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Military Quotes

The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

-- Sun Tzu

War Stories: Spanish American

War Stories published under this topic are as follows:

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Spanish American USS Oregon, 4 July 1898
Sir - I have the honor to report that at 9.30 AM yesterday the Spanish fleet was discovered standing out of the harbor of Santiago de Cuba. They turned to the westward and opened fire, to which our ships replied vigorously. For a short time there was almost continuous flight of projectiles over this ship, but when our line was fairly engaged and the Iowa had made a swift advance, as if to ram or close, the enemy's fire became defective in train as well as range. The ship was only struck three times, and at least two of them were by fragments of shells. We had no casualties.
Note: by Captain C.E. Clark, USN  7389 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American IN THE TRENCHES IN FRONT OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA. July 8, 1898 To the REGIMENTAL ADJUTANT TWELFTH UNITED STATES INFANTRY. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of Company F in the combat at Caney, near this place, July 1 last: Company arrived in vicinity of stone blockhouse as part of Second Battalion (Haskell's). After some maneuvering it reached a position behind a hedge, about 450 yards east of blockhouse about 11 a. in. It remained there firing on blockhouse during the right. Between 3 and 4 p.m. the company, one by one, sneaked into the dead space in a ravine immediately in front of its position behind the hedge. About 4 p.m., at the suggestion of General Chaffee, brigade commander, the company advanced up the southeast slope to the blockhouse supported by Company A, Twelfth Infantry. No resistance was met during the advance. Three armed Spaniards were found in the trench in front of blockhouse. They surrendered. Nine men and one officer (Second Lieutenant Canalda) were captured inside the blockhouse. Soon after other troops followed and a vigorous fire was received from the town, which was duly returned. The firing finally ceased about 4.30, I judge, and the battle was ended. Casualties in Company F: Behind the hedge - First Sergeant Miller and Private Scott, killed; Corporal Schendelmeyer, wounded. At the blockhouse – Sergeant Wilson and Private Gering, killed. In the ravine (fire from town) – Private Moore, wounded. I Respectfully submitted. WALLIS O. CLARK, Captain, Twelfth Infantry, Commanding Company F.
  3731 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American U.S.S. Maine Havana, Cuba Dear Father, I received your loving letter a few days ago and was pleased to hear from you. I would have written sooner but owing to us having to been ordered to sea so soon. I didn't have any chance. We are now in Havana Cuba. We arrived here yesterday after a five hour run around a place called Dry Tartogos a small Florida reef. We were out to sea when the orders came for us to proceed to proceed at once to Havana. We are the first American ship that has been here in six years. We are now cleared for action with every gun in the ship loaded and men stationed around the ship all night. We are also ready to land a battalion at any moment. By the looks of things now I think we will have some trouble before we leave. We steamed the whole length of Cuba and about every mile you can see puffs of smoke and the Spainards firing on the rebels. There are three German ships (?) loading. here was Old Moro Castle stands at the entrance of the harbor, there are thousands of Spanish inside you can see them all sitting on the walls at any time of the day. This is a landlocked harbor but I think we could get out of it all right although we are in a pretty dangerous position at the present time and we hardly know when we are safe. Well dear Father I will now have to close sending my best love and wishes to all and hoping that I may be alive to see you all again. I remain you loving son. Charles U.S.S. Maine in the charge of Council General of the United States Havana, Cuba
Note: by Charles Hamilton, Apprentice, 1st Class, Battleship Maine.  3960 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American During the year preceding the outbreak of the Spanish War I was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. While my party was in opposition, I had preached, with all the fervor and zeal I possessed, our duty to intervene in Cuba, and to take this opportunity of driving the Spaniard from the Western World.
Note: by Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, 1st Volunteer Cavalry  19148 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American The most serious loss that I and the regiment could have suffered befell just before we charged. Bucky O'Neill was strolling up and down in front of his men, smoking his cigarette, for he was inveterately addicted to the habit. He had a theory that an officer ought never to take cover - a theory which was, of course, wrong, though in a volunteer organization the officers should certainly expose themselves very fully, simply for the effect on the men; our regimental toast on the transport running, " The officers; may the war last until each is killed, wounded, or promoted."
Note: by Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Riders,(1st United States Volunteer Infantry).  7290 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American When we got to the bay's mouth, we saw our squadron, and decided, that if we went to west, we could gain the protection of our squadron. But there was some distance between us and squadron. One shell hit on our hatch, where our boiler's ventilators were located, so our steam pressure reduced considerably, and our speed slowed. At this time we had suffered a great quantity of hits. One shell cut up the boatswain in half and the part of his body fell into the steering control line. As a result of this, the ship lost partial rudder control. We needed to clear the body from the steering control line. Next, a shell destroyed the steam governor. A third exploded on the poop deck magazine and destroyed it. We had torpedoes cleared for action. Fuses were screwed in place, but we were unable to fire because, the distance was too great during the battle. As a result of these circumstances the commander of both destroyers, Capitan de Navio Villamil ordered us to abandon ship. Myself and part of the crew leaped overboard about 3 miles off the coast. In the water I saw one of my comrades was killed by a bullet to the head. At this time our destroyer, after a series of explosions, sank. When we got to the coast, we went on foot east toward Santiago. Shortly afterwards, we met the men of Lt Caballero and together proceeded to Santiago.
Note: by Lt. Bustamente, executive offficer, Spanish Torpedoboat Destroyer FUROR.  3005 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American SIR: At 9 a. m., July 3, I gave orders and arrangements were made for general muster at 9.30 a. m. At 9.30 a. m. the enemy were telegraphed by the Iowa as Coming out. At the same time they were discovered by the quartermaster on watch, N. Anderson, of this ship, and reported to the officer of the deck.
Note: account written July 7, 1898.  8306 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American USS New York, 3 July 1898 Sir-I have the honor to make the following report upon the battle with and the destruction of the Spanish squadron, commanded by Admiral Cervera, off Santiago de Cuba, on Sunday, July 3, 1898. The enemy's vessels came out of the harbor between 9.35 and 10 AM, the head of the column appearing around Cay Smith at 9.31, and emerging from the channel five or six minutes later.
Note: by Admiral Sampson, USN  8008 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American June 1898. 6. We broke camp at Island Lake and left at 11 o’clock A.M. for Camp Alger, Va. At noon we got coffee at Toledo Ohio. During the afternoon we passed through the oil fields in the northern part of the state. 7. I awoke just as the train came to the bridge which crosses the Ohio river at Port Pleasant, it was just breaking day. The river was a pleasant sight. During the day we crossed West Va. passing through 24 tunnels and crossing several streams. I was much pleased with the scenery while crossing the mountains. We got off the train at Hinton for setting up exercises. We arrived at Charlottesville just after dark. We were much amused with the negroes while there. I have seen more of them to-day than I ever saw in my life. 8. We passed by the suburbs of Washington at daybreak and reached Dun Loring at five o’clock A.M. We marched from Dun Loring to Camp Alger in the forenoon and after taking dinner with the 33rd Mich. we proceeded to clear a place to put up our tents. The trees and stumps were very thick but we succeeded in getting up our tents before dark. 9. We put up the mess tents and got material to sleep on. In the afternoon I went to the creek for a bath. 10. I helped clear up the batallion street in the forenoon. Went swimming in the afternoon and went out on dress parade in the evening. 11. Did police duty in the morning and washed my clothes in the afternoon, went on dress parade in the evening. 12. Worked in the mess tent today, got through with the morning work in time to go to church. 13. Went out for drill in the morning. Was vaccinated in the afternoon. 14. Worked in the mess tent today. Signed the payroll in the afternoon. 15. Drilled in the forenoon went to the creek in the afternoon, had dress parade. 16. Drilled in the forenoon, had signal drill in the forenoon and went on dress parade at night. 17. Did nothing to-day as our arms are sore and the 9 Mass. were celebrating the 123rd anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill. They had very nice fireworks in the evening. 18. Worked in the mess tent in the forenoon and was sick in the afternoon. 19. The regiment goes on a forced march to the Potomac river. I am not able to go. I remained at the camp and did nothing. 20. I was awakened by Lieut. Broadhead at 1 o’clock A.M. to take Johnson’s place as he had neglected his duty. I was relieved at 10 o’clock A.M. The regiment got back at 1 o’clock. The boys were very tired and much covered with dust. 21. We were paid this afternoon and have received orders to move. We were very much excited as we are glad to move from this miserable camp. We were issued the rest of our outfit. 22. The first batallion went with the 33 Mich. The rest of us laid around all day somewhat disappointed. 23. We have lain around all day waiting for further orders. I bought an identification check this morning. 24. I went out on guard mount for Pete Winchimski. We received orders to move just as it was over. We broke camp and started for Dun Loring at 6 o’clock P.M. We took the train for Newport News at 10 o’clock. 25. The train broke down and we stopped half an hour for repairs. The sun was just rising as we started again. We passed through Richmond Va. at 9 A.M. and landed at Newport News at 11 o’clock. I went to the Post Office and wrote three letters putting $10 in the one I sent to my stepmother. We were loaded on the Harvard at 6 o’clock. 26. They are loading a supply of coal this forenoon. Got through with the coal and we pulled out at 2 o’clock. The boats in the bay did a great deal of whistling as we pulled out. We passed Fortress Monroe at 5 o’clock and was out of in the ocean at dark. The Harvard is escorting a repair boat (The Vulcan) and has to travel slow. The Harvard has in all about 2500 people on board. 27. We are out of sight of land and have seen but two boats to-day. The ocean is a little rough from the storm we had last night, and at times I am a little dizzy. We saw a number of shark to-day. 28. No land to be seen to-day. We saw one vessel. Some of the boys become uneasy as we have to travel slow in order that the repair boat may keep up and some of the boys have been feeding the little fish. 29. We passed San Salvador Island to-day. A few of the boys are still feeding the little fish. 30. We passed Injuan Island this forenoon and have seen one boat today. it was the Alexandria she lay off the east shore of Cuba. The Island of Cuba hove in sight about 2 o’clock this afternoon. She seems very rough and mountainous. We are not making much headway to-night as we are waiting untill daylight before we approach the fleet. July 1898 1. We struck Sampson’s fleet about 7 o’clock and received orders to land at Sibony a few miles east of the harbor. We landed at 10 A.M. and went into quarters with our first batallion once more. In the forenoon we were issued three days rations and 120 rounds of ammunition. At 3 o’clock a train came with several wounded men from the 33 Mich and later the train brought in the whole regiment. We got orders to move at 1 o’clock P.M. and so started for the front where a fierce battle had been fought. We were with the 9 Mass. 2. We have been marching all night and are nearly worn out. We have stopped for breakfast. Our road lay in a ravine and it was very muddy and it was very warm so many of us have thrown away part of our stuff. I threw away my pup tent and woolen blanket. We met a great many wounded men from the front. They were going to the coast. As we are eating breakfast we can hear the roar of musketry and the boom of cannon. We marched from the division hospital (where we ate breakfast) to the front. It was something horrible to meet the wounded fresh from the fight and see the dead from the day before as we marched to the front. We were marched to the foot of a hill behind the firing line and allowed to rest an hour or two. We were then marched into a ravine to the left and allowed to rest again but the Spaniards learned our position and the shot and shell came so thick that we were compelled to take refuge behind the hill. Five or six of the boys were wounded. 3. I felt very stiff when I got up this morning as I had to sleep on the wet grass without any blanket to keep the dew which is very heavy besides we had to get up and march up the hill as the Spaniards made a charge on the hill at 10 o’clock, but the regulars had driven them back with a loss of 500 so we did not have to do any fighting. About 5 o’clock we heard a great cannonading in the harbor. It was the two fleets coming together. With the exception of a shot now and then from or at a sharp-shooter all has been quiet to-day. The battlefield was visited by a number of foreign officers to-day and the Spaniards will have to change their ways in some respects. I was put on a detail and sent to the division hospital after our blankets. I got my roll by so doing. I had a coat, shirt, towel and 2 pairs socks in the rubber blanket. 4. This has been a dreary fourth indeed. I have had nothing to eat for two days except two hardtack which they issued to-day. Things have been quiet all day as the flag of truce has been flying. We leveled a place and put up what pup tents we had. The sharpshooters have all been cleaned out and the dead have all been buried. Things are very disagreeable as it rains every day. 5. We were issued rations to-day and that seemed to mend things a great deal. The flag of truce is still floating and all is quiet. We dug a bomb proof to-night, they think the enemy may try to shell us out of our position but as we have about 16 batteries around the city I think we will try and keep even. Our works are in the form of a horseshoe around the town with the opening in the bay. 6. We finished our bomb proof this morning and have been idle since. Lieut. Hobson and his men were exchanged to-day. Our boys gave them a great cheer as they rode past our lines. The flag of truce has been down for six hours and we expect to see the fun begin at any moment. 7. The flag of truce is up again and the Spaniards have till Saturday noon. I am not feeling well at present. I am unable to eat much. I think it is the water we are drinking. 8. We broke camp this morning and marched back to a blockhouse to do outpost duty. I am still feeling mean. I came near being overcome by the heat. 9. I did guard duty at our camp last night. The women and children have been marching out of the city for a day or two. Some of them are in a pitiful condition. They seem to have neither clothes or food. We expect they will begin firing on the town soon if the Spaniards do not surrender. I went down to the creek and had a bath and washed my clothes. 10. We broke camp this morning and marched around to the top of a hill overlooking Santiago to support battery A. Captain Grimes in command. I had to drop out and rest and eat something but got here half an hour after the company. We are just behind the battery and have a fine view of the city as we are four or five hundred feet above it. The batteries opened fire on the town at 5 o’clock this afternoon and kept it up untill dark. The gatling guns were turned on the enemy as fast as the shells and the dynamite gun could drive them from the trenches and blockhouses. 11. We lay in the bomb proof all day as firing began early this morning and has continued all day untill near night. I got a letter from home, one from aunt maggie and one from cousin Bell. it did my heart good to get them. I have written to them all this afternoon. 12. Orders came this morning to cease firing untill further orders are given and the flag of truce is again floating. I am feeling mean tonight. last night there was a dreadful thunderstorm (the worst I have ever experienced) and our shelter fell down compelling us to stand in the rain with a blanket around our shoulders. During the storm we could look up and see some of the brightest stars. we were among the clouds. It has rained all day and I have had to do guard duty so I am a little damp as I go to bed. 13. I have been feeling like myself to-day. I went to the creek and washed up my clothes. There has been nothing of importance to-day. 14. The Spaniards have agreed to surrender the city and the Battery we are supporting has orders to move. I do not know where they are going. 15. The Battery moved this morning and we followed them as far as regimental headquarters. The battery is just a little distance below us. I did guard duty untill the company moved. There are six companies camped here now. The other six are down near the city. They have been making roads since we left the firing lines. 16. Things have been very quiet around camp to-day. Some of the boys have been taken sick with malaria fever. I gave a quarter towards sending a bell home which company B took off the blockhouse where we did outpost duty. I took a trip to the spring today. it is about two miles to it. 17. They signed the articles of surrender to-day and the Spaniards have laid down their arms. They were glad to quit the fight as well as we. The stars and stripes now float over the city. 18. A large number of the boys are sick with the fever. I am well at present. I think I never felt better in my life. I have been to the spring twice to-day once before breakfast, it is good exercise I must say. I am ordered to go out on outpost duty for 24 hours. The post is on the hill where the battery stood. 19. I have just come in from outpost duty and got my supper and now for bed. 20. Things have been dull around camp. I and my friend Whitlow had to build up our bunk to-day as Snyder and Linke are not felling well. It has been very warm. I was wet with sweat when I got through with the bed. 21. More of the boys are sick today. I went to the spring this forenoon and worked on a hospital detail this afternoon. My tentmates are still sick. 22. I have not been doing much to-day and things seem to be dull around camp. I made one trip to the spring. 23. I was on guard last night and went to the spring before breakfast. I made a trip to the spring this afternoon and while there had a chill which was followed by quite a high fever. I went and got 18 grains of quinine and I think that will fix me up all right by morning. We got our first issue of fresh meat and I helped to unload it regardless of the fever. The sergeant was able to cook our supper to-night. 24. 22 of the boys in our company answered the sick call this morning. Things seem to be getting worse all the time. Still I can’t complain. I am all right again and went after water as usual this afternoon. 25. I and Whitlow went for water the first thing this morning, we took the mule and brought water for the whole company. Nothing of importance happened to-day. Only 19 of the boys reported at sick call this morning but some of the boys are getting worse. 26. Things were dull today around camp. I stood guard at camp last night, guard duty comes pretty often now as many of the boys are sick. 27. We lay in camp which seems dull as usual. One half of the boys are taking care of the other half. I was at the creek a good part of the day. 28. Nothing of any account has happened in camp to-day. The boys were cheered a little by a rumor that we start for the states in a very few days. 29. Mail came into camp to-day. I got two from home and one (from) Paul Mart also one from Cousin Bell. There are not so many sick now but those who are seem to be getting worse all the while. We got our first issue of fresh bread to-night. it seemed the best we ever ate although it was poor bread. 30. Things are the same as usual about one half of the company are fit for duty. It rained very heavy this forenoon. That is something new as it always rains in the afternoon. Our duck suits came in to-night. 31. We were issued our new clothes this morning. They are good ones. They make the boys look like officers. We are patiently waiting for a chance to move as the camp grounds are getting very dirty and the oder from it is anything but pleasing to the nose. I wrote two letters to-day. one home and one to Robert D. McGregor. August 1889 1. Good news have come with the new month. We have been ordered to move tomorrow morning. We are going to join the rest of the regiment near the city and there prepare for the trip homeward. We are all very much pleased with the prospects nowbefore us. 2. I was on guard last night for the last time at that camp. We moved down within a mile of the outskirts of the city. We are camped on quite a pleasant hill as we have a fine view of the town and can see troops on all sides. The boys seem to be improving in health as all but 3 or 4 of our company were able to march over this morning. It is about three miles. 3. We have got settled in our new quarters. This morning a detail of fifty men was sent after the other two companies of the second batallion. They are in a very bad condition and the camp where they were is not fit to put pigs in. 4. We moved our first batallion this morning. They are nearly all sick. I think they will pick up now as this is a much better place to camp. it has been very hot the last two or three days. 5. Nothing worthy of note has happened in the camp to-day. The first Illinois regiment moved up and are camped just on our right. I went to the commissary to-day to get some canned goods as it is almost impossible to live on what we get from the government. 6. Everything is quiet around camp. The boys are all uneasy they expect to move any day as the troops are leaving as fast as they can get transportation. I was on guard last night. They have sent in about 2500 immunes to do police and guard duty in the town. 7. We are still lying around and doing nothing. The boys are buying about two thirds of the stuff they eat. It seems as though the U.S. ought to be able to feed the boys better than they do. There must be something wrong somewhere. 8. Camp has been dull as usual. There seems to be an improvement in the condition of the reg’t as only about half as many report at sick call as reported two weeks ago. Many of the boys who are sick are dying. We have lost none in our company yet. 9. We were issued underwear, sock and blankets this morning. Uncle Sam makes a better hand at handling clothing than he does at handling provisions. We are still at our same old job. We are patiently waiting for transports. I got a piece of wood from the tree, under which Lieut. Hobson was exchanged and the conditions of surrender were agreed to. 10. Nothing worthy of note happened to-day. The death rate seems to be increasing every day. We have lost 3 men from our reg’t in the last 24 hours. They say that every time there are 3 men (who) go to the division hospital there are 2 who are carried to the burial places. 11. Matters are getting worse if anything as the camp is beginning to get very foul and unhealthy and money is getting scarce so we cannot buy any more canned goods. 12. I am stuck to find out what we did to-day as it has been the same old song (Lay around and wonder when we will move). The camp is getting dirtier all the while. I stood guard last night and I hope it will be the last time on the Island. 13. Things went the same as usual this forenoon but it rained about twice as hard as usual this afternoon and nearly drowned our whole tent crew as we have been sleeping on the ground. There was a young river running through in under our blankets. 14. We went and got a large tent to-day and built up our bunk as we are afraid of another flood. Things are going as usual around camp. 15. Two of our Co’s were paid and sent to finish out a load for the U.S. It is reported that the rest of the reg’t get paid tomorrow. 16. We got our money to-day. We privates drew $31.20. It was quite a busy time among the boys for a while. They were paying back the quarters they borrowed to buy tobbacco. 17. Three more Co’s of the 34 left for home to-day and details from the rest of the companies were sent to guard prisoners that looks as if we are going to stay here a while longer. 18. The camp is lively tonight as we have got orders to move in the morning. Most of the boys in Co. B are able to walk. the sick will be moved in wagons. 19. We broke camp at eight o’clock and marched to the wharf going through the central part of the city. we stopped twice to rest. The last time was in the park. At ten o’clock we went on board the Santiago which is to take us to the best country on earth. The ship lay at the wharf all afternoon loading on supplies. 20. We pulled out at 10 o’clock this morning and passed out of the harbor. On the way we saw the Merrimac and one of the Spanish warships. The warship was lying partly on her side and looked as though she had gotten in Sampson’s way. Just after we passed the boats we came to Morro Castle, it looked as though it might have been a formidable structure one day, but amounts to but little since Uncle Sam’s boats paid her a visit. We travelled along the southern coast of Cuba all afternoon and expect to round the point tonight. I stood guard last night and to-day. Just after I was relieved from my post this afternoon I became a little sick at the stomach and succeeded in throwing up all the good things I got to eat in Cuba. I was sick only about fifteen minutes and to-night I am feeling first class. Many of the boys were sick when they came on board and a great many more are sea sick. 21. When we woke up this morning Cuba had disappeared and we were all glad of it. but many of us were feeling mean as a soldier does not have the best accomodations on board a transport. We passed several islands to-day, among them was Castle Island. Only one or two ships came in view to-day. 22. The ocean has been very calm so far and to-day has almost like glass. Nothing has come into view except one large vessel which was bound towards the East. We passed San Salvador last night and I think it is nearly the last on the trip. The boys have a great time buying handouts from the cook. I have been able to get a few myself. It is almost impossible to eat what we are issued. 23. We have seen nothing to-day but a boat or two. This has been a sad day for Co B as we have lost Albert Gilhooley and had to bury him at sea. It is the first death that has occured in the Company since started for Cuba and the first to occur on board the ship. I took care of Albert last night. It was an awful task as he was delerious nearly all night and to be watched like a cat would a mouse. 24. We have seen nothing but the sea and the sky to-day, still it seems a pleasure to breathe pure air and watch the calm ocean. I am very sleepy to-night as I helped to take care of Charley Lahr and Varney Merritt last night. they are both quite sick and need good care in order to pull them through. There are four of Co B’s boys who need to be well taken care of. The captain is also very sick. There was another burial at sea today. The deceased was a member of Co. L (Scott, nicknamed Scotty). 25. We can still see nothing but the sky and the peaceful ocean and once in a while a passing ship. We had to leave two more of the 34th boys behind us to-day. I did not learn what company they belonged to. It does seem too bad to lose them on the way back to their home and friends. I have been taking care of Charley Lahr again to-day. he is getting stronger quite fast. We must be getting back near America at least the breeze says so. it seems quite cool. 26. When we woke up this morning we thought winter was coming on at once the wind was so cold. We saw nothng in the forenoon but about 2o’clock we saw a great many boats and in less than an hour we sighted land. We rounded the point about 5 o’clock and then the campgrounds could be plainly seen. we arrived at our destination about seven and tonight we are anchored with the other transports just outside the landing. 27. We were examined at 7 o’clock this morning and the sick were taken off this afternoon. We expected to land this afternoon but were disappointed. 28. We landed this morning and our first greeting was a ham sandwich and beef, tea followed by cold fresh milk. We thought we were in America for certain. We were then marched to the detention camp where we are to remain for three days. Our tents were all up and everything seemed like a paradise compared with what we have had. 29. We got our new class of rations to-day. They consisted of: eggs, butter, milk, bread, beef and green corn, potatoes, etc. Quite a change from our usual diet. We signed the payroll to-night. I have been on guard all day and expect to be all night. 30. Things were somewhat quiet in camp to-day. We were issued new clothes all through and were ordered to burn our old ones. I had a slight headache today. 31. We were paid to-day and we expect to start for home tomorrow. September 1898 1. We have been getting ready and waiting for orders to start for home but I guess we will not get away before morning. I have worked in the mess tent since yesterday afternoon and will be until we leave. 2. We broke camp at seven o’clock this morning and marched to the train. At 1 o’clock the train pulled out for New York. We were on a train which had to turn out for everything. We got all the peaches and watermelons we could eat at Duogue. We arrived in New York at 1:30 P.M. and were marched to the ferry which pulled out about 12 o’clock and carried us across and down the river passing under the main span of Brooklyn bridge. it was a beautiful sight as it was all lighted up and there were 21 street cars passing over. 3. We boarded the train which pulled out at 9 o’clock A.M.. Just after we started we passed through a tunnel which took the train at least 3 minutes to pass through. It is 3 o’clock A.M. and we have passed through another tunnel in which we met and passed another train and now we are going through a town. We have a fine view of the Hudson River as the moon is bright. We stopped at Syracuse about 3 o’clock this afternoon and got coffee and rations. We are travelling along the Erie canal and a railway system having four tracks. Ours is a double track. 4. 8 o’clock P.M. we have stopped at Newark and the people have treated us so well that I am afraid we will be sick. Wine, champagne, celery, tomatoes, melons, coffee, apples, sandwiches and milk are among the things on the bill of fare. We reached Buffalo at 7:30 P.M. and were loaded down with good things untill we hadn’t car room for them. The good things were furnished by Mr Blacker of Manistee. 4. We stopped at Toledo at six o’clock and received coffee and other delicacies. We landed in Detroit at 8 o’clock and were escorted by the citizens to the Cadillac Hotel where we partook of a hearty breakfast after which I left my company and joined Co. F of the 33 and travelled as far as Port Huron with them. At Pt. Huron there was another grand reception and we were escorted to the St Clair where dinner was served and I took up quarters untill the morrow. 5. I left Pt. Huron for Marlette at eight o’clock accompanied by Mr. Decker and several other Sanilac Co. gentlemen and arrived in Marlette at 10 o’clock where they had prepared a surprise for me by having the whole town turn out to give me a reception. After having a talk with the people I took dinner with an old soldier. After dinner an old soldier had me enter his photograph gallery and have my picture taken then after having a chat with about a hundred more people messrs. Decker and Dougherty Decker’s Mill where I stopped with Mr. Decker for the night in the meantime meeting many nice people in the vicinity all of whom were anxious to hear news from Cuba. 6. After having a beautiful night’s rest I lay around in the forenoon talking with the people as they were unable to work on account of the rain. After dinner, -the rain having ceased- Mr. Dougherty hitched up and took me home. I reached home about 5 o’clock safe and sound having never met with the least sickness or accident on my trip to Cuba.
Note: by George Edgar Cripps.  4945 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American On board the steamer Orizaba June 14th 1898 Today at 9 o’clock, our boat left her moorings at the dock (at Tampa) and cast anchor at the mouth of the bay till 3:30, when she weighed anchor as our fleet of 32 transports carrying 2,300 men were ready to start on our long and perilous journey of 900 miles to Santiago de Cuba. It was a magnificent sight to see the fleet as it put to sea. The transports were arranged in columns of fours at 400 yards interval flanked on either side with the small gunboats and the deadly torpedo boats while the heavy gunboats took up the advance guard. Our boat is one of the largest and fastest in the fleet. Being six hundred tons lading it carries immense stores of dynamite and gun cotton for Sampsons’ fleet. The evening of the 15th we sighted a lighthouse of Dry Tortugas Island. Half an hour later, we are joined by the battleship, Indiania and the firing of the necessary salutes at this hour of the night brings everybody on deck expecting to see a naval engagement. It was also rumored on board that it was a Spanish man o war and the dispatch boat Hornet passed us giving the Captain orders to go full speed for 8 knots then await orders. It was generally believed the the rumor was true and much excitement prevailed for the next hour. When all retired for the night in the hold when some fellow had an attack of the night mare. He jumped from his bunk yelling at the top of his voice "We are lost, lost, lost!" Men jumped from their bunks with rifle in hand and a general stampede for the hatchway followed, but it was soon learned that it was a false alarm and the men again retired after much growling at the poor fellow. The time has passed until now without any incident worth notice. The sea has been very calm. It is amusing to see so many strange fish. Among them are the flying fish, which rise at the boat’s bow like birds on land. At the approach of an intruder we have also seen several man-eating sharks. Our course is south through the Gulf of Mexico to Dry Tortugas, east from there through the Florida straights to the great Bahama Channel, thence south through the windward passage east of Cuba in the Atlantic Ocean then westward through the Carribean Sea to Santiago. Today June 17 we sight land for the first time since we left the U.S. It being a small island on the north of Cuba, we are now between the Isle of Cuba and the Bahama Islands. Friday the 18th, we are now in the windward passage, the sea is very rough and many a poor fellow is hanging his head over the rail looking seaward. At 2 o’clock the Indiania sighted two Spanish boats headed for us and a race for life ensued but as they were light boats they pulled into shallow water and our vessels were unable to follow. Struck through: Sunday 19th nothing of any importance. Monday 20th our boat is now headed westward on the south of Cuba and we are nearing our journeys end. We are now possibly 5 miles from the Island and a great mountain system is to be seen rising majestically above the water with peaks pointing heavenward. It has been a marvelous trip throughout. Could we realize the danger we are in, any wave could conceal a torpedo boat which would shoot a deadly torpedo under us and hurl us into eternity without a moments notice, but no one gives it a single thought. We are crowded very closely in the boat not unlike sardines and some of our officers treat us very mean, especially those who joined the regiment lately from West Point and have never seen service before. One in particular mentioning that enlisted men were like a pack of curs and any place was good enough for them. We occupy less than half of the vessel and the few officers occupy the rest We also feed very poorly and it is wonderful that men can keep up asthey do on such poor diet and crowed so closely in the hold of the vessel, but there is very little sickness except sea sickness. Today the 22nd and we land in an hour. On the evening of the 20th we saw our first sea action. It was our batteries along the shore. It was a magnificent sight to see. The cannon belching forth long streams of fire every tick of the watch. Struck through: Yesterday 21st there was a battle The mouth of the bay is not more than 100 feet wide and just back of it is very large mountains with peaks towering high above the clouds and 14 miles away up this bay is Santiago. Just back of these mountains a fierce fight took place yesterday, 150 Spaniards were killed, 18 captured and 6 of our Marines were lost. Many of our men cried when they learned of the fight that they could not take part. Our boat is the second to land. Well, we ready to Disembark and I will mail this on the boat. Good bye and Regards to all Your son and Brother, Morg
Note: by Morgan James Lewis.  4310 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American Before Santiago July 14, 1898 Brigadier-General Wood Commanding Second Brigade, Second Division Sir: Pursuant to your order, I have the honor to submit the following report on the Sims-Dudley pneumatic gun. The gun has now been in action three times, namely, at the Battle of Santiago, on July 1, and at the subsequent bombardment of that city on July 10 and 11. In all 20 shots have been fired, resulting in the destruction of three Spanish guns, the extensive demolition of trenches, and presumably a considerable loss of life to the enemy. It may therefore be asserted that as a destructive agent the gun is a success, and justifies the claims made for it by its makers in this respect. The test, however, to which the gun has been put has been equally serviceable in laying bare certain faults in material and construction, which not only mar the efficiency of the gun, but add greatly to the danger attending its operation. Briefly summarized, these faults are as follows: First, the extreme fragility of the breech mechanism, due to the lightness of construction and character of metal used. This was demonstrated after the first shot, when the extractor failed to work and has since proved useless. This alone has been an effectual bar to rapid fire, and has greatly reduced the efficiency of the piece. Subsequently, the brass handle on the firing pin broke off, owing to a flaw in the metal composing the pin, and finally the lower end of the trigger broke, owing to the crystallized condition of the steel of which it was made. I have further noted a tendency on the part of the firing tube to slip back through the bands designed to hold it in its position relative to the pressure chamber, and while I have retarded this by tightening the bands, still it is a serious fault, inasmuch as if allowed to go unnoticed it would eventually cause a break at the breech, which could not result otherwise than in serious loss of life to those in the vicinity. All of these defects can easily be remedied by the makers, as can also the defect in the powder cartridge, the shell of which is so light that it expands and jams on explosion, and ma be said to have been the initial cause of many of the difficulties to which the gun has been subject. These shells must be given more weight and rigidity. As to the equipment of the gun for field service, I would suggest that it be rigged as nearly as possible like our light artillery pieces, with such modifications as are necessitated by the difference in construction of the pieces. The small trial wheels as at present arranged are quite useless. I am, sir, your obedient servant, HALLETT ALSOP BORROWE Sergeant, First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Dynamite Gun Detachment
Note: by Sergeant Hallett Alsop Borrowe, USV.  3785 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American

Santiago De Cuba

July 18, 1898

Dear Parents,

Received your welcome letter and was so glad to find all well. I am in the best of health, but my God, how the men around me suffer! There are 30 to 40 in the Company sick. It is the fever, and I thank God every day that He has spared me so far. He has heard your prayers, my dear Mama. As I have no paper, I will give you a brief sketch of what has happened on the Island and go into details some other time.

  6703 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American

Manila, June 8, 1899
Messers Horton, Bassett, Bell and Roberson:
Dear Friends and Comrades:
Your kind combination favor, after having been badly mutilated and miscarried, reached us late last month at San Fernando; a most welcome missive we assure you; and if we could receive more such evidences of good will and friendship from our Anthoney friends, the terrors of war would lose much of its terror.

  6774 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American [Letterhead: New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Company]

On Board: S.S. City of Washington

[Havana], February 16, 1898

Dearest,

I sent you two cablegrams last night telling you of my safety, and before they both reached you before the morning papers, and that you were spared the agony of suspense and uncertainty.
Note: written the day after the USS MAINE was lost  8980 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American The day first of July, at six o'clock in the morning, the enemy army main force commanded by General Shafter, composed at least of 15,000 men, with plenty of modern artillery, without counting the insurrects groups, attacked the lines of the city towards the East and Northeast, that is, El Caney, defended by General Vara de Rey with 520 men and two Plasencia type guns and the position of San Juan, occupied by two companies of 250 soldiers.
Note: by Spanish Navy Officer Josť Muller Tejeira, 1898.  7789 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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