In celebration of the 119th Anniversary of the

SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR

THE SHONGUM SPORTMEN'S ASSOCIATION

Invited One and All

To Participate in


ARMS OF THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR

A Marksmanship Contest

Saturday, April 8th, 2017


SHONGUM SPORTSMEN'S RANGE
Jane's Chapel Road, Mansfield, NJ

This match was Hosted by the Shongum Sportsmen's Association with help of members of the New Jersey Arms Collector's Club.


This match was created to give our Krag owners a chance to compete against each other with them.
Pictured above is our group of Krag Owners who chose to come out and compete today.


After the sinking of the Battleship Maine in February 1898, "Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain", became a popular rallying cry for action which finally came with the Spanish-American War two months later in April. The Spanish-American War ended Spanish colonial rule in the Americas and resulted in U.S. acquisition of territories in the western Pacific and Latin America.

The war originated in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain, which began in 1895. Spain's repressive measures to halt the rebellion were graphically portrayed for the U.S. public by several sensational newspapers (Yellow Press), and American sympathy for the rebels rose. The growing popular demand for U.S. intervention became more insistent after the unexplained sinking of the Maine which had been sent to protect U.S. citizens and property after anti-Spanish rioting in Havana.

Spain broke diplomatic relations with the United States on April 21st and declared war on April 24, followed by a U.S. declaration of war on the 25th, which was made retroactive to April 21. The ensuing 10 week war was pathetically one-sided, since Spain had readied neither its army nor its navy for a distant war with the United States.

The U.S. Fifth Army Corps landed east of Santiago, and established an American base of operations. The small contingent of Spanish troops facing them retired to their lightly entrenched positions at Las Guasimas, where an advance guard of U.S. forces caught up with and engaged them in the Battle of Las Guasimas on June 24. After the battle, Spanish forces continued their retreat to Santiago and the American army pursued.

The Americans planned to capture the port of Santiago de Cuba to destroy the Spanish army and fleet. To reach Santiago they had to pass through Spanish defenses in the San Juan Hills and capture the small town of El Caney to prevent the Spanish from sending reinforcements.

On July 1st, American and rebel Cuban forces attacked entrenched Spanish troops in classic Civil War-style frontal assaults at the Battle of El Caney and Battle of San Juan Hill outside of Santiago.

After the battles of San Juan Hill and El Caney, the American advance halted. Spanish troops successfully defended Fort Canosa, allowing them to stabilize their line and bar the entry of US forces to Santiago. U.S. Troops never captured the town itself by force of arms and only entered after the Spanish surrender.

In the Pacific, Commodore George Dewey led a U.S. naval squadron into Manila Bay in the Philippines on May 1, 1898, and destroyed the anchored Spanish fleet in a morning engagement. Manila itself was not occupied by U.S. troops until August. American acquisition of Spain's Pacific possessions led to its involvement in the Philippine Revolution and ultimately in the all but unknown Philippine-American War (1899-1902) that cost the lives of 4,200 Americans and nearly 20,000 Filipino combatants. An estimated additional 200,000 and 250,000 Filipino civilians also died as a result of violence, famine, and a cholera epidemic brought on by the war.

The 119th Anniversary of the start of Spanish American War was commemorated with a vintage military rifle (VMR) marksmanship match on Saturday April 8th, sponsored by the Shongum Sportsmen's Association (SSA).

A small but intrepid band of military match aficionados and collectors of American and Spanish firearms braved the less than ideal early morning weather to gather at the Shongum Sportsman's Association range at Oxford, New Jersey for the first ever annual Span Am match. Although turnout was somewhat light compared to previous matches, this could be attributed to the fact that it was also the first day of trout season in New Jersey. Although the day was bright and sunny, the wind-chill made it seem more appropriate for a winter war match and less than anything like the tropical conditions encountered by US troops in 1898 in Cuba and the Philippines. Despite all that, it was still a day of friendly competition paired with a hearty lunch prepared by the Commandante of the Grill Tom P. and Chef Barbara F. who fed the participants gourmet Bubba Burgers, military style pork and beans, and wholesome nutritious potato chips, with apple pie deserts.

The course of fire for the match included fourteen (14) contests, three (3) of which were handgun events. Contest rules for the rifle matches required shooters fire ten (10) rounds in 2 minutes at targets placed at 100 yards. Handgun matches required shooters fire 12 shots one handed in two minutes at targets 50 feet away on the indoor range.

Fortunately, the rifle part of the match was not significantly hobbled by the less than optimal range facilities resulting from a winter storm in February that delivered a knockout punch to the new permanent overhead firing line cover causing it to collapse. No one was injured in that collapse, but half the shooting benches were still under the ruble and have yet to be recovered and examined for damage. Luckily enough benches had been recovered to accommodate all entrants.

Participants brought collectible examples of firearms of the types used in the Spam-Am war to compete for trophies and the ultimate glory of becoming world famous in New Jersey with their name shown boldly in this write-up. A quick tour of the benches disclosed that competitors had brought a fine variety of excellent condition U.S. Krag rifles and carbines and Trapdoor Springfields like those used by the US Army and National Guard during the war. Two competitors also brought Mauser rifles of the type used by Spanish forces. One shooter brought an exceptionally nice original Sharps 1878 Borchardt rifle in 45-70 and another shooter brought a reproduction Quigley Sharps 1874 also in 45-70.

In addition, two less common rifles from the Span Am war were also seen on the line and worthy of note. These were a nifty Winchester 1895 carbine identical to the one carried by Teddy Roosevelt* during the war, and a seldom seen Lee Navy rifle.

*Collector's note: Roosevelt's 1895 Carbine was the only one ever made that was marked "US".

After a brief sighting in period, the match got under way in earnest. Rifle competition progressed smoothly under the watchful eye and expert guidance of the Shoot Chairman Stan G. Stan did his usual fantastic solo job, not only running the events and registering competitors, but providing all the other logistical support for the match at the s ame time.

These truly hard core VMR shooters vied for the highly sort after trophies awarded for the highest score in each contest and turned in some outstanding scores despite the unfavorable windy weather conditions. Top scores of the day (99-4X) went to Andy G. and Carl J. who tied in the El Caney Contest using 1898 Krag rifles. They were followed by John M. with respectable 98-4X in the Kettle Hill Match using a handsome 1896 Krag Carbine. Dave J. won the Guantanamo Contest firing his Lee straight pull Navy rifle and deserves the win for that alone.

The overall top winner of the day in the rifle contest category was Andy G. who took home trophies for three (3) events. He was followed by John M. and Dave J with two wins each.

Target scoring was handled by Pete M. Reporting of results was handled by Tom P. the the master match record keeper, Commandante of the Grill, and Stan's trusty sidekick.

All final scores were certified and witnessed by a match official and are available on the NJACC website.

The next vintage military rifle match to be held at the Shongum Range will be held on May 27, 2017. The contest theme will be "Memorial Day" featuring various historical US military firearms. Details and fliers for this and future vintage matches at Shongum can also be found on the NJACC website at www.njacc.info.
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SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR MATCH RESULTS

Saturday
April 8, 2017

Shongum Sportsmen's Association
Janes Chapel Road Range
Mansfield, NJ

PUBLIC WAS INVITED

ENTRY FEE:
Members: $5 /Event or $30.00 for 5 or more events, $5.00 Reentry
Non-Members: $10.00.Event or $30 for 5 or more events, $5.00 Reentry
(Included lunch and hot beverages)
PRIZES:
TROPHY TO BEST IN EACH CLASS
FIREARMS:
Curios and Relics of the period-Original Stocks and sights
CONTESTS:
All contests are 10 rounds in 2 Minutes at 100 Yards - Any position including bench rest* unless otherwise noted.
*NOTE: All guns must be fired from shoulder unless excused for medical reasons
SHOOT CHAIRMAN Stan Gurski GurskiLTC@aol.com

CONTEST WINNER FIREARM Score
RIFLE MATCHES
1) INSURRECTO
Remington or Oviedo 43 cal Rolling Block (Black powder recommended)
No Entries    
2) LAS GUASIMAS
Any pre 1898 model Mauser in 7MM
Dave J. F/N Mauser 62-1X
3) SIEGE OF SANTIAGO de CUBA
Springfield Trapdoor Rifle(BP recommended)
John M Trapdoor Springfield 96-2X
4) EL CANEY
Springfield Krag Rifle
Andy G. 30/40 Krag 99-4X
Carl J. 1898 Krag 99-4X
5) SIGNAL CORPS
Springfield Trapdoor Carbine (Be sure to use carbine loads)
Andy G. Springfield Carbine 82-2X
6) KETTLE HILL
Krag carbine or 93 Mauser carbine in 7MM
John M. Krag Carbine 98-4X
7) GUANTANAMO
Lee Navy 6MM
David J. Lee Navy 39
8) POST WAR CONSTABULARY
Winchester 95 carbine in 30/40,Philippine Constabulary carbine or equivalent
Carl J Winchester '95 82
9) POST WAR HUNTER
Sporterized Krag, any hunting rifle in 6MM Navy or 30 US Army (30/40)
No Entries    
10) NATIONAL GUARD / MILITA
Any 45/70 or 50/70 military post Civil War rifle except Springfield Trapdoor in 45/70
Pete Y. 1868 Trapdoor .50/70 7
11) OPEN CLASS
Any longarm not listed above but documented as being used Spanish-American War Examples:1891 Argentine Mauser, Winchester 73.
Andy G. 1874 Quigley Sharps 92
HANDGUN MATCHES
12) COLT .38 REVOLVER
Colt New Army and Navy Revolver in .38 Colt.
No Entries    
13) OPEN CLASS
Any handgun except the Colt New Army and Navy or Colt SAA Artillery that is documented as being used in Spanish - American War. Examples . S&W No 3 (Schofield), C96 in 7.63, ORBEA HERMANOS 11mm, MERWIN HULBERT
No Entries    
14) POST WAR PACIFICATION
Colt SAA Artillery, Colt Philippine or Alaskan DAA, or Colt 1909, or New Service in 45 Colt)
No Entries    

Click Here All Scores Submittted

For Corrections, additions or deletions and proper photo ID's please contact our webmaster
Tom Plante
and he will make the changes.