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North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 18

Squadron Bulletin.

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

THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 1898.

PREPARATIONS were making by the Army for an advance. The weather has been against the troops, the roads being muddy and difficult.1

     The Louisiana arrived yesterday from Tampa with some volunteers.2

     The Assistant Chief of Staff3 visited the Head Quarters to-day, and was within 4000 yards of Santiago (the advanced pickets), from which point the higher portions of Santiago are visible. The left of our Army will rest 4000 E.S.E. of Santiago to line extending in a North-easterly direction to a point on the road between Caney and Santiago.

     General Garcia,4 with 4000 Cubans, was to move round the right flank to reach high ground North-east of Santiago, with a view of cutting the communications North of the city. General Shafter’s5 headquarters are near El Pozo, towards the left of the line, in the valley of the San Juan.

     The Balloon made a successful ascension.6

     The Adula came into Guantanamo yesterday and was seized by the Commanding Officer of the Marblehead and a guard put aboard pending an examination.7

Source Note: Printed, DNA, RG 313, Entry 56. This bulletin was produced on a printing press on New York (the flagship of RAdm. William T. Sampson’s North Atlantic Fleet) and was distributed to the vessels. It is listed as number 18 in, Squadron Bulletins, 36-37.

Footnote 1: The poor weather created problems transporting supplies to the American troops on the siege lines. See, Cosmas, Army for an Empire, 165-76.

Footnote 2: The volunteers were slated to augment the troops heading for Santiago de Cuba.

Footnote 3: The Assistant Chief of Staff was Lt. Sidney A. Staunton.

Footnote 4: Gen. Calixto Ramón García Iñiguez.

Footnote 5: Maj. Gen. William R. Shafter was the commander of the Fifth Army Corps.

Footnote 6: Lt. Col. Joseph Maxfield of the balloon section of the Army Signal Corps was in charge of aerial surveillance at the front. His men met with mixed success: They discovered a path for the American troops to attack the Spanish positions at El Caney and San Juan Heights, but the Spanish, using the balloon as a reference point, marked where the American troops were massing and directed artillery fire on them. See, Trask, War with Spain, 239-40.

Footnote 7: Adula was later judged a legitimate prize, see: North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 17, 29 June 1898.

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