The Personal Effects of Privates Ira A. Griffin and Earl W. Osterhout

of the 1st Nebraska Infantry, Company E

Contributed by Todd Wilkinson

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The following notice is a sobering reminder of the loss of life in the Philippines. The notice provides lists giving an account of the personal effects of two soldiers of the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, Company E, Privates Ira A. Griffin and Earl W. Osterhout. The notice was made up as an advertisement for an auction of the goods. Both men had died of typhus in Manila in the Fall of 1898. The soldier who saved the notice wrote on the back: "I took this down from where it was posted. The things were sold is pretty tough I can tell you."

Several items may need an explanation. First, the "housewife" listed is slag for a small sewing kit, generally used to make uniform repairs. Second, the "abdominal band" was were pieces of medical quackery thought to ward off fever. Generally, these were made of strips of flannel which contained camphor or eucalyptus. The band was worn across the chest.

The Notice:


The effects of Ira A. Griffin, deceased, later private of Company E [First Nebraska Vol. Inf.] viz:

One Box
One Pillow Case
One Blue Coat
One pr. Blue Trousers
Two prs. Socks
Two Towels
Two Blue Shirts
One Abdominal Band
Two undershirts
One White Coat
One pr. White Trousers
One housewife
One Bill Book
One Hat

And the effects of Earl W. Osterhout, deceased, late a private of Company E, viz.

Two White Coats
One pr. White Trousers
One Blue Coat
One pr. Blue Trousers
One pr. Drawers
One Undershirt
One pr. Brown Trousers
One Pancho
One Handkerchief
One pr. Native Shoes
One pr. Spanish Shoes
One Abdominal Band
Two prs. Socks
One Money Belt
One Hair Brush
One Hand Glass
One Housewife
One pr. Shoestrings

Will be sold at auction to the highest bidder Thursday, Nov. 10th, 1898 at 10 oclock A.M. at the Barracks of Company E, corner of Calle Barcelona and Calle Clavel.

By order of  F.A. Williams, Capt. 1st Neb. Vols.
Chairman, Council of Administration


Bunnet, Sara, editor, Manila Envelopes: Oregon Volunteer Lt. George Telfer's Spanish American War Letters. (Oregon Historical Society Press, 1987) 175

Thiessen, Thomas D., "The Fighting First Nebraska: Nebraska's Imperial Adventure in the Philippines, 1898-1899" Nebraska History Magazine, Fall, 1989 p. 228.

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