Army History in October

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.


1759 -- Rogers' Rangers attack the Indian village of St. Francis, Quebec, then begin the long march back to New England. The return takes nearly a month, and nearly half of Rogers' men die on the way, many from starvation.

1777 -- Battle of Bemis Heights, N.Y., Oct. 7. Although ordered out of the fighting by MG Horatio Gates, BG Benedict Arnold assumes command of the American left flank and captures two British positions. Gates proposes court-martial charges.


Army General Orders of Oct. 2 establish blue as the basic color of the Continental Army uniform and specifies trim colors for specialized units.


1802 -- Joseph G. Swift and Simon M. Levy, the first graduates of the new U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., are commissioned on Oct. 12 as lieutenants in the Corps of Engineers.

1803 -- The Corps of Discovery for territories of the Louisiana Purchase begins to take shape as CPT Meriwether Lewis swears in the first nine enlisted members.

1861 -- The Battle of Ball's Bluff. On Oct. 21, Union forces cross the Potomac River near Leesburg, Va., but are driven back.

1867 -- At Sitka, elements of the 9th Infantry and 2nd Artillery regiments accept possession of Alaska from Russia on Oct. 8.


On Oct. 7 the Army changes from its traditional two-tone blue woolen campaign uniform to a khaki field uniform.


1900 -- On the Philippine island of Luzon, rebels ambush members of the 28th U.S. Volunteer Inf. on Oct. 21.

1909 -- The first solo flights by the Army's original pilots, LT Frank P. Lahm and LT Fredric E. Humphreys, occur on Oct. 26, from a field in College Park, Md. Each flight lasts approximately three minutes.

1918 -- On Oct. 2 elements of the 308th and 307th Inf. regiments are cut off in the Argonne Forest, but refuse to surrender. The "Lost Battalion" holds for five days before relief arrives.

1939 -- On Oct. 1 Fort Humphreys in Washington, D.C., becomes the Army War College. After World War II the post's name is changed to Fort Leslie J. McNair.

1942 -- The 164th Inf. Div. arrives on Guadalcanal Island on Oct. 13 to reinforce the Marines in battle against the Japanese. The Soldiers quickly go into action near Henderson Field. …