Skip to Main Content

World of 1898: International Perspectives on the Spanish American War

Mayagüez, Hormigueros, and Arecibo

Mayagüez, Hormigueros, and Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Arecibo, a small town on the north coast, was connected to San Juan (35 miles west) by a rail line. Generals Henry and Schwan were sent to capture it on the way to the capital. On August 8, Henry's Provisional Division left for Arecibo to take a strategically located mountain pass nearby and cut off a possible Spanish retreat. Henry's troops had only reached the town of Utuado when the cease-fire was declared. Meanwhile, Schwan's brigade was advancing via Mayagüez to take the western part of the island. 1,447 men left Yauco on August 9, passing through Sabana Grande and San Germán. The heaviest fighting took place midway between San Germán and Mayagüez, near Hormigueros, as the Spanish troops had a comparable force in the area. On August 10, Schwan's troops entered the Spanish camp and the following day they occupied the city of Mayagüez (third-largest on the island and a large western port) without incident. The next day, Spanish soldiers going in the direction of Las Marias were captured and the entire western part of the island was under American control. The declaration of peace interrupted the campaign in progress to take San Juan.