Eyewitness Account Of Us Attack In Cuba
Title: Autograph Letter, signed, giving an eyewitness account of the U.S. Naval attack on Cuba
Author: Schroeder, Seaton
Description: Autograph Letter, signed. 5 pp.Addressed to “Dear old Lady” (his wife Maria, great-great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin): “…departure of the troops was stopped…".every moment is being improved by the Spaniards here in mounting more guns, erecting land defenses, and improving the strength of the place "…" Why is it that in times like this we must manage to have a lot of old maids in charge of important affairs"….We have got the fleet caged here and it sounds as if we had nothing to do but wait, but we have. The three battleships take two hour watches in turn every night, lying about a mile from the harbor entrance, with a search light steadily kept on it, so as to see immediately if any attempt is made to leave the harbor. So far the batteries have not opened upon us, but if they had any gumption they could.. get the exact range and suddenly pour in a tremendous fire. And then we can see a large torpedo boat on picket duty in the entrance which in any thick weather could dash out and discharge at close range. It is not fun. And it makes us furious to think of all they are probably doing to strengthen the defenses. [Admiral Winfield Scott] Schley’s dreadful fizzle can never be repaired. How fortunate Dewey was in the East and not Schley!...how completely irresponsible he is…" a mean commanding officer"…" the Marines have been doing great things at Guantanamo, 35 miles from here"…" had to drive a Spanish force out"…" the Enemy returned 3000 strong and attacked them (800) and were handsomely repelled"…. last evening, the Vesuvius crept in pretty close to shore an fired 3 projectiles over the ridge in the hope of possibly hitting one of the ships inside…" the Spaniards could not imagine what was going on"…so they opened on us, it being our search light watch and we being the only thing visible…" 3 or 4 shells they fired whistled over our heads harmlessly"…” Ten years before he was promoted to Admiral, Seaton Schroeder (1849-1922) was second in command of a newly-commissioned battleship which,.early in the Spanish-American War, joined in the blockade, bombardment and land assault on the harbor of Santiago de Cuba, where the Spanish fleet was docked, avoiding combat with a superior American force in the open sea. Schroeder wrote this long letter during the nerve-wracking month of waiting before the Spanish fleet finally sailed out to face complete destruction - a battle the Massachusetts missed because she had been sent off to coal in Guantanamo Bay. Still, Schoreder was decorated for heroism in battle during that War, later becoming Naval Governor of Guam, Director of Naval Intelligence, Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, and, during World War, the Navy’s Chief Hydrographer.
Heading: (Spanish-American War)Place Published: Battleship Massachusetts "Off Santiago de Cuba"
Date Published: June 12-13,