Articles

These amazing Spanish-American War photos were found during a recent Navy office renovation

In 2014, archivists from the U.S. Navy's Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) uncovered a rare trove of photos while moving furniture around during an office renovation. The photos were a donation in their backlog, glass prints of 150 images of the Navy during the Spanish-American War and Philippine War that followed.


Admiral George Dewey, who led the defeat the Spanish at Manila Bay. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

The photos were taken by Douglas White, a special correspondent of the San Francisco Examiner during the conflict. His photos were uncovered at the beginning of a restoration project of the NHHC facility at Washington, D.C.'s Navy Yard.

"Once it was realized what they had uncovered, there was tremendous excitement amongst the staff, especially the historians," Lisa Crunk, the head of the NHHC's photo archives told Navy.mil. "The images are an amazing find, though they were never really lost – they were simply waiting to be re-discovered."

Captain Dennis Geary of the California Heavy Artillery rides his horse through Cavite in the Philippines. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

 

American sailors pictured during the Spanish-American war. They are Dave Ireland, Purdy, Tom Griffin and John King. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

 

Apprentice boys pictured aboard the USS Olympia, the flagship of the Asiatic Squadron. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

The Spanish Fleet docked at the Suez Canal. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

 

David Colamaria, Naval History and Heritage Command's photographic section archivist, looks at a glass plate photograph of Spanish Adm. Pasqual Cervera taken in 1898 or 1899. The photo archives staff found a wooden box containing approximately 150 glass plate photographs depicting scenes from the Spanish American and Philippine Wars. The glass plate photographs were likely prepared by photographer Douglas White, a war correspondent for the San Francisco Examiner during the Philippine War. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Comerford)

 

Spanish sailors aboard the cruiser Reina Cristina in prayer before battle on April 24, 1898. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

 

An undated photo show American troops disembarking from a ship onto small boats near Cavite, Phillipines in 1898 or 1899. The photo archives staff found a wooden box containing approximately 150 glass plate photographs depicting scenes from the Spanish-American and Philippine Wars. The glass plate photographs were likely prepared by photographer Douglas White, a war correspondent for the San Francisco Examiner during the Philippine War. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command)

 

This photo shoes the Spanish cruiser, the Castilla, that was lost in the Battle of Manila Bay with 25 men killed and 80 wounded.

 

The USS Petrel, part of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet during the Spanish-American War.

 

The USS Raleigh in action against the Spanish in 1898.

 

The USS Boston, ca 1898. The Boston was in the Battle of Manila.

 

An undated photo shows soldiers manning a battle signal corps station during the Spanish American War. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command/ Released)

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