The transports of the army corps which was charged with the campaign against Porto Rico were convoyed from Santiago to the southern coast of this island by the Massachusetts (flagship), Columbia, Yale, Dixie, and Gloucester. The Columbia and Yale also carried some of the troops. This convoy was under the command of Capt. F. J. Higginson. At Guanica he was joined by the Annapolis and Wasp and at Ponce the Cincinnati. The army commander had urgently requested a naval force. The Puritan and Amphitrite went to San Juan, was also blockaded by the New Orleans.
On July 28 the city of Ponce surrendered to a small squadron consisting of the Dixie, Annapolis, Gloucester, and Wasp, a landing from which took possession at 6 a. m. and hoisted the flag. On August 1 the Gloucester and the Wasp took possession of Arroyo. On August 6 the Amphitrite landed a party at Cape San Juan and took possession of the lighthouse at that place. This party held the place during night of August 5 against an attack by a much superior Spanish force.