Fourth Army Corps (Spanish–American War)

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For units of this name in the American Civil War, see IV Corps (Union Army). For the unit of the 20th Century, see IV Corps (United States).
Fourth Army Corps
Active May 7, 1898 – January 16, 1899
Country United States
Branch Regular Army
Type Corps
Size 763 officers, 20,053 enlisted (as of 6/30/1898)
Engagements Spanish–American War

The Fourth Army Corps was a unit of the United States Army raised for the Spanish–American War. After the declaration of war, General Order 36 of May 7, 1898 approved the organization of eight "army corps," each of which was to consist of three or more divisions of three brigades each.[1]

Each brigade was to have approximately 3,600 officers and enlisted men organized into three regiments and, with three such brigades, each division was to total about 11,000 officers and men. Thus the division was to be about the same size as the division of 1861, but army corps were to be larger. The division staff initially was to have an adjutant general, quartermaster, commissary, surgeon, inspector general and engineer, with an ordnance officer added later. The brigade staff was identical except that no inspector general or ordnance officer was authorized.

General Order 46 of May 16, 1898 assigned commanding officers and training camps to the new corps. Major General John J. Coppinger was named as commander of Fourth Army Corps, which was to assemble at Mobile, Alabama.[2] Instead of seeing combat, the corps spent the summer traveling the railways of Alabama and Florida; on June 2, it began moving to Tampa, Florida and on July 3, the Third Division of the corps (division numbers of this era were not unique) was transferred to Fernandina, Florida. In the meantime, the First Division, under the command of Brigadier General Theodore Schwan, was transferred to Miami on June 20. On June 27, the Fourth and Seventh Army Corps exchanged their First Divisions, the Seventh's having remained in Tampa when the corps headquarters moved to Jacksonville, Florida.[3]

On August 11, with the end of the war in sight, the corps was transferred again, to Huntsville, Alabama.[4]

Upon the retirement of General Coppinger, Major General Joseph Wheeler (USV) took command on October 13, and stayed at the head of the corps until December 3.[5] A revolving door of commanders led the Fourth through the remainder of its service, as follows:

  • Brigadier General A.K. Arnold (USV), December 14–20, 1898
  • Major General Henry W. Lawton (USV), December 20–29, 1898
  • Brigadier General Royal T. Frank, December 29, 1898 – January 16, 1899

At the same time Frank took command of the corps, its headquarters was transferred to Anniston, Alabama. The Fourth Army Corps was "discontinued" on January 16, 1899; its strength on the last day of 1898 was 545 officers and 13,337 enlisted men.[5]


  1. ^ Kreidberg, Marvin; Henry, Morton (November 1955). History of Military Mobilization (PDF). Washington, DC: Department of the Army. pp. 144–145. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Report of the Commission Appointed by the President to Investigate the Conduct of the War Department in the War with Spain: Reply of the Adjutant-General. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. 1900. pp. 256–8. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Lee, Fitzhugh (September 1, 1898). "Annual Report of Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, commanding Seventh Army Corps". U.S. Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Annual Reports of the War Department for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1898. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. 1898. p. 276. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Annual Reports of the War Department for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1899. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. 1899. p. 25. Retrieved 30 July 2014.