The first 70 or so images show the troop activity in Tampa, at the docks, and enroute to Cuba. The caption for the first photo "taken near Tampa, Fla. while troops were on their way to camp," identifies a member of a hospital corps negotiating with a razor back hog, the next image shows a horse drawn U.S. hospital ambulance on the main street in Tampa, the third is a street scene, "crowded with regulars and volunteers not to mention artists, correspondents and military and naval attaches." Other images include: artillery pieces waiting on the dock to be loaded which were "afterwards used in duel at El Poso," rifles stacked together on the docks, African American troops lined up for inspection, soldiers with their bed rolls over their shoulders lined up beside a train, a line of transports at the Tampa docks, a Dudley Dynamite gun, horses and mules being loaded, soldiers aboard ship sitting in the rigging or crowding along the railings, the transports Iroquois and Seneca at anchor, The Gussie, Matawan, Olivette, etc. all at sea.
The remainder of the album (over 100 photos) show the landing at Baiquiri [Daiquiri], troops on horseback or in camp, locals walking down a dirt track carrying their belongings, small town street scenes, the 71st on the march to Santiago, an American flag at the top of Los Alteres, a group of Cuban insurgents and their headquarters, a sunken ship in a harbor, a group of soldiers from Arizona, Troop E Rough Riders in camp, six Red Cross nurses, a battlefield, wounded men some 600 yards behind the fighting line, a scouting party, troops leaving Siboney and landing Cubans at Siboney, Grimes battery on a hill at El Poso, etc. The caption under the photo of the artillery pieces waiting on the dock in Tampa mentions that it was later used in the battle for El Poso [El Pozo]. This hill was the launch point for Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler's and Brig. Gen. Joseph Kent's assault on San Juan Heights in July 1898, along with Battery A of the 2nd Field Artillery, known as Grimes Battery, "one of only a few artillery outfits to witness action during the fighting in Cuba...." [see: "Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American & Philippine-American Wars," edited by Spencer Tucker (ABC-CLIO: 2009), v. 1, p.202].
Several military units are identified in the photos, including the 6th & 1st [Rough Riders] U.S. Cavalry troops, the 24th & 25th U.S. Infantry (Colored), the 4th, 21st, & 71st Reg't., 7th & 13th Infantry, and the 10th U.S. Regulars. Likewise, news correspondents and artists in the photos include: Chas. Musgrave of the N.Y. Journal, and V. Floyd Campbell, artist for the N.Y. Herald. In the margins of a group photo at the rear of the album the unknown photographer identifies other journalists by name, in pencil, including "Miss Benjamin." [Anna Northend Benjamin (1874-1902), considered one of the first female American war correspondents, was "one of only two official women correspondents during the Spanish American War," according to a brief biography in the "Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American & Philippine-American Wars," by Jerry Keenan (ABC-CLIO: 2001), p. 39 (updated by Spencer Tucker in the edition of 2009). She first reported from Tampa, Florida on conditions in the army before the invasion, then bribed her way to Cuba on a collier to continue her reports for "Leslie's Magazine." She later reported on the war in the Philippines.] Her name, along with Campbell's is listed in Mitchel Roth and James Olson's book, "Historical Dictionary of War Journalism," (Greenwood: 1997), pp. 387-92, in a group of a Spanish American war correspondents. Other penciled names include James Whigham [Chicago Tribune], [Howard] Thompson [Associated Press], John Fox [Harper's Weekly], [Burr] McIntosh [Leslie's], [Phil] Robinson [London Pall Mall Gazette]. [The only "Musgrave" is George Clarke Musgrave, who worked for the London Chronicle. He was also a special correspondent for the New York Journal during the conflict, according to the "Fourth Estate Weekly Newspaper" for Jan. 26, 1899, and author of "Under Three Flags in Cuba," published in 1899]. During the Spanish American War, Tampa, Florida served as a major staging area for the departure of troops and supplies to Cuba. This album was likely the work of a photo-journalist. The early captions appear designed to sharply describe the scenes pictured and the photos show a practiced eye. A wide variety of cavalry and infantry troops participating in the war are represented, as well as the diverse group of war correspondents accompanying them. (Inventory #: 63136)