This is a great group for a Sergeant Hessler who served in both of these regiments in the Philippines.
A bit confusing at first, but we figured out this great medal/insignia grouping for 1st Sergeant Earl. C. Hessler of Company “D,” 1st Nebraska Infantry. Hessler enlisted in the 1st Nebraska and served in the Philippines with that regiment from July of 1898 to July of 1899. His regiment would muster out at San Francisco, Cal. in August, and apparently Hessler opted to join with his fellow Iowans serving in the 51st Iowa Infantry. The 51st was in camp near the Presidio, and finally boarded the Transport Pennsylvania, arriving on December 7, 1898 at Manila. That regiment mustered out in November of 1899. Both of these regiments were actively engaged against the insurgents: The 1st Nebraska once arriving went into the trenches at Malate, taking part in the attack on Manila, then involved in the defense of the city (after the armistice with Spain in August), the rest of their time occupied with fighting insurgents. The regiment lost 2 officers killed in battle, and 1 dying of wounds received in battle; 10 other officers were wounded. 19 enlisted were killed in battle, 13 more dying of wounds, 153 other wounded, 28 EMs died from disease, 2 deserted. The 51st Iowa, took part in the advance on San Roque, and nearly the rest of their time in service was on campaign. This regiment lost 1 officer to suicide, 39 Ems to disease, an additional men were discharged on disabilities, 1 deserted.
For a medal group of this period, it is wonderfully complete, consisting of: Boxed Spanish War medal M No. 3290, boxed Philippine War medal M No. 4698, and his Philippine War Congressional medal No. 3265. Other medals in the lot are; SAW 1898-1899 rolled gold Identified medal/pin engraved on pin bar, “Co. “D” 1st Nebr,” the reverse engraved, E.C. Hessler.” There is a combination of the lapel pin, USWV Member badge number 53587, and mini USWV. The Military Order of the Serpent has an exceptionally long ribbon with 4 bars. The other items are various badges/ lapel pin for the 8th Corps- a large enameled badge, pin back, a USWV cross with 8th Corps, 8th Corps label pin, and a one inch high corps badge pinned on a slice of cavarly trousers. There is his silver expert Rifleman’s Badge for the years 1904-05-06 and his name is engraved on the reverse (this is when he was a sergeant in the 55th Iowa infantry), There are two cap badges, the earlier is a 1896 screw-on pattern for the 51st infantry and modified with a thin brass arc that holds the letters”IOWA” and the 1888/96 screwback pattern wreath insignia is for Hessler being the Quartermaster Sgt of the 51st Iowa. Th grouping is completed with the addition of an Indian arrowhead that came with the lo, and a STERLING Silver watch fob, one side has his initials, the reverse side reads “Red Oak, Iowa.”
An impressive group, so hard to find in its completeness.