Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Minister of Marine Segismundo Bermejo y Merelo to Rear Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete

Madrid, May, 12 1898.

  Government is pleased to hear of your arrival at Martinique. Nothing new in the Peninsula. Telegram received to-day announcing attack San Juan, Puerto Rico, by hostile fleet composed of New York, Indiana, Terror, Puritain, two cruisers, one torpedo boat, and two colliers.1 Island of Puerto Rico is watched by auxiliaries Paris and New York.2 Admiral at Havana3 says four hostile ships in sight yesterday, one at Matanzas and several off Cienfuegos. New of bombardment of Cardenas by a battle ship, monitor, and another vessel; enemy repulsed.

     Credit increased; another ₤ 15,000 on same house London. Steamer Alicante must have arrived at Martinique, and an English steamer4 with 3,000 tons is to make that harbor under orders of captain Alicante.5 Both vessels at your disposal.

Source Note Print: Squadron Operations, pp. 72-73.

Footnote 1: This report was inaccurate. The ships that bombarded San Juan were: New York, Iowa, Indiana, Terror, Amphitrite, cruisers Detroit and Montgomery, and torpedo boat Porter. The colliers mentioned may have been the armed tug Wompatuck and supply vessel Niagara. Puritan was not at San Juan.

Footnote 2: Paris was renamed Yale and New York was renamed Harvard. Harvard was actually berthed at Saint Pierre, Martinique. See: Capt. Charles S. Cotton to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long, 13 May 1898.

Footnote 3: Adm. Vincente Manterola, Commandant at Havana

Footnote 4: British collier Restormal. It was later captured outside Santiago. See: Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee to Long, 29 May 1898.

Footnote 5: Capt. Antonio Genis.

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