The State of New MexicoIn The Spanish American War, February 15th, 1898, to July 4th, 1902
The following information is about the Volunteers and Government Officials of the State of New Mexico during the Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrection, and China Relief Expedition, February 15th, 1898, to July 4th, 1902. If you have any additional information, photographs, artifcats, etc., that you wish to contribute, feel free to submit the information to the Webmaster.
April 23rd, 1898: President William McKinley issues a call for 125,000 volunteers from across the United States to serve for two years unless sooner discharged, with each state and territory being assigned a quota that they were requested to fill. At the start of the War with Spain New Mexico military forces were organized under the title of the “National Guard of New Mexico” and was reported as having an authorized strength in April of 1898 at 1,128 officers and men, in reality the number of men organized were only 539 officers and men, with another 40,000 liable for military duty. The National Guard was organized into a Regiment of Infantry (organized into three battalions), a Squadron of Cavalry, a Gatling gun squad and a Signal Corps detachment, however there was no brigade or division organization within the state. Of the New Mexico National Guard in 1898 the Report of the Organized Militia would state: "The personnel of officers and men is excellent. They are above the average in height and weight, are hardy, accustomed to out-door life, know how to ride and shoot, are cleanly in habit, and are amenable to discipline when they understand the reason for it." In April of 1898 they were organized as follows:
First Regiment of Infantry (Regimental Headquarters at Las Vegas; Company A at Las Cruces; Company B at Santa Fe; Company C at La Mesilla; Company D at Anthony; Company G at Albuquerque; Company I at Las Vegas)
First Squadron of Cavalry (Squadron Headquarters at Santa Fe; Troop C at Aztec; Troop E at Santa Fe; Troop F at Las Lunas)
Gatling Gun Squad (At Santa Fe)
Signal Corps (At Las Vegas)
April 25th, 1898: The Governor receives orders from the Secretary of War to begin mobilization of the New Mexico Volunteers for service in the War with Spain.
April 27th, 1898: The first New Mexico Volunteers begin arriving at Camp Otero in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
May 6th, 1898: The four troops of New Mexico Volunteer Cavalry (342 officers & men) are mustered into United States service as Troops E, F, G & H of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, and depart for San Antonio, Texas. The battalion is organized under Major Henry B. Hersey of Santa Fe with Troop E under Captain Frederick H. Muller of Santa Fe, Troop F under Captain Maximiliano Luna of Santa Fe, Troop G under Captain W.H.H. Llewellyn of Las Cruces, and Troop H under Captain George Curry of Tularosa.
May 7th, 1898: The New Mexico Battalion of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment leave from Santa Fe for the regimental rendezvous at San Antonio, Texas.
July 8th to 17th, 1898: Under the second call of the President for volunteers Companies E, F, G, & H of the 1st Territorial Volunteer Infantry Regiment are organized and mustered into United States service at Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, with 15 officers and 424 enlisted men. The 2nd (New Mexico) Battalion of the regiment is organized under Lieutenant Colonel David D. Mitchell, with Company E under Captain John Borradaile, Company F under Captain William C. Reid, Company G under Captain William Strover, and Company H under Captain Albert B. Fall.
July 19th, 1898: The 2nd (New Mexico) Battalion of the 1st Territorial Volunteer Infantry Regiment moves from New Mexico to join the regiment at the Whipple Barracks, Arizona.
September 15th, 1898: The New Mexico Battalion of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment is mustered out of United States service at Camp Wycoff, Long Island, New York.
February 11th to 15th, 1899: The 2nd (New Mexico) Battalion of the 1st Territorial Volunteer Infantry Regiment is mustered out of United States service at Albany, Georgia.
During peace time and war the United States Military and State National Guard maintains forts, posts, depots, and other installations throughout the various states, and in times of war Camps are organized as rendezvous for the various volunteers joining. The following is a listing of those posts that were located and active in the State of New Mexico from February 15th, 1898, to July 4th, 1902.
FORT BAYARD, SILVER CITY, GRANT COUNTY
The post of Fort Bayard and the United States General Hospital near Silver City, Grant County, New Mexico, were first established in August of 1866 by the soldiers of Company B of the 25th United States (Colored) Infantry Regiment, for the purpose of defending the local settlers, miners, and travelers from the nearby Apache Indians. The post was named in honor of Brigadier General George Dashiell Bayard, U.S. Volunteers, who died of wounds on December 14th, 1862, near Fredericksburg, Virginia, during the American Civil War. The Fort served as the home to numerous soldiers over the years including the Buffalo Soldiers and the Navajo Scouts, as well as many others. With the capture of Geronimo in September of 1886 and the steady decline in the actions of the Apache Indians the usefulness of the post was called into question and it was slated for closure in 1899 until Surgeon General George M. Sternberg intervened and due to the posts excellent health record and established the army tuberculosis hospital at that post. In 1900 the post was officially transferred to the care of the Surgeon General’s Department, becoming a part of the Veterans Administration in May of 1922. From 1943 to 1945, during the Second World War, the post was partially reactivated to house German Prisoners of War, after which it was again deactivated.
CAMP OTERO, SANTA FE, SANTA FE COUNTYCamp Otero was organized on April 27th, 1898, named in honor of Territorial Governor Miguel A. Otero, and served as the mobilization for Troop E, F, G, & H of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, who occupied the camp until May 7th, 1898, when they departed for the regimental rendezvous at San Antonio, Texas. The camp was located on the grounds of old Fort Marcy, which had been abandoned in 1868.
FORT WINGATE, SILVER GALLUP, MCKINLEY COUNTYThe post of Fort Wingate near Gallup, McKinley County, New Mexico, was first established in 1849 at a point near Seboyeta for the purpose of defending the local population against the raids of the Navajo Indians north of the post. The fort was later moved to a point near Ojo del Gallo and was known for a time as “Hay Camp” until 1862 when the name was changed to Fort Wingate in honor of Captain Benjamin Wingate, U.S. Army, who had been killed in the Battle of Valverde, New Mexico, in 1862. In 1868 the post was moved once again to the location of what had been called Fort Fauntleroy (later Fort Lyon), which post had been established in 1860, and the posts were consolidated as Fort Wingate. The Fort remained in operation from 1868 until 1993, during which time it served as the organization point for the Navajo Scouts in the fighting against the Apaches to the south of the post. By the time of the Second World War in the 1940’s the post had been reduced to serving a place to store Ordnance and Munitions, in 1950 a portion of the post property was given to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for use as a boarding school, and finally in 1993 the post was officially closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act.
The post of Fort Bayard pictured around 1909, during its time as a Hospital
Following the end of the conflicts the Veterans began forming themselves into various regimental and national organizations for the purpose of keeping in contact with old and new friends, as well as to perpetuate the memory of their fallen comrades, several organizations sprung up in the years immediately following the war, however aside from the Regimental Associations most of these eventually came together to form the "United Spanish War Veterans." The following is information regarding the Department of New Mexico of the United Spanish War Veterans and the Auxiliary of the United Spanish War Veterans.
The following pages contain information on the burial locations of the Veterans of 1898 to 1902, as well as the monuments and memorials that were erected to the memory of the Veterans, Battles, and other events that took place during those years, within the State of New Mexico.
Books & Published Material
- Pages 489 to 491, "The Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1898." D. Appleton & Company, New York, 1899.
- "Correspondence relating to the War with Spain, and conditions growing out of the same, including the Insurrection in the Philippine Islands, and the China Relief Expedition, between the Adjutant-General of the Army and Military Commanders in the United States, Cuba, Porto Rico, China, and the Philippine Islands, from April 15, 1898, to July 30, 1902." Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1902.
- Volume I, "Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from its organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903." Francis B. Heitman, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1903.
- "Officers of Volunteer Regiments Organized Under the Act of March 2, 1899." Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1899.
- "The Organized Militia of the United States." Government Printing Press, Washington, D.C., 1900.
- "Report of the Governor of New Mexico to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 30th, 1898." Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1898.
- "Report of the Governor of New Mexico to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 30th, 1899." Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1899.
- "Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called Into Service During the War With Spain; with Losses From All Causes." Adjutant Generals Office, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1899.
Websites & Online Resources
- Spanish-American War Camps, 1898-1899 Period.