18 July 1997

Day 35 - St. Joseph, MO to Hamilton, MO

Distance travelled: 60
Winds: Slight back
Grades: Up and down
Weather: fair
Condition of roads: good
Delays: Bicycles –20m/Tires – 30m/Lunch – 4h/Other – 2h 20m
Actual travel time: 7h 50m
Rate per hour: 7.7
- Lt. J.A. Moss Report to the Adjutant Synopsis of the Trip

Place & times mentioned: St. Joseph, MO; Hamilton, MO [camp]

“Somewhat of a stir was created Sunday afternoon in town when a detachment of the United States regular army came through on bicycles. United States regulars seldom visit Hamilton and a sight of a number of them fully armed and equipped would have been sufficient in itself to cause a commotion. To see them mounted on wheels was, however, an unusually strange sight.”
- The Farmers’ Advocate [Hamilton, MO]

A Detachment of Uncle Sam’s Warriors
Pass Through Cameron.
A novel sight was witnessed in Cameron Sunday—soldiers, fully armed and equipped for war, riding on bicycles. Their arrival here about noon created quite a commotion. They made the Park their head quarters and scores of citizens went to the place to get a look at them. They are a part of the 25th Infantry, U.S.A., and 14 were in the crowd. There were a few others left behind who had been delayed on account of sickness caused by drinking alkali water in Nebraska. The soldiers are colored and are in charge of Lieut. J.A. Moss, a white man, who went through here on the cars Sunday evening, accompanied by E.H. Boos, a representative of the Associated Press. The only white man in the crowd in Cameron was Lieut. J.M. Kennedy, surgeon.
This detachment is making an experimental trip on bicycles from Fort Missoula, Mont., to St. Louis, Lieut. Moss having received permission from the War Department to put the idea, which is his own, to a practical test. The wheels are made specially for military service. The result will determine the action of the War Dep’t in mounting a large portion of the army on wheels for long marches.
They left Fort Missoula June 14. The distance of a little over 1,600 miles from that point to Cameron, was traveled in short time, considering the many obstacles which were encountered—mountain roads, heavy rains, hot weather, etc.
The bicycles weigh 30 pounds alone, but with the complete equipment, including rifles, they weigh 65 pounds. They carry a complete extra bicycle, each man carrying some part, so that any injury to a wheel may be quickly repaired.
It is safe to say they have not received better treatment any place on the road that was accorded them in Cameron. Soon after their arrival here Dr. W.A. Nixon and Chas. Rogers took them to the Park restaurant and treated them to a fine dinner. The surgeon, Dr. Kennedy, was the guest of E.F. Darby—took dinner with him, and in the afternoon Mr. Darby gave him a ride over the city.
The soldiers departed from Cameron about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and expect to reach St. Louis on or before Saturday of this week. They are supplied with rations at various points on the line—Laclede being the next place east of here.
- Cameron Daily Observer [Cameron, MO], July 19, 1897

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