SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Back From Cuba: 1898

Back From Cuba: 1898

Long Island, New York, circa 1898. "Boys of the 71st N.Y. at Montauk Point after return from Cuba." Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Krag-Jorgenson rifle

The Krag was by far not the worst weapon used by the US. While it was shortlived, it gave good service, and was a favorite of the Army shooting teams who BTW hated the 1903 Springfield when it was first introduced. What killed the Krag was the fact that it could not use a charger clip, and the action was not as strong as the Mauser.

Half in Havana

The guy with the knife looks like his mind hasn't quite made it back from Cuba yet, if ever.

Spanish American War rifles

Anonymous Tipster mentioned that his grandfather's unit was using the .45-70 Springfield rifles. That was the 1888 Springfield with the combined bayonet and cleaning rod. Most Guard units were equipped with that rifle while most regular units were equipped with the Krag-Jorgenson, arguably the worst rifle that the US Army was ever equipped with. It was slower to load than the Mauser rifle that the Spanish were equipped with and had a lower velocity bullet. In the assault on Santiago, the Spanish defenders numbered about 750; they inflicted 1,400 casualties (killed or wounded) on the Americans who had 6,600 troops and was supported by artillery and Gatling guns. That's a 21.2% casualty rate.

Mmmm Lunch!

I wonder how old that piece of hardtack is that the one fellow is chewing on. I've read that some Spanish American War hardtack was actually stamped "Remember the Maine." Another fellow is holding his mess knife like a weapon. I assume it's a mess knife, since a third fellow is holding a mess kit.

The Bugs of War

The National Guard militias of various states mustered and trained far more troops than the Government needed (or wanted), and many soldiers found themselves shipped to camps in the deep South, Florida or Hawaii, where they collapsed in the heat, were eaten alive by insects and fell victim to typhus and like diseases from the miserable water supply. More soldiers were felled by disease than bullets.

Coming of Age

These guys appear to be much older that the WW2/Korean Conflict/Vietnam Era GIs. Was it more of a profession then? Were they hold overs from the post Civil War years? Or did they just age more quickly?

"A splendid little war" - NOT

The scowls on the volunteers' faces are understandable. In the Spanish-American War the 71st NY was poorly trained, poorly armed, and (most notably) poorly led. When they were not stuck for days in malarial settings waiting to get to or from Cuba, some of their officers were leading them into dead ends during the war's greatest land battle. As Governor Teddy Roosevelt would write of the rank-and-file in 1899 when approving an inquiry's findings of incompetence by several senior officers during that battle, "save when paralyzed by bad leadership they were as able as they were eager to do honor to the glorious traditions of the American volunteer service."

Granddad in the 71st

My grandfather served in Cuba with the 71st and his father before him served with the regiment during the Civil War.

When they shipped home from Cuba the were landed at Montauk, quarantined to recover from various diseases contracted in service before being allowed to enter a homecoming event in New York City. The were sent home on a special Long Island Railroad train after some weeks.

A similar group picture with him was on my grandfather's parlor mantel back in the 1940s.

In camp before shipping out to Cuba they use to shout "Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain" to build fighting spirit. They had black powder .45-70 Springfield rifles, a fairly new issue item to them, as they had used .50-70 Remingtons until about six months before the War.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.