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Teniente de Navio Francisco Arderius Rodriguez's

Experience While Returning to Spain

 by Alfredo Arderius Martin
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Below is an account relating an experience of Francisco Arderius Rodriguez, Teniente de Navio, Ayudante de Ordenes de Fernando Villamil (lieutenant, executive officer of Fernando Villamil) of the Spanish Torpedo Boat FUROR. The ship was lost at the Battle of Santiago, however Rodriguez survived and wrote a book entitled La Escuadra Española en Santiago de Cuba. Diario de un Testigo (The Spanish Squadron at Santiago de Cuba, Diary of a Witness) in 1903.

The Account:

The events of the naval battle of Santiago of Cuba, that have been commented on in the evening newspapers recently bring to mind an interesting anecdote told to us by one of the [Santiago] heroes told us over the years, on the anniversary date of those events, and that was remembered with extraordinary emotion. The hero was Don Pancho Arderius, a naval officer, and assistant of Rear Admiral Villaamil, the leader of the torpedoboat squadron who fought and was killed in that battle. Don Pancho was also seriously hurt. He was a good writer and a popular journalist and writer in Madrid. He was a warm, likeable man and extraordinarily refined. He referred to the Code that unites all men of the sea of all countries, and that when he was wounded on that fatal day, he was taken to an American battleship and was later hospitalized in New York. When he arrived, he turned over to the nurse who worked in his room a gold Cross and a escapulario that his mother had given to him when he left for the sea. His

His wounds were serious and he was hospitalized for forty days. Eventually he received orders, along with his companions who were also wounded in the battle, to be ready to embark for the trip back to Spain in one hour. He emphasized the noble efforts and the attention he received from the officers and leaders of the U.S. Navy. Three hours later, and when the convalescing men were aboard the transatlantic steamer and were underway, the man in charge of taking them back to Spain was chatting with the ship’s officers, a U.S. Naval torpedoboat appeared and ordered the vessel to stop. The destroyer pulled near the vessel’s aft flank and an officer came on board, who, after saluting the officer of the steamer asked “Who is Don Francisco Arderius? Don Pancho, I have orders to give this package from the nurse at the hospital. Don Pancho opened the small box and found the gold Cross and the escapulario of the Virgin of the Carmen which had been given to hi by his mother. And he added, referring to this memory, that it did not matter to him that he came to tears in front of his fellow warriors, and he kissed the Cross and that escapulario


Alfredo Arderius Martin, great grandson of  Francisco Arderius Rodriguez from La Vanguardia newspaper.

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