Page images

tant trail over which the Americans in the path of the American army. might advance in order to execute a This town General Wilson decided to flank movement. This dreaded side- take by a flank move, which he attack was exactly what General

General knew would prevent the loss of life Brooke had in store for them. After- among his men that a direct assault wards he expected to shell their in- would precipitate. Accordingly, he trenchments with his artillery. These despatched the 16th Pennsylvania preparations had been completed, and regiment over certain mountain trails the artillery was just about to begin to the valley of the Coamo River a work, when the army was startled to difficult route, yet one which would receive from General Miles a message bring them unobserved to the rear of bearing President McKinley's com- the town. While they were slipping mand to cease operations on account up on the town from this side, the of the signing of a peace protocol. main brigade, under its commander, The position of General Brooke's General Ernst, conducted a direct atnen beneath Guamani Pass with their tack upon the place. A troublesome guns in readiness is reminiscent of block-house situated in a fork of the Grimes' battery in action against San road had to be destroyed before the Juan Hill, Cuba. Whether such a day attack could be made, and this was of fighting was before the Porto Rican ably accomplished by Captain Andercommand, and whether the results son's artillery. The flank and front would have been so decisively victori- moves were then brilliantly executed, ous, will never be known. Assured of and the garrison was captured with victory they were, and perhaps right most of its men. The Spanish comfully so, yet the fact remains that a mander and one of his captains were hard day's fighting was before them, killed. One American was severely and one cannot sweepingly predict a injured and five wounded - all of the

triumph without a restricting doubt. 16th Pennsylvanians, who bore themOn August 7 General Wilson, whose selves most creditably, and really sufto have merged with

fered the brunt of the fight. General Brooke's at Aibonito, had his troops Wilson knew the land well, through some seven miles north of the town of careful reconnoissance, and took full Juan Diaz. He knew through his advantage of his knowledge in the scouts that Aibonito was held by action that followed. Pursuit by our about 2,000 Spanish regulars and vol- cavalry of those who escaped our unteers. Despite the fact that its troops at Coamo was checked by sudnatural advantages for defense were den fire from the enemy, securely ingreat, it would have been attacked and trenched on

on Asumante Hill. The taken at once, had it not been for the turning movement had been so simple intervening town of Coamo which, and successful that Wilson decided to held by only 250 Spanish, lay directly execute here another one, and, in



order to keep the enemy from sus- Schwan made a victorious entry into pecting this intent, he sent Pott's ar- Mayaguez, where he was joyfully retillery with five guns to fire upon ceived by the people. Six companies Coamo. A low ridge protected them, of 11th Kentucky Volunteers, who and from its shelter they so success- had been sent by water to reinforce fully shelled the enemy that in twenty General Schwan at Mayaguez, arrived minutes their rifle pits were deserted to find him in triumphant possession and their guns silenced. As was the of the place. These were left, when case with General Brooke, the flank Schwan moved forward, to guard the move was stopped by the receipt of town and to prevent trouble with the the orders to cease hostilities, and numerous guerillas in the neighboragain, as in the case of Brooke, it is hood. difficult to say what might have been The Spaniards whom he had driven the result had the engagement pro- out of Hormigueros, General Schwan ceeded.

overtook on

on August 13 near Las While all this was taking place, the Marias while they were crossing the other two columns of the army were Rio Prieto River. The Spanish again marching northwest under General

lost heavily; some being drowned in Schwan and General Henry. Schwan's addition to those killed and wounded. expedition set forth on August 6, Some of them got as far as Lares, but under orders to march from Ponce to

expecting to be followed, quitted it Arecibo -- or in other words, to cross next day. No great advantage acPorto Rico's western half, going from crued from this, however, for early the south to north. Point by point he the following morning General Schwan was to occupy the towns — “A sort

received the message of peace from of flying column,” one narrator de

General Miles. They had been six scribes it. At each encounter along days at their task, and already eleven the way he was to drive out or to cap- towns were taken, and 163 regulars ture the enemy. Nothing befell the captured. It had been a splendid marchers until they got as far as march - conducted in “strict tactical Hormigueros, when, on August 10, order "- a thing rare among actual the advance guard, which included the marches, yet usual at schools of traincavalry, were surprised by a strong ing. This must have been difficult, Spanish force. The enemy was in- too, for the roads were very poor, and trenched in the hills near Mayaguez the tropical heat severe. “Fully oneroad. An engagement followed, in fourth of the command were sick," which two Americans lost their lives wrote Captain Whitney in his account and fifteen were wounded. Twelve of the campaign, “ They had no extra hundred Spaniards were routed, los- clothing, and their shoes were worn ing heavily, with fifteen dead. Next out, yet when the telegram to General morning at half past nine General Schwan from headquarters


manding general sends congratula- reckoning the more serious considerations and thanks. He relies implicitly tion of human destinies, it is perhaps upon your skill, good judgment and not a mistake to assert that for each generalship,' was published to the life sacrificed by an American soldier, men, new life was infused into them, a thousand human beings were given and fresh hardships were eagerly life – nay more, for by freeing Cuba sought.”

and Porto Rico from Spanish rule, General Henry's column, which, it both life and liberty were given to had been originally planned, was to generations of human beings to come, join Schwan's at Arecibo, was delayed and a race fast falling into decay by unavoidable occurrences beyond through tyranny and cruelty was rethe average soldier's patience. The

The constructed, perhaps revolutionized. road over which he was ordered to To the major-general commanding pass had first to be repaired, and the American army, no greater tribute when this was finally done, General can be paid than to point out the Henry's men got almost to Arecibo nobility revealed by his own words without meeting a single Spaniard, upon receiving orders to cease hosand were then doomed to inaction by tilities in Porto Rico. “ The message

. the receipt of the orders of the peace of instruction," he writes, “ arrived protocol.

on foaming horses, putting an end to To discuss what might or might not further bloodshed.” Major-General have occurred during the Porto Rican Miles, who had been debarred from campaign is a worse than useless en

commanding the forces sent to Cuba, deavor. Yet it is tempting to specu- obstructed and delayed in organizing late over this interrupted campaign, his brilliant Porto Rican campaign, for every move so carefully and even after preparations were unmapped out, every inch of ground so

der way, delayed and hampered at faithfully reconnoitred, that the vic

every turn, by personal antagonism, torious result seems obvious. Cer

was at last about to see his splendid tainly, if what did transpire can be plans put into operation, at last to used as a gauge for what did not, the

find a chance to conduct a force campaign was a triumph!

against Spain in the manner dear to “ The island of Porto Rico alone, his order-loving heart, when word which will remain a part of the came that peace negotiations had been United States, is valued at more mil- signed, and that the war was over. lions than the entire cost of the war Yet this man's first thought was with Spain.” Reckoning the war by not “Now I have lost a chance to dollars and cents, this statement of glorify myself,” it was “ Putting an our gains in one single quarter is an end to further bloodshed," and in that interesting refutation to arguments one sentence he brought military against military expenditure; while ideals up to a supreme point. In the

Vol. X - 12


hands of such men as General Miles, final accomplishment of human develwar loses its horrors, and becomes a opment it must become, or pass away short cut to peace --- and this, in the

and this, in the altogether with all that is unworthy.




[ocr errors]

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 Britain Organization 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 English fleet was friendly, that of the after the destruction of the Spanish French and Japanese questionable, fleet was far from reassuring. It is but that of the German Admiral Von true that he had command of the situ- Diederich was so markedly antagoation, and by holding the city of nistic that a serious mistake on the Manila under the threat of his guns, part of Admiral Dewey might have he controlled in a sense the fate of the resulted in a breach between America Philippine Islands. Nevertheless the and the German Empire. During a state of affairs demanded watchful- good share of the naval and military ness and consummate tact. In the campaign against Manila, Germany first place he could do no more than had five out of the eight of her Pacific remain inactive until reinforcements fleet, all of them powerful vessels, arrived; the only alternative being a stationed in Manila Bay, and on one bombardment of Manila, which was

occasion the action of one of these out of the question for no advantage ships was such a breach of internawould be attained that would offset tional comity that Dewey was obliged the havoc such a course would bring to send a peremptory inquiry regardto non-combatants.

ing the intentions of the German Furthermore the question of inter- admiral. Fortunately international ference by other powers just after his complications were avoided. The atvictory became acute; some of whom titude of Great Britain in refusing to plainly resented the appearance of the be led into a European coalition United States in the eastern seas. It against the United States had a trewas clear from the beginning that the mendous influence in keeping the attitude of the commanders of the other powers from endeavoring to nullify the effects of American vic- The imperative necessity for sendtories. With England as a possible ing troops to the assistance of Dewey ally, or at least strictly neutral, any was recognized from the beginning, political combination of the other yet the need for sending them adepowers could have no hope of realiz- quately prepared was equally recog. ing its aim. Furthermore it is un- nized. Furthermore it was thought questionably true that the sympathies that the operations against Cuba and of the English public were strongly Porto Rico were of greater imporfavorable to America throughout the tance than those against the Philipwar, and one of the greatest gains of pines, and it was conceived that as the war was the strengthening of Admiral Dewey could maintain his the ties of Anglo-Saxon kinship. position, it would be advisable to con

The possibility of succor being sent centrate the energies of the country to Manila was another specter that against the Gulf possessions of Spain. sat by Dewey's side during his long Nevertheless upon


news of and lonely wait for reinforcements. Dewey's victory an order was issued As has already been seen, Cervera, for the mobilization of an army at even after such a thing would have San Francisco, which was placed unbeen beyond the bounds of possibility, der the command of Major-General was ordered to leave Santiago and go Wesley Merritt. This was organized to the rescue of the Philippines; and as the 8th Army Corps, and was to on June 15, a fleet, consisting of the include approximately 20,000 men. battleship Pelayo, the Carlos V, Patri. These men were drilled and trained ota and Rapido, with a flotilla of as rapidly as possible, supplies were colliers and other vessels, was started rushed to transports, and by supreme from Cadiz, Spain, professedly to effort the first expedition under “assert our sovereignty in the Phil. Brigadier-General I. M. Anderson, ippine Archipelago,” but it got no departed on May 25 on their long further than the eastern outlet of the voyage across the Pacific. This exSuez Canal. It is possible that the pedition, which comprehended 115 Spanish authorities really intended to officers and 2,386 men, reached Manila send this fleet to the East, for they on June 30. The second expedition, were willing to pay the enormous under Brigadier-General F. V.Greene, tariff of $160,000 levied on the fleet (158 officers and 3,428 men) sailed for passage through the Canal, yet June 15 and arrived July 17; the the news of Cervera's defeat and the third (197 officers and 4,650 men) un

) threat of an American descent upon der Brigadier-General Arthur Macthe coast of Spain effected a change Arthur, with General Merritt accomof heart, and on July 29 Admiral panying, sailed June 27 and 29, and Camara was back in the harbor of arrived July 25 and 31. Cadiz.

With the advent of the last expedi

« PreviousContinue »