The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 479
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and Luis Kutner to use the manuscript in writing The Admiral,
a biography of Dewey; and in 1947 Mr. Dewey permitted the
Naval Historical Foundation to publish the manuscript in its
The book is, as is to be expected, biased in favor of Admiral
Dewey and the Americans and against the Spaniards. On the
whole, however, the author does not descend either to eulogy or
diatribe. Sargent effectively points out Dewey's foresight, energy,
and diplomacy. When Dewey took command of the Asiatic Sta-
tion on January 3, 1898, the impending war was less than four
months away. In that time the Admiral had to prepare his ships
for action and make provisions for securing sufficient coal and
ammunition, a no mean feat considering that his squadron was
seven thousand miles from home bases. In the battle itself, Dewey
showed considerable coolness in entering Manila Bay, which was
reportedly mined and was heavily protected by shore batteries;
and, with six ships, attacking the seven Spanish warships anchored
before Cavite. The Spanish squadron was covered by shore bat-
teries at Cavite and on the Manila waterfront.
For over three months after the Battle of Manila Bay on May i,
Admiral Dewey blockaded the port, unable to take it until suf-
ficient troops arrived from the United States. During this time,
various delicate situations arose: the Filipino insurgents threat-
ened to enter and possibly to destroy the city, and the several
German warships standing by as observers ignored the blockade.
Dewey handled these situations with commendable diplomacy,
on more than one occasion averting an armed clash with the
The book, which is quite readable, is well footnoted with the
texts of telegrams, reports, and the like. The ten appendices con-
tain pertinent documents, some of which are of particular inter-
est, such as the official reports made by the Spanish admiral, Don
Patricio Montojo, and by Dewey of the battle, a colorful Manila
newspaper account of the battle, and the sentence of the Spanish
court-martial which tried Montojo. The value of the book is
enhanced by an index, sixteen photographs of Dewey, several of
his ships, and of the action on May i, and by the endsheet maps
of the entrance to Manila Bay and of the head of the bay, where
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/488/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.