End of the War

The Spanish-American War officially ended when the United States and Spain signed a treaty on December 10, 1898. As a result, Cuba became independent, Spain was forced to give Guam and Puerto Rico to the U.S., and the U.S. gained sovereignty over the Philippine Islands.

Instead of giving the Filipinos independence, however, the victorious United States wanted to keep the Philippines to gain a foothold in the Pacific Ocean. But the Americans only held possession of Manila – the Filipinos controlled the rest of the island nation. Fighting continued in early 1899, this time between Filipinos and Americans. Minnesotan troops joined other regiments in an attempt to defeat the Filipino resistance.

Not everyone approved of this continuation of the war in the Philippines, including some of the soldiers fighting it. Back home, though, they still received support. As Bessie Gurney, Editor-in-Chief of The Normalia, wrote:

Whatever our theories concerning the righteousness of the Philippine war, we feel glad that the young men of Minnesota served their country honorably and well.

Bessie Gurney, Editor-in-Chief, The Normalia student newspaper, November 1899

Victory Parade

General Alger, who was Secretary of War during the Spanish-American War, visited Duluth in June of 1899 and they held a parade in his honor. Here are some photographs from the patriotic event:

Soldiers' Return

In July of 1899, the Minnesotans were ordered to return home, even though fighting continued in the Philippines. Their war was over. When the soldiers eventually returned, they were welcomed as heroes who represented America well overseas. As the official history for Company I said:

The campaign in the Philippines was unique in our history. Never before was it the fortune of American troops to engage in campaigns so far from our native shores. We believe the American people have never fully realized the dangers, the sufferings, the hardships endured by their army in the Philippines. This army saw no inconsiderable amount of fighting and a more splendid body of troops in discipline, efficiency, and fighting capacity, never served this nation.

Company "I", First Infantry, Minnesota National Guard: Its History and Achievements in Peace and War

At the return of their “Boys in Blue,” The Normalia’s editors wrote:

They said they were glad to get back. Their hearts had been wrung by the death of friends and all the horrors of war. St. Cloud was glad to welcome them home. After all, they were not so very different from the boys who went away.

The Normalia, November 1899

Finally, in 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the conflict in the Philippines was over after U.S. troops defeated the last of the organized Filipino resistance. Although some fighting continued, the U.S. kept control of the Philippine Islands until 1946. As a result, both the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War marked the emergence of the United States as a world power.

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