[an error occurred while processing this directive]Spanish-American War
The United States declared war on Spain in the spring of 1898. The Grand Rapids Battalion was ready so far as the personnel was concerned. This outfit comprised Companies B, G, E and H, Thirty-Second Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry. The equipment of the Michigan National Guard, of which the Battalion was a unit, was woefully inadequate. Shelter tents and field cooking material for one regiment were available, as against the necessary amount for five regiments and two independent battalions. Rifles handed to the men were in deplorable shape. Not only were they an obsolete model and incapable of using smokeless powder, but they had been in the hands of different men from time to time for a period of more than 15 years and were inaccurately sighted and possessed of numerous defects.
As called for in the president's proclamation, April 23, 1898, Michigan's quota was 4,104. The next day orders were received for the mobilization quota of the entire Michigan National Guard at Island Lake. There regiments were reorganized in compliance with new regulations, the Second Independent Battalion being assigned to the Second Regiment, giving that regiment 12 companies, 4 of which were from Grand Rapids. The regiments, as organized, were designated as the Thirty-first, Thirty-second, Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry. The Grand Rapids Battalion formed a part of the Thirty-second, under the command of Col. William T. McGurrin, an able and efficient officer, and left for Tampa, Florida, where it remained in training for several weeks.
In the meantime the regimen had been relieved of the old rifles and was waiting for new arms and equipment in preparation for service in Cuba, but the hopes of the men were blasted by the armistice. The regiment, in September 1898, entrained for home, and in October and November were mustered out.
Transcriber: Ronnie Aungst
Created: 10 May1999