Monday, June 15, 2015
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
On an Army post with several thousand horses and riders, it
is natural for the sport of polo to be played.
Fort Sill teams won several international competitions over the years
and brought home large bronze trophies to prove it. The mechanization of the Field Artillery
eventually eliminated the sport from play.
These are photographs I took today at the Polo Club at Fort
Sill Polo Club. Quality is not too good, but you will get the
idea. I did not get a photograph of the
exterior of the building, but will add it when I get one.
Polo players at Fort Sill, circa 1890.
Two of many photographs exhibited in the Polo Club.
New York Times Article: Fort Sill Wins Dull Polo Game
Friday, February 19, 2010
MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION,
PAULINS, STOVES AND RANGES,
LANPS AND FIXTURES
USE IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1882
Similar to the later Escort Wagon, this vehicle carried about a ton. The driver controlled his undetermined number of animals from the driver's seat with reins. Wagon weight was 1,555 pounds and it carried about one ton.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
One of the last Army mules in regular service, Wind River, was sent to a taxidermist after his death. Normally, taxidermists only mount big game or trophy animals, so there was no form available for a mule. The taxidermist used what he thought was the closest animal, a zebra. That is why Wind River looks so unusual.
This 1-pdr (37mm) rifled muzzle-loading gun was intended to be fired off the back of a mule. Unfortunately, the reaction of the mule to having a small cannon fired off its back was not fully considered. According to tradition, when the piece was tested the mule broke loose, began to whirl around, scattering the alarmed witnesses, then the mule stepped on the lanyard and fired the piece itself. The force of the recoil was said to have knocked the mule “ass over teakettle” into a nearby river.
This is a rather sophisticated piece. It has a rudimentary recoil/recuperator system, a traversing quadrant at the breech end of the carriage, possibly marked in degrees; and the ability to elevate. There seems to be no facility for holding elevation or traverse, other than by hand. Firing is by lanyard and friction primer.
I don’t believe that this is something cobbled together at a post blacksmith shop, but that it is arsenal made. There are a number of fanciful stories about it, but these are all anecdotal and cannot readily be proved, or, for that matter, disproved. I believe that it was designed to be carried on a mule, but that it was fired from the ground. The large staples on each side of the saddle bars possibly mounted spades or skids of some sort. The earliest photographs of the Field Artillery Museum at Fort Sill in the 1930’s show this gun.