Army History in December

By Bluhm, Raymond K., Jr. | Soldiers Magazine, December 2004 | Go to article overview

Army History in December


Bluhm, Raymond K., Jr., Soldiers Magazine


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.

1700s

1775--MG Richard Montgomery is the first Continental Army general to die in combat, during a failed attack on Quebec the night of Dec. 30-31.

Birthday of cavalry/armor. On Dec. 12 Congress authorizes the first regiment of light dragoons.

1776--The night of Dec. 25-26, George Washington leads his army across the Delaware River in a surprise attack on the Hessian garrison at Trenton, N.J.

1777--Winter at Valley Forge, Pa. By spring, 2,000 Soldiers will die of disease and cold.

1800s

1802--The Corps of Engineers adopts a new uniform on Dec. 3. One element is a brass button incorporating a bastion, eagle and the Engineer Corps' motto: Essayons, or "Let Us Try."

1806--The Red River Expedition's troubles continue as the party is surrounded and robbed by armed Pawnees.

1817--On Dec. 23 Soldiers capture Amelia Island, Fla., ridding it of pirates and slave traders.

1862--The Army of the Potomac crosses the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg, Va., on Dec. 13, but suffers a serious defeat at the hands of well-prepared Confederate defenders.

1864 The Union armies of MG William Sherman enter Savannah, Ga., on Dec. 21, ending their 300-mile march to the sea from Atlanta.

1900s

1906--The Department of War directs the first use of metal identification tags, soon nicknamed "dog tags" by Soldiers.

1911--A force led by CPT John J. Pershing surrounds a major Moro stronghold on Jolo, in the Philippines, and forces a surrender.

1918--The Third Army crosses the Rhine River on Dec. 8 to establish headquarters for administering its occupation zone in Germany.

1926--The Army replaces the high "choke" collar uniform blouse with an open-lapel design.

1941

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, GEN George Marshall approves plans for a two-million man army of 100 divisions. On Luzon, American and Philippine units withdraw to Bataan. …

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