The United Spanish War Veterans Collection consists of records of three San Francisco
Camps of the United Spanish War Veterans: the Nelson A. Miles Camp No. 10; the Reinhold
Richter Camp No. 2; and the Funston-Royce Camp No. 61. It includes ledgers; bulletins;
120 obituaries; 670 membership files; and photographs. It also contains correspondence
from national, state and auxiliary organizations such as: the National Headquarters,
United Spanish War Veterans, Washington, D.C.; the Department of California, United
Spanish War Veterans, San Francisco; and, the Sons and Daughters of the United Spanish
War Veterans. An index of member names is available in the on-site finding aid.
The Spanish American War lasted fewer than four months (1898). Conditions of the
subsequent peace treaty obliged Spain to relinquish sovereignty over Cuba, Puerto Rico,
the Philippine Islands and Guam to the United States. On the American side the war was
fought entirely by volunteers. More than 392,000 rushed to join the military services and
11,000 died, mostly from tropical diseases such as yellow fever. Members of the United
Spanish War Veterans were those in good standing in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of
the United States, including medical personnel, Philippine Scouts and other organizations
of native troops maintained by the War Department in the Philippine Islands, who served
at any time during the insurrection in the Philippine Islands prior to July 4, 1902. Each
"camp" of the United Spanish War Veterans was named for a significant participant in the
War. The Nelson A. Miles Camp [San Francisco], for instance, was named for Lt. Gen.
Nelson Appleton Miles, who had been the youngest commanding general in the Civil War, and
was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army during the Spanish American War. An April 30,
1977 newspaper article reported that there were 400 Spanish war veterans still alive in
the nation (with 107 in California), that their average age was 98 years and that a group
of 17 had gathered that year.