On the Porch

The Spanish-American War in 1898 was a conflict between the United States and Spain that ended Spanish colonial rule in the Americas and resulted in U.S. acquisition of territories in the Western Pacific and Latin America. The war originated in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain, which began in 1895. The growing popular demand for U.S. intervention increased after the sinking of the battleship USS Maine in the Havana harbor.

The U.S. Congress issues resolutions that declared Cuba’s right to independence and demanded the withdrawal of Spain’s armed forces from the island. Spain declared war on the United States on April 24, 1898, followed by a U.S. declaration of war. On May 1, 1898, Admiral George Dewey led a U.S. naval squadron into Manilla Bay in the Philippines and destroyed the anchored Spanish fleet in the morning engagement.

Marshall celebrated Admiral Dewey’s naval victory over the Spanish fleet, according to a story in the Marshall News Messenger on May 6, 1898. “There was general rejoicing all through the day, and news bulletins were watched for with increasing eagerness. When evening came, everyone seemed to be anticipating some sort of demonstration, and the streets were filled with people. At about half past seven, the Grand Army drum corps came out in uniform. Patriotic songs burst forth and continued cheering rent the air, the bonfire grew larger, colored fires were burned, fireworks were hunted up and fire arms were brought out, and the whistles and bells gathered force.”

The photograph featured this week shows the 13th Minnesota Regimental Association 41st anniversary reunion booklet. The 41st anniversary took place at Fort Snelling on Aug. 13, 1939. The booklet is very interesting for it features the program of events, history of the 13th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry in 1898, and the names of the veterans in the 13th Minnesota. After the war was declared, President McKinley called for a Volunteer Army. Minnesota answered the call and through Governor Clough, four regiments of Infantry: the 12, 13th, 14th, and 15th served. On the roster of the 13th Minnesota, one man from Lyon County is mentioned under the deceased members of Company A, Bjorn B. Gislason of Marshall, who died in 1929.

The Lyon County Historical Society is a non-profit, member-supported organization. For more information on membership, research, volunteering, or the museum’s collection, please contact us at 537-6580 or director@lyoncomuseum.org. Like our page and follow us on Facebook.


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