Front Door to Cuba

The Virginius Incident

The Virginius

Featuring restored and colorized images by J.A. Sierra


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Report from Commander Burriel to Captain-General Jovellar

Juan B. Burriel, commander of the Spanish troops in Santiago, sent the following report to the Captain-General of Cuba, Joaquín Jovellar.

Ryan and Varona executed

Santiago de Cuba, November 4, 1873

To his Excellency the Captain-General

At six o’clock this morning were shot in this city, for being traitors to their country, and for being insurgent chiefs, the following persons, styling themselves ‘patriot generals:’ Bernabe Varona, alias Bembeta, general of division; Pedro Céspedes, commanding general of Cienfuegos; General Jesus del Sol, and Brigadier-General Washington Ryan. The executions took place in the presence of the entire corps of volunteers, the force of regular infantry, and the sailors from the fleet. An immense concourse of people also witnessed the act.

The best of the order prevailed. The prisoners met their death with composure.

Juan B. Burriel