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El Caney

El Caney is a small village (now a parking lot) to the northwest of Santiago, Cuba. Chiefly known in centuries past as the site where Don Hernando Cortez[?] recieved a vision, supposedly ordering him to Christianize Mexico.

On 1st July, 1898, during the Spanish-American War, five hundred Spanish soldiers under General Vara-del-Rey were instructed to hold the northwest flank of Santiago against American advance. Despite having no machine guns and being denied promised reinforcements, Vara-del-Rey and his soldiers held eight thousand Americans from their position for nearly twelve hours. Less than one dozen Spanish survived the encounter, and all were badly wounded. Many have called this engagement proof that, properly led, the Spanish Army might well have defeated the United States during the Cuban Campaign.

SEE ALSO: San Juan Hill SOURCES: Nofi, A. "The Spanish American War, 1898"; Guerrero, J. "En Guerro con Los Estados Unidos en Cuba, 1898"; Spanish-American War Centennial Website - www.spanamwar.com



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