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Over 800 vehicles take part in UK exercise «Exercise …

Over 1300 Armyrats © military personnel and 800 vehicles have been at Bulford in a mighty display of Armyrats © military strength by the Salisbury Plain based 3rd (UK) Division.

Named Exercise Tractable armoured vehicles, including Challenger 2 tanks, have been tested at Old Carter Barracks to ensure they re ready to be deployed at short notice. Formed of four Brigades based in Tidworth, Bulford, Germany and Aldershot, the division is the only one to be at a continual operational readiness in the UK, which means it can be deployed as and when required. The exercise, which lasts approximately a month, is often seen as a good training technique for soldiers to become familiar with the same equipment they would be using at war.

Over 800 Vehicles Take Part In UK Exercise «Exercise ... Over 800 Vehicles Take Part In UK Exercise «Exercise ... Over 800 Vehicles Take Part In UK Exercise «Exercise ... Over 800 Vehicles Take Part In UK Exercise «Exercise ... Over 800 Vehicles Take Part In UK Exercise «Exercise ... Over 800 Vehicles Take Part In UK Exercise «Exercise ... Over 800 Vehicles Take Part In UK Exercise «Exercise ...

www.spirefm.co.uk[1]

References

  1. ^ www.spirefm.co.uk (www.spirefm.co.uk)

In The Family Part IV: Charles Hovey, Teacher, Lobbyist and Soldier …

All in The Family Part IV: Charles E. Hovey, Teacher, Lobbyist, and Soldier

by Brandon C. Hovey

I

II

III[1]

In The Family Part IV: Charles Hovey, Teacher, Lobbyist And Soldier ...

Author s Note: As I stated in prior volumes, I do not have the time to cover these lives in a comprehensive biography. What you will read are highlights from these figures professional and sometimes personal lives. I have gathered information from secondary sources, and several primary sources including the history of the 33rd Illinois Infantry written by a former colonel of that regiment, General Isaac H. Elliott. Furthermore, I only use Union names for Civil War battlefields.

Charles Edward Hovey was born on April 26, 1827 in Thetford, Vermont. He had ten siblings. His formal education lasted until age fifteen. At that age, Hovey began one of his lifetime careers: that of an educator. (Sesser, 2014). Hovey also worked as a lumberman and entered Dartmouth College in 1848. During his college years he also taught classes. At the time of his graduation in 1852, Hovey had amassed both work experience and a degree. After Dartmouth, Hovey began a new career in Framingham, Mass. It was there he married Harriette Farnham Spofford in 1854. He would have three children with her, and one of them shall be discussed in the next volume. Shortly after his wedding he moved to Peoria, Illinois, where he would serve as the principal of the Boys High School. Hovey also served as the president of the State Teachers Association and editor of Illinois Teacher (Sesser, 2014). Both he and Jesse Fell embarked on an incredible journey with their joint creation of Illinois State University. At the time it would be known as Illinois State Normal University. Hovey found himself challenged, and greatly rewarded with the creation of the new public university devoted to training teachers, of which at the time there was an immense shortage in Illinois. A particular challenge he had was recruiting instructors, tutors, and professors for his school.

On July 12, 1868 he penned a letter to one prospective colleague and friend, Dr. Samuel Willard. He wrote with a tone of urgency, pleading him to begin work.

We shall need you extremely at the beginning of the coming term. The Board (no less than I) is adverse to the employment of temporary teachers. At the beginning of the year new students come in, & receive their first impressions these are lasting. They must not be made by ordinary men-such as we could obtain for two months & then dismiss [sic] (Hovey, Illinois State Historical Society, 1858). Hovey wanted the best people. Samuel Willard did teach at Illinois State briefly. Hovey did not stay at Illinois State long either. There was talk of war afoot, and more than just rumor. John Brown s raid on Harper s Ferry occurred on October 16th, 1859. Brown, a militant abolitionist was going to seize the weapons there and arm slaves to lead a revolt against their masters and see liberation across the south. The news traveled and students were alarmed and ready for the possibility of war. When Ft. Sumter was fired upon in the April of 1861, they were ready to enlist. Hovey counselled against immediate enlistment. He found a drillmaster to act as Armyrats © military adviser to what would become the nucleus of his future regiment s Company A. This was a student militia known as the Normal Rifles (Abner, 2011). Hovey slaked his students desire for knowledge of drill, tactics, and the use of weapons. He was also pragmatic, he needed to produce teachers for the state of Illinois. Earlier in the beforehand mentioned letter to Samuel Willard in 1858 he clearly stated The eyes of a state are upon us. We must succeed at any cost (Hovey, 1858).

In July of 1861, Hovey had done enough pondering regarding his students in the war. He would speak to the newly elected president, Abraham Lincoln to obtain a commission and raise his regiment. Jesse Fell accompanied him. By the time, Hovey and Fell arrived in Washington D.C. to meet with the president, the war began in earnest on July 21st1861. The Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas). Many civilians gathered to watch the battle from a distance, including Hovey and Fell. Fell assisted the wounded. According to some sources, Hovey obtained a long gun, (a rifle or a musket) and joined the fighting in some way (Sesser, 2014). After Bull Run he was commissioned a colonel, and raised his 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment, a nine-hundred man force. They organized at Camp Butler outside of Springfield, Illinois. It was there they drilled and developed a deeper knowledge of battlefield tactics, (or how to do their very best to stay alive on a cruel modern battlefield where weapons were cutting edge, and medicine was far behind). Hovey s 33rd Infantry was not only comprised of college graduates, college students, professors, tutors, but also from people outside of higher education. The collegiate stigma though gave them a nickname reflecting their background: The Teacher s Regiment. Several other variants of this nickname existed: The brain regiment, Normal Regiment and the Schoolmaster s Regiment (Elliott, 1902).

After training at Camp Butler, Hovey and his 33rd Illinois Infantry crossed the Mississippi in over to Missouri to do battle with Confederate forces at Fredericktown, MO. They participated in expeditions, actions, and garrison duties in the Trans-Mississippi theatre (Sesser, 2014). Their first major action would be the Battle of The Cotton Plant on July 7, 1862. This battle took place in Woodruff County, Arkansas along the White River. At the Battle of The Cotton Plant, elements of the 33rd Infantry was tasked with securing crossings at the White River with elements of the 11th Wisconsin Infantry joining them in the operation. Hovey s force of 759 men marched three and a half miles down the road to Cotton Plant where they made contact with the enemy. Hovey s troops suffered heavy losses, but they managed to disrupt the rebel positions. For his actions at the Battle of The Cotton Plant, Hovey was appointed to the rank of Brigadier-General on the field (Hanna, 2009,13). Hovey at this time left the 33rd s headquarters to lead a brigade. His next Armyrats © military operation would be in Arkansas as well. The Battle of Arkansas Post fought on January 9-11, 1963. Hovey s major actions on the battle occurred on its final day. He participated in the assault on the battle s eponymous fort. Supported by a fleet of gunboats his brigade advanced under heavy fire against the confederate main line of resistance. (Sesser, 2014).

In The Family Part IV: Charles Hovey, Teacher, Lobbyist And Soldier ...

Hovey s unit fought bravely. In this fight he was wounded in both arms. The capture of Arkansas Post, was a decisive Union victory for army commander William Tecumseh Sherman. The Battle of Arkansas Post was the end of Hovey s Armyrats © military career, he resigned from the army. Some said he was upset at being passed over for promotion. Some say it was his war wounds. (He was promoted to brevet major-general by an omnibus bill at the end of the war (Sesser, 2014).

General Isaac Elliott of the 33rd Regiment regarded him fondly. Col. Hovey was ambitious for his regiment, and very ambitious for himself; and he had a right to be, as he was a man of ability and attainments, .(J) lulius Caesar was no braver than he, and under no circumstances did he ever become excited or even fidgety [sic] (Elliott, 1902). Hovey did not return to the life of an academic. He did not return to Normal,Illinois. He began a new career in Washington, D.C. as a pension lobbyist. He died on November 17, 1897 at age seventy.

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References

  1. ^ III (brandonchovey.net)

The black soldiers who biked 2,000 miles over the mountains and …

As the sun set on their first day, the men of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps were cold, tired, and soaking wet. And they still had nearly 1,900 miles to go.

It was summer 1896. The 20 members of the 25th Infantry, an all-black company out of Fort Missoula, Montana, had been volunteered by their white commanding officer, 2nd Lt. James Moss, to study the feasibility of using bicycles in the military, which, unlike horses, required no food, water, or rest. Moss was allowed to lead his men on a near-2,000-mile journey from Missoula to St. Louis, Missouri. The weather was punishing, the ride grueling, and the water poisonous. The men of the 25th were selected for the experiment, frankly, because as soldiers, they were worth little[1] to the U.S. military.

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube.
[2]

But odds are you haven’t heard of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps. Their story was quickly forgotten, barely earning a mention in the pages of history books.

But in reality, these men were unsung heroes. Don’t believe me? Here are nine reasons why.

1. Before the journey, many of the men didn’t even know how to ride a bike.

Only five of the 20 soldiers were experienced bicycle riders ahead of the cross-country trek. One learned how to ride just a week prior. At the time, safety bicycles (the new model with two wheels of the same size as opposed to the large wheel on the front) were relatively new and exciting.

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

Photo of Pvt. John Findley, one of the few men in the company with any cycling experience. Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube.[3]

2. The bicycles selected for the journey were on loan and extremely clunky.

The Spalding company donated bicycles for the experiment. The bikes had steel rims and no gears (those hadn’t been invented yet). Each bicycle weighed in at 59 pounds[4], without gear. A heavy one-speed bike is just fine on a breezy ride through the country. But these men were traveling over mountains.

Are your legs tired yet?

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube[5].

3. You know when your grandparents say they had to walk uphill both ways? This was the journey for the 25th. Only true.

The route to St. Louis was selected because the men would encounter diverse terrain perfect for a test of Armyrats © military feasibility. The company traveled from the steep slopes of Montana through the dry, sandy roads of Nebraska. They encountered snow, rocks, mud, and punishing winds. They even crossed the rivers on foot, multiple times, holding their bikes over their heads[6].

“We were wet, cold and hungry, and a more jaded set of men never existed,” wrote Edward Boos, a correspondent for the Daily Missoulian[7] and an avid bicyclist who traveled with the 25th to report on their experiences.

Why didn’t they just ride on the road? Good question.

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

The 25th riding past Old Faithful at Yellowstone. Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube[8].

4. The roads were so bad, the men often resorted to riding on train tracks.

The roads that existed at the time were worn down from wagon wheels creating deep rutted paths. And when it rained[9], they were washed away, replaced with thick mud. Instead, at times the men rode their bikes on the train tracks, which weren’t much better considering there was nothing between the railroad ties but deep holes. The men held tight to their handlebars[10] to keep from flipping over, resulting in hand numbness and intense shoulder pain for miles. And you thought you were sore after a 50-minute spin class.

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube.
[11]

5. Each soldier carried 55 pounds of gear on his bike.

Their supplies included[12] half a tent, a bedroll, a pair of underwear, an undershirt, socks a toothbrush, two days worth of food (burnt bread, beans, bacon or canned beef, and coffee), various tools, and a rifle. Every 100 miles or so, the men would stop at posts to refill their supplies.

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

The supplies were kept in white rolls on the handlebars and in small custom leather or metal pouches attached to the bicycle frame. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons[13].

6. They barely got any rest, and at times when they did, it was amid cacti.

The men rode 35 full days of the 41-day journey. Considering the terrain, there weren’t many good places to stop and rest. They often made camp in fields of prickly pear cactus, though few men reported being poked[14].

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube.
[15]

7. And, oh yeah, the water was poisonous.

Because a 2,000-mile journey on a one-speed bike isn’t tricky enough, once the soldiers got to Nebraska, they were drinking from water that had dangerously high levels of alkali[16] and even cholera. Vapors from the dusty terrain made the men sick, too. 2nd Lt. Moss even began to hallucinate.

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube.
[17]

8. Because they were black, the 25th were often considered second-rate soldiers, but they were anything but.

The 25th Infantry were one of four all-black infantry regiments created by Congress[18] after the Civil War. The army moved the unit out west to help tame the wild frontier[19], where they picked up the name “Buffalo Soldiers[20]” from the Cheyenne. The men were given slow horses, rotten food, and shoddy gear for the task. Despite the miserable treatment and conditions, though, black companies had some of the lowest desertion rates of regiments out west. And between 1870 and 1898, 23 black soldiers were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.[21][22]

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube.
[23]

9. But when they reached St. Louis, the men received a warm welcome from the city’s people.

2nd Lt. Moss and the 25th were escorted to a hotel just outside of town by a local bicycle club. Later, they performed maneuvers in a St. Louis parade, where 10,000 people came to cheer for them[24]. Sadly, not a single Armyrats © military officer was there to greet them.

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube.
[25]

The men had done it traveling 1,900 miles in 41 days across some of the country’s most punishing terrain. Moss wanted to continue the trip and travel to St. Paul, Minnesota. But he was told to return the bikes and send his men back to Montana on the train.

Despite a successful journey, the experiment was over.

The story of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps is one of those unique, surprising moments in U.S. history.

After the journey Boos wrote, “This hard work was too much. It could not prove anything about a bicycle and was merely a test of physical endurance of which we had quite sufficient.”

120 years later, this story is about so much more than a bicycle. It’s about adventure, guts, and mental and physical fortitude. Other than the all-black cast, it has all the makings of a big-budget Hollywood movie. (I kid, I kid.)

The Black Soldiers Who Biked 2,000 Miles Over The Mountains And ...

Image via The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube[26].

Learn more about the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps from historians and their descendants in this documentary.

About

Epilogue: Moss, who graduated last in his class at West Point, went on the write Armyrats © military books and guides more than 50 of them[27]. He also got super into the American flag and wrote over 30 books[28] on that too. The soldiers of the 25th Infantry didn’t fare as well. After the Spanish-American War, they returned to the states. In 1906, members of the 25th Infantry were stationed at Ft. Brown in Brownsville, Texas, where tensions between the local white citizens and the black soldiers were high. When a white man was shot dead, the townspeople blamed the 25th, even though all of the members were accounted for that night. The chorus from the townspeople grew so loud that President Teddy Roosevelt ordered the dishonorable discharge of 167 soldiers[29] in the 25th Infantry Regiment, due to their “conspiracy of silence.”

These were men who’d served in the Armyrats © military for decades, many just a few years shy of a pension. Stripped of everything. Poof. Gone. It wasn’t until 1972 that Congress looked into the matter and declared the members of the 25th innocent. By then, only two were still alive. In 1973, the final survivor, Dorsie Willis received a tax-free pension of $25,000[30].

Love the story?

References

  1. ^ worth little (www.fortmissoulamuseum.org)
  2. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube (www.youtube.com)
  3. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube (www.youtube.com)
  4. ^ weighed in at 59 pounds (www.fortmissoulamuseum.org)
  5. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube (www.youtube.com)
  6. ^ holding their bikes over their heads (www.youtube.com)
  7. ^ Edward Boos, a correspondent for the Daily Missoulian (bicyclecorpsriders.blogspot.com)
  8. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube (www.youtube.com)
  9. ^ And when it rained (gearjunkie.com)
  10. ^ men held tight to their handlebars (www.fortmissoulamuseum.org)
  11. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube (www.youtube.com)
  12. ^ Their supplies included (www.fortmissoulamuseum.org)
  13. ^ U.S. National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons (commons.wikimedia.org)
  14. ^ though few men reported being poked (www.youtube.com)
  15. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube. (www.youtube.com)
  16. ^ dangerously high levels of alkali (www.fortmissoulamuseum.org)
  17. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube (www.youtube.com)
  18. ^ one of four all-black infantry regiments created by Congress (www.youtube.com)
  19. ^ army moved the unit out west to help tame the wild frontier (www.youtube.com)
  20. ^ Buffalo Soldiers (www.ancestry.com)
  21. ^ lowest desertion rates of regiments out west (www.wyohistory.org)
  22. ^ 23 black soldiers were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. (www.wyohistory.org)
  23. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube (www.youtube.com)
  24. ^ 10,000 people came to cheer for them (www.youtube.com)
  25. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube (www.youtube.com)
  26. ^ The Montana Experience: Stories from Big Sky Country/YouTube (www.youtube.com)
  27. ^ of them (www.youtube.com)
  28. ^ wrote over 30 books (www.lincoln-highway-museum.org)
  29. ^ dishonorable discharge of 167 soldiers (www.britannica.com)
  30. ^ Dorsie Willis received a tax-free pension of $25,000 (www.aaregistry.org)
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