Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Cordelia Hagen Letters, 1898-1899

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff and Meg Hixon, October 2011

Summary Information
Title: Cordelia Hagen letters
Creator: Hagen, Cordelia
Inclusive dates: 1898-1899
Extent: 4 items
Abstract:
The Cordelia Hagen letters consist of four incoming letters to Hagen, including 3 from her brother Wyatt and 1 from a friend, Will Bruck. The two men were serving in the 20th Kansas Infantry regiment near Manila just after the Spanish-American War.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2010. M-4792.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Cordelia Hagen Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.


Biography

Wyatt Hagen was born in Iowa on July 23, 1876, the son of John and Cordelia Hagen. His sister Cordelia was born in Iowa around 1878. The Hagen family later moved to Kansas. Wyatt Hagen worked in a meat market before enlisting in the army at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. He served with the 20th Kansas Infantry Regiment, Company L, which traveled to Manila in December 1898 and fought in several actions until sent home in September 1899. Hagen returned to the meat industry after the war and eventually found success in the oil industry, running the Hagen Oil Company in Shattuck, Oklahoma, where he also served as mayor for two years. He married Sarah Wells on November 14, 1900, and they had four children. As of 1930, Hagen was still alive and working in the oil business.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Cordelia Hagen letters consist of four incoming letters to Cordelia, including 3 from her brother Wyatt and 1 from a friend, Will Bruck. The two men were serving in the 20th Kansas Infantry regiment near Manila just after the Spanish-American War.

Wyatt Hagen focused on his daily activities and military duties, including training and the anticipation of overseas service, during a posting in San Francisco (October 16, 1898). After his arrival in the Philippines, he described life in the field, including discussions of the impact of diseases on the troops and of the unconventional native methods for curing ailments (January 20, 1899). Hagen's correspondence also includes lengthy accounts of trench warfare, in which he participated for several weeks in early 1899, and other military engagements against native insurgents (February 20, 1899). Will Bruck, a friend of Cordelia, wrote the final letter (April 18, 1899). He echoed Wyatt Hagen's descriptions of life in Manila and expressed cynicism about what he saw as exaggerated newspaper reports. According to him, one particularly lauded California regiment "did less than any other [regiment] on the island."

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Philippines--History--Philippine American War, 1899-1902.
    • San Francisco (Calif.)--History.
    • United States. Army. Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 20th.
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    Contributors:
    • Bruck, Will.
    • Hagan, Wyatt, b. 1876.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   46, Small Collections  
    Cordelia Hagen letters [series]
    Folders   42-43  
     October 16, 1898-April 18, 1899
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Bibliography

    Root, Elihu. "Story of the 'Fighting Twentieth' by the Secretary of War." The Fighting Twentieth" History and Official Souvenir of the Twentieth Kansas Regiment. Topeka, Kansas: 1899.