A Brief History of the 1st Delaware Volunteer Infantry

By Patrick McSherry

General:

The 1st Delaware Volunteer Infantry served its term of service within the continental United States.

Unit History:

The regiment was mustered into service at Middletown, Delaware between May 9 and 19, 1898. At the time of mustering in, the regiment consisted of forty-seven officers and 969 enlisted men. In early August, there were plans and orders issued to send the regiment to Puerto Rico, by way of New York City, but the plans apparently fell through. The men were apparently still in camp in Middletown when an armistice was reached between the U.S. and Spain on August 13, 1898.

On August 20, the regiment was sent to Camp Meade, at Middletown, Pennsylvania, being one of the first regiment to arrive at the new camp. At Camp Meade it joined the Third Brigade, Second Divsion of the Second Army Corps, which was officially headquartered at Columbia, South Carolina. It is not believed that the regiment ever journeyed south but simply served with the Corps when its elements arrived at Camp Meade. On August 27, President McKinley visited Camp Meade, and the 1st Delaware was chosen to serve as his honor guard. The regiment lined the road leading to the camp. As the President passed, the regiment presented arms and the band played "The President's March." TheTwo battalions of the regiment were furloughed officially on September 22, returning to Middletown, Delaware on October 3. After the thirty day furlough, these battalions were mustered out on November 16 at Wilmington, Delaware.

The remaining battalion, consisting of Companies A, B, G and M, was furloughed on November 2, and returned to Middletown, Delaware on November 6. This battalion was mustered out of service on December 19, nine days after the Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the war.

At the time of muster out, the regiment consisted of forty-three officers and 836 enlisted men. During its term of service, the regiment lost eight enlisted men to disease (Including one man with interesting name of Delaware Richards, of Company I) and had eight more men discharged on disability. In addition, forty-six men deserted and three were court-martialed.



Bibliography:

Correspondence relating to the War with Spain And Conditions Growing Out of the Same Including the Insurrection in the Philippine Island and the China Relief Expedition. Vol. 1 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902) 345, 520, 523-525, 586.

"Deaths at Camp Meade," Middletown Daily Argus. (Middletown, New York) September 26, 1898, 1.

"Many Generals Less," The Evening Democrat. (Warren, PA), October 8, 1898, 4.

"More Men for Miles," Middletown Daily Argus. (Middletown, New York) August 4, 1898, 1.

"Mustering Out Now Begins," New York Times. August 17, 1898, 4.

"President on an Outing," Dubuque Herald. (Dubuque, Iowa) August 28, 1898, 1.

"Stations of Troops," The Daily Northwestern. (Oshkosh Wisconsin), July 9, 1898, 3.

Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).

"Two Delaware Soldiers Dead," New York Times. September 13, 1898, 4.


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