Spanish-American War Veterans Monument1200 Gervais Street
Although South Carolina sent fewer than 1,000 soldiers to the Spanish-American War, it is second only to the Civil War as the most-memorialized military conflict on the State House grounds. Spain and the United States fought in the Caribbean and Pacific over ten weeks in 1898, resulting in an American victory and the acquisition of the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine Islands. The war was the first military action in which southerners and northerners had fought together since before the Civil War, and white South Carolinians used these monuments to celebrate it as a moment of national reconciliation.
Installed in 1941, the Spanish-American War Veterans monument imitates the base, materials, and sculptural form of the Benjamin Ryan Tillman monument to the west. South Carolina’s Spanish American War veterans proposed the statue at a meeting in 1932, where the toastmaster acknowledged how the war had “united the United States, and wiped out the divisions left by the Confederate war.” The group raised approximately half the funds for the monument and chose a bronze cast of The Hiker, a statue that can be found on Spanish American War monuments across the country. The soldier’s open shirt, rolled sleeves, baggy pants, and high leather boots indicate the informal uniform designed for combat in tropical locales. Cast from a sculpture by Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson, it is the only monument designed by a female artist on the State House grounds.