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in October of 1897, and relieved the Phil- magazines contained the allowances of adelphia as flagship of the Pacific Station. peace. Hostile operations require abunShe was destined to remain but a short dant supplies. The wooden cruiser Motime on this duty. The Department had hican, at Mare Island, California, was selected her to replace the Olympia on the loaded with powder and projectiles and Asiatic Station, but in March of 1898 was hurried to Honolulu, where the Baltishe was ordered to reinforce that vessel. more was anchored. The transfer of her Besides the additional strength she gave precious cargo to the Baltimore the Asiatic Squadron, her assignment to promptly effected, and on March 25 the it was important for another reason. Baltimore sailed for Hongkong via YokoWhile all of the ships were provided with hama. By utilizing the Baltimore instead ammunition sufficient for battle, their of a merchant ship for the transportation

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of the munitions, there was less chance of Zafiro were purchased at Hongkong and their capture in case the Spaniards should loaded with coal and other necessary supenterprisingly seek to gain possession of plies. On the eve of war the Navy Dethem; but it was within the bounds of partment was able to make the following possibility that a bold plan to intercept comparison of the strength of the naval the cruiser would be attempted, and a forces of the United States and Spain in feeling of intense anxiety pervaded the the East : White House and Navy Department until

United States. Spain. news of her safe arrival at Hongkong on Vessels: Cruisers...

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11 April 22 reached the Bureau of Navigation. After the war with Spain, a report Armed tonnage..

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20,619 20,693 gained credence that, in order to provide Guns in main battery..

53 the Asiatic Squadron with sufficient am- Guns in secondary battery.. munition to engage the Spanish force, the

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3,700 3,000 Department had found it necessary to send a special train carrying supplies across Afloat, the United States was superior, the continent to San Francisco, where the but Spain was stronger so far as matériel freight was transferred to the Mohican. was concerned, taking her land and naval As a matter of fact, with the ammunition forces together.

forces together. The batteries defending brought by the Baltimore the Asiatic Manila Bay were capable of firing at a Squadron was amply supplied, and did not single discharge 3,750 pounds of metal. expend a third of its ammunition at the It is the testimony of experts that guns battle of Manila. As to the railroad train, ashore are, by reason of steadiness of the only one sent across the continent platform and protection afforded to the consisted of fourteen cars, and was assem- gunners, capable of more effective results bled at Harrisburg, Pa., on June 30, 1898, than guns installed on men-of-war. almost two months after the battle. The Personnel is largely the deciding factor munitions it carried were intended to form in naval engagements, and this fact was a large reserve supply for the Pacific and to be demonstrated in the battle of Manila Asiatic Squadrons, there existing at the Bay.

The commander-in-chief of the time some apprehension that Spain might American force was Commodore George send a fleet from Europe to the Philip Dewey. The selection of Commodore pines and that Germany might provoke Dewey to command the Asiatic Squadron us to war. At no time, however, was any was made during the fall of 1897. RearAmerican squadron so short of ammuni- Admiral A. S. Crowninshield, Chief of tion that it would have been unable to the Bureau of Navigation, called the attenengage an enemy's fleet.

tion of the Secretary to the fact that the The last reinforcement given to the Asi- tours of duty of Rear-Admiral Thomas 0. atic Squadron comprised the auxiliaries Selfridge, Jr., in command of the European McCulloch, Nanshan, and Zafiro. The Squadron, and Rear-Admiral Frederick V. McCulloch had been built on the Atlantic McNair, in command of the Asiatic Squadcoast and was ordered to San Francisco ron, would expire within a few months, via the Suez Canal to perform revenue and that it was advisable to relieve them. cutter service. Under the law authoriz- The Secretary examined the Naval Regising the transfer of revenue cutters to the ter, and found that there were three control of the navy in time of war, she officers whose turn for sea had come: was attached to the Asiatic Squadron, and Commodore E. O. Matthews, Commodore on April 8 was caught by cable at Singa- John A. Howell, and Commodore George pore and directed to proceed to Hongkong, Dewey. Commodore Matthews was Chief avoiding Spanish ports and vessels en of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, from route. As the Asiatic Squadron had no which place it was not thought desirable base nearer than San Francisco, though to take him; Commodore Howell was supplies could have been obtained at Commandant of the League Island NavyHonolulu, then the capital of an inde- Yard, and Commodore Dewey was Presipendent republic, it was necessary to pro- dent of the Board of Inspection and vide it with a collier and a supply ship, Survey.

Survey. Both had had long service and and the British steamers Nanshan and valuable experience; Howell had reputa

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tion as an ordnance expert of marked left such matters to the Secretary, was ability ; Dewey had served as Chief of approved by him. I remember his simply the Bureau of Equipment of the Navy saying to me, in his characteristically Department, and subsequently as a mem- pleasant way, “ Are you satisfied that ber of the Examining and Retiring Boards, Dewey is a good man for the place and receiving in 1895 his orders to the Board that his head is level ?” to which I affirmof Inspection and Survey. The Asiatic atively answered. Political or personal Squadron, in case of war with Spain, influence had nothing to do with his offered the larger probable opportunity selection. Indeed, war was not then-in for distinction, although the European the fall of 1897—so imminent that there Squadron was a choice flag command of was reason for departing from the usual the navy and included the Spanish waters. routine of making in the usual regular I decided to give Dewey the Asiatic and sequence the selection of the two or three Howell the European station, and this officers whose turn to go to sea had come. arrangement, on my submitting it to Presi- A month before war was declared Comdent McKinley, who had made no sug- modore Howell withdrawn from gestion in the matter, and who always Europe, the European Squadron having


been broken up, and placed in command North Atlantic Station was blockading of the Northern Patrol Squadron, organ- Cuba and that war might be declared at ized to defend the North Atlantic coast; any moment. Commodore Dewey had he was subsequently ordered to Cuban been active in carrying out his instrucwaters as Commander of the First North tions to prepare for war. Everything had Atlantic Squadron.

been done that promised increase of the The orders to Dewey were signed on effectiveness of his command. Machinery October 21, and he was directed to sail was examined and repairs made where for Nagasaki, Japan, and there relieve needed; guns were overhauled ; magaRear-Admiral McNair. He gave immedi- zines, magazine hoists, signal apparatus, ate evidence of the fact that the Depart- in fact, every little detail which made up ment was warranted in placing faith in the complex engines so soon to be put to him. As soon as it was definitely decided test, underwent careful and conscientious that he should assume command of the scrutiny. Arrangements were made with Asiatic Station, he began collecting data the British authorities to dock the Baltiin regard to the Spanish forces in the more immediately upon her appearance Philippines, and the Department assisted in the harbor, and two days after her him in every possible way. Moreover, arrival she was cleaned and coaled and before and during the war the Department reported ready for war. White is the made it a first duty to advise him of every peace garb of American naval vessels, and development which would be of interest so decorated they form splendid targets. or importance in the conduct of military To make the ships as inconspicuous as operations. Before he sailed, the policy possible, the Department ordered that of the Administration toward Spain was they be painted slate color. Thus clad, outlined to him, and he received specific they awaited instructions to advance on instructions as to the course to pursue in the Spanish force. Great Britain did not, the contingency of war.

however, permit them to remain in the When Dewey assumed command of the harbor. She gave recognition of a state Asiatic Station on January 3, he found a of war by issuing on April 24 her proclathoroughly efficient and well-trained force, mation of neutrality. Dewey at once and the credit for this condition is due to ordered the Boston, Concord, Petrel, Rear-Admiral McNair. When the latter McCulloch, Nanshan, and Zafiro to Mirs arrived in Washington, he stated that he Bay, an inlet on the Chinese coast, distant had turned over to Dewey plans for an thirty miles from Hongkong, which he attack upon the Spanish forces, similar had selected as a rendezvous. The Olymin many respects to those afterwards fol

pia, Baltimore, and Raleigh took advantage lowed.

of the twenty-four hours' grace allowed Protection of American interests had by the proclamation to remain until the required the scattering of the ships of the expiration of that time.

expiration of that time. The purpose Asiatic Squadron along the Chinese and of their stay was twofold : Commodore Korean coast. Believing the time for Dewey desired to confer with the United action not far distant, orders were cabled States Consul at Manila, who was en route to Dewey on February 25 directing him to Hongkong on an overdue steamer, and to mobilize his squadron, with the excep- certain parts of the machinery of the tion of the unseaworthy Monocacy, at Raleigh were undergoing repairs in a Hongkong, and to keep his ships filled machine-shop ashore. Neither the Consul with coal. “ In the event of declaration of nor the machinery came within the timewar with Spain,” he was advised, “your limit, as the Commodore received from the duty will be to see that the Spanish squad- Department the instruction which moved ron does not leave Asiatic coast, and then him at once to action. offensive operations in Philippine Islands.” This instruction was not striking in its Other preliminary orders were issued, in- originality; in fact, it was simply in line cluding an instruction, cabled on April 7, with the programme of procedure which to land all woodwork and stores not con- Dewey knew so well. As soon as war sidered necessary for operations, and on was declared, it was the unanimous opinApril 21 the Commander-in-Chief was ion of the Department, agreed on by the informed that the naval force on the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary, and

the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, inshield before or after I went to the indeed by all who expressed an opinion, White House, was put in cipher and that we should strike at once at the cabled. It was as follows: Spanish fleet in the Philippines. On

Washington, April 24, 1898. Thursday, April 21, I urged this action Dewey, Hongkong: on President McKinley. He thought it

War has commenced between the United not quite time. But early Sunday fore- Philippine Islands. Commence operations at

States and Spain. Proceed at once to the noon, the 24th, I conferred with him at

once, particularly against Spanish feet. You the White House. So vivid is the picture must capture vessels or destroy. Use utmost


LONG. he presented on that memorable occasion that it has remained in my memory with It was sent none too soon. Just after the distinctness of a first impression. It it had gone, word was received from

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was a lovely, sunny spring day, a bright Dewey that the Governor of Hongkong contrast to the grim business in hand. had issued a proclamation of neutrality, We sat on a sofa, he thoughtful, his face which required the departure of the showing a deep sense of the responsibility American ships. With this famous desof the hour. My memory is that I took patch ceased all immediate control by the to him for approval the now famous des- Department of Dewey's conduct. He was patch, and that it had been prepared by left unfettered, and to him and to his subthe Bureau of Navigation before I went ordinates was confided the responsibility to the White House. I am advised, how- of achieving his task. Accompanied by the ever, by officers of that Bureau that it was Raleigh and Baltimore, the Olympia left not prepared till after my return. At any Hongkong, and, with the bands playing rate, the President gave me that morning the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and folthe desired authority, and the despatch, lowed by the ringing cheers of British whether drafted by Rear-Admiral Crown- sailors and soldiers, steamed for Mirs

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