HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, CAVALRY DIVISION
Camp Hamilton, Cuba, July 22, 1898.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL, Cavalry Division.
SIR: In compliance with your letter of July 19 I have the honor to submit the following report, covering the operations of this brigade from July 1 to and including the surrender, July 17:
On the night of June 30 the brigade camped at El Poso, about 3 miles east of Santiago. Camp was broken at 5 a. m. July 1, and at about 6.30 a. m. Captain Grimes's battery opened fire on the blockhouse on the San Juan Hill, about a mile east of Santiago. This fire was promptly replied to by the Spaniards. This brigade with the rest of the army, was soon put in march toward San Juan, the leading regiment of the brigade being the First Volunteer Cavalry. After proceeding about halfway to the San Juan Hill, the leading regiment was directed to change the direction to the right, and by moving up the creek to effect a junction with General Lawton's division, which was then engaged at Caney, about 11 miles toward the right, but was supposed to be working toward our right flank. After proceeding in this direction about half a mile this effort to connect with General Lawton was given up, and the First and Tenth Cavalry were formed for attack on the East Hill, with the First Volunteer Cavalry as support. During this attack on East Hill, and as a continuation of it the attack and capture of the next range of hills by assault, the entire brigade became involved. Due to the rank vegetation, more or less mixing of commands took place at this time, but no confusion resulted, as each soldier acted with such organization as he found himself with until the action was over, when he joined his proper command. Firing ceased at about 7.30 p. m., and our men threw up such intrenchments as were possible during the night, our position being on the commanding crest on which is located the San Juan blockhouse, and extending to the westward and around the city of Santiago. This crest commanded the remaining Spanish intrenchments and also the city. Early on the morning of July 2 firing began, and by half past 5 it was general. The position of the two armies remained the same. Firing ceased at 7.20 p. m. During the early night several changes in the position of regiments were made, which left this brigade as follows: First Cavalry connecting with General Chaffee's brigade.on the right; Tenth Cavalry connecting with First Cavalry, and First Volunteer Cavalry connecting with Tenth Cavalry, with First Brigade, Cavalry Division, on left of First Volunteer Cavalry. During the night the trenches were extended and improved. A determined attack on our lines was made from 10 to 10.30 p. m., but was repulsed. Firing began at 5.45 a. m. on the 3d and continued until 12 m.. when it was stopped by order of General Shafter and flag of truce sent out. Work on splinter proofs began at 1 p. m. and continued until men were well protected in this respect. Sand bags also distributed and utilized on trenches and approaches. Flag of truce in effect on July 4 and 5, and until 5 p. m. July 6. No firing between this hour and 5 a. m. July 7, when another flag was out. Until 4.30 p. m. July 10 there was no firing, but intrenchments were improved and extended. At 4.30 p. m. July 10 small-arms and artillery firing was resumed by our forces, and continued until 7.15 p. m. Reply of Spaniards slow and ineffective. On July 11 picket firing began about 5.30 a. m. At 6 o'clock it was more general and continued until 1.05 p. m., when "cease firing" was sounded. Truce in effect July 12, 13, and until 12 m. July14, when attack was to begin. News of surrender received before hour for attack, and work of improving intrenchments suspended. July 15 and 16 quiet. Command formed on July 17 at trenches to witness formal surrender of General Toral's forces.
T. A. BALDWIN,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Tenth Cavalry, Commanding