Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 17

Squadron Bulletin.

U. S. Flagship New York.         Off Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 1898.

GENERAL Shafter established his headquarters yesterday at the front, and it is not unlikely that an advance will take place to-day.1 Our forces are in plain sight of Santiago. It is stated that there is a large number of points in the city marked with the red cross flag.2 There was desultory musketry firing in the evening.

Two locomotives at Sibouney have been repaired and are now in use on the railway there. Sibouney appears to be much the better landing of the two used; the little bay affords very considerable shelter from the S. E. swell, and a considerable number of ships can anchor there.

The British steamer Adula, with Senor Chaves, sub-Secretary to Captain-General Blanco, is seeking to communicate with this part of the coast and should be carefully looked out for.3

The blockade off Cape Cruz has been re-enforced by the addition of the Manning, Scorpion, Hist and Wompatuck.

The Suwanee (Lieutenant-Commander Delehanty,)4 made a close inspection of the batteries to-day (at 1000 to 1200 yards). The West Battery now has three guns of good size, apparently 6-in. and two ship’s guns of 5-in., with shields. The East Battery, three of 6 or 8-in. and two of 5-in.; protection is being thrown up at the East Battery to the Eastward, at right angles to the coast line.

The cable has been picked up off Sibouney, cut and taken into shore, so that communication is now complete between here and Washington.5

Source Note: Printed, DLC-MSS, Papers of William F. Fullam. This bulletin was produced on a printing press on New York (the flagship of RAdm. William T. Sampson’s North Atlantic Fleet) and was distributed to the vessels. It is listed as number 17 in Squadron Bulletins, 13-14.

Footnote 1: Maj. Gen. William R. Shafter, the commander of the Fifth Army Corps.

Footnote 2: This observation suggests that the inhabitants of Santiago de Cuba were suffering. A red-cross flag denotes a medical facility. For more information, see: North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 16, 28 June 1898.

Footnote 3: After the war Adula sued the U.S. government because it was taken as a prize, but lost as rendered by a Supreme Court decision. Everett P. Wheeler, The Law of Prize as Affected by Decisions upon Capture made During the Late War Between Spain and the United States. (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1900), 11-15.

Footnote 4: Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Delehanty.

Footnote 5: For more information regarding jurisdiction over the cable, see: Telegraphy and Cable Cutting.

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