While it’s mindboggling to fathom anyone labeling a war “splendid,” a high-ranking American official used that term to describe the Spanish-American War in 1898. If any slivers of splendor existed in the grim brutalities of war, they were frequently on display in the remarkable actions of brave women who nursed their fallen warriors, reported conditions on the battlefields, fought on behalf of fervently held causes, and protested questionable actions of their governments.
Today most Americans are aware of Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders. Even casual historians recall the chant “Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain!” The role of horses and mules in the war have sparked attention. And the exploits of several dogs have been documented. However, in the quest for shining examples of splendor, high motives, and magnificent intelligence and spirit during the Spanish-American War, the accomplishments of some extraordinary individuals have been overlooked and deserve recognition. Women of the Spanish-American War brings to light their stories of relentless courage and selflessness.
Cheryl Mullenbach is a former history teacher and school librarian. She has written five books for young people: Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II, The Industrial Revolution for Kids, The Great Depression for Kids, Women in Blue, and Torpedoed! Two Dot released her adult nonfiction Stagecoach Women: Brave and Daring Women of the Wild West in spring 2020.Her work has been recognized by the International Literacy Association and the National Council for Social Studies. The American Library Association named Double Victory to its “Amelia Bloomer Top Ten List” in 2014. The FDR Presidential Library and Museum honored Mullenbach as one of ten authors at their Roosevelt Reading Festival in 2013. Her talk at Hyde Park was broadcast by C-SPAN’s Book TV.