Duluthians & the Spanish-American War

After more than thirty years of peace, war clouds again gathered, this nation becoming involved in another struggle to free an oppressed people. And the nation was destined again to have it demonstrated that Minnesota was as ready as of yore to uphold the cause of Jiberty, by personal sacrifice-of life, if need be. It is said that Minnesota was the “first to respond to the call of President McKinley for volunteers at the beginning of the war with Spain.” At 5 o’clock in the afternoon of April 25, 1898, Gov. D. M. Clough received the telegraphic requisition for three regiments of infantry. The governor immediately replied: “Troops ready at once,” giving statement as to arms, equipment, etc. They were to serve for two years, or during the war. The First, Second and Third regiments of the state troops, the National Guard units, were soon mobilized, and filled to war strength by careful selection from the abundance of volunteers available. By April 29th the National Guard regiments had mobilized, only four days after receipt of the first intimation from federal authorities that there was a need; and when the regiments passed into federal control they followed the numerical order of the infantry regiments of the Civil War, the First, Second, and Third regiments of National Guard becoming the Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth regiments of Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. Subsequently the Fifteenth Regiment was organized. In all of these regiments men of St. Louis county served, therefore some review of the regimental records should be given.

Twelfth Minn. Infantry.-The Twelfth Regiment of Minnesota Volunteer Infantry was enrolled on April 29, 1898, and mustered into the service of the United States at Camp Ramsey, St. Paul, on May 6 and 7, 1898. Col. Joseph Bobleter, of New Ulm, was in command.

The regiment left Camp Ramsey, May 15th, for Camp Thomas, Ga., and was there assigned to First Brig., Third Div., First Army Corps.

Transferred August 24, 1898 to Camp Hamilton, Ky., and left there Sept. 15, 1898, for New Ulm, Minn. Six days later the regiment “was furloughed for thirty days,” and was mustered out of the service on November 5, 1898, the Spanish resistance having been broken, and there being no further need for all the troops mobilized.

Thirteenth Minn. Infantry was enrolled on April 29, 1898, and federalized at Camp Ramsey, St. Paul, May 7th, Col. C. McReeve commanding. On May 16th the regiment proceeded to San Francisco, California, to prepare for service in the Phillipine Islands. From Camp Merritt on June 26, 1898, the Thirteenth embarked on the steamer “City of Para,” bound for Manila, P. I. The regiment debarked on August 7th at Paranaqua, P. I., marching to Camp Dewey 622the same day. On August 13, 1898, the regiment participated in the battle before Manila, as a part of the Third Brigade, Second Division.

On August 22nd the regiment was assigned to provost guard duty at Manila. It was relieved March 19, 1899, and ordered into the field as a unit of Third Brigade, Second Division, under command of Gen. R. P. Hall. March 25th and 26th it was engaged with insurgents in the Mariquina Valley. From March 29th to August 4th the Thirteenth was on duty guarding the lines of communication and had numerous engagements, including the battle of Santa Maria, April 12th. Two battalions of the regiment were detached on April 23rd to form part of the Provisional Brigade, a unit of Lawton’s expedition into the interior.

On August 4th the regiment was relieved from further duty in the Phillipines, and returned to Manila for embarkation; it reached San Francisco eventually on September 7th and debarked two days later, marching to the Presidio camp, where it was mustered out on October 3, 1899.

Fourteenth Minn. Infantry.-The Fourteenth Regiment was enrolled on April 29th, 1898, and became United States troops on May 8, 1898, at Camp Ramsey, under command of Col. H. C. Vanduzee.

Reached Camp Thomas, Ga., May 19, 1898. On August 28, 1898, left Camp Thomas for Camp Poland, Knoxville, Tenn., and on September 20, 1898, left for Camp Van Duzee, St. Paul, Minn., a week later, being furloughed. The regiment was finally mustered out of federal service on Nov. 18, 1898, the national war need being over. In the record of the Fourteenth Regiment, however, is service along the Great Northern Railway during Indian unrest. “Several companies participated in the operations as a part of General Bacon’s forces, returning in the afternoon of October 23, 1898.” Fifteenth Minn. Infantry.-This regiment was mustered into the United States Army at Camp Ramsey, St. Paul, Minn., July 9 to 18, · 1898, under the second call of the President for volunteer troops.

From Camp Ramsey the regiment went to Camp Snelling, thence on September 15, 1898, to Camp Meade, Pennsylvania. On November 15, 1898, the regiment was transferred to Camp Mackenzie, Ga., and there remained until mustered out on March 27, 1899.

The men of the Minnesota regiments enlisted for service during the Spanish war were of fine physique, as may be imagined from the fact that only a limited number could be enlisted, whereas the young men of the state, almost as a whole, were eager to enlist. And had the war lasted, seriously, into the following year there is no doubt that the Minnesota regiments would have distinguished themselves as nobly as did the state troops of the Civil war. Fortunately, they were not called upon, with the exception of the Thirteenth, but their records nevertheless should be treasured among the military annals of the several divisions of Minnesota. St. Louis County’s contribution, perhaps cannot be completely shown, but the best information now available is embodied in this chapter, so that the local veterans of the Spanish war may know that their national service (which in hardships and camp rigors, was as hazardous as that experienced by many of the units of the Civil war period, and of the last great World war), is not unappreciated. The most authentic record, perhaps, is in the rosters of the United Spanish War Veterans. The local veterans of that war are of record in the two camps of the county, the John G. McEwen Camp, of Duluth, and the Major Wilkinson Camp, of Chisholm. Culling the information from the official records of the United States Department of Minnesota, United Spanish War Veterans, it appears many of the contingent from St.

Louis County enlisted in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Minnesota Volunteer regiments. Those veterans that were on the roster of the John G. McEwen Camp in 1919 were: Alfred Arnson, 15th Minn.; Christ Anderson, 14th Minn.; H. Ahl, 14th Minn.; Louis G. Andrews, 5th Mass.; J. A. Barron, 33rd Mich.; Nick Bergerson, 15th Minn.; Walter B. Burchard, 14th Minn.; Frank L. Bradley, 6th U. S. Cav.; T. F. Brown, 34th U. S. Inf.; P. J. Bestler, 2nd Wis.; W. A. Bone, 2nd Wis.; W. A. Berridge, 17th Ohio; Julius Boetcher, 14th Minn.; Martin T. Burns, 14th Minn.; Edward Blackwood, 34th Mich.; Harley Brigham, 34th U. S. Inf.; J. B. Caverly, 5th U. S. Cav.; Dr. T. L. Chapman, 33rd Mich.; Judd Canning, U. S. N.; Thomas Carrigan, 13th Minn.; A. R.

DeVohn, 14th Minn.; A. P. Daly, 14th Minn.; Pat Derrig, 1st Mont.; L. A. Erickson, U. S. N.; Dr. C. E. French, 14th Minn.; E. J. Fitzgerald, U. S. N.; A. Friis, 14th Minn.; J. A Fraser, 14th Minn.; Geo. Frame, 14th Minn.; Wm. J. Fitzenmeier, 14th Minn.; Andrew Frielund, U. S. N.; J. B. Gileson, 14th Minn.; Thos. W. Gunn, 18th U. S. Inf.; R. R. Houghtalling, 35th U. S. Inf.; Roy V. Hamlin, 33rd U. S. Inf.; Hans Hagelin, 4th U. S. Inf.; Robert Hiaskins, U. S. N.; F. R. Holmberg, 14th Minn.; H. M. Hutchengs, U. S. Marines; A. W. Jacobson, 10th U. S. Inf.; Chas. Jacobs, 26th U. S. Inf.; Horace B. Keedy, 7th Ill.; Francis J. Kendall, 14th Minn.; W. J. Kennedy, 14th Minn.; Wm. Kubiski, 15th Minn.; Geo. A. Kennedy, 1st Ky.; W. W. Keilly, 14th Minn.; W. C. Kimball, 46th U. S.; J. H. Koors, 13th Minn.; Herman Krause, 3rd U. S. Inf.; D. D. Kreidler, 15th Minn.; J. E. Lawrence, 14th Minn.; Chas. F. Loerke, 34th Mich.; Geo. Lloyd, 14th Minn.; John Lueck, 3rd U. S. Inf.; Ed. Loftus, 13th Minn.; T. J. Leahy, 14th Minn.; Emil Lundberg, 14th Minn.; Edw. S. LaCroix, 14th Minn.; Louis Lohman, 14th Minn.; R. H. Long, 14th Minn.; Geo. Morin, 15th Minn.; Fred S. Moulster, 4th Wis.; M. C. Miller, 14th Minn.; Walter M. Mee, 14th Minn.; H. Moody, 1st U. S. Cav.; H. L. Merrill, 47th U. S. Inf.; Joseph Maley, 15th Minn.; Rod McDonald, 33rd Mich.; W. A. McKee, 14th Minn.; P. E. McCormack, 1st Wis.; W. S. McCormack, 14th Minn.; Chas. V. McCoy, U. S. Hosp.; C. L. McCool, 32nd U. S.; A. E. Neilson, 1st Ill.; Rudolph Nelson, 13th Minn.; O. F. Nelson, 34th Mich.; M. P. Orchard, 14th Minn.; W. L. Peirce, 14th Minn.; W. E. Pugh, 1st Ill. Art.; Anthon J. Peterson, 14th Minn.; O. F. Phillips, 158th Ind.; Jacob M. Plank, 1st Ill.; Thomas Ross, 14th Minn.; W. T. Ryan, 16th U. S.; W. C. Robinson, 14th Minn.; W. Y. Richardson, 13th Minn.; F. R. Stuckman, U. S. N.; Rev. John G Schaibly, 5th Ohio; Geo. J. Sherman, U. S. Hosp.; C. J. Sutherland, U. S. N.; F. M. Schutte, 13th Minn.; J. D. Schweiger, 14th Minn.; Philip R. Sherman, 31st Mich.; Ed. F. Spink, 14th Minn.; D. \V. Stocking, 14th Minn.; Benj. Swarthout, 5th U. S. Inf.; E. G. Shepard, 14th Minn.; M. M. Turnhull, 49th Iowa; Jacob Thoresen, U. S. N.; Herman Toewe, 8th Penn.; C. C. Teare, 14th Minn.; Leonard Usher, 28th U. S.; Harry Witz, 14th Minn.; J. O. Westerlund, 34th Mich.; R. M. Weaver, 14th Minn.; Oscar Wetterlind, 14th Minn.; Oscar Dehlin, 35th Mich.; Joseph Carhart, Jr.; Alva G. Catlin, 13th Minn.; Walter J. Cook, 13th Minn.; J. Scott Cash, 14th Minn.; W. A. Bone, 3rd Wis.; Rudolph Deitz, 14th Minn.; John A. Johnson, 15th Minn.; C. E. Haines, 14th Minn.; R. C. Haxton, 4th U. S. Inf.; Fred C. Moulster, 4th Wis.; Albert LaPoint, 4th U. S. Inf.; Richard Little, 14th Minn.; Lawrence Long, 14th Minn.; J. R. Miles, 14th Minn.; O. W. Mittie, 7th U. S. Art.; Geo. H. Miller, 14th Minn.; Frank Musolf, 14th Minn.; E. D. Loftus, 13th Minn.; E. F. Mathews, 12th Minn. Vol.; Marvin McLaren, 14th Minn.; W. E. Phillips, 1st Ind.; Brown McDonald, 2nd Tex.; Chas. McEvoy, 34th Mich.; M. C. Parker, 3rd U. S. Art.; Frank Story, 14th Minn.; F. O. Steel, 33rd Mich.; Chas. H. Willis, 14th Minn.; Louis Gscheidle, 15th Minn.; J. F. Watson, 14th Minn.; H. D. Wood, U. S. N.; E. J. Whalen, 4th Mich.; Hector Lamont, 14th Minn.; Lewis A. Dunaway, 1st Wis.; Richard McCarthy, 51st Iowa; Geo. W. Mee, 14th Minn.; Ira B. Smith, 13th Minn.; Chas. E. Carroll, 14th Minn.; Patrick Long, 14th Minn.; Andrew Zellar, 14th Minn.; Carl Lovelace, 1st Wis.; Walter G. Whitney, 14th Minn.; Geo. H. Christopher, 14th Minn.; Peter Novack, 14th Minn.; Alex. Kalish, 6th U. S. Inf.; F. H. Wood, 14th Minn.; J. L. McPhee, 3rd U. S. Inf.; M. J. Murray, 14th Minn.; J. W. McCormick, 13th Minn.; J. J. Beattie, U. S. Signal; C. G. Wickman, 3rd U. S. Inf.; Dr. W. J. Works, 13th Minn.; H. A. Hanson, 3rd Wis.; J. C. Eaton, 14th Minn.; P. L. Anderson, 14th Minn.; J. M. Frink, 3rd Wis.; Edw. Legh Page, 2nd Tex.; And. H. Smith, 13th Minn.; G. T. Bates, 14th Minn.; R. H. Kehl, 34th Mich.; P. 0. Haugland, 2lst U. S. Inf.; D. A. Small, 13th Minn.; Frank J. Small, 15th Minn.; and the following named deceased: Theodore Simon, 13th Minn.; G. A. Henry, 14th Minn.; Daniel E. Edklund, 3rd U. S. Inf.; W. HI. Smallwood, 14th Minn.

The veterans who are members of the Major Wilkinson Camp of Chisholm are: Thomas O’Connor, 3rd Inf.; W. B. Brown, U. S. N.; Walter H. Ogden, 22nd Inf.; Wm. H. Clemens, 1st Art.; P. Mungovan, 3rd Neb.; Andrew Hagland, 87th Vol.; Dayton H. Hinds, 34th Mich.; Adolph M. Peterson, 3rd Inf.; Thomas Cody, 37th Vol.; Frank Green, 22nd Inf.; Joe Verant, 45th Vol.; Clarence B. Banks, 3rd Wis.; George Meyers, 34th. Mich.; John Sladkey, 45th Vol.; John P. Lanto, 34th Mich.; Geo. A. Lindsey, 50th Iowa; A. Antonelli, 3rd Inf.; Joseph Havelick, 15th Art.; Herman Junsola, 34th Mich.; J. B. Frazer, 3rd U. S. Inf.; H. A. Thompson, 3rd U. S, Inf. The commander of the John G. McEwen Camp, Duluth, is Thomas W. Gunn; and the commander of the Major Wilkinson Camp of Chisholm is Herman Junsola.

By reason of their numbers (so small when compared with those developed by the greater needs of the Civil and World wars) the Spanish war veterans do not seem to have been accorded a just need of praise. In reality, however, they have been, for all who think of the matter at all know that the same spirit of true patriotism was manifested by them, and as fully as that shown in the days of the Civil war. They were prepared to go to the end, if need be, to uphold all that this nation stands for, and they may rest assured that, though their numbers be few, the place of the Spanish war veterans among the patriotic organizations of the United States is a definite and honorable one.

Sources:

  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.