Once war had been declared a squadron of Spanish ships commanded by Admiral Cervera soon unduly concerned Americans. The Americans public was worried about the Spanish attacking American cities.
The American fleet’s first task was to locate Cervera’s fleet. Cerevera was found in Santiago Cuba, and the American fleet blockaded him in port. The Spanish fleet was not a match for the American fleet so Cervera remained in the harbor.
On Monday June 14th a convoy 29 transport and 6 auxiliary vessels carried 819 officers and 16,058 enlisted men off toward Cuba. The decision was made to land the American troops at Daiquiri up the coast from Santiago.
The Navy bombarded the bluffs overlooking the coast, and the Spanish evacuated leaving the landing site unopposed. Among those coming ashore at Daiquiri was Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. Roosevelt had resigned his position as Assistant Naval Secretary to join the army.
The Americans force the next day marched to Siboney, opposed only by sporadic harassing fire by the Spanish. General Wheeler commanding American forces continued his advance towards Las Gausimas, where he ran into a retreating force of Spanish. The Spanish retreated after a fight in which the Rough Riders carried the day.