Illinois National Guard

Revolutionary War
War of 1812
Seminole War
Civil War
Spanish-American War
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Since Vietnam
    Spanish-American War
    The Spanish-American War, which began with the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, was a war that was fought on foreign soil. It was brought to the American people by a growing population of media and the expanding use of photography. President McKinley ordered that the military provide proper burial of the casualties and permanent grave markers. To respond to this order, D. H. Rhodes and his team were sent to Cuba to handle all mortuary affairs. They would initially mark 1,122 graves for later reburial in the states. In 1899, the Army Burial Corp was formed to meet the demands of the public to return the remains of the Soldiers. In the Philippines, Captain Charles Peirce was given $200,000 by Congress to open the Morgue and Office of Identification. His work would become the blueprint for the later 'Grave Registration Units'. His office would work to identify, embalm, dress the body in a uniform, and place them in a flag draped coffin. Peirce would improve upon the embalming fluids to allow the remains to be shipped home. In 1910, Congress extended its own responsibilities for the war dead by authorizing funds for the raising of the Maine and the retrieval of the dead. It would take two years to raise the Maine. In 1915, it was placed in Arlington National Cemetery and dedicated as a memorial to all those who died. This war also brought veterans groups who lobbied for the proper retrieval of our war dead. It had now been established that the responsibility for the care of remains belonged solely to the government. The families of war dead would no longer have to provide for the shipment of their loved ones.