Combat of Mondovi, 28 September 1799

Combat of Mondovi, 28 September 1799

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Combat of Mondovi, 28 September 1799

The combat of Mondovi (28 September 1799) was a French defeat during General Championnet's attempts to protect Cuneo, the last important French possession in Italy after the disastrous campaign of 1799. The French Directorate urged Championnet to make every effort to save the town. He decided to move Muller's and Duhesme's divisions from the Army of the Alps down to the plains around Cuneo, while Victor and Lemoine would move to Mondovi. This would give the French a continuous line on the northern side of the Apennines, and prevent the Austrians under General Melas from feeling secure in the northern Italian plains.

The attack on Mondovi was to be supported by a number of other operations. General La Viollais was to bring 3,000 men out of the Col de Tende towards Cuneo, while General Laboissière was to send a detachment to Castellino (near Cuneo). Further east General Watrin was to make a rapid advance towards Novi, while Saint-Cyr, with 12,000 men from the three division of the right, was to create a diversion on the Riviera di Levante (the coast east of Genoa).

The entire plan failed at the first hurdle. On 28 September Victor advanced towards Mondovi, and his advance guard reached a suburb of the town, but a lack of food meant that the rest of the division had to abandon the attack, and Victor was forced to move south-west to Villanova.

On 30 September Championnet was informed that Victor had captured Mondovi, but soon discovered the truth. Worse was to come. Alerted by the unsuccessful attack Melas moved 2,000 men and some artillery into Mondovi, making it secure against a surprise attack. Championnet was forced to order his men to move onto the northern slopes of the Apennines in an attempt to live off the land in Piedmont. Serras moved to Battifollo, where he could watch the Austrians at Ceva and keep in touch with Victor to the west at Villa Nova, while Lemoine moved to Saliceto, to the east of Ceva.

The Austrians were now confident enough to launch a counterattack of their own. Laudon's brigade, reinforced by the garrison of Mondovi and a number of Italian insurgents attacked south-west from Mondovi. Victor and Lemoine were initially forced back from Villanova and past Chiusa, another four miles to the west, but the Austrians were then forced back with heavy losses. After this Serras moved north-west, to Lesegno and San Michele, from where he would directly threaten the flank of any similar Austrian attack.

Napoleonic Home Page | Books on the Napoleonic Wars | Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars

Combat of Mondovi, 28 September 1799 - History

By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 7, 2004

CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A century-old church bell in the 2nd Infantry Division Museum is the subject of a new book that casts doubt on the official history of how the U.S. Army obtained it.

Philippines-based researcher and author Bob Couttie said the book — “Hang The Dogs: The True Tragic History of the Balangiga Massacre” — will be published next month. The book details events that led up to the 9th Infantry Regiment, which deployed to Philippines during the 1899-1902 Philippines-American War, taking possession of the bell.

The 2nd ID’s Iraq-bound 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment recently transferred the bell to the museum for safekeeping. The regiment previously displayed it at its Camp Hovey headquarters.

According to a caption of a 1902 picture of 9th Infantry Regiment soldiers with the bell: “The Bell of Balangiga originally hung in the bell tower of a church the village of Balangiga, Samar, Philippine Islands, where its intended purpose was to signal the start of church services. On 28 September 1901, however, it was used to signal the insurrectos, or rebels, who were under the command of Emilio Aquinaldo, to commence their surprise attack on the village of Balangiga and its garrison, Company C, Ninth Infantry Regiment.

“The night before the attack some three hundred insurrectos, who were dressed as women, entered the church with smuggled weapons. They remained in the church until the following morning, when by arrangement between certain village officials and the insurrectos, the bell was rung as a signal to start the attack. In the ensuing savage fight, more than one-half of the seventy-four men of Company C, under the command of Cpt. Thomas Connell, were killed, and only four of the remaining Manchus escaped without wounds. Those Manchus fought fiercely and killed approximately 250 insurrectos by the time the battle was over and they were relieved by Company E, Ninth Infantry Regiment.”

The caption says villagers presented the bell to the regiment when it left Balangiga on April 9, 1902.

However, “Hang The Dogs,” which author Couttie said is based on 10 years of research, suggests the Manchus killed only 30 insurrectos then retreated about 20 miles to the nearest garrison at Basey.

“The next day, two companies of the 9th went to Balangiga, buried the dead and burned the town,” said Couttie, a British native.

The regiment obtained three church bells from Balangiga, two of which are at Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.

“This remains an issue and there are yearly requests to return the bells to Balangiga,” Couttie said.

Staffers at the 2nd ID Museum said they are not aware of any plans to return the bells.

“It is the position of the Center for Military History that these [bells] are part of the 9th Infantry Regiment’s storied past that dates back to 1799. It is one of the original two regiments of the 2nd Infantry Division when it was formed in 1917,” a staff member said.

The Balangiga bell will be displayed in a glass case in the museum’s regimental room along with the photograph, the staff member said.

Couttie said the Balangiga incident is a lesson for soldiers deploying to Iraq. The insurrection may have been caused by some of Connell’s decisions after C Company occupied Balangiga, he said.

“In 1897 a massive typhoon scoured the Samar coast, producing floods of up to 15 feet, wiping out the island’s economy and much of its food. It would take three to five years to recover. So, by late 1901, they were just harvesting what was probably the first substantive food they’d seen for four years.

“[Connell] … followed standard operating procedure and wanted the town cleaned up. The townspeople, naturally, were more interested in getting their food crops in than doing the housework. Eventually, this resulted in every able-bodied man in the town being seized, imprisoned, and given forced labor to clean up the town.”

Combat of Mondovi, 28 September 1799 - History


The first Navy ship named for Secretary of the Navy John Y. Mason (1799�), Mason was laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia, 10 July 1918 launched 8 March 1919 sponsored by Miss Mary Mason Williams, great-granddaughter of Secretary Mason and commissioned at Norfolk Navy Yard 28 February 1920, Lieutenant Carl F. Holden temporarily in command until Lieutenant Commander Hartwell C. Davis took command 8 March.

On 17 July Mason was designated DD-191. After shakedown off Norfolk, Virginia, she operated along the east coast for the next 2 years until she sailed for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a result of the Washington Naval Treaty of 6 February 1922 limiting naval armament, the destroyer decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yardك July 1922.

 USS Mason (DE-529) – 1944 – 1947

USS Mason (DE-529), an Evarts-class destroyer escort, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named Mason, though DE-529 was the only one specifically named for Ensign Newton Henry Mason. The USS Mason was one of two US Navy ships with largely African-American crews in World War II. The other was the USS PC-1264, a submarine chaser. [1]  These two ships were manned with African Americans as the result of a letter sent to President Roosevelt by the NAACP in mid-December 1941.

The USS Mason was commanded by Carlton Skinner. Her keel was laid down in the Boston Navy Yard, on 14 October 1943. She was launched on 17 November 1943, sponsored by Mrs. David Mason, the mother of Ensign Mason, and commissioned on 20 March 1944, with Lt. Commander William M. Blackford, USNR, in command.

Following a shakedown cruise off Bermuda, the Mason departed from Charleston, South Carolina, on 14 June, escorting a convoy bound for Europe, arriving at Horta Harbor, Azores, on 6 July. She got underway from Belfast, Northern Ireland, headed for the East Coast on 26 July, arriving at Boston Harbor on 2 August for convoy duty off the harbor through August.

On 2 September, she arrived at New York City to steam on 19 September in the screen for convoy NY.119. The Mason reached Falmouth, Cornwall, with part of the convoy 18 October, and she returned to New York from Plymouth, England, and the Azoreson 22 November.

On October 18th, Mason supported Convoy NY-119 in a severe North Atlantic storm.  [2]  The ship suffered and self-repaired critical structural damage and still rescued ships from the convoy. The crew of Mason was not awarded a letter of commendation until 1994 for meritorious service during this action.  [3]   [4]

Mason joined TF㻀 at Norfolk, Virginia, on 17 December. Two days later she sailed in convoy for Europe, passing by Gibraltar on 4 January 1945 to be relieved of escort duties. Continuing to Algeria, she entered Oran on 5 January for the formation of TG 60.11.

The escort ship cleared Oran 7 January. Four days later the Mason made radar contact with a surface target. She rang up full speed with all battle stations manned to attack the presumptive submarine, rammed, and dropped depth charges. Unable to regain contact, the ship returned to the contact point, where searchlight revealed the target—a wooden derelict about 100 by 50 feet. The Mason then steamed to Bermuda for repairs, entering St. George's Harbor on 19 January. Five days later she reached the New York Navy Yard.

On 12 February Mason departed Norfolk in convoy for the Mediterranean Sea, arriving off Gibraltar on 28 February. She cleared Oran 8 March to guard a convoy to Bermuda and Chesapeake Bay before returning to New York 24 March. After sonar exercises off New London, Connecticut, and fighter-director training with naval aircraft from Quonset Point, Rhode Island, she steamed from Norfolk 10 April with another convoy to Europe, leaving the convoy at Gibraltar 28 April. The Mason was two days out of Oran en route to the East Coast when the end of World War II in Europe was announced on the eighth of May.

The Mason arrived at New York on 23 May for operations along the East Coast into July. From 28 July to 18 August she served as a school ship for the Naval Training Center, Miami, Florida. On 20 August she arrived at New London to be outfitted for long-range underwater signal testing in the Bermuda area into September. The Mason departed from Bermuda on 8 September for Charleston, S.C., arriving there two days later.

The Mason was decommissioned on 12 October, was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 November 1945, and was sold and delivered to New Jersey, on 18 March 1947 for scrapping.

USS Mason DDG87 -  (1947 - 2011)

Home ported in Norfolk, Virginia, the USS Mason is the 37th Arleigh Burke class destroyer and the ninth of the Flight IIA variant. She was commissioned in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in April 2003. Her first captain was Commander David Gale.

This is the third ship with the name USS Mason. The first Mason (DD-191), in service from 1920 to 1941, was named for John Young Mason, well known for his service as the Secretary of the Navy for two American Presidents. The second Mason (DE-529)was named for Ensign Newton Henry Mason, a Naval Aviator who was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. This ship is named for the crew of the second Mason (DE-529) as this was the first ship in the US Navy with this distinction of a predominantly black crew.

USS Mason conducted her maiden deployment with the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) Carrier Strike Group in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2004. Mason returned home after six months on 18 April 2005.

On 3 October 2006, the Mason departed Naval Station Norfolk for a seven month deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of the Global War on Terrorism. She participated in Exercise Neon Falcon. The Mason returned home in May 2007.

The Mason deployed with the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) on 12 September 2008 for a scheduled deployment.

On 12 March 2011, she sailed through the Suez Canal en-route to the Mediterranean, to support possible humanitarian or military action in response to the� Libyan civil war.

The Navy’s black crew of the USS DE-529 was awarded the Medal of Honor (Under President Bill Clinton) 

2. Fighting Parthians for Rome.

Patton next talks about slaying Parthians with his Gladius, a sword approximately 25-32 inches long. Since the battle was said to have taken place in the first century B.C., Patton would have been fighting for what was then still the Roman Republic in the Middle East under any number of legendary Roman names: Crassus, Cassius, and Marc Antony to name a few.

In his vision, Patton was wounded and then killed by a number of arrows in his neck.

How do you sleep at night after seeing this in your past life??

The general also remembered being stationed in Langres, France — as a Roman legionnaire in Caesar’s X Legion.

Combat of Mondovi, 28 September 1799 - History

WHEREAS all government ought to be instituted and supported for the security and protection of the community as such, and to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and the other blessings which the Author of existence has bestowed upon man and whenever these great ends of government are not obtained, the people have a right, by common consent to change it, and take such measures as to them may appear necessary to promote their safety and happiness. AND WHEREAS the inhabitants o f this commonwealth have in consideration of protection only, heretofore acknowledged allegiance to the king of Great Britain and the said king has not only withdrawn that protection, but commenced, and still continues to carry on, with unabated vengeance, a most cruel and unjust war against them, employing therein, not only the troops of Great Britain, but foreign mercenaries, savages and slaves, for the avowed purpose of reducing them to a total and abject submission to the despotic domination of the British parliament, with many other acts of tyranny, (more fully set forth in the declaration of Congress) whereby all allegiance and fealty to the said king and his successors, are dissolved and at an end, and all power and authority derived from him ceased in these colonies. AND WHEREAS it is absolutely necessary for the welfare and safety of the inhabitants of said colonies, that they be henceforth free and independent States, and that just, permanent, and proper forms of government exist in every part of them, derived from and founded on the authority of the people only, agreeable to the directions of the honourable American Congress. We, the representatives of the freemen of Pennsylvania, in general convention met, for the express purpose of framing such a government, confessing the goodness of the great Governor of the universe (who alone knows to what degree of earthly happiness mankind mav attain, by perfecting the arts of government) in permitting the people of this State, by common consent, and without violence, deliberately to form for themselves such just rules as they shall think best, for governing their future society, and being fully convinced, that itis our indispensable duty to establish such original principles of government, as will best promote the general happiness of the people of this State, and their posterity, and provide for future improvements, without partiality for, or prejudice against any particular class, sect, or denomination of men whatever, do, by virtue of the authority vested in use by our constituents, ordain, declare, and establish, the following Declaration of Rights and Frame of Government, to be the CONSTITUTION of this commonwealth, and to remain in force therein for ever, unaltered, except in such articles as shall hereafter on experience be found to require improvement, and which shall by the same authority of the people, fairly delegated as this frame of government directs, be amended or improved for the more effectual obtaining and securing the great end and design of all government, herein before mentioned.


I. That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

II. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding: And that no man ought or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any ministry, contrary to, or against, his own free will and consent: Nor can any man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments or peculiar mode of religious worship: And that no authority can or ought to be vested in, or assumed by any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner controul, the right of conscience in the free exercise of religious worship.

III. That the people of this State have the sole, exclusive and inherent right of governing and regulating the internal police of the same.

IV. That all power being originally inherent in, and consequently derived from, the people therefore all officers of government, whether legislative or executive, are their trustees and servants, and at all times accountable to them.

V. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community and not for the particular emolument or advantage of any single man, family, or soft of men, who are a part only of that community, And that the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish government in such manner as shall be by that community judged most conducive to the public weal.

VI. That those who are employed in the legislative and executive business of the State, may be restrained from oppression, the people have a right, at such periods as they may think proper, to reduce their public officers to a private station, and supply the vacancies by certain and regular elections.

VII. That all elections ought to be free and that all free men having a sufficient evident common interest with, and attachment to the community, have a right to elect officers, or to be elected into office.

VIII. That every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property, and therefore is bound to contribute his proportion towards the expence of that protection, and yield his personal service when necessary, or an equivalent thereto: But no part of a man's property can be justly taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of his legal representatives: Nor can any man who is conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms, be justly compelled thereto, if he will pay such equivalent, nor are the people bound by any laws, but such as they have in like manner assented to, for their common good.

IX. That in all prosecutions for criminal offences, a man hath a right to be heard by himself and his council, to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses, to call for evidence in his favour, and a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury of the country, without the unanimous consent of which jury he cannot be found guilty nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself nor can any man be justly deprived of his liberty except by the laws of the land, or the judgment of his peers.

X. That the people have a right to hold themselves, their houses, papers, and possessions free from search and seizure, and therefore warrants without oaths or affirmations first made, affording a sufficient foundation for them, and whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded or required to search suspected places, or to seize any person or persons, his or their property, not particularly described, are contrary to that right, and ought not to be granted.

XI. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the parties have a right to trial by jury, which ought to be held sacred.

XII. That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing, and publishing their sentiments therefore the freedom of the press ought not to be restrained.

XIII. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

XIV. That a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles, and a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality are absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty, and keep a government free: The people ought therefore to pay particular attention to these points in the choice of officers and representatives, and have a right to exact a due and constant regard to them, from their legislatures and magistrates, in the making and executing such laws as are necessary for the good government of the state.

XV. That all men have a natural inherent right to emigrate from one state to another that will receive them, or to form a new state in vacant countries, or in such countries as they can purchase, whenever they think that thereby they may promote their own happiness.

XVI. That the people have a right to assemble together, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the legislature for redress of grievances, by address, petition, or remonstrance.


SECTION 1. The commonwealth or state of Pennsylvania shall be governed hereafter by an assembly of the representatives of the freemen of the same, and a president and council, in manner and form following-

SECT. 2. The supreme legislative power shall be vested in a house of representatives of the freemen of the commonwealth or state of Pennsylvania.

SECT. 3. The supreme executive power shall be vested in a president and council.

SECT. 4. Courts of justice shall be established in the city of Philadelphia, and in every county of this state.

SECT. 5. The freemen of this commonwealth and their sons shall be trained and armed for its defence under such regulations, restrictions, and exceptions as the general assembly shall by law direct, preserving always to the people the right of choosing their colonels and all commissioned officers under that rank, in such manner and as often as by the said laws shall be directed.

SECT. 6. Every freemen of the full age of twenty-one Years, having resided in this state for the space of one whole Year next before the day of election for representatives, and paid public taxes during that time, shall enjoy the right of an elector: Provided always, that sons of freeholders of the age of twenty-one years shall be intitled to vote although they have not paid taxes.

SECT. 7. The house of representatives of the freemen of this commonwealth shall consist of persons most noted for wisdom and virtue, to be chosen by the freemen of every city and county of this commonwealth respectively. And no person shall be elected unless he has resided in the city or county for which he shall be chosen two years immediately before the said election nor shall any member, while he continues such, hold any other office, except in the militia.

SECT. 8. No person shall be capable of being elected a member to serve in the house of representatives of the freemen of this commonwealth more than four years in seven.

SECT. 9. The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen annually by ballot, by the freemen of the commonwealth, on the second Tuesday in October forever, (except this present year,) and shall meet on the fourth Monday of the same month, and shall be stiled, The general assembly of the representatives of the freemen of Pennsylvania, and shall have power to choose their speaker, the treasurer of the state, and their other officers sit on their own adjournments prepare bills and enact them into laws judge of the elections and qualifications of their own members they may expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause they may administer oaths or affirmations on examination of witnesses redress grievances impeach state criminals grant charters of incorporation constitute towns, boroughs, cities, and counties and shall have all other powers necessary for the legislature of a free state or commonwealth: But they shall have no power to add to, alter, abolish, or infringe any part of this constitution.

SECT. 10. A quorum of the house of representatives shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of members elected and having met and chosen their speaker, shall each of them before they proceed to business take and subscribe, as well the oath or affirmation of fidelity and allegiance hereinafter directed, as the following oath or affirmation, viz:

I do swear (or affirm) that as a member of this assembly, I will not propose or assent to any bill, vote, or resolution, which stall appear to free injurious to the people nor do or consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared in the constitution of this state but will in all things conduct myself as a faithful honest representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of only judgment and abilities.

And each member, before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz:

I do believe in one God, the creator and governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.

And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required of any civil officer or magistrate in this State.

SECT. 11. Delegates to represent this state in congress shall be chosen by ballot by the future general assembly at their first meeting, and annually forever afterwards, as long as such representation shall be necessary. Any delegate may be superseded at any time, by the general assembly appointing another in his stead. No man shall sit in congress longer than two years successively, nor be capable of reelection for three Years afterwards: and no person who holds any office in the gift of the congress shall hereafter be elected to represent this commonwealth in congress.

SECT. 12. If any city or cities, county or counties shall neglect or refuse to elect and send representatives to the general assembly, two-thirds of the members from the cities or counties that do elect and send representatives, provided they be a majority of the cities and counties of the whole state, when met, shall have all the powers of the general assembly, as fully and amply as if the whole were present.

SECT. 13. The doors of the house in which the representatives of the freemen of this state shall sit in general assembly, shall be and remain open for the admission of all persons who behave decently, except only when the welfare of this state may require the doors to be shut.

SECT. 14. The votes and proceedings of the general assembly shall be printed weekly during their sitting, with the yeas and nays, on any question, vote or resolution, where any two members require it except when the vote is taken by ballot and when the yeas and nays are so taken every member shall have a right to insert the reasons of his vote upon the minutes, if he desires it.

SECT. 15. To the end that laws before they are enacted may be more maturely considered, and the inconvenience of hasty determinations as much as possible prevented, all- bills of public nature shall be printed for the consideration of the people, before they are read in general assembly the last time for debate and amendment and, except on occasions of sudden necessity, shall not be passed into laws until the next session of assembly and for the more perfect satisfaction of the public, the reasons and motives for making such laws shall be fully and clearly expressed in the preambles.

SECT. 16. The stile of the laws of this commonwealth shall be, " Be it enacted, and it is hereby enacted by the representatives of the freemen of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in general assembly met, and by the authority of the same." And the general assembly shall affix their seal to every bill, as soon as it is enacted into a law, which seal shall be kept by the assembly, and shall be called, The seal of the laws of Pennsylvania, and shall not be used for any other purpose.

SECT. 17. The city of Philadelphia and each county of this commonwealth respectively, shall on the first Tuesday of November in this present year, and on the second Tuesday of October annually for the two next succeeding years, viz. the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, and the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, choose six persons to represent them in general assembly. But as representation in proportion to the number of taxable inhabitants is the only principle which can at all times secure liberty, and make the voice of a majority of the people the law of the land therefore the general assembly shall cause complete lists of the taxable inhabitants in the city and each county in the commonwealth respectively, to be taken and returned to them, on or before the last meeting of the assembly elected in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, who shall appoint a representation to each, in proportion to the number of taxables in such returns which representation shall continue for the next seven years afterwards at the end of which, a new return of the taxable inhabitants shall be made, and a representation agreeable thereto appointed by the said assembly, and so on septennially forever. The wages of-the representatives in general assembly, and all other state charges shall be paid out of the state treasury.

SECT. 18. In order that the freemen of this commonwealth may enjoy the benefit of election as equally as may be until the representation shall commences as directed in the foregoing section, each county at its own choice may be divided into districts, hold elections therein, and elect their representatives in the county, and their other elective officers, as shall be hereafter regulated by the general assembly of this state. And no inhabitant of this state shall have more than one annual vote at the general election for representatives in assembly.

SECT. 19. For the present the supreme. executive council of this state shall consist of twelve persons chosen in the follow-in" manner: The freemen of the city of Philadelphia, and of the counties of Philadelphia, Chester, and Bucks, respectively, shall choose by ballot one person for the city, and one for each county aforesaid to serve for three years and no longer, at the time and place for electing representatives in general assembly. The freemen of the counties of Lancaster, York, Cumberland, and Berks, shall, in like manner elect one person for each county respectively, to serve as counsellors for two years and no longer. And the counties of Northampton, Bedford, Northumberland and Westmoreland, respectively, shall, in like manner, elect one person for each county, to serve as counsellors for one year, and no longer. And at the expiration of the time for which each counsellor was chosen to serve, the freemen of the city of Philadelphia, and of the several counties in this state, respectively, shall elect one person to serve as counsellor for three years and no longer and so on every third year forever. By this mode of election and continual rotation, more men will be trained to public business, there will in every subsequent year be found in the council a number of persons acquainted with the proceedings of the foregoing Years, whereby the business will be more consistently conducted, and moreover the danger of establishing an inconvenient aristocracy will be effectually prevented. All vacancies in the council that may happen by death, resignation, or otherwise, shall be filled at the next general election for representatives in general assembly, unless a particular election for that purpose shall be sooner appointed by the president and council. No member of the general assembly or delegate in congress, shall be chosen a member of the council. The president and vice-president shall be chosen annually by the joint ballot of the general assembly and council, of the members of the council. Any person having served as a counsellor for three successive years, shall be incapable of holding that office for four years afterwards. Every member of the council shall be a justice of the peace for the whole eommon

vealth, by virtue of his office.

In case new additional counties shall hereafter be erected in this state, such county or counties shall elect a counsellor, and such county or counties shall be annexed to the next neighbouring counties, and shall take rotation with such counties.

The council shall meet annually, at the same time and place with the general assembly.

The treasurer of the state, trustees of the loan office, naval officers, collectors of customs or excise, judge of the admirality, attornies general, sheriffs, and prothonotaries, shall not be capable of a seat in the general assembly, executive council, or continental congress.

SECT. 20. The president, and in his absence the vice-president, with the council, five of whom shall be a quorum, shall have power to appoint and commissionate judges, naval officers, judge of the admiralty, attorney general and all other officers, civil and military, except such as are chosen by the general assembly or the people, agreeable to this frame of government, and the laws that may be made hereafter and shall supply every vacancy in any office, occasioned by death, resignation, removal or disqualification, until the office can be filled in the time and manner directed by law or this constitution. They are to correspond with other states, and transact business with the officers of government, civil and military and to prepare such business as may appear to them necessary to lay before the general assembly. They shall sit as judges, to hear and determine on impeachments, taking to their assistance for advice only, the justices of the supreme court. And shall have power to grant pardons and remit fines, in all cases whatsoever, except in cases of impeachment and in cases of treason and murder, shall have power to grant reprieves, but not to pardon, until the end of the next sessions of assembly but there shall be no remission or mitigation of punishments on impeachments, except by act of the legislature they are also to take care that the laws be faithfully executed they are to expedite the execution of such measures as may be resolved upon by the general assembly and they may draw upon the treasury for such sums as shall be appropriated by the house: They may also lay embargoes, or prohibit the exportation of any commodity, for any time, not exceeding thirty days, in the recess of the house only: They may grant such licences, as shall be directed by law, and shall have power to call together the general assembly when necessary, before the day to which they shall stand adjourned. The president shall be commander in chief of the forces of the state, but shall not command in person, except advised thereto by the council, and then only so long as they shall approve thereof. The president and council shall have a secretary, and keep fair books of their proceedings, wherein any counsellor may enter his dissent, with his reasons in support of it.

SECT. 21. All commissions shall be in the name, and by the authority of the freemen of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, sealed with the state seal, signed by the president or vice-president, and attested by the secretary which seal shall be kept by the council.

SECT. 22. Every officer of state, whether judicial or executive, shall be liable to be impeached by the general assembly, either when in office, or after his resignation or removal for mar-administration: All impeachments shall be before the president or vice-president and council, who shall hear and determine the same.

SECT. 23. The judges of the supreme court of judicature shall have fixed salaries, be commissioned for seven years only, though capable of re-appointment at the end of that term, but removable for misbehaviour at any time by the general assembly they shall not be allowed to sit as members in the continental congress, executive council, or general assembly, nor to hold any other office civil or military, nor to take or receive fees or perquisites of any kind.

SECT. 24. The supreme court, and the several courts of common pleas of this commonwealth, shall, besides the powers usually exercised by such courts, have the powers of a court of chancery, so far as relates to the perpetuating testimony, obtaining evidence from places not within this state, and the care of the persons and estates of those who are non compotes mentis, and such other powers as may be found necessary by future general assemblies, not inconsistent with this constitution.

SECT. 25. Trials shall be by jury as heretofore: And it is recommended to the legislature of this state, to provide by law against every corruption or partiality in the choice, return, or appointment of juries.

SECT. 26. Courts of sessions, common pleas, and orphans courts shall be held quarterly in each city and county and the legislature shall have power to establish all such other courts as they may judge for the good of the inhabitants of the state. All courts shall be open, and justice shall be impartially administered without corruption or unnecessary delay: All their officers shall be paid an adequate but moderate compensation for their services: And if any officer shall take greater or other fees than the law allows him, either directly or indirectly, it shall ever after disqualify him from holding any office in this state.

SECT. 27. All prosecutions shall commence in the name and by the authority of the freemen of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and all indictments shall conclude with these words, "Against the peace and dignity of the same." The style of all process hereafter in this state shall be, The commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

SECT. 28. The person of a debtor, where there is not a strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison, after delivering Up, bona fide, all his estate real and personal, for the use of his creditors, in such manner as shall be hereafter regulated by law. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident, or presumption great.

SECT. 29. Excessive bail shall not be exacted for bailable oflences: And all fines shall be moderate.

SECT. 30. Justices of the peace shall be elected by the freeholders of each city and county respectively, that is to say, two or more persons may be chosen for each ward, township, or district, as the law shall hereafter direct: And their names shall be returned to the president in council, who shall commissionate one or more of them for each ward, township, or district so returning, for seven years, removable for misconduct by the general assembly. But if any city or county, ward, township, or district in this commonwealth, shall hereafter incline to change the manner of appointing their justices of the peace as settled in this article, the general assembly may make laws to regulate the same, agreeable to the desire of a majority of the freeholders of the city or county, ward, township, or district so applying. No justice of the peace shall sit in the general assembly unless he first resigns his commission nor shall he be allowed to take any fees, nor any salary or allowance, except such as the future legislature may grant.

SECT. 31. Sheriffs and coroners shall be elected annually in each city and county, by the freemen that is to say, two persons for each office, one of whom for each, is to be commissioned by the President in council. No person shall continue in the office of sherlit more than three successive years, or be capable of being again elected during four years afterwards. The election shall be held at the same time and place appointed for the election of representatives: And the commissioners and assessors, and other officers chosen by the people, shall also be then and there elected, as has been usual heretofore, until altered or otherwise regulated by the future legislature of this state.

SECT. 32. All elections, whether by the people or in general assembly, shall be by ballot, free and voluntary: And any elector, who shall receive any gift or reward for his vote, in meat, drink, monies, or otherwise, shall forfeit his right to elect for that time, and suffer such other penalties as future laws shall direct. And any person who shall directly or indirectly give, promise, or bestow any such rewards to be elected, shall be thereby rendered incapable to serve for the ensuing year.

SECT. 33. All fees, licence money, fines and forfeitures heretofore granted, or paid to the governor, or his deputies for the support of government, shall hereafter be paid into the public treasury, unless altered or abolished by the future legislature.

SECT. 34. A register's office for the probate of wills and granting letters of administration, and an office for the recording of deeds, shall be kept in each city and county: The officers to be appointed by the general assembly, removable at their pleasure, and to be commissioned by the president in council.

SECT. 35. The printing presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the legislature, or any part of government.

SECT. 36. As every freeman to preserve his independence, (if without a sufficient estate) ought to have some profession, calling, trade or farm, whereby he may honestly subsist, there can be no necessity for, nor use in establishing offices of profit, the usual effects of which are dependence and servility unbecoming freemen, in the possessors and expectants faction, contention, corruption, and disorder among the people. But if any man is called into public service to the prejudice of his-private affairs, he has a right to a reasonable compensation: And whenever an office, through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes so profitable as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessened by the legislature.

SECT. 37. The future legislature of this state, shall regulate intails in such a manner as to prevent perpetuities.

SECT. 38. The penal laws as heretofore used shall be reformed by the legislature of this state, as soon as may be, and punishments made in some cases less sanguinary, and in general more proportionate to the crimes.

SECT. 39. To deter more effectually from the commission of crimes by continued visible punishments of long duration, and to make sanguinary punishments less necessary houses ought to be provided for punishing by hard labour, those who shall be convicted of crimes not capital wherein the criminals shall be imployed for the benefit of the public, or for reparation of injuries done to private persons: And all persons at proper times shall be admitted to see the prisoners at their labour.

SECT. 40. Every officer, whether judicial, executive or military, in authority under this commonwealth, shall take the following oath or affirmation of allegiance, and general oath of office before he enters on the execution of his office.


I do swear (or affirm) that I will be true and faithful to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania: And that I will not directly or indirectly do any act or thing prejudicial or injurious to the constitution or government thereof, as established by the-convention. -


I-do swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of for the of-and will do equal right and justice to all men, to the best of my judgment and abilities, according to law.

SECT. 41. NO public tax, custom or contribution shall be imposed upon, or paid by the people of this state, except by a law for that purpose: And before any law be made for raising it, the purpose for which any tax is to be raised ought to appear clearly to the legislature to be of more service to the community than the money would be, if not collected which being well observed, taxes can never be burthens.

SECT. 42. Every foreigner of good character who comes to settle in this state, having first taken an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the same, may purchase, or by other just means acquire, hold, and transfer land or other real estate and after one year's residence, shall be deemed a free denizen thereof, and entitled to all the rights of a natural born subject of this state, except that he shall not be capable of being elected a representative until after two years residence.

SECT. 43. The inhabitants of this state shall have liberty to fowl and hunt in seasonable times on the lands they hold, and on all other lands therein not inclosed and in like manner to fish in all boatable waters, and others not private property

SECT. 44. A school or schools shall be established in each county by the legislature, for the convenient instruction of youth, with such salaries to the masters paid by the public, as may enable them to instruct youth at low prices: And all useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted In one or more universities.

SECT. 45. Laws for the encouragement of virtue, and prevention of vice and immorality, shall be made and constantly kept in force, and provision shall be made for their due execution: And all religious societies or bodies of men heretofore united or incorporated for the advancement of religion or learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges, immunities and estates which they were accustomed to enjoy, or could of right have enjoyed, under the laws and former constitution of this state.

SECT. 46. The declaration of rights is hereby declared to be a part of the constitution of this commonwealth, and ought never to be violated on any presence whatever.

SECT. 47. In order that the freedom of the commonwealth may be preserved inviolate forever, there shall be chosen by ballot by the freemen in each city and county respectively, on the second Tuesday in October, in the Year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, and on the second Tuesday in October, in every seventh year thereafter, two persons in each city and county of this state, to be called the COUNCIL OF CENSORS who shall meet together on the second Monday of November next ensuing their election the majority of whom shall be a quorum in every case, except as to calling a convention, in which two-thirds of the whole number elected shall agree: And whose duty it shall be to enquire whether the constitution has been preserved inviolate in every part and whether the legislative and executive branches of government have performed their duty as guardians of the people, or assumed to themselves, or exercised other or greater powers than they are intitled to by the constitution: They are also to enquire whether the public taxes have been justly laid and collected in all parts of this commonwealth, in what manner the public monies have been disposed of, and whether the laws have been duly executed. For these purposes they shall have power to send for persons, papers, and records they shall have authority to pass public censures, to order impeachments, and to recommend to the legislature the repealing such laws as appear to them to have been enacted contrary to the principles of the constitution. These powers they shall continue to have, for and during the space of one year from the day of their election and no longer: The said council of censors shall also have power to call a convention, to meet within too years after their sitting, if there appear to them an absolute necessity of amending any article of the constitution which may be defective, explaining such as may be thought not clearly expressed, and of adding such as are necessary for the preservation of the rights and happiness of the people: But the articles to be amended, and the amendments proposed, and such articles as are proposed to be added or abolished, shall be promulgated at least six months before the day appointed for the election of such convention, for the previous consideration of the people, that they may have an opportunity of instructing their delegates on the subject.

Passed in Convention the 28th day of September, 1776, and signed by their order.

(1) The Proceedings Relative to Calling the Conventions of 1776 and 1790 the Minutes of the Convention that formed the present Constitution of Pennsylvania together with the Charter to William Penn the Constitutions of 1776 and 1790 and a view of the Proceedings of the Convention of 1776 and the Council of Censors. Harrisburg: Printed by John S. Wiestling Market Street, 1825. pp. 3S4. Index.

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as established by the General Convention carefully compared with the original to which is added a Report of the Committee appointed to enquire Whether the Constitution has been preserved inviolate in every Part and whether the legislative and executive branches of Government, have performed their duty as Guardians of the People or assumed to themselves or exercised other or greater Powers. than they are entitled to by the Constitution.

As adopted by the Council of Censors Published by their Order. Philadelphia: Printed by Francis Bailey, at Yorick s Head in Market Street. M, DCC.LXXXIV. pp. 64.

This constitution was framed by a convention (called in accordance with the expressed wish of the Continental Congress) which assembled at Philadelphia July 15 1776 and completed its labors September 28 1776. It was not submitted to the people for ratification. Back

History of the NCO (from FM 7-22.7)

You are a leader in the same Army that persevered at Valley Forge, held its ground at the Little Round Top, turned the tide of a war at St. Mihiel and began the liberation of a continent at Omaha Beach. You lead soldiers from the same Army that burst out of the Pusan Perimeter, won against enormous odds at the Ia Drang Valley, fought with determination at Mogadishu and relieved terrible misery in Rwanda. Leaders like you and soldiers like yours conducted intense combat operations in Afghanistan while only a short distance away others supported that nation’s rebuilding and still others fought fires in the northwestern US. Throughout the history of the Army the NCO has been there, leading soldiers in battle and training them in peacetime, leading by example and always, always – out front.


The history of the United States Army and of the noncommissioned officer began in 1775 with the birth of the Continental Army . The American noncommissioned officer did not copy the British. He, like the American Army itself, blended traditions of the French, British and Prussian armies into a uniquely American institution. As the years progressed, the American political system, with its disdain for the aristocracy, social attitudes and the vast westward expanses, further removed the US Army noncommissioned officer from his European counterparts and created a truly American noncommissioned officer.

The Revolution

In the early days of the American Revolution, little standardization of NCO duties or responsibilities existed. In 1778, during the long hard winter at Valley Forge, Inspector General Friedrich von Steuben standardized NCO duties and responsibilities in his Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States (printed in 1779). His work, commonly called the Blue Book, set down the duties and responsibilities for corporals, sergeants, first sergeants, quartermaster sergeants and sergeants major, which were the NCO ranks of the period. The Blue Book also emphasized the importance of selecting quality soldiers for NCO positions and served a whole generation of soldiers as the primary regulation for the Army for 30 years. In fact, part of Von Steuben’s Blue Book is still with us in FM 22-5, Drill and Ceremonies and other publications.

Von Steuben specified duties of the noncommissioned officer. The Sergeant Major served as the assistant to the regimental adjutant, keeping rosters, forming details and handling matters concerning the “interior management and discipline of the regiment.” The Sergeant Major also served “at the head of the noncommissioned officers.” The Quartermaster Sergeant assisted the regimental quartermaster, assuming his duties in the quartermaster’s absence and supervising the proper loading and transport of the regiment’s baggage when on march. The First Sergeant enforced discipline and encouraged duty among troops, maintaining the duty roster, making morning report to the company commander and keeping the company descriptive book. This document listed the name, age, height, place of birth and prior occupation of every enlisted man in the unit.

The day-to-day business of sergeants and corporals included many roles. Sergeants and Corporals instructed recruits in all matters of military training, including the order of their behavior in regard to neatness and sanitation. They quelled disturbances and punished perpetrators. They forwarded sick lists to the First Sergeant. In battle, NCOs closed the gaps occasioned by casualties, encouraged men to stand their ground and to fire rapidly and accurately. The development of a strong NCO Corps helped sustain the Continental Army through severe hardships to final victory. Von Steuben’s regulations established the foundation for NCO duties and responsibilities from 1778 to the present.

During the early stages of the American Revolution the typical Continental Army NCO wore an epaulet to signify his rank. Corporals wore green and sergeants wore red epaulets. After 1779, sergeants wore two epaulets, while corporals retained a single epaulet. From the American Revolution to World War II the noncommissioned officer received his promotion from the regimental commander. Entire careers were often spent within one regiment. If a man transferred from one regiment to the next, he did not take his rank with him. No noncommissioned officer could transfer in grade from one regiment to another without the permission of the General in Chief of the Army this was rarely done. Without permanent promotions of individuals, stripes stayed with the regiment.

The Purple Heart

Three NCOs received special recognition for acts of heroism during the American Revolution. These men, Sergeant Elijah Churchill, Sergeant William Brown and Sergeant Daniel Bissell, received the Badge of Military Merit, a purple heart with a floral border and the word “merit” inscribed across the center. In practice this award was the precursor to the Medal of Honor introduced during the Civil War. After a long period of disuse, Badge of Military Merit was reinstituted in 1932 as the Purple Heart and is a decoration for members of the armed forces wounded or killed in action or as a result of a terrorist attack.

Rank Insignia

In 1821 the War Department made the first reference to noncommissioned officer chevrons. A General Order directed that sergeants major and quartermaster sergeants wear a worsted chevron on each arm above the elbow sergeants and senior musicians, one on each arm below the elbow and corporals, one on the right arm above the elbow. This practice ended in 1829 but returned periodically and became a permanent part of the NCO’s uniform before the Civil War.

In 1825 the Army established a systematic method for selecting noncommissioned officers. The appointment of regimental and company noncommissioned officers remained the prerogative of the regimental commander. Usually regimental commanders would accept the company commander’s recommendations for company NCOs unless there were overriding considerations. The Abstract of Infantry Tactics, published in 1829, provided instructions for training noncommissioned officers. The purpose of this instruction was to ensure that all NCOs possessed “an accurate knowledge of the exercise and use of their firelocks, of the manual exercise of the soldier and of the firings and marchings.”

Field officers and the adjutant frequently assembled noncommissioned officers for both practical and theoretical instruction. Furthermore, field officers ensured that company officers provided proper instruction to their noncommissioned officers. The sergeant major assisted in instructing sergeants and corporals of the regiment. Newly promoted corporals and sergeants of the company received instruction from the First Sergeant. The first sergeant of that time, like today, was a key person in the maintenance of military discipline.


The Civil War

During the 1850’s major changes occurred in US Army weaponry. Inventors developed and refined the percussion cap and rifled weapons. Weapons like the Sharps carbine added greatly to fire power and accuracy. The increased lethality of weapons did not immediately result in different tactics. The huge numbers of casualties in the American Civil War proved that technological advances must result in changes to battlefield tactics. Operationally, the Civil War marked a distinct change in warfare. No longer was it sufficient to defeat an enemy’s army in the field. It was necessary to destroy the enemy’s will and capacity to resist through military, economic and political means. This became the concept of total war. The war required a large number of draftees and unprecedented quantities of supplies.

During the Civil War, noncommissioned officers led the lines of skirmishers that preceded and followed each major unit. NCOs also carried the flags and regimental colors of their units. This deadly task was crucial to maintain regimental alignment and for commanders to observe their units on the field. As the war progressed, organizational and tactical changes led the Army to employ more open battle formations. These changes further enhanced the combat leadership role of the noncommissioned officer. New technology shaped the Army during the Civil War: railroads, telegraph communications, steamships, balloons and other innovations. These innovations would later impact the noncommissioned officer rank structure and pay.

Since its founding on 14 June 1775, the Army normally expanded in wartime with volunteers, with the professional soldiers forming the basis for expansion. The Civil War in particular brought a huge increase in the number of volunteer soldiers. This policy endured to some extent until world commitments and the stationing of troops overseas in the 20th century required the Nation to maintain a strong professional force.

In the post-Civil War era the Artillery School at Fort Monroe reopened to train both officers and noncommissioned officers. In 1870 the Signal Corps established a school for training officers and noncommissioned officers. Because both the Artillery and the Signal Corps required soldiers to have advanced technical knowledge to operate complex equipment and instruments, these were the first schools established. Efforts to provide advanced education for noncommissioned officers in other less technical fields, however, failed to attract supporters. Army leaders thought experience and not the classroom made a good NCO.

Military Life on the Frontier

During the Indian Wars period, enlisted men lived in spartan barracks with corporals and privates in one large room. Sergeants lived separately from their men in small cubicles of their own adjacent to the men’s sleeping quarters. This gave enlisted men a sense of comradeship, but allowed little privacy.

During the 1870s the Army discouraged enlisted men from marrying. Regulations limited the number of married enlisted men in the Army and required special permission to marry. Those men who did marry without permission could be charged with insubordination. They could not live in post housing or receive other entitlements. Still, nature proved stronger than Army desires or regulations. Marriages occurred and posts became communities.

Barracks life in the 1890s was simple, with card games, dime novels and other amusements filling idle time. Footlockers contained personal possessions, along with military clothing and equipment. Soldiers during this period maintained handbooks that contained a variety of information, including sections entitled, “Extracts from Army Regulations of 1895,” “Examination of Enlisted Men for Promotion,” “Take Care of Your Health,” “Extracts from Articles of War,” and others. In the back there were three sections for the soldier to fill in: “Clothing Account,” “Military Service,” and “Last Will and Testament.” Soldiers carried these handbooks for a number of years and provided an accurate record of the important events in his Army life.

The increase of technology which accompanied modernization greatly affected the NCO Corps during the last half of the 19th Century. The number of NCO ranks grew rapidly each new advent of technology created another pay grade. The Army was forced to compete with industry for technical workers. In 1908 Congress approved a pay bill which rewarded those in technical fields in order to retain their services. Combat soldiers were not so fortunate. A Master Electrician in the Coast Artillery made $75-84 per month, while an Infantry Battalion Sergeant Major lived on $25-34 per month. Compare that with a Sergeant of the Signal Corps ($34 – $43 per month).

Enlisted Retirement

In 1885 Congress authorized voluntary retirement for enlisted soldiers. The system allowed a soldier to retire after 30 years of service with threequarters of his active duty pay and allowances. This remained relatively unchanged until 1945 when enlisted personnel could retire after 20 years of service with half pay. In 1948 Congress authorized retirement for career members of the Reserve and National Guard. Military retirement pay is not a pension, but rather is delayed compensation for completing 20 or more years of active military service. It not only provides an incentive for soldiers to complete 20 years of service, but also creates a backup pool of experienced personnel in the event of a national emergency.

The Army began to explicitly define NCO duties during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The five or six pages of instructions provided by von Steuben’s Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States in 1778 grew to 417 pages in the 1909 Noncommissioned Officers Manual. While an unofficial publication, it was widely used and the chapters describing the duties of the First Sergeant and Sergeant Major included common forms, a description of duties, what should and should not be done and customs of the service. The Noncommissioned Officers Manual included a chapter on discipline that stressed the role of punishment in achieving discipline. The manual stated that the purpose of punishment was to prevent the commission of offenses and to reform the offender. However, this section repeatedly stressed that treatment of subordinates should be uniform, just and in no way humiliating.

The Modern Rank Insignia

In 1902 the NCO symbol of rank, the chevron, rotated to what we would today call point up and became smaller in size. Though many stories exist as to why the chevron’s direction changed, the most probable reason was simply that it looked better. Clothing had become more form fitting, creating narrower sleeves in fact, the 10-inch chevron of the 1880s would have wrapped completely around the sleeve of a 1902 uniform.


World War 1

World War I required the training of four million men, one million of which would go overseas. Corporals were the primary trainers during this period, teaching lessons that emphasized weapons and daytime maneuvers. Training included twelve hours devoted to the proper use of the gas mask and a trip to the gas chamber. After viewing the differences in American and foreign NCO prestige, American Commanding General John J. Pershing suggested the establishment of special schools for sergeants and separate NCO messes. The performance of noncommissioned officers in the American Expeditionary Force seemed to validate these changes.

In 1922 the Army scheduled 1,600 noncommissioned officers for grade reductions. Although this was necessary to reduce the total force and save money, it caused severe hardships for many noncommissioned officers, especially those with families. Also, post-World War I budget reductions and the Great Depression led to irregularities in pay: often the soldier received only half his pay, or half his pay in money and half in consumer goods or food.

The rapid pace and acceptance of technology during the late 1930s caused the Army to create special “technician” ranks in grades 3, 4, & 5 (CPL, SGT & SSG), with chevrons marked with a “T.” This led to an increase in promotions among technical personnel. The technician ranks ended in 1948, but they later reappeared as ‘specialists’ in 1955.

The typical First Sergeant of this period carried his administrative files in his pocket-a black book. The book contained the names of everyone in the company and their professional history (AWOLs, work habits, promotions, etc.). The book passed from first sergeant to first sergeant, staying within the company and providing the unit with a historical document. The first sergeant accompanied men on runs, the drill field, training, or the firing range. He was always at the forefront of everything the company did.

World War 2

With the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the United States found itself in another major war. Mobilization greatly increased the numbers of Army noncommissioned officers. Ironically, mobilization, combined with other factors, created a staggering growth in the percentage of noncommissioned officers to total forces. The proportion of noncommissioned officers in the Army increased from 20 percent of the enlisted ranks in 1941, to nearly 50 percent in 1945, resulting in reduced prestige for many noncommissioned officer ranks. Coupled with this growth in numbers the eight-man infantry squad increased to twelve, with the sergeant then staff sergeant, replacing the corporal as its leader. The rank of corporal came to mean very little, even though he was in theory and by tradition a combat leader.

Basic training in World War II focused on hands-on experience instead of the classroom. NCOs conducted all training for soldiers. After basic training, a soldier went to his unit where his individual training continued. The major problem was that the rapid expansion of the Army had led to a proportionate decrease in experienced men in the noncommissioned officer ranks. Making this condition worse was the practice of quickly advancing in rank soldiers who showed potential while combat losses reduced the number of experienced NCOs.

Fighting in the Pacific and Europe required large numbers of men. Millions of men enlisted and America drafted millions more. Still the Army suffered from manpower shortages. In 1942 the Army formally added women to its ranks. By 1945 over 90,000 women had enlisted in the Army. Women served in administrative, technical, motor vehicle, food, supply, communications, mechanical and electrical positions during the war. After the war women continued to serve in a variety of roles in the Army. As a result of the continued growth of technology, a new emphasis on education began in the post-World War II era. This emphasis encouraged the young soldier to become better educated in order to advance in rank.

NCO Education I

On 30 June 1947 the first class enrolled in the 2d Constabulary Brigade’s NCO school, located in Munich, Germany. Two years later, the US Seventh Army took over the 2d Constabulary functions and the school became the Seventh Army Noncommissioned Officers Academy. Eight years later AR 350-90 established Army-wide standards for NCO academies. Emphasis on NCO education increased to the point that by 1959 over 180,000 soldiers would attend NCO academies located in the continental United States. In addition to NCO academies, the Army encouraged enlisted men to advance their education by other means. By 1952 the Army had developed the Army Education Program to allow soldiers to attain credits for academic education. This program provided a number of ways for the enlisted man to attain a high school or college diploma.

In 1950 an unprepared United States again had to commit large numbers of troops in a war a half a world away. The North Korean attack on South Korea stressed American responsibilities overseas. Containment of communist aggression was the official policy of the United States. This meant that American commitments in Asia, Europe and the Pacific would require a strong and combat-ready professional Army. During the Korean War the NCO emerged more prominently as a battle leader than he had in World War II. The steep hills, ridges, narrow valleys and deep gorges forced many units to advance as squads. Korea was the first war America fought with an integrated Army. Black and white soldiers together fought a common foe.

In 1958 the Army added two grades to the NCO ranks. These pay grades, E-8 and E-9, would “provide for a better delineation of responsibilities in the enlisted structure.” With the addition of these grades, the ranks of the NCO were corporal, sergeant, staff sergeant, sergeant first class, master sergeant and sergeant major.

America’s strategy of containment continued after the Korean War and the Nation set a course to help its ally South Vietnam defeat communist aggression. In 1965 America made a major commitment in ground troops to Vietnam. The Vietnamese Communists fought a long drawn-out war, meant to wear down American forces. Because no clear battle lines existed it was often hard to tell foe from friend. In 1973 a formal cease-fire signed by American and North Vietnamese delegations ended American troop commitments to the area.

Vietnam proved to be a junior leader’s war with decentralized control. Much of the burden of combat leadership fell on the NCO. With a need for large numbers of NCOs for combat duty, the Army began the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course, with three sites at Fort Benning, Fort Knox and Fort Sill. After a 12-week course, the graduate became an E-5 those in the top five percent became E-6s. An additional 10 weeks of hands-on training followed and then the NCO went to Vietnam. However, senior NCOs had mixed feelings about the program (sometimes called the “shake-and-bake” program). Many of these senior NCOs thought it undermined the prestige of the NCO Corps though few could say they actually knew an unqualified NCO from the course.

Sergeant Major of the Army

In 1966 Army Chief of Staff Harold K. Johnson chose Sergeant Major William O. Wooldridge as the first Sergeant Major of the Army . The SMA was to be the primary advisor and consultant to the Chief of Staff on enlisted matters. He would identify problems affecting enlisted personnel and recommend appropriate solutions.


NCO Education II

After the US ended conscription following the Vietnam War, it became increasingly clear NCOs needed more sustained training throughout their careers. NCO education expanded and became formalized in the 70s and 80s. Today’s NCO Education System includes the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC), Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course (BNCOC), the Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course (ANCOC), and the US Army Sergeants Major Course (USASMC). The Sergeants Major Course first began in January 1973 as the capstone training for the Army’s most senior NCOs. The Sergeants Major Academy also operates three senior NCO courses outside NCOES that are designed to train NCOs for particular positions. These are the First Sergeant Course (FSC), the Battle Staff Course (BSC) and the Command Sergeant Major Course (CSMC). In 1986 PLDC became a mandatory prerequisite for promotion to staff sergeant. This was the first time an NCOES course actually became mandatory for promotion.

In 1987 the Army completed work on a new state-of-the-art education facility at the Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, further emphasizing the importance of professional education for NCOs. This 17.5 million-dollar, 125,000 square foot structure allowed the academy to expand course loads and number of courses. As the Noncommissioned Officer Education System continues to grow, the NCO of today combines history and tradition with skill and ability to prepare for combat. He retains the duties and responsibilities given to him by von Steuben in 1778 and these have been built upon to produce the soldier of today.

Grenada and Panama

The murder of Grenada’s Prime Minister in October 1983 created a breakdown in civil order that threatened the lives of American medical students living on the island. At the request of allied Caribbean nations, the United States invaded the island to safeguard the Americans there. Operation Urgent Fury included Army Rangers and Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division. This action succeeded in the eventual reestablishment of a representative form of government in Grenada. After Manuel Noriega seized control of his country in 1983, corruption in the Panamanian government became widespread and eventually Noriega threatened the security of the United States by cooperating with Colombian drug producers. Harassment of American personnel increased and after a US Marine was shot in December 1989, the US launched Operation Just Cause. This invasion, including over 25,000 soldiers, quickly secured its objectives. Noriega surrendered on 3 January 1990 and was later convicted on drug trafficking charges.

The Gulf War

In August 1990 Iraqi military forces invaded and occupied Kuwait. The US immediately condemned Iraq’s actions and began building support for a coalition to liberate Kuwait. Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, ignored the demands of over 36 nations to leave Kuwait. In response, coalition forces began deploying to Saudi Arabia. On 12 January 1991 Congress authorized the use of military force to liberate Kuwait. Operation Desert Storm commenced 17 January 1991 as the coalition initiated an air campaign to disable Iraq’s infrastructure. After five weeks of air and missile attacks, ground troops, including over 300,000 from the US Army, began their campaign to free Kuwait. On 27 February 1991, coalition forces entered Kuwait City forcing Iraq to concede a cease-fire after only 100 hours of ground combat.

Somalia and Rwanda

In the early 1990s Somalia was in the worst drought in over a century and its people were starving. The international community responded with humanitarian aid but clan violence threatened international relief efforts. The United Nations formed a US-led coalition to protect relief workers so aid could continue to flow into the country. Operation Restore Hope succeeded, ending the starvation of the Somali people. US soldiers also assisted in civic projects that built and repaired roads, schools, hospitals and orphanages. A history of ethnic hatred in Rwanda led to murder on a genocidal scale. Up to a million Rwandans were killed and two million Rwandans fled and settled in refugee camps in several central African locations. Conditions in the camps were appalling starvation and disease took even more lives. The international community responded with one of the largest humanitarian relief efforts ever mounted. The US military quickly established an atmosphere of collaboration and coordination setting up the necessary infrastructure to complement and support the humanitarian response community. In Operation Support Hope, US Army soldiers provided clean water, assisted in burying the dead and integrated the transportation and distribution of relief supplies.

In December 1990 Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected President of Haiti, in an election that international observers deemed largely free and fair. Aristide took office in February 1991, but was overthrown by the Army and forced to leave the country. The human rights climate deteriorated as the military and the de facto government sanctioned atrocities in defiance of the international community’s condemnation. The United States led a Multinational Force to restore democracy by removing the military regime, return the previously elected Aristide regime to power, ensure security, assist with the rehabilitation of civil administration, train a police force, help prepare for elections and turn over responsibility to the UN. Operation Uphold Democracy succeeded both in restoring the democratically elected government of Haiti and in stemming emigration. In March 1995 the United States transferred the peacekeeping responsibilities to the United Nations.

The Balkans

During the mid-1990s, Yugoslavia was in a state of unrest because various ethnic groups wanted a separate state for themselves. Serbia attempted through military force to prevent any group from gaining autonomy from the central government. Serbian forces brutally suppressed the separatist movement of ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo, leaving hundreds dead and over 200,000 homeless. The refusal of Serbia to negotiate peace and strong evidence of mass murder by Serbian forces resulted in the commencement of Operation Allied Force. Air strikes against Serbian military targets continued for 78 days in an effort to bring an end to the atrocities that continued to be waged by the Serbs. Serbian forces withdrew and NATO deployed a peacekeeping force, including US Army soldiers, to restore stability to the region and assist in the repair of the civilian infrastructure.

The War on Terrorism

Terrorists of the al-Qaeda network attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, killing nearly 3000 people and destroying the World Trade Center in New York City. The United States, with enormous support from the global community, responded with attacks on the al-Qaeda network and the Taliban-controlled government of Afghanistan that was providing it support. Operation Enduring Freedom with US and allied forces quickly toppled the Taliban regime and severely damaged the al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan. US Army NCOs and soldiers continue to play a leading role in the war on terrorism and provide security to the Nation.


Full Spectrum Operations

Today the Army’s operational doctrine covers the full spectrum of operations. That means stability, support, offense and defense operations. What that means to you is to conduct good training and make sure your soldier meets the standards. Effective training is the cornerstone of operational success. Training to high standards is essential for a full spectrum force the Army cannot predict every operation it deploys to. Battle-focused training on combat tasks prepares soldiers, units and leaders to deploy, fight and win. Upon alert, initial-entry Army forces deploy immediately, conduct operations and complete any needed mission-specific training in country. Follow-on forces conduct pre- or post-deployment mission rehearsal exercises, abbreviated if necessary, based on available time and resources.

The Operational Environment

America’s potential adversaries learned from the Gulf War that to oppose US forces on our terms is foolhardy at best and may even be suicidal. As demonstrated by terrorist adversaries, we can expect that our enemies in the future will attempt to avoid decisive battle prolong the conflict conduct sophisticated ambushes disperse combat forces and attempt to use information services to its advantage – all while inflicting unacceptable casualties on US forces.

The operational environment and the wide array of threats present significant challenges. Army forces must simultaneously defeat an adversary while protecting noncombatants and the infrastructure on which they depend. This requires Army leaders to be adaptive and aware of their environment.

Depending on your mission and location, you and your soldiers, or perhaps the local population may be the targets of a terrorist attack. An adversary may try to use you in an information campaign to destroy US resolve. The more vital your units’ mission is to the overall operation the more likely it is that an adversary will attempt to target you in some way.

The Information Environment

All military operations take place within an information environment that is not within the control of military forces. The information environment is the combination of individuals, organizations and systems that collect, process, store, display and disseminate information. It also includes the information itself. The media’s use of real-time technology affects public opinion and may alter the conduct of military operations. Now, more than ever, every soldier represents America – potentially to a global audience.

Technology enhances leader, unit and soldier performance and affects how Army forces conduct full spectrum operations in peace, conflict and war. Even with its advantages, the side with superior technology does not always win in land operations rather, the side that applies combat power more skillfully usually prevails. The skill of soldiers coupled with the effectiveness of leaders decides the outcomes of engagements, battles and campaigns.


The NCO has a key role in Army Transformation, perhaps the premier role. As the Army becomes a more deployable, agile and responsive force, some units will reorganize, receive new equipment and learn new tactics. The NCO, as the leader most responsible for individual and small unit training, will build the foundation for the Army’s objective force. New technology enables you to cover more ground and maintain better situational awareness. But individual and collective tasks are more complex, requiring small unit leaders to coordinate and synchronize soldiers’ efforts and the systems they employ to a degree never before seen.

Our Army has always benefited from NCOs who could and did display initiative, make decisions and seize opportunities that corresponded with the commander’s intent. These qualities are more important than ever in Army Transformation. Despite technological improvement and increased situational awareness at every level – the small unit leader must still make decisions that take advantage of fleeting opportunities on the battlefield.

Government and Politics

The government of the Confederacy is a federal representative republic. The government operates as outlined in the Confederate Constitution, which is very similar to the United States Constitution. Thus, the government is nearly identical to the U.S. as well. There are some key differences, though.

For one, the Confederate Constitution specifically states that "no tax shall be levied upon the people of any one of the several States, without the approval of the government of those states." This means that if the federal government imposes a national tax, any state government can decide to not allow that tax to be collected in their state. (Some people have tried to claim that it actually means that if even one state objects to the tax, then it can't be collected at all, but most people agree that that isn't what the writers intended.) The tax clause was added in direct opposition to the Whiskey Tax and the war taxes that caused the C.S.A. to declare independence. Also, the constitution said that any new state to enter the Confederacy would hold a vote of its people to determine whether they would allow slavery. This part was repealed with the 4th Amendment.

There are also some changes to presidential terms. The writers of the constitution didn't like being stuck with a single president for four years, a fact which was highlighted after their displeasure with Adams' 1796 election. So, they shortened the presidential term length to just two years. They also didn't allow a single person to be president for consecutive terms. (Vice presidents also cannot be president immediately after their vice presidential term ends, and presidents cannot be vice presidents immediately after their presidential term.) Finally, a single person could only serve up to three terms as president. (This was later changed to four.)

List of Constitutional Amendments

1st Amendment (ratified July 1st, 1805)- The 1st Amendment is an exact copy of the United States' 12th Amendment. It changes voting procedures for president.

2nd Amendment (ratified March 26th, 1834)- The 2nd Amendment, nicknamed the Jackson Amendment, allowed presidents to serve up to four terms instead of the previous three.

3rd Amendment (ratified January 7th, 1879)- The 3rd Amendment grants special wartime powers to the president and establishes a way for Congress to give one year term extensions to presidents during wars that "threaten the unity and survival of the nation." This amendment was eventually replaced by the 5th Amendment.

4th Amendment (ratified June 2nd, 1884)- The 4th Amendment outlaws slavery in the Confederacy and gives every citizen the right to vote. It also ends the process where states vote to allow or disallow slavery.

5th Amendment (ratified September 10th, 1885)- The 5th Amendment replaces the 3rd Amendment. It grants the same wartime powers, but revokes the ability of Congress to extend a president's term. Instead, if 2/3rds of Congress and 2/3rds of the states decide to allow it, the president is allowed to run for consecutive terms in wars that threaten the survival of the nation.

6th Amendment (ratified April 7th, 1886)- The 6th Amendment prohibits people presenting amendments to congress that only serve as personal gain or stand very little chance of ratification.

7th Amendment (ratified October 30th, 1913)- The 7th Amendment establishes the popular election of senators. It is an exact copy of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

8th Amendment (ratified December 13th, 1914)- The 8th Amendment makes it impossible for anyone who has ever held a public office or title of nobility in another nation to be president. It also makes it impossible for anyone that currently holds a public office or title of nobility in another nation to be elected to the Confederate Congress. (So they would have to give up that office or title in order to be a congressman.) This is an exact copy of the Federated States' 2nd Amendment.

9th Amendment (ratified February 3rd, 1920)- The 9th Amendment grants women the universal right to vote.

10th Amendment (ratified July 7th, 1920)- The 10th Amendment established prohibition in the C.S. It is an exact copy of the Federated States' 3rd Amendment.

11th Amendment (ratified April 19th, 1934)- The 11th Amendment ends prohibition.

12th Amendment (ratified May 18th, 1948)- The 12th Amendment moves the start and end date of presidential terms to September 10th. It was previously October 5th.

13th Amendment (ratified October 5th, 1968)- The 13th Amendment, nicknamed the Romney Amendment, allows people not born on C.S. soil to be president. (The Confederate Constitution didn't allow anyone born outside of the "territories of one of several States belonging to the Confederacy" to be president.) This amendment says that if a person had at least one parent born on C.S. soil, had been a full Confederate citizen for at least 30 years (which wouldn't really be an issue as in most cases people born to a C.S.A. citizen were C.S.A. citizens from birth themselves), had been a permanent resident of the C.S.A. for at least ten years, and was able to attain a special waiver from a federal judge, then they could be president.


The two main parties in the Confederacy are the Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats are the liberal party, believing in larger government and acceptance for all. They were established in 1835 after the split of the Democratic-Republican Party. The Republicans are the conservative party, believing in smaller government and personal liberties. They were established in 1858 as the anti-slavery party.

Currently, the Republicans hold all branches of government, including Scott Walker in the presidency.


Formation [ edit | edit source ]

The 4th Alpini Regiment was formed on November 1, 1882. It consisted of the three battalions: Val Pellice, Val Chisone and Val Brenta, named after the valleys from which the battalions soldiers were recruited. In 1886 the battalions were renamed, taking their new names from the location of their main logistic depot: Pinerolo, Aosta and Ivrea. In 1888 the Pinerolo was subordinated to the 3rd Alpini Regiment and in exchange the Susa 2° battalion was transferred from the 3rd to the 4th Alpini. In 1908 the Susa returned to the 3rd Alpini and in the city of Intra the Pallanza battalion was raised as substitute, with existing companies from other Alpini battalions. In 1909 the Pallanza was renamed Intra battalion. Thus the regiments structure in 1910 was:

    Ivrea with the Alpini companies: 38, 39, 40 Aosta with the Alpini companies: 41, 42, 43 Intra with the Alpini companies: 7 (former Aosta company), 24 (former Pinerolo company), 37 (former Ivrea company)

World War I [ edit | edit source ]

During World War I the regiment consisted of 10 battalions and saw heavy fighting in the Alps against Austria’s Kaiserjäger and Germany’s Alpenkorps. The battalions of the regiment in these days were (pre-war raised units in bold, followed by their first and second line reserve battalions):

    Ivrea, Val d'Orco, Monte Levanna, PallanzaAosta, Val Baltea, Monte CervinoIntra, Val Toce, Monte Rosa

The Aosta Battalion distinguished itself in 1917 during heavy combat on Monte Vodice and in 1918 on Monte Solarolo. During the war a total of 31,000 men served in the 4th Alpini. 189 Officers and 4,704 soldiers died during combat and 455 Officers and 10,923 soldiers were wounded.

Interwar Period [ edit | edit source ]

On September 10, 1935 the 1st Alpine Division Taurinense was formed and composed of the 3rd Alpini and 4th Alpini Regiments and the 1st Mountain Artillery Regiment. The division participated in 1936 in the Italian conquest of Abyssinia.

World War II [ edit | edit source ]

In 1940 the regiment as part of the Taurinense division fought in the Italian attack on Greece. After the German invasion of Yugoslavia the Taurinense performed garrison duties in Montenegro were the regiment disbanded after the signing of the Italian armistice with the Allies on September 8, 1943. Most of its soldiers joined the Italian Partisan Brigade Garibaldi, which operated in central Yugoslavia.

The reformed 4th Alpini Regiment participated in the liberation of Italy as part of the Partisan Piemonte Mountain Corps.

The Cold War [ edit | edit source ]

After World War II the 4th Alpini Regiment was reformed in 1952 with the battalions Aosta, Saluzzo and Susa. In 1953 a fourth battalion was raised: the Mondovi. The 4th Alpini was the basis for the newly founded Alpine Brigade Taurinense. In 1962 the Mondovi was transferred to the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia to augment the Alpine Brigade Julia and in 1963 the Aosta battalion was transferred to the Alpini Formation and Training Center in Aosta. Four years later it was again subordinated to 4th Alpini Regiment. When Italy dissolved the regimental level in 1975 the remaining battalions came under the direct command of the Taurinense Brigade, with the exception of the Aosta which became a High Altitude Warfare training unit under permanent command of the Alpini Formation and Training Center. The Aosta received the regimental colours of the dissolved 4th Alpini Regiment and carried on its tradition and flag.

    4th Alpini Regiment with
      Mondovi Alpini Battalion (raised in 1953, transferred to Alpine Brigade Taurinense in 1962) Aosta Alpini battalion (under command of Alpini Formation and Training Center from 1963–1967) Saluzzo Alpini battalion Susa Alpini battalion

    Whiskey Rebellion

    Although Washington seldom drank whiskey himself, he ran a profitable distillery at Mount Vernon from 1797 until his death in 1799.

    Digital Encyclopedia

    Alexander Hamilton

    The Whiskey Rebellion was a response to the excise tax proposed by Alexander Hamilton, who was Washington's Secretary of the Treasury in 1791.

    Historic Site

    Friendship Hill

    Friendship Hill was the home of Albert Gallatin, who represented Fayette County to the state assembly created in Pennsylvania during the Whiskey Rebellion. This historic house is owned by the National Park Service.

    In January 1791, President George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton proposed a seemingly innocuous excise tax "upon spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same." 1 What Congress failed to predict was the vehement rejection of this tax by Americans living on the frontier of Western Pennsylvania. By 1794, the Whiskey Rebellion threatened the stability of the nascent United States and forced President Washington to personally lead the United States militia westward to stop the rebels.

    By 1791 the United States suffered from significant debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. Secretary Hamilton, a Federalist supporting increased federal authority, intended to use the excise tax to lessen this financial burden. Despite resistance from Anti-Federalists like Thomas Jefferson, Congress passed the legislation. When news of the tax spread to Western Pennsylvania, individuals immediately voiced their displeasure by refusing to pay the tax. Residents viewed this tax as yet another instance of unfair policies dictated by the eastern elite that negatively affected American citizens on the frontier.

    Western farmers felt the tax was an abuse of federal authority wrongly targeting a demographic that relied on crops such as corn, rye, and grain to earn a profit. However, shipping this harvest east was dangerous because of poor storage and dangerous roads. As a result, farmers frequently distilled their grain into liquor which was easier to ship and preserve. While large-scale farmers easily incurred the financial strain of an additional tax, indigent farmers were less able to do so without falling into dire financial straits.

    President Washington sought to resolve this dispute peacefully. In 1792, he issued a national proclamation admonishing westerners for their resistance to the "operation of the laws of the United States for raising revenue upon spirits distilled within the same." 2 However, by 1794 the protests became violent. In July, nearly 400 whiskey rebels near Pittsburgh set fire to the home of John Neville, the regional tax collection supervisor. Left with little recourse and at the urgings of Secretary Hamilton, Washington organized a militia force of 12,950 men and led them towards Western Pennsylvania, warning locals "not to abet, aid, or comfort the Insurgents aforesaid, as they will answer the contrary at their peril." 3

    The calling of the militia had the desired effect of essentially ending the Whiskey Rebellion. By the time the militia reached Pittsburgh, the rebels had dispersed and could not be found. The militia apprehended approximately 150 men and tried them for treason. A paucity of evidence and the inability to obtain witnesses hampered the trials. Two men, John Mitchell and Philip Weigel, were found guilty of treason, though both were pardoned by President Washington. By 1802, then President Thomas Jefferson repealed the excise tax on whiskey. Under the eye of President Washington, the nascent United States survived the first true challenge to federal authority.

    Loyola University Chicago

    1. "28 January 1791," Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1793. A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875.

    2. National Gazette, 29 September 1792.

    3. Gazette of the United States, 25 September 1794.

    Baldwin, Leland. Whiskey Rebels: The Story of a Frontier Uprising. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1939.

    Hogeland, William. The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels who Challenged America&rsquos Newfound Sovereignty. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2006.

    Slaughter, Thomas. The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

    Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose was actually a marvel of engineering

    Posted On January 28, 2019 18:46:29

    It was a cool California November afternoon in 1947 when the HK-4 Hercules, also known as the Spruce Goose, finally flew. It was supposed to be a simple taxi test, nothing more than motoring through the water of Long Beach Harbor to show off its speed and test out the plane in open water. But having endured years of people mocking the project and himself for trying to build a plane so massive it had no hope of flying, Howard Hughes decided to take the opportunity to extend his middle finger at them all in the most poignant way he could.

    No doubt with a twinkle in his eye as the Hercules cruised through the water, Hughes turned to the 30 year old hydraulic engineer, David Grant, who he had chosen as his co-pilot that day despite him not actually being a pilot, and unexpectedly told him to “lower the flaps to 15 degrees” — the take off position.

    Not long after, the massive, few hundred thousand pound (250K lb / 113K kg empty, 400K lb / 181K kg gross), 218 ft (67 m) long aircraft with a still record holding wingspan of just shy of 321 feet (98 m) was out of the water. It was airborne for under a minute, went less than a mile, and only about 70 feet in the air, but it had done the impossible — the Spruce Goose flew.

    Given the rather innovative use of a hydraulic system, landing was a bit abnormal for planes of the age in that the plane had to be landed under power, as Grant would instruct Hughes to “fly it into the water.”

    When it finally settled back down in the water, Grant stated, “It was ecstasy all the way. It was like walking on air. It wasn’t underpowered at all, and it performed exactly like it was designed to.”

    Internal view of the Hughes H-4 Hercules fuselage.

    As to why Hughes didn’t fly it further, besides elements of the aircraft still needing tweaked and the potential danger of taking media aboard a test flight in which even the pilot wasn’t quite sure how the plane would handle, they’d been taxiing around for some time at this point and the plane hadn’t been fueled much to begin with. As such, Hughes didn’t want to risk running out of fuel in open ocean before he’d have a chance to circle back around and land.

    Now, the original plan for this aircraft was a lot more grandiose than a brief publicity flight. In 1942, the United States — along with much of the rest of the world — was in the midst of WWII. Being across an ocean from where the fighting was taking place was a problem when transporting supplies, weapons, and soldiers en masse.

    At the time, efforts on this front weren’t going well. German U-boats were patrolling Atlantic waters and torpedoing anything that was perceived to be helping the Allied war effort. According to one estimate, between January 1942 and August 1942 alone, German U-boats had sunk 233 ships and killed more than 5,000 Americans. It was clear that a better way was needed for transporting things safely across the Big Blue.

    It was Henry J. Kaiser who first proposed an idea of an airboat. Running one of the most important construction companies in modern American history, Kaiser was responsible for building quite a lot of the infrastructure of the American west at the time (including the Hoover Dam). He also created a system for fast, high-quality shipbuilding during World War II that became world renownd.

    Henry J. Kaiser

    Kaiser thought that a massive airboat packed to the gills with supplies and troops that could fly over German U-boats was the answer to the problem. However, he was a shipbuilder and not an expert on airplanes… But he knew someone who was.

    By 1942, Hughes was already a famed figure in America. Exceedingly wealthy, he first gained widespread fame as a Hollywood producer who was most prominently known for producing and directing Hell’s Angels, a World War I epic about aerial combat that was (at the time) the most expensive movie ever made.

    In 1934, he formed the Hughes Aircraft Company. A year later, he helped design and build the H-1, or as he liked to call it, the “Racer.” In September 1935, he broke the world land speed record in it with an average of 352.322 mph. In sort of a precursor of the future, during the flight the plane ran out of gas — something Hughes didn’t anticipate — forcing him to crash in a beet field, narrowly avoiding serious injury.

    He broke another land speed record when he flew to New York from Los Angeles in a mere 7 hours, 28 minutes, and 25 seconds (averaging 332 mph). In 1938, he shattered the world record for quickest time flying around the globe, needing just 3 days, 19 hours, 14 minutes, and 10 seconds, almost 4 days quicker than the previous world record set in 1933 by Wiley Post.

    His prowess as an aviation engineer and pilot quickly earned him a reputation as one of the most innovative aviators in the world- someone that Kaiser thought would help the Allies win the war.

    Together, Kaiser and Hughes convinced the War Production Board to finance the construction of 500 flying boats, a project that was deemed in the press as the “most ambitious flying aviation program in the history of the world.”

    For months, the old-school industrialist and the new-age aviator worked together to put together plans that would wow.

    In late August, they submitted to the government blueprints for a seaplane with eight engines, a wingspan longer than a football field, and a hull taller than a five-story building.

    Beyond being the largest plane ever built by far at the time, it would be able to transport 750 troops or two M2 Sherman tanks. It had a gross weight of about two hundred tons, which was nearly three times heavier than any other airplane ever built. And, due to wartime metal restrictions, it was to be built nearly entirely of wood. Hughes and Kaiser called it the HK-1, naturally named after themselves.

    While hesitant at first, the federal government gave the pair $18 million (about $250 million today) to develop and build a prototype.

    It didn’t go well from the very beginning. The Hughes Aircraft Company was not a big company in 1942 and struggled with staffing, expenses, and deadlines. Hughes himself was unfocused, taking on too many projects while underestimating how much attention was needed to build a plane that would eclipse anything anyone had ever attempted to make fly. Four months in and the best thing that could be said was that they built a 750-foot long hanger, also made out of wood.

    By mid-1943, construction had begun on the plane itself, but it was incredibly slow-moving. Working with wood proved to be an enormous issue, presenting a variety of challenges that had to be overcome to make a reliable sea-plane. Beyond the aforementioned then innovative hydraulic system for manipulating the control surfaces, each piece of wood (which was mostly birch, not spruce, owing to birch being quite resistant to dry rot) had to be weighed and analyzed for quality assurance before being used.

    In addition, each sheet had to be laminated with a waterproof glue in order to prevent it from being damaged by water, heat, and fungus. Along the way, besides needing to purchase the rights to the Duramold laminating process, which in a nutshell involved stacking shapable ultra-thin strips of wood and applying a glue, Hughes and his teem also had to develop a variation of the process for their particular application.

    As late 1943 approached, the first prototype was due to the government but it was clear that wasn’t going to happen. What’s more, they had spent nearly half of the budget on “engineering re-tooling” and rumors were swirling that the first plane wasn’t going to be done until 1945. It turned out to be much worse than that.

    At this point, Kaiser had had enough and bailed out of the project. Several times, the feds threatened to shut the whole thing down, willing to cut their losses. The contract that had originally been given to Hughes and Kaiser went from 500 planes to 3 planes to, finally, just one for the original $18 million.

    By 1944, $13 million of that money was spent and, yet, the plane was less than half done. Then the war ended and any hope that the now-called H-4 Hercules (renamed after Kaiser left the project) was ever going to help the war effort was gone.

    The contract with the federal government was swiftly canceled, but Hughes was determined to finish the plane. As he stated before the Senate War Investigating Committee in 1947 during an inquiry on whether he’d mismanaged tax payer dollars during the project,

    And so it was that he paid for the project’s completion himself. The H-4 Hercules was finally finished in June of 1946 with $22 million of the government’s money and, while figures vary from otherwise reputable sources, according to Boeing, $18 million of Hughes own personal wealth chipped in, for a grand total of $40 million (about $450 million today). It should also be noted here that, subtracting initial research and development costs, had they decided to build a second plane, it probably would have only cost about $2.5 million (about $28 million today).

    It took a little over a year more for Hughes to it fly. At this point given the massive scale of the plane, the incredible weight, the fact that it was made of wood, and the perpetual delays, the media had taken to mocking the plane, calling it the Spruce Goose — a nickname that Hughes and his team hated owing to it demeaning what was otherwise a marvel of engineering.

    But on that fateful November day, the Hercules finally did what it was intended, proving many a critic wrong.

    In the aftermath, there was some wrangling over who actually owned the plane given how much money Hughes himself had sunk into the project. But the U.S. government eventually gave up its rights to it in exchange for the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum getting the Hughes’ H-1 Racer plane and a portion of the Spruce Goose’s wing, as well as in exchange for a relatively small payment of $700,000 (about $3 million today).

    Howard Hughes

    For years afterward, Hughes, now moving on to other projects, kept the plane in the hanger he built specifically for it, seemingly originally with the intent of eventually flying it again. In fact, he kept a full-time crew of, at its peak, hundreds of people on hand to make sure the plane was ready to fly at any given moment, costing him millions of dollars over the years to do that.

    Howard Hughes died in 1976 and the Spruce Goose immediately was under threat of being dismantled owing to the cost of maintaining it in its massive hanger. But the Aero Club of Southern California acquired the legendary plane in 1980 and put it in their own hanger next to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, right near where the plane did its maiden and final voyage.

    The Walt Disney Company bought the property in 1988 and, after a few tense years, given Disney wanted the plane gone, the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon won the right to acquire the Spruce Goose.

    For the last 26 years, that’s where it has remained, meticulously maintained. In fact, it’s generally thought that the maintenance over the years has been so good that, with some upgrades, particularly to the wiring and electronic components as well as going through the engines, it could possibly fly just fine today. Of course, because of its historical significance, nobody has seriously suggested anyone make those upgrades and try.

    This article originally appeared on Today I Found Out. Follow @TodayIFoundOut on Twitter.

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