Forts Assiniboine, Riley, Snelling

By Joseph I. Lambert, Major, Second Cavalry
Copyright 1939 Commanding Officer, Second Cavalry, Fort Riley, Kansas
Capper Printing Company, Inc.

Advantage was taken of the assembling of all the troops to give regimental training during the remainder of the year. Early in 1906 orders came sending the regiment back to the United States. The headquarters, band, and first squadron were ordered to Fort Assiniboine, Montana. Troops C and M had left this post in 1884 after the close of the Indian campaigns which followed the Civil War. The troops sailed on the transport Logan January 5, 1906, via Nagasaki, Japan, Honolulu, T. H., and San Francisco, arriving at the latter port February 4. As soon as this squadron reached the new post it started making weekly practice marches as required by Department orders. The summer was spent in maneuvers at Camp Tacoma, near Murray, Washington.

The second squadron left Camp Stotsenburg January 23, 1906, and embarked on the transport Buford for station at Fort Riley, Kansas. It traveled by boat over the same route and arrived by rail at the new station March 11. During the following summer the troops participated in maneuvers in August and September and followed this period with a practice march of fifteen days.

The third squadron embarked on the same boat as the second squadron, and after arriving in San Francisco, entrained for Fort Snelling, Minnesota, where it arrived March 12, 1906. The summer maneuvers participated in by these troops occurred at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

This was the year of the San Francisco earthquake and several of the officers of the regiment were sent there on staff duty during the emergency following the catastrophe. In November Major Herbert J. Slocum and Lieutenant Walter F. Martin were sent to Cuba for duty with the army of pacification.

At that time there was much interest in the fine scores made by members of the regiment in rifle and pistol competitions. The record shows that during the years from 1881 to 1906 the Second Cavalry won more army team medals than any other regiment. In the latter year it also had eighteen Distinguished Marksmen, a larger number than any other regiment in the army.

The machine-gun platoon was organized in each cavalry regiment during the year in compliance with G.O. 113, War Department, June 19, 1906. It consisted of one sergeant, two corporals, and eighteen privates, and was commanded by an officer. Instead of organizing a separate troop, the men were selected from all the troops and carried on special duty while members of the platoon. The armament consisted of two Vickers-Maxim machine guns with tripod mounts, and other necessary equipment. The platoon was permanently attached to the first squadron for administration, and the men remained in their own barracks and messes, but joined the platoon each day for training.

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