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Osterkamp, Jerome


Private Jerome Osterkamp Is Accidentally Shot By One Of His Comrades.


A Squad Fires Over His Grave And Taps Are Sounded.

The Victim Of The Bullet Was Only 19 Years Old And Enlisted With The Regiment At Pimlico--His Captain Says That He Had Never Failed To Do His Duty.

(Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.)

TAMPA, FLA., June 19--The death this morning of Private Jerome Osterkamp, of Company B, Fifth Maryland Regiment, and his burial here this afternoon with military honors from a sad sequel to the week just closed in the camp of the Marylanders.

He was a mere lad, only nineteen years old, and enlisted at Pimlico. Captain Jackson says he never failed to do his duty. His comrades speak well of him and will cherish his memory with as if he had lived to die amid the flashing of the Spaniards' guns.

Before joining the regiment young Osterkamp was employed Steel Works, at Sparrow's Point. His brother, Frederick J. Osterkamp, has been a member of the Fifth six years.

The story of the unfortunate affair was told this afternoon by Captain Jackson. William C. Carter, of Company G. and two tentmates were cleaning guns in their quarters preparatory to inspection. Carter had cleaned his Springfield 45-caliber rifle and inserted a cartridge, which exploded. The ball took a diagonal course, cutting through three tents and several haversack straps before it struck Osterkamp, who was standing about twenty feet distant. After piercing the lad the bullet cut a hole in another tent and finally spent its force against a pine board, where it was picked up flattened.

Osterkamp's brother was standing close to him, and caught him on his arms as he sank toward a cot. Another soldier's head was within two inches of the bullet's course.

Carter is being held for a court-martial, which will convene tomorrow.

The dead soldier's brother made the request that he be buried here for the present. Captain Jackson attended to all the funeral arrangements, while Company B provided a handsome coffin. Every mark of respect that could be paid to a soldier was accorded. Usually only a corporal, with a squad of seven men, attends the obsequies of a man in the ranks, but to this instance Company B attended in a body, as well as representatives from every other company in the regiment.

The march was made from camp in the hottest part of the afternoon. With the fife and drum corps at the head of the column playing a dirge, soldiers and citizens turned out all along the line to witness the ceremony. The burial was made in Ybor City Cemetery, three acres of which have been given to the government. The cemetery is on a fine eminence in a picturesque spot. The following officers were present on their horses and paid their respects by dismounting; Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson, Captain Clark, Captain Johnson, and Capt. N. Lee Goldsmith.

At the grave Captain Jackson drew his company in line. The men presented arms as the coffin was borne forward by the following pallbearers; Corporal Issac Goldenburg, Privates James Novenost, J. E. McLain, F. B. Wyeller, W. H. Richardson and J. Marts, while the drum corps played a dead march. After the singing of hymns Chaplain Elliott read the Protestant Episcopal burial service in an impressive manner. As the grave was being covered a cool breeze sprang up and the sun began to sink behind a beautiful bank of clouds. The firing squad then saluted the freshly made grave with three volleys while taps were sounded by sweet notes from Bugler Thornberg's trumpet. Departure for home followed. RAPHAEL S. PAYNE

Sun, Baltimore, MD 20 Jun 1898


TAMPA, Fla., June 19--Private Ostercamp of Company G. Fifth Maryland Volunteers, who was accidentally shot yesterday, died today.

The New York Times, New York, NY 20 Jun 1898

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