• Spanish-American War Soldier Camp Cuba Libre; Very Fine Florida Postmark

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    The SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR was fought between the United States and Spain in 1898. Hostilities began in the aftermath of the internal explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor in Cuba, leading to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence. The ten-week war was fought in the Caribbean and the Pacific. U.S. naval power proved decisive. The 1898 Treaty of Paris, negotiated on terms favorable to the U.S., allowed temporary control of Cuba and ceded ownership of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands. CAMP CUBA LIBRE was a rallying point for American forces during the Spanish-American War. Established near Jacksonville, Florida, in May 1898, it was constructed after forces in Tampa became too crowded. 


    6 pp, 5 ¾ x 9 ¼, American soldier Will Davidson, ALS, to Maggie M. Mericle of Toledo, Iowa, Aug. 1, 1898, on Camp Cuba Libre letterhead with cover.


    “…I done the best yesterday…I attended church twice. Stanley Brace and I went downtown in the morning to church. We went to the Congregationalist…a very neat little building…Then we came back and attended services in the tent at the camp ground. Chaplain Mason is a dandy fellow and can preach good sermons. He takes with the men in fine shape...When he finished his sermon, he had us clap our hands for the Iowa people who were so good and kind in contributing to the tent for the comfort of the boys of the 49th and they responded with a good strong one…There is some talk of us moving our camp some day this week but we are only going to go 2 or 3 miles from here…If we do not move around about so often…the ground gets filled up with poisonous germs and that…is what causes a great deal of sickness and disease…


    “There is going to be a play downtown tonight. The name of it is the 3 Passing Regiments. It is for the benefit of the sick in the hospital. The soldiers are taking part in it.  There are 3 or 4 of our boys in it. They have a drill and that’s what they take part in. The names of the boys wo do take part in the drill is Will J. Harrison, Will B. Ebersole, Jack E. Schnider, Hugh E. Mitchell and Gus Richardson. They are big tall fellows… Mosquitoes…just about eat some of the boys…Will Harrison got up last night and got a piece of flannel and burnt it to put them out of the tent.


    “First call for drill just sounded so I will close for this time…


    “Lovingly yours,


    “Will Davidson”


    Folds, toning, soiling to the cover but very nice postmark and stamp attached.  Nice camp life letter and rare to find a soldier’s letter from the Spanish-American War.


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