HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIFTH INFANTRY,
Near Santiago, Cuba, July 16, 1898.
Second Division, Fifth Corps, near Santiago, Cuba.
SIR: Feeling that the Twenty-fifth Infantry has not received credit for the part it took in the battle of El Caney on the first instant, I have the honor to submit the following facts:
I was ordered by the brigade commander to put two companies (H, Lieutenant Caldwell, and G, Lieutenant McCorkle) or the firing line in extended order. The right being uncovered and exposed to the enemy, I ordered D Company (Captain Edwards) to deploy as flankers. The battalion was commanded by Capt. W. S. Scott. The battalion advanced about 300 yards under fire, the Fourth Infantry on its left, where the line found cover, halted, and opened fire on the blockhouse and intrenchments in front of it. After the line had been steadied and had delivered an effective fire I ordered a further advance, which was promptly made. As the Fourth Infantry did not advance, my left was exposed to a very severe fire from the village on the left. I immediately ordered Company C (Lieutenant Murdock), which was in support, to the front and E Company (Lieutenant Kinnison) from regimental reserve to take its place. Thus strengthened the four companies moved up the hill rapidly, being skillfully handled by company officers. On arriving near the fort the white flag was waved toward our men, but the fire from the village on our left was so severe that neither our officers nor Spanish could pass over the intervening ground. After about twenty minutes some of the Twelfth Infantry arrived in rear of the fort, completely sheltered from the fire from the village and received the white flag but Privates J. H. Jones, of Company D. and T. C. Butler, H Company, Twenty-fifth Infantry, entered the fort at the same time and took possession of the Spanish flag. They were ordered to give it up by an officer of the Twelfth United States Infantry, but before doing so they each tore a piece from it, which they now have. So much for the facts.
I attribute the success attained by our line largely to the bravery and skill of the company officers who conducted the line to the fort. These officers are: First Lieuts. V. A. Caldwell and J. A. Moss and Second Lieut. J. E. Hunt. It is my opinion that the two companies first deployed could not have reached the fort alone, and that it was the two companies I ordered to their support that gave them the power to reach it. I further believe that had we failed to move beyond the Fourth Infantry the fort would not have been taken that night.
The Twenty-fifth Infantry lost 1 officer killed* and 3 wounded and 7 men killed and 28 wounded.
Second Lieut. H. W. French, adjutant of Captain Scott's battalion, arrived at the fort near the same time as the other officers.
I request that this report be forwarded to corps headquarters.
A. S. DAGGETT,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Commanding.
* First Lieutenant McCorkle killed; Captain Edwards and First Lieutenants Kinnison and Murdock wounded