The steamer ALAMO was chartered by the U.S. Army as a transport on April 29, 1898. As part of the charter agreement, the civilian crew remained aboard...though it is not clear what the crew knew of the charter agreement or the Army's plans for the vessel. Based on the following newspaper account, they were obviously not fully on board with the plan!
The firemen and coal passers mentioned in the article below are the
crewmen responsible to work below decks moving coal from the coal
bunkers to the boiler room and feeding the coal into the boiler
furnaces. Without them, the ship could not raise the steam needed to
power the ship.
"Mutiny on the Alamo
KEY WEST, Fla., May 6 - The Mallory Line steamer Alamo, having on board the detachment of West Point Engineers bound for Cuba, had a small mutiny yesterday among her firemen and and coal-passers. These men, on learning that the Alamo was to proceed o Cuba when the troops go there, refused to do duty under the circumstances claming the steamer is not sufficiently protected against the enemy.
The mutiny threatened to result in a serious delay to the ship's
movements, but the Captain of Engineers in charge of the troops took the
matter in hand, placed the mutinous men under restraint with a strong
guard and the threatened trouble soon fizzled out."
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