Spanish American War
The Spanish American War between Spain and the United States began in 1898 after the sinking of the American battleship Maine. The Navy was ready and began a blockade of Cuba soon after President McKinley signed the joint resolution on April 20, 1898. The Army, made radical changes to mobilize and grow their ranks from 28,000 to 50,000 troops. Through volunteers and the mobilization of state National Guard units they grew to 220,000 men.
Fireman 2nd Class Harry E. Burns
Fireman 2nd Class Harry E. Burns, a charter member of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department, served in the U.S. Navy as a Fireman 2nd Class aboard the U.S.S. Baltimore. During the Spanish-American War, the U.S.S. Baltimore operated in Manila Bay and was second in line behind the U.S.S. Olympia. It entered Manila Bay on May 1, 1898 and destroyed the Spanish fleet. They stayed in Asiatic Squadron in East Asia protecting american interests until 1900. The crew was awarded the Manila Bay Medal for their victorious battle against the Spanish fleet.
Private Maurice Rackey
7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, G Company
Private Maurice Rackey was a charter member of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department. Private Rackey served in G Company of the 7th U.S. Cavalry. The regiment served in the southwest U.S. prior to their depart for Cuba in 1899. The 7th Cavalry was tasked with maintaining security and scouting on the island of Cuba until their departure in 1902.
Henry J. Schaefer
Henry J. Schaefer was a charter member of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department. We have found census records indicating that Mr. Schaefer was a veteran of the Spanish American War. We have uncovered some of his family history and are still researching his military service at this time. We will post updates as they become available.
Private George R. Tudge
5th U.S. Cavalry (CAU Det)
Private George R. Tudge was a charter member of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department. He served in the 5th Regiment of the U.S. Cavalry (CAU Det). During the Spanish-American War, Private Tudge served both in Cuba and Puerto Rico. At some point in the war, the 5th Regiment was combined with Colonel Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders. George died on October 28, 1953 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 33, Site 7667.
Special thanks to Art Tudge, grandson of George R. Tudge, for providing this photo.
George, right, in 1898 at San Juan Hill, Cuba
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William F. Williamson
4th Artillery, A Company, Musician Battery
William F. Williamson was a charter member of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department.
He served as a musician in A Company of the 4th Artillery. Upon returning to the United States, the 4th Artillery Band played as thousands gathered for the interment of 336 Spanish American War soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery on April 7, 1899. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 18, Site 1746-F-1.
Fireman First Class Dennis P. Quill
North Atlantic Fleet - U.S.S. Dixie
Dennis P. Quill served in the U.S. Navy as a Fireman First Class aboard the U.S.S. Dixie during the Spanish American War with other members of the Maryland Naval Militia. The U.S.S. Dixie was part of the North Atlantic Fleet, which cruised the West Indies, transporting Army troops while on blockade duty. Members of the U.S.S. Dixie also participated in the capture of Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1898.
Dennis was a Charter Member of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department and served as the departmentís first Quartermaster.
His his wife, Dora, who is buried with him, was a Charter Member of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Departmentís Ladies Auxiliary. Legend has it that their disagreement about how much time he was spending at the firehouse started a group that would be the first organized fire department ladies auxiliary in the United States and the world.