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Spanish-American War Photographs

Identifier: MS 282

Scope and Content

The photographs that comprise this collection were taken by American troops. The physical settings range from Tampa, Fla. to the south of Cuba with some in camp at Montauk, N.Y. Although the photographs are unsigned, internal evidence suggests the photographers were E.M. Bane and J.C. Wheate. Many of the images are of areas of Cuba where their unit, the Corps of Engineers, encamped and fought battles. The collection also includes portraits of General Ludlow and his staff in the field. The images are particularly focused on the campaign to take Santiago. The photos, probably taken after the capture of the city by American forces, show various Spanish defenses: trench works protecting Santiago and the hulk of Reina Mercedes, sunk to form an obstacle to American naval forces in the bay. There are typed captions on the front of the photos with additional information on the back. Each image is numbered by the creator, however the photos seem to have been organized in two series, and the numbers overlap.


  • Creation: 1898


The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Spanish-American War (1898) took place in the Caribbean (Cuba and Puerto Rico) and the Pacific territories of Spain (Philippines and Guam). American forces helped Cuban separatists win independence from Spanish colonialism. The creators of this collection may be two infantrymen, E.M. Bane and J.C. Wheate, who served as photographers in the Corps of Engineers for General William Ludlow in his campaign from Tampa, Florida to Santiago, Cuba in 1898.

The United States declared war on Spain in April 1898 after the sinking of the U.S. Battleship Maine in Havana Harbor. The war ended roughly four months later in a Spanish defeat. As a result Spain lost the remainder of its colonies (Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam).


0.6 Linear feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Bulk of collection contains images from the Santiago region of Cuba and the Tampa Bay region of Florida during the Spanish-American War.


The collection is organized according to the numbers and caption topics originally assigned to the photos.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Related Material

Cusick, James and Rikesh Thakrar. "The American Military in Cuba and Mexico: Photographs 1898-1916." University of Florida, 21 October 2003. See also: "Map of Santiago Campaign: June 22-24, 1898." Accessed on 14 March 2011.

A Guide to the Spanish-American War Photographs
Finding aid created by Michelle Vega
April 2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America