On February 15, 1898, the battleship, U.S.S. Maine, was sunk in the harbor at Havana, Cuba. Spain was held responsible for the sinking. The American people were furious. As a result, war was declared on April 25, 1898.
On April 21, 1898, Irontonians march to war. They left the Norfolk and Western Depot at 9:30 a.m. A total of eighty-four men enlisted in Company I. The troops were led by Captain Carmi A. Thompson, Lieutenant C. B. McQuigg, and Lieutenant E. E. Corn. Ironton lost only two men in the Spanish American War, Charles S. Gray and Campbell Gilfillan.
The troops returned home on September 27, 1898. They were met with a parade. A banquet was held on October 2, 1898, in their honor.
The war officially ended on December 10, 1898 with the Treaty of Paris.