Anna H. Campos

Nurse
United States Army

Co. D., 
5th U.S. Infantry Hospital Corps

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: September 2, 1899
Buried at: Section 21, Site 15986-A
                 Arlington National Cemetery
                 Arlington, Virginia 
Awards: 

ANNA H. CAMPOS was born on September 8, 1859 to a farmer, Andrew J. Long and his wife, Elizabeth K. Long. Both the 1860 and 1870 Censuses show her living with her parents in Hopewell Township, near Bridgeton, in Cumberland County, New Jersey. A sister, Lydia, was born not long after the 1860 Census was taken. The family moved to Camden during the 1870s. The 1880 Census shows the family at 419 North 3rd Street where they remained through 1883. Andrew Long was in the poultry business at the time of the Census but primarily worked as a carpenter for the rest of his days.

The 1880 Census reveals that she had married Charles V. Campos, a native of Cuba who was employed in the cigar trade. When the Census was enumerated Anna, her husband, her parents, her sister Lydia and a 10 year old brother, J. Walter Long, were living together in Camden, New Jersey. Anna Campos was pregnant at the time of the Census. She and her husband traveled to Cuba later on in 1880. Their son, Carlos Manuel Campos was born in Matanzas, Cuba on January 1, 1881. It is unclear as to where the Campos family lived after 1882. The family had moved to Philadelphia by 1886. Anna Campos' parents and siblings did remain in Camden all through both decades. The 1884 Directory shows them 820 Kimber Street, and the 1885 edition lists the family at 512 Elm Street. From 1887 into 1899 the Longs were at 218 York Street.

It is not particularly clear where Anna Campos, her husband and son lived after 1886 although it seems likely that they were in Philadelphia. It is possible that Anna and Charles V. Campos had separated or possibly had divorced. Charles V. Campos died in Philadelphia on March 17, 1899, and while his obituary mentions friends, there is no mention at all of family.

The Spanish–American War began on April 25, 1898, and ended on August 12, 1898. While 2,910 American military personnel died during the war, just 345 were combat deaths. The rest died of disease. The U.S. military barred women from serving in any capacity prior to the war. Although the Army had 791 nurses, they were all male, and far too few to provide the medical care needed. Soldiers resisted being transferred from combat units into the nursing corps, and few volunteers signed up for medical duty. Congress quickly authorized the military to hire female nurses—but on contract, not as military personnel. The army reached out specifically to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), a patriotic society, to recruit women nurses. Of the 1,563 nurses recruited for the new Nurse Corps, most served in hospitals in the United States. Only 76 were sent to Cuba, 30 to the Philippines, nine to Puerto Rico, six to Honolulu, and eight served aboard the hospital ship USS Relief. It was the first time in American history where nurses were fully accepted in military hospitals. Although no nurses were killed in combat, 140 died of typhoid and 13 from other diseases. Nearly all the nurses died in the United States, most were sent home to their families for burial. A handful died overseas, and were buried there. On July 8, 1898, Congress enacted legislation authorizing the repatriation of American dead, and appropriating funds for this purpose. Additional legislation was enacted on February 9, 1900; May 26, 1900; and June 6, 1900. Many of the dead were buried at Arlington National Cemetery, either because their families desired it or the remains could not be identified.

The first Spanish–American War nurse to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery was Anna H. Campos, who died in Cuba on September 2, 1899. Her remains were repatriated about May 1900. She died as a result of malarial dysentery near El Cobre, Cuba. In March of 1900 she was brought back to the United States and buried at Arlington National Cemetery. A bronze plaque was mounted on her tombstone which reads as follows:

"Nurse, U.S. Army. Died in camp near El Coure, Cuba. Presented by detachment of Co. D., 5th U.S. Infantry Hospital Corps, U.S. Army, and Pack Train, U.S. Army in appreciation of her services in the Spanish-American War."

It should be noted that the bronze plaque misspelled El Cobre, while her headstone reads "Anna", the plaque reads "Anita".

Anna Campos was the second woman attached to the Army ever to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery, the first being a nurse who had served during the Civil War.

Anna Campos' estate was settled through the Camden County Surrogate's office in Camden in December of 1899. Her mother and son Carlos were living at 22 North 4th Street at that time. and were still there in 1900. 


Philadelphia Inquirer - March 19, 1899

Washington D.C. Evening Star - March 6, 1900


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