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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Re: Timeline 1898: A Fourth of July present. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Re: Timeline 1898: A Fourth of July present.  (Read 4871 times)
Drydock
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« on: February 15, 2018, 06:32:54 pm »


15 Febuary

Via Western Union:

To: Secretary of the Navy, United States

Maine blown up in Havana harbor at 2140 and destroyed.  Many wounded and doubtless more killed and drowned.  Wounded and others on board Spanish man-of-war and Ward line steamer.  Send lighthouse tenders from Key West for crew and few pieces of equipment still above water.  No one had other clothes than those upon him.  Public opinion should be suspended till further report.  All officers are believed to be saved.  Jenkins and Merrit not yet accounted for.  Many Spanish officers, including representitives of General Blanco, are now with me and express sympathy.

                                                                                       Charles D. Sigsbee, Captain, Maine commanding, USN.

End.
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2018, 11:19:01 am »

Feb 17

New York World,  Sylvester Scovel.

The cause of the blowing up of the ship will not be known until divers go down and examine the wreck.  If their investigation shows that the indentation of the hull is inward, the conclusion that the magazine was exploded by a bomb or torpedo placed beneath the vessel is inevitable.  If the indentation is outward, it will be indicated that the first explosion was in the magazine.

Western Union.

To: Secretary of the Navy, United States.

Probably the Maine destroyed by mine,  perhaps by accident.  I surmise that her berth was planted previous to her arrival, perhaps long ago.  I can only surmise this.

                                                                                              Charles D. Sigsbee, Captian, Maine commanding.
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 06:54:13 pm »

Feb 19

Memorandum

To: John D. Long, Secretary of the Navy, United States.

     Let me earnestly urge that you advise the president against our conducting any examination in conjunction with the Spaniards as to the Maine's disaster.  I myself doubt whether it will be possible to tell definatly how the disaster occured by an investigation;  still it may be possible, and it may be that we could do it as well in conjunction with the Spaniards as alone.  But I am sure we could never convince the people-at-large of this fact.  There is of course a very large body of public opinion to the effect that we some time ago reached the limit of forebearance in our conduct toward the Spaniards, and this public opinion is already very restless, and might easily be presuaded to turn hostile to the administration.

                                                                                   Theodore Roosevelt,  Asst. Secretary of the Navy,  United States.

Western Union

To: Secretary of the Navy, United States.

One hundred and twenty five coffins, containing one hundred and twenty five dead, now buried; nine ready for burial tomorrow.

                                                              Charles D. Sigsbee, Maine commanding.
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 02:00:46 pm »

Feb 21

Naval Court of Inquiry, U.S. Lighthouse tender Mangrove, Havana harbor.

Judge Advocate:  Lt. Commander Adolph Marix.

Witness:  Captain Charles D. Sigsbee.

Q: State what you heard.
A: I have been informed by Captain Stevens, who is temporarily in command of the steamer City of Washington, of the Ward Line of steamers, that he had never known in all his experience, which covers visits to Havana for five or six years, a man-of-war to be anchored there, and that it was the least used buoy in the Harbor.

. . .

Q: There is a peculiar bunker under the forward turret, abreast of the 10 inch magazine.  Do you know when it was last emptied?
A: I cannot personally recollect that particular bunker.
Q: Did you ever receive any report from the chief engineer of your ship that any coal had been too long in any bunker?
A: Never that I can recollect.
Q: Did the fire alarms in the Bunkers work?
A: They were sensitive.  They worked occasionally when there was no undue heat in the bunkers, on which occasions we invariably examined the bunkers and got a report.  
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018, 08:27:47 pm »

Feb 23

Naval Court of Inquiry, U.S. Lighthouse Tender Mangrove, Havana harbor.

Judge Advocate: Lt. Commander Adolph Marix.

Witness: Ensign Wilfred Van Nest Powelson, supervising divers.

Q: Had there been any important discoveries?
A: There was one sir:  Gunner Charles Morgan, while walking forward on the port side, reported falling into a deep hole in the mud.  He also reported that the hull in the vicinity of the hole seemed bent upward.
Q: What weight do you give the statement by Mr. Morgan as to his falling in the hole on the port side?
A: No weight sir.
Q: You give no weight to that!?
A: No sir.  He may have been mistaken.

It was remarked that the Ensign was a very cautious man . . .

(I interpose here:  My records are incomplete, but testimony was given earlier in the day by the Maine's Chief Engineer, Commander Charles P. Howell.  He stated that the coal in Bunker A-16 was 3 months old.  The bunker had been sealed after loading.  He also stated 2 hours prior to the explosion he had passed thru the wing passages on 3 sides of this bunker, and observed no heat, running his hand over those bulkheads.  He could not speak for the 4th bulkhead, shared with the 6" reserve magazine, but thought it unlikely given previous exprerience with coal fires.)
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2018, 09:56:45 pm »

Feb 25

Cable

     Dewey, Hong Kong

Secret and Confidential

     Order the squadron except Monacacy to Hong Kong.  Keep full of coal.  In the event of declaration war Spain,  your duty will be to see that the Spanish squadron does not leave the Asiatic coast and then offensive operations in Philipine Islands.  Keep Olympia until further orders. 

                                                                                                                                        Roosevelt
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 01:06:59 pm »

Feb 26

Memorandum

to: Segismundo Bermejo,  Minister of Marine to their Catholic Majesty's of Spain.


Do we not owe to our country not only our life, if necessary, but the exposition of our beliefs?  I am very uneasy about this.  I ask myself if it is right for me to keep silent, make myself an accomplice in adventures which will surely cause the total ruin of Spain.  And for what purpose?  to defend an island which was ours, but belongs to us no more, because even if we did not lose it by right in the war, we have lost it in fact, and with it all our wealth and an enormous number of young men, victims of the climate and the bullets, in the defense of what is now no more than a romantic Idea.

                                                                                    Pascual Cevera, Rear Admiral, Squadron of Cape Verde, commanding.


Court of Inquiry, US Lighthouse Tender Mangrove, Havana Harbor

Judge Advocate: Lt Commander Adolph Marix.

Witness: Ensign Wilfred Van Nest Powelson, supervising divers.

Q: What do you deduce from this information?
A: I think the explosion occurred on the port side somewhere about frame 18 . . . I should say . . . between frames 16 and 18 was the center of impact, and that this was under the ship, a little on the port side.
Q: How far from the keel?
A: . . . I should say . . . fifteen feet in a horizontal line.
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2018, 09:02:51 pm »

March 4

Memorandum

To: Rear Admiral Pascual Cevera, Squadron of Cape Verde, commanding.

 . . . the Oregon is on the west coast, and will remain there . . .American fleet manned by Mercenaries . . . any deficiencies in the fleet will be corrected by april . . .  I will close never doubting for one moment that you and all of us will fulfill the sacred duty which our country imposes upon us, and in giving you my opinions in answer to yours there is nothing that I desire more than peace.

                                                                Segismundo Bermejo, Minister of Marine to their Catholic Majesty's of Spain
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2018, 04:48:58 am »

March 6

US President William McKinley asks Congress for a $50,000,000 appropriation, to be used for National Defense.

(todays dollars that is roughly equivalent to 130 billion.  Withdrawn from the treasury, not borrowed.)
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2018, 08:17:19 pm »

March 7

Memorandum

To: Segismundo Bermejo, Minister of Marine to their Catholic Majesty's of Spain

 . . . It would be foolish to deny that what we may reasonably expect is defeat, which may be glorious, but all the same defeat, which would cause us to lose the island in the worst possible manner . . .

Only in case we could count on some powerful ally could we aspire to obtain a satisfactory result.

                                                                         Rear Admiral Pascual Cevera, Squadron of Cape Verde, commanding.
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2018, 07:37:52 pm »

March 9

Letter

to: Major General C. Whitney Tillinghast II, NY National Guard.

I have been in a great quandary . . . I don't want to be in an office during the war, I want to be at the front; but I should rather be in this office than guarding a fort and no enemy within a thousand miles of it . . . Do you think the Governor would give me a chance to start in and raise that regiment in New York were war declared?

                                                                                            Theodore Roosevelt

US Senate votes unanimously for the Presidents $50,000,000 appropriation, following a unanimous vote by the house the previous day.

Cable

To: State Department, United States.

This vote (for the Appropriation) has not excited the Spaniards -- it has simply stunned them.  To appropriate fifty millions out of money in the treasury, without borrowing a cent, demonstrates wealth and power.  Even Spain can see this.

                                                                                          Stewart L. Woodford, US Ambassador to Spain.
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2018, 10:23:33 am »

March 11

Letter

To: Franz-Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary

I have thus far carefully avoided causing His Majesty the Emperor the least concern for my affairs.  At this moment, however, the agony which presses on the heart of this mother is so great as to overcome any fear of seeming importunate.

------------

It is not at all improbable that McKinley, who, I would like to believe, maintains a properly pacific attitude, would also welcome the opprtunity to be able to point out to certian groups that my fate was not a matter of indifference to the rest of the world.
     In any event, I leave it up to the Emperor and his heart

                                                                                Maria Christina, Queen Regent of Spain.
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 03:28:26 pm »

March 16

Memorandum

To: Segismundo Bermejo, Minister of Marine to their Most Catholic Majesty's of Spain

I am afraid there may be some ministers who, while believing that we are not in favorable conditions, may have been dazzled by the names of the vessels appearing in the general statement, and may not realize how crushing a disproportion really exists,  especially if he is not thoroughly aware of our lack of everything that is necessary for a naval war, such as supplies, ammunition, coal, provisions, etc.  We have nothing at all.

 . . . I think it is of the greatest importance that the whole council of ministers, without exception, be fully and clearly informed of our terrible position . . .

 . . . Perhaps there is nothing left for us to do but to settle the dispute though arbitration or mediation, provided the enemy accepts . . .

Perhaps it would be well for me to inform the members of the cabinet myself.  If this is deemed expedient I am ready to start at the first  intimation.

                                                                                       Rear Admiral Pascual Cevera, Squadron of Cape Verde, Commanding.

Conversation

"What the administration will ultimately do I don't know.  McKinley is bent on peace, I fear"

                                                                                        Theodore Roosevelt
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2018, 03:03:23 pm »

March 17

Letter

To: Victoria, Queen of England

We should long ago have brought the war in Cuba to an end, had America remained neutral, but she continuously sent money, munitions, and weapons to the rebels; and now, when the insurrection is nearly over, the Americans intend to provoke us and bring about a war, and this I would avoid at all costs.  But there are limits to everything, and I cannot let my country be humbled by America. . .
     Until now I have not troubled anybody with my affairs, and I only do so now in order to preserve peace.  I have applied to the Emperor of Austria, who promised to approach the other powers in order that the common action be taken for the preservation of peace; but I wished to address myself to you at the same time, to beg you not to deny me your powerful protection.  I know how, with the greatest kindness, you always interest yourself in my poor fatherless son--for his sake I beg you to help me.  It would so distress me if England were not at one with the other Great Powers in this matter!

                                                                                  Maria Christina, Queen Regent of Spain (Her Niece)
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2018, 03:47:07 am »

March 19

USS Oregon departs San Francisco.
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2018, 06:47:10 pm »

March 20

Cable

To: Stewart L. Woodford, US ambassador to Spain

 . . . Relations will be much influenced by attitude of Spanish Government in Maine matter, but general conditions must not be lost sight of.  It is proper that you should know that, unless events otherwise indicate, the President, having exhausted diplomatic agencies to serve peace in Cuba, will lay the whole question before Congress.

                                                                           William R. Day, Assistant Secretary of State, United States.
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2018, 07:26:47 pm »

March 24

US Dept of the Treasury transfers 10 Revenue Cutters to the US Navy.

Lt. John Hood arrives in Washington DC at 2155.  He carries a locked canvas pouch containing the final report of the Maine inquiry board.
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2018, 02:27:14 pm »

March 26

Cable

To: Spanish ambassador to Great Britain

Your excellency should learn if Great Britain actually has made any agreement with the United States in the event of war, or if Britain's silence is due solely to the wish to keep her hands free, and not to be bound in advance by any commitment.
                                                                                     
                                                                                                            Pio Gullon, Foreign Minister of Spain

Conversation

To: Mark Hanna, United States Senator.

"Now, Senator, may we please have war?"

                                                                                                            Theodore Roosevelt

                                                                                                 
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2018, 04:17:28 pm »

April 1

Memorandum

To: Victoria, Queen of England

The Spanish question is very grave, and Lord Salisbury would not like to advise your Majesty to give any undertaking to assist the Queen of Spain, without consulting his colleagues; for any communication from this country to the United States, in the way of remonstrance's, might arouse their susceptible feelings, and produce a condition of some danger, without any corresponding advantage.  At the same time, Lord Salisbury thinks that your Majesty would not refuse to join in any course taken by all the other Great Powers.  But he doubts the expediency of action by them. It is more likely to help the war party in the United States than to weaken them.
     The position of the Queen Regent of Spain is most lamentable and grievous.  It is impossible not to feel the deepest sympathy for her.

                                                                           Lord Robert Cecil Salisbury, Prime Minister of England.  

(who always addressed his queen in the third person)
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2018, 09:42:17 am »

April 4

USS Oregon arrives Callao, Peru.  She has steamed 4112 miles in 16 days, consuming 900 tons of coal.
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2018, 10:45:49 am »

(Approximately 4.6 miles per ton. Not really an "economy ship")
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2018, 07:36:20 pm »

5 April

Letter

To: Henry Cabot Lodge, US Senator, Massachusetts.

I do not know whether you especially value the friendship and sympathy of this country (writing of England)  It is the only European country whose sympathies are not openly against us.  If we wanted it - which, of course, we do not - we could have the practical assistance of the British Navy.
                                                                                 John Hay, US Ambassador to Great Britain

Cable

To: Commodore George Dewey, US Asiatic Squadron, Commanding

War may be declared.  Condition very critical.

                                                                                    John D. Long, Secretary of the Navy, United States.
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« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2018, 07:05:30 pm »

6 April

A European delegation, consisting of the ambassadors of France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Russia, and Great Britain, presents a joint note to President William McKinley, expressing the hope "that further negotiations will lead to an agreement which, while securing the maintenance of peace, will afford all necessary guaranties."

Serving as Spokesman, British Ambassador Pauncefote declares "We hope for humanity's sake that you will not go to war."

McKinley replies "We hope, if we do, you will understand that it is for humanity's sake."



Letter

To: Spanish Minister of Marine Sigesmundo Bermejo.

It is therefore absolutely necessary to decide what we are going to do.  If the case arises, we may act rapidly, and with some chance of efficiency and not be groping about in the dark, or, like Don Quixote, go out to fight windmills and come back with broken heads.

                                                                            Rear Admiral Pascual Cevera, Squadron of Cape Verde, commanding.
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« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2018, 08:14:25 pm »

7 April

Bunkered and provisioned, USS Oregon departs Callao Peru, heading magnetic 180.
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« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2018, 08:16:18 pm »

11 April

President McKinley addresses a Joint Session of Congress (Excerpt)

 . . .the war in Cuba must stop.  In view of these facts and these considerations, I ask the Congress to authorize and empower the President to take measures to secure a full and final termination of hostilities between the goverment of Spain and the people of Cuba, and to secure in the island the establishment of a stable government, and to use the military and naval forces of the United States as may be necessary for these purposes.

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