Archive for the 'Spanish-American War' Category

Mar 17

Remember the MAINE

Thursday, March 17, 2016 3:38 PM


LWF Feb 08

Apprentice First Class Ambrose Ham was signal boy of the watch when the USS MAINE arrived at the Spanish-owned island of Cuba on 25 January 1898. Tensions were high in the battleship as she slowly steamed into Havana Harbor, and though Ham remembered that “every-thing looked peaceful,” he heard another sailor tell two friends, “We’ll never get out of here alive.” Cuban revolutionaries had long been trying to overthrow their Spanish masters, and the MAINE had been sent to protect American citizens then in Havana. Because of the high state of tension, the crew was not allowed to go ashore,… Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 10

The Log of the Cristóbal Colón

Thursday, March 10, 2016 12:01 AM


Christobal Colon.

A year before the U. S. Naval Institute would publish its very first book, Lieutenant-Commander (and enthusiastic Naval Institute member) Richard Wainwright’s Log of the U. S. Gunboat Gloucester, the Naval Institute published in its Proceedings an abstract of another log related to the Battle of Santiago de Cuba: that captured from the Spanish protected cruiser Cristóbal Colón. With the destruction of the USS Maine in February 1898, the tensions between Spain and the United States erupted into war. The Americans knew much about that fast and modern cruiser and the Spanish fleet as a whole; sheets distributed to the… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 25

Wood That it Were

Thursday, February 25, 2016 10:42 AM


A Japanese ukiyo-ye woodblock print of the battle.

The ramifications of a battle can extend far beyond its immediate impact on the conflict at hand. Sometimes, the greatest impacts are on the technology and tactics of war-fighting. Such was the case of the Battle of the Yalu River, the largest naval engagement of the first Sino-Japanese War on 17 September 1894. In the battles for control of the Korean peninsula, the larger Chinese Beiyang Fleet was met by the Japanese Navy. The Chinese fleet was one of the most powerful in Asia, consisting of modern, European-built, steel, pre-Dreadnought ships. The Imperial Japanese Navy was also armed with several… Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 23

“The Fastest Ship in the Navy”: The Strange Saga of the USS Reina Mercedes

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 6:00 AM


Reina Spanish

On April 29, 1898, Almirante (Admiral) Pascual Cervera y Topete of the Spanish Navy steamed out of Cape Verde islands with a fleet of four armored cruisers and three destroyers. His destination: the West Indies, to defend Spain’s empire against the American fleet. Hampered by a number of deficiencies, the fleet struggled into the harbor at Santiago de Cuba. Meeting and later joining the squadron there was the Reina Mercedes, an unarmored cruiser capabale of propulsion under both sail and steam. Built in Cartagena, Spain, in 1887, she had become the station ship at Santiago in 1892. By 1898, she… Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 3

July 3rd, 1898: Remembering the Battle of Santiago

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 11:51 AM


On this date in 1898, Rear Admiral William T. Sampson’s squadron destroyed the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Santiago, Cuba. The article Sampson and Shafter at Santiago, by Commander Louis J. Gulliver, U.S. Navy, which detailed the battle and aftermath, was originally published in The Proceedings in June, 1939. SAMPSON AND SHAFTER AT SANTIAGO The inherent and ancient difficulties involved in joint operations of army and naval forces in war have never been more unhappily illustrated than in the war with Spain when army troops under General William R. Shafter, U. S. Army, encircled Santiago, and the Fleet commanded by Admiral… Read the rest of this entry »

May 1

Battle of Manila Bay

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 1:00 AM


May 1st, 1898 Commodore George Dewey wins the Battle of Manila Bay Official Battle Report as published in Proceedings  The Battle of Manila Bay marked the first major victory in the Spanish-American War. The battle, which ended in less than a day’s time, demonstrated the naval prowess which earned the United States a quick and decisive victory in the war against the Spanish Empire, which only lasted four months. Furthermore, as a result of his successful leadership in the battle, Commodore George Dewey became the first and only person to hold the rank of Admiral of the Navy. In the year following the… Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 19

USS Oregon (BB-3) Begins Her “Dash” Around South America, 19 March 1898

Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:01 AM


USS Oregon (BB-3) was commissioned in San Francisco, California, in 1896, and was serving on the West Coast in 1898 when she was ordered to the Atlantic for service in the impending Spanish-American War. Departing San Francisco on 19 March, Oregon coaled in Peru, Chile, Brazil, and Barbados, and experienced severe weather along the way that included a dangerous storm in the confining Strait of Magellan. Oregon arrived in Florida on 24 May, 66 days and 14,000 miles out of San Francisco, and by 1 June was in the war zone off Cuba. This epic voyage—conducted without radar, radio, or… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 15

Destruction of USS Maine and the Rush Toward War

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 12:01 AM


The Spanish-American War (21 April–13 August 1898) was a turning point in United States history, signaling the country’s emergence as a world power. The sinking of the battleship USS Maine in Havana Harbor on 15 February 1898 was a critical event on the road to that war. Many Cubans desired independence from Spain, and political instability in those countries led to riots in Havana in January 1898. Concerned for the safety of Americans there, U.S. President McKinley sent Maine from Key West to Havana to remind Spain of America’s serious interest in seeing an end to the Cuban conflict. Spanish… Read the rest of this entry »