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CLARA BARTON DESCRIBES THE RED CROSS WORK IN CUBA
In Her Forthcoming Book She Will Tell Ail About the Horrors of the Cuban Campaign as She and Her Assistants Saw It, and Wall Score the War Department. IN her forthcoming book on the history of the Red Cross So ciety, a review of whose preliminary chapters has already ap peared in the New York Sunday Herald, Miss Clara Barton will give to the world a thrilling— almost a grewsome— narrative of official mismanagement. Through the courtesy of the pub lishers the advance sheets of those newer portions of the work that deal with the Cuban campaign are here reviewed. The state ments are Miss Barton's, and will appear over her own name in the volume to be issued next month. It must remain for the War Investigation Commission to lay the blame for the shameful mismanagement she describes on the proper shoulders. Every candid reader will rise from the perusal of the book with the fixed impression that had it nut been for the aid cheerfully extended by the Red Cross and grudgingly accepted by the military authorities, the loss of life and health at Siboney and Santiago would have been well nigh unparalleled in the history of modern warfare. The publishers of the book are the American National Red Cross at Washington, D. C. IN reviewing Miss Barton's forth coming book I must necessarily pass over much that is Interesting about the beginning of the Red 18 campaign in Cuba and the . official stumbling blocks placed in the , society's way, and come down to the .Bltuatij-in just previous to the destruc tion of the Maine. At this time Miss ■Barton was already well established in r.Cuba, and was dispensing relief at ■-Ceno, a suburb <.f Havana. Explosion of the Maine. . It. was before this good work was well In-hand that the explosion of the Maine ■'occurred. Miss Barton describes how; on th/> memorable February 15. the clerical work to be dono was so heavy ..that it kept herself and Mr. Elwell, her .'lnterpreter and secretary, busy at tjieir writing table until late at nicht. ; "The house had grown still, the 'ibises' on the streets were dying away, ..'When • suddenly the table shook from , xinder -our hands, the great glass door on the veranda, facing the i-^a, flew open; everything in the room was In motion or out of place, the deadening roar of such a buret of thunder as, perhaps, one never heard lpefore, and off to the right, out over the bay, the air waa filled .-with a blaze THE CALL Sunday Edition. of light,' and this, in turn, filled witn black specks like huge epeters flying in all directions. "Then it faded away. The bells ran*, the whistles blew and voices In the street were heard for a moment. Then all was quiet again. I supposed it to be the bursting of some mammoth mor tar or explosion of some magazine. A few hours later came the terrible news of the Maine." Some forty of the wounded were brought ashore and placed in the Span ish hospital of San Ambrosio. All the jni'mbers of the Red -ross hurried to th( ir relief. • • • Upon the advice of the Consul Gen eral at Havana the lied Cross retired when the President recalled all Ameri cans home. The day before they ]*-f t Cuba the Archbishop of Havana pub licly blessed the Lee Orphanage in the presence of a large crowd. In the eyes Of nil Catholics, Cuban and Spanish alike, this blessing was a symbol of protection by the church and a warrant of success. Hence Miss Barton was not surprised to lea-rn several months after the war had begun that the Spanish authorities had not only taken the most scrupulous care of the hospital, but had also placed a guard around her former private residence. Return to Key Weet. On April 11, 1898, Miss Barton and her staff! boarded the ship Olivette and after • a great deal of discomfort caused by overcrowding of passengt s and stormy weather, reached Tampa, Fla., two daya later. Leaving the rest of the party at Tampa, Miss Barton proceeded to Washington with Drs. Hubbell and Egan. The Red Cross agents left in Florida found work enoug-h to hand in looking after the 1500 Cuban refugees In Tampa and the 800 or 900 in Key West. These people were almost entirely de pendent for a period of some seven months upon the good offices of the Red Cross agents. In the meantime Miss Barton, in Washington, also had her hands full. Early in April it had been decided by the Cuban Relief Committee in New York to charter a steamer in that port, load her with supplies and send her to different ports in Cuba, where her cargo could be unloaded in such quanti ties as might be required. The steamer Btate of Texas was ac cordingly selected. Notwithstanding the departure of the Red Cross party from Havana and the subsequent declaration of war with Spain the preparations were kept up and the steamer was load ed with a cargo embracing a fine as sortment of necessaries and delicacies, medicine and other hospital stores. She arrived at Key West on April 28, and was met by Miss Barton, who had come down from Washington, and all the Red Cross assistants who had been left in Tampa. Key West at that time was a very busy place, the harbor being filled with naval vessels which came in daily from the Cuban blockade squadron for coal and provisions. There was scarecly a day that some accident did not hap pen to sailor or workman. The Red Cross doctors were at all times in de mand. In order to keep every one in the best preparation for possible con tingencies those on board the State of Texas were instructed and drilled in the various phases of their particular work, and at all times of the day the Red Cross boat, with its well known flag floating, could be seen going from one transport to another on Its errand of mercy. Prisoners Left to Starve. There were other charities which clamored for the attention of the Red Crocs officials. Scarcely a day passed that Borne of the blockading squadron did not bring into Key West from one to three captured prizes— ships, schoon ers, steamers or fishing smacks. With in a couple of weeks after the declara tion of war there were between thirty and forty of these boats lying at an chor in the harbor with their crews aboard under guard. Somehow it was forgotten these poor foreigners must eat to live! Or perhaps somebody thought that somebody else was re sponsible for this very important mat ter. At all events, when the small amount of provisions aboard the boats at the time of capture had been exhausted, calls were made on the United States Marshal for additional food. Having no contingent fund upon which to draw, and knowing the quantities of red tape that must be unraveled before he could SAN FRANCISCO, SUNDAY, JANUARY 15, 1899. secure any relief, the Marshal came to Miss Barton with his troubles. That good lady reassured him by promising to provide for all the prisoners until such time as he could Ret his petition through the circumlocution office.' Sev eral boatloads of provisions were hasti ly gathered and taken in tow by a steam launch, which landed them alongside of each prize. Miss Barton visited every boat in per son, learned the wants of the crews through an Interpreter, and not only supplied all needed foods, but ar ranged to take all letters and forward them to their destination through the intermediary offices of the Red Cross at Portugal. Could Not Reach Reconcentrados. On.' June 20, everything being in read-* mess, and no disapproval having been elicited from the Navy Department, it was decided to sail and find Sampson's fleet near Santiago de Cuba, Here it was generally believed that General Shafter would try to effect a landing. On the 25th the State of Texas arrived off Morro. Castle, at the entrance of Santiago Bay. The Spanish flag was flying over the land fortifications and Sampson's . fleet was stationed in the adjacent waters. Miss . Barton sent a 'representative aboard I the flagship New York asking Rear Admiral Sampson for instructions. Word was returned that General Sh.af ter's army had disembarked at Bai quiri, a point about twelve miles east if Morro Castle. The admiral advised Miss Barton to take her ship to Guan tanamo.Bay, where she would find good ! anchorage and calm water, and where she would be able to . learn more of ivhat was taking v place on land, as there was constant communication from there with the invading army. rho Texas accordingly drew away and : irrived that evening at Playa del Este, lust inside the mouth of Guantanamo F3ay and some forty miles from Santi igo. Here two reporters from New York japers called. on Miss; Barton, inform ng her that' they had - Just come in , Crom Siboney, where there was great leed of supplies and medical aid. They old how, many of the wounded in the Ight between the Rough Riders and the Spaniards, on the previous Friday, had iust been brought in and were suffer ng from lack of everything in the way if comfort and conveniences. The steamer was at once headed westward md started to the scene of suffering, which she reached at 8 o'clock. A party of doctors accomplished a difficult 'landing' in an open boat and found their way to the army hospital. This was a rough wooden building which had evidently been used for a store and warehouse in more peaceful times. The surgeon in charge, Major Havard, stepped forward to greet the visitors, who formally ' offered him. in the name of Clara Barton and the Red Cross, the personal; services of all their doctors and nurses and any of their supplies that might be needed. These were courteously refused. Major Hav ard thought that .he and his assistants would be able to take care of all the 3ick ! and wounded, and, as for supplies, lie knew that there was an abundance of them on the transports, which he hoped would be landed next day. A Sorrowful Scene. But the sights that met the eyes of the visitors as they, looked through the miserable place that bore the name of hospital did not seem ■to warrant the jheerfulness o£ the doctor* Indeed,' Mr» Oottrell, who tells the story, says they bmught tears to the eyes of himself and his companion. "There were a half dozen cots in a building where there were perhaps fifty or sixty patients, the greater number of whom were lying on the floor, some with a blanket under them, but a great number were lying on the bare boards. "Sheets, pillows and bedclothes were unknown, but those poor fellows, who were not dressed in their uniforms, were lying almost naked. There were some wounded men and others who were sick with fever, and in the dim light of a few lanterns we could see them turning from side to side in their discomfort and agony and hear their moans and, in some cases, imprecations against the Government that would so ill provide for such a contingency." A touch of the grotesque is added to these horrors by the complacent be havior of one of the nurses in charge, who quietly sat out on the veranda in his shirt sleeves smoking a cigarette. In answer to inquiries he said, with a certain regret, that he couldn't do very much for the boys for two reasons — first, that he didn't have anything at hand for them, and, second, because one nurse couldn't do very much for forty men, all wanting him at the same time. He added that he thought there ought 'to be more help. "I couldn't," said Mr. Cottrell, "help contrasting this good natured but rather indolent chap, who was per forming his duty in such a careless and perfunctory manner, with the brave, clean, intelligent and energetic young women whom I knew, who, when on duty, never took a minute's rest, but were constantly busy; who anticipated every want of a patient, and who, by their bright faces and cheerful voices, drove away all 'eelings of despondency and homesickness among the sufferers, and in this way helped them on the road to recovery quite as much as the medicine that the doctors might pre scribe." Welcomed fry the Cubans. Rebuffed by their countrymen, the party turned away with saddened hearts and entered the Cuban army hospital near by. Very different was the reception ac corded them. General Garcia received them with his accustomed courtly bearing, showed them the heartiest cor dialty, introduced them to the mem bers of his staff, and in every way made them feel that they were more than welcome. He gladly accepted all proffered aid, saying that his men had suffered so terribly in the last three years that he welcomed the coming of ■Continued on, Page Thirty- two.