Puerto Rico Campaign

The Puerto Rico Campaign was the American military sea and land operation on the island of Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War. The offensive began on May 12, 1898, when the United States Navy attacked the capital, San Juan. Though the damage inflicted on the city was minimal, the Americans were able to establish a blockade in the city's harbor, San Juan Bay. On June 22, the cruiser Isabel II and the destroyer Terror delivered a Spanish counterattack, but were unable to break the blockade and Terror was damaged.

The land offensive began on July 25, when 1,300 infantry soldiers led by Major General Nelson A. Miles disembarked off the coast of Guánica. After controlling the first skirmish, the Americans advanced to Coamo, where they engaged Puerto Rican and Spanish troops in battle. The battle concluded when the allied soldiers retreated after the battle left two dead on their side, and four on the American side. The United States was able to seize control of Fajardo on August 1, but was forced to withdraw on August 5 after a group of 200 Puerto Rican–Spanish soldiers led by Pedro del Pino gained control of the city, while most civilian inhabitants fled to a nearby lighthouse. The Americans encountered larger opposition as they advanced towards the main island's interior. They engaged in two crossfires in Guamani River and Coamo, both of which were inconclusive as the allied soldiers retreated. A battle in San Germán concluded in a similar fashion with the Spanish retreating to Lares.

On August 9, 1898, American troops that were pursuing units retreating from Coamo and Asomante encountered heavy resistance in Aibonito and retreated after six of their soldiers were injured. They returned three days later, reinforced with artillery units and attempted a surprise attack. After about an hour of fighting, Spanish artillery batteries had been silenced. American guns advanced some 2,150 yards and set up positions, but soldiers reported seeing Spanish reinforcements nearby and the guns were withdrawn back to the main line. Shortly before the launch of a flanking movement on the Spanish, all military actions in Puerto Rico were suspended on August 13, after U.S. President William McKinley and French Ambassador Jules Cambon, acting on behalf of the Spanish government, signed an armistice whereby Spain relinquished its sovereignty over the territories of Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines and Guam.

Puerto Rico Campaign
Part of the Spanish–American War
Puerto Rico Expedition

Map of the Puerto Rico Campaign illustrating operations July 25 – August 12, 1898, and showing municipality borders in 1898. Blue are US Naval forces, red are US land forces, and green are Spanish ground forces.
Puerto Rico USA-España

Map of Puerto Rico under the US and Spanish flags from August 14 til September 19, 1898. The 23 blue-colored municipalities were under US flag and the 55 yellow-colored municipalities were under Spanish flag
DateMay 8 – August 13, 1898

Militarily inconclusive;

  • Spain cedes Puerto Rico in accordance with the accords of the Treaty of Paris of 1898.[1]
  • United States post-war occupation of Puerto Rico[1]


 United States
Commanders and leaders
Spain Manuel Macías y Casado United States Nelson A. Miles
United States William T. Sampson
Spain: 8,000
Puerto Rico: 10,000[2]
15,472 [2]
Casualties and losses
17 dead
88 wounded
324 captured
10,000 surrendered at the end of the campaign[2]
5 dead
43 wounded[2]


In 1890, Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, a member of the Navy War Board and leading U.S. strategic thinker, wrote a book titled The Influence of Sea Power upon History in which he argued for the creation of a large and powerful navy modeled after the British Royal Navy. Part of his strategy called for the acquisition of colonies in the Caribbean Sea which would serve as coaling and naval stations, and serve as strategical points of defense upon the construction of an Isthmusian canal.[3]

This idea was not new, since William H. Seward, the former Secretary of State under the administrations of various presidents, among them Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant, had stressed that a canal be built either in Honduras, Nicaragua or Panama and that the United States annex the Dominican Republic and purchase Puerto Rico and Cuba. The idea of annexing the Dominican Republic failed to receive the approval of the U.S. Senate and Spain did not accept the 160 million dollars which the U.S. offered for Puerto Rico and Cuba.[3] Mahan made the following statement to the War Department: "Having therefore no foreign establishments either colonial or military, the ships of war of the United States, in war will be like land birds, unable to fly far from their own shores. To provide resting places for them where they can coal and repair, would be one of the first duties of a government proposing to itself the development of the power of the nation at sea."[4]

Bandera tercer batallon
Flag of the Batallón Provisional No. 3 de Puerto Rico (3rd Provisional Battalion of Puerto Rico)

Since 1894, the Naval War College had been formulating plans for war with Spain. By 1896, the Office of Naval Intelligence had prepared a plan which included military operations in Puerto Rican waters. Not only was Puerto Rico considered valuable as a naval station, Puerto Rico and Cuba were also abundant in a valuable commercial commodity which the United States lacked: sugar. [5]

On February 15, 1898 USS Maine exploded and sunk in Havana Harbor, Cuba. According to the Navy's leading weapons expert, Philip Alger, the explosion was due to a coal fire igniting a reserve magazine of six tons of gunpowder, much of which was already degrading due to the humid climate.[6] However, the United States forwarded an ultimatum to Spain to withdraw from Cuba following the sinking of Maine. In response, Spain broke off diplomatic relations with the United States, and on April 23, 1898 Spain declared war. On April 25, the U.S. Congress declared that a state of war between the United States and Spain had existed since April 20.[7] One of the United States' principal objectives in the Spanish–American War was to take control of Spanish possessions in the Atlantic—Puerto Rico and Cuba—and their possessions in the Pacific—the Philippines and Guam.[8]

On April 27, U.S. ships, the monitor USS Puritan, the armored cruisers USS New York, and USS Cincinnati, bombarded the Spanish fortifications at Matanzas Bay in Cuba. By July 16, an armistice was signed at the Arbol de La Paz (a large ceiba tree) in Santiago de Cuba by U.S. and Spanish forces ending hostilities in Cuba and its waters. The United States then directed its undivided military resources to Puerto Rico.[9] Two leaders of the Puerto Rican section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, Dr. Julio J. Henna and Roberto H. Todd,[10] had written to U.S. President McKinley asking that Puerto Rico be included in whatever intervention was planned for Cuba as early as March 10. They even provided the U.S. government with information about the Spanish military presence on the island.[11]

Spanish preparations

With the outbreak of war, the Spanish Crown sent the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Puerto Rican provisional battalions to defend Cuba against the Americans, depleting the Puerto Rican troops in the island. The 1st Puerto Rican Provisional Battalion, composed of the Talavera Cavalry and Krupp artillery, was sent to Santiago de Cuba where they battled the American forces in the Battle of San Juan Hill. After the battle, the Puerto Rican battalion suffered a total of 70 casualties which included their dead, wounded, missing and prisoners.[12] The Spanish appointed Governor of Puerto Rico, Manuel Macías y Casado, declared martial law, resolving to resist the American forces.[13] He declared: 'Providence will not permit that in these countries which were discovered by the Spanish nation the echo of our language should ever cease to be heard, nor that our flag should disappear before the eyes. ... Long live Puerto Rico, always Spanish. Long live Spain."[13] Macías y Casado hoped that a grant of autonomy would ensure that Puerto Ricans would remain loyal to the Spanish crown.[13]

American preparations

Edwin Emerson Jr 001
Edwin Emerson Jr.
Riefkohl map
Map drawn by Rudolph Riefkohl and given to Edwin Emerson, Jr.

The Spanish Crown was unaware that, at the time, the United States had successfully infiltrated the island with a number of spies, among them Henry Howard Whitney, Henry Ward, George Bronson Brea, William Freeman, James Dewel, Frederick Ober and Edwin Emerson, Jr.[14]

According to a story published in Century magazine in September 1898, Edwin Emerson, Jr., was pretending to be a German journalist. He presented himself to the German Consul in St. Thomas and asked for the names of Puerto Ricans of German descent whom he could interview. Among the names which the consul gave him were that of the Riefkohl family of the town of Maunabo. Upon his arrival in the town of Maunabo he met 14-year-old Rudolph W. Riefkohl and asked the lad in German if he had a map of Puerto Rico (Emerson had lost his). Riefkohl answered that he did, however it was decidedly too big for Emerson's use. Riefkohl returned home, not knowing that Emerson was a spy, and quickly drew another with a depiction of the major ports and harbors of Puerto Rico.[14] Emerson used the map and it is believed by some that he may have given the map to the U.S. Army Commanding General, Nelson A. Miles, influencing Mile's decision on the landing points for the invasion of Puerto Rico. A photostatic copy of Riefkohl's map was published in the Century article.[15]

The naval campaign in Puerto Rico (May 8–August 13)

First actions

San cristobal cannon s
Ordoñez 15 cm cannon which opened fire on Yale[16]

The first engagement between the belligerents occurred on May 8, 1898, when the converted liner USS Yale captured a Spanish freighter, Rita, in San Juan Bay. On May 9, Yale fought a brief battle with Alfonso XIII, a Spanish auxiliary cruiser, resulting in a Spanish victory.[17] Around this time, Captain Ángel Rivero Méndez was assigned the command of the Spanish forces at the fortress of San Cristóbal in San Juan. On May 10, when Yale returned to San Juan Bay, Rivero-Méndez ordered his men to open fire on the steamer with an Ordoñez 15 centimeter cannon, in the first attack against American forces in Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War.[18] For his actions, Rivero-Mendez was awarded the "Cruz de la Orden de Merito Militar" (The Cross of the Order of the Military Merit) first class.[18]

Bombardment of San Juan

Rear Admiral William T. Sampson
Rear Admiral William T. Sampson during the Spanish–American War

The Bombardment of San Juan or the First Battle of San Juan (not to be confused with the Battle of San Juan Hill or the Battle for the Río San Juan de Nicaragua) refers to an American naval attack on the fortifications of San Juan, Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War. The American Naval commanders believed the bulk of the Spanish Fleet under Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete was steaming from the Cape Verde Islands to the Antilles and ultimately to Puerto Rico. With this understanding, Rear Admiral William T. Sampson and a squadron of ten American warships, the battleships USS Iowa, Indiana, New York, cruisers USS Montgomery and Detroit, monitors USS Amphitrite and Terror, torpedo boat USS Porter, two unidentified auxiliary cruisers, and an unarmed collier had stood out from Havana at noon on May 2 bound for Puerto Rico. Sampson intended to intercept and destroy the Spanish squadron and then move on to attack secondary shore targets- San Juan's castles, forts and batteries. He was unaware that Topete had already eluded them and slipped his squadron into the Bay of Santiago.[19]

Hero tales of the American soldier and sailor as told by the heroes themselves and their comrades; the unwritten history of American chivalry (1899) (14597170710)

On May 12, Sampson's squadron arrived at San Juan, finding an empty harbor. Making the best of the situation and as an exercise for his untested gunners, Sampson ordered the bombardment of the city's citadels. Captains Ramón Acha Caamaño and José Antonio Iriarte were among those who defended the city, from Castillo San Felipe del Morro. They had three batteries under their command, which were armed with at least three 15 cm Ordóñez cannons. The battle lasted three hours and resulted in the death of Justo Esquivies, the first Puerto Rican soldier to die in the Puerto Rican Campaign.[20] Caamaño was awarded the "Cruz de la Orden de Merito Militar" (The Cross of the Order of the Military Merit) first class for his actions.[21]

After causing much damage to the Spanish defenses and receiving minor damage, low on coal]and ammunition, Sampson ordered a cease fire and returned to Havana, Cuba and then on to Key West, Florida for repairs and supplies.[22]

Second Battle of San Juan

Bombardment of El Morro in 1898
Bombardment of San Felipe del Morro

On June 22, 1898, USS Saint Paul under the command of Captain Charles Sigsbee arrived at San Juan Bay from Cuba and joined the blockade. Shortly after midday the old Spanish cruiser Isabel II set off from San Juan to engage Saint Paul with support from shore batteries. Isabel II opened fire on Saint Paul at long range without success in an attempt to break the blockade. Terror, a Spanish destroyer docked in San Juan for repairs, attempted to cover the cruiser's escape with a torpedo attack but was thwarted when her rudder was damaged by a direct hit from Saint Paul. Losing steerage, Terror inadvertently turned broadside, allowing Saint Paul to score direct hits near Terror's waterline, disabling one of her engines and causing her to list. Terror abandoned the attack and returned to port, followed by Isabel II. On June 26, USS Saint Paul was relieved by USS Yosemite, which continued the blockade of San Juan Bay.[23]

Third Battle of San Juan

Captain Angel Rivero Mendez

On June 28, 1898, the American auxiliary cruiser USS Yosemite fought with a squadron of Spanish warships. This squadron consisted of one cruiser, two gunboats and one blockade runner. During the engagement, SS Antonio López, a transoceanic steamer belonging to the Compañía Transatlántica Española carrying a cargo of needed military supplies, was pursued by Yosemite until and the Spanish freighter ran aground at Ensenada Honda, Puerto Rico with her valuable cargo.[24] Capt. Caamaño was in charge of retrieving the ship's cargo and the men under his command quickly removed as much of the stranded ship's cargo as possible. The desperate efforts proved fruitful, and nearly the entire cargo was salvaged from the hulk with only minor articles and a cannon that had fallen overboard during salvage attempts being lost.[25]

On 15 July, the cruiser USS New Orleans arrived to relieve Yosemite, and the quickly finished off Antonio Lopez the next day by firing twenty incendiary shells into the vessel and sinking it. Though Antonio Lopez had been sunk, her cargo was successfully delivered and ensured that any American assault on San Juan would be met with stronger resistance. Caamaño was awarded the "Cruz de la Orden de Merito Naval" (The Cross of the Order of the Naval Merit) by the Spanish government.[21]

The residents of San Juan were furious with Capt. Rivero-Méndez and blamed him for the destruction wreaked on their city by American bombardments. Nothing came of those recriminations and Capt. Rivero-Méndez was ordered to turn over the keys of all the military installations in San Juan to Captain Henry A. Reed of the U.S. Army after the Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed.[18]

The land campaign in Puerto Rico (July 25–August 13)

Landing in Guánica

Nelson A. Miles by Brands Studios, 1898
Lt. General Nelson A. Miles

The Spanish forces expected the Americans to attack the northern region of the island and concentrated their defenses around San Juan and Arecibo. The Spanish government was also aware of a planned landing by the Americans at Fajardo, located on the east coast and had that town fortified. However, the southern and western regions of Puerto Rico were left with little or no defenses at all.[26]

After Cuba was taken, President William McKinley approved the land invasion of Puerto Rico by way of Fajardo, taking into consideration that the Spaniards had fortified San Juan, where they expected the initial attack. A convoy of ships left Tampa, Florida and on July 21 another convoy, which included USS Yale, USS Massachusetts, USS Gloucester and USS Dixie, departed from Guantánamo for a four-day journey to Puerto Rico.[27]

Major General Miles traveled aboard USS Yale. While approaching the Mona Passage that separates Puerto Rico from the island of Hispaniola to the east, Miles opted to land his troops in the southern region of the island, choosing Guánica as his landing zone. Miles dispatched patrol boats to notify all other convoys of his decision and to order them to proceed to Guanica. Miles' decision to change the invasion site was based on his belief that the town of Fajardo would be fortified and he feared that Spanish coastal gun boats would disrupt a landing at Fajardo.[26][27]

Guanica Lighthouse 1893
Guánica Lighthouse c.1893

On July 25, General Miles, 1,300 infantry soldiers of the 3,300 total that were assigned for the initial invasion and a convoy of ships, under the command of Naval Captain Francis J. Higginson of USS Massachusetts arrived at Guánica Bay. The following Navy ships and Army troopships were part of the convoy: USS Yale with Generals Miles and George A. Garretson embarked, USS Windom carrying General Guy V. Henry, USS Columbia, USS Gloucester, USS Dixie, USS Wasp and the U.S. Army transports Lampasas, Unionist, Stillwater and Specialist. Two captured Spanish ships, Nueces and Rita that had been confiscated by USS Yale as war prizes were also used.[26][27]

In 1898, Guánica was a small barrio within the jurisdiction of the town of Yauco. It had 60 houses in all and its only defense was eleven members of the 4th Volante de Yauco, a Puerto Rican militia unit, under the command of Lieutenant Enrique Méndez López. When the Guánica lighthouse keeper Robustiano Rivera spotted the approaching convoy, he immediately gave the alert to the residents of the barrio. All of the residents, with the exception Agustín Barrenechea, Vicente Ferrer, Juan María Morciglio, Simón Mejil, Salvador Muñoz, Cornelio Serrano and Pascual Elena who welcomed the invaders, abandoned their homes and joined Rivera on his journey to Yauco where he broke the news of the invading forces to the city's mayor.[27]

First skirmish

Gloucester landing team

Gloucester was the first ship to set anchor in the Bay of Guánica. Twenty-eight sailors and Marines, under the command of Lieutenants H. P. Huse and Wood, departed from the ship on rafts and landed on the beach. The Marines lowered the Spanish flag from the beach flagpole and replaced it with the American flag. They then proceeded to set up a machine gun nest and placed barbed wire around their perimeter. The first land skirmish in Puerto Rico between the Puerto Rican militia and the American forces occurred when Lt. Méndez López and his men attacked and opened fire on the Americans. During the small battle which followed, the Americans returned fire with their machine gun and Gloucester began to bombard the Spanish position. Lt. Méndez López and three of his men were wounded and the militia unit was forced to retreat to the town of Yauco.[26][27]


General Nelson Miles and other soldiers on horseback Puerto Rico.
General Nelson Miles and other soldiers on horseback in Puerto Rico.

After the skirmish was over, men from Lampasas landed on the beach to secure the area and to build a landing dock. 3,300 American soldiers under the command of General Miles landed. The units that landed were the 6th Volunteer Regiments of Illinois and Massachusetts, an Artillery battalion, five battery companies, two engineer companies and a medical unit.[27] The men who had not abandoned the barrio of Guanica swore allegiance to the United States. Garretson named Agustín Barrenechea mayor of Guanica and Simón Mejil the chief of police. On the afternoon of the 25th, Garretson left Guánica with seven companies of the 6th Massachusetts and one company of the 6th Illinois and headed towards Yauco.[27]

Secretary of War Russell A. Alger learned about the landing at Guanica the next day when he read an Associated Press report in a local Washington, D.C. newspaper. The War Department had ordered Miles to invade Puerto Rico by way of San Juan and therefore Alger was completely surprised with the report. Miles would have been subject to disciplinary actions had the invasion not gone so smoothly. Alger received the following cable from Miles three days after the invasion:[28]

Battle of Yauco

Francisco Puig (1898)
Lt. Col. Francisco Puig

After Rivera, the keeper of the Guánica lighthouse, notified Atilio Gaztambide, the mayor of the town of Yauco, located six miles (9.7 km) north of Guánica, of the American invasion of Guánica, the mayor in turn notified Governor Macías via telegraph. Governor Macías ordered Captain Salvador Meca and his 3rd company of the 25th Patria Battalion from Yauco to head for Guánica. Meca and his men were joined by Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Puig, who assumed command of the Spanish forces at Hacienda Desideria two miles (3.2 km) from Guánica. Puig arrived with two companies known as "Cazador Patria Battalion", and they were joined by Puerto Rican volunteers, the Civil Guards, and mounted guerrillas from the towns of Yauco and Sabana Grande. Puig had the men positioned on both sides of the road that ran from Guánica to the coffee Hacienda Desideria (owned by Antonio Mariani) in Yauco, as well as an infantry company positioned on a hill south of the hacienda.[29]

In the meantime, Garretson, set out of Guánica with his men towards Yauco with the intention of capturing the Yauco rail terminus that ran between that town and the City of Ponce, the largest city in the southern region of the island.[29] Garretson and his men arrived in the darkness of night and was informed by his scouts of the possibility of a hostile situation at the Hacienda Desideria. He ordered the Illinois company and two companies (companies L and M) of the 6th Massachusetts to occupy a small hill on his right that overlooked the hacienda.[29]

Yauco Battlefield 1898
Part of the Hacienda Desideria, owned by Antonio Mariani, where the Battle of Yauco took place in 1898

Captain San Pedro detected the movements of the American troops from his positions on a nearby hill and ordered his men to open fire. Garretson then ordered a direct attack on the Spanish and Puerto Rican forces in the hacienda. At day break, the 6th Massachusetts overran the Spanish forces and suffered four casualties.[29] Puig was expecting reinforcements from Yauco which did not arrive and was ordered to disengage and retreat. Before retreating the right wing of the Spanish force, which was not overrun, initiated a flanking attack against two positions held by the Illinois and Massachusetts companies. The unexpected strength of the Spanish force caused some of the 6th Massachusetts troops to momentarily panic, but the Spanish forces were eventually driven off. Puig and his forces suffered two officers and three soldiers wounded and two soldiers dead.[29]

Train Station in Yauco
19th century train station in Yauco

Puig and his men retreated towards Yauco, but failed to destroy the rail terminus which connected the town to the city of Ponce, and proceeded to march towards the town of Peñuelas. Garretson's troops entered Yauco in the afternoon of July 26 and on July 27 Puig's men continued their march, leaving their artillery and heavy equipment behind, passing the towns of Adjuntas and Utuado and finally arriving at the town of Arecibo on the northern coast of the island on July 29.[29] Col. Puig, believing that he would be dishonored and accused by the Spanish Government of abandoning military equipment during his retreat, committed suicide on August 2.[30]

Miles, upon learning about the lack of discipline of the 6th Massachusetts during the battle, ordered an investigation. The 6th Massachusetts was sent on a hard march from Guánica to Ponce as punishment and the regimental commander, a lieutenant colonel, a major, and a captain resigned upon request.[29]

Battle of Fajardo

Fajardo lighthouse 1898
Faro de Las Cabezas de San Juan (Cape San Juan lighthouse), c. 1898. It is located on the northeastern part of the highest point of Cape San Juan in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

On August 1, the monitors USS Puritan, USS Amphitrite, armed tug USS Leyden, and collier USS Hannibal were sailing off the coast of Fajardo on the northeast corner of Puerto Rico, when Captain Frederick W. Rodgers, Puritan's commanding officer and senior officer afloat, spotted the "Faro de Las Cabezas de San Juan" (Cape San Juan Lighthouse) that had been designated the landing site for the US Army's invasion of Puerto Rico. Rodgers ordered a reconnaissance landing party ashore, including Puerto Rican volunteers. The sailors advanced to within a one-half mile (0.80 km) of Fajardo, about five miles (8.0 km) from the coast, but withdrew when they encountered Spanish troops.[31][32]

The 25-man Spanish garrison stationed in Fajardo was alerted to the American presence and ordered to withdraw after notifying their superiors in San Juan. When Dr. Santiago Veve Calzada, a Fajardan, realized that the garrison was abandoned and his town defenseless against the Americans, he implored the Spanish authorities in San Juan to dispatch troops to defend Fajardo.[31] Losing hope that Spanish troops would come to the town's aid, Veve went to the lighthouse to seek protection for the town from the Americans. On the afternoon of August 5, Veve entered Fajardo with a contingent of bluejackets and United States flags were hoisted over the Fajardo Customs House at the harbor and City Hall.[31] On the evening of August 6, Captain Charles J. Barclay of Amphitrite ordered 28 sailors and 7 officers commanded by Lt. Charles N. Atwater and Assistant Engineer David J. Jenkins ashore to relight and occupy the Fajardo Light. They were also ordered to quarter 60 women and children of the town's families that were deemed in danger for having sided with the Americans. As the first group of sailors was entering the darkened lighthouse, Naval Cadet William H. Boardman was mortally wounded when his revolver fell from a faulty holster and discharged into his thigh, cutting the femoral artery. His was one of only two Navy deaths during the Puerto Rican campaign.[32]

On August 4, Governor General Manuel Macías y Casado sent Colonel Pedro del Pino and about 220 troops, including civil guardsmen to recapture the city. When Colonel Pino entered Fajardo on August 7, he found it nearly deserted because the residents, fearing a battle, had fled to the Fajardo Light and the surrounding hills. At close to midnight on August 8, Pino's troops began their assault on the lighthouse. The landing party of Amphitrite's sailors occupying the lighthouse doused the light and signaled the ships offshore, initiating shore bombardment as the naval guns began firing a protective pattern. After two hours, the Spanish forces retreated back to the town. The Americans suffered no casualties, despite a close call when a wayward naval shell smashed through the two-foot (0.61 m) thick walls of the lighthouse within touch of six men but failed to explode. The Spanish losses were two dead and three wounded, including a lieutenant.[31][32]

Early the next morning, Barclay decided the continued occupation of the lighthouse was of marginal value and ordered his men back to the ship. A landing party of 30 sailors from Amphitrite and a similar number of U.S. Marines from USS Cincinnati under Lieutenant John A. Lejeune came ashore to secure the area while the 60 Fajardan civilians boarded Leyden for passage to Ponce and the lighthouse was abandoned to the Spaniards. In Fajardo, Pino's men tore down the U.S. flags that flew over the harbor Customs House and City Hall, returning to San Juan after verifying that the lighthouse was abandoned. The contingent of about 20 civil guards that had accompanied Pino, were left to maintain order in the town. The skirmish at Fajardo was the only time that American forces withdrew from a position during the Puerto Rican Campaign.[31]

Battle of Guayama

US troopships and convoy at Playa de Ponce, 1898
US troopships and convoy at Playa de Ponce, 1898

After the town of Yauco was taken, Miles decided to attack the City of Ponce by sea and by land. Garretson's 6th Illinois and 6th Massachusetts had returned to Guanica and after the troops rested, Garretson and his men were ordered to move eastward to Ponce. Lt. Col. Rafael Martinez Illecas, in charge of the Spanish forces in that city, had pulled out, leaving behind a small garrison of 300 volunteers to hold the town.[33] When the American forces arrived in Ponce they met no resistance and the Spanish volunteers surrendered. The American forces were not the only ones who participated in the taking of Ponce. Members of the Puerto Rican Commission, which included the leader of the Intentona de Yauco revolt, Antonio Mattei Lluberas and his group, arrived in Ponce aboard USS St. Louis and were assigned to the headquarters of General Miles. From this group Miles organized the "Porto Rican Scouts", which was later assigned to General Theodore Schwan, under the command of Edwardo Lugo Viñas.[34] Miles then ordered Brigadier General Peter G. Hains and the men of the 3rd Illinois, 4th Ohio and 4th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiments to take Arroyo, a small port 60 miles (97 km) east of Ponce that served the larger, nearby coastal town of Guayama.[33] Arroyo was taken on August 2 and on August 5 Hanes ordered the 4th Ohio, the 3rd Illinois and a battery of Sims-Dudley guns, manned by Company G of the 4th Ohio, to capture Guayama.[33]

Spanish forces were entrenched on the crest of two small hills, between which the road from Arroyo to Guayama ran. The Americans had crossed a stream in front of the hills when suddenly the Spanish opened fire. The Americans protected their position by the stream and increased their firepower as more reinforcements arrived.[33] The outnumbered Spanish troops retreated to Guayama as the Americans made their advance on the hills. The firefight, which lasted half an hour, left three American wounded. When the 4th Ohio entered the town they discovered that the Spaniards had fled north and abandoned the city, ending the Battle of Guayama. General John Rutter Brooke used the Cautiño Residence (Casa Cautiño) by the town square in Guayama as his military headquarters.[33]

Battle of the Guamaní River Bridge

On August 6, Colonel Coit sent two companies of the 4th Ohio on a reconnaissance mission across and beyond a cast iron bridge that crossed the Río Guamaní (Guamaní River). The road beyond the bridge was essential for General Hains' projected advance to the town of Cayey.[28] The 4th Ohio observed elements of Spain's 6th Provisional Battalion under the command of Julio Cervera Baviera entrenched in Guamaní Heights, six miles north of the bridge. The 4th felt that they were too strongly entrenched to attempt an assault at the time.[33] The 4th Ohio requested reinforcements and on August 9, attacked the Spaniards and a short firefight erupted. The numerical superiority of the Americans forced the Spanish to retreat from Guamaní Heights.[28][33] This battle was the costliest battle yet for the Americans since their landing at Guánica, as it resulted in seven wounded. The Spanish forces suffered 2 dead and 15 wounded.[28]

Battle of Coamo

3rd Wisconsin
The 3rd Wisconsin awaits orders to charge the Spanish at Coamo

Shortly after the American soldiers disembarked, a group of Spanish and Puerto Rican units began moving from Ponce to Aibonito, marching through the Carretera Central (Central Road). The caravan was composed of two companies of the Batallón de Cazadores de la Patria (Battalion of the Motherland's Hunters) and some members of the Civil Guard and a Puerto Rican guerilla force. A total of 248 infantry men and 42 members of the cavalry formed the battalions under the command of Lt. Col. Rafael Martínez Illescas, the same commander who was in charge of the Ponce garrison.[35] Traveling by foot, the journey would last two days. The group decided to spend one night in the resort of the town of Coamo known as the Baños de Coamo before continuing their march in the morning.[35][36] Martínez Illescas immediately ordered the construction of several trenches; while building these, the soldiers were ambushed by an anti-Spanish guerilla force, led by Pedro María Descartes, who managed to kill a member of the Civil Guard.[35]

Spanish and Puerto Rican prisoners of war after the Battle of Coamo

Meanwhile, two battalions of volunteers from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, led by Generals Oswald H. Ernst and James H. Wilson, settled on opposite sides of the road to Coamo.[35] On August 9, 1898, the Americans began their offensive, opening cannon fire against the city and completing their attack with artillery fire, the 3rd and 4th Regular Pennsylvania Artillery to provide artillery support for the frontal assault on the Baños, damaging the resort.[36][37] The Americans intended to encircle and defeat the defenses in the city. A group of soldiers entered the city from the backside, having advanced through a river nearby. The rear assault was reinforced by Wilson's army under General Ernst, attempting to trap the allied soldiers in a crossfire, employing a tactic known as the pincer movement.[38] Martínez Illescas was surprised by the attack and led an improvised attack, but he was killed in the crossfire along with his second-in-command, leaving Captain Hita in charge; he ordered his men to surrender. Half of the allied troops ignored the order, and continued the attack, Troop C galloped at top speed north from the Baños de Coamo, after finding the resort abandoned by the Spanish.[36] Hita's men were sent to a prisoner-of-war camp located at Río Descalabrado, while the men who continued to attack retreated to Aibonito when they realized that the Americans were using a pincer movement.[38]

Battle of Silva Heights

Col. Julio Soto Villanueva and staff (1898)
Col. Julio Soto Villanueva (X) with his staff in Mayagüez

Brigadier General Theodore Schwan and 2,896 men of his Independent Brigade had landed in Guanica and marched towards occupied Yauco. Schwan and his men were ordered to move westward and to capture the city of Mayagüez. Colonel Julio Soto Villanueva ordered 1,500 Spanish Regulars of the 24th Rifle Battalion, six companies of the Alfonso XIII auxiliaries, and other scattered Spanish and Puerto Rican guerilla forces dispatched from the garrison at Mayagüez to meet and defeat Schwan. The Spanish forces entrenched themselves at a high ridge called Silva Heights, located at a road near the town of Hormigueros.[28]

Schwan's troops arrived in the town of San Germán and continued the march towards their objective. Troop A of Schwan's 5th Cavalry approached Silva Heights and were soon engaged in a firefight when the Spanish forces opened fire. The Americans were aided by two companies of the 19th Infantry, supported by artillery and Gatling guns, as well as the 11th Infantry. The Spanish forces retreated after the American reinforcements brought them under intense fire.[28] Schwan's men set up camp on Silva Heights for the night and the following day they continued their drive to Mayagüez. They arrived the following morning to find that the Spanish forces had abandoned the city to retreat to the east towards Lares. Schwan did not follow Soto Villanueva, but instead was ordered to take the town of Las Marías. The outcome of the Silva Heights Battle left 3 Spanish dead, 6 wounded, and 136 prisoners. Schwan's brigade suffered 15 wounded and 2 killed in action.[28]

Battle of Asomante

Spanish trenches in Asomante

The American cavalry pursued the soldiers that had retreated from Coamo, but were not able to reach them until the units had entered Aibonito Pass, a region more commonly known as Asomante. The region had been prepared by allied Puerto Rican and Spanish troops, who had built a trench and placed soldiers and equipment around the foliage.[39] As soon as the soldiers noticed the presence of the invading unit they opened cannon fire. The cavalry received infantry reinforcements, which were received by battery fire. Six American soldiers were injured in the crossfire, prompting a retreat order.[39] The allied units (Spanish and Puerto Rican) lost five soldiers and two civil guards.[39] During the following two days the Americans decided to do a battlefield reconnaissance and Colonel S. Reber, developed a croquis of the Aibonito Pass. Spies were deployed throughout Coamo, including a Puerto Rican separatist named Carlos Patterne, who was able to enter the city without suspicion and contact Rufino Huertas, a separatist teacher.[40] Huertas gave Patterne a series of defense plans that were previously developed and organized by Martínez Illescas.[40] While inactive, the Puerto Rican soldiers deployed in Asomante completed rounds every two hours, working four hours daily. They mostly ate beans, some rice and meat, while conserving several cracker packs for Spanish reinforcements that were supposed to arrive.[41] They slept in improvised huts that did not protect them from the rain.[41]

The American commanders decided to attack the trenches with artillery, while sending a large group to Barranquitas, from which they would try to attack the allied troops from the back.[42] At 10:30 a.m. Captain R.D. Potts led part of the 3rd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment through the central highway to Aibonito. Lieutenants Bliss and O'Hern led two units with similar equipment. At 1:00 p.m. the allied troops opened cannon fire as the Americans entered their range.[43] Potts ordered the deployment of two batteries while O'Hern received orders from Commander Landcaster to set a cannon at a distance of a 100 yards to the vanguard's right.[43] They intended to defeat a small group led by Captain Hernaíz. Shrapnel from allied cannon fire was falling close to Lancaster's location, and he asked Potts to help him by deploying a battery nearby. One of Hernaíz's Placensias cannons overheated, which forced him to order a temporary cease to the offensive.[44] Landcaster believed that the opposition had been annihilated, ordered an advance. However, the allied fire was renewed, this time supported by Mauser rifle fire. The sudden attack caused confusion among some soldiers, who reported seeing a second Spanish unit nearby.[45] Fearing that the allied units could capture the American equipment, Landcaster ordered a retreat. Lieutenant Hains was gravely injured by a Mauser bullet, being replaced by Sergeant John Long. Meanwhile, most of Potts' men fled the battlefield. In the crossfire the allied forces overpowered the American infantry, using Mauser fire to disorganize their artillery,[46] during which time four American officials were gravely injured including Long, Lieutenant Harris, Captain E.T. Lee and Corporal Oscar Sawanson.[47] Private Frederick Yough, Corporal August Yank, George J. Bruce and Private Sices also received injuries, with Yough subsequently dying. Harris' position was filled by O'Hern, while Sawanson was fatally shot while trying to support the artillery. In total the allied units had only an injured artillery man, while the American side had two dead and five injured. Wilson's camp was the first to receive a telegram from General Miles notifying him that the war had ended. The Americans sent Bliss to Asomante, but Nouvilas refused to suspend the hostilities after receiving a telegram from Macías denying any peace treaty.[48] All military actions in Puerto Rico were suspended August 13, after President William McKinley and French Ambassador Jules Cambon, acting on behalf of the Spanish government, signed an armistice whereby Spain relinquished its sovereignty over the territory of Puerto Rico.[11]


Treaty of Paris of 1898

Uncle Sam and the Goddess of Liberty bring freedom to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines (1898 newspaper cartoon)
In an 1898 newspaper cartoon, 'Uncle Sam" watches as the 'Goddess of Liberty" heralds 'freedom" for Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines

The Puerto Rico Campaign, which began with Yales's capture of Rita on May 8 and ended on August 13 after the Treaty of Paris was signed, was short compared to the other campaigns in the Spanish–American War, because the war came to an end before the military objective of the campaign was completed. Among the factors which benefited the invaders in the short campaign was that the Puerto Ricans who resided in the southern and western towns and villages resented Spanish rule and tended to view the Americans as their liberators.[28] Some Puerto Rican leaders such as José de Diego and Eugenio María de Hostos expected the United States to grant the island its independence[49][50] and in the case of Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón and the committee which he headed, greeted General Miles and the invaders in Ponce with banquets.[51] Believing that Puerto Rico would gain its independence, a group of men staged an uprising in Ciales which became known as "El Levantamiento de Ciales"[52] or the "Ciales Uprising of 1898" and proclaimed Puerto Rico to be a republic. The Spanish authorities who were unaware that the cease fire had been signed brutally suppressed the uprising[53] Another reason which can explain why the campaign was short and not as violent as the others is that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Puerto Rican Provisional Battalions were in Cuba defending that island against the American invaders.

As stated in the introduction, the Puerto Rican Battalion suffered a total of 70 casualties which included their dead, wounded, MIA's and prisoners.[12] The Spanish, Puerto Ricans and Americans that participated in the campaign totaled 33,472. Of this total 18,000 were Spanish, 10,000 were Puerto Rican and 15,472 were American military personnel. The Spanish and Puerto Rican suffered 429 casualties which included 17 dead, 88 wounded and 324 captured. The American forces suffered 43 casualties: 3 dead and 40 wounded.[2] The commander of Spain's 6th Provisional Battalion, Julio Cervera Baviera gained notoriety as the author of a pamphlet called La defensa de Puerto Rico, which supported Governor General Manuel Macías y Casado and in an attempt to justify Spain's defeat against the United States, falsely blamed the Puerto Rican volunteers in the Spanish Army of the fiasco[54] A group of angry Sanjuaneros agreed to challenge Cervera to a duel if the commander did not retract his pamphlet. The men drew lots for this honor; it fell to José Janer y Soler and was seconded by Cayetano Coll y Toste y Leonidas Villalón. Cervera's seconds were Colonel Pedro del Pino and Captain Emilio Barrera. The duel never took place, as Cervera explained his intentions in writing the pamphlet, and all parties were satisfied.[55]

Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898, ratified on December 10, 1898, Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States. Spain had lost its last colony in the Western Hemisphere and the United States gained imperial strength and global presence. The United States established a military government and appointed Miles the first head of the military government established on the island, acting as both head of the army of occupation and administrator of civil affairs.[56] Members of the Spanish forces and civilians who were loyal to the Spanish Crown were allowed to return to Spain. By October 18, the Spanish withdrawal from Puerto Rico was completed as the final troops left San Juan for Spain.[11] Those who belonged to the Spanish military who decided to stay in Puerto Rico were offered the option by the United States to serve in the newly formed "Porto Rico Regiment". Some took the offer, such as Teófilo Marxuach, a former Lieutenant in the Spanish Army who joined the regiment,[57] and others, such as Capt. Angel Rivero Méndez, declined the offer and retired from the military.[58]

"Americanization" of Puerto Rico

From 1898 to 1900, Puerto Rico was governed by four military officers, Commanding General Nelson A. Miles (1898), Major General John R. Brooke (1898–1898), Major General Guy Vernon Henry (1898–1899) and Major General George Whitefield Davis (1899–1900). Some of these men, such as Miles, Brooke and Henry were experienced veterans of the Indian Wars and, even though they were accustomed to the pacification and administration of the Native Americans, the U.S. Army had no previous experience in the administration of overseas territories.[59] Henry stated: "It was an entirely new duty for American Army officers. There was no precedent in the experience of these so suddenly placed in charge of this our first real colony, upon which their policy could be based."[59]

Raising the U.S. flag over San Juan, October 18, 1898
Raising the U.S. Flag over San Juan, October 18, 1898

The administration of Puerto Rico was the responsibility of the United States Department of War's Division of Insular Affairs which was molded after the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Almost immediately, the United States began the 'Americanization" process of Puerto Rico. The U.S. occupation brought about a total change in Puerto Rico's economy and polity and did not apply democratic principles to the colony. Puerto Rico was classified as an 'unincorporated territory" which meant that the protections of the United States Constitution did not automatically apply because the island belonged to the U.S., but was not part of the U.S.[60]

In 1899, U.S. Senator George Frisbie Hoar described Puerto Ricans as "uneducated, simple-minded and harmless people who were only interested in wine, women, music and dancing" and recommended that Spanish should be abolished in the island's schools and only English should be taught.[61] Schools became the primary vehicle of Americanization, and initially all classes were taught in English, which also made for a large dropout rate.[60]

On January 15, 1899, the military government changed the name of Puerto Rico to Porto Rico (On May 17, 1932, U.S. Congress changed the name back to "Puerto Rico") and the island's currency was changed from the Puerto Rican peso to the American dollar, integrating the island's currency into the U.S. monetary system.[62] The United States exerted its control over the economy of the island by prohibiting Puerto Rico from negotiating commercial treaties with other nations, from determining tariffs, and from shipping goods to the mainland on other than U.S. carriers.[60]

Civil disorder

A state of civil disorder existed in the island's mountainous region after the invasion of the United States. The local Criollo, who now found themselves unemployed and felt that they had been exploited by their former employers, formed bands called 'Partidas". The Partidas, at first attacked and robbed many of the wealthy plantation owners, who were loyal to the Spanish Crown, in vengeance, however they later began to attack the businesses owned by the local natives. One of the most notable leaders of the Partidas was José Maldonado Román a.k.a. 'Aguila Blanca". Maldonado, who operated in the areas of Juana Díaz and Ponce, harassed the Spanish Civil Guard and later did the same to the American Forces. Another factor contributing to the state of civil disorder on the island was the lack of discipline of the American troops who were stationed on the island. These troops were not professional soldiers and were composed of volunteers. Many instances were reported where these men would act disorderly, under the influence of alcohol, and get into fights with the local residents.[63] The state of civil disorder came to a halt on the island after the military government began to rebuild Puerto Rico's infrastructure, thereby providing employment for many of the discontented and unemployed population, and when the volunteer troops were replaced by the regular Army.[63]

End of military rule and rise of the sugar economy

Military rule was replaced by a civilian government by way of the Foraker Act of 1900. However, the Act stipulated that the governor, chief of police and top officials were presidentially appointed and they were all to be Americans.[60]

In 1901, the first civilian U.S. governor of Puerto Rico, Charles Herbert Allen, installed himself as president of the largest sugar-refining company in the world, the American Sugar Refining Company. This company was later renamed as the Domino Sugar company. In effect, Charles Allen leveraged his governorship of Puerto Rico into a controlling interest over the entire Puerto Rican economy.[64]

54 years after the end of the Puerto Rican Campaign

In 1947, the U.S. granted Puerto Ricans the right to democratically elect their own governor, which it first exercised in 1948. The Constitution of Puerto Rico was approved by a Constitutional Convention on February 6, 1952, ratified by the U.S. Congress, and approved by President Truman on July 3 of that year. Puerto Rico adopted the name of Estado Libre Asociado (literally translated as "Free Associated State"), officially translated into English as Commonwealth, for its body politic.[65][66][67]

Markers, monuments and tombstones

Guanica Rock
Rock in Guánica which indicates where Major General Nelson A. Miles and his men landed

In Puerto Rico there are no monuments to commemorate the Spanish–American War as such. There are various markers where some of the historical events took place and some tombstones which honor both the American invaders and the Spanish and Puerto Rican defenders of the island. In the town of Guánica there is a rock on the coastal port with an inscription indicating that Major General Nelson A. Miles and his men landed on that spot. There is also a monument in the town dedicated to the veterans of the Spanish–American War, however said monument fails to specify to which veterans it is dedicated to, the Americans or the Spanish/Puerto Ricans. In Yauco there is a monument/tombstone dedicated to an unknown Spanish soldier who had fallen in combat and was left there on that very spot. In Coamo there are two markers that indicate where Rafael Martínez Illescas and Frutos López died. López's tomb is located in the old cemetery of Coamo next to that of the tomb of the three unknown Puerto Rican soldiers who perished in that conflict. Martínez Illescas' body was transferred in 1916, to his hometown Cartagena in Spain where he is buried. The town of Guayama has a monument dedicated to the members of the 4th Ohio Infantry. In Asomante, there is a marker which indicates the place where the "Battle of Asomante" took place.[68]

See also


  1. ^ a b Zwick, Jim (April 23, 1995). "Sitting in Darkness: An Unheeded Message About U.S. Militarism". Baltimore Sun. pp. J1, J6.
  2. ^ a b c d e Negroni, Coronel Héctor Andres (1992). La Guerra Hispanoamericana en Puerto Rico (Military history of Puerto Rico). 1898 Los Documentos de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Sociedad Estatal Quinto Centenario. ISBN 84-7844-138-7. Retrieved September 4, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Strategy as Politics'; by: Jorge Rodriguez Beruff; Publisher: La Editorial; Universidad de Puerto Rico; page 7; ISBN 978-0-8477-0160-5
  4. ^ A.T.Mahan, "The Influence of Sea Power upon History (1660–1783)", London: Sampson Low, Marston, Seale; page 83
  5. ^ Strategy as Politics by: Jorge Rodriguez Beruff; Publisher: La Editorial; Universidad de Puerto Rico; page 13; ISBN 978-0-8477-0160-5
  6. ^ Puerto Rico
  7. ^ Hakim 1994, pp. 144–149
  8. ^ "The World of 1898: The Spanish–American War". Hispanic Division, Library of Congress. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
  9. ^ "Chronology of Cuba in the Spanish–American War". The World of 1898: The Spanish–American War. Hispanic Division, Library of Congress. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  10. ^ "Hombres Illustres de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). www.prfrogui.com. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
  11. ^ a b c "Chronology of Puerto Rico in the Spanish–American War". The World of 1898: The Spanish–American War. Hispanic Division, Library of Congress. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  12. ^ a b Tropas de España en Puerto
  13. ^ a b c Trask 1996, p. 338
  14. ^ a b "Los espías estadounidenses de la Guerra Hispanoamericana en Puerto Rico" (American Spies in Puerto Rico during the Spanish–American War); By: Roberto Ramos-Perea del Ateneo Puertorriqueño
  15. ^ "Alone in Puerto Rico, by Edwin Emerson, Jr., Century Magazine, Vol. 56, Issue 5, pp. 666–676, September 1898
  16. ^ Cañón Ordóñez de 15 cm modelo 1885
  17. ^ Ediciones Digitales
  18. ^ a b c "1898 – Adjuntas en la Guerra Hispanoamericana" (in Spanish). Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  19. ^ "Pascual Cervera y Topete". The World of 1898: The Spanish–American War. Hispanic Division, Library of Congress. Retrieved August 17, 2008.
  20. ^ Foros
  21. ^ a b Protagonistas de la Guerra Hispano Americana en Puerto Rico
  22. ^ "Rear Admiral William T. Sampson". The World of 1898: The Spanish–American War. Hispanic Division, Library of Congress. Retrieved August 5, 2008.
  23. ^ "Saint Paul". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  24. ^ Berta Pensado, El Marqués de Comillas (1954)
  25. ^ "ANTONIO LOPEZ (Shipwreck)". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  26. ^ a b c d Barnes, Mark R. "The American Army Moves on Puerto-Rico, Part 2". War in Puerto Rico. Spanish American War Centennial Website. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g "El desembarco en Guánica". 1898 La Guerra Hispano Americana en Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Puerto Rico — "A Moonlight Picnic"". Home of Heroes. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g Barnes, Mark R. "The American Army Moves on Puerto-Rico: The Landing and Skirmish at Guánica and the Battle of Yauco". War in Puerto Rico. Spanish American War Centennial Website. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
  30. ^ "Protagonistas de la Guerra Hispano Americana en Puerto Rico". 1898 La Guerra Hispano Americana en Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  31. ^ a b c d e "Fajardo lighthouse". Home of Heroes. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  32. ^ a b c Los incidentes de Fajardo 3 al 7 de agosto de 1898
  33. ^ a b c d e f g Barnes, Mark R. "The American Army Moves on Puerto-Rico Part 3". War in Puerto Rico. Spanish American War Centennial Website. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  34. ^ Protagonistas de la Guerra Hispano Americana en Puerto Rico Parte XII
  35. ^ a b c d Pratts 2006, p. 42
  36. ^ a b c The American Army Moves on Puerto-Rico
  37. ^ Pratts 2006, p. 46
  38. ^ a b Pratts 2006, p. 48
  39. ^ a b c Pratts 2006, p. 50
  40. ^ a b Pratts 2006, p. 51
  41. ^ a b Pratts 2006, pp. 70–71
  42. ^ Pratts 2006, p. 55
  43. ^ a b Pratts 2006, p. 59
  44. ^ "Pratts 2006, p. 60
  45. ^ "Pratts 2006, p. 81
  46. ^ Pratts 2006, p. 62
  47. ^ "Pratts 2006, p. 82
  48. ^ Pratts 2006, p. 63
  49. ^ "About Eugenio María de Hostos (1839–1903)". Hostos Community College. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  50. ^ "José de Diego". The World of 1898: The Spanish–American War. Hispanic Division, Library of Congress. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  51. ^ El Nuevo Dia Archived 2009-06-03 at the Wayback Machine
  52. ^ El levantamiento de Ciales, by Juan Manuel Delgado, Editorial Guasábara, 1980.
  53. ^ Projecto Salon Hogar, Retrieved December 20, 2008
  54. ^ Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture (New York: NYU Press, 2004), 11.
  55. ^ Pers2.htm
  56. ^ Miles, Nelson Appleton (1896). Personal Recollections and Observations of General Nelson A. Miles. Embracing a Brief View of the Civil War, or, From New England to the Golden Gate : and the Story of his Indian Campaigns, with Comments on the Exploration, Development and Progress of Our Great Western Empire". Chicago: Werner.
  57. ^ Hewitt, Holmes & Williams 1905, p. 440
  58. ^ "Angel Rivero, Crónica de la Guerra Hispanoamericana en Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  59. ^ a b Strategy as Politics by: Jorge Rodriguez Beruff; Publisher: La Editorial; Universidad de Puerto Rico; page 18–19; ISBN 978-0-8477-0160-5
  60. ^ a b c d Safa, Helen (March 22, 2003). "Changing forms of U.S. hegemony in Puerto Rico: the impact on the family and sexuality". Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development. Retrieved August 3, 2007.
  61. ^ Harvey, S.S. (February 22, 1899). "Americanizing Puerto Rico". New York Times. p. 4. Retrieved August 3, 2008.
  62. ^ Dinwiddie 1899, p. 261
  63. ^ a b 1898-La Guerra Despues de la Guerra by: Fernando Pico; Publishers: Ediciones Huracan; ISBN 0-940238-25-X
  64. ^ Ribes Tovar et al., p.122-144
  65. ^ Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico – in Spanish (Spanish) Archived 2011-11-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  66. ^ "Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). LexJuris de Puerto Rico. Archived from the original on November 14, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  67. ^ "Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico". Welcome.toPuertoRico.org. Retrieved August 2, 2008.
  68. ^ Monumentos y tumbas

Further reading

  • Beruff, Jorge Rodríguez (2007). Strategy as Politics: Puerto Rico on the Eve of the Second World War. La Editorial, Universidad de Puerto Rico. ISBN 978-0-8477-0160-5.
  • Dinwiddie, William (1899). "Puerto Rico: Its Conditions and Possibilities". New York: Harper & Brothers.
  • Hakim, Joy (1994). History of US: Book Eight, An Age of Extremes. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507759-8.
  • Hewitt, Waterman Thomas; Holmes, Frank R.; Williams, Lewis A. (1905). "Cornell University: A History". The University Publishing Society.
  • Pratts, Edgardo (2006). De Coamo a la Trinchera del Asomante (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Puerto Rico: Fundación Educativa Idelfonso Pratts. ISBN 0-9762185-6-9.
  • Trask, David F. (1996). The War with Spain in 1898. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-9429-8.
  • Ángel Rivero Méndez: Crónica de la Guerra Hispanoamericana en Puerto Rico. Published by: Imprenta de los sucesores de Rivade- neyra (1922)
  • Héctor Andrés Negroni: Historia militar de Puerto Rico. Published by: Sociedad Estatal Quinto Centenario (1992)

External links

149th Infantry Regiment (United States)

The 149th Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Army, provided by the Kentucky Army National Guard. It was originally constituted 22 May 1846 in the Kentucky Militia as the 1st Kentucky Cavalry and the 2d Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. After a year of Federal service (June 1846 to June 1847), it was reorganized on 15 June 1860 in the Kentucky State Guard as the Lexington Battalion (which included the Lexington Rifles). It was then expanded in November 1860 to comprise the Lexington Battalion and the Kentucky River Battalion. is especially notable in military history in that it is one of the few military units to ever be split between two different countries for the duration of a war.

166th Infantry Regiment (United States)

The 166th Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Army. It was part of the Ohio National Guard. In 1992, the regiment was consolidated with the 148th Infantry Regiment.

1898 in the United States

Events from the year 1898 in the United States.

Baños de Coamo

The Baños de Coamo (; the "Baths of Coamo" or "Coamo Thermal Baths"), located in the municipality of Coamo, are Puerto Rico's only thermal springs.

Used by the Tainos in the pre-Columbian era, the Baños were believed by many to have healing powers. The Baños became a popular tourist attraction among the early Spanish settlers which prompted the construction of a resort by local entrepreneurs. Coamo was the site of an important battle during the Puerto Rico Campaign of the Spanish–American War and were subject to artillery bombardments which damaged the resort. The historic Baños and resort were restored during the 20th century by the Government of Puerto Rico, becoming once more a popular tourist attraction.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Castillo San Felipe del Morro also known as Fuerte San Felipe del Morro or Castillo del Morro, is a 16th-century citadel located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Centro Español de Ponce

The Centro Español de Ponce is a historic structure located in Ponce, Puerto Rico, dating to the early twentieth century and which served as the last headquarters of the Centro Español de Ponce, a Spanish heritage club. The structure is prominent among other Neoclassical architecture in Ponce because it is the first structure in Ponce built in that architectural style for use as a residence but then subsequently used as the headquarters of a prominent community-based civic organization, the Centro Español de Ponce, a Spanish heritage club.

George A. Garretson

George Armstrong Garretson (January 30, 1844 – December 8, 1916) enlisted as private in the Union Army during the Civil War and later graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He returned to duty for the Spanish–American War as a Brigadier-general of U.S. Volunteers. In civilian life he held many prominent positions including President of The Bank of Commerce. National Association ; First Vice-President, The Guardian Savings & Trust Company; Trustee, Western Reserve University; Director, The Cleveland Electric Railway Co.; Director and Chairman of Board, The Great Lakes Towing Company; Treasurer, The Montreal Mining Company; Director, The Citizens Savings & Trust Company;

Director. The Wheeling & Lake Erie R. R. Co.; Director, The Cleveland Stone Company; Treasurer, Cleveland Subdivision Ohio Branch, American National Red Cross, all of Cleveland, Ohio.

Isaac González Martínez

Dr. Isaac González Martínez (July 8, 1871 – April 20, 1954) was the first Puerto Rican urologist, and a pioneer in the fight against cancer throughout the island. Dr. González Martínez conducted many investigations and experiments in parasitology, bilharzia, leprosy and typhoid fever. Dr. González Martínez and Dr. Bailey K. Ashford were the founders of the first commission in Puerto Rico to study the causes of anemia. In 1914, he was named director of the biological laboratory of the sanitation service of Puerto Rico. In 1935, Dr. González Martínez founded The Puerto Rican League against Cancer. He also promoted the construction of Puerto Rico's first hospital specializing in oncology.

John A. Lejeune

John Archer Lejeune (; January 10, 1867 – November 20, 1942) was a United States Marine Corps lieutenant general and the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Lejeune had nearly 40 years service in the Marine Corps including commanding the U.S. Army's 2nd Division during World War I. His service with the Marine Corps after he retired was as the 5th Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute.

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was named in his honor during World War II. Lejeune is often referred to in the present day as being the "greatest of all Leathernecks" and the "Marine's Marine."

Luis Lloréns Torres

Luis Lloréns Torres (May 14, 1876 – June 16, 1944), was a Puerto Rican poet, playwright, and politician. He was an advocate for the independence of Puerto Rico.

Monic Pérez

Monic Marie Pérez Díaz (born February 1, 1990 in Bayamón) is a Puerto Rican TV Host, model and beauty pageant titleholder who won Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2013 and represented Puerto Rico at Miss Universe 2013 in Moscow and placed Top 16.

Ramón M. Suárez Calderon

Dr. Ramón M. Suárez Calderón (1895–1981) was a scientist, cardiologist, educator and hematologíst whose investigations led him to identify the proper and effective treatment of a specific anemia known as tropical sprue. He also refined the protocols for numerous diagnostic procedures, such as electrocardiography and radioisotope, for the clinical identification and treatment of the disease which causes heart rheumatism.

Roberto Arango

Roberto Arango-Vinent is a Cuban American politician who served in the Senate of Puerto Rico from January 2005 until August 2011 representing the San Juan district for the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (NPP), which is a conservative group derived from the Republican Statehood Party.During his tenure Arango voted for anti-gay legislation several times. He resigned his senate seat and withdrew from politics in 2011 after a series of nude photos were made public from the gay match website Grindr were made public, and stated that he had come to realise that he was gay. In 2014 he ran, unsuccessfully, for election again.

Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón

Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón (April 22, 1855 – December 13, 1913) was a Puerto Rican lawyer and politician, a member of the Puerto Rican House of Representatives, and a lifelong political contrarian. He favored Puerto Rican autonomy when Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony. After the Spanish–American War, when the island was ceded to the United States, he advocated statehood for Puerto Rico. In later years, Matienzo Cintrón supported Puerto Rico's independence.

Rudolph W. Riefkohl

Colonel Rudolph William Riefkohl (1885 – November 13, 1950), was an officer in the United States Army, who played an instrumental role in helping the people of Poland overcome the 1919 typhus epidemic.

Second Army Corps (Spanish–American War)

The Second Army Corps was a unit of the United States Army raised for the Spanish–American War.

A defining event of the Spanish–American War was the typhoid fever epidemic of July to November 1898. The Army consequently undertook a series of mass-retreats and attempted evasions. The Typhoid Board concluded that only one of the five army corps stricken with epidemic typhoid succeeded in suppressing the disease actively, the 2nd Army Corps. In the wake of two fruitless relocations and months of casualties, commanders finally managed to impose an effective latrine-policy. A three-part strategy of draconian defecation-management, mass-disinfection, and flight received the Typhoid Board's imprimatur as the principal, recommended method for suppressing existing epidemics.

Thomas A. Davis

Colonel Thomas Alderson Davis (June 29, 1873 – February 12, 1964) was the founder of two military schools in the United States.

USS Hannibal (AG-1)

USS Hannibal (AG-1), a converted steamer, was built as Joseph Holland by J. Blumer & Company at Sunderland, England, in 1898. She was purchased by the United States Navy on 16 April 1898 and renamed Hannibal. She was one of the very few ships to serve in the U.S. Navy in the Spanish–American War, World War I and World War II. She was commissioned on 7 June 1898 with Commander Harrison Gray Otis Colby (USNA 1867) in command.

During the Spanish–American War, Hannibal participated in the Puerto Rico Campaign. On one occasion she and three other US ships bombarded the Spanish positions at the Battle of Fajardo. The ship was awarded The Spanish Campaign Medal and her officers and men were issued the Spanish Campaign badge for 1898 service.From June 1898 – May 1908, Hannibal served in the Collier Service along the Atlantic coast. After an overhaul in 1908, she continued in the Collier Service with her base in New England for nearly three years. Hannibal was decommissioned on 15 August 1911.

She was recommissioned on 16 October 1911 and was assigned to the U.S. Survey Squadron to make depth soundings and surveys in preparation for the opening of the Panama Canal. Hydrographic surveys continued in the Caribbean until 1917, including operations in Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Cuba.

With the advent of World War I, Hannibal operated with the Patrol Force of the Atlantic Fleet. After an overhaul in early 1918, she became a tender to submarine chasers at Plymouth, England. Hannibal served in English waters until December, when she sailed for the Azores via Gibraltar as a sub-chaser escort. In early 1919, she resumed sub-tender duties, and visited England, France, and Portugal returning to the United States in August.

Hannibal remained in reserve during which she was classified as a "miscellaneous auxiliary" in July 1920 with the hull number "AG-1" at Philadelphia until 9 February 1921, when she sailed for Cuba to resume survey operations which lasted until 1930. During the next decade Hannibal surveyed waters near Trinidad, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and the Panama Canal Zone.

In 1933, Hannibal and Gannet were the first U.S. Navy vessels to collect dynamic sounding data in which depth and oceanographic data were collected in one sounding and analyzed aboard. After serving the U.S. Navy for 42 years, 28 of which had been dedicated to supporting the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office, Hannibal was replaced by Bowditch in 1940.During World War II, she operated out of Norfolk, Virginia in the Chesapeake Bay degaussing range. Hannibal was decommissioned on 20 August 1944 and was sunk as a bombing target on 1 March 1945, in the Chesapeake Bay, just to the northwest of Smith Island, Md.

After 21 years of use as a target ship, the Hannibal was largely obliterated. In 1966, the Navy brought in a second target ship, the American Mariner, a disused World War II Liberty ship, and sunk it next to the Hannibal. Although the American Mariner is currently the U.S. Navy's only active live-fire target ship in the Chesapeake Bay, by tradition it keeps the name of the original target ship on that site and is still referred to as the Hannibal.

Yauco, Puerto Rico

Yauco (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈʝauko]) is a city (ciudad) and municipality in southwestern Puerto Rico, centered on the city of the same name. Although the city is inland, the municipality stretches to a southern coast facing the Caribbean. Yauco is south of Maricao, Lares and Adjuntas; east of Sabana Grande and Guánica; and west of Guayanilla. The municipality has 20 wards and the main city Yauco zona urbana (Yauco Urban Zone). It is both a principal city of the Yauco Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area.

According to the United States Census Bureau the population of Yauco in the year 2000 was 46,384 persons, decreasing to 42,043 persons in 2010, a net loss of 4,341 people or 9.36% of its population. Its land area is 176.5 square kilometers with a population density of 238.2. The urban zone accounted for 17,186 of its inhabitants in the 2010 census.It was founded by Fernando Pacheco on February 29, 1756, and developed for commodity crops of tobacco, sugar cane, and coffee. Yauco became a center for Corsican immigration to Puerto Rico in the 19th century due to its geographical similarity to their homeland. Corsicans have contributed to many areas of life in Yauco, particularly to its coffee industry. This has contributed to the city's nicknames of El Pueblo del Café (City of Coffee), and Los Corsos (The Corsicans). It is also known as La Capital Taína (the Taíno capital) after the native peoples of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Campaign

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