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North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 1

U. S. F. S. New York, 1st Rate,

Off Santiago de Cuba, Cuba,

June 13, 1898



     Information has been received that the Army was to leave Tortugas to-day. Unofficial news states it is to come round the west end of Cuba.1


     The St. Paul from New York, and the Vesuvius from scouting in the Old Bahama Channel arrived to-day. The St. Louis from Mole St. Nicholas with despatches.2 The latter has returned to Mole St. Nicholas. The Collier Scindie, Commander Watson, has arrived at Guantanamo.3


     Preparations have been made to open a telegraphic office at Guantanamo. It is hoped it will be in operation on the fourteenth, so that despatches may go via. Mole St. Nicholas.4


     The firing at Guantanamo has to-day been much less. The total losses have been: Surgeon Gibbs and four marines killed on the eleventh, and two yesterday—Sergeant Major Woods and private Taurman, the latter by falling over a cliff. Six marines have been wounded.5


     Sixty officers and men of the Cuban forces at Guatanamo have received arms, clothing, and food, and have been of great service. Five hundred more are expected.

Source Note: TD, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 231. After the war, these bulletins were collected and published as a limited edition. In the book’s introduction, Sampson explained the purpose of the bulletins: “At that time the main part of the North Atlantic Naval force was in front of Santiago de Cuba, engaged in the somewhat monotonous work of blockading that harbor. Scattered around the Island of Cuba were other ships of the squadron, cut off, for the most part, from all news and with few means of communication. It was with the idea of relieving the monotony of blockading routine and of affording the officers and men of the fleet and opportunity to learn the daily progress of the war that the bulletin was issued. Thanks to the energy of Captain [French E. Chadwick,] my Chief of Staff, who despite his many duties always found time to personally prepare the bulletin, it became a boon in every sense of the word.” Squadron Bulletins, p. 3-4. The numbering of the squadron bulletins is taken from the printed version; there they are formatted differently than those found at DNA.

Footnote 1: The troop ships departed on 14 June and arrived off Santiago de Cuba on 20 June.

Footnote 2: Môle-Saint-Nicholas is located on the northwest coast of Haiti.

Footnote 3: Collier Scindia, Comdr. Eugene W. Watson, commanding.

Footnote 4: As seen in the Squadron Bulletin of that date, the cable office did not begin operations until 21 June. See: North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 9, 21 June 1898.

Footnote 5: For more on the operations and casualties suffered in the Guantánamo campaign, see: Naval Operations at Guantanamo.

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