Morris County in the Spanish-American and Philippine Wars

Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the top of the hill they captured in the Battle of San Juan.

“A Splendid Little War”

Combatants: United States v. Spain

On April 21, 1898, the United States declared war on Spain, making this the first war wholly fought overseas by the U.S..

America had long supported Cuba and the Philippines in their struggle to overthrow rule by Spain.

The explosion of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898 provided cause for a formal declaration of hostilities.

Quick victories by the U.S. troops led Ambassador John Hay, who soon became Secretary of State, to dub the conflict: “A splendid little war.”

“Remember The Maine!”

The Maine entering Havana Harbor

The Maine enters Havana Harbor, Cuba, passing Morro Castle on January 25, 1898.

The destroyed Maine, American flag on its mast

The Maine in ruins, February 20, 1898.

The impetus for formal entry into war was the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine on February 15, 1898 killing 268. Of the 200 bodies recovered only 78 were positively identified.

On March 28, 1898, the United States Naval Court of Inquiry concluded that the Maine was destroyed by a submerged mine. Spain was not formally accused of mining the harbor, but the implication was clear.

The Maine explosion remains a subject of studious debate; recent research suggests that the explosion may have been accidental, involving a spontaneous combustion fire in the coal bunker.

On to Cuba!

Dover Iron Era, April 29, 1898

Map showing battle sites and routes in Florida and Cuba


Aftermath of “The Splendid Little War”

The Philippine War

February 4, 1899 to July 2, 1902

Combatants: The United States v. First Philippine Republic

With the United States determined to maintain control in the Pacific after the Spanish-American War, tensions remained high for over a decade in the region; leading to sporadic outbreaks of guerilla fighting in the Philippine islands.

A victorious United States held control of the islands with the Philippines becoming a territory of the U.S. until 1946.

First Movements of War

The Morris County Chronicle, April 22, 1898

The Dover Volunteers Organize.

Rockaway Record, April 26, 1900

Spanish-American Dead Honored.

Dover Iron Era, May 29, 1903


Morris County's Soldiers and Sailors

Alvah W. Abel

Mendham

Co. G, 1st Infantry

According to The NY Times, March 29, 1895, Private Abel was awarded a Badge for New Jersey Marksmen.

George Doyle Aber

Morristown

7th REGT CAVALRY

Harmon Adams

Rockaway Borough

Service unknown.

Mr. Adams is listed on the Rockaway Borough Veterans Memorial

Marvin Whitford Anderson

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Peter Thomas Applegit

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Raymond Ayers

Raymond Ayers, of Rockaway, who belongs to the 71st New HYork Regiment, won a bronze medal at Creedmore for fine marksmanship in target shooting.

Dover Iron Era, November 25, 1898

Killed in Action

James A. Babcock

Morristown Co. M 2nd Inf

Succumbed to Typhus, September 12, 1898

Babcock's obituary

Dover Iron Era, September 16, 1898 Dover Iron Era, September 23, 1898

Joseph Baker

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Louis Hunt Barnes

Dover

2nd NJ Infantry

He is buried in The First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Rockaway, New Jersey.

Thank you, Mr. Robert Nichols, Sexton, First Presbyterian Church, Rockaway. 

Jesse W. Beam

Washington Township. Born in Middle Valley, in 1880 lived in German Valley. Co. M 2nd Inf

After service in the war, he relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee and enlisted in the regulars in 1900, enlisted at Knoxville. Occupation at enlistment: horse collar maker, Blue eyes, Brown hair, ruddy complexion 5’ 10". Attached to the 8th Cavalry Hospital Corps, Co. A. Discharged May 11, 1903 at the Presidio.

Discharged as Private First Class, with remark “Excellent”. He married Miss. Modesta Dunn April 30, 1907 in Knoxville.

PFC Beam died March 23, 1952 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Knoxville, Tennessee.

George L. Berry

Morristown Co. M 2nd Inf

Manning Bilby

Bilby's obituary

Rockaway Record, February 15, 1900

His uncle, Charles Hockenbury, was a veteran of the Civil War

This obituary was forwarded to the sexton of Rockaway First Presbyterian Church, Mr. Robert Nichols. In reviewing it, Mr. Nichols realized that Mr. Bilby’s burial place had been misidentified decades ago. Quickly working to rectify this error, Mr. Nichols placed a stone indicating Bilby’s military service in the correct plot on August 21, 2020.

Bilby's gravestone

Thank you, Mr. Robert Nichols, for your unswerving dedication to the cemetery.

Ross Harris Blackwell

Wharton, Port Oram section

Co. M 2nd Inf

Pension filed September 30, 1899. Application no. 1236192, certificate no. 1056259.

Joseph Edward Blundell

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Oscar Schmidt Boyd

Denville

Co. M 2nd Inf

After his honorable discharge November 17, 1898, he worked as an Assistant Drill Foreman on the Panama Canal in 1904. On September 21, 1914 he returned home on the ship Allianca.

Robert E. Burns

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Ethelbert Byram

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

After the war, he served as Dover’s Chief of Police

Bertram B. Chamberlain

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Born in Chester, he relocated to Dover. At the time of the Spanish American War enlistment, Chamberlain gives his employment as a carpenter.

Enlisted in Regular Army in 1899 and apparently stationed at Fort Leavenworth Kansas, Co. C 1st Infantry (1900 census). Discharged 1902 with notation that reads “Excellent”.

Albert S. Chambre

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Private Chambre has been suffering from a felon one of his fingers. It is said that the finger will have to be amputated.

Dover Iron Era, September 16, 1898

Albert Chambre retured home last night, having received his discharge at Savannah, GA, where he was a nurse in the hospital of the Second Division of the Seventh Army Corps.

Dover Iron Era, November 25, 1898

Albert’s father, Dr. Herbert B. Chambre, served as a surgeon during the Civil War.

Thomas J. Conlan

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Killed in Action

George W. Cook

Morristown

4th Regt United States Army

Killed in Action, The Philippines War, 1899

Newspaper clippings - Cook was killed and his body returned to America.

The Morris Journal, February 15, 1900; Rockaway Record, March 15, 1900; Rockaway Record, March 22, 1900

A Military Funeral - Regarding the reference to “Bugler Hessey” blowing TAPS , this is likely either George or William Hessey, two Civil War veterans who were musicians during their service.

Albert Corby

“Bert”

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

After the war, he worked as a carpenter for Picatinny.

Marshall E. Crampton

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Crampton's obituary

Dover Iron Era, December 16, 1904

Robert Vincent Cryan

Morris Plains United States Army

On May 27, 1897, a 20 year old man arrived in Ellis Island, having traveled from Liverpool aboard the Majestic. His stated destination was given as Salt Lake City, occupation Labor.

Mr. Cryan enlisted in the Army at Fort Douglas, Utah June 7, 1898.

Discharged at Cuartel de Malate, P.I. (Philippine Islands). Discharge notation reads

“Exclt.”

In 1918 at the time of the World War draft, Mr. Cryan is living in Morris Plains on Academy Street. He is employed as a clerk for U.S. Customs. He notes “Shot through leg Spanish American War” on his draft registration card.

On his WWII Draft Registration Card, he has moved to New York City and indicates he was born in Cong, Ireland.

Theodore Cummins

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Joseph Curacoa

Morristown Co. A 4th Inf

After his discharge, he re-enlisted into the United States 28th Volunteer Infantry and served in the Philippines.

Mr. Curacoa would work as a Foreman at Picatinny Arsenal.

Ernest C. Dalzell

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

After the war, Mr. Dalzell relocated to Nevada, where he became State Police Officer in Carsen City.

Killed in Action

Cornelius Dugan

Dover

United States Navy U.S.S. Congress

On April 21, 1898, an interview with Mr. Dugan was published in The Hawaii Herald.

The article focused on Mr. Dugan’s efforts at Picatinny Arsenal, preparing for war. The article was published the same day that the United States declared war on Spain, beginning the Spanish-American War.

Gunner Dugan began his Naval career in 1855 and was onboard the Congress when attacked by The Merrimac in 1861.

PROJECTILES TO BURN. Where Armor Piercing Shells Are Being Loaded with Powder. Buried in Picatinny Valley, in one of the most inaccessible regions of Northern New Jersey, is the 1,900-acre tract. of land which comprises the Government Reservation. The naval powder magazine occupies 300 acres of this tract. For years past there has been little use for a naval powder magazine, but things are different now, hence this story. The bucolic serenity of the pretty valley has given place to scenes of unwonted activity. The natives are in a state of tremendous excitement, and even the squirrels chattering together among the bare branches of the primeval trees seem to realize that a war is hovering over them. The single-track Morris County Railroad, built Originally as a mine road in the days when iron mining was an important industry in Northern New Jersey, may yet surprise its owner by earning a profit should the war scare continue., At the naval powder magazine Cornelius Dugan, with rank of senior gunner in the United States Navy, a veteran who knows the smell of powder when it is burning, is in charge. Under his direction the government employees are. daily loading shells weighing 850 and 1. 100 pounds apiece, with charges of powder weighing fifty pounds, though ten pounds of powder would send one of these steel projectiles asunder at least, so Gunner Dugan told me the other day. And Gunner Dugan should surely know. So it will be seen that the capacity of these projectiles for destruction is well-nigh past telling. Shells are being received almost daily, some coming from the Taylor Iron Works at High Bridge, some from the Mid-vale Steel Works at Philadelphia, and others from other points in Pennsylvania. These empty steel messengers of war are loaded with powder and shipped on to the various fortifications where, in the all-wise judgment, they are most needed. Gunner Dugan could not, or would not, say where the completed projectiles would eventually find their way, it may be to the discomfiture of the haughty Dons. While there was no ostentatious watchfulness noticeable about the reservation, Mr. Dugan admitted that proper precaution was being observed to prevent damage by any possible emissary of the prospective enemy. The 850-pound shells which are being received and sent out from Picatinny are for 12-inch guns, and the 1,100-pound shells are for 13-inch guns. On the naval reservation there are three large and two small buildings used for magazines, and theirs is large building in which shells are loaded. On the, army reservation there are five large brick magazines, an office building; in engine house and a number of dwelling houses in which employees on the reservation live. Gunner Dugan's Superior officer is Admiral Bunce, commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Dugan shipped in 1855, he told me, as an apprentice on the Congress, which was later destroyed by the Merrimac. He was promoted to the rank of gunner in 1861. He has been in charge of the naval powder station for the last five years.”

In 1900, Gunner Dugan was transferred to Newburg New York

Cornelius Dugan article.jpg

Rockaway Record, May 3, 1900

Thank you, Picatinny Arsenal Historical Society, Mr. John Donado, for the The Hawaii Herald article

Charles Gustavus Endahl

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

A native of Sweden, Mr. Endahl would become a Dover postal clerk after the war.

Charles W. Ernest

Randolph

Co. M 2nd Inf

Occupation Blacksmith in the 1930 census.

Warren J. Ford

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Alonzo S. Freeman

Dover

Co. K 2nd Inf

Pension Application no. 1731054. Certificate no. A51434.

Charles Freeman

Service unknown.

image

Rockaway Record, May 31, 1900

Nelson M. Freeman

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

After the war, Mr. Freeman relocated to Chicago, Illinois. He died February 22, 1947 and is buried in Restland Cemetery, Mendota, Illinois.

William J. Gallagher

Mine Hill

Service unknown.

image

Rockaway Record, June 21, 1928

James E. Gibson

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

James E. Gibson was the father of Samuel Gibson. They enlisted together Samuel was the youngest of the company while James, 43 at enlistment, was the oldest.

Samuel James Gibson

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Samuel would serve as Dover’s Road Commissioner and later established a real estate company.

Member of Captain D. D. Mitchell Camp in Newark, Spanish American War Veterans.

Thomas Joseph Gilligan

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Alexander G. Glass

Hanover

Service unknown

Ernest W. Goodell

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Carl Edwin Gosline

Boonton

Co. K 14th Pennsylvania

Enlisted at age 18 on May 10, 1898.

A native of Pennsylvania, it is unknown when Mr. Gosline moved to Boonton. In civilian life, he worked as a Heating inspector for DL&W RR, per WWI Draft Registration.

Carl Edwin Goseline, born 1925, served in WWII was named for his father, Spanish American War veteran, Carl Edwin Gosline who died the year his son was born.

Margaret F. Goseline filed for a pension, listing Soldier as Carl E. Gosline, K 14 Pennsylvania Infantry. Filing date October 27, 1925. Filed New Jersey.

Hugh Haddow, Jr.

Rockaway Borough

Service unknown

Listed on Rockaway Borough Veterans Memorial

Charles O. Hedden

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Oliver Hedden

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

William H. Hedden

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Prior service in the Civil War, Co. A, 8th NJ Inf.

After the Civil War, Mr. Hedden served in the National Guard, Co. M, Morristown. He was upset, according to the Dover Iron Era newspaper of May 13, 1898, when he was retired due to age. He wanted to participate in the Spanish American War.

Mr. Hedden was in attendance with Co. M at their barracks in Sea Girt, serving as 1st Lt..

David W. Heiman

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Pension filed December, 1929, application no. 1656403, certificate A2-8-30.

Reinhold Heinrich

Randolph

Co. M 2nd Inf

A native of Germany, his last known living date October 28, 1920.

Frank S. Hill

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Frank A. Holloway

Born in Morristown c. 1874. Prior to enlistment, he was employed as a printer at Pierson & Surdam. Serving in the Spanish American War, Mr. Holloway served in The Philippines with Co. B, 4th US Infantry. After discharge, he worked in a Navy Yard, where he contracted Malignant Malaria. Mr. Holloway succumbed to the disease on January 22, 1908. He is buried in “the new cemetery at Nagaban Point, directly across from the naval yard where he worked.” The cemetery is now known as Clark Cemetery, Luzon, Pampanga, The Philippines.

Walter G. Hoskins

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

After the war, Mr. Hoskins relocated to California. He died February 22, 1947 and is buried in Mountain Shadow Cemetery, Sonora, California.

Joseph Kantack

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

A native of Germany, nothing else has been located regarding his life after discharge.

Arthur D. Kelly

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Martin M. Knuth

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Alonzo Preston Lawrence

Randolph, Mt. Freedom section.

Co. M 2nd Inf

Mr. Lawrence appears to have joined the Marines after the Spanish American War. In the United States 1900 census, Private Lawrence gives his residence as Dover. He is living in the Marine Corps Barracks in Kings County, New York.

William N. Lewis

Morristown

Service unknown.

Born in North Carolina. Sergeant Lewis lived on Evergreen Street. During WW I. He gathered African-American males in the community and formed a guard. They drilled on Spring Street. Sergeant Lewis died in 1958.

Arthur MacKinnon

Rockaway

Co. L 1st NJ Inf.

He is buried in The First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Rockaway, New Jersey.

Thank you, Mr. Robert Nichols, Sexton, First Presbyterian Church, Rockaway 

Patrick Maher

Morristown

United States Marine Corps

Patrick Maher, a marine on the battleship Indiana, who is a Morristowner, visited his old home on Wednesday...he was given a hearty reception by his friends and fellow-townsmen.

Dover Iron Era, August 26, 1898

Albert C. Marsh

Roxbury

Co. M 2nd Inf

William Marsh

Service unknown.

Mr. Marsh is remembered on the Rockaway Borough Veterans Memorial.

Charles C. Mase

Dover

Service unknown.

A Carpenter and general contractor, Mr. Mase died by falling off a roof in March of 1929.

Charles C. Mase, of Dover, died on Monday in Franklin Hospital, Sussex County, from injuries received during the day at Lake Mohawk. While he was working on a roof, he slipped and fell a distance of fifty feet. His skull was fractured, left leg broken and his nose broken. He was a Spanish War veteran.

Rockaway Record, March 14, 1929

George Edward Massaker

Rockaway Borough Co. M 2nd Inf

Adelbert P. McDavit

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Stephen Frederick Mills

Wharton

Service unknown.

Frederick W. E. Mindermann

Dover

Co M 2nd Reg

He is buried in Orchard Street Cemetery, Dover, New Jersey.

Thank you, Mr. Paul Wood, The Orchard Street Gatehouse Association.

William A. Moore

Denville

Service unknown.

Lester Gatze Mowery

Roxbury

Co. M 2nd Inf

It appears that Mr. Mowery remained in service. At the time of the WWI Draft Registration, he gives his occupation as Store Keeper Depot Quarter Master in Philadelphia.

Christopher Nichols

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Obediah Stinson Parker, Jr.

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Member U.S.W.V. Camp John C. Dickerson.

Benjamin Franklin Pearce, Jr.

Rockaway Township

Co. B 1st Vol

Edward L. Petty

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Francis A. Philips

Mine Hill

Co. M 2nd Inf

Neldon Reiley

Denville Co. E, 1st Inf

Worked as a Lock Tender on the Morris Canal.

William A. Righter

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Charles F. Roderer

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

John Wesley Roff

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Private Frank M. Nestor, of Co. D, First Regiment, N.J. Vols., died on mobday afternoon at the home of his parents.

The Dover Iron Era, October 21, 1898

Charles Searles

Co. L 3rd Regt. Infantry – Musician

Rockaway Borough Veterans Memorial 

He is buried in The First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Rockaway, New Jersey.

Thank you, Mr. Robert Nichols, Sexton, First Presbyterian Church, Rockaway

Robert Crittendon Segur

Dover

Service unknown

Died in Philadelphia of disease November 28, 1898.

He is buried in Orchard Street Cemetery, Dover, New Jersey.

Thank you, Mr. Paul Wood, The Orchard Street Gatehouse Association.  

David C. Shanks

Randolph

Co. M 2nd Inf

Morris Sharp

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

After the war, Mr. Sharp became a conductor on the Wharton Northern Railroad.

Charles Shawger

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Private Charles Shawger, of Company M, Second Regiment N.J. Vols., started on Tuesday on his return to Camp Cuba Libre, near Jacksonville, FL. Private Shawger came home on a furlough to attend the funeral of his mother, who died about a week after the death of the mother of Private Helman, who is Private Shawger's tent-mater.

Dover Iron Era, May 6, 1898.

Louis B. Skinner

Gold star, symbolizing that Skinner died in action

Louis B. Skinner photo.png

Louis B. Skinner info card.jpg

Chester

United States Army

Killed in Action July 1, 1898 Battle of El Caney

Unlocated burial.

The outnumbered Spanish troops occupied the Cuban city of El Caney. Although the American army had superior artillery guns, the Spanish soldiers had modern rifles and howitzers, allowing the Spanish to repulse the American assaults throughout the day.

The battle continued until the evening with the American army finally making a breach in the Spanish strongholds. This allowed American soldiers to make one final assault and take over the Spanish positions.

The Battle of El Caney resulted in heavy American losses: 600 American soldiers were killed and another 360 wounded.

Soldier Skinner’s history was brought to light by the Washington Township Historical Society. Somehow, his photo and document found their way to township museum in Long Valley years ago.   

The old envelope has his father’s initials on it “A. H.”, who was living in Chester by 1900.  

Thank you, Ms. Mary Ann Kordys, Washington Township Historical Society

Roscoe A. Steele

Rockaway Borough

Co. D 157th Inf

Roscoe Steele, 57, passed away at Rockaway home

Rockaway Record, June 16, 1932

Warren Sturnburger

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

James R. Sutton, Jr.

Madison

Co. M 2nd Inf

George F. Titus

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Mr. Titus served as an Artificer.

John Horace Towlen

Randolph, Mt. Freedom section. United States Army

Additional service in The Philippines.

Towlen's obituary

Dover Iron Era, November 28, 1902

Frederick W. Van Duyne

Montville

Appointed to West Point in 1895; 38th in his class. In 1930, Col. Van Duyne wrote a report, published in The Quartermaster Review. The report outlined the plans of the Army for erection of permanent headstones in the World War American Cemeteries in Europe.

George Van Winkle

Service unknown

Rockaway Borough Veterans Memorial

Wallace C. Vought

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

Having served in the Spanish American War, it appears as though Mr. Vought remained in service.

Enlisting in the Regular Army in 1899, Troop B - Fifth US Cavalry, he was discharged March of 1900 for disability at Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1900.

Discharge notation reads: “A pvt. Very good.”

While home in Dover, having returned from Puerto Rico in April, 1900, Bugler Vought demonstrated Cavalry Bugle calls. The occasion was The Boys' Brigade of the Presbyterian Church.

Benjamin J. Westervelt

Randolph

Co. M 2nd Inf

Charles H. Whitehead

Corporal Charles Whitehead was out for the first time in some months on Monday. Considering that Corporal Whitehead has been suffering for several months with typhoid fever, five week of which time he was delirious, he is certainly looking well.

Dover Iron Era, November 25, 1898

Corporal Whitehead died July 27, 1923. His burial location is unknown.

Spouse Sarah filed for widow’s pension September 4, 1923, application 1290568 certificate no. 943900.

George Bruik Whitham

Rockaway Borough

Co. M 2nd Inf

William H. Williams

Dover

Co. M 2nd Inf

William H. William's obiturary

Dover Iron Era, March 6, 1903

NEED RESEARCH

Corporal Burns and Privates Rhome and Nelson Freeman returned to Dover from Camp Coorhees on the 5:08 train yesterday afternoon. All three came home on sick leave.

Dover Iron Era, October 7, 1898

Company M Royally Entertained by the "Woman's Auxiliary" at the Armory.

Dover Iron Era, November 25, 1898

William H. Wilson 

Co. K 1st Regt. NJ Inf.

He is buried in The First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Rockaway, New Jersey.

Thank you, Mr. Robert Nichols, Sexton, First Presbyterian Church, Rockaway.