Captain John W. Philip to Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Fleet
Off Santiago. July 4th, 1898.
In accordance with the requirements of Article 437, Navy Regulations, I respectfully submit the following statement in regard to the part the TEXAS took in the engagement with the enemy yesterday.
At daylight on the morning of the 3rd. the TEXAS stood out from the entrance to harbor, taking day blockading position about three miles from the Moro, (the Moro bearing N.N.E.).
At 9:35, the Moro bearing N. by E, 1/2 E., distant 5100 yards, the enemy’s ships were sighted standing out of the harbor. Immediately General Signal 250 was made; this signal was followed by the Iowa’s almost at the same time.
The ship, as Per order, was heading in toward the entrance; went ahead full speed, putting helm hard a-starboard, and ordering forced draft on all boilers. The officer-of-the-Deck, Lieut.M.I.Bristol, having given the General Alarm and beat to quarters for action at the same time.
As the leader, bearing the Admiral’s flag, appeared in the entrance she opened fire, which was, at 9:40 returned by the TEXAS at range of 4200 yards, while closing in. The ship leading was of the Vizcaya class and the Flag-ship.
Four ships came out, evidently the Vizcaya, the Oquendo, Maria Theresa and Colon; followed by two torpedo boat destroyers. Upon seeing these two we immediately opened fire upon them with our secondary battery, the main battery at the time being engaged with the second and third ships in line; owing to our secondary battery
assisted by together with the Iowa and Gloucester, these two destroyers were forced to beach and sink.
Whilst warmly engaged with the third in line, which was abreast and engaging the TEXAS, our fire was blanketed for a short time by the Oregon forging ahead and engaging the second ship. This third ship, after a spirited fire, sheered in shore, and at 10:35 ran up a white flag; we then ceased fire on the third, and opened fire with our forward guns at long range (6600 yards) on the second ship which was then engaged with the Oregon, until 11:05, when she, (enemy’s second ship) sheered into the beach on fire.
At 11:10 she struck her colors, we ceased fire and gave chase with Brooklyn and Oregon for the leading ship, until 1:20 when the Colon sheered into beach and hauled down her colors, leaving them on deck at foot of her flag-staff. We shut off forced-draft and proceeded at moderate speed to close up.
I would state, that during this chase the TEXAS was holding her own with the Colon; she leading us about 4 miles at the start.
The reports of the Executive Officer and the Surgeon are transmitted.
I have the pleasure of stating that the entire battery of the TEXAS is in a most excellent condition, and ready for any service required by the Commander-in-Chief; especially calling attention to the efficiency of the two turret guns, due to the alterations recently made by Lieut.F.J.Haesler of this ship. The bearing and performance of duty of all officers met with my entire approval.
Very respectfully submitted,