Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/618

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597
SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR OF 1898


On the morning of the 3rd of July Sampson, in his flagship the " New York," left the fleet to confer with General Shaffer at Naval Siboney with regard to combined operations at the

Battieof harbour entrance. 1 At 9.31, when he had gone about Santiago. ^ m ^ t jj e « Maria Teresa " was seen coming out. The ships in front of the port were the yacht " Gloucester," the battle- ships " Indiana," " Oregon," "Iowa," and" Texas," thearmoured cruiser " Brooklyn " and yacht " Vixen," in the order named from east to west, making a semicircle about 8 m. in length. The " Massachusetts " and " Suwanee " were coaling at Guan- tanamo. The " Iowa " hoisted the signal " Enemy coming out." All at once stood in toward the Spanish ships, which were standing westwards along shore, and began a heavy fire. The " Maria Teresa " (flagship) was followed at 800-yd. intervals by the " Vizcaya," " Colon " and " Oquendo." They were firing vigorously, but most of their projectiles went far beyond the American ships. The " Brooklyn " (flag of Commodore Schley, the senior officer present) made a turn to starboard, which seems to have caused the " Texas " to stop and back, and to have given the " Colon " the opportunity of passing almost unscathed. The " Maria Teresa " and " Oquendo " had taken fire almost at once, and, as their water mains (outside the protec- tive deck) were cut, they were unable to extinguish the flames: they were run ashore at 10.15 an d 10.20 respectively, about 6| m. west of Santiago, burning fiercely. The " Vizcaya " and " Colon " were still standing westwards. Cervera's destroyers, the " Pluton " and " Furor," had come out last, some distance behind the " Oquendo," and were received with a heavy fire from the " Indiana " and from the unarmoured " Gloucester," which engaged them at close quarters. They attempted to close, but were cut to pieces. The " New York," Sampson's flagship, had passed, and stood on signalling the " Iowa " and " Indiana " to go back and watch the port, lest an attack be made on the American transports. The torpedo-boat " Erics- son " was ordered to rescue the men from the two Spanish ships ashore, and the flagship, with all the others, stood on in pursuit of the " Vizcaya " and " Colon." The " Vizcaya " hauled down her colours off Aserraderos, 15 nautical miles west of Santiago, and was there run ashore burning about 11.15 a - m - The " Iowa " was ordered to stop and rescue her men. and the " Oregon," " Brooklyn " and " Texas " (and behind them the flagship) settled down to the chase of the " Colon," some 6 m. ahead of the nearest American ship. She was, however, slacking her speed, and at 12.40 the " Oregon " opened with her 13-in. guns at a range of 9000 yds., as did also the " Brooklyn," with her 8-in. When the " Oregon " had fired five shells, the " Colon " hauled down her colours, and was beached at the mouth of the Rio Turquino, where in spite of endeavours to recover her, she became a total wreck. The whole Spanish fleet was destroyed; Admiral Cervera was taken prisoner; Captain Villamil, commanding the torpedo flotilla, went down with his ship: and Captain Lazaga of the " Oquendo " was drowned. Over 500 Spaniards were killed or wounded, and the survivors (except a few who escaped to Santiago) were prisoners. On the American side only one man was killed and ten were wounded, and no ship received serious injury.

After the naval victory combined operations were arranged for attacking the batteries of the harbour, but little more fighting occurred, and eventually a preliminary agreement was signed on the 15th, and the besiegers entered Santiago on the 17th. In accordance with the terms of the capitulation, all the Spanish forces in the division of Santiago de Cuba surrendered and were conveyed to Spain. The total number amounted to about 23,500, of whom some 10,500 were in the city of Santiago. The exposure of the campaign had begun to tell in the sickness of the Americans: yellow fever had broken out to some extent; and no less that 50% were attacked by the milder forms of

1 Shaffer had urged that the squadron should enter the harbour and take the city. Sampson (and the Navy department) was unwilling to risk losing a ship in the well-mined harbour and wanted the army to move on the forts and give the American squadron an opportunity to drag the harbour for mines.


malarial fever. The army, indeed, was so weakened by illness that the general officers united in urging its removal from Cuba. Major-General Nelson A. Miles, the general-in-chief, had arrived with reinforcements on the 12th of July, but the majority of these men were retained on board ship.

The fleet and the army gathered in Guantanamo Bay; and a new flying squadron, the " eastern squadron," was organized under Commodore John C. Watson, to proceed by way of the Mediterranean to the Philippines, threatening the Spanish coast, in order to meet a Spanish " reserve squadron," which had been formed towards the end of May, and which was to be sent on to the eastern coast of the United States, and thence to Cuba, but which was diverted toward the Philippines, and left Cadiz, on the 16th of June, for the East. This squadron turned back on the 8th of July after hearing the news of the Spanish defeat at Santiago.

On the 7th of May a telegram had been received from Dewey at Manila: " I control bay completely, and can take city at any time, but I have not sufficient men to hold." The cruiser " Charleston " and the steamer " Peking," with ammunition, supplies and troops, were sent to him at once. Major-General Wesley Merritt, to whom was assigned the command of the troops for the Philippines, first requested a force of 14,000, and afterwards asked for 20,000 men. On the 25th of May the first troops, 2491 in number, under Brigadier-General T. M.Anderson, sailed in three transports from San Francisco, touched at Hono- lulu, and were convoyed thence by the " Charleston." On the 20th of June possession was taken of the island of Guam, and on the 30th of June the ships arrived in Manila Bay. A second detachment of troops, 3586 in number, under Brigadier-General F. V. Greene arrived on the 17th of July; on the 25th of July General Merritt, who had been appointed governor-general, arrived; and on the 31st the five transports with which he had left San Francisco arrived with 4847 men, making nearly 11,000 men at Manila, with 5000 more on the way. General Merritt moved his forces from Cavite, and established an entrenched line within a thousand yards of the Spanish position at Manila, from which, on the night of the 31st of July, a heavy fire of musketry and artillery was opened, causing a loss to the Americans of 10 killed and 43 wounded, and for the next few days night-firing was frequent from the Spanish lines. On the 7th of August, a joint note from Dewey and Merritt, announcing that bombardment might begin at any time after .

forty-eight hours, and affording opportunity for the Manila," removal of non-combatants, was sent to the Spanish captain-general, Fermin Jaudenes, who replied that he was surrounded by the insurgents, 2 and that there was no place of refuge for the sick and for the women and children. A second joint note demanding surrender was declined by the Spanish commander, who offered to refer it to Madrid. This was refused, and preparations were made for an attack. There were 13,000 troops within the city fortifications, but with the strong fleet in front, and with the beleaguering force of Americans and insur- gents ashore, resistance was hopeless. When the combined assault of army and navy was made on the 13th there was no great resistance, and a white flag was hoisted at n o'clock, within one and a half hours after the fleet opened fire, a formal capitulation being signed the next day, the 14th of August. The total loss of the Americans during the whole campaign was 20 killed, 105 wounded.

Immediately after the surrender of Santiago (July 17), preparations were made for the invasion of Porto Rico with 3500 troops which had been sent as reinforcements operations to Santiago, but had not landed. They were largely in Porto reinforced and left Guantanamo, under General RIc0 ' Miles, on the 21st of July, convoyed by a strong squadron. 2 On the 19th of May, Emilio Aguinaldo, who had been at Hong-Kong, had landed from one of the American vessels at Cavite, and on the 1st of July, when the American troops landed, had proclaimed himself president of the Philippine Republic. The political attitude which he assumed was not sanctioned by the American autnoritiesi At the head of the insurgents he had instituted a close siege of Manila.