Huachuca Illustrated, vol 1, 1993:
U.S. Army Lifestyles at Huchuca in the
The 10th Cavalry band and a guard mount form on Fort Huachuca's parade field in 1918. From the Markel Collection.
John B. Brooks, who would become an Air Force major general, was a second lieutenant at Huachuca in 1914 and related some incidents that reveal the state of discipline.
A 2d lieutenant went to see the Troop Commander to ask when it would be convenient to issue new pistols, the Cal. .45. Upon arrival in the Troop Commander's office he found the Captain busy with an investigation concerning difficulty between a recruit and the First Sergeant. The Troop Commander invited the lieutenant in, saying this would not take long. It developed the First Sergeant of F Troop was being questioned by the Troop Commander. He was a large man of about 240 lbs, and was proud of his build and strength. He had been wounded at Santiago, Cuba. The recruit was complaining about too frequent KP and had spoken to the 1st Sergeant on two occasions and had received no satisfaction, and upon complaining the third time, alleged that the 1st Sergeant had struck him. The troop Commander asked the 1 st Sergeant if he had struck him. The list Sergeant asked permission to ask a question which was granted. The 1st Sergeant doubled up his fist, which was about the size of two ordinary large fists, and asked, "Was my fist doubled up like this?" The recruit said it was. The 1st Sergeant turned to the Troop Commander and said, "Sir, if the Captain please, this man is lying. Had I hit him with this fist as he said, he wouldn't be here to complain."
... The White City was a combination saloon and whore house, and that's where the soldiers went for the recreation and that's where ninety percent of our disciplinary troubles came from. They would go down there and get a lot of liquor aboard and then they'd get in fights over these women and start cutting each other, but that wasn't too frequent. The whole regiment was extremely well-disciplined. We had very few men in the guardhouse, but when they were in there, they were usually in there for attempted murder or something like that.
... In the guardhouse there was an occasional man that was turned over by civil authorities, brought to the Post from Nogales or other places along the border, like Naco, where he had been apprehended by Sheriff's Deputy as a deserter from some white unit. This was the nearest guardhouse. They would bring them up here and turn them in so that they could get their reward. In those days there was a $50 reward for every deserter and there were usually two or three of those men in the guardhouse. They remained there quite a long time because usually their units were a long ways away. There was a lot of correspondence with outside posts and digging evidence. They would be tried here but it took a long time to assemble all the data. So they were usually in there for quite some time before they were tried. Then the others would be in the guardhouse for cutting scrapes down at White City. There was an occasional drunk. I don't remember a single rape case, while I was in the regiment.(47)
According to Clarence Richmond, a newly arrived captain in 1921 who was detailed as the provost marshal, "There was a lot of excitement going on. We had nothing but horses of course, and lot of the ladies used to ride. That morning one lady had gone up to Huachuca Canyon alone and a 10th Cavalryman dropped out of a tree, pulled her off of her horse and raped her. That was my introduction to Fort Huachuca."(48)
Guard house (bldg. no. 22328) in 1918. From the Markel Collection.
A 10th Cavalry crap game. From the Markel Collection.
Richmond, told of one incident arising out of a payday spree and a blackjack game.
I had one 2d Lieutenant just brand new, out of West Point, by the name of Clarence C. Clendenen, who is now retired, teaching English at Stanford University, California. He had asked me permission to go over the mountain to Nogales to meet his mother and father and I had given him permission to do so. Mrs. Richmond, myself and son were sitting on the front porch of the 'officers' quarters which were screened in, enjoying the vista when all of a sudden I heard many shots, rifle shots. I jumped down off the porch to see what was going on. I found a colored soldier with a rifle at the ready, firing at some men going over the hill to get in the dead space on the other side. His name was Locklear. I went back into my quarters and got my .45 and called his name. He turned around towards me and I walked up to him and took the rifle away from him. I took him by the seat of the pants and nape of the neck and marched him over to the watering trough, with about three thousand gallons in, and threw him in it. I kept pushing his head down until he begged me to get out. I finally pulled him out because I thought he was going to drown. When I pulled him out he got angry at me. He picked up a piece of water pipe and made a swing at me. I hit him, knocked him out and tied him up. At the time when he was firing at the men who were in the barracks, everyone including the First Sergeant headed for the mesquite and the manzanita and there was nobody in sight except myself and the soldier who had gone "hermantato." After he was tied up, they came in and about this time 2d Lieutenant Clarence C. Clendenen came over the hill with his mother and father. He noticed the mob at the pumping station and came down. As he was looking at Locklear laying on the ground, Locklear came to. He saw the lieutenant and thought the lieutenant had hit him and called him everything that a Missouri mule skinner could think of. He said something about shave-tails and that he would get that shave-tail sooner or later. Well, the next morning we had to tie Locklear on a horse and send him in to the guardhouse at Fort Huachuca. I came in with my Studebaker Special Six, which I had there over the hill and reported to Hugh B. Myers. Locklear was tried for several attempts at murder, the names he called the lieutenant, and taking a poke at me. He was given twenty years and actually served four years, seven months and twenty days.
Shortly after that I was relieved from duty at Fort Huachuca and reassigned to Springfield, Illinois and Chicago for duty with the 65th Cavalry Division, organized reserve duty. They used to state that once on duty with colored troops, always on duty with colored troops until something happened. [The 65th was made up of African-American national guardsmen.] Locklear while serving his time in Leavenworth, wrote to me. I answered. The Parole Board wrote to me, asked me if I'd take him in my organization. I answered, "Sober yes, drunk no." So eventually they discharged Locklear from Leavenworth, gave him a suit of clothes and $10. He headed straight for Chicago. He called me up at my office in the Pure Oil Building and said he wanted to see me. "Come up," I said. He came up to my office and he said, "Sir, Captain, when they let me out of Leavenworth I didn't have a friend in the world except you. I came up to see if you could get me a job in Chicago." I had several contractors, friends, reserve officers belonging to the 65th Cavalry Division and I got him a job immediately. He was supposed to go to work the next morning and it rained pitchforks, so he couldn't go to work. He came back up to my office and I asked him what he would like to do. He says I'd like to go back to Chilecothe, Ohio. I said, "Let's go." I went to the railway station and bought him a one-way ticket and put him on and each week for the next six months I received a letter from him saying, "Sir, Captain, I never will forget what you done for me. I am going to send that money back to you just as soon as I get on my feet." After a few months the letters tapered off and I haven't heard from Locklear since.
10th Cavalry officers at Huachuca in January 1923. Top row, left to right: Lieutenants Nelson, Williams, Capt. Greenwell, Capt. De Lorimer, Lieutenants Williams, Mewshaw (?), Driscoll (?), Hamilton, Capt. Carroll, Capt. (Chaplain) Cover. Middle row, left to right: Capt. Addington, Lieut. Carter, Capt. McMillan, Capt. Kenahan, Lieut. Healy, Lieut. Schjerven, Capt. Taylor. Bottom row, left to right: Lieut. (?), Lieut. Parmley, Capt. Ryder, Major Norvell, Colonel Winans, Lt. Col. Myers, Capt. (?), Capt. (?), Capt. (?), Capt. Collins.
... There was an aftermath of that Lochiel situation because the next morning after this happened I lost twelve of the younger soldiers who were absent without leave at work call and I knew where they were. They were down at the line where mescal could be purchased for a little or nothing. They still had money and the argument of course started at the line in a blackjack game with Locklear backing a blackjack game with a Sgt. Page in the game. There was an argument between Locklear and Page over a twenty dollar bill or change therefore and Sgt. Page took a poke at Locklear. Locklear threw down the hand and started for the barracks building where he knew there were six rifles not in an arms rack. We were forbidden to take an arms rack down with only six rifles. Noncommissioned officers only carried pistols. Knowing where the twelve absentees were and since Sgt. Page was involved in this, I called him and I told him to go down to the line and bring back the twelve absentees. He came back with them. ...I sent Sgt. Page, in charge of this detail, up to the top of the hill with picks and shovels to dig up a water pipeline. Pretty soon he came on down to me and he said, "Sir Captain the men won't work."
I said, "Sgt. Page what was the order I gave you?"
He said, "To uncover that pipeline."
I said, "Did I tell you how to do it?"
Well then, Sgt Page, I suggest that you get up there and start those men working and uncover that pipeline or tommorrow morning you'll be a buck private in the rear rank."
He left me, rolling up his sleeves, picked up a two by four, and went up to the top of the hill. I peeked around the corner of the dispensary and he was just laying them out'in lavender. Pretty soon one private came on down and hunted me up and said, "Sir, Captain, Sgt. Page hit me."
I said, "Did Sgt. Page tell you to do something?"
"What was it?"
"He told me to pick up a pick and shovel and start uncovering the pipeline."
"Did you do that?"
"Well, I suggest that you get back up there or Sgt. Page will probably hit you again."
He went on up and from that minute on I had no more trouble. The pipeline was uncovered in record time.
Another incident involved armed robbery.
... We had the Post Farm. We had a little kitchen garden patch; a few fresh vegetables and then there were milch cows which furnished milk; and a daily delivery to the officers and the noncommissioned officers quarters. The farmer used to make his collections right after pay day and one day after making collections, he returned to his barn to do his chores. A 10th Cavalry soldier was lurking around the barn. He had stolen a pistol out of the pistol rack in the barracks and he held up this farmer. The farmer refused to give up the collections and the soldier fired several shots at him and hit him several, and then took off for Mexico. The farmer was taken to our Post Hospital and patched up. He did not die. I, as Provost Marshal, with Sgt. Patterson and two other Provost Guards, chased him into Mexico and was about ready to catch up with him when he got to Nogales and gave himself up there, before we had an opportunity to catch him. As Provost Marshal we had a murder on the average of once a month. Mexican authorities were very friendly and they permitted us to pursue fugitives or deserters from the 10th into Mexico. If we caught up with them, they allowed us back into the United States without international complications.(49)
There were two murders in 1921. The first took place just after an April payday. A bugler named Garrison, a notorious payday gambler and banker, left White City for Fort Huachuca with about $600. He never reached his quarters. His body was found just inside the post in the bed of Soldier Creek. Investigating the case were Maj. Pearson Menoher, Capt. Alfred J. de Lorimier, and 1st Lt. John H. Healy. A mess sergeant with Troop G was accused and tried in federal court in Tucson. The first trial resulted in a hung jury. Before the case could come up for retrial, the sergeant was found dead in bed from natural causes.
A veteran of the post remembered the second murder. Following the evening parade at the fort, two members of the 10th Cavalry Band got into a fight. A bandsman known as "Silver Dollar" was killed by another named Tolliver.(50)
47 Brooks interview.
48 Richmond interview.
49 Richmond interview.
50 Account in FHM files.
20. Reductions in the Black Regiments
Table of Contents