Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral George Dewey, Commander, Asiatic Squadron, to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long

United States Naval Force on Asiatic Station.

FLAGSHIP OLYMPIA,                    

MANILA, P.I., AUGUST 18, 1898.   

Sir:

     1.   I have the honor to report that at 9 A.M. on August 13th, the Squadron left its anchorage at Cavite and took position off the city of Manila.

     2.   The Flagship OLYMPIA, RALIEGH, and PETREL then proceeded to shell the magazine,fort and entrenchments at Malate; an army column attacking from the Southward at the same time, accompanied by the gunboat CALLAO and tug BARCELO, well inshore. Commenced firing at 9:35 and ceased firing at 10:32, the fort being silenced and the enemy retreating into the city closely followed by the army advancing along the beach, with the CALLAO and BARCELO on its flank.

     3.   The other vessels of the Squadron took the positions assigned them opposite the principal batteries along the water-front, as did also the OLYMPIA, RALEIGH and PETREL after the reduction of the fort at Malate.

     4.   At 11:00 A.M., hoisted the international signal Do you surrender? and at 11:20 a white flag was seen on the city wall. After preliminary conference, General Merritt1 landed with 600 troops and arranged the terms of surrender.

     5.   The Spanish flag was hauled down by Lieutenant Brumby2 of my staff, who hoisted the United States flag at 5:43 P.M. A company of troops with a regimental band happening to be marching past, saluted the colors as they went up and played the national air.3 The vessels of the Squadron fired a national salute.

     6.   I have the honor and pleasure to forward the Spanish flag to the Secretary of the Navy; also the colors of the armed transport CEBU, their only remaining naval vessel. This vessel was burnt, sunk and abandoned in the river by the Spanish.

     7.   The forts and batteries on the Bay front of the city contain the following guns:

          Four B.L.R.4 of 24 cm. (9.4 inches), distributed as follows:- two in battery north of Ermita, one outside moat near southwest angle of city wall, and one outside wall near northwest angle, opposite Fort Santiago.

          Four B.L.R. bronze guns of 14 cm. (5.5inches) in     battery near the middle of west front outside the walls.

     Two B.L.R.guns of 12 cm. (4.7 inches) on siege carraiges in battery at the end of south mole of Pasig River.

          Nine muzzle-loading rifled mortars of 21 cm. (8.3    inches) four in battery outside southwest angle of city walls, and five on the city wall between the two gates of     the west front.

All these guns were mounted behind earthworks, with well supplied and protected magazines at hand.

     There are also the following serviceable guns:

     Eighteen M.L.R.5 bronze guns of 16 cm. (6.3 inches) distributed as follows:

     Nine on southwest angle of city wall, five in Fort Santiago (north west angle of city wall), two in front of flagstaff, and two in battery on outer end of south mole of Pasig River.

     Eight B.L.R.Krupp field pieces distributed along city wall. Also numerous saluting guns and obsolete guns and mortars.

     8.   Under a separate cover, I forward for the information of the Department plan showing sea front of walled city and location of principal batteries as determined by special recognizance on August 15th, 1898.6

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully,               

George Dewey                

Rear Admiral, U.S.Navy,          

          Commanding U.S.Naval Force on Asiatic Station.

Source Note: TDS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 364. Addressed below close: “The Secretary of the Navy,/Washington, D.C.” Document reference: “No. 445-D.” Document on “United States Naval force on Asiatic Station,” stationary. Docketed: “U. S. Flagship OLYMPIA/Manila, P.I./AUG 15 1898/Dewey, George/Rear Admiral/Report of action of/Aug. 13, 1898.” Referred to the Bureau of Ordnance and returned to the Bureau of Navigation.

Footnote 1: Maj. Gen. Wesley Merritt.

Footnote 2: Lt. Thomas M. Brumby.

Footnote 3: The Star Spangle Banner.

Footnote 4: That is, Breech Loading Rifles.

Footnote 5: That is, Muzzle Loading Rifles.

Footnote 6: The referenced plan was not attached and has not been found. See: 1898 Map of Manila.

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