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Sistersville oil review. [volume] (Sistersville, W. Va.) 1896-1901, October 12, 1898, Image 2

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Mr. Miller's Diary. I
The Weekly has been allowed
to pick passages from Mr. Miller's
own diary of his very eventful
month. It was put together pure
ly for a personal record and most
hurriedly composed. Mr. Miller
himself had no opportunity to see
it after it was sent from camp. The
suggestion is hazared that Yale
men will not regret that it so pure
ly informal and spontaneous in ex
pression. Below are the extracts:
On Thursday, May 26th, Richard
came to New York and asked Bill
Judd, Bill Darragh and me to
breakfast at the Holland House
with him. This was the day after
the second call for troops; and as I
had decided to wait only that long,
which gave me time to complete
my year at Law School, I needed
only this call to make me go.
Richard suggested, at breakfast,
my joining the Rough Riders, so
we telegraphed to Dade Goodrich.
That night I went to New Haven
for "Slap Day," and on my return,
Friday morning, found message
from Dade saying that there was a
place for me at once. I lunched
with Richard, Mina and Grace at
Normandie, and then hustled about
telegraphing, writing, purchasing
tickets, packing, etc. Finished at
about nine o'clock p. m., and men
with Charlie Hemenway, who ac
companied me as far as Jersey City,
went to Orange. Rode horseback
before and after breakfast at Mina's
and left about eleven for New York
to ta*e New York Central for San
Richard and Grace saw me off;
and I met some man on train who
said that Bob Wrenn was to leave
for New Orleans directly that
morning. I telegraphed Dade from
Poughkeepsie, and went on to San
Antonia. Father and Ed. met me
in Cleveland and joined me on my
trip. At St. Louis the Koeniug
boys with their father, were down to
meet us; and we took supper and I
made my will there. Left St. Louis
after an hour, and took the Iron
Mountain Route for San Antonio,
but rumors and papers led us to
think that the Regiment had left
San Antonio; so we telegraphed at
Houston, and received word at
Marshall, Texas, that the Regiment
had passed through Houston en
route for Tampa. I had forty
minutes to wait, so bid farewell to
father, who went to Dai'as, Texas.
I exchanged my ticket for San An- 1
tonio for one to New Orleans, with
85 cents to boot; and after a shave,
shampoo and general refreshing,
took the train for the southern
metropolis. My anxiety was at its
height all night, and it was a chase
for a prize I greatly coveted.
Arrived at New Orleans at about
nine o'clock, crossed the ferry and
hurried by a cab to a place where I
had learned the Rough Riders had
arrived. I almost yelled for joy
when I saw the yellow canvas suits
and the soldierly appearance of
many men getting on and off cars,
for I felt sure I had caught the
Rough Riders; for they can't beat
the locomotive, if they can ride a
horse. I pushed about, feeling
greatly out of place, and appearing
much more so, on account of my
civilian garb, looking for Dade.
Ran across Jerry Edward, whom I
scarcely recognized, and he showed
me how to find Goodrich. Soon
ran across him, hurrying about on
a very important mission, I sup
posed; but he seemed glad to see
me, and looked up officers and in
troduced me to Captain O'Neill and
Lieutenant Frances. He finally
got permission to have me exam
ined, and, if satisfactory to join the
regiment en route, to await formal
enlistment at Tampa. I was ex
amined by Chief Surgeon La Motte
in the stroking department of the
officers' sleeper; and, after a very
easy examination, my physical ccn
dition and requirements were found
satisfactory, and I went with Dade
to the baggage car, the only place
which could be found for me. He
introduced me to Holt and Wills;
and I soon became acquainted with
Burgess, Love and Sergeant Hun
ter. The place assigned me proved
to be the Hospital car, and I was
exceedingly lucky to get there, tor
the other cars were ordinary day
coaches, and the men slept curled
up on two seats, with two men in
each seat. This car of mine was
also the Commissary department
for Troop D, so we managed to get
all we wanted to eat as far as
quantity, at least, went.
We left New Orleans shortly af
ter noon; and I found traveling in
a baggage car in civilian's clothes,
with a dress suit case and a derby
hat, not so very comfortable; but
upon Inr iier acquaintance with the
men, and after throwing off un
necessary clothes, I got along nice
lv. The large door in the car fur
nished a splendid window for view
and ventilation; as we felt quite for
tuna'e as compared with tne men
in day coaches. I soon discovered
an olu ir it iid in Troop A, end of
Car ? Hollister, of Harvard ? and we
soon struck up quite a "joll." Be
fore we left New Orleans, Teddy
Burke, Bob Wrenn and Bill learned
appeared on the scene, and we
were all on the anxious seat until
assigned. Teddy Burke knew me
before, so we met in good shape;
and he introduced me to Wrenn
Larned. Companions by necessity,
we soon became acquainted, and
finally found that Bob Wrenn
was to come into my car, and Teddy
Burke and Larned went into D
Troop car.
Our first stop was Mobile, where
a great crowd greeted us; and most
everybody got off the train and
bought about everything in sight.
We telegraphed a combination mes
sage, Teddy and I, to Orange, and
I sent one to father. Saw Garrison
there for first time, and hardly rec
ognized him with his shaven head.
This was late in the afternoon, and
after leaving, we soon began to fix
for bed. Some of the men, Guy
Murphy and Hollister, were on
guard, so Bob Wren and I sat up
until eleven, with our feet hanging
out of the door. Singing and talk
ing helped along the time, and we
felt "out of sight" to have at last
become even connected with the
regiment. Soon we turned in, and
I found a bunk on the top of a lot
of saddles, close to the top of the
car, which place, comfortable
enough at first, became more and
more rocky and bumpy as the night
advanced and the novelty wore off.
We stopped at Pensacola that
night, but could see nothing of the
city. Our next long stop was at
Tallahassee, where they watered
their horses; we stopped from noon
until about five o'clock. Our troop
cooked dinner under a tree, and
two of men caught a chicken, and
later, a man named Stewart caught
a rooster. They picked them, and
all I saw of the result was some
chicken broth tor the hospital pa
tients in our car. Troop A caught
a small pig and another troop had a
goose. Holt and I purchased some
very good milk, and that, with the
army rations of hard tack, toma
toes and a potato apiece, made a
very good meal. We had our first
good wash in the brook near the
track, aud it did certainly feel
good. The coons were thick and
we made them sing and dance for
us at the station. We later raided
a bottling shop and had some fine
ginger ale with Colonel Wood and
another officer. The mayor of the
town was very anxious to have the
regiment stop off there for camp
and offered many inducements; but
after the horses were watered and
fed, and all was ready we pushed
We decided this day (after the
arrival at Tampa) to enlist as fol
lows: Teddy and I in Troop D
and Bob Wrenn and Bill Larntd in
Troop A. Friends had a good deal
to do with the decision. We looked
on D for the horses, too, as they
had several extra. D has splendid
officers. Teddy and I wanted to
be "bunkers," and we knew that
by enlisting at the same time, we
would be likely to be so. We re
turned to camp to find things more
or less arranged; some tents up
and the picket line out and the
horses attached. We had a supper
not quite so luxurious as our din
ner, but we managed to make a
meal out of it. That night I slept
out in the open between C's horses
and our line of fence, on some bor
rowed blankets. Wright helped
me out. Teddy had a cold and
headache, so returned to town.
The next pages tell of the enlist
ment and the few first days and
nights in camp.
On our return to camp after the
last trip to town, I found that or
dersjhad just been issued to break
up camp, preparatory to marching
any minute. I did nothing but
wait in expectation all the after
noon- Packing occupied all our
next day, and Dade hustled around
to get Teddy and me equipped, but
reported at four o'clock very little
show; but I got everything together
possible and was about equipped.
Therre were to be only seventy
men from our troop, and this cut
out Teddy and me, for we were
not equipped and others had 10
stay with us to keep horses in read
iness to follow. The order had
been issued that the men were to
go dismounted. When we learned
that we were to be left behind, we
were badly disappointed ? Teddy
not so much as I. We talked it
over and decided that if only one
could go, that I should take the
place. At five the men were lined
up to see just what men were
equipped. Il was found that 69
answered, so the Captain said to us
at the side; "If any man can finu
a gun, he may go." I happened to
notice where one had been placed
by a man told to stay with the
horses ( the saddler), so hustled
right over to get it, and presetted
myself to the captain. I previously
had equipped myself with the ex
cepiion of a gun. But as I camt:
up claimed the gun and I gave
it to him; but Captain said I could
go. I did not know the reason,
and told to understand that I
was not taking his place by any
pull; for he was dead anxious to go.
He reported to Captain and Captain
said he could go. He jumped in
the air and yelled for joy at the
news, while I almost broke down
with disappointment, and did c/y.
I thought my goose was cooked,
but kept at it and hoped for some
thing to turn up. Everybody was
excited, and we heard the cheers
from the different troops as they
received orders.
Next morning, as I was standing
about talking, and bemoaning my
fate, the Captain came up and
handed me a Run and cartridge belt.
I asked no questions, but simply
leaped inwardly at my good for
tune. I learned afterwards, that a
man named Vandersleve had been
found asleep on guard the night be
fore, and that they had taken his
gun and given it to me.
Now we had to fix up Teddy,
and we hustled about to get him
equipped, in hope something would
turn up for him. After dinner, as
we were lying about under the
trees, Holt, Simpson, Teddy, et. al.,
Lieut. Carr came along with a pa
per asking for subscriptions from
the men to send a man named
Crosby home, on account of the ex
pected death of his wife. This mis
fortune proved the great fortune of
Teddy, for it gave him a place. So
finally we were all fixed, Wrenn
and Lamed had worked into Troop
A, by pull or otherwise. Roosevelt
gave Bob Wrenn his own gun?]
such was the scarcity in that es-|
sential part ot the equipment.
Troop C was left behind; also H.
L. and M. This was very hard
luck for Garrie and Jerry Edmund
and Lieut. Lares from Harvard, all
of whom were in Troop C.
At about twelve o'clock the or
der came to march. We lined up.
and by the light of the moon, which
had been a beauty dv.rlng our whole
stay, advanced to the railroad. Af
ter many "fake" alarms and wak
ings from sleep around a bonfire,
we were marched to another rail
road. There seemed to have been
some mistake about trains. I never
spent such a night in my life. We
sponged some breakfast from an
other ? Regiment nearby and
Bill Lamed and I foraged the
neighboring private houses,
waking up everybody, in
search of food. At about fiv9
o'clock a coal train pulled up, and
we were ordered aboard. The cars
were of the roughest type ? dump
cars, and we sat on the edges and
stood in the bottom, just being able
to peer over the top, but were so
delighted at leaving that we put up
with anything.
Arrived at Port Tampa about ten
o'clock and marched about a half
mile to our steamer the Yucatan.
There was a terrible delay in put
ting up the gangway, and we had
to stand out in the burning sun. I
went aboard but was scon detailed
to carry stuff. Almost died under
weight ot a bag of coffee. Never
worked so hard in my life. We
were assigned deck quarters, and
our squad, under Sergeant Hill,
fixed themselves about ten times
before settling down. We have a
splendid squad? Sergeant Hill,
Teddy, Rhodes, McClure, New
comb, Beal, Russell, Smutts, Wolf,
McMillan. Knox. Certainly a
peach crowd. The ship was ter
ribly crowded. We returned to
dock the next day and put on more
provisions and supplies, and speut
the night moored in the dock chan
nel, and the next morning passed
out again into the harbor, where
we lay until Monday afternoon.
The ace mmodations on the boat,
while the extra men were there,
were something frightful. I have
olten wondered how steerage pas
sengers live. I found out by ex
periencing a much worse life.
Our food grew worse and worse
every day, and we wouid surely
have starved had it not been for our
friends in the kitchen. I got our
squad to join another and have a
beef hasU, which relieved the mo
notony some. We had to pay enor
mous prices for everything in the
kitchen, and the cooks imposed
upon the men terribly. It is said
the baker made $200 the first day
for tips, and selling bread and ordi
nary stuff. He charged 50 cents
tor pies, and men paid anything be
tween that and $1 for pies. The
New York men simply poured
money into the kitchen, and at first
were allowed to board in the dining
room after the officers, but later
were forbidden this very great lux
ury. One can hardly realize how
we begged for food, and even <tole
a cracker or piece of bread from
passing waiters.
Saturday, the 12th, I had my hair
cut, in fact shingled, and indulged
in a most excellent shave also. We
sighted laud Friday, and trotn all
indications it was Cuban soil. We
later passed a sailing boat that car.
ried mail from Cuban points to
Nassau. Saturday passed with land
in sight most of the day. At night
I saw an incident which but indi
cates our point of desperation in
search of food. A K man of New
York sat upon the side of the cook's
dining room door, and when he
thought he wasnot looking, reached
in stealthily, grabbed a plate that
had some gravy left lrom a meal,
and drank it from the dish. Men
offered any price for lood, or even a
scrap of bread from the kitchen to
satisfy their awful craving for the
food which was denied them. The
officers had no trouble in that way.
I had ielt "bum" all day and
could eat nothing. The coffee was
"rotten," and I took just a sip in
the morning with two bites of hard
tack, for breakfast; a sardine for
dinner, which Bill Larned gave me
and had nothing for supper, hop
ing to work a pull I had arranged
in the kitchen; but the fool cook
went back on me. I had spoken
to Bob Wrenn, Bill Larned, Teddy,
Holt and Hill, so we were all dis
appointed. Holt, Bob and I went
in search of anything we could get
from the kitchen, and Teddy went
with Doc. I never so craved even
a crust of bread. The steward had
ordered no one to sell anything, so
the cooks did it on the sly only,
and charged enormously and made
tremendous money. They soon
became terribly independent and
domineering. We waited from
seven until nearly ten down in a
dark old alley, driven about by the
guard and cooks like cattle. Holt
thought be had a pull on some food,
but it, too, failed. Finally Tedd
and Doc bought a loaf of fresh
bread for a quarter. They called
me and I "did not do a thing" to
that bread. I never had bread taste
so good. We saved some for the
others, so I did not get halt enough.
We used all means of persuasion,
and had a plot to break into the
cook's mess, but could not accom
plish it. Bob Wrenn, unbeknown
to us, had succeeded in buying
from one of the crew, his supper of
dry bread, bacon and a little bolog
na. We were leaving and had the
most dejected spirits, when, sud
denly, Bob produced this plate of
stuff. I almost fell on his neck.
This certainly braced me up, for I
felt much better the next day. * *
Today (Sunday 19th) we were or
dered by the Flagship to drop back
and accompany the City of Wash
ington, the transport that was near
the Maine wnen she was blown up.
The City of Washington is towing
an araunition supply schooner, so
goes more slowly than the rest. We
made a large circle and rounded
up alongside. While doing so, the
Bancroft fired a shot signal for us
to stop, and immediately ran along
side, and inquired why we had
dropped back. There was some
difficulty in understanding at the
distance, as we had no megaphone
aboard. The commander of the
Brancroft, after getting the desired
information, and calling down our
captain for not reporting change of
orders, asked what troops were
aboard, and upon reply from the
captain that thty were the Rough
Riders with Roosevelt and Wood,
there went up a great shout from
the marines aboard the Brancroft,
answered by a cheer for the Navy
Irom our boat. It was tremendous
ly inspiring. Later the Bancroft
steamed alongside, and asked how
Cols. Wood and Roosevelt were,
and our men replied, almost in one
voice, "He's all right."
I was posted down in the hold,
and went on at seven. During my
second guard, Lieut. Goodrich
came down and we had a little talk.
This post I had was to guard dyna
mite, and I had to keep very strict
watch about lights, etc. We had
service in the morning, and I sang
in the choir next to Col. Roosevelt.
Very good sermon on "Respect"
We had a very good Chaplain.
Wednesday, 22. This morning
reveille sounded at halt past three,
and we packed everything ready
for landing. About seven o'clock
came the bombardment of the shore
in front of our column. The New
York and the New Orleans, with
several gunboatsand small yachts,
carried on a fierce fire, and cleared
the woods at the Spanish American
Iron company's pier. Dupree Hall
planted the American flagon top of
the hill first of all, thus giving the
honor to our regiment. The Cuban
forces met our men at the pier.
Our company did not disembark
until about 6 o'clock p. m. and
learned from Cubans that 1,000
Spaniards had been driven back.
"teddy" gives out.
Thursday. Had a lot of cocoa
nuts and rested at this place.
Packed up about three o'clock un
der marching orders. Were among
advance and started off on a terri
ble march. Teddy gave out at end
of a mile and almost fainted. I
took haversack, and after our first
rest we started on again. There
was a great deal of climbing and
the starting and stopping was ter
ribly tiresome. Started on in fours
but soon changed to twos, and fi
nally single file, through deep
thicket. Teddy was pretty weak
and stopped by the wayside twice,
and by orders I had to leave him;
but he pluckily caught up again
after a rest. His case was not ex
ceptional, for the road was simply
lined with regulars and Rough
Rid< rs. Our packs were terribly
heavy and a man without a haver
sack had to carry a shovel or axe
or pick. I carried both quite a
distance. We arrived at the place
the left column had landed, where
was quite a settlement. A railroad
had been ruined by Spaniards, but
was repaired by our forces and
kept in working order.
We arrived about eight o'clock,
after outstripping all regiments, and
became advance guard of our
forces. Hundreds of men dropped
out and kept coming into camp for
some time. It started to rain soon
after Teddy arrived and I fixed him
up with his rubber blanket and
cooked something for him. He was
i badly done up After the shower
he got up, while I was away in
search ot water and port wine, which
had been thrown about by barrel
fuls before we arrived. On my re
turn Bill Larnedwas with him, and
they were drying their clothes be
fore the fire. I cooked some coffee
then and got my bed arranged, but
did not get to sleep until nearly
twelve, after drying clothes thor
oughly, a precaution I always take.
The march had been the feat of the
day ? about eleven miles through
terrible *ands and mud and thickets
and we made it in shorter time
than the regulars. Most of it was
made on double quick and the
catching up after helping on Teddy
was very trying. We slept well
that night but in the morning at
half past four Teddy awoke delir
Friday, 24th. Teddy wanted to
go terribly, but was out of his head
and talked incessantly about Polo
match, which he thought he was
playing, and in which he had been
hurt. I reported him and let Bill
Lamed and Bob know about him.
I saw Surgeon Lamont and offered
fifty of Teddy's money to take care
of him; no surgeon was to stay, so
those left behind bad to take care
of themselves and each other. I
helped Teddy to a house and fixed
up his roll and money matters, and
did ail I could to make him com
fortable and said goodbye. He
asked if I thought we would fight
and I said I thought so and he
broke down ar.d cried. He was
rational before I left.
We started our march about 6
o'clock a. m., and went straight up
over the mountains with a terrible
climb. We advanced in single file
most of the way; and made a march
of three miles by a side path, to
avoid the main road. Suddenly I
heard a few stray shots; then vol
ley after volley. We halted, and,
at order, dropped behind a ridge.
Then came order to advance and
load guns and magazines. Then
we pushed on hearing stray bullets
in the trees. Soon Capt. Houston
started out to the left and climbed
through a fence. We all followed
as regularly as possible, hearing
this firing constantly. We advanc
ed a few paces and then dropped,
prepared to fire, and fired some
shots; but seeing nothing of the
Spaniards, and recognizing our
men, tried to get all to stop firing.
This was the hardest thing to do.
To keep men from firing was al
most impossible in the excitement;
but it was amazing to see how cool
our raw volunteers were.
Simpson and I seemed to turn
up together everywhere. We tried
to keep with our company but lost
it, and in advancing down hill met
other men. Beal and Newcomb
were fighting on my left next to
me, and on orders to return to my
company I saw poor Beal twisting
on the ground. He asked to be
helped. I stopped to tell him to
bind his leg above the wound,
which showed plainly above the
knee. Right here was the greatest
fire, and, coming from the rear, we
thought it might be from another
of our own companies. But it was
the Spaniards, as we learned. Or
ders strictly forbade us to stop to
help in action, so I had to leave
We collected our company under
Lieut. Carr and waited. Advance
was ordered and Simpson and I
hurried down the hill ahead, but
early became separated from the
rest of the troops, and fell in with
F troop awhile, under Capt. Lima,
the Mexican; but soon Capt, Hous
ton turned up alone, and Simpson
and I stuck to him. We found a
man of F shot in the arm. We
helped him back under a tree, and
an emergency bag man was there.
Cols. Wood and Roosevelt shortly
turned up, and we had a sort of ren
dezvous there under the trees. We
advanced a short distance and found
Stewart and Rae. We looked across
the valley and saw soldiers lined up
I ' *
behind entrenchments. Before fir
ing on them, I had asked- Capt.
Houston it they were Cubans or
Spaniards. He called Col. Wood,
and it was decided that they were
Cubans; but I still had my doubts.
Stewart decided for himself and op
ened fire. We soon fell in with our
troop, and made a wide forward
swing to the left, going through a
large patch of Cuban palmetto
plants, and on through a wrecked
plantation house, through thickets,
to a ravine, and further about 200
yards where I decided to drop my
roll, or a portion of it, which I did
not actually need. From this point
we heard the recall from a bugle,
and retreated to a ravine, where our
troop re organized under Capt.
Houston, Lieuts. Carr and Good
rich. While lying in the ravine, a
regular officer came up and in
formed us that Major Brodie had
been shot and that Capt. Houston
was to take charge of left wing. We
lined up and advance was ordered;
and I with MacMillan, Wolf, Hill,
and others advanced through the
mill and down a dense thicket, cut
ting our way through with knives.
Finding nothing, we returned to
our fomer station, where Col.
Roosevelt, Wood and the staff offi
cers were, who had been there be
We had quite a rest here and a
plan of guard was planned. Roose
velt went to the left. We advanced
with Hill's squad to hold the mill,
and E advanced to the right. We
stayed in the mill for two hours
under Sergeant Hill. Lieutenant
Goodrich was there early in the
guard. Lieutenant Carr came in
several times and Captain Houston
inspected the post. We left this
post about five o'clock, and meet
ing our troop, lined up in front of
sugar factory or distillery, used as
hospital by us, while other troops
advanced by us. Soon we came to
our camp, crossing the main road
from Juragua to Quasimas,the scene
of the battle.
The battle itself lasted about two
hours and a half, from about eight
thirty to eleven. The shots seemed
to come from all sides. It was a
complete ambush, but we foolod
Continued un 3rd |?R|re.
Monarch over pain. Burns, cuts,
sprains, stings. Instant relief. Dr.
Thomas' Eclectric oil. At any drug
rTTiiq ? pn
Enameled ware
Bird Cages
Flower Pots
E. S, Harvey
420 Wells Street

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