If you had an ancestor that served in the military in 1898 in the U.S there is a good chance that he was involved in some way in the Spanish-American War. Old newspaper articles are your best place to start your historical research on this subject.
The Spanish-American War was short lived, occurring between April and August of 1898. The conflict was generally considered to be over the liberation of Cuba and the United States got involved after the resolution of Cuba to be independent was rejected by Spain. The Monroe Doctrine played a major part in the decision to go to war to protect countries in this hemisphere.
The majority feelings of the day were led by expansionists in the U.S., and they promoted the fact that the government should also consider annexing other Spanish territories overseas which included Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.
One of the most famous events that captured all of the news of the day was when the U.S. Battleship Maine blew up in the Havana harbor. Although the battle cry “Remember the Maine” did indeed rally the fighting spirit, it has been considered by modern historians that the explosion was an accident and not from some type of attack.
One man that became famous as a battle hero was Theodore Roosevelt who led the Rough Riders in the famous charge up San Juan Hill and he later went on to become the 26th United States President.
The Treaty of Paris on December 10th, 1898 ended the war and gave control of the former Spanish possessions to the U.S.
As historical and military records from this era are not easily obtained without spending countless research hours in National Archives Genealogy, the best place to obtain the news of the war and to search for soldiers names that were involved is on Newspaper Archive.
A search of these old newspaper articles will often times be the only place of record that you will be able to locate items of interest and documentation on the Spanish-American War.