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North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 24

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. Rogers.

Lieutenant–Commander Newton E. Mason.

Lieut. Reginald F. Nicholson.

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.1


    The Newark, with Commodore Watson’s2broad pennant, arrived from Guantanomo.

    The flagship went this morning to Sibouney as the Commander–in–Chief had an appointment to-day with General Shafter.3 The Commander–in–Chief being unable to go, the Chief of Staff and Assistant Chief4 went out to headquarters, being met at Sibouney 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 Garcia5 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 had made, of course, various shifts to meet their needs, and seem to have come to an appreciation of the Cuban shelter of palm leaves.

    While there had the exchange of prisoners took place by which Mr. Hobson and the men accompanying him were returned.6 They came on board in the evening.

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

Source Note: Printed, DLC-MSS, Papers of William F. Fullam. 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 24 in Squadron Bulletins, 46-47.

Footnote 1: Lt. Cmdr. Raymond P. Rogers of Iowa; Lt. Cmdr. Newton E Mason of Brooklyn; Lt. Reginald F. Nicholson of Oregon; Lt. Francis J. Haessler of Texas; Lt. Edward E. Capehart of New York; Passed Asst. Engineer George W. McElroy; Passed Asst. Engineer Frank M. Bennett of New York; and Asst. Constructor Richmond P. Hobson. For more, see: Sinking the Merrimac.

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

Footnote 3: The Commander-in-Chief was RAdm. William T. Sampson and Maj. Gen. William R. Shafter.

Footnote 4: The Chief of Staff was Capt. French E. Chadwick and the Assistant Chief was Lt. Sidney A. Staunton.

Footnote 5: Brig. Gen. Calixto García Iñiguez.

Footnote 6: For more information on the captivity and exchange of Asst. Constructor Richmond P Hobson and his seven sailors, see, Richmond P. Hobson, The Sinking of the "Merrimac" (New York: The Century Co., 1899), 120-306.

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