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The War

Western Educators, Shooters & Troopers

Timeline of the Spanish-American War . . .

·                    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 T. Sampson.

·                    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

·                    July 1 - Battle of El Caney

·                    July 1 - Battles of San Juan Hill and Kettle Hill

·                    July 3 - Battle of Santiago de Cuba

·                    July 4 - American forces en route to the Philippines hoist the U.S. flag over Wake Island, which is vacant at the time.

·                    July 8 - U.S. Navy fleet under Admiral Dewey occupies Isla Grande at Manila Bay

·                    July 17: Siege of Santiago: Having been siege since July 3, Santiago surrenders.  General Shafter takes 34,000 Spanish prisoners.  The American flag is raised over the House of Civil Government.

·                    July 25 - American forces under General Nelson A. Miles occupy Guánica, Puerto Rico after a brief attack.

·                    August 9 - Coamo, Puerto Rico surrenders.

·                    August 9 - Peace terms offered by President McKinley are formally accepted by Spain with the signing of a Protocol of Peace at 4:30 p.m. in Washington.

·                    August 12 - Armistice ends the Spanish-American War.

·                    August 13 - Manila surrenders.

·                    August 14 - U.S. sends 10,000 troops to occupy the Philippines.

·                    September - Philippine assembly ratifies Malolos Constitution, establishing Philippine Republic as an independent state

·                    September 13 - Rough Riders mustered out of service  

·                    October 1 - Paris Peace Conference begins. President McKinley instructs William R. Day to take Guam, Puerto Rico but to annex only Luzon, not all of the Philippines.

·                    October 24 - McKinley comes to a decision during the night.  He claims God told to take Philippines: "nothing left for us to do but to take them all, to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them.  And then I went to bed, and went to sleep, and slept soundly."

·                    October 28 - McKinley cables new instructions to Paris delegation with new instructions: "The cession must be of the whole archipelago or none.  The latter is wholly inadmissible, and the former must therefore be required."

·                    December 10 - Final Treaty of Paris signed in Paris.  The United States pays Spain $20 million; in return, Spain cedes Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

Check the SpanAm War Centennial Website for a Detail Calendar of the War.