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The 158th Indiana Volunteer Infantry at Camp Poland

Contributed by Jeff Berry
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The following accounts of the 158th Indiana Volunteer Infantry in Camp Poland, Tennessee during the Spanish American War appeared in the Kmoxville Journal and Tribune.

The Articles:

August 27, 1898:

One Hundred and Fifty-Eighth Indiana

The only regiment to arrive from Camp Thomas yesterday was the One Hundred and Fifty-Eighth Indiana, which reached Lonsdale in five sections at 1:30 yesterday morning. Col. Smith, of the regiment, is commanding the Second brigade and his headquarters formed one of the sections. The regiment is in command of Lieutenant-Colonel Thayer.

 Breaking camp shortly after noon Thursday the regiment marched to Rossville, Where transportation was in waiting and lost no time in loading, the job being completed in one hour and twenty minutes, the quickest time yet made by any of the troops leaving Camp Thomas. Notwithstanding the lateness of the hour the work of unloading and hauling the baggage and equipage to the new camp ground at Lincoln park, was commenced at once upon their arrival at Lonsdale.

 Yesterday afternoon a Journal and Tribune representative found every tent up and the men working hard building cook shanties, digging sinks and clearing the ground of the leaves and rubbish. All were tired and sleepy, but in good spirits, extremely pleased with their new location.
 Following is a roster of the field and staff officers of the regiment with each gentlemanís home address:- Colonel Harry B. Smith, Indianapolis; Lieutenant Colonel Edwin P. Thayer, Jr. Greenfield; First Lieutenant and Adjutant Geo. W. Powell, Indianapolis; Quartermaster M.I. Hopkins, Indianapolis; Chaplain G.A. Carstensen, Indianapolis; Surgeons-Captain Paul Barcus, Crawfordsville and Lieutenant H.I. Jones, of Indianapolis; Majors W.S. Rich, Indianapolis; H.T. Conde, Indianapolis; A.H. Skinner, Rochester.

 The One Hundred and Fifty-eighth Indiana is an old national guard regiment and was known in the state service as the second regiment. Indiana national guard, but when mustered into the United States service on May 10th, the number was changed to satisfy a whim of the state officials, who desired that the new volunteer regiments from their state should be numbered from the point left off at the civil war.

 The regiment is 1,317 strong and has its full quota of twelve companies, from the following cities and towns:- Company A, Captain Little, Indianapolis; company B, Captain Clinger, Rochester;  company C, Captain Allen, Frankfort; company D, Captain McCrea, Indianapolis; company E, Captain J.H.Tarleton, Franklin; company F, Captain Daly, Winchester; company G, Captain Miles, Covington; company H, Captain C.S. Tarleton, Indianapolis; company I, Captain Cox, Sheridan; company K, Captain Monical, Martinsville; company L, Captain Jacobs, Kokomo; company M, First Lieutenant Wilhite, Crawfordsville.


The Personnel of the officers of this regiment is interesting. Col. Smith is auditor of Marion county, Indiana, and had been re-nominated by the republican party for office. Lieutenant-Colonel Thayer is also the republican nominee of his county (Hancock) for the office of auditor. The balance of the officers, both of the field and staff are substantial business men of their respective towns.

 Adjutant Powell, who has been home on a seven days leave of absence, joined the regiment here yesterday morning. He brought back with him a prisoner in irons. The man is Private Oliver M. McCoy, of company H, who deserted from the regiment several weeks ago. Lieutenant Powell was formerly superintendent of police of Indianapolis, and with the aid of his former associates, was able to locate his man without trouble. Several men who  had been home on furloughs and who were on their way back to camp were overtaken at Cincinnati by Mr. Powell and notified of the change in the location of the camp.

 Colonel Smith has taken up his brigade headquarters at the big brick house on the Scott homestead, near the camp.

 The captain of company M recently resigned, which accounts for First Lieutenant Wilhite being in command.

 Captain Daly, of company F, is at his home in Winchester on sick leave. He is suffering from rheumatism.


TheThe Journal and Tribune (Knoxville, TN), August 27, 1898 - Contributed by Jeff Berry

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