THE  HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 10

[CONTINUED FROM Part 9]

Williams: Lieutenant-Colonels Lewis Brown, W. M. Cooley, “Tim”

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 305

Coughlan, A. H. Davidson, “Cope” Enos, Julien Gaujot, “Jim” Houston, R. R. Love, “Reggie” McNally, G. B. Rod­ney, C. O. Thomas, F. G. Turner; Majors C. B. Amory,

H. T. Aplington, W. M. Blunt, E. Bowditch, T. K. Brown, “Archie” Colley, A. B. Conard, W. H. Cowles, P. R. David­ son, H. L. Flynn, Mack Carr, “Phil” Gordon, E. N. (Pink) Hardy, Jack Heard, J. R. Hill, J. B. Johnson, “Bill” Nalle, “Dick” Newman, R. B. Patterson, G. S. Patton, “Tim” Rees, Otto Wagner, J. F. Wall, E. M. Whiting, A. E. Wilbourn.

A Special Advanced Equitation Class was in attendance throughout the year. The object was to develop instructors for the Department of Horsemanship. Major J. K. Brown was Instructor in Charge of the Class. In addition to instruction in equitation, the course consisted of tactics, history, advanced reconnaissance and sketching. The students were Major R. O. (Bobbie) Annin; Captains R. L. Coe, “Stub” Davis, Charles Gerhardt, Jack Irving and V. L. Padgett.

The members of the Troop Officers’ Class were Captains “Jimmie” Adamson, R. R. (Red) Allen, W. B. Augur, Harry

.Baird, A. L. Bayles, H. Beecher, “Steve” Boone, “Freddie” Boye, J. N. Caperton, H. N. Christman, J. K. Cockrell, “Tupper” Cole. Jay Colwell, S. V. Constant, C. Cramer,

J. C. Daly, “Tom” Dobyns, C. J. Dockler, H. S. Dodd, “Jimmie” Duke, ·”Herb” Earnest, C. A. Eastwood, A. V. Ednie, (Inf.). ‘Eddie” Everitt, “Wallie” Falck, H. C. Fellows, H. W. Forster, Harry Foster, E. A. Franklin, P. B. Fryer, J. W. Geer, R. C. Gibbs, L. L. Gocker, G. A. Good­ year, F. S. Jacobs, C. W. Jacobson, A. J. Kirst, W. C. Latti­ more (F. A.), “Nick” Lisle, M. A. Lowenberg, J. W. Mc­ Donald, C. R. McLennan, A. B. MacNabb, H. C. Mandell,

Ben Mason, G. R. Mead, B. F. Munday, Lawrence Patterson,

M. H. Patton, T. K. Petty, J. L. Philips, C. A. Pierce, W. J. Redner, “Cappy” (N. N.) Rogers, H. V. Scanlon, J.E. Selby.

C. A. (Smiley) Shannon, “Fab” Shipp, P. L. Singer, J. E. Slack, “See Square” Smith, Sam Stewart, E. M. Sumner, C. 0. Griffin, W. K. Harrison, D. C. Hawley, H. Herman, I. C. Holm, “Orrie” Holman, M. D. Holmes, “Jack” Holt, J. D. Hood, C. A. Horger, P. H. Morris, J. B. (Wild Bill) Taylor, Kramer Thomas, J.M. Tully, W. Tussey, W. B. Van Auken, “Franz” Waters, B. R. Whitthorne, Q. M. C., Royden Wil­ liamson, G. D. Wiltshire: 1st Lieutenants H. A. Boone, C. R. Chase, P. C. Febiger, S. R. Goodwin, T. J. Heavey, M. McD. Jones, C. Knudsen, “Joe” Lambert, T. H. McCreery, Q. M. C., R. F. Perry, J. S. Rodwell, F. E. Rundell; 2d Lieutenants

D. P. Buckland, H. Farmer, Q. M. C., V. C. McAlevy, D. G. McBride, A. N. Willis.

306 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

The Course for National Guard and Reserve Officers was given from September 11 to December 15, 1922. The members of the class were: Major E. J. Ruf; Captains G. W. Cutting, J. H. A. Day and 1st Lieutenant R. R. Notter,

0. R. C., Major H. T. Weber (Mich.), Captain R. C. Baird (Colo.), Captain E. A. Gajeske and 1st Lieutenants W. S. Behrens and G. C. Stapleton (Tex.), Captain M. C. Garbutt (Wyo.), Captain C. B. Kellogg and 1st Lieutenant L. B. Rule (N. J.), Captain W. R. Lindsey (Ala.), Captain W. H. Tiernan (Conn.), 1st Lieutenants R. S. Allen and P. L. Johnson (Wis.) l st Lieutenant S. V. Curry (Mass.), 1st Lieutenant G. W. Hine (N. C.), 1st Lieutenants A. S. Light,

L. S. Rose and 2d Lieutenant L. W. Mortenson (N. Y.), 1st

Lieutenant D. R. McAlister (Ohio) , l st Lieutenant E. R. Sourbeer and 2d Lieutenant E. V. H. Bell (Penn.).

A change in policy eliminated the Basic Course at the end of the previous school year. Now the young officer, whether appointed from civil life or a graduate of West Point, joins his regiment, attends garrison school and receives theoretical and practical instruction at the same time. Then, after a few years’ service, with its resultant experience, he comes to The Cavalry School with a deeper appreciation of what the school means. The student derives greater benefit from the course because of his broader experience and the School can offer him a better course because it does not have to devote time to elementary subjects such as Administration, Military Law, Military Courtesy and Customs, Hygiene and First Aid.

The “Employment of Cavalry,” bugbear of the student and the last word of the Department of Tactics, was written during the summer of 1922 by the following committee: Lieutenant-Colonels Oliver, Beck, Chapman, Lininger, with Captain Brock Putnam as Recorder. It was first used as a text during the school year 1922-1923. The text was a crystallization of the thought of the School on the subject of cavalry tactics and furnished a definite line of departure for instruction in tactics. The committee received a great deal of assistance and advice from Colonel Hawkins.

A class for Saddlers was held for the first time, from February l 5 to June l5, I 923. Seven men, all obtained locally, took the course. The object of the course was to instruct the men in the duties of troop saddlers. Captain J. B. Thompson was in charge of this school.

The Communications Specialists Course was held again, under the supervision of Major McQuillin and Captain L. F. Lawrence. The course lasted from September 15, 1922, to April 14, 1923. This was the last class, as orders were later received to discontinue the school at Fort Riley.

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A Demolition and Pioneer Class for enlisted men was held during the year under the supervision of Captain L. C. Gor­ don, C. E. This course was also discontinued at the end of the school year.

Captain Maas was in charge of the courses for horseshoes and stable sergeants.

The graduating events for 1923 began May 26 and ended June l. The Point to Point Race for Field Officers was won by Major Nalle. Lieutenant-Colonel Turner on Bill For­ sythe won the inside jumping class for Field Officers. An event open to members of the Special Advanced Equitation Class and consisting of two phases, the first on schooled horses and the second on remounts, was won by Captain Cole. The Cole Brothers Cup for the best schooled remount, open to members of the Troop Officers’ Class, was won by Captain Baird. Major Rees won the Waters Cup for the best combined pistol and saber work. Judging Horseshoeing was won by Captain Holt.

The Davis and Meseke Cup for indoor jumping, open to members of the Troop Officers’ Class, was won by Captain Earnest on Sibley. The Sportsman’s Cup, presented by Dr. O’Donnell is open to members of the Special Advanced Equitation Class. was won by Captain C. E. Davis on Babe Wor­tham. The Patton Cup was won by Captain Morris and the American Remount Cup by Captain Patterson on Wine­ glass.

A feature of the graduating events was the Standard Stakes, conceived by Lieutenant Eichelsdoerfer. The prizes were donated by the Standard. The event was divided into two phases. In the first phase the contestant started dismounted, carrying a rifle. pistol. ammunition, polo ball and mallet and slip of paper bearing his signature. He ran about 100 yards, mounted the first horse he came to, rode to the polo field, knocked the ball the length of the field, rode to the rifle range and broke a pint bottle at 100 yards, rode 700 yards to a barrel where the slip of paper with contestant’s name was left. rode to pistol range and broke a bottle at 25 yards, finished with a quarter mile race mounted. That night at 8: 30 contestants assembled at the flagpole, equipped with flash lights and maps. The horses were assembled at an unknown point within a mile of the flagpole. The finish was at an unknown point 3 miles from the horses. The location of horses and finish was given by coordinates. Contestants ran to the horses, mounted and rode to the finish. Captain Ednie, of the Infantry. won this event.

The night ride was won by Lieutenant Jones on Miss Stewart, with Captain Cramer on Amherst, second. This ride

308 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

differed from the one of 1922, in that all contestants did not traverse the route in the same direction. Points on the route were designated as supports of an outpost system and messages had to be delivered and received for at each point.

During Graduation Week, a tablet was unveiled near the south entrance of the West Riding Hall to the memory of Lieutenant Adair. The inscription is as follows:

HENRY R. ADAIR

1st LIEUT. 10th CAV., U.S. A. KILLED IN BATTLE

AT CARRIZAL, MEXICO JUNE 21st, 1916.

The summer machine gun course was held from June 4 to June 29, 1923.

At the end of the school year Major Sloan Doak was married to Miss Josephine Kreager of Junction City, the wedding taking place in town. .

In July, 1923, the nucleus of a team to compete in the equestrian events at the Olympic Games at Colombes, France, was assembled at Fort Myer. During the fall of 1923, the team participated in many of the horse shows in the east. Major Barry was in charge and the team finally selected consisted of Majors Barry, E. W. Taulbee and Doak, of Cavalry; Major C. P. George, F. A.; Captains V. L. Padgett and W. T. Bauskett, Cavalry; J. R. Underwood, V. C.; Lieutenants P. M. Robinett and F. L. Carr, Cavalry; F. H. Bontecou, Cavalry, Reserve Corps. Sergeant John Davis of the Horse­ shoers’ School at Fort Riley, accompanied the team in the capacity of Stable Sergeant and Horseshoer. The horses taken from the Cavalry School were Nigra, Jack Snipe, Proctor, Joffre and Miss America.

General Craig was relieved as Commandant July 1, 1923, by Brigadier General E. L. King. First Lieutenant H. B. (Wazoo) Waddell was aide to General King. Colonel Guy

V. Henry became Assistant Commandant June 28, 1923. There were no changes in the office of Executive, Quartermaster, Secretary, Property and Mess Officer, or Station Veterinarian. 1st Lieutenant P. C. Carpenter, V. C., reported September 1, 1923. Lieutenant-Colonel Williamson was relieved as Surgeon, December 12, 1923. Major D. W. McEnery was Surgeon from December 13, 1923, to April 13, 1924; Major Joseph Casper, from April 14 to May 3, 1924 and Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Murray, since May 4, 1924.

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 309

 

Department of Tactics: Colonel Oliver was Director. Captain Brock Putnam and Captain L. F. Lawrence were relieved June 2, 1923. Captain Bradford was relieved June 20, Lt.­ Colonel Beck, August 2, and Lt.-Colonel Lininger, August 20, 1923. Major E. L. Gruber, Field Artillery, reported August 26. Major George Dillman reported July 30th, Major P. L. Thomas, August 27, and Major H. M. (Si) Groninger, September 29, 1923.

Department of General Instruction: l st Lieutenant Clark,

J. A. G. D., was relieved June 15, 1923.

Department of Cavalry Weapons: Lieutenant Robinett was relieved June 25, 1923.

Department of Horsemanship: Major Barry was relieved as Director by Major J. K. Brown, June 3, 1923. Major Doak and Captain Shafer were relieved June 22, Major Wil­ bourn, August 22, and Lieutenant Carr, December 8, 1923. Captain Bauskett was relieved on February 4, 1924. Captains Coe, Gerhardt and Davis reported for duty upon completion of the Special Advanced Equitation Course.

Battery A, Ninth Field Artillery, with the following officers, took station at Fort Riley, September 15, 192 3: Captain

J. D. White, 1st Lieutenants L. M. Hanna and P. C. Boylan and 2d Lieutenant H. A. Doherty (until January 18, 1924).

Captain Frank G. Ringland assumed command of Machine Gun Troop No. 1 August 30, 1923.

The Advanced Class was in attendance from January 11 to June 10, 1924, and consisted of the following officers: Colonels Kirby Walker, Guy V. Henry, George Williams,

L. W. Oliver; Lieutenant-Colonels H. T. Bull, P. W. Corbusier, R. B. Ellis, Osmun Latrobe, H. R. Richmond, L. S. Carson, W. A. Cornell, Frank Keller, Aubrey Lippincott,

R. W. (Weary) Walker; Majors J. P. Aleshire, Terry Allen,

C. C. Benson, S. V. Bingham, R. E. Carmody, C. P. Chand­ ler, G. W. Chipman, W. C. Christy, W. D. Crittenberger, H. C. Dagley, A. B. Dockery, W.W. Erwin, W.W. Gordon, W. M. Grimes, J. T. McLane, R. E. McQuillin, B. T. Merchant, J. J. O’Hara, H. M. Ostroski, Don Robinson, Murray Rush, H. J. M. Smith, C. L. Stevenson, A. D. Surles, H. E. Taylor, J.M. Thompson, W. H. W. Youngs; Captains R. W. Cooksey and W. E. Shipp.

The members of the Special Advanced Equitation Class were: Captains Harry Baird, Jay Colwell, “Jimmie” Duke, “Herb” Earnest, “Jack” Holt, “Wally” Falck, A. W. Roffe, “See Square” Smith and “Franz” Waters.

310 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

The Troop Officers’ Class was composed of the following officers: Major Karl Bradford; Captains F. A. Allen, H. T. Allen, Jr., P. C. Berlin, A. H. Besse, F. T. Bonsteel, H. deB. Bruck, Wilkie Burt, John Carrol, John Cook (PS), Roy Craig, LeRoy Davis, Frank DeLangton, A. J. de Lorimier, “Charlie” Dissinger, Norman Fiske, “Jeff’ Galway, “Happy” Gay, “Lou” Gibney, “Bob” Grow, “Gus” Guenther, W. T. Hamilton, C. J. Hancock, R. R. Hawes, C. G. Hutchinson,

N. M. (Pop) Imboden, A. M. Jones, W. H. Kasten, G. A.

King, A. T. Lacey, K. B. Kozlowski (PS). J. M. Lile, T. B. Locke, J. V. McDowell, E. B. McKinley (Q. M. C.), Ray Maddocks, G. H. Milholland, Hans Minuth, Donald Perry, John Rice, Gilbert Rieman, A. H. Seabury, G. D. Shea (F. A), B. G. Shoemaker, J. C. Short, W. R. Stickman, R. W. Strong. P. E. Taylor, A. H. Truxes, H. E. Tuttle (Q. M. C.), P. R. Upton, C. G. Wall, J. H. Washburn, J. A. Weeks, A. J. Wehr, “Cy” Wilder, R. C. Woodruff, D. A. Young; 1st Lieutenants H. N. Beeman (V. C.), W. W. Brier (Inf.), Manuel Crespo and Luis Dumais (Cuban Army), Mark De­ vine, H. F. Gardner (Q. M. C.), J. M. Glasgow, “Hunk” Holbrook, Richard Lee (C. E.), 0. M. Massey, M. L. Stockton, T. R. Taber (Ord.). C. B. Werts, H. McP. Woodward. Captain Hawes died December 28, 1923, Captain Locke re­ signed April 15, 1924, and Lieutenant Werts resigned October

26, 1923.

The National Guard and Reserve Officers’ Course lasted from September I 5 to December 14, I 923, and the class was composed of the following officers: Lieutenant-C::olonel R. Rossow (0. R. C.); Majors F. Jorgensen and P. B. Paul (0. R. C.); Captains J. P. Cronin, M. E. Hollicke, B. H. Minnich, J. A. Redmon and B. J. Reilly (0. R. C.) Captain B. P. Bringle, 1st Lieutenants R. G. Gher, C. T. MacAllister (Ill.), Captain E. T. Edwards and 2d Lieutenant C G. Mynatt (Tenn.), Captain W. J. Hayek (Iowa), Captain

H. H. Johnson, J. R. Smith (Texas), 1st Lieutenant E. Bre­ land (La.), H. L. Fisher and 2d Lieutenant H. C. Mueller (Wis.), I st Lieutenant R. P. Owens (Ohio), I met Lieutenant Paul Scheer (Kans.), 1st Lieutenant H. E. Smith (N. Y.). 2d Lieutenants J. L. Espinosa (Colo.), Lewis Jones (Utah). A. C. Miller (N. J.), 1st Lieutenants J. B. McClane, R P. Wilkerson, F. E. Young and 2d Lieutenants E. F. Fuller and H.’ E. Wentsch (0. R. C.).

The mission of The Cavalry School is now, as it was stated in the report of the Commandant for 1924, viz.: “To train competent leaders of cavalry units and to provide instructors for the Regular Army, National Guard, Organized Reserves, R. 0. T. C. and C. M. T. C.” Strict adherence to this mission has resulted in broadening the scope of the School and has increased materially the amount of benefit derived by the student from his course.

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In the Department of General Instruction the following • subjects were taught the Troop Officers’ Class: Map Reading and Sketching, Field Fortifications, Military History, Army of the United States, Pioneer Duties, Leadership, Discipline and Psychology, Methods_ of Instructions. For the advanced course, Leadership, Discipline and Psychology was omitted. The Special Advanced Equitation Class received instruction in Sketching and Reconnaissance and National Guard and Reserve Officers’ Class was given instruction in Map Reading and Sketching, Riot Duty and Methods of Instruction.

The• course in Military History was being improved from year to year as more material became available. The object of the course was to show that, in the World War, cavalry was engaged in nearly all theatres of operations, that it was extensively and effectively employed and to interest students in military history, particularly that of their own arm.

The Special Summer Machine Gun Course began June 12th and terminated July 10th. This course, which had become an annual feature, had for its object:

(1) To serve as a refresher for officers with previous machine gun experience,

  1. to develop officers for assignment to machine gun units,
  2. to. develop. instructors for camps, National Guard, R. O.

T. C., etc. Twenty-nine officers, the writer among them, took this course.

Captain H. G. Holt was in charge of the courses for Sad­ilers and Horseshoers.

“The Graduating Exercises were held from May 28 to June I 0, 1924. Several new events were added, including three events for enlisted men and a jumping class for ladies. The Horse Show held on the Field of Mars, June 3, was largely attended by Captain H. R. (Happy) Gay won the Patton Cup, Captain Upton on Magistrate, the American Remount Cup, and Captain Stickman on Selim, the Chamber of Commerce Cup for the Night Ride.

The Night Ride was over an unknown course of fifty miles, which had to be followed by the use of a map and airplane photographs. It was won in six hours and twenty­ nine minutes. Selim was a half-bred horse.

During the year a tablet, previously referred to, was erected near the post bakery to the memory of Quartermaster Sergeant Patrick Dunne.

A ·swimming pool was built on the east side of the ravine about one hundred yards northwest of Randolph Hall. By utilizing concrete piers from Camp Funston and a small appropriation from The Cavalry School Club, the pool was erected at little expense.

312 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

The Golden Belt Highway through the reservation was resurfaced and the Governor Harvey Road was rebuilt during the year. The new National Guard Camp on Pawnee Flats was erected under the supervision of Colonel Whitside and was named for him. It was first occupied during the summer of 1924.

The members of the Special Advanced Equitation Class attended the Fall Race Meet in Omaha, the National Horse Show in New York and the Kansas City and Oklahoma City Horse Shows.

There were no changes during the next school year in the offices of the Commandant, Quartermaster, Surgeon and Veterinarian. Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas McCaskey was relieved as Executive Officer February 28, 1925, by Lieutenant­ Colonel Lippincott. Colonel Guy V. Henry was relieved as Assistant Commandant by Colonel L. W. Oliver, July 22, 1924. Lieutenant-Colonel A. B. Coxe was relieved as Secretary by Major R. W. Strong, June 20, 1925. Captain W. F. Saportas was relieved as Property and Mess Officer by Captain

F. T. Bonsteel. June 20, 1925. Captain Pollard, V. C., was relieved August 29, 1924, and Captain D. H. Malian, V. C.. reported September 24, 1924.

Colonel C. A. Romeyn was in command of the Second Cavalry until May 31. 1924, when Colonel George Williams assumed command of that regiment.

Department of Tactics. Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Keller was Director. The new Instructors were Lieutenant-Colonel Copely Enos, Majors William Nalle, P. R. Davison, C. V. Simpson, Jack Heard, D. R. Rodney, R. M. Cheney, R. D. Newman, Lieutenant-Colonel Scott and Majors McLane, Ben­ son, McQuillin, and Dillman were relieved.

Department of General Instruction. Colonel Walker was relieved as Director by LIEutenant-Colonel K. T. Riggs. Major

J. M. Thompson was relieved from duty with this Department and Major H. L. Flynn joined. Major J. P. Aleshire was also relieved.

Department of Cavalry Weapons. Major T. K. Brown b.-came an Instructor August 24, 1924, and Director, when Lieutenant-Colonel Lippincott was made Executive Officer. Majors Grimes and Chipman were relieved and Captain Falck became an Instructor.

Department of Horsemanship. Major J. K. Brown was Director until June 30, 1924, when he was relieved by Major

B. T. Merchant. Major “Jack” Thompson was relieved in December, 1924. and Captain C. H. Gerhardt in January,

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1925. Captain Charles Wharton reported for duty as Instructor upon his return from Saumur, in the summer of 1924. Captains Roffe, Holt, C. C. Smith, Waters, Duke and Earnest reported for duty upon completion of the Special Advanced Equitation Course.

Captain L. C. Gordon was relieved from command of Company A 9th Engineers by Captain S. H. Griffin, in September, 1924, and during the same month Major B. G. Weir relieved Major Tinker in command of the air service troops.

Captain D. W. Bedinger, M. C., (Flight Surgeon) was killed in an airplane crash November 25, 1924. This was the first casualty to occur on Marshall Field among the air service personnel, although in the summer of 1922 a civilian was killed, while driving a car across the field.

The Advanced Class was in attendance throughout the school year and was composed of the following officers: Colonel J. D. Long; Lieutenant-Colonels Gordon Johnston and R. M. Parker; Majors Barnes, J. K. Brown, Burch, Burr,

W. W. Edwards, C. W. Foster, E. L. Franklin, J. K. Herr,

B. F. Hoge, “‘Jeff” Keyes, Millikin, Plassmeyer, H. M. Ray­ ner, Richart, J. C. R. Schwenck, “Skipper” Thompson,

J. C. F. Tillson; Captains L. S. S. Berry and E. J. Dwan. Major Karl Bradford and Captain Clyde Pickett took the course in addition to their other duties.

The members of the Troop Officers’ Class were: Captains Biggs, Buckley, Carpenter (V. C.), Cashire, Colbern (F. A.), Collins, C. B. Cox,·Creed, Cronander, Dodge, Ellis, Gallier, Gibson, Godbold, Heron, Houghton, C. F. (Tiny), Houghton (Win), Hyndman, Keane, Larson, Ligon, Limbocker, McIn­ tosh, McMahon, Maher, Meador, Neilson, Newell, Parker, Pegram (C. E.), Pierce, Price, Quigley (P. S.), Ramey, Joe Rogers, P. D. Rogers ·(Inf.), Rundel. Shufelt, “Abie” Wil­ liams, Wynne, Zeliff; Major A. Q. Ver (P. S.), 1st Lieu­ tenants Jose F. Morilla, Ferderico Darna and Manuel Puncet (Cuban Army), C. N. lry, H. A. Montgomery and Albert Riani (C. E.), H. B. Waddell (A. D. C.). •

The members of the Special Advanced Equitation Class were: Major R. W. Strong, Captains W. T. Bals, “Norm” (N. E.) Fiske, “Bob” (R. W.) Grow, “Gus” (G. B.)

Guenther, “Happy” (H. R.) Gay, Kent Lambert, Ray Mad­ docks, George Milholland, “Cy” Wilder; 1st Lieutenant “Hunk” Holbrook, 2d Lieutenant “Ted” (F. deL.) Comfort and Captain Alfredo Cespedes Y. Montes (Cuban Army).

An Advanced Course for National Guard and Reserve Officers was held this year, for the first time. This was a short course of six weeks, beginning September 15th and ending October 26th. It was designed to meet the needs of officers

314 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

who had had the regular course, or those of greater experience, and for officers of field grade who could not spare the time to take the three months course. There were two members of this class, both from the National Guard; Lieutenant-Colonel J. J. Johnston from Ohio and Major H. J. Bush from New Jersey.

The Troop Officers’ Course for National Guard and Re­ serve Officers began September 15th and ended December I 4th. The members of this class were:

NATIONAL GUARD

2d Lieut. L. A. Barber (Ky.) Capt. R. F. Bierwirth (Mich.) Capt. B. F. Blackledge (Wyo.) 1st Lieut. M. H. Cain (N. M.) Capt. N. R. Durant (Conn.) Capt. B. E. Fox (Kans.)

Capt. J. J. Gillespie (La.) Capt. L. D. King (Ala.)

I st Lieut. H. J. McKenney

(R. I.)

2d Lieut. E. J. Monroe (Kans.)

1st Lieut. J. H. Mozley (Ala.) Capt. W. H. Philp (Tex.)

1st Lieut. C. A. Sheldon

(N. Y.)

Capt. J. L. Stitt (Tex.) 2d Lieut. W. E. Timmons

(N. M.)

O.R. C.

Maj. O. Baxter Maj. G. A. Bell

1st Lieut. W. W. Bercaw Capt. R. A. Bush

Maj. H. E. Carrico

Lieut.-Col. E. A. de Hermida I st Lieut. E. C. Dundon

I st Lieut. A. Hlavac Capt. W. N. Leonard C;:ipt. N. A. Mott

2d Lieut. A. T. Sawyer

The Special Machine Gun Course was held from May 25 to June 24, being interrupted by the graduating exercises. The time was altered in accordance with instructions from the War Department and in order that travel of student officers might be completed before the end of the fiscal year. This resulted in materially decreasing the number of hours previously allotted to this course.

A Department of Correspondence Courses, with Lieutenant­ Colonel P. J. Hennessey as Director and Major Karl S. Brad­ ford as Assistant, was added to the School. This Department supervised the preparation and revision of all Army Correspondence Courses pertaining to Cavalry. The actual preparation, in most cases, was done by the various Departments of the School to which the subject matter of the Course or Sub-Course pertained.

In the Department of Tactics, greater importance was at­tached to preparing the student officer to become an instructor in cavalry tactics.

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 315

Major Groninger inaugurated his system of five minute talks, the results of which became very gratifying. Student officers of all classes had practice in issuing dictated or verbal orders into a dictaphone. This practice, from an instructional standpoint, was very valuable as it showed the student, in the clearest possible manner, some of his most glaring faults.

During the week of instruction in Marches and Camping, terrain exercises were given to all students. The combined classes first marched to Irwin’s Ranch, at Chapman, where a camp was made. The next day was devoted to the solution of terrain exercises, th.en a march to Dewey’s Ranch, near Manhattan, followed by two days of terrain exercises and a return march to Fort Riley. The students thus gained double benefit from the week of instruction. Aerial maps were utilized for the solution of the terrain exercises.

Captain Holt remained in charge of the Horseshoers’ School and the Saddlers’ School.

During the year, a central radio receiving set was installed and for a small monthly rental, loud speakers were installed in officers’ quarters and barracks. Many excellent programs were obtained in the winter months. The E. R. Theatre. in the old mess hall, was provided with a sloping floor and was redecorated. An open air dancing pavilion, 100 x 60 feet, was built for the use of enlisted men during the summer months. An outdoor swimming pool for enlisted men was under course of construction, but was not completed in time for the season of 1925. Upon completion, the pool in the old gymnasium ‘¥as turned over to the exclusive use of colored troops. A bridge was constructed by the engineers across the Kansas River, from the upper end of the “Island” across to the wooded area at the western end of Marshall Field.

The film which has since become famous under the name

of the “Life o’ Riley,” was prepared under the direction of Captain R. W. Sears, O. R. C., and with the student officers playing the “title” roles.

Stables No. 60 was destroyed by fire during the year. It was filled with hay at the time and contained no animals.

As a reserve in case of accident, or while repairs were being made to the steam pumping engine at the Pumping Plant, an electrically operated unit salvaged from Camp Funston, was installed to take the place of the steam operated reserve pumps which had become unserviceable and beyond repair.

Three new hay sheds were constructed in the hay corral. The large building in the hay corral was erected during the summer of 1922, to be utilized as an emergency riding hall in bad weather. It was erected by Co. A, 9th Engineers,

316 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

but due to its size and the number of posts supporting the roof, it was little used as such.

The graduation events were gradually becoming more varied and interesting each year and those of 1925 were probably

the most successful ever held, up to that time. The Point to Point Race for members of the Advanced Class was won by Major Millikin. Captain Limbocker won the Horseshoeing Judging Competition. A Troop Officers’ Jumping Competition in the riding hall was won by Captain Creed. The Standard offered a trophy for a jumping event open to teams of three officers from each regiment, company, troop, battery, organized department of the School (except. Horsemanship) , school platoon and Post Headquarters.

It was won by Majors Rayner, Richart and Millikin of the Advanced Class. The Green Polo Pony Class was won by Captain Montes of the Cuban Army, on Elio. Maior Richart won the Advanced Class Jumping Competition. The Night Ride, for the Chamber of Commerce Cup, was won by Major Franklin on Leavitt.

This was a controlled ride, all contestants being required to proceed from station to station in a fixed number of minutes without timepieces. The distance was 51 miles and the prescribed time, six and one-half hours. The course consisted of a figure eight, with the center at the West Riding Hall, three stations on each loop. Four contestants were started at a time in four different directions. As no time was allotted for checking in and out of the various stations, the average gait was a little better than eight miles per hour. Penalties for over or under the prescribed time were given at each sta­

tion. The rider, however, started from eac}i station with a clean slate, i.e., time lost could not be made up and time gained was sacrificed.

The Combined Pistol and Saber Competition was won by Captain Price. The Troop Officers’ Outdoor Jumping Competition was won by Captain Ellis. The Special Advanced Equitation Class Jumping, for the Sportsman’s Cup, was won by Captain Grow. The Standard Stakes was won by Lieutenant Comfort. Captain Ellis won the Remount Competition, on Miss O’Shea. The Swordsmanship Competition was won by Captain Win Houghton. Mrs. Price won the Ladies’ Jumping Class.

An additional feature of the week was the Combat Leadership Test for Small Cavalry Units, won by Lieutenant Wof­ford and a platoon from Troop F of the Second Cavalry. This was the first time a competition of this sort had ever been held in this country.

June 10th a second tablet was unveiled near the south entrance to the West Riding Hall, to the memory of James A. Shannon. The Inscription reads as. follows:

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 317

JAMES A. SHANNON CAPT. U.S. CAV. COL. N. A.

KILLED AT

CHATEL CHEHERY, FRANCE OCT. 8, 1918

WHILE LEADING HIS REGIMENT IN BATTLE

At the end of the school year, General King was assigned to the command of the General Service Schools at Fort Leavenworth and Brigadier General E. E. Booth became Commandant of The Cavalry School.

Colonel Whitside was relieved as Quartermaster by Colonel

A. N. McClure. Besides the everlasting memories of General King and Colonel Whitside left behind. them in the name of Camp Whitside and the moving of the Ogden and Wounded Knee Monuments, the Whitside family left another interface able reminder of their tour of duty here. On the hill where the Ogden Monument originally stood and a short distance east of that site, is a small, square, stone marker with the word “CHICO” carved upon it. That marker is over the grave of little Chico, a dog, and a household pet of the Whitsides.

In December 1920, Captain A. B. Ames, Q. M. C., has been in command of the School for Bakers and Cooks and Bakery Company No. 2.

Until the Mounted Service School was organized, both the Cavalry Board and the Field Artillery Board were located at Fort Riley. The personnel of the Cavalry Board changes with each administration at the School and no attempt has been made to write a history of that body. Likewise, no attempt has been made to list officers on duty with the school regiments, or other organizations at the Post. The object has been in this chapter to present a clear and readable account of The Cavalry School from 1919 to the end of the school year 1925.

But two events of the year 1926 will be mentioned, both of which will be of interest to those who have been associated with the Post.

During Graduation Week, a third tablet was erected at the south entrance to the West Riding Hall, bearing the following inscription:

318 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

JAMES H. DICKEY

CAPT. U. S. CAV., LT.-COL. U. S. INF. MORTALLY WOUNDED IN BATTLE SEPT. 26, 1918

DURING THE MEUSE-ARGONNE OFFENSIVE DIED SEPT. 27, 1918

The second event is one of interest chiefly to those who have hunted and skated on Whiskey Lake. That famous pond is now practically “bone-dry,” for the first time that anyone can remember. The old lake bed was undoubtedly at one time a part of the Kansas River. It was originally named Horseshoe Lake from its shape. The name of Whiskey Lake was probably derived from Whiskey Point. Since the river cut across through its present channel the lake has had no source of supply except seepage, rains and an occasional over­ flow of the river. It is quite probable that Nature is pursuing her inevitable course of change and that in a few more years fields of corn will grow where mallards once fed.



CHAPTER XV.

POLO AND HUNTING

Since the first Rasp was published in 1911, the history of mounted sports at Fort Riley has been accurately recorded. It is the object of the writer in this chapter to fill in the gap existing between the time that polo and hunting started and the time of the first Rasp.

The first mention of an organized effort to promote mounted sports at Fort Riley was in the Junction City Union, under date of March 19, 1887: “The new race track will soon be ready and promises to be one of the best in the state.” This was a half mile track located in what is now known as the Race Track Pasture. It was built by the Seventh Cavalry and was used for athletic meets and horse races, both running races and those in which the horses, trotters or pacers, were driven, harnessed to a sulky.

Under date of May 21. 1887, the following item appeared in the local press: “Last Saturday an interesting contest took place between Lieutenant W. J. (Slicker Bill) Nicholson (then on duty as Instructor in Military Science and Tactics at the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan) and Moses Waters, on our race track. The post trader ran his favorite horse against the Lieutenant’s bay, for a purse made up between them. Moses was badly beaten.” This was one of the first races run on the new track.

July 4, 1890, a meet was held at the race track. Lieutenant

S. R. H. Tompkins won the officers steeplechase on a bay pony he owned at the time.

Under the date of August 29, 1890, the local press stated that Quartermaster Sergeant Campbell, with a fatigue detail. had been at work for three weeks putting the race track into condition for the Labor Day Sports. The detail had erected a grandstand, judges stand and band stand and had fenced the track.

Hugh Bolin, the postmaster at Fort Riley, had a fast mare called Cora McGregor, of which he was very proud. The Union of October 19, 1890, contained the following item: “Postmaster Bolin’s celebrated mare, Cora McGregor, returned to Manhattan Monday from a very successful season on the Eastern track. Cora will be entered for the races at Abilene

320

(Photo loaned by Zellner, Junction City)

The Old Race Track

322 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

and a large delegation from this post will be there to see her

perform.”

The races held at this old track were mostly local affairs,

i. e., between enlisted men, or officers, and organizations at the Post, although many races were held in which civilians participated. In those days, before the automobile, officers owned one or more driving horses, in addition to their regular mounts. Post life was then, as it is now, like life in a small town, and talk was largely of horses. Officers would gather at the Club and talk of the speed of this or that horse, just as their brother civilians did at the corner store. Almost every town had a race track, or at least a favorite stretch of road, where their horses could be let out. So what was more natural than the development of a race track at Fort Riley?

The author well remembers his boyhood days in New Eng­land and a little bay horse his father owned. On the way home from school. When we rode together, the little horse used to be let out when a neighbor pulled up alongside and the zest of driving a fast horse, harnessed to a swaying “Concord” buggy, over a country road compares quite favorably with that of riding in a steeplechase.

In January 1893, the local press carried this item: “Major Wallace Randolph is giving his brown gelding ‘Patricio,’ light exercise preparatory to his being placed in the hands of a trainer. He was sired by Alcyone, out of Madeline.”

An item from the Republican of July 13, 1900, stated: “It is the intention to have the meets at the racetrack a regular monthly occurrence during the present season. It is a good scheme for it arouses a healthy rivalry between the various organizations and furnishes a class of sport that is good for anyone to see.”

The race track was in use until the start of regular polo playing. In July 1903, Captain Walter C. Short was receiving entries for races to be held on the Fourth. After Junction City and Fort Riley teams began to play polo regu­larly, beginning about 1904, the race track died a lingering, but natural. death. Everyone recognizes the benefits a mounted officer derives from polo, bold riding, a quick eye and many other qualities. Other mounted sports have much to offer and it is a source of great satisfaction to learn that Fort Riley is to become the possessor of another race track and steeplechase course.

Beginning about 1904, or l 905, and continuing until about 1910, or 1912, races were held on a course laid out on Republican Flats: This course was located in the vicinity of the present Pump House polo fields and was used for both flat races and steeplechases.

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 323

One of the most famous races ever held in this v1c1mty took place between those two gallant sportsmen of Junction City, Dr. Fred O’Donnell and Louis Loeb. During the year 1904, Loeb was the proud possessor of a “one lung” Cadillac, resplendent with brass and nickel, merely a step in the evolution of the automobile, but considered at the time as just about the last word.

Dr. O’Donnell had a fine, large, thoroughbred hunter of which he was very proud and concerning whose capabilities and limitations he had more accurate and dependable knowledge than Louis had of his Cadillac.

The two met one day and the Doctor bet Loeb that he, on his hunter, could beat Louis in his Cadillac, from the Post Office in Junction City to the old Junction City Country Club at Whiskey Lake. Arrangements were quickly made and the race was on. The course was east via Sixth Street to the bridge at Fogarty’s Mill and then via the road to the lake. From the bridge to the point where the Dry Creek road branches off there are many hills, not so bad today, but very hard on a one-cylinder Cadillac, Model 1904. The Doctor chuckled as he told the writer that he made up all his time on the hills and won the race.

The officers at Fort-Riley began to play polo in the nineties. At first there were no teams, merely a few of the officers would get out and knock a ball around, ending their practice with a short game between two hastily formed teams. This practice was on what was then known as the “Hogback,” the flat ridge between Godfrey Court and the street car track. Later the parade grounds in the Cavalry and Artillery Posts were used as fields. Si Rogers used to join the officers and was the first local civilian to become interested in the game.

Brigadier General Charles G. Treat, Retired, then a First Lieutenant of Artillery, came to Fort Riley in the fall of 1896 and was one of the early polo players. In reply to a letter from the writer requesting information concerning polo in those days, the General Treaty stated: “The first real games were played with a St. Louis team that came to Fort Riley for a week, bringing four players; Mr. Charles Scudder (Cap­ tain), Alto Merseman, George Doan, Bert Walker and one of the Davis boys, brother of the present Secretary of War. These games were played on a field we had boarded off on the Republican flats. The Fort Riley team was Price Adams, Sam Sturgis, Brook Payne, one or two others and myself. We were well beaten.” •

The field referred to was within the old race track enclosure. Ponies were bought from the surrounding country for from ten to twenty dollars each. A colored man by the name of Loyd Harding supplied many ponies.



(From a cartoon drawn by Alban Butler, while on a visit to his sister, Mrs. Moore, wife of Capt. Moore, 6th F. A.

A Polo Game on Smoky Hill Flats About 1906

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 325

Some officers had only one pony but played it throughout a game without any apparent ill effects. Concerning ponies, General Treat stated: “An old pony of mine called Slow-Go, or Dick, bought from Dr. Poorman of Junction City, a pony owned by Adams and old Yellow Aster, a pony owned by nearly every local player in his ten years -or more of play, were the outstanding ponies as I recall them.”

When Lieutenant Treat paid fifty dollars for Dick, merely for use as a polo pony, the other officers were rather perturbed as they felt that such prices would soon tend to ruin the game by placing ponies beyond the purse of the average officer.

Apparently the efforts of the officers to find a practice field were not much in favor in the early days, for General Treat again states that, “-we had to make numerous and prayer­ful efforts for carrying on.” Major Wallace F. Randolph, then Director of the Light Artillery Sub-School and Commanding Officer of the Artillery Post, was the first to “offer the use of the then sacred parade ground on which to play polo, against much narrow criticism. As a matter of fact, regular cutting and rolling improved it wonderfully over its former condition.”·

In October 1897, the Junction City Republican stated, in its Fort Riley column, “The polo teams from Kansas City and St. Louis will be here to play. The officers of the Post are practicing hard.”

The tourna01ent referred to by General Treat also included a Kansas City team. The tournament held in the fall of 1897 was the only one held until after the Spanish-American War. Si Rogers, who played with the officers during 1896 and 1897, and sold them ponies, stated that Lieutenants Cronkhite and McDonald were playing about that time. He believed they might have been the “one or two others” referred to by General Treat. .

Previous to 1900 but a small number of officers had taken up polo because of lack of organization and opportunity. About this time the National Polo Association, through the generosity of its officers, H. L. Herbert, Thomas Hitchcock, Jr., John Cowden, W. A. Hazard, H. P. Whitney, and others, made officers of the Army members without payment of fees or dues, and the game was on.

As we have already seen, it required some time for Fort Riley to settle down to a normal routine after the war. of 1898 and it was not until 1904 that much organized ,.polo was played. During that year the first Junction City polo team was organized, consisting of Dr. Fred O’Donnell, Si

326 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

Rogers. Louis Loeb and Bruce Grant. This team. with minor changes from time to time, lasted twenty years. always having Louis Loeb and Dr. O’Donnell as players.

Lieutenant Colonel Beverly Browne, then a lieutenant in the Sixth Field Artillery. furnished the writer with much valuable information concerning polo at Fort Riley during the decade following the Spanish-American War. Colonel Browne stated in part as follows: “Polo started up again at Riley after the Spanish-American War in 1902 and the players until 1905 were G. V. Henry. W. A. McCain. George Williams. H. A. Roberts. L. W. Oliver. W. H. Cowles. F. W. Clark and myself. We averaged about one pony apiece and managed to play all afternoon without any apparent injury to the animals. We played on the Cavalry parade ground and on a field inside the race track. (Colonel Browne added as a marginal note that G. V. Henry was easily the best player at that time.)

“Our outside games were chiefly with Kansas City, starting about 1903 or 1904. The K. C. team was composed of Jack Cudahy. Harry Holmes (later a very noted referee in the East and now with the Warrenton. Virginia. team). ‘Paddy’ Magill and Guernsey. Later their regular team. for five or six years, was S. H. Velie, Tom Velie (son of S. H. Velie and a fine player, since deceased). ‘Paddy’ Magill and Sherman Hall. Bob Thorne. Dr. St. Clair Street and others. composed a second team.

“I played with the Si:irth Field Artillery team against Denver for four years. The first and second years we made a clean sweep of all tournaments. Their moving spirit was then, as now. Lafayette Hughes. Riley teams also played in Chicago and St. Louis.”

After that, interest in polo was revived at Riley. following the Spanish-American War. practice was held on the parades and games were played on the old race track field. There was also a field west of the Pump House. near the present practice fields. This continued for two or three years when the field on what is now Marshall Field was prepared. The polo bungalow, or club house. on that field, now used as a laboratory by the 9th Photo Section. was erected in 1907. The new polo bungalow on Republican Flats was erected in 1920.

The following extracts were taken from a book entitled. “An Illustrated Review of the Sixth Regiment Field Artillery,

U. S. A,” published at Fort Riley in 1910: “Soon after the organization of the regiment, Colonel Macomb, being of the opinion that the heavy artillery horse was not adapted to giving that bold, fearless riding, firm seat and high degree of equitation desirable in a horse artillery cannoneer, took up

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 327

the question of obtaining a limited number of smaller and more active horses for the regiment, suitable in the field for scouts, orderlies and messengers, and in garrison for furnishing the instruction of the enlisted personnel in horsemanship. “In this idea he was supported by the War Department, which directed the supply of the small horses, flat saddles, polo equipment, etc., and the instruction of the officers and men in the game was taken up, the ponies being habitually used by the orderlies and scouts during the year, by the enlisted men in the· winter equitation class, and by both officers and enlisted men in polo. When Colonel Macomb left on detached service, his successor in command of the regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Hoyle, who entertained the same views, continued the encouragement. As the liking for the game of polo increased, the players among the officers bought them­ selves better ponies than the government horses and used fewer of the latter.”

In 1909, the historian wrote as follows: “Early in the year, both officers and men began to work their polo ponies and practice playing the game. Of the messenger horses purchased the previous year, thirty-two developed into excellent polo ponies and played regularly during the season. In June, the regimental team played two games at Kansas City, Mo., losing one and winning the other. This was the first game ever won at Kansas City by a Fort Riley team. From July 5th to 11th, the Middle Western Polo Tournament, participated in by six teams, was played at Fort Riley, and resulted in the regimental team winning the championship. At this time, the team was composed of Major McMahon and Lieutenants Browne, Parker, Hoyle, Sands and Higley. Encouraged by this success, the team went to Denver, Colorado, in September and played in three events, comprising the Rocky Mountain Polo Tournament. The efforts of the team, which was composed of Lieutenants Browne, Parker, Hoyle and Higley, were again crowned with success and resulted in winning another championship.

“During the year the team played a number of games with

local teams, winning seven out of ten games from the Mounted Service School, both games played with the Junction City Polo team and both games played with the Seventh Cavalry Polo team.

“As a result of the year’s playing the team won nineteen cups.”

An extract from the Report of Colonel Godfrey for the year I 907 is also of interest: “Twenty ponies for the School were purchased this spring in Arizona and New Mexico by Captain William Lassiter, Sixth Field Artillery. Polo, which

(Photo loaned by Dr. Fretz)

An Early Junction City Team

“Doc” Fretz, Louis Loeb, “Doc” O’Donnell, Ed Earl:,.

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 329

develops both ease and dash in riding as no other method can, has been recommended for the school course next year. Heretofore, although making use of the Government ponies, the players have been volunteers, and it was noticed that many of them entered the game before they had mastered the necessary preliminary details. Under competent supervision this defect will be remedied.

“·A polo team selected from this post took part in the open tournament at Lake Forest, Illinois, near Fort Sheridan. Although they were badly beaten the trip has proved of great value as a means of instruction. The mounts of our officers were in every way inferior to those of the wealthy members of the ·civilian clubs, but expert players complimented our officers on their riding and the dash of their play.” •

The old Junction City Country Club, located at Whiskey Lake, was started at about the time the Junction City polo team was organized. Among the original members of this Club were Hal Pierce, Fred Grant, Harry Montgomery, H. D. Thompson, Louis Loeb, Dr. O’Donnell, Mr. Hicks, A. M. Miller and others.

From 1904 until about 1906, games were played on the race track field. After that, until about the time of the World War, the games were played on the Smoky Hill Flats (Marshall Field).

Bruce Grant, while one of the original members of the Junction City team, did not play for long, as he was replaced late in 1904, or the spring of 1905, by Dr. Fretz. Ed Early became a member of the team in 1905 or 1906.

In the spring of 1907 a team was organized which deserves a place in history it has never received. It was probably the only team of its kind, as it was composed of cowboys and had a style of play all its own. It was called the Humboldt Polo Team and was composed of the following players: Jesse Langvardt, Bill Schmedeman, Emile Zumbrunn, Louie Zumbrunn, Paul Schmedeman, Carl Best, Bill Ebbutt, Pete Langvardt and George Stonebreaker. The first team was composed of Jesse Langvardt, Bill Schmedeman, Emile Zum­brunn and Carl Best. Their first game with a Fort Riley team was played in the fall of 1907.

Concerning this team Lieutenant-Colonel Beverly Browne wrote as follows: “The Humboldt Team always brought a crowd of rooters and looked very picturesque coming down the Mormon Trail. They frequently drove ponies hitched to runabouts and buggies and after arrival they unhitched them and saddled them up and played them in the polo game. They used stock saddles entirely and their ponies, as a rule, followed the ball well. Their teamwork was rather

330 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

baffling and quite successful for some time. When a player ran over the ball he turned toward the center of the field and went to the rear of his team. While this left no one ahead of the ball, it produced an absolutely continuous stream of Humboldt players on the ball and since the field was none too good, the system was far from bad.

“These games were always played on Sundays and the teams were generally the Mounted Service School, the Sixth Field Artillery, Junction City and Humboldt. Sometimes a round robin was played and at others the teams were paired off, alternating two periods at a time. The Mounted Service School Team was captained by Lieutenant Palmer Swift and had at various times Lieutenants De Armond, Taulbee, Chaf­ fee, ·Gordon Johnston, Striker, Pope and others. (Author’s note: This was about 1910). The Junction City Team at that time was composed of Dr. O’Donnell, Louis Loeb, Si Rogers and another player (Author’s note: This was Hal Pierce) who was left handed but whose name I have forgotten for the moment, although I know him well and have a high regard for his sportsmanship. I cannot express my admiration for the sportsmanship of Dr. O’Donnell. He organized the Junction City Team about 1905 and kept it going under great difficulties. As a player he was a fighter and a tremendously hard rider and while he put a great deal of temper into the game, he never carried any of it over the sideboards and was always a fine example to the rest of us in the conduct of our polo. Really, without Dr. O’Donnell, polo at Fort Riley would have been an entirely different affair. He was an inspiration to us all.”

Those were the days when the “Ninth Period” was similar to the Nineteenth Hole” in a golf tournament. It was played in the club house and was sometimes the most strenuous period of all. Dr. O’Donnell told the writer that gin, or champagne, was used as a drench for the horses between periods. That probably explains a remark of Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis Brown, who stated: ‘The game in those days consisted of four periods of fifteen minutes each, with a long interval between periods. To play one pony during thP entire game was quite common.“

The Humboldt Polo Team came to Fort Riley to play, for the first time, in the fall of 1907. They were royally entertained and desired to return the compliment so they invited a team to come down and play on their own field, which was on the Henry Schmede and farm. The team they played was an enlisted men’s team from the Sixth Field Artillery. All preparations had been made and refreshments were abundant. The Fort Riley team ·rode down in wagons and told the cow-

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 331

boys the drivers were not to partake of the refreshments. But the cowboys of 1908 were little different from those of• 88, except for the absence of six-shooters. And the drivers were persuaded to partake of the hospitality of Humboldt. The Fort Riley team won the polo game but reliable reports are to the effect that some of the players walked part of the way home and that polo equipment and ponies were scattered along the road that night.

Concerning this enlisted men’s team Lieutenant-Colonel Browne stated: “This team was, I believe, in 1909, the best polo team in the Army, since in that year the Sixth Field Artillery Team won the Army championship and our enlisted men’s team could beat us when equally mounted. The players were Sergeant-Major Basil Conless, First Sergeant A. Y. Weir, Sergeants Phillips, Bloom, Flaherty and Odle. Odle was about six feet, one inch, in height, very powerful, with long arms and left handed. One day during a game with the officers a backstroke of Odie’s was allowed to roll until it stopped and it traveled diagonally across the field a little over half the length. The field was fully three hundred yards long and was very fast inasmuch as we used a heavy steam roller on it.”

Sergeant Weir is now on duty in the office of the Secretary at the Cavalry School and told the writer that the line-up of this enlisted men’s team was as follows: Phillips No. 1. Weir No. 2, Odle No. 3, with Conless and Flaherty alternating at No. 4. Sergeant Bloom was a substitute. This team played four years, or until about 1912.

The Sixth Field Artillery officers’ polo squad at this time (about 1909) was composed of Sloan, Parker, C., Higley, Brown, McMahon, Pennell, Rumbaugh, Sands, Magruder, Carr, Hoyle, Beard and others. The first team was composed of Brown, Captain and No. 1, C. Parker No. 2, Rene de

R. Hoyle No. 3, and Higley No. 4. McMahon, Sands, Beard and J. W. Rumbaugh were substitutes and composed a second team. There were also organized third and fourth teams in the regiment.

The Fort Riley Team about 1905-06 was composed of Captains W. C. Short, William Lassiter, Alexander Miller; Lieutenants W. H. Dodd, Stephen Winfree, F. B. Hennessey,

C. K. Lyman and others.

The Seventh Cavalry had an officers’ team composed of Captain Williams and Lieutenant_s G. M. Lee, Montgomery and John Herr. This was about 1908. There were also three enlisted men’s teams; one from each squadron of the Seventh. Sergeant Eckel. now on duty in the·School Photo­ graphic Laboratory, then belonged to Troop H and was play- ing polo. •

332 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

The Junction City team, about 1908, consisted of Dr. O’Donnell, Louis Loeb, Hal Pierce and Si Rogers. H. D. Thompson played for a time and “Doc” Fretz also played at various times. Copeland, called “Cope,” the cheerful dispenser of accident insurance at the Cavalry School in the years immediately following the World War, began playing about 1913.

Concerning the Junction City Team of the years between 1907 and 1911, Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis Brown stated, “One of the features of the game in those days was a cow­ pony owned by Hal Pierce. (Author’s note: This pony’s name was Curly). When Doctor O’Donnell, the team captain of Junction City, instructed Pierce to ride off the number four or any other player, Hal would occasionally ride the player to the sideboard or to the corner of the field and hold him there. When Hal was mounted on this pony it was wholly impossible to get away from him, or by him, and it was a great source of amusement to see him corner such excellent horsemen as Colonel Guy V. Henry and Major J. C. Montgomery.”

Lady Jane, owned and played by Dr. O’Dortnell in 1904 and for many years after, was another well known pony.

The last game between Junction City and Fort Riley was played about three years ago ( 1923). The Humboldt Team lasted about three or four years. An incident concerning the play of the Humboldt Team which was a natural result of their equipment, was the fact that a broken mallet was no handicap to a member of the team. He merely took the piece that was left, grabbed the horn of his saddle and by bending down, played the ball as though nothing had happened.

The status of polo at Fort Riley today is due, to a great extent, to the Junction City and Humboldt Teams. Without their interest and support the growth and development of polo at Riley would have been much slower than it had.

HUNTING

The development of hunting at Fort Riley was a natural and normal result of circumstances. One goes out to ride over the reservation on a brisk, frosty, autumn morning and puts up a long eared jack rabbit, or a coyote, and a hunt is on. Hunting is as irresistible, here on the broad acres of the reservation, as it was to the old English squires.

General Custer, when he was stationed here in the sixties, always had several dogs and we know from reading his book and those of Mrs. Custer, that he was a true sportsman. He loved the chase and took keen delight in his horses and dogs. Although no records can be found, it is undoubtedly true that

 

334

 

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

among all the cavalry units stationed at Riley from the time it started, there have always been a few officers who were devotees of the chase. In the early nineties, Dennison Forsyth had several dogs and informal hunts •were frequently held, using these and any other dogs available.

The first attempt to form an organized pack was made about 1896, by Lieutenants H. T. Allen and Charles G. Treat. In reply to a letter concerning the pack General Treat· stated: “I reported at Fort Riley in 1896. H. T. Allen, then a First Lieutenant, had gotten together some hounds. The drag, or fox hounds, came from Kentucky. Russian hounds were brought from Russia and some greyhounds were with the pack, from where I do not know. We hunted coyotes and jackrabbits and also used drag. I do not recall that there was a Master of Fox Hounds elected, but Allen was the organizer.”

Si Rogers used to lay the drag for the hunts with this pack. He stated that the hounds were kept in the corral of the old No. 3 Stables in the Artillery Post. This was the stable in which private horses of officers were cared for. Si also stated that the pack organized in 1896 was, in his opinion, the best pack the School has ever had. Every hound in the pack was registered. Si was not sure whether there was a regular organization of this “Club” or not. He stated that Treat or Allen usually acted as M. F. H., and that he (Si) and Lieutenant McDonald acted as whippers-in.

When the troops left the Post at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Chaplain Barry, Mrs. Treat and Si, all took charge of the pack at various times.

January 13, 1899, the following item appeared in the Junction City Republican: “A number of officers were out for a chase yesterday accompanied by the Fort Riley Kennel hounds.” November 17, 1899, this item was published: “Hunt call sounded Sunday at 10: 00 a. m. The officers and ladies following the pack presented a brave array.”

The Fort Riley Guidon, under date of December 15, 1899, furnishes the following information: ·”For the first time since the Hunt Club started we saw a lady whipper-in-Mrs. Marshall (F. C.)-last Sunday. It was a pleasant sight to note how well she managed the dogs and her handsome mount.”

For the next four or five years interest in hunting lagged. Allen and Treat, who had been instrumental in organizing the pack, did not return to Fort Riley after the war of 1898. The hounds got old, some were given away and no attempts were made to breed and keep up the pack.

About 1905, Ed Early, “Doc” Fretz, Dick Brown, Dr. O’Donnell, Louis Loeb, Fred Ziegler and one or two other lovers of sport in Junction City, organized a Junction-City Pack, consisting of sight hounds and fox·hounds. There was no Hunt Club. It was merely a group of men who enjoyed the sport and bought a few hounds. Again, Junction City was giving a boost to mounted sports at Riley.

(Photo loaned by Dr. O’Donnell)

Fort Riley and Junction City Packs at the Maran Farm

336 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

 

For several years the Junction City hounds, and such hounds as were available at Fort Riley, were combined on Sunday mornings for a hunt. A favorite meeting place was the Maran farm, four or five miles north of the reservation.

About 1909, the hounds of the Kansas City Hunt and Polo Club, which had disbanded, were bought by the Mounted Service School, largely through the efforts of Lieutenant Gor­don Johnston. This pack contained both sight hounds and fox hounds. Lieutenant Johnston became M. F. H.

Concerning hunts at this time (about 1910) Lieutenant­ Colonel Beverly Browne wrote as follows: “I never went on any of the jack rabbit or fox hunts, but did joint in the wolf hunting. The most exciting of these hunts were some 10 or 15 miles northwest of Wakefield with a lot of farmers who were keen wolf hunters. Dr. J. E. Hewitt of Wakefield was the moving spirit in this sport and he occasionally came down to Fort Riley, bringing the farmers and their wolfhounds with him.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis Brown related an amusing incident which occurred during a coursing meet one Sunday when the greyhounds of the Junction City pack, previously referred to, were matched against the greyhounds of Fort Riley. The exact date was not mentioned but it was coloring Colonel Brown’s tour of duty here between 1907 and 1911. The meet took place several miles outside of Junction City.

Two hounds were in a slice Junction City hound and one Fort Riley hound-and the handler turned them both loose when a jack rabbit was sighted. All the other dogs were on leash. Lieutenant George M. Lee and Lieutenant Brown had been injured in a polo game shortly before the meet and consequently they were dismounted. They remained with the dogs on leash instead of following the chase after the rabbit. After the third pair of hounds had slipped, the chase took the riders a long distance from the remaining dogs. A large demijohn of whiskey was left with the central group. During this long chase those left behind had a few drinks and decided to have a hunt of their own. They started walking and when the first rabbit was put up all the dogs were turned loose at once. When the field returned for the next pair of hounds Lieutenants Lee and Brown were objects of more or less righteous indignation but as Colonel Brown stated: “-after they had taken a short rest and a few re-

·(Photo loaned by Dr. O’Donnell)

Fort Riley and Junction City Hunters at the Maran Farm

.,,

338 THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY

freshments it was decided it was more fun to hunt in a pack anyway.”

About the time Lieutenant Johnston became M. F. H., the stone building near the east end of the present School Shoeing Shop, was erected) . It is now used as the School carpenter shop.) . This building was erected by prisoners and was occupied by the man in charge of the kennels, which were located in that vicinity.

The kennels were only located· there for a few years, when they were moved to the vicinity of the Race Track Pasture and during the summer of 1925 they were moved to their present location in Pump House Canyon. Lieutenant Johnston was succeeded as M. F. H., by Lieutenant George S. Patton, Jr. During the World War the pack was neglected and it was not until Major D. W. McEnery, M. C., became M. F. H., in 1919, that active interest was again taken in hunting.

The Fort Riley Hunt was reorganized in January, 1921. A subscription of four hundred and fifty dollars was raised by the officers stationed permanently at the Post and also the student officers. Dogs were donated by Mr. Percy Rocke­ feller, Mr. Raymond Belmont and Mr. J. D. Chenault. The Club purchased eight hounds from the Middleburg, Virginia, Hunt Club.

During the 1922 season the name was changed to the Cavalry School Hunt. Recognition was granted to the Hunt by the National Steeplechase Association and the United Hunts Association. The Hunt also became a member of the Association of Masters of Foxhounds. The pack at this time consisted of twelve and a half couples.

In 1923, the Cavalry School Hunt acquired sixteen hounds from the Coblenz Pack, through the kindness of General

H. T. Allen, and Mr. Joseph Thomas sent ten hounds from Virginia.

Captain H. R. Kilbourne succeeded Major McEnery as M. F. H., in 1924. In 1925, Captain Robert W. Grow, the present M. F. H. took charge of the pack. Under the direction of Captain Grow some of the most delightful hunts of the writer’s four years of hunting at Fort Riley, were held during the 1925-26 season. Many of the pasture fences in the area north of Camp Funston were paneled. This opened up some hitherto inaccessible terrain where the riding was excellent.

THE HISTORY OF FORT RILEY 339

CONCLUSION

At the Graduation Exercises in 1923, Dr. O’Donnell donated a cup, which he called the Sportsman’s Cup. It has been donated yearly since then, as a trophy for a jumping event open to members of the Special Advanced Equitation Class.

On that cup is a verse, which voices the creed of its donor and all other lovers of sports in which horse, dog and man compete. As a conclusion to this brief resume of mounted sports at Fort Riley, the writer desires to quote this toast,

. which includes every man or woman who gets a thrill out of riding a real horse over anything that may be met and an equal thrill over the coursing greyhound, or the baying fox­ hound:

“Here’s a health to every sportsman, Be be stableman, or Lord;

If his heart be true, we care not What his pocket may afford.

And may he ever joyously Each glorious sport pursue,

If he takes his fences fairly And his liquor fairly, too.”

FINISHED

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