Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete to Captain General Ramón Blanco Erenas Riera y Polo, Governor of Cuba

     In obedience to the orders of Your Excellency I left Cuba yesterday morning with my Squadron, and after an unequal combat against forces more than treble mine all my squadron were destroyed. Teresa, Oquendo, and Vizcaya set afire and beached. The Colon, according to American reports, beached and surrendered. The torpedo boat destroyers foundered.1 I am yet ignorant of the loss of men, but it will surely amount to more than six hundred dead, and many wounded, although not in such great proportion.2 Those alive are prisoners of the Americans.

     The men acting so creditably that they have merited the highest praise from the enemy.

     The Commander of the Vizcaya3 was allowed to retain his sword.

     I am thankful for the generosity and great courtesy with which we are treated.

     Among the dead is Villanil, and I believe Lazaya.4

     Among the wounded Concas5 and Eulate.

     We have lost all and will need funds.

(Signed)  Cervera.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 313, Entry 46. Addressed below close: “General in Chief,/Havana.”

Footnote 1: That is the Infanta Maria Teresa, Almirante Oquendo, Vizcaya, Cristóbal Colón, and torpedo destroyers, Plutón and Furor.

Footnote 2: The Spanish suffered 323 men killed, 151 wounded, and 1,720 captured. Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American War, 576.

Footnote 3: Capt. Antonio Eulate y Fery.

Footnote 4: Capt. Fernando Villaamil Fernandez Cueto and Capt. JoaquínMaría Lazaga y Garay both died in the battle.

Footnote 5: Capt. Victor María Concas y Palau.

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