Uniform of the 1st South
Dakota Volunteer Infantry
Contributed by Olin Hosford
Quartermaster Sgt. John L.
Wells in the uniform shown below.
In the photo above, he wears an 8th Corps badge.
Click here for
a brief history of the 1st South Dakota
for a roster of the 1st South Dakota Volunteer Infantry.
Click here to
read Col. Frost Orders thanking the men of the 1st South Dakota for
Click here to read
the Orders for the Plan of the Day aboard the Transport RIO DE JANEIRO.
Click here to
read a letter from 1st Lt. Jay Beck, written while in transit aboard
Transport RIO DE JANEIRO.
to read a about the floral send-off received by some members of the
from the ladies ot Terry, South Dakota.
Below is are some views of the uniform that belonged to
Quartermaster Sgt. John Lewis Wells of Co. L of the 1st South Dakota Volunteer Infantry.
Sgt. Wells was born in Colfax in what was then the Dakota Territory. He
came of age and joined his father in working in the family saddle and
compny. Wells enlisted as a private at the age of twenty-four when the
Spanish American War broke out. He rose through the ranks to become the
company quartermaster sergeant. After the war, Wells returned to South
Dakota in October of 1899 and almost immedately he met Maude
Hemmingway. The two were married a year later in Deadwood, South
Dakota. The couple welcomed a daughter, Marjorie. Wells continued to
the saddle and harness business, and also became a journalist and
author. In August of 1938, John and Maude moved to Portland, Oregon,
believing the climate would be better for Maude's failing health. In
later years, when John Wells was well into his eighties, he worked as a
guard at the Portland Art Museum.
To the left is the 1887 five button
sack coat (with the arm insignia showing that Wells was a Quartermaster
Sergeant), trousers and hat.
The trousers have the broad 1" wide stripe also indicating that Wells
was a sergeant.
This view is a detail of the
slouch hat. The hat features the standard hat insignia of crossed
rifles with the letters "S" and "D" between the rifles and the letter
"L" below. The "S" and "D" indicate South Dakota and the "L" indicates
Company L within the regiment. Above the crossed rifles is a cloth corps badge. The badge is the corps
badge of the 8th Army Corps. The color - white - indicates the Second Division of the corps. The 1st South Dakota was in the Second Division from October
1898 to March of 1899.
To the left is a detail of the back of
the trousers showing the size adjustment strap and buckler. To the
right is a detail of the sack coat cuff buttons. The buttons are the
standard U.S. Army button.
Field, Ron, Spanish-American
War 1898. (Washington: Brasseys Inc., 1998).
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