In the spring of 1898 the Spanish conflict aroused the patriotism in “Colonel” Soapy Smith to the point that he decided to recruit a company of soldiers in Skagway such as Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Such became legal under authorization of the Volunteer Bill of April 23, 1898. The bill as presented by President William McKinley provided for the First Volunteer Cavalry Regiment – The Rough Riders – as a result of the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898 with the loss of 260 of her crew.
President McKinley called for 125,000 volunteers from the seven Western states and territories, a figure that was soon raised to 267,000. Three regiments were to be raised in the West, the first in the four territories, which included Alaska, the second in Wyoming and the third in the Dakotas.
Soapy organzied Company A, 1st Regiment of National Guard of Alaska and elected himself as Captain and John Foley as 1st Lieutenant.
The next time he shows up in history is that on this day, September 13, 1913 he got married in Alaska.
Corvallis Community online pages; Soapy letter to Pres McKinley in Clifford; news accts of deaths in NPS library