MANISTEE IN THE
SPANISH AMERICAN WAR

Photo: Company B, 34th Michigan U. S. V.

Roster: Company B, 34th Michigan U. S. V.

John STRONACH Jr., Captain Albert D. GILLHOOLEY, Pvt. (died in service) John O'LEARY, Pvt.
George H. BROADHEAD, First Lieutenant Frank GILLMAN, Pvt. Patrick O'NEILL, Pvt.
Daniel A. WAITE, Second Lieutenant Charles GROTEMOT, Pvt. Elmo C. POWELL, Pvt.
Frank L. WAITE, First Sergeant Varney M. HADLEY, Pvt. John G. PEARSON, Pvt.
Ray C. BAKER, Q. M. Arthur J. HILLIKER, Pvt. Alfred E. RIVERS, Pvt.
Byron STANSELL, Sergeant Thomas J. HAINES, Pvt. James W. RHOADES, Pvt.
Samuel SNYDER, Sergeant John HUBBELL, Pvt. Norman P. RAWSON, Pvt.
Ray BRADFORD, Sergeant John W. HUGHES, Pvt. Johm RENNELL, Pvt.
Ward ESTES, Sergeant Michael HIGHLAND, Pvt. James H. RETELLE, Pvt.
Hans HANSON, Corporal George HOWELL, Pvt. Roy E. SWANK, Pvt.
Edward C. STOKOE, Corporal Burton C. JOHNSON, Pvt. James H. SCHUSTER, Pvt.
Lawrence NELSON, Corporal Fred E. JENTOFT, Pvt. Herman SCHULZ, Pvt.
Charles E. CURTISS, Corporal Nicholas JACK, Pvt. Chancey SMITH, Pvt.
Milton SMURTHWAITE, Corporal Tony JANESKI, Pvt. Frank W. SMITH, Pvt.
Stanley ALLEN, Corporal Frank JARKA, Pvt. Peter C. SHIRIA, Pvt.
Eugene LANCASTER, Artificer William A. JOHNSON, Pvt. William SNYDER, Pvt.
John H. DONALDSON, Wagoner Otto KETTNER, Pvt. John F. STROUD, Pvt.
Nicholi CHRISTOPHERSON, Musician Perry E. LAPENE, Pvt. Edmund P. SNYDER, Pvt.
Joseph KLIBER, Musician Charles H. LEHR, Pvt. Walter THOMPSON, Pvt.
Emil ANDERSON, Pvt. Rudolph F. LINKE, Pvt. Arthur N. TIBBITTS, Pvt.
Robert ALLEN, Pvt. James E. LOVELL, Pvt. Ole C. THOMPSON, Pvt.
John ANDERSON, Pvt. Patrick N. McDONALD, Pvt. Oren THORBURN, Pvt. (died in service)
John A. BAILEY, Pvt. (died in service) John McCARTHY, Pvt. Charles A. TURNER, Pvt.
Charles J. BLAIR, Pvt. August MIEHLKE, Pvt. William J. WENZEL, Pvt.
Joseph BOLA, Pvt. Valentine MIERZWA, Pvt. George  W. WOODROW, Pvt.
Thomas J. BARRON, Pvt. Cassius C. MISHLER, Pvt. Charles C. WAGNER, Pvt.
Frank BUCKNER, Pvt. Harry MILLER, Pvt. Peter J. WEEMSKI, Pvt.
Peter CORBEILLE, Pvt. Vernon MERRITT, Pvt. Chauncey J. WYMAN, Pvt.
George E. CRIPPS, Pvt. Frederick A. MACKEY, Pvt. Edwin T. WHITLOW, Pvt.
Oliver J. CRAWFORD, Pvt. Lee McFADDEN, Pvt. Hugh WELSH, Pvt.
John H. CHAMBERS, Pvt. Claude D. McGILL, pvt. Martin C. WENDELL, Pvt.
John E. CONWAY, Pvt. Fred C. NOBLE, Pvt. William WILBER, pvt.
Charleton EMMETT, Pvt. John NOUD, Pvt. William R. WILSON, Pvt.
Charles FOX, Pvt. Gust E. NELSON, pvt. Frederick J. WOLF, Pvt.
Ernest FIEWELLING, Pvt. William O'NEIL, Pvt. David YORK, Pvt.
Oscar J. GORCECHOWIAK, Pvt. August OTIN, Pvt.

Our Honored Dead

SERGEANT BYRON STANSELL:
Died September 8th, 1898, at St. Mark's Hospital, New York City

PRIVATE JOHN A. BAILEY:
Died October 1st, 1898, at Hudson Street Hospital, New York City

PRIVATE ALBERT D. GILLHOOLEY:
Died August 24, 1898, on board Steamer Santiago, buried at sea.

PRIVATE OREN THORBURN:
Died August 4th, 1898, at Siboney, Cuba.

...The early history of Company H (now Company B) was in the main uneventful, and no very serious service was assigned them. The company did, however, respond to the call of the Governor to assist in quelling the railroad riots at Grand Rapids in 1877, but they were not obliged to use their ammunition. On the occasion of some local labor difficulties some years ago the company was called out, but the trouble was averted. Aside from the routine of weekly drills and annual state encampments no great emergencies were presented, but Company B was ever ready to preserve the peace and do its duty. As a social factor in the community the company has been prominent from its beginning. On October 30, 1894, Fred M. HODSKIN, the present company commander, was elected captain and served his community faithfully and efficiently until he received his commission as Major of Volunteers at Island Lake. First Lieutenant John STRONACH and Second Lieutenant George H. BROADHEAD were commissioned on December 7th, 1896. The first armory was a wooden building, on Maple street, near the FOWLER block. This place was used for a while and then the company secured the third floor of F. B. LARSEN's store on River street. When the Olympian club building was erected the company secured a lease of the hall and occupied it as an armory for thirteen years, and after the expiration of the lease, about a year ago, the old Congregational church, which was recently destroyed by fire, was fitted up and occupied by the company.

When, in the spring of 1898, it became apparent that war with Spain was inevitable, and Manistee, in common with all other patriotic American cities, was keyed to the highest pitch of excitement over the impending struggle. Company B was impatiently waiting to be put to the test of martial valor. The suspense was not long. On the morning of February 15th, when the news came that the Maine had been treacherously destroyed in Havana harbor every one knew that war was coming, and the boys of Company B were ready to shoulder their rifles and risk all for the honor of their flag, and the freedom of the dark-skinned Cuban patriots. Then came the declaration of war and in response to the first call for volunteers Company B, on the 26th of April, 1898, marched to the station and took the train for Island Lake to offer itself to Governor Pingree as a volunteer company. When the soldier boys marched away no one knew whether or not they would ever return. Beneath the outward show of national spirit and the excitement incident to the stirring scenes which were transpiring, lay a deeper feeling which soldier and citizen alike understood. It was the solemn issue of life and death, of seperation and sacrifice, and many were the prayers which ascended heavenward for the safety and the preservation of the lives which were now to be offered, if need be, on the altar of the common weal. At Camp Eaton, Island Lake, the time from April 26th to June 7th, was spent in securing equipment and in active preparation for field service. On May 21st the Thirty-fourth Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, including Company B, was formally mustered into the service of the United States. All of the members of the local company had gone to Island lake at the call of the governor; eighteen of the old members were rejected on physical grounds, and but five declined to enter the service. The company was recruited to its full quota previous to the muster-in.

...It is fitting here to refer to the two field officers who represented Manistee in the war, Majors James A. KING and Fred W. HODSKIN. Major KING had been appointed on March 10th, 1897, by Governor Pingree, as Assistant Surgeon of the state troops, with the rank of captain and assigned to the Fifth Regiment. Upon the outbreak of the war he reported to Island Lake and on May 5th, 1898, he was given a commission as Major Surgeon of the Thirty-fourth Michigan Volunteers, being the first volunteer mustered into the service in the State of Michigan. Major KING set about his work like a veteran, and before the regiment had left Island Lake he had conducted the physical examination of two thousand Michigan Volunteers. By his conscientious devotion to duty he soon endeared himself to every man in the regiment, and gained for himself an enviable reputation in the medical corps. Upon the arrival of the Thirty-fourth Regiment at Siboney Major KING's services were in constant demand among the wounded and dying who were being carried back from the bloody scenes of the day before. On the day of his arrival he performed some service in the general hospital at Siboney and on the morning of the following day, July 2nd, he was assigned to the field hospital on the road to San Juan, where by his untiring efforts until the following day he distinguished himself as an army surgeon of superior ability. Extended mention of the signal service performed by Major KING on this occasion was made by a number of representative eastern journals. Major KING continued to serve his command until November 26th, 1898, when he was mustered out of the service. After this date he made the final physical examinations of the Thirty-second, Thirty-third, and a part of the Thirty-fourth Michigan Volunteer Regiments.

Major Fred M. HODSKIN has been identified with Company B for several years past. He enlisted in the company as a private and has held every office in the company, including the offices of first and second lieutenants and captain. When Company B marched away to the war it was in the command of Captain HODSKIN. On his arrival at Camp Eaton Captain HODSKIN was appointed a Major of Volunteers by Governor Pingree and received his commission on May 24th, 1898. He was assigned to the third battalion of the Thirty-fourth Infantry to which battalion his old company belonged. Major HODSKIN remained in command of the battalion during the war and was mustered out on November 26th, 1898. He showed himself in every way qualified for the important duties assigned him, both as a tactician and a resourceful field officer. He is the present commander of Company B.

From Island Lake the Thirty-fourth were ordered to Camp Alger, arriving there on June 9th. Here the regiment received the Springfield rifles which completed its equipment. On June 23, the Thirty-fourth received its orders to proceed to Newport News, there to embark for Cuba. The boys of the Thirty-fourth were elated at the prospect of getting to the front and when on the 26th of june the transport Harvard sailed she carried an enthusiastic cargo of young volunteers. The regiment was in the command of Col. J. M. PETERMAN, who had been assigned to General DUFFIELD's provisional brigade of the Second Army Corps, U.S.V. On its arrival in Cuba General Duffield's brigade was transferred to the Fifth Army Corps as a provisional brigade, where it remained until the close of the war. The brigade consisted of the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Michigan and the Ninth Massachusetts Volunteers. Early Friday morning, July 1st, the Harvard put in at Siboney and the troops at once disembarked. The brigade was in good physical condition and the spirit of the boys was high. They had scented the battle and it only remained to try their metal. The Thirty-third was left at Siboney, and the Thirty-fourth and the Ninth Massachusetts pushed forward at 9:30 p.m. on the 1st and at daylight the next morning reported to General Shafter. All night long on the narrow mountain road the raw recruits encountered the ghastly forms of the dead lying by the roadside and now and then some wounded soldier carried by his comrades or dragging his weary way along would pass them on the way to the hospital at Siboney. The impression made upon the inexperienced soldiers by these scenes may well be imaginec.(?) On reporting to General Shafter, the  two regiments were assigned to a position on the firing line on the side of San Juan hill. The Thirty-fourth Michigan took its place in the rifle pits immediately in the rear of the Twenty-fourth regular Infantry, and acted as its support on the 2nd of July, when the enemy made a sortie on the line in front. Five hundred of the enemy were killed in this assault and seven Michigan volunteers including two men from Company B were wounded. On the night of the 2nd the regiment was ordered up the hill in readiness to repulse an attempt to recapture San Juan hill, but the deadly fire of the machine guns did the work which they were expected to perform. The regiment remained before San Juan hill until July 6th, when it was ordered to the El Poso block house. After three days it was assigned to outpost duty between Grimes battery and the City of Santiago- a position of danger and importance. On August 1st, the regiment moved up and went into camp within a mile of the city, where it remained until August 19th.

On August 19th the Thirty-fourth embarked on the transport Santiago for Montauk Point, L. I., where it arrived on the 27th.September 3rd the regiment took the cars for detroit and two days later the Company B reached manistee under the escort of a special committee of citizens which had gone to Detroit to look after the wants of the returning volunteers. A warm welcome awaited the gallant company on September 6th. An immense crowd of citizens were at the station to show their appreciation of the sacrifice which the soldier boys had made and to escort them to their homes. Many were unable to walk and all were in a more or less exhausted condition. The citizen's committee took charge of the sick, and in every possible way endeavored to releive the distress occasioned by the trying experience through which the company had passed. On December 10, 1898, Company B was formally mustered out of the service, and the local lodge of Elks signalized the event by a banquet tendered to the members of the old company and its officers.

-Excerpts from Our Volunteer Soldiers: The Salt City of the Inland Seas, Published May, 1899 by the Manistee Daily News as an Anniversary Number.

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