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As It Was: Ashland Sends Troops to Spanish-American War

On April 29, 1898, thirty-nine members of Company D, Oregon National Guard, left Ashland, Oregon for Cuba and the Spanish-American War.  The night before, they had been treated to a bountiful banquet at the Armory by the Women’s Relief Corps of Burmese Post, Grand Army of the Republic.

The morning of their departure, they drilled in the Plaza to the cheers of a growing crowd.  At 4 p.m., 800 Ashland school children marched with most of the citizenry to the center of town for a ceremony.  Rosa Dodge spoke for the ladies of the town as they presented a handmade flag to Company D, saying, “Behold then the gorgeous ensign of the Republic…Let high thoughts of duty be borne to you as it waves in the breeze.”

After much cheering, the men marched with spectators trailing behind to the train station and boarded the evening train to Portland.  As the train passed through the valley towns of Medford, Central Point, Gold Hill and Grants Pass, hundreds of people demonstrated with bands and speeches, wishing the boys well on their way to battle.

Source: “Ashland to the Front”, Ashland Tidings, May 2, 1898 found in Pioneer Society Scrapbook, SOHS MS 517, Box 3, p.33

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.