Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 22

Squadron Bulletin.

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

MONDAY, JULY 4, 1898.

THE prisoners are to be sent North in the Harvard and St. Louis. 39 officers and 959 men are in first; 76 officers and 641 men in the second; these, with some sick and wounded aboard the hospital ships, amount to 1750; the number of dead is about 600.1

The Brooklyn went to Guantanamo to coal and overhaul; the Marblehead, which came up from Guantanamo carrying Commodore Watson,2 also went back to-day.

Just before midnight of this date the Massachusetts, which was in front of the port, with her search-light up the entrance, reported an enemy’s vessel coming out, and she and the Oregon <*Texas>3 fired a number of shot in the direction of the harbor’s mouth. The batteries also opened and a number of shell fell at various points, the attention paid by the batteries to the ships being general. The Indiana was struck on the starboard side of the quarter-deck by a mortar shell which exploded on reaching the second deck, near the Wardroom ladder; it caused a fire which was quickly extinguished. This is the first accident of the kind to the fleet. The vessel inside turned out to be the Reina Mercedes, which was sunk on the East edge of the channel just by the Esrtella Battery.4 She heads North and is canted over to port with her port rail under water. She does not appear to obstruct the channel.

General Pando has reached Santiago from Manzanillo with 5000 men.5

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 22 in Squadron Bulletins, 43-44.

Footnote 1: The Spanish naval prisoners were taken to different locations. Generally the Spanish naval officers were held at Annapolis and the sailors at the Portsmouth Navy Yard.

Footnote 2: Commo. John C. Watson, Commander, Eastern Squadron.

Footnote 3: Typed addition located at the bottom of the page.

Footnote 4: Reina Mercedes was scuttled by its crew.

Footnote 5: Maj. Gen. William R. Shafter identified the commander of the Spanish troops that forced march from Manzanillo to Santiago as Lt. Gen. Luis Manuel Pando y Sánchez, however, it was Col. Frederico Escario García. Escario’s detachment numbered only 3,000 men. Trask, War with Spain, 231, 256.

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