The Gatlings at Santiago
By John H. Parker

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“G. O. 18


“1. Under instructions to be communicated to the proper commanders, troops will disembark in the following order:

“First–The 2d Division, 5th Corps (Lawton’s). The Gatling Gun Detachment will accompany this division.

“Second–Gen. Bates’ Brigade. This brigade will form as a reserve to the 2d Division, 5th Corps.

“Third–The dismounted cavalry division (Wheeler’s).

“Fourth–The 1st Division, 5th Corps (Kent’s).

“Fifth–The squadron of the 2d Cavalry (Rafferty’s).

“Sixth–If the enemy in force vigorously resist the landing, the light artillery, or a part of it, will be disembarked by the battalion commander, and brought to the assistance of the troops engaged. If no serious opposition be offered this artillery will be unloaded after the mounted squadron.

“2. All troops will carry on the person the blanket-roll (with shelter-tent and poncho), three days’ field rations (with coffee, ground), canteens filled, and 100 rounds of ammunition per man. Additional ammunition, already issued to the troops, tentage, baggage, and company cooking utensils will be left under charge of the regimental quartermaster, with one non-commissioned officer and two privates from each company.

“3. All persons not immediately on duty with and constituting a part of the organizations mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs will remain aboard ship until the landing be accomplished, and until notified they can land.

“4. The chief quartermaster of the expedition will control all small boats and will distribute them to the best advantage to disembark the troops in the order indicated in paragraph 1.

“5. The ordnance officer–2d Lieut. Brooke, 4th Infantry–will put on shore at once 100 rounds of ammunition per man, and have it ready for distribution on the firing-line.

“6. The commanding general wishes to impress officers and men with the crushing effect a well-directed fire will have upon the Spanish troops. All officers concerned will rigidly enforce fire discipline, and will caution their men to fire only when they can be see the enemy.


“By command of Maj.-Gen. Shafter.

“E. J. McClernand, “A. A. G.”

The small boats belonging to the Navy and the transports, together with a number of steam launches, furnished by the Navy, were brought alongside and loaded with troops as prescribed in the order just quoted. When Gen. Lawton’s Division was fairly loaded in the small boats, the latter were towed in long lines by the steam launches toward the shore. The sea was somewhat rough, but by the exercise of caution and good judgment the beach was reached and the troops disembarked satisfactorily. As a precaution against a possible attack upon the part of any Spaniards who might have been hidden in the adjacent block-houses and woods, the Navy opened a furious cannonade on these places while the troops were moving toward the shore. It was learned afterward that the Spanish garrison had retired in the direction of Siboney soon after daylight.

By night about 6,000 troops were on shore. Gen. Lawton was ordered to push down a strong force to seize and hold Siboney.

On the 23d the disembarkation was continued and about 6,000 more men landed. Early on this date Gen. Lawton’s advance reached Siboney, the Spanish garrison of about 600 men retiring as he came up, and offering no opposition except a few scattering shots at long range. Some of the Cuban troops pursued the retreating Spaniards and skirmished with them. During the afternoon of this date the disembarkation of Kent’s Division was commenced at Siboney, which enabled me to establish a base eight miles nearer Santiago and to continue the unloading of troops and supplies at both points.

The disembarkation was continued throughout the night of the 23d and 24th, and by the evening of the 24th the disembarkation of my command was practically completed.


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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