Adm. Cervera's fleet had taken refuge (29 May 1898) in Santiago Bay, and the American Navy had asked the Army to reduce the defenses guarding the entrance. The War Department, eager to get the Army into action, directed MG William R. Shafter to embark his loosely organized V Corps, which had been assembled around Tampa, and sail for Cuba. After many delays, and in an atmosphere of the utmost confusion, the embarkation of some 17,000 men began on 11 June 1898, lasting four days. On 20 June the convoy reached a point off Santiago, but it was two days before Shafter could make up his mind where to land the troops. Rear Adm. William T. Sampson wanted them to land near the entrance of the bay, where a powerful fort dominated the area, and to storm the positions guarding the sea approaches. Shafter considered this plan too dangerous and followed the advice of GEN Calixto Garcia, a Cuban insurgent leader, who recommended Daiquiri, 18 miles east of Santiago Bay, as a landing site.