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World of 1898: International Perspectives on the Spanish American War

Henry H. Whitney

In May 1898, Lt. Henry H. Whitney of the Fourth Artillery was sent to the island on a reconnaissance mission, sponsored by the Army's Bureau of Military Intelligence. The mission was almost a disaster when newspapers leaked his identity, but he posed as a crew member in the furnace room of the merchant ship and evaded detection by a boarding party of Spanish officers. He provided maps and information on the Spanish military presence by posing as a British merchant marine officer and reported that the Spanish forces were few in number and poorly equipped.