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World of 1898: International Perspectives on the Spanish American War


Ponce, Puerto Rico

Spanish forces from the battalion "Cazadores de la Patria" hearing mass in the Plaza de las Delicias in Ponce. Crónica de la guerra hispano-americana en Puerto Rico, p. 226.

In 1898, Ponce was the largest city in Puerto Rico, with a population of 22,000. The best road on the island, built by the Spanish for military purposes, ran from Ponce to San Juan. The Americans arrived on July 28, after marching from their landing at Guánica. On their way to Ponce, General Garretson's brigade occupied the town of Yauco. There were then skirmishes in the city, but no major battle was fought. On the Spanish side, three men were killed and 13 wounded, while four Americans were wounded. The American flag was raised in the town center that same day and most of the Spanish troops retreated into the surrounding mountains. The U.S. Army then established its headquarters in Ponce. On July 28, General Miles made a public proclamation in the city, promising rights and declaring the goodwill of the United States and its people toward the Puerto Ricans.