A bicycle corps of twenty-three soldiers of the regular army are expected to reach Broken Bow tonight. They are on a 2,000 mile wheel trip, under military orders, from Fort Missoula, Montana, to St. Louis. The troopers have had a hard time walking over the sand hills of the northwest, and are said to be footsore and weary. Nearly two-thirds of the distance has been covered and from this point on the trip will be a dream, over good roads and a well settled country.
- Custer County Chief [Broken Bow, NE] July 9, 1897
[The last line… “from this point on the trip will be a dream, over good roads and a well settled country” really gets me since I know what they faced up ahead]
“Out of Sand into Mud. Broken Bow, Neb., July 10 – The army bicycle corps arrived here last night, water soaked and tired. The run through the sandhills was completed without serious mishap and better wheeling is hoped for on the eastern runs. Heavy rain, however, is now falling and may seriously impede the progress of the corps. “
the Lincoln Evening News was an evening edition
---- Have a hard time figuring out what is going on below
----- This isn’t broken up in the article but it must be in real life for the mileage to work out
-----Boos mentions getting the men up at 2 AM on July 7 – perhaps this is the morning he did it
"From Halsey to Anselmo the track was only fair and very little riding could be done. Between these two stations Lieut. Moss joined the corps again, after his several days’ illness. From Alsemo [sic] to Broken Bow the roads constantly improved and were quite fair when the latter place was reached. Between the last two mentioned places the rain was chasing the corps very hard and was sprinkling on them all the while. At Broken Bow just as the men reached their shelter the storm broke in all its fury, thoroughly drenching a couple of men who were unable to reach the camp in tie. The Nebraska National Guard, under Capt. Painter, took the corps in charge on their arrival and quartered them in their barracks, where a gasoline stove was provided for cooking purposes and a quantity of hay for bedding. Saturday was a wet day, the roads were muddy, and the men were very wet and the machines needed overhauling, it was decided to stop over and take a day for general overhauling.”
Senaca ‡ Halsey ‡ Anselmo ‡ Broken Bow
* I think the Corps must have spent the night in Halsey. “A short rest was taken at Halsey” would mean a short nights rest.
The distances work out for this to be true.
“The men were brought up at 2 o’clock the following morning by the writer [Boos], who was left in charge.”
GoogleEarth distances (following railroad line):
Senaca -> Thedford = 14.90 miles
Senaca -> Halsey = 32.11 miles
Senaca -> Dunning = 42.09 miles
Senaca -> Anselmo = 61.72 miles
Senaca -> Merna = 72.63 miles
Senaca -> Broken Bow = 81.38 miles
Halsey to Broken Bow = 49.27 miles
“On the afternoon of July 9 we got out of this barren, God-forsaken country, and for several hundred miles rode over rolling hills, passing a great many immense wheat fields.”