North Atlantic Fleet Squadron Bulletin No. 13
U. S. Flagship New York. Off Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.
SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 1898.
THE following is a detailed account of yesterday’s skirmish furnished by the Assistant Adjutant General:
General Wheeler, with one Squadron of the 1st U. S. Cavalry, one of the 10th U. S. Cavalry, and two Squadrons of the 1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry, had a stiff skirmish yesterday near Guasima, about two and one-half miles from Sevilla. After an hour’s resistance the enemy was driven from a strong and intrenched position on a high hill, and retreated towards Santiago. Others of our troops arrived on the field, but not before the issue was decided. We are now strongly posted near Gauasima, with a detachment in Sevilla, and a picket half a mile beyond. Our losses are reported to be 22 killed and 80 wounded. Among the killed are Captain Capron and Lieutenant Hamilton Fish, 1st Volunteer Cavalry, and among the wounded Major Brodie, Captain McClintock and Lieutenant Thomas of the same regiment, and Major Bell, Captain Knox, and Lieutenant Bryan, 1st U. S. Cavalry. Captain Knox is said to be seriously wounded. I am also informed Mr. Marshall, correspondent, is wounded. The names of the killed and wounded have not yet been received. The enemy’s dead, so far counted, numbers 18, but because of the tall grass and thick brush it is very difficult to find their bodies, and a like difficulty was experienced in finding our own dead. We have two troops of cavalry, and a light battery enroute to General Wheeler, and others will follow in a short time. All is satisfactory on land, but the General is exceedingly anxious to get supplies ashore.
General Shafter in a letter to the Admiral to-day states that he has occupied Sevilla.
A force was sent by Commander McCalla this morning to determine whether the enemy still occupied the extremities of Punta del Jicacal, Quantanamo Bay.
The force under Colonel Huntington, U.S.M.C., consisted of two companies of Marines and two-thirds of the force of Cubans under Colonel Thomas, in all about 240 men.
The landing flotilla consisted of boats from the various ships towed by the steam launches of Helena, Annapolis and Bancroft, which left their ships at 2 a. m. for the Marine Camp, under the command of Commander Eaton. The Eagle took station for the night off Jicacal Point and at 4 a. m. the Marblehead and Helena moved into position close to beach to South and Westward of the high lands of Jicacal Point to cover the landing. The boats advanced in three columns and the troops were landed quietly and quickly, and a thorough reconnoisance was made of the point. The enemy was not seen. The men re-embarked about eight.
A picket line of Spaniards was seen from the ships, one or two men at a time across the dry lagoon a couple of miles to N. and W’d.
The Marblehead then proceeded to the channel between Jicacal and Cayo del Hospital to drag for mines; four mines were found and successfully raised. This makes thirteen mines in all raised in the channel.
It was omitted to mention that on Thursday, 23rd, the Assistant Chief of Staff was sent in the Vixen with a flag of truce to the mouth of the harbor to make inquiry as to whether Mr. Hobson and his men were still confined in the Morro, and if so to make protest. Captain Concas <of the Spanish Navy representing the Spanish authorities met our flag. He stated that our men had been removed to town and were all well.
The following appears in the Kingston, Jamaica, “Gleaner” of June 24.
Havana, June 14.─Flying a flag of truce, an American gunboat was sighted this afternoon, and the Spanish gunboat Flecha was sent out with Lieutenant-Colonel Sebastian Ramos and Lieutenant Jose Rolden on board.
When the Flecha returned two hours later she had on board Captain Ludlow of the American monitor Terror, who had been delegated by Rear-Admiral Sampson to negotiate for the exchange of Assistant Naval Constructor Hobson and his six companions belonging to the Merrimac, and who are now held in the Morro at Santiago de Cuba.
Captain-General Blanco was informed by Lieutenant-Colonel Ramos of the nature of Captain Ludlow’s mission, but he sent back word to the American that he had no instructions from his government regarding the case, and could not treat with him.
Captain Ludlow returned on the Flecha to the American gunboat, which immediately left the port.
Madrid, June 22.─News of serious fighting near Santiago de Cuba has been received here. Admrial Cervera cables that the situation is critical and the Governor of Santiago admits that the Spaniards have been obliged to retire, but a Spanish victory is claimed.
Palermo, June 24.─A dispatch from the Island of Panteleria announces that Admiral Camara’s squadron passed there to-day going in the direction of Suez.
Newport News, Va., June 23.─Auxiliary cruiser Yale with troops for Santiago sailed from Old Point Comfort at 6 o’clock this evening.
MADRID, June 23.─The cable dispatches received here from Admiral Cervera say that the crews of the Spanish warships at Santiago have joined the land forces in order to take part in defence of the city. He adds that the situation is critical, but a later dispatch arrived affirming that the Spaniards have victoriously repulsed the enemy. A dispatch from the Governor of Santiago de Cuba says the attack on Siboney and Daiquiri continued until nightfall. The enemy was repulsed except on the left at Daiquiri, where the Spaniards were obliged to retire in consequence of the flanking movement on the part of the enemy, who landed 9 kilometers east of Daiquiri. The Spanish forces retired in good order into the mountains of Siboney and Benan, which places were destroyed by American shells.>