The following is an excerpt about life on the Transport WHITNEY. The author, James Anderson Buchanan was with Company E, of the 11th US Infantry., 1st Brigade, 2nd Division.
July 23, 1898
Left Port Tampa, Fla at 11 A.M. [on] Transport "Whitney", Capt. Staples, for Cape San Juan, Porto Rico. Capt. Hoppin, Lieuts Lockridge & Paine & 93 enlisted men of the 2d Cavalry - Troop B. Capt. Buchanan, Lieuts. Gurrovits & Lougan & 97 enlisted men of Co. E 11th Infty. with 100 Cavalry horses; 50 mules and cargo of hay, grain & provisions. Passed out of Tampa Bay about 4 P.M. into the Gulf of Mexico. The Capt. of the ship calls it the Gulf of Florida. He says the Gulf of Mexico is more to the West. I never heard this distinction. Nothing interesting today except the flying fish & porpoises. Opened my sealed orders handed me as the ship was leaving the wharf and find we are to go by the south side of Cuba; between Cuba and San Domingo (on the north side of the latter) into Samana Bay, San Domingo, where all ships are to meet and thence north of Porto Rico to Point Fajardo, Cape San Juan, Porto Rico, where all troops report to Genl. Miles. Do not think we can reach the latter place in less than ten days as this route is much longer than by the North of Cuba, but we take it to avoid observation. There are still some Spanish Gunboats in the harbors on the north side. The transports "Arkadia", "Decatur H. Miller", "Florida" & "Whitney" keep together. All slow ships. The "Mohawk" and "Cherokee" we left at Tampa but being fast will overtake us.