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The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, June 28, 1898, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042461/1898-06-28/ed-1/seq-1/

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Fleet Ordered to Proceed to
Spanish Coast
Bom bard meet of tihe Ports Willi
Follow—Relative Strength
of the Squadrons
WASHINGTON, June 27.—The navy department at 11:15 posted
the following bulletin: Commodore Watson sails today in the Newark to
join Sampson, when he will take under his command an armored squad
ron with cruisers and proceed at once off the Spanish coast.
Commodore Watson should reach Admiral Sampson by Thursday
morning, or perhaps earlier, for the Newark, having been extensively
repaired, is now a swift warship. The operations before Sampson are of
such a character that will admit of employment to the best advantage of
the big monitors for blockading purposes and small cruisers and gunboats
as blockading vessels. The start will be made from off Santiago just as
soon as the squadron can be gotten ready, and this, fortunately, owing to
the completeness of the naval mobilization, will be in a very short time.
The navy department also posted a bulletin showing Commodore
Watson's squadron. It is designated the Eastern squadron, and is as
Flagship Newark, battleships lowa and Oregon; cruisers Yosemite,
Yankee and Dixie and the colliers Scandia, Abarenda and Alexander.
The advance will be made at once from Santiago. The bulletin also
showed the following changes in designation of the division of our war
North Atlantic fleet, Rear Admiral Sampson commanding; First
squadron, Commodore J. A. Howell ommanding; Second squadron, Com
modore W. S. Schley commanding; Naval base, Key West, Fla., Commo
dore £. Remey commanding.
GIBRALTAR, June 27.—The Third Spanish squadron, it is an
nounced here, consisting of the Cardinal Cisneros, Lepanto, Numancia,
Vittoria, the monitor Fuig-Cerda, three torpedo boats and Metero, Leon
XIII and Montserrat, commanded by Admiral Barrosa, has been "ordered
to assemble at Cadiz as early as possible."
Some of the vessels mentioned as composing the Spanish third squad
ron are very much behind the age. The Numancia is an iron vessel, built
in 1861, capable of steaming, according to the registers, eight knots, and
having five and a half inches of old-fashioned armor. Her main bat
tery consists of eight 10-inch muzzle-loading Armstrong guns and her
secondary battery is composed of six 6-2 quick-firing guns.
The Vittoria is a training ship of the broadside frigate class, built
in 1865, and having a belt of five and a half inches of old-fashioned
armor. Her main battery consists of eight 9-inch muzzle-loading Arm
strong guns. She may be able to steam ten knots.
The monitor Fuig-Cerda is the Spanish torpedo training ship.
She mounts one 6-inch gun and two 4.7-inch bronze smoothbores. It
is calculated that she may steam eight knots an hour and her armor is
four inches thick. Her coal supply is so small that she would be of
little or no use outside of a harbor.
The Cardinal Cisneros is at first-class armored cruiser of the most
modern type, built in 1896 at a cost of $3,000,000, having an armored
belt twelve inches thick, 101-2 inches of armor over her gun positions,
and an armored deck two inches thick and eight torpedo tubes. She
carries about 1200 tons of coal, was built to steam 20 knots, is 7000 tons
displacement and 15,000 indicated horsepower, and carries two 11-inch
guns, ten 10.5-inch quick-firing guns, two 2.7-inch guns, four 2.2-inch
guns and four 1.4-inch guns and two smaller rapid-fire guns.
The Lepanto was built in 1892. She is a protected cruiser of 4826
tons displacement and 12,000 indicated horsepower, calculated to enable
her to steam 20 knots. Her armored deck is four and three quarters
inches thick and she mounts four 7.8-inch Hontoria guns, six 4.7-inch
quick-fire guns, six 6-pounders, 3-pounders and five small rapid
fire guns.
The decision of the administration to send a squadron of warships
to Spain was not made hastily. For the past six weeks the matter has
been under consideration and a strong element, well acquainted with
the practice of the Spanish government of keeping the great) mass of the
public ignorant of the actual state of affairs, contended that the only meth
od of bringing the war home to the people of Spain would be to send an
American squadron there to harass the coast, cut off shipping and
bombard fortifications. The purpose was to bring the Spanish people
to a realization of the hopelessness of continuing the present struggle.
Since the departure of the Cadiz fleet for the Fhilippines there is an-
(Continued on Page Four.)
Captain Capron, who lost his life In the heroic charge of
the Rough Riders against the ambushed Spaniards In the
battle of Quaslna Thursday mornlnpr. was the son of Cap
tain Capron of the First United States Artillery, and was con
sidered one of the best horsemen and most efficient tacticians
In the regular service. In IS9O he enlisted in troop B of the
Fourth cavalry, then and now stationed at the Presidio, his
soldierly ability soon won him the repaid of his superiors, and
he was persuaded to study for a commission under the tutor
ship of several officers at the post. In 1891 he passed a brll
This Will Be the Most Eventful 1 Week In
the History of the War,
Peace Talk
WASHINGTON, June 27.—Secretary of War Alger said today that this week would be the most eventful
since war was declared against Spain by the United States. Dispatohes were received showing that General
Shafter is rapidly advancing upon Santiago; that part of his command is within four miles of the Spanish
entrenchments and the remainder close behind. He is and has been ready to go ahead at any time but the
plans of General Miles embrace careful preliminary arrangements, and there is no intention of jeopardizing
American victory by restless movements of the troops. It is learned from high military authority that the
attack upon Santiago proper cannot be inaugurated much before the end of the week, though the possibility
was conceded that circumstances might arise to alter the present belief of those in authority. General
Shafter has aroused the admiration of the president by declaring that he "needs nothing" in the way of
reinforcements or supplies in order o fight General Linares. He has hinted that he desires to commence
the battle before it shall be possible for General Pando to reinforce General Linares. He has been advised
that if he feels sure of winning to go ahead, but Secretary Alger would feel safer if he would wait for General
Coppinger, who is now making ready to sail from Tampa with 18,000 men.
General Miles will command the next expedition that leaves these shores. General Alger said Miles
will go to Santiago, where his headquarters will be during the campaigns in Cuba and in Porto Rico.
General Shafter will retain the command of the army in Santiago.
BERLIN, Tune 27.—(Special to The Herald). There is positive evidence in diplomatic circles here that
Spain—all Madrid denials notwithstanding—will try to obtain peace through mediation of the powers at the
first opportunity.
The government believes that the people of Spain are so far reconciled to inevitable losses that the
decisive moment will find the country prepared to lose her colonies without interior confusions of a serious
VIENNA, June 27.—(Special to The Herald). I learn authoritatively that Spain has been unofficially
sounded by Austria as to whether she is prepared to make peace. Spain replied that she will request media
tion only after a decisive defeat. Until then she sees no reason to do so.
llant examination nt the Presidio and was second In a large
class of candidates at the final test at Fort Leavenworth.
He was assigned to the Infantry as a second lieutenant
and was afterwards transferred to the calvary with station
in Florida. •
When the war began Captain Capron left the regular
army to accept a captaincy In Wood's famous regiment of
horsemen. The young officer was extremely popular, Intense
ly devoted to his military work, nnd had given abundant
promise of rising to high rank during the war.
Troops Before the Trenches
at Santiago
It Will Be a Bloody Fight-Spaniards
Strongly Intrenched-Officers
Are Puzzled
ON THE RIO QUA MA, Sunday, June 26, noon, via Kingston, Jamaica,
June 27, Monday, 9 a. m.—The advance force of the American army rests
on the stream with the city of Santiago four and a half miles westward
in plain sight.
Last night the outposts, consisting of two companies of the Seventh
infantry, under Major Coolidge, occupied positions at right angles to trie
road, guarding the crossing a mile and a half beyond Sabinalla, where
three regiments of General Lawton's division camped, the First, Fourth
and Seventh. The Eighth, the Second and Twenty-second Massachu
setts, with the rough riders, Tenth cavalry and portions of several other
regiments are strung out behind them toward Juragua. About 500 Cu
bans under General Gonzales were camped around General Lawton's
headquarters, but less than fifty of them did scout duty last night.
General Wheeler today, with the First, Second and Tenth cavalry and
the rough riders with dynamite guns, moved up to where General Law
ton's outposts were last night, and four batteries of the Third artillery
and four Gatlings, with a special detail under Lieut. Parker were brought
up and planted on the brow of a hill overlooking the basin in which.
Santiago lies.
Not a shot was fired from the American side last night, though the front
of the American line was not two hundred yards from the entrenchment
where the Spaniards propose to combat the advance on Santiago.
Three cannon shots were heard during the night. They seemed to
come from the distant Spanish batteries, or perhaps from seaward. The
top of every hill and mountain north and east of Santiago is occupied by
blockhouses, whence the Spanish can view the movements of the Ameri
can army as it advances beyond Sabinalla to the eastward of the City.
Gashing every knoll and bit of high ground are Spanish entrenchments.
The correspondent of the Associated Press, from an elevation to the
right of the American line today counted thirty-four of these entrench
ments completely fencing every approach to the city. The trenches
have been dug as the conformation of the ground admitted. The ends
of the trenches overlap where the breaks in the line occur, thus securing
comparatively safe retreat from rifle fire in case parts of the trenches
are captured. Upon one of these works modern guns have been mounted.
They can be plainly seen with the naked eye.
Spies report that inside the entrenchment are four parallel lines of
rifle pits, shoulder deep, and in front of them are marked ranges and sev
eral rows of barbed wire fences.
No officer who has surveyed the field over which the advanoe must be
made underestimates the task ahead of the Americans, although our boys
still express the most contemptuous opinion of their adversaries.
The general opinion is that more artillery will be necessary before it will
be safe to attempt to assault the Spanish works, as the fire of the different
regiments must necessarily be deadly and sufficient to demoralize any
force, no matter how brilliant in its courage, when halted by wire ob
Some of the officers believe it will be necessary to lay a regular siege to
Santiago and advance with a line of earthworks until the rifle pits can
be shelled by the light artillery. These processes have an effective shrap
nel range of 2800 yards and the Mauser rifles in the hands of the Spaniard!
are sighted to 1900 yards, and they kill at 2100 yards.
However gratifying to the national pride is the careless attitude of our
enlisted men, the" grave fear remains that they may need a more severe
lesson than the ambush of the rough riders before they can realize ths
deadly possibilities of modern warfare.
The road over which the ordnance must pass is densely lined by
underbrush, and the road to the base of supplies is in a similar state.
But very little danger is apprehended of a flank attack, as it is evident
General Linares is acting strictly on the defensive. The failure of the
Spanish troops at Holguin, Manzarillo and Guantanamo to effect a junc
ture with him have left the Spanish commander so weak that it would
be an act of insanity upon his part to attempt to assume the aggressive or
to retreat.
The problem now confronting the army is the transportation of sup
plies, for the roads to the front are still impassable for wagons, but are
being improved. In the meantime the pack train is being used. The
first of these left Juragua late last night and others left today. Officers
and men were completely out of rations. The Seventh received half
' From a Sketch by a New York Journal Artlit
Twelve Pages £

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