Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Major General William R. Shafter to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet

On Board S.S. Segurança,

Off Daiquiri, Cuba, June 26th.

  Admiral William T. Sampson, United States Navy, Commander-in- Chief United States Naval Forces, North Atlantic Squadron.

Sir: The last of the men will be on shore to-night, but it will take until Tuesday1 to get them up to where the advance guard is at this time. In addition to my own force of about 15,000 men, I shall have a little over 4,000 Cubans.2 I mean to advance on the road from Sevilla Wednesday, without fail, toward Santiago.3

     I hear the main Spanish force is outside of the city, and is intrenching itself so as to prevent my reaching the bay south of the city.4 I shall, if I can, put a large force in Caney, and one, perhaps, still farther west, near the pipe-line conveying water to the city; the ground in that vicinity being less brushy than that between the bay and the San Juan river; making my main attack from the northeast and east.5 If I can get the enemy in my front and the city at my back, I can very soon make them surrender, or drive them toward the Morro.6 You will hear my guns, of course, and can tell about where the action is taking place. I will be obliged if you can prevent any reinforcements crossing the railroad at Aguadores, but without destroying the bridge, as I may need it.

  I wish to express to you again the many obligations the Army is under for your assistance.

  I have not, as yet, as much forage or rations ashore as I should like to have, but cannot delay them any longer. Staff officers continue putting off stores; and if you will let Captain Goodrich continue to help, you will greatly assist in the campaign.7 I think I should have ten days’ full rations and forage on shore, so as to cover accidents by storm, or rough weather. To-day I have not more than half that amount, but now that the men and animals are out of the way, I think these stores can be discharged faster.

Very respectfully yours,

(Signed) William R. Shafter,

Major-General United States Volunteers, Commanding.

Source Note: Miley, In Cuba with Shafter, 96-97.

Footnote 1: That is, 28 June.

Footnote 2: Cuban Force under Gen. Calixto García.

Footnote 3: Sevilla was northeast of Santiago de Cuba, some seven miles away.

Footnote 4: The Spanish Forces under Gen. José Toral y Vázquez.

Footnote 5: See: Map of the attack on Santiago de Cuba.

Footnote 6: Morro Castle protected the entrance to the harbor at Santiago de Cuba, some four miles southeast of the city.

Footnote 7: Capt. Caspar F. Goodrich, commander of the auxiliary cruiser St. Louis and chief Naval officer at Daiquirí landings.

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