NEGenWeb Project
Spanish American War

Compiled by Fred Greguras

Camp Mueller, New Ulm, MN

 Named after Lt. Louis Mueller of the 12th Minn. Vol. Inf. who died of typhoid fever on September 1, 1898. He was at Chickamauga when he became ill but died in New Ulm shortly before the 12th returned, according to a local newspaper article.
According to Hampton Smith, Reference Librarian for the Minnesota Historical Library, based on research in Holbrook, Camp Mueller was established at New Ulm on September 17, 1898 as the final encampment of the 12th Minn. Vol. Inf. before its muster out on November 5, 1898.
The camp was at the county fairgrounds in the northwest part of town. The Exhibition Hall was used as a hospital.

Camp Murray, Tacoma, WA (See Camp Rogers, WA)

Camp Northen, Griffin, GA (See Camp Atkinson, Atlanta, GA)

Named for William J. Northen, two-term governor of Georgia from 1890-1894.
Muster in site for all Georgia units
According to Gail E. Parnelle of the Historical Society of the Georgia National Guard, Inc., Camp Northen was then the state encampment location for the Georgia National Guard. According to source (12), the state campground had “every convenience in the way of bath houses, kitchens and privies . . . .” The land was contributed by the people of Griffin. This was the site of annual encampments from about 1892 to 1910. The camp was then turned over to the city of Griffin and became a park. This park is located in southwest Griffin. A road in the north part of the park still bears the name “Camp Northen.”
According to Garrett, Atlanta and Environs, published by Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., Vol. II, 1954, at pages 355-356: “On April 23rd President McKinley called on Governor Atkinson for two regiments of infantry and two batteries of light artillery. On May 4th, Camp Northen was established at Griffin on the State campgrounds, and on the 7th the first detachment of Georgia volunteers, 49 in number, left Atlanta for the camp under Captain, (later Major) Cleveland Wilcoxon. . . . Second Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Colonel Oscar J. Brown, soon after muster-in, left Camp Northen at Griffin for Tampa, en route to Cuba; for some unexplained reason, the orders to move to Cuba never arrived. Finally this regiment was moved to Huntsville, Alabama, and was brought back to Atlanta for muster-out in November, 1898. Third Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Colonel (later Judge) John S. Candler, was mustered in August 24, 1898, stayed at Camp Northen until November 21, when it was sent to Cuba for occupational duty. In 1899 it was returned to Georgia and was mustered out at Augusta.”

Camp Olympia, Burlington, VT

Named after the cruiser Olympia, Admiral Dewey’s flagship in the Battle of Manila Bay.
Camp Olympia was the muster in site for the 1st Vermont Vol. Inf. from about May 4 to 21, 1898 at the state military encampment grounds adjoining Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester, VT. According to the Vermont National Guard Web site, Camp Olympia was at the state military camp today known as Camp Johnson.

Camp Onward, Savannah, GA

Camp Onward was the embarkation camp for the Seventh Corps which was headed for occupation duty in Cuba. The corps began to move from Jacksonville to Savannah in late October, 1898. By the end of the month some 13,000 men were camped in the city, most along Victory Drive and Shell Road in Thunderbolt in the southeast part of the city. About 49 hospital buildings were constructed in the Ardsley Park area. The camp was named Camp Onward about November 10, 1898. Bolton (ed), History of the Second Regiment Illinois Vol. Inf., R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 1899, page 51, indicates the camp was temporarily named Camp Lee in honor of Fitzhugh Lee, the commander of the Seventh Corps, but Lee renamed it Camp Onward.
In early December, with Fitzhugh Lee and his men still in the city, President McKinley and several of his cabinet members visited. The President reviewed the Seventh Corps in the southern section of Forsyth Park, then called the park extension, where a Spanish American War monument is located. Shortly thereafter, Lee and his men boarded transports for occupation duty in Cuba.
The November 5, 1898, Army and Navy Journal reported: “The movement of the 7th Army Corps from Jacksonville, Fla., to this point, and the establishment of headquarters has been successfully accomplished, the transportation was without accident, and every department worked with a smoothness worthy of old campaigners. The camps are located in a level stretch of lands all well cleared, and partly under cultivation; the 1st Brigade on a new and well made “chert” road about three miles from the center of the city, the 2d Brigade on the old shell toll road running to Thunderbolt, a resort on the salts; near the two camps is the “Avondale rifle range,” owned by the military of Savannah, and this will be used for target practice by all the regiments of the 7th Corps.”
A December, 1898 inspection report states that the camps of the first and second divisions of the Seventh Corps were along Dale Avenue and Thunderbolt Road, respectively, south of the city. The camp of the second artillery regiment was on the Savannah River, east of the city.
Some regiments returning from Cuba camped on the site of Camp Onward but according to source (10) the camp was not then known as Camp Onward. The camp site was abandoned about May 25, 1899.

Camp Otero, Santa Fe, NM

Named after Miguel Otero, the governor of New Mexico during the War. 
This was the camp of the 1st battalion of the lst U.S. Vol. Cav., the Rough Riders. The camp was located at old Fort Marcy. It was established in late April, 1898 and abandoned when the battalion left for San Antonio on May 7, 1898.

Camp Otis, Honolulu, HI (See Camp McKinley at Honolulu)

Named after Major General Elwell S. Otis, U.S. Volunteers, commanding officer in the Philippines in 1898-99. He followed General Merritt in commanding the Eighth Corps and was commanding general of the Department of the Pacific with headquarters at Manila as of January 7, 1899. He was second in command to Merritt when the Manila or Philippine expeditionary force and Eighth Corps were established. See page 100 of source (7) for a brief biography of Otis. Otis is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Camp Otis was a short-lived camp of Philippine expeditionary troops who arrived on the troop ship, Arizona, on August 27, 1898 and were left in Honolulu when the ship went on to Manila. The soldiers camped in the infield of the one mile race track at Kapiolani Park. The camp consisted of parts of the 3rd U.S. Artillery, the 10th Penn., the 18th Inf. and detachments of recruits for the 1st Col., 1st Neb. and other units already in Manila. Camp Otis was abandoned on November 7, 1898 when the Arizona returned and the troops departed for Manila.
General Order, 16, Department of California, Sept. 22, 1898, created the Military District of Hawaii and Camp Otis:

“Hdqrs. Dept. of California, Sept. 4, 1898. For better administration and subject to the approval of the Secretary of War, the territory lately constituting the Hawaiian Republic is hereby constituted a Military District, to be known as the District of Hawaii, under command of Brig. Gen., Chas. King, U.S.V., with Headquarters at Honolulu. The officers in charge of supply depots in that city will, in addition, act as Chiefs of the Staff Departments they represent.

The troops present in the District will be consolidated into two camps, one to be called Camp McKinley, consisting of the 1st New York Volunteers and Battalion of U.S. Volunteer Engineers as now, under command of Col. T.H. Barber, 1st New York Vols; and another to be called Camp Otis, comprising all expeditionary troops temporarily in the District, and commanded by the senior officer of those forces present.”

The September 26, 1898 Omaha Evening Bee, as part of its story about 1st Neb. Vol. recruits arriving in Honolulu on board the transport ship Arizona, reported: “The First New Yorkers are camped among the trees outside the east track. Their camp is known as Camp McKinley, while the camp of the troops from Arizona is called Camp Otis, in honor of Major General Otis.”
The District of Hawaii didn’t last long. Special Order 150 of the Department of California, October 6, 1898 provided:

“Upon the arrival of the U.S. transport Arizona at Honolulu, H.I., the District of Hawaii will be discontinued, the Commanding Officer thereof turning over all records, etc., pertaining to that district to Col. Thomas H. Barber, 1st New York Vols., commanding Camp McKinley. Brig. Gen. Charles King, U.S.V., will then embark on the Arizona for Manila, P.I. with all officers and enlisted men designated in S.O. 111 and 118, c.s., D. Cal., and temporarily delayed in Honolulu; and including all others of the Expeditionary forces fit for duty and left at that station by transports other than the transport Tacoma. Upon arrival at Manila, Brig. Gen. King will report to the Commanding General, Department of the Pacific.”

There are two photos of Camp Otis in: no author, Picturesque Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Philippines, published by Mast, Crowell and Kirkpatrick, 1899 (Farm and Fireside Library No. 168). The first shows Camp Otis inside the racetrack. The second is captioned “Camp McKinley and Camp Otis, … Camp McKinley in the foreground among the trees and Camp Otis in the open ground beyond.” This shows Camp McKinley in the Irwin Tract and Camp Otis inside the racetrack.

Camp at Palmetto Beach, FL (See Camps Mitchell and Tampa)

Described as about 4 miles east of Tampa in Empire State, pages 135-140, in the report of the 69th N.Y. Palmetto Beach is only a short distance southeast of Desoto Park and was actually only about a mile from downtown Tampa. The state and volunteer camps at Desoto Park and Palmetto Beach areas are so close together that camps are described at either location in different accounts. Newspaper accounts place the state volunteer units at the same place. According to Empire State, page 135, “Palmetto Beach is a sandy neck of land a few feet above sea level, about half a mile in width, shaded here and there by pine and palmetto trees and covered thickly under foot with the gnarled roots of the Palmetto.”
The camp of the 1st Florida at Desoto Park was initially referred to as the “Camp at Palmetto Beach,” later as Camp Florida and finally as Camp Desoto before the unit moved to Camp Amelia. The Camp at Palmetto Beach became Camp Desoto in late June, 1898
This camp was occupied by the 69th N.Y. from June 6 to July 24, 1898 when the regiment was moved to Camp Fernandina.

Camp Panama Park, Jacksonville, FL (See Camp Cuba Libre)

Camp Pfeiffer, New Oxford, PA (See Camp Snyder)

This was the camp of the 2nd W. Va. Vol. Inf. from mid-day October 3, 1898 to the next morning during the regiment’s return to Camp Meade from Camp Snyder at Gettysburg. 
The camp was named after the Pfeiffer brothers of New Oxford who lost their lives in the Civil War. The camp site was on the Pfeiffer estate, according to the October 7, 1898 New Oxford Item. The same story identifies the camp site as being on the “old college ground within the borough limits….” This was the New Oxford College and Medical Institution established by Dr. M.D.G. Pfeiffer known also as “Dr. Pfeiffer’s College,” which lasted for about 20 years in the mid-1800s. The camp was located on the east side of town along Highway 30 on the south side between College and Pfeiffer Streets. The site is presently a residential area.

Camp Joseph W. Plume, Buffalo, NY

Joseph W. Plume was in command of the New Jersey National Guard just prior to the war. He served in the Civil War, was appointed a Brigadier General of Volunteers in June, 1898 and was a brigade commander with the first division of the Second Corps. 
Source (4) identifies this camp as being at Buffalo. Camp Plume was the muster out camp of the 65th N.Y. Vol. Inf. at the 65th regiment armory in Buffalo from September 5 through November 19, 1898. The armory is southeast of the corner of Broadway and Nash Streets. The 65th armory and drill hall became the Broadway Auditorium about 1910 and was converted into a garage for the city street sanitation department garage in the late 1940s. This building still stands at 197 Broadway and still serves as a garage for street sanitation operations. The 65th N.Y. was in the first brigade of the first division of the Second Corps. The regiment’s last brigade commander was Plume and the camp was named in his honor.
Initially, I thought Camp Plume was the muster in camp of the 202nd N.Y. Vol. Inf. which was organized and mustered into service in Buffalo during the period July 19 to August 3, 1898. According to the Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York for 1898, 1899, the 202nd regiment was organized at the armory of the 65th Regiment National Guard on Broadway. The battalions of the regiment were sent to Camp Black as they were formed. Buffalo newspapers indicate that the 202nd’s activity was in and around the armory and no camp was mentioned.

Camp John S. Poland, Knoxville, TN (See Camp Bob Taylor at Knoxville and Camp Wilder)

Named after the Brig. General who was the first commanding officer of the second division of the First Corps. The August 13, 1898 Army and Navy Journal reported that Poland died August 8 at Asheville, North Carolina of fever contracted at Chickamauga. He is buried at Westerly, R.I.
This camp was established because of the overcrowding at Camp Thomas. General McKee and the second division of the First Corps moved from Camp Thomas to Camp Poland beginning about August 22, 1898. The new camp was named Camp Poland about August 21, 1898. The camp was abandoned in early January, 1899 except for the hospital at Turner Park, which stayed open until mid-February, 1899.
The regiments at Camp Poland began leaving as early as mid-September, 1898. By December, only two regiments were left in camp. The 6th Ohio left in late December on its way to Cuba. The 31st Mich. left January 9, 1899 for Savannah and ultimately on to Cuba.
Part of the camp was located near the site of Camp Wilder. The front page of the August 30, 1898 Knoxville Sentinel has a map of the initial configuration of troops at Camp Poland. The division headquarters and first brigade were camped near the site of Camp Wilder. The third brigade was camped to the north at Lonsdale, northwest of the railroad shops, and the second brigade was camped just south of Lincoln Park, northwest of Broadway Street. The division hospital was at Turner Park, east of the second brigade’s camp. Turner Park was east of Broadway at about Cecil Avenue. The grandstand was used as a hospital building. The 4th Tenn. camp became a part of Camp Poland. The brigade camps were all within one to one and one-half miles of each other. Regiments moved to some other locations including Glenwood after the initial camps were established.
According to the August 20, 1898 Knoxville Sentinel, the first brigade camp was at the rear of the Brookside cotton mill and east of the site of Camp Wilder.
Although Knoxville city officials tried to have the division remain there, the army was reorganized in early October and the units at Camp Poland assigned to Atlanta and Macon. The first brigade at Camp Poland was assigned to Atlanta and campsites in Atlanta were selected. Prior to the brigades move, however, it received orders for occupation duty in Cuba.

Camp at Pompton Lakes, NJ

The troops at this camp guarded the Laflin & Rand Power Works from the outset of the war. A July 12, 1898 explosion at the works killed at least 11 civilian workers. Troops from the 2nd Penn Vol. Inf. and 3rd N.J. Vol. Inf. were among the units at this camp. The works and camp were actually at Haskell east across the river from Pompton Lakes. The September 29, 1898 Massilion Independent (Ohio) referred to this camp as Camp Pompton.

Camp Powers, Augusta, ME

Llewellyn Powers was governor of Maine during the Spanish American War.
According to Kenneth Thompson, Jr. of Portland, Maine: “Present-day Camp Keyes is the state National Guard camp and headquarters west of downtown Augusta (Kennebec County), within the city limits. . . . The annual encampments of the Maine militia had been conducted at various locations around the state from 1820 to 1888. In that latter year, the encampment was held at the former Camp Keyes, which was an ideal physical site and centrally located in the state. In 1889 the state purchased the farm, and established a permanent camp for the annual encampments of the militia. . . . Until 1909 the name of the camp annually bore the name of the sitting governor, at which time the old designation of Camp Keyes was made permanent. Thus, in 1897-98-99-1900, the camp was named Camp Powers in honor of incumbent Governor Llewellyn Powers (1836-1908), who also served as a congressman before and after being governor. . . . Camp Powers was simply the state National Guard headquarters, and was only briefly used to rendezvous and muster the state units which were quickly sent South to the federal camps for training and brigading, probably similar to what happened at state rendezvous’ in every other state.”

Camp Pratt, Los Angeles, CA

This was the camp of the 7th Cal. Vol. Inf. during November 12 to December 2, 1898 just prior to the muster out of the unit, according to the Biennial Report of the Adjutant-General of California, 1900.
The camp was named after Captain Sedgwick Pratt, 3rd U.S. Artillery, the muster out officer. It was located at the horse race track at Agricultural Park (now Exposition Park). The track buildings were used, including stables, for barracks.

Camp Price, Macon, GA (See Camp Roe)

Named after the wartime mayor of Macon, Sylvester Bragg “Daisy” Price, popular four time mayor and Confederate veteran (1846-1899). Daisy Price died in office.
Camp Price was located in Central City Park in the south part of the city, south of 7th street along the river. Described as “In the inside of a horse race track that had just been plowed, the lumps were about double the size of a man’s head,” by a soldier who responded to the Army Military History Research Collection Survey in the late 1960s.
This was the camp of the 3rd U.S. Vol. Inf. which was organized and mustered in at Macon from June 11 to July 9, 1898. The regiment remained at Macon until it left for Savannah on August 6, 1898. The camp was in existence from sometime in June 1898 to August 6, 1898, according to articles in the Macon Telegraph newspaper. 
Source (12) indicates the 1st Georgia moved to Camp Price on September 23, 1898 for muster out. The September 27, 1898 Knoxville Sentinel also reports the unit was at Camp Price for muster out. The paper was reporting on the regiment since it had been camped at Camp Poland in Knoxville. The 1st Georgia moved out to the Ocmulgee Lands according to the October 10, 1898 Knoxville Sentinel because of Camp Price being on low ground and having poor drainage.
•  The Mansfield News of January 1, 1899 refers to Camp Price as then being the camp of the 7th Cavalry.

Camp Prior, near Macon, GA (See Camps Haskell and Price, Macon, GA)

Camp Prospect, Columbia, SC (See Camp Dewey, SC)

Camp Rae (Ray), Macon, GA (See Camps Price and Roe)

Mentioned as a muster in place for Georgia units in Carlton and Thaxton, A Roster of Spanish American War Soldiers From Georgia. I initially thought this was Camp Price. Ray was the commanding officer of the 3rd U.S. Vol. Inf., sometimes referred to as “Ray’s Immunes”. Articles in the Atlanta Constitution identify a Camp Roe at Macon as the muster out camp of the 1st Georgia.

Camp Ramsdell, Concord, NH

George A. Ramsdell was governor of New Hampshire from 1897-1899.
The 1st NH Vol. Inf. began arriving at the state military encampment grounds in Concord Heights on May 2, 1898, was mustered in from May 7 to 13, 1898 and left for Chickamauga on May 17, 1898.
The state military reservation is still located in Concord Heights.

Camp Ramsey, near St. Paul, MN (See Camp Van Duzee)

Named for Alexander Ramsey, the first territorial governor of Minnesota.
This camp was the muster in location for all four Minnesota volunteer regiments. The first call regiments, the 12th, 13th and 14th Minnesota, arrived on April 29, 1898 and all three regiments departed on May 16, 1898 leaving Camp Ramsey temporarily deserted. The state’s second call regiment, the 15th Minnesota, began to arrive at Camp Ramsey on July 5, 1898 and left on August 23, 1898.
The camp was at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at the northwest edge of St. Paul. The 12th and 14th regiments were housed in the horse and cattle barns. The 13th Minnesota camped in tents “on the slight eminence east of the race track later known as ‘Machinery Hill,’” according to Holbrook. The 15th’s first camp at the fairgrounds was an elevated site in the north east corner. An 1898 map of St. Paul indicates the fairgrounds were in the northwest part of the city, north of the Northern Pacific tracks and west of Snelling Avenue. A current map places the fairgrounds at the same location.
See pages 148-150 of source (7)
According to Hampton Smith, Reference Librarian for the Minnesota Historical Library, based on research in Holbrook: “The primary camp for rendezvous and mustering in was Camp Ramsey . . . located on the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul. This spot was chosen for its proximity to a number of rail lines and the availability of the large barns and other buildings on the fairgrounds. Our collection includes some interesting photos of men of the 13th Minnesota billeted in horse barns. Unfortunately the area had very poor sanitary facilities and some of the later regiments to muster in had dangerous outbreaks of typhus.”
Because of a typhoid outbreak, the 15th Minnesota moved to a camp on the Fort Snelling Military Reservation at Minneapolis from August 23 until September 15, 1898 when it left for Camp Meade. This camp was known as Camp Snelling. According to Holbrook, the main camp was on the rifle range west of the forts. The four companies most seriously afflicted camped on the Minnesota River about two miles north of Fort Snelling.


©2005 Fred Greguras