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A Brief History of the 35th Michigan Volunteer Infantry

by Patrick McSherry

Officers of the 35th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, 1898
Officers of the 35th Regiment Michigan Volunteers on horseback:
Top Left: General W. L. White  Top right: 1st Lt. Frank H. Idema, Adjutant
Bottom Left: Capt. A. J. Grube   Bottom Right: Capt. William D. McDonald

Please Visit our Home Page to learn more about the Spanish American War
Click here for a roster of 35th Michigan troops who were members of the Guy V. Henry Post, Camp #3, United Spanish War Veterans
Click here for a link to information on the Michigan National Guard in the Spanish American War
Click here for a roster of the 35th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Co. D

The 35th Michigan Volunteer Infantry served its term of service in the continental United States. It did not see action during the war.

Unit History:

The 35th Michigan Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service between July 9 and July 25, 1898 at Island Lake, Michigan. At the time of it mustering in, the regiment consisted of forty-five officers and 1,283 enlisted men under the command of Colonel Edwin Irish. On July 16, as the unit was mustering in, the unit was presented with a flag by the Henderson-Ames Company of Kalamazoo.

The regiment was formed quite late in the war. By the time the regiment was fully mustered in, the major land and sea battles had already been fought. Within three weeks of the unit coming fully into existence, the fighting of the war would end, with an armistice agreed to on August 12, 1898.

Among the personages of note in the company were Frank Smedley, the regiment's color bearer. His great-grandfather and grandfather held similar positions in the past, in the American Revolution and Mexican War respectively. W. S. Sigsbee, a cousin of Captain Charles Sigsbee, the commander of the ill-fated Battleship MAINE, was a member of Company C. Interestingly also, per the orders of the governor, all of the men of the regiment were unmarried, save one. In that case, the man's wife requested that he allowed to enlist since "he was so mean."

The regiment finally left Lake Island on September 14, 1898, bound for the new camp at Middletown, Pennsylvania, called Camp Meade. On November 10, the regiment was ordered south to Augusta, Georgia., arriving two days later. The regiment was assigned to the First Brigade, First Division of the Second Army Corps. While the regiment was in Augusta, the Spanish American War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. On March 4, 1899 the 35th Michigan was transferred to the Third Separate Brigade of the Second Army Corps.

The regiment was mustered out of service on March 31, 1899 at Augusta, Georgia. When the unit was mustered out of service, it consisted of forty-seven officers and 1,118 enlisted men. During its term of service, the regiment had one officer and twenty-four enlisted men die from disease. In addition, thirty-eight enlisted were discharged on disability and fifteen enlisted men deserted.


35th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Miscellaneous [Newspaper] Clippings.

35th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Officers

Clerk of Joint Comittee 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, 494.

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) 599.

Michigan Volunteers of '98: A Complete Photographic Record of Michigan's Part in the Spanish-American War of 1898. (Detroit: G. F. Sterling & Co, 1898) (Courtesy of  Nancy Elder Petersen).

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).

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