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e 714 UU LAC






The General Libraries

University of Texas

at Austin








I. Batttei and CspitnUtioii of Santiago da Cnlia. By Lieut. Joe6 Muller y Tejeiro,

Spanish Navy. II. Commanti of Bear-Admiral Fltddemann, German Navy, on the Main Teatnrea of the War with Spain.

III. Sketehet from the Spaniih-Ameriean War. By Commander J., German Navy.

IV. Sketchei from Ithe Spaniah-Amerioan War. By Ck)mmander J., German Navy.

(Concluded.) V. XfllBot of the Onn Fire of the United Statea Veaaela in Battle of Kanila Bay. By Lieut. John M. Ellicott, United States Navy. VI. The Spaniah-Amerioan War. Blockades and Coast Defense. By Capt. Severo

G6mez Nrifiez, Spanish Army. VII. The Spaniah-Amerioan War. A Collection of Documents relative to the Squad- ron Operations in the West Indies. Arranged by Rear-Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete, Spanish Navy. VIII. The Squadron of Admiral Cervera. By Capt. Victor M. Concas y Palau, Spanish Navy.



The pnblication by this office of the partial translation of " Battles and Ca- pitulation of Santiago de Cuba/' by Lieutenant MfUler y Tejeiro, was received with so much interest both in and out of the service that the small edition of 1,000 copies was soon exhausted. The chapters there omitted were :

I. Some Historical Antecedents. ^

n. The United States and the Maine. m. The First Shots. lY. The Scene of Events. y. Forces of the Jurisdiction (Santiago). VI. Works of Defense. Vn. Artillery Set Up. ym. The Cruiser Beina Mercedes, XIV. The Volunteers.

XXX. Escario's Column (being a description of General Escario's march across the country from Manzanillo to Santiago). XXXTTT. Suspension of HostUities.

XXXVn. Traders, not the Spanish People (resx>onsible for the Cuban trouble). XXXVm. G^erona and Santiago de Chiba (comx>ari8on of the two battles).

These have since been translated, and are given in this edition, excepting Chapters 1, 11, and m, which are again omitted, as they contain no original or new matter, and have no connection with the subject of the jook.

Among the newly translated chapters, the one giving the diary of G^eneral Escario's march, with 3,752 men, from Manzanillo to Santiago, a distance of 52 leagues through the enemy's country, is one of great interest. Considering the nature of the country, which forced them generally to march single file, the heavy rains, and the continual harassment by the (Cubans, the effectiveness of which is shown by the large number of killed and wounded on both sides, it may be classed as one of the most noticeable military feats of the war. It shows what the Cubans did toward the fall of Santiago, and a study of the situation will be interesting, considering what would have been the temx>orary effect if Escario's march had been unopx>osed, and he had arrived at Santiago with his force unim- paired a day or two before that critical i)eriod— July 2 just previous to the departure and destruction of Cervera's fleet.


Chief Intelligence Officer, December SI, 1898.




Introductory notes 8

Preface -4. - 7

Chap.I-ni. Omitted.

IV. The Scene of Events 9

V. Forces of the Jurisdiction 14

VI. Works of Defense 17

Vn. ArtiUery Set Up 21

VUL The Cruiser jBetTia Jlf(ercede« _ 24

IX. The Two Fleets 27

X. Provisions of the City .- 81

XI. Coaling >. 84

Xn. Opinions as to Why the Fleet did not go out "87

XTTT. The Blockade 40

XIV. The Volunteers 46

XV. Waiting 48

XVI. The Merrimac 51

XVTL The Blockade Continues 65

XVnL The Bombardment Increases 58

XIX. The Firing Continues 62

TCX The Landing Expedition Appears 66

XXI. Line of Observation 69

XXn. Events of June 22d to 27th 74

XXIIL End of the Month of June 81

XXrV. Battles of El Caney and San Juan 86

XXV. Actions of the 2d and 8d 92

XXVI. Sortie of the Fleet 96

XXVn. Naval Battle of Santiago de Cuba 100

XXVin. Causes of the Loss of the Naval Battle of Santiago de Cuba 108

XXTY Sinking of the Jfgroedea 118

XXX. Escario's Column 116

XXXI. In the CHty and in the Bay . 126

XXXn. Battles and Bombardments of the 10th and 11th 180

XXXTTI. Suspension of Hostilities 188

XX XIV. Capitulation 144

XXXV. The Emigration to El Caney 146

XXXVL Surrender of the City 160

XXXVn. Traders, not the Spanish People 166

XXXVm. Gerona and Santiago de Cuba 169



On the 18th of May, the first hostile ships were sighted from the Morro oi Santiago de Gnba and the first gunshots were heard, which since that date, for the space of two months, have hardly ceased for a single day.

On the following day, the 19th, the Spanish fieet, commanded by Bear Admi- ral Cervera, entered with very little coal, which it was absolutely necessary to replenish.

It did not require g^eat 'poyrer of penetration to understand that, owing to the scant resources available at this harbor, it would take more days to get the necessary fuel on board than it would take Admiral Sampson, Commander of the United States fieet, to find out that circumstance, and that consequently the Spanish fieet would be blockaded, as indeed it was ; and as a natural and logical inference, that the enemy's objective would be the city and harlx)r of Santiago, where the only battle ships that Spain had in the Antilles, or at least in the Greater Antilla, had taken refuge.

Thus, the arrival of the fieet gave this city a military imx>ortance which without that event it would never have acquired, and changed it to the princi- pal— ^not to say, the only— scene of operations in the island, the denouement of which would necessarily be of great interest and of x)owerful infiuence on the result of the campaign and the war. Subsequent events have shown the truth of my assumption, which was also the assumption of everybody else in the city.

From that time on, I have kept an exact diary, from day to day, from hour to hour, from minute to minute even— and when I say this I am not exagger- ating, for it is still in existence and may be seen of everything I saw, or that came to my notice, or that passed through my hands in my official capacity, or that I knew to be accurate and trustworthy.

When some official duty prevented me, I was ably replaced by my friend, Mr. Dario Laguna, aid of the captaincy of the port (ayudante de la capitanfa de puerto), who gladly rendered the service I asked of him, in spite of his constant and manifold obligations.

If truth is a merit, these "Notes " (begging pardon for my want of modesty) possess it, though it may be their only merit. Whatever they contain has actually happened, and those who have returned from Santiago will testify to it. Not a single fact, no matter how insignificant, herein related, is doubtful or hypotheticsJ. Wherever I did not know the outcome of any event, or where its objects or consequences have remained a mystery, I have openly acknowl- edged it, without circumlocution, as any one may see who reads these notes. There is in them nothing of my own invention, and my imagination has had nothing to do with them, fortunately, for I do not possess the gift of invention, which I admire so much in others. My work has been confined to gathering data and obtaining as much information as possible, my only care having been to see that everything was correct, and I have made sure of this by comparing the data colleoted with the information obtained.



Feeling sure that the events which have taken place from May 18 to July 17 hence the true situation in which were Santiago de Onba and the forces defend- ing it can not be known in Spain in detail, but only in general, I am desirons of making them known in their whole tmth, so that the country, to whom I think that we who were intrusted with defending its honor and interests at a distance of fifteen hundred leagues, owe the strictest account, may be able, with a complete knowledge of the facts, to call us to account, if it thinks that we have incurred any responsibility.

Such has been my object, and I trust that my comrades of Santiago de Cuba, both in the Army and in the Navy, will approve of it.

Santiago de Cuba, August 10, 1898.



In order to be able to form at least an approximate idea of the events which are taking place here, and of which no one knows as yet when and how they will end, it is indispensable to know the location of the places where they are occurring, and for that reason I will describe them as briefly as possible, referring the reader to the sketch at the end of this book and the explanations concerning the different places.

Santiago de Cuba, the capital of the province of the same name, occupying the eastern part of the island, contained at the begin- ning of the present insurrection about 45,000 inhabitants; but the population has been reduced to about three-fourths of that, owing to emigrations and epidemics. The city is built on very hilly ground, at the head of a bay which is almost entirely closed in and very safe, so that, when seen from the city, it looks more like a lake than an arm of the sea. The distance to the mouth of the harbor in a straight line is about 4 miles.

This mouth, which is extremely narrow, is bounded on the east by the heights of the Morro and on the west by those of the Socapa, both of which are very steep toward the south, that is, where they border on the sea.

At Punta Morrillo, the western extremity of the Morro heights, which latter rise about 65 meters above the level of the sea, is sit- uated Morro Castle, which was at one time a very good fort, well built, but in these days of modem artillery it is not only useless, but even dangerous on account of the target which it presents, and this was the opinion of the junta of defense when they decided that whatever artillery was to be installed there should be erected on the plateau of the Morro and not inside of the castle. On this plateau are also situated the houses of the governor, the adjutant of the fort, the engineers and gunners, the lookout and the light- house keepers, also the light-house itself, which is a white light, fixed, flashing every two minutes, and visible ,16 miles. Since May 18, in consequence of the events of that day, it has not been lighted.

The heights of the Socapa, whose elevation is about the same as that of the Morro heights, bound on the west, as already stated, the mouth of the harbor, and contain no fortification nor defense of any kind.



Ships wanting to enter Santiago Harbor must follow the Morro shore, which is bold and comparatively clear, while on the Socapa shore is Diamante Bank, consisting of rocks, leaving a channel whose depth varies between 6 and 11 meters. Between the place where Diamante buoy is anchored (in 30 feet of water) and Estrella Cove the channel is not over 50 fathoms wide. At the head of this cove, which only small boats can enter, is the hut of the English cable.

The course to be taken in order to enter the harbor is NE. N. (true), until coming close to Estrella battery, an old fort which, like the Morro, was good in its time, but is now useless. From this point to Punta Soldado, which is on the eastern shore of the bay and which, with Punta Churruca, forms the entrance of N ispero Bay, the course is north, leaving to starboard Santa Cata- lina battery, which is abandoned and in ruinls.

Prom Punta Soldado the course is NNW. until coming close to Cay Smith, which is to be left to port ; from there the course must be shaped so as to avoid the Punta Gorda Bank, whose beacon, marking 18 feet, is to be left to starboard.

Cay Smith is a small island, or rather a large rock of small sur- face and great elevation, on the top of which is a small stone hermitage of modern construction; on its southern slope are 111 houses and cottages belonging to pilots, fishermen, and private citi- zens, who have built them for the purpose of spending the hottest season there. In the northern part there are no buildings what- ever, the groimd being inaccessible.

After passing Punta Gorda, the course is to be shaped for Punta Jutias, leaving to port Colorado Shoals, containing a beacon, and Cay Ratones. The latter is a small low island devoid of all vegeta- tion. In the extreme north is a powder magazine, and in the south the guardroom of the same. '

From Punta Jutias, the course is N NE. until reaching the gen- eral anchoring place, which is 8 meters deep (oozy bottom).

Santiago de Cuba has, besides many minor piers for boats and small craft, the Royal Pier and the piers of Luz and San Jos^, all built of wood ; only ships of less than 14 feet draft can go alongside of these. Between the city and Punta Jutias, at a place called Las Cruces, is the pier of the same name, built of iron with stone abutments, belonging to the American company of the Ju- ragua iron mines ; it has a watering place, the water coming from Aguadores in pipes. Ships of large draft can go alongside of this pier. A narrow-gauge railroad from the mines, passing over 26 kilometres of ground, goes to the extreme end of the pier.

Santiago is an open city, with not a vestige of fortification in its precinct (I am speaking of the beginning of the present war), and


only at Punta Blanca, situated just south of it, is a battery of the same name, with a small powder magazine, intended only for saluting purposes and to answer salutes of war ships casting anchor in the harbor.

From the above it will be seen that the mouth of Santiago Har- bor is defended by nature in such a manner that nothing is easier than to render it truly impregnable in a ^ort time by installing modem artillery in batteries erected where it would be most necessary and convenient. The heights of the Morro and Socapa have a full view of the sea, and being difficult of access by land, they are easy to defend. Punta Gorda, owing to its admirable location and being high above the level of the sea, has entire control of the channel, and any ship trying to enter would neces- sarily be exposed to its fire and present her bow and port fof at least twenty minutes. The very narrow entrance is well adapted for laying lines of torpedoes which could be easily protected by rapid-fire artillery erected on the western shore, preventing them from being dragged or blown up. Moreover, no matter how large a fleet might attempt to force the harbor, as but one vessel can pass through the channel at a time, and that only with the great- est care and precautions if it is over 80 meters long, nothing is easier than to sink it; and in that event, the channel would be completely obstructed and the harbor closed, until the submerged vessel is blown up.

It is evident, and almost superfluous for me to mention it, that with the same ease that a fleet trying to force the harbor can be prevented from entering, another fleet can be prevented from leav- ing it. But since Spain, in spite of all that was being done in the United States, never for a moment- believed that war would come, it has not occurred to her to fortify this harbor. There were no guns; but on the other hand, plenty of good plans and designs which the military authorities in Santiago have never been able to have carried into effect, for the simple reason that the Gk)vemment never got around to ordering that it be done.

Three miles west of the entrance of the Morro is the small har- bor of Cabafias, which, while accessible only for small vessels, is very safe and well suited for landing purposes. It has 6 feet of water at the bar and 5 fathoms inside. The distance by land from Cabafias to Cabafiitas on Santiago Bay is about a league.

Six miles farther west, or 9 miles from Santiago, is Punta Cabrera, the headland extending farthest south and the last one which can be seen. It is a high cone-shaped mountain. As the coast is very accessible, vessels of great draft can approach it. At the small cove of Guaicabon, east of said point, boats can land and communicate with the shore, which, in fact, is being done at


this time by a steam yacht of the American fleet, which is proba- bly receiving confidential information from the insurgents. Guai- cabon is about 2 leagues from Santiago by land and the road is good.

Three miles east of the Morro is Aguadores Bay ; it is crossed by a high bridge, over which passes the railroad of the Juragua mines. Boats can enter the river which empties into this bay ; it is an excellent place for landing.

A quarter of a mile farther east is the roadstead of Sardinero, with a river emptying into it.

Three-fourths of a mile from there is Jutici, a small roadstead with a watering place.

Ten miles farther on is Juragua Beach, with a river that boats can enter.

Fifteen miles from there is Daiquiri Bay, with a river and water- ing place. Boats can enter here. Daiquiri Bay has a very fine stone and iron pier, also a small one for minor craft. ' Ashore, a short distance from the pier, are the offices of the employees of the mines and railroad for the transportation of the mineral from the mines to the pier, about § miles long. Large vessels can go along- side the iron pier.

Finally, 20 miles farther east is Punta Berracos, the last point which can be distinguished from the Morro, and the one projecting farthest south. Although it is possible to land here, with a great deal of w«rk, it is not advisable to do so, there being no watering place and no road.

In all these places, east as well as west of Santiago, vessels can not remain with strong south or southeast winds, but must neces- sarily put to sea.

Aguadores and Santiago are connected by the Juragua railroad. The road along the coast is bad ; it is a little over a league long.

From Sardinero to Santiago there are 2 leagues of good road.

The road leading from Juraguacito to Santiago is the Gu^simas road, which is good, beginning at El Caney. It is 4 leagues long.

From Juragua to Santiago is the Sevilla road, which also leads to El Caney. This road and the former meet at a place called Dos Caminos. It is a good road, and about 4 leagues long. Moreover, as has been stated, there is a narrow-gauge railroad from the mines, which passes through Aguadores and terminates at Las Cruces Pier.

At Berracos there are no roads whatever, only paths, over which it is not possible to transport artillery.

The railroad to San Luis, 32,460 meters long, starts from San- tiago and passes through the following points: Santiago, Cua- vitas (station), Boniato, San Vicente, Dos Bocas (station), Cristo, Moron, Dos Caminos, and San Luis.


From Cristo a branch line of 10,300 meters goes to Songo. Trains are now running as far as Socorro.

These are the different places which form the scene of the events now claiming the attention of the island of Cuba, and probably also of the Peninsula; and these events, whatever may be their outcome, will be of great importance and powerful influence on the result of the war.


The present insurrection broke out on February 24, 1895, in the eastern provinces, but it soon invaded the western provinces and spread over the whole island from Cape San Antonio to Cape Maysi.

In order to check it, or at least reduce it to narrower limits. Gen- eral Weyler conceived and carried out the plan of moving his forces from west to east, building trochas to prevent the insurgents from again invading the pacified provinces, or to inclose them between two lines of soldiers more or less difficult to force.

Consequently the greater part of the forces of the army of Cuba occupied the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Havana, Matanzas, and Las Villas, for the purpose of carrying on active operations there, leaving a very small number at Camaguey, and still less in the eastern provinces. These latter provinces, therefore, could do nothing more than defend the country and the cities and towns and prevent the enemy from entering them. Hence, when the war with^he United States broke out, the division of Santiago, consisting of two brigades, had to cover the districts of Santiago, Guant^namo, Baracoa, and Sagua ; and it is only necessary to cast a glance at the map in order to understand how difficult it would be to control such an immense territory with such scant forces, which had to garrison many cities, towns, forts, and redoubts, cover four railway lines (from Santiago to Sabanillo and Maroto, to Juragua, to Daiquiri, and from Caimanera to Guantfinamo), act as convoys, protect the mineral regions, and provide also for the formation of more or less numerous flying columns to harass the enemy incessantly. Fortunately this division was in command of General Linares, whose energy and zeal can never be sufficiently praised, and whose well-deserved promotion to lieutenant general was learned here by cable about the middle of May.

As the events which I propose to relate are only those directly concerning Santiago de Cuba and its jurisdiction, where they have taken place and which I have had a chance to witness, they will be the only ones that I shall refer to.

The first brigade of the division consisted of the following forces :

Chief of division, Lieut. Q^n. Arsenic Linares Pombo;

Chief of staflP, Lieut. Col. Ventura Fontin ;

Military governor of Santiago and chief of the forces of that division. General of Division Jos6 Toral;



Chief of staflF, Luis IrWs;

Chief of the San Luis brigade, General of Brigade Joaquin Vara del Key ;

Chief of staff, Captain Juan Ramos.

It will be seen from the above that the brigade was really divided into two divisions, one under the orders of General Toral, and the other under the orders of General Vara del Rey. The forces com- posing both divisions were as follows :

Twelve companies of mobilized troops ;

Two squads of the regiment of royal cavalry (less than 200 horse) ;

Two battalions of the regiment of Santiago infantry ;

One Asiatic battalion;

One provincial battalion of Puerto Rico, No. 1 ;

One battalion of San Fernando ;

One battalion **Constitucion;"

Also half a battery of artillery and a small force of the civil guard and engineers.

To these forces must be added the battalion of Talavera, which General Linares ordered from Baracoa as soon as the present war was declared and in anticipation of coming events.

These forces form at most a total of 8,000 men.

General of Brigade Antero Rubin was under orders of General Linares.

Colonel of Engineers Florencio Caula was commander of engi- neers of the city, and Lieut. Col. Luis Melgar commander of artil- lery; the latter turned his command over to Colonel Orddflez on April 29 upon being appointed superintendent of the artillery park.

Administrative chief, First-class Commissary Julio Cuevas.

Chief of the civil guard, Col. Francisco Oliveros.

Superintendent of the military hospital, Sub-inspector Pedro Martin Garcia.

Governor of Morro Castle, Commander of Infantry Antonio Ros.

When the first insurrection broke out in the Island of Cuba in 1868, bodies of volunteers were formed which have rendered good services as garrisons of .the fortified places. At Santiago, accord- ing to official statements, there were the following :


First battalion : Col. Manuel Barmeco 680

Second battalion : Lieut. Col. Jos6 Marim6n 485

Firemen: Col. Emilio Aguerriz&bal . .-— 824

Comx>any of gnides: Capt. Federico Bosch 200

Company of veterans: Capt. Jo86 Prat 180

Squad of cavalry _ 100

Total - 1,869


Santiago de Guba is the capital of the maritime comandanciaof the same name, bounded on the south by Junco Creek and on the north by Sagua de Tinamo, and divided into four districts : Man- zanillo, Santiago de Cuba, Guant^amo, and Baracoa. The com- mander of this maritime comandancia was Capt. Pelayo Pede- monte, of the navy.

The prelate of the archdiocese was Francisco S^enz de Urturi.

Governor of the province, Leonardo Ros.

President of the audencia territorial, Rafa^el Nacarino Brabo.

Mayor, Gabriel Ferrer.

The consular corps was represented by the following gentlemen :

Frederick W. Ramsden, England;

Hermann Michaelsen, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Italy ;

E. Hippean, France;

Pablo Bory, Mexico;

Juan E. Siabelo, Santo Domingo ;

Temlstocles Rabelo, Paraguay ;

Juan Rey, Hayti.

The vice-consuls were :

Jacobo Bravo, United States of Colombia ;

Isidore Agustini, Sweden and Norway;

Leonardo Ros, Netherlands;

Modesto Ros, Portugal ;

Eduardo Miranda, Venezuela ;

Robert Mason, China ;

Jos6 J. Hemfindez, Argentine Republic.

The United States consul left on April 7 in an English steamer bound for Jamaica, having turned over the archives of his consu- late to the British consul.


■^j. «.

: P; VI.


ij .-.

1 ^

The governments of Spain have thought more than once of fortifying the coasts of the Island of Cuba, and for that purpose committees have been appointed who have studied the matter and submitted many good, even excellent, plans, which have been approved, but never carried into eflfect.

There was at Santiago a junta of land and marine defenses of the city, composed of the following persons :

President, the military governor of the city, General of Division Jos6 Toral; voting members, the commander of marine, Capt. Pelayo Pedemonte; the commander of engineers of the city. Col. Florencio Caula; the commander of artillery of the city, Lieut. Col. Luis Melgar; and the chief of submarine defenses. First Lieut. Jos6 Miiller, of the navy.

The latter officer, whose regular office was that of second com- mander of marine, was only temporarily chief of submarine defenses, in the absence of torpedo officers, he not being one.

This junta held meetings whenever it was deemed necessary, until April 8, when a cablegram from the captain general of the island ordered that it become permanent, and that the commander of marine give his opinion as to the suitability of laying torpedoes. The junta, taking into account the grave situation, the imminence of war, and the scarcity of artillery material and appliances and resources of every kind, expressed the unanimous opinion that the only defense that could be counted on for the harbor were the torpe- does, for which the material was at hand, and consequently that they should be given preference, and everything within human power done to protect th^ and prevent their being dragged or blown up; in a word, that the torpedoes should be placed as the only veritable defense and everything else subordinated to them.

As early as the second day of the same month (April) the com- mander of submarine defenses, in compliance with orders received, had already commenced to charge the Latiner-Clark torpedoes, transferring them to Cay Ratones, where the powder magazine was located that contained the gun-cotton, also to place the buoys for the first row of torpedoes, and to carry out other operations in

connection therewith.




The junta of defense, in view of the poor condition of Morro Castle and Estrella and Catalina batteries and of the informa- tion which the American consul would probably give his Govern- ment, decided to remove the torpedo-firing and converging stations from said forts where they were and erect them at places on the bay where they would be protected and sheltered from the hostile fire, and this was done.

On April 14 the second commander of marine turned over the submarine defenses to a torpedo officer, Lieut. Mauricio Arauco, commander of the gunboat Alvarado^ who continued the work of laying the torpedoes ; the first row, consisting of seven, with their firing stations at the Estrella and Socapa, was finished by April 21, and the second row, consisting of six, with stations at the Socapa and Cay Smith, on the 27th.

By orders of the commander general of marine (Havana), the second commander of marine of the province, together with Col- onel of Engineers Angel Rosell and Captain of Artillery Ballenilla, left for Guant&namo on April 21, for the purpose of selecting the most suitable site for planting Bustamante torpedoes in that harbor so as to prevent ships from reaching Caimanera, returning to San- tiago on the 25th after finishing the investigation. The torpedoes were subsequently placed by First Lieut. Julian Garcia Durdn at the site selected.

On the 23d, the gunboat Sandoval left for Guantinamo, where her crew was to plant the Bustamante torpedoes. She has since remained at that harbor.

Two days before, on the 21st, orders were received from Havana to remove from the interior of the harbor all light buoys and bea- cons, which orders were promptly complied with.

It was also agreed by the junta of defense to establish at Punta Gorda a battery composed of two 15-cm. Mata howitzers and two 9-cm. Krupp guns, and the corps of engineers at once proceeded to clear the plateau of the mountain, build the road, and do other work preparatory to erecting such battery. By the 26th, the two howitzers were ready to fire, and the two guns by the 27th, all of them being breechloaders. This batteSy, which, as will be seen later, had two 16-cm. Hontoria guns, is the best of all the bMteries erected, because it was done with less haste, and perhaps also be- cause the ground was particularly well adapted. It was placed in command of Captain of Artillery Seijas, who had previously had command of the Morro battery.

On April 18 there arrived from Havana three 21-cm. muzzle- loading howitzers, and a few days later, in the steamer Reina de los Angeles, three more from the same city.


A cablegram from Havana stated that, according to information received, the steamer Margrave would try to cut the cable at San- tiago, thereby cutting oflP our communications, and it was there- fore ordered to erect on the esplanade of the Morro two old 16-cm. guns, more for the purpose of making signals than to attack the enemy. They were both taken up there ; one of them was mounted on a wooden carriage and the other was not mounted.

On April 21, two short 8-cm. Plasencia guns (breech-loading) were mounted at Estrella Cove.

At the Estrella battery there had been installed some time ago an old 21-cm. rifled howitzer, and another partly installed. In view of the unfavorable location of the battery, it was decided to abandon both ; but after the 28th, the second was mounted, also the two Plasencia guns that had previously been erected at Estrella Cove, together with two short 12-cm. rifled bronze guns. Not a single one of these pieces was fired. The battery was in command of Lieutenant of Artillery Sanchez of the reserve forces; he was subsequently assigned to the artillery of the precinct.

By May 28, five 16-cm. rifled muzzle-loading bronze guns had been mounted on the esplanade of the Morro.

On June 21, a 21-cm. muzzle-loading howitzer was erecte<l at the same place, and another on the 25th.

On the high battery of the Socapa were mounted : on June 13, a 21-cm. muzzle-loading howitzer; another on the 16th; another on the 17th.


Punta Qorda battery, in command of Captain of Artillery Seijas : Two 15-cm. Mata howitzers ; Two 9-cm. breech-loading Krupp guns. Estrella battery, in command of Lieutenant S&nchez : Two 21-cm. old howitzers ; Two 8-cm. modem Plasencia guns ; Two short 12-cm. rifled bronze guns (old). None of these were fired. Morro battery, first in command of Captain Seijas, later of Lieu- tenant Ledn:

Five old 16-cm. guns; Two old 21-cm. howitzers. High battery of the Socapa:

Three old 21-cm. howitzers. It will be seen that this whole artillery includes only six breech- loading guns, four erected at Punta Gorda and two Plasencia guns at Estrella, which latter two, owing to the location of said bat- tery, could not be fired. All the others were old guns, and it is


well known that it takes a long time to load them and that their fire is very uncertain.

The dates when these different guns were erected and ready to fire should be kept in mind, so as to know which could answer hos- tile attacks and which not on the different days when the enemy bombarded the mouth of the harbor and the bay.



It will be sufficient to remember what has been said in the pre- ceding chapter to understand that, in spite of the fact that Santiago has a harbor which is so easy to defend and the possession of which it was so imperative to maintain, in spite of its being the capital of the eastern half of the island and at such a long dis- tance from Havana, there were at Santiago at the time the present war broke out not more than six modern breech-loading guns, namely, two 15-cm. Mata howitzers, two 9-cm. Krupp guns, and two 8-cm. Plasencia guns. That was all the artillery worthy of the name, and even these guns, owing to their small calibers, were useless, or almost so, against armorclads and cruisers.

The others, as has been seen, were old bronze and even iron muzzle-loaders which could not fire more than one shot to every twenty fired from one of the enemy's guns, and all they sent us from Havana were six 21-cm. howitzers, likewise old muzzle-loaders, this being all the material received here to oppose a powerful modem fleet. These facts might appear exaggerated if there were not others that appear still more so, but which are shown in official statements and statistics of forces available, and these can not h^ doubted. For the service of all the guns, including those set up in the precinct, there were only 79 gunners; of course, it became necessary to complete the indispensable number with soldiers of the infantry.

To mount this artillery, which was defective if not entirely useless, but which was nevertheless set up at the Morro, Punta Gk)rda, and the Socapa, endless difficulties had to be overcome and work done which only the intelligence, energy, and perseverance of the chiefs and officers and the subordination and good will of the soldiers could accomplish, 'when resources and aids of every kind were absolutely lacking.

'By simply looking at the esplanade of the Morro, one would realize the work it must have required to take guns up there weighing three or four thousand kilos, by a road which, I believe, has not been repaired once since the castle was first built.

To install the guns at Punta Gorda everything had to be done from building the pier, where the guns were landed, to clearing the summit of the mountain, where they were set up, a.nd opening a zigzag road by which they were taken there.



To mount the howitzers at the Socapa was truly a piece of work worthy of Romans, and of the six received only three could be set up.

But where the corps of engineers never rested for a moment, and accomplished the most difficult work with the smallest force, was around the city in a line about 14 kilometers long.

Closer to the city three lines of defenses were built, with trenches, breastworks, inclosures, wire fences, and whatever other obstacles the configuration of the ground might suggest; the so-called forts, already in existence, were improved and new ones built; in a word, an open city, which had no fortifications of any kind to oppose to the enemy, was, in the short space of a few days, placed in condi- tion of resistance with chances of success.

From the moment that our fleet entered Santiago Harbor, it was not difficult to surmise that it would become the enemy's objective, upon which all his efforts would be concentrated, and it was for that reason, always expecting the landing which was finally effected, that the work above described was carried out, and the rest of the artillery of the city, likewise old, mounted in the following posi- tions :

June 12 One 16-cm. rifled bronze gun, at Fort San Antonio; One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun at Santa Inds ; Two short 8-cm. rifled bronze guns at Fort San Antonio. June 13 One 16-cm. rifled bronze gun, and

One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun at the entrance to El Caney. June 14 One 16-cm. rifled bronze gun;

One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun, and Two short 8-cm. rifled bronze guns at El Suefio. June 16 One 16-cm. gun, and

Two short 8-cm. guns at Santa Ursula. June 17 One 16-cm. rifled bronze gun at Cafladas. June 25 One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun at Fort Homo; One short 12-cm. rifled bronze gun at Fort Nuevo. After the battle of July 1 the following were mounted : At Santa Ursula Two long 12-cm. rifled bronze guns. At entrance of El Caney Two guns of same type as above. At Santa Inds One long 8-cm. bronze gun (old). The breech pieces of this latter gun were missing.

With General Escario's column two 8-cm. Plasencia guns arrived from Manzanilo ; but, like all those mounted since July 1 , they did not get a chance of being fired, the battles having ceased by that time.


Hence the only modern artillery existing in the precinct of the city, namely, one 9-cm. Hontoria, two 76-mm. Maxim, and two 8-cin. Plascencia guns, was not fired.

All the 8-cm. guns had been pronounced useless by the central junta of Havana, and, far from being effective, they were even dangerous.

The 12-cm. guns were mounted in carriages of other guns, and were therefore useless in themselves, without being disabled by the enemy.


It does not require a deep knowledge of artillery to understand that the batteries, erected at the Morro and Socapa,