Image of transport ship modal used to explain how men and equipment were moved during this period.

Overseas Endeavors

The Spanish American War would be America’s first effort to deploy and support troops outside of American shores. The experience networks utilized during the American Civil War had been lost in the post conflict return to peace, which would prove a costly mistake. The strategic failures of the Spanish-America War include the lack of organic transport of all type, the lack of staff to coordinate transport and finally the lack of a system to transfer materials across the various modes of transport once contracted and were most evidenced at the Tampa, Florida port of embarkation and during operations in Cuba. Efforts in Puerto Rico and Philippines were slightly better conducted but still suffered from lack of transport. The one benefit of the conflict was the subsequent Didge commission which studied the failures of the war, making the recommendation to establish the Army Transport Service within the Quartermaster Corps. These challenges would continue to plague the Army effort in the Philippine Insurrection, the Boxer Rebellion during the first two decades of the 1900s.