Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Huntington, United States Marine Corp, to Commandant of the Marine Corps Colonel Charles Heywood

[Extract]

Headquarters First Marine Battalion,

Navy-Yard, Portsmouth, N.H., August 26, 1898.

     Sir: I respectfully report that from the date of my last report, July 31, up to August 5, the battalion remained in camp at Playa del Este.

     On the latter date we embarked on board the U. S. S. Resolute, and on the 9th instant sailed, under convoy of the U. S. S. Newark, bound for the Isle of Pines.

     In an interview with the commander in chief1 before our departure, I asked if there was any military information available for my use there, and was told by him that there was a paper of which a copy should be sent to me.

     This paper proved to contain certain general information relative to the island and the approaches to it. I had no information as to whether there was a hostile force in any part of the island.

     The available draft of water at the principal port was, according to the above mentioned paper, 6 or 7 feet; as the Suwanee drew 8 1/2, and was the lightest draft of any vessel in the expedition, I suggested to Capt. C. F. Goodrich,2 who was in command, the great desirability of the addition of the Maniti, a captured tug drawing 4 feet, to his force, and by his direction and in his name applied to the chief of staff3 of the fleet for her.

     My application was very positively and somewhat contemptuously denied, and I was told by him that the Suwanee could go anywhere, as she drew 8 feet.

     By the chart 18 feet could be carried just into the Bay of Seguranca, but the Newark drew 21 feet and the Resolute 18 ½. Two fathoms are marked on the chart several miles--8 or 10--from shore in the bay; the Hist, Osceola, and Wompatuek4 all drew more water than this.

     Information received off Cape Cruz by Captain Goodrich induced him to resolve to demand the surrender of Manzanillo. I append herewith a copy of a report of Captain Goodrich, giving the details of his action under this resolve.5

     On the 14th instant the Resolute, with the battalion on board, sailed for Playa del Este. . . .6

Source Note Print: Marines in the Spanish-American War, p. 119.

Footnote 1: RAdm. William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 2: Capt. Caspar F. Goodrich.

Footnote 3: Capt. French E. Chadwick.

Footnote 4: That is, Wompatuck.

Footnote 6: The planned expedition to the Isle of Pine never occurred. A ceasefire was declared on 12 August 1898.

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