Span-Am War Purple Heart for San Juan Hill
Private Frederick Muenzing was Wounded in Action on July 1st 1898 serving in the 1st Division, 1st Brigade, 16th Infantry during the assault on San Juan Hill, Cuba. The Sixteenth Infantry lost 1 officer and 12 enlisted men killed in action and 4 officers, 103 enlisted men wounded in action.
His numbered rim Purple Heart is accompanied by the original General Order for his wound received in the assault on San Juan Hill.
The Purple Heart medal was authorized in 1932 when that award, with a history back to the American Revolution, was established as a way to recognize the soldier who had been wounded serving his country. Many WWI veterans applied for their medals however only a handful of Spanish American War veterans, already 50+ years old, remained to receive the award.
The outbreak of the Spanish American War found the American forces seeking a decisive battle with the Spanish forces. The Spanish set up defenses on the strategically valuable San Juan Heights. A large American force, including the the African American 10th Cavalry and the famed 'Rough Riders', moved to take the heights. After artillery fire inflicted heavy Spanish casualties, the Americans charged up the hill. In the bloodiest battle of the war, the Americans prevailed.The Americans won another engagement at El Caney the same day, the battles proved the skill of the Spanish defenders but overwhelming U.S. Forces prevailed. Following the surrender of the Spanish army at Santiago, they agreed to depart Cuba.