The State of WyomingIn 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 Wyoming 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 Wyoming’s military forces were organized under the title of the “Wyoming National Guard” and was reported as having an authorized strength in April of 1898 at around 1,078 officers and men, in reality the number of men organized were only 328 officers and men, with another 10,000 liable for military duty. The National Guard was organized into one regiment of infantry, with the governor having authority to approve the organization of one battery of Artillery and one troop of Cavalry in place of two companies of Infantry, and was under the supervision of the State Adjutant General, with the rank of Brigadier General, who also doubled as the Quartermaster General for the state. In April of 1898 they were organized with the 1st Regiment of Infantry (Company A – Laramie; Company B – Lander; Company C – Buffalo; Company D – Rock Springs; Company F – Douglas; Company G – Sheridan; Company H – Evanston) and Light Battery A of Cheyenne.
April 25th, 1898: The Secretary of War notified Governor Richards by telegram that the state of Wyoming’s allotment is to be one battalion of Infantry (composed of four companies), and directing that if at all possible that the state National Guard should be used in the organization of the battalion.
April 28th, 1898: The State Adjutant General issues orders to the various company commanders of the Wyoming National Guard to assemble their companies at the State Rendezvous at Camp Richards in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on May 2nd, 1898.
May 1st to 30th, 1898: The Wyoming Troops of the 2nd United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment are mustered into United States Volunteer service at Fort D.A. Russell near Cheyenne, Wyoming.
May 3rd, 1898: The various volunteers and companies that will form the 1st Wyoming Infantry Battalion begin arriving at Camp Richards by train.
May 7th to 10th, 1898: The 1st Wyoming Infantry Battalion is mustered into United States Volunteer service at Camp Richards in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the period of two years service, unless sooner discharged.
June 16th, 1898: The Wyoming Light Battery is mustered into United States Volunteer service at Cheyenne, Wyoming, with 3 officers and 122 enlisted men, for the period of two years service, unless sooner discharged.
October 24th, 1898: The Wyoming Troops of the 2nd United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment are mustered out of United States service at Jacksonville, Florida.
September 23rd, 1899: The 1st Wyoming Infantry Battalion and the Wyoming Light Battery are mustered out of United States service at the Presidio of San Francisco, California.
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 Wyoming from February 15th, 1898, to July 4th, 1902.
FORT D.A. RUSSELL NEAR CHEYENNE, LARAMIE COUNTYThe original post that was to become Fort D.A. Russell was established in July of 1867 for the purpose of providing protection for the workers of the Union Pacific Railroad in the area from the local Native Americans; the post was named in honor of Brigadier General David Allen Russell (1820-1864) who was killed during the American Civil War. The initial construction was done under the supervision of Colonel John D. Stevenson and the men of the 30th United States Infantry Regiment, who were later replaced by a troop of the 2nd United States Cavalry Regiment. In 1884 the War Department made the Fort a permanent base and enlarged the post, which would house troops of the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry Regiment and the 24th U.S. Infantry Regiment (all colored) for the next several years. During the Spanish American War the Fort continued to be garrisoned by the regular army troops, and also served as the rendezvous of the 2nd United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (Torrey’s Rough Riders) which were mustered into service at the post from May 1st to 18th, 1898, and trained there before being sent to Florida. In 1930 the Military redesignated the Fort as Fort Francis E. Warren, and later in 1949 as the F.E. Warren Air Force Base, under which name it is currently known, and is still in operation as a military post.
FORT MACKENZIE NEAR SHERIDAN, SHERIDAN COUNTYThe post was first established by troops of the 25th United States Infantry Regiment in May of 1899 as Camp Sheridan for the purpose of preserving the peace in the area around Sheridan, Wyoming, as a result of the large number of Native Americans in the area around the town. The post was officially renamed on May 31st, 1899, as Camp Mackenzie in honor of Brigadier General Ranald Slidell Mackenzie (1840-1889). The post was officially discontinued on November 3rd, 1918, however it was transferred to the Bureau of Health in April of 1922 and opened as a hospital for the veterans of the First World War; the post is now part of the Veterans Administration Hospital system and is still in operation.
CAMP RICHARDS, CHEYENNE, LARAMIE COUNTYThe camp was organized in early May of 1898 as the mobilization camp for the companies of the Wyoming National Guard which were to form the 1st Wyoming Infantry Battalion; the camp was named in honor of then Governor William A. Richards. The camp was officially closed in June of 1898 when the battalion left the camp for San Francisco, California, for the purpose of serving in the Philippine Islands. The Camp was located at the State Fairgrounds in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which were located at the current day Frontier Park.
FORT WASHAKIE, LANDER, WYOMINGThe post was established in January of 1871 as Camp Brown by Captain Robert A. Torrey of the 1st United States Infantry Regiment for the purpose of preserving the peace between the Shoshone and Bannock Indian Reservations. In December of 1878 the post was renamed Fort Washakie in honor of Chief Washakie of the Shoshone Indian tribe. The post continued as a military installation until March 30th, 1909, when it was officially abandoned by the Military and was later turned over to the Wind River Indian Reservation, of which it now serves as the Headquarters of.
FORT YELLOWSTONE NEAR HOT SPRINGS, WYOMINGThe post was first established by Captain Moses Harris and Troop M of the 1st United States Cavalry Regiment on August 17th, 1886, at the foot of the Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces and was designated as Camp Sheridan. The post was initially named in honor of Lieutenant General Philip Henry Sheridan, however on May 11th, 1891, it was redesignated as Fort Yellowstone. The purpose of the post was to protect the wildlife preserve that had been created at Yellowstone National Park and to keep poachers and trespassers out, as well as administer the day-to-day operations of the park. During the Spanish American War the post was commanded by Captain James B. Erwin (1897-March 1899), Captain Wilber E. Wilder (March to June 1899), Captain Oscar J. Brown (June 1899 to July 1900), Captain George W. Goode (July 1900 to May 1901) and finally by Major John Pitcher (May 1901 to June 1907), and was garrisoned by men of the 1st and 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, as well as several Volunteer Cavalry Troops being assigned to assist the regulars from 1898 to 1899. In 1918 the post was officially abandoned by the War Department and turned over to the National Park Service, which still maintains the post, utilizing the original structures are various park headquarters.
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 Wyoming 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 Wyoming.
Books & Published Material
- "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.
- "Governor’s Message, 1899, Wyoming." 1899.
- 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.
- "History of Natrona County, Wyoming, 1888-1922." Alfred J. Mokler, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1923.
- Volume I, "History of Wyoming." I.S. Bartlett, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1918.
- "Officers of Volunteer Regiments Organized Under the Act of March 2, 1899." Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1899.
- "Official History of the Operations of the First Battalion Wyoming Infantry, U.S.V." Madison U. Stoneman, 1899.
- "The Organized Militia of the United States." Government Printing Press, Washington, D.C., 1900.
- "Progressive men of the State of Wyoming." A.W. Bowen & Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1903.
- "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
- Wyoming Army National Guard History.
- F.E. Warren Air Force Base, its incredible legacy.
- Fort Caspar Museum, Casper, Wyoming.