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Index to Service Abstracts in Tennessee Volunteer Units During the Spanish American War (1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th Tennessee Infantry)


Pt. 1 : A - B Pt. 2 : C - E Pt. 3 : F - I
Pt. 4 : J - M Pt. 5 : N - S Pt. 6 : T - Z

In the minds of most people, the Spanish American War, if remembered at all, began with the destruction of the battleship Maine on February 15, 1898, in the harbor at Havana.  In April the American fleet effected a blockade of the harbor and the northern coast of Cuba.  The gunboat Nashville, commanded by a Knoxville native, Washburn Maynard, fired the first shot of the war, sending a shell across the bow of the Spanish steamer Buena Ventura.  President McKinley called for 125,000 troops, and on April 25 war was formally declared.


Gunship Nashville

The Gunship Nashville

Spanish American War officers

(L-R) Capt. Gaston O'Brien,
Capt. Nick Givens, Lt. T.H. Bates,
Capt. H.B. Myers


Tennessee followed its tradition of volunteerism in the spring and summer of 1898.  Over 4000 men served in Tennessee's four Volunteer Infantry units.  Of the four, only the First saw combat.  The Second and Third were discharged before they saw action, and the Fourth served as occupying forces in Cuba after the war was officially over.

The men of the First were sent from Camp Merritt in California to help hold the Philippine Islands after the Filipino insurrection against Spanish colonial rule.  Later, when Regular Army units were authorized to replace the volunteer units in the Philippines, a number of Tennesseans reenlisted in the Regular Army.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) holds published service abstracts (call number E725.8 .S62) for men in the First, Second, Third and Fourth Volunteer Infantry units.  Service abstracts are arranged alphabetically in volumes transcribed by the WPA in the 1930s.  The index following this introduction is taken from the abstracts;  it is not a comprehensive listing of all Tennesseans who served in the Spanish American War.  TSLA has no records of the men who served in Regular Army units.  For service records of men who served in the Regular Army, and for Compiled Service Records and pension records of men in Tennessee's four volunteer infantry units, contact the National Archives and Records Administration.

Sgt. Jones

Sgt. Clement C. Jones
captured a Filipino flag

For ordering copies of service abstracts, see the page on our web site for ordering military records by mail.  Usual information in a service abstract includes:  name,  rank,  organization (unit and company),  residence,  date mustered in,  place mustered in,  place of discharge,  date of discharge, and reference to the original record from which the abstract was taken.  The index below shows:  name,  organization and residence,  enough information for the user to identify the soldier. 


Col. William C. Smith

Col. William C. Smith
First Volunteer Infantry


First Volunteer Infantry

Colonel:  William Crawford Smith
Lieutenant Colonel:  Gracey Childers
Majors  Albert B. Bayless, B. Frank Cheatham, John G. Maguire
Major and Surgeon:  Richard A. Barr
Captain and Assistant Surgeon:  R.M. Kirby Smith, Percy Jones
First Lieutenant and Adjutant:  James K. Polk
First Lieutenant and Quartermaster:  Andrew J. Duncan
Captain and Chaplain:  Lewis J. Leland
Regiment discharged at Presidio, San Francisco, California November 23, 1899



Second Volunteer Infantry

Colonel:  Kellar Anderson
Lieutenant Colonel:  Thomas E. Patterson
Majors  Frank H. Deffrey, Mark A. Walker, George W. Seay
Regiment discharged at Camp Fornance, Columbia, South Carolina February 8, 1899

Tennessee Band and EscortTennessee Band & Escort
Leaving Presido for Manilla



Unidentified Soldiers

unidentified soldiers



Third Volunteer Infantry

Colonel:  James P. Fyffe
Lieutenant Colonel: Daniel M. Coffman
Majors: William Brown, James W. Meeks, Edwin C. Ramage
Regiment discharged at Camp Shipp, Anniston, Alabama January 31, 1899



Fourth Volunteer Infantry

Colonel:  George LeRoy Brown
Lieutenant Colonel:  Harvey H. Hannah
Majors  William C. Tatom, William O. Vertrees, (Eldridge Wright resigned October, 1898)
Major and Surgeon:  Crum Eppler
Captain and Assistant Surgeon:  J.W. McDonald, V.K. Earthman
First Lieutenant & Adjutant:  Beauford McKinney
First Lieutenant & Quartermaster:  Henry C. Gillispie
Captain and Chaplain:  R.N. Price (Charles Hancock resigned October, 1898)
Regiment discharged at Savannah, Georgia,May 6, 1899

Lt. Col. Hannah and Officers

Lt. Col. Harvey H. Hannah
and Officers
Fourth Volunteer Infantry


Reading List:

The First Tennessee Regiment, United States Volunteers, compiled by Will T. Hale.  Nashville,  Marshall and bruce,  1899.  62 p.

The Fourth Tennessee Souvenir and Roster, Spanish American War, 1898-1899.  Memphis,  R.W. Page, n.d.  [ca. 1899]  53 p.

Johnson, Cave.  Roster of Company H and Clarksville Members of the First Tennessee Regiment.  Clarksville,  Press of the Times-Journal,  1898-1899.  23 p.

The Official and Pictorial Record of the War with Spain and Philippines including the Life, Messages and Papers of President McKinley with Fullest Information Respecting Cuba, Porto Rico, the Philippines and Hawaii, their Commerce, Climate and Productions;  Embellished with fifteen hundred original illustrations.  Washington,  War Records Office,  1902.  631 p.

Index to Tennesseans in the Spanish American War

(Abbreviations: FS&B = Field, Staff and Band | HOSP.C. = Hospital Corps)


Pt. 1 : A - B Pt. 2 : C - E Pt. 3 : F - I
Pt. 4 : J - M Pt. 5 : N - S Pt. 6 : T - Z

Updated November 20, 2007


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