William Arba Ellis.

Norwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) online

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designated as Co. D, of the corps of cadets. It also became
Co. A, Signal Corps of the Vermont National Guard.



In 1910, the trustees voted to have a permanent commandant,
thus relievmg the professor of Military Science and Tactics of
the duties of that office; and in the fall of that year Mr. L. P. Bayley
of the class of 1909, who had served one year as assistant com-
mandant of the St. Thomas College, St. Paul, Minn., was elected
to the position.

In November, 1910, the organization of the corps w-as again
vhanged by the act of the legislature (q. v.) allowing the enlistment
of one company of Signal Corps, and a squadron of cavalry.
This act also provided that the commandant, when not an U. S.
Army officer, should hold the rank of major in the \^ermont
National Guard.



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Squad of Cavalry, 1910.

The corps has been supplied with the latest equipment by
the Government. In June, 1903, the Krag-Jorgensen rifles were
issued to the men. In June, 1904, the two Hotchkiss mountain
cannon were received. In 1907, the latest model of the U. S.
magazine rifle was issued to the corps replacing the Krag-Jor-
gensen. In May, 1907, the regulation Khaki shelter tents were
issued to the Institution. In December, 1907, the following
equipment was received from the U. S. Government: four 3-inch
breech loading rapid fire field guns, model, 1905; 8 caissons
for guns complete; 1 battery wagon and field forge; 1 store wagon;
14 carriages; 42 sets artillery harness complete with saddles,
blankets, etc.; 20 sets cavalry equipment complete; 120 revolvers,
revolver holsters and belts; 120 field mess outfits complete;
120 sets field equipment complete. The guns were absolutely


the latest type, fitted with bullet proof shields, range finders,

In 1892, a squad of cavalry was organized by Lieutenant
Kimball, U. S. A., which was maintained for a short time. The
matter of forming a troop of cavalry was discussed at various
times, but nothing definite accomplished until 1909, when ten
horses were bought. Several citizens of the state became in-
terested in the matter and gave funds for the purchase of horses.
Mr. Maxwell Evarts presented the University his famous stallion,
"Emperor." Since the first purchase the University has main-
tained a stable of from twenty to thirty-four horses. An eft'ort
is being made to secure Morgan horses which for many years
made Vermont famous throughout the country. The organiza-
tion of the cavalry has done much to interest the corps in the
military work and the cavalrj' drills have been among the most
interesting feature of the commencement day drills, and the
drills at the state fair.

In 1891, the University secured the old Universalist church
at the Center, which was used for a short time as a drill hall,
and during the winters of 1894-'97 the Armory Hall in the village
was used. For many j'ears the corps of cadets has taken an
important part in the observance of Memorial Day in Northfield.


The following quotation from the Regulations of 1887,
gives the description of the uniform worn during 1885-92.

"Coat. A single-breasted coatee of dark blue cloth, the skirt to extend
one-half the distance from the hip joint to the band of the knee, with shoulder
straps of the same material. There shall be three rows of nine University-
buttons in front, the lower outside buttons to be three inches from the eye
of the middle button, each succeeding outer button, up to the fifth, one and
one-fourth inch farther outside the center row, the sixth the same as the
fifth, and the seventh, eighth and ninth each about three-fourths of an inch
nearer the center than the next preceding; stand up collar trimmed with gilt
lace, to rise no higher than to permit the chin to turn freely over it, to hook
in front at the bottom and slope thence up and backward at an angle of
thirty degrees on each side, corners rounded; cuffs three inches deep, to go
round the sleeves parallel with the lower edge, and with five small buttons
at the lower seam; two buttons at the height of the hip; three buttons, placed
lengthwise on the skirts down the plaits, terminating with an additional
button at the end of the skirts; flap at the top of the skirt, five inches long
and three-fourths of an inch wide, ends slanting with skirt, buttons under
lower edge, showing one-half of surface below flap, set at equal distances
along flap; lining of the coat black.


"Sack Coat. A sack coat of dark blue cloth or flannel, cut in the amay
style, with University buttons, is allowed and recommended for ordinary wear,
as economical and likely to save the wear of the more expensive dress coat;
no braid or outside pockets.

"Trousers. Dark blue cloth, with light blue stripe an inch and one-
quarter wide, with fly front, no front pockets, medium sized leg and bottom.

"Cravat. Black; the tie not to be visible at the opening of the collar.

"Caps. For all cadets. For full dress, army helmet with gilt orna-
ments, forage cap, pattern U. S. Army.

"Badges of Distirction. For officers. Russian shoulderknot. For
a captain, two silver embroidered bars on each knot. For a first lieutenant,
one bar. For a second lieutenant, none.

"For non-commissioned officers. The rank of non-commissioned
officers will be marked by chevrons upon both sleeves of the uniform coat,
above the elbow, points down, of light blue cloth, divided into bars a half
inch wide, piped with red.

"For 1st sergeant, three bars and a lozenge. For a sergeant, three bars.
For a corporal, two bars. For a principal musician, three or two bars, (ac-
cording as he ranks as a s'.;rgeant or coporal,) with a bugle."

In 1892, the stripes and badges of distinction were changed
to red, and in the same year the ornaments worn on the caps were
changed to crossed cannon. In the spring of 1895 the campaign
hat was first worn by the corps; and in 1896 the old frock or drill
coat of many buttons was discarded. In the spring of 1905, the
•full U. S. campaign uniform was introduced consisting of a cam-
paign hat, olive drab shirt, khaki breeches and leggins. Since
1905 several changes have been made in the uniform to conform
to that worn by the U. S. Army. During 1885-1900, the uniform
prescribed for the faculty was that of the Staff of the U. S. Army
with the Vermont button; except where a professor was an ofl&cer
of the U. S. Army or of the state militia, in which case he was
allowed to wear the uniform of his arm and grade. On November
13, 1900, the faculty was given local rank by the state legislature as
follows: "Assistant professors, the rank of second lieutenant;
professors the first five years of service as such, the rank of first
lieutenant; for the second five j^ears, the rank of captain; after
ten years, the rank of major; after twenty years, the rank of
lieutenant colonel; the president shall have the rank of colonel;
all without pa}^ from the state. ' '

In 1887, the corps was invited to visit Chelsea and take part
in the observance of Memorial Day. They left the barracks at
6 A. M., in two four-horse teams; the members of the faculty, band
and baseball team going in one team and the remainder of the corps
in the other. The band played several selections while passing


through Brookfield. Chelsea was reached at 11:30 a. m., and the
corps were met by a committee consisting of W, W. H. Hall, '47,
and Dr. Goss, father of H. H. Goss, '88. They were escorted by
the Sons of Veterans, under command of Capt. H. 0. Bixby, to the
town hall, where the ladies of the town served them with dinner.

At 1 :30 p. M.,the corps, preceded by their band, escorted the
veterans of the G. A. R. and citizens to the cemetery, where
Memorial Day services were observed. In the afternoon the base
ball team played a game with the town team. At 7 p. m., the corps
gave an exhibition drill, and at 8 p. m. the band gave a concert in
the town hall. The next morning at 8 a.m. they returned to North-
field, via Williamstown. The cadets had a most enjoyable time
on this trip, the first visit of the corps to that town since July 6,
1845. The fine appearance of the corps proved of great value to
the University, as several young men of Chelsea and surrounding
towns were influenced to enter the Institution in the fall.

On October 14, 1888, the corps visited Montpelier and drilled
before the legislature, thus reviving the custom established by
Captain Partridge years before. From that date the corps has
drilled before the legislature at each session. These biennial visits
have been productive of much good to the University, as it has
enabled the members of the legislature to see for themselves the
work carried out at the Institution in developing the men physi-
cally, and in training the men for a citizen soldiery.

Marches and Encampments.

In 1888, the custom of the cadets going into camp was revived
and has been continued to date. From 1888 untU 1905, the en-
campment was held on the University grounds just previous to the
annual commencement and lasted from seven to ten days.

In 1905, Major H. W. Hovey, U. S. A., revived the custom
of taking practice marches. It was at first planned to march to
the west side of the state through Warren, Granville, Hancock to
Middlebury, and then to Fort Ethan Allen; thus in part going over
the old route followed by the corps many years ago; but a shorter
route through Roxbury, Warren, Waitsfield, to Waterbury, then
to Montpelier and Northfield, was finallj^ decided upon.

The corps, organized as a three company battalion, under
command of Major Hovey, left the barracks about 1 p. m., Tuesday,
June 6. They camped that night in Roxbur}' on the square before
the depot. The next day the march led over the mountain to
Warren. The horses were unable to haul the large supply wagons


up the steepest pitches and the corps was obliged to give assistance.
The cadets camped in Warren village, staying over one day. The
time was spent in drills and a game of ball was played with a local
team, Thursday afternoon, resulting in a victory for " N. U."

Friday morning the corps marched down the Mad River Valley
to Waitsfield and camped in a pasture near the village. The next
day camp was moved to the old fair grounds, where Sunday was
spent. On Monday, the 12th, the march was continued to Water-
bury where the corps camped on the Winooski Valley Fair Grounds.
The next day they proceeded to Middlesex and camped near the
Almon power plant. On Wednesday, the 14th, the corps marched
to the state arsenal grounds in Montpelier, where they camped
that night. In the afternoon a game of ball was played with the
Montpelier Seminary team ; several drills were also given.
!=v All the tentage and heavy baggage was left at the state arsenal
the next morning. The corps, in light marching order, proceeded
to Northfield, reaching the barracks about 4:30 p. m. As they
neared the village they were met by the Northfield Cornet Band,
who escorted them to the barracks. The battalion was com-
manded by Major H. R. Deal; the companies by Captains E. A.
Lawrence, J. C. Ross and P. C. Sinclair.

The second annual practice march began June 4, 1906, when
the corps of cadets, under Cadet Major B. P. Hovey, left Northfield
with the idea of marching to Fort Ethan Allen. Camp was made
the first night at West Berlin on the farm of R. B. Denney, '91.
The next day they marched to South Duxbury, intending to spend
one night, and then go to Jonesville. Rain, however, compelled
them to stay over Wednesday, and not until Thursday morning
was the march taken to the latter place. They arrived at the farm
of Professor Balch, (q. v.) about noon, and went into camp on the
banks of a beautiful stream, well back from the highway. Again
rain interfered, and Friday, the 8th, was spent in camp. After a
consultation of those in authority it was determined that to con-
tinue the march to Fort Ethan Allen would be impracticable
without making a Sunday march, which Major Hovey was unwil-
ling to do; so instead of going on to the Fort, the corpg turned back
toward Northfield, Saturday, and that afternoon went into camp
again at the South Duxbury camp ground. There they remained
over Sunday, and on Monday left for Montpelier, arriving about
noon. They stayed in camp Monday night and Tuesday. The
camp ground at Montpelier, a large level meadow, afforded excel-
lent opportunities for drill, and the time Tuesday was spent in


practice drills for commencement. Wednesday morning tlie state
equipment was turned in at the state arsenal and the corps reached
Northfield during the afternoon. On account of the unpleasant
weather conditions, the march was neither as long nor as agreealjle
as had been expected, but the men came in in good condition and
in good spirits.

The march of 1907 commenced Monday, June 10th, when the
corps left Northfield about 8:20 in the morning with the idea of
making a circuit around to the east. They marched that forenoon
to Montpelier, and went into camp on the arsenal grounds. The
night was spent there and Tuesday morning the march was taken
to Barre, where they camped on the trotting park. On Wednesday
they went to Williamstown, camping in the heart of the village
near the railroad station. That afternoon a ball game was played
between the University and the Williamstown teams. The result
was a decisive victory for the cadets, although the game was
characterized more by horse play and good rooting than by good
ball playing. Thursday morning the corps left for Brookfield,
going down through the beautiful Williamstown Gulf. Camp
was made in the afternoon, back from the village, on a hillside
overlooking the pond, one of the most beautiful sites occupied
on the march. Friday, the march was made to Northfield by way
of East Roxbury. Instead of going into barracks the cadets
marched to the Company F rifle range and went into camp there
for the five days target practice. The corps on this march were
under the command of Cadet Major Harry C. Pratt, and Lieut.
L. A. I. Chapman of the 1st Cavalry; the commandant having
general charge and Capt. H. C. Moseley and Professors Woodbury
and Spear being present as guests.

For various reasons it was deemed best to change the time
of the annual march, taking it in the fall instead of the spring,
chief among these reasons being the impossibility of securing
adequate camp grounds in June, on account of the destruction of
crops. So, the consent of the Governor having been obtained, it
was decided to make the march include a visit to the state fair.
In accordance with that idea the corps left Northfield by special
train on the early morning of Tuesday, October 1, and rode to the
fair grounds at White River Junction. They arrived there late
in the forenoon, and went into camp on a knoll just above the
principal grandstand. Every day during the fair they gave
exhibition drills of various kinds on the oval before the grandstand,
usually holding retreat and evening parade exercises there also.


For the rest of the time the formations took place inside the camp,
but all the routine and restrictions of the regular camp were fol-
lowed. After the drill on Thursday afternoon march was made
down town, and the corps entrained for Northfield arriving in the
evening. These three days comprised the first part of the march
which was completed the following June, when on Friday, June
8, 1908, the corps left for Snowsville, marching on the 9th to Ran-
dolph, where they stayed over Sunday. Starting back on Monday,
the 11th, they went into camp on the farm of Mr. Webb at East
Granville. Here they remained until the next evening, when at
7 :30 they marched to Northfield. This march was not only a night
march, but was made in the rain, and the corps were very glad
to reach dry beds in the barracks. Cadet ]\Iajor W. P. Fraser was
in command on both these marches.

It is perhaps unjust to speak of the march of 1908 as a " march,' '
inasmuch as the only actual marching done was from Brattleboro
to South Vernon and return, a total distance of about 10 miles.
On Tuesday, September 22, the corps left for White River Junction,
going into camp on the state fair grounds in the same place occupied
the previous fall, Cadet Major Rowe being in command. The order
of drills and other exercises did not differ materially from that given
in the previous year, although the corps remained at the fair
grounds one day longer than before. On Saturday morning, the
26th, they took train for Brattleboro, where they were to be guests
of the Valley Fair Association. They arrived here soon after noon
and went into camp in a beautiful grove of pines on the further
side of the fair grounds. Here they remained over Sunday, and
through the fair, which opened Tuesday. On Monday, the 28th,
a march was made to South Vernon to inspect the new dam which
was being constructed across the Connecticut at that point. The
drills and exercises at Brattleboro were similar to those given at
White River Junction. Too much cannot be said for the hospi-
tality and generosity of the people of Brattleboro and the officials
of the power company and of the fair. Thej^ made the experience
a memorable one for all who were present. The return to North-
field was made by special train Thursday, October 1.

In 1909, the corps left Northfield by special train Tuesday,
September 21, arriving at White River Junction fair ground
about noon. Camp was made here on the north side of the track,
a different and rather better location than in previous years. They
remained here until -Saturday morning, September 25, being de-
tained one day by rain. March was taken early in the morning



through West Hartford and Sharon to South Royalton, where
they arrived in the afternoon after a march of about nineteen miles.
Although cordiality had been the uniform custom on the part of
the people of the towns in which the corps had stopped, the people
of South Royalton were unusually kind, a very pleasant feature
of the visit being the cordial invitation and treatment on the part
of the churches. Remaining over Sunday, the cadets left IMonday
morning, in spite of a disagreeable rain, for Bethel, where they
arrived during a lull of the showers about noon. Camp was made
in a beautiful meadow on the west side of the town and the day
very pleasantly passed. During the evening a mass meeting was

Headquarters, State Fair, igio.

held in honor of the departure of the football team, and in memory
of the deatl\of Clarkson, whose life was sacrificed two years before.
As a mark of respect for him, and of honor to the corps, the camp
was named "Camp Leonard J. Clarkson." On Tuesday, the 28th,
the march was made to Randolph, also in mud and rain. There
the corps went into a wet camp on the baseball grounds. A
bright sun was welcomed Wednesday morning, and the corps with
new courage undertook the eighteen mile hike into Northfield,
where they arrived in the early afternoon. On this march Cadet
Everett Collins was in command and for the first time a part of the
corps were mounted, the men who had taken the course in horse-
manship riding, on different days. The use of horses also caused
a variation in the drills. All the usual infantry evolutions were


performed and in addition the cadets gave exhibitions of mounted
fencing and wrestling.

The practice march of 1910 commenced September 19,
when Troop B, the mounted part of the corps, left Northfield for
White River Junction, the remainder of the men leaving by special
train early Tuesday morning, the 20tli. The camp ground was the
same as occupied on the 1909 march, and the corps stayed through-
out the fair, giving each day a review and infantry and cavalry

Late Friday afternoon, the' 25th, the command left the fair
grounds for West Hartford, reaching there after dark and spending
the night in shelter tents. At 8 :00 o 'clock the next morning they
were on the march to South Royalton, where they arrived in the
early afternoon. Soon after making camp it began to rain and
continued until Monday morning. On Sunday, the corps remained
in camp, and Monday resumed the march to Bethel. The monot-
ony of tramping through the mud was varied by the working out
of a field problem. It was planned to make the march on Tuesday
from Bethel to Randolph, and on Wednesday from Randolph to
Northfield, but owing to the rain which still persisted, it was de-
cided to make the entire distance, twenty-seven miles, in one
march. This was accomplished and the men arrived in the early
evening in good condition, after one of the longest marches of which
we have record in this or any other similar institution. The cadets
on this march, were under command of Cadet Major H. J. M. Smith
and were accompanied by Capt. Frank Tompkins, U. S. A., Com-
mandant L. P. Bayley, Lieut. H. A. Whitney, M. D., and Sergt.
John Cody, U. S. A.

Austin Trophy.

In 1887, was given the first systematic attention to target
practice. Mr. E. 0. Thurston offered a prize for the best single
shot; and on June 20, the contest was held on the land now owned
by Prof. E. A. Shaw, '91, at the Center. The cadets making the
highest scores were Fred E. Lamb, '89, and Charles F. Parker, '90.

The second contest was held at the same place on June 11,
1888; H. R. Chaclwick, '91, made the best score. In 1889, the
contest was held on June 24, C. G. Dole, '91, making the highest
score in the final contest. These contests were discontinued until

In April, 1895, Capt. Fred T. Austin, U. S. A., '88, renewed
the custom of target shooting by offering a trophy consisting


of three medals, gold, silver and bronze under the following
conditions :

" 1 . The shooting shall be at 200 yards o nly .

2. Each cadet of the three lower classes shall fire the same number of
shots in preliminary practice of 200 yards.

3. The ten cadets making the best aggregate score at the preliminary
practice shall constitute the team to shoot for the trophies.

4. Each contestant shall fire twenty shots and the cadet having the
highest aggregate score shall be declared the winner of the first prize. The
next two men shall be awarded the second and third prizes respectively.

5. Cadets of the senior class will not be allowed to shoot for the tro-

6. A senior, who may be holding a medal, will be allowed to defend it,
and should he succeed in the competition, he will be given a substitute medal
in place of the trophy which will be his personal property, and the trophy
wiU be given to the cadet holding the next highest score.

7. The trophy will he beld by the winner until the next contest."

Preliminary contests have been held in June, each year and
the ten men, making the highest scores, have been selected for the
final contest on some day in commencement week, usually Tuesday.
The winners of the prizes are as follows: June 25, 1895, A. G. An-
drews, '96, first; F. W. Denison, '98, second and W. B. Carr, '97,
third; June 22, 1896, Allen N. Goodspeed, '98, first; L. J. Parker,
'98, second, and H. K. Brooks, '99, third; June 29, 1897, L. J.
Parker, '98, first; F. L. Aldrich, '99 second; and J. W. Cook, '98,
third; June 28, 1898, H. K. Brooks, '99, first; R. W. Dunsmoor,
'00, second and D. M. Barclay, '01, third; June 26, 1899, R. W.
Dunsmoor, '00, first; D. M. Barclay, second and G. D. Murch, '02,
third; June 26, 1900, H. A. Chase, first; S. J. Parsons, '03, second
and E. A. Chase, '03, third; June 24, 1901, E. A. Chase, '03, first
and H. A. Chase, '02, second, each scoring 75; R. F. Barker, '03,
third; June 23, 1902, Seth Williams, '03, first; J. H. Foster, '03,
second and E. A. Chase, '03, third; June 22, 1903, R. L. Gilman,
'04, and H. J. Betterly, '06, first; E. A. Chase, '03, third, suc-
cessfully holding the prize two years; June 17, 1904, H. J. Betterly,
'06, first; R. L. Gilman, '04, second and W.J. Martin, '07, third;
June 19, 1905, C. A. Tenney,'06, first; J. H. Mears, '07, second and
G. W. Cobb, '07, third; June 18, 1906, C. A. Tenney, '06, first; F. E.
Stowe, '08, second and J. H. Mears, '07,third; June 24, 1907, W.J.
Schakowski, '10, first; C. N. Barber, '08, second and F. S. Stow,

Online LibraryWilliam Arba EllisNorwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) → online text (page 26 of 61)