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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Charles H. Murphy Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1898-1899
Creator: Murphy, Charles H. (1877-1935)
Extent: 1.00 folders.
Collection Number: MSC0116
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Spanish American War soldier from Red Oak, IA. Personal letters concerning the activities of Company M, 51st Infantry Regiment, Iowa Volunteers during the Spanish American War.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1967 by Helen Murphy.

Preferred Citation: Charles H. Murphy Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Charles H. Murphy (1877[?]-1935) was twenty one years old residing in Red Oak, Iowa, at the time of his enlistment in Company M of the 51st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment, during the Spanish American War. The regiment was mustered into service at Des Moines on May 30, 1898. They left Des Moines for San Francisco and from there traveled by steamship to Manila in the Philippine Islands. Murphy survived the war and was mustered out on November 2, 1899.

The papers of Charles H. Murphy consist of twelve letters dating from June 11, 1898 to April 1, 1899 and a welcome home program from November 6-7, 1899. The letters were written by Private Murphy to his brother and sister back home in Red Oak, Iowa. He described the train trip to San Francisco and the military accommodations at Camp Merritt and later at Camp Miller on the Presidio. There he wrote of fears that the regiment would never be sent overseas to see combat. Later, while on the steamship Pennsylvania, he wrote of the ocean trip, rations, and seasickness. After reaching the Philippines, the letters reflected their frustration over having to remain aboard the ship for over ninety days. His last letter dated Manila, April 1, 1899, where he had been assigned to guard duty tells of his desire to take part in the fighting. Two weeks after that last letter was written, Co. M joined the battle and went on to participate in a number of campaigns. The only other item in Charles H. Murphy's papers is a program welcoming Company M home from the war.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1: 1 folder that is boxed with MsC113, MsC114, and MsC115
  • Letters from Charles H. Murphy. 12 items. - 1898-1899
  • Welcome Home Program for Company M, 51st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment, November. 1 item. - 1899

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
United States Army. Iowa Infantry Regiment, 51st (1898-1899), Company M

Philippine American War, 1899-1902
Spanish-American War, 1898

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Personal narratives