others could go where they were under 
shelter from the sun, the rain, and the dampness ; in a word, they 
could take turns about in the service, and although they did not 
have much to eat, they could at least rest when the enemy per- 
mitted. Finally, Qerona preserved the remembrance and the 
pride of two former sieges which those same French forces had 
been obliged to give up, and there was well-founded hope of simi- 
lar success if they received reenf orcements, which was not at all 

At the end of a six months' siege Gerona had to capitulate owing 
to starvation, but capitulate after all; and that capitulation, far 
from causing us to blush or be ashamed, is one of the most brilliant 
pages in our history, of which we are justly proud. 

Those were the conditions of Gerona during that famous siege ; 
now let us see the conditions of Santiago de Cuba. 

Santiago de Cuba, as has been seen, is an open city, without forts, 
redoubts, or walls — in a word, without defenses of any kind. At 
the time the present conflict was declared the precinct of the city 
was surrounded by a wire inclosure which had been deemed suffi- 
cient, and indeed had proved so, to check the insurgents ; but any- 
one not acquainted with Santiago and the kind of warfare we had 
been sustaining, would have laughed at it, and with good reason. 

Then the war with the United States broke out. I will not again 
mention the work effected for the protection of the precinct by the 
corps of engineers, without resources and appliances and with a 
scant personnel, which, though both enthusiastic and intelligent, 
had to confine itself to constructing trenches and protecting by 
earthworks the forts surrounding the precinct (if the name of forts 
can be given to a few blockhouses, built with a view to resisting 
musket fire, but surely not gun fire), erecting palisades and obstruc- 
tions of every nature, for which purpose all the sinuosities and 
windings of the ground were utilized with remarkable skill. But 
all these works were only works of campaign, and left the soldiers 
exposed to the rays of the July sun of the Island of Cuba, to almost 
daily torrents of rain, and at night to heavy dew ; anyone acquainted 
with the island would know that, if these conditions had continued 
for a month, not a single soldier could have remained in the 



Here at Santiago, as well as in the rest of the island, the soldiers, 
poorly clothed and still more poorly fed, had been sustaining for 
three years a fierce and thankless war, fighting with the enemy, 
the cUmate, with sun and dampness, with sickness, with the roads 
(or rather for want of them), with rains and drouth, with the 
mountains and plains— in a word, with everything, for here in 
Cuba everything is hostile to the army. Besides, there was more 
than eight months' pay due the soldiers, and I believe is still due 

Before the destruction of our fleet, and still more so after it, the 
enemy had complete control of the sea, and from Daiquiri, where 
the landing was made, to Punta Cabrera, the American fleet, con- 
sisting of over seventy vessels, including both war and merchant 
vessels (many of the latter armed with guns), did not permit us to 
even think of receiving reenf orcements or help of any kind, unless 
it were from the interior of the island. 

After the arrival of General Escario, who might perhaps have 
checked the progress of the enemy for a little while longer if he 
had reached here prior to July 1, though he could not have changed 
the final result, provisions and ammunition, already scarce, became 
still more so, because there were twice the number of mouths to be 
fed and twice the number of muskets to be supplied. 

Eight or nine thousand men, many suffering with fever and all 
of them tired and exhausted, who had been day and night in the 
trenches, which they could not leave for the simple reason that 
they were far from the city, with water reaching up to their waists 
whenever it rained, who for only food had rice bread and rice 
boiled in water, and for only artillery a few muzzle-loading guns, 
had to resist 40,000 Americans and 8,000 or 10,000 insurgents, with 
machine guns, also intrenched, and 68 breech-loading guns in 
advantageous positions and well manned. 

The inhabitants, far from helping the soldiers or encouraging 
them, had left the city as soon as notice of an intended bombard- 
ment had been given, and the few who remained closed their doors 
and windows, even at the drug stores. The merchants, far from 
furnishing provisions to the army, or even to the hospitals, which 
stood so much in need of them, hid them carefully and official 
searches had to be made, the result of which was as I have stated 

The situation of Santiago de Cuba from a military standpoint is 
probably unique in history. 

Without any prospect of receiving help by sea, which was in 
control of a powerful fleet, the city was surrounded on land by an 
army five times as large as ours in number, with excellent artillery, 
which was increased every day and was constantly receiving pro- 
visions and war supplies. 


Our forces, being without these latter, have no longer even the 
pleasure or comfort of fighting, for the enemy knows their situa- 
tion better than they do themselves; knows that they have no food 
left but rice, and but very little ammunition, which they dare not 
use up for fear of becoming entirely disarmed and placing them- 
selves completely at the mercy of the victor; knows that they can 
not expose themselves to another fight like that of July 1, which 
they remember with fear and terror; that they will be compelled 
to capitulate, and that it is only a question of days. Knowing all 
this, the hostile forces intrench themselves, train their artillery on 
the city, and also prepare to bombard it with their ships, which, 
from Aguadores, more than 4 miles from here, will soon reduce it to 
ashes and ruin, hurling upon it a hail of 16, 20, and 32 cm. shells, 
the effects of which will be seen only too well, even though we may 
not be able to see where the projectiles come from that are causing 
the ruin. 

The enemy, as has been stated, had cut the aqueduct, thus depriv- 
ing the city of water. There were a few wells and a number of 
cisterns, it is true, but the transportation of the water to the Socapa, 
Punta Gorda, and especially the blockhouses on the line from Las 
Cruces to Aguadores (4 kilometers), was not only extremely labori- 
ous and difficult, but quite inadequate. 

But what makes this siege an exceptional one more than any- 
thing else is the fact that the reenforcements which could only 
have come by land would have had the opposite effect of what 
they were intended to have, as I will demonstrate. 

Where could such reenforcements come from ? From Holguin, 
Manzanillo, Guant^namo, or Havana. Holguin could have fur- 
nished five or six thousand men under Colonel Luque, but with 
only rations enough for the march, for there were no more at 
Holguin, nor means for transporting them. From Manzanillo all 
those who could come had already arrived in command of General 
Escario. From Guant&namo none could come for lack of provi- 
sions. That left only those from Havana. 

But I will go even further : I will suppose that all the reenforce- 
ments, including those from Havana under General Pando or any 
other general, had arrived, and that there had been forces enough at 
Santiago to rout the enemy, which is the most that could be con- 
ceded. What would have happened then ? The enemy would have 
receded as far as the coast in less than an hour and their armor- 
clads and other war ships would have checked the progress of our 
army and would have made its victory and efforts useless, leaving 
it in worse condition than before the arrival of such reenforce- 
ments, since there would be many more men to feed ; and every- 
body knows that the fields of Santiago have produced nothing 
during these last three years of warfare. 


Some may say that there was one last recourse left : to force a 
passage through the hostile lines and march to Holguin. That is 
more easily said than done. 

One can not break through lines and walk over armies equipped 
with modern muskets and guns. Metz and Sedan have proved 
that, and it must be admitted that the French did fierce fighting at 
these places. We had to reconcentrate at a given point all our 
forces, scattered along an extensive line, and how could that be 
done without the enemy, whose lines were only a few meters from 
ours, seeing it all ? 

But I will concede even more : I will concede that it had been 
possible to accomplish the reconcentration ; that the cavalry had 
been able to make a successful charge, which I do not believe 
would have been possible, for the horses were starving; I will 
grant, for the sake of argument, that the mules, which were in 
the same condition as the horses, had been able to transport the 
spare ammunition, provided there was any left, and the supplies 
of rice required for the march. Let us suppose that, after leaving 
two or three thousand dead and wounded on the field, the others 
had opened a road to Holguin ; how could soldiers who were weak 
and sick accomplish the forced march which would have been 
absolutely necessary in order to escape the enemy's pursuit? It 
was an impossibility. The insurgents would have harassed us on 
the march, fighting for every inch of the ground, and would have 
wounded a more or less considerable number of our men, thereby 
delaying a march which it was so imperative to hasten, and the 
Americans, who would no doubt have followed our tracks, would 
thereby have gained time to overtake us with overwhelming num- 
bers, and we should have been compelled to surrender to them at 
their pleasure for want of ammunition, or to perish to the last 
man, and such a sacrifice would have profited Spain no more than 
had the sacrifice of the fleet, and would have deprived the nation 
of 8,000 soldiers who by three years of fighting had become inured 
to war. 

If the hostile fleet had bombarded the city, as. it doubtless would 
have done, it would have reduced it to ruins and ashes in a short 
space of time, and while, from a military standpoint, such a con- 
sideration should not influence a general and impel him to capitu- 
late on that account alone, in this case the ruin of the city meant 
also that of its defenders ; for if it was difficult to supply enough 
water in normal times it would have become altogether impossible 
under such circumstances ; the soldiers, exposed to the sun all day, 
would have been without anything to drink, which is worse even 
than being without anything to eat. 


Finally, what and whom were we defending in Santiago ? The 
Cubans, after three years of fighting, preferred to become Yan- 
kees rather than remain Spaniards, and the Peninsulars, far from 
assisting the soldiers who were defending them, todk advantage 
of the situation to raise in the most outrageous manner the price 
of all articles, even those of first necessity, or hide them, giving 
the impression that they had been confiscated, and when the time 
of danger arrived they left the city, taking off the uniform of 
volunteers, in which they had always taken good care to shine at 
reviews and in processions, and went to hide at El Caney, in 
merchant steamers, and at Cinco Reales. 

Such were the situation and circumstances which, at Santiago, 
led to the signing of the capitulation, by virtue of which we Span- 
iards, who happen to be here, are to return to Spain. 

I do not wish to make comparisons, nor express my opinion on 
events in which I have taken a more or less direct and active part, 
as such opinion might appear impassioned or dictated by interest 
or egotism. I have stated what happened at G^rona and what 
happened here, like Bertrand du GuescUn, without omitting or 
adding anything. Now, let the country, knowing the circum- 
stances, judge us. With a calm mind and a clear conscience I 
await its sentence. 


n« ^ammi i^rcm Co . PMoro-unw. tmaHiHoroH. q c 



War Nwns No. IL 









-• # 


This able analysis of the main features of the Spanish-American 
war by M. Pltiddemann, Rear- Admiral, German navy, presents in a 
comprehensive form many of the technical deductions of the late war. 
He comments on the high quality and endurance of oui;navy ordnance 
and on the defective results from the navy fuse now in use. 

As regards the question of the importance of the Navy controlling 
the transi)ort service, his reference to the landing of the army at 
Daiquiri is instructive. Referring to the want of control and dis- 
cipline on board the merchant steamers chartered as transports for 
service under the Quartermaster's Department of the Army — that 
control and discipline at sea which foreign military authorities have 
long since by experience recognized can only be obtained through the 
navy — he states: 

Under these circnm stances it is not strange that the landing of the proyisions, 
guns, and ammunition, and the entire equipment, all of which were so mnch 
needed in this locality, which offered no resonrces, was effected with snch slow- 
ness that the troops were reduced from the outset to the meager rations which 
each man carried with him. 

December 21, 1898. 

Richardson Clover, 

Chief Intelligence Officer, 


By M. Pluddemann, Rear- Admiral, G^€rman Navy. 

[Translated from the Marlne-Bundschau, November, 1896.] 

While the events of the war just ended show nothing which might 
lead to a radical revolution of present ideas as to rational warfare 
and the use of modern war material, and while no essentially new 
appliances have been made use of which might cause us to anticipate 
a change in the floating material or the weapons of the sea powers, 
still the war has enriched former experiences. But, on the other hand, 
it might lead to erroneous conclusions, as many good devices did not 
have a chance to be tested, the weakness of the adversary making 
them superfluous, and others not good did not have bad results, 
because they were counterbalanced by the defects and mistakes on 
the part of the enemy or by other favorable circumstances. 

The following is a discussion of the points which are of special 
interest to the naval of&cer: 


Aside from the moral qualities of the personnel, which constitute 
the prerequisite of success, there are five main factors on which the 
result of a battle depends — the construction and equipment of the 
ships, the artillery, the torpedo, the ram, and speed. 

The torpedo and the ram have not been used in the late war, for the 
reason that the hostile ships have never come close enough to each 
other. It is claimed, it is true, that two Spanish torpedo boats 
attempted an attack at Cavite on May 1. But these two vessels were 
so entirely covered by the rapid-fire artillery of the Olympia, even at 
a distance of 2,000 meters, that they could only save their crews by 
running eishore as fast as possible. It is doubtful whether they were 
really torpedo boats. If so, the attack could only have been made 
owing to entire inexperience with torpedo-boat attacks and complete 
ignorance of modern rapid-fire guns. 

The other two factors, artillery and speed, have proved to be of 

much more essential and indeed of a very powerful effect. The 

superiority of the American artillery as to number, caliber, and kind 

of guns is well known. The general opinion is also that the shooting 

of the Americans was very good, while that of the Spanish was miser- 


able. This was the more essential for the Americans at Cavite, owing 
to the fact that a large number of their shells did not explode. If 
nevertheless they ac^hieved such a complete success and caused such 
destructive fires, it was because of the comparatively large number 
of hits; there were still quite a considerable number of shells that 
did explode. Even as early as at the bombardment of San Juan it was 
discovered that many of the shells did not explode; but this fact was 
most noticeable at the naval battle of Cavite. It is true Ihat at the 
end of the battle all the Spanish vessels were under water to the upper 
deck, so that the really mortal injuries could not be verified; the parts 
above water showed a number of hits, and there is no reason for the 
assumption that the ratio of exploded shells to that of unexploded 
ones was essentially different in the lower parts. 

The Reina Cristina showed ten shots that had gone entirely through 
the vessel; the after smokestack had been torn down by the falling 
of the mainmast; no explosive effect could be noticed. However, the 
whole ship had l)een burned out, which made accurate observation 

The CastUla showed considerable explosive effects. The smoke- 
stacks and nu^tal bulkheads of the upjx»r deck were pierced in differ- 
ent places by fragments and splinters. The conning bridge and super- 
structure deck were completely destroyed and torn down. 

On the Don Antonio de Ulloa the masts were pierced in several 
places; a 5.7-ccntimeter shot had gone clear through a 12-centimeter 
gun shield ; the cliart house and the starboard side aft showed two 
hits each, in which there had been failure to explode. 

The Dan Juan de Austria was burned out; effects of firing could 
not be observed. 

On the Marquis del Duero the tube of the 12-centimeter starboard 
gun was bent upward ; the cause of this could not be ascertained. 
Two shots had pierced the ship's side. The upper edge of the smoke- 
stack had been indented by a projectile. No splinter effects were 

On the Oeneral Lezo the demolition of the smokestack was appar- 
ently due to an explosion. 

The Isla de Cuba showed no injuries. 

On the Isla de Laizan the 12-centimeter forward gun, with its whole 
pivot and shield, had fallen over backward in firing. Two shots 
(presumably 4-centimeter) had gone through the bow; one of the 
masts had been grazed by a small-caliber shot. The engine telegraph 
and superstructures had been demolished; the helm upturned by 

On the Argos nothing could be observed. 

The Velasco had the foremast pierced and slightly burned, the 
mainmast torn down, and the anchor stock shot off. 

When the American fieet advanced for the attack it was fired upon 
by a battery at Manila. The Olympia answered with two shots; both 

shells were afterwards found unexploded near Liineta. The govern- 
or's house at Cavite also showed a shot without explosive effect. 

In this respect better results appear to have been achieved at San- 
tiago. This may be gathered from the details known, although the 
reports refer only in a few instances to the explosive effects attained ; 
but even here a number of cases of nonexplosion have been noticed 
on the Spanish ships, as well as the fortifications. 

The following table gives some data concerning the hits in the naval 

battle of Santiago : 


Caliber, in centimeters 

Number of guns on board. 

American designation. 



8- pounder. 

















Maria Teresa 















Almirante Oquendo 




Cristobal Colon 










This is not quite 1 hit per gun, or, leaving out the 1-pounders, 
which have only a short range of fire, 9 hits to 8 guns. 

The Imva is the only ship that has 10-centimeter guns, the Brooklyn 
the only one having 12.7-centimeter guns. These data can not lay 
claim to absolute accuracy, owing to the extent of the destruction. 
The calibers of the hits also admit of some margin. 

Special mention should be made of the following points: The fallen 
foremast of the Maria Teresa showed 2 hits; 10 hits from 3 ships 
went into the smokestacks. 

On the Almirante Oquendo a 20-centimeter shell went through the 
forward turret roof, exploding, and killing the whole crew in the 
turret. If the turret had had no roof the shell would have passed 
over it. 

The superstructures on the deck of the Vizcaya had been almost 
completely destroyed by the end of the battle. Whether the torpedo 
which lay ready for firing in a bow launching tube was detonated by 
a hostile projectile could not be definitely established. It has also 
been said that the forward ammunition magazine had exploded. 

A 20-centimeter shell hit the protective shield of the second 14- 
centimeter gun of the Maria Teresa^ exploded in the rear of it, and 
killed and mutilated everyone in the vicinity, as did also another 
shell of the same kind which struck the battery deck aft. Still farther 
aft two 30-centimeter shells struck so close together that their shot 
holes were merged into one. Explosive fragments from them had 
torn a hole 4 feet square in the ship on the opposite side (starboard). 


The Cristobal Colon^ although having received but seven shots, gave 
up the game, seeing that there was no possibility of escape, as even 
the Oregon and Texas had caught up with her after a three hours' 

In no case has an armor belt been pierced. The greatest destruc- 
tion comparatively was wrought by the 5.7-centimeter projectiles, 
while the efficacy of the 3.7-centimeter projectiles was very small, 
their range not exceeding 2,000 meters. They are therefore to be 
done away with, perhaps a little overhastily, since they were con- 
structed primarily as against torpedo boats and for use at compara- 
tively short distances. *^ 

In connection with the hits, a few figures as to the consumption of 
ammunition may be of interest, while the total consumption of am- 
munition is not yet known. Smith, a seaman on board the lotva^ fired 
135 aimed shots from a 10-centimeter rapid-fire gun in fifty minutes. 
During the same period of time two 5.7-centimeter guns of the same 
ship fired 440 shots. The Oregon used in all 1,775 shells, but 1,670 of 
this number were used for the twenty 5.7-centimeter guns alone (or 
perhaps only for the ten of one side of the ship), while the four 30-cen- 
timeter guns fired 31 shots. 

The American material has demonstrated not only its efficacy but 
also its durability, as only four guns were in need of repairs at the 
end of the war, in all of which projectiles had burst in the bore. 
This fact, taken in connection with other frequent failures of fuses, 
shows that the construction of the fuse in America is still far from 

It is well known that the extensive fires on board the Spanish ships 
were due principally to the fact that the Spanish had not sufficiently 
considered modern experiences and principles by removing every- 
thing combustible from the ships. One circumstance should be 
mentioned in this connection which has perhaps not been fully appre- 
ciated, namely, the danger of wooden decks with pitch in the seams. 
The danger of these decks was still further increased in the Spanish 
ships by the circumstance that t he planks were not even resting on 
an iron deck. An iron lining excluding the air and being a con- 
ductor of heat naturally decreases the danger of a fire spreading, 
though it does not obviate it, as the splinters of exploding projectiles 
pierce the deck, thereby causing drafts of air from below. On the 
Maria Teresa, Almirante Oquendo, and Vizcaya the upper decks 
and all the woodwork were completely burned, other decks partially. 

The Americans had avoided all combustible material in the con- 
struction and equipment of their ships; and moreover, special orders 
were given at the beginning of the war that all the ships should be 
examined and everything combustible that might have been left or 
accumulated on board through carelessness should be removed. 
Besides, the Spanish appear to have relied entirely on their steam 

pumps and water mains for extinguishing fires. When these had been 
destroyed or injured by hostile projectiles, they had no other means 
to fall back on. Even the most primitive means for fighting fires, such 
as fire buckets and tubs filled with water, are indispensable in connec- 
tion with our modern fire-extinguishing equipment which is very 
effective indeed, but also Very complicated. 

The thick powder smoke sometimes suffocated the Americans and 
almost blinded them. They sought to remedy this by tying wet cloths 
over their heads with small holes cut into them for the eyes. Smoke- 
less powder would probably have had still more troublesome effects. 

The range-finders, to which the good firing results of the Americans 
were often attributed in the beginning, were not of much use. Owing 
to their delicate construction, their usefulness was soon impaired. 
The distances were then estimated from the height of the masts of the 
hostile ships. 

While the Spanish were inferior in every other respect, they might 
have averted the whole sad catastrophe of Santiago by preserving and 
taking advantage of their greater speed, which they had shown, at 
least, at the trial trips of their ships. In this respect the Americans 
were at a great disadvantage from the outset. 

The speed of the two armored cruisers. New York and Brooklyn^ was 
superior by 1 knot to that of the Spanish cruisers, but these were 
the only ones; the speed of all the other vessels was inferior by from 
2i to 5 miles. The American ships, aside from previous services 
required of them — the Oregon^ for instance, htid not reached Key 
West on her return from San Francisco until May 26 — had been block- 
ading Santiago for five weeks. Their boilers were in constant use and 
could not be properly cleaned ; the bottoms of the ships were badly 
fouled. It is claimed that in order to make 11 knots an hour the 
ships had to use as much coal as they required to make 16 knots, when 
in good condition, and even then they could not attain their original 
speed. The Spanish, on the other hand, had a good opportunity dur- 
ing their six-weeks' stay in Santiago harbor to put their boilers and 
engines in first-class condition and to clean the bottoms of the ships. 

Here, again, the moral qualities of the personnel are of the greatest 
imi)ortance. Technical perfection is but an auxiliary in warfare — a 
which acquires value only by the figure placed before it, namely, the 
mental qualities of the warrior. It is doubtful, however, whether the 
Spanish ships ever actually possessed the speed officially claimed for 
them. At trial trips it is easy enough to use means by which the 
efficiency attained appears greater on paper than it is in reality, espe- 
cially if the peraonnel accepting the ship is not of the highest moral 
and technical standing. In any event, the Spanish engine personnel 
was not equal to its task. 

It did not need this war to establish the value of an ef&cient engine 
personnel for success in war; but the immensity of the catastrophes 


must make it plain even to the most superficial mind that it would 
be very wrong to deny the importance of the services of the men 
who give life and motion to the ship by the most arduous kind of 
work simply because they do not handle shell and lanyard, but coal 
shovel and fire hook. The very best of human material, strong in 
body and mind, is the only kind suitable* for this work, and a navy 
should spare neither trouble nor expense to secure it. 

On the subject of the efficiency of monitors opinions in United 
States naval circles were much divided at the beginning of the war. 
The North Americans are the only ones who still continue to build this 
type of ship. Little has been heard of their services during the war. 
Two of them went from San Francisco to the Philippines, the greater 
part of the way in tow of their colliers. The Monterey, accompanied 
by the collier Brutus, left San Diego, Cal., on June 11 and arrived 
at Manila on August 4. The distance is 7,600 miles, 3,725 miles of 
which slie was towed. Twice she had to touch at anchoring places, 
namely, at Hawaii and Guam. She was towe<l from the 8th to the 
23d of June, 712 miles; from the 5th to the 22d of July, 2,541 miles, 
and from the 25th to the 28th of July, 472 miles; average speed 
while in tow, 6.76 knots. The weather was fine during the whole 
time, with the exception of a slight storm on July 31. The voj'age 
took in all two months less seven days. The Monadnock took 
exactly the same length of time, having left San Francisco on June 
23 and arrived at Manila on August 16. 

These voyages are quite remarkable as far as sea efficiency is con- 
cerned, but when it comes to war efficiency they had better not be 
relied upon. The confidence in the efficiency of the monitor for war 
purposes has been considerably shaken. Captain Mahan, who used 
to argue in favor of a defensive navy composed of monitors, has 
recently expressed the opinion that the inefficiency of the monitors 
had now been proved; that they had been a constant impediment to 
the fleet owing to their lack of speed, limited coal capacity, and 
unstable platforms, which completely excluded effective firing in a 
bombardment. For harbor defenses also he prefers land fortifica- 
tions to monitors. 


What might be the results of a serious battle between armor clads 
and coast forts the war has not demonstrated. The Americans in' 
these instances have never gone close enough to make it possible to 
note decisive results on either side of the belligerents. They should 
not be blamed for this. If they could obtain their object without 
taking greater risks, it would have been a mistake to take such risks, 
and they certainly did attain their object. The great injuries, how- 
ever, which the Americans claimed to have inflicted at different times 
have subsequently proved to be exaggerations and delusions. Even 
at target practice we believe only reluctantly the statements of "too 


short" or "too far" made by an observer favorably stationed. The 
claims that tlie forts had been silenced, which would presuppose that 
the guns had been dismounted, were also founded on delusion. 

There is no doubt that the Americans had better guns than the 
Spanish in their land batteries and could fire at distances which the 
Spanish guns could not reach. When this was recognized ashore and 
the firing stopped, the ships thought they had silenced the batteries. 
It has therefore been demonstrated that the ships were unable to 
seriously injure the land fortifications at great distances. After all 
the bombardments of Santiago thei'e was but one gun dismounted in 
each of the batteries at the Morro and the Socapa. It has not been 
demonstrated whether with equal armaments and skill in firing on the 
part of the Spanish the ships would not have seriously suffered. Still 
less has it been demonstrated what the relative situation of the bel- 
ligerent parties would have been if shorter distances had been chosen. 

The employment of torpedo boats for bombardments, as at Car- 
denas, must be designated as entirely unsuitable. Torpedo boats are 
expensive and delicate vessels, equipped for launching torpedoes and 
for great speed. Their guns are intended to be used only in extreme 
cases. When the torpedo weapons can not be used their other princi- 
pal quality, speed, in connection with the circumstance that they 
draw little water, may be utilized for the transmission of orders and 
information; but bombardments, even in narrow and shallow waters, 
had better be left to the most primitive gunboats, etc. ; they can do 
better work and are less expensive, but can never take the place of a 
disabled torpedo boat. 

The so-called dynamite cruiser, VesuviuSy was a failure. Her pro- 
jectiles can be fired only at medium and short distances, and can not 
be aimed. The terrible effects claimed for hits can not be considered 
as counterbalancing this. It is true that an accidental hit may cause 
great havoc, but in this age of accurate firearms we should no longer 
reckon with such uncertain factors. The Americans have utilized 
the vessel accordingly. They used to send her at night against the 
coast defenses, counting on accidental hits, while the vessel, pro- 
tected by the darkness, did not betray her presence by any flash at 
the discharge nor by smoke or detonation. Nothing has been heard 
of any particular result. No attempt was made to carry out the idea, 
so much talked of at first, of destroying the mine obstructions by 
systematic bombardments of the harbor entrance. In order to do 
this it would have been necessary for the vessel to approach the shore 
in daytime, when she would have been exposed to the very dangerous 
fire of the coast forts, and a systematic bombardment could hardly 
be spoken of in view of the uncertainty of fire. 

The Americans consider this vessel a failure, as also the ram Katdh- 
din, which, aside from four rapid-fire guns, has no other weapons but 
her ram. 



Some obstructions by means of vessels and mines were laid out by 
both belligerents, but have not come into play. The Spanish had 
attempted to close the entrance of San Juan Harbor in Porto Rico 
and that of ^he Pasig Riyer at Manila by sunken vessels. In the lat- 
ter case it was the opinion of German oflScers that it did not consti- 
tute a military obstruction, although it interfered considerably witli 
the movements of shipping. 

The two mines which were blown up in front of the Olympia at the 
beginning of the battle of Cavite were not intended as a regular 
obstruction of the channel, but represented only a small mine field 
for vessels that might accidentally pass over them. They were fired 

In the entrance of Guantanamo Bay the Americans found quite a 
number of mines. These might have caused considerable damage if 
they had operated, for the Americans entered the bay without any 
precautionary measures, and the screws of the Marblehead tore two 
of the mines loose from their anchorages so that they rose to the sur- 
face of the water. Then the whole bay was systematically searched 
for mines. This was done on June 21 by the boats of the Marblehead 
and Netvark, Four steam launches, under the fire of Spanish infantry 
.hiding on the shore, fished up thirteen mines on the first tiay with 
light chains they were towing. The ships, of course, fired on the 
hostile position, which was soon abandoned. During the next few 
days thirty-five more mines, were found and taken ashore. These 
proved to be charged with 120 pounds of gun cotton each. Many of 
them showed evidences of having been in contact with ships' bottoms 
or screws, but the firing mechanism was not capable of operating. 
The fuses showed such grave defects that it was quite evident that the 
work of constructing them had not been done under the supervision 
of a superior. 

The mines raised in Santiago Harbor after the surrender of the 
place proved on the whole to be in better condition. Still, the outer 
row containing contact mines was of doubtful value. One mine was 
found, for instance, in which half of the gun cotton had been burned, 
leaving no doubt that it had been in contact with some object — prob- 
ably the Merrimac — and that the fuse had acted, but that the gun- 
cotton charge had become spoiled. 

The second row of mines (electric) was in pretty good condition and 
might easily have destroyed one or more ships if an attempt had been 
made to force the entrance. These latter mines contained a charge 
of 200 pounds of gun cotton each. All the mines in Guantanamo as 
well as Santiago Bay were thickly overgrown with barnacles and 

As a curiosity, it may be mentioned that lightning struck an Amer- 
ican mine in the lower Mississippi and exploded it, and that several 


mines in the Potomac were exploded by lightning at a few seconds' 
interval without causing any disturbance in the rest of the mine sys- 
tem. They blew up exactly as it was intended that they should be 
blown up in war. 


Both of these were applied by the belligerents in the mildest pos- 
sible form. Spain can hardly be considered in this connection. She 
could do no blockading, and it is somewhat doubtful whether it was 
quite voluntarily that she abstained from capturing hostile merchant- 
men. The Americans were enabled to maintain quite an effective 
blockade on the coasts, which they designated as blockaded, by means 
of the large number of yachts and other steamers which they had 
incorporated into their Navy as auxiliary vessels, while their large 
ships were giving their attention to the hostile navM forces. 

It can hardly be said that the Americans carried on systematically 
any destructive warfare as against Spanish merchantmen. Those 
they did capture almost ran into their hands, so to speak. This was 
especially the case at the beginning of the war, mostly with vessels 
which, owing to the usual Spanish carelessness, had received no warn- 
ing of the fact that hostilities were about to break out. This was 
even the case with the Spanish gunboat Callao in the Philippines. 
Still a few prizes may be mentioned which were captured while mak- 
ing a direct attempt to run the blockade, also a few cases where ves- 
sels were chased till they ran ashore, while a few fast Spanish vessels 
succeeded in running the blockade. But neither the successful nor 
the unsuccessful attempts at running the blockade were of much 

A number of neutral vessels were also captured, but nearly all of 
them were released ag<iin, for the American Government, in adju- 
dicating their cases, showed a liberality which was quite unheard of 
in former naval wars and which probably had a political background. 
About thirty vessels in all were considered good prizes. 

As the United States as well as Spain have refrained from priva- 
teering, although they were the very countries which reserved that 
right at the time of the Paris declaration, it may be assumed that 
privateering is definitely at an end. 

During the blockade of Santiago the harbor entrance was at night 
kept constantly under the light of the projector of some ship desig- 
nated for the duty and boats were stationed at intervals between the 
other vessels and the shore, so that any attempt of the Spanish ships 
to go out might at once be perceived. It has been commented upon 
that the ship so illuminating the harbor entrance was hardly ever 
fired upon by the fortification works. It would seem as though tele- 
graphically connected observation stations at the Morro and Socapa 
could have ascertained the exact distance of the troublesome watcher 
and made her work, if not entirely impossible, yet extremely dif&cult 
by firing upon her. 



The landing of the Americans at Daiquiri is the largest landing 
effected since that of the western powers at Balaklava in the Crimean 
war. Yet the total forces landed did not exceed 15,000 men, embarked 
in fifty-three steamers. It took a long time before the troops were 
ready to start, for everything required for an army and a landing had 
first to be procured. When the expedition finally did start it was 
found that a great deal had been overlooked or was incomplete, or 
had been lost in the chaos, or could not be secured. For instance, no 
cavalry horses — except for one troop — could be taken along because 
there had not been time to fit out the vessels for the reception of 
horses. The voyage and the landing were effected in the most beauti- 
ful weather; the Americans had good luck, as they always did. The 
forces were landed unmolested. 

The disembarkation was effected almost entirely at a small landing 
bridge where but two boats could go alongside at a time. Attempts 
to have boats run ashore on the small sandy beach, at one end of 
which was the bridge, had to be abandoned after the loss of several 
boats, which were wrecked in the surf on the projecting rocks and 
stones. The report that the United States war ships had first fired on 
the open strip of land back of the landing place and routed the 
Spanish should not be taken literally. No such open strip of land 
exists there. The rocks reach close to the sea, offering hundreds of 
sheltered places from which the bridge might have been fired upon. 
Authorities in military matters state that 300 men, though they might 
not have been able to prevent the landing entirely, could have caused 
great losses. But on this occasion, as on so many others, the Spanish 
showed that they had no appreciation of military situations, and as 
soon as the bombardment commenced they retreated. They need not 
have paid much attention to the Cubans. The Spanish ought to have 
known that now that the Americans had arrived the Cubans would 
avoid danger even more than before. 

With the landing of the army all operations on the part of the 
Americans ceased for a while. In spite of the most exhaustive use 
of all the boats and auxiliaries of the warships, including the armor- 
clads guarding the entrance to Santiago Harbor, it took several days 
before the field guns and luggage could b© brought ashore, to say 
nothing of the siege guns. It was found that there ought to have 
been many more lighters, especially such as are equipped with lifting 
apparatus. There was only one of these — a second one had disap- 
peared during the voyage. There were no devices for landing horses 
and mules which were intended for drawing the guns. The animals 
were hoisted overboard, and it was taken for granted that they would 
swim ashore. But in a number of instances this did not happen. 
Many of the frightened and bewildered animals swam out to sea and 


were drowned. As all the boats were being used in the landing and 
were crowding each other for hours at the landing place, there was 
none available to go after the mules and lead them in the right direc- 
tion. The few men in charge of landing the animals had all they 
could do to get those that swam ashore out of the surf and in safety. 
About 60 animals perished. 

There was lack of management generally. No one in authority had 
been apx)ointed commander of the landing place. The commander 
in chief, General Shafter, did not trouble himself about the landing. 
Admiral Sampson had only made arrangements as far as the war ships 
and their boats were concerned. The only landing bridge was but 
partly covered with loose boards. No material nor tools were at hand 
to build other bridges, and little attention was given to the one bridge 
in existence, as is evidenced by the fact that three weeks later the 
loose boards were still loose. 

The conditions at Siboney, where part of the troops and supplies 
were landed a little later, were quite similar, except that there was 
no bridge at all. But in calm weather a few boats could be run 
ashore side by side. No bridge was built here for the landing of the 
voluminous luggage. 

The relations between the military authorities and the officers of 
the transport steamers had not been regulated. The latter had only 
'their own advantage and that of the ships' owners in view, and did 
not pay the least attention to the wishes and plans of the officers of 
the troops. The greater part of the time they kept at a distance of 
from 3 to 20 miles from the shore, to make sure not to go tx)o near or 
to get into collision with other vessels, and if at times they did assist 
in unloading their cargoes, they would return to the sea as fast as 
possible as soon as fire was opened ashore, often taking with them 
the most indispensable articles of the army equipment. An Ameri- 
can rei)orter even calls them insolent, un-American, mutinous cow- 
ards. The army authorities were unprepared and powerless before 
such conduct on the part of the officers of the transports. Under these 
circumstances it^ is not strange that the landing of the provisions, 
guns, and ammunition, and the entire equipment, all of which were 
so much needed in this locality, which offered no resources, was 
effected with such slowness that the troops were reduced from the 
outset to the meager rations which each man carried with him, and 
where these had been thrown away, as had been done in many 
instances in order to lighten the weight, the soldiers suffered hunger. 


The late war will give a new impulse to the important question of 
supplying coal. Ships and fleets carrying on war in a region where 
they do not have available bases of supplies and coal depots in their 
immediate vicinity, or whenever they are not certain that there may 


not be occasion for their having to leave such region temporarily, 
should have their own (H^Uiers along. The colliers should have the 
same speed as the squadron. The ships should not be compelled to 
rely on rendezvous or the uncertainty of colliers sent after them. But 
not only should care be taken to have a sufficient supply of coal, but 
also to provide appliances for taking coal on board under all circum- 
stances in the shortest possible time. The lack of such appliances has 
contribut.ed not a little to the disasters of the Spanish. The coaling 
of Admiral Camara's ships at Port Said was nothing but a comedy. 
Admiral Cervera intended to coal rapidly at Santiago and proceed. 
But the appliances for that purpose proved so defective that the 
United States fleet had shut him up in the harbor before he could 
finish coaling, which operation took several days. At present not 
many ships are being built with that end in view, nor are they being 
equipped with appliances for coaling in the shortest possible time. 
This will be absolutely necessary in future, so that the ships may be 
enabled to take on coal or other fuel either from a wiiarf or from a 
lighter or collier at sea. 


Whatr can be done with money and a practical mind in the matter 
of securing naval war material the Americans have done since the 
war cloud first appeared on the horizon. It is true that the purchase* 
of foreign war ships before the beginning of the war proved almost a 
failure. The United States bought the following Brazilian war ships: 
The protected cruiser AmazonaSy of 3,450 tons, afterwards called the 
Neiv Orleans; the protected cruiser Almirante Abreu, same size, 
afterwards called the Albany , and the cruiser Nictheroy^ of 7,080 tons, 
afterwards called the Buffalo^ which, aside from her good rapid-fire 
armament, had a 38-centimeter dynamite gun; from other sources, 
the cruiser Diogenes^ of 1,800 tons, renamed the Topeka, and a tor- 
pedo boat purchased in Germany, called the Somers, The only ones 
of these that were assigned to the active fleet were the Topeka and 
the New Orleans. The Albany and the torpedo boat Somers, which 
were still in England after the breaking out of the war, were not 
allowed to leave there on account of England's neutrality. The 
Buffalo did not leave the navy-yard during the war. The United 
States had better luck with the merchant steamers they purchased 
and converted into auxiliary cruisers and gunboats. 

They bought 60 yachts and other steamers as auxiliary gunboats 
and scouts, 4 large fast ocean steamers as auxiliary cruisers, 11 tugs, 
subsequently armed. The following were chartered : Four large ocean 
steamers as auxiliary cruisers. Placed in commission: Fourteen 
revenue cutters as auxiliary gunboats and scouts. In all, 93 steam- 
ers for warlike action^, more or less armed and fitted out for that 

There were also purchased as adjuncts of the fleet 20 transport 


vessels, 9 colliers, 1 repair ship, 2 water-distilling ships, 2 ice-mann- 
faeturing ships, 3 hospital ships; in all, 37. This does not include 
the temporarily chartered steamers for the larger troop transports. 

The large auxiliary cruisers were also occasionally utilized for the 
rapid transportation of troops. The auxiliary gunboats were indis- 
pensable for the blockade of the extensive stretch of the coast. The 
names of several of these, even of tugs, have been specially mentioned 
in several of the battles. A few of the auxiliary vessels, as, for 
instance, the St. Louis and the Zafiro, were equipped with special 
devices for dragging for cables, which they have used with good 

As for the adjuncts of the fleet, the distilling ships were intended 
especially to furnish fresh water to the blockading auxiliary vessels 
and the transports of the landing army. As most of these vessels had 
inadequate distilling apparatus, some of them none at all, this was 
necessary, so that they might not be compelled to leave the blockade 
for the purj)ose of renewing their water supply. The repair ship 
Vulcan was also equipped with a i)owerful distilling apparatus. 

The ice-manufacturing ships supplied the vessels not equipped with 
ice machines, also the hospitals of the invading army of Cuba. The 
object of the other adjuncts of the fleet is self-evident. 

The repair ship Vulcan has proved extremely useful, even indis- 
pensable for the blockading fleet at Santiago. She supplied 31 vessels 
with extra engine parts, material, and tools. Twenty-six vessels were 
repaired, and a number of repairs were also made on guns and their 
equipments. The Vulcan also rendered important services in connec- 
tion with the raising of the Maria Teresa and is now doing the greater 
part of the work in temporarily repairing said ship for the purpose of 
transferring her to one of the United States navy-yards. 

How important it is to own transports specially fitted out for the 
transi)ortation of troops and war material has been demonstrated in 
this war, though principally by the lack of vessels equipped for such 
service. Oi the transi)orts purchased during the war, the Navy 
Department intends to retain 16, which iire to be refitted for service 
as regular marine transi)orts, namely, the Panamay Port Victor^ Rita^ 
Moliawky Mobile, Ma^sacTiusettSy Manitoba, Minnewaska, Mississippi, 
Michigan, Boumania, Obdam, Berlin, Chester, and Britannia, 
employed on the Atlantic Ocean,' and one on the Pacific coast. Dur- 
ing the war they were used not only for the transportation of troops, 
but also for supplying provisions and material. 

It would have been very desirable to have had even more of these. 
The blockading fleet, for instance, complained of the very defective 
mail service, as also of the fact that, although it was comparatively 
but a short distance to the United States ports, so few fresh provi- 
sions were received, which circumstance impaired the health of the 

10846— No. 2 2 


Vessels built for special purposes are in times of peace, at ma- 
neuvers, stepchildren of the Navy; they are considered expensive 
and troublesome adjuncts which have to be taken into consideration 
in maneuvers and impede their rapid execution; and yet how useful 
they are and how much relief they are able to furnish in actual war! 
Whenever mobilizations show that there is not a sufficient number of 
suitable merchant steamers which would be unquestionably at the 
disposal of the Navy at the beginning of a war, provision should be 
made to have vessels set apart which can be easily equixyped for such 
purposes, and, if necessary, to own and keep in constant readiness a 
number of such special vessels even in time of peace. 


Wak N0TK8 No. Ill, 











During the recent war the German protected cruiser Geier^ Com- 
mander Jacobsen, was stationed in the West Indies, in the vicinity of 
Cuba, and was x)ermitted to pass in and out of the blockaded ports. 
There has lately appeared in the Marine-Rundschau, of Berlin, an 
official publication, a series of ^^ Sketches from the Spanish- American 

War, by Commander J ." Their translation complete is 

given in this number of the War Notes. 

Richardson Clover, 
. Commander^ U. S, N,, Chief Intelligence Officer. 

Navy Department, January 16, 1899, 

Approved : 

A. S. Crowninshtbld, 

Chief of Bureau of Navigation* 



By Commander J 

[TnukBlated ttom the Marine- Randsohau, October, November, and December, 1898.] 

The following considerations constitute the opinions of the authoi 
as acquired by him on the scene of war. He wishes to call special 
attention to the fact that until authentic data are available as to the 
strength of the two opponents in the different battles, the tactical 
situations and intentions, and the losses in personnel and material, 
the reports can be but incomplete. Nevertheless it will be desirable, 
even without awaiting official statements, which may not be published 
for years by the two belligerent parties, to sift the confused mass of 
material which has come to us through the newspapers and to try 
and describe the most important operations, at least approximately, 
as they have taken place. To that end I have partly made use of 
reports of Germans who were eye witnesses of the events. It is' 
hardly necessary to emphasize the fact that the author has observed 
the strictest impartiality in his estimates of the situation. He has 
the same high regard for Spanish and Americans. 


1. Much has been said and written about the cause of the war; 
but,' even at the risk of offering nothing new, I believe I ought not 
to avoid entering into this question, in order to make the sketch com- 

As early as 1890 Mahan's sharp eye discerned what course the poli- 
tics of his country ought to follow, and in vigorous language he 
pointed out that course to his nation, from a military standpoint, in 
his essay entitled "The United States looking Outward, " and in 1893 
in "The Isthmus and Sea Power. " But not only strategic interests, 
commercial interests also, play a powerful part in this historical 
drama. Almost nine-tenths of all the sugar from Cuba is already 
going to the American market. If America succeeds in getting 
Cuba into her hands, either by autonomy or by annexation, it will 
insure an immense advantage to the American market and drive all 
other kinds of sugar (Germany is interested to the extent of many 
million marks) entirely out of America. Moreover, only a small part 
of Cuba is as yet being cultivated, and there are good prospects for 
harvesting from this beautiful country immense wealth in sugar and 
tobacco. Upon calm consideration it is therefore not astonishing 



that the Government of the United States, pressed by the wishes of 
the people and by speculators having only their own interests in 
view, should fin^y have yielded and resolved to lay aside the 
peaceable attributes of commerce and industry and take the sword 
in hand. It should further be mentioned that the Maine affair 
threw the last spark into the powder barrel, and that the conduct of 
American officials at Havana toward the Sj^anish officials subse- 
quently added further fuel to the flame. 

The United States of America has done what other nations in 
its place might x>^rhaps have accomplished long ago. According 
to the old adage that a war arises out of the needs of nations, the 
Union has taken advantage of the opportunity to secure for herself 
the flrst place in the West Indies. 

2. Very different from the United States, the power of the Spanish 
Empire, which at one time ruled the world, has been gradually under- 
mined. The flourishing colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, 
etc., have suffered severely during the last few years from fanatic 
conflicts between the inhabitants and Government troops as a result 
of the injudicious policy followed in the government and treatment of 
the former. Owing to the corruptibility of the officials, fostered by 
the merchants, the actual revenues from the colonies never reached 
the hands of the Spanish Government. The principle of the Spanish 
to compensate themselves first of all out of the rich profits of the 
country has brought about the catastrophe. It was precipitated by 
the fact that repeated changes in the highest positions were approved 
by the Government at Madrid, which necessitated not only a change 
in the majority of the lower officials, but entailed an entirely new 
system of oppression and systematic robbing of the inhabitants. 
When the Government at last realized the true state of affairs it 
was already too late. Blanco, the last Captain-Greneral and governor 
of Cuba, as well as Martinez Campos, are well known as men of 
unimpeachable character. But although General Blanco had an 
intimate knowledge of Cuban conditions and enjoyed great popularity, 
he did not succeed in stopping the rolling ball. Steadily it was 
approaching the abyss, and even the autonomy proclaimed by the 
Government could not save it from the catastrophe. That catastrophe 
was the war with the United States. The Spanish, it is true, consider 
it an entirely unwarranted interference with rights that have been 
theirs for centuries and an act of violence on the part of a neighbor- 
ing nation. But that is a characteristic of the Spanish nature and 
will serve to explain subsequent situations during the war. Even up 
to the very last day Spain thought it utterly impossible that war could 
break out with the United States. This is proved by the conditions 
in Cuba immediately after the sending of the ultimatum by the 
United States and the rejection of the same by the Spanish Govern- 

If the Spanish had not been so blinded, and had had eyes for what 
was going on in their immediate vicinity and in the country of their 
powerful neighbors during the last few yeara, they could not have 
hesitated to set aside their pride, and even to give up their right to 
the colonies. The United States would have paid Spain a handsome 
sum for the Atlantic colonies. The Spanish army, which had been 
fighting for years with great valor and under endless privations, 
would have honorably returned home, the Spanish merchants would 
have continued their business under safe protection, and the pur- 
chase price would have helped the mother country in her financial 
troubles. That would have been practical. But fate and the obsti- 
nacy, or rather the pride, of the Spanish willed differently. The 
ball ke^ps on rolling, and nothing will stop it until the Spanish power 
is deprived of its colonies and, utterly broken, without any prospect 
for the future, retires to its exhausted mother country. But that will 
not prevent the people from proudly raising their heads and exclaim- 
ing: '* We have defended our honor and have fought trusting in our 
just cause. Ours is the glory ! " 

3. Thus the struggle for existence is ever the same, even as between 
modem nations. And each country which, by reason of its commerce 
and industry, is entitled to a voice in the politics of the world, should 
learn a serious lesson from this struggle between capital and anti- 
quated heroism. Germany, above all, should never forget that 
nothing but a naval force will keep her safe from adversaries — ^a 
naval force strong enough to guarantee, or at least not to preclude, 
success under all possible circumstances. 


4. I will not go into particulars as to the formation and strength 
of the belligerent parties, as this work is not intended to discuss the 
course of the whole war, but merely to select rt few important and 
interesting events. Besides, the reader will have an opportunity of 
gaining information on these points by many other discussions on the 
subject. There has lately appeared in the Marine-Rundschau a 
review on the events of the Spanish-American war, giving the 
strength of both parties, together with a discussion by Rear- Admiral 
Pluddemann, which is especially well adapted for that purpose. I 
shall take the liberty, however, of inserting a few remarks as to my 
personal observations while on the scene of war. 

5. As the United States of North America does not constitute a 
military nation and has troubled itself *very little about the organ- 
ization of militia and volunteers, it would not be proper to make 
the same requirements of American soldiers that we are in the 
habit of making of our soldiers in Europe. Preparatory training 
need not be looked for, except in the case of regular troops, and even 


there such training in time of peace is very defective. The com- 
panies of militia and volunteers are drilled for a short time; officers 
and men become acquainted with each other,- and as soon as an officer 
is able to lead his company or division and the men have learned to 
handle their guns, which is at most four weeks, the troops are 
considered ready for war. 

This system naturally precludes the exercising together of large 
bodies .consisting of several regiments. First of all, trained officers 
are lacking for that purpose, and besides, it is not deemed necessary. 
These troops do not fight, like European armies, in close ranks, but 
rather on the order of guerrilla warfare. It will be readily under- 
stood that under such circumstances there can be no question of 
great discipline under fire or in camp on the part of the men» nor of 
high tactical conceptions and corresponding leadership on the part of 
the officers. It is very praiseworthy, therefore, that with such primi- 
tive means such great results were attained as evidenced, for instance, 
by the capitulation of Santiago. As for the individual qualities of 
tha American soldier, he is brave, too Impetuous perhaps, and as 
long as there is fighting to be done and the hardships are not too 
great he is easily guided. A few volunteer regiments fought with 
considerable valor. But not in that respect alone have they shown 
military efficiency, but also in the manner in which they have 
endured fatigues in the extremely unfavorable climate. I am prob- 
ably not mistaken in the assumption that the good results attained by 
some of the volunteer regiments are partly due to the circumstance 
that outdoor sport is carried on with great zeal in the United States. 
Polo, football, athletic exercises in running, walking, and jumping, 
tennis, bicycling, rowing, etc., are excellent preparations for military 
service, because they harden the body and strengthen self-confidence. 
And if the volunteers further know how to handle their guns and are 
good marksmen, whijch is also included among the sports, they have 
very nearly all the qualities which the Americans require of their 

6. The United States Navy has been diligently at work ever since 
the war of the rebellion, 1861 to 1865, and has put to profit the lessons 
derived therefrom. That the American naval officers are intelligent 
and energetic as well as brave and self-possessed leaders, and the 
American sailors cool-headed and good marksmen, was demonstrated 
by many examples during the above-mentioned war. The naval bat- 
tle between the Kearsarge and Alabama^ such deeds as Farragut's at 
Mobile, will never be forgotten and go to prove that the first founda- 
tion for a warlike and efficient navy — ^an able personnel inured to the 
sea — ^was in existence. Nor does the Union need fear a comparison 
with other nations as far as materiel is concerned. Since the year 
1888 it has been the endeavor of the Navy Department to take the 
construction of ships, armor plate, and ordnance into its own hands, 


so as to render itself entirely independent of other countries in that 
respect. The increase of the fleet has kept pace with such efforts. 
The^ battle shix)s lowa^ Indiana^ Oregon^ and Texas possess all the 
refiUii-ements of modem ships. Their heavy artillery is nnusally 
'j'trong, and the medium and light artillery consists of rapid-fire guns 
in larger numbers. The newariAored cruisei's New York and Brook- 
lyn are fast and powerful ships, entirely on a level with the same class 
of cruisers in England and France. It can not be denied that a certain 
weakness regarding the personnel lies in the fact that so many different 
nationalities are represented on board ; but I believe this circumstance 
is not of very^eat weight. Europeans are too much inclined to see 
everything only with their own eyes and judge matters according to 
their own usages. On board of a ship, where very strict laws pi-evail, 
especially in time of war, it can not be difficult, even among mixed 
nationalities, to maintain the necessary discipline as long as the 
officers have a correct understanding of how to handle the crews, 
and that faculty the American naval officers do possess, as has already 
been stated. Moreover, the reports of the Naval War College at 
Newport show that it) is the endeavor of the Navy Department to 
have the officere gain also the necessary knowledge of tactical and 
strategic questions. During the last few yeare fleet maneuvers have 
taken place, the training of the crews has been carried on in a sys- 
tematic manner, and, finally, target practice has been given the 
importance which is absolutely necessary for the attainment of the 
final end, namely, the annihilation of the enemy in war. I do not 
want to be misunderetood and do not mean to give the impression 
that the American Navy is above all censure and should be taken as 
a model in every respect. Not at all. Many weaknesses have come 
to light everywhere. I will only call to mind the taking off of the 
armor plates of the lowa^ several faulty gun constructions, which 
are withheld for publication. And the boilei;s were probably not free 
from objections either. But in what navy ai*e such defects not found? 
It is thei*efore deserving of sincere praise that the Navy, immediately 
after the breaking out of hostilities, was ready for service with all 
the ships in commission and has continued such service successfully 
for several months. Furthermore, the vessels of the merchant marine 
which were required for the blockade were fitted out and armed with 
rapid-fire guns in a very short space of time. This latter circum- 
stance especially might well serve as an example to several other 

7. As compared with the United States, ^Spain has a large regular 
army, j^ut when we remember that so many colonies have to be 
defended and that the struggles with the insurgents, which have been 
going on for years, and the hardships connected therewith, have 
claimed many victims, the importance of this army shrinks consider- 
ably. It should further be remembered that the troops in Cuba and 


Puerto Rico are distributed along the coasts for protection and that 
communications between them and concentration of these troops by 
railway are possible only in few places. Hence it can hardly be said 
that the Spanish troops are superior to the American fighting forces 
as far as strength is concerned. As to their military qualities, the 
Spanish soldiers are highly thought of everywhe're. They are very 
brave, of great power of endurance, always sober, and extremely frugal. 
The officers present a good military appearance, but their education 
is said to be superficial. Their patriotism and readiness to sacrifice 
themselves can not be questioned. Moreover, officers and men have 
become inured to warfare through their fights with the*insui*gents and 
are acquainted with the difficult topography of the country. Outside 
of the regular army volunteer regiments have been organized every- 
whei*e. To see those x>^ople of all conditions and ages devote them- 
selves indefatigably to the duties of their new calling, after their 
regular day's work is done, can not fail to arouse a feeling of admira- 
tion. But, on the other hand, it is questionable whether the volun- 
teers, when it comes to actual fighting, will prove efficient. In the 
first place, their equipments are very defective, and, besides, their 
training is not sufficient to fit them for war. It may be stated as a 
general thing — and this applies to the i*egular troops as well — that the 
training is not adapted to war purposes. I witnessed, for instance, a 
drill of coast artillery where the movements of loading and firing were 
practiced. Projectiles, cartridges, etc. , were lacking at the drill. The 
guns were not aimed, there was no sighting. That was one day before 
an actual bombardment occurred at that place. It is very evident 
tliat such gun crews caff not do very efficient work. In only a few of 
the coast towns did target practice take place, and then only to a 
very limited extent. The reason was, as I was told, that ammunition 
was scarce, as the service ammunition had to be reserved for* the 
enemy. That may be true, but this should have been thought of in 
time of peace, and this most important preparation for war should not 
have been deferred to the last minute or omitted altogether. 

8. The Spanish navy has never recovered since the beginning of 
the century, when it was completely annihilated. To illustrate, I will 
quote Nelson's words after a visit to Cadiz in 1793: **The Dons may 
know how to build beautiful ships, but they do not know how to pro- 
cure men. At Cadiz they have in commission four battle ships of the 
first rank, very beautiful ships, but miserably manned. I am quite 
certain if the crews of our six boats, who are picked men, had boarded 
one of these ships, they qould have taken it." Mahan, in his work 
on The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1783 to 1812,^Chapter 
II, has cited a number of other proofs to show the lack of seamanship 
on the part of the Spanish. The above-mentioned words of Nelson's 
are still true. A few handsome ships like the Almirante OquendOy 
Vizcaya^ and Infanta Maria Teresa have been incorporated into the 


Spanish navy, but next to nothing has been done for the training of 
the personnel. Maneuvers of several fleets together were unknown, 
and the individual training of officers and men was limited to what is 
absolutely necessary. Especially as relates to target practice much 
has been left undone. The same thing applies to the torpedo-boat 
destroyers which the Spanish have secured during the last few years. 
The vessels were very beautiful, but no thought was taken of the 
manner in which they should be handled by their commanders, nor 
the training in tactics and torpedo launching. As to the condition 
of the ships generally, I will state, among other things, that the 
boilers of three cruisers of the same class, the Reina Mercedes^ 
Alfonso Xlly and Reina Cristina, were in such bad condition as to 
completely disable the vessels, so that they could be utilized only for 
harbor defense. There are several other points which also show care- 
lessness in the training of the personnel as well as equipment of the 
ships, and to which I will again refer in the course of this work. 


9. It was on May 9, 1898, that I had an opportunity for the first 
time of visiting the scene of war; that was at San Juan de Puerto 
Rico. The first thing that caught my eye was a proclamation by 
the Govemor-Greneral Macias. As this proclamation shows the 
enthusiasm and patriotism of which the Spaniard is capable to such 
a high degree, I give below a translation of the same: 

San Juan, April 2S, 1898. 
Inhabitants of Puerto Rico: 

The day of trial, the hour of great decisions and great deeds of heroism has 
arrived. The Repablic of the United States, trusting in her powerful rsHOurces and 
relying on the impunity with which she has so far heen able to foster the insurrec- 
tion of the Cubans, has resolved in her Congress upon arme<l intervention in the 
island of Cuba. The Republic has opened hostilities and has trampled under foot 
the rights of Spain and the moral sentiment of the whole civilized world. This is a 
declaration of war, and in the same manner that the hostile squadrons have com- 
menced their actions against the island of Cuba they will also direct them against 
Puerto Rico; but here they will surely be shattured against the loyalty and valor of 
the inhabitants, who would a thousand times rather die than surrender to the 

Do not think that the mother country has abandoned us. With enthusiasm she is 
foUowing our movements and will come to our rescue. The squadrons are ready for 
the fight. All the troops have been armed, and the same waters over which Colum- 
' bus sailed with his famous ships will witness our victories. Providence will not 
permit that in these countries which were discovered by the Spanish nation the 
echo of our language should ever cease to be heard, nor that our flag should disap- 
pear from before the eye. 

Inhabitants of Puerto Rico, the time for heroic deeds has come. Fight and stand 
firm in the consciousness of your right and of j ustice. On to the war ! 

Long live Puerto Rico, always Spanish ! Long live Spain ! 


It seems to me that more beautiful and more eloquent words could 
hardly be found to speak to the hearts of the people. And unless 


the actions and deeds of the leaders fall far short of their words, the 
American invasion may be prepared to meet with strong resistance. 

10. The city of San Juan is located on an island, and presents from 
the sea a very pretty picture with her ancient castle of Morro on one 
side and San Cristobal Castle on the other. The forts are powerful 
masonry structures. Between them rise many stately buildings, 
mostly barracks, hospitals, etc. The Spanish flag is waving from all 
the buildings, and lends a picturesque charm to the whole scene in the 
wonderfully bright light, with chains of mountains as a background. 

Besides the old forts there are a number of new fortifications, east; 
of Cristobal Castle as well as in the entrance of the harbor itself. The 
latter, which is difficult to pass even in time of peace, is closed by 
mines. After passing through the harbor entrance one enters a large 
basin close behind the city, adapted to receive a large numlier of 
ships. There is also a second bay with sufficiently deep water. With 
the necessary funds the harbor might be greatly improved by dredg- 
ing, especially by the removal of at least a part of the shoals at Punta 
Larga. There are quite a number of piers offering good facilities for 
loading and unloading ships. 

11. In consequence of the breaking out of the war with the United 
States commerce was, of course, at a standstill. Yet as the harbor 
had not been declared blockaded there were a few German and Eng- 
lish steamers that were unloading their cargoes. A Spanish steamer 
also had been brought in from St. Thomas by the auxiliary cruiser 
Alfonso XIII. The only vessel that behaved in a suspicious manner, 
having apparently passed around the whole island several times and 
repeatedly appeared in front of San Juan, was a large ocean steamer 
with three smokepipes. The general opinion was that it was a United 
States auxiliary cruiser. The Spanish gunboats tried several times to 
go close up to this vessel but did not succeed, owing to her superior 
speed. Nothing else in the city reminded one of war. Every one 
was pursuing his accustomed occupations as far as this was possible 
under the circumstances. Almost every evening after the close of 
business at 5 o'clock the volunteer companies marched through the 
streets to the place where they were drilled. There was not much 
done in that line, however, at least nothing of great importance, such 
as target practice, instruction in topography, or field service. Usually 
the troops were requii-ed to take their positions in the line of defense, 
and soon after they would march off again. On the whole, the vol- 
unteers made a good appearance and seemed to devote themselves 
with great zeal to their tasks. The large number of young men among 
the volunteers was striking. On one occasion the Governor-General 
made a general inspection of the whole fortification, and at that time 
exercises took place with several batteries. But the exercises were 
carried out in a careless manner and without system. Target prac- 
tice with guns, which would have been necessary above all in order 
to place the fortification in coiul it-ion for war and to drill the person- 



nel, was held neither in peace nor after the breaking out of the war. 
In the evening the whole population would usually repair to the 
plaza; several times during the week thei'e was music there. The 
theater also remained open and enjoyed pretty good audiences. 

12. This peaceful situation was suddenly changed when, on May 12, 
1898, a part of the fleet commanded by Admiral Sampson appeared at 
5 o'clock in the morning in front of San Juan, and without any f ui-ther 
notification oi)ened the bombardment. The Spanish complained bit- 
terly of this surprise, which. did not give them a chance to remove the 
sick and the women and children to places of safety, and did not give 
foreign representatives and warships time to leave the city or the 
harbor. "There are no international agreements, it is true, as to 
previous notice of a bombardment," says the Puerto Rico Gazette, "but 
in practice the custom prevails among all civilized nations to give 
notice of the bombardment of a city or f oi-tification. For no Christian 
•soldier, no civilized nation, will want to take the terrible responsibility 
of butchering defenseless women and children. The soldier flghts 
against thase who carry weapons, but not against the weak and the 
sick." The Spanish are not entirely wrong in this. A real surprise 
could have been of advantage to Admiral Sampson only in case it had 
been his intention to force the harbor. If it was simply a question of 
reconnoissance, he might have granted a delay of two or three hours 
without in any manner prejudicing the result of the bombardment. 
As it was, the inhabitants were rudely awakened from their sleep. 
The troops and volunteers at once hurried to their posts; but old men, 
women, and children sought their safety in the fields and roads outside 
of the city. A veritable emigration of fleeing people was moving 
along the road to Cangrejos, but all were quiet and orderly. Mean- 
while the American projectiles were steadily falling upon the city and 
its vicinity; some passed over the city and fell into the bay. 

13. The American squadron was composed of nine larger ships and 
two torpedo-boat destl-oyers. Fire was opened immediately after 5 
o'clock and continued until about 8.30. Four of the American ships 
were about two cable lengths (370 metera) north of the island of 
Cabras (see accompanying chart), and at equal distances from each 
other they were describing circles. In order to safely avoid the shal- 
low places near the island, which they passed at a short distance, a 
boat had been anchored in the center of the circle. They came to 
within 1,600 meters of the Morro, and as each ship passed the cas- 
tle she fired a broadside. Five of the American ships were fighting 
farther north with Cristobal Castle and the eastern batteries of Morro 
Castle. These ships often changed their positions. Two more ships 
could be discerned northeast of Santiago. Several of the American 
ships succeeded in passing so close to the fortifications that the near- 
est batteries could not fire upon them. The distance was probably 
800 or 900 meters. The Spanish infantry took advantage of the 
opportunity to join in the battle with musket fire. This musket fire, 


in connection with the fire of a battery at a greater distance, caused 
the American ships to withdraw. It is said that the Americans fired 
in all from 800 to 1,000 shots from their heavy and medium caliber 

14. The Spanish fortification artillery is said to have behaved well; 
but the batteries were unable to answer the lively fire of the American 
ships in the same manner. This was due to the fact, aside from the 
defective service of the guns, that many of them could not reach the 
American ships at all. On the Spanish side about 400 projectiles 
were fired in all. It is stated that the Spanish shots hit in several 
instances; but they can have done no great damage on board of the 
American ships, which has been confirmed by United States official 
statements. The guns in the fortifications are all of medium caliber, 
and their piercing powet* is not such that a single hit could be 
expected to cause serious injury to a modem ship. The losses on 
the American side were one dead and seven wounded. The number 
of American projectiles fired is out of proportion to the material 
damage caused by them. A large number of shells are said not to 
have exploded. Of course the fortification works were injured to some 
extent, but not one of the guns was put out of action. A few of the 
buildings visible at a great distance, like the barracks, the jail, the 
Hotel Inglaterra, and a few private residences, suffered from the 
bombardment. A large number of projectiles fell into the harbor. 
Some of them even reached the little town of Cata&o, on the other side 
of the harbor. The French cruiser Amiral RigauU de GenouiUyy 
which was lying in the harbor at the time, as also three small Spanish 
gunboats, receivea a shot in the rigging and smokepipe. The 
Spanish casualties were 20 dead (among them several civilians) and 
20 wounded. 

15. If we inquire into the advantages which Admiral Sampson 
expected from a bombardment of San Juan, we are probably not mis- 
taken in the assumption that it was merely a question of reconnois- 
sance. The batteries were to be brought out; Admiral Sampson 
wanted to ascertain their strength and efficiency and be guided 
thereby in determining the forces it would require for a serious bom- 
bardment of San Juan and the taking of the city by sea. It does 
not appear to have been the object of the American ships to system- 
atically bombard the city and silence the batteries. Probably the 
forts served as a general target, and the nui^^ber of shots that went 
beyond speak in favor of the assumption that it was also intended to 
reach the Spanish war ships which were supposed to be in the harbor. 
There will be other opportunities to treat of bombardments by Amer- 
ican ships. I will therefore refrain from further remarks at this time, 
and only state it as my opinion that a reconnoissance of the place — 
and there can be no question of anything else, since the American 
fleet withdrew— could have been made with a much smaller expendi- 
ture of ammunition. 

Slf^lch of ins L(wd Forh/icaliom of< Sanhafo, 

ScolIc Ca.ppfx). 

Sa.f\ Jcht dl 

TMt NOII«"% P* tW CO M«0TO-lJh>«0. 

D C 



I will not attempt to give a connected account of all the happen- 
ings at and near Santiago and to set forth the reasons which inev- 
itably led to the surrender of that place, but will confine myself to 
the relation of some circumstances which are not generally known, 
and which have come under my own observation. 

1. There is a great deal of uncertainty as to the reasons why the 
garrisons of Guantanamo, Baracoa, etc., were included in the capitu- 
lation of Santiago. The following note of the Spanish chief of the 
general staff will serve to explain this matter. He says, among 
other things: 

The garriBOD of Gnautanamo, consisting of 7^000 men, had been on half rations 
since June 15 and since Jaly 1 they had received no rations at all, and had been 
living on gieen corn and horse meat. The garrisons of Baracoa, Sagna de Tanamo, 
as well as of the smaller places of Palma Soriano, San Lais, Dos Caminos, Mor6n, 
Cristo, and Songo wonld have been cnt off and nnable to retreat,- and wonld there- 
fore have been left to the mercy of the enemy, for the nearest place on which they 
conld have laUen back was at least a seven days* march distant. That is the reason 
why these garrisons were included in the capitalation, and that of Guantanamo was 
inoladed on account of the absolate lack of provisions. Hence abont 10,000 men 
oapitnlated without having been at the front at all, simply owing to the peculiar 

2. In order to give a clear idea of the land fortifications of San- 
tiago, which were considerably exaggerated in the first reports of the 
battles near the city, I annex a sketch of the same. 

There was a line of ordinary trenches about 9 kilometers long 
from Dos Caminos del Cobre to Punta Blanca. I also noticed two 
batteries, but they were in such unfavorable positions that they could 
not take part in the battles of July 1 and 3. There were also wire 
fences and other obstructions in some places, as well as blockhouses, 
etc. The following data will show how few were the guns and of 
how inferior quality the material which the Spanish had at their dis- 
posal for the defense of the city. There were available — 

Six 16-centimeter muzzle-loading guns, two of which became dis- 
abled after the first few shots, two more on July 12. It was known 
beforehand that these guns would not be able to fire more than a few 
rounds, owing to their defective mounts. 

Five 12-centimeter muzzle-loading guns mounted on old carriages. 
On July 12 four of these were disabled, and the fifth was good for 
only two or three more rounds, although the charge had been reduced 
by one-half. 

Twelve 8-oentimeter muzzle-loaders, six of which were unservice- 

Two 9-centimeter Erupp guns, one of which was dismounted and 
consequently disabled on July 2. 

Two 7.5-centimeter Erupp guns. 


Besides these, the fleet had furnished two 9-centimeter Hontoria 
steel guns with a few rounds, which were not ftred, and two 7.5-centi- 
meter Maxim guns, which could not be mounted, because the breech 
mechanism had remained on board of the ships. 

Therefore, aside from the muzzle-loaders, which were of very doubt- 
ful value, the Spanish had only two 7.5-centimeter and two 9-centi- 
meter Knipp guns. Whether the former were given a chance to be 
fired at all is doubtful; probably the two 9-centimeter guns were the 
only ones that took part in the battles of July 1 and 3. It is evident 
that with such defective artillery for the defense on land there was 
no chance in a fight with the American siege artillery, which by July 
10, according to statements of American officers, consisted of 34 guns 
that had been installed. 

3. As to the strength of the Spanish troops in the line of attack, we 
have the following data: 

On July 1 there were in the trenches 500 sailors from the fleet; 450 
men of four companies of the Provincial Battalion of Puerto Rico, No. 
1; 860 of the Talavera Battalion, No. 4; 440 of the San Fernando 
Battalion, No. 11; 350 of three mobilized companies; 350 volunteers. 
InaU — Sailors, 500; regulars, 1,740; irregulars, 350; volunteers, 350; 
total, 2,940. 

These were the fighting forces. Besides, there were in the city some 
cavalry of the Civil Guard and some soldiers who had been assigned 
to other duties. Of these troops, two companies, one of the Provin- 
cial Battalion of Puerto Rico and one of the Talavera Battalion, in all 
not over 250 men, were defending the fortified position of San Juan. 
At the Socapa there were 400 men, 450 at the Morro, and 120 at Punta 
Gorda battery. Finally, for the defense of the line from Las Cruces 
to Aguadores, about 4 kilometers, there were six companies of the 
Cuba regiment of infantry and two companies of irregulars, in all 
about 550 men. 

4. The battles of July 1 and 3 at £1 Caney and San Juan are the 
only ones of importance in the campaign against Santiago. The 
above figures show that those two positions had very inadequate 
forces for their defense. It is incomprehensible why the Spanish 
commander in chief, after the American troops had arrived and their 
plan of attack was known, did not at least have the troops from 
Morro Castle and the Socapa, where they were of no use whatever, 
cooperate in the defense of the threatened positions in the main line. 
To hold El Caney and San Juan as against the vastly superior Ameri- 
can forces was an impossibility, although the positions were particu- 
larly well chosen and the ground very difficult for the assailants. 
With the same daring with which the American troops made the last 
assault on these positions, the Spanish defended them firmly and with 
coolness, firing one volley after another. On the spot they were to 


defend, officers and men fell in great nnmbers, with that courage 
which has ever distinguished the Spanish soldiers. When the Ameri- 
cans finally succeeded in the assault, they found the trenches of San 
Juan filled with dead, and they buried the brave Spanish soldiers 
where they had fallen by simply filling up the trenches with earth. 
The total losses of the Spanish duiiug the defense of El Caney and 
the attack on the city were: 

Killed — Brig. Gen. Vara del Rey, 3 staff officers, 12 officers,' and 68 
men. Missing — Col. Jose Baquero, 4 officers, and 116 men. Prison- 
ers — 2 officers. Wounded — Lieutenant-Gtoneral Linares, 6 staff offi- 
cers, 30 officers, and 339 men. 

On July 4 Colonel Escario succeeded in reaching Santiago with 
3,000 men. But these troops were exhausted from the march, and 
the city had no provisions for them. It was therefore no wonder that 
the power of resistance of the garrison was not strengthened by their 
arrival, and that the Spanish, in view of the bombardment which they 
could not answer, had no recourse left but to capitulate honorably. 

5. An unlucky star was hovering over Santiago. No one had 
exx)ected an attack on this city, and the events there are another 
proof that in war it is the unexpected and surprising operations, if 
well planned and somewhat favored by luck, that usually promise 
success. The Spanish troops were surely not wanting in bravery and 
good behavior. The cause of the defeat must therefore be sought 
elsewhere, and in my opinion it can be explained as follows: 

(a) No thought had been taken of supplying the lal*ge cities with 
provisions. If not sooner, at least immediately after the breaking 
out of the war, the commander in chief ought to have assisted these 
places in the most energetic manner in laying in supplies, and where 
no blockade had been declared it could have been done. 

(6) It was the plan of the Spanish commander to defend the whole 
coast, even the smaller harbors. This necessitated a scattering of the 
troops. If it was not deemed expedient to concentrate all the troops 
at Havana, the one truly fortified place, which maneuver would 
have completely changed the character of the war in Cuba, a concen- 
tration of the troops should have been effected at least within the 
eastern province as well as the western province. Why was it that 
Guantanamo was garrisoned by about 7,000 men, Santiago de Cuba 
by 5,000, and Manzanillo by 5,000, and that at a time when Cervera's 
fleet had already entered Santiago Harbor? On May 28 at the latest, 
when the fleet had been closed in and there could no longer be any 
doubt as to the American plans, the troops should have been concenj 
trated at Santiago, bringing with them all available provisions. The 
Americans might have taken Guantanamo and Manzanillo. That 
would have been of little importance from a technical point of view. 
The American troops would have met with energetic resistance upon 

12483 2 


landing and in their attack upon Santiago, and it is qaestionable 
whether they would have been able to break such resistance with 
17,000 men. 

(c) The Spanish troops had no field artillery, and their siege artillery 
was utterly unserviceable. It is due to this lack of artillery that the 
Americans were enabled to line up their forces without opposition 


from the Spanish ; that they showed themselves superior to the Spanish, 
not in number only, in the fights against the fortified positions at El 
Caney and San Juan ; and finally, that they were able to place their 
siege artillery in position without being harassed by the Spanish. 

6. It now remains to speak of the manner in which the navy and 
army of both belligerent parties cooperated in joint operations, and 
finally, to examine minutely into the bombardments of the batteries 
of Morro Castle, the Socapa, and Punta Gorda. The destruction of 
Cervera's fleet will be treated in a separate chapter. Of course, in 
expeditions of this nature it is always the navy that furnishes the 
basis. If the control of the sea has been gained, but can not be pre- 
served, the transport and landing of troops are dangerous enterprises, 
which a wise commander will always avoid. Success is also dependent 
on a strong and weU-equipped transport and war fleet. This should 
be borne in mind by aU nations that are engaged in colonial politics 
and are in possession of colonies, in order to secure new markets for 
the surplus production of men and merchandise. Of course the army, 
as the organ which is to execute the work, should be equal to the 
requirements made of it in a foreign country. But there is still another 
factor which plays an important part in such expeditions, and which 
should not be underestimated, and that is the cooperation of the navy 
and army. This factor has been lacking, not only on the American 
but also on the Spanish side. On the American side there was at 
least some agreement on important tactical questions and the navy 
placed itself willingly at the service of the army. But on the Spanish 
side the condfitions were so peculiar that a coox)eration of navy and 
army can hardly be spoken of, except in so far as marine troops took 
part in the battles at Santiago. Was Admiral Cervera under orders of 
General Linares or General Toral, or under Captain-General Blanco, 
or directly under the ministry of marine at Madrid? The first does 
not appear to have been the case, but it seems that Admiral Cervera 
received orders both from Greneral Blanco and from the ministry of 
marine. Another example : The general de marina at San Juan de 
Puerto Kico was in command of the flotilla at that place; he was not 
under orders of Governor-General Macias, however, but under those 
of Admiral Manterola, at Havana. I believe this question, which 
has hitherto been given little attention, had an essential share in seal- 
ing Admiral Cervera's fate. The cooperation of the navy and army 
is of the greatest importance, and at the great maneuvers in time of 
peace it should receive the same attention that other problems do. 


7. The American fleet has in every respect performed its tasks in 
front of Santiago. The transport fleet was convoyed to the places 
chosen by war ships, and the landings were effected under the same 
protection. A systematic blockade had been established, and in this 
connection the main object, namely, the destruction of Cervera's fleet, 
was never lost sight of. Thanks to the intelligent dispositions of the 
commander in chief of the fleet and the skill of the American of&cers 
and crews, this object was attained with complete success. Inci- 
dentally the batteries of the Morro, Socapa, and Punta Gorda were 
bombarded by the American fleet, and these bombardments offer so 
much that is of interest and so many points of discussion for naval 
officers that I shall have to speak of them somewhat more at length. 
How much has been said of these bombardments! How many times 
have the batteries of the Morro and Socapa been placed out of action, 
the guns dismounted, the fortifications leveled to the ground! Bat- 
teries which did not even exist, as, for instance, Morro Castle pioper 
and Estrella Battery, were said to have returned the galling fire, the 
latter completely destroyed, the former nothing but a heap of ruins! 
Such were the newspaper reports, of the inaccuracy of which I had an 
opportunity of convincing myself personally on the scene of events. 
Unfortunately, I am not in a position to state which of the American 
ships did the firing, nor how many projectiles were discharged in the 
different bombardments, nor the kind of projectiles and the results 
as to hits. But on the other hand I can give from personal observa- 
tion accurate statements as to the condition of the Spanish batteries 
after the surrender of Santiago, and as my own observations Have 
been supplemented by reliable information from others who were also 
on the scene, I am enabled to furnish suf&cient material to x>6rmit an 
estimate of the actual conditions. 

8. On the different days when the bombardments took place the 
following guns were available in the different batteries of the Morro, 
Socapa, and Punta Gorda: 





Punta Gorda. 


May 18 

May 81 

Jane 3 
Jane 6 

Jane 14 
Jane 16 

Jane 18 
July 2 

One 16 om. mnzale- 
loader mounted on 
a wooden carriage; 
coald fire only 8 

Same and fonr 16 om. 
mounted on car- 

Two 8 cm. muzzle- 

One 16 cm. Hontoria 
naval gun not yet 
ready ror service. 

One 16 cm. Hontoria. . . 

Same and one 16 cm. 

Hontoria naval gun. 


Two 15 cm. Hontoria 

No. 2. 

howitaers, muzzle- 






Same and one 16 om. 



Hontoria naval gun. 

No. 6 



AAvnA And one 16 cm. 



Same and two 21 cm. 
muzzle-loading how- 

Same and one 21 cm. 
muzzle-loading how- 

Hontoria naval gnn. 


Same and two 21 om. 
m ozzle-loading how- 



Hence, on Jnly 2 there were in all — 

In the Morro battery: Five rifled 16-centimeter muzzle-loading 
bronze gnns, only one of which was dismounted, and two 21-centi- 
meter muzzle-loading howitzers which were fired on that day only. 

At the Socapa battery: Two 16-centimeter Hontoria naval guns 
from the Reina Mercedes. Only one of these was dismounted. Fur- 
ther, three 21-centimeter muzzle-loading howitzers. East of this bat- 
tery, on the extreme edge of the shore, there were for the defense of 
the first row of mines, one 5. 7-centimeter Nordenf eldt rapid-firing gun, 
four 3.7-centimeter Hotchkiss revolving guns, and one 1.1-centimeter 
Nordenfeldt machine gun, all taken from the Reina Mercedes. 

At Punta Gorda: Two 9-centimgter bronze Krupp guns, two 15- 
centimeter howitzers, and two 16-centimeter Hontoria naval guns 
from the Reina Mercedes. 

9. About three weeks after the surrender of Santiago, I visited 
these batteries and made the following observations: 


(a) Morro Castle proper, an old fort, consisting of heavy masonry 
standing close to the water's edge east of the harbor entrance, was 
not armed at all. It was used as barracks for the Spanish garrison. 
The outside walls had suffered considerably from the bombardments, 
the upper story had been completely destroyed, and in different 
places pieces had been shot away. The inner walls showed large and 
small shot-holes made by shells of different calibers, the largest of 30 

(b) From the houses between the castle and the light-house, about 
200 meters distant, nothing had been removed. Some of them had 
been completely destroyed, others more or less damaged. The houses 
situated a little farther back and lower down had suffered no inju- 
ries. The light-house, built of iron plates about 2.5 centimeters 
thick, had been pierced at the front by several small-caliber shells, 
the largest being of 15 centimeters. The rear wall had been blown 
out entirely. 

(c) About 100 meters east of the light-house is the new battery, sit- 
uated about 63 meters above the level of the sea. The following is a 
ground plan of this battery : 

The guns are standing on concrete foundations built into the ground 
and fire over a wall erected for protection in front of them, consisting 


of wooden boxes filled with cement. This protection is further 
strengthened by sandbags placed in front of it. Between each two 
gnns wooden barrels filled with cement have been placed on top of 
the wall. The spaces between them are partly filled with cement or 
sand. The cross section between two foundations is about as foUows: 

a, Cemont boxes; 6, banrelB filled with oemeut; c, aauilbago. 

The distance between each two guns is about 6 meters. 

(d) Parallel with the front of the battery, at a distance of about 
10 meters, a trench 1.5 meters deep and 60 centimeters wide has been 
dug. A smaller trench leads in zigzag line from each gun to this 
trench. For the two 21-centimeter howitzers, which were located 
farthest east and separated by a larger space from the 16-centimeter 
muzzle-loaders, there was a hole about 1.5 meters deep and 4 meters 
square, intended as a shelter. These shelters are said to have been 
frequently used by the Spanish. 

(e) The five 16-centimeter muzzle-loaders are bronze guns dating 
from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. One of these bore 
the dates 1668, 1718, 1769. About the middle of the present century 
these guns were adapted for centering by means of studs. The two 
21-centimeter howitzers farthest east were rified iron muzzle-loaders. 

(/) All of these seven guns were mounted on iron sliding carriages 
with front pivots, turning oh rails built into the concrete. As recoil 
checks, small iron plates were used which, at the rear of the top car- 
riage, were pressed firmly against the compressor bars by means of 
an ordinary pivot screw. For indirect elevation of the guns there 
was an ordinary graduated disk with a hand. There was no sight 
scale on the graduated arc of the carriage. All . the guns were 
adapted to be trained directly. When the Americans took possession 
of the battery they did not find any tangent scales, but the American 
chief of the battery stated that they had been there. 

(g) Near some of the guns cartridges were lying about. A few 
feet west of the right-wing gun and a little to the rear was an 
uncovered pile of projectiles for the 16-centimeter guns. They were 
iron projectiles, with centering studs. The point, which was spheri- 
cal in shape, contained a perforation for the fuse which had been 
stopped up with cotton waste. The fuses themselves could not be 
found. Near this pile of projectiles stood several cartridge boxes. 
Judging from the cartridge-bag material lying about and the powder 
scattered around it may be assumed that the cartridges were being 
made right there. 


(h) In the battery itself only minor injuries could be noted. The 
right-wing gun had been upset by a shell, but none of the other guns 
nor the cement protection had received any injuries. A few pro-' 
jectiles had struck into the ground in front of the sand bags and 
destroyed a few of them. Back of the battery was lying an Ameri- 
can 20-centimeter shell, which had not been exploded. The base 
fuse had been removed. 


(i) The new battery erected here is located, like that at the Morro, 
on the highest point of the ridge, about 400 meters west of the 

(fc) The five guns installed here are in a straight line — the three 
21-centimeter howitzers in the left wing and the two 16-centimeter 
Hontoria naval guns in the right wing. The composition of the 
battery is about the same as that at the Morro, except that there are 
no barrels on top of the cement boxes at the 16-centimeter guns, 
probably so as not to restrict the arc of fire of these guns and because 
they are protected by a 3-centimeter shield. Immediately back of 
the guns is a trench of little depth connecting the gun positions with 
each other. The 16-centimeter guns are separated from the howitzers 
by a broad traverse. 

(Z) The 21-centimeter howitzers are like those at the Morro. The 
two 16-centimeter Ilontoria guns were taken from the Reina Mer- 
cedes. They are long guns of modern construction on central pivot 
mounts, but not rapid-fire guns. The pivot sockets are btiilt into 
the concrete foundation. These guns cpuld probably not be fired 
oftener than once in two minutes. 

(m) About 20 meters back of the guns was a frame house with 
sheet-iron roof, built partly into the ground, and protected toward the 
sea by a small embankment of earth. This was an ammunition 
magazine for the battery. It still contained a number of 16-centi- 
meter projectiles with the necessary cartridges and powder boxes. 
The place was little suitable for an ammunition magazine, and it is a 
wonder that it was not hit. 

(n) Evidently the Americans fired more sharply at this battery 
than at the Morro battery, probably because it contained the only 
modern guns whose effects were to be feared. 

One of the howitzers had received a hit of small caliber in the left 
side of the top carriage, but without placing the gun out of action. 
The shield of one of the 16-centiraeter guns had been pierced from 
below by a 15-centimeter projectile, and the carriage had also been 
injured, so that the gun became unserviceable. No other damages 
are noticeable in the guns, but at different places shots had passed 
immediately in front of the guns and hit the gun protections and 



(o) This battery was not fired upon by"tlie Americans, although it 
took part in the firing on several occasions. 

10. According to the above, the final result of the numerous bom- 
bardments was but one gun placed out of action in the Morro and one 
in the Socapa battery. The loss in human life was a few killed and 
wounded. Punta Gorda battery, the only important position in a 
question of forcing the harbor entrance, I'emained uninjured. As I 
have already said, I am unable to state the total number of project- 
iles which the American ships fired in order to attain this modest 
lysult. In any event, the number is out of proportion to the result, 
and has proved once more a fact well established by the history of 
naval wars, namely, that coast fortifications are extremely difficult to 
place out of action, even with an expenditure of large quantities of 
ammunition. The American method of firing may perhaps be suscep- 
tible of improvement — that is not for me to say. But the American 
naval officers may take comfort in the thought that other seafaring 
nations would not have done any better in their place— perhaps not 
so well; for no navy, with the exception of the French, has made it a 
point in time of peace to make the bombardment of coast fortifica- 
tions, fortified cities, etc., the subject of thorough, practical study. 

11. As for the fire of the Spanish batteries, I have read of but one 
case where a Spanish projectile hit an American ship. It was in a 
fight with the Socapa battery that the battleship Texas received a hit, 
probably from one of the le-centimet-er guns taken from the Reina 
Mercedes, The projectile struck the port side about 20 feet abaft the 
bow and exploded, after passing through a stanchion between decks 
killing one man and wounding six. The American officer who took 
charge of the battery at Morro Castle also told me the following amus- 
ing incident: There was a bombardment of the Morro battery at night, 
and one of the American ships was throwing her search light on the 
battery. The Spanish answered the fire part of the time. The ship 
with the search light was not hit, but the battleship loiva, lying quite 
a distance away in the dark, was unexpectedly struck by an acci- 
dental hit from one of the Spanish howitzers. The projectile passed 
through the deck, entered the officers' mess-room*, exploded there, and 
caused some minor damages to the rooms; but none of the crew were 
hit. But what more could be expected of the kind of guns the Span- 
ish had at their disposal ? It must surely have given the American 
officers who took charge of the battery a slight shock when they saw 
the dates 1668, 1718, etc., on the guns which they had been fight- 
ing. Part of the medi»val howitzers still had charges in them when 
the American officer took possession of the Morro battery. He there- 
fore decided to fire them, which gave him an opportunity of estab- 
lishing the fact that even with the greatest elevation the range was 


only 800 yards! It is possible that the cartridges had suffered from 
humidity; but, on the other hand, it is quite as probable that this 
was really their greatest range. One thousand meters was not a bad 
performance for guns of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 
No wonder that the Spanish could not reach the hostile ships with 
* these guns! This will also explain why the Spanish garrisons, seeing 
the uselessness of their efforts, often stopped firing during the bom- 
bardments and withdrew to the trenches. It was on these occasioms 
that the newspaper reports stated that the batteries had been silenced, 
when, as a matter of fact, they were uninjured and in condition to 
resume their " unbloody work" at any time. 

12. But now another question. Did the American fleet really Moy^ 
itself to be deceived by these batteries ? In the beginning, perhaps. 
And why not? I do not hesitate to acknowledge that I had the same 
experience, together with several other officers. When we inquired 
into the nature of the batteries, we had no idea of the venerable age 
of those guns, but set them down as 12 and 16 centimeter guns. It is 
true that we did not go through a fight with the batteries, and that 
is the essential factor for estimating their efficiency. From observa- 
tions made at the Spanish batteries I judge, as already stated, that 
the Socapa battery was the main objective of the Americans. They 
seem to have known that the only serviceable guns, namely, the 16- 
centimeter Hontoria guns from the Reina Mercedes^ had been set up 
there; but Morro battery, too, was fired upon quite a number of times. 
Would the Americans have done this if they had known what miser- 
able guns their enemies had ? Hardly. So there can be no doubt that 
in the beginning at least the Americans were deceived as to the 
strength of the foe, whom they overestimated, as is usually the case 
in war. Moreover, there was no occasion for the American com- 
mander of the fleet, even if the Spanish batteries had been recognized 
as efficient and dangerous, to attack them under prevailing circum- 
stances. If the harbor entrance was to be forced, neither the Morro 
nor the Socapa battery need have been considered, because they could 
not sweep the narrow entrance with their guns. The Punta Gorda 
battery was the only one that controlled the entrance, and owing to 
the great distance and the difficulty of observing the fire, it was almost 
impossible to place this battery out of action from the sea. Then, why 
the bombardments of the batteries and the immense expenditure of 
ammunition, especially since the American commander in chief did 
not intend to force the entrance, but on the contrary was desirous of 
obstructing it, as is plainly shown by Hobson's attempt ? A simple 
blockade, without any further attack on the fortifications, would 
have had exactly the same result. I can not possibly believe that 
the American commander in chief had nothing more in view than to 
harass the enemy b}^ the numerous bombardments and reassure the 
home press. My idea is that Admiral Sampson, as a practical and 


exx)erienced gunner, had a very definite object in view in these bom- 
bardments. I have no proofs to offer in support of this assumption, 
but I have an idea that there is something in it. After the batteries 
had been brought out all the subsequent bombardments were nothing 
more or less than target practice. The admiral wanted to accustom 
his officers and men to sharp firing. The whole crews were made to 
practice at regular intervals — the commanders in the manner of 
handling their ships, the officers in conducting and superintending 
the firing, the gun captains in training and aiming, the gun and ammu- 
nition crews in serving the guns and passing the ammunition, and all 
these under conditions of actual war, in fights with coast batteries. 
When the decisive day arrived — the battle on the high sea, ship 
against ship — the American fleet was well prepared and able to 
achieve its task in a brilliant manner and in the shortest possible 

13. Whether I am right or wrong in this assumption, whether it 
was a question of actual bombardments or of target practice, the 
final result remains the same. Even at target practice each one fires 
as well as he can. Therefore we are still confronted with the fact 
that the coast fortifications, in spite of vastly superior naval artillery 
and ^he expenditure of immense quantities of ammunition, were not 
placed out of action. What lessons are we to derive from this? 

Aside from the forcing of harbor entrances, where the assailant 
must eventually expose himself for a short time to the hostile fire, 
cases may arise in war where it becomes necessary prior to such forc- 
ing, or for other reasons, to destroy certain forts. The history of war 
teaches us that this is one of the most difficult problems. It should 
therefore be made a subject of study in time of peace, the same 
as any other problem. Of the necessity of studying tactics and 
strategy and their practical application, everj'one is convinced, from 
the commander in chief to the youngest lieutenant. Immense sums 
are being expended for coal alone in order to have the ships of the 
fleet pass through all manner of evolutions in tactics and strategic 
maneuvers. Money should also be devoted to target practice under 
exactly the same conditions as in actual war. For what is it that 
decides a naval battle? The tactics of the commander in chief of the 
fleet and the commanders of the different ships are certainly of some 
influence on the battle, but nothing more. The decision will always 
be dependent on the good training of officers and men for the fight 
and the good firing of gun captains and officers. That is what the 
naval battle of Santiago has once more plainly demonstrated. 


1. Immediately after the rejection of the Union's ultimatum by 
Spain, and the breaking off of diplomatic relations between the two 
nations, Havana was blockaded, and later Cienfuegos. 


On our way to Havana, about the middle of May, we met in the 
Yucatan Channel the first American war ships. They were a cruiser 
of the Raleigh class and a torpedo cruiser. The former, painted dark 
gray and stripped for service, having only a signal yard at the fore- 
topmast, being in all other respects cleared for action, made a good 
appearance. A large number of the crew were standing on the upper 
deck and near the guns, curiously eying the foreigner who had entered 
the line of blockade. After the exchange of a few signals as to name, 
place of departure, and destination, we resumed our course for 
Havana. The next morning (May 17), through the veil of mist cov- 
ering the shore, we had a first glimi>se of the mountain at Mariel, which, 
by its peculiar shape, affords the sailor an excellent point of bearing. 
A heavy fog was still enveloping Havana, and was not dispersed 
until the sun rose higher in the cloudless blue sky. The first object 
that met our eyes was the old castle of the Morro, with the red and 
yellow Spanish flag waving proudly in the wind. We could dis- 
tinguish the high light-house to the left of the entrance, and adjoining 
it a huge mass of stone walls and fortifications. Havana from the 
sea forms a singularly beautiful picture; but this was a time of war, 
and our eyes, after gazing admiringly on the magnificent panorama, 
turned, as though instinctively guided by the military spirit, to the 
long rows of fortifications visible close to the shore at the Yedado, 
indistinctly at first, then more and more sharply. There was much 
to be seen. During the short moments while we were passing by, we 
had to observe carefully in order to gain at least an approximate idea 
of the value and strength of the forts. The whole line of fortifica- 
tions at the Vedado appeared to have been recently constructed. At 
Santa Clara and La Reina workmen could be seen strengthening and 
changing the original batteries. To the left of the harbor entrance, 
also, we could see two or three newly erected batteries extending as 
far as Cochima (Cojimar?). 

The American blockading vessels remained at a considerable dis- 
tance and were apparently composed of only a few gunboats of the 
Annapolis class and auxiliary cruisers (small steamers or yachts armed 
with a few rapid-fire guns). We were slowly approaching the harbor 
entrance, and with the assistance of a pilot entered the harbor, 
passing through the mine obstruction and the channel, which was 
literally lined with guns, though mostly of old designs. Great num- 
bers of people, mostly soldiers and workmen, were crowding both 
sides of the entrance. Silently they were staring at our ship, and 
the same dismal silence also prevailed in the harbor itself. The 
beautiful wharves for loading and unloading steamers were empty. 
Only a number of workmen out of employment were sitting or lying 
around. A few boats were moving about in the harbor. All the others, 
as well as the larger sailing vessels which in time of i)eace are engaged 
in coasting trade, were at anchor in the inner harbor. The coal 


depots at the other side of the harbor contained immense supplies, 
but at the quays and coaling piers, which are the busiest places in 
normal times, there was not a single vessel to be seen. Finally, 
when we entered the harbor proi)er, we saw a few Spanish warships — 
the cruiser Alfonso XII, torpedo gunboats Ma/rques de la Ensenada, 
Nueva Espa/fia, Conde de Venadito, and a number of smaller gun- 
boats. These ships, also painted gray, stripped for service and 
cleared for action, made at a first glance a very good appearance* 
especially the large cruiser; but a second glance through glasses 
suf&ced to convince us that the large cruiser, Alfonso XII, had no 
large guns on board, which caused us to infer that on the inside also 
everything was not as it should be (and, indeed, it appeared subse- 
quently that the boilers were unserviceable). Close to the Alfonso 
XJJ the wreck of the Maine could be seen above the water, furnishing 
the key, so to speak, to the strange changes which Havana had under- 
gone in such a short time, the warlike preparations of the garrison 
on tKe forts outside, the stillness of the harbor, the inactivity of the 
population, and the appearance of the Spanish warships cleared for 

2. A walk through the streets of the city revealed the usual every- 
day life! Of course the traffic was not as great as in time of peace. 
The wealthier families — Cubans and Spaniards as well as foreign- 
ers — ^had left Havana in large numbers. Many beautiful houses, the 
former residences of these families, were now standing empty. Beg- 
gars were lying about in front of the church doors and in the main 
streets, among them women with half -starved little children, but not 
in very large numbers. Many a coin was dropped into their out- 
stretched hands by the passers-by; but there was nothing to indicate 
at that time that the blockade had entailed serious results for the 
poorer population. Many stores in the principal streets were open, 
but in the majority of cases the clerks were taking it easy, either in 
the store or in front of it. The restaurants and cafes, on the con- 
trary, were enjoying good patronage. The prices, of course, were 
higher than usual, but not extravagant; and for good pay, good din- 
ners could be had in these restaurants. Meat was, on an average, 
1.50 marks (37 cents) a pound. Eggs were particularly expensive. 
The general opinion was that there were sufficient provisions in the 
city to sustain the blockade for some length of time ; but what was to 
become of the poorer class of the population in that event was a 
problem. At the restaurants the large number of uniforms was strik- 
ing. They were worn by the volunteers, who were represented at the 
capital in particularly large numbers. A sx>ecial guard of honor of 
volunteers had been ordered for Captain-General Blanco, and they 
had taken charge of the guard service at the palace. As for the mil- 
itary qualities of these half soldiers, they were probably not of a high 
character, for proper training and drilling were lacking here as well as 


in Puerto Rico. From the city I went to the seashore and took a look 
at the fortifications, esx>ecially Santa Clara and La Beina, and I 
could not help admiring the energy and zeal of the Spanish. Every- 
where the greatest activity prevailed. From early until late work 
was going on at the fortifications. The old forts were being strength- 
ened by earthworks and heavy guns mounted at Santa Clara. In 
some of the forts volunteers could be%een practicing at the guns until 
Ifete at night; other divisions of volunteers had gathered for instruc- 
tion; feverish activity everywhere, from the private to the officer and 
Captain-General. The latter frequently visited the forts and inspected 
X)ersonally the progress of the work. But in view of all this energy 
one may well ask, Was there not too much to be made up that had 
been neglected in time of peace ? It is not possible to make soldiers, 
especially accurate and cool-headed marksmen, in a few weeks or 
months. That can only be done by constant practical training under 
able officers in time of peace. 

3. On May 14 the Spanish gunboats Conde de VenadUo and Ntieva 
Espana had made an attack on the American blockading vessels, and 
as this is the only instance of initiative on the part of the Spanish 
ships at Havana, I will give an account of it. The Conde de VenadUo 
is one of the older cruisers, of 1,200 tons displacement, launched in 
1888, having a speed of 12 knots, armed with four 12-centimeter guns 
and a few light rapid-fire guns. The Nueva Espa/Fla is a torpedo gunboat 
of 600 tons, armed with two 12-centimeter guns and a few light rapid- 
fire guns, reputed to have a speed of 18 knots, but in reality she 
would probably not make more than 14 knots. The 12-centimeter 
Hontoria guns were installed behind shields. According to the state- 
ment of a Spanish officer, these could be fired not oftener than once in 
five minutes. No target practice had taken place. The Nv£va 
Espa/fia had fired the first shot at an American war ship. Her torpedo 
armament consists of four Schwartzkopff torpedoes of the older tyx)e, 
with smaU explosive charge (about 25 kilograms), and two torpedo 
tubes. No regular exercises in tori)edo launching had taken place. 
Both vessels have a great deal of woodwork. On the forward conning 
bridge is a saloon with heavy wood wainscoting, tables, chairs, etc., 
none of which had been removed for the fight. Both ships went out 
to sea at 5 o'clock p. m., followed at some distance by two small tugs. 
The blockading line was quite a distance from the shore, and it was 
about an hour before the engagement commenced. Five American 
vessels, probably only gunboats and auxiliary cruisers, were soon 
surrounding the Spanish ships, so that the latter could use their guns on 
both sides. The vessels approached to within 8 kilometers. A suc- 
cessful hit from the Spanish is said to have caused the American 
ships to retreat, but owing to the darkness the Spanish ships did not 
dare follow them, and returned to Havana at 8.30 p. m. without hav- 
ing been hit once. This was not very much of a success, and does 


not appear to have raised the spirit of the Spanish ; for, even after the 
harbor flotilla had been reenforced by the cruiser Infanta Isabel) it 
never again attempted an attack on the American ships, either at . 
night or in daytiUie. That does not speak verj^ highly for the initia- 
tive and spirit of enterprise on the part of the Spanish naval officers, 
esi)ecially as the blockading fleet consisted only of gunboats and 
inferior auxiliary cruisers, which later were reenforced by the large 
cruiser San Francisco. Even the latter might have been successfully 
attacked at night by the Spanish torpedo boats under able command 
and with intelligent handling of the torpedo weapon. 

4. In order to cut off the supply of provisions from the sea the 
cities of Matanzas, Cardenas, and Cienfuegos, which are connected 
with the capital by railway, had been blockaded since the beginning 
of the war. Several attempts of the United States to land troops at 
these places were unsuccessful, owing to the inadequate means with 
which they were undertaken. The Americans therefore confined 
themselves to a few insignificant bombardments, and finally to the 
blockade alone. When I arrived at Cienfuegos, on June 11, 1 did not 
meet a single American vessel keeping up the blockade, either in 
Yucatan Channel or in front of Cienfuegos. I have subsequently 
been told that the American ships would often leave the harbor with- 
out any gualrd and then suddenly reappear at the end of a few days. 
I infer from this that the Americans did not handle the blockade 
service very strictly at Cienfuegos. The result was that several 
steamers were successful in running the blockade. If the Spanish 
Government had used some energy in securing blockade runnere at 
the beginning of the war, or had encouraged them by premiums, 
Havana, as well as the other provinces of the island, could have been 
abundantly supplied with provisions. How little such enterprises 
were supported by the Spanish Government is shown by the fact that 
at Cienfuegos, for instance, two large steamers were lying idle during 
the whole period of the war, while with a little more energy they 
might have been of the greatest service. Besides Cienfuegos, the 
waters near the Isle of Pines — the town of Batabano among 
others — ^were very favorably situated for blockade runners. From 
suitable anchoring places in deep water, which are abundant in that 
vicinity, the cargoes could have been taken ashore by smaller vessels. 
Of course, all such matters require preparation and decisive action — 
conditions which did not exist among the Spanish. As a matter of 
fact, at different times in the course of the war supplies did reach 
Cuba just in that manner, and that was the reason why the United 
States saw themselves comi)elled to extend the blockade from Cape 
Antonio to Cape Cruz, the whole territory here under discussion. 

5. When we arrived at the entrance to Cienfuegos we noticed to the 
right the ruins of a light-house, which the Americans had fired upon 
in an unsuccessful attempt at landing. To the left of the harbor" 


entrance, which was now plainly visible, was a large cascle in the 
usual Spanish style of architecture, standing on an elevation, and 
below it the town, which, with its white houses hidden among trees, 
reached down to the watSr's edge. The houses wei^ mostly one-story 
high, with porches running all around. Some boats and small steam- 
ers were lying at the landing piers. After hoisting the necessary sig- 
nals and waiting patiently we saw two Spanish gunboats approaching. 
We could plainly see that they had been cleared for action and were 
extremely suspicious, for they advanced, but very slowly. Finally, 
they seemed to come to the conclusion that the white ship with awn- 
ings, lying there quietly, without any warlike preparations, could 
have only a peaceful mission. A boat was lowered, the pilot came on 
board, and we ran in. The entrance is similar to that at Santiago de 
Cuba, and quite narrow. There is a bend to the north which makes 
it difficult for large ships to enter the harbor, because the current 
coming from several directions is usually very strong at this place, so 
that a ship turning slowly might easily run aground on the eastern 
point. Here also the indefatigable activity of the Spanish troops 
could be noticed. They were working energetically on new batteries, 
which were armed with field guns. There were mines in the entrance. 
Works of defense, trenches, etc., had been built in the direction of 
the castle. The number of regular troops was conspicuous; there 
appear to have been no, volunteers at that place. As we passed, the 
soldiers stopped in their work to take a look at the ship. At one of 
the landing piers, at the narrowest place of the entrance, a crowd of 
I)eople and regular soldiers had gathered. A band on the porch of 
one of the houses was playing "The Watch on the Rhine," a courtesy 
extended to the German ship by the Spanish commander. We 
steamed into the large bay and after passing several small islands 
and shallow places we saw before us the city of Cienfuegos. The 
channel is narrow even here; the large bay has many shallow places, 
and only a narrow passage leads to the city, at which our ship cast 
anchor some distance from the shore. Nevertheless, the harbor of 
Cienfuegos is one of the best of the whole island of Cuba, and with the 
expenditure of the necessary funds a very fine place could be made 
of it. Outside of Santiago, whose commerce, owing to the inaccessi- 
bility of the country back of it, will probably never be developed to 
any great extent, Cienfuegos is the only good harbor on the southern 
coast, and has therefore probably a great future. It is also to be 
noted that the largest sugar factories of Cuba, which are mostly oi)er- 
ated by American capital, are in the vicinity of Cienfuegos. 

6. The small Spanish gunboats lying in the harbor were doing guard 
service at the entrance, relieving each other every day. Besides these 
the torpedo-boat cruiser Oalicia was in the harbor. An unlucky star 
seems to have been over this vessel. At first it was stated that she 
was to be docked in order to make repairs. Afterwards she was again 


pronounced seaworthy; but the fact is that she never left the harbor 
during the whole period of the war. There was no lack of provisions 
noticeable in the city. The Spanish Government had bought up the 
provisions and set selling prices on them. For instance, a pound of 
beef was only 80 pfennigs (20 cents) — certainly a low price consider- 
ing that the blockade had already lasted two months. On June 13 
gun fire was heard in the direction of the entrance. The Spanish 
gunboats went out and had a slight engagement with an American 
auxiliary cruiser, probably the Yankee. The gunboat Vasco Nmiez 
de Balboa was shot through the bow above the water line, and sev- 
eral of the crew were wounded. In other respects the engagement 
was of no importance. The following day we left Cienfuegos, spoke 
the American cruiser Yankeey which was on blockade service, and 
after stopping a few days at the Isle of Pines we shaped our course 
for Havana. 

7. In the morning of June 22 we came within sight of the table- 
land. We kept close to the shore in order to inspect the harbor of 
Mariel and to see how far the American blockading Une extended. It 
was not long before the blockading ships, among them the gunboat 
Wilmington^ which was lying close to Mariel, came in sight. There 
was the usual exchange of signals. A heavy thunderstorm was 
threatening. Morro Castle, which had been visible in indistinct out- 
lines, disappeared behind a dark cloud. The storm came up rapidly. 
The flashes of lightning followed each other in quick succession, the 
thunder roared, and the rain was coming down in torrents with a 
force only possible in the Tropics. The blockading ships had van- 
ished from sight. We could hardly see a ship's length in front of us, 
and the torrents of rain continued to fall, merging the lines of the sky 
and the sea. As we had made out Morro Castle. before the storm 
commenced, I had the ship steer for it very slowly. Soon it com- 
menced to clear up in the direction of the land, and while the storm 
continued to rage on the sea and the whole line of blockade was 
still enveloped in rain, we entered the harbor with the assistance 
of the pilot. Involuntarily the thought occurred to me, what an 
opportunity that would have been for a blockade runner; but 
the matter is not as simple as it looks. It is true that at this 
season of the year a heavy thunderstorm, usually about noon or in 
the afternoon, may be counted upon almost daily. Still the 
chances of being thus favored are too slim to make it advisable 
for a ship to attempt to run the blockade in daytime. The only real 
opportunity is at night. The American blockading fleet consisted of 
the gunboat Wilmington^ two gunboats of the Annapolis class, one 
or two monitors and about four auxiliary cruisers, the latter partly 
small vessels. The ships were distributed over a line about 30 miles 
long, surrounding the harbor in an arc at- a distance of about 120 to 
140 kilometers. In my opinion it would not have been dif&cult for a 


fast ship (15 or 16 knots would have been sufficient, since the Amer- 
ican blockading vessels, with the exception of a few small cruisers, 
did not exceed 12 knots) to run the blockade at night. The require- 
ments were that the night should be as dark as i)ossible, the lights 
on board darkened, and the course shaped straight for the entrance 
through the middle of the blockading line. As the beacon light was 
kept burning all the time, there was no difficulty about steering for 
the entrance. The blockade runner would have had to depend en- 
tirely on her speed and maintain her course without regard to hostile 
projectiles. The firing of guns, including rapid-fire guns, with night 
sights is so difficult that hits can hardly be counted on unless the dis- 
tance is very small. To approach the line of blockade by hugging 
the shore I consider hazardous. The vessel could not have remained 
entirely hidden, owing to the close formation of the line. There would 
have been danger, as soon as the alarm signal was given, for the block- 
ade runner to be cut off from Havana by the blockading fleet and 
forced upon the shore. 

8. Since our last visit to Havana, about a month ago, there was 
hardly any change noticeable in the asx>ect of the town and the con- 
ditions prevailing there. The harbor was empty and deserted. Two 
steamers, however, could be seen, of rather enterprising apx>earance, 
one of them even with two small rapid-fire guns on board. The Span- 
ish war ships were still at anchor at the samdP place. There were no 
foreign war ships. Work on the improvement of the fortifications 
was still going on with the same restless activity. The volunteers 
continued their drills. Provisions were expensive, but the prices were 
held down by the Government, so as to prevent excesses on the part 
of the dealers. The poor "were being taken care of as far as possible 
by the distribution of food in free kitchens and by entertainments for 
their benefit. The theaters were kept open. On certain days there 
was music in the public places. The Governor-General did all he 
could to keep up the spirit of the inhabitants. The rate of sickness 
and death was said to be hardly higher than usual. The climate at 
this time of the year is especially unfavorable, because the beneficial 
effects of the rainy season are not yet felt. Inside of the fortified 
region the Government had laid down so-called zonas de cultivo, which 
were intended for the raising of vegetables, etc., and were expected 
to prove of great benefit. One of the chief articles of food consisted 
of pineapples, which in time of peace are exported in incredible num- 
bers, and which could now be bought in quantities for a fabulously 
low price. 

9. In the forenoon of June 24, I noticed some preparations on board 
the Spanish steamers Montevideo and San DomingOy from which I 
inferred that they were about to put to sea. The time was well chosen. 
The moon set about 10 o'clock, and at midnight both steamers, with 


all lights darkened, passed through the entrance. They were suc- 
cessful in eluding the American ships. I afterwards met the Monte- 
video again at Vera Cruz, with a full cargo, ready to leave the harbor 
at any moment; but as far as I could ascertain, the steamer, after 
putting to sea, preferred to return and unload her cargo again. The 
San Domingo^ upon her return to Cuba, was captured by American 
blockading ships and run ashore near the Isle of Pines. 

10. We remained at Havana until June 29. We then proceeded to 
Kingston and from there to Santiago de Cuba and Cienf uegos, casting 
anchor at the latter place on the evening of July 8. The blockade 
was now quite strict, afi we had an opportunity to find out upon 
approaching Santa Cruz. At Trinidad we met the American gunboat 
Hdenaj and at Cienfuegos the cruiser Detroit^ lying close to the har- 
bor. Nevertheless, the auxiliary cruiser Reina Maria Cristina^ a large, 
fast steamer, armed with fourteen 5-centimeter rapid-fire and several 
revolving guns, had succeeded in entering the harbor of Cienfuegos. 
Her cargo consisted of dried codfisIT and ham. Part of the steamer's 
guns and ammunition were used to reenforce the fortifications. The 
city itself had not again been harassed by the American ships. Com- 
munication with Havana by rail was kept up, though there were fre- 
quent delays in the arrival of trains, owing to the lack of fuel. There 
did not appear to be any great scarcity of provisions. A proclama- 
tion by Captain-Greneral Blanco, published in the Gaceta de la Habana, 
apprised the city of the catastrophe of Santiago, which was so disas- 
trous to the Spanish. 

The Spanish at Cienfuegos gained an idea that the ships had gone 
down with all their crews. It wafi not learned at that time that the 
ships had been run ashore and that the Americans had taken many 
prisoners. The heavy blow was borne with comparative equanimity. 
It was the general opinion that the fate of Santiago was also sealed 
and that then peace negotiations would be opened. 

11. On July 10 the crew of the steamer Alfonso XII arrived at 
Cienfuegos and was transferred to the auxiliary cruiser Reina Maria 
Cristina, The Alfonso XII had attempted to run the blockade at 
Havana, keeping close to the shore, but had been compelled by the 
American blockading ships to run ashore at Mariel. The majority 
of the crew was rescued. The cargo was destroyed by the Americans, 
who fired upon the steamer and set her on fire. In connection with 
this attempt to run the blockade we seek in vain for an explanation 
as to why the cruisers, torpedo gunboats, and other vessels in Havana 
Harbor did not assist the blockade runner. The time of her arrival 
could have been announced by cable. It then became the duty of 
the Spanish warships to go out in accordance with a prearranged plan 
and try to divert the blockading ships. Such a maneuver would not 
only have raised the moral courage of the garrison, condemned to 

12483 3 

34 ' 

demoralizing inactivity, but would in all probability also have been 
attended with success. 

12. We left Cienfuegos on July 12, and after visiting Vera Cruz, 
again returned to Havana on August 1. The blockading fleet 
apx>eared to have drawn closer together, so that there was one ship to 
every 2 miles. The flag ship San Fra/ndsco was also seen this time. 
Few changes were noticeable in the city itself. There was not as yet 
an actual famine, but the poorer classes were evidently much worse 
off than they had been on our former visit, for the number of beggars 
in the streets had increased. Crowds of x>oor x>6ople would come 
alongside the ships in boats to try to get something to eat. It was a 
sad sight to look upon those half-starved women and emaciated little 
children, barely covered with miserable rags, holding out their hands 
imploringly and asking for alms. Everything floating around in the 
water was examined by these miserable x>eople. Nothing escax)ed 
their eyes. Parings of fruit and other refuse were caught up and 
sucked out. The suffering was terrible, and we were powerless before 
it. All could not be helped, but at least a few. This scene was 
repeated every noon and evening. The crews gave willingly what 
could be spared, and more than that. Ashore, as already stated, the 
I)oor people were being taken care of as far as possible by free kitch- 
ens. Since the middle of July about 30,000 rations had been distrib- 
uted in these kitchens. The health conditions were remarkably good 
this year. Yellow fever had not yet made its appearance, but there 
was typhoid fever and dysentery. The sentiment of the population, 
as well as of the troops, seemed to incline toward peace. A general 
feeling of listlessness had settled upon them since the capitulation of 
Santiago. "If the Americans would only attack Havana," the people 
would say, 'Hhey would soon find out what the garrison of the capital 
is made of. They would get their heads broken quick enough. But 
Uncle Sam is only beating about the bush. He is not going to swal- 
low the hot morsel and bum his tongue and stomach." No wonder 
that the Spanish troops, condemned to inactivity, poorly fed, cut off 
from the whole world, and without any prospect of relief, were anxious 
for the end to come. And so peace was being talked of everywhere, 
and there was a persistent rumor that the French ambassador at 
Washington had been empowered to conduct peace negotiations. 

13. After a cruise around Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico, uxK)n which 
I had started at the beginning of August, I returned to Havana for 
the fourth time on September 3. How different everything looked ! 
The clouds of smoke of the blockading ships were no longer seen on 
the horizon. That circle of brave vessels, greedy for prey, ready 
every moment to pounce upon anything that came within their reach, 
had vanished. Our first glance was for the flag on Morro Castle. 
The red and yellow colors were still waving there, but there seemed 
to be an air of sadness and listlessness about them, as though they 


were anticipating their fate of having to make way for another flag 
without having been conquered. The harbor entrance was animated. 
Many sailing vessels were going in and out. In the harbor itself 
German, English, and Norwegian steamers were busily engaged in 
loading and unloading. Alongside the custom-houses there were a 
number of American and Mexican sailing vessels that had brought 
food and wine. All the storerooms were filled with provisions of 
every kind. The city had awakened to new life, business houses 
were once more open, merchants were again at their work, the streets 
were full of people; yet there was an air of depression over the whole 
city. The one thought, what was to become of them now, seemed to 
have cast a spell over everything. The insurgents were lying close 
to the city, and many of the inhabitants of Havana went out to visit 
with friends or to satisfy their curiosity. Will the United States 
succeed in dispelling the specters it has conjured up? Will Cuba 
Libre triumph, or will the island be annexed to the Union? These 
are the questions which are now ever present. 

14. As peace is now at hand, there is no reason why a discussion of 
the fortifications of Havana, which were .erected or improved by the 
Spanish with so much skill, should be kept secret any longer. I will 
therefore try to give an approximate idea of the same: 

(a) The harbor entrance had been made inaccessible by several 
rows of mines. Along the entrance many guns had been set up which 
were fired through embrasures from behind thick masonry walls. All 
these guns were muzzle-loaders of old types. Farther inland there 
was a torpedo battiery — two ordinary launching tubes, which had been 
temporarily installed on a float without any protection. 

(6) The object of the shore fortifications was partly to defend the 
entrance and partly to prevent landings. During the first few days 
after the breaking out of the war the Spanish had feared a bombard- 
ment of Havana and a landing of American troops at the Yedado, 
and this fear was well founded, as there was only one fortification 
on the Vedado, and that not entirely completed. The Americans 
allowed that opportunity for attacking Havana by surprise to go by 
without taking advantage of it, because they were themselves by no 
means prepared for the war and had neither troops nor transports in 
readiness. By dint of unremitting activity the Spanish were able 
in the course of the war to place the ftflowing works in good condi- 
tion, part of them having been newly erected : 


Battery No. 1 (i)ermanent) : Four 15-centimeter OrdoSez guns; on 
the wings, two 6.7-centimeter Nordenfeldt rapid-fire guns. 

Battery No. 2 (permanent): Two 30.5-centimeter Krupp guns; four 
21-centimeter Ordofiez howitzers; two 5.7-centimeter Nordenfeldt 
rapid-fire guns. 


Velasco battery (temporary): Three 28-centimeter Krupp guns; 
three 12-centimeter Hontoria naval guns; one 5.7-oentimeter Norden- 
feldt rapid-fire gun. 

Between the latter two batteries there were three small temporary 
batteries, the first of which was armed with two 9-centimeter field 
guns and the second and third with three 12-centimeter and 15- 
centimeter guns, respectively. 


La Punta (permanent) : Two 15-centimeter OrdoSez guns. 

La Reina (permanent, but considerably strengthened and newly 
armed) : Three 16-centimeter Hontoria naval guns (from the cruiser 
Alfonso XII); two 25-centimeter muzzle loaders; seven 21-centimeter 
muzzle-loading howitzers. 

Santa Clara (permanent, but considerably strengthened and newly 
armed): Two 30.5-centimeter Ordofiez guns; three 28-centimeter 
Krupp guns; four 21-centimeter howitzers. On the flank, two 6.7- 
centimeter Noi'denfeldt rapid-fire guns and three 15-centimeter guns. 

Battery No. 3 (permanent): Four 21-centimeter Ordofiez howitzers; 
two 15-centimeter Ordofiez guns; two 24-centimeter Ordofiez guns. 

Battery No. 4 (temporary): Three 16-centimeter Hontoria naval 
guns (from cruiser Alfonso XII); four 15-centimeter Ordofiez guns; 
two 5.7-centimeter Nordenfeldt rapid-fire guns. 

Besides these, temporary stands had been erected on the west wing 
for field guns. 

(c) The shore fortifications had their bases of support in some of 
the larger forts, like El Principe and Atares forts, forming the inner 
belt around the city. An outer belt had also been established at a 
distance of about 10 kilometers from the city. The fortifications on 
the outer belt consisted of a large number of infantry sites protected 
by artificial obstructions, stakes, wire fences, etc. For each two or 
three of these sites there were more extensive works with gun stands. 
Thus, all the important points had been connected by one long line of 
fortifications. The defense of the coast east of battery No. 1 near 
Cochima (Cojimar?) was suprisingly weak. Batteries Nos. 1 and 2 
are trained toward the sea; only one 4.7-centimeter rapid-fire gun 
covers the flank. The fortifications on this part of the coast consist of 
only one gun site with two field guns. It would seem as though a 
landing with a sufficient force of troops, assisted by the fleet, might 
have had a chance of success. Fortunately for the city the fortifica- 
tions were not put to a severe test. Aside from a few shots at the 
beginning of the blockade, about twenty shots were fired at the 
American cruiser San Francisco toward the end of the war, namely, 
on August 12. The ship did not answer the fire. A Spanish pro- 
jectile hit the stern of the American cruiser as she was steaming 
away, but without causing serious damage or loss of human life. 


15. In order to show in a comprehensive form the steamers which 
during the war ran the blockade of Cuba, I give in the following table 
the names of the steamers and the different harbors they entered, 
together with their respective cargoes : 



Name of ship. 

Steamer MoDtserrat 
Steamer Adnla 4 

Do ' Steamer Relna Maria Cris- 


Santiago de Cuba a.' Steamer Polaria 

Caibariena Steamer Alava 

Do Steamer Franklin 

H anzanillo 

Sagna la Grande a. 


Steamer Anita 

Steamer Fritjof Nanaen 

Steamer Montaerrat .... 

Cayo Frances a.. 







Kueyitaa a. 



Xa Isabella (sea- 

S[>rt of Sagoa la 
rande). a 

San Cayetano. 

Steamer Franklin 

Coast steamer Artnro. 
Coast steuner Sara. . . 

Bark Trea Hermanos. 

Coast steuner Victoria 

Steamer Villaverde 

BrigBiOia , 

Steamer Saffi 

Steamer Franklin. 

Steamer Chateau Lafltte 

Steamer Kegulns 

Steamer PralroDo. 

Apr. 26 
Jane 17 

June 22 

May 7 
Jnly 4 
do ... 

6 June 18 
July 3 

July 29 

July 81 

5 June 13 

5 June 24 

b June 20 
July 14 

Jnly 13 

5 June 23 
July 26 
May 20 

June 11 
June 17 
July 19 

6 Aug. 8 


War material. 

50 barrels flour, 60 barrels com, 60 sacks 

rice, 10 tabs butter, 15 barrels pork, 15 

barrels beef, 10 barrels hard tack, 6 

sacks beans, 6 sacks pease. 
1,000 boxes bacon. 50 barrels bacon sides, 

600 barrels codfish, 200 sacks beans. 
800 sacks barley, 14,000 sacks rice. 
2,600 sacks flour, 6 barrels codfish. 
2,495 sacks flour, 3,056 sacks com, 200 

sacks spices, 833 sacks potatoes. 
Small quantities floor, rice, and meat 
Small qnantltiea potatoes, onions, meat, 

and rice. 
8,000 sacks rice. 805 sacks beans, 600 sacks 

pease, 500 sacks fiour, 1,899 boxes bacon. 

218 boxes codfish, a large quantity oi 

smoked meat, 15 barrels drugs. 
3,495 sacks fiour, 1,350 sacks com, 600 

sacks rice, 166 sacks beans. 
800 sacks com, 150 sacks flour, SO sacks 

pease, 100 sacks beans, 80 cans lard. 
35 boxes flour, 20 half boxes and 2,490 

sacks com. 
Beans, flour, and com. 
156 tubs bacon, 200 sacka rice, 160 sacks 

com, 129 barrels fiour, 60 boxes meat, 

66 boxes condensed milk. 
237 sacks com, 20 sacks pease. 100 sacks 

flour, 200 sacks beans, 6 sacks lentils, 

12 boxes salt meat, 120 cans, 2 barrels, 

and 4 tubs lard. 
4,786 sacks flour, pease, coffee, beans, 

com, and rice. 
6 barrels lard, 438 sacks rice, 22 sacks 

beans, 200 sacks flour. 
125 sacks pease, 06 sacks rice, 185 barrels 

wine, 650 sacks salt, 60 boxes oil, 5 

boxes cheese, garlic, hard-tack, and 

,269 t>ox( 

2,266^ iMxes floor, 284 sacks rice, 2,698 
sacks beans, 96 sacks spices, 60 sacka 
pease, 697 sacks com, 72 sacks coffee. 

60 barrela codfish, 6 barrels soup, 3,885 
barrels fiour, 9,295 sacks flour, 6,000 
sacks rice. 

6,673 barrels flour, 1,000 sacks wheat 
4,000 sacks com, 450 boxes canned 
meat, 1,000 barrels pork, 500 barrels 
hard- tack, 30 boxes groceries, 1 box 

400 sacks flour, 100 sacks rice, 100 sacks 
beans, 200 sacks com, 272 tubs lard, 20 
baskets garlic, 10 baskets onions. 

The above demonstrates once more how difficult it is to maintain 
a blockade even under the most favorable circumstances, as in this 
case, where' the Spanish navy did not make a single attempt to shake 
off the blockading ships. I am unable to say what part of the pro- 
visions mentioned in the foregoing table went to Havana; probably 

a These ports were never declared to be blockaded. 

5 These ports were not declared to have been blockaded until after these dates. 

Only four of the above-mentioned porta were included in the President's proclamation declaring 
certain ports to be blockaded, viz, Cienfuegos and Matansaa on and after April 22, 1898, and Manxan- 
jllo and Batabano on and after June 27, 1898. 

Out of the 22 Instances given in the table of veasels entering Cuban ports during the war, there 
were but 9 of theae which ran the blockade. 

O.K. I. 


all those that were landed at Batabano, but I have information from 
reliable sources that on August 12 the military administration of 
Havana had provisions on hand for three months longer, outside of 
what the blockade runners had brought into the country and what 
was hidden away in the houses of the city. One can therefore 
understand the indignation of Captain Greneral Blanco when he heard 
that the peace protocol had been signed. But of what use would 
have been a further resistance on the part of the Spanish garrison? 
The United States Government only needed to make the blockade 
more rigid. That would necessarily have sealed the fate of Havana 
sooner or later. A fortress in the ocean, cut off from its mother 
country, can be rescued only with the assistance of the navy. 
The enemy who has control of the sea need only wait patiently until 
the ripe fruit drops into his lap. 

The lessons to be derived from the foregoing are evident and need 
no further explanation. May our colonies be spared the fate of 


Was Notxs Ha IT. 












• w 


Sketches from the naval battle of Santiago and occnpation of Puerto 
Kico, by Commander Jacobsen, of the German protected cruiser Geier^ 
given in this number of the War Notes, are a continuation of Sketches 
from the Spanish- American War, by the same ofiScer, given in War 
Notes No. III. 


Oammander^ U. 8. iV., Okie/ InteUigenoe Officer. 
Navy Department, March 2!7^ 1899. 

Approved : 

A. S. OBOWNmsHiELD, BearAdmiralj U. S. N.^ 

Okie/ of Bureau oflfavigation. 



By GommaDder J • . 

[Translated from the Marlne-Randsohaa, January and February, 1899u-Gonoladed.] 


1. I have no official sources at my disposal from which to give ati 
account of the battle. The reports of Admiral Sampson and the com- 
manders of the American ships, as well as the reports on the condition 
of the Spanish vessels after the battle and on the positions and move- 
ments of all ships during the battle were published in the New York 
Herald. From the Spanish side nothing has been published except a 
short report of Admiral Oervera to Captain-General Blanco and an 
article entitled '^Admiral Gervera's fleet" published in the Kevista 
General de Marina. Under these circumstances it is inevitable that 
errors and omissions will occur in the account of the battle; but, on the 
whole, it will probably give an approximately correct idea. 

Paragraphs ^13, inclusive, have not been translated as they were 
' from United States publications containing: 

(1) Descriptions of the United States and Spanish vessels engaged 
in the battle. 

(2) Chart showing the positions of the ships during the battle at dif- 
ferent times between 9.30 a. m. and 1.15 p. m. from the records of the 
United States Naval Board appointed to plot such positions. 

(3) Description of the engagement compiled from official reports of 
the commanders of the United States vessels. 

(4) Condition of Spanish vessels after the battle, as shown by the 
United States board appointed to examine them. 

14. With Admiral Sampson's permission the officers of the Oeier 
inspected the Spanish ships on August 12, more than a month after 
the battle, at which time the following observations were made: 

(a) The ships, after coming out of the harbor entrance on a westerly 
course, turned to starboard and ran ashore in small coves, where they 
probably saw the best chance for their crews to reach the «hore through 
the surf. 

(b) The reason for beaching the ships can probably be found in the 
fact that the fires which broke out on board after the first American 


hits coald not be controlled by the crews, who had lost their heads 
auder the hail of hostile projectiles. All three of the ships present 
pictures of the most frightful ruin, chiefly due to the explosions and 
the conflagrations, which did not reach their full intensity until after 
the ships had been run ashore. All the woodwork an4 combustible 
material had been burned. The following will give an idea of the 
intense heat that must have prevailed: 

The iron di5ck beams and other horizontal iron parts were very much 
warped; the bearings of the connecting rods had been melted ;« the iron 
masts had been partly melted where they pass through the upper deck; 
Che brass frames of the ports between decks had been partly melted, 
and the ports themselves were found on deck converted into large 
lumps of glass; parts of the rapid-flre mounts had been melted, the lead 
in the small caliber and machine-gun projectiles had melted and run 
out, and the casings had been reduced to ashes. 

(o) Besides the conflagrations and subsequent explosions, the ships 
sustained such severe leaks when running ashore that it will be impos- 
sible to float them again, with the exception of the Maria Tereaa, which 
is now being attempted to be hauled off.* 

All the masts of the ships had fallen aft and had been hurled to the 
deck with their tops. Only the mainmast of the Maria Teresa was 
left standing, which is an evidence that she ran ashore at less speed, 
wluch is further shown by the fact that she sustained less leaks than 
the other ships. The mainmast of the Oquendit had fallen to star- 
board and broken in two upon striking the railing and one part gone 

{d) Nothing definite could be ascertained as to the boats that had 
been on board. There was nothing left but the wrecks of two iron 
steam launches hanging in the warped and partly broken davits on 
board of each of the ships. 

(e) The engines were probably intact in all of the ships at the time 
they ran ashore, for they were apparently running at great speed — at 
least the Oqv>endo and the Vizcaya. 

The machinery installation on board the ships was about as follows: 

a. The two main engines and six main boilers are located in five 
water-tight compartments below the protective deck. Above them, 
between decksj and protected by lateral coal bunkers, are two large 
auxiliary boilers of at least 12 tons capacity, and many auxiliary 
engines, conspicuous among which is a large and powerful centrifugal 
bilge pump with a discharge pipe of about 300 mm. diameter. The 
protective deck, extending firom the stem to the after torpedo room, is 
slightly vaulted forward of the boiler rooms, and pierced above the 
boiler and engine rooms for the passage of smokestack casings and 
engine skylight, but is protected at this place by a strong glacis, rising 

^ In the meantime the Maria Teresa has been floated by American wreckera, but 
(the sank on her way to Norfolk. — Ed. ** Rundschau." 

at an angle of about 30 degrees from the inner banker walls. The 
openings in the engine skylight and smokestack cadings were protected 
by iron gratings. The protection by lateral coal bunkers extended 
through boiler and engine rooms, reaching to the battery deck, a 
height of 3.5 meters. Alongside the engine rooms in each of the 
bunkers to port and starboard forward and starboard aft was a room 
for engine supplies, while to port aft was a well-equipped workshop, 
extending nearly to the ship's side. In the workshop was a small 
1-cyliuder steam engine for driving transmission gear, actuating a 
turning lathe, a boring engine, a grindstone, and very strong sheari^ 
also five vises. The supply rooms appear to have been well equipped, 
but everything seems to have been stored in wooden closets and on 
wooden shelves, for all the tools were found scattered on the floor in 
wild confusion. 

fi. There was a surprising number of rough castings, especially of 
stuffing boxes. Spare parts for the main engines were found suspended 
in the engine skylight; covers, pistons, and slide-valve faces for low- 
pressure cylinders on the bulkheads. To the smokestack casings were 
secured three connecting rods, eccentric rods, etc. 

y. Nothing could be noticed of any provisions having been made for 
the protection of the machinery installations except the iron gratings. 
In the Almircmte Oquendo coal sacks were found near the auxiliary 
boiler, but their object could not be determined, the boiler room being 
flooded. The steam pipes above the protective deck do not appear to 
have been disconnected before the battle. Valves leading to, auxiliary 
engines, which were not used during the fight (such as ash-hoisting 
machinery, pumps for auxiliary boilers, etc.), were found open. The 
centrifugal bilge pump above mentioned also appeared to have been in 
gear. The bulkhead doors above the protective deck were all open. 
They could not have been opened subsequently, since all the bulkheads 
had been warped by the heat, but the bolts were intact. 

(/) At the time of our inspection nothing could be ascertained 
regarding the injuries in the engine rooms, because they were all under 
water almost up to the protective deck* It was learned from an Ameri- 
can engineer engaged in the wrecking operations of the Infanta Maria 
Teresa that no dead bodies had been found in the engine and boiler 
rooms, and hence it is*probable that there have been no material inju- 
ries to the boUers and steam pipes. All the bunker bulkheads and con- 
necting doors are said to have been open and all the fires of the boUers 

[g) The damages above the protective deck had been caused chiefly 
by the conflagrations, but also by hits from the enemy's secondary bat- 
tery. The inadequacy of the lateral protection of the engine rooms 
was striking. The supply rooms and workshops had been hit a num- 
ber of times. Shots which entered the coal did not go through. Only 
one hit was noticed in the auxiliary piping above the protective deck of 


the Infanta Maria Teresa. The shot had gone clear throagh the pipe 
without ripping ft open, from which it may be inferred that there was 
no steam in it at the time. 

(h) On the gun and upper decks the smokestack casings had been 
perforated in several places, also the smokestacks themselves. Appar- 
ently no measures had been taken for closing up these shot holes. The 
electric wiring had been struck in many places. Shot holes were also 
noticeable in the speaking tubes. It was not possible, owing to the 
complete destruction by fire, to make any further investigation of the 
means of communication and command. 

(i) The three ships inspected had all their guns on board. The 
only ones that could not be found were the two 7-centimeter rapid-fire 
boat guns, but pivots had been provided on both sides of the stern, 
where these two guns were apparently intended to be installed for use 
against torpedo boat attacks at night. 

(k) From the slight losses which the American ships claim to have 
sustained, it may be judged that the training of the Spanish gun crews 
must have been very inadequate. This is not surprising, in view of 
the statement of one of the Spanish naval officers to the effect that no 
target practice is held in Spain in time of peace. Other circumstances 
also give evidence of very inefficient handling of the guns. The turrets 
and their guns, with the exception of the forward turret of the Almi- 
rante Oquendo, were found entirely intact. The loading apparatus for 
the 28centimeter guns (Whitworth, Manchester, 1895) was of the 
hydraulic order, and the loading time was about two minutes. The 
14-centimeter rapid-fire guns also were probably not used to their best 
advantage, owing to want of experience. There was evidently no lack 
of ammunition, for near some of the guns a number of cartridges were 
found, and some of the guns were still loaded, but had not been fired. 
To what circumstance it is due that the breechblocks of two of the 
guns were found lying in the rear of the guns with their pivot bolts 
torn off, and the projectiles jammed near the muzzle of the tubes 
could not be explained. Perhaps this may also be attributed to inefii- 
cient handling of the projectiles. 

({) Only the port side of the ships was fired upon. The starboard 
side shows but a few holes, where shots have passed out. Where the 
course of projectiles could be traced it was flsually ranging from port 
aft to starboard forward. The destructive effect of the American pro- 
jectiles is mainly due to the conflagrations caused by them. Aside 
from a shot through one of the turret roofs, no hits were observed in 
any of the armored turrets, ilfeither have any projectiles pierced the 
side armor, which shows no injuries. Only indentations are noticeable 
in places where projectiles have struck the armor. Projectiles of 15 
centimeters and larger calibers that had hit the ship had in many 
instances gone out through the other side, making holes about 1 meter 
square, but without bursting. As the same observation has been made 
in the bombardments of Santiago and San Juan, it may be assumed 


that it is due to the nncertain fdnctioning of the base fuse. It is not 
probable that the Americans used armor-piercing shell, as h^agments 
of projectiles of different sizes found in the vicinity show that explosive 
shell and not nonexplosive shell were used. Projectiles which *had hit 
smokestacks and masts had gone clear through, making only small, 
round or oblong shot holes. Hits of small-caliber projectiles (5.7-centi- 
meter) could be noticed in large numbers, and this was corroborated by 
the statement of an American officer to the effect that they were used 
in great quantities. 

(m) Th6 question whether the Spanish had any intention of making 
use of the torpedo weapon may probably be answered in the negative. 
The torpedo armaments of the ships, although including a large num- 
ber of tubes, were so defective that there could hardly be any chance 
of success as against the powerful American ships. The armaments 
consisted of two bow, four broadside, and two stern tubes, all above 
water and of antiquated design, with large cartridges, band-brakes, 
etc., all located above the armored deck and entirely unprotected* In 
a very primitive manner the tubes had been partly protected by grate 
bars lashed with chains. 

{n) The projectiles were 35-centimeter Schwartzkopff torpedoes with 
large depth-regulating apparatus. 

No war-heads were to be found, with a single exception. According 
to the statement of an American petty officer, the war-heads had been 
left at Santiago, where they were to be used in connection with the 
mine obstructions. It is true that this does not agree with the £EU)t 
that a torpedo head exploded on board the Almirante Oquendo. It is 
possible, however, that the ships retained one or two war-heads to be 
used in case of necessity as against rams, since the broadside tubes 
were adapted to be turned in any direction, or perhaps it was the com- 
mander's wish to take a war-head along. 

(o) The following points support the assumption that it was not the 
intention to make use of the torpedo weapon : 

a. Not one of the tubes still in existence was loaded, and all the 
tubes were closed. In the tubes destroyed by shots or otherwise no 
remnants of torpedoes were found. 

/i. The remaining torpedoes, almost without exception, were lying in 
their places along the ship's side. No torpedoes were found lying back 
of the tubes, with the exception of the bow tubes of the Almirante 

y. There was no pressure in any of the flasks. This is shown by 
the fact that the flasks were entirely uninjured, although the heat had 
partly melted the tailpieces of the torpedoes. 

6. In several of the torpedoes lying on top, the protecting cap for 
the depth-regulating apparatus had not been taken off, while it is 
necessary to remove it in order to put on the war heads. 

e. In a few of the torpedoes the sinking valves had been put in place. 


but in most of them they were Btni foond soldered, with connecting 
links raised. 

C. The tubes for filling the launching cartridges were not connected, 
and only on the AlminmU Oquendo was the powder charge in readiness. 


(p) This was the flagship, and the first one to be beached, about 6 
miles from the entrance of Santiago. The ship^s bow was lying only a 
little higher than usual above the water line, the stern a little lower; 
otherwise upright. She evidently ran ashore at slow speed, for aside 
from the fact that there were only small leakages in the bottom, no 
boiler explosion took place, nor was the mainmast thrown down. In 
other respects also her injuries are much less than those of the other 
ships. The ammunition rooms appear to have been previously flooded, 
and therefore did not explode. 

(q) This ship shows very few hits from the hostQe guns, especially 
few of small caliber as compared with the others. While all the wood- 
work has been burned, the same as on the other ships, little damage 
has been sustained by the ship's hull. The ship has therefore been 
floated by the Americans.^ All leaks had been stopped up, the ship 
pumped out, and then hauled off by steam tugs about 6 feet toward 
the sea. In this operation she sprang another leak aft and was again 
filled with water. On the day of our inspection this leak was being 
stopped up and the water pumped out by means of lour Qteam pumps. 
Heavy articles, such as anchors, chains, etc., had been transferred to 
one of the wrecking steamers. While the ship was dry the two forward 
boilers had been set to work, and with them the auxiliary piping and 
several bilge pumps. One of the workmen stated that the engines had 
been found intact. The engine rooms could not be visited, because 
they were under water up to the tops of the cylinders. It could only 
be ascertained that the engine skylight had not been damaged. 

(r) Three hits of large caliber — ^probably 20-centimeter — were 
observed : 

a. A shell had entered the after torpedo room close above the 
water line, had passed through a heavy stanchion and a lateral bulk- 
head, and out through the starboard side, where it had torn a hole 
about 1 meter square. There were no indications to show that the 
projectile had burst. The shot hole on the starboard side was slightly 
forward of and about 1 meter higher than that on the port side. 

/3, Another projectile had passed through the whole length of the 
compartment above this torpedo room and out through the starboard 
side, likewise without exploding. 

y, A heavy shell must have exploded at the upi>er conning bridge, 
for the top of the conning tower, without having been perforated, 
showed large oblong scars, caused by heavy explosive fragments. 

^ -^ ^^ IBM »■■ M 1 ^^^^^^ i^^^^^^^^i ■ I I- III I r T^^-^^i^n-^'"^^"^^^"*'^ 

^ She Bank again on her way to the United States.— Ed. '* Rundschau." 


(8) A 15-centimeter shell had struck the port bow and loosened the 
reenforcement ring of the hawse hole« No injuries from explosive 
fragments were noticed here. 

Another 15-centimeter shell had perforated the 3-centimeter shield 
of a 14-centimeter rapid-fire gun on the port side. Fragments had 
destroyed the shaft of the elevating gear and both hand wheels. 
Others had perforated the forward smokestack casing. This hit 
appears to have annihilated the whole crew of this gun, near which 
six charred bodies were found. 

Another 15-centimeter shell had damaged the after smokestack, after 
passing through the empty part of a coal bunker, which was still filled 
with coal to within 1 meter of the ceiling. 

(t) Very few small-caliber hits were noticed, only 6 in the ship's sides, 
2 in the forward, and 5 in the after smokestack, though one of the lat- 
ter may perhaps have been caused by a L5-centimeter projectile. Near 
the stern three indentations were noticeable in the side armor, proba- 
bly caused by 5.7-centimeter projectiles which, striking at a very small 
angle, had glanced off. 

(u) Further observations. made are as follows: 

All the breechblocks of the rapid-fire guns and parts of the mechan- 
anism of the revolving guns had been thrown overboard by the Span- 
iards. Whether the turret guns had also been rendered unserviceable 
could not be ascertained. In any event, they had not been injured by 
hostile, projectiles nor by the conflagrations. The gun sights were also 
missing. Inside the armored turrets no damages of any kind were 
noticeable. Even the paint had hardly suffered from the heat. In 
the after-turret gun a projectile had been rammed home, but appar- 
ently the cartridge had not been entered. The conning tower was not 
injured, only burned on the inside. 

{v) The torpedo-launching tubes and torpedoes had been less dam- 
aged by shots and fire than in the other ships. The complete remnants 
of twenty-four torpedoes were found, with the exception of the war 
heads. Only a few practice heads were found. 


(w) This ship sustained very severe leaks when running aground. 
She lies over to port, with the bow about 1 meter light and the stern 
1^ meters deep. The ship appeared to have her back broken in the 
region of the foremast. The rapid-fire ammunition room just forward 
of the after turret had exploded. Amidships everything above this 
room had been hurled down. The protective deck was heaved up and 
wrenched from the sides. The deck beams throughout were badly 
warped, and both sides of the ship showed large holes, through which 
the water was washing in. The second explosion had taken place in 
the forward rapid-fire ammunition room. The effects were about the 
same as alL On one side they were still fiirther increased by the 


explosion of a torpedo war head in the forward b loadside torpedo room. 
Here the apertare in the ship's side had reached tlie dimensions of two 
meters in width and about 5 meters in length, its lower edge being 
formed by the armor. 

{x) The Almirante Oquendo had suffered more than either of the other 
ships from hostile projectUes. 

a A 15 to 20 centimeter shell had torn a piece abont 20 centimeters 
wide and 50 centimeters long from the upper edge of the gun port iu 
the top of the forward 28-centiinetcr turret and burst inside. A num- 
ber of small boles, caused by shell fragments, covering a space of about 
1 meter scjuare, were noticeable in the top of the turret. There were 
no other traces of shell fragments. The bore was empty, the breech- 
block closed, aud a shell was found in the rear of the gun in position 
for loading. Back of the gun aud to the left of it two charred bodies 
were found, and to the right a mass of human remains that had appar 
ently formed two more bodies. A head was found lying on the pla^ 
form under the gun. Where the turret commauder had been standing 
another charred body was found lying on its back, with the gun sights 
under it. The gun itself appeared to have sustained no injuries. 

/!/. A shell, probably of 20 centimeter caliber, had passed through the 
ship's side in the engine workshop, where it had demolished the trans 
mission shaft, the boring engine, and the turning lathe; then througb 
the engine skylight and exploded on the other side of the latter, in the 
engine supply room. 

y, A heavy projectile had passed through the smokestack and out 
through the starboard side without having bursted in the ship. 

d. About 25 meters from the stern a heavy shell had struck the 
^ween-decks and passed through it. On the starboard side inboard, 
several small holes were visible, apparently from fragments of this 

e. A shell, probably of 15-centimeter caliber, had hit the shield of 
the fourth 14-centimeter rapid-fire gun. The irregular holes noticeable 
in the forward smokestacks are probably attributable to fragments of 
this shell. The wheels of the revolving and elevating gear of this gan 
had also been damaged. 

C. A 15-centimeter shell had passed through the port coal bunker 
and out through the starboard bunker. 

77. A 14-centimeter rapid-tire gun on the starboard side had been hit 
on the left side by a 5.7-centimeter shell ranging forward. The pro- 
jectile with solid point had passed entirely through the forward hoop 
and penetrated the bore to the depth of 2 centimeters. There were no 
splinters from the gun, but the displaced metal had been forced out at 
the edges, which is a proof of its great tenacity. The point of the pro- 
jectile had been broken off and was lying near the gun. The hole is 
about 15 centimeters long and at the widest place 5 centimeters wide. 

J&« In the whole port side about forty 8mall-c£>liber hits were oounted, 


most of them amidships. The smokestacks had also been hit several 
times by small projectiles. 

/. Oliher observations made on board the Almirante Oquendo are as 

The armor had not been injured by any hits. In two of the rapid- 
fire guns the sights were found set for ranges of 13 and 14 kilometers, 
and in the o.7-centimeter after-x)ort gun at 10 kilometers. The sights 
of all the guns, with the exception of the revolving guns, had traveling 
eyepieces. None of the sights were found set for short ranges. Some 
of the 14-centimeter rapid-fire breechblocks were missing, while some 
of the guns were found completely loaded. 

{y) The torpedo tube in which a torpedo had exploded had been torn 
into small fragments, the largest' of which were a guiding bar and a 
hinged door. The torpedoes secured to the ship's side had also been 
destroyed, with the exception of the flasks, which had been hurled 
several meters from their positions. The bulkhead 'tween-decks near 
the place of the explosion showed traces of the same. Pieces about 4 
centimeters square had passed entirely through it, while still smaller 
pieces had penetrated it to the depth of several millimeters. The 
conning tower had remained intact. 

In the forward torpedo room torpedoes were found near each of the 
tubes, but without war heads on them. The port tube had the depth- 
regulating apparatus in readiness. The outer cap of one of the tubes 
was still open. The tubes had been bent by the grounding of the ship. 
They were not loaded. 


{z) The Vizcayay like the Almirante OquendOy is so seriously damaged 
that there is no prospect of hauling her oif. This ship also ran ashore 
at great speed, and the keel was apparently broken in two, for with 
each sea the stern would rise and fall with loud creaking and groaning. 
The vessel was lying almost upright with only a small list to port. 
All the rooms below the protective deck, and the after rooms above it, 
were flooded. 

Near the forward turret an explosion had taken place in the lower 
part of the ship, probably in one of the ammunition rooms. The wood 
part of the upper deck had been burned, and the iron plating torn 
open, and through the gap could be seen a chaos of broken anchor 
gear, capstans, chains, cement, rubbish, torpedo tubes, etc. The hull 
is about equally damaged on both sides. 

a. The protective deck had been ripped open and the plating folded 
back on the starboard side, between the forward smokestack and the 
ship's side, probably as the result of a boiler explosion. The pivot 
sockets of the 14-centimeter rapid-fire guns had been torn away and 
the guns bent back to such an extent that the bores were pointing 
upward almost vertically. 


fi. Hot coal gas and smoke issning flrom an open banker hole showed 
that the coal was still burning. 

y. The Vizcaya has suffered little firom hostile fire. A 15 to 20 centi- 
meter shell had struck the forward broadside topedo room, dismounted 
the port tube, and had apparently killed a number of men* Several 
charred bodies were found scattered over the whole room. 

A 20-centimeter shell, ranging forward, had passed through the 
ship's side, through a locker amidships near the second 14-centiineter 
rapid-fire gun, and through a lateral bulkhead abaft of the forward 
turret; then, striking the turret, had glanced off without causing any 
impression, and exploded on the starboard side. 

A heavy shell had entered the gun deck forward of the after turret 
and passed out through the starboard side without bursting in the 

Besides these three large-caliber hits, about twelve smaller ones 
could be noticed in the broadside, most of them of 4.7 and 5.7 centi- 
meter caliber; also five hits in the forward and one in the after 

Other observations were made as follows: 

The conning tower had not been damaged by projectiles, but com- 
pletely burnt out on the inside. The conning bridge was totally 
demolished. Two charred bodies were found still lying in the tower, 
also several bodies or parts of bodies in different places on the iron 
gun deck. Many rapid-fire cartridges, either whole or in part, were 
found scattered about; also a quantity of exploded small-arm 

The breechblocks of two 14-centimeter rapid-fire guns were found 
near the guns. In one of these guns the projectile had been jammed 
near the muzzle. The whole cartridge was found in one of the bores. 
The breech was open. 

d. The torpedoes had not been made ready for use and the tubes 
were not loaded. 

15. If we compare the observations made by the ofiSoers of the Oeier 
as to the number of hits with the results of the examination made 
immediately after the battle, we obtain the following figures: 


lO-om. projectile .. 
12.7-cin. prqjeotile 
20^in. projectile . . 


Secondary battery 

Maria Tereea. 


5 rv 

20 XV 



6 m 


43 XL 




11 xvni 


In the above table the A.rabic figures designate the results of the 
United States Board, while the Boman figures represent the observa- 
tions made at the time of our inspection in August last. It will be 


noticed that there is not mach discrepancy in the flgnres. Of course, 
observations made so long after the action can not lay claim to abso- 
lute accuracy, especially as oar sojoarn on board was necessarily short. 
The traces of many hits have been partly obliterated by the powerful 
action of the surf, especially in the superstructures, of which hardly 
anything is left standing. It may therefore be inferred that the figures 
of the United States Board are more nearly CQcrect than ours; but even 
they probably fall short of the actual results. 

16. The Brooklyn was hit about twenty times by shells and several 
times by fragments and machine gun projectiles. The cruiser sustained 
no serious injuries of any kind. The Iowa is said to have been hit 
twice in the bow, just above the water-line, by 15-centimeter shells and 
seven times by small-caliber projectiles. The Texas and Indiana were 
hit twice by light projectiles without sustaining serious injuries. 

17. In order to be able to realize the complete defeat of the Spanish 
fleet it is necessary to call clearly to mind its situation in Santiago 
Harbor. Oervera had entered the harbor on May 19. As early as May 
27 five hostile cruisers with several gunboats and auxiliary cruisers 
were observed in front of the harbor, and there was no longer any 
doubt that the whole American battle fleet was blockading the harbor. 
Then foUowed the bombardments of Morro Oastle and the Socapa, sev- 
eral shells falling into the bay, and the Spanish ships retreated closer 
to the city. On June 3 the Merrinuie was sunk, but the entrance 
remained unobstructed. On June 22 occurred the landing of the 
American troops, who on July 1 attacked the fortifications of the city. 
Five hundred men of the landing corps of the Spanish ships took part 
in the defense and are said to have fought very valiantly. 

18. The Government authorities at Havana were very anxious to 
have the fleet leave the harbor, in order to -remove the main object of 
the attack upon Santiago; for the ships had been the cause of the 
blockade and of the attack on the unprepared city. Hence it was 
imperative that the ships should leave. It is probable that ever since 
the middle of June this had been suggested to Admiral Oervera by the 
authorities at Havana; but the Admiral appears to have declared that 
it was impossible to make an attempt to run the blockade at night. 
Whether direct orders were finally given to leave the harbor under all 
circumstances I have not been able to ascertain. 

19. Admiral Oervera was in a very difiScult position. He was expected 
to act in some manner. He did not dare make the attempt at night, 
and so he decided to go out with his fleet in broad daylight. The 
whole crew fell a victim to this fatal decision. Instructions for the 
order of the sortie and the taking of the western course had been pre- 
viously issued by the chief of the fleet. According to the Bevista Gen- 
eral de Marina, Vol. XI, No. 3, August, 1898, the Admiral was entirely 
convinced of the impossibility of defeating the enemy or of reaching 
another Ouban harbor, even if he should succeed in steaming right 


throQgli the hostile fleet. It is to this feeling of helplessness and impo- 
tence as against the American naval forces more than to anything else 
that I attribute the defeat. The Spanish ships had spent a month and 
a half in the harbor without even attempting to attack the blockading 
fleet when a favorable opportunity presented itself, or even of harass- 
ing it. The two torpedo-boat destroyers were not used for the purpose 
for which they were intended. This inactivity and lack of initiative 
must have had a very demoralizing effect on the ofiScers and men. If 
we add to this the certain knowledge that the opposing forces were 
much stronger, it will be readily understood that the idea of general 
flight after coming out of the harbor entrance was the only acceptable 
one, especially in view of the possibility of beaching the ships, thereby 
rendering them unserviceable, and eventually rescuing the crews. From 
the very moment that this feeling of impotence took possession of the 
Spanish and led to the above reflections their fate, psychologically 
speaking, was sealed. We do not mean to disparage their valor and 
tenacity in the midst of the hostile fire; but, on the other hand, it is 
quite natural that the Admiral, seeing that everything was happening 
as he had foreseen, was the one who set the example of running his 
ship ashore. All the other commanders followed this example. 

20. On the American side the situation was just the reverse. Ad- 
miral Sampson's fleet was fully conscious of its power. The blockade 
was being conducted in accordance with carefully prepared plans, as 
were also the arrangements in case of the enemy's attempt to escape. 
Frequent engagements with the Spanish forts had given commanders 
and crews that calm and assurance in the handling of their weapons 
which guarantees success. The long blockade service, exhausting and 
monotonous, hardly interrupted by any action on the part of the Span- 
ish, had strung the nerves to the highest pitch, and everybody was 
anxious for the end to come. Suddenly the enemy attempts to escape. 
All the passions that had been smoldering under the ashes break forth. 
The welcome opportunity for settling accounts with the enemy had 
come at last, and with a wild rush the American ships fell upon their 
victims. At the beginning the American flre, owing to the excitement 
of the personnel and the great distances, was probably not very effect- 
ive; but when the Spanish admiral turned to westward and the other 
ships followed him the moral superiority of the Americans reasserted 
itself. The commanders, calm and cool-headed, had their ships follow 
the same course, and the Americans, having every advantage on their 
side, recommenced the flre on the fleeing ships, which soon resulted in 
their total annihilation. 

21. I have already spoken of the lack of training of the Spanish 
crews, the neglect of gun and torpedo target practice, the inadequate 
education of the commanders of the ships and torpedo-boat destroyers. 
It is mainly due to these deficiencies that the defeat was hastened and 
that the American ships sustained so few losses. Furthermore, there 
can be no excuse for having allowed the cruiser Cristobal OoUm to 


leave Spain without her heavy armament. It has also been stated that 
the rapid-fire guns of this cruiser were unserviceable, so that she was 
really completely defenseless. The training of the engine personnel 
also was totally unreliable, which is not surprising in view of the fact 
that the Spanish ships, as a rule, are not sent out on extensive cruises. 
The bottoms of the Spanish ships had not been cleaned for a long time, 
and as they had been lying in Santiago Harbor for a month and a half 
they were considerably fouled. Thus the cruisers Maria Teresa^ 
Oquendo^ and Vizcayay which in all official books are credited with 18.5 
knots speed, went into the battle with a speed of from 10 to 12 knots 
at most, and the Cristobal Colon^ which is the latest ship and was to 
run 20 knots, hardly attained a speed of 13.5. Under these circum- 
stances, in every way unfavorable for the Spanish, whose crews were 
insufficiently trained and physically and morally enervated by long 
inactivity, whose ships were inferior in number, speed, and fighting 
efficiency, it is no wonder that the victory of the Americans was easy 
and paid for with insignificant sacrifices. 

22. There was only one chance for the success of the sortie. It should 
have been made at night in scattered formation. After a personal 
investigation of the locality, it is my opinion that it is entirely practi- 
cable for a fleet to leave Santiago Harbor at night. The wreck of the 
Merrimac did not constitute an obstruction. It is true that Admiral 
Sampson's report on the night blockade states that the lightships 
were lying from 1 to 2 miles from Morro Castle, according to the state 
of the atmosphere, and that they lighted up the channel for half a mile 
inside. Even the best search light, however, does not reach farther than 
1 mile. Therefore the illumination could not have been very effect- 
ive. Moreover, the shore batteries, by opening fire upon the light-ships, 
could have compelled them to change their positions; but, strange to 
say, this was never done. The dark nights at the time of the new moon 
about the middle of June would have been best suited for the enter- 
prise. Besides the four vessels of the fleet, two large Spanish merchant 
vessels lying in Santiago Harbor might have been taken out in order to 
deceive the enemy. The six vessels, with lights darkened, should have 
followed each other out of the harbor entrance, in predetermined order, 
as fast as possible. They should then have steered different courses, 
previously determined, with orders not to fight except when compelled 
to do so by the immediate vicinity of a hostile ship or when there was 
no possibility of escaping the enemy in the darkness. A rendezvous 
should have been fixed for' the next day, where the ships that succee<led 
in escaping were to assemble. 

23. If the fleet did not dare attempt a night sortie and was neverthe- 
less compelled to leave the harbor in obedience to orders, then the 
ships should have been headed straight at the enemy. All weapons, 
including the torpedo and the ram, should have been used. A bold 
attack in close formation was the only chance of success against the 

17176 2 


superior hostile flghtiiig forces, who would hardly have found time to 
form their lines. 

24. I shall not attempt to discuss at length all the lessons which may 
be derived from the battle, because this would lead too far. I will only 
enumerate them, and confine myself to dwelling a little more fully on 
those which are of the greatest importance for practical service. 

(a) Abolition of all woodwork. 

(b) No unprotected torpedo tubes. 

(o) Protection for all gun crews against shell fire. 

(d) Protection of the fire-extinguishing apparatus against shell fire. 

(e) Smokeless x>owder; greatest possible simplicity in the service of 
the guns and greatest possible rapidity of fire. 

(/) Good speed of the ships under normal conditions. 

{g) Thorough training of the crews in all branches of the service. 

25. The last two are the most important. A ship may show very 
brilliant results at the trial trip and be credited with the greatest 
speed in the different books on the navies of all nations; but for the 
officer who is to command the ship in battle this is not a criterion 
from which to judge of her efficiency. Frequent trial trips under fhll 
steam, making it possible to discover and cure defects of the machin- 
ery in time of peace, and familiarizing the personnel with the function- 
ing of the vessel in all its details, can alone give the commander an 
idea of what he may expect of his ship in battle. Extensive cruises at 
war speed should also be made, in order that the personnel may get an 
idea of how much more will be required in time of war. This is espe- 
cially important in the tropics, where the great heat materially affects the 
physical endurance and efficiency of the boiler and engine personnel. 

26. The most perfect training of the crews in all branches of the 
service, especially by all kinds of torpedo and gun practice, as nearly 
as possible under war conditions, is the foundation of success. As I 
said in Part lY of this work, nothing should be left undone to attain 
the greatest perfection possible in time of peace. No expense should 
be spared to enable those who bear the responsibility of the battle — 
the chiefs of fleets and squadrons, as well as all commanders — ^thor- 
oughly to test the actual degree of efficiency of their crews by prac- 
tical exercises, resembling as nearly as possible the operations of 
actual warfare. 

27. Such exercises will also demonstrate whether the weapons, from 
a technical standpoint, are equal to all the exigencies of war. I learned^ 
for instance, that the following defects were found to exist in the Amer- 
ican artillery materiel: 

(a) Brooklyn, — In the 5.7-centimeter rapid-fire guns cartridges were 
jammed in several instances. In the 20-centimeter guns the plugs 
stuck several times. Some of the 12.7-centimeter rapid-fire guns 
became unserviceable toward the end of the battle because the elevat- 
ing gear did not function properly, and all these guns had to be sup- 
plied with new mounts after the battle. 











t SI 


(b) TexoA. — ^The two 30.5 centimeter goiiB had been fired several times 
across the deck, considerably damaging the latter. A suggestion made 
in time of peace that the guns be tested in that respect had not been 
followed oat. 

(o) Iowa.--On this ship, also, the deck had been damaged by the 
firing of the heavy guns. The training gear of the 20-centimeter guns 
had not been able to sustain the firing at great elevation. - 

The most carefal examination of the artillery materiel in time of 
peace is absolutely necessary. Even when the strictest requirements 
are made and fulfilled in testing the guns, it is no guarantee that the 
materiel will not in the bourse of time show defects on board ship. In 
order that such defects may not remain hidden, to become apparent 
only when the guns are used in actual war, at least part of the target 
practice should be held with full service charges. 


1. In my first visit to San Juan de Puerto Bico (see Part III of the 
Sketches), I found there, to my great astonishment, a comparatively 
large German colony. I learned that in all the principal towns on the 
island, such as Ponce, Mayaguez, Aguadilla, and Arecibo, Germans 
are likewise settled, and in the possession of large business houses, 
enjoy the esteem of the Spaniards as well as of the Puerto Bicans. 
Under these circumstances it appeared necessary to send thither a war 
ship for the protection of the Germans when the Government of the 
United States commenced action against Puerto Bico. I have success- 
ively visited the harbors of Mayaguez, Ponce, and San Juan. The first 
two were already occupied by the Americans, while the third city was 
still in the hands of the Spaniards. On the 13th of August it became 
known that peace negotiations had commenced, and hostilities ceased. 

No great battles were fought in this campaign ; only a few minor 
skirmishes took place. But the American troops were marched up in 
such a simple and skillful manner that the operations are not without 
interest. Moreover, our readers will be glad to learn some particulars 
about this beautiftil island, in which these many years German mer- 
chants, mostly irom Hamburg and Bremen, have exerted their best 
energy in steady, unremitting toil, and which now, as the price of vic- 
tory, falls into the lap of the United States. 

2. The accompanying map of the island is the latest and best pub- 
lished. It shows the different departments, so that a description is not 
necessary. All the turnpikes and roads which are to be considered in 
connection with the advance of the American troops, as well as the 
railroad skirting the coast, are also indicated on the map. The moun- 
tain range which extends nearly parallel to the southern coast from 
Adjuntas to Oayey is, on an average, not over 1,000 meters high, and 
from both towns is continued in several spurs to the eastward and 
westward. This range constitutes a weather barrier, as the fresh 
northeast trades cool the northern part of the island and provide 


Abundant rains, while in the sonthern part of the island the mountains 
prevent this moderation, and the heat often becomes unbearable. 
Namerons streams water the fertile soil, which in former years pro- 
duced mainly sugar, but now also coffee, tobacco, and bananas, and 
furnish large areas of magnificent pastures. The number of inhabitants 
in round numbers is 800,000. The area of Puerto Rico is about one- 
tenth that of Cuba, which has hardly 1,500,000 iDhabitants. The 
whole island of Puerto Rico is inhabited. There are no extensi ve uncul- 
tivated stretches, as in Guba. Still, much remains to be done to obtain 
better yields than heretofore from the rich and fertile soil. In the first 
place, the agricultural methods should be improved, better communica- 
tion established with the coast, and, finally, the mineral treasures of 
the island exploited. In this latter direction hardly anything has been 
done. As far as the social conditions of the island are concerned, it 
has been spared the serious disorders that have been raging in Guba 
'during the last few decades. The Spanish, by means of military posts 
distributed all over the island, and especially the Guardia Givil, an 
excellent police system, have succeeded in maintiiining order and 
safety throughout the country. There have been minor disturbances, 
it is true; but at no time has there been an actual rebellion against the 
Spanish Government, such as was spoken of at the beginning of the 
Spanish- American war. Nevertheless, there has gradually developed 
among the Puerto Ricans an intense hatred toward the selfish Spanish 
administration, and with open arms they received the Americans who 
came as liberators from the Spanish yoke. 

3. The general opinion, reinforced by the United States press, was 
that the troops would land east of San Juan, probably at Tajardo. 
General Miles was the only one who was informed as to the landing 
place selectedi. and he left Guantanamo on July 21, with the auxiliary 
cruiser Yale and seven transports with about 3,500 men. The battle- 
ship MassachusettSj the cruiser Columbia^ and six small gunboats and 
auxiliary cruisers, among them the Dixiej Annapolis^ and OloucesteVj 
accompanied the transport fieet. Upon reaching Mona Passage the 
fleet headed for the southern coast of Puerto Rico, and on July 25, the 
troops were landed at Guanica without encountering serious resistance. 
The very next day, after a short fight with the Spanish, Yauco, which 
controls the railway to Ponce, was occupied. 

On July 27, the DixiSy Annapolis^ and several other vessels appeared 
in front of Ponce and demanded the surrender of the city. The United 
States general granted time until the next morning, and told the com- 
mander of the city that unless the surrender had taken place by that 
time he should at once proceed to bombard the city, and land his men. 
Gaptain-General Macias, at San Juan, had given the commander strict 
orders to defend the city to the utmost, but the combined efforts of the 
foreign consuls prevailed upon Golonel San Martin to agree to the sur- 
render of the city on condition that the Spanish troops would not be 
pursued for forty-eight hours. This agreement, however, of which the 


United States commander had already been notified, was declared null 
and void by Gaptain*General Macias, who at the same timedisch.n-^ed 
Colonel San Martin from office, and it was only dne to the energetic 
efforts of the German and British consuls that the captain-general 
became convinced of the necessity of surrendering, and finally con- 
sented to the evacuation of the city. Thus the Americans took x>osse8- 
sion of Ponce at 6 a. m. on July 28, without loss of life or injury to 
property, and on July 29, they landed a large division of troops, con- 
sisting of from 5,000 to 6,000 men, with artillery and wagons* On 
August 1, two vessels occupied Arroyo, where about 3,000 men were 

4. Thus the Americans in a short space of time had gained posses- 
sion of the three principal harbors on the southern coast of Puerto Bico 
without firing a single shot. They owe this first of all to the friendly 
disposition of the population and the lack of energy of the Spanish 
officers, who did not dare offer any resistance. General Miles's sub- 
sequent plan of campaign is self-evident. The troops landed at Arroyo 
were to advance upon Guayama, thence to Gayey, which lies on the 
main road to San Juan. The fighting forces at Ponce were also to 
advance upon Oayey by way of Juana Diaz, Ooamo, and Aibouito. The 
troops at Guanica were to advance by way of Yauco, San German, and 
Hormigueros, and occupy first Mayaguez, then Aguadilla and Arecibo. 
A glance at the map will show that this plan would compel the Spanish 
forces, in order not to be cut off, to retreat to San Juan. When all the 
United States forces had been concentrated at San Juan, they were to 
surround the city, supported by the blockading fleet, and it was here 
that the decisive blow was to fall. 

5. General Miles's plan of campaign was carried out as intended. 
On August 8 General Schwan advanced from Yauco upon San German. 
At Hormigueros they were opposed by the Spanish, who with 1,000 
men occupied an excellent position,* but as soon as the American artil- 
lery was lined up and the American lines advanced the Spanish evacu- 
ated the heights and retreated. On August 11 General Schwan took 
X>ossession of the town of Mayaguez, which had been evacuated by the 
Spanish, and met with a hearty reception from the inhabitants. The 
American troops pursued the Spanish and succeeded in surprising them 
on August 12 at Las Marias. The Spanish troops were resting, with- 
out any special measures of precaution, on the bank of the Guasio 
Biver, when the Americans were discerned on the heights. As the 
river was very high from recent heavy rains, the Spanish had difficulty 
in crossing it. The American commander demanded their surrender; 
but it seems that the Spanish had opened fire, thereby compelling the 
Americans to answer with their artillery. This caused great confusion 
in the Spanish lines. Two companies only succeeded in crossing the 
river, the others had to surrender. The Spanish had 40 killed and 
wounded. Among the many prisoners who were taken to Mayaguez 
were several oolonela^and captains. 


On Anp^st 4 the main body of the troops advanced on tl e excellent 
road from J nana Diaz, a small town abont 25 kilometers from Ponce. 
On Angnst 9 they took Ooamo, which the Spanish were holdiug with a 
force of abont 1,000 men. The fight lasted five honrs, and ended in 
the evacuation by the Spanish, as the Americans had succeeded in 
going around the enemy's fiank. The Spanish had 15 killed, au)ong 
them the commander in chief and and several ofllcers. About loO 
were taken prisoners. The Americans had 7 wounded. The Spanish 
retreated to Aibonito, where they intrenched themselves in a fortified 
position. They were not effectively attacked here, because hostilities 
were suspended about that time. 

The third division of the American troops had advanced from Arroyo 
and taken Guayama on August 5. On August 8, while advancing 
toward Oayey, the Americans had a slight engagement with the enemy 
intrenched in a fortified position, ending in the retreat of the latter. 
But the American troops had to return to Guayama, because they did 
not consider themselves strong enough to accomplish the task set them — 
viz, to advance as far as Oayey. When, on August 12, the Americans 
started a second time, they found the Spanish in the same fortified 
position. No fight took place, because the news arrived that peace 
negotiations had been entered into. 

6. According to the census of January 1, 1898, the Spanish had the 
following troops in the diflterent departments: 


San Jaan.. 
Arecibo . . . 
Agnadilla . 
liay agues. 


Onayama . 



































and fire- 




Ran Jnan ...r....r,.T> t^^ 









ArecttM> T.,,».»»»-f-.T.»..,,rr-»-- 


If ftvairnez ............................ 





Ann vmmA 



Viequee - 










The yolanteers have not been incladed^ because, with very few ezcep 
tions, they laid down their arms as soon as the Americans landed in 
Puerto Rico. 

7. In Puerto Rico, as well as in Ouba^no plans had been made for con- 
centrating the troops at the beginning of the war. The fighting forces 
were so small that landings of the enemy at any point on the coast 
could not be impeded. The troops, by remaining in their difierent 
departments, might find themselves under the necessity of having to 
fight far superior hostile forces, and finally to retreat within sight of 
the enemy in order not to be cut off. The best plan would have been 
to concentrate all the troops in a fortified position near Cayey, keeping 
up retrograde communication with San Juan. If the enemy had landed 
east or west of San Juan, it would have been easy, in view of the good 
road, to effect a change of front or for the whole force to retreat to 
San Juan, which was the most important point of the Spanish. If 
that city had been defended by 7,000 men, it could have resisted the 
enemy for a long time. It is true, however, that without the prospect 
of assistance from the I^avy, the final surrender of the city, as the 
result either of the harbor being forced by the enemy or of starvation, 
would have been only a question of time. 

8. At the time of our arrival at Mayaguez hostilities had just been 
suspended. General Schwan had taken charge of the administration of 
the department. The inhabitants were entirely satisfied with the new 
order of things, but many families were mourning the fatal defeat of the 
Spanish troops at Las Marias. The prisoners taken by the Americans 
had been quai'tered in the barracks and were being strictly guarded. 
We had to abandon our attempt to inspect the scene of the battle 
because the road, owing to recent rains, was in very bad condition and 
obstructed by the numerous baggage carts of the American troops. 
But in order to gain at least an idea of the immediate surroundings of 
Mayaguez, I drove to Hormigueros, where the first engagement had 
taken place between American and Spanish troops. A well-kept road 
follows the coast over almost level ground, passing through several 
small hamlets. Soon the scenery changes. Oane fields resplendent in 
their fresh verdure are seen in every direction, and beautifrd hills 
closely covered with banana palms and coffee trees appear before our 
eyes and gradually rise higher and higher. 

In the distance the river may be seen, crossed by a number of iron 
bridges, over which the raOroad passes that runs along the river. The 
road rises very gradually, and after we had passed over the top of the 
range of hills we saw at our feet the pretty town of Hormigueros. At 
its highest point stands the church from which one must gain a mag- 
nificent view over the whole region. We went there, and after mount- 
ing the stone steps into the belfry, we saw before our eyes a panorama 
of indescribable loveliness. Indeed, a better point could hardly be 
found from which to gain an idea of the exquisite beauty of Puerto 


Rico. Far as the eye can see stretch the plctaresqne ranges of hffls 
clad in the loveliest green; at their feet a few scattered cottages and 
small hamlets, and glistening streams winding their way through 
them. But we coald not allow oar eyes to be completely captivated by 
the natural charms of the country. We had also to satisfy our military 
cariosity. One thing became evident at a glance, namely, that the 
church was the best tactical point of the whole region, as all the dif- 
ferent positions could be observed from there. The Spanish commander 
in chief appears to have realized this cttcumstance; for, as the kindly 
priest of the church told us, it had been his intention to occupy the 
church and line up his artillery on the adjoining hill; but the priest 
had succeeded in dissuading the commander from this plan, which 
would surely have entailed the destruction of the church and town. 
Probably no serious resistance had been planned by the Spanish, and 
they were therefore only occupying the range of hills between which a 
defile leads to the town of Mayaguez, to which the troops retreated as 
soon as the Americans commenced to advance after the first few vol- 
leys. In the little town of Hormigneros peace and quiet were reigning. 
The Americans had already appointed a mayor. A few families from 
Mayaguez had come hither to await further developments. On my 
return to Mayaguez I had an opportunity of inspecting a company of 
United States volunteers. They were nearly all tall, robust men, most 
of then with healthy complexions and of good military bearing. All 
the volunteers were equipped with Krag-Jorgensen rifles. 

9. On August 16 we left the harbor of Mayaguez and steamed to 
Ponce, where we arrived in the evening of the same day. The harbor 
was crowded with American war ships, auxiliary cruisers, and trans- 
ports; but as a result of the peace negotiations, many of the war ships 
had received orders to return to Guantanamo or to proceed to the 
United States, so that the harbor was considerably cleared during the 
next few days. (General Gilmore, in the absence of General Miles, who 
was then at Ooamo, had established the headquarters of his staff at the 
custom-house. The United States garrison was encamped near the 
harbor on both sides of the main road leading to Ponce. The camp 
consisted of ordinary tents, with camp beds raised a few feet above the 
ground. As it always rained several hours during the day and usually 
all night long, one may easily imagine the condition of this camp. 
Men were constantly at work digging new drains for the water. At 
times the guards and patrols surrounding the camp had to wade in the 
mud up to their knees. It is a wonder that there was not more sick- 
ness in the camp, for the American general told me there were only a 
few cases of malarial fever. But exposure to the burning rays of the 
sun, to constant rains, and the exhalations of the soil is extremely 
dangerous in this climate, as the residents know only too well, and can 
not fail but have its injurious effects sooner or later. As a matter of 
tg^tf many cases of fever have snbsequently developed among the 


Amerloon troops. I can not anderstand why the military authorities 
had not exercised greater care. Would it not have been better to send 
the troops to Goamo, which is located on much higher groand, leaving 
only' a small garrison at Poucef Sach a garrison would have been 
quite sufficient for the protection of the latter town, and might have 
been quartered in public buildings, such as the church, the theater, etc. 
The United States transport steamers are said to have had on board 
all the material necessary for the construction of a small shipyard. If 
it is true that they carried their preparation to that extent, then better 
provisions should also have been made for taking care of human lives. 
If it was not deemed advisable to quarter the men in the towns, then 
corrugated-tin barracks should have been taken along, which can be 
taken apart and speedily erected on piles driven into the ground. 
Ordinary tents were certainly inadequate. 

10. On one of the following days we made an excursion to the vicinity 
of Ooamo, about 30 kilometers from Ponce. The beautiful wide road 
extending all the way to San Juan is a true work of art, and makes it 
possible to advance rapidly. The whole distance from Ponce to San 
Juan, about 135 kilometers, can be made in vehicles, by changing the 
horses twice, in fourteen to sixteen hours. The rise is very gradual. 
On both sides are small huts of natives with corrugated tin roofs, or 
covered simply with palm leaves and built on piles about L meter high. 
Soon we came out upon the open country, where wooded hills and val- 
leys alternated with coffee plantations and banana and sugar-cane 
fields. The profuse tropical vegetation, especially the slender palms 
with their magnificent crowns, is a constant delight to the eye. After 
the rain, which had been falling all through the preceding night, the 
foliage was particularly green and fresh and the shady road nearly free 
from dust. In several places the road is crossed by the river, which 
can usually be forded. Where it is too rapid bridges .have been built 
Upon reaching Juano Diaz the landscape becomes even more beautiful. 
The heights afford a splendid view of the whole region from the coast 
to the high mountain range. At Goamo we left the main road and soon 
reached a beautiful valley made famous by the '' Bancs de Goamo." 
There is a large hotel for the accommodation of visitors. The bathing 
establishment also is very conveniently arranged. A natural spring 
frunlshes sulphur baths. The only thing that reminded us of war dur- 
ing our trip were a few squads of American cavalry and long trains of 
wagons, each drawn by six mules, which were taking the necessary 
supplies to the troops encamped at Aibonito. From what we could 
learn, it seems that the AQierican authorities were preserving excellent 
order and safety at Ponce and vicinity, but the Puerto Bican inhabit- 
ants showed their hatred for the Spanish so openly that in spite of the 
strict measures taken by the Americans there is danger of demonstra- 
tions by the inhabitants in that direction. 

Urn On August 23 we made a second visit to San Juan. The mines 


in the entrance had been lemoved and the channel was marked by 
bnoys in the nsnal manner. Besides the Spanish ^nboats Isabel 11^ 
Oeneral Oanchej Oreolaj and Ponce de Leon^ and the torpedo-boat de- 
stroyer Terror J there were neither war nor merchant vessels in the har- 
bor. The city itself presented the same aspect as before the blockade. 
It was not nntil the latter part of Aagnst that steamers arrived and 
commerce and traffic were reestablished, I took advantaji^e of onr 
presence there to learn ftirther particulars abont the engagement 
between the torpedo-boat destroyer Terror and the United States 
anxiliary cruiser 8t PauU The commander of the Terror gave me the 
following account of the battle: 

At 9 a. m. on June 22 the lookout at the fort signaled a snBpicioas yeesel. The 
commander gave orders for the Isabel II to go oat to recoanoiter and for the Terror 
to be ready for action. By 11.30 the vessel had oome closer and the leahel II went 
out. Upon sighting her, the hostile emiser immediately hoisted her flag and waited. 
The leahel II opened fire on the foe. The destroyer then received orders to go ont 
and assist the leabel. The Terror, which had been left by her fleet at Martinique, 
had not been able to recover her guns and ammnnitioni which during the vo3rage 
had been transferred to the Maria Tereea in order to make room for coal. The Terror 
therefore had no other weapons than her torpedoes and two 57-millimeter guns with 
little ammunition. The ledbel fought the 8U Paul at a distance of from 10,000 to 
12,000 meters. As the utmost range of our guns was only 4,000 meters, we could not 
assist the leahel by going closer to her. I therefore gave orders to head the Terror 
east, so as not to interfere with the leabel firing north on the enemy. When we were 
sufficiently clear of her and had the open sea before us, I headed straight for the 
8t. Paul at a speed of from 20 to 21 knots. 

The enemy, who hitherto had been firing on the leabel, now directed upon us the 
well-aimed rapid fire of both her batterieSi the lower one of which appeared to have 
eighty the upper one ten to twelve guns. At 4,000 meters we opened fire with our 
guns, in order to keep up the spirit of the crew daring the long interval between 
the beginning of the hail of projectiles and the launching of the torpedo. Our fire 
was very accurate. At the first shot we saw the shell explode on the stem. Sev- 
eral other shots also hit their target, and our men were wild with joy. We had 
approached to within 1,200 meters and were about to launch the torpedo when the 
Terror commenced to veer to starboard. I had the helm shifted to port, but the 
ship kept on turning. Then I ordered the port engine stopped, and still the ship 
continued to turn to starboard. I then learned that a shell had exploded on deck 
and destroyed the leads to the steering gear and telegraph, so that the vessel fol- 
lowed the movements of the screw and was unmanageable. The hand-steering 
gear was at once put in operation ; but as we passed the eflemy at such close range, 
several projectiles hit us, one of them passing through the port side into the engine 
room, where it burst. The engine room became flooded and the engine appeared to 
have been disabled. We just managed to steam into the harbor. 

From an inspection of the Terror it appeared that the fatal shelly 
ranging obliquely downward, had passed through the ship's side, torn 
#ff a steam gauge, killed three men, and struck the lower edge of the 
main steam pipe, tearing off its covering. This bad deflected the shell, 
«id it had passed out through the starboard side. It was through the 
hole made by the projectile in passing out that the engine room had 
been flooded up to the lower edge of the steam cylinder; but the 
engines continued to run, so that the Terror^ though with gradually 


slackened speed, was able to reach the harbor nnder her own steam. 
The shortest distance between the Terror and the 8t. Paul had been 
800 meters. The gnnboat Isabel IIj I was told by her commander, had 
not gone closer than within 6,000 meters of the enemy. 

12. We then visited the fortification works and made the following 
observations, which may be considered as a supplement to the descrip- 
tion of the bombardments contained in Part III of these Sketches : 

(a) Morro Oastle, — On the highest terrace are three 15centimeter 
Ordofiiez gans of 30 calibers length and two 24-centimeter breech-load- 
ing howitzers of modem type; direction of fire northwest to west. On 
the next lower terrace are two 15-centimeter Ordonez gans. These are 
all the guns that had been mounted. No guns were dismounted during 
the bombardments. The walls of the fort are over 6 meters thick and 
extremely solid. They show many hits of heavy, medium, and light 
artillery. The heavy projectiles had entered the walls to the depth of 
2 meters and torn large pieces out of the masonry work. The smaller 
projectiles had done very little damage, which had already been repaired. 
One shell had struck the comer of the wall on the lower terrace and 
killed two of the men serving the guns and wounded several others by 
shell fragments and d6bris. 

(b) Cristobal Oastle. — ^Two 15-centimeter Ordoilez guns of 30 calibers 
length, trained north, fired about eighty rounds during the bombard- 
ment. A little to the rear are three 24-centimeter breech-loading how- 
itzers of modern type. At one of these an enfilading shot passing 
over Morro Castle had struck the breech and killed one man. As a 
result of this accidental hit, and to protect the men serving the farther 
guns against shell fire and debris, earth traverses had been thrown iip 
between the guns after the battle. A little further back and to the 
east three 15-centimeter guns, with an arc of fire north by way of east 
to southwest, and hence also adapted to fire on the land, were mounted 
on central-pivot carriages. These took part in the fight with about 
thirty rounds. Finally, at the Princesa Battery, adjoining Oristobal 
Castle on the east, there are four more 15-centimeter guns and two 
24-centimeter howitzers. Oristobal Castle and the Princesa Battery 
sustained only a few hits, slightly damaging the outer walls. 

(o) The howitzer and gun batteries of the harbor entrance show no 
serious injuries. Morro Castle appears to have been the main object 
of the American fire. The tskot that many shells did not explode has 
been much commented u'pon. 

{d) Besides the fortifications mentioned above, the Spanish had 
erected a new battery at Escambron, with three 24centimeter how- 
itzers of modem type in central-pivot mounts, for indirect fire. For 
land defense a series of earthworks had been erected near San Antonio 
and armed with mortars and bronze guns. 

13. As we left Morro Castle Spanish soldiers were engaged In tak- 
ing down the shield with the Spanish coat of arms over the main 


entrance. As the remains of the eyer-gloriooB Oolnmbns had been 
removed from the cathedral at Havana, where tbcy had a beauUfdl 
and well-cared-for resting place, so it was also desired to carry to 
Spain this escutcheon which for centuries had been the witness of the 
victories and greatness of the Spanish nation. When both of these — 
the remains of the man to whom the whole world owes so much and 
the emblem of Spanish power — preach Spain there will be profound sad- 
ness throughout the whole country over the final loss of its colonies. 
The history of this short struggle is another example of the instability 
of power and fame in the ever-changing destinies of the nations of 
the earth! 



War Nomis Na T. 



United States Vessels 


(M^v 1, less). 

InUUigmc* OJInr, U. 8. 8. BaiUauin. 




This report on the Effect of the Oun Fire of the United States 
Vessels in the Battle of Manila Bay, by the Intelligence Officer 
of the TT. S. S. Baltimore^ has lately been received. In transmitting 
it Admiral Dewey calls attention to the valne of the information 

The condnsions drawn by Lieutenant EUicott at the end of his 
report are particularly interesting. 


OamvMmder^ U. 8. K.j Okie/ Intelligence (Officer. 
Navy Dbpabtmsnt, March 27^ 1899. 


A, 8. Orowntnishibld, 

Eear-Admiralf U. 8. If^ OTiieJ of Bureau of Navigation. 



May 1, 1898. 

U. S. 8. Baltimore, 
Iloiloj P. Lj January i, 1899. 
Sm: I have the honor to submit the following report on the effects 
of the gun fire of the United States fleet upon the Spanish war vessels 
in the battle of May 1, 1898, and respectfully request that it be for- 
warded to the Office of Naval Intelligence. The report is based upon 
a personal examination of all the vessels, personal conversations with 
officers who served on them in the action, and extracts from Admiral 
Montojo's official report. 

Beina Cristina. 

This vessel was flagship of Admiral Montojo during the greater part 
of the flrst engagement. She received a large concentration of gun 
fire and was placed hors de combat by conflagrations fore and aft, the 
destruction of her personnel, the destruction of her steering gear, and 
the bursting of a shell in her super-heater. She was then sunk by the 
Spaniards and abaridoned in shoal water under the north wall of 
Gavlte heading eastward, where she burned, with bulwarks awash. 
During the conflagration there were frequent heavy explosions. The 
injuries visible above water afterwards were as follows: 

One large shell across bulwarks at break of forecastle, cutting away 
starboard lower boom. 

One large shell swept bridge, apparently from starboard to port, and 
destroyed starboard search light. Thismayhavebeeutheshelldescribed 
by Admiral Montojo as destroying the steam steerer. 

In the forward smokestack the following shells: One 8inch low, one 
8-inch high, one 6-x>ounder low, one 6-pounder high; and in forward 
escape pipe one 5inch and one 6-pounder midway. 

In ventilator forward of after smokestack, one 6-pounder waist high 
and one 6-pounder midway. 

The after smokestack fell 60 degrees to port, probably caused by the 
large shell mentioned by Admiral Montojo as exploding in the super- 
heater. This stack was struck, apparently while still upright, by one 
8-inch shell low, two 6-pounders near the top, and one 5-inch midway. 

Underneath topgallant forecastle one 8inch shell entered near the 
deck and dose under break of forecastle, going from port to starboard 


and forward at an angle of 45 degrees, and burst nnder the forecastle, 
a large fragment passing out on starboard side. 

Two 5-inch shell also penetrated under the forecastle on port side 
well forward, 6 feet above deck, and burst. 

One 5inch entered on starboard side in same locality and passed out 
on XK)rt side without exploding. 

The mizzenmast, although much burned, showed evidences of having 
been pierced six times, and the fore and main masts once, by shells of 
various calibers. 

The starboard after launch's davit was shot away, as if by a large 

An Sinch shell pierced the shield of the port forward 16-centimeter 
g^un, above and to left of the breech, and exploded, slipping the elevat- 
ing arc band just its width to the rear and wrecking the elevating 
wheel, rod, and pinion on left side of gun. A fragment of this shell 
wrecked the elevating gear on the right side of the opposite gun. The 
portion of the shield penetrated sloped at an angle of about 30 degrees 
with the axis of the shell. The bursting of the shell about 2 feet in 
rear of its point of impact was coordinated by a huge hole torn upward 
in a sheet-iron bulwark rail arched over the sxK)n8on embrasure. 

Admiral Montojo reports additional injuries as follows: 

A shell barot on the forecastle; disabling all the orews of the four rapid-fire gnna 
and driving splinters from the foremast which wounded the helmsman, who was 
steering on the bridge. 

A shell burst on the orlop deck, setting fire to the lockers of the crew, who fortu- 
sately succeeded in putting out the fire. 

The enemy * * * covered us with a hail of rapid-fire projectiles. 

About half past 7 a shell completely destroyed the steam steerer. 

Another shell exploded aft, putting nine men out of action. 

* * * Another carried away the mizzen truck and gaff, bringing down the 
ensign and my flag, which were immediately replaced. 

Another shell burst in the wardroom * • • and destroyed the wounded who 
were there under treatment. 

Another burst in the after ammunition room, filled the compartments with smoke, 
and prevented the coupling of the handwbeel. It being impossible to keep down 
the fire, this ammunition room had to be flooded when the cartridges were begin- 
ning to explode. 

Amidships * * * a large shell had penetrated the super-heater, putting out jof 
action a gunner's mate and twelve men who were serving the guns. 

Another disabled the starboard bow gun. 

^ • • The fire forward was renewed by a shell which penetrated the side and 
burst on the orlop. 

When many men had already been saved * * * a shell kUled her heroic cap- 
tain • * * who was directing the rescue of the crew. 

Summing up, it is in evidence or ofi&cially recorded that the Oristina 
was struck by five S-inch, five 5-inch, and thirteen other large shell, and 
by seven 6-pounder and nine other projectiles, or thirty-nine projectiles 
in all. These are not all, as Admiral Montojo reports having been cov- 
ered by a hail of rapid-fire projectiles, and in conversation has estimated 
that the Oristina was hit about seventy times. 


This vessel had developed such weakness in steaming to Subig Bay 
some days before the battle that she was not under way on the 1st of 
May, but in the beginning of the engagement was moored head and 
stern in the line of battle, her port broadside bearing. A string of 
iron lighters loaded with sand was moored in prolongation of Sangley 
Point to protect her water line. During the engagement her bower 
chain was cut by a shell and from the impact of another shell she 
swung around till her starboard broadside was presented. Being a 
wooden vessel she was readily aod repeatedly set on Are. About 10 
o'clock, while the (Jnited States squadron was drawn off, her flag came 
down, either by design or accident, and she burst into flames fore and 
aft. She then sank until her main deck was awash, and her bulwarks 
and upperworks were completely consumed by flames. Her forward 
smokestack fell 60 degrees toward the starboard quarter, probably 
weakened, like the Cristina^s^ by the explosion of a large shell. I^ext 
to the Oristina she received the greatest injury ft'om gun Are. Injuries 
visible to inspection are as follows : 

One 5-inch shell dismounted 37-millimeter gun on XK)rt forward 
bridge over sponson. 

One 6-inch cut fore and aft beam over port forward gun sponson. 

Seven small shell passed through forward smokestack. 

Five small shell passed through forward drum room. 

A large shell tore a 4-foot hole in the port side below the main deck 
and just abaft the port midship gun. 

There is a similar injury on the starboard side, nearly opposite. 

One 5-inch shell through the after smokestack. 

Three 5-iDch shell, close together, entered port side under main deck, 
abaft after smokestack. 

One 6-pounder in after smokestack. 

One 6-pounder in after escape pipe. 

Two 5-inch entered port side between mainmast and after sponson. 

One 5-inch passed through shield of 37-mUlimeter gun on port after 
bridge, over sponson, dismounting gun. 

One 6-pounder cut forward part of upper edge of port after gun- 
sponson embrasure. 

One 1-pounder cut forward vertical edge of same. 

One 5-inch raked outside of starboard aft/Cr sponson. 

One 6-inch entered starboard side, under main deck, under midship 

There are two jagged holes, 4 feet and 1 foot in diameter, on starboard 
side under main deck, abreast after smokestack. 

One 5-inch on starboard side under main deck, just abaft forward 

One 5-inch through after side of forward starboard sponson. 


One 5-inch thrungh port after sponson, forward side, near deck. 

Two scars of small shells on port after 16-centiineter gun shield. 

Several small holes in after smokestack as if from fragments of a 
bursting shell. 

Total, two 6-inch, twelve 5-inch, and four other large shell; throe 
6-ponnders and sixteen other small shell; thirty-seven shell in all. 
Survivors tell of three 8-inch shell which burst on the orlop deck for- 
ward, amidships, and aft, causing iires which could not be controlled. 
This raises the known hits to forty. 

Admiral Montojo states: 

The Castilla • * * had all her guns pat oat of action except one on the poop. 
* * * Riddled by shot and in flames from the enemy's shells, she was sank and 
abandoned by her crew. 

Survivors state that they were rescued by boats from shore which 
came off in obedience to a prearranged signal. 


This vessel was not in repair on May 1, parts of her machinery being 
on shore. She was moored head and stern on the left of the Spanish 
line, in Ganacao Bay, just behind Saugley Point, her starboard broad- 
side bearing, the port guns having been removed to be emplaced on 
shore. The low sandy point was expected to form some protection to 
her hull. She was only manned by men enough to fight her starboard 
battery, about half of her normal complement. She received but little 
gun fire in the first engagement, but was riddled and sunk by the lead- 
ing American ships in the second, and was abandoned with colors 
flying. She listed heavily to starboard just before settling, but righted 
on the bottom and lay with her poop awash, superstructure and fore- 
castle above water. She had sent down yards and topmasts and these 
spars were on shore, except the fore yard, which had been uutrussed 
but not sent down. The slings of this yard were cut during action 
and the yard fell across the forecastle on the sheet bits, breaking the 
beam at the break of the forecastle. The other injuries visible above 
water are as follows : 

One 6-pounder entered under forecastle from forward, passed through 
the midship waist ventilator and burst in front of pilot house, near 

One 8-inch raking shell entered at break of topgallant forecastle 
just under the deck and burst. 

One 8-inch burst just under the superstructure deck, port side, on 
line with after end of pilot house, a long half fragment passing out 
through the skin of the ship. 

One 5-inch came over starboard rail a little farther aft and passed 
out through port bulwarks. 

Six 6-pounders came over same way between superstructure and 
poop, and passed out th]X)ugh hammock nettings on port side. 

One 8iiich passed clean through both sides, starboard to port, just 
under after break of superstructure deck and near mainmast. 

One 6-inch came in starboard rail abaft mainmast and passed out 
through port hammock netting. 

Seven large shells, probably 5-inch, ripped across superstructure 
deck, coming from direction of starboard bow. 

One 8-inch across forecastle from starboard to port dismounted star- 
board 6-pounder gun, cutting away the mount. 

One 6-inch shell passed through the shield of this gun. 

Three 6-pounders from starboard to port passed through mount of 
port 6-pounder gun. 

One small raking shell gouged skin of ship just forward of port 

One large shell ripped poop in front of mizzenmast. 

One large shell cut starboard binnacle stand. 

Three large shells ripped poop deck, coming from direction of star- 
board bow. 

Two large shells burst under poop, one near break and one aft, forc- 
ing up the deck. 

The left side of after 4.7-inch gun shield and the sponson rail were 
cut through by a 6-inch shell. 

Total hits observable: Four 8-inch, three 6-inch, one 5-inch, and four- 
teen other large shells; ten 6-pounder and one other small shell; 
thirty- three projectiles in all. 

Admiral Montojo states: 

The Vlloa * * * was sunk by the holes made along her water line by the 
enemy's projectiles. 


This vessel was sunk by the Spaniards behind Oavite Arsenal, in 
Bacoor Bay, about two cables off shore abreast the west arsenal gate, 
after retiring from battle at the end of the first engagement. She 
was anchored by the port anchor and sank heading east, her top- 
gallant forecastle above water and poop awash. After being aban- 
doned, and while sinking, she was set on fire by a party from the 
Petrel sent for that purpose, and burned from the after engine-room 
bulkheail to the stern. Her starboard guns remained trained on the 
bow, and port ones on the beam. 

Twelve empty 6-pounder cartridge shells lay at starboard forecastle 
gun and nine at the port one. A full box of 1-pounder ammunition 
remained on starboard side of superstructure near the pilot house. 

The injuries to this vessel were as follows: 

Two 6-xK)unders, or smaller, scarred foremast. 

One 6-pounder and one 5-inch entered port side under topgallant 
forecastle and burst without causing fire. 

One 6-inch or 8-inch passed through superstructure deck under the 


bridge on port side and burst in the captain's galley, causing no fire, 
there being no woodwork in its neighborhood. 

Another similar shell coming from same direction (one and one-half 
points abaft the beam) struck the superstructure deck near the corner 
of the pilot house, glanced up and demolished the steering wheel and 
gear and engine telegraphs. 

Two 6-pounders passed through the pilot house, one firom port to 
starboard low, and one from starboard to port halfway up. 

One 5-inch cut through the mizzenmast about halfway up. 

One 5-inch entered under port hawse pipe and burst, damaging 
port torpedo tube. 

One 6-pounder entered at waterway under superstructure on main 
deck, port side. 

One 5-inch entered XK)rt hammock netting abreast the mainmast. 

One 6-pounder struck the rail abaft the port after 4 7-inch gun. 

No further injuries were found after the vessel was raised. Summing 
up, she was hit by the following shells: Two 6-inch or 8-inch, four 5- 
inch, Ave 6-pounders, and to other small shells ; thirteen projectiles in all. 

The Austria has two bow torpedo tubes. When raised a 14.2-ini-h 
Schwartzkopff torpedo was in the upper starboard outboard rack 
abreast the tube, and another lay on the deck in rear of the starboard 
tube without a head. 

The Austria assisted in rescuiug the men from the Oastilla before retir- 
ing behind the arsenal. 


This vessel and the Isla de Cuba maneuvered together on the Spanish 
right flank, more retired than the other vessels, circling together at 
considerable speed. The Luzon retired behind the arsenal at the end 
of the first eogagement, anchoring near the Auatriay and was sunk by 
her own crew. Her stern settled upon a submerged wreck, keeping the 
cabin above water and the topgallant forecastle awash. After sinking 
her head lay northeast, she being about a cable's length southwest of 
the Austria. She was set on fire and burned by the same party which 
burned the Austria^ the damage by fire being almost identical. 

One 4.7-inch common shell, nose fuzed, remained in a rack between 
the after guns. 

The injuries by gun fire were as follows: 

One large shell crossed her rail in wake of the two forward guns, 
disabling both guns. 

One shell cut the chain topping lift of the fore gafl^ letting the peak 
fall across the bridge. 

The Luzon assisted the Ovba in rescuing men from the Beina Cristina 
before retiring behind the arsenal. 

Admiral Montojo states that — 

The LvzoH had three guns dismoanted and some small ii\]ariefl to her hnlL 


There seem, therefore^ to have been three hits in all. No additional 
injuries could be discovered when this vess'el was raised. 


Admiral Montojo transferred his flag to this vessel when the Oristinc 
was abandoned. After rescuing a part of the latter's crew she stood 
in behind the* arsenal and was anchored by the starboard anchor a 
cable's length southwest of the Luzoni heading southeast. She was 
sunk by the Spaniards and burned by the PetrePs party in the same 
manner as the Austria and Luzon. Her main-battery guns remained 
trained on the bow. This vessel used armor-piercing shells firom her 
after 4.7-inch guns, and these being the only guns of that caliber firing 
armor-piercing shells in the engagement, it must have been one of these 
which struck the Baltimore. 

The injuries to the Cuba were as follows: 

One 6-pounder through the pilot house, starboard to port. 

One shell cut away both forward vangs abreast the pilot-house rail. 

One 6-x>ounder passed through under the topgallant forecastle with- 
out exploding. 

One 6-pounder glanced from left side of starboard after 4.7-inch gun 

One 6-pounder struck conning tower shoulder high, but did not 

Total hits, four 6pounders and one unknown caliber; five in alL 

The Ouba showed no additional injuries when raised. 


The Duero was in action in the left wing of the Spanish line and 
under steam. She assisted in rescuing the survivors of the Gristina 
and retired like the others behind the arsenal, where she was anchored 
close to the shore, about 800 yards west of the Cuba, heading east, and 
was there scuttled and abandoned. A party from the Petrel burned 
her. She was entirely gutted by fire and lies with bulwarks awash. 
She shows the following injuries from gun fire: 

One 8-inch shell entered close under topgallant forecastle deck, 
starboard side, and probably exploded. 

One 6-inch very close to the latter, probably exploded; there being 
no evidences of egress by either of these shells. 

One 6-pounder passed through midship-gun sponson, starboard side, 
forward of gun shield. 

One 6-pounder passed through after bulwarks, starboard side, down 
through deck and out port side near break of poop. 

Admiral Montojo reports: 

The Duero had one engine crippled, as well as her 12-centimeteT bow gon and one 
of her sponsons. 

Thus there seem to have been five hits in alL 



This vessel was undergoing extensive repairs and lay at mooring 
near the east water ft*ont of Cavite arsenal. Her main deck in wake 
of the boilers had been removed to take ont the latter, which were on 
shore. A new superstmotnre deck had been laid, but was unfinished. 
She had no steering gear in place. She took uo parC in the action. 
All her guns had beeu removed to be mounted in shore batteries. She 
was sunk by the Spaniards after the first engagement and then burned 
by a party from the Petrel. She lies on an even keel, heading westward, 
with bulwarks awash, and was not seriously injured by fire. There are 
evidences of the explosion of a quantity of small-arm ammunition on 
her deck aft, probably when she was burned. She was struck by one 
stray shell, which crossed her stern from port to starboard, carrying 
away the tafirail and kedgeauchor fluke on starboard quarter. 


Admiral Montojo states that this vessel was under repair and not in 
action. After the second engagement she was found anchored in 
Bacoor Bay by the port anchor about 2 cables south of the Luzon^ 
heading south and settling. She was burned by a party from the 
Petrel^ her after magazine exploding with great violence, as well as 
some ammunition on deck. Her midship guns were missing and, 
although she had a bow torpedo tube, there were no evidences of tor- 
pedoes on board. The elevating gear of her 9-centimeter bow gun had 
been damaged by a projectile. She lies with main deck about 2 feet 

under water. 


The Argos was a hydrographic survey vessel lightly armed and not In 
the fight. She remained anchored behind the arsenal about 800 yards 
west of the Vela^co^ and was scuttled by the Spaniards and burned by 
a party from the Petrel. She settled till her bulwarks were awash, 
heading east. One large shell struck her starboard bulwarks at break 
of forecastle, passing outward. 

Summary of hits in eiidenoe or officially reported. 

Name of vesael. 

Beina Cristiiia 


Don Antonio de XJlloa 
Don Jnan de Anstria . 


Isla de Lnson 

Marines del Daero . . . 


General Lezo 



If um- 
ber of 



Probably not more than half. 


Complete record. 


Probably more. 
Probably alL 




Of these, thirteen were 8 inch, six B-inch, and twenty- two others 6-inch 
or larger; thirty-one were 6-ponnders and twenty-nine others smaUer 

The Spanish ships had removed all light spars, slang gaffs, and 
snaked rigging, but they went into action withoat unshipping awning 
stanchions, ridge ropes, or canopy frames, and they carried many of 
their boats. They were all painted gray except the Costilla. She was 
still white except her gun sponsons, which were gray, and her smoke- 
stacks yellow. 

The killed and wounded, as nearly as I have been able to ascertain 
by painstaking inquiry, were as follows: 


Reina Criatina 

Islade Caba 

lala de Lnson 

Don Joan de Anstiia. 
Don Antonio de (TUoa. 
Marquee del Diuno . . . 
)hore batteiles 
























Officers killed and included in the above: Reina Christina^ captain 
and six others; Custilla^ one; Don Antonio de Ulloa^ captain and two 

The total casualties agree with Admiral Montojo's official report. 

The foUowing points in connection with my examination seem to be 
brought out or emphasized: 

1. The sides of iron and steel built cruisers do not arrest projectiles 
enough to explode them. 

2. The incendiary effect of bursting 8-inch shells is great, and far 
greater than would seem proportionate to that of lower calibers. 

3. At ranges over 2,500 yards the gun shields of cruisers are in no 
sense a protection, but insure the annihilation of the gun's crew and 
the disabling of the gun if struck by a large projectile. 

4. War ships of the present day will generally be placed hors de 
combat by conflagration and the destruction of their personnel before 
they are sunk by gun fire. 

Very respectfully, John M. Ellioott, 

Lieutenantj United States Navy^ Intelligence Officer, 

To the GoMMANDiNO Officer, JJ. S. S. Baltihobe. 



Since the issue of the interesting diary by Lieut. MtUler y Tigeiro, 
of the Spanish navy, there has been nothing written in Spain on the 
war worthy of reproduction until lately a work by Severe 06mez 
Nunez, a captain of artillery, who served in the city of Habana during 
the war. The aversion of the Spaniards to writing on the war and 
their reticence thereon is characterized by the writer as a ^'deathlike 
silence." In his final conclusions he states : 

It is sarprising how much has been written in foreign countries on the Spanish- 
American war during these few months. We haye before us dozens of American, 
English, French, Italian, and German books, reviews, and periodicals, in which 
writers relate, to their hearts' content, the phases of our defeat. And in the face of 
this wonderful activity, which often interprets erroneously the causes of the appall- 
ing decline of Spain, we, on the other hand, preserve deathlike silence. This is 
not as it should be. In the United States, for instance, there is not a single officer 
of high rank who took an active part in the war but has furnished, in books or 
reviews, an exposition of the facts, substantiated by documents, and the (Govern- 
ment, in its turn, has followed the same plan and published reports of the Army 
and Navy. Among us, as stated, deathlike silence reigns, and thus it is that foreign 
critics lack all knowledge of our claims to vindication which, though slight, may 
nevertheless throw light on many things, for by the side of much that is bad and 
for which we are being Justly censured, there is also some good which is being 
ignored, while it should be truthfully and conscientiously set forth, so that we may 
not be judged without being heard and considered more inefficient and incapable 
than we really are. 

The correspondence of Admiral Oervera, which was published by the 
Office of Kaval Intelligence at the close of the recent war with Spain, 
and was obtainable only in part, is given in full i^ this work. 

This translation of Gaptain Ntinez's book is complete except where 
indicated in the first chapter. The paragraphs there omitted are the 
personal opinions of Gaptain Ktinez regarding the actions of our people. 
His feelings under the circumstances are pardonable, but his ideas have 
no historical value. 

The concluding chapter of a previous work on the Spanish- American 
war by Gaptain Ntinez, entitled Ships, Ouns, and Small Arms, is given 
in Appendix A. 

Appendix B is the decree of the council assembled in the trial of 
General Jos6 Toral Yel^quez, commander in chief of the Spanish 


4 • 

forces, and other officers engaged iu the defense and surrender of San- 
tiago de Caba, translated from £1 Mando Naval Ilastrado of Septem- 
ber 15 and October 1, 1899. 


Commander J U. 8. N., Chief Intelligence Officer. 
Navy Department, October 5, 1699. 

Ajiproved : 

A. S. Gbowninshield, 

Chief of Bureau of Navigation. 



Introduction 7 

Chapter I.— The United States Plan of Campaign: 

Political blindness — What Spain could do — What the United States could 

do — Naval strategy - 9 

Chapter II.— Blockades and Privateering : 

Laws regulating them — Letters of marque and reprisal — Brutality of 

blockades — Blockading on a large scale. ..! 16 

Chapter III.— Operations op the United States Squadron : 

Before the arrival of Cervera's squadron — What the Naval Annual says — 

Initial orders of the Navy Department at Washington 24 

Chapter IV.— Operations op our Squadron : 

Opinions of Admiral Cervera — Replies thereto — Appalling deficiency of 

our naval power — Sortie of the squadron 33 

Chapter V. — The Beginning of the End : 

Increase of the United States fleet — Operations on the Cuban coast — 
Bombardment of different ports — Operations against Puerto Rico — 

Destruction of our cables — Onr squadron at Santiago 50 

Chapter VI. — Blockade op Harbors : 

The Oquendo and Vizoaya — Blockade of the coast — Aspect of the blockade 
of Habana — Conditions of the blockade of Santiago — Sinking of the 

Merrimao — A few strange facts 63 

Chapter VII. — Coast Defense : 

Stationary defenses — Mobile defenses — Shore batteries — Sea forts— Float- 
ing batteries — Torpedoes — Torpedo boats — Monitors— Battleships and 

cruisers 82 

Chaiter VIII.—What a Military Port should be : 

Choice of location — Commercial cities — Military ports — Geographical sit- 
uation—Santiago de Cnba 90 

Chapter IX. — Conclusions : 

The political aspect — The naval aspect — The military aspect — The needs 
of our nation 98 




By Sevbro Gr6MEZ NiJSbz, Gaptain of Artillery. 

[Translated firom the Spanish.) 


I frankly acknowledge that I bad considerable misgivings when I 
gave the first book of this work to the public. 

I was afraid that a storm would be raised against it, and although I 
always try to use moderation in my criticism, I had at times to fight 
with so many obstacles in conforming to that line of conduct that I 
was tempted to tear up what I had written. 

But the conviction triumphed within me that anyone who knows 
anything relative to the defeats we have suffered is under moral obliga- 
tions to speak out, and that by doing so he renders a valuable service, 
because nothing is gained by safiering in silence; on the contrary, by 
clearly setting forth the facts we make the benefits inherent in truth 
accessible to all, and at the same time, by conveying an accurate 
knowledge of the errors which have brought us to our present pitiful 
condition, we give a better understanding of the responsibilities which, 
in the distribution of the same, fall to each entity, and of the dangers 
which the future has in reserve for us — dangers of death, of absolute 
dissolutiou, of complete annihilation — which will fall down upon us 
with crushing force, unless we place our whole trust and energy at the 
service of one single idea, the defense^ preservation^ and development of 
what there t« left to tis of our country. 

Fully convinced of the necessity of promulgating these theories, I 
put in print the second volume of The Spanish- American War, inspired 
by the same motives as set forth in the preface to that work, although 
at present I possess more freedom of action, since I do not labor under 
the disadvantages which I experienced before. The cause of this change 
is the good will and approval with which the public has received the 
first part of this work, entitled Ships, Guns, and Small Arms, and the 
kindness with which the press has commented upon it. ^From these 
circumstances I gather the conviction that the great mass of the people 
is not indififerent to the causes of the present terrible decline of Spain, 
and that therefore it will not be labor lost to examine into the disaster 
for the purpose of deriving lessons therefrom and obtaining the means 
lor obviating still more radical misfortunes. 

As the subject of the present volume, I propose to analyze the princi- 
pal system of warfare (if I may be permitted to use that term) which the 


United States employed against our colonies — the blockade — in order 
to explain the fatal circnmstances which rendered efficacions a course 
of action hitherto looked upon as a secondary means of little conse- 
quence in naval conflicts, and will then enter upon an analysis of coast 
defense and show, always with reference to the results of the Spanish- 
American war, how necessary it is for our country to prepare for the 
defensive, applying the maxim of less theory and more prOfCtice, less 
studies and more action. 

And when I set down these words, with which I closed the first book 
of this work, it must not be supposed that I deem studies and theory 
superfluous^ on the contrary, the less studies are required in the execu- 
tion of anything, the more studies are necessary in the preparation 
therefor. Technical knowledge is becoming each day more indispen- 
sable, and we may be sure that as its foundation grows more solid the 
mind will be more and more freed from fiftntastical schemes, followed 
by irresolute action, with serious detriment to the service. What I 
mean is this, that to defend our coasts it is not sufficient to widen the 
field by studies a posteriori^ when the essential thing, a knowledge of 
the harbors, is an already much abused matter, on the subject of which 
innumerable plans have been drawn aiid lucid essays written^ we 
should also understand that our tendency should be to begin with the 
acquisition of the most modern and i)erfect material with which to 
equip our works of defense, because the factors of defense and, to a 
certain extent, their location are subordinate to their equipment. 
There was a time when it was possible to pursue the opposite course; 
that is to say, to construct fortifications with numerous emplacements 
for guns, which were to be had in large numbers; but nowadays, when 
guns are very expensive and of complicated construction, it is indis- 
pensable to have the guns first and adapt to them the works of defense, 
and that is precisely what requires a great deal of previous study on 
the part of those who are called upon to decide as to the acquisition of 
our future war material, because, as was said by a general of our army, 
well known for his scientific learning: 

They should be inspired with the most complete knowledge of the technical prin- 
ciples which underlie modem inveu felons, and it is only with such knowledge and 
the application of the results achieved in other countries, together with further 
experiments in our own, that the problems which present themselves, one after 
another, can be speedily solved and the country prepared for the future. 

To these ideas we might add the advisability of giving an impulse, 
on a large scale, to our military industries — gun, shell, cartridge, and 
powder factories — but as the men who are at present in charge of our 
military matters appear to have realized this, we do not deem it neces- 
sary to insist upon it. 

But it should be remembered that nothing we have said is opposed 

to the rapid development of our defenses, with less studies and more 


Seveko 66msz Ntn9EZ. 
Madrid, Jur^ 2^ 1S99. 


The United States Plan of Campaign. 

political blindness — ^what spain could do — what the united 

states could do — naval strategy. 

Anyone who had not seen the war coming must have been blind. 

• ••••• • 

To ns the war seemed inevitable and imminent. Nevertheless the 
news which reached Cuba from the Peninsula revealed great confidence 
that the conflict would be settled peaceably. The mistake was patent 
and the harm it worked was infinite. This hope should never have 
been harbored in Spain, and yet there -smve people who believed in it, 
and their belief seemed warranted by the absolute calm that reigned, 
for neither in Spain nor in Cuba were any of those rapid and energetic 
measures taken which the war demanded in the way of provisioning 
the country, concentrating the troops^ and developing the naval power. 

The plan of campaign of the United States commenced to be clearly 
outlined. The astonishing voracity of the press in that country gave 
free play to its anxiety and devoted itself to sketching the outlines of 
the naval and military operations likely to be undertaken against us. 
The Yankee strategists attached the greatest importance to our navy, 
which appeared to be quite strong judging from the published lists of 
our warships and the attributes with which- they were credited, among 
others the speed and efiiciency claimed for our destroyers, which really 
succeeded in producing a certain panic among the United States sailors. 
We feel sure that the exaggerated reports about the expedition of 
which they formed part were not without influence on the subsequent 
maueuvers of the United States squadron. 

In the United States the war was considered so imminent that more 
than two months before it broke out, namely, on February 13, the New 
York Herald gave to the press a complete plan of operations, which 
was considered of semiofficial character.^ 

Much of this plan was so rational that there could be no doubt as to 
its having been traced by an expert hand, and it might very well have 
been taken as a basis for the future policy of our country. But perhaps 
our Government had better information. We had not, and, moreover, 
there was so much consistency between what the plan said, what log- 
ical reasoning advised, and what the Americans did that we will take 
it for the basis of our argument. 

' We considered it of snffloient importance to undertake the task of translating 

and publishing it in the Diario del EJ^rcito at Habaua. It appears to have been 

inspired by the strategic board. 



It might be objected that there couhl be little foundatiou for a plan 
of war which was imparted beforehand to the enemy. Anticipating 
this objection, we will say that anyone who has lived in the United 
States and is acquainted with its mode of being knows that there is 
nothing hidden in that country. This special idiosyncrasy is carried to 
such a degree that even the most secret plans are published. As an 
example, we might cite the filibustering expeditions, which were 
always announced beforehand and afterwards confirmed by facts. 

In the plan of war referred to, the following questions were dis- 
cussed : 

In case war should be declared between Spain and the United States, 
what would be the plans of campaign of the two nationsf 

Would Spain be the first to take the offensive f 

Would the initial action be taken by the United States? 

Would the struggle be easy if carried abroad, on land or on the sea, 
or in both places, and to what extent? 

These different subjects are discussed in the following manner: 

In Btrategy tbert; are three tliin>^8 wliicli demand special couBideration : 

(1) The base of operations. 

(2) The objective. 

(3) The line of operations. 

The base of operations is the position from which the forces are able to advance 
and to which they can withdraw. 

The objective comprises four different phases : Attack upon the enemy's commerce ; 
bombardments of hostile i^orts; blockade of hostile coasts; invasion of hostile 

The line of operations designates the place where the fighting occurs — that is to 
say, the scene of war generally. 


The principal base of operations for Spain would be the island of Cuba, and for 
the United Slates, Key West. Cuba is the largest island of the West Indies and the 
most importan t Spanish colony. It is situated at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico, 
180 miles south of the State of Florida and 75 miles distant from Key West, from 
which it is separated by the Florida Channel. To the east, the island is separated 
fi-(im Haiti by tho Windward Passage, which is over 50 miles wide; 90 miles to the 
south, in the Caribbean Sea, lies the island of Jamaica; to the west, Yacatan Chan- 
nel, 130 miles wide, separates it from the nearest part of Central America. 

The extent of its coasts, leaving minor sinuosities out of the question, is 2,000 
miles. The littoral is very dangerous and full of rooks and reefs, andof sahd banks 
extending several miles into the sea. Owing to these sand banks there are only few 
places where it i-s possible to land. There are not to exceed fonrteen bays of suffi- 
cient depth to allow warshijis of average draught to enter. 

Hence there are along the coasts arms of the sea which are protected by keys and 
sand banks and can only be entered through straits and sinuous channels, at the 
extremities of which the bays open, or which terminate toward the outside, between 
sand banks, in the shape of buys. 

This configuration must be taken into consideration iVom a strategic standpoint 
and from the point of view of the advantages and disadvantages which these coasts 
present. From what has been stated it will be seen that it weuld not be a diffionlt 
operation to close the ports of Cuba against a foe and leave tbem open as places of 
safety and refuge for the friend. 




For the defense of the eastern part of Cuba Spain conld keep the Windward 
Passage nnder surveillance^ using it as a lookout upon the Caribbean Sea. On that 
side the island terminates in Cape Maysi. The Windward Passage at the place 
where it separates this oape from Haiti is about 45 miles wide. Practically the 
whole navigMiion between the eastem^oasts of the United States and the lower part 
of Central America goes through this passage. Cape Maysi is a point of low land, 
uninhabitable, without any port; the nearest anchorage is the harbor of Baracoa, 25 
miles distant, on the northern coast of the island. 

The base of operations of a squadron designed to blockade the Windward Passage 
might be either Baracoa on the northern coast or Guantltnamo on the southern 
coast. The harbors of both are sufficiently deep for warships of large draught. 


Two squadrons would be necessary, one to operate on the north from Baracoa, the 
other on the south from Guant^amo, and in order to insure cooperation between 
the two fleets a line would be required from sea to sea across the country. When 
this line is established and the patrol of the Windward Passage and the Caribbean 
Sea provided for, the action would have to be extended to the northern channels 
toward the central part of Cuba, farther remote from the passage referred to. For 
that purpose another harbor would be required to serve as a depot not far from 
Baracoa — ^Nipe, foi instance, 75 miles distant from the former. 

The harbor of Nipe is very safe and its water deep. This bay is 9 miles long and 
from 3 to 7 miles wide. The distance of 75 miles firom Baracoa coald be made by 
the squadron in five hours if necessary, or one division might be kept at Nipe and 
the other in the Windward Passage, one of which could be cruising while the other 
remained at its station. 


From Nipe the Bahama Channel can be effectively blockaded by the Spanish 
fleet. The limits of the cruising line from Nipe might be 150 miles, from the island 
of Lobos to Crooked Island, 600 miles from Puerto Rico. 

A powerful hostile squadron might make an attack from the northeast, in which 
case the Bahama Channel and Windward Passage would play an important part, 
because it is there that the principal battles would take place. 

The ships necessary to close these passages and operate in the south in case hostile 
forces should present themselves from that direction would be 3 armored cruisers, 
4 cruisers of large tonnage, 8 smaller ones (including gunboats and seagoing torpedo 
boats), and a few torpedo boats as adjuncts of the armored cruisers. 

The fleet required to control the sea on the northern and eastern coast of Cuba 
might consist in all of 3 armored cruisers, situated 150 miles apart, 4 large protected 
cruisers at intermediate stations relative to the former, and 8 smaller cruisers or 
gunboats between each of the large cruisers and the line of harbors which serve as 

Such a fleet, in the positions indicated, could be concentrated in twelve hours at 
any point where the enemy might appear with sufficient forces and with the inten- 
tion of breaking through the line, and would moreover guard a good part of the 
Windward and Mona passages, so as to prevent hostile attacks from the south. 

As we have stated, the squadron of the south might be stationed at Gnant^namo ; 
but this harbor might prove inadequate for the needs of the large squadron of the 
north, especially in connection with the southern sqaadron. 

If that should be the case, the harbor of Santiago de Cuba would constitute a 
better base for the fleet, as it has better resources. It is situated 5 miles from the 
coast, and can be reached only through a narrow channel which is intricate and 
tortuous and in several places only 200 feet wide. 

12 . 


On the northwest Cuba is botiuiled by Florida Chauutil, 130 miles wide, and Yuca- 
tan Channel, 100 miles wide. For operations in Florida Chauuel, the base might be 
a line 45 miles long connecting Habana with Matanzas. These two cities play the 
most important part from the standpoint of strategy and commerce. 

Habana, the capital of Cuba, is the key to the island ; but its defends, like those 
of all other Cuban harbors, are old and Yulnerablo and equipped with guus that are 
not adapted for attacks upon modern armored ships. 

Habana is practicaUy undefended, > and yet, by adequate defenses for its harbor 
and coasts, it might have been made an impregnable base of operations, and at the 
same time a base for refitting and a safe depot for men as well as supplies of every 
kind for the ships, and the center of the necessary reserves. 

Matanzas, the other extreme point of the western base, is a much smaller city 
than Habana, its population reaching only 70,000 at most. The chanuel is 4 miles 
long and 1 mile wide, and is defended by three antiquated batteries. 

The coast between Habana and Matanzas is open and can be safely navigated at 
a distance of 3 miles. Within this base the ships can cruise without danger by day 
and night. If the adversaries should attempt to effect a landing here, they might 
find it impossible, provided there were some mobile defenses and some means for 
harassing the enemy on the sea. This action could be further extended by con- 
trolling the 80 miles of the Florida Channel in the manner indicated below, and the 
result would be the destruction of the hostile commerce in that diroclioii. A first- 
class battle ship could be stationed midway of the chanuel, 40 miles from Habana, 
and one armored cruiser between this battle ship and Key West, and another between 
the battle ship and Habana. On both sides of the line formed by these three large 
ships would be placed large protected cruisers, and in the intervals between them 
dispatch boats. 


In this arm of the sea might be stationed three cruisers, assisted by three or four 
gunboats, to watch for and pursue merchant vessels. At Cape San Antonio there 
are no harbors, but good anchorages are quite near where the gunboats could have 
their stations. In case they should find it necessary to go into port, there is Bata- 
ban6, between cays, but well marked by buoys, and with 12 feet of water. Gun- 
boats would be quite safe here, because no large ships can enter from without. 


Having indicated the bases of operations which Spain might occupy in order to 
render both the defensive and offensive efiective, and having examined into this sec- 
ond and most important conception of strategy, we will branch out on some other 

The principal objective of attack will be the enemy's maritime commerce. The 
disposition of the Spanish fleet as above set forth will facilitate the pursuit of 
United States vessels navigating in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. 


All merchant vessels bound for Central America passing through the straits 
between the West Indian islands would be at the mercy of a coujtle of cruisers of the 
Alabama type. 

If Spain wanted to operate against the commerce of the United States, she would 
have to watch, besides the Caribbean Sea, the outer part of the Gulf Stream, begin- 
ning at Cape Hatteras, in the vicinity of which the merchant vessels bound for the 
south usually leave the Gulf to avoid the current. 

'In treating of the defenses of Habana we shall see how erroneous this opinion 


Another important point where the commerce with North America might be inter- 
cepted is abont 1,000 to 1,200 miles east of New York, in a circle not exceeding 300 
miles in diameter. At this place pass all the merchant vessels from Europe bonnd 
for the eastern ports of the United States. 



We should remember that in warfare upon commerce the party attacking may 
suffer as much damage as the party attacked. Suppose Spain should intend the 
destruction of the United States commerce. In that case she might lose her own 
maritime commerce, for the .simple reason that she would be compelled to devote 
the ships which are necessary for the protection of her commercial routes to the pur- 
suit and destruction of hostile merchant vessels in the courses which they in their 
turn have to follow. 

The Spanish merchant marine consists of 960 vessels, 402 of which are steamers of 
over 1,000 tons; 37 of these have a tonnage of over 3,000 and 37 are of tonnage between 
2,000 and 3,000. Thirty-two of all the merchant vessels have a speed of 12 knots, 
and only 2 of them attain 16 knots an hour. These latter vessels are therefore 
subventioned by the Government, and in case of war they must be placed at the 
disposal of Spain. Tho greater part of her commerce would be placed outside of 
her flag. 


Among the main objectives is the possibility of Spain bombarding, blockading, or 
invading the United States coasts. 

Bombardments appear attractive, bat would not be of much avail, if practicable 
at all. The large cities of the United States cannot be reached by the guns of a hoB> 
tile fleet without great danger to the fleet itself. A superior and powerful navy 
might take the risk, but for an inferior navy like the Spanish it would mean meeting 
disaster half way. 


The landing of Spanish forces in the United States is a hypothesis which mnst be 
rejected. If Spain had a squadron of the first order she might invest Key West, 
although even then it would require a bombardment in good earnest to reduce the 
forts defending the entrance. But this would not be of any advantage, as our forces 
would be at a distance from the ''Key,'' beyond the range of the guns of- the fleet. 
The naval station might be destroyed and some coal captured, but to reduce the 
place would require a large amount of ammunition, which would be difficult to 
replace, and it would not be worth spending it for that purpose. 

From these few remarks it may be concluded that Spain's only objective would be 
the destruction of our commerce, especially to the West Indies, where our traffic is 
extensive and our prestige great. These losses would injure us, but they would not 
profit Spain either and would have no influence on the duration of the war. The 
depredations of the Alabama were of no influence on the conclusion of hostilities 
between the North and South. 


The third point of importance in naval strategy is the line of operations, which 
in this case is clearly indicated. It would consist in protecting Cuba by means of 
an offensive fleet, acting as a defensive fleet, as far remote from the coasts as pos- 
sible; that is to say, this fleet would always have to maintain contact with the 
bases of operations and be in condition at any time to search for and annihilate any 
hostile forces that might attempt to enter its waters by forcing a passage. If the 
passage were forced it would probably be impossible to eject the enemy. If the 
Spanish fleet should be victorious, it would then be in condition to attempt block- 
ades and bombardments. 


On the other hand the Spanish fleet might be defeated, its line broken, its forces 
demoralized, and then Habana and Matanzas, Yucatan Channel, and the Wind- 
ward Passage would fall into our hands, and Cnba wonld cease to be a Spanish 


The plau of campaign sets forth that the principles of strategy 
require from the outset the number of ships that will be necessary for 
tlie defensive as well as the offensive; it indicates the theories to which 
tliey would have to conform and states that the scene of war would be 
the same for them as for us, but with the advantage in their favor that 
the United States forces would be a thousand times better situated 
than the Spanish. It then proceeds to treat of the invasion of Spain. 

It states that the invasion of Spain would probably not enter into 
the plan of campaign, but that no doubt attacks might be made by 
war ships upon the fortified harbors of Spain, in which case the fire of 
cruisers of the most modern type would rage in the bays of Biscay and 
of the Atlantic. 

To invade the Peninsula would require many transports to take the 
troops across the ocean. The long line of communication would have 
to be protected and the army of Cuba might constitute another obstacle 
requiring an army to fight it. Nevertheless the invasion would follow 
If the first attack were crowned with success. This first attack, of 
course, would be made upon Cuba. 


Cuba can be reached easily. The lines of communication are short and can be 
protected without difficulty, and, moreover, in the very heart of the hostile country 
we should tind thousands of allies. It is a question to be carefully considered 
whether it will be necessary to make an invasion of the island. Contributions of 
arms, food, and military supplies sent to the interior by our war ships would weaken 
the Spanish forces and encourage the Cuban insurgents, so that the military forces 
required by the United States would be less than an army corps. There is a saying 
that Napoleon ended in Spain. Well, Spain might end in the Pearl of the AntUles. 


Thus the war would from tlie beginning be of a naval character and the fight 
would be concluded in a short time. We ne«d not speak of the confidence of our 
people in this fact;. nevertheless we do not want to indulge In exaggerations which 
would cauHe disappointment if the conflict should not be short, because there are 
many things which can not be foreseen, and the Americans should not be put in the 
same class with the unfortunate French people, who in 1870 shouted: ''On to Ber- 
lin ! '* and whose predictions of one month of campaign were ridicaled by every 

It is true that the forces we have at our disposal are superior to those of Spain in 
every class except that of torpedo boats; it is also certain that the auxiliary fleet 
under our flag is much larger and can be mobilized more readily, and that, leaving 
valor entirely out of the (juestion, the disciplifie and training of onr Navy are of a 
very high order, because superior intelligence and noble traditions animate our 
service, and it is equally certain that our Akcilities for refitting are superior and that 
we have better resources for meeting the expenses incident to a war. It is further 



true that our house is better guarded, that we can supply our forces more easily with 
coal, provisions, and war supplies, and that we have yards for construction and 
repairs conveniently at hand. 



In the matter of coaling facilities we have an enormous advantage, because the 
Spanish ships have to rely to a great extent on imports from without. They would 
have to get coal from friendly nations, who, through the obligations of international 
laws, would have to become neutrals. 

The coal depots in Spain would soon become exhausted and the resnpply might 
prove difficult, if it is not entirely prevented by our cruisers on the sea. There 
would also be great difficulties in the matter of making repairs which, while often 
necessary in time of peace, become numerous in time of war. 

The task of our Navy would be the reduction of Habana, the blockade of Cuba 
and Puerto Rico, the equipment of the Cubaif insurgents, the destruction of Spanish 
commerce, and the defense of our bases of supplies and other ports. This is work 
of tremendous magnitude and will require great energy. Naval battles must be 
fought before Habana will fall into our hands, and to this object wo shall be able to 
devote all the ships of our Navy that are not required for the protection of our 


« * « • * • » 

The catastrot)he of the Maine occarred on the 15th day of February, 
1898, at half past 9 o'clock at night, and this plan of war against Spain, 
as set forth above, was published two days prior to that date, on Feb- 
ruary 13, in the Herald. Thia is one more circumstance in support of 
the fact that that catastrophe was simply a pretext skilfhlly utilized by 
the Americans for launching themselves into the fight, and that the 
latter had long been decided upon and was oneof the secret aspirations 
of the United States. 

But this plan of campaign, as well as many other manifestations of 
hostility against us, might well have been thoroughly considered by 
those who were at the head of our affairs, in order to adopt the more 
rational of the two following propositions: 

If we had a squadron that could measure itself with the United States 
fleet on equal terms — ^then on to war! 

If we did not have such a squadron, nor any resources, nor any sup- 
port, and if we had no plan and were not able to formulate one — then 
we should by all means acknowledge this to ourselves and avoid the 

Was it so very difficult to decide which of these two courses would 
be best T 

The facts which we give further on show that the problem was clear 
and simple. There could be no doubt as to the fact that we had no 
squadron to speak of. If with the knowledge and in spite of all this 
the war was nevertheless necessary for absolutely imperious reasons 
which are beyond my ken, then we had to enter into it wtth all possible 
energy, without beating about the bush, and set on foot all oflfensive 
means that we could possibly raise. 

Kothinff but the most vigorous and heroic initiative could keep our 
national honor intact* 


Blockades and Privatebeing. 

laws regulating them— letters of marque and reprisal — 
brutality of blockades — blockading on a large scale. 

Pasquale Fiore defines blockades as operations of war which consist 
in surrounding a hostile coast in order to intercept all communication 
by sea, maintaining an arc around such coast with a number of ships 
that are really and effectively in condition to prevent by force any ship 
which might attempt to cross the blockading line from doing so, with- 
out exposing themselves to be sunk by the guns of the station vessels.^ 

> The principal mles which at preaent govern blockades may be Bummed up as 
follows : 

(1) Ohfeois of a blockade, — A belligerent may blockade, in whole or in part^ the 
coasts, ports, and roadsteads of the hostile country, as far as may be necessary to 
attain the object of the war; bat the war mast actually exist, and in case of civil 
war, one of the parties must be seeking to recover the right of sovereignty in the 
territory which it occupies together with the other party. 

(2) Different kinds of blockades. — A blockade may be simple or by notification. It is 
considered as by notification when formal notir<e of the same has been given toother 
nations by the nation establishing It. Other blockades are termed simple. In the 
former case, the captured parties must establish discontinuity of the blockade in 
order to become exempt from the penalties imposed upon those who break it. In 
the latter case, it devolves upon the captors to establish the existence of the block- . 
ade at the time of the capture. 

(3) Authority of the commander in chief of the forces. — When the commander in 
chief of a squadron establishes the blockade of a port, the blockade is not to be 
considered void for lack of special authority, unless the respective government has 
disauthorized such commander in chief. Some doubt the right of a commander in 
chief to order a blockade without instructions when he is near the seat of his Gov- 
ernment, where it would be easy to receive such instructions ; but the more generally 
accepted opinion is to the conlrary. 

(4) Neceesiiy of notification — A private neutral vessel bound for a blockaded port 

is not liable to capture unless it has been expressly notified of the blockade, and -^ 

such notice entered on the ship's log, by a vessel of the squadron maintaining the 
blockade. The intention alone of entering a blockaded port, when this fact is not 
connected with others, is not sufficient to decree the condemnation of a neutral ves- 
sel. Notification of the blockade given to the government of a neutral nation is 
considered sufficient for the citizens of that nation. i 

(5) Effectiveness of blockades. — In order to be binding, the blockade must be main- 
tained with a number of ships sufficient really to prevent access to the enemy's 
coasts. As a general rule, temporary absence of the ships maintaining the blockade 
is permitted. The blockade ceases when the ships maintaining it withdraw for any 
reason, giving rise to the conclusion that the enterprise has been abandoned, at least 

(6) Breach of a blockade. — If the blockade is absolute, it is considered broken by 
any positive act committed by a vessel for the purpose of entering or leaving the 
blockaded port, except in caee of injury or distress. | 

(7) Penalties.— The penalty threatening those who break the blockade of a port is 

ooutiscation of both vessel and cargo. 


According to him, tlierefore, the blockade is the occupation of waters 
iw^ithin the jurisdiction of the enemy, which naturally carries with it an 
exercise of sovereignty which is estimated differently by different 
writers on international law; for while Hiibner, Ortoldn, and Haute- 
fenille admit that the belligerent party acquires that sovereignty when 
it occupies waters within the jurisdiction of its enemy, others are of 
opinion that such right is not incontrovertible, because the blockaded 
coast is almost always in the power of the enemy, who exercises his 
sovereignty as far as the range of the guns of his ports extends, and 
that therefore the right of blockade is really practiced on the high seas 
where the blockading vessels are stationed, and those seas are not sub- 
ject to any State. Hence the generally accepted Opinion is that the 
blockade is founded solely on an exigency of war, to which neutrals 
must submit, although it prejudices them. Gessner, following the 
opinion of Grotius, also considers blockades a necessity of war which 
should be confined to cases in which they are absolutely indispensable; 
and Dudley Field (Outlines of an International Code, art. 891) says that 
belligerents caii only blockade military ports, and only as far as may 
be necessary to take possession of contraband of war, meaning by "mil- 
itary port" a fortified harbor or one occupied by more troops than are 
required for the maintenance of internal order. He bases this opinion 
on the principle that the hardships of a blockade will be effective only 
in ports belonging to an island or which unite exceptional conditions.^ 

There can be no doubt that the island of Cuba united these 'conditions, 
and hence it is that in the United States' plan of campaign, which we 
have described in the preceding chapter, the blockade played quite an 
important part, in as far a.s it relates to the operations of the Ameri- 
cans, as also to the operations of defense against any which the Spanish 
might undertake, for they realized that, owing to our lack of naval 
X)Ower, the island of Cuba, separated from Spain by a long distance 
and without direct means for supporting its army and people as a result 
of its agricultural conditions, could be easily cut off and reduced by 
starvation, without much effort or bloodshed.' This was in pursuance 
of the theory of humanity under which the Yankees had for a long 
time been taking shelter to hide their intentions. 

But the Americans never imagined that they might be able to establish 
a blockade of the entire coast of Cuba, because they were Tar from 
realizing that our squadron was as deficient as it actually was. At first, 
therefore, they only announced the blockade of the northern coast com- 
prised between Bahia Honda, Habana, Matanzas, and Cardenas, and 
only when they had positively ascertained that not all the destroyers 
were coming over, and that the only ships which we could make imme- 

iln the work cited by Captain Ntiliez^ David Dudley Field presented a draft ont- 
lining a proposed code, not one having any authoritative sanction. — O. N. I. 

'^The greater part of the articles of first neoessity, such as flour, rice, baooU; dried 
beef, butter, etc., were imported into Cuba. 
6884 2 • 


diately available were those of Gervera^s division, was the blockade 
extended to the southern coast, first from Oienfuegos to Santic^o de 
Gaba, and subsequently to the entire island after our squadron had 
been closed in at Santiago Harbor. After that the blockade at times 
assumed the character of a veritable farce [juerga). With glasses we 
could see from the batteries of Habana, among the blockading ships 
and exercising functions of vigilance and even chasing coasting vessels 
and carrying orders back and forth, i)rivate tugs of the United States 
Press and pleasure yachts, on board of someof which we could distinguish 
lady excursionists and almost feel the excitement of champagne. 

And in the face of all this, we did not even use the one method of 
warfare which the enemy feared, privateering, while in the United 
States, though not under the name of privateers, yet under that of 
auxiliary vessels, there were in the blockading fleet numerous craft whose 
functions, as a matter of fact, were identical with those of privateers. 

There was, there must have been something, some secret reason which 
the people suspected at the time and which was, perhaps, the obstacle 
to our issuing letters of marque and reprisal which, by their moral 
force alone, would have compelled the enemy to divide his squadron, 
and in that case, who knows whether our defeat, if we had to suffer it, 
would not have been less disgraceful T 

This something— could we not find out what it was! Gould we not 
ascertain to whom we are indebted for it? 


For if there were no obstacles, no embargoes, it was a grave resi)on- 
sibility not bravely to resolve upon privateering. 

The convention which abolished privateering for some States, and 
was sanctioned by others, namely, by Spain, the United States, and 
Mexico, who were not signatories to it, and only accepted articles 
2, 3, and 4, says: 

Appendix to Protocol No. XXII. 


The plenipotentiaries who signed the treaty of Paris of March 30, 1856, assembled 
in conference, 

Considering that, 

Whereas the maritime law in time of war has for a long time been the subject of 
unpleasant controyersies; and 

Whereas the uncertainty of the law and duties relative to this matter gives rise, 
among neutrals and belligereutSi to differences of opinion which may lead to serioas 
difficulties and even conflicts ; and 

Whereas it would therefore be of advantage to establish a uniform doctrine on a 
point of such great importauce; and 

Whereas the plenipotentiaries assembled at the Congress of Paris could not better 
voice the intentions of their respective Governments than by trying t'O introduce 
into the international relations fixed principles on this point: 

Now therefore the said plenipotentiaries, being thereunto duly authorized, have 
agreed to unite upon the means for attaining this object and have consequently 
resolved upon the following solemn declaration : 

1. PHvate^ing is and remains abolished. 

2. The neutral flag covers enemy's goods, with tlieexce{Miuu of contraband of war. 


3. Nentral p^oods, with the exception of contraband of war, are not liable to cap- 
ture under the enemy's flag. 

4. Blockades, in order to he binding, mtist he effective; that ie to say, maintained hy a 
force sufficient really to prevent access to the coast of the enemy. 

The Govemments of the undersigned plenipotentiaries bind 'themselves to submit 
this declaration to the States who were not called upon to take part in the Congress 
of Paris, and to invite them to accede to tho same. 

Convinced that the above maxims can not help but be received with gratitude 
by the entire world, the undersigned plenipotentiaries trust that the efforts of their 
respective Govemments in the direction indicated will meet with the most complete 

This declaration is not and shall not he binding except as to the powers who have 
acceded to it or who will accede to it. 
Done at Paris this 16th day of April, 1856. 

For Austria: Buol-Schauenstbin, Ht^BNBR. 

For France : A. Walkwski, Bourquenby. 

For Great Britain : Clarendon, Cowley. 

For Prussia: Manteuffel, Hatzfeldt. 

For Russia : Orloff, Brunnow. 

For Sardinia: C. Cayour, Db Yillamarina. 

For Turkey : Aali, Mbhemmbd Djemil. 

It is therefore iDControvertible that Spain, with good international 
law on her side, conld have decreed and practiced privateering and 
derived from this means of commercial warfare, which the Yankees 
dreaded, every advantage consistent with the laws regulating itJ 

It would have been the more natural for Spain to adopt this means 
of warfare, as she had to do with a nation that had not acceded to the 
abolition of privateering, and which, for that reason, was also at liberty 
to practice it if it cared to. If the war had been between Spain and 
one of the powers which had declared themselves in favor of the aboli- 
tion of privateering, it would have been quite a different thing. 

' Privateering is completely regulated by law, and therefore offers no danger of 
crime nor abuse. 

The conditions imposed by conventional law as well as usage, and which will 
always be observed by civilized nations to make privateering legitimate, are as 
follows : 

1. The taking out of a letter of marque and reprisal. 

2. The giving of security. 

3. The opinion of a competent court as to the captures made by privateers. 

A letter of marque and reprisal, which is to be issued by the commander in chief 
of the squadron, is a legal document conferring upon a private individual a com- 
mission in due form to take an active part in the operations of war and antagonize 
the enemy in ^e waters specified in such letter. 

Under the Spanish law a person who wishes to equip a vessel for privateering 
must make application to the chief of the naval forces of his province for permis- 
sion to do so, setting forth in his petition the kind of vessel he intends to equip, its 
displacement, the weapons and ammunition it is to carry, and the number of per- 
sons who are to form the crew, as also the securities which he offers; when these 
legal formalities have been complied with, the document referred to is issued to the 
captain of the vessel. 

In the absence of such special authorization by the sovereign or the head of the 
State any act of aggression committed by a private individual, except in case of 
natural and legitimate defense, is considered piracy. 

Letters of marque can be issued only to merchant vessels of the power whose 


The negative attitude toward the suppression of privateering, says 
Ortolan, assumed by a nation like the United States or like Spain, 
which i>ossesses within itself all the necessary factors for making it 
now, as in the pa&t, a naval power of the first order, deprives the prin- 
ciple of the declaration of Paris of that character of universality which 
is necessary to make it an absolute and uniform rule of international 
naval law founded on treaties. The principle of legitimate defense 
inherent in sovereignty implies necessarily, for a nation engaged in 
warfare, the right to call to arms all its citizens, and organize on land 
and on the sea a national militia; this being one of the rights which 
writers call primitive and absolute. The powers which agreed to limit 
or abandon the principle of privateering pursued chiefly the object of 
avoiding the repetition of the abuses that were attributed to it. But 
such excesses are not inherent in that mode of warfare. The abuses 
sometimes committed by privateers should be attributed, flrst of all, 
to the uncertainty of the rights and duties between neutrals and bel- 
ligerents, to which uncertainty the second and third articles of the 
Paris declaration put an end as far as possible by laying down a uni- 
form doctrine as to certain important points, which had already been 
observed by all nations, with the exception of Great Britain. 

Prom whatever point of view we may look at this question, the 
mistake remains apparent: There is no possible excuse to justify our 
not having taken advantage of this means of warfare. 

And on the other hand, what did we gain by not practicing priva- 
teering T Was it not a covert method of privateering ^ich the United 
States practiced T In this connection we reproduce below what the 
Diario del Ej^rcito of Habana said during the blockade (June 10): 

What is the United States method of warfare if not privateering f It is evident 

colors they carry and over which the sovereign exercises his jorisdiction^ as the law 
of every country, as a rule, prohibits its merchant vessels from soliciting or accept- 
ing letters of marqne from foreign powers. Some treaties stipulate that the beUig- 
erent power may treat as pirate any neutral vessel in possession of a letter of 
marque and reprisal from the enemy of the former. 

Letters of marque are usually issued for a limited term therein specified^ and 
when that term expires they become void ; that is to say, from that moment on the 
vessel ceases to be a privateer and becomes once more a merchant vessel. Hence, if 
such vessel, after the expiration of the term for which the sovereign had granted 
the commission, continues to practice privateering, its actions assume the character 
of illegality, and any captures it might make are likewise illegal and the prize 
courts must annul them, restore the captured vessels to liberty, make the captor 
pay the costs and damages, and impose upon him such penalty as the laws of the 
country provide for punishing such irregularity. 

Letters of marque also become void as to their effects on the day when the treaty 
of peace is signed, and vessels captured after such date must be returned to their 
legitimate owners, except in case of an express stipulation modifying this general 
principle; but in the former case the owners of the captured vessels are not entitled 
to indemnity, the privateer having acted in good faith. 

The property captured, whether by a warship or a privateer, and whether belong- 
ing to the enemy or to neutrals, is not conceded as a prize to the captor, unless a 
8]>ecial court instituted for that purpose declares tlje capture valid and legitimate. 


that they are practicing it^ because not only do they utilize, in their so-called 
blockade, the ships of the squadron proper as privateers to chase and capture our 
mercantile vessels, but they have also equipped numerous merchant vessels for war 
and are devoting them to that operation. 

The merchant vessels which the United States has equipped for war are cruising 
in our waters, capturing our vessels, and taking them to its ports, there to be 
confiscated and the proceeds distributed, which is no more nor less than what priva- 
teers do. Why can we not do the same thingf 

If it is a question of name under which the true purpose is covered up, let us 
resort to the same method. Whether they are called auxiliaries to the squadron or 
whether they are called privateers, the service rendered by these merchant vessels, 
equipped for war, is the same — they capture hostile vjessels which they meet and 
paralyze commerce. It is arrant madness that Spain, from incomprehensible scru- 
ples, is not doing what the United States has been doing ever since the beginning of 
the naval campaign. 

Here in Cuba we have valuable factors which we could use in such enterprises. 
There are numerous coast vessels which could be made to do service as auxiliaries to 
the fleet, if we do not wish to give them the more explicit name of privateers. 

Besides, the blockade of the island of Caba never was effective, and 
this must at times have been apparent and would have furnished facili- 
ties for taking in provisions. 

The majority of writers on international law agree as to the fact that 
the blockade ceases the moment the ships forming the arc of vigilance 
and force disappear for any reason whatever from the waters of whicli 
they have taken possession. 

There are some authors, like Hautefeuille, Negrin, Kiquelme, Ortolan, 
Halleck, and Fauchille, who lay down the radical principle that, if the 
blockading ships are compelled to leave the blockaded port, either on 
account of stress of the weather, or injuries, or to rest their crews, or 
from lack of provisions, the blockade becomes ineffective, and in order 
to reestablish it new notification is required. 

Others, like Bello, Perels, Bluutschli, Le Moine, Wheaton, Heffter, 
and Scott, do not admit that the blockade ceases when the blockading 
ships absent themselves because of fortuitous circumstances, and it is 
their opinion that the blockade is not to be considered interrupted on 
that account. This is the theory generally professed by English, and 
hence by American, writers as opposed to the other theory advocated 
by French authors, with better right and reason. 

Our rear-admiral Manuel J. Mozo, in a recent and very excellent 
treatise on the Eights of People, which is used as text-book in the gen- 
eral school of the Armada, declares himself in favor of the French 
doctrine, because, he says, if the blockade consists in the conquest of 
th« enemy's maritime territory, really and effectively maintained by the 
naval forces of the blockading party^ it is clear and obvious that when 
such conquest ceases and the occupation is suspended the blockade 
also ceases and is suspended, and it is not necessary to entor upon an 
investigation as to the causes thereof, for, whether they are voluntary 
or involuntary, fortuitous or predetermined, the result remains the 
same. In either event they put an end to the dominion and jurisdiction 
which the blockading party had assumed and in virtue of which it pro- 


hibited access to the waters over which it had control and which ipso 
facto return to the jarisdictiou and dominion of their original sovereign; 
and as the latter had permitted the entrance and sojourn of vessels of 
friendly nations in these waters, such vessels are at liberty to take 
advantage of the ])ermi8sion without being considered blockade break- 
ers, for since there is no actual blockade it could hardly be broken. 

Leaving aside these controversies of law, we must fix our attention on 
the point on which all authors agree, namely, that when the blockading 
squadron raises the blockade in order to engage in another operation of 
war, and especially when compelled to raise it in order to meet an 
attack of the hostile squadron, the blockade ceases, and in order to 
reestablish it the same formalities must be gone through as though it 
were a new blockade. 

Now, then, the United States squadron was repeatedly compelled to 
abandon the blockade of Habana and several other ports of the island 
in order to look after other objectives which were not due to fortuitous 
causes, but, on the contrary, to the necessity of giving attention to the 
danger represented by our squadron. The fact may be pointed out 
that for three days the United States ships were absent from the waters 
of Habana, owing to the rumored approach of Gervera's squadron, dur- 
ing which time they left at the blockading station only a few inefficient 
vesselOy some of them sailing crafb, which could not really be considered 
as blockading ships, because they lacked the necessary attributes and 
power to prevent by force the ingress and egress of the harbor. The 
blockade of Habana must have ceased several times if the law had 
been properly laid before the nations of the civilized world. 

The newspaper above referred to said under date of May 5: 

The blockade of Habana, Cienfaegos, Matanzas, and CardenaB is not effective, 
and the proof is that it was broken by several steamers, among them the Cosme 
Herreraf AviUs, Monserraif and a number of sailing vessels which have entered or 
left said ports. 

In the second place, the naval forces of the United States for three days, from 
Sunday, May 1, to Wednesday, May 3, had to abandon almost entirely their block- 
ading mission because they were needed elsewhere ; which goes to show that they 
were insufficient to render the blockade of such harbors as Habana real, effective, 
and absolute, and this very day, while the Indiana, lowaj Montgomery^ New Yorkj and 
Marbleheadf that is to say, all the powerful hostile ships, are out of sight, anyone 
could run the blockade, for only the Wilmington and a few merchant vessels in the 
service of the squadron are left in front of Habana to blockade the harbor. 

Having gone somewhat extensively into these questions, we will not 
close this chapter without setting forth our ideas as to the brutality 
and inhumanity of blockades when practiced as they were practiced in 

For reasons of universal morality the different nations have turned 
their attention to making wars more humane, by dictating general 
measures and agreeing to abstain from methods contrary to civilization 
and whicb work hardship to the innocent, the noncombatants, women, 
children, invalids — in a word, all those whose destruction leads to 
nothing and whom it is barbarous to injure. 


To this end treaties and conventions have been drawn up which 
regulate the use of the instruments of war and put restrictions on 
destructive tendencies. An absolute and extensive blockade, under 
the circumstances under which Cuba had to sustain it, is not a means 
of war, but of oppression and death, which is contrary to every law of 
God and man, even though it is considered the most gentle method to 
reduce the enem3\ 

Perhaps it is because it has never before been attempted on a large 
scale and in an absolute manner that it has escaped the perspicacity of 
the " humanizers " of wars to place restrictions on the system of reduc- 
ing to starvation not only the combatants, but an entire population — 
old men, women, children, and invalids, who, as a general rule, should 
not be subjected to the privations incident on battles — in these times 
when so much philanthropy and so much universal love is being 

The blockade as practiced iu Cuba caused a thousand times more 
victims and more horrors than bursting shells, the burning of cities, 
the massacre of battles, and all the crueltiel^ of weapons. The blockade 
makes living expensive, extinguishes the means of livelihood, gradually 
decimates the population, destroys family life, annihilates human beings 
without distinction — or rather, with one distinction, for it strikes par- 
ticularly the feeble, the children, the women, and the sick. 

Let the observations I have made on the subject of the practice of 
naval blockades, the most important of modern times, be taken into 
consideration when the <^ humanizers" of war meet again, and let them 
not only take thought of regulating the use of bursting shell and the 
protection of real property, but also give a prominent part in their* 
deliberations to the hnmanization of the blockade as far as it affects 
those who should not be made to suffer the rigors of war in a brutal 
manner; for it is brutal to redu<'.e to starvation and death human 
beings who have no share in the conflict and are in no manner respon- 
sible for it. 

In our opinion, absolute blockades should be limited to fortified 
cities and harbors, and as far as towns are concerned there should be 
restrictions on the introduction of men, arms, ammunition, and war 
supplies; but it is not humane to extend these restrictions to food, 
medicines, and clothing for the noncombatant inhabitants. 

In the Spanish- American war the whole enormity of the effects of the 
blockade become apparent in the frightful mortality. After two 
months of blockade in Cuba there could be seen in the cities and in 
the country thousands of human beings looking like ghosts, and men, 
women, and children dying of hunger in the public roads. A sad con- 
trast to the condition of that war, fought on the pretext of humanity! 

We will now le^ve this subject to speak of the advantage and infla- 
ence which the mistakes and incompetence of the men at th6 head of 
our affairs and the scantiness and deficiency of our war resources had 
on the United States plans of campaign. 


Operations of the United States Squadron. 

before the arrital of gerybra's squadron — what the naval 


The first signal of ^< Hostile squadron in sight '^ was made by the 
semaphore at Morro Oastle on Friday, April 22, at 5 o'clock p. m., while, 
strange to say, it was not ontil Monday, the 25th, that President 
McEinley signed the joint resolution declaring that war between the 
United States and Spain had commenced on the 2l8t. 

From the telemetric observatory of Monro Castle we witnessed the 
first appearance of the enemy and closely followed the movements of 
the hostile ships, the vague outlines of which could be seen on the 
horizon.' The gunners stood in readiness to fire and all were waiting 
for the moment when fire would be opened ; but to everybody's sur- 
prise the United States ships kept beyond range, at a distance of about 
20,000 meters from the batteries, and in that position they remained the 
next day. It was evident that they were refusing battle and that their 
plan of campaign was founded on the blockade. 

It was well known that one of the enemy's most ardent desires was 
to take Habana as early as possible. Why was the enterprise delayed T 
Why were the tactics changed f 

In order to explain this we must begin by giving some interesting 

The Naval Annual — a very important book which has been published 
--^for fifteen years by T. A. Brassey — furnishes us certain antecedents, to 
which we shall refer. 

The nominal forces of the two belligerent fleets were believed to be 
approximately equal.^ 

^ A few moments later three nteamers came oat of the harbor, among them one 
United States vessel, the Saratoga, displaying her flag. As soon as she had rounded 
the Morro she sped away at full speed. We shall never be able to comprehend why 
that vessel did not remain in oar power. 

^This error, which had so mnch to do with the declaration of war^ and for whioh 
we had to pay so dear, should never have prevailed in Spain, for there was one man 
at least who, thinking of the future and foreseeing the conflict which was hanging 
over as, devoted many hours to the study of the United States Navy and published 
extensive technical data concerning the ships of that nation. It was Adolfo Marti- 
nez Jurado y Ruiz, a captain of artillery, subsequently assigned to the navy-yard at 
Habana, who carried out this work with unflagging perseverance and on his own 
initiative, following step by step the United States publications and making every 
possible effort to obtain information. A year before the breaking out of the war he 
published an albnm of the United States fleet, a perfect piece of work, which contains 
all the ships, their plans of construction, the material of which they are built, their 
armor, armament, speed, engine installatioil — in a word, everything necessary to 
form a correct idea of the modern ships of that navy. This work was known at 
Madrid. Pity it is that it was not made to serve better purposes than to be used in 
the telemetric observatories of the Habana batteries to supplement observation in 
case of the opening of Are, which unfortunately never occurred on a large scale! 


In order to give an idea of what is taken into accoant by naval 
experts — and Lord Brassey has the uuiversal reputation of being one 
of them — ^in estimating the military efficiency of war ships, we will here 
copy the comparison made by the Naval Annual: 

Class of ships. 


Armored cmisers 

Armored coast-defense vessels. 

Armored ram 

Cruisers, protected 

Cruisers, unprotected....* 







The following tables show the classification which Gol. Sir George 
Clarke gives in the Naval Annual of the real fighting ships, which is 
evidence of the slight value attached to small vessels and shows how 
the naval forces are estimated among powerful nations : 



Battleships , 


Armored cruisers • 






Texas (second class) 

New York 






o,^^ I Date of 
fijpeed. |i|,unch. 
















4 80-cm. 

8 20-cm. 

6 10-cm. 
20 57-mm. 
. 6 87-mm. 

4 33-om. 

8 ao-cm. 

4 15om. 
20 57-mm. 
, 6'37-mm. 
' 2 30om. 

6 15-cm. 
12 57>mm. 

6 37 -mm. 
' 6 20-om. 
12 10-cm. 

8 57-mm. 
. 4 37-mm. 

8 20-cm. 
12 12-cm. 
12 57-mm. 

4 37-mm. 



Armored cmisers. 


OArloe V 




Cristdbal Col6n I 0,840 

Viscaya ' 7,000 


Infanta Maria Teresa 


Cisneros 7,000 

Princess de Asturias 7,000 










2 32-cm. 
2 28-Gm. 
116- cm. 

12 12-cm. 

2 42-mm. Nf., R. F. 
8 67-mm. H., R. F. 

13 37-mm. H., rev. 
2 28-cm. 

10 14 -cm. 

4 10-cm. 

4 57-mm., R. F. 
10 13.2-om. 

6 12-om. 
10 57-mm. 
10 37 -nun. 

2 28 -cm. 
10 14 -cm. 

8 57 -mm.^ F. 

8 37-mm.H.,rey. 

2 24-cm. 
10 14-cm. 

8 57-mm.,B.F. 

8 37-mm. H., rev. 

KOTB.— The Vitoria and Numaneia are excluded as being little more than harbor defense ships. 


This couipamou shows the superiority of the United States in battle 
shix)8and protected cruisers, while Spain had apparently more armored 
cruisers; but when the time arrived for using them it was found that 
out of the seven only four could be made immediately available, nor 
could the only battle ship be made available for immediate service. 
Consequently, far from being equal to the Americans in effective naval 
forces, we proved t6 be very much inferior in number and quality of 
fighting ships. On the other hand, we had more personnel, for while 
the United States Navy counted only 12,000 men and no reserves, we 
had 23,000 men besides the reserves, including officers. 

The hostile squadron which made its appearance off Habana was the 
so-called North Atlantic Squadron, which had for months been in proc- 
ess of organization at Hampton Beads, carrying out practices along 
the coasts of Florida, and after the blowing up of the Maine it was 
stationed at Key West, a few hours' distance from the Cuban shore.' 

We have already spoken of the composition of this squadron in the 
first part of this work (Ships, Guns, and Small Arms, p. 34 et seq.). It 
was under the command of Mr. Sampson, at that time captain, who was 
very anxious to attack Habana, although he is said to have expressed 
the opinion that the battle of Habana would have to be fought at the 
expense of sonie of his ships, and in view of the equality which was 
supposed to exist between the United States naval forces and those of 
Spain and the recent loss of the MainCj that would have been a serious 

The squadron was admirably officered. But the United States Gov- 
ernment decided, very wisely, to try the crews first and give them addi- 
tional training, and not send them at once into a battle which could not 
help but be fierce, without initiating them by means of less difficult 
operations in which the victory would be sure and complete, and where 
the gunners would acquire greater facility in firing. This was the more 
important as the Maine catastrophe, in which 266 sailors lost their lives, 
had given rise to certain fantastic legends that Cuba and its -ports were 
full of mines and torpedoes which could sow death and destruction 
everywhere and at all times. 

The principle prevailed which underlay the plan of campaign 
described in the first chapter, namely, that before proceeding directly 
against Cuba it would be necessary to fight naval battles to see whose 
was the preponderance on the sea. This will also explain why the 
Americans kept their ships so close together and why Sampson's squad- 
ron always remained near the Flying Squadron, which was under 
Schley's orders, so that the two fleets, in case of necessity, might be 
able to cooperate in a battle against the Spanish fleet with overwhelm- 
ing superiority. As we go on we shall see that the plan was carried 
out in full. 

1 This was an excellent base of operations. It was stated that during the blockade 
of Habana even beefsteak and fried potatoes were daily sent to the crews of the 
fleet from Key West. 


For this reason it would have been of great advantage if those who 
had charge of conducting the war on the Spanish side had made efforts 
to divide the United ^tates squadron, which could surely have been 
accomplished by permitting privateering or resorting to the system 
adopted by the United States, namely, disguising privateers in the 
shape of auxiliary vessels, for while some of these auxiliary vessels 
were commanded by regular naval officers, like the St. Paul, which had 
been given to Captain Sigsbee, of the Maincy the majority of them were 
commanded by officers of a special corps of reserves formed of active 
and retired sailors of the merchant marine. What was there to pre- 
vent us from giving the same character to our merchant vessels and 
following the example of our enemies, who thus equipped for war not 
less than 128 vessels? If it is true, as maintained by some, that priva- 
teering is no longer any use in our time, why were our enemies so anx- 
ious that we should not resort to itT And why did we reserve the right 
to practice it? 

A few score auxiliary vessels would have constituted a menace to 
commerce, which the Americans worship, and would have compelled 
their squadrons to subdivide and operate without that close correla- 
tion which gave them so much strength. A threat of operations against 
the undefended ports of Florida or against the United States fleet at 
the Philippines — anything in the nature of naval strategy or plan of 
campaign — should have been resorted to, so as to make at least an 
attempt to scatter Sampson's and Schley's squadrons. 

Nothing of all this was thought of; or if it was the people did nOi> 
hear of it. If there was any fixed and concerted plan of campaign, if 
every resource of intelligence was exhausted in formulating it, it has 
not come to the knowledge of the general public, and thus, while the 
American people are already in possession of official reports rendering 
an account of everything that has happened, of the expenses incurred, 
the injuries suffered, we know nothing at all except what we see before 
our eyes in the evidence of our terrible debacle. We must envy the 
system of other nations, for obviously we have among us none who are 
capable of imitating it. * 

The opinion which Sir George Clarke formed of the naval capacity 
of Spain is pitiful, and it has gone abroad and become the opinion of 
the world on the strength of his authority. 

"In Spain," says the Naval Annual, "some efforts of preparation 
were made, but want of money, of resources, and of administrative 
capacity proved fatal. At the beginning of 1898 there was not a single 
completely effective war ship, and in home waters there was no organ- 
ized squadron. The isolated force in the Far East, composed mainly 
of obsolete craft, of which the flagship was scarcely the equal of our 
^c^tve, was not, in the modern sense, a real fighting body. The effi- 
ciency of a navy, involving the fulfillment of exceedingly complex con- 
ditions, is a delicate test of sound government and of national vigor 


Spain thronghoat her history, in spite of great natural advantages, has 
never proved able to create and maintain a really efficient fleet/' 

We think these statements are a little exaggerated* There was a time 
when Spain was all-powerftd on the sea. Everyone knows, the caaaes of 
our decline. As far as the present time isconcerned, Brassey's opinion is 
correct and is confirmed by the sad facts of a terribly disastrous con- 
flict. But we will not yet despair; we still think that days of rejoicing 
and glory may return if we can become convinced that morality and 
order and good government are the basis of the civil and military i^ros- 
perity of nations. 

The Americans had a pretty accurate idea of our deficiencies, thanks 
to information received from intelligent spies operating in Spain. 

Among a number of documents recently published by the United 
States is one, bearing no signature, which is unique of its kind and may 
be of interest as being suggestive. It can be found in the original on 
page 27 of the second volume of the Eeport of the Secretary of the 
Navy, 1898, and is as follows : 

April 16, 1898. 

Sir: Yesterday the Spanish GoTemment began to take extraordinary precautious 
to prevent the getting out of news relating to the movements of ships or anything 
pertaining to war preparations. It is quite probable, therefore, that definite infor- 
mation in regard to these subjects will be difficult if not impossible to get. My 
latest information, which I have telegraphed, is to the effect that the torpedo squad- 
ron, consisting of three destroyers, three torpedo boats, and the Ciudad de Cadiz, 
Colon, and Teresa are at the Cape de Verdes awaiting Instructions. It is said that the 
Colon and Tereea left Cadiz not properly provisioned. Provisions and ooal have been 
sent to them. I have no reason to believe that they have not a full supply of 
ammunition. The Oquendo and Fieoayaf from Puerto Rico, should arrive at Cape de 
Verdes to-day. Although I have no definite information, I believe the Pelayo 
arrived at Cadiz yesterday, coming from Cartagena. It was intended that she 
should gOj^ after a few days' necessary delay in Cartagena, and it is reported that 
she was sighted in the Straits of Gibraltar day before yesterday. The Proserpina, 
Osado, Deatruotor, Baroelo, JRetamoea, Hahatia, Halcon, torpedo boats and destroyers, 
and the Viioria are now practicaUy ready in Cadiz, awaiting the arrival of the 
Cdrlos V and the Pelayo, The Alfonso XIII is also about ready in Cartagena. 

The installation for moving the guns by electricity in the Carlos V is not com- 
pleted, and I am unable to get at any estimate of the date when she will be entirely 
ready for service. I know on good authority, however, that in an emergency she 
could be used at once, working some of her machinery by hand. Work is being 
pushed, also, as rapidly as possible on the Cisneros, but she can hardly be ready for 
several weeks. The trans- Atlantic steamers Mexico, Panama, Santo Domingo, San 
Augtisiin, and Villaverde, now in Cuban waters, are being armed as auxiliary cruisers. 
To this number should be added the Columbia and Xormannia, recently purchased 
in Germany, and the Giralda, now being converted in Barcelona. This makes 21 
auxiliary cruisers concerning which I have quite definite information, llie two 
steamers bought in Germany were strengthened there and are in condition to receive 
their artUlery and crew when they arrive at Cadiz, which is expected to-day. I call 
your special attention to the newspaper slip which I inclose, entitled, ** Fe en la 
Armada.'' It was published in the Heraldo of April 6, the leading and most influen- 
tial paper of Madrid. The Imparcial of the following morning called attention to 
it and spoke in very severe terms of the impropriety of a former secretary of the 


navy Bi>eakiiig so unreservedly of such important matters at this critical time. The 
following is a translation : 

^^We had an opportunity to-day to talk for a long time with General Ber^nger, 
the last minister of marine under the Conservative cabinet. 

''To the questions which we directed to him concerning the conflict pending 
with the United States he was kind enough to inform us that he confided absolutely 
in the triumph of our naval forces. 

'' The attack on our island ports is not to be feared, he said, by taking advantage 
of the darkness of night. 

*' The reason of this is that Habana, as well as Cienfaegos, Nue vitas, and Santiago 
are defended by electrical and automobile torpedoes, which can work at a great 

'' SefioT Canovas del Cantillo, who did not neglect these things, arranged for, in 
agreement with me, the shipping to Cuba of 190 torpedoes, which are surely located 
in these ports at present. 

" The transportation and installation of these war machines was in the charge of 
the distinguished torpedoist, Seuor Chao6n. 

'* I have already said that we shall conquer on the sea, and I am going to give you 
my reasons. 

''The first of these is the remarkable discipline that prevails on our war ships, and 
the second, as soon as fire is opened the crews of the American ships will commence 
to desert, since we all know that among them are people of all nationalities. 

" Ship against ship, therefore, a failure is not to be feared. 

"I believe that the squadron detained at the Cape deVerdes, and particnlarly the 
destroyers, should have and could have continued the voyage to Cuba, sinoe they 
have nothing to fear from the American fleet. 

*'In this class of ships we are on a much higher level than the United States.'' 

The Company Bandera f^spaflola have been ordered to suspend the voyages of 
their ships to Habana, and I presume the Government intends to take these ships 
into service. Also the Compafifa Trasatldntica has ordered its ships not to touch at 
Corunna hereafter, presumably for the same reason. 

It is said quite openly here that the intention of the Government is to make some 
kind of an effort on our coasts. I am inclined to believe that they have this plan in 
view ; but I have been unable to verify the reports or to get at any of the details. 

Just at this moment, here at Madrid, everything is very quiet. Considerable tur- 
bulence is reported from the provinces. How great this may be we are unable to 
Judge, as fhe Government is keeping a sharp watoh on the telegrams and does not 
permit news to be disseminated. A few days ago there was some excitement and 
danger of a mob here in Madrid, after the announcement of the proclamation of the 
, armistice in Cuba. That crisis is now apparently passed. Everybody here exx>ect8 
war, and the lower classes ardently desire it. The Government and the more intel- 
ligent classes dread it, but will accept it if it is forced upon them. The press has 
fed the people with all sorts of nonsense about the superior bravery of the Spanish 
sailor, the superior discipline on board the Spanish ships, and the greater fighting 
power of the navy. 

The people believe that this superiority of the Spanish navy over that of the 
United States is overwhelming and that they must defeat us. This opinion is shared 
also by many intelligent persons — in fact, I believe, by all Spaniards. They say 
they have nothing to lose ; they could not be worse off with the war than without it, 
as they are about to lose Cuba anyhow; but they can do incalculable damage to our 
commerce, and seriously ii^ure, if not destroy, our Navy, and although they would 
probably be beaten in the end, they will have- taught us a salutary lesson for the 
future. One of the most intelligent, best-informed Spaniards I have met here, a 
man who had traveled much and claims to have a great admiration for the United 
States, and who knows much about our history and resources, a senator of the King- 
dom, told me yestorday that the thing that he dreaded most was the long period 


that the hostilities would last. He was sure that the straggle might last three 
years ; that he could very well understand and appreciate the feelings and ambitions 
of a young and powerful nation like the United States for conquest; that he could 
understand that we were desirous of taking the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and 
the Canaries, and even of coming to Madrid itself; but what he could not under- 
stand was that, wliile protesting a desire for peace, a decided disinclination to the 
annexation of any territory, the people of the United States had done everything in 
their power to foment the rebellion in Cuba and to make it impossible for Spain to 
overcome it by the force of arms. 

I give you this as a matter of interest solely, but it represents the attitude of the 
intelligent, educated, and traveled Spaniard. 

This is certainly remarkable informatioD. 

The Secretary of the United States Navy, on April 6, addressed to 
Sampson, commander in chief of the North Atlantic Squadron, the 
following instructions: 

V Washington, April 6, 1898. 

Sir: In the event of hostilities with Spain the Department wishes you to do all 
in your power to capture or destroy the Spanish war vessels in West Indian waters, 
including the small gunboats which are stationed along the coast of Cuba. 

2. The Department does not wish the vessels of your squadron to be exposed to 
the fire of the batteries at Habana, Santiago de Cuba, or other strongly fortified 
ports in Cuba, unless the more formidable Spanish vessels should take refuge within 
those harbors. Even in this case the Department would suggest that a rigid 
blockade and employment of our torpedo boats might accomplish the desired 
object, viz, the destruction of the enemy's vessels withoiit subjecting unnecessarily 
our own men-of-war to the fire of the land batteries. 

There are two reasons for this: 

First. There may be no United States troops to otTcupy any captured stronghold, 
or to protect the landing, until after the yellow-fever season is over, about the first 
of October. 

Second. The lack of docking facilities makes it particularly desirable that our 
vessels should not be crippled before the capture or destruction of Spain's most for- 
midable vessels. 

3. The Department further desires that, in case of war, you will maintain a 
strict blockade of Cuba, particularly at the ports of Habaua, Matanzas, and, if pos- 
sible, of Santiago de Cuba, Manzanillo, and Cienfnegos. Such a blockade may 
cause the Spaniards to yield before the rainy season arrives. 

4. All prizes should be sent to Key West or other available United States ports* 
for adjudication. 

5. Should it be decided to furnish the insurgents with arms and ammunition, the 
Department suggests that Nuevitas and Pnerto Padre would be the most suitable 
places to land them and establish communications with the Cuban forces. 

6. Should tlie Department learn that the Spanish fleet had gone to Puerto Rico, it 
is possible that the flying squadron may be sent thither, in which case some of your 
vessels may be needed to reen force that squadron. 

7. The Department hopes to be able to cut the cable off Santiago de Cuba, even if 
it has to employ a special cable vessel for this i)urpose, and it has also under consid- 
eration the practicability of cutting the cable near Habaua and connecting the end 
to one of the vessels of your command, so that you can always be in communica- 
tion with the Department. This plan has not yet been decided upon. Please con- 
sider it. 

8. The Department need not impress upon you the necessity for stringent sanitary 
regulations. It leaves this matter, as well as the details in regard to oonducting 


operations, to 1>he commander in chief, in whose Judgment it has the greatest confi- 
dence. ^ 

Wishing you every success, very respectfully, 

John D. Long. 

Admiral Sampson answered these confidential instructions on April 
9, from Key West, expressing himself in favor of a direct attack upon 
Habana, and setting forth the manner in which the batteries could be 
easily destroyed, Captains Evans, Taylor, and Ghadwick concurring in 
his opinion. We will treat of this matter more fully when speaking of 
Habana in the volnme which is to follow the present one. 

The next instructions of the Secretary of the Navy were as follows: 

Washington, April 21, 1898. 

Sir : The Department's instructions of April 6 are modified as follows : 

You will immediately institute a blockade of the north coast of Caba, from Car- 
denas to Bahia Honda; also, if in your opinion your force warrants, the port of Cien- 
fnegos, on the south side of the island. It is considered doubtful if the present force 
at your oommand would warrant a more extensive blockade. 

If it should become neceflsary for the army to embark for Cuba, the navy will be 
required to furnish the necessary convoy for its transports. For this reason it does 
not seem detirable that you should undertake at present to blockade any more of the 
island than has been indicated. It is believed that the blockade will cut off Habana 
almost entirely from receiving supplies from the outside. 

The Navy Department is considering the question of occupying the port of Mataii- 
zas by a military force large enough to hold it and to open communications with the 
insurgents, and this may be done at an early date if part of the army is ready to 
embark. If this operation is decided upon, you are directed to cooperate with the 
army and assist with such vessels as are necessary to cover and protect such a 

If you obtain any information of the movements of Spanish ships of war in any 
part of the West Indies you wiU, if practicable, inform the Department. 

In conducting the other operations you will be governed by the instructions con- 
tained in the Department's letter of April 6. 

The Department does not wish the defenses of Habana to be bombarded or 
attacked by your squadron. 
Very respectfuUy, 

John D. Long. 

Nothing coifld be more precise, simple, clear, and of sounder judg- 
ment than these instructions. 

We may gather from them that the Government at Washington had 
definitely decided to avoid the operation of attacking Habana, because 
the information that was being received and the weakness of Spain 
which was becoming more and more apparent, rendered it probable 
that better and easier results could be attained by a simple blockade. 
Yet in all these admirable initial orders there maybe noticed a certain 
fear of the Spanish squadron and a desire to keep the ships intact for 
the encounter with them and to accumulate naval forces with the same 
object in view, and that is the reason why so much circumspection was 
required of Sampson; for the loss of any of his ships at Habana— 
which was by no means an improbable result if they entered upon au 


engagement with the batteries, and which would have prodaced bad 
effects in the United States, where there was a strong faction opposed 
to the war, the partisans of which were decreasing as reports of easy 
victories arrived, bat which is still in existence — woald destroy the 
pretended naval equality of which some prominent Spaniards were 
boasting, either from ignorance or because they were misinformed. 

In whatever light we may look at this matter, it is obvious that it 
would have meant a great deal to us if we could have divided the 
United States squadron by means of privateering, having recourse, as 
a last resort, to an attempt or threat of some 'daring operation. 

It would likewise have been of good effect if we had compelled the 
enemy to engage in a battle against Habana. A victory there would 
have cost them much time and blood. Such a battle could probably 
have been provoked on several occasions when one of the best Yankee 
battle ships, through her own heedlessness, came within range of 
the windward batteries. If the first shots had been exchanged at 
that time, who knows how the battle would have ended, for it is not to 
be supposed that a battle ship would be undignified enough to take to 
flight before a battery. The oificers in charge of the artillery at the 
forts could hardly control themselves in the presence of certain superior 
orders. This is a matter of which we shall speak more at length when, 
in the course of this work, we take up the organization of the fortifica- 
tions of Habana; for we wish to point out that the artillery of a forti- 
fied place, when in the presence of the enemy, shoald be accorded more 
liberty of action, as a whole, as also in each battery or group of bat- 
teries, than was the case at Habana. 

We have already expressed our admiration for the foresight and 
strategic judgment shown in the orders of the United States l^avy 
Department, and as we pursue this purely technical analysis we will 
show that on our side, on the contrary, everything was confusion, 
incompetence, and terrible discord. 


Operations of our Squadron. 

opinions of admiral oervera — ^replies thereto — appalling 
deficiency of our naval power — sortie op the squadron. 

The comparison of both navies, based npon the studies made in pre- 
vision of a war with the United States, suggested to the admiral the 
following considerations on February 25, 1898: ^ 

If we compare the Navy of the United States with our own, counting only modem 
vessels capable of active service, we find that the United States have the battleships 
lowaj Indiana, MasaachuBetU, Oregon, and Texas ; the armored cruisers Brooklyn and 
New York; the protected cruisers AtlantOf Minneapolis, Baltimore, Charleeion, Chicago, 
Cincinnati, Columbia, Newark, San Francisco, Olympia, Philadelphia, and Raleigh, and 
the rapid unprotected cruisers Detroit, Marblehead, and Montgomery, Against this 
we have, following the same classification, the battleshipn Pelayo, Infanta Maria 
Teresa, Vizcaya, and Oquendo, armored cruiser Coldn, and protected cruisers Cdrlos V, 
f Alfonso XIII, and Lepanto; no fast unprotected cruisers; and all this, supposing the 
Pelayo, Cdrlos V, and Lepanto to be ready in time, and giving the desired value to the 
Alfonso XIII. I do not mention the other vessels, on account of their small military 
value, surely inferior to that of the nine gunboats, from 1,000 to 1,600 tons each, 6 
monitors still in service, the ram Katahdin, the Vesuvius, and the torpedo boats and 
destroyers, which I do not count. I believe that in the present form the comparison 
is accurate enough. 

Comparing the displacements, we find that in battleships the United States have 
41,5S9 tons against our 30,917 tons; in armored cruisers they have 17,471 tons against 
our 6,840; in protected cruisers, 51,098 against 18,887, and in fast unprotected cruisers 
they have 6,287 and we none. The total of vessels good for all kinds of operations 
comprise 116,445 tons against 56,644 tons, or something less than one-half. 

In speed our battleships are superior to theirs, but not to their armored cruisers. 
In other vessels their speed is superior to ours. 

Comparing the artillery, and admitting that it is possible to fire every ten minutes 
the number of shots stated in the respective reports, and that only one-half of the 
pieces of less than 20 cm. are fired, and supposing that the efficiency of each shot of 
the calibers 32, 30, 28, 25, 20, 16, 15, 14, 12, 10, 17.5, 5.7, 4.7, and 3.7 be represented by 
the figures 328, 270, 220, 156, 80, 41, 33, 27, 17, 10, 4, 2, and 1, which are the hundredths 
of the cubes of the numbers representing their calibers expressed in centimeters 
/(caliber in cm.)3\ ^ ^^ ^^^ ^j^^^ ^^^ artUlery power of the American battleships is 

represented by 43,822, and that of ours by 29,449; that of the American armored 
cruisers by 13,550, and that of ours {Col6n) by 6,573; that of the American protected 
cruisers by 62,725, and that of ours by 14,600; that of the American unprotected 
cruisers by 12,300. Therefore, according to these figures, the offensive power of the 
artillery of the United States vessels will be represented by 132,397, and that of ours 
by 50,622, or a little less than two-fifths of the enemy's. 

1 The data and letters which follow were published in La Epoca, and have been 
circulating for some time in numerous facsimile copies, which have not been denied. 

6884 3 


To arrive at this appalling oonolnsion I have already said that it has been neeaa- 
sary to count the Pelayo and Cdrlos V, which probably will not be ready in time; 
the Lepanto, which sorely will not be ready, and the Alfonso XIII, whose speed ren- 
ders her of a very donbtAil utility. 


Now, to carry out any serious operations in a maritime war, the first thing neoee- 
sary is to secure control of the sea, which can only be done by defeating the enemy's 
fleet, or rendering them powerless by blockading them in their military ports. Can 
we do this with the United States? It is evident to me that we can not. And even 
if God should grant us a great victory, against what may be reasonably eipected, 
where and how would we repair the damages sustained f Undoubtedly, the port 
would be Habana, but with what resources f I am not aware of the resources 
existing there, but judging by this department, where everything is scarce, it is to 
be assumed that the same condition exists everywhere, and that the immediate 
consequences of the first great naval battle would be the enforced inaction of the 
greater part of our fleet for the rest of the campaign, whatever might be the result 
of that great combat. In the meantime the enemy would repair its damages inside 
of its fine rivers, and aided by its powerful industries and enormous resources. 
This lack of industries and stores on our part renders it impossible to carry on an 
offensive campaign. 

If the control of the sea remains in the hands of our adversaries, they will imme- 
diately make themselves masters of any unfortified port which they may want in 
the island of Cuba, counting, as they do, on the insurgents, and will use them as a 
base for their operations against us. The transportation of troops to Cuba would 
be most difficult and the successs very doubtful, and the insurrection, without the 
check of our army, which would gradually give way, and with the aid of the 
Americans, would rapidly increase and become more formidable. 

These reflections are very sad; but I believe it to be my unavoidable duty to set 
aside aU personal considerations and loyally to represent to my country the 
resources which I believe to exist, so that, without illusions, it may weigh the con- 
siderations for and against, and then, through the Government of His Migesty, which 
is the country's legitimate organ, it may pronounce its decision. I am sure that this 
decision will find in all of us energetic, loyal, and decided executors. Our motto is 
"the fulfillment of duty." 

[2b the admiral^ 

Madrid, March 4, 1898, 

I notified you that, when I should have recovered somewhat from the painful 
impression caused by the reading of your personal letter, I should answer it, and I 
now do so, and will first take up the comparative study of the United States naval 
forces and ours, which, taken absolutely as you have done, omitting some of our ves- 
sels at Habana, which are available for a conflict with the United States, show a 
difference of tonnage, but not so excessive as would appear from your lines. In my 
opinion, the matter should be studied from the standpoint of the present distribution 
of the United States forces, remembering that it will be to their interest to maintain 
the ships now in the Pacific for the protection of San Francisco and the arsenal of 
San Diego, as also their costly trans-Pacific liners plying between the former city 
and Australia and China, and also to protect the Hawaiian Islands, about to be 
annexed to the United States, for which reason naval forces are being maintained 
there. With your good judgment you will understand that the long and difficult 
voyage which these forces, among tiiem the Oregon, would have to make in order to 
join the Atlantic forces, leaving the Pacific region nnprotected, could not be effected 

^ The matter inclosed in brackets, on this and subseqnent pages, does not appear 
in O. N. I. publication, " Views of Admiral Cervera.'' The brackets have been inserted 
by O. N. L 


vithont the knoirledge of othen, and so far all such knowledge is absolutely lack- 
ing. I must therefore refer yon to the inclosed statement; while it shows deficien- 
cies, which the Government is endeavoring to remendy at any cost by the acquisi- 
tion of new elements, if only in the matter of speed, they do not exist to such an 
extent as stated in the comparison with the United States Atlantic Squadron. There 
is no doubt that, in order to concentrate our nucleus of forces, we shall require some 
time, the whole month of April, in my estimation. 

Since I have been in charge of this department, His Majesty's Government has 
known the situation of the great nucleus of our naval forces, which are being 
remodeled or repaired abroad, and in conformity with such knowledge the Govern- 
ment has endeavored, and is endeavoring by every possible means, with a view also 
to the general interests of the country, to pursue in its relations with the United 
States a policy of perfect friendship, although at times points have come up which 
were not easy of solution. Bat with your good judgment you will understand, and 
I want therefore to remove some misapprehensions regarding the island of Cuba; 
our flag is still flying there, and the Government, to meet the sentiments of the peo- 
ple, even at the cost of many sacrifices, desires that this Spanish colony should not 
be separated from our territory, and is trying by every possible means, political, 
international, and military, to solve satisfactorily the Cuban problem. That is 
the prevailing opinion of the country, and it conforms its actions thereto. As already 
stated, the Government is acquainted with our situation, and for that reason is 
endeavoring to collect all possible resources at Habana Harbor, fortifying it so that 
it may serve as a base for our naval forces, equipping it with a dock, already in 
operation, where our ships will be able to repair slight damages. 

It is my opinion that it will not be possible, either on our side or the enemy's, to 
repair those injuries which may be caused by the action of a battle in the short 
period of time in which international military campaigns are enacted, compared 
with the material interests they affect. The other harbors of the island, such as 
Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, etc., are prepared to be closed by means of torpedoes. 
In your estimate you do not count for anything the effect of homogeneous troops, 
well trained and disciplined, as against the United States crews of hirelings (mer- 
cenaria), and you might find historical facts, evoking sad memories for us, to con- 
firm what I say. I will close, never doubting for one moment that you and all of us 
will fulfill the sacred duty which our country imposes upon us^ and in giving you 
my opinions in answer to yours there is nothing that I desire more than peace. 

Sboismukdo Bermbjo.] 

The above letter was accompanied by the following comparative 
statement of the tonnage of the principal ships: 


Possible formation. 

New York 







Marbleb ead 

Detroit ^, 



Yorktown, dispatch boat . 

Total tonnage 

6 torpedo boats ; average speed, 21 knots. 















Pelayo : 

GArloe V 

Maria Teresa 


Crist6bal Col6n 

Alfonso Xni 

M. Ense nada 

Alfonso "yrr 


Beina Mercedes 

Infftnta Isabel 

Total tonni^(e 

3 destroyers and. 3 torpedo boats ; aver- 
age siieed, 25 knots. 



1 62, 818 



Letter from the admiral, 

Cartagena, March 7, 1898. 

[Yesterday I received yoar personal letter of the 4th, to which I am about to reply, 
bat yon must first permit me to give yoa a general idea of our situation as I see it. 
That it is the intention of the United States to engage us in war appears beyond all 
doubt, and it therefore becomes more important each day to examine into the advan- 
tages and disadvantages which such a war may have for us. Inspired by these ideas, 
I deemed it my duty as a patriot to reply to tlie official oommunioation through 
which I was advised of the distribution of the American vessels and the condition of 
certain points on the United States coasts, and I did so in my personal letter of Feb- 
ruary 25 last. 'To-day, feeling at liberty to express my ideas more freely in a con- 
fidential letter, I will reply to your communication.] 

An examination of our forces, based upon what I already knew and upon recent 
information and observation, not only confirms what I said, but shows it to be still 
worse. I have visited the Viioria, on which I counted, and from my visit I have 
drawn the conviction that we can not count on her for the present conflict. Neither 
does my information permit me to count on the Pelayo, Cdrloa V, or Xumanda. And 
yet, as this opinion is not based upon personal observation, I include them in the 
inclosed statement [solely because you have included them in yours]. Whatever 
may be the direotion given to the conflict, either war, negotiations direct or through 
a third party, an arbitrator or otherwise, the longer the decision is delayed the 
worse it will be for us. If it is war, the longer it takes to oome the more exhausted 
we will be. If it is negotiation of any kind, the longer it is postponed the greater 
will be the demands, each time more irritating, which will be presented by the 
United States, and to which wo will have to yield in order to gain time in the vain 
hope of improving our military position. And as our position can not be improved, 
let us see what we can expect from a war under such conditions. 

It would be foolish to deny that what we may reasonably expect is defeat, which 
may be glorious, but all the same defeat, which would cause us to lose the island 
in the worst possible manner. But even supposing an improbability — that is, that 
we should obtain a victory — that would not change the final result of the campaign. 
The enemy would not declare himself defeated, and it would be foolish for us to pre- 
tend to overcome the United States in wealth and production. The latter would 
recover easily, while we would die of exhaustion, although victorious, and the 
ultimate result would be always a disaster. Only in case we could count on some 
powerful ally could we aspire to obtain a satisfactory result. But, besides having to 
discount the high price to be paid for such an alliance, even then we would only be 
postponing the present conflict for a few years, when it would become graver than 
it is to-day, as is the present insurrection in comparison with the last. 

Even admitting the possibility of retaining Cuba, this island would cost us enor- 
mous sacrifices by the necessity of being constantly armed to the teeth. And here 
the problem already pointed out by somebody arises : Is the island worth the ruin 
of Spain f (Silvela, in Burgos.) I do not speak on the subject of privateering, 
because it seems to me that no man acquainted with history can attach any value 
to privateering enterprises, which nowadays are almost impossible on account of the 
character of modem vessels.' [Although I do not attach much importance to cer- 
tain details, which can have but little influence on the general events, I shall never- 
theless speak of some upon which you touch, in order to set forth my point of view 
in answering your letter.] 

The accompanying statement [which appears to me to be more correct than the 
one inclosed with your letter] «)hows that our forces in the Atlantic are approxi- 
mately one-half of those of the United States, both as regards tonnage and artillery 

1 We do not agree with this opinion. In the course of this book we show that 
privateering might have brought us many advantages. 


I have never thought of the foroes which the United States has in the Paoific and 
Asia in connection with the development of events in the West Indies; hut I have 
always considered these forces a great danger for the Philippines, which have not 
even a shadow of a resistance to oppose to them. And as regards the American 
coasts of the Pacific, the United States has no anxiety about them. I think yon are 
mistaken in helieving that during the month of April our situation will change. As 
I have said above, I am sure that neither the Cdrlos V, the Pelayo, the Vitaria, nor 
the Numancia will be ready, and nobody knows how we will be as regards 14-centi- 
meter ammunition. It seems sure that by the end of April the 25.4-oentimeter guns 
of the Col6n will not be mounted. Even if I were mistaken, then our available forces 
in the West Indies would be 49 per cent of that of the Americans in tonnage and 
47 per cent in artillery. Our only superiority would be in torpedo boats and 
destroyers provided all of them arrive there in good order. 

I do not know exactly what are the sentiments of the people concerning Cuba, but 
I am inclined to believe that the immense majority of Spaniards wish for peace above 
all things. But those who so think are the ones who suffer and weep inside of their 
own houses, and do not talk so loud as the minority, who profit by the continuation 
of this state of affairs. However, this is a subject which it is not for me to analyze. 

Onr want of means is such that some days ago three men went overboard while 
manning the rail for saluting, throng]^ the breaking of an old awning line. A new 
line had been asked for fifty days ago, but it has not yet been replaced. [More than 
one official letter has been written on this interesting subject.] In times past, forty- 
three days after the Hemdn CorUs was laid down the vessel was at sea. It is now 
fifty-one days since I requested the changing of certain tubes in the boilers of a steam 
launch of the Teresa, and I do not yet know when it will be finished. This will prob- 
ably be the proportion between us and the United States in the repair of damages, in 
spite of our having the Habana dock, which is the principal thing, but not all. As 
for the orews, I do not know^hem, but I may say that the crews that defeated our 
predecessors at Trafalgar had been recruited in the same way. [I beg that you will 
not consider this an argument against yours, for that would be accusing me of great 
presumption in speaking of what I do not know. It is simply a thought that occurs 

These are my loyal opinions, and for the sake of the nation I express them to [you 
with the request that you will transmit them to] the Govemnient. If you should 
deem it advisable for me to express them personally, I am ready to do so at the first 
intimation. After 1 have done this, thus relieving my conscience of a heavy weight, 
I am quite ready to fulfill the comparatively easy duty of conducting our forces 
wherever I may be ordered, being sure that all of them will do their duty. 

Pasco AL Cervera. 

With the foregoing letter the admiral inclosed the following statement: 

Comparison tuith the United States fleet, 


Protected vessels actually there, or unprotected, but with a speed of over 15 knots : 



Ifaiqu^B dela EnMnada. 

[15,0641 L13,3601 

[23 per cent. J [23 per oent. J 


Compariion with the United States fleet — Contlnaed. 


Same kind of vessels 

New Turk .... 


































To these may be positively added: 


Infanta Maria Teresa 

Cri8t6bal Col6u 

Alfonso XIII : 









a Without the 25-cm. guns, the ralue of which is represented by 1,248. 







Doubtful additione. 


Felayo . . 
CArlos V 






Charleston . . 





Torktown .. 




















Ihubiful addUians — CoDtinued. 
In the Sonth Atlantic they have : 


Cindnxiati 8,200 4,796 

All the other vessels have very little military value, with the exception of the 
torpedo boats and destroyers, not mentioned in this statement, including the Katahdin 
and Ve9uviu», 

From the admiral. 

Cadiz, April 6, 1898. 

[In last night's mail I received yonr letter of the 4th, having previously received 
your telegram concerning the same matter. It is precisely] on account of the 
general anxiety prevailing [that] it is very important to think of what is to be done, 
so that, if the case arises, we may act rapidly and With some chance of efficiency, 
and not be groping about in the dark, or, like Don Quixote, go out to fight wind- 
mills and come back with broken heads. 

If our naval forces were superior to those of the United States, the question would 
be an easy one; all we would have to do would be to bar their way. But as our 
forces, on the contrary, are very inferior to theirs, it would be the greatest of follies 
to attempt to bar their way, which could only be done by giving them a decisive 
naval battle. That would simply mean a sure defeat, which would leave us at the 
mercy of the enemy, who could easily take a good position in the Canaries, and by 
establishing there a base of operations, crush our commerce and safely bombard our 
maritime cities. It is therefore absolutely necessary to decide what we are going 
to do, and, without disclosing our proposed movements, be in a position to act when 
the time comes. 

This was the substance of my telegram, and my ideas have not changed since then. 
If we are caught without a plan of war, there will be vacillations and doubts; and, 
after defeat, there may come humiliation and shame. 

[You will understand these frank and loyal statements of an old friend and com- 
rade, who desires nothing more than to help the Government and act with circum- 

Pascual Ckrvkka.J 

[Jo the admiral. 

Madrid, April 7, 1898. 
We are in the midst of a serious international crisis. While I have not yet lost 
all hope of a peaceable solution, it being the wish of the Government to avoid war 
at any cost, we have now reached the utmost limits of concessions by using the 
influence of foreign powers; but the President of the United States is surrounded 
by the waves which he himself has raised and which he is now trying to appease. 
It devolves upon you as the admiral of the squadron, and owing to the prestige 
which you are eigoying in the navy — or God himself has singled yon out for that 
purpose — to carry out the plans which will be formulated and intrusted to your 
intelligence and valor. I believe I have done all that you asked me to do, as far as 
it was in my power; if I have not done more it is because I have not had the neces- 
sary means at my disposal. In this, as in everything else, my conscience is entirely 
clear. In the instructions which you will receive a general idea is outlined which 
you will work out with your captains. I will close, begging .that yon will express 
my regards to the personnel under yonr orders and confirming the confidence which 
H. M. and the Government place in your high ability. 

SvoisacuxDo Bbbmjuo.] 


From the odmiraL 

Cadiz, April 8, 1898, 
[I have received all yonr telegrams. The ships are ready and I expect to go oat 
this evening. I have jast sent the paymaster to San Fernando for the money, as the 
Captain-General advises me that it has been received there. At Cape Verde I shall 
await the Instrnctions which yon are to send me. The reproduction of the cipher 
telegram differs in one word; it says that the instmotions Be ampliardn {ytiVL be 
amplified), while the first telegram received said se empleardn (will be used); that 
is the reason why T indicated my idea of protecting the Canaries, and now, as pre- 
viously stated, I shall wait.] I regret very much to have to sail without having 
agreed upon some plan, even in general lines, for which purpose I repeatedly 
requested permission to go to Madrid. From the bulk of the telegrams received I 
^ think I see that the Qovemment persists in the idea of sending the flotilla to Cuba. 
That seems to me a very risky adventure, which may cost us very dear, for the loss 
of our flotilla and the defeat of our squadron in the Caribbean Sea may entail a 
great danger for the Canaries, and perhaps the bombardment of our coast cities. I 
do not mention the fate of the island of Cuba, because I have anticipated it long 
ago. I believe a naval defeat would only precipitate its ultimate loss, while if left 
to defend itself with its present means, perhaps it would give the Americans some 
annoyance. We must not deceive ourselves oonceming the strength of our fleet. If 
you will look over our correspondence of the last two months you will see, not that 
I have been a prophet, but that I have fallen short of the true mark. Let us not 
have any illusions as to what we can do [which will be in proportion to the means 


Pascual Cbrvbra. 

From the admiral, 

St. Vincent (Cape Verde), April 19, 1898, 

[The San Francisco, and with it your instructions and letter, anived yesterday. 
If the Oquendo and Vizcaya have really sailed for here, they have now been out ten 
days and must arrive to-day or to-morrow, for that is all the time they would require 
to make the voyage of 2,400 miles from Puerto Rico. But I am thinking that per- 
haps the date stated, the 9th, is that of the cablegram issuing the order, and not the 
date of sailing, in which case they will arrive later.] 

The boilers of the Arieie are practically unserviceable, so that this vessel, instead 
of being an element of power, is the nightmare of the fleet. She could only be used 
for local defense. The boiler of the Azor is eleven years old and is of the locomotive 
type. As for the destroyers Furor and Terror, their bow plates give as soon as they 
are in a seaway, and some of their frames have been broken. [ViUaamil has had 
this remedied as far as he has been able.] The PluUin had an accident of this kind 
when coming from England, and had her bows strengthened at Ferrol. 

I do not know whether the port of San Juan de Puerto Rico affords good protec- 
tion for the fleet. If it does not, and if the port of Mayaguez can not be effectively 
closed, the fleet would be in a most unfavorable position. However, before forming 
a Judgment, I shall await the arrival of the Vizcaya, whose captain, Eulate, is 
thoroughly acquainted with Puerto Rico. I am constantly preoccupied about the 
Canaries. It will be necessary to close and fortify the port of Graciosa Island, as 
well as the island commanding the port of La Luz in Gran Canary. 

[From your instructions] it seems that the idea of sending the fleet to Cuba has 
been abandoned, I believe very wisely. 

Concerning Puerto Rico, I have often wondered whether it would be wise to accu- 
mulate there all our forces, and I do not think so. If Puerto Rico is loyal, it will not 
be such an easy Job for the Yankees ; and if it is not loyal, it will inevitably follow 
the same fate as Cuba, at least as far as we are concerned. 

On the other hand, I am very much afraid for the Philippines, and, as I have said 
before, the Canaries; and above all, the possibility of a bombardment of our coast. 


which is Dot impossible, considering the audacity of the Yankees, and coanting, as 
they do, with four or five vessels of higher speed than oar own. For all these 
reasons, I am donbtfnl as to what it would be best for me to do ; and I will not take 
any decision without your opinion and that of the council of captains, as indicated 
in your letter. 

Ileaye this letter open until to-morrow, in case anything shonld happen. 

I was here interrupted by the information that tiie Vizcaya and Oquendo were in 
sight, and I ha^e had the pleasure of seeing them come in and of greeting their 
captains. The crews are in the best of health and spirits, but the Vizoaya needs 
docking badly. During the trip from Puerto Rico she burned 200 tons more than 
the Oquendo, which means a diminution of her speed of from 3 to 5 knots according 
to my reckoning, and a diminution of her radius of action of from 25 to 30 per cent, 
thus losing the advantage of speed [to which you called special attention in your 
instructions]. Both are now coaling, but it is a long Job, for, unfortunately, we do 
not feel at home here. We are indeed unlucky ! 

[Until to-morrow. The mail has come* in and will shortly go out again; I will 

therefore close this. * • * 

Pasgual Cbrvera.] 

From the admiral, 

[For lack of time I could not tell yon yesterday about the council which met on 
board the CoUn, and only sent you a copy of the proceedings.] 

The council lasted nearly four hours. The prevailing spirit was that of purest 
discipline, characterized by the high spirit which animates the whole fleet, and 
especially the distinguished commanders, who are an honor to Spain and the navj', 
and whom it is my good fortune to have for companions in these critical circum- 
stances. The first and natural desire expressed by all was to go resolutely in quest 
of the enemy and surrender their lives on the altar of the mother country ; but the 
vision of the same mother country abandoned, insulted, and trod upon by the enemy, 
proud of our defeat — for nothing else could be expected by going to meet them on 
their own ground with our inferior forces — forced them to see that such sacrifice 
would not only be useless but harmful, since it would place Spain in the hands of 
an insolent and proud enemy, and Gk)d only knows what the consequences might be. 
I could see the struggle in their minds between these conflicting considerations. All 
of them loathe the idea of not going immediately in search of the enemy and finish- 
ing once and for all. But, as I said before, the vision of the country violated by the 
enemy rose above all other considerations, and inspired with that courage which 
consists in braving criticism and perhaps the sarcasm and accusations of the igno- 
rant masses, which know nothing dl)out war in general and naval warfare in partic- 
ular, and which believe that the Alfonso XIII or the Cristina can be pitted against 
the Iowa or Masaaohusetis, they expressly and energetically declared that the inter- 
ests of the mother country demanded this sacrifice from us. 

One of the captains had certain scruples about expressing his opinion, saying that 
he would do what the Qovemment of His Majesty should be pleased to order; but 
as all of us, absolutely all, shared these sentiments — it is hardly necessary to say — 
his scruples were soon overcome. [My reason for mentioning this is to give you an 
exact report of everything that happened!] Another of the captains, certainly not 
the most enthusiastic, but who may be said to have represented the average opinion 
prevailing in the council, has, by my order, written down his ideas, and I send you a 
copy of his statement, which reflects, better than I could express them, the opinions 
of all. This document represents exactly the sentiment which prevailed in the 

[Believing that I have fulfilled my duty in giving Your Excellency an accurate 
account of all that hapi>ened, 1 reiterate the assurance of the excellent spirit of all. 

Pasgual Cbbvera.] 

April 21, 1888. 



The second in command of the naval forces and the captains of the yessels, having 
met on board the cralser Coldn, by order of his excellency the commander in chief of 
the squadron, and under his presidency, the president submitted for discussion the 
following question : 

'' Under the present circumstances of the mother country, is it expedient that this 
fleet should go at once to America, or should it stay to protect our coasts and the 
Canaries and provide from here for any contingency V 

Several opinions were exchanged concerning the probable consequences of our 
campaign in the West Indies ; the great deficiencies of our fleet compared with that 
of the enemy were made manifest, as well as the very scanty resources which the 
islands of Cuba and Pnerto Rico are at present able to oifer for the purpose of estab- 
lishing bases of operations. In consideration of this, and the grave consequences 
for the nation of a defeat of our fleet in Cuba, thus permitting the enemy to proceed 
with impunity against the Peninsula and adjacent islands, it was unanimously agreed 
to call the attention of the Government to these matters by means of a telegram as 
follows : 

. ** Commander-Gtoneral of the Squadron to the Minister of Marine : In agreement 
with the second in command and the commanders of the vessels, I suggest going to 
the Canaries. Ariete has boilers in bad condition ; boiler of Azar is very old. Cana; 
ries would be protected from a rapid descent of the enemy and all the forces would 
be in a position, if necessary, to hasten to the defense of the mother country." 
On board cruiser Coldn, April 20, 1898. 

Pascual Cervbra. 

Jos^ DB Parbdbs. 

Juan B. Lazaoa. 


Ainx)ino Eulatb. 


Fernando Yxllaabcil. 
opinion of capt. vfctor m. concas. 

[Commander of the battleship Infanta Maria Tereta.] 

Concerning the subjects presented for disoussion by the admiral of the fleet at the 
council of war held on board the battleship CrUtdhal Coldn my opinion is as follows : 

(1) The naval forces of the United States are so inmiensely superior to our own in 
number and class of vessels, armor, and armament, and in preparations made — 
besides the advantage given the enemy by the insurrection in Cuba, the possible 
one in Puerto Rico, and the latent insurrection in the East — that they have sufficient 
forces to attack us in the West Indies, in the Peninsula and adjacent islands, and in 
the Philippines. Since no attention has been paid to that archipelago, where it 
was perhaps most urgent to reduce our vulnerable points, which could have been 
done with a single battleship, any division of our limited forces at this time and 
any separation from European waters would involve a strategic mistake which 
would carry the war to the Peninsula, which would mean frightful disaster to our 
coasts, the payment of large ransoms, and perhaps the loss of some island. As soon 
as this fleet leaves for the West Indies it is evident that the American Flying 
Squadron will sail for Europe ; and even if its purpose were only to make a raid or 
a demonstration against our coasts, the just alarm of all Spain would cause the 
enforced return of this fleet, although too late to prevent the enemy from reaping 
the fruits of an easy victory. 

The only three vessels of war remaining for the defense of the Peninsula, the 
Cdrlo8 V, the Pelayo, whose repairs are not yet finished, and the Alfonso XIII, of 
very little speed, are not sufficient for the defense of the Spanish coasts, and in no 


manner for that of the Canaries. The yaoht Oiralda and the steamers Oermania and 
Narmania [of the acquisition of which official notice has been receiyed] are not 
veflsels of fighting qnidities and add no strength to oar navy. 

(2) The plan of defending the island of Puerto Ri,co, abandoning Cuba to its fate, 
is absolutely impracticable, because, if the American fleet purposely destroys a city 
of the last-named island, in ^pite of all the plans of the Government on the subject, 
and even though it would be the maddest thing in the world, tiie Government itself 
would be forced by public opinion to send this fleet against the Americans, under the 
conditions and at the point which the latter might choose. 

(3) Even deciding upon the defense of Puerto Rico, the trip across at this time, 
after the practical declaration of war, without a military port where the fleet might 
refit on its arrival, and without air auxiliary fleet to keep the enemy busy — who, I 
suppose, will make St. Thomas its base of operations — is a strategic error, the more 
deplorable because there have been months aud even years in which to accumu1at« 
the necessary forces in the West Indies. It seems probable, judging from the 
information acquired, that the supplies accumulated at St. Thomas are intended by 
the enemy to establish a base of operations in the vicinity of our unprotected Vieques 
(Crab Island). For all these reasons the responsibility of the trip must remain 
entirely with the Government. 

(4) Adding these three battleships and the Cristobal Colon, without her big guns, 
to the two remaining in the Peninsula aud to the few old torpedo boats which we 
have left, it is possible to defend our coast from the Guadiana to Cape Creus, includ- 
ing the Balearic and the Canaries, thanks to the distance of the enemy from its base 
of operations. This defense, however, will have to be a very energetic one if the 
enemy brings his best ships to bear on us, [and it will not be possible to save the 
coasts of Galicia and of the north of Spain ftom suffering more or less if the enemy 
brings along a light division, nor even the protected coasts from an attack here and 
there, as our ships are too few in number to be divided]. 

(5) It is very regrettable that there are not enough yessels to cover all points at 
one time; but duty and patriotism compel us to present clearly the resources which 
the country gave us, and the needs which present ciroumstonoes bring on the coun- 
try in danger. 

(6) Lastly, I believe, with due respect, that the military situation should be laid 
before the minister of marine, while I reiterate our profoundest subordination to his 
orders, and our firm purpose most energetically to carry out the plans of operations 
he may communicate to these forces. But after pointing out the probable conse- 
quences, the responsibility must remain with the Government. 

8t. Vincent, Cape Verde, AprU 20, 1898. 

Victor M. Congas. 

From the admiral, 

St. Vincent, Cape Verde, Jpril 2fS, 1898, 
[My Dear General and Friend : I have not yet answered your letter of the 7th, 
which the San Frandsoo brought me, because, though I have written you since, I 
did not have it before me.] 

It is impossible for me to give you an idea of the surprise and consternation 
experienced by all on the receipt of the order to sail. Indeed, that surprise is well 
justified, for nothing can be expected of this expedition except the total destruction 
of the fleet or its hasty and demoralized return, while in Spain it might be the safe- 
guard of the nation. 

[It is a mistake to believe that the Canaries are safe, which is only the case with 
reference to Santa Cruz, Las Palmas, and one or two other places. But is Graciosa 
Island safe, for instance f If the Yankees should take possession of it and fortify the 
port they would have a base for any operations they might wish to undertake 
against Spain, and suzely the battalions will not be able to ejeot them from there. 


Snch a thiog will not b« possible at present^ with the squadron at the Canaries, bnt 
it will be inevitable when the squadron has been destroyed.] 

You talk about plans, and in spite of all my efforts to haye some laid ont, as would 
have been wise and prudent, my desires have been disappointed [to such an extent 
that, if the circumstances had been different, I should have applied to be placed on 
the retired list, and I shall ask for it, if God spares my iife, just as soon as the dan- 
ger is over. 1 should even apply for it to-day, without caring a straw for being 
accused of cowardice, if it were not for the fact that my retirement would produce 
among the squadron the deplorable effect of a desertion of itn admiral before the 
enemy J. How can it be said that I have been supplied with everything I asked for f 
The Colon does not yet have her big guns, and I asked for the poor ones if there 
were no others. The 14-centimeter ammunition,' with the exception of about 300 
rounds, is bad. The defective guns of the riscaya and Oquendo have not been changed. 
The cartridge cases of the Col6n can not be recharged. We hare not a single Busta- 
mante torpedo. There is no plan or concert, which I so much desired and have sug- 
gested in vfCln. The repairs of the servomotors of my vessels have only been made in 
the Infanta Maria TercBa and the Fizcaya, after they had left Spain. In short, it is a 
disaster already, and it is to be feared that it will be a more frightful one before long. 
And perhaps everything could be changed yet ! But I suppose it is too late now for 
anything that is not the ruin and desolation of our country. 

[I can understand that your conscience is clear, as you state in your letter, because 
yon are a good man and your course is clear before yon, but think of what I tell yon 
and you will see that I am right. I assembled my captains, as you told me, and sent 
you by telegraph an extract of their opinions. I have since forwarded you a copy of 
the minutes of the meeting, and by this mail I send you an official letter comment- 
ing on it. I have nothing further to add.] 

The Vizoaya can no longer steam, and she is only a boil in the body of the fleet. 

But I will trouble you no more. I consider it an accomplished fact and will try to 
find the best way out of this direful enterprise. 

Pasgual Cbrvera. 

St. Vincent, Cape Verde, April $4, 1898. 

The telegram ordering us to start has just arrived, and 1 have given orders to trans- 
ship from the Cddiz to these vessels coal, supplies, crews, and the artillery of the 
destroyers, which was on board the Cddiz. 

I intended to sail without finishing the provisioning of the ships, but since the 
Cddiz is to remain here, I have decided to ship as much coal as possible. I will try to 
sail to-morrow. 

As the act has been consummated, I will not insist upon my opinion concerning it. 
May God grant that I be mistaken ! You see I was right when I told you that by 
the end of April the Pelayo, Cdrlos F, Vitoria, and Numanda would not be finished ; 
that the Col6n would not have her big guns unless we took the defective ones; that 
we should not have the 14-centimeter ammunition with which to fight, etc. 

With a clear conscience 1 go to the sacrifice, but I cannot understand the [unani- 
mous] decision of the general officers of the navy against my opinion. 

1 have been informed of the sailing of a cargo of [5,700 tons of] coal for Puerto 
Rico, where it is expected to arrive on the 11th or 12th of May, but I am much aftaid 
that it may fall into the hands of the enemy. 

It is a mistake to suppose that I can accept or avoid a naval battle at will. The 
Vizcaya, on account of her stay in Habana and not having had her bottom cleaned 
for nine months, is nothing more than a buoy, and 1 can not abandon her. 

[Pascual Cervera. 

1 am almost in despair at the slowness of the Cddiz j she is well prepared for a 
Yoyage, but very poorly for loading and unloading. I think we can start to-morrow.] 


At Sea, May 5, 1898, 
Dbar Juan : To complete our collection of documents, I think proper that you 
shoald have the inclosed copy of a telegram from Villaamil to Sagasta. I send yon 
this letter by two destroyers which I am sending to Martinique in search of news. 
All is well on board, and the spirit is excellent. We shall see what God has in store 
for ns. The final result is not doubtful; but if we could only start with a good 
lucky stroke ! God be with us ! Good-bye. Regards to your folk, etc. 


Telegram fr(yn\ Villaamil, 

April 22, 1898. 
[PrXxbdies SAtrASTA, Madrid: 

[(To be deciphered by naval key.)] 
In view of the importance to the country of the destination of this fleet, I deem 
it expedient that you should know, through a friend who does not fear censure, that, 
while as seamen we are all ready to die with^onor in the fulfillment of our duty, I 
think it undoubted that the sacrifice of these nayal forces will be as certain as it 
will be fruitless and useless for the termination of the war, if the representations 
repeatedly made by the admiral to the minister of marine are not taken into con- 

F. Villaamil.* 


At the conclasion of the war the Office of !Naval Intelligence pub- 
lished a pamphlet under, the title of ^^ Views of Admiral Gervera 
Begarding the Spanish Navy in the Late War," being a translation of 
a series of letters published at Madrid in La Epoca of November 5, 
1898, in vindication of the Spanish Navy. The pamphlet referred to 
contains the following letters in addition to those given in Captain 
Nunez's book. 

In January, 1898, Admiral Cervera wrote to one of his relatives : 


"About two years ago I wrote you a letter concerning our condition to go to war 
with the United States. I requested you to keep that letter in case some day it 
should be necessary to bring it to light in defense of my memory or myself when we 
had experienced the sad disappointment prepared for us by the stupidity of some, 
the cupidity of others, and the incapability of all, even of those with the best of 

''To-day we find ourselves again in one of those critical periods which seem to be 
the beginuing of the end, and I write to you again to express my point of view and 
to explain my action in this matter, and I beg you to put this letter with the other 
one, so that the two may be my military testament. 

'' The relative military positions of Spain and the United States has grown worse 
for us, because we are extenuated, absolutely penniless, and they are very rich, and 
also because we have increased our naval power only with the Col6n and the torptMlo 
destroyers, and they have increased theirs much more. 

''What I have said of our industry is sadJy confirmed in everything we look at. 
There is the Caialufiaf begun more than eight years ago, and her hull is not yet com- 
pleted. And this when we are spurred on by danger, which does not wake patriot- 
ism in anybody, while jingoism finds numerous victims, perhaps myself to-morrow. 
And the condition of our industry is the same in all the arsenals. 

^ See the addendum which here follow8.-->0. N. I. 


" Let hb oonBid«r, now, our prirate indnstries. The Maqninista Terrestre y Marl- 
tima sapplies the engines of the A lfon$o XIII; Cadiz the FilipinoB, If the CdrloB V is 
not a dead failure, she is not what she should be; everything has been sacrificed to 
speed, and she lacks power. And remember that the construction is purely Spanish. 
The company of La Grafla has not completed its ships, as I am told. Only the 
Vizcaya, Oquendo, and Maria Teresa are good ships of their class; but, though con- 
structed at Bilbao, it was by Englishmen. Thus, manifestly, even victory would 
be a sad thing for us. As for the administration and its intricacies, let us not speak 
of that ; its slow procedure is killing us. The Vizoaya carries a 14-cm. breech plug 
which was declared useless two months ago, and I did not know it until last night. 
And that because an official inquiry was made. How many cases I night mention ! 
But my purpose is not to accuse, but to explain why we may and must expect a dis- 
aster. But as it is necessary to go to the bitter end, and as it would be a crime to 
say that publicly to-day, I hold my tongue, and go forth resignedly to face the trials 
which Qod may be pleased to send me. I am sure that we will do our duty, for the 
spirit of the navy is excellent; but I pray God that the troubles may be arranged 
without coming to a conflict which, in any way, I believe would be disastrous to ns.' 


In the beginning of February Admiral Cervera wrote to a high official personage: 
''Although I am sure that I am telling you nothing new, I think it is not idle, in 
these critical times, to make a study of the condition of the fleet. We must dis- 
count the Alfonso XIII, so many years under trials that it appears we shall not have 
the pleasure ever to count it among our vessels of war. The fleet is reduced to the 
three Bilbao cruisers, the Col6n, the Deatrucior, and the torpedo destroyers jFuror and 
Terror. The three Bilbao battle ships are practically complete, but the I4-cm. 
artillery, the main power of these vessels, is practically useless, on account of the 
bad system of its breech mechanism, and the bad quality of the cartridge cases, of 
which there are only those on board. 

"The Cotdn, which is undoubtedly the best of all our ships from a military point 
of view, has not received her guns. The Destructor may serve as a scout, although 
its speed is not very high for this service in the fleet. The Furor and Terror are 
in a good condition, but I doubt if they can make effective use of their 75-mm. 
pieces. As for the supplies necessary for a fleet, we frequently lack even the most 
necessary. In this arsenal (Cadiz) we have not been able to coal, and both at Bar- 
celona and Cadiz we could only obtain half of the biscuit we wanted, and that only 
because I had ordered 8,000 kilos to be made here. We have no charts of the Amer- 
ican seas, although I suppose that they have been ordered ; but at the present time 
we could not move. Apart from this deficient state of the material, I have the pleas- 
ure to state that the sprit of the personnel is excellent, and that the country will 
find it all that it may choose to demand. It is a pity that a lack of better and more 
abundant material, greater supplies, and less hindrances are wanting to put this 
personnel in a condition to amply carry out its role.'' 

"I note,'' said the Admiral in another letter, ''what I am told concerning the 
heavy artillery of the Col6n, It is to be very much regretted that there is always so 
much underhand work about everything, and that there should be so much of it now 
regarding the acceptance of the 254-mm. guns, because if we finally take them, it will 
seem that we are yielding to certain disagreeable impositions, and if things come to 
the worst, it seems to me we will have to accept, as the proverb says, 'hard bread 
rather than none ; ' and if we have no other guns, and these ones can fire at least 25 or 30 
shots, we will have to take them anyhow, even though they are expensive and ineffi- 
cient. And we must not lose time, so that the vessel may be armed and supplied 
with ammunition as soon as possible." 


Some time afterwards, when matters were getting worse and worse, the admiral 
was more explicit still. Shortly after the Dnpuy de Lome incident he said : 

"I do not know when the Pelayo and the Cdrlos F will be able to join the fleet, 
bat I snspect that they will not arrive in time. Of the first one I know nothing at 
all, but I haye received some news concerning the second one, and certainly not very 
satisfactory as regards the time it will take for it to be ready. It seems to me that 
there is a mistake in the calculation of the forces we may connt upon in the sad 
event of a war with the United States. In the Cadiz division I believe the Numanda 
will be lacking. I do not think we can count on the Lepanio, Of the Cdrlos V and 
the Pelayo I have already spoken. The CoUn has not yet received her artillery, and 
if war comes she will be caught without her heavy guns. The eight principal ves- 
sels of the Havana station have no military value whatever, and, besides, are badly 
worn out; therefore they can be of very little use. In saying this I am not moved 
by a fault-finding spirit, but only by a desire to avoid illusions that may cost us 
very dear. 

''Taking things as they are, however sad it may be, it is seen that our naval force 
when compared with that of the United States is approximately in the proportion 
of 1 to 3. It therefore seems to me a dream, almost a feverish fancy, to think that 
with this force, extenuated by our long wars, we can establish the blockade of any 
port of the United States. A campaign against them will have to be, at least for 
the present, a defensive or a disastrous one, unless we have some alliances, in which 
case the tables may be turned. As for the offensive, all we could do would be to 
make some raids with our fast vessels in order to do them as much harm as possible. 
It is frightful to think of the results of a naval battle, even if it should be a suc- 
cessful one for us, for how and where would we repair our damages? I, however, 
will not refuse to do what may be judged necessary, but I think it convenient to 
analyze the situation such as it is, without cherishing illusions which may bring 
about terrible disappointments.'' 


On February 26 the admiral wrote the following: 

'* When I received yesterday the letter in which, among other things, you asked 
me if the CoUn could go out for target practice, I answered that the yessel was 
ready, and at the same time I took measures so that the cartridge cases which might 
be used in that practice should be recharged, but it appears that there is no furnace 
in which they can be reannealed, or a machine to reform the cartridge cases. The 
extra charges which the vessel brought (72 per gun) are therefore useless. 

"I send to-day the official letter which I announced yesterday. Its conclusions 
are indeed afflicting, but can we afford to cherish illusions f Do we not owe to our 
country not only our life, if necessary, but the exxK>sition of our beliefs f I am very 
uneasy about this. I ask myself if it is right for me to keep silent, and thereby 
make myself an accomplice in adventures which will surely cause the total ruin of 
Spain. And for what purpose f To defend an island which was ours, but belongs to 
us no more, because even if we should not lose it by right in the war we have lost 
it in fact, and with it all our wealth and an enormous number of young men, vic- 
tims of the climate and bullets, in the defense of what is now no more than a roman- 
tic ideal. Furthermore, I believe that this opinion of mine should be known by the 
Queen and by the whole council of ministers.'' 

That this thoughtful and patriotic advice was not favorably received by the Gov- 
ernment is shown by the following letter a few days afterwards : 

"Yesterday I received your letter of the 28th, and I regret very much the painful 
impressions caused by my remarks; but I am not surprised, because they are truly 
sad, and still, perhaps, they fall beneath the mark, judging from everything one 
sees. Just now we have another proof of this in the fact that the difficulty of 
obtaining cartridge cases for the CoUn arises from the want of means (money), and 


this on the eve, perhaps, of a war against the richest nation in the world. I do not 
wish to dwell too much on this point, for no practical result could bo obtained. 
But every detail points out either onr lack of means or our defective organization, 
and, above all, our utter lack of preparation. 

"I have deemed it my duty to express my opinions to the proper aathorities 
clearly and without beating around the bush. Now let orders be given to me; I 
will carry them oat with energy and decision. I am ready for the worst." 


Admiral Cervera's already expressed desire to personally inform the council of 
ministers was still more clearly expressed under date of March 10 : 

"Yesterday I received your favor of the day before, by which I see that onr opin- 
ions agree concerning the conflict which threatens our unfortunate country. As 
both of us are animated by the best desires, such agreement was sure to come. It 
also appears that the whole Government participates in- this opinion, but I am afraid 
that there may be some minister who, while believing that we are not in favorable 
conditions, may have been dazzled by the names of the vessels appearing in the gen- 
eral statement and may not realize how crushing a disproportion really exists, 
especially if he is not thoroughly aware of our lack of everything that is necessary 
for a naval war, such as supplies, ammunition, coal, etc. We have nothing at all. 
If this fear of mine is well founded, I think it is of the greatest importance that the 
whole council of ministers, without exception, be fully and clearly informed of onr 
terrible position, so that there may not remain the least doubt that the war will 
simply lead us to a terrible disaster, followed by a humiliating peace and the most 
frightful ruin ; for which reason it is necessary not only to avoid the war but to find 
some solution which will render it impossible in the future. If this is not done, the 
more time is spent the worse will be the final result, whether it is peace or war. 

'' From this reasoning, as clear as daylight to me, it appears that since we can not 
go to war without meeting with a certaiu and frightful disaster, and since we can 
not treat directly with the United States, whose bad faith is notorious, perhaps 
there is nothing left for us to do but to settle the dispute through arbitration or 
mediation, provided the enemy accepts. However, this order of consideration does 
not come within my sphere of duty, which, as the chief of the squadron, is limited 
to reporting the state of military affairs and then carrying out the orders of the 
Government. The latter, however, must bo fully informed of the situation. Before 
dropping this subject I must insist that perhaps it would be well for me to verbally 
inform the members of the cabinet and to say that I am ready to start at the first 

''Concerning the available forces and what may be expected of them, I will be 
very glad if Ansaldo carries out his promise about the 254-mm. guns of the CoUn. 
The 14-cm. cartridge cases are absolutely necessary. This vessel has only 30, and 
it is to be supposed that the stores of the Oquendo and Vizcaya are not better sup- 
plied. For the present the firm is supplying only 100 per week, and suppos- 
ing that the first ones have already arrived or will arrive in Cadiz one of these 
days, at this rate we won't have finished until October. Then they have to be 
charged ; therefore they can never be ready in time for the present conflict. I 
thought I would have the first ones by January, and I will not have them until 
Aprils The engines of the Pelayo are ready and the vessel can sail, but how about 
the secondary battery and the armored redoubt? These will not be ready. If the 
old battery could be mounted ! But I doubt it ; the ports will not permit it. I have 
heard it said that the crew which brought the Pelayo was taken from the Viioriay 
which is another proof of our excessive poverty. It will be very well if the 
Cdrlos V is soon ready, but I understand that the 10-cm. battery has not yet been 
mounted, and then the trials are to be made. 


" I neyer had great confidence in the purchasing of vessels. Too mach foes is made 
over every detail by ignorant people. It was through this that we lost the Garibaldi, 
and now we have lost the Brazilian cruisers. In fact, we have only secured the 
Col&n, an excellent ship, but which has not yet arrived, and the Vald^, And sup- 
posing that we had everything our own way, and that Providence should grant ub a 
victory, which is highly improbable, we would then find ourselves in the condition 
explained in my last and which it is not necessary to repeat. It only rests for me now 
to be informed of the destination of the fleet. I believe the Teresa ought to be in 
Cadiz, where the cartridge cases are to be recharged, and she could sail as soon as all 
her guns were mounted. 

"I wjll insist no more, but the voice of my conscience, animated by my love for 
my country, tells me that in saying this I am fdlfiUing my unavoidable duty.'' 


In the month of April, sbortly before the war, Cervera wrote : 
"My fears are realized. The conflict is coming fast upon us; and the Colon has 
not received her big guns; the CarloB Fhas not been delivered, and her 10-cm. artil- 
lery is not yet mounted ; the Pelayo is not ready for want of finishing her redoubt, 
and, I believe, her secondary battery; the Vitoria has no artillery, and of the 
Numanda we had better not speak. 

"But after all I am glad the end is coming. The country can stand this state of 
affairs no longer, and any arrangement will be a good one, however bad it looks, if 
it comes without our having to lament a great disaster, as may happen if we go to 
war with a few half-armed vessels, and with want of means and excess of incum- 

6884 4 

The BEGiNNiNa op the End. 


The Americans used every endeavor to increase their fleet, without 
having to stop at such considerations as kept us back. We should be 
glad to give here a list of the 128 vessels which they purchased and 
equipped for war under the name of auxiliaries of the fleet. We do 
not do SO in order not to burden the reader with numerical data, and 
will confine ourselves to a short review of the strength of their Navy 
on August 15, 1898.* 

^ A list of the yessels parchased, their value, and the names with which they were 
Christened, may be fonnd in the Report of the Secretary of the Navy, Vol. I, 18d8. 

Throngh the United States Consul at Cadiz, C. L. Adams, says the New York 
Herald, the Navy Department at Washington received detailed information as to 
the Spanish merchant marine. Mr. Adams furnished a complete list of all vessels 
carrying the Spanish flag, specifying those which might be used as auxiliary 
cruisers in time of war, and those which would probably continue to be merchant 
steamers and might be captured by a United States fleet of light vessels sent to the 
coasts of Spain. 

The following is the information furnished by Consul Adams : 

Compafifa Trasatl^ntica (Barcelona and Cadiz) : Thirty-two steamers, 20 of which 
have over 12 knots speed and some of which are ready to be fitted out as cruisers 
and armed transports. These vessels carry on traffic with Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, 
New York, Liverpool, the Philippines, Rio de la Plata, and Africa. 

Pinillos Sdenz y Ca. (Barcelona) : Five steamers, 3 of which can be equipped as 
auxiliary cruisers. These ships go to Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, and the United 

F. Prat y Ca. (Barcelona) : Five steamers of 2,000 tons each; same route as those 
of Pinillos Siienz y Ca. 

De Aarotegni (Bilbao) : Seven freight steamers; same route as preceding ones. 

Compafifa de Navegaci6n La Flecha (Bilbao) : Seven freight steamers; to Liver- 
pool and preceding lines. 

Hijo deJ. Jover y Serra (Barcelona): One steamer of 2,000 tons. Route: Spain, 
Puerto Rico, and Cuba. 

J. Jover y Costa: One steamer of 2,000 tons. Route: Spain, Puerto Rico, and 

Sociedad de Navegaci6n 6 Industria (Barcelona): Four steamers. Route: Spain 
and Canaries. 

Empresa de Navegaci6n & vapor La B6tica (Seville) : Twelve steamers. Between 
Spain, England, and Germany. Freight vessels. 

Companfa Marltima (Barcelona): Eighteen freight steamers. Carry on traffic 


At that time the personnel of the Kavy, which at the breaking oat of 
the war nambered only 12,000 men, had risen to 24,123, and the fleet 
was composed as follows : 

Battleehipe, fint class 4 

Battleships, second olass 1 

Armored crnlsers 2 

Coast-defense monitors 6 

Armoredram 1 

Protected cruisers 12 

Unprotected cmisers 3 

Gunboats 18 

Dynamite cmiser 1 

Torpedo boats 11 

Old warships, inclnding monitors 14 

Auxiliary yary. 

Auxiliary cmisers 11 

Converted yachts 28 

Coast-guard yessels 15 

Lighters 4 

Converted tugs 27 

Colliers 19 

Miscellaneous vessels 19 

To these must be added a number of stipulations and contracts for 
supplying the squadrons at Ouba and the Philippines with coal and 
firesh provisions; also hospital ships, tank and distilling ships, repair 
ships, steamers of great speed to carry orders back and forth, etc. 

The difficult and arduous task of blockading was therefore performed 
by our enemies with comparative ease, the vessels being frequently 

with the coasts of England and Spain. (This and the preceding line belong to 
McAndren &, Co., London. ) 

P. M.Tinore y Ca. (Barcelona) : Four freight steamers; traffic between Spain and 

Compafifa Bllbaina de Kayegacidn (Bilbao) : Six steamers for transportation of 
mineral between Bilbao and England. 

J. M. Martinez de las Bivas (Bilbao) : Three steamers for transportation of min- 
eral between Bilbao and England. 

Hijos de Tomds Haynes (Cadiz): Eight freight steamers; between Spain and 
Korth Africa. 

Sociedad Isle&o Maritima (La Palma and Mallorca) : Five steamers ; traffic between 
Barcelona and Balearic Islands. 

Sociedad Mahonesa de Vapores. Five steamers ; Barcelona and Balearic Islands. 

Ibarra y Ca. (Seyille) : Twenty-one steamers; coast traffic. 

Claveria Lozo y Ca. (Gijon): Five steamers; coast traffic. 

Melitdn Cronz^lez y Ca. (G^on) : Five steamers ; coast traffic. 

Espalia y Ca. (Seville): Five steamers; coast traffic. 

Compaq ia Yalenciana de Navegaci6n (Valencia) : Five steamers; coast traffic. 

The conclusion which the Herald drew from this statement was that we should 
probably use many of these steamers as auxiliary cruisers, and the others it held out 
as a bait to the United States auxiliaries, reminding them that the prizes would be 
diitribnted as foUows: One-half wonld go to the United States Treasury and the 
other half to the officers and crews. There can be no doubt as to this system being 
privateering, and it was practised as often as there was a chance. 


relieved and in constant coinmonication with the base of operations 
established at Key West and Dry Tortugas. 

Now and then the bombardment of some port on onr insalar coasts 
was combined with the blockade. Among the most important, aside 
from the bombardment of Santiago, of which we will speak separately, 
may be mentioned the following: 

On April 25 the torpedo boat Gushing attempted to reconnoiter the 
Day of Cardenas; the lAgera, which went oat to meet her, fired and 
hit her condenser, destroying it, as was snbsequently learned. The 
torpedo boat withdrew. 

On April 27 Admiral Sampson received notice that works of defense 
were being erected at Matanzas and he decided to stop the work. To 
that end he entered the bay with his flagship, accompanied by the 
Puritan and Cincinnati. The works were bombarded without any 
effect on the new batteries of Morrillo, Pont-a Gorda, and Panta Saba- 
nilla, all of which were of sand and rose only a little above the level of 
the sea. The works answered boldly and the ships withdrew. The 
French and Austrian consuls protested against this bombardment, of 
which no previous notice had been given to the city.* On the 29th of 
April the JBagle engaged with our small gunboats, among them the 
Diego Veldzquez, at Cienfuegos, with the intention of reconnoitering the 
entrance of the bay. Soon after the Marblehead fired upon the entrance, 
and the batteries of Pasacaballos and gunboats Satelite, Lince^ and 
Oaviota answered. 

The same day the squadron was apparently trying to effect a landing 
at Mariel, which was not carried out, because as three towed launches 
full of men approached the beach of Herradura they were received by 
the fire of the troops belonging to the Oerona battalion and had to 
reembark in great haste. It should be remembered that the Americans 
had chiefs of the Ouban insurrection and many insurgents on board 
their vessels as pilots, and they were the ones who went ahead in these 
operations. The troops which had occasion to repulse these attempts 
at landing stated that they heard the classic voices of the Cubans 
apostrophizing the Spanish as they were wont to do in their battles. 

On April 30 the steamer Argon^uto was captured near Cienfuegos, 
and 1 colonel, 6 officers, 3 sergeants, and 5 privates were taken pris- 
oners. The vessel was looted in a barbarous manner.^ 

On May 6 a torpedo boat opened fire on the works of the battery of 
Punta Maya at Matanzas; Punta Sabanilla battery answered, and the 
torpedo boat withdrew without having caused any damage. On the 
8th the small gunboats Ligera^ Alerta^ and Antonio LdpeZj starting from 
Cardenas, met the hostile ships Winsl^w and Maohia>s between Buba 

^ We toach on these bombardments lightly so as to follow the thread of the oper- 
ations, intending to describe them more fnlly in the fature. 

^A trustworthy person told ns that as the passengers rushed to the boats hot 
water and steam were thrown upon them. 


and Mangle keys. Fire was opened and tbej were forced to leave the 

On May 11 the boats of the Marhlehead and Nashville^ under cover 
of the guns of said vessels, and the Winsloic attacked the mouth of the 
bay of Gienfuegos, with a view to effecting a landing. They were 
received by the fire of the artillery and infantry, which compelled them 
to withdraw, with one dead and eleven wounded. The same day the 
McuihidSy Wilmington, and WinsloWj accompanied by the coast-guard 
vessel Hudson, attempted an attack upon Cardenas, and were all 
repulsed by the fire of our Antonio L&pez} The Winslow was struck 
by many shells, disabling her engine and boiler, causing a conflagration 
on board, and killing Ensign Bagley and five sailors. Her commander 
. was wounded. The vessel and crew were rescued through the inter- 
vention of the Hudson, which towed her out of range. Combined with 
this operation was the landing of a force at Cay Diana, in the bay of 
Cardenas, for the purpose of blowing up the mines located there. The 
enterprise could not be prevented, owing to superior hostile forces, and 
for the first time the Americans raised their flag in Cuba. 

On the 12th San Juan de Puerto Eico was bombarded by 11 vessels 
under Admiral Sampson's command; they withdrew without having 
produced any effect, being repulsed by the fire of the batteries of the 
forts. On the 14th the gunboat Diego Yeldzquez sustained an engage- 
ment with a hostile vessel at Cieniuegos. On the 15th an American 
vessel appeared in front of Caibarien, but retreated when fired upon 
by our launches. On the 20th a gunboat fired from a distance upon 
Varadero and Punta Camacho, between Cardenas and Matanzas, and 
on the same day two vessels entered the bay of Guantdnamo, firing 
upon Playa del Este and the gunboat Sandoval. The fire was returned 
from Punta Caracoles and the mouth of Guantdnamo Biver, and they 
retreated without having done any damage. Two batteries of anti- 
quated guns had been established here, one at Caimanera and the other 
at Cay Toro. On June 13 the Yankee had an engagement with a gun- 
boat of ours and the batteries at the entrance to Cienfuegos. On the 
15th of the same month the Texa^, Marblehead, and Suwanee entered 
the outer bay of Guantdnamo, where there were no defenses, properly 
speaking, and took possession of it. On the 22d the 8t, Paul had 
an engagement with our destroyer Terror, assisted by the gunboat 
Isabel Ily near San Juan de Puerto Bico. The fire of the rapid-fire guns 
of the St. Paul caused several deaths and serious damage on board the 
Terror, which was thereby prevented from firing her^torpedoes. This 
fact is worthy of notice in connection with battles between torpedo 
boats and cruisers. 

On June 21 a vessel appeared before Mariel, exchanging heliographic 
signals with the shore. The old guns of the Fort San Elias battery 

^ The report of the Secretary of the Nary states that there were shore batteries 
here. This we have already denied in the first yolume of this work. 


opened fire, bat it fell short. On the 29th the Hagle and the Tankton 
had an engagement ^with some of our troops at the mouth of the river 
Hondo. On the 30th the Histj WompatucJc^ and Hornet^ while making 
a reconnoissance between Gape Omz and Manzanillo, had an engage- 
ment with our vessels anchored there, the field batteries erected ashore, 
and some infantry. The Hornet was struck several times and was 
completely disabled, the main steam pipe having been cut. She was 
towed out of action by the Wompatuok. On July 1 our gunboats at 
Manzanillo, the Delgado Parejo^ JEstrella, and OuantdnamOj under way, 
and the Cuba Espaiiolaj Maria^ and Ouardidn^ at anchor, under cover 
of the field batteries of the place, sustained an engagement with the 
Scorpion^ Osceola^ Hornet^ Wampatucky and others, which retreated 
after three hours of firing, one of them having been injured. On July 
2 the anchoring place of Tunas was attacked by two hostile vessels, 
one of them a turret ship, followed by transports. They were repulsed 
by a battery of two 8-centimeter Krupp guns. They returned to the 
attack on the 3d, and were again repulsed by the same guns and two 
Plasencia guns. They had evidently intended a landing. 

On the 12th of the same month the Eagle gave chase to the Santo 
Domingo west of the Isle of Pines. On the 15th the Annapolis engaged 
the shore batteries near Baracoa. On the 18th the Wilmington, Helena, 
Scorpion, Hist, Hornet, Wompatuek, and Osceola again attacked the 
vessels and batteries at Mauzanillo, destroying the gunboats we had 
at that anchoring place. The same day ^ the AnnapoHs, Wasp, Leyden, 
and Topeka took possession of the Bayof]!^ipe, destroying the gunboat 
Jorge Juan, 

On the 30th three vessels bombarded Punta Maya, at Matanzas* The 
improvised 21centimeter battery to the west returned the fire and the 
vessels retreated. 

On August 12 the Newark and Resolute carried the First Battalion 
of Marines to Mauzanillo, where they were joined by the Smcanee, Hist, 
and Osceola, They then asked for the surrender of the place, which 
was refused, and the city sustained a bombardment. 

At daybreak of the 13th it became known that the peace protocol 
had been signed and the battle was suspended. 

The transports with the army corps intrusted with the campaign 
against Puerto Bico were convoyed from Santiago to the southern coast 
of that island by the Massachusetts (flagship), Columbia, Yale, Dixie, 
and Gloucester. The Columbia and the Yale also carried troops. This 
squadron was under the command of Oapt. F. J. Higginson. At 
Guanica the Annapolis and Wasp joined the fleet, and at Ponce the 
Cincinnati. The Puritan and Amphitrite, together with the New 
Orleans, were blockading San Juan. On June 18 Ponce fell into the 
hands of the enemy, represented by the Dixie, Annapolis, Gloucester, 
and Wasp, and their landing forces. On July 1 the Gloucester and 

> According to United States reports Nipe Bay was taken the 21st. — O. N. I. 


Wasp took possession of Arroyo. On August 6 the Amphitrite landed 
forces at Gape San Juan. They took possession of the light-house, 
which they abandoned again upon an attack by our trooi)s on August 8. 

These operations did not lead to serious battles, as may be judged 
from the small number of casualties sustained by the hostile squadron.^ 
The main thing was to blockade, terrify, and make a show with lively 
bombardments of open and undefended places, without any decisive 
battles. The preconceived plan of cutting Cuba off ft*om all assistance 
from without was entirely successful. As it became obvious that our 
squadron, in which we had placed so much confidence, was nothing but 
an illusion, the Americans grew more and more audacious. 

In order to isolate us completely, they sought to cut the cables con- 
necting us with Europe. Spain, after four centuries of dominion in 
Cuba, did not have a single cable of her own connecting her with her 
wealthy and much-coveted colonies. Let the reader make his own 
comments on this fact, which is one more item on the list of criminal 

In Cuba we harbored the hope that, inasmuch as the cables are pro- 
tected by international law, the United States would not dare do 
anything against them. But such was not the case. The intention 
of destroying them was very obvious from the beginning, for, as pre- 
viously shown, the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Long, suggested it to 
Sampson in his preliminary instructions, before hostilities had broken 
out. Hence the Americans never thought of respecting this sacred 
property. On the contrary, they made every efiFort to destroy it, and 
succeeded in cutting us oft' from the rest of the world and from the 
mother country, so that toward the end of the campaign the only means 
of communication from Habana was the cable by way of Key West, 
of which the Americans had taken possession. According to some 
writers, who have given this matter special attention, it is not certain 
whether the island was cut off from other countries. But certain it is 
that Santiago preserved communication by means of the English cable 
until the last days of the blockade, because this cable was landed quite 

* The total nnmber of oasnalties sustained by the United States Navy in these 
actions and at Manila is as follows : 

Battle of Manila 

Battle of ClenfuegOA 

Battle of Cardenas 

Battle of San Juan 

Battle of Guantdnamo 

Battle of Santiago de Cuba: 

June 22 

July 3 

On board Eagle, July 12 

On board Bancroft, August 2 . . . 
On board Amphitrite, Angnst 
On board Yankee, Anguat 11 . . . 
























a distance inside the bay and could not be cut. And it is also cer- 
tain that the Americans did whatever, they pleased about the cables, 
without any protest firom the civilized world against this spoliation. 
Although some claims have been formulated, it was more from the 
standpoint of commercial enterprise than from that of international 
law, and the object was to claim damages rather than punish and exact 
amends for the abuse. It would almost seem as though the powers of 
Europe were afraid of what is called the Colossus of the North. 

On April 25, Long issued instructions to Sampson, contrary to former 
suggestions, not to touch the cables, and when the latter complained 
of this order, the Secretary replied that there was some idea of declar- 
ing them neutral. The cable from Habana to Key West was at once 
taken possession of by the Americans, and we shall see that the so-called 
neutrality was nothing but a feint to better conceal the real intentions 
and to prepare the final blow in Europe. 

This was the general policy of the Americans: Stoical calm in order 
to prepare the ground^ decided action when they knew that their plans 
had been perfected and that no one could bar their way.^ 

We will now mention the principal operations carried out by the 
Americans to destroy the cables. 

The order to cut the cables south of Ouba was issued April 30. On 
May II the Eagle dragged unsuccessfully for a cable laid between Gien- 
fiiegos and Bataban6 in shallow and clear water. On the same day, 
Captain McGalla reported that the cable between Gienfuegos and Man- 
zanilla had been successfrilly cut by boats used close to the shore. Both 

1 One of the many proofs of the solidarity which existed between the United States 
and England against Spain is the following telegram : 

'^ London, Jaly 13. — The first meeting of the Anglo-American League took place 
at Safford House to-day. The Duke of Sutherland presided. There were present 
the Earl of Grey, the Earl of Jersey, Baron Farrer, Baron Braseey, Baron Tennyson, 
Baron Monl^sweU, Sir John Lubbock, Rear-Admiral Lord Charles Beresford, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, Cardinal Baughan, the Duke of 
Westminster, Henry M. Stanley, and many others. The Duke of Fife sent a letter 
stating that he regretted very much not to be present at the first meeting, but that 
it was utterly impossible. 

"The Duke of Sutherland stated in the opening speech that the society had noth- 
ing to do with politics, its only and exclusive object being to give expression to the 
afi^ection and cordiality existing between the people of Great Britain and that of the 
United States, and he believed that this effort would be appreciated and find an echo 
in the United States. 

''Upon the motion of Lord Brassey it was resolved that — 

*< Whereas the people of the British Empire and that of the United States are 
closely allied by the bonds of blood ; and whereas they have inherited the same 
literature and laws and preserved the same principles in their Governments ; and 
whereas they recognize the same ideas of liberty and humanity, and are closely 
allied in many parts of the world by questions of interest; now, therefore, this 
society is of opinion that every possible effort should be made, in the interest of 
civilization and peace, to insure the most cordial and constant cooperation on the 
part of both nations.'' 

An executive oounoU to represent the association was then appointed. 


of these cables were lauded in Spanish territory and laid in Spanish 
waters, so that no question was raised on account of their destruction. 
The cutting of the latter cable could only be efiFected about 180 meters 
from the shore, because the boats employed in the work were covered 
with such a galling lire that they were compelled to retreat after cutting 
two of the three cables they had found there. 

The 8t. Louis and Wo^npatuck^ the latter especially fitted for this class 
of ox>erationB, attempted to cut the cable from Santiago to Jamaica 
during the night of May 16, but had to abandon the enterprise when 
the Wompatuck was discovered by one of our ])atrol boats. 

On May 18 the attempt was renewed and the cable was successfully 
grappled in 500 fathoms of water, hardly a mile from the Morro. When 
these vessels were fired upon from the Morro they could do nothing 
but steam out, with the pickedup cable. Captain Goodrich of the St. 
LouiSy was under the impression that there were two cables here and 
was in hopes that the second one had been damaged; if this was not 
the case, the enterprise was a failure. 

On May 19 the same vessels attempted to cut the French cable at 
6uant4namo. A gunboat succeeded in preventing them and com])elled 
the United States ships to retreat when they had already grappled the 
cable. The other end of it was landed near Mole St. Nicolas, west of 
Santo Domingo. Captain Goodrich went thither, and on the morning 
of May 20 he cut the cable in deep water, being careful not to pass 
inside the Smile limit from Santo Domingo. 

An attempt was then ma(4e to cut the cable from Puerto Rico to Ponce ; 
but the nature of the bottom and the deep water prevented its success. 
Captain Goodrich was of opinion that specially fitted vessels with ade- 
quate apparatus were required for this service of cable-cutting. He 
said in this connection: 

I yentnre to remind yoa that cable grappling is a very slow and tedious operation, 
often necessitating repeated drives over the same ground. The good fortune which 
has attended our efforts so far is quite exceptional in grappling practice. 

In the East, Commodore Dewey, who was master of the Bay of Manila 
after the destruction of the Spanish squadron, made application to the 
representatives of the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company at Manila 
for permission to send telegrams the same as under normal conditions. 
The Captain-General refused x)ermission, whereupon Dewey cut the 
cable and took the end of it on board his ship. Before he could make 
use of it, considerable time elapsed owing to the lack of instruments 
and operators. But soon after he had succeeded in establishing com- 
munication with his Government, the Spanish Government exercised 
its right by reason of its contract with the Kastern Extension Telegraph 
fXlfSi^any and sealed the end of the cable at Hongkong, thereby isolating 
Dewey and Manila. 

From the above it will be seen that shore batteries and boats, in spite 
of their weakness, in many instances prevented the catting of the 


cables, and also that cable-catting is a difficult operation in deep water, 
even when there is no enemy to contend with. 
In this connection Admiral Golomb says: 

Ab to international law, it is understood to be clear that a nentral cable within 
the enemy's territorial waters takes the chances of war, as does all nentral property 
in the enemy's territory. But the somewhat cnrious and clearly misunderstood 
point is, that out of territorial waters a neutral's cable is protected by international 
law as being neutral property, and can not be cnt there except in defiance of the 
rights of neutrals. 

If I rightly understand matters. Captain Goodrich transgressed international law 
by cutting the French cable outside the 3-mile limit off Mole St. Nicolas. He 
respected the neutrality of Haiti, which did not count for much, but he destroyed, 
or -attempted to destroy, French property on the high seas. Apparently the French 
cable from Cuba to Haiti was in three conditions. It was open to destruction by 
the belligerent within 3 miles of the Cuban shore, without raising any claims of 
neutrals. From the Cuban 3-mile limit to the Haitian 3-mile limit the oable was as 
much French property as any French mail steamer in the same waters, and the bellig- 
erent had just as much right to cut the cable as he had to capture the French mail 
steamer. Within the Haitian 3-mile limit the cable was doubly protected. It was 
French property in Haitian territory, so that French rights and Haitian rights 
would haye been equally defied had the cable been touched in those waters.' 

Practically, then, it seems that, quite apart from any difficulty arising from grap- 
pling cables in deep water, an intending belligerent proposing to astonish us by 
way of dramatic surprise would have to cut all our cables within three miles of our 
own shores or else leave it i^Ione. The lesson appears to be that it is not impossible 
that, if we were at war, attempts might be made to damage us in that way, and it 
seems a legitimate conclusion to assume that the ends of our cables ought to be 
covered and protected by a few of the longest-rangpd guns properly mounted in a 
battery. Where possible, as illustrated by the usefulness of the Spanish gunboat at 
Guant^namo, naval force should be localized with the same defensive object. On 
the whole, the lesson does not seem unsatisfactory. 

The case of the Manila cable is evidently special, and it is understood to be so. 
We may have noticed by the announcement in the papers the other day that the 
Eastern Extension Company had brought a claim against the American Government, 
which the American Government had in the first stage disallowed. It is evident 
that the claim made is likely to raise the whole question of the neutrality of cables, 
but, the matter being suhjudioey I might prejudice it by offering any opinions. All 
I will say is that we should watch the case as closely as we can. 

Eelative to this matter we will say that, as is well known, the theory 
of the strongest predominates. Everything is permissible to the x>ow- 
erfdl. While we refrained from privateering, the Americans not only 
carried on something very similar, bat also cut oar cables, withoat any 
consideration or respect, and no one has interfered nor will interfere. 
Perhaps the nations of Enrope may have to pay dear for this selfish 

We now come to the fate of our sqaadron. 

From Admiral Cervera's letters there is no doabt that the foar 
craisers and the three destroyers — Terror^ Plut&n^ and Furor — left 

* There is at present great uncertainty as to what constitutes territorial waters; 
some hold that it extends to 3 mUes ; others claim 5. The range of guns which was 
formerly the standard has changed so much nowadays that it would perhaps be 
proper that an international agreement should settle this point definitely. 


Gape Verde in a precarious condition, and it will also be understood 
that the return of the other three torpedo vessels, together with the 
Ciudad de Oddiz^ to the Canaries, must have injured us much in the 
eyes of the world and must have had a demoralizing effect in our own 
On this point we read in the Kaval Annual: 

It moBt be assoined that the Spanish Gk>y eminent, in the peculiar circamstances, 
felt bonnd to make an apparent effort to succor Cuba in the face of the strong opin- 
ion of Admiral Cervera and his officers that disaster was inevitable. The movement 
across the Atlantic must be regarded as political rather than naval. 

We add no comment of our own. We only wish to state facts and 
give the opinions of others, in order that each one may, with absolute 
independence, form his own dispassionate judgment. 

Admiral Cervera, with the Coldn and the Maria Teresa^ had left Cadiz 
on April 8, and on the 15th he reached Cape Verde (Porto Grande), 
where the Oquendo and Vizcaya joined them. They remained at anchor, 
transhipping coal from the Cddiz and making repairs, until the 29th, 
when the squadron started for Cuba with the admiral's flag hoisted on 
the Mo/ria Teresa. 

There were great difficulties to contend with. Several times it became 
necessary for the Teresa to tow the Plut&n^ the Oquendo the Terror ^ and 
the Coldn the Furor ^ damages had to be repaired, the greatest pre- 
cautions used, and practices carried out. On the 12th the squadron 
came in sight of Martinique, where it stopped from 5.15 to 6.15 a. m. One 
of the destroyers went into port. The vessels with extreme caution 
then shaped their course for Curasao, where they arrived on the morn- 
ing of the 14th. The Teresa and Vizcaya went in, while the Oquendo^ 
the Col6n^ and the destroyers remained outside. 

At midnight the Terror was towed inside. On the 16th the Flutduj 
with the Teresa and Vizcaya^ entered the bay, and the engine of the 
latter was repaired. The squadron took as much coal as it was possible 
to obtain and started on the 18th for Santiago deCuba, where it arrived 
on the morning of May 19. There it took some coal, under, very unfa- 
vorable conditions, from the depots of the Juragua Mining Company 
and th'e San Luis Railway.^ 

The Americans, who had accurate information as to the starting of 
the squadron from Cape Verde and its probable course for the West 
Indies, had maintained their squadrons, one near Habaiia (Sampson's) 
aud the other at Hampton Boads (Schley's). On the supposition that 
Cervera would go to Puerto Rico, it was decided that Sampson's fleet 
should take position in the Windward Passage. To that end it started 
on May 4 with the battle ships lowa^ Indiana^ and New York, the moni- 
tors Amphitrite aud Terror, a few auxiliaries, and one collier. The 
monitors proved an impediment because they had to be towed long 

^ The operations of the squadron while in this harbor, that is to say, to July 3 
when it went out, are closely connected with the land battles, and we shall therefore 
speak of them when we come to that part of our account. 


distances and resupplied with coal several times. On the 7th Sampson 
arrived at Cape Haitien, where he was advised from Washington that 
no news had been received of the Spanish squadron. Nor did the two 
vessels which had been detached to cruise east of Martinique and 
Guadeloupe, the Harvard and St. Louisj succeed in sighting our squad- 
ron. On the evening of the 9th Sampson held a council with his cap- 
tains and decided to shape his course for San Juan de Puerto Bico to 
see whether the squadron was there. But at 11 o'clock he received a 
telegram from Washington advising him of the rumors of the press to 
the effect that the Spanish squadron had been sighted off Martinique, 
and indicating the expediency of his return for fear of an attack upon 
Key West and the breaking of the blockade at Habana.' 

But Sampson continued on his course to San Juan, and at daylight 
of the 12th the bombardment commenced. The admiral says that he 
could have taken the place, but when he found that our squadron was 
not there and that he would have to leave his ships there until the 
army of occupation arrived, he decided to return to Habana. Our 
opinion does not coincide with his. To bombard a fortified place is 
easy; to take it is quite a different matter. It is reasonable to suppose 
that Sampson was very desirous to take San Juan and make himself 
popular, but he had not counted «on the resistance he encountered, and 
that is what caused him to desist. It is said that the following night, 
while en route for Habana, he learned that Gervera had been sighted 
at Martinique, and afterwards he received official notice of his arrival 
at Curasao on the morning of the 14th. The Harvard was chased by 
the Terror, which had remained behind, probably on account of injuries, 
which compelled her to go to Fort-de- France, which the Harvard had 
left owing to international laws, which provide that there shall be an 
interval of twenty-four hours between the going out of two belligerents. 
In the meantime the battleship Oregon was shaping her course for the 
Bermudas to join Sampson's squadron, after her long voyage firom the 
Pacific coast. 

On May 13 Sampson received orders to proceed to Key West, and 
Schley was also instructed to go there from Hampton Boads. The lat- 
ter arrived on the 18th, and Sampson with his flagship yew York the 
same day, the remainder of the squadron following him closely. 

Obedient to orders from the Department at Washington, several fast 
cruisers were guarding the passages between Haiti and Puerto Bico. 
The St Louis had been at Santiago on the 18th and bombarded the 
Morro and Punta Oorda at short range. She was struck by a shell in 
the bow. It is a pity that the Socapa battery had not been completed 
at that time, as it could have seriously injured the ship, which, in con- 
junction with the Wompatuoky was attempting to cut the cable. From 

1 This part of Sampson'e conduct does not seem clear. If he had information as 
to the whereahouts of our squadron, why did he undertake the hombardmentof San 
Jnant What we have read concerning this matter aeems cleverly devised^ hnt is not 


there she proceeded to Ouant4namo without having sighted the Spanish 
squadron, which, as stated, entered Santiago Harbor ou the 19th. 

On the 25th the 8t Paul captured a vessel, the Resiormel^ carrying 
2,400 tons of coal for our squadron. This vessel had been at Sau Juaii de 
Puerto Bico, had gone thence to Gura9ao, and arrived there two days 
after Oervera had departed. Her captain informed the Americans that 
there were at San Juan two other vessels loaded with coal. It was also 
learned that there were only 2,300 tons of coal at Santiago. 

Schley, with the Flying Squadron and the lowa^ while off Gienfuegos, 
received instructions to go to Santiago, where he arrived on the 26th, 
finding the Minneapolis^ 8U Paul, and Tale already there. By that time 
it was positively known that Gervera's fleet was at Santiago, and Samp- 
son received orders to proceed there at once. Be arrived off Santiago 
on June 1.^ The Oregon had in the meantime joined his squadron. 

On the subject of so important an operation as the entering of Ger- 
vera's squadron into this harbor, the English Vice-Admiral P. H. 
Golomb, a well-known authority on naval matters, to whom reference 
has already been made and will again be made in the course of this 
work, says in a recent article entitled The Misfortunes of Gervera: 

Instead of crofising the Atlantic at 10 knots, Cervera was only able to oross at 7 
knots, and then his ooal was exhausted by the time he got to Martinique. Because 
of thiS| and because of the breakdown of one, if not two, of the destroyers, his 
presence at Martinique was known all over the world a few hours after he arrived 
there. Then further delay in the search for coal came about by the visit to Curasao, 
and again the presence of the squadron and its hapless condition was everywhere 
known. It could only oross to Cuba at the rate of some 5 knots, and when it finally 
arrived at Santiago, on May 19 — four days later than should have sufficed to finish 
the stroke at Key West— the fate of the squadron was as absolutely sealed as if it 
had run there and then into the heart of the combined American fleets. 

It was, of course, instantly blockaded. Probably, had there been ample supplies 
of coal, and ample appliances for coaling at Santiago, it would not have been able to 
get away for a stroke in the time allowed. As it was, there were neither of these 
things in the Spanish port, and it was but a question of time when Cer vera's squad- 
ron would fall with the surrender of Santiago to a land attack, or be driven out by 
the land force as rabbits are driven out of their holes by a ferret. 

It followed that nothing could be done by the Americans until the Spanish squad- 
ron was put out of existence, and all the existing force of America was thrown upon 
a point that became of consequence when Cervera appeared there. 

Still obeying orders that had no reason in them, Cervera made an attempt to 
escape on July 3. Had the squadron been everything in reality that it appeared an 
paper, the attempt was probably hopeless; but it maybe said that had tactics 
apparently more dangerous, but really more hopeful, been adopted, it is not impossi- 
ble that a better show might have been made. As it was, with foul bottoms, the 
wrong guns, and not the whole of them, and short ammunition, the fate of the 
unfortunate ships was only made more certain by a run alongshore, which enabled 
the Americans to employ all the fire possible against their enemies without any hesi- 
tation caused by the danger of hitting their friends. 

It might have been worse for Cervera, but perhaps it would have been better for 
Spain, had Cervera taken the position that was his due as the leading Spanish 

^ While the Americans boast of having known the situation of our squadron for a 
long time, it is certain that none of their actions bear this out. 


admiral, and absolntely reftued to take a part in annihilating the naral poirer of 
his country. 

The plan of operations, which, according to Admiral Golomb, Oervera 
wfts expected to carry oat, was as follows: 

The moment it pnt to sea it was bound to have on the American Kayy all the par- 
alyzing effect of Lord Torrington's ''fleet in being/' * and, indeed, it had precisely 
this effect when the time came. The news that the squadron had left St. Vincent 
forced the Americans to abandon the blockade of Cuba practically, brought down 
to Cuban waters the division of the United States fleet, that, somewhat owing to 
popular and yery ignorant clamor, had been detained in the north, and it drore 
Sampson's division away to the eastward, and to a position which would hardly 
have contributed to the success of Cervera's operations had success been possible. 

The program I had sketched as a likely one for Cervera to follow — when I sup- 
posed that he had with him, in fact, what paper accounts gave him credit for — was 
the following : I assumed that the four ernisers would take the three destroyers in 
tow and steer straight for the passage between Martinique and St. Lucia, timing 
Itself so as to pass through in darkness on the ninth or tenth day, so as not to be 
seen from either shore; then to pass well to the southward of Jamaica, to round the 
west end of Cuba, well out of sight, and to strike a blow at the shippingf transporla, 
etCf in Key West, on the fifteenth day, soon after daylight. It was a pretty program, 
a daring one no doubt, but I think quite feasible had all been as it appeared to be. 

' A fleet inferior to the hostile forces and which refuses battle, constituting a con- 
stant menace for the enemy. 



Blockade of Habbobs. 

thb oqubndo and vizoaya— blockade of the coast— aspect 
of the blockade of habana — conditions of the blockade 
of santiago — sinking of the mebbimao — a few stbange 


From all that has been stated in this book we must come to the con- 
clusion that the United States really feared our squadron and the forti- 
fied places on our colonial coasts. The Americans had no conception 
of the small number of our available vessels, and thought that those 
we did have were models of their kind. This fact — ^though we do not 
imagine that in the long run the struggle would have been decided in 
oar favor, as it would soon have become apparent that it was moral 
rather than material — might at least have been taken advantage of in 
good season, and in that event, perhaps, we should not have lost the 
whole of our colonial empire; perhaps only the island of Cuba would 
have been taken firom us, while we should have retained Puerto Eico and 
the Philippines. 

Among the most important means to that end, 'from a strategic 
standpoint, would have been a basis of naval power in Cuba, adapted 
to keep alive among the enemy that uncertainty and dread which was 
apparent in all their actions. 

This would have been possible if we had retained at Habana the 
cruisers Vizcaya and Almirante OquendOj which, though doomed to be 
sacrificed in any event, would without any doubt have done a great 
deal more good here in cooperation with the shore batteries. 

The Vizcaya had been sent to New York by reason of the dark and 
unwarranted rumors to which the Maine catastrophe had given rise. 
She was subjected to much annoyance while in New York harbor, but 
there is no doubt that her presence there made considerable impression 
on the minds of the Yankees. On the 1st of March she entered Habana 

Shortly after, on the 5th, the Oquendo arrived there. 

There can be no doubt that some significance, some plan, underlay 
the arrival of these two battle ships at Habana, where they found an 
adequate base for brilliant action, and sufficient resources for maneu- 
vering, fighting, taking refuge, and keeping a whole hostile squadron 
in check. 

In the chain of errors, the final link of which — ^for the present ! — ^is 
the terrible defeat we suffered, not the least, perhaps, is the order for 
these two ships to return to Cape Verde to join the destroyers and 
torpedo boats already there and those which Cervera afterwards took 
there from Cadiz. It seems to us, though we are not of the profession, 
that after the long voyage of the Vizcaya and Oqtiendo^ as the result 



of which the former had a fonl bottom and had lost her speed, the most 
natural thing woald have been to put them in perfect condition and 
keep them at the scene of the prospective war. In cooperation with the 
small but by no means inefficient vessels which we had at Habana 
and other ports of the island, and auxiliary vessels in the shape of 
merchant steamers, they might have constituted a flying squadron which 
would have given the enemy something to do and something to fear. 

The reader will agree with us that if we had had such a naval force 
at Habana the Americans, who had, moreover, to reckon with Gervera's 
squadron, which could have gone out a little later if it chose, reenforced 
by the Pelayo and one or two other ships, would have been compelled 
to divide their fleet considerably, especially if we had considered the 
I)os8ibility of using some privateer cruisers — under the name of auxU- 
iariesj if preferred — against their commerce. 

Are these conjectures well founded, or are we mistaken f 

We are inclined to believe the former. But in case of doubt it must 
be admitted that, even if the results of the Oqnendo and Vizeaya 
remaining in said harbor had not been as favorable as we presume, it 
is at least reasonable to suppose that if those two ships had been kept 
at Habana Gervera^s squadron would not have gone to Santiago, and 
the latter city, in -the eastern extremity of the island, would not have 
become the enemy's objective. For there can be no doubt at this time 
that it did not enter into the United States' plans to make the capital 
of the eastern province the scene of war. The attack of that city 
became necessary and easy by reason of the Spanish squadron having 
taken refuge there. 

Finally, it will be readily understood that it is not expedient to wear 
out ships by long voyages on the eve of war. The Vizeaya reached 
Gape Verde in unserviceable condition, nothing more than a buoy, as 
Admiral Cervera says graphically in one of his letters. 

We are firmly convinced that leaving those two ships at Habana 
would have given the enemy much to think of and much to fear, and 
would have made it necessary for them to draw their naval forces 
farther west. In that event the blockade of Habana and other ports 
and coasts of the island would at once have assumed an entirely 
difierent aspect, and the whole nature of the campaign would have 
been changed. 

It was therefore with feelings of profound sadness that we saw the 
Oquendo and Vizeaya^ obeying superior orders, steam out of the harbor 
at 5 o'clock in the evening of April 1. The ships stopped at Puerto Bico, 
which island they left on the 9th, shaping their course for St. Yincent, 
Gape Yerde, and leaving the West Indies at the mercy of the blockade 
which was announced a few days later. 

A blockade when continued for some length of time is a tedious 
operation for warships, because it compels them to remain constantly 
on the high sea, always on the lookout, in almost unendurable monotony, 
which is very exasperating and fatiguing. The United States squad- 


ron hardly felt these onerous effects. There beiug no enemy to be 
feared in the immediate vicinity, and bases of operations and large 
dockyards and depots being near, the ships coald move at their ease, 
and were frequently relievcid to replenish the ammunition expended and 
resupply themselves with provisions and fresh water. 

Hence the blockade of the coast was nothing more than simply quiet 

The blockades of the harbors were of a more difficult nature, espe- 
cially at Havana and Santiago, and as these are naval operations of 
unfrequent occurrence, we deeih it expedient to describe them somewhat 
more at length. 

In order to give an idea of the blockade of the former place we avail 
ourselves of the observations which were made day and night for nearly 
four months by the Central Telemetric Station at the Pirotecnia Militar, 
which was connected by telephone with the telemetric apparatus of the 
batteries and with the different chiefs of the forts, artillery, and bat- 
teries, all of which organizations we will describe at length when we 
speak of Habana in the book which is to follow the present one. 

From the charts which represent the observations of the station 
referred to we have selected a few of different dates, in order that the 
reader may form an accurate idea of the blockade of o. harbor and of 
the manner in which the United States vessels effected the blockade of 

Situation of hostile ships in the order from windward to leeward, 
[Artillery. Telemetric observatory of the "Pirot«cnia." April 22, 1898, 6 p. m.] 



















Cruiser .. 


10 12.5.0m. R. F 

6 ST-mm ............... 


2 37-mm 

2 machine 











10 R. F 

6 57 -mm .. .......... 


2 37-mm 


2 machine ............ 






8 20-cm 

6 10-cm.K.F 

20 57-mm 

6 37-mm .....% 






4 32.5-om 


8 20-cm 

4 15-cin ............... 


20 57-mm 

Cruiser '. 

6 37-mm .............. 





New York.... 

6 20-cm 


Mw-hant ..-,-...... r 

12 10-om. R. F 

8 57-mm 

4 37*mm .............. 

2 1 

4 machine ............ 









EusTASio DK Amilivia^ Captain, 


April 22, 6 P. M. 

htmi V 

SCALE : 1 MM. = 400 M. AND 1 CM. = 4,000 M. 

The United States squadron appears at 5.30 p. m., following a north- 
easterly coarse. When within 22,000 meters of this observatory the ships 
stop and separate into three groups, which take positions to leeward, 
north, and windward. The squadron is composed of battleships Iowa 
and Jndtana, armored cruiser "Nefw York^ two unprotected cruisers, appar- 
ently the Marblehead and Montgomery^ and one three-masted cruiser 
the type of which can not be made out. The remaining vessels, 11 in 
number, are small merchant vessels. The alarm signal is given from 
the forts at 6.20. Two steamers have left the harbor, shaping their 
course northward, one of them English, the other United States; also a 
schooner of the latter nationality. At 9.25 p. m. Battery No. 5 signals 
that several ships, believed to be quite near, are discerned in that direc- 
tion. At 10 a second alarm signal is given. About 2 o'clock the light 
of the Morro light-house is extinguished. All through the night red 
and green lights, obviously signals of the hostile fleet, are noticed at a 
great distance. 


April 28, 6.30 P. M. 

In the morning only the Iowa and one merchant vessel, indicated on 
the chart, were in sight. A war ship was sighted to windward at 8 
and disappeared shortly after. At 5, a ship was seen passing to wind- 
ward at snch a distance that she conld not be recognized. At 5.30 a 
small yacht and the Triton appeared, steering toward the Iowa. 



May 5, 2 P. M. 

At 6 there are in sight the Wilmington^ an antiquated craiser, and 
three gauboats. At 9 the dispatch boat Dolphin appeared and stopped, 
forming a gi'oup with three vessels to windward; they exchange flag 
signals and boats pass to and fro. At 10 the Dolphin shapes her 
coarse to windward and disappears. At 12 another cruiser, of anti- 
quated type, appears to the northward. At 1 a gunboat appears to 
windward. At 3 a small Spanish schooner is sighted, steering for the 
harbor. At 3.30 she is captured by a gunboat, which takes her in 
tow, and they disappear to windward. At 5.30 the French steamer 
Lafayette appears to windward. The hostile ships steer toward her. 
At sunset the group formed by the latter and the Lafayette is still in 
sijght. Nothing of interest was observed during the night. 


May 14,4.30 P. M 



At 8 three gtpiboats. At 8.30 two cruisers and one gunboat to wind- 
ward. At 8.40 a steam lanncli appears. At 11 two gunboats disap- 
pear to windward, reappearing at 11.15. The Mexican schooner Arturo 
leaves the harbor. At 1 a merchant vessel, whose nationality could 
not be made out, appears to the northward. A cruiser starts in pur- 
suit and fires a shot; the merchant vessel stops, then proceeds on her 
course. At 3 two gunboats appear to windward; at 4.20 one of them 
disappears. The Conde de Venadito and Nueva Espana come out of 
the harbor, steering first to windward, then changing their course to 
leeward, then again returning to the former direction. A hostile 
cruiser, two gunboats, one of them small and with a single mast, and 
the tug Triton concentrate to the north. The Spanish vessels steer 
toward them. A hostile gunboat advances, followed by the cruiser. The 
Conde de Venadito turns about and steers to windward ; the Nueva Uspana 
continues on her course toward the United States gunboat. At 4,000 
meters the hostile gunboat referred to opens fire, which is returned by 
our vessels. The Nueva Espana also turns to windward. The United 
States vessels stop at 17,000 meters, then retreat to a distance of over 
20,000 meters. Our vessels again turn to windward, passing in front 
of the enemy, and the Conde de Venadito fires another shot. They con- 
tinue on their course to windward and are joined by the Aguila and 
Flecha, At night our vessels enter the harbor. The effect of the shots 
could not be ascertained, owing to the distance. 


May 21,1 P.M. 

Gunboat f 


At daybreak there are seen on the horizon the monitor Mianton/omok^ 
two old craisers, dispatch boat Dolphiuj firBt-class gauboat Wilming- 
ton, and seven smaller gunboats; total, 12 vessels. The battle ship 
Iowa, which was in sight last night, has disappeared. At 6 a gun- 
boat disappears and the monitor Puritan appears to northward. There 
remain 11 vessels. At 7 two gunboats appear to northward. Thir- 
teen vessels. The nearest is the Wiltningtonj about 8,500 meters 
distant. At 9 a gunboat appears to northward. Fourteen vessels. 
At 10.40 the first class battle ship Indiana and armored cruiser Ifew 
York appear to northward. Sixteen vessels in sight. At 12.30 three 
more vessels appear, making a total of 19, shown on the chart. From 
7 to 8 the telegraph lights of the United States vessels are observed to 
be in operation. The searchlight of the Yelasco battery has been in 
operation all night. Nothing further of interest during the night. 


June 10, 9.30 A. M, 


At daybreak six gunboats, among them the Wilmington and one 
cruiser. At 7.40 a gunboat with one mast an.d one smokestack api)ear8 
to windward. To leeward another gunboat is sighted. At 8.30 the 
Spanish vessels Conde de VenaditOj Nueva Espana^ Ydnez Pinzon, and 
Flecha come out of the harbor and steam to windward, keeping about 
1,000 meters from the shore. When within 3,800 meters of Battery 
No. 1 they turn to leeward. The hostile gunboat sighted to windward 
steers to leeward, firing a shot. The cruiser and another gunboat also 
fire, but no shells are seen. They proceed to windward* and approach 
four gunboats. At 10,000 meters from our vessels they open fire, which 
is at first quite accurate. Our vessels increase the distance between 
them and continue to cruise to leewaid, close inshore, as far as Almen- 
dares River. In the meantime the enemy has turned to leeward, but 
at a distance of over 15,000 meters. At 1.35 our vessels enter the 


June 13, 12 M. 


At daybreak nine ganboats, among them the Wilmington^ two craisers, 
one of them the Montgomery^ and the monitor Terror, At 7.40 a gun- 
boat appears to windward. At 10.30 the gunboat Maple^ displaying a 
white flag, steers towards the city and stops 6,300 meters from the 
shore. At 11.15 the gunboat Flecka goes out to speak with the United 
States vessel, returning to the harbor a few minutes later. The Maple 
shapes her course northward. At 12 a gunboat disappears to the 
northward. At S another gunboat disappears to the northward. At 
3.21 a gunboat is sighted far to windward, approaching another gun- 
boat, 2,000 meters from the shore. At 3.50 the cruiser Montgomery 
advances to within 8,300 meters of the leeward shore. The Santa 
Olara Battery fires three shots at her, and Battery No. 4 two. Owing 
to the high wind the shells were deflected to the left. At the flash 
of the first shot the cruiser started at full speed. At 5 a gunboat 
approaches the windward shore to within less than 8,000 meters. Bat- 
tery No. 2 fired a shot at her and the gunboat withdrew. At 8.30 p. m. 
a hostile ship throws her searchlight towards the city on the leeward 
shore for five minutes. A group of two vessels could be distinguished. 
All through the night light signals were seen, which were .watched by 
our searchlights. 


July 6, 6 P. M. 


At daybreak the horizon can Dot be distiuguished, owing to dense 
fog. At 7.20 the fog disappears and the following ships are seen : Three 
cruisers — the Montgomery, Yickahurg, and one of antiquated type — five 
gunboats, among them the Machim, Maple, and one of antiquated type, 
and the monitor Terror. Total, 9 vessels. At 7.25 a cruiser appears to 
northward. Total, 10 vessels. At 8.30 the gunboat Anita appears to 
leeward. Total, 11 vessels. During the day the trans- Atlantic steamer 
Alfonso XII was seen burning at Mariel Beach. 


August 13, 12 M. 

At daybreak there are in sight a mouitor of the Miantonomoh type, 
two cruisers, the Vtcksburg and San Francisco and five gunboats. At 
9 a cruiser with two masts and two smokestacks appears to the north- 
ward. At 8.20 a gunboat appears to leeward. At 0.30 two gunboats 
disappear to windward. At 10 the cruiser with two masts and two 
smokestacks disappears to windward. At 11 a cruiser with three masts 
and one smokestack and a gunboat appear to leeward. At 11.30 a 
gunboat appears to leeward. At 2.15 thd monitor of the Miantonomoh 
type and a gunboat disappear to the north. At 8 red and .white lights 
begin to be seen on the horizon, obviously from hostile ships. Nothing 
of interest occurred during the night. The searchlight of the navy 
was in operation. The news of the conclusion of peace was received 
this day. At daybreak not a single hostile vessel was to be seen on 
the horizon, so that it seems that the blockade has been raised. 


The four electric searchlights —three belonging to the artillery and 
one to the navy, the latter designed to gaard the net of torpedoes — 
were subject to the authorities in command of the fortifications, and in 
accordance with their orders illuminated or lefb in darkness the mari- 
time region near the windward and leeward shores and the entrance to 
the harbor, thus establishing a system of perfect vigilance which would 
have furnished excellent results in case a formal battle had been fought, 
and which prevented the enemy from displaying too much audacity. 

The light-house at the Morro was lighted, when so ordered by the 
authorities, when some friendly vessel was expected, and when it was 
not necessary to keep it dark so as not to serve the blockading vessels 
as a guide. 

The following are incidents of various kinds which occurred during 
the blockade of Habana: 

April SS, — At 4.50 p. m. the gunboats Xueva Eepana and Marqu4s de Molina went 
out of Habana Harbor and returned from ofif Marianao, having gone outside a dis- 
tance of 8,100 meters. 

April S7. — A hostile cruiser ran aground near Dimas (Colorado Reefs). 

May 6. — At 5 o'clock a small gunboat with two masts and two smokestacks 
approached to within 4,700 meters of the windward coast of Habana. Batteries 
Nob. 1 and 2 received orderii to open fire, after several consultations by telephone. 
The gunboat escaped at full speed at the first shot. Several shells fell near it. 

May 7. — Two g^unboats chase a schooner near the mouth of Almendares River, 
4,700 meters from the advanced leeward batteries. Batteries Nos. 4 and 5 open fire, 
which is so accurate that the vessels are surrounded with the cartridges of our shells, 
and withdraw with injuries. The schooner was towed into the harbor. A 24-centi- 
meter shell of the Punta Brava Battery exploded on board one of the vessels. 

May 9, — ^The hostile gunboat Triton approaches to within 4,800 meters of Battery 
No. 4, which opened fire, whereupon the gunboat speedily withdrew. 

May 10. — The Triton approaches, and is fired upon by Battery No. 5. 

May IS. — Two hostile gunboats fire on the coast of Habana from Marianao, and 

May 15. — A hostile vessel approached with a flag of truce, and the gunboat Flecha 
went out to parley. 

May SS. — The vessels of the blockading fleet disappear to the east, leaving only 
two gunboats. 

May 27. — The gunboat Marques de Molina leaves the harbor under a flag of truce, 
to confer with a hostile ship. 

May 28. — Another vessel under a flag of truce. The Ydnez Pinzdn goes out. 
Exchange of prisoners.^ 

June IS. — Battery No. 2, at a distance of 7,020 meters, discharges a 30.5-centimeter 
shell against,a hostile vessel. 

June 14, — ^Another hostile vessel appears under a flag of truce and the gunboat 
FlecKa goes out to parley. 

I Colonel of cavalry Cortijo, Army Surgeon JuliiSn, and assistants Faustino Albert 
and Antonio Emilio Zazo (of the Argonauta) were exchanged for two United States 
journalists taken prisoners at a landing. 


June 16, — A United States gunboat approached to within 5,000 meters of the 
Yelasco Battery, which opened fire on her, and the gunboat retreated at ftill speed. 
A hostile ship approaches under a flag of truce, and the Nueva Etpana goes out to 

July 1. — At 7 p. m. a hostile gunboat approached to within 6,000 meters of the 
Cojlmar Battery, which opened fire, and the gunboat escaped at full speed. 

July 19, — At 10 a. m. a cruiser approaches the Chorrera Battery, which opens fire 
on her at 7,000 meters. At 6.10 p. m. she returned and approached to within 6,400 
meters, was atfain fired upon and withdrew. 

August S. — ^A boat with a flag of truce is detached from the hostile ship 8an F^a%- 
o%9€Of and the Ydntz Pinz6n goes out to parley. 

August 4. — Another yessel under a flag of truce. The Tdnez Pinz6n goes out to 
confer with her. She returns to the harbor and then goes out again. 

August 1'2, — At 5 o'clock the cruiser San Francisco approached to within 4,000 
meters of the windward coast; the Yelasco and Barco Perdido batteries open fixe; 
she was hit by three shells and withdrew, hoisting a white flag.^ 

A vessel carrying a flag of truce appears, and the Td^sM P%nz6n goes out to confer 
with her. 

The following is an approximate record of foreign vessels which 
entered or left Habana Harbor daring the blockade: 

The English cruiser Talbot entered May 2, went oat the 11th, and 
returned again June 6. The French frigate Dubordieu entered May 6 . 
and went out the 17th. On the same day the French dispatch-boat 
Fulton also went out. On the 16th of May the French steamer Lafay- 
ette entered. This transatlantic steamer had attempted to enter several 
days earlier, but was prevented by 'the blockading vessels, which took 
her to Key West; she was released and entered Habana on the day 
stated; but after unloading part of her cargo she took it on again for 
certain reasons and went out May 10 and was once more taken to Key 
West. The steamer Cosme Herrera (Captain Saiison) entered- April 22, 
having eluded the enemy. The AviUs^ of the same company, also 
entered. On May 14 the Mexican schooner Ariuro went out. On May 
25 a German cruiser went out. The German cruiser Qeier entered June 
22 and left the 29th.^ On June 23 the transatlantic steamers Santo 
Domingo and Montevideo ran the blockade at half past 12 at night. 
On the 24th the Honduras brig Amapala went out and was captured 
by the enemy. On July 5 the English cruiser Talbot left the harbor. 
The sapie day the transatlantic steamer Alfonso XII attempted to 
enter, but was surprised and set on fire by hostile shells at Mariel, 
where she ran aground trying to reach the port. On July 8 the French 
cruiser B^Estaing entered without saluting the blockading vessels and 
went out again on the 28th. On July 29 the Talbot entered and went 
out again the 30th, saluting the blockading vessels. On August 1 the 
German cruiser Oeier entered the harbor, after saluting the blockaders, 
and went out again on the 4th. On the latter day the French cruiser 
jyEstaing entered again and went out the 14th. 

The blockade of Santiago Harbor offers the peculiar feature that the 
electric lighting of the mouth of the channel was effected by the block- 

1 No white flag was shown, and San Francisco was hit hut once. — O. N. I. 

>The Geier entered Cienfuegos June 16, whero she was entertained hy our officers. 


aders instead of the blockaded, as it was to the interest of tbe latter to 
k^p the entrance dark, while it was imperative for the former to keep 
it well illuminated in order that Gervera's ships might not escape. 

For the same reason, the position of the blockading ships was more 
definitely determined than was the case at Habana. 

In the beginning the ships withdre\^at night to the open sea. After- 
wards they adopted the order shown in the following sketch : 

At Night. 

A Battleship with searchlight 
B Supporting battleship ready to open fire 
in case of appearance or enemy. 
C Three small cruisers as pickets. 

D Three steam-launch pickets. 
E Blockade outer line. 
F Spanish ships. 

In daytime the blockading vessels extended their line so as to be 
entirely out of the range of the gnns of Morro Oastle and the Socapa 



\ / 

N y 

In THE Day-Time. 


Battery, and also to leave sufficient room for maneuvering in case oar 
squadron should attempt to force tlie entrance. The radius of the 
blockading circle was 6 miles, and the vessels nearest the shore were 2 
miles distant from it. The more powerful ships, such as the Jotro, 
Oregon^ and MdsstwhusettSj were usually opposite the entrance, and next 
to them the fastest cruisers, New York and Brooklyn^ while the vessels 
of less tonnage, the gunboats and auxiliaries, kept nearer the shore. 
This disposition shows that there still existed in the United States'fleet 
a fear of some exploit on the part of our destroyers. 

A constant watch was kept up from the heights of the Socapa bat- 
teries and Morro Castle, and as soon as there was the least indication 
of the enemy attempting to come nearer the rapid-fire guns of the 
lower battery and on the crest of the Socapa, the rifles of the infantry, 
and the guns at Morro Castle would open a lively fire, which compelled 
the enemy to retreat. The Oristdbal Coldtij stationed near Punta Gorda, 
the Reina Mercedes, near Cay Smith, and the torpedo-boat destroyers 
also had a share in the defense. 

We will follow the same plan that we adopted in connection with the 
blockade of Habana, and give first a brief account of the principal 
actions of the blockading fleet against the works at the entrance of 
Santiago Harbor, and speak more fully of them as opportunity offers. 

May 18, — First demoDBtration in front of Santiago. One hnndrcd and sixty shells 
were fired. Punta Gorda answered. 

May 18 to June 6. — A few insignificant bombardments. 

June 6. — At 8.30 a. m. 10 vessels, forming two divisions, opened a lively fire, which 
lasted nntil 11. 30, with two intervals of fifteen miuntes each. The eastern division 
bombarded the Morro and Agnadores, the western division the Sooapa and Maza- 
morra. In all, 2,000 shots were fired, 100 guns being in action for one hundred and 
seventy-five minutes, being equal to a shot per gun every two mihutes. 

The Socapa fired only 47 shots, on account of the dense smoke enveloping the 
ships. A hostile shell of large caliber hit the MercedeSf killing the second in com- 
mand, Commander Emilio de Aeosta y Eyermann, a native Cuban, also five sailors, 
and wounding Ensign Molins, several sailors, and one boatswain. 

June 14, 16, and 18. — Renewed bombardments. 

June 22. — The landing expedition disembarks. The Brooklyn^ Iowa, and Texae 
bombard the Morro and Socapa, which return the fire. Punta Gorda fires only 
two shots. 

June 2S and 23. — Landing of army corps at Daiquiri, while the squadron is bom- 
barding the coast from Punta Cabrera to Punta Barracos; lively bombardment of 

July 2. — Bombardment. 

July S, — Our squadron goes out and is destroyed by the United States fleet. 

The most noteworthy event recorded during this blockade was the 
attempt to force the channel made by the MerrimaCy a merchant vessel 
equipped for war, in command of Lieutenant Hobson. This is also the 
only act which the Americans have to record in which heroism 'was 
displayed during this campaign, for the operation carried with it the 
probability of death for those who effected it 


It occnrred early in the morning of Jane 3. The blockading ships 
opened a lively fire on the entrance, probably in order to prepare the 
way for the operation and divert attention from the principal object. 
B|^fore daybreak the Merrimao entered the harbor, bat was sarprised 
and sank at a spot where she constitntea no obstrnction to the egress 
and ingress of the harbor. Oar crews captared the crew of the Merri- 
mcbCj consisting of Lient. Eichmond Pearson Hobson and seven sailors, 
all of whom, by a miracle, escaped with their lives. 

The sketch which we give below has reference to this enterprise, as 
desciibed by Lieatenant Hobson in a handsome book which he has 

a Submarine Mines, Unexploded Mines, fios, 9, W, U, 12. 

■ « «< fired ^ Vessel, Nos. 1,2 A4,SAIB. . 

* *» •♦ thMt struck Vessei, ^o,S. 

•• Automatic Torpedoes fired by /feina Mercedes" and Ttuton^ 

recently published, and although it contains many exaggerations, as, 
for instance, the statement that all the submarine mines contained 
500 pounds of gun cotton, it gives nevertheless a clear idea of the 

Sampson and Hobson worked out the plan of sinking the Merrimao 
in the channel and chose the hour of 3.30 a. m., June 2, for carrying it 
into effect. 

The method of sinking the vessel and the spot where she was to be 
sunk were fully discussed. As to the method, it was decided to secure 
to the sides of the Merr%ma4)^ below the water line, ten torpedoes of a 


special type charged with brown powder and actuated by electric cir- 
cuits. As to the spot, the bend of the channel off the Estrella battery 
was selected. The operation was carried out, but was not snccessfuL 
Of the ten torpedoes, only two exploded ; in the others, says Mr. Hqb- 
son, the circuits were destroyed by the Spanish fire. Our shore bat- 
teries, the pickets near the entrance, the Pluton and Reina Mercedes^ 
the lines of contact and electric mines, the infantry — ^in a word, all the 
different elements of defense — fired on the 1/erriwao, and she was sunk 
at a spot farther in than had been intended by Sampson and where she 
did not obstruct the entrance. Hobson and his crew, clinging to a raft 
which had been taken along for the purpose, gave themselves up, but 
none of our men touched them except to save them. Mr. Hobson states 
that he was rescued by Admiral Oervera himself in his steam launch. 
This is an act of chivalry in time of war which even the Americans are 
compelled to extol. 

At the last hour, the Reina Mercedes was also sunk in the channel, 
but likewise without obstructing the entrance. 

In order to give a clear idea of the oi)erations of the blockade of the 
coasts and ports of Cuba, we must not omit to mention some strange 
facts which occurred in the course of it. 

Among these we will mention, in the first place, the entrance of the 
transatlantic steamer Monaerrat into Gienfuegos Harbor, under the com- 
mand of Captain Deschamps, who eluded the blockade on April 27, and 
went out again with great audacity without being caught. The valiant 
Oaptain Deschamps repeated the oi)eration after a trip to the Penin- 
sula. This time he entered Matanzas, again eluding the blockade and 
keeping himself in readiness to go out whenever he should be ordered 
to do so. He went out on the 16th, after the suspension of hostilities. 

When the war broke out, the steamer Purlsima Goncepcidn^ of the 
Menendez Company (Captain Outi^rrez), was at Batabano. She went 
out in search of provisions, eluding the blockade, and reached the Gay- 
man Islands; not finding there what she wanted, she shaped her course 
for Jamaica. When she had taken on a cargo there, a United States 
cruiser came alongside; but during the night she eluded the latter's 
vigilance and went out to sea, reaching Casilda on June 22. Here she 
was chased and fired upon, but succeeded in going out the 25th and 
unloading at Manzanillo. A Honduras steamer reached Batabano 
with provisions. The transatlantic steamer Reina Gristina (Captain 
Casquero) entered Cienfuegos, having also been chased unsuccessfully. 
The ViUaverde, coming from Mexico with a cargo of provisions, entered 
Coloma, likewise escaping from her pursuers. 

The transatlantic steamer Antonio Ldpez ran aground on June 30, 
near Arecibo on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, but succeeded in 
getting off, saving both vessel and cargo. 

As already stated, the Santo Domingo and Montevideo^ under the com- 
mand of naval officers, succeeded in running the blockade of Habana 


and reaching Mexico in search of provisions. They are said to have 
had some difficulty there in getting their clearance papers on account of 
their character as warships. The Santo Bomingoj^ on July 12, reached 
a small port situated between Bail^n and Punta Cartas on the southern 
coast of Cuba. 

The Spanish colony in Mexico sent the island a great deal of assist- 
ance, thus furnishing an example of generous patriotism. 

The steamer Humherto Rodriguez rendered excellent services by 
resupplying the Rolguin Qihara^ near Nuevitas, with great risk to her- 
self. The Alava made several trips between Oaibarieu and Nuevitas. 
From the latter port, many officers, and even women and children, 
escaped from the blockade and went to Oaibari^n in small boats, navi- 
gating between keys and at times pushed by hand. The German 
steamer Polaria entered Santiago with a cargo of rice. An English 
sloop coming from Jamaica, and the steamer Eeina de los Angeles (of 
the Men^ndez Company) also entered Santiago. 

Among the strange facts It may also be stated that during the block- 
ade several vessels went out with sugar, and Yankee speculators took 
advantage of this circumstance; but this was finally prohibited. 
Among the vessels which made trips from Sagua may be mentioned 
the steamers Bergen and Mirthelene. 

Another peculiar fact is that the Texas one night fired on the Marble- 
head and Vixen, mistaking them for some of our vessels; but they 
escaped without injuries. This circumstance shows that ships may 
move about at night with impuuit}' and that it is difficult to hit them. 

*The Santo Domingo failed to reach port as here mentioned, having grounded 
between Punta Cartas and Bail6n, and was oaptured and burned by the converted 
yacht Eagle.^O, N. I. 

6884 6 


Coast Defense. 

stationary defenses — mobile defenses — shore batteries — sea 
forts — floating batteries — torpedoes — torpedo boats — 
monitors— battle ships and cruisers. 

Any conntiy that has anything to lose must nowadays gaard well its 
coasts and boundaries by providing them with sach elements of defense 
as are sanctioned by modern progress. 

As far as our own coasts and boundaries are concerned, our admin- 
istrations have treated this essential point of military organization with 
even more neglect than is apparent at first sight. 

In view of the imperious necessity of preserving what we have left 
and maintaining it against an enemy, should the case arise, it is a ques- 
tion of the highest importance to prepare for the defense of our coasts 
and boundaries, and this includes the plans for the rapid and efficient 
fortification and armament of our principal ports. 

That it is in this direction that the beginning should be made, there 
can be no doubt. 

Coast defense comprises two different aspects: 

(1) Stationary defenses. 

(2) Mobile defenses. 

To the first class belong the fortifications that are tied to tne earth; 
that is to say, either located on the shore or connected with it, forts 
having their foundations on shoals or on the bottom of the sea and 
surrounded by water, floating batteries, and torpedoes. 

The second class comprises fleets and vessels of every description 
operated by sailors and adapted to carry their offensive action as far 
as may be necessary. 

The nature of shore batteries, therefore, is defensive and stationary; 
that of fleets is offensive and mobile. 

The first question to be considered is: Which of the two classes 
mentioned should be given preference! 

As a matter of fact, both are necessary. They should therefore be 
developed side by side, and that is what is being done by wealthy and 
powerful nations, which, while providing their coasts and ports with 
strong defenses, develop and strengthen their fleets at the same time. 

But our case is somewhat different. We are at present almost entirely 
without ships, and the ports along our coasts without defenses. There 
is danger impending. What line of conduct should we follow! 

In considering this question, we should observe absolute impartiality 
and avoid everything that is akin to prejudice. The general opinion 



coincides with the fact that for offensive warfare nothing can be attained 
with a few battle ships. Many are required ; they constitute the basis 
of a fleet, as the Spanish- American war has demonstrated. Bat they 
cost an immense amount of money and consume vast sums in their 
maintenance. Battle ships necessitate navy-yards and docks, which 
in their turn require the existence of naval industry and many other 
accessory and auxiliary branches of industry, which we lack. The 
attempts we made to improvise the same during the war proved disas- 
trous, and to this fact is attributed by many a considerable share of our 
disasters. Hence the beginning for the defense of our peninsula and 
adjacent islands can and should be made with stationary defenses — that 
is to say, those comprised in the first class, without, however, losing 
sight of the development of our offensive naval power; and we will add 
that it is not sufficient to possess a nucleus of active forces, but it is 
also necessary to have a well-organized reserve, and this increases the 
difficulty as well as the price. 

It is the question of money which at present preoccupies us and is of 
the utmost importance, rendering it necessary for us to begin with the 
most economical part, and provide, firbt of all, for the defense of our 
own mother country, which must always remain the base and refuge of 
the mobile defenses, if the happy time should ever arrive that we pos- 
sess such defenses. 

In connection with the Spanish- American war there has been a great 
deal of discussion as to these questions concerning the greater impor- 
tance of stationary defenses or mobile defenses, and their relation to 
each other, which might be called either strategic or tactical, according 
as reference is had to distant fighting and the places of refuge and 
bases of operations rendered necessary thereby, or to fighting close by, 
the actual defense of the coast or harbor which the enemy may elect as 
his objective, in which case the factors of mobile defense may be suc- 
cessfully combined with those furnished by the stationary defense. 

In our attempt to examine into the different theories in connection 
with this matter, we will refer to a naval authority of world-wldcj repu- 
tation, Captain Mahan, who, in recent articles entitled **The War on 
the Sea and its Lessons," touches on this question in a very able 

We take the liberty of availing ourselves of Captain Mahan's argu- 
ments, which have indisputable merit. 

Jt is proper here to say, for. the remark is hoth pertinent and most important, that 
coast defenses and naval force are not Interchangeable things; neither are they 
opponents, one of the other, but complementary: The one is stationary, tbe other 
mobile ; and, however perfect in itself either may be, the other is necessary to its 
completeness. In different nations the relative consequence of the two may vary. 
In Great Britain, whose people are fed from the outside world, the need for a fleet 
vastly exceeds that for coast defenses. 

With us, able to live off ourselves, there is more approach to parity. Men may 
even differ as to which is the more important; but such difference, in this qnestioif, 
which is purely military; is not according to knowledge. 


In equal amounts mobile offensive power is always and under all oonditions 
more effective to the ends of war than stationary defensive power. Why, then, pro- 
vide the latter f Because mobile force, whatever shape it take, ships or men, is 
limited narrowly as to the weight it can bear; whereas stationary force, generally, 
being tied to the earth, is restricted in the same direction only by the ability of the 
designer to cope with the conditions. Given a firm foundation, which practically 
can always be had, and there is no limit to the amount of armor — mere defensive 
outfit — be it wood, stone, brio]^s, or iron, that you can erect upon it; neither is there 
any limit to the weight of guns — the offensive element — that the earth can bear, 
only they will be motionless guns. 

Hie power of a steam navy to move is practically unfettered; its ability to carry 
weight, whether guns or armor, is comparatively very small. Fortifications, on the 
contrary, have almost unbounded power to bear weight, whereas their power to move 
is nil ; which again amounts to saying that^ being chained, they can put forth offen- 
sive power only at arm's length, as it were. 

Thus stated, it is seen that these two elements of sea warfare are in tho strictest 
sense complementary, one possessing what the other has not; and that the difference 
is fundamental, essential, unchangeable — not accidental or temporary. 

Given local conditions which are generally to be found, greater power, defensive 
and offensive, can be established in permanent worlds than can be brought to the 
spot by fleets. When, therefore, circumstances permit ships to be squarely pitted 
against fortifications — ^not merely to pass swiftly by theui— it is only because the 
builders of the shore works have not, for some reason, possibly quite adequate, given 
them the power to repel attack which they might have had. It will not be asserted 
that there are no exceptions to this, as to most general rules ; but as a broad state- 
ment it is almost universally true. 

''I took the liberty to observe,'' wrote Nelson at the siege of Calvi, when the 
commanding general suggest'Cd that some vessels might batter the forts, ''that the 
business of laying wood against stone walls was much altered of late.'' Precisely 
what was in his mind when he said ''of late" does not appear, but the phrase 
itself shows that the conditions which induced any momentary equality between 
ships and forts when brought within range were essentially transient. 

As seaports and all entrances from the sea are stationary, it follows naturally that 
the arrangements for their defense also should, as a rule, be permanent and station- 
ary, for as such they are strongest. Indeed, unless stationary, they are apt not to 
b^ permanent, as was conclusively shown in the late hostilities, where all the new 
monitors intended for coast defense were diverted from that object and dispatched 
to distant points, two going to Manila, and stripping the Pacific coast of protection 
so far as based upon them. 

This is one of the essential vices of a system of coast defense dependent upon 
ships, even when constructed for that purpose; they arc always liable to be with- 
drawn by an emergency, real or fancied. 

Upon the danger of such diversion to the local security Nelson insisted when 
charged with the guard of the Thames in 1801. The block ships (stationary bat- 
teries) he directed were on no account to be moved for any momentary advantage, 
for it might very well be impossible for them to regain their carefully chosen posi- 
tions when wanted there. 

Our naval scheme in past years has been seriously damaged, and now suffers from 
two misleading conceptions — one, that a navy is for defense primarily, and not for 
ofiensive war; the other, consequent mainly upon the first, that the monitor, being 
stronger defensively than offensively, and of inferior mobility, was the best type of 
war ship. 

The civil war being, so far as the sea' was concerned, 'essentially a coast war, 
naturally fostered this opinion. The monitor in smooth water is better able to 
stand up to shore guns than ships are which present a larger target; but, for all 


that, it is moie Tolnerable, both above water and below, than shore guns are if these 
are properly distributed. It is a hybrid, neither able to bear the weight that forti- 
fications do, nor having the mobility of ships ; and it ia, moreover, a poor gun plat- 
form in a sea way. 

There is no saying of Napoleon's known to the writer more pregnant of the whole 
art and practice of war than this: ''Exclosiveness of purpose is the secret of great 
successes and of great operations.'' If, therefore, in maritime war you wish perma- 
nent defenses for your coasts, rely exclusively upon stationary works if the con- 
ditions admit, not upon floating batteries, which have the weakness of ships. If 
you wish offensive war carried on vigorously upon the sea, rely exclusively upon 
ships that have the quality of ships and not of floating batteries. 

We had in the recent hostilities 26,000 tons of shipping sealed up in monitors, of 
comparatively recent construction, in the Atlantic and the Pacific. There was not 
an hour from first to last, I will venture to say, that we would not gladly have 
exchanged the whole six for two battle ships of less aggregate displacement, and 
that although from the weakness of the Spanish defenses we were able to hug pretty 
closely most parts of the Cuban coast. Had the Spanish guns at Santiago kept our 
fleet at a greater distance, we should have lamented still more bitterly the policy 
which gave us sluggish monitors for mobile battleships. 

The unsatisfactory condition of the coast defenses deprived the Navy of the sup- 
port of its complementary factor in the scheme of national sea power and imposed a 
vicious though inevitable change in the initial plan of campaign, which should have 
been directed in full force against the coast of Cuba. 

The four newer monitors on the Atlantic coast, if distributed among our principal 
ports, were not adequate singly to resist the attack which was suggested by the 
possibilities of the case, though remote, and still more by the panic among certain 
of our citizens. 

On the other hand, if the four were massed and centrally placed, which is the cor- 
rect disposition of any mobile force, military or naval, intended to counteract the 
attack of an enemy whose particular line of approach is as yet uncertain, their slug- 
gishness and defective nautical qualities would make them comparatively inefficient. 
New York, for instance, is a singularly central and suitable point, relatively to our 
northern Atlantic seaboard, in which to station a division intended to meet and thwart 
the plans of a squadron like Cervera's if directed against our coast ports, in accord- 
ance with the fertile imaginations of evil which were the fashion in that hour. Did 
the enemy appear oif either Boston, the Delaware, or the Chesapeake, he could not 
effect material injury before a division of ships of the Oregon class would be upon 
him; and within the limits named are found the major external commercial interests 
of the country, as well as the ocean approaches along which they travel. But had the 
monitors been substituted for battle ships, not to speak of their greater slowness, their 
inferiority as steady gun platforms would have placed them at a serious disadvantage 
if the enemy were met outside, as he perfectly well might be. 

It was probably such considerations as these that determined the* division of the 
battle fleet and the confiding to the section styled the Flying Squadron the defense 
of the Atlantic coast for the time being. The monitors were all sent to Key West, 
where they would be at hand to act against Habana, the narrowness of the field in 
which that city, Key West, and Matanzas are comprised making their slowness less 
of a drawback, while the moderate weather which might be expected to prevail 
would permit their shooting to be less inaccurate. The station of the Flying Squad- 
ron in Hampton Roads, though not so central as New York relatively to the more 
important commercial interests upon which, if upon any, the Spanish attack might 
fall, was more central as regards the whole coast, and, above all, was nearer than 
New York to Habana and Puerto Rico. The time element also entsred the calcula- 
tions in another way, for a fleet of heavy ships is more certainly able to put to sea 
at a moment's notice in all conditions of tide and weather from the Chesapeake than 
ftom New York Bay. In short, the position chosen may be taken to indioate that, 


in tlie opinion of the Navy Department and its advisers, Cervera was not likely to 
attempt a dabh at an Atlantic port, and that it was more Important to be able to 
reach the West Indies speedily than to protect New York or Boston — a conclusion 
which the writer entirely shared. 

The country, however, should not fail to note that the division of the armored 
fleet into two sections, nearly 1,000 miles apart, though probably the best that could 
be done under all the circumstances of the moment, was contrary to sound practice, 
and that the conditions which made it necessary should not have existed. 

Thus, deficient coast protection reacts unfavorably upon the war fleet, which in all 
its movements should lie free from any responsibility for the mere safety of the ports 
it quits. Under such conditions as then obtained it might have been possible for 
Spain to force our entire battle fleet from its offensive undertaking against Cuba and 
to relegate it to mere coast defense. Had Cervera's squadron, instead of being dis- 
patched alone to the Antilles, been recalled to Spain, as it should have been, and 
there reenforced by the two armored ships which afterwards went to Suez with 
Camara, the approach of this compact body would have compelled our fleet to con- 
centrate, for each of our divisions of three ships, prior to the arrival of the Oregon, 
would have been too weak to hazard an engagement with the enemy's six. When 
thus concentrated, where should it be placed f Off Habana or at Hampton Boadaf 
It could not be at both. The answer undoubtedly should be ''Off Habana," for 
there it would be guarding the most important part of the Spanish fleet and at the 
same time covering Key West, our naval base of operations. 

Mahan's reasoning is such as to be convinciug. We have filled sev- 
eral pages with his valuable opinions relative to coast defense, and do 
not regret it, for the question has come to be of the highest impor- 
tance, owing not a little to the admirable resistance which the deficient 
batteries at the mouth of Santiago Harbor opposed with great. per- 
sistency to a powerful squadron, compelling it to stop before a few old 

During the last few months attention has again been directed toward 
experiments as to the value of coast defenses, and the result is that the 
latter have been found efficient to such an extent against large squad- 
rons that new means of warfare have been taken under consideration, 
and that the greatest interest is being manifested in torpedo boats in 
connection with attacks on harbors, not as measures of main force, 
but as secret factors adapted to enter surreptitiously the anchoring 
place where a squadron is stationed and to attempt its destruction. 

Very near us, at Gibraltar, where very significant battle maneuvers 
are frequently held, of which we hardly take any notice until foreign 
reviews publish accounts of them, there took place recently thorough 
experiments in the nature of a simulated battle, in which the objective 
was a squadron attacked at night in the port pf refuge by torpedo boats, 
while shore batteries, with the assistance of their electric search lights, 
were in operation in order to defeat and repulse them. 

The case is an extremely interesting one. An account of it has been 

published by Maj. Gen. J. B. Richardson in the Proceedings of the 

Royal Artillery Institution, and also in the Journal of the United 

States Artillery for January and February last, under the title of 

^< Coast defense against torpedo-boat attack." 


This study shows that the subtle and daring torpedo boat is given 
a prominent place in the attack of ports, and consequently rapid-fire 
guns and the electric illumination of the region controlled by the 
batteries are also placed in the foremost rank as far as the question of 
defense is concerned. 

It is not only in that bold offensive whose object it is to save the 
squadrons and keep them from being compromised in engagements with 
the guns of shore works that the torpedo boat is sought to be utilized, 
but also for coast defense. 

In this connection we deem it expedient to refer to the measure 
recommended in a recent essay, the publication of which was com- 
menced in the Bevista General de Marina for the month of June last.^ 
This article says : 

Maritime defenses, stationary as well as mobile, recognize as their base and prin- 
cipal foundation the most powerful weapon hi theriK) known for fighting battleships, 
namely, the torpedo. The rapidity and efficacy of its effects, the security and sim- 
plicity of its operation, its immense moral force, and the constant improvement of 
the weapon itself and of the vessels destined to use it exclusively, increase its 
importance from day to day, and maritime defenses which dispense with them or do 
not give them the prominence they deserve are but incomplete. 

What monitors and coast-defense vessels are able to do is a matter of history, and 
while it can not be denied that they may be useful m certain cases — for in war 
nothing is useless that is capable of inflicting any injury, no matter how small, on 
the enemy — it is not to be supposed that nations will in fttture waste large sums of 
money in the construction of these factors of defense. We have never had any 
until recently, when we built a couple of them, the Numanoia and Vitoria, the crit- 
icism of which not even the least charitably disposed are willing to undertake, 
because even to attempt to criticise them is equivalent to showing that they possess 
no defensive power. If we were to employ them as coast guards in a war, with 
what are they ^oing to fight f With modem battle ships f With torpedo boats and 
cruisers of high speed f Either hypothesis is absurd. In any case that we may 
imagine the employment of these two coast-defense vessels of ours could onlv 
lead to jeopardizing in vain the lives of a thousand men and enveloping in a cloud 
of censure the reputations of the hapless commanders whose sad duty it would be 
to lead them to destruction. But aside from this palpable example, to think that 
the maritime defense of our coasts could be intrusted to ships of large tonnage is to 
think of suicide. Five battle squadrons, distributed between Barcelona, Cartagena, 
Algeciras, Cadiz, and Ferrol, would hardly be sufficient to prevent the most ordi- 
nary coups de main on the rest of the coast. The ships would nearly always arrive 
too late to hinder them; and even if they should succeed in coming within sight of 
the aggressors, if the latter have cruisers of great speed, the avengers would play 
but a sorry rAle. It may be objected that they would be able in their turn to attack 
the hostile coasts, but that would depend on the system of defense which the enemy 
would employ there ; and, moreover, to attack another country is not to defend our 
own, nor can there be much comfort in returning the injuries received when we 
might have obviated those inflicted upon us.' 

In the most favorable case — that is, if' the point attacked is one where we have a 
squadron stationed — if the attack is made by a battle fleet, it is not to be supposed 

1 La defensa de las costas, by Salvador Diaz Carbia, Lieutenant, Spanish Navy. . 

^The military and economic situation of our country will not permit us for many 
years to come to attack another country; we will be grateful if we succeed in 
defending our own. 


that the enemy, who has taken the offensive, wiU oommit the folly of presenting 
inferior forces jnst for the pleasure of having ns defeat them; they will, on the con- 
trary, make snre of their superiority so as to render vain any effort on our part. 
And if the attack is effected by fast vessels they will place oars in great danger, 
nnless we have a reserve on which to draw to replace those pat out of action, especi- 
ally in such harbors as Cadiz or Algeciras, which, being so open, are particularly 
adapted for night surprises. Aside from offensive operations, which do not come 
into consideration here, and confining ourselves to coast defense, it is onr opinion that 
hostile admirals would have to be very dull if our five hypothetical squadrons, in 
spite of their power, did not prove entirely inefficient, unless accompanied by other 
forces, which in that case would be the ones that would in themselves constitute 
the defense. 

Of course, these hypothetical squadrons are, and always will be, nothing but a 
myth in onr case, fheir cost would amount to over 1,000,000,000 pesetas, and their 
maintenance would require an appropriation of over 100,000,000 a year. Is such a 
plan feasible f Even if it were feasible we could not rely on its efficacy, because, as 
we stated at the beginning, the delense, in order to be complete, must be rational, 
and our hypothesis was nothing but an absurdity. 

If such sad results can be arrived at with such a large number of ships, what can 
we expect of the three, four, or five battleships which, iu the coarse of time and by 
dint of sacrifices, we may be able to acquire f The only thing we can reasonably 
expect is that, when we do get them, we will not be much better off than we were 
before the disaster; and truly, rather than that it would be better to desist from 
the undertaking, for we shall never find an enemy such as the Americans found in us. 

The solution is to abandon the course which, as we have already seen, is a poor 
one, and embrace another which, though less well known, may give us better results. 
Do not let us accumulate factors without plan or method, without rhyme or reason; 
but let us study them from a technical and economic standpoint, select those which, 
with the least expense, represent the greatest power and are of the most general 
application, and finally combine them intt'lligently in order to obtain from them the 
best possible results. These are the bases on which any plan of mobilized defenses 
mast be founded, and hence the type of vessel destined to form the main nucleus is 
the torpedo boat. From the destroyer, capable of crossing the ocean, down to the 
little 60-ton craft, it is adapted to repulse from our shores flotillas of the same type, 
^as well as powerful squadrons, or transports and convoys. It is true that torpedo 
boats require protection and ports of refuge, as they can not always operate in day- 
time; but large squadrons require such ports at night and are much more expen- 
sive, so that the disadvantage would be the same for both classes of ships. On the 
other hand, fast vessels can always elude an engagement, while battleships have no 
other recourse but to accept a battle when it is offered them. 

It mast be acknowledged, nevertheless, that in the Spanish- American 
war the torpedo boats do not appear to have realized in practice the 
expectations that were placed in them in theory. 

The superiority of stationary defenses and their relation to mobile 
defenses is defined in the following words of Maban : 

The fencer who wears also a breastplate may be looser in his guard. Seaports can 
not strike beyond the range of their gnns; but if the great commercial ports and 
naval stations can strike efiectively ko far, the fleet can launch into the deep 
rejoicing, knowing that its home interests, behind the buckler of the fixed defenses, 
are safe till it returns. 

This argument alone lends considerable force to oar defensive tenden- 
cies. If fortified harbors are indispensable iu connection with squadrons 
so as to enable the latter to operate and put to sea in ofiensive actions, 

' 89 

it is evident that, in the absence of them, and being necessarily con- 
fined to a circamspect defensive, we mnst content ourselves with defend- 
ing oar coasts if we wish to protect our commercial interests and the 
integrity of our territory. 

It is probably this last consideration that is most imx)ortant as far as 
Spain is concerned. It is obvious that, in view of the shock which our 
country has sustained, we can not, for years to come, think of battles 
and adventures. But the whirlwind of a European war, which is 
always threatening, might very easily involve us in such a manner as 
to render it difficult for us to maintain absolute neutrality, and in that 
case we should deeply regret our inability to prevent our becoming the 
toy of anyone whom it might please to make one of our ports on the 
Cantabrian or Mediterranean coast his base of operations or his naval 
station. And perhaps that would not be the worst. It might also 
happen to us to become involved in the theory of compensations, under 
the rules of which the stronger takes from the weaker whatever he 
pleases, and countries are dismembered and distributed at the will of 
the more i)owerful party, unless the former have some power by which 
tocommand respect and attract the sympathy of some other strong party. ' 

An example of what fortified harbors in themselves are worth is fur- 
nished by Habana — many times referred to in these pages — which kept 
our defeat from being even worse than it was, and that although this 
harbor was in very poor condition to constitute what is termed a mod- 
em fortified city and still less a military port. If this place had been 
supported by a few battleships — the Oquetido and Vizcaya —theTe is 
no doubt but that it would have formed for the enemy a serious obsta- 
cle, capable of altering materially Sampson's and Schley's maneuvers, 
and compelled the United States to immobilize the greatier part of its 
fleet for the defense of its extensive coasts and wealthy cities, which 
would have changed the terms of the problem. And it was not only 
the coasts that preoccupied the United States, but also its commerce, 
especially the coasting trade, which represents very imx)ortaut, and, at 
the same time, vulnerable interests. 

But applying this argument to our present sorry condition, we repeat 
that there is no use in trying to do the impossible. Admitting the 
urgent necessity of defense, we shall have to reduce our aspirations 
considerably, because the financial situation of our country makes it 
impossible to do all that is to be desired. 

Hence we must not count on powerful squadrons for a long time to 
come. But it will be x)ossible, within the limit of our resources, to con- 
stitute a modest, regular force, which will have to be supplemented by 
the essential base, the armament and fortification of our coasts. 


What a Militaby Port Should Be. 

choice of location — commercial cities — militaby ports — 
aeoaraphical situation — santiago de cuba. 

For the defense of a coantry such places should be chosen as are best 
snited for the purpose, subject to the conditions imposed by the con- 
figuration of the coasts and boundaries. These places, as a rule, are 
easily apparent to the eye of the technical expert and even of the 

The exigencies of the defense, however, are subject to other conditions 
besides those represented by the nature of the soil. 

On the one hand — confining ourselves to the question of coasts — we 
must take into consideration the commercial and social development of 
certain ports, which are frequently bound to become strategic points 
and to constitute strongholds, even though not well adapted for defense. 

The difficulties are greater now than they used to be, owing to the 
increased distances at which defenses are able to strike, thanks to the 
greater i)ower and range of guns. 

Hand in hand with the military development of certain places on the 
coast, there have sprung up in the course of years, under the protec- 
tion of guns, commercial colonies which have finally come to constitute 
large cities and wealthy commercial centers. But the day has arrived 
when the progress in the means of attack has rendered the old protec- 
tion useless, because projectiles can strike so much farther. And thus 
we have come to x)ossess commercial cities, located right on the coast, 
which have all the requirements for traffic, but are little suited for 

Still, the defense of such places can not be dispensed with, and there 
arises the material difficulty of carrying it into effect, especially if 
I>erfection is aimed at, which in this case would mean to secure the 
city against bombardment. 

This ideal can not at present be attained for cities located immedi- 
ately on the coast, or very near it, and devoid of natural protection 
from the fire of ships and without advanced positions of sufficient 
height and extent to install thereon power^l batteries, almost invul- 
nerable to fire from the sea and which would constitute a grave danger 
for warships at a great distance. And even then it would not be at all 
certain that bombardmentd could be obviated, because gunfire at ranges 
beyond 6,000 or 8,000 meters, when aimed at ships, is very inaccurate. 

But since cities so situated can not possibly be left unprotected, 

expensive means will have to be resorted to in order to advance the 


first line of battle and protect the destractible property by removing 
the line of bombardment to a greater distance, for to obviate it entirely 
seems almost impossible. 

Nowadays a bombardment is considered an incident of the attack, 
and not sufficient value is attached to it to surrender a place as a result 
thereof. We are returning to the times of a certain admiral who com- 
pared the efiects of a bombardment to the results that would be attained 
by attempting to break windows with guineas. But what we want is 
to avoid having our windows broken, for we might come across some- 
one who had an abundance of guineas and would not mind spending 
them in this kind of diversion. 

If a commercial city does not possess natural advantages for defense 
it will be difficult to guard against bombardments, although the latter 
may be considered a danger little to be feared, because, when carried 
on from a great distance, its effects must necessarily be slight. 

This is the case with some of the cities on our coasts, and any nation 
with an extensive seaboard has cities in similar conditions. 

Habana is one of the cities which do not possess natural advantages 
for defense against bombardments. New York is not much better off, 
but the Americans are trying to remedy this defect by creating defenses 
by artificial means. Among the late plans for converting this immense 
metropolis into an impregnable city is the construction of sea forts on 
the Eomer Shoals, 19 miles from the city, off Sandy Hook, where large 
armored cupolas are to be erected almost even with the surface of the 
water, to be armed with guns of powerful calibei*, well adapted to keep 
any hostile ship beyond the distance from where bombardments would 
be effective. 

It was the well-known Brialmont who suggested the use of sea forts 
and floating batteries out to sea, in which the share of the Navy would 
be secondary to the armament, veritable platforms capable of support- 
ing the most i)owerfal guns. 

A few years ago a distinguished engineer of our Army ^ suggested a 
similar system of floating batteries for the advanced line of the harbor 
and city of Barcelona, which, as is well known, does not possess natural 
advantages for defense. 

In our opinion this method has a disadvantage, as coast defense is 
characterized by the stationary nature of the works, and although the 
engines of floating batteries — formerly bomb ketches — permit only of 
slow movement, yet, having to deal with fickle temperaments like ours^ 
the probability is that they would change their stations many times, 
and it might happen that just when we wanted them they would be far 
from the spot where they were most needed and to which they Vere 
assigned. Captain Mahau objects to monitors on similar grounds. It 
would therefore be preferable to have stationary coast defenses, and, if 

' Las baterf as en la defensa de Barcelona, by Mariano Rnbio y BeUv^, Lientenant- 
Colouel of Engineers, published in the Memorial de Ingenieroei 1897| p. 365. 


necessary to have them out to »ea, sea forts are to be preferred whenever 
practicable. They cost more, it is true, but on the other hand they do 
not require the exx>en8e of maintenance, which is indispensable for 
floatiug batteries; they also last longer and are not put out of action 
as easily, nor are they subject to being blown up by torpedo boats. 

The share of the Navy in coast protection is the mobile defense, 
which must be able to attack and operate at a great distance and seek 
the hostile armorclad in its cruise, many miles from the shore, a;nd for 
these purposes, as shown in the preceding chapter, the torpedo boat is 
best adapted. 

We have spoken of places which do not ]>ossess natural advantages 
for defense, and it is obvious that such places can not be considered 
military ports in the full sense of the word. 

A natural military port — and if not natural, its construction is 
extremely difficult and expensive in time and money — requires ample 
space for the shelter and protection of squadrons, also docks, depots, 
and navy>yards; and the anchoring places, workshops, storehouses, 
etc., must be protected from all attacks, including bombardments; for 
only thus can they be places of safety adapted to serve as bases of 
fleets. Hence, military ports are not identical with commercial cities, 
though frequently classed together. A military port must open into 
the sea by a long channel^ preferably tortuous and not very wide, so 
that, while permitting the country's own ships to pass through, it will 
not be easy of access for the enemy. At the head of this channel must 
stretch out a deep bay, on which the stationary resources and the city 
itself are located. The entrance to the channel should afford good 
positions of sufficient height and extent to install artillery thereon and 
erect works of defense.' 

The natural advantages which, as stated, Habana lacked, Santiago 
de Cuba, on the other hand, possessed to a high degree, and to this cir- 
cumstance is partially due the admirable resistance which, with a few 
old guns, was so long opposed to the whole United States squadron, 
armed with a large number of powerful modern guns. This resistance 
filled with admiration the United States gunners and engineers, when, 
upon taking charge of the materiel at the Morro, they convinced them- 
selves that there were no other guns than those they saw. 

The principal defenses at the entrance to Santiago Harbor were as 


About 200 meters east of the old castle is the light-house, and about 
100 meters east of the latter a new battery, about 03 meters above the 

' It Beems almost superfluous to state that, iu connection with the proper con- 
figuration, the geographical situation must also be taken into eonsideration, as it 
greatly affects the interests sought to be protected. 

^Strefi3eur*s ()sterreiohische Militiirisehe Zeitschrift says that some of the guns at 
Santiago dated from the years 1688, 1718, and 1769, and had been used in fighting 
the buccaneers. 


z >o 


level of the sea, had been erected. The parapet consisted of wooden 
boxes filled with cement, on top of which barrels, likewise filled with 
cement, had been placed. The distance between the guns was 6 meters, 
and the spaces between them had been partially filled with cement and 
sand. Ten meters back of the battery was a trench 1.50 meters deep 
and 60 centimeters wide, parallel with the front of the battery. From 
this trench small trenches in zigzag line led to the guns. This battery 
was armed on May 28 with five 16-centimeter guns (old 15-centi- 
meter smooth-bore which had been converted into 16-centimeter 
rifled guns), and on June 25 it was reinforced by two 21-centimeter 


About400 meters from the Morro, on the opposite side of the entrance, 
was a battery of three 21-centimeter muzzle-loading howitzers and 
two 16-centimeter Hontoria guns, with 3-centimeter shields; these 
latter guns could be fired every two or three minutes. The battery was 
situated on the crest of the hill called Socapa. The guns were sepa- 
rated from the howitzers by a wide traverse. About 20 meters back of 
the guns was the ammunition magazine, a tin-covered building. East 
of this battery was another, intended for the defense of the submarine 
mines; it comprised one 57-millimeter gun, four 37-millimeter Hotch- 
kiss guns, and one 11-millimeter machine gun. 


This battery was 2,000 meters back of the entrance and comprised 
two 9-centimeter Krupp guns, two 15-centimeter Mata howitzers, 
and two 16-centimeter Hontoria guns. This as well as the Socapa 
batteries were of similar construction to that of Morro Castle. 


She was practically useless owing to the unserviceable condition of 
her boilers, and it was from this vessel that the 16 centimeter Hon- 
toria guns were taken for the Punta Gorda and Socapa batteries. The 
small guns were left on board. 

For a distance of 2,000 yards, which Sampson gives in his report for 
the bombardment of June 6, the protection of the parapet of the Morro 
battery was very efiective, as shown in the figure. If the angle of sit- 
uation c is taken into account it will be seen that the height of the crest 
is nearly equal to the maximum ordinate B D of the trajectory A B, 

^ The data are taken from a notable work on the defense of the month of San- 
tiago, by Mr. Benoit, captain of the French artillery, published in the lievue 
d'Artillerie for April, 1899. There was also published in the Rivista di Artiglieria 
e Genio for the same month an interesting article on the same subject, condensing 
the data pnblished by Mr. Lorente y Herrero, captain of engineers, in the Memorial 
de Ingenieros for December, 1898 ; also many articles by foreign writers in ^ Tnited 
States and English periodicals. 


corresponding to the firing data for United States 8-incli and 12-inoli 
guns. Thus in this particular case the distance A D (2,000 yards) cor- 
responded exactly to the fire through the apex of the tri^ectory, and 
the angle of incidence being zero only accidental hits that would 
knock off the crest of the parapet could be counted upon to strike the 
personnel or materiel. 

At shorter distances — that is to say, when the crest is situated 
between the maximum ordinate of the tri^ectory Ai B and the ship A\ — 
the angle of incidence becomes negative and the fire of the ship's guns 
becomes less and less effective. At great distances the fire acquires 
greater effectiveness, because the angle of descent will be more favor- 
able, but the fire will lose in precision. 

The height of 63 meters at which the battery was situated increased 
the protection of the parapet and explains to a certain extent the 
slight effects obtained by the United States guns. 

Oaptain Benoit, of the French artillery, says: 

In the location of their improvised batteries the Spanish were happily inspired, 
obviating traverses and earthworks, which, by forming parapets, increase to a con- 
siderable extent the effect of projectiles npon the personnel of the battery. But 
they do not appear to have taken any thought of trying to conceal these batteries, 
of too prononnced geometrical forms, and to attract the hostile fire toward fictitious 
batteries, losing sight of the fact that the principal defense of coast batteries when 
face to face with the gans of always visible ships is their invisibility. 

Streffleur's Zeitschrift draws the conclusion that experience has 
shown once more that '^ coast batteries do not have much to fear from 
war ships." 

The United States Army officers who were charged with taking an 
inventory of the defenses of the Morro said : 

It is unpardonable that the fleet has not destroyed the city and its defenses in all 
these days. 

Among the many articles devoted to these questions in the proceed- 
ings of the Royal Artillery Institution is one which was published in 
July, 1893, by Maj. R. P. Johnson, who quotes Admiral Selwyn's words: 

I hope that naval officers will consider that a fort is a thing to be avoided. 


In the !Naval Annual for 1898 Mr. J. R. Thursfield concludes an 
article on Naval Maneuvers as follows. 

Un canon h terre vaat nn yaissean k la mer, and when it comes to defending a nar- 
row and tortnons estaary, a few gnns not of extreme calibre, but well placed and 
well handled, are worth a whole armada of ships. Nevertheless, it remains as true 
now as it was in the days of the Armada, that the surest way of preventing attacks 
on the shore is to impeach the enemy's fleets at sea." 

We will add the opinions of some military authorities concerning the 
attack of coast batteries by ships. 
In a work published in 1896 Admiral Founiier says: 

In a battle between ships and cemented coast works, armed with powerful modem 
artillery, the risks incurred by the two parties can not be weighed in the same bal- 
ance. Such an operation is conceivable when commanded by necessity in order to 
support from the sea, by means of a bombardment at a great distance, the principal 
attack on land by a corps of troops having in view the capture and military occupa- 
tion of the obstacle. But when effected by ships alone, it can only lead to a retreat 
of the assailant. And indeed, whatever comparative success such bombardment 
may have had, the ships will be compelled to withdraw when, without having 
gained any material advantage, they find themselves weakened by the losses and 
injuries due to the enemy's fire and by the exhaustion of the greater part of their 
ammunition, which exposes them to the danger of falling into the hands of a hostile 
naval force coming to the assistance of the defense, or of being at the mercy of a 
storm, which might surprise them on their return and fill them with water through 
the openings caused by the enemy's shells and perhaps cause them to sink. 

• « « « « 4* • 

In short, the main object of our naval forces should be, above all else, to fight the 
enemy afloat, anywhere and under all favorable circumstances, wherever he can be 
found, BO as to maintain the empire of the sea after reducing him to impotence. 
But as long as this result has not been attained it will be imprudent to expose our 
ships to coast works in unproductive struggles, which, as a rule, are much more 
debilitating and demoralizing to the assailants on the sea than to the defense ashore. 

The Memorial de I'Artillerie de la Marine for 1894 ^ arrives at the 
following conclusions: 

The great power of guns, the precision of their fire, the nse of telemetric devices, 
the course and speed of the target, the employment of powerful explosives in shells, 
the substitution of smokeless powder for black powder for gun charges, the improve- 
ments in the organization of works of defense, torpedo boats, stationary torpedoes, 
and electric lights have considerably increased the defensive value of shore batter- 
ies. The ship, on the other hand, which represents the offensive power, while 
carrying nowadays more powerful guns, armor of greater resistance, etc., has 
nevertheless, in spite of the greatly increased cost price, remained so frail that it 
can be put out of action by a single shell. This increased cost price constitutes 
another cause of inferiority, as it excludes the ship from any offensive, the result of 
which is not commensurate to the risks incurred. 

As concerns the naval operations considered in this article, not only has the defen- 
sive power grown more than the offensive power, but these operations themselves 
have lost their value almost entirely. 

We often hear of ravages wrought on a coast by the guns of fleets, but these are 
generally illusions which do not deserve much consideration. All that could be 

> Des operations maritimes centre les c6tes et des d^barqnements, by M. D. B. G. 


attained wonld be to cause the popalation along the coast some annoyance, and it is 
for something more than that that Enropean nations fight nowadays. 

We are among those who believe that the establishment of too nnmerons batteries 
on the coast constitutes a useless expense. They should be established with great 
discretion. * • • Batteries are intended to prevent a sudden descent upon 
important cities, or to protect a navy-yard, the preservation of which is necessary 
for the national defense. 

That favorably sitaated and well-eqaipx>ed batteries can attain this 
object is shown by the gallant resistance and accurate work of the 
batteries at Santiago. There is no donbt that the latter were favor- 
ably situated, but their armament was inadequate and deficient, being 
confined to the few available guns mentioned, and as for protection, it 
was limited, as stated, to parapets of sand and earth, merlons of bar- 
rels filled with cement, and sandbags.^ 

The efifects of the fire from the United States vessels were very 
slight, in spite of their powerful guns. 

Morro Castle was riddled with shot holes, as also the houses to the 
right of it which were outlined against the sky. The lighthouse, built 
of 25-millimeter metal plate, was pierced by many small-caliber pro- 
jectiles and by two 15-centimeter shells. Another 20-centimeter shell, 
which had been fired without base fuse, was found back of the battery. 
No damage had been done to the works, except that a few sandbags 
had been shot through and the sand had run out. 

At the Socapa a 33cQntimeter shell exploded on June 16, covering 
one of the Hontoria guns with earth ; but by next morning it was again 
ready to fire. A 15-centimeter shell pierced the shield of a Hontoria 
gun aud injured the carriage, but without dismounting the gun or put- 
ting it out of action. On July 2 a shell disabled the carriage of a 
Hontoria gun. 

Many small projectiles struck the works and guns without doing 
much damage. 

The metal-roofed building, whi^h was used as an ammunition maga- 
zine at the Socapa, was not touched. 

A IGcentimeter Hontoria shell of the Socapa battery struck the 
Texas near the bow, entering and exploding in the berth deck, killing 
one sailor and wounding six others. 

A 21-centimeter shell from the Morro hit the Iowa * and exploded in 
the oflftcers' cabin without wounding any one. 

> For these works of fortification special credit is dne to Col. Florencio Canla in 
command of the engineers' corps at Santiago, and for the armament of the same to 
Col. Salvador Diaz Ord^uez, in command of the artillery. They and the personnel 
of officers under their orders deserve the highest praise. Their names will be men- 
tioned in due time. 

"^Indiana. — O. N. I. 


Among the personnel of our batteries there were many casualties, as 
shown in the following statement : 




Other works. 


June 6 
Jnne 16 
June 21 
Jane 26 
Joly 2 
June 6 
June 14 
June 16 
Jane 22 
Jnly 2 















« ■ • a ■ • 






















We wish to mention here the names of some officers who were 
wounded and who distinguished themselves by their bravery in the 
defense of tbe entrance to Santiago Harbor: ^ 

Golonel of Artillery Salvador Diaz Ord6iiez, commander of the artil- 
lery of Santiago. 

Commander of Infantry Antonio Bos, governor of Morro Oastle. 

Captain of Artillery Jos6 Sanchez Seijas, commander of the battery 
on the esplanade of the Morro. 

Ensign Venancio Kardiz, commander of the Socapa Battery. 

Ensign Bicardo Bruquetas (wounded twice), commander of the Socapa 


Ensign Fern&ndez Pina, commander of the Socapa Battery. 
First Lieutenant of Artillery Pedro Irizar, of the Morro Battery. 
Second Lieutenant of Artillery Juan Artal !Navarro, of the Morro 

^ We haye already spoken of Commander Aoosta, who was killed, and Ensign 
MolinS; wounded, on board the BHna Mercedes, 

6884 7 





Following oar usual method of placing by the side of the facts the 
lessons arising therefrom, we will set forth those which may be logically 
derived from the pages of this book. 

In years to come, when the history of this war is written on the basis 
of absolutely impartial information, a different method may perhaps be 
pursued, giving all the facts first, and at the end deducing the results. 
But at present we must alternate the facts with the results, because all 
nations are waiting to profit by what Spain has experienced, and we 
must offer them data from which they can judge with impartiality. 

It is surprising how much hns been written iu foreign countries on 
the Spanish-American wnr during these few months. We have before 
us dozens of American, English, French, Italian, and German books, 
reviews, and periodicals, in which writers relate to their hearts' con- 
tent the phases of our defeat. And in the face of this wonderful 
activity, which often interprets erroneously the causes of the appalling 
decline of Spain, we, on the other hand, preserve death-like silence. 

This is not as it should be. In the United States, for instance, there 
is not a single officer of high rank who took an active part in the war 
but has furnished, in books or reviews, an exposition of the facts, sub- 
stantiated by documents, and the Government, in its turn, has followed 
the same plan and has published reports of the Army and Navy. 
Among us, as stated, death-like silence reigns, and thus it is that for- 
eign critics lack all knowledge of our claims to vindication, which, 
though slight, may nevertheless throw light on many things; for, by the 
side of much that is bad, and for which we are being justly censured, 
there is also some good which is being ignored, while it should be 
truthfully and conscientiously set forth, so that we may not be judged 
without being heard and considered more inefficient and incapable 
than we really are. 

In the first place, it should be stated that the cause of our disasters 
lies much deeper and dates much further back than is generally 

We do not mean to exonerate this or that branch of the Spanish Gov- 
ernment, nor do we wish to confine the blame to any particular one. 
The evil is so great that there is enough responsibility for all. But it 


is anjast, criminal even, to want to throw the whole burden of responsi- 
bility for the catastrophes upon the military institntions, and still that 
seems to be the tendency. 

(1) Because the Guban war, the source of or pretext for our ruin, 
was due to causes of' a iK>litical order, and even the measures for sup- 
pressing it and the election of those who were to bring this about were 
in obedience to considerations of the highest political order. 

(2) Because our principal enemy, the United States, without whose 
assistance the Guban insurrection would not have existed and could 
not have been continued, was aided by our erroneous policy, which in 
these colonial questions went from one mistake to another, without 
heeding any warning or advice. 

(3) If there were deficiencies in the organization of our armed forces 
and in the direction and general strategic conception of the war, the 
cause must be sought, not in the army alone, but higher, in the disor- 
ganized condition of the highest branches of the Government, in the 
power whose duty it is to regulate and correct, without hesitation, 
whatever may be detrimental, and to keep a close watch always, so 
that everyone may be made to do his duty and strive for perfection. 

(4) We went to war without any support or sympathy, led on by an 
erroneous conception of our strength, which may have been excusable 
in the common people, but it was inexcusable that it was fostered by 
fanatic speeches and by people whose duty it was to know the condition 
of our naval and military resources.' 

The London Times, in answer to Gaptain Mahan, says: 

The direction of warlike operations shoald. never be* influenced by the clamor of 
public opinion, and no government worthy of that name will sink millions in 
defenses merely for the purpose of calming the fears of people whom Lord St. Vin- 
cent appropriately designated as '' old women of both sexes.'' 

It is infinitely simpler and cheaper to educate public opinion by imbuing it with 
sound principles than to accede to mad demands, and one of the most important 
lessons of the recent war is that very modest coast defenses are sufficient for all 
actual needs, provided they are well armed and under efficient command. Even 
the miserable works hurriedly improvised at Santiago may be said to have fulfilled 
their object, since they compelled the Americans to resort to military operations on 

As to the naval aspect of the question, the publication of Gervera's 
letters has confirmed abroad the opinion of experts. The most emi- 
nent critics who comment on our defeat, without losing sight of the 
naval responsibilities as to whether it was expedient or not for the 
squadron to enter Santiago Harbor; whether or not it could have 
reached another port before it was blockaded here, and whether tbat 
would have been preferable; whether the sortie should have been 
ordered; whether, when ordered, it was better to go out at night or in 
daytime; whether it was better for the ships upon coming out to follow 

* It is interesting to examine England's decree of neutrality, which we expect to 
analyze in the coarse of this work. 


divergent courses, or to hag the shore as they did — without losing sight 
of all this, we say, tbe naval experts of the world agree: 

(1) That the destruction of the squadron was decreed from the very 
moment that it received orders to leave Gape Verde, for our naval defi- 
ciency was unquestionable. 

(2) That from that very moment the problem ceased to be naval and 
became a political problem, for to political motives only can we attrib- 
ute the fact that a squadron which amounted to so little was made to 
go out and fight with one so powerful. 

This statement is corroborated by the following words: 

The United States Nayy has demonstrated its ability to carry oat macli greater 
enterprises than the one intrusted to it last year, and still it can not be said that 
the fleet as a whole was managed with great skill, by which circumstance the Navy 
haa contracted a great debt of gratitude with the Spanish Government. — Tbe 

(3) That the main responsibility should not be sought in the disaster 
itself, but in events prior to the disaster, in order to ascertain the rea- 
sons why we had no fleet, and why the materiel that we did possess 
was in such poor condition, in spite of the enormous sums which the 
nation had expended upon it. 

(4) That even within tbe limits of our deficiencies and errors, having 
once launched on a mad war, we should have gone into it with mad- 
ness, without considering means of attack, without considerations of 
any kind, making war upon commerce to the greatest iM>ssible extent.^ 

From what we now know, it is clear that in the United States also 
great indecision prevailed and grave errors were committed, and if our 
ships had been distributed with more wisdom, allowing the Oquendo 
and Vizcaya to remain at Habana, and if our troops had been handled 
more skillfully, such indecision and errors would have become more 
apparent, with not a little prejudice to the enemy. 

As to the military aspect, properly speaking, on bind as well as on 
the sea, there may be found in this book accounts of a numbei* of minor 
battles in which the enemy always retreated, perhaps in accordance 
with some system, or because it was found expedient; nevertheless 
these battles show — 

(1) A desire on our part to fight, without measuring the forces, and 
thus we see at times troops of infantry fighting from the shore with 
only the fire of their rifles, and without any protection, against armored 
vessels equipped with powerful rapid fire armament (Cienfuegos, Guan- 
tdnamo, etc.), or small gunboats fighting hostile ships of great power 

I It has been poHitivel}' stated that after the declaration of war a ship left Gibral- 
tar with a cargo of saltpeter without being molested, which is a proof of the lenity 
and fear with which we proceeded. It has also been widely reported that after the 
Maine catastrophe the City of Paris took to the United States from England a large 
quantity of waV material; also men particularly skilled in the handling of modem 
guns. It 18 only too well known what difficulties our squadron encountered in the 
Suez Canaly aud at whose hands. 


(Cardenas and Oienfaegos) ; or, again, mountain and field batteries and 
old bronze gans cast a century ago, seeking to engage with modern 
ships (Santiago, Tunas, Manzanillo, and Matanzas). 

(2) That neither great strategy nor even great tactics have been dis- 
played in this campaign, which circumstance may also be partly 
attributed to the chaos reigning in the centers of the administration, 
for the heads of States have a considerable share in the conception of 
plans of campaigns. But when it was a question of testing x>ersonal 
valor, we find instances of desperate disregard of life — as, for example, 
in the battles of El Ganey and San Juan Hill — which will find a place in 
history among the bloody battles of the world.' 

(3) That the blockade as a means of warfare was effective, owing to 
the weakness of our forces, and that blockades assume a very cruel 
character when applied to isolated cities which do not possess within 
themselves means of subsistence. On the other hand, no value is 
attached to bombardments.' 

In conclusion, we will set forth certain doctrinal results relative to 
the question of coast defense. 

From our form^book (Ships, Guns, and Small Arms) we deduced cer- 
tain principles relative to the materiel — the guns with which the bat- 
teries are armed-^and from this book may be gathered principles rela- 
tive to the works — the fortifications in which the guns are mounted — 
as to the greater or less vulnerability from the fire of ships, accord- 
ing to the height above the level of the sea at which coast batteries are 

This question is so essential that the old aphorism that '* a gun ashore 
is worth a ship on the sea" has again come into vogue, but if this saying 
is to prove true the gun must be located in the most favorable conditions. 

The great height of coast defenses has the disadvantage of being 
detrimental to the perforating effects of the fire against the vertical 
armored sides of ships, but it facilitates the perforation of horizontal 
armored decks by the use of howitzers or rifled mortars. Great 
height naturally results in the increase of the dead angle; but in 
most cases the danger of ships repairing to this angle can probably 
be obviated, as coasts are not often entirely rectilinear, and hence 
some of the batteries can flank the dead angles of others. 

Through the resistance of the batteries at the mouth of Santiago 
Harbor the value of coast defenses against squadrons has been con- 

^ This book is not intended to treat of the battles fought on land during the 
Spanish- American war. We expect t'O devote a whole volnine of our work to this 
phase; at which time we shall further develop this conception. 

^In the Kevue Maritime for April, 1899, it is stated that when the contact mines 
at Santiago were raised one was found in which the fuse had operated, probably 
upon contact with the MerrimaCf but only one-half of the charge of gun cotton had 
become ignited as the result of the damaged condition of the latter. At Quanta 
namo the stationary mines showed signs of having been toaohed, but did not oper- 
ate, owing probably to defective fuses. This information comes from the United 
States, and should therefore " be put in quarantine.'' 


firmed to sacb an extent that it does not appear amiss to lay down a 
few principles on the situation of coast works. 

(1) Coast batteries, being designed to light the different classes of 
war ships which may attack maritime cities, it is indispensable that 
their power, precision, and effect npon hostile ships be in harmony 
with the offensive and defensive conditions of such ships. To this end 
it becomes necessary to employ, in the first place, gans of extraordi- 
nary power and sufficient caliber to perforate the armor of ships 
and turrets; in the second place, guns adapted to assist the former, 
but which, besides producing perforating effects, are also capable of 
destroying the less strong parts of ships and disabling the rigging; 
and finally, guns which by means of so-called curved tire are adapted 
to batter the decks of hostile ships. 

(2) It will at once be understood that the guns designed to batter 
the armor of ships must be of great power and have projectiles of ade- 
quate shape to preserve the greatest possible amount of initial energy, 
which requires the greatest possible thickness of wall in the projectile 
compatible with its diameter. 

(3) The fire must have the requisite precision, the «one of fire rela- 
tive to the vertical height of the vessel must be extensive, and at the 
same time the impact of the projectile must be approximately in the 
normal direction. In order to attain these requirements, the height of 
the battery above the level of the sea must be limited. But as the 
men who serve the guns (usually installed in barbette batteries) must 
be protected as far as possible, they should be placed in shelter from 
the fire of the rapid-fire guns of ships. These requirements must 
necessarily be harmonized, which can be done to a certain extent by 
giving the batteries heights of from 25 to 30 meters, although no 
general rules can be laid down on this question, because another 
requirement is that the batteries should be merged as far as possible 
with the topographic lines of the coast and give the enemy as few 
points of reference as possible. ' 

(4) As to the second class of guns referred to, there is no objection to 
increasing the height when deemed necessary, since the object will fre- 
quently be to play upon ships at greater distances, and therefore the 
height may be increased to 60 or 80 meters. 

(5) Finajly, as concerns the howitzer batteries which are designed to 
batter the decks of ships, it is important to obtain an inclination of fall 

* Major-General RiohardsoD, speaking of the recent experiments ftt Gibraltar, 
above referred to, says: " To convince anyone of the necessity for control it is usu- 
ally sufficient to open fire from a number of absolutely independent batteries of 
Q. F. gnns at a fairly fast target in broad daylight. No battery, except such as 
are very high-sited, say 600 feet, can distinguish its own shots, and the means of 
ranging and hitting is removed. Very low-sited Q. F.'s often never get on the 
target at all. If -there is this confusion when working with the easiest possible of 
lights, what reasonable certainty of striking torpedo boats can be looked for when 
the difficulties of seeing are enormously increased t " 


approximating as mnch as possible the vertical direction, and at the 
same time the piercing power, and hence the energy of tht^ projectile 
should be as great as possible. These requirements make it advisable 
to pla<5e these batteries at a greater height (Italians consider that the 
height should exceed 100 meters). In this manner not only the objects 
referred to may be attained, but at the same time the ships will be com- 
pelled to take positious at a greater distance, so that the trajectory in 
passing over the parapet will be on the descent, and hence at this 
increased distance the precision of the fire will be less and the energy 
of the projectiles will be decreased. 

But all plans must be subordinated to topographic conditions, and 
therefore when no elevated positions are available (which, as a general 
thing, would require etfective guns of small caliber on the ilank to play 
on the dead angles), these howitzer batteries may be installed' at less 
elevated points, and, if necessary, higher parapets may be used for the 
proper protection of the batteries, and the system of indirect firing may 

be resorted to. 

• • • . * * * • 

The least that can be exp<'cted of us is to see that the defeat we have 
suffered may serve us as a warning, in order that it may not lead to the 
totiil obliteration of our nation. If we have been ruined because we 
were weak, let us make up our minds to be weak no longer; let us 
become strong in our 'own country, for there is still reason to believe 
that a day will come when we shall have something afloat capable of 
withstanding misfortunes, something of what some people call '^the 
manifest destiny." - 

The expenses necessary for that purpose are within the limits of the 
attainable; but do not let us leave it for others to do; for if some 
ambitious foe should further reduce our territory, he would defend his 
new acquisition at the cost of the conquered or usurped country. In 
other words, if we do not reestablish our military power and defend our 
coasts and boundaries, the probability is that others will defend them 
at owr expense. 






By Sbvkbo 66mez NtJiJBZ, Captain of Artillery: 



bapid-fibe — ^bbduction op caliber — ^labge calibeb — ^tbaining 
devices — supply of ammunition — abmob plate — protection 
op secondary batteries — strengthening op decks — suppres- 
sion or great restriction in the use of wood on boabd — 


We have now reached the most difflcalt part. To draw conclasions 
when there is so little apon which to base them is a task fraught with 
difficulties. The fear of making mistakes, however, should not deter 
us in matters of such vital importance, in which the opinions of some, 
modified and strengthened by those of others, finally form a consecutive 
chain of ideas constantly perfected by the critical study of new cases 
arising in practical experience. 

The first natural result of the defeat we have sustained is the firm 
conviction, which is making its way to the heart of every Spaniard, 
that we have been living too long without compass or guide, without 
definite aim or fixed ideas, without^ vigorous and strong hand to point 
out to the nation the horizon of its future greatness and compel it to 
follow the straight path, a concerted plan, a system, and a just gov- 
ernment, devoting to that purpose all the energies at the country's 
command; and as these have not beefi entirely exhausted, we come to 
the conclusion that it may still be possible to repair our great losses by 
following a system diauietrically opposed to the one which has brought 
us so much sorrow and ruin. 

It would be unpardonable for us to go back to our former thought- 
lessness and indolence. To profit by the severe lessons of the present 



in order to obviate disasterA in the future 48 a noble ta^k, and we should 
Bet to work on it as soon as possible. 

Every social organism needsrevivit'yinginodifications,and this ap])lies 
especially to the army, the national defense, the navy; in short, the 
whole armed organization of our country. 

To accomplish this there is no better time than the present, while life 
is not yet extinct in what remains of our former power. 

If we examine the accounts published in the United States, it will be 
found that they are almost unanimous in the opinion that the victory 
in the battle of Santiago was due to the 20centimeter gun, and the 
conviction is expressed that there will be a great revolution in favor of 
20-centimeter and 25-centimeter rapid-fire guns. 

The 57 mm. and 37 mm. guns suffer from the defect of short range, 
which fact6hottld be taken into special consideration, because in the 
Spanish -American war the battles were fought at greatly reduced 

Eapid fire has gained much ground, and Gapt. A. S. Growninshield 
attributes to it the majority of hits upon our ships. 

Universal praise is accorded the small-caliber rifie. The innocuity of 
bullets has not succeeded in coming into favor. Practical experience, 
the mortality in battles, the seriousness of wounds, the piercing and 
destructive effects of subtle projectiles, must be considered. 

To sum up, the following conclusions may be drawn from this book: 

(1) Powerful semi-rapid or rapid fire artillery, installed in such man- 
ner as to enable it to be utilized from the very beginning of the battle; 
to open fire from the greater part of the guns — in fact, from nearly all 
the guns of a ship or battery, so as to cover the enemy with a hail of 
iron without giving him time to recover. This requires many guns and 
instantaneous training devices by means of which the fire can be regu- 
lated so as to enable the guns to enter u]>on the action at any given 
moment, for we should always bear in mind that these devices are 
delicate, and it is doubtful whether they can be kept intact during the 
whole of the battle. With the harmony of the whole should be com- 
bined a certain independence of action of the several i)arts; in other 
words, each battery, type, or section of guns should be permitted to 
operate on its own account, and be provided with all the elements 
required for firing. 

(2) Eeduction of the large caliber in order to secure greater rapidity 
of fire without detriment to the eft'ectiveness of projectiles. 

(3) Simplification of the apparatus designed for the handling of the 
guns. We should strive for siippler and more rapid mechanism to 
facilitate operation by hand at any given moment, so that the com- 
mander of a ship or batt/Cry may feel assured that some minor injury, 
such as the breaking or disabling of a tube or electric wire, will not 
cause a momentary suspension of fire and that the guns can only be 
silenced through the efiects of hostile projectiles. 


(4) Large sapplies of ammaDition, in order to make sure that the use 
of rapid fire will not entail a lack of ammunition in a fierce and pro- 
tracted battle. 

(5) Since it has been ascertained that the number of hits on the 
water Hue is very small, it may i)erhaps be possible to reduce the thick 
iiess and enormous weight of the armor plate, which will permit an 
increase in the number of guns and supply of ammunition. On the 
other hand, it is obvious that the men who serve the secoudary bat- 
teries are at present afforded too little protection, and means should 
be devised for providing better shelter for them. The necessity of 
better protection for decks is also generally conceded. 

(6) The upper works of ships should be fireproof. Littl('> wood should 
be used in the construction, and where it is used it should first be sub- 
jected to a fireproofing process. Even aside irom projectiles charged 
with incendiary substances, experience has shown that ordinary shells 
are sufficient to cause conflagrations when they explode in the midst of 
wood and other combustible materials^ 

(7) Chief Constructor Hichborn is of opinion that for bombarding 
purposes auxiliary vessels fitted for war should be equipped with mor- 
tars, and that armor clads should be reserved exclusively for use in the 
destruction of the hostile fleet. 

(8) Tori)edolaunching tubes should be done away with on board of 
large ships, because they constitute a serious danger through explo- 
sions which may be caused by projectiles entering the torpedo rooms. 
This is confirmed by what happened on board the Oquendo and Yizcaya^ 
especially the latter. 

(9) The incontestable advantage of small caliber rifles and smokeless 

Before concluding these pages we deem it proper to speak of some 
matters of a less general character than the preceding conclusions — 
matters pertaining to us directly, to Spain, to our present condition. 

The national defense. — Ever since we can remember we have been 
hearing of plans for it, and have harbored hopes and listened to prom- 
ises tending toward the realization of this ideal. But the time passes, 
conflicts come up, we are defeated, and the much-talked of national 
defense lives only in our remembrance and serves no other purpose than 
to make us regret that we did not have it when the critical moment 

' First LienteDant of Artillery Martin Loma, who examined the contents of one of 
the 8-inch shells fired on May 1 against the battery of La Lnneta at Manila, told as 
that it was char<;ed with ordinary fine powder mixed with pieces of oloth saturated 
with pitch or impregnated with some other inflammable sabstance. We learned this 
when this book had already gone to press. 

[This statement is incorrect. Lientenant Loma no doabt reported correctly wha 
he saw, bnt was ignorant of the fact that the bursting charge of the shell, ooiisist- 
ing of black powder, is contained in a cloth bag, and, that as an additional preoaa- 
tion against premature ignition, it is customary to lacquer the inside of the shell, all 
of which would account for the conditions mentioned. — O.N. I.] 


came, and to make os feel once more its peremptory need. At best, we 
see now and then some timid attempt, a place here and there bein^ 
eqnipped with artillery in a desultory and incomplete manner, by piece- 
meal, while others of greater importance remain devoid of all protection. 

This is the way this serions problem has been treated for the last 
twenty-flve or thirty years. Will it ever be thnsf 

We think not. At present we have good reason to believe that 
national defense will enter apon a practical era. The question is being 
generally studied and there is a profusion of intelligent plans. 

As an illustration of the above statements we will mention Habana, 
where Ihe plans that had been formulated for years would never have 
been carried into effect if a powerful will had not asserted itself and 
caused at least a few guns to be installed in the works along the coast; 
not a sufficient number, but enough anyway to check the audacity of 
the enemy. 

The expense required will be profitable and is not unattainable for 
our treasury, exhausted though it be, as it can be adapted to our finan- 
cial conditions. We should not forget that economy in these matters 
would be equivalent to greater sacrifices in the future. 

There is nothing to prevent us from beginning on the execution of 
the plan of defense at once by installing in the fortresses along our 
coasts and on the coasts of Africa and the Balearic and Oanary Islands 
medium-caliber rapid-fire guns. And since large-caliber steel guns are 
very expensive and take a long time to construct, let us resort for the 
present to howitzers and rifled mortars, which are cheap and can be 
manufactured at home. These guns are admirably suited for service 
against the weakest parts of sliips — namely, decks — which are easy to 
hit with comparatively numerous batteries, good telemetric systems, 
and an adequate force of well-trained personnel, who in time of i)eace 
should be given a great deal of target practice and ample drill in cor- 
rection of fire. 

All nations, even the wealthiest among tbem, like the United States, 
our fortunate rival, accord nowadays great preference to howitzers and 
rifled mortars for use in coast defense. 

!N"or is there anything to prevent us from throwing off our lethargy 
and beginning at once on the reconstruction of our armada, so that we 
may be equal to the important rdle which we still play among maritime 
nations. A well-conceived and scrupulously executed plan might give 
us, in the space of a few years, the requisite number of true battleships. 

We will close here. Our ideas may be expressed in these few words: 
Le88 tlieory and mwe practice; less studies and more action. 





[Translated from El Hnndo Naval Ilostrado, September 15 and October 1, 1899.] 

The Diario Oficial del Ministerio de la Gaerra publishes the seoteiice 
of the supreme council in thci proceedings instituted concerning the 
capitulation of Santiago de Cuba, and although this document is quite . 
extensive, we do not hesitate to reproduce it in full, so that a sentence 
on which the history of the war will be based may not be absent from 
El Mundo Naval. The decree is as follows : 

The council assembled in the hall of justice on August 4, 1899. 
Present: The president, Castro, Gamarra, Martinez Espinosa, March, 
Munoz Vargas, Zappino, L6pez Cord6n, Jim^mez, Kocha, Piquer, 
Urdangarfn, Campa, and Yalcdrcel. 

It appearing that this cause has been^prosecuted before this supreme 
council, as the tribunal of first and only instance, in the matter of the 
capitulation to the enemy of the army forces at Santiago de Cuba 
against the following defendants: Jos6 Toral Velazquez, general of 
division and commander in chief, having succeeded to the command of 
the Fourth Army Corps of the island of Cuba on the evening of July 1, 
1898, when the commander in chief of said corps, Lieut. Gen. Arsenio 
Linares, fell wounded j General of Brigade F^Iix Pareja Mesa, chief of 
the brigade of Guant4namo; Lieu tenant- Colonel of Infantry Feliciano 
Velarde Zabala, military commandant of Baracoa; Lieutenant-Colonel 
of Infantry Eafael Serichol Alegria^ military commandant of Sagua de 
Tdnamo; Commander of Infantry Arturo Campos Hidalgo, military 
commandant of Alto Songo; Commander of Infantry Jose Ferndndez 
Garcia, military commandant of San Luis; Commander of Infantry 
Bomualdo Garcia Martinez, military commandant of Palma Soriano, 
and Commander of Infantry Clemente Calvo Peyro, military comman- 
dant of El Cristo. . 

It appearing, further, that on the 18th day of May, 1898, two United 
States vessels appeared off the entrance of Santiago harbor and bom- 
barded the batteries under construction and fired a few shots which 
were answered by the forts, and that on the morning of the 19th they 



fired ax>oD the detachment at the Playa del Este at Gaimaiiera aod the 
gunboat Sandoval, 

It appearing, farther, that from the 20th to the 22d day of the same 
month, Oalixto Garcia bombarded for two days the town of Palma 
Soriano with gans and small arms, and that General Vara de Bey 
crossed the Gauto River with two guns and compelled the enemy to 
withdraw to beyond 2 leagues, having saffered many casualties, while 
16 of our men were wounded. 

It appearing, further, that on the 20th day of May, the hostile squad- 
ron, among which were discerned the Massachusetts^ lowa^ Brooklyn^ 
Texas^ Montgomery^ 1 trans- Atlantic steamer, and 12 merchant ivessels, 
approached to within 5 miles, and on the 31st, at 2.30 o'clock p. m., 
opened fire, which was answered by the Morro, Socapa, and Punta 
Gorda batteries and the guns of the Colony firing in all about 100 shots 
in forty-five minutes, which was the duration of the battle. 

It appearing, further, that on the 1st day of June, the hostile squadron 
was sighted, reenforced by the battleship Oregon^ the cruiser Keur Torhy 
and a gunboat, making a total of 10 vessels in sight; 4 battle ships, 
other ships not classified, a destroyer, the gunboat Vesuvius^ another 
gunboat, 2 trans- Atlantic steamers, and 5 auxiliary tugs; that on 
the 3d day of June, a merchant vessel, the Merrimacy protected by a 
battle ship, attempted to force the channel; that the cruiser Reina 
Mercedes and the batteries of Punta Gorda and Socapa opened fire and 
succeeded in sinking the Merrimac and taking one officer and seven 
sailors prisoners, and that said vessel went to the bottom without 
obstructing the channel. 

It appearing, further, that on the 6th day of June, at 8 o'clock p. m., 
the hostile squadron commenced the bombardment with ten ships, dis- 
charging over 2,000 projectiles, causing serious injuries to the Reina 
Mercedes and the garrison quarters at the Morro, without dismounting 
any of our guns, which answered the fire with great assurance; that 
we had 1 chief and 8 men killed, and 2 chiefs, 5 officers, and 56 men 
wounded; that the bombardment was repeated on the 14th, and that 
on the day following the Asia column repulsed at Punta Cabrera an 
attack of insurgents who were attempting to communicate with the 
Americans; that the bombardment by the squadron was renewed on 
the 16th and 21st, while the Gebrero and Babi detachments were at 
Aserradero and the Castillo detachment at Bam6n de las Yaguas. 

It appearing, further, that on the 20th day of said month of June 
the transports of the hostile fleet, with the landing forces on board, 
appeared to the eastward, convoyed by the battle ship Indiana and 
other war ships, forming a total of 63 vessels; that General Vara de 
Bey, with three companies of the battalion Constituci6n, a flying com- 
pany of guerrillas, and two guns, took position at El Ganey, and four 
companies of the Asia Battalion, with^a colonel, intrenched themselves 
at Punta Cabrera, another at Monte Beal, two more at Cobre, together 


with the garrisons of Loma Omz and Paerto Bayamo, and another 
division of the Asia Battalion at Panta Cabrera; and in order to 
repulse any landing attempt at Cabanas Bay the commander of the 
Asia Battalion, Eam6u Escobar, with one company of that battalion 
and one mobilized company, took position at Mazamorra. 

It appearing, farther, that on the 2lRt and daring the night part 
of the infantry and light material of the hostile forces was landed at 
Berracos, and on the 22d fire was opened by tlie whole sqnadron from 
Socapa to Daiquiri; that several hostile vessels, towing launches with 
landing forces^ supported the bombardment of Siboney and Daiquiri, 
while the forces landed on the previous day maile an attack on the flank, 
in conjunction with parties of insurgents. 

It appearing, farther, that on the 25th day of June General Vara de 
Key withdrew to El Caney with three companies of the Battalion Con- 
8tituci6n and several guerrilla companies, and entrenched himself for 
the purpose of checking the advance of the United States forces. 

It appearing, further, that the enemy was encamped from June 25 to 
July 1, in three lines, from Santa Teresa to Sevilla, and that for repuls- 
ing the attack of Jaly I there were available six companies of the Tala- 
vera Battalion, three of the Porto Rico Battalion, three of the San 
Fernando Battalion, one and one half companies of sappers, three 
mobilized companies, 14 horse and 2 rapid-fire guns, in all 1,700 men, 
the forces of the West being at a distance and engaged in other 

It appearing, further, that at daybreak of July 1 the ships of the 
hostile squadron approached Aguadores Inlet, while at the same time 
the landing forces opened fire, advancing in large numbers toward 
El Caney and Las Lagunas, supx>orting the gun fire on the positions of 
San Juan and El Caney, especially the latter i)oint; that the advance 
Echelon of San Juan, consisting of two companies under the command 
of Colonel Vaquero, was reenforced by another company, and Colonel 
Ordonez arrived with the section of rapid fire artillery to check the fire 
of the hostile batteries, and the battery situated at El Pozo succeeded 
in silencing their fire. 

It appearing, further, that in view of the intensity of the hostile fire 
from their artillery, machine gnns, and small arms, and the number of 
wounded, among whom were Colonel Ord6fiez, Commander Lamadrid, 
and one-half of the officers, it was decided to have the cavalry advance 
to protect the retreat and save the artillery, which was successfully 
carried out and the enemy was compelled to withdraw upon San Juan; 
at that moment General Linares was wounded and General Vara de 
Bey killed, the latter having succumbed to the numerical superiority of 
the enemy and lack of ammunition, when the attack upon El Caney 
was renewed in the evening, having already been wounded and shot 
through both legs; and that on that glorious day over 500 men and 50 
generals, chiefs, and officers were killed and wounded* 

6884 8 


It appearing, further, that General Toral having taken charge of the 
command in^accordance with regulations, El Caney being lost, the 
enemy in possession of San Juan Hill, the railroad left without defense, 
the water supply cut off, and the forces deprived of their commanders 
as the result of the fierce battle they had sustained, it became neces- 
sary to concentrate all the detachments of the forts, which was effected 
without casualties. 

It appearing, further, that on the 1st and 2d days of July the enemy 
fortified himself on the heights of San Juan and San Juan de Millai'es, 
attempting to install a battery close to our trenches, which was frus- 
trated by the sure fire of the Ouban regiment; that from 5 to 10 o'clock 
a. m. of the 2d the enemy attacked the positions of San Antonio, 
Ganosa, Guayabito, and Santa Ursula, renewing the attack at noon 
with increased intensity until 5 o'clock p. m., and a third time from 9 
to 10 o'clock p. m., and being repulsed each time; that simultaneously 
with these attacks the squadron bombarded Aguadores, the Morro, 
and the batteries of Punta Gorda and Socapa. 

It appearing, further, that the enemy devoted the 3d day of July to 
intrenching themselves and installing batteries from Loma Quiutero to 
the San Juan River, overlooking the positions of Santa Ursula and 
Oaiiadas, and that on the same day, July 3, our squadron, in obedience 
to higher orders, left the waters of Santiago and was destroyed on the 
reefs of the coast a few hours later in unequal battle. General Toral 
thus finding himself deprived of the important factors of defense which 
the fleet had furnished him in the way of landing companies and light 
artillery, of wliich the land forces stood so much in need, owing to their 
inadequate artillery, the reduced contingent, and the extent of the line 
they had to defend. 

It api>earing, further, that the city of Santiago, being more closelj^ 
besieged by the enemy, had no x>ermanent fortifications left except a 
castle without artillery at the mouth of the harbor and a few forts on 
the precinct of the city, all of little value, so that almost its only real 
defense consisted of the open trenches around the city and other earth- 
works thrown up in a hurry and with inadequate material, and that for 
the defense of said line, about 14 kilometers in length, there were avail- 
able only about 7,000 infantry and 1,000 gnerrillas, all of whom had per- 
formed constant service in the trenches, without any troops to support 
them and without reserves of any kind, since the remainder of the 
forces were garrisoning the Morro and the batteries of the Socapa and 
Punta Gorda, performing also the services of carrying water to dif- 
ferent points, patrolling the city, and rendering such other services as 
the inhabitants could have rendered had the city remained loyal. 

It appearing, further, that the extent of the line referred to, the posi- 
tion of the forces on said line, the difficulty of communication, and the 
proximity of the enemy rendered it difficult for the troops stationed at 
a certain point of the line to reach speedily some other point more seri- 


onsly threatened; that the troops had ^t their disposal only four 16- 
cm. rifled bronze guns, one 12-cm. and one 9-cm. bronze gun, two long 
8-cm. rifled guns, four short ones of the same caliber, two 8-cm. Pla- 
sencia and two 75-mra. Krapp guns; that the 16 cm. guns, according to 
expert opinion, were liable to give oat at the end of a few more shots, 
that there was hardly any ammnnition left for the Kmpp guns, and that 
the gnns enumerated were all there was to oppose the namerous and 
powerful artillery of the enemy. 

It appearing, further, that the million Spanish Mauser cartridges, 
which was all there was on hand at the artillery park and in the army, 
would not last for more than two attacks on the part of the enemy, 
that the Argentine Mauser ammunition could not be utilized for want 
of weapons of that type, nor could the ammunition for Eemingtons, 
these weapons being iu the hands of the irregular forces only. 

It appearing, further, that the supply of provisions furnished by com- 
mercial enterprise was inadequate; that owing to the lack of meat and 
the scarcity of other articles of subsistence, nothing could be furnished 
the soldiers but rice, salt, oil, coffee, sugar, and brandy, and that only 
for about ten days longer, and that under these circumstances over 
1,700 sick i)ersons at the hospital had to be fed, to say nothing of the 
soldiers who spent day and night in the trenches, after three years of 
campaign, during the last three months of which they seldom had meat 
to eat and were often reduced to the rations mentioned above — poor 
rations for soldiers whose physical strength was already considerably 

It appearing, further, that the aqueduct having been cut, there arose 
serious difficulties in the matter of furnishing water to the majority of 
the ibrces iu the trenches of the precinct, especially on the coast; and 
that these difficulties, owing to the bombardment of the city by land 
and sea, were increased to such an extent that there was well-grounded 
fear lest the soldiers, who could not leave the trenches, would And 
themselves deprived of this indispensable beverage. 

It appearing, further, that in view of the situation of the enemy in posi- 
tions close to ours, entirely surrounding the city and in control of all 
the approaches thereto, it was not possible for the Spanish army to 
leave the city without engaging in a fierce battle under the most 
unfavorable circumstances, owing to the necessity of concentrating the 
forces under the very eyes of the enemy, and in view of the physical 
debility of the soldiers, who were kept up only by their exalted spirit 
and the habit of discipline. 

It appearing, further, that, aside irom the numerical superiority of 
the hostile contingent, they had,a>ccording to trustworthy information, 
70 pieces of modern artillery and the support of a iwwerful squadron, 
while no Spanish reenforcements could reach Santiago except by sea, 
which latter eventuality had become a vain hope from the moment 
when the Ameiican ships completely closed in the harbor entrance. 


It appearing, ftLrther, that for the above reasous there was no possi- 
bility of reenforcemeuts arriving before the total exhaastion of pro- 
visions and ammnnition. 

It appearing, farther, that nnder these sad circumstances the pro- 
longation of so unequal a struggle could, in the opinion of the acting 
commander in chief of the fourth army corps, lead to nothing but 
the vain sacrifice of a large number of lives without gaining any 
advantage, since the honor of arms had been entirely saved by the 
troops who had made such a valiant fight and whose heroic conduct 
was acknowledged by friend and foe, wherefore the said commander in 
chief convened the Junta for the purpose of drawing up the act, a copy 
of which appears on page 125 of these proceedings, setting forth that 
the necessity for capitulating had arrived. . 

It apx)earing, further, that under the terms of the second article of the 
military agreement of the capitulation of the army forces at Santiago 
de Cuba, a copy of which appears on page 129 of these proceedings, the 
acting commander in chief of the fourth army corps. General of Division 
Jos^ Toral, included in said capitulation all the forces and war mate- 
rial occupying the territory of the province of Santiago de Ouba, so 
that the brigade of Guantdnamo and the garrisons of Baracoa, Sagua, 
de T&namo, Alto Songo, San Luis, Palma Soriano, and El Gristo were 
included in said capitulation. 

And considering that from the moment when the United States 
squadron established the blockade of Santiago Harbor, the situation of 
said city, which was already a difficult one as the result of the internal 
war which had been waged in the island for three years, exhausting 
every resource of the country and preventing the prompt provisioning 
of the island by land, was very much aggravated through the closing 
of the harbor, which precluded the easiest and most expeditious means 
for receiving the aid that was indispensable under such critical 

Considering, ftirther, that for the effective defense of a maritime place 
when attacked by a squadron it is not always sufficient nor practicable 
to employ land forces, but that for a successful issue naval forces are 
also absolutely necessary, and as such forces were entirely lacking, the 
hostile squadron was enabled to acquire and hold undisturbed posses- 
sion of those waters, the control of which meant the exclusion of all aid 
from Santiago de Cuba. 

Considering, further, that said United States squadron, operating in 
comparative proximity to the coasts and harbors of its own nation, was 
able, without any sacrifice whatever, to maintain and constantly 
strengthen the blockade which it had established, frequently relieving 
the ships assigned to this service, and feeling always sure of opportu- 
nities and means for repairing any injuries of its ships, resupplying 
them with coal, provisions, and ammunition, and sustaining its base of 
operations under all circumstances. 


Considering, ftirther, that for a large and powerfti) fL'^nadron, like 
that of the United States, it was an easy undertaking, in view of the 
resources at its disposal, to effect a landing at any of tlie many acces- 
sible points on that part of the Cuban coast, under cover of the fire of 
numerous guns, and without any danger of meeting resistance, since it 
had become a physical impossibility for our army to cover and defend 
the whole coast, and since the place where the landing was to be effected 
could not be surmised, and the scant contingent of the army at Santi- 
ago was not able effectually to guard so large an extent of coast. 

Considering, further, that in view of the lack of provisions at Santi- 
ago the situation of its defenders was further aggpravated by the entrance 
of Admiral Cervera's squadron in that harbor, whereby not only the con- 
sumption of food was increased, but which also made that city the prin- 
cipal objective of the Americans in that campaign, who from that time 
oh assembled the greater and better part of their paval forces in front 
of Santiago and increased the nulnber of their transports for the land- 
ing of their army with a large amount of modern field artillery, threat- 
ening serious assaults on the city, and making the blockade by sea so. 
rigid that ingress and egress of the harbor became absolutely impossi- 
ble, thus shutting off from Santiago every hope of receiving aid and 
compromising the safety of our squadron, the capture or destruction of 
which was naturally assumed to be the principal aspiration of the enemy. 

Considering, further, that after the United States army had been 
landed and had established its lines and positions near Santiago, in 
conjunction with the insurgent parties, it was diiUcult for reenforce- 
ments, which were so much needed, to arrive by land, and when on the 
evening of July 3 Colonel Escario's column did arrive, after having 
exhausted its rations on the march, it further aggravated the already 
serious situation, which was doe principally to the great scarcity of 

Considering, further, that after the destruction of Admiral Cervera's 
squadron, which ran out of Santiago Harbor on July 3, in obedience 
to superior orders, the enemy had no difficulty in realizing that they 
•ould, with impunity, carry out all their plans without being impeded 
by an army reduced in number, short of ammunition and provisions, 
decimated by disease contracted during three years of hard fighting in 
a tropical country and in a climate fatal during the summer heat, 
devoid of all hope except in Providence, with no alternative except 
death or surrender to the mercy of an enemy, who alone by blockades 
on land and sea, without any other means, had succeeded in annihilat- 
ing those valiant troops. 

Considering, further, that the Spanish admiral, in order to leave 
Santiago Harbor with his squadron on July 3, had to recall from said 
city the landing companies and field artillery which, in compliance with 
naval regulations issued by the chief of staff of the squadron, had been 


placed at the disposal of the commander in chief of the fourth army 
corps, for the purpose of cooperating with tbe latter in the defense 
ashore, and that by the withdrawal and reembarkation of these forces 
the nnmber of combatants was considerably reduced and the army 
deprived of the use of the rapid-flre artillery, of which there was also 
great scarcity. 

Considering, further, that in yiew of the critical situation in which 
was placed the acting commander in chief of the fourth army oort>s of 
the island of Cuba, General of Division Jos^ Toral Velazquez, who, with 
an army reduced in number, decimated by sickness, without subsistence, 
and almost without ammunition, had to defend a city, the majorify of 
whose inhabitants were likewise hostile to Spain, against an army 
superior in number and fighting resources, and supported by a {power- 
ful squadron, the said acting commander in chief, having exhausted 
every resource available for sustaining the defense, deeming it impos- 
sible to persist, listening to the voice of humanity, and believing to 
have fulfilled the laws of military honor, decided that the necessity for 
capitulating had arrived. 

Considering, further, that the acting commander in chief of the 
fourth army corps of the island of Cuba, General of Division Jos^ 
Toral Yel&zquez, has used every means of defense required by the laws 
of honor and duty before surrendering to the enemy the forces under 
his command in the province of Santiago, as attested by the brilliant 
battles sustained fix)m June 22 to the day of the capitulation, and the 
many casualties in generals, commanders, officers, and privates during 
said battles. 

Considering, further, that the situation of the remaining forces of 
the province, consisting of the brigade of Guant4namo and detach- 
ments of said brigade at Baracoa and Sagua de T&namo, had likewise 
become untenable, owing to the fact that the forces at Guant&namo 
had been short of rations since June 15, that the hospital was crowded 
with patients, and the city cut off from all communication with the 
rest of the island, and the detachments of Baracoa and Sagua de 
T&namo were completely isolated so that they could not even com- 
municate with the brigade of which they formed part. 

Considering, further, that the garrisons of the towns of Palma Soriano, 
Alto Sougo, San Luis, and El Cristo, being small contingents and like- 
wise isolated, had to be considered echelons or advance posts of San- 
tiago de Cuba, and that after the surrender of the principal center 
they could not by themselves oppose any resistance whatever to the 
enemy in case they should be attacked. 

Considering, further that if all the forces above enumerated had not 
been included in the capitulation they would necessarily have had to 
surrender under worse conditions, or perhaps to succumb, with neither 
glory nor ^profit, to the formidable attack of the numerous insurgent 
forces who besieged them in conjunction with the American forces. 


Considering, farther, that the general in chief of the army of the island 
of Cuba, in his telegram dated July 13, 1898, aathorized the inclasion 
of the forces at Gaantdnamo, Sagua de Tauamo, Bars^coa^ and other 
towns in the capitulation of Santiago, because otherwise they would 
have had to be abandoned. 

Considering, further, that according to the statement made by the 
genera] in chief of the army of the island of Cuba, Captain-General 
Bam6n Blanco, the authorization to include in the capitulation the 
forces mentioned above was never withdrawn from General Toral, since 
the Captain-General in his telegram of July 15 notified the former that 
he was not empowered to include in the capitulation the division of 
Manzanillo which, together with that of Santiago, formed the fourth 
army corps. 

Considering, further, that in signing the capitulation of all the forces 
in the province of Santiago de Cuba, General of Division Jos^ Toral 
Velazquez, acting commander in chief of the fourth army corps, did 
not act on his own initiative and was not cut off from communication 
with the general in chief of the army, but acted in compliance with 
instructions received from the latter. 

And considering, finally, that the General of Brigade F^lix Pareja 
Mesa, commander of the brigade of Guantdnamo, and the military 
commandants of Baracoa, Sagua de T4namo, Alto Sougo, Palma 
Soriano, San Luis, and El Cristo, when they complied with the order 
that the forces and territory under their immediate command should 
be comprised in the capitulation, which order was communicated to 
them by staff officers of their army corps, they only obeyed their 
general in chief. 

The defendants. General of Division Jos6 Toral y Veldzquez, General 
of Brigade F^lix Pareja Mesa, Lieutenant-Colonels of Infantry Felicitoo 
Yelarde Zabala and Rafael Serichol Alegria, and Commanders of 
Infantry Arturo Campos Hidalgo, Romualdo Garcia Martinez, Jos6 
Ferndndez Garcia, and Clemente Calvo Peyro, are entirely acquitted, 
all of these proceedings being in conformity with article 591 of the 

code of military procedure and other articles of general application. 



In conformity with the recommendation of the attorneys general, in 
their second supplemental bill of charges, testimony is to be procured 
as recommended therein and forwarded to the captain-general of New 
Castile, in order that he, as successor to the jurisdiction of the general 
in chief of the dissolved army of operations of the island of Cuba, may 
proceed to take such steps as in justice and equity may be necessary 
for the purpose of ascertaining the causes for and fix the responsibility 
of the fact that there was not sufficient war material in the city and 
province of Santiago de Cuba at the time of the breaking out of the 
war with the United States, although such war material had been asked 


for in good season by the artillery park; this being an important 
point which should be cleared up as being closely connected with the 
capitalation of said province. 


Testimony is to be taken from the document which appears at page 
1379 of these proceedings and forwarded to the captain general of Kew 
Castile to be used in connection with the proceedings had under the 
auspices of this supreme council assembled in the hall of justice on 
July 7 last, to ascertain to what extent the administrative chief of the 
army of Cuba is responsible for not having complied with the order of 
the general in chief of the same to provision Santiago de Cuba for four 

This decree is to be brought to the coguizance of the minister of 
war, as provided by law, and for its execution the testimony in this 
cause is to be forwarded to the captain-general of Few Castile. The 
necessary orders are to be issued. 

By royal order and in conformity with the provisions of article 634 
of the Code of Military Procedure I remit the same to your excellency 
for your cognizance and action thereon. 

El General encargado del despacho : 

Mabiano Capd£p6n. 

Madbid, August 9^ 1899. 



War Notbs Ho. VU. 













In the Oortes at Madrid, on the SOtli day of October, 1899, the minister 
of war was requested by the Goant de las Almenas and Senators Gon- 
zalez and Ddvila to transmit to the senate chamber as early as pos- 
sible the proceediDgs held in the supreme council of war and navy, 
from August 1, 1899, to date, relative to the wars in Guba, Puerto Bico, 
and the Philippines. 

The minister of war, repljring, said in part: 

I do not know whether the Count de las Almenas and the worthy companions whom 
he represents have sufficiently considered the grave step of bringing into a political 
chamber and submitting to parliamentary discussion a4Jndged causes of the extreme 
gravity of those referred to. I repeat that, while I greatly respect such right, 1 
believe that there may be serious objections to a debate of this nature, because per- 
haps the high tribunal of the army and navy, which has actjudged these causes in 
accordance with law and its own conscience, and to whose fdnctions and importance 
great respect is due, might suffer, though only apparently, in its prestige. For that 
reason I consider it neither expedient nor pnident to transmit to tiie chamber the 
documents asked for. 

It is not, therefore, probable that the proceedings of the courts in 
the cases of Admirals Cervera and Montojo will be made public. 

Admiral Gervera, having in view the vindication of himself, had 

obtained firom the Queen in August permission to publish certain 

documents, given in this number of the War Notes, which make a 

most interesting and connected history of the naval operations of 

Spain duriug the war, and show without need of argument the causes 

of her weakness. 


Oammanderj U. 8. N.^ Chief Intelligence Officer. 

Nayy Dbpabtment, December 6y 1899. 

Approved : 

A. S. Obowionshibld, 

Chief of Bureau of Navigation. 



Being in possession of the docnmeuts herein collected, I have thonght 
it my duty to publish them in order to enlighten the public, and that 
they may serve as a lesson for the future and as data for history. 

I had thought first of having a short statement of facts precede 
them, but considering that the events are so very recent, and have 
affected our unhappy country so much, that any criticism might easily 
degenerate into passion, I have thought it best to give simply the 
documents and let them explain for themselves everything that has 


I should have liked to do this earlier, but put it off until the termina- 
tion of the cause in which I was made a defendant, and since then it 
has taken some time for me to obtain permission to publish these 
papers, owing to my position as a naval officer and the nature of the 
documents, most of which either came from the ministry of marine or 
were addressed to it. 

To that end I applied to Her Majesty in a petition, a copy of which 
follows, and secured a royal order, a copy of which also follows. 

The collection is printed in two kinds of type. The smaller type 
refers to documents printed in a certain work where errors and omis- 
sions have crept in, and the larger type refers to documents furnished 
by myself, the originals of most of which are in my possession, and to 
others taken from various publications and even from the journals of 
the sessions of the Chambers. 

If this publication should help us to mend our mistakes in the future, 
my wishes are granted, for all I ask is that I may be usefiil to my 


Madrid, August 30^ 1899. 



Madam: Pascnal Oervera y Topete, rear admiral of the navy, Rcts 
forth to Your Royal Majesty, with the most profound respect as follows: 

It is well known that owing to the destraction of the sqaadron under 
my command in the battle of July 3, 1898, a cause was instituted in which 
the decree of the supreme council of war and navy has absolved your 
petitioner and others. But such decree, in which only a majority con- 
curred, is not sufficient to satisfy the opinion which, misled at the time 
of the events and for a long time afterwards, has been manifested in a 
fierce campaign against the honor of your petitioner, that of the squad- 
ron which he commanded, and of the entire navy. 

Upon noticing these symptoms the writer attempted to give the 
country a full explanation, and to that end he solicited and obtained 
the election as senator for the province of Albacete, but did not even 
have a chance of. discussing the proceedings of his election. 

When your petitioner had been made adefendant in the proceedings 
above referred to, he deemed it his duty not to speak until the court 
had pronounced its sentence. 

The writer has in his possession many original documents and au- 
thentic copies of others, and among them there are not a few that have 
been published with errors, and others that have been printed without 
authorization, but have come to the knowledge of many people, and 
these likewise contained many errors which are bound to mislead pub- 
lic opinion. 

These documents, many of which were at the time of a confidential 
nature, need no longer be kept secret, since peace has been reestablished 
and the publication of the same would correct many of these errors and 
serve as a lesson for the future. For all these reasons your petitioner 
humbly prays that Your Majesty will permit him to publish, at his 
expense, the documents referred to in order to enlighten the Spanish 

Dated August 18. 1899. 




His MajeBly haviog been informed of the petition forwarded by yonr 

excellency on the 18th instant, asking for permission to publish, at yoar 

expense, certain documents in your possession relative to the squadron 

under your command in the naval battle of Santiago de Cuba, on the 

3d day of July, 1898, His Majesty the King (whom God guard), and in 

his name the Qaecn Regent of the Kingdom, in conformity with the 

opinion furnished by the counselor-general of this ministry, has been 

pleased to authorize your excellency to publish all orders issued by the 

ministry of marine relative to the squadron destroyed at Santiago de 

Cuba. The above having been communicated to me by royal order, 

through the minister of marine, I notify yonr excellency accordingly 

for your cognizance, and as the result of your petition referred to. 

Madrid, August 22, 1899. 

Manuel J. Mozo, Assigtant Seoretarjf. 

Rear- Admiral Pasoual Gebve&a y Topetb. 




Private.] The Minister op Marine, 

Madridy November 28^ 1897. 
His Excellency Pasoual Oeryera. 

My Dear Admiral and Friend: In aoswer toyonreeteemed lelr 
tera I wish to say that I entirely approve of the instractions issued to 
the squadron and of everything yon state relative to speed, diameters, 
and tactical movements. With great pleasure I read the telegram rel- 
ative to firing trials on board the Vizcaya^ after so many doubts and 
different opinions. But we should, nevertheless, not abandon ourselves 
to unlimited confidence, and your good judgment will know how to 
restrict the use of these guns^ until we have the new cartridge cases, 
which, I have been promised, will begin to arrive early in November. 
I am continuing my efforts toward fitting out the torpedo boats, but 
we have to contend with scarcity of engine personnel, and this need is 
further increased by the men working under contract who are about to 
leave the service. 

Wishing you every happiness, etc., 

Begismundo Bermejo. 

Nothing new in the Philippines. 

Santa Pola, December 5, 1897. 

His Excellency Segismundo Bermbjo. , 

My Dear Admiral and Friend: Upon my arrival here I received 
your favor of the 28th. I am much pleased to know that you approve 
of the instructions I have issued to the squadron. The Oquendo was 
ready day before yesterday, for all she needed was to have the dia- 
phragm of the condensers cleaned. I am of your opinion that we should 
wait for the new 5.5-inch cartridge cases before using these guns for 

> Befeience is had to the 6.6 inch Gonzdiez-Hontoria rapid-fire goDS. 



target practice, and I am thinking of spreading the report that we are 
waiting in order not to decrease oar snpply. One thonsaud five han- 
dred cartridge cases seems very little to me. I think we should have 
at least twice as many, which is the regular supply for this class of 
ships. In order to obviate any comment on the fact of our not using 
the 5.5-inch guns, I am thinking of haying target practice with the 
11-inch guns only on oertain days, and on other days with the small guns 
day and night, unless you should issue orders to the contrary. Night 
before last we had an exercise with the scouts of this ship and the Teresa^ 
which was very interesting; the vedettes were discovered with the aid of 
the searchlights. We are continuing experiments with the latter in 
order to ascertain the best installation for them. The highly interest- 
ing question of the radius of action of these ships can be only approxi- 
mately settled with the data furnished by this trip of mine. The 
reasons why it can not be definitely settled are that the Teresa has 
used an unreasonable amount of coal, for which fact I transmit today 
to her commander a reprimand for the firemen; and the Oquendo^ 
owing to an erroneous interpretation of one of niy signals, did not fol- 
low instructions, but we have data which may be presumed to be correct 
for the Oquendo. I will send you in the near future the computations 
relative to this matter. I believe I have already advised you in my 
former letter that I intended to go out with a squadron for a few days. 
I also want to give the steam launches and their officers some tactical 
f xercises, under the direction of a superior officer. 
YourSi eto., 

Pasoual Oebvbba. 


The Minister of Marine, 

Madfidy January 9j 1698, 
His Excellency Pasottal Oeryeba. 

My Dear Admiral and Friend : I have just had a call, not only 
from the committee of the Ansaldo Company, but also from the Italian 
ambassador, relative to the 9.84-inch guns of the Ooldn, and I am 
a&aid we will have some trouble concerning this matter. As the 
report of the advisory board (centro-consultivo) is utterly opposed to 
the acceptance of gun No. 325, and still more of No. 313, you will 
understand that the junta over which you preside should suggest to 
me some solution toward substituting for these guns, at least tempo- 
rarily, guns of other systems. For my part I have conveyed the 
impression that if two other guns, to the exclusion of Nos. 325 and 
813, could be tried within a very short time, and such trials should 
show satisfactory results, the Government might perhaps terminate 
this unpleasant matter. 

Yours, etc., Sbgismundo Bermejo. 

I have in mind, my dear Admiral, what constitutes the press in this 
country, and the way they have of always treating ub unfairly. 


2%0 Oovemor-Qmierfa of Cuba {BUmoo) to ike MinUtor ^ CoUmim (B. QW&n). 


Havaka, January S, 1898, 

Two and one- third millions are due the navy, and shonld be liquidated to aa to 
make it possible to place in commission a number of yessels which are now at the 
navy-yard with iujoriea that can not be repaired for lack of fiindB* 

Battle Ship Vizoata, The Admikal, 

Oartagena^ January 29^ 1898. 
His Excellenoy SEaiSMUNDO Bebmejo. 

My Dear Admiral and Friend : The telegram I sent you yester- 
day notified you that the Vizcaya was ready, with her fires lighted, to 
go oat just as soon as she received instructious and- money, the only 
things she now lacks. It is true that three or four men belonging 
to her crew, and who are absent with my permission, have not yet 
returned, but they have been telegraphed to and will be here very 
shortly. However, if the money and instructions should arrive before 
they do, the ships will go without them. She has about 600 tons of 
coal on board and will continue coaling until the instructions oome, or 
until her bunkers are entirely filled. She has fires under six of her 
boilers and is filling the other four boilers with water. She has also 
commenced distilling water, which will be continued as long as may be 
necessary. She has provisions on board for forty days. The 2.24-inch 
gun mount which was sent to plasencia de las armas and has not yet been 
returned,has been replaced byanotherone from the Xr^anto. TheVizcaya 
is short one lieutenant, as Alvargonz&lez was sent ashore; and as none 
can be furnished by the maritime district of Oarthagena(departamento)| 
I will send for one from the Alfonso; but owing to our hurried departure 
he may not arrive in time^ and we can not wait. The other two Bilbao 
cruisers are also being fitted out. The Teresa begins to coal at once, 
and the Oquendo will receive her relieving tackle to-day, after which 
she will immediately commence to take on coal and lubricating mate- 
rial. As far as the water supply for these ships is concerned, it is all 
right; for, thanks to the exertions of Bustamante and concessions of 
the Oaptain-General, the English company will be ready by tomor- 
row to furnish us water at the dockyard at a price of 0.032 peseta 
per cubic foot. I have telegraphed to Barcelona to ascertain when we 
are to have the sea biscuit. If the coal arrives fix>m England, the ships 
can fill their bunkers again, and if not we will only have coal enough 
to reach Las Palmas. You are well aware that there is not in the 
squadron a man in the crews who has any savings; therefore there are 
two things lacking: First, they should be ordered to make assignments 
to their families, so as not to condemn 500 or 600 families to starvation, 
which might even affect the discipline; second, money should be con- 
signed to us at Havana for our own living, because if they count upon 
oar having collected the pay f )r January and propose to pay us to date 


we shall perish miserably. On this vital point I send a tdegmm. Tlie 
Jfk^ror will be ready to go oat in a conple of days. The Tertvr will 
require at least a week before her boilers will be ready. I gave the 
Captain-General your message concerning the torpedo boats and the 
crew of the Vitoria, We have not yet received the January con- 
signment, and I send a telegram relative to it. Three of oar steam 
launches are not in condition to be used, and I have asked the Gaptain- 
General to let me have those of the Lq^anto and keep ours here to 
have the boilers repaired, and they can then be used for the other ship. 
The fleet is short five lieutenants and five ensigns, and the departa- 
mento says thai it has none to furnish. This scarcity will affect espe- 
cially the AlfonsOj and in order to remedy it to a certain extent I am 
going to commission the four midshipmen at the head of the list and 
transfer them to the Alfonso. I do not know whether I am forgetting 

Yours, etOt Pasoual Gebvbba. 

OABTAaBNA, January 30^ 1898. 
Dbab Oousin Juan Spottobno: About two years ago I wrote you 
a letter concerning our condition to go to war with the United States. 
I requested you to keep that letter in case some day it should be nec- 
essary to bring it to light in defense of my memory or myself, when 
we had experienced the sad disappointment prepared for us by the 
stupidity of some, the eupidity of others, and the incapability of all, 
even of those with the best of intentions. To-day we find ourselves 
again in one of those critical periods which seem to be the beginning of 
the end, and I write to you again to express my point of view and to 
explain my action in this matter, and I beg you to put this letter with 
the other one, so that the two may be my military testament. The rela- 
tive military positions of Spain and the United States have grown worse 
for us, because we are reduced, absolutely penniless, and they are very 
rich, and also because we have increased our naval power only with the 
Ooldn and the torpedo-boat destroyers, and they have increased theirs 
much more. What I have said of our industry is sadly confirmed in 
everything we look at. There is the OatalufUij begun more than eight 
years ago, and her hull is not yet completed. And this when we are 
spurred on by danger, which does not wake patriotism in anybody, 
while jingoism finds numerous victims, perhaps myself to-morrow. And 
the condition of our industry is the same in all the arsenals. Let us 
consider, now, our private industries. The Maquinista Terrestre y 
Maritima supplies the engines of the Alfonso XIII; Cadiz, the Fili- 
pinas. If the Carlos V is not a dead failure, she is not what she should 
be ; everything has been sacrificed to speed, and she lacks power. And 
remember that t|ie construction is purely Spanish. The company 
of La Graila has not completed its ships, as I am told, and only these 


( Vizwxffaj Oquendo^ and Maria Teresa) are good ships of their class ; but, 
though constracted at Bilbao, it was by Englishmen. Thus, manifestly, 
even victory would be a sad thing for us. As for the administration 
and its intricacies, let us not speak of that; its slow procedure is kill- 
ing us. The Vizca/ya carries a 5.5-inch breech plug which was declared 
useless two months ago, and I did not know it until last night, and 
that because an official inquiry was made. How many cases I might 
mention ! But my purpose is not to accuse, but to explain why we 
may and must expect a disaster. But as it is necessary to go to the 
bitter end, and as it would be a crime to say that publicly to-day, 
1 hold my tongue, and go forth resignedly to face the trials which God 
may be pleased to send me. I am sure that we will do our duty, for the 
spirit of the navy is excellent; but I pray Ood that the troubles maybe 
arranged without coming to a conflict, which, in any way, I believe 
would be disastrous to us. I intrust to you a most interesting corre- 
spondence which I had with General Azc4rraga,and which I desire and 
request you to preserve, together with this letter and the former one. 
In it you will see the opinion of Azc&rraga. Without troubling you 
further, I remain your most affectionate cousin, who intrusts his honor 

to your hands. 

Pasouai. Cerveka. 

Cabtagena, July 2^ 1898. 

QmtB Monoada, 
Antonio MARTf. 

Oertiflcate. — Gln^s Moncada y Ferro, mining engineer, and Antonio 
Marti y Pag4n, attorney at law, state upon their honor that they 
repaired this day to the residence of Juan Spottorno y Bienert, at the 
request of the latter, who exhibited to them a letter from His Excellency 
Bear- Admiral Pascual Gervera y Topete, addressed to Mr. Spottorno, 
dated January 30, 1898; that the undersigned read said letter and 
affixed their signatures thereto. They were also shown a collection of 
documents, of which they read only the headings and signatures, which 
documents had been intrusted to Mr. Spottorno by Bear- Admiral 
Gervera, and which are as follows: Letters from their excellencies Gen- 
eral Marcelo Azc^raga and Bear- Admiral Segismundo Bermejo; copies 
of letters addressed by Admiral Gervera to the last-named gentlemen, 
and to his excellency Segismundo Moret y Prendergast, and to Mr. Spot 
tomo; copies of official letters addressed to his excellency the ministei 
of marine; the original proceedings of the council of war held on April 
20, 1898, at St. Vincent, Gape Verde, by the captains of the Spanish 
fleet; an opinion written at said council of war, signed by Gapt. Victor 
M. Goncas; a copy of a telegram addressed by Gapt. Fernando Villaa- 
mil to his excellency Pr&xedes Mateo Sagasta. A detailed account 
is nuide of all these documents, which we sign to-day. Mr. Spottorno 



stated that he must have among his papers at Madrid a letter which Bear 
Admiral Gervera wrote to him two or three years ago from Cadiz, aud 
which is referred to in the letter of January 30, 1898, which we have 
signed, and in which letter, which is in answer to one written by Mr. 
Spottorno to Bear- Admiral Oervera from Madrid, relative to naval 
matters, Gervera said in substance that he foresaw, through the fault 
of the whole oountry, a maritime disaster while he (Gervera) was 
placed in command of the fleet, and that he feared that he would be 
held responsible, as the Italian Admiral Persano was held responsible 
for the destruction of his squadron, for which the whole country was 
to blame. As men of honor we attest all that has been set forth. 
Dated at Oartagena, July 2, 1898. 

Gin 6s Mono ADA. 

Antonio Mabtl 

Gabtagena, February 3y 1898. 

His Bxcellenoy SBaisiruNBO Bbbieejo. 

My Dbab Admibal and Fbiend: The Ooldn has arrived, after 

encountering heavy weather in the Gulf of Leon, which carried away a 

ladder, a boat, and some other things of minor importance. I did not 

want to put this in my telegram, so as not to alarm the uninitiated. 

We have not yet received the consignments for January, and as the 

squadron has very little money left it has been necessary, in order to 

get the Vizcaya off, to resort to private funds. On the other hand, the 

departamento has already received its monthly allowance for February. 

Gan not something be done so that the squadron will not always be kept 

behind Y A remedy must be found if it is desired to keep up the good 

spirit now prevailing among the crews, and 1 beg and implore that you 

will be kind enough to remedy this evil. The storm which the OoUn has 

encountered has shown the necessity of her having scupper holes, and 

I will see to this at once. I shall not have the Ooldn fill up with coal, 

on account of the condition of her bunkers, unless you should give 

orders to the contrary. I have received the royal order corroborating 

the telegram concerning the consignments, and you will allow me to 

insist on my petition about which I wrote Moret. 

YourS| eto.| 

Pasoual Gebveba. 

Gabtaobna, February 5, 1898. 
His Excellency Sboismundo Mobet. 

My Deab Fbiend : I presume you know that upon my arrival here 
I found the Vizcaya ready to go out, and I have had the pleasure of 
telegraphing to that effect to the minister of marine, who ordered the 
fires to be lighted. I mention this because it shows the good spirit of 
the crews, which extends to every class, as evidenced by the &ot that 


not a single man was absent at the roll call, although many of them 
had leave granted and some had gone to Gallcia. There is no wealth 
in the Navy (I am not speaking of the officers particularly, although 
I do not exclude them). There are many classes of boatswains, gun- 
ners, machinists, firemen, and dock-yard men who have nothing but 
their pay, which, as a rule, is small, and out of that at least two- 
thirds of this personnel have to take care of families, for I do not 
count the unmarried men; nor do I count the seamen and gunners' 
mates, who can leave their prizes to their families, for while they 
have the same pay as the others they have fewer needs, and though 
I plead for all I want to base my argumefit on truth. Thus each one 
of these ships about to sail fi^om the Peninsula, leaves intrusted to 
Divine Providence about 100 families, and yet every one of the men 
was there! WhyY They trust that their Admiral will look out for 
them, and that the Government of His Majesty will act favorably on 
my just petition. But I telegraphed to the minister of marine, asking 
that the Government authorize the establishment of assignments to 
the families, and he answered that existing regulations would not 
permit this, and I therefore sent him a letter on the dlst, a copy of 
which I inclose, asking that you will read it. To-day I am in receipt 
of the corroboration of the telegram from the minister of marine, in 
which he says that the concession depends also on the minister of colo- 
nies, and that he will renew his petitions on that subject. It is for 
this reason that I trouble you, feeling sure that you will pardon me 
for taking up your attention for a few moments. I don't like to trouble 
anyone, and have a great aversion toward a certain class of business. 
As an illustration of this, 1 wUl tell you that while my son Angel was 
attached to the legation at Pekin, in order to protect it with the 
detachment under his command, he was the only one who received his 
pay in Mexican dollars. The whole legation with the exception of 
himself received theirs in gold. And although we are both i>oor, I 
never troubled anyone about this when the minister of colonies refused 
his entirely justifiable request that his pay be made the same as to the 
others.^ But the matter in question to-day is very different. I am not 
advocating my own interests nor those of my family, but of my sub- 
ordinates, and it is the admiral's duty to look out for them. I there- 
fore beg that you will call this matter up and have it &vorably dis- 
posed of as it should be. 
Trusting that you will do so, I remalDy 

Yours, etc., Pasoual Oebveba« 

' Three months after the date of the above letter he was partially indemnified — 
fortij-three montha after the termination of hia commiBaion in China. 



HOKOBXD Sir: Althongh I mm sure that I am telliDg your excellency nothing new, 
I think it is not idle in theee critical times to make a stady of the condition of this 
fleet, if only to complete statistical statements of condition and power as to those 
matters which, for reasons I need not here set forth, do not appear in snch state- 
ments. We mnst discount the Alfomo XIII , whicli has been nnder trials for so many 
years, and which we shall apparently not have the pleasure of counting among our 
available ships, which are therefore reduced to the three Bilbao battle ships,^ the 
Col6nf the Deiiruotor, and the torpedo-boat destroyers Furor and Terror. The three 
Bilbao battle ships are apparently complete, but you who have had so much to do 
with them while in command of the squadron, and since then in your present posi- 
tion, know only too well that the 5.5-inch guns, the main power of these vessels, are 
praotically useless on account of the bad system of their breech mechanism and the 
poor quality of their cartridge cases, of which there are no more than those now on 

The CoUn, which, from a military standpoint, is no doubt the beet of all our ships, 
IS still without her heavy guns. In this matter I have, at your instructions, com- 
municated with General Guillen, in order to find a possible remedy, if there is one. 
The Dutructor may serve as a scout, although her speed is deficient for that kind of 
service with this fleet. The torpedo-boat destroyers Furor and Terror are in good 
condition, but I doubt if they can make effective use of their 2.95-inch guns. As 
for the supplies necessary for the fleet, we frequently lack even the most indispen- 
sable. In this departamento we have not been able to renew the coal supplies, and 
at both Barcelona and Cadiz we could only obtain half the amount of biscuit we 
wanted, including the 17,637 pounds which I had ordered to be made here. 

We have no charts of the American seas, and although I suppose they have been 
ordered, we could not more at present. Apart from this deficient state of materiel, 
I have the satisfaction of stating that the spirit of the personnel is excellent, and 
that the country will find it all that it may choose to demand. It is a pity that we 
do not have better and more abundant material, better resources, and less hindrances 
to put this personnel in condition fully to carry out its rdle. I will only add the 
assurance that whatever may be the contingencies of the future these forces will do 
their full duty. 

Yours, etc., . Pascual Cb&vbra. 

Cabtaosna, Febru4UTf 6, JS98. 


The Minister of Marine, 

Madrid^ February 6", 1898. 
His Bxcellenoy Pasoual Oeryera. 

My Dear Admiral and Friend : I take advantage of this being 
Sunday to answer your esteemed letters, beginning with the political 
situation. This has not changed at all. We are still receiving visits 
in Onba from American vessels, always with the assurance on the part 
of the United States that they are simply visits of courtesy and friend- 
ship. If they involve any other design — as, for instance, to exhibit 
their ships and show their superiority over those stationed in our 

^I haye used this designation as heing the official one; hut I have neyer con- 
sidered these ships battle ships, and I deem it a fatal mistake not to designate ships 


colonies — ^their object is attained. The nuclens of their force is stationed 
at Dry Tortagas and Key West, under pretext of carrying out naval 
maneuvers, which are to last until the 1st of April. We shall see 
what will be the outcome of all this. It troubles me a great deal, and 
I am trying to concentrate in Spain all the forces we have abroad. 
What you tell me of the Vizcaya is entifely satisfactory to me, and I 
shall write to Havana all you have stated about this ship, and also as 
to her departure. 

The official report on the voyage of the OoMn has acquainted me 
with the work that is being done on her, and I have telegraphed the 
Captain-General to have the work done at once, aside firom the scupper- 
holes, which you will have made on your own account. General Ouill^n 
has probably called on you. His plans can not be decided upon until 
this office is acquainted with them, for influences are being brought to 
bear here for the acceptance of the 10-inch guns, which I shall try to 
prevent, because it would be a second edition of the 9.46-inch guns and 
mounts of the Begente. To-morrow I expect to see a gentleman sent 
here by Perrone, no doubt for the purpose of discussing these guns, 
which matter is to be considered by the council of ministers. 

I am awaiting the result of the board sent out, and hope that no 
compromise will be made with Canet. As to the voyage of the Ooldnj 
I want to thank her commander for his skillfdl seamanship. You did 
well not to cause any alarm, since her injuries can be easily repaired 
and will not prevent the ship from leaving. I should like to comply 
with your wishes and take the Alfonso XIII from you, but we must 
await her final official trials and find out what this ship is able to do — 
that is to say, whether she can be considered a cruiser or whether it 
will be necessary to assign her to special service. From what we 
know of her I think it will be the latter. Your report as to the lack 
of officers has been forwarded to the director of personnel with my 
indorsement. We are very short of officers, especially ensigns; ten 
have gone out this last six months and six will go out the next six 
months. These are all the ships fitted out in addition to those still 
abroad, with much reduced complements. i- 

To your petitions for dues for services, I have answered by telegram 
that there has been no delay on the part of this ministry, and if any 
delay has occurred at all, it has been caused by the departamentos in 
honoring orders of payment without preference of any kind. 

Your communication concerning assignments, indorsed by me, is 
meeting, on the part of the minister of colonies, with the same interest 
which you manifest. 

The subject of the exchange of Philippine drafts has given me a 
good deal of trouble, their money being worth only 50 per cent. But 
in spite of the time elapsed, this transaction has not been reduced to a 
normal basis. You are well aware that this central department has no 
funds of any kind, nor any branch of the administration^ to meet these 
10742 2 


expenses. Consequently the minister of colonies must advance it, to 

be reimbursed by the tariff on the colony, since we have no colony 

fund, such as exists in the army, taking as a basis the funds of the 

regiments and military institutions. 

I believe I have overlooked nothing referred to in your letters. 

Yours, etc., • 

Segismundo Bebmsjo. 

ABTAGENA, February 5, 1898. 
His Excellency Segismundo Bebmejo. 

My Deab Admibal and Fbiend: The engineer from Greusothas 
arrived. lie tells me that the first guns will be ready in June, and as 
it is my belief that they never keep their promise, it will surely be later 
than that and this solution does not appear acceptable to me. Are 
there no other guns that could be usedY If so, it would be better, and 
if not, the Armst ong guns, although they are not as good as might be 
desired. The dynamo of the Colon can be fixed here; but as the injury 
is in the coil, and we have no spare one, I beg that you will ask for 
another coil. 

Yours, eto., Pasoual Oebvsba. 


The Mintsteb of Mabinb, 

Madridj February 5, 1898. 
His Excellency Pasoual Oebveba. 

My Deab Admibal and Fbiend : I telegraphed you today to have 
the Oquendo ready as soon as possible, as she is to perform the same 
mission as the Vizcaya in the Gulf of Mexico, conformable to the 
council of ministers, as the result of the opinion of the Oovernor- 
General of Cuba, transmitted in a cipher cable from Manterola. This 
will be the last detachment of ships from your squadron, for if it were 
necessary to send away any more, you would go with the Maria Teresa 
and some others of the ships that are now abroad and are to be incor- 
porated with the fieet. For the present we can count only on the 
CoUn and Alfonso XTIIj although the latter is still under trials; but 
I hope your flag will be better represented in the future. I have given 
orders for the training school to be transferred to the Navarra^ and 
you will transfer the second commander to any ship as you may think 
best, because the ships that visit Cuban ports do so simply under the 
representation of their commanders. 

The division of destroyers and torpedo boats will assemble at Cadiz, 
and will proceed to Cuba under the protection of the Ciudad de Cadiz. 
Upon the arrival of the destroyers that are still in England, they will 
be incorporate in the squadron. As to the CoUn^ I have an Italian 
committee here, but shall decide nothing until I know the result of the 


janta over whicli yon preside. If they have any reasonable and eqni- 
table proposition to make I shall advise yon immediately. I have told 
them positively that gnns Nos. 325 and 313 can not be accepted. I 
have received yonr confidential letter, but I do not qnite share yonr 
pessimistic views as to the 5.5-inch gnns, for the guaranty of Oolonel 
S&nchez and the firing trials held on board the Vizca/ya have demon- 
strated that our fear concerning them was greatly exaggerated, and 
with the new cartridge cases 1 hope it will be dissipated entirely. There 
will be 2,000 tons of coal left at Oartagena, in addition to the coal 
ordered yesterday. 

As to the other matters yon referred to, I will do what I possibly can 
to remedy them. I shonld like to write more fully, but you will under- 
stand that I have not a moments time, with so many problems to solve 
and so many vessels abroad that I want to bring back to Spain. 

I believe the Americans will reeuforce their European station, 
although in my opinion their tendency will be rather toward the 

Yours, eto.| BsaiSMimDO Bbbmbjo. 

OABTAaENA, February 9j 1898. 
His Excellency SEaiBMimDO Bbbmejo. 

My Deab Admibal and Fbiend : I received yesterday your letters 
of the 6th and 7th and your cipher telegram instructing me to get the 
Oqueiido ready to be commissioned. As soon as I received the telegram 
I sent oue to my adjutants' to hurr^ matters at the arsenal, and the 
commissary of the fleet to buy the provisions, for as these can be had 
right here I did Dot want to get them until the last hour, and without 
having recourse to the departamento, for fear of the everlasting rounda- 
bout way which delays everything. I hope, when the instructions 
arrive, she will be in condition to have her fires lighted, if such should 
be the order, and day after to-morrow she will be able to go out. But 
if she is to leave the squadron, as would appear from the telegram giv- 
ing the order to transfer the gunnery training school to the Navarroj 
she must be supplied with money, for you know how little these ships 
have lefb. 

I shall wait for instructions and act in accordance therewith, in the 
meantime using my best efforts to do what may be necessary, or tele- 
graphing to you in case my efforts should be futile. I am very grateful 
to you for keepiug me posted as to the political situation, which is very 
critical indeed and troubles us all a great deal, owing to the lack of 
means for opposing the United States in war. This is certainly no time 
for lamentations, and therefore I will say nothing of the many things 
that are in my mind, as I know them to be in yours. I thauk you very 
much for expressing satisfaction about what I have said relative to the 
Vizcaya and for writing to Havana so that she may be kept in as good 
condition as she leaves here. My departure is not quite what the news- 


papers made it ont to be, although this time they have not changed the 
essence of the few words I said to them. 

The boats of the OoUn are to be ready to-day. I note what yon tell 
me about the heavy artillery of the Coldn, and your instructions will be 
carried out. It is very much to be regretted that there is always so 
much underhand work about everything, and that there should be so 
much of it now regarding the acceptance of the 9.6-inch guns, for, if we 
finally take them, it will seem as though we are yielding to certain 
disagreeable impositions, and if things should come to the worst — ^and 
you are better able to judge of this than I — ^it seems to me we should 
accept, as the proverb says, ^^hard bread rather than none;" and if we 
have no other guns, and these can fire even 25 or SO shots, we should 
take them anyhow, even though they are expensive and inefficient, and 
we should lose no time about it, in order that the vessel may be armed 
and supplied with ammunition as soon as x>ossible. 

I neglected to tell you that the OquetMU> has only a little over 700 toDS 

of coal, because there is no more to be had here. I received a telegram 

from Moret relative to the assignments, and I beg that you will not 

drop this matter. As to the provisions, we shall do what you ordered 

in your letter of the 7th. I believe I have forgotten nothing of interest 

Yours, etCi 

Pasoual Gebvbba. 

Gabtaoena, February llj 1898. 

His Excellency Segishttkdo Bebmejo. 

My Deab Admibal and Fbie^d : Soon after dispatching my two 
cipher telegrams to you yesterday, relative to the 5.5- inch guns of these 
ships and the heavy guns of the Goldn^ 1 received your letters of the 
dth and 9th, which I now answer, giving you at the same time whatever 
news there is since yesterday. The Oquendo is ready to go out, except 
as to some things which are lacking, and which she will have to go 
without. To give orders to light the fires I am only waiting for an 
answer from you to the telegram which I sent you last night, asking 
whether she is to receive the same authorization as the Vizcaya^ and the 
same amount qt money as delivered to the latter vessel, for the Vizcaya 
carried j&6,000 and the February pay, and surely there are not funds 
enough at this departamento to enable the Oquendo to leave under the 
same conditions as the Vizoaya. 

As soon as I finish this letter I shall go ashore and look after this 
very intere3ting matter. If we are to take the Alfonso j although she 
is of slow speed, it will be necessary to supply her with officers and 
many things that I have had to take from her, owing to the scarcity of 
everything here, in order to make her as useful as possible. The gun- 
nery training school has been transferred to the Navarra. The second 
commander is on board the OoUn, The telegram I sent you yesterday, 
relative to the heavy artillery of the latter ship, is the result of my 
conference with Guillen. The junta will meet to-day, and I will at 


once Dotify yon of the resnlt of the session, bnt I believe it will not differ 
essentially from my telegram of yesterday. 

Gnns numbers 325 and 313 are bad and should under ordinary cir- 
cumstances be rejected; there is no doubt of it; but if the necessity is 
really urgent and we have no others, there seems to be no remedy, 
except either to compel the firm to change them, or, if that is not 
possible, to take them, bad as they are. Yesterday the engineer of 
the Crensot people said that the first twt> 9.45-inch guns would not be 
ready until the latter part of June, if they are to be delivered as planned, 
but if they are to have trunnion hoops it will take longer. After they 
have been delivered they will have to be tried at the Polygon proving 
ground, transported to the harbor and mounted. When will all this 
work be finished t It is safe to say that it will not be before September, 
and that prospect seems worse than to take the guns they offer us. 

Guilldn went to see whether 7.87-inch guns could be mounted on 
board, and found that it was impossible with the present turrets, and 
so it seems there is no other remedy but to submit to the inevitable 
law of necessity and make the best of it. We can either have them 
exchanged for better ones later on, or we will pay less for them, or we 
can simply rent them. If we do not accept a solution of the problem 
in that direction, we will have to make up our minds that it will be six 
or eight months at least before the ship can be ready. As long as we 
use the 5.5-inch guns with the present extractors they seem to me 
utterly worthless, even more so than the guns of the Ooldn; and this 
is not pessimism, but sad reality. But I use with regard to them the 
same argument as with regard to the Ooldn guns. If we have no 
others, we must use these and fight with them, if the case should arise; 
but it would be very much better if it did not arise. 

Ouns numbers 20 and 28 'of this ship, which Ouill^n says are com- 
pletely useless, can be changed at once; that would be choosing the 
lesser of two evils. And when the Oquendo and Vizcaya return, the 
guns that Guillen may point out in those ships can be exchanged; I 
believe there are four of them, not six, as my telegram said yesterday. 
This, and the new cartridge cases, is the best we can do for the present; 
but as they are makeshifts, made necessary by the circumstances of the 
moment, they must be done away with eventually, as has long been the 
wish of all who have had anything to do with this vital matter. We 
must take to heart the lesson we are experiencing now, and not expose 
ourselves to another. You know that better than I do, as you have 
had more to do with these matters, and for a longer time than L 

I always bear in mind what the press is in this country, and you will 
have noticed that I avoid in my telegrams the use of phrases which 
might cause alarm or stir up passion. With these private letters and 
confidential communications it is quite different, and I believe that I 
owe you my frank opinion, without beating about the bush. 

May Otod help us out of these perplexities. 

Yours, etc., Pasoual Gbbvbbjl 


Oabtagbha, February 12j 1898. 
His Excellency Segismundo Bebmejo. 

My Dear Admiral and Friend: The Oquendo is ready and wiU 
go oat this afternoon, after exchanging the large bills she has received 
for smaller ones or silver. She takes with her a little more than the 
10,000 pesetas mentioned in your telegram, not only because she would 
actually not have enough, but also in order to obviate the contrast in 
comparison with the Vizoayaj which carried 150,000 pesetas in gold. She 
lacks spare gear, and I have authorized her to buy the most indispensa- 
ble things in the Canaries, provided she can get them there. The lack 
of everything at this arsenal is quite incomprehensible. 

I am very anxious for this ship as well as the Vizcaya to complete 
their voyages and be incorporated with the fleet, either at Havana or 
in Spain, without running into the month of the wolf. I can not help 
thinking of a possible war with the United States, and I believe it would 
be expedient if I were given all possible information on the following 

1. The distribution and movements of the United States ships. 

2. Where are their bases of supplies Y 

3. Charts, plans, and routes of what may become the scene of oper- 

4. What will be the objective of the operations of this squadron — 
the defense of the Peninsula and Balearic islands, that of the Oanaries 
or Ouba, or, finally, could their objective be the coasts of the United 
States, which would seem possible only if we had some powerful ally? 

5. What plans of campaign does the Government have in either 
event f I should like also to know the points where the squadron will 
find some resources and the nature of these; for, strange to say, here, 
for instance, we have not even found 4-inch rope, nor boiler tubes, nor 
other things equally simple. It would also be well for me to know 
when the Pelayo^ Oarlos F, Vitoriaj and Numanda may be expected 
to be ready, and whether they will be incorporated with the squadron 
or form an independent division, and in that event what will be its 
connection with oursY If I had information on these matters I could 
go ahead and study and see what is best to be done, and if the critical 
day should arrive we could enter without vacillations upon the course 
we are to tbllow. This is the more needful for us, as their squadron is 
three or four times as strong as ours, and besides they count on the 
alliance of the insurgents in Cuba, which will put them in }K)Ssessiou 
of the splendid Cuban harbors, with the exception of Havana and one 
or two others, perhaps. The best thing would be to avoid the war at 
any price; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to put an end to the 
present situation, because this nervous strain can not be borne much 

By this time you have probably received the telegram I sent yon 
regarding the heavy artillery of the Ool6n^ and I have nothing to add 
to the report which goes by this mail. Today Guillen and I will look 


into the matter of the 5.5-iDch guns of these ships. There are not six 
aseless ones, as I said in my telegrnm and as Guillen had told me, nor 
four, as I said in my letter yesterday, but five, two of them on board 
this ship, which can at once be exchanged for gnns from the Princesa. 
I have talked with Guillen about the frequent injuries to the 2.24-iuch 
Kordenfelt mounts, and it seems to me that it would perhaps be well to 
substitute for these mounts some of the old type, provided the conditions 
of resistance of the decks of these ships will admit of it. 
Yours, etcj 


lOoniideiitUa— PriTat6.] 

The Minister op Marine, 

Madrid, February 15 j 1898. 
His Excellency Pasottal Obrvera. 

Mt Dear Admiral and Friend : I will answer your esteemed 
letters, in which you express your opinions with a sincerity and good 
will for which I am truly grateful to you. Last night a meeting was 
held of the council of ministers to discuss the serious Dupuy de Lome 
matter. With the acceptance of his resignation (without the usual 
formula, "Pleased with the zeal,'' etc.), and with some explanations, 
this unpleasant incident will be disposed of satisfactorily. 

The Ool&n, — I have received the report of the Junta, which expresses 
itself in favor of mounting at once on the Col6n 9.92-inch A. guns. 
Numbers 325 and 313 can not be accepted ; to do so, even temporarily, 
would cause trouble, as the opinion on this question is final, and if it 
were carried to the Cortes, through the excitement of the press, it 
would place us in a very unfavorable position. I believe it could be 
solved promptly by the delivery of two guns by the Ansaldo Company, 
with whom alone we will have to settle this matter, and this can be 
done by dint of tact and energy, a combination which is absolutely 
necessary in order to obtain satisfaction under our contract. 

In my interview with the Italian ambassador, in which he explained 
the difficulties in which the Italian Government would be placed before 
the Chambers if we were to refuse guns of the type which they have 
accepted, I said to him : " It will not be difficult for me to prove to you 
by technical data that the guns which are offered to us are not accept- 
able. But the Italian navy, through the Ansaldo Company, can easily 
propose two other guns which, after having been tried according to our 
practice and found satisfactory, would be accepted.'' Through differ- 
ent channels I know that this question will soon be solved to our satis- 
faction — ^the 5.5-inch guns. I understand the defect of the extractors 
and realize how it affects the rapid fire. This defect can not be 
remedied for the present. You ordered some made by hand, and this 
step was approved. 

The two guns of the Maria Teresa will be changed| and as to the new 


cartridge cases, I have very specially impressed this matter upon Fanra, 
who has gone to England. The decks of cards asked for are on the 
way. Bnstamante torpedoes will be famished as far as possible, for 1 
have to bear in mind the Philippines and Cabrera Island. As to the 
sqnadron, I want to get it away f^om the departamento, bat that is 
difficult just at present nntil we see what is decided as to the Coldn; 
for it seems to me that the rear-admiral's flag shoald not show itself 
with less than three ships. The Carlos Fand Pelayo are to join the 
sqaadron; when that is done, year force will be as large as is at pres- 
ent within oar power to make it. 

As to the war with the United States, I will tell yon my ideas about 
it. A division composed of the Numancia^ Ftforta, Alfonso XIII (or 
Lepanto)^ the destroyers Audazj Osado^ and Proserpinay and three tor- 
pedo boats wonld remain in Spain in the vicinity of Cadiz. In Cuba 
the Carlos F, Pelayo^ Coldn^ Vizcaya^ Oquendo^ Maria Teresa^ three 
destroyers, and three torpedo boats, in conjunction with the eight larger 
vessels of the Havana Navy- Yard, would take up a position to cover 
the channels between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic and try to 
destroy Key West, where the United States squadron has established 
its principal base of provisions, ammunition, and coal. 

If we succeed in this, and the season is favorable, the blockade conld 
be extended to the Atlantic coast, so as to cut off communications and 
commerce with Europe — all this subject to the contingencies which may 
arise from your becoming engaged in battles in which it will be decided 
who is to hold empire of the sea. For your guidance in these matters, 
you are acquainted with the preliminary plans of the staff of this min- 
istry, which I placed at your disposal, including the attack upon Key 
West. I will advise you as to the location of the United States ships 
and other data for which you ask. 

I will also inform you that twelve or fifteen steamers will be equipped 
as auxiliaries to our fleet, independent of privateering, and in confidence 
I will till you that if any ship of real power can be found, either cruiser 
or battle ship, we shall buy it, provided it can be ready by April. My 
life is getting to be a burden, for to all that is already weighing upon 
me under the circumstances are now added the elections and candidates 
for representatives. 

I believe, my dear Admiral, that all the energy and all the good will 
of those who are wearing uniforms can do but very little toward 
X)repariDg for the events which may happen. 
Yours, etc^i 

Segismundo Bebmsjo. 

Cautagbna, February l€j 1898. 
His Excellency Segismundo Bbbmbjo. 

My Dear Admibal and Fbiend: I received your favor of yester- 
day, which I hasten to answer, leaving my letter open until to-morrow 
in case there should be anything new by that time. To the grave 


Dupuy de Lome aflfair is added the news of the explosion of the Maine^ 
whicli has just been reported to me, and I am constantly thinking of 
the Vizcaya, which should have arrived in New York to-day. God 
grant that no attempt is made against her. 

I shall be very glad if the matter of the armament of the Ooldn can 
be settled satisfactorily. The letter from Perrone Hijo which I sent 
yon may have contributed to this. As Gnill^n is going to Madrid, I 
will say nothing to yon concerning the 5.5-inch gnns. I shall be very 
glad if the two of this ship are changed. I do not know when the 
Pelayo and the Carlos Y will be able to join the fleet, but I suspect 
that they will not arrive in time. Of the former I know nothing at all, 
but 1 have received some news concerning the latter and certainly not 
very satisfactory as regards the time it will take for her to be ready. 

It seems to me that there is a mistake in the calculation of the 
forces we may count upon in the sad event of a war with the United 
States. In the Oadiz division I believe the Sumcmcia will be lacking. 
I do not think we can count on the Lepanto, Of the Odrlos Fand the 
Pelayo I have already spoken. The CoUn has not yet received her 
artillery, and if war comes she will be caught without her heavy guns. 

The eight principal vessels of the Havana station, to which you 
refer, have no military value whatever, and, besides, are badly worn- 
out; therefore they can be of very little use. In saying this I am not 
moved by a fault-finding spirit, but only by a desire to avoid illusions 
that may cost us very dear. Taking things as tbey are, however sad 
it u)ay be, it is seen that our naval force when compared with that of 
the United States is approximately in the proportion of 1 to 3. It 
therefore seems to me a dream, almost a feverish fancy, to think that 
with this force, attenuated by our long wars, we can establish the 
blockade of any port of the United States. A campaign against that 
country will have to be, at least for the present, a defensive or a disas* 
trous one, unless we have some alliances, in which case the tables may 
be turned. 

As for the offensive, all we could do would be to make some raids 
with our fast vessels, in order to do them as much harm as possible. It 
is frightful to think of the results of a naval battle, even if it should 
be a successful one for us, for how and where would we repair our dam- 
ages Y I, however, will not refuse to do what may be judged necessary, 
but I think it proper to analyze the situation such as it is, without 
cherishing illusions which may bring about terrible disappointments. 

I will leave this painful subject and wait until to-morrow. 

The 17th. — Nothing has happened since yesterday and I will trouble 
you no further. The explosion of the Maine seems to have occurred 
under circumstances which leave no doubts of its being due to the ves- 
sel herself; nevertheless, I fear this may cause new complications and 
a painful position for the Vizoaya, which God forbid. 
Yours, etc, 

PASOaJLL Obbtbsa. 


The Ministeb of Mabinb, 

Madrid^ February 23^ 189S. 
His Excellency Pasoual Oebyeba. 

My Deab AdmibaIj and Fbiemd : Pardon me for not answering yonr 
letters before. In spite of the Maine catastrophe — at least, so far — an<l 
in spite of the pessimistic tenor of some newspapers, our relations with 
the United States have in no manner changed. Eulate, who had to be 
given new instructions so that he might judiciously shorten his stay in 
New York, and use every manner of precautions, especially in coaling, 
has conducted himself with rare tact and refused to attend any festivi- 
ties, alleging as an excuse that he considers himself in mourning. 
But as usual there are other things that worry me. Sobral, whom I 
have telegraphed to oome home immediately, is making unfavorable 
statements on the organization and discipline of the United States 
Navy in his interviews with reporters of United States newspapers, 
and remonstrances are beginning to arrive. 

How anxious some people are, my dear Admiral, to make themselves 
conspicuous and talk. It never occurs to military and naval attaches 
at Madrid to have these interviews with reporters, and express their 
opinions. Just think how this country would rise up in arms if the 
United States attach^ should say that there was no discipline or organ- 
ization in our navy, or things on that order. As to your squadron, 
Instructions have been sent to Oadiz for the delivery of the three 5.5- 
inch guns, and I am in receipt of advices from London that the first 
installment of cartridge cases will shortly be forwarded to Oadiz. 

As for the two guns of the Ooldny Ansaldo has been notified that Nos. 
325 and 313 are not acceptable, and that he must, within a very short 
time, submit two others for trial. He tells me that the Italian navy is 
very kindly disposed toward us; so 1 am hoping for a favorable solu- 
tion. However, you are aware that I am not a partisan of guns of that 
caliber. I think their military value is imaginary rather than real. 
Moreover, I have an idea that they might affect the stability of the 
Coldn. In my opinion the most desirable solution would be to take 
7.87inch guns instead, as I believe that there is great military value in 
medium-caliber guns, owing to their rapidity of fire. Monstrous guns 
and torpedoes are terrible weapons, but only on special occasions. 

You will receive a less number of torpedoes than you asked for, 
because I have to bear in mind Cabrera Island and the Philippines. 
In reply to your questions relative to studies on the war with the 
United States, I have sent you information on the location of their 
ships in commission, bases of supplies, coaling stations, etc. They 
really only have Key West; the others are at San Luis (Atlantic), 
and at their navy-yards on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. 
Their ships, as far as the draft is concerned, are calculated for banks 
extending a long distance into the sea, as at New Orleans, for instanca 


Yon will realize what my sitnation is. I am working as hard as I 
can to assemble in Spain all the elements of power we have abroad. I 
am also trying to develop our forces, especially as to speed. As I have 
told yon before, my idea, thoagh perhaps somewhat optimistic, is to 
establish two centers of resistance, one in Gaba, the other in the pen- 
insula; and by the end of April oar position will probably have changed. 
We shall have to be very carefnl, and if possible avoid until then any 
conflict with tbe XTnited States; but we have to reckon with the excit- 
able nature of our nation and the evil of. a press which it is impossible 
to control. 

I should like to make dispositions relative to your ships, but the 
Teresa is waiting for the 5.5-inch guns, and the Col6n tbr a solution of 
the question as to her 9.84 inch armament. The Alfonso XIII^ although 
probably not permanently under your orders, must be included for the 
present while her trials are going on. When you consider the Coldn 
ready for target practice let me know, and orders will be issued for her 
to go to Santa Pola. I will close this letter and see what I can do 
toward procuring funds for getting those ships ready — in this poor 
country which has to send 16,000,000 pesos to Ouba every mouth. 
Yours, etc., 


I am also looking after provisions, coal, and extra guns. 


Honored Sin: His excellency tbe chief of staff of the ministry sent me, with 
the confidential letter of the 19th instant, two reports and two statements relatire 
to stndies made with a yiew to a possible war with the United States. A carefnl 
examination of these docnments, followed by profound reflection, has suggested to 
me the following considerations, which I respectfully sabmit to yonr excellency : 

If we compare the Navy of the United States with onr own, counting only modern 
vessels capable of active service, taking the data in reference to the Americans as 
published in the December number of the Revista General de Marina and in onr 
general statistics of the navy, we find that the United States have the battle ships 
lovoa, Indiana, Massachusetts , Oregon, and Texas; the armored cruisers Brooklyn and 
New York; the protected cruisers J /Zan/ay^ffin6apoZi«, Baltimore, Charleston, Chicago, 
Cincinnati, Columbia, Newark, San Francisco, Olympia, Philadelphia, and Baleigh, and 
the rapid unprotected cruisers Detroit, Marhlehead, and Montgomery, Against this 
we have, following the same classification, the battleships Pelayo, Infanta Maria 
Teresa, Vizcaya, and Oquendo, armored cruiser Coldn, and protected cruisers Carlos V, 
Alfonso XIII, and Ziepanto; no fast unprotected cruisers; and all this, supposing the 
Pelayo, Cdrlos V, and Lepanto to be ready in time, and giving the desired value to 
the Alfonso XI 11. 

I do not mention the other vessels on account of their smaU military value, surely 
inferior to that of the nine gunboats, from 1,000 to 1,600 tons each, six monitors still 
in service, the ram Katahdin, the Vesuvins, and the torpedo boats and destroyers, 
which I do not count. I believe that in the present form the comparison is accurate 
enough. Comparing the displacements, we find that in battle ships the United 
States has 41,589 tons, against our 30,917 tons; in armored omisers they have 17,471 


tons, n gainst onr 6,840; in protected csrnisers, 51,099, against 18,887; snd in fiwt 
unprotected cruisers they hare 6,287 and we have none. 

The total vessels good for all kinds of operations comprise 116,445 tons, against 
our 56,644 tons, or something less than one-half. In speed our battleships are 
superior to theirs, but not to their armored omisers. In other vessels their speed is 
snperior to ours. Comparing the artillery, and admitting that it is possible to fire 
every ten minutes the nnmber of shots stated in the respective reports, and that only 
one-half of the pieces of less than 7.87 inch are fired, and supposing that the efficiency 
of each shot of the calibers 12.6, 11.8, 11, 9.84, 7.87, 6.3, 5.9, 5.5, 4.7, 3.94, 2.95, 2.24, 1.65, 
and 1.45 inches be represented by the fignrea 328, 270, 220, 156, 80, 41, 33, 27, 17, 10, 4, 2, 
and 1, which are the hundredths of the cubes of the numbers representing their cali- 
bers expressed in inches ^^^^^JS^—H^^i^^i^Y we find that the artillery power of 

the American battle ships is represented by 43,822, and that of ours by 29, 449; that 
of the American armored cruisers by 13,550, and that of ours (CoUn) by 6,573; that 
of the American protected cruisers by 62,725, and that of ours by 14,600; that of the 
American unprotected cruisers by 12,300. 

Therefore, according to these figures the offensive power of the artillery of the 
United States vessels will be represented by 132,397, and that of ours by 50,622, or « 
little less than two-fifths of the enemy's. To arrive at this appalling conclusion I 
have already said that it has been necessary to count the Pelayo and CarloB F, 
which probably will not be ready in time; tbe LepantOf which surely will not be 
ready, and the Alfonso XII, whose speed renders her of a very doubtful utility. 

Now, to carry out any serious operations in a maritime war, the first thing neces- 
sary is to secure control of the sea, which can only be dpne by defeating the enemy's 
fleet, or rendering them powerless by blockading them in their military ports. Can 
we do this with the United States f It is evident to me that we can not. And even 
if God should grant us a great victory, against what may be reasonably expected, 
where and how would we repair the damages sustained f Undoubtedly the port would 
be Havana, but with what resoaroesf I am not aware of the resources existing 
there, but Judging by this departamento, where there is absolntely nothing of all 
that we may need, it is to be assumed that the same condition exists eyerywhere, 
and that the immediate consequences of the first great naval battle would be the 
enforced inaction of the greater part of our fleet for the rest of the campaign, what- 
ever might be the result of that great combat. In the meantime the enemy would 
repair its damages inside of its fine rivers, aided by its powerful industries and 
enormous resources. 

This lack of industries and stores on onr part renders it impossible to carry on an 
ofiensive campaign, which has been the subject of the two reports which his excel- 
lency the chief of staff has been kind enough to send me. These two reports con- 
stitate, in my Judgment, a very thorough study of the operations considered, but 
the principal foundation is lacking, namely, the control of the sea, a prime necessity 
to their undertaking. For this reason they do not seem practicable to me, at any 
rate not unless we may count upon alliances which will make our naval forces at 
least equal to those of the United States, to attempt by a decisive blow the attain- 
ment of such control. 

If the control of the sea remains in the hands of our adversaries, they will imme- 
diately make themselves masters of any unfortified ports which they may want in 
the island of Cuba, counting, as they do, on the insurgents, and will use it as a base 
for their operations against us. The transportation of troops to Cuba would be 
most difficult and the success very doubtful, and the insurrection, without the check 
of our army, which would gradually give way, and with the aid of the Amerieans, 
would rapidly increase and become formidable. 

These reflections are very sad; but I believe it to be my nnavoidable duty to set 
aside all personal considerations and loyally to represent to my country the resources 
which I believe to exist, so that, without illusions, it may weigh the considerations 


for and agamsti and then, through the Gk)yernment of His Majesty, which is the 
country's legitimate organ, it may pronounce its decision. I am sure that this deci- 
sion will find in all of ns energetic, loyal, and decided executors, for we have but 
one motto : '' The fulfillment of daty/' 

Yours, etc., Pascual Cbrvsba. 

Cabtagbna, FtHmMTjt t6, 1898, 

His Exoellenoy the Mxjnistxs ov Marinb* 

Cabtagena, February 25 ^ 1898. 
His Excellency SEaiSMUNDO Bebmejo. 

My Dbab Admibal and Pbiend; I am in receipt of yonr favor of 
the 23d and will answer your questions. I am very glad to know that 
our relations with the United States have not changed, for I believe a 
rupture would mean a terrible catastrophe for poor Spain, who has 
done all she can and is by no means ready for such a blow, which 
would surely be fatal. The reports and statistics forwarded to me by 
the staff of the ministry have suggested to me certain considerations, 
which I shall send to-morrow or the day after, also officially, the same 
as I received the reports that suggested them. 

We must not Indulge in any illusions relative to our situation, 
although we are ready and willing to bear whatever trials God may be 
pleased to send us. It is one thing to meet with energy and manliness 
whatever may befall us, and another thing to indulge in illusions as to 
the results to be expected. Eulate's conduct has afforded me much 
pleasure, and I have written to him at Havana, congratulating him. 
Sobral is disgusting. I can hardly believe that he could have been 
guilty of such indiscretion; I should rather believe that our numerous 
crafty enemies have invented all that. 

According to a letter received from Cadiz the 5.5-inch guns need a 
slight alteration in order to be installed in the mounts of this ship, and 
it would perhaps be easier to have that done at Oadiz. It is very 
important that the new 5.5-lnch cartridge cases should arrive and be 
charged, to replace those we now have. I am glad the Ooldn is almost 
ready. I believe you are right; the ship would be worth more with 
four 7.87-inch guns than with two 9.84-inch, which are about equivalent 
in weight; but as she is built for the latter it can not be helped. I 
have received the royal order regarding the torpedoes, but the torpedoes 
themselves have not yet arrived. 

I realize how hard you must be working and how many disagreeable 
things you have to contend with and as we all have who love our 
country. I believe you are reaUy optimistic in your views about a 
rupture with the United States. You think that if we can hold off 
until April our relative positions will be considerably changed. I 
believe that is an illusion, for, from what I know, it is my opinion that 
the Pelayo and Oarlos V will not be ready by that time, and at the rate 
we are now progressing it is very doubtful whether the GoUn will be. 


Nop will the Lepanto he ready, and the Alfonso XIII will never be 

anything more than she is now. The Vitoria may perhaps be ready 

for service, bat the Numancia will not be. The CoUin can go out for 

target practice whenever it may be desirable. 

YonrSi etc., 

Pasoual Cebveba. 

Cartagena, February 26, 1898, 
His P^xcellency Segismundo Bermejo. 

My Dear Admiral and Friend: When I received yesterday, tb e 
letter in which, among other things, you asked me ii the CoUn could 
go out for target practice, I answered that the vessel was ready, and 
at the same time I took measores so that the cartridge cases which 
might be used in that practice should be recharged, but it api)ear8 
that there is no furnace in w