Photograph album containing 84 pictures of the 8th Massachusetts Infantry. Pictures show men of the regiment in Matanzas, Cuba at Camp Thomas in Chickamauga, Georgia and at Camp Lexington in Lexington, Kentucky. The photographs do not seem to follow a chronological order in their placement in the album, but the description of most of the photographs are clearly annotated to describe the people and/ or locations depicted. One photographs shows members of the regiment boarding a train from Americus, Georgia. While the Infantry was camped in Lexington, the Spanish American War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in December of 1898. In January of 1899, the 8th Massachusetts set off for Cuba as part of the occupation forces on the island of Matanzas. The pictures document their travel to get to Cuba, including the transport of their horses. It also features the regiment conducting drills and evening parades. There are scenes of the San Juan River and Matanzas Harbor as well as shots of buildings and forts mixed in throughout the album. There are some pictures of local sugar plantation workers in Cuba and the Cuban Cavalry are also featured. The end of the album shows individuals who were in the 8th Massachusetts. They include, Lieutenant Colonel Edwin W.M. Bailey, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford, Adjutant Thomas D. Barroll, Chaplain Geo. Sanders, Major 3rd Battalion Edward H. Eldredge, and Lieutenants F. Young, Jenkins, Stinson, J.C. Nult, T. DeSonna, and Merchwell.
TOP: Scenic view of Matanzas Bay, Cuba//BOTTOM: A Cuban family of five standing in a sugar field
Spanish controlled Fort of San Serverino. LEFT: “Picket House” fortification structure within the fort//RIGHT: Close up view of the ramparts running along the top of the fort.
TOP: Picture of American campground of the 8th Massachusetts Infantry//BOTTOM: The 8th Mass enroute in a train to Savannah, Georgia after having been mustered into action by the Federal Government.
TOP: The 8th Mass mail train. Picture depicts two army mail carriers on a wagon pulled by four mules//BOTTOM: A cactus hedge along a Cuban dirt path. These cactus groves can grow upwards to 18-20 feet tall.
TOP: The 8th Mass in “daily drill.” Picture shows the soldiers in march step with shouldered rifles. Cavalry unit in the background. // BOTTOM: “A typical Southerner.” The picture centers on an African American man in a rural setting. He wears a hat and is dressed in jacket with a vest underneath. There are other African Americans standing in the background. Photo taken in either Georgia or Kentucky.
TOP: 8th Mass troops lining up for “evening drill” in Matanzas, Cuba. Soldiers are in line behind a mounted officer. Soldiers are also gathered for drill in the background. A beautiful colonial building to the back left. // BOTTOM: 3rd US Volunteers on the Matanzas, Cuba parade ground.
Two up-close pictures of the fortification structures for Fort San Serverino. TOP: the “Death Vault” and “Dead Line” for the fort. // BOTTOM: A long shot of the ramparts running along the fort.
TOP: The front entrance to Fort San Serverino. Picture shows the bridge leading into the fort along with the fort’s bell tower. // BOTTOM: Bell-side view of the fort. The American flag is flying along the ramparts, signaling the American control over the fort.
Two pictures of the transport ships loading men and material for the war in Cuba. TOP: Troops standing along the side of the transport ship. A smaller boat hangs off the side of the ship. // BOTTOM: Cuban Stevedores (dock worker) standing in their boat in Matanzas Harbor.
Two pictures of the transport ships loading men and material for the war in Cuba. TOP: Men massed for a group picture on board a transport ship in route to Cuba. Men standing and sitting on the ship’s boom and mast. // BOTTOM: Unloading horses for the 8th Mass troops. Shows the ship’s crane dangling a horse in midair.
TOP: 3rd US Volunteer Engineers marching and drilling on the parade ground, Matanzas, Cuba. // 8th Mass troops drilling on the parade ground, Matanzas, Cuba.
TOP: 2nd US Cavalry unit drilling in Cuba. Spanish buildings in the background. // BOTTOM: Beautiful picture of the San Juan River running alongside Matanzas. Picturesque Spanish Catholic church perched on a hill in the background.
TOP: Lieutenant F. Young posed outside of his tent in the American camp. // BOTTOM: A group of white soldiers stationed in Georgia tosses a black man into the air. Written in 1898, the author’ racial insensitive caption captures the permeating racism of his age: “coon toss.”
TOP: 8th Regiment at rifle practice in Cuba / / BOTTOM: Lieutenant F. Young mounted on guard duty. American camp ground in background. The American flag flies above the horse.
TOP: Oceanic view of coastal Florida. A hotel is visible on the horizon. // BOTTOM: River scene of San Juan River. Picture depicts agricultural structures along the riverside where small boats are docked. Cuban countryside in the background.
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