A brief history of the 5th U.S. Infantry, Company M

Contributed by Sid Thurston 
Click here for a roster of the 5th U.S. Volunteer Infantry, Co. M 
Unit History:

Company "M"of the 5th U.S. Infantry was organized on June 1, 1898, at Fort McPherson, Georgia. The unit was sent to Tampa, Florida, where troops were embarking for the invasion of Cuba. The Company encamped at Tampa Heights, where the unit stayed from June 15, to August 26, 1898.

The fighting ended in Cuba and elsewhere on August 13 through the signing of an armistice. by this time, disease was beginning to run rampant among the American General Shafter's Fifth Corps troops in Cuba, prompting large numbers to be sent home. Since the war was officially still continuing, occupation forces were needed in Cuba. On August 27, 1898, Company M of the 5th sailed for Cuba. It would stay in Cuba for over a year, leaving Cuba on September 20, 1899. The Spanish American War ended on December 10, 1898, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, while the unit was in Cuba.

From September 28, 1899 to August 10, 1900 the unit was stationed at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

Though the Spanish American War was over, the Philippine-American War had begun in February of 1899, and was still continuing when it was decided to send Company M of the 5th U.S. Infantry to the Philippines. The unit left Fort Sheridan on August 10, 1900, arriving at the Presidio at San Francisco, California on August 15, 1900. At San Francisco, the unit boarded the U. S. A. T. SHERMAN on August 21, 1900, and set its course for the Philippines. The unit reached landfall at Nagasaki, Japan on September 9, 1900 and remained for three days. On the 17th, the unit arrived in the Philippines. According to stories related by veterans, during the passage between Japan and the Philippines the ship passed through a three-day typhoon, which battered the vessel, destroying the ship's boats.

Once in the Philippines, Company M was sent out from Manila six days after its arrival to the town of Currimao, Ilocos Norte, P. I., where it arrived two days later. On January 28, 1901, the unit skirmished with the Filipinos in mountains east of Batac, Luzon, P. I. The unit was present at the surrender of Colonel Villamorís forces at Bangued, Abra, P. I., on April 14, 1901.


Memorial Roster of the 5th U.S. Infantry, Co. M (Private Collection).

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