Only 15-years earlier in the same harbor crew members of the USS Baltimore had been killed by a mob attack.  Angered, the American government had asked for an explanation and reparations with regard to the incident.  When none were forthcoming, Admiral Evans, then captain of the USS Yorktown steamed into the harbor threatening to use his main batteries on the city should swift and immediate actions not be taken by the government of Chile.  The settlement was made quickly avoiding the use of weapons but remained in the mind of Admiral Evans now commanding the fleet.  As a compromise, instead of a port visit, it was decided the fleet would sail into the harbor and provide the appropriate salute.  Wrote Franklin Mathews, "The sixteen battleships roared out a salvo such as no one in Chile had ever heard before.  The effect of the thunder was electric.  People on the shore were seen to jump and run.   All along the  shore line, below Fort Valdivia, they began to race back towards the city and harbor by the thousands.  It was literly a stampede.  Great clouds of dust engulfed them and partly hid them from view.  It made those on the ships laugh."  The crowds quickly recovered and settled in for a naval show of maneuvering and seamanship.




As the battleships came abeam of the President Montt's yacht each vessel fired a 21-gun salute that boomed throughout the harbor.  Afterwards Admiral Evans sent a message to the fleet, "Commander-in-Chief thanks the officers and men of the fleet for the handsome way in which they did the trick today."

The fleet was on a tight schedule and Admiral Evans felt no particular need to pay a cordial greeting to the City of Valparaiso.





This card used the following year by a sailor from the USS Maryland on a visit to Valparaiso.  By this time many of the fleet's ships were using their own post offices to process official and personal correspondence.




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