Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 27

Squadron Bulletin.

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

SATURDAY, JULY 9, 1898.

THE Massachusetts arrived at Guantanamo, being substituted for the Iowa, in Commodore Watson’s Squadron.1 It is probable the Iowa will go North for a much needed docking and overhauling. The Squadron will thus consist of the Massachusetts, Newark, Oregon, Dixie, Yankee and Yosemite. Those here (the four first) will be ready as soon as coaled; the Yankee is at New York, receiving stores and ammunition for the Squadron, the Yosemite is off San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The picket launches up Guantanamo Bay were fired on by the Spaniards near the fort, due to their having ventured beyond the fort. There were no casualties. No effort is made to dispossess the Spaniards of the upper part of the bay, as we have no use for it, and they must, eventually, surrender in any case for want of food. Intercepted letters give a very melancholy account of the want existing in Guantanamo.2 They are absolutely cut off from the West and have very little on which to subsist. An occasional soldier gives himself up, forced thereto by starvation.

The Adula has been sent to Savannah as prize.3

The Newark, with Commodore Watson’s broad pennant, arrived at Guantanamo.

The Osceola left for Daiquiri and Santiago.

The Porter left for Key West, thence for Bristol,4 for repairs.

The Spanish Commander in Santiago,5 in answer to our proposition of surrender, proposes to evacuate the city if he be allowed to retire, without molestation, as far as Holguin.

Source Note: Printed, DNA, RG 313, Entry 56. 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 27 in Squadron Bulletins, 50-51.

Footnote 1: The Eastern Squadron, under the command of Commo. John C. Watson, was slated to sail for Spain. See: The Eastern Squadron.

Footnote 2: For a copy of an intercepted letter from the Spanish commander at Guantánamo that depicts the parlous state of his troops, see: North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin, No. 5, 17 June 1898.

Footnote 3: The Adula, a British blockade-runner, had been captured by Marblehead on 29 June. Savannah, GA, was the location of the admiralty court where Adula was condemned as a lawful prize. See: Prize List for Vessels of the North Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 4: The Herreshoff Manufacturing Co., which had built ships for the U.S. Navy, was located in Bristol, RI.

Footnote 5: Gen. José Toral y Vázquez. For more on the surrender negotiations, see: Joint Operations at Santiago de Cuba.

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