Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commander Edward P. Wood to Rear Admiral George Dewey, Commander, Asiatic Squadron

U.S.F.S PETREL

Cavite, P.I.,

June 26, 1898.

Sir:-

     1.   I transmit the following information regarding members on board the various Spanish ships at the time of the battle of May 1st. This information was obtained from a native of the Philippine Islands, now in the employ of the Insurgents, who served on board the “Reina Christina” during the battle as  Third Engineer.

     1.   Reina Christina”:- 492 on board of whom 325 were Spaniards and 167 Philippinos. 180 escaped including the wounded.

     2.   Castilla”:- 285 Spaniards on board. 150 escaped alive.

     3.   Don Juan de Austria”:- 285 persons on board of whom 50 were Spaniards. 1 killed.

     4.   Isla de Cuba”:- 285 on board, of whom 135 were Spaniards and 150 Philippinos. None killed.

     5.   Isla de Luzon”:- 365 on board of whom 285 were Spaniards and 80 Philippinos. None killed.

     6.   Velasco”:- 80 on board, of whom 14 were Spaniards and 66 Philippinos.

     7.   Don Juan de Ulloa”:- 170 on board, of whom 120 were Spaniards and 50 Philippinos. None killed.

     8.   Marques de Duero”:- 252 on board, of whom 150 where Spaniards and 102 Philippinos. None killed.

          2.   My Informant does not furnish the number of men on board the “General Lezo”, “Argos” and “Isla de Mindanao”.1

Very respectfully,

E.P. Wood,

Commander, U.S.N.,

Commanding.

Source Note: CyS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 363. Addressed below close: “The Commander-in-Chief,/U.S. Naval Force on/Asiatic Station.” Document reference No.: “#32-9B”.

Footnote 1: These numbers were the best available as of 26 June 1898. According to the Office of Naval Intelligence Report, “Effect of The Gun Fire of the United States Vessels in the Battle of Manila Bay (May 1, 1898),” written by Lieut. John M. Elicott, intelligence officer on the Baltimore, and supported by Adm. Patricio Montojo y Pasarón’s report of the battle, the actual numbers for Spanish and Filipino dead and wounded were:

Vessel                Killed.   Wounded.  Total.

Reina Cristina        130       90        220

Castilla              23        80        103

Isla de Cuba          0         2         2

Isla de Luzon         0         6         6

Don Juan de Austria   0         22        22

Don Antonio de Ulloa  8         10        18

Marques del Duero          0         0         0

Shore Batteries       6         4         10

Total            167       214       381

Officers killed and included in the above: Reina Cristina, captain and six others; Castilla, one; Don Antonio de Ulloa, captain and two others.    

Lt. John M. Ellicott, Office of Naval Intelligence War Notes No. V, Information from Abroad: Effects of the Gun Fire of the United States Vessels in the Battle of Manila Bay (May 1, 1898)(Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Officer, 1899), 13.

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