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San Juan Hill

San Juan Hill is a slight incline to the east of Santiago, Cuba, where Spanish soldiers entrenched themselves in the most famous battle of the Spanish-American War; this engagement occurred at the same time as El Caney, several miles to the northwest.

At San Juan Hill, 1100 Spanish soldiers were ordered to hold San Juan hill against an American offensive on 1st June, 1898. For reasons still not quite clear, Linares chose to hold nearly 10,000 Spanish reserves in the city of Santiago and failed to reinforce his position. Despite this, the struggle lasted for more than twelve hours, and cost at least four hundred American and untold numbers of Spanish lives. During the engagement, Theodore Roosevelt became famous for his bold "charge up San Juan Hill".

In truth, Roosevelt was actually responsible for capturing Kettle Hill, one of the smaller heights in the vicinity, but the error (since attributed to a newspaper reporter) stuck.

See also: El Caney 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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