Agents of Empire: The Frontier U.S. Army and the Transition from the War with Spain to the Occupation of Cuba Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
  • Rhodes, John
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • This dissertation examines how the U.S. Army conducted a successful initial occupation of Santiago, Cuba, after the Spanish surrender of eastern Cuba to General William R. Shafter’s Fifth Corps on July 17, 1898. U.S. Army officers replicated and adapted lessons learned from their frontier and Reconstruction experiences to evacuate Spanish prisoners, relieve humanitarian crises, discover the causes of tropical fevers, control the Cuban population, establish a logistical infrastructure, and create a military government. Their actions during the occupation of Santiago became the model for how the U.S. Army conducted the remainder of its occupation of Cuba. Based on both published government records, newspapers, and memoirs; and unpublished personal papers, letters, diaries, and official correspondence collected from three archives, this study shows how the U.S. Army used a blend of coercion and conciliation during the occupation to disband the Cuban Liberation Army and delegitimize the Cuban revolutionary government. With firm control over the Cuban population and the creation of a loyal constabulary, and with no serious political or military challenger, the U.S. Army gave government officials in Washington the time to determine unilaterally the future relationship between Cuba and the United States.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Lee, Wayne
  • Roland, Alex
  • Brundage, W. Fitzhugh
  • Glatthaar, Joseph
  • Pérez, Louis A.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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