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Virginia's Participation in the Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War

Select resources documenting Virginia military participation in the Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War

Overview

illustration of soldier and tentsCamp Alger, July 7, 1898, Troop A., NY / Milton H. Bancroft

This bibliography was originally created to supplement the information found in the Virginia Military Dead index.

Spanish-American War

The Spanish-American War (1898) was fought to liberate Cuba from Spanish rule and establish direct and indirect U.S. control over Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and Pacific. Virginians served in the Army, Navy, and Marines. 5,326 men served in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiments, which were mustered in response to the declaration of war. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th were white regiments, while the 6th was African American. None of the regiments saw action; the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th remained in the U.S., while the 4th deployed to Cuba after the war. Only one Virginian combatant is known to have been killed in action. The most common cause of death was disease.

Philippine-American War

The Philippine-American War (1899–1902) was fought to maintain U.S. colonial rule over the Philippines. After the Philippines was transferred from Spain to the United States, the U.S. refused to recognize Filipino independence. A protracted insurgency followed. The war was both controversial and unpopular and resulted in large numbers of civilian deaths. Virginians served in all branches of the military. Five Virginians are known to have died in this conflict.

Related Resources

Revised March 2022

Content Warning: Materials in the Library of Virginia’s collections contain historical terms, phrases, and images that are offensive to modern readers. These include demeaning and dehumanizing references to race, ethnicity, and nationality; enslaved or free status; physical and mental ability; and gender and sexual orientation.

State Records

  • Virginia Department of Military Affairs. Virginia Volunteers. Spanish American War Muster-In/Out Rolls for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th Infantry. Acc. 32116 (Misc. Reels 2087–2091) 
    The muster rolls contain personal information on volunteers, including name, service number, age, height, eye and hair color, birthplace, marital status, and parent or guardian. 
  • Virginia Department of Military Affairs. Organization Cards of the Virginia Department of Military Affairs, 1876-1947. Acc. 51986. (Misc. Reels 6420–6442) 
    The cards include details of Virginians in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Virginia Protective Force, Virginia Reserve Militia, Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and Virginia National Guard. 
  • Virginia Governor’s Office. Spanish American War. Virginia Veterans Pay and Ration Claims, 1906–1913. Acc. 24545
    The records include lists of soldiers issued paychecks and ration cards, and a rough copy of a list of claims for commutation of pay from the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th Infantry. 

Personal Papers

Archival materials relating to these conflicts can be located in the Library catalog with the search terms “Spanish American War,” “Philippine American War,” or “Philippine Insurrection.”

  • Charles R. Adams Letters, 1889–1908. Acc. 44185. 
    The collection includes letters of Charles R. Adams, who served in the 3rd and 4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiments during the Spanish-American War. 
  • Bumgardner, James, Jr. Bumgardner Family Genealogical Notes, 1811–1917. Acc. 26364.
    The collection includes transcripts of letters from Rudolph Bumgardner of Richmond, Virginia from 1898–1899. The letters discuss his service in Florida, Georgia, and Cuba during the Spanish-American War.  
  • Cleland Nelson Offley Letters, 1898. Acc. 41241. 
    The collection consists of letters by Cleland Nelson Offley, who served aboard the battleship USS Oregon at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War. 
  • Note, August 1898. Acc. 42098
    A note on U.S. Naval Academy stationary from Admiral Pasquale Cervera y Topete, who commanded the Cuba Squadron of the Spanish Navy at the Battle of Battle of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish American War. The note was written when he was a prisoner of war in Annapolis, Maryland. 
  • William F. Rhea Papers, 1899–1902. Acc. 41312. 
    The collection consists of the papers of Representative William F. Rhea, who served in Congress during the Philippine-American War. 

Federal Publications

  • U.S. Congress. House. Claims of Certain Citizens of Virginia. 57th Congress, 1st Session, House Report 477. Fiche 85 (No. 4401, Fiche 2) 
    Claims for property damage by soldiers operating in Virginia during the Spanish-American War. 
  • U.S. Congress. House. Relief of the State of Virginia. 57th Congress, 1st Session, House Report 1287. Fiche 85 (No. 4403, Fiche 6) 
    Request by Virginia for reimbursement for supplies for the 2nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment. 
  • U.S. Congress. Senate. Claims of Certain Citizens of Virginia. 57th Congress, 2nd Session, Senate Report 2828. Fiche 85 (No. 4411, Fiche 7) 
    See House Report 477 above. 
  • U.S. Congress. Senate. Expenses Incurred by Virginia in Equipping, Etc., Troops. 55th Congress, 3rd Session. Senate Document 37. Fiche 85 (No. 3728, Fiche 7) 
    Request by Virginia for reimbursement for supplies for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiments. 

Newspapers

  • Virginia Chronicle 
    Historical archive of Virginia newspapers. Includes the Richmond Planet which contains frequent letters and articles about the war and the activities of the 6th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Organizational Histories

  • Johnson, William Henry. History of the Colored Volunteer Infantry of Virginia, 1871–1899. NP: 1923. UA504 6th J71 1923
    Contains information on the 6th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
  • Richmond Light Infantry Blues Records, 1794-1933. Acc. 29873. (Misc. Reels 5941–5945) 
    Contains the records of the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, a militia unit. It comprised Companies H and M of the 4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Spanish-American War.
  • Syms-Eaton Museum. No Glory for the Guards. Hampton, VA: Syms-Eaton Museum, 19–. F234 H23 H81 No. 7
    A history of Company D, 4th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Peninsula Guards). 
  • United Spanish War Veterans, Department of Virginia. Annual Report of the Department Historian. NP: 19 – . E714.3 U7
    Includes unit histories of the Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiments during the Spanish-American War. 

Special Collections

  • Eastern Cuba. Positions of Cuban and Spanish Forces Prior to July 3, 1898. United States War Department. Map Collection 729.1 1898 1901
  • Freeman, H. A. We’ll Stand by the Flag: March and Song. New York: E.T. Paull Music Co., 1898. M1644 F7 1898
  • Theatre of Military Operations in Cuba. New York: Bormay & Co. Map Collection 729.1 1898 1901 (1)