William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Cordelia Hagen Letters, 1898-1899
Clements Staff and Meg Hixon, October 2011
Cordelia Hagen letters
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.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
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.
Cordelia Hagen Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically.
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."
- Philippines--History--Philippine American War, 1899-1902.
- San Francisco (Calif.)--History.
- United States. Army. Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 20th.
- United States. Army--Military life.
- Bruck, Will.
- Hagan, Wyatt, b. 1876.
Additional Descriptive Data
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.