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Bluefields Expedition Nicaragua 06 Jul 1894 07 Aug 1894

After thirty years of Conservative control, during which the capital was permanently located at Managua, Jose 8antos Zelaya, in l893, began a sixteen years dictatorship. His regime was characterized by brazen speculations, and by mischievoue irtxigue in the political affairs of other Latin- American nations.

The incidents surrounding the overthrow of Roberto Sacasa and the advent of Zelaya as President, caused the lives, as well as property of foreigners to be placed in jeopardy. The United States had two cruisers, the Columbia, under Captain George W. Sumner, and the MarbHehead. under Commander Charles O'Neil, stationed in Nicaraguan raters to lend aid if and when necessary. About the middle of the year, the point of most danger appeared to be at Bluefields. Commander O'Neil out into this harbor on the l9th of June, and Captain Sumner followed on the 06 July 1894.

Shortly after midnight of July 6th, Commander O'Neil was awakened to receive important despatches from the Ameri can Consul, B. B. Seat, in which a landing force was re quested for the protection of American interests. Orders were immediately^ issued for a detachment of Marines, under First Lieutenant Franklin J. Moses, and a company of blue jackets to be prepared for landing. Sometime between 4 and 8 o'clock, this force landed, under the command of Lieut enant Bowman, and remained ashore until the 7th of August. On the 3lst of July, the force above mentioned, was rein forced by an additional landing party from the Marblehead. and the Marine Guard and a coinnany of seamen from the Columbia, all under the command of Commander Charles 0, Allibone, which were likewise withdrawn on the 7th of August.

The first term of Zelaya as president expired in 1896, but he forced his re-election, and continued his regime as virtual dictator. This caused a great deal of dissension - there being more than the unusual unrest among the people, and agitation between the different factions - which result ed in foreigners being again endangered. On this occasion the threatened area was that of Oorinto.

The British government had a representative present in the person of the commander of H.M.S. Cormus, and the United States was represented by Commander Franklin Hanford, in the Alert. The Nicaraguan commandant requested the Ameri can Consul, Henry Palazio, to cause an American landing force to be sent ashore, as he was unable to furnish protection to foreigners with the forces at his disposal. The Consul com municated this request to Commander Hanford, who acquiesced by sending l5 Marines, under First Sergeant Frederick W. M. Poppe, and l9 sailors, all under the command of Lieutenant Albert W. Dodd. This force landed about 3 o'clock in the afternoon of May 3nd, and remained ashore until the morn ing of the 4th, when withdrawn. The British vessel also had a landing party ashore at this time.

During this year the American Marines were again land ed to protect the interests of the United States, Commander Eugene" H. C. Leutze relieved Commander Hanford in command of the AJfi_rt_, and arrived off San Juan del Sur in the early part of the year. In the first part of February the contend ing parties were engaged in open" hostilities. Musketry firing was quite general, as well as artillery at inter mittent intervals - some shells from the latter exploding in the water a short distance from the Alert, The American Consular Agent, Charles Holman, had acquainted Commander Leutze with the conditions ashore, and apparently had an understanding relative to the landing of Marines should their services be required.

About 4 o'clock in the afternoon of February 7th, the American Flag was hoisted over the Consulate, union down, and Commander Leutze immediately ordered l4 Marines and l9 bluejackets, under Lieutenant Harry A. Field, and despatched them ashore to protect the lives and. property of Americans. Lieutenant Field and his landing party returned aboard about noon the following day, as the commander of the Nicaraguan Government forces stated he was then able to furnish adequate protection to all foreigners present.

Bluefields Expedition Nicaragua 24 Feb 1899 28 Feb 1899

The Reyes Insurrection was the cause of disturbances in the first part of 1899. The cause of the insurrec tionists appeared hopeless, but the attending circumstances caused great excitement, and disorders were imminent. The United States was represented by Commander Fred erick M. Symonds, in the Marietta. The British 3overnment was also represented by H. M.S. Intrepid, These two vessels were at anchor at Bluefields, about the middle of February, when the foreign merchants or the city petitioned their com manding officers to despatch a landing party ashore to protect the lives and property of foreigners. The American Vice-Consul from Greytbwn, F.Percy Scott, was aboard the Marietta, and he together with Commander Symonds, went ashore on the morning of February l3, to obtain first-hand in formation relative to conditions, No landing was made, however, until late in the evening of the 24th, when Lieutenant Frederic B, Bassett. Jr. , a detachment of Marines and sailors, numbering about l5 men, and a Colt's automatic gun, together with a like force from the British ship, were sent ashore to guard foreign interests. The American force returned to the Marietta about 7 o'clock on the evening of the 28th.

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