While Caroline County furnished no complete companies to the late (1898) War with Spain, her younger men were active and eager to engage in behalf of their country and enlisted a score or two of them in outside divisions.
We have been able to secure thus far only the names of the following persons who participated, but it is safe to say that other names could have been added:
Robert S. Garey, of Denton, served with a Baltimore regiment; Charles G. Griffin with the New York National Guard, later the gallant Seventy-first; Clayton Blackison was on the Battleship Indiana; H. B. and R. W. Messenger of Federalsburg, were included in the 5th Maryland Regiment; G. H. Jefferson and Thomas S. Kemp, of Federalsburg, enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment; Ira Cannon, Fulton Noble of Preston, Jas. F. Wallace, Wm. C. Dean, and Milton Tull of Bethlehem, Harvey Jump and S. J. Sneed of Hillsboro enlisted with a Talbot County company; Thomas Heather, Bernard Hutchins, and John Shewbrooks of Marydel, enlisted in Company M. Delaware regiment; R. Earle Fisher was with the 5th Maryland which went to Tampa. Charles and Frank McShane of Denton and Wm. Rumbold of Choptank also enlisted.
While some of our boys did not get into the line of battle, perhaps, they suffered even worse in some of the hot, yellow fever regions, eating "embalmed meat" so much spoken of at that time.
The following local newspaper account will serve to show the nature of the charges of one regiment which lost nearly all of its men in the terrible campaign:"Mr. Charles G. Griffin of the 71st New York Regiment is spending part of the sixty days' furlough in Caroline. At the expiration of this furlough the regiment will be mustered out of service. Mr. Griffin is still suffering from the effect of Yellow fever which seized him, with hundreds of others, while they were in camp after the battle of Santiago. At that great combat Mr. Griffin's regiment made a memorable rush upon the Spanish breast-works up a hill in front of the city and drove the dons from their trenches. Many of the Americans were killed but Mr. Griffin escaped without injury. When the top of the hill had been gained many dead Spaniards were found. The charge was a desperate one but Mr. Griffin explained it had to be made because our men were under fire and did not propose to stay at the foot of the hill and take it; consequently without orders they made the dash. In doing so they were protected by gattling guns, which poured a steady stream of lead along the top of the hill. Had any Americans been with guns most of them doubtless, have been killed before the top was reached."
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