Important Spanish War- Philippine Insurrection regular Army officer’s uniform grouping.
This uniform grouping belonged to Captain George A. Detchemendy, a career U.S. Army soldier who began his service at the age of 21, as private in Company G, 3rd Infantry on 20 March, 1877. His War Dept. record reads,
Pvt, and Corpl. Co. G, 3rd Infty. 20 Mar., 1877 to 19 Mar. 1882.
Pvt. Co. B, Sig. Corps, 15 Nov., 1882, to 19 Mar., 1882.
Pvt. and Corpl. Co. G., and QM. Sergt., 3rd Infty. 23 Nov., 1885, to 19 Mar., 1888.
2nd Lieut., 6th Infty. 6 Feb., 1888.
accepted 20 Mar., 1888.
1st Lieut., 1st Infty. 6 April, 1895.
Captain 2 Mar., 1899.
transferred to 22nd Infty. 5 May, 1899.
Resigned 10 Mar., 1902.
“Served as an enlisted man 1877 to 1888; (promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, 6th Infantry, 6 Feb., 1888) joined the 6th Infantry in April, 1888, and served with it at Fort Douglas, Utah to June, 1888; Fort Lewis, Colorado, July, 1888, to August, 1889; at the U.S. Infantry and Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Sept., 1889, to June, 1891; with his regiment at Plattsburg Barracks, New York, to April, 1892; on recruiting service April to June, 1892; with the regiment at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, June and July, 1892; on recruiting service July to October, 1892; with regiment at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, October, 1892, to May, 1895; at Angel Island, California, May, 1895 to October, 1896; Presidio, San Francisco, California, October, 1896 to April, 1898; Tampa, Florida, April to June, 1898; in the Santiago Campaign, June to August, 1898; Montauk Point, August, 1898; Anniston, Alabama, Sept., 1898; on sick leave Sept., 1898 to March, 1899; on recruiting service March to October, 1899; en route to and with his regiment in the Philippines to February, 1902; en route to Fort Crook, Nebraska, until he resigned March 10, 1902. Captain Detchemendy was recommended for brevet for gallantry at Santiago, Cuba, July 1, 1898, being at that time in command of Company F, 1st Infantry. He was thanked by the Secretary of the Navy for prosecuting with so much zeal and perseverance that search for and the recovery of the remains of D.G.A. Venville, apprentice, U.S.N., murdered by Filipinos.”
We have a file folder on Detchemendy about half an inch thick, with loads of great information about him, so we will bring some of these to your attention.
- Letter, House of Representatives, June 29, 1899; Member of Congress, Marion DeVries of California, wrote to the President, recommending Capt. Detchemendy for the position of major of U.S. Volunteers, and the representative reminds the President that Detchemendy was one of those he (the President) recommended for brevet for gallantry exhibited with Shafter’s army at San Juan Hill.
- Letter, House of Representatives, July 3, 1899, Another rep. from California (can’t make out signature), writes to the Sec. of War, Alger, “That is was his (Detchemendy’s) company that led the advance at San Juan Hill, and for which the Captain won his brevet for distinguished bravery……
- Letter, Great Falls, Montana, 9/26/ 99. Addressed to Gen. Coburn, Adjutant of the Army, from a disgruntled citizen describing a verbal run-in with Captain Detchemendy, in a hotel bar room, with Detchemendy taking umbrage with remarks made to him by the writer of said letter. See photos. Apparently comments were made by the civilian that the captain was somewhat upset that so many (positive) demonstrations were being made for returning volunteer units and that the regulars did not receive their fair share of the same. This subject led to the two verbal combatants going at in the bar.
- Report, To Honorable Chairman and Members of the Committee on Military Affairs, H of R., Washington, April 5, 1902. This lengthy, in-depth report concerning the officers, soldiers and other enlisted men who rendered valuable service in the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo. Detchemendy, closes with a recommendation that the Congress pass an ACT authorizing the President to present a medal suitably inscribed to those who participated in the capture of Aguinaldo, signed by Detechemendy, Ex-Captain, 22nd Infantry, and Commanding Post Baler, Luzon.
- Copy of a Bill, enacted by the House of Rep., authorizing the President to have medals, not to exceed one hundred and eleven in all, cast from old cannon from the Philippine Islands, and suitably inscribed for each man….This list of those receiving will be photographed.
- Special Orders No, 127m June 1, 1905, Capt. Detchemendy found by an army retiring board incapacitated for active service…placed on retired list.
- Senate Report, No. 3165, 57th Congress, 2nd Session. Feb. 19, 1903. This revolves around the case of the Captain being placed on the retired list, and now wishing to return to active duty, and all that had transpired and introduction of new information that Detchemendy is bringing forth. Will Photograph
Captain Detchemendy’s attitude at the time of his resignation from the army in a way is reflected in the condition of his uniforms, has they were hastily put away, most likely without cleaning. There is soiling and discoloration in both coats, more so in the tropical coat, which shows rust from the eyelets that once held white shoulder boards and some upper shoulders front and back. The tropical coat is missing a 22 infantry insignia on collar as well as both sets of “U.S.s.” The buttons are marked “D. Evans, Attleboro, Mass.” A pair of straight leg tropical pants does not match the coat material but is the same size as the regulation medium blue officers trousers.
The 1895 coat displays well with all the direct embroidered insignia and original captain of infantry shoulder straps. No name or maker label in coat, and only one of the two trousers are named and dated “99.” Rust stains from buttons shows on the cottom pockets and lining. Soil staining and wear visible on the outside of the trousers.
The sword belt leather shows wear; has the original buckle, and looks like it saw heavy service.
Despite the wear on the uniforms , they do display well, and there is a lot of history with this lot.