Segregated company during the Spanish-American War.jpg

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Colored Soldiers~THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, 1898


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War Begins

When the Spanish-controlled island of CUBA was seeking its independence from SPAIN in 1898, the experienced all black military units were ready to serve.

It took the explosion of the American battleship, the U. S. S. MAINE, killing 260 Americans (22 Black sailors perished with this crew) on February 15, 1898 in Havana Harbor to create a means for declaring war.

American preparation was quick, and on April 22, 1898, the U. S. Navy blockaded SANTIAGO HARBOR and, on April 24, declared war on Spain. Congress also activated TEN REGIMENTS OF ALL BLACK TROOPS: the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 3rd Alabama, 3rd North Carolina, 23rd, 24th, and 25th. ONLY the 9th, 10th, 24th, and 25th saw combat in this short-lived war. Several key battles included LAS GUAIMAS, EL CANEY, the Battles of SAN JUAN HILL, SANTIAGO, and KETTLE HILL.

The SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR established several key points:

  • The Black-American units were able to use more trained black officers as commanders of their regiments.
  • They were able to serve the armed forces on territory outside the United States.
  • Their superior acumen and bravery was recognized by two prominent Americans:
    • Theodore Roosevelt, who later became U. S. President (1901-1909), served along side black soldiers in the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR as part of the unit, "THE ROUGH RIDERS." On one Cuban mission, the 10th Calvary rescued the Rough Riders. Theodore Roosevelt said, "I don't think that any Rough Rider will ever forget the tie that binds us to the 9th and 10th Calvary."
    • Lieutenant John J. Pershing was able to comment, "White regiments, Black regiments, Regulars, and Rough Riders, representing the young manhood of the North and South, fought shoulder to shoulder. All of the soldiers were mindful only of their common duty as Americans."


On July 3, 1898, The U. S. Navy destroyed the Spanish Naval Fleet. This major battle ended Spanish rule on the Atlantic Seaboard. In the end, the U. S. freed Cuba, and Spain ceded the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The U. S. also annexed the republic of Hawaii in 1898.

Among those soldiers were:
George G. Anderson * William H. Anderson * Daniel Atkins * Edward L. Baker Jr. * Dennis Bell * George Berry * Horace W. Bivins * Lewis Broadus * Horace G. Burke * T. C. Butler * Pierre L. Carmouche * Jordan Chavis * Hilary W. Coston * James Elmer Dellinger * Franklin A. Denison * Lee Fritz * George W. Ford * William H. Franklin * James Gilliard * Captain Wilt Jackson * John A. Logan * John Roy Lynch * Lt. John S. Nelson * Robert Penn * Walter Pinchback * George W. Prioleau * William W. Purnell * Lt. Charles L. Reece * Lt. John W. Shreeves * Lt. Jacob C. Smith * Sgt. William Tompkins * William A. Vrooman * William C. Warmsley * Major William Wesley * Cpt. Horace Wheaton * Col. Charles A. Young



February 24 - Second Cuban Insurrection begins.

April - General Gomez, General Antonio Maceo, Jose Maceo, Cebreco, Crombet, Guerra, Jose Marti and Borrero land in Cuba

May 19 -  Cuban Jose Marti killed in encounter at Dos Rios Oriente Province.

June 13 -Spanish General Fidel de Santoclides killed in the battle of Peralejo Oriente Province.  He died, killed by sharpshooter Andres Fernandez of Antonio Maceo's escort, while protecting Arsenio Martinez Campos Spanish Governor of Cuba.  Martinez Campos takes refuge in Bayamo and is soon removed from his position and returned to Spain.

September 17 - Battleship MAINE commissioned.

October 1895-January 1896.  Antonio Maceo and Maximo Gomez take their forces on the "La Invasion" fighting almost every day from Mangos de Baragua Oriente Province eastern Cuba to Mantua, in Pinar del Rio Province in extreme western Cuba.

November 30, 1895 - Battle at Iguara.  It is in  this "La Invasion" encounter that Winston Churchill is given a medal "Red Cross" by the Spanish.  Spanish claim  victory but numerically inferior Cubans continue to advance.


January, 1896 - Antonio Maceo and Maximo Gomez end their "La Invasion."

February 16 - General Weyler issues first of reconcentrado orders.

March 24 -  Calixto Garcia, escaped from Spain, arrives in Cuba with well armed expedition.

August 26 - Philippine Revolution begins.

December, 7 - Antonio Maceo killed in encounter at Punta Brava, Havana Province.

December 30: Filipino national hero Dr. Jose Rizal is executed by Spanish troops.


March 4 - William McKinley inaugurated as president of the United States.

March 13 - Calixto Garcia now using cannon enters the fortified town of Jiguani Oriente Province.

June 19 - Stewart Woodford appointed U.S. Minister to Spain

August 8 - Spanish Prime Minister Canovas assassinated.

August 30 - The Spanish forts at Tunas, north western Oriente Province fall to Calixto Garcia.

October 4 - Prime Minister Sagasta takes office in Spain.

October 31- Prime Minister Sagasta recalls General Weyler from Cuba.

November 28 - The Spanish forts at Guisa, Northern foothills of Sierra Maestra Oriente Province,  fall to Calixto Garcia.


January 1 - Spain institutes limited political autonomy in Cuba.

January 12 - Spanish in Cuba "riot" or demonstrate against autonomy-supporting newspaper offices. Consul-General Lee takes this as threat against Americans.

January 17 - Consul-General Lee asked for ship to sent to Havana

January 21 Esperanza, the Cuban rebel stronghold is invaded.

January 24 - Battleship MAINE sent to Havana

January 25 - Battleship MAINE arrives in Havana.

January 27 - Cuban Brig. Gen. Aranguren ambushed and killed.

February 1 - Spanish forces are beaten at Rejondon de Baguanos. This and other previous operations by Garcia, cause the Spanish to abandon the strategically important interior of Oriente Province, and effectively isolating Santiago de Cuba by land from other coastal Spanish garrisons.

February 9 - The DeLome letter is printed, critical of McKinley, causing the Spanish diplomat to be recalled.

February 15 -Battleship  MAINE explodes, 266 crewmen killed.

February 16 - DeLome leaves the US for Spain.

February 17 - Naval Board of Inquiry into the loss of the battleship MAINE created ("the Sampson Board")

February 18 - Spanish cruiser VIZCAYA arrives in New York in reciprocal visit for the USS Maine, unaware that the Maine had been lost.

February 21 - The Naval Court of Inquiry into the loss of the MAINE begins.

February 25 - VIZCAYA leaves New York for Havana.

February 25 - Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, cabled Commodore Dewey to be ready if war were to break out, and gave him his objectives

March 6 - Spain requests, unofficially, that Consul-General Lee be recalled.

March 8 - Congress authorizes $50 million for a war fund.

March 14 - Admiral Cervera's squadron steams  for the Cape Verde Islands.

March 17 - Senator Redfield Proctor reports on the Cuban situation after his visit to Cuba

March 19 - Battleship OREGON, under Capt. Charles Clark leaves San Francisco for Florida, by way of Tierra del Fuego on its famous dash!

March 21 - Board of Inquiry Report completed. States that battleship MAINE lost to a mine.

March 25 - McKinley receives Board of Inquiry Report.

March 26 - McKinley sends note to Spain demanding an end to war in Cuba, as well as a note indicating the findings of the Naval Board of Inquiry.

March 28 - Naval Court of Inquiry report presented to Congress. On the same day, the report of the Spanish Board of Inquiry into the loss of the MAINE is received in Washington. This reports states that the loss was the result of an internal accident.

March 30 - U.S. minister to Spain, Woodford, conveys request that war in Cuba end and that Cuba be given independence.

March 31 - Spain turns down demands of Cuban independence.

April 1 - U.S. House of Representatives authorizes $22.6 million for naval vessels.

April 6 - Pope asked McKinley to not declare war pending the Pope's negotiations with Spain.

April 7 - Ambassadors of England, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Russia appeal to McKinley for peace.

April 9 - Spain orders General Blanco to declare armistice in Cuba. Consul-General Lee and other U.S. citizens leave Cuba.

April 11 - McKinley asks Congress for war.

April 16 - Army begins mobilization. Teller Amendment passes in U.S. Congress, stating that the U.S. would not annex Cuba.

April 19  - U.S. Congress declares Cuba independent.

April 22 - Blockade of Cuba commenced by US Navy. First Spanish ship taken.

April 23  - McKinley issues call for 125,000 volunteers. Spain declares war.

April 25 - U.S. declares war, but makes the declaration retroactive to April 22. Matanzas, Cuba bombarded by the US Navy.

April 27 - Commodore Dewey's squadron leaves Mirs Bay, China for the Philippines.

April 29 - Calixto Garcia takes Bayamo, abandoned by the Spanish, as headquarters.

April 30 - Admiral Cervera's Spanish squadron leaves the Cape Verde Islands for the Caribbean.

May 1 - U.S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron under Commodore Dewey defeats the Spanish Pacific Squadron at the Battle of Manila Bay.

May 1 -  US Lieutenant Andrew Summers Rowan arrives in Bayamo to coordinate Cuban and US forces.

May 11 - Dewey promoted to rear admiral.

May 11 - The WINSLOW attacks Cardenas, resulting in the death of Ensign Bagley and five crewmen. Bagley was the only U.S. naval officer to die in the war. Cervera's squadron appears off Martinique.

May 11 - The cable is cut at Cienfuegos, Cuba by the crews of the MARBLEHEAD and NASHVILLE

May 12 - Admiral Sampson bombards San Juan, Puerto Rico, without warning.

May 13 - Commodore Schley's "Flying Squadron" leaves Hampton Roads for the vicinity of Cuba.

May 15 - Theodore Roosevelt begins training with Rough Riders.

May 17 - Cervera's squadron arrives in Santiago, Cuba.

May 25 - McKinley issues a call for 75,000 more volunteers. The first army expedition leaves San Francisco for Manila, P.I.

May 28 - Battleship OREGON arrives off Florida after the 14,700 nautical mile dash from the U.S.'s west coast

May 29 - US Navy blockades Spanish fleet in Santiago harbor.

May 31 - Schley and the blockading squadron skirmish with CRISTOBAL COLON and the forts at Santiago

June 3 - Hobson sinks the MERRIMAC at the entrance to Santiago harbor.

June 10 - US Marines land at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

June 12-14 - Maj. Gen. Shafter's Vth Corps embarks at Tampa.

June 15 - Spanish squadron leaves Spain for the Philippines.

June 21 - Guam "captured" by US forces.

June 20 - Calixto Garcia meets with US General William Shafter in Asseradero Sierra Maestra to coordinate US landings.

June 20 - Cruiser CHARLESTON captures Island of Guam

June 21 - Cuban forces (530 men) under Colonel Gonzalez Clavel are taken by US transport Leone, and protected by the US warships Vixen and the Gloucester  land at Sigua and advance on Daiquri by land.

June 22 - At dawn, Gonzalez Clavel's men  advancing by land take the lightly defended Spanish positions on the heights of Daiquiri and control landing zone.  US ships accidentally shell Cuban forces on shore.  U.S forces under General Lawton  begin to land.

June 22 - Vth Corps of 16,000 men land at Daiquiri in Cuba throughout the day.

June 22-23 -  Cuban scouts take about 20 wounded and report to General Lawton that first Spanish strong positions are at La Guasimas.  Lawton orders US and Cuban forces at his command to hold positions, before fomal attack.

June 24  - Battle of Las Guasimas.

July 1  - Battles of El Caney and San Juan Hill.

July 3 - Spanish fleet attempts to escape from Santiago, all ships destroyed at the naval Battle of Santiago.

July 4 - Six Spanish prisoners killed aboard Auxiliary Cruiser HARVARD. The event becomes known as the "Harvard Incident."

July 6 - Hobson and his crew exchanged.

July 8 - Spanish squadron heading for the Philippines is forced to turn around to protect the Spanish coastline.

July 10 - Santiago bombarded by the U.S. Navy.

July 17 - Spanish Santiago garrison surrenders.

July 25 - US Army invades Puerto Rico.

July 26 - Spanish ask for terms of peace through the French ambassador.

July 31 - Night attack by the Spanish on the American lines at Manila, P.I.

August 9 - Battle of Coamo, Puerto Rico results in U.S. victory; Spain accepts McKinley's terms of peace.

August 11 - American Troops entered Mayaguez, Puerto Rico's third largest city.

August 12 - Peace protocol is signed (truce).

August 13 - U.S. Forces take Manila after a minor skirmish and show of force.

August 20 - Great naval review in New York harbor.

August 23 - General Merritt appointed governor of Manila. Command of 8th Corps in P.I. given to General Otis.

August 25 - General Shafter leaves Cuba. 

August 29 - Efforts to raise MARIA TERESA and CRISTOBAL COLON begun by Hobson.

September 10 - Spanish Cortes approves peace protocol.

September 12 - Admiral Cevera leaves U.S. to return to Spain.

September 13 - "Rough Riders" mustered out of service; Spanish senate approves peace protocol.

September 14 - U.S. troops begin leaving Puerto Rico; Queen Regent of Spain signs peace protocol.

September 20 - First U.S. flag raised in Havana, Cuba.

September 24 - Leonard Wood made military governor of Cuba.

September 25 - MARIA TERESA raised by Hobson.

September 29 - Spanish and American peace commissioners meet for the first time.

October 12 - OREGON and IOWA leave New York for Manila, P.I.

October 18 - U.S. takes formal possession of Puerto Rico.

October 25-18 - Peace Jubilee held in Philadelphia

November 5 - MARIA TERESA lost near Cat Island.

November 28 - Spain agrees to cede Philippines Islands.

November 30 - General Blanco leaves Cuba for Spain.

December 10 - Treaty of Paris ends Spanish American War.

December 23 - Aguinaldo's cabinet resigns in the Philippines.


February 4 - Philippine American War (formerly called the Philippine Insurrection) begins.


March 4 - McKinley's 2nd inauguration. Roosevelt is vice-president.

March 23 - Philippine Revolutionary leader General Aguinaldo captured.

September 14 - McKinley dies after being shot on September 6, Theodore Roosevelt becomes President.


July 4 - Roosevelt declares the Philippines pacified.

Documenting United States Naval Activities

Documenting United States Naval Activities During the Spanish-American War
By Richard W. Peuser

For many people, the conflict known as the Spanish-American War is a little understood episode in U.S. history. ;; It evokes gripping images such as the explosion of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898, or Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charging up San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898. ;; But few scholars examined the subject at the fiftieth anniversary in 1948, and as the centennial anniversary of the war approaches, there is still a relatively short bibliography. ;; This is unfortunate, since the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) holds hundreds of thousands of pages of records covering U.S. military activities during this period, many untapped by the research community. ;; It is impossible to cite every series in all navy-related record groups relating to the Spanish-American War, but this article will mention the obvious and some not-so-obvious holdings that document United States naval activities during this period.

The United States emerged from the Spanish-American War with a global empire, having acquired the possessions of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. ;; It was a popular war with both the public and the press. ;; The victories were glorified by newspapers, popular magazines, and veterans' own accounts published after the war.  ;; Songs, poems, and dirges written by the general public romanticized the exploits of ships, soldiers, and sailors. ;; The following poem written by J. L. Miller of Denver, Idaho, entitled Our War Cry Is "The Maine" was sent to the secretary of the navy with the request that it be used as an "official" poem for "Sampson's Fleet":

Despite tensions with Spain dating back to 1895, the McKinley administration only reluctantly went to war. ;; The explosion that destroyed the USS Maine did not convince the cautious McKinley to take immediate aggressive action. ;; Instead he studied all available options short of declaring war. ;; But the public clamor for war was very strong, and newspapers such as the New York World and the New York Journal exerted incredible pressure on both Congress and the White House. ;; Eventually, both bowed to this pressure, and McKinley asked Congress for a declaration of war, which was granted on April 25, 1898. ;; Recent scholarship portrays McKinley as a fully competent commander in chief who grasped the strategic objectives and coordinated policy through both the Navy and War Departments.

The Units

After the Indian Wars ended in the 1890s, the regiments continued to serve and participated in the Spanish-American War (including the Battle of San Juan Hill), where five more Medals of Honor were earned. They took part in the 1916 Punitive Expedition into Mexico and in the Philippine-American War.

In addition to the African Americans who served in Regular Amy units during the Spanish American War, five African American Volunteer Army units and seven African American National Guard units also served.

Volunteer Army:

  • 7th United States Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • 8th United States Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • 9th United States Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • 10th United States Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • 11th United States Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)

National Guard:

  • 3rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • 8th Illinois Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • Companies A and B, 1st Indiana Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • 23rd Kansas Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • 3rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)
  • 6th Virginia Volunteer Infantry (Colored Troops)

Of these units, only the 9th U.S., 8th Illinois, and 23rd Kansas served outside the United States during the war. All three units served in Cuba and suffered no losses to combat.

Segregated Company

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Segregated company during the Spanish-American War.jpg

The Buffalo Soldiers and African Americans also answered the nation's call to arms during the Spanish-American War. On the front linesof the war, the 9th and 10th Calvary, with valiant soldiers like Charles Young, led the charge up San Juan Hill with Colonel Teddy Rooselvelt and his Rough Riders 

PHOTO: Segregated company of US Soldiers (likely Buffalo Soldiers), Camp Wikoff, 1898 --during the Spanish-American War National Archives and Records Administration.


A Brief History of the 3rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry

By Patrick McSherry:

The 3rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry served out its term of service within the continental U.S., apparently spending most of its time within the borders of its home state. It did not see service overseas.

The regiment was mustered into service between June 4 and August 5, 1898 at Mobile, Alabama. At the time of mustering in, the regiment consisted of forty-six officers and 1,185 enlisted men.  The regiment was a "Black Regiment" in that it was made up of African Americans serving under white officers.

The regiment served in the Department of the Gulf, and was stationed in in Anniston Alabama in October, 1898. The 3rd Alabama saw no service outside of the U.S. The regiment was equipped with the model 1884 Springfield "Trapdoor" rifle.

The regiment was mustered out on March 20, 1899 at Anniston, Alabama. At the time of mustering out, the regiment consisted of forty-six officers and 992 enlisted men. The had seven enlisted men die of disease, and one was killed in accident. Twelve enlisted men were discharged on disability and four were courtmartialed. Lastly, eighty-eight enlisted men deserted.


A Brief History of the 9th U.S. Volunteer Infantry

by Christopher Varela and Patrick McSherry:

The following is a brief history of the 9th U.S. Volunteer Infantry, an African American Regiment, and an "immune" regiment that saw service in Cuba during the Spanish American War.

The 9th U.S. Volunteer Infantry was an African American regiment and was also termed an "immune" regiment, since it was believed that the men were "immune" to the tropical diseases which were decimating the American forces in Cuba by late July, 1898. The unit was mustered into service between June 18 and July 16, 1898 at New Orleans, Louisiana. At the time of muster-in, the unit consisted of 46 officers and 984 men. The regiment trained in New Orleans, Louisiana at Camp H. C. Corbin, located in that city's fairgrounds.

By late July, the U.S. forces in Cuba were being ravaged by a series of tropical diseases. Certain U.S. regiments were thought to be made up of men who were immune to these diseases for a variety of reasons. For instance, many thought that African American men were more immune to these diseases than were caucasian men (though there were also regiments of caucasian "immunes" also). With the forces in Cuba rapidly losing men to disease, the government attempted to remove the men who were currently there and replace then with "immune" troops. It was soon found out the theory on immunity was incorrect, and the "immune" regiments suffered from the same diseases as did the other troops.

On August 12, 1898, an armistice was declared between the United States and Spain, effectively ending the fighting, though the state of war still existed. On August 17, the 9th U.S. Volunteer Infantry sailed for Cuba aboard the transport BERLIN, arriving there five days later. Originally, the 1st U. S. Volunteer Infantry, an "immune" regiment of white troops departed from Camp Houston in New Orleans, Louisiana to proceed to Santiago, Cuba on August 17, 1898. But last minute directives replaced this regiment with the 9th U. S. Volunteer Infantry. Amid some protests among the men of the regiment, the 1st U. S. Volunteer Infantry unit returned to Galveston, Texas on the same day it had left.

The 9th U.S. Volunteer Infantry remained in Cuba until April 26, 1899, arriving back in the U.S. on April 30, 1899.

The unit was mustered out of service on May 25, 1899 at Camp Meade, in Middletown, Pennsylvania. At the time of muster out, the unit consisted on 46 officers and 869 men.

During its term of service, the unit lost 3 officers to disease, 16 officers resigned or discharged, and one officer dismissed. The unit also lost 73 enlisted men to disease, one to an accident, and twelve discharged on disability. In addition, twelve men deserted.



Austin Winfree (1878 - 1903)

By Chris Varela:

Austin Winfree served with the 9th U.S. Volunteer Infantry in Cuba.

Pension records seem to indicate that Austin Winfree was born in 1878 probably in Harrisburg, Texas, a small town about ten miles southeast of Houston, Texas. As war escalated between the United States and Spain in the summer of 1898 into ground warfare, Congress approved the creation of ten new volunteer regiments composed of African-American troops from the nation's deep South. At the age of 20, Austin Winfree joined one of these regiments. Traveling to New Orleans, Louisiana, Winfree enlisted into Company I of the 9th U.S. Volunteer Infantry in late June1898. this particular company was  raised in Houston, Texas. Its nickname of the "Ferguson Rifles,"named in honor of note African-American Henry C. Ferguson. Ferguson was a public figure in the Houston area and may have had an influence in raising the company. Quickly rising to rank of corporal, Winfree disembarked with the 9th from New Orleans to perform garrison duty with two other black volunteer regiments in Santiago, Cuba as one of the first buffalo soldiers to serve abroad.

 What was an all too familiar case with Spanish American War veterans, corporal Winfree's arrival in Cuba promptly exposed him to poor conditions and a hostile environment of malaria and tuberculosis. Several of Winfree's men in Company I would die in Cuba from disease.

On March 20, 1899, Winfree's company departed Songo, Cuba and were sent to the area of Mayari to serve as a police force protecting the population fromt insurgencies and bandits. While in Mayari, Winfree's Company I captured a gang of prominent bandits, and gained the nickname of "The Bandit Chasers."

 Much of Austin Winfree's tour in Cuba consisted of medical confinements battling severe fevers and respiratory problems. When not confined to a medical bed, Winfree likely confronted prejudice and segregation from native Cubans and among his fellow white service men. Corporal Winfree would survive his tour in Cuba and would return to the states where he mustered out of the Army on May 25, 1899 at Camp Meade in Middletown, Pennsylvania. However, he brought back with him the fatal symptoms of tuberculosis.

 Likely hailed as a hero by his peers in his hometown, Winfree returned to Harrisburg, Texas to resume civilian life. On March 24, 1901, the Spanish American War veteran had a son, Osborne Winfree, from Addie Sanders, daughter of George W. Sanders, a prominent figure in Harrisburg's black community. Later that year, on October 7, Austin Winfree filed his marriage to Addie Sanders with the records of Harris County, Texas.

 By January 1903, though, the young Spanish American War veteran's troubles with tuberculosis reached a serious level. He was sent to Galveston, Texas where he was treated in that city's John Sealy hospital. Winfree would survive a few more months but would finally succumb to his ailments on June 11, 1903, leaving his young wife a widow and his son fatherless. Corporal Winfree was buried in the Harrisburg-Jackson cemetery in an area that subsequently was incorporated into Houston, Texas by 1926.

Austin Winfree's pension records, file number XC-959965


A Unit History of the 10th Cavalry Regiment

By Anthony L. Powell

The 10th U.S. Cavalry, an African American regiment served with honor at San Juan Hill in Cuba.

This article addresses the difficult position help by Black troops in the U.S. Army during the Spanish American War

The Article:

America's frontier ceased to exist as a changing geographic limit by 1890. After more than 100 years of expansion on the North American continent, could the American  people be expected to curtail what had become a national pastime with other world powers, particularly those of western Europe most closely identified with America, racing to attain new colonies and retain the older possessions? The fledgling country was now more than 100 years old and bursting to demonstrate its readiness to participate fully in global politics.

The American people generally supported the governmental policy of expansion. There was great satisfaction gained in forcing Great Britain to recognize American imposition in the Venezuela-British Guiana border dispute, and in enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine throughout Latin America. The Spanish presence in the Caribbean, especially on the nearby islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico, had been disturbing Americans for many years. It was predictable, then, that an insurrection by the native Cubans would find support in the United States and present an opportunity for an imperialistic adventure.

As America entered its expansionist period, the very small U. S. Army  would play a very large role. After all, military might supplied the leverage politicians required in negotiating. The army, for instance, had been instrumental in subduing the native Americans on the frontier and had settled into garrisons for police duty. After 1890 the outposts were gradually withdrawn and installations were moved closer to population centers, brought into closer touch with society and topics of national interest. During the same period, the size of the army was actually increased, but the need for black soldiers to serve in the desolate western wilderness was decreased. And, with the diminishing need for black manpower, suppressed expressions of racism within the service began to reappear.

Segregation, disenfranchisement, lynching, and the rhetoric of imperialism that stressed racial superiority were becoming progressively blatant in American Society. While racism had never disappeared in America, acts of intolerance and violence toward blacks had been slowly dissipating. Now, the opportunity to colonize and exploit outside national boundaries rekindled the embers of domestic hate.

Black soldiers specifically, were targets of this reversal in race relations. On the frontier, black troops performed well and independently for over thirty years. The post civil war army had created a unique situation where black men were transported to an arena in which they could expect more equitable treatment in exchange for services. And they had made the most of it.

By 1890, the mere presence of armed black troops in many areas of the U.S. was sufficient to activate anti-black prejudices. Black soldiers returning from the plains regularly encountered attitudes which they felt should have been overcome and erased by their performance during the Indian wars, they were refused service and ordered out of "white only" restaurants, saloons, and parks, and forced to abide by Jim Crow practices on trains and trolleys.

The newly replaced obstacles encountered by black soldiers produced what came to be referred to in the black press as the "rage of the disesteemed." Black soldiers were resentful of every incident being given sensational and distorted publicity which discredited them. The treatment received by black soldiers, coupled with the absence of any opportunity to render service on the battlefield took its toll on their morale.

Obviously, the soldiers were in a more favorable position than other blacks to insist on respect and equitable treatment. They not only possessed arms and whatever legal protection was inherent in their uniforms, but there were sufficient numbers to pose a potential threat to their detractors. The threat was not one of insurrection, although that must have been a thought that occurred to blacks and whites on occasion.  For the regiments to continue in effectiveness, the senior officers had to maintain high morale, discipline, and dedication to service, while retaining the ponderous trappings of racial segregation--ambiguous demands to say the least!

At times, individuals or small groups would take action in an attempt to breakdown the color barrier, but under the circumstances, black soldiers displayed remarkable restraint. One factor that helped prevent more frequent and more violent reactions on their part was the conviction that their actions had consequences for all black Americans.

The sinking of the U.S. Navy battleship MAINE, in Havana harbor, February 15, 1898, and the resulting loss of American lives gave all the cause needed to commence the war Americans, both civilian and military, seemed to want. The suddenness of the event, however, revealed a shortcoming in military preparedness for a nation with expansionist intentions.

The army totaled little more than 26,000 men and 2,000 officers. And the mass of experienced combat troops were garrisoned at numerous forts throughout the west. It was no surprise, under the circumstances, that among the first units ordered to Cuba were the four black regiments. They were selected primarily on the basis of recent experience and their record on the Plains, but there was also the judgment of the War Department that blacks were immune to the diseases of the tropics and capable of more activity in high, humid temperatures. This erroneous thinking resulted in a concerted effort to recruit blacks for the formation of more "immune" troops. Whatever the motives for mobilizing  black regulars, the soldiers themselves welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate their "soldierly qualities" and win respect for their race.

Black soldiers may have had little hesitation in whole-heartedly joining the Cuban expedition, but a large segment of the black community felt differently. The anti-imperialist element was concerned about the War's impact on black Americans. Many members of this group were sympathetic with the plight of Cuba and especially with black Cubans. "Talk about fighting and freeing poor Cuba and of Spain's brutality; of Cuba's murdered thousands, and starving reconcentradoes. Is America any better than Spain? Has she not subjects in her very midst who are murdered daily without a trial of judge or jury? Has she not subjects in her borders whose children are half-fed and half-clothed, because their father's skin is black."

The anti-imperialists envisioned a war that would extend the Jim Crow empire, leaving black Americans as well as the colored population of the Spanish colonies in the same oppressed condition or worse. Only when the American government guaranteed its own minority citizens full constitutional rights, they contended, could it sincerely undertake a crusade to free oppressed people from tyranny.

The advocates of the war maintained that the black man's participation in the military effort would win respect from  whites and therefore enhance his status at home. They also hoped that the islands coming under American influence would open economic opportunities for blacks and bring them into  contact with predominately "colored" cultures. "Will Cuba be a Negro republic? Decidedly so, because the greater portion of the insurgents are Negroes and they are politically ambitious. In Cuba the colored man may engage in business and make a great success. Puerto Rico is another field for Negro colonization and they should not fail  grasp this great opportunity."

The extreme positions of the anti and pro-war leaders did not, however, characterize the response of blacks in general. Their attitude was clearly ambivalent. A majority seemed to consider participation in the military struggle an obligation of citizenship which they would gladly fulfill if they could do so in a way that would enhance rather than degrade their manhood. They hoped that a display of patriotism would help dissipate racial prejudice against them. Unfortunately, they were never free of misgivings about a war launched in the name of humanity and waged in behalf of "little brown brothers" by a nation enamored with Anglo-Saxon supremacy.

The four black regiments were ordered to report to Chickamauga Park, Georgia, and Key West, Florida, in March and April of 1898. Although excited to leave the outposts in the West, there were also regrets. In Salt Lake City, for instance, the people demonstrated their enthusiasm and admiration for the band and men of the 24th Infantry as they lined the streets of the city to bid farewell as the regiment was leaving to join the battle in Cuba. Only two years earlier, the whites of the city had vigorously protested the stationing of black troops at Fort Douglas.  Black soldiers had won the hearts of the people and, for the moment  at least the people had rid themselves of racial prejudice.

Following the rendezvous at Chickamauga, the units were moved to the staging area near Tampa, Florida. For more than a month that black troops remained in the area, even their blue uniforms provided little protection from the anti-black prejudice of white soldiers and civilians alike. In the words of a Tampa newspaper, white citizens in the area refused "to make any distinction between the colored troops and the colored civilians" and would tolerate no infractions of racial customs by the colored troops."

The wait in Florida became interminable for black units camping near the cities of Tampa and Lakeland for those six weeks in May and June 1898. The 10th Cavalry, the last of the four units to arrive, was forced to find a campsite in Lakeland while the 9th Cavalry and 24th and 25th Infantry, some 3,0000 strong, encamped near Tampa. Racial tension was nothing new for the southeastern United States, but the sudden arrival of blacks unaccustomed to blatant discrimination created an explosive atmosphere. Shortly after their arrival in Lakeland, black troops found themselves in a confrontation with a white antagonist that ended with the man's death and the arrest of two black soldiers. "some of our boys, after striking camp, went into a drug store and asked for some soda water. The druggist refused to sell to them, stating he didn't want their money, to go where they sold blacks drinks. That did not  suit the boys and a few words were passed when  Abe Collins came  into the drug store and said: "You d____niggers better get out  of here and that d_____quick or I will kick you B__S___B____out," and he went into his barbershop which was adjoining the drug store and got his pistols, returned to the drug store. Some of the boys saw him get the guns and when he came out of the shop they never gave him a  chance to use them. There were five shots fired and each shot took effect." In Tampa, conditions were no better, erupting in violence on the eve of embarkation for Cuba and sending nearly 30 black soldiers to the hospital.

Black units left Tampa in mid-June "Glad to bid adieu to this section of the country" and hoping "to never have cause to visit Florida again." Sailing from the west coast of Florida, the flotilla of 32 ships carrying nearly 17,000 men landed in near Santiago, on the southeastern tip of Cuba, on June 22 1898. Two days later, the Spanish were engaged at Las Guasimas. The 10th Cavalry, in reserve as the battle began, participated full and was lauded by officers who witnessed their assault on fortified enemy positions. The success of the black troops might well have served them better and their feats heralded had it not been for the participation of the 1st Volunteer Cavalry, better known as Theodore Roosevelt's "Rough Riders."...The morning of June 24 there were three columns started West, first the 1st Volunteer (taking the) bridle path on the very comp of the mountain, where the underbrush was so thick it was impossible to walk only in single file; next, the 1st United States Regular Cavalry, going over a rough and irregular wagon road,  running north or parallel with the route taken by the Rough Riders, the two roads making a junction about four and one-half miles west of here, and the third column, the 10th United States Cavalry, taking a route about a mile or more still further north where there was no road at all. It was intended that the three commands should move as nearly abreast as possible, but the difficulties the 10th Cavalry had to contend with in advancing were not taken into consideration, so they were twenty  to thirty minutes behind on getting into action They all took up the march as above, advancing as blind men would through the dense underbrush."

The first column, the Rough Riders, was the first to strike the enemy in ambush 500 yards east of the junction of the two roads mentioned, receiving a volley that would have routed anybody but an American. The first regulars, hearing the music as they called it, hurried forward to join in the dance, and awoke a hornet's nest of Spaniards on the left, north of the party engaging the Rough Riders, and had more music than they  could furnish dancers for. But, to the credit of the uniform and the flag, there if no account of either column giving an inch. They advanced sufficiently to come into line, and holding their ground until the much abused and poorly appreciated sons of Ham burst through the underbrush, delivered several volleys and yelling as only black throats can yell, advanced on a run. Their position being still further to the north and opposite the left flank of the Spaniards, they could  not stand it any longer, but broke and ran, and did not make a decided  stand until they faced us at San Juan...When the battle closed June 24 there were nineteen or twenty killed, but only one of them was colored."

A week later, the expeditionary force launched a two-pronged attack intended to secure the outpost at El Caney and the entrenchments on San Juan Hill. The two forces were to gain their objectives and join together for the final assault on Santiago. Troopers from the 25th Infantry acquitted themselves well at El Caney and were among the first to reach the outpost after heavy fighting. Meanwhile, the 24th Infantry and the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments were establishing a reputation for "themselves as fighting men" at San Juan Hill once more in the shadow of the more heralded, but no more effective, Rough Riders. As the Rough Riders advanced up San Juan Hill they found themselves attacked from all sides and in great danger of being cut to pieces. The black troops of the 9th and 10th Cavalry were some distance away when the word reached them. They went to help on the run. Leaving a trail of dead and wounded left behind, the troopers of the 10th Cavalry advanced under heavy fire, according to a New York reporter, "firing as they marched, their aim was splendid. Their coolness was superb and their courage aroused the admiration of their comrades."

It was this action that led a grateful Rough Rider corporal to proclaim, “If  it hadn't been for the black cavalry, the Rough Riders would have been exterminated." Five black soldiers of the 10th Cavalry received the Medal of Honor and 25 other black soldiers were awarded the Certificate of Merit.  For action on July 1, 1898, Private Conny Gray Co. D 25th Infantry, 1st sergeant John Jackson, Troop C, 9th cavalry, Sergeant Elisha Jackson, Troop H, 9th cavalry, corporal George W. Pumphrey, Troop H, 9th cavalry, Private James Bates, Troop H, 9th cavalry, Private Edward Davis, Troop H, 9th cavalry, 1st sergeant Charles W. Jefferson, Troop B, 9th cavalry, Saddler sergeant Jacob C. Smith, Troop C, 10th Cavalry, 1st sergeant Adam Houston, Troop C, 10th Cavalry, corporal John Walker, Troop D, 10th Cavalry, Private Luchious Smith, Troop D, 10th Cavalry, 1st sergeant Peter McCown Troop E, 10th Cavalry, sergeant Benjamin Fasit, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, sergeant Ozrow Gather, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, sergeant John Graham, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, sergeant William Payne, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, corporal Thomas H. Herbert, Troop E, 10th Cavalry, trumpeter Oscar N. Oden, Troop I, 10th Cavalry, sergeant James Satchell, Co. A, 24th Infantry, Private Scott Crosby, Co. A, 24th Infantry, Private Loney Moore, Co. A, 24th Infantry, corporal Richard Williams, Co. B, 24th Infantry, sergeant John T. Williams, Co. G, 24th Infantry, corporal Abram Hagen, Co. G, 24th Infantry,corporal Peter Jackson, Co. G, 24th Infantry, corporal William H. Thornton Co. G, 24th Infantry, Artificer Jesse E. Parker, Co. D,24th Infantry, for action June 24, 1898, Private John A. Humphrey, Troop I, 10th Cavalry. Cuba. In 1922 the War department began systematically reviewing official reports and records and 8 other black soldiers were awarded the Silver Star Citation and Medal's, Presly Holliday, Isaac Bailey, John Buck  and Augustus Walley of the 10th Cavalry, George Driscoll, Robert L. Duvall, Elbert Wolley and Richard Curtis of the 24th Infantry.

At San Juan Hill alone, there were 21 who received citations for gallantry 13 received the Certificate of Merit and one Medal of Honor recipient  8 others the Silver Star. But it was not all glory: "We had been on the hill about three hours and my gun was almost red hot. I had fired about 175 rounds of ammunition, and being very thirsty, I gladly accepted the detail, as the hill was ours then and we had been shooting at nothing for about an hour. what a sight was presented as I recrossed the flat in front of San Juan. The dead and wounded soldier! It was indescribable! One would have to see it to know what it was like, and having once seen it, I truly hope I may never see it again....before sunrise the battle was raging furiously. It lasted all day with no intermission, until dark. Everybody being his own cook, and not having anything to cook, I had a very simple diet that day. Almost all the army had the same--breakfast, canteen half full of water: dinner, full canteen of water; supper, the empty canteen. We were relieved after dark by a part of the 71st, and to the rear to get sleep and rest. In about one or two hours, at 8 or 9 o'clock, the Spanish  made an assault on our position, which was repulsed with terrible losses to them. The casualties were light on our side, but we learned since that it cost the Spaniards more than 600 men in attempting to drive us from  San Juan. They found the Yankee wide-awake and not giving an inch. The attack lasted about forty-five minutes, and while it was going on it seemed ten times worst than the battle of the day before. We were finally allowed to return to position in reserve and go to sleep." While most black troops were participating in the actions around Santiago, Troop M of the 10th Cavalry had joined General Gomez of the Cuban Army and took part in several actions. Their activities, once again unheralded, earned the Congressional Medal Honor for four of its enlisted men. "These soldiers of Troop M were isolated from other American forces about three months while they fought with the Cuban insurgent army, they participated in several notable engagements, these cavalrymen would be the only mounted troops during the Cuba campaign, four privates, Dennis Bell, Fitz Lee, William H. Thompkins and George H. Wanton, won particular distinction for staging a daring rescue operation on June 30, 1898 at Tayabucoa. But here again, there was an obstacle to overcome. "The whole company came near getting massacred on account of his (1st lieutenant  Carter P. Johnson), getting drunk. After the Cubans and his command had taken a fort and a block house, he got a barrel of rum, got drunk, pulled down the Spanish flag and ran up his blouse as the American flag. He was given just one-hour  to leave the fort. He ordered his men to fire upon the Cubans, which they refused to do, as they would have been massacred had one shot been fired."

The Spanish fleet in the Caribbean was destroyed by American ships on July 3, 1898, forcing surrender of the islands on July 16. By this time, over 4,000 men were hospitalized with dysentery, yellow fever, typhoid, and Malaria. Black soldiers once more made testament to their commitment to the military effort as the 24th Infantry went to the aid of the hospital in Siboney after the assignment had been turned down by eight white units. The tropical conditions, lack of proper nutrition and medical facilities, and the reluctance to immediately return the troops home once the war was over cost the lives of some 5,000 men fewer than 400 lost their lives in combat. "We have thirty-eight men present in the troop, of which nineteen are down with fever. Now we are almost naked, no medicine, not much to eat, hot water to, drink, sleeping on the bare ground, no papers of any kind."

Briefly in the late summer of 1898, the black regiments enjoyed the status of heroes, receiving recognition from whites as well as blacks. The war correspondent Stephen Bonsal wrote."The services of no four white regiments can be compared with those rendered by the four colored regiments. They were at the front at Las Guasimas, at El Caney and at San Juan, and what was the severest test of all, that came later, in the yellow fever hospitals."

Chaplain Allen Allensworth and the 24th Infantry regiment were at Fort Douglas, Utah. At the very outset Allensworth addressed the issue of Black manhood. After they received orders to proceed to Florida, the regiment was marched from their barracks into a formation near the regimental commander's headquarters to hear an address by Chaplain Allensworth. He spoke to the troops, one company at time, saying: "Soldiers and comrades, Fate has turned the war dogs loose and you have been called to the front to avenge an insult to our country's flag. Before leaving I will say to you, ‘Quit yourselves like men and fight.’ Keep in mind that the eyes of the world will be upon you and expect great things of you. You have the opportunity to answer favorably the question, ‘Will the Negro fight?’ Should you be ordered to charge the enemy, as your brothers then said as they charged, ‘Remember Fort Pillow,’ so when you are ordered to charge, say to your comrades, ‘Quit yourselves like men and fight,’ and Remember the Maine!" Chaplain T. G. Steward expressed pride in the Black regiments mobilized for service in Cuba and believed that their performance would improve the condition of "the Black man of the south." In his many letters to the Cleveland Gazette, between May 1898 and July 1901, Steward frequently addressed the racial issue, commenting on the racial customs he witnessed in the South, he remarked: "A glorious dilemma that will be for the Cuban Negro, to usher him into the condition of the American Negro." Whenever Steward encountered discrimination, he did not back away.

With the movement of Black troops South during the War with Spain Chaplain Prioleau, started addressing the racial issue and over the next few years became quite vocal about it. In a letter to the Cleveland Gazette, Prioleau talked about the reception of Black regulars in the South he said: "The prejudice against the Negro soldier and the Negro was great, but it was of heavenly origin to what it is in this part of Florida, and I suppose that what is true here is true in other parts of the state. Here, the Negro is not allowed to purchase over the same counter in some stores that the white man purchases over. The southerners have made their laws and the Negroes know and obey them. They  never stop to ask a white man a question. He (Negro) never thinks of disobeying. You talk about freedom, liberty etc. Why sir, the Negro of this country is freeman and yet a slave. Talk about fighting and freeing poor Cuba and Spain's brutality; of Cuba’s murdered thousands, and starving reconcentradoes. Is America any better than Spain? Has she not subjects in her midst who are murdered daily without a trial of judge or jury? Has she not subjects in her own borders whose children are half-fed and half-clothed, because their father's skin is Black. "Yet the Negro is loyal to his country's flag. O! he is a noble creature, loyal and true, forgetting that he is ostracized, his race considered as dumb as driven cattle, yet, as loyal and true men, he answers the call to arms and with blinding tears in eyes and sobs he goes forth: he sings "My Country 'Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty," and though the word "liberty" chokes him, he swallows it and finished the stanza "of Thee I sing."

Chaplain Prioleau, was on recruiting duty for the 9th Cavalry, while the regiment was away fighting in Cuba. In another letter to the Gazette, he calls attention to the cruelties and ironies spawned by racial prejudice, also he reveals a similar attitude that chaplain Plummer, displayed not many years before: "Tuskegee, Alabama, normal and industrial institute furnishes the town with electricity. Think of it! The slaves of Alabama furnishing material and intellectual light for their former masters. Yet when an officer of the United States Army, a Negro chaplain, goes in their midst to enlist men for the service of the government, to protect the honor of the flag of his country, and this chaplain goes on Sunday to M.E. Church (White) to worship God, he is given three propositions to consider, take the extreme back seat, go up in the gallery or go out. But as we were not a back seat or gallery Christian, we preferred going out.  We did not fail to inform them on the next day that the act was heinous, uncivilized, unchristian, un-American. We were informed that niggers have been lynched in Alabama for saying less than that. We replied that only cowards and assassins would overpower a man at midnight and take him from his bed and lynch him, but the night you dirty cowards come to my quarters for that purpose there will be a hot time in Tuskegee that hour; that we were only three who would die but not alone. We stayed there ten days, enlisted 34 men."

Later that month Prioleau, wrote still another letter to the Gazette, in this letter he points out the difference in the reception given white soldiers and those of his own regiment. Prioleau was keenly aware that the war with Spain had failed to dissipate Negro phobia as he called it, as some Blacks had predicted it would. In his view, "hatred of the Negro" is no longer confined to the South, it had become a national rather than a sectional phenomenon: "While the cheers and the "God bless you" were still ringing in our ears, and before the warm handshakes had become cold, we arrived in Kansas City, Mo., the gateway to America's hell, and were unkindly and sneeringly received. Yet these Black boys, heroes of our country, were not allowed to stand at the counters of restaurants and eat a sandwich and drink a cup of coffee, while the white soldiers were welcomed and invited to sit down at the tables and eat free of cost. You call this American ‘prejudice.’ I call it American ‘hatred’ conceived only in hellish minds. Why, sir this thing is getting worse every day. An expression of Senator Tillman's June speech is: ‘Down with the niggers,’ but if we must tolerate them, give us those of mixed blood.  And yet if a Negro man marries, or even looks at a white woman of South Carolina, he is swung to the limb of a tree and his body riddled with bullets. It seems as if there is no redress in earth or Heaven. It seems as if God has forgotten us. Let us pray for faith and endurance to ‘Stand still and see the Salvation of God.’"

While Chaplain Steward was stationed in the Philippine Islands a white medic refused to salute him. How did he react? Steward said, "I have found it necessary to round up a few white soldiers for disrespect since I have been here. In every case I have succeeded in bringing them to terms in the shortest sort of order. I was coming away from the a hospital one Sunday and the corps man failed to salute me. I turned and followed him to the office and said to the steward: ‘Who has charge here?’ He arose, and saluting promptly, replied, ‘Major Keefer, sir.’ ‘I want to see that young man,’ said I. ‘Call him.’ He did so, and the man came up and saluted as humbly as need be. I gave him a word of instruction, and that cured everybody around the hospital.”

”The other day three volunteers riding in a hack (Forty-third volunteers) passed me as I was riding the other way and indulged in some vile cursing at my expense. They did not know me as well as they thought they did. I ordered my driver to turn and follow them, and soon overtaking them, I ordered their driver sternly to halt, a command which he obeyed instantly. I then got out of my carriage and read them a lecture, they denying they had said anything disrespectful and begging me to let them pass on. I subsequently reported the affair to their colonel, not desiring any action to taken as I had not sufficient proof; but it helped them. So, I have found it necessary to be a little exacting and have tightened up the reins around me a little."  A year later on his return to the United States on an Army transport with his son, also an officer, the dining room steward attempted to relegate them to a side table. Chaplain Steward refused to sit there and brought the matter to the attention of his regimental commander; the colonel settled the matter by inviting him to dine at his table and seating his son with the junior officers.

Prioleau made much of the racial affinity between Black Americans and the "dark skinned people" of the Philippines, but by the summer of 1901 his attitude began to change, as the condition of Blacks at home continued to worsen. In a letter to The Colored American Magazine of Washington D.C., he expressed some of his fears that the United States was less concerned with the welfare of its own Black citizens than with that of the people of the colonies. Perhaps more graphically than anyone else Prioleau, expressed the attitude of most Black Americans, when he suggested that the generosity of the U.S. might enable the Filipino to "Outstrip the Negro." His fear was that the Brown man of the Pacific, would become “America”s China baby,” while the Black citizen continued “to be the ‘rag’ baby of the republic.

Chaplain Anderson, was the only Black chaplain to serve in Cuba during the war. Lieutenant Colonel T. A. Baldwin, of the 10th Cavalry wrote this about Anderson, in 1899, "After being relieved by Major Kelley, Chaplain Anderson on his own request was ordered to join his regiment in Cuba and on the 24th day of July reported for duty. He at once applied himself to assisting in the relief of the many fever patients then in the regiment by visiting and nursing the sick and cheering them by his Christian example and fortitude even after he was sick and suffering himself and effected much good."

Chaplain Prioleau  was on his way to Cuba with the 9th Cavalry but contracted malaria in Tampa just before his departure and remained in the states. When he recovered sufficiently, he was placed on recruiting duty for his regiment in Tuskegee, Alabama, and in his home town of Charleston, South Carolina. Though recruiting was not a customary duty for a chaplain, his regiment, as well as other regiments, needed men to meet its authorized wartime strength; it was therefore an important duty. Chaplains Steward and Allensworth were on regimental recruiting duty for the duration of the Cuban campaign, both men served in their home town areas, Steward in Dayton, Ohio, and Allensworth in Louisville, Kentucky. In that capacity Allensworth was especially successful. While awaiting his orders at Fort Douglas, Utah, after his unit, the 24th Infantry, had departed, he recruited in the Salt Lake City area for a regiment composed of white troops. After he received his orders, he recruited 465  men, which put the strength of the 24th at 1,272. Within six months after the Spanish-American War ended, Three of the Black regiments and a part of the fourth were sent to the Philippine islands for duty. Chaplains Allensworth, Steward and Piroleau went with their regiments to the islands. Chaplain Anderson, served with his regiment in Cuba as part of the occupation forces from (1899-1902), and with the regiment in the Philippines Islands (1907- 09).

Shortly after the end of the Spanish-American War a decline began in the status of Black serviceman. White sentiment ran against Black soldiers; too much apparently had been made of their success, causing them to forget their subservient "place. "Even Theodore Roosevelt, who had been a supporter of Black soldiers, reversing his earlier praise, stated that Black soldiers were peculiarly dependent upon their white officers and Black noncommissioned officers generally lacked the ability to command and handle the men like the best classes of whites. Roosevelt apparently was bowing to the pressures of public opinion.

Actually, the status of Black regulars had begun to slowly erode as early as 1890 when the army expanded but did not expand the opportunities for Blacks. Moreover, the emphasis had shifted to education and technical skills, and it was widely held that Blacks as a rule lacked the innate intelligence to assume these new responsibilities.

At the close of the century, however, Black servicemen had become impatient with the long-standing policy of limited opportunities, discrimination, and paternalistic white officers. Chaplain Steward's comments revealed the deepening dissatisfaction of Black servicemen. "The colored American soldier, by his own prowess, has won an acknowledged place by the side of the best trained fighters with arms," he said. "In the fullness of his manhood he has no rejoicing in patronizing paean, the colored troops fought nobly, nor does he glow at all when told of his 'faithfulness' and devotion to his white officers, qualities accentuated to the point where they might well fit an affectionate dog." The military refused to meet the growing expectations of its Black soldiers.

Throughout the period from the end of the Spanish-American War to the beginning of World War 1, the notion of Black men as officers was largely rejected by the military who reflected the popular stereotypes of Black inferiority. To the call for increasing the number of Black commissioned officers, a writer to the Army and Navy Journal argued that experience up to that time had not justified the request. Education could not remove innate inferiority. The ability to lead comes from generations of cultivation, and the American Negroes were descendants of weak African tribes easily overcome by "vigorous neighbors." He concluded by reaffirming the long-held view that Blacks may make excellent soldiers, "but the qualities that make a good soldier and those required for an officer are not necessarily the same." On alleged racial inferiority, Chaplain Steward offered a rebuttal using Black soldiers as his evidence. Even though he pointed out that American soldiers were classed as colored and white, the expectations, feeding, clothing, and general treatment were the same. The military, he contended, was the best place to evaluate the subject. Comparing regiment by regiment for considerable periods of time there is no evidence of physical or moral inferiority on the part of the Negro. And it is fact that the Black regiments have fewer court martial cases, fewer desertions and less alcoholism was clear, save individual differences, but "regiment with regiment, company with company" there was equality. Chaplain Steward made this comment about race and the color question in 1901: "Nothing is clearer than the fact that the great color question is dividing the world. Just as it is wicked to be Black in America. I fear the day will dawn when it will be wicked to be white. Three fourths of mankind are surely awakening. The World's Negro Congress is but a straw. The coming people are those of Asia and Africa. Japan has already shown what can be done; and the Filippinos, Chinese, and people of India are sure to emerge, sooner or later."

Convinced that they had demonstrated their value as combat troops and imbued with a new sense of self-confidence, black soldiers expected to be rewarded commensurate with their performance, nothing less than officers’ commissions. The failure of the War Department to extend such recognition in the regular army was vigorously protested by black veterans of the Cuban campaign and especially by black civilians. Their contention was that even if the law establishing the black regiments required white officers, it was the duty of Congress and the War Department to have the law changed. The promotions for some non-commissioned officers and the granting of commissions in the volunteer service for those black regulars who displayed conspicuous gallantry in Cuba did nothing to dispel the disappointment and disillusionment. "Will this government recognize and reward the brave non-commissioned officers of the 10th cavalry for the gallantry who, when the white commissioned officers were either killed or wounded and could go no further, took command. When the  leadership fell upon them, did they cry out in despair, ‘I want a white man to lead me?’ No! The troops had confidence in their Negro leaders; they did not become demoralized but marched on to a glorious victory under the leadership of Negroes whose names should go down in history. These men showed that they could be depended upon at a critical moment and why not now?

While the states were mobilizing black volunteers in the summer of 1898, Congress authorized the War Department to organize ten additional volunteer regiments under its immediate direction. These additional black units were the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Volunteer Infantry regiments, and were recruited from the black population in the South and the Ohio Valley. In response to the demand for black officers, the War Department commissioned blacks as lieutenants in the line companies of these so called "immune" regiments. The term of service for Volunteers, including the black regiments, was of short duration. In most instances, it was about one year.

Benjamin O. Davis Sr., began his long and distinguished military career as an officer of the 8th United States Volunteer Infantry, in July, 1898. For some of those black officers like Davis, who had been civilians learning and teaching occurred simultaneously. In Davis’ Company G, Captain Palmer (white) had no military training, and Lieutenants Davis and Minkis had merely been high-school cadets. Although Davis was given the job of training the company in close order drill, he relied on the help of 1st Sgt Calvin Tibbs, a veteran of five years in Troop L, Ninth Cavalry. Another black soldier who helped Davis in those early months was 2nd Lieutenant Andrew J. Smith, who prior to his commissioning had served for twenty-eight years as a non-commissioned officer with the Twenty-Fifth Infantry. Davis learned much about the customs of the service and the application of military principles from Smith.

One Soldier of the 6th Virginia Volunteers had this to say about the attitude of  the white commander of his regiment. "When the second call was made in 1898, there was talk of white officers for the 6th, the objections were so strong, the War Department allowed the Negro Militia to have their own officers. 1st Lieutenant R.C. Croxton, of the regular army was commissioned Lt. Colonel, commanding. At Camp Corbin, Va., when the 6th, was organized, all seemed to be working smoothly. At Knoxville, Tenn., it was apparent that Lt. Col. Croxton had little use for his Negro Officers. Many times I heard him reprimand ‘Captains’ or ‘Lieutenants’ in front of the men. After being in Knoxville for a few days, we were told that the Major of the 2nd Battalion, 5 Captains and 3 or 4 Lieutenants had been ordered to take examinations. They promptly resigned exactly what the Lt. Col. wanted.” The Officers said they passed the State Board at Richmond. White officers were brought in the replace those blacks who resigned. Allen went on to state" From my own experience and  what I have read, white officers are proud to command Negro soldiers. What hurts a white officer, is seeing a Negro wearing ‘shoulder straps’ Thanks to heaven, all changed since World War 1."

During 1898-1899, the 9th Volunteer Infantry, one of the "immune" regiments along with two black state units the 8th Illinois and the 23rd Kansas, performed garrison duty in Cuba. "When we are in Santiago we are reminded so much of home. There is a hotel there called the American, run by an American who is from St. Louis, Mo. The first time I was there I went to that hotel with Captain Hawkins of Atchison, who is very light in color. They thought he was white so said nothing to him, but the proprietor was going to stop me. He said his boarders and white customers objected to eating with colored men and that he could not afford to ruin his business by accommodating me.  I told him I was an American officer and had always associated with gentlemen all my life and did not  propose to disgrace myself or my shoulder straps eating at a side table or in a side room to please a few second class white officers who never had money enough to take a  meal in a first class hotel until they became officers in the volunteer army of the United States during the present war; I ask no special privileges, but would have what was due me as an army officer or know the reason why; that he need not think that we colored soldiers who spilled so much of our precious blood on the brow of San Juan Hill that  it might be possible for him and other Americans to safely do business, and are standing now with bayonets or guns as sentinels to protect them in that business, were to allow any discrimination on account of our color; and all I wanted to know was whether or not he was going to feed me.

 The dining room was full of officers and others, and you could have heard a pin fall while I was talking, and while the proprietor was finding something to say an officer whom I later found out to be General Ewers of military district no. 1, got up from the table, walked over to me and grasped my hand and said, "Come, Captain, take my seat; and you, Mr Hotel Proprietor, get him some food and get it quick;  and I don't want to hear any more of this d____n foolishness with these officers of mine.!  I was a little king there in about a minute..."

Black volunteers who remained in the United States were shuffled from camp to camp and subjected to discriminatory treatment by whites, especially civilians. Disillusioned with military service as a means of improving the condition of their race, most black volunteers welcomed the mustering out of their units early in 1899. Most of the regular army non-commissioned officers who had accepted commissions in the volunteers returned to their regular units with their previous rank. The enlisted men who remained in the regular army units fared no better. This was indicative of the comments made at the time: "While the cheers and the ‘God bless you’ were still ringing in our ears, and before the warm handshakes had become cold, we arrived in Kansas City, Mo., the gateway to America's hell, and were unkindly and sneeringly received...these black boys, heroes of our country, were not allowed to stand at the counters of restaurants and eat a sandwich and drink a cup of coffee, while the white soldiers were welcomed and invited to sit down at the tables and eat free of cost."

In some instances, the bigots were not content to enforce Jim Crow customs. "Private John R. Brooks, Troop clerk of H Troop and Corporal Daniel Garrett. were returning to their camp about 9 or 9:30 p.m. after visiting friends. They were waylaid and shot down, Private Brooks being killed instantly. Corporal Garrett died on the 13th inst ‘Horse’ Douglas, colored, was captured as he was running past a  policeman with a pistol in his hand  Some low scoundrel put out a reward for every black 10th Cavalryman that was killed. A black man tried to commit the crime... a soldier placed a pin knife at the throat of the would be murderer and made him give  his pistol up, which he turned over to his Captain. This man called the next day for his pistol, but the Captain refused to give it up, but otherwise he took  no action in  the matter. This is the kind of protection men in the 10th Cavalry receive. This man even made a statement that there was a reward on the head of every 10th Cavalry man. Are we to stand by and see our comrades foully murdered? James Nealy a Private of the 24th Infantry was Shot and killed in Hampton, GA, because he asked for a glass of soda water: This business is getting serious, and the end is not far off. No use to look to the government. It has been slumbering for some time. Colored men must protect themselves, if they hang for it. Lynch law must go!"  In some instance the men took the law into there own hands Sergeant John Kipper of Co A 25th Infantry was sentenced to life in prison for leading a mob of Negro soldiers against an El Paso, TX, police station, 17 Feb 1900, and for murder of policeman Newton Stewart.

A Brief History of the 3rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry

The 3rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry served out its term of service within the continental U.S., apparently spending most of its time within the borders of its home state. It did not see service overseas.

The History:

The regiment was mustered into service between June 4 and August 5, 1898 at Mobile, Alabama. At the time of mustering in, the regiment consisted of forty-six officers and 1,185 enlisted men.  The regiment was a "Black Regiment" in that it was made up of African Americans serving under white officers.

The regiment served in the Department of the Gulf, and was stationed in in Anniston Alabama in October, 1898. The 3rd Alabama saw no service outside of the U.S. The regiment was equipped with the model 1884 Springfield "Trapdoor" rifle.

The regiment was mustered out on March 20, 1899 at Anniston, Alabama. At the time of mustering out, the regiment consisted of forty-six officers and 992 enlisted men. The had seven enlisted men die of disease, and one was killed in accident. Twelve enlisted men were discharged on disability and four were courtmartialed. Lastly, eighty-eight enlisted men deserted.


A Brief History of the 3rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry

The 3rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry served it term of service within the continental U.S. The regiment did not see service abroad. The regiment was a "Black" regiment in that it was a regiment of African Americans lead by white officers.

The History:

War having been declared against the Kingdom of Spain and a call for volunteers made by President McKinley, the African Americans of North Carolina were quick to respond and offer their services to their country.

James H. Young, of Raleigh, North Carolina was commissioned Major of the “Russell Black Battalion,” composed of three companies, A, B and C. The men were all new recruits with the exception of Company A, of Charlotte, North Carolina who were members of the state National Guard.

The “Russell Black Battalion” was mustered into the service of the United States on May 12, 1898 and went into camp at Fort Macon, North Carolina. May 30, 1898 where they drilled daily. All the while Major Young was untiring in his efforts to form a regiment. He succeeded through his Excellency Governor Russell.

Having issued a call for the formation of a Regiment, there would be eleven companies raised. The counties where the Companies A-L originated from are listed as follows:

Company A - Mecklenburg
Company B - Wake
Company C - Craven
Company D - Pitt
Company E - Guilford
Company F - Rutherford
Company G - Iredell
Company H - Franklin
Company I - Cumberland
Company K - Buncombe
Company L - Swain

Normally, a Spanish American War era volunteer regiment would include a Company M. There was no Company M raised as far as the author can derive from the State records. Neither was there a Company J created. This was to eliminate the confusion that resulted between the cursive capital letters I and J which would appear on all forms. The avoidance of a “Company J” was typical throughout the army.

On the 19th day of July, 1898, the “Russell Black Battalion” along with the eight companies that came to Fort Macon from the 1st to the 10th of July were mustered into the service of the United States as Third North Carolina Volunteer Infantry, having a total of 43 officers and 978 enlisted men.

The regiment remained at Fort Macon from July 19 to September 14, where it was well drilled and disciplined. The sanitary conditions of the camp was most excellent, there rarely being a case of sickness among the men. The bathing facilities could not be surpassed. The camp was within two hundred yards of a fine beach.

On August 12, the war’s fighting ended since an armistice was reached between Spain and the United States, though the war would officially continue until the Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898.

At Fort Macon, there were Squad, Company and Battalion drills daily. Dress parades occurred every afternoon which was one of the features that visitors from Beaufort, Morehead City and other parts of the State looked forward to with delight.

On September 14, 1898, the regiment was, by order of the War Department, moved in three sections to Knoxville, Tennessee, this being the first relocation since the muster in of the regiment. Thus this naturally strengthened hopes that they were being sent to Cuba. En route to Knoxville, the first section was under command of Major Haywood, the second under Major Walker, and the third under Colonel Young, the first and third sections arrived at Knoxville with out any accident. The second section had the misfortune to have a coach leave the rail and turn over a few miles from Asheville, injuring two or three men seriously, but killing no one. The regiment pitched camp at Knoxville on the afternoon of its arrival, and for the first time was thrown in contact and association with their fellow comrades of other regiments. The delight and joy of the men can not be described at being thus associated with their fellow countrymen for one grand and common cause.

By this time the regiment had attained such a degree of proficiency as to place it easily in the first rank of volunteer regiments in the service as in relation to drill and discipline. The officers and men had worked hard to bring about this proficiency second to none in the volunteer service, and they had cause to be proud of their records. While in Knoxville, Colonel Young was Brigade commander from the 1st of October to the 20th, thus showing the confidence and esteem in which the third North Carolina regiment was held by the War Department.

The regiment remained at Knoxville until it became so cold that on November 22, it was ordered to Macon, Georgia, a warmer climate and a more suitable camp for winter. Nothing special of interest happened while en-route to Macon. The regiment arrived at Macon on the same day it was ordered out and found the camp ground already laid off by a detachment that had been sent a few days prior. It was found to be a most desirable place for a winter camp, being on light sandy loam and a little more elevated than the surrounding country, and about three miles from the city of Macon, and connected by electric car line, there, as other places the regiment was in splendid conditions as to health and practice in drills.

On December 21, the troops stationed at Macon passed in review before President William McKinley and, again as before, the Third North Carolina Volunteer Infantry received special attention for their general appearance and soldierly bearing. While in Macon, the First Army Corps, of which the Third North Carolina was a part, was ordered to hold itself in readiness to be shipped to Cuba, consequently the men were all vaccinated and their general health looked after. This original order however was subsequently revoked.

With the signing of the Treaty of Paris, orders were quickly issued for the mustering out of many of the state volunteer forces doing service in the United States, and among that number was the Third North Carolina. On the 1st of February, 1899, the muster out was begun, and by the 8th the entire regiment had been mustered out of the service with a total of 40 officers and 1,022 enlisted men. Now they honorably laid down their arms, once more to become quiet and peaceful citizen of the State.

During the regiment’s term of service, it lost one officer killed in an accident, thirteen enlisted men who died of disease, and two enlisted men who were murdered. In addition, twelve men were discharged on disability and fourteen men deserted.

It will thus be seen that the Third regiment did not have the opportunity of immortalizing itself with the "Rough Riders" in the battle of the San Juan Heights nor at Santiago, but it was no fault of theirs, for the officers and men were ever ready for active service that they might write their names in the records of bravery and fortitude. But these and many more answered the call.

9th United States Volunteer Infantry

This regiment served from August 24, 1898 until April 25, 1899 in Santiago de Cuba, one of three black volunteer regiments that garrisioned the island. Nine companies of the 9th were recruited from New Orleans, Louisiana, one company from Donaldsonville, Louisiana,  one company from Houston, Texas, and one company from Galveston, Texas.

Regimental Staff Officers:

Colonel Charles J. Crane, Commanding
Lieutenant Colonel David M. Sells
Major Duncan B. Harrison
Major Armind G. Romain

Regimental Adjutant: 1st Lieutenant James Longstreet

Regimental Quartermasters:

1st Lieutenant J. Leon Jones**
1st Lieutenant James T. Ord**

Regimental Surgeons:

Major James Mitchell
1st Lieutenant Allen J. Black
1st Lieutenant W. Edson Apple

Regimental Chaplain: Captain W. Hilary Coston**

Non-Commissioned Staff Officers:

Rgeimental Sergeant Major Poole S. Hall
Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant John S. Minor

Hospital Stewards:

Joseph E. Dibble
James M Beverly
Ferdinand Fabre
David F. Robinson
George W. Paterson

Regimental Band:

Chief Musician James W. McNeal
Drum Major Willis Hall
Principal Musician Oscar Duconge
Principal Musician Franqois Castry
Privates, Joseph A. Bryant, Charles Castry, Charles B. Conway, George E. Davis, John B. Delisle, Louis Drayton, Arthur Ellis, Etienne Gaspard, Daniel Irvin, Edward D. Jones, Octave Lecouq, Joseph A. Mayfield, William Moseley, Edgar J. Palao, Dennis Patterson, Samuel Richardson, Emamuel Ridgley, Usan Ridgley, Achilles Senegal, John T. Wilson

Company A:

Captains James C. Simpson, C.D. Wood
1st Lieutenant G. H. Nelson**
2nd Lieutenant E. H. Phillips**
1st Sergeant Solomon Fairley Jr
Sergeants, Isidore Le Blanc, Nicholas Jones Jr, John W. Pendleton, James Madison, John Dorsey.
Corporals, Eugene Tate,* Thomas Derrigan, William Richardson, John Anderson, Jesse Bargamer, John McLain, Joseph Broussard, Milton Carter, James Wilson
Musicians, Joseph A. Mayfield, Alfred Domingo
Wagoner, Peter Jones
Artificer, Joseph Pascal

Privates, William Allen, Manuel antoine, George Baker, Frank Baker, Frank Benjamin, Charles Bibbs, Joseph A. Bryant, Robert E. Burthlong, B.F. Clark, Dennis Clements, Albert Daspit, John Davis,* Joseph Dixon, John H. Dunn, George Dupre, Ellis Dyer, Lafayette Gaspard, Ferdinand Grant, John Greer, John Hagan, George Henderson, Will Hodges, Oscar Irwin, William Jackson, Samuel Johnson, S. Jackson, Henry Jones, Joseph Jones, John Jones, Paul L'Esperance, Henry P. Logan, David Macon, Marshall Milenez, Wallace Mitchell, Joseph Montana, Harry Morales, Alphonse Morris, Willis Moody, Adolph M. Murry, Alfred Manuel, Charles Philips, Joseph Putney, Lucien Raggas, Daniel Richardson, John F. Robertson, Samuel Schofield, Joseph Souey, Joseph Stephens, Joseph Telemaque, Robert Terrel, Eugene Vincent, Joseph Volsin, Henry Washington, Samuel Watson, Benjamin White Jr, Spencer White,* Jesse Williams, Louis F. Williams, John G. Williams, Daniel Winbush, Edward Young

Company "B":

Captain Sidney Goode
1st Lieutenant William H. Franklin**
2nd Lieutenants J. W. Brown,** J. C. Allen(*)**
1st Sergeant William J. Harris
Sergeants, Andrew Lawrence, Henry C. Thomas, Willis Hall, William Moore Jr, Moses Perkins, George Thompson
Corporals, Thomas Warwick, Peter Evens, Oliver Churchill, Washington Griffin, A. L. J. Thurston, George F. Scott, Clemon Boudreau, George Lewis
Artificer, J. H. Wisham
Wagoners, Charles H. Jackson,* Joseph Robicheau

Privates, Philip Alcorn, Charles Ambras, Joseph August, John Baptest, Baptise Bashaw, Esau Boldin, James Bell, Albert Benjamin, Gus Bolvia, Joseph Buchanan,* Lewis Butler,* Henry Cole, Samuel Carter, Martin Christian,* Joseph Crader, John H. Davis, George Decurie, Albert Dennis, R. L. Edwards, Walter Evans, James Gardener,* Thomas Givham,* William Hacher, James Hall, Frank A. Holmes, Louis harris, William Jackson, Harvey Johnson, George Johnson,* Eugene Jones, John H. Joseph, Alfred H. Joyce, Levy Lewis, William Lewis,* Frederick Long, Isaac H. McGraw, Edward Martin, Charles Maxwell, James A. Miles, William Mitchell, Benjamin Nelson, Eugene Noyra, Willie Papin, Willie B. Petaway, James A. Penn, Edward Peterson, Louis Piper, Oliver Richardson, David Robertson, J. B. Scales, George Spencer, Louis Stovall, George Sullivan, Charles L. Thompson, Matt Thompson, Arthur Veazie,* Peter Vinet, Daniel Wagner, George Washington, John Washington, Reuben Weeks, Tom White, John
Williams, Robert Williams

Company "C":

Captain E. J. Sherman
1st Lieutenant J. T. Beckman**
2nd Lieutenant H. O. Franklin**
1st Sergeant Adam Jackson
Sergeants, Oscar Brooks, Octave B. Mora, Mitchell Flowers,* Charles H. Eugene, Arthur Van Vactor, J. Brunchamp,
Corporals, James Buchanan, Thomas Robinson,* Manuel Grace, James A. Mayfield, Joseph H. Newman, Andrew B. Duvernay, Charles Dugay, Louis Hamilton, Ernest Owens
Musicians, Etienne Gaspard, Joseph Lewis
Artificer, J. W. Jackson

Privates, Louis Armstead, Jacob Batom,William Boyd,* Joseph Boyd, Henry Bradford, William M. Brodes, Maximilian Chatard, Willie Chatman, Charles Clark, Matthew C. Clark, Willie Clark,* Eddie Clinch, Quazine Color, Bartholomew Davis,* Sanford Drake, Aaron Dunn, Peter H. Dupas, Adam Edwards, Arthur Ellis, Frank English, Joseph Ernest, Anathole Eulen, Julius Falfair, Joseph Farron, Taylor Francis, Henry R. Gardner, Albert gordon, Alexander Grant, Sheridan Hamilton, John Harris, Hery Harrison, Auguste Hills, Gustave Huber, Morrice Jackson, Placide Jessamine,* Joseph Jenkin, Thomas Johnson, August Jones, Charles Kennedy, Gilbert Love, Harry Mabry, Henry Mack, William Martin, John R. Minor, Albert Monette, Joseph Monie, Alcide Moret, Joseph Morris,* Joseph Narcisse,* Louis Nelson, Noah Patterson, Eugene Profeit, Alexander Roan, Daniel Robinson, William Ross, William Sanders, George Sarofield, William J. Saulsbury, Villere Small, Henry Smith, Henry Thompson

Company "D"

Captains, W. A. Dayton (resigned) George Lea Febiger
1st Lieutenant S. P. Brown** Commanding
2nd Lieutenants, Phillip Phillipson**(resigned) Thomas C. Butler**
1st Sergeant Robert Jones
Sergeants, H. P. Lawson, Frank Dorsey, William Laborossiers, John W. Henderson, Henry Alexander, Adolph Robinson*, John Douglass,
Corporals, William Ballard, Henry Johnson, Harney Dolphus, Alfred Latmore, Emile Foy, Edward Manson, Reuben F. Johnson, Edgar Gray,Robert H. Downs Jr, Alexander Pullam
Musicians, Peter Thomas, Albert W. Dowden
Artificer, Charles Peters
Wagoner, Edward Robinson

Privates, Charles Baker, Felix Benjamin, Louis Benoit, Joseph Black, Philip Bouiswail,* Lewis Brown, William Buddymoore, John Carter, William C. Carter, Henry Coleman, John Collier, Charles B. Conway, Amile Crump, George E. Davis, James Davis,* Alphonse DeLisie, Amadie Diggs, Emile Dormer, Lewis Drayton, Julius Fernandez, Louis Foster, Jules Gaudines, William Garrett,* Peter Guichard, George Hope, Thomas Hubert, Frank Hunter, Gus Jackson, Wright Jackson, Willie Johnson, Ernest Labarrosiers, Lucien Lavaux, Octave Lecouq, Robert Lewis, RichardMartin, Abson McKinney, Briscoe McWay, Willie Moore, Joseph D. Morse,Joseph Mosolu,* Elmore Neal, George W. Patterson, Van Peterson, EdwardPierre, Eugene Posey, William Powell,* Emanuel Ridgley, John Simpson,Willie Stamps, Webster St. Smith, Jackson Thomas, Peter Thomas, Paul Vincent,* John Ward, Joseph Washington, John Williams, Arthue Williams,Jacob Williams, Robert Wilson, Landry Willis

Company "E":

Captain C .G. Beckham
1st Lieutenant Edward Williams** L. J. Barnet(*)**
2nd Lieutenant Lafayette Tharp**
1st Sergeants John Farrell, John E. Oliver(discharged for disability)
Sergeants, Nelson B. Robinson, Horace O. Whaley, Achilles Jones, Victor Miller, *Henry Johnson,* David P. Lee
Corporals,  Grant S. Bonney Joseph A. Cammack, Eward Williams, William J. Ashford, Warren E. Butler, Frank Odin, Robert Cooper,* Adolphe Gonzalez, Henry Love
Musicians,  Joseph Hill, Solomon Lemon, Ferdinand Bermudy,*
Artificer, Ferdinand Moise,
Wagoner, Sandy Williams

Privates, James R. Banks,* James N. Benjamin, Alfred Berry, BremerCelestan, Thomas Chatman, Robert Cooper,* William Dabnery, Oliver Davis,Elihu S. Dawkins, Emile Fargo, Frederick Ferrand, Horace R. Flood, EdgarFortnonin, Victor Francois, Matthew Gaines, Andrew Gottscnalk,* JosephGreen, William Griffin, George A. Hall, Alfred Henderson, Nathaniel P. Hill, James Jackson, Adolphe James, Henry Johnson, John Johnson, Walter Johnson, Emile Jones,* Lewis Jones, Robert Jones, Robert B. Jones, JohnKennedy, George Lasbostrie, henry Learson, Foster Leday, Sedley E. Lee, DavidLewis, William Long, Jack McAllister, Walter McCormack, Joseph Marmillion, John Marshall, James A. Miller, Henry Mitchell, CharlesMontrell, Alfred Nelson, William Newton, Charles Owens, Austin Patrick,Jules Peters, Usan Ridgley, David F. Robinson, Lee Simms Robert Sparks,*George Stevens,* James Taylor, Silas Terrell, Ferman Vincent, OliverWaterman, Harry Williams

  Company "F":

Captains Charles C. D. Gaither, Edward B. Markley*
1st Lieutenants W. H. Robinson,** Charles W. Fillmore,**(resigned) Frank
1st Sergeant William Cornish
Sergeants, Clarence H. Hill, Stephen Burrell, Joseph Marigny, AlbertDessalle, George St Avide
Corporals, William Lee, Joseph Gedridge, Daniel Grooms, Wiley Lawson,Richard Davis, Paul Thomas, Henry Forest, Charles Hilderbrand
Musicians, Noble Linsdey, Charles Lawson, Edward Zaphery
Artificer, Peter Antonie
Wagoner, Stephen Thompson

Privates, Alexander Dennis,* Henry Aston, Albert Bell, CharlesBlanchard, Napoleon Bonaparte, Jackson Bridges, George  Brooks, Paul Brown, Peter Brown, Aaron Butler, John Campbell, Charles Cook, Isaac Craig, Robert Davis, John Fascio, Arthur Ferrand, Eugene forest, Manuel Gaines, Charles Gipson, Thomas Gray

Company "G":

1st Lieutenant William Wilkes**
2nd Lieutenant Wallace D. Seals**
1st Sergeant

Privates, Toney Hudson, Albert Isaac, Stonewall Jackson, Thomas T.Johnson, Ned Johnson, Samuel Jones, Zack Jones, Charles Lenons, SolLewis, William Lucas, John McIntyre, Henry Madison, Jesse Manning, FredManning, William Moxie,* James Neal, Charles Ovide, William Robinson,Thomas Rodville, William Rogers, Robert Roundtree, John Sears, EdwardSeymour, Alfred Simms, Brisco Smith, Jesse smith, William Smith, Alexander Smithers, Lewis solomon, Rpbert Stewart, Frank Stores, GrantTaylor, William Thomas, Edward Thomas, Alphomse Todmann, J. C. Tolley, Giston Trevason, Thomas Walker, Frederick Weston, William Williams,Charles Williams, Joseph Williams, Hiram Williams, Alonzo Williams

Company "H":

Captain R.M. Nolan
1st Lieutenant H. Herman Blunt
2nd Lieutenant Stephen G. Starr
1st Sergeant George W. Hall
Sergeants, Robert Smith, Antonie L. Baptiste, Napoleon D. Bruce, Daniel Vaughn, Philip Harris
Corporals, Henry H. Williams, Stephen Lewis, Herny Sherfie, Robert Nash, Benjamin F. Blanchard, William Jacob, William Thomas, Leonce Daniels
Musicians, Stering Henderson,* Samuel Mathews
Artificer,William Hillard
Wagoner, Henry Alford

Privates, Joseph Baptiste, George Baptiste, Thomas Baptiste,ThomasBazile, Murray Bernard, Louis P. Blanchard, Allen Breshear, RobertBrent, Robert Briggs, James H. Brown,* Flecther Brown, James Butcher,William Carter, Frederick Chase, Oscar Curry, John L. Curtis, Richard Davis, John Douglass, John S.Duia, George Foster, Louis Gaiton, Lee Garret, Albert Goodrich,* Arthur Griffin,* Joseph Hall, Edgar Hatch, Louis Jacobs, William Jenkins, Willie Jesse, Moses Johnson, RobertJohnson, William Johnson, William Kane, Moses Kernee, William King,Ernest Le Day, Isdore McCann, Edgar McGee, Nathan Mason, Wilson Miles,Noel Parker, Alcie R. Rene, Joseph Robinson, Frank Rock, Ananias Ross,Baptiste Rouchon, William Russell, Henry Shearife, Robert Smith, Noah Spillers, Joseph Taylor, Edward Thomas, William Thomas, Toney Luciana,Raners Train, William Trevaion, Peter Tripagnier, Joseph Ubern, JamesWalker, Henry Washington, Charles Weaver, William Williams, Elijah Wilson, Andrew Winn

Company "I":

Captain Claron A. Windus
1st Lieutenants, Louis E. Brown(Discharged for illness)** Adolphe J.
2nd Lieutenant Poole S. Hall**
1st Sergeant August Pereault
Sergeants, William J. Poe, Sandy A. Weston, Thomas Cohen, Daniel Murray
Corporals, Seth Jefferson, Owen Washington, James Williams, FrankColeman, Henry Jenkins, Charles Coleman, Alexander Jackson, Austin Winfree
Musician, Cornelius Mermillion
Artificer, Walter J. Beuchley
Wagoner, Berdie Miles

Privates, Frank alexander, Cornelius Alexander,* William Barnett,Alexander Birden, Richard Booker, John H. Carpenter, John Ceaser,William Clark,* Walter Collins, Austin Dunbar,* Henderson Dougherty,Henry Easter, Charles L. Franklin, Nurie Gladden, Solomon Gordon, JamesGray, Poole S. Hall, Edward Harris,* Joseph H. Herne, Louis Hurd, HenryT. Jackson, Joseph H. Johnson, Benard Kertwood, Robert S. Kittrell,Wallace Lee, Charles Lewis, James McCabe, Henry Miles, John S. McCarthy, George Mason, Adam Massie, John Mathews, Jack mathews, Nelson L.Montgomery, Daniel Moseley, Harry President, Frank  E. Procter, John M. Pyatt, Forest Reed, Gabriel Richmond, Edward L. Roscoe, Josiah Ross, David Smith, Jesse L. Stanley, Edward Thomas, William Thompson, William Walton, George Washington, Philip A. Washington, Gus Wiggins, Edward Williams, Henry Williams, Joe Williams,* John Wilson,* Charles B. Wilson, Louis Woods, Thomas Young

Company "K":

Captain William Lowery
1st Lieutenant Arthur V. Harang**
2nd Lieutenant Jacob C. Smith**
1st Sergeant James Ross
Sergeants, Albert Newman, Joshua Woodson, John Burton
Corporals, Dennis Childres, Henry Cotton, Horace Blackburn, John Brown, Robert White John Banks, Richard Mayse, Sandy Reams
Musicians, James Jackson, Edgar J. Palao
Artificer, Monroe Capeny
Company Clerk, John Smith
Wagoner, C. Wiggins

Privates,Walter Abadie, Moses Allen, William Anderson, Thomas Bailey,George Barnes, Benjamin Benoid, Lucian Berthelemy, Edward Boyd, NoelBradley, henry Brown, William Brown, James Campbell, Richard Chatman,Louis Clark,* Joseph Duggan, Gudtave Dupas, August Edmonds, FrankEdwards, Norman Fields, William Frederick,* William Gamble, RobertGaspard, Jefferson Green, William Harrand, Michel Harris, Samuel Harris,Nefus Honor, Emile Jackson, Thomas James, Lemule Jones, Felix Landry,John Lawson,* Henry Lee, William Lee, Robert Long, Alphonse Marshell,Henry Miller, Timothy Miller, James Morgan, Barney Moseley, Louis Pernell, Peter Preston, Mack Powell, Albert Primrose, Paul Racque,Leonard Rainey, George Randolph, Marion Shelly, George Smith, BeveleySmith, William T. Tate, John R. Thomas, Simon Thomas, Henry Thompson,Louis Thompson, Alphonse Turner, James M. Vance, William West, JonasWiggins, Cyrus Williams Walter Willis, Louis Wilson, Joseph Woods

Company "L":

Captain, W. Prague Coleman
1st Lieutenant P. L. Carmouche**
2nd Lieutenants, Robert G. Woods, O. S. Duncan(resigned)**
1st Sergeant, James R. Long
Sergeants, Joseph Ayo,* Eugene C. Watkins, Lewis C. Randolph, Elie A. Grigsby, Walker T. Clanton, John W. Broman
Corporals, Charles Roberson, Frank C. Camille, Placid Perrin, Phillip J. Brown, Nance Grady, Amos Ishman, Daniel White, William Lawson,*
Musicians, Charles G. Perry, A. J. Senegal
Articifer, Arthur Brown
Wagoner, Rudolph La Conta

Privates, Slivon Alger, Alphonse Arcidore,* David Augustine,* JosephBaker, H. Bernard, Edward Bishop, Feda Boone, George Brooks, NelsonBush, Wilson Carter, Abe Davis, Henry Davis, John P. Dean, AlbertDelane,* silas Dozier, Basil Ford, Mack Frances, Joseph Frerette, SonnyH. Granville, Leonce Gregoury, Joseph Haines, James Harris, FrankHarrison, Daniel Jackson, Felix Jackson, Alfred Johnson, Sandy Jones, Edward Jones, Armeda Joseph, Silas Julian, Dennis Longs, William Marvel, Isadore McCane, J. D. McCarty, William Moseby, W. J. Neams, Amile Nore, Joseph Patterson, William Pierce, Nick Porter, John Powell, Wille Primons,* Thomas Rencher, Albert Richardson,* Peter Roberson, Edward Sanders, John Sanders, Scott Simmons, Victor Silvan, George Smith, Rufe Solomon, Jefferson Tillis, Charles Victor, Jerome Villevasso,* Joseph Waren, Henry Washington, John washington, Robert Washington, Andrew Williams, Curtis Williams, George Williams,* Willie Williams, Alexander
Wilson,* Alfred Winn,* Blex Zadore

Company "M" :

Captain James H. Aldrich
1st Lieutenant Alexander Richardson
2nd Lieutenant W. A. Pinchback
1st Sergeant Noah H. Johnson
Sergeants, John A. Boutte, Amos Hinkson, Giles Johnson,* Edmond B. Foreman, Edward R. James
Corporals, Richard H. Harvey, Charles S. Boutte, Gustave A. Roman,Alexander F. Tillman, Mack Owens, Scott Obee, Alexis Ledo, Alexander Bates, Charles W. Kingston*
Musicians, Floyd Daniels, John Daniels
Articifer, George W. Holt
Wagoner, Gustave Stellar

Privates, John Alexander, Edward Arnold, Beverly Ashford, John Belony,Walter Boswell,* Israel Coleman, Brinkley Christmas, Amos Darbon, JohnDavis, Joseph Decuri, William Delanaunt,* Narcisse Donot, Joseph Dyre,Henry Ewing, Frank Fieze, Edward Florron, Eras Flood, George ford,Julian M. Ford, Baptiste Francis, William Grant, George Gibson, AquilaGilmore, Abram Gilyard, Leonce Gregorie, James Harriss, Charles Hill,Anthony Hills, Thomas Hilton, Thomas Howard, Charles Hurst, GeorgeJeffrian, Charles Johnson, Menney Johnson, William H. Johnson, Joseph Lepage, Edward Lawson, Chalres,Lede, James Louis, Joseph McGray, Samuel Marcou, Porter Martin, William Marvell, Alexander Murray, ThomasNarcise, James Nethers, Antone Nit, Louis Nit, Edward Nolden, PeterOllford, John Perret, Louis Reed, Henry Rim, Rudolph P. Ross, Arthur Smith,* Jessie smith, Cyrus Smith, Milton Smith, Henry Thomas, JohnThomas,* Luke Thomas, Charles Venable, Walter Verrett, Phillip Watkins,

The 6th Virginia Volunteer Infantry at Camp Poland

The following accounts of the 6th Virginia Volunteer Infantry in Camp Poland, Tennessee during the Spanish American War appeared in the Kmoxville Journal and Tribune.

The Articles:

October 2, 1898:

Nothing remained yesterday of the old camp of this regiment at Lonsdale but the Y.M.C.A. tent and a shed which had been used for storing commissary supplies. All the remainder of the camp equipage had been transferred to the new camp at Brookside, on the slope just below division headquarters.

At the old camp there was no place where the regiment could drill to advantage. Colonel Croxton is especially pleased with the new location because of the excellent drill ground, and he expects that his regiment will from this on make rapid progress in drill.

As an evidence of the fact that the men of this regiment are peaceful and law abiding it is only necessary to state the fact that as yet not a single Sixth Virginian has been arrested by the provost guards in the city. This is a good record.

October 2, 1898:

Now that it has been ordered from Washington that the regimental hospital shall be re-established , in connection with the division hospital, and that each regiment shall have the services of at least two surgeons, one of them being of the rank of major, much speculation is being indulged in as to where the extra surgeons shall come from. As is well known none of the regiments in Camp Poland, with the exception of the colored regiments, have the required number of surgeons. Seven surgeons of this division were sent to Cuba and Porto Rico, while the troops were at Chickamauga, and a number have been made brigade surgeons, or detailed to the division hospital. The Second Ohio, for instance, has at present none of its surgeons with the regiment, Captain McDonald, of the Fourth Tennessee, having been detailed as its regimental surgeon, while at the same time acting as brigade surgeon. The Thirty-First Michigan is in much the same fix as the Second Ohio, having none of its regular surgeons with it, a contract surgeon, Dr. Haze, acting in the capacity of regimental surgeon. It is very probable that when surgeons are assigned to the regiments so that the recent order may be out in force, or in other words, so that each regiment shall have at least two surgeons, a number of contract surgeons will be among the numbers.

It will be remembered, that when Secretary Alger was here he stated that no more surgeons could be commissioned without the consent of congress, but that if more surgeons were needed he would see to it that a sufficient number of contract surgeons would be furnished. From this it is believed that in a short time Camp Poland will have a number of contract surgeons assisting in caring for the sick.

October 2, 1898:

Private H.T. Mackey of the Sixth Virginia regiment (colored) was released [from the Division Hospital]yesterday.

October 3, 1898:

This regiment has become more popular than ever with the colored population of the city since it moved its camp. Yesterday hundreds of visitors mingled with the soldiers throughout the day.

The sick reports of this regiment continue remarkably small. Lieutenant-Colonel Croxton and his officers take good care of their men, and the men themselves are careful of their health, which accounts for their excellent record. Besides, they have had no experience with Chickamauga fever as have the other troops at Camp Poland.

October 5, 1898:


Will be made of All Camp Poland Regiments Previous to the Arrival of Major General Chaffee%u2014Military Board Appointed  to Examine Officers of the Sixth Virginia%u2014Change Made in the Daily Routine Now in Force.

No word has as yet been received at division headquarters as to when Major  General Chaffee is to arrive to assume command of Camp Poland troops. However, preparations are being made to receive him and an inspection of all the troops is to be commenced as soon as the weather will permit. As was stated in yesterday's Journal and Tribune, this inspection by officers of General McKee's staff and by military boards appointed by General McKee, was to have commenced yesterday, but it has been postponed until the weather becomes more pleasant. This inspection will be a most thorough and rigid one.

Probably the first definite step taken in this direction was the appointment by General McKee of a military board to  examine several officers of the Sixth Virginia regiment, colored, as to their efficient as military officers. The names of these officers are not known but it is understood that those who will be examined rank from second lieutenant to major.

The board which will conduct this investigation consists of the following officers: Colonel George Leroy Brown, of the Fourth Tennessee; Lieutenant Colonel Bryant, of  Second Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel S.L. Taylor, of the Third North Carolina; Major Henry L. Hunt, of the Thirty-first Michigan, and Major W.C.Tatom, of the Fourth Tennessee.

This board was appointed in compliance with an order from the war department at Washington.

Rain had a quieting effect on the troops in Camp Poland yesterday. The steady all day downpour kept the men and officers in their quarters to a great extent.

The soldiers of the Second division, who have been enjoying a rest from drill since they came here from Chickamauga park, will not have such as easy time of it from now on. The soldiers have been congratulating themselves since their arrival here on the fact that drills have been almost entirely suspended. An order had been made by General McKee which will restore the daily routine which was in force at Camp Thomas. The program of daily routine which has been sent out from division headquarters to the various regimental commanders plays reveille a half hour later in the morning than it has heretofore been, and taps will sound at a correspondingly earlier hour at night.

October 5, 1898:

The officers of this regiment are waiting with no small amount of expectancy the meeting of the military board, which has been appointed to examine a number of officers as to their efficiency.

On account of the rain the usual drills were suspended yesterday. This was hailed with delight by the enlisted men, who were glad to get one day of exemption from drill, even though they were compelled on account of the inclemency of the weather to confine themselves to their quarters.

Much attention is being paid to the sanitary conditions of this camp, and it is now in the most excellent condition.

October 6, 1898:

The handling in of the resignations of nine of the officers of the Sixth Virginia yesterday morning caused quite a stir in camp. The officers, whose names are in the following order, are all colored.

They give no reasons for their act. The order is as follows:

Special Order No. 12

Under the provisions of section 14 under the act of congress, approved April second, a military board to consist of Col. George LeRoy Brown, Fourth Tennessee; Lieutenant-Colonel Edward S. Bryant, Second Ohio; Lieutenant-Colonel S.L.A. Taylor, Sixth Virginia; Major Henry L. Hunt, Thirty-first Michigan, and Major Wm. C. Tatom, Fourth Tennessee, is appointed to meet at the headquarters of the Sixth Virginia volunteer infantry, at ten o'clock a.m., on Monday, October third, or as soon thereafter as possible, and examine into the capacity, qualifications, conduct and efficiency of the following named officers, viz.:

Major W.H. Johnson, Sixth Virginia; Captain Chas B. Nicholas, Sixth Virginia; Captain James C. Hill, Sixth Virginia,  Captain J. A. C. Stephens, Sixth Virginia,; Captain Edward W. Gould,  Sixth Virginia; Capt. Peter Shepard, Jr., Sixth Virginia; first Lieutenant Samuel B. Randolph, Sixth Virginia; first Lieutenant Geo. T. Wright, Sixth Virginia; Second Lieutenant David Wardell, Sixth Virginia.

This board did not meet Monday, but did yesterday morning and while in session, the officers above named, all of the Sixth Virginia, handed in their resignations. Their resignations had not been asked for by the board, as the examination of the officers had not been made. All of the officers who sent in the resignations are colored, none of the white officers being included in the list. They will retain their commissions until their resignations are accepted.

The vacancies caused will be filled by promotion of other officers of the regiment. The above mentioned board will remain in power until dissolved by the department. It is not known whether any more cases for investigation will come up.

October 6, 1898:

The resignation of the nine officers of the regiment was the talk of the camp yesterday and much speculation was indulged by the men. Their places will be filled by promotion and a number already have their eyes open for chances to secure commissions. The movement of the regiment will occur in a few days, the Sixth going down the Middlebrook car line to a vacant space near the camp of the Second Ohio. The new order of drills was begun in camp yesterday, the men not seeming to mind the extra work put on them.

October 7, 1898:

Orders wee issued yesterday from division headquarters relative to the different regiments taking practice marches.
The order is as follows:--

The following regulations for the conduct of practice marches are published for the information and guidance of all concerned:--Once each week or on days to be indicated by brigade commanders, each regiment of the division will make a practice march from its camp of not less than ten miles, remaining out one night and returning the following day.

The men will be equipped with shelter tents, ponchos, blankets and haversacks. There will be carried in wagons one days; rations, full, and necessary tentage for officers, Until further orders, the First brigade will operate south of the river, the second to the north, between the river and Second creek, and the Third to the southwest, between Second creek and the lower river. Marches will be made with proper tactical disposition of advance and rear guards, and in execution of an assumed and definite problem, involving the country traversed; the problem to be prescribed by the brigade commander, who may use all the regiments of his brigade in combination, if he so desires.

Itineraries will be kept and maps made in accordance with article X: "troops in campaign," and reports made to this office.

One company in each regiment will be left in charge of the regimental camp and property and the camp will not be broken.


October 7, 1898:

Nothing of any importance happened at this camp yesterday except that a large number of visitors wee entertained during the day. The usual drills were held and in the afternoon battalion drill was held.  A ball team has been organized in the Sixth, and it is probable that a game will be arraigned with the Third North Carolina at an early date. The team is practicing daily.

The Sixth will probably begin moving to its new camping place today. Arrangements have been made and the camp staked off.

October 8, 1898:


A general order was issued today organizing new army corps and designating various points where the troops shall be stationed. The Third, Fifth, and Sixth corps are discontinued; the First, Second, and Fourth corps reorganized. They are to be commanded respectively by Major-Generals Breckinridge, Graham, and Wheeler. The headquarters of each corps will be: First corps, Macon, Ga.; Second corps, Augusta, Ga., Fourth corps, Huntsville, Ala. The full text of the order is as follows:

Major-general J.C. Breckinridge, U.S.V., commanding headquarters at Macon, Ga.

First division, headquarters at Macon, Ga.:--
First brigade-Atlanta, Ga. Thirty-first Michigan, Fourth Tennessee and Sixth Ohio
Second brigade- Macon, Ga. Third U.S.V. engineers, Second Ohio and Sixth Virginia
Third brigade- Macon, Ga. Tenth U.S.V., infantry and Seventh U.S.V. infantry

October 8, 1898:

The Sixth were almost certain they were going to be moved to the site opposite the Second Ohio yesterday, but orders were issued not to go, as it would crowd things too much and make it unhealthy. A site near the Third North Carolina camp has been selected and will probably be occupied by the regiment.

The camp of the Sixth is a popular place and the colored citizens of the city flock out daily to view the drills and dress parades. The men are daily becoming more proficient in drilling and evidence of good work is noticeable.

The rain yesterday afternoon flooded a few of the tents but no serious damage was done. The Sixth is also hard at work preparing for the general inspection which occurs next week.

October 9, 1898:

News that the division will be moved soon has caused a cessation of preparations to move to a new camping place and the present camp will in all probability be retained. The men of this regiment, too, express themselves as sorry to leave Knoxville and would much rather stay.

Rain prevented all drills yesterday and the men stayed in their tents almost all day. The rain also kept the men from indulging in their usual athletic sports and the base ball team took a rest.

A number of the men will attend religious services in the city today, they having secured passes to that effect.

October 9, 1898:

The cosmopolitan library is well patronized by members of the Virginia and North Carolina regiments.

October 10, 1898:

The sixth, too, entertained a very large crowd of visitors, the camp being crowded all day with negroes of the city who have made acquaintances among the soldiers. A number of white people were also in camp and expressed themselves as pleased with its condition and especially with the deportment of the men.

The men of the Sixth say they are not anxious to leave Knoxville, as they like the place. A number of the men visited the negro college yesterday and were shown through the buildings and grounds by the students.

October 11, 1898:

The Sixth too is now hard at work preparing for the inspection, which will come this week, and the men are putting everything in first-class shape. None of the officers, who resigned last week, have gone as yet, but expect to leave some time next week. Their resignations have not yet been accepted by the war department.

A practice game of baseball was played in the field next to camp yesterday. No score was kept, but it can be estimated at about forty to thirty-five in favor of the other side at the end of the third inning, when the game was called on account of darkness.

Colonel Croxton has been somewhat indisposed for a few days, but is now out again.

October 12, 1898:

The camp of the Sixth was decidedly quiet yesterday, the men being idle and very few visitors being in camp.

The topic of being moved has been dropped, now that the more important theme of "getting paid" is near.

Col.Croxton has been very particular about the sanitary conditions of the camp since coming to Knoxville and his watchfulness has borne good results as the regiment is one of the healthiest in camp at the present time. He wants to have the regiment at its best when they go farther south. The men, in speaking of the camp here, say they are very well satisfied and would rather stay here than go south.

October 13, 1898:

Regimental drill was held by the Sixth yesterday and the different formations were executed in god style, the men keeping good lines and step. The regiment will be inspected today or tomorrow and the men have made great efforts to have everything in good order.

Private A.B. Brown, co. B, who has been in the hospital for some time, left yesterday for his home, going on a thirty day sick furlough.


John R. Bell, Steward, Battleship Maine

By Patrick McSherry:

John Bell was the steward aboard the battleship MAINE.


In war, sadly the combatants on all sides are usually made up of good people, who fight and die for the good of national governments. Often the common soldier or sailor is not noted in the history of the battle, yet it is the lives of these individuals that make the greatest difference to humanity. Who knows what good could have been done by the many individuals had they not been killed in war?

After the battleship MAINE was lost in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898, requests poured in from all quarters for information about relatives and friends who served on the ill-fated ship. The requests came to the MAINE’s chaplain John Chidwick, himself a MAINE survivor. Chidwick noted that of all of the crewmen on the MAINE, more requests concerning the welfare of John Bell came to him than concerning any other crewmen. John Bell was not one of the officers of the vessel. He was not one of the gallant gunners or other noted crew members. John Bell was the black man who served as the steward to Capt. Charles Sigsbee. In a time of strong prejudice, what about this man brought out such an outpouring of concern when the MAINE was lost?

The background of John Bell is somewhat obscure. Stories indicate that he had began his association with the navy as a servant to a naval officer during the Civil War. The officer had lost his life, but because of Bell’s loyal service, he was always welcome in the home of the officer’s family. It was here that he always considered his home to be, and it was here that he would go to visit for about three months every three years. He spoke of the officer’s children as his own, and proudly commented about them, their attending college, etc. Bell himself joined the navy in approximately 1871. It became his career.

What caused so many people to inquire about John Bell after the loss of the MAINE was simple. It was his kindness to everyone who strode the same deck as he. Bell’s actions did not make the Secretary of the Navy’s annual reports, or the reports of his commanding officers. They come down to us through anecdotes from those who served with him.

One man who wrote of John Bell was Fred Buenzle, who joined the navy as an apprentice in 1889. Buenzle reported aboard the receiving ship ST. LOUIS in Philadelphia, PA. As he spent his first night aboard ship and away from home, he noticed a black man dressed “in a blue uniform resembling that of an officer but without any brass or gold.” The man wore sideburns and a goatee, and, importantly, a friendly smile. Buenzle quickly learned that this man was John Bell, the captain’s steward. Later that evening, when Buenzle made his first attempt to climb into his swinging hammock slung on hooks attached to the overhead, he promptly fell on the deck - the usual outcome of a sailor’s first attempt at this tricky maneuver. His action was a source of ridicule and laughter from the other crewmen. One man came to his aid - John Bell. Bell picked him up, showed him how to adjust the hammock so that it was more manageable and told him ‘Never mind those fellows….There isn’t one of them who didn’t fail, more or less, at everything he ever attempted.”

Later that evening, while the other men lay in their hammocks after a meal only a sailor could love, John Bell slipped Buenzle something worth its weight in gold - a plate full of chicken, the same meal as was served to the captain himself. This kindness during his first dark, damp night aboard the receiving ship was never forgotten by the young apprentice.

On another dark night aboard ship, Buenzle found himself on deck during a moment of excitement. In the confusion in the darkness, he spoke to the man next to him rather harshly. Only moments later did he realize that this person was the captain, an entity who was all-powerful aboard ship and was never questioned. Buenzle ran below assuming that he would be in severe trouble. In his concern, he spoke to John Bell about the incident. To Buenzle’s surprise, nothing ever came of the offense. He believed Bell had smoothed things with the officer, explaining the mistake of the lowly apprentice.

On his last day aboard the ST. LOUIS, as he was being transferred, Bell approached and gave Buenzle a package. It contained sandwiches. Bell knew that during the transfer and until issues were squared with his new messmates, the young apprentice may miss a meal or two. He again attempted to ease the way.

It would be several years until Buenzle was would again cross paths with the steward. This time it was aboard the USS LANCASTER in the early 1890’s. When the “berth deck slusher” of Buenzle’s mess (the man charged with obtaining supplies) absconded with the funds of the mess,  the remaining two dozen men of the mess were looking at a long cruise with little food beyond the very basics provided by the government. Again, it was John Bell who came to the mens’ aid, seeing to it that the men were provided with supplies, apparently from the officers’ stores.

Bell was said to be a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Civil War veterans’ organization. When on duty overseas, he always took the time to visit the local cemeteries where naval veterans were buried who had died over seas. Bell made it a point to remember these men, many of whom he had never met, with flowers on their graves.

In difficult times, John Bell would remind the men of things that were not obvious to them, but that were obvious to the officers for which he served. He would remind crewmen that discipline was harsh and life difficult in the navy. However, the navy was on its way to making great changes. The harsh life was necessary if the nation was going to build a new navy. He welcomed Theodore Roosevelt's ascent to become assistant secretary of the navy, expressing the belief that Roosevelt “was sure to become a world figure.”

As he grew late in years, Steward John Bell obtained a new position. He became the steward to Captain Charles Sigsbee, who had been placed in command of the battleship MAINE. Bell was now walking with more of a stoop, and his hair was turning white, but his attitude was unchanged. Captain Sigsbee was soon to note the kindness of Bell. Sigsbee wrote:

“He had not much merit as a chef, excepting that he could always find delicate lettuce. He was honest and true to his duties. I could object only by delicate suggestion or subterfuge. Periodically he would make me pound-cake. I would cut from it a single slice, which I would secretly throw away. The cake would then adorn my sideboard in its remaining integrity for many days to Bell’s evident pride. His range of desserts was small. When he felt he had run through his gamut and needed time to think, he would make an apple-pie, a colossal monstrosity I abhorred. I would eat of his apple pie - the same pie - day after day, until it neared its end, when immunity would be claimed on the ground of its extreme richness. No man can do more than his utmost best, and old Bell did habitually.”

Undoubtedly when the famous founder of the Red Cross came aboard the MAINE for luncheon while the vessel sat quietly in Havana Harbor, and commented on the spotless table, the fine china, and the excellent meal, she was making a silent tribute to John Bell who was the man responsible for it.

Once, Steward Bell had commented “I shall never die ashore. I’ll be buried deep in the sea I love, in clean water.” On February 15, 1898, a terrible explosion shook the MAINE. She went to the bottom in minutes, with two hundred sixty of her crew, some never to be recovered. One of those lost was the soft-spoken steward, John Bell.

In 1912, when the MAINE’s wreckage was dewatered, and the vessel’s stern refloated, amidst the carnage of the wreck was found a watch. It was inscribed “John R. Bell”. The stern of the MAINE, the steward’s last resting place was taken out of Havana harbor and sunk in deep, clear water. John Bell’s prediction had come true.


The First African American Officers

This account, from Leslie's Weekly Illustrated magazine, provides information on Captain William J. Williams, First Lieutenant William H. Jackson, and Second Lieutenant George W. Braxton. According to the article, these men were the first African American officers to serve in a state volunteer regiment during the Spanish American War. In addition, their company, 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Company L, was the first, and possibly only, African American company to be attached to a white regiment.

The account is quoted from the magazine as it appeared in the magazine.

The 6th Massachusetts served in Puerto Rico during the war

The Account:

Famous Negro Fighters

The Celebrated Company L, of the Sixth Massachusetts Volunteers

When Company L, Sixth Massachusetts United States Volunteers, the only colored military company in Massachusetts, left Camp Dewey, South Framingham, Massachusetts, on the evening of May 20th, to join General Graham’s second army corps, it seemed as if the whole colored population of Boston, where the company belongs, had taken a holiday to see their brethren off. Certainly a fifth of the 25,000 people who went to Framingham to bid the regiment adieu were colored people. Captain William J. Williams [pictured at left], who commands Company L, is the first colored man in the country to enter the United States volunteer army with a captain’s commission, though the same claim is made for First Lieutenant William H. Jackson. Another claim to distinction is that it is the only colored company in the United States attached to a white regiment. No better behaved or better equipped company has been sent from Massachusetts. Captain Williams is over six feet tall. As his company was passing in review the day they left for Falls Church, Virginia. Governor Wolcott, turning be graduated from g to his staff, remarked: ‘I tell you, there isn’t a better-looking officer in the regiment than Captain Williams.’  Captain Williams is a lawyer. He is a product of the public schools of Boston, where he received his first lessons in military art, as a member of the school regiment. He has been a member of the Massachusetts militia since 1891. First Lieutenant William H. Jackson is a Virginian, but has lived in Massachusetts since he was a child. He received his schooling, and was graduated with honors from the Boston University a few years ago. He, like Captain Williams, received his first military instruction in the public schools, and was adjutant of the school battalion of Worchester, where he received hi early education. Second Lieutenant George W. Braxton was also born in Virginia, but came North with his parents in 1863, settling in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was the first colored boy to be graduated from the Portsmouth High School. Every one of these colored troops is a marksman”  


Danger in Fire Room 2!

The following account demonstrates some of the terrible dangers that existed below decks in the Spanish American war vessels, powered by coal and steam. Here the danger of explosion, the result of water hitting the extremely hot furnaces, was very real. It took some rapidly-thinking men to go beyond the usual call of duty and avert catastrophe.

The Account:

An act of singular bravery was performed on A the 20th of July on board the IOWA by two members of her engineers' force.

Shortly before 7 o'clock in the morning it happened that a manhole gasket blew out in one of the boilers of fire-room No. 2. The fireroom immediately filled with live steam and the floor was covered with boiling water, flying from the boiler under a pressure of 120 pounds.

Coppersmith P. B. Keefer and Second-class Fireman Robert Penn, who were stationed in adjoining compartments, rushed instantly to the rescue.  Penn entered fire-room No. 2 just in time to save an injured coal-passer from falling into the boiling water which covered the floor. He carried the man, who bad both feet scalded and a wound on his forehead, to a safe place and then ran back.  Keefer, who heard the noise, had in the meantime dashed below and found his way through the blinding steam to the two inboard furnaces and hauled [removed] the fires.  In the meantime Penn had the extra feed pump turned on in the after fire-hold and built a bridge by throwing a plank across some ash buckets.  Fireman Smith, who wished to assist Keefer, bad both legs terribly scalded by the boiling water on the floor.  Penn, while Passed Assistant Engineer Stockney held the plank in place, then hauled the two remaining fires, and thus the imminent danger of an explosion was averted by his and Keeler's fearlessness and quickness.  Both men were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Excerpted  from:

Duffield, Brig. Gen. H. M., U.S.V., Deeds of Valor. (Detroit: The Perrien-Keydel Company, 1906). 359-362.


The 3rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry at Camp Poland

Contributed By: Jeff Berry:

The following articles provide information on the camp life experienced by the 3rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry at Camp Poland, Tennessee. The article appeared in the Knoxville Journal and Tribune..

The History:

October 2, 1898:

This regiment is now the only one left at Lonsdale, and in all probability it will soon be moved to another location also. A number of camping sites have been inspected, but the one which in all probability will be selected is located in the Middlebrook pike at the point where the Middlebrook electric line crosses the Knoxville Belt Line railroad. This is a most excellent location, all points considered. The water to be used by the regiment after its removal will be the same as that to be used by the Second Ohio, which will be Tennessee River water, from the mains of the Knoxville Water company. This will be piped from the marble mills, near by.

October 2, 1898:

Now that it has been ordered from Washington that the regimental hospital shall be re-established , in connection with the division hospital, and that each regiment shall have the services of at least two surgeons, one of them being of the rank of major, much speculation is being indulged in as to where the extra surgeons shall come from. As is well known none of the regiments in Camp Poland, with the exception of the colored regiments, have the required number of surgeons. Seven surgeons of this division were sent to Cuba and Porto Rico, while the troops were at Chickamauga, and a number have been made brigade surgeons, or detailed to the division hospital. The Second Ohio, for instance, has at present none of its surgeons with the regiment, Captain McDonald, of the Fourth Tennessee, having been detailed as its regimental surgeon, while at the same time acting as brigade surgeon. The Thirty-First Michigan is in much the same fix as the Second Ohio, having none of its regular surgeons with it, a contract surgeon, Dr. Haze, acting in the capacity of regimental surgeon. It is very probable that when surgeons are assigned to the regiments so that the recent order may be out in force, or in other words, so that each regiment shall have at least two surgeons, a number of contract surgeons will be among the numbers.

It will be remembered, that when Secretary Alger was here he stated that no more surgeons could be commissioned without the consent of congress, but that if more surgeons were needed he would see to it that a sufficient number of contract surgeons would be furnished. From this it is believed that in a short time Camp Poland will have a number of contract surgeons assisting in caring for the sick.

October 3, 1898:

It is now almost certain that the camp of this regiment will be removed to the hillside on the Middlebrook pike at the point where the street car track crosses the railroad and it is expected that as soon as the water pipes are laid from the mains of the Knoxville Water company. The camp will be moved.

Yesterday many of the officers and men enjoyed the hospitality of colored residents of the city, who invited them out to dinner.

The regiment yesterday furnished one detail of four hundred men to assist in laying the water pipes to the new camping grounds of the Third brigade on the Middlebrook pike.

October 3, 1898:

A force of six hundred soldiers was busy at work yesterday laying the water pipes to the camp. Four hundred of these were from the Third North Carolina regiment and two hundred from the Second Ohio. It is expected that the water will be running at the company kitchens by tomorrow, at the latest. The city water will be used exclusively.

October 5, 1898:

The following letter is reported to have been sent to Secretary of War Alger by members of this regiment. The names of those who signed the letter were not given to The Journal and Tribune reporter with the copy of the letter.

Third North Carolina Regiment
(All companies) Sept. 23, 1898,

To the Secretary of War:

Dear Sir:--We the undersigned many soldiers, heard that you had been instructed that we wanted to stay in service as garrison duty, but my dear sir, we are now pleading with mercy and deny any such report as there had been reported and we feel that our superior officers has treated us wrong to hold us in service without we knowing anything about it.

We the undersigned did not join the service for garrison duty. We only sacrificed our lives and left our homes simply for the honor of our flag and the destruction of our country and families as the war was going on at that time, but now the war is over and we do feel that we might be mustered out of service because we are getting letters from our families every day or two stating the suffering condition, and oh my God, the way that we are treated. We have to drill harder than any other regiment on the grounds and after drilling so hard, we have to work so hard. We have to cut ditches, sink holes and fill up gullies, put in water pipes. We, the 3rd N.C. regiment soldiers has not had but one pair of pants, one coat, two undershirts, one top shirt. We are in a box fit. Our food is not fit to eat, and oh my dear sir, we are bound up in a little place about 400 feet long 3 feet wide. Just think of the confinement we are under just because we volunteered freely to fight for our country.

We the undersigned many soldiers did not volunteer for garrison duty and we do not think that our honorable government will take the advantage of willing and faithful men who came to the rescue of the flag, stars and stripes. We have a great deal more to tell you but we can not express ourselves like it ought to be done.

Down at Fort Macon we was misled. The question was asked who wanted to stay in the service and go to the front if necessary, called upon them to raise hands, but the question never was asked if we wanted to do garrison duty. If they had of asked that question we never would have been in Knoxville today. Why don’t you know as a good thinking man that we don’t want to leave our wives and families to go on garrison duty. Why if so you would have had more applications in the white house than the mail box would have helt.

You know that these officers is getting a very good salary and they would go in three miles of hell after that dollar, but we who are brave men did not come for the sake of that $15.60, but we gloried in the flag and come to hold it up by the balls and shells. So as we did not get a chance to do so we hope that you will consider this matter. Look it over, give us the judgment of justice and if you do we will go home to our families who are in a suffering condition, so we will not write any more.

We the undersigned await your earliest reply. Many soldiers of the Third North Carolina regiment. We want to go home.

October 6, 1898:

At the camp of the third yesterday nothing special happened, except that a number of men were detailed to stake out the new camp grounds near the camp of the Second Ohio. The new site is an ideal place, being on a gentle slope, making good drainage. The officers’ row of the camp will be in the edge of the woods on top of the hill.

Chaplain Henry Durham yesterday handed in to headquarters his report for the month of September, which is as follows:

“Held religious services twenty-four times, visits to sick officers six; visits to enlisted men, one hundred; visits to prisoners in the guardhouse, ten; held service twice. Number seeking advice, one hundred and fifty. Personal visits to men in tents, one thousand. Married one. Buried one. The amount of money deposited with me by the men $200. There have been eight soldiers tried before a general court-martial for whom I appeared as counsel. The number converted during the month of September was eighty-five.”

Sunday evening at the new camping place of this regiment at Middlebrook, a silk flag will be presented to the Greensboro (N.C.) boys, of company E. the flag is given by the colored women of Greensboro, N.C. Major Dellinger, chief surgeon, will present the flag to the boys and Lieutenant D.J. Gilmore will accept in behalf of his Greensboro boys

October 7, 1898:

Orders wee issued yesterday from division headquarters relative to the different regiments taking practice marches.
The order is as follows:--

The following regulations for the conduct of practice marches are published for the information and guidance of all concerned:--Once each week or on days to be indicated by brigade commanders, each regiment of the division will make a practice march from its camp of not less than ten miles, remaining out one night and returning the following day.

The men will be equipped with shelter tents, ponchos, blankets and haversacks. There will be carried in wagons one days; rations, full, and necessary tentage for officers, Until further orders, the First brigade will operate south of the river, the second to the north, between the river and Second creek, and the Third to the southwest, between Second creek and the lower river. Marches will be made with proper tactical disposition of advance and rear guards, and in execution of an assumed and definite problem, involving the country traversed; the problem to be prescribed by the brigade commander, who may use all the regiments of his brigade in combination, if he so desires.

Itineraries will be kept and maps made in accordance with article X: “troops in campaign,” and reports made to this office.

One company in each regiment will be left in charge of the regimental camp and property and the camp will not be broken.


October 7, 1898:

Affairs at Camp Poland wee very quiet yesterday only routine work being done, except the Third North Carolina regiment moved to its new camping place and the command is now located at the intersection of the Middleborook  car line and the K.C.G. & L., railway. This is the last regiment to leave Lonsdale and that place is now deserted.

October 7, 1898:

At last the Third is in its new camp and while they have not yet become settled,, the men are working hard to get everything in ship-shape.
All of yesterday was taken up with moving and when night came the men wee ready to rest. No drills of any kind were held during the day.

October 8, 1898:


A general order was issued today organizing new army corps and designating various points where the troops shall be stationed. The Third, Fifth, and Sixth corps are discontinued; the First, Second, and Fourth corps reorganized. They are to be commanded respectively by Major-Generals Breckinridge, Graham, and Wheeler. The headquarters of each corps will be: First corps, Macon, Ga.; Second corps, Augusta, Ga., Fourth corps, Huntsville, Ala. The full text of the order is as follows:

Major-general J.C. Breckinridge, U.S.V., commanding headquarters at Macon, Ga.

First division, headquarters at Macon, Ga.:--
First brigade-Atlanta, Ga. Thirty-first Michigan, Fourth Tennessee and Sixth Ohio
Second brigade- Macon, Ga. Third U.S.V. engineers, Second Ohio and Sixth Virginia
Third brigade- Macon, Ga. Tenth U.S.V., infantry and Seventh U.S.V. infantry

Second division, headquarters at Columbus, Ga.:--
First brigade—Columbus, Ga. First West Virginia, 160th Indiana and Third Kentucky
Second brigade—Americus, Ga. Eighth Massachusetts, Twelfth New York and Third North Carolina
Third brigade—Albany, Ga. Second Missouri, Third Mississippi and First Territorial U.S.V., infantry

October 8, 1898:

Affairs at the Third are rapidly assuming their natural condition and in a few days the men will settle down to routine work. The situation of the camp is very satisfactory to all the men. Drills will be begun today and next week the practice marches will be tackled. Already numerous refreshment stands have been erected near the camp and the owners are expecting a big business on pay day. The health of the regiment still remains exceptionally good, showing good management on the part of the officers and good physical condition of the men.

October 9, 1898:

The men of the regiment wee busy yesterday between showers, cleaning up the camp, which is rapidly assuming a first-class condition.

The kitchen shanties have now been completed and the cooks can keep out of the rain.

A private of this regiment expressed himself in very decided tones about going to Georgia. He was talking to some of his comrades and expressed himself as follows:-“No sah, I don’t want no Gawgie fuh dis niggah.” [editor's note: we quote the newspaper for historical reasons, not because we approve of the language] He evidently thinks Knoxville is good enough.

October 9, 1898:

The cosmopolitan library is well patronized by members of the Virginia and North Carolina regiments.

October 10, 1898:

Since the recent rain the camp is in good condition and yesterday a large number of visitors were in the camp. The health of the regiment remains very good, comparatively few of the men being in the hospital. The hospital of the Third is situated in a pleasant position and the men have all the comforts possible, and a good corps to take care of them. A number of the men were allowed the privilege of going into the city yesterday and many were in attendance at the numerous negro churches.

October 11, 1898:

The drill ground for the Third has been selected. It is the open space east of the camp and is a very good place. The men were out yesterday having company drill, the first since moving to their new camp and thy showed up in good form. Although it is almost a sure thing that the regiment will be taken away from Knoxville, a number of refreshment stands continue to be erected near the camp.  The proprietors of these stands surely thing the North Carolina boys will turn lots of money loose when pay day arrives.

Two of the companies were drilled by one of the lieutenants on Gen. Rosser’s staff yesterday and the work done by them was very good.

October 12, 1898:

Nothing if interest has happened in this camp and only routine work is being done. The news that the paymasters have arrived was of course decidedly welcome, and the men now want to see “the color of their money.” The tents are being rapidly floored, and in a few days the men will be fixed as comfortably as is possible, for the remaining time they are in Camp Poland.

The men have about finished the work of cleaning up the camp and are doing regular drill work.

October 13, 1898:

Pay day is eagerly looked for by the men in the Third and the “man with the coin”[paymaster] will be a welcome guest in camp. The band of the regiment is now getting in some good work and is making a very creditable showing. The men are still hard at work at drills and in a few days will make a practice march of several miles into the surrounding country.

October 13, 1898:

[At the Division Hospital] The record yesterday was: Received 3, including two negro patients from the Third North Carolina regiment; discharged, 20; remaining, 269; deaths none. This is a smaller number than has been in the hospital for nearly a month and the list continues to decrease.

Pvt. William C. Kniffen~Diary

The following is a  diary kept by Private William "Will" Challen Kniffen of the 9th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Co. K. The diary provides a candid first-hand account of life in the regiment, addressing issues such a racial problems, army food, camp life, etc.

The diary has been transcribed as originally written.

Kniffen, of Belle Rive, Illinois, was born on February 7, 1879 in Jefferson Co. His parents had both died when he was young and Will was raised
by his uncle who owned the "Kniffen Hotel and Livery" in Belle Rive.

Will Kniffen was mustered into Co. K on June 28, 1898, and served until being mustered out on June 28, 1899. When he mustered in, he listed himself as being 21 years and 5 months old, altering his age by two years for an unknown reason. He was five feet, seven inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. He listed his occupation as "laborer."

About 1900 another resident of Belle Rive, James Henry Womelduff, decided to move his family to Kansas City, Missouri, following some of his family members who had moved to that area earlier and reported good things back to him. Will, who was the sweetheart of one of James Henry Womelduff's daughters, followed in 1901. In Kansas City he married Cora Lillian Womelduff on March 31 of that same year. James Henry Womelsduff was a carpenter and Will learned the carpentry trade from him. Will and Cora's first home was reportedly built by James and Will.

In Kansas City Will and Cora had two children, Louise (1903) and Helen (1906), before his untimely death on January 31, 1909. His final illness came on rapidly, and his death was not expected, devastating his family. He was believed to be an influenza victim. He was buried on February 2, 1909 at Mount Washington Cemetery, Independence, Jackson, Missouri.

The Diary:

"Co K 9th Regiment Illinois Volunteers assembled at Mt Vernon, Ills, Jefferson County on the 27th June 1898 and left that place on the 29 of same month for Springfield, Ills to be mustered in the United States service for two years or during the war with Spain to serve in Cuba.  We layed around there until the 10th of July and was examined and mustered into the service on that day which was Friday.  Then we commenced to drill in earnest and I guess we was the most awkward set of fellows ever brought together.  In about one week after we was mustered in the service we received our new uniforms and then we felt as big as kings.  We was at Springfield about 40 days.  And most every Sunday there was ___________ from all parts of the state and the boy folks would come to see us which would make most of us home sick for a few days afterwards.

On the 2nd of July about 3 o’clock in the afternoon the 9th was on dress parade and the 8th boys started a row.  And there was a large crowd out and there was some trouble in getting it stopped.  The 8th and 9th never could get along together.  The reason was the 8th was all negroes.  Us fellows and them was always in a scrap and laying each other out.  One of the coons got his light put out up town one night by one of the 9th boys.  So then we had to look out for the coons.  We had to drill two hours each day and it was awful hot too.

On the 15th of July we was all vaccinated and in a few days there was a lot of sore arms in the Regiment.  We had to take long practice marches and carry a big heavy load.  We had to take these marches every other day.  And we generally had to march from 10 to 15 miles.  We thought it tough too.  So this was the way our time at Springfield, Ills was spent.  We never got payed at Camp _______ at all.  So on the 6th of August we broke camp and that night about midnight we were aboard a Wabash train on our way to Jacksonville, Florida to join the 7th Army Corps under Gen. Lee.  We was 4 days on the way to Camp Cuba Libre.  Arrived there on the 10th of August 98 it was awful hot.  And the sand was ____  deep.  When we left the train we had to march about 5 miles to where our camp was located.  And carried pretty heavy loads too.  We reached our camp about noon.  And then had to pitch tents in the hotest son and heat I ever experienced.  Some of the boys got to hot and had to be taken to the hospital.    After camp was put in order then we begain to look around for something to eat.  We was all or nearly all broke.  Not having received a pay day yet.  So we could not buy anything and had to eat what they gave us or do without anything to eat.  And what they give us was terrible rocky.  We had to drill in Jacksonville like troopers in the deep sand and hot sun.  So the result was that lots of the boys got sick.  And a few I believe died about 20 in the regiment.

For the first two weeks after we got to Camp Cuba Libre we got nothing to eat at all hardly.  Only hardtack, bacon and potatoes.  We almost starved to death.  There was all kind of drilling and reviews all the time.  We was at Jacksonville Secretary of War Alger reviewed us two different times while there.  About a month before we left Jacksonville there was three days of awful bad rain and windy weather (and I was on guard during the spell and got we and chilled and taken sick immediately after) so I do not know what happen the last part of the encampment there I got a sick furlogh and was sent home for 30 days.  Soon after the regiment to Savannah GA.  I was at home for 24 days and I seen the best time of my life I think.  When on my arrival at camp near the City of Savannah, GA I found a real nice camp.  And the people of Georgia was very hospitable and treated us so much nicer than the people of Fla.  We did not have to drill so much as we did at Camp Cuba Libre and have a lots better time here than we have any where yet.

Well this is Nov and the weather is getting cool.  And camp life is just the same here as any where else.  Thanksgiving is here and we are going to have a good dinner today the ladies of Savannah is going to come out and give us a fine dinner.  This is one Thanksgiving day I will never forget.  I was on guard at brigade headquarters and when I go to our mess hall at noon the Co cook had cooked some turkeys with the _____ in them and the boys were all cursing him for ruining their dinner.  But I see the turkeys was eat just the same.  This is fine eating.  Just think old baked turkey like we get at home, hardtack and beans are tough since our fine dinner.  Weather is still cool and very uncomfortable sleeping in tents. Thanks to the kind ladies of Savannah for our bountiful repast.  They will always have a warm place in the hearts of the soldiers of the 7th Army Corps.

The same old thing is camp drill and guard duty reviews.  To March before Big ___ to show ourselves.  We was on review the other day for President McKinley.  He is a fine looking man.  Soon will be Christmas this is the 15th of December and pay day.  The boys will all be drunk for a few days or until their money is all gone.  And all kind of gambling this night and there is a hot time in the old camp.  16th boys still drunk and gambling to a finish.  Boys are all feeling bad for their gay time as long as their money lasted.  The is only a bugle call the soldier like to hear and the are recall and mess call.  Christmas is here and the boys are all broke and trying to borrow money and give 50 cents on the dollar until next pay day.  But there is none in camp so we will not have a very high time today.

Well the prospects are that we will start for Cuba in a few days.  Well this is the last of December.  There was a little ice here last night.  It was colder than usual  (last day of 1898).  New Years day and I am on guard again.  Pretty cold day.

First day of 1899 bright and clear.  This is a holliday and we have got nothing to do only __ a time.  Well this is night and there is big fires everywhere in camp.   For about 2 oclock this afternoon we received orders to get ready to start for Cuba tomorrow and all of the old rubbish is being burned.  2nd day of January 1899 we broke camp today at about 10 am and about 2 pm we started for the transport in Savannah Harbor.  Loaded on about 11 ___ and will remain in the harbor all night waiting for the 4th Ills to load which will be completed along in the early morning sometime.  The transport is an extra large vessel and there is going to be 2 regiments put on board for Havana City, Cuba.

3rd Jan 10 A.M.  Bands playing and the wharf are lined with people waving farewell to soldier friends.  Larg crowd

[two pages missing]

Rise and it was sight I ever beheld in all my life.  The sun came up like a big ball of fire over in the east.  Out of a blue waste of water and to meet a clear blue sky.  We cant see no sign of land today this being the third day of out (1/5/99).  We will get to Havana sometime tomorrow.  And I will sure be glad of it for I am still sea sick.  So is lots of the other boys sick yet.

We are still having fine weather for the voyage over the pond to Cuba.  The sun is hot today and we cant see anything but blue water and sky.  We are now passing the Florida Keys.  About 3 oclock P.M. and now and then we can see a glimpse of a lighthouse and island.

This is the 6th and about 2 pm.  We will sight Havana the sailor says this pm.  This is also a beautiful day.  And the sea sickness has left us and all the boys are feeling fine.  We can now see the north shore of Cuba.

12 oclock noon and in 2 more hours we will pass Moro Castle and get into Havana Harbor.  This is now the sight of my life.   Passing Moro and the bands are playing the old march song of Dixie and the boys are seeing who can see the most I think.

We are now in Havana Harbor and can see the wreck of the Maine.  From where we lay it is all rusty and eaten by the salt water.  And when we first came into the harbor there was ______ flying around and one was sitting on the mast of the wreck.

Havana bay is a dirty vast old __ hole of a place and the water smell terribly of ____.  Al the refuse of the city is brought here and dumped into the harbor.  To see the big vessles lying about __ of nights is quite a site for us had never seen anything of the kind in our lives.  Well this is night and we see the search lights on the big war vessles from the deck of the transport.

Nine oclock and we have to turn in for tapps is just sounding.  And that means go to bed. (so good night)

7th of January /99 Morning have just got out of my bunk and cant find any water to drink but what is salty.  We will get off the transport some time today.  Brother Edd has got the measles and was taken to the hospital this morning.  Lots of the men are having the measles it seems.  As though the sea voyage brought them on them.  We don’t get much to eat while on the transport. This is about noon and we are expecting to get ashore some time today.

2:30 PM and we are lining up to leave the boat some of the men are already off and the Cos are" [Diary ends]

Last Surviving Veterans of the Spanish American War

There are no longer any veterans surviving from the Spanish American War today. The last surviving veteran was Jones Morgan, an African American. Mr. Jones passed away in Richmond, Virginia on August 29, 1993 at the incredible age of 110 years, 10 months and 6 days. Mr. Jones had served as a member of the U.S. Cavalry (either 9th or 10th) as a cook and horse wrangler. He has served from 1896 to 1900.

The last "Rough Rider" was Jesse Langdon. He passed away on June 28, 1975. Langdon served in K Troop.

The last member of the 71st New York to pass away was Ralph Waldo Taylor of Pompano Beach, Florida. He passed away on May 15, 1987 at the age of 105. He had served in Company K.

Buffalo Soldiers at San Juan Hill

The following article derives from a paper the author delivered at the 1998 Conference of Army Historians in Bethesda, Maryland.

Finding the middle, where the truth sometimes rests, requires you to know the edges. When it comes to responsibility for the victory of the United States Army on San Juan Heights, Cuba, on 1 July 1898, the edges are easy to find. On one side, there is the Teddy-centric view, first and most clearly expressed in the writings of Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt of the 1st Volunteer Cavalry Regiment—the legendary Rough Riders. Roosevelt’s memoir of Cuba so emphasized his own role that Mr. Dooley, the barroom pundit created by humorist Peter Finley Dunne, said the book should have been called "Alone in Cuba."

Roosevelt augmented his campaign of self-promotion by carrying along his personal publicist. Richard Harding Davis’ dispatches from the front, picked up by many newspapers and magazines, spread the word of TR’s heroics. They also followed a time-honored tradition. George Custer had taken a reporter on the 1874 expedition that discovered gold in the Black Hills, and Nelson Miles had had one along to record his exploits against the tribes of the southern plains.1 Now Davis, of the New York Herald, did the same—essentially providing TR with PR.2

The view that Teddy Roosevelt dominated the battle at San Juan Heights still has adherents. I saw first-hand evidence last February, when I made a presentation for African-American History Month at Oyster Bay, New York, the great man’s home. The draft press release announced that I would be talking about Medal of Honor heroes among Buffalo Soldiers, the black regulars who had served on the frontier and who also fought in Cuba. The notice went on to assert that these soldiers had "assisted" TR in achieving victory at San Juan Hill. Clearly the text implied that the more than 2,000 black troopers dodging bullets and pushing their way resolutely forward in the Cuban sun were supporting players. TR still got top billing.

Lately, a competing view has emerged to challenge Teddy-centric claims. This new assertion puts the Buffalo Soldiers at the center of the Cuban fighting, relegating Roosevelt to a supporting role. Most recently this view was stated by Edward Van Zile Scott in his 1996 book, The Unwept. According to Scott, "in the Spanish-American War of 1898, veteran black troops . . . were more responsible than any other group for the United States’ victory."3

The new interpretation replaces one extreme position, represented by the emphasis on TR, with another, focusing on the contributions of African-American soldiers. These competing viewpoints represent the edges but don’t help us understand what happened on the battlefield.

For that, we have to look at the order of battle, read the reports of the commanders, and follow the movements of all units on maps of the campaign. The record shows that about 15,000 American troops of Maj. Gen. William R. Shafter’s Fifth Army Corps participated in the battles on the high ground near Santiago, Cuba, on 1 July 1898. About 13,000 of them were white; 2,000 or so were black. Of the twenty-six regiments in this force, three were volunteer organizations; the vast majority were regulars. More than 200 soldiers were killed in action, and nearly 30 of those who fell were from the four black Regular Army regiments, the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry.4

There were two major battles that day, one at El Caney and one on San Juan Heights. Both objectives were east of the city, with El Caney the more northerly of the two. Brig. Gen. Henry W. Lawton commanded his own 2d Division and the Independent Brigade, a force of about 6,500, which took El Caney. Lawton’s troops included more than 500 men of the black 25th Infantry. This regiment was in the thick of the four-hour fight, and one of its members, Pvt. Thomas Butler of Baltimore, was among the first to enter the blockhouse on the hill.5

The other key objective, San Juan Heights, was closer to the city, about one mile directly east of it. San Juan has historically received more attention than El Caney, and for good reason. It was the main objective, after all, and was attacked by 8,000 troops of Brig. Gen. Jacob F. Kent’s 1st Division and the dismounted Cavalry Division, commanded on this day by Brig. Gen. Samuel S. Sumner. San Juan Heights had two high spots along its north-south axis, one called San Juan Hill and the other later named Kettle Hill by the troops. Both were part of the same objective.

In addition to being more important than El Caney as an objective, San Juan was also Theodore Roosevelt’s stage. Roosevelt, of whom it was said that he never attended a wedding without wishing he was the bride or a funeral without wishing he was the corpse, was the unquestioned star of San Juan and by extension of the entire Cuban campaign. The commander of his regiment, Col. Leonard Wood, had been conveniently promoted out of the way, so Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt had the Rough Riders all to himself.

But he did not have the battle for San Juan Heights all to himself. There were after all 8,000 men in the operation, a total of thirteen Regular Army regiments and two regiments of volunteers, including TR’s Rough Riders. The force included about 1,250 black troopers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry in Sumner’s Cavalry Division and the 24th Infantry in Kent’s 1st Division.

Critics have complained that Roosevelt erroneously and undeservedly claimed credit for the victory at San Juan Hill, when he actually was involved in the assault on Kettle Hill. In fact, he did play a prominent role in the fight for Kettle Hill. His volunteers, part of Sumner’s dismounted cavalry force, reached the top of Kettle Hill alongside black and white regulars. The actions of Color Sgt. George Berry of the 10th Cavalry, who carried the colors of the white 3d Cavalry up that hill along with his own regiment’s standard, reflected the shared nature of the operation, with black and white regulars and Rough Riders fighting side by side and with one group sometimes indistinguishable from the others.

Once Roosevelt reached the top of Kettle Hill, he watched Kent’s troops begin to overrun their objective on San Juan Hill. Still eager for a fight, he urged the men around him to follow him into the fray on San Juan. That’s when he found out what happens when you sound a charge and nobody comes. Only a handful of soldiers heard the great man, and he found himself at the head of an assault that consisted of five soldiers. Roosevelt retreated, regrouped, and assembled a more respectable force that reached the Spanish trenches in time to participate in the last of the fight. "There was," he said, "very great confusion at this time, the different regiments being completely intermingled—white regulars, colored regulars, and Rough Riders."6

Roosevelt’s observation accurately characterized the mix of troops in the battle for the heights. Overall, the great majority of these soldiers were regulars; the rest were volunteers. "Their battles," Timothy Egan wrote in an article entitled "The American Century’s Opening Shot," in the New York Times of Saturday, 6 June 1998, "were sharp, vicious crawls through jungle terrain in killing heat."7 Regulars and volunteers, blacks and whites, fought side by side, endured the blistering heat and driving rain, and shared food and drink as well as peril and discomfort. They forged a victory that did not belong primarily to TR, nor did it belong mainly to the Buffalo Soldiers. It belonged to all of them.

Despite the fact that these groups shared the victory and despite the attention that gravitated toward TR, the post-battle spotlight shone brightly on the Buffalo Soldiers. Since the Reorganization Act of 1866, their regiments had mainly served in the remotest corners of the West. They had fought against the Comanches and Kiowa in the 1860s and 1870s and the Apaches between 1877 and 1886, and they had seen service in the Pine Ridge campaign of 1890–1891. Most of this duty had been performed in obscurity.8

But Cuba was different. All eyes that were not on TR seemed to focus on the Buffalo Soldiers. For the first time they stood front and center on the national stage. A number of mainstream (that is, white) periodicals recounted their exploits, as nurses in the yellow fever hospital at Siboney as well as on the battlefield, and reviewed their history, mostly favorably.9 Books by black authors recounted the regiments’ service in Cuba and in previous wars and reminded those who cared to pay attention that the war with Spain did not represent the first instance in which black soldiers answered the nation’s call to arms.10 In an age of increasing racism that was hardening into institutionalized segregation throughout the South and affecting the lives of black Americans everywhere, the Buffalo Soldiers were race heroes. Black newspapers and magazines tracked their movements and reported their activities. Poetry, dramas, and songs all celebrated their service and valor.11 As Rayford Logan, dean of a generation of black historians—and my undergraduate adviser—later wrote, "Negroes had little, at the turn of the century, to help sustain our faith in ourselves except the pride that we took in the 9th and 10th Cavalry, the 24th and 25th Infantry. Many Negro homes had prints of the famous charge of the colored troops up San Juan Hill. They were our Ralph Bunche, Marian Anderson, Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson."12

Almost one hundred years passed before the nation rediscovered the Buffalo Soldiers. The process started with the 1967 publication of William Leckie’s The Buffalo Soldiers and culminated in 1992, with the dedication by General Colin Powell of the Buffalo Soldier statue at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. For the Buffalo Soldiers, "the American century" is ending the way it had started. In a period of increasing informal segregation, growing dissatisfaction with affirmative action, and the spreading emphasis on a separate African-American minority culture, books, plays, movies, and even phone cards celebrate the service of these troopers. In what appears to be a disconcertingly similar setting of deteriorating race relations, the Buffalo Soldiers have returned to take their place among America’s heroes.


Frank N. Schubert

A Colored Hero in the Navy

Elijah B. Tunnell was employed as cabin cook on the Winslow. The boat, under a severe fire from masked batteries of the Spanish on shore, was disabled. The Wilmington came to her rescue, the enemy meanwhile still pouring on a heavy fire. It was difficult to get the "line" fastened so that the Winslow could be towed off out of range of the Spanish guns. Realizing the danger the boat and crew were in, and anxious to be of service, Tunnell left his regular work and went on deck to assist in "making fast" the two boats, and while thus engaged a shell came, which, bursting over the group of workers, killed him and three others. It has been stated in newspaper reports of this incident that it was an ill-aimed shell of one of the American boats that killed Tunnell and Bagley. Tunnell was taken on board the Wilmington with both legs blown off, and fearfully mutilated. Turning to those about him he asked, "Did we win in the fight boys?" The reply was, "Yes."

He said, "Then I die happy." While others fell at the post of duty it may be said of this brave Negro that he fell while doing more than his duty. He might have kept out of harm's way if he had desired, but seeing the situation he rushed forward to relieve it as best he could, and died a "volunteer" in service, doing what others ought to have done. All honor to the memory of Elijah B. Tunnell, who, if not the first, certainly simultaneous with the first, martyr of the Spanish-American war. While our white fellow-citizens justly herald the fame of Ensign Bagley, who was known to the author from his youth, let our colored patriots proclaim the heroism of Tunnell of Accomac. While not ranking as an official in the navy, yet he was brave, he was faithful and we may inscribe over his grave that "he died doing what he could for his country."

Wounded Soldier's Story

Jacob A. Riis in The Outlook gives the following interesting reading concerning the colored troopers in an article entitled "Roosevelt and His Men":

"It was one of the unexpected things in this campaign that seems destined to set so many things right that out of it should come the appreciation of the colored soldier as man and brother by those even who so lately fought to keep him a chattel. It fell to the lot of General 'Joe' Wheeler, the old Confederate warrior, to command the two regiments of colored troops, the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry, and no one will bear readier testimony than he to the splendid record they made. Of their patience under the manifold hardships of roughing it in the tropics, their helpfulness in the camp and their prowess in battle, their uncomplaining suffering when lying wounded and helpless. Stories enough are told to win for them fairly the real brotherhood with their white-skinned fellows which they crave. The most touching of the many I heard was that of a Negro trooper, who, struck by a bullet that cut an artery in his neck, was lying helpless, in danger of bleeding to death, when a Rough Rider came to his assistance. There was only one thing to be done--to stop the bleeding till a surgeon came. A tourniquet could not be applied where the wound was. The Rough Rider put his thumb on the artery and held it there while he waited. The fighting drifted away over the hill. He followed his comrades with longing eyes till the last was lost to sight. His place was there, but if he abandoned the wounded cavalryman it was to let him die. He dropped his gun and stayed. Not until the battle was won did the surgeon come that way, but the trooper's life was saved. He told of it in the hospital with tears in his voice: 'He done that to me, he did; stayed by me an hour and a half, and me only a nigger.'"

Colonel Theodore B. Roosevelt Tells of the Bravery of Colored Soldiers

When Colonel Theodore Roosevelt returned from the command of the famous Rough Riders, he delivered a farewell address to his men, in which he made the following kind reference to the gallant Negro soldiers:

"Now, I want to say just a word more to some of the men I see standing around not of your number. I refer to the colored regiments, who occupied the right and left flanks of us at Guásimas, the Ninth and Tenth cavalry regiments. The Spaniards called them 'Smoked Yankees,' but we found them to be an excellent breed of Yankees. I am sure that I speak the sentiments of officers and men in the assemblage when I say that between you and the other cavalry regiments there exists a tie which we trust will never be broken."--Colored American.
The foregoing compliments to the Negro soldiers by Colonel Roosevelt started up an avalanche of additional praise for them, out of which the fact came, that but for the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry (colored) coming up at Las Guásimas, destroying the Spanish block house and driving the Spaniards off, when Roosevelt and his men had been caught in a trap, with a barbed-wire fence on one side and a precipice on the other, not only the brave Capron and Fish, but the whole of his command would have been annihilated by the Spanish sharp-shooters, who were firing with smokeless powder under cover, and picking off the Rough Riders one by one, who could not see the Spaniards. To break the force of this unfavorable comment on the Rough Riders, it is claimed that Colonel Roosevelt made the following criticism of the colored soldiers in general and of a few of them in particular, in an article written by him for the April Scribner; and a letter replying to the Colonel's strictures, follows by Sergeant Holliday, who was an "eye-witness" to the incident:
Colonel Roosevelt's criticism was, in substance, that colored soldiers were of no avail without white officers; that when the white commissioned officers are killed or disabled, colored non-commissioned officers could not be depended upon to keep up a charge already begun; that about a score of colored infantrymen, who had drifted into his command, weakened on the hill at San Juan under the galling Spanish fire, and started to the rear, stating that they intended finding their regiments, or to assist the wounded; whereupon he drew his revolver and ordered them to return to ranks and there remain, and that he would shoot the first man who didn't obey him; and that after that he had no further trouble.
Colonel Roosevelt is sufficiently answered in the following letter of Sergeant Holliday, and the point especially made by many eye-witnesses (white) who were engaged in that fight is, as related in Chapter V, of this book, that the Negro troops made the charges both at San Juan and El Caney after nearly all their officers had been killed or wounded. Upon what facts, therefore, does Colonel Roosevelt base his conclusions that Negro soldiers will not fight without commissioned officers, when the only real test of this question happened around Santiago and showed just the contrary of what he states? We prefer to take the results at El Caney and San Juan as against Colonel Roosevelt's imagination.

General Nelson A. Miles, Pays a Tribute to the Negro Soldiers

Major-General Nelson A. Miles, Commander-in-Chief of the army of the United States spoke at the Peace Jubilee at Chicago, October 11th, and said:
"While the chivalry of the South and the yeomanry of the North vied with their devotion to the cause of their country and in their pride in its flag which floated over all, it's a glorious fact that patriotism was not confined to any one section or race for the sacrifice, bravery and fortitude. The white race was accompanied by the gallantry of the black as they swept over intrenched lines and later volunteered to succor the sick, nurse the dying and bury the dead in the hospitals and the Cuban camps."
"This was grandly spoken, and we feel gratified at this recognition of the valor of one of the best races of people the world has ever seen.""We are coming, boys; it's a little slow and tiresome, but we are coming."--Colored American.
At a social reunion of the Medal of Honor Legion held a few evenings since to welcome home two of their members, General Nelson A. Miles, commanding the army of the United States, and Colonel M. Emmett Urell, of the First District Columbia Volunteers, in the course of his remarks, General Miles paid the finest possible tribute to the splendid heroism and soldierly qualities evidenced by the men of the 9th and 10th Cavalry, and 24th and 25th United States Infantry in the late Santiago campaign, which he epitomized as "without a parallel in the history of the world."
At the close of his remarks, Major C.A. Fleetwood, the only representative of the race present, in behalf of the race extended their heartfelt and warmest thanks for such a magnificent tribute from such a magnificent soldier and man.--Colored American.

Cleveland Moffitt~Describes the Heroism of a "Black Color Bearer"

"Having praised our war leaders sufficiently, in some cases more than sufficiently (witness Hobson), let us give honor to some of the humbler ones, who fought obscurely, but did fine things nevertheless."
Sergeant Berry, The first soldier who reached the Block House on San Juan Hill and hoisted the American flag in a hail of Spanish bullets.
"There was Sergeant Berry, for instance, of the Tenth Cavalry, who might have boasted his meed of kisses, too, had he been a white man. At any rate, he rescued the colors of a white regiment from unseemly trampling and bore them safely through the bullets to the top of San Juan hill. Now, every one knows that the standard of a troop is guarded like a man's own soul, or should be, and how it came that this Third Cavalry banner was lying on the ground that day is something that may never be rightly known. Some white man had left it there, many white men had let it stay there, but Berry, a black man, saw it fluttering in shame and paused in his running long enough to catch it up and lift it high overhead beside his own banner--for he was a color-bearer of the Tenth."
"Then, with two flags flying above him, and two heavy staves to bear, this powerful negro (he is literally a giant in strength and stature) charged the heights, while white men and black men cheered him as they pressed behind. Who shall say what temporary demoralization there may have been in this troop of the Third at that critical moment, or what fresh courage may have been fired in them by that black man's act! They say Berry yelled like a demon as he rushed against the Spaniards, and I, for one, am willing to believe that his battle-cry brought fighting energy to his own side as well as terror to the enemy.""After the fight one of the officers of the Third Cavalry sought Berry out and asked him to give back the trophy fairly won by him, and his to keep, according to the usages of war. And the big Negro handed back the banner with a smile and light word. He had saved the colors and rallied the troop, but it didn't matter much. They could have the flag if they wanted it."
"There are some hundreds of little things like this that we might as well bear in mind, we white men, the next time we start out to decry the Negro!"

President McKinley recognizes the worth of Negro Soldiers

President McKinley recognizes the worth of Negro Soldiers by Promotion

Washington, July 30.--Six colored non-commissioned officers who rendered particularly gallant service in the actions around Santiago on July 1st and 2d have been appointed second lieutenants in the two colored immune regiments recently organized under special act of Congress. These men are: Sergeants William Washington, Troop F, and John C. Proctor, Troop I, of the 9th Cavalry, and Sergeants William McBryar, Company H; Wyatt Hoffman, Company G; Macon Russell, Company H, and Andrew J. Smith, Company B, of the 25th Infantry, commanded by Colonel Daggett. Jacob C. Smith, Sergeant Pendergrass, Lieutenant Ray, Sergeant Horace W. Bivins, Lieutenant E.L. Baker, Lieutenant J.H. Hill, Lieutenant Buck.--N.Y. World.

These promotions were made into the volunteer regiments, which were mustered out after the war, thus leaving the men promoted in the same rank they were before promotion if they chose to re-enlist in the regular army. They got no permanent advancement by this act of the President, but the future may develop better things for them.

Competent to be Officers

Competent to be Officers, The verdict of General Thomas J. Morgan, after a study of the Negro's quality as a soldier
General Thomas J. Morgan belongs to that class of Caucasian observers who are able to think clearly upon the Negro problem in all of its phases, and who have not only the breadth of intelligence to form just and generous opinions, but who possess that rarer quality, the courage to give them out openly to the country. General Morgan contributes the following article to the New York Independent, analyzing the motives which underlie the color line in the army.

He has had wide experience in military affairs, and his close contact with Negro soldiers during the civil war entitles him to speak with authority. General Morgan says:

"The question of the color line has assumed an acute stage, and has called forth a good deal of feeling. The various Negro papers in the country are very generally insisting that if the Negro soldiers are to be enlisted, Negro officers should be appointed to command them. One zealous paper is clamoring for the appointment, immediately, by the President, of a Negro Major-General. The readers of The Independent know very well that during the civil war there were enlisted in the United States army 200,000 Negro soldiers under white officers, the highest position assigned to a black man being that of first sergeant, or of regimental sergeant-major. The Negroes were allowed to wear chevrons, but not shoulder straps or epaulets. Although four Negro regiments have been incorporated in the regular army, and have rendered exceptionally effective service on the plains and elsewhere for a whole generation, there are to-day no Negro officers in the service. A number of young men have been appointed as cadets at West Point, but the life has not been by any means an easy one. The only caste or class with caste distinctions that exists in the republic is found in the army; army officers are, par excellence, the aristocrats; nowhere is class feeling so much cultivated as among them; nowhere is it so difficult to break down the established lines. Singularly enough, though entrance to West Point is made very broad, and a large number of those who go there to be educated at the expense of the Government have no social position to begin with, and no claims to special merit, and yet, after having been educated at the public expense, and appointed to life positions, they seem to cherish the feeling that they are a select few, entitled to special consideration, and that they are called upon to guard their class against any insidious invasions. Of course there are honorable exceptions. There are many who have been educated at West Point who are broad in their sympathies, democratic in their ideas, and responsive to every appeal of philanthropy and humanity; but the spirit of West Point has been opposed to the admission of Negroes into the ranks of commissioned officers, and the opposition to the commissioning of black men emanating from the army will go very far toward the defeat of any project of that kind."

"To make the question of the admission of Negroes into the higher ranks of commissioned officers more difficult is the fact that the organization of Negro troops under the call of the President for volunteers to carry on the war with Spain, has been left chiefly to the Governors of states. Very naturally the strong public sentiment against the Negro, which obtains almost universally in the South, has thus far prevented the recognition of his right to be treated precisely as the white man is treated. It would be, indeed, almost revolutionary for any Southern Governor to commission a Negro as a colonel of a regiment, or even a captain of a company. (Since this was written two Negro colonels have been appointed--in the Third North Carolina and Eighth Illinois.) Even where there are exceptions to this rule, they are notable exceptions. Everywhere through the South Negro volunteers are made to feel that they are not upon the same plane as white volunteers."

"In a recent conversation with the Adjutant General of the army, I was assured by him that in the organization of the ten regiments of immunes which Congress has authorized, the President had decided that five of them should be composed of Negroes, and that while the field and staff officers and captains are to be white, the lieutenants may be Negroes. If this is done it will mark a distinct step in advance of any taken hitherto. It will recognize partially, at least, the manhood of the Negro, and break down that unnatural bar of separation now existing. If a Negro is a lieutenant, he will command his company in the absence of the captain. He can wear epaulets, and be entitled to all the rights and privileges 'of an officer and a gentleman;' he is no longer doomed to inferiority. In case of battle, where bullets have no respect of persons, and do not draw the line at color, it may easily happen that a regiment or battalion will do its best work in the face of the enemy under the command of a Negro chief. Thus far the Government has been swift to recognize heroism and efficiency, whether performed by Commodore Dewey at Manila or Lieutenant Hobson at Santiago, and it can hardly be otherwise than that it will be ready to recognize exceptional prowess and skill when performed by a Negro officer."

"All, perhaps, which the Negroes themselves, or their friends, have a right to ask in their behalf is, that they shall have a chance to show the stuff they are made of. The immortal Lincoln gave them this chance when he admitted them to wear the blue and carry a musket; and right manfully did they justify his confidence. There was not better fighting done during the civil war than was done by some of the Negro troops. With my experience, in command of 5,000 Negro soldiers, I would, on the whole, prefer, I think, the command of a corps of Negro troops to that of a corps of white troops. With the magnificent record of their fighting qualities on many a hard-contested field, it is not unreasonable to ask that a still further opportunity shall be extended to them in commissioning them as officers, as well as enlisting them as soldiers."
"Naturally and necessarily the question of fitness for official responsibility is the prime test and ought to be applied, and if Negroes cannot be found of sufficient intelligence or preparation for the duties incumbent on army officers, nobody should object to the places being given to qualified white men. But so long as we draw no race line of distinction as against Germans or Irishmen, and institute no test of religion, politics or culture, we ought not to erect an artificial barrier of color. If the Negroes are competent they should be commissioned. If they are incompetent they should not be trusted with the grave responsibilities attached to official position. I believe they are competent."

History of Negro Soldiers in the Spanish-American War, and other items of Interest, 1899

Commissioned for Their Bravery at El Caney:

On July 14th it was decided to make a demonstration in front of Santiago, to draw the fire of the enemy and locate his position. Two companies of colored soldiers (25th Infantry) were selected for this purpose, actually deployed as skirmishers and started in advance. General Shafter, watching the movement from a distant hill, saw that such a movement meant to sacrifice those men, without any or much good resulting, therefore had them recalled. Had the movement been completed it is probable that not a man would have escaped death or serious wounds. When the news came that General Toral had decided to surrender, the 25th Infantry was a thousand yards or more nearer the city of Santiago than any regiment in the army, having entrenched themselves along the railroad leading into the city.

The following enlisted men of the 25th Infantry were commissioned for their bravery at El Caney:
First Sergeant Andrew J. Smith
First Sergeant Wyatt HuffmanFirst Sergeant Macon Russell
Sergeant Wm. McBryar

Many more were recommended, but failed to receive commissions. It is a strange incident that all the above-named men are native North Carolinians, but First Sergeant Huffman, who is from Tennessee.

The Negro played a most important part in the Spanish-American war. He was the first to move from the west; first at Camp Thomas Chickamauga Park, Ga.; first in the jungle of Cuba; among the first killed in battle; first in the block-house at El Caney, and nearest to the enemy when he surrendered.

Frank W. Pullen, Jr.,
Ex-Sergeant-Major 25th U.S. Infantry.
Enfield, N.C., March 23, 1899.

Buffalo Troopers, The Name By Which Negro Soldiers Are Known

They Comprise Several of the Crack Regiments in Our Army-The Indians Stand in Abject Terror of them-Their Awful Yells Won a Battle with the Redskins.

"It is not necessary to revert to the Civil war to prove that American Negroes are faithful, devoted wearers of uniforms," says a Washington man, who has seen service in both the army and the navy. "There are at the present time four regiments of Negro soldiers in the regular army of the United States-two outfits of cavalry and two of infantry. All four of these regiments have been under fire in important Indian campaigns, and there is yet to be recorded a single instance of a man in any of the four layouts showing the white feather, and the two cavalry regiments of Negroes have, on several occasions, found themselves in very serious situations. While the fact is well known out on the frontier, I don't remember ever having seen it mentioned back here that an American Indian has a deadly fear of an American Negro. The most utterly reckless, dare-devil savage of the copper hue stands literally in awe of a Negro, and the blacker the Negro the more the Indian quails. I can't understand why this should be, for the Indians decline to give their reasons for fearing the black men, but the fact remains that even a very bad Indian will give the mildest-mannered Negro imaginable all the room he wants, and to spare, as any old regular army soldier who has frontiered will tell you. The Indians, I fancy, attribute uncanny and eerie qualities to the blacks."

"The cavalry troop to which I belonged soldiered alongside a couple of troops of the 9th Cavalry, a black regiment, up in the Sioux country eight or nine years ago. We were performing chain guard, hemming-in duty, and it was our chief business to prevent the savages from straying from the reservation. We weren't under instructions to riddle them if they attempted to pass our guard posts, but were authorized to tickle them up to any reasonable extent, short of maiming them, with our bayonets, if any of them attempted to bluff past us. Well, the men of my troop had all colors of trouble while on guard in holding the savages in. The Ogalalla would hardly pay any attention to the white sentries of the chain guard, and when they wanted to pass beyond the guard limits they would invariably pick out a spot for passage that was patrolled by a white 'post-humper.' But the guards of the two black troops didn't have a single run-in with the savages. The Indians made it a point to remain strictly away from the Negro soldiers' guard posts. Moreover, the black soldiers got ten times as much obedience from the Indians loafing around the tepees and wickleup as did we of the white outfit. The Indians would fairly jump to obey the uniformed Negroes. I remember seeing a black sergeant make a minor chief go down to a creek to get a pail of water--an unheard of thing, for the chiefs, and even the ordinary bucks among the Sioux, always make their squaws perform this sort of work. This chief was sunning himself, reclining, beside his tepee, when his squaw started with the bucket for the creek some distance away. The Negro sergeant saw the move. He walked up to the lazy, grunting savage."

"'Look a-yeah, yo' spraddle-nosed, yalluh voodoo nigguh,' said the black sergeant--he was as black as a stovepipe--to the blinking chief, 'jes' shake yo' no-count bones an' tote dat wattuh yo'se'f. Yo' ain' no bettuh to pack wattuh dan Ah am, yo' heah me.'"

"The heap-much Indian chief didn't understand a word of what the Negro sergeant said to him, but he understands pantomime all right, and when the black man in uniform grabbed the pail out of the squaw's hand and thrust it into the dirty paw of the chief the chief went after that bucket of water, and he went a-loping, too."

"The Sioux will hand down to their children's children the story of a charge that a couple of Negro cavalry troops made during the Pine Ridge troubles. It was of the height of the fracas, and the bad Indians were regularly lined up for battle. Those two black troops were ordered to make the initial swoop upon them. You know the noise one black man can make when he gets right down to the business of yelling. Well, these two troops of blacks started their terrific whoop in unison when they were a mile away from the waiting Sioux, and they got warmed up and in better practice with every jump their horses made. I give you my solemn word that in the ears of us of the white outfit, stationed three miles away, the yelps those two Negro troops of cavalry gave sounded like the carnival whooping of ten thousand devils. The Sioux weren't scared a little bit by the approaching clouds of alkali dust, but, all the same, when the two black troops were more than a quarter of a mile away the Indians broke and ran as if the old boy himself were after them, and it was then an easy matter to round them up and disarm them. The chiefs afterward confessed that they were scared out by the awful howling of the black soldiers."

"Ever since the war the United States navy has had a fair representation of Negro bluejackets, and they make first-class naval tars. There is not a ship in the navy to-day that hasn't from six to a dozen, anyhow, of Negroes on its muster rolls. The Negro sailors' names very rarely get enrolled on the bad conduct lists. They are obedient, sober men and good seamen. There are many petty officers among them."--The Planet.

[In the city of New Orleans, in 1866, two thousand two hundred and sixty-six ex-slaves were recruited for the service. None but the largest and blackest Negroes were accepted. From these were formed the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Infantry, and the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry. All four are famous fighting regiments, yet the two cavalry commands have earned the proudest distinction. While the record of the Ninth Cavalry, better known as the "Nigger Ninth," in its thirty-two years of service in the Indian wars, in the military history of the border, stands without a peer; and is, without exception, the most famous fighting regiment in the United States service.]--Author.

History of Negro Soldiers in the Spanish-American War, and other items of Interest, 1899

Policed by Negroes

White Immunes Ordered out of Santiago, and a Colored Regiment Placed in Charge.
Washington, D.C., August 17, 1898.

Editor Colored American: The Star of this city published the following dispatch in its issue of the 16th inst. The Washington Post next morning published the same dispatch, omitting the last paragraph; and yet the Post claims to publish the news, whether pleasing or otherwise. The selection of the 8th Illinois colored regiment for this important duty, to replace a disorderly white regiment, is a sufficient refutation of a recent editorial in the Post, discrediting colored troops with colored officers. The Eighth Illinois is a colored regiment from Colonel down. The Generals at the front know the value of Negro troops, whether the quill-drivers in the rear do or not.

Charles R. Douglass
The following is the dispatch referred to by Major Douglass. The headlines of the Star are retained.
Immunes Made Trouble--General Shafter Orders the Second Regiment Outside the City of Santiago--Colored Troops from Illinois Assigned to the Duty of Preserving Order and Property.

Santiago de Cuba, Aug. 16.--General Shafter to-day ordered the Second Volunteer Regiment of Immunes to leave the city and go into camp outside.

The regiment had been placed here as a garrison, to preserve order and protect property. There has been firing of arms inside of the town by members of this regiment, without orders, so far as known. Some of the men have indulged in liquor until they have verged upon acts of license and disorder. The inhabitants in some quarters have alleged loss of property by force and intimidation, and there has grown up a feeling of uneasiness, if not alarm, concerning them. General Shafter has, therefore, ordered this regiment into the hills, where discipline can be more severely maintained.

In place of the Second Volunteer Immune Regiment, General Shafter has ordered into the city the Eighth Illinois Volunteer Regiment of colored troops , in whose sobriety and discipline he has confidence, and of whose sturdy enforcement of order no doubt is felt by those in command.

Sketch of Sixth Virginia Volunteers

Sketch of Sixth Virginia Volunteers
The Sixth Virginia Volunteer Infantry, U.S.V., consisted of two battalions, first and second Battalion Infantry Virginia Volunteers (State militia), commanded respectively by Maj. J.B. Johnson and Maj. W.H. Johnson. In April, 1898, the war cloud was hanging over the land. Governor J. Hoge Tyler, of Virginia, under instructions from the War Department, sent to all Virginia volunteers inquiring how many men in the respective commands were willing to enlist in the United States volunteer service in the war against Spain.

How many would go in or out of the United States.

Commonwealth Of Virginia
Adjutant-General's Office, Richmond, Va., April 19th, 1898.
General Order No. 8.
I. Commanding officers of companies of Virginia Volunteers will, immediately, upon the receipt by them of this order, assemble their respective companies and proceed to ascertain and report direct to this office, upon the form herewith sent and by letter, what officers and enlisted men of their companies will volunteer for service in and with the volunteer forces of the United States (not in the regular army) with the distinct understanding that such volunteer forces, or any portion thereof, may be ordered and required to perform service either in or out of the United States, and that such officer or enlisted man, so volunteering, agrees and binds himself to, without question, promptly obey all orders emanating from the proper officers, and to render such service as he may be required to perform, either within or beyond the limits of the United States.

II. The Brigade Commander and the Regimental and Battalion Commanders will, without delay, obtain like information and make, direct to this office, similar reports, to those above required, with regard to their respective field, staff and non-commissioned staff officers and regimental or battalion bands, adopting the form herewith sent to the regiments.
III. By reason of the necessity in this matter, this order is sent direct, with copies to intermediate commanders.

By order of the Governor and Commander-in-Chief. Wm. Nalle, Adjutant-General.
The companies of the First Battalion of Richmond and Second Battalion of Petersburg and Norfolk were the first to respond to the call and express a readiness to go anywhere in or out of the States with their own officers, upon these conditions they were immediately accepted, and the following order was issued:

Commonwealth of Virginia, Adjutant-General's Office, Richmond, Va., April 23, 1898. General Orders No. 9.
The commanding officers of such companies as will volunteer for service in the volunteer army of the United States will at once proceed to recruit their respective companies to at least eighty-four enlisted men. Any company volunteering as a body, for such service, will be mustered in with its own officers.

By order of the Governor and Commander-in-Chief. (Signed) W. Nalle, Adjutant-General.
Under date of June 1, 1898, S.O. 59, A.G.O., Richmond, Va., was issued directly to the commanding officers of the First and Second Battalion (colored), who had been specially designated by the President in his call, ordering them to take the necessary steps to recruit the companies of the respective battalions to eighty-three men per company, directing that care be taken, to accept only men of good repute and able-bodied, and that as soon as recruited the fact should be reported by telegraph to the Adjutant-General of the State.

July 15th, 1898, Company "A," Attucks Guard, was the first company to arrive at Camp Corbin, Va., ten miles below Richmond. The company had three officers; Capt. W.A. Hawkins, First Lieutenant J C Smith, Lieutenant John Parham.

The other companies followed in rapid succession.
Company "B" (Carney Guard), Capt. C.B. Nicholas; First Lieutenant L.J. Wyche, Second Lieutenant J.W. Gilpin.
Company "C" (State Guard), Capt. B.A. Graves; First Lieutenant S.B. Randolph, Second Lieutenant W.H. Anderson.
Company "D" (Langston Guard), Capt. E.W. Gould; First Lieutenant Chas. H. Robinson, Second Lieutenant Geo. W. Foreman.
Company "E" (Petersburg Guard), Capt. J.E. Hill; First Lieutenant J.H. Hill, Second Lieutenant Fred. E. Manggrum.
Company "F" (Petersburg), Capt. Pleasant Webb; First Lieutenant Jno. K. Rice, Second Lieutenant Richard Hill.
Company "G," Capt. J.A. Stevens; First Lieutenant E. Thomas Walker, Second Lieutenant David Worrell.
Company "H," Capt. Peter Shepperd, Jr.; First Lieutenant Jas. M. Collins, Second Lieutenant Geo. T. Wright.

The regiment consisted of only eight companies, two battalions, commanded respectively by Major J.B. Johnson and Maj. W.H. Johnson, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Rich'd C. Croxton, of the First United States Infantry. First Lieutenant Chas. R. Alexander was Surgeon. Second Lieutenant Allen J. Black, Assistant Surgeon.
Lieutenant W.H. Anderson, Company "C," was detailed as Adjutant, Ordinance Officer and Mustering Officer.
Lieutenant J.H. Gilpin, Company "B," was detailed as Quartermaster and Commissary of Subsistence.

On Monday, September 12, 1898, the command left Camp Corbin, Va., and embarked for Knoxville, Tenn., about 10 o'clock, the men traveling in day coaches and the officers in Pullman sleepers. The train was in two sections. Upon arrival at Knoxville the command was sent to Camp Poland, near the Fourteenth Michigan Regiment, who were soon mustered out. A few days after the arrival of the Sixth Virginia the Third North Carolina arrived, a full regiment with every officer a Negro. While here in order to get to the city our officers, wagons and men had to pass the camp of the First Georgia Regiment, and it was quite annoying to have to suffer from unnecessary delays in stores and other things to which the men were subject.

After the review by General Alger, Secretary of War, the Colonel of the Sixth Virginia received permission from headquarters of Third Brigade, Second Division, First Army Corps, General Rosser commanding, to move the camp to a point nearer the city, which was granted. Soon after the arrival of the Third North Carolina Regiment the First Georgia seemed disposed to attack the colored soldiers, so on a beautiful September evening some shots were fired into their camp by the First Georgia men and received quick response. After the little affair four Georgians were missing. The matter was investigated, the First Georgia was placed under arrest.

After the removal to a new portion of Camp Poland orders were received from the headquarters First Army Corps, Lexington, Ky., ordering a board of examiners for the following officers of the Sixth Virginia: Maj. W.H. Johnson; Second Battalion, Capt. C.B. Nicholas, Capt. J.E. Hill, Capt. J.A.C. Stevens, Capt. E.W. Gould, Capt. Peter Shepperd, Jr., Lieutenants S.B. Randolph, Geo. T. Wright and David Worrell for examination September 20, 1898, each officer immediately tendered his resignation, which was at once accepted by the Secretary of War.

Under the rules governing the volunteer army, when vacancies occurred by death, removal, resignation or otherwise, the Colonel of a regiment had the power to recommend suitable officers or men to fill the vacancies by promotions, and the Governor would make the appointment with the approval of the Secretary of War. Many of the men had high hopes of gaining a commission; many of the most worthy young men of the State, who left their peaceful vocations for the rough service of war, for they were, students, bookkeepers, real estate men, merchants, clerks and artists who responded to their country's call--all looking to a much desired promotion. But after many conflicting stories as to what would be done and much parleying on the part of the recommending power, who said that there was none in the regiment qualified for the promotion. And thereupon the Governor appointed white officers to fill the vacancies created. A copy of the following was sent to the Governor of Virginia through "military channels" but never reached him; also to the Adjutant General of the army through military channels:
Sixth Virginia Volunteer Infantry,
Second Battalion, Colored,
Camp Poland, Tenn.,
October 27th, 1898.

To the Adjutant General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.

Sir--We, the undersigned officers of the Sixth Virginia Volunteer Infantry, stationed at Camp Poland, Knoxville, Tenn., have the honor to respectfully submit to you the following:

Nine officers of this command who had served the state militia for a period ranging from five to twenty years were ordered examined. They resigned for reasons best known to themselves. We the remaining officers were sanguine that Negro officers would be appointed to fill these vacancies, and believe they can be had from the rank and file, as the men in the various companies enlisted with the distinct understanding that they would be commanded by Negro officers. We now understand through various sources that white officers have been, or are to be, appointed to fill these vacancies, to which we seriously and respectfully protest, because our men are dissatisfied. The men feel that the policy inaugurated as to this command should remain, and we fear if there is a change it will result disastrously to one of the best disciplined commands in the volunteer service. They are unwilling to be commanded by white officers and object to do what they did not agree to at first. That is to be commanded by any other than officers of the same color. We furthermore believe that should the appointments be confirmed there will be a continual friction between the officers and men of the two races as has been foretold by our present commanding officer. We express the unanimous and sincere desire of seven hundred and ninety-one men in the command to be mustered out rather than submit to the change.

We therefore pray that the existing vacancies be filled from the rank and file of the command or by men of color. To all of which we most humbly pray.

J.B. Johnson, Major 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
Pleasant Webb, Capt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
Benj. A. Graves, Capt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
Jas. C. Smith, 6th Va. Vol. Inf., 1st Lt.
L.J. Wyche, 1st Lt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
Chas. H. Robinson, 1st Lt. 6th Va. Vol.
John H. Hill, 1st Lt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
Jno. K. Rice, 1st Lt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
Edwin T. Walker, 1st Lt. 6th Va. Vol..
C.R. Alexander, 1st. Lt. And Sarg. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
John Parham, 2nd Lt. 6th. Va. Vol. Inf.
Jas. St. Gilpin, 2nd Lt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
W.H. Anderson, 2nd Lt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
George W. Foreman. 2nd Lt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
Frederick E. Manggrum, 2nd Lt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
Richard Hill, 2nd Lt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
James M. Collin, 2nd Lt. 6th Va. Vol. Inf.

First Endorsement.
Headquarters 6th Va. Vol. Inf.
Second Battalion, Colored,
Camp Poland, Tenn., Oct. 28,
Respectfully forwarded.

I have explained to the officers who signed this paper that their application is absurd, but they seem unable to see the points involved.

The statement within that 791 men prefer to be mustered out rather than serve under white officers is based upon the alleged reports that each First Sergeant stated to his Captain that all the men of the company were of that opinion. The statement that the men "enlisted with the understanding that they would be commanded entirely by Negro officers," seems to be based upon the fact that when these companies were called upon by the State authorities they volunteered for service, etc., "with our present officers." These officers (9 of them) have since resigned and their places filled by the Governor of Virginia with white officers.

These latter have not yet reported for duty.
Further comment seems as unnecessary as the application itself is useless.
(Signed) R.C. Croxton,
Lt. Col. 6th Va. Vol. Inf. Com'd'g.

Second Endorsement
Headquarters Third Brigade,
Second Division, First Army Corps,
Camp Poland, Tenn., Oct. 29, 1898.

Respectfully forwarded. Disapproved as under the law creating the present volunteer forces the Governor of Virginia is the only authority who can appoint the officers of the 6th Va. Vol. Inf.

(Signed) James H. Young
Col. Third N.C. Vol. Inf. Com'd'g. Brigade.

Third Endorsement
Headquarters Second Division,
First Army Corps,

Camp Poland, Knoxville, Tenn., Oct. 31, 1898.

Respectfully returned to the Commanding General, Third Brigade.

The enclosed communication is in form and substance so contrary to all military practice and traditions that it is returned for file at Regimental Headquarters, 6th Va. Vol. Infantry.

By command of Colonel Kuert
(Signed) Louis V. Caziarc,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Fourth Endorsement
Headquarters Third Brigade,
Second Division, First Army Corps.

Respectfully transmitted to C.O., 6th Virginia, inviting attention to
preceding Inst.

By order of Colonel Young.
(Signed) A.B. Collier,
Captain Assistant Adjutant-General.

A New Lieutenant for the 6th Virginia
October 31st, 1898, the monthly muster was in progress. There appeared in the camp a new Lieutenant--Lieut. Jno. W. Healey--formerly Sergeant-Major in the regular army. This was the first positive evidence that white officers would be assigned to this regiment. This was about 9 o'clock in the morning, and at Knoxville later in the day, there were more arrivals. Then it was published that the following changes and appointments were made:

Company "D," First Battalion, was transferred to the Second Battalion;
Company "F," of the Second Battalion, transferred to the First Battalion.
Major E.E. Cobell, commanding Second Battalion.
Captain R.L.E. Masurier, commanding Company "D."
Captain W.S. Faulkner, commanding Company "E."
Captain J.W. Bentley, commanding Company "G."
Captain S.T. Moore, commanding Company "H."
First Lieutenant Jno. W. Healey to Company "H."
First Lieutenant A.L. Moncure to Company "G."
Second Lieutenant Geo. W. Richardson, Company "G."
First Lieutenant Edwin T. Walker transferred to Company "C."
November 1st officers attempted to take charge of the men who offered no violence at all, but by their manner and conduct it appeared too unpleasant and unsafe for these officers to remain, so tendered their resignations, but they were withheld for a day.

The next day, November 2, 1898, it was thought best that the colored Captains and Lieutenants would drill the companies at the 9 o'clock drill. While on the field "recall" was sounded and the companies were brought to the headquarters and formed a street column. General Bates, commanding the Corps and his staff; Col. Kuert, commanding the Brigade and Brigade staff; Maj. Louis V. Caziarc, Assistant Adjutant-General: Lieut. Col. Croxton and Maj. Johnson were all there and spoke to the men. Colonel Kuert said: "Gentlemen, as commanding officer of the Brigade, I appear before you to-day asking you to do your duty; to be good soldiers, to remember your oath of enlistment, and to be careful as to the step you take, for it might cost you your life; that there are enough soldiers at my command to force you into submission should you resist. No, if you intend to accept the situation and submit to these officers placed over you, at my command, you come to a right shoulder, and if you have any grievance imaginary or otherwise present through proper military channels, and if they are proper, your wrongs will be adjusted."

"Right shoulder, Arms." Did not a man move. He then ordered them to be taken back to their company street and to "stack arms."

Before going to the company streets Major Caziarc spoke to the men as follows: "Forty years ago no Negro could bear arms or wear the blue. You cannot disgrace the blue, but can make yourselves unworthy to wear it."

Then Maj. J.B. Johnson spoke to the men and urged upon them to keep in mind the oath of enlistment (which he read to them), in which they swore that they would "obey all officers placed over them;" that since the appointments had been made there was nothing for them to do but to accept the situation. At the conclusion of Maj. Johnson's talk to the men, Private Badger, Regimental Tailor, stepped to the front and gave the "rifle salute" and asked permission to say a word. It was granted. He said: "When we enlisted we understood that we would go with our colored officers anywhere in or out of this country, and when vacancies occurred we expected and looked for promotion as was the policy of the Governor of Virginia toward other Virginia Regiments." He was told that if the men had any grievance they could present it through military channels and it would be looked into. They never accepted Maj. Johnson's advice--returned to their company streets and were allowed to keep their guns. The Ordnance Officer was ordered to take all ammunition to the camp of the Thirty-first Michigan and place it in the guard-house.

The men had the freedom and pass privilege to and from the city.

November 19th the command was ordered to Macon, Ga., arriving at Camp Haskell next day, with 820 men and 27 officers.

Near the camp of the Sixth Virginia was that of the Tenth Immune Regiment, in which were many Virginia boys, some of whom had been members of some of the companies of the Sixth.

Some irresponsible persons cut down a tree upon which several men had been lynched. The blame naturally fell upon the Sixth Virginia. The regiment was placed under arrest and remained so for nineteen days. The first day the Third Engineers guarded the camp, but General Wilson, the Corps commander, removed them and put colored soldiers to guard them. On the night of November 20th, at a late hour, the camp was surrounded by all the troops available while the men were asleep and the regiment was disarmed.

While all this was going on the Thirty-first Michigan Regiment had been deployed into line behind a hill on the north and the Fourth Tennessee had been drawn up in line on the east side of the camp ready to fire should any resistance be offered.

The men quietly submitted to this strange procedure, and did not know that Gatling guns had been conveniently placed at hand to mow them down had they shown any resistance. The Southern papers called them the mutinous Sixth, and said and did every thing to place discredit upon them.

They were reviewed by General Breckinridge, General Alger, Secretary of War, and President McKinley, who applauded them for their fine and soldierly appearance.

Comments on the Third North Carolina Regiment
Of all the volunteer regiments the Third North Carolina seemed to be picked out as the target for attack by the Georgia newspapers. The Atlanta Journal, under large headlines, "A Happy Riddance," has the following to say when the Third North Carolina left Macon. But the Journal's article was evidently written in a somewhat of a wish-it-was-so-manner, and while reading this article we ask our readers to withhold judgment until they read Prof. C.F. Meserve on the Third North Carolina, who wrote after investigation.

The Journal made no investigation to see what the facts were, but dwells largely on rumors and imagination. It will be noted that President Meserve took the pains to investigate the subject before writing about it.
The Atlanta Journal says:

A Happy Riddance
The army and the country are to be congratulated on the mustering out of the Third North Carolina Regiment.
A tougher and more turbulent set of Negroes were probably never gotten together before. Wherever this regiment went it caused trouble.

While stationed in Macon several of its members were killed, either by their own comrades in drunken brawls or by citizens in self-defense.

Last night the mustered-out regiment passed through Atlanta on its way home and during its brief stay here exhibited the same ruffianism and brutality that characterized it while in the service. But for the promptness and pluck of several Atlanta policemen these Negro ex-soldiers would have done serious mischief at the depot. Those who undertook to make trouble were very promptly clubbed into submission, and one fellow more obstreperous than the rest, was lodged in the station house.
With the exception of two or three regiments the Negro volunteers in the recent war were worse than useless. The Negro regulars, on the contrary, made a fine record, both for fighting and conduct in camp.

The mustering out of the Negro volunteers should have begun sooner and have been completed long ago.

What President Charles Francis Meserve says
President Charles Francis Meserve, of Shaw University, says:

"I spent a part of two days the latter part of December at Camp Haskell, near Macon, Ga., inspecting the Third North Carolina colored regiment and its camp and surroundings. The fact that this regiment has colored officers and the knowledge that the Colonel and quite a number of officers, as well as many of the rank and file, were graduates or former students of Shaw University, led me to make a visit to this regiment, unheralded and unannounced. I was just crossing the line into the camp when I was stopped by a guard, who wanted to know who I was and what I wanted. I told him I was a very small piece of Shaw University, and that I wanted to see Col. Young. After that sentence was uttered, and he had directed me to the headquarters of the colonel, the regiment and the camp might have been called mine, for the freedom of everything was granted me."

"The camp is admirably located on a sandy hillside, near pine woods, and is dry and well-drained. It is well laid out, with a broad avenue in the centre intersected by a number of side streets. On one side of the avenue are the tents and quarters of the men and the canteen, and on the opposite side the officers' quarters, the hospital, the quartermasters stores, the Y.M.C.A. tent, etc."

"Although the weather was unfavorable, the camp was in the best condition, and from the standpoint of sanitation was well-nigh perfect. I went everywhere and saw everything, even to the sinks and corral. Part of the time I was alone and part of the time an officer attended me. There was an abundant supply of water from the Macon water works distributed in pipes throughout the camp. The clothing was of good quality and well cared for. The food was excellent, abundant in quantity and well prepared. The beef was fresh and sweet, for it had not been "embalmed." The men were not obliged to get their fresh meat by picking maggots out of dried apples and dried peaches as has been the case sometimes in the past on our "Wild West Frontier." There were potatoes, Irish and sweet, navy beans, onions, meat, stacks of light bread, canned salmon, canned tomatoes, etc. These were not all served at one meal, but all these articles and others go to make up the army ration list."

"The spirit and discipline of officers and men was admirable, and reflected great credit upon the Old North State. There was an enthusiastic spirit and buoyancy that made their discipline and evolutions well nigh perfect. The secret of it all was confidence in their leader. They believe in their colonel, and the colonel in turn believes in his men. Col. James H. Young possesses in a marked degree a quality of leadership as important as it is rare. He probably knows by name at least three-quarters of his regiment, and is on pleasant terms with his staff and the men in the ranks, and yet maintains a proper dignity, such as befits his official rank."

Prof. Charles F. Meserve, Of Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C. (Who investigated and made report on the Third N.C. Volunteers.)

"On the last afternoon of my visit of inspection Col. Young ordered the regiment drawn up in front of his headquarters, and invited me to address them. The Colonel and his staff were mounted, and I was given a position of honor on a dry goods box near the head of the beautiful horse upon which the Colonel was mounted. Besides Colonel James H. Young, of Raleigh, were near me Lieutenant Colonel Taylor, of Charlotte; Major Walker, of Wilmington; Major Hayward, of Raleigh; Chief Surgeon Dellinger, of Greensboro; Assistant Surgeons Pope, of Charlotte, and Alston, of Asheville; Capt. Durham, of Winston; Capt. Hamlin, of Raleigh; Capt. Hargraves, of Maxton; Capt. Mebane, of Elizabeth City; Capt. Carpenter, of Rutherfordton; Capt. Alexander, of Statesville; Capt. Smith, of Durham; Capt. Mason, of Kinston; who served under Colonel Shaw at Fort Wagner; Capt. Leatherwood, Asheville; Capt. Stitt, of Charlotte; Capt. York, of Newbern; and Quartermaster Lane, of Raleigh. That highly respected citizen of Fayetteville, Adjutant Smith, was in the hospital suffering from a broken leg. I told them they were on trial, and the success or failure of the experiment must be determined by themselves alone; that godliness, moral character, prompt and implicit obedience, as well as bravery and unflinching courage, were necessary attributes of the true soldier."

"The Y.M.C.A. tent is a great blessing to the regiment, and is very popular, and aids in every possible way the work of Chaplain Durham."

"The way Col. Young manages the canteen cannot be too highly recommended. Ordinarily the term canteen is another name for a drinking saloon, though a great variety of articles, such as soldiers need, are on sale and the profits go to the soldiers. But the canteen of the Third North Carolina is a dry one. By that I mean that spiritous or malt liquors are not sold. Col. Young puts into practice the principles that have always characterized his personal habits, and with the best results to his regiment."

"I had the pleasure of meeting Capt. S. Babcock, Assistant Adjutant General of the Brigade, who has known this regiment since it was mustered into the service. He speaks of it in the highest terms. I also met Major John A. Logan, the Provost Marshal, and had a long interview with him. He said the Third North Carolina was a well-behaved regiment and that he had not arrested a larger per cent of men from this regiment than from any other regiment, and that I was at liberty to publicly use this statement."

"While in the sleeper on my way home I fell in with Capt. J.C. Gresham, of the Seventh Cavalry. Capt. Gresham is a native of Virginia, a graduate of Richmond College and West Point, and has served many years in the regular army. He was with Colonel Forsyth in the battle with the Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. I had met him previously, when I was in the United States Indian service in Kansas. He informed me that he mustered in the first four companies of the Third North Carolina, and the Colonel and his staff, and that he had never met a more capable man than Colonel Young."

"The Third North Carolina has never seen active service at the front, and, as the Hispano-American war is practically a closed chapter, it will probably be mustered out of the service without any knowledge of actual warfare. I thought, however, as I stood on the dry goods box and gave them kindly advice, and looked down along the line, that if I was a soldier in a white regiment and was pitted against them, my regiment would have to do some mighty lively work to clean them out."
Charles Francis Meserve
Shaw University,
Raleigh, N.C., Jan. 25, 1899.

History of Negro Soldiers in the Spanish-American War, and other items of Interest, 1899

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Created: July 14, 2007 · Modified: May 28, 2013

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