• FIRST WAVE AT OMAHA: THE ORDEAL OF THE BLUE AND GRAY. Behind them was a great invasion armada and the powerful sinews of war. But in the first wave of assault troops of the 29th (Blue and Gray) Infantry Division, it was four rifle companies landing on a hostile shore at H-hour, D-Day - 6:30 a.m., on June 6, 1944. The long-awaited liberation of France was underway. After long months in England, National Guardsmen from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia found themselves in the vanguard of the Allied attack. In those early hours on the fire-swept beach the 116th Infantry Combat Team, the old Stonewall Brigade of Virginia, clawed its way through Les Moulins draw toward its objective, Vierville-sur-Mer. It was during the movement from Les Moulins that the battered but gallant 2d Battalion broke loose from the beach, clambered over the embankment, and a small party, led by the battalion commander, fought its way to a farmhouse which became its first Command Post in France. The 116th suffered monre than 800 casualties this day - a day which will long be remembered as the beginning of the Allies' "Great Crusade" to rekindle the lamp of liberty and freedom on the continent of Europe. Part of the National Guard (The Normandy Invasion: The Story in Pictures; CMH)

    One Story at a Time

    FIRST WAVE AT OMAHA: THE ORDEAL OF THE BLUE AND GRAY. Behind them was a great invasion armada and the powerful sinews of war. But in the first wave of assault troops of the 29th (Blue and Gray) Infantry Division, it was four rifle companies landing on...

  • After his victory over the British at Yorktown, Washington established his headquarter at Newburgh where he could keep a watchful eye on the English forces in New York. He hastened to remind his command that peace was not a foregone conclusion and military readiness must be maintained. Washington also continued his efforts to improve the condition of his troops and insure a high state of morale. One of the ways he decided to accomplish the latter was to create, on 7 August 1782, a "Badge of Military Merit" for enlisted men who had performed bravely in combat. Surviving records for the period confirm the presentation of only one other Badgeof Military Merit, and the decoration was not used at all after the end of the Revolutionary War. It was revived in February1932 as the Purple Heart out of respect to Washington's memory and to his military achievements." The U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) commissioned H. Charles McBarron, the famed military artist, to create the original paintings for the "Soldiers of the American Revolution" as part the bicentennial celebration of the American Revolution.

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    After his victory over the British at Yorktown, Washington established his headquarter at Newburgh where he could keep a watchful eye on the English forces in New York. He hastened to remind his command that peace was not a foregone conclusion and...

  • Cover of National Park Service Handbook 109, APPOMATTOX COURT HOUSE (1980), from the painting by Louis Guillaume,“Surrender of General Lee to General Grant, April 9, 1865,” owned by the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (Courtesy of the National PArk Service).

    One Story at a Time

    Cover of National Park Service Handbook 109, APPOMATTOX COURT HOUSE (1980), from the painting by Louis Guillaume,“Surrender of General Lee to General Grant, April 9, 1865,” owned by the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (Courtesy of...

  • Faith in the Face of Fear: Aca,!A"The Four ChaplainsAca,!A? stained glass window located in the Army War College Chapel, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. (Editor's Collection).

    One Story at a Time

    Faith in the Face of Fear: Aca,!A"The Four ChaplainsAca,!A? stained glass window located in the Army War College Chapel, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. (Editor's Collection).

  • Urban Warfare, 1947: Illustration depicts a street fighting scene from the siege of Puebla, Mexico during the Mexican-American War.

    One Story at a Time

    Urban Warfare, 1947: Illustration depicts a street fighting scene from the siege of Puebla, Mexico during the Mexican-American War.

Article Audio

  • One Story at a Time
  • An audio recap of the This week in Army History project.

Since its inception in April 2007, the "This Week in Army History" project has published ninety-two articles reflecting the story and history of the United States Army and the American soldier. The official history of the U.S. Army begins with its establishment on June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress "Resolved: That six companies of expert riflemen be immediately raised...." and that each soldier would swear that "I -------, have this day voluntarily enlisted myself, as a Soldier, in the American Continental Army...." The story of the American soldier, though, predates that event by nearly 170 years. Colonel Robert Dalessandro reflected on America's first soldiers in his article "Army Strong - - Celebrating 400 Years of Service" [May 13, 2007]. He reminded us "to remember that long before the official birth of the Army, the colonists in young America looked to a fledgling military for leadership, protection, and expertise."

Our contributors have endeavored to continue to "Tell the Army Story, One Soldier at a Time" through one story at a time. We have read of "Boston Under Siege" in David Keough's article [March 16, 2008] in which he tells of the siege laid against the British occupying Boston by the "Minutemen" and patriots serving under George Washington. In Jessica Sheets' article "The Road to Glory" [August 3, 2008] the award of the first Purple Heart on May 3, 1783, to Sergeants Elijah Churchill and William Brown Churchill speaks to the long history of valor displayed by America's service members. Such valor and dedication appear in the story of U. S. soldiers under siege, as presented in Randy Hackenburg's article "Puebla under Siege: American Soldiers Resist Guerilla Infiltration" [October 12, 2008]. Gallantry and valor are but part of the crucible of war. Sometimes great commanders are equally great leaders and show magnanimity to the vanquished. Dr. Richard Sommers's article "One Way to End a War" [April, 8, 2007] reflects General Ulysses S Grant's compassion for the Confederate soldiers. He allowed those soldiers who owned their mules and horses to "take the animals home with them to work their little farms."

Our effort to "Tell the Army Story, One Soldier at a Time" has produced articles about battles and people, the victors and the vanquished, innovation and creativity, bravery and sacrifice -- bravery as displayed in Captain Shane Reilly's article [February 3, 2008] "Faith in the Face of Fear;" sacrifice as illustrated in Mary Gasper's story [May 25, 2008], "The 'noble dead, who fell' will never be forgotten: the first Memorial Day." Articles reflecting the roles of the different peoples who make up our Nation have included John Kurash's article "Tuskegee Airmen Soared to New Heights" [May 27, 2007]. The impact of technology, both advanced and simple, on the military is shown in Kaleb Dissinger's article [February 24, 2008], "GPS Goes to War...." Then in LTC (ret) Charles "Chuck" Moody's story "Mater Artium Necessitas - The P-38" [April 13, 2008] we learned of the simple but widely used P-38 can opener.

"This Week in Army History" articles share the common goal of presenting the story of the U.S. Army and the American soldier. We hope you will join us each week as we continue to present our history "One Story at a Time."

Page last updated Tue December 2nd, 2008 at 15:41