Transferring bases, 1921 style
From the Old Guard Museum:
On 26 September 1921, the regulars of the 3d Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) set out for their newly assigned post– Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Due to the post-World War I cuts in defense, there was no funding for transportation. Nonetheless, the Regiment set out on a 938-mile road march to comply with its orders.
The 3rd had already been on the move that year, all by foot.
At the start of 1921, the Old Guard was stationed at Camp Sherman, Ohio, having left Camp Eagle Pass, Texas the previous year. In August 1921, orders came down from the War Department. The Old Guard was to march from Camp Sherman to Camp Perry, Ohio (173 miles).
At Camp Perry, the Regiment, along with the 2d Infantry Regiment, helped run the annual National Rifle Match (which continues today). On 24 August, the day after their arrival at Perry, regimental command passed from Colonel Paul Giddings to Colonel Alfred Bjornstad.
Once the rifle matches were completed on 25 September, both the 2d and 3d Infantry Regiments started their march to Fort Sheridan. Once at Sheridan, the Regiment stayed four days to rest and resupply. The Perry-Sheridan leg of the march would be 308 miles, taking the brigade just 19 days to cover (including two rest days).
They arrived at Sheridan on 15 October, some 95 years ago today, averaging 16.21 miles per day– a feat besting that of Stonewall Jackson’s “foot cavalry” of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign which covered 650 miles in 48 days (13.54 miles per day), though with slightly less gun play and with much better boots.
From Fort Sheridan, the 3d was to march on to Fort Snelling, where they would spend the next 20 years and earn the nickname, “Minnesota’s Own” before WWII service and finally duty in the Washington Military District where they endure today.