On February 15, 1898 the U.S. battleship Maine exploded in the Havana Harbor.
On April 20, 1898, Congress approved a resolution for use of military force to
secure independence from Spain for Cuba and other Spanish territories.
April 24, 1898 - The Spanish American War officially began when Spain
declared war on the U.S. The following day Congress passed a declaration of war,
effective April 21.
On May 15, a former Under Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt arrived
in San Antonio, Texas. He had resigned and received an Army commission as
a Lieutenant Colonel to train and prepare the unit that was officially
designated the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry; would be forever called "The
Ten days into the Rough Riders two-week training program at San Antonio,
the first Army expedition left San Francisco for duty in the Philippine
Islands. That same day, May 25, President McKinley issued the call for an
additional 75,000 volunteers.
Battle of Manila Bay 1898
At the Battle of Manila Bay, the six-ship Asiatic squadron of Commodore
George Dewey decisively defeated a larger but unequipped to stand on their
own feet; Spanish fleet. The U.S. flotilla emerged virtually unscathed, with
only eight wounded. They destroyed the Spanish fleet, with heavy casualties. The
action cleared the way for U.S. occupation of Manila in August.
Guam, one Mariana Islands in the western Pacific, surrendered to Captain
Henry Glass on the U.S.S. Charleston. The Spanish commander on the island
obviously had not heard of the outbreak of the war, for on the previous day when
Captain Glass fired on the island. They sent messages to Charleston with
an apology for not having returned the salute, but there was no ammunition on
Battle of Las Guasimas 1898
At the Battle of Las Guasimas, U.S. troops won the first major land battle
of the war with Spain. The division of cavalry volunteers led by the
aggressive Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, with Col. Leonard Wood now a
regimental commander and Col. Theodore Roosevelt leading the Rough
Battle of El Caney 1898
U.S. troops stormed and took El Caney and San Juan Heights, Spanish outposts
to Santiago de Cuba, over stubborn resistance. There were heavy casualties on
both sides. The Rough Riders participated in the attack.
Isla Grande 1898
Forces under Adm. occupied Isla Grande, in Subic Bay near Manila, George
Dewey. The German gunboat Irene, which had attempted to hamper American
operations, was forced to withdraw.