Leading the Memorial Day Charge

Henry L Conradi of the 6th Calvary during the Spanish American War. Note the all-white horses.
Each troop used different colored horses to better identify units during battle.

Henry L. Conradi Jr. 1876 – 1901

Henry L Conradi was a young man just short of 23 years of age when he volunteered to go to war against Spain in June of 1898. A small man of stature he stood only 5’-4 ¼” tall. He was probably rather strong from his job casting metal in a foundry. The same occupation as his father and one brother.

Henry was single and was living with his parents Henry Sr. and Johanna at 267 Elm St in Newark NJ when his father died in March of 1897. Just a year later the Battleship Maine sunk while anchored in Havana Harbor Cuba. Having been sent there to protect American interests during the Cuban War for independence. The yellow press whipped up a frenzy of nationalism that brought on the Spanish American War. Where we find Henry enlisting for a three-year term with Troop E the 6th US Calvary.

The 6th Calvary was formed during the Civil War where they earned the nick name “The Fighting 6th” Having seen action in every campaign in the eastern theater. Following the Civil War, the 6th took part in the Indian campaigns with the troops being dispersed throughout the west. The declaration of war with Spain in April of 1898 brought the troops back together in Chickamauga Park GA Which is where Henry probably met up with the Troop in June. From there they were transferred to Tampa Fl for embarkation to Cuba. Once in Cuba the 6th Participated in the charge up San Juan and Kettle Hills on July 1st beside Teddy Roosevelts Rough Riders.

After Santiago Cuba was taken and the Spanish surrendered the 6th was moved back to the USA to Camp Wikoff, in Montauk, NY. At this point Henry was probably sick as were many of the returning veterans suffering dysentery and malaria. He Is listed as deserting in November of 1898 but then surrendered in March of 1999. More likely he was furloughed to continue his recovery at home. Since there seems to be no record of discipline. Meanwhile in his absence the 6th Calvary was again dispersed throughout the west with his Troop E being assigned to Walla Walla Washington where he joined them.

In June 1900 the 6th went to China as part of the China Relief Expedition, the response to the Chinese Boxer Rebellion. Following the units fighting exploits in China the 6th ended up assigned to Manila, Philippines during the Philippines insurrection where they remained until 1903.  Here in Henry became sick again probably with a tropical disease that rendered him unable to return to duty. He was returned home to Fort McHenry MD and in March 1901 honorably discharged with the notation in his file as being a “very good private”. Back at home he presumably never recovered and succumbed to an early death at age 25.in December 1901

Henry is buried in his family plot here at Woodland Cemetery (section L plot 95) with his parents, grandparents, and brother.

6th Calvary at the Great Wall of China, China Relief Expedition
Photo from 6th Calvary Regimental History Museum Page

Research by Wesley Shelton

Sources:

Ancestery.com, FindaGrave.com, Woodland Cemetery Database NJRPG, NJ 1895 census, Newark City Directory 1893,1895,1900,

US Army Register of Enlistments, 6th Calvary Regimental History, Spanish American War Centennial Website

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