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ical moments; he fought his guns at the extreme front of the firing line in a way that repeatedly called forth the cheers of my men. One of the Spanish batteries, which was used against us was directly in front of the hospital so that the Red Cross flag flew over the battery, saving it from our fire for a considerable period. The Spanish Mauser bullets made clean wounds; but they also used a copper-jacketed or brass-jacketed bullet which exploded, making very bad wounds indeed.
"Since then we have continued to hold the ground; the food has been short; and until to-day we could not get our blankets, coats, or shelter tents, while the men lay all day under the fire from the Spanish batteries, intrenchments, and guerrillas in trees, and worked all night in the trenches, never even taking off their shoes. But they are in excellent spirits, and ready and anxious to carry out any orders they receive. At the end of the first day the eight troops were commanded, two by captains, three by first lieutenants, two by second lieutenants, and one by the sergeant whom you made acting lieutenant.
"We went into the fight about 490 strong, 86 were killed or wounded, and there are about half a dozen missing. The great heat prostrated nearly 40 men, some of them among the best in the regiment. Besides Captain O'Neil and Lieutenant Haskell, Lieutenants Leahy, Devereux, and Carr were wounded. All behaved with great gallantry. As for Captain O'Neil, his loss is one of the severest that could have befallen the regiment. He was a man of cool head, great executive capacity, and literally dauntless courage.
“The guerrillas in trees not only fired at our troops, but seemed to devote themselves especially to shooting at the surgeons, the hospital assistants with Red Cross bandages on their arms, the wounded who were being carried in litters, and the burying parties. Many of the guerrillas were dressed in green uniforms. We sent out a detail of sharpshooters among those in our rear, along the line where they had been shooting the wounded, and killed thirteen.
"To attempt to give a list of the men who showed signal valor would necessitate sending in an almost complete roster of the regiment. Many of the cases which I mention stand merely as examples of the rest, not as exceptions. Captain Jenkins acted as major, and showed such conspicuous gallantry and efficiency that I earnestly hope he may he promoted to major as soon as a vacancy occurs. Captains Lewellen, Muller, and Luna led their troops throughout the charges, handling them admirably. At the end of the battle Lieutenants Kane, Greenwood, and Goodrich were in charge of their troops, immediately under my eye, and I wish particularly to commend their conduct throughout. Lieutenant Franz, who commanded his troop, also did well.
“Corporals Waller and Fortesque and Trooper McKinley, of Troop E; Corporal Rhoads, of Troop D; Troopers Allerton, Winter, MacGregor, and Ray Clark, of Troop F; Troopers Bugbee, Jackson, and Waller, of Troop A; Trumpeter Macdonald, of Troop L; Sergeant Hughes, of Troop B, and Trooper Geiven, of Troop G, all continued to fight after being wounded, some very severely. Most of them fought until the end of the day.
"Trooper Oliver B. Norton, of B, with his brother, was by my side throughout the charging, was killed while fighting with marked gallantry. Sergeant Ferguson, Corporal Lee, and Troopers Bell and Carroll, of Troop K; Sergeant Daine, of Troop E; Troopers Goodwin, Campbell, and Dudley Dean, and Trumpeter Foster, of B, and Troopers Greenwald and Bardelas, of A, are all worthy of special mention for coolness and gallantry. They merit promotion when the opportunity comes. But the most conspicuous gallantry was shown by Trooper Rowland. He was wounded in the side in our first fight, but kept in the firing line. He was sent to the hospital next day, but left it and marched out to us, overtaking us, and fought all through this battle with such indifference to danger that I was forced again and again to rate and threaten him for running needless risk.
"Great gallantry was also shown by four troopers whom I cannot identify, and by Trooper Winslow Clark, of G. It was after we had taken the first hill -I had called out to rush the second, and, having by that time lost my horse, climbed a wire fence and started toward it. After going a couple of hundred yards, under a heavy fire, I found that no one else had come; as I discovered later, it was simply because in the confusion, with men shooting and being shot, they had not noticed me start. I told the five men to wait a moment, as it might be misunderstood if we all ran back, while I ran back and started the regiment; and as soon as I did so the regiment came with a rush. But meanwhile the five men coolly lay down in the open, returning the fire from the trenches. It is to be wondered at that only Clark was seriously wounded, and he called out, as we parted again, to lay his canteen where he could reach it, but to continue the charge and leave him where he was. All the wounded had to be left until after the fight, for we could spare no men from the firing line.
“THEODORE ROOSEVELT, "Lieutenant Colonel, First United States Volunteer Cavalry."
"Camp Hamilton, near Santiago de Cuba, July 20, 1898. "Brig. Gen. Leonard Wood,
"Commanding Second Brigade Cavalry Division.
"Sir: In obedience to your directions, I herewith report on the operations of my regiment from the 1st to the 17th instant, inclusive.
"As I have already made you two reports about the first day's operations, I shall pass them over rather briefly. On the morning of the 1st my regiment was formed at the head of the Second Brigade, by the El Poso sugar mill. When the batteries opened, the Spaniards replied to us with shrapnel, which killed and wounded several of the men of my regiment. We then marched toward the right, and my regiment crossed the ford before the balloon came down there and attracted the fire of the enemy, so that at that point we lost no one. My orders had been to march forward until I joined General Lawton's left wing, but after going about three-quarters of a mile I was halted and told to remain in reserve near the creek by a deep lane. The bullets dropped thick among us for the next hour while we lay there, and many of my men were killed or wounded. Among the former was Captain O'Neil, whose loss was a very heavy blow to the regiment, for he was a singularly gallant and efficient officer. Acting Lieutenant Haskell was also shot at this time. He showed the utmost courage, and had been of great use during the fighting and marching. It seems to me some action should be taken about him.
"You then sent me word to move forward in support of the regular cavalry, and I advanced the regiment in columns of companies, each company deployed as skirmishers. We moved through several skirmish lines of the regiment ahead of us, as it seemed to me that our only chance was in rushing the intrenchments in front instead of firing at them from a distance. Accordingly we charged the blockhouse and intrenchments on the hill to our right against a heavy fire. It was taken in good style, the men of my regiment thus being the first to capture any fortified position and to break through the Spanish lines. The guidons of G and E troops were first at this point, but some of the men of A and B troops who were with me personally got in ahead of them. At the last wire fence up this hill I was obliged to abandon my horse, and after that went on foot. After capturing this hill we first of all directed a heavy fire upon the San Juan hill to our left, which was at the time being assailed by the regular infantry and cavalry, supported by Captain Parker's Gatling guns. By the time San Juan was taken a large force had assembled on the hill we had previously captured, consisting not only of my own regiment but of the Ninth and of portions of other cavalry regiments. We then charged forward under a heavy fire across the valley against the Spanish intrenchments on the hill in the rear of San Juan hill. This we also took, capturing several prisoners. We then formed in what order we could and moved forward, driving the Spaniards before us to the crest of the hills in our front, which were immediately opposite the city of Santiago itself. Here I received orders to halt and hold the line of the hill crest. I had at that time fragments of the six cavalry regiments and an occasional infantryman under
me-three or four hundred men all told. As I was the highest there, I took command of all of them, and so continued until next morning.
“The Spanish attempted a counter attack that afternoon, but were easily driven back, and then and until dark we remained under a heavy fire from their rifles and great guns, lying flat on our faces on the gentle slope just behind the
Captain Parker's Gatling battery was run up to the right of my regiment, and did most excellent and gallant service. In order to charge, the men had, of course, been obliged to throw away their packs, and we had nothing to sleep in and nothing to eat. We were lucky enough, however, to find in the last blockhouse captured the Spanish dinner still cooking, which we ate with relish. It consisted chiefly of rice and peas, with a big pot containing a stew of fresh meat, probably for the officers. We also distributed the captured Spanish blankets as far as they would go among our men, and gathered a good deal of the Mauser ammunition for use in the Colt's rapid-fire guns which were being brought up. That night we dug intrenchments across our front. At three o'clock in the morning the Spaniards made another attack upon us, which was easily repelled, and at four they opened the day with a heavy rifle and shrapnel fire. All day long we lay under this, replying whenever we got the chance. In the evening, at about eight o'clock, the Spaniards fired their guns, and then a heavy rifle fire, their skirmishers coming well forward. I got all my men down into the trenches, as did the other commands near me, and we opened a heavy return fire. The Spanish advance was at once stopped, and after an hour their fire died away. This night we completed most of our trenches, and began to build bombproofs. The protection afforded to our men was good, and next morning had but one man wounded from the rifle and shell fire until twelve o'clock, when the truce came.
"I do not mention the officers and men who particularly distinguished themselves, as I have nothing to add in this respect to what was contained in my two former letters. There were numerous Red Cross flags flying in various parts of the city, two of them so arranged that they directly covered batteries in our front and for some time were the cause of our not firing at them. The Spanish guerrillas were very active, especially in our rear, where they seemed by preference to attack the wounded men who were being carried on litters, the doctors and medical attendants with Red Cross bandages on their arms, and the burial parties. I organized a detail of sharpshooters and sent them out after the guerrillas, of whom they killed thirteen. Two of the men thus killed were shot several hours after the truce had been in operation, because, in spite of this fact, they kept firing upon our men as they went to draw water. They were stationed in trees (as the guerrillas were generally), and owing to the density of the foliage and to the use of smokeless-powder rifles, it was an exceedingly difficult matter to locate them. For the next seven days, until
the 10th, we lay in our lines, while the truce continued. We had continually to work at additional bombproofs and at the trenches, and as we had no proper supply of food and utterly inadequate medical facilities, the men suffered a good deal. The officers clubbed together to purchase beans, tomatoes, and sugar for the men, so that they might have some relief from the bacon and hard-tack. With a great deal of difficulty we got them coffee.
“As for the sick and wounded, they suffered so in the hospitals when sent to the rear from lack of food and attention that we found it best to keep them at the front and give them such care as our own doctors could. As I mentioned in my previous letter, thirteen of our wounded men continued to fight through the battle in spite of their wounds, and of those sent to the rear many, both of the sick and wounded, came up to rejoin us as soon as their condition allowed them to walk. Most of the worst cases were ultimately sent to the States.
"On the 10th the truce was at an end, and the bombardment reopened. As far as our lines were concerned, it was on the Spanish part very feeble. We suffered no losses, and speedily got the fire from their trenches in our front completely under. On the 11th we were moved three-quarters of a mile to the right, the truce again being on. Nothing happened here except we continued to watch and do our best to get the men, especially the sick, properly fed; and having no transportation and being unable to get hardly any through the regular channels, we used anything we could find-captured Spanish cavalry horses, abandoned mules, which had been shot, but which our men took and cured, diminutive skinny ponies purchased from the Cubans, etc. By these means and by the exertions of the officers we were able from time to time to get supplies of beans, sugar, tomatoes, and even oatmeal, while from the Red Cross people we got one invaluable load of rice, corn meal, etc. All of this was of the utmost consequence, not only for the sick normically well, as the lack of proper food was telling terribly on the men. It was utterly impossible to get them clothes and shoes; those they had were, in many cases, literally dropping to pieces.
“On the 17th the city surrendered. On the 18th we shifted camp to here, the best camp we have had; but the march hither under the noonday sun told very heavily on our men, weakened by underfeeding and overwork, and next morning 123 cases were reported to the doctors, and I now have but half the 600 men with which I landed four weeks ago, fit for duty, and these are not fit to do anything like the work they could do then. As we had but one wagon, the change necessitated leaving much of the stuff behind, with a night of discomfort, with scanty shelter and scanty food, for most of the officers and many of the men. Only the possession of the improvised pack train alluded to above saved this from being worse. Yesterday I sent