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VOLUME LXXXIII.-XO. 144.
TWO SHIPS CAPTURED FLEET BLOCKADES CUBA, WAR IS FAIRLY BEGUN TWO PRIZES ARE TAKEN IN ONE DAY The Captain of the Nash ville Orders the First Gun Fired. Flagship New York Chases a Steamer Close to the Cuban Coast and Captures Her. KEY WEST, Fla., April 23.-An incoming tug reports that the New York has captured a Spanish passenger steamer plying between Havana and Porto Rico. The torpedo flotilla is coming in. It is believed here that the prize captured by the flagship New York is the Alfonso XII, the mail steamer due at Havana to-day (not the warship of that name). The Spanish ship tried to run away, but the New York gave chase, firing shot after shot until the Spaniards hove to and surrendered. On Board the Herald-Call Dispatch Boat (via Key West), April 22.— The morning sun shone on the first capture of war. Its declining rays lit another, the second made by this fleet to-day. The chase and capture took place late this afternoon and almost within gunshot of the shores of Cuba, The prize is a Spanish merchant steamship of apparently about 2000 tons. As time was pressing I could not wait to ascertain the vessel's name. The chase as seen from the decks of the Herald-Call dispatch boat was one of the most Inspiring spectacles of the day of events. The fleet was standing toward Havana, the Mayflower acting as a scout a mile or so in advance of the flagship New York. The Mayflower sud denly swung sharply to the westward and a moment later a string of but terfly flags went fluttering to hpr masthead. While all were wondering what the maneuver meant the New York was seen to fline her answering pennant to the breeze, and making another signal to the fleet, which -»rob ahh- meant "Stay where you are until I get back," -nun" her bow to the westward ami went racing for the game that the Mayflower had sighted. I got a maTilflrnnt view of the splendid cruiser as she rushed pa-t our boat with smoke trailing in dense masses from each of her three big funnels, a hill of f'>;>m around her bow and her wake was like a tidal wave. She set a clipping pace from the start, and a magnificent sight she presented as she dash'd through the choppy seas, with never an undula- Hon of her long graceful hull. The loom of land lay on her starboard bow and boom, and although I climbed on top of the pilot house of the Smith and swept the horizon ahead I could distinguish nothing excppt the white crests of running seas. All were puzzled to know what the New York was about. Some said ahe was steaming in Havana alone to give formal notice of the impending bombardment, so as to give non-combatants warning to leave. Some one else was about to advance another theory when there came a puff of smoke from the bow of the cruiser and a dull report came boom- Ing over the water. Thf matter was clear enough then. The vigilant scout had espied a sail inshore ami the fleet cruiser whs In hot pursuit. We of the dispatch boat supposed it to b<j a Spanish torpedo boat, and as there came another flash and report nnd another and another the men of the Smith became certain that the fugitive was none other than a "hornet," obstinately trying to escape. "Soak it to him, New York," yelled one enthusiast, as there came an other jet of flame from the cruiser's bow. The pursuer up to this time had been using one of her small rapn -fire guns, and the Spanish ship, evidently believing that she carried nothing larger, was apparently trying to make her escape by running until night fall hid her movements. The rapid- fire gun ceased its chatter, there was a moment of silence and the entire bow of the cruiser was hid In a swirl of white smoke as a main battery gun uttered its peremptory monosyllable. The message erf the whizzing shell told plainly that there was to be no more fooling and the fugitive was not slow in reading it. The missile had hardly flung up its column of spray before the Spaniard was seen to round to and change her engines. The New York ranged near hnd was lowering a boat to take possession of the prize when the Smith hav ing then no time to spare in reaching the Key West wire swung around and headed back to port. As I passed '" fleet at sunset . l noticed that the ships had taken blockade form. lion. The battleships and the Amphitrite were in the outward or seaward column, the cruisers and gunboats strung out in an other line between the armor-elaJs and the land, with the torpedo boats and the torpedo boat destroyer Mayflower hovering between ;he inner line and the shore. THE SPANIARDS INDULGING IN BOLD BLUSTER Copyrighted, IS9S. by James Gordon Bennett. MADRID, April 22.— The Spanish Govern ment states that it intends, as soon as the Americans bombard Havana, to do the same to Washington, Philadelphia and other points. Copyrighted, IS9B, by James Gordon Bennett. KEY WEStTfla., April 22. — Patrick Mullen fired the The San Francisco Call first shot in the war between Spain and the United States, and the big Spanish freight. SAN FRANCISCO, SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 1898. Capture of the Spanish Merchant Steamer Buena Ventura by the United States Steamer Nashville. MANILA IS DOOMED SHANGHAI, April 22.- The American squadron at Hongkong has sailed for Manila. It is reported that the priests and the commercial classes fa vor surrender, but the military is determined to resist. steamer Buena Ventura is the first prize of this country. She was captured this morning eight miles south of Sand Key light when the fleet of Rear Admiral Sampson had been gone from here scarcely an hour on its way to Havana. The Spanish vessel was brought to this port. When the Nashville, with her prize, dropped anchor in the outer harbor Commander Maynard of the Nashville con sented to receive me on board his vessel at once. I offered him congratulations on behalf of the Herald-Call and the American ' people, ! which he received with the simple statement that he was | happy indeed to have the honor of bringing in the first prize, even though the catch was easy. " We had proceeded under orders from the flagship," he THE FIRST SHOT OF THE WAR. THE FLEET IS SIGHTED FROM HAVANA HILLS Copyrighted, IS9B. by James Gordon Bennett. HAVANA, Aprn 22. — From the hills of Gm.najay I saw the United States warships this afternoon. They are advancing on Havana from the westward. The news has reached Morro Castle. There all is alert, but fear i" in the hearts of the city's defenders. Havana's weak point lies dead ahead of the American fleet. The courss of the ships is in direct accordance with the plan of war which the Herald-Call first published. It means — and everybody here admits it — the bombardmen. of Havana unless the city surrenders in sight of the superior force. General Blanco, in full uniform, which he has worn about two days in the last two months, is at Santa Clara battery, the strongest of the city's defenses. With him are all the officers of his staff and the chief officers ot all the regular and volunteer regiments. Orderlies are rush ing through the city, shouting the call to arms and carrying orders to the batteries and reports to the Captain General. The situation is ominous. Everybody grants that fact, and every body is rushing out of the city or to its fortifications. The number who have sought the latter places to Sght is enormous. The United States ships could not possibly select a better place for landing men than they can find in the neighborhood to which they are pointing. Blanco realizes the danger, and his rushed large bodies of troops to Santa Clara battery. He has sent others in a hurry by railroad to Vedado and Carmelo. The garrisons are weak there and even with reinforcements could not last long, because the defenses .re not strong. Troopß could be landed there with little more than a skirmish, and it Is thought this will be the first place at which Americans will strike. Then, too, Blanco is fearful lest the first of the invaders come up the little river Almendarez, where they coula make an undisputed land ing a few miles to tLe westwarc of the city. The armament thera is in significant. The chief defense is the old Castle de Alares. Several regi ments have been sent to Playa de Mariano, where there is an important but undefended landing place. From that point a railroad runs to Ha vana. Arolas, military governor, is acting with Blanco, and both went out and made a reconnoissance in the direction of Mariano. The two, after leaving Santa Clara, went to the Reina battery. All the guns at the fortifications are manned. The men have orders to stand by them all night. An attack is expected at daybreak. said, " and were about twenty miles from Key West, when at ten minutes past 7 o'clock the watch reported a strange craft on the port side. We made it out to be a Spanish freighter, though no flag was flying. "No answer was given to our signal, and the stranger was seen to be in full flight. " Admiral Sampson ordered us to make the capture, and Pat rick Mullen, a gunner, was ordered to fire Continued on Second Page, THE BLOCKADE OF CUBA'S COAST NOW IN FORCE WASHINGTON, April 22. — The following proclamation, announcing the blockade of the Cuban ports, was issued to-day ; BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES— A PROCLAMATION. WHEREAS, By a joint resolution passed by the Congress and ap proved April 20, 1898, and communicated to the Government of Spain, it was demanded that said Government at once relinquish its authority j and gove-rnment in the island of Cuba and withdraw its naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and the President of the United States was directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States to such extent as might be necessary to carry said resolution into effect; and Whereas, In carrying into effect such resolution the President of the United States deems it necessary to set on foot and maintain a blockade of the north coast of Cuba, including ail ports of said coast between Cardenas and Bahia Honda, and the port of Cienfuegos on tho south coast of Cuba; Now, therefore, I, William McKinley, President of the United States, in order to enforce the said resolution, do hereby dec/are and proclaim that the United States of America has instituted and will maintain a blockade of the north coast of Cuba, including ports on said coast be tween Cardenas and Bahia Honda, and the port of Cienfuegos on the south coast of Cuba, aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States and the laws of nations applicable to such cases. An efficient force will be posted, so as to prevent the entrance and exit of vessels , from the ports aforesaid. Any neutral vessel approaching said ports and ; attempting to leave the same without notice or know/edge of the estab lishment of such blockade will be duly warned by the commander of the blockading forces, who will indorse on her register the fact and the date of such warning and where such indorsement was made, and if the same vessel shall again attempt to enter any blockaded port she will be captured and sent to the nearest convenient port for such pro : ceedings against her and her cargo as prize as may be deemed advisable. Neutral vessels lying in any of the said ports at the time of the establishment of such blockade will be a/lowed thirty days to issue therefrom. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this 22d day of April, A. D. 1898, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-second. WILLIAM McKINLEY. By the President: JOHN SHERMAN, Secretary of State. PRICE FIVE CENTS.