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VOIiUME LXXXIII.— NO. 91.
LEE SAYS TREACHERY DESTROYED THE MAINE THE CONSUL-GENERAL HAS FORTIFIED HIS PREVIOUS OPINION WORK OF THE COURT OF INQUIRY Beginning of the Secret Session at Key West Yesterday, Government Is Rushing Work on the Defense of the Coast at the Most Exposed Southern Points. Copyright, 1898, by Tames Gordon Bennett. NEW YORK, Feb. 28.— The Washing ton correspondent of the Herald tele= graphs: A dispatch was received at the State Department from Consul-General Lee to=day, in which he fortifies his previously expressed opinion that the Maine was destroyed by an outside explosion. The dispatch fully confirms the Herald's dispatches announcing the finding of unexploded ten-inch powder tanks and of rapid=fire ammunition for the smaller guns. These dispatches of Consul-General Lee are being filed by the State Department for consideration in connection with the report of the Court of Inquiry when that body shall have submitted the result of its labors to the Navy Department. KEY WEST, Fla., Feb. 28.— it was rumored here to day that the dynamite-gun vessel Vesuvius had been or dered to Key West. I asked Admiral Sicard this afternoon whether the report was true. He shook his head and re plied that it was one of the questions he was not at liberty to answer. Admiral Sicard was equally reticent when I spoke to him concerning the report that he was packing his trunks preparatory to relinquishing the command of the squadron on account of ill-health. " I cannot speak concerning my health," he said. Great activity prevails here upon coast defenses. The torpedo system of harbor defense is practically completed now. A report, which I am unable to confirm, says two companies of artillery are en route here and will arrive to morrow to aid in mounting the guns and shore batteries. Captain Merrill's artillery force now here numbers only about one hundred men. I can state from a most authoritative source that the mortar batteries included in the plans of fortifications which have been in course of construction at this point in the last year will be ready for use to-morrow. Ido not mean that they will be entirely completed to-morrow, but will be ready for immediate use and for all practical purposes within twenty-four hours in the event that any emergency should arise. Specifications for this work contemplate the protection of these mortars principally with sand, the material for which could be obtained when desired at short notice. Work on the gun batteries is being pushed rapidly. They are in such advanced state that the guns could be mounted in position if they were here. The San Francisco Call. LONDON, March I.— The Daily News commenting Tltorially this morning on the relations between the United States a j Spain says: "Spain can expect no support, moral or otherwise, I om England against the United States. She has ruined Cuba, as ■ .ie has ruined or lost every colony, by the grossest corruption, cruel T, and malad ministration, and she must be left to settle the accoui»i for it with those whom it may concern, without any aid or syrofi^Uiy on our part." The Standard, In an editorial on the same genera .. topic, highly praises President McKinley's statesmanlike moderation nd recognizes that "it would be only human nature that proof of t Maine's hav ing been blown up from the outside should engender a 'angerous war feeling in America." The Naval Court of Inquiry into the Maine disaster made good progress to-day in taking the evidence of the surviving officers now in Key West The session began prompt ly at 10 o'clock in the morn ing in the private room of the United States Circuit Judge, opening from the Fed-j eral Court room. As Captain Sampson, Captain Chadwick ; and Lieutenant Commander ; Potter, resplendent in their full uniforms, walked over from the Naval Stores build ing to the Federal building, which adjoins it, their digni- ! fied bearing was that of offi cers who realize to the full measure the magnitude of the responsibility resting upon them. Lieutenant Commander Ma rix, judge-advocate of the court, joined them a moment later, and the court prepared to resume its sessions. The apartments devoted to the Naval Court are directly above the postoffice. Many newspaper correspondents already thronged the corri dors, and many Key West citizens, thoroughly alive to the importance of the occa sion, had pushed their way in from the area in front of the postoffice. Everybody showed a dis position to respect the secrecy of the court and all kept at a respectful distance from the doors of the Federal Court rooms. Captain Sampson SAX FRANCISCO, TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 1898. ENGLISH PRESS SCORES SPAIN. thought it well, however, to send a messenger to Admiral Sicard with a request for a marine orderly to stand out- WRECKING TUG RIGHT ARM-MONARCH LIFTING A WRECK. side the doorway while the court was in session. One of the fine fellows who sur vived from the Marine Corps of ihe Maine soon appeared for guard duty, and the Key West session immediately began. These witnesses in the or der named were heard during the morning session : Lieu tenant Blandin, who was offi cer of the deck at the time of the explosion ; Lieutenants Hood, Holman, Blow and Jungen. Naval Cadets Bron son and Boyd then had their turn, and at i o'clock the Court of Inquiry adjourned for luncheon. The afternoon session was brief. The board reconvened a few minutes after 2 o'clock and adjourned for the day shortly after half-past 3. The witnesses examined in the afternoon were ; Lieutenant Holman, who was recalled for a few minutes to simplify some points in his testimony ; First Lieutenant of Marines Catlin and three of the war rant officers, Gunner Hill, Boatswain Larkin and Car penter Helms. Most of the officers examined retold to the court the stories of their personal experiences on the Maine immediately after the disaster. With these narratives the Herald's readers are already Funeral Procession of the Maine's Dead Through the Streets of Havana. The Pro cession Forming at City Hall. familiar. In addition to this it is believed some of them were questioned particularly as to whether they heard and felt two distinct explosions. It is not thought any of the evidence to be taken here can add materially to the court's knowledge as to the vital question — the origin of the explosion. It is quite likely one, or at most two more days may suffice to hear the testimony of all the other survivors now here whose evidence is regarded as worth hearing. The men of the Maine, under orders of Ad miral Sicard, will then prob ably go north and await the further pleasure of the Navy Department, though some of them, it is not unlikely, will be detailed almost imme diately for duty on other ships. Everybody here realizes now that the only evidence of a really vital character as to the cause of the disaster is evidence of a structural character, such as that al ready developed by Ensign Powelson and such as may be still further develope." any day by the work of divers on the wreck in Ha vana harbor. Nothing that the surviving officers here can say is likely to have any Continued on Second Pag*. SOME OF THE DEAD WILL REST AT LAST IN AMERICAN SOIL Public .Opinion Moves the War Department to Make an Effort to Ship the Bodies to Key West. Copyrighted, 189S, by James Gordon Bennett. KEY WEST, Feb. 28.— Some of the brave boys of the Maine, after all, are to sleep in American soil and un der the Stars and Stripes. All the bodies hereafter taken from the wreck are to be sealed hermetically in metal coffins, placed aboard the Coast Survey steamer Bache and brought to Key West for burial. Or ders to that effect were received from the Navy Department in Washington to-day by Captain Forsythe, com mandant at Key West, and were transmitted to Captain Sigsbee in Havana. In accordance with the same or der, arrangements have been made for a suitable lot in Key West Ceme tery, where all the bodies of seamen hereafter recovered are to be interred. The disinterment and removal of the j bodies already buried in Havana, I understand, are not contemplated, at least at present. Captain Sigsbee and j Lieutenant-Commander Wainwiight have notified the department that the identification of the bodies yet to be recovered will be practically impos- i sible, except in the cases of Lieuten ant Jenkins and Assistant Engineer Merritt, who, it is thought, may yet be identified by their uniform. So strong a feeling has been manifest throughout the country against per mitting all thesa noble American sea men to be buried in Spanish soil that the department has thought it best to bury them at Key West, even though not identified. The seemingly slow work of the divers hitherto on the task of recovering the dead has caused great disappointment among surviving officers, especially Chap- j lain Chadwick. Every day for nearly j a week the floating morgue in Ha- j vaaa harbor has swung with the j tida, bearing its pile of metal coffins | ready for use, and above the rest two just a little less plain than the oth ers. These were intended for the j bodies of the two dead officers. But : the recovery of bodies has proceeded ; very slowly. There is some disposition to find fault with the work of the divers, anyhow. Many souvenirs from the wardroom, messroom and other parts of the ship have been brought to the surface. They are common enough j now in Havana. Pieces of the mess room table, I am told, are now being, made into walking-canes for a fa vored few. Biordan, the diver who was ac cused of pilfering from sea chests, is said to have found comparatively easy access to many parts of the wreck, yet up to the time I lrft Ha vana yesterday on the Herald-Call dispatch boat, Albert F. Dewey, from fifty to sixty dead seamen, according to Chaplain Chadwick's estimate, re mained in the wreck, many of them, PRICE FIVE CENTS. it is said, still in their hammocks where they died. Considerable jealousy and not a little animosity has begun to develop between the naval divers attached to the squadron and those employed by the wrecking company, which is en gaged upon the work of salvage at a stated price per day. The impres sion conveyed by careless dispatches to some New York papers that among the divers at work above and in the wreck are some who are Spaniards is wholly without foundation. The de partment's decision to conduct the in vestigation without Spanish assist ance has been adhered to strictly. The only Spaniards employed about the wreck in any capacity whatever are sailors of the Spanish cruiser Al fonso XIII, who still maintain most efficiently their watchful guard about the wreck alike by day and night, to keep off intruders and mor bid curiosity-seekers. How well they do their duty I had reason to know, when, in a small boat, half an hour before midnight. 1 started to board the Herald-Call dispatch boat for her run to Key West, which began early yesterday morning. The Dewey lay moored near the wreck of the Maine. Our path toward her from Machina wharf lay near the dispatch vessel Le Gaspi. I was challenged all along the line from the wharf to the Dewey, first from Le Gaspi's deck and again by two floating patrol boats around tne wreck of the Maine. Just as I boarded the Herald's fleet little tug eight bells sounded musically, first from the cruiser Ai fonso XIII, then Le Gaspi and then like a silvery echo from our little Fern. The ships' bells were playing a midnight requiem of dead men-of warsmen. Then from far-off Ca banas came ringing clear, musical, across the still waters, the cry "Alerta" of the Spanish sentinel. Back came the answer in sailorlike singsong from Le Gaspi's deck, and again "Bote alerta" from the patrol that swung slowly at their oars around the wreck. Yes, they were all alert. So was the fleet little Dewey. Her steam was already up, and long be fore sunrise she was off past Morro light, past the gray wreck looking gloomier than ever in the first dim light of the dawn, and headed straight for Key West like an arrow to give the Herald readers the latest news of Havana, despite Spanish cen sors and despite stormy seas. SEEKING THE BODIES OF DEAD SAILORS. Experts Begin to Think it Will Be Impossible to Raise the Wreck of the Maine. Copyrighted. 1898, by James Gordon Bennatt. HAVANA, Feb. 38.— The divers to