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.
One of the several homes on Grant Avenue, also known as "Generals' Row" It once was the quarters of General George S. Patton Jr. Whipple Field is not too too far away (it's across the street!) That's where the Civil War era fortification "Fort Whipple" was located. One of two of the nearly 70 fortifications located within the acres of present day Historic Fort Myer - the other was Fort Cass which were part of the Defenses of Washington
Some nearly turn of the century building that contained the Post hospital (It was where Orville Wright and Lieutenant Selfridge were taken in SEP 1908 after the Wright Flyer crashed during a test flight on Fort Myer) In later years, the hospital was closed and the building became Post Headquarters where the command staff is located.
At one period of time, Fort Myer was a showcase for the US Cavalry. With about 1,500 horses which were serving the field artillery and the cavalry, there were many more stables on post. That all changed in February 1942 when the 3d Cavalry - "The Brave Rifles" relinquished their mounts and were shipped south to get mechanized. The Army's Remount Service only lasted until 1948 when all the depots, including the one at Front Royal, Virginia were turned over to the US Department of Agriculture.
Many of the stables on post were re-purposed or in the case of those used by the field artillery units, were torn down - their gun sheds also were scrapped. The stable in the photo is the McKinney Stable where the Old Guard's Caisson Platoon spends most of their waking hours tending to the horses that provide the transport of the veterans in Arlington National Cemetery.
Other stables to the north of this one have been repurposed - one is the home of the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. Down below Whipple Field are several other stables which were used by the Buffalo Soldiers while they were stationed at Fort Myer. Both the 9th and 10th Cavalry were stationed at the Post.
Comny Hall, named for COL Joseph B. Conmy Jr. who commanded the 3d Infantry - "The Old Guard" in 1962. Back in the day, when Fort Myer was a Cavalry Showcase, this was the riding arena where the troopers kept their skills sharp during the winter months. The hall, with it's floor of ground also provided the location where the Society Circus was held to entertain those from the city of Washington and surrounds.
After the cavalry left in 1942, the building was repurposed and over time became the location where ceremonies would be held - retirements, changes of command / responsibility and even events such as Twilight Tattoo, Prelude to Taps and even Spirit of America.
Since 1948 when the 3d Infantry was re-activated and the regiment became a "permanent resident" of the Post, their soldiers in concert with the US Army Band - "Pershing's Own" provided all the ceremonial troops for the events.
COMMISSARY - these buildings back in 1972 is where the Soldiers and their families came to shop for their provisions. It was before the current commissary was built near the southwest corner of the Post. These buildings are now used for other purposes such as the Post thrift shop.
BUY THE BOOK
If you've enjoyed this small glimpse of Fort Myer, then perhaps you should BUY THE BOOK. An author autographed copy is available here on this website.
Coming next A 1972 Tour of Fort Myer - Part III
Or a look back at A 1972 Tour of Fort Myer - Part i
It's here... the kindle version ... the book "Images of America - Fort Myer" was in the queue to be converted and released for the Kindle and the application for your tablet or Android phone version. Arcadia Publishing has sent an alert that it's available now.
Historic Fort Myer began in 1863 as Fort Whipple, one of the nearly 70 forts that formed the Defenses of Washington. Since the 1940s, it's been the home of The US Army Band "Pershing's Own" and the 3d Infantry Regiment, "The Old Guard" (named by General Winfield Scott).
For those of you who still prefer a paper copy - especially if you would like an autographed copy - it's time to head to BUY THE BOOK and select your choice.
In either case, you'll be presented with over 200 timeless photographs complemented by interpretive text that will capsule the first one hundred years of this US Army Post - 1860s to 1960s. It is the only remaining fort from the Civil War era that is still "ON POINT" - it's also where the famed Buffalo Soldiers - the 9th and 10th Cavalry had squadrons posted twice. And forgotten ways of transportation - the trolley lines - one which began as a horsecar that came out of Rosslyn , Virginia and ultimately electrified was extended to Nauck area of Arlington County, Virginia.
So whatever version you choose, the kindle version or the regular paper book, you'll be getting an excellent book that presents such historic events such as: the first military aviation flight, the showcase for the US Cavalry, the little known "Society Circus" - begun during Patton's second of four postings to Fort Myer, impressive photos of the South Post of Fort Myer, the "Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery" connection and most of all the first time published note from Abraham Lincoln which was discovered during the research for the book.
Don't have a Kindle yet? Here's where you can get one direct from Amazon...
the Kindle version is available ...
"AI-EE-YAH!” the Regimental Battle Cry of the Brave Rifles announced their arrival...
It was 1919, World War I was over and those who went "Over there..." began to return home to the United States. The 3d Cavalry Regiment came home to Boston with Headquarters and 1st Squadrons moving onto Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont.
Fort Myer would then receive 3d Squadron, but it would be re-designated 2d Squadron when the 3d Squadron was deactivated. Over the next two plus decades, the troopers of 2d Squadron would defend the nation's capital and also be called upon to provide ceremonial support - honor guards and escorts for visiting dignitaries, final honors support within Arlington National Cemetery which earned them the title of the "President's Own" for their service.
Escort to First Unknown Soldier
In 1921 when the first unknown was laid to rest within Arlington National Cemetery near the amphitheater, the "Brave Rifles" provided the ceremonial escort. It was the regimental bugler, Staff Sergeant Frank Witchey, who would sound TAPS at the ceremony. Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were provided by the 3d Cavalry until 1941.
Display of Skills and Talents
Over the years while at Fort Myer, the troopers of the "Brave Rifles" would delight and entertain the residents of Washington DC with their excellent horsemanship skills and talents during horseshows, polo matches and the Society Circus. The latter is an event that has evolved into today's Spirit of America hosted by the US Army and executed by the US Army's 3d Infantry Regiment - "The Old Guard" and The US Army Band - "Pershing's Own" within the Washington DC area and several US cities.
The "Brave Rifles" would ultimately relinquish their horses and leave Fort Myer in February 1942. They would head to Georgia - Fort Ogelthorpe first then onto Fort Benning to get mechanized in preparation to deploy during World War II.
"Images of America - Fort Myer" which is based on over two years of research, contains over 200 historical photographs that presents the first one hundred years of this US Army Post with origins during the US Civil War when it was known as Fort Whipple.
George S Patton Jr. was stationed at Fort Myer four times during his early career. From the first time, he would have an impact on the Post and the US Army that would carry on until today. He truly left his mark.
Patton Hall, once the Post Headquarters, now known by most as "The Officers' Club" or "The O Club" is named for this great icon in US Army, military and world history. A fitting tribute to one who has contributed much to the post and to the US Army. The most visible contribution to all who visit Fort Myer is the Old Post Chapel, which was dedicated in 1935.
Competing in the Olympics
Patton's original postings once he graduated from West Point wa at Fort Sheridan, IL with the 15th Cavalry. He was then transferred to Fort Myer among his four tours of duty to the post include: The first from 1911 to 1913 when he was selected to compete in the 1912 Olympics in Europe representing the United States in the pentathlon, the second from 1920 to 1922, the third from 1932 to 1935, and the fourth from 1938 to 1940, when he was both postCommander and commander of the 3rd Cavalry - "The Brave Rifles" George S Patton enjoyed Fort Myer. He had his own personal horses stabled there and often went riding with his daughter.
The book, "Images of America - Fort Myer" presents over 200 historic photographs and within that set of images which chronicles the first one hundred years of the post back when it was known as Fort Whipple. The images tell the lasting impact of George S Patton, Jr.