Marines do Gettysburg to Prep for Guadalcanal

Some 100 Years Ago This Weekend: Across early July 1922, the Marine Corps East Coast Expeditionary Force, based at Quantico, Virginia, headed to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for maneuvers and field exercises on the 59th anniversary of the great Civil War battle there. Spearheaded by Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler, the maneuvers and exercises, were also utilized as a method of obtaining favorable publicity and were often attended by the President and other dignitaries at the time.

All photos are via the Marine Corps History Division which has a great catalog of the event.

Two Civil War veterans post for a photograph with Marine Corps artillery in Gettysburg in July 1922

Excercise included road march via vehicle from Virginia to Gettysburg. Note the back tractor tows a 155mm heavy artillery piece.

Marine participants in the reenactment are carried off the field. Gettysburg 1922

Marine perform maintenance on three M1917 FT17 Renault light tanks during the 1922 Gettysburg maneuvers helped win the battle for Confederates

Marines skirmishing along the Emmitsburg Road during the 1922 Gettysburg maneuvers

Of note, Chesty Puller and the gang would use abatis, or chevaux de frise, a classic defensive anti-cavalry measure common in the Civil War, to defend Henderson Field against the Japanese in August 1942.

Cheval de frise/Frisian horses by Ponder House, Battle of Atlanta, Fort X 1864

Chevaux de frise anti-cavalry measures at Fort Blakely, Alabama. Dating to medieval times, they were still effective in the 1860s. photo by Chris Eger

Bamboo cheval de frise gates around the Coffin Corner area covering trails into Marine lines Guadalcanal 1942. Hey, if it works, it ain’t stupid. Those who don’t study history…

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