February 15- The Maine
explodes. A total of 266 men were killed, and eight more died later from injuries.
The cause of the explosion is never conclusively established. An initial naval court of inquiry determines that it is the
result of a naval mine, and Spain is blamed. A court of inquiry led by Charles E. Vreeland 13 years later fined that it is an accident.
February 25 - Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore
Roosevelt sends a confidential order to Commodore George Dewey, commander of the Asiatic Squadron. Dewey is ordered to go to Hong Kong and to be prepared to attack the Spanish fleet in the Philippines if there is an outbreak of war.
March 9 - As "war fever" spreads, Congress unanimously
appropriates $50 million "for national defense and each and every purpose forthwith." Although
the Navy is well organized, the Army is ill-prepared for war.
May 1 - Battle of Manila Bay: The Asiatic Squadron
under Admiral Dewey engages with the Spanish fleet at anchor in Manila
Bay under the command of Admiral Patricio Montojo. In the ensuring seven-hour
naval battle, Spain loses all its engaged
ships and 381 sailors. Just one American died, of heatstroke, and eight are wounded.
May 12 - Bombardment of San Juan: San
Juan, Puerto Rico is bombarded by U.S. Navy vessels under Rear Admiral William
May 25 - First troopships transport some 2,500 men
to Manila. President
McKinley calls for 75,000 volunteers to enlist.
May 29 - Commodore Winfield Scott Schley blockades
Spanish fleet at Santiago.
June 10 - Invasion of Guantánamo Bay: Some 647 U.S. Marines land at Guantánam Bay,
beginning the invasion of Cuba.
June 14 - Slightly fewer than 17,000 troops of the
V Corps depart Tampa, Florida, under the command of Major
General of Volunteers William Rufus Shafter, to Cuba.
The tune "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight" is sung by the men.
June 20 - Capture of Guam
June 22 - Some 17,000 U.S. troops under the command
of General William Rufus Shafter arrive at the Cuban village of Daiquirí,
14 miles east of Santiago.
June 24 - Battle of Las Guasimas