Following the explosion of the U.S. battleship
Maine in Havana harbor, Congress approved military intervention
in Cuba. Although the United States was unprepared for war, nationalistic
feeling ran high and volunteers hastened to enlist. Within a few
months, victories over Spain in the Caribbean and the Philippines
assured the United States a position as a global military power
on the eve of the 20th century.
Connecticut National Guard On Parade
Main Street, Hartford, May 4, 1898
Photo CD: 0532
On May 4, 1898,
100,000 citizens watched the 1st Regiment of the Connecticut National
Guard parade through Hartford on its way to Niantic, the meeting
place for Connecticut troops departing for the Spanish-American
War. Because the regular army was small at the outbreak of the
war, National Guard units provided many of the troops, serving
both in the Caribbean and the Philippines.
Navy Vessels on the Thames River
New London vicinity, 1890s.
Photo CD Number IMG0076-4203.PCD
New London served
as an important base for shipping arms and men to Cuba and was
perceived as a possible target for attack by the Spanish Navy.
Venerable Fort Trumbull was occupied by an artillery unit and
new forts were established on Fishers Island, Little Gull Island
and Plum Island in order to protect the eastern end of Long Island
Sound. New London also served as a supply base for these forts.
Welcome Home Parade
Norwich, ca. 1900
Photo CD: 0532
Most troops who
served in the Spanish-American War were away from home for less
than a year. New London County troops mustered in July 1898 and
mustered out in March 1899. Their return was a cause for parades
as Americans celebrated their new position as world power.
Connecticut Goes to War, 1860-1945
Civil War, 1861-1865
War I, 1917-1919
War II, 1941-1945
for further reading