Read CHAPTER V - NEWS OF THE DAY of The Boys of 98, free online book, by James Otis, on

May 2. In Manila Bay, on Monday, the second of May, there was much to be done in order to complete the work so thoroughly begun the day previous.

Early in the morning an officer came from Corregidor, under flag of truce, to Commodore Dewey, with a proposal of surrender from the commandant of the fortifications.  The Baltimore was sent to attend to the business; but when she arrived at the island no one save the commanding officer was found.  All his men had deserted him after overthrowing the guns.

The Baltimore had but just steamed away, when Commander Lamberton was ordered to go on board the Petrel and run over to Cavite arsenal in order that he might take possession, for on the previous day a white flag had been hoisted there as a signal of surrender.

To the surprise of Lamberton he found, on landing, that the troops were under arms, and Captain Sostoa, of the Spanish navy, was in anything rather than a surrendering mood.  On being asked as to the meaning of affairs, Sostoa replied that the flag had been hoisted for a truce, not as a token of capitulation.  He was given until noon to decide as to his course of action, and the Americans withdrew.  At 10.45 the white flag was again hoisted, and when Lamberton went on shore once more he found that the Spaniard had marched his men away, taking with them all their arms.

This was the moment when the insurgents, who had gathered near the town, believed their opportunity had come, and, rushing into Cavite, they began an indiscriminate plunder which was not brought to an end until the American marines were landed.

The navy yard was seized; six batteries near about the entrance of Manila Bay were destroyed; the cable from Manila to Hongkong was cut, and Commodore Dewey began a blockade of the port.

Congress appropriated $35,720,945 for the emergency war appropriation bill.

Eleven regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and ten light batteries of artillery were concentrated at Tampa and Port Tampa.  General Shafter assumed command on this date.

The Newport captured the Spanish schooner Pace.

By cablegram from London, under date of May 2d, news regarding the condition of affairs in Madrid was received.  The Spanish public was greatly excited by information from the Philippines, and the authorities found it necessary to proclaim martial law, the document being couched in warlike language beginning: 

Whereas, as Spain finds herself at war with the United States, the power of civil authorities in Spain is suspended.

Whereas, it is necessary to prevent an impairment of the patriotic efforts which are being made by the nation with manly energy and veritable enthusiasm;

Article 1. A state of siege in Madrid is hereby proclaimed.

Article 2. As a consequence of article one, all offences against public order, those of the press included, will be tried by the military tribunals.

Article 3. In article two are included offences committed by those who, without special authorisation, shall publish news relative to any operations of war whatsoever.”

Then follow the articles which prohibit meetings and public demonstrations.

Commenting upon the defeat, the El Nacional, of Madrid, published the following article: 

“Yesterday, when the first intelligence arrived, nothing better occurred to Admiral Bermejo (Minister of Marine) than to send to all newspapers comparative statistics of the contending squadrons.  By this comparison he sought to direct public attention to the immense superiority over a squadron of wooden vessels dried up by the heat in those latitudes.

“But in this document Spain can see nothing kind.  Spain undoubtedly sees therein the heroism of our marines; but she sees also and above all the nefarious crime of the government.

“It is unfair to blame the enemy for possessing forces superior to ours; but what is worthy of being blamed with all possible vehemence is this infamous government, which allowed our inferiority without neutralising it by means of preparations.  This is the truth.  Our sailors have been basely delivered over to the grape-shot of the Yankees, a fate nobler and more worthy of respect than those baneful ministers, who brought about the first victory and its victims.”

El Heraldo de Madrid said:  “It was no caprice of the fortunes of war.  From the very first cannon-shot our fragile ships were at the mercy of the formidable hostile squadron.  They were condemned to fall one after another under the fire of the American batteries, powerless to strike, and were defended only by the valour in the breasts of their sailors.

“What has been gained by the illusion that Manila was fortified?  What has been gained by the intimation that the broad and beautiful bay on whose bosom the Spanish fleet perished yesterday had been rendered inaccessible?  What use was made of the famous island of Corregidor?  What was done with its guns?  Where were the torpedoes?  Where were those defensive preparations concerning which we were requested to keep silence?”

May 2. Late in the afternoon the Wilmington destroyed a Spanish fort on the island of Cuba, near Cojimar.

The government tug Leyden left Key West, towing a Cuban expedition under government auspices to establish communication with the Cuban forces in Havana province.  The expedition was accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Acosta.  Under him were five other Cubans.  Colonel Acosta formerly commanded a cavalry troop in Havana province.

May 4. A telegram from Key West gave the following information: 

“Acting Rear-Admiral Sampson sailed this morning with all the big vessels of his blockading squadron on some mysterious mission.

“In the fleet were the flag-ship New York, the battle-ships Iowa and Indiana, the cruisers Detroit, Marblehead, and Cincinnati, the monitor Puritan, and the torpedo-gunboat Mayflower.

“The war-ships are coaled to the full capacity of their bunkers, and all available places on the decks are piled high with coal.”

On the same day the Norwegian steamer Condor arrived with twelve American refugees and their immediate relatives from Cienfuegos, Cuba.

Dr. Herman Mazarredo, a dentist, who had been practising his profession in Cienfuegos for eight months, after six years’ study in the United States, was one of the passengers.  He gave the following account of himself: 

“Because the Spaniards hated me as intensely as if I had been born in America, I was obliged to flee for my life.  I left my mother, six sisters, and five brothers in Cienfuegos.  I consider that their lives are in danger.  May heaven protect them!  What was I to do?

“There are now about two hundred Americans at Cienfuegos clamouring to get away.  They are sending to Boston and New York for steamers, but without avail.  Owen McGarr, the American consul, told me on his departure that the Spanish law would protect me.  Other Americans would have come on the Condor, but Captain Miller would not take them.  There was not room for them.  The Spanish soldiers have not yet become personally insulting on the streets, but a mob of Spanish residents marched through the city four days before the Condor left, shouting, ‘We want to kill all Americans.’

“There are between four thousand and six thousand Spanish troops concentrating at Cienfuegos under command of Major-General Aguirre.  They have thrown up some very poor breastworks.  Three ground-batteries look toward the open sea.”

Bread riots broke out in Spain.  In Gijon, on the Bay of Biscay, the rioters made a stand and were fired upon by the troops.  Fourteen were killed or wounded, yet the infuriated populace held their ground, nor were they driven back until the artillery was ordered out.  Then a portion of the soldiers joined the mob; a cannon with ammunition was seized, and directed against the fortification.  A state of siege was declared, and an order issued that all the bread be baked in the government bakeries, because the mob had looted the shops.

At Talavera de la Reina, thirty-six miles from Toledo, a mob attacked the railroad station, entirely destroying it, setting fire to the cars, and starting the engines wild upon the track.  They burned several houses owned by officials, and sacked a monastery, forcing the priests to flee for their lives.  Procuring wine from the inns, they grew more bold, and made an attack upon the prison, hoping to release those confined there; but at this point they were held in check by the guard.

The miners of Oviedo inaugurated a strike, commencing by inciting riots.  At Caceres several people were killed.  At Malaga a mob rode down the guards and looted the shops.  The British steam yacht Lady of Clonmel, owned by Mr. James Wilkinson, of London, was attacked as she lay at the pier.  Stones smashed her skylights, and a bomb was thrown aboard, but did not explode.  The yacht put hurriedly to sea, and from Gibraltar reported the outrage to London.

May 5. The government tug Leyden, which on the second day of May left Key West with a Cuban expedition, returned to port, giving the following account of her voyage: 

She proceeded to a certain point near Mariel, and landed five men, with four boxes of ammunition and two horses.

General Acosta penetrated to the interior, where he communicated with the forces of the insurgents.

The Leyden lay to outside the harbour until five o’clock in the morning, when, observing a troop of Spanish infantry approaching, she put to sea and got safely away.

She proceeded to Matanzas, and on the afternoon of the third landed another small party near there.

Fearing attack by the Spaniards, she looked for the monitors Terror and Amphitrite, which were on the blockade in that vicinity, but being unable to locate them the Leyden returned to the original landing-place, reaching there early on the morning of the fourth.

There she was met by Acosta and about two hundred Cubans, half of whom were armed with rifles.  They united with the men on the tug, and an attempt was made to land the remaining arms and men, when two hundred of the Villa Viscosa cavalry swooped down on them, and an engagement of a half hour’s duration followed.

The Cubans finally repulsed the enemy, driving them into the woods.  The Spanish carried with them many wounded and left sixteen dead on the field.

During the engagement the bullets went through the Leyden’s smoke-stack, but no one was injured.

The little tug then went in search of the flag-ship, found her lying near Havana, and reported the facts.

Rear-Admiral Sampson sent the gunboat Wilmington back with the Leyden.

The two vessels reached the scene of the landing on the afternoon of the fourth, and found the Spanish cavalry in waiting to welcome another attempted invasion.

The Wilmington promptly opened fire on a number of small houses marking the entrance to the place.

The gunboat fired four shots, which drove back the Spaniards, and Captain Dorst, with the ammunition, landed safely, the Leyden returning to Key West.

May 6. Orders were given from Washington to release the French mail steamer, Lafayette, and to send her to Havana under escort.  The capture of the Frenchman by the gunboat Annapolis was an unfortunate incident, resulting from a mistake, but no protest was made by the representatives of the French government in the United States.  It appeared that, before the Lafayette sailed for Havana, the French legation in Washington was instructed to communicate with the State Department.  This was done and permission was granted to the steamer to enter and discharge her passengers and cargo, with the understanding that she would take on nothing there.  Instructions for the fulfilment of such agreement were sent from Washington to Admiral Sampson’s squadron, and it was only learned after the capture was made that they were never delivered.

The War Department issued an order organising the regular and volunteer forces into seven army corps.

The following letter needs no explanation: 


  Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir: - Some days ago I wrote President McKinley offering the government the sum of $100,000 for use in the present difficulty with Spain.  He writes me that he has no official authority to receive moneys in behalf of the United States, and he suggests that my purpose can best be served by making a deposit with the assistant treasurer at New York to the credit of the treasurer of the United States, or by remitting my check direct to you at Washington.  I, therefore, enclose my check for the above amount, drawn payable to your order on the Lincoln National Bank.  Will you kindly acknowledge the receipt of the same?

“Very truly,
May 6, 1898.

It was replied to twenty-four hours later: 

“Treasury Department of the United States. 
“Office of the Treasury. 
“WASHINGTON, D. C., May 7, 1898.

  597 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y.

Madam: - It gives me especial pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter under date of May 6, 1898, enclosing your check for $100,000, according to your previous offer to President McKinley, for the government.  This sum has been placed in the general fund of the treasury of the United States as a donation from you, for use in the present difficulty with Spain.  Permit me to recognise the superb patriotism which prompts you to make this magnificent gift to the government.  Certificates of deposit will follow in due course.  Respectfully yours,

Treasurer of the United States.

May 6. The torpedo-boats Dupont and Hornet shelled the blockhouse near the lighthouse at Point Maya, at the mouth of the harbour of Matanzas, and Fort Garcia, which is an old hacienda used as a blockhouse, lying three and one-half miles to the east.

As the Dupont was leaving her position off the lighthouse point, a big shell was fired from the middle embrasure of a battery on the other side of the harbour, called Gorda.  The line was perfect, but the elevation was bad, and the range too long.  The shell fell a thousand yards short.  The Hornet was ordered to use her 6-pounders on the blockhouse.  The first shell failed of its purpose; but the second hit the target fairly, and the Spanish soldiers hurriedly left it for shelter among the neighbouring trees.

The Hornet fired twelve shells, six of which struck the mark.  The Dupont, after ascertaining that Point Maya was being made too warm for Spanish occupation, steamed down to a blockhouse opposite, called Garcia Red, and a prominent landmark to the eastward, and turned loose her 1-pounders.

Here, as in the other place, the infantry had urgent business behind the forest woods and hills.  After making certain they had gone to stay, the Dupont resumed patrol duty.  Cavalry afterward appeared at Fortina, but remained there only long enough to see the torpedo-boat’s menacing attitude.

May 6. The cruiser Montgomery, Captain Converse, was the first ship of the American squadron to acquire the distinction of capturing two prizes in one day, which she did on the sixth.  The captives were the Frasquito and the Lorenzo, both small vessels of no great value as compared with the big steamers taken during the first days of the war.

The Montgomery was cruising about fifty miles off Havana when the Frasquito, a two-master, came bowling along toward the Cuban capital.  When the yellow flag of the enemy was sighted the helm was swung in her direction, and a blank shot was put across her bow.  The Spaniard hove to and the customary prize-crew was put on board.  It was found that the Frasquito was bound from Montevideo to Havana with a cargo of jerked beef.  She was of about 140 tons register and hailed from Barcelona.  The prize-crew took her to Havana waters, and the Annapolis assigned the cutter Hamilton to carry her into Key West.

A few minutes afterwards the Montgomery encountered the Lorenzo, a Spanish bark, bound from Barcelona to Havana with a cargo of dried beef.  She was taken just as easily, and Ensign Osborn, with several “Jackies,” sailed her into port.

May 7. Quite a sharp little affair occurred off Havana, in which the Vicksburg and the cutter Morrill were very nearly enticed to destruction.

A small schooner was sent out from Havana harbour shortly before daylight to draw some of the Americans into an ambuscade.

She ran off to the eastward, hugging the shore with the wind on her starboard quarter.  About three miles east of the entrance of the harbour she came over on the port tack.

A light haze fringed the horizon, and she was not discovered until three miles off shore, when the Mayflower made her out and signalled the Vicksburg and Morrill.  Captain Smith of the Vicksburg immediately clapped on all steam and started in pursuit.

The schooner instantly put about and ran for Morro Castle before the wind.  On doing so, she would, according to the plot, lead the two American war-ships directly under the guns of the Santa Clara batteries.

These works are a short mile west of Morro, and are a part of the defences of the harbour.  There were two batteries, one at the shore, which had been recently thrown up, of sand and mortar, with wide embrasures for 8-inch guns, and the other on the crest of the rocky eminence which juts out into the waters of the gulf at the point.  The upper battery mounted modern 10 and 12-inch Krupp guns, behind a six-foot stone parapet, in front of which were twenty feet of earthwork and belting of railroad iron.

The American vessels were about six miles from the schooner when the chase began.  They steamed after her at full speed, the Morrill leading, until within a mile and a half of the Santa Clara batteries.

Commander Smith of the Vicksburg was the first to realise the danger into which the reckless pursuit had led them.  He concluded it was time to haul off, and sent a shot across the bow of the schooner.

The Spanish skipper instantly brought his vessel about, but while she was still rolling in the trough of the sea with her sails flapping, an 8-inch shrapnel shell came hurtling through the air from the water-battery, a mile and a half away.

It passed over the Morrill, between the pilot-house and the smoke-stack, and exploded less than fifty feet away on the port quarter.

Two more shots followed in quick succession, both shrapnel.  One burst close under the starboard quarter, filling the engine-room with the smoke of the exploding shell, and the other, like the first, passed over and exploded just beyond.

The Spanish gunners had the range, and their time fuses were accurately set.

The crews of both ships were at their guns.  Lieutenant Craig, who was in charge of the bow 4-inch rapid-fire gun of the Morrill, asked for and obtained permission to return the fire.

At the first shot the Vicksburg, which was in the wake of the Morrill, slightly inshore, sheered off and passed to windward under the Morrill’s stern.  In the meantime Captain Smith also put his helm to port, and was none too soon, for as the Morrill stood off a solid 8-inch shot grazed her starboard quarter and kicked up tons of water as it struck a wave one hundred yards beyond.

All the guns of the water-battery were now at work.  One of them cut the Jacob’s-ladder of the Vicksburg adrift, and another carried away a portion of the rigging.

As the vessels steamed away their aft guns were used, but only a few shots were fired.

The Morrill’s 6-inch gun was elevated for four thousand yards, and struck the earthwork repeatedly.  The Vicksburg discharged only three shots from her 6-pounder.

The Spaniards continued to fire shot and shell for twenty minutes, but none of the latter shots came within one hundred yards.

Later in the day the Morrill captured the Spanish schooner Espana, bound for Havana, and towed the prize to Key West.

The Newport added to the list of captures by bringing in the Spanish schooner Padre de Dios.

May 7. The United States despatch-boat McCulloch arrived at Hongkong from Manila, with details of Commodore Dewey’s victory.

Secretary Long, after the cablegram forwarded from Hongkong had been received, sent the following despatch: 

“The President, in the name of the American people, thanks you and your officers and men for your splendid achievement and overwhelming victory.  In recognition he has appointed you acting admiral, and will recommend a vote of thanks to you by Congress as a foundation for further promotion.”

May 8. A brilliant, although unimportant, affair was that in which the torpedo-boat Winslow engaged off Cardenas Bay.

The Winslow and gunboat Machias were on the blockade off Cardenas.

In the harbour, defended by thickly strewn mines and torpedoes, three small gunboats had been bottled up since the beginning of the war.  Occasionally they stole out toward the sea, but never venturing beyond the inner harbour, running like rabbits at sight of the American torpedo boats.

Finally a buoy was moored by Spaniards inside the entrance of the bay to mark the position for the entrance of the gunboats.  The signal-station on the shore opposite was instructed to notify the gunboats inside when the torpedo-boats were within the limit distance marked by the buoy.

The scheme was that the gunboats could run out, open fire at a one-mile range thus marked off for them, and retreat without the chance of being cut off.  The men of the Winslow eyed this buoy and guessed its purpose, but did not attempt to remove it.

On the afternoon of the eighth the Machias stood away to the eastward for a jaunt, and the Winslow was left alone to maintain the blockade.

In a short time she steamed toward Cardenas Harbour.  There was great excitement at the signal-station, and flags fluttered hysterically.  The three gunboats slipped their cables and went bravely out to their safety limit.

Three bow 6-pounders were trained at two thousand yards.  In a few minutes the shore signals told them that the torpedo-boat was just in range.  Every Spaniard aboard prepared to see the Americans blown out of the water.

Three 6-pounders crackled, and three shells threw waterspouts around the Winslow, but she was not struck.  Instead of running away, she upset calculations by driving straight ahead, attacking the boats, and Lieutenant Bernado no sooner saw the first white smoke puffs from the Spanish guns than he gave the word to the men already stationed at the two forward 1-pounders, which barked viciously and dropped shot in the middle of the flotilla.

On plunged the Winslow to within fifteen hundred yards of the gunboats, while the row raised by the rapid-fire 1-pounders was like a rattling tattoo.

The Spaniards were apparently staggered at this fierce onslaught, single-handed, and fired wildly.  The Winslow swung around broadside to, to bring her two after guns to bear as the Spanish boats scattered and lost formation.

The Winslow soon manoeuvred so that she was peppering at all three gunboats at once.  The sea was very heavy, and the knife-like torpedo-boat rolled so wildly that it was impossible to do good gun practice, but despite this big handicap, the rapidity of her fire and the remarkable effectiveness of her guns demoralised all three opponents, which, after the Winslow had fired about fifty shells, began to gradually work back toward the shelter of the harbour.

They were still hammering away with their 6-pounders, but were wild.  Several shells passed over the Winslow.  One exploded a hundred feet astern, but the others fell short.

At last a 1-pounder from the Winslow went fair and true, and struck the hull of the Lopez a little aft of amidships, apparently exploding on the inside.

The Winslow men yelled.  The Lopez stopped, evidently disabled, while one of her comrades went to her assistance.  By this time the Spanish boats had retreated nearly inside, where they could not be followed because of the mines.  The Lopez got under way slowly and limped homeward with the help of a towline from her consort.

During this episode the Machias had returned, and when within a two-mile range let fly two 4-inch shells from her starboard battery, which accelerated the Spanish flight.  But the flotilla managed to creep back into Cardenas Harbour in safety, and under the guns of the shore-battery.

The Spanish gunboats that lured the Winslow into the death-trap were the Antonio Lopez, Lealtad, and Ligera.  During the fight the two former retreated behind the wharves, and the Ligera behind the key.  It was the Antonio Lopez that opened fire on the Winslow and decoyed her into the channel.  The Spanish troops formed on the public square, not daring to go to the wharves.  All the Spanish flags were lowered, as they furnished targets, and the women and children fled to Jovellanos.

Off Havana during the afternoon the fishing-smack Santiago Apostal was captured by the U. S. S. Newport.

The U. S. S. Yale captured the Spanish steamer Rita on the eighth, but did not succeed in getting the prize into port until the thirteenth.  The Rita was loaded with coal, from Liverpool to Porto Rico.

The bread riots in Spain continued throughout the day.  At Linates a crowd of women stormed the town hall and the civil guard fired upon them, killing twelve. El Pais, the popular republican newspaper in Madrid, was suppressed; martial law was declared at Badajos and Alicante.

May 9. Congress passed a joint resolution of thanks to Commodore Dewey; the House passed a bill increasing the number of rear-admirals from six to seven, and the Senate passed a bill to give Dewey a sword, and a bronze memorative medal to each officer and man of his command.

The record of the navy for the day was summed up in the capture of the fishing-smack Fernandito by the U. S. S. Vicksburg, and the capture of the Spanish schooner Severito by the U. S. S. Dolphin.

The rioting in Spain was not abated; martial law was proclaimed in Catalonia.

May 10. The steamer Gussie sailed from Tampa, Florida, with two companies of the First Infantry, and munitions and supplies for Cuban insurgents.

Rioting in Spain was the report by cable; in Alicante the mob sacked and burned a bonded warehouse.

May 11. Running from Cienfuegos, Cuba, at daybreak on the morning of May 11th, were three telegraph cables.  The fleet in the neighbourhood consisted of the cruiser Marblehead, which had been on the station three weeks, the gunboat Nashville, which had been there two weeks, and the converted revenue cutter Windom, which had arrived two days before.  The station had been a quiet one, except for a few brushes with some Spanish gunboats, which occasionally ventured a very little way out of Cienfuegos Harbour.  They had last appeared on the tenth, but had retreated, as usual, when fired on.

Commander McCalla of the Marblehead, ranking officer, instructed Lieutenant Anderson to call for volunteers to cut the cable early on the morning of the eleventh.  Anderson issued the call on both the cruiser and the gunboat, and three times the desired number of men offered to serve.  No one relented, even after repeated warnings that the service was especially dangerous.

“I want you men to understand,” Anderson said, “that you are not ordered to do this work, and are not obliged to.”

The men nearly tumbled over one another in their eagerness to be selected.  In the end, the officer had simply the choice of the entire crew of the two ships.

A cutter containing twelve men, and a steam launch containing six, were manned from each ship, and a guard of marines and men to man the 1-pounder guns of the launches, were put on board.  In the meantime the Marblehead had taken a position one thousand yards offshore opposite the Colorado Point lighthouse, which is on the east side of the narrow entrance to Cienfuegos Harbour, just east of the cable landing, and, with the Nashville a little farther to the west, had begun shelling the beach.

The shore there is low, and covered with a dense growth of high grass and reeds.  The lighthouse stood on an elevation, behind which, as well as hidden in the long grass, were known to be a large number of rifle-pits, some masked machine guns, and 1-pounders.  These the Spaniards deserted as fast as the ships’ fire reached them.  As the enemy’s fire slackened and died out, the boats were ordered inshore.

They advanced in double column.  The launches, under Lieutenant Anderson and Ensign McGruder of the Nashville, went ahead with their sharpshooters and gunners, looking eagerly for targets, while the cutters were behind with the grappling-irons out, and the men peering into the green water for a sight of the cables.  At a distance of two hundred feet from shore the launches stopped, and the cutters were sent ahead.

The first cable was picked up about ninety feet offshore.  No sooner had the work of cutting it been begun than the Spanish fire recommenced, the soldiers skulking back to their deserted rifle-pits and rapid-fire guns through the high grass.  The launches replied and the fire from the ships quickened, but although the Spanish volleys slackened momentarily, every now and then they grew stronger.

The men in the boats cut a long piece out of the first cable, stowed it away for safety, and then grappled for the next.  Meantime the Spaniards were firing low in an evident endeavour to sink the cutters, but many of their shots fell short.  The second cable was finally found, and the men with the pipe-cutters went to work on it.

Several sailors were kept at the oars to hold the cutters in position, and the first man wounded was one of these.  No one else in the boat knew it, however, till he fainted in his seat from loss of blood.  Others took the cue from this, and there was not a groan or a complaint from the two boats, as the bullets, that were coming thicker and faster every minute, began to bite flesh.

The men simply possessed themselves with heroic patience, and went on with the work.  They did not even have the satisfaction of returning the Spanish fire, but the marines in the stern of the boat shot hard enough for all.

The second cable was finally cut, and the third, a smaller one, was grappled and hoisted to the surface.  The fire of the Spanish had reached its maximum.  It was estimated that one thousand rifles and guns were speaking, and the men who handled them grew incautious, and exposed themselves in groups here and there.

“Use shrapnel,” came the signal, and can after can exploded over the Spaniards, causing them to break and run to cover.

This cover was a sort of fortification behind the lighthouse, and to this place they dragged a number of their machine guns, and again opened fire on the cutter.  The shots from behind the lighthouse could not be answered so well from the launches, and the encouraged Spaniards fired all the oftener.

Man after man in the boats was hit, but none let a sound escape him.  Like silent machines they worked, grimly hacking and tearing at the third cable.  During half an hour they laboured, but the fire from behind the lighthouse was too deadly, and, reluctantly, at Lieutenant Anderson’s signal, the cable was dropped and the boats retreated.

The work had lasted two hours and a half.

The Windom, which had laid out of range with a collier, was now ordered in, and the surgeon called to attend the wounded.  The Windom was signalled to shell the lighthouse, which had not been fired on before, according to the usages of international law.  It had been used as a shelter by the Spaniards.  The revenue cutter’s rapid-fire guns riddled the structure in short order, and soon a shell from the 4-inch gun, which was in charge of Lieut.  R. O. Crisp, struck it fair, exploded, and toppled it over.

With the collapse of their protection the Spaniards broke and ran again, the screaming shrapnel bursting all around them.

At the fall of the lighthouse the Marblehead signalled, “Well done,” and then a moment later, “Cease firing.”

The only man killed instantly was a marine named Eagan.  A sailor from one of the boats died of his wounds on the same day.  Commander Maynard of the Nashville was grazed across the chest, and Lieutenant Winslow was wounded in the hand.

The list of casualties resulting from this display of heroism was two killed, two fatally and four badly wounded.  The Spanish loss could not be ascertained, but it must necessarily have been heavy.