Spanish War 1898

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It was a time of Empires and Kings when our Young Republic debuted upon the stage of world politics. A generation of Civil War veterans had cautiously led America to the end of the 19th Century, where upon a new generation emerged and flung the Nation headlong into the turmoil of international competition, Empire and bigstick politics. The Spanish American War put the United States upon the path it has followed for most of the 20th Century.

If the period of the "American Empire" fascinates you, 'The Spanish War 1898' can help you get a little closer to it. Historical reenacting offers the unique opportunitiy to experience history from the inside looking out. You can share the experience with other interested people and by actively participating, gain a feeling of pride in your group and a personal sense of accomplishment.

The Spanish War 1898 is a small but experienced group that uses a new approach to living history. We plan our events with historically correct activities that are within the context of the event site. In other words, we don't mix our skirmishes with our drill or garrison duties. The purpose of our events is to provide a learning experience for the participants, not to entertain the public.

We utilize period U.S. Army manuals and government documents to follow Army proceedures. We only use original Krag or Trapdoor rifles and authentic uniforms which are available from several sources. We have real marches, company mess with period rations and actually learn the drill and tactics. Needless to say, this is not for everyone.

We have access to historical sites in California that were involved with the war such as the Presidio and Angel Island. We've been helped by organizations across the country including the Theodore Roosevelt House at Sagamore Hill, and the William McKinley Library. We are not alone in our interest as there are reenactment groups in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Florida along with many individuals throughout the nation. To facilitate our efforts we will:

1. Hold events that are active, instructive and challenging by concentrating upon a single theme that is within the context of the event site.

2. Provide via a newsletter a means of communication for persons and organizations interested in the period.

3. Provide information on uniforms and equipment of the period and locate and/or develop sources for those items.

4. Encourage and support the coordination of an annual Spanish American War Encampment/Reenactment on a national level.

'The Spanish War 1898' is a member of the 'United Spanish American War Society'. The USAWS was founded in 1998 to encourage Spanish War events and improve the level of authenticity. Through the USAWS we cooporate with other period groups nationwide and participate in an annual USAWS event.

Unlike other conflicts, the Spanish American War was brief, but we find that fact to be one of its attractions. Secretary of State John Hay described it as "a splendid little war." We have found that it is unexplored territory and therefore, very nearly, our private little war.

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