The Gatlings at Santiago
By John H. Parker

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Disembarkation in Cuba

Ever since the receipt of my orders I had made a study of the terrain surrounding Santiago, gathering information mainly from the former residents of the city, several of whom were on the transports with me. At this interview all the possible points of attack were for the last time carefully weighed, and then, for the information and guidance of Admiral Sampson and Gen. Garcia, I outlined the plan of campaign, which was as follows:

With the assistance of the small boats of the Navy, the disembarkation was to commence on the morning of the 22d at Baiquiri; on the 21st 500 insurgent troops were to be transferred from Aserraderos to Cujababo, increasing the force already there to 1,000 men. This force, under Gen. Castillo, was to attack the Spanish force at Baiquiri in the rear at the time of disembarkation. This movement was successfully made. To mislead the enemy as to the real point of our intended landing, I requested Gen. Garcia to send a small force (about 500 men), under Gen. Rabi, to attack the little town of Cabanas, situated on the coast a few miles to the west of the entrance to Santiago harbor, and where it was reported the enemy had several men intrenched, and from which a trail leads around the west side of the bay to Santiago.

I also requested Admiral Sampson to send several of his warships, with a number of my transports, opposite this town, for the purpose of making a show of disembarking there.

In addition, I asked the admiral to cause a bombardment to be made at Cabanas and also at the forts around the Morro and at the towns of Aguadores, Siboney, and Baiquiri. The troops under Gen. Garcia remaining at Aserraderos were to be transferred to Baiquiri or Siboney on the 24th. This was successfully accomplished at Siboney.

These movements committed me to approaching Santiago from the east over a narrow road, at first in some places not better than a trail, running from Baiquiri through Siboney and Sevilla, and making attack from that quarter. This, in my judgment, was the only feasible plan, and subsequent information and results confirmed my judgment.

On the morning of the 22d the Army commenced to disembark at Baiquiri. The following general order indicates the manner in which the troops left the transports and the amount of supplies carried immediately with them:

“Headquarters 5th Army Corps, “On board S. S. Seguransa, “At Sea, June 20, 1898.


Preface  •  Chapter I: L’Envoi  •  Chapter II: Inception  •  Chapter III: Inception  •  Chapter IV: The Voyage and Disembarkation  •  Chapter V: The March  •  Chapter VI: The Battery in Camp Wheeler  •  Chapter VII: The Battle  •  Chapter VIII: Tactical Analysis of the Battles At Santiago  •  Chapter IX: The Volunteers  •  Chapter X: The Sufferings of the Fifth Army Corps  •  Chapter XI: The Cause  •  Chapter XII: The Voyage Home and the End of the Gatling Gun Detachment  •  Appendix I  •  Appendix II  •  “G. O. 5  •  Disembarkation in Cuba  •  “G. O. 18  •  Preparing For the Advance  •  The Battle of El Caney  •  The Battle of Santiago  •  Summoning the Enemy to Surrender  •  Operations After Santiago–our Losses  •  Negotiations With General Toral  •  Difficulties Encountered in the Campaign  •  Appendix III

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By John H. Parker
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