previous next

El Caney,

An elevated suburban village 3 miles northeast of Santiago, in the province of Santiago, Cuba. It was here, on July 1, 1898, that the American army of liberation met its first serious opposition. After the landing of the troops at Daiquiri (q. v.) on June 20-22, a

Spanish earthworks and intrenchments at El Caney.

[190] forward movement began, and by the 27th the whole army, 16,000 strong, had reached points within 3 miles of Santiago. General Shafter, in consultation with the other generals, determined on an enveloping movement to prevent a junction of the forces under General Pando and those under General Linares in Santiago. In accordance with this plan the division of General Lawton moved out on June 30, into positions previously determined. By

Block-House at El Caney.

daylight on July 1, Capt. Allyn K. Capron's light battery reached a commanding hill, 2,400 yards from the village. The brigade of Maj.-Gen. Adna E. Chaffee was assigned a position east of El Caney that he might be prepared to attack after the first bombardment, and Brig.-Gen. William Ludlow went around to the west with his brigade for the purpose of preventing a retreat of the Spaniards into Santiago. As soon as the battery opened fire upon the stone block-house and church in the centre of the village, and also the trenches where the Spanish infantry was situated, General Chaffee's brigade, composed of the 7th, 12th, and 17th Infantry, moved to attack in the front, keeping up a constant but careful fire, as the men had only 100 rounds of ammunition each. In the rear, General Ludlow moved his troops forward, and from the south came the reserves of Brig.-Gen. Evan Miles. Thus the village was the centre of a concentrated fire and was nearly encircled with the lines steadily closing in. So stubborn, however, was the defence that reinforcements under Maj.-Gen. John C. Bates were ordered up to strengthen the line, which had been considerably weakened in the desperate assaults. After the enemy had left their intrenchments, the fire was concentrated upon the brick fort, from which the Spaniards poured a galling musketry fire into the American lines. The fort could not long withstand the attack, and rents were soon torn in its thick walls. At this juncture the commands under Chaffee, Bates, and Miles made a charge, and captured the work, but not until all the men defending it were killed or wounded. After its capture the smaller block-houses ceased fighting, with the exception of one which was soon destroyed by a few shots of Capron's battery. The brave defence of El Caney was directed by Brig.-Gen. Vera de Rey (who died fighting), with 520 men, of whom scarcely a fifth remained alive at the end of the action. See San Juan Hill.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
El Caney (Texas, United States) (4)
Cuba (Cuba) (1)
Block House (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 1st, 1898 AD (1)
July 1st (1)
June 30th (1)
June 22nd (1)
June 20th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: