North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 20
U. S. Flagship New York. Off Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.
SATURDAY, JULY 2, 1898.
THE day was chiefly marked by a very animated bombardment in the morning by the fleet, beginning at 5.49 and lasting until 7.45. The ships were, beginning at the eastward, the Gloucester, New York, Newark, Indiana, Oregon, Iowa, Massachusetts, <Texas>, Brooklyn, <<Suwanee and>> Vixen. It was specially desired to fire at the Punta Gorda Battery and particular attention after silencing the batteries was paid to this point by the battleships which were directed close to the entrance.
The Morro suffered very severely, being extensively damaged on the South. East. corner. The flagstaff was shot away, it was thought by the Oregon, though the Indiana may have a claim to the exploit, both being close under the Castle at the time. The bombardment was with a view to demonstrate at the same time the Army attacked, but the proposed assault was not made.
The Chief of Staff paid a visit to Sibouney with a view to arranging for a consultation between the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet and the Commanding General, and while there saw some 200 prisoners brought in. Perhaps three-fourths were Cubans, being of those known as Mobilzados, but all Spaniards and Cubans showed emaciation from want of food. They were in pitiable plight in every way.
Some 400 wounded of our Army men were in the improvised hospitals (tents) near the beach.
Lieutenant Young arrived in the Hist. This vessel, with the Hornet and Wompatuck, had had a very lively fight at Manzanillo with the Spanish gunboats at that point, and one off Neguero Bay near there; this latter was apparently beached and blown up. The three vessels entered Manzanillo Bay and found five or six armed vessels at anchor and soldiers at many points ashore; one gunboat was reputed blown up in the Bay. The Hornet had a shot through her steam-pipe and had to be towed out by the Wompatuck. She returned here, however, under her own steam. Though subjected to a very heavy fire there were no casualties from this, the only injuries to the men being the scalding of F. Madsen, S. Bakker, and P. Griffin, of the Engineer force aboard the Hornet.
The Hornet captured the small steamer Benito Estenger, leaving Manzanillo and two schooners loaded with provisions and attempting to run the blockade.
<<The Newark, with the broad pennant of Commodore Watson, left for Guantanamo for coal and repairs to gun mounts.>>
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 20 in, Squadron Bulletins, 38-40. The word in single angle brackets was a handwritten addition. The words in double angle brackets were taken from the printed version of this bulletin.