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Camp Merritt, California facts for kids

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Camp Merritt, California Transport Indiana receiving troops and freight at Pacific Mail Docks on eve of departure. Crowd - NARA - 530697
Camp Merritt, California Transport Indiana receiving troops and freight at Pacific Mail Docks on eve of departure. Crowd bidding farewell, June 27, 1898

Camp Merritt, California was a U.S. military camp for American troops destined for the Philippines during the Spanish–American War. Formerly a racetrack, the camp, named for General Wesley Merritt commanding officer of the Philippine expeditionary forces and the Eighth Corps at the time, was located between Point Lobos Avenue (Geary) and Fulton Street between First (Arguello) and Sixth in San Francisco, California.

Units processed through Camp Merritt

Confirmed Units processed through Camp Merritt:

  • 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry (Col. John P. Bratt commanding) (May 19, 1898 – June 15, 1898)
  • 10th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (Col. A. L. Hawkins commanding) (May 25, 1898 – June 14, 1898 (departed for Philippines as part of Second Expeditionary Force))
  • 18th U.S. Infantry, 1st Battalion (Col. C. M. Bailey commanding) (May 29, 1898 – June 14, 1898 (departed for Philippines as part of Second Expeditionary Force))
  • 13th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry (? – June 26, 1898)
  • 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry (May 20, 1898 – August 5, 1898 (transferred to Camp Michigan)
  • 1st Colorado Volunteer Infantry (Col. Irving Hale)
  • Utah Volunteer Artillery, Light Battery A (Capt. R. W. Young)
  • Utah Volunteer Artillery, Light Battery B (Capt. F. A. Grant)
  • 1st Tennessee Volunteer Infantry (Col. William Crawford Smith commanding) (Arrived June 1898 and quickly moved to Camp Merriam)

Decommissioning

The camp was abandoned about August 27, 1898 when the remaining troops were moved to Camps Merriam and Miller a bit north at Presidio of San Francisco. Camp Merritt existed only long enough for the fleet to be assembled for the 18,000 troops disembarking for the Philippines to be sent off. Problems with disease, mostly measles and typhoid, also accelerated its closing.

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