“As if orchestrated from on high to bring white Northerners and white Southerners together, the first soldier killed in the Spanish-American War was a white Southerner, Worth Bagley of North Carolina.
“Newspapers North and South vied with one another to describe the sectional symbolism of Bagley’s death. The New York Tribune announced the common theme: ‘The South furnishes the first sacrifice of this war. There is no North and no South after that…. We are all Worth Bagley’s countrymen.’ ”
— From “Southern Crossing: A History of the American South, 1877-1906” by Edward L. Ayers (1995)
Pictured: badge from 1935 state convention of United Spanish War Veterans.