About the Author

Magdalen M. Pando is the descendent of Spanish colonials who lived in Cuba. Her forebears in Cuba had not supported the rebel's cause of independence from Spain. In mid-1897 her Asturian grandfather with his family came to the United States as Spanish immigrants--not Cuban refugees--because they were convinced that Spain had lost control of her colony.

In 1945 she began to develop her father's recollections of his life in Cuba (1878-1897) into a family history and found that Maceo's spectacular invasion of their home province, which presaged the end of their way of life, was part of the drama in the war scenes he described. Later in the early 1950's, she consulted his sister, her aunt, and she verified her father's memories. The author asked her at that time, knowing that she had been a fiercely loyal Spanish colonial, what were here feelings toward Maceo. "Ah," she replied, "he was a great man and we admired him." The author decided then that here was a subject worthy of historical investigation.