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The OLYMPIA at the Battle of Manila Bay

The View from the Rear Turret

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The following is an account by the pointer in the OLYMPIA's after (or rear) turret at the Battle of Manila Bay:

The Account:

"I saw the Spanish battle-flag on the enemy batteries and we cheered and still the order came. 'Hold Fire!' For less than a moment I would close my eyes for rest, for I was a gun pointer. The hair cross in the sight was growing indelible upon my vision and then in the calling of the ranges I heard distinctly 'twenty-two hundred yards,' and following it like an echo the bugles sounded 'Fire!' My eye was on the sight, my hand was on the bulb. The choking thing in my throat fled before the flare of the bugle, and I pressed the spark with as little concern as I was wont to do at target practice."

"The great gun, with a recoil of thirty-six inches, had belched her pent up venom. Riding back on her trunnions, she slid again into battery as No. 2, with crank in hand stepped out to meet her; and for the first time it occurred to me [to] count the turning of the crank - one - two - three - four - five - six - seven - eight - nine - ten - eleven turns of the crank and the breech flew open."

"Leaning down from my seat I picked up the spent electric primer from the breech and tucked it in the folds of the neckerchief tied around my head (a souvenir of the first shot our gun crew fired)." 


Tisdale, Lieu G. T., Three Years Behind the Guns, (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1908).

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