Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Spanish-American War: Historical Overview and Select Bibliography (Naval History and Heritage Command)

The Spanish-American War: Historical Overview and Select Bibliography (Naval History and Heritage Command) – https://web.archive.org/web/20141210200200/http://www.history.navy.mil/biblio/biblio7/biblio7.htm

UPDATE 1/19/2015 – URL shifted to Internet Archive version because not currently locatable on the Naval History and Heritage Command Web Site.

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How did the American blockade against Cuba operate?
  • How did the United States sever telegraph links between Cuba and Spain?
  • Where can I find an overview of the battle of Manila Bay?
  • Where can I locate music and poetry honoring the memory of the USS Maine?


This extensive, if mostly unannotated, bibliography is a good starting point for people doing a deep dive of research into the Spanish American War/War with Spain. It is divided into the following sections:

  • General Works
  • Background and Preparation
  • Cuban Insurrection and Relations with Spain
  • USS Maine
  • Voyage of USS Oregon
  • The Opposing Fleets
  • Operations
  • Pacific Theater
  • Atlantic and Caribbean Theater
  • Special Subjects
  • Blacks in the Navy
  • Diplomatic Relations
  • Intelligence
  • Marines
  • Medicine
  • Naval Leaders and Enlisted Personnel
  • The Press: Journalists, Photographers, and Artists
  • Poetry and Music
  • Consequences, Lessons Learned, and Evaluation of the Navy’s Performance

When annotations do exist, they range from a sentence to a short paragraph.

The beginning of the bibliography features a roughly 13 page “historical overview” essay that provides background on the war and its effect on subsequent naval preparation. If you are considering using the War with Spain as a historical setting, this is an easy place to start.

Search/Use Tip:

For works in the bibliography published earlier than 1923, try copying and pasting the title into your favorite search engine. As a result of a number of library digitization projects, many notable books published prior to 1923 are now available full text on the Internet. For an example, see:

Johnston, William A. History Up To Date: A Concise Account of the War of 1898 between the United States and Spain, Its Causes and the Treaty of Paris. New York: A. S. Barnes, 1899. 258 pp., which can be downloaded from Google Books at http://books.google.com/books/about/History_up_to_date.html?id=SvY6Cq8AIYwC.

For works still under copyright protection (usually, but not always, since 1923), try your local library. If they don’t have a volume, they may be able to get it for your through interlibrary loan.


Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: