Magazine article VFW Magazine

Action at Las Guasimas

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Action at Las Guasimas

Article excerpt

ADVANCING FROM DAIQUIRI, U.S. forces under Gen. Lawton occupied the town of Siboney, seven miles inland. Spanish defenders, more than 2,000 strong, had withdrawn to entrenched positions at Las Guasimas (a grove of hognut trees), astride the road to Santiago. It was June 24, 1898.

Approaches were along a rugged ridge, taken by seven troops (about 500 men) of the 1 st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry under Col. Leonard Wood, and the main road, over which eight troops of the regular 1st and 10th Cavalry (424 men) advanced. The Spanish were entrenched behind rock barricades on a commanding height. Troops in an old distillery anchored the left of the position.

Fire during the initial attack by the regulars was heavy and accurate-three officers were wounded and four men killed by the initial volleys. The advance, through brush so thick the Americans had to slash it away with their sabers, slowed under the heavy Spanish fire. …

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