The following article appeared in Tama, Iowa newspaper, dated June 2, 1898, the day the 49th Iowa Volunteer Infantry left for service. Almost all of the men in the 49th Iowa had came from the northeast fourth of the state. The unit was mustered into service at Des Moines on June 2, 1898. For a while, it appeared as though the 49th was not going to be accepted into the Federal service since Iowa's quota was only three Regiments and the 49th had the junior colonel among the four regiments that were raised (the others being the 50th, 51st, and 52nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry regiments). However, according to the 49th's published history, the unit was so well trained and had such a good appearance that they accepted anyhow. At the time they were mustered into the federal service, the unit consisted of 50 officers and 780 men.
The 49th Iowa became part of the Second Division of the Seventh Army Corps. The unit would still find itself in Jacksonville's Camp Cuba Libre when the fighting ended on August 13, and as late as October, 1898. Eventually the unit served in Cuba as part of the occupation forces, leaving Savannah, Georgia on December 19, 1898 aboard the U.S. Transport "MINNAWASKA" bound for Havana, Cuba and arriving three days later. The unit stayed in Cuba until April 5, 1899 when it left the island to return to the United States, where it arrived six days later.
The 49th Iowa was mustered out of service on May 13, 1899. At the time of muster out, the unit consisted of 49 officers and 953 enlisted men. During its term of service, two officers and fifty-two enlisted men died of disease. One enlisted man died as a result of an accident, and two more deserted. Eleven were discharged on disability.
Contributor Judy Landauer's grandfather, Arthur Leon Bruner, served
in the 49th Regiment Iowa Volunteers during this war. He played cornet
in the regimental band.
"Last Saturday afternoon Tama was again the scene of enthusiastic
patriotic demonstrations. Early in the morning word was recieved
from Camp McKinley Des Moines, that the 49th Regiment Iowa Volunteers,
(the old first Reg.) had been ordered to Jacksonville, Florida, and that
the First batallion , consisting of Col. Dows and staff, Cos. K of Toledo,
H of Marshalltown, F of Tipton, and C of Cedar Rapids, would pass through
Tama over the Milwaukee about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Immediately
after dinner an immense crowd began to collect and when the special train
finally arrived a crowd of at least two thousand had congregated to bid
them God Speed. Curiosity prompted many, but the majority of those present
were there to bid some dear friend a fond and perhaps final farewell.
The boys were enjoying good health and were full of enthusiasm which was
cheering to their many friends. The train stopped but a short time,
but during the time short as it was the boys were all supplied with a cup
of good hot coffee and numerous other things. Co. K boys, the Bruner
boys of the Regiment band and W. E. Rhodes
and Chas. Dunn of Co. F, Tipton of course recieved the greatest attention,
but every body shook hands with the boys and wished them good luck regardless
of acquaintance. So departs the last regiment of the State Malitia.
We believe they will give a first-class account of themselves."
Information courtesy of Judy Landauer (descendent of Arthur Bruner)
Clerk of Joint Committee 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. 4, p 494.
Novak, Greg, Remember the Maine and to Hell with Spain; Being a Wargamer's Guide to the Spanish American War 1898. (Champagne: Ulster Imports, 1990). 36.
tatistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).