US: Waldo Tomosky – As I Wandered: Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, United States


There was a load of coal headed up and down the gravity railroad. Then it was to be loaded on to barges for the canal heading to Kingston, New York. One of the fellows on the railroad told me the coal was destined for a coal tender headed to Puerto Rico.

Of course I wondered “Why Puerto Rico? It isn’t cold there and they must have plenty of wood and sugar cane remnants for any industrial fires they need to burn.”

So I asked Bogdan Yelcovich if he knew what the coal was for.

“Haven’t you heard?” he said. “We are going to have a war with Spain. We are sending ships to Cuba and Puerto Rico to carry the troops, their horses and canons. They will need plenty of coal to keep the engines turning on all those troop ships.”

I told him I had no idea what was…

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