Pennsylvania Volunteers
in the Spanish-American War

1898-1899

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Second Regiment PA History & Soldiers

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This regiment was recruited largely from the Second Regiment Infantry, National Guard of Pennsylvania, composed of ten companies, located in Philadelphia, and commanded by Colonel John Biddle Porter. The Second Regiment Infantry, National Guard of Pennsylvania, reported at Mount Gretna, Pa., on April 28th, 1898, in compliance with orders issued by the Governor. Like all other regiments it was inspected by the Governor, after which the roll of the Field and Staff and of each company was called, and the officers and enlisted men given an opportunity to volunteer.



Company D was mustered into the U. S. Volunteer service on May l0th; Companies A and C, on May 12th; the remaining companies, and Field and Staff (except adjutant and Quartermaster and Surgeons., who had been mustered in on May 5th), were mustered in on May 13th, 1898. Rev. Henry a. McCook, Chaplain, and John Hall Rankin, Battalion Adjutant, were unable to be present and were mustered in subsequently. Colonel John Biddle Porter was mustered as Colonel.



On May 17th, 1898, the Second Battalion, composed of Companies A, C, F, H and K, Major Albert H. Hartung, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry T. Dechert, left Mount Gretna under orders from Headquarters Department of the East and proceeded to Pompton Lakes, N. J., there to guard the smokeless powder works of the Laflin & Rand Powder Company. Acting under the same orders, on May 12nd, 1898, Regimental Headquarters and the First Battalion, composed of Companies B, D, E, G and I, Major Charles H. Worman, under command of Colonel Porter, proceeded to Montchanin, Delaware, to guard the powder works of E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. Two batteries of the Fourth U. S. Artillery, under Major Grugan had been sent in haste to guard the DuPont powder works on which the Government was depending largely for its supply of powder. The works are very extensive, extending for several miles along the Brandywine river. On May 25th, the Second Battalion moved to Penn's Grove to guard the DuPont smokeless powder works at Carney's Point, N. J. A most desirable camping ground was found at Penn's Grove, on the bank of the Delaware river: Every evening a company was marched to Carney's Point, returning at seven the next morning. A rifle range was established and good drill grounds secured.



On September 6th, the Second Battalion joined regimental headquarters, and the First Battalion of the Regiment at Montchanin. The regiment left Montchanin on September 15th, 1898, and proceeded to Philadelphia arriving the same day. October 25th, 1898, was fixed as the day for the final muster-out, and all the men except, the necessary guard detail were granted thirty days furlough. This order was revoked. The officers and men who desired their discharges were given them and the remainder of the regiment continued in the service. On October 27, 1898, the regiment participated in the Peace Jubilee celebration in the city of Philadelphia, The regiment was finally mustered out November 15, 1898, by Captain Frederick Fuger, Fourth U. S. Artillery, mustering officer. The orders assigning the regiment to duty at the powder works called for the exercise of the "utmost vigilance for the protection of these important works." The regiment performed its duty in a most acceptable manner. The discipline was excellent, the health remarkable.



Major E. Van Audruss, Fourth U. S. Artillery, acting as special inspector on government property for condemnation at the two camps of this regiment, made a special report, dated September 3, 1898, in which he said,"While called upon only to condemn property, and make no further inspection, I take the liberty of bearing testimony to the following facts connected with these camps: wheve there has been such constat and painstaking study apparent to comply with all that is requisite to render a camp typical". After describing the camps aud his observations on the officers and men, Major Andruss said in this report: "Such a splendid regiment should be held until its services are absolutely no longer required." The regiment carried on its rolls eleven hundred and nineteen officers and men, and but one; man died while the regiment was in the field. Chaplain McCook was absent during the greater part of the summer on leave and, on detached duty in Cuba and in the camps of troops in the United States as an f3 agent of the National Relief Association.


Source: Record of Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Spanish-American War, 1898, Thomas J. Stewart, Adjutant General, 1900.



Spanish-American War Pension Records

Spanish American War Pension Records typically have birth dates, addresses of next of kin, medical information, proof of marriage, proof of children's births, a summary of military service, and death certificates. To learn how to send away for pension records, go to Pension Records.



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