The Spanish-American War and National Unity

As the scene from the movie the Rough Riders indicates above, troops on their way to fight in the Spanish-American War received an outpouring of love and patriotism from Southerners.  The War was popular in the South, as it was in the other sections of the nation, and animosities decades old from the Civil War were set aside in a wave of national unity.  This was perhaps typified when the 6th Massachusetts passed through Baltimore.  In 1861 it had fought its way through a horde of pro-Confederate rioters and blood was spilled.  The regimental history tells how different the reception was in 98:

After a night and part of the next day on the train the Regiment arrived at Baltimore, Maryland, the city in which a mob had greeted the 6th Mass. Regiment in the Civil War, in 1861, and where the first men to lose their lives in that War had been killed. The citizens of Baltimore had sent an invitation to the Regiment to parade through the City, which invitation was accepted. Arriving at that city about 4:30 P.M. on May 21, the Regiment detrained, and marched about four miles through streets lined six or eight deep with cheering citizens. The Mayor welcomed the soldiers in the name of the city, officers and men were given box lunches, bands of music were provided, and in every way the city did its best to wipe out the remembrance of 1861.

The regiment received a huge bouquet of flowers which read:  Bullets in ’61, Bouquets in ’98. 


Published in: on March 3, 2010 at 6:40 am  Comments (3)  
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  1. Totally unrelated but the video reminds me of something I’ve wondered about:

    When did chevrons get turned right-side up? From the Civil War (at least) thru the Spanish-American War they pointed down. In WWI and since they have pointed up.

    The change obviously happened sometime between the two wars but just when — and why would the Army change a long-standing tradition?

  2. There have been lots of changes over time. The US military is always fiddling with the uniforms. Here is a useful chart:

  3. […] Something for the weekend.  Maryland, my Maryland, James Ryder Randall’s  cry from the heart after his friend Francis X. Ward was killed in the fighting that occurred when the Sixth Massachusetts fought its way through Baltimore mobs on its way to Washington at the beginning of the Civil War.  The Sixth Massachusetts received a  much friendly reception from the citizens of Baltimore during t… […]

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