NEGenWeb Project
Spanish American War

Compiled by Fred Greguras


Camp Marion, Summerville, SC

Possibly named after Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox”.
In early November, 1898, a brigade of the first division of the Second Corps was camped at Summerville, S.C. There are returns for this camp for November, 1898 to February, 1899. The December 31, 1898 Army and Navy Journal indicates state volunteers were camped here.
The camp was near the site of the Pine Forest Inn in southwest Summerville, near where Marion Avenue and highway 165 intersect. The site of the inn is on President Circle. According to Walker, Dorchester County, privately printed, 1941, the camp was behind the inn on the tract of land known in 1941, and currently, as Shephard Park.

Camp Massachusetts, Lakeland, FL (See Camp Morton)

Camp McCalla, Cuba 

Named after Commander B.H. McCalla, Captain of the cruiser USS Marblehead, area commander of June, 1898 operations at Guantanamo Bay. See page 103 of source (7) for a brief biography.
Marines camp at Guantanamo Bay following the landing there in June, 1898. According to the August 7, 1898 Florida Times-Union and Citizen, Camp McCalla was “broken up on the afternoon of August 5 and the marine battalion was transferred to the auxiliary cruiser Resolute for services in other parts of Cuba.”

Camp McKinley, Des Moines, IA

Named after President McKinley
The camp was at the state fairgrounds according to Whipple, The Story of the Forty-Ninth, no publisher identified, 1903 [hereafter “Whipple”]. The 49th Iowa Vol. Inf. was quartered in the six horse barns on the east side of the racetrack for about seven weeks. The fairgrounds is in east Des Moines.
All four Iowa infantry regiments were mustered in at Camp McKinley according to Whipple. This occurred from about mid-May to early June, 1898.
Chapter 4 of Markey, From Iowa to the Philippines, published by Thos. D. Murphy Co., 1900, is on Camp McKinley.

Camp McKinley, Honolulu, HI (See Camp Otis, Honolulu)

Established on August 15, 1898 by the 1st N.Y. Vol. Inf. and the 3rd Battalion, 2nd U.S. Vol. Engineers, the first troops for garrison duty in Honolulu. The two commands were initially camped along side each other as though they were one regiment in the large infield of the one mile race track at Kapiolani Park at the southeast end of Waikiki. Colonel Barber of the 1st N.Y. had arrived earlier to select a campsite. The engineers were there to begin building a military post and surveying strategic locations such as Pearl Harbor. The engineer battalion was stationed in Honolulu from August 16, 1898 until April 20, 1899. The 1st N.Y. left for San Francisco beginning in late November, 1898.
According to Empire State, pages 21-23: “August 14th at 6 p.m. the vessel arrived at Honolulu, and August 15th they disembarked and established a temporary camp upon the grounds of the race track, Kapiolani Park, about five miles from Honolulu.
August 10th, Adjutant Strevell, Company E, and Second Lieutenant Smith and 48 enlisted men of Company D embarked on the steamer “Mariposa.” The ship left San Francisco harbor about 6 a.m., August 11, and arrived at Honolulu about 11 a.m., August 17th; the detachment aboard her disembarked and joined the first detachment of Companies at the racetrack, Kapiolani Park.
August 18th, Chaplain Karl Schwartz, Surgeon Davis and Companies F, G and H, under command of Captain U. A. Ferguson, Company G, boarded the steamship “Alliance” and sailed at 4:30 p.m. arriving at Honolulu Harbor 11:30 a.m., and August 27th Companies F, G and H disembarked and camped upon the “Irwin Tract” at the foot of Diamond Head, three or four hundred yards from the “race track” camp of the first two detachments.
August 27th, 11 a.m., United States troopship “Scandia” left San Francisco with the remainder of the regiment, consisting of headquarters band, Lieutenant-Colonel Stacpole, Major Scott, Major Emmet, Companies A, B, and the remainder of Company D, and arrived at Honolulu, September 3rd, at 8:30 a.m. The troops aboard her left and joined the regiment on the “Irwin Tract.” August 30th, camp of Companies C. E, I, K, L, M and detachment of Company D, removed from racetrack grounds to “Irwin Tract,” upon which Companies F, G and H were already encamped. This camp was named “Camp McKinley.”
The campsite was chosen by a Board convened for the purpose, consisting of officers of the 1st Regiment, New York Volunteers, and of the 2nd Regiment, Volunteer Engineers, and approved by Colonel Barber. It was near the only ocean-bathing beach on the Island and the reported site of a proposed Sanitarium selected by the resident physicians in the immediate vicinity of the best residential quarter of the Island. In addition it had shade in the park, a drill and parade ground on the racecourse, city water, and was accessible. . . .
Owing to the prevalence of malarial and typhoid fever in the command, it was deemed advisable to move the regiment to a camp more remote from the unsanitary conditions of and in the immediate vicinity of Honolulu, accordingly Company E was, on October 22nd, moved to Waielae, on the north side of “Diamond Head,” about seven miles from Honolulu and three miles from “Camp McKinley.” Company H was moved October 27th and Companies A, B, C, D, F, G, I and L about November 4th; Companies K and M on November 8th sailed to “Hilo,” Island of Hawaii, and from there made a march to the Volcano of “Kilauea” and returned to “Camp McKinley” Nov. 27th.”
The initial camp in the infield at the race track was unnamed. The Irwin Tract camp was named Camp McKinley. The Irwin Tract was just east of but visible from the racetrack. There are photographs of this camp in Empire State
The Paul Isenberg estate at Waialae was initially the site of the convalescent camp for the 1st N.Y. It later became the regimental camp at least temporarily. German-born Isenberg was an important businessman and major land owner on Oahu. One account indicates his land stretched from Kapahulu Avenue to Kahala Beach on the east shore of Oahu. A November 8, 1898 letter from a member of Company I of the 1st N.Y. while at this camp states: “The tents are pitched on the sandy beach at Waialie (sic) . . .” The discovery of “scores” of human skeletons on this camp site lead to the finding that the camp was located where Kamahemaha initially landed on Oahu and defeated the islanders. This locates the temporary regimental camp on the shore at the east side of the Isenberg “estate.”
According to the October 28 and November 8, 1898 Hawaiian Gazette newspapers, this “health resort” camp was called Camp Kaalawai and was located “around Diamond Head.” Kaalawai Beach is on the southeast side of Diamond Head. One of the newspaper articles refers to Camp Kaalawai as being “around Diamond Head” in Waialae.
General Order 16, of the Department of California, Sept. 22, 1898, created the Military District of Hawaii:

“Hdqrs. Dept. of California, Sept. 4, 1898. For better administration and subject to the approval of the Secretary of War, the territory lately constituting the Hawaiian Republic is hereby constituted a Military District, to be known as the District of Hawaii, under command of Brig. Gen., Chas. King, U.S.V., with Headquarters at Honolulu. The officers in charge of supply depots in that city will, in addition, act as Chiefs of the Staff Departments they represent.

The troops present in the District will be consolidated into two camps, one to be called Camp McKinley, consisting of the 1st New York Volunteers and Battalion of U.S. Volunteer Engineers as now, under command of Col. T.H. Barber, 1st New York Vols; and another to be called Camp Otis, comprising all expeditionary troops temporarily in the District, and commanded by the senior officer of those forces present.”

The September 26, 1898 Omaha Evening Bee, as part of its story about 1st Neb. Vol. recruits arriving in Honolulu on board the transport ship Arizona, reported: “The First New Yorkers are camped among the trees outside the east track. Their camp is known as Camp McKinley, while the camp of the troops from Arizona is called Camp Otis, in honor of Major General Otis.”
Special Order 150 of the Department of California, October 6, 1898, provides:

“Upon the arrival of the U.S. transport Arizona at Honolulu, H.I., the District of Hawaii will be discontinued, the Commanding Officer thereof turning over all records, etc., pertaining to that district to Col. Thomas H. Barber, 1st New York Vols., commanding Camp McKinley. Brig. Gen. Charles King, U.S.V., will then embark on the Arizona for Manila, P.I. with all officers and enlisted men designated in S.O. 111 and 118, c.s., D. Cal., and temporarily delayed in Honolulu; and including all others of the Expeditionary forces fit for duty and left at that station by transports other than the transport Tacoma. Upon arrival at Manila, Brig. Gen. King will report to the Commanding General, Department of the Pacific.”

The Army and Navy Journal of November 26, 1898, contained the following report:

“Health of Troops in Hawaii. From San Francisco Maj. Gen. Merriam telegraphs: “Reports from Honolulu to Nov. 14. Arizona sailed for Manila with Gen. J. King’s detachment, Nov. 10, leaving about 160 men in the hospital. Statement of sick in general hospital as follows: Typhoid cases, 1st New York Regiment, 63, and expeditionary troops, 48; total typhoid, 111; malarial fever and others, including convalescents, 1st New York Regiment, 99, and expeditionary troops, 102; total, 201. Total patients, 312. Deaths since last report, Pvts. William Hayden, Co. I, 18th Inf., and Burton Woodbeck, Co. G; George H. Cowles, Co. H. and Robert E. Wands, Co. C, all of the 1st New York.” Gen. Merriam gives it as his opinion that the city of Honolulu is thoroughly infected with typhoid fever. He thinks that in a measure this is possibly due to the men that were sent from here with the disease, who were taken off the transports at Honolulu and put in hospitals there. Gen. King’s departure abandons Camp Otis, and Gen. Merriam says it will not be again occupied by troops. Camp McKinley has also been moved to new ground, and every possible sanitary precaution taken to insure the good health of the men.”

There are two photos of Camp Otis in: no author, Picturesque Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Philippines, published by Mast, Crowell and Kirkpatrick, 1899 (Farm and Fireside Library No. 168). The first shows Camp Otis inside the racetrack. The second is captioned “Camp McKinley and Camp Otis, … Camp McKinley in the foreground among the trees and Camp Otis in the open ground beyond.” This shows Camp McKinley in the Irwin Tract and Camp Otis inside the racetrack.
The engineer battalion built semi-permanent buildings for Camp McKinley near the entrance to Kapiolani Park before their departure. The December 2, 1898 Hawaiian Gazette reported that then Camp McKinley had been abandoned and the camp moved to the new barracks on Kapahulu Road. The barracks were first occupied by the engineer battalion on November 27, 1898. This new Camp McKinley remained in existence until Fort Shafter was opened in late June, 1907. The post was located just south of Kapahulu, between Leahi and Kanaina Avenues. There is a map of the post built by the engineer battalion in Venable, The Second Regiment of United States Volunteer Engineers published by McDonald & Co., 1899.
The first post hospital was established on August 15, 1898 after the 1st N.Y. arrived in Honolulu. It was located in a dance pavilion at Independence Park, southeast of the corner of Sheridan and King Streets. In October, 1898, the number of sick soldiers required that additional hospital space be obtained. The Nuuanu Valley Military Hospital at Buena Vista was established in early November, 1898. The hospital was also known as Buena Vista Hospital. It was located in the former John Paty home known as Buena Vista house which was on the east side of Nuuanu Avenue at Wyllie Street. A February 9, 1900 article in the Hawaiian Gazette indicates that F.A. Schaefer had purchased the “Buena Vista Hospital” premises of over five acres from Charles S. Desky and that it was leased to the government until July, 1900. The King Street Hospital was closed in January, 1899 as the January 10, 1899 Hawaiian Gazette indicates that Independence Park Hospital was “practically abandoned.” A November 1, 1898 letter from a member of Company I of the 1st N.Y. reports that General King had visited the military hospital at Independence Park and officially condemned the place as a hospital site because of the heat and humidity. The Buena Vista Hospital was still being used in late 1904 according to a newspaper article in the November 22, 1904 Hawaiian Gazette although it was then called the U.S. Army Hospital. It was likely used until the Fort Shafter Hospital was opened in July, 1907.
According to the October 1, 1898 Weekly News Muster, the newspaper of the 1st N.Y., page 10, Camp Gulstan was the name given to the Waikiki Chapel in honor of Catholic Bishop Francis R. Gulstan:

“About 300 members of the N.Y. Regiment attend divine service at the Chapel at Waikiki every Sunday. This chapel was build through the efforts of the Catholic ladies of Honolulu. They call the place Camp Gulstan after Bishop Gulstan. It is a pretty structure, built of cocoanut leaves, like the native “lanai.” Palms and cut flowers adorn the altar. Several tables are fitted up with writing materials. A tank of ice water and an abundance of literature make it a comfortable place of rest for the weary soldier. . . .”

Camp McKinley, Portland, OR

According to source (8), established on April 29, 1898, on the racetrack grounds at Irvington Park in Portland. The 2nd Oregon Vol. Inf. was mustered into service here between May 7-15. The 2nd was the only volunteer regiment raised in Oregon. The camp was located just east of what is now Northeast 7th Avenue, between Northeast Brazee and Northeast Fremont Streets. The last elements of the regiment departed for San Francisco on May 16. Camp McKinley closed about May 19, 1898.

Camp McKisson, Cleveland, OH

The camp was named for the then mayor of Cleveland, Robert E. McKisson.
This was the muster out camp of the 5th Ohio Vol. Inf. It was occupied from September 12, 1898 to about November 5, 1898.
According to Paul Revere in Cleveland in the War with Spain, Cleveland, 1900, the returning soldiers who were “from out of town pitched tents in Payne’s pastures for the night”. The author goes on to say that “Camp McKisson, as it had been named”. . . . . According to Christopher Wood of the History & Geography Department of the Cleveland Public Library, it is not certain where Payne’s pastures were, but in 1898 there were various Payne allotments in the area bounded by what is now E. 21st on the west, Euclid Ave. on the south, and Payne Ave. on the north.

Camp McLaurin, Lauderdale Springs, MS (See Camp Pat Henry and Camp Hamilton, Columbia, TN)

A.J. McLaurin was the war time governor of Mississippi. He advocated strongly for the return of the Mississippi regiments to their home state at the end of the war which was probably why the camp was named for him.
The springs were an early health resort area located northeast of Meridian. 
Both the 1st and 2nd Mississippi regiments were there by mid-September, 1898. There are returns for this camp for September and October, 1898. The regiments were ultimately mustered out at Camp Hamilton, Columbia, TN in late December, 1898.
Camp at Fort McPherson, Atlanta, GA (See Camp Hobson at Lithia Springs and Camp Cleary)
Atlanta was seriously considered for the mobilization point for Georgia troops before Camp Northen at Griffin, Georgia was selected. During the war, Fort McPherson was the site of a general hospital, recruit concentration point for the regular army and prison for captured Spaniards. The recruits for 20 infantry regiments and 5 cavalry regiments were assembled, trained and equipped for active service at Fort McPherson. 
Typhoid fever and other sicknesses lead to the movement of most of the recruits at Fort McPherson to three other locations beginning in late July. Recruits were sent to the following camps near Atlanta: Waco (unnamed camp was located at the “U.S. target range.”), Camp Hobson at Lithia Springs and Camp Cleary near Newnan. Camp Hobson was then about 15 miles west of Atlanta, Waco about 45 miles west of Atlanta and Camp Cleary about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta.
The Waco camp was the Fort McPherson rifle range about two miles south of Waco. There are post returns for July-August, 1898 for the “Camp near Waco.” The camp site was federal government property until 1940, has been a boy scout camp among other uses, and is presently private property. It is marked on topographical maps as “Camp Waco.”

Camp George G. Meade, Middletown, PA

Named after Civil War General Meade
This was the second camp of the Second Corps. The Second Corps was relocated from Camp Alger to Camp Meade in an attempt to outrun the typhoid fever epidemic at Camp Alger. Camp Meade was established about August 15, 1898 and abandoned about November 17, 1898. Troops at the camp were mustered out or sent south for the winter. Part of the camp was reopened in April, 1899 for the muster out of a number of volunteer units (2nd, 4th, 5th and 9th U.S. Vol. Inf.) up through June, 1899. In addition, several of the new volunteer regiments authorized by Congress in 1899 for the Philippine insurrection assembled there during July to November, 1899. The Mt. Gretna rifle range was used by these regiments.
The camp was located south of Harrisburg and just west of Middletown. The site is bisected by the east-west Pennsylvania turnpike (76) east-west State Highway 283 and the north-south extension from State Highway 283 to the Harrisburg International Airport. The site is north of the airport in between Middletown and Highspire. The land rises to the north from the Susquehanna River. Much of the area in the north central part of the camp is still semi-rural. Residential areas cover many of the sites south of State Highway 283. Rosedale Road cuts across the site diagonally northwest-southwest. The Penn State University Harrisburg Campus is at the south side of the site and a number of the 1898 camp sites are located on the campus. There is a historical marker on the west side of Pennsylvania Highway 441 (Union Street) at the Middletown Area High School (1155 North Union Street).
See Chapter 5 of source (6) for a complete history of Camp Meade.
 The 203 NY Vol. Inf. regiment was moved to a quarantine camp at Conewago, Pennsylvania on October 2, 1898 because of the high incidence of typhoid in its ranks at Camp Meade. Conewago is a small town southeast of Middletown. The regiment remained there until it left for Camp Wetherill on November 12, 1898. This camp is sometimes referred to as Camp Conewago. The camp site was near the Conewago railroad station.

Camp Meiklejohn, Omaha, NE

Named after the Assistant Secretary of War during the Spanish American War, George de Rue Meiklejohn, a former Republican Congressman from Nebraska.
The 2nd Neb. Vol. Inf. returned to Fort Omaha on September 3, 1898 and was mustered out on October 24, 1898. Troops were quartered in the Fort Omaha buildings. The muster out camp for the 2nd Nebraska was designated “Camp Meiklejohn” by Colonel Bills, its commanding officer, according to the Omaha World Herald, September 3, 1898, page 1 (evening edition).
According to the 1897-98 Report of the Adjutant General of Nebraska, pages 135, 351, the 3rd Neb. Vol. Inf. (initially under the command of William Jennings Bryan) mustered in at Fort Omaha. The various companies arrived at Fort Omaha in late June, 1898. Elements of the 3rd Neb. were at Fort Omaha from June 12 to July 18, 1898, according to Bryan’s report. The regiment marched through the Transmississippi Exposition on Military Day, July 16, 1898 with Col. Bryan in the lead. The 3rd Nebraska’s camp was apparently not given any name. The 3rd Neb. Vol. Inf. was mustered out at Camp MacKenzie, Augusta, Georgia in May, 1899 after occupation duty in Cuba.


©2005 Fred Greguras