War with Spain - Charles Morris

The Search for the Spanish Fleet

The events narrated in the last chapter were followed on the succeeding day by a more important one, the bombardment of San Juan de Porto Rico by Admiral Sampson's squadron, which, on May 3, had sailed from Key West for a destination unknown, though shrewdly suspected. It was believed that the Cape Verde Spanish squadron was bound for the West Indies and would seek to make port at San Juan. Admiral Sampson's purpose was to cut the Spanish fleet oft from this port, or, if too late for that, to attack it in the harbor of San Juan, or wherever it could be found outside. His squadron consisted of the battle-ships Iowa  and Indiana, the monitors Amphitrite  and Terror, the cruisers New York, Montgomery, and Detroit, and the torpedo-boat Porter. It was accompanied by the coaler Niagara, the tug Wampatuck, and the Dauntless, one of the press-boats which accompanied every expedition of the fleets.

Moving along the northern coast of Cuba, which was kept steadily in sight, the squadron on May 7 reached Cape Haytien, a northern seaport of the island of Hayti. Progress had been delayed by the slow speed of the monitors, which needed to be towed during most of the course, and won from the sailors the ungallant name of "crabs." Stopping at Cape Haytien to send despatches to Washington and receive replies, the ships moved on eastward during the 10th and 11th, and during the night of the 12th appeared oft the port of San Juan, the metropolis and principal seaport of the island of Porto Rico.

The city of San Juan lies on the interior of a long, narrow bay, a high headland separating it from the ocean, while in the mouth of the channel rises the lofty Cabras Island, whose summit, like that of the headland, is fortified. The city is built on the slopes of high hills which rise on the ocean side of the bay. To reach it, it is necessary to pass the Canuelo battery on Cabras Island, the Morro Castle fortifications within, and the San Carlos battery on a promontory at the east entrance to the harbor. Inland, sharply outlined against the sky, rises a range of mountains, which send down their spurs in broken hills almost to the sea. It was about three o'clock in the morning of May 12 that the fleet came near the entrance of this bay and began its preparations for battle, stripping the decks of impedimenta and getting ready the guns, ammunition, and appliances for handling the wounded. On reaching the entrance to the bay, it became evident that the Spanish fleet was not within. It had either not reached there or had departed for some new destination. But before seeking it elsewhere, Admiral Sampson determined to attack the batteries defending the port, in order to develop their positions and strength, though with no intention of bombarding or besieging the city.

Preliminary to the assault, the admiral transferred his flag to the Iowa, and issued orders that the flag-ship, followed by the Indiana, New York, Amphitrite, and Terror, should sail inward past Cabras Island, then turn and pass outward by the westward channel, repeating this evolution until signalled to stop. The smaller vessels were directed to occupy certain positions and to keep a sharp lookout for torpedo-boat destroyers. Two principal objects of attack had been in view, the batteries upon Morro and the Spanish men-of-war, if any were found in the harbor,—care being taken to avoid firing on neutral war-vessels if present, and also to avoid striking the hospitals on Cabras Island. As soon, however, as it became evident that the ships were not within the harbor, attention was confined to the forts, which were vigorously assailed.

The attack began at 5:15 A.M. and lasted for three hours. The plans of the admiral were thoroughly carried out, the ships steaming majestically into the harbor and three times making the circuit outlined in the general order. A ten-knot easterly breeze was blowing, lifting the waters into a long, heavy swell as the great ships moved gracefully on. As they entered the harbor's mouth, no evidence of a lookout by the enemy was observed. Alike in town and forts the Spaniards seemed asleep, and only the roar of the mighty guns appeared to waken them from their slumbers. Four broadsides were fired from the ships before the Spanish gunners were thoroughly aroused to the exigencies of the situation and began to reply from their elevated positions to the projectiles of the great 12- and 13-inch guns. Inward swept the Iowa, delivering the fire from her turrets as she went. Behind her came the Indiana  and then the graceful New York, while the low-lying monitors glided inward in the rear. When the Iowa  turned to go back in the circuit laid down, the whole line had become engaged, the Detroit  and Montgomery  firing rapidly from their smaller guns on the Cabras and Morro batteries.

The squadron had completed one round and was returning on the second before the Spanish gunners became fully warmed up to their work. Then from their elevated positions they poured a plunging fire upon the fleet, one which, had the guns been well served, might have done serious execution. Their fire was furious but aimless, the shells causing the water to spurt up all around, but only one or two during the whole conflict touching a ship. The Detroit, which preceded the Iowa  into the harbor, and the Wampatuck, which kept on her beam, sounding constantly as they moved inward, occupied posts of danger, but escaped injury. The Detroit  drew in close under Morro, and shells seemed to rain around her as she lay within five hundred yards of the batteries, hurling projectiles from her 4-inch rapid-fire guns; yet she made a marvellous escape from damage by shot or shell.

By the end of the third round the heat of the sun had become intense, the men working under great strain; and, as his purpose had been achieved, the admiral deemed it useless to continue the attack on the forts, and signalled to withdraw. This signal failed to be seen or, at least, to be understood by the Terror, which remained in the channel and for half an hour engaged Morro Castle alone. The scene was one of intense interest as the low-lying craft hurled the shells from her turrets up-hill at the elevated forts, while the Spanish gunners poured down their projectiles with utter uselessness, the shells splashing in the water often hundreds of feet from the Terror, and, when exploding, hurling columns of water sixty feet into the air. Finally, as if weary of the work, the monitor glided slowly outward, firing as she went, while the gunners on .the hill-side blazed away until she was far out of range, not a shot touching her during the whole exciting duel. The Montgomery, meanwhile, had engaged and silenced Fort Canuelo, on Cabras Island, while the Porter, lying close under the cliff east of the Detroit, was prepared to torpedo any Spanish cruiser that sought to escape from the harbor.

It was eight o'clock when the engagement closed. The escape of the fleet from the heavy and continuous fire of the enemy's batteries, all occupying elevated positions, was something almost incredible, and could only have been due to absolute incapacity in the gunners. Of the hundreds of projectiles only two reached their mark, and only one man was killed on the fleet. A shell struck the Iowa  and did some small damage on deck, where three men were slightly hurt. One that exploded on the New York  was more effective, one seaman, Frank Widemark, being killed, and four wounded, while two search-lights were shattered and other slight injuries done. In addition to the man killed on the New York, a gunner's mate on the Amphitrite  died from the effect of the stifling heat. Of the wounded men only two were seriously enough hurt to be transferred to the hospital-ship Solace, which subsequently joined the fleet. During the engagement the admiral occupied a position on the lee of the conning-tower, not deeming it necessary to enter that place of refuge. His experience and that of Dewey indicate that the conning-tower is little likely to be made use of unless the shots come from both sides. The commander seems as safe behind it as in it.

The results of the bombardment were the silencing of the Cabras Island battery, the damaging of the San Carlos battery, and the demolition of the north end of Morro Castle. Some damage was done to the section of the city adjoining the batteries and a panic seems to have prevailed, most of the inhabitants taking to the woods, with a natural fear that the hostile fleet might turn its death-dealing guns on the helpless city. They returned with a warm sense of relief when it was certain that the terrible ships had withdrawn.

One lesson of importance was learned from these three hours of sharp work. It was the first time that modem ships had attacked in force land fortifications, and the result was observed by the military nations of the world with deep interest. It had been an unsettled problem whether coast defence could be best provided for by war-vessels or land intrenchments. The engagement at San Juan and the subsequent naval siege of Santiago went far to settle this question. In both instances ancient forts, quite unfit to bear the fire of modern guns, sustained a hot fire for hours without being silenced or materially injured. They had, it may be said, a special advantage from their elevated situation, which rendered it difficult to plant shells effectively in their midst. On the other hand, they bore the bombardment practically without replying, for the wretched gunnery of the Spaniards was a subject of derision to the sailors, their projectiles being wasted by hundreds on the waters of the bay. Only two of the whole number reached their mark, and this perhaps more by accident than accurate aiming.

Had the guns of the Morro all been of modern make and handled by well-trained gunners, the result must have been decidedly different. From their coign of vantage on the harbor hills they could have poured their shells in a devastating stream on the ships and have driven them in haste from their waters or sunk them in the channel. Such forts, well built and handled, would be impregnable to the fire of ships, and would be able to meet an attack with a deadly and destructive return.

The hospital-ship Solace, which visited the fleet after the battle on an errand of mercy, was a new departure in naval warfare,-a vessel fitted up with all requirements for aid of the sick and wounded. She was in effect an ambulance-ship, her mission being to make the suffering comfortable until they could be landed in a hospital on shore. Her white sides and the flag of the Red Cross that floated at her peak told the story of her benevolent purpose to friend and foe, while she was provided with delicacies for the sick and all the requirements for temporary hospital treatment of the wounded, having an operating-room well equipped with surgical instruments, a complete paraphernalia for treating wounds, a convalescents' room, and a full corps of surgeons and nurses. Her accommodations were sufficient for two hundred or more wounded soldiers, and her speed great enough to enable her to reach a northern port with her suffering inmates without loss of time. The wounded of the New York  were the first that called for the services of this useful ship. At a later date a second vessel adapted to the same important service, the Relief, specially known as an "army hospital-ship," was added to the auxiliary vessels of the navy. Later in the war these two winged messengers of mercy proved of the highest utility.

Immediately after the end of the bombardment the squadron put to sea again, standing to the northeast until out of sight of San Juan, when the course was laid to the westward, with the view of communicating with Washington and ascertaining if anything had been learned about the movements of the Spanish fleet. At Cape Haytien the admiral received word by wire that the squadron of the enemy, under Admiral Cervera, had been heard from at the French island of Martinique. Being unable to obtain supplies there, it had made its way to the Dutch island of Curacao, near the north coast of South America. Here entrance was forbidden to more than two vessels of the fleet at a time, the Maria Teresa  and the Vizcaya  being admitted to the port, where they obtained a small quantity of inferior coal and some other supplies.

As Holland and France had declared neutrality, they could not, under the rules of international law governing belligerents, permit the ships of either combatant to remain in any of their ports longer than necessity demanded, or to obtain more coal than was requisite to enable them to reach the nearest port of their respective nations. Great Britain had declared coal contraband of war. This rendered it useless for Admiral Cervera to call at any British West India port. Nothing remained for him but to make a dash for some Cuban or Porto Rican harbor, and the American fleet was on the alert to check any effort of this kind, and to meet and engage the Spanish squadron if possible.



The news of the presence of a powerful Spanish fleet in the West Indies was followed by active naval movements. On the 12th, the Flying Squadron, so long held at Hampton Roads, was released from its weary wait for a possible enemy, and sailed southward under the command of Commodore Schley. The main section of the squadron, consisting of the flag-ship Brooklyn, the battle-ships Massachusetts  and Texas  and the gunboat Scorpion, put in at Key West, where coal and other supplies were taken on with all haste. The Minneapolis, leaving Hampton Roads a day later, sailed eastward and passed through the Windward Passage to the south of Cuba, where the Harvard  and the St. Paul  were then cruising. The Columbia  was left on patrol duty off the North Atlantic States.



At Key West Schley's squadron was joined on the 18th by that of Admiral Sampson, which came dashing in at top speed, the New York  far ahead of the other vessels of the squadron, which made their appearance one by one during that and the following day. They bad steamed in all haste from San Juan to Key West for coal. No time was to be lost with a Spanish squadron at large in the West India seas. Orders were given to Commodore Schley to proceed south at once by the Yucatan Channel and scour the southern waters for the foe, and by the time the last of Sampson's ships had reached harbor the first of Schley's had set her forefoot towards the Cuban coast. "I congratulate you in advance. I believe you are going to meet and defeat the Spaniards," signalled Sampson from the New York  as the Flying Squadron passed out to sea. The Iowa, then coaling, was ordered to follow and join it, while the North Atlantic Squadron began coaling with all rapidity, preparatory to a return voyage eastward to the Windward Channel. By the night of Saturday, the 21st, nearly all the ships had coaled and were off again. Cuba was being circumnavigated in search of the enemy. Commodore Schley's orders were to proceed to Cienfuegos, where he would be joined by the Iowa, and could take up the Marblehead  and Nashville  and the two torpedo-boats then off that point. It was soon learned, however, that the blockade at Cienfuegos had been temporarily abandoned in consequence of the probable arrival of the Spanish fleet, and the Marblehead  and the Nashville  were soon sighted running to Key West for coal and repairs. Off Cape San Antonio, at the western extremity of Cuba, two steamers were sighted, which proved to be the cruiser Cincinnati  and the dynamite boat Vesuvius. They were also running in for coal, and reported that they had seen nothing of the Spanish fleet.

Pascuel Cervera


On Saturday, the 21st, at five P.M., the harbor of Cienfuegos came in sight. It was possible that Cervera's squadron might have taken refuge in this land-locked bay, and the commodore prepared to satisfy his mind on this important point before proceeding farther. The first evidence of activity within the bay came at an early hour on Sunday morning, when a torpedo-boat thrust its forefoot out of the harbor entrance. It quickly disappeared on seeing the group of war-vessels that lay outside. On the shore batteries the Spanish standard waved defiance, and some cavalry were visible on the hill-side, but from the position of the ships no trace could be seen of the Spanish fleet. Noon that day brought the Iowa, whose coming was greeted with cheers for its gallant commander, "Fighting Bob" Evans, whose arm had recently been crushed by the falling of a battle-hatch, but who did not let the intense pain of this accident allay his thirst for battle.

At five o'clock, Sunday afternoon, Commodore Schley made an inspection of the harbor, running close in. No ships-of-war were visible from his point of view, the only craft to be seen being a few schooners and a small gunboat. No shot was fired. "It is the Spanish squadron I am after," said the gallant commodore, "not a few of Spain's almost ruined subjects in Cuba."

If not at Cienfuegos, where was this fleet? It was all-essential to discover, and at eight o'clock that evening the Scorpion  was despatched to Santiago de Cuba, three hundred miles to the east, off which port it was hoped she would find the Minneapolis  or the Harvard, and perhaps gain some important information. Despatches were sent on the Scorpion  to be taken by either of these swift vessels to Hayti and forwarded to the Navy Department of the United States.

On Monday, May 23, the converted yacht Hawk  came in from Key West, in company with the gunboat Castine  and the collier Merrimac, and bringing important news. This was that the Minneapolis, while scouting to the eastward on the 19th, had tracked the Spanish fleet to Santiago harbor, and at once hastened to Hayti and cabled the news. The Hawk  had been sent with all speed to apprise Schley, who on learning the news felt much alarm for the safety of the Scorpion.

Yet the location of the Spanish fleet remained much of a mystery. It might have merely touched at Santiago and proceeded westward The hills that bounded the winding channel of Cienfuegos harbor hid its depths from view, the city being reached through two sharp turns followed by a winding passage only wide enough for a single ship to pass. The fleet might still lie there out of sight, or might have touched at some other point along the coast. Commodore Schley deemed it wise to wait and investigate more thoroughly before leaving the way open for the enemy to make a dash to Havana. On Tuesday the Marblehead  joined, with the two converted yachts Eagle  and Vixen. The squadron had become large and formidable.

Meanwhile, evidence was gathering as to the actual location and the condition of the Spanish fleet. Reports came from two captains, British and Dutch, who had seen Admiral Cervera's ships at Curacao, and who reported them as in bad condition, the ships' bottoms being seriously fouled with barnacles and long grass. They reached there on May 14, bought all the provisions they could and a small quantity of very inferior coal, and sailed again on the evening of the 15th, seemingly in haste in consequence of a despatch received by the admiral, for much of the coal and a considerable number of cattle were left behind.

Other skippers of merchant-vessels reported having observed the Spanish fleet near Santiago, and still others claimed to have seen it enter the harbor. One of these, the captain of the British ship Adula, from Kingston, Jamaica, reported to Schley at Cienfuegos that at midnight on the 19th he had seen the lights of seven ships some seventy miles south of Santiago, and that on the following day the arrival of the Spanish fleet in that harbor had been telegraphed to Kingston. Further evidence was obtained on May 26, when the St. Paul, cruising off Santiago harbor, picked up the British steamer Restormel, which was trying to steal into the harbor with a cargo of coal, presumably for the Spanish ships. The Restormel  had sailed first for San Juan. This port being deemed unsafe, she was ordered to Curacao, and, reaching there too late, was despatched to Santiago, only to be sent on a final journey to Key West under the care of a prize crew from the St. Paul. These various shreds of testimony, or such of them as came to Commodore Schley's ears, induced him to leave Cienfuegos for Santiago, in front of whose harbor he arrived on the night of the 27th. The result of his visit was indicated in a despatch which reached Washington May 30, and which stated that the Spanish fleet was certainly in the bay of Santiago de Cuba, since he had himself seen and recognized the vessels.

The fleet being there, the next thing was to keep it there, and the great ships of the squadron were ranged in line in front of the harbor's mouth, effectually closing it. Cervera and his fleet were safely bottled up, never again to sail the open seas under the Spanish flag.

Santiago de Cuba, which was about to become the principal seat of the war, is the second city in size on the island, and has the credit of being probably the oldest city of any importance in the western hemisphere, having been founded in 1514, twenty-two years after the discovery of America. In 1895 it had a population of 59,614. It is the metropolis of eastern Cuba, had before the war a large commerce, and is the head-quarters of three large mining plants owned by citizens of the United States. It lies near the bottom of a beautiful bay, six miles long and two miles wide, which is entered by a narrow channel, flanked by highlands, on which, to the east, stands Morro Castle, a venerable fortification which derives its sole importance from its elevated position.

Opposite the Morro were some newly-built batteries, and two others, Estrella and Catalina, on the east shore, farther in. About half a mile inward, where the channel widens out into the bay, is an islet, Cayo Smith, on which were batteries with modem guns, while Blanco battery, near the city, was similarly armed. There was excellent reason, also, to believe that the channel was mined, and that an attempt to make a forcible entrance into the harbor would prove a very dangerous proceeding.

As regards Admiral Cervera's fleet, it was not easy to recognize it from the harbor entrance. The Reina Mercedes, a partly dismantled cruiser, not connected with the fleet, lay within easy view and farther in were two ships, supposed to be the Almirante Oquendo  and the Cristobal Colon. The remainder of the fleet could not be seen. This fleet, it is proper here to state, consisted of four armored cruisers and three torpedo-boat destroyers. Of the former, the Vizcaya, Almirante Oquendo, and Infanta Maria Teresa  were similar in design and armament, being of 6890 tons displacement and of about 20 knots speed. The side armor was of ten or twelve inches thickness, while the two turrets were protected by 9-inch steel armor, and carried two 11-inch Hontorio guns, one in each turret. The main battery contained also ten 5.5-inch guns, and the secondary battery eight 6-pounders, ten 1-pounders, ten machine-guns, and eight torpedo-tubes. The Cristobal Colon  was a 6840-ton cruiser, armored with a complete belt of 6-inch nickel steel. She carried two 10-inch guns in barbettes, ten 6-inch and six 4.7-inch guns, and a considerable number of small guns. The Terror, Furor, and Pluton  were torpedo-boat destroyers of recent British build, and formidable examples of this type of modem war-vessels.

Of the latter craft, the Terror  was not now with the fleet, having been left at Fort-de-France, Martinique. Here was the auxiliary cruiser Harvard  under repair, and apprehension was felt that the formidable little torpedo gunboat might make a prize of the large but lightly armed cruiser. The danger, however, existed more in imagination than in fact, and the Harvard  sailed safely north when ready to do so.

Such was the known strength of the fleet. As regarded that of the fortifications Commodore Schley determined to satisfy himself, and on the 31st, the fourth day after his arrival, he stood close in with the Massachusetts  and Iowa  and the cruiser New Orleans, which had joined his squadron. At 1:15 P.M. the ships reached a point about seven thousand yards from the shore, and then headed due west, the Massachusetts  in the lead, the Iowa  bringing up the rear. The two battle-ships opened with their heavy guns on the Cristobal Colon, which lay about a mile inside the Morro, while the New Orleans  sought to draw the fire of the forts. The narrowness of the harbor entrance permitted only a few shots to be fired at the Colon  before the speed of the ships shut her out from view.

All the forts, some six in number, opened fire, some of the guns being fairly well aimed, but none of them doing any damage to the ships. The round completed, a second one was made, somewhat farther in, Schley standing unconcernedly near the forward turret of the Massachusetts  and watching the effect of the enemy's fire. Having accomplished his mission, he withdrew. It was evident that a heavy bombardment would be necessary to disable the Spanish batteries. A second purpose of the movement was indicated in Schley's despatch to the Navy Department: "Reconnoissance developed satisfactorily the presence of the Spanish squadron lying behind the island near the upper fort, as they fired over the hill at random. Quite satisfied the Spanish fleet is here."

About midnight the two torpedo-boats slipped out of the harbor, gliding under the shadow of the hills towards the American fleet. They were first seen by the lookout on the Texas, whose search-light was at once turned upon them, revealing their dangerous presence. They dashed towards the Texas, which was lying farthest inshore, but were met with such a rain of shot from her rapid-fire guns that discretion appeared the better part of valor, and they turned and ran hastily back into the harbor.

On June 1, Admiral Sampson, with the New York, Oregon, and Mayflower, arrived off Santiago and took command of the combined squadrons. He had at his disposal a total fleet of fifteen war-vessels to pit against Cervera's squadron, the escape of which was now rendered hopeless.

Map of Santiago and Vicinity


The presence of the Oregon  calls for some further mention. For more than two months that stanch battleship had been sailing along the American coast, having left San Francisco on March 19 with a journey of thirteen thousand miles before her, equal to more than half the circumference of the globe. Rio Janeiro was reached on April 30, and here came the most exciting part of the journey, since there was reason to believe that the Spanish torpedo-boat Temerario, stationed on that coast, was giving chase. But this proved to be a false alarm, and the great ship sped on, reaching Bahia on May 8. Warning was received here of a possible attempt at interception by the Spanish squadron, but Captain Clark kept steadily onward without meeting an enemy, touching at Barbadoes on the 18th, and reaching Jupiter Inlet, Florida, on the 25th. The ship had coaled four times on her trip. The remarkable feature of the great achievement was that the Oregon  came into port after her stupendous run at a fifteen-knot speed, and in such excellent condition that she was ready for service without any overhauling. Hastily coaling, she at once set out for Santiago, where she joined the blockading fleet.



Another of the American war-vessels, the Columbia, was less fortunate. On May 28, while cruising off the coast in a dense fog, about eight miles southwest of Fire Island Light, she collided with the British steamship Foscolio, which had left New York with a cargo the day before. The result of the collision was fatal to the Foccolio, which gradually filled and sank, all of her crew being taken off. The Columbia  had a jagged hole stove in her starboard side, abreast of the mainmast, about six feet wide and extending some five feet below the waterline. The four-inch steel of the protective deck was bent backward nearly double by the blow. Only for her heavy frame and this deck of steel the great cruiser might have been cut in two. As it was, her water-tight compartments kept her easily afloat, and a brief period in dry-dock put her in serviceable condition again.

During the month of May several attempts to land supplies for the Cubans in arms had been made. On May 11, the transport steamer Gussie  left Key West laden with seven thousand rifles and a large quantity of ammunition brought from Tampa, the expedition being under the charge of Captain J. H. Dorst, of the cavalry arm, who took with him over one hundred men of the First Infantry and ten Cuban scouts. The approach of the expedition was amply heralded to the Spaniards by the newspaper correspondents, who gave minute descriptions of the purpose and cargo and the probable landing point of the Gussie. This information was duly transmitted to Havana, and preparations were made to give the transport a warm reception.

After a rough voyage the Gussie  was met off the Cuban coast by the gunboats Wasp  and Manning, which escorted her in. The selected place of landing was at Cabanas, province of Pinar del Rio; but as the shore was approached, a large body of Spanish soldiers appeared and opened fire on the vessels. The gunboats replied, the men being landed under cover of their guns. The Spaniards drew back, but opened fire again from their works and from the woods, maintaining their position with such energy that the Americans found it necessary to withdraw.

The failure of this expedition had an important result. It was evidently due to the publicity which had been given to the movements of the vessel, and in consequence a rigid censorship of newspaper messages was established, no despatch being allowed to go over the wires until it had passed under the blue pencil of the censor. Anticipated movements were no longer heralded to the world, and much greater secrecy afterwards surrounded military and naval movements. Conjectures were printed freely enough: no objection was made to them if they did not touch too closely on the truth, as their effect could be but to set the enemy astray.

On May 21 another expedition set sail, this time on the steamer Florida, it being under Captain Dorst, as before. It comprised nearly four hundred men, three hundred of them being Cubans, the latter under the command of Colonel Jose Lacret, a dashing Cuban leader. It brought with it a pack-train of seventy-five mules and twenty-five horses; its stores consisting of seven thousand rifles and two million rounds of ammunition for General Garcia's army. The landing was made at Point Banes without interruption, though a body of Spanish soldiers and two gunboats were known to be within a few miles. The Florida  spent three days in the harbor, landing all her stores, aided by insurgents, who eagerly helped in the work. And with them came some three hundred half-starved pacificos, who earnestly lent their assistance in exchange for a little food. The rifle-cases were opened and their contents distributed among the men and loaded on pack-animals, the procession then joyfully setting out with its treasures for the mountains.