When it was found out that war with Spain was inevitable and that volunteers would be called for, the boys at the Normal were not lacking in patriotic spirit. They were among the very first to enlist in the company organized at St. Cloud. They left school to enter the service of their country… although they knew that they might never return.

Ed Gans, Chief Editor, The Normalia student newspaper, March 1899

Spanish-American War volunteers came from cities and towns across Minnesota, forming companies with friends and neighbors to fight the war together. These men left jobs, schools, and families to answer the call. The city of Northfield recorded the names of the volunteers who served from their community – in this case, 90 young men:

When the volunteers left home, entire communities came out to celebrate and wish them well. Here are some photographs of their departures. Click on each image to view a larger version:

The volunteers mustered at the state fairgrounds in May and began their training. These photographs show soldiers marching to training, drilling with their units, and resting in their tent. Some were sent to train in Army camps in the south, including the Carleton College volunteers pictured below.

Read on to learn about the experiences of Minnesota units in this war using the page links below.