Nearly two thousand more of our soldiers landed in Cuba about this time, and more were expected soon.
But I must tell you about another Army that arrived in this part of Cuba during these days—a very small one beside General Shafter’s Army, but one that did mighty work. Have you ever heard of the Red Cross Society? This is a society that nurses the sick and wounded. It has members in all parts of the world. Its chief officer is Miss Clara Barton, whose work has been so great and noble that it has made the whole world better. The badge, or flag of the Red Cross Army is a red cross on a white ground.
[Illustration: Miss Clara Barton.]
The Red Cross Army takes no part in war except to help those who need help. It does not know the difference between friend and foe. Its work is a work of love and mercy. No soldiers with any honor would ever fire upon a tent that has the Red Cross flag floating over it, or harm any person wearing the Red Cross badge. Yet, to the awful disgrace of the Spaniards, it is known that some of them, hidden in trees and bushes, fired upon doctors and nurses who were taking care of the wounded on the battlefields near Santiago.
This was the new Army, whose soldiers wear the sign of the Red Cross, that reached this part of Cuba now, and put up a large tent. In this tent all help that could be given was given, to Spaniards, Cubans and Americans. There were also “floating hospitals”—ships fitted up as hospitals. They proved to be great blessings to our Army and Navy.
You will remember that the Red Cross Society took great quantities of supplies to the suffering Cubans in the early part of 1898. Its work in Cuba was just well-established when hostilities broke out between the United States and Spain, and while the members who were on the ground wanted to stay and carry on the work of relief, General Blanco told them it was best for them to leave the island. They did so reluctantly, after doing all they could to insure the proper distribution of the supplies they left behind them. The result was that the food and medicines intended for the Cubans were used to sustain the Spanish army.