It Seemed As Though One Might, Without Accident, Walk In
And Take Dinner At The Venus Restaurant, Or Loll On The Benches In
The Plaza, Or Rock In One Of The Great Bent-Wood Chairs Around The
Patio Of The Don Carlos Club.
But, on the 27th of June, a long, yellow pit opened in the hill-side
of San Juan, and
In it we could see straw sombreros rising and
bobbing up and down, and under the shade of the blockhouse, blue-
coated Spaniards strolling leisurely about or riding forth on little
white ponies to scamper over the hills. Officers of every regiment,
attaches of foreign countries, correspondents, and staff officers
daily reported the fact that the rifle-pits were growing in length
and in number, and that in plain sight from the hill of El Poso the
enemy was intrenching himself at San Juan, and at the little village
of El Caney to the right, where he was marching through the streets.
But no artillery was sent to El Poso hill to drop a shell among the
busy men at work among the trenches, or to interrupt the street
parades in El Caney. For four days before the American soldiers
captured the same rifle-pits at El Caney and San Juan, with a loss of
two thousand men, they watched these men diligently preparing for
their coming, and wondered why there was no order to embarrass or to
end these preparations.
On the afternoon of June 30, Captain Mills rode up to the tent of
Colonel Wood, and told him that on account of illness, General
Wheeler and General Young had relinquished their commands, and that
General Sumner would take charge of the Cavalry Division; that he,
Colonel Wood, would take command of General Young's brigade, and
Colonel Carroll, of General Sumner's brigade.
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