Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 15

Squadron Bulletin.

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

MONDAY, JUNE 27, 1898.

THE Yale arrived this morning with some 1300 men, part of the Brigade under General Duffield;1 the remainder left Hampton Roads yesterday in the Harvard. The Yale, with the assistance of the St. Louis, landed her men at Siboney, all being ashore by 5.30 p. m. This makes a total landed (including the Cubans) of about 21,000 men.2 The Yale was equipped, during her stay North, with a battery of ten 5” guns.

It was stated this evening, the information being apparently reliable, that the water supply of Santiago has been cut off.

The South coast blockade is being gradually strengthened:3 the Yankee, Helena, Yankton and Eagle are off Cienfuegos; the Dixie, Hornet and Osceola off Cape Cruz. It is to be expected, unless great vigilance be used, that vessels running the blockade will be more numerous; these are now generally smaller, for use in the shoal waters of the reefs extending from Cape Cruz West.

The Vesuvius fired three projectiles last night against the Morro;4 but one was heard to explode, and this against the side of the hill; the others went over. Another explosion, similar in character to that of a few nights since, took place at Aguadores; it is thought it was an attempt to blow up the bridge.

Our Army pickets are gradually progressing Westward on the coast line from Siboney;5 caution should be exercised that they be not mistaken for the enemy.

Lieutenant Blue returned from a tour of 60 miles made to observe Santiago Bay.6 He was very successful in carrying out what was intended.

The Commanding General of the Fifth Corps7 has been very complimentary in his telegram to the War Department regarding the assistance afforded him from the fleet in landing troops and stores. The successful disembarkation in so short a time of so large a number of men in the immediate neighborhood of almost as numerous an enemy and on a surfbound coast, is a noteworthy fact in which our forces, shore and sea, may reasonably take pride.

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 15 in Squadron Bulletins, 33-34.

Footnote 1: Gen. Henry M. Duffield was in command of the Second Army Corps.

Footnote 2: The initial landing began on 22 June. For more information, see: Convoying and Landings at Daiquirí.

Footnote 3: Although a de facto military blockade of the Cuban southern coast had already been established by the American Navy, the official proclamation by President William McKinley was made on 27 June. Benton, International Law, 202.

Footnote 4: Vesuvius carried three “dynamite” guns.

Footnote 5: The U.S. Army had initially moved along the coast from Daiquiri to Siboney, but then went inland toward Las Guásimas and Sevilla on a road leading to Santiago de Cuba. See, William R. Shafter to Henry C. Corbin, 28 June, Correspondence-War with Spain, 1: 60.

Footnote 6: For more information regarding Lt. Victor Blue’s reconnaissance, see: Blue to Daniel Delehanty, 13 June 1898.

Footnote 7: Maj. Gen. William R. Shafter.

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