Colin F. Jones


‘Twas in the Spanish harbor Cardenas,
During the Spanish American war,
On May 11th Eighteen Ninety eight,
This incident some might recall.

On the American torpedo boat, the Winslow,
Elijah Tunnell served as a cabin cook
When she came under heavy Spanish fire,
Disabling her as she shook.

The Wilmington to her rescue came,
While she was still under heavy fire,
To attempt to tow her out of range,
With the situation becoming dire.

Fast ran Elijah to the deck,
To help “make fast” the boats,
The Winslow now almost a wreck,
But still she stoutly floats.

Then where they toiled with the line,
In came another shell,
Landing with a thunderous roar,
To blow them all to Hell

Tunnell was taken aboard the Wilmington,
Both his legs had been blown away
He was terribly mutilated by the shell,
But he still had brave words to say.

“Did we win the fight” they heard him cry,
They all responded with a “yes”
Then as he fell back with a sigh,
“Then I die happy” and took his rest.

To the memory of Elijah B Tunnell who was probably
The first martyr of the Spanish American War. He
Was not ranked as an official in the navy but he was
A faithful servant and an American hero, in my view.