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GENERAL WILSON'S CAMPAIGN.
tant trail over which the Americans might advance in order to execute a flank movement. This dreaded sideattack was exactly what General what General Brooke had in store for them. Afterwards he expected to shell their intrenchments with his artillery. These preparations had been completed, and the artillery was just about to begin work, when the army was startled to receive from General Miles a message bearing President McKinley's command to cease operations on account of the signing of a peace protocol. The position of General Brooke's men beneath Guamani Pass with their guns in readiness is reminiscent of Grimes' battery in action against San Juan Hill, Cuba. Whether such a day of fighting was before the Porto Rican command, and whether the results would have been so decisively victorious, will never be known. Assured of victory they were, and perhaps rightfully so, yet the fact remains that a hard day's fighting was before them, and one cannot sweepingly predict a triumph without a restricting doubt.
On August 7 General Wilson, whose men were to have merged with Brooke's at Aibonito, had his troops some seven miles north of the town of Juan Diaz. He knew through his scouts that Aibonito was held by about 2,000 Spanish regulars and volunteers. Despite the fact that its natural advantages for defense were great, it would have been attacked and taken at once, had it not been for the intervening town of Coamo which, held by only 250 Spanish, lay directly
in the path of the American army. This town General Wilson decided to take by a flank move, which he knew would prevent the loss of life. among his men that a direct assault would precipitate. Accordingly, he despatched the 16th Pennsylvania regiment over certain mountain trails to the valley of the Coamo River difficult route, yet one which would bring them unobserved to the rear of the town. While they were slipping up on the town from this side, the main brigade, under its commander, General Ernst, conducted a direct attack upon the place. A troublesome block-house situated in a fork of the road had to be destroyed before the attack could be made, and this was ably accomplished by Captain Anderson's artillery. The flank and front moves were then brilliantly executed, and the garrison was captured with most of its men. most of its men. The Spanish commander and one of his captains were killed. One American was severely injured and five wounded—all of the 16th Pennsylvanians, who bore themselves most creditably, and really suffered the brunt of the fight. General Wilson knew the land well, through careful reconnoissance, and took full advantage of his knowledge in the action that followed. Pursuit by our cavalry of those who escaped our troops at Coamo was checked by sudden fire from the enemy, securely intrenched on Asumante Hill. The turning movement had been so simple and successful that Wilson decided to execute here another one, and, in
order to keep the enemy from suspecting this intent, he sent Pott's artillery with five guns to fire upon Coamo. A low ridge protected them, and from its shelter they so successfully shelled the enemy that in twenty minutes their rifle pits were deserted and their guns silenced. As was the case with General Brooke, the flank move was stopped by the receipt of the orders to cease hostilities, and again, as in the case of Brooke, it is difficult to say what might have been the result had the engagement proceeded.
While all this was taking place, the other two columns of the army were marching northwest under General Schwan and General Henry. Schwan's expedition set forth on August 6, August 6, under orders to march from Ponce to Arecibo or in other words, to cross Porto Rico's western half, going from the south to north. Point by point he was to occupy the towns-"A sort of flying column," one narrator describes it. At each encounter along the way he was to drive out or to capture the enemy. Nothing befell the marchers until they got as far as Hormigueros, when, on August 10, the advance guard, which included the cavalry, were surprised by a strong Spanish force. The enemy was intrenched in the hills near Mayaguez road. An engagement followed, in which two Americans lost their lives and fifteen were wounded. Twelve hundred Spaniards were routed, losing heavily, with fifteen dead. Next morning at half past nine General
Schwan made a victorious entry into Mayaguez, where he was joyfully received by the people. Six companies of 11th Kentucky Volunteers, who had been sent by water to reinforce General Schwan at Mayaguez, arrived to find him in triumphant possession of the place. These were left, when Schwan moved forward, to guard the town and to prevent trouble with the numerous guerillas in the neighborhood.
The Spaniards whom he had driven out of Hormigueros, General Schwan overtook on August 13 near Las Marias while they were crossing the Rio Prieto River. The Spanish again lost heavily; some being drowned in addition to those killed and wounded. Some of them got as far as Lares, but expecting to be followed, quitted it next day. No great advantage accrued from this, however, for early the following morning General Schwan received the message of peace from General Miles. They had been six days at their task, and already eleven towns were taken, and 163 regulars captured. It had been a splendid march conducted in "strict tactical order" a thing rare among actual marches, yet usual at schools of training. This must have been difficult, too, for the roads were very poor, and the tropical heat severe. "Fully onefourth of the command were sick," wrote Captain Whitney in his account of the campaign, "They had no extra clothing, and their shoes were worn out, yet when the telegram to General Schwan from headquarters' Com
PEACE PROTOCOL ENDS FURTHER BLOODSHED.
manding general sends congratulations and thanks. He relies implicitly upon your skill, good judgment and generalship,' was published to the men, new life was infused into them, and fresh hardships were eagerly sought."
General Henry's column, which, it had been originally planned, was to join Schwan's at Arecibo, was delayed by unavoidable occurrences beyond the average soldier's patience. The road over which he was ordered to pass had first to be repaired, and when this was finally done, General Henry's men got almost to Arecibo without meeting a single Spaniard, and were then doomed to inaction by the receipt of the orders of the peace protocol.
To discuss what might or might not have occurred during the Porto Rican campaign is a worse than useless endeavor. Yet it is tempting to speculate over this interrupted campaign, for every move was so carefully mapped out, every inch of ground so faithfully reconnoitred, that the victorious result seems obvious. Certainly, if what did transpire can be used as a gauge for what did not, the campaign was a triumph!
"The island of Porto Rico alone, which will remain a part of the United States, is valued at more millions than the entire cost of the war with Spain." Reckoning the war by dollars and cents, this statement of our gains in one single quarter is an interesting refutation to arguments against military expenditure; while
reckoning the more serious consideration of human destinies, it is perhaps not a mistake to assert that for each life sacrificed by an American soldier, a thousand human beings were given life nay more, for by freeing Cuba and Porto Rico from Spanish rule, both life and liberty were given to generations of human beings to come, and a race fast falling into decay through tyranny and cruelty was reconstructed, perhaps revolutionized.
To the major-general commanding the American army, no greater tribute can be paid than to point out the nobility revealed by his own words upon receiving orders to cease hostilities in Porto Rico. "The message of instruction," he writes, "arrived on foaming horses, putting an end to further bloodshed." Major-General Miles, who had been debarred from commanding the forces sent to Cuba, obstructed and delayed in organizing his brilliant Porto Rican campaign, and even after preparations were under way, delayed and hampered at every turn, by personal antagonism, was at last about to see his splendid plans put into operation, at last to find a chance to conduct a force against Spain in the manner dear to his order-loving heart, when word came that peace negotiations had been signed, and that the war was over. Yet this man's first thought was not "Now I have lost a chance to glorify myself," it was "Putting an end to further bloodshed," and in that one sentence he brought military ideals up to a supreme point. In the
The situation at Manila after the battle of May 1-Threats of foreign intervention - Suspicious ac tivities of the German fleet-A foreign coalition prevented by the friendship of Great BritainOrganization of the 8th Army Corps - Its departure for the Philippines — The battle of August 13 and the capitulation of Manila - Military government established - The Filipinos threaten to make trouble.
The position of Admiral Dewey after the destruction of the Spanish fleet was far from reassuring. It is true that he had command of the situation, and by holding the city of Manila under the threat of his guns, he controlled in a sense the fate of the Philippine Islands. Nevertheless the state of affairs demanded watchfulness and consummate tact. In the first place he could do no more than remain inactive until reinforcements arrived; the only alternative being a bombardment of Manila, which was out of the question for no advantage would be attained that would offset the havoc such a course would bring to non-combatants.
Furthermore the question of interference by other powers just after his victory became acute; some of whom plainly resented the appearance of the United States in the eastern seas. It was clear from the beginning that the attitude of the commanders of the
English fleet was friendly, that of the French and Japanese questionable, but that of the German Admiral Von Diederich was so markedly antagonistic that a serious mistake on the part of Admiral Dewey might have resulted in a breach between America and the German Empire. During a good share of the naval and military campaign against Manila, Germany had five out of the eight of her Pacific fleet, all of them powerful vessels, stationed in Manila Bay, and on one occasion the action of one of these ships was such a breach of international comity that Dewey was obliged to send a peremptory inquiry regarding the intentions of the German admiral. Fortunately international complications were avoided. The attitude of Great Britain in refusing to be led into a European coalition against the United States had a tremendous influence in keeping the other powers from endeavoring to
ARMY DEPARTS FOR PHILIPPINES.
nullify the effects of American victories. With England as a possible ally, or at least strictly neutral, any political combination of the other powers could have no hope of realizing its aim. Furthermore it is unquestionably true that the sympathies of the English public were strongly favorable to America throughout the war, and one of the greatest gains of the war was the strengthening of the ties of Anglo-Saxon kinship.
The possibility of succor being sent to Manila was another specter that sat by Dewey's side during his long and lonely wait for reinforcements. As has already been seen, Cervera, even after such a thing would have been beyond the bounds of possibility, was ordered to leave Santiago and go to the rescue of the Philippines; and on June 15, a fleet, consisting of the battleship Pelayo, the Carlos V, Patriota and Rapido, with a flotilla of colliers and other vessels, was started from Cadiz, Spain, professedly to "assert our sovereignty in the Philippine Archipelago," but it got no further than the eastern outlet of the Suez Canal. It is possible that the Spanish authorities really intended to send this fleet to the East, for they were willing to pay the enormous tariff of $160,000 levied on the fleet for passage through the Canal, yet the news of Cervera's defeat and the threat of an American descent upon the coast of Spain effected a change of heart, and on July 29 Admiral Camara was back in the harbor of Cadiz.
The imperative necessity for sending troops to the assistance of Dewey was recognized from the beginning, yet the need for sending them adequately prepared was equally recognized. Furthermore it was thought that the operations against Cuba and Porto Rico were of greater importance than those against the Philippines, and it was conceived that as Admiral Dewey could maintain his position, it would be advisable to concentrate the energies of the country against the Gulf possessions of Spain. Nevertheless upon the news of Dewey's victory an order was issued for the mobilization of an army at San Francisco, which was placed under the command of Major-General Wesley Merritt. This was organized as the 8th Army Corps, and was to include approximately 20,000 men. These men were drilled and trained as rapidly as possible, supplies were rushed to transports, and by supreme effort the first expedition under Brigadier-General I. M. Anderson, departed on May 25 on their long voyage across the Pacific. This expedition, which comprehended 115 officers and 2,386 men, reached Manila on June 30. The second expedition, under Brigadier-General F. V. Greene, (158 officers and 3,428 men) sailed June 15 and arrived July 17; the third (197 officers and 4,650 men) under Brigadier-General Arthur MacArthur, with General Merritt accompanying, sailed June 27 and 29, and arrived July 25 and 31.
With the advent of the last expedi