About May 11th the Spanish flotilla was definitely reported at the French island of Martinique, and shortly afterward at the island of Curacao, just north of Venezuela. While Sampson was returning from his hunt for Cervera at Porto Rico, the Spaniard was sailing due northwest for Santiago de Cuba, which he reached on May 19th. His arrival at Santiago was not known by the Americans with certainty for several days. While Sampson kept guard near Key West, Commodore Schley with the "flying squadron," was watching the harbor of Cienfuegos on the southern coast of Cuba, where Cervera was reported to be hidden.
At last his hiding-place at Santiago was discovered, and on May 28th, Schley, with his flag-ship the Brooklyn, accompanied by the Massachusetts, the Texas, the Iowa, the Marblehead the Minneapolis, the Castine, the torpedo-boat Dupont, and the auxiliary cruiser St. Paul, the coaling-ship Merrimac, and others, arrived off Santiago; and the next day they were able to look through the narrow neck of the bottle-shaped harbor and to see the enemy's ships lying safely at anchor behind the frowning fortifications and the network of submarine torpedoes.
To verify fully the assurance that all the Spanish vessels were there, Lieutenant Victor Blue, of the navy, made a daring and famous reconnaissance. He landed and, at the greatest risk, climbed the hills, counted the enemy's ships, and returned with the report that the five cruisers and two torpedo-boats were actually imprisoned in the bay.
In a few days Rear-Admiral Sampson, with the flagship New York, and the battleship Oregon, the cruiser New Orleans, and several auxiliary vessels and torpedo-boats, reenforced Commodore Schley and took command of the fleet that was keeping Cervera "bottled" in Santiago.
Lieutenant Hobson took the coaling-ship Merrimac by night beneath the guns of the forts, and while under the most terrible fire from both shores, endeavored to anchor his ship in the narrow channel, to sink her by his own hand, in order to leave her a wreck to block the Spanish ships if they should attempt to escape. That the Merrimac was not sunk at the precise spot intended was due to the rudder being shot away. When morning came he and his six companions who had volunteered for the enterprise were, as by a miracle, alive and unhurt, clinging to a raft. The fact that the attempt to close the harbor was not fully successful does not detract from the sublime heroism of the men.
The situation now was this: The Spanish fleet was indeed besieged; it might dash for liberty, but, in the face of such a superior and vigilant force, it would have but little chance. On the other hand, the besiegers were unable to reach it so long as it chose to remain in its haven; the narrow channel was a network of submarine mines which would sink the first vessel that entered; and the lofty forts on the cliffs above could at such close range pour down an annihilating torrent of shells upon the thin decks of the attacking ships, which, at that nearness, could not lift their guns sufficiently to silence the batteries. Their elevation was so great that successive bombardments, tho they damaged, did not destroy, the batteries.
Nevertheless, until they were destroyed or captured it was evident that the ships could not advance into the channel to clear it of its sunken torpedoes. The aid of the army was therefore necessary. A force by land was required to capture the harbor forts, so that the battle-ships might steam in and engage the Spanish fleet. Accordingly, General Shafter was ordered to take his troops, land near Santiago, and capture the forts.
Before he started, however, the navy, on June 10th, made a landing. It was the first permanent foothold gained by Americans on Cuba. Under the protection of the guns of the Oregon, the Marblehead, and the Yosemite, six hundred marines landed at Guantanamo Bay, in command of Lieutenant-Colonel R. W. Huntington. Their landing was stoutly resisted by the Spaniards. All day and all night the fighting continued, as the little band desperately defended their camp from the continuous and encircling volleys. Here were the first American lives lost on Cuban soil. But, in spite of their severe losses, the marines held the flag where they had planted it.
General Shafter's expedition started on June 14th.2 Thirty-five transports carried sixteen thousand men. They went under the protection of fourteen armed vessels of the navy. The battleship Indiana led the way. Six days later they came in sight of Morro Castle at the entrance to the bay of Santiago, and soon they heard the cheers from the battle-ships on duty there.
On the second morning thereafter, the battlerships shelled the shore at four different points along the forty miles of coast in order to mislead the Spaniards; and then at nine o'clock the signal was given for all the troops to go ashore as quickly as possible at Daiquiri, sixteen miles east of the entrance to Santiago Harbor and twenty-four miles west of Guantanamo, where the marines were still maintaining the flag they had planted.
In a moment the water was covered with small boats. Men jumped overboard and swam to shore in their eagerness to be first upon the land. Soon the beach was black with American soldiers. The Spaniards had fled in haste, leaving their camp equipment, and in some cases their breakfasts, behind them. Then the unloading of the transports began. Men with little or no clothing upon them went to and fro, between the ships and the shore, carrying arms and supplies. The artillery was landed at the one little wharf of an iron company. The horses and mules were pushed overboard and left to swim ashore; tho some of them swam out to the open ocean and could not get back.
In a short time four men were seen climbing the mountain-side hundreds of feet above the level of the sea. Soon the tiny figures were attracting the attention of the crowd. They were making for the blockhouse at the highest peak. They could be seen to stop and look into the fort for a moment; then to reach the house. Directly "Old Glory" appeared waving against the sky. In an instant every steam whistle in the great fleet, for miles around, was shrieking and every man on the decks and in the rigging of the ships, in the water and on the shore, was shouting for the flag of freedom and for what it represented and proclaimed. The little army was stretched out upon the shore, and that night its camp-fires sparkled for miles against the black background of the hills.
The advance upon Santiago was begun immediately. General Shafter understood clearly that he had more to fear from climatic sickness than from the enemy's bullets, and determined to finish the fight with the greatest rapidity possible. Consequently he did not wait for the unloading of all his supplies, but pushed his men forward over the mountain paths with only such outfit as they could carry on their backs, intending to follow them closely with the heavy artillery and baggage.
But he was not aware of the true condition of the roads. There were no roads. What were called such on the maps were at best only bridle-paths, and more often mere mountain trails. These trails passed over rocks, fallen timber, through swamps, and over bridgeless streams. The soldiers, as soon as they began to march, found themselves an army of mountain-climbers. The sun burned in the breathless glades like a furnace. It was the rainy season, and each day showers of icy coldness would pour down for hours; and when the rain ceased the sun would beat down more fiercely than before, while the humidity was almost insupportable. Sun-baked paths suddenly became mountain torrents; at one hour the men were suffocated with the fine dust, the next hour they were wading in mud above their gaiters. Strange insects buzzed about them, and they were followed by an army of disagreeable attendants with which they soon became familiarclattering land-crabs, the scavengers of the country. The progress of the troops was a crawling rather than a march.
The Spaniards withdrew as our soldiers advanced. Most of our men never had heard a gun fired in battle, but now they expected the conflict to begin at any time. There was no trepidation; they made little noise lest they might not get near the enemy. But if the army moved slowly, events moved rapidly. On the second day, even before the whole army was ashore, the first battle with loss of life occurred. The troops were advancing by different paths to take position on the line of battle that was to surround the city. Near the center was the First Regiment of United States Volunteer Cavalry, called the "Rough Riders."
This regiment of cowboys and ranchmen, with a sprinkling of college youths and young men of wealth and social distinction, was commanded by Colonel Leonard Wood and Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. The former had been a surgeon in the regular army with military training in Western campaigns on the plains. The latter was one of the best-known young men in the republic; famous for his courageous honesty in politics and for his patriotic energy in civil administration. He had resigned the office of Assistant Secretary of the Navy to organize this unique and picturesque regiment under the command of his friend, Colonel Wood.
The Rough Riders had left their horses in Florida because of the difficulty of transportation and the lack of open ground in Cuba. As they were threading their way on foot over the hills, their trail joined that of the regulars at the place called Guasimas. There they received a sudden volley from the enemy concealed in the thick glades, but they held their ground and returned the fire. They were unable to see their foes, whose smokeless powder gave no trace of their location; but through the tall grass and brush they steadily pushed on in the face of the dropping death, firing with calm precision. One after another of the Riders dropt dead or grievously wounded, but these young men, who never had been under fire, no more thought of turning back than a college team at a football game. Their colonels handled carbines like the men, and were at every point in the line they had deployed through the brush.
Soon they were joined by the colored regulars, and then they fought together. Among the Rough Riders and the regulars engaged there were about one thousand men, and they were fighting four thousand Spaniards.
The wounded that could walk were urged to go to the rear, but most of them refused; and, sitting at the foot of the trees, continued their deadly marksmanship at any sign of the Spanish. When there was an opening in the glades the men crouched and crawled toward the enemy; when there was a little protection of trees, they dashed forward, firing as they went. The Spaniards did not understand this kind of fighting. According to their rules, after such murderous volleys as they had poured into the Americans, their enemy should have fallen back. Instead of this, as one of the Spanish prisoners said, "They kept pushing forward as if they were going to take us with their hands."
After two hours of this fighting, under the unfaltering advance and accurate fire of the Americans, the Spanish volleys became fewer and less effective. Then the Spaniards broke and ran. When the battle was over, the American soldiers had lost sixteen killed and fifty-two wounded, but they were two miles nearer Santiago than when they met their first fire.
It had been a strange battle, appealing peculiarly to the patriotic pride of the American people. On that day, college men and the bronzed cowboys of the plains, millionaires and negroes, all were standing upon the common level of American citizenship, true brothers in devotion to duty; and there were no differences in courage or manliness. . . .
The city of Santiago is so located, at the head of its long harbor, that a complete line of investiture would stretch from the seacoast on the east to a point near the head of the harbor on the west of the citya line resembling a huge fishhook. At the northern end of this line, where the shank of the hook begins to turn into the curve, and about four miles northeast from Santiago, is the suburb of El Caney; one mile east of El Caney is San Juan. The hills of El Caney and San Juan each slope rather sharply to the eastward, the direction from which our troops were coming. Between the foot of these ridges and the woods is open country. To march across this open is difficult because of gulleys, winding streams, thick grass, and low bushes. . . .
A general advance along the whole length of the American line was begun in the afternoon of June 30th. General Lawton's division was to attack El Caney. General Kent's division, with General Wheeler's division of dismounted cavalry, was to move against San Juan. On the morning of July 1st General Lawton's division was in the shape of a half-circle around El Caney. At five o'clock in the morning the advance on the town was begun.
At sunrise the Spanish flag was run up its staff, and immediately the American guns opened fire. At first the shells brought no answer, but soon the enemy's artillery began to drop shells into the American lines with unexpected accuracy, while from the trenches and the loopholes of the stone fort and of the fortified houses the infantry poured at the American position a sweeping and effective fire. The battle lasted all day. Men were dying on every side. One journalist who was with the command counted twenty-five dead in an hour. The officers advised and steadied the men, who were no less heroic than themselves; yet many officers disdained to crouch as they compelled their men to do, and, as conspicuous targets, they were dropping in large numbers. For most of these soldiers it was their first battle; yet there was no evidence of panic, nor was a single act of cowardice observed. The foreign military attachés who were present were astounded at the steadiness of these soldiers, who were receiving their first baptism of fire. . . .
At half-past three the broken and bushy ground had been crossed and the Americans were facing the trenches. The order was passed down the line for a general rush. With a roaring cheer the regiments leapt to their feet and dashed at the hill. They did not go in ranksscarcely in companies. It was a race to reach the trenches and to swarm around the fort.
Captain Haskell, of the Twelfth Infantry, was conspicuous in the rush, his long white beard streaming back like the plume of Henry of Navarre. Officers and men dropt in appalling numbers in the gusts of death. But no force was able to check that charge. Prying down the barbed-wire fences, cheering with that thunderous yell which only Americans can give, they closed over the trenches, which were found filled with dead men. In a moment more the blue uniforms were seen around the fortifications on the hilltop; the barricaded doors were broken in and holes were made in the roofs. But the Spaniards had finished their fight. The barricaded streets of El Caney offered little resistance. A few shots more, and the town was in the hands of the exhausted but jubiliant Americans.
Superb in this charge were the colored soldiers of the Twenty-fourth Regiment. The officers of the regular army say that no better soldiers ever wore a uniform, and prisoners taken from the fort at El Caney insisted that the colored troops were nine feet tall and could strangle them with their fists. At half-past four the American troops had possession of the town. . . .
After taking El Caney the American outposts were at once pushed forward beyond the town, and also within rifle-shot of the entrenchments of San Juan. While the Battle of El Caney was going on, the troops there engaged could hear the roar of the guns of El Poso, which had opened on San Juan on their left, about three miles south. El Poso is a hill about a mile and a half from the hill of San Juan. This hill is just outside of the city of Santiago, directly to the east. Looked at on its eastern side it appears like a sharp bluff. On top was a low farmhouse with broad eaves. This had been turned into a fortification by the Spanish, as had also a long shed near by. East of this farmhouse, near the edge of the hill, were long rows of Spanish trenches; back of the farmhouse, toward Santiago, was a dip in the ground, and on the rise toward the city were more trenches. Barbed-wire fences were everywhere.
Looking eastward from the bluffs of San Juan Hill is a meadow one-third of a mile in width, before one reaches the brush and trees of the forest. This meadow, in the main, is a tangle of high grass, broken by scattered trees and barbed-wire fences. A little to the northeast from San Juan is a shallow duck-pond, and just beyond this water is a low hill which, from its great sugar-kettles on top, the Americans called Kettle Hill. Beyond the rolling meadow are the woods, broken by swift winding streams; through this timber come the irregular, mountainous trails from Siboney, along which the troops had toiled, and on either side of which they had bivouacked for several days. . . .
From the high hill of El Poso, Captain Grimes's battery began firing early in the morning at the trenches and the fortified farmhouse. But its old-fashioned powder enveloped it in smoke after each discharge, and it was at least a minute before a second aim could be taken, while its cloud of smoke made it a conspicuous target for the Spaniards; therefore it soon ceased firing and took a new position nearer the enemy.
There was a steady march of wounded men toward the rear; motionless dead were everywhere. Fainting under the heat of the sun and in the suffocation of the tall grass on the sides of the road, men were at the extremity of their endurance, with lolling tongues and staring eyes. At last endurance was no longer possible. There were no general orders to advance, for the brigade commanders knew that they had been ordered into this position, and they had received no orders from headquarters to leave it.
Then the colonels and captains took the matter into their own hands. Somehow, about noon, a forward movement began. Conspicuous among the leaders were General Hawkins and LieutenantColonel Roosevelt. Soldiers fell in behind any officers who would lead. Lieutenant Ord, who fell dead at the top of the hill, shouted as he started, "All who are brave, follow me." Each officer rallied all the men he could reach.
There was little regard for regimental formation. They did not run fast, for the grass was too thick and the obstacles were too sharp; yet they panted forward through the tall grass, through the morass, and up the steep hill, aiding one another and pulling themselves up by the bushes. They reserved their own fire until they were so close to the trenches that they could see the whites of their enemies' eyes, and then they aimed with such accuracy that in a few moments not a living Spaniard was left in the entrenchments. Then they rushed against the blockhouse; presently that fortification ceased to spit its fire, its garrison was dead, and the Stars and Stripes were waving over its spreading roof. The Spanish commander-in-chief, General Linares, had fallen wounded, and the few surviving defenders of San Juan were running toward Santiago. It was estimated that seventy per cent. of the Spanish in the trenches and the blockhouse had fallen. This was not a battle where strategy had won; generalship had seemed to fall to pieces; it was the unconquerable nerve of the individual soldier that had triumphed. . . . When night fell on July 1st, the American army had won two victories. But the cost had been terrible. Two hundred and thirty men had been killed and twelve hundred and eighty-four were wounded. Many were missing. In other words, out of the attacking forces at El Caney and San Juan, every sixth man had fallen.
That Sunday afternoon General Chaffee, riding along the front of his brigade, said to Colonel O'Brien and Major Brush of the Seventeenth Infantry: "Gentlemen, we have lost all we came for; the game has flown; the Spanish fleet is forty miles away on the high seas." Indeed, that Sunday morning was a fateful hour in the history of the world's contest for freedom. While the army behind the city of Santiago held the ground they had gained at such cost, and waited for the next onset, knowing how serious it must be, the battle-ships and cruisers in Admiral Sampson's squadron were riding at the mouth of Santiago Baywaiting and hoping for the moment when the trying routine of watching would be dropt for the roar and dash of a great naval engagement.
There was the armored cruiser Brooklyn, capable of twenty-one knots an hour, with Commodore Schley, the second officer in the squadron, on boardthe same Schley who years before took out of the Arctic snows the dying survivors of the Greely expedition and brought them home. There was the fine battle-ship Oregon, fresh from her long journey of fifteen thousand miles from Puget Sound, around Cape Horn, and her sister-ship the Indiana, both with their eighteen-inch walls of steel, and thirteen-inch guns which throw a projectile five miles. Every charge in these guns requires more than five hundred pounds of powder; every shell weighs more than half a ton; and every discharge, at the pressure of an electric button, costs five hundred and sixty dollars. There was the battle-ship Texas, called a "hoodoo" because of her many misfortunes, but afterward famous for her brilliant work. There was also the battle-ship Iowa with "Fighting Bob" Evans in command. In the neighborhood was the battleship Massachusetts, as well as other cruisers, torpedo-boats, and ocean liners and pleasure yachts converted into ships of war.
The commander of the fleet, Rear-Admiral Sampson, was absent for the first time in many weeks. Under the orders of President McKinley, and knowing the extremity in which the army was placed, he had steamed a few miles east with the flagship New York, to confer with General Shafter, and, if possible, afford relief. He had repeatedly said, "If I go away, something will happen."
At about half-past nine, just as the bugle sounded for service upon the Texas, the navigator on the forward bridge of the Brooklyn called out through his megaphone: "After bridge there! Report to the commodore and the captain that the enemy's ships are coming out." At the same instant the boom of a gun on the Iowa attracted attention, and a string of little flags up her rigging signaled: "The enemy's ships are escaping to the westward."
In an instant, on every vessel, all was commotion where a moment before had been perfect order. But even the excitement showed absolute system, for with a rush every man in all the crews was in his place for battle, every vessel was moving up, and every gun was ready for action. From the warning of the lookout to the boom of the guns the time was less than three minutes.
The New York was just ready to land Rear-Admiral Sampson at a point seven miles east of Morro Castle. In twenty minutes he would have been riding over the hills to the headquarters of the army. But the leap of the ships was seen and the flag-ship was put about and started under highest steam for the fray.
The Spanish flag-ship, the Maria Teresa, thrust her nose out of the opening and was followed by the other armored cruisers, the Vizcaya, Cristobal Colon, and Almirante Oquendo, and the torpedo-boat destroyers Pluton and Furor. The vessels were from eight hundred to twelve hundred yards apart, and occupied from twelve to fifteen minutes in passing the cape at the mouth of the harbor. As they did so they turned to the west, most of the American ships being just then a little to the east of the entrance.
As the Spanish cruisers came in range they opened their batteries upon the Americans, but continued to fly westward with all the speed they could make. The two torpedo craft made directly for the Brooklyn. As the American ships closed up, the shore batteries on both sides of the opening began a heavy fire.
The guns of the American fleet opened with terrific effect at the first moment of opportunity. The Brookyn realized in an instant that it was to be a chase, and that she was to lead it. She steamed at the Spanish flag-ship and at the Vizcaya at full speed. She had been a rival of the Vizcaya at Queen Victoria's Jubilee the year before. The Iowa and the Texas rained their great shells upon the enemy with fearful effect.
The little converted yacht Gloucester, under Lieutenant-Commander Richard Wainwright, comprehended that it was her business to take care of the torpedo-boats, and appeared to imagine that she was a battle-ship instead of an unprotected pleasure yacht. She ran in at close range, sometimes being completely hidden by smoke, and worked her small rapid-firing guns accurately and with deadly results. The Gloucester received orders by signal to get out of danger, but Wainwright said the signal seemed to him to order him to close in. This commander had a terrible score to settle because of the ill-fated Maine. From the night of her destruction he had been grimly awaiting his opportunity. Now that his chance had come, he fought his little yacht with a fury that bewildered the Spaniards and amazed the American fleet. He explained that he was afraid he might strain his guns if he used them at long range! so he got as close to the enemy as he could, firing at the big ships as well as at the torpedo craft. His fire was so rapid and exact that the enemy were not able even to launch their torpedoes; one torpedo squad after another being swept away before they could load their tubes.
Hardly had the battle opened when one of the largest guns sent a shell through the Pluton, which practically broke her in two. The Furor tried to seek refuge behind the cruisers, but the Gloucester ran in and out and riddled her with an unerring fire which reached her vitals and sent her plunging toward the shore, to break upon a reef and go down under the rolling surf. Some of her crew were helped upon the gallant little vessel that had destroyed her. Out of one hundred forty men on the two vessels but twenty-four survived.
In fifteen minutes the Maria Teresa and the Oquendo were on fire. At a quarter-past ten the former of these was completely disabled, gave up the fight, and ran on the shore at a point about six and a half miles from the harbor, and in another quarter of an hour the other did the same thing a half-mile farther on. One had been hit thirty-three times and the other sixty-six. The Vizcaya, in three-quarters of an hour more, struck her colors and turned to the shore fifteen miles from the harbor.
These vessels were pierced by shells in many places; they were burning and their guns and ammunition bursting, with the likelihood that their magazines would explode at any moment. As the only resort in the last extremity, they were run on the beach, where they sank and careened over on their sides. Hundreds of their crews were dead or wounded and many more jumped into the heavy sea to save themselves.
The American boats went quickly to their rescue. As the Texas passed one of the stranded vessels her men started a cheer, but Captain John W. Philip, with fine chivalry, told them not to cheer when other brave men were dying. The Iowa and the Ericsson took off the crew of the Vizcaya, and the Gloucester and the Harvard those of the Maria Teresaand the Oquendo. Lieutenant-Commander Wainwright received Admiral Cervera, at his gangway and made the defeated Spanish officer as comfortable as possible. The men helped the Spaniards from the water and at great risk went aboard their vessels to carry off the wounded.
In the meantime, while her sister ships were being destroyed, the Cristobal Colon had pushed on out of the thickest of the fire, and was hoping to escape. She was their best and fastest vessel. When the Vizcaya went ashore, fifteen miles from the start, the fleetness of the Colon had put her ahead of the rest about six miles. As soon as the fate of the Vizcaya was assured, the Iowa and the Indiana were directed to return to the blockading station, and the Brooklyn, the Oregon, the Texas, and the Vixen started on the great race for the Colon.
The high speed of the Brooklyn enabled her to lead the way. But the Oregon showed that she had speed as well as great guns. Her chief engineer had for weeks saved some choice Cardiff coal for just such an emergency, and now it was piled upon the fires with signal effect. The grimy heroes under the decks won the race that day. In the boiler-rooms the heat was almost insufferable, ranging from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty degrees, Fahrenheit. The men fainted often and had to be lifted to the deck where the fresh air could revive them. But there was no flinching or complaint. Frequently the stokers insisted upon working overtime. No one of them in the pit was less intense or less a hero than the captain on the bridge. Once, when some of the firemen had fainted, the engineer called to the captain, "If my men can hear a few guns, they will revive."
The Colon hugged the coast for the purpose of landing if she could not escape. The pursuers struck a line for a projecting headland. There was no firing for a long distance, and the crews watched the great race from the decks. The Brooklyn and the Oregon gradually drew away from the others and gained upon the Spaniard.
The Colon fired a shot at her pursuers now and then, but each fell wide of the mark. When Commodore Schley was told by the navigator that the distance between the Colon and the Oregon was but eight thousand five hundred yards, or five miles, he signaled to the battle-ship to try a thirteen-inch shell upon her. Instantly it whistled over the head of the Brooklyn and fell but little short of the Colon. A second one struck beyond her. A few shots were then fired by both of the American vessels. At twenty minutes after one o'clock the Colon struck her colors and ran ashore forty-two miles from the entrance to Santiago harbor. The Spanish crew scuttled and left her sinking. The Brooklyn and the Oregon soon came up, and Captain Cook of the former went aboard and received her surrender. Soon the noble vessel sank in deep water, but was pushed upon the beach by the New York, which had arrived. The next day only a small part of the stern of the ship remained above the water.
All the living men upon the stranded fleet, about sixteen hundred of them, were taken prisoners. The Spanish admiral and most of the prominent officers were among the number. All were treated with the utmost kindness, and the wounded received every possible aid, far more than they would have had if they had not been captured.
The Spaniards had four hundred killed. The charred remains found upon their burning ships told too plainly how dreadfully they had suffered. The Americans lost but one man. George H. Ellis, a yeoman, assisting on the bridge of the Brooklyn, was asked by Captain Cook to give him the distance to the Vizcaya. He stept into the open, took the observation, answered, "Twenty-two hundred yards, sir," and fell at the captain's feet, for a shell had taken off his head.
Since Dewey's victory at Manila on May 1, the mobilization of land forces had gone forward rapidly in the United States. On May 25th a second call for volunteers was made, the first call having been for 125,000, the second for 75,000, and camps of instruction were established at Tampa and Chickamauga. The navy was watching the seacoast in southern waters, a combined attack on Cuba by land and naval forces being in contemplation. Meanwhile, there was uncertainty as to where the Spanish fleet of four cruisers and three torpedo-boat destroyers under Admiral Cervera might be. It had sailed from St. Vincent, in the West Indies, on April 29th, and was not discovered until May 29th, when Admiral Schley discovered it at anchor in the Bay of Santiago.
2 The fleet of transports with 819 officers and 15,000 enlisted men on board, Major-General Shafter in command, sailed from Tampa. Shafter's instructions were to "capture the garrison at Santiago and assist in capturing the harbor and fleet." He arrived off Guantanamo on June 29th, and on June 22d effected a landing at Daiquiri, and later one at Sibony.