The 51st Iowa Volunteers fought in the Spanish-American War. They were raised in SouthWest Iowa, trained and departed for the Philippines in 1898. My Great Great Uncle; James W. Casey was in Company L, the Council Bluffs contingent. They were called the Dodge Light Guards. This web page (still in its infancy) will pay tribute to these men, by safeguarding their memories and researching their history. Check back often as updates are made.
This section will include: Recruiting, Training, Camp Merritt, Action in the Philippines (Cavite),and Rosters. As well as the Homecoming party.
THE DODGE LIGHT GUARDS
taken from the History of Pottawattomie County, 1907.
The first military company to form in Council Bluffs as a part of the Iowa National Guard...was known as Co., A, fifth regiment and was mustered into the State's service May 4, 1887, by Capt. M.H. Byers of Company C., who was detailed for that service by the adjutant-general of the state, and had been succeeded in that office by Capt. William H. Thrift, Co., A. fifty-third regiment.
In a reorganization of the Iowa National Guard, the Council Bluffs company became known as Comp. L. of the Third Regiment and was known by that until the Regiment was called into the service of the United States in 1898.
The 51st., of which Comp. L. was attached, left camp in Des Moines for San Francisco June 5, 1898 arriving at Camp Merritt, June 11. On July 29 they were removed to Camp Merriam until November 3, 1898 when they returned to San Frnacisco and embarked on the transport "Pennsylvania." The ship reached Honolulu November 16 and arrived at Manilla Bay on December 6, 1898. After nearly a month in Iloilo Bay, the ship departed for Cavite, arriving at that place on January 31, 1898, where the troops went into quarters.
The 51st. Regiment participated in the occupation of San Roque, February 29, 1899 and various companies were in a number of engagements during their stay at Cavite, losing forty-one men killed in battle. The following is a list of engagements in which the companies of the Regiment participated: Guadoloupe Church, March 5, 1899; Quingus, April 23, 1899; East and West Pullian, April 24, 1899; Calumpit, April 25, 1899; San Thomas, May 1, 1899; San Fernando, May 5,25,26 and 31, June 16,22,30 and July 4, 1899; Cululut and Angeles, July 9,1899.
On September 6, the troops broke camp and moved to Manilla preparatory to returning to the United States, and sailed on the transport "Senator," September 22, 1899.
The homecoming of the 51st was the occasion of great and memorable celebration in Council Bluffs. The Company, for a number of years, made its headquarters in rented rooms until, through the generosity of Gen. Grenville M. Dodge, it was provided with an armory on the corner of Fifth and Pearl.
Last modification was on March 7, 1999 in Nashville, TN