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LIBRARY 

OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. 

Class 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 



WITH 
THE BATTLE FLEET 



CRUISE OF THE SIXTEEN BATTLESHIPS OF THE 
UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET FROM HAMP- 
TON ROADS TO THE GOLDEN GATE 

DECEMBER, 190? MAY, 1908 



BY 

FRANKLIN MATTHEWS 



ILLUSTRATED BY 
HENRY REUTERDAHL 

(Courtesy of Collier's Weekly) 



1909 

B. W. HUEBSCH 

NEW YORK 



r.K^ 



Copyright 1909 
by B. W. HUEBSCH 



1st Printing, October, 1908 
2d Printing, December, 1908 
3d Printing, February, 1909 



TO 

REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD WAINWRIGHT, U. S. N., 

(Captain of the U. S. S. Louisiana on the Atlantic Fleet's Cruise to the Pacific) 

AN ABLE OFFICER AND 
A GENTLEMAN 



228468 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I. FROM HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 1 

II. CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 25 

III. TRINIDAD TO Rio DE JANEIRO ,47 

IV. NEPTUNE AHOY! 64 

V. BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 86 

VI. NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 114 

VII. PUNTA ARENAS, THE WORLD'S JUMPING-OFF PLACE . . 135 

VIII. THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 164 

IX. IN AND OUT or VALPARAISO HARBOR 182 

X. PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 198 

XI. TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA BAY 228 

XII. ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 254 

XIII. SOCIAL LIFE ON AN AMERICAN MAN-O'-WAR 282 

XIV. END AND LESSONS OF THE CRUISE TO THE PACIFIC . . . 309 



INTRODUCTORY 

On December 16, 1907, there sailed from Hampton 
Roads, bound for San Francisco, a fleet of sixteen Ameri- 
can battleships, the most powerful collection of warships 
ever assembled under the American flag and about to un- 
dertake the longest cruise that any fleet of any nation had 
ever made. It was ordered to make this journey of about 
14,000 miles by President Roosevelt, Commander-in-Chief 
of the Navy by virtue of his office, for reasons which he 
did not deem wise to make public fully and which up to this 
writing have not been revealed. In his annual message 
submitted to Congress a few days before the fleet sailed 
the President designated the fleet, still known officially as 
the U. S. Atlantic Fleet, as the Battle Fleet. 

Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans was in command of the 
fleet, of the first squadron and of the first division of the 
first squadron. The ships of his division were the Connec- 
ticut, (Captain H. Osterhaus), Kansas (Captain C. E. 
Vreeland), Vermont (Captain W. P. Potter) and Louis- 
iana (Captain Richard Wainwright). The ships of the 
second division of the first squadron were commanded by 
Rear Admiral William H. Emory and were the Georgia 
(Captain H. McCrea), New Jersey (Captain W. H. H. 
Southerland), Rhode Island (Captain J. B. Murdock) 
and Virginia (Captain S. Schroeder). The second squad- 
ron of the fleet and its third division were commanded by 



x INTRODUCTORY 

Rear Admiral Charles M. Thomas, and the ships of his di- 
vision were the Minnesota (Captain J. Hubbard), Ohio 
(Captain C. W. Bartlett), Missouri (Captain G. A. 
Merriam) and the Maine (Captain G. B. Harber). 
The ships of the fourth division were commanded by 
Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry and his ships were 
the Alabama (Captain T. E. DeW. Veeder), Illinois 
(Captain J. M. Bowyer), Kearsarge (Captain H. Hutch- 
ins) and Kentucky (Captain W. C. Cowles). There were 
about 14,000 men on the ships and the value of the ves- 
sels and stores was about $100,000,000. 

The following compilation shows where the fleet 
stopped, how long each stay was and the distance travelled. 

Sailed from Hampton Roads, Va., December 16, 1907. 

Arrived Port of Spain, December 23, 1907; sailed December 29, 
1907; 1,594.7 knots; time 7 days 9 hours. 

Arrived Rio de Janeiro, January 12, 1908; sailed January 22, 1908; 
3,225 knots; time, 13 days 20 hours. 

Arrived Possession Bar, Chile, January 31, 1908; sailed February 
1, 1908; 2,076 knots; time, 9 days. 

Arrived Punta Arenas, Chile, February 1, 1908; sailed February 
7, 1908; 75 knots; time, 9 hours. 

Arrived Callao, Peru, February 20, 1908; sailed February 29, 1908; 
2,693 knots; time, 12 days 10 hours. 

Arrived Magdalena Bay, Mexico, March 12, 1908; sailed April 11, 
1908; 3,025 knots; time, 12 days 23 hours. 

Arrived San Diego, Cal., April 14, 1908; sailed April 18, 1908; 
590 knots; time, 2 days 21 hours. 

Arrived San Pedro, Cal., April 18, 1908; sailed April 25, 1908; 75 
knots; time, 9 hours. 

Arrived Santa Barbara, Cal., April 25, 1908; sailed April 30, 1908; 
85 knots; time, 10 hours. 

Arrived Monterey, Cal., May 1, 1908; sailed May 2, 1908; 210 
knots; time, 25 hours. 

Arrived Santa Cruz, Cal., May 2, 1908; sailed May 5, 1908; 15 
knots; time, 2 hours. 



INTRODUCTORY xi 

Arrived San Francisco Lightship, May 5, 1908; sailed May 6, 1908; 
60 knots; time, 6 hours. 

Arrived San Francisco, Cal., May 6, 1908; 15 knots; time, 2 hours. 
Total knots, 13,738. 

Actual time of cruising, 61 days 19 hours. 

The departure of the fleet excited intense interest 
throughout the civilized world. Its progress was watched 
with eagerness at home and abroad. The letters printed 
herewith record what took place on this momentous jour- 
ney, and they constitute practically a chronological story 
of the cruise. Every word of them was passed upon by 
duly appointed naval officers with the fleet. Their ac- 
curacy therefore must be unquestioned. They were writ- 
ten for The Sun of New York and they were printed 
originally by that newspaper and its clients simultaneously 
throughout the country. They are reproduced by the 
special permission of the Sun Printing and Publishing 
Association and in response to a large number of written 
and oral requests that a permanent record be made of the 
cruise and its incidents. 

The author takes pleasure in making acknowledgment 
of the kindly co-operation of Lieut. F. Taylor Evans of 
the Louisiana in the preparation of the letters and in the 
elimination of technical naval errors through his watchful 
supervision. The author is also under obligations to very 
many officers of the fleet, especially to Lieutenant Com- 
mander C. T. Jewell, navigator of the Louisiana, for sug- 
gestions and for assistance in gathering information, as 
well as for the cordiality with which he and the other cor- 
respondents, all of whom were sent with the fleet by special 
direction of the President, were received on the ships. 

F. M. 

New York, July 1, 1908. 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 



CHAPTER I 

FROM HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 

Run of the Battleships Down to the West Indies The " Sweet Six- 
teen " Quick to Get Down to Business After the Sentiment of the 
Good-by Formation of the Fleet Difficulties of Maintaining 
the Proper Distances Naval Routine Gospel of Neatness 
Neptune's Preparations for Celebrating the Crossing of the Line 
Arrival at Trinidad. 

Vn Board U. S. S. 'Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

TRINIDAD, Dec. 24*. 

TT CALL 'em ' Sweet Sixteen', sir," said the bos'n's 

mate to the Sun correspondent as Admiral Evans 

in the flagship Connecticut led the battle fleet past 

the capes of the Chesapeake out to sea just before noon on 

December 16 and the gentle swells lifted and lowered the 

bows of one ship after another to nod their own farewells 

to the Mayflower at anchor near the Tail of the Horseshoe. 

The officers and men had stood at attention to receive 

the good-by and godspeed of the President, and they had 

thundered their farewells to him from the throats of the 

3-pounder barkers that spat fire and snorted out great puffs 

of smoke, but when each ship began to find herself she too 

made her good-by as only a dignified ship could make it, 

taking no orders from Admiral or Captain as to when and 



2/.\ ; ! ' i ; iwzilri . Tite .BATTLE FLEET 



how often she should bow to the ship that carried the 
President. 

A stiff northwest wind seized hold of the great streamers 
of smoke that poured over the tops of smoke-pipes, and as 
these streamers frayed themselves out against the blue sky 
and the bright sun the breeze seemed to lift them toward 
the southeastern heavens, where some power wove them 
together to pull the ships along and give them a fine send- 
off. All of Monday and Tuesday whoever it was in the 
kingdom of Old Boreas that was doing the tugging on 
the ships made a good job of it, for practically every 
vessel in the fleet had to check speed constantly. 

Admiral Evans had his own notions as to the way a 
great fleet should set sail on a prolonged voyage, and his 
commanding officers got down to business in a jiffy. All 
acted as if sending a fleet of sixteen battleships on a 
14,000 mile cruise were a mere matter of ordinary routine. 
The officers of the deck on all the ships were concerned 
chiefly about keeping their proper distances, the naviga- 
tors were taking bearings and already getting ready for 
figuring out latitudes and longitudes, the executive officers 
were going about to see that everything was in proper 
order for routine at sea and the captains were mostly on 
the bridges casting their eyes about and keeping their 
ears open, alert to correct any move that might mar the 
performance of their ships in the fleet formation. 

Below decks in engine and fire rooms, and in all the other 
of the scores of places where men watch and work in a 
warship, routine was established quickly. 

It was all very businesslike. Every ship was doing the 
same thing at the same time. True, the fleet had started 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 3 

tor San Francisco, but that was a mere detail, so little has 
the matter of destination to do with perfecting drill on a 
warship. 

Getting away from Hampton Roads may have sent a 
lump into many a man's throat, but not one showed it. On 
every ship the band was playing the usual good-by medley 
composed of "Home, Sweet Home," "The Girl I Left 
Behind Me " and " Auld Lang Syne." The middle part 
of the medley brought thumping of many feet on the 
deck, but there was silence and stern looks ahead when the 
beginning and end were reached, over and over again. 

A staff officer on the Louisiana showed the attitude of 
the naval man. He had told his wife and family exactly 
where to go in a remote but conspicuous place on the ram- 
parts of old Fort Monroe so that he could distinguish 
them easily with his glass. He had told them he would 
be on the after bridge. When the ship came near the 
station of his family he stole far out on the bridge, fixed 
his glass on the family group and waved and waved his 
handkerchief. The answer came quickly and the flashes 
seemed to be wigwags, such as a naval officer's wife might 
be expected to know. 

The officer stood it for about two minutes. Then he 
pulled himself together sharply, turned and walked away. 
He walked over to a group of his mates. 

" Did you make out your people, Jones ?" asked one of 
them who had noted what was going on. 

" I believe they were over there somewhere in the crowd," 
was the reply with an apparently unconcerned smile. 

He had finished with that side of his existence. From 
now on he knew no family ; his duty was to his flag and 



4 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

ship. What was that signal at the forward truck? E 
anybody made it out? His heartstrings were out of sij 
and he was thankful they were. 

The business side of the start was another story. Ord 
had been issued to steam in exact column, that is, one s" 
directly behind its leader at a distance of 400 yards f r 
masthead to masthead. Steam was up; engines, steer: 
gear, annunciators, and all the rest of the modern c 
trivances had been tested; boats hoisted in and gangw; 
unrigged, and then came the flagship signal to get un 
way. 

How the men did step around and the anchor engi 
tug! The division officer watched until the anchor ) 
clear of the mud, when he reported it to the executive 
ficer, who takes a ship in and out of port. Finally 
anchor was sighted, the " All ready " signal made, 
engines began to throb and the ships turned on their h( 
and got under way. 

It was a pretty manoeuvre in the crowded Roads w 
the swift tide sweeping the ships seaward. In the cha 
the leadsman was swinging his plummet and calling < 
such things as " By the mark seven," " By the deep si: 
" By the quarter less six," while the ships slowly parat 
down the bay. The channel was so shallow that the sh 
stirred up the mud and some of it got into the machine 
and there were hot bearings that were cooled down w 
the hose. It would not do to falter or make a blunder 
any kind, for the President was looking on and no excu 
would be tolerated. 

It was a far different story from the old days. 1 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 5 

old sloop of war Jamestown lay in the Roads, and if the 
fleet could have stopped to listen she would have spun a 
yarn on how they used to leave port. She would have re- 
marked upon the change. When she set sail capstan bars 
would be shipped and all that part of the ship's company 
manning the bars would bring the anchor chain " up and 
down, sir," as the officer in charge of the fo'c's'le would 
report. The captain and First Luff (the executive officer 
who " had to have the ship working like a chronometer, no 
thanks if he did and his hide scorched by his superiors if 
he didn't " ) would stand on the quarter block on the 
weather side and the navigator and officer of the deck on 
the lee side. 

Then would come the sharp commands, " Aloft light 
yardmen ! " " Aloft topmen ! " " Aloft lower yardmen ! " 
" Lay out ! " " Let fall ! " and a cloud of snowy canvas 
would drop loose and limp. Then would come the com- 
mands, " Topsail sheets and halyards ! " " To'gallant 
sheets and halyards!" "Set taut!" "Haul away!" with 
the shrill sound of the bos'n's whistle to the tramp of 
hundreds of feet. 

When a band was on board there would be a martial air. 
If not the officer would shout " Stamp and go ! " and this 
noise with the feet meant so much extra pulling, and the 
good ship was soon on her course. Sometimes a chanty 
would be sung instead of the " Stamp and go," and when 
the ship was bound for Rio, just as this fleet is, one could 
hear the light hearted, and the heavy hearted ones too, 
singing a refrain that the men of this fleet might well have 
sung if the days of the chanty had not gone to limbo : 



6 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Heave away for Rio! 

Heave away for Rio ! 

My bonny young girl, 

My head's in a whirl, 

For I'm bound for the Rio Grande. 

The old days have gone, but many a bluejacket's head 
(bluejacket, mind you; not Jackie, for many of Uncle 
Sam's tars and sea dogs don't like that term) was in a 
whirl over some bonny young girl, as witness the hun- 
dreds of letters that were sent ashore on the mail orderly's 
last trip. 

And so the ships passed out to sea. The matter of fact 
officers occasionally cast their eyes about and when they 
had time to give expression to their feelings about all 
that one would hear from them would be: 

" Mighty, fine, sight, this. Wonder what they're doing 
back there? Distance seems wrong. Better get up his 
position pennant or the Admiral may get after him. 
What's that? We're fifty yards too close? Give her three 
revolutions slower. Only twenty-five now? Give her only 
one slower. Get her distance now? Standard speed." 

And the signals to the engine room would quit jangling 
for a time while the Captain or officer of the deck looked 
around again and repeated: 

" Mighty fine sight, this ! " 

It all depends on the way you look at it. You couldn't 
see much going down the Chesapeake Bay channel. There 
was a turn or two, but the smoke of the saluting obscured 
things and it was not until the ships headed out to sea and 
the Connecticut was past the whistling buoy, which also 
seemed to want to have a share in the sendoff, that it was 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 7 

possible to get a satisfactory look at the entire fleet that 
stretched away, for more than three miles. 

Then came a signal for open order. The Admiral's 
ship went right on. The next following bore out to port 
and the next to starboard. Then the ships paired off to 
port and starboard, making two lines, each a quarter 
of a point off the flagship, which had a lane to itself 
in the centre, giving the Admiral and his staff on the 
after bridge a view of all. Perhaps the formation may 
be understood better by the average reader by saying that 
it was a wing and wing formation. 

Signals were passing along the line constantly and 
semaphores were throwing their arms about as if they were 
manikins performing for the amusement of the 14,000 men 
afloat. It was pretty to see a mass of flags fall to the deck 
simultaneously from time to time. It was impressive to 
see the flag of the country fluttering from the gaffs of 
mainmasts. It was fine to see the ships keeping in line. 

The commanding officers might refer to the spectacle as 
a mighty fine sight, but the few civilians with the fleet 
shared the sentiment of a tar who sidled up to the Sun 
man and said: 

" This makes you proud of your country. You know 
already that the country is big and great and all that, but 
when you see it reduced to this kind of business on the 
ocean you are sure your country is great. None but a 
great country could produce such a sight as this. I'm 
glad I've had the chance to see it." 

In single file for two hours the ships kept on their course. 
They were like so many Indians on a jaunt. Each ship 
stood for sovereignty. Each stood for brute strength. 



8 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Each stood for the development of science and skill. Eacli 
stood for an impressive expression of patriotism. In that 
fleet of sixteen ships there seemed to be concentrated, ac* 
cording to some of those who looked at them, the entire 
power of the United States for good or evil. 

When it came to estimating the brute strength of the 
fleet it grew bewildering. The mathematicians got busy. 
They figured out that there were nearly 1,000 guns of 
various kinds on the entire fleet and they talked about the 
weight of projectiles and charges and then got down to 
muzzle velocity in foot seconds and muzzle energy in foot 
tons and a lot of other terms that would make a land- 
lubber's head dizzy. They told how the average muzzle 
velocity of those guns was 2,700 feet a second and that a 
13-inch gun's energy was equal to raising 31,372 tons a 
foot, while that of a 12-inch gun, with which these ships 
are all armed, could lift, by the power of one discharge, 
44,025 tons a foot. Then they got to figuring out how 
much all the guns could lift and how swift the things they 
shoot could go. This ran the figures up into the millions 
of foot tons just for one discharge. 

When some one tried to figure out how many millions 
upon millions of foot tons could be raised if all the projec- 
tiles in the fleet were fired the exact number of the 
thousands upon thousands of these projectiles it would not 
be prudent even to indicate why, an amateur at figures, 
the simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and di- 
vision man, got a headache. 

Then the figure sharps got after the engine power, and 
they tried to show if one ship had something like 15,000 
horse-power, more or less, what the combined ships 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 9 

must have and what could be done with it on land 
that is, how many railroad trains, each a mile long, 
could be pulled so many thousands of miles; how many 
bridges like those across the East River they could pull 
down with just one tug at them; how many cities such 
power could light; how many great factories and mills 
could be run with that power, and even how much goods 
could be made out of it well, after that the amateur be- 
gan to wonder if he could add up two and two. 

After that it was figured out that the displacement in 
tons for the entire fleet was more than a quarter of a mil- 
lion, and the weight of a lot of other heavy things in the 
world was estimated. By this time the amateur was clear 
flabbergasted, and all he could say, landlubber that he is 
and will be until Neptune has him ducked, was that if the 
fleet did displace 250,000 tons of water the ocean didn't 
show any signs of it and Uncle Sam would have to try 
many, many thousands of times if he expected to get the 
better of old Neptune by displacing water. 

After the mathematical sharps had finished, what are 
known as the word painters and grainers became busy. 
Some of the word painters compared the long file of ships 
to a line of gray geese in a long follow-your-leader flight 
to the south for a warmer clime. The ships did look gray 
at times, according to the atmospheric conditions, but the 
gray geese analogy was voted not a success because geese 
haven't things sticking up in the middle of their backs 
resembling the smoke-pipes of battleships. Besides, geese 
do not give out black or any other kind of smoke. 

The painters got out their vocabulary of magnificent, 
awe inspiring, formidable demons of war, bulldogs of the 



10 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

sea, peace compellers and all that string and began to 
weave them all together, and it was voted all right and 
probably appropriate, but it was said that these did not 
hit quite the right note. 

That was that this fleet was going out for business of a 
different kind from that which any other American fleet 
had undertaken. The business in hand was the moulding 
of sixteen battleship units into one battle fleet unit, not 
sixteen times stronger than one unit, but with the strength 
increased in something like geometrical ratio. The prob- 
lem, therefore, was to make this fleet a unit, not like a 
chain, strong only as its weakest link, but like a rope, far 
stronger than the multiplied strength of its various 
strands. 

Charles H. Cramp, the veteran shipbuilder, nearly ten 
years ago pointed out in a paper read at the annual meet- 
ing of naval men and marine engineers in New York City 
that the greatest training need of the United States navy 
was what he called battleship seamanship. That meant not 
navigation merely, but the synchronizing of one battle- 
ship to others, the tuning up, so to speak, the team work, 
to use a football analogy, in sailing, manoeuvring, shooting 
all pulling together. 

Two hours after clearing the Capes Admiral Evans 
gave the signal for one of his favorite cruising formations, 
that is, in columns of fours. The four divisions of the 
fleet drew up in parallel lines with an Admiral at the head 
of each line. 

The five starred white flag, called the five of clubs, was 
run up at the fore truck of the Connecticut to indicate 
that that ship was the guard ship. The lines were run 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD It 

at intervals of 1,600 yards, and the ships of each division, 
still in wing and wing fashion, were at distances of 400 
yards. To be strictly naval you must call the space be- 
tween two lines of ships interval and the space between two 
individual ships in line distance. 

Well, after the ships were spread out they covered an 
area of more than two square miles, and then one began to 
realize what all these ships meant. The circle of twelve or 
fourteen miles that hemmed them in and that expanded 
in front and contracted in the rear seemed practically filled 
with them. Distances were kept fairly well and the ships 
plodded along in the smooth sea nodding their approval of 
what was going on. 

It was this problem of distance that kept the officers of 
the decks busy. When you think that each of these ships 
represented a weight of from 15,000 to 18,000 tons more 
or less, and that you had to move that ship at the rate of 
10 knots an hour and keep it within 400 yards of a ship 
in front of you; when you consider how some ships move 
a trifle of an inch faster than another ship at the same 
number of propeller revolutions; when you think that one 
of the propellers of your own ship will do more work than 
the other at the same number of revolutions, and that this 
will throw you out of your course and make you steer badly 
if you don't correct it; when you think that your leader 
may vary in his speed ; when you think of ah 1 this, you can 
begin to understand the problem of those officers on the 
bridge to keep the ships in line and at proper distances. 

It took some time for each ship to determine how many 
revolutions were necessary to produce ten knots speed, ac- 
cording to the standard of the flagship. For example, 



13 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

the Louisiana's experts figured on sixty-seven revolutions. 
It was too much, for after an hour or two it was found that 
sixty-five would do the work. Some of the ships were be- 
tween two numbers. All the time each ship was gaining 
or losing a trifle and this had to be corrected every minute 
or two. On each ship a young midshipman stood on the 
bridge beside the officer on watch looking through a little 
instrument of bars and glasses and wheels graduated to a 
scale of figures and called a stadimeter. He reduced the 
truckline and the waterline of the flagship to some mathe- 
matical basis involving triangulation what's the use of 
trying to explain it? No one but a mathematician could 
understand it and then he would say, " 370 yards, sir," 
or perhaps the figures would be 35 or 460, or what not, 
and the officer of the deck would have to signal to the 
engine room to slow down or go faster. 

It was to be watchful every minute of the hour. The 
midshipman often had to report distances every fifteen or 
twenty seconds and the corrections of speed were going on 
every two or three minutes. 

When you got more than forty yards out of the way you 
had to fly a triangular pennant of white with red border 
and this was set down against your ship on the flagship, 
and that you didn't like, if you were the responsible officer. 

And so the first day at sea wore on and the sun went 
down with a glow of gold in the west that seemed like a 
benediction. Just as it sank below the horizon the pink 
rays that were gathering reflected themselves on the star- 
board sides of the white ships and gave them a touch of 
color. Lights on the main truck on the foremast and at 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 13 

the stern and at the sides appeared instantly, and it was 
night-time on the fleet. 

The black smoke rose straight in the air, other lights 
began to twinkle and soon, in the glow of the twilight and 
the gleam of the lights on the vessels themselves and the 
illumination of the moon close to the full, the ships took 
on an aspect such as lower New York assumes early in the 
evening of mid-winter days when office buildings are 
lighted. When the smoke smudged the sky or clouded the 
moon, however, it was like a city of factories and it was 
decided that there was just one expression that would give 
some idea of its beauty. It was this : 

" Spotless town afloat." 

Zest was added to the day's sendoff and work when the 
officers were gathered in the wardroom at dinner and a 
wireless telegram of good wishes from the Mayflower, re- 
ceived a short time before, was read. There were cheers 
for the President, especially on the Louisiana, which is 
called the President's ship because he sailed on her to 
Panama, and hundreds of the officers and crew feel that 
they know him personally. 

" Good for the President ! " shouted one of the officers 
in the waist of the table. 

" So say we all," responded a man on the other side, 
" but I wish he had told us where we are going." 

That man didn't have to wait long, for soon there was 
sent into the wardroom of every ship a message signalled 
from the flagship which said that after a brief stay on the 
Pacific Coast the fleet would come home by way of Suez. 
This is what Admiral Evans signalled: 



14 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

UNOFFICIAL SIGNAL. 

U. S. S. CONNECTICUT, 

December 16th, 1907. 

The President authorizes the Commander-in-Chief to inform the 
officers and men that after a short stay on the Pacific Coast it is the 
President's intention to have the fleet return to the Atlantic Coast 
by way of the Mediterranean. 

Every man jumped at that news; every one wished his 
wife or sweetheart could know it at once. One of the 
puzzles about the fleet was settled. 

There is no room in this first letter of the long cruise 
to go into detail about the thousand and one things in- 
cidents, ceremonies and drills that make up the routine 
and life on the warship. These will come afterward in 
other forms. One might tell how the men on guard at 
the side lights at night sing out after a bell is tapped: 
" Port light burning bright," " Starboard light burning 
bright," how " the 9 o'clock light is out, sir " report is 
made and received ; how they " put the shirts on " the gun 
muzzles and mainmast ; how the call to dinner to the officers 
is done on the Louisiana with a fife and drum, " rolling 
roast beef," they used to call it, and probably do yet in the 
British navy, only the tune is different in ours, for it is 
" Yankee Doodle " ; how " sweethearts and wives " are 
toasted once a week ; how " make it eight bells " is said ; 
how scores of these things, many of them well known, are 
done and why. Let it go for the present. 

If there is one thing that impresses the civilian even 
more than the ceremonies or the peculiar routine of a war- 
ship it is the cleanliness of things. This applies as much 
to the men as it does to the remotest nook and cranny in 
the darkest and deepest part of the ship. 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 15 

The officer would take you into some corner where you 
had to bend your back and almost go on your hands and 
knees and show you that it was as clean as the most ex- 
posed parts of his bailiwick. The fleet had not been out 
two days before the executive officer issued an order about 
cleanliness. 

The men were cautioned to keep themselves and their 
clothes clean on penalty, of going on the scrubbing list. 
It did not mean that there were men on board who were 
slack in this respect, but there were a lot of youngsters who 
had never been to sea before and they needed to be broken 
in. What the scrubbing list is was well explained by an 
old time sailor on board. He said: 

" Man-o'-war cleanliness is different from any other that 
I know. I distinguish it from all other kinds because it is 
the most searching and far reaching thing of the kind in 
the world. 

" It really begins on the inside of a man, at his soul, 
although I am sorry to say you can't always see the effect 
of it there, and it works its way out to his skin, clothing 
and surroundings. All must be immaculately clean, and 
this habit is so thoroughly ingrained in the men that to 
maintain it they will even commit crime. 

" I mean just what I say. Let me give you an instance: 

" In one of the old ships in which I sailed fresh water 
it was the case of all of 'em, sir fresh water was a scarce 
article even to drink. No fresh water could be had to 
wash our clothes. Salt water does not clean clothing 
properly, no matter how you work over your duds. 

" So our men in the old days actually used to steal the 
water out of the breakers, the small casks kept in the boats 



16 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

at all times in case of emergency, such as shipwreck. 
That is what I mean by committing crime. We actually 
used to steal from the most important supply on the ship 
just for the sake of keeping ourselves clean. 

"For uncleanliness a man would be stripped naked and 
his skin scrubbed with sand and canvas no man ever for- 
got it who experienced that and sometimes with ki-yar 
brushes, by two husky bos'n's mates. All hands soon got 
the habit of being clean." 

There was much interest on the ships as to how the wire- 
less telephone would work out. The system has been in 
operation only a few months and is largely in the experi- 
mental and almost the infantile stage. 

All of the battleships are equipped with the apparatus 
and there was no doubt about it, you could talk to any 
ship in the fleet from any other and at times the sounds 
of the voice were as clear as through an ordinary telephone. 
At times they weren't, and there was a division of opinion 
among the officers as to the real value of the invention. 

As is the case with the wireless telegraph only one ship 
of a fleet can use the telephone at one time. While one 
ship is talking to another all the other ships must keep out 
of it and even the ship to which the message is being sent 
must keep still and not break in. The receiver must wait 
until the sender has got all through with what he has to 
say and then he can talk back. 

The sending and receiving machines use part of the 
apparatus of the wireless telegraph outfit. If an attempt 
is made to use the telegraph while the telephone is in use the 
telephone goes out of commission at once because it is ab- 
solutely^ drowned out. The telegraph apparatus uses so 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 17 

much greater power that it is like a loud voice overwhelm- 
ing a soft one. 

The operator at the telephone would sound a signal with 
some sort of a buzzer that had the wail of a lost cat in its 
voice and then he would put a little megaphone into the 
mouthpiece of the telephone and would say, sharp and 
clear : 

"Minnesota ! Minnesota ! Minnesota ! This is the Louis- 
iana ! This is the Louisiana ! This is the Louisiana ! 
We have a press message for you to send to the beach. 
We have a press message for you to send to the beach. 
Do you hear us? Do you hear us? Minnesota! Min- 
nesota ! This is the Louisiana ! Go ahead ! Go ahead ! " 

Sometimes the message would fail. Sometimes the wire- 
less, one kind or the other, would be working on other ships. 
Sometimes the answer would come at once and the operator 
would write down the reply and hand it over to you. 

When connection would be established fully the operator 
instead of reading off your press message would click it 
off by a telegraph key to the Minnesota's operator. That 
was to make sure that he would get it correctly. Peculi- 
arly spelled words employed in cabling could not be made 
out by the ordinary operator and it was taking chances 
to spell them out with the voice, and hence they were sent 
with the key, the operation really being a combination of 
the wireless telephone and telegraph, yet not at all compli- 
cated in practical operation. 

Everyone of the electrical experts with the fleet is con- 
vinced that the wireless telephone is going to be of value. 
Most of them have talked with it clearly for distances of 
at least twenty miles. One difficulty is in keeping it tuned 



18 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

up because the wireless telegraph apparatus is also on 
board. 

Some of the experts seemed to think that one service 
dropped in efficiency if the other was kept keyed up to its 
best. All were confident that as soon as certain difficulties 
were overcome, difficulties no more serious, they said, than 
the ordinary telephone encountered in the beginning, the 
apparatus would be workable as readily as a telephone on 
land. Give it time, was the way the situation was summed 
up. 

Speaking about wireless telegraph, have you heard the 
latest wrinkle in it, the most up to date use of it? Of 
course you haven't. It remained for the voyage of this 
fleet to disclose it. 

Three days out, every ship got wireless messages from 
Father Neptune warning it to be ready to receive him on 
crossing the line. The message was genuine because it 
was posted up and a copy sent to the executive officer as 
soon as it was received. An orderly brought it to him with 
an unusually stiff salute while the wardroom was at mess. 

It served notice on all " landlubbers, pollywogs and sea 
lawyers " that they must be initiated and it appointed one 
Fore Topmast as " official representative of his Most Gra- 
cious Majesty Neptune Rex, Ruler of the Royal Do- 
main." It called for a meeting of the "faithful subjects " 
to arrange for the ceremonies of his visit. 

The meeting on the Louisiana was held in No. 18 case- 
mate, on the port side of the gun deck aft. The pro- 
ceedings were secret, but it was soon known that royal 
policemen, royal barbers, royal judges, royal counsel and a 
lot of other royal functionaries were appointed. The 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 19 

word went through the ship that the ceremonies were to be 
pretty strenuous ; that no one who had not crossed the 
Equator would escape. 

To show how serious this was here is a copy of one of 
Neptune's messages and the order that followed its re- 
ception : 

NOTICE. 

The following wireless was received at 11 p.m., December 19, 1907: 
Fore Topmast, Official Representative on Board the Good Ship Louis- 
iana of His Majesty Neptune Rex, Ruler of the Royal Domain. 
At the time the Thomas W. Lawson turned turtle many of my 
trusted police were on board, and as a result they were more or less 
injured and all of the regulation uniforms carried by them were 
lost. Therefore it will be necessary for me to designate many of 
my royal subjects on board the good ship represented by you to act 
in their stead, and you are authorized to make the selection from 
among the niost faithful of those who belong to the royal realm. 

In making the appointments you will consider their qualifications 
as to severity, alertness, seadogness, their knowledge as to the in- 
terior plans of the ship and their ability to follow the trail of any 
landlubber, pollywog or sea lawyer who endeavors to escape the 
initiation as prescribed by me. 

You will report to me by wireless the names of the subjects se- 
lected, the position assigned and the proficiency of each in order that 
I may forward their commission at once. 

You will have the regulation uniforms made up at once and will 
carry out all orders in this connection. Your Majesty, 

NEPTUNE REX, 
Ruler of the Royal Domain. 

GENERAL ORDER NO. 3. 

In view of the above I have this day, the 20th of December, 1907, 
selected from among the royal subjects on board the good ship 
Louisiana the trusted police as directed by his Majesty, and those 
selected have been notified of their appointment, all of whom have 
accepted. The attention of all the royal subjects is invited to 
paragraph X, article VIIX, regulations of the royal realm, relative 
to police duty and to the punishments prescribed for those who fail 



20 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

to perform their duty properly and to the landlubber, pollywog or 
sea lawyer who tries to avoid the initiation as prescribed by his 
Majesty. 

As noted in the wireless message from his Majesty many of the 
uniforms were lost, the trusted police selected will at once visit his 
Majesty's tailor, the sailmaker's mate, and be measured for the uni- 
form to protect him from the crabs, eels and sharks. 

FORE TOP, O. R. H. M. N. R. 

Two days later this wireless was received and an order 
issued complying with directions: 

- - T-r 

NOTICE. 

4 

The following wireless was received at 1 a. m., December 21 : 
Fore Topmast, Official Representative of His Majesty Neptune Rex, 

Ruler of the Royal Domain, on Board the Good Ship Louisiana. 

It has been reported to me by a member of my secret police on 
board of the good ship on which you are my representative that 
there are several landlubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers who intend 
to escape the initiation as prescribed by me by stowing themselves 
away; of course this is folly on their part, as there is not a hole or 
corner on board the good ship Louisiana that my faithful police and 
subjects are not familiar with, and it is therefore impossible for 
any one to avoid escaping the royal initiation. Those who do try to 
escape the initiation in this manner will of course be apprehended, 
and when brought before me on the day of the ceremonies they will 
not soon forget the trick they endeavored to play on the royal realm, 
and the dose they get will be more severe than any I have as yet 
prescribed. Referring to the secret code of the royal realm, the 
following landlubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers have been reported 
to me as mentioned above: Gabnokto, Thnruowk, Mawjtrqmorptzs, 
Wqquopbchr and Ybxquotrdhgle. You will therefore at once issue 
orders to the chief of police to attend to these crabs and to put 
his best men on their trail, and if the above is true they will so re- 
port to me upon my arrival on board. 

Your Majesty, 

NEPTUNE REX, 
Ruler of the Royal Domain. 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 21 

GENERAL ORDER NO. 4. 

This is to inform the members of the royal realm on board the 
good ship Louisiana that I have this day issued orders to the chief 
of police to place five of his best men on the trail of the men as 
mentioned in his Majesty's wireless and whom you will all know by 
referring to the royal secret code which you have in your possession. 
You will also keep track of these animals and report to me any 
out of the way move which they should make. You will also be on 
the lookout for any other of these who happen to be on board, and 
should they make a false move I will make a special report to his 
Majesty with recommendations which will cover all defects. 

FORE TOP, 
Official Representative of His Majesty. 

After one day's steaming in four columns the fleet was 
deployed into two columns. For one day the speed was 
increased to 11 knots. The little tender Yankton, which 
is to be used as the Admiral's yacht in port and for short 
journeys and which has been running with the fleet off the 
starboard side of the flagship, was sent on ahead to get a 
good start. One day's steaming at 11 knots brought her 
back to us and then the fleet resumed the slower speed. 

The weather was fine throughout. When the trade 
wind belt was encountered about 300 miles north of St. 
Thomas the ships pitched a good deal, but there was little 
rolling. Sea legs had been acquired by that time and few 
on board were incapacitated. There was a squall now and 
then in the Caribbean with a dash of rain for five or ten 
minutes, but that was nothing. 

On Friday, December 20, the Missouri was detached 
from the fleet to take a sailor sick with peritonitis to San 
Juan, and later that night the Illinois was sent to Culebra 
with a sailor who had pneumonia. Of course both could 
have been treated on board ship, but Admiral Evans 



22 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

thought that it would be more humane to give these men the 
best treatment that could be had on shore and so did not 
hesitate. Two great warships were sent away from the 
fleet formation, all for the comfort of two men. The ships 
joined the fleet again late on Saturday. 

There were only one or two slight mishaps to ship ma- 
chinery reported on the journey down, really nothing 
worthy of note, a pump or something of that kind being 
out of order. The fleet went along in splendid style. 
Three days out the intervals and distances were almost per- 
fect at all hours of the day and night. The voyage soon 
became a double procession of warships, with just the 
ordinary routine going on. 

On Sunday, December 22, the first death on the fleet was 
reported. It was that of Robert E. Pipes, an ojfdinary sea- 
man on the Alabama, enlisted at Dallas, Tex., in August 
last. He died of spinal meningitis. Nothing was known 
of the death on the fleet until eight bells were sounded at 
4 P. M. Admiral Evans had gone ahead of the fleet at 
noon to make a four or six hour test of the new fuel called 
briquettes, and his ship was out of sight. Admiral 
Thomas on the Minnesota was in command. His ship was 
leading the second squadron, 1,600 yards to port. 

The men on watch saw the national colors being raised 
on the mainmast. There was a scurry on every ship to get 
up the colors. Every one wondered whether land or a ship 
had been sighted. Slowly the colors went up and then 
down to half mast. All colors on the other ships went to 
half mast. The order for half speed was given and then 
came a signal to stop. The rails of the ships were crowded 
at once. Up and down the columns the men looked and 



HAMPTON ROADS TO TRINIDAD 23 

then it was seen that the quarterdeck of the Alabama was 
crowded. The order had been given there : " All hands 
aft to bury the dead ! " 

The captain read the burial service. An opening in the 
lines of the men on the lee side was made and Pipes's body, 
sewed in a hammock and weighted with shot, was slipped 
gently over the side. It made very little splash. Three vol- 
leys were fired by the marines, taps were sounded, the colors 
were run up to the gaff on the mainmast on all the ships 
and standard speed was ordered again as the flags came 
down. The ceremony occupied exactly nine minutes and 
Admiral Thomas sent a wireless telegram to Admiral Evans 
notifying him of what had been done. The burial cast a 
gloom for a few minutes on all the ships. 

Much to the regret of many officers and men, Admiral 
Evans took the Virgin instead of the Anegada passage 
into the Caribbean and then headed straight for Trinidad. 
Many had hoped that he would sail along the chain of 
islands and that they might catch a glimpse at least of 
Martinique and some of the other historic places. But 
business is business on a fleet as well as on shore. Coal 
must be saved, and the way to go to a place is to go on the 
shortest possible line consistent with safety. 

So it was that on Monday, December 23, Trinidad, just 
off the Venezuelan coast, came in sight, the ships entered 
the Dragon's mouth into the Gulf of Paria and swung 
around the point and anchored in the roadstead off Port of 
Spain just before sunset. 

The first leg of the journey was over. It was merely 
the warming up stage. To-morrow will be Christmas. 
A bunch of mistletoe is already hanging in the Louisiana's 



24 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

wardroom. Some of the ships brought their Christmas 
trees and greens along. There'll be sports of all kinds 
boxing, rowing by officers and men, athletic contests on 
ship good cheer generally. 

Just fancy a Christmas with the thermometer at 90 
degrees I 






CHAPTER IL 

CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 

Gay Day on the Battleships off Port of Spain " Peace on Earth " 
the Motto on the Big Guns Officers* Reception on the Minne- 
sota Boat Races and Athletic Sports for the Crew How the 
Fleet Charged Into Port Men on Their Good Behavior 
Official Visits Coaling Day. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD, Dec. 28. 

THE officers of the battleship Minnesota gave a recep- 
tion Christmas Day on board their ship to all the offi- 
cers of the other ships. The visitors were received 
at the gangway by the officer of the deck, who had the 
usual side boys stationed there for the guests to pass by. 
The visitors were first presented to Capt. Hubbard, after 
which they paid their respects to Admiral Thomas. Then, 
turning around on the beautifully decorated deck, they 
saw depending from the great 12-inch guns of the after 
turret a board festooned with greens, and on it painted in 
large letters: 

" Peace on earth ; good will to men ! " 
The first effect on the visitor was to startle him. What 
place was there on a warship, whose primary purpose is 
destruction, for such a motto and in such a place? Some 
of the more thoughtless visitors thought it was satire, or 
perhaps a naval man's idea of a grim joke. 

25 



26 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Those who thought it a mockery, a satire or a joke 
were never more mistaken. The sentiment was made the 
most prominent decoration on the ship in all sincerity. 
Scores of naval officers pointed to it with pride and said 
it exemplified truly the spirit of the American Navy. All 
declared that if there was one thing more than any other 
which American naval officers and all true Americans wished 
for it was world-wide peace and brotherly love. It was 
declared that no better place outside a Christian church 
could be found for its display than on an American war- 
ship. Many an officer said he hoped it would always be 
prominent on our warships at the Christmas season. 

Certainly good will to man was exemplified at the Christ- 
mas celebration on this fleet. It was the most impressive 
Christmas festival that the nine civilians with the fleet ever 
saw. Here was a city of 14,000, exclusively of men, some 
rough, some refined, some educated, some illiterate, some 
Christian, some with no religion, celebrating the season of 
good cheer on sixteen battleships in a foreign port five 
miles from shore. Port of Spain might as well have been 
5,000 miles away, so far as its influence was concerned. 
More than one-half of the American Navy was holding its 
Christmas festival in its own way, with none else to look on. 
From first to last its spirit was kindly ; from colors in the 
morning until the last serenading party, gliding over the 
smooth water in a floating city that had a Venetian aspect, 
singing songs to the accompaniment of guitars and mando- 
lins, disappeared at midnight, the celebration was in abso- 
lute keeping with the sentiment of the day. All was 
merry and all were merry. 

Perhaps a song sung by the Vermont's officers who were 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 2T 

towed about the fleet at night in a sailing launch as they; 
called on every warship best reveals the tone of the occa- 
sion. They came to the Louisiana on their last call just 
before midnight. They allowed none of the Louisiana's 
officers who had gone to bed to dress, and pajamas were 
almost as common as dress clothes in the company that 
assembled in the wardroom. When the visitors were going 
away the last song which came across the water, a song 
which they sang as they came up the gangway strumming 
their instruments and lifting up their voices, was this : 

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! 

We're happy and well; 
Here comes the Vermont, 

Say, don't we look swell? 
We're a highrolling, 

A lob-e-dob crew, 
Merry Christmas ! Merry Christmas ! 

Merry Christmas to you! 

Probably that lob-e-dob crew sang that song two hundred' 
times that night. It was adapted from a new Naval 
Academy song. It has a merry tune and the jingle and 
the swing of it was infectious. The crew was highrolling 
only in a naval sense, the rolling wave sense, and in five 
minutes after they first sang the song to their hosts the 
hosts were joining in with them. It meant merry Christ- 
mas to everybody. Certainly this fleet had one. 

For two days boating parties had gone to the heavily 
wooded shores of this beautiful island and had brought in 
greens for Christmas. They were mostly palms and bam- 
boo, with trailing vines in profusion. When darkness 
came on Christmas eve the work of decoration began. 
Late into the night some of the men toiled. When day- 



28 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

light came every ship was dressed in greens. From truck 
to water line, on signal yards, rigging, turrets, gangways, 
there were branches of trees and festoons of vines. Inside 
the ships the wardrooms and cabins were elaborately dec- 
orated. Every wardroom had its Christmas tree and 
around it were grouped gifts for all. No one was over- 
looked. Christmas boxes, brought from home with orders 
not to be unsealed until Christmas Day, were broken open 
in every part of the ship. 

Then came a day of visiting, of sports rowing in the 
morning, athletics aboard ship in the afternoon and boxing 
in the evening of the big reception on the Minnesota 
and of the merriest kind of dinner parties with the distri- 
bution of Santa Claus gifts in the evening. The gifts 
were mostly trinkets, but they had hits and grinds in them, 
and the presentation elicited shouts of laughter. Although 
the matter of rank was not ignored, apparently the high 
and low officers, from Admiral and Captain down to mid- 
shipman, were seated on the good fellowship basis and as 
equals. The Fourth Ward at the foot of the table went 
out of business for one night. The middies and ensigns 
could burst into song when they chose, and if any one 
forgot to say sir no one thought it strange. Here on the 
Louisiana ten minutes after we sat down to dinner came 
an instance of the feeling that makes the whole world kin 
on Christmas. The youngsters had been singing the 
Louisiana song, the chorus of which runs thus: 

Lou, Lou, I love you; 
I love you, that's true; 
Don't sigh, don't cry, 
I'll see you in the morning; 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 29 

Dream, dream, dream of me 

And I'll dream of you, 

My Louisiana, Louisiana Lou. 

Capt. Wainwright had been toying with a tin whistle 
which he had pulled from a bonbon. Stealthily he put it 
to his lips and blew it loud, and then that eye of his, 
which has the piercing power of a 12-inch shell, grew 
bright with the light of geniality and kindness that lie 
deep set and yet overflowing behind it, and he was a young- 
ster, too. The Fourth Ward men might sing " Louisiana 
Lou," but he was willing to show that he could blow a tin 
whistle when the occasion demanded it. 

One might fill columns with the songs that were sung. 
There is room for the chorus of just one more. The game 
is for about one-half of the company to sing the chorus 
and just before the finish the others shout an interrogatory 
of astonishment at the top of their voices. The chorus 
runs: 

Dreamin', dreamin', dreamin' of dat happy Ian,' 

Where rivers ob beer aboun', 
Where big gin rickeys fill de air 
And highballs roll on de groun'. 
Great shout: 

What! Highballs roll on de groun'. 
Melody : 

Yas, highballs roll on de groun'. 

The merriment on the Louisiana was not exceptional. 
It was a mere copy of what was going on in sixteen ward- 
rooms. Every ship was sure it had the merriest dinner 
and the merriest time all around in the fleet, and that was 
true strictly. 

The bluejackets had their own fun, and they yielded to 



30 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

none in their belief that they had the best time of all. Of 
course they were right. Look at this menu that Uncle 
Sam provided for their dinner : 

Cream of Celery Soup 

Roast Turkey 

Roast Ham 

Sage Dressing Giblet Gravy 

Cranberry Sauce 
Mashed Potatoes Lima Beans 

Peach Pie 

Mixed Nuts Raisins 

Coffee. 

And here is the music that Bandmaster Cariana pro- 
vided : 

1 March " The Man Behind the Gun " Sousa 

2 Overture. . ." The Bridal Rose " Lavaller 

3 Waltz "I See Thee Again " Estrada 

4 Selection. . ." Woodland " Luders 

5 Habanera. ." Escamilla " Redla 

Star Spangled Banner. 

And didn't the first class men have liberty to go ashore? 
Didn't they come back loaded down with souvenir postal 
cards, baskets of fruit, parrots and monkeys? And wasn't 
every man of them able to toe a seam as he answered to his 
name on the liberty list? If there was a suspicion of a 
rolling gait in two or three couldn't they lay it to the heat ? 
Certain it was that not one of them had drunk any of that 
stuff down here that they call biograph whiskey, the kind 
that makes you see moving pictures, for the only moving 
pictures that any of them saw that night were the dozen 
sparring matches and two wrestling contests on the quarter 
deck, where the bluejackets were piled high on high under 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 31 

the awning clear up over the turret to the after bridge 
as packed a house for the space as Caruso ever sang to. 

And didn't John Eglit, the Louisiana's American champ- 
ion naval boxer, who knocked out the English champion, 
Leans of the Good Hope, last May, take on a man from 
another ship and promise only to tap him and not knock 
him out, so that the boys could admire him and cheer him? 
Eglit is a master at arms, a ship policeman at other times, 
and it isn't safe to say things to him, even flattering things, 
but here the boys could cheer him and he couldn't answer 
back. And didn't the officers sit close to the ropes just 
where President Roosevelt sat on his trip to Panama? And 
didn't Midshipman McKittrick, the recent champion boxer 
of the Naval Academy, referee the bouts ? And didn't Mid- 
shipman Brainerd, the well known oarsman of the Naval 
Academy not long ago, act as time keeper? And it made 
no sort of difference to him that he sat next to a negro coal 
passer ! 

And then didn't the men who didn't have liberty have 
comic athletic sports in the afternoon ? You bet they did ! 
" Spud " races, obstacle races, sack races, three-legged and 
wheelbarrow races ; lemon races, where the contestants held 
a lemon in a spoon between their teeth and the first man 
that crossed the line in the running won ; shoe races, where 
a man's shoes were tied in a bag and shaken up and he had 
to open the bag after a run and then put them on and lace 
them up, the winner to be the first man reporting to the 
referee. It was all fun and the bullies shouted themselves 
hoarse over it. What matter if a dozen men reported at 
the sick call the next morning with feet so sore that they 
could hardly walk from the running in bare feet on the 



32 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET; 

hard decks? Oh, yes, the bluejackets had the best time 
of all! 

And then there was rowing in the morning. You who 
have seen the Poughkeepsie and New London contests may 
think you have seen great rowing spectacles, and so you 
have, but you want to see rowing contests in a fleet of 
14,000 Jack Tars to know what enthusiasm is. The men 
lined the rails, turrets, bridges, masts and tops and danced 
and yelled like Comanches as the crews passed down the line 
of ships. They yelled just as loud when fourteen officers' 
crews contested. A pretty incident occurred after this 
race. There had been great rivalry between the officers of 
the Vermont and the Louisiana. Each thought it would 
win. Neither did, the Louisiana coming in fourth and the 
Vermont fifth. The Vermont crew immediately rowed to 
the Louisiana and the two crews in their rowing clothes sat 
in the wardroom and passed the bowl around. When the 
Vermont's men went home the entire crew of the Louisiana 
gathered at the rail and cheered. The Vermont men tossed 
their oars and then the crew sang their Merry Christmas 
song, the first of the 200 or more times that it was heard 
by the fleet. 

The reception on the Minnesota was also memorable. 
Henry Reuterdahl, the artist, who was with the fleet to 
make pictures of it, had carte blanche in the matter of 
decorations. The " Peace on Earth " emblem was his idea. 
He canopied the wardroom with flags. He put up shells 
and revolvers and cutlasses and other implements of war in 
effective places and he mingled the bunting in color and 
arrangement so deftly that the naval men were astonished 
over it. Old friends in the fleet gave greetings. It was 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 33 

brought out in one of the conversations that Rear Admiral 
Evans, the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet, was the only 
man in the fleet who fought in the civil war. And it was also 
revealed that he was in the greatest pageant of warships 
that ever left Hampton Roads before this one. That was 
in December, 1864, almost forty-two years to the day that 
the present fleet left. That fleet went out to capture Fort 
Fisher, where Admiral Evans was wounded and where, with 
a revolver, he prevented a surgeon from cutting off his right 
leg. There were 14,000 men in that fleet, about the same 
number as in this. There were sixty naval vessels and the 
rest were ninety transports under command of Gen. B. F. 
Butler. Admiral Porter was the naval officer in charge. 
It took the fleet from 10 o'clock in the morning until after 
4 in the afternoon to pass Cape Henry. This fleet did it 
in two hours. When Admiral Evans was asked about it 
he said that the little tender Yankton, which goes with this 
fleet for use on ceremonious or other useful occasions, could 
have whipped that entire fleet of itself. Its modern small 
guns 3-inch ones could shoot so far that it could lie 
completely out of the range of any of the guns on that 
fleet and simply bombard the vessels to pieces. 

But to return to Trinidad. The Venezuelan coast had 
been in sight for an hour on Monday ,December 23, before 
Trinidad was made out a little after noon. A haze ob- 
scured things on shore. Gradually a dark lump on the 
horizon took shape, then it assumed color, a deep green, 
and then on the highest point, something like 400 feet 
above the sea, a white needle pierced the haze in the sky. It 
was the lighthouse that points the way to the four en- 
trances into the Gulf of Paria from the Caribbean, called 



34 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

the Dragon's Mouths. The lighthouse was a visible sign 
of the care of British for shipping. It is said to be one 
of the best in any of England's colonial possessions. 

Admiral Evans headed his ships toward the narrow en- 
trance to the east of the main one. It is called Boca de 
Navios, one of the many, reminders of the old Spanish days 
before England swept down through these waters. The 
Admiral had ordered his ships in single file of the open order 
or wing and wing formation. Approaching more closely 
he ordered exact column, one directly behind another, at a 
distance of 400 yards. When within three miles of the en- 
trance he veered off to take the large passage to the west, 
Boca Grande. Then he made a sharp turn after he had 
cleared the entrance to the gulf. For some time he stood 
in toward the shore. 

Then came another turn to the south, and then followed 
what Admiral Evans said afterward was one of the finest 
naval sights he had ever witnessed. Orders had been sig- 
nalled for the four ships of the first division of the fleet 
to turn to the east and come up the bay of Port of Spain 
in parallel formation. The other divisions were ordered 
to follow the same plan when they arrived in position. 
Here was a long line of warships that had been turning 
and twisting around headlands and in muddy waters, going 
in single file, as if headed for the Serpent's Mouth, the 
other entrance to the Gulf of Paria. A flag fluttered from 
the Connecticut's signal yards. At once the first four 
ships turned at right angles. You could have run a tape 
line across the bows of the Connecticut to the Louisiana 
and found the Kansas and Vermont exactly on the mark. 
The change in the course came so suddenly that it made 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 35 

even naval men jump. Like four chariot horses the ships 
stood in as if on a battle charge. 

Port of Spain could just be made out on the beach eight 
miles away. The ships were pointed directly for it, and 
if they had intended to bombard it they could scarcely have 
been more aggressive looking in the way they swung into 
that bay. The second division kept on in the lead of the 
single file of ships until they reached places directly behind 
the ships of the first division. Then they made a dramatic 
swing also. The third and fourth division in turn did the 
same thing. 

The fleet was then in four columns headed directly for 
the beautiful little port with its shallow harbor. As long 
as standard speed of 11 knots was maintained the four 
leading vessels kept on a line that was as well dressed as 
a squad of fours in a military company. For two miles 
this formation kept up. Then half speed was signalled. 
The Vermont and Kansas being new in fleet evolutions and 
not yet being standardized completely as to speed revolu- 
tions, did not keep the line so well, but Admiral Evans was 
not displeased and said they did very well. The Vermont 
fell back nearly half a length by the time slow speed was 
ordered and the engines were stopped finally. The signal 
to come to anchor was hoisted and when it went up sixteen 
mud hooks splashed into the bay simultaneously. Before 
it had been slowed down the Louisiana had received its 
second special commendation for smart manoeuvring from 
the Admiral. 

" Well done, Louisiana,'* the flags on the Admiral's 
bridge said for all the rest of the fleet to see, and Capt. 
Wainwright and his officers took it modestly. The Louis- 



36 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

iana had been the only ship in the fleet to receive this signal 
and this was the second time it had come. 

Long before the fleet had come to anchor it was noticed 
that the torpedo flotilla, which had started from Hampton 
Roads about two weeks before the fleet, was in the harbor. 
Mishaps to the Lawrence had brought the flotilla back that ? 
morning after it had gone eighty miles on the leg to Parja. 
The mishaps were not very serious, but it was better to 
make repairs in a port than at sea and so Lieut. Cone, 
in charge, had come back. The supply ships and colliers 
were also in port. 

In a few minutes the full significance of all these ships 
became known. Here was a sight that no other foreign 
port in the world had ever seen. Twenty-nine ships were fly- 
ing the American flag at once. There were really thirty- 
one connected with the navy, directly and indirectly, in 
port, but two of the colliers flew foreign flags. Far in 
toward the city, however, were three more vessels flying our 
flag, one a brigantine, another a small steamship, and 
another a little vessel that plies up the Orinoco. So thirty- 
two specimens of Old Glory fluttered in the breeze just be- 
fore the sun went down. 

The anchorage Admiral Evans selected was fully five 
miles from " the beach," as the naval man puts it. No 
ships can go directly to the landing places in Port of Spain 
and only small ones can approach within half a mile. As 
soon as the anchors were down the Admiral signalled that 
no one was to go ashore until he had gone the next morning 
to pay his official respects to Sir Henry M. Jackson, K. C. 
M. G., the Governor-General. It was nearly 8 o'clock 
that night when the health officer gave pratique, much to 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 37 

the relief of some ships, because there had been a few 
cases of measles and some other diseases that are classed 
as contagious, but great care had been taken in the matters 
of isolation and disinfecting. Indeed, every patient in the 
fleet was convalescent. It was a relief to Admiral Evans 
also to learn that there had not been a case of yellow fever 
in Trinidad for six weeks. Accordingly he gave orders to 
allow liberty to all the first class men in the fleet. 

The next morning Admirals Evans, Thomas, Sperry and 
Emory went ashore to pay their respects to the Governor- 
General. He had sent carriages with a guard of honor to 
escort them to the Government House. Port of Spain is 
not a saluting port, because no English garrison is kept 
here, and therefore no guns boomed on arrival. 

Admiral Evans exhibited great tact and showed the nicest 
regard for the situation when he asked Governor-General 
Jackson to return his call that afternoon at the Queen's 
Park Hotel. The Governor and the Admiral are old 
friends. The Governor is not strong, having returned re- 
cently from London, where he underwent a surgical opera- 
tion. A journey of five miles out to the ships in the blaz- 
ing sun, Admiral Evans thought, would be too much for 
him and the Governor appreciated thoroughly the Ad- 
miral's solicitude for his health. 

Soon the officers and liberty men began to come ashore. 
Trinidad is no new place to many officers. It lies at the 
foot of a splendid range of the St. Anne Mountains and 
it is heavy with the odors of tropical verdure. It has been 
called the most attractive of all British West Indian 
colonies. Its streets are kept beautifully, its negro con- 
stabulary are efficient and polite. Its schools are fine. 



\ 



38 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Those who had never visited the place were delighted with 
its appearance, its balconied houses, its abundance of 
flowers and vines creeping over walls and up the sides of 
houses, its great department stores, which send the heads 
of departments to Paris and London every year to get 
the latest in fashions; its motley population of English, 
Spanish, French and the thousands of Hindu coolies that 
are brought over here under contract to work on the plan- 
tations. Hindu beggars were on the streets and Hindu 
women, well gowned and clean as an American warship, 
were in evidence. Some wore rings in their noses and the 
more prosperous had their arms bejewelled up to the el- 
bows with silver bracelets and other trinkets. 

But let the truth be known! Trinidad didn't warm 
up to the fleet at all,. It regarded it with apparent in- 
difference. Officially nothing could have been more cordial 
than its reception. Popularly Port of Spain didn't seem 
to give a hang, except the fruit vendors, especially the 
alligator pear men, and the merchants who had things to 
sell. About three American flags flew over shops. Ameri- 
can fleets have been welcomed here before with lawn parties 
and dances and great receptions. There was one recep- 
tion at the Constabulary Barracks, and very cordial it was 
too, but the town didn't even take the trouble to come down 
to the waterfront to gaze over the water and see what six- 
teen battleships looked like in the distance. The ships 
may have been too far out. Or perhaps it was because 
the races were to come on during the last three days stay 
of the fleet. It was hardly the climate, because that never 
interfered with enthusiasm over an American fleet before, 
notably when Admiral Sampson dropped in here in 1899. 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 39 

Let it all go with the statement that on shore every one 
seemed glad to greet the Americans, even if the town 
seemed cold. Some of the officers renewed old acquaint- 
ances socially and several parties of friends visited the 
ships. One young officer came back with a story that 
pleased the fleet. He met a charming young English 
woman who said that she had travelled a good deal and 
had been in New York only three months ago. The young 
officer perked up at once. 

" I suppose you saw the Great White Way in New 
York? " he asked. 

" Oh, yes, indeed," was the innocent reply. " Mother 
and I went to see it one Sunday morning." 

" It is beautiful," said the officer. 

" Very," was the response. 

Some of the visitors historically inclined recalled that 
Columbus visited this place and named it in honor of the 
Trinity ; others that Sir Walter Raleigh had made this his 
headquarters for a long time; still others that Cortez took 
leave of Velasquez here when he started out on his conquest 
of Mexico. The commercially inclined went to visit the 
famous and malodorous Pitch Lake, from which Raleigh 
smeared his ships and which supplies a large part of the 
asphalt for American use. Others were glad to learn that 
they have struck oil here and that it is expected that this 
island will soon become the chief centre for a great British 
oil industry. 

But there were those in the fleet who didn't care for 
Columbus or Raleigh or Cortez or asphalt or oil. One 
was an old bos'n's mate. He was down here in the late 
'80s on the old sloop Saratoga. He had a yarn to spin 



40 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

and it was brought out by the fact that on the day of the 
fleet's arrival two men from one of the torpedo flotilla had 
drifted away from their vessel without oars and had been 
carried out of sight before their absence was noticed. It 
was feared that they had been lost in the Gulf, but the 
rough water calmed at night and they drifted ashore and 
came back at daylight the next morning. 

The bos'n's mate told how a party of apprentices and 
three marines started out from the Saratoga in a sailing 
cutter one fine morning to go to Pitch Lake. They had 
not gone more than four miles before a heavy sea came up 
and a great gust capsized the cutter. 

There were many sharks in the water and three of the 
party were either drowned or eaten by sharks. The others 
clambered on the overturned boat and were helpless, as the 
craft was drifting out to sea. Then it was that one of 
those men in the navy who can no more help showing 
bravery when it is demanded than they can help breathing, 
arose to the situation. He was Shorty Allen, an apprentice, 
and he declared that he would try to swim ashore to get 
help. The others told him he must not do it, but Shorty 
just laughed at them. They said the sharks would get 
him and that it was madness to try it. Again Shorty said 
he would go. They would all be lost, he said, if they got 
no help and it was better that one man should lose his life 
than a dozen. 

Nothing could change Shorty's determination. He 
threw off his clothes and leaped into the sea. His com- 
panions watched him buffeting the waves for an hour or 
so and then he was lost to view. The sharks hung about 
the overturned boat and probably that fact saved Shorty. 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 41 

He reached land in four or five hours thoroughly ex- 
hausted. After a rest on the beach he hunted up some 
fishermen, whom he induced to go after his shipmates. 
They were all rescued and regained the Saratoga the next 
morning. 

" I tell ye, boys," said the bos'n's mate, " I have a likin* 
for this place. I was one of that party and Shorty, saved 
my life here. I don't know where Shorty is now. He was 
commended for his bravery. He said it didn't amount to 
nothing, modest like. I don't know whether he's alive. If 
he's dead, God rest his soul ! " 

The chief incident of the stay of the fleet in this port, 
aside from the exchange of official courtesies, was the coal- 
ing of the ships. That is the dirtiest work that can be 
done about any ship, and to an American warship in its 
white dress it seems almost like profanation. It's a task 
that the navy has learned how to do with despatch and 
one might almost say with neatness. At daybreak the next 
morning after the arrival of the fleet the colliers steamed 
up slowly to the sides of the ships of the first division. All 
had been made ready for them. Tackle and coal bags and 
shovels and running trucks had been prepared while the 
ships were making port. All hands turned to. One sec- 
tion from each division of each ship was sent into the hold 
of the collier. Four such sections were employed in the 
collier at once. The coaling bags, each capable of holding 
800 pounds, were thrown over and then the dust began to 
fly. All the ventilating machinery of the ship had been 
stopped and canvas had covered all the openings so that as 
little of the dust as possible could find its way into any 
other place than the bunkers. The chutes to the bunkers 



49 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

were all open. The marines and the men of the powder 
division were on the turrets and other places to expedite 
things. Down in the coal bunkers the engineer division 
were put at stowing the coal away smoothly and evenly. 
The bunkers on such occasions in the tropics are veritable 
black holes and the men have to be relieved frequently. 

Jack makes the best of a bad job, and coaling ship il- 
lustrates this. The men got out their old coal stowing 
clothes that once were white and theoretically still are white. 
Some of them got old discarded marine helmets for head- 
gear. Some tied handkerchiefs around their heads, the 
brighter the color the better. Some had no head covering. 
Some rolled up the leg of one trouser just for the fun of 
the thing. Some wore socks over their shoes anything 
to make things lively and get that coal in at the rate of 
100 tons an hour. 

The bags were filled, attached to the whip as the der- 
rick hoist is called and swung up to the deck. There 
the bags were seized and those intended for stowage on the 
side next to the collier were dumped quickly. Those in- 
tended for the other side of the ship were placed on little 
trucks and pulled across the deck and then dumped. It 
was lively work, step and go, and laughter and good cheer 
enlivened the task. The ship's band was placed on the 
after bridge, where it played quicksteps and jigs and made 
the men run and heave and shovel and toss as if coaling 
ship was the greatest fun in the world. 

The decks were sanded so that the dust would mingle 
with the sand and not grime the woodwork. After the 
coaling was over the gear was stowed away first. Then 
the men washed away the dirt from their hands and around 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 43 

their mouths, noses and eyes and all turned to, baboonlike 
in appearance, to clean ship. Sides were washed down and 
decks scrubbed. In two or three hours no one would have 
known that the ship had been in a black dirt storm. Then 
the men scrubbed their clothes and finally they scrubbed 
themselves, got into clean clothes and the task was over. 

Four days were occupied with this work for the fleet. 
The last ship to be coaled was the Maine, for that ship is 
the greatest coal eater in the fleet. She was reserved to 
the last, so that she would have the largest supply possible 
on board for the 3,000 mile run to Rio. The Maine was 
coaled on Saturday and it depended upon the alertness 
with which it was done whether the fleet was to sail for Rio 
at sunset on Saturday or Sunday. 

The supply ships had little to do in this port because 
the ships were not in need of much provisioning. Most of 
the ships took meat from the " beef ships," as the sailors 
call the supply vessels, but it was only in limited quanti- 
ties. 

The torpedo flotilla got under way on Christmas morn- 
ing. The bluejackets were sorry to see it go on that day, 
for they knew they were going to have fun and wished their 
mates on the flotilla could also join in the merriment. The 
Yankton and Panther, the latter a repair ship, sailed two 
days later. The supply ships Culgoa and Glacier were 
kept to go along with the fleet because they can steam 
easily at the rate of 11 knots. 

Up to the last day of the stay in port liberty parties 
were going ashore from the ships every day. To the 
credit of Jack let it be said that he conducted himself with 
the dignity that becomes the true American man-o'-war's 



44 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

man. Of course he patronized the saloons. Now and then 
one would stagger a little on coming to his ship. There 
were no rows, and the authorities had no complaints to 
make of unruly behavior. Before each party went ashore 
the executive officer on each ship read to them the order of 
Admiral Evans allowing them liberty to the fullest extent 
in keeping with discipline and warning them to be on their 
good behavior. The Admiral said that if any unhappy 
incident occurred ashore he would be obliged to stop all lib- 
erty. The men heeded the warning. They visited the 
shops, bought postal cards by the thousands, patronized 
jewelry stores, got all the pets they wanted, swaggered 
through the middle of the streets and gave Port of Spain 
such a coloring in local aspect as it had never seen before. 
Three or four baseball games were played on the great 
park's green. The one great stunt the bluejackets enjoyed 
most was to hire a hack by the hour and ride around the 
streets. They wrangled with the cabbies about fares, paid 
out their good money it was payday on the ships the 
day before they arrived and growled as true sailormen 
should growl when they got English money in change for 
their own gold and American notes. Trinidad is a place 
where prices are quoted mostly in dollars and cents, and yet 
the medium of exchange is pounds, shillings and pence. 
Most of the shops take American money at its face value. 
The shopkeepers were alive to the situation and they 
made money from the call at their port. They were ac- 
commodating and profited by it. Hundreds of Panama 
hats were purchased. They were bought by men who 
would not think of purchasing such hats at home because 
of the high prices. The American hatters, therefore, have 



CHRISTMAS WITH THE FLEET 45 

lost little by the transactions except the sale of ordinary 
straw hats in the summer time for two or three years. 

The races in the great oval in front of the Queen's Park 
Hotel were the chief social event of the stay. Thousands 
attended them and the Yankee propensity to bet made its 
effect felt. Some of the boys were a little slow in grasp- 
ing the details of the mutual pool system. A few of them 
won money, but most of them didn't. There were all sorts 
of gambling devices, wheels and cards and the like, in oper- 
ation near the betting ring, and it was like throwing your 
money away to go against them. But Jack didn't mind 
that. One of the bluejackets from the Ohio said he was 
going to bet all he had in the hope of beating the " bloom- 
ing British," because some of the English bluejackets once 
had difficulty in pronouncing the word Ohio. They said 
the name of the Ohio was " Ho and a Haich and a bloom- 
ing 10," and they didn't know what to call a ship named 
O H and 10. The American bluejacket will not try to get 
revenge again, for he lost. 

After the races the Queen's Park Hotel was jammed for 
the rest of the day and evening. Patrons of the bar were 
lined up six deep. It was as difficult to get a table on the 
veranda, or even inside, as it is to get one on New Year's 
eve in New York. All the rest of Trinidad goes to sleep 
with the chickens except the Queen's Park Hotel, and that 
also has an early bedtime on ordinary occasions, but the 
presence of American officers and the races combined made 
it break the Ben Franklin rule of early to bed. 

And so the visit to Trinidad wore away. The fleet was 
really glad to leave. Most of the visitors growled and 
said they'd be glad never to return, but all the same every 



46 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

one who has once been here in the winter and experienced 
the delightful climate and picturesque surroundings will 
be glad to see it once again. The motto of the fleet now is : 
" Heave away for Rio." 
Neptune will board us on the way. 



CHAPTER III 

TRINIDAD TO RIO JANEIRO 

How the Battleship Fleet Greeted the New Year at Sea Good Will 
Fore and Aft Beautiful Spectacle of a Searchlight Drill With 
Ninety-six Lights Crews on the Whole Glad to Get Away from 
Port of Spain Despite Official Cordiality The Culgoa and the 
Catamaran Missouri's Man Overboard The Sleepy Brigantine. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

Rio JANEIRO, January, 14. 

IT is not exceeding the limits of strict accuracy to assert 
that there was not a man on Admiral Evans's fleet who 
was not glad to leave Trinidad. The statement must 
not be taken as reflecting in the least upon the officials of 
the place. No greetings to a fleet of foreign warships could 
have been more cordial and sincere than those given by 
Governor-General Jackson and his assistants. There was 
no reserve about it. It was genuine and from the heart. 

But the Trinidad people did not wake up. Half a 
dozen merchants flew American flags above their shops, 
perhaps fifty persons all told came out to visit the ships, 
the clubs were thrown open to officers and now and then 
some of the residents might drive or stroll down to the 
waterfront to take a look at the fleet. 

There were two reasons for this apparent indifference. 
One was that the ships were anchored fully five miles from 
town. It was like anchoring a fleet of vessels at Tomp- 

47 



48 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

kinsville and expecting the citizens of Manhattan to flock 
to the Battery to gaze at them or hire small boats to go 
down to see them. A more powerful reason was that the 
Christmas horse races were on. That meant three days of 
closing the shops at noon, three days of betting, three days 
of sharpening wits to contest with three card monte men, 
roulette men, wheel of fortune men; three days when the 
most prosperous of the large Hindu population, in all 
their picturesque garb, women with rings in noses, brace- 
lets on arms and legs, brilliant hued gowns, and men in 
their turbans and one garment of a sheet made into coat 
and trousers came into town ; three days when the so- 
ciety of the place imitated the Epsom and Derby customs 
and drove into the inner enclosure with their drags and 
other turnouts, and had luncheons and visits ; three even- 
ings of promenading and dining at the Queen's Park Hotel. 

How could any one expect the people to get enthusiastic 
over an American fleet under such conditions? The peo- 
ple had talked for weeks, they said, over the arrival of the 
fleet, but straightway when it was announced that the 
races would be held at the same time .well, how can any 
person attend to two important things at one and the same 
time? Didn't one of the daily morning newspapers give 
a quarter of a column of space to the fleet on the second 
day after its arrival? Talk about enterprise in journal- 
ism ! Trinidad is the place to go to see a specimen of it. 

Admiral Evans expected to sail at 8 o'clock on Sunday 
morning, December 29, but there was some delay in coal- 
ing and he did not get away until 4 P. M. The night 
before sailing the flagship signalled this message to the 
entire fleet, to be published on each ship the next day : 



TRINIDAD TO RIO JANEIRO 49 

The Commander-in-Chief takes pleasure in communicating to the 
officers and men of the fleet the following extract from a letter just 
received from the Governor of Trinidad: 

*' I would ask to be allowed to offer my congratulations on the 
good behavior of your men on leave. A residence of seven years in 
Gibraltar, which is a rendezvous of the fleets of the world, has given 
me some experience of Jack ashore, and I can assert that your men 
have established a reputation which would be hard to equal and im- 
possible to beat." 

The Commander-in-Chief wishes to express his gratification that 
the conduct of the men has been such as to merit the words quoted 
above. 

That farewell banquet was fine. Every officer and man 
on the fleet appreciated its kindly and sincere tone and 
every man was ready to vote Gov. Jackson a brick. There 
was just one comment made throughout the fleet, and it 
might as well be set out here, with no intention of raking 
over the ashes of the past offensively. That comment was : 

" There is nothing of Swettenham about Jackson. He's 
all right!" 

The letter from Gov. Jackson sustains what has been 
said at the beginning of this letter ; the official welcome was 
cordial, sincere and without reserve. 

The trip to Rio was marked by two celebrations, New 
Year's Day and the visit of Neptune on crossing the line. 
One should not think, because these letters record consid- 
erable hilarity on three occasions Christmas and the 
other two all within two weeks, that such is the normal 
condition on an American warship. These celebrations 
happened all about the same time that is all. The pre- 
vailing condition on a warship is anything but hilarity, as 
will be revealed later in these letters. 

New Year's, like Christmas, was a general holiday for 



50 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

the fleet. There were quarters in the morning as usual, 
but after that there was no work and the smoking lamp 
was lighted all day. Extra things at dinners were pro- 
vided. As was general on shore, the new year was wel- 
comed with due ceremony and celebrations on the ships. 
As soon as it was night on December 31 it was evident 
that something would be doing by midnight 

There was no concerted programme. About 10 P. M. 
the officers began to drift one by one, into the ward- 
room. It was a very decorous assemblage. Its members 
began to tell stories. Now and then a song would 
start up, and all would join in. A fruit cake made 
by a fond mother at home was brought out. In some way 
the eggnog cups seemed to steal out on a side table. Then 
came a mixture that touched the spot and unloosened the 
vocal powers. 

It wasn't long before the " Coast of the High Bar- 
baree," "Avast! Belay! We're Off for Baffin's Bay," 
and other songs were being rolled out to the swaying, 
dipping of the ship in the swells that the strong eastern 
trades were booming up against the port side. Naval 
Academy songs were shouted. One officer thoughtlessly 
sat in the barber's chair in the rear of the wardroom. A 
great rush was made for him and he was tousled and rum- 
pled and pulled and hauled. He squirmed out of the 
grasp of his tormentors and then the " Coast of the High 
Barbaree," with " Blow High, Blow Low," was rolled out 
again. 

Soon it became evident that a New Year's song must be 
sung. The Christmas song of the Vermont, with the high- 
rolling, lob-e-dob swing in it, was taken as a model and 



TRINIDAD TO RIO JANEIRO 51 

there were a few minutes for adaptation to the Louisiana. 
When it had been rehearsed properly, it was decided to 
send a special New Year's greeting to the Vermont's ward- 
room, because the officers of that ship had made a Christ- 
mas serenading cah 1 on all the ships on Christmas night in 
Trinidad. One of the Vermont's officers is Dr. F. M. Fur- 
long. His mates on Christmas Day had nominated him 
for president and so informed the Louisiana's wardroom 
when they reached this ship. He was made to make a 
speech of acceptance and in apparent seriousness he grew 
eloquent over his chances and his platform. The New 
Years greeting from the Louisiana to the Vermont was 
something like this: 

" The Louisiana's wardroom sends happy New Year 
greetings to the Vermont's wardroom and pledges the solid 
W. C. T. U. vote to Dr. Furlong. Back districts, from 
the grassy slopes of the Green Mountains to the saccharine 
depths of the Pelican canebrakes, all heard from. We're 
happy and well. Happy New Year ! Happy New Year t 
Happy New Year to you ! " 

The greeting was sent to the bridge to be flung into the 
air on the illuminated semaphore signals at five minutes to 
midnight. Then came the final rehearsals of the New Year 
song, and just as the signals were sending the greeting to 
the Vermont a dozen lusty officers stole up to the quarter- 
deck and sang their song softly to see if it was all right. 
Then they climbed on the upper deck, stepped quietly along 
the gangway to the forward bridge. They were as silent 
as Indians. One of them had a great Christmas palm 
branch fully twelve feet long. One by one they sneaked 
up the port ladders and stowed themselves far out on the 



52 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

port side of the bridge. All was quiet until eight bells 
was struck and then eight bells more for the New Year. 
A great burst of song startled the officer of the deck just 
as the last letter of the message to the Vermont had been 
flashed. The song was: 

Happy New Year! Happy New Year! 

We're happy and well. 

Here's to the Lo'siana 

And don't she look swell! 

We're a highrolling, 

Rollicking crew; 

Happy New Year! Happy New Year! 

Happy New Year to you! 

The great palm branch was swung around to the danger 
of utter disarrangement of engine room signals, and the 
officer of the deck growled out something about a lot of 
wild Indians. A high flinging dance followed on the 
bridge, with the Happy New Year song shouted twenty 
times or more. 

" Get out of here ! " ordered the bridge officer. 

" All right ; we'll serenade the Captain ! " shouted the 
merry crew. Down to the lower bridge, where the Captain 
has his emergency quarters while at sea, they went. The 
Captain got a good dose of noise, but being a discreet 
man he said never a word. There was a rumor that he 
wasn't inside at all and that, knowing what to do on certain 
occasions, he had decided to remain in his private rooms 
below, where not even unofficial knowledge of any high 
jinks could reach his ears. 

Then the procession started for the quarterdeck, and 
leaning far over the rails on the starboard side with the 
stiff trade wind blowing the sound from the megaphoned 



TRINIDAD TO RIO JANEIRO 53 

throats of the singers, happy New Year's greetings were 
sung to the Georgia, 400 yards back and to starboard. 
That ship heard it easily. 

Then came a procession through the Louisiana. The 
members of the crew were slung in their hammocks, but nu- 
merous noises of catcalls and horns and shouts told that no 
one was asleep. At every section of every division on 
every deck the sailors were greeted with song. They sat 
up and cheered. It was fine to have a party of officers 
come around and wish you a happy New Year. Every 
mess of the ship received a call. When the warrant of- 
ficers' mess was reached there was a brilliant display of 
pajamas and well, in print one musn't go into particu- 
lars too fully. Regulations must be obeyed strictly even 
when you're having a good time. All the regulations 
were obeyed several times, and then some in that big 
roundup. 

Didn't the bos'n sing : 

Bad luck to the day 
I wandered away. 

and then go into the forty-seven verses about life on the 
ci Old Colorado " ? Didn't the electrical gunner join with 
the chief engineer in giving down the twenty-seven bells 
song? Didn't the carpenter dance a highland fling? 
Didn't the scholarly warrant machinist from the Boston 
Tech. twang a banjo and set the pace for the " Old New 
York " and the " Dear Old Broadway " songs ? And then 
didn't someone remark that " dear old Kim " hadn't been 
seen in all the parading that night? A rush was made 
for Kim's room but it was barricaded. 



54 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

" Come out, Kim ! " was the order. 

" Not on your life," was the response. 

And then, for revenge, didn't the crowd sing a song 
about Kim? Every man who knows anything about the 
United States Navy knows Kim, the genial paymaster's 
clerk, who sits in the junior officer's mess to keep the 
youngsters in proper submission, and who has trained a 
generation of officers in things naval; Kim, who has sailed 
the high seas in the United States Navy for a quarter of 
a century and knows so much about the ships and officers 
that he wouldn't dare to tell it all and ought to be made 
an Admiral for his knowledge and his discretion ; Kim, 
who has to salute many a man with a star on his sleeve and 
some of them with two stars, the minute he sees them, and 
then can call them Bill and Jim and Tom in private ; Kim, 
the best beloved, all around good fellow on the ship ; yes, 
everybody knows Kim. It isn't necessary to print the full 
name of this obliging, hard working autocrat of the pay- 
master's office. This is the song that greeted him: 

Everybody works but dear old Kim, 

He sits 'round all day, 
Feet upon the table, 

Smoking his Henry Clay; 
Young Pay pays out money, 

Old Pay takes it in; 
Everybody works on this ship 

But dear old Kim. 

Howls of glee from warrant officers, from petty officers, 
from hundreds of hammocks greeted the song. Kim 
chuckled but wouldn't come out. Finally the siege could 
be resisted no longer and out came Kim in full regulation 
pajamas and the din was terrific. It was a dance all 



TRINIDAD TO RIO JANEIRO 55 

around and some more strictly regulation things to drink. 
Happy New Year was sung for the 273d time and then 
came a further inspection of the ship. Wasn't it time for 
the dinner for New Year's Day to be tested in the cook's 
galley? Wasn't there as fine a specimen of the genus 
turkey as graced any board in the United States all ready 
to be tested? And wasn't it tested until nothing but the 
rack was left? 

The fire rooms had to be visited and down slippery lad- 
ders with the machinery chugging and rolling and plung- 
ing the piratical crew stole. Where men were sweating 
in front of furnace doors in watertight compartments the 
greeting was sung and the words " Happy New Year " 
were chalked on furnace doors. Perhaps the engines lost 
a revolution or two, or the steam slowed off just a bit and 
the officer of the deck wondered why he was unable to 
keep his position of 1,200 yards from the flagship exactly, 
but what did it matter? 

And when the rounds were all completed and the pirates 
assembled in the wardroom for their final song and final 
well, never mind that didn't a messenger from the bridge 
come down with a signalled message from the Vermont with 
a toast that was being offered in the Vermont's wardroom: 

Here's to you, Louisiana, 

Here's to you, our jovial friends? 

Every ship was having a celebration something like that. 
It's impossible to give the details because when a big fleet 
is going along at the rate of ten knots an hour and fight- 
ing a mean Amazon current as well, and the semaphores 
and other signals are being kept busy with official mes- 



56 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

sages it isn't exactly good form for newspaper landlub- 
bers to ask to be allowed to inquire what was done on the 
other ships, matters which, even if told unofficially, would 
not look exactly attractive all written out in a signal book, 
because you can't put much fun in a signal book entry. 
There must have been a good deal of the happy-go-lucky 
spirit on some of the ships, for on two or three of them the 
rollickers got at the siren whistles and blew them. That is 
something that might prove serious to a fleet sailing as 
this is, because the blowing of siren whistles, except at a 
certain hour of the day, when all the whistles are tested 
they call the noise the loosening of the dogs of war 
means grave danger and it is time to act at once. But 
New Year's came in happily all around and when the fun 
was over the one thought of the rollickers was that within 
a week Neptune would come aboard and after that there 
would be a long dry spell. 

When quarters were sounded a little after 9 o'clock on 
New Year's morning all hands appeared. The usual for- 
mality marked the occasion. The Captain came up and 
looked precisely as if his ship had been as quiet as a grave 
all night ; the executive officer answered salutes with an in- 
cisive manner, as each officer approached and reported his 
division " all present or accounted for " ; the members 
of the crew gave no hint that they had seen any officer 
roaming about the ship only a few hours before in a free 
and easy manner violating all ordinary traditions of a 
naval officer's dignity. And as for the warrant officers, 
when they saluted and gave you an icy stare, as if they 
might have met you somewhere once upon a time but really 
had quite forgotten your name, you felt relieved and glad 



TRINIDAD TO RIO JANEIRO 57 

that those two or three red streaks on your left eye ball had 
escaped general notice, and then it was that you felt like 
writing an apostrophe to discipline in the American Navy. 

Of the trip itself to Rio the mere sailing of it 
there is not much to record. It was done in squadron for- 
mation two lines of warships, with the supply ships 
Glacier and Culgoa bringing up the rear midway between 
the lines. For six days off the upper part of South 
America there was quite a heavy swell and a strong Amazon 
current that retarded the progress of the ships to gome 
extent. 

One day the swells were so heavy as to make the sea 
moderately rough. Every ship in the fleet buried its nose 
under the water constantly and sometimes the seas would 
slip up the sloping fronts of the turrets and splash their 
spray against the bridges. The sun was bright, and as 
these seas would come over the bow and spread their aprons 
of water over the forward parts of the ships the colors 
would change from blue to green, with white fringes, and 
then the sun would arch rainbows over the boiling torrents 
that would run from the sides as the ships rose to the tops 
of the waves. The sea was tossing and tumbling far out 
to the horizon circle, and as the ships dipped and rose 
they seemed like veritable warhorses of the sea rearing and 
plunging in royal sport. It was a beautiful spectacle, 
and it lasted all of one day. 

Soon after rounding the far eastern corner of South 
America there came a little comedy. The Illinois had 
dropped out of column formation to adjust some trifling 
disarrangement of machinery and some one on her thought 
he saw a raft to the eastward with two men clinging to 



58 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

it. Those in charge were evidently new to this coast and 
did not recall that fishermen of the Amazon region often 
sail 150 to 200 miles out to sea in the small catamarans 
that look more like logs or rafts than fishing vessels. A 
signal was sent to the Culgoa. 

The fleet had no information at this time as to why 
the Culgoa suddenly dropped out of column and headed 
to the east and then to the north until she was nearly hull- 
down. Soon it became known that she was bent on a 
rescue and the correspondents got out their note books 
and began to prepare to make much of the incident. 
After two hours the Culgoa was back in her place with 
what seemed to be a sheepish look to those familiar with 
the situation. She had found two men on a raft that 
is to say, on a catamaran and they were fishing and 
seemed content with their station in life and especially 
honored because a naval vessel of the United States had 
gone out of her way to greet them. The intention was 
all right and good form did not permit the bantering of 
any humorous personalities on the situation. 

Three nights out from Rio Admiral Evans ordered the 
first searchlight practice for the fleet. Let it be under- 
stood that there are certain things which a correspondent 
may not send from this fleet or even reveal afterward. 
They relate especially to tactical things, the things that 
may give information or some hint of information of im- 
portance to other nations. All navies have searchlights, 
however, and what will be said here of the drill will be of 
that nature familiar to every naval man and no more. It 
was merely a warming up, so to speak, of searchlight work, 
just a test to see if all the apparatus was in good condition. 



TRINIDAD TO RIO JANEIRO 59 

The drill was to begin at exactly 8 o'clock. Long be- 
fore that time every searchlight had been uncovered and 
connected up and all eyes were waiting for the Connecticut 
to begin the flashing. Just as eight bells were struck, 
when not more than half a dozen lights were visible on each 
ship of the fleet, a great beam of white shot out across the 
starboard of the Connecticut. Instantly ninety-six beams 
like it darted into the air and the ocean for something like 
a square mile became illuminated as though the full glory 
of the heavens had descended upon it. 

You who have seen Coney Island lighted up on a sum- 
mer's night may form some idea of the scene if you can 
concentrate in your imagination the lights down there 
turned into a hundred great shafts, sweeping, dancing, 
swinging, soaring into space, each light with the sheen of 
a full moon brought right down within the grasp of a man 
who turned a cylinder about as he pleased and said to the 
rays go here and go there. It was like a new world sprung 
into existence before your very eyes. Something of the 
meaning of the power of a fleet of warships was revealed 
to you. It was merely a small part of this power, just 
a trifle of the strength of warships put on display be- 
cause it could be tested in no other way. 

Each ship had six of these lights. The rules do not 
permit the rays of one ship to be displayed upon another 
because it imperils navigation for one thing, and there 
are also other naval reasons. It required some skill to 
avoid lighting up your neighbor ship. As soon as the 
lights were turned on the men managing them began to 
swing and twist them, now fast, now slowly, about each 
ship. When the rays struck the water, say, about 300 



60 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

yards away from a ship and each light was turned slowly 
around the vessel, it was as if so many sprites of the sea 
were dancing about like children around a May pole. 
Then a beam would go scampering away as if it had the 
concentrated velocity of a hundred 12-inch shots. Then 
there would come a period of helterskelter playing of the 
lights until a slow movement of searching on the waters 
was in progress. Each ship looked as if it were a thous- 
and legged spider, each leg made up of a ray of light. 
Sometimes the lights of a ship would be interlaced; again 
they would be centered on some spot far out in the water. 

The rolling crests of the swells would be whitened with 
the gleam of thousands of diamonds. The reflection of 
the light beams made bands of purple and deep green upon 
the water. The stars lost their brightness. It was as 
if the Yankee ships had reached out and stolen a good 
share of the strength of the sun which actually was the 
case from the standpoint of science had stored it in 
their holds and then had sprung it at night, just to show 
what could be done in the way of robbing the powers of 
darkness of their evil aspect. For half an hour the thril- 
ling exhibition continued and just as you were preparing 
to throw up your hat and give three cheers for Uncle Sam 
and his navy an officer brought you back to you feet with 
the quiet remark: 

" Why, that isn't a patch compared with the real thing ! 
This was just a sort of tuning up process, no more to be 
compared with the real thing than the tuning of a piano 
is to be compared with a Paderewski performance." 

You thought him a little strong in his analogy until 
of a sudden all the lights went out and there were sixteen 



TRINIDAD TO RIO JANEIRO 61 

battleships quietly sailing along a sea as smooth as Long 
Island Sound in the summer time, with only regulation 
lights showing, distances kept perfectly and nothing to 
indicate that there had been anything out of the ordinary 
in a sedate and peaceful passage from one port to an- 
other. 

An unexpected use of the searchlights followed about 
thirty hours after this first display. It was 2:30 o'clock 
of the second morning after when the unforeseen hap- 
pened. A gun on the Missouri boomed out. It was the 
signal for a man overboard. At once the life buoys were 
cast off from the ship, their lights burning brightly, and 
the Missouri and the entire eight ships of the second squad- 
ron, running parallel with the squadron that Admiral 
Evans was leading, burst into a blaze of light. In two 
minutes the entire fleet was stopped. Bbats were lowered 
from the Missouri, the Illinois and Kearsarge following. 
The searchlights were thrown upon the water and upon 
the boats, showing the men at work rowing about and 
searching for the lost man. It made a brilliant scene in 
the dead of night. Carefully and systematically the boats 
were rowed about for half an hour. Then, when it was 
evident that if a man had fallen overboard he had been 
lost, perhaps by striking a propeller or being hit by some 
other part of the ship, recalls were given and the boats 
returned to the ships and the squadron proceeded. At 
that time the Missouri signalled that she was not sure she 
had lost a man, but a sentry had thought he had seen one 
fall overboard. 

Later the facts came out. The alarm was given by a 
man who had a sailor's nightmare. No one was found 



62 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

missing at roll call the next morning and every one felt so 
sheepish that no formal report was made. 

A few hours previous, at 10:35 in the evening, one of 
the perils of navigation especially for the other fellow 
was brought home vividly to the fleet. A barkentine with 
a dim light was sighted about 800 yards to the west of 
Admiral Evans's squadron. The vessel was going north. 
Probably the man on watch had gone to sleep. He sud- 
denly awoke and before the officer of the deck on the Lou- 
isiana could recover from his amazement he headed straight 
for that vessel, the fourth ship in the squadron. It was 
soon plain that the barkentine would clear the stern of the 
Louisiana and would become a menace to the Georgia, the 
following ship. The officer of the deck of the Georgia 
had to sheer off and this made the officer of the deck of 
the Rhode Island sheer also. The barkentine went right 
between the Louisiana and the Georgia. 

By that time the officer of the sailing vessel had got a 
lot of lights out and apparently was in a state of com- 
plete obfustication. He had never seen so many lights at 
sea in such a limited space in his life. Clearing the first 
squadron he came into full view of another over to the 
east. There he was, all mixed up in a fleet of warships 
going at the rate of ten knots an hour. He became rat- 
tled again and turned to go outside the line of the first 
squadron, which he had just pierced. He came near 
hitting the Virginia, but finally got away safely. It was 
a hair raising episode. 

" That's what I call dancing a Virginia reel at sea by 
boats," said one officer after the incident was closed. 

" It seems to me," said another, " to show that not only 



TRINIDAD TO RIO JANEIRO 63 

does a kind Providence usually watch over a drunken man 
on shore, but seems to guard men at sea who go to sleep 
on watch." 

It was a miraculous escape for the barkentine, thread- 
ing her way in and out of a fleet of warships proceeding 
at fair speed and only 400 yards apart. No skipper 
would have dared take such chances in the daytime and in 
full control of his craft. The officers of the fleet breathed 
a sigh of relief to think that they didn't have to record 
against this cruise the running down of a vessel at sea 
with the consequent probable loss of life. 

And so the voyage went on placidly with the usual drills 
and daily ceremonies until Cape Frio, some sixty miles 
east of Rio, was sighted and then there came the journey 
along the coast, the entrance into the magnificent harbor, 
the splash of the mud hooks and the feeling that one- 
third of the voyage to San Francisco was over, and the 
fleet was shaking itself down into a smooth working condi- 
tion better and better with every day at sea. 



CHAPTER IV 

NEPTUNE AHOY! 

Weird Nautical Doings on Crossing the Line Officers, Sailors and 
Newspaper Man Pass Traditional Initiation Ocean Monarch and 
His Gay Spouse Amphitrite Pick the Ship President Roosevelt 
Once Sailed on for Their Visit Rest of the Fleet Only Thought 
He Was on Board Court Physicians and Ducking Bears Pa- 
ternal Messages From the Flagship Sons of Admiral Evans and 
Capt. Osterhaus Made Real Sailormen A Great Sight. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

Rio JANEIRO, Jan. 14. 

NEPTUNUS Rex ! Long live the King ! 
Neptune, the only king who never dies, had the big- 
gest j ob of his career on Monday, January 6, in the 
year of our Lord 1908 and the year of 4,000 or 5,000 and 
something since Noah set up a sea calendar and headed 
for Mount Ararat. More than 14,000 officers and men 
of the United States Navy, practically one-half of its 
membership, crossed the equator at longitude 37 11' W., 
and of those fully 12,500 had to be initiated into the 
" solemn mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep." 
Like the man who tried the rheumatism cures, every one 
of the landlubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers was " done 
good." 

It was the proudest day that Neptunus Rex ever ex- 
perienced. He said so himself, and he put on great airs 

64 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 65 

and strutted about with the dignity and pomp that befit 
his majestic rule as he declared that he was the only king, 
by all the mermaids, sea serpents, whales, sharks, dolphins, 
skates, eels, suckers, lobsters, crabs, pollywogs and jelly- 
fish, who could ever take possession of the United States 
Navy. And by the selfsame creatures of the deep he 
swore solemnly that none but he and Uncle Sam should 
ever have the right to boss that navy. Whereat the duly 
initiated members of his royal domain cheered him lustily 
and declared everlasting allegiance. 

To get right down to business, let it be said at once that it 
was a spectacle worth travelling tens of thousands of miles 
to see. It was the most elaborate, painstaking, well 
planned, rip snorting initiation of the kind ever produced. 
For be it known that Neptune does not recognize as a 
thirty-third degree member of his domain any one who has 
not crossed the line on a warship. 

Neptune, not having the attribute of omnipresence, was 
able to visit only one of the ships of this fleet. That 
ship was the Louisiana. Of course, every other ship will 
make the claim that he visited that vessel, but the fact is 
that he honored the Louisiana alone with his personal 
presence and had to send representatives to the other ships. 
He said he came to the Louisiana because he had heard 
she was the most famous ship of the fleet, President Roose- 
velt having made a trip close to his royal domain in her. 
He therefore selected her for his visit and he ordered that 
a special honorary certificate of membership in his realm 
be sent to the President and Mrs. Roosevelt. 

The preparations for Neptune's visit began formally on 
December 19, three days out from Hampton Roads, when 



66 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

" Fore Top, the Official Representative of his Majesty 
Neptunus Rex," received a wireless message to organize 
the members of the royal domain on the ship and prepare 
for the initiation ceremonies. Thereafter every day while 
the ship was at sea mysterious proclamations were posted 
at the scuttlebutt (the drinking tank) telling the land- 
lubbers, pollywogs and sea lawyers of the terrible things 
that would happen to them when they crossed the line. 
Dire penalties were provided for any who might try to 
hide, and long extracts from the Revised Statutes were 
posted prescribing the punishments to be inflicted upon 
the willing and the unwilling. There was decided uneasi- 
ness among the youngsters on board and it should be 
remembered that most of the crew of the ship are just 
above or below 1, having come almost green to the vessel 
from the training station at Newport when a procla- 
mation was posted containing this notification to Fore 
Top: 

" There has been ordered supplied to you upon arrival 
at Port of Spain, Trinidad, 750 gallons of coal tar, 90 
gallons of varnish, 400 pounds of sulphur, 4 sets of razors 
complete, 18 brushes, 4 sets of fine rib saws, 4 surgical 
knives, 2 large meat axes and 15 pairs of handcuffs." 

Orders were also given for sharpening the claws and 
appetites of the royal bears and warnings issued lest any 
one of the uninitiated should speak disrespectfully of Nep- 
tune's subjects. A day or so later came orders prescrib- 
ing the height of the ducking chairs. These chairs were 
to be so high that four flipflaps would be turned by the 
victims before hitting the water in the royal tanks. Six 
powerful electrical batteries were also ordered for use,, 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 67 

The bears were not to have any food for fifty-seven hours 
preceding the crossing of the line. 

Other proclamations provided for towing recalcitrants 
in the sea from the hawse pipes for from five minutes to 
four hours, according to the degree of the offence of the 
victim. 

Marvellous yarns were spun at all mess tables of the 
severity of the initiation, all of which got on the nerves of 
the youngsters, and the crew was in a state of semi-trepida- 
tion as the day of the crossing approached. Then came 
a glimmer of fun, for one day there came a " scuttlebuttic, 
telephonic, atmospheric " communication in which after 
more warnings that there would be no escape this was 
said: 

" I understand that there is a newspaper man on board, 
and if such is the case you will report to me at once, as 
there is a special provision in the Regulations of the Cere- 
monies of Initiation of the Royal Realm for such animals." 

Many were the grins among the crew that greeted the 
Sun man that day, and some of them ventured respect- 
fully to salute him and ask him if he had seen the message 
and had noticed that orders were also issued " to the royal 
doctors to have their pills and goggle water mixed in ac- 
cordance with the regulations and the barbers to use the 
proper per cent, of coal tar, oil, molasses and india ink for 
their lather." The next day Neptune ordered his sub- 
jects to " do stunts " with the newspaper man. Printers' 
ink was to be used in his lather so as " to give him a dose 
of his own medicine." A special oven was to be con- 
structed to roast him, and then he would know how it felt 
himself. 



68 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

General Order No. 7 of Fore Top told the barbers to 
mix mucilage with the printer's ink and to prepare the 
oven, and the officers and crew were now in broad grins 
as they greeted the Sun man and informed him that ho 
was going to get his all right. Then came " brainstorms " 
from his Majesty telling how the policemen were to act, 
ordering that their " clubs be stuffed with grate bars " 
and such, and providing how the hair should be clipped. 
Forthwith it was remarkable how dozens of men rushed to 
to the ship's real barbers and had their hair clipped close. 

" I ain't goin' to have none of that coal tar and grease 
in mine," said a frightened signal boy. A windsail was 
made to supply air to the officers' quarters, and the mes- 
senger boy of the executive officer came to him and asked 
him if it was true that the members of the crew were to be 
shot down that canvas tube. 

So the proclamations grew in number and with them in- 
creased the power of the yarns. The royal electrician was 
ordered to test the batteries and the royal boatswain was 
told to prepare his towlines and co-operate with the royal 
diver to see that the towing was done properly, and finally 
came the last message from Neptune on the day before the 
line was reached. It approved all that had been done. 
Old Nep. howled with joy because the bears were hungry, 
the knives and razors were sharpened, the lather had been 
mixed just right, the electric batteries were sizzling, the 
drop into the tanks had been put up to thirty-eight feet, 
and he wound up with this sentiment : 
" God help the poor rookies ! " 
Whereupon Fore Top issued this final order: 






N E P T U N E 




Courtesy oj Collier's Weekly 



Neptune Ahoy ! 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 69 

GENERAL ORDER NO. 23. 

All loyal subjects will at once make their final reports to me in de- 
tail. Report to me the names of the pollywogs, landlubbers and sea 
lawyers whose names have been entered on the books for severe pun- 
ishment. 

Good-by and good luck to the poor rookies who will come under 
your notice to-morrow! Deal in a befitting manner with them all. 
See to it especially that the newspaper man gets his. 

FORE TOP, O R. O. H. M. G. M. N. R. R. R. D. 

The names of about a dozen well known sea lawyers of 
the ship were posted immediately upon the scuttlebutt and 
the newspaper man " got his " later. 

That afternoon Capt. Wainwright and his executive 
officer, Mr. Eberle, being sticklers for the preservation of 
as many of the old time naval and sea traditions in modern 
warships as possible, took official notice of what was going 
on and this order was published to the ship: 

U. S. S. LOUISIANA, 
AT SEA, LAT. l'-30' N., LONG. 39-10 W., 

January 5, 1908. 
ORDER. 

1. Official notification has been received that his Majesty, Nep- 
tunus Rex, will visit this ship in state at 9 a.m. on the 6th day of 
January, 1908. 

2. His Majesty will be received with due ceremony at the time 
appointed. At 8:45 a. m. the divisions will be called to quarters, 
after which "all hands will be called to muster" to receive his 
Majesty in a manner befitting his high rank. The boatswain and 
eight boys will attend the side. When his Majesty reaches the quar- 
terdeck the officers and crew will salute, the band will play a march 
and the Royal Standard of Neptune will be hoisted at the main. 

3. After the official reception the royal ceremonies of initiation will 
begin. 



70 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

4. All ceremonies will be conducted in an orderly manner, in keep- 
ing with the time honored traditions of the Naval Service. 

E. W. EBERLE, 
Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Navy, 

Executive Officer. 
Approved: 

R. WAINWRIGHT, 
Captain U. S. Navy, 

Commanding. 

At a general muster of the crew that Sunday morning 
each man who had not crossed the line and a complete 
list had been prepared of them received this subpoena as 
he was dismissed from the deck: 

You LANDLUBBER, POLLYWOG AND SEA LAWYER: You are hereby 
notified that the good ship Louisiana, on which you are serving, 
will to-morrow enter the domain of which I am the ruler. As no 
landlubber, pollywog or sea lawyer can enter my domain or be- 
come one of my royal subjects unless he undergoes the initiation 
as prescribed by me, you will when the ceremonies commence present 
yourself for the initiation, and if you show that you are worthy 
you will become a member of my royal realm and be subject to my 
orders in all seas on which you may be. 

If you do not present yourself for this initiation and I am re- 
quired to despatch members of my staff to bring you before me by 
force I will deal severely with you. His Majesty, 

NEPTUNE REX, 
Ruler of the Royal Domain. 

Of the 960 odd persons on the Louisiana only about 100 
had ever crossed the line. The proportion was about the 
same on all the other ships of the fleet, so it is a fair esti- 
mate that 12,500 men were waiting the arrival of Nep- 
tune. A wireless message was sent to the Louisiana that 
his Majesty's secretary and orderly would come on board 
on the evening of January 5 to make the final prepara- 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 71 

tions for the ruler's visit the next morning. The call for 
hammocks was sounded about 7 :30 o'clock that evening and 
while the men were aft the officer of the deck, Ensign N. 
W. Post heard a pistol shot across the bows of the ship fol- 
lowed by: 

"Ship ahoy!" 

" Aye, aye, sir," said the officer of the deck, giving the 
accepted greeting for an officer. 

" What ship is that? Where are you from and whither 
are you bound?" came the voice. 

" The U. S. S. Louisiana, from Hampton Roads, bound 
through the domains of his Majesty Neptune Rex for the 
Pacific Ocean," shouted Post through a megaphone. 

" Heave to ; I want to come aboard ! " 

" Aye, aye, sir. Come aboard." 

Thereupon the ship was hove to theoretically and two 
men in fantastic dress popped over the starboard bow and 
made their way aft. Mr. Eberle, the executive officer, had 
been notified that Neptune's secretary, Main Top Bowline, 
was on board, and went forward to receive him. 

Capt. Wainwright was notified and appeared on the 
quarter deck. Soon, with the bugles sounding attention, 
Main Top Bowline and his orderly emerged through the 
superstructure with Mr. Eberle. The secretary and as- 
sistant were in full dress, their swallowtails of bright red 
chintz accentuated by enormous negro minstrel collars and 
by ties of pink that flowed out to their shoulders. They 
carried full dress cocked hats of navy regulation pattern. 
Their faces were Indian red with various splashes of paint 
that suggested mermaids and sea serpents. Main Top 
Bowline had a pair of binoculars made from black beer 



72 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

bottles which were capped by the rubber pieces that fit the 
eyes on the sighting apparatus of the guns. 

Mr. Eberle presented the secretary to the captain, while 
the officers and dozens of the crew gathered around. The 
secretary said that Neptune would come aboard at 9 A. M. 
the next day and would be prepared to take possession of 
the ship and exercise due authority. He complimented 
the captain on the appearance of his " fine ship," said that 
Neptune would visit the Louisiana only because it had once 
carried his " distinguished colleague, the President," and 
he expressed the hope that the captain and the crew would 
extend the proper honors. Capt. Wainwright straight- 
ened himself to his full height and said : 

" Mr. Secretary, Main Top Bowline : It gives me great 
pleasure to welcome you to this ship and to receive the 
notification of the contemplated visit to-morrow of his 
Majesty Neptunus Rex. I beg of you to convey to him 
the expression of my highest esteem and to say to him that 
we shall pay him the distinguished honors that belong to 
his rank, and shall obey gladly all his august commands. 
If you will now proceed with me to my cabin we will dis- 
cuss there the details of the ceremony." 

Then the captain and the visitors disappeared down the 
captain's gangway and a bottle of champagne was opened 
and the health of Neptune toasted. The captain told 
Main Top Bowline that he had been a member of Nep- 
tune's domain for thirty-eight years but had not met Main 
Top Bowline before. Main Top said he had been in his 
Majesty's service only fifteen years. Full particulars of 
Mr. Roosevelt's trip on the Louisiana were requested to be 
reported to Neptune and then the secretary left and called 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 73 

on the wardroom. He served subpoenas himself on the 
officers and asked especially for the newspaper man. He 
said that Neptune had been misrepresented so often in print 
and that it was so seldom that he ever found a reporter on 
a real ship of the line that he was bound to tell the news- 
paper man to be prepared for the worst. Then the vis- 
itors were escorted forward and they disappeared, after 
ordering this message sent to Admiral Evans: 

The Commander-in-CMef f U. S. Atlantic Fleet. 

By virtue of the authority invested in me by his Majesty, Neptunus 
Rex, ruler of the Royal Domain, I have to inform you that I have 
this night boarded the good ship Louisiana for the purpose of in- 
forming the commanding officer that he has entered the domain 
ruled by his Majesty and that he has a cargo of landlubbers, polly- 
wogs and sea lawyers on board whom it will be necessary to initiate 
into the royal realm before he can pass through, and as such his Most 
Gracious Majesty will to-morrow morning board the good ship Lou- 
isiana and carry out the ceremonies as prescribed by the regulations 
of the royal realm. His Majesty wishes me to convey his compli- 
ments to you and to state that he is pleased to have you with him 
once more in his royal domain, although it has been some time since 
he has been able to greet you personally. 

MAIN TOP BOWLINE, 
Secretary of His Most Gracious Majesty, 

NEPTUNE REX, 
Ruler of the Royal Domain. 

Admiral Evans signalled back his thanks for the greet- 
ing, sent his compliments to Neptune and expressed the 
hope that Neptune and his party would have a " royal 
good time on the Louisiana." 

The next morning everybody was up bright and early. 
Word was sent throughout the ship to wear no arms at 
quarters. Every man put on his cleanest uniform. Quar- 
ters was sounded and the men assembled at their usual 



74. WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

stations. The officers emerged one by one from the super- 
structure and reported to the executive officer that their 
divisions were all present or accounted for. Then came 
the bugle for general muster on the quarter deck. All 
hands were marched aft and the officers took their proper 
stations with a large space vacant about the captain and 
a passageway from the superstructure. Miss Sally Ann, 
the Trinidad monkey, was allowed to come along to see 
the fun. She perched on one of the 12-inch guns and 
flirted her tail about like an angry cat. A wait of several 
minutes followed after Mr. Eberle had gone forward to 
receive Neptune. This was due, it was reported after- 
ward unofficially, to getting Amphitrite, Neptune's wife, 
up the gangways with all her toggery in good condition. 
Not being used to skirts, it was quite a job. At the en- 
trance to the deck eight side boys and the boatswain's 
mates were stationed. 

Suddenly a great blast from the bugles announced the 
approach. Then the shrill boatswains' whistles smote the 
ears and Sally Ann set up an awful screeching. The word 
" Salute !" rang out and every man stood at attention 
while Neptune and his wife preceded by two pages stepped 
on the quarter deck. At that moment a monster red flag, 
eighteen feet by twelve, with a white sea serpent on it that 
would have made any Chinese dragon run to cover, was 
raised to the main, the band struck up Neptune's march 
and his Majesty and consort and their court of fifty-two 
persons in stately step trod the deck to greet Capt. Wain- 
wright. Neptune swung his trident proudly, and as he 
came to a full stop he said: 

" Sir : I have come to-day to your ship to exercise 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 75 

the full command that pertains to the rule of my domain. I 
have come to initiate the landlubbers and pollywogs on 
this vessel. You will relinquish command to me and I 
expect that full honors will be paid to my rank. I am 
honoring this ship of the fleet especially because my dis- 
tinguished friend and colleague, the President of the 
country from which you come, once used this ship on a 
near approach to my dominions. I am informed that he 
would be here to-day in person if the cares of State did 
not prevent. I am told he is here in spirit. I shall order, 
therefore, a special honorary certificate of membership for 
him. [Aside, " Can't some of you keep that damned mon- 
key from screeching so much?"] I shall now proceed to 
your cabin, after which the ceremonies of the royal initia- 
tions will proceed." 

Capt. Wainwright bowed profoundly and the irreverent 
in the crew set up a howl of laughter as they saw the 
makeup of Neptune and his party. Neptune and Am- 
phitrite and the two pages went below with the Captain. 
The others remained on deck. There were the two secre- 
taries that had come aboard the night before and next to 
them were two royal doctors, in long swallowtails and with 
tall hats that looked like the headgear of Corean high 
priests, only there were skulls and crossbones on them for 
ornament. The doctors carried dress suit cases. One was 
labelled "Dr. Flip" and the other "Dr. Flap." The 
cases contained the surgical instruments and medicines. 
Then came the royal counsellors with enormous law books. 
The lawyers wore the wigs of English practitioners and 
long black robes. Two " high cops," in chintz, followed 
and then there was a large squad of policemen each with 



76 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

a badge numbered 23, with stuffed clubs, followed by the 
barbers, a dozen black bears and a lot of retainers. 

Neptune himself wore a scarlet robe with sea serpents em- 
broidered on it and with a golden hemp fringe all around 
the edges. His face and legs and arms were stained a 
beautiful mahogany color. A great beard of yellow rope 
hung down over his fat belly. Amphitrite was in white. 
She wore a sea green flat hat and carried a black cat done 
up in baby's clothes. That cat stayed with her for two 
hours without moving. 

" My ! " said one of the ordinary seamen who had 
cruised many a time along the Bowery, " don't she look 
just as if she came straight from the Bowery and Hester 
street? How are ye, Amph? " 

A clout on the head by a mate made him " shorten his 
chin sail." 

Before Neptune reappeared Dr. Flip went up to Dr. 
Wentworth, the ship's surgeon, to pay his professional re- 
spects. Dr. Flip said he was of the old school and a 
graduate of the " Royal College of the Doldrums, class 
of Umpdy-umpdy-ump-ump." He was strong, he said, 
on the use of leeches and bleeding. Dr. Wentworth tact- 
fully admitted that the old school had its merits. 

Then came Neptune on deck again and the party, fol- 
lowed by 800 officers and men, went to the fo'c'sle deck 
for the initiation. Neptune mounted his throne on a plat- 
form. Two tanks had been erected between that and the 
forward turret. The bears slipped over the sides as the 
retainers filled the tanks with water. Drs. Flip and Flap 
unloaded their saws, knives, teeth extractors and many bot- 
tles of vile looking medicine. The lawyers opened their 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 77 

books to certain paragraphs of the " Revised Statutes," 
chiefly paragraph 4-11-44; the barbers sharpened their 
enormous razors, " made in Yarmany " ; the policemen 
drew up in line, the orderlies rolled up the barrel of lather, 
made of oatmeal and water, and another barrel of " tonic," 
to be used in enormous squirt guns. It was Neptune's 
" dope " for the unruly. Then Neptune, with a flourish 
of his trident and settling his gilt crown well back on his 
head, as Amphitrite nestled to his side, asked if all prep- 
arations had been completed. 

" Yes, your Majesty," replied Main Top Bowline. 

" Then let the initiations proceed. Bring forward as the 
first victim that newspaper man. He shall have special at- 
tention," was the command. 

The Sun man mounted the steps to the howls of 800 
persons. Dr. Flip sounded his lungs, examined his teeth, 
felt his arms and legs, made him wiggle his fingers and 
then said: 

" Your Majesty, a very bad case. 'E's got a ingrowin' 
brain ! " 

" What do you prescribe ? " 

" Well, your Majesty, we have here medicines for the 
cure of spavin, sore throat, consumption, chilblains, diph- 
theria, eczema, measles, neuralgia, heartburn 

" Never mind the rest," said the King. " What is the 
treatment? " 

" The same for all, sire," was the response. " A good 
shave, an injection in the arm of my ' dope ' [composed of 
molasses and water] some powder on his head and a duck- 
ing in the briny seas." 

"Very good!" replied his Majesty. 



78 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Then the trouble began. A pill as big as a horse chest- 
nut and made of bread crusts was forced down the victim's 
throat. The squirt gun hit him full in the face, a lotion 
was rubbed in his hair and then he was forced into the 
chair and shaved. A question was asked of him, and as 
he opened his mouth to reply a great paint brush of lather 
was thrust into it. Then came the order to pull out the 
plug from the chair and drop him over backwards into the 
tank. Well, that flight and that ducking ! Here descrip- 
tive powers fail the Sun's correspondent. It can be de- 
scribed best in the words of Herman Melville, in his story 
of " White Jacket," relating to a cruise he made in 1843 
around the horn in the United States frigate, United 
States, when he went into the water in another way. 

" Time seemed to stand still and all the worlds poised on 
their poles as I fell. I was conscious at length of a swift 
flinging motion of my limbs. A thunder-boom sounded in 
my ears. My soul seemed flying from my mouth. Some 
current seemed hurrying me away. In a trance I yielded 
and sank down deeper with a glide. Purple and pathless 
was the deep calm now around me, flecked by summer light- 
nings in an azure afar. 

" Then an agonizing revulsion came over me as I felt 
myself sinking. Next moment the force of my fall was 
expended and there I hung vibrating in the deep. What 
wild sounds then rang in my ear? One was a soft moan- 
ing, as of low waves on the beach, the other wild and heart- 
lessly jubilant, as of the sea in the height of a tempest. 
The life and death poise soon passed, and then I felt my- 
self slowly ascending and caught a dim glimmering of 
light. Quicker and quicker I mounted, till at last I 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 79 

bounded up like a buoy and my whole head was bathed in 
the blessed air." 

That was just as it was and when the Sun man escaped 
from the tank he was greeted with more applause and cheer- 
ing than he had ever received in his life. 

The first initiation on the Louisiana was over. Then 
came a roll call of the officers. They had to produce cer- 
tificates or pay tribute. The crew was assembled in long 
lines. One by one they went up the ladders. Drs. Flip 
and Flap received them. Elaborate examinations were 
made of their condition. 

, "My, my, sire!" Dr. Flip would shout. " 'E's got 
valvular contraction of the eyelids ! " 

" What is the remedy ? " Neptune would ask. 

" My usual treatment, sire," would be the response. 

Then would come a dose of dope, a rub of hair oil, a 
shave and a toss over into the tank to the hungry bears. 
Souse, souse, souse again would follow, and when the vic- 
tim came to the surface each time he would send up a stream 
of water from his mouth that resembled the spouting of a 
whale. Those who were waiting for their duckings would 
shout with the members of Neptune's party. Officers 
crowded to the front of the bridge and the midshipman who 
was using the stadimeter to get the proper distance in 
formation had the hardest day of his life trying to keep 
his eye on the flagship. 

" Pass 'em up quick ! " shouted Neptune. 

Dr. Flip would diagnose a case as " Fatty degeneration 
of the shinbone, sire," and the usual remedy would be pre- 
scribed. Over the victim went into the tank. Dr. Flip 
would then announce a case: 



80 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

" Palpitation of the hair, sire. You can see for your- 
self how it is shaking." 

" Let him have the prescribed treatment," was the order. 

Dr. Flip then announced a case of " f olderols in the 
right ear, sire." 

" Soak it to him good ! " was the command. 

Dr. Flip then had a case of " tickdullerous." Similar 
treatment. All diseases looked alike to Neptune. 

" Bunions ! " was the next report of Dr. Flip. 

66 Poultice his hair good. It draws 'em up. Then saw 
off his leg at the knee," was the remedy prescribed for the 
bunion ailment. Dr. Flip brought out the saws with vile 
looking teeth. The two doctors sawed away. 

" By cracky ! sire, I can't cut it off," reported Dr. Flip. 

"Give him an extra dousing!" ordered his Majesty. 

Dr. Flip next reported a case of toothache. 

" What do the Revised Statutes say ? " asked Neptune. 

" Beg pardon," said Dr. Flip, " that is in the phar- 
macopoeia." 

" Well, what does the farm whatever it is say ? " 
roared Neptune. 

" Gargle, sire," said Dr. Flip ; " the fumes kill the pain." 
The victim got the gargle treatment. 

" Mullygrubs in his back, sire," was the next from Dr. 
Flip. A lambasting with stuffed clubs was the extra treat- 
ment for that, in addition to the ducking. 

Then came a strange case, that of a youngster who 
spends his spare time on board studying mathematics in the 
hope of getting higher in the service. Dr. Flip went over 
him with great care. He got out bottles and pills and saws 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 81 

and bandages and plasters. The crowd could see that it 
was a most serious case. 

Dr. Flap was called in consultation. The books were 
produced and the symptoms were pondered over with many 
grave shakes of the head. At last Dr. Flip made the right 
diagnosis. 

" 'E's got the hypotenuse rampant," he shouted. " My, 
my ! I am astonished that a surgeon of the established 
reputation of Dr. Wentworth of the United States Navy, 
sire, should let all these ailments that we have here to-day 
escape 'im, sire," shouted Dr. Flip. 

" Send for Dr. Wentworth ! " roared Neptune. Dr. 
Wentworth came. He told Neptune that he had been a 
royal subject of his for more than twenty years. Nep 
softened a bit at that, and then said he was glad to see him 
again, but how about these strange ailments? Why had 
he not cured them? 

Dr. Wentworth is a man of tact, great tact, and he ex- 
plained that the ailments occurred nowhere else than in 
Neptune's domain and, therefore, he thought it was best to 
have them treated by Neptune's own specialists who were 
familiar with the newest developments and the best treat- 
ment. 

While the initiations were going on Neptune ordered this 
message semaphored to Admiral Evans, the Commander in 
Chief: 

Admiral R. D. Evans, U. 8. Atlantic Fleet. 

I am happy to inform you that your son and the son of the cap- 
tain of your noble flagship have this day declared their allegiance as 
iny loyal subjects. 

NEPTUNE REX. 



82 [WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Lieuts. F. T. Evans and H. W. Osterhaus are attached 
to the Louisiana and occasionally they have to take a good 
deal of chaffing and no favors when an " unofficial mes- 
sage " from " father " comes over the signals. This was 
the reply that Neptune received from the flagship: 

Neptune Rex: 

We are delighted that our sons are at last real sailors. They have 
Served a long time. Soak 'em, boys ! 

EVANS and OSTERHAUS. 

Young Evans and young Osterhaus were soaked all 
right. 

The initiation ceremonies were kept boiling all the time. 
Occasionally a sea lawyer, one with an established reputa- 
tion as such among the crew, would come up. He was 
asked if he wanted to argue his case. Not one of them did. 

" Give it to him good," Neptune would shout. And they 
did. The rest of the crew understood the significance of 
the extra ducking and howls of glee resulted. The sea 
lawyers usually had to be helped out of the tank. Now 
and then a man would lose his temper when he got into the 
tank. Small mercy for him ! He would drag a bear 
under the water with him. Forthwith half a dozen bears 
would go to the rescue of their companion, and in the res- 
cue that man who had dragged the bear under would think 
he was going to kingdom come before he got a breath of 
air. Oh, it didn't pay to be fresh in that salt water ! 

The ceremonies were half over when there came the un- 
foreseen. A victim came up with a peculiar glitter in his 
eye. Dr. Flip saw it and diagnosed the case as " extremis 
mortuis of the right optic." The diagnosis was correct, 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 83 

for, catching Dr. Flip in a favorable position, the victim 
toppled Dr. Flip over into the tank himself. 

" Flip is taking a flap ! " shouted the crowd. The bears 
fell on Dr. Flip, thinking he was a new arrival, and he 
got such a sousing as few who preceded him had received. 
He lost his glasses, but when he clambered back upon the 
platform he called out : " Next case ! " as if nothing un- 
usual had happened. 

Long before the initiation was over the policemen had 
roused the excitement of Sally Ann, who was perched in 
the rigging over the bridge, watching the strange per- 
formance, as they ran about the ship chasing culprits who 
tried to escape. Each succeeding arrest stirred her up 
more and more, and she shrieked out her grief in unearthly 
yells. One of the bluejackets had to gather her in his 
arms and stroke her head and talk soothingly to her before 
she would be comforted. 

Another thing that pleased Neptune and the bluejackets 
was the appearance of an enormous gull, a " goney bird," 
they called it, that hovered over the initiation ceremonies 
for more than an hour, turning and twisting its head and 
giving out strange calls. Where the bird came from no 
one saw. The ship was 300 miles out to sea. No other 
bird of the kind was in sight. It was the sailor's omen of 
good luck. When the bird alighted in the rigging a cheer 
went up. That sealed the matter of good luck and then 
the bird flew off to the other ships and watched the cere- 
monies there. 

So hour after hour the initiation went on until the last 
man had been rounded up and Neptune pronounced the 



84 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

day's work well done. He sent this signal to Admiral 
Evans : 

The Commander-in-Chief, U. 3. Atlantic Fleet. 

I have to inform the Commander-in-Chief that I have completed 
the ceremonies on board the good ship Louisiana, will haul down my 
standard and take my departure. The Commander-in-Chief will ac- 
cept my best wishes for himself, officers and men of the United 
States Atlantic fleet for a most pleasant voyage, and may all the 
royal subjects meet again. 

NEPTTJNUS REX, 
Ruler of the Royal Domain. 

Neptune then retreated into the fo'c'sle for refreshment 
and remained there until darkness came. Then a barrel 
filled with oakum and oil and tar was set on fire and put 
afloat. It sailed away in the night. It was " Neptune's 
boat," and he was going back to his royal domains. 

After he had gone certificates duly signed and embel- 
lished with mermaids and sea urchins and starfish and ropes, 
with an octopus for a background and a picture of Nep- 
tune rising from the sea at the top and with the ship's seal 
affixed to bits of red, white and blue ribbon, were presented 
to all hands. Never again will a man who can show one 
of them have to take a dousing and barbering with suit- 
able medical treatment on crossing the line. 

The certificates read: 

DOMAIN OF NEPTUNTJS REX, 
RULER OF THE RAGING MAIN. 

To all Sailors, wherever ye may be, and to all Mermaids, Sea Ser- 
pents, Whales, Sharks, Porpoises, Dolphins, Skates, Eels, Suckers, 
Lobsters, Crabs, Pollywogs and other living things of the sea. 
GREETING: Know ye that on this 6th day of January, 1908, in 

latitude 00,000 and longitude 37, 11', W., there appeared within the 

limits of Our Royal Domain the U. S. S. Louisiana, bound southward 

for the Straits of Magellan and Pacific ports. 



NEPTUNE AHOY! 85 

BE IT REMEMBERED 

That the Vessel and Officers and Crew thereof have been inspected 
and passed on by Ourself and Our Royal Staff. 

AND BE IT KNOWN: By all ye Sailors, Marines, Landlubbers and 
others who may be honored by his Presence that 

JOHN DOE 

having been found worthy to be numbered as one OF OUR TRUSTY 
SHELLBACKS, has been gathered to our fold and duly initiated into the 

SOLEMN MYSTERIES OF THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THE DEEP. 

BE IT FURTHER UNDERSTOOD: That by virtue of the power invested 
in me I do hereby command all my subjects to show due honor and 
respect to him whenever he may enter Our Realm. 

DISOBEY THIS ORDER UNDER PENALTY OF OUR ROYAL DISPLEASURE. 

Given under our hand and seal this sixth day of January, 1908. 

NEPTUNUS REX.. , 
DAVY JONES, 

His Majesty's Scrib?. 
[Seal of the Louisiana.] 



CHAPTER V 

BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 

Never Before Did American Ships Have Such a Welcome The 
Visit a Continual Exchange of Prisoners Made by Friendship 
Americans Found it Easy to Sail Into This Bay of all Delights, 
but Very Hard to Sail Out Jack Had a Fine Time Ashore and 
Behaved Properly More Than 4,000 of Him on Liberty at One 
Time Official Welcome Sincere, and That of the People From 
the Heart Vice Admiral's Salutes Greeted Evans. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

Rio JANEIRO, Jan. 22. 

IN Describing the arrival, reception and stay of the 
American fleet in this port, the impulse is almost irre- 
sistible to use superlatives. There can be no error of 
judgment or of taste in employing the comparative de- 
gree, for strict accuracy compels the assertion that never 
was an American fleet greeted more cordially and never 
entertained more elaborately in a foreign port than in this 
port, the " Bay of All Beauties," and in this city, fast be- 
coming the Paris of the Western Hemisphere. 

The greetings were unmistakably of the heart. They 
were far more than official expressions of esteem. It was 
our old familiar friend of the North, the Vox Populi, that 
spoke, and no levity is intended when that expression is 
used. The people acclaimed the fleet and that aspect was 
so overwhelming, so constant, so omnipresent that it 

86 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 87 

dwarfed everything else. No foreign port and no Ameri- 
can port ever saw so many American bluejackets ashore in 
ten days ; no foreign port ever opened its arms more freely 
to American sailors of high and low degree. 

The reception of the fleet was a decided surprise. The 
officers were confident that the welcome would be cordial, 
that the expressions of politeness customary on such occa- 
sions would ring true, that the entertainments would be in 
keeping with the situation. No one doubted that Brazil 
would do the handsome thing. It was expected that the 
officials would exert themselves to say pleasing things and 
provide receptions and dinners, and would exchange calls 
and observe punctiliously all the niceties that international 
courtesy demands. But no one expected what might be 
called strictly an uprising of the people, and the bestowal 
of that fiction of official receptions in a foreign port, 
known as the freedom of the city, in such a manner as to 
turn fiction into fact. 

It seemed to be true and undoubtedly was true that the 
Americans captured Rio, took it by storm, if you please ; 
it did not seem to be true but was true that Rio captured 
the Americans from Admirals down to coal passers. From 
the hour of arrival to the hour of departure it was a con- 
stant, an incessant exchange of friendship's prisoners. 
Without this the American fleet could never have sailed 
away, and the fears expressed in the United States when 
the fleet left on its cruise that it might never come back as 
a unit or in parts would have been realized. 

It was easy as a matter of seamanship to sail into Rio 
harbor. It was as hard a job as any American Admiral 
ever tackled, as a matter of parting with friends, to sail 



88 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

out. Any American President who may order a fleet of 
battleships into this harbor in the future should take that 
matter into serious consideration. The Americans do not 
want to lose their battleships. Prudence requires caution 
hereafter in running risks with Brazilian hospitality. 

It was about 9 o'clock on Sunday morning, January 
12, when the fleet passed Cape Frio, seventy-five miles to 
the east of Rio. Far back on the hills is a signal station. 
It used the international code and the flags that snapped 
in the breeze said: 

" Welcome, American fleet ! " 

" Sounds pretty good," said a signal officer. Then 
came the Yankton, which had been sent on ahead to meet 
Admiral Evans and inform him of the plans for anchoring 
and receptions and the like. Just before noon three Bra- 
zilian warships were observed about a dozen miles out from 
Rio. On they came and bugles were sounded and rails 
manned and salutes exchanged. One, two, three, and so 
on, went the guns of the Brazilian cruiser that led the two 
torpedo boats. One by one the reports were counted care- 
fully, as is always the case on a warship. Thirteen were 
boomed out and then came another and another and then a 
stop. It was a Vice-Admiral's salute. 

Instantly the query ran through the fleet: Has Ad- 
miral Evans been promoted? The wiseacres were not de- 
ceived. They said that the Brazilians reasoned that the 
Commander-in-Chief of any fleet the size of this should be 
a Vice-Admiral, and that the Brazilians were taking no 
chances in not being sufficiently polite to cover any con- 
tingency. 

Soon the mountains immediately surrounding the beau- 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 89 

tiful harbor came into view. A dozen steam launches had 
ventured outside. Then came the careful evolutions of 
getting into exact column for entering the harbor. 

The day was beautiful, old Sugar Loaf and Corcovado 
and all the other peaks seemed to be standing up with the 
dignity of stiff salutes, and then came a peep into the nar- 
row entrance of the harbor. The place was alive with 
small boats. The signal stations were all aflutter with 
welcome flags. 

Slowly the Connecticut led the way and, when just be- 
yond old Fort Santa Cruz on the eastern side, boomed a 
salute to the port. From a little rock all smoothed off 
and fairly polished, given up entirely to a fort, Ville- 
gagnon, came the answering salute. Instantly the whis- 
tles of hundreds of craft were set loose and tied down. No 
American has ever heard such a shrieking of vessels ex- 
cept at the international yacht races off Sandy Hook. The 
noise at Sandy Hook was greater because the number of 
boats about was greater ; that's the only reason. How-de- 
do and welcome came from big and little craft all loaded 
down with people in their Sunday best, if they have such 
things down here. Parenthetically it may be remarked 
that judging from the way the women dress for street wear 
every day is Sunday with them in the matter of clothes. 
There were half a dozen boat crews out in eight-oared 
barges. Launches, rowboats, steamers, ferryboats, sailing 
craft of all kinds were just inside the harbor entrance. 

Soon magnificent Botafoga Bay unfolded itself with 
that wonderfully beautiful long reach of avenue, Bairo- 
Mar, running four miles in a crescent from the heart of 
the city toward Sugar Loaf, all set out in artistic land- 



90 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

scape treatment. It was black with the people. Then the 
fleet approached the city proper. With a glass one could 
make out that the hills, the houses, the waterfront were 
black with the people. As Vice-Admiral Maurity after- 
ward said in a speech : 

" The whole of the population of Rio, of all ages, chiefly 
belonging to the fair sex, could not avoid going out of 
their houses to crowd the neighborhoods of the harbor, the 
hills and islands around it, and all other points of view 
from the city of Rio and the Nictheroy's side, in order to 
greet the passage of the American fleet and to better appre- 
ciate the interesting display of her manoeuvres." 

Moreover, the population had been waiting there prac- 
tically for two days. The fleet was scheduled to come in 
on Saturday. All of Saturday and far into the night tens 
of thousands had waited upon the hills and waterfronts. 
They were back, we were told, early on Sunday morn- 
ing and they blackened and whitened the entire city. The 
American officers were almost dumfounded. What does 
it all mean, was the general inquiry. 

On steamed the Connecticut, and it was discovered that 
there was a German cruiser, the Bremen, in the harbor. 
More salutes! By the way, it may be remarked that 
Admiral Evans got the Rear Admiral's salute inside the 
harbor, the proper one that his two-starred flag requires. 
He got another Vice-Admiral's salute and many persons 
thought it was a delicate hint to the United States when 
the Italian cruiser Puglia came in a day or two later and 
gave him fifteen guns. 

When the ships anchored in four lines opposite the cen- 
tral part of the city, the Brazilian ships, about a dozen of 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 91 

them, were anchored inside. Pratique was granted within 
half an hour of the time of the anchoring, which required 
some slow manoeuvring in order to reach the exact posi- 
tions. 

No official calls were made that night because it was well 
after 5 o'clock when the last anchor was down, and it was 
Sunday. The populace thronged the waterfront, in some 
places ten deep, until after dark, and then the Brazilian 
ships illuminated in honor of the fleet. Fireworks were set 
off from the hilltops. Still the people stayed on the water- 
front. Up to midnight they could be seen in thousands. 
They were there when daylight came ; if not the same ones, 
then a fresh relay. From that day on until the ships left 
there never was an hour when the waterfront, especially of 
the city proper, was not thronged with the people looking 
at the ships. 

The far famed Bay of Rio ! What shall be said about 
it? Travellers and guide books have told of its beauties 
without ceasing. Every well-informed person knows that 
it is regarded as the finest in the world, that even Naples is 
dwarfed in these descriptions in comparison. It is worth 
while to recount its glories again, especially as it revealed 
itself to naval men. 

The writer knows of no better naval twist to give to such 
a description than was written by Herman Melville, who 
entered this bay on the United States frigate United States 
way back in 1843, and who has described the scene in his 
fascinating book "White Jacket." Nature is still the 
same. Old Sugar Loaf, the liberty capped Corcovado, 
literally the hunchback, the Organ Mountains and all the 
other peaks still rear their heads as they did then and en- 



92 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

circle Rio. Here is what Melville wrote from a naval 
standpoint : 

" Talk not of Bahia de Todos os Santos, the Bay of All 
Saints, for though that be a glorious haven, yet Rio is the 
Bay of all Rivers, the Bay of all Delights, the Bay of 
all Beauties. From circumjacent hillsides untiring sum- 
mer hangs perpetually in terraces of vivid verdure, and 
embossed with old mosses convent and castle nestle in valley 
and glen. 

" All around deep inlets run into the green mountain 
land, and overhung with wild highlands more resemble 
Loch Katrine than Lake Leman, yet here in Rio both the 
loch and the lake are but two wild flowers in a prospect 
that is almost unlimited. For behold, far away and away 
stretches the broad blue of the water to yonder soft swell- 
ing hills of light green, backed by the purple pinnacles and 
pipes of the grand Organ Mountains fitly so-called, for in 
thunder time they roll cannonades down the bay, drowning 
the blended bass of all the cathedrals in Rio. 

" Archipelago Rio, ere Noah on old Ararat anchored his 
ark, there lay anchored in you all these green rocky isles I 
now see, but God did not build on you, isles, those long lines 
of batteries, nor did our blessed Saviour stand godfather 
at the christening of you, you frowning fortress of Santa 
Cruz, though named in honor of Himself, the divine Prince 
of Peace. 

" Amphitheatrical Rio ! in your broad expanse might be 
held the Resurrection and Judgment Day of the whole 
world's men-o'-war, represented by the flagships of fleets 
the flagships of the Phoenician armed galleys of Tyre 
and Sidon; of King Solomon's annual squadrons that 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 93 

sailed to Ophir, whence in aftertimes, perhaps, sailed the 
Acapulco fleets of the Spaniards, with golden ingots for 
ballasting ; the flagships of all the Greek and Persian craft 
that exchanged the warhug at Salamis ; of all the Roman 
and Egyptian galleys that, eaglelike, with blood dripping 
prows, beaked each other at Actium; of all the Danish 
keels of the Vikings ; of all the mosquito craft of Abba 
Thule, King of the Pelaws, when he went to vanquish Artin- 
sall ; of aU the Venetian, Genoese and Papal fleets that came 
to shock at Lepanto ; of both horns of the Spanish Armada ; 
of the Portuguese squadron that under the gallant Gama 
chastised the Moors and discovered the Moluccas; of all 
the Dutch navies led by Van Tromp and sunk by Admiral 
Hawke ; of the forty-seven French and Spanish sail-of-the- 
line that for three months essayed to batter down Gibral- 
tar; of all Nelson's seventy-fours that thunderbolted off 
St. Vincent's, at the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar; of 
all the frigate merchantmen of the East India Company; 
of Perry's war brigs, sloops and schooners that scattered 
the British armament on Lake Erie; of all the Barbary 
corsairs captured by Bainbridge ; of the war canoes of 
Polynesian Kings, Tamma-hammaha and Pomare ay, 
one and all, with Commodore Noah for their Lord High 
Admiral, in this abounding Bay of Rio might all come to 
anchor and swing round in concert to the first of the flood. 
" Rio is a small Mediterranean, and what was fabled of 
the entrance to that sea, in Rio is partly made true, for here 
at the mouth stands one of Hercules's Pillars, the Sugar 
Loaf Mountain, 1,000 feet high, inclining over a little 
like the leaning tower of Pisa. At its base crouch like 
mastiffs the batteries of Jose and Theodosia, while opposite 



94. WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

you are menaced by a rock bounded fort. The channel be- 
tween the sole inlet to the bay seems but a biscuit's 
toss over, you see naught of the landlocked sea within until 
fairly in the strait. But then what a sight is beheld! 
Diversified as the harbor of Constantinople, but a thousand- 
fold grander. When the Neversink (the frigate United 
States) swept in word was passed, 'Aloft, topmen! and 
furl t '-gallant sails and royals ! ' At the sound I sprang 
into the rigging and was soon at my perch. How I hung 
over that main royal yard in a rapture! High in air, 
poised over that magnificent bay, a new world to my rav- 
ished eyes. I felt like the foremost of a flight of angels 
new lighted upon earth from some star in the Milky Way." 

Few men on this fleet felt the rapture that Melville des- 
cribed so poetically, but every one felt a thrill. Had Mel- 
ville lived to more recent times he might have included the 
fleet of Farragut and Porter, of the Austrians and Italians, 
of the Russians and Japanese, of the Spanish, in that 
mighty roll call of the ressurrection of fleets of the world, 
for surely there is room for all. 

For twenty miles up there is deep water in the bay, and 
hiding places too among the 365 islands, one for every 
day in the year, that stud the waters. Santa Cruz and all 
the other forts Melville mentions are still there and a dozen 
more besides, most of them inside the harbor, built, as one 
grim fighter on the American fleet said, more for use 
against domestic than foreign foes. The very situation of 
those forts spells out fear of revolution, but that's another 
matter. 

The next morning after arrival came the unfolding of 
Rio to the visitors. Even those who had visited the place 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 95 

before had shaken their heads solemnly about it. The 
scenery all about is grand, they said, wonderful, but the city 
itself well, hands were raised in deprecation, nostrils di- 
lated, followed by a sad shake of heads. Didn't the guide 
books tell you it was a foul, ill smelling place? Wasn't 
it a matter of course that the city would be reeking with 
yellow fever in this its midsummer time? 

The officials told the fleet officers that there was no yellow 
fever in the place. Polite expressions of surprise with 
surreptitious nudges behind the back! They said that 
the city had been transformed in the last four years, was 
well paved and beautified and they expressed the hope that 
the Americans would like it. More expressions of polite 
surprise and assurances that the city always was at- 
tractive, with more nudges behind the back. And then 
when the officials went back to shore didn't the officers make 
a dive for the ships' libraries and read facts, real facts, 
mind you, about the place? Didn't W. E. Curtis write 
this about Rio : 

" Viewed from the deck of a ship in the harbor the city 
of Rio looks like a fragment of fairyland a cluster of 
alabaster castles decorated with vines; but the illusion is 
instantly dispelled upon landing, for the streets are narrow, 
damp, dirty, reeking with repulsive odors and filled with 
vermin covered beggars and wolfish looking dogs. There 
is now and then a lovely little spot where nature has dis- 
played her beauties unhindered and the environs of the 
city are filled with the luxury of tropical vegetation ; but 
there are only a few fine residences, a few pleasant prome- 
nades, and a few clusters of regal palms which look down 
upon the filth and squalor of the town with dainty indif- 



96 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

ference. The palm is the peacock of trees. Nothing can 
degrade it, and the filth in which it often grows only serves 
to heighten its beauty. The pavements are of the rough- 
est cobblestone; the streets are so narrow that scarcely a 
breath of air can enter them, and the sunshine cannot reach 
the pools of filth that steam and fester in the gutters, 
breeding plagues." 

There are half a dozen descriptions such as that, some 
of them as recent as 1900. Oh, yes, the Americans knew 
what kind of a city they were going to see. Hadn't some 
of them been here before? Didn't some of the surgeons 
on the fleet shake their heads gravely when it was signalled 
from the flagship that there would be general liberty? 

What did the Americans find? This is part of what the 
Americans saw ; it would take pages to tell it all : 

They saw one of the cleanest and best paved cities in the 
world. New York in the Waring days never had cleaner 
streets. There was not a foul smell in evidence. There 
was even no West street or South street odor along the 
waterfront. Where the streets were not of asphalt they 
were of wood. There were no beggars on the highways ; 
at any rate the Sun's correspondent did not see one, and 
he spent hours ashore every day. 

The old part of town still has its narrow streets, the 
chief of which, Ouvridor, is about half as wide as Nassau 
street and which no vehicles are permitted to enter. But 
the great surprise of all was the magnificent Central ave- 
nue, built within the last four years right through the 
heart of the city from north to south, just as Napoleon 
built highways in Paris, connecting at the south with the 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 97 

great sweeping shore boulevards, where the beautiful Mon- 
roe Palace stands. 

This new avenue rivals anything that Paris can show. 
It is about 120 feet wide, with sidewalks fifteen feet broad. 
In the centre are lofty lights on artistic poles, each group 
set in a little isle of safety filled with flowers and grasses 
and plants. The architecture along the avenue is harmo- 
nious throughout. The effect is imposing and makes a 
New Yorker think. 

But those sidewalks ! It is mighty fortunate for New 
York that she has none like them. If she had, the psycho- 
pathic ward in Bellevue would have to be enlarged ten 
times over for the patrons of the Great White Way. 

They are big mosaics, composed of small pieces of black 
and white granite. The black pieces are used for orna- 
mentation. Every block has a different design. Some 
have zigzags, others curves and curlycues, others dragons 
and starfish (at least they resemble such), others swing here 
and there ; others are straight, until you feel that all you 
need is a brass band to make you march ; others take you in 
swoops this way and that ; arrows and daggers point them- 
selves at you; bouquets in stone attract you until you 
almost feel that you want to stoop to get a whiff; but the 
predominant feeling is that the designs were sunk for sail- 
ors to roll back to the ship on, heaving to occasionally for 
bearings; or for intoxicated men to take another tack in 
the hope of finding a shorter way. 

One of the bluejackets hit this particular " beach " one 
afternoon after he had been drinking too much. He 
stopped short and called to his mate, a few feet away : 



98 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

" Bill, come here ! Take me away ! What do I see ? 
Look at 'em ! Snakes ? Yes, they are snakes ! I got 'em ! 
Hit that big feller on the head ! It's the brig f er me when 
I get back. Take me away, Bill! Think o' the disgrace 
o' gettin' the jimjams in a foreign port. Bowery booze 
f er me after this ! Take me away, Bill ! 'Tain't snakes ? 
Honest? Jes' sidewalk? 'Ray for Brazil!" 

Then the bluejacket got on his knees and felt to make 
sure it was " jes' sidewalk " while a crowd of Brazilians 
gathered around and some of them thought Yankee sailors 
either had queer ways of investigation or of making their 
devotions under the effect of libations and smiled, and in 
Portuguese told Bill and Tom they were good fellows. 

As one went to the south on this Central avenue he came 
upon the nearly finished municipal theatre, one of the 
handsomest playhouses in the world and probably the larg- 
est in the western hemisphere. Then came the new pub- 
lic library and other Federal and municipal buildings that 
are being erected back of old Castello Hill, where the first 
settlers squatted, and the remains of their huddled manner 
of living still present themselves to the eye. And then 
one came to the white Renaissance pile, the strikingly beaut- 
iful Monroe Palace, named after our own Monroe, whose 
famous doctrine is woven into the woof and warp of the 
Brazilian institutions. 

The building is segregated and is at the very gate of 
the great boulevard system fronting on the bay. It is 
conspicuous from the harbor. Brazil's flag the green 
field, representing luxuriant vegetation; the yellow dia- 
mond, representing the gold and other mineral wealth ; 
4he broad, banded globe of blue in the centre, representing 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 99 

the dominion of Brazil, with one star above the equator 
for its single State in the northern hemisphere, and other 
stars in the south portraying the southern States, and also 
the famous constellation of the Southern Cross at a certain 
significant date in the year the Brazilian flag flew from 
the dome and on each corner were large American flags. 

This palace is where the Pan-American Congress met, 
where Secretary Root made a profound impression in his 
address. Next to Roosevelt the name of Root is foremost 
on the lips of Brazilians. His visit made the deepest im- 
pression here. It is still talked of, even on the highways. 
That visit, the Monroe Palace and the visit of this fleet are 
bound to be felt for years in the expressions of genuine 
international friendship of various kinds which will be 
made between the two great republics of the North and 
South. 

Then one saw the boulevard system. Again one must 
repress himself. It is safe to say that no city in the world 
has anything like it, that no avenue or highway is more 
beautiful and imposing. One might combine the beauties 
of the waterfront of Naples and Nice or of any spot in 
the Riviera with those of the Shore Drive of New York's 
Narrows and Riverside Drive and Lafayette Boulevard in 
New York, and still they could not compare with this beau- 
tifully ornamented stretch of boulevard that curves about 
the bright blue bay. 

Illuminated with thousands of lights at night the effect 
from the harbor is that of a long crescent of diamonds 
flashing upon the forehead of the bay. No one who has 
ever seen this highway of miles with its palatial dwellings 
fronting upon it and set back against the hills can ever 



100 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

forget it. It wasn't here when Melville wrote, but truly 
it makes the city Amphitheatrical Rio ! 

Then the Americans began to wander about the city. 
The narrow streets in the business district are like those 
of Havana and many other cities of people of Latin de- 
scent. Through this part of town run little mule propelled 
tramways with the narrow rails so close to the sidewalks that 
when the tram is crowded to the side steps there is danger 
of sweeping the passengers off by passing pedestrians. 
The visitors saw the cafes, real cafes, where the principal 
drink is coffee, " strong as the devil, as black as ink, as 
hot as hell and as sweet as love." 

Some of the Americans liked the coffee, but the wise 
ones confined their drinking to limeades. Then the visitors 
saw the many crowded cinematograph shows, the crowded 
shops, the powdered, and what Americans would call over- 
dressed women, the panorama of the highways, the news- 
boys, the hundreds of lottery shops. 

But above all else they noted the clean condition of 
things. They asked if it was a sudden spurt of cleanliness 
and were told that it was not. They asked how about 
these new streets and the extensive, harmonious and com- 
prehensive building that is going on. It was declared 
to be part of a broad policy that has been in progress for 
four or five years, part of a plan to make Rio one of the 
most beautiful cities in the world, a plan to make it fit the 
magnificent surroundings which nature has provided for 
it. American opinion was all summed up in this general 
expression : 

" As handsome a city as I ever saw." 

It was when the bluejackets went ashore that the Ameri- 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC W?LCpjME iilpljj 

cans began to realize what Brazil's welcome really meant. 
The boys landed with a whoop and began to scatter. 
Sailorlike some of them headed for the saloons, but the 
people expected that and were surprised that more of them 
didn't fall by the wayside. Most of the men, however, 
went in for rational enjoyment. They crowded the post 
card emporiums, they bought fruit and trinkets, they piled 
on the tramways and went any old place so long as it was 
somewhere. 

They filled the streets, the cinematograph places. Yes, 
they hired automobiles and rode about like nabobs to the 
astonishment of the natives, who must have wondered at the 
princely wages the United States paid its men. They went 
to the best restaurants and hotels. Everywhere they were 
welcomed. " English spoken here " was a frequent sign. 
They were even allowed to loll on the grass of the many 
beautiful parks, an act that costs a native a fine of from 
five to fifteen milreis. They were respectful to all, but 
they had a commanding way about them that took. They 
owned the town ; they knew it, but did not attempt to take 
the slightest advantage of it. 

As the days went by and one saw the behavior of these 
bluejackets his American heart was filled with pride over 
them. They were clean, intelligent, manly, open, as fine 
a brand of sailor as ever wore a uniform, obeyed an order 
or sported their money lavishly in a foreign port. 

The first thing that greeted the eye of every man who 
landed at the beautiful park that used to be an eyesore in 
the central part of the waterfront was a big sign reading : 

" Information Bureau for American Seamen." 

It was an information bureau, a real one. It was the 



;!<? WI^H THE BATTLE FLEET 

most useful kind of a welcome ever provided in a foreign 
port for the sailors of any people. The American and 
English residents, aided by those of other countries, had 
been busy preparing for weeks for the visit of Jack ashore. 
Every safeguard, every assistance that was possible to make 
his liberty comfortable, profitable, enjoyable was looked 
after. It took hard cash to do it, but the money was 
raised and it amounted to thousands of dollars. 

In the first place, the ferry company to Nictheroy set 
apart a large room in its commodious new building. 
Counters were put up for information booths, postal card 
booths, exchange of money, sale of various kinds of tickets 
for things with guides by the score and attendants anxious 
to answer all kinds of questions. Men and women worked 
there from twelve to fourteen hours a day for ten days in 
the stifling heat, all eager to be of assistance to Jack ashore. 
A pamphlet was provided giving a map of the city and 
displaying all the chief places of interest. Full informa- 
tion was printed about everything that a man bent on ra- 
tional enjoyment could desire. The pamphlets told all 
about transportation, about the places to see, about postage 
and the many general and special excursions that had been 
planned. 

Jack soon found it out and he rushed there in throngs. 
He found long tables in the room with free writing paper, 
ink, pens, mucilage, and down he sat to write to sweetheart 
or wife. Then he went to change his money. Here he 
struck a snag. A dollar is worth 3,200 reis. One of the 
sailors got a $10 note changed. He received in exchange 
32,000 reis. He was astonished. 

" Here, fellers ! " he shouted, " I got 32,000 reis for $10. 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 103 

Gee, whiz! Me for Wall Street! When kin I get a 
steamer home, mister? Holy Moses! I've got rich and 
I didn't know it." 

Jack found out quickly that he wasn't rich, for Rio is 
just now fairly oppressed with enormously high prices, 
due, it is said, to paying heavy taxes for all the improve- 
ments that have been going on. He found that he had to 
pay 300 reis for an ordinary postage stamp, 400 reis for 
a glass of limeade, about 800 reis for a handkerchief or 
a collar, and as for a bottle of beer, that was good for a 
thousand reis or so, and the money began to melt quickly. 
But what did Jack care? It was an automobile for him, 
or something equally expensive. What's the use of being 
an American man-o'-war's man if you can't act like a mil- 
lionaire for an hour or so in a foreign port? 

When the money was changed Jack found out the full 
value of these self-sacrificing men and women who * had 
done so much for his comfort. He got a fair exchange 
for his money and wasn't robbed. This committee had 
provided him with guides to all sorts of places free of 
charge, had made up excursion parties all over the city 
and the surrounding country, had provided rubbernecks 
and how Jack did grin when he saw the familiar things 
carriages, special trams and what not ; had provided 
for the sale of meal tickets, the best postal cards, had co- 
operated with the police to look for stragglers. 

Well, Jack smiled and smiled, and he knew he was in the 
hands of his friends. The Prefect of the city, Gen. Souza 
Aguiar, was chairman of the committee, and all the lead- 
ing Americans and Englishmen joined in. Especially ac- 
tive was the acting Consul-General of the United States, 



104 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

J. J. Slechta, and Myron A. Clark, the Y. M. C. A. sec- 
retary. The Y. M. C. A. here is affiliated with the Sands 
street branch in Brooklyn. The placards told Jack all 
about it, and the first thing he asked was if Miss Gould had 
helped to pay the expenses. He was told that she had 
not, because she had probably not been informed about it. 
He answered invariably: 

" Betch'r sweet life she would if she'd known about it. 
'Ray for Helen Gould!" 

Here is a summary of what work was done for our sailors 
by this bureau in ten days: 

Eight thousand sheets of paper and 5,000 envelopes pro- 
vided free of charge, 21,000 guides to the city printed and 
circulated, about 175,000 postage stamps sold, nearly 
2,000 meal tickets sold, 3,500 special excursions provided, 
these in addition to the many general excursions; about 
$175,000 exchanged at the lowest possible rates, about 
170,000 post cards sold, about 2,000 automobile trips ar- 
ranged. 

So Jack and all the others of the fleet went sightseeing. 
They went to Petropolis, the summer capital, with its tem- 
perate climate, in the tropics, and only twenty-two miles 
away, up back of the Organ Mountains. You climb the 
heights on a cog railroad, just as you climb Pike's Peak, 
and you see the magnificent views of valleys, the bay, the ra- 
vines and gulches that would do credit to the Rocky Moun- 
tains. Jack and his mates went to Corcovado in throngs, 
starting on trolleys that crossed the famous old aqueduct 
back of the hills right in the city and climbed on and up 
around the city for miles with scarce a hundred feet of 
straight track. Then they took the steep cog railroad, 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 105 

and after a time found themselves poised on the peak 2,300 
feet above the city, with this place of 800,000 inhabitants 
and its bay and the sea all spread out before them in prob- 
ably the most fascinating panorama that the world pre- 
sents. They visited the wonderful botanical garden, with 
its magnificent avenue of royal palms and its flower beds, 
its trees, its ferns, a truly royal place. One of the young 
officers told what he thought of this garden when he said : 

" When I get married I am going to come down here 
and march up that mile of palms for the aisle in God's 
church. It will be the finest setting for the finest bride 
in the world. The newspapers needn't take the trouble 
to mention the bridegroom's name. That of the bride 
linked with the majestic aisle will be sufficient." 

And so one might go on and on into raptures and ex- 
travagant expressions. The people's gracious mood 
matched their city and the visitors were simply overwhelmed 
with hospitality on every side. 

The sailors grew to the situation. Day by day there 
were fewer signs of too much drinking. Occasionally a 
man or two would overstep the bounds, but the authorities 
saw to it that the Americans handled their own men in that 
condition. 

Only one incident marred the visit, and it was a pity 
that any mention of it was cabled to the United States. 
After that had been done it was necessary to send the truth 
and correct misapprehension. It was on the first night of 
liberty. It was merely a saloon brawl. A native negro 
had a row with another and threw a bottle at him. The 
second dodged it and the bottle struck one of our seamen 
at a table and hurt him. He got after the negro, who 



106 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

escaped. Back the negro came with a razor and fell upon 
the first bluejacket he saw. 

Several of the best petty officers on one of the ships 
jumped in to quell the disturbance. The rabble thought 
they jumped in to fight. Stones were thrown and three of 
the peacemakers were hurt. The local police didn't size 
up the situation and were slow to act. They arrested the 
negro, but let him go. After that they said it was a de- 
plorable blunder. 

Liberty was recalled at once and marines were sent ashore, 
but it was soon over, and the next morning at the request 
of the authorities 2,000 men were sent ashore instead of 
1,000 daily as had been planned. The men were warned to 
conduct themselves properly, and to the everlasting credit 
of our American seamen it must be said they heeded the 
caution well. 

An illustration of what might have been occurred on the 
night of Sunday, January 19. Rival political clubs were 
parading about town carrying banners and flags and also 
giving cheers of " Vivan los Americanos ! " They invited 
a lot of bluejackets to join them. Not knowing what the 
parades meant, good natured Jack of course would go 
along. About twenty of them joined each of two proces- 
sions and had the distinction of carrying the flags and 
hurrahing every other step. It was great fun. The naval 
officers on shore heard of what was going on and dashed up 
in automobiles. The Brazilians would not let their dear 
friends go and the officers had a hard time to get the men 
free. They at once obeyed instructions to scatter, and 
said they were simply having a good time with their new 
friends. 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 107 

Ten minutes later those two parades minus the blue- 
jackets came into a collision and there was quite severe 
rioting, with stone throwing and the use of knives and 
bludgeons. Had the bluejackets remained innocently with 
the parades they would have been in the thick of it and 
terrible reports would probably have been cabled to the 
United States of our sailors mixing in political affairs, 
probably instigating revolution and being most awful 
rioters. It was a narrow escape to get them away in time. 

By the end of the week so completely had good feeling 
been established that from 4,000 to 5,000 men were sent 
ashore on Sunday. It was the largest liberty party of 
American sailors ever known. New York never saw so 
many of our men ashore at one time. It made one proud 
of his country and its men to see that party ashore. There 
were not twenty cases of drunkenness when the boys came 
home. 

Nothing could have been more cordial and warmhearted, 
more lavish, than the entertainments given in the name of 
the Brazilian Government. The one regret was that Ad- 
miral Evans, because of an attack of his recurrent malady, 
rheumatism, was unable to take part in them personally. 
Admiral Thomas took his place admirably. 

The tone of all the official greetings was that of undis- 
guised friendship. President Penna made it manifest on 
the first day when he met the officers at Petropolis. Then 
Vice-Admiral Cordovil Maurity voiced it in English on the 
top of Corcovado the next day, and perhaps it is well to 
give his speech in full. Here it is as translated for the 
Americans : 



108 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Ladies, His Excellency Vice-Admiral the Minister of Marine, 
Gallant Admirals, Captains and officers of the Navy of the U. S. A., 
Gentlemen : 

In my character of Admiral of the Brazilian Navy, Chief of the 
General Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet, as well as with 
the authority of an old sailor, who knows the rules of military and 
diplomatic pragmatic, I feel very happy in this moment, to speak 
to you, American sailors, in the name of my Government, of the 
Brazilian people and of my comrades of the National Navy, in 
order to salute and give the hearty welcome to Admiral R. Evans, 
the Commander-in-Chief, Admirals Charles Sperry, Charles Thomas 
and William Emory, the Captains, Officers and Crews of the powerful 
North American fleet that entered the day before yesterday in the 
harbour of Rio. 

I beg then to avail myself of this fine opportunity, when we are 
just gathered at the summit of Corcovado, at 800 metres above the 
level of the sea, to present the warmest demonstration of sym- 
pathy and friendship towards our brothers of the great Navy of 
the United States of America, as a general and sincere greeting 
spontaneously born from the core of the Brazilian's hearts. The 
real proof of this true assertion of mine you have just met during 
the solemn occasion of the triumphal entrance of your brilliant fleet, 
the most efficient naval strength, up to the present, that has ever 
been seen crossing this side of the Atlantic Ocean and getting into 
waters of the bay of Guanabara. 

Indeed, it was such an important naval scene, such a splendid 
maritime spectacle, that the whole of the population in Rio, of all 
ages, chiefly belonging to the fair sex could not avoid going out 
their houses to crowd the neighbourhoods of the harbour, the hills 
and islands around it, and all other points of view from the city 
of Rio and the Nictheroy side, in order to greet the passage of 
the American fleet and to better appreciate the interesting display 
of her manoeuvres. So, I may assure you, gentlemen, with my ex- 
perience of a sea man, that the splendor of the scenery just alluded 
to, in combination with the singular and natural beauties of the 
bay of Guanabara, in which you were fraternally received with open 
arms, by the mild people all classes of our society, was of the sort of 
those fairy things impossible to be described, written or spoken about. 

Yes, gentlemen, the peaceful commission of your fleet waving the 
star spangled banner of the great Republic of the United States of 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 109 

America around this continent of ours and training the crews of 
her men-of-war across the largest and deepest oceans, is certainly an 
act of very right naval policy, chiefly on the behalf of order and dis- 
cipline of industry, labor and trade, of diplomacy and fraternal 
comity, and, at last, it means an exchange of civilisation amongst the 
peoples of the several countries of the young, immense and futurous 
continent of both Americas. 

Therefore, I raise my cup for the health and prosperity of the 
sister Navy of the United States of America, one of the mightiest 
and more illustrious of the world, whose sacred emblem in command 
and perfect sisterhood with ours, let God grant may float side by 
side ever for ever and ever for the benefit of universal peace 
and general comfort of mankind. 

President Penna again made the welcome plain when he 
said at his luncheon the day following to the Admirals and 
several Captains at Petropolis: 

The warm and fraternal welcome which the people of the capital 
of the republic have given to the American fleet which is now visit- 
ing us ought to prove how deep and sincere the sympathy and friend- 
ship which the Brazilian nation feels for its great and prosperous 
sister of North America. 

These are no fleeting or transitory sentiments, since they date 
from the hour of our birth as a nation and are ever growing in 
strength. Every day the bonds of friendship and of trade between 
the two nations are drawn closer. 

When the South American peoples proclaimed their independence, 
at that moment so fraught with misgivings and uncertainty as to 
the future, the young American republic gave them strength by 
solemnly declaring the intangible unity of the peoples of the new 
world through the declaration of their great President Monroe, 
whose name figures in history with brilliance as a statesman of great 
perception and of rare political foresight. 

The long and difficult voyage of the powerful fleet which to-day 
is the guest of Brazil, necessitating as it does the doubling of the 
American continent, is a fresh and splendid evidence of the un- 
equalled vigor and the extraordinary energy of the great power which 
is a friend of Brazil. 

With an expression of ardent and sincere wishes for the fortunate 



110 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

continuation of the voyage of the friendly fleet I drink to the glo- 
rious American navy, to the prosperity of the republic of the 
United States of America and to the personal happiness of its emi- 
nent chief, that great statesman, President Roosevelt. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs added to all this in the 
great banquet given to the officers later in the Monroe Pal- 
ace when, after offering a toast to President Roosevelt, he 
said: 

The ancient sympathies between the American and Brazilian 
navies, added to by these deeds of war, could not fail to be aug- 
mented, until the point they have attained by the beneficial force of 
the increasing approximation between the two friendly peoples. In 
Norfolk and Washington last year the unequivocal demonstrations 
made to our officers, which the American Government so expressly 
associated itself with, caused the Brazilian gratitude and indebted- 
ness; and it is to-day with the greatest satisfaction that in the enter- 
tainments promoted by the Brazilian Government, by our navy, and 
by our society the people of Rio de Janeiro welcome the American 
sailors with the same spontaneous enthusiasm with which they saluted, 
in his memorable passage by this country, the eminent propagandist 
of peace and of continental concord, Mr. Root. 

Brazil is grateful for the visit of her Northern friends, arrived 
here in these powerful men of war, which, according to the fine 
expression of President Roosevelt, are messengers of friendship and 
good will, commissioned to celebrate with us the long continued and 
never to be broken amity and mutual helpfulness of the two great 
republics. 

I invite my countrymen here present to unite with me in the name 
of the Brazilian nation and its Government in a toast to the gallant 
American navy, an example of skill and military discipline, a model 
of devotion to their country, and a formidable guardian of the im- 
mense prestige of the Great Republic, the pride of the continent. 

The same thing was iterated and reiterated in hundreds 
of private dinner parties. It received its most vociferous 
expression on January 16 at a smoker given to the officers 
of the fleet at the Park Fluminense, an outdoor music hall 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 111 

with a mere roof covering and a stage, set in a garden. 
It was like the outdoor suburban amusement places in which 
St. Louis and other of our Western cities abound. Four 
bands of the ships were massed at the entrance to the pa- 
vilion. An immense American shield was lighted with 
electricity. 

The flags of Brazil and England and the United States 
were entwined. The place was reserved exclusively for 
American officers and their hosts. They had an unusually 
good vaudeville show and in the intervals our combined 
band played. Beer and cigars were served, and soon 
things began to warm up. When a medley of patriotic 
American airs was played the cheers began to rise. They 
could have been heard for blocks. Soon Annapolis songs 
and yells and shouts were being given. In the intermis- 
sions the place fairly rocked with the songs and yells of 
old days. Men who had been tablemates for months shook 
hands with one another as if they had just met after a 
prolonged separation. Speeches were going on at a dozen 
places at once. 

Then came the close. Our bands first played the Bra- 
zilian national hymn. What a job that is will be told 
later. A great outburst of cheers followed after every 
man had ceased to stand at attention. The Brazilians were 
beside themselves with joy. Then came " God Save the 
King ! " Every one could sing that, and while standing at 
attention a mighty chorus of song rolled out. More fran- 
tic cheering! 

Then came "The Star Spangled Banner." Profound 
silence was observed to the last note. When the salute 
was finished a cyclone roar followed. Men jumped on 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

chairs and yelled and yelled. Hats went into the air. 
The Brazilians and English could not be contained. A 
score of men were on tables, each trying to take command 
of the occasion, each calling for three cheers for this person 
and that, for this country and that. None heard the 
others, but it was a grand acclaim of good fellowship and 
intense patriotism. 

One little Brazilian called for three cheers for President 
Roosevelt. The Sun man heard him because he was only 
two feet away. The cheers rolled out and the Brazilian 
thought he had taken the place by storm, and was as happy 
as a child, but the cheers were simply a part of all that 
was going up and meant for everybody and everything in 
the way of international friendship. It was a night that 
stirred one. 

And so the visit wore on, and it was a pretty tired crowd 
of guests and hosts before the finish came. Probably the 
weariest men on the ships were the bandmasters who strug- 
gled through the bars of the Brazilian national hymn. 
No disrespect is meant, but those Americans who are clam- 
oring for a new national hymn ought to hear what the 
Brazilians have to put up with and then rest themselves 
content for all time with what we have. 

In the first place the Brazilian hymn is so long that 
when you are playing it as a Brazilian warship passes the 
Brazilian gets out of hearing and almost out of sight 
before you finish. After a few struggles with the music 
the orders were given on some ships to shorten up if the 
other ship was out of hearing and save the wind of the 
players. Then too it is queer music. It goes hippety hop 
it seems a combination of waltz and march, of anthem 



BRAZIL'S ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME 

and jig. It may be music, but the writer of this is frank 
to say that the Japanese national hymn, with its weird 
swoops and dives, curls and twists, seems like a gliding 
Strauss waltz compared with the Brazilian hymn. One of 
the bandmasters on the fleet complained that his men could 
not play it properly. 

" Musish no-a good," he said. " No Italian musish 
players. All come from Kalamazoo, bah ! " 

The Brazilians had hard struggles with the names of 
our warships. Minnesota, Louisiana and such were all 
right, but Connecticut staggered them. They made almost 
as bad as a mess of it as when they pronounced the name of 
the High Life Club here or the Light and Power Company. 
The Brazilian name for the High Life Club is Higgie 
Leaffie Cloob. That of the Light and Power concern is 
Liggety Poor Companee. Let it go at that. The reader 
must imagine how they pronounced Connecticut, for it 
can't be put down on paper. 

The departure of the fleet bids fair to be even more 
spectacular than the one at Hampton Roads, only the 
powder and smoke, and the blare of the bands and all the 
rest of the show will be in honor of another President than 
our own. When the last gun has boomed it will mean not 
only good-by to President Penna and Brazil, but it will 
be the blackthroated response of 14,000 American sailors 
to Rio. The guns will declare Rio to be not only the City 
of All Delights but the City of All Hospitality. 



CHAPTER VI 

NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 

Unique Meeting of United States and Argentine Ships 300 Miles 
From Land Grand Naval Spectacle High Honors for Ad- 
miral Evans and Cordial Greetings for All His Men Fine Dis- 
play of Seamanship on South American Vessels Picturesque 
Incidents of the Voyage From Rio to the Most Southern City in 
the World Nature Put on Mourning as the Farewells Were Said 
and Signalled at Brazil's Capital The Man-o'-War Mail From 
Home. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

PUNTA ARENAS, CHILE, Jan. 31. 

THE passage of the battle fleet from Rio to this the 
southernmost city of the world was marked by a 
marine spectacle unprecedented, so far as any one 
in this fleet can recall, in naval annals. A squadron of the 
Argentine navy came out hundreds of miles to greet our 
ships, and probably for the first time in the history of 
navies national salutes were fired upon the high seas. 
Squadrons and fleets have passed one another before time 
and time again, and honors have been exchanged, the flags 
of flag officers have been saluted, but after these courtesies 
have been finished they have gone their separate ways, all 
official proprieties having been observed. 

But this greeting was so unusual that Admiral Evans 
set a new naval fashion, and after his flag had been sa- 

114 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 115 

luted seventeen guns, by the way ; the number increases 
on the way around, and if the warships keep it up, each 
one giving the Rear Admiral more and more guns, he will 
soon be an Admiral of the fleet in the thundered judg- 
ment of other nations, no matter what action Congress may 
take he ordered the salute of twenty-one guns for the 
Argentines. The Argentine ships gave full justification, 
for they had manned the rails on approaching our ships, 
an honor paid ordinarily only to the head of a nation. 

Admiral Evans met this unusual compliment by choosing 
to regard it as an honor to our nation, not a personal 
matter, and he fired twenty-one guns, to which the Argen- 
tine flagship responded at once. In addition to those 
honors the crews of the various ships cheered one another as 
they passed. It was all different from the accepted rule of 
fleets or squadrons in passing and it left a fine feeling. 

" I never saw sentiment carried so far in all my naval 
experience," said one man who will soon have the right to 
hoist a two-starred Rear Admiral's flag. " Perhaps it was 
unusual, but it was impressive; it was impressive." 

Our fleet had no sooner reached Rio than Admiral Evans 
was informed that the Argentine ships would come out 
from Buenos Ayres to greet him on the way to Punta 
Arenas. Three days before sailing inquiries were made as 
to his probable course and the hour when he would be off 
the mouth of the River Plata. The information was cabled 
duly and our fleet held itself in readiness to do the proper 
and handsome thing for this unusual occasion. Saturday, 
January 525, was almost a wonder day at sea. The air, 
which had been accumulating a chill under cloudy skies 
and an eastern wind, became balmy and the sea was as 



116 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

smooth as a pond. The sky remained overcast and the 
fleet had been running for three days practically by dead 
reckoning. Late on Saturday night the fleet overtook the 
tender Yankton and the " beef boats," Glacier and Culgoa. 
They were ordered to take their places with the fleet and 
when everybody except those on watch went to sleep it was 
expected that the three smaller craft would be in their 
places in the morning. But the wise weather sharps who 
know this region sniffed the air and said: 

" Weather breeder ! " 

Sure enough at daybreak a heavy sea began rolling 
across from the southern coast of Africa and the wind be- 
gan to blow. Before 7 o'clock the ships were plunging 
and making heavy weather of it. On the log books it was 
set down as a moderate gale. The waves sometimes were 
twenty-five feet high. The ships with quarter decks cut 
down were smothered with spray and solid water from time 
to time. The ships rolled very little never in the strong- 
est gale have the ships of the Connecticut class at least had 
their tables racks in place but they yawed and dipped, 
as all ships in heavy weather are expected to do. The 
Yankton and Culgoa were not in sight. The weather had 
been too much for the little Yankton and she was ordered 
to slow down and the Culgoa was told to stand by her. 
The air was thick with rain squalls and mist and a more 
miserable day could hardly be imagined. 

The morning wore on and nothing was heard from the 
Argentine ships. 

" Guess the sea was too much for them," was the general 
comment. According to our reckoning we had passed the 
thirty-fifth parallel of latitude, right off the Plata, just 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 117 

before noon. We were also in the proper longitude, but 
all was thick, and the general supposition was that the Ar- 
gentine fleet had met our torpedo flotilla, which was more 
than a day ahead of us, and had escorted that into the 
Plata. 

It was just about 1 o'clock in the afternoon when a wire- 
less message was received from the Culgoa saying that the 
Argentine ships were asking him by wireless for our longi- 
tude and latitude. The figures were sent back promptly. 
Their figures were also given and some error was made in 
transmission. It was figured that they were something like 
110 miles to the south and a little to the west of us. The 
weather began to moderate and then the opinion was that 
if they steered straight for us we ought to meet them about 
6 o'clock that Sunday evening. But about 4 o'clock there 
came another message from the Culgoa, saying they were 
about five miles from that ship and going southwest, the 
same course as ours. It was a surprise. 

Admiral Evans also received by wireless through the 
Culgoa this message of greeting from Admiral Oliva, in 
command of the Argentine ships : 

Jan. 26, 1908, 2 p.m. 
To Rear Admiral Evans: 

The commander of the San Martin division of the Argentine navy 
salutes Rear Admiral Evans, his officers and men, and transmits to 
him the position of the Argentine division ordered to meet him as by 
dead reckoning latitude 36 46' S., longitude 53 41' W. 

HIPOLITO OLIVA. 

To this greeting Admiral Evans sent this response: 

Jan. 26, 1908, 2:43 p.m. 
To Rear Admiral Oliva: 
Rear Admiral Evans thanks the chief of the Argentine division 



118 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

for his courtesy and begs that he will transmit to the Argentine 
Government his thanks for sending a naval division to meet the 
United States fleet. 

EVANS. 

Then came another surprise. The Culgoa told us that 
the Argentine ships were steaming at the rate of fourteen 
and a half knots and were only fifteen knots away. 

" Fourteen and a half knots, eh ! " was the open eyed 
and arch browed comment. " Wonder how long they can 
keep that up! Pretty smart that for a South American 
squadron ! " 

The sun burst out from the clouds half an hour before 
sunset and the navigators got satisfactory observations 
and it was possible to send back our exact position. The 
Argentines had been groping around for us up to that time 
and the best they could do was to find the Culgoa and the 
Yankton. The long twilight of the high latitude in mid- 
summer followed, but just after 8 o'clock the Connecticut 
sent a signal to the fleet and immediately shot its after 
searchlight high in the heavens. It caught the clouds miles 
and miles back, a brilliant beam. Then came another 
signal to the fleet and instantly the after searchlights of all 
sixteen ships were combined in a monstrous shaft of light 
that cleft a path gleaming with the brilliance of a comet's 
tail through the lowering clouds. It vibrated and pul- 
sated with the glow of an aurora borealis and every quiver 
and dart seemed to say to the Argentines: 

" Here we are ! Here we are ! Follow this and you'll 
find us. We're only going ten knots an hour. You'll 
soon catch up. Hurry along ; we'll be glad to see you." 

For twenty minutes that extract of the sun bored into 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 119 

the clouds behind, showing the way. It was a veritable pil- 
lar of fire by night. The combined smoke of all the 
smokepipes of the fleet would have made a pretty good 
pillar of cloud by day had it been clear, but it was too late 
for that now. Shortly before 9 o'clock, well astern, the 
faint light of a ship could be made out with the naked 
eye. The quartermaster on the bridge said there were 
four lights. Word was sent to the Captain the usual 
rule when any, vessel is sighted and the news spread 
about, and soon dozens of men were straining their eyes to 
see the four lights. By a little after 10 o'clock all had 
become so plain that it was said the ships were within five 
miles. They came a little nearer and then slowed down for 
the night, keeping the same speed as our ships. 

When daylight came on Monday, January 27, one of 
the fairest days nature ever provided, with a crisp south- 
west breeze, corresponding to the northwest breeze with us. 
every breath of it a tonic, the Argentine ships were about 
three miles astern of us. Shortly before 7 o'clock Admiral 
Evans ordered a double evolution. The fleet was in four 
divisions abreast, an Admiral leading each division. The 
second and fourth divisions were slowed down, and then by 
an oblique movement two squadrons were formed. These 
again were shifted into one column of sixteen ships pro- 
ceeding wing and wing. The colors were hoisted at the 
gaff and the Argentines showed their beautiful blue and 
white ensigns. 

Soon the Argentines were observed to put on more speed. 
The naval day begins at 8 o'clock in the morning. No 
greetings would be passed before that time. The Argen- 
tine ships kept creeping up, and when the first passed the 



120 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Kentucky, the last ship in our column, to starboard, it was 
seen that her rails were manned. The Argentine ships were 
in war color, dark olive green. Their crews were in white. 
Our crews had been shifted to blue in the chilly blow of the 
day before, but our ships were white. 

Up along the line came the Argentines. Every ship 
had received a signal to pay the usual honors. Marine 
guards were drawn up, the crews were at attention, the 
bands on our ships played the Argentine national hymn 
and the bands on the four Argentine vessels played 
ours. 

Sixty-four times the national air of each country was 
played as the Argentines slowly forged ahead. Many of 
the officers had got out the naval books to recognize the 
ships of the visitors, as they might be called. Most of the 
officers made them out correctly. They were two armored 
cruisers of the Cristobal Colon class and two protected 
cruisers. They were the San Martin, Buenos Ayres, 
Pueyrredon and 9 de Julio, and they made a smart show, 
each having a bone in her teeth. They were at intervals 
of 1,000 yards, and they kept the intervals as accurately as 
American ships would have done, and that is saying a 
great deal, as any one can testify who has seen this fleet 
sweep into a foreign harbor. 

The San Martin had passed the Louisiana and Vermont 
and was abreast of the Kansas and just behind the Con- 
necticut, and about a thousand yards to the westward, when 
up went the American ensign. It was a beautiful new flag, 
and the bright sun lit up its folds gloriously. The ensign 
could scarcely have looked better upon Old Ironsides. 
Then a gun barked out the first detonation of the salute. 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 

One by one the guns were counted. Thirteen roared out. 
Then came another flash and report. 

" Hello ! They're going to follow the Brazilians' ex- 
ample and give Admiral Evans a Vice-Admiral's salute," 
was the comment. 

Fifteen guns sounded and then came another flash and 
boom. Then there was another and then they stopped. 
Well! The Americans were surprised. An Admiral's sa- 
lute! 

" They do things in their own way down here," was the 
comment, and to this was added invariably : " Wish it was 
really true," for it must be recorded here in a spirit of ac- 
curacy that there is not an officer or sailor or marine on this 
fleet who, if he had his way, would not make Admiral Evans 
not only a vice but a full Admiral. It is the honest opinion 
of this fleet that he deserves to be at least a Vice-Admiral. 
The men in the fleet do not think it becoming to have the 
Commander-in-Chief fly a Rear Admiral's flag, a sight that 
would not be seen in any other navy. 

The Connecticut responded to the salute gun for gun, as 
was quite proper as naval things go. The salute from the 
San Martin had scarcely ceased before the men on the Ar- 
gentine ships broke into cheering, and well they might, for 
they were looking upon a naval spectacle such as few other 
navies have ever seen. The San Martin crept up beside 
the Connecticut, forged ahead and then the Connecticut 
with the Argentine ensign at the main fired the usual salute 
to the flag of another country upon the high seas. It made 
the men familiar with the etiquette of salutes jump. It 
was thrilling to them. The San Martin answered quickly 
and the exchange of courtesies with guns and bands and 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

manning of rails was ended. But not all the exchange was 
over. The wireless keys were ticking now and this message 
came from Admiral Oliva to Admiral Evans: 

Jan. 27, 1908, 8:28 a.m. 
To Rear Admiral Evans: 

Having completed the honorable duty with which I am charged 
by my Government, I am about to part company for Buenos Ayres, 
and it would give me great pleasure to transmit any despatches for 
Admiral Evans. 

OLIVA. 

Admiral Evans sent this reply: 

Jan. 27, 1908, 8:57 a.m. 
To Rear Admiral Oliva: 

The Commander-in-Chief thanks you and the Argentine Govern- 
ment most heartily for the graceful honor done his fleet. He will 
thank you to transmit to Washington upon your arrival in port that 
we are all well and proceeding to our destination in the Pacific. 
He wishes you a pleasant cruise. 

EVANS. 

A further exchange of good wishes for pleasant trips 
followed. 

Then the Argentine ships sheered off. They did it most 
politely. Although their destination was more than 300 
miles to the rear, they turned a right oblique, the move- 
ment being done in a way that excited the admiration of 
the Americans, and went off in the same general direction 
in which our fleet was travelling. 

" Don't want to turn their backs on us ! " was the ex- 
planation given. In toward the coast they went, and not 
until they were nearly hull down did they turn about and 
head for home. It was a pretty compliment from most 
polite men on extremely smart ships. 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 123 

" That's a real navy ! " said the Americans, " even if it 
is small!" 

Coming, as the exchange of greetings did, upon the first 
bright day after the departure of our fleet from Rio amid 
gloom and other depressing surroundings, it warmed up 
the hearts of those on the fleet and the cheers for the Ar- 
gentine Republic and her navy were genuine expressions 
of good will. 

All that day and the day following the high seas greet- 
ing of the Argentines, the ocean was remarkable for its 
placidity. It was about as boisterous as the heaving bil- 
lows of famous Cheesequake Creek under a hot summer sun. 
On the night of the second day of this there came indi- 
cations of a change. The sea lumped itself a little, the 
wind changed and on the following morning, Wednesday, 
January 29, there came the first experience with fog on 
this voyage. The ships had been manoeuvred into a differ- 
ent formation from that on the way to Rio. The four ves- 
sels of the first division were abreast at 400 yards interval, 
with the flagship as right guide. The three other divisions 
followed each at 1,600 yards distance, the flagship of each 
division acting as right guide and directly behind the Con- 
necticut. It was a very open formation and seemed to fill 
the entire circle of the horizon. 

Along about 8 o'clock in the morning a fog bank was 
noticed directly ahead. The temperature had risen about 
10 degrees. The day was clear but a blanket of mist 
hung over the water. There was no time, even had there 
been any inclination to do so on the flagship, to order the 
fleet into exact column and put over the towing spars, 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

whereby each ship can tell when it is exactly 400 yards 
astern of its predecessor. 

Orders were given to turn on searchlights in case the 
ships were obscured from one another. It wasn't long 
before each ship was cut off from the rest. Then came 
the turning on of searchlights. One naturally would 
think that this would be almost farcical when the sun was 
shining, but not so. Those bright little suns could be 
seen on the ships near by, gleaming through the mist, 
when the outlines of a ship only 400 yards away could 
not be made out. You could keep your distance easily in 
this way. You knew where your nearest neighbor was, 
and often you could make out the position of two or three 
of your neighbors. The lights looked like reflections of 
the sun in a mirror, only slightly obscured. You can see 
that, you know, any time a looking glass is used in day- 
light, as many a small boy has found out when he plays 
pranks. The glare from the ships was truly a beacon in 
the gloom, and it made you feel comfortable as you 
thought of the dangers of navigating those immense ships 
in close proximity in a treacherous fog. 

Sometimes the fog would lift and you could get a view 
of the ships of your own division. Occasionally the ships 
of the division behind you would be revealed in the same 
way. Then would come another thick bank and you 
would be shut out from the rest of the world, and then 
you would take particular notice of the signalling by whis- 
tles. Each ship would sound its own letter by the toots 
which made the number corresponding to its letter. This 
is the way it would go: 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 125 

Connecticut Letter F Toot, toot toot, toot toot, toot 
t-o-o-t! 

Kansas Letter S Toot, toot t-o-o-t toot, toot. 
(Vermont Letter R Toot, toot t-o-o-t t-o-o-t. 
Louisiana Letter W T-o-o-t t-o-o-t toot, toot t-o-o-t. 

The Connecticut would sound her signal. Then across 
the line could be heard the signal of the Kansas, and then 
the Vermont would sound hers and then the Louisiana 
would get busy. After a short interval the whistling 
would be repeated. This and the searchlights made it 
possible to keep the line well fixed. The quartermasters 
were taking special pains to steer the exact course that had 
been set. You saw how nicely it all worked out when the 
fog lifted, and there would be the leading ships almost 
exactly in line, ploughing their ways to the southwest, just 
as if there had been no interception of vision. One 
glimpse of this really fine work reassured you at once and 
you began to think that a fleet of warships all huddled 
close together in a thick fog was not in the unsafe predica- 
ment you had fancied it to be. About noon the fog lifted 
entirely as the sun burned it away. One evening later 
there was about twenty minutes of fog, but that was the 
end of this kind of experience on the Atlantic coast. 

For five days before Cape Virgin was sighted at the 
eastern end of the Strait of Magellan the change in the 
temperature became marked. The thermometer went 
down to the fifties. The air became bracing. Gradually 
all white was eliminated from the uniforms. You put on 
your overcoat and sweater when you went on the bridge to 
stay. You slept under a blanket at night. Then you 
closed your port. You rubbed your fingers together to 



126 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

warm them up in the morning. Preparations were made 
for turning on steam. Only the cranks took a cold shower 
bath in the morning. 

The men showed the change from the enervating cli- 
mate of the tropics to the bracing one of the lower tem- 
perate zone by their sprightly movements. All hands felt 
good, as the saying is. We had gone from the beginning 
of winter at home, with the snowstorms, into the oppres- 
sive heat of the equator, and now we were back in the 
weather conditions of the Nova Scotia coast in midsum- 
mer, only the cold winds were from the south off the Ant- 
arctic ice, instead of from the frozen north, as at home. 

Things do get turned around in this Southern Hemis- 
phere, sure enough. It was strange to see the moon curv- 
ing itself from east to west in the northern sky. We have 
already crossed the line of the sun and that is beginning 
to steal off to the north, although it is almost directly 
overhead at meridian. You see new stars such bright 
ones! with the beautiful Southern Cross as the most 
conspicuous constellation, just now in such a position that 
it has its top turned toward the eastern horizon as if to 
point toward Jerusalem. The winds come from an un- 
usual direction and you soon become so mixed that you 
are not sure whether a clear, brilliant sunset with a dry air 
is an augury for clear weather on the morrow. 

Cape Virgin's fine headland came in sight on Friday 
morning, January 31. It was thought desirable to swing 
ships before the strait was entered, and then it was too 
late to try to make the run through the eastern part of 
the strait to Punta Arenas, about 120 miles, with the first 
and second narrows, that day, and so we anchored for the 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 127 

night in Possession Bay, a great open sheet of water, with 
the Patagonian mountains to the north. Early this morn- 
ing we started on the first leg of the picturesque passage 
that Magellan first revealed to the world, and this afternoon 
came to anchor here. 

The departure of our fleet from Rio was dramatic rather 
than spectacular. Nature took a hand in the snapping 
of the heartstrings and scolded and wept copiously. It 
was precisely as if an overwrought woman had been keep- 
ing a smiling face up to the last moment before the part- 
ing with some one close to her heart whom she might never 
see again and then giving way to hysterical weeping and 
even lamentations, her face turned away after one look 
and covered with a veil except for an occasional peep until 
the loved one was out of sight. 

The morning had been blistering hot. Shore leaves 
had expired at 9 o'clock, all were aboard except those sent 
ashore to look out for any stragglers that had not re- 
ported and the mail orderlies who took off the last missives. 
By 10 o'clock the seams in the decks of the ships were 
exuding pitch. President Penna of Brazil was expected 
to come down the bay soon after noon to call upon Ad- 
miral Thomas on the Minnesota. About 11:30 one of 
those delightful sea breezes that make the summer after- 
noons in Rio not only tolerable but even attractive sprang 
up and every one was happy. 

Just before noon it was observed that a few fog banks 
with darkening edges were being swept in over the tops 
of Sugar Loaf and Corcovado. It was soon a little low- 
ery in the southern horizon. Then the word was passed 
that the Presidential yacht was approaching. At a sig- 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

nal from the flagship the long lines of flags used to dress 
ship were swayed aloft and all the American battleships, 
the Brazilian ships, the Italian cruiser and the German 
cruiser in port suddenly were alive with snapping pen- 
nants from bows to taffrails. The American ensign was 
at the fore and the Brazilian ensign at the main of our 
ships. 

The saluting signal came and the 3-inch guns on the 
ships roared out a welcome of twenty-one guns on each 
vessel to the President. Slowly the yacht approached the 
fleet and began to encircle it, passing first on the side 
opposite from Rio. The Louisiana was the first ship to be 
passed. The rail was manned with men with locked arms, 
the band played the Brazilian national air, the officers 
stood at salute. Then the Virginia was passed and the 
same greeting was repeated. Down around the line the 
yacht went until it drew up near the Minnesota on the 
opposite side. A launch steamed off to get the President. 
As he approached the Minnesota gave him twenty-one 
more guns. 

Then the fleet gave itself up to final preparations for 
departure. Twenty minutes later the Minnesota fired an- 
other salute to mark the President's leavetaking. He went 
to the Brazilian cruiser, Benjamin Constant, which, with 
the rest of the Brazilian ships, sixteen in number, was to 
escort the American fleet out of the harbor. By that time 
the clouds had begun to descend from the hills, the wind 
to blow in gusts and a few raindrops to fall. It was seen 
that the waterfront was black with people. Then sharp 
dashes of rain swept over the city and hid it from view. 
The clouds fell upon the shore in great fog banks. 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 129 

The President by this time had gone to Fort Villegag- 
non, the naval station in the harbor half a mile from the 
beautiful Flamingo boulevard and beach. The starting 
signal for the American fleet was given precisely at 3 
o'clock. Anchors were aweigh on the minute. The har- 
bor was so thick and black that one could scarcely see 
1,000 yards. With the black smoke of the funnels of the 
ships being swept down upon the water an inky darkness 
spread itself over everything, and often it was with diffi- 
culty that the ship ahead at 400 yards could be made out 
clearly. 

As one ship after another swung in toward Villegagnon 
and thundered her twenty-one good-by guns the rain de- 
scended in sheets. If the President was reviewing the 
fleet no one on board could see him. Rio was wiped out. 
The thunder peals from Sugar Loaf and Corcovado at 
times outroared those of the guns. Nature was saluting 
in angry tones. She seemed indignant that the fleet was 
going away and made no bones about saying it. From 
'way back on the north where the majestic Organ Moun- 
tains nearly pierce the clouds there came the roar of pro- 
test. 

The mountain-encircled city was surely giving way to 
hysteria. Sackcloth and ashes were in evidence, the furi- 
ously driving fog clouds being the sackcloth and the soot 
from smoke of funnels and powder blasts being the ashes. 
Half the ships had passed Villegagnon when the rain be- 
came a patter suddenly and the veil was lifted from Rio. 
The waterfront was still black. The people had stood 
there for nearly an hour in a driving rain. Their flutter- 
ing handkerchiefs could be seen plainly. 



130 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

More and more the clouds lifted and once or twice old 
Corcovado and Sugar Loaf peeped out as if for a final 
look. Then they hid their faces. Soon the entire Ameri- 
can fleet could be made out in the murky atmosphere. 
At last the line became clear. Directly behind it came the 
line of Brazilian ships. They added their salutes to the 
noise of the day, in passing Villegagnon, but nature had 
ceased to cry out ; the thunder was over. 

Down at the harbor entrance were launches, rowboats, 
sailing craft, ferryboats, yachts and several ocean-going 
liners, all loaded down with people. Dozens of them went 
outside with the fleet and rolled and tossed about while 
their occupants waved and shouted good-bys. Some of 
the little craft ran close to the ships in the hope of saying 
a frantic last good-by to the American friends they had 
made at private dinner parties and receptions. A mist 
soon settled upon the water and finally blotted the harbor 
entrance from view. The Brazilian ships following were 
made out from time to time. The good-by was over and 
every one was glad. 

It was entirely different from the Hampton Roads de- 
parture. There was a President present at each place, 
but there were twice as many ships roaring out salutes at 
Rio. There were twenty times as many people on shore. 
Nature smiled at Hampton Roads ; nature not only sulked 
but made a pitiable exhibition of her uncontrolled anger and 
grief at Rio. The fresh breezes crinkled out the flags and 
made them beautiful at Hampton Roads ; the driving gusts 
tore ensigns to ribbons at Rio and made a prolonged job 
of mending bunting on all the ships. 

When darkness was beginning to fall and speed cones 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 

had been lowered and masthead and other lights had 
been turned on a steamship was noticed coming out 
of the mist behind the fleet. She was alive with bunt- 
ing and ran straight toward the middle of the fleet. Close 
at hand she began a great tooting of the whistle. She was 
one of the ocean-going vessels that had been chartered for 
the good-by, and she had run nearly twenty-five miles in 
the thick weather for a final glimpse and farewell shriek. 
Rio certainly hated to let the fleet go. Hospitality such 
as the Brazilians showed was never experienced by an 
American fleet, or probably any other nation's, before. 
It is likely to pass down as one of the brightest spots in our 
naval annals. 

The farewell had a double side. The emotions of the 
Americans were divided for the reason that the mail had 
just arrived that morning the first mail from home in 
six weeks. Letters from loved ones took the thoughts 
away from Rio for an hour or two, and then came the 
parting with the memory of those back in the States fresh- 
ened by the missives that had come well, naval officers 
don't show it when they are blue, but that night you 
couldn't find three men in the Louisiana's wardroom 
the same was probably true of the other ships and if 
you made a trip around the ship, far out in some sheltered 
place where the rain gusts did not fall and the wind did 
not blow, you would find some fellow sitting looking 
blankly out in the darkness. When you gave him a greet- 
ing you got a low growl for an answer and you passed 
on. 

The ordinary civilian can scarcely appreciate what it 
means to a warship to get mail. Officers and men talk 



132 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

about it for days. The departure of the fleet from Rio 
was set for December 21, but it was seen that it meant that 
the mail from New York would probably be missed by one 
day. The fleet was all agog as to whether Admiral Evans 
would remain over one day or would leave a collier to bring 
the mail on. When it was learned that the official recep- 
tions and good-bys would require another day in port there 
was rejoicing. 

" We'll get the mail ! " was on every one's lips. 

Soon word was passed that the steamship Byron, bring- 
ing it, had reached Bahia. Then came the announcement 
that she would reach Rio between 4 and 6 P. M. on Jan- 
uary 21. The time came and no mail ship. Then came 
8, 9 and 10 o'clock, and no steamship had been reported 
passing in. Long faces were everywhere. Just before 6 
o'clock the next morning the lookout reported the Byron 
passing in. Word was passed around and many an officer 
tumbled out of his bunk to catch a sight of the vessel that 
had letters from home on her. The bluejackets were al- 
ready at work, but they stopped long enough with the oth- 
ers to give greeting to the ship. 

" The mail has come ! The mail has come ! The mail 
has come ! " 

You heard it everywhere. Even the bugles seemed to 
sound it out. Good cheer was on all sides. Soon it was 
learned that the ship had been passed by the quarantine 
officer. Then came a race for her with launches. More 
than twenty of these boats, counting those from auxiliaries 
as well as battleships, began a race to reach her. The en- 
gineers hit 'er up and the coxswains steered as straight as 
they could. Over the rollicking waves the little craft 



NATIONAL SALUTES AT SEA 133 

plunged and rolled and every snort they gave seemed to 
say: 

" The mail has come. We're after it. We'll soon be 
back. The mail has come ! " 

The launches clustered about the ship like an eager 
crowd of boys scrambling for pennies. They had to be 
straightened out. The bags had been arranged on deck 
and then there came a stream of men passing them down. 
There was an average of twenty bags to each ship. As 
fast as each launch got its load it dashed back at full speed 
to its ship. The bags were hurried up the sides and fairly 
ripped open. Half a dozen men were set at sorting out 
the letters and papers. In less than two hours after the 
Byron had anchored hundreds of men were going about 
with a contented but far away look upon their faces. 

" Oh, yes, thank you," was a general remark. " They're 
all well and they had a pleasant Christmas. Your people 
all right, too? That's good. 'Twas nice to hear from 
home, wasn't it? Wonder when we'll get the next one? " 

There are many stock questions asked on board of a 
man-o'-war. In time of conflict the chief one is : 

" Wonder where we'll catch the enemy ? " 

In time of peace the chief one seems to be : 

" Wonder where we'll get the mail? " 

To a passenger on one of these ships that seems to be the 
most important question to be asked and answered. Spec- 
ulation as to the time of reaching port, of remaining in 
port, of departing, of the length of the cruise, as to the 
routine or even unusual work to be accomplished all 
these seem to be of minor importance to the question as to 
when the mail will come. The American man-o'-warsman 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

surely does love his home and people. " God's country 
and God's people ! " is the way he puts it. Apparently 
what he cares for most in all the world is mail from God's 
country and God's people. 

But there will be no mail for the ships here at Punta. 
There used to be a hidden post office in the straits for sailor- 
men. It was where the Indians could not find it. Let- 
ters and papers were left there to be mailed and reading 
matter was dropped behind for another vessel to pick up. 
It is said that never was that strange mail box trifled with 
and never robbed. But all that was years ago. 

Now there is a modern city of something like 12,000 
people here, with a Chilean post office to see that things are 
managed properly; but the mails are irregular, for they 
still depend for their despatch more or less on the irregular 
calls of steamers. Of course there are certain vessels which 
make regular trips, but these are few and far between, and 
you never know when you mail a letter here how long it will 
be before it reaches its destination. 

If you don't find the old sea post office here there is one 
thing you do find, and it exists nowhere else in the world. 

Did you ever hear about the willy waws? No? Well, 
you see 'em here when the season's right. 

Did you ever see a hobgoblin? No? Well, a willy waw 
isn't a hobgoblin. Neither is it anything like a willy- 
boy. Any one who knows what willy waws are knows they 
are a thousand times worse. 

Well, what is a willy waw? We'll save that for another 
article. You see there might not be much else to write 
about. 



CHAPTER VII 

:PING-OFF PLACE 

Pleasant and Busy Life in City of Perpetual Winter Wealthy and 
Well Ruled Millions Made in Wool, Mutton and Furs One 
Splendid Mansion Amid Many Corrugated Iron Buildings Famine 
in Postal Cards Jack on Horseback Officers Found More Fun 
in Social Gatherings Than Out in the Wilds Surreptitious Traf- 
fic of a Free Port. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

PUNTA ARENAS, Feb. 7. 

PUNTA ARENAS is known commonly as the jump- 
ing-off place of the earth. The generally accepted 
meaning of that characterization is that it is not 
only the southernmost settlement of any size of civilized 
people in the world, but that it is the most forlorn, dreary, 
desolate place that any one could find in which to live. 

Indeed, before this fleet arrived here it is probable that 
not one person in a hundred in the United States knew 
where Punta Arenas was, and those who had some vague 
idea about it had an impression that it is one of those re- 
formed penal colonies where the driftwood of humanity 
huddle together, tolerate one another because they are 
birds of a feather and eke out a miserable existence in traf- 
ficking with Indians, herding sheep, looting wrecks and 
spending their spare time in low ceilinged saloons gulping 
down liquor that would put knockout drops to shame. 

135 



1136 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Well, it simply isn't true ! Punta Arenas is a lively city 
of 12,000 residents, one of the best governed in the world, 
with all modern improvements except trolley cars, half a 
dozen millionaires and scores of men worth $500,000 or 
more, with one residence at least that would hold its own 
more than favorably with the residences on Madison Ave- 
nue in the Murray Hill part of New York, with excellent 
schools, with a " society " that knows as well as any on 
earth how to wear Paris gowns and to give entertainments 
as finished in all the delicate niceties as could be found in 
any capital. 

Punta Arenas isn't pretty in any sense and even the well- 
to-do are content to live in one-story houses with cor- 
rugated iron roofs, but it is a hustling, busy place where 
every comfort and luxury can be secured, and it has a 
pronounced twentieth century air about it. It resembles 
strongly a western Kansas or Nebraska town. Its climate 
is always cool but never seriously cold. The lowest re- 
corded temperature in this place, which corresponds in lat- 
itude to Labrador in the Northern Hemisphere, is 20 de- 
grees Fahrenheit above zero. The highest is 77. Why, 
there are two four-in-hands and one French automobile, 
this in a town, mind you, where there are no roads out in 
the country and no place except the town streets in which 
to drive I Any one who has seen these smart turnouts is 
justified in dropping into slang far enough to say that 
is going some! 

There was good reason for a preconceived unfavorable 
opinion of Punta Arenas. Recently there have been sev- 
eral flattering accounts published of the town and its life, 
but they have not received a wide circulation. Such ac- 



PUNTA ARENAS 137 

counts as were In the books of travel, with probably one 
exception, were repellant. Here is what William E. Curtis 
said in 1888, in his book entitled " The Capitals of South 
America," and dedicated to Chester Alan Arthur: 

" It [Punta Arenas] belongs to Chile and was formerly 
a penal colony ; but one look at it is enough to convince 
the most incredulous that whoever located it did not intend 
the convict's life to be a happy one. It lies on a long spit 
that stretches out into the strait, and the English call it 
Sandy Point, but a better name would be Cape Desolation. 
Convicts are sent there no longer, but some of those who 
were sent thither when Chile kept the seeds and harvests of 
her revolutions, still remain there. There used to be a mil- 
itary guard there but that was withdrawn during the war 
with Peru and all the prisoners who would consent to enter 
the army got a ticket of leave. The Governor resides in 
what was once the barracks and horses are kept in a stock- 
ade. Hunger, decay and dreariness are inscribed upon 
everything on the faces of the men as well as on the 
houses they live in and the people look as discouraging 
as the mud. 

" They say it rains in Punta Arenas every day. That is 
a mistake sometimes it snows. Another misrepresenta- 
tion is the published announcement that ships passing the 
strait always touch there. Doubtless they desire to, and 
it is one of the delusions of the owners that they do ; but 
as the wind never ceases except for a few hours at a time, 
and the bay on which the place is located is shallow, it is 
only about once a week or so that a boat can land, because 
of the violent surf. 

" The town is interesting because it is the only settle- 



138 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

ment in Patagonia and of course the only one in the strait. 
It is about 4,000 miles from the southernmost town on the 
west coast of South America to the first port on the eastern 
coast a voyage which ordinarily requires fifteen days; 
and as Punta Arenas is about the middle of the way it 
possesses some attractions. Spread out in the mud are 250 
houses, more or less, which shelter from the ceaseless storms 
a community of 800 or 1,000 people, representing all sorts 
and conditions of men from the primeval type to the pure 
Caucasian convicts, traders, fugitives, wrecked seamen, 
deserters from all the navies in the world, Chinamen, ne- 
groes, Poles, Italians, Sandwich Islanders, wandering Jews 
and human driftwood of every tongue and clime cast up 
by the sea and absorbed in a community scarcely one of 
which would be willing to tell why he came there or would 
stay if he could get away. It is said that in Punta Arenas 
an interpreter for every language known to the modern 
world can be found, but although the place belongs to 
Chile, English is most generally spoken." 

All that may have been true in those days, except about 
the rain, the wind, the shallow harbor and the impossibility 
of landing in a boat more than once a week and several 
other items. 

Here is what Frank G. Carpenter said in 1900 in his 
book on South America, and it is the most favorable of any 
of the books dealing with Punta Arenas : 

" The city has been cut out of the woods, and as we 
enter it we are reminded of the frontier settlements of our 
wooded Northwest. Its houses are scattered along wide 
streets with many recurring gaps and here and there a 
stray stump. The streets are a mass of black mud through 



PUNTA ARENAS 139 

which huge oxen drag heavy carts by yokes fastened to 
their horns. At one place the sidewalk is of concrete, at 
another it is of wood, and a little further on it is of mud. 
Many of the houses are built of sheets of corrugated iron, 
their walls wrinkled up like a washboard, and all have 
roofs of this material. A few are painted, but nearly all 
are of the galvanized, slaty color of the metal as it comes 
from the factory. 

" There is plenty of building space, but when you ask 
the price of vacant lots you find that property is high. 
What in the United States would be a $50 shanty is here 
worth $500, and a good business corner will sell for sev- 
eral thousands of dollars. 

" Punta Arenas has one residence which would be con- 
sidered a mansion in Washington city. This house, how- 
ever, is the only one of its kind in Punta Arenas. Most 
of the dwellings are one-story structures which in the 
United States could be built for from $500 to $2,000. 
Many of the poorer houses are occupied by rich men ; in- 
deed, Punta Arenas has as many rich men as any frontier 
town of its size. It has thirty-three men each of whom 
owns or controls from 25,000 to 2,500,000 acres of land. 
Each has tens of thousands of sheep, and the wool clip of 
some of these sheep farmers is worth more than the annual 
salary of the President of the United States. 

" The citizens of Punta Arenas come from all parts of 
the world. Some of the richest people are Russians ; oth- 
ers are Scotchmen who have come from the Falkland Is- 
lands to engage in sheep farming; among them also are 
treacherous Spaniards, smooth-tongued Argentines and 
hard-looking brigands from Chile. The lower classes are 



140 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

chiefly shepherds and seamen, and among them are as many 
rough characters as are to be found in our mining camps 
of the West." 

That extract caused you to be more interested in the 
place, but still the reference to rough characters made you 
feel that if you were going ashore it would be better to 
leave your money on the ship and not go alone. When 
the fleet came in sight of the town all the glasses in each 
ship that could be spared were in constant use. You saw 
a gathering of dwellings, almost entirely one-story struc- 
tures and all of a slate color. There was one tower in the 
centre of the place. The town stretched for nearly a mile 
and a half along a sloping hill, nearly flat in the fore- 
ground, and it extended back in a straggling way for 
about three-quarters of a mile. Back of the town on ris- 
ing ground was a belt of burned timber, bleak and forbid- 
ding, and then came the sharp rise of the ground into a low 
range of mountains, eight or ten miles away and about 
1,500 or 1,800 feet high, with patches of snow here and 
there in sheltered nooks. 

" Quite a town, that ! " was the general comment. The 
harbor contained a dozen or fifteen steamships, coasters 
and tugs and was alive with Chilean flags. Fully one- 
half of the buildings, many of them mere shacks, had the 
Chilean flag above them. The red, white and blue color 
gave bright relief to the sombre appearance of the town. 
That display of bunting warmed up the Americans some. 
Anchor was cast soon after noon and by 3 o'clock the first 
men were ashore. The glad hand was stretched out to 
them. 

The visitors were surprised at the place. They found 



PUNTA ARENAS 141 

shops where everything that one could wish was to be pur- 
chased. If you wanted your fountain pen fixed all the 
parts necessary were to be obtained. If you wanted kodak 
supplies there they were. If you desired paint, brass 
tubes, fine olives, dog biscuit, rare wines, high grade 
cigars, a theatrical performance, a suit of clothes made to 
order, fresh meat or fish, fresh milk, diamonds, hunting 
supplies, books, hardware well, everything that a reason- 
able person could wish was to be had at moderate prices, 
except furs. The furs were there by the bale, and they 
too were cheap when you considered the prices you would 
have to pay for the same product in the United States, but 
they were not cheap for Punta Arenas. Prices were ad- 
vanced 50 per cent, on furs as soon as the first man from 
the fleet got ashore. 

The first thing that struck the eye as the launches 
swung into the long landing pier was an enormous sign 
painted on the sea-wall saying : 



SPECIAL PRICES FOR THE 
AMERICAN FLEET! 



It was the strict truth, especially as to furs. Fox skin 
rugs that had been selling for $25 went to $40. Guanaco 
skins that had been $10 went up to $15. Seal skins that 
were $50 went to $75. The only way to get the lower 
prices was to get some resident of the town to purchase 
for you on the pretext that he wanted to make a gift of 
the furs. Then you paid him and you got furs nearer their 
real Punta Arenas value. 

The visitors found the city laid out in squares with the 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

wide streets in the central part of the town paved with rub- 
ble. The curbs are marked with heavy wooden timbers and 
most of the walks are narrow and covered with gravel. 
Probably one-third of the buildings in the central part of 
town have concrete sidewalks in front of them. The visitors 
also found the place well policed with men in long cloaks 
and swords, bad looking men to go up against, but men who 
soon had orders, apparently, to go into the back streets 
and disappear. At any rate they were seldom seen in the 
heart of the city after Jack got ashore, and it was whis- 
pered openly that the authorities had told them to " go 
into the bosky " and let the Americans do their own polic- 
ing. This was done and the best of order prevailed during 
the fleet's stay. 

The visitors also found a fine water supply brought 
from far back in the mountains, an excellent fire depart- 
ment and the streets sewered and clean. Electric lighting 
was the common mode of illumination in the shops and 
scores of dwellings. Most surprising among the little 
things to be observed was that practically every dwelling 
had an electric bell at the front door. Galvanized iron 
was the predominant material for dwellings and some stores. 
The reason was soon apparent. The fire regulations do 
not permit the erection of wooden buildings in the city 
up to date, you see and stone and good bricks have to 
be brought in. Rough bricks are made here, but those of 
a better quality have to be imported. They will be made 
here in time doubtless, but the town has been too busy mak- 
ing money in wool, exporting mutton and selling furs to 
start up manufactories for building material for home con- 
sumption strictly. Corrugated iron is the easiest and 



PUNTA ARENAS 143 

cheapest to get and the fashion of having a residence of 
that material has been so well established that even a rich 
man takes it as a matter of course that he must live in one. 

As one wandered further into the town he found a cen- 
tral plaza with a band stand in it, the western frontage 
occupied with the Governor's residence and the Catholic 
church ; the northern side the site of a residence that made 
the visitor gape with astonishment to find so really hand- 
some a building in such a place, the office and general whole- 
sale store of Moritz Braun, the American Consular Agent 
here, and the shop of Jose Menendez of Buenos Ayres and 
Punta Arenas, the richest man in all this region. On the 
eastern side of the plaza were two banks, shops, clubs and 
a dwelling or two. The southern side bordered on a vacant 
square sold recently for $150,000. 

The plaza was quite impressive in its pretensions. As 
one wandered further he observed that the city was tree- 
less, that there was a little railroad on one of the wide 
streets to the north which leads to the coal mine in the hills 
about seven miles from town, that there were few gardens 
and flowers. Occasionally one could see a patch of radishes 
or potatoes or lettuce growing in a yard, but most of the 
yards were bare, with a wood pile wood is cheap here 
as its chief ornament. A small white pink was about the 
only flower that was grown freely out of doors. In hun- 
dreds of windows, however, there were house plants, largely 
geraniums, in bloom. 

Street scenes occupied one's attention immediately. The 
most common would be drays pulled by fine oxen with the 
yokes about their horns. Better looking animals are not 
to be found anywhere in the United States. All the dray 



144 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

work is done by these carts. There are hundreds of them 
in town. The next thing to catch the eye was the fine 
horses. A gaucho clad in gay colors would ride through 
the streets occasionally with the easy swing of one of our 
cowboys and he had a picturesque getup that would fit a 
circus parade at home. You noted that when they tied 
horses they simply hobbled their forefeet. 

Few women were to be observed on the streets. Many 
of them wore black mantillas for headdress. Now and 
then a smart carriage with a coachman in livery would go 
dashing by. Again one would see a pony cart with chil- 
dren under a nurse's care in it. Then one's eyes would 
open as he saw a fine coach drawn by four horses swing 
along. It made the visitor smile a little to see a big bag 
of potatoes tied up behind the coach, like a trunk in the 
racks of stages in some of our Western towns, but you 
must expect crudities of some kind in the jumping-off 
place. Then would come the Governor's carriage, correct 
as to livery and all the other appointments befitting his 
station. 

The signs were all in Spanish, of course. Saloons were 
found all over. The entire aspect of things, however, was 
one of our Far Western towns that had struck it rich and 
was in that stage where the wealthy men are still residents 
of the place, actually proud to acknowledge that they have 
come up from humble beginnings, content to live where 
they have made their money and in humble dwellings, and 
are not yet ready to advance upon New York and build 
palaces that blare out to the world that they are among 
the newly rich and want all mankind to know it. 

After you had wandered about a bit you came back into 



PUNTA ARENAS 145 

the plaza for a look at the one fine residence of the city. 
It belongs to Mrs. Sara Braun Valenzuela, wife of Vice- 
Admiral de Valenzuela of the Chilean navy. She is one 
of several children of the Braun family of which Moritz 
Braun is now the head. The family's life has been spent 
here, for their parents came here as immigrants from Rus- 
sia more than thirty-five years ago. The daughter Sara 
married a man named Nogueira, who, with the rest of the 
Braun family, prospered and grew rich in herding sheep 
and keeping store. As they prospered they improved 
themselves mentally and acquired finish in social matters. 
To the credit of the family it must be said that each of its 
members speaks freely of his or her rise in the world, and 
you must smile a little at the twinkle in their eyes as these 
accomplished linguists, well-equipped business people, fa- 
miliar with finance, stock speculation, trading, correct 
sacial usages, say: 

" You know our people came here as immigrants, very 
poor, and had to make their way in the world, just as many 
of the ancestors of the rich in your own country did. By 
the way, I believe that the founder of the Astor family 
started out in life peddling furs and then selling them in 
a store. Of course, one has to start in life as best he can. 
We sold furs, of course, but the sheep and wool industry 
gave us our opportunity. However, one should be modest 
about his belongings. This is our home and here we shall 
probably stay. We are of the town and have no aspira- 
tions except to do our share in advancing the place and to 
be good citizens." 

Several years ago Senor Nogueira died, leaving his wife 
a millionaire. She decided to have more of the physical 



146 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

comforts and she built the fine house in which she dwells. 
Building materials and workmen were brought from 
Buenos Ayres, and the result was a house that would do 
credit to any city in the world. Its glass covered porch 
and its conservatory give it the appearance of the home of 
one who not only appreciates luxury but has a love of 
flowers and good taste in furnishings. Four years ago 
Mrs. Nogueira, still a young woman comparatively, mar- 
ried Admiral de Valenzuela. The Admiral's duties keep 
him away for the most part, but his wife remains, content 
to dwell where the rest of her family reside and where she 
can look after her immense business interests. She owns 
a good part of the town and has an enormous income for 
a woman in South America. Her house cost about $150,- 
000 to build. The furnishings cost well into the tens of 
thousands and the combined result is to make it one of the 
most comfortable, luxurious and complete dwelling places 
to be found anywhere. One sight of it was sufficient to 
make the observer stop short and admire. It was so un- 
expected, you see, after you had been wandering about in 
a city of corrugated iron dwellings. 

There are half a dozen other rather pretentious places in 
the town. Mr. Braun's house and lot cost him about $150,- 
000, and there are two or three places that would be worth 
probably from $10,000 to $20,000 in the States. Other- 
wise the rich are content to dwell as if they were in mod- 
erate circumstances. 

You wandered about the plaza some more and soon found 
yourself in the rooms of the Magellanos, or the English 
club, well fitted up establishments, with smoking rooms, 
reading rooms, reception rooms and billiard rooms. These 



PUNTA ARENAS 147 

clubs are small compared with those in New York, but 
they are complete as far as they go and are really pleasant 
loafing places. Then perhaps you went across the plaza 
to look at the mission Catholic church. As you went down 
the side street you noticed an entrance to what seemed to be 
the parish house and a school. Some one told you that in 
there was a museum of natural history that was really un- 
usual. In you went, and you met Father Marabini, ur- 
bane, gentle, cordial and a scholar, a lover of nature, under 
whose supervision a small but most valuable collection of 
birds, fishes, reptiles, animals and geological specimens 
has been gathered together. When many of the animals 
found in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego have been de- 
stroyed and wiped out under the pressure of civilization, 
like our buffaloes and the seals, all this country and the 
lovers of natural history everywhere, to say nothing of the 
devotees of science, will be grateful to this humble Do- 
minican monk for his labor and patience of years. 

In addition to natural history Father Marabini has gone 
into anthropology to some extent. His collection along 
that line has yet to be enlarged, but you find weapons, 
hunting and fishing implements, canoes, specimens of cloth- 
ing of Indians, photographs of the aborigines, now fast 
disappearing. Chief Mulato, the last of the high grade 
Patagonian Indians, died only recently of smallpox. The 
Fuegan Indians, described as the canoe Indians and the 
lowest form of humanity on earth, are also going. Speed 
will have to be made to get a complete anthropological 
collection of these people. 

In the natural history collection you see specimens of the 
albatross, the largest bird that flies; the condor, all the 



148 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

fowl of the region, the deer, guanacoes, otter, seals and 
other fur bearing animals ; you also see geological speci- 
mens bearing on the mineral wealth of the country and 
also specimens devoted to pure geology. You see the 
pottery and the metal working of the natives. You can 
spend hours there with Father Marabini and you leave 
him with regret and respect. His museum is one that 
would make a most creditable showing in New York's 
Museum of Natural History. 

You wander out to the north and you soon find a large 
building surrounded by a high fence. You learn it is the 
Charity Hospital, with accommodations for thirty-five pa- 
tients, a boon to this far off land. The late Dr. Nicholas 
Senn made a visit to this hospital late last summer and 
commended it highly. He prided himself on having visited 
the most northern hospital in the world at Hammerfest, 
Norway, in 1890, and the most southern last year. He 
declared this one to be " a credit to the young city and a 
refuge for the homeless sick and injured in this hospitable 
and remote part of the world." 

So the visitor found this a well equipped, modern city 
with the residents rosy in their cheeks, cheerful and con- 
tented with their lot in life. They said that sometimes 
it grew a little monotonous, but never dreary. Most of 
the year they have theatricals, and just now they have a 
more or less permanent company. A good many of those 
on the fleet went to the vaudeville show and said they 
found it very good indeed. 

It was not until Mr. Braun, our Consular Agent, gave 
a reception to the fleet that the full power of Punta Arenas 
to do the handsome and correct thing was revealed. The 



PUNTA ARENAS 149 

guests entered a home modern in every respect. They 
found a great hall whose floor was covered with rugs, a 
large room behind that as big as a private saloon in Paris, 
a magnificent dining room with panelled ceiling, a superbly 
furnished drawing room and side rooms used for smoking 
or retiring rooms. There did not seem to be a door on all 
the first floor. It is a house of large floor dimensions 
rather than of elevation, and the first floor was like a 
palace rather than a mere dwelling. 

The appointments table furnishings, beautiful can- 
delabra, glassware, punch bowls (there were half a dozen 
of them), dainty little tables spread with confections and 
the main dining room table elaborately set and decked out 

were such as only great wealth could provide. 

And the company ! Of course the naval officers were in 
full dress with all their gilt fixings and white gloves, but 
every other man there, and there were dozens, was as cor- 
rectly garbed in evening dress as at any Fifth avenue re- 
ception. The number of handsomely gowned women was 
a surprise. There were probably fifty in costumes that 
were distinctly Parisian. The one comment was: 
"Where did they get these fine looking women?" 
You didn't see them on the streets and you were aston- 
ished that there was so much society in the place. You 
heard all languages spoken and you might imagine you 
were in Paris. When the band struck up it was with a 
quadrille. You were pleased perhaps to see the old dances 

quadrilles, lanciers, schottisches, the old waltzes 
danced. You see, the new kind of glides, two steps, 
walk arounds, fancy steps they call dancing nowadays 
and perhaps it is dancing hasn't struck Punta Arenas 



150 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

yet. Surely in that respect the town was behind the times. 
It couldn't do the hippety-hoppety steps and the slides and 
glides. Poor old fashioned Punta Arenas! 

The brilliant scenes at Mr. Braun's home were dupli- 
cated two nights later at the Governor's ball. This re- 
ception was a display in keeping with the wealth of the 
place. There was no vulgarity, no crudeness, no little 
amusing sidelights that showed that the town had just 
arrived in a social way. It was plain that Punta Arenas 
knew how to entertain. Scores of naval officers said that 
they never saw entertainments in Washington in better 
taste. 

After all this you began to investigate what it meant. 
There was one answer to the question wool and sheep. 
When you hunted for statistics you got them from an 
official whose business it is to collect them. You found 
that last November the population of the place was 11,800 
and of the territory 17,000. In 1889 the population of 
the territory was 2,500 and the town only 1,100. It was 
a pretty raw town then. You found that in 1906 the 
number of sheep in the Magellan territory was 1,873,700 
and that thirty years ago it was less than 2,000. You 
learned that the industry was started through the Falkland 
Islanders, 200 miles to the eastward, where the Scotch mis- 
sionaries got rich quick and were not averse to worship- 
ping mammon to some extent. You learned that the num- 
ber of tons of wool exported last year was 7,174, that the 
number of refrigerated sheep exported last year was 
104,427 and that this year it would probably be 130,000. 

You learned that the imports of the town were nearly 
$3,000,000 a year and the exports nearly $5,000,000. 



PUNTA ARENAS 151 

You found that there was a coal mine in operation close 
by, producing about 12,000 tons a year, chiefly for local 
use. The coal is of the lignite variety and disintegrates 
rapidly. It is improving as the shaft sinks deeper, and 
the owners hope soon to have coal that they can sell to 
steamships. That will help Punta Arenas a good deal. 

You learned that there are three daily newspapers here, 
each giving cable news. Indeed, we heard of the assassi- 
nation of King Carlos here as quickly as the rest of the 
civilized world. You were even surprised to find that there 
is one tri-weekly newspaper in English and you get a 
copy and read the list of guests at Mr. Braun's reception, 
quite up to date with the society news. You learned that 
Punta Arenas had been connected with the rest of the 
world since December, 1902, when the overland telegraph 
was put through to Buenos Ayres. You learned that 
there was gold in all the hills near by; that four dredges 
were engaged in mining over in Fireland, as they call 
Tierra del Fuego here, and one in a gulch just back of 
the town. Some progress has been made with this mining 
and there are Americans and men from the Transvaal 
engaged in the industry. A lot of money has been put 
into it, but the expense of getting the gold is still too 
high to make the proposition attractive to the general 
public and so one need not look for a gold rush here for 
some time. You learned that there was copper mining in 
many places, but that the difficulty in getting transpor- 
tation by water from the remote places high up the moun- 
tains where such mines are is such as to eat up most of the 
profits. You learned that about 60 per cent, of the popu- 
lation is foreign, ranking as follows as to numbers: Aus- 



152 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

trian, German, French, English, Spanish, Scandinavian and 
American. 

The prosperity of the town you then realized depended 
upon sheep and furs, chiefly sheep. You found four im- 
mense ranching companies doing business here and you 
got the annual report of the largest one, the Exploration 
Society of Tierra del Fuego. It has 1,200,000 shares, 
owned mostly by Valparaiso and Santiago people, but 
Punta Arenas has 140,000 shares, of which Mr. Braun 
owns 62,000. This company owns 1,200,000 acres of land 
and its wool clip is nearly 6,000,000 pounds. Last year it 
had 900,000 sheep, 14,000 cattle and 8,000 horses on its 
property. Its capital is $6,000,000 and last year it paid 
nearly 15 per cent, in dividends. It has its property di- 
vided into five big ranches. Altogether its real estate hold- 
ings are as big as the State of Delaware and nearly one- 
half as large as the State of Connecticut. That isn't 
very large compared with the entire territory of Tierra del 
Fuego, because that land is as big as the State of New 
York, but it is pretty big doings as sheep ranches go. 
Australia and Argentina can make a slightly better show- 
ing in the production of wool, but, as the Punta Arenas 
people say, this country is still young in the business. 

You began to wonder how the sheep could thrive in this 
terribly cold and barren region and you were surprised to 
be told that really it wasn't very cold here. You hunted 
that matter up for yourself and you found that Father 
Marabini had been keeping a well equipped meteorological 
establishment for fifteen years and you got the printed 
records. You found that the average temperature for 
February, the warmest month in the year, was 52.5 Fah- 



PUNTA ARENAS 153 

renheit, 11.6 centigrade; that the highest temperature for 
fifteen years was 77 degrees (20.59 centigrade), and that 
the lowest recorded in summer in all that time was 33.8 
(1.31 centigrade). That made you shiver some. Then 
you looked for the lowest winter records. You found them 
in July. The lowest recorded temperature for that month 
is 20 degrees above zero ( 6.70 centigrade), and the 
highest 44 degrees (7.91 centigrade). You found that 
the average temperature for the three summer months in 
fifteen years was 52.5 (11.396 centigrade), and the aver- 
age for the winter months was 36 (2.225 centigrade). 
Few places in the temperate zone can show a variation 
of temperature of only sixteen degrees between winter and 
summer. 

The temperature record and the rich grasses on the 
plains told the story of sheep farming here. There isn't 
much snow. Now and then there is a fall of from two to 
three feet, but for the most part the snowfalls are only a 
few inches in depth. The greatest climatic drawback is the 
searching winds. These winds blow hardest in summer and 
give a decided chill to the air. The fleet was here in the 
best season of the year. On two days out of the six it was 
comfortable to wear light overcoats. The temperature 
was something like our April weather. Occasionally it 
rained for a few minutes, but four of the days were abso- 
lutely clear. We came in when there was a high wind and 
a drop in the temperature and we feared that the stay 
would be most uncomfortable. It was anything but that 
from a climatic standpoint. 

So goes the statement quoted early in this article, that it 
doesn't rain every day in the year in Punta Arenas be- 



154 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

cause some days it snows. The value of the other state- 
ment that the bay is shallow is shown by the fact that if the 
port hadn't been crowded the fleet would have anchored 
within half a mile of the city. As it was, it anchored about 
a mile out and the water was so deep that three of the 
battleships had to move in a quarter of a mile because 
there is a limit to the length of anchor chains. As to the 
impossibility of landing more than once a week, it may 
be said that there never was an hour when the launches 
could not land. Once or twice the wind came up and the 
little craft tossed about a bit, but that happens in any port. 
So goes another of the many informing things that have 
been said incorrectly about this much abused and misun- 
derstood place. 

After learning something about the business of the place 
the inquirer naturally turned to the form of government. 
He learned that it was a place without politics because 
it has no suffrage. The Governor and three alcaldes, with 
a consulting board of paid city officials, run things. The 
alcaldes are representative men. One represents the for- 
eign interests especially. They pass rules and ordinances 
which are approved or disapproved by what would be 
called in Santiago the Colonial Office. These laws are 
rarely disapproved. The alcaldes are wise in their gener- 
ation. They do not adopt unpopular measures. Public 
opinion is so strong that any alcalde who got to cutting up 
and attempting boss rule would find himself so cut off 
from the rest of the people with whom he must live and 
do business that he would feel as if he had been banished. 
There is a movement to make the territory a province 



PUNTA ARENAS 155 

with political powers of its own, but it is being fought 
vigorously. 

" We are so well governed," said a resident of ten years 
to the Sun man, " that we do not need a change. We can 
put the responsibility right on the one man in our present 
situation. Nothing goes wrong and our taxes amount to 
about $3 on $1,000 in a year. Real estate and live stock 
are about the only things taxed." 

Well governed as Punta Arenas is it is curious to note 
how certain customs in municipal government exist the 
world over. Did you notice that police official who just 
went by? Well, he keeps his carriage and private coach- 
man and his people dress well, and his home is above the 
average in its pretensions. His salary? Oh, about $1,500 
a year. You see they can't pay high police salaries in a 
town of- 12,000 and only about fifty policemen. But 
there are certain resorts which sailormen and others sup- 
port in all remote places of any size, and the authorities 
somehow seem not to observe them too closely well, 
there's no need to go into the matter further. 

Some things, however, are a little different in Punta 
Arenas from other places, because it is one of the few large 
free ports in the world. You can import anything duty 
free. Chile had to adopt this plan to build the place up. 
Even ocean freight is high to this far off place. Argen- 
tina had to make several of its neighboring ports free in 
consequence of the advantages of Punta Arenas, and so 
you have about five free ports down in this neck of the 
woods. 

Some curious effects have followed, the most interesting 



156 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

of which is that Punta Arenas is one of the greatest centres 
of smuggling in the world. You will not get any of its 
merchants to admit it openly. For instance, it is said that 
there are more Havana cigars imported into Punta Arenas 
than into all the rest of Chile put together. They are not 
consumed here. They go somewhere. Punta Arenas does 
not begin to use all the millions of goods imported. A 
little figuring would show that. The outside population 
in the territory, amounting to about 5,000, could not take 
care of the rest after the wants of Punta Arenas are 
satisfied. Why, there are no less than twenty-two coast- 
ing steamers engaged in trade from here, to say nothing 
about scores of sloops and schooners darting in and out 
among the islands and channels that run far up the Pacific 
coast. One of the merchants gave an instance of the 
smuggling. He said: 

" Not long ago I had several hundred articles of limited 
sale consigned to me by mistake. I couldn't sell them here 
and didn't want to send them back. I sent some some- 
where else. They sold like hot cakes. You see the price 
was so much lower than you could buy them before in that 
same city where they were sent. It is true that there is a 
great deal of quiet wealth here, but really you mustn't ask 
too many questions." 

An interesting sidelight was thrown on this subject 
when this same man was talking about the illumination of 
the city by the American fleet's searchlights on the night 
before the fleet sailed. Fully seventy-five beams were 
thrown from the ships. They swept the town fore and 
aft. Some of the ships concentrated their lights in one 
spot. Five beams from our ship were centered upon the 



PUNTA ARENAS 157 

church steeple in the plaza. It made the place so light that 
you could read a newspaper anywhere. The entire town 
was in a light almost like that of midday. 

" I wonder that it didn't make some of our people run 
into holes to hide," said a citizen who knew -things when he 
was speaking of the brilliant illumination. 

As is well known, Punta Arenas started out in life as a 
penal colony. It will surprise most of those who know 
the place and probably some of the residents themselves 
that it is still a penal colony legally, because the penal 
laws were never repealed. Indeed, it is even now a place 
of exile. Every few months some man arrives from the 
upper part of Chile who has been banished to the place. 
Once here he is welcome to stay or go as he pleases. These 
men are usually embezzlers or undesirable citizens from 
some other cause in small places where the machinery of 
justice is inadequate to fit the crime. The culprit is 
ordered to Punta Arenas. 

It was in 1843 that Chile took possession of all this ter- 
ritory, wresting it from Spain. She established a penal 
colony at once in Port Famine, a few miles from here. 
In 1849 she removed the colony to Punta Arenas. Two 
years later there was mutiny of the guards, led by Lieut. 
Cambiaso. There was a good deal of slaughtering be- 
fore it was quelled. In 1877 there was another similar 
mutiny, and then Chile withdrew the guards and let Punta 
Arenas get along as a commercial place. 

The free port regulations followed, merchants came 
dropping in, fur trading became profitable and then came 
the sheep industry and Punta Arenas graduated into the 
really modern city it is. Where it is possible to make 



158 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

money there you will find people these days, for the rovers 
of the earth are just as active as ever and neither cold nor 
heat, sickness nor desolation will stop the march of com- 
merce. 

There are still many citizens of Punta Arenas who came 
here in the days of the penal colony. Many of them were 
political prisoners. Many were mere youths who had gone 
wrong. Scores of them have remained and have grown up 
to be good citizens and solid business men, a credit to any 
community. Still the memory of the past remains with 
some, as was shown when the Sun man was walking 
along the street with a merchant and stopped to look at 
a finely dressed party of men and women going down to 
the pier to go off to the Connecticut on the day of the 
elaborate reception on board. The men were in frock coats 
and tall hats and the women in beautifully fitting after- 
noon gowns. 

" That's as fine a looking group of men and women as 
you would see in any of our ports," said the Sun man. 

" Perhaps so," said his companion, " but one has to 
smile a little when one thinks of some things." 

" A past ? " inquired the Sun man. 

" Oh, yes," was the answer, " but one shouldn't refer to 
that. Only it does make me smile." 

This man hadn't received an invitation to the reception. 
He had a past that would bear the closest scrutiny. His 
point of view was responsible for the tone of his remarks. 
Nevertheless, how many of our own frontier towns could 
stand inspection when it comes to investigating the careers 
of some of their solid citizens ? 

Here is a town which has fine free schools, where the 



PUNTA ARENAS 159 

Methodist mission conducted by the Rev. J. L. Lewis not 
only has a congregation of 300 but an English school of 
forty pupils; where the Episcopal mission has a congre- 
gation of 400 and a mixed school of 100 children ; a town 
where there is very little crime, and what there is is chiefly 
disorderly conduct ; a place where everybody is prosperous, 
apparently; where life is sometimes dull, but always com- 
fortable, with good government, and where a man can 
stand on his own merits as he is and not as he has been. 

The bluejackets enjoyed their stay here thoroughly. 
Only the special first class men were allowed on shore; to 
have turned all the men of the fleet loose would have 
swamped the town, for there were more persons in the fleet 
than in the city. The men who did get shore leave made 
for post card shops first. In a day nearly all the best 
cards were gone. The supply lasted throughout the stay, 
but now and then you would meet a party of bluejackets 
hunting the town over for better specimens. So serious 
was this drain upon the town that the supply of postage 
stamps ran out on several days. It was necessary to go 
to the treasury vaults here to replenish the post office. 

The bluejackets then swamped the fur stores. Many 
really fine specimens of furs can be secured here and at 
moderate prices compared to those in the United States. 
The bluejackets spent thousands upon thousands of dol- 
lars, and so did the officers. Fox, guanaco, seal, otter, 
alpaca, vicuna, puma any kind of fur that seems to be 
in the market, except tiger's skins, was to be found. Then 
the plumage of birds, ostriches, swans, gulls and so on was 
sought out eagerly. Some of the skins were fully dressed 
and some not, but the commonest sight in Punta Arenas 



160 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

for the six days the fleet was here was hundreds of sailors 
making for steam launches with great bundles of furs 
under their arms. Many a woman in the States will have 
the opportunity of explaining to inquiring friends that 
Tom or Dick or Bill got that fur for her right across 
from Tierra del Fuego, and many an officer will show a 
floor covering with something of the same satisfaction. 

Having purchased his furs and postal cards and having 
taken samples of the various brands of libation, as sailor 
men usually do in foreign and home ports it must be 
said in truth there was almost no excessive drinking be- 
cause only special first class men were ashore Jack 
turned his attention to other things. He soon found that 
there were dozens of very good saddle horses in town and 
he promptly went horseback riding. Scores of sailors 
could be seen galloping about the streets. Amusing? 
Yes, in a way, but not because they could not ride. Many 
of them rode like cowboys. You see a large part of the 
young blood of this fleet, indeed most of it, comes right 
off the farms, Western farms, too, and those boys know 
how to ride and handle horses. The people gaped at them 
and then took it as a matter of course that an American 
Jack tar could do almost anything. 

The officers, too, had their fun ashore. In two hours 
after the fleet was anchored many of those off duty were 
seen in riding costume cantering about the streets on fine 
horses that the chief of police put at their disposal. An 
hour or two later the launches began to land roughly 
dressed men with rifles and bags. They were hunting 
parties, going right out to get foxes and pumas and all 
sorts of wild things in the suburbs. Finally a mysterious 



PUNTA ARENAS 161 

group landed from the Vermont. They had ponchos and 
picks and shovels and guns. 

" Where you going? " was the inquiry on all sides. 

" Ask Connolly," was the answer. 

Now, Connolly is the famous writer of sea fiction, par- 
ticularly Gloucester fishing stories, the warm personal 
friend of the President, and he once served in the navy 
two months as yeoman, at Mr. Roosevelt's suggestion, so 
as to pick up local color. 

" Going out to camp on the hills and discover gold ! " 
was all you could get out of Connolly. Late the next 
afternoon the bedraggled party swung into town again. 
Connolly's hand was tied up. A more trampy looking 
outfit never struck a town. 

" What's the matter ? " asked the crowd surging about 
Connolly on the pier. 

" Oh, nothing at all," he said, and then he looked faint 
and sighed. Then began a quest for information as to 
whether they found gold or shot anything, and how was 
Connolly hurt. Finally it was whispered that a Tierra del 
Fuego Indian who had stealthily crossed to the mainland 
had shot at the party and the Mauser bullet, Mauser, mind 
you, had nipped Connolly and had caused a bad flesh 
wound. Then it was a puma that had leaped upon him 
and he had strangled it to death. Then the story went 
that he had been shot accidentally by one of the party. 
Then he had broken his fist in a fierce personal encounter 
with savages. All through this period of rumors and 
yarns all Connolly could do was to nod and make a show 
of great nerve in not noticing the terrible pain under which 
he was suffering. 



162 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Well, there had to be an end of it, and it came out that 
Connolly had slipped in wading a stream and in trying to 
keep himself from falling had put a finger out of joint. 
He grinned over the joke and when he was asked for de- 
tails of the shooting he said : 

" Honestly, we did see some puma tracks 1 " 

That, so far as results were concerned, was the experi- 
ence of all the hunting parties. The Yankton took some 
of the officers across to Fireland, about twenty miles, one 
day. They got some fine birds and a fox or two and had 
really good sport. Punta Arenas not providing any hunt- 
ing, the officers took to receptions for the rest of the stay. 

One thing that keeps impressing itself upon the patri- 
otic observer as this fleet goes from port to port should 
be mentioned. It is the painful lack of the American 
flag on shipping. The English and German flags are 
seen everywhere. All over this South American country 
you also hear one lament from merchants. It is that there 
is no American line of steamships trading directly all along 
the coast. Everywhere they tell you of the great oppor- 
tunities for American goods down here. 

" If you Americans would only find out what we want 
and then learn how to pack the goods and then would es- 
tablish steamship lines there is immense wealth to be had in 
our trade. Give us American steamship lines," is the 
burden of general comment. 

This is not the place for a discussion of the revival of 
the American merchant marine or the best methods to at- 
tain that end. The writer of this has no desire to go be- 
yond the province of his assignment, which is to chronicle 
the doings of the fleet, but surely one may mention with 



PUNTA ARENAS 163 

propriety the one remark in every port that the presence 
of the fleet has brought forth. 

Punta Arenas was like the rest in its craving for Ameri- 
can trade. It may be the jumping off place of the earth, 
but if you did have to jump off a ship and should land 
here you might be in far worse places, and if you had to 
jump off from here the fact would still remain that you 
might jump from more undesirable places. The Ameri- 
can sailor men were practically unanimous in voting Punta 
Arenas all right and a tremendous surprise. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 

Fog, Shoal, Wind and Tide Most Awesome Scenery in the World, 
but Not a Place to Anchor Start at the Witching Hour of 11 
p.m. on Friday Brought Only Good Luck to the Long Line of 
U. S. Leviathans, Flanked by Its Torpedo Flotilla Vessels Wab- 
ble Where the Tides Meet, but Steady Hands Curb Them Back to 
the Course The Willywaw Island Post Office and Cape Pilar, 
Where No Ship-wrecked Seaman Ever Escaped. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

AT SEA, Feb. 15. 

WHEN word was cabled from Chile just before Ad- 
miral Evans's fleet swept in and out of Valpar- 
aiso harbor on February 14< that the fleet had 
passed through the Strait of Magellan safely, there was 
probably a feeling of relief in Washington. Admiration 
for the successful performance of a great feat of seaman- 
ship was probably expressed generally throughout the 
world. The passage accomplished, it was easy to say 
that all along every one who had any sense knew that 
it would come out all right and not for one moment had 
there been any real cause for anxiety. Of course, of 
course ! 

Nevertheless all the world knows there was great anxiety 
and even dread lest something serious might happen in 
navigating this most treacherous and dangerous passage 

164 



THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 165 

in the world. Even the foreign press said that it would 
be a supreme test of American seamanship to take a fleet 
of sixteen battleships, to say nothing of the auxiliaries, 
through those waters. 

It is comparatively easy to take one or two ships through 
the straits. Two or three hundred skippers perform that 
task with success every year. Time and again have our 
warships, singly and in groups of two or three, gone 
through with ease. But here were sixteen monster ships 
that had to go through in single file and within about 400 
yards of one another, with no place to anchor and without 
the possibility of stopping, buffeted by swift tides and 
currents, in danger of running into the sheer cliffs of 
mountains or of striking hidden rocks in fog or possibly 
snow. If any serious mishap had occurred there was 
nothing to do but go right on. You couldn't lay to in 
these waters. If fog hid the way you must keep on and 
trust to picking up headlands here and there, and you 
must maintain your sustained speed of ten knots, because 
each vessel would then know where its immediate prede- 
cessor or follower ought to be. 

Certainly it was a difficult performance, one fraught 
with great danger and grave responsibility. The chief 
point is, however, that the fleet got through without the 
slightest mishap. It was done as easily as entering the 
harbor of New York. There was not the slightest mani- 
festation of undue concern by any of the officers of the 
fleet, but it cannot be denied that every one was keyed up 
to his best and all were glad when the roll of the Pacific was 
felt. When it was over all hands looked at one another 
and said, in the French expression, " It is to laugh." 



166 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

But you want to know all about it? Is there an im- 
patient call for details of this much-heralded trip of dread, 
a breathless demand to know how many close calls and 
narrow escapes there were from hitting sunken rocks, glid- 
ing against precipices, scraping the paint from the ships' 
sides, dodging willy waws? You want to learn how many 
men were nearly swept from the decks by overhanging 
cliffs and limbs of trees, how often icebergs choked the 
narrow places, how many times the treacherous Fuegan 
Indians, " the lowest form of humanity on earth," lit their 
fires as signals that there would be fine plunder and good 
eating of humans when one or more of these ships went 
on the rocks; whether it was true that the officers and 
crews went without sleep or food until all dangers were 
passed? 

Well, if you guessed any or all those things you must 
guess lagain. None of 'em happened. Of course the 
winds blew fiercely at times, but they do that every day 
in the year in the Magellans. Of course the tide rips 
caught the ships at certain critical places and twisted and 
turned them somewhat. Of course the rain fell occasion- 
ally and now and then shut out from view a most beautiful 
glacier or snow field just when you wanted to see it most. 
Of course the clouds obscured the mountain tops from time 
to time. Of course the currents and tides swept through 
the various reaches like mill races. Of course a willy waw 
or two came out and smote us, and of course there was 
fog. 

But if you want to know how easily the passage was 
made let it be said the last thirty miles of it was in a 
mist that thickened into a dense fog, obscuring the land 



THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 167 

on both sides completely for hours and only now and then 
lifting for a moment's revelation of some rock or head- 
land. Yes, the American fleet not only went through the 
dangerous passage, but it actually sailed through miles 
and miles of fog in doing so, and it was done in as smart 
a fashion as if the ships were on the high seas and not 
in the most fearsome strait in the world, intervals and 
speed being kept perfectly. After all, even if the men 
on the fleet pretended to make light of it, the performance 
was a fine piece of navigation. Admiral Evans has just 
reason to be proud of it and so have the American people. 
It couldn't have been done better. 

There was reason for dread. Hadn't all the timid folk 
spoken of the terrible risks to be run? Hadn't the super- 
stitious lifted up their voices and pointed out that in the 
fifty-two wrecks that had occurred in the strait in, say, the 
last twenty years, exactly twenty-six had been of vessels 
beginning with the letter C? Didn't we have the Con- 
necticut to lead us? And worse than thrvt, wasn't it the 
Chilean cruiser Chacabuco which had been sent to Punta 
Arenas as a national compliment and to act as escort about 
half a mile in front of the Connecticut? One ship begin- 
ning with C was enough, but here were two. That surely 
was wilful defiance of all the high signs and deep por- 
tents. And, then, didn't we start out from Punta Arenas 
on Friday night at the eleventh hour? Hadn't the moon 
just gone down, and who knows but that a darky had failed 
to catch a rabbit over in the graveyard on the beach yon- 
der and so had missed having his left hind leg in his pocket 
(or whatever the details of that superstition are)? And 
so there was no adequate guarantee from escaping death 



168 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

and destruction. Certainly it was ticklish business, a task 
for the ignorant or the foolhardy. 

But, speaking seriously, what the maritime world thinks 
of this region is revealed best probably by the nomen- 
clature of the various headlands, islands, bays and capes. 
A study of the charts presents such names as these: Deso- 
lation Island, Point Famine, Famine Reach, Point Mercy, 
Delusion Bay, Dislocation Harbor, Useless Bay, Disap- 
pointment Bay, Spider Island, Corkscrew Bay and Cor- 
morant Island, to say nothing of Snow Sound and Snowy 
Inlet. Why, the very contemplation of the chart was 
sufficient to give a landsman the shiverees ! 

The Strait of Magellan is 360 miles long and the width 
varies from about a mile and a half in the narrowest part 
to twenty-five miles. The strait is in the form of a letter 
V with the right part curved down a little at the top and 
the left part extended above what would be the correct 
proportion of a well-shaped letter. The short end reaches 
out into the Atlantic and the long end into the Pacific. 
The short right end is barren of fine scenery, the grandeur 
of the hills being reserved for the long or western end. 
Down at the point of the latter is Cape Froward. Coming 
from the eastern end there is about fifteen miles of rugged 
scenery before you make the turn to the northwest. Punta 
Arenas, or Sandy Point, as the English call this hustling, 
modern city, is about two-thirds down the eastern side on 
a broad stretch of water known as Broad Reach. Opposite 
is Useless Bay, probably so called because it is useless to 
go over there to find an exit from the strait. 

It is desirable, almost necessary in fact, to make the run 
through the strait in daylight. To do this you enter, 



THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 169 

say, from the east as early in the morning as possible so 
as to make Punta Arenas by night. Leaving that port 
you start at night, about midnight. You have about 
forty-five miles of broad deep water with no difficulties in 
navigation to Cape Froward, which you reach by day- 
break. After that you can go through the western end 
of the strait by daylight and reach the Pacific about night- 
fall. 

The strait has half a dozen lights in it, but in time of 
fog or fierce snowsqualls these are of little value unless 
by accident you happen to pick them up. Again the tide 
races through the strait at the rate of never less than three 
miles an hour and in some of the narrow places it has a 
speed of from five to six miles. Where the tides of the 
Atlantic and Pacific meet there are cross currents and dis- 
turbances that catch even the most high-powered ship and 
swing it here and there, despite careful work of the helms- 
man. 

Still hundreds of steamships go through safely every 
year and a close study of the chart revealed only three 
places which occasioned anxiety to the fleet officers. 

One of these places is Sarmiento Shoal that juts out 
into the Atlantic for miles from Cape Virgins, the Argen- 
tine headland, 135 feet high, that marks the beginning of 
the eastern end. It really is no more dangerous to cross, 
for example, than the shoals of Nantucket. The fleet came 
down to the shoal about noon. There is one place where 
there are nine fathoms of water and it has a width of only 
four or five miles. The task is to fix the place of crossing 
from bearings and then to cross it. When the exact spot 
was reached a fierce black cloud came up and obscured 



170 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

things. With it came a strong southwest wind that made 
things choppy. Over the narrow part of the shoal the 
ships headed. Once or twice, perhaps because the looks of 
the water or the lead may have given warning, the flagship 
made short turns. But in half an hour it was over and 
the fleet turned to the northwest, past Dungeness light, five 
miles below Cape Virgins, and marking the real entrance 
to the strait, which is now under the entire jurisdiction of 
Chile. From the mast of the Chilean signal station there 
fluttered flags which said, in the language of the interna- 
tional code: 

" Enter Chilean waters ; welcome distinguished American 
seamen ; pleasant voyage." 

The fleet voted the sentiment all right, even if the ver- 
biage was somewhat unusual. There was a quick run up 
into the broad waters of Possession Bay, close to the en- 
trance of the First Narrows. There are two narrows on 
the run to Punta Arenas and here is where the tide runs 
strongest in the strait. If the tide is against you it is 
better to anchor and wait for the turn. There is a good 
anchorage in the bay and about 4< o'clock of the afternoon 
of January 31 the mudhooks were dropped in a boiling 
sheet of water that in its actions resembled the lower part 
of Chesapeake Bay in a storm. 

At daylight the next morning the fleet was under way 
again with a favorable tide. The First Narrows are ten 
miles long, two wide and have water forty fathoms deep. 
There was no trouble in just skimming right along. Then 
the ships entered another big bay, Philip Bay, and after 
about twenty-five miles of deep water came to the Second 
Narrows, twelve miles long. This passage also has a swift 



THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 171 

tide, but the waterway is about three miles wide and very 
deep, and no one had any concern about getting through. 
It was as easy as rolling down hill. 

Then came the waters of Broad Reach, the wide sheet 
of water that stretches clear down to Punta Arenas. At 
the very beginning there is one of the two really difficult 
places in the strait to navigate. The reach has extensive 
shoals. Santa Magdalena Island, with a lighthouse on it, 
faces an oncoming ship and there are two channels, one 
to the north and the other to the south. Small vessels 
usually take the north passage, called Queen's Channel, 
but larger ones take the other, known as New Channel. 
There are two buoys which indicate dangerous places from 
tide rips and shoals. 

Well, the fleet officers were a little nervous as they saw 
those tide rips. Soon it became evident that the current 
was dangerous. It was difficult to keep exactly on the 
course. Twice the Connecticut made turns to overcome 
the sweeping effect of the tide and keep well clear of shoals. 
The long line of ships kept zigzagging here and there, 
but in less than half an hour all the dangers of the first 
leg of the strait had been passed. There was nothing but 
fine deep water all the way to Punta Arenas, where we 
dropped anchor about noon. 

All the experts of the fleet, the men who had been 
through not once but several times before were unanimous 
in declaring that the worst was over with the passage of 
New Channel and it made every one feel good. If that 
was all there was to going through Magellan, why on 
earth had there been such a big scare about it all? It 
didn't compare with navigating the Chesapeake in a fog 



172 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

or a storm and it seemed farcical to make so much fuss 
about it. 

The fleet lay at Punta Arenas for six days, taking on 
coal, giving liberty and the officers going through a round 
of official receptions and other courtesies that made the 
stay one day longer than was expected because of the 
unusual courtesy on the part of Chile in sending a cruiser 
down to Punta Arenas to greet the fleet bearing a Rear 
Admiral, our Minister to Chile, Mr. Hicks, and our Consul 
at Valparaiso. 

The departure of the fleet at night was set for 11 o'clock. 
Before that time slow-moving lights in the harbor showed 
that the Chacabuco had changed her station to be near the 
head of the procession when the start was made. Other 
lights had revealed that the six torpedo boats of our flotilla 
had been taking up cruising positions on the right and 
left flanks of the line that was to be formed. Just before 
11 o'clock the signal had been made from the flagship to 
prepare to get under way. The ships had hove short. 
At the stroke of 11 the red and white lights flashed from 
the flagship and they were answered from all the ships. At 
once anchor engines began tugging at the chains, and soon 
on every ship the officer in charge of the f o'c'stle sang out : 

" Up and down, sir ! " 

That meant that the anchor was directly under the bow 
of the ship and was leaving the mud, the chain being 
straight up and down. In a moment or two the call was: 

" Anchor's aweigh, sir ! " 

That meant that the ship was now swinging with the tide 
and bells were jangled in all the engine rooms to go ahead 
slowly. It was all still, only a few lights on each ship were 



THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 173 

showing and soon the harbor presented the appearance of 
twenty-five or more craft slowly moving in one direction as 
if stealing away down the broad Famine Reach softly so 
as not to disturb the slumbers of the town. But the town 
wasn't asleep. Half the population was out to witness the 
departure. The thousands of electric lights showed that. 
As you drew away from the place it looked as if you were 
leaving the north shore of Staten Island and going up New 
York Bay, so thick were the lights on the land. 

The Connecticut was quite close in shore and headed to- 
ward it. She made a sharp turn, and the Kansas, Ver- 
mont and Louisiana and the others fell in quickly. There 
were gaps in the line for the ships that had sought better 
anchorages, and these were filled in when the proper time 
came. Gradually the line became compact and within fif- 
teen minutes one long column of American warships was 
gliding southward at a speed of ten knots, the Chilean flag- 
ship off the starboard bow of our flagship, all silently steal- 
ing away in the beautiful starlight night from hospitable 
and attractive Punta Arenas. The start was made as 
smoothly and easily as in broad daylight. There was no 
fuss about it. The fleet had gone about its business in a 
businesslike way. That business was to get through the 
rest of the strait in the easiest and safest manner. 

You went to bed at midnight leaving orders to be called 
at 4 A. M. so as to come on deck and see the flagship turned 
toward home at Cape Froward, the lowest continental point 
of land in the world. You got out just abeam of Cape San 
Isidro, with its flashing white light, and you found yourself 
in the midst of rugged scenery. The sky was overcast and 
a strong wind, like that which churned Possession Bay when 



174 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

the fleet entered the eastern end, was blowing. Bare moun- 
tains and rocks stood out in the gloom. Soon the shadows 
began to purple the hillsides and rocks ; there was visible a 
strip of green which you made out to be trees reaching half 
way up the black mountain sides. Then the clouds light- 
ened ; everything stood out clearly in a gray light and you 
knew it was time for sunrise. 

The clouds broke to the east and suddenly there shot 
through them six great shafts of crimson light as if they 
were the rays of an enormous searchlight in the east, rays 
colored by passing through bright red glass. You stood 
on the bridge fascinated and almost enthralled. Then you 
saw the edge of the snowfield of Mount Sarmiento far to 
the south. The clouds hid its brow but as they broke occa- 
sionally you could catch a glimpse now and then of a 
glacier gripping the mountain sides with the strength and 
permanence of the ages and you knew that truly you were 
looking at God's country, not the country of home, as most 
folks the world over call God's country, but one that re- 
vealed the majesty of creation. 

So on and on you went in the narrow channels bordered 
by rock-faced hills and mountains, green from the water 
half way up their sides. Some of the mountains were en- 
tirely of stone with abrupt sheers like the sides of the prec- 
ipices in the Yosemite. Waterfalls leaped from cliffs here 
and there and now and then one could see a stream rushing 
down the hillside, foaming and roaring, its waters madly 
dashing to complete obliteration in the swirling sea where 
the immutable laws of gravity sent them. It seemed a pity 
that a thing so white and pure should find an ignoble end, 
but the power of the sun's rays had set the forces of per- 



THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 175 

petual motion in those leaps and bounds and the same 
streams will dash down to the sea doubtless as long as the 
sun's power lasts to heat the edges of the glaciers and try 
to rob them of their strength. You saw great peaks and 
short ranges. Every one had a different light upon it ; 
every one differed from another in formation. 

But this is an account of navigation rather than a de- 
scription of scenery. The ships went along in the slack 
water easily and smoothly and again you wondered at the 
stories of the difficulty of steaming through this wide 
deep strait. You passed through Froward Reach into 
English Reach, and miles away, straight ahead, you saw 
the Thornton Peaks, where Jerome Channel cleaves a w r ay 
into the large mysterious and only half explored Otway 
Waters, a body of water like one of the Great Lakes at 
home. You saw no channel ahead. 

As you approached these mountains it was like the turn 
in the Hudson up in the Highlands, where you seem to be 
headed for the rocks with no way of escape except by turn- 
ing back. You knew from the chart that you were then ap- 
proaching Crooked Reach, that runs beside the island called 
Carlos III. Soon you saw a bend toward the left and 
then you stiffened yourself a little, for you knew that in 
less than half an hour you would be in the one dangerous 
place of navigation in the western half of the strait. It is 
necessary to make an S curve in Crooked Reach, something 
like the one in the Subway at Fourteenth street, only it is 
one six or eight miles long and not of a few hundred feet. 

Just before you reached the line running from Jerome 
Point to the upper end of the island of Carlos III. you saw 
black lines in the water running from shore to shore, now 



176 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

only a little more than a mile apart. These lines were 
foam-crested and they marked the meeting place of the 
tides of the Atlantic and the Pacific. The officers had no 
time now to look at scenery. Here was serious work. The 
Connecticut crossed the first one and so intent were you in 
watching preparations to cross on your own ship that you 
scarcely noticed her movements. But what was the matter 
with the Kansas, directly astern? She was swaying off to 
starboard violently. Then she made a swoop to port. 
Queer kind of steering it seemed ! Perhaps it was the Con- 
necticut that had swayed this way and that. Wait a mo- 
ment. 

Soon the Kansas got fairly straight with the Connecticut 
and then the Vermont took to dancing sidesteps this way 
and that. The helm was being shifted constantly in the 
endeavor to keep in the middle of the road. It was the 
Louisiana's turn next. Standing on the bridge you 
scarcely noticed any deviation, but when you looked at the 
line of ships behind you knew that the Louisiana was hav- 
ing its troubles keeping straight and when you saw the 
quartermaster twisting the wheel about, now this way and 
now that, you knew that this ship had been doing fancy 
stunts far from home. 

Then you looked at those behind. On they came, and 
that straight line, the pride of any one who has seen it from 
day to day, went zigzagging, twisting and turning, thrust 
here and there until it resembled the twists of a snake crawl- 
ing along the ground rather than a fleet of majestic ships 
sailing in a straight line. Once again a similar perform- 
ance of the fleet occurred and you began to realize what the 
dangers of navigating Magellan meant. You realized that 



THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 177 

with high-powered vessels such as these ships it was easy to 
correct the swaying of the tides and currents, but you un- 
derstood what smaller ships had to contend with. 

We were going through at the most favorable season of 
the year, but you shuddered to think what it must be to 
be caught here in the winter, perhaps with darkness coming 
on, no place to anchor and a blinding snowstorm or a fog 
hiding the way and your steamer having hard work even to 
hold its own against the terrific current that might be run- 
ning against you. Oh, yes, then you knew what a task, a 
dangerous task it was to brave the perils of Crooked Reach 
and you were glad you were on a warship with strength 
enough to scorn nature's effort to hurl it against the rocks. 

You passed dangerous Anson Rock and you soon glided 
out into Long Reach, an arm of the strait that runs for 
fifty or sixty miles to the northwest almost as straight as a 
taut rope, and you then took up your glasses to look 
around. You saw the little island just off Borja Bay, 
where the famous post office of the strait was situated, a 
place where sailors rowed ashore to leave their letters to be 
mailed and their newspapers months old to be read by those 
who followed them. You could see the signs nailed to the 
trees giving the names of ships that had called, the dates 
and the ports to which they were bound. All that is done 
away with now that Punta Arenas looks after the mails and 
gives hospitable welcome to sailormen, but those signs, some 
of them a half century old, told tales of hardship, of ship- 
wreck, of misery to many a man who could read what they 
really meant. 

Then you began again to watch the mountains. Far down 
Snowy Inlet you saw the sloping sides of Mount Wharton 



178 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

and a magnificent blue glacier sloping down its broad 
reaches. It had teeth all over the lower part where it had 
cracked under the sun's rays, but back for miles and miles, 
as far as the eye could reach, the blue ice extended until it 
hid itself in the vast snowfields of the mountain's top. You 
were glad that the sun's rays came out from time to time 
to show you a patch of the top of the mountain, for then 
you understood what Darwin meant when he compared some 
of the glaciers in the strait to " a hundred frozen Niag- 
aras." You knew that you were looking at one of the 
greatest accessible ice patches in the world outside of the 
ice cap of Greenland. 

The wind began to strengthen and black outbursts of it 
were seen coming toward you from time to time. Then at 
last you began to realize what a willywaw is. It is a fierce 
blast that comes down from these mountains with well de- 
fined limits like the ray of a searchlight in the night. One 
moment you do not feel it and then you shoot into it and it 
tosses you about, churns up the waters, roars and barks at 
you and you feel that a demon from the hills is trying to 
tear you to pieces. Half a dozen times one of these willy- 
waws got started for the fleet and then the sun came out, 
the clouds broke up and the blast was dissipated. You 
could see it all with your eyes, you didn't have to imagine 
it. It was as if some big policemen had scattered a crowd 
that had begun to torment a procession and had said 
" G'wan ! " It g'wanned all right. Finally a big one 
gathered force that laughed at the policeman, and it fell 
upon us. With it came mist and dashes of rain. It spat 
in our faces. It wrapped our coats about our legs in 



THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 179 

knots. It shrieked and howled at us, and when we stag- 
gered through it it laughed at us, as if to say : 

" You may be a great fleet of warships, but I'm not 
afraid to tackle you, just like any other ship or set of ships. 
I have fun with every ship that goes through here, and if 
I don't one of my rough brothers does the business. No 
one who goes through here can escape a willywaw. How 
do you like being tousled up ? Ha ! Ha ! " 

All that the writer of this cares to say is that willywaws 
are rude things, the rudest kind of things he has ever met, 
and he's glad that you can find them nowhere else in the 
world than in Magellan Strait. Like the man who made a 
mistake in matrimony, he is willing to sing hereafter the 
old song: 

" Once was enough for him ! " 

When you got past that willywaw you began perhaps to 
speculate on the height of the mountains and you were sur- 
prised to learn that they are not high, as snow-capped 
mountains go ; that they varied in height from 3,000 to 
4,500 feet with occasionally a monster in the distance from 
5,000 to 7,500 feet tall. They looked like the Alps or the 
Canadian Rockies. You soon realized that it was because 
they rose directly from the water and there was no slope to 
them before they began to shoot upward, as is the case in 
the great mountain ranges of the earth. The fact that 
they were snowclad, like all the other great mountains, also 
made you feel as if they were as high as such elevations. 

As hour after hour passed you saw why it was that one 
writer had said that if you had taken the Himalayas, the 
Andes, the Alps, and had moved them all here and had sub- 



180 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

merged them up to their necks you would get scenery like 
that which the strait presents. As you looked at the moun- 
tains and saw the bays here and there you began also to 
realize what another writer meant when he said that a hun- 
dred Lake Comos, Lucernes and Genevas could not present 
the lordly beauty of some of these bays and inlets. Per- 
haps you compared the trip with that of the Inland Sea of 
Japan. If you did you could only say : 

" This is grand ; the Inland Sea is beautiful." 
And when we began to reach the end of Long Reach and 
to get into the wide open waters of Sea Reach and the fog 
shut us in completely many a person then was not alto- 
gether sorry, for he had been surfeited with it all. We 
went down to dinner just as the ships began to feel the 
Pacific's swells. The wind from the northwest began to 
blow violently and soon after 8 o'clock word was passed 
that we had passed Cape Pilar, where no shipwrecked mari- 
ner ever escapes, and that the fog had lifted and those on 
the bridge had caught a glimpse of it. There had been 
thirty miles of fog navigation in the strait itself. Two 
hours later as the ship was plunging and careening in the 
gale they always have a gale or extremely heavy swells 
at the Pacific entrance to Magellan we heard that the 
Evangelistas Islands, four rugged rocks with a light on 
one, had been seen, and then we turned in, knowing that in 
an hour or so the fleet would be headed due north, every 
turn of the screws bringing us nearer home. On the whole, 
every one was glad that if the fog was to be it had shut 
off the view of the mountains and glaciers and bays just 
after it had been finest. We had seen the strait at its best 
and there was not a man who did not feel something of awe 



THROUGH MAGELLAN STRAIT 181 

over it, believing as he did that he had been in sight of the 
grandest handiwork of the Creator that the earth presents. 

" And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of 
the waters and let it divide the waters from the waters. 

" And God made the firmament and divided the waters 
which were under the firmament from the waters which were 
above the firmament, and it was so." 

Any one who has sailed through the Strait of Magellan 
can easily believe it was there that God began to divide the 
waters from the waters. Any one also who has sailed 
through the strait into the heaving, tossing Pacific, wrongly 
named for that part of the world, could realize the full sig- 
nificance of what was in the heart of a sailor of the mid- 
watch who sang softly to himself as you passed him : 

" Rocked in the cradle of the deep 1 " 



CHAPTER IX 

IN AND OUT OF VALPARAISO HARBOR 

Courtesy That Means Cordial Relations for Many Years Eight 
Hundred Guns Proclaim Peace President Montt Reviews Ships 
and Congratulates by Wireless Wonderful Sailing of the Battle- 
ships Amid Thick Fog on the Rolling Pacific Formation Pre- 
served in the Dark Great Scene in the Sunlight as the Armada 
Swept In Near the Shore and Thundered Salutations to Vast 
Throng of Chileans The Animated "Welcome" Sign Meeting 
With the Chicago. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

AT SEA, Feb. 15. 

AN act of international courtesy, unprecedented in 
American naval annals at least, and probably un- 
precedented in the world's history, occurred yester- 
day in the harbor of Valparaiso, Chile, when Admiral 
Evans sailed in and out of the harbor, saluting the port 
and then the President of Chile in person. It was a demon- 
stration which in not only its immediate but its far-reaching 
effects was worth probably more than a quarter of a cen- 
tury's exchange of diplomatic notes and expressions. 

Moreover, for sundry reasons which the intelligent ob- 
server of more or less recent events can appreciate, there 
was no better place on the South American continent for 
such a remarkable performance. Especially gratifying to 
Admiral Evans were the cordial messages of thanks and es- 

182 



IN AND OUT OF VALPARAISO 186 

teem he received by wireless. The last time he sailed away 
from Valparaiso kind words did not follow him. Thus 
does time and a marked advance in naval power work won- 
ders in international affairs. 

The greatest honors that the fleet of any nation could 
pay to the head of another nation were paid to President 
Montt. They were precisely such as the fleet paid to Pres- 
ident Roosevelt on the departure from Hampton Roads. 
They differed only in their setting. The flag of another 
republic was at the main. Three times as many people 
witnessed the spectacle in Valparaiso as observed it in 
Hampton Roads. The saluting was in a foreign port, girt 
about with lofty hills instead of the low lying and far dis- 
tant shores of Chesapeake Bay. Elaborately dressed ship- 
ping, flying the flags of half a dozen nations, added color 
to the scheme. 

A great city terraced up the mountain sides made a holi- 
day to gaze, first in silence and then with cheers, at an 
armada which meant not conquest but a visible message of 
safety from conquest by European Powers, and an assur- 
ance that not only Chile but every other Power in South 
or Central America could pursue the path of commercial 
and intellectual development secure from the envy and ava- 
rice of other parts of the world. Exhibiting that fleet to 
Chile was like showing her a paid-up, interminable insur- 
ance policy of peace, made out in the name of all American 
peoples. Judging from the responses it elicited Chile 
liked the way the policy read. 

Few harbors in the world are better adapted for such a 
scene. There is no deep bay, no narrow channel to choke 
the entrance. The harbor is simply an open roadstead of 



184 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

the Pacific. All that Admiral Evans had to do was to turn 
to one side, sweep along the city front just outside the line 
of moored shipping and pass on. He was on the broad 
swells of the Pacific again within an hour from the time he 
had turned in shore. It was an hour of education for 
Chile, with a lesson in it that otherwise she could not learn 
in years, and at its conclusion there was such a genuine 
note of appreciation in the exchange of farewells that any 
student of the forces that work for good or evil in inter- 
national affairs must have been glad that the courtesy call 
was made. 

One also could understand somewhat the feelings of Ad- 
miral Evans, who, after it was all over, sent this charac- 
teristic Evans message to the fleet in words that every man 
on every ship understood thoroughly : 

" The Commander-in-Chief thanks the officers and men 
of the fleet for the handsome way they did the trick today." 

It was handsome and it was stirring. Of course the 
word trick was used by the Admiral only in a colloquial 
sense ; there was no trick about it, for it was simply going 
a little out of the way to be nice and decent to a people 
who for many years had mistrusted us and had said things 
too. But what is the use of being a big nation if you 
can't be big hearted with it and show that you don't hold 
resentments ? A thousand to one that Chile's sincere friend- 
ship will be ours for many, many years to come. 

Unusual as this cruise is, it is the unusual and unex- 
pected that have come out from it as its salient features. 
The profound indifference of the people of Trinidad to the 
fleet was unusual and something of a bump. The ex- 
uberant welcome and unrestrained hospitality of Brazil was 



IN AND OUT OF VALPARAISO 185 

unusual. The salutes to the flags exchanged between the 
fleets of Argentina and the United States on the high seas 
were unusual. The despatch of a cruiser on the part of 
Chile to its most remote port and carrying our Minister 
was unusual. The Vice-Admiral salutes given all along the 
line to Admiral Evans, whether by accident or design, were 
unusual. Having a warship escort the fleet through al- 
most the'entire length of its coast line, as Chile did, was un- 
usual. Lastly the departure from an established pro- 
gramme to run into the greatest harbor of another nation 
to fire salutes to its flag and President was unusual. 

From the moment that the fleet headed out into the 
Pacific from the Strait of Magellan, in company with the 
flagship Chacabuco carrying the flag of Admiral Simpson 
of the Chilean navy, there was much speculation as to the 
kind of reception it would receive in Valparaiso. The 
great cordiality shown by Admiral Simpson and the 
Chilean authorities in Punta Arenas bespoke the warmest 
kind of a welcome. But speculation still continued, and 
indeed there was little else to do, for a fog settled upon the 
waters, which, added to the turbulent condition of the Pa- 
cific, made the trip for several days one of comparative 
gloom. Occasionally the fog would lift and you could 
catch a glimpse of some of the other divisions of the fleet. 
Once after nearly twenty-four hours it vanished completely 
and there was a genuine ring of satisfaction over the sight 
it must have presented to the Chacabuco far off to the 
westward, for there was the entire American fleet exactly in 
position, sailing precisely as if there had been no fog to 
hide the ships from one another. But everybody knew that 
it would be so. 



186 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

" That's going some ; wonder what the Chilean Admiral 
thinks of that? " was heard on all sides. 

Then the fog shut in again and for two days more the 
fleet ploughed on. It was in a column of divisions forma- 
tion, that is, the four ships of the first division were abreast 
of one another and 400 yards apart. Twelve hundred 
yards astern the ships of the second division were in a sim- 
ilar formation. The third and fourth followed in the same 
way. Sometimes the fog was so thick that on the Louis- 
iana, which was on the left flank of the first line, we couldn't 
see our nearest neighbor, the Vermont. The Connecticut, 
off to the right, would toot her letter on the whistle, the 
Kansas would toot hers at once and then the Vermont would 
sound hers, followed by the Louisiana. The steering was 
done by compass almost entirely. Occasionally we would 
find the Vermont inching over to us and she would loom up 
out of the fog quite near, but her whistle would say : 

"Give me a little more room, please; the Kansas is 
crowding me over. When she goes back toward the flag- 
ship, or the flagship eases off a bit, I'll go back. Just a 
little room, please ! " 

Then the Louisiana would swing off and a fog bank 
would cut off sight of each other. Then there would be 
another lift and it would be found that one ship was a 
hundred yards or so ahead of the others, or perhaps that 
they were exactly in line. The searchlights on the ships 
were thrown abeam so that for most of the time it was 
comparatively easy to tell where your immediate neighbor 
was. Sometimes we could hear the ships of the other di- 
visions whistling faintly and we wondered whether the fleet 
formation had been broken seriously by currents or faulty 



IN AND OUT OF VALPARAISO 187 

steering, but every time the fog lightened there the ships 
were, shifted now and then a little, but in the main exactly 
where they should be. 

Then the Chacabuco signalled that she intended to run 
into Talcahuano, the Chilean naval port, and would send 
messages of our safe passage through Magellan and also 
notify the Chilean authorities of the hour of our arrival in 
Valparaiso. The two Admirals had agreed upon % o'clock 
on the afternoon of Friday, February 14. The day after 
the Chacabuco left, the air cleared. She agreed to meet 
us again at noon on February 13 at a certain latitude and 
longitude and sure enough shortly after 8 o'clock on the 
13th, her smoke and that of three torpedo boats accom- 
panying her was made out. On they came and they were 
abeam at exactly noon. Behind them was a large passen- 
ger steamer, loaded down with folks from Concepcion, 
Chile. That ship ran close to the fleet and gave its pas- 
sengers a fine view. Then those in the fleet knew that Chile 
took intense interest in the passage. 

It was necessary to slow to nine, then to eight and then 
to seven knots so as not to reach Valparaiso ahead of time. 
The sea calmed, the sun came out and a more perfect after- 
noon was never witnessed on the ocean. 

Daybreak on the morning of the 14th showed a lower- 
ing sky. Just before 9 o'clock the Chilean coast could be 
made out and then the fleet made one or two turns and 
twists, apparently to kill a little time. Admiral Simpson 
took his place at the head of the column which had been 
formed and his three torpedo boats took up positions on 
our right flank, the side nearest to the city in the harbor, so 
as to protect the line from any intrusion. Just before 1 



188 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

o'clock we could make out the people on the high hills 
south of Angeles Point, fittingly named for a great ceme- 
tery sloped up the hillside. The place was black with 
spectators. Around the point we could see the puffs of a 
salute, given probably by one of the forts or ships to note 
the arrival of President Montt. Then we came close to 
Angeles Point. The beach was thronged. There were 
tents where jimcracks were being sold and double decker 
tram cars were loaded to the limit. It seemed as if all Val- 
paraiso had come out to that place. The glasses were 
turned upon Fort Valdivia, just beyond Point Angeles. It 
is a naval station. 

Suddenly a midshipman discovered that there was a sign 
in English on one of its terraces. It said: 

" Welcome ! " 

" That's mighty nice to whitewash a lot of stones in that 
way, isn't it? " said an officer on the bridge. 

Three minutes later the navigator sang out: 

" Captain, that sign isn't made of stones. It's made of 
men ! " 

A dozen glasses were focussed upon the sign at once. 
Sure enough, stretched upon the terrace there lay a human 
sign, made up of sailors or naval cadets in white. It took 
three mens' length to make the height of a single letter. 
Two men were required for the top and the bottom of the 
letter O. These men must not have been entirely comfort- 
able for they lay there fully an hour, but the sign was as 
immobile as if it were made of stone. That compliment 
touched the kindly feeling of every one on the ships. It 
made a sensation. No one had ever seen anything like that. 
There was no way of answering it in kind, as you can in 



IN AND OUT OF VALPARAISO 189 

saluting; you could only look at it in dumb amazement 
and feel grateful. 

You were glad then that the compliment had been paid 
to Admiral Simpson of allowing him to lead the fleet in 
with his little cruiser no Chilean naval officer ever had 
such a post of honor and all the ships took keen notice 
of the signal from the flagship to fire a simultaneous salute 
of twenty-one guns when notice should be given. As the 
fleet turned in the glasses revealed a large collection of 
ships, some of them old whalers, lying in the harbor. 
Grand stands had been built on various eminences for the 
people and hundreds of white parasols showed that the fair 
sex was alive to the great sea-show. 

Half an hour before the fleet approached the harbor it 
was noticed that a great canopy of blue sky rested over it. 
Out where the fleet was it was still lowering. Abreast of 
Fort Valdivia the fleet emerged into the sunshine and stood 
clearly revealed. Every ship had a bright new American 
ensign at its gaff and foretruck. At every main there was 
a Chilean ensign. A fresh breeze started up and blew the 
ensigns out proudly. Nature helped dress the ships in 
their best. 

Around Point Angeles the Connecticut swept slowly and 
majestically. She got well inside the harbor and was al- 
most abeam of Duprat Point when a set of flags fluttered to 
the signal yards. They said: 

" Prepare to salute ! " 

The flags hung there until all the answering pennants 
were shown and then they wavered an instant as they be- 
gan to fall, and at once the sixteen battleships roared out a 
salvo such as no one in Chile had ever heard before. The 



190 iWITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

effect of the thunder was electric. The wind fortunately 
blew the smoke away from the ships. People on the shore 
were seen to jump and run. All along the shore line below 
Fort Valdivia they began to race back toward the city and 
harbor by the thousands. It was literally a stampede. 
Great clouds of dust engulfed them and partly hid them 
from view. It made those on the ships laugh. 

" The town has gone out too far and now has to run 
back," they said. 

Not so ; a glimpse along the waterfront showed that what 
Lieut. Gherardi, commanding the little Yankton, which had 
arrived the day before and was anchored in the harbor, all 
beautifully dressed, had sent by wireless early in the morn- 
ing was true. Gherardi said there was intense interest in 
the fleet and all the stores and banks had closed for the day. 
A clear space in front of the shipping was preserved. 
Hundreds of launches, sailboats and rowboats were out on 
the water. The hills were black. The highways running 
down to the waterfront were filled. Flags were every- 
where. All Valparaiso was out to see the great parade, 
and for a time it seemed that she was looking on in awe. 
Then there came sounds of cheering from shore and occa- 
sionally the sound of " The Star Spangled Banner " was 
Iieard as some band played it. 

In less than two minutes after the fleet had fired its salute 
Fort Valdivia responded with twenty-one guns. Then 
Ihree or four miles across the harbor at the other entrance 
puffs of smoke could be seen, showing that an army fort 
was giving its greeting and saying: 

" Glad to see you ! " 

Admiral Simpson sent a message to Admiral Evans that 



IN AND OUT OF VALPARAISO 191 

President Montt was on the training ship Gen. Baquedano, 
clear across the harbor, near Fort Callao, which had fired 
the army salute. The fleet went into the harbor, made a 
slight turn and then sailed for about half a mile in a 
straight line close to the shipping and about a mile from 
shore. Then it curved away again toward the harbor en- 
trance, following the lead of the Chacabuco. It now 
closed the entire harbor. Silently it approached an an- 
chored training ship, whose yards were manned. The ship 
was crowded with high governmental functionaries and 
their families and friends. In one corner of the bridge the 
President could be made out with glasses. The Chilean 
ensign with a coat of arms on it, the President's stand- 
ard, was at the main. When within 100 yards of the 
Baquedano the Chacabuco began its salute of twenty-one 
guns to the flag of its President. A slight interval of si- 
lence followed and then the Connecticut roared out its per- 
sonal greeting to the head of another nation. As each 
American ship approached it fired twenty-one guns. The 
air was filled with smoke, but the strong breeze blew it away 
and set the sixteen ensigns of Chile and the thirty-two of 
the United States all vibrating and snapping out almost as 
plainly as if you could hear it: 

" Hurrah ! " 

In solemn state the ships passed the uncovered President. 
He received then and there such a tribute of honor as no 
other President of Chile ever received. He saw a collection 
of worships such as no other South American President, 
with the exception of President Penna of Brazil, ever saw. 
He had the satisfaction of witnessing a friendly tribute 
such as no other nation ever received from the United 



192 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

States. Whatever was the effect upon the President and 
the people of Chile, it thrilled those on the American war- 
ships. 

For a mile or two beyond the Chacabuco led the fleet and 
then it turned and fired a salute to the American flag as it 
headed back to Valparaiso. The Connecticut answered 
with twenty-one guns for the Chilean flag, signalled to re- 
sume the cruising speed of ten knots and the spectacular 
call on the President of Chile and the people of its chief 
seaport was over. Altogether nearly 800 guns were fired 
in the saluting. It was like the roar of a battle. 

In ten minutes after the Connecticut had fired its salute 
to the President and before some of the American ships 
had begun theirs Admiral Evans sent this message to 
Admiral Simpson on the Chacabuco: 

To Admiral Simpson: 

The Commander-in-Chief of the United States Atlantic fleet begs 
that you will convey to the President of the republic in the name 
of himself, officers and men, their appreciation of the honor he has 
done them in reviewing the fleet. Please add to this my personal 
expression of highest regard. In saying good-by to you, Admiral 
Simpson, may I express the hope that we may meet again in the 
future, and let me convey herein to you the sincere thanks of my- 
self, officers and men of the Atlantic fleet for the many acts of cour- 
tesy you have extended to us. We wish you good health and all 
success. 

EVANS. 

Then Admiral Evans sent this to our Minister, Mr. 
Hicks, on the Chacabuco: 

To Minister Hicks: 

I beg that you will express to the President of the republic the 
thanks of the officers and men of the Atlantic fleet for the many gra- 
cious acts of courtesy we have received from the representatives of 



IN AND OUT OF VALPARAISO 193 

the Chilean Government since reaching their coast. I am sure that 
the people of the United States will fully appreciate the courtesies 
and that they will go far toward cementing the friendship between 
the two nations. With expressions of highest consideration for you 
personally, I remain, yours sincerely, 

EVANS. 

In five minutes the replies were being heard in every 
wireless room of the American ships. This is what Ad- 
miral Simpson said: 

To Connecticut: 

Many thanks for your very kind message which I will convey with 
the greatest of pleasure to the President, and my personal thanks 
for your good wishes in regard to myself and officers. They join 
in their good wishes for Admiral Evans and send a hearty farewell 
greeting to the Admiral and his officers and men and wish them all a 
most successful and prosperous voyage, 

SIMPSON. 

Mr. Hicks said: 

To Admiral Evans: 

Your message just received. I will deliver it to President Montt 
immediately. Kindest regards to you and your officers. The whole 
review was all that any one should ask for and I am proud of the 
fleet. Good-by and good luck to you. 

HICKS. 

Then Admiral Simpson sent this greeting from President 
Montt to Admiral Evans : 

To Connecticut: 

The President instructs me to thank Admiral Evans for his very 
kind message and for having brought the American fleet to Val- 
paraiso and to express to him his admiration of its splendid appear- 
ance. He further requests me to express to Admiral Evans his sin- 
cere hopes that his health will continue to improve and his personal 
desire that he may arrive at his destination in perfect health. 

SIMPSON. 



194* WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

This was followed by this message from Minister Prato 
of the Army and Navy of Chile and it pleased Admiral 
Evans immensely: 

To Admiral Evans: 

The Minister of War and the Navy, in the name of the republic of 
Chile, thanks profoundly Admiral Evans for the delicate courtesy 
of his salute in Valparaiso and congratulates him, the Admirals, Cap- 
tains, officers and crews under him, for the splendid demonstration 
given us to-day of seeing the power and discipline of the fleet under 
your command. With many cordial wishes for a pleasant voyage 
and also for the recovery of your health at an early date, 

BELISARIO PRATO, 
Minister of War and the Navy. 

To this greeting Admiral Evans sent the final message of 
the day through the Yankton : 

To Yankton: 

Transmit this to the Minister of War and the Navy Prato. The 
cordial welcome extended by the officials and citizens of the Republic 
of Chile has met with our deep appreciation, and I am sure that 
it will be a source of great gratification to the people of the United 
States when they learn how you have greeted us. It was a great 
pleasure to be reviewed by your distinguished President, and it gave 
me the greatest satisfaction to extend to him the same honors that 
were extended to the President of the United States on leaving 
Hampton Roads. Hoping that my action of to-day may in some 
small way draw closer the bonds of friendship which unite the two 
great republics and thanking you most gratefully for your personal 
expressions, Yours most sincerely, 

EVANS. 

It was a good day's work, and even if it did cause the 
fleet to lose a day in the run to Callao in addition to the 
one lost in Punta Arenas in answering the courtesies of the 
Chileans, no one begrudged the delay. 

The appearance of the city of Valparaiso was a distinct 



IN AND OUT OF VALPARAISO '195 

disappointment to those on the fleet who had not seen it be- 
fore. Its name means a Vale of Paradise. Was it in- 
tended as mockery ? One travel writer has said that nature 
never meant that a city should be planted there. The hills 
come down so near to the water that there is room for only 
four or five streets parallel with it. The city is strung 
along the harbor for more than two miles. To find other 
room for itself it has to climb steep hills and build homes 
on terraces. The streams have made great gullies, or 
barrancas, in their courses to the sea, and these gulches give 
a disjointed appearance to the place. There seems to be 
no continuity about it. It is irregular, tilted here and 
there and most of the hills have to be overcome with steep 
railroads, like those which climb the hills of Pittsburg or 
Cincinnati. A line of railroad with English carriages runs 
along the waterfront. The railroad finds an opening, not 
visible from the harbor, where it may escape the girdle of 
the hills. There seem to be few houses around the water- 
front. 

There was little or no color in the buildings. All seemed 
to be made of grayish mud. There was no visible verdure 
in the town. The hills were brown, as if blighted by a 
great drought. All was bleak and bare and dusty. The 
place looked barren and almost cheerless. A greater con- 
trast to hill and mountain adorned Rio de Janeiro, the last 
large city we saw, heavy with its mantle of green, could not 
be imagined than this sun-baked, brown collection of dull- 
colored buildings constituting a great seaport. The effects 
of the earthquake of last year could be seen here and there 
with a glass. Walls were broken and buildings toppled 
over. This added all the more to the forlorn appearance 



196 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

of the place, but it gave point to the exuberant welcome 
which its people gave to the fleet. 

The day before the fleet sailed into Valparaiso harbor it 
had a little celebration, somewhat unusual on the high seas, 
that was strictly American. The cruiser Chicago, bound 
for the Atlantic from San Francisco, met us. Wireless 
signals had been exchanged and about 3 o'clock in the 
afternoon the smoke of the Chicago could be made out on 
the horizon. An hour later she was approaching the flag- 
ship. Then she saluted the Admiral's flag. Every ship 
had been told to show passing honors. The guard was 
paraded, the rails manned and the band was on the quarter- 
deck. The fleet and the Chicago almost drifted by one 
another. As the Chicago passed down the line the band on 
every battleship played " The Star Spangled Banner." 
When the bars were finished on the Louisiana the band 
struck up u Home, Sweet Home." The long homeward 
bound pennant of the Chicago seemed to have an extra 
flutter in it as the notes sounded over the smooth sea. In 
many a man's throat there was a gulp. After the fleet had 
passed the Chicago hove to and lay for a quarter of an 
hour, all its men gazing as a fond relative after another 
for which fate had decreed a long separation. 

It was a pretty ceremony, and it furnished food for 
naval thought. There was the first steel ship of the United 
States navy, the flagship of the White Squadron of more 
than twenty years ago of which Americans were so proud. 
She seemed a puny thing beside any one of this fleet. The 
earliest and the latest in modern American warship build- 
ing were presented to the eye. And what an advance! 
Still the Chicago presented a smart appearance and her 



IN AND OUT OF VALPARAISO 197 

8-inch guns, with which she holds the navy record, told 
that she was still useful and she could hold up her head 
proudly. Every one was glad she was still in existence. 
Right then and there many a young American naval officer 
got a better idea of the growth and strength of the navy 
than most of his books and his study could reveal to him. 

Whatever may have been the motive that impelled Presi- 
dent Roosevelt to send this fleet on its long journey to the 
Pacific whether it was to dare Japan to resent it or to 
serve notice on that nation to be good ; whether it was for 
political effect on the Pacific Coast in the hope of rounding 
up delegates for some one candidate for President or elect- 
ing some man United States Senator; whether it was in 
accord with some suggestion perhaps that Secretary Root 
made in his trip to South America ; whether it was simply 
a desire to be spectacular; whether it was a sincere belief 
that the navy needed just such a cruise to fit it for its best 
work and the Pacific was as much entitled to see how it 
could be protected as the Atlantic; whether it was for any 
or all of these, and all have been suggested in print 
whatever it was, let this be said as to the unexpected and 
to some extent unforeseen advantages that have resulted: 

The Monroe Doctrine is to-day more of a living, vital 
thing with the nations of South America because of the 
cruise of this fleet than it has ever been since President 
Monroe penned its words. 



CHAPTER X 



Gracious and Artistic and Inspired by Cordial Friendship Sailors 
in the Bullring Work of the Matadors Considered From a Nau- 
tical Point of View Interchange of Good Wishes by Admiral 
Thomas and President. Pardo Charms of a City That Survives 
From the Middle Ages Trip 15,000 Feet Up the Andes Re- 
mains of Pizarro Journalistic Compliments and Official Enter- 
tainments. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

OFF CALLAO HARBOR, Feb. 29. 

PERU remembered ! 
Almost as trite as the saying that corporations have 
no souls, or that politics makes strange bed fellows, 
is another that in international affairs the friends of yes- 
terday, may be the foes of to-day, and that nations, as 
nations, have no memories. If it is true, Peru is the rule 
proving exception. Her gracious welcome to the Ameri- 
can fleet, from the first acclaim of greeting to the last fare- 
well, was marked by a sincerity that was peculiar in the 
exchange of international courtesies. 

There was reason for this. Of all South American 
countries none is more devotedly the friend of the United 
States than Peru. In the time of Peru's direct distress, when 
the hell horrors of war left her plundered, sacked, pillaged, 

198 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 199 

as no nation in modern times has been despoiled; when she 
was bereft of nearly her entire population of early man- 
hood; when dynamite and the torch were employed in a 
heartless exhibition of brutality to mark as permanently 
as possible the pathway of a mocking conquerer ; when the 
vandalism of victory even destroyed the trees of botanical 
gardens, robbed altars of decorations, cut paintings from 
frames to make bonfires, pillaged the savings of children, 
destroyed civic utilities for the sake of wanton destruc- 
tion ; when the conqueror struck the most terrible blow that 
a conqueror can strike, the violation of the sanctity of 
homes and be it remembered that the women of Peru 
are declared by all authority to be the most beautiful, 
proud and high spirited in the world when all this was 
done, the first nation to comfort, to advise, to shield \vas 
the United States. 

True, once or twice the United States seemed to falter 
and Peru almost cried out with bitterness because of it, but 
there was another handclasp with sincere words of real 
friendship back of it and Peru emerged from her trial 
grateful and steadfast. That was a quarter of a century 
ago and Peru said she would remember. Her hospitality to 
the great American fleet proved that she did. She is no 
longer poverty stricken. She is fairly well-to-do and 
things are looking better all the time. She lives in com- 
fort. She even wears colors occasionally. She has young 
men again and their energy is making for prosperity and 
advancement all around. To the American fleet Peru said 
as plainly as could be: 

" I am truly glad to see you. We can't do as much for 
you in the way of entertainment as our hearts could wish. 



200 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

We can't lavish wealth upon you, but such as we have is 
yours, all yours. We have remembered." 

And so it was that Peru's entertainment of the fleet was 
not extravagant or burdensome. It was delicate rather 
than effusive. It was the welcome and hospitality of high 
breeding. From the first gun of the cruiser Bolognesi, 
sent 250 miles out to sea to escort the fleet in to Callao, to 
the last " Eep ! Eep ! Eep ! Oorah ! " on the tug that fol- 
lowed us furthest to sea as we left this morning every act 
of hospitality was in perfect taste and in a spirit utterly 
foreign to vulgar display. 

Yes, Peru remembered, and its effect upon the Ameri- 
can visitors was well expressed officially by Rear Admiral 
Thomas on board the Connecticut on February 27 at a 
dinner given in honor of President Pardo when he said: 

" Nothing has been left undone that would add to our 
convenience, comfort or happiness, and, permit me to say, 
as military men, with the instinct of organization, we have 
been impressed with the perfection of every detail and the 
artistic taste displayed at every entertainment from the 
time the fleet dropped anchor in Callao Bay to the occa- 
sion of the brilliant garden party at the exposition grounds. 
But most important of all, and that which has touched our 
hearts deeply, is the warmth and sincerity of the welcome 
that has been accorded to us, so patent to all. 

" In our fleet there are nearly six hundred officers and 
fourteen thousand men, and when we reach home waters 
and in the course of time these officers and men are dis- 
persed throughout the forty-five States of the Union, visit- 
ing their respective homes, each and every one of them will 
be a missionary to carry a message throughout oux broad 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 201 

land from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Canadian 
border to the Gulf of Mexico, telling of this welcome, the 
result of which must of necessity tend to the drawing 
closer and closer the ties of union between the two republics. 
It will be a tradition to be handed down not only to our 
children, but to our children's children." 

The Admiral's speech was the fleet's answer to the formal 
welcome of President Pardo at a dinner the republic gave 
to the Americans on the night of Washington's Birthday. 
This translation of the President's words was placed in 
front of each of the guests the instant President Pardo 
finished. 

ADMIRAL: The arrival at our shores of American warships has 
always been looked forward to with the greatest pleasure by the Gov- 
ernment of Peru and her citizens, as it gives us an opportunity for 
showing the true friendship which exists between this country and the 
United States and for my countrymen to extend a cordial welcome 
to the American Navy. 

Were it possible our welcome would be augmented by the glorious 
spectacle which you present us in Callao of the starry banner waving 
from the masts of the most powerful fleet that has ever navigated the 
Pacific Ocean, as well as by your most successful accomplishment of 
this difficult voyage, which demonstrates the power and discipline of 
the American Navy, to-day universally acknowledged by the entire 
world. 

With the sincere welcome of the Government and the people of Peru 
we wish to express our admiration of the justice which has inspired 
President Roosevelt's policy in the relations of the United States 
with the Latin-American countries and their relations between them- 
selves, a policy which has met with the utmost success in the recent 
conference at Washington and assures a permanent peace in Central 
America. 

A welcome to you, Admirals and officers of the American fleet. 
Peru receives you with hearty friendship and reminds you that you 
are on friendly strands. 

On this day, when your country honors the memory of George 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Washington, the founder of its glorious independence and of its ad- 
mirable form of government, I ask you to join me in the toast I pro- 
pose. 

The prosperity of the United States, the health of its eminent 
President, Mr. Roosevelt, and that good luck may always accom- 
pany the fleet under your command. 

So much for the official welcome. The unofficial wel- 
come was everywhere. It began as soon as the ships en- 
tered Callao Bay. There are no headlands or hills sur- 
rounding the harbor, which is practically an open road- 
stead. The fleet had to anchor two miles out. The har- 
bor was crowded with all sorts of little craft laden to the 
danger point. Every tug, every launch, all the sailboats 
that could be found, rowing barges, dories, two large 
oceangoing steamers, came out to say howdy and bearing 
cheering people by the thousand. Some of the little craft 
fired national salutes with toy cannon. Those that had 
whistles tied down the cords. One tug was crowded with 
young men who insisted on giving the Cornell yell every 
time a ship passed by. 

As soon as anchors were cast a look shoreward revealed 
that tens of thousands had come to the waterfront. Later 
when one went ashore he learned that the Government had 
declared a holiday in honor of the arrival of the fleet and 
that all of Callao and Lima 9 seven miles distant, had come 
down to see the ships. The stores and shops were closed 
as if it were Sunday. Business was at a standstill. Of- 
ficial visits were begun at once, but those who could get 
away made haste to go to Lima on the modern trolley 
S3rstem which in addition to two railroads accommodates the 
traffic between the two cities. 

The visitor noted that Callao was an ill smelling place of 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 203 

garish colored houses and narrow streets a mere port of 
40,000 inhabitants and that it had many of the charac- 
teristics of some of the cities on the southern shore of the 
Mediterranean. Once out in the flat country, the visitor 
was reminded somewhat of the country between Brooklyn 
and Coney Island. Truck farms were frequent. What 
looked to be American corn was growing profusely side 
by side with banana trees and sugarcane fields. Patches 
of good old fashioned vegetables onions, cabbages, rad- 
ishes, lettuce were also under cultivation. Large herds 
of fine cattle grazed on some of the fields, and in others 
were herded splendid flocks of sheep. It looked almost 
like home. The fences alone were strange. They were 
made of thick blocks of dried mud. The entire cultiva- 
tion was dependent upon irrigation from the Rimac River, 
the splendid mountain stream that dashes down from the 
Andes in a torrent clear to the sea. 

Then one came to Lima itself, situated on a plain girdled 
by the foothills of the Andes, with its low lying houses, 
all made of mud plastered upon bamboo reeds, with not a 
roof in the city that would shed water, for in Lima it never 
rains; to Lima, the one city in the Western Hemisphere 
which has preserved a large amount of the architecture of 
the Middle Ages and is rich in traditions of the past. 
There in this city of 150,000 people with its well paved 
streets, its bustling activities, its fine climate (the tempera- 
ture never goes above 80 degrees, although the city is only 
1 degrees from the equator) and attractive people the 
Americans found plastered on every building in town a 
paper reproduction of the American flag with the words 
printed on it: 



204 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

" Welcome to the American fleet ! " 

Peru's flag was posted by its side frequently. The 
Government had done it. You see every person in town 
couldn't come up to you and tell you that he or she was 
glad to see you. He or she was; but it had to be told in 
some other way, and so these placards voiced the feeling 
of the people. If anything else were needed to complete 
the greeting it was supplied when the Diario, the leading 
newspaper of Lima, came out with halftone reproductions 
of ships, officers and the Annapolis Academy, a page of 
news in English from the United States and a formal wel- 
come to the fleet. This welcome was unique. It is worth 
reproducing at length. This is what it said: 

Every social class in our country, all the elements which make up 
the life of Peru, have attended with sincere exhilaration to contem- 
plate the gallant representatives of the power and greatness of the 
United States. 

These ships come after a trial of resistance which has proved the 
discipline, the self-denial, the moral energy, the patriotic pride of 
race, all those eminent faculties which beautify the spirit and elevate 
the personality of the great republic of the north. 

Peru has the glory and good fortune among the nations of America 
to offer its hospitable strand to serve as a shelter during the short stay 
which their itinerary imposes on our guests. 

Peru receives them with the affection of brothers, with the tradi- 
tional and courteous nobleness of our race, with the sympathetic and 
respectful admiration which the example of the great and lofty North 
American virtues awaken in our mind. 

A people which has itself worked up in its own laboratory such a 
colossal fermentation of greatness, a people which owes everything to 
the efforts, to the activity, to the work, to the initiative of its men, 
a people which has not forsworn the splendid incentives of its ideals, 
and which carries within itself as a secret impulse to irradiate its 
spirit beyond its natural boundaries, is a people which raises in all 
others the warm and ample admiration which the Americans have ex- 
perienced in the entire course of their voyage. 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 205 

The powerful fleet which to-day reaches our shores, the most for- 
midable and splendid which has stemmed the waters of this continent, 
does not come on a war footing or as a menace. A high sense of 
political prevision, the most eminent virtue of a statesman, induced 
President Roosevelt to order the movement of the Atlantic fleet to the 
Pacific coast. The illustrious governor who carries on his shoulders 
the enormous responsibility of directing this great people has proved 
himself worthy of his post, contemplating with serenity and firmness 
all future eventualities, and consistent with his pacific intentions, 
which do not exclude designs of warlike prudence, has prepared him- 
self by this spirited parade of force to prevent a war. 

No technical authority, either military or diplomatic, believes in 
the probability or imminence of a great war. The United States 
have many efficacious resources for dissolving or removing indefinitely 
the threatening and apocalyptic spectre of a universal conflagration 
such as would take place in the world, given the present aggrupations 
of factors. 

Their economic strength, their marvellous industrial richness, their 
bullion reserves, their growing population, their formidable means of 
attack and defence which we contemplate to-day, all thet>e are so 
many conservative encouragements which will help to check audacity 
and outside ambition. 

This welcome is presented to show how Lima and the 
editors of the Diarlo really tried to make the Americans 
feel at ease. Of course the printed English translation 
failed to do full credit to the excellent Castilian of the 
original, but there could be no mistaking the genuineness 
of the welcome. 

It was sincere all right, and no doubt there was a proud 
man in Lima as he contemplated the mass of fine words he 
had piled up. As soon as the paper came out and the 
Americans had passed the word along that it was great 
there was a rush to get it. The visitors stopped one 
another on the street corners to read it aloud and the general 
comment was: 



206 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

" Fine ! It makes us feel as if we were right back in 
Brooklyn. No such language as that can be read in a 
newspaper in any other place in the world except Brooklyn. 
Of course we are used to such expressions as ' colossal fer- 
mentation of greatness," ' threatening and apocalyptic 
spectre,' 'aggrupations of factors ' and the like of that 
in Brooklyn, but who would have imagined that we'd meet 
'em so far from home ? " 

And as if that wasn't enough to make it plain to the 
Americans that the freedom of the place was theirs they 
were met at the terminal of the trolley line from Callao 
with men who distributed a pamphlet of information got 
out by a firm with American names, makers and purveyors 
of a popular libation. The title page bore this inscrip- 
tion: 

" Here's happy days to the men of the American squad- 
ron!" 

The inside of the pamphlet told salient facts and gave 
statistics about Callao and Lima, informed you how to get 
about, where to go and what to see among the " points of 
interest." The way it put the matter was this : " Over 
and above a hearty welcome, here's what's worth while." 
It advised the visitors to give the sexton of the Cathedral 
a tip for showing them Pizarro's bones, but said : 

" Don't tip him too much or you'll spoil the market, 
'cause this isn't New York." 

Then the pamphlet said, sundry items of advertising 
being eliminated: 

SPECIAL NOTES. DRINKS and their PRICES." SWEAR WORDS 
and How to say them in SPANISH, etc. 

Cocktail 25 to 30 cts. peruvian equal to 15 cts. American. Whis- 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 207 

key, Gin, Sherry ("hair ace") Port (Oporto) etc. all cost the same. 
The Cocktails known here are, American, Martini, Whiskey, and 
Fresas (strawberry). 

No! is No! just as we say it, and the harder you pronounce it the 
better it is understood. 

YES ! ... .si, pronounced " see." 

Vaya....go on, pronounced as spelt (Roseveltian, excuse this). 

Sigue no mas! (seegay no mas) Drive on! 

Corida de Toros, Bull-Fight 

Plaza de Toros Bull Ring 

Toro ............ Bull 

Torero .......... Bull Fighter 

Matador ......... The Killer, this is the man who finally does the 

trick. 

Fuera Toro!!!. .. .pronounced fuera toro, "put the Bull out. he's 
no good ! Give us a Bull that Fights : 



(Blank spaces for american expressions if your Spanish runs short 
or thick.) 

While it isn't as fast as Coney Island, Luna Park, Steeplechase, 
nor the Hippodrome, you'll move quite as " fast " if you get down 
into the Ring. 

Wishing you each and all a most pleasant sojourn in this "City 
of the Kings " and a bon voyage on your journey Northward. 

Then began the exploration of Lima. Standing on one 
side of the beautiful Plaza de Armas is the great Cathedral, 
which was started in 1540 and which cost $9,000,000, 
despite the fact that its walls are of mud and, as one writer 
has said, could be run through with a fence rail in almost 
any place. It was the inside decoration that cost so much, 
for it has rare wood carvings, and once was fairly plastered 
with gold and silver stolen by Pizarro, " the pious old cut- 
throat," from the Incas. You see, Pizarro founded Lima 
in 15S5, and although he was known as the " Indian 
butcher," he began right by establishing a Cathedral, and 
there his bones in a mummified condition rest. They are 



208 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

kept in a glass case and are in a crypt. An attendant 
takes you to the coffin, lights a candle for you to read the 
inscription on the case and to peer in and you get a first 
rate look at a mummy. 

Pizarro undoubtedly knew his business well. He gath- 
ered in the millions upon millions that the Incas had saved 
up for a rainy day. It was explained that Pizarro had 
found out that it never rained where he intended to set up 
in Lima and therefore he told the Incas they really had no 
use for all that gold and he would take it, establish a city 
and give them real religion and be a missionary and all that 
for them. 

" All of which," as a bluejacket who had been reading 
up the history of the place said, " he done good and 
proper." 

Pizarro attracted the attention of thousands of the 
visitors. Not all were irreverent or flippant. Many of 
them paused a long time before the mortal remains of one 
the greatest men in historjr. You felt as if you were really 
at a shrine. 

Then the explorers visited other churches which took 
one back to the Middle Ages. There was the Franciscan 
convent and church. There was the church where the re- 
mains of Santa Rosa, the only American woman saint, rest. 
Then there were numerous other edifices with old doors 
and heavy bolts and locks, and inside some of them were 
decorated with what seemed to be solid sheets of gold about 
their pillars ; churches where there were beautiful old paint- 
ings of religious subjects, churches where the tiling was 
brought from Europe and is now almost priceless in value, 
churches where there were historic parchments. 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 209 

The visitors then went to see the Senate Chamber, with 
its carved ceiling, one of the wonders of the world in that 
line ; brought from Europe and paid for with Inca treasure 
in 1560. That room was used in the days of the Inquisition, 
which lasted longer in Peru than in Spain and was almost 
as terrible. In fact in this viceregal city, the second 
founded in the Americas by the Spanish, one could see re- 
ligious emblems at every turn. Just outside the city on a 
hill overlooking the bullring is an enormous cross, probably 
fifty feet high. Every year the society that had it erected 
makes a pilgrimage up that hill after a parade in the city 
and holds services, wherein vows to uphold the faith and 
lead lives of purity and honor are retaken. On a dozen 
other hills crosses and shrines may be seen. 

It is evident that Peru as a nation is still devout, but if 
one could have seen the crowd at the San Pedro Church 
on Sunday morning when the doors were opened and the 
beauty and high blood of Lima came out from their de- 
votions he would have been convinced that Peru is really 
no exception to other Latin American countries, and indeed 
most other countries, in that the women are the mainstay of 
the church. That beauty parade is one of the sights of 
Lima, and the Americans, officers and men, were there, side 
by side with the men of the city to see the show. 

As the visitors went about, one change, national in char- 
acter, impressed itself upon them immediately. Every 
writer on Peru has commented on the fact that the head- 
dress of the women, worn universally, is the black manta. 
It is said that it is a relic that has come down from the 
Incas when they put on mourning for their great chief 
Atahualpa. Rich and poor have worn that headdress on 



210 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

the street for centuries. It was an established institution. 

Well, it is going. About one-half of the women, some 
of them in good circumstances evidently, wore mantas on 
the streets, but as for the rest well, a man has no busi- 
ness to write about women's hats. All that this man can 
say is that he never saw more dazzling specimens of flower 
gardens than those bobbing around over the graceful 
drapery with which the Peruvian women adorn themselves. 

Thus does fashion war successfully upon established cus- 
tom. The Peruvian woman loves a beautiful hat just as 
much as any other woman on earth. Moreover, what is 
said about her surpassing beauty is true. Given great 
beauty and the love of a hat on the part of a woman 
what chance has a black manta got? The manta has got 
to go and is going. Truly this is a world of change and 
there are those who will say it is one of decay, but let no 
one breathe that in a fashionable millinery shop in Lima. 

Then came more sightseeing. All the clubs of the city 
were thrown open. All the postal card shops had extra 
supplies. 

" English Spoken Here " was posted on the windows and 
doors of scores of shops. One sign that was amusing to 
the Americans read: 



AMERICAN SPOKEN HERE. 
BUY A SEWING MACHINE. 



The first formal entertainment came on the night of 
Washington's Birthday, when the officers of the fleet were 
the guests of the republic and the President at dinner. 
The banquet was given at the exposition grounds, a park 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 211 

where sundry exhibits of great worth from the standpoint 
of history, natural history, commerce, education and the 
like, are preserved. The dinner was in the grand hall of 
the main building. The decorations were almost exclu- 
sively of the colors of Peru, red and white. On the stage 
an immense orchestra was massed and the American colors 
were used there for decorations. That band played as 
only a trained South American band can play. 

It was the opinion of naval officers who have dined the 
world over, with kings and emperors, with great welcoming 
committees and the like, with Government guests of our 
own in Washington and New York, that they had never 
attended a better managed affair than that dinner in Lima. 
Not only was the dinner perfect from an epicurean stand- 
point but the service matched it. Every appointment was 
in the best taste. Not the slightest detail was lacking. 
The American officers grew enthusiastic and when Presi- 
dent Pardo finished his address of welcome there was tremen- 
dous enthusiasm. The President, after Admiral Thomas 
had made his reply, arose and walked into a beautiful illu- 
minated garden and there the diners met him socially and 
found this young man, who represents what Peru has 
needed most for years, a commercial and not a military gov- 
ernment, delightful and unassuming, with a grasp upon 
matters of statesmanship which showed that not only was 
he practical in his management of the country but a good 
deal of a scholar. Pardo believes in education rather than 
the sword, in the development of commerce rather than in 
personal aggrandizement and the display of military force. 

Then there was a garden party at Minister Coomb's 
home, a beautiful place; the garden party of the munici- 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

pality at the exposition grounds, pronounced by all the 
naval officers as the finest thing of the kind they ever at- 
tended; the delightful ball at the National Club and the 
excursion to the famous Inca ruins of Pachacamac. The 
officers had the eminent archaeologist, Dr. Unhe, to explain 
the wonders of the Temple of the Sun, the other buildings 
and the hundreds of specimens of pottery, metal and other 
things recovered from the ruins at Pachacamac. 

But with all these functions there were two others offered 
by the Government as the chief things in the way of en- 
tertainment, a bull fight and a trip up the wonderful Oroya 
railroad to the top of the Andes Mountains, the highest 
place in the world reached by a railroad. 

Now, as to that bull fight. Let it be said at once that 
in the main it was like all other bull fights, described thous- 
ands upon thousands of times. All the trappings and fit- 
tings were there. Of course, the bulls had no show. They 
had to die, six of them. It was just as brutal as Americans 
are wont to call such exhibitions, with the exception that 
no horses were allowed to be disembowelled and killed. 
Peru up to two years ago had always fought bulls with the 
horse killing feature eliminated. For that reason many 
persons regarded her bull fighting as the best in the world. 
Two years ago the people demanded a change and horses 
were gored in the style of Spain's best brutality. Out of 
respect for the Americans, and by order of the President, 
the horse-goring feature was omitted this time. 

There was plenty of excitement. All three of the mata- 
dors were injured. One was tossed by the first bull three 
minutes after the animal had entered the ring. That 
settled the famous Bonarillo. He went out of business. 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 213 

Another matador, Padilla, was gored in the throat by the 
fifth bull and for a time it was thought that he was injured 
mortally. The third matador was scraped up the side by 
the last bull as the death thrust was delivered, and Lar- 
gartijillo chico, the young Largartijillo, just as we say 
Young Corbett, came near going to dwell with his fathers 
eternally. 

Oh, yes, there was lots of excitement and agility and skill 
and all that, but why describe a bullfight as a bullfight? 
No story is older. What was peculiar about this fight was 
the presence of 3,000 American sailors. That's a different 
story. You want to know how Jack saw it and what he 
said and thought and did. You can see bullfights any 
time you want to pay for them; you can't see American 
bluejackets at such a spectacle as the chief guests of a 
Government, and that's what made this fight tremendously 
interesting. 

Well, this one was held in the famous ring almost as old 
as Lima. Six bulls from the famous stock of Rinconada 
de Mala, the property of Dr. Don Jesus de Asin, had been 
provided. They were the fightiest bulls in all Peru ; and to 
make sure that they would do their best they had been 
teased privately beforehand. The fight, as the handbills 
announced, was a " grand gala," one given " in honor of 
the North American squadron to celebrate its happy arrival 
at the port of Callao." 

Well, the hospitality of the Government went further, 
for it named the bulls in honor of the fleet. The first bull 
was " the gallant Alfred, in honor of Admiral Evans " ; 
the second, " the heroic Ranger, in honor of Admiral 
Thomas " ; the third, " the Brave Teddy, in honor of Ad- 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

miral Emory " ; the fourth, " the Shufly, in honor of Ad- 
miral Sperry " ; the fifth, " Ban j o, in honor of the officers 
of the navy " ; the sixth, " Yankee Doodle, in honor of the 
sailors." Could hospitality go further than that? 

About 175 men from each ship and all the officers of the 
fleet were invited. The sailors filled two-thirds of the arena 
and the officers and the high society of Lima filled the boxes. 
All had assembled on time, and then came the President to 
sit in the box directly opposite that of the officers of the 
municipality, with chairs of red plush for the box and a 
dais for the President, who was in evening dress. The 
American Admirals and Captains were in that grand box. 
The Peruvian band played " The Star Spangled Banner " 
and the bluejackets stood at attention and then all hands 
cheered. When the President came and the Peruvian 
national hymn was played, the bluejackets gave three rous- 
ing cheers for Pardo and Peru. Then all was ready for 
business. The key was tossed into the ring for the parade 
of the fighters, capeadores, banderilleros, matadors, the rig 
to pull the dead bulls out, and all that. 

The Americans were all intense. The fighters took their 
stations, the Mayor gave the word, a bugle blew, a door 
was opened and a great brown and black bull with horns, 
as one of the local newspapers described them, " like the 
spires of a steeple," bounded into the ring, took one look 
around and dashed madly after an aged horseman riding 
a beautiful iron gray pony and flaunting a red cape over 
his mount's flanks. There were two of these horsemen and 
the exhibition they gave of fine riding would have put the 
best cowboy or rough rider to shame. The man the bull 
put after was more than eighty years old and the way he 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 215 

twisted his pony here and there and just escaped the lunges 
of that bull, turning sharp angles, pulling up short, mak- 
ing his horse fairly leap out of the way, dodging this way 
and that until the bull was astonished elicited roars of ap- 
plause from the bluejackets. They liked that part. Then 
a younger man took up the same work. He was even 
more skilful. Bullfighting was fine so far. 

But let Bill Watkins, bos'n's mate, be heard from. 
Bill, you see, had been to these things before in his gyra- 
tions round the world, now having five stripes on his sleeve. 
Bill gathered a group of younsters about him and in- 
vited the Sun man to come along to have a bullfight " ex- 
plained proper." 

"You see," said Bill, "these Spiggoties (a sailor term 
applied to Latin Americans because they say * Me no spig- 
goty English') think they know all about bullfights. 
They doesn't, to use good grammar. You want to look 
at 'em from the standp'int o' seamanship an' gunn'ry. 
There's where you get the real benefit. Why, many a 
middy c'n learn more 'bout seamanship an' gunn'ry here 
than he kin from two years on a bridge. I tell ye these 
bullfights oughter be in the kricklum, or whatever they call 
it, at Annapolis." 

Just then a bugle blew telling the mounted cape men to 
give way to those on foot. Bonarillo, the matador, ad- 
vanced with a purple lined cape " to feel the bull out." 
He waved the garment gracefully from side to side. The 
bull dashed at him. Bonarillo's foot caught in the corner 
of the cape, the bull gathered him on his horns and agilely 
tossed him over one shoulder and then dashed away after 
another capeador. Bonarillo tried to get up, but couldn't. 



216 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Soon he was carried out of the ring. Glory was not to 
be his that day. Bill took it all in and explained : 

" There ye go ! Ye see, that matador ought ter re- 
membered that he was in shoal water. He thought he 
c'd navigate 'thout takin' soundin's or gettin' bearin's. 
That bull had his range all right, but his deflection was 
poor. When the bull got 'im under the leg with his horn 
that shot sure counted. The bull hoisted 'im all right, 
but the man who was tendin' the fall let 'im go by the run 
when it came to lowerin' away. There, the wreckin' tugs 
have got 'im ! Now they're carryin' 'm 'behind the break- 
water. It's the drydock for cocky Bonarillo, all right. 
Mighty poor seamanship and just ordinary gunn'ry fer 
the bull ! You see, 'twas only a pot shot." 

Then the cape men began to wave their emblems at the 
bull. Now and then the bull would catch one of the capes 
in his horns and toss it to the ground and trample on it. 
The men had to run for the shelters often. The bull was 
fresh. Bill explained: 

" Ye mustn't take too many chances in a fresh breeze. 
There, ye see, that fellow's let his lower stu'nsail get car- 
ried away. He didn't shorten sail soon enough. The man 
at the wheel let 'er luff too soon, and come to against the 
helm. Don't never belay no sheet ! " 

Then came the signal for the banderilleros to sink their 
darts in the shoulders of the bull. One of them would 
catch the bull's attention and they would rush toward 
each other. The banderillero would change his course 
after the bull got under way and by just grazing his horns 
would plant the darts in his shoulders. The first man got 
rousing cheers. From his darts two flags unfurled. One 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 217 

was that of Peru and the other that of the United States. 
It was supposed to be a pretty compliment to the Amer- 
icans. Bill explained how the banderillero did it : 

" Say, did y' see that feller? He stands close hauled 
right up to the weather mark, then he bears up and passes 
to leeward, with his lee rail awash. He's been whaling 
all right we was eighteen months in the Mozambique 
once, when I was whaling out of New Bedford, and our 
iron man always took his fish like him. Ye see, ye stands 
yer course right up to the animal, then give a rank sheer, 
heave, and let him go by ! " 

The bull was now very tired. Padillo, the second 
matador, came out, bowed to the authorities and asked the 
President's permission to kill the bull. He got it and it 
was up to him to do it. He waved his bright red cape, 
sheltering his sword, repeatedly in front of the bull, step- 
ping aside just in time to escape the horns. The bull was 
dazed. Then Padillo stood about ten feet away, poised 
his sword to take aim and rushed on the bull. The sword 
did not hit the fatal spot. The thrust was a failure. 
Bill said : 

" Ah he's a bum pointer ! A guy what's been in 
training as long as he has and ain't got no better sense 
than to fire before he's steady on don't deserve to hold the 
rate. Mighty poor gunn'ry that ! " 

Again the matador failed. The sword went in deep. 
Muscular contraction, which had forced the first sword out, 
failed to move this one and a capeador threw his cloak 
over the weapon deftly and drew it out. Again there 
was a failure to kill, but the bull was almost exhausted. 
He sank to .his knees, got up and made one more lunge at 



218 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

Padillo, who then sank the sword to the hilt in the proper 
place and all was over. There were cheers, but Padillo 
hadn't done well. Bill said: 

" Say's he's a bum reefer and a yardarm f urler. I'll 
bet that guy's a trimmer. Ye can tell by the cut of his 
jib that he's in everybody's mess and nobody's watch. 
He's jack outside the lift when the liberty party's called 
away, but sick bay for him when the coal comes along- 
side." 

The second bull, Ranger, gave the horsemen plenty to 
do. He soon had the aged horseman in difficulty. Time 
and again the horseman, looking over his shoulder, 
flaunted his cape this way and that; but it was evident 
that the bull could not be escaped easily. All the fighters 
became nervous. At last the bull made a thrust that 
caught the beautiful iron gray pony in the flank with a 
deep wound. The cape men interfered at once and the 
horseman rode away to safety. Bill had this to say : 

" There, that rider went wrong ! The bull was after 
him under full sail and was yawin' 'round three or four 
p'ints each side o' the course and rollin' and pitchin' some- 
thin' awful. That man on the horse, the picalilly, or 
whatever ye call 'im, tried to give the bull the right o' way, 
although, bein' close hauled, he should a-held his weather 
helm on 'im. However, not obeyin' the rules o' the road, 
he starts to give way, but at the critical moment the bull 
makes a yaw to port, rams the horse in the starboard quar- 
ter. The picalilly man tops his boom, stands to the east- 
ward and tries to put his collision mat over. He should 
a-put his helm over the other way. Poor work, poor 
work!" 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 219 

So the fight went on. Padillo killed another bull, but 
he had three failures at thrusts before the beast sank down 
and died. There were hisses for him, and some of the 
bluejackets shouted: 

" Take him out and put him in a minor league ! " 

Lagartijillo chico killed the third bull and did no better 
work. There was a diversion in this fight. A banderillero 
sat on a chair and made the bull charge at him. The 
banderillero rose just as the bull reached him, planted his 
darts in the animal's shoulders and leaped to one side. It 
was a beautiful piece of work, and the bluejackets roared 
their applause. Bill approved the seamanship and said: 

" That man on the chair apparently didn't have no 
more chance than an ice skatin' rink in Zanzibar, not to 
mention a hotter place, usin' a shorter and uglier word. 
He shifted his moorin's jest in time. It was too late to 
repel boarders, but he got away. Fine seamanship for 
the man! Poor work by the bull! He ran down the 
moorin' buoy, that was all, and splintered it all fell and 
gone. Ye see the man got the right to choose position 
and fire at will. That's a great thing. Jest remember 
that lesson." 

In the same fight one of the men took a long pole, ran 
straight at the bull, planted the pole directly in front of 
the animal and vaulted clear over him, coming down just 
as the bull hit the pole. In his descent the man seized 
the bull's tail and gave it a twist. Bill was delighted. 

" Lay aft to the braces ! Weather main and lee crojic 
braces! Hard down there! Lay yer maintops'l to the 
mast. No ! by ! Hard down ! He's going to wear 
sharp 'round and bring up to windward of him ! Say, that 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

feller's a sailor all right every hair a rope yarn, every 
finger a fishhook and every drop of blood a drop of tar." 

Padillo killed the fourth bull and made his usual num- 
ber of failures. The fifth bull, Banjo, aroused the sym- 
pathy of the crowd. He fought magnificently. He 
would not be tired out. It came time to kill him. Padillo 
w r ent after him with his cape and the bull deftly caught 
him, lifted him in the air, and he fell beside Banjo and 
rolled under the animal. Down went the horns to gore 
him. The cape men fluttered all around. Padillo curled 
himself up in a ball. The bull stepped this way and that 
and then charged off after a cape man, leaving Padillo 
unharmed but his nerve gone. He went after the bull 
again. He was deathly pale about the mouth. One of 
his legs trembled violently. Deathlike stillness was over 
the ring. 

Soon the bull began to tear his cape from his hands, a 
disgrace. Once, twice, three times the bull did this. The 
Peruvians were enraged. They cried " Shame ! " Padil- 
lo's father, who was in the ring, tried to explain that it 
was a bad bull and invited the critics to come and try it 
themselves. Almost beside himself, Padillo made three 
rushes at the bull without taking proper aim, in the hope 
of catching the animal unawares and giving him a death 
thrust. The fourth time he gave the thrust. 

The bull saw him coming, did not lower his head, and 
just as Padillo placed his sword in the neck the bull raised 
his head, caught Padillo on his horns, one of them pene- 
trating under the chin and entering the mouth cavity. A 
cry of horror went up. Padillo fell but got up quickly, 
and with a look of mighty disgust saw the bull reel away. 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 221 

Then, catching himself by the throat and staggering for- 
ward Padillo ran to the enclosure from which the bull had 
entered, a distance of about twenty feet, the blood stream- 
ing from his wound. He dropped just inside the en- 
closure and word was passed around that bull and man 
had each given the other the death thrust. Tragedy could 
not have been more complete had it been true, but Padillo 
went to a hospital and didn't die. There were thousands 
of Americans who said they really did feel a little sorry 
for the bull. Bill Watkins explained the poor gunn'ry 
of Padillo. 

" Up in the air ! Up in the air ! Come down out of 
the balloon ! Say, he's like a landsman at a 13-inch gun 
with a misfire don't know what to do with it himself 
and can't give it away. Take him out of the hood ! Give 
him an air gun ! Let him blow soap bubbles ! Don't fire 
until the gun's loaded, sonny ! There, the operating lever 
caught him in the mush ! Yer better keep out of the line 
of fire next time ! " 

The last bull was killed by Lagartijillo. It was the 
same story, except that just as the matador gave the 
deathblow the bull hooked him along his right side and 
tore his clothes. He had a narrow escape. His wounds 
were only bruises. As the bull sank down dying fully 200 
bluejackets jumped into the ring to follow the example of 
two who earlier in the fight had leaped in and secured 
the darts in an animal's neck for moment oes. They 
swarmed at Yankee Doodle. He saw them coming and as 
they seized the darts rose to his feet and tried to lunge at 
some of them. It was too much and he fell as the men 
began to scatter and died at once. Bill said: 



222 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

" Fine work ! He tried to repel boarders, and he done 
it, too ! If yer ship's sinldn' and it's yer last gasp don't 
never fergit to repel boarders. Ye kin go to glory satis- 
fied then. They ought ter named that bull Cumberland." 

Bill explained the day's events : 

" Ye see, the bull ain't got no chance after his ammuni- 
tion is gone. He was firm' his last 3-inch guns when he 
got that Padillo feller. It's a case o' destroyers and gun- 
boats fightin' an unarmored cruiser with a short supply o' 
ammunition. When that gives out the cruiser is bound to 
go. Some o' the destroyers gets put out, as Bonarillo 
and Padillo did, but there's no use in goin' t' sea unless 
ye got full magazines and ain't cut off from your sup- 
plies. Oh, yes, there's lots o' things to learn from these 
bullfights ! " 

Then Bill shifted his quid and joined the crowd going 
out. The bluejackets didn't care much for the sport. 
Some of them left after the third fight and there was a 
steady stream from the ring afterward. Those who re- 
mained had this one comment: 

" One feller got it in the neck got the hook, all 
right!" 

The writer holds no brief for the defence of bull fight- 
ing, but he wishes to say that the exhibition, with the 
goring of horses left out, was no more disgusting than a 
prize fight between two bruisers. Any contest that has 
the letting of blood as its chief feature may, be called 
sport if its devotees so choose. This fight was no more 
brutal than shooting at bears from a safe distance and 
was not half so cruel as wounding a deer and allowing it 
to drag itself away and die in suffering. The bulls were 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 223 

in pain from the darts and showed it from time to time, 
but in their rage forgot the pain after an instant or two. 
Giving them a thrust in the heart was no more cruel in the 
way of killing than it is to hang up a turkey or a chicken, 
cut its throat and let it bleed to death. 

Death came almost in an instant to the bulls. The 
fighters risked their lives dozens of times. The bull had 
a fair show at them. Their quick movements, hairbreadth 
escapes, showed that nerve and rare skill were required. 
Compared with prize fighting where two sluggers cover 
themselves with blood, and when one is staggering about 
from exhaustion the other gives him a blow that makes 
him unconscious well, the writer says unhesitatingly that 
he prefers the Peruvian bull fight. It all depends, you 
see, upon the point of view. 

Only a limited party could be the guests of the Govern- 
ment on the Oroya Railroad trip. It was known as the 
official party. An unofficial party with an engine and a 
passenger car followed. This Oroya Railroad was started 
by Henry Meiggs, the defaulting partner of Ralston in 
California who fled to Chile, got rich and paid up his 
debts. In 1869 he went to Peru and started this railroad. 

Peru had money to spend then. Meiggs finished the 
road up the mountains as far as Chicla in 1876, and then 
the money gave out. More than $26,000,000 had been 
spent going eighty-eight miles. Later the Peruvian 
Corporation finished the road to Oroya, on the other side 
of the Andes, and connections have been made with the 
road to the famous Cerro de Pasco mines, owned by Mr. 
Haggin and other American millionaires. Two other 
branches have been built and ultimately it is planned to 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

extend the road to the headwaters of the Amazon in Peru, 
so as to give the country on the east of the Andes an 
outlet to the Atlantic Ocean for its products. 

The highest place on the line is Galera tunnel, under 
Mount Meiggs. It is 15,665 feet high. The distance is 
106 miles from Callao. There is not an inch of down 
grade in the climb. There are no less than fifty-seven 
tunnels. Bridges over chasms and foaming cascades and 
the River Rimac, whose course the road follows, are num- 
bered by the score. For forty-seven miles it is a steady 
climb beside the Rimac torrent in a desolate country, with 
the mountains red and bare. There is no rainfall in that 
district. 

Then you come to where the river is hemmed in by 
mountain gorges, and you have to climb by means of 
switchbacks. Up you go, tilting this way and that, be- 
yond two layers of clouds. The sides of the mountains 
become green. You are now in the land of the ancient 
Incas. Abandoned terraces that lose themselves in the 
clouds flank scores of mountain sides. The Incas raised 
their products there by some system of irrigation. 

Fine specimens of trees appear, fruit orchards with 
chirimoyas, palta, nispero and pacay, and willow and pep- 
per trees in abundance. The flowers begin to greet you, 
the heliotrope, solanaceas, spurge and cacti all around. 
Back and forth you seesaw with massive, towering moun- 
tains above you and several lines of tracks far below you. 
Now and then you come upon a little town thousands of 
feet in the air. 

Then you reach a place where a smelter sends its blasts 
up in the skies, and you begin to see what supports this 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 225 

road. A footpath or trail climbs the ravines, and you see 
scores of llamas bearing their burdens and driven by the 
native Indians. A hundred cascades, some of them with 
the beauty of Yosemite's Bridal Veil leap with their spray 
down the sheer cliffs. The lights and shadows paint the 
bare rocks delicate hues, such as you cannot see even in a 
sunset glow. 

You come to the famous Verrugas bridge, 575 feet long 
and 225 feet high, in its day the greatest feat of railroad 
engineering ever known. You are now in a belt twelve 
miles long where no tourist can live, for there the Ver- 
rugas fever rages. It is one of those strange local diseases 
found occasionally in the world peculiar to a small zone 
and baffling to medical science. 

You see crucifixes all along the route. Still you climb 
and climb and you see ragged edges of mountains above 
you which you know you will surmount. You come to a 
dead stop against the face of a mountain thousands of feet 
high. You back away up its side, and little by little, twist- 
ing and turning you lift yourself above another cloud 
layer. 

The air gets cold, a dash of rain comes as you pass 
through the clouds. At 10,000 feet high a sharp pain 
runs through your ears. You take several long gasps of 
breath and it passes away. A slight headache comes at 
12,000 feet. It passes away and finally you reach the 
tunnel and emerge on the other side of the Andes with 
the snow all about you and you throw a few snowballs and 
start back. Your head begins to feel strange. At 18,000 
feet it aches violently. The ache is as near like the morn- 
ing-after headache as can be. In the official party not 



226 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

one person escaped it. Half a dozen strong men became 
sick at the stomach and had violent attacks of vomiting. 
The mountain sickness was on. Other men were laid out 
in the cars prostrate. 

At this stage came a complication. Heavy rains had 
been falling below and word was telegraphed that there 
were four washouts and the party would have to stay in 
the mountains all night. The faces of the railroad offi- 
cials became grave. To keep that party at the height of 
13,000 feet all night might prove almost fatal to some. 
It was this trip which brought on the illness that ulti- 
mately killed the late Dr. Nicholas Senn. 

Word was sent that by care the train might descend as 
far as 10,000 feet. A handcar was sent on as a pilot and 
in the darkness and snow that train was piloted down those 
mountain declivities, where the least slip of the earth would 
have sent it hurtling down cliffs thousands of feet. The 
pace was only five miles an hour. 

The sickness did not diminish until at 11 o'clock at 
night Tamboraque was reached, where the unofficial party 
of officers which had not gone up the full height was 
stalled. There was one inn with four beds and ninety 
men to occupy them. The unofficial party was in full 
possession. They had organized the Society of the Llama, 
Landslide Chapter. They had a merry night. The offi- 
cial party, sick, worn out, turned in to sleep in car seats. 
The next morning by walking around landslides and meet- 
ing trains in the gaps the party was got down to Callao. 
Several did not get over the mountain illness for three 
days. It was a magnificent trip in the grandest scenery 



PERU'S WARM-HEARTED GREETING 227 

in the world, but mountain sickness, all concurred, was 
worse than seasickness. 

By way of return entertainment by the fleet a dinner 
was given to President Pardo on the Connecticut, and then 
a fleet reception was held on the same ship the day before 
sailing. This morning President Pardo boarded the Pe- 
ruvian cruiser Almirante Grau and the fleet thundered out 
twenty-one guns on each ship in unison. The Grau 
passed out to sea and orders were signalled from the flag- 
ship to get under way. Then the fleet passed by President 
Pardo in the best of style, each ship firing a salute as it 
went by. It made a fine spectacle. The honors were 
the same as paid to President Roosevelt in Hampton 
Roads, President Penna at Rio and President Montt at Val- 
paraiso. 

President Pardo sent his thanks by wireless and got a 
fine reply of appreciation from Admiral Evans, and it was 
good-by to Peru, with the sounds of cheers coming over 
the water and the sight of fluttering handkerchiefs from 
thousands ; the last salute. 

True it was Peru had remembered, and those who had 
called on Dr. Polo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, began 
to realize the significance of the fact that in his office there 
hangs just one picture. It is the portrait of an American 
statesman James G. Elaine. 



CHAPTER XI 

TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA BAY 

High Tension on the Fleet Effect of Target Shooting on Man-o'- 
War Crews Splendid Advantages of Magdalena Bay Making 
the Targets and Clearing for Action Why They Are All Nervous. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, Battle Fleet, 

MAGDALENA BAY, March 22. 

"W If THEN Admiral Evans's fleet arrived in Magda- 
^/ ^/ lena two days ahead of schedule time there was 
undoubtedly a sense of relief in official circles 
in Washington over what was practically the termination 
of the long cruise to the Pacific, and also one of gratifica- 
tion because the ships, as Admiral Evans notified the Navy 
Department, were in better condition than when they left 
Hampton Roads and ready for any duty within an hour's 
notice. 

On the fleet there was no sense of relief over the safe 
and prompt arrival. That was taken as a mere matter of 
course. It is true every one was a little proud over the 
performance of the fleet and glad that it had shaken itself 
into a homogeneous unit and was in first class fighting 
condition, not as separate battleships but as a fleet. In 
the matter of cruising the fleet at last was as one ship and 
lots of useful things had been learned. 

On the ships the arrival was marked by just the oppo- 

228 




Copyright by A. Dujtont 

Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 

site feeling from relief and gratification. The officers and 
men frankly were not in a placid state of mind. All were 
under an intense tension. They were what might be called 
wrought up. What, you say, American men-o'-wars men 
in a nervous condition one that actually showed itself 
in their work and their play? No, not in their play, for 
there wasn't any. Well, but sea fighters nervous? Not a 
mother's son of them would admit such a thing. Prepos- 
terous ! Men with nerves on warships ? Well, perhaps not 
nerves as the ordinary person speaks of these anatomical 
cutups, but certainly something was the matter with all 
hands. Evidences of what the cub reporter would call sup- 
pressed excitement were plenty everywhere on every ship. 

What was it all about? What was the matter? The 
answer is very simple and short: 

The time to begin shooting had come that was all. 

But why get worked up over that, you ask? Shooting 
is what a navy is for. Of course ; and in the old days real 
shooting was done only in time of war. The navy no 
longer waits for war to learn how to shoot. Twice a year 
it has exhaustive target practice once for what is called 
record and once for battle practice. 

Record practice is at a target at exactly a known dis- 
tance. Every gun on every ship is fired individually at 
that target. Battle practice is at a target that simulates 
in size and distance the ship of an enemy. All the guns 
of the ship that reach that range are fired apparently 
helter-skelter for a given number of minutes. The range 
in that case has to be found out. 

Record practice is held to qualify gun pointers, or, as 
the English call it, gun layers. Its purpose is to find out 



230 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

the best shooters in the ship and to give them practice. 
Battle practice is to give these gun pointers an opportunity 
of displaying their skill in what would seem to be slam- 
bang work, but what is really the result of months, and 
even years, of scientific training of the eye and hand and 
of the mind in knowing just when to pull a trigger or 
snap a lanyard at exactly the right fraction of a second. 

You see, the secret of success in fighting on the sea, as it 
is practically in every kind of fighting, lies after all in 
what the Western man calls " getting the drop on the 
other fellow." The way to get that drop on warships 
is to find out the men who can shoot straightest and 
fastest and can keep their nerve, and then be prepared to 
turn 'em loose when war comes. The target practice here 
has been of that kind, to pick out and train gun pointers. 
It was record practice exclusively. 

So far as this fleet is concerned this cruise was chiefly 
for this purpose. Aside from mere cruising and getting 
shaken down the officers and men had their minds and their 
energies centred on shooting guns. No matter what was 
the reason why the fleet was sent to the Pacific, the officers 
and men passed it by as something that concerned them 
only incidentally. They take their orders to go here or 
there with simply passing interest. They obey. Their 
one idea, their chief work, mentally and physically, during 
the entire cruise has been to prepare for this target shoot- 
ing. To them it was the business end of the cruise. 

Some people think that the purpose of the cruise was to 
go calling internationally, to say " How d'y do ? " and 
fire salutes, the officers to be entertained with receptions 
and dances and dinner speeches and the men to have lib- 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 

i 
erty on shore, with a chance to get a drink of real red 

" likker " ; some might say that the purpose was to get 
data as to the cruising ability of the fleet ; some might say 
it was to get the men used to what might be called the 
navy habit; some might say it was to gain experience in 
meeting problems of warship navigation; some might say 
it was for other than strictly naval reasons, to make a 
show of strength or to satisfy a public clamor or advance 
a political plan. 

Whatever ideas others may have had about the cruise, 
the officers and men have had only one, as a matter of 
business and daily toil, and that was that the cruise would 
have its real naval culmination in target shooting in Mag- 
dalena Bay. That was what it was for to the men on these 
ships, and from the very hour the ships said good-by at 
Hampton Roads every effort was made to get them in 
fighting condition as a fleet entity. The target practice 
was to reveal whether they had done good work in strictly 
naval business. To the fleet the cruise was no spectacular 
parade around a continent; it was to prepare to shoot in 
the finest naval shooting place in the world, Magdalena 
Bay. 

Every one was glad to see Magdalena Bay because of 
this tension. It is a splendid sheet of water, in a general 
way about fifteen miles long and ten wide, with a narrow 
entrance and water just deep enough for safe manoeuvring 
and good anchorages everywhere. A line of sharp crested 
hills shuts it in from sight of the Pacific. There is only 
one village on it, consisting of about twenty dwellings, and 
no commerce in its waters. The shores on the inside are 
flat and there is a good horizon. The warships of thes 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

world might find an anchorage here without crowding one 
another. It is cut off from the rest of the world, in a 
desolate, barren region, and was designed apparently by 
nature for the very purpose of modern target shooting. 

It seems a pity that American statesmanship years and 
years ago could not have had the foresight to secure it, 
when such a course would have been easy, for use of the 
navy, when a great naval station could have been built 
up and proper use of the place for strategical purposes 
could have been made certain. With a naval station on 
Puget Sound, one in San Francisco and this one on Mag- 
dalena Bay, the entire Pacific Coast within our immediate 
sphere of action would have been within our grasp. Oh, 
yes ; it's a pity too bad that we do not own Mag- 
dalena Bay. Perhaps an effort to secure it would still be a 
most desirable field for the exercise of statemanship. One 
feels like suggesting to Washington to get busy and keep 
busy. 

As soon as the fleet came to anchor there were things 
doing. On every ship what is known as bore sighting had 
to be done. That means that a telescope sight had to be 
inserted in the exact axis of the bore of the gun and the 
sighting telescopes had to be so adjusted that they were ex- 
actly in line with the centre of the gun. It had to be 
proved scientifically that when the sights of the gun were 
exactly on a bullseye with their cross wires the centre of the 
gun was also exactly on the same spot. Every sight on 
every gun had to be tested and checked up, and it was 
tedious work. But you couldn't shoot straight without it, 
and it took hours and hours of most careful adjustment to 
make sure that all was in perfect condition. 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 233 

Then came the laying out of the ranges. This required 
careful surveying. An equilateral triangle had to be laid 
out for each range. Along one side, the base, spar buoys 
with flags on them had to be fixed, and buoys fixed further 
along at each end, so as to give a ship an opportunity of 
getting on the exact range in its turnings. At the apex 
of each triangle a great raft of thick timbers and poles on 
it for the targets had to be put in position. All this took 
time, but it was surprising how quickly the work was done. 

And then the targets had to be brought out. Now the 
ship's crew had been working on those targets in spare mo- 
ments for several weeks. Each ship had less than fifty and 
more than twenty-five of them to make. The biggest tar- 
gets are for the smaller guns and the smallest ones for the 
larger guns. The size is proportional, as the experts put 
it, to " the angle of fall," and the size also represents, they 
tell you, " the mean error of fire " of a gun. Well, the 
angle of fall and mean error of fire may not convey a sat- 
isfactory idea to you, but you must remember that the shot 
of a little gun goes to its target in a high curve, while the 
shot of a big one goes almost horizontally. So you can 
see why a little gun ought to have the bigger target. It 
curves more, has a greater angle of fall, than a big gun 
has. And the mean error of fire has to do with what ex- 
perience has shown that guns perfectly pointed and fired 
ought to do. They vary a little in their performances and 
the target is just large enough for every shot to hit it, if 
everything works absolutely perfectly. 

The making of the targets is a long job. Great rolls of 
canvas were broken out of storerooms and cut into a cer- 
tain number of strips of a certain length. These strips 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

had to be sewed together, and at times certain compart- 
ments resembled the inside of a tailor shop with sewing ma- 
chines buzzing and trimming and cutting going on. Then 
the rough target had to be spread out and the edges cut 
off until there was just margin enough to sew it all around 
to a rope about an inch thick. It required hard work with 
stout needles and thick leather palms to put the ropes on 
all four sides. 

Then came careful measurements for the black lines 
about two inches wide that marked the targets into squares 
and a great square in the centre for the bullseye. Out 
came the paint pots. Some of the targets were made black 
with white lines and white centres and others were left white 
with black lines and centres. Then came the battens to 
which the targets were nailed so as to be stretched on the 
poles of the raft. Ropes had to be attached in certain 
places for fastening the target in the exact place and at 
the exact height. All this work had to be exact, for the 
umpires measured every target to see that no ship got the 
slightest advantage. 

The targets being prepared, the next thing done on 
every ship was to clear for action. All stanchions, boats, 
ridge ropes, chests, gangways, everything movable, were 
taken down and the decks stripped. Hatches were closed 
and the ship was stripped for fighting. Theoretically 
everything wooden and not absolutely necessary to the 
fighting of the ship was thrown overboard. Pictures 
were removed from bulkheads and crockery packed away so 
as to save breakage. So carefully was all this packing 
done on the Louisiana that all the breakage that occurred 
when the big guns were fired was one water pitcher in a 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 235 

stateroom under the forward bridge and one pane of glass 
in the bridge storm shield. 

The articles that were removed were not really thrown 
overboard, but were moved to out of the way places and 
marked with a tag which read: 
" Overboard." 

These tags furnished about the only element of fun in 
the entire practice. A mischievous boy, who may have 
been too familiar with the ship's Angora goat you know 
goats have a way of doing things to persons when the per- 
sons are leaning over sometimes, and do not expect any- 
thing unusual to happen or who didn't like the way the 
goat refused to eat tin cans occasionally and also spurned 
a pot of nice fresh paint, tied one of the labels to Billy's 
horns. Billy thought it was a decoration and if he had 
been a jackass instead of a goat would have heehawed with 
the rest of the crowd. 

Then there was a little rascal of a youngster who is al- 
ways getting into trouble because of his pranks and all too 
often has to be summoned to the mast for his offences, 
where he gets regularly penalties of from five to ten hours 
extra duty and grins as soon as the Captain's back is 
turned. Something had to be done about him. A ship- 
mate stole up behind him and fixed an overboard tag on 
his back. For hours he carried it about and was surprised 
to see that suddenly he had become popular, while the rest 
of the crew grinned and laughed and slapped their sides 
just as ordinary folks do on April fool day when a sedate 
man goes down the street with a rag pinned to his coat tail. 
But why should they be nervous about the shooting? 
Well, if for three months you had been working almost 



236 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

day and night in the practice of loading and firing guns, 
had been lifting, pushing, pulling things about to repre- 
sent great and small projectiles and bags of powder, and 
if you had been drilling so as not to make a false step or 
move and had been getting up team work so as to do your 
work in the shortest possible time, where fractions of sec- 
onds count ; if you had a gun crew or were a member of 
one where probably one-half of the men had never heard a 
big gun go off before and there was danger that you 
would go gun shy ; if for weeks and weeks you had been 
told to do exactly this and that and never to do that and 
this, and a lot of other tremendously important things had 
been dinned into your ears, especially matters relating to 
safety, and you realized that some blunder of yours might 
endanger not only yourself and your mates, but the ship 
itself; if you recalled that the navy gives a prize to the 
best crew on the fleet for each kind of gun fired and there 
is also a ship's prize for the best work of these guns, and 
that if you did your work well and won out there would be 
from $20 to $60, or possibly more, for yourself and each 
of your mates ; if you knew how one gun's crew bets it will 
beat its rival ; if you knew how every man on every ship is 
intensely eager to get the naval trophy in shooting for his 
own ship, so that all hands can put on proper airs and say 
in a deprecating way : " Of course we were glad to get 
the trophy, but it was nothing, mere nothing; why, we 
could beat it all to pieces in a fight, but of course we don't 
want to brag ; " if you could see these men working over- 
time of their own volition in the Morris tube training, the 
miniature target shooting that is practised daily on the 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 287 

ships you'd begin to realize how a ship gets all wrought 
up over this target practice. 

The Captain naturally wants his ship to come out first 
when you get down to the real business of a warship ; the 
division officers want the ship to win and their own division 
to be first ; the gun crews, with money at stake for them and 
with the great pride that Uncle Sam's sailormen have, down 
to the last man, to excel in any contest, are more eager, if 
that were possible, than the officers to get the shooting 
record. The result is that when the great day approaches 
every one is as much under a severe strain as a trained uni- 
versity football team approaching the great game of the 
season. Team work has been the aim of the drills. To 
pretend to be cool and utterly unconcerned is the little 
game of byplay that is going on. 

As the day comes on you don't hear much levity about 
the ship. The time of the grouch is at hand. Why, even 
the officers can hardly be civil to one another, and as for 
the men they get saying things to one another in their dis- 
putes and heat and anxiety that would make a stranger 
think they were dangerously near an uprising. The ord- 
nance officer loses all his friends and the division officers 
glare at him and one another as if each felt sorry that the 
earth in general and the ship in particular was encum- 
bered with such pitiful specimens of humanity. 

Now and then they get to telling one another what they 
think of things, not meaning a word of it, and sometimes a 
dispute goes clear up to the Captain for him to decide. 
He does decide it gravely, and perhaps when the disputants 
leave he turns away and smiles as he recalls that men are 



288 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

but children of larger growth, and after all he's glad to see 
these things come up because it shows how hard and ear- 
nestly every one is working and bending all his energies to 
be first. Be first ! Be first ! That's the thought of every 
one, and all these bickerings, sharp-tongued retorts, objec- 
tions, suggestions, sullen looks yes, even drawn faces 
mean that every ounce of energy, of intensity that the men 
on the ship have is being expended in the task at hand. 

When you see all this you can understand why the men 
of a 7-inch gun's crew, for example, who think they have 
what they call a look-in for the navy prize elect to sleep 
beside their pet gun all night, just as a stable boy sleeps 
in the stall of his great racer who is to be out the next day 
for the supreme contest of the year; you can understand 
why some of the officers refuse to shave themselves until 
target practice is all over and they begin to look as if they 
were training to be pirates, bad and bold ; every naval hoo- 
doo is avoided ; you can see why the men go over every part 
of the mechanism of the guns oiling, rubbing, shining, 
testing parts until you wonder whether the gun itself is not 
in a state of agitation and the molecules, which the experts 
gravely assert are always in a state of motion, are not rac- 
ing back and forth and saying contemptuous things to one 
another. 

Why some of these men never allow themselves out of 
sight of their gun lest something may happen to it. 
They pat the guns with their hands and whisper pet names 
to them, and tell them to do their best, and if they win why 
they'll put ribbons on them and point them out to every 
one. And, indeed, more than one gun it would be tell- 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 239 

ing to say which ones did wear ribbon decorations and 
did receive embraces from a victorious crew after the shoot- 
ing was over. 

Just before the shooting begins a calm, a stillness, comes 
over the ship. Men steady themselves with a supreme effort 
to keep cool, and the spirit of do or die takes possession of 
the ship, and as the guns go bang, bang and boom, boom 
you'd think these officers and men had done nothing else 
all their lives but shoot off projectiles and it was as much a 
matter of course with them as getting their breakfasts. 
All hands are now smiling and good cheer pervades every 
compartment, and it's "That's fine, Bill!" "Hit 'em 
again!" "Sock it to 'em!" "Soak 'er!" "You're 
doin' great ! " " Never mind, that's only one miss ! " 
Bully boy ! " 

And when the target is brought on board between the 
runs to be repaired for use again you can understand why 
the men crowd around it while the umpires examine the 
rents to see if they made any mistake in their decisions and 
you can also enter into the feelings of some young fel- 
low who has done the shooting at it and has to repair 
it, as he looks at it and sees only three hits, for ex- 
ample, out of five shots, while he fairly moans : " I'll 
never get over this as long as I live. I thought I was on 
the target and don't see how I missed it." And you can 
also enter into the feelings of pride and exultation of an- 
other youngster as he mends his target with every shot a 
hit and done in the fastest time ever known, while his mates 
slap him on the back and say: "'Great work, Bob! 
Great work ! " And when he finishes his mending and 



240 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

catches the eye of the newspaper correspondent on board 
you know how he feels when he comes up and touches his 
hat and says: 

" You know my home, sir, is in a little town in the centre 
of Ohio. I don't suppose our country papers print your 
articles, but I know my people and friends, and I guess all 
the town, would be glad to know how well I did and would 
like to see my picture in the paper, sir." Well, you feel 
sorry that you have to tell him that you are not allowed to 
give results of the target shooting or to mention names or 
to say whether any ship or any gun did well or badly. 
But when you tell him that in good time all his people and 
friends and neighbors are sure to find out about it he smiles 
with great pride and says : 

" Thank you, sir. I guess we've got 'em all skinned 
good and proper." 

But how is it all done? Why don't you give details? 
perhaps you, gentle reader, as the old-time books used to 
say, are asking. Well, this article if it interests you at all 
will interest you because of what it will not say rather than 
because of what it will say. Listen to the pledge, which 
every correspondent bound himself to keep when he came 
on this cruise : 

" To refrain from giving out for publication, either 
while with the fleet or later, any military information that 
might be of value to a possible enemy, such as detailed de- 
scriptions of mechanism or of methods of drills, of han- 
dling fire control (that means the way of controlling the 
fire of the guns), tactical manoeuvres, scores at target prac- 
tice, etc." 

And this pledge was supplemented on arrival in Mag- 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 

dalena Bay by further instructions from the Commander- 
in-Chief , which said : 

" No statement of scores shall be forwarded or whether 
ships do well or badly. 

" No comments on the workings of the battery or its 
appurtenances, including the fire control, shall be for- 
warded." 

Now, what can a conscientious correspondent do when, 
for the good of the service and the welfare of the country, 
he's all tied up like that? Well, there are lots of things 
that can be told about target shooting, things that every 
naval man knows about and are no secret and that the ordi- 
nary person doesn't know about. There's no inhibition on 
writing about noise, and the flare of guns and the puffs of 
smoke, and the geysers that shoot up out of the water as 
the shots ricochet far out to the horizon. Oh, yes, the old 
adage is still true that there are a good many ways to skin 
a cat. 

As has been said, the preparations for this target prac- 
tice began as soon as the fleet was out of Hampton Roads. 
There w r as the daily drill of hours and hours at Morris 
tube practice, where the men shoot at little targets from lit- 
tle rifles attached to the big guns. The targets are kept 
in motion and every man has to shoot his string of so many 
shots. The division officer soon comes to know which men 
have the sharpest eye, the steadiest hand, the coolest tem- 
perament, and in time the pointers and trainers are se- 
lected and each man has his post assigned to him. And 
when the miniature target shooting is over for the day 
there is the team work drill with dummy projectiles and 
powder bags and day by day the men become expert in 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

making this exact step and avoiding that false move, and 
show increasing deftness and zeal. They get to dreaming 
of what they will do. They learn just how far to lean 
back and move their heads when the gun darts past their 
faces in its lightning recoil, and those who have never 
heard a big gun go off try to imagine what the roar will 
be like and to nerve themselves not to mind it any more than 
a firecracker's report. Then as the final test comes and 
they hear the officers scold or praise them they get into 
the state of anxiety described in the first part of this 
article. 

But it is time to shoot. Every one now is calm and 
eager to begin. The bos'n and three launches and two 
boats' crews go out and put up the first targets. The ship 
gets under way and steams about slowly until she gets the 
proper headway of a predetermined speed. The men at 
the targets set them up and steam away to a buoy a quarter 
of a mile from the target. Slowly the ship swings out 
and comes on the range, just grazing the buoys that mark 
the path. The men are at the guns. The outward buoy 
is passed and then the ship approaches the first buoy, where 
the firing is to begin. The exact range of that point is 
known. The elevation of the gun is known, as is also the 
deflection. You know the sights have to be right on the 
target, but the gun itself has to be aimed a little to one side, 
so as to account for the side movement of the projectile, 
due to the ship's motion, as it flies through the air. What 
is called fire control determines just how much the gun 
must be elevated and how much it must be deflected at a 
certain instant. There is a man at the gun who turns little 
wheels and adjusts gauges, and he gets word from some one 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 243 

else just what to do and when to do it. Never mind how 
this is communicated to him. 

Meantime one man has been training the gun sideways 
and another has been raising or lowering it, independently 
of the man who has been setting the deflection and fixing 
the range. When the cross-wires in the gun pointer's tele- 
scope are right on the bullseye and it is time to fire he pulls 
a trigger and the electrical apparatus sends a lightning 
impulse into the powder, there is a roar, a thin cloud of 
smoke from the primer, a flash and you look for the splash 
to see if it is a hit. 

As the ship proceeds along the base of the triangle the 
deflection and range have to be changed constantly. The 
change is greatest at the ends of the run. Along about 
the centre, when you are just opposite the target, the 
changes are slight, but it is just as hard to hit the target. 
All these changes are matters of fractions of seconds. It 
is not deliberate work, but it is done carefully, and there is 
where the element of training comes in. 

The first roar of a gun sends a thrill through the ship. 
The man who has fired it is nervous. If it's a miss, he 
steadies himself at once. Rare is it that the second shot is 
a miss. The gun-shy part of that man's career is over. 
He is now as cool as if he were whistling Yankee Doodle. 
Bang and crack go his shots. Perhaps the gases obscure 
his vision to some extent. He waits an instant from time 
to time before he fires. Pump, pump, goes the trigger. 
He's got the range, he's got his nerve, he knows when he 
hits and when he misses. It's a big contest, and his tools 
of trade are the confined elements of destruction with the 
accumulated scientific skill of decades behind him, and the 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

result depends upon his clear vision and steady hand. 
The task inspires him, his face is drawn tense, he forgets 
everything else. He becomes part of that machine of de- 
struction, an automaton. 

The most spectacular part of the shooting is with the 
smallest and biggest guns. The small guns are shot at 
night. Great black targets with white centres are put up, 
and then your own ship, or possibly another anchored 
near, illuminates the targets with four or five great 
searchlights. The guns boom, and soon a little curlicue 
of light is seen curving through the air. It is what is 
called a tracer, a chemical set on fire by the redhot projec- 
tile as it flies. You see it hit the target, and then under 
the lights you see a splash. 

Then the light goes curving up into the air and you 
know the projectile is ricocheting. Down it comes. There 
is another leap and flight and then another and another, and 
far off, two or three miles away, it disappears. The pro- 
jectile has made its last jump. So fast are the small guns 
fired that frequently from five to ten of these rockets are 
leaping and jumping toward the sky and curving back 
into the black water. It is beautiful fireworks. 

Although the small guns are fired at night, some of them 
are fired in the daytime. The string of these guns is run 
off first. No noise of a gun is quite so disturbing as that 
of the 3-inch weapons. You may stuff your ears full of 
cotton and nearly every one on ship does that but the 
terrible crack smites through it and gives you a jolt. The 
deck feels an earthquake tremor, and you are glad when the 
ship goes off the range. But this is getting ahead of the 
story. Suppose the ship has just passed the outer buoy. 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 245 

Steadily she approaches the first firing mark. Soon word 
is passed : 

" Buoy on the bow ! " 

The umpires have their watches in hand, the crew pre- 
pares to load. Now the buoy is abeam. A red flag goes 
up to the forward yardarm, the whistle blows and then the 
command is heard: 

" Commence firing ! " 

That is all the command that is given. For the small 
guns a given number of shots must be fired as quickly as 
possible. For the big guns as many shots may be fired 
as possible within a certain number of minutes. The shots 
are counted carefully for the small guns, and when the 
given quota is fired the order is given : 

" Cease firing ! " 

When the time limit has expired for the big guns a whis- 
tle is blown by the umpire who has the watch and the same 
command is given, but the crew has the right to fire one 
more shot within a given number of seconds so as to dis- 
charge any projectile that may have been in the gun when 
the cease firing command was given. 

As soon as the command to fire is given intense activity 
starts. Crack goes the 3-pounder or 3-inch. Then comes 
the splash. A geyser jumps up out of the bay, then an- 
other and another, as the projectile hits the water. These 
geysers look as if Old Faithful of the Yellowstone had been 
brought down to give a special performance. The spurts 
are not in a straight line, for the curvature of a small wave 
deflects the course of the projectile and sends it careening 
this way or that. You can tell from the position of the 
spurt whether it was hit or not and you count the hits and 



246 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

misses carefully. You forget the ear-smiting cracks of 
the guns and the jolt of the decks. Did he make a hit? is 
what you want to know. And is the pointer doing his 
work well? Cheers come from various parts of the ship 
as hit after hit is made, and if it's a clean string there is 
general jubilation. 

But the ship is moving steadily along the course. There 
is always a slight gap in the shooting when the pointers 
change positions and telescopes, but bang, bang, crack, 
crack, come the reports, and before you know it the whistle 
blows and the red flag is lowered and that string is over. 
Then the ship slowly circles areund to the targets, and the 
repairing cTew in the small boats dash over to mark the 
hits of the small guns with red paint and to make repairs, 
change targets and fix things up generally. Then comes 
another start for the range, and so hour after hour the 
ship goes back and forth until every small gun has had its 
say and every pointer has had his few minutes. 

When the time comes for the target practice of the great 
guns no red paint is needed to mark the hits. You can see 
the projectiles as they near the target, needlelike things 
that seem to flee with the speed of light. You can see the 
holes they make if you take a glass. Their roar is dull 
and the shake of the ship is a powerful tremor. Your 
ears are not smitten, as with the smaller guns, but the 
shock is tremendous. You are close to the manifestation 
of a terrific force. But if you wish to see the best part of 
the work you must go into the casemate, where the firing is 
done. Ah, there's where team work is going on ! 

Take a 7-inch gun. The word to commence firing is 
passed. Powder and projectiles are all ready. The gun 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA '247 

captain throws open the breech block. The men lift the 
projectile and place it in the breech. Scarcely have they 
removed their tray before a long wooden rammer is thrust 
in and the projectile, which has been carefully smoothed off 
and oiled, is run home and seated. Get out of the way 
quick, rammer, for the powder bags are being thrust in ! 
Don't make a false step, for you may hinder some one who 
has just one thing to do in the shortest possible time! 

The charge is now home, the gun captain whisks the 
breech block into place, the primer is attached and then the 
captain slaps the pointer on the back or cries ready. All 
this time the gun is being trained, the range and deflection 
have been changed, and instantly there is a roar, a blinding 
flash. The members of the crew close to the gun move 
just far enough back to escape the recoil, like a prize- 
fighter when he throws his head back and escapes a blow by 
the fraction of an inch. 

Open comes the breech in a flash, then another charge on 
it by the various men, another slap on the back, another 
roar and it's a hit or a miss. Then a third charge, and an- 
other and another. The men sweat and breathe hard, their 
faces become strained and some of them white. The fight 
is on, and the work, second by second, every one of them 
as valuable as hours would be ordinarily, saps the strength 
and energy of the men in their supreme effort. 

" Every shot a hit ! " cries one of the crew exultingly. 
" What was the time? " asks another. 
" So many seconds," says the umpire. 
" That beats all records ! " shouts another, and then 
there are cheers and great rejoicing. After the first fire 
scarcely a man hears the noise of the gun. It is a mere 



248 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

pop to them. Sometimes they overreach themselves in the 
desire to be quick and they make a miss. They don't hear 
the last of that for some time, but it's all in the work and 
part of the general eagerness to do well. 

Then come the 8-inch guns. The rumble and roar is 
only a little worse than the 7-inch guns. The geysers 
shoot a little higher and the echoes from the report come 
back to the ship like so many sharp thunderclaps, where the 
lightning is close. Indeed, if you want to have a better 
reproduction of thunder than any theatre can produce just 
manage to be on a battleship while it fires off its 8-inch 
guns in rapid succession. It's the kind of thunder that 
comes when lightning hits and you look out to see if the 
tree in your front yard has been split. Crash after crash 
comes back to make you duck and dodge until the projectile 
has finished its thunderbolt career and darts into the water 
with perhaps the ignominious mission of killing a fish in- 
stead of shattering a battleship. 

But the IS-inch guns ! Pack the cotton well into your 
ears ! Keep your mouth open ! Stand as far away from 
the muzzle as you can on the ship ! Secure all the things 
in your stateroom, for if you don't you may find your 
shaving mug on the floor and your hairbrush mixed up with 
the fragments of your soap dish ! Close your port or else 
your trinkets may be whisked into a heap and some of them 
broken into pieces ! The whistle has blown. The seconds 
go by, oh how slowly! Will they never get that gun 
loaded? Then comes a blast. The white flame seems 
brighter than sunlight, the roar runs through you like an 
electric shock, the decks seem to sink and you wonder if 
the eruption of Mont Pelee had more force than that. You 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 

look toward the target. There goes the projectile, straight 
through the bullseye. Then an enormous geyser leaps 
into the air more than a hundred feet high. Surely that is 
Old Faithful! Then comes another half a mile away. 
Then another and another and you wonder if the projectile 
is going clear over to Europe. 

And with this comes that peculiar roar that no other 
agent of power produces. It is more like the rush of a 
limited express into and out of the mouth of a tunnel. 
You can hear the chug, chug of the locomotive. You hear 
the rumble of a fast train on a still night through a val- 
ley. You can almost see the hills and the little river as 
the train dashes over bridges and noisy trestles. There it 
goes into the tunnel again, and before you can speak of it 
out it comes with another roar! More bridges and tres- 
tles, more tunnels, more chugs, and then there comes a 
steady roar. The train is going over the hill and out of 
the last tunnel, and you take a long breath. Before you 
expel it from your lungs there is another smiting flash 
and you are dancing on your toes again. The ship seems 
to settle and you get the geysers, the roar of the fastest 
train that ever ran. And so it goes until the whistle blows 
and you swing around to look at the target and then re- 
peat the performance. You now begin to realize what a 
battleship means, and you are speculating about it when an 
officer comes around and says : 

" Pretty fine, eh ? Well, that's nothing to battle prac- 
tice! when for a certain number of minutes we let all the 
guns go together. That's real noise! This is just pop- 
gun work." 

Well, if it is not noise you begin to think that if there is 



250 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

ever another war you know one place where you don't want 
to be, and that is on a battleship. Every one of the ships 
had to go through this work, and when it was all over then 
it was that the men on these ships felt the sense of relief 
that none of them experienced over their safe arrival and 
the performance of the fleet on the way to this bay. They 
were ready to drop in their tracks. They were worn out, 
as the expression goes. 

There is one moment of great suspense at every gun in 
such practice as this. It is when some adjustment has 
gone wrong, when some accident has occurred, and when 
there is real danger. Then the officer in charge cries 
sharply : 

"Silence!" 

That means that no more shots must be fired from that 
gun on that run. With it goes a penalty that works 
against the ship's record. More than once such command 
has been heard on these ships, but it is wise, for all too sad 
have been the records of accidents at target practice not 
only in our own ships but in those of every other navy. It 
would have pleased any one to observe all the precautions 
that were taken this time. The navy has learned some les- 
sons. Safer and safer the turrets are becoming all the 
time. And this element of speed which enters into all con- 
tests with the firing of guns conduces to that end. You 
see, it is not only the hits that count but the time in which 
they are made. 

But why this haste, you ask. Well, it trains the men to 
get the drop on the enemy and also, and perhaps of just as 
much importance, it reveals the defects in the system. In 
other words, it tends more to make turrets and ordnance 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 251 

what the experts call " foolproof." It may be said that 
nearly all of our ordnance on these ships has reached that 
stage, the stage where some man by some unforeseen fool 
action, one that no one could guess would happen, endan- 
gers and probably costs the lives of himself and several 
others. Every breakdown of a gun on this practice has 
had its value and it all goes toward speeding the day when 
these faults will be corrected and a ship may go into action 
with a reasonable assurance that all its mechanism will do 
the work it was intended to do. Yes, speed has its ad- 
vantages, very great advantages. 

What a change in twenty years ! There are men on this 
ship who used to take part in the old practice on such ships 
as the Saratoga or the Quinnebaugh, the one that was on 
the European station so long that some one in the Navy 
Department forgot for a year or two to put it in the Naval 
Register. The Saratoga had one 8-inch muzzle loading 
rifle that had formerly been a smooth bore 11-inch Dahl- 
gren gun, the kind of gun that resembled a soda water bot- 
tle and was called such. It was mounted amidships be- 
tween the fireroom hatch and the break of the to'gallant 
fo'c's'le. The bulwarks at that place were pierced by 
pivot gun ports that could be secured as part of the bul- 
warks when the gun was not in action. 

The gun swung on circles and pivot bolts by using haul- 
ing and training tackles, and could be used on either 
broadside and about ten points forward and abaft the beam. 
The ship had also four 9-inch smoothbore Dahlgrens to 
complete its main battery. It required about twenty-two 
men to handle such a gun. The charges of powder were 
in canvas bags and rammed home. The guns could be 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

sighted up to 2,000 yards. The recoil was taken up by 
a heavy hempen hawser fastened to the bulwarks and passed 
through the cascabel of the gun. The range for target 
practice was 1,000 yards, and lucky was the gunner if he 
made 30 per cent, of hits. 

In those days the men at the guns were not half stripped, 
as they are now. One-half of them were armed with cut- 
lass and pistol and the other half with magazine rifles and 
bayonets. This was to repel boarders. That's all gone. 
No battleship ever expects to repel boarders in these days. 
Protection for the gunners was made by piling up ham- 
mocks and bags about the last thing that would be 
thought of, with its danger from fire, in these days, even 
if all else failed. Nowadays the recoil is taken up hy- 
draulically, and the gun is shot back into place with 
springs. Even fewer men are required to handle an 8-inch 
gun than twenty years ago. One of these guns will shoot 
five times further and do ten times yes, one might say 
almost a hundredfold more damage than the old ones. 
And there are eight of these on a ship like the Louisiana, 
to say nothing of twelve 7-inch guns, four 12-inch, twenty 
3-inch and twelve 3-pounders. 

In target practice on one of these ships ten shots are 
fired from each 7-inch gun, twenty from each 3-inch gun, 
twenty from each 3-pounder and as many from each 
8-inch and 12-inch as can be got off in a given 
time. It may, be stretching the proprieties to tell even 
that much, and to get back to generalities it may be 
said that about twenty-five tons of metal were fired 
from all the guns. The cost? Well, put it for con- 
venience sake at $300,000 for the fleet. Expensive? 



TARGET SHOOTING AT MAGDALENA 253 

Not a bit of it ! That expenditure is the best money spent 
by the United States Navy. It is the premium of insur- 
ance paid annually for efficiency, and it will prove its 
value if these ships ever get into war. There'll be no hit 
or miss or reckless helter-skelter shooting then. To make 
the practice record here each ship has to steam about 100 
miles in going over the course and in a general way it may 
be said that each ship made from thirty-five to forty runs 
on the range. There, that's about all to be said in print 
or elsewhere about target practice by this fleet. 

Well now honest, you say, didn't the ships do well, 
pretty well, just a little better than ever before, perhaps a 
great deal better? Just that much is what you want to 
know? Well, you'll have to ask the Navy Department 
about that. In its own good time and in its own way it 
may decide to give out such information and it may not. 
You'll never get an answer from the Sun's correspondent 
on this trip. 



CHAPTER XII 

ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 

Life and Work on U. S. Battleship Every Day Crowded With 
Duties and Drills for All on Board The Overworked Executive 
Responsibility for Everything Finally Culminates With the Cap- 
tainAll Effort Has in View the Efficiency of the Ship as a 
Fighting Machine Minute Care in Seemingly Minor Details 
Makes for Perfection in Case of Crisis Standing Watch and Gen- 
eral Quarters Catering and Hygiene Smart Signal Work 
Launch Etiquette Reverence for Quarter Deck and National 
Anthem. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

PUNTA ARENAS, CHILE, Jan. 31. 

UNUSUAL and attractive as an extended cruise on a 
warship from the Atlantic to the Pacific is to a 
civilian, and however it may cause him to be envied 
by his acquaintances, it must also be set down, if one would 
chronicle the truth and nothing else, that it has its draw- 
backs. Probably the first that the supernumerary cargo 
discovers is that there is practically no place on the decks 
where he may sit down. He soon realizes that a warship 
is not a passenger steamship, with steamer chairs, smoking 
rooms, deck stewards and all the other appurtenances that 
go to advance the traveller's comfort. 

The next drawback that forces itself upon one's atten- 
tion, after the novelty of looking around wears off to some 
extent, is that the warship passenger is a mighty lonely 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 255 

person, and, unless he can amuse himself or is naturally one 
of the reserved kind and lives in his own shell he'll find time 
hanging heavy on his hands. 

You see you can't go up to an officer and gossip when 
he's drilling a crew in loading shells in a gun. You can't 
pounce upon the Captain whenever you see him on the deck 
and make him chat to you. You can't exercise conver- 
sational powers when general quarters or fire drill is on. 
You don't feel like asking for what is called a gabfest 
when the other fellow is figuring out problems in naviga- 
tion. It is not the time to be chummy when every man on 
the bridge is watching signals from a flagship and hurrying 
things so as not to be the last to send up the proper pen- 
nant or to haul it down. When the red and white lights 
of the ardois signal system are flashing at night or the stiff 
arms of the semaphores are throwing themselves about in a 
helter-skelter fashion day or night it is not wise to ask what 
they are saying. 

There is so much going on entirely foreign to the aver- 
age man that he feels as if he were in a new world with 
busy people all about him speaking a strange language and 
doing strange things and he's literally alone. Gradually 
it is borne in on him that he's a cat in a strange garret. 
There's plenty of civility all around, but for hours and 
hours a day there is no companionship ; no one with whom 
he can form a pool on the day's run, or sit down with a 
steward at his elbow to play a friendly game, or one for 
blood ; no yarn spinners handy when you want 'em ; no lux- 
uries in travelling. 

Of course one may find easy chairs in the wardroom 
with plenty of reading matter, and you have a chair and a 



256 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

desk, in addition to your bunk, in your room, but no one 
can stay below at sea unless the weather is foul, and even 
then he chafes at it. No matter how fine your house is at 
home you take more comfort in seasonable weather in sit- 
ting on your porch than in your library, and the same 
holds true at sea on a warship when it comes to sitting in 
an easy chair in the wardroom or in your own room. 

There are excellent reasons for these two drawbacks, the 
lack of creature comforts, luxuries, if you please, and of 
genial companionship at any hour, in going to sea 
as a civilian on a warship. Only one need be mentioned. 
That is that a warship is a tremendously busy workshop 
where the boss, his assistants and the workmen have a 
peculiar kind of work on hand, such as exists nowhere else 
in the world, and there is no time in which to pander to 
the whims and desires of an outsider sent on board by the 
order of executive authorities higher up. 

The work on hand is to move a floating fort of steel 
swiftly through the water in complete synchronism with a 
lot of other floating forts and then to prepare those who 
are engaged in work in this fort for just one thing, to de- 
stroy and kill. Everything is subservient to one idea to 
be ready to fight at the swiftest pace for just about one 
hour; for be it known that if one of the warships in this 
great battle fleet were fought at its swiftest and fullest 
capacity it would be all over, one way or the other, in an 
hour or less. You see fighting a warship is not a long 
distance race; it's a hundred yard dash, to change the 
figure. Getting ready for that dash, that supreme effort 
at the fastest speed, calls for all the concentration and 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 257 

hard, unremitting toil that years of education in a com- 
plex specialty and years of experience can employ. 

When this work is going on those engaged in it want 
outsiders out of the way, and if you're a wise outsider you 
want to get out of the way. Hence at such times it is likely 
that you'll get pretty tired standing around on your feet, 
with no place to rest your weary bones and no companion 
with whom you can even be bromidic. Yes, it's fine and 
great to cruise 14,000 miles on a splendid warship, but truly 
it has some drawbacks. 

It must not be inferred from this that one lacks for 
comfort, complete comfort, or for genial companionship 
on a battleship. Far from it. The ship abounds in read- 
ing matter. There are easy chairs in plenty in the ward- 
room. And as for companionship, a more genial set of 
good fellows never existed in any profession than these 
same busy naval officers, from the Captains down. There 
are many diversions. You can watch the drills, the signal- 
ling ; you can have a game of cribbage or whist in the even- 
ing; you have a fine band to play for you at dinner and 
on deck in the warm evenings ; you can make friends with 
the pets on board, tease the dog, play with the cats, watch 
the monkeys, talk with the poll parrots and stroke the 
goat's head, all the time watching lest he tries to butt 
you, you can figure out the course, estimate latitude and 
longitude; you can talk with the men when the smoking 
lamp is lighted, although you must never be chummy, but 
sometimes you can get an old quartermaster who has been 
all over the world and draw him off into a secluded place 
and let him spin his yarns to you, and also let him growl 



258 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

out his growls and try to convince you that everything 
in this world, especially in the navy, is rotten, after which 
he feels better and you have had a pleasant hour of amuse- 
ment, knowing full well that when he gets to port and 
meets another quartermaster of another navy he'll be blow- 
ing himself hoarse in his contention that our navy is the 
best in the world and that there's no calling equal to that 
of a real sailor man, and he's ready to fight to prove it. 

So it isn't all work and no play on a warship, but it 
comes mighty near to it for days and days, for, like a 
woman's work the work is never done. You'd realize it if 
some night after a hard day's work is over you heard the 
bells and bugles crying out for general quarters for you 
to tumble out of your hammock or bunk when you had 
earned a good night's rest. You'd realize it if you had 
been straining your eyes for hours in the daylight at 
target practice and then had to go at it again at night. 
You know you may have to fight at night and you've got 
to be ready for it. There's no other way to prepare for 
it than by work at night. 

It's all a matter of course, part of the day's work, with 
these sea dogs and gun fighters. And when you suggest 
that you are thinking of writing a piece for the paper 
telling about the routine on a warship they are surprised 
that any such topic could be interesting and tell you that 
it's nothing new and is going on all the time just as it has 
been going on for decades and centuries. Then they'll ad- 
mit perhaps that the general public doesn't realize the 
amount of work that is done on a warship and they'll pro- 
duce this schedule of hours and tasks that sums it up : 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 259 

DAILY SEA ROUTINE. 

3:00 A. M. Call ship's cook. 

3:45 Call the section of the watch, relieve wheel and lookout. 

4 :00 Relieve the watch on deck. 

4:30 Turn to, out smoking lamp, pipe sweepers, clear up deck. 

4 :50 Call music, masters-at-arms and boatswain's mates. 

5 :00 Reveille, bugles and drum ; call all sections except mid- 
watch sections. 

5 :15 Execute morning orders. 

5:30 Trice up clothes lines. 

At sunrise station masthead lookouts, take in deck lookouts and put 
out running lights. 

6:30 Break up and send below to be burned all boxes and arti- 
cles that will float. 

6 :40 Trice up six bell hammock cloths. 

6 :50 Up all hammocks, serve out water, hoist ashes. 

7:00 Time and uniform signal; mess gear for sections below. 

7:15 Breakfast for sections below, light smoking lamp; ditty 
boxes allowed. 

7 :30 Mess gear for watch on deck. 

7 :40 Relieve wheel and lookouts. 

7 :45 On deck duty sections. Section on deck to breakfast. 

8:15 Turn to, clean gun and deck bright work. 

8:25 Sick call. 

8 :45 Report at mast. 

8 :50 Clear up decks ; down towel lines and ditty boxes ; sweepers. 

8:55 Officers' call. 

9:00 Quarters for muster and inspection; setting up drill. 

9:30 Drill call. 

10:00 Relieve the wheel and lookouts. 
Signal (1) absentees, (2) number of sick. 
11:00 Hoist ashes. 

11:30 Retreat from drill. Pipe down clothes, if dry; sweepers. 
11:45 Mess gear for sections below. 

Noon Dinner; duty section remain on deck. Signal (1) coal on 
hand, (2) coal expended, (3) latitude, (4) longitude. 
P. M. Mess gear for duty section. 
Dinner duty section. 

1:00 Turn to; out smoking lamp; down ditty boxes; sweepers; 
pipe down clothes if dry, then aired bedding, if up; start work about 
decks. 



260 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

1:30 Serve out provisions. 

2:00 Relieve wheel and lookouts. 

3:00 Hoist ashes. 

4:00 Relieve the watch. 

4:30 Knock off all work. Clear up decks; sweepers; pipe down 
clothes. 

5 :15 Mess gear for sections going on watch. 

5 :30 Supper for sections going on watch. 

5 :45 Mess gear for other sections. 

5 :55 Relieve wheel and lookouts. 

6 :00 Relieve section on duty. Other sections to supper. 
At sunset Set running lights; lay down masthead lookouts; sta- 
tion deck lookouts; couple fire hose; muster life boats' crews; 
coxswain report when crews are present and lifeboats ready for lower- 
ing. Test night signal apparatus. 

6:30 Turn to; sweepers; scrub clothes on forecastle (except 
Sunday). 

7:00 Hoist ashes. Clear deck for hammocks. 

7:30 Hammocks. 

8:00 Relieve watch, wheel and lookouts. Signal and searchlight 
drill as ordered. Signal (1) latitude; (2) longitude. 

At sea when meals are piped the duty section will remain on deck 
until relieved by the next section for duty. When, however, the ship 
is cruising singly at sea and there is no immediate necessity for the 
services of the section on deck, or when cruising at sea in company 
and it is apparent that the services of men on deck, other than those 
actually on watch at stations, is unnecessary, then mess gear will be 
spread for all sections at the same time, and all sections will go to 
meals at the same time, except those men actually on duty, but reliefs 
must get their meals and relieve their stations promptly. In any 
case the duty section must stand by to answer an emergency call. 
In bad weather, or when engaged in manoeuvres, or when in the imme- 
diate vicinity of land, the duty section shall remain on deck until re- 
lieved by the next section. 

There is a daily port routine, similar in general outline 
to the one for cruising. It calls for the ceremony of 
colors, hoisting or lowering the flag, boat duty and other 
things which can come only when a ship is in port. But 
these two schedules only hint at the full story. 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 261 

Probably the first impression that a stranger to all this 
ship routine gets is that a warship is one of the most dis- 
cordant places in the world. They are everlastingly blow- 
ing bugles, each bugle out of key with all the others. One 
bugler will sound a lot of hippity-hoppity notes and then 
another will take up the same refrain with a blare and a 
mean half note or quarter note variation and then two or 
three others will join in, on decks, below decks, and the 
jangling jumble rolls in on your ear drums in such a dis- 
cord that you feel as if you'd like to punch the man 
who told 'em to do it. At the same time you see men, 
hundreds of whom must have no ear for note discrimination, 
jump to the tasks to which they are summoned and you 
wonder how they know what the bugles are telling them. 

There are ninety-eight of these bugle calls on a man-o'- 
war and how the men differentiate them passes your un- 
derstanding. It aggravates you that you can't make them 
out yourself. You begin to study them and you do get so 
that you are able to recognize two or three, and then you 
get lost and you begin to have an admiration for the men 
who have mastered them all, just as you admire an iron- 
worker who can walk a beam 400 feet in the air. He can 
do something that you can't do and you respect him for it. 

Still you keep trying to master those calls. Finally you 
learn the trick partly. You associate certain words with 
certain jingles perhaps it would be better to say 
certain jangles and then you pat yourself on the back 
and feel that you are pretty nearly half as good as a sailor- 
man in Uncle Sam's navy. The trick is the same as with 
the army calls and many of the jingles are the same. For 
example, you soon learn reveille, for the refrain, 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

We can't get 'em up ; we can't get 'em up ; 
We can't get 'em up in the morning. 

fits the call so completely that one who has once learned it 
can never forget what it means. 

Again when the bugles sound the sick bay call you find 
yourself unconsciously saying to yourself: 

Come and get your quinine, quinine. 

When the officers' call for quarters is sounded you feel 
like saying to the one nearest you : 

Get your sword on; get your sword on. 

When the mess call is blown you know that the blue- 
jackets are saying to themselves as the notes blare out: 

Soupy, soupy, soup, without a single bean; 
Porky porky, pork, without a streak of lean. 

When assembly sounds you join with the rest in the 
warning : 

You'd better be here at the next roll call. 
When the swimming call comes you say to yourself: 

Bought a chicken for fifty cents ; 

The son of a gun jumped over the fence! 

When the call for pay day is made you know how the men 
feel as they say: 

Pay day; pay day; come and get your pay. 

And when tattoo is over and then comes taps you feel 
drowsy as the sweet notes, one of the very few in army or 
navy calls that are sweet, sing to you: 

Go to sleep; go to sleep; go to sleep. 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 266 

Oh, yes, you finally get to know many of these calls and 
then somehow the discord seems to leave them, and, like the 
ship that found herself, you begin to find yourself on ship- 
board and you feel that you are getting on. That bugling 
ceases to trouble you further. 

The pipes of the bos'n also pierce your ears. Always 
shrill, they all seem to end in a piercing shriek. At first 
they make you grate your teeth. You feel as if you would 
prefer that some one would cuss you out, as the naval ex- 
pression is, rather than give you orders in that mean way. 
And when you hear these same mates, one of whom is sta- 
tioned at every place of importance where the men live and 
sleep, roar out something that seems to be a mixture of the 
blast of a cyclone, the trumpeting of an elephant and the 
bray of another animal you think that if you were the 
sailorman addressed you'd feel like saying to that mate 
you'd be damned if you'd do it, whatever it was he was 
ordering you to do. Why, such language as the bos'ns' 
pipes employ is more calculated to inspire profanity than 
was the term applied by Daniel O'Connell to the fishwoman 
when he called her out of her name by saying she was a hy- 
pothenuse. But gradually you learn some of these calls 
too there are no rhymes or j ingles for them and that 
worry blows over. 

The work on the bridge also soon excites your admiration. 
When you are in squadron or fleet formation it's a different 
game from when you are alone. Then all you have to do 
is to keep your course and go sailing along at the speed set 
for you, keep your eye on things, receive reports, give this 
and that order, when you are through set down a record of 
what has happened in the deck logbook. All that's simple 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

and easy compared with cruising in a fleet. With a fleet 
you are not on the bridge five minutes before you are aware 
that a peculiar kind of game is being played. It is 
" Watch the Flagship." The watch officer, the signal offi- 
cer, the quartermasters, the signal boys, are all engaged in 
the work. Let a signal go up from the flagship. There 
is a hasty peep through glasses and then a hoarse cry for 
certain flags, a rush for the bunting, a quick bending of 
it on the halyards and then a mad rush by half a dozen lads 
across the bridge as the signals are hoisted. Hurry; be 
the first to answer, is the sentiment inspiring all. After the 
signal is hoisted you take a hasty look around, and you 
grin as this or that ship hasn't got hers up yet, and you 
say to yourself that it was pretty smart work. When the 
first sign of a flutter comes from the flagship that the 
pennants are coming down the hoarse yell of " Haul 
down ! " comes like a thunderclap ; and woe betide the 
clumsy signal boy who gets the halyards foul and doesn't 
have the signals out of sight before the flagship has hers 
hidden. 

Or perhaps it is approaching sunset and the time comes 
to lower the speed cones for the night and start the mast- 
head and truck lights to glimmering. Intently all hands 
watch the flagship and at the first tremor of the cone the 
boy begins to haul down. In a jiffy not a cone is to be seen 
at the yards on the entire fleet. 

Then there is the night signalling with the ardois red and 
white lights. There flashes from the flagship a row of 
vertical red lights, four of them. " Cornet ! " is the cry. 
It means that each ship must turn on the same signal as an 
answer to attention call. Then the flagship talks, with this 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 

and that combination of red and white lights, all flashed 
so fast that before the impression of one combination fades 
from the eye two or three others have followed and you 
wonder how on earth any one can make them out. But as 
each one is flashed a boy calls out the letter and another 
writes it down the cubbyhole where the navigator's chart 
is sheltered, and you find that these messages are recorded 
as fast as a telegrapher could write out his clicks. 

Then the semaphore is lighted up and the arms of lights 
go jiggering this way and that way, just as the gaunt 
black and white automata do in the daytime, and you find 
the boys reading off the message as easily as a grown per- 
son can spell cat when the letters are big and the print is 
plain. You sometimes wake up in the night when you are 
at anchor and look out of your port. Rare is it that you 
do not see a semaphore or an ardois combination flashing. 
When you ask about it in the morning the officers will tell 
you that it probably was the signal boys talking with one 
another and that it is allowed because it is good practice to 
let them gossip when there is nothing else going on and the 
night watches are long and tedious. Invariably one boy 
will make the signal letter of another ship where he sus- 
pects a friend is on duty at the signals and this is what he 
says: 

" How is it for a game of flat? " meaning an unofficial 
talk. 

" All right," comes the answer : " go ahead." 

Then those two boys chat over all sorts of things, chaff 
each other, make appointments for the first liberty, talk of 
the latest ship gossip, and all that, but there's one feature 
about it that's peculiar. The messages are always in 



266 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

polite form. It's always, " Will you kindly ? " or " Please 
be good enough," or something in that fashion. No sig- 
nal boy ever forgets himself or the dignity of his place in 
a game of talk. Besides, there might be officers observing 
things and it is never nice to have your name put on the 
report. You are brought up at the mast and you might 
get five days in the brig on bread and water or something 
like that if you exchanged language that was not seemly 
for use on a warship's signals. 

And then in bridge work in cruising there is that difficult 
job of keeping distances. The favorite cruising formation 
in this fleet is at 400 yards distance from the preceding 
ship. The Louisiana was fourth in whatever line was 
formed. That meant 1,200 yards from the flagship. Now 
the engines of no two ships move the 16,000 tons of those 
ships at exactly the same speed through the water. You 
may know theoretically how many revolutions of the pro- 
pellers are needed to go at the rate of ten, eleven, twelve 
or even more knots an hour, but even then one ship will inch 
up, so to speak, foot up might express it better, and you 
have got to correct this all the time or you will be crawling 
up on the quarter deck of the ship in front of you, or 
lagging so behind that the ship after you will be in danger 
of crawling up on your own deck. 

You have a midshipman using the stadimeter all the 
time, every fifteen or twenty seconds or so, and then you are 
kept signalling to the engine room to make one or two or 
three revolutions faster or slower, until you get your 
right place and you don't have to fly your position pen- 
nant, confessing to the flagship that you are making a 
bad job of your work and have got more than forty yards 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 267 

out of your position. You see, coal varies in its steaming 
qualities from time to time, and sometimes the engine room 
force gets a little slack or orders get mixed and it is one 
perpetual struggle to keep exactly where you ought to be. 

Then you have to sail on the course announced, and the 
helmsman and quartermaster have to be continually moving 
the rudder back and forth to correct the yaws from the 
seas and other influences that throw you off that exact 
line. 

Then there is the routine bridge work, giving orders, re- 
ceiving reports, making decisions, tasting the food of the 
crew that is brought always to the officer on watch, sighting 
ships and other things and always notifying the Captain 
day or night of all important things going on. Oh, yes, 
there is plenty to do on a bridge in a fleet, and you watch 
its progress with fascination for hours until you suddenly 
begin to realize the presence of that drawback mentioned 
first in this article, that there is no seating place up there, 
and you go below to read or get some rest sitting down. 

As one becomes accustomed to the naval routine there 
are some ceremonies that he skips as a matter of course 
and some that he does not. One of the latter is the gen- 
eral muster of the officers and crew on a Sunday morning 
once a month. Quarters are sounded as usual and then 
comes the inspection of the ship and the men in their 
stations, while the band is playing lively airs. When this 
is over the entire ship's company not engaged in actual 
duty in running the ship is summoned aft. The officers 
and their divisions come to the quarter deck, and each officer 
reports his division " up and aft " to the executive officer, 
who in turn reports that fact to the Captain. The latter 



268 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

then orders the ship's roll to be called. The paymaster 
steps out from the group of officers with the roll. On the 
Louisiana he calls : 

" Richard Wainwright ! " 

Capt. Wainwright responds: 

" Captain, United States Navy." 

"E. W. Eberle!" 

" Lieutenant-Commander, United States Navy," the ex- 
ecutive officer responds. 

"C. T. Jewell!" 

"Lieutenant-Commander, United States Navy," says the 
navigator, and so on down the roll of officers the Pay- 
master proceeds, each man saluting as he answers to his 
name. Then the Paymaster retires and the pay clerk steps 
up and takes up the call. He reads the names of the 
members of the crew. As each man hears his name called 
he answers with his designation on the roll, John Jones will 
answer " Coal passer, United States Navy," and William 
Smith will declare that he is an ordinary seaman, and so on. 
As each man answers to his name he drops out of the ranks, 
proceeds aft and walks by the Captain, hat in hand. When 
the name of a man on duty somewhere in this ship, in the 
engine rooms or the bridge or elsewhere, is called, the ship's 
writer, who stands beside the executive officer, says. 

" On duty, sir." 

" The absentee is marked " accounted for." Men in the 
sick bay are accounted for in the same way. It requires 
almost an hour to go through the nearly 1,000 names, and 
when it is all over the Paymaster reports to the executive 
officer that all are present or accounted for and that fact 
is duly communicated to the Captain. By that time the 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 269 

deck is clear of the men and only the officers remain, and 
these are dismissed. 

It's a fine thing to see a fine crew individually and size up 
each man. When the President was on the Louisiana it is 
said that he took the keenest interest in this personal ap- 
pearance of every man on the quarter deck in answer to the 
call of his name and showed his satisfaction over the ap- 
pearance of the men as he stood beside the Captain and 
watched each one of the husky lads pass by. 

Once a month on a Sunday morning the crew is also 
summoned aft to have the Articles of War read. The ex- 
ecutive officer does the reading. Here is propounded the 
law and the gospel of a man-o'-war's duties and responsi- 
bilities. The men are told what they must do and what 
they must not do. The punishments inflicted for certain 
offences are read out, offences in time of peace and similar 
offences in time of war. More than once are heard the 
words " shall suffer death." All through the idea per- 
vades that there must be instant and complete obedience of 
orders. Reading the Articles of War constitutes a solemn 
occasion and when it is finished one realizes as never be- 
fore what a serious thing it is to swear allegiance to Uncle 
Sam as part of his naval force. 

The organization of the ship's force soon becomes well 
fixed in the mind. There is one head to it all, the Captain, 
on whom falls final responsibility for everything, discipline, 
safety of ship and men, work of every kind. He is assisted 
by about twenty-five commissioned subordinate officers and 
midshipmen and nearly a dozen warrant officers, besides 
numerous petty officers and their mates. The ship has 
several large departments just as a big store in the city. 



270 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

The executive officer is the right hand man, the general 
manager, if you please, of the ship, and he sees that the 
Captain's orders are carried out and he also keeps the vessel 
shipshape. 

One of the departments is that of the navigator. An- 
other is the department of ordnance. A third is that of 
the engineer, a fourth that of the medical officer, a fifth 
that of the Paymaster and a sixth has to do with the 
Marine Corps. 

The executive officer not only runs almost everything on 
the ship but is in charge of all equipment and stores. He 
is the man who can do most to make a ship happy or hellish. 
He looks after the daily routine, drills, repairs, cleaning 
up, issuing of stores, and the like. He is the man to whom 
all other officers, big and little, report. He is busy from 
early morning until late at night. When he isn't keeping 
things in order he is writing reports. He almost never has 
time to sit down at ease except at the head of the wardroom 
table at meal time, where he is a sort of social arbiter, as 
well as general manager. 

The executive officer is also the housekeeper of the ves- 
sel. At one time he is in consultation with the bandmaster 
over a music programme and then he is consulting with a 
plumber about a drain. He runs the clothing establish- 
ment and varies that work with looking after the hoisting 
of ashes or the arranging of liberty parties. His work 
has no beginning and no end and a faithful and hard 
working man seldom has time to write to his family, to 
say nothing of reading a book occasionally or stealing 
away to his room for a quiet smoke or a siesta. 

The navigator does the navigating, as might be ex- 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 271 

pected. He relieves the officer on watch on the bridge 
when quarters are sounded. He has charge of all the 
electrical apparatus, and he is also instructor in navigation 
to the young midshipmen, who have to keep up their study 
and work along that line. 

The ordnance officer has charge of the guns, ammuni- 
tion, the work of target practice, the making of targets 
and everything that pertains to shooting. The Paymaster 
has charge of all money matters, payment of wages, the 
purchase of supplies, providing clothing and meals for 
the crew. He is the purser of the ship. The medical 
officer besides caring for the sick is responsible for sanitary 
conditions. 

In addition to these commissioned officers there are Lieu- 
tenants and Ensigns who are watch officers; that is, they 
stand the watch of four hours on the bridge at sea, repre- 
senting the Captain in seeing that the ship goes all right, 
and four hours on the after deck in port, where they direct 
and have charge of all that is going on. 

There is besides the engineering division, which is a sort 
of world all to itself. 

Then there are the warrant officers, the boatswain, gun- 
ner, electrical gunner, carpenter and machinists. They 
are what might be called the general foremen or superin- 
tendents. They are assisted by the petty officers, of whom 
there are three grades, and mates of various kinds, who 
are the foremen of the individual gangs of men in their 
work about ship. Pretty soon one begins to learn the signs 
and marks upon sleeves and other devices that tell the 
grade of this man and that. He also learns about sea- 
men, ordinary seamen, yeomen (the clerks of each depart- 



272 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

ment), coxswains, jacks-o-the-dust, lamplighters, gun 
pointers, hospital attendants, shipwrights, the printer and 
the numerous other classifications into which the crew is 
divided. 

He learns that the crew is split up into various divisions 
and each division into various sections. The officers are 
called division officers when the responsibility for handling 
the men by divisions comes up. Then the passenger also 
learns how the entire crew is split up into watches so that 
some of the men are on deck and other duty at every hour 
of the day and night. He soon learns all about the ham- 
mock netting, where the hammocks of the men are stowed, 
and he can even find the places where the ditty boxes of 
the men are kept when not in use. He knows what things 
are in those little square ditty boxes, writing paper, pho- 
tographs of those at home, mending material, brushes, 
blacking, possessions of every kind, all subject to inspec- 
tion by the officers. 

Having mastered something of the personnel of the ship 
it is surprising how soon one falls into the drill routine. 
This is a more or less delicate subject about which to 
write, for the reason that tactical matters and certain drills 
the details of which are kept secret are not proper subjects 
for publication, and all correspondents with the fleet have 
bound themselves by written pledge never to reveal what 
they may learn about them. There are certain drills, how- 
ever, which are common to all navies and a matter of ordi- 
nary routine, in reference to which there is no inhibition, 
inasmuch as the Navy Department has even authorized 
and approved publication of these details. You will find. 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 

them all written out in the book " The American Battle- 
ship in Commission," written by an enlisted man. 

On certain mornings of the week certain drills are al- 
ways gone through with. You know when it is ordinary 
quarters, when fire, collision and abandon ship practice is 
to be gone through with, when certain kinds of gun prac- 
tice are tried out. You know just how often this and that 
division goes through with " pingpong " shooting, the 
work with what are known as Morris tubes, the kind of 
shooting that has superseded to a large extent the former 
sub-calibre practice on shipboard. 

You then learn all about hammock and bag inspection 
days, you even get to know when the flagship will probably 
order hammocks or bags scrubbed and you get to know just 
about how often the clotheslines will be strung up over 
the fo'c'stle and just how often bedding will be hung on 
the rails for airing and when it will be taken in and all 
that. You get used to seeing the lanterns put in the life- 
boats at night for emergency use. You know that every 
half hour when the ship's bell is struck the sentry on the 
quarter deck will turn toward the after bridge and will sing 
out: 

" Life buoys, aft ; all's well ! " 

You know that up on the forward bridge with every 
" bell " the port and starboard side lights will be reported 
burning in the same manner. You know how often the 
marine guard is changed and what the stations are. You 
know that on Saturday morning there will be no quarters 
and that all hands will be set to cleaning the decks with 
sand and holystones and that the mud, if a combination 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

of sand and water can be called mud, will be so thick that 
for nearly all the morning you will have to wear rubbers 
if you want to get about in comfort. You know when 
bright work will be cleaned and you know when the smok- 
ing lamp will be lighted, which means at just what hours 
smoking will be permitted, for there is no real lamp in 
these days when nearly everything on a warship is run 
by electricity. 

You get to know just when the awkward squad of ma- 
rines will be drilled and you know when the patent log, 
which is watched most carefully and which nearly every- 
body scoffs at because one never can depend much upon 
it, will be read. You know soon from the color of the 
water when you are on soundings, and you gather about 
the little contrivance far back on the quarter deck which 
unreels the wire for the lead that goes swishing hundreds 
of fathoms into the sea and finally brings up on the bottom 
and then records the depth. You gather about the chief 
quartermaster as he has the line pulled in and you look 
with him at the thermometerlike arrangement which by 
discoloration shows the depth of the water. You know 
just how often the temperature of the sea will be taken 
and how often the temperature of the air will be recorded 
in the log and the height of the barometer set down. 

And then perhaps your mind turns again to the house- 
keeping of this home of 1,000 men. You visit the cook's 
galley, where the head cook and several assistants are busy 
night and day preparing the meals for the men with red- 
hot stoves and great caldrons. You see the copper coffee 
and tea tanks, the soup tanks, the bean tanks and the rest. 
You see the electrically operated potato paring machine, 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 275 

just like the one used in the model kitchen of the world 
at West Point. You visit the butcher's shop, where about 
2,000 pounds of meat is served out and cut up each day. 

Then you go to the scullery and see the dishwashing 
machines, also copied from those in use at West Point and 
all large hotels. You visit the bake shop with its intense 
heat and the bake rooms store shop where the loaves of 
bread are piled up like so many cords of wood. You go 
to the sick bay and see a hospital in operation comparable 
favorably in every way with the best appointed hospital on 
land. You visit the operating room with its fullest set of 
surgical appliances. You even go to the brig and you see 
where men can be confined in cells or left out in the open so 
that they may have company and simply be restrained, 
the latter being the prevalent form for light punishments. 
You may attend the " mast," where the Captain every day 
holds his police court for light offences, and you may read 
in the log what has been done in each case. You may 
attend the summary courts-martial, where more or less 
serious cases are tried by a board of officers, but you must 
leave the room when the board goes into executive session 
to form its judgment on the case and fix the penalty if the 
accused is found guilty. 

You may see the tests of powder and guncotton at regu- 
lar intervals, and if you wish to go around at night with 
the carpenter's force you may see them making soundings 
of the hold every hour. You may see the tests of electrical 
machinery and you may watch the operation of closing all 
watertight doors every evening at 5 o'clock, and always in 
going in or out of port or in time of fog. You can even 
solve that mystery to every civilian as to why there is g 



276 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

sailmaker, with assistants, on a craft that carries no sail. 
When you find men working over canvas targets for days 
and days, making awnings and windsails, working at ham- 
mocks and the like, and when you realize that the ship 
carries more cordage than the old Constitution, you under- 
stand it all. The work of the sailmaker is no cinch. You 
can see the men once a month paid off in long lines, each 
man's signature attested by the division officer. 

So you wander about hither and thither without any 
well developed plan and run across this and that form of 
employment and hard daily toil and you wonder how it 
can be, with so much to do and so little time in which to 
do it, that proficiency in any one line of work can be se- 
cured. Familiarity with it, however, shows that such a 
condition is approximated, and you begin to feel absolutely 
confident that if the ship ever did get into a scrap all this 
work and drill would show its effects at once in a way 
that would make you proud of the men and the ships of 
the navy. A sense of confident security comes over you 
and you soon have the feeling that nobody in the world 
can beat the Yankee sailor man for man in fighting and no 
ship of equal capacity in the world can beat the one on 
which you are sailing in a fight. You may be overconfi- 
dent, but it's a comfortable kind of feeling to have. 

You watch the rivalry among the various ships of the 
fleet in such matters as they can show rivalry in during a 
cruise as you begin to have confidence in the one on which 
you are a passenger. When target shooting comes this 
rivalry will take an impressive form. At present the riv- 
alry consists largely in keeping distances, in making turns 
accurately, in making and responding to signals. Every 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 277 

morning you watch the flags go up at 10 o'clock, when the 
signals are hoisted on the second recording the number of 
sick and absentees on each ship. The officers and men 
read these flags off quick as a flash and you speculate 
about the condition of things on this and that vessel. 

At 11:20 in the morning you watch the flags go up to 
catch the change of time for all clocks. At noon every 
one is keen to see the flags sent up telling how much coal 
has been used and how much each ship has on hand. Then 
come the flags which give the reckoning of the navigator 
on each ship as to latitude and longitude, either by ob- 
servation or dead reckoning, and you comment upon the 
variations in the reports. 

So the routine goes on and you get used to it and in 
some respects become part of it. You even fall into a 
certain station at certain times. The Sun man, for ex- 
ample, has one place where he is expected to report when 
the call is made. No other duties are assigned to him as a 
passenger. He has a certain station when the abandon 
ship drill takes place. He goes to his station, reports and 
then is excused. Otherwise he is free to do pretty much 
as he pleases, always observing as well as he can the little 
proprieties on shipboard, which are simply those govern- 
ing the ordinary actions of gentlemen. 

Every man on a warship has his little or big place that 
is his own and you must not cross its confines without 
permission. For instance, the starboard side of the quar- 
ter deck is the Captain's. You don't walk there unless he 
indicates that he would like to have you join him. The 
port side of the deck belongs to the other officers. The 
Captain almost never goes there, although, being the Cap- 



278 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

tain, he can go where he pleases. Each officer's room is 
sacred when the curtain is drawn. And so on through 
the ship there is a little piece of territory sacred to each 
man or set of men. The fo'c'stle deck is the men's. 

Launch etiquette, however, is peculiar. One of the first 
things to learn about travelling in a naval launch is that 
it is a little ship of itself. You salute its deck, so to speak, 
when you enter it if you observe the niceties. The highest 
ranking officer sits in the stern and goes into the boat last. 
All the others stand until he seats himself. He is the first 
to leave and the others go in the order of their rank. You 
mustn't smoke in a launch in the daytime, and if you do so 
on the sly you must be sure not to show your cigar 
in passing the flagship, for the quartermaster on watch on 
the after bridge will report you and there'll be trouble. 
You mustn't smoke at night except by permission of the 
ranking officer on board. If you see him light a cigar or 
cigarette all the rest of you may do so. Otherwise you 
will please throw away your cigar or cigarette when you 
enter the boat. 

As you go out to your ship at night you hear the quar- 
termaster on some other ship call out, " Boat ahoy ! " and 
the coxswain of your boat answers with a yell, " Passing 1 " 
When you approach your ship or another to make a stop 
the coxswain must be particular about his answers to the 
boat ahoy call. If he has the President of the United 
States aboard, as coxswains on the Louisiana have had 
repeatedly, he calls out: 

" United States ! " 

If an Admiral is on board the answer to the hail is : 

"Flag!" 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 279 

If a Captain is on board the answer is the name of his 
ship. 

If other commissioned officers above the grade of mid- 
shipmen are on board the answer is " Aye ! aye ! " and if 
the launch contains only midshipmen or other officers of 
lower grade the answer is, " No ! No ! " as if to say you 
needn't bother about this bunch. If it has only enlisted 
men on board the call is " Hello ! " By these answers the 
officer of the desk is informed as to who is approaching. 
Of course they are used only in the night, for in the day 
time observation will reveal the situation. 

The longer one remains on a warship, either as a mem- 
ber of the crew or as a guest, two things become more 
and more impressive. One is the reverence for the quarter 
deck and the other is the patriotic regard for the national 
hymn, " The Star Spangled Banner." The quarter deck 
seems to be almost a holy place. The officers salute it as 
they step upon it. No stain is allowed to remain upon it. 
If a man for instance were found spitting upon it well, 
hamstringing would be the fitting penalty, if the feelings 
of those outraged by the performance were consulted. 
This regard for the deck has come down from the earliest 
naval traditions. The soil of the country is represented 
there. The flag waves above it. Sovereignty finds ex- 
pression there. It is the place of all ceremonies, the one 
place sacred to all that is best in tradition, rules of con- 
duct, liberty, national achievements on the sea, national 
hopes and aspirations. It must never be profaned. 

The sound of the first bar of the national hymn brings 
every naval man who hears it to attention. The mental 
attitude is one of intense respect as well. That anthem 



280 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

never becomes a bore to the officers and men. Its notes 
are a call to duty and the salute, when it is ended, is a 
public pledge of fealty to the flag. No music is played 
on ship more carefully and with more earnest effort to get 
every shade of feeling out of the notes. Reverence for 
the tune is a living thing, and after one has been on ship- 
board for a week he begins to feel ashamed of the public 
indifference to the tune ashore. 

Let one incident reveal the regard for the hymn on 
shipboard. We were steaming just below the equator on 
the way to Rio Janeiro one evening, when showers made it 
impossible for the band to play on deck. The concert 
was held in a casemate and the humidity added great dis- 
comfort to the intense heat. The members of the crew off 
duty had stripped to their undershirts and trousers. The 
musicians had also thrown off their coats. Their faces 
ran with sweat as they played. 

Every concert ends with " The Star Spangled Banner." 
It was time to play it. All the musicians stood up and the 
men who had crowded in to hear the music came to atten- 
tion, but not one move toward lifting his baton would the 
bandmaster make until every one of his men had put on 
his coat and hat. They might play Strauss waltzes and 
even Wagnerian selections in their undershirts, but no note 
of the national hymn could be played until every man was 
in dress befitting the occasion. All this is nothing unusual, 
but it is impressive to the man who sees it for the first 
time. 

So although there is no place for comfortable loafing 
and sometimes it is lonely a civilian passenger on one of 
these ships after all can find entertainment and other things 



ROUTINE OF A BATTLESHIP 281 

to interest him. Day by day he feels his patriotic impulses 
quickened. Day by day he is more and more glad that 
he is an American citizen. And when taps is sounded and 
he knows that the men not on duty are swinging quietly 
in their hammocks, tired out from their work, he can under- 
stand and appreciate the full significance and beauty of 
the refrain which soothes one and all with its soft good- 
night : 

" Go to sleep ! Go to sleep ! G-o t-o s-1-e-e-p ! " 



CHAPTER XIII 



Manly, Free Entertaining and Ever Fruitful of Self-Control Or- 
ganization of the Ship's Company Into Messes Chaff Keeps the 
Wardroom Merry, but Never Passes the Bounds of Good Nature 
Something Better Than Romance in the Ships of To-Day Man-o'- 
War Bill of Fare No Longer Includes Lobscouse or Bargoo Fine 
Libraries for All Hands The Canteen. 

On Board U. S. S. Louisiana, U. S. Battle Fleet, 

AT SEA, OFF PANAMA, March 6. 

SOCIALLY the modern man-o'-war houses a series of 
clubs, one large and several small ones. They are 
called messes. The large club's membership, the 
general mess, consists of the entire crew, with the exception 
of the officers. Uncle Sam, through accredited agents on 
board, runs that club. The small clubs' membership con- 
sists entirely of officers, and these clubs are managed by 
the membership. 

The officers' clubs are graded according to rank. On a 
flagship the Admiral may form a club all by himself, or he 
may enlarge the membership, as Admiral Evans does, by 
having his staff officers join his mess. The Captain is 
also a club of one member. The commissioned officers 
make up the wardroom mess. The midshipmen, junior 
paymaster, junior officers of the marines and the pay clerk 
form the steerage mess. The warrant officers bos'n, 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 

carpenter, machinists, gunners and the like have another 
mess, and the largest of the small clubs is that of the chief 
petty officers. 

With the exception of the general mess all these clubs 
provide their own supplies of food and drink. The Gov- 
ernment used to allow every man on a ship, no matter 
what his rank, the sum of 30 cents a day for rations. The 
members of the crew in the old days formed various messes 
of from twenty to forty members. Some of these messes 
drew provisions from the ship's stores amounting to the 
value of 30 cents a day for each man. Others drew only 
three-quarters of the ration and commuted the rest of the 
30 cents, to which they added more or less money of their 
own, and purchased food luxuries from time to time. The 
allowance of 30 cents a day to all hands was made just 
after the civil war, and Jack celebrated the event by a song 
which closed: 

They gave us thirty cents a day 

And stopped our grog forever. 

Jack's grog did stop, although other navies still serve 
out liquor regularly to their sailors, but he got pretty 
good rations. There were times, however, when he did not 
fare well. Sometimes the mess treasurer would go ashore 
with the mess treasury and would fall into the hands of 
the Philistines and the mess would have to go hungry or 
borrow from the kindly disposed members of other messes. 

Nearly ten years ago Congress cut off the 30 cents a 
day allowance for the officers above the rank of midship- 
men. The consequence is that every commissioned officer 
on an American warship has to purchase his own food and 
other household necessities, That act of Congress cost 



284 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

each officer about $110 a year, a matter of at least three 
months board. 

Naval officers must live well and must entertain when 
in various ports, at home and abroad, and, being persons 
of extremely moderate salaries and generally with families 
to support, they must exercise economy to make both ends 
meet. It is no easy task, and the communal plan of pay- 
ing for food and the individual plan of paying for 
drinks is the best solution of the problem. The navy 
regulations provide for the formation of messes, tell 
how they shall be managed, and declare that they must 
show clean financial sheets to the Captain at every quar- 
ter. They must not contract debts which they cannot 

Pay- 
Suppose a new ship is going into commission. About 

fifteen officers below the Captain must mess together. The 
Government provides certain necessities, such as tables and 
chairs, and an allowance of crockery and linen, but the 
officers must assemble their own food and wine supplies for 
a cruise of say three years. It requires capital. Few 
officers are so forehanded that they have sufficient money 
to lay in supplies then for several months. They are not 
allowed to run in debt for them. They must eat and drink, 
and what do they do? They take advantage of a clause 
in the regulations, which shows that there are many ways 
to kill a cat, especially if the cat is running-into-debt, and 
which says: 

" When a vessel is in a United States port and preparing 
to proceed on a cruise the commanding officer may sanction 
supplies for officers' messes being received on board, at 
the risk of dealers, to be paid for as consumed, in not less 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 285 

than quarterly instalments, provided the dealer shall agree 
thereto in writing." 

This means that as soon as an officers' mess is organized 
its treasurer goes to certain dealers and contracts for a 
large quantity of food supplies on condition that payments 
shall be made at certain intervals. There are many large 
wholesale houses that are glad to get that kind of trade 
because they know that ultimately they will receive every 
cent due them. The members of the mess are assessed so 
much a month, according to experience in such matters, and 
the result is that the food of a naval officer costs him in 
the prepared state about $1 a day. A treasurer is elected 
once every month. He must serve, and he sits at the foot 
of the table, while in the wardroom mess the executive offi- 
cer sits at the head. The treasurer may be elected to serve 
a second month, but he cannot be made to serve more than 
two months consecutively. 

The organization of the other messes is similar to that 
of the wardroom mess. The wine mess is composed of such 
officers as wish to join it. They get their supplies from 
a dealer who backs them, and to make up for breakage 
and loss they charge 10 per cent, more than the cost prices 
of the wines, beers, waters and cigars consumed. The offi- 
cers are not allowed to have distilled spirits in the wine 
mess. 

When you have a dozen or more men eating together 
three times a day and for weeks confined to their club- 
rooms the social life of the company is likely to be beset 
with pitfalls and shoals. You can imagine how it would 
be on land, especially if military rule prevailed in a club 
and every member was compelled to spend all his time in it 



286 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

and was superior or inferior in rank to every other man. 
This matter of rank has to be taken into consideration. 
The members of the mess are seated according to rank. 
Still they are equal in the matter of membership of the 
mess, and between this matter of rank and social equality 
some delicate situations arise. The man who may cause 
you to be disciplined sits close to you in the bonds of 
supposed good fellowship, and to preserve the club feature 
of the mess calls for a display of restraint that develops 
character. 

It is a primary rule of the military service of the country 
that an officer must be a gentleman. That means that 
good breeding, consideration for the feelings of others, 
kindness, tact and all the other well known qualifications 
used in defining the word gentleman must govern the con- 
duct of an officer. Good form also requires that there 
must be no discussion of subjects in the mess that would 
lead to discord, such as religion or politics. The result is 
that to the person not familiar with the traditions an offi- 
cers' mess on board a warship seems to be a place for small 
talk or else for shop talk. Really there are few places in 
the world where the word gentleman has a better exempli- 
fication. The officers adapt themselves to the situation of 
enforced close intimacy of months and months in a way 
that excites admiration. You see, you've got to live with 
a person to find him out. When you touch elbows with 
him all the time all his little peculiarities stand out and 
all his annoyances of manner become conspicuous. The 
one social task on a ship is to ignore all these things and 
try to have a companionship as genial as if one's good 
points alone were on view for a day or two, 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 287 

Keeping in good humor is the trick.- One way in which 
this is done on ship is by a light chaffing that runs through 
the intercourse of the members of the mess. Probably 
no more skilful skating on thin ice takes place around any 
board than in the wardroom of a warship. Good natured 
thrusts and parries are going on all the time, and just as 
the danger point of going too far in personal matters is 
reached the talk is shifted in some mysterious way, and a 
new tack is taken. 

A favorite means of fun is to tackle the mess caterer, as 
the treasurer is called, and tell him what poor food he is 
serving. Now, every man knows he is trying to make the 
mess money go as far as possible, and also to provide good 
food. He has a thankless job and the members of the 
mess like to run him, as the expression goes. Suppose he 
serves up that delightful concoction of domestic economy, 
meat balls. The running fire of comment on such fare 
would make any ordinary man's hair gray in a month. 
The members of the mess even go so far as to tell him that 
when he dies his monument should be topped with a mar- 
ble representation of a dish of meat balls. 

Let some man appear in evening dress after word has 
been passed that for once such a costume may be omitted 
at dinner. The luckless one is howled out of the ward- 
room and invited to set 'em up when he comes back. Let 
a man make some wild or foolish statement or boast; he 
never hears the last of it. Perhaps the chief engineer may 
get permission not to wear evening dress for an evening or 
two while he is fixing up some dirty work in the engine 
room. Some one will sing out: 

" Captain, I work so hard ; please excuse me from dress- 



288 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

ing for dinner." Forthwith the Fourth Ward, as the 
lower end of the table is called, gets up a yell and at a 
signal this is heard: 

Bill Johnson ! Bill Johnson ! Bill Johnson ! 

1 work so hard ! 
Johnson, Johnson, Johnson ! 
Bill says it is on him and what'll ye have? 

Let some one declare that he is on the water wagon and 
decline to join in a friendly glass. Forthwith over his 
place at the table will appear the H. T. T. banner, which, 
being interpreted, means Holier Than Thou, and the man 
says he'll stay on the wagon if you don't object, but will 
the others please order what they'd like at his expense. 

Lovesick members of the mess get it unmercifully, but 
when the glasses come on the table at dinner some evening 
and the lovelorn man smiles and announces his marriage 
engagement, hearty, indeed, are the congratulations and 
the girl's health is drunk with gusto. Let some member 
have a birthday. Again good wishes predominate. All 
hands make speeches. Poems are presented. Hits and 
grinds are got off. It all goes to make the men of the 
mess forget that they are made of human clay, the kind 
that grows brittle and crumbles upon close contact. 

Various expedients for making social life delightful arc 
tried. Take the Kansas, for instance. Go over to dinner 
there some night and you will find the usual good natured 
raillery going on all the time, but at the end of nearly 
every course some one will get up and go to the piano and 
sing a song, a good one, too. They have half a dozen 
singers on that ship, and you can scarcely spend a more 
delightful evening anywhere. Perhaps they have invited 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 289 

Father Gleeson of the Connecticut over, and after suitable 
urging this accomplished chaplain priest will tell some 
Irish stories or will sing " The Wearin' o' the Green " for 
you. And then the ordnance officer will probably step up 
and sing some rare English ballads, and you make him 
sing half a dozen times that old gypsy song " Dip Your 
Fingers in the Stew." 

Perhaps you go to the Minnesota. That ship has the 
prize runners. They do josh a man for certain. There's 
Henry Ball, for instance, only that isn't his name. Down 
at one corner some man will cry out : 

" Who killed Cock Robin? " 

At the far end another will respond: 

" * I,' said the sparrow." 

In the middle will come a voice: 

" 6 With my bow and arrow.' " 

And down and around will go the details of the dreadful 
tragedy of the death of Cock Robin. It's a mournful 
tale, but as the details are set forth loudly there comes a 
twinkle in the eyes of certain men, and then after Cock 
Robin is buried decently a shout will come: 

"Who knows it all?" 

Another shout will answer: 

"Henry Ball, Henry Ball!" 

Another voice: 

"He knows it all!" 

Still another voice : 

" With his brass and gall ! " 

Mr. Ball has been guilty of the assumption of too much 
knowledge and he must take his medicine and grin. 

The luckless newspaper man who is a passenger on a 



290 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

warship does not escape. He's meat for these flesh eaters. 
The Sun man mentioned one day that he was sorry he 
had missed a certain piece of news because it was some- 
thing that would interest everybody, millions of people, 
in fact. 

" How many millions of people, for example ? " asked 
an innocent voice. 

" Well, there are more than three millions of people in 
New York city alone," was the reply. It was a mistake. 
Scarcely a day has passed on the cruise when some one at 
the wardroom table does not say in the proper tone of voice 
and just at the psychological moment: 

" Three millions of people made happy ! " 

That moment comes often in port after some one has 
asked the correspondent if he has cabled such and such a 
piece of news. He usually says he has. 

Up rises the table and a 12-inch roar shakes things. 

" Three millions of people made happy ! " 

A mess attendant drops a dish and the accident starts 
a discussion as to the large amount of breakage of crock- 
ery. One member who has been afflicting the mess with 
the recital of numerous details of his household affairs, 
having been married only a year and a half, protests 
against the carelessness of mess attendants. He says it is 
an outrage the way the mess crockery is broken. There 
is no excuse for it. Downright carelessness it is, and some- 
thing ought to be done about it right away. 

" Why," he says, " do you know that in our married 
life we have had just one servant and I give you my word, 
she has not broken one single piece of crockery. That's a 
fact." 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 291 

" What do you use in your home, Jackson agate 
ware ? " asks a rogue across the way, and for the rest of 
the meal the mess is relieved from any more details of 
Jackson's domestic affairs. 

Just on the edge of the Fourth Ward is a Lieutenant who 
has a wonderful baby. The mess hears all about that 
kid whenever a fresh mail arrives. The child must be 
pretty fine and the mess puts up with the narration of his 
superior points and cunning ways with a kindly indulgence 
and restraint. The conversation drifts one evening to the 
case of a seaman who was sick all night and unable to sleep 
and the big doctor, as the ranking surgeon is called, is 
telling about the way the man must have suffered before 
he complained. The father of the baby takes the matter 
up at once and says: 

" Doctor, Mrs. Williams writes me that the other night 
the baby cried all night long. Neither she nor the baby 
got a wink of sleep. What do you do for a baby who 
cries all night without stopping? " 

" Take it out the next morning and choke it to death," 
growls the doctor. 

Williams is puzzled at the shout that goes up and while 
he is trying to fathom its meaning the mess rises up and, 
pointing its collective finger at the big doctor, hurls this 
shout at him: 

" Cruel man ! Cruel man ! Cruel man ! " 

Williams's baby never cries all night again for that 
mess. 

Chaffing like this is going on in all the ships constantly. 
At every opportunity the fun takes a wider scope. For 
example, on St. Valentine's day every one on the Louisiana 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

got a wireless message transmitted from home in some 
mysterious way through the flagship ; at least that is what 
the messages said. The messages contained roasts that 
set the wardroom in an uproar. The Sun man was noti- 
fied by his managing editor that " Three millions of people 
were made happy " by what he had written. Peculiar 
messages signed Sweetheart and other endearing terms 
reached some of the younger members. The proud father 
of a new baby got word of the usual cutting of the first 
tooth. The man who was living on a " dead horse " re- 
ceived word that the increased pay bill might fail. 

Taken all in all, this chaffing is similar to a Clover Club, 
a Gridiron Club, or an Amen Corner lambasting. It is 
given and taken in good part. Years of skill have taught 
the naval officer how far to go and when to stop to avoid 
pitfalls. The man who shows anger or resentment gets it 
all the more. There is a delicacy of adjustment in it all 
that commands admiration. 

Occasionally there will be something formal in the roast- 
ing process. For instance on the Vermont they have what 
they call Campfire No. 6 of the Spanish War Veterans. 
Its members consist of a correspondent and officers who 
served in the Spanish war. They meet at stated intervals. 
They hold long sessions. These are supposed to consist 
of recitals of heroism, hairbreadth escapes, devotion to duty 
and the like. They had one of their meetings on Decem- 
ber 31 last. The members of the campfire were surprised 
to find a printed programme of the evening's entertain- 
ment. The correspondent member is J. B. Connolly, the 
sea story writer and the President's friend. This was the 
programme : 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 293 

I. The old favorite 

WILD BILL TARDY 
familiarly known to theatregoers as the 

BIG CHIEF OF MONOLOGUE 

Mr. Tardy has consented to recite the touching poem "My Bullies 
Shan't Play Ball To-day." 



2. LITTLE ABE BRINSER 

The peerless, precocious sharpshooter. The feature of this act will be 
the shooting of a clay pigeon before it leaves the trap. 



3. That wonderful Oriental Magician 

RAJAH PALMER 
In plain view of the audience, he will grow a horse chestnut into a bull 

weighing 1,728 pounds. 
N. B. First time on any stage. 



4. The blacksmiths of Journalism 

CONNOLLY and PATCHIN 
This act is REALLY great, consisting of Novel writings and 

rhetorical spasms. 
P. S. Audience requested not to go to sleep. 



STEVE ROWAN 
The clever character sketch comedian, 
faithfully portray, noted English characters, viz.: 
BEAU BRUMMEL 
LORD CHUMLEY 
LAWRANCE D'ORSAY, &c. 



6. Those smooth canteen idols 

Jack HIGGINS and DOUGLASS Spike 

In a screaming farce entitled 

SKIN'EM AND CHEAT'EM 

7. The Alexander Salvini of polite vaudeville 

L. C. BERTOLETTE 

The great emotional tragedian in the 

BALCONY SCENE FROM ROMEO & JULIET 

Positively pathetic, piercing and painful. 



294 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

The names of these officers of the campfire were printed 
on the back : 

" Roast Master," C. P. Snyder ; " Libation Master," L. 
M* Overstreet ; " Keeper of the Logs," F. M. Furlong ; 
"Keeper of the Alarm Clock," A. B. Drum; "Bouncer," 
B. L. Canaga. 

If there is any man who can write verse or jingles he 
has to exercise his muse when any gala day comes. Here 
is what Mr. Connolly produced when the Vermont crossed 
the line: 

SUBPOENA. 
Vale of Seaweed, Hall of Atlantus. 

HEAR YE, HEAR YE. 

In this my sacred realm, where lively dolphins leap 

And beauteous mermaids round and round me sweep, 

In this fair sea where warm south trades 

Do toss the gentle ocean 'bove the whirling blades, 

Has come, I learn, a battleship first rate, 

And at her peak the flag of nation great 

Her name Vermont, with many turret guns, 

Of twenty thousand horse-power and sixteen thousand tons. 

And learning this, I Neptunus, and of Ocean King, 
Do don my trident and my signet ring 
To mark which of her white clothed numerous crew 
Are known to me, which to my realm are new. 
Your name, strange sir, I find not on my roster 
A most disgraceful thing, and branding you imposter; 
Appear you, then, that this foul blackest stain 
By baptism be cleansed in our domain. 

All ye firemen, water tenders and greasy oilers, 
All ye mess lads, commissaries and chicken broilers, 
All ye boat destroyers and gun busters, 
All ye marines, signal boys and jack-o'-dusters, 
All ye topsiders, warrants and enlisted men, 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 295 

No matter where ye shipped or when, 
All ye who are not of the slush anointed 
Appear, I say, before the Court appointed. 

Fail to appear and ever rue the day 
My kingly law you dared to disobey. 

Attest: OCTOPUS, Executus Officerius. , 

January 4, 1908. 

There is always a good deal of serious conversation, 
especially as to naval matters. There was the everlasting 
discussion of the pay bill and its chances before Congress. 
Always there was talk of naval history, incidents of old 
cruises. Naval Academy reminiscences, and not a day 
passed without earnest shop talk, how to improve this or 
that thing, how to add to the fighting efficiency of the 
ship. All this talk is from a lofty and patriotic stand- 
point and the one thing that impresses the outsider is the 
intense loyalty to the flag. 

By way of other diversion there is always harmless card 
playing of one kind or another after dinner and the day's 
work is over. Chess and checkers are played also. It is 
a mistake to think that there is gambling on warships as 
a rule. Bridge has its devotees. Many people believe that 
naval officers are inveterate poker players. They may 
have been in the past, but if the cruise of the Louisiana is 
a criterion it has disappeared. The Sun correspondent 
has been in a position to know the facts and he asserts 
with the utmost positiveness that there has not been a single 
game of poker played by the officers of this ship on the 
present cruise. Heaven knows naval officers, just' like 
other folks, have enough of human frailties to answer for, 
but they rise superior to many folks in that they have not 



296 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

the sin of poker playing to explain away, at least not in 
the modern conditions of naval life at sea. This form of 
gambling may exist on some ships but if what the officers 
of the Louisiana say is true it is rarely nowadays that it is 
practised in the navy. 

Social amenities are observed most carefully by these 
men. Every mess has its social secretary, who looks after 
social correspondence. The mess has its social card. 
When a ship reaches port where there are other ships of 
the navy or where there are foreign warships the niceties 
of calling and entertaining etiquette are observed. A naval 
officer would no more neglect observing all social pro- 
prieties than he would appear without his proper uniform 
on the quarter deck. 

Many officers spend a large part of their time in reading. 
They are an unusually well-informed set of men. Their 
wide travel conduces to this. Some of them are musically 
inclined and many an evening is spent in the steerage where 
there is a piano. It takes only a few minutes to get up 
an improvised orchestra of a couple of violins, a guitar, 
a mandolin and a horn or two. Songs soon begin to be 
heard and the music fest often develops into a story tell- 
ing contest and all hands turn in late after a jovial meet- 
ing. 

Officers* club life on warships is run on good, whole- 
some lines. It is manly, free, entertaining, fruitful of 
self-control and always in keeping with the responsible 
station of men who have sworn to defend with their lives 
the honor and integrity of their country. 

There are those who lament that in these days of steel 
ships and electrical appliances all the picturesque side of a 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 297 

sailorman's life on a warship has disappeared. They talk 
of the old days of romance and poetry and sentiment 
aboard ship. Well, things have changed for the sailor- 
man, but those who know how much his creature comforts 
have been improved, how his health is safeguarded, how 
his mental necessities are looked after, are glad with him 
that there has been a change. A warship is not intended 
to be a poetry factory. It's a fighting machine and with 
the best guns that you can get you need the best men 
available to shoot them. 

No longer is the navy the last refuge of the scum of 
town and country, the receptacle of jailbirds temporarily 
at large, the resort of men not fit for any decent toil on 
land. The navy needs men of intelligence and good char- 
acter, the bright boys from the farm; young lads from 
the city, who otherwise would have to spend their lives in 
factories. The navy needs these men, and it is getting 
them all the time. Why? Because largely there have 
been many changes from the old methods, because no 
workingmen in the world have better food, more comforta- 
ble clothes, more sanitary housing, more opportunities for 
mental improvement, more wholesome recreations. 

It is true that Jack no longer has to do duty as a cap- 
tain of a top, no more does he receive orders to cockbill 
spars, square yards, man the main clew garnets and bunt- 
lines, as in the old days. The old horse block, as the plat- 
form where the officer of the deck formerly stood to give 
his orders at sea was called, can be found no more on war- 
ships. The old sports of head bumping, hammer and 
anvil and sparring, old style, have gone. Here is what 
sparring used to be: 



298 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

" Sparring consists of playing single stick with bone 
poles instead of wooden ones. Two men stand apart and 
pummel each other with their fists (a hard bunch of knuck- 
les permanently attached to the arms and made globular 
or extended into a palm at the pleasure of the proprietor) 
till one of them, finding himself sufficiently thrashed, cries 
enough." 

Pretty good swatting, that. 

No more are Wednesdays and Saturdays the regular 
shaving days with every man restricted to two shaves a 
week. No more are the sick bays the most cramped and 
worst ventilated places in the ship. A lot of these things 
have disappeared, just as flogging has disappeared, and if 
the romance of the sea has gone with the passing of sailing 
ships and the development of steel ships into great 
factories and arsenals the general condition of Jack has 
improved in inverse proportion and the country can say 
good-by to the old ways with no regrets. 

When the general mess of the crew was formed in recent 
years there were those who said it would never do. Croak- 
ers and obstructors of new things abound in all walks of 
life and at all times. The result has been that one won- 
ders how a warship ever managed to get along without the 
mess. One man now has charge of the feeding of all the 
men. There are no longer thirty or forty messes with 
varying grades of food. The navy regulations declare 
that so much material shall be fed to the crew for each 
man. He gets that allowance, and it is as wholesome food 
as any person can eat. 

The Sun correspondent knows, for he has eaten with 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 

these men. Many a time has he seen members of the 
wardroom mess send out for some of the food the sailor- 
men were eating at that moment, the officers preferring it 
to the food of their own mess. Every man on a warship 
has his pound and three-quarters of meat a day. He must 
be provided with it, the regulations, say, no matter what 
the cost. He must have a certain allowance of this and 
that, and a general steward sees that it is made up into 
attractive dishes. 

The sailorman no longer eats his meals sitting on a deck 
with the food spread out before him on a piece of canvas. 
He has tables and benches and plated knives and forks. 
His dishes are washed by machinery, his tables scrubbed 
until they are as clean as any housewife could make them. 
And when he is through his meal all are triced up out of 
the way, in what a landsman would call the rafters, prac- 
tically out of sight. 

Gone are the days of scouse, lob scouse, skillagalee, 
burgoo, lob dominion. Gone are the days when the men 
divided themselves up into societies for the destruction of 
salt beef and pork. Slush, as the duff made from large 
quantities of beef fat was called, is one of the absent mor- 
sels of food. You don't hear anything more of dunder- 
funk. What was dunderfunk? Well, it has been defined 
by sea sharks in this way : " As cruel nice a dish as man 
ever put into him." It was made of hardtack hashed and 
pounded, mixed with beef fat, molasses and water, and it 
was baked in a pan. No, the men nowadays have cottage 
pudding, tapioca pudding, ice cream, if you please. Their 
meats are of the finest. Every article of food is the best 



300 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 



that can be bought. It's plain food, true, but no food 
was ever better than the best of plain food. Here is a 
menu of one week picked at random from the collection : 



SUNDAY. 

Breakfast. 

Baked Pork and Beans. 
Tomato Catsup. 
Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Dinner. 
Roast Pork. 
Apple Sauce. 
Brown Gravy. 
Potatoes. 
String Beans. 
Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Supper. 

Cold Corned Beef. 
Tinned Fruit. 
Cake. 

Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

MONDAY. 
Breakfast. 
Corn Meal Mush. 
Milk. 

Fried Pork Sausage, 
Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Dinner. 

Vegetable Soup. 
Roast Beef. 
Gravy and Potatoes. 
Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 



Supper. 
Beef Pot Pie. 
Jelly 

Bread and Butter. 
Tea. 

TUESDAY. 

'Breakfast. 
Ham Hash. 
Tomato Catsup. 
Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Dinner. 

Fricassee of Veal. 
Green Peas. 
Potatoes. 

Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Supper. 
Frankfurters. 
Hot Slaw. 
Bread and Butter. 
Tea. 

WEDNESDAY. 

Breakfast. 

Baked Pork and Beans. 
Tomato Catsup. 
Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Dinner. 
Tomato Soup. 
Boiled Ham. 
Potatoes. 

Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 



301 



Supper. 

Hamburg Steak. 
Onion Gravy. 
Potatoes. 

Bread and Butter. 
Tea. 

THURSDAY. 

Breakfast. 
Fried Pork Chops. 
Onion Gravy. 
Potatoes. 

Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Dinner. 
Roast Beef. 
Brown Gravy. 
Potatoes. 

Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Supper. 

Cold Corned Beef. 
Fried Potatoes. 
Bread and Butter. 
Tea. 

FRIDAY. 

Breakfast. 
Oatmeal and Milk. 
Fried Bacon. 
Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 



Dinner. 

Pot Roast Beef. 
Brown Gravy. 
Macaroni and Tomatoes. 
Potatoes. 

Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Supper. 

Tinned Salmon. 
Potato Salad. 
Bread and Butter. 
Tea. 

SATURDAY. 

Breakfast. 

Beef Stew. 
Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Dinner. 
Bean Soup. 
Boiled Pork. 
Pickles. 
Potatoes. 

Bread and Butter. 
Coffee. 

Supper. 

Bologna Sausage. 
Rice Pudding. 
Jelly. 

Bread and Butter. 
Tea. 



The menus of every ship have to be forwarded to the 
flagship every week so that the Admiral may observe 
whether the men have had the proper kind of food. No, 
Jack no longer kicks seriously about his food on a war- 
ship. No workingman in the world gets better. 

Take the libraries nowadays. There are two of them 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

on every ship, the ship's library and the crew's library. 
The officers use the ship's library. It is scattered about 
the officers' quarters in various cases, some in the ward- 
room, some in the Captain's or Admiral's quarters, some 
in the steerage. There are about thirty classifications, 
dealing with technical subjects, with history, travel, ad- 
venture, poetry, a limited amount of fiction and so on. 
The crew's library is three times larger. There is a great 
deal of history and travel and adventure and some science 
in it, but the larger part is made up of as good fiction 
as the English language provides. The classic authors 
are represented, but a large amount of the newer fiction is 
also represented. You find Kipling, Anthony Hope, E. 
W. Hornung, W. W. Jacobs, Jack London, Weir Mitch- 
ell, Booth Tarkington, S. J. Weyman, along with Bret 
Harte, Mark Twain, R. L. Stevenson, Scott, Thackeray, 
Charles Reade, Washington Irving, Bulwer-Lytton and 
so on. 

And the men read these books ! Far into the night you 
will come across some youngsters whose hammock is near 
a light and who cannot sleep straining his eyes in reading 
some book. At any time when the smoking lamp is lit and 
the men have knocked off work if you walk through the 
ship you will probably find 150 men reading books. Their 
association with the best fiction and best history is con- 
stant. They discuss these books and they get a fund of 
information that no other grade of men in a factory re- 
ceive. 

And how was it in the old days? Melville tells about 
it in his " White Jacket," the book that relates to the old 
frigate United States in 1843. He says ; 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 303 

" There was a public library on board paid for by Gov- 
ernment and entrusted to the custody of one of the marine 
corporals, a little, dried up man of a somewhat literary 
turn. He had once been a clerk in a post office ashore, and 
having been long accustomed to hand over letters when 
called for he was now just the man to hand over books. 
He kept them in a large cask on the berth deck, and when 
seeking a particular volume had to capsize it like a barrel 
of potatoes. This made him very cross and irritable, as 
most all librarians are. Who had the selection of these 
books I do not know, but some of them must have been se- 
lected by our chaplain, who so pranced on Coleridge's 
' High German Horse.' " 

" Mason Good's * Book of Nature,' a very good book, to 
be sure, but not precisely adapted to literary tastes, was 
one of these volumes ; and Macchiavelli's ' Art of War,' 
which was very dry fighting ; and a folio of Tillotson's ser- 
mons, the best of reading for divines indeed, but with little 
relish for a main top man; and Locke's Essays, incom- 
parable essays, everybody knows, but miserable reading at 
sea ; and Plutarch's Lives superexcellent biographies, 
which pit Greek against Roman in beautiful style, but then, 
in a sailor's estimation, not to be mentioned with the lives 
of the Admirals ; and Blair's Lectures, University Edition, 
a fine treatise on rhetoric, but having nothing to say about 
nautical phrases, such as * splicing the main brace,' c pass- 
ing a gammoning,' ' puddin'ing the dolphin,' and 6 mak- 
ing a carrick-bend,' besides numerous invaluable but un- 
readable tomes that might have been purchased cheap at 
the auction of some college professor's library." 

The sailorman has lots of recreation nowadays. Three 



304 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

times a week, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights, 
the band plays for him on the fo'c's'le deck. He seizes 
his mate and he dances wildly, madly or slowly and grace- 
fully, as he pleases. You see as fine dancing there as you 
can see in a fashionable ballroom in any capital of the 
world. He has his cards, his pets dogs, cats, birds 
and he foregathers from time to time to sing. He likes to 
box and play baseball and to row, and the Government pro- 
vides for suitable athletic equipment for his sports. He loves 
a boxing contest on the quarter deck with all the officers 
looking on and the rules of the ring enforced rigidly. It 
gladdens his heart to applaud and to hear others applaud, 
and he was much rejoiced in Callao when several Peruvians 
who were the guests of the New Jersey's wardroom at a 
boxing contest, sang out in their delight : 

"Viva la box fight!" 

Jack laughed at that long and hearty. He loves rowing 
contests and he and his mates on a single ship frequently 
wager as much as $10,000 on their own crew. Jack goes 
broke for months sometimes on these races. Sometimes a 
man will bet from $500 to $1,000 or $1,200 on his crew 
and he'll be all in for months afterward, but he likes a run 
for his money. When he wins all hands know it at the 
next liberty and Jack and his friends have trouble in toe- 
ing a seam, but Lord ! what a good time they've had ! 

Then there is the ship's canteen that ministers to Jack's 
comfort. The canteen is not like what an army canteen 
used to be, a place where drinks were served, but it's a coun- 
try store. In it Jack can buy tobacco, stationery, soap, 
little articles of clothing, thread and needles, knickknacks 
and above all things else, candy. You see, Jack gets 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 305 

nothing to drink but water in various forms on ship and he 
runs to sweets. Many a ship carries away with her on a 
cruise two or three tons of candy in starting out. In less 
than six weeks the Louisiana's canteen had sold more than 
$2,000 worth of candy to the crew. 

The canteen makes a small profit so as to overcome losses 
by the deterioration of goods, but all its wares are sold 
practically to Jack at cost price. It is for his benefit ex- 
clusively that he gets the best quality of goods at the low- 
est prices. It is under charge of the ship's paymaster and 
it is financed much as the ship's messes are. What profits 
there are go to swelling the athletic fund or perhaps to 
provide for a minstrel show ; anyhow, it all goes toward 
making Jack's life on ship as comfortable as possible. 

So Jack eats well and sleeps well and he works and plays 
with zest. He sings and dances and perhaps he gets more 
fun out of a minstrel show on board than any other thing. 
In Callao harbor the Louisiana had its minstrel show. On 
the after part of the quarter deck was a stage about twenty 
by twenty-five feet. It had flies and wings and all the up- 
per and lower entrances. It had three drop curtains, one 
of them with " Asbestos " painted on it. It had foot- 
lights and spotlights. It had red lights with " Exit " and 
" Fire Escape " lettered on them. Every bit of the stage 
scenery was painted by expert men on the ship. Every bit 
of electric lighting was done by the ship's crew. It was as 
creditable as most of the scenic and stage work in a large 
theatre. The quarter deck was all shut in and canopied 
and you could scarcely realize that you were not in a mod- 
ern theatre. 

All the crew attended the show. Delegations of twenty- 



WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

five men from each of the battleships in the fleet came. 
They were met at the port gangway by ushers who had re- 
served seats for them. Programmes, the woodcuts for 
which were made on board and the entire printing was 
done there as well were handed out to each person as he 
took his place. The officers were given programmes at the 
starboard gangway by pages in bolero and plush breeches 
and silk stockings. An old naval custom was revived by, 
having side boys with lanterns. 

It was the old fashioned minstrel show, with end men and 
jokes and songs for the first part and stunts and sketches 
for the second. More than 1,600 men looked on. Imag- 
ine 1,600 men seated in comfort on a quarter deck! My, 
how the ships of the navy have grown ! The 12-inch guns 
were tilted down and seats covered with flags built on them. 
The turret was utilized for a gallery. The after-bridge 
took the place of nigger heaven. There was no sign of a 
warship about, all the implements of trade being hidden. 
Only the uniforms of the men suggested the thought of a 
navy ; those and the grinds on the officers and ships. 

The singing was quite as good as that of any travelling 
minstrel show. The company had a manager, secretary, 
treasurer, pianist, electrician, stage manager, master of 
properties, costumer, carpenter and all the rest of a regular 
theatrical outfit, and all hands voted it as good as any- 
thing you could see in that line on any stage. 

And when it was all over, flags were dropped, ropes 
loosened and the trappings came down in a jiffy, just as a 
circus packs up its effects. The visitors were marched to 
certain gangways. They went down as their boats, which 
were lying alongside, were called, and in thirty minutes all 



SOCIAL LIFE ON A MAN-O'-WAR 307 

the guests were gone, all the trappings put away and the 
routine of ship life was in progress as if there never had 
been the slightest interruption. But Jack had had a night 
of nights. 

It is by making Jack happy and comfortable, giving 
him wholesome pleasure as well as wholesome food, that the 
best fighting results are obtained. There is no better sailor 
afloat, mentally or morally. He is intelligent, willing and 
he loves his flag. Of course, he's human. He will streak 
for a saloon when he gets liberty. He spends his money 
on shore foolishly. He's a child in many respects, for 
Uncle Sam looks after him on shipboard paternally, tells 
him what to wear and when, gives him his food in scientific 
measure, looks after his health, provides amusement and 
mental diversion for him. He gets in the brig occasionally 
and he's mighty sorry for it. He gets scolded now and 
then, but he tries to do his duty. Watch his enthusiasm 
when target practice approaches and see him sneak out be- 
fore breakfast and do extra work just for the love of it 
and you'll appreciate what it means. 

Growl? Lord bless your soul! he wouldn't be happy 
and the ship wouldn't be happy and the officers would be 
alarmed if he didn't growl. But sulk ! Not on your life ! 
He wants his ship to get the record in shooting, rowing, 
boxing, economic consumption of coal, signal work, speed 
and every other contest that enters into fleet life. He'll 
back his money on his own ship and when he fights he's 
willing to go down fighting with her if that's to be his 
fate. 

Dibdin's ballads of the true English sailor are as true to- 
day as when they were written, a century ago. And thejr 



308 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

are as true of the American sailor as of the English. Here 
is one that sums up Jack's seagoing life : 

Jack dances and sings and is always content; 

In his vows to his lass he'll ne'er fail her. 
His anchor's a-trip when his money's all spent; 

And this is the life of a sailor. 

And so you see that a warship may have guns and mag- 
azines and ponderous engines and coal bunkers and deep 
recesses in her hold, and her purpose may be to destroy and 
kill, but with it all there's good fellowship abounding in 
her gradation of compartments, and perhaps on reading 
this you get some indication of what was meant in the be- 
ginning of this article by the statement that socially a war- 
ship houses a series of clubs. Good clubs they are, too I 



CHAPTER XIV 

END AND LESSONS OP THE CRUISE TO THE PACIFIC 

IT JT TITH the arrival of the battleship fleet at San 
^/^/ Francisco on May 6, 1908, the longest cruise 
ever made by a fleet of battleships of any navy 
came to an end. About one month was consumed by brief 
stays in various California anchorages on the way from 
Magdalena Bay to San Francisco. On the long cruise the 
fleet was reviewed by the Presidents of four republics 
President Roosevelt, at Hampton Roads ; President Penna, 
at Rio Janeiro ; President Montt, at Valparaiso, and Pres- 
ident Pardo, at Callao. According to the log of the 
Louisiana, on which the Sun's correspondent sailed, 
the fleet cruised 13,738.7 knots, or in round numbers 13,- 
750 sea miles. Estimates of the exact distance vary on the 
sixteen battleships, according to the calculation of individ- 
ual navigators. Some days' runs were estimated by dead 
reckoning, and there was no way of determining to a knot 
the distance that the ships travelled. 

The elapsed time from leaving Hampton Roads on De- 
cember 16 to dropping anchors in San Francisco harbor on 
May 6, was 141 days 7 hours. The actual time of cruis- 
ing for the 13,750 knots voyage was 61 days 19 hours. 
Practically 80 days (79 days 12 hours, to be exact) were 
consumed in various ports. Of this time a period of 30 
days was occupied largely in practice at Magdalena Bay. 

309 



310 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

In Trinidad there was a stay of 6 days ; in Rio, 10 ; Punta 
Arenas, 7; Callao, 9; or sixty-two days in round numbers. 
The rate of steaming was practically 10 knots. Occa- 
sionally 11 and even 12 knots was tried; several times speed 
was reduced to 8 knots and once or twice to 6 for experi- 
mental purposes or because of some mishap to a ship. 
Such accidents were few and at most only delayed the 
fleet an hour or two. 

Allowing reasonable time to coal in foreign ports and 
eliminating the time for target practice at Magdalena Bay 
and the various stops along the California coast, the trip 
could have been made easily at 10 knots steaming in less 
than eighty days. One day could have been saved at Trin- 
idad, 5 at Rio, 2 at Punta Arenas and 4 at Callao. These 
with 30 days at Magdalena Bay and 21 spent in California 
stopping places make 63 days which could have been cut 
off the elapsed time if the movement had been purely mili- 
tary. 

These data are valuable as showing what an American 
battleship fleet can do if called upon in the way of steam- 
ing long distances. All the strictly unnecessary time 
spent in foreign and home ports, with the exception of 
Magdalena Bay, was occupied with social duties and pleas- 
ures. The Government now knows it would take seventy- 
eight days without undue speeding to send a fleet of battle- 
ships from Hampton Roads to San Francisco, providing 
all coaling arrangements are made in advance. 

The longest run of the cruise was from Trinidad to Rio, 
a distance of 3,225 miles as the fleet sailed it, occupying 
thirteen days twenty hours. There was a strong head 
wind, a southeast trade wind. This and the persistent 



LESSONS OF THE CRUISE 311 

Amazon current caused the fleet to sail far out to the east- 
ward along the northern coast of South America. The 
next longest run was from Callao to Magdalena Bay, 3,025 
miles, occupying twelve days twenty-two hours. The trip 
from Punta Arenas to Callao, although only 2,693 miles 
long, occupied twelve days ten hours, largely because the 
fleet was slowed down on the way for nearly forty-eight 
hours to obtain data as to slow cruising, and also because 
of a fog. Slow speed was maintained for some time, in 
order not to enter Valparaiso harbor in advance of schedule 
time. 

This trip from Atlantic to Pacific was supposed by peo- 
ple generally to be one of hazard and great daring. From 
the cruising standpoint it was almost a picnic. There was 
no bad weather to speak of. Off the River Plata there was 
half a storm one morning and the ships were shaken up a 
little as they emerged into the Pacific from the Magellan 
Strait, always a bad place. Not once, however, were table 
racks used on the ships and the heaviest roll the Louisiana 
experienced was less than twelve degrees. Other ships 
would probably tell a similar story. 

There may have been some element of danger in passing 
through the Magellan Strait, but otherwise the cruise was 
a summer jaunt over smooth seas and for the greater part 
of the time under blue skies. There were four days of in- 
termittent fog after entering the Pacific and there were 
one morning and two hours one afternoon of fog on the 
Atlantic a day or two before the Strait of Magellan was 
reached. The passage through the strait, the last thirty 
miles of which was sailed through quite a thick fog, was 
accomplished, according to commanding officers generally, 



312 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

with greater ease and less real danger than entering New 
York harbor and sailing up the Hudson River to the usual 
anchorage there. 

The trip was one of surprises. The coolness of the peo- 
ple of Trinidad was as great a surprise as was the ex- 
uberant welcome of Brazil and other foreign countries. 
Rio's welcome was the most demonstrative, Callao's prob- 
ably the most heartfelt, that of Punta Arenas the most un- 
expected. There were two highly spectacular events on the 
cruise the welcome at sea on the morning of January 
29 by a squadron of the Argentine navy off the mouth of 
the River Plate and the entrance to and exit from Val- 
paraiso harbor on the afternoon of February 14. The 
American and Argentine fleets exchanged national salutes 
on the high seas. Many naval officers believe this was the 
first time such an act of courtesy ever took place. 

No naval officer ever remembered such a ceremonious call 
as was made at Valparaiso. With the Chilean ensign at the 
fore the ships made a great curve in the shape of a cres- 
cent in the harbor. On entering the port the ships fired a 
national salute of twenty-one guns in unison. On leaving 
the harbor each ship fired twenty-one guns as a personal 
salute to Chile's President, who had come out to review the 
parade. The day was glorious, the hills were crowded with 
people, the shipping in the harbor was all dressed. Every 
naval officer agreed that it was the most spectacular naval 
parade he ever saw. All were glad that this happened in 
a port of Chile, a country which not long ago was not over- 
friendly to us. The messages exchanged between Admiral 
Evans and the President and other officials of Chile were 
extremely cordial, and there can be no doubt that the visit 



LESSONS OF THE CRUISE 513 

to Valparaiso was highly beneficial in fully restoring good 
feeling between the countries. 

All naval officers are of opinion that professionally the 
cruise was of great benefit both to the men and the ships. 
It was absolutely true, as Admiral Evans telegraphed the 
Navy Department from Magdalena Bay, that the vessels 
were in better condition when they arrived there than when 
they left Hampton Roads. They had been shaken down, 
as the expression goes. They had become a coherent force. 
A large quantity of work had been done on each of them 
such as is usually done in navy yards. The longer the 
cruise continued the more the truth of the naval saying 
that " the place for ships to be is at sea, not in navy 
yards " seemed confirmed. 

A large part of the routine work on the ships was taken 
up with drills preliminary to target practice. The pur- 
pose of a warship is to shoot; it is a truism to say it. 
Hence the large amount of time given to learning how to 
shoot accurately and quickly was precisely what was needed 
on the fleet. The value of all this work will become known 
when the Navy Department decides to make public such of 
the records as may be deemed desirable regarding the work 
at Magdalena Bay. One may not speak freely of that 
work, but it is not beyond the limits of propriety to say 
that the American people will not be ashamed of the men 
behind the guns when even partial results are made known. 

The voyage revealed the cruising qualities of the ships 
and many lessons were learned from incidental mishaps 
as many lessons were learned at Magdalena Bay from sim- 
ilar causes as to the way to improve target shooting. 

On the Atlantic coast there were frequent minor break- 



314 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

downs, boilers, condensers, steering engines and the like 
needing repairs. All these incidents showed not only how 
and where mishaps were likely to occur, but showed that it 
was possible to make repairs in such cases at sea. Al- 
though several ships dropped out of the column at various 
times only once was the fleet slowed down, and then only 
for a few hours while repairs were going on. The ships 
might fly " breakdown " pennants but they kept up right 
along. On the Pacific coast there were very few mishaps, 
and these chiefly relating to steering gear. One of the 
ships had a cylinder accident coming up to Santa Barbara 
roadstead, but the ship kept right along in the column. 

There is little doubt that if pleasure stops had not been 
made it would have been comparatively easy to take the 
fleet right on around the world without docking or sending 
them to a navy yard for repairs. Many officers in the 
fleet regret that such a course was not adopted, once it was 
decided to have the fleet encircle the globe, so as to make a 
record such as the naval world has scarcely dreamed of. 

The trip has also been valuable in determining not only 
the cruising capability of the ships but also the best cruis- 
ing speed. Although it was proved that the ships could go 
faster than ten knots it was found that from ten to eleven 
knots was the most trustworthy speed to be maintained. 
You could depend upon ships at that speed. Valuable 
data as to coal consumption and wear and tear on ma- 
chinery have also been secured. From the engineering 
standpoint Uncle Sam has learned now exactly what his 
ships can do in sustained steaming under favorable condi- 
tions of weather. 

By way of contrast between the fine cruising record of 



LESSONS OF THE CRUISE 515 

the battleship fleet and that of the Russian fleet on its way 
to Japan, one should read the diary of one of the Russian 
naval officers who sailed under Rojestvensky, which was 
published about a year ago. It had this to say about the 
Russian ships: 

" There are continual mishaps to the various ships. 
One gets sand in her valves. Although six miles off shore, 
she must have scraped a shoal. Another gets hot bearings 
and the whole fleet is stopped. Another breaks her con- 
densers, another smashes her propeller blade, another 
breaks her piston rod. With most of them the steering 
gear is continually getting out of order. Naval construc- 
tors are in demand night and day." 

Nothing of that kind happened with the American ships. 
They were sent out to cruise and they did cruise, accidents 
in no way interfering with their steady progress. 

The effect on the men was most beneficial. They got 
the sea habit, so to speak. They were in splendid health. 
You could almost see youngsters growing robust from day 
to day. Discipline improved all the time. The men, like 
the ships, were shaken down into a cohesive force, with 
wholesome, fresh, American youngsters, hundreds of them 
right off the farm, as the bone and sinew of the fighting 
force. They are a fine set of men, and no fighting force in 
the world can compare with them in what is called morale. 
In every port their conduct elicited enthusiastic commenda- 
tion from the authorities high and low. They honored 
their uniform. Contrast this also with the conduct of 
the Russian crews, as the Russian naval officer already 
quoted records in his diary: 

" A transport, the Malay, is largely loaded with luna- 



316 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

tics. She is about to return to Russia with lunatics, 
drunkards, invalids and men deported for crimes. The 
crews are all hard cases, beachcombers and the like, picked 
up in the Madagascar ports. All the officers carry loaded 
revolvers ; mutiny breaks out among the lunatics and other 
prisoners; the officers suppress it with slaughter." 

It's many a year since an American naval officer carried 
a loaded revolver because of fear of his men. The scum 
of the country is not found in the American navy these 
days. No brighter, more hard working, loyal men in the 
world are to be found than those behind the guns on the 
Atlantic fleet, and when the ships left Magdalena Bay no 
crews on any warships in the world were in more efficient 
fighting shape. 

Although much has been said about the need of a hos- 
pital ship to accompany the fleet, and the Relief did join 
the ships at Magdalena Bay, the truth of the matter is that 
each of the ships cared for its sick adequately on the way 
around. Surgeon-General Rixey lamented publicly that 
when the fleet left Hampton Roads it had no hospital ship 
with it. While there can be no doubt that some cases 
could receive better attention on a hospital ship than on a 
battleship, especially in the way of better quarters and pos- 
sibly better diet, it is also true that none of the sick on the 
fleet suffered seriously from the lack of a hospital ship, 
unless it was in tubercular cases. Such could have been 
put on shore for better air and sustained treatment in vari- 
ous places had it been necessary. The sick on each ship 
were not more than from twenty to twenty-five cases on 
an average and a large part of these were trivial, slight 
accidents of colds and the like. 



LESSONS OF THE CRUISE 317 

There were the usual number of deaths. No one can say 
that any of these lives would have been spared had there 
been a hospital ship with the fleet. Some of these cases 
developed on a single run, when it would have been impos- 
sible to transfer them to the hospital ship. This comment 
is not meant in any way as taking sides in the hospital ship 
controversy. It is meant to declare that it is quite feasible 
for a great fleet while cruising to take care of its sick suc- 
cessively, even if no hospital ship be at hand. 

One great drawback to the full enjoyment and probably 
to the full development of the benefits of the cruise was 
the condition of Admiral Evans' health. Soon after leav- 
ing Trinidad, his old enemy, rheumatism, took hold of him 
and laid him low for the rest of the voyage. Complica- 
tions in the nature of stomach troubles followed. The 
Admiral suffered intensely from pain. At times he was 
in a most serious condition, as the country now knows. 
The correspondents with the fleet did not feel it necessary 
to reveal the grave condition of the Admiral's health, 
largely because of the misunderstandings that might arise, 
to say nothing of possible complications. For the most 
part they kept silent, recording, however, at every oppor- 
tunity any favorable change in his condition. 

Nevertheless, although Admiral Evans was a gravely 
sick man, the truth is that he was always in command of his 
fleet up to the time when he left it at Magdalena Bay. 
He might have done more work with it in the way of 
manoauvring had he been well. His work may have been 
negative rather than positive, but he was in command all 
the time. He directed all important movements. He was 
informed of every situation. He gave every important 



318 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

order himself. He also kept up with the routine and many 
painful hours did he spend signing documents and going 
over routine work. 

The details of an Admiral's task are burdensome even 
to a well man. Yet Admiral Evans insisted on keeping up 
with most of the work even when every stroke of the pen 
caused him severe pain. Never did he have more loyal 
subordinates. 

Particularly was this true of Rear Admiral C. M. 
Thomas. Had the latter made unfavorable representa- 
tions to the Navy Department of the condition of Admiral 
Evans he possibly might have secured the command of the 
fleet for himself. Not for one moment would he have lis- 
tened to such a suggestion, and no one dared to make it to 
him. Robley D. Evans never had more loyal friend or 
more faithful subordinate officer than Charles M. Thomas. 
He deserves lasting honor from the country for his record 
on this cruise, to say nothing of the enviable record 
throughout his long service to his flag. 

California's welcome to the fleet was characteristic of the 
ardent temperament of that commonwealth. It received 
the men and the ships with an acclaim such as might have 
been bestowed justly had they returned to an American 
port victorious on the high seas over an enemy. The peo- 
ple seemed to go mad in their enthusiasm. The demonstra- 
tions began when Admiral Evans left Magdalena Bay in 
the latter part of March by the advice of his physicians, 
to go to Paso Robles, Cal., for a stay on land. His flag- 
ship took him to San Diego and his presence in California 
seemed to stimulate the people into a sort of frenzied 
patriotism. 



LESSONS OF THE CRUISE 319 

The fleet stopped at five California anchorages on the 
way from Magdalena to San Francisco, the real terminus 
of the cruise as ordered originally by President Roosevelt. 
There was a stay of four days at San Diego, of seven 
days in the four anchorages adjacent to Los Angeles, the 
fleet being split up into four divisions ; of five days in 
Santa Barbara and of four days in Monterey and Santa 
Cruz. At each port the welcome was overwhelming. 
Streets and buildings were decorated, flowers were scat- 
tered on the streets before the marching sailors and thrown 
in profusion into vehicles in which the officers rode. Los 
Angeles particularly devoted its attention to entertaining 
the bluejackets. Santa Barbara gave one of its wonder- 
ful flower shows. It was the most novel and beautiful en- 
tertainment of the cruise. The other cities entertained 
with dinners, balls and receptions. The keynote of the 
functions was one of great rejoicing on the part of Cali- 
fornia, not only because the United States had a great 
fleet of battleships, but because California was enabled to 
see them all at one time. 

The arrival of the fleet at San Francisco on May 6 was 
characterized by such a demonstration of enthusiasm and 
an outpouring of the people as the country never saw be- 
fore. Tens of thousands came hundreds of miles to see 
the entrance through the Golden Gate. Admiral Evans, 
who had returned to the command of his flagship the day 
before at Monterey, led the fleet into the harbor. The 
hills were black with spectators. The harbor was crowded 
with beautifully decorated shipping carrying thousands 
on the water to see the show. The Pacific fleet of eight 
armored cruisers and auxiliaries lay inside the bay. With 



320 WITH THE BATTLE FLEET 

the Battle Fleet was the torpedo flotilla that made the trip 
around South America at the same time that the Battle 
Fleet went around. 

The Atlantic and Pacific fleets joined in one and then 
Admiral Evans made a circle, nearly two miles in diameter, 
leading no less than forty-two men of war of the United 
States, ' the largest number of American warships ever 
assembled together since the civil war, and the most power- 
ful fleet ever seen in the Western hemisphere, a fleet greater 
in size and power than any nation had ever gathered to- 
gether before with the exception of Great Britain. 

Following the arrival of the fleet there was a great land 
parade in San Francisco, the next day, in which 6,000 blue- 
jackets joined with the regular army troops and state 
national guard and other organizations. It was the largest 
parade of the kind since the great Dewey parade in New 
York ten years before. Admiral Evans rode in the line. 
It was his last public appearance as a Commander-in-Chief . 
The people cheered the bluejackets wildly, but they went 
mad over Admiral Evans. They made a hero out of him 
because of his persistent and plucky struggle with pain 
and disease. Although thousands of men marched in the 
parade there really was only one man in it Fighting 
Bob Evans. All the others were a mere escort. His naval 
sun went down that day in a veritable blaze of glory. 

The next day Secretary Metcalf of the Navy Depart- 
ment reviewed the combined fleets, passing through the lines 
on the gunboat Yorktown and receiving a salute of seven- 
teen guns from each ship as " the personal representative 
of the President." The next day Admiral Evans gave up 
command formally to Admiral Thomas at a hotel^ where 



LESSONS OF THE CRUISE 321 

that evening Admiral Evans was taken in a wheeled chair 
to the dining room where a banquet in honor of Secretary 
Metcalf and the officers of the fleet was being held and 
where Admiral Evans, wan and feeble and scarcely able to 
stand, electrified his audience by declaring impassionedly 
that what this country needs " is more battleships and 
fewer statesmen." On the day following Rear Admiral 
Thomas hoisted his flag as Commander-in-Chief, to be re- 
lieved five days later by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry. 

Under the latter's command the fleet went to Puget 
Sound to give the people of that region an opportunity to 
see the ships, such as had been given along the California 
coast. There were the usual rounds of entertainment and 
then the fleet scattered to various places to make repairs 
and to prepare to resume the voyage around the world by 
way of Australia, the Orient and the Mediterranean. 

The arrival of the fleet at San Francisco marked the real 
end of the cruise. With that there was accomplished the 
specific purpose for which it was ordered to the Pacific. 
What that purpose was may never be revealed. All the 
naval officers concerned felt that the rest of the trip to the 
home stations of the ships would be largely a pleasure 
jaunt. All agreed that with the arrival at San Francisco 
the record of a momentous cruise by a momentous fleet had 
been made up. 



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THE CITY THAT WAS 

A Requiem of Old San Francisco 
by 

WILL IRWIN 

This tribute to the San Francisco that 
passed away with the disaster of April, 1 906, 
has become classic. Originally it was printed 
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with a copy-boy at the author's elbow. In- 
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made every feature of the city dear to him, 
and the dangers by which it was still threat- 
ened, Mr. Irwin dashed off a prose epic 
which will always remain the truest memorial 
to San Francisco's greatness. 

Board covers, net 50 cents, postage 4 cents 

Limp leather, in box, autographed by Mr. Irwin ; 
net $2.00, postage 8 cents 

At all booksellers or of 
B. W. HUEBSCH PUBLISHER NEW YORK 



" She is a lovable creature, as fine a portraiture as any 
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says the Rochester Post-Express of Denise in 

A PRINCESS AND ANOTHER 

by 
LIEUT. STEPHEN JENKINS 

"This capital story .... shows as great a knowledge 
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A story remarkable for its reminiscent value, for its con- 
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Price #1.50 postpaid 

At all booksellers or of 

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