Aboard TEXAS, at the end of the Battle of Santiago

By M. T. Dieuaide, War Correspondent

General:

This is an account of events that took palce on the TEXAS at the conclusion of the Battle of Santiago.

The Account:

The battle of Santiago was over, the chase was ended; we had fought the good fight, and the victory was ours. The TEXAS had been in the thick of it all, and now, early in the afternoon of July 8, 1898, she lay, with engines stopped, off Rio Tarquino, sharing with the OREGON and BROOKLYN in the surrender of the COLON. When the admiral signaled, “Report casualties,” the TEXAS was able to reply that not a man aboard bore so much as a scratch to testify to the seriousness of the combat. The other American ships had been almost equally fortunate. They lay in a semicircle about the COLON. Nearly every man aboard was on deck. The dominant feeling was the natural one of exultation, and far up the mountains floated the echoes of the Saxon cheers. The TEXAS cheered the BROOKLYN, the BROOKLYN cheered the TEXAS, and both cheered the OREGON. The American commanders called felicitations to one another across the water. From the OREGON came the jubilant strains of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” On the bridge of the TEXAS a group of hilarious officers surrounded their commander, Captain Philip, who seemed noticeably reserved and thoughtful. Suddenly he turned to his executive officer, and said quietly, “Call all hands aft.” The five hundred men of the ship trooped to the quarter-deck, which was still snow-white with the saltpeter from the guns, and listened reverently while Captain Philip offered thanks to God for their preservation from the perils of battle. “I want,” said the captain, as he stood with bared head, “to make public acknowledgment here that I have complete faith in God, the Father Almighty. I want all of you, officers and crew, unless there be those who have conscientious scruples against so doing, to lift your hats and in your hearts to offer silent thanks to God.” As the strong tones of the captain’s voice died away, every man stood reverently, for a moment or two, with bared and bowed head. Many of the men were much affected. In the eyes of more than one brawny Jacky I saw the glimmer of a moisture that was hastily brushed away. As the men were dispersing, one big fellow called, “Three cheers for our captain!” and they were given with a heartiness that fairly shook the ship.

Bibliography:

Dieuaide, T. M., "A Historic Scene on the "TEXAS", The Century (New York: The Century Company, May, 1899), Vol. 58, No. 1 118-119.
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