The Second Kentucky Volunteer Infantry served its term of service within the continental U.S.
The Second Kentucky Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service at Lexington, Kentucky between May 14 and 25, 1898. At the time of mustering in the regiment consisted of forty-five officers and 941 enlisted men.
On May 23, 1898, the regiment was ordered south to Camp Thomas, a training camp located on the grounds of the former Civil War battlefield of Chickamauga. Here it was assigned to the First Brigade, Second Division of the Third Army Corps. The First Brigade was commanded Brig. Gen. Frederick Dent Grant, the first son of former general and president Ulysses S. Grant. At Camp Thomas, time was spent in drill and training. The daily routine in the camp included schools for officers and non-commissioned officers, drill, target practice, and battle exercises.
As spring turned to summer the population of the camp continued to grow, reaching approximately thirty thousand men. Conditions in the camp began to deteriorate as the lack of sanitation, lack of clean water and lack of supplies became an issue. The regiment was still in the camp when an armistice was reached between the U.S. and Spain ending the war’s fighting on August 13, 1898. By this time, the camp’s population had decreased as many regiments were relocated to healthier camps elsewhere.
On September 13, the regiment returned to Lexington, Kentucky. Five days later, on September 18, the regiment was given a thirty day furlough. The regiment was mustered out of service on October 31, 1898. At the time of mustering out, the regiment consisted of fifty officers and 1,266 enlisted men. During its term of service, the regiment had twenty-seven enlisted men succumb to disease, and four more men discharged on disability. In addition, twelve enlisted men deserted.
Clerk of Joint Committee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899) Vol. 3, 225.
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) 531-533, 595.
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).