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This was the condition of affairs on What Schley's message from Santhe land, termed by Secretary Alger,* tiago had been to the navy depart
, the “ darkest day ” of the war. Cer- ment, this telegram was to the detainly the dispatch forwarded by partment of war. l'pon the great General Shafter did not tend to re- columned building where the departlieve the gloom. In it he said: ment made its home gloom settled so “We have the town invested on the north and
thick that it enveloped everybody east, but with a very thin line. Upon approach- from the President and the Secretary ing it we find it of such a character and the
down to the most insignificant mesdefenses so strong it will be impossible to carry it by storm with my present force, and I am senger boy. Imperative orders were seriously considering withdrawing about 5 miles
sent forth to obtain transports and and taking up a new position on the high ground between the San Juan River and Siboney, with
start reinforcements to Santiago. our left at Sardinero, so as to get our supplies General Wilson's division was to a large extent by the means of the railroad
dered to be ready to move at a which we can use, having engines and cars at Siboney. Our losses up to date will aggregate
moment's notice, and Shafter was 1,000, but list has not yet been made. But little
notified that he could have any reinsickness outside of exhaustion, intense heat and exertion of the battle of day before yesterday
forcements he wished. This was the and the almost constant fire which is kept up state of affairs until 7 P. M., when the on the trenches. Wagon road to the rear is kept
war and navy departments were up with some difficulty on account of rains, but I will be able to use it for the present. General both appalled by the additional mesWheeler is seriously ill and will probably have to
sage from Shafter to the effect that go to the rear today.ỉ General Young also is very ill; confined to his bed. General Hawkins
it was reported that Cervera's fleet slightly wounded in foot during sortie enemy had escaped. For three-quarters of made last night, which was handsomely repulsed.
an hour the whole administration was The behavior of the regular troops was magnificent. I am urging Admiral Sampson to attempt in despair. The American cause had to force the entrance to the harbor, and will have received a blow to its prestige that consultation with him this morning. He is com
would have a fatal effect upon the ing to the front to see me. I have been unable to be out during the heat of the day for four course of the whole war. But the days, but am retaining the command.
truth regarding Cervera's fleet was Shafter, Major General.”
soon to follow, for at 7:19 P. M. came *R. A. Alger, The Spanish-American War. † “I regretted very much to see that General
the message announcing the glorious Shafter had telegraphed as he did regarding my victory of the fleet, and with it passed health. It is true that I had an attack of fever,
the mood of despondency. The capbut the same is true of every other General in the army in Cuba.
* After six days of ture of Santiago, at one stroke ceased this character of exposure I was taken with the
to be a matter worth endangering the fever ; but by placing myself under the charge of
lives of American soldiers. The army, a doctor and taking all the prescribed medicine, I was up and ready for duty on the morning of indeed, had fulsled its function, for July 1st, the day of the Battle of San Juan. I
it had rendered Cervera's position so was engaged during all this day; and even after dark I remained on the advanced line, to get up desperate that it was a question of entrenching-tools and to encourage the construe
scuttling his ships in the harbor or of tion of breastworks.”- Wheeler, The Santiago ('ampaign.
making a dash for liberty. He chose
the latter, and the world knew the cruiser Reina Mercedes in the channel result on the night of July 3.
narrows. It was assumed that SampNevertheless General Shafter and son's fleet would follow up its victory the authorities at Washington felt by an endeavor to force the harbor, so that Santiago should be taken if pos- the sole war-ship left to the defenders sible, hence orders were given to push was sacrificed in an endeavor to shut affairs at that place to a conclusion.* out American ships. As soon as the Already, on the morning of the 3d, Mercedes was discovered a continuous Shafter had forwarded a message to fire was opened on the ship and batGeneral Toral, who had superseded teries. In spite of this the vessel was Linares, informing him that if Santi- scuttled, but like the Merrimack, in ago were not surrendered immediately such a way as to leave the channel he would shell the city. The Spanish still open. This attack, joined with general curtly refused to accede to the General Shafter's ultimatum, threw demand, adding that there were 20,000 the people into a frenzy of fear. At non-combatants who were entitled to daybreak they commenced to emigrate protection, should the threat to bom- from the city. Carrying their propbard be carried out. In view of this erty on their backs 20,000 women, fact, General Shafter agreed to post- children, old men, and, as Lieutenant pone action until July 5, in order to Müller asserts, able-bodied men, bepermit these people to leave the city. gan their march toward the American When the situation was made clear to lines, establishing themselves finally the President and Secretary of War, at El Caney. Here they remained for Shafter was advised to strengthen his eleven days, without adequate food, position, but to avoid operations as water or shelter, resulting in an epifar as possible that would endanger demic which hurried a good share of the safety of the army.
them to their graves. “ Those eleven The foreign residents and non-com- days at El Caney have caused more batants of Santiago, believing that a victims in Santiago than the three general bombardment was imminent, years of war.” (Müller y Tejeiro.) on July 5, began an exodus to El There had been more or less fricCaney. The immediate cause of this tion between the army and the navy was a fearful attack on the harbor de- ever since the former had established fenses on the night of the 4th, when itself in front of Santiago. This, the Spanish attempted to sink the however, assumed an acute stage was, nevertheless, on the way to con- teries, and the fleet free to coöperate fer with Shafter on that point when with the army all tended to make the he was suddenly recalled by the exit Spanish position hopeless. “I make of Cervera. With the Spanish fleet this suggestion of a surrender,” he eliminated, General Shafter felt that proceeds," purely in a humanitarian the way was open for the American spirit. I do not wish to cause the ships to enter the harbor and co- slaughter of any more men, either of öperate with the army in forcing the your excellency's forces or my own; capitulation of the city. The fleet, the final result under circumstances however, still delayed action, Admiral so disadvantageous to your excellency Sampson maintaining that the army being a foregone conclusion.” After should capture the shore batteries be- a third demand for surrender, the fore an entrance be attempted.
after the destruction of the Spanish Being on the ground and knowing all the fleet. From the first General Shafter conditions, the Secretary of War directs you will
had been pressing Admiral Sampson use your own judgment as to how and when you will take the city of Santiago, but for manifest to make an effort to force the harbor, reasons, it should be accomplished as speedily as
but the latter had all the while propossible. By command Major-General Miles. H. C. Corbin, Adjutant-General.”
tested that the risk was too great. He VOL. X-11
threat to bombard on July 9, General In the meanwhile Shafter kept up a Toral communicated with the Spanish correspondence with Toral, a sort of
government and finally presented a truce being maintained between the counter-proposition in which he agreed two armies. He sent the wounded
to evacuate Santiago, retreating to Spanish officers and men back to San
Holguin, retaining all arms and postiago, under parole; an act that went. sessions. Without consulting with far to remove the false conception his generals, Shafter forwarded this held by the Spaniards as to the inhu
offer to Washington, recommending manity of the American soldiers.
that it be accepted. The reply from This act probably hastened the ex- the President and Secretary Alger change of Lieutenant Hobson and his
was a positive refusal of the terms men, who were liberated July 6.
offered by Toral: Toral, however, persisted in his re
“ You have been repeatedly advised that you fusal to capitulate, his attitude being
would not be expected to make an assault upon determined by the arrival of Colonel the enemy at Santiago until you are prepared Escario with 3,579 men.* On July 6,
to do the work thoroughly. When you are ready
this will be done. Your telegram this morning General Shafter forwarded another said your position was impregnable, and that you and more imperative demand for the believed the enemy would yet surrender uncondi.
tionally. You have also assured us that you could surrender of Santiago, in which he
force their surrender by cutting off their supstressed the fact that the fall of the plies. Under these circumstances your message city was inevitable under the circum
recommending that Spanish troops be permitted
to evacuate and proceed without molestation to stances, and the reinforcements of the
Holguin is a great surprise and is not approved. army, the establishment of his bat- The responsibility for the destruction and distress
to the inliabitants rests entirely with the Spanish * Garcia was severely blamed by General Shafter commander, The Secretary of War orders that for his failure to stop these reinforcements to when you are strong enough to destroy the enemy Santiago. Yet, in justice to him, it should be and take Santiago, you do it. If you have not stated that Col. Escario had to fight nearly every force enough, it will be despatched to you at the mile of his way from Manzanillo. He lost during earliest possible moment. Reinforcements are althe journey 3 officers and 68 men, with a large ready on the way, of which you have been appercentage of wounded.
prised. In the meantime, nothing is lost by late on the condition that his soldiers cally deserted at the time. It was evident that the fleet could not be of
holding the position you now have, and which without the harbor, and it was equally you regard as impregnable. Acknowledge receipt.
evident that Admiral Sampson had no By order of the Secretary of War. H. C. Corbin, Adjutant-General."
intention of going in until there was
no possibility of endangering his In such“ unequivocal language,'
ships.* The gloom of the situation as Secretary Alger phrases it, was
was somewhat relieved by the arrival the general from Michigan rebuked
of Major-General Miles, the comby his compatriot, the Secretary of mander-in-chief of the army, on July War. It was sufficient. Telegraphing
11. He was empowered with auto Washington: “ The instructions thority to act only in
an advi. of the War Department will be carried
sory capacity, General Shafter beout to the letter,” General Shafter
ing advised by the Secretary of War notified Toral that nothing but uncon
to that effect. General Miles was ditional surrender would be consid
present during the preliminary negoered. The situation, in spite of rein
tiations respecting the surrender, and forcements, was becoming serious in
after seeing the condition of the army both armies; the Spaniards were re
recommended that immediate steps be duced to the lowest rations; and in the
taken to complete the taking of the American camps the rainy season had
city, either by means of attack or comset in with all of its distressing accompaniments, and, worst of all, yel- promise. The question of the sur
render thus dragged on; Toral inlow fever had made its appearance.
sisting that he could do nothing until Haste, above all things was impera
Havana and Madrid gave him permistive. It was thought that General
sion to yield up the city. This was Toral knew the condition of the
probably true, for General Linares, American army and was only seeking
from his bed of sickness addressed a to gain time. It was therefore de
pathetic letter to the Minister of War, cided to bring an end to the truce, so
in which he set forth the desperate on receipt of Toral's refusal to sur
condition of Santiago, making it clear render, a general bombardment was
that a policy of temporizing would in begun at 4 P. M. July 10, which lasted
no wise alter the final outcome, but until noon of the next day.
would only result in needless sacrifice As was the case with previous bom
of human life. bardments, the effect of the firing was
This and General Toral's represennot commensurate with the ammuni
tations had the desired effect, and on tion used. A number of buildings in
July 14 the latter informed General the city were damaged, but very few
Shafter that he was willing to capitulives were lost, the city being practi
* See Abridgment of Messages and Documents, great assistance to the army from 1898-9, vol. 4.
be transported to Spain.* He also appointed at the time a commission consisting of General Escario, Lieutenant-Colonel Fontan, and Robert Mason, interpreter, to arrange the details of the surrender. On his part, General Shafter appointed Generals Wheeler and Lawton and Lieutenant Miley as the American commission. These commissions met at 2:30, July 14, under a great cotton-wood tree out
a of Santiago, which, indeed, had been the scene of previous conferences between Shafter and Toral, but nothing could be decided upon until far into the night, as the Spanish commissioners insisted upon retention of the rifles and small arms by the Spanish infantry. This, of course, the American commissioners were not authorized to do, so the question was left open, and after four or five hours of discussion, a tentative agreement of capitulation was signed by the representatives of General Toral, subject to ratification by General Blanco and the Spanish ministry. The next day it was announced that the necessary permission to yield the city had been received, and on July 16 the terms of the capitulation were formally signed by the two commissions. Following are the terms as accepted by Spain :
delay as possible, to transport all the Spanish troops in said district to the Kingdom of Spain, the troops being embarked, as far as possible, at the port nearest the garrisons they now occi y.
4. That the officers of the Spanish army be permitted to retain their side arms, and both officers and private soldiers their personal property.
5. That the Spanish authorities agree to remove, or assist the American navy in removing, all mines or other obstructions to navigation now in the harbor of Santiago.
6. That the commander of the Spanish forces deliver without delay a omplete inventory of all arms and munitions of war of the Spanish forces in above-described district to the commander of the American forces; also a roster of said forces now in district.
7. That the commander of the Spanish forces in leaving said district is authorized to carry with him all military archives and records pertaining to the Spanish army now in said district.
8. That all that portion of the Spanish army known as volunteers, movilizadoes, and guerillas who wish to remain in the island of Cuba are permitted to do so upon condition of giving up their arms and taking a parole not to bear arms against the United States during the continuance of the present war between Spain and the United States,
9. That the Spanish forces will march out oi Santiago de Cuba with honors of war, depositing their arms thereafter at a point mutually agreed upon to await their disposition by the United States Government, it being understood that the United States commissioners will recommend that the Spanish soldier return to Spain with the arms he so bravely defended.
10. That the provisions of the foregoing instrument become operative immediately upon its being signed.
Entered into this 16th day of July, 1898, by the undersigned commissioners, acting under instructions from their respective generals, and with the approbation of their respective governments.
JOSEPH WHEELER, Major-General U. S. V.
Aide-de-camp to General Shafter.
1. That all hostilities between American and Spanish forces in this district absolutely and unequivocally cease.
2. That this capitulation includes all the forces and war material in said territory.
3. That the United States agrees, with as little
* This method of disposing of the Spanish pris
was the idea of Secretary Alger. See The American-Spanish War by R. A. Alger, Secretary of War, p. 198.
On the morning of July 17, the commanding officers of the 5th Army