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Officers Men

ingly three calvary regiments, a a Minnesota

196 4,222 Mississippi

108 2,512

volunteer, brigade of engineers and a Missouri

271 6,234 volunteer force of about 10,000 enMontana



listed men were all selected because of Nebraska


3,232 Nevada


481 their immunity to tropical diseases. New Hampshire


The first move was to place all these New Jersey


4,163 New York ..

705 15,924 raw recruits in training camps where North Carolina

145 2,810
contact with the

the regular

regular soldiers North Dakota


658 Ohio.

485 9,557

would effect their breaking in more Oregon

56 1,182 quickly and thoroughly than months of Pennsylvania

619 11,606

less strenuous training in their own Rhode Island

54 1,170 South Carolina

90 2,060

States. Another important point was South Dakota


to partially acclimatize these men, Tennessee

187 4,148 Texas

231 5,054

thus breaking the rude shock of sudden Utah


transmission into torrid heat. To Vermont

48 Virginia

accomplish this the camps were all

164 3,709 Washington

60 1,379 located in the South, and near enough West Virginia

88 2,245

also to Cuba to have the men ready to Wisconsin

198 4,293 Wyoming


be transported at the call of emerUnited States Volunteers (at

gency. large). ..

763 16,992

The regular army was mobilized on Appointments and enlistments after first calls.... 1,047 39,501 April 15, and camps for the organiza

tion and training of the volunteer Total

10,017 223,235

army were established at ChickaThe well-equipped Spanish soldiers

mauga, New Orleans, Mobile and stationed in Cuba numbered 180,000, Tampa. Major-General Brooke, Brigyet 214,000 had originally answered

adier-Generals Coppinger and Wade, the roll-call of the army. The remain- and Major-General Shafter were asing 34,000 were there, indeed, but signed command of these encampthey were under and not on top of ments, and immediately set themselves Cuban soil. Yellow fever, malaria and

at work on the tremendous task of the ravages of the humid climate had creating an efficient army out of the sounded taps for them long before horde of green recruits. The two Shafter's men had disembarked, or weeks passed, and as yet only 10,000 Roosevelt charged up San Juan Hill. men were ready to go to the front, and It was a terrible, silent warning these most inadequately equipped, and and one which the Secretary of War in no way fit for a summer campaign and the President heeded. Congress in the tropics. In addition the rations authorized them to recruit a number supplied by the commissariat was of of specially qualified men, and accord- such inferior quality that a good share

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of such supplies had to be destroyed. the result of seven weeks of the hard. Most of the volunteers had to be sup- est work ever done by a harassed plied with Springfield rifles and old Secretary of War, a painstaking style smoky powder. Many lacked Major-General and a corps of splendid uniforms; some had never fired a gun, officers. Tardy Congress at last made and some had never slept overnight the needful appropriations, factories in the open. Yet in seven weeks after worked day and night, some even the first call for volunteers, a great putting in new plants for the purpose, body of soldiers were transported gun factories turned out hundreds per from Florida to Cuba, equipped, well- day where they had formerly made but generaled and well-trained. What

fifty, and in short, the whole army sounds like a miracle was in reality world awoke from its enforced apathy * See Alger, The Spanish-American War, pp.

like the mythical castle from its hun6–28; 376-454. Also, Hearings before the Com

dred years' sleep. mission on the Conduct of the War.




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Early problems of war, naval — Hypotheses regarding Spanish fleets – The blockading fleet - The

commanders — Why Havana was not bombarded — The Cardenas affair - Cutting the cables at Cienfuegos Communications with Cuban army.

It was a very fortunate thing, in- problems of the war, however, were deed, that our army could not do as the not for the army to solve at all. As visionaries and enthusiasts would have long as Spain had three powerful had it and attempt a triumphant prog- fleets free to act there could be no ress across Cuba. It was not until the question of a land campaign in Cuba, army sat around Santiago that the and even the guns of Dewey did far problem of land war in Cuba was more damage to the prestige of Spain grasped in an adequate way. Then it than they did to her navy. The eleven was that those who had grown satir- vessels he destroyed were none of a ical respecting General Miles's coun- higher rating than cruisers, and the sels for cautious progress and his majority of them only gun-boats. In carefully worked out plans for carry- the matter of tonnage alone Dewey's ing on the land campaign understood six outweighed the eleven of Montojo. how nearly correct he was. The early On paper, at least, Spain had a navy that still outranked that of the possible. Various guesses were made United States, and as long as it re- as to the destination of the fleet: one mained a menace, it was for the navy hypothesis being that it would return to act and not the army.

to Spain, another that it would enAt the outbreak of the war the Span- deavor to intercept and destroy the ish Atlantic fleet had been divided Oregon, then on her remarkable voyinto two squadrons: the heavy reserve age around South America. The genfleet under command of Admiral erally accepted theory, however, and Camara being stationed at Cadiz, the the one acted upon by the administraflying squadron under Admiral Cer- tion, was that Cervera would come to vera being ordered to the Cape Verde the rescue of Havana. To both counIslands.

Just as the declaration of tries this city seemed to be the key to neutrality by Great Britain had the the situation, hence the first blow was effect of closing the harbor of Hong directed against it by the establishKong, so did Portugal's declaration of ment of the blockade, planned, even neutrality close the harbor of St. Vin- before the outbreak of hostilities. Adcent to Cevera's fleet. Notwithstand- miral Sampson's fleet was accordingly ing this fact, under the pretext of dispatched from Key West on April making repairs to his ships, he tarried 22, the first day of the war. for a week longer finally sailing on

The American fleet was an exceedApril 30 with destination unknown. ingly heterogeneous collection of vesThe cities of the Atlantic coast began sels, and contained examples of every to have visions of rapidly approach type of American war-ships from the ing destruction, and from Boston to fast battleships like the Iowa to the Savannah came frantic calls for ships antiquated monitors, the Terror and

the Amphitrite. A fleet is like the Nor were their fears wholly ground- proverbial chain, and is no faster than less. With this swift and powerful its slowest ships, hence the efficiency fleet at large on the high seas, almost of the blockading squadron was any theory with respect to the pur- greatly lowered by the relative weakpose it might have in view could be ness of many of its units. In order to justified. The information that was gain the services of an officer recogabroad regarding the ships of Cer- nized as an authority on modern ships vera's fleet justified the belief that and guns, Captain William T. Samptheir sphere of action was very ex- son was given command of the blocktended, hence a swift blow struck at ading squadron, with the rank of ActNew York or Boston was not at all im- ing Rear-Admiral. To give him this

post, he was summarily promoted over * For fuller discussion of strategical points twenty officers, including

six rearsee Wilson, The Downfall of Spain, chaps. iii.,

admirals: an action that resulted in no V.; Sargent, Campaign of Santiago, vol. i., pp.

little criticism and heart burnings, and

and guns.




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in the end doubtless made his task east of Havana. It was reported that more difficult than it would otherwise the Spanish forces were strengthenhave been. Nevertheless his training ing the fortifications at Point Rubeland peculiar fitness justified the cava, three miles from the entrance to irregularity of the appointment. The Matanzas harbor. Accordingly the command of the Atlantic coast squad- flag-ship New York, the Puritan, and ron was given to Commodore Winfield the Cincinnati appeared before that S. Schley, whose gallant rescue of the port on May 27. As soon as the little survivors of the Greely Arctic expe- fleet approached within range, they dition had brought him prominently were challenged by a shell from one of before the public.

the forts. The American ships replied The blockade had the effect of immediately, and so effective was frightening the citizens of Havana their gunnery that the fortifications thoroughly, but did little else as far as were destroyed in a few minutes. It the city itself was concerned. There cannot be questioned but that there was no intention in the minds of the was loss of life on the part of the deleaders of the administration of tak- fenders, but from the reports sent ing a step so desperate, and one so forth by the Spanish authorities it was productive of needless suffering as the claimed that the net result of the bombardment of a city of the size of action was the death of an army mule. Havana. Nevertheless it became more Thus, officially, the Matanzas mule and more evident as the blockade was the first victim of the war, becomprogressed that nothing short of such ing thereby a figure of historical and an attack would cause the capitulation international interest, and above all a of the city. The blockade itself was godsend to the periodical humorist. strictly kept, and a number of vessels Another incident that narrowly esbringing cargoes to Havana were cap- caped being humorous was a duel that tured, yet it appeared that the re- took place during the early days of the sources of the city had been under- war between the New York and a estimated, and were sufficient for an troop of Spanish cavalry which was indefinite defense against such a mild patroling the shore near Mariel, a form of attack.

small town a few miles to the west of A more active policy was accord- Havana. With an audacity that was ingly adopted, and while Havana was either sublime or insane, the troopers still permitted to go unscathed, attacks attacked the warship with their rifles, were made on three of the towns that attracting thereby a shower of shrapin a sense formed the outer line of the nel from the rapid firing guns that capital city's defences. The first of soon hurried them to cover. these, and, indeed, the first real collis- The news of Dewey's victory ar. ion of the war, took place at Matanzas, rived on May 7, a week after the bata town of 35,000 inhabitants, 50 miles tle, and aroused the country to a pitch


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of enthusiasm seldom experienced in safety and ultimately succeeding in its history. It seemed to be the signal, getting her out of danger by lashing too, for increased activity in the West. alongside. Nevertheless assistance The slow patrol of the ships along the came too late to prevent the most northern and southern coasts, marked disastrous incident of the action. Enby nothing more exciting than the sign Worth Bagley, the executive occasional capture of a blockade run- officer of the Winslow, who was dener, gave place to a series of signifi- tailed to direct the vessel, found it cant events that followed fast upon necessary, after the injury to the one another. This activity was in- steering-gear, to make trips back and itiated by two skirmishes that took forth from the machine-room to the place on May 11, as the result of which deck. While standing on the deck American lives were lost — the first

near Lieutenant Bernadou, after one blood to be shed by Spanish bullets. of these trips, a Spanish shell exThe scene of the first of these was ploded close by, instantly killing him Cardenas, a town some 60 miles to the

and four others, and in addition east of Havana. Three days before, wounding six more. It was only by the torpedo boat Winslow endeavored

almost superhuman efforts that the by a ruse to draw three Spanish gun

boats succeeded in escaping from the boats within the harbor away from the

zone of danger.* The Spanish forces, protection of the batteries, but failed

however, paid still more dearly for in its efforts to do so. The second


their temporary victory, for the Wilattempt, made on the 11th, however, mington and the Machias avenged the was productive of quite unexpected disaster by shelling the harbor and the results. Instead of entrapping the city, destroying two of the ships, the Spaniards, the Winslow itself was

Antonio Lopez and the Ligera, resnared, and found itself far into the

ducing the batteries, and burning the harbor and in the midst of anchored

houses along the water-front. buoys that marked the range for the

On the same day another collision guns of the vessels and the batteries

occurred at Cienfuegos on the southon the shore. When the little craft

ern coast. † This city, next to Santireached these she immediately became

ago, is perhaps the most important the target for a furious attack. A

station of the Atlantic and Gulf shell fired early in the engagement cables, five lines entering at this wounded Lieutenant Bernadou, the

point. In order to render the blockcommanding officer and wrecked the

ade more efficient, and to isolate Cuba steering gear. The gunboats Wil

as thoroughly as possible, it was mington and the Machias, and the cutter Hudson came to the rescue of * Bernadou, The Winslowthe disabled boat, the latter making a

Century Magazine (March, 1899).

t Winslow, Cable-cutting Cienfuegos in heroic effort to tow the Winslow to

Century Magazine (March, 1899).

at Cardenas in


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