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3 Nos. 1, 2 and 3 by courtesy of Collier's Weekly. 1. THE OLD HISTORIC FORT AT COLIMAR, JUST EAST OF HAVANA. 2. NORTH WALL OF THE FORT AT CABANAS.






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deemed advisable to cut these cables.* spite of this the Spanish rifles kept up
The task was both difficult and danger- a continuous fusillade; the firing at
ous, for it would be necessary to ap- the range of 200 yards becoming at
proach almost to the shore in light last so furious that the boats were
boats in order to grapple for the forced to retire before all of the cables
cables. Every volunteer knew that the were cut. Five men were killed and
chances were that hardly a man could four wounded in this affair, which, like
escape injury, yet this knowledge the one at Cardenas, was distinctly a
caused no hesitation on their part. failure. .
As soon as the call was issued, , Yet in a large sense, neither enter-
: volunteers came from the Nashville, prise was a failure. They revealed
the Marblehead, and the Windom, that the spirit of the American sol-
from whom a squad of picked men was dier and sailor was still alive and
finally selected. Under Lieutenants potent whether in victory or defeat.
Winslow and Anderson the party The first few weeks of the war demon-
manned four launches and set out on strated to an expectant world that the
their perilous enterprise. The Nash- younger generation who were now
ville and the Marblehead endeavored making history possessed in the fullest
to protect the men at work by shelling measure that quality of hardihood and
the bushes along the shores, but in dauntlessness that their fathers and

*“ The precedents as to such action prior to grandfathers had shown at Yorktown, the war with Spain, were not numerous, since Lake Erie or Gettysburg. The age of communication by cables is a comparatively re

heroic achievement had not yet passed. cent thing. On the outbreak of the war, the Government of the United States considered the Cases of individual daring and advantage of declaring telegraph cables neutral.'

initiative were not lacking; the necesand to that end directed the naval forces in Cuban waters to refrain from interfering with them

sity for getting in touch with the till further orders. This inhibition, evidently, Cuban army, in particular, calling for was soon revoked. Early in May, 1898, two out

those traits. Among those who disof three cables were cut near Cienfuegos, with a view to sever connection with Havana.

On May

tinguished themselves in the efforts to 16, an unsuccessful effort was made to cut the

bring assistance to the Cubans were Santiago-Jamaica cables; and two days later one

Captain Dorst, who commanded
of them was severed 1.3 miles off Morro Castle.
May 20, the cable connecting Cuba and Hayti several expeditions of the kind, and
was broken outside the marine league off Mole

Lieutenant Rowan, of the 19th In-
St. Nicholas. July 11, the cable connecting
Santa Cruz del Sur, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, and fantry, who made a most hazardous
Havana, with Manzanillo and the cast of Cuba,

journey to the interior of the island was cut; as was also, five days later, the line con

where he conferred with General necting Santa Cruz and Jucaro."— Moore, Di. gest of International Law, vol. vii., p. 369. See Gomez, formulating plans for the coalso Wilson, Submarine Telegraph Cables in

öperation of the two armies during their International Relations, Naval War Col. lege pubs (August, 1901).

the forthcoming campaign.

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Theories regarding destination of the Spanish Flying Squadron-Sampson decides in favor of San

Juan, Porto Rico, and proceeds against the same- -The bombardment of San Juan—The Spanish fleet reported at Martinique and Curacao—The voyage of the Oregon.

It was not until after peace was de- Cienfuegos, as it was reported that clared that the American people were he had munitions of war for Havana; permitted to obtain a glimpse of the third, that he was bound for Santiago desperate straits in which the Spanish de Cuba; and fourth, that San Juan, navy found itself at the outbreak of Porto Rico, was the probable destinathe war. Had they known then that tion of the fleet.

tion of the fleet. The first hypothesis Admiral Cervera, a brave and kindly was dismissed as being untenable, man, and an able commander, was leaving the other three to be acted forced to leave St. Vincent unprepared upon. Admiral Sampson, alone, conand desponding,* there would have ceived that Santiago would be selected been less agitation on the sea-coast of by the Spanish admiral, but conthe United States. Yet this they sidered Cienfuegos, the southern port could not know, and hence it became of supply for Havana, or San Juan, imperative to form some conclusions the Porto Rican capital, more logical regarding the fleet's destination. All from a strategical point of view. of the problems of the war centered With the purpose, therefore of seton this one point, for until the Cape tling the question as far as San Juan Verde fleet was eliminated all other was concerned, * he detached the Iowa, activities must of necessity be subor- Indiana, New York, Detroit, Amphidinated. Four theories were pro- trite, Wompatuck, and the Montgomposed: first, that the Philippine ery from the blockading fleet and proIslands were the objective point;

ceeded with them to Porto Rico. The second, that Cervera was bound for ships arrived opposite the harbor of

San Juan just as dawn was breaking *“I send to-day the official letter which I announced yesterday. Its conclusions

on May 11. As soon as it became light deed conflicting; but can we afford to cherish illusions ? Do we not owe to our country not only Undoubtedly, at the time of leaving the i our lives, if necessary, but the exposition of our Cape Verde Islands, Cervera knew the disposition beliefs ? I am very uneasy about this. I ask of our vessels, and would be deterred from commyself if it is right for me to keep silent, and ing to our Northern coast by the presence of thereby make myself an accomplice in adventures these powerful ships. Should he attempt this, it which shall surely cause the ruin of Spain.Ad- must be done in the face of great difficulties. He miral Cervera, Official correspondence, February must approach our coast short of coal, always 26, 1898.

a much dreaded misfortune. Then he would be

are in




enough to permit of accurate aiming the city, giving rise to the complaint

, the order to begin firing was given. on the part of Spain that the United At the word the great guns from the States was following the policy of turrets of the Iowa opened upon bombarding cities without notification Morro Castle. The other ships fol

to the inhabitants, a thing not sanclowed suit and soon the whole fleet tioned by the modern usages of interwas hurling tons of steel-clad explo- national law. sives against the Spanish fortifica

The bombardment was continued tions. So rapid was the firing that for three hours, the last shot being the ships in a short time became en

fired by the Terror at 8:15, after which veloped in the pall of smoke belched

the fleet withdrew. The damage refrom their guns, which at last became

ceived by both sides was inconsiderso dense that the command was given able in view of the immense amount of

ammunition used. to silence the secondary batteries in

The New York, order that the shore might be seen.

the Iowa, and the Amphitrite were The error of judgment that caused

struck by large shells, but their inthe retention of the antiquated black juries were relatively unimportant.

One man was killed and four wounded powder was never more emphasized than at the bombardment of San Juan.

on the New York, three wounded on

the Iowa, and a gunner's mate suffoTo this fact was due the low standard shown by the gunnery on this occasion.

cated by the appalling heat in the

turret of the Amphitrite. It is true that a heavy sea was run

The bombardment of San Juan was ning, and that the fortresses were sit

little more than a reconnoissance in uated upon points so elevated that aiming was difficult, yet these facts

force, the main object in view being alone could not explain or justify the

the discovery of the position of the number of shots that missed or went Spanish fleet. It was clear, after the

first few minutes, that the vessels of wild. Indeed, not a few shells passed

Cervera were not here, so the Amerientirely over Morro and exploded in

can fleet did not delay, but headed likely to have breakdowns; and where could he immediately towards the west, leaving make repairs, either before or after fighting ?

the Spanish garrison possessed of the The disabling of one of his ships meant delay to

hallucination that it had repulsed the all the others, and, in an encounter, meant, besides, the loss of the disabled ship, almost without enemy. a blow. Any or all of these things might happen,

In the meantime the fast converted and I believed he would think the risks too great. So, 'all things considered, it seemed to me most cruisers, the Harvard, Yale, St. Louis probable that he would try for San Juan. There and St. Paul, were scouting among the he would be at home; only there he could hope

islands and passages of the Antilles to make repairs and there he could be sure of more coal, so necessary to enable him to reach a hoping to intercept the Spanish fleet port in Cuba. Our part was plainly to meet him

should it take its course to some port before he could reach San Juan.” – Admiral Sampson, in Century Magazine (April, 1899).

other than San Juan. It was from


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