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Early in the engagement two launches put out
toward the Olympia with the apparent intention of using torpedoes.
One was sunk and the other disabled by our fire and beached before
they were able to fire their torpedoes.

"At seven A.M. the Spanish flagship Reina Cristina made a desperate
attempt to leave the line and come out to engage at short range, but
was received with such a galling fire, the entire battery of the
Olympia being concentrated upon her, that she was barely able to
return to the shelter of the point. The fires started in her by our
shells at the time were not extinguished until she sank. The three
batteries at Manila had kept up a continuous fire from the beginning
of the engagement, which fire was not returned by my squadron. The
first of these batteries was situated on the south mole-head at the
entrance of the Pasig River, the second on the south position of the
walled city of Manila, and the third at Molate, about one-half mile
further south. At this point I sent a message to the Governor-General
to the effect that if the batteries did not cease firing the city
would be shelled. This had the effect of silencing them.

"At 7:35 A.M. I ceased firing and withdrew the squadron for
breakfast. At 11:16 I returned to the attack. By this time the
Spanish flagship and almost all the Spanish fleet were in flames. At
12:30 the squadron ceased firing, the batteries being silenced and
the ships sunk, burned, and deserted.

"At 12:40 the squadron returned and anchored off Manila, the Petrel
being left behind to complete the destruction of the smaller
gunboats, which were behind the point of Cavite. This duty was
performed by Commander E.P. Wood in the most expeditious and complete
manner possible. The Spanish lost the following vessels: Sunk, Reina
Cristina, Castilla, Don Antonio de Ulloa; burned, Don Juan de
Austria, Isla de Luzon, Isla de Cuba, General Lezo, Marquia del
Duero, El Correo, Velasco, and Isla de Mindanao (transport);
captured, Rapido and Hercules (tugs), and several small launches.

"I am unable to obtain complete accounts of the enemy's killed and
wounded, but believe their losses to be very heavy. The Reina
Cristina alone had 150 killed, including the captain, and ninety
wounded. I am happy to report that the damage done to the squadron
under my command was inconsiderable. There were none killed and only
seven men in the squadron were slightly wounded. Several of the
vessels were struck and even penetrated, but the damage was of the
slightest, and the squadron is in as good condition now as before the
battle.

"I beg to state to the department that I doubt if any
commander-in-chief was ever served by more loyal, efficient, and
gallant-captains than those of the squadron now under my command.
Captain Frank Wildes, commanding the Boston, volunteered to remain in
command of his vessel, although his relief arrived before leaving
Hong Kong. Assistant Surgeon Kindelberger, of the Olympia, and Gunner
J.C. Evans, of the Boston, also volunteered to remain, after orders
detaching them had arrived. The conduct of my personal staff was
excellent. Commander B.P. Lamberton, chief of staff, was a volunteer
for that position, and gave me most efficient aid. Lieutenant Brumby,
Flag Lieutenant, and Ensign E.P. Scott, aide, performed their duties
as signal officers in a highly creditable manner; Caldwell, Flag
Secretary, volunteered for and was assigned to a subdivision of the
five-inch battery. Mr. J.L. Stickney, formerly an officer in the
United States Navy, and now correspondent for the New York _Herald_,
volunteered for duty as my aide, and rendered valuable service. I
desire especially to mention the coolness of Lieutenant C.G. Calkins,
the navigator of the Olympia, who came under my personal observation,
being on the bridge with me throughout the entire action, and giving
the ranges to the guns with an accuracy that was proven by the
excellence of the firing.

"On May 2d, the day following the engagement, the squadron again went
to Cavite, where it remains. On the 3d the military forces evacuated
the Cavite arsenal, which was taken possession of by a landing party.
On the same day the Raleigh and the Baltimore secured the surrender
of the batteries on Corregidor Island, paroling the garrison and
destroying the guns. On the morning of May 4th, the transport Manila,
which had been aground in Bakor Bay, was towed off and made a prize."

[Illustration: THE MOUTH OF THE PASIG RIVER.

The city of Old Manila is surrounded by water. On the west is the sea,
to the north is the Pasig River, while moats, connected with the river
by sluices, flank the other two sides. All the principal warehouses of
the city are on the Pasig, and ships deliver and receive their cargoes
direct, without the necessity of cartage.]

OUR NEW POSSESSIONS (CONTINUED).

THE LADRONE, OR MARIANA ISLANDS.

It was a welcome sight to Magellan and his crew when, one day in March,
nearly 400 years ago, they beheld the verdant and beautifully sloping
hills of the Ladrone Islands. Eighteen weary months before they had
sailed from the coast of Spain, and all that time, first to the
southwest and then to the northwest, they had followed the setting sun.
Theirs were the first vessels manned by white men that had ever plowed
the trackless Pacific; and this was the first land ever seen by white
men within that unknown ocean.

It was a pitiable crew on those three small, weather-beaten ships, who
drew, that March morning, toward the coast of the present island of
Guam, which is now a possession of the United States. Hunger and thirst
had driven them to the verge of madness. They had eaten even the leather
thongs from their sail fastenings, and only a small mug of water per day
was the portion of drink for a man. "Land! Land!!" It was a glad cry
from the watch aloft. There were palm trees, cocoanuts, green grass,
tropical fruits, an abundance of fresh water, and--though naked--a
curious and friendly people. No wonder Magellan paused to rest himself
and his sailors.

Those little islands have never been of much value, and never can be.
Seventeen of them stretching in a row about six hundred miles from north
to south, and their total area, including their islets and reefs, is
variously estimated at from 400 to 560 square miles. Hence, there is but
about one-fourth more territory on the whole seventeen islands combined
than is included within the corporate limits of the city of Greater New
York.

A broad channel divides the Ladrones into two groups. The northern group
consists of ten islets, without inhabitants; the southern group has
seven islands, four of which are inhabited. The largest island,
_Guahan_, known to us as _Guam_, ceded to us by Spain, was taken by our
warship Charleston on July 4, 1898. This island contains the only town
in the colony. Its full Spanish name is _San Ignacio de Agaņa_. It is
the capital of the archipelago, and contains more than half of the whole
population.


THE NATIVE INHABITANTS.

When first visited by Europeans, the archipelago contained from 40,000
to 60,000 souls, represented by two distinct classes, the nobles and the
people, between whom marriage, and even contact, were forbidden. But the
Spanish conquest soon ended this distinction by reducing all alike to
servitude. For a long time after Spanish occupation, the natives
complained and finally rebelled against the oppressive measures of their
rulers; but by the end of the seventeenth century they ceased their
resistance, and it was found by a census that fully half of them had
perished or escaped in their canoes to the Caroline Islands, and that
two-thirds of their one hundred and eighty villages had fallen to ruins.
Then came an epidemic which swept away nearly all the natives of Guam;
and the island of Tinian (one of the group) was depopulated and its
inhabitants brought to Guam.

[Illustration: NATIVE HOUSE AND PALMS, LADRONE ISLANDS.]

Nearly all the new arrivals soon died. In the year 1760, a census showed
a total of only 1,654 inhabitants left in all the islands, and the
Spaniards repopulated them by bringing Tagals from the Philippines.
These, mixed with the remaining natives and Spaniards, have steadily
increased. The population of the islands in 1899 was estimated at about
9,000. The people are generally lacking in energy, loose in morals, and
miserably poor. Their education has been seriously neglected. Their
religion is Catholic, no Protestant missions having been encouraged--we
might say, not allowed--there or in the Philippines or the Carolines.


TOPOGRAPHY, CLIMATE, ETC.

The islands of the northern group are mountainous, the altitudes
reaching from 2,600 to 2,700 feet. There are evidences of volcanoes all
over the archipelago, and some mountains contain small craters and cones
not yet extinct. The climate of the Ladrones, though humid, is
salubrious, and the heat, being tempered by the trade winds, is milder
than in the Philippines. The yearly average temperature of Guam is 81°.
Streams are everywhere copious--though the clearing of the land has
diminished their size of late years. The original flora consists
generally of Asiatic plants, but much has been introduced from the
Philippines and other sources.

Cocoanuts, palms, the bread tree, and tropical trees and plants
generally, thrive. The large fruit bat which abounds in the Philippines
is indigenous to the Ladrones, and, despite its objectionable odor, is a
principal article of food. Swine and oxen are allowed to run wild, and
are hunted when needed. There are only a few species of birds; even
insects are rare; and the reptiles are represented by several kinds of
lizards and a single species of serpent. No domestic animals were known
in the islands until introduced by the Spaniards.

When the United States steamship Charleston opened fire on the little
city of Agaņa, July 4, 1898, the people had not heard of the war, and
the governor said he thought "the noble Americans were saluting" him,
and was "deeply humiliated because he had no powder to return their
salute." It was an easy, bloodless victory.



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