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North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin

Squadron Bulletin

U. S. Flagship New York.                Off Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.


The Gloucester and Suwanee have been detailed to attend upon the Board ordered to report upon the stranded Spanish ships. The Board is as follows:

     Lieutenant-Commander Raymond P. Roberts.

     Lieutenant Commander Newton E Mason.

     Lieutenant Reginald E. Nicolson.

     Lieutenant Francis J. Haeseler.

     Lieutenant Edward E. Capehart.

     Passed Assistant Engineer George W. McElroy.

     Passed Assistant Engineer Frank M. Bennett.

     Assistant Constructor Richmond P. Hobson.

     The Newark with Commodore Watson’s1 broad pennant, arrived from Guantanamo.

     The flagship went this morning to Sibouney as the Commander-in-Chief2 had an appointment to-day with General Schafter.3 The Commander-in-Chief being unable to go, the Chief of Staff4 and Assistant Chief5 went out to Headquarters, being met at Sibourney landing by an escort and horses. The distance out is about seven miles over a road very rough in places, and through a very broken country. One can only wonder that an army was allowed to reach the outskirts of Santiago with so little resistance.

     As one approaches Santiago the rough hills subside into a plain. The Headquarters are about three miles outside Santiago. A short ride from there to a knoll named from a neighboring well, El Pozo, gives an excellent view of our lines, which are now drawn in closely to the town from a point about South-east to one West of North. The right wing is held by General Garcia6 and, it is said, the city is now entirely cut off from the Westward. The investment has certainly become very close. The mortars were being planted yesterday in preparation for bombardment. The little river, San Juan, has been a most efficient aid to our troops, furnishing a good and a moderately abundant supply of water. The men are sheltered by small fly tents, so low, however, that one cannot stand upright in them. They have made of course, various shifts to meet their needs, and seems to have come to an appreciation of the Cuban shelter of palm leaves.

     While there the exchange of prisoners took place by which Mr. Hobson and the men accompanying him were returned.7 They came on board in the evening.

     The flagship returned to her station about 10 p. m.

Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, Papers of William Fullam.

Footnote 1: Commo. John C. Watson, Commander, Eastern Squadron.

Footnote 2: RAdm. William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 3: Gen. William R. Schafter.

Footnote 4: Capt. French E. Chadwick.

Footnote 5: Lt. Sydney A. Staunton.

Footnote 6: Cuban Gen. Calixto GarcíaIñiguez.

Footnote 7: Assistant Naval Constructor Richmond P. Hobson. The crew of the Merrimac were captured on 3 June 1898, after a mission to block Santiago Bay. For a list of their names, see: Sampson to Long, 3 June 1898.

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