HEADQUARTERS, TWENTY-FOURTH INFANTRY,
Fort San Juan, Cuba, July 5,1898.
Third Brigade, First Division, Fifth Army Corps.
SIR: I have the honor to report that this regiment, under command of Lieut. Col. E. H. Liscum, Twenty-fourth Infantry, went into action about 10 a.m., July 1,1898, assisting in the capture of this fort, marching westerly in column of twos past division headquarters, turning to the right and crossing a creek in woods (about one-fourth mile) near the tile factory, taking position and opening tire behind a wire fence. The leading company, G (Captain Brereton), formed on left into line under a severe fire from in front and a fire in the rear, which was not noticed at first. I commanded the leading battalion.
When the company was about two-thirds on the line the men began to come over the creek in ones and twos, some companies being delayed for some reason. At the same time Captain Brereton called my attention to a man shot in the back, when I first noticed the reports of rifles, showing quite a heavy fire in the rear. There was a great deal of other noise and confusion by other regiments. I reported this to Colonel Liscum, and he sent an officer to stop it and to bring up the other companies (also orderlies). I returned to my place, when Captain Brereton reported that another man had been killed by a ball from the rear. I reported this to Colonel Liscum, and he ordered me to go back and send up the other companies and to stop the firing in the rear, supposed to be by our own troops. I found the companies, which were delayed by no fault of their own, and telling the officers to hurry up, hastened to find the troops who were firing on us, supposing they must be on a parallel road in the chaparral; but have since found it was the enemy's soldiers hidden in tree tops in a thicket of thorns, and finally gave up after alling to them until I was hoarse, and returned to my regiment, which in the meantime had changed places with other troops, which I joined and went forward with until I found the adjutant, Lieutenant Tayman, with whom I went to the top of the hill; but seeing some of my regiment on the right, went around to them and joined with Lieutenants Lyon and Murphy, and thus got separated from the regiment, which had charged up the hill to the left and being requested by Colonel Wood, U. S. Volunteers, to hold a place in his line, did not return to my regiment (because none of the officers knew where it was) until about an hour after the action. The part of the regiment with me were engaged also.
In this action 2 officers were killed (Lieutenants Gurney and Augustin) and 4 wounded (Lieutenant-Colonel Liscum, Captains Brereton and Ducat, and Lieutenant Brett), and 7 men killed and 74 wounded, 3 of whom have since died.
A. C. MARKLEY,
Captain, Twenty-fourth Infantry, Commanding Regiment.