Report of Hotchkiss-gun detachment of the Second Cavalry Brigade, composed of men of the Tenth United States Cavalry, in action against Spaniards, July 1, 1898, before Santiago de Cuba.

July 5, 1898.


SIR: I have the honor to report that this detachment went into action early in the day just across the ford of the San Juan Creek, about 100 yards above the crossing, and opened fire on blockhouse and intrenchment about 700 or 800 yards to the right of the road. This position was held for twenty or thirty minutes, and we did effective work during this time. The position occupied was much exposed and the detachment was forced to retire, having two men wounded-Sergt. J. G. L. Taylor, Troop E, Tenth Cavalry, and Private Peter Saunders, Troop B, Tenth Cavalry. The guns next took a position on ridge at second blockhouse, nearest the Spaniards' line, and opened fire on Spanish intrenchment and succeeded in driving the Spaniards from the ditch. At this stage a light battery (K, First Artillery, Captain Best's) arrived, took my position, and I retired. Shortly thereafter I took a position on a ridge northeast of my former position, in advance of a troop of the First United States Cavalry (Captain Galbraith's), and opened fire on a blockhouse with excellent results. This fire I kept up until my ammunition was exhausted, firing 20 or more shots. At this time I had with my detachment a Gatling gun, which was placed on Captain Galbraith's line, and with it did good work.. After my Hotchkiss-gun ammunition was exhausted my men took place in Captain Galbraith's firing-line.

In connection with this day's work I wish to mention for conspicuous gallantry, bravery, and meritorious work Sergt. Arthur Watson and Private Peter Saunders, both of Troop B, Tenth Cavalry, for taking to the rear a corporal of the Third Cavalry, severely wounded-this at El Poso, under a severe artillery fire, this man and place being deserted by all save these men, so far as I could see. At this place I had three mules wounded, one of which died, These two men were conspicuous during the entire time they were in action, Private Saunders being shot down, wounded in thigh, when engagement first opened. I also want to men[t]ion Sergeant Bivins, Troop G, Tenth Cavalry, and Private Daniels, Troop F, Tenth Cavalry, for conspicuous bravery during the day. At the bombardment of El Poso early in the morning my detachment, being right in the line of fire, was somewhat scattered and I could collect only about 15 of my men when I moved to the front, and I commend them all for their spirit, enterprise. and good behavior during the entire day.

Respectfully submitted.

First Lieutenant, Tenth Cavalry, Commanding Detachment.