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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, May 29, 1898, Image 1

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REAR-ADMIRAL WILLIAM T. SAMPSON, U. S. N., Commander of the North Atlantic Squadron,
on the Bridge of His Flagship.
KEY WEST, Fla., May 28. — An incoming cruiser brings official
information that the Spanish fleet is not at Santiago.. It is now be
lieved that the enemy is at Cienfuegos, with Schley not far away.
Another arrival, however, says that masthead observations at Cien
fuegos show that the Spaniards are not there either. Only gunboats,
according to this report, are in the harbor.
Positive information brought here to-day by a dispatch-boat from
Santiago de Cuba says there was no Spanish squadron in that harbor
on Thursday. Some of the ships— not attached to Schley's squadron,
as reported — which left here a week ago are blockading that port.
There is the best authority for saying that there is now no proba
bility of the Spaniards going to Santiago de Cuba, because when
there they would have no chance to communicate with Havana.
The insurgents hold all of the back country. The Spaniards
would, perhaps, if they could, go to Cienfuegos, because there they
would have direct communication with Havana. That they were not
there on Tuesday is absolutely certain, and they cannot get there
now without a fight.
It is thought that our scout boats might try Porto Rico ports soon
with success. The Spaniards must soon go to some port for coal.
Many naval officers think they are now returning to Cape Verde.
It i* not impossible that they were off the northern coast of Cuba on
The San Francisco Call
last Wednesday, but this is not considered likely. It is now certain
that they are not in any of the southside ports of Cuba. This informa
tion comes direct to a cordespondent of The Call from high authority.
KINGSTON, May 28.— The United States auxiliary cruiser
Harvard arrived here this morning from Martinique for coal and dis
patches. While the American gunboat Eagle was at Port Antonio
yesterday three warships which may have been Spanish were sighted
in the offing from the bridge of the Biitish guardship Indefatigible in
that harbor.
Twelve American Warships StatioQed Off the
Entrance of the hjarbor.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, May 28.— The United States auxiliary
cruiser Harvard, formerly the American line steamer New York, ar
rived here this morning, having left the American fleet at noon yes
Twelve American warships are now outside Santiago de Cuba
harbor, and Admiral Cervera and the Spanish fleet are almost cer
tainly inside. But nothing certain is known as to the communication
which Commodore Schley has had with the shore, or as to the num
ber of Spanish fighting vessels bottled up in the harbor.
It is to be presumed that the Harvard has important dispatches for
the naval authorities at Washington.
KEY WEST, May 28. — Advices received here from Cienfuegos
state that Cervera is imprisoned at Santiago.
NEW YORK, May 28.— A dispatch from Kingston, Jamaica,
Continued on Second Page.
Schley Did Not Arrive Off Santiago de Cuba Un
til Six Days After the Spanish
WASHINGTON, May 28.— The Navy Department to-night gave out that it
had received information that the Spanish fleet was certainly in the harbor of San
tiago, but the cautious postscript was added that the news had reached the De
partment "through an unofficial source."
This is the situation in a nutshell. The Navy Department and the public
generally believe that Cervera and his ships have been bottled up by Commodore
Schley, but at a late hour to-night there is absolutely no official information on
which to base this belief.
The best argument thus far advanced in support of the theory that the
Spanish fleet is at Santiago is the fact that although more than sixty American war
vessels have been scouring the Caribbean Sea during the past week not the
slightest evidence has been secured that it is anywhere else.
One of the "wildest rumors of the war
was current this morning to the effect
that the signal officer engaged as cen
sor over a French cable from Mole St.
Nicholas to New York had notified the
War Department that a message
"from a reliable source" had gone over
the wire stating that twelve Spanish
war vessels, presumably Admiral Cer
vera's fleet, and several colliers, had
just steamed out of the "Windward Pas
sage 3rt -i northwesterly direction.
This startling statement might have
meant that Cervera had outwitted
Sampson and was on his way to at
tack the leading cities of the Atlantic
roast. The War Department promptly
denied the canard, which bore evidence
Of having been put on foot to test the
nervous inhabitants of th« southern
coast cities.
There is no doubt the faith of the
administration, which up to Thursday
was strong that Cervera was at Santi
ago, has been shaken by the persistent
rumors of his escape before Schley
mounted guard before the narrow en
trance to the harbor. It is significant
that Postmaster General Smith's news
paper, the Philadelphia Press, which has
given evidence of receiving Cabinet in
formation on more than one occasion,
to-day gives up the Santiago theory,
'• As Schley was at Cien
fuegos on Tuesday, accord
ing to a dispatch boat report,
and it was over 300 miles
from there to Santiago, it is
absolutely certain that he
did not reach the latter port
before late Wednesday, or six
days after the Spanish fleet
entered Santiago. It would
be a little remarkable if the
Spanish fleet should have re
mained all that time at San
tiago. But there was noth
ing whatever to prevent it
from going out of Santiago
until Schley's arrival."
There is an excellent prospect that a
war balloon will be used by Commo
dore Schley to investigate the harbor
of Santiago, if he is still in doubt as to
its contents by the time the device is
placed on board his flagship.
It is announced to-day that three
famous French aeronauts landed in
New York yesterday with a special ap
paratus used with great success by the
French Government, and that they left
for Key West under instructions from
the Signal Bureau of the War Depart
ment. Their enterprise is understood
to be purely personal and in no way
involves the absolute neutrality of
Admiral Sampson has not reported to
the Navy Department to-day and his
exact whereabouts is unknown. His
movements are now almost independ
ent of the Strategy Board, a change of
policy insisted upon by the President,
who has been much impressed by the
work of self-reliant Admiral Dewey
since his great victory of May 1.
If Schley reports that Cervera has
escaped, Sampson will be instructed to
direct the commodore's movements as
his judgment may dictate.
The Strategy Board hereafter will do
little else than sift the wheat from the
chaff of rumors that reach the depart
ment, cutting out the most reliable re
ports and cabling them to the admiral
commanding for his information.
Admiral Dewey to-day reported to
the Navy Department under date of
Cavite, May 25, via Hongkong, May 27,
that the blockade of Manila was ef
fective and the people of that place are
unable to procure any provisions ex
cept rice. This news has caused the
War Department to redouble its ef-
forts to send re-enforcements to Dewey
at the earliest possible date, as the
President is very anxious that there
shall be an ample force of troops at
hand to command order in case the city
of Manila is surrendered. He is spe
cially solicitous that there shall be no
rioting by the insurgents.
In this connection General Schofleld
has made a suggestion concerning the
question of transports that may have a
wide reaching consequence. Enough
ships cannot be secured to take the en
tire 15,000 soldiers to Manila, and it Is
feared there will have to be a wait of
several weeks for the return of the
transports that take the first two expe
ditions to Manila.
General Schofield has suggested that
all the vessels of a class not fitted for
a voyage to the Philippines, but able
to make Honolulu, should be Impressed
and troops in addition to those sent di
rectly to Manila should be rushed over
to Hawaii. Then the returning trans
ports from the former place could coal
and pick up the waiting forces at Hon
olulu, thus saving three weeks on the
round trip.
But of course that cannot be done
unless tHe stars and stripes are hoisted
at Honolulu, for under no other cir-
cumstances can the islands be used as
a military base. The President is more
anxious to have the resolution of an
nexation pass the House .than the Sen
ate. But Speaker Reed does not agree
with the President in this matter, and
is determined not to permit the resolu
tion to come to a vote.
The adoption of General Schofleld's
plan, therefore, rests upon the ability
of the annexattonists to dispose of
Speaker Reed's opposition, a task that
is by no means a light one.
The President's plans of conquest
over Spanish territory vv?re amplified
by rumor to-day to include the seizure
of the Caroline Islands, which are said
to be suffering from Spanish misrule.
Careful inquiry fails to disclose any
basis for this report. The administra
tion has its hands full without under
taking another comprehensive c:
Feel Satisfied That Cervera's Fleet
Is in the Harbor of
WASHINGTON, May 28.— The Navy
Department received information to
day which for the first time relieved the
officials of the anxiety and doubt that
they have felt for the last few days and
satisfied them on two vital points — first,
that the American fleet under Commo
dore Schley was outside Santiago har
bor, and, second, that Admiral Cer
vera's Spanish fleet is inside that har
This information came from a private
source which the naval officials regard
as thoroughly reliable. It was from the
same source that gave the Navy De
partment the first information almost a
week ago that the Spanish squadron
was inside of Santiago harbor.
This source of information has Droved
itself reliable thus far, and for that
reason the news received to-day was
accepted cis positive. It did not coma
from any naval or State Department
Officials. There is little doubt, how
ever, that it would b*. supplemented by
official advices from Admiral Schley, if,
indeed, such advices have not already
been received, though up to the ciose
of office hours the Navy Department
had not bulletined anything from
Schley. The officials were in a state of
expectancy, having learned from the
press dispatches from Kingston that
the scouting vessel Harvard was thera
with reports.
Relying on the advices received tha
naval officials feel that the entire mili
tary situation is simplified. With the
Spaniards inside and the Americana
outside of Santiago harbor it is said
that the power of mischief by the Span
ish fleet is at an end. One distin
guished officer remarked that as a re
sult of the information received he felt
ten years younger since yesterday. He
said Commodore Schley could now
spare several of the ships from his
squadron to permit them to join in of
fensive demonstrations elsewhere.
AH Schley needs, it is pointed out, is
a small force to watch the entrance of
Santiago harbor. Two battleships and
two cruisers would be ample for this
service as such a force would largely
overmatch the four armored cruisers in
the Spanish " squadron. In this way
Cervera's Meet can be kept pocketed
without keeping a large number of
American ships out of active service at
other needed points.
In calculating upon keeping the
Spaniards penned up in this fashion
the officials have taken into account the
possibility of the dispersion of the
American blockading fleet by one of
the tropical cyclones that are almost
due at this season. The American fleet
in such a case would be obliged to cut
and run for some neutral port or to
make its way by force Into one of the
Cuban ports for shelter. In either case,
there might be an opportunity for the
Spanish fleet to make its escape, pro
viding the commanding officers were
willing to take the desperate chances of
going out in weather heavy enough to
compel the big American Ironclads to
seek shelter, and we failed to block the
harbor by scuttling barges in the chan
On her way to this country the Vlz
caya passed through some very heavy
weather, almost approaching the cy
clonic, and proved that her class :i
able to withstand such storms with
perfect safety.
During the day the Navy Department
posted a bulletin giving reassuring ad
vices from Admiral Dewey. This was
the only specific bit of Information
given out during office hours. It was
a day replete with rumors, some of
them of a very sensational nature, but
the various reports of sanguinary bat
tles failed of verification.
Result of the Investigation Into the
Thirty-Fourth Street Methodist
Church Scandal.
OAKLAND, May 2S._ The investigating
committee of the Thirty-fourth Street M.
E. Church that tried George Nail, super
intendent of the Sunday school, on
charges of immorality preferred by Mrs.
Hattie Long, found the defendant guilty
of three of the four charges.
The committee announced its decision
to-night, and sentenced Nail to expulsion
from the church for a term of six months.
Tunnel Workers Strike for a Raise
of Fifty Cents v
SEATTLE, May 25.-Five hundred men
on work at the Cascade tunnel on the
Great Northern railway walked out at 12
o'clock to-night. They demanded an ad
vance in wages amounting to 50 cents per
day. Lower figures have been paid than
ever before in tunnel work in this State.
The strikers have made no demonstration
as yet.
Indians Hunting Reindeer.
SEATTLE, May 28.— According to Al
aska advices, that portion of i..c Govern
ment reindeer herd at Haines Mission
which survived disease is being hunted
by Indiana.

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