Friday, May 27, 2016

General John J. Pershing (1860-1948)

One of the most dashing men ever to wear the uniform, John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing was the most accomplished and celebrated American soldier of the early 20th century.

But to a young Douglas MacArthur entering West Point in 1899, the name John Pershing most likely elicited fear and loathing, not admiration. That summer MacArthur joined Company A, where stories about their recently departed tactical officer -- Pershing, known to the company as "Lord God Almighty" -- had already become legendary. According to historian Geoffrey Perret, Pershing had been an avid practitioner of hazing as an upperclassman before graduating in 1886. When he returned as a "tac" (in charge of cadet disclipine) in 1897, he took "a perfectly ordinary group of cadets and made them hate him.... Pershing's methods amounted to a caricature of leadership and a living definition of the martinet." Under different circumstances, however, the same iron will and force of personality would propel him to a remarkable career.

Born in a small town in Missouri, Pershing served in the cavalry out West after graduating from the Academy, and later received a law degree from the University of Nebraska. During the Spanish-American War, he distinguished himself commanding a black cavalry regiment at San Juan Hill before sailing to the Philippines in 1899. While there, his work in pacifying the fierce Moros on the island of Mindanao caught the eye of General Arthur MacArthur, the new military governor of the Philippines. Perret writes that by the time General MacArthur introduced his son Douglas to Pershing in 1903, the Captain "was probably the best-known junior officer in the Army." With the stories from Company A still fresh in his mind, Douglas was awestruck by Pershing, whose "ramrod bearing, steely gaze and confidence-inspiring jaw created almost a caricature of nature's soldier." Pershing also noticed the younger MacArthur, noting, "I was favorably impressed by the manly, efficient appearance of the second lieutenant." Their paths were destined to cross many more times.

After serving as military attache to Japan and observing the Russo-Japanese War, Pershing was elevated to brigadier general by President Roosevelt in 1906. As a provincial governor in the southern Philippines, he finished his campaign against the Moros, who by 1913 no longer presented a threat to American rule. In 1916, he gained notice leading a force of 5,000 American troops in pursuit of Pancho Villa and his Mexican rebels. When the Americans finally joined the war in Europe in 1917, Pershing's experience and charisma made him the logical choice to command the Allied Expeditionary Force.

First, Pershing had to build an army almost from scratch, organizing, training, and supplying an inexperienced force that eventually numbered two million. Then, he had to fight a war on two fronts: one against the Germans, the other against his Allies, who sought to fill their depeleted ranks with his fresh troops. But after months of reinforcing the British and French, Pershing's Army started operating on its own in the summer of 1918, and played a decisive role in defeating the Germans that fall. Although MacArthur, who believed the only real soldiers were those at the front, resented the "Chaumont" crowd at A.E.F. headquarters (which included Colonel George C. Marshall), Pershing's was a monumental achievement. What MacArthur failed to realize -- but thankfully Pershing did not -- was that this was a new type of war, the first fully mechanized global war in history, and it required a new kind of soldier.

Pershing rightfully emerged as the most celebrated American hero of the war. Congress honored him by creating a new title, General of the Armies, and he served as Chief of Staff from 1921 to 1926. His reputation was so great that long after his retirement, as the next great war approached, President Roosevelt named George Marshall Chief of Staff largely based on Pershing's suggestion. Given Marshall's sterling performance, this surely counts as one more great contribution by one of America's finest soldiers.


Retrieved from PBS

Pershing County, Nevada

Pershing County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nevada. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,753. Its county seat is Lovelock. The county was named after army general John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing (1860–1948). It was formed from Humboldt County in 1919, and the last county to be established in Nevada. The Black Rock Desert, location for the annual Burning Man festival, is partially located in the county.

Lovelock is located 95 miles (1.5 to 2 hour drive) from Reno, Fallon approximately 50 miles, Winnemucca approximately 75 miles, and 196 miles to Elko, NV.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Grand Council 6021

Grand Council news:

First off, Thank you everyone for your support in our efforts in becoming a Outpost and the support in leading us in the right direction.

We had a meeting with Sonny on friday night in Sonora about what could have possibly happened this weekend. GC was thinking about taking away our Outpost status because of the territory dispute and not having done anything of historical significance plaqued. This was brought up to GC via Sonny about plaquing. Since we do not have any territory what were we to plaque?

ECV is mainly about preserving history, not community services. ECV is in the business of history preservation only. Community outreach is secondary to this.

The results of GC:

We are staying the same (we still have outpost status), we have Pershing county (I just got a huge history lesson from the Samuel Clemens gents about that county), and we are invited back next year.

We will still have our regularly scheduled meetings. Please save your questions for then or call one of us if you want to get more information.