Army

April 26, 2013

Military Intelligence – this week in history

Tags:
Ruth Quinn, Staff Historian
USAICoE Command History Office

Lieutenant plays integral role during Spanish-American War

April 23, 1898

1st Lt. Andrew Rowan, attaché to Cuba, played an integral role in the exchange of intelligence during the Spanish-American War.

The world situation in 1898 was highly charged. Beginning in 1492, Spain had built an empire along the Atlantic seaboard which, at its height, extended from Virginia to the tip of South America. By 1825 much of that empire had fallen into other hands, and Spain acknowledged the independence of its possessions on the mainlands. However, Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Atlantic, and the Philippines, Guam, and other islands in the Pacific, were still under Spanish control. Cuba was the first of these to initiate its fight for independence.

Tensions between the United States and Spain over control of Cuba had been growing for some time, heightened because of American interests in the sugar trade. By 1895, the United States had more than $50 million invested in Cuba, and the annual trade, mostly in sugar, was twice that amount. Despite President Grover Cleveland’s declaration of neutrality, many Americans began to clamor for war. When the USS Maine exploded in Manila harbor on Feb. 15, 1898, war seemed to be a foregone conclusion.

But the new American President, William McKinley, needed information. He knew success against Spain meant he needed cooperation from the insurgent forces within Cuba seeking independence from Spain. As Andrew Rowan himself wrote, the President needed to know “how many Spanish troops there were on the island, their quality and condition, their morale, the character of their officers, especially those of the high command; the state of the roads in all seasons; the sanitary situation in both the Spanish and insurgent armies and the country in general; how well both sides were armed and what the Cuban forces would need in order to harass the enemy while American battalions were being mobilized; the topography of the country and many other important facts.”

The President asked then-Maj. Arthur Wagner, head of the Military Information Division, whom he should send to Cuba to carry a critical message to Gen. Calixto Garcia. Wagner recommended “a young officer here in Washington; a lieutenant named Rowan, who will carry it for you.” “Send him!” was the President’s order.

Thus began a harrowing, dangerous journey deep into Cuba to meet with Garcia, the Cuban revolutionary and enemy of Spain. 1st Lt. Andrew Rowan understood the dangers: upon his departure from the United States, a state of war did not exist. Rowan arrived in Cuba on April 23, 1898. Two days later, the United States declared war on Spain and the situation instantly became deadly serious. It took another week of traveling before Rowan successfully delivered his message to Garcia on May 1, 1898. In his own words, Rowan wrote, “The long and toilsome journey with its many risks, its chances of failure, its chances for death, was over. I had succeeded.”

Garcia furnished Rowan with maps and other intelligence on Spanish strengths and weaknesses on the island and sent him back the same day, with two officers from his own army to accompany him and coordinate American military efforts from Washington. Another dangerous journey lay ahead. Before the fighting ended, the United States would spend $250 million and lose 3,000 lives – 90 percent to infectious diseases. Spain and America signed a peace treaty in Paris on Dec. 10, 1898, establishing the independence of Cuba, ceding Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States, and allowing the United States to purchase the Philippines Islands from Spain for $20 million.

To read Rowan’s exciting first-hand account of carrying the President’s message to Garcia, check out the full article in Foundations Magazine at http://www.foundationsmag.com/rowan.html.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Lisa Ferdinando

Army releases latest policies on female hairstyles, tattoos

Lisa Ferdinando 1st Sgt. Aki Paylor won’t have any trouble recalling the Warrior Ethos. “For me, the Warrior Ethos — that’s who I am.” Since all of Paylor’s tattoos were done a number of years ago, he’s grandfathe...
 
 

Combined Federal Campaign now underway on FH

The annual Combined Federal Campaign, CFC, is currently underway and ends Dec. 1. The CFC is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign with more than 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country to help raise millions of dollars each year, officials say. This year’s theme is “We Make it Possible.” Donations made...
 
 

It’s a Thin Line for prescription use, misuse, abuse; dispose of unused drugs Sept. 27

SAN ANTONIO — Nearly one out of 20 Soldiers misuse painkillers, says the website Army Thin Line. The website is part of a campaign designed to educate Soldiers, their friends and Families and the provider community about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Army Thin Line encourages safe and responsible decisions when using...
 

 
PatriotDay1_20140911_Hidalgo

Fort Huachuca Community remembers the fallen

Soldiers place the wreaths for the Patriot Day Ceremony at Brown Parade Field on Fort Huachuca Sept. 11. The wreaths honored all who fell during the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Fort Huachuca firefighters raise the American Flag at...
 
 
Photos by Eric Hortin, NETCOM

NETCOM honors deceased members during special ceremony

Photos by Eric Hortin, NETCOM From left, Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., Network Enterprise Technology Command commanding general, Command Sgt. Maj. Stephfon Watson, NETCOM command sergeant major, and Spc. Kyle Baker, NETCOM Headq...
 
 

Army Reserve training brigade moves to Fort Huachuca

Headquarters, 1st Brigade (Military Intelligence) 100th Training Division (Operational Support) will possibly relocate from Providence, Rhode Island, to Fort Huachuca pending approval from the Department of the Army. If approved, this action will transfer 72 positions here. Fifty-eight of those positions will be part-time reservists who will only be here one weekend a month for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin