Before Santiago de Cuba, July 5, 1898


SIR: In compliance with instructions from your office I have the honor to submit the following report concerning the part taken by Troop D, Tenth United States Cavalry, while in action against the Spaniards July 1, 2, and 3:

On the morning of July 1 Troop D, under command of Capt. John Bigelow, jr., occupied the line of outposts and performed this duty until withdrawn preparatory to the forward movement. While advancing along the road, and in close proximity to the balloon, the troop was subjected to a very severe artillery and small-arms fire, but remained orderly and unshaken. Sergeant Hatcher was wounded at this time. The fire becoming more severe, the troop was ordered to take cover, which they retained only for a few minutes. The deployment was made to the left and occupied considerable time, owing to the great difficulty met with in getting through the dense underbrush and chaparral. The line being formed, Troop D, occupying the extreme left, crossed creek and moved toward blockhouse on left of road leading to Santiago. Two wire fences were met with, which, owing to the absence of wire nippers, held the troop unnecessarily long under a well-directed and deadly fire. At the first fence one private is believed to have been killed; at the second, one was severely wounded. Beyond the fence the troop advanced under a heavy fire and charged the blockhouse on the hill. When at a distance of about 75 yards from the blockhouse, Captain Bigelow received three wounds and was removed to the rear by Privates Henderson and Boarman, Troop D. This removal took place under heavy fire.

Corpl. J. Walker was probably the first soldier to reach the top of the hill and is believed to have shot the Spaniard who killed Lieutenant Ord. The troop remained in the vicinity of the blockhouse until ordered to join the regiment to the right of blockhouse and were under fire, then under command of Major Wint. A portion of the troop under my command became separated during some turning movement and as soon as I learned that contact with the troop was lost I moved on blockhouse near ford. From this point I marched my detachment, under heavy fire, at a double time across field between two blockhouses, intending to connect with what appeared to be troops of the Tenth Cavalry, who were to my left and front. When partway across, I was halted by General Sumner and ordered to place my men in position and to act as a part of his reserve. On July 2 and 3 the troop took up position in the line of investment.

Very respectfully,

Lieutenant, Tenth Cavalry, Commanding Troop D.