National Geographic : 1998 Feb
LIIPLACtpMIeNTBO&Lr' TOS.AJPIID lIi DIO 1 JT:uJ YVVOLVIUN CAnONs4eATsL M ?7TonIEOITUBO. tElWrE ELTWA , R, TRRETARMOUR IcNcHs THICK: cosr0SF n . ,0.o0, . IN HAVANA 1AIBORi FEB3'Yi5'" 1898. Is WOCESTICI 4 /5 FEETLOND. OIfCER. 4 CREW45' ILLED DROWNED 2m. "The chosen of the flock" is how Capt. CharlesSigsbee (above, at top right) describedthe ship under his command, which steamed into Havana harboron January25, 1898 (opposite), to protect U.S. citizens and property amid growing unrest over Spain's brutaloccupation of Cuba. Less than a month later the Maine was gone, destroyedby a massive-and mysterious-explosion. age of 15, was already a hero. Nine years before, during a Pacific typhoon, he had climbed into the topmost rigging of the U.S.S. Trenton and, with a cigarette between his teeth, lighted a rocket that sent a rescue line to a sinking warship, saving nearly all hands. Tonight, as he rou tinely performed the duties of the officer of the watch, he was feeling glum because he had yet to receive his promotion to full lieutenant, which would get him off the Maine and home to his wife and four chil dren in Baltimore. On the berth deck, well toward the bow and two decks above the pow der magazines, Bill Gorman and most of the other 327 sailors and marines swung up into their hammocks. At 9:10 Gorman's teammate, Marine bugler and third baseman C. H. Newton, began to play taps. Sigsbee, aft in the captain's suite, was writing a letter. An aloof and REMEMBER THE MAINE?