Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commander Joseph G. Eaton to Captain Caspar F. Goodrich

Off Manzanillo, Cuba,          

August 13th, 1898      

Sir:-

     In accordance with Article #275, U. S. Navy Regulations,1 I submit herewith the report of the conduct of this ship during the action of August 12th, 1898, off Manzanillo, Cuba.

     At 1.30 P.M. cleared ship for action.

     At 3.30 P.M. in obedience to signal from the Newark got underway and stood in toward the town, stopping the engines when astern of the Newark.

     During the earlier part of the action, although the crew were at quarters, no shells were fired from this ship.

     At 4.18 in obedience to signal from the Newark the firing from our ships ceased, and as far as our observation extended no shots were fired from the shore batteries.

     During this time a white flag was visible flying from a staff on a large building on shore.

     At 4.40 the Spanish batteries opened again dropping many shells around the Alvarado and Suwanee.

     The Resolute then steamed ahead and at 4.35 opened fire when astern of the Newark, with the Starboard guns.

     Three of the shells were noted as falling on shore in the town, near the batteries.

     Finding our shells falling short, and having orders not to go into close action, (the decks being crowded with the 500 Marines on board), ceased firing at 4.45 and lay to just outside the Newark.

     Several of the enemy’s shell fell between the Newark and this ship, but none reached the ship itself, and there are no casualties or injuries to report.

     During the action the boats of the ship were in constant readiness to land Marines.

     I respectfully submit herewith, the report of the Executive Officer;2

     I am pleased to report that Officers and men exhibited excellent spirit and their conduct was most satisfactory.

     Careful observations were made of the Newark’s practice, and I report that most of her shell struck in and close to the batteries at which they were aimed.

Very respectfully,          

J. G. Eaton            

Comd’r Comd’g.,        

Source Note: TDS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 238. Addressed below close: “Capt. C.F. Goodrich,/Comd’r. U.S.S. Newark,/Senior Officer Present.” Document reference at top left of first page: “No. 45.” Docketed on separate page; docketing in two columns. Leftt column starts with a “BUREAU OF NAVIGATION,” stamp dated “31 AUG 1898” and with reference number “135895.” That is followed by: ”U.S.S. Resolute,/Manzanillo, Cuba,/August 13th, 1898/Eaton, J. G.,/Comd’r Comd’g/Report of conduct of ship during/action of August 12th, 1898. off/Manzanillo.” The right column begins: “Aug 14 1898/Respectfully forwarded/for the information/of the Commander in/Chief/U.S.S. Newark/August 17, 1898/Forwarded to Comdr-Chief/North Atlantic Station/J.C.Watson/Commodore/Comd in Chief Eastern Squad.” Eaton was commander of U.S.S. Resolute.

Footnote 1: Article 275 required commanders-in-chief to collect reports from the commanders of ships involved in any battle or action. Those reports were to describe the service of the vessel and its crew. Regulations for the Government of the Navy of the United States, 1896 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Officer, 1896), 63.

Footnote 2: Lt. Charles C. Rogers. For a copy of his report see, Rogers to Eaton, 13 August 1898, DNA, RG313, Entry 44.

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