Browsing articles by "John Michael, Author at Historic Fort Myer VIRGINIA"
Jun
7

SIX YEARS ANNIVERSARY – FREE SHIPPING!

By John Michael  //  Events  //  3 Comments

13 JUNE 2011 …

SIX Years ago –  a day that will live in celebration when the FIRST book about FORT MYER was published. The release of “Images of America – Fort Myer” was and is a groundbreaking achievement in documenting US Army history. As one of the original defenses of Washington during the Civil War when it was known as Fort Whipple, the installation is still on the mission of defending the Capital City of Washington DC. Carved from the 1,100 acres of the Custis-Lee estate, the post shares a common wall with Arlington National Cemetery – the shrine to the country’s military and their

Images of America Fort Myer, home of the Chief

Images of America
– Fort Myer

service and sacrifices.

A Historic Post of Distinctive Innovation

The book chronicles the first one hundred years of this historic US Army post that has been the center of innovation while also a showcase for the cavalry (some 1,500 horses once were stationed among the acres), home to the Buffalo Soldiers (both the 9th and 10th Cavalry were garrisoned on post). Among other notable innovations and milestones include:

  • Origins of military aviation
  • Long distance telephone service
  • Trans-oceanic & continental radio communication (the Three Sisters)
  • National Weather Service established
  • Location of acceptance and approval for the remarkable vehicle known as the “JEEP”

Current Garrison

Currently, the post is home to the US Army’s top two ceremonial units – The US Army Band – “Pershing’s Own” and the oldest infantry unit – 3d Infantry – “The Old Guard”.  Their missions include ceremonial support for Arlington National Cemetery, which is adjacent to Fort Myer. And since 06 APR 1948, when the Regiment was re-activated,  it has provided sentinels to guard “The Tomb of the Unknown”

About the Book “Images of America – Fort Myer”

The book contains over 200 historical photographs, maps, and illustrations complemented by a rare first found/published note from Abraham Lincoln which is all augmented with descriptive text.

THE SPECIAL OFFER – LIMITED TIME – FREE SHIPPING

DO YOU HAVE THE BOOK?  GET THE BOOK!  THE SHIPPING IS FREE!

The price of the book is $21.99 (plus tax if you live in Virginia)

In celebration of that anniversary, was for one week only (07-JUN-2017 until 13-JUN-2017) an author autographed copy may be obtained with FREE SHIPPING!  IT’S OVER !!!

HOWEVER, You can still get an author autographed copy of the book and pay the nominal Shipping & Handling charge.

To Whom:
Inscription

 

Also by John Michael

In 2015 again he brought to the world another book chronicling the history of the 3d oldest US Army post in the  United States –  “Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair” where the Lincoln assassination conspirators were incarcerated, tried and hanged.  It’s also been home to the Army Corps of Engineers, The US Army Band, Alpha Company of the 3d Infantry Regiment – “the Old Guard”.

Currently the headquarters of the Military District of Washington, home to the Center of Military

Images of America Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America
Fort Lesley J. McNair

History and the National Defense University and several of its colleges including the National War College at the iconic Roosevelt Hall.

Jul
26

Hail to the Pets – The Fort Myer Pet Cemetery

Hidden History – The Pet Cemetery

Once queried about the pet cemetery on the post, it was a puzzle that deserved to be solved.

Among the acres of Fort Myer, there are hidden secrets often paved over or built over as time marches forward.  Carved from the 1,100 acres of the Custis-Lee estate, those which provide the boundary of the gem in the US Army’s crown of posts …  this one of great historic import.  In its early days when it was known as Fort Whipple,  named after General Amiel Weeks Whipple, it formed a key part of the ring of forts and artillery batteries of the Defenses of Washington.   Put in place to defend the Capital City, that is still part of its mission over 150 years later.

Post Name Change to Fort Myer

With the name changed to Fort Myer in honor of General Albert J. Myer, the first Chief Signal Officer of the US Army, the post became a cavalry showcase when General Phillip Sheridan had the vision of one of the fine branches of the US Army.  Yet today, gone are the drill fields where the cavalry practiced their mounted charges with sabers drawn…gone are the trenches used to train for World War I … gone are the Three Sisters that the US Navy erected to communicate with the fleet  and gone is the pet cemetery where the beloved animals that brought delight and more to their owners.

Located on the South side of the post with the wall of Arlington National Cemetery to the east, the plot of land was where the pets were laid to rest.

Finnigan buried with military rites.

Fort Myer Pet Cemetery

The photograph shows one of the sad scenes at the funeral of Aloysius Smith Neff Finnigan, buried with military honors at Fort Myer, Va. Finnegan, in case you don’t know who he was, he was the mascot of the guardhouse at Fort Myer. He left a colonel’s home six years ago to live with the unwilling guests of the guardhouse and every morning since then the little Aberdeen terrier rode the ash wagon as it made the rounds. Thus, it was fitting that the ash wagon served as his caisson. Reaching the grave, the regiment band played a funeral dirge, a fitting funeral oration was read, a squad fired three salutes, taps were sounded, and with the muffled roll of drums, his friends marched back to the guardhouse. Even his canine friends were there to pay their silent tribute. One of them, Barnacle Bill is shown sitting atop the mound of dirt from the grave as the casket is being borne forward

BUY THE BOOK

Images of America – Fort Myer is a pictorial chronicle of the first one hundred years of history containing over two hundred photographs, maps, and images.  Beginning in the 1860s and carrying through the 1960s it provides a view of what was over time.  An autographed copy of the book can be purchased at BUY THE BOOK.

Apr
26

The RIGHT Wright?

Those of you who have lived and walked and worked the acres of Fort Myer know  all the gates to this historic US Army Post … Hatfield, Henry, Memorial, Selfridge, Old Post Chapel and WRIGHT…

The Gates of Fort Myer…

The Wright Gate at Fort Myer

The Wright Gate at Fort Myer

For the longest time I’ve thought that the WRIGHT gate was named in honor of the Wright Brothers who brought aviation to the military when Orville showed up in 1908 for the first military aviation flights – that same time we lost LT Thomas Selfridge when the Wright Flyer fell from nearly 100 feet after a propeller shattered and caused the aeroplane to fall from the sky causing Orville Wright to get injured – broken ribs and broken leg, while LT Selfridge suffered a concussion and passed on a few hours later.

HOWEVER…

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Oct
10

Fall Bazaar on Fort Myer

Hold the Date!

SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER 2015

At Fort Myer Community Center

At Fort Myer Community Center

For the Annual Fall Bazaar 2015

AUTOGRAPHED COPIES OF FORT MYER & FORT McNAIR

At the Community Center on Fort Myer from 1000 until 1500  John Michael will be signing and selling “Images of America – Fort Myer”  AND “Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair”

PLUS other items including ANC notecards, greeting cards and photographs

Among them will be select heraldry Christmas notecards also!

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Aug
2

US Army Buys the Future of Aviation

Historic Flights Originated on Fort Myer

Wright Flyer over Fort Myer

Wright Flyer over Fort Myer

On 02 August 1909 another military aviation milestone was reached. It was when the US Army Signal Corps secured the Wright Flyer from the Wright Brothers. For the sum of $30,000.00 of which $5,000.00 was a bonus for exceeding the requirements of speed of flight,  – They flew from the Fort Myer to Alexandria Virginia and back at the speed of 42.5 mph. It marked the Future of Aviation as the United States was now  the first country in the world to own an aircraft.

The saga began in September 1908 when the first military flights began on Fort Myer – circling the drill field with Arlington National Cemetery as the backdrop to history being made on this US Army Post. Orville Wright had appeared with his Wright Flyer prepared to answer the US Army Signal Corps’ request for a heavier than air flying machine.

He successfully demonstrated the capability of the Wright Flyer.  Despite the crash caused by a shattered propeller that dropped Orville and LT Thomas Selfridge from the sky at about one hundred feet.  Orville suffered broken bones in his leg and broken ribs.  Selfridge fared worse with a concussion that later resulted in him passing.  He then became the first military aviation fatality.   Section 3 in Arlington National Cemetery is where he is at rest.

Wright Brothers Return in 1909

When the US Army agreed to a return appearance, the Wright brothers, both Orville and WIlbur returned in June 1909 with a brand newly built airplane designated the “Military Flyer”.  It was then flown several times for both duration of flight and speed.  After the second speed test flight which included Orville flying from Fort Myer to Alexandria Virginia and return,  the US Army was convinced of the value of what the Wright brothers produced.

The US Army bought the future of aviation with the acceptance of the Military Flyer.  Later in August, after a balloon reconnaissance by Lt Frank Lahm,  land in College Park, Maryland was leased to become the first US Army Signal Corps Airport.   The airport continues until today thus holding the distinction of the oldest airport in the world.   An aviation museum sits alongside the runway where the Wright brothers trained the first US Army pilots.   Later other aviation companies would get there start among those acres.

OVER 200 Historical Images

“images of America – Fort Myer”  chronicles the first one hundred years of this historic US Army Post from when it was built in the 1860s and known then as Fort Whipple until the 1960s when among the 3d Infantry regiment appeared the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.   An autographed by the author copy of the book is avail able at BUY THE BOOK.

Jun
4

A 1972 TOUR OF FORT MYER – PART II

SELECT PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 1972 DISCOVERED (continued)

 

In Part I of this 1972 Tour of Fort Myer, several newly discovered images were presented.   Here in Part II, several more of that cache of photographs from 1972 are presented below.   As mentioned in Part I, when exploring America’s attic, the findings can sometimes be surprising.

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May
28

A 1972 Tour of Fort Myer – Part I

By John Michael  //  Fort Myer  //  4 Comments

SELECT PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 1972 DISCOVERED

When you are poking around in America’s attic, it’s amazing what sometimes just drops into your lap. It’s only been around since 1863 when it was known as Fort Whipple  –  though the constant on Fort Myer is change.  It began as one of then nearly 70 forts during the US Civil War as part of the Defenses of Washington.  Unlike the other forts, it is the only remaining and still doing what it was designed to do – Defend the Capital City!

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Dec
7

Tour – Historic Civil War Defenses of Washington DC

Historic Tour of the Defenses of Washington DC

One never knows what one will find if you rummage around the United States’ attic…

Fort Ward Gate Alexandria Virginia

Fort Ward Gate
Alexandria Virginia

Driving around the “DMV” – District, Maryland & Virginia – one will often see signs of the US Civil War –  National Park Service signs that announce a fort such as Fort Davis or Fort Foote or Fort Totten with little but a few earthworks mounds to see and hardly any sign of what was there over 150 years ago.  Yet by the end of the war, there would be 68 forts along with some 90 artillery batteries that would be the defense of the perimeter of the Capital City of Washington DC.  Major General John G. Barnard was the engineer who designed most of these fortifications. He is often called the “Father of the Defenses of Washington DC”.

Fort Stevens Washington DC

Fort Stevens
Washington DC

 

Today, only a few of those fortifications and artillery batteries still exist in more than just those signs and mounds of earth –  Fort Stevens in Washington DC and Fort Ward in Alexandria, Virginia are two that have been conserved in entirety or partially to show part of  the Defenses of Washington DC.

National Park Service Presents a Tour

It was 1938, the 75th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg during the US Civil  War.  It was when the Civil War was something fresh in the minds of the people who experienced it,  the National Park Service provided a tour of “the Defenses of Washington DC”  From that tour here is a twenty page booklet that was provided to those who took the tour. (Be patient – the book may take a bit to load)

The book “Images of America – Fort Myer” contains over 200 historical photographs.  They were selected from new research among the archives of America.  An autographed / personalized copy is available.   Order yours TODAY!

Jul
23

Fort Robinson – Cavalry Post & Remount Depot

Fort Robinson  Post Headquarters

Fort Robinson Post Headquarters

 

FORT ROBINSON –

GATEWAY TO THE WEST

It was in 1847 as America continued to push west.  The US Army established Posts on the frontier and Fort Robinson, Nebraska was one.  This post would have a very interesting life over the next several decades as a home for the US Cavalry including the famed Buffalo Soldiers. It then would become in the 20th century the largest of all the remount depots of the US Army’s Remount Service.

read more

Jun
18

On To College Park, Maryland!

Military Aviation School at College Park MarylandBecause of the US Army Signal Corps and the aviation success at Fort Myer, College Park, Maryland became the site of the longest continual operational airport in the world.

Wright Flyer at Fort Myer

It was late July 1909. The Wright Flyer had flown from Fort Myer Virginia to the edges of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia and back. The US Army Signal Corps’ Officers were pleased that the speed results exceeded the 40 MPH threshold.  With the return of the Wright Brothers entry in response  to their request for a heavier than air flying machine, the Army had a viable aircraft.   It was now up to the Wright brothers to provide the training.  But where?   The small number of acres at Fort Myer were too confining.   Besides, the public interest guaranteed that there was always a crowd of people ready to watch this new form of transportation when they held the trials at Fort Myer.

The US Army still used gas filled balloons then.  LT Frank Lahm on a regular observation flight discovered a flat parcel of land some 10 to 12 miles to the Northeast. It was near the Baltimore and Ohio railroad tracks, which later would serve as competition for the air-land races that these new aviators would compete.  So the US Army leased the land in August of 1909 and a new chapter… perhaps books of transportation began.  It was here that the Wright brothers trained the first pilots:  Frederic Humphreys and Frank Lahm.  It would also be here that many familiar aviation companies began –  among them Curtiss-Wright.

The War Department established the first military aviation school with Lieutenant Henry H. Arnold as one of the instructors.  The airplane saw its first use in warfare in WWI as the US Army Air Corps was established in 1926 – they renamed the US Army Air Service. Arnold college_park_airport_2would later go on to lead the new United States Army Air Forces in 1942 which became the United States Air Force in 1947.

It would be at College Park, where civilian aviation began with the Rex Smith Aeroplane Company.   Later another first, the building of the first aircraft by the Christmas Aeroplane Company in 1911.  A year later, the company would deliver it’s next model craft to respond to the contract to deliver mail by air for the  US Postal Service.  In 1918, the first regular airmail delivery between College Park and both Philadelphia and New York City began lasting until 1921.

As more and more applications of aviation were  discovered and used, the industry grew as did the number of  airports across the United States and around the world.  Though College Park, Maryland still  holds the distinction of being the first.  The saga continues at the airport and the adjacent College Park Aviation Museum which is worth the visit to see some of this history up close and personal.

The book,  “Images of America – Fort Myer”  holds a treasure of over 200 “timeless photographs” that deliver the first 100 years of this US Army Post.

 

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