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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment  (Read 441 times)
Guns Garrett
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« on: July 04, 2018, 02:30:50 pm »


I started posting some of the information I found on  my "I Give Up" thread, but it seemed more proper to in a new topic.

Kansas raised a total of four Volunteer regiments for the Spanish-American War, the 20th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.  Kansas had provided 19 regiments during the Civil War, and continued the numbering when the occasion re-arose.

The 23rd was a "Colored" Regiment, of African-Americans. They served in Cuba from Aug 1898 to March 1899.

The 20th embarked to the Philippines in the fall of 1898 and served until October of 1899.  During its time of service in P.I., it lost three officers and 19 men killed in action, 11 more died of wounds, and 35 men died from disease.  Only one man was lost to desertion, and three members of the Regiment were awarded the Medal of Honor: Col Frederick "Fighting Freddy" Funston, Pvt William Trembly, and Pvt Edward White, for actions during battle at  Pampanga River, near Calumpit, Luzon, Philippines.

The Treaty of Paris was signed Dec 10, 1898, officially ended the Spanish-American War, Spain ceding the Philippines to the U.S. for a payment of $20 million dollars.  Most Filipinos were NOT happy, considering they merely traded one oppressive Imperialist occupier for another.  On Jan 1, 1899, Emilio Aguinaldo declared himself President of the INDEPENDENT Republic of the Philippines.

At about 8 pm on February 4, 1899, Private William Grayson, along with Private Orville Miller and one other man advanced from Santol towards Blockhouse 7, suddenly encountering four armed men after about five minutes of patrolling. According to Grayson's account, he and Miller called "Halt!" and, when the four men responded by cocking their rifles, they fired at them and retreated to Santol. Personal accounts by Grayson claim that he "dropped" two and Miller one, but neither American nor Filipino official reports mention anyone being hit.  Thus began the Philippine-American War, or "Philippine Insurrection", that lasted (officially) until July, 1902
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2018, 10:04:26 pm »

Although not directly related to the 20th  Kansas, here's the account of General Funston's capture of Aguinaldo:


http://www.filipinoamericanwar.com/captureofaguinaldo1901.htm


Has a little of his story after the war. Interesting that both Funston's and Aguinaldo's sons were admitted to West Point, both in 1923.
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pony express
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2018, 10:38:52 pm »

Another interesting note from the pictures accompanying this article-and many others on this site-no, or very few, suspenders on the American troops. Personally, I can't go without either suspenders or a belt, especially with the "high waistband" period trousers. But white suspenders are part of the iconic Span-Am outfit. Perhaps T.R. had a similar "problem" and wore suspenders, and since everyone models after him...


Also, I see a couple of the officers under Funston wearing what appear to be belts with rectangular "US" buckles, more of them, as well as the Philippine Scouts carrying handguns, have a gun belt with a large "D" buckle.
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Grenadier
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2018, 01:23:33 am »

If you want the correct pattern suspenders, these are the best available.

http://onlinemilitaria.net/products/6864-US-M1887-Trouser-Suspenders/?bc=no
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Pitspitr
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2018, 06:45:36 am »

If you want the correct pattern suspenders, these are the best available.

http://onlinemilitaria.net/products/6864-US-M1887-Trouser-Suspenders/?bc=no
There were at least 2 pair of these used at the Grand Muster.
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 08:46:41 am »

A photo of the 20th Kansas, entrenched, but no date given.  Hard to determine if the sack coat is being worn, or a shirt with the cuffs unbuttoned...or a shirt with very loose sleeves.  Several of the men have VIII Corps badges on their field hats, and note the various individualism shown in the shaping: regulation fore/aft crease, Montana peak, flat-topped, and "sugarloaf" styles.  Very difficult to make identification of the weapons being used.  About the only thing definable is the two rifles (2nd and 3rd from right) leaning against the side of the trench seem to have the longer "cleaning jag" type of tip, and the one in the center of the photo looks like a simple "button"-type end.  None have rear sight visible, so cannot tell if the rifles are 1884 models.  No ramrod bayonet, so not 87s.


* Volunteers-Baked-Beans-Can.jpg (86.4 KB, 825x548 - viewed 23 times.)
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2018, 09:00:47 am »

Another photo of the 20th KVI, showing an officer or NCO with what appears to be a 1873 "Artillery Model" Colt Single Action:


* general-frederick-funston-01.jpg (121.43 KB, 652x301 - viewed 23 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2018, 09:21:52 am »

I posted this on the other thread, but some comments.
A posed photo of a group of the 20th Kansas, with a corporal and a medic.  They are wearing the 5-button fatigue blouse, no pockets, piping, or cuff button visible, so I'm thinking 1883 fatigue blouse?  (help me out here, Drydock). Mills belts are lighter in color than the blouse, so evidently khaki, with "H"-shaped buckles.  Hard to tell if trousers are khaki or blue, but leggings look darker (brown M1895/97?). Rifles appear to NOT have the Buffington rear sight, so probably M1873.  State Volunteer units were likely to have a mix of variations of the same model, as other photos appear to have both 73 and 84 Trapdoors.


* post-5143-0-19775000-1398525193.jpg (108.34 KB, 751x478 - viewed 23 times.)
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2018, 11:25:28 am »

Here is a photo of the 20th "outside Manila" (probably Caloocan), Feb 1899.  Looks like khaki trousers and leggings, blue Mills belt, blue Army shirt with long-sleeved undershirt. Again, a lot of variety in hat styles.  2nd shooter from the camera appears to have crossed rifles and unit numbers on his hat.  4th shooter down has something on the front of his hat, looks small, so maybe an VIII Corps pin.  Bayonet has round disk in scabbard - probably marked "US", but cannot determine if it is attached with wire loop, or clip to belt.  I think clip cuz I would think with the wire hanger the scabbard would "hang" lower from the belt. 
Rifles all appear to have long rear sight bases, so...1884?


* 20th_Kansas_Manila.jpg (255.02 KB, 663x649 - viewed 19 times.)
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2018, 12:27:57 pm »

A photo of the 20th Kansas, entrenched, but no date given.  
The building in the back left looks familiar  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 12:37:56 pm »

Here is a photo of the 20th "outside Manila" (probably Caloocan), Feb 1899.  Looks like khaki trousers and leggings, blue Mills belt, blue Army shirt with long-sleeved undershirt. Again, a lot of variety in hat styles.  2nd shooter from the camera appears to have crossed rifles and unit numbers on his hat.  4th shooter down has something on the front of his hat, looks small, so maybe an VIII Corps pin.  Bayonet has round disk in scabbard - probably marked "US", but cannot determine if it is attached with wire loop, or clip to belt.  I think clip cuz I would think with the wire hanger the scabbard would "hang" lower from the belt. 
Rifles all appear to have long rear sight bases, so...1884?
https://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/113791-us-model-1873-bayonet-for-the-trapdoor-s Brass hook. It's interesting that this picture shows Buffington sights (M-1884 Springfields) and the one above shows M-1879 rear sights.
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 09:04:51 pm »

Another photo of the 20th KVI, showing an officer or NCO with what appears to be a 1873 "Artillery Model" Colt Single Action:

Hard to tell on the barrel length of the Colt but look at his holster.  It appears to be for a 7-1/2" Cavalry model.  Also, check out his boots.  The look like they lace all the way up the front.
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2018, 06:38:39 am »

I agree, the holster looks long enough for a 7.5" barrel, but the barrel of the pistol looks to be only about 1" longer than the ejector rod.
 Putting those boots on if your camp gets attacked early in the morning would be a chore...
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2018, 11:27:30 am »

It seems, in all my reading and net surfing, is that the 20th were issued the 1883 fatigue blouse, 1883 wool shirt, 1885 blue trousers, and khaki Mills belts with "H" buckle, brown leggings, and various variations of the Trapdoor.  Later, they obtained khaki trousers and leggings, as well as blue Mills belts.

 Photos of Volunteer uniforms, in various books and websites, if the items are identified, specify the 1883 blouse.   I have found no photos or text that references the 20th being issued 1887 blue or later khaki blouses, only trousers.

A photo of the 20th's "Welcome Home" parade in Topeka (or Iola), KS in Nov 1899 shows them in the 1883 blue blouse, 1885 blue trousers, and 1895 cap
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2018, 07:20:23 pm »

Photos of Volunteer uniforms, in various books and websites, if the items are identified, specify the 1883 blouse.   I have found no photos or text that references the 20th being issued 1887 blue or later khaki blouses, only trousers.


The blue blouse I have from S&S is an 1887, so wouldn't be exactly right for you. Looks like Quartermaster shop for your jacket.
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« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2018, 08:05:25 pm »

The various 5 button blouses from 1883 to 1898 were largely indistinguishable.  In 1883 specifications were issued for a new blouse that was pretty much the same as the M1784, but without the piping.

HOWEVER: In 1884, new specifications were issued to add 3 outside accessed pockets to the blouse.  This was not seen much, as the directive that all previous issue must be "Used up" remained in force.  Then in 1890, new specifications were issued for a new 5 button blouse, with NO outside pockets (it had been decided that these tended to get overloaded, and sag open) instead it was intended to have 2 inside, slit pockets on each breast.  Externaly it looks just like the 1883, but of better, smoother material.

I believe what you see on the 20th KVC are M1890 blouses.  But of course, these to our eyes are unchanged from the earlier M1883, as was indeed intended!  The Pocketed M1884 is very rare.

 Oddly enough, in 1898 specifications were issued once again adding exterior pockets to the Blouse!  But few of these would reach the field before being replaced wholly in 1902 by field Khaki/drab.

Virtually all .45-70 single row belts were issued undyed, of natural drab material.  These would darken to brown/near black over time, with accumulation of dirt, sweat, etc.  I believe that is what you are seeing here.  With the issue of the Krag they would recieve blue dyed double row belts for .30-40 ammunition. 

Reference:

"Uniforms, Arms and Equipment 1880-1892" Douglas McChristian
"American Military Belts and Related Equipments" R. Stephen Dorsey
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« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2018, 06:24:02 am »

I had seen some references to the "1880's blouse" being " more finely tailored", or "more form- fitting" in the 1890's, and that the later blouses did NOT have buttons on the sleeve cuffs...just like in the photos I've come across. It never occurred to me that it was actually an actual later pattern.   Odd that I have yet to find a supplier that lists an "1890" pattern blouse.

Thanks!
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