Pennsylvania Volunteers
in the Spanish-American War


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Third Regiment PA History & Soldiers

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The Third Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, was mustered into the service of the United States on the 11th day of May, 1898, and was the third regiment mustered in from Pennsylvania. It was largely recruited from the Third Regiment Infantry, National Guard of Pennsylvania, which had reported at Mount Gretna, Pa., on the evening of April 28, 1898, and went into camp, and whose officers and men were on May 5, 1898, called on by the Governor to volunteer for service in the Spanish War.

On the night of May 13, 1898, telegraphic orders were received from the Secretary of War, directing the regiment to proceed at once to Chickamauga, Georgia. The regiment left Mount Gretna, Pa., on Sunday, May 15, 1898, and arrived at Chickamauga on the evening of May 17th, reporting to Major General Brooke, commanding the First Army Corps, and the next day wasAssigned to the First Brigade, Second Division, First Army Corps, as per General Orders No.4, series 1898, Headquarters First Army Corps and Department of the Gulf.

The general health of the command was excellent, although a number of men suffered from: bronchial troubles caused by the dust.

The field return for May 20th shows that 35 officers and 603 men were present, and 4 men sick. On May 27th, the Division, under the command of Brigadier General Poland, was reviewed by Major General J. 0. Breckenridge, Inspector General, U.S. A. On May 30th, in General Order No.21, Headquarters First Army Corps and Department of the Gulf, a brigade was organized, under the command of Brigadier General Simon Snyder, and the third Pennsylvania Regiment wasAssigned thereto, and ordered to proceed to Tampa and report to Major General Shafter.

Two days' travel rations and eight days' field rations were issued, and on the night of June 1st ,the canvas was struck, the wagons were packed, and the regiment bivouacked for the night. The following morning, June 2d, the regiment left camp and marched to Ringgold Station, a distance of eight or nine miles, and embarked on cars. General Snyder and a member of his staff accompanied the regiment.

The regiment arrived at Port Tampa City, Florida, at 4 o'clock A. M., June 4th., and went into camp. It wasAssigned to the Third Brigade, Provisional Division, Fifth Army Corps. The Brigade was commanded by Brigadier General Robert H. Hall, the Division by Brigadier General Simon Snyder, and the Corps by Major General Shafter. On June 5th, the horses of the field and staff officers were ordered to be loaded on the transports the next morning. A delay occurred in the sailing of the transports, the horses were unloaded and returned to the camp and finally the expedition sailed without General Snyder's division. On June 11th, the regiment wasAssigned to the Third . Brigade, Second Division, Fourth Army Corps, in General Orders No: 18, series 1898, Headquarters Fourth Army Corps. The brigade and division commanders were the same as before ; the corps was commanded by Major General Coppinger.

About June 18th, a recruiting party was sent to Philadelphia to recruit the regiment to 106 men and 3 officers to each company. On June 25th, the following telegram was received in orders:

Major General Coppinger, Tampa:

General Snyder's division is ordered to move as soon as possible to reinforce General Shafter. I have directed Colonel Rice to superintend the embarkation and notify you when the transports will be ready.

(Signed.) MILES,

Major General Commanding.

Orders were issued from Second Division Headquarters, dated June 25th, 1898, to draw forty-six days field rations in bulk and issue as needed. A telegram was sent the recruiting officers at Philadelphia to return at once and bring what men they had, and in a few days they reported with 170 men, who were distributed among the companies.

An order was issued that the regiments should embark in the following order, namely, One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Indiana, First Ohio and Third Pennsylvania.

The brigade commander singled his intention to accompany, with his staff, the Third Pennsylvania. Some time later orders for another embarkation were received, QR rations drawn, but the brigade remained in its camp. On July 8th, the brigade moved from its first camp to Camp Wrenn, about three-quarters of a mile from its former position. The regiment was inspected several times by the Division Inspector. At the July inspection, Major S. A. Mills, Inspector General, Second Division, Fourth Army Corps, under date of July 19th, 1898, made written report to the Assistant Adjutant General, Second Division, Fourth Army Corps, as follows:

In compliance with the verbal orders of the Division Commander, I have made an inspection of the Third Pennsylvania Infantry, T,J. S. V. This regiment is completely armed and the equipment is complete, save the usual minor deficiencies which always exist in a regiment. The regiment is well supplied with clothing, which is in good condition. Arms are in excellent condition and well cared for, and cleaner than any I had then seen in the hands of volunteer troops.

* * * The regiment * * * is in very good condition and ready to take the field.

The regiment was visited in June by Rev. H. A. McCook and Rev. Joseph Krauskopf, of the Relief Commission, who kindly inquired if anything was needed for the hospital. The regiment was also visited by a committee of city councils of Philadelphia. Mr. Jacob J. 8eeds,who accompanied the committee, upon his return to Philadelphia, sent the regiment nine large Maignon filters, one for each company and one for headquarters.

In compliance with orders from Brigade Headquarters, the regiment left Port Tampa City, Florida, by railroad at 6.00 P. M., July 30th, 1898, and arrived at Fernandina, Florida, at 1100 A. M., the following day, and went into camp.

Companies I and K were mustered into the United States service at Philadelphia, July 22d, and left Philadelphia by railroad July 23d to proceed to Fort Tampa City, Fla. They were detached by Commanding General, Fourth .Army Corps, and ordered to Fernandina, Florida, where they joined the regiment on July 31st. Under orders from Commanding General, Third Division, Fourth Army Corps, the regiment left Fernandina, Florida, at 12.00 noon, August 25th, and proceeded by railroad via Waycross to Montgomery, Alabama, thence to Huntsville, Alabama, arriving at Huntsville at 2.00 A. M., August 27th, and went into camp. The camp was known as Camp Wheeler, and was commanded by Major General Coppinger, Fourth Army Corps. The First Ohio Volunteer Infantry escorted the regiment from camp at Fernandina to the railroad, a compliment that was highly appreciated by the command. By order of the Corps Commander, drills were suspended at Huntsville with the exception of about half an hour each day. A committee from Philadelphia came to Huntsville and with appropriate ceremonies presented the regiment with a very handsome stand of colors.

The regiment was ordered home to be mustered out and left Huntsville on September 9th, and arrived in Philadelphia about noon on September l0th. A committee of citizens and a military escort met the regiment at the station. The regiment was reviewed by the mayor. A luncheon was provided for them at their armory. Thirty days' furlough was granted to the men and the regiment was finally mustered out of the service of the United States on October 22d, at Philadelphia. The regiment paraded on the occasion of the Peace Jubilee Celebration on October 27th, 1898.

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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