THE VOYAGE OF THE OREGON FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO SANTIAGO IN 1898
AS TOLD BY ONE OF THE CREW
PRIVATELY PRINTED THE MERRYMOUNT PRESS BOSTON 1908
[One hundred and twenty-five copies printed]
To the Reader
Almost ten years have passed since the country followed, in scanty telegram from port to port, the Oregon speeding down one side of a continent and up the other to Bahia; then came two anxious, silent weeks when apprehension and fear pictured four Spanish cruisers with a pack of torpedo boats sailing out into the west athwart the lone ship's course, the suspense ending only when tidings came of her arrival at Jupiter Inlet; then off Santiago, after a month of waiting, there is the outcoming of Cervera's squadron, when this splendid ship, with steam all the time up, leaps to the front of her sisters of the fleet, like an unleashed hound, and joins the historic company of the Bon Homme Richard, the Constitution, the Hartford, in our naval annals. From the start at the Golden Gate to the beaching of the Colon is a succession of events full of thrilling merit and vitality which official bickerings and envyings cannot change or obscure.
The story has been told from the standpoint of the quarter-deck, the court room, and the department bureau. Here we have the artless journal of an unlettered sailor, written between decks, without the least notion that it would ever be read apart from his own family circle. The pages of his record give an insight into the mutual regard and confidence existing between the captain and his crew which made the voyage the memorable achievement that it was. Admiral Clark would be made of stolid stuff were he indifferent to the enthusiasm and loyalty manifest in the narrative in various ways, in none, however, more hearty and sincere than in the endearing designations of the "old gent" and "the old man." He was in fact fifty-four years of age when he became captain of the Oregon. Shortly before, he had been on special duty in the North Pacific at the head of a fleet of seven men-of-war, at that time the largest cruising fleet in our navy since the conflict with the Confederacy. Starting as midshipman at the Naval Academy in 1860, he had seen thirty-eight years of active and varied service in all seas. In the contest with Spain the commanders of the various warships were his associates at the academy. Sampson had been his instructor there; Gridley, who opened the battle of Manila, and Cook, who received the surrender of the Colon, were classmates; and Dayton, who rendered distinguished service at San Juan, was a relative. In the transition from wood to iron in naval architecture he has had command in every type of fighting craft beginning with the wooden Ossipee, when he took part at Mobile Bay in ramming the ironclad Tennessee, and, as ensign in charge of the forward guns, was the first to exchange words with the latter's commander as he came out of the casemate to surrender his ship, and ending with the Oregon.
The narrative which follows of the voyage from San Francisco to Santiago in 1898 was called to light by a communication of Admiral Clark to the press in the winter of 1907 relating to the Straits of Magellan. The writer of the narrative, who was a member of the Oregon's crew, sent it to his sisters through whom in consequence of reading the Admiral's mention of that ship's passage of the Straits, it came to him. The Admiral in turn showed it to friends, who insisted that copies should be printed for private distribution.
JOHN ADAMS AIKEN
Greenfield, Massachusetts February 29, 1908
The Voyage of the OREGON
So we started on the 19th of March and I will try and give you some idea of our trip on this side of the U.S. Capt McCommick got sick and had to be releived to go on sick leif. Capt Clark was in comand of the Monteray at the time and he was a young Capt too. there was no other one around there at that time, so he was detailed to take comand of the Oregon and a prowed man he was too, and we wer a prowed crew along with him. he was glad he got the ship and we wer glad we got him. we knew he was a good Seaman. any way he called us all aft on the quarter deck and read out his orders and told us that we wer going towards south America. I will now try and give you the trip.
March 19. 1898 Up anchor at 8 A.M. in San Francisco Bay. I had the 8 to 12 watch and we past through the Golden Gate at 9.15 A.M. and left the Fairwell Bouy at 10.5 A.M. and shaped our course for Callao, Peru, it being S.E. 1/2 E, and at the same time we drop over the Patent Log in the Briny. the Capt gave orders to give 75 turns and that brought her out about 11.5 knots. Every thing is runing smooth and all Hunk.
March 20. Sliding along at 11.8 knots gate. Every thing working beautyfull. nothing of interest going on, except the fine Wether.
March 21. Changed course at 10. A.M. to S.E. Will not put down any thing for some time to come as there is nothing unusal going on, But I wonder if we will get there to catch up with the Band Wagon.
April 4. Arived at Callao, Peru, 5.30 A.M., very pleasant trip all the way down the coast, we are doing quick work so far. started to coal ship at 8 A.M. and as soon as we get enough on board we will pull right out for the straights of Magellan and there join the Marietta, our little Gun Boat, which will scout the straights for us in case there is a Spanish Torpedo Boat in one of the Many Coves. She can go in shallow water as she is a light draft boat and at the same time order coal for us.
We have allready made one of the grandest runs on record. Just think of it, a First Class Battle Ship making 4800 miles in just 16 days and used 900 Tons of Coal, That being the longest trip on record for a First Class Battle Ship.
April 5. We are now laying over an old city in Peru. they say when some of the ships hoist there anchor they some times rais some of the old houses or part of them with the anchor. This old place is some 109 years old, the Old Callao, I mean. 109 years ago they had an Earthquake and Tidle Wave hear togather and did up the city. The public hear speak nothing but Spanish and the Capt thinks there might be som sympathizers amongst Them, so we are keeping the strickest Kind of watch on the ship. We have two steam cutters pattroling the ship all night and men station in the fighting tops as sharp shooters. the steam cutters are armed with two automatic 22 m.m. Rifles, so that would more than be a match for a ordinary Torpedo Boat, and while all the Post on Deck were Double we consider our selves pretty safe. They are puting coal on board as fast as they can, working night and day to get it all on. we are going to take a big lot this time.
April 6. Pay day today. put on Sea stors today along with the coal, it all gos togather. But what is the diferance, this is War times and we are trying to get in it and I think we will if we get a show. I bought a nice pair of shoes today for 3.50 in U.S. Gold. there is no liberty to any one hear so we have to buy something that is some good to us. Expect to coal ship all night so as to pull out to morrow.
April 7. Got all the coal on this morning at 4 A.M. there is about 1750 tons on now, never had so much on before. got 100 tons on deck in sacks. we are knocking some of the coal dust off the sides. She is a very dirty ship now and expect to remain so for a long time to come. There is some talk of a Spanish Gun Boat or a Torpedo Boat in the Straights waiting for us. But I think that will be all right when the Marietta gets there to patrole the place for us. We expect to go out to night some time. 7 P.M. left Port. The Capt dont know wether to go round the Horn or not. But if we go, as the Dutchman says By the Horn around, we will get a shaking up. But every body seems to think we can take care of our selves where ever we go. Capt Clark is all right, we dont think he is afraid of the whole Spanish Navy. the wether is very fogy. Expect it to lift when we get a little ways.
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April 9. Alls Well, every thing doing fine.
April 10. Just came on watch; have all four boilers on now and we are peging along at a 13.7 and a 14 knot gate. you dont know you are at sea in this ship if you would stop between Decks. guess there is not much doing to day, so I will steal forward for a while the old gent sleeps a little. I forgot to speak of having a little practis with the 6 pounders. They threw over Boxes and barrels and as we would get away from them we would fire on them for Torpedo Boats. we did some good shooting. All the Marines Man the seccondary Battry. The Capt got the chief engineer to fix the 8 inch turets to turn in Board 9 more degrees so as to shoot over the stern of the ship. So that would bring to bear on one point 2, 13 inch Guns 4, 8 inch Guns 2, 6 inch Guns and six 6 Pounders aft, and the same forward. We could shoot for a Broad side 4, 13 inch 4, 8 inch 2, 6 inch and about 12, 6 Pounders on either side.
Of corse this is Sunday and we all ought to be good. But we will be as good as we can By having a Gen feild day and clean up a little, as this is the first chance we have had to do any scrubing since we left San Francisco, Cal. I think we will meet the Marietta in the Straights of Magellan. we have found some grate Bars for her under the coal dust. We all think Capt Clark is going to be a ring tail snorter for fighting. I dont think it will be easy to whip him, he seems to be so quick to catch on to every little thing, he is all over the ship at once and he talks to every body, stops any one to ask them any thing he wants to know about the ship. he is very quick to take the advantage of every little thing.
April 11. Very heavy wether. Wind Blowing Great Guns and a head sea. But we are Bucking it and making 11.6 knots. the Capt dont think we will run up against any thing in the shape of a Torpedo Boat in the Straights. We had some more Practis today with the 6 Pounders and did some good work. I think we could make it very interesting for a Torpedo Boat. I dont see how they could get at us, unless it was in the night and then there would have to be somthing the matter with our search lights and all hands on Board would have to have the "Buck Feaver."
April 12. We lost a little today on account of the forward 13 inch Turet, somthing got Jamed. all going well once more, and still bucking a head sea and making 11.7 knots right along. 4 P.M. Heavy wind has turned into a gale, but she is like a Duck on a Mill Pond and still making 10 knots, Gale or no Gale. she has not roled over 10 degrees since we left Port Orchard, Wash.
April 15. Whooping her up for all she is worth, want to make all she can. Wether is fine but quite Cold. Making all the way from 14 to 15 knots.
April 16. Everything is still doing well, and still going a mill tail. Passed Smiths Straights the first part of this morning, early, and in the fog that has Just come on we are still going it. the fog raised for a while and showed us the Destination Island, and then we wer shure we had only 30 miles to go to get in the Straights. Just at Dark we droped our mud hook in just 45 fathoms of water in the entrence of the Straights of Magellan. 9.45 P.M. had the 8 to 12 watch and She more than blew. I thought the ship would drift. But she held on like grim Deth to a dead nigger. The wind Blowed so hard I expected to be lifted off my feet.
April 17. Making all posable speed to Sandy Point, making about 15 knots ever since we started this morning. 12 O clock Midday, there is some of the most beautyfull and grandest sights I have ever had the pleasure to look upon. I am shure if I could only write on the subject I could make it very interesting. I never seen such beautyfull wild nature in all my travels; there is mountain after mountain of Glacier and they seem to have all the colors of the rainbow, it was a little cold too and the whole Mountains sparkled like diamonds. 6. P.M. drop anchor in the Harber of Sandy Point, Chili. Had the public bin able to see us, They would not stop runing for the next week to come, for we cleard ship for action and had the guns all loaded up and ready for buisness and to Blaze away at any thing that looked as thoe it wanted to fight. Capt Clark belives in for warned for armed, and takes no chances. had the two Steam Cutters patroling the ship as usual.
She made one of the grandest runs on record, for 11 hours making an average of 15-1/2 knots; it knocks the Worlds record sky high. Just think of a first Class Battle Ship making 15-1/2 knots for 11 straight hours on a straight away run, and we all think she could beat that time. But we had over the bow 2 anchors with the flukes of both in the water 3 feet. I am sure that held her Back 2 tenths of a knot. And the Marietta is not hear. the Capt dont know what has becom of her.
April 18. Well the Marietta is hear this morning, she came in at 12.15 this morning. She was in the straights when we past her, she was laying off in one of the coves waiting for us, the man on lookout sighted us as we pased her, and told his capt and he said let her go, we will up anchor and overhall her in a short time. it hapened that the lookout was on board of the Oregon and he told his Capt that the Marietta could never catch the Oregon. Well any way she came in a little affter midnight.
The first thing this morning we started to coal up. I havent found out how many tons we are going to take hear. But the price is $25 a ton. I think we will take about 800 tons. all the men on the Marietta say they had a very rough trip. We are in a great rush to get out of hear. Capt Clark asked Capt Simons if he had any towing Bits. Looks as thoe we were going to snake him along with us. I am detailed to go into the fighting top to night as capt of one Pounder and look out, we have a double watch on now all the time and it makes the Duty very hard thies war times.
April 19. Still coaling up, was working all night to night, expect to be through to night sometime. Puting on sea stors along with the coal. Meat, Can goods, coal dust, all mixed up togather. What is the defirance, it all goes thies times. The Marietta had some trouble in geting coal to day. She only got 40 tons since 1 A.M. this morning, so Capt Clark ordered him to go along side of the Coal Hulk and take all he wanted, for Capt sais we must have the coal and therefor must take it as we are going out of hear to morrow. 3.30 P.M. there was an Argentine Gun Boat came in Port and I would not be suprised to see a scrap hear before we left. Chili and Argentine are in hot disput over this place, it seems they both clame it to there Boundry line. Chili sent a company of Soldiers hear the 18th and they expect a Transport with som Soldiers from Argentine to night som time, so I for one would like to see a good scrap of som kind for an appetizer for us, Just to take the rough edge off you know. we are standing by our Guns all the time and sleep by them by night. While the Jackies coal ship all hands are doing there part and there is no fudging going on. of corse there is all kinds of War talk in the air.
April 20. At 12.30 A.M. still coaling up. Every thing working smooth and nothing to stop, it is a beautyfull night and the Southern Cross looms up with more beauty than I ever seen befor. But the ships bum Boat is all right too, she loomed up with a big ketle of hot Steaming cocoa, Just the thing a man wants when he has the mid watch. the wether is very cold down hear. a few of the men is going ashore to morrow. I dont think I will be able to go as I will have the afternoon watch, any way I dont care much as I am use to the ship now. I could stay hear for a year. I wish we wer around to Key West so as to be with the Band wagon when she starts. Mr. Giles, Midshipman, is a very sick man, he was taken ill in the Cabin this morning. I went for the Doctor for him at 1.45 A.M. Doc said he had a hemorrhage of the lungs caused by concussion. 3. A.M. he is asleep and doing fine now. I woulden like to see him die, he is a fine fellow. 3.45 A.M. coal all on board. 4.30 P.M. the Capt is on the warpath, he is mader than a wet hen for he tryed to get out of hear by 2 P.M. to day, But could not on the account of the Marietta having some trouble with her coal, so we both go tomorrow morning at daybreak.
April 21. Called all hands at 5.30 A.M. and up anchor at 6. A.M. I called the old man at 5.40 A.M. Signaled over to pullout and we are tailing on behind untill we get out of the Straights, going about 10 knots; at 6 Bells met a steamer Bound for Klondyke, we drop a whale boat and sent our Boarding officer to find out the news if there was any But was disapointed. She had no news, she was 15 days from Rio de Janeiro. 7.30 P.M. All is going well. The Marietta is astern now and likely to remain so untill we get in the next Port. we past another steamer about 3 P.M. and when I go on watch to night at 8 I will try and find out something about her. Came off at 12 midnight and she signaled to us no news of War. We have to go slow on account of the Marietta. had some targate practis today with all the Guns. We travel at nights with all lights out now adays so as not to let any thing slip up on us, and at the same time slip up on them.
April 22. Wind is very high, lost a life Boat this morning at 5.20 A.M. from the after Davits, good thing the wind is head on, the Sea is runing high. 8 P.M. Sea and wind has gon down considerable. Making about 10-1/2 knots. Ellis is sick poor man, I am standing his watch to night. 11.45 P.M. going about the same and all is well.
April 23. I think we will have a dash of Gen Quarters, Just to shake the Boys up. the old man is anxious to have targate Practis, he believes this ship whips the shoes off any thing that floats in the line of Battle ships, of corse Baring a Torpedo if one should hapen to hit, and I think the old man is right too, for this crew feals scrapy now. I think we would fight fer Keeps. Had Gen Quarters in the morning and Church in the afternoon.
April 24. All is well, at 12 O clock noon to day we wer in Lat. 44 deg. 23m and Lon 57 deg. 48m. had some fire drill to day mixed with a little collision drill.
April 25. 4 A.M. Just came on watch and I am going on deck to get a cup of cocoa to wake me up abit. the old man is in the Chart house snoozing, so I guess it is safe to go. Every thing has settled down to the same old thing except when we have some Targate Practis By throwing boxes over board.
April 26. 8 A.M. All is well, same thing, Making 10-1/2 sometimes 11 knots. Had clear ship for action today.
April 27. Every body begins to feal the trip now, geting tiresome now. since they have taken all of our ditty Boxes and benches and all extra mess chests and stored them away, we have no place to sit down except on deck and let our feet hang over. then the men forward cant get enough water to keep themselves clean. I am more lucky than most of them for I have a chance to steal a Bucketful one every night. our cook is no good, he makes sour Bread and would make good schrapnel for clearing the decks, and of corse your humble servant has to chew Hard Tack. had more Targate practis to day.
April 28. good stiff Breeze to day. Expect to have more targate practis to day with ful charges of amanition; no practis, wind too high.
April 29. good day to day, guess we will have it to day, no we dont have it. the old man has changed his mind and we will try and make Port to morrow.
April 30. Started to pul out this morning at 5.30 A.M, useing forsed draught, making 14.5 knots, going to try and make it by 4 P.M, have a head wind and light head sea. Droped anchor at 3 P.M. in the beautyfull harber of Rio de Janeiro, and befor the Mud hook struck the botom we had the news that war was declared on the 21st of April 1898, the very day we puled out of Sandy Point. as soon as every thing was put to order we Broke out the Band to give us the Star Spangled Baner, and the Crew diden do a thing But yell and whoop her up, so they had to play it over 4 times. The Marietta got in at 7 P.M. The Forts at this place were not going to let her in. But when they see her Signal they let her pass O.K. started to coal up at 8.25 P.M. and we get out of hear as soon as we can. I hear the Spanish has got one of our Merchant ships, the Shanandore, loaded with English goods. I wonder how that is going to com out. Every one on this ship is crasie to get at the Spanish.
May 1. Just com on watch. Beautyfull morning and still coaling ship. Hear is where you can get lots of sour frute and Bananas by the ship load for a little mony. But we are not aloud to Buy any thing that isent sour on account of Yellow Feaver at this place. The Brazilian soldiers stop up all night to be up erly in the morning; they started to give us Revelee about 3 O clock this morning, diden get through until 4 A.M. it sounds very pretty early in the morning when you are all ready awake, and such a beautyfull morning as this is you can hear the echo of the drums up in the hils far away. You would all most wish you could stop hear all the time and be a Brazilian for good. But I coulden leave my Dear land for all the pretty sights Ive seen togather.
May 2. American Minerster Just com on board and told us the news of the Battle of Manila, the Yanks did up every thing there. coal is coming on very slow and the old man is geting ancious to get out.
May 3. going out tomorrow morning at 6. A.M. The crew is very enthusiastic over the war. got out this morning all right But going slow. I think we are fooling around hear. Have Nictheroy as a transport boat. She has 2000 tons of coal on Board for us and they say she is an 18 knoter.
May 4. I guess the war is on for keeps now. We have com back to Rio or near it to wate for a Spanish Torpedo Boat that has bin laying around hear for the last 3 days and at the same time to take the Nictheroy.
May 5. lost some time waiting for the Nictheroy But she came along at dark. the Marietta will look out for her and we will pull out for Key West I think.
May 6. Every thing doing well and making 10 and 11 knots right off the reel now. at 8 P.M. the old man called all the Ward Room officers in the Cabin and read the tellegrams to them from Washington Which wer his sealed Orders and one of them reads like this: four armered Crusiers left Cape de Verde at some date and 2 Torpedo Boats, Destination unknown, and the old man is told to beware. The old man had a consul of War to night, so if we have to scrap, we will have to cut a lively gate for them. they say the Spanish is some Kind of a fighter him self. But we all think we can show him a trick with a hole in it. that was a great fight of the Manilla bay.
May 7. Every thing doing well, except this morning at 4.50 A.M. Gen Quarters sounded and there was a lively old time for a while. Every body thought we wer in for it then and there. I cannot describe the fealing of enthusiasm about the Decks. you see we had our orders to send in a Gen alarm when ever any thing looked like a Manowar got in sight. there was a little rain squall and some old sailing ship was in it, and just as she cleared away our lookout sighted the ship and sent in the alarm; it was the Capts orders to send in the alarm even if he was not there as he would get there all right. at 9 A.M. the old man called all hands to muster on the Quarter deck and told us the news he had received at Rio: there was 4 first class cruisers and three Torpedo Boats going to meet around hear some where and do us up. we all expect they will if they can, But the pruf of the Puding is the eating of it and we will have something to say about that. And after telling us about the fleet that was going to whip the socks off us he made a little speach to us; he said of corse it was his duty to the Goverment to get the ship around on the other side and stear clear of the fleet if posable. But in case he did meet the fleet he was sure Spain's fighting efficiency on the sea would be demineshed. So we all gave him three rousen Cheers and the old man Blushed, but he is a dandy Just the same.
May 8. got to Bahia, Bra. at 8.30 P.M. after making a good run and having Targate practis with full charges of Powder, don some fine shooting with the Big Guns. I dont think it will be a bit too healthy for the Spanish to bump up against us, for we have a good eye. We put in hear as an excuse to put on War paint saying our engines wer Brok down and at the same time to get more coal if we can.
May 9. Put on War paint to day and we are out for it now. we have the ship cleared for action now for keeps. got some coal and fresh water, filed up with every thing we wanted. at 8 P.M. the old man got telagram and at 10 P.M. we wer on our corse for the West Indias.
May 10. going along smooth and nothing doing.
May 11. still expect to meet that fleet and if we do meet them there is going to be a "Hot time in the old town to night."
May 12. Every thing the same, some of us think we past through the fleet last night, there wer several lights all around and acted Mighty quer.
May 13. Nothing doing and will wate untill we get in Port.
May 18. got into Barbadoes at 4 A.M. this morning and found lots of war talk going on; we are puting on coal Just now, expect to go out of hear to morrow morning erly. 8 P.M. up anchor once more after geting 250 tons of coal on and ready for buisness. Guess the Spanish dont want any of this craft, it seems we will get there without firering a shot.
May 24. arived at Jupiter light house after making a flank movement to the northard and not a ship to be seen.
May 25. up anchor once more for Key West, got there on the 26th; of corse the Capt dident know how things stud so he had to go slow. About 4.30 A.M. the man on the life Bouy gave the alarm, saying there was a small dark objict coming this way; the Officer of the Deck roused up the Capt and the next thing we knew Gen Quarters sounded. What should it be But the tug with our Pilot on board for us, the "Hudson" was the name of the tug.
May 27. still puting on coal, expect to go down to Cuba with the New York.
June 1. I herd the first shot in this war to day, Santiago de Cuba and with the flying squadron.
June 2. we had a wild goose chase.
June 3. nothing doing but laying off hear and watching what looks like to me a big hole in the grond. same thing the 4th and 5th.
June 6. Stand from under, we Bombard the forts and water Baterys to day for 4 hours but dont know how much damage we don.
June 7. staying out hear and doing nothing.
June 8. same thing.
June 9. " "
June 10. we went down to Guantanamo Bay to put some coal on and landed 40 Marines in the Morning. we wer the first to put foot on Cuban soil in this war. The 9th the Marblehead and Dolphin Bombarded the place and made them look like Munkys; they ran away and left every thing behind them.
June 11. came back to Santiago on the 10th. and laying off hear as befor.
June 12. Same old thing. Expecting Troops every day.
June 13. Dito.
June 14. the New Orleans was ordered to run in close to the shore and do som Bombarding By her self Just to break the Monotony and to let us believe we wer at war. we don a good Job all right, she silenced the east Battry and the west one too, and made them show up a water Battry which we did not know any thing about. havent herd how many got kild or wounded on the other side. But I know they never hert any one on this side. Got some news from Guantanamo to day. Col. Huntington and his Marines of 800 Had a Brush with the Spanish, it is reported that 6 marines wer kild and Doctor Gibbs was shot through the head by accident. there is at Guantanamo Bay the Texas, Marblehead and Porter and 800 Marines; they expect to have the cable work soon and the Harbor well under Hand. I forgot to say the Vesuvius landed 3 shots of dinomite in the Harbor on the night of the 13th at Santiago and did great damage to the Shore Batterys; the latest report is that the Cubans are flocking in to Huntingtons camp.
June 15. coaling ship and still retain our posision on the Blockade.
June 16. At 3.30 A.M. this morning all hands was called and the coffie was passed around with som hardtack and cand Beef at 4 A.M. Turn to, some 15 or 20 Minutes later Gen Quarters sounded. Then we went at it to try and see if we could not knock thoes Batterys off the earth. Bombarded untill 7.15 A.M. Nobody knows how much damage was don, except we silinced all the Batterys they had and made them show up a nother one inside of the harbor of which there seems to be lots of them. I will say right hear that if we take this place its going to be a hot old Job, and som of us will think we run up against a Hornets nest when we get in side. they have been talking of forsing the Chanell and Capt Clark signaled over to the flag ship and asked permishion to take the leed, and I am sure we will stay with him as long as the ship floats for we love him. The Vesuvius fired three more shots last night at about 12. dont know what damage was don But I know we are all tired of this fooling. if they would only send some soldiers down here from the regular army, say 6 Regiments of Infantry and 3 of Cavalry, I think, with what we could put up, that forse would more than be a match for them and take the place with all ease. The latest Bulitin of the day is that the Forses at Guantanamo have bin Joined by some Cubans and had a Brush with the Spanish, and the report is that 40 wer kild on the Spanish side and 17 taken prisoners of war, one Spanish Lut. 2 Corp and 14 Privates. On our side 3 Cubans Kild and 2 wounded, 3 Marines wounded and 17 overcome by the heat. But all recovered. Routed the Spanish and distroyed the water suply and Block House. The Dolphin held there posision from the water frount and the Texas sunk 2 small Gun boats.
June 17. come down to Guantanamo Bay this morning, put some 300 tons of coal on and throde some shells over in an old Fort and then puled out right away for Santiago.
June 20. Bully for the Soldiers, they are hear at last, "I thought they would com tomorrow," some of the papers say there is 20.000 of them, that is enough to eat the plase up for lunch. Well I hope we will soon crack this nut that is so hard to crack. I hear there is 15000 Spanish soldiers over hear.
June 22. the soldiers are landing all O.K. and doing well, and only a few horses and 2 men lost so far, so the Flag Ship says.
June 26. Started in this morning to see if we coulden knock down that Spanish old Morro or else knock somthing cruckit around it. Well we pelted away for an hour or more and the flag ship signaled over to the Iowa to close in and pump at the Smith Key Battry. The Iowa signaled Back that her forward Turet was out of order, so it fel to us, we went in to 700 yards of the shore Battry and did knock down the Spanish flag with an 8 inch shell and knocked over one of there Big Guns. I belive if the flag ship had not called us off Capt Clark would have went in along side of old Morro and give him a tutching up.
June 28. I am geting tired of trying to keep cases on this thing, there is nothing doing but laying around hear like a lot of sharks watching for a fish.
July 4. The fish has come out to see us. On the 3rd the Spanish fleet came out of the Harbor to fight and get a way if posable. (I would have put this down on the 3rd But I dident have time and was too tired that night so I put it off for today.) Well the Fleet came out and went to Davy Joneses locker. it was Just 9.25 A.M., first call had sounded on our ship for Quarters and we all had our best dudds on; we wer going to listen to the Articles of War this morning and to have chirch right affter, But we never did. all of a suden the Ordly on watch made a dive for the Cabin head first, and told the old man the Fleet was coming out of the Harbor. the old man jumpt up a standing. as soon as some of the men seen the ships there, they went to there Quarters with out any further delay. I was standing on the Quarter Deck waiting for the last call to go. I heard the news and looking around the affter Terets seen the first one. I thought she looked Biger than a Mountain. But then I thought affterwards we could cut her down to her natchral size. of corse it takes longer to tell about it than it taken us to get ready, for we wer allways ready, and all we had to do was to sound the Bells and stand By our Guns, they wer allways loaded so all we had to do was to turn on the fors draught and pull the triger.
By 9.27 the Oregon fired the first shot of the Battle of July 3rd. 1898 at the first ship that come out of the Harbor. I dont remember the ships as they come out, But we went in to meet them and passed them som good shots as they cep coming. about 7 or 9 minuts after they got started good, one of our 6 inch guns blew up one of the Torpedo Boats, struck her squar amidships, she sunk like a rock with all on board. and right hear is where I had to stop for a moment to admire one of there Guners. I do think he was one of the bravest men I ever had the pleasure to look upon. That man must have known he was going to a shure Deth, he stud on Deck and cep firing at us all the time, and the last time I seen him he was Just going up in the air. As the ships came out of the harbor they sircled to the right, or Westward, and Capt Clark knew they were trying to escape. they did not think the old Oregon was such a runer as she was a fighter, so we Just tailed on with them and giving them shot for shot. In about 20 minuts the first ship went on the Beach, plumb knocked out, and 15 minuts later the secon one went on the Beach, a short ways from the first. Then came the tug of war for we had to run to catch the Vizcaya and the Colon, but we catched them both. the Vizcaya was about 4000 yards ahead and the Colon was about 3 miles ahead, and the poor men in the fireroom was working like horses, and to cheer them up we passed the word down the ventlators how things was going on, and they passed the word back if we would cut them down they would get us to where we could do it. So we got in rainge of the Vizcaya and we sent her ashore with the secondary Battry and 6 inch guns, and then we settled down for a good chase for the Colon. I thought she was going to run a way from us. But she had to make a curv and we headed for a point that she had to come out at. We all think there is no man in the Navy like Capt Clark, he is a Brave man, he stud on the Forward 13 inch turet through the thickest of this fight and directed his ship to the final results.
Coming back to Santiago we waited untill we got to where the first ship went on the Beach and there fired the national salut. We have 3 Spanish prisoners on board and they thought we wer at it a gain, and it was all the sick Bay man could do as to quiet them. I hear there is over 1800 Prisoners and 650 kild and 800 wounded on the third. the three men on board tells the sickbayman that we run through there fleet coming around hear, for the next day they found a Pork Barrel ful of holes and had marked on the head U.S.S. Oregon. We all seem to think we could take care of our selves Just the same. it is Just 6.50 P.M. now and the men all say there is no flag flying on the Morro. But I can see Just as good as any and I can not see any either, But then I think we are out too far.
July 5. At about 11.45 the danger Signal was flashed by the lookout from the Massachusetts, she being the one to show her serchlight at the entrance of the Harbor for the night, the Spanish was trying to sink one of there old ships in the Chanell so as not to let us in. But Just 3 or 4 shots from the Massachusetts Big 13 inch Guns help them to do the Job, for she sunk befor they got to the Chanal. there is Spanish menowar and Torpedo boats strung all along the Beach for 60 miles.
July 10. We are laying off now in Guantanamo Bay filing out to go to Porto Rico or on the Coast of Spain.
This is all in regards to the trip of the Oregon.