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The 47th New York Volunteer Infantry

By Patrick McSherry

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The following is a brief history of the 47th New York Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish American War. The regiment served in Puerto Rico as part of the occupation forces.

Unit History:

The 47th New York Volunteer Infantry was mustered into the Federal service on May 24, 1898 at Hempstead, New York. At the time of muster in, the unit consisted of 47 officers and 968 enlisted men under the command of Colonel John G. Eddy. The war's fighting ended on August 12 with the declaration of an armistice between the U.S. and Spain. At this time, the unit was statoned at Fort Adams, at Newport, Rhode Island. However, on October 10, 1898, the 47th New York left for service in Puerto Rico as part of the occupation forces, arriving six days later. At least part of the unit's service in Puerto Rico was spent at Camp Ponce. The 47th would still be in Puerto Rico when the war officially ended on December 10, 1898 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. On March 4, 1899, the 47th New York Volunteer Infantry embarked for its return to the United States, arriving after another six day cruise. The unit was mustered out at Brooklyn, New York on March 31, 1899. At the time of muster out, the unit consisted of 47 officers and 1,034 enlisted men.

During its term of service, the 47th New York Volunteer Infantry had seven men die of disease, two men die as the result of accidents, and had one man murdered. Additionally, thirteen men were discharged on disability and forty-three men deserted.

Henry Koffler, 47th New York Volunteer Infantry Henry Koffler, 47th New York Volunteer Infantry

These are images of Private Henry Koffler (September 16, 1876 - April 28, 1944) of the 47th New York Volunteer Infantry. Koffler joined the unit on July 26, 1898. While serving in Puerto Rico, he contacted malaria. On January 4, 1999, Koffler was transferred from San Juan Hosptial to US Hospital Ship "Relief," and on January 11, 1899 he was admitted to the Josiah Simpson General Hospital, Fort Monroe, VA. On Janaury 25, 1899, Koffler was discharged "by reason of his services being no longer required". Henry Koffler returned home to Brooklyn, New York and married Henrietta Bours.  They had three children Daniel Henry, Charles and Josephine. Henry worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as an iron worker for many years.  He eventually moved to Glendale, Queens, NY with his family.  He always was pround of his service and marched in the Veterans Day Parade. He died April 28, 1944 and is buried in St. John's Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens, New York.

Norica, Carolyn Burke - Images and information concerning her grandfather, Henry Koffler (including info. indicating that the unit was at Fort Adams in August, 1898).

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).

Wright, General Marcus J., Wright's Official History of the Spanish American War. (Washington: War Records Office 1900). 256

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