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Battle of Manila Bay:

The Report of Capt. Hodgsdon

Of the Revenue Cutter HUGH McCULLOCH

Contributed by Nick Mitiuckov

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Below is the report of Capt. Hodgsdon, the commanding officer of the Revenue Cutter HUGH McCULLOCH, which was attached to Commodore Deweyís Asiatic Squadron during the conflict. The HUGH McCULLOCHís action during the Battle of Manila Bay was to defend the supply vessels NANSHAN and ZAFIRO as necessary.

The Report:

Manila Bay, May 3, 1898

SIR: Regarding the part taken by this vessel in the naval action of Manila Bay at cavite, on Sunday morning, May 1, 1898, between the American and Spanish forces, I have the honor to submit the following report:

Constituting the leading vessel of the reserve squadron the McCULLOCH was, when fire opened, advanced as closely as was advisable in rear of our engaged men of war, in fact, to a point where several shells struck close aboard and others passed overhead, and kept steaming slowly to and fro, ready to render any aid in her power, or respond at once to any signal from the OLYMPIA. A 9-inch hawser was gotten up and run aft, should assistance be necessary in case any of our ships grounded. At a later hour during the day, just prior to the renewal of the attack by our squadron, I intercepted the British mail steamer ESMERALDA, in compliance with a signal from the flagship, communicated to her commander your orders in regard to his movements, and then proceeded to resume my former position of the morning, near the fleet, where I remained until the surrender of the enemy. I desire to state in conclusion that I was ably seconded by my officers and crew of my command in every effort made to be in a state of readiness to carry out promptly any orders which might have been signaled from your flagship.

Respectfully, yours,

D. B. Hodgsdon,
Captain, R.C.S. Commanding


Clerk of Joint Committee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress, Vol. 4 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899) 86.

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