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The Diary of James P. Sullivan

Aboard the Torpedo Boat Destroyer


Contributed by James DP. Sullivan, M.D.

Crewmen from the USS Hist
The crew of the HIST.  James P. Sullivan is standing, the third person from the left in the first standing row.

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This account is the diary of James P. Sullivan. James Patrick Sullivan was born in Boston on May 14, 1871 to Cornelius and Ellen Sullivan, Irish immigrants who came to the U.S. in 1861. James Sullivan worked on various New England lumber schooners and fishing vessels before joining the U.S. Navy. Sullivan enlisted as a 2nd Class Fireman on April 27, 1898. He was discharged on February 20, 1899.

After being discharged from the Navy in 1899, Sullivan married Hannah Ward, also an Irish immigrant. The couple moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts where James worked as crane operator in the navy yard. In 1901, the family relocated to Everett, Massachusetts. The couple had six children. James Sullivan retired from the navy yard in 1933. In his later years he was active in a Spanish American War veterans organization. Sullivan died on November 29, 1957 and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Everett, Massachusetts.

Sullivan's diary was apparently compiled substantially from his notes of the previous months in late October, 1898, and then continued after that date. No effort has been made to correct spellings, grammer or punctuation. The diary has been reproduced as written. The work starts with a poem that refers to the June 30 attack on Manzanillo.

The diary is very interesting in that it not only gives the day-to-day movements of the HIST, but also gives Sullivan's view on the situations that arose.  Some items are opinion, some are fact. Sullivan has many negative comments about Lt. Young, the ship's commander. Young was already twice awarded for his bravery, once for saving a crewman knocked over board from the ALASKA in 1873, and for aiding in saving the crew of his ship, the HURON in 1877, when the ship foundered off Nag's Head, North Carolina. Young went on to retire from the Navy as a rear admiral before passing away in 1912. In the diary, Young is referred to as the "Old Man," and the "Capt.," even though that was not his rank.

Please note, additional information has been added for clarification and is placed in brackets [ ].

The Diary:
James P. Sullivan
  U.S.S. Hist

Santiago, Cuba
 Oct. 31, 1898

The Hist, The Hornet and Wampatuck

Why do our battleships scour the Main
What need of big cannons to lick old Spain
When we have a surplus of Yankee Pluck
The Hist, the Hornet and Wampatuck

The Spanish scoffed at our Navy of Tugs
Manned by ignorant Sailors and Thugs
But a different tune they sang when they struck
The Hist, the Hornet and Wampatuck

They blockade, cut cable, pass forces to fight
They are at it all times, day or night
The Hidalgoes flee when the run amuck
The Hist , the Hornet and the Wampatuck

A toast to brave Jungers, Helm and Young
May their praises loud and long be sung
One foot on the Table, Boys (Here’s Luck)
The Hist, the Hornet and Wampatuck

[Jungers, Helm and Young commanded WOMPATUCK, HORNET and HIST repectively]

Written by Frank Taylor, Appleton Wis.
Army and Navy Journal


Miss Hannah Ward   10 Baldwin St.   Charlestown [Sullivan's future wife[
Mr Phillp Sullivan    24 Marion St.   Charlestown [Sullivan's brother]
Mr Joseph Sullivan   24 Marion St    Charlestown [Sullivan's brother]
Mrs Arthur Goff  23 Everett St   Charlestown
Mr George Barry   14 Torrey St  Dorchester Dist.  Boston Mass
Mr John McCloskey  15 Fosters Wrf  Atlantic Avenue  Boston Mass
James Flynn   U.S.S. New York   c/o Navy Dept
Mr Timothy Sheehan  21 Walnut St.  Charlestown Mass

Tues  May 17 1898
Drafted to U.S.S. Hist converted yacht

(May 23  left Willetts Pt and went to Dutch Island to Guard Mines and remained there until June 3)

Wed May 18 – June 3
All hands piped up at 5 a.m. Got underway for Willetts Pt . To guard the Mine Fields .

*June 4
 Took small stores on at Newport. Passed back to Station off Dutch Island

June 3
  Sailed from Newport R.I.  Coaled Ship. proceeded to Dutch Island and dropped anchor

June 5
weighed anchor and run into Newport  our Capt Mr Ingersoll detached from this vessel also Mr Rust 1st Lieut.  Inspection at 4 Bells by new Skipper Mr Young.  All Hands sorry to see Mr. Ingersoll. and Mr Rust leave.  Gave Three Hearty Cheers as they left the side.  Hope that the new officers will be as good as they were but doubt it. [The ship was actually placed in commission - placed in formal operation - by Lt. Lucien Young]

June 6
 Left Newport for N.Y. at 8.p.m.

June 7
.Anchored at Willetts Pt for Breakfast and to clean up the Ship. Up anchor at   8:30 a.m. for N.Y.

June 8 -12.   Laying at Cob Dock Brooklyn Navy Yard for Minor repairs and further orders.  Liberty ashore every other night.

Monday June 13
  Left the Yd at 4:30 p.m. anchored off Sandy Hook received quite an ovation from the Harbor and River craft on way down.  Enjoyed ourselves in the evening with instrumental music some of the Boys being quite expert on the Guitar and Zither

Jume 14
Tested Compasses [Most likely this consisted of "swinging ship" to adjust the compasses for error due to the iron and steel in the ship itself, a time-consuming, but critical task].

Jume 15
 Weighed anchor. Under way at 6:30 a.m. for Key West.

June 16
 Passed Cape Hatteras.  Water Glass [gauge providing data on the amount of water] burst on forward boiler. The handle for the water valve was not fixed on secure and when she broke she blew the handle away. It took some time to get a wrench to turn it off causing a lot of bother.

June 17
Arrived in Charleston S.C. Coaled Ship and filled water tanks

June 18
Laying at anchor bought out Bumboat pies and watermelons

June 19
 Got under way for the Southward this P.M.  Wind blowing a Gale.  Struck on a sandbar at entrance to harbor several times.  We were out of the channel to the Port side of it running out by the buoys the Capt drunk on deck no better navigating could be expected. I was sitting in the Stern Sheet at the time she struck and felt her strike hard.  Sang out to Quartermaster McMillan that she had struck.  He reported it to the Bridge and the Carpenter was sent aft to sound the Well.  He put the Rod down the manhole into the after water tank then reported 4  ft of water in the hold.  There was about 12 to 15 tons of Coal in bags on the deck aft.  We had to shift them into the peak forward to raise the stern out.  It was a Rough Job, Running like fury, with the Seas going abeam over her. Finally we found out for what they were doing this dam work and the Chief Mach. came up and told them  they were wrong, that she was making no water so they shifted the Coal Bags aft again into the stern.  Weather so rough that we had to turn back into the harbor a lucky thing for we would have gone under outside

June 21
Left Charleston S.C, at 10 A. M.

June 22
At sea rough weather

June 23
Going through Bahama Islands.  Sighted a ship at 11.45 p.m. Hove her to. Proved to be an English Fruiter

June 24
At Sea Weather fine

Saturday June 25
Sighted transports off Santiago at 9:30. With Blockading Fleet at 10:a.m.. Laid off all the rest of the day and night.

June 26
 Left  Santiago for Guantanamo to Coal ship. Coaled ship and got through at 9:40 ordered to go to Port Antonio, Jamacia with all haste right away

June 27
Arrived  Port Antonio at 8:00 a.m. Capt goes ashore.  This is one of the prettiest harbors I have ever seen

June 28
Took on water at Boston Fruit Co’s wharf.  Captain came on board with Cuban Pilot.  He is the one that Schley was afraid was a Spanish Spy and dismissed him.  Left for Santiago at 2 p.m. Were very much afraid that we would be held by the English Consul for overstaying the 24 hour limit.  The Capt pretty well set up. Must have had a good time ashore

June 29
 Arrived at Santiago at daybreak. Expect the Fleet to Bombard today.  No engagement, Army not ready. Ordered to Patrol the Coast to the Westward to look out for blockade runners  Heavy Squall in P. M.  Rain showers every day.

June 30
Fell in with Auxillary Yacht Hornet and Tug Wampatuck off Cape Cruze. Proceeded to Westward.  Off Niguro site a small Spanish Gunboat [Auxiliary Gunboat CENTINELA] making for Land.  Let fly from our 3 pdr forward Gun and had the satisfaction of blowing her boilers up as she made for the  beach.  Destroyed a blockhouse ashore.  Kept on down the coast.  Sighted a small sloop of about 10 tons loaded with Spanish soldiers close into land among the Keys.

Fired a shot across her when they run her on the beach and made for the Woods.  Lowered the boat and went in to inspect her.  She proved to be an old tub of a thing loaded down with household things, somebody moving out.  Returned aboard and proceeded along.  Reduced a fort, sank a steam launch and sunk a gunboat. Had sharp encounter with infantry in bushes on one of the Keys at Harbor entrance, but drove them out with a lively rifle fire and our Maxim 1 pounder

Between 6 and 8000 troops estimated here, Niguro, Spanish retreating We ceased firing at ll.45 a.m.. Commenced at 10:30 a.m..  Hit once no damage.  Dinner Hardtack and Coffee, onions and vinegar.  Hardtack and coffee for breakfast.

Manzanillo at 3:35 p.m. quite a good size City.  Harbor full of shipping mostly 2 Masted Schooners, several small steamers, 2 torpedo boats, 5 gunboats, 2 Auxillary Cruizers and 4 batteries ashore besides 2 forts, one on Hill and one 1 on beach.

Went in under 4 bells to engage.  We took the Port side of Harbor, Hornet and Wampatuck Starboard side. At 1500 yards commenced to fire at Batteries and Gunboats.  Were not to fire into City. The Infantry (Spanish) are entrenched in Rifle pits and are assisted by Field Artillery in a crescent formation along the waterfront. Shot and Shell and Rifle bullets and old junk go singing and shrieking over us and splashing the water along side and all around.
The Hornet and Wampatuck are doing their share of the work and everybody has their hands full to attend to their duty

One thing strikes me is the utter indifference to the danger of everyone on board.  Mr. Heinicke our 2nd Lieut. has charge of the Men and Guns and he is a fighter and Gentleman.  It would make you smile so see the men when they sight a battery by its fire.

It is “look at that G-d d—m s-o–b give it to him Blast him” and the Gun Capt proceeds to do so.

I had some very exalted notions of men being serious when they went into battle, especially when they had the odds against them but from the actions of this Crew whether they are a fair sample or not, they .are knocked silly and they go at it as if it was an every day affair the same as a street fight.
We were hit 11 times, nothing serious except to destroy a little paint and woodwork, put a hole about 4 inches in the starboard bulwark.  One 6 pdr burst over the L.P. Cylinder [steam engine's low pressure cylinder] and the fragments went through the Engine Room Hatch Combing, about 6 inches of Mahogany and about ½ inch of steel plate. It entered over the Starboard side, struck the Dead Wood of the Steam Launch, a solid oak stick then entered through the Engine Room bursting over the Cylinder. 2 inches lower, it would have burst the Receiver Pipe and put us on the Bum, some of the pieces going down below in Engine Room

Peter Brenner, Fireman, was sitting by the Steam launch propeller, rifle in action at the time the dirt from the launch deadwood blinded him at times. and he escaped by a miracle.  I was at the Bow of the Launch at time but did not know what had happened. We set fire to Guardo – sank several gunboats and 2 torpedo boats.

Hornet struck and feed pipe burst, signaled Wampatuck to tow her out.  All hands keeping up a heavy fire.
Ordered to fix bayonets to resist attack if necessary.  Hawser broke out to help Hornet if needed
Drew out under fire.  Engagement lasted 1 hr 40 min.

July 1
Got underway for Santiago to coal up and report to Admiral

July 2.
Arrived at Santiago at 3 a.m. Witnessed the Bombardment of Santiago Batteries by Fleet
Sailed for Guantanamo.  Coaled ship.  Capt. 3 sheets in the Wind.  On coming out struck the Bar and drove her over it.

July 3
Left Guantanamo at 1:30 last night arrived at Santiago at daylight.  Captain went to the New York and we were ordered to follow her down the coast toward the Westward by Siboney.  Hear we are to receive 2  Six Pounders from her. While following along in the wake of the New York, at about 6 miles or so to the Westward of Morro Castle observed the smoke of Spanish Fleet at the Entrance of Santiago Harbor coming out.  Flag signals were run up by ships at the offing and to the Westward and the New York Signaled to “Stand in and Engage the Enemy”.  New York came around and chased down the coast in pursuit, we following as well as possible.  New York passéd a long distance ahead and fired a few shots into the Spanish Torpedo Boats Pluton and Furor who by this time was making back tracks for Santiago again.
Gloucester soon put the finishing touches to them and they sank close inshore, crews making for the beach.  We stopped and  observing that there was nothing more to be done then proceeded to Westward where the boom of the big guns could be heard and plenty of smoke seen..
Passed by Maria Theresa and Almirante Oquendo burning ashore on the beach and went toward the Vizcaya a little further to the Westward
The Iowa and Ericson were taking the crews from the burning wrecks and upon our coming  up signaled to us to assist.  We stood close in to the Vizcaya, lowered all three boats and removed 142 from the wreck and the beach, the ammunition of wreck bursting like sky rockets and she afire from stem to stern.  Dangerous Work.  At it from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Put aboard the Iowa 15 badly wounded men some all tore to pieces
While engaged in this work, the Steamer Resolute was sighted coming from the Westward at full speed flying the signal that the Cadiz Fleet was coming. Everybody got their courage up for another go and were delighted to have a chance to finish the good work.. Iowa steamed to the Westward to engage and we remained fixing up.  Presently an Austrian Battleship the Maria Theresa was proceeding along and this was the supposed Fleet. and we felt disappointed. Resolute had gone over to notify ships at Guantanomo.  We got under way for Santiago.
Served out food and spare clothing to the Spanish prisoners aboard, a more miserable looking lot who seemed glad their positions were altered.  Huddled them aft in the Stern Sheets. put a deadline across amidships and sat down in front of that line with a six shooter in hand ready for business. All hands except those on watch in the Engine Room and Bridge standing guard
With but 50 of us against 142 of them if they got loose they would make short work of us.  There were Machinists, seamen, 1 Officer besides several petty officers and they could have run the boat all right if they took her.
Transferred them to the Indiana at about Midnight.  A damn good job.

July 4
Lay off Santiago until 2 p.m. received orders to proceed to Manzanillo.  Passed by Spanish Wrecks still burning.

July 5
Arrived at Cape Cruze Met with Dixie. Lay at anchor waiting for rest of  fleet to join us.

July 6
Dixie stopped a couple of Schooners from escaping

July 7
Anchored at Cape Cruze Painted Ship

July 8-9-10
Still at Anchor. Cape Cruze

July 11
Got underway to cut cable off Santa Cruze.  Cut it and returned to Cape Cruze.  Got underway for Santiago at 8 p.m.
Captain very much under the weather. Came near putting her ashore on bar but for the Chief Quartermaster

July 12
Arrived at Santiago at 8 a.m. orderd to Guantanimo to Coal ship.  Dropped anchor there at 3 p.m.

July 13
Coaled ship at night and left for Santiago at 2 a.m.

July 14
Arrived at Santiago. took aboard two six Pdrs [six pounder deck guns] from Lebanon
Started for Cape Cruze received report from Suwanee that Santiago had surrendered

July 15
Dropped anchor off Cape Cruze
Mounted the 6 Pdrs.  Started for Manzanillo But could not find the Channel. Old Man pretty well set up his usual case. Our Pilot aboard Scorpion while we went to Santiago

July 16
Dropped anchor for night.  Old Man aboard the Helena.  Ordered by the Helena to pick the way through the Keys. Put the vessel aground, took over an hour to back off

July 17
Piped All Hands early.  Clear  Ship for Action and get ready for early start in morning, laying among Keys off Manzanillo

July 18 Monday
Weighed anchor at 3 a.m. to attack Manzanillo Breakfast at 6. a.m. Canned Beef, Hardtack and Coffee. Manzanillo in sight at 7.20 a.m.  Open fire at us at 7:45 a.m. We draw in close 8:15 a.m. firing.  One Spanish Gunboat on fire 8:20 a.m. Three more on fire 9:45 a.m. No fire returned from shore after 9:10 a.m.  9:50 Spanish Gunboat blew up.  Drew in close at 10:30 Firing heavy from shore.  Wilmington hoisted General Recall signals at 10:30 a.m.  All the shipping along the waterfront destroyed.  Understand that is all we are ordered to do.  Not to set fire or destroy the town if possible [the Spanish Auxiliary Gunboats CENTINELA and  DELGADO PAREJO were among the Spanish vessels detroyed].
Vessels engaged
Wilmington      Helena
Scorpion           Osceola
Hist                   Hornet
The Manning came up at close of Battle and reported Santiago surrendered with 24,000 Prisoners there

July 19
At anchor off Manzanillo. Weighed anchor again at 3:pm for Cape Cruze  the night

July 20
Got underway at 5:30 am for Santa Cruze. We all fired at Block House and sand battery on way, steaming by in single column formation
Proceeded toward Trinidad.  Blew up  severe squall.  Dropped Anchor at 6.p.m. to remain over night.

July 21
Weighed Anchor at 5:30 a.m., went down by Jucaro and dropped anchor for the night.

July 22
Up anchor at 5:30 a.m. to drag for cable. Helena hoisted it and cut it.  Returned in direction of Jucaro for night . Had a theatrical show by some of the crew in evening

July 23
Up Anchor at 4:a.m. proceeding toward Manzanillo.  Met some small fishing boats among the Keys and they gave us some fresh fish.  Dropped anchor off Point Cruze for the night.

July 24
Up  anchor at 4 a.m. sailed for Manzanillo. Sighted a sloop filled with refugees.hove her to with a shot and upon boarding her she proved to be a party of Women and Children.  A  more miserable and destitute looking lot I never could believe existed. Gave them food and water and they went their way.
Proceeded along to Cuban Camp.  Some of the Cuban Officers came on board.  Spent some time, ground their Machetes.  Told us that Spaniards were ready to surrender Manzanillo to us but not to the Cubans.  Weighed Anchor and sailed for Cape Cruze on passage found that Jucaro had fallen into the hands of Cubans.  Dropped Anchor among Keys for the night

July 25
Underway at 4:30  a.m. for Santiago.

July 26
Arrived at Santiago

July 27-28
Arrived at Guantanamo.  Coaled Ship.  Took on supply of ammunition and Ships Stores.  Boys bought a small black pig. Call him Dennis.

July 29
Left Guantanamo at 12 Noon for Santiago and went into Outer Harbor, passing famous old Morro.  Received mail from Fern. left at 5:30 p. m. for Cape Cruze.  Fern following.

July 30
Arrived off Cape Cruze 5:30 a.m. received two 3 pdrs from the Fern and mounted them
We have got for a battery now  2 -6  pdrs [six pounder deck guns]
                                                  3 – 3 pdrs [three pounder deck guns]
                                                  4 – 1 pdrs Maxim Automatic and 1 Colt machine gun 6 millimeters
Guns stick out from us like bristles on a pig.

July 31
Left Cape Cruze at 9 .a.m. went to Cuban Camp near Manzanillo.  Captain went ashore to confer with Cuban General then we returned to an estate owned by an Englishman at a place called Maitre Luna, east of Nicaro.
Officers went ashore in the evening to dance.

August 1
Up anchor at 6 a.m. for Cape Cruze arrived at 9:30 meet the Scorpion.  Scorpion’s crew caught a shark about 8 ft long

August 2
Lay at Anchor off Cape Cruze.  Spanish Steamer came along is bound to Manzanillo to remove Spanish women and children belonging to Spanish officers.  Piloted her through the Keys then returned to anchorage

Aug 3
At Anchor off Cape Cruze
Sighted a steamer, gave chase and hove her to with shot across bow proved to be Norwegian steamer all straight aboard  also hove a German Steamer to, also all straight. returned to anchorage

Aug 4
Underway at 6 a.m. went down to Keys to pilot Spanish Steamer out from Manzanillo. Met her, piloted her out and returned to station of Cape Cruze and Anchorage

Aug 5
At Anchor all day

Aug 6
Up Anchor for MaitreLuna arrived at 11 a.m. tied up to Pier to take on Coal

August 7
At pier Maitre Luna finished coaling took about 20 tons poor coal it looks like burnt out gas coal that it has spoiled from being exposed to weather so long
It  burns free but you  could cut the smoke with a knife it is so thick and dense black.  Sailed for Cape Cruze and found supply ship.  Supply waiting for us with stores and mail

Aug 8
Took on stores from Supply. Some Cubans came on board told us that a schooner loaded with Provisions was trying to get into Santa Cruz.  Left the Cape and Started for there, got there at 5 p.m. did not see any schooner sailed toward Manzanillo and anchored about 8 miles from there

Aug 9
Up Anchor at 6 a.m. toward Manzanello. Sailed around harbor but did not fire a shot.  Came back to Maitre Luna and anchored for the night..

Aug 10
All Hands up anchor at 6 a.m. going to Cape Cruze Dropped anchor at 9 a.m.  Up anchor at 2:20 p.m. Collect Newark, Resolute and Suwanee off Cape.  Waiting for Osceola.
Resolute had troops aboard bound for the Isle of Pines.
Fired a shot across the bow of small vessel at 11:30 p.m.. She proved to be the Alverado [ALVARADO], a small Spanish Gunboat recovered from Spanish at Santiago and put in commission by U.S.

August 11
Received mail from Osceola, underway for Manzanillo at 6 a.m. Newark flagship leading.  Had to find Channel after all for Newark inshore.  We found it at 9:30 and we pilot in.
Quadrilli’s Channel it is called.  Anchored about 10 miles East of Manzanillo.

Aug 12
Up Anchor at 4;30 a.m. for Manzanillo. Deck cleared for action. Off Manzanillo at 8:30.  Sent boat in Lieut Hazeltine in charge to demand surrender of the town.  Spanish refuse, proceeded to close in at 1:45 and attack. Newark fires first shot at 3:45 p.m. Moving in Osceola opens firing at 3:50 p.m.  Hist opens firing at 4:15 p.m. Firing general.
Cease Firing at 4:20.  White  flags flying from several places in town.
Alverado ordered in under white flag to find out the situation of things the reason of flying white flags
Osceola,  Suwanee, Hist and Alverado closing in.
Newark and Resolute laying off at Entrance in deep water.  Very shallow here propeller churning mud.  Osceola also throwing mud.  Alverado when about 400 yds is fired upon We are also fired at.  Firing from shore is becoming hot  4:45 p.m. We return the fire to the best of our ability
Our Maxim 1 pdr Machine Guns on Starboard Side become jammed, dismounted them to transfer those from Port Side to Starboard, rest of battery firing lively, also all spare hands using rifles.  Newark is unable to fire owing to Alverado and rest of us being in line of fire.  Newark recalls us at 5:05 and we steam out.  No one hurt and no damage to fleet.
A wonder when I think of the position we were in and the way we were received

Aug 13
Anchored at entrance of Harbor.  Preparing everything for to give them a hot time tomorrow for their dirty work of today.  Newark firing 6 inch shell every ½ hour into the City
Newark fires on small boat coming from shore at 2:00 a.m. and drives her back into town
A small boat observed making for Newark from shore bearing a White Flag 6 -7 a.m.
Receive news from Newark that Peace has been declared.  Everybody sorry to think we cannot get a Whack at that town.

August 14
Underway at 4 a.m. for Cape Cruze.  Stopped at Maitre Luna informed English Planter of peace being declared.Arrived at Cape Cruze.  droped anchor
Lieut. Hazeltine told the hands to let the anchor full out as he was going to clean the Chain locker.  It ran out and as the bitter end was not made fast it went over and disappeared beneath the briny.
Dragged for it but was unable to pick it.  Lost Kedge Anchor and part of line in doing so.  There is coral bottom and grapple catches in crevaces and straining it up ,parts grapple or line.  Had to give it up.  Look’s like some of boys put up a job to lose it.
Underway at 5 p.m. for Guantanamo

August 15
Arrived at Guantanamo at 9: 00 a.m.

August 16 - 18
At Anchor in Guantanamo Harbor. usual routine work

August 19
Coaled Ship from Sarah C. Palmer a four masted schooner

August 20 - 21
At Anchor Guantanamo

August 22
Up Anchor at 5:30 a.m. went down coast with officers from Fleet to visit wrecks.  Visited Almirante Oquendo and Maria Theresa.  Got a few pieces of junk from them.  Went into Santiago Harbor lay there about 3 hours when returned to Guantanamo Harbor.

August 23 – 27
At anchorage Guantanamo Harbor

August 28
Got underway at 6:50 p.m. for Port Antonio Jamacia

August 29
Arrived at Port Antonio 3:45 a.m.   Skipper went to Kingston

August 30
Lay at Anchor morning.  Took on water in afternoon. Liberty denied us.  In Evening 13 swam ashore, took liberty and returned aboard between 12 and 1 p.m. Had to hoist some aboard.  Nobody the wiser about it.

August 31
At anchor Port Antonia

September 1
At Anchor pulled into wharf to take on stores.  In evening 21 of crew took French leave over the side. All hands mustered at 8 p.m. all runaways found out
I came aboard at 12 p.m. and made 4th class and 20 hours extra duty. for punishment [being palced in 4th calss meant that Sullivan was only to be allowed to go ashore for liberty once every three months].  Some did not arrive back till this noontime.
Unruly ones put in irons, rest made 4th class and 24 hours extra duty.
Had a lively time ashore  All Hands up anchor at 6:30 p.m. to return to Guantanamo.
Passage across very rough making water badly that is shipping it down through hatchways by torrents
Thors Plates in Fireroom thrown up right along . All the pumps can do to keep her anyway near free.  Fore hold full of water and makes the ship down by the head causing her to make bad work of it.
Everything afloat and soaking wet no sleep tonight.  Boat deck loaded with   Bananas for Fleet
Had 8 -12 Watch

September 2
Arrived Guantanamo at 3 p.m.

September 3 – 11
At Anchor Guantanamo usual routine work

September 12
Up Anchor alongside Schooner Talofa and coal ship

September 13
At Anchor Guantanamo

September 14
At Anchor Guantanamo  In Evening Captain took the Foo-Foo Band in steam launch serenading the Fleet. out all night and they all returned aboard blind drunk.
Brown, Yeoman, accidentally shot by rifle ball in groin 11:30 a.m. while Cambell, Acting Gunners Mate was cleaning guns. not serious.

September 15
At Anchor.  Lieut Hazeltine left for home.  Mr. Hart, Cadet reports aboard in place

September 16
At anchor Guantanamo.  Nellie our little dog kicked the bucket.  All hands sorry for we had brought her with us from New York and she had been through all battles with us

September 17
At Anchor.  Had to slaughter our Mascot Dennis the Pig.  Pete Brunner done the job nicely
Captain had said he would not allow him to be kept aboard for he had the habit of going up to  the wardroom door and squeeling.

September 18 – 21
At anchor Guantanamo

September 22
Started in evening for Port Antonia Jamacia

September 23
Arrived Port Antonia at 7 a.m.  Starboard get 24 hours shore liberty

September 24
Starboard Watch reports aboard full of good nature.  Port Watch goes ashore

September 25
Port Watch report aboard.  Had lively time .  One man arrested and fined 30 shillings

September 26
Sailed for Guantanamo at 6. p.m.

September 27
Arrived at Guantanamo at 8 a.m. and found they had towed Spanish Cruiser Infanta Marie Theresa in to harbor. [click here to read a report on the Teresa's condition at this point]

September 28 – 29
At Anchor.  Guantanamo

September 30
Got underway to coal up at 10 a.m.  Went aground on coral bar hard and fast.  Tug Potomac parts 9 inch hawser in trying to pull us off also started Starboard Quarter Bitts from Deck, had to let up.

October 1
Still aground.  Put a bridle over bows and with both Hawsers sent off to Potomac
Potomac parts both lines and gives job up
Worked well into the night getting both anchors off astern and made fast a new 9 inch Hawser got from Newark.  Put heavy double purchase on it then with Luff on that hove round Steam Winch.

October 2
Hove round on Winch at high tide at 9:15 a.m. and got her off..
Packed up gear and apparently no damage has been done vessel. as she is not making any more water.

October 3
Returned to anchorage have evidently postponed coaling

October 4
Up anchor at 6:30 a.m. went alongside schooner and took coal.
Newark coaled also and left for Port Antonia

October 5
Scorpian arrived from Port Antonio with mail for us

October 6-10
At Anchor Guantanamo

October 11
At Anchor Guantanamo.  Cincinatti arrived

October 12
Newark arrives with mail from Port Antonia

October 13
At Anchor Guantanamo At work on Marie Theresa

October 14 – 15
At work on Marie Theresa

October 16 -17
At anchor Guantanamo

October 18
Moved from inner to outer harbor. Mosquitoes bothering Old Man

October 19 – 22
At Anchor Guantanamo

October 23
Alvarado arrives from Port Antonia but no mail

October 24
Southery arrives from Port Antonia  with mail

October 25
At Anchor Guantanamo  Gave entertainment. invited men from rest of Fleet  Good time

October 26
Alverado left at 1 p.m. for Manzanillo
Received orders to coal up at 5:30 p.m. case of work all  night we are to leave   as soon as coaled
Coaled up at 10:30 p.m. put 30 tons aboard. Sailed for Santiago

 October 27
Arrived at Santiago at 8 a.m. jogged along slow last night could not get in until daylight
Sailed for Manzanillo at 6 p.m.
Gen Wood and Staff aboard.  Mr Hiencke tells us that we are to take him around coast inspecting Army Posts and will be gone about a month

 October 28
Passed Cape Cruze old stamping grounds at 6 a.m.
Arrived at Manzanillo at 1 p.m.
Starboard Watch  liberty until 6 p.m.

October 29
At Anchor Manzanillo. Port watch not allowed ashore

October 30 Sunday
At Anchor Manzanillo. Went ashore to wrecks in morning. .Stove hole in boat.  Patched it with rubber boot. Returned aboard
Up anchor at 12 M for Santiago.  Arrived at Cape Cruze at about 6 p.m. Dropped anchor as the barometer was away down and rough outside of cape.
Up anchor at 9 p.m. decided to  go on, weather bad, foolhardy undertaking wth this boat in her present condition.
Starboard [coal] bunker plate lifts off ship at sea.  Fire room filled with coal washed down.  Bunker plate secured .  A lot of coal in bilges apt to choke pumps then there will be fun

October 31
Arrived at Santiago 8:30 a.m.. rough passage 12 to 4 Watch last night
This boat has become so foul on bottom that she cannot make more than 10 ½  knots forcing her to 125 Revolutions per minute.  Steam Pressure 90  lbs and she can make between 9 and 10 knots. With 100  Revolutions per minute 90 lbs Pressure and not burn ½  the Coals they run now from 95 to 100 Rev’s and we can make steam with one hand.

Nov 1 – 6
At Anchor Santiago.  took water at Jucaro Iron Co’s Pier yesterday and returned to anchor. Cincinatti  came in and gave us mail

November 7 - 8
At anchor Santiago Harbor

November 9
Sailed for Guantanamo Harbor. to go to Caymanira at 5:13 a.m.
Weather rough seas breaking over repeatedly. Came near losing steam launch. Strong conek gave way and had  to secure with tackle.
Gen Woods Party Sea Sick.
Arrived at Guantanamo at 11:30 p.m.  Distance by Log 57 miles.

November 10
Arrived at Guantanamo Harbor
Went up River to Caymanira at 8 a.m.

November 11
Went from lower bay and coaled ship from Collier Southery
Returned to Caymanira.  Captain returned aboard. Were to get underway but order belayed. Rough outside.

November 12 Saturday
Up anchor at 6 a.m. Stopped in lower Bay Captain visited Solace and Glacier. Returned about ½ hour. Off for Santiago.
Wind aft, temperature in Fireroom 167 degrees
Arrived in Santiago 1:30 p.m after skirting the coast

Sunday November 13
At Anchor. Santiago. Has us Uniform Blue Mustering Clothes.  Took us by surprise It is the First time we mustered in blue since leaving New York

Monday November 14
At Anchor Santiago

November 15 – 16
At Anchor Santiago.  All Hands disgusted and restless on account of not getting liberty.  Officers go ashore every day and come back at all hours.  Gig’s Crew getting plenty of work.
After Pipe down about 10 p.m. the Captain came off in a whale boat from shore with a party of army people and a young lady. He showed her where we were struck in Engine Room Hatch at Manzanillo.  If she looked down the Berth Deck Hatch in passing she must have seen quite a sight

November 17
At Anchor Santiago

November 18
At Anchor Santiago

November  19
At anchor Santiago

November 20  Sunday
No quarters today. Men were put to work painting the inside panels of Bulwarks white.
I thought that is was the Rule in the Navy to avoid doing any work but what was  actually necessary on Sunday but they do as the like with men on this vessel.

November 21
At Anchor Santiago

November 22
At Anchor

November 23
At  Anchor Santiago

November 24
At Anchor  Holiday: dressed ship

November 25
At anchor Santiago

November 26
At Anchor Santiago

November 27
At Anchor

November 28
At anchor

November 29
Got underway at 5:45 am. ran outside and met Steamer Admiral Dewey transferred mail from her and returned

November 30
At Anchor Santiago

December 1
At Anchor Santiago
Chappie Collins took the D.T’s from the effects of some Rum he drank ashore.  He suffered great pain until relieved by morphine injection

December 2
At Anchor  Santiago  Usual Routine

December 3
Left Santiago at 11:30 a.m.Proceed to Guantanamo to coal ship.  Arrived at Guantanamo at 5:45 p..m. alongside of Collier loading. Cincinnatti in harbor.Coaled ship all night. Everybody disgusted at the way things going on way down.  1st Lieut Heinicke cursed at Cambell a landsman.  Cambell did not move quick enough to suit him and he got angry and said “ God Dam you Cambell get to work”  Cambell turned and forcefully told him that he did not need to be cursed at and he would not have him dam him.  I thought that there was going to be some fuss but the 1st Lieut. to back water
Cambell has been acting Gunners Mate but has been told by 1st Lieut that he need not work at the guns anymore. I think he will try and make it hot for him after this.`
Gen Wood aboard without party

December 4
Guantanamo.  Finished coaling at 2 a.m. and got underway at once to go to Baracoa.  Arrived at Baracoa at 3:30 p.m.  Temperature in  Fire Room 176 degrees On 12 to 4 watch.  Winds aft

December 5
Underway for Jibara at 5 a.m. Arrived at Bay of Nipe at 2 p.m. proceeded up to entrance of River that name,  Up  to Town 3. pm. Anchored. Town 12 Miles up. Channel very crooked. Coming in took on native Pilot
Spanish man-of-war sunk at entrance to River.  Name of her is Horta Jaun [JORGE JUAN] as near as I can get it.  They sunk her on Approach of American Fleet the Pilot said.
Steam Launch is gone up River with Gen Wood and Captain.  Guns and Fishing tackle aboard.  Steam Launch returned did not run up very far.

December 6, 1898
At Anchor Bay of Nipe
Steam Launch has gone up River to Town of  Mayari with Capt and Gen Wood.
Had Rifle Practice at Smoke  stack of Spanish Wreck. Distance about 300 yds Struck stack 5 times out of 5 shots got 3/6 very good
Party went to wreck in  dingy and brought off Main top mast
Steam Launch returned from Mayari. Coxswain drunk put in brig double irons 5 days.  Said Captain gave him a quart of rum to drink while there.  Engineer of Launch also told me the same thing
Rainy weather

December 7
Underway at 6 a.m.for Jibara. Fine weather, quite a swell on.
Arrived at Jibara at 1:45 p.m. orders are to be ready to get underway in 10 minutes time open harbor.  Saluted with 11 guns.  Forts returned salute.  Capt and Gen Wood gone ashore
Hear that there is 75 Cases of small pox ashore.  Town looks like a clean healthy place open to sea and high land all around.

December 8
Left Jibara at 11:45 a.m. for Santiago

December 9
Underway for Santiago.  Watch 4 to 8 this morning.  Received 1 Bell at about 4:45 a.m. the cause was that we had lost our bearing and came near going ashore by mistaking Baracao Light for Cape Mazei and had to run slow to find out where we were
Weather fine but this old box taking water aboard.
Passed Cape Mazai about 8:15 a.m,.  brought wind aft

December 9
Arrived at Guantanamo at about 5 p.m. remain overnight. Cannot get to Santiago before dark.

December 10
Underway for Santiago at 6 a.m. Arrived at Santiago at 11:30 a.m.

December 11 – 16
At  Anchor Santiago Harbor

December 16
At anchor Santiago Harbor  Overhauling Main Engine

December 17
At Anchor Santiago Harbor Repairing Circulating Pump Engine. Cincinnati went aground on way out.

December 18
At Anchor
At Anchor Santiago Harbor Cincinnati still aground.  Southrey and Mayflower trying to haul her off.  At work on Circ Pump Engine

December 18
At Anchor

December 19
At Anchor. Cincinnattti hauls off.

December 20
Coal Ship from Southrey

December 21
At Anchor

December 21 – 25
At Anchor Santiago Cuba.  Shore Liberty 1 to 5:30 p.m.

December 25
At Anchor Santiago.  Liberty ashore.   Went to San Juan Hill

December 26
Liberty ashore today until 5:30 pm. from 1 p.m.
Went aboard U.S.A.  Hospital Ship Bay State and saw George Wylie. Then went ashore visiting around town  and bought Mauser Rifle for $15 at the Arizona Bar

December 27
At Anchor Santiago.  Painting Ship White

December 28 – 31
At Anchor

January 1
Raised quite a racket see the Old Year out last Night

January 2 – 5
At Anchor Santiago

January 6
Received Orders to Proceed to Key West

January 7
Left Santiago at 4:15 p.m. coaled from lighter alongside.  Passed by Morro at 5 p.m.
8 to 12 Watch

January 8
At Sea.  Weather Fine.  Passed Cape Cruz Light at 11 a.m. this morning
Speed 6 Knots on average

January 9
At Sea.  Arrived in Vicinity of Cienfuegos at 7 p.m.  received orders in Engine Room to slow down to 30 Rev per hour.  Just turning over.

January 10
Kept Engine turning over at 30 Rev or under until 5 a.m. this morning when found out that we were away to Westward of Entrance of Cienfuegos Harbor.
Turned and retraced our way back at full speed about 7 knots per hour arrived at Entrance about 8a.m. Proceeded up entrance to anchorage off town. Anchorage at 9:16a.m.
This harbor is admirably adapted to being strongly fortified and mined more so than Santiago or Bay of Nipi or Manzanillo.
The Channel is very narrow for the distance of about 5 miles and opens into a large Bay capable of holding the combined Fleets of Several Nations. It is so far from the Sea that it cannot be shelled  by hostile ship and ships lying inside cannot be seen from the sea.  It is much more modern built city from observation has  a number of fine buildings can be seen
It is an ideal harbor and one has to see it to admire the natural advantages
It could not be better adapted for defense if planned by Man himself.
A large French Steamer is lying here and the Spanish Soldiers are rapidly embarking with families and household goods.
We have boats over sided scraping her bottom in hopes that we  can gain a few knots per hour in speed

January 11
At anchor  Cienfuegos.  Coaled ship about 25 tons in Bunkers, rest in bags on deck.  U.S. Soldiers from shore came aboard on visits

January 12
Left at 12 Noon for Key West

January 13
At Sea

January 14
Ar Sea

January 15
Arrived at Key West at 10 a.m.

January 16 – 20
At Anchor. Preparing to put Ship out of Commission

January 21
Left Key West at 7 a.m. for Pensacola.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, online verison (biography of Lucien Young)

Sullivan, James P. - Personal diary and photo of crew, courtesy of James D. Sullivan, M.D.

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