Departing Camp Perry – September 26, 1921

On September 26, 1921, the 3d Infantry Regiment set out for its new assigned post, Fort Snelling, MN. Due to the post-World War I cuts in defense, there was no funding for transportation. The Regiment set out on a 938-mile road march to comply with its orders.

The Regiment had already been on the move that year. At the start of 1921, the Old Guard was stationed at Camp Sherman, OH, having left Camp Eagle Pass, TX the previous year. In August 1921, orders came down from the War Department. The Old Guard was to march from Camp Sherman to Camp Perry, OH (173 miles). At Camp Perry, the Regiment, along with the 2d Infantry Regiment, helped run the annual National Rifle Match. On August 24, the day after their arrival at Camp Perry, regimental command passed from Colonel Paul Giddings to Colonel Alfred Bjornstad.

Once the rifle matches were completed on September 25, the 2d and 3d Infantry Regiments started their march to Fort Sheridan. Once at Fort Sheridan, the Regiment stayed four days to rest and resupply. The Perry-Sheridan leg of the march would be 308 miles, taking the regiments 19 days to cover (including two rest days). From Fort Sheridan, the 3d was to march on to Fort Snelling, where they would spend the next twenty years and earn the nickname, Minnesota’s Own.

The Fort Sheridan-Fort Snelling leg of the march will be covered in a future post.

Wounding of President McKinley – September 6, 1901

On September 6, 1901, President William McKinley was shot by an anarchist while visiting the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley died of his wounds on September 14. He was buried September 18 at the Westlawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio.

The U.S. Army provided a guard of honor at McKinley’s Tomb, which at various times, included members of the 3d Infantry Regiment. A 36-man detachment from Company M maintained the vigil from December 1902 through July 1903.

On December 31, 1903, the 3rd Infantry again provided guards for the detail. Captain Paul Giddings oversaw the Company D detachment, which would remain at its post until March 1904. On a side note, Captain Giddings later commanded the 3d Infantry Regiment from 1919 to 1921.

Another detachment, fielded by men from multiple companies of the Regiment relieved Company D, but rejoined the Regiment at Fort Thomas, Kentucky a month later.

The tomb guard mission was reduced in 1909, as a domed tomb was completed and opened to the public.