Cuban Battlefields of the Spanish-Cuban-American War

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General Bates's Provisional Division.

SIR: In compliance with paragraph 267, "Troops in Campaign," I have the honor to render the following report of the part taken by the Twentieth Infantry in the actions that resulted in the capitulation of Santiago de Cuba by the Spanish. The effective strength of the regiment at the beginning of the first day's fight, July 1, was 23 officers and 570 enlisted men.

On June 30 the First Battalion, Twentieth Infantry, was on duty repairing roads from about 3.30 a. m. until 4 p. m. At 8.30 p. m. the regiment left Siboney and marched to General Wheeler's headquarters, which was reached at about 2 a. m. After resting and cooking breakfast the line of march was again taken up at 5.30 a. m., July 1, and General Shafter's headquarters reached at 7.30 a. m. The regiment remained here for several hours and then proceeded to Caney, where General Lawton's division was engaged with the enemy, who occupied the town and a stone house at the outskirts of the town. The regiment was placed in two lines, on the right of the line, along a sunken road, about 400 yards in front of the stone house referred to above.

The First Battalion was moved to the right and put into action on the left of the Twenty-fifth Infantry firing line, and one company, A, took part in the latter part of the charge by which the stone house was taken. The regiment was in action and under fire for one and one-half hours. Private Morris C. Fisher, Company A, was killed, and Capt. John B. Rodman, commanding First Battalion; Color Sergt. John Sherratt, Sergt. Walter P. Boltz, Company A; Corpl. Arthur Rowe, Company A; Privates Linton E. Watrous, Company G; John Doherty, Company E; James W. Kern, Company F, and William Prather, Company H. were wounded. Two enlisted men missing.

As soon as the Spanish had been driven from Caney, the regiment marched back about 2 miles, cooked supper, and rested until 9 p. m., when the march to Santiago was taken up. San Juan was reached at about 3.30 a. m., and the regiment bivouacked on the reverse slope of a hill confronting the Spanish lines Firing began at daylight, and many random shots fell into the camp.

At about noon, July 2, the regiment moved out of bivouac and took position on the left of the line, with the Second Infantry on its right. The following officer and enlisted men were wounded while lying in bivouac and while moving into position: Capt. Henry B. Moon, commanding Company B; Corpl. Oliver M. McConnell, Company H, probably fatally; Private George Tallman, Company F: Private William D. Cheek, Company D; Private James M. Irvine, Company D. and Private Edward W. Wonderly, Company G.

The regiment formed new lines along a sunken road on the extreme left, where it intrenched itself, making numerous traverses as protection against an enfilade fire, to which it was subject.

On July 7 the regiment moved to new position on the heights overlooking the Spanish works in front of Santiago, where it intrenched, the nearest point being about 600 yards from the Spanish lines. The Second Infantry was next to the right, and the Third Infantry to the left.

On July 11, at 4 o'clock p. in., fire was opened along the line upon the Spanish works. The fire of the regiment was so strong and accurate as to silence one gun and keep down the fire of the Spanish works in its front. Firing by sharp-shooters was begun again at daybreak on the 12th and continued until the capitulation. During this firing Q. M. Sergt. Thomas Dixon, Company H, was wounded.

The battalions of the Twentieth Infantry during the operations about Santiago de Cuba were ably commanded by Captains Rodman, Huston, and Reynolds, the latter succeeding Captain Rodman, who was wounded on July 1. These officers were at all times alert, and responded intelligently and promptly to all demands.

The companies were commanded in a correspondingly efficient manner by Captains Foster, Rogers, Moon (until wounded on the 2d), Irons, Dent, Reynolds. Morrison, and Greene, and Lieutenants Chapman and Meares. Lieutenants Estes Smith (C. C.) , Worrilow, Smith (M. F.) , Richardson, Stacy, Exton, and Crallé were always found at their posts, giving strict attention to all the details of the action, the march, or work on the intrenchments. Service could not have been more loyally rendered than by these officers, and although many were prostrated by heat, they performed their several duties constantly.

Lieutenant Lewis, regimental adjutant, was active, fearless, and, although suffering from fever, was always on duty and loyally supported his regimental commander during the campaign. Lieutenant Day, regimental quartermaster, Page Preview was present with the regiment on all its marches, in battle, and in the trenches, his strong constitution and his unusual and, as yet, unacknowledged abilities kept the regiment supplied and prevented suffering. He also performed duties on the brigade commander's staff.

The noncomissioned staff and other enlisted men of the regiment sustained the reputation of the Army for fortitude, intelligent performance of duty, and ability to endure under privation. They were cool under fire or in the charge, were under perfect discipline at all times, and showed remarkable ingenuity in the construction of intrenchments, two lines of which were mainly built with bayonets, meat-ration cans, or tin cups. The lines for these intrenchments were selected by the company officers and without the assistance of engineer officers, and are models of construction.

Acting Asst. Surg. Thomas Y. Aby, United States Army, on duty with the regiment, was without assistance, but was always active caring for the wounded on the battlefield or the sick in the trenches, and, although sick from fever and heat, he never failed to administer judicious care and treatment. Dr. Aby is a gentleman of experience, having served four years in the Confederate army, and although well beyond the years of supposed activity, he marched on foot and performed all his many duties, all of this notwithstanding that the medical department was noticeably deficient in personnel and supplies or arrangements for the care of the sick or wounded.

The conduct of all of the officers and men of the Twentieth Infantry during the whole campaign and while in action was that of veterans.

Major, Twentieth Infantry, Commanding Regiment.