Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 11

Squadron Bulletin.

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

THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 1898.

ABOUT 7000 were landed yesterday and the landing has rapidly progress[ed] to-day.1 Our forces have advanced to the Ensenada de los Altares (Sibouney) and the men of the first division are now landing there, it being understood that the disembarkation is to continue during the night.

The supposition that the Daiquiri water supply had been left uninjured was a mistake; the pipe was cut some distance above and the flow observed was only that remaining in the pipe below the cut; a force of Cubans and engineers was sent to endeavor to make repairs. As the water piped directly to the pier, this repair is of the utmost importance both for men ashore and for the ships.

Three shells were thrown by the Vesuvius at 11 last night against the East battery, two of them landing, apparently, in the battery itself; the third struck the hillside below the battery.2

The Texas went this morning to Guantanamo for ammunition and returned this evening.

The collier Kingtor was sent to Guantanamo to assist in coaling the numerous ships now coaling there.3

The following notes are from the Daily Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, June 22nd:

Washington, June 20.—The War Department received a despatch stating that the Cadiz fleet returned to a Spanish port.4

London, June 20.—The Madrid correspondent of the [London] Times says that Spain’s refusal to exchange Lieutenant Hobson and his companions of the Merrimac is easily explained and justified.5 Without any intention of acting as spies they must have seen many things in or around Santiago which the American Naval military authorities would gladly have information about. The idea that Germany will interfere to prevent the storming of Manila is now abandoned but speculation is active as to her political designs,6 El Epocca7 suggests that Germany may negotiate with the Philippines’ republic and lease a portion of the province of Cagayan including the part Aparri in the Island of Luzon. With the approaching close of the Cortes there is much speculation as to political changes.8 A reconstruction of a semi-military cabinet is talked of. This must not be taken as indicating an increase in the warlike spirit, on the contrary it is expected that this would mean a determination to conclude peace as soon as it could be obtained consistently with national honor, a semi-military cabinet in touch with the enemy and with the courage of its opinions would be best qualified for carrying out the resolute peace policy which the interests of the land require.

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 11 in Squadron Bulletins, 25-26.

Footnote 1: For more details about this operation, see: Convoy and Landings at Daiquiri.

Footnote 2: For an account about Vesuvius, see: Joint Operations at Santiago.

Footnote 3: Guantánamo Harbor became a major coaling center for American naval operations in the Caribbean Sea. See: Naval Operations at Guantanamo.

Footnote 4: RAdm. Camara’s fleet attempted to steam to the Philippines but had to return to Spain (on 17 July) because of the possibility of an American naval attack. See, Trask, War with Spain, 276.

Footnote 5: A reference to the London Times. Assistant Naval Constructor Richmond P. Hobson and seven men sank Merrimac at the entrance of Santiago Harbor in a failed attempt to block ship passage. They were subsequently captured by the Spanish. For more details, see: Sinking the Merrimac.

Footnote 6: For more information about German intentions in the Pacific see, Terrell D. Gottschall, “Germany and the Spanish-American War: A Case Study of Navalism and Imperialism, 1898,” PhD diss. (Washington State University, 1981).

Footnote 7: El Epoca was a Spanish newspaper.

Footnote 8: The Cortes Generales is Spain’s legislature.

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