VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS of '98 & '99
Scott County, Illinois

Click here for a list of soldier sketches.

Thanks to Jeanie Lowe for transcribing the information on these soldiers. Since the photos aren't as clear as they could be, if anyone has an original photo of one of these men and would like to share it, I would be glad to put a copy of the original photo online with the soldier sketch.


THE WINCHESTER TIMES
Soldier Souvenir Edition
Winchester, Illinois, January, 1900

THE VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS OF '98 and '99

Little Scott county certainly furnished her quota of volunteer soldiers to the Spanish-American war.

So many of our boys enlisted that our people manifested more than ordinary interest in their behalf upon their return home last summer.

While the majority of these boys did not see active warfare, nor were subjected to the dangers of shot and shell, yet their ready disposition to answer to their country's call for volunteers, demonstrated no lack of patriotism on their part.

Our boys were as patriotic as any in the country and they were as eager and ready to fight for their country's flag as the old time veterans of the regular army.

It was the spirit of independence together with a desire for the retaliation of a national insult that urged them to avenge the great wrong that had been heaped upon the nation in Havana harbor, when the Spaniards blew up the Maine, and, we may add, their sympathy for the oppressed Cubans in their fight against the common foe.

However, the boys went to war, and returned home after a hard and varied experience in the service of Uncle Sam, and were received with gladness by loving relatives and friends. The hospitality of home folks was at their disposal, and they felt real good to be home again.

So far as we know only one of our boys (Luke T. Peak) succumbed to the ravages of disease while in the service, and his memory will ever be cherished by all his comrades and a host of loving friends. He was a bright boy, and it was sad indeed when the news was heralded to his family that he had passed away. But a soldier's life is uncertain, in the hours of conflict, and we should always be prepared to bear up under the trying circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one.

As a tribute to "the boys" this edition of the TIMES is dedicated, and, while it may be only a small recognition of their services, we trust no one will feel slighted, if, perchance, we should have overlooked some of them. We aimed to get a photo of each one whom we learned had enlisted, but were unsuccessful in a few instances. Such fragments of data as could be obtained, bearing on their careers while in Uncle Sam's service; was secured, and is given herewith; but, of course it is somewhat incomplete, and will only serve as a reminiscence of the boys who entered the "Hispano-Americano" war. Such as we have we give herewith.

THE NINETEENTH INFANTRY.
The following short sketch of the Nineteenth Infantry was furnished us by John F. Adkins:

The Nineteenth United States Infantry, before the Spanish American war, was quartered at Fort Wayne and Fort Brady, Michigan, and, after war was declared, it with other regular regiments, were ordered south. The 19th was ordered to Mobile, Alabama, arriving there the latter part of April, and remained there until June, when it was ordered to Tampa, Florida to embark with the first expedition to Cuba, but owing to a wreck on the railroad it was delayed and the 20th regiment was substituted. Arriving at Tampa they were assigned to camping grounds at Tampa Heights. This regiment with the 5th and 11th constituted General Coppingers' Brigade, while Lieut. Col. Chas. Hood was in command of the 19th. It was while the 19th was at this place, the boys from Scott county joined, and were assigned to different companies and on the following day were taken to the Quarter Master's tent and issued clothing and equipments.

A soldier's outfit consists of a blanket roll, containing, one suit of underwear, one pair of socks, one pair of shoes, one half shelter tent, two short poles and three pins, blanket and pouch or rubber blanket. The equipments were a rifle, cartridge belt, 100 rounds of ammunition, bayonet, canteen, haver sack with mess kit of two pans, knife, fork, spoon, and a tin cup. All of this he carried while on the march.

Then came the drills, squad, company, battalion, regimental, skirmish and practice marches with full equipments. July 20th the regiment broke camp and marches to the depot where they took the train for Port Tampa, 10 miles distance, where they were to take transports for Porto Rico, arriving there late in the evening in a heavy rain. The transports in the harbor waiting for the troops were: Mohawk, Geo. H. Miller, Arcadia, Florida. Cherokee, Baltimore and Whitney. The first and second battalion of the 19th were ordered aboard the Cherokee and the 3rd battalion aboard the Florida. July 21st was a very busy day for the regiment, loading provisions, ammunition, three Gatling guns and regimental wagons. The work was not finished until noon on July 22nd . The soldiers were given time, after dinner, to write farewell letters home, and at four o'clock the Cherokee and Florida, with the 19th aboard, steamed out of the harbor for Porto Rico. Out of Tampa Bay south, through the Youcatan channel into the Carribean sea, passing the Isles of Pines and southern Coast of Cuba. Just before reaching Santiago one of the battle ships of the Spanish navy was seen. It was lying near the shore, and her smoke stacks and upper deck were visible, and were looking very much bruised and battered, while on the side of the mountain above, the smoke from the camp fires of the American army was plainly seen. Just as it was getting dusk we passed the Santiago harbor. The dim outlines of Morro Castle could be seen, while around it the camp fires of our soldiers gleamed in the gathering darkness.

The course of the ship was east. We passed through the windward passage and entered Samara Bay, Santo Domingo, where we were to wait for other transports to go with us. None came and the Cherokee left Samara Bay for Porto Rico alone.

Next day about 3 o'clock a ship was sighted on our right. Very soon it came up and fired a blank shot at our ship first. The captain did not heed so another was fired, this time not a blank but a solid shot, which whistled over the mast and struck the water about a quarter of a mile to our left: still the ship did not pull to. Another shot was fired at closer range and this time the ball did not miss the bow of our ship three feet, judging from where it struck the water on the left side. Then the bell in the engine room rang and all haste was made to stop, which was done in short order. The ship came within hailing distance. It was the gun boat Dixie. After finding out who and what we were she steamed away and out of sight in a few minutes. Then our brave boys came on deck from every place one could think of, for at the second shot from the Dixie nearly everybody looked for some place to hide, fearing he might be struck.

July 31 the Cherokee entered the harbor of Ponce, Porto Rico. In the harbor were nearly all the battleships that were under the command of Schley, also transports, dispatch and newspaper boats. August 1, the 1st and 2nd infantry landed and marched toward the city of Ponce where camping grounds were assigned. The first night after landing, our supper consisted of boiled potatoes in "fatigue uniform," bacon, coffee and hard-tack. Never was a supper eaten with more relish. We had been living on canned beef, tomatoes, hard-tack and coffee on board ship and were heartily sick of it.

After a day's rest the companies were separated and sent to different parts of the island. All the Spaniards had fled toward San Juan, the capital. Other regiments were sent out over the island also, but the duty of the 19th was to guard stores, provo police, care for prisoners and clean up Ponce generally, and a dirty, hard job it was.

After peace was declared all regiments, but the 19th and 11th, were ordered home. The companies were scattered all over the island. Ponce being the headquarters of the 11th, were ordered home. The companies were scattered all over the island. Ponce being the headquarters of the 19th and San Juan the headquarters of the 11th. As these two regiments were for invasion and occupation it was very hard on the boys. The water was bad, the food was bad, and, being unacclimated, a great many were sick and in the hospital.

December found the regiment in fairly good condition, the food was better and the men were getting used to the climate. In April the boys who had enlisted for the war were discharged and a new set of men were recruited to fill their places. The 19th was ordered to the Philippines the latter part of April and embarked on the transport Meade, but owing to an accident while going oout of the harbor, the boat was delayed about two weeks.

In May the Meade sailed for New York, arriving there safely. The regiment then went to Camp Meade, Pa., from there to San Francisco, Cal., then embarked again for the Philippines where the regiment is at the present time.

Transcribed by: Jeanie Lowe


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