The Log of the Auxiliary Cruiser Yankee

Part 2

Contributed by Charles W. White


General:

This is the second half of the log of the Auxilary Cruiser YANKEE, with additional info. added from the diaries of George Yardley and S. H. P. Pell [indicated by indented text].


The Log (continued):

Saturday, June 18.  At anchor at Guantanamo.  Coaled ship all day.  At 6 p.m. left for Cienfuegos.

Sunday, June 19.  At sea.  Overhauled and boarded during the day the British schooner Union bound Montego Bay, Jamaica, to Trinidad, Cuba, and the Norwegian bark Sterling and the British steamer Adula of the Atlas Line bound from Cienfuegos, Cuba, to Kingston, Jamaica, with a number of Spanish refugees. Found the papers on all the ships correct and permitted them to proceed.  Arrived off Cienfuegos during the evening.
 

Had a fire in one of the midship bunkers, but it was extinguished before any damage had been done.  Boarded the Atlas Liner ADULA crowded with refugees from Cienfuegos.  There were a number of pretty senoritas aboard.


Monday, June 20.  Cruising between Cienfuegos and Casilda.  Arrived off Casilda during the early morning and sighted a vessel in the harbor, and made her out to be a white steamer with one smokestack and two masts, answering very much to the description of the Purissima Concepcion.  Stood to within half a mile of the shore, near Mulas Point.  At 8:30 a.m., fired a shot across her bows to make her show her colors; this she failed to do and showed signs of getting under way.  Opened fire upon her at 4,000 yards, the nearest we could approach owing to shoal water, and continued firing at her until out of range.  The steamer stood to the eastward over the shoals; we attempted to follow outside but she turned behind some small cays and was lost to sight.  As soon as this ship opened fire upon the steamer, a couple of Spanish gunboats which were in the harbor, came out and opened fire upon us.  At 9 a.m., cleared ship for action and opened fire upon the gunboats and forts.  At 9:30 a.m.  The gunboats re-entered the harbor.  On account of the shoals we were unable to enter the harbor to destroy or capture them or the steamer.  The name of the largest gunboat was the FERNANDO EL CATOLICO.  The amount of ammunition expended was 53 five-inch, ten shrapnel, and 85 six-pounder shells. Finding that we could not effect any material damage as the range was too great, ceased firing at 12:30 p.m., and hauled off and resumed station off Cienfuegos.
 

We suppose that the steamer is our old friend the PURISSIMA CONCEPCION.  The Fort was evidently using muzzle-loading guns with time-fuse shells. It was very curious to watch them explode in the air.  The smoke would form a large ball and then slowly disperse.  Some of our Gun Captains made some pretty shots at the Fort and the town.  There was a large wooden house which offered a beautiful and tempting mark.


Tuesday, June 21.  Cruising, Cienfuegos to Casilda.  Arrived off Casilda harbor, but not finding the Purissima Concepcion there or in sight, stood to the westward.  At 12:30 p.m., when about twenty miles west of Cienfuegos, sighted a small party of Cubans.  Sent boat ashore to communicate.  The boat brought back the Governor of Matanzas, Colonel E. V. Zegueria, and two other officers of high rank.  The Cubans had come to the coast in order to put themselves in communication with the United States forces, to ask for arms, provisions, clothing, medicines, etc., for the insurgents.  A boatload of provisions, tobacco, and such medicines as could be spared was sent ashore.  The Cubans informed us of the damage inflicted in our action off Cienfuegos on June 13th, relating that our shots had riddled the Spanish torpedo gunboat DIEGO VELAZQUEZ killing four of her crew and wounding seven others.  The gunboat had to be beached to pre-vent her from sinking.  During the afternoon the Cuban officers were sent ashore, in the second whaleboat.  While hoisting the boat on its return the falls parted, throwing all the crew into the sea.  All were saved.  Stood back to the eastward and sighted the DIXIE, Commander Davis, off Cienfuegos.

Wednesday, June 22.  Off Casilda.  Tried to effect an entrance into Casilda harbor during the morning by sending a whaleboat ahead to make soundings and mark out channel with buoys, but abandoned attempt.  At 3 p.m., the DIXIE joined this ship and threw a few shells into a small fort near Casilda.  The fort answered once or twice but with no effect.

Thursday, June 23.  Off Casilda.  Sent whaleboat ashore during the afternoon to communicate with the insurgents, but failed to make connections.

Friday, June 24.  Off Casilda.  At noon a Cuban flag was discovered on shore five miles to the west of Trinidad.  Sent whaleboat ashore to communicate and brought off a lieutenant of the Cuban army, who reported that there was a small force of Cubans in the vicinity.  Supplied them with provisions and tobacco and sent the lieutenant ashore.  At 4 p.m., left for the Isle of Pines, Cuba.

Saturday, June 25.  Off the Isle of Pines.  Arrived off the coast of the Isle of Pines and stood in towards Cape Francis, where five fishing vessels were sighted, four at anchor and one under way.  A shot from a six-pounder was fired across the bows of the one under way, which brought her to anchor. In the afternoon two cutters with volunteer crews under Lieuten-ant Cutler and Ensign Dimock were sent and captured the five vessels, which proved to be fishing smacks, with a large quantity of fish on board.  The ship stood in as close to the shoals as possible in order to protect the cutters if fired upon.  They met no opposition.  The names of the five vessels were the NEMESIA, LUZ, JACINTO, MANUELITA, and AMISTAD.  Two Spaniards were captured in one of the vessels and brought on board the ship, but were allowed to return ashore with their own effects. It being impracticable to take the vessels to Key West they were destroyed by being burned.  At sundown a small black steamer which appeared to be either a torpedo boat or small gunboat came down on the shoals to within five or six miles of us and then disappeared.
 

While off the Isle of Pines ran across a fleet of sloops, and proceeded to give chase. Fired a blank and then a solid shot at the largest from the Bow six pounder. Instead of coming to, as we had expected, she raised the Spanish flag and held to her course.  Our Captain passed the word not to fire again, much to our relief.  The sloops anchored just inside of the reef, so a cutting out party left the ship under command of Lieut.  Cutler, which captured three fishing sloops, the AMISTAD, MANUELITA and NEMESIA and two pilot boats, the LUZ and the JACINTO, and made two prisoners, all of the others having escaped in small boats to the shore.  They were fishing boats which supplied the city of Havana.  After transferring most of the fish to one boat the other four were burned, and the two prisoners were allowed to land.  We took the load of fish in tow and got under way.


Sunday, June 26.  At sea.  Cruised off the coast of the Isle of Pines last night and early this morning.  At 9 a.m., got under way for Key West, Florida, as a serious case of diphtheria developed among the crew this morning.  During the afternoon we sighted and boarded the following steamers: the American ship HOLLYHOCK, bound for Honduras, and the British steamer BANGORE HEAD, bound from Swansea to New Orleans, La.  Found their papers all correct and allowed them to go on their courses.
 

All turned out in a happy frame of mind this morning.  Our mouths were positively watering for the fish dinner that was coming. Fancy our disappointment to find that we had been towing an empty boat all night and that the one containing the fish had been burned.  However, Magle was one of the board-party and had rescued a demijohn of brandy.  A pleasant time was enjoyed by the crew of No. 6 gun.


Monday, June 27.  At Key West. Passed Sand Key Light during the morning and arrived off Key West and anchored. Found the following ships at anchor: LANCASTER, flagship; NEWARK, AMPHITRITE, TERROR, MIANTONOMOH, PURITAN, SAN FRANCISCO, flagship, DIXIE, PRARIE, YOSEMITE, HELENA, NASHVILLE, and the MACHIAS.  Coaled ship during afternoon.

Tuesday, June 28.  At anchor off Key West.  Coaled ship all day.  Transferred Le Valley, Fowler, and Mackin to the Marine Hospital.

Wednesday, June 29.  At anchor off Key West.  Coaled ship and took on supplies and stores for the fleet.

Thursday, June 30.  At anchor off Key West.  Coaled ship and took on supplies and stores for the fleet.
 

Coal Today,  Makin, one of the firemen, fell down a hatch and broke both legs.  He was transferred to the hospital and the skipper asked him how he felt and Makin replied that “he couldn’t kick !”


Friday, July 1.  At anchor off Key West, Florida.  Coaled ship and took on mail and stores.  Seaman Thomas Le Valley died at the Marine Hospital.  Finished coaling and started in to paint ship.

Saturday, July 2.  At anchor off Key West.  Took on mail and stores for the fleet. Jack of the Dust sent to the Marine Hospital suffering from sunstroke.  Coaled ship.
 

Received orders at midnight to start immediately north, as it was reported Tom Le Valley had died of yellow fever, contracted on board this ship. Up anchor at 4 a.m.  We still had the mail for the fleet aboard. It seems hard that these letters should be taken so far away.  Threw all the sails and rigging that had been taken from the Isle of Pines prizes overboard, as it is supposed TA Valley caught the fever from them.


Monday, July 4.  At sea Independence Day. Fired a salute of twenty-one guns at noon.
 

Painted all wood-work and railings today.  Terribly hot.  The ward-room officers had a Fourth of July dinner, and had the Captain as a guest.  At about eleven, when we had all turned in dead tired with the day’s work, “General quarters” was sounded and out we tumbled. It was simply a drill, however; we hear that the Captain was anxious to break up the dinner party.


Tuesday, July 5.  At sea.  Bound north for New York. Painted ship all day.

Wednesday, July 6.  At anchor off Tompkinsville.  At 5 a.m., sighted Atlantic Highlands, N. J.  Spoke pilot-boat New York and received papers and heard for the first time of Rear-Admiral Sampson’s victory and the destruction of the Spanish squadron under Admiral Cevera off Santiago de Cuba on July 3rd.  At 8 a.m., came to anchor off Tompkinsville.

Thursday, July 7.  At anchor off Tompkinsville.  Began to remove supplies taken on board at Key West for the blockading squadron off Santiago.
 

Worked all day getting on ammunition for the fleet that Admiral Watson is to take to Spain.  Tough work.  Stowed it in the main hold that had been used for coal We all work in our shoes and nothing else.


Friday, July 8.  At anchor off Tompkinsville.  Assigned to the Eastern Squadron under Rear-Admiral Watson.  Took on supplies and ammunition.  At 11 a.m., port watch given twenty -four hours shore liberty.
 

Private Smith of the Marine Guard shot himself today in the Captain’s cabin.


Saturday, July 9.  At anchor off Tompkinsville. Port watch returned from shore liberty at 10 a.m.  At 11 a.m., starboard watch given twenty-four hours shore liberty.  Took on ammuni-tion for the ships of the Eastern Squadron.  Took on extra detail of men from the Second Naval Battalion, Naval Militia of New York, to fill the places of the crew transferred to the hospital and elsewhere.

Sunday, July 10.  At anchor off Tompkinsville.  At 10 a.m., starboard watch returned from shore liberty.  Took on supplies and ammunition for the Eastern Squadron.
 

Some of the fire gang have “jumped the ship.”


Monday, July 11.  At anchor off Tompkinsville.  Took on ammunition and coaled ship.
 

Visiting day and plenty of handouts for everyone.

July 12th. Left New York in the afternoon and ran into a very bad gale.  Some of the ammunition on the Forward Deck got loose and it was a hard struggle as the thermometer was around 105.  However, there were no casualties.  Everything that could carry from its moorings did so, and by midnight all hands were called to secure.


Wednesday, July 13.  At sea.  Sea still very high.  At 4 p.m., arrived off Hampton Roads and came to anchor off the hospital at Portsmouth, Va. Later went up to the Navy Yard.
 

The ship was a wreck this morning.  Barrels of molasses, flour, oil, paint, moss-chests, hammocks and heroes were mixed in an indiscriminate mass on the gun deck when I ran up for a breath of air.


Thursday, July 14.  At Norfolk Navy Yard.  Began to take on ammunition for the Eastern Squadron.  Commander Brownson left for Washington during the evening.
 

Worked like slaves all day getting ammunition for Watson’s Squadron. No liberty was granted to us though every other ship here is letting the men ashore at night.  About fifty of us “jumped” the ship and drifted over to see the town.  Eighteen were captured trying to sneak back.  The rest got on board safely.


Friday, July15.  At Norfolk Navy Yard.  Took on ammuni-tion.
 

All the men caught last night have been disrated, made fourth class and put in the brig for ten days.


Saturday, July 16.  At Norfolk Navy Yard.  Taking on ammunition.

Sunday, July 17.  At Norfolk Navy Yard.  Commander Brownson returned from Washington.  At 3:50 p.m., sailed for Santiago de Cuba to join the Eastern Squadron.
 

Mr.  Hubbard read Articles of  War and the Rules and Regulations of the Navy.


Monday, July 18.  At sea.  A board was convened to inquire into the death of private W.  W.  Smith, U.S.M.C., who shot himself in the pilot-house of this ship on July 8th.  The board consisted of Lieutenants Cutler and Greene and Surgeon McGowan.  The Court found that private Smith had committed suicide.

Tuesday, July 19.  At sea.  Spoke the St. Paul during the afternoon.
 

Target practice in the morning.  Arm and away in the afternoon.


Wednesday, July 20.  At sea.  At 10:15 a.m., overhauled the British steamer BROOKLINE of the Boston Fruit Company Line, bound from Kingston, Jamaica, to Boston, Mass., with mail on board.  Had to fire two solid shots across her bows before she would come to.  Court-martial of a fireman and oiler for refusing to obey orders.
 

Two of the firemen were today sentenced to lose two months' pay, disrated and confined in the brig for thirty clays in double irons, on bread and water, full rations every third day.  Their offense was “sassing" a petty officer.


Thursday, July 21.  At sea.  At 9:15 a.m., arrived off San-tiago de Cuba and found the BROOKLYN, Admiral Schley, off the harbor.  Commander Brownson reported on board the flagship.  At 12 o'clock noon left for Guantanamo and took the YANKTON in tow which had arrived off Santiago short of coal.  At 4 p.m.  Arrived off Guantanamo Bay and passed the MASSACHUSETTS, COLUMBIA, YALE, and DIXIE leaving the harbor for Porto Rico. Found following ships at anchor: NEW YORK, flagship; OREGON, INDIANA, NEWARK, TERROR, VESUVIUS, VULCAN, and a large number of colliers.  Began to unload supplies as we came to anchor.

Friday, July 22.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  Unloaded ammunition and supplies for the fleet.
 

We are surely going to Spain with Watson's squadron.


Saturday, July 23.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. Unloaded ammunition and painted ship.  The Cincinnati arrived in the harbor during the afternoon.
 

Visiting parties were organized to go to the other ships.


Monday, July 25.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  BROOKLYN guard ship. Unloaded ammunition. MINNEAPOLIS arrived during the morning and the PRARIE during the afternoon.  The following ships left the harbor during the day: RESOLUTE, MINNEAPOLIS, and TEXAS.
 

Coaled from the SARAH E. PALMER.  The PRARIE, a sister ship to the YANKEE is coaling from the other side.  She is manned by the Massachusetts Naval Militia.


Tuesday, July 26.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. Unloaded ammunition during the morning and coaled ship the rest of the day.  The transport NIAGARA arrived during the afternoon.
 

Had a concert in the evening.


Wednesday, July 27.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  OREGON guard ship.  Coaled ship all day.  The following ships arrived during the day: SUPPLY and SUWANEE.

Painted the gun deck. Very hot but we are allowed to swim after supper every night.

Thursday, July 28.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  DETROIT guard ship.  Coaled ship all day.  The VIXEN arrived.  During the evening the following bulletin was received from the flagship: "The following telegram was received from New York by way of Santiago: 'Washington official bulletin states that Spain formally sues for peace through the French Ambassador.' " The bulletin was read with much enthusiasm by the crew.

Friday, July 29.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. Newark guard ship.  At 7:15 a.m., the Commander-in-Chief of the North Atlantic Squadron, Rear-Admiral Sampson, and his chief of staff, Captain Chadwick, came on board ship.  At 8 a.m., got up anchor and left for Santiago, to inspect the wrecks of the Spanish cruisers INFANTA MARIA TERESA and ALMIRANTE OQUENDO.  At 5:30 p.m., returned to anchorage in Guantanamo Bay and the visitors left the ship.
 

We took Admiral Sampson up to see the wrecks of the Spanish fleet that was destroyed on the 3rd of July.  Some of the crew got aboard the MARIA TERESA. Ran back to Guantanamo in the evening.


Saturday, July 30.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. IOWA guard ship.  The MANNING and the OSCEOLA arrived and the YANKTON sailed.

Sunday, July 31.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. INDIANA guard ship.  The MAYFLOWER arrived.
 

Some of us got liberty to visit the Marine camp.  The Marines are full of interesting stories of the fighting a few weeks ago.


Monday, August 1.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  BROOKLYN guard Ship. Painted ship all day.  At 8 p.m., got up anchor and left for Ponce, Porto Rico, with ammunition for the MASSACHUSETTS.

Tuesday, August 2.  At sea.  At 3 p.m., when south of the island of San Domingo, spoke the DIXIE and was informed that the MASSACHUSETTS had left Ponce on Monday and was bound for Guantanamo.  On our way back to Guantanamo we overhauled and boarded the British steamer BURTON. Found her papers correct and permitted her to proceed on her way.

Wednesday, August 3.  At sea.  At 9 a.m., sighted and held up the Norwegian steamer MARIE, bound from Guadeloupe to Santiago de Cuba. Papers and cargo examined and found suspicious. Prize crew under Lieutenant Cutler put on board and ordered to follow us into Guantanamo Bay.  Arrived at Guantanamo Bay at noon. Reported to Rear-Admiral Sampson our prize and of the overhauling of the BURTON. Immediately left for sea to endeavor to capture the latter ship, which we succeeded in doing about 3:30 p. in. Put prize crew on board under Lieutenant Duncan and sailed for Guantanamo Bay.  At 6 p.m., arrived at Guantanamo Bay, and the Burton two hours later.  The U.S.S. MASSACHUSETTS arrived during the evening.

Thursday, August 4.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  DIXIE guard ship. Unloaded ammunition for the Eastern Squadron during the day.  The GLOUCESTER arrived during the morning.  At 10:00 p. in., the following message was received by the fleet by signal: Secretary cables negotiations pending for peace. You will not sail until further orders." At 11 p.m., the BURTON was allowed to proceed out of the bay at her own will by permission of the Rear-Admiral.  The MARIE still held.

Friday, August 5.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  DETROIT guard ship.  Spent day in unloading ammunition.  Camp McCalla broken during the afternoon.
 

At anchor in the Bay. "Not a drop of paint aboard and bunkers full of coal." Nothing to do but rest.  A great life.

Saturday, August 6.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. MASSACHUSETTS guard ship.  The Armeria left the bay during the morning, and the St. Louis and the U.S. Army transport SAN JUAN with the Seventy-first New York Volunteers arrived during the afternoon.

Dr. McGowan took a party ashore on a shooting expedition today.  The bag was small but every one had a good time.
 

Sunday, August 7.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. Newark guard ship.
 
Lay at anchor in Guantanamo Bay all day.

Gave Wait, whose broken hand renders him quite helpless, a bath this morning. It was tedious business, but I was glad to do it.

This morning the Captain, Hubbard, Gilbert, Duncan, Frothingham, and other officers from the fleet went to Santiago on the VIXEN with the Admiral, leaving the YANKEE in charge of Mr.  Cutler.

Mr.  Cutler was especially amiable during his brief authority, and, after quarters, at the suggestion of Jim Mitchell, I ventured to ask his permission to take the dinghy out for a trip around the bay.

Mr.  Cutler was lying on his stateroom bunk reading when I approached.  Touching my cap respectfully I said, "Mr.  Cutler, may I ask a question, sir?" .Without looking up at all he replied gruffly, "I'd rather you wouldn't.  What is it?" I then informed him of my desire to take the dinghy, and he told me not to bother him about it until after dinner, when I might repeat the request.

Immediately after dinner I returned to Mr.  Cutler who gave me permission to take the dinghy, together with Mitchell, Pell, Gray and Greene.  He instructed me not to land anywhere, adding sarcastically that he knew we would do so not withstanding as soon as we got out of sight of the ship.  He also suggested that we should return to the ship by four o'clock and bring back as much of the dinghy and equipment as we might not lose or destroy during the trip.

After rowing around the point toward Caimanera we hoisted for a sail a blanket which Mitchell had taken from the ship unobserved.  An oar served as a mast and another as a boom, and, though the arrangement was clumsy and looked very unshipshape, it carried us along at a f air clip without any effort on our part other than steering and trimming the sheet. We enjoyed immensely the freedom from restraint and the time flew along very quickly.

We ran up close to the old fort with which we had the engagement on the seventh of June, and noted the effect of the bombardment we had given it.  There was a negro soldier on the landing with whom we endeavored unsuccess-fully to hold a conversation.

We then started over towards Caimanera, and had gotten about a hundred yards from the landing when an oarlock was jerked overboard.  The water being shallow we jumped over and endeavored to find it, but could not, and continued our trip.

At Caimanera we watched with interest the people walking around the streets and sitting on the verandahs of the houses close to the water.  At one landing a negro Spanish soldier talked with us in signs.  We gave him a pack of American cigarettes in exchange for some black sweet stuff that resembled maple sugar.

Finally we turned back towards the ship, and, the wind against us, we were compelled to pull hard.

We got aboard the YANKEE about four o'clock and I immediately reported to Mr.  Cutler our return and the loss of the oarlock.  He said he considered us fortunate to have lost such a small thing, when he had expected we would lose the whole boat.

The officers who went to Santiago this morning returned at eleven o'clock p.m.
 

Monday, August 8.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. IOWA guard ship.  The Norwegian steamer MARIE permitted to leave the harbor by order of Rear-Admiral Sampson.
 
August 8th and 9th, Nothing to do but rest!


Tuesday, August 9.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. INDIANA guard ship.  The ST. LOUIS left the harbor and the ST. PAUL arrived during the morning.  The Badger arrived and the NEWARK, NIAGARA, and the SUWANEE left during the afternoon.

Wednesday, August 10.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  BROOKLYN guard ship.  The ALVARADO left the bay during the morning.  The SCORPION arrived.  During the afternoon there was a boat race between the port and starboard watch, the latter winning by two boat lengths.  At 9:40 p.m., the following message was flashed to the fleet from the flagship NEW YORK: "Associated Press dispatch states that peace protocol has been agreed upon."

Thursday, August 11.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  BROOKLYN guard ship.  The New York left the bay during the morning and the Scorpion during the afternoon.  The Army Transports No. 3 and 9 arrived during the afternoon.  At 3 p.m. received orders to sail with the BROOKLYN and DIXIE for the Crooked Island Passage and look for the blockade runner MONTSERRAT. Got under way at 6 p.m.

Friday, August 12.  At sea. Patrolling the Crooked Island Passage in search of the blockade runner.

Saturday, August 13.  At sea. Patrolling the Crooked Island Passage.  Held up Army Transport MONETJO with the Twenty-first U.S. Infantry, bound for the United States from Santiago de Cuba, during the mid watch.

Sunday, August 14.  At sea. Patrolling the Crooked Island Passage.  Held up the Army Transport No. 21, bound to the United States with troops from Santiago de Cuba.  At 6 p.m., left for Guantanamo.  At 10:20 p.m., passed the fleet consisting of the NEW YORK flagship; BROOKLYN, flagship; INDIANA, OREGON, IOWA, and the MASSACHUSETTS, bound for home.  The flagship signalled us: "Hostilities have ceased -blockade raised - we are bound to New York. Proceed to Guantanamo; to which we replied, Congratulations on going to New York.

Monday, August 15.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  At 8 a.m., arrived in Guantanamo Bay and came to anchor. Found the following ships there under Commodore Watson: BADGER, flagship; DIXIE, SCORPION, SOLACE, VULCAN, VESUVIUS.  The HIST, SUWANEE, and ALVARADO arrived during the morning.  The RESOLUTE with part of the Marine Battalion arrived from the Isle of Pines during the afternoon as did also the YALE with the 7th and 8th Illinois Volunteers, bound from New York to Santiago de Cuba.  The Newark arrived during the evening.
 

Ran alongside of a transport with a lot of troops bound for home.  All happy. Later passed two more.  Everything :seems to be bound north but us. Reached the Bay at midday. It seems deserted.  Commodore Watson's flag is flying from the BADGER.


Tuesday, August 16.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  Scorpion guard ship.  Commodore Watson transferred his flag from the BADGER to the Newark during the forenoon.
 

Still in the Bay with nothing to do.  Spend most of our time watching the buzzards and cursing our luck.


Wednesday, August 17.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  Badger guard ship.  The MONTGOMERY arrived.

Thursday, August 18.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  DIXIE guard ship.  The VESUVIIUS and the SUWANEE left the harbor.  The VIXEN and Army Transport No. 4 with more of the Marine Battalion arrived and the RESOLUTE sailed.  The NEW ORLEANS, MAYFLOWER, and LEONIDAS arrived during the afternoon and the U.S.S.  BADGER and Transport No. 4 sailed.

Friday, August 19.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. YANKEE guard ship.

Saturday, August 20.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. MAYFLOWER guard ship.  The FERN arrived.

Sunday, August 21.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. VIXEN guard ship.  The army transport SAN JUAN from Santiago de Cuba with the Third U.S. Infantry, and U.S. Supply ship GLACIER arrived.  The HARVARD arrived from Santiago and left with the mail for New York.

Monday, August 22.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. NEW ORLEANS guard ship.  The VIXEN left and the U.S.S. KANAWAH arrived.

Tuesday, August 23.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay.  DIXIE guard ship.  The MAYFLOWER sailed. Received signal from flagship to sail for New York tomorrow. YANKEE ordered to Tompkinsville, N.Y.
 

Late at night the Badger signaled over "YANKEE and NIAGARA will proceed to Tompkinsville tomorrow.  DIXIE and FERN will go to Hampton Roads." How the men on deck did cheer!


Wednesday, August 24.  At anchor in Guantanamo Bay. MONTGOMERY guard ship.  The following ships arrived: STRANGER, NIAGARA, STERLING.  At 12 o'clock noon got up anchor and left for sea, homeward bound.
 

Goodbye to Cuba! Spent the day painting woodwork on the berth and gun decks.


Thursday, August 25.  At sea. Passed U.S.  Army Transport No. 4 and San Salvador Island during the forenoon watch.

Friday, August 26.  At sea.
 

For once we don't mind seeing the black smoke pour from the YANKEE's funnels. Never again shall we hear Scully pipe "All the starboard watch coal ship!"


Saturday, August 27.  At sea.

Sunday, August 28.  At anchor off Tompkinsville, S. I.  At 10:35 a.m., arrived off Tompkinsville, and came to anchor. Found the following ships at anchor: TEXAS, flagship, MASSACHUSETTS, INDIANA,BROOKLYN, HARVARD, YALE, and the RESOLUTE, under the command of Rear-Admiral John W. Philip.

Monday, August 29.  At anchor off Tompkinsville, S. I. MASSACHUSETTS guard ship.  During the forenoon Rear-Admiral Schley returned to the BROOKLYN and hoisted his flag.  Salute by all the ships present.

Tuesday, August 30.  At anchor off Tompkinsville. INDIANA guard ship.  At 11 a.m., got up anchor and put to sea bound for the League Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pa.

Wednesday, August 31.  At League Island Navy Yard, Phila-delphia, Pa.  At 7:30 a.m., arrived off the League Island Navy Yard, and found the following ships at anchor: COLUMBIA, MINNEAPOLIS, NAHANT, YOSEMITEe, JASON, and the LEHIGH.

Thursday, September 1.  At League Island Navy Yard.

Friday, September 2.  At League Island Navy Yard.  The crew was paid off during the morning.  At 8 a.m., the crew left the ship for the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Philadelphia, where a train was taken for New York City.  At 1:55 p.m., arrived in Jersey City.  At 2:10 p.m., arrived at the foot of Cortlandt Street, New York City. Paraded up Broadway and Fifth Avenue to the New Hampshire. Reviewed by the President and Vice-President of the United States.  At 5 p.m., arrived on board the NEW HAMPSHIRE.  At 5:30 p.m., mustered out of the United States service.
 

Paid off and left for New York by rail. Landed at the foot of Liberty Street and march to the old New Hampshire at the foot of 28th Street.  A rather sad day as it meant saying good bye to so many friends.  A very unique experience.  Three hundred landsmen thrown on board a man-of-war and sent out to battle. Five men who started out with us are dead.  The rest are all in splendid physical condition.


After the war the YANKEE was reconditioned as a cruiser and was in active service in the Navy for ten years.  On September 23, 1908, while in a fog, she ran aground on Hen and Chickens Reef, near the Island of Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts.  She was lightened by removing her battery and was floated by means of pontoons; but while being towed to New Bedford in a rising wind, became unmanageable and sank in some forty feet of water in Buzzard's Bay, not far from the Island of Naushon.  After weeks of futile efforts to raise her by pumping air into the hull, she was abandoned.  So rests the old ship.


Click here to go back to Part One of the Log of the YANKEE


Bibliography:

Dunning, William B, Chairman, The USS Yankee Book Committee, "The U.S.S. Yankee on the Cuban Blockade 1898." (New York: Williams Press, Inc., 1928)

The indented notes are from the diaries of George Yardley and S. H. P. Pell.


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