“Marching to Cuba”


"We're going down to Cuba, boys, to battle for the right, We're going to show the Spaniards that we Yankee boys can fight... While we are marching to Cuba." The victories at Manila Bay and Santiago are briefly mentioned


The editors of Brown were able to identify this with a piece "Marching to Cuba" credited to Josie M. Galloway, with words by J. H. Dohrmann. Since, however, it is instantly obvious that the tune is "Marching through Georgia," the authorship claims must be treated as slightly dubious.

The military figures mentioned in this song include:

Dewey - George Dewey (1837-1917), commander of the U. S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron from early 1898, he won the Battle of Manila Bay at slight cost: The Spanish lost their entire fleet, the Americans didn't have a single sailor killed

Sampson - William Thomas Sampson (1840-1902), who led the Board of Inquiry into the _Maine_ explosion. He was appointed to command the North Atlantic squadron during the War, and hence was responsible for the blockade of Santiago harbor. His direct involvement in the Battle of Santiago was limited as he was not in the immediate presence of the enemy when the Spanish sortied

Hobson - Richmond Pearson Hobson (1870-1937) helped close Santiago harbor by sinking the collier _Merrimac_ as a blockship.

Schley - Winfield Scott Schley (1839-1909) commanded the Flying Squadron of the fleet blockading Santiago. When the Spaniards attempted to break out, Schley was the senior officer present -- a fact which later led to severe arguments with Sampson over who deserved credit for the victory. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1895 - Cubans rebel against Spain
  • Feb 15, 1898 - Explosion of the battleship "Maine" in Havana harbor
  • May 1, 1898 - Battle of Manila Bay. Dewey's fleet destroys the entire Spanish fleet in the Philippines
  • May 19, 1898 - The Spanish fleet enters Santiago Bay
  • July 2, 1898 - The Spanish fleet at Santiago, acting under orders from Madrid, sails out into the teeth of the American fleet and is destroyed
  • July 10, 1898 - U. S. troops attack Santiago
  • July 17, 1898 - U. S. troops capture Santiago

Cross references


  1. BrownII 237, "Marching to Cuba" (1 text)
  2. Roud #6622
  3. BI, BrII237


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1952 (Brown)
Found in: US(SE)