What We Own
The Spanish-American War commenced with the sinking of the U.S. Battleship Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898. Occupations extended over several years not only in Cuba, but also in other former Spanish possessions including Puerto Rico and the Philippine Islands. Wisconsin provided four infantry regiments and one artillery battery for the Spanish-American War effort, although two of the regiments never left the United States, and the battery never left Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Historical Society's collections related to the Spanish-American War extend beyond the state of Wisconsin's contribution. The Society Archives holds letters, photos and personal papers, as well as official military records of participants. The Society Library maintains general histories, regimental histories, personal narratives, journal articles, newspaper accounts, and government documents related to the War.
In the Archives
Wisconsin troops in the Spanish-American War were technically part of the state's National Guard. Consequently, official service record information is found within certain Adjutant General's records held by the Archives. There is also an alphabetical index, which is useful in determining if a given individual served in a Wisconsin unit during the Spanish American War.
Manuscript holdings include collections of letters and other papers of who participated in military actions in Cuba and Puerto Rico, and in the military occupation of the Philippines.
In the Library
The Library houses general histories about virtually every aspect of the Spanish-American War, including battles, major figures, military units, armaments, diplomacy, and home-front life. In addition, Library collections include personal narratives, memoirs, biographies, unit histories, and military atlases.