Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 2

 

SQUADRON BULLETIN NO. 2.

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

Off Santiago de Cuba,

June 14th,1898.

     The New Orleans was ordered to fire at new work on the West battery.1 She was replied to by both the East and West batteries. She silenced the East Battery and practically the West. A number of shells fell near the New Orleans and [the] flagship, but no harm was done.

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     The Vesuvius fired three shells, two 10 and one 8-inch; one fell just short of the crest of the hill on which the West battery is situated; one went over the hill into the harbor, or in a line with the situation of the Spanish torpedo boats,2 and the third struck the crest of the hill of the West battery. All exploded with terrific force.

     Two shots were fired by the West battery; it was stated that one went over the Massachusetts.

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     Reports from Guantanamo go to show that probably half the deaths and wounded so far reported were due to accidents.

     Desultory firing still continues.

     The contingent of sixty Cubans which have been armed, clothed and fed, have rendered most effective service.3 Commander McCalla and the marine officers speak in the highest terms of their conduct.4

     A considerable body of Cubans is expected at Guantanamo to-day. They will be supplied with food and clothing from the St. Paul, and partially with arms. These men have been sent down unarmed, as it was requested that their rifles be left behind for the use of others in the field.

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Source Note Print: Squadron Bulletins, 6.

Footnote 1: The west battery of El Morro, or the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca (also known as Castillo del Morro or as San Pedro de la Roca Castle).

Footnote 2: A reference to the torpedo-boat destroyers Plutón and Furor of RAdm. Pascual Cervera y Topete’s squadron.

Footnote 3: For the role of the Cubans at Guantánamo, see: Naval Operations at Guantanamo.

Footnote 4: Cmdr. Bowman H. McCalla was in charge of landing operations at Guantánamo Bay and Lt. Col. Robert W. Huntington led the U.S. Marines. After the war the former continued to praise the role of the Cubans, while the Marines downplayed their assistance. See: Naval Operations at Guantanamo.

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