Cuban Battlefields of the Spanish-Cuban-American War

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The ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY, (Through military channels).

SIR: I have the honor to supplement my report of the operations of the Twelfth United States Infantry, July 1 to 3, 1898, both days inclusive, made before Santiago de Cuba, July 4, 1898, by forwarding herewith the reports of Maj. H. H. Humphreys, Twelfth Infantry, and Capt. H. L. Haskell, Twelfth Infantry, who com- Page Preview manded the First and Second Battalions of the regiment during the operations, together with the reports of seven company commanders engaged. I also inclose a map, made by First Lieut. Willis Uline, Twelfth Infantry, showing the portion of the field of El Caney covered by the regiment. These reports furnish a detailed account of the operations of each unit of the regiment, as observed by the officers in immediate contact with the men. They form an interesting and valuable record and should be preserved as an important part of the official history of the war.

I desire to invite attention to the specific acts of gallantry on the part of officers and men mentioned in these reports, and to add my hearty approval to the commendation of battalion and company commanders.

I have already mentioned by name a number of the officers who showed in my presence special skill and gallantry, and I wish again to express appreciation of the conduct of all officers of the regiment and especially to commend the company commanders for their skill and gallantry on the field of Caney, at San Juan, and during the subsequent operations, and for their steadfast devotion to duty and unswerving attention to their men throughout the campaign. In this connection I would make special mention of Capt. Millard F. Waltz, who is one of the best company commanders I have ever known, as exemplified equally by superior care of his men, and the skill, energy, and gallantry displayed by him at the battle of El Caney.

First Lieut. Mark L. Hersey, quartermaster, Twelfth Infantry, is another officer who displayed exceptional ability in the performance of varied and arduous duties during the campaign, until stricken with yellow fever at Siboney, July 13, 1898, where he had gone on special duties after all active operations were practically completed. No officer in may command was more faithful, energetic, and successful than Lieutenant Hersey.

Of the enlisted men Sergt. Maj. John S. E. Young and Quartermaster Sergt. John W. Blair, Twelfth Infantry, were noteworthy for faithful, zealous, and intelligent performance of duty.

I take this opportunity of again recommending Sergeant Major Young for a commission in the regular service. Quartermaster Sergt. John W. Blair succumbed to the fever and is buried in Cuba.

There were several specific acts of gallantry performed by enlisted men which, in my opinion, should be recognized by certificates of merit or medals of honor, as may be deemed most appropriate in each case. Privates James W. Smith and James McMillen, Company H, Twelfth Infantry, for acts mentioned in Captain Haskell's report, viz:

"I called for volunteers to cut the wires bordering the road to my left with a view of finding a position commanding the stone fort, which at this time was not in sight. This hazardous duty was coolly and bravely performed by Privates James W. Smith and James McMillen, of H Company, who cut five lines of wire in a dozen places and opened the way for our movement, their gallant conduct receiving most hearty commendation from all present."

To Corpl. Edward Meyers, Company E, Twelfth Infantry, for climbing upon the roof of the stone fort and waving the national flag while a hot fire was being poured upon him from the village, and similarly Joseph E. Abel, of Company E, Twelfth Infantry, voluntarily waved the regimental colors from the roof long and vigorously while the fire from the village and church continued to pour about him. I invite attention to First Sergts. John B. Murphy, Company H, Daniel Arundell, Company D, and Hamilton J. Carroll, Company C, as described in the reports of their immediate commanders.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
RICH. COMBA, Brigadier-General, United States Volunteers, and lately Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Twelfth Infantry.

ADJUTANT TWELFTH INFANTRY, U. S. A., Jefferson Barracks, Mo.

SIR: In obedience to indorsement from your office, dated November 26, 1898, upon my letter of November 24, 1898, addressed to you, inquiring if it was desired a report of the operations of the First Battalion, Twelfth Infantry should be made, and, upon receiving an affirmative reply, I submit the following report, based upon notes made by myself, as I have not seen or read the reports, submitted by company commanders of the First Battalion, Twelfth Infantry.

I hope this report will not do anyone an injustice; but should it do so, it is requested my attention be called to it.

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On April 19, 1898, this battalion left Valentine, Nebr., en route for New Orleans, La., passing through Chicago, Ill., Terre Haute, and Evansville, Ind., arriving April 21 at Nashville, Tenn. Here its destination was changed to Chickamagua Park, Ga., via Chattanooga, Tenn., the former place being reached before noon of April 22, and the battalion went into camp at the "Widow Glenn's House." During its stay at this park, from April 22 until May 13, the battalion was exercised in company drills, battalion extended order, suitable to the ground moved over, brigade and regimental drills, and parades.

May 13, 1898, the battalion marched for Ringgold, Ga., distance, 10 miles, and embarked for Tampa, Fla., upon tram which met us there. This place was reached early May 15, 1898, and the battalion was put into camp near siding of railroad in West Tampa.

The camp was upon low ground. In digging sinks water was found at the depth of 4 feet, and it has been stated to me this ground during the rainy season would be covered with water.

The battalion remained in camp—parades, brigade and regimental drills, estimating distance drill—until June 6, when orders were received to embark for Port Tampa, Fla.

All baggage to be taken to Cuba was packed by noon of that day. Tents remained standing until 5.30 p. m., when they were struck. Baggage was loaded on the train, and at 1 a. m. June 7, 1898, we were en route for Port Tampa, which was reached at 2.:30 a. m., and the battalion marched on board the transport Cherokee. Part of its baggage was loaded on this ship and the remainder, with, I believe, some six days' travel rations, were loaded on the other transport, Iroquois, assigned to the brigade of which the Twelfth Infantry formed a part.

This separation from its baggage and rations was, I am led to believe, due to orders from higher authority than that of the regimental commander.

At midday we stop at St. Petersburg, Fla., for water, and then proceed to Mullets Point, off Egmont Key, and at 4 p. m. drop anchor. At 6.30 p. m. of same day the transport Cherokee is directed to return to Port Tampa, and on June 9 we enter the slip there.

On June 11 the transport is moved out into the bay, where the troops are more comfortable and the air much cooler than while in the slip. At 4 p. m. of June 14 we cross the bar at Egmont Key and proceed to sea, passing to the left of Dry Tortugas, thence turn easterly, proceeding at a distance of 15 miles from the north coast of the island of Cuba, through the Bahama Channel, around Cape Maysi, through the Windward Passage, and arrive off the mouth of the channel which leads to the city of Santiago de Cuba June 20, 1898.

That evening the transports move to the westward of Santiago for the night, returning the next morning.

This maneuver was followed for the day of June 21 until 7 p. m., when we are directed to proceed after the Iroquois and be in position off Baiquiri, or Daiquiri, at daylight of June 22. On that morning Company F, Twelfth Infantry, was transferred from the First Battalion, Twelfth Infantry, to the Second Battalion of that regiment, and Company C from the Second to the First battalion of the Twelfth Infantry by order of the regimental commander.

I was directed by the commanding officer Twelfth Infantry (Lieutenant-Colonel Comba) to proceed in the first boat, with the leading company of the first battalion (D) and superintend the landing of it on shore. This was complied with. Upon the arrival of all the companies of this battalion it was moved forward about 1 mile, arms were stacked, and it awaited the arrival of the second battalion.

We were towed by steam launches and boats furnished by the Navy. Our landing was hazardous, being compelled to jump from the boats onto the wharf upon the incoming of the waves.

A very high surf was running. Later in the afternoon the battalion moved forward about 1 1/2 miles, when it encamped for the night and remained there the next day.

At 5.30 a. m. June 24 the march was resumed in column of files, the road permitting only of this formation. Camp is made after a distance of some 8 miles is marched. Before tents are pitched the call to arms is sounded; volleys of musketry are heard ahead of us.

Siboney is passed through and camp is made a short distance beyond the ground fought over this day between the First and Ninth United States Cavalry and the First United States Volunteer Cavalry and Spaniards.

The men's packs are removed and the battalion receives orders to take part in further operations, which, however, are revoked.

The march was exceedingly exhausting to the men, the beat from the sun very
Page Preview oppressive; no breeze reached us because of close thickets which lined both sides of the road, which road ran most of the time between high banks. Many men threw away their blankets because of the heat. The battalion commander fell out of the column because of it. He rejoined his regiment shortly after and marched with it to camp. Distance marched, about 12 miles.

On June 25 the battalion marched to Savilla, Cuba, a distance of 2 miles, and went into camp, from which place Santiago de Cuba can be seen, as well as some rifle pits, thrown up by the Spaniards outside of the city.

On June 26 we again marched toward Santiago about 2 miles, and are placed in position on left side of road upon high ground, which commands for a considerable distance in front. Here the first battalion is placed on outpost duty, Cossack posts being used, two companies on the line, and two in reserve. On the left of the picket line is a road leading to the castle of El Morro. This is watched by a detachment of the first battalion, which is posted about 500 yards in front of line of sentinels.

This ground is subsequently occupied by a detachment from the Eighth United States Infantry on the morning of June 27. We remain in camp until 4.30 p. m. of June 30, when we march to ground to the east of El Caney, distant about 2 miles, and go into camp for the night, having marched some 5 miles over heavy roads.

Each man has on his person 100 rounds of ammunition. Before daylight we are up and march for El Caney and approach to within 1,200 yards of a large stone fort, from which flies the colors of Spain. This fort is pointed out to me by Lieutenant-Colonel Comba, commanding the regiment, as my objective, and orders are received to secure the crest of hills to my left front, hold them, and cover the deployment of the second battalion to the right.

The crest of these hills are seized by Companies A and D, First Battalion, Twelfth Infantry, and fire opened upon the town of El Caney and the big stone fort, distant about 700 yards. Companies B and C, Twelfth Infanty, together with the second battalion, deploy on our right and move down into low ground and nearer the town of El Caney.

This large fort occupies a commanding position, covering all the ground with its fire, and in its front down the slope are rifle pits.

To the north of El Caney and just outside is another blockhouse and rifle pits. To the southwest are other blockhouses with rifle pits. To our right and distant about 1 mile is another blockhouse. These are held in force by the Spaniards.

All houses on the outside of the town are filled with the enemy's infantry, also the steeple of the church, and high trees in the town, who open fire upon us as the regiment deploys.

At about 7.15 a. m. the Seventh and Seventeenth regiments are seen moving on road to our right and roar, passing in front of the blockhouse on our right, and these regiments close in on the town of El Caney from the north, and are received by the Spaniards with a heavy fire, not only from the blockhouse, but the rifle pits, houses, and high places, situated on the north side of El Caney.

The ground slopes down from the position held by Companies A and D, then rises again, on the summit of which stands our objective; our left front is clear of trees, our right front is wooded, hiding a great deal from view that is going on north of El Caney, where are the Seventh and Seventeenth regiments of infantry.

Immediately in our front, and at the foot of the slope of hills held by the two companies of the first battalion, is a road or trail, somewhat sunken, running north and south. Here Company C, Twelfth Infantry, opens fire upon the big stone fort, distant about 300 or 400 yards; then moves farther to the left, and occupies a bald hill still nearer the fort, but is compelled by the enemy's fire to retire. At this place Lieutenant Dove, who fearlessly exposed himself, was wounded.

Again and again during the day Captain Waltz, commanding this company, tried to gain an advantage from this point, but was compelled to retire by the fire of the enemy. During the morning two men of the Twelfth Infantry—I do not know their names or companies—are seen in our front, and near the town of El Caney, cutting down the wire fencing. That they were fired upon, goes without saying. When this work is finished they retire.

At about 7 or 7.15 a. m. fire was opened by our artillery (Captain Capron's Battery E, First Artillery), from its position on our left rear, upon the big stone fort. The shells at first burst short, and then go through the fort, making large holes in its walls. A shell, or fragments of it, cuts down the flagstaff, from Page Preview which floated the Spanish flag. It is not hoisted again that day. The artillery fire was continued during the morning, and ceased about 2 p. m. The fire was deliberate.

Companies A and D, while holding their first position, fired volleys slowly and deliberately upon the big stone fort and rifle pits in front of it until orders came for them to join the regiment (Twelfth) in the valley below and nearer the village of El Caney.

Captain Lee, of the English artillery, was with us most of the morning. At about 2 or 2.30 p. m., July 1, orders were received from the commanding officer of the regiment to join him. Our position was evacuated and the command reported to him in a piece of sunken road, still nearer El Caney, where was also our brigade commander. Here we rested some time, and again pushed forward in the direction of the big stone fort, being screened on our right by a hedge of trees, which gave out at about 150 or 200 yards from the fort.

Here stood Colonel Comba and Captain Haskell, of the Twelfth Infantry. Companies A and D were rapidly formed for an assault and charged the fort at once, running down one side of the hill, crossing a flat, and up the other hill, upon which stood the fort, pulling and cutting down the wire fences which impeded their progress. Some men were killed or wounded; how many I do not know, for there was no time to be lost.

Captains Haskell and Clark were in advance of all, then came Captain Wood, Lieutenants Wilde, Wood, and Smith, A. T., with a few men, and then the command.

As I passed Colonel Comba he said to me, "I want that fort held," to which reply was made, "It will be held against all comers," or words to that effect. The fort was taken and with it the key to the position of El Caney. A furious fire was opened upon us from El Caney and the blockhouses mentioned in this report.

I can not speak in too high terms of the gallantry displayed by Captains Haskell, Wood, and Clark, Lieutenants Wilde, Wood, and Smith, A. T., who sprang to the front and led their men in this dangerous assault.

Captain Haskell, I understand, entered the fort, as did also Lieutenant Wilde, who brought out from it as his prisoner a lieutenant of the Spanish garrison. This act of Lieutant Wilde's I saw. Measures were at once taken to hold the fort, and in part executed, but the men were so wild with excitement it was some time before this was calmed.

The bearer of the national colors mounted the roof of the fort and displayed them under a severe fire. His name, I believe, to be Able.

After the fort had been taken by the Twelfth Infantry other troops joined us, the brigade of General Bates coming up on our left. This brigade, with the Twelfth, opened fire upon the town of El Caney, still in possession of the enemy. Some Cubans also arrived; presumably they were with General Bates's brigade. These Cubans fired up and down, adding to the noise of the fight and doing little, if any, damage to the Spaniards. How they escaped killing or wounding themselves is to me a mystery.

I saw also some of our colored infantry, and believe they belonged to the Twenty-fifth Regiment; but this was after the fort had fallen. Here I again met Captain Lee, of the English Army, and saw also the German military attache. The former asked me if it was customary with us to assault blockhouses and rifle pits before they had been searched by artillery; to which reply was made, "Not always." That the gallantry displayed by the Twelfth Infantry in this assault upon the stone fort was not lost upon Captain Lee goes without saying.

The estimated strength of the enemy at the position of El Caney was about 500 men.

The battalion was withdrawn and food partially prepared, after which the march was resumed at 7.30 p. m. for San Juan, and continued all that night. At about midnight we halted for nearly two hours. Advantage was then taken to issue ammunition of 100 rounds per man, when it was resumed, our route being to and over the San Juan River and up the so-called "Bloody Lane" or road. Here the battalion removed their packs and pushed on for the San Juan Hill, which was reached early that morning, relieving in the trenches the Ninth United States Cavalry. Two companies were placed in the trenches and two held in reserve, each relieving the other at intervals of two hours. The pits are extended to the right, connecting with the Seventeenth Infantry, and to the left with the Second Battalion of the Twelfth Infantry.

Our position was very strong, the ground in front dropping rapidly away and at its foot met by a thick tropical undergrowth, which precluded all movements of the enemy.

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The city of Santiago is in plain view and not over 1,000 yards distant. The flags of the Geneva Convention float from many buildings in the city.

The fire from the enemy is at times severe. Some of the men are killed and wounded. From this position the value of smokeless powder was plainly visible. To this day I am unable to state positively where a particularly irritating fire came from, which searched our pits from left to right and the ground in rear of them. Traverses were erected in the trenches.

At sundown all opportunity offered to prepare food, the first good meal which had been partaken of by the whole battalion in the past thirty-six hours. At 10.15 p. m. of this day fire was opened upon us by the Spaniards. Shell and shrapnel burst in front, over, and in rear of our position. This was replied to by us. Our fire I tried to stop, not only by oral commands, but by trumpet. Succeeded in part, when it would burst out again. It was known our position was unassailable, and all the ammunition fired there by us was wasted. Two bright signal fires of the enemy were visible, one to the north, the other to the west of us. Judging by the noise made by our rifles, our whole army must have been engaged. After awhile the firing ceased. Upon our arrival early that morning at the San Juan Hill, and in rear of the Ninth United States Cavalry, the commanding officer of the First Battalion fell out from sheer exhaustion.

He resumed command when the Ninth United States Cavalry was relieved in the trenches. July 3, we are still under fire and in the position assumed on the morning of July 2. We hear heavy firing out to sea and presume our fleet is in action. We learn later in the day, Admiral Cervera had sailed out of the harbor of Santiago this morning with his vessels and had met with defeat from the hands of our Navy. July 4, we parade with the Seventh and Seventeenth Infantry and a telegram is read to us which states that General Miles with strong reenforcements will be with us within a week. An armistice is declared. At 5 a. m. of July 5 a long line of white figures in single file are seen moving from the city in a northeasterly direction, and still another line marching in a southeasterly direction, which lines, after the light becomes stronger, prove to be women and children. At 9.30 a. m. we are relieved and march to the right and to a position distant about 800 yards from the one held this morning, but to reach it are compelled to march about 2 miles. This position is to the right of the main road which enters Santiago from the east.

The First Battalion occupies the trenches, 60 yards in length, and relieves the Fourth United States Infantry. These trenches are extended to the left, connecting with the Seventeenth Infantry, and to the right with the Seventh Infantry. At 2 p. m., July 7, the second battalion relieves the first, which is held in reserve near the aforementioned road, which entered Santiago. On July 10 the positions of the battalions are reversed. The truce ends at 4 p. m. to-day. We open fire upon the enemy. This is not replied to either on our front or that in front of the Seventh and Seventeenth Infantry.

On the morning of July 11 we are relieved by the First Illinois Volunteer Infantry and march to the right, a distance of 3 or 4 miles, and occupy a position on high ground to the north of Santiago, which overlooks the city and harbor of Santiago at a distance of about 1,100 yards. Received orders after dark from Colonel Comba to hold the First Battalion in readiness to move out and straighten our portion of the line. Two companies to act as a covering party and two to dig the rifle pits, which pits are to connect on our right with the Seventeenth Infantry and with the Seventh Infantry on our left. On account of a heavy rain, which began this afternoon and continued for twenty hours, and the darkness of the night, which prevented all investigation, the attempt is given up. We occupy this ground until our departure for Long Island, which occurred August 14, 1898.

On July 14 General Toral surrenders to us. On July 17 the official surrender takes place at 9.30 a. m.

The flag is raised over the Governor's palace in the city of Santiago at 12 mid-day. The army is paraded upon the rifle pits; at these hours cheers are given and a salute of twenty-one guns is fired.

On landing in Cuba the officers and men of the battalion take with them only what can be carried on the person.

The shelter tents of new pattern (lid not furnish sufficient protection from the rains, which fell almost daily while in Cuba. Officers and men lived upon hard bread, coffee, and fat bacon until some time after the official surrender. Green coffee was issued several times. Rice and beans were not obtainable in sufficient quantities until some time after our transports had entered the harbor of Santiago. Potatoes and onions were issued at rare intervals at the rate of three potatoes and one onion to a man. The canned roast beef was unpalatable and most of it Page Preview thrown away. Tentage was obtained some time after the surrender. This was left standing on the grounds. The new canvas uniforms were issued about a week or ten days before the battalion left for Montauk Point, Long Island. The field and staff officers marched on foot, using their horses as pack animals. The battalion, while in Cuba, lost by death from fever Lieutenants Elliott and Wood. Their bodies are buried in the cemetery at Santiago, Cuba, it being impossible to carry them with us because of the imperfect sealing of their coffins. Both were excellent officers and did their duty thoroughly until the fever sapped their strength.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY H. HUMPHREYS, Major, Twelfth United States Infantry, Late Commanding First Battalion.

Montauk Point, Long Island.

SIR: I now have the honor to submit my report of the part taken by the second battalion of the Twelfth Infantry in the attack on the Spanish lines and stone fort at El Caney, July 1, 1898. It was impracticable for me to complete the paper at an earlier day, owing to my having been ill with malarial fever and unfitted for mental effort for the time being.

On the afternoon of June 30 the battalion marched from Sevilla with the regiment and, accompanying it, came upon the hills some 1,200 yards east of El Caney next morning. It consisted of Company E. commanded by Capt. R. K. Evans; Company F, by Capt. W. O. Clark: Company G, by First Lieut. D. J. Baker, jr.; Company H, by First Lieut. Willis Uline. Companies about 60 men each, 250 officers and men.

About 6 a. m. Captain Evans with his company was detached by the regimental commander and sent forward with orders to deploy and engage the enemy. He secured a position about 600 yards from their lines, and, taking small squads of his sharpshooters to an advanced point which afforded some shelter, he was able to command a line of trenches, and with skill and judgment encouraged his men, while suffering loss, and so directed their aim as to cripple the force in front, and aided materially in suppressing the fire upon other companies of the battalion, which soon after occupied an advanced position.

Lieutenant Baker, with G Company, was sent forward to support the first battalion of the regiment on the right, where he was engaged for a time and had several men killed. His somewhat extended line being cut into by the advance of a battalion of the Seventh Infantry, he was withdrawn and soon joined Companies F and H, which I had been directed to take into action somewhere to the front on the right of Lieutenant Elliot's company."

In carrying out this order we first cause under fire on nearing Captain Evans, and, encouraged by his success and not finding Lieutenant Elliot, who commanded B Company, nor being able to engage the enemy to advantage, we moved forward to the right and came upon a sunken road leading toward the town, when I halted the battalion behind a slight elevation within 400 yards of the village.

We suffered from the fire of the enemy while unable to correctly locate them, and a brief reconnoissance to our left disclosed several lines of barbed wire in the direction I decided on for our farther advance. I called for volunteers to cut the wires bordering the road to my left, with a view of finding a position commanding the stone fort, which at this point was not in sight.

This hazardous duty was coolly and bravely performed by Privates James W. Smith and James L. McMillen, of H Company, who cut five lines of wire in a dozen places, and opened the way for our movement, their gallant conduct receiving most hearty commendation from all present. The battalion then took position on the ridge east of the town, commanding the stone fort and part of the village, and we hotly engaged the enemy from the road and from our new lines, but our loss at this time was comparatively light.

The aim of Captain Clark's company was directed to the trenches and dense shrubbery south of the fort, from which the fire was heavy, while Lieutenant Mine's company swept the loopholes on the east and south faces of the stone work and Lieutenant Baker's Company G engaged the sharpshooters in the town and in the church tower, the fire from which points increased.

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For an hour the intensity of the action rose and fell, then materially decreased, and it was evident the enemy in our immediate front could not successfully reenforce their lines.

I now proposed to attack the fort by a swift assault, but at this juncture, and in the face of sharp fire from the Spaniards, with great bravery Lieut. F. L. Winn, the regimental adjutant, arrived on the field bearing orders for me to withdraw the battalion and join the commanding officer on the hills in rear, from which place our advance had first been directed, but, on my informing him that we occupied a position of decided advantage and nearer the enemy than any other troops, the order was suspended, and General Chaffee, who then came up, directed that no further advance be made until his return.

About 2 p. m. Lieut. Clark Churchman, on duty with H Company, was mortally wounded while directing volley firing of his platoon upon the trenches near the fort.

It was evident at this time the enemy had secured a new position, for their fire increased and was much more effective, yet we could see that our work was accomplishing serious execution. Soon, however, the action decreased, the Spaniards having been defeated in their efforts to dislodge us.

During my brief absence from the line to visit Lieutenant Churchman, General Chaffee allowed Captain Clark to move forward with his Company F to a point nearer the Spanish trenches, where he was shielded from view of the sharp-shooters in the fort and the town. I very soon joined him, and Captain Wood, with his Company A, of the first battalion, having been ordered up from the reserve to aid in the new movement, I began the advance upon the stone fort with these two companies, and, although impeded by fallen trees, sharpened branches, and barbed-wire entanglements, its capture was soon successfully accomplished, and the fort was ours, and was used as a shelter from which to dislodge the enemy in the blockhouses and in the attack on the town.

I received the surrender of the surviving Spaniards in the trenches as we advanced, and of 1 officer and 6 men in the fort, where there were also 9 wounded and 18 dead Spaniards.

In our advance upon the fort First Lieut. Frederick S. Wild, Twelfth Infantry, commanding Company D, received permission from General Chaffee to assist our column after it had started, and they joined us with great speed, although the company here met with its severest loss of the day. Captain Evans and his company also joined the battalion at the fort in the attack upon the town. Corporal Myers, of his company, sprang upon the wall and bravely waved the national flag, and Private Joseph Abel, of E Company, climbed to the roof of the fort and waved the regimental colors in the face of sharp fire until called from his perilous position. A detachment of this company entered the town in advance of other troops, and under Sergeant Feldcamp and Corporal Estabinean intercepted the retreat of General Vara del Rey and three members of his staff, all mounted, and on their further attempts to escape and refusal to surrender, shot them.

At the conclusion of the engagement Companies E and G were detailed to collect the prisoners, bury the dead at the fort, and aid in guarding the town. It was now nearly sunset. On the approach of night the battalion joined the regiment, and we withdrew some distance to cook our first meal for twenty-eight hours.

Our casualties have already been given in report of the regimental commander. About four rifles in each company became disabled by having a part broken or overheating in their continuous fire, and were otherwise damaged during the action. I enjoined special care in the expenditure of the rifle ammunition, which averaged about 80 rounds per man. After our first contact with the Spanish forces I placed the reserves upon the firing line.

I desire to call special attention to the gallantry, courage, and skillful efforts of Capt. Robert K. Evans, commanding Company E, in suppressing the fire of the enemy in the trenches on the southern front of the stone fort, in positions which called for great personal fearlessness;

To the coolness and bravery of Capt. Wallis O. Clark, commanding Company F, which qualities he imparted to his men while directing the fire upon the outposts of the enemy's stronghold, and to his splendid gallantry in leading his company, which was in the advance in the final charge upon the work;

To the excellent judgment evinced by First Lieut. David J. Baker, jr., commanding Company G, in guiding and protecting his men under heavy fire, and most gallantly supporting the attack on the Spanish lines, and for his high conception of military duty in the capture and care of Spanish prisoners, 130 of whom he guarded and turned over, without accident, on the morning of July 2, to the commanding general of the Fifth Corps;

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To First Lieut. Willis Uline, commanding Company H, for the courage and daring displayed by him in placing his company in most advantageous position under heavy fire, to which he was repeatedly exposed, while carefully protecting his men;

To Lieut. Glen. H. Davis, on duty with Company G, whose cool courage and soldierly bearing under heavy fire were conspicuous.

To Lieut F. Wilson Smith, my battalion for his untiring devotion to duty, which called for almost constant movement along our lines, exposing him alone to heavy fire when others were protected, the highest commendation is recommended.

Attention is drawn to the memory of the late Lieut. Clark Churchman; ill for several days before the engagement, entering it against the surgeon's advice, and receiving a mortal wound. His courage and spirited action under fire are deserving of highest admiration.

The memory of the late First Lieut. William Morton Wood, Twelfth Infantry, on duty with D Company, for his courageous action in the final assault on the stone fort at El Caney, will ever be held in high esteem and cherished with affection by the regiment.

To Capt. Palmer U. Wood, commanding Company A, and to First Lieut. Fredrick S. Wild, commanding Company D, and also to Lieut. A. T. Smith, on duty with Company A, for their intrepid courage and valuable aid in supporting Captain Clark in the advance upon the stone fort great praise should be given.

To the brave and faithful men in the ranks, not one of whom failed in courage or duty, the attention of superior authority is respectfully invited.

The spirit which prompted the courageous act of Privates Smith and McMillen in cutting the wires pervaded the whole command, and every perilous duty was performed with the utmost cheerfulness and alacrity.

Prominent for all qualities that make a true soldier, and conspicuously brave, was First Sergt. John B. Murphy, of Company H, Twelfth Infanty, whose conduct and heroism were worthy of an officer of any rank.

Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
H. L. HASKELL, Captain, Twelfth. Infantry, Commanding Second Battalion.


SIR.: I have the honor to report the movements of Company B, Twelfth Infantry, in action at El Caney, Cuba, July 1, 1898.

The company, marching behind Company A, was second in the First Battalion, and Company A, taking position on the line marked A, Company B continued on to the next elevation while being put in position by First Lieut. Arthur Johnson, Seventeenth Infantry, aid-de-camp to the brigade commander. A volley was fired by the enemy in front. I could not see whence the volley was fired at the moment, but believe it was from the stone blockhouse, about 700 yards distant. Dropping into the bushes, the wire fence on our right was cut in several places and the company sheltered itself in the bushes on the ridge. The men in rear (it was advancing in single file and quite rapidly) dropped in the bush to the right rear. For a time the company remained where it was, until, other companies arriving in the general line, it was advanced to the line of the ridge, Lieutenant Weins, the adjutant, conducting the advance. The men in rear were advanced on the general line of the head and opened fire on the enemy intrenched at the stone blockhouse and detachments in the town. In a short time Private Bratton was shot in the head; Private Smith and Private John Taylor in the foot, from a blockhouse on the right flank. The men in the open were withdrawn to the ridge, and a sharpshooter fire was kept up during the remainder of the time of occupation of the ridge on the intrenchments at the stone blockhouse. There was a sharp cross-fire from the two blockhouses referred to above the while.

After the assault on the stone blockhouse, the company was ordered by the regimental commander to advance to that place, which it did by the road, and was then held intact in reserve. The action began about 7 a. m. and ended about 4 p. m. At about 2.30 p. m. I was informed that the adjutant desired to see me at the rear of the ridge. On going there to see him I met General Chaffee, who told me to keep the position I had.

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Private Bratton, I believe, died on July 2. Private John Taylor came under my notice especially for his pluck in bearing his wound and his disinclination to have others risk themselves by exposure in his relief.

The position, by reason of its limited capacity, made it difficult to observe the entire company, but so far as I knew all did well. At one time, early in the action, we were fired into from the rear by some troops getting into position. Private Smith returned to duty July 6.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Wm. G. ELLIOT, First Lieutenant, Twelfth United Slates Infantry, Command Company B.


SIR: In compliance with verbal directions of the regimental commander, I submit the following statement of the part taken by Company C, Twelfth Infantry, in the fight at El Caney, Cuba, July 1, 1898: Number of men engaged, 1 captain, 1 second lieutenant, and 61 enlisted men; total, 63.

C Company deployed as skirmishers on right of A Company, and left of E Company, A Company occupying the hill behind which deployment of regiment was made, and advanced toward the enemy's main work, consisting of strong stonework and trenches. From a reference to the rough sketch accompanying this an idea can be obtained of the movements of the company. From the first deployment of the company until the enemy's works were captured, nine hours, the company was continuously under fire, nearly all this time being exposed both to direct fire from the work B and a cross fire from the town, and, in its second position, to a flank fire from the blockhouse D. Indeed, the fire from this blockhouse D, distant some 1,200 to 1,400 yards, was most effective. Immediately after deploying I found myself in a dense underbrush, through which it was almost impossible to make one's way. In seeking an opening through which to advance, I came upon the left-hand sunken road, barbed-wire fence on both sides. I had no previous knowledge of this road. Had the wire cut in a number of places, assembled the company on the road, and moved in double time along the road to the front, seeking a position from which fire could be delivered on the enemy; found such place at first position on sketch; delivered effective volleys at 400 yards elevation of sights; saw Page Preview number of enemy knocked over in trench; had three men wounded; sent Lieutenant Dove along road to reconnoiter for better position; he selected knoll farthest advanced of any companies of the regiment, and called to me to bring the company up to its second position. I did so, and -upon arrival found that Lieu-tenant Dove had just been wounded. The position was an admirable one for delivering fire, but it, like first position, was exposed to galling fire from the distant blockhouse D. Three men were wounded here, and I decided to retire to my first position, sending Lieutenant Dove and two of the wounded men to the hospital, near where we deployed. Arrived at first position, I sent word to Captain Evans, who was on my right, that my ammunition was running low and I wished to take better care of the wounded. The wounded had been attended to by use of the first-aid bandages, which were invaluable. Captain Evans came up, and withdrew along the sunken road, carrying the remainder of the wounded. One of the carriers was wounded in the leg while moving along this road. Arrived near the junction of the two sunken roads, I found a Hospital Corps outfit and left my men there. I here received orders to report to Colonel Comba, on the other road, which I did, and while talking to him another man of the company was wounded. I received orders to proceed along this second road to the ridge overlooking the town, where all the companies of the regiment were to be assemble. I proceeded to the paint indicated and reported to Brigadier-General Chaffee, the brigade commander, who placed my company in reserve, remarking that " It has had a hard day's work.'' The General placed me in command of that portion of tite ridge in my front occupied at the time by G Company, Lieutenant Baker, and directed me to keep up a sharpshooter fire on the town and the blockhouse to the front and right, both with G Company and my, own company. While in this position one man of my company was killed. Shortly afterwards companies of the Twelfth Infantry assaulted the work and captured it, thus terminating the affair of the day.

A hospital was established on the sunken road at the point where we left it to occupy the ridge, and to this hospital all my wounded were transferred immediately after the fight; the man killed was also carried to this point and his remains turned over to the officer in charge for interment.

After the fight the regiment was assembled on high ground not far from the point where it had deployed in the morning, and was engaged in getting supper when orders were issued to pack up and prepare to march at once. The company did so, and subsequently marched all night and was under fire the next day until evening before getting coffee. This does not belong to the operations of the 1st, but as corollary thereto illustrates what American soldiers can and do bear uncomplainingly. The company was put in march at 4 p. m., June 30, marched 3 miles, bivouacked without fires, rose before dawn, and marched 1 1/4 miles, fought nine hours steadily, marched all night of July 1, and went into action on July 2; during all of which time it did not have any coffee at all, and but little time to eat the hard bread and raw bacon in the haversacks. I may be pardoned for dwelling on this, but as the action of July 1 was the first time under fire for most of us I think I may be forgiven for speaking of the manner in which the men comported themselves. While I speak in all praise of the members of the company generally I take pleasure in mentioning specially Lieutenant Dove for gallantly exposing himself reconnoitering, climbing a tree, exposed to fire, for this purpose; First Sergeant Carroll for gallantry in exposing himself to hot fire to secure a more advantageous position from which to fire on individuals of the enemy; Sergeant Van Horn for similar service; and Sergeant Eckert for voluntarily remaining on watch, exposed to fire, when company was withdrawn temporarily from firing position to enable the rifles to cool. The following is the roll of honor in killed and wounded on July 1, 1898: Killed, Private Lehr ; wounded, Second Lieutenant Dove, Corporal Perry, Privates James, Johnson, Trimmer, Hatch, Little, Grothe, and Wilner.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, AlILLARD F. WALTZ, Captain, Twelfth Infantry, Commanding Company C.

Company deployed on slope of hill A ; advanced rapidly along sunken road passing between A and B to first position, then advanced to second position ; withdrew to first position ; relieved by E Company (Captain Evans) and withdrew Page Preview to point where wounded were left ; reported to Colonel Comba on second sunken road ; passed along said road to third position, where reported to General Chaffee, commanding brigade. Company was ordered in reserve on the ridge at third position, captain being placed in command of that portion of ridge occupied by G Company (Lieutenant Baker) with orders to keep up sharpshooter fire on town. Remained there until termination of engagement by assault on work B.

MILLARD F. WALTZ, Captain, Twelfth Infantry, Commanding Company C.


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by Company D, Twelfth United States Infantry, in the action against El Caney, Cuba, on July 1, 1898. From the time the action began until about 2.30 p. m. the company was posted on a hill fronting the left face of the blockhouse and the trench directly in front of it, and about 800 yards distant, during which time the company was exposed to the enemy's fire almost continuously. About 2.30 p. m. the company was ordered to proceed to the left and follow a sunken road leading to within a short distance from the blockhouse. From the road the company turned into a field to the left, and shortly after advanced to the foot of the hill upon which the blockhouse was situated, and then, in company with Companies A and F, Twelfth Infantry, assaulted the blockhouse and took it. After the capture of the blockhouse Company D took post on the right of the building and fired upon the Spanish troops in the town below until the action was over. The loss to the company during the engagement was five men wounded, two of which very seriously. I wish to specially commend the action of First Sergt. Daniel Arundell in fearlessly exposing himself and taking post where he could more clearly fire upon the enemy, during which he was badly wounded.

Very respectfully, FREDERICK S. WILD, First Lieutenant, Twelfth Infantry, Commanding Company D.


SIR: Pursuant to instructions from regimental commander, I have the honor to submit the following report on the part taken by Company E, Twelfth Infantry, in the attack on El Caney, July 1.

The company first deployed on a high ground about 1,000 yards in front of the east face of Stone Fort at about 6.30 a. in. The company then advanced down the slope into a valley covered with brush and up a slight slope into a road running Page Preview from northeast to southwest, crossed this road and took a position screened from sight, but not covered, at 600 yards from east face of Stone Fort and Frigle pit in front of it. This rifle pit was immediately in front of fort and would hold 25 men.At this point Sergeant Barnett and several of the best shots in company kept up a constant fire on individuals running back and forth carrying ammunition, and several were seen to fall.

About 10 o'clock the regimental commander ordered the company to advance. The firing line, consisting of first platoon, under Sergeant Barnett, advanced about 100 yards; the support, second platoon, under Sergeant Feldcamp, remained in second position. The company left their blanket rolls at this point. The firing line lay down at 500 yards and opened fire. The left of the line was partly concealed by small underbrush, but the right was plainly exposed to fire. Almost immediately after taking this position Corporal Allen was wounded in the right elbow and a moment later in the left heel, Private Moore was shot throught the fleshy part of right leg, and Private Redmond had his left arm broken below the shoulder. All these men were on right of company in the exposed part of line under alarge tree; at the same time Corporal Behls, of the support, was wounded in the leg. I had the wounded men carried back to the sunken road an placed in a position out of fire.

About noon, having been informed that Captain Waltz had a good position to my left, and had nearly exhausted his ammunition, I withdrew the company to the raod, marched down it about 500 yards and occupied Captain Waltz's position. There was a good cover for two squads and a fair fire on the long rifle trench. We were at an angle of 50 degrees and a range of 450 yards, and here I fired two squads at a time, firing one round at will, each squad firing 10 shots and was then retired.

About 2 o'clcok received orders from regimental commander to join him. I reported to him on hill northwest of Stone Fort immediately before the final assult was made on the Stone Fort, Company E following F and H.

During firing from village Private Cockrell was wounded in the face by fragments of stone driven by a bullet and Private Gideon was wounded in the arm by a glancing bullet. The Colonel ordered the colors waved from the top of the fort. Corporal Meyers climbed up on the roof and waved the flag. While doing so a hot fire was poured upon him from the village. Later Private Abele stood upon the roof and waved the national colors. A heavy fire was opened on him from the church and churchyard. As Private Abele's action in climbing on the roof was voluntary and at great risk to life, he is deserving of special mention.

E Comapny was then ordered to take charge of the fort and prisoners. A number of soldiers and other persons, apparently citizens, came and surrendered. Hundreds of women and children left the village and wished to surrender themselves. I ordered them back, assuring them they would be protected at home.

The spanish wounded were cared for by our people, som of the members of E Company showing great kindnessand sympathy. I caused the Spanish prisoners to bury the own dead in the long rifle pit. There are eleven soldiers and one officer, the officer in the northeast end of trench.

About 7 o'clock Company G, under Lieutenant Baker, relieved us at the fort. The company then marched back for its blanket rolls, many of which were lost, having been taken for wounded. The arms and equipments of the wounded and of the men left in charge of them were lost. The company rejoined the regiment and marched at 9 o'clock to the left of the line.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, R. K. Evans, Captain, Twelfth Infantry, Commanding Company E.


July 8, 1898.


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of Company F in the combat at Caney, near this place, July 1 last:

Company arrived in vicinity of stone blockhouse as part of Second Battalion (Haskell's). After some maneuvering it reached a position behind a hedge about 450 yards east of blockhouse about 11 a. m. It remained there firing on block-house during the fight. Between 3 and 4 p. m. the company, one by one, sneaked into the dead space in a ravine immediately in front of its position behind the hedge. About 4 p. m., at the suggestion of General Chaffee, brigade commander, the company advanced up the southeast slope to the blockhouse supported by Company A, Twelfth Infantry. No resistance was met during the advance. Three armed Spaniards were found in the trench in front of blockhouse. They Page Preview surrendered. Nine men and one officer (Second Lieutenant Canalda) were captured inside the blockhouse. Soon after other troops followed and a vigorous fire was received from the town, which was duly returned. The firing finally ceased about 4.30, I judge, and the battle was ended.

Casualties in Company F : Behind the hedge—First Sergeant Miller and Private Scott, killed Corporal Schendelmeyer, wounded. At the blockhouse—Sergeant Wilson and Private Gering, killed. In the ravine (fire from town)—Private Moore, wounded.

Respectfully submitted. WALLIS O. CLARK, Captain, Twelfth Infantry, Commanding Company F.


SIR: I have the honor to submit report of hart taken by G in operations June 30 to July 2, inclusive:

June 30.-Marched and bivouacked with the regiment. July 1.—

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When the regiment engaged, G deployed and moved into the valley to come in on the right of B. A mucky pond, crossed by a wire fence, was gotten through with difficulty. The company was fired on, probably from trees, as soon as it emerged. The second section went into the "sunken road" and supported B; first and third sections crossed the other road and tried to keep down the fire of the blockhouse; the fourth section, on a rise to the right, also engaged it. The country was very close and none of these three bodies were in sight of each other. Duriug this time Private Hopkins, in the fourth section, was wounded; in the first and third sections Sergeant Dahl and Private Kelly were killed, and Private Wharton and a private of the Seventh Infantry, who fought with us, were wounded. After the advance of the Seventh Infantry masked our fire, all that could be reached were drawn to the left and joined the second secontion, but a number had minxed and fought with the Seventh Infantry. Remained in "sunken road" some time; when H and F moved to left and engaged the stone fort; some of G were moved to a rise in the road to keep down the enemy's fire in front; the remainder lay down in support of F. WHile her eothers worked in from the right and rejoined the company; afterwards were moved to right front and, with a portion of F, engaged in a fire firght with the town of Caney, lining and embakment topped by a hedge. Here Privates Hope, Livain, and Whitman were wounded. When the portion of F joined its company, preparatory to assaulting the stone fort, C supported G. Its commander took general charge and placed most of his company in the firing line. Most of the missing rejoined during this firing and took part in it. After the fight G got their packs and relieved E, outposted at the stone fort. Captured arms were broken, ammunition burried, 10 wounded prisoners carried to the Seventeenth Infantry hospital, and food obtained for the others from town. At 10 p.m., with 140 prisoners, followed the regiment.

July 2. -- Bivouacked with a copmany of Seventh Infantry between 12 and 1 a. m. At 3.30 a. m. was ordered forward to join the regiment; taking the directions of guides and others, arrived at corps headquarters about 9 a. m., prisoners were turned over, and coffee made. At 9.45 a. m., hearing that the regiment was engaged, the company left 5 sick and marched to join it, hich it did at 11.45 a. m. This march of worn-out men, under a hot sun, along a road encumbered wtih ghastly burdens, much of the way under fire, was a strain on all, which they bore well. After resting, G was placed in support of H. At 5 p. m. H moved to the right and G replaced it in the treanches. In the fire fight that evening Corporal Ryan and Private Bell were slightly wounded. The rest of the night was spend in intrenching.

D. J. Baker, Jr., First Lieutenant, Twelfth Infantry, Commanding Company G.


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of Company H, Twelfth Infantry, on July 1 near Caney, a subpost north of east of Santiago :

After doing picket duty on the night of June 30-July 1 the company, at 4 a. m., moved forward and occupied the crest about 1,500 yards southeast of the town, and remained there until the regiment moved up. Taking our place in the regiment, we moved forward, under cover, to a point about 1,000 yards east of the stone fort, where we laid aside equipments and prepared for action. Shortly after 8 o'clock, in obedience to instructions from the regimental commander, we moved north in single file to a sunken road, which runs almost due east from Caney. In passing through an open space just north of the hill where the deployment was made Private Palmer was wounded. We reached the road without further casualties, and moved in single file to a point within 250 yards of Caney, where we halted, for we found ourselves between our own troops and the enemy, and the bullets were very thick over our heads. Here we remained for an hour or more. After a time the firing lulled somewhat, and Privates McMillan and Smith went forward toward the blockhouse, crawling on hands and knees, and cut four wire fences. In the meantime the firing increased again and the bullets flew thickly over them. When they came back McMillan reported to me that we could get a position nearer the stone fort or blockhouse. He and I went forward, moving under cover to the left, and I selected the position behind some rocks, marked A. At 10.30 I moved the company forward and occupied this position, not over 400 yards front the stone fort, until 3 p. m., under constant fire from the fort, the stream below it, and the high buildings in town. Lieutenant Churchman was mortally Page Preview wounded about 12 o'clock, while directing the fire of his platoon. We kept up a strong fire from this point until the fire ceased from the blockhouse and an assault was made possible. Captain Clark, with Company F,. was on our right at B, he having occupied this point at the same time we went into A.

Very respectfully, WILLIS ULINE, First Lieutenant, Twelfth. Infantry, Commanding Company H.