Monday, May 9, 2011

New Thoughts About Mingo Sanders

I just came across an internet article called Hell on Two Wheels at On Point written by Ret. Lt. Col. Roderick Hosler, that has an interesting picture. The picture of Company B, 25th Infantry was taken at Fort Missoula in 1895. Could Mingo Sanders be in that picture? I think so. Keep reading to follow my line of reason.

The picture in the upper middle is cropped from a photo taken at Fort Snelling in 1883. The man in this picture appears to have corporal insignias on his sleeve. Click here to see my original thoughts and an enlargable version of this picture.

Click here to find a picture of Company B, 25th Infantry standing at attention at Fort Missoula in 1895. This is the picture I recently discovered. The original is, according to Hosler, from the National Archives. Zooming in, one finds the soldier seen to the far left with others cropped out. Notice that his sleeve indicates the rank of sergeant. Checking enlistment records we see that Mingo Sanders was a sergeant in Company B, 25 Inf. at Fort Missoula during this time. His enlistment records record that he stood 5' 8" [somewhat on the short side ] and was dark complected. I think this is Sanders but can we corroborate him with another picture? I think so.

Go to the famous picture of the Corps standing in formation at Fort Missoula. We know Mingo was in that bunch. Click here and zoom in on the rider three back in the left column. This soldier has a dark complexion, flat brimmed hat and high, wide cheek bones. Even the crease in the top of the hat is similar in the two pictures. [click here for my theories about hat creases]. I think the two men on the left and right above are one and the same. If that is true then the picture on the right must be Sanders since he was the only sergeant on the trip. (We know the man on the left is a sergeant from the stripes on his sleeve)

Now we look at the picture to the right, which positively identifies Mingo Sanders. It comes from a book called The Brownsville Raid, written by John Weaver. Click here to see an expanded version of that picture.

Monday, April 25, 2011

This is how it all got started

This is the magazine article, sent to me by my brother that got it all started for me. Today I was cleaning out a closet and stumbled into this copy, in mint condition. I was thrilled. (Click on each picture to see an enlarged, readable version)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"At the end of the Spanish-American War, in 1898, the United States occupied Cuba. Rioting mobs in the street, along with outbreaks of malaria and yellow fever, created havoc in the country. Lieutenant James Moss was sent with is troops to maintain order; they were successful. The unique thing about Moss's 25th Infantry of only 100 men was that they were a bicycle corps -- they all rode bicycles, they were all black, and they never once used their weapons while in Cuba."

-- Source: Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts

I've seen this in various forms throughout the Internet. It's not true. The bicycle corps was finished soon after the Ft. Missoula to St. Louis ride. Moss tried to convince the army to let him make another trip, this time to San Francisco but the higher ups stated that there was no more need to experiment. I am not sure where Asimov got this. The 25th Infantry did go to Cuba and they fought, so they most certainly used their weapons. A myth close to this one is that the bicycle corps broke up riots in Havana, using their bicycles as shields. There is no source material to confirm this and much that contradicts it. -MJH