President’s Day

For Presidents Day, we celebrate two of our own.

William Henry Harrison

Harrison served in the 1st Infantry from 1791-98 as an ensign at Fort Washington (near present-day Cincinnati). He was commended for his actions during an attack on the fort. Harrison moved up to Lieutenant and Captain, later commanding Fort Washington when commander died. Harrison resigned his commission in 1798.

Harrison served as governor of the Indiana Territory (1801-12). He represented Ohio in the House of Representatives (1816-19) and in the Senate (1825-28). Harrison served as 9th U.S. President in 1841.

Zachary Taylor

Taylor was a major in the 3rd Infantry Regiment in 1816 and was the second-highest ranking officer in the Regiment. He served concurrently as commander of Fort Howard (present-day Green Bay, WI). While serving with the 3d Infantry Regiment, Taylor oversaw the completion of Fort Howard and traveled to Louisville, KY to set-up recruiting stations. Taylor was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in April 1819 and commanded the 8th Infantry.

Taylor stayed in the Army fighting in the multitude of campaigns that made up the Indian Wars. By 1846, he rose to the rank of general and commanded the Army of Observation. The Army of Observation was sent as a show of force along the US-Mexican border. His successful campaign against the Mexican Army catapulted him to national recognition and into the White House. Taylor was the 12th U.S. President from 1849-50.

Harrison and Taylor were the first and second Presidents to die while serving in office. Harrison died a month into his term. Harrison came down with pneumonia. The sickness could have been a result of his two-hour inaugural speech in the cold March rain. Taylor served sixteen months of his term before falling victim to a stomach ailment that killed him.

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