A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
She sent thousands of soldiers across the
Atlantic, including the members of the best families in the kingdom, to
die in the pestilential lowlands of Cuba, while trying to stamp out the
fires of revolution that continually grew and spread.

The island was cursed by three political parties, each of which was
strenuous in the maintenance of its views. The dominant party of course
was the loyalists, who held all the offices and opposed any compromise
with the insurgents. They were quite willing to make promises, with no
intention of fulfilling them, but knew the Cubans could no longer be
deceived.

The second party was the insurgents, who, as has been shown, had
"enlisted for the war," and were determined not to lay down their arms
until independence was achieved. The autonomists stood between these
extremes, favoring home rule instead of independence, while admitting
the misgovernment of Cuba.

[Illustration: JOSÉ MARTI.

President of the Cuban Revolutionary Party. Led into ambush and killed
by the Spaniards, May 19, 1895.]

The Spaniards were determined to prevent the coming of Antonio Maceo, a
veteran of the Ten Years' War, possessed of great courage and resources,
who was living in Costa Rica. They knew he had been communicated with
and his presence would prove a tower of strength to the insurgents.
Bodies of Spanish cavalry galloped along the coasts, on the alert to
catch or shoot the rebel leader, while the officials closely watched all
arrivals at the seaports for the feared rebel.

Despite these precautions, Maceo and twenty-two comrades of the previous
war effected a landing on the eastern end of the island. They were
almost immediately discovered by the Spanish cavalry, and a fierce fight
followed, in which several Cubans were killed. Maceo fought furiously,
seemingly inspired by the knowledge that he was again striking for the
freedom of his country, and he came within a hair of being killed. He
eluded his enemies, however, and, plunging into the thickets, started
for the interior to meet the other insurgent leaders. The abundance of
tropical fruits saved him from starving, and it was not long before he
met with straggling bodies of his countrymen, who hailed his coming with
enthusiasm. Recruits rapidly gathered around him, and he placed himself
at the head of the ardent patriots.

It was just ten days after the landing of Maceo that Gomez and José
Marti, coming from Santo Domingo, landed on the southern coast of Cuba.
They had a lively time in avoiding the Spanish patrol, but succeeded in
reaching a strong force of insurgents, and Gomez assumed his duties as
commander-in-chief. Recruits were gathered to the number of several
thousand, and Gomez and Marti started for the central provinces with the
purpose of formally establishing the government. Marti was led astray on
the road by a treacherous guide and killed.

Fully alive to the serious work before him, Captain-General Calleja
called upon Spain for help in quelling the rebellion. She sent 25,000
troops to Cuba and Calleja was relieved by Field-Marshal Campos. This
was a popular move, for it was Campos who brought the Ten Years' War to
a close, and it was generally believed he would repeat his success.

The first important act of Campos was to divide Cuba into zones, by
means of a number of strongly guarded military lines, extending north
and south across the narrower part of the island. They were called
"trochas," and were expected to offer an impassable check to the
insurgents, who, thus confined within definite limits, could be crushed
or driven into the sea with little difficulty.

[Illustration: ANTONIO MACEO.

Lieutenant-General in the Cuban Army.]

The scheme, however, was a failure. The rebels crossed the trochas at
will, kept up their guerrilla tactics, picked off the regulars,
destroyed railroad trains, and went so far as to shoot the messengers
who dared to enter their camp with proposals for making peace on other
terms than independence.

The Cubans were full of hope. They had their old leaders with them, men
who had led them in former campaigns and proven their courage and skill.
Recruits flocked to their standards, until it has been estimated that by
the close of the year fully 20,000 insurgents were in the field. With
such strong commands, the leaders were able to attain several important
successes. Considerable bodies of the regulars were defeated with
serious losses, and, in one instance, Campos succeeded in saving himself
and command only by the artillery he happened to have with him.

Campos had prosecuted the war through civilized methods, and, therefore,
fell into disfavor at home. He was not a representative Spanish
commander, and was now superseded by General Valeriano Weyler, who
arrived in Havana in February, 1896. This man had as much human feeling
in his heart as a wounded tiger. His policy was _extermination_. He
established two powerful trochas across the island, but they proved as
ineffective as those of Campos. Then he ordered the planters and their
families, who were able to pick up a wretched living on their places, to
move into the nearest towns, where they would be able to raise no more
food for the insurgents. It mattered not to Weyler that neither could
these reconcentrados raise any food for themselves, and therefore must
starve: that was no concern of his. As he viewed it, starvation was the
right method of ridding Cuba of those who yearned for its freedom.

[Illustration]

No pen can picture the horrors that followed. The woeful scenes sent a
shudder throughout the United States, and many good people demanded that
the unspeakable crime should be checked by armed intervention. To do
this meant war with Spain, but we were ready for that. A Congressional
party visited Cuba in March, 1898, and witnessed the hideous suffering
of the Cubans, of whom more than a hundred thousand had been starved to
death, with scores still perishing daily. In referring to what they
saw, Senator Proctor, of Vermont, said: "I shall refer to these horrible
things no further. They are there. God pity me, I have seen them; they
will remain in my mind forever, and this is almost the twentieth
century. Christ died nineteen hundred years ago, and Spain is a
Christian nation. She has set up more crosses in more lands, beneath
more skies, and under them has butchered more people than all the other
nations of the earth combined. God grant that before another Christmas
morning the last vestige of Spanish tyranny and oppression will have
vanished from the western hemisphere."

The ferocious measures of Weyler brought so indignant a protest from our
country that he was recalled, and his place taken by General Ramon
Blanco, who reached Havana in the autumn of 1897. Under him the
indecisive fighting went on much as before, with no important advantage
gained by either side. Friends of Cuba made appeals in Congress for the
granting of belligerent rights to the insurgents, but strict
international law demanded that their government should gain a more
tangible form and existence before such rights could be conceded.

Matters were in this state of extreme tension when the blowing-up of the
_Maine_ occurred. While riding quietly at anchor in the harbor of
Havana, on the night of February 15, 1898, she was utterly destroyed by
a terrific explosion, which killed 266 officers and men. The news
thrilled the land with horror and rage, for it was taken at once for
granted that the appalling crime had been committed by Spaniards, but
the absolute proof remained to be brought forward, and the Americans,
with their proverbial love of justice and fair-play, waited for such
proof.

Competent men were selected for the investigation, and they spent three
weeks in making it. They reported that it had been established beyond
question that the _Maine_ was destroyed by an outside explosion, or
submarine mine, though they were unable to determine who was directly
responsible for the act.

The insistence of Spain, of course, was that the explosion was
accidental and resulted from carelessness on the part of Captain Sigsbee
and his crew; but it may be doubted whether any of the Spanish officials
in Havana ever really held such a belief. While Spain herself was not
directly responsible for the destruction of the warship and those who
went down in her, it was some of her officials who destroyed her. The
displacement of the ferocious Weyler had incensed a good many of his
friends, some of whom most likely expressed their views in this manner,
which, happily for the credit of humanity, is exceedingly rare in the
history of nations.

[Illustration: PRESIDENT MCKINLEY AND THE WAR CABINET

LYMAN J. GAGE, JAS. WILSON, C.N. BLISS,
Sec'y of the Treasury. Sec'y of Agriculture Sec'y of the Interior.

PRESIDENT MCKINLEY. JOHN W. JOHN D. WM. R. RUSSELL A. CHAS. EMORY
GRIGGS, LONG, DAY, ALGER, SMITH,
Attorney Sec'y of Sec'y Sec'y Postmaster
General. the Navy. of State. of War. General.]


The momentous events that followed are given in the succeeding
chapters.

[Illustration.]




CHAPTER XXV.

ADMINISTRATION OF McKINLEY (CONTINUED), 1897-1901.

THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR.

Opening Incidents--Bombardment of Matanzas--Dewey's Wonderful Victory at
Manila--Disaster to the _Winslow_ at Cardenas Bay--The First American
Loss of Life--Bombardment of San Juan, Porto Rico--The Elusive Spanish
Fleet--Bottled-up in Santiago Harbor--Lieutenant Hobson's Daring
Exploit--Second Bombardment of Santiago and Arrival of the Army--Gallant
Work of the Rough Riders and the Regulars--Battles of San Juan and El
Caney--Destruction of Cervera's Fleet--General Shafter Reinforced in
Front of Santiago--Surrender of the City--General Miles in Porto
Rico--An Easy Conquest--Conquest of the Philippines--Peace Negotiations
and Signing of the Protocol--Its Terms--Members of the National Peace
Commission--Return of the Troops from Cuba and Porto Rico--The Peace
Commission in Paris--Conclusion of its Work--Terms of the
Treaty--Ratified by the Senate.


"STRIPPING FOR THE FIGHT."

Enough has already been stated to show the real cause of the war between
the United States and Spain.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.