George Clarke Musgrave portrait
George Clarke Musgrave - homepage link button
George Clarke Musgrave - Folkestone page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - To Kumassi page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - The Cuban Crisis page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - America page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - South Africa page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - In Peking page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - France page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - To Cuba Again page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - Book Store page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - Blog page link button
George Clarke Musgrave - e-Book Shelf page link button

George Clarke Musgrave - separator bar

Recommended Reading

George Clarke Musgrave - separator bar

George Clarke Musgrave - Cuba e-book

George Clarke Musgrave - separator bar

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

George Clarke Musgrave - separator bar



George Clarke Musgrave - separator bar


George Clarke Musgrave website - Cuba War medal The Cuban Crisis ...

Arrival in Cuba ...
General Garcia's staff - thumbnailGeneral Garcia's staff
The Cuban War of Independence had been ravaging the country for more than two years when I first reached the island in late January 1897 aboard a schooner that I had commissioned from a small bay in the Florida Keys. The winter campaign of 1896 was just closing and Antonia Maceo had been killed but a few days previously. I must confess that I was initially a warm sympathiser with Spain but my perceptions changed when I began to understand the patriotic struggles of the Cubans, and to witness the iniquities practised upon these gentle people by the impulsive Spanish occupation. I was sent to Cuba with a dual commission from an English newspaper and an American journal, and for two years, I lived and served with the revolutionaries, learned of their cause and experienced their suffering. I met and worked with the insurgent Government of General Garcia and was honoured to be appointed as a Captain on his staff, which gave me a degree of legitimiacy in carrying out my clandestine duties of carrying despatches back and to across the lines from the Cubans to the Americans in Havana ...

The Rescue of Evangelina Cisneros ...
Evangelina Cisneros - thumbnailEvangelina Cisneros
The events that culminated in the rescue of Evangelina Cosio y Cisneros go to make up a story little less than wonderful. She was only eighteen years old, cultured, talented and beautiful and the cruel fate that made her case stand out among so many wrongs was that she was being persecuted, not for any part she had taken in rebellion against Spain, but for resisting the insulting advances of a savage Spanish officer whose brutality had brought him the well-earned disgrace of being known across the world as "that beast in uniform". It was he who held the life and liberty of Evangelina’s father in his hands, and demanded of her the sacrifice of all a true woman holds dear as the price of her father's safety. Atrocities in Cuba had come to be the most commonplace of news..gif Every mail from the island brought tidings of murders, burnings and other outrages. Even when the victims were women, so accustomed had the world grown to such tales of horror, that little comment was occasioned. At intervals for a period of over a year through the Cuban news ran the story of one Cuban girl, who for alleged complicity in an uprising in the Isle of Pines had been cast into the foul Recojidas prison for abandoned women in Havana. Evangelina's story was broken to the world by the New York Journal in August 1987 and widely covered by the media over the next few months. She was described as "young, beautiful, cultured and guilty of no crime save that of having in her veins the best blood in Cuba". Her case created international outrage and there were calls from all corners of the world for her release but, embroiled in their battle with the Cuban insurgents, Spain ignored these calls. From the heart of Havana, though, Eugene Bryson, who had first broken the story, together with William McDonald and myself were planning her rescue. We were joined by Karl Decker, a Journal reporter sent to Cuba with a direct brief from Randolph Hearst to do whatever necessary to bring Miss Cisneros back to America. Her dramatic rescue was effected in the early hours of October 5th and Evangelina arrived in New York on October 13th. Two days later she filed her application for US naturalisation and published in the Journal a Letter to America, which she handed personally to President McKinley ....

Arrested, Imprisoned, Deported ...
USS Maine destroyed- thumbnailUSS Maine destroyed
I was at Garcia's camp at daybreak on February 17th 1898 and was instructed to carry urgent despatches to the Americans in Santiago City. Garcia and his staff were heavily engaged in a guerrilla war in the countryside and needed assistance. After a tortuous and dangerous journey I reached Santiago where I heard the news that the USS Maine had been blown up in Havana harbour and realised that war between Spain and American was now imminent. It was impossible to return across country to rejoin Garcia and, along with all other foreigners, I attempted to reach Havana to escape from the Island with with other correspondents, including Karl Decker. On March 31st, though, I was arrested by the Spanish and imprisoned as a spy. My arrest was widely reported in the British and American press and taken up by many notable figures including Lord Salisbury. The British government was told that I had been expelled from Cuba but, in fact, still a prisoner, I was taken to Spain on the SS Buenos Aries, landing at Cadiz on April 15th. Under continued pressure from the British Government, I was released on April 19th, the day before war was officially declared. The charges of spying against me could not be sustained and were eventually dropped. I was then deported and ordered not to return to Cuba on pain of death. Accompanied by two somewhat disinterested police guards I was taken to Madrid, then crossed the French border at Irun, from where I journeyed alone on to Boulogne, crossed the channel to Folkestone and boarded the first available ship back to New York …

The Spanish-American War ...
The Rough Riders - thumbnailThe Rough Riders
I arrived in Washington on May 1st and immediately volunteered to re-enter Cuba on secret service with the 5th Army Corps, in Tampa, Florida. I was assigned a position with Theodore Roosevelt and members of the First United States Volunteer Cavalry, better known as the Rough Riders, who were bivouacked in The Tampa Bay Hotel, before shipping out for Cuba. After some political confusion, the US force embarked on June 13th and reached Cuba on June 22nd, landing first at Jaragua and moving on to Siboney. Still some distance from their goal of Santiago, the US forces engaged the Spanish in the first battle of the war at Guasmis where, under the Roosevelt's command, the US forces soon established their position but then, unprepared, ill-equipped and under resourced for the battles in front of them, they came to a halt in the hills surrounding the town. The full embarkation, advance and supply operations lasted a further six days until, on July 1st, after a vicious day-long battle, the US forces took control of San Juan Hill, which gave them a base directly overlooking Santiago. Two weeks of siege followed until the Spanish surrendered the city on July 17th. I was surprised and honoured to be one of only a handful of war correspondents allowed to witness the surrender ...

And Now it is Done ...
Red Cross nurses - thumbnailRed Cross nurses
As the Spaniards withdrew and the insurgents disbanded, I travelled through the districts they evacuated. Space forbids the horrible details, but suffice it to say that I realised, as never before, how the Cuban male population had disappeared during the war. The Cubans are often criticised as a mongrel race but, today, the best blood in the Island is soaked in the soil; the backbone of the Island, the white farming class, has disappeared; Cuban women are nursing the offspring they have been forced to bear to their hated oppressors and thousands of the people are so reduced that they can scarcely crawl. After the city had fallen, our sick list increased enormously. Nostalgia, assured by tedious inaction following strenuous exertion, is invariably augmented by fever and on July 24th there were 4122 soldiers on the sick list in Cuba. I joined this sorry number following an impromptu brawl with a Spanish colonel in the suburb village of Matanzas. I was forced into this fight by the local commandante, Captain Carchano and while my opponent was lightly wounded in the leg, I received a musket ball in the chest, which was extracted by a Spanish surgeon who showed me much kindness. In late August I left Cuba with the departing US Military and returned to New York where I spent some time recovering from my fever and wounds, being nursed by Mary Judson Lamson, a wonderful Red Cross volunteer ...

Visit our Book Store and our e-Book Shelf

George Clarke Musgrave - separator bar


Back to Home Page



Forward to America

George Clarke Musgrave - separator bar

     

George Clarke Musgrave - separator bar

Home : Folkestone : To Kumassi : The Cuban Crisis : In America : South Africa : To Peking : In France : To Cuba Again

The Book Store : The Blog : e-Book Shelf : Privacy : Contact

Discover 1100 years of History at Warwick Castle

George Clarke Musgrave portrait