HAVE A RESPECTFUL MEMORIAL DAY, EVERYONE! Two years ago I marked the holiday with a look at the U.S. forces who fought in Russia from 1918-1920. Last year I examined American forces during the Boxer conflict. For this Memorial Day let’s look at some Congressional Medal of Honor recipients from the Spanish-American War.
Branch of Service: Navy
Rank: Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class
Citation: “In connection with the sinking of the U.S.S. Merrimac at the entrance to the harbor of Santiago de Cuba, 2 June 1898. Despite heavy fire from the Spanish batteries, Charrette displayed extraordinary heroism throughout this operation.”
The Merrimac was being intentionally sunk to try blocking the Spanish ships from being able to come out to fight the U.S. fleet. Charrette was taken prisoner and later exchanged on July 6th, 1898. NOTE: Charrette subsequently served in World War One.
EDWARD LEE BAKER JR.
Branch of Service: Army
Citation: “For extraordinary heroism on 1 July 1898, while serving with the 10th U.S. Cavalry, in action at Santiago, Cuba. Sergeant-Major Baker left cover and, under fire, rescued a wounded comrade from drowning.”
NOTE: This African-American had served in the storied Buffalo Soldiers during campaigns against the Native Americans in the west prior to the Spanish-American War. After that conflict, Baker served in the Philippine War (1899-1902) and the subsequent campaigns against the Moros and others. Continue reading