HEADQUARTERS SECOND SQUADRON,
NINTH UNITED STATES CAVALRY,
Intrenched before Santiago, June 8, 1898.
The ACTING ADJUTANT-GENERAL, FIRST CAVALRY BRIGADE.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my squadron of the Ninth Cavalry in the fight of July 1:
Shortly after the cannonading at Caney had begun. Dimmick's squadron of the Ninth Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, Ninth Cavalry, received orders to move at the head of the brigade and follow the Cubans.
The squadron moved, in accordance with this order, along the road from El Poso toward Santiago about 300 yards, when Colonel Hamilton received orders to march on and pass the Cubans. This order was carried out and Colonel Hamilton was ordered to throw out an advance guard. H Troop (Lieutenant McNamee) was the leading troop and took up the advance, guard formation.
Lieutenant Hartwick, commanding the advance party, received orders to advance to the river (San Juan) and halt. This order was carried out. Shortly after this the shelling of the enemy's works by one battery at El Poso began. During this shelling the advance party was withdrawn about 100 yards, by order, and then ordered to again take up the advance and to throw out flankers as soon as the river was crossed.
After crossing the river, Lieutenant Hartwick threw out skirmishers to the right, but could not do so to the left on account of the dense undergrowth.
The "point" advanced about 200 yards across the river, when three rifle shots were received from the enemy. The advance party halted; Lieutenant McNamee came forward with the support and took command. At this time General Hawkins and staff came up and reconnoitered the enemy's lines from this point. Then a party of the Sixth Cavalry came up and the advance guard, H Troop, was withdrawn about 100 yards and moved to the right of the line with the following formation:
The Ninth Cavalry on the right of the Sixth Cavalry in two skirmish lines, E and C troops in front,
and H and D in rear. Shortly after this we were moved by the right flank and then forward a short distance. While lying in this
position the enemy opened fire. At this fire Lieut. W. S. Wood, adjutant Ninth Cavalry, was wounded, and also two troopers of Troop
D and one of Troop C. We then moved forward by rushes, but without firing. Owing to the dense undergrowth, H and E troops
overlapped the right troop of the Sixth Cavalry. This was soon remedied, and E Troop touched the Sixth Cavalry on our left, with H
Troop on the right of E. Cand D troops were moved to the right and somewhat to the rear, to cover the open wheat field to our
right. In the advance from this position the Sixth Cavalry moved slightly to the left and the Ninth swung to the right, each taking
a different objective, ours being the San Juan house. This made a gap, which was filled by one squadron of the First Cavalry, under
Captain Tutherly, who had been notified of the gap by Captain Kerr, of the Sixth Cavalry. Shortly after the First Cavalry came up
and formed on our left. Colonel Roosevelt, of the First Volunteer Cavalry, rode up, followed by some of his men in skirmish order.
Colonel Roosevelt said: " I understand the Ninth Cavalry is carrying this hill by rushes, and I am ordered to reenforce you. Where
is your colonel? " Colonel Hamilton was then satisfying himself that the First Cavalry had formed on our left. At this point the
order "forward" was given and repeated to Colonel Roosevelt. The line, composed of Tutherly’s squadron of the First Regular
Cavalry, Dimmick’s squadron of the Ninth Cavalry, and Roosevelt's command of the First Volunteer Cavalry, charged with a cheer and
took the hill. Owing to the wire fences and dense undergrowth, the charge was one cheering, mixed mass of the commands above
mentioned. Shortly after this Colonel Carroll directed Colonel Hamilton to send a detachment of men to protect the right flank.
While Colonel Hamilton was leading a detachment for this purpose was shot and instantly killed. At about this time Capt. C. W.
Taylor was wounded, as were many of our men.
As soon as the death of Colonel Hamilton was reported to me by Lieutenant Hartwick, who was by his side when he fell, I assumed command and ordered a forward movement of the Ninth Cavalry to support the First Volunteer Cavalry advancing to the crest beyond. Captain McBlaine, Troop D, and Lieutenant Walker, Troop C, on the right, pushed promptly forward; Troop E, Captain Stedman, Troop H, Lieutenant McNamee, on the left. While this movement was taking place I was sent to have the First Cavalry, on our left, move forward with us. On returning, General Sumner directed me to hold what troops I had at that point till the hills in front had been taken. But D and Cand detachments of the Tenth Cavalry had moved gallantly forward and taken the crest in their front; H, and part of E, mixed with the First Volunteer Cavalry, the crest in their front.
The Ninth Cavalry was afterwards assembled and held the right of our line, which was reenforced by the Thirteenth Infantry coming up on our left.
The following-named officers took part in the engagement, and every one is deserving of the highest praise for his conspicuous conduct:
Lieut. Col. T. M. Hamilton, Ninth Cavalry, killed; First Lieut. W. S. Wood, adjutant, wounded; Capt. C. A. Stedman, commanding Troop E, and Capt. C. W. Taylor, commanding Troop C, wounded; Capt. J. F. McBlain, commanding Troop D; First Lieut. C. W. Stevens, on duty with Troop E; First Lieut. M. M.. McNamee, commanding Troop H; First Lieut. A. A. Barber, on duty with Troop D; Second Lieut. K. W. Walker, squadron adjutant and commanding Troop C, and Second Lieut. E. E. Hartwick, on duty with Troop H and acting regimental adjutant.
The bearing and conduct of the men in this fight was all that could be desired, and served to maintain the good record of the regiment.
General Chaffee relieved Ninth Cavalry and Thirteenth Infantry about noon. I joined cavalry division on left of First Volunteer Cavalry.
The above is a true copy of my report made to General Sumner, commanding brigade July 8, 1898.
E. D. DIMMICK,
Captain, Ninth Cavalry, Commanding Squadron