« PreviousContinue »
(Camp Wikoff), and asking for addresses of relatives, if possible, that he might communicate with them regarding removal
of the remains. He was referred to Major Abeel at the armory,
Thirty-fourth street and Park avenue, New York city, viz. :
Edward Pfister, Company E, died August 28th.
Frank E. Rouse, Company K, died August 15th,
Ebbe Ebberson, Company L, died September 10th.
Wetherbce, of the New Manhattan Hotel, gave a dinner to the
officers of the regiment, most all of whom assembled at 8 o'clock
and sat down to a richly furnished and well-decorated table. At the right of Colonel Downs, who presided, sat Colonel Francis, of the One Hundred and Seventy-first Regiment, and at the left of the presiding officer was Captain Lloyd M. Brett, of the Third United States Cavalry, detailed as the mustering-out officer of the Seventy-first Regiment. Beautiful orchestral music added to the
enjoyment of the occasion,
After the coffee was served the Colonel of the Seventy-first made
a happy address, which was followed by a speech from Mr. Hawk,
who expressed satisfaction in being able to execute a cherished
idea through the summer to give the Seventy-first officers a sup
per on their return. Speeches were made by several officers, all bearing upon the common experiences of the summer, the mutual affection officers had for one another and the prospects of re
organization of the regiment as a part of the State's National
Guard. A toast was drunk in silence to the memory of Lieuten
ants Longson and Roberts, who died in the service.
On the morning of the 27th of October the regiment assembled
at 9 o'clock in the armory, and at once examination of the men
was begun by battalions. This process continued for days, the
final muster-out not taking place until all had been examined
and all records duly passed upon and certified as correct.
On the 3rd of Novenber those who wished to vote voted at the
armory for city, county and State officers, orders having been
received for the members of the regiment to vote as in time of war.
On the 14th of November the regiment assembled in the armory,
numbering, with the two companies of new recruits, which had
been recruited by Captain Stoddard and were encamped first at Camp Black and subsequently for a brief period at Montauk
Point, about 900 men.
The work of mustering out, paying the
men and giving to them their discharge papers was then begun
and continued until the last man was discharged. Thus ended
the service of the Seventy-first Regiment Infantry, New York
Much might be said in concluding this history, writing and
compiling which has been a labor of love by the Chaplain, to
express the feelings of those who now for more than six months
have been in the service of the United States volunteer army.
This may be said, and perhaps it is enough to say:
The Seventy-first Regiment, New York Volunteers, in the war
with Spain enlisted promptly, recruited quickly, went to the seat
of war rapidly and in a patriotic, devoted spirit, did every duty
assigned to it cheerfully, obeyed orders implicitly, fought
valiantly, suffered heroically and now retires from active service
with becoming modesty, confident that it has served its State and
Colonel Wallace A. Downs, Commanding 71st Regiment, N. Y.
Dear Colonel. I herewith submit to you the itinerary or his
tory of the Seventy-first Regiment during its time of service in
-the United States volunteer army for the war with Spain, to
prepare which you detailed me while on transport“ Vigilancia”
on our way to Cuba.
There have been great difficulties in writing a connected his
tory and in keeping an itinerary for subsequent copy.
The book had to be left on the transport when we landed on
the enemy's country. Carrying nothing but a haversack, it was
impossible to have much paper at hand and difficult to preserve
the written copy upon separate sheets. Some of these were lost. It was very difficult at all times to write, and sometimes separated from the regiment to do detailed duty at hospitals I could
not describe what was taking place elsewhere. I have tried to
do a difficult task the best I could under the circumstances. I
now submit the result to you, as we are severing the ties of
affectionate and mutual service in the United States' war with
In doing this, permit me to express my devoted appreciation
of you as a man and a soldier, and to thank you for many acts of kindness without which war would have been for me more of a
hell than it was.
I am, dear Colonel and friend, yours affectionately,
(Signed GEO. R. VAN DEWATER,
Captain and Chaplain 71st Regt., N. Y. Vols.
GALLANTRY OF A NEW YORK NAVAL OFFICER.
THE GLOUCESTER AND THE PUERTO RICAN CAMPAIGN.
The expedition to Puerto Rico under General Miles was de
signed to land at Cape San Juan, but on the 24th of July it was determined to change the landing to Guanica. Captain Higginson, Commander of the Naval Convoy, in his report to Admiral
“I proceeded with the convoy through the Mona
Passage and arrived off Port Guanica at 5.20 a. m., July 25th, and
standing in with the Gloucester in advance came to an anchor
at 8.45 a. m.
“Finding no batteries bearing on the entrance, the Gloucester
approached the mouth of the harbor, and Lieutenant-Commander
Wainwright asked permission to enter. This I granted with some
hesitation, not knowing, of course, what mines or torpedoes might be in the channel — and knowing that I would be power- . less to render the Gloucester any assistance after she had penetrated the harbor and was lost to sight.” (Captain Higginson's ship drew too much water to enter Guanica Harbor.)
From “ The Log of the Gloucester" we learn that between
5.30 and 8 a. m. the Massachusetts — Captain Higginson's
ship -- wigwagged to Gloucester: “Do you see any signs of a fortification?"
Answer: “No. See Spanish flag on warehouse."
chusetts: “Shall I go in?"
Angwered: “Yes, you can try it."
“At 9 a. m. entered harbor in advance of the fleet. Lieutenant
H. P. Huse and Lieutenant T. C. Wood went ashore with an
armed boat's crew, lowered the Spanish flag and hoisted ours.
The men aboard ship cheered to see our flag ashore.
immediately after this a rapid firing of rifies was heard, and we became aware that our men had been attacked; many rifle bullets struck the water alongside us and went singing past. Lieutenant Huse hailed us requesting us to fire over him. Lieutenant Huse signaled that 250 men were needed to hold the place.
Another armed boat was sent in charge of Lieutenant Norman
and Assistant Engineer Procter, and by this time some boats
of the Massachusetts had entered the harbor. Lieutenant Huse
returned with landing party, having left Lieutenant Wood on shore with the Colt gun, at request of General Gilmore, U. S. A.
“After our work was done General Miles came on board and
complimented Captain Wainwright.” (Log of the Gloucester.)
“ Large sugar lighters were captured by the Gloucester, which were of great importance in landing men and supplies from the
army transports. The only reference to this service in the
Gloucester's Log is the modest entry: “July 26th, 4 to 8 a. m.,
transports with boats from the Massachusetts and lighters secured by us busily engaged in landing men and stores."
In his official report on the capture of Guanica, Lieutenant
Commander Wainwright says:
“We entered the harbor by permission of the Senior
Officer present and fired at some fleeing troops, then landed a
party to seize the available landing places and prevent the
destruction of lighters.
Reinforcements were discovered coming from Yauco, but were
driven by fire from this vessel.
“ The army transports came in sight with launches and boats
from the vessels in the outer harbor. At my request Colonel