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World of 1898: International Perspectives on the Spanish American War


Guánica, Puerto Rico

U.S. troops first landed on Puerto Rican soil at the southern port of Guánica. They were originally supposed to disembark at Cape Fajardo in the east or Dorado to the north, but General Miles changed the landing site because of Guánica's proximity to Ponce (15 mi. west) and the improved road and harbor there.

General Miles left Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, with 3,314 men, including a convoy, at 3 P.M. on Thursday, July 21. The gunboats arrived at Guánica on July 25, surprising the Spaniards. The first ship to land was the auxiliary gunboat Gloucester (formerly the yacht Corsair, belonging to industrialist J. P. Morgan), captained by Adm. Richard Wainwright. Upon arriving in the harbor, the ship met with Spanish resistance on the morning of July 26. General Henry accompanied General Miles, and the brigade of General Garretson of General Henry's division skirmished with Spanish troops in town. Four Spaniards were killed, and there were no American casualties. The American flag was raised over the city at 11 o'clock in the morning on July 26.