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Collection Title: Harper (William E.) Muster Out Record

Collection Number: M154

Dates: December 1898

Volume: 1 item

Provenance: Unknown

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

William E. Harper was born in Hickory Withe, Tennessee, about 1875. A mechanic, he was 23 years old when he joined the army in 1898 as a private in Company E of the 2nd Regiment of the Mississippi Volunteers. He was apparently one of the thousands of volunteers nationwide who rushed to join the army shortly after President William McKinley called for volunteers at the beginning of the Spanish-American War.

Harper joined the army on May 1, 1898, at Tunica, Mississippi, and was enrolled by John W. Henderson, Captain of the 2nd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered into service on June 2, 1898, at Jackson, Mississippi, by Lieutenant Lockwood of the regular Army who mustered in all of the Mississippi Volunteers. Like virtually all of the Mississippi volunteers, Harper's date of enrollment was at first erroneously stated. His enrollment date was recorded as May 16, 1898, instead of May 1, 1898, so that at the end of his time of service, pay was due him from May 1 to May 16.

Like many other volunteers, Harper neither finished his training nor saw active duty because the war lasted only 3 1/2 months. He and the other Mississippi volunteers were on verbal furlough for 30 days beginning September 9, 1898, as per General Order 130 CS, Adjutant General's Office. The furlough was extended to November 27, 1898, by direction of the Secretary of War in telegrams dated October 4 and November 1, 1898. He and his whole company were mustered out of service on December 20, 1898, at Columbia, Tennessee, by Captain W.B. Homer of the 6th Artillery.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of the muster out record of William E. Harper who joined the army in 1898 as a private in Company E of the 2nd Regiment of the Mississippi Volunteers. His enlistment on May 1, 1898, was in response to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. This record details Harper's rank and company, date of enrollment, period of service, and reason for discharge. It also gives his place of birth, age at the time of enrollment, a physical description, occupation, place and date of discharge (December 20, 1898), company commander and mustering officer. The remarks about his military record indicate only that his service was "honest and faithful" and "no objection to his reenlistment is known to exist."

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