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A Brief History of the 159th Indiana Volunteer Infantry

by  Patrick McSherry  
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The 159th Indiana Volunteer Infantry was formed from the 1st Regiment, Indiana National Guard. The redesignated unit was mustered for service at Camp Mount in Indianapolis on April 28, 1898. The unit was mustered into the federal service on May 12, 1898. When mustered in, the 159th consisted of fifty officers and 976 enlisted men.

On May 15, the 159th (in conjunction with many of the other Indiana units) was ordered to Camp Thomas, Georgia. This camp was located on the former Civil War battlefield of Chickamauga. The unit stayed at Camp Thomas for only a brief time, being ordered to Port Tampa, Florida, on June 1. The 159th arrived at Port Tampa on June 3.

Though the unit was close to the embarkation point where troops were being loaded for service in Cuba, at Port Tampa the unit's advance came to a halt. The 159th would remain in Port Tampa until August 30, when the was ordered back to Camp Mount at Indianapolis. An armistice had been agreed to on August 12, effectively ending the war's fighting.

The unit was given a month's furlough, from September 10 to October 10, 1898. On November 4, the unit was mustered out of service. At this time, the unit consisted of fifty officers and 1,223 enlisted men. The war would not officially end, however, until December 10, 1898 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

During its term of service, the 159th Indiana Volunteer Infantry lost ten enlisted men to disease and had three enlisted men desert. Additionally, eighteen men were discharged for reasons of disability.

Thomas Young, 159th Volunteer Infantry, Co. F

Thomas Henry Young, Co. F, 159th Indiana Volunteer Infantry


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, p. 493.

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).

Wright, General Marcus J., Wright's Official History of the Spanish American War. (Washington: War Records Office 1900) 319-320.

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