The Spanish Campaign Medal was established by paragraph (a) of War Department General Orders Number 5, dated January 12, 1905.


Awarded for qualifying service between the inclusive dates of May 11 and August 16, 1898.


The Spanish Campaign Medal was awarded for military service in, or on the high seas en route to, any of the following countries during the dates indicated:

  • Cuba (May 11 to July 17, 1898).

  • Puerto Rico (July 24 to August 13, 1898).

  • Philippine Islands (June 30 to 16 August 16, 1898).


The Spanish Campaign Medal was worn after the Indian Wars Medal and before the Cuban Occupation Medal.


The only device authorized for the Spanish Campaign Medal was the Silver Citation Star, a five-pointed star three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter. When authorized for gallantry in action during the Spanish-American War, the Silver Citation Star could be worn on the ribbon of the Spanish Campaign Medal. A total of 384 individuals earned 400 retroactive awards of the Silver Citation Star for gallantry in action during the Spanish-American War.


The Spanish Campaign Medal was designed by Francis D. Millet (1846-1912).


Spanish Campaign Medal No. 1 was issued to Major General Charles F. Humphrey on December 26, 1907.



In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a castle with two round corner towers (bartisans) is depicted. It is enclosed within a circle composed of the words WAR WITH SPAIN in the upper half; the date 1898 centered at the bottom of the lower half; and a branch of tobacco ascending on the left and a stalk of sugar cane ascending on the right (the combination forming a wreath).

The castle is adapted from the Coat of Arms of Spain and represents the enemy; the small rounded towers suggest the towers on the Cuban Moro castles at Havana and Santiago de Cuba. The tobacco and sugar cane allude to the main agricultural products of the area. The date is the year in which the Spanish-American War was fought.


The reverse shows an eagle with wings displayed, alight upon a trophy consisting of a cannon; six rifles and four standards; an Indian shield; a quiver of arrows and three spears; a Cuban machete, and a Sulu kris. The whole is enclosed by a circle composed of the words, UNITED STATES ARMY in the upper half, and thirteen stars in the lower half.

The standards represent the five great wars of the United States as of 1905: the Revolution; the War of 1812; the Mexican War; the Spanish-American War; and the Philippine Insurrection. The weapons suggest the armed resistance offered by the defeated opponents in those wars. The eagle is the American bald eagle and represents the United States, and the thirteen stars allude the original colonies and symbolize unity. The six rifles, four standards, and three spears total thirteen, which is consistent with the thirteen stars at the bottom of the medal

Ribbon (First Type)

The first Ribbon consisted of a center stripe of gold flanked by red and edged in blue. This ribbon was used from January 11, 1905, to August 12, 1913. The colors were taken from the Spanish Man-of-War flag but was discontinued on August 12, 1913, based on the recommendation of a Joint Board which felt the colors of both the Army and Navy Spanish Campaign medals might be offensive to Spain, which was then a friendly foreign power.

Ribbon (Second Type)

The second ribbon consists of a background of gold with a blue stripe inside each edge. These colors represent Spain (Gold) and the United States (blue).


The medal was initially manufactured by the Philadelphia Mint and was serially numbered with an No. prefix. Strikes made by the Mint for out-of-service veterans were numbered with the M.No. prefix. Subsequent strikes were made by various contract manufacturers and were numbered without prefix.


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