Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.
I just couldn't resist getting this . . . an online auction today had a heavy Rock Island Arsenal leather belt (Garrison Belt?) with a big brass buckle marked "US". Someone had marked the back of the buckle with "1899 Troop I 2nd Cav". The photo was a bit hard to read, so will have to wait until I get it in hand to read the markings accurately (and it looks like there may be additional markings). I'll let you know. You can probably pull up the auction photos by entering some of these words: Affiliated Auctions, 30 August. Lot 2153, Troop I 2d Cav, 1899 Cuba Sword Belt. The auction company used "Cuba", but I don't know where the Troop was back then, just the Regiment's "Santiago" campaign credit.
Troop I didn't get to Cuba until after the war. The only Troops to fight in Cuba were A, C, D, and F. Troop B fought in the Porto Rico campaign.
February 1899, Troop I arrived in Cuba with the remainder of the Regiment for Pacification duty and spent the next 3 years there. Troops I and L were in Placetas at the end of 1899.
Dave - Thanks for that good information on I Troop! A couple of years ago I found a nice condition 10" brass bugle with an oval brass plate attached to the top outside of the bell; reads "SECOND REGIMENT/U.S./CAVALRY".
Now, what would really be great to have is to fix up a replica of the 1963 I-6 M151, complete with radios, small red and white pennants on the two antennas, no top and side curtains of course, low plywood doors with green tape trim on top, wood bolted to the top of the body around the sides and back to the rear of the doors to create a deeper cargo area*, and a tonneau made out of ponchos to cover the cargo area, with a zipper to open up either or both the driver and passenger areas. The paint would be Bundeswehr infrared-absorbing paint - a bit darker than ours with a matte finish (We traded for enough paint to more than paint the entire Troop during a Border tour - looked great to have all vehicles freshly painted, and in the same color/shade!). The finishing touch to this rig would be an OD fruit juice can attached with green fabric tape to the dash, and of course filled with colored grease pencils for writing things on the windshield and plastic map covers. The really nice part about having something like this is you could CHOOSE whether to use it when it was raining or sub-zero weather!
* 1/4 ton trailers were o.k., but they sure helped you get stuck. Cole and I got stuck in enough mud holes on the south tank trail at Graf one night to convince us life would be much improved if the trailer could be left behind and our duffle and waterproof bags and a case of "C's" could be carried in the M-151 with us, covered above, and sitting on a little pallet below.
My pleasure, Ed. I hear the 2d Cavalry museum is working on a border jeep. Maybe you should send this info to the curator, Ryan Meyer. Great stuff!!