Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Proceedings of Rear Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete’s Squadron

  The second in command of the squadron,1 the captains of the battle ships,2 the chief of staff,3 and the commander of the first torpedo-boat division,4 being assembled in the admiral’s cabin on the 12th day of May, the admiral acquainted them with the information obtained on the day previous at Fort de France by the commander of the torpedo-boat division.

     Having carefully studied the situation of the squadron, which is extremely critical, owing to the scant supply of coal, the governor of Martinique5 having refused to give aid in that direction, and it having been learned that there is no coal in San Juan, nor probably at Santiago and in view of the bad condition of the boilers of the destroyers, those of the Terror being practically unserviceable, so that it became necessary to send her back to Fort de France this morning to await orders from the Government, these officers seeing no other solution—on penalty of placing the squadron in a position where it will be unable to move and will hence become an easy prey for the enemy—except to go to Curaçao, in hopes of finding there the coal announced by the minister of marine in his telegram of April 26.6

  In witness whereof they sign the foregoing, on the sea, off Fort de France, Martinique.

Pascual Cervera.

José de Paredes.

Emilio Díaz Moreu.

Juan B. Lazaga.

Antonio Eulate.

Victor M. Concas.

Joaquín Bustamente.

Fernando Villamil.

A true copy:

Cervera.

Source Note Print: Squadron Operations, p. 73. Document was written on 12 May 1898.

Footnote 1: Commo. José de Paredes.

Footnote 3: Chief of Staff, Commo. Joaquin Bustamente.

Footnote 4: Capt. Fernando Villamil.

Footnote 5: Governor of Martinique Noël Pardon.

Footnote 6: Document has not been found.

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