Soon after the Spanish-American War ended, in early 1899, discharged veterans rushed to form fraternal societies. Among these were the Spanish War Veterans, the Spanish-American War Veterans, the Servicemen of the Spanish War, American Veterans of Foreign Service, the Army of the Philippines, the Veteran Army of the Philippines, the Legion of Spanish War Veterans and many other smaller organizations. At the turn of the century, many of these groups began to merge. In 1904, the three largest groups, the Spanish War Veterans, the Spanish American War Veterans and the Servicemen of the Spanish War amalgamated into the United Spanish War Veterans. They would become the largest and most influential of the Spanish-American War societies. In 1906, the Legion of Spanish War Veterans would merge with the United Spanish War Veterans. The Legion existed in the states of Rhode Island,Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The President of the Rhode Island chapter of the USWV was Mrs Ellen V. Meehan during the 1930s, her husband was Cpl.James Arthur Meehan, who served in the Spanish war with the Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry.
In 1908 the Veteran Army of the Philippines also merged with the United Spanish War Veterans. The Veteran Army was made up of soldiers and sailors serving in the US Military in the Philippine Islands.The United Spanish War Veterans consisted of veterans of three distinct wars: