“The Spanish-America War was a short-lived conflict between The United States and Spain. Due to unrest in Cuba, President McKinney sent the U.S.S. Maine to Cuba to protect American citizens. He delayed notifying Spain and that upset the Spanish Government.
On the night of February 15, 1898 there was an explosion on-board the U.S.S. Maine and it sank in the bay killing 266 soldiers.
With the major newspaper (Hearst & Pulitzer) stirring the pot with their ”yellow journalism” Congress passed a joint resolution which was signed by President McKinley on April 20, 1898. The United States gave Spain an ultimatum and Spain in return declared War on April 23, 1898. Thus began what is known as the Spanish-American War.” 
If you haven’t read much about the Spanish-American War, I highly recommend the article here:
Recently, I have had the pleasure of using the two sites listed below. If you have relatives that served in the Spanish-American War, I highly recommend that you take a look at these two sites:
- The Spanish American War Centennial Website!
- RECORD OF INDIANA VOLUNTEERS IN THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR 1898-1899