North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 12
U. S. Flagship New York. Off Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.
FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 1898.
THE landing of the Army has progressed very satisfactorily, and it is now practically ashore with the exception of the men of two or three transports, which wandered off to the Westward and had to be looked up.
The first division was put ashore at Siboney (Ensenada de los Altares), five miles west of Daiquiri, without resistance. There is a very good beach there, rather steep to[o], but as to-day has been smooth, there was very little surf. The St. Louis1 anchored close under the cliff, which, by its southern trend at this point, affords considerable protection from South-East winds.
During the forenoon there was an active skirmish in which the “Rough Riders”2 and the 71st Volunteer Regiment, which were in the advance to the North-West of Siboney, were engaged. There were from three to twelve reported killed, probably the lesser number, as the total wounded brought in up to 4 p. m. and cared for on board the St. Louis and in the improvised hospital at Siboney were but thirteen. The Detroit, Scorpion and Wompatuck were sent along shore Westward to do some firing against any of the enemy who might be in that direction; only two men were reported by the Detroit as seen.
The animals were landed at Daiquiri as also the Artillery. There was some slight loss among the horses from their swimming seaward when put overboard. The pasture of vicinity is reported good.
There has been a pontoon landing laid at Acerraderos by the engineers in the transport Alamo under General Ludlow,3 and three transports were sent there this afternoon to bring to Siboney General Garcia and his forces (some three thousand).4
The water pipes at Daiquiri have been repaired and there is now a good supply. There is a three-inch main down to the village, and a one-inch pipe led down the pier, alongside of which a vessel may lie and water. There is a good head.5
The Celtic has been sent to Guantanamo to supply the ships and Marines there; she will be back Sunday morning. All the Convoying ships except the Indiana have been sent there for coal; the Hornet has coaled and gone to the Southern blockade.6
It was stated on excellent authority that the house used by the Commandant at Daiquiri was so hastily deserted that many things were left, and that there was an unfinished letter on the desk addressed to the General Commanding at Santiago,7 in which the writer begged “to assure his Excellency that he was abundantly able to resist any attack at Daiquiri, either by land or sea.” They left behind their heliograph apparatus.8
Source Note: Printed, DLC-MSS, Papers of William R. Shafter. 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 12 in Squadron Bulletins, 27-28.
Footnote 1: St. Louis was under the command of Capt. Caspar F. Goodrich.
Footnote 2: The First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, were commanded by Col. Leonard Wood.
Footnote 3: Brig. Gen. William Ludlow.
Footnote 4: Gen. Calixto Ramón García Iñiguez.
Footnote 5: A “head” refers to the toilet facilities on a ship.
Footnote 6: After its capture Guantánamo became the provisioning and coaling station for operations on the eastern coast of Cuba. See: Naval Operations at Guantanamo.
Footnote 7: The General in Chief of the Division of Santiago de Cuba was Arsenio Linares y Pombo.
Footnote 8: A heliograph used a mirror to reflect sunlight as a form of coded signal.