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thoughts of opposing the American control of the Philippine Islands, or of causing any friction between the United States and Germany. The German commander was undoubtedly using what in other countries is called diplomacy, but in
our country is called “bluff." Ifthe bluff had worked the officer would have been promoted; it failed and he was recalled.
About the relations of the German fleet and ours Mr. Stickney in the article already quoted, says:
And speaking of the Germans, it may be well to point out that, while they made themselves as offensive as they dared, and while they acted in a very disagreeable way from the first, Commodore Dewey refrained from taking any notice of their discourtesy until he should be able to do so in such a manner as to admit of no reply.
It would require too much space to repeat all the annoyances to which the Germans lent themselves during the early part of their stay in Manila waters. Their ships came into and went from the harbor at all hours of the day and night. When a steamer made her appearance to seaward, a German vessel would run out to examine her with great promptitude. After one such instance, which occurred at a time when Vice-Admiral Von Diederich's flag-lieutenant was on board the Olympia Admiral Dewey said to the German officer: “One might almost think your ships were blockading Manila, and not mine." The lieutenant chuckled complacently, as though he thought it was a compliment to the activity of his commander-inchief, but he was wholly unable to comprehend that, when Dewey became so sweetly suave, it was a good time to look out for squalls.
One night one of the German steam-launches came steaming toward our fleet at full speed. She was picked up by the search-lights of our squadron fully a mile away, and was kept in the focus of their rays until she came alongside. Our officers almost universally believed that the object of her unnecessary and untimely visit was to discover whether it would be possible for a Spanish torpedo-boat to get within range of our vessels without being discovered by us.
Then the Princess Wilhelmina, lying off Subig Bay, notified the insurgents that she would not permit them to attack the Spanish troops at that point. At another time one of the German ships tried to sneak into the anchorage off the city of Manila at night, all her lights being extinguished, and her course being an unusual one. She was detected, and promptly “brought to" by a shell across her bows from the United States cruiser that was on picket duty that night. Our courteous and courtly Commodore made no sign. He was waiting until he could put an end to the whole annoyance with one crushing blow. At last the opportunity came. He learned, on unquestionable authority, that one of the German vessels had landed provisions in Manila, thereby violating neutrality. I was not present when he sent his message to Admiral von Diederich, and therefore I do not speak from personal knowledge concerning it; but I learned the facts from a perfectly authentic source, as follows: “Orderly, tell Mr. Brumby I would like to see him," said Admiral Dewey, one forenoon. “Oh, Brumby," he continued, when the flag-lieutenant made his appearance on the quarter-deck, “ I wish you to take the barge and go over to the German flagship. Give Admiral von Diederich my compliments, and say that I wish to call his attention to the fact that the vessels of his squadron have shown an extraordinary disregard of the usual courtesies of naval intercourse, and that finally one of them has committed a gross breach of neutrality in landing provisions in Manila, a port which I am blockading."
Campaigning in the Philippines.
The Commodore's voice had been as low and sweetly modulated as if he had been sending von Diederich an invitation to dinner. When he stopped speaking, Brumby, who did not need any better indication of the Commodore's mood than the usually formal and gentle manner of his chief, turned to go, making the usual official salute, and replying with the customary, " Ay,
“And, Brumby," continued the Commodore, his voice rising and ringing with the intensity of feeling that he felt he had repressed about long enough, “tell Admiral von Diederich that if he wants a fight, he can have it right now !"
Brumby went with his message, and the Commodore paced the quarter-deck in silence for a considerable time, evidently working off some of the high pressure that had brought forth his emphatic message to the German Admiral. The latter sent back the extraordinary reply that he had not known anything about these actions of his captains, and that they would not be repeated. When one considers the rigidity of discipline that is supposed to exist in the German navy, the character of Admiral von Diederich's apology is all the more incomprehensible.
But whatever may have been the new methods adopted by Admiral von Diederich to prevent his captains from violating neutrality and showing bad manners, they were entirely efficacious. There was never the least further need to refer to the possibility of giving Commodore Dewey the job of disciplining them.
IMPRESSIONS OF ADMIRAL GEORGE DEWEY.
On a beautiful May morning, a year after the events recorded in this chapter, I went down the harbor of Manila to visit the grand old man of the fleet, and to authenticate this part of our history. I found him an agreeable, chivalrous, courteous gentleman endeared to his countrymen by simplicity and honor. After giving me the information that I needed, and the confirmation of the data on which this chapter is based, the Admiral sat down on the quarter-deck and, looking away towards Cavite and the sunken ships of Spain, began to think about his home-going to America. He deeply appreciated the warmth and unanimity of the love his country bears him. But he said he was afraid of the great strain so many receptions would be upon his health.
The Admiral, though over sixty, still looks hale and stout, every inch a man, every wit a “gentleman unafraid.” He thought that now, after his many voyages and battles, he would like to go up and rest among the green hills of Vermont. He wanted, he said, to settle down in Montpelier, his old New England home.
“If the folks up in Montpelier will give me a reception in the town hall, that will be enough," said this worldloved man. One could see that, after his long and honorable career, and after his superb successes, the old man longed for the spot of, earth where he had been a boy. He looked at the far, fair mountains of Mariveles, and the green crown of Corregidor, but not to him like the wind-swept hillsides of dewy New England were these Southern scenes.
I spent the whole forenoon on board the Olympia, the officers and men showing me the wonders of their trig little cruiser. And one said this was where the Admiral stood during the great fight; and one said that was a dent made in the ship by a cannon all. The Lieutenant-Commander was busy writing a history of the battle. He told me that Dewey and he were schoolmates together in the Academy of Norwich, Vermont. He was going to have a sketch of the Admiral and himself made ready for the little school paper. It was a very grave matter, this country school, and the bulletin of it which was dignified by the name of a paper. He must have the best matter and the finest pictures for it, he said—that was the old place where he and the Admiral were schoolboys together. This mood of Admiral Dewey and his chief officer gave me matter to ponder
They did not think of the grand acclaims and the wonderful applause of the free, proud nation they had honored. But “How will the folk of Montpelier receive me?" and “Can I write an article worthy of the Norwich country school?” Men who would be welcomed as writers by the best magazines and gladly honored by the Czar, asking themselves these questions ! It is only one more example of the old truth of how strong a grasp on men have the associations of a pure home life. It is this love of home, deep-rooted and enduring, this fondness for the earliest part of life, which followed these men through life and crossed the chasm of years and wars and stormy seas—this shall save the Republic when the battleships are futile and the cannon dumb.
EVENTS LEADING TO THE WAR WITH SPAIN.
T is, of course, well known that neither the Philippine Islands
nor the conditions therein were in any degree a consideration which led to our war with Spain. It is even true that after the naval battle at Manila, the people stood with finger-tips upon the little spots in the map of the Pacific and questioned one another as to where and what might be “Manila" Bay. It is proper, however, to complete this record of achievement by a brief account of the civil and military affairs antedating the
action in Manila Bay. In palliation of Spanish inhumanity to her colonial subjects, it may be said that her internal dissensions have been such that the government was powerless as against the will of certain classes of its subjects. A brief reference to the late successions to the Spanish crown may throw some light on this matter.
Ferdinand VII died in 1833, and his daughter, Isabella, was proclaimed Queen, with her mother, Maria Christiana of Naples, as Regent. Then Don Carlos, Ferdinand's brother, asserted that the choice of Isabella violated the Salic Law, which forbids the inheritance of women, and that he should have been preferred.
This pretension had much support in the north of Spain, and this was the origin of the “Carlist” party, which has been a constant menace to the government when not in open rebellion against it. The character of Isabella II, who was declared of age in 1843, added new elements of perplexity. A successful revolution drove her from the throne and, in 1870, (the ten years' war in Cuba being then in progress) Amadeus of Aosta, the second son of Victor Emanuel of Italy, was invited to govern as a constitutional king. Within three years he resigned the office. A provisional government was then created, with Castilla at its head, after which, for a brief time, a committee of officers undertook the administration. In 1874 Isabella's son, Alphonse XII, accepted the crown. He died in 1885, and his widow, Christiana of Austria, was made Regent. Their son was born May 17, 1886, and he is now known as the “Little King."
THE CUBAN ATROCITIES.
However, whatever might have been the origin or cause of Spanish misrule, the knowledge that Spain was helpless in the hands of its subjects only helped to goad into a frenzy the apprehension and alarm of her colonists in regard to the intolerable barbarities practiced upon them. This was especially the case in Cuba, where the oppression was so grievous and so long continued that not only the Cubans were crying out against it, but the civilization of the world was aghast at the spectacle.
We of the United States were so placed that the appeals of these sufferers came to us with great force. Our own material interests had long paid tribute to the shrine of this intolerance, and to our private and public remonstrances the Spanish government paid no heed. Our benefactions to relieve the distresses had been treated with disdain by Spain, and our contributions largely diverted into Spanish hands. So universal and pronounced had public sentiment in this country become, that all the great political parties declared against further endurance of the evil, and the platform upon which President McKinley was nominated and elected, insisted that some solution must be made in the interests of humanity. For the purpose of verifying the rumors and reports, many private cominissions visited Cuba, and all returned with the statement that the enormities there had only in part been told. Senator Proctor of Vermont, who was Secretary of War in Harrison's administration, was one of those who visited the island. On his return, at the earnest request of the Senate, in his place in the Senate Chamber, he made this remarkable statement:
SENATOR PROCTOR'S REPORT.
“Outside of Havana all is changed. It is not peace, nor is it war.
It is desolation and distress, misery and starvation. Every town and village is surrounded by a trocha (trench), a sort of rifle pit, but constructed on a plan new to me: the dirt being thrown up on the inside, and a barbed wire fence on the outer side of this trench.
“These trochas have at every corner, and at frequent intervals along the sides, what are called forts, but which are really small block-houses, many of them more like a large sentry-box, loopholed for musketry and with a guard of from two to ten soldiers in each. The purpose of these trochas is to keep the
sist as they can. They are virtually prison yards, and not unlike one
in general appearance, except that the walls are not so high and strong, but they are sufficient, where every point is in range of a soldier's rifle, to keep in the poor reconcentrado women and children. Every railroad station is within one of these trochas, and has an armed guard. Every train has an armored freight-car, loopholed for musketry, and filled with soldiers,
TIDAL WAVE IN MANILA.