ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Spanish American War



The SPANISH–AMERICAN WAR was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, the result of American intervention in the Cuban War of Independence.  American attacks on Spain's Pacific possessions led to involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately to the PHILIPPINE–AMERICAN WAR.


Click to enlarge

1898 Parade Honoring Returning Spanish-American War Veterans




   may be only such photo known


WAR BULLETINS, Spanish-American War, Daily Times

     Corner Main and First, 101 E Main


             Eugene Killian, E. J. Schoolcraft, J. W. Cruger





The numerous resolutions for open declaration of war or intervention by force to drive Spain out of Cuba which have been offered in both house and senate, leave little doubt that within a week, unless peace is before then absolutely assured, we shall be at war with Spain.  But this is a Republican administration, and the house is Republican, and whatever is done on this question will be originated by Republicans.  Of this there is not the shadow of a doubt.  It has been definitely decided by a caucus of Republicans of the house.   WR



The situation as regards the relations between Spain and the United States is the same this morning as it has been for several days.  The climax, it is expected, will be reached this afternoon, when the president sends his message to congress.  It is forecasted that the message will recommend armed intervention to stop the outrages of Spain in Cuba, but recognition of the Cuban republic will not be urged.  A split in congress is likely to occur over such recommendations, as many members, it is thought, will not stop at anything short of absolute recognition of Cuban independence.  War with Spain seems very probable.   WR



The President's message regarding the Spanish and Cuban situation, delivered to Congress Monday, will be acted upon today.  It is expected that the foreign relations committees of the house and senate, to whom it was referred, will introduce resolutions by which the president will be authorized, directed and empowered to intervene at once to restore peace on the island of Cuba and secure to the people thereof a firm, stable and independent government of their own, and to use the army and navy forces of the United States to secure this end.  A unanimous stand by congress in support of such recommendation is looked for.  WR



The war department will adopt a system of identification of those who may fall in battle in Cuba.  The experience of the late war showed that many men who were killed were subsequently buried by men of other organizations, and that the means of identification were oftentimes lacking.  This accounts for the innumerable unmarked graves in the national cemetery.  The sad circumstance has suggested to the military authorities the necessity of establishing a method by which these men of the volunteer and regular force who are sent to Cuba may be identified after death.  The plan likely to be adopted is to issue an aluminum tag to each man, which will be suspended about the neck under the clothing.


This tag will bear the numeral of which each name on the rolls will be assigned, and will also bear the company and regiment of which the wearer belongs.  In this way identification is a simple matter.    WR



Sheriff E. J. Labuwi has organized a company of volunteers at Juneau, whose services will be offered to the government in case they are needed in the war with Spain . . .   WR


During Saturday night some patriotic wag rigged up a row-boat after the style of a United States man-of-war and anchored it in the river near the Hartig brewery, where, with "Old Glory" waving proudly above it, it majestically swayed on the waves and greeted the eye of passers-by on Sunday.  The craft was armed with a small cannon.  It is reported that the boat belongs to Andrew Roegner, and that it was loaned from a repair shop.


While at Ripon last week Colonel Solliday purchased a fine saddle horse for use when called to the front.  Captain Moulding made a like purchase here Saturday from B. Lee Blanchard, of Oconomowoc.  Both horses commanded good prices.  The Colonel's steed can single-step at a four-minute gait.   WR



[same date] Great interest has been manifested here the past week in the state of affairs existing between our country and Spain, and the bulletins of war news received and posted by The Daily Times have been eagerly sought.  When the first grave realization of war was at hand Saturday, the sterling American patriotism of our people cropped out and the stars and stripes were liberally exposed to the breeze.  In the evening large crowds gathered on the post office corner, the Sinnissippi band played inspiring music, several volleys were fired from guns and a number of cannon crackers were exploded.  The scenery minded the older residents of the stirring times thirty-seven years ago.


Saturday morning :Lieutenant Colonel Albert Solliday, of the Second regiment, and Captain F. C. Moulding, first assistant surgeon of the same regiment, were ordered by Adjutant-General Boardman to pack up and hold themselves in readiness to join their command at a moment's notice.  The gentlemen complied with the request, arranged their business and private affairs, and were ready to respond to their country’s call in the afternoon.  Thus far the final orders have not been received but they may come at any moment.



[same date] Great excitement prevails in Johnson Creek over the war news and last night a public demonstration was participated in by a large body of citizens and students.  Provided with torch lights and headed by a drum corps they marched through the principal streets shouting and singing patriotic songs.  A beautiful Cuban flag five feet by eight feet, made by a young lady, was carried by the side of the stars and stripes in the procession.   WR



[same date] The President has decided to appoint Theodore Roosevelt of New York, at present assistant secretary of the navy, to be a lieutenant colonel of United States volunteers, to serve in a regiment of cowboys and mounted riflemen to be raised by Mr. Roosevelt and Dr. Wood, the President's family physician, who is now in the medical department of the regular army.  Dr. Wood will be colonel of the regiment.  


Theodore Roosevelt has resigned as assistant secretary of the navy to take effect at the President's convenience after the commencement of active military operations.



Youthful patriotism seems rampant in the city and is evidenced almost daily.  A company of enthusiastic First ward lads, equipped with wooden guns and headed by a drum corps, has made several demonstrations during, the past week by marching through the streets.  Were they old enough it is very likely that they would respond to their country's call with alacrity . . .


The Whitewater Register suggests that the true patriotism of the people of each state who are not actively enlisted as fighters for their country could be magnificently shown by contributions to a fund for the building of representative battle ships as gifts to the nation, thus greatly increasing our strength and resources on the waters.  A capital idea.  Start the ball rolling, Mr. Register.  We are sure the venture would be grandly successful.   WR



[same date] Last Thursday was a notable day in the annals of Wisconsin soldiery.  Aside from the Milwaukee riots and one or two minor affairs, the day marked the first general call to arms in the state since the rebellion.  In cities producing military organizations great excitement was created by the order of Governor Scofield for the troops to mobilize at Camp Harvey, near Milwaukee, and all along the routes traversed by the troops in reaching the camp patriotism and enthusiasm cheered the volunteers on their journey.


Watertown was no exception to the rule and rendered its share of encouragement in a truly patriotic manner.  At 9:18 a.m. Lieut. Col. Albert Solliday and Assistant Surgeon Moulding, of the Second Regiment, departed for camp.  A large number of citizens were at the St. Paul depot to bid the officers God-speed, and with the stirring news of the morning, considerable excitement prevailed.  Mayor Mulberger was among the crowd and being called for said a few appropriate words of parting.  At the same time the boys from here who joined the First Regiment Band departed for Madison and they were also given a rousing send off by their friends.   WR


05 18       CAMP THOMAS

Chickamauga Park, Ga. -— The Third Wisconsin regiment reached Camp Thomas this morning, the first section arrived at Chickamauga at 8:30 o'clock.  It had the honor to be the second infantry regiment to arrive, the first having been the First Ohio regiment, which arrived yesterday afternoon.  The First Ohio cavalry preceded the infantry by several hours.


The three sections of the Wisconsin train arrived in Chattanooga last night, and on account of the lack of room at Camp Thomas laid in the yard all night.  At 5:30 reveille was sounded and officers and men had an opportunity to secure breakfast before the start was made for the park.  At 6:30 the train pulled out and in two hours it was in the park.  The run of fourteen miles took that time because of the many stops that had to be made for trains coming from the park.


Wisconsin boys made a record at unloading.  The Ohio troops had been in all night and at 8 o'clock were not unloaded.  Five minutes after the Wisconsin train stopped the cars were empty.  The troops were drawn up on the side of the track to await the other sections, which came up in a little while.  Immediately upon his arrival Col. Moore reported to Gen. Brooke, in command of the volunteer forces.  The colonel reported that he had a full regiment equipped with tentage and fifteen days' provisions; one battalion was on the ground and the others could be unloaded in five minutes after their arrival.  Gen. Brooke was surprised and pleased by Col. Moore's report.   WR



[same date] Here is a little incident which reveals the characteristics of two men that are proprietors of railway eating houses.  One charges a soldier responding to a call to the front twice as much for a cup of coffee as he does for civilians while the other gives the soldier coffee and lunch without charge.  It must it be said that one is a Spanish sympathizer, while the other is a true man and a patriot.  We quote from The Oconomowoc Republican in its reference to the recent journey of the state militia to Milwaukee:  The trip was made without incident worthy of mention, except perhaps the fact that the generous proprietor of the lunch counter at Portage charged the soldiers twenty cents for a cup of coffee and ten cents for a sandwich, while coffee and lunch were served free at Watertown. — Columbus Democrat.



Some large orders for breadstuffs are being placed in these times of war at high prices.  The Globe Milling company has given quotations to a Pittsburgh firm on a 6,000-barrel lot of rye flour, the magnitude of which may be realized when it is known that the company’s plant would require five weeks to mill the order.   WR



[same date] Farmers who live near the tracks of the big railroad lines are to get the latest war news by means of train signals.  The flags to be used and the key to the signals will be as follows: United States flag, a victory for the American land forces; United States flag with a blue pennant above a victory for the American navy; parti-colored flag, a victory for the Spanish land forces; parti-colored flag with a blue pennant above it, a victory for Spain on the sea.  It is said the signal service wil1 be general on the railroads throughout the country within a month.   WR



[same date] A beautiful picture displayed in A. Quentmeyer's show window attracts considerable attention from passersby.  It typifies the uprising of the American people in the cause of liberty and was inspired by the existing conditions regarding Cuba.  Mr. Quentmeyer is taking subscriptions for the picture at $1 apiece.  The money thus secured is to be sent to a New York publishing house, which has launched this scheme to raise $1,000,000 for the Red Cross society and the Central Cuban Relief committee appointed by President McKinley, in aid of the starving Cubans and sick and wounded soldiers.  The publishing house has selected merchants throughout the country to take subscriptions for the picture and it is desired that the fund be raised immediately.  Each subscription is really considered a donation of $1 to the fund and the picture is sent as a souvenir.  An earnest appeal for subscriptions is made to all patriotic citizens.    WR



Thursday night a special train of sixteen cars passed through this city over the St. Paul road carrying the South Dakota rough riders and their horses to the front.   WR



The work of enlisting a military company here is progressing finely, some sixty names being on the roles at present.  The projectors expect that Watertown will be represented by a company in the quota apportioned to Wisconsin in President McKinley's second call for 75,000 volunteers.   WR



"Bread, or no drill" is the shibboleth of the entire Third and one-half the Second battalion of the Second Wisconsin regiment.  Today at noon mess, without the slightest announcement of their intentions, the volunteer companies of Ashland, Oconto, Marinette, Beaver Dam, Manitowoc and Co. F. of Oshkosh threw down their tin dishes and refused either to eat or drill until better rations were provided.  All kept their word and ate no dinner. There is a spirit of mutiny against hard tack and bacon constituting the bill of fare.  In fact it has come to such a pass that only one of the two could be provided for the Manitowoc and one or two other companies on three or four occasions.  The six companies were not given opportunities to refuse to drill this afternoon owing to immense down-pouring of rain so long needed.   WR



Senator Chandler from the committee on naval affairs today made a report to the Senate on the resolution passed on February 21 last, directing the investigation into the destruction of the battleship Maine.   The committee say that in view of the careful inquiry by the naval court and that which was later made by the Senate committee on foreign relations, they deem an investigation by the naval committee unnecessary and have therefore made none.   WR


07 27       A GUERRILLA EDEN

Now that war is actually upon us and it is definitely known that the brunt of the great conflict will be fought in and about Cuba, the interest of the American reading public naturally centers on accounts of the country to which our men are marching – and from which many will never return.  The dangers of guerrilla warfare in the Cuban jungles, where the stealthy bushwhackers are trained to fight out of sight, are most interestingly set forth in the August Demorest's in the leading article, "A Guerrilla Eden."  It is an article that will interest every soldier in the United States army and the friends of every soldier.  There are some excellent photographs of this guerrilla country, showing our men in action in the palm jungles.   WR



To a citizen of Watertown belongs the distinction of being the first member of the Second Wisconsin regiment to set foot on Porto Rican soil.  In his account of the landing of the Port of Ponce of the Wisconsin troops, the war correspondent of The Milwaukee Sentinel says:  "While the Third regiment was embarking, the Duchess came up and the embarking of the Second began.  During Major Morgan's illness, Lieutenant- Colonel Solliday assumed command of the First battalion and his soldiers were first landed.  Captain Goldschmidt's Sheboygan company was the first to reach the shore from the Second but Col. Solliday took good care not to allow anyone to get out of the boats ahead of him and to him belongs the honors of being the first Second Wisconsin soldier to step on the soil of Porto Rico.".   WR



A call from general headquarters has been received by the Woman's Relief Corps of this city to assist in aiding the sick soldiers now confined in the hospitals at Charleston, S.C.  The corps therefore appeals to all benevolent societies and persons to aid in the matter.  Money for the purchase of needed medicines will be gladly received; also soft cloth for bandages, old linen, etc.  All donations from the east side are to be left with Mrs. A. B. Off, and the west side with Mrs. G. W. Hill.   WR


09 14       Another praiseworthy achievement in accord with Watertown's proverbial hospitality and knack of doing the proper thing at the proper moment has been recorded in the reception tendered our returning soldiers of the First and Second regiments last week.  An enthusiastic and grateful spirit prompted the arrangements, and the recipients of the ovation must have realized that their welcome home came from honest impulses and gladsome hearts.   WR


09 14       Thousands of Milwaukeeans sacrificed a night's sleep to give the First Wisconsin Regiment, returning from Jacksonville, a royal welcome.  The first section of the train did not arrive until about 2 o'clock and the last was more than hour later, but the hour did not discourage the people.  They remained and gave the boys a reception that they will not soon forget. 


Half the bands in the city were stationed in the train shed and the first sound that greets the ears of the returning soldiers was the strains of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again."  Then they heard a great shout from the crowd around the park which had caught a glimpse of the train passing into the great shed.  The officers and such of the men as could get out of the cars were soon on the platform, shaking hands with their friends and receiving the congratulations of their friends.  Those who had managed to get inside of the gates ran up to the car windows to bid the boys welcome and there was no more sleep for anybody.   WR



As soon as all the soldier boys who went to the war from this city have returned home, the Woman's Relief Corps propose to give them an appropriate reception, arrangements for which are now under way.   WR



Three sections of the Fourth Regiment, Wisconsin volunteers, arrived at Camp Shipp, Anniston, Ala., during the night, Sept. 17, and the fourth section is on the way.  As soon as the regiment can be formed it will be marched to the camp ground, which is situated in a beautiful grove among the hills.  The trip from Camp Douglas has tired the men considerably and it is not expected that much work will be done for a day or two after striking camp.  This is a beautiful and healthy country and is free from sickness.  The men are in very good shape and compare very favorably with the other regiments.  No sickness has developed as yet and as the men are careful of what they eat and drink, much illness will be averted.   WR


09 28       CAMP SHIPP

Camp Shipp, Anninston, Ala., Sept. 26 -- Yesterday the men were given passes to go to Anniston and the Fourth Wisconsin camp was nearly deserted.  The men were very orderly and returned to camp in time for retreat roll call.  Several of the men were poisoned by drinking lemonade which is sold at numerous stands along the way to town.  Thus far all are on the way to recovery and it is expected they will return to duty sometime today.  The stands will undoubtedly be closed up.   WR



These war times have tried men's souls in many unexpected ways, but like a shaft of sunshine and good cheer out of the cloud of privation and durance has been the work that The American Tobacco Co. has done among the U.S. Soldiers and Sailors ever since the war began -- for when they discovered that the camps and hospitals were not supplied with tobacco they decided to provide them, free of cost, with enough for every man, and have already given outright to our Soldiers and Sailors over one hundred thousand pounds of "Battle Ax Plug" "Duke’s Mixture" Smoking Tobacco, and have brought and distributed fifty thousand briar-wood pipes, at a total cost of between fifty and sixty thousand dollars.


This work has been done quietly and thoroughly, by establishing headquarters in each camp, so that every camp and every hospital in the United States Army has been this most welcome of all "rations."  Perhaps it will be only fair to remember when we hear the remark again that "corporations have no souls," that there is one American corporation whose soul has been tried and has not been found wanting in "practical kindness."  WR


10 19       MAX KREBS

Watertown, too, has offered up her sacrifice at the altar of Mars and the recent war has claimed its one victim from this city in the person of Max Krebs.  It is true, the young soldier did not succumb upon the field of battle, in the midst of bloody carnage, but he faced death fighting the germs of fatal decease in a Southern camp, the dangers of which caused more suffering and deplorable results than actual warfare. While the taking away of his young life is sincerely regretted and has caused general sorrow, our city is thankful that the end is over and the fatalities are no greater.   WR


Krebs, Max, b. 1876, d. 1898, Co B 1st Wis Inf Sp AM War 1898


11 02       AUGUST CAPELLE and GUS MARQUART return

Yesterday at noon August Capelle arrived home direct from the scenes of the late war in Porto Rico.  He is private in Co. K, Third Wisconsin regiment, and was in the engagements at Coamo and Ibonita.  At the depot to welcome him were the Northwestern University cadets and band, the drum corps, the local soldiers of the other state regiments, and a large concourse of citizens.  The line of march was taken up and the returning soldier boy was escorted to the home of his mother, Mrs. Catherine Capelle, 612 North Second Street.  It was expected that Gus Marquart, another Watertown soldier of the same company, would also arrive, but he went through to Tomah with his command.   WR







Cross Reference:

                    COL. ALBERT SOLLIDAY

Col. Albert Solliday, a veteran of two wars and long time professional man of Watertown, where he was engaged in dentistry for many years.


Col. Solliday was born in Lehigh country, Pennsylvania, February 13, 1841.  He was educated in Pennsylvania and Ohio, graduating from the high school at Circleville, Ohio, in 1861.  When the Civil War broke out he enlisted in the 114th regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, August 11, 1862.  He was mustered out of service in July of 1865 and three years later came to Wisconsin and settled in Watertown where he engaged in his profession of dentistry, which he had practiced for a few years at Circleville.  Upon his arrival in Watertown he opened dental parlors over the Bank of Watertown, where he remained three years, finally locating on Main Street (Solliday & Meyer, 117 Main) where he practiced his profession until his retirement from active duties.


To Col. Solliday belongs the honor of being the first man in the Second regiment to land on Porto Rican soil during the Spanish-American war.  Col. Solliday was the first to step out of the boat and onto the beach.  Troops of the Third Regiment were the first to be landed.  [On April 25, 1898 the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of the Battleship Maine in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898.]




Spanish War Colonel's uniform accessories of Colonel A. F. Solliday.



Watertown American Legion began in 1919 with Dr. Solliday as first commander




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin