Army History in June

Article excerpt

Beyond its role in defense of the nation, the Army and its Soldiers have contributed to medicine, technology, exploration, engineering and science. The milestones listed in this monthly chronology offer only a small glimpse of that proud story of selfless service. It is also your story.


1745 -- The French fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, surrenders to American colonial troops, easing the danger of French raids on New England coastal towns.

1775 -- Birthday of the Army. On June 14 the Second Continental Congress votes to raise 10 companies of riflemen from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. In addition, it assumes responsibility for thousands of American militia besieging the British in Boston.

1775 -- On June 16 Congress appoints George Washington general and commander in chief of the Continental Army. Congress also authorizes an engineer, adjutant general, paymaster, commissary general and quartermaster, giving birth to those branches.

1775 -- Battle of Bunker Hill. The new Continental Army fights its first battle on June 17 when British troops attack Colonial positions on Breeds Hill (misidentified as Bunker Hill) in Massachusetts. After three bloody assaults, the Americans are driven out.

1776 -- Congress creates the Board of War and Ordnance to oversee the conduct of the war. It is a forerunner of the departments of Army and Defense.

1778 -- Battle of Monmouth, N.J. On June 28 a mismanaged attack by MG Charles Lee almost turns into an American defeat until Washington rallies the troops. During the battle, Mary Hayes (Molly Pitcher) steps in to help when her husband, an artilleryman, is wounded.

1783 -- Congress orders demobilization of the Continental Army. On June 2 Washington begins sending men home, pending formal discharge. He is unable to provide long overdue pay, and hundreds of Soldiers protest outside Congress.

1792 -- MG Anthony Wayne, Army commander in chief, arrives at Fort Fayette in Pittsburgh, Pa., in mid-June to take command of the reorganized Legion of the United States.


1804 -- Corps of Discovery. The Soldiers under CPT Meriwether Lewis and LT William Clark pole their boats up the Missouri River past La Charette, the last American settlement, on June 25.

1806 -- Red River Expedition. Soldiers of the 2nd Infantry and their guides begin their ascent of the Red River on June 2. Escorting civilian scientists on a mission similar to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the explorers are stalked by Spanish patrols sent to interdict the Americans.

1813 -- On June 27 MAJ George Armistead of the 3rd Artillery takes command of Fort McHenry at Baltimore Harbor. One of his first actions is to order an unusually large American flag to fly over the fort. …