For every uninspiring fact in a history book there’s a humorous, delightful, enlightening, sad, bewildering, or shameful story connected to it. Those stories can be unearthed with a little detective work. They can be found in the archival photos at a local museum, the façade of an old brick building on main street, or back issues in the basement of a small town newspaper office. Sometimes it means looking no further than the dinner table. Maybe it’s a 100-year-old aunt who has fading memories of World War I soldiers returning from Europe. Or a grandmother who danced the Charleston in the Roaring Twenties. Or an uncle who served in Viet Nam and never told his stories because no one ever asked.
"It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit…,”
U.S. Secretary of State John Hay
It’s mindboggling to hear anyone label a war “splendid,” but a high-ranking American official used that term to describe the Spanish-American War in 1898. If any slivers of splendor existed in the grim brutalities of war, they were frequently on display in the remarkable actions of brave women who nursed their fallen warriors, reported conditions on the battlefields, fought on behalf of fervently-held causes, and protested questionable actions of their governments. In the quest for shining examples of splendor, high motives, and magnificent intelligence and spirit during the war, the accomplishments of some extraordinary individuals have been overlooked and deserve recognition. Women of the Spanish-American War brings to light their stories of relentless courage and selflessness.