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The History of the 5th Missouri Volunteer Infantry

By Patrick McSherry

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The Fifth Missouri Volunteer Infantry served in the Spanish American War. However, during its term of service it never left the continental U.S.

The History:

The Fifth Missouri Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service on May 18, 1898 at the Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. At the time of muster in, the unit consisted of  976 enlisted men and 49 officers. A week later, on May 25, the regiment was ordered to Camp Thomas, a training camp being constructed on the grounds of the Civil War battlefield at Chickamauga, Georgia. The regiment arrived two days later. On its arrival, the 5th Missouri was assigned to the Second Brigade, Second division of the Third Army Corps.

The regiment stayed at Camp Thomas as conditions there worsened. The sanitation and supply capability of the camp was exceeded by the 50,000 nearly  men who arrived at the camp. Because of the unhealthy conditions, regiments were relocated to new camps. The 5th Missouri was ordered to Lexington, Kentucky, arriving on August 27, being assigned to the First Brigade, Third Division of the First Army Corps. The regiment was at Lexington only briefly, being ordered home, and departing Lexington on September 6.

The regiment arrived at Kansas City on September 8. One week later the men of the regiment were given a thirty day furlough. The unit was mustered out on November 9, 1898 at Kansas City, Missouri. At the time of muster out, it consisted of 1,207 enlisted men and 47 officers. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898.

During its term of service, it lost sixteen men who died of disease and seventeen men who deserted. An additional twenty-seven were discharged on disability.


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) 602.

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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