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Admin/Biog History Phillip A. Laffey was born in Portsmouth, England April 17, 1871. He began his musical career at age 14 and was a Band Master in the British Navy. In 1895 he came to the US and setled in Oshkosh. he became the violinist for Trinity Episcopal Church. He married Cora Mueller October 29, 1896. He was one of the founders of the Arion Band and the Acme Orchestra in Oshkosh. He served as the Band Leader of the 2nd WNG Band for several years and served during the Spanish-American War. In 1901 he moved to Chicago, IL where he instructed violin at the Chicago Conservatory. he also toured with orchestras for 11 seasons. The Laffeys returned to Oshkosh in November 1927 where he conducted the band at the Fischer theater. He invented improvements to the glockenschpiel and was an active music composer. He died in Oshkosh in 1947.
Collection Spanish American War Small Collections
Dates of Accumulation August 15, 1898
Abstract Letter to Cora Mueller Laffey from husband, Phillip Laffey, Band Master, 2nd Wisconsin National Guard, written on a Spanish soldiers enlistment certificate. He discusses the signing of the Peace Protocol with Spain, going home, a murder, sickness in the camp, and the exotic plants on Puerto Rico.

August /5/98
Outside of Ponce, Puerto Rico.
My Darling Little Wife
I am writing this letter to you on the back of a Spanish Officers recommendation for a Commission so you see darling you will have quite a fine Curio.
We heard the news yesterday my darling one that peace was declared, well that means that we shall soon begin to think of coming home and I tell you they cannot do it too soon to suit most of the Regiment
We expect though that we shall leave to march across the Island before we embark, to see what they are doing in some of the towns along the road, to start things going properly.
You speak about [Reverend] Smith getting roasted in the paper, he deserves a little roasting. I will tell you of an incident that happened about the war that was murdered here when I get home.
Most of our sick men are getting well and I think when we get our orders to start for home they will all get well for most of them are feeling blue.
I will be tickled myself for we have not got our new instruments yet and it makes one tired the old ones we have now.
Don't be surprised if this is the last letter from this place for we expect orders to march anyday. I will write though just as often as I can, and my own sweet darling I don't want you to grumble if your letters are short if you had to write letters under the difficulty that I have you would not write me very long [ineligible] ones. I have not had a table to write on since we left the Charleston (Yacht Club) so you see darling it is a little hard to write a letter.
Johnson has got quite a fine lot of views [of] the Band in this place. [Henry Johnson operated a studio in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in the 1890s. He traveled to Georgia, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico in 1898 with the 2nd Wisconsin and photo-documented the regiment's activities.] Under Coca Nut trees, Banana Trees, and in Sugar Cane plantations so you will get some idea of the place when I come home, which I hope will be soon.

With All My Love to You
From Your
Loving Husband
Event Spanish American War
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID SC411.7.3
Object Name Letter
People Laffey, Phillip A.
Laffey, Cora Mueller
Subjects Spanish American War
2nd Wisconsin National Guard
Military bands
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009