17 July 1997

Day 34 - Napier, MO to St. Joseph, MO

Distance travelled: 41.5
Winds: Slight head
Grades: Up and down
Weather: fair
Condition of roads: fair
Delays: Bicycles –0m/ Tires – 0/ Lunch – 0h/ Other – 2h xm
Actual travel time: 6h
Rate per hour: 6.9 mph
- Lt. J.A. Moss Report to the Adjutant Synopsis of the Trip

Places & times mentioned: Napier, MO; Mound City; St. Joseph, Missouri

[The following report appeared in the Daily Missoulian on July 17, claiming the corps had made it to St. Louis. Right beside this article is another, stating "Nebraska Is Reached". The corps did not reach St. Louis until after this paper was published. The sub-heading reports the Corps reached "the Mound City" a nickname for St. Louis. There is also a Mound City near Napier, on the side of Missouri opposite St. Louis. The corp left very near Mound City on July 17. Perhaps, Col. Burt misunderstood Lt. Moss -- but where did he come up with "their entry was witnessed by 40,000 people"?! ]

The Bicycle Corps Get to the Mound
City Yesterday, July 16
The 25th Infantry Bicycle corps reached St. Louis yesterday, and their entry was witnessed by 40,000 people. The news came through Col. A.S. Burt, who was notified by wire by Lieutenant Moss in command of the corps. On June 14, the corps left Fort Missoula, making the trip over mountain roads, cactus beds and wagon roads in 33 days. It was a grand ride and beset with many difficulties, from the incessant rains along the route. Few accidents were reported, and those of no consequence. There were no delays made for pleasure and the boys pedaled hard to make a good record and have accomplished it. the whole world was watching the result and the bicycle is in the army of the United States will hinge upon Lieutenant Moss' report of the trip."
- Daily Missoulian Reach St. Louis, July 17, 1897

“The corps pass through Grand Island, Lincoln and Table Rock in Nebraska and out of that state into Missouri on July 17 [sic], at Rulo. As a whole, the roads through Nebraska are good but far from being level, short, steep hills being continually encountered.
The first camp was made at Napier, St. Joseph, Hamilton, Macon, Louisiana and St. Peters being camping places for the other nights. The roads across Missouri were bad and hilly and with the exception of a few gravel roads, were the worst on the entire trip. When away from the railroad the people were inhospitable. In one instance water sufficient for cooking being refused, and no reliable information regarding the roads could be gained. The heat for the last three days of the trip was severe and hard on the men.”
- Kansas City Journal Monday July 26 1897

"St. Joseph, Mo.,
July 17th, 1897

Gen’l. Samuel Breck
War Department, Washington D.C.

Sir: -
I have the honor to inform you the Bicycle Corps reached this place [St. Joseph] at 1 o’clock this afternoon.
The ride from Alliance, Neb., to Anselmo, Neb., a distance of 170 miles through the sand hills was unusually hard and trying. One day the thermometer registered 110 in the shade. Myself and a number of the soldiers were sick from the affects of alkali water, but under the circumstances the Corps held out exceedingly well. Since leaving the sand hills we have covered 405.8 miles in 6 1/2 days of actual travelling.
We expect to reach St. Louis next Saturday evening or the following morning.
Very respectfully,
James A. Moss,
2nd Lieut. 25 “ U.S. Inf.,
Commanding Bicycle Corps
2 543 Rec’d HQA Jul 20 1897

reproduced at the National Archives
AGO RG 94 2166

“Of the twenty soldiers who left Fort Missoula, nineteen reached St. Louis in good health. Pvt. Eugene Jones, Co. “H”, who claimed to be ill and unable to ride, was sent back to Fort Missoula from St. Joe, Mo. I have every reason to believe this soldier was merely feigning illness, thinking I would sent him the rest of the way to St. Louis by rail. As he had given me trouble on several occasions I thought it would be best for the public service to send him back to his station.”
- Lt. Moss, Report to Adjutant General [pg. 5] September 1, 1897

Days Corp laid off: July 17 1/3rd day at St. Joe, MO

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