« ПретходнаНастави »
that Cervera had entered the harbor of Santiago on the southeastern coast of Cuba.
A few days later Captain Sampson sailed with a number of war-ships for that port. One of his fleet was the battle-ship “Oregon," which had recently arrived from San Francisco, by way of the Straits of Magellan, after an exciting voyage of more than thirteen thousand miles.
The long, narrow, crooked channel of Santiago made entrance for our vessels very hazardous, and it was known that it was protected by both land batteries and submarine mines.
Cervera's feet was “bottled up,” but the question was whether he might not slip out under cover of darkness and elude our guns.
Captain Sampson resolved to "cork the bottle," and Lieutenant Hobson, at his own earnest request, was given charge of the dangerous experiment. With the help of seven sailors, all eager to rush into the jaws of death with him, he ran the coal-ship “ Merrimac” into the Santiago channel and sank her part way across it. Hobson and his men were captured by the Spaniards, but were soon exchanged, and on shore he became the hero of the day.
579. Fighting near Santiago; the “ Rough Riders”; destruction of Cervera's fleet. — A few weeks later General Shafter landed a strong force near Santiago to coöperate with Captain Sampson in the capture of that city. A skirmish brought out the fighting qualities of the regulars and of the “Rough Riders” who here fought on foot. A week later (July 1-2, 1898), after a sharp engagement at El Caney and San Juan, the regulars — “the flower of the American standing army” – drove the Spaniards into Santiago with heavy loss.
Shortly afterward Captain Sampson went to confer with General Shafter, leaving Commodore Schley and the other commanders of the fleet to keep a sharp lookout for Cervera ; for the “Merrimac” had only half corked the bottle.
Not long after Captain Sampson left, a shout went up from
the flag-ship“ Brooklyn,” “ The Spaniards are coming out of the harbor !” Both sides opened fire at the same time; but the Spanish admiral, with his four cruisers and two torpedo-boats, was no real match for our fleet of six vessels, comprising four powerful battle-ships.* In less than three hours all of the enemy's fleet were blazing, helpless wrecks, and Cervera himself was a prisoner of war on board of one of our ships.
Spain had another squadron at home, but she needed that to protect her coast; so far as we were concerned, her power on the ocean was practically destroyed.
580. The end of the war; the treaty with Spain; outbreak at Manila; the treaty ratified; annexation of Hawaii. Soon after this decisive defeat the Spaniards surrendered Santiago.
A few days later Spain asked for terms of peace, and on August 12, 1898, a protocol covering the preliminaries of peace was signed at Washington.
The President at once ordered the suspension of hostilities. General Nelson A. Miles, Commander of the Army of the United States, was then in Porto Rico preparing for a decisive battle. When the order to suspend hostilities was received, the island surrendered to our forces. Before the Government dispatch could reach the Philippines, Rear-Admiral Dewey and General Merritt had attacked and taken Manila.
The Peace Commission appointed by the American and the Spanish Governments met at Paris October 1, 1898, and the treaty was signed on December 10. By the terms of the treaty Spain (1) gave up all sovereignty over Cuba; (2) ceded to us the island of Porto Rico, and the island of Guam in the Ladrones ; (3) finally, Spain ceded the Philippines to us, receiving in return $20,000,000 for the public works which the Spanish Government had erected on those islands. On New
* The battle-ship“ Massachusetts,” Captain Sampson's flag-ship the armored cruiser “New York," and four other of our war vessels, were not in the battle, being absent on duty at other points.
Year's Day, 1899, the Spanish forces left Havana, and the American flag was hoisted over the palace and the castle of that ancient city. This leaves Spain without a foot of ground on this side of the globe.
The chief point of discussion in the Senate respecting the treaty was the article on the cession of the Philippines. A number of Senators, both Democrats and Republicans, strongly opposed the ratification of the treaty as it stood. They argued that we should either reject it entirely, or amend it so that the conditions required from Spain should be the giving up of all control over the islands, but not the actual cession of the islands themselves to the United States. They believed that the annexation of the Philippines would prove to be a burden rather than an advantage to this country. They proposed that we should act as guardians over the islands until the people should become able to govern and protect themselves.
The majority of the Senate held the view that the annexation of the Philippines would be for the best interests of all concerned, and that Congress could govern them for an indefinite period on the territorial plan, as we do Alaska.
While the subject was under discussion the natives made an attack on our troops at Manila. The combined forces of General Otis and Rear-Admiral Dewey speedily drove them back with terrible loss. The news of the battle was at once telegraphed to Washington. The next day, February 6, 1899, the Senate met and forth with ratified the treaty, as it stood, by a vote of 57 to 27. This act makes the Philippines, Porto Rico, and Guam part of the territory of the United States.
We had already annexed the Republic of Hawaii ($ 563); for after Rear-Admiral Dewey's victory many people thought, with Captain Mahan, that we needed these islands as a base of defence and of naval operations in the Pacific. The opposition declared that the Hawaiian people had not been fully consulted, and that “the cry of war emergency'" did not justify our taking the islands ; but a joint resolution to annex