1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
The 22nd Infantry Regiment in Alaska 1908-1910
Map of Alaska
Marked in red
1 -- Ft. Egbert------------
2 -- Ft. Wm. H. Seward
3 -- Ft. Gibbon-----------
4 -- Ft. St. Michael------
5 -- Ft. Davis-------------
6 -- Ft. Liscum-----------
In the spring of 1908 orders
were issued directing the relief of the 10th Infantry in Alaska
by the Twenty-second Infantry.
This relief was to take place on July 1. Accordingly, on May 3, Company A of the 22nd proceeded
from Fort McDowell, Cal., to Fort William H. Seward, Alaska, to make preliminary arrangements for the relief.
Before leaving for its new station the regiment went, on May 7, to take part in San Francisco
in the parade in honor of the visit of the Atlantic fleet, which was then on its famous cruise around the world.
Two days later a detachment, consisting of Companies B, I, K and M, under Major Daniel A. Frederick,
proceeded to Oakland, California, for another parade in honor of the same event.
The 22nd Infantry
Regiment marches down the streets of San Francisco
during the parade honoring the Atlantic fleet, May 7, 1908
Early in June, Lieutenants
Ripley, Remington, McCammon, Moore and Adams were sent on to the
stations in Alaska
to complete preparations for the relief of the 10th Infantry and to take over the property at the various posts.
The sailing date of the regiment was set for June 20, 1908.
The San Francisco Call Sunday June 14, 1908
CDNC California Digital Newspaper Collection
So on June 20, 1908 the 22nd Infantry left the United States on the army transport Crook, for a tour of service in the north.
US Army Transport Crook
Postcard of the United States Army
with the inscription "Sailed from San Francisco Calif June 20 1908 with 22nd Inf Arrived Ft St Michael Alaska"
The Crook reached
Skagway, Alaska, on June 26. Companies G and M immediately
and prepared for their move to Fort Egbert, but there being no adequate transportation available,
they returned to Fort Seward the following day. June 28 and 29, regimental headquarters, the band,
and Companies F, G and M, took station at Fort William H. Seward.
The remaining units of the regiment proceeded to stations as follows:
July 2, Companies K and L at Fort Liscum.
July 10, Companies B and E at Fort St. Michael.
July 12, Companies H and I at Fort Davis.
July 20, Companies C and D
proceeded from Fort St. Michael to Fort Gibbon
by traveling up the Yukon on the river boat. Companies G and M, in the meantime reached Fort Egbert on July 5,
having left Seward four days previously and travelled by railroad to White Pass, thence by steamer
down the Yukon to their destination. The companies were quickly settled in their new posts,
and for the remainder of the year engaged in routine garrison life.
Postcard sent from
Company I, 22nd Infantry at Fort Davis, Alaska,
postmarked September 14, 1908
January 1, 1909, the 22nd Infantry, still under the command of Colonel Alfred Reynolds, was stationed as follows:
Regimental headquarters, band,
machine gun platoon, Companies A and F, Fort Seward,
Colonel Alfred Reynolds, commanding.
Companies G and H, Fort Egbert, Captain Henry A. Harrigan, commanding.
Companies C and D, Fort Gibbon, Lieutenant-Colonel George F. Cooke, commanding.
Headquarters second battalion, Companies B and E, Fort St. Michael, Captain Ferdinand W. Kobbe, commanding.
Headquarters First Battalion, Companies H and I, Fort Davis, Major J. F. Kreps, commanding.
Headquarters Third Battalion, Companies K and L,, Fort Liscum, Captain Frank Halstead, commanding.
Above is a listing of
stations for the 22nd Infantry in Alaska in 1909.
As can been seen, Major Jacob Kreps was the commanding officer at Fort Davis.
From the Alaska Almanac 1909, Harrison Publishing Company
A photo of COL J.F. Kreps of the 22nd
Infantry taken after his retirement.
As a Major, Jacob Kreps was one of the ranking officers of the 22nd during its service in Alaska.
No change of station took place during the year 1909.
January 18, Captain F. G.
Stritzinger, Jr., who had been on duty as an assistant instructor
at the school of musketry,
Presidio of Monterey, was relieved from that assignment and ordered to Fort Liscum,
where he relieved Captain Halstead in command of the post and of the Third Battalion, 22nd Infantry.
The year 1909 passed in much the same routine way as had the previous year,
only one event of interest taking place to break the monotonous but pleasant service.
A request was made by the United States Marshal at Juneau for a detachment of troops
to assist him in the apprehension of an Indian accused of murder.
The request having received the approval of the Secretary of War, a detachment of ten men,
five from each of Companies A and F, under Captain P. W. Davison, regimental adjutant,
left Fort Seward at 7 A. M., May 31, on the government harbor boat Peterson.
This detachment joined the marshal at Juneau and accompanied him to Lake Inlet, Sumdrum,
Windham Bay, Hobart Bay, Cleveland Passage, Port Hough-ton, Kake Village and back to Juneau.
The suspected murderer was not apprehended and the troops returned to Fort Seward on June 5.
In the course of this expedition the little detachment traveled 424 miles by water.
In the bottom right hand
corner of the above photograph, the end of the formation of the
can be seen, marching in downtown Nome, Alaska, passing Barracks Square to the right.
They are captioned on the photo as ' "Boys in Brown" or 22nd Inf U.S.A. '
4th of July parade held on July 5, 1909
Members of the 22nd Infantry Band, Fort Seward, 1909
Menu for Thanksgiving Dinner for Company F
and the Machine Gun Platoon
Twenty Second Infantry
Fort William H. Seward, Alaska
November 23, 1909
During the year many men from
the regiment were detailed to work with the Signal Corps
on the maintenance and repair of the Alaskan telegraph lines. In this connection the following telegram,
commending a soldier of the 22nd Infantry for his services, speaks for itself:
ALASKA, December 9th, 1909. Signal, Seattle.
"Civilian Meyers reached Minto seventh frozen condition critical.
Given emergency treatment station men. Brought by Bert Anderson, Infantry,
credit due Anderson intelligent compliance emergency treatment
and hard travelling temperature forty five below. LEWIS."
Only very limited training was
possible, and during the open season most of the troops were kept
bringing up supplies to the Yukon posts and Fort Davis. The condition of the tundra during this season
added to the difficulty of conducting any extensive military instruction. In spite of this condition, however,
at the conclusion of the target season, the 22nd Infantry had attained first place in the department
in individual merit firing, and second place in the general figure of merit.
On February 26, of this year, Chaplain (Major) Edward H. Fitzgerald retired from active service
and left the regiment. Chaplain Fitzgerald had served continuously with the regiment since 1897,
and had accompanied it through the Cuban campaign and all of its service in the Philippines.
The beginning of the year 1910
found the regiment still under the command of Colonel Reynolds,
and at the same stations as the preceding year. Orders had been received in November, 1909,
that the regiment would return to the United States in the summer of 1910.
No date was set at that time. It was further announced that on being relieved
the regiment would proceed to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for station.
The customary routine duties of the Alaskan posts occupied the troops until July, when the transfer took place.
Owing to inclement weather during much of the summer, the annual target practice was only partially completed
and was later continued and completed in Texas. Prior to the departure of the regiment from Alaska,
a comprehensive memorandum was prepared by the outgoing officers covering in detail
all matters relating to the life of the Alaskan garrison. This was prepared primarily for the use of the officers
of the incoming regiment and their families, and touched on the methods of obtaining supplies of food and clothing;
shopping facilities, accommodations, amusements, towns in the vicinity of the various posts, climate,
sports, servants and transportation facilities.
July 3, 1910, the army transport
Buford arrived at Fort William H.
Seward with the Sixteenth Infantry,
which was the relieving regiment. On the same day regimental headquarters, the band, machine gun platoon
and Companies F, G, H and K of the 16th disembarked and relieved regimental headquarters, band,
machine gun platoon and Companies A and F of the 22nd Infantry.
The latter troops embarked immediately on the Buford. The transport left Fort Seward at 6:30 P. M., July 5
and proceeded to Fort Liscum, where it arrived at 5 p. M., July 7. The following day Companies C and I, 16th Infantry,
disembarked and carried out the relief of Companies K and L, 22nd Infantry, which embarked the same day.
The Buford left Fort Liscum at 6 p. M., July 8, and arrived at Fort Davis, Nome, Alaska, at 9 A. M., July 15.
The following day Companies B and E, 16th Infantry, disembarked and relieved Companies H and I, 22nd Infantry,
the latter companies embarking on the Buford the same day.
The USAT Buford, here seen in a period
color postcard view,
docked at Manila, The Philippines
While at Nome the 22nd Infantry
band gave two concerts in the town, affording a great deal of
pleasure to the inhabitants.
At 1:30 P. M., July 17, the Buford left Nome for Fort St. Michael, arriving at that place at 3 A. M., July 18.
Companies D and M, 16th Infantry, disembarked on the 18th, Companies A and L, on the 19th,
and Companies B, C, D, G, E and M of the 22nd embarked on the nights of the 18th and 19th.
The 22nd Infantry Regimental Band
giving a concert
in Barracks Square, Nome, Alaska July 14, 1910
During the two years the 22nd Infantry was deployed to Alaska five soldiers of the Regiment died.
In December of 1908 three
soldiers died. On December 8, 1908 Corporal William A. Stone of
Company I died of
Pulmonary Turberculosis in the Post Hospital at Fort Davis his death indicated as having occurred in the line of duty.
On December 14, 1908 Private Thomas J. Fitzpatrick of Company G died at Fort Egbert. His death was recorded
as a suicide in the Returns of the 22nd Infantry for the month of December 1908 with the entry " Pistol shot wound -
self inflicted - Not in line of duty." On December 31, 1908 Private Englebert Stutz of Company E died in the Post Hospital
at Fort St, Michael. The cause of his death was recorded as an accident in the Returns of the 22nd Infantry for the month of
December 1908 with the entry "compression of brain, resulting from a fracture of base of skull with intracranial hemorrhage -
In line of duty." No further details of the accident were given.
On June 7, 1909 Sergeant Alfred
Jones of Company I drowned at Nome. He had served twelve years in
the 22nd Infantry,
first enlisting in the Regiment on January 28, 1897 at Fort Crook, Nebraska. In civilian life he had been a railroad conductor
and listed his home town as Scranton, Pennsylvania. He stood five feet 4 ¼ inches tall, had light brown hair, brown eyes
and a fair complexion. Jones served with the 22nd Infantry in Cuba during the War with Spain and accompanied the Regiment
to the Philippines, where at the end of his first enlistment he had already been promoted to Corporal. By the end of his second
enlistment in 1903 Jones had been promoted to Sergeant. He was with the Regiment at the Presidio in San Francisco during
the earthquake and was recorded as being a Quartermaster Sergeant there for a time. Jones was on his fifth three-year enlistment
in the 22nd Infantry when he died in June 1909, having served over the years in Companies E, G and I. The Returns of the
22nd Infantry for the month of June 1909 gave his entry as "Accidentally drowned in Behring Sea near Nome, Alaska."
On August 26, 1909 Private Dock
A. Hayes of Company K died while he was a passenger on the
transport S.S. Ohio.
Hayes had enlisted in the Army on February 13, 1909. He was on his way from Seattle to Nome to join his Regiment
when the ship he was on struck an uncharted underwater reef or rock in Hiekish Narrows, British Columbia, Canada.
The Captain of the Ohio ordered the ship to steam at full speed for nearby Carter Bay, Alaska and the ship nearly made it
but flooding sea water caused the ship's boilers to explode and she quickly sank near the shore in about 90 feet of water.
Only four aboard died. Private Hayes was incapacitated due to being violently ill from seasickness and three crewman
from the ship attempted to aid him to safety but the ship sank before they could get him out and all four were lost.
The Returns of the 22nd Infantry for the month of August 1909 recorded that Private Hayes' body was not recovered.
At 5 P. M. July 21, 1910, the Buford,
carrying the entire 22nd Infantry, sailed for San Francisco.
This home port was reached at 2 p. M July 31, after a pleasant and uneventful voyage.
The regiment disembarked at 1 P. M., August 1, and immediately entrained at Point Richmond, California,
for the new station at Fort Sam Houston. The journey to San Antonio, Texas, was made by the Santa Fe route,
and was without event, aside from the natural effect on the personnel of the sudden change of temperature and climate.
The entire regiment arrived at Fort Sam Houston on August 7, and was directed to prepare immediately
for the maneuvers to be held at Leon Springs. The regiment marched to Leon Springs on August 9 and 10.
This, the first long march undertaken by the troops since leaving Alaska, at a time of the year
when the Texas heat was most intense, caused a considerable amount of suffering among the men.
The maneuvers at Leon Springs lasted until August 30, and on the following day camp was broken
and the regiment marched back to Fort Sam Houston, arriving September 1.
Companies H and I, under command of Lieut-Colonel William C. Butler, remained at Leon Springs
to complete target practice and returned to the post September 19.
The 22nd Infantry in the
Photo most likely taken at Leon Springs, Texas, 1910
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