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lighters and launches which could be and himself turned his transports used in disembarking, and above all, and convoy toward Guanica. With
, it unmined and undefended. lights out and silence prevailing, the Guanica was really a sea-port of the vessels clung near the shore, and large city of Ponce, only a few miles safely passed through the narrow distant, which he learned was also channel that separates Porto Rico undefended and from which an excel- from Hayti. On the morning of July lent military road lead to the capital, 25 they reached Guanica in safety. San Juan. All of these reasons for
Commander Wainwright desired to changing the place of landing the take his cruiser, the Gloucester, and Major-General made known to the ascertain if there were any danger commander-in-chief of the convoy, from mines. Permission having been and received in return the latter's gained, he entered the harbor and cheerful coöperation with the new traversed the waters again and again plan.
with little thought for his own safety, Captain Whitney's reconnaissance finally reporting all well and himself of southern Porto Rico a month be- leading the way into port, firing upon fore, gave ample information regard
the city as he went. Some of the ing conditions there, and General
Gloucester's shells fell among the Miles knew that in altering his plans he was doing nothing blindly. He Spanish troops, who were occupying
the town, upon which they promptly understood that four miles from
retreated, offering no resistance. The Guanica was a railroad leading into
marines were then put on shore and Ponce, and that at this city he would have cable and telegraph facilities, as
also two companies of the provisional well as the advantage of the splendid engineer battalion and some comparoad to the capital.
nies of infantry. They formed outThe equipment for disembarkation
posts and a skirmish line, but the promised by the authorities at Wash- Spaniards were fleeing, and the inington had never come. "He had habitants of the town, dazed and tervery little more means for disembark- rified, also began to take flight, leaving on a strange and hostile shore ing their little houses to seek shelter than did Columbus when he sailed among the surrounding hills. This westward on adjoining seas some four terror and flight were the results of centuries before," writes Lieutenant stories circulated among the ignorant Whitney. To have put into Fajardo natives by the Spanish troops – just without means of getting ashore as they had done at Santiago de Cuba. would have been utmost folly, and They represented the Americans as realizing this, General Miles sent a cowards and bullies who would devessel to Cape San Juan to direct the spoil the natives and destroy their expected reinforcements southward, homes. The relief and rejoicing were
pathetic to see when Miles sent to the whose passengers were not yet refugees among the hills his kindly landed, ordered forward to assurances of safety, and forthwith Playa, a suburb of Ponce. The naval they all returned and order was re- convoy accompanied the vessel, whose stored. Meanwhile the disembarking troops at once landed and occupied was going on under the supervision of Playa. Next day General Miles and Brigadier-General Gilmore, and as his staff landed, and immediately soon as the lighters found in the har
hoisted the American colors over the hor and the launches of the convoying custom house. vessels could bring them into shore Meantime General Wilson and his the troops were landed. A few shots transports had arrived, and his men were fired, but the resistance was al- were experiencing considerable dirimost none. By eleven o'clock of the culties in landing. But after this was next day the Spanish flag had been achieved they were ordered to occupy lowered and the Stars and Stripes the city of Ponce. Wilson therefore were waving over Guanica. That set forward to engage the 500 Spansame day General Garretson moved iards who were reported to be holding forward on a reconnoitering expedi- the city. Upon arriving, however, tion, commanding six companies of the enemy had taken flight, leaving the 6th Massachusetts, and one of the even their ammunition in the arse6th Illinois. His intent was to ex- nals, yet before fleeing they had plore the road leading northwest from found time to destroy all cable, teleGuanica to the town of Yauco. The phone and telegraphic communicaexpedition, however, was surprised by tion between Ponce and the outside the enemy, who were situated in a world, and also to burn and destroy natural angle made by the converg- the railroad's rolling stock, and to lay ence of two hills. They opened fire so mines between Ponce and Yauco, suddenly that the American troops where General Henry's men were enwere at first confused, but quickly re- camped – in short, to render the city gaining their self-command, they of Ponce as worthless as possible for repulsed the Spanish and forced them American headquarters. Yet all of down into the valley below. In this
these disasters General Miles' care brief skirmish four Americans re- and forethought had anticipated. ceived wounds, none of which were
With his command were men who very serious. Three Spanish were were capable of repairing the most killed and thirteen wounded. The fol- delicate telegraph instruments and lowing day they discovered that the cables, and others competent to conSpanish had abandoned Yauco, and struct or repair a railroad. General General Henry's men at once entered Wilson was made military commander and took possession.
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 proclamation were so gratifying that the Spanish, and in a short time all in all his future relations with the was in order; Ponce was made head- people of Porto Rico, General Miles quarters of the American army, and found them to be heartily in sympathy the tangle of municipal affairs and coöperation with the American wrought by change of government army, and some of the Porto Ricans was rapidly straightened out.
who were bearing Spanish arms laid Upon the arrival at Ponce, Lieu- them down and took up those of tenant Merriam had been sent ashore the United States. From one place to meet the Spaniards, bearing with 2,000 volunteered their services, and him a flag of truce, and demanding “Four-fifths of the people,” Miles immediate surrender of the city. He cabled to Washington, “ are overwas met, however, by the English joyed at the arrival of the army." and German consuls and by a body Of the volunteers who served Spain, of Ponce's representative citizens, 300 had surrendered by August 2, and who proposed to yield up the city reports came from various parts of if military activities and naval bom- the island that everywhere they were bardment could thus be avoided. So refusing to longer serve the Spanish. American were the citizens in their Besides this, the Porto Ricans brought sympathies that the Spanish well in beef to the soldiers, and offered knew that were the city bombarded General Miles' army transportation. and property destroyed, an uprising Upon all sides the reception of the of no small consequence would follow.
Americans was hearty and sincere — Their troops were few, and in a hos- and demonstrations were continually tile city would perhaps suffer as much, or more, than in defeat by occupy the island of Puerto Rico. They bring
you the fostering arm of a nation of free people, their enemies. Consequently Colonel
whose greatest power is in its Justice and HumanSan Martin, who would have liked ity to all those living within its fold. Hence the well enough to stay and fight, had it
first effect of this occupation will be the im
mediate release from your former political relabeen possible, abandoned Ponce, and tions, and, it is hoped, a cheerful acceptance of the American general and his army the government of the United States.
We have not come to make war upon the people were received with open arms by the
of a country that for centuries has been oppressed, eager populace.
but, on the contrary, to bring protection not only It was from Ponce that General
to yourselves but to your property, to promote
your prosperity, and bestow upon you the imMiles issued his proclamation to the munities and blessings of the liberal institutions Porto Ricans which bore such splen
of our government. It is not our purpose to
interfere with any existing laws and customs that did fruitage.* The results of this
are wholesome and beneficial to your people so
long as they conform to the rules of military • “In the prosecution of the War against the administration of order and justice. This is Kingdom of Spain by the people of the United not a war of devastation, but one to give to all States in the cause of Liberty, Justice and within the control of its military and naval forces Humanity, its military forces have
the advantages of enlightened civilization."
taking place little calculated to en- campaign by which he intended to courage the Spanish forces.
take Porto Rico and cover it with his In his account of the Work of the men. The army was already divided Army as Whole,” General Miles tells into four parts, Brooke, Wilson, of the terrible mutilations some of the Schwan and Henry commanding, and unhappy Porto Ricans received at the under these four leaders four special hands of the Spanish, and of the columns were to march in the followtouching patriotism displayed by ing order: Generals Brooke and Wilthese unfortunate people. A splendid son were to take the military road spirit flamed high, despite the years leading to San Juan, the capital, in of cruelty and oppression, and read- the northeastern part of the island. ing their letter presented to General
Generals Henry and Schwan were to Miles upon his arrival, one feels that
go northwest by way of Yauco — here indeed was mettle worth foster- (which it will be recalled Henry then ing and preserving, even at the cost of occupied) and have for their objective national interference. 66 Here
point the city of Arecibo, a coast town wait with impatience American occu
in the northwestern part of Porto pation that comes to break the chain
Rico. Each of the two divisions of that has been forged constantly dur
the army was to be divided into two ing four centuries of infamous spolia- columns, Brooke and Wilson contion, of torpid despotism and shame- verging their forces at the city of ful moral slavery. When the rudders Aibonito, while Schwan and Henry of the American ships entered the were to merge at their destination, waters of the coast of Guanica to bear
Arecibo. The four divisions were to to this country the political revolu- start from the base of operations, tion, great confidence was born again, Ponce. This city was healthful, the again was awakened the ideal of food supplies plentiful and the people sleeping patriotism.
friendly. Transportation for the By August 3 additional reinforce- guns and supplies could easily be ments had arrived from the States hired from the natives. On a little under Generals Brooke and Schwan, island only 37 miles broad and 108
, and the entire American force was miles long,“ Smaller in area than the concentrated at Ponce, aggregating state of Connecticut, and less in popabout 14,000 men with their equip- ulation than the city of Brooklyn," ment of 106 howitzers, mortars, field it would seem to be no great underand siege guns.
taking to execute these military operWhile the land was being explored, ations, yet there existed one serious and outposts established beyond difficulty the ever-present mounPonce along the road to San Juan, tains. A map of Porto Rico seems to General Miles was shaping all in be nothing but little intersecting readiness to begin the systematic chains of peaks and hills – not a
square inch but is closely covered. a loss of only three of his men Even an army less proficient than the wounded. They made no very great Spanish in the arts of defense, would resistance,– indeed, our soldiers did have realized what perfect natural not know whether or not they were fortifications these summits afforded. regulars of the Spanish army. Their Indeed, even
even then the Spaniards, losses were, as far as could be ascerrouted from Ponce and Guanica, had tained, one killed and two wounded. already proceeded along the military General Hains' men saw no further load toward San Juan and were
action until the 8th of the month, when strongly fortified among the moun
a reconnoitering party who were extains.
ploring the Cayey road, three miles The advance of the troops had been
north of Guayama, were fired upon by delayed for a week by lack of hidden troops, concealed among launches for disembarking, and by the
the hills. The reconnoiterers fell grounding of two loaded transports, back to Guayama, temporarily reMassachusetts and Manitoba. During pulsed, but, being reinforced, they this interim General Wilson, besides managed finally to press their enemies getting his men in order for the com
to seek stronger positions. Five ing campaign, had been busy at Ponce Americans received wounds, and two in the official capacity of military of the company were overcome by commander. The troops had not been
heat. idle; for much reconnoitering had As General Brooke's cavalry and been accomplished as well as prepara- artillery had been on the transports tions, and when the final starting mo
that were grounded, further movement came the forces which set out ment of his forces was delayed until were so completely trained and pre- Tugust 13. On that date a general atpared for their work that the cam- tack upon the Spanish was planned, paign may almost be called a model of the enemy being by that time strongly military excellence.
fortified both by cunning and by As the troops moving northeast- nature in the heights of Guamani ward were the first to encounter the Pass, directly overhanging the milienemy, we will follow their fortunes tary road to Cayey.
tary road to Cayey. For eight days and then return to the northwestern this command of infantry — whose division. Under General Brooke were numbers, not accurately ascertained, the troops of General Peter Hains' were anywhere from 600 to 1,500 brigade; under Wilson were those strong, - had been entrenching themcommanded by General Oswald Ernst. selves on the summits and between On August 5 General Hains attacked the hills beyond Guayama. For five the 500 Spaniards who were occupy
miles their hiding places, screened by ing the town of Guayama, and suc- palm and banana trees, covering the ceeded in putting them to flight with mountains, commanded every impor