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      The primary orientation of the Sprague Project is by family line starting with the oldest identified member of the particular family line. However, the history of the Sprague family is closely allied with the history of America and American history is closely allied with the numerous wars in which America has participated. The purpose of this section of The Sprague Website is to provide details as recorded in the Sprague Database for all individual participants in the various wars.

      The following paragraphs provide a brief description of the various wars in which individuals recorded by the Sprague Project have participated. Clicking on the name of the war will take you to an index of the individuals who participated in the war. Following the links will allow display of an Individual Summary of the participating individual. Note
      (1) that individuals still living are not included and
      (2) that there are individuals included in these military participant summaries who are not direct Sprague descendants. These individuals are either members of a Sprague spouse's ancestral line or a part of a line included in the Sprague database, but not yet included on the Sprague website.

      The following wars include deceased individuals who participated as recorded by the Sprague Project.

  King Philip's War (1675-1676)
      King Philip's War, including the battles known as the Narragansett War, was an attempt to oust white settlers from New England. Metacomet (known to the whites as King Philip), son of Massasoit, led the uprising, which included the Narragansett Indians of Rhode Island and forces from the Wampanoag, Nipmuck, and Pocumtuck tribes of Massachusetts. Determined to drive all white settlers from New England, the bands destroyed twelve of ninety Puritan towns and attacked forty others. About a thousand Indians were killed, in turn, in the Great Swamp Massacre. The war ended shortly after Metacomet's capture and murder in August 1676. Many of his supporters escaped to Canada, while others were sold into slavery in the West Indies.

French & Indian Wars (1754-1763)
      The American phase of Europe's Seven Years' War, a series of battles between Great Britain and the colonists against the French and their Indian allies. Under terms of the Treaty of Paris ending the war (1763), France lost its colonial possessions, and the French empire in North America came to an end.

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
      Also known as the American War of Independence, a rebellion of the thirteen colonies against Great Britain. The causes of the Revolution were political, economic, cultural, and geographical. By the Treaty of Paris (1783), Great Britain recognized the United States as an independent nation. The Great Lakes and Canadian border became the northern U.S. boundary, the Mississippi River the western boundary, and Spanish Florida the southern boundary. American deaths totaled 4,435 died during the conflict; the British deaths totaled about 10,000.

War of 1812 (1812-1815)
      A conflict between Great Britain and the United States, sometimes called "the second war for independence" and "Mr. Madison's War." During the war between France and England starting in 1793, the British put blockades on European ports to restrict American merchant shipping with France. About 1807 the British stepped up Impressment of American seamen into their navy. The United States passed the Embargo Act, which banned all exports and limited American shipping of coastal trade. In 1810 a group of young Democratic-Republican congressmen from the West called War Hawks urged the United States to defend itself against the British and invade Canada. Congress declared war against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. After negotiations for peace, the Treaty of Ghent was signed, ending the war on December 24, 1814. America lost 2,260 casualties.

Black Hawk Wars (1832)
      The Black Hawk War began soon after the Sauk Indians, led by Black Hawk, faring poorly in Iowa where the government had moved them, recrossed the Mississippi River and moved back to their former cornfields to plant a new crop. As tensions mounted, panicky settlers killed two Indians seeking a parley and bearing a white flag. Black Hawk, enraged, began killing white settlers.
      Sauk followers of Black Hawk were massacred at the mouth of the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin by Illinois militia led by General Henry Atkinson. Old men, women, and children were all killed without regard for pleas of mercy or white flags.
      The above extracted from The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates, Gorton Carruth, 10th Edition, ISBN: 0062701924, New York: Harper Collins Publishers.

Toledo War (1835-1836)
      An old border dispute between Ohio and the Territory of Michigan flared up in 1835. Before any actual fighting broke out, President Andrew Jackson sent agents to Toledo to persuade the governors of Ohio and Michigan to accept a truce. In 1836, Congress awarded the disputed area, about 520 square miles along Lake Erie, to Ohio.

Mexican War (1846-1848)
      Conflict between the United States and Mexico. The revolt and declaration of independence of Texas from Mexico in 1836 eventually resulted in the annexation of Texas to the Union in 1845. Mexico refused to recognize the annexation and disputed the boundary of the Rio Grande. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war on February 2, 1848. Mexico ceded all claims to Texas and the United States acquired the lands known as the Mexican Cession. American deaths were numbered 13,283.

Civil War (1861-1865)
      The conflict between the Northern states (the Union) and the eleven Southern states that seceded from the Union and were organized as the Confederate States of America. It is also known as the War between the States, the War of Secession, and the War of the Rebellion. Nearly as many Americans died in the Civil War as have died in all wars the United States has fought--364,511 Union and 164,821 Confederate soldiers.

Spanish American War (April 25th-August 12, 1898)
      Conflict between the United States and Spain. Begun over the cause of Cuban independence, the war marked the emergence of the United States as a world power and the beginning of American overseas imperialism. Most of the fighting occurred in the Spanish possessions of Cuba and the Philippines on opposite sides of the world. In the Treaty of Paris (1898) Cuba became independent, and the United States claimed Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine Islands. American deaths were estimated at 2,446.

South African War (1899-1902)
      The South African War, 1899-1902, is a key event in the military history of Canada. In October 1899, the tensions between Dutch South Africans, known as Boers, and British South Africans erupted into open warfare. The government of Canada eventually responded to the crisis by recruiting, equipping and transporting two contingents of volunteers to serve with the British forces in South Africa. The British War Office paid all other costs, including pay and return transport. Later contingents were financed completely by the British War Office, with the exception of one recruited and paid for by Lord Strathcona. Before the war ended in May 1902, over 7,300 Canadians, including 12 Nursing Sisters, served in South Africa. The South African war marked the first occasion for which Canada dispatched troops to an overseas war. The first contingent arrived in South Africa in November 1899. From then on, Canadians participated in nine important battles.

World War I (1914-1918)
      The first truly global conflict involving more countries than any war except World War II; also called "The war to end all wars" and "The Great War." The fighting took place mostly in Europe. The Allies included Great Britain, France, Russia (until 1917), Italy, and the United States (1917-1918). The Central Powers consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria. Its causes included extreme nationalism among Europeans, a race for colonial possessions fueled by imperialism, and economic rivalries. The "Great War" was one of the bloodiest in history--an estimated eight to ten million troops were killed, including over 116,316 Americans. Nearly as many civilians died from disease, starvation, or other causes.

World War II (1939-45)
      Global conflict involving every major power in the world. The Allies originally consisted of Great Britain, France, and China, but totaled fifty nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, by the end of the war. The Axis powers of Germany, Italy, Japan and (until 1941) the Soviet Union were eventually joined by six other nations. Causes of the war were the rise of imperialist and totalitarian dictatorships in Germany, Italy, and Japan after World War I and a world wide economic collapse, the Great Depression. Military deaths in the worldwide conflict were predictably massive, totaling in excess of 17 million troops. The number of civilian deaths due to bombing raids, starvation, and disease was even greater. When the Allies liberated the death camps in Germany and Poland, they were horrified to discover the extent of the Holocaust that Germany had conducted during the war. Some 12 million people had been murdered, including 6 million Jews. The Soviet Union suffered the most deaths of any single country--about 20 million military personnel and civilians died. The United States lost 405,399 troops.

Miscellaneous Service
Individuals in the Sprague Database for which service during the period of one of the defined wars are listed in this section. These individuals may have served during one of the identified wars and their service simply has not been documented or they may have served only during periods of peace. There are also a few individuals who served in foreign wars not involving the military of the United States such as the Franco-Prussian War.

Korean War (1950-1953)
      Conflict pitting South Korea and U.N. forces against North Korea and later the People's Republic of China. The war began when the North Korean Communist army crossed the thirty-eighth parallel on June 25, 1950, invading the Republic of South Korea. The United Nations Security Council, declaring North Korea an aggressor, sent troops to counter the invasion. Sixteen nations sent troops, and forty-one countries sent food and supplies, but the United States was the largest contributor of arms, troops and equipment. The war reached a stalemate in June, 1951, and after two years of negotiations an armistice was signed July 27, 1953, with the thirty-eighth parallel designated as the border between North and South Korea. American deaths were estimated to be 54,246.

Vietnamese War (1955-1975)
      Military conflict in Vietnam between the U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government and the Communist-led guerrilla forces backed by North Vietnam. The war, the nation's longest, resulted in the loss of 56,121 American lives and was the first in which the United States failed to achieve its goals. The tonnage of bombs dropped on North Vietnam by the United States was greater than the total of that dropped on Germany, Italy, and Japan during World War II. The war left up to 10 million refugees and caused sharp divisions among the American people.

The Persian Gulf War (August 1990 - March 1991)
      On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait and quickly seized control of the small nation. Within days, the United States, along with the United Nations, demanded Iraq's immediate withdrawal. U.S. and other UN member nations began deploying troops in Saudi Arabia within the week. By January of 1991, over half a million allied troops were deployed in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf region. On January 16, 1991, Allied forces began the devastating bombing of Iraq and her forces in Kuwait. Allied forces launched the ground war on February 23rd. Cut off from their supply bases and headquarters by the intense air campaign, thousands of Iraqi soldiers simply gave up rather than fight, as the Allies pushed through Iraq's defenses with relative ease. By February 26, Allied forces controlled Kuwait City. On February 27th, President Bush ordered a cease-fire and the surviving Iraqi troops were allowed to escape back into southern Iraq. On March 3, 1991, Iraq accepted the terms of the cease-fire and the fighting ended. Original figures listed 100,000 Iraqi military dead, but more recent estimates place Iraqi dead at 20,000 military and 2,300 civilian. The United States had 148 killed in action, 458 wounded. In addition, 121 Americans died through non-combat incidents.

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This page was created on October 15, 2001
Most recent revision: April 25, 2006