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lighters and launches which could be used in disembarking, and above all, it was unmined and undefended. Guanica was really a sea-port of the large city of Ponce, only a few miles distant, which he learned was also undefended and from which an excellent military road lead to the capital, San Juan. All of these reasons for changing the place of landing the Major-General made known to the commander-in-chief of the convoy, and received in return the latter's cheerful coöperation with the new plan.
Captain Whitney's reconnaissance of southern Porto Rico a month before, gave ample information regarding conditions there, and General Miles knew that in altering his plans he was doing nothing blindly. He understood that four miles from Guanica was a railroad leading into Ponce, and that at this city he would have cable and telegraph facilities, as well as the advantage of the splendid road to the capital.
The equipment for disembarkation promised by the authorities at Washington had never come. "He had very little more means for disembarking on a strange and hostile shore than did Columbus when he sailed westward on adjoining seas some four centuries before," writes Lieutenant Whitney. To have put into Fajardo without means of getting ashore would have been utmost folly, and realizing this, General Miles sent a vessel to Cape San Juan to direct the expected reinforcements southward,
and himself turned his transports and convoy toward Guanica. With lights out and silence prevailing, the vessels clung near the shore, and safely passed through the narrow channel that separates Porto Rico from Hayti. On the morning of July 25 they reached Guanica in safety.
Commander Wainwright desired to take his cruiser, the Gloucester, and ascertain if there were any danger from mines. Permission having been gained, he entered the harbor and traversed the waters again and again with little thought for his own safety, finally reporting all well and himself leading the way into port, firing upon the city as he went. Some of the Gloucester's shells fell among the Spanish troops, who were occupying the town, upon which they promptly retreated, offering no resistance. The marines were then put on shore and also two companies of the provisional engineer battalion and some companies of infantry. They formed outposts and a skirmish line, but the Spaniards were fleeing, and the inhabitants of the town, dazed and terrified, also began to take flight, leaving their little houses to seek shelter among the surrounding hills. This terror and flight were the results of stories circulated among the ignorant natives by the Spanish troops - just as they had done at Santiago de Cuba. They represented the Americans as cowards and bullies who would despoil the natives and destroy their homes. The relief and rejoicing wer
pathetic to see when Miles sent to the refugees among the hills his kindly assurances of safety, and forthwith they all returned and order was restored. Meanwhile the disembarking was going on under the supervision of Brigadier-General Gilmore, and as soon as the lighters found in the harbor and the launches of the convoying vessels could bring them into shore the troops were landed. A few shots were fired, but the resistance was almost none. By eleven o'clock of the next day the Spanish flag had been lowered and the Stars and Stripes were waving over Guanica. That same day General Garretson moved forward on a reconnoitering expedition, commanding six companies of the 6th Massachusetts, and one of the 6th Illinois. His intent was to explore the road leading northwest from Guanica to the town of Yauco. The expedition, however, was surprised by the enemy, who were situated in a natural angle made by the convergence of two hills. They opened fire so suddenly that the American troops were at first confused, but quickly regaining their self-command, they repulsed the Spanish and forced them down into the valley below. In this brief skirmish four Americans received wounds, none of which were very serious. Three Spanish were killed and thirteen wounded. The following day they discovered that the Spanish had abandoned Yauco, and General Henry's men at once entered and took possession.
whose passengers were not yet landed, landed, was ordered forward to Playa, a suburb of Ponce. The naval convoy accompanied the vessel, whose troops at once landed and occupied Playa. Next day General Miles and his staff landed, and immediately hoisted the American colors over the custom house.
Meantime General Wilson and his transports had arrived, and his men were experiencing considerable diculties in landing. But after this was achieved they were ordered to occupy the city of Ponce. Wilson therefore set forward to engage the 500 Spaniards who were reported to be holding the city. Upon arriving, however, the enemy had taken flight, leaving even their ammunition in the arsenals, yet before fleeing they had found time to destroy all cable, telephone and telegraphic communication between Ponce and the outside world, and also to burn and destroy the railroad's rolling stock, and to lay mines between Ponce and Yauco, where General Henry's men were encamped in short, to render the city of Ponce as worthless as possible for American headquarters. Yet all of these disasters General Miles' care and forethought had anticipated. With his command were men who were capable of repairing the most delicate telegraph instruments and cables, and others competent to construct or repair a railroad. General Wilson was made military commander of the city of Ponce; a corps of
On July 27 the transport Dixie, workers was immediately put to work
reconstructing the damage done by the Spanish, and in a short time all was in order; Ponce was made headquarters of the American army, and the tangle of municipal affairs wrought by change of government was rapidly straightened out.
Upon the arrival at Ponce, Lieutenant Merriam had been sent ashore to meet the Spaniards, bearing with him a flag of truce, and demanding immediate surrender of the city. He was met, however, by the English and German consuls and by a body of Ponce's representative citizens, who proposed to yield up the city if military activities and naval bombardment could thus be avoided. So American were the citizens in their sympathies that the Spanish well knew that were the city bombarded and property destroyed, an uprising of no small consequence would follow. Their troops were few, and in a hostile city would perhaps suffer as much, or more, than in defeat by their enemies. Consequently Colonel San Martin, who would have liked. well enough to stay and fight, had it been possible, abandoned Ponce, and the American general and his army were received with open arms by the eager populace.
It was from Ponce that General Miles issued his proclamation to the Porto Ricans which bore such splendid fruitage.* The results of this
*"In the prosecution of the War against the Kingdom of Spain by the people of the United States in the cause of Liberty, Justice and Humanity, its military forces have come to
proclamation were so gratifying that in all his future relations with the people of Porto Rico, General Miles found them to be heartily in sympathy and coöperation with the American army, and some of the Porto Ricans who were bearing Spanish arms laid them down and took up those of the United States. From one place 2,000 volunteered their services, and "Four-fifths of the people," Miles cabled to Washington, "" are overjoyed at the arrival of the army." Of the volunteers who served Spain, 300 had surrendered by August 2, and reports came from various parts of the island that everywhere they were refusing to longer serve the Spanish. Besides this, the Porto Ricans brought in beef to the soldiers, and offered General Miles' army transportation. Upon all sides the reception of the Americans was hearty and sincere — and demonstrations were continually
occupy the island of Puerto Rico. They bring you the fostering arm of a nation of free people, whose greatest power is in its Justice and Humanity to all those living within its fold. Hence the first effect of this occupation will be the immediate release from your former political relations, and, it is hoped, a cheerful acceptance of the government of the United States. We have not come to make war upon the people of a country that for centuries has been oppressed, but, on the contrary, to bring protection not only to yourselves but to your property, to promote your prosperity, and bestow upon you the immunities and blessings of the liberal institutions of our government. It is not our purpose to interfere with any existing laws and customs that are wholesome and beneficial to your people so long as they conform to the rules of military administration of order and justice. This is not a war of devastation, but one to give to all within the control of its military and naval forces the advantages of enlightened civilization."
MILES PLANS HIS CAMPAIGN,
taking place little calculated to encourage the Spanish forces.
In his account of the "Work of the Army as Whole," General Miles tells of the terrible mutilations some of the unhappy Porto Ricans received at the hands of the Spanish, and of the touching patriotism displayed by by these unfortunate people. A splendid spirit flamed high, despite the years of cruelty and oppression, and reading their letter presented to General Miles upon his arrival, one feels that here indeed was mettle worth fostering and preserving, even at the cost of national interference. wait with impatience American occupation that comes to break the chain that has been forged constantly during four centuries of infamous spoliation, of torpid despotism and shameful moral slavery. When the rudders of the American ships entered the waters of the coast of Guanica to bear to this country the political revolution, great confidence was born again, again was awakened the ideal of sleeping patriotism.
By August 3 additional reinforcements had arrived from the States under Generals Brooke and Schwan, and the entire American force was concentrated at Ponce, aggregating about 14,000 men with their equipment of 106 howitzers, mortars, field and siege guns.
While the land was being explored, and outposts established beyond Ponce along the road to San Juan, General Miles was shaping all in readiness to begin the systematic
campaign by which he intended to take Porto Rico and cover it with his men. The army was already divided into four parts, Brooke, Wilson, Schwan and Henry commanding, and under these four leaders four special columns were to march in the following order: Generals Brooke and Wilson were to take the military road leading to San Juan, the capital, in the northeastern part of the island. Generals Henry and Schwan were to go northwest by way of Yauco(which it will be recalled Henry then occupied) and have for their objective point the city of Arecibo, a coast town in the northwestern part of Porto Rico. Each of the two divisions of the army was to be divided into two columns, Brooke and Wilson converging their forces at the city of Aibonito, while Schwan and Henry were to merge at their destination, Arecibo. The four divisions were to start from the base of operations, Ponce. This city was healthful, the food supplies plentiful and the people friendly. Transportation for the guns and supplies could easily be hired from the natives. On a little island only 37 miles broad and 108 miles long," Smaller in area than the state of Connecticut, and less in population than the city of Brooklyn," it would seem to be no great undertaking to execute these military operations, yet there existed one serious difficulty the ever-present mountains. A map of Porto Rico seems to be nothing but little intersecting chains of peaks and hills — not a
square inch but is closely covered. Even an army less proficient than the Spanish in the arts of defense, would have realized what perfect natural fortifications these summits afforded. Indeed, even then the Spaniards, routed from Ponce and Guanica, had already proceeded along the military road toward San Juan and were strongly fortified among the mountains.
The advance of the troops had been delayed for a week by lack of launches for disembarking, and by the grounding of two loaded transports, Massachusetts and Manitoba. During this interim General Wilson, besides getting his men in order for the coming campaign, had been busy at Ponce in the official capacity of military commander. The troops had not been idle; for much reconnoitering had been accomplished as well as preparations, and when the final starting moment came the forces which set out were so completely trained and prepared for their work that the campaign may almost be called a model of military excellence.
As the troops moving northeastward were the first to encounter the enemy, we will follow their fortunes and then return to the northwestern division. Under General Brooke were the troops of General Peter Hains' brigade; under Wilson were those commanded by General Oswald Ernst. On August 5 General Hains attacked the 500 Spaniards who were occupying the town of Guayama, and succeeded in putting them to flight with
a loss of only three of his men wounded. They made no very great resistance,- indeed, our soldiers did not know whether or not they were regulars of the Spanish army. Their losses were, as far as could be ascertained, one killed and two wounded. General Hains' men saw no further action until the 8th of the month, when a reconnoitering party who were exploring the Cayey road, three miles north of Guayama, were fired upon by hidden troops, concealed among the hills. The reconnoiterers fell back to Guayama, temporarily repulsed, but, being reinforced, they managed finally to press their enemies to seek stronger positions. Five Americans received wounds, and two of the company were overcome by
As General Brooke's cavalry and artillery had been on the transports that were grounded, further movement of his forces was delayed until August 13. On that date a general attack upon the Spanish was planned, the enemy being by that time strongly fortified both by cunning and by nature in the heights of Guamani Pass, directly overhanging the military road to Cayey. tary road to Cayey. For eight days this command of infantry - whose numbers, not accurately ascertained, were anywhere from 600 to 1,500 strong, had been entrenching themselves on the summits and between the hills beyond Guayama. For five miles their hiding places, screened by palm and banana trees, covering the mountains, commanded every impor