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Profiles

  • Fred W. Lepley (1879 - 1930)
    Enlisted Jan 15, 1902 in Mount Vernon, Ohio and served in the Spanish-American war in Company F, 17th Infantry, with the rank of Private (S/N 1344231). On Feb 23, 1905, he was discharged at Angel Islan...
  • Vice Admiral Richard P. Leary (1842 - 1901)
    Richard Phillips Leary (3 November 1842 – 27 December 1901) was an admiral in the United States Navy who served from the American Civil War through the Spanish-American War. Biography Lear...
  • John S. Cohen, U.S. Senator (1870 - 1935)
    John Sanford Cohen (February 26, 1870 – May 13, 1935) was a United States Senator from Georgia. Life and career Born in Augusta, Georgia to a father from a long-established Jewish family, ...
  • Brig. General Charles DuVal Roberts (1873 - 1966)
    Charles DuVal Roberts (June 18, 1873 – October 24, 1966) was a United States Army Brigadier General who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for valor in action on July 1, 1898 near El Cane...
  • John William Heard (1860 - 1922)
    John William Heard (March 27, 1860 – February 4, 1922) was a United States Army Brigadier General who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for valor in action on July 23, 1898 near Bahia Hond...

The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States. It ultimately ended with the Americans defeating the Spaniards. Revolts against Spanish rule had been endemic for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans; there had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873. By 1897–98, American public opinion grew angrier at reports of Spanish atrocities. After the mysterious sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, political pressures from the Democratic Party pushed the government of President William McKinley, a Republican, into a war McKinley had wished to avoid. Compromise proved impossible, resulting in an ultimatum sent to Madrid demanding it relinquish control of Cuba immediately, which was not accepted. First Madrid, then Washington, formally declared war.

Although the main issue was Cuban independence, the ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific. A series of one-sided American naval and military victories followed on all fronts, owing to their numerical superiority in most of the battles and despite the good performance of some of the Spanish infantry units. The outcome was the 1898 Treaty of Paris — which was favorable to the U.S. — followed by temporary American control of Cuba and indefinite colonial authority over Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. The defeat and subsequent end of the Spanish Empire was a profound shock for Spain's national psyche. The victor gained several island possessions spanning the globe and a rancorous new debate over the wisdom of imperialism.

Interesting Stories

There were 28 soldiers from Washington County, Georgia, in the Spanish-American War. However, several others from the County enrolled from other places. Only one man saw service in Cuba, Forrest English of Sandersville, because he had been transferred to the Third Georgia Regiment. (See Washington County, Georgia).

Military Units

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