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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Timeline 1898: A Fleet in Being 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Timeline 1898: A Fleet in Being  (Read 3167 times)
Drydock
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« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2018, 09:16:34 pm »

16 April

US Senate passes the Teller amendment

 "The United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over Cuba except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination when that is accomplished to leave the government and control of the island to its people."

Spanish Foriegn minister Gullon makes a request of the Vatican.

 . . . to have the Pope suggest to the Great Powers that one of the best ways of preventing war would be for them to make a Naval Demonstration against the United States.
     Pope Leo XIII declines.

USS Oregon anchors for the night off Tamar Island, at the western end of the Straits of Magellan.

-
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Drydock
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« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2018, 07:57:11 pm »

19 April

After over a week of nearly continuous debate, the United States House and Senate pass a Joint Resolution, at 3 AM.

 ". . .for the recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the government of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect."

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Drydock
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« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2018, 07:32:32 pm »

20 April

President William Mckinley signs the Joint Resolution without comment.  The Resolution is then cabled to the US Ambassador to Spain, with instructions to demand an answer by 23 April.

The Spanish Ambassador to the United States demands his passport, and departs via train for Canada.
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Drydock
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« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2018, 05:39:40 pm »

21 April                                                  

USS Oregon departs the eastern end of the Straits of Magellan.

Before US Ambassador Woodford can present the Resolution to the Spanish Prime Minister,  He is given his passports, being told that Spain considers the Congressional Proceeding of the 19th a Declaration of War.

This marks the formal opening of the Spanish American War.
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Trailrider
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« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2018, 09:09:21 pm »

"And beneath the starry flag, civilize 'em with a Krag,
   and return us to our own beloved homes!"
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Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
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Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF
Drydock
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« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2018, 05:09:20 pm »

22 April

Cable

to: Spanish Minister of Marine Bermejo.

Public spirit very high;  great enthusiasm among all classes.  But I must not conceal from your excellency that if people should become convinced that the Squadron is not coming, disappointment will be great, and an unpleasant reaction is possible.  Beg that your excellency will advise me whether I can give them any hope of more or less immediate arrival of Squadron.

                                                                             Ramon Blanco, Governor General of Cuba

At 3 PM a Squadron of ships does arrive off Havana:  The United States North Atlantic Squadron.  2 Battleships, 1 Armored Cruiser, 3 Protected Cruisers, 3 Monitors, 7 Torpedo boats, 5 Gunboats.  Rear Admiral William T. Sampson Commanding.

The gunboat USS Nashville takes as prize the Spanish merchantman "Buenaventura", whose captain was unaware a war was in progress.  The shot Nashville fires across her bow is the first of the war.

                                                                  
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Drydock
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« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2018, 04:26:44 pm »

23 April

Major General Wilsone Black,  Govenor of Hong Kong, reluctantly orders Commodore George Dewey, United States Asiatic Squadron Commanding, that his Squadron must depart Hong Kong within 24 hours, in accord with British Neutrality.  Dewey departs for Mirs Bay, China, leaving behind a Leutenant to await dispatchs from the United States.

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

President Mckinley issues a call for 125,000 volunteers.   (1 million would attempt to enlist. 77% would be rejected.  Physically, this would be the most hand picked army in US history.)
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« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2018, 06:16:26 pm »

25 April

Cable

to: Commodore George Dewey, United States Asiatic Squadron, Commanding

War has commenced between the United States and Spain.   Proceed at once to Phillippine Islands.  Commence operations against the Spanish fleet.  You must capture vessels or destroy.  Use utmost endeavor.

                                                                               William Long, Secretary of the Navy, United States.

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

Admiral Patricio Montojo, Spanish Pacific Sqadron, Commanding, moves his 6 largest ships to Subic Bay, believing it more easily defended.
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« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2018, 09:43:47 pm »

26 April

The senior congressman from Alabama, and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is invited to a private meeting with the President at the White House, 8:30 PM.  He is 61years old, 5 feet 5 inchs, not much over 100 lbs soaking wet.  He appears a frail little old man, with his shock of white hair and long white beard.

"General, I have sent for you to ask if you want to go, and if you feel able to go."  President McKinley extends the shoulder straps of a US Major General.

Joseph Wheeler, West Point class of 1859, a Confederate Luetenant General at age 28, snaps to attention "I feel quite capable, and should welcome the chance to serve my country."  

"Fighting Joe" Wheeler would prove the toughest man in Cuba, the most capable ground commander of the war.  He would put on a blue uniform for the first time since Fort Sumter.  He would keep it this time, and eventually be buried in it, one of his Pallbearers exclaiming "Jesus General, I hate to think of what old Stonewall's going to say when he see's you arriving in that uniform!"

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« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2018, 09:35:08 am »

28 April

Cable

to: Admiral Patricio Montjo, Spanish Pacific Squadron, Commanding

The enemys squadron sailed at 2 pm from Mirs Bay, and according to reliable accountst they sailed for Subic to destroy our squadron and then will go to Manila.

                                                                                          Spanish Consul, Hong Kong

Admiral Montojo finds the defences at Subic unprepared: the 5.9" guns that were to defend the narrow harbor entrance still lying on the beach, few mines planted.  He orders the ships to return to Manila, reasoning that if he is to be sunk, he would prefer it in the shallower waters off the Cavite Naval Station.
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« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2018, 09:45:03 pm »

30 April

USS Oregon arrives Rio de Janeiro, and discovers that the United States is at War with Spain.
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« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2018, 03:48:10 am »

1 May

2 AM: Batteries on El Fraile and Corrigidor report shots fired on darkened ships entering the Boca Grande channel to Manila Bay.

5 AM: Batteries fire on US Squadron opposite Manila.  The ships turn south, spotting the Spanish Squadron anchored off Cavite.

5:40 AM: "You may fire when you are Ready, Gridley."


12:30 PM: The last Spanish vessel is sunk, and a white flag breaks out over Cavite Naval Station.  Spanish casualties are 381 dead and wounded.  The American Squadron has suffered 8 wounded aboard the USS Baltimore.  Commodore Dewey sends a message to the Captain General of Manila, informing him that if the shore batteries fronting Manila fire upon him, he will bombard the city.  The Spanish agree to a cease fire.

The Spanish refuse to share the cable to Hong Kong for messaging, so Dewey orders it dredged up and cut.  The Cutter McCulloch is dispatched to Hong Kong with Dewey's report.  

That evening the Olympia's band comes on deck.  The Commodore wrote of the scene:  "They (Manila citizens) climbed on the ramparts of the very battery that had fired on us in the morning.  The Olympia's band, for their benefit, played "La Paloma" and other Spanish Airs, and while the sea breeze wafted the strains to their ears the poor colonel of artillery who had commanded the battery, feeling himself dishonored by his disgraceful failure, shot himself through the head."
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« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2018, 07:15:16 pm »

3 May

USS New York exchanges fire with a troop of Spanish Cavalry off shore of Cabanas.  Richard Harding Davis reports . . .

     "The ship ran up nearer to the shore, and as she did so a troop of Cavalry galloped into view and formed a cordon under a great tree.  They dismounted and began firing their rifles at the ship, which answered with 7 rounds from a 4" deck gun.
     Meanwhile from below came the strains of the string band playing for the officers mess, and the music of Scheur's "Dream of Spring" mingled with the belching of the 4 inch gun.
     This is not a touch of fiction, but the reporting of cold coincidence, for war as it is conducted at the end of the century is civilized."
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« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2018, 04:14:10 pm »

7 May

"Dewey Dewey Dewey
is the hero of the day
and the Maine has been remembered
in the Good Old Fashioned Way!"

At 3 am local time the McCulloch's report of the battle, cabled from Hong Kong, is recieved in Washington.  Navy Secretary Long releases it that morning, and the nation,  collectively worried over the silence from Manila, celebrates.

Newly commissioned Lt. Col. Roosevelt resigns from office, to join the 1st United States Volenteer Cavalry, now forming in Texas.  He takes with him a USN M1892 .38 caliber revolver, recovered from the wreckage of the Maine by his Brother-in-Law, Lt. Commander William S. Cowles, the commanding officer of the Salvage Tug USS Fern.
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« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2018, 04:16:05 pm »

11 May

Gunboat USS Wilmington, Revenue Cutter USRCS Hudson, and Torpedo Boat USS Winslow steam into the harbor of Cardenas, to engage 3 Spanish Gunboats.  As lead ship, Winslow comes under heavy fire, and is struck several times.  Ensign Worth Bagley, Oiler John Barberes, Fireman George Meek, and Cook E. B. Tunnell are killed.  These are the first American combat casualties of the War.  Ensign Bagley will be the only US Naval Officer killed in the war.
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« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2018, 07:31:17 pm »

15 May

Letter

From: Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Executive Officer, 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry

I wish I could take you in, but I am afraid that the chances of our being over enlisted forbid my bringing in a man from such a distance.

                                                                                  to: Edgar Rice Burroughs (in Pocatello Idaho)

Roosevelt on raising the Regiment: "The reason it takes so long to turn the average civilized man into a good infantryman or cavalryman is because it takes a long while to teach him to shoot, to ride, to march, to take care of himself in the open, to be alert, resourceful, cool, daring, and resolute, to obey quickly, as well as to be willing and to act on his own responsibility.  If he already possesses these qualities, there is little difficulty in making him a soldier.  Parade ground and barrack square manuvers are of no earthly consequence in real war."
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« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2018, 09:15:46 pm »

19 May

Cable

To: The Captain General of Cuba

Have cast anchor to-day in this Harbor (Santiago de Cuba) whence whole squadron sends you greeting, desirous of cooperating in the defense of country.

                                                                                   Cevera
Message

To: White House

Send me quick any confirmation of this--five Spanish vessels arrived Santiago-de-Cuba have informed the Admiral commanding.

(The US has a source in the Havana palace telegraph office)
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« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2018, 07:22:27 pm »

23 May

(An aside: the SAW holds a curious place in history. Undersea Telegraph cables have made intercontinental communications nearly instantaneous, yet with wireless still in the future, ship to ship messaging still requires flags, lights, or dispatch boats.  Thus the first stirrings of electronic warfare move at the speed of steam over the sea surface.)  

Dispatch

To: Commodore Winfield Scott Schley, United States Flying Squadron, Commanding.

Spanish squadron probably at Santiago de Cuba.  Four ships and three torpedo boat destroyers.  If you are satisfied they are not at Cienfuegos, proceed with all dispatch, but cautiously, to Santiago de Cuba, and if the enemy is there blockade him in port.

                                                                            Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, United States North Atlantic
                                                                            Squadron, Commanding.
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« Reply #43 on: Today at 07:43:37 pm »

25 May

Just off the southeast tip of Cuba, the USS St Paul, Capt. Charles D. Sigsbee, commanding, takes as prize the steamer "Restormel".  She carries a cargo of Welsh Cardiff coal, paid for by the Spanish Government.  She is sent with a prize crew to Key West.

Thus Capt Sigsbee has unknowingly captured the Spanish Squadrons fuel supply.
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