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.

Company C Departure – September 2009

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Today we jump back 10 years to the deployment of Charlie Company to Iraq. In September 2009, members of Company C left CONUS marking the first deployment of a 1st Battalion element into a combat zone since World War II.

From the historical review:
“Charlie Company entered the Central Command Area of Responsibility and hit the ground running. Assigned to Contingency Operating Base (COB) Taji and attached to the 211th Military Police Battalion from the Massachusetts National Guard, Charlie Company immediately assumed responsibilities within the Taji Theatre Internment Facility Reconciliation Center (TIFRC). The TIFRC was a considerable responsibility as it was one of the last three remaining Iraqi prisons left under United States Forces (USF) control.”

See all 158 photos of the Charlie Company departure by clicking the image above.

Fort Myer becomes a joint base – October 1, 2009

On this day, ten years ago, the Fort Myer Military Community became Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. JBM-HH was one of twelve joint bases to be created as a result of the 2005 BRAC recommendations. Fort Myer had been the name of the post since 1881. Parts of Fort Myer were previously known as Fort Cass and Fort Whipple, two defensive positions constructed during the Civil War as part of the Washington defenses.

Fort William H. Seward – September 30, 1904

On September 30, 1904, the Headquarters, Field and Staff elements of the 3d Infantry Regiment left Camp Skagway, Alaska and arrived at nearby Fort William H. Seward, AK. Soldiers of the Old Guard became the first garrison troops at newly-completed Fort William H. Seward, current day site of Haines, AK.

The discovery of gold along the Alaska/Canada border brought thousands looking to find their fortunes. To help the Alaska territory cope with the sudden population boom, the U.S. Army built forts, roads and telegraph lines. The Army maintained 1,500 miles of telegraph lines connecting Juneau, Valdez and Sitka, with the Old Guard running lines all the way to Nome. One additional mission was to restrict commercial over-harvesting of the caribou population native to the region.

The Regiment left San Francisco aboard the US Army Transport “Buford” on July 1, 1904 and sailed to Skagway, arriving on July 7. Camp Skagway served as home base until September 1904, when Fort William H. Seward was completed and ready for garrison troops. The Regiment often worked broken up by companies and detachments. In addition to Fort William H. Seward and Camp Skagway, the men of the Old Guard were posted to Forts Liscum, Davis, Egbert, Gibbon, and St. Michael.