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Special Collections Online at UT

Spanish-American War Photographs

Identifier: MS-2171

  • Staff Only

During the Spanish American War, there were major camps of state volunteers at southern locations. Three photographs of Camp Poland in Knoxville, Tennessee show the review of the 2nd division 1st Army Corps and the 31st Michigan and 1st Georgia camps. One is dated September 1898.


  • 1898

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0.1 Linear Feet


These photographs include a review of troops, Sandwich Parade and Camp of 31st Michigan Volunteers in September 1898.

Biographical/Historical Note

Sources of Camp Names according to Fred Greguras: President McKinley, state governors and heroes and casualties of the naval campaigns and Santiago campaign were the most popular sources of names for the camps. In many states, annual National Guard camps had been previously named after the current state governor. This custom continued for many Spanish American War state volunteer muster in camps. In Tennessee, the Nashville camp of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tennessee regiments was named after Governor Bob Taylor, as was the Knoxville camp of the 4th Tennessee. (

On June 20th, John T. Wilder, on a visit with Secretary of War Alger, arranged for two sites for the Fourth and Sixth regiments. The Sixth regiment was largely made up of Knoxville citizens and was located on what was formerly Elmwood Park, two miles east of the city on the Park street shortline, consisting of seventy acres of land surrounded on three sides by woodland... On June 29th, the camp of the Sixth regiment was removed to Lonsdale addition to the city, near the Southern railway shops, the new camp being named Camp Wilder. (William Rule, Standard History of Knoxville, Tennessee, Lewis Publishing Company, 1900, p.188-190.)

On August 12th, an armistice was declared between the U. S. and Spain. Camp Poland was established on August 21, 1898 and named after the Brig. General John S. Poland, who commanded the Second Division of the First Army Corps and died at Chickamauga on August 7, 1898. It was established because of the overcrowding at Camp Chickamauga. Because of the crowded conditions and poor sanitary facilities, disease began to break out in other camps. The First Pennsylvania was ordered to break camp and move to a new location at Camp Poland on August 28, 1898. By this time, the war crisis had passed. The fighting had ended, though the war would not formally end until December 10, 1898 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Camp Poland was abandoned in early January 1899 except for the hospital at Turner Park which stayed open until mid-February, 1899.


Collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

These photographs were purchased October 2003.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA