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2nd Cavalry Band

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In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

About This Image

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

In this remarkable image, we see the U.S. Army's 2nd Cavalry Band taking part in a military tournament that was held at the State Fair grounds in Des Moines in September of 1909. It was estimated that 100,000 spectators turned out to witness the event. President William Howard Taft was on hand to review the military parade which started the event. The Za-Ga-Zig Shriners of Des Moines sponsored their own "electrical and industrial parade" to welcome the visiting soldiers.

This postcard is the 44th in a series of 70+ postcards documenting this grand event. Many more postcards from this series can be viewed at iowastatefairpostcards.com.

The additional information below includes:

Summary of Newspaper Accounts

From Monday, September 20 through Saturday, September 26, 1909, the city of Des Moines hosted 5200 army troops at the State Fair grounds in the largest tournament that the army had ever held to date. In fact, it was said to be the largest gathering of Army troops since the Spanish-American War. Troops representing all areas of the army competed in contests ranging from infantry drills to rescue operations to field baking to tug of war. Estimates were that over 100,000 spectators turned out over of the course of the week to witness the contests. President Taft himself was on hand to commence the activities.

In the days leading up to the tournament, troops ranging from Wisconsin to Wyoming began to converge on Des Moines. While most traveled by train, the 800 soldiers of the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the 13th Infantry marched 275 miles from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, a feat that required twenty-four days. Most of the troops stayed in temporary encampment located just south of the fair grounds between Dean and Court streets that was named Camp Corse in honor of Gen. John M. Corse, a Burlington, Iowa native who won distinction in the Battle of Allatoona Pass during the Civil War.

President Taft, who was in the midst of a 13,000 mile tour of the United States, arrived in Des Moines by train at 6:48 a.m. on the first morning of the tournament. Travelling overnight from Minneapolis, his train had to make an unscheduled stop in the small community of Westgate (located 7 miles north of Oelwein) when the kitchen in the president’s private car caught fire. The emergency brake cord was pulled, causing wheels to lock and the train to screech to a lurching halt. The fire was quickly extinguished and the train resumed its travel, making up for all the lost time. It was said that President Taft slept through the entire affair.

Upon arriving in Des Moines, President Taft had breakfast at the home of Senator Cummins, before proceeding to a special reviewing stand that had been constructed on Walnut Avenue, immediately south of the State Capitol. After giving a short speech, the president reviewed a grand parade consisting of all 5000 troops participating in the tournament. At 11:00 a.m., the president reboarded his train and departed for Omaha, having spent less than five hours in Des Moines.

20,000 spectators then converged on the State Fair ground to witness the opening events of the tournament which began at 2:00 p.m. Admission to the fair grounds and Camp Corse was free, although there was a 10-cent charge for admission to the amphitheater where most of the contests were held. Over the course of the week, spectators witnessed a wide variety of contests, including infantry, artillery, and calvary drills, wall scaling, mule pack loading, rescue operations, signal operations, and field baking. There were demonstrations of “wireless telegraphy” and an army dirigible was launched after some delay due to high winds aloft.

According to the newspaper accounts, however, there were three events which particularly impressed the crowds. The first was Pete the Pack Mule, who displayed extraordinary speed and intelligence in transporting a machine gun in the machine gun contest. The second was the Musical Sabre Drill in which 300 members of the Fourth Calvary managed to get their horses to execute a “neat little side-step” to the accompaniment of the “Merry Widow Waltz.” Finally, there was the engineers’ contest. In a “record time” of 3 minutes and 43 seconds, Company K of the engineers entered the arena, constructed a spar bridge, crossed over the bridge with all of their gear, then blew it up to thwart their imaginary “pursuers.” In just another 2 minutes and 48 seconds, the company then picked up all of the debris and exited the arena. The Company K was commanded by Liet. Douglas MacArthur, whose “men idolize him” and under whose leadership “the company has made a record in many military events.”

The newspaper accounts do not say much about the bands that participated. Bands that were mentioned include the 2nd Calvary Band (pictured above), the 13th Infantry Band, and the 16th Infantry Band. The latter band expressed their appreciation to the city of Des Moines by performing a free concert on their last night in town. (See below.)

Not all of the week’s events took place at the fairgrounds and involved the military. On Tuesday night, the Shriners sponsored an elaborate reception and dance for the military officers at their temple on the corner of Ninth and Pleasant streets. This event was preceded by an elaborate “electrical and industrial parade” that enlisted the participation of many of the city’s businesses and fraternal organizations and that was enjoyed by an estimated 15,000 spectators.

Sources: Newspaper articles in the Des Moines Capitol, the Des Moines Evening Tribune, and the Des Moines Register and Leader, September 15-28, 1909.

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

16th Infantry Concert

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

The Des Moines Evening Tribune, Thursday, 1909 September 23

BAND CONCERT FRIDAY NIGHT

On Friday night, through the courtesy of Col. Cornelius Gardner, the regimental band of the Sixteenth infantry will give a concert in the lobby of the Chamberlain hotel at 8 o'clock. The band is under the leadership of Ernest C. Fischer and it is considered to be one of the best musical organizations at Camp Corse.

The following programme is to be given:

March..............................................................Tannheuser
Overture - "Poet and Peasant"........................Tannheuser [sic]
Waltz - "Jolly Fellows"....................................Waldeufel
"Meditations of the Great Beyond"................Brooke
Serenade.........................................................Schubert
Sho-gun - Selection.
Elsa's Dream...................................................Lohengren
Fantasy - "Auld Lang Syne"............................Wagner [sic]

The programme is subject to change without notice. Popular music will be played for encores. [2]

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

Shriners' Parade & Reception

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

In this image of Battle Creek’s 1908 Fourth of July parade, we see two floats – the "Liberty wagon representing all the states of the Union" and the "W.C.T.U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union] wagon filled with little boys dressed in white." Just visible behind the floats and to the right of the Ice Cream sign is the "Battle Creek Military Band of 26 pieces dressed in new uniforms, making a nobby appearance and at the same time playing music hard to beat for a band four months of age."

The Battle Creek Times, 9 July 1908, p. 5.

The Des Moines Evening Tribune, Monday, 1909 September 20

GOLD BRAID WILL GLITTER AT BIG BALL

• All is in Readiness for Military Hop at Shrine Temple Tomorrow Night

• MRS. CHAS MORTON LEADS GRAND MARCH

• Special Cars Have Been Chartered to Convey Officers to and From Camp.

More than 400 people have accepted invitations to the ball in Shrine temple to be tendered tomorrow night by the citizens of Des Moines to the officers of the United States army who are at Camp John M. Corse.

Indications are that the military hop will be the most brillian affair of its kind ever held in the middle west. The dance room in Shrine temple has been gorgeously decorated with American flags and colored lights...

The following is the musical and dance programme:

"Star Spangled Banner"
Overture - Raymond……….............................................Thomas
Intermezzo from Calvaleria Rusticana….........................Mascagni
GRAND MARCH
Two step – “Down in Jungle Town”……........................Moore
Waltz – “There Never Was a Girl Like You”...................Van Alstyne
Two step – “That Dreamy Rag”…...................................Adler
Waltz – “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”……...............Von Tilzer
Two step – “It Looks Like a Big Night Tonight”….........Van Alstyne
Waltz – “Carissima”….....................................................Witmark
Two step – “Silvers Rag”……..........................................Cook
Waltz – “When I Marry You”……...................................Gumble
Two step – “I Love My Wife, But Oh You Kid”…..........Armstrong and Clark
Waltz – “See Saw”…........................................................Edwards
Two step – “Ingersoll Bells”…….....................................T. Fred Henry
Barn dance.
Waltz – “Ciribiribin”….....................................................Pesealozza
Two step – “Rainbow”…..................................................Wenrich
Waltz – “Merry Widow”…...............................................Lehar
Two step – “Whistler and His Dog”….............................Pryor
Waltz – “Smarty”…..........................................................Von Tilzer
Two step – “Pony Boy”….................................................O’Donnell
Waltz – “Golden Sunset”……...........................................Hall
Two step – “Frozen Bill”…...............................................Pryor
“Home Sweet Home.”
 

The Des Moines Evening Tribune, Wednesday, 1909 September 22

STAND IN RAIN TO SEE PARADE

• Drizzle Did Not Daunt the Thousands That Packed the Streets”

• SHOW WAS A GREAT SUCCESS

• Fantastic Uniforms of Shriners and Comical Floats Elict Laughs.

No compliment could be higher than that paid the marchers in the Shriners’ parade last evening when many thousands, perhaps 15,000, stood in the rain and stayed until the parade was over. All manner of tricks were resorted to by the spectators, many of whome had stood since 7 o’clock. But when Henry’s band rounded Walnut street shortly after the stroke of 8 o’clock, everybody came out in the open despite the rain and cheered. Every window, every stairway, every inch of space on Walnut street was packed with people. More were in the open. The band played “A Hot Time,” and the crowed seemed cheered.

The floats were pretty. The fantastic uniforms of the Za-Ga-Zig temple of the Shriners, the comical float depicting Cook and Peary, the Red Men, the High-muck-y-muck and his harem, the magnificent electrical float and the story of insurance as told in pantomime by floats were excellent. Red lights, green lights, Roman candles and gaily colored decorations and flags added to the gorgeous scene. The order of the parade was as follows:

Four mounted buglers.
Platoon of police.
Chief Marshall...and aides...
Henry and his band of forty pieces.
Arab patrol, Za-Ga-Zig temple, George E. Hamilton commanding.
Shriners (in full dress costume), Hon. S. F. Prouty commanding.
Two mounted buglers.
Float bearing F. O. Evans, potentate, and his harem of the official princesses.
Oriental band, Za-Ga-Zig temple.
Offical divan, bearing officers of Za-Ga-Zig temple.
Visting Shriners, William Wilcoxen commanding.
Marshalltown drill team, Capt. Fred Wilbur commanding.
Cook and Peary float.
Za-Ga-Zig Shriners, Fred Graham commanding.
Desert scene float.
Fifty Shriners, Major Charles Austin commanding.
Commerical float, Davidson's chocolates.
The water wagon.
Letter Carriers' band, thirty pieces.
First division B. P. O. E., W. H. Wallingford commanding.
B. P. O. E. float.
Second division B. P. O. E., Joseph Geren commanding.
Company A, Fifty-fifth infantry, Iowa National Guard, Lieut. R. O. Blakely commanding.
Commerical float, Harris-Emery company.
Company E, Fifty-fifth infantry, Iowa National Guard, Capt. Charles Tillotson, Jr. commanding.
D. O. K. K., R. R. McBride, commanding.
Des Moines Electric company's float.
Commercial float, F. O. Evans Piano company.
First division Red Men, Adam Parker commanding.
Commercial float, Iowa Seed company.
Second Division Red Men, R. G. Priebe, commanding.
Commercial float, Chase & West.
Uniform rank, I. O. O. F., C. E. Alexander commanding.
Commercial float, Shannon & Mott Co.
A. O. U. W. band.
Team A. O. U. W., Capt. S. A. Crane, commanding.
Two additional teams and members A. O. U. W.
First team Yeomen, George E. Hines commanding.
Second tem Yeomen, W. A. Rutledge commanding.
Commerical float, Walker Shoe company.
Third team Yeomen.
Commercial float, Carr & Adams company.
Eagles' float.
Beeston and his band, thirty pieces.
Valley Junction uniformed rank K. of P., Capt. Frank De Ford commanding.
Commercial float, People's Furniture company.
First team, Woodmen, Capt. H. L. Fickle, commanding.
Woodman float.
Burlesque team, Woodmen, C. W. McCurdy commanding.
Second team, Woodmen, Capt. Albert Groom, commanding.
Third team Woodmen.
Royal Neighbors' float.
 
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