For my Memorial Day post this year, I'm looking at one of my relatives who fought in the Spanish-American war. My great grandmother's younger brother William Frederick Smith served in old Sixth Massachusetts infantry, Company D. This company's campaign was in Puerto Rico, as you can see from the map I found.
His complaints don't sound too different from many soldiers: poor food, hard marching, mud, bad weather and disease...oh, and equipment that doesn't work properly. Puerto Rico in August must have been a shock to a New England boy. I love the line "It rains about every five minutes."
In one of the online archives, I found a whole book just on the Sixth Massachusetts. There in the roll for Company D was my great uncle. He served well, returned home safely and lived out his life in Fitchburg and Leominster working for a shipping company. So this Memorial Day I salute Frederick Smith, 1876-1931. Thank you for your service.