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REPORT OF MAJ. GEN. LEONARD WOOD, U. S. V., COMMANDING

THE DEPARTMENT OF CUBA.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF CUBA,

Habana, June 30, 1901. The ADJUTANT-GENERAL UNITED STATES ARMY,

Washington, D. C. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations in this department since June 30, 1900, during which period I have been in command of the Division of Cuba, to November 16, 1900, and of the Department of Cuba since that date.

The reports of my staff officers, hereto appended, fully cover the operations and conditions of affairs within their several jurisdictions, and it is therefore only necessary to remark in a general way upon matters which have come to my personal attention.

The entire department has been inspected by me during the year and I have no specific recommendations to make regarding any particular place visited; at all of them I have found the officers to be intelligent, industrious, and zealous in their efforts to improve the efficiency of their commands, which latter has been particularly difficult on account of the scarcity of officers in this department. This has heretofore been brought to the notice of the Adjutant-General, and, being so well known, need not be further dwelt

upon

here. The object of abolishing the division and creating the Department of Cuba was to centralize the issuance of orders and to cause their

speedy execution, and thus the Department of Habana and Pinar del Rio was on July 23, 1900, discontinued, and the Department of Western Cuba established, as per General Orders, No. 98, series 1900, AdjutantGeneral's Office. The Department of Santiago and Puerto Principe was discontinued on the same date and the Department of Eastern Cuba formed. The departments of Eastern and Western Cuba were discontinued November 15 as per General Orders, No. 131, series 1900, Adjutant-General's Office, and the district of Santiago, the geographical limits of which embrace the province of Santiago, was created November 16, 1900, Col. S. M. Whitside, Tenth Cavalry, being placed in command, as per General Orders, No. 29, series 1900, headquarters Division of Cuba. This officer has been in command of the district since its establishment, and has discharged the duties devolving upon him in a most capable and satisfactory manner.

The troops in the department have been instructed in the duties of the soldier. Practice marches have been encouraged under instructions issued in general orders from these headquarters. Target ranges have been hired throughout the island and target practice had in accordance with firing regulations.

Coast artillery target practice was had beginning April 10 and ending June 6, 1901. It was participated in by all the troops constituting the artillery defenses of Habana, consisting of eight companies coast artillery, the Seventeenth to Twenty-fourth, both inclusive. Two of these companies (the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth) were organized under the act approved March 2, 1899, and this was the first opportunity afforded either of them for artillery target practice of any kind. .

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All the different types and calibers of modern guns which constitute the artillery defenses of Habana and all the individual guns of each type and caliber except two were used in this practice. The two guns not used in this practice, and some of those that were so used, were fired during June, 1900, for the purpose of securing data from which to compute range tables.

Types and calibers used were the 57-millimeter (6-pounder) MaximNordenfeldt rapid fire, the 15-centimeter, 24-centimeter, and the 30.5centimeter Ordóñez B. L. rifles, the 28-centimeter Krupp B. L. rifle (model 1876, short; black powder), the 30.5-centimeter Krupp B. L. rifle, and the 21-centimeter B. L. rifled Spanish howitzer.

The practice with the 21-centimeter howitzer was had at points selected on the firing chart and located by their azimuths from the end of the horizontal base. Groups of six shots each were fired at different ranges, the longest being 9,067 yards. For the remainder of the practice the regulation floating target with triangular base, issued by the Ordnance Department, was used. It was towed to a point which gave a suitable range and there cast adrift, moving under the combined influences of wind and tide. The ranges varied from a minimum of 1,200 yards for the 6-pounders to 7,518 yards for the 30.5-centimeter Ordóñez rifle.

The firing was conducted on fourteen different days, and the combinations of wind and tide were such that the rate of speed of the target and the route over which it traveled were not the same for any two consecutive days.

The ammunition used throughout the practice was that found in the magazines by our troops upon taking possession of the respective works. The powder for the 30.5-centimeter Krupp B. L. rifles, also for the 24-centimeter and the 30.5-centimeter Ordóñez B. L. rifles, is brown prismatic, and is believed to be German cocoa. It was found to be excellent, giving uniform and satisfactory results. The pressures in the former gun, as registered by two United States crusher gauges, were 40,000 and 41,000 pounds, respectively; slightly higher than the United States service pressure.

In case of the 30.5-centimeter Ordóñez (No. 1) the pressure was measured for the first round only of the four fired. Each gauge registered 29,000 pounds. The muzzle velocities calculated from these four rounds show a maximum variation of only 12 feet, 1,740 to 1,752. Pressures were measured in six rounds fired from the 30.5-centimeter Ordóñez (No. 2), in firing for range table data June 26, 1900, and all were under 34,000 pounds.

The powder for the 15-centimeter B. L. Ordóñez rifle, for the 21centimeter B. L. howitzer, the 24-centimeter Ordóñez, and the 28centimeter Krupp is black prismatic. In case of the last-named the results were fairly satisfactory, but in case of all the remaining guns the results lacked uniformity, or showed a range too short, indicating deterioration in the powder.

In firing with the 6-pounder the target was cast adrift at from 1,200 to 1,600 yards, but the range was not furnished to the firing party, the only information supplied being to the effect that the target was ready. There are two of these guns at each of three posts. Only two shots were allowed from each gun. At two of the posts no hits were recorded on the actual visible target. At the third post the target was fairly hit by one shot.

With the heavier guns hits were made on the theoretic ship as follows:

Two with the 15-centimeter B. L. Ordóñez, one at a range of 3,637 yards and the other at 2,585 yards. The former was a hit in both the end-on and the broadside positions of the ship. One with the 21-centimeter howitzer at 6,000 yards. Two with the 30.5-centimeter Ordóñez, both in the end-on position of the ship, one at a range of 7,240 yards and the other at 7,518 yards.

Abstractly the practice must be classified as poor. The conditions governing, however, were adverse almost without exception. The data from which the range tables were computed was secured when no buildings had been provided at the base-end stations, the instruments being set up in the open, fully exposed; and the observer at one station reported that he had to have the tripod of his azimuth circle held down by men to keep his instrument steady enough to enable him to make observations on the splash of the shot.

During this year's practice the Gulf was so rough at times that it was impossible to see the target with the unaided eye, guns being laid in several instances by using tield glasses on the tangent sights.

The avowed objects in view when authority was granted to have this practice were: First, to test the strength of the machine, consisting of the gun and its carriage, in each case in which that had not been done already by the firing in June, 1900, in order to determine whether it could be depended on for service work; second, to ascertain the quality and condition of the powder; incidentally, to test the range tables computed from the data furnished by the experimental firing conducted in June, 1900. The conclusions with respect to the powder are stated above. In case of the guns with respect to which the firing data of June, 1900, was considered satisfactory at that time, the range tables proved as reliable as could be expected; one of them sufficiently so to yield two hits out of four shots, all fired at a moving target and all

at ranges exceeding 7,000 yards. anticipated by our artillery officers. Not a case of breakage occurred during the firing which can fairly be charged against either gun or carriage. The factor of safety in some of the carriages, however, is not large. The pintles of the 28-centimeter Krupp rifles showed a tendency to suffer, and probably would not successfully withstand a long series of rounds. Numerous breaks have occurred at drills, especially in the teeth of geared wheels, and it was only by having everything in prime condition before the target practice was begun that they were avoided during its continuance.

The accessories, such as shot trays and rammer staves and the loading facilities in general, are away below the United States standard in efficiency and convenience, and rapidity of service is difficult of attainment.

A systematic course of instruction in packing, for all cavalry officers in this department, is in progress and will be continued until each officer is reported proficient and fully capable of instructing pack masters, cargadores, and packers in their respective duties and of seeing to it personally that their trains are managed in the most effective manner. The pack trains of the island have all been inspected by Pack Master H. W. Daly, reorganized under his direction, and are now in better condition than ever before. Pack Master Daly is the most efficient expert on packing now in America. He has instructed the cadets at West Point and many pack masters whose services have dated only since the beginning of the war with Spain. He has creditably served the Government with pack trains for more than thirty years and has now the same title and pay as those pack masters he instructs, who have not a tithe of his knowledge and experience. It is recommended that he receive the title of chief pack master United States Army, and a salary of at least $200 per month.

Orders were issued from these headquarters directing that all animals be fed one-half “green” forage, and since compliance with same troop horses, mules, and pack animals have greatly improved in appearance and are in condition to-day to render hard service.

The general conduct of the troops continues to be excellent and, as beretofore, complaints against them from civil authorities and individuals are extremely rare occurrences. The work accomplished by officers of the Army performing civil duties and in connection with civil affairs of the island of Cuba will be taken up in detail in my annual civil report.

The total number of deaths of officers and enlisted men during the year was 67; strength of command, 5,366; percentage of loss, 1.25. Due to the strenuous efforts made by the medical department, and with the cooperation of the sanitary and quartermaster's departments, yellow fever has now almost been driven from the island. Barracks and quarters are covered with screens to prevent the free entrance of mosquitoes, water receptacles are covered, and pools of water receive quantities of kerosene oil to prevent as far as possible the breeding of mosquitoes. In this connection special attention is called to the report of the chief surgeon of the department, from wbich the following is an extract:

The health of the troops in Cuba during the year has been very good, showing a marked and steady improvement upon former years. Thus, while during the year ending June 30, 1900, the admissions to the sick report were 322 per cent, with 1.51 per cent of deaths, the admissions during the past year are only 193 per cent, with 1.25 per cent of deaths. Comparing the results obtained for the island of Cuba with the statistics in the last report of the Surgeon-General received (calendar year 1899), we find that our ratio of admissions (193) is less than that for all troops outside the United States (252), but slightly greater than that for troops stationed in the United States (168). Our ratio of deaths is less than that for all islands (2.55) for the year 1899, but more than that for the United States for both 1899 (0.79) and 1900 (0.78). Our mortality was largely increased by outbreaks of yellow fever, a disease not likely to occur again among troops in Cuba, except possibly in a scattering, sporadic man

If we deduct the number of yellow fever cases from the total mortality, we obtain a percentage of 0.80, practically that of the United States.

In Cuba the ratio of admissions for diarrheal diseases, dysentery, malarial fevers, and yellow fever, as should be expected, is higher than in the United States, but that of the common infectious diseases, such as scarlet fever, measles, smallpox, influenza, mumps, and diphtheria, is very much lower, the majority of casis reported under the heading of infectious diseases (other than yellow fever and malarial fever) being vaccinia—that is, the condition produced by vaccination. There was not a single case of smallpox during the year. The ratio of typhoid fever is about one-third that of the United States, and much greater in western Cuba, where are the large seaport towns, than in the eastern part of the island. Strange enough, tuberculosis among our troops is more common in Cuba than in the United States, as 0.44 to 0.32, and about the same as in all the islands (0.45), which is remarkable in view of the fact that other diseases of the respiratory system, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, are almost unknown. This relative frequency of tuberculosis among soldiers in Cuba. and its great prevalence among civilians, would tend to show that a rather high and equable temperature all the year round is not by itself a factor of great importance in the prevention and cure of that disease.

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It is interesting to compare the western half of the island, comprising four provinces, with the eastern half, comprising the provinces of Santiago and Puerto Principe. In the western half the mean strength of the command is 3,344, and the percentage ou admissions only 150, which is less than in the United States. In the eastern half

, on the contrary, with mean strength of 1,772, the percentage of admissions is 274, not only more than in the United States, but greater than for all the islands. The difference depends mostly upon the much greater number of cases of diarrheal diseases and malarial fever, so that, after making due allowance for the personal equation of medical officers and the smaller size of posts, it is safe to conclude, leaving yellow fever out of consideration, that the eastern half of the island does not enjoy as good hygienic and climatic conditions as the western half; thus, 5 deaths from malarial fever occurred in the province of Santiago and none in any of the other provinces.

In my report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1900, it was also shown that malarial fever gradually increased in frequency and severity from the western to the eastern end of the island.

The ratio of deaths per 1,000 is 13.6 for western and 10.1 for eastern Cuba, a difference due to the 24 cases of yellow fever occurring in the western provinces; if we deduct these, the ratio of deaths will be less for the western than for the eastern provinces.

With the acquisition of our recent knowledge of the propagation of malarial fever it may be taken for granted that this preventable disease will be hereafter greatly reduced and, at most posts, practically eliminated. As an instance, for the week ending June 23, 1900, there were 34 cases of malarial fever under treatment at Rowell Barracks (Cienfuegos).. A year afterwards, for the week ending June 22, 1901, chiefly in consequence of sanitary measures promoted by the post surgeon, Lieut. A. E. Truby, there was not a single case.

I desire to express my appreciation of the earnest and faithful support rendered me by the officers of this command. Not only are officers serving in this department unfortunate in having to perform double duty, but they are exposed to tropical fevers, etc., and credit should be given them for the dangers consequent to service in this climate. During the past summer five officers of my staff were taken ill with yellow fever and three of them succumbed to the disease, there resulting a loss in the staff of 25 per cent.

Of the officers reported in the foregoing paragraph as having died, I desire to make especial mention of Maj. George S. Cartwright, quartermaster, U. S. V. (captain, Twenty-fourth Infantry), whose services and sterling qualities were announced to the Army in General Orders, No. 4, Headquarters Department of Western Cuba, dated September 24, 1900; also Maj. M. R. Peterson, commissary of subsistence, U.S.V., chief commissary of the department, who died of yellow fever at Las Animas Hospital, Habana, October 17, 1900. Major Peterson was assigned as chief commissary July 13, 1900, by orders from Headquarters of the Army; and in his death, as well as that of Major Cartwright, the Army has lost a soldier of the very highest type and the department a most meritorious officer.

Still another death occurred on October 26—that of Capt. Fred M. Page, Porto Rican Battalion of Infantry, also at Las Animas Hospital, in this city. Captain Page came to Cuba with the evacuation commission and remained on duty as assistant adjutant-general under my predecessor, Maj. Gen. John R. Brooke, and until the date of his honorable discharge from the service, May 12, 1899. On account of his most efficient services in connection with the civil administration of Cuba, his thorough knowledge of the Spanish language, and the high esteem in which he was held by the Cuban people, he was appointed a captain of the Porto Rican Infantry on May 13, 1899, and retained on the staff at these headquarters. In his death the department lost a most valuable officer and thorough gentleman.

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