Transport ARIZONA Travels Across the Pacific

Contributed by Keith Alderson


General:

The following is a tally kept by Herbert C. Walsh of the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, Co. L, the "Thurston Rifles," while on the transport ARIZONA on its trip across the Pacific between Hawaii and Manila, Philippines. The tally gives the number of nautical miles the ship traveled, followed by the date. Not that a nautical mile is 6,000 feet whereas a standard mile is 5,280 feet. A "knot" is a measure of speed, with one knot being one nautical mile per hour. Knots and nautical miles were often used interchangeably, however, in reports and correspondence.

Herbert C. Walsh was joined on Company L on December 5, 1898 and was on the ARIZONA for the entire trip across the Pacific Ocean, from November 1, 1898 to November 30, 1898. His unit sailed from Honolulu on November 10, 1898 and arrived in Manila. November 25, 1898.  Life magazine published an article in January 1942 that reprinted some photos from 1898.  One was entitled "Brig. Gen. Harrison Otis and his staff on duty near Caloocan whilefighting the Filipino Insurgents".  Herbert Walsh is in that photo in the lower right corner laying in the grass.  A hand written comment is in the border and it says: "H.C. Walsh, taken with group because he happened to have on clean clothes".

The Account:

In the top left of the note is:

"Thursday Nov. 10/98
10.30 14 to 12 afterwards 12 to 14
360 Fri '' 11
363 Sat '' 12
364 Sun '' 13
lost 1 day
354 Mon '' 15
354 Tue '' 16
365 Wed '' 17
334 Thur '' 18
371 Fri '' 19
377 Sat '' 20
369 Sun
368 Mon '' 21
347 Tue '' 22
277 Wed '' 23
Sight Luzon
This morning
4003
342
4350"

In the top right of the note is:

"4650 knots
5425 miles"

At the bottom of the letter, upside down, is written:

"Nov 20 between 8 and 9 a.m. passed a burning valcano. Only a huge mound  rising from the sea."

]
This is a pre-war photo of the "Thuston Rifles" The note indicating "Herb" refers to Herb Walsh who recorded the above information concerning the movement of the ARIZONA. Herb Walsh can be seen just to the left of his name, with moustache, looking straight into the camera.


Bibliography:

Alderson, Keith - Papers of Herbert C. Walsh; photo of Thurston Rifles

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