ページの画像
PDF
ePub

the army and navy, which in certain high quarters are altogether too apparent."

Sunday, May 22, 1898. The President also read aloud to Colonel Herrick several letters received from fathers and mothers, begging that the troops be not sent to Cuba during the rainy season now approaching. If some of the malcontents who are shouting 'On to Havana' could see some of this correspondence, from all parts of the country, they would not be so ready to proclaim their views the only correct ones and to represent the President as lacking in strength of character and foresight."

" June 8, 1898. In all the movements of the army and navy the President's hand is seen. He is solicitous to the last degree for the welfare of our troops and sailors, but he is determined not to delay the prosecution of the war a day longer than necessary. He is a man of infinite tact and I have seen many a dangerous situation bridged over and not a few unpleasant incidents in the Cabinet circle smoothed out by his good sense and quiet influence."

Friday, June 17, 1898. The President watches the war situation most earnestly and intently. In the evenings before retiring he goes to the war-room

and studies the dispatches before going to his room. In the midst of all this his wise counsel has saved the Government money and lives to an incalculable degree. He is the strong man of the Cabinet, the dominating force; but with it all are such gentleness and graciousness in dealing with men that some of his greatest victories have been won apparently without any struggle.”.

CHAPTER XXVI

THE END OF THE WAR

THE

HE naval victory off Santiago virtually

brought the war to a close. With the city surrounded by the American army and the harbor in possession of the navy, the Spanish commander, General Toral, had no choice but to capitulate. He prolonged the negotiations, however, until July 16, when the agreement was signed, and on the next day General Shafter marched into the city and received the formal surrender. The whole eastern end of the island was secured to the United States and 22,864 Spanish prisoners were sent back to Spain at the expense of our government.

Three movements, one naval and two military, remained to be completed.

The first was the proposed sailing of the fleet of Commodore John C. Watson, to make a demonstration against the Spanish coast. The second was the occupation of Porto Rico, already undertaken by General Miles; and the third was the capture of the City of Manila by the forces of General Wesley Merritt.

The proposed naval expedition was widely advertised. The American navy, having destroyed two

Spanish squadrons, now assumed a large importance in the eyes of Europe, and the prospect of these ships crossing the Atlantic and bringing the war straight to the coast of Spain, incidentally destroying the last remnant of Spanish naval power, was not relished. Admiral Camara, in command of the Spanish reserve fleet, had been ordered to the Philippines, but went no farther than the Suez Canal, his movements after that being somewhat uncertain. Business men in the leading ports of Spain, realizing how little Camara's ships could accomplish against the victors of Manila and Santiago, trembled when they heard of Watson's mighty squadron, and brought every possible pressure to bear upon the authorities of Spain to sue for peace. The statesmen of that country saw at last the hopelessness of their effort and the futility of expecting aid from other European nations. The powers, indeed, jealous of the growing prestige of the American nation, were all strongly insisting upon peace and in this they had the vigorous support of the Vatican.

The threatened invasion, following so soon after the decisive action at Santiago, and the attack upon Porto Rico, together with the irresistible pressure at home and abroad, convinced the Spanish Government that the time to end the unequal struggle had arrived. Accordingly, on July 22, the Duc d'Almodovar del Rio, Minister of State, addressed the following message to President McKinley, which was submitted by the Ambassador of the French Republic, M. Jules Cambon:

July 22, 1898. MR. PRESIDENT: Since three months the American people and the Spanish nation are at war, because Spain did not consent to grant independence to Cuba and to withdraw her troops therefrom.

Spain faced with resignation such uneven strife and only endeavored to defend her possessions with no other hope than to oppose, in the measure of her strength, the undertaking of the United States and to protect her honor.

Neither the trials which adversity has made us endure nor the realization that but faint hope is left us could deter us from struggling till the exhaustion of our very last resources. This stout purpose, however, does not blind us, and we are fully aware of the responsibilities which would weigh upon both nations in the eyes of the civilized world were this war to be continued.

This war not only inflicts upon the two peoples who wage it the hardships inseparable from all armed conflicts, but also dooms to useless suffering and unjust sacrifices the inhabitants of a territory to which

« 前へ次へ »