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About The Nebraskan. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1892-1899 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 20, 1894)
(Cfye (abet Battalion.
That there is no
boiler organized and
drilled cadet battal
ion than ours outside
of West Point is gen
erally admitted by
all army officers who
have had occasion to
It has no glorious
past in its history.
In fact, it has very
little history. In
1876, the govern
ment sent to the uni
versity of Nebraska
Lieut. K. S. Dudley
as the first instructor
in military science.
The first company
consisted of most of
the able-bodied men
in the college, about
fifty being enrolled.
For two years the company drilled in anything that
came handy, in "plug" hats, in check trousers or shirt
sleeves as the case might be.
The next instructor was Lieut. Webster, and under
his administration two companies were formed and a
For the first eight years the battalion used any room
that they could find, sometimes being in the attic, some
times in the basement.
Lieut. Townley came in 18S2. Me was a naval of
ficer and thus we became part of the navy for the time
Lient. Dudley came back in 1884, and here began
the real growth of the battalion. Students being re
quired to drill three years, the enrollment was in
creased from 80 to 150. Hitherto, promotions were
for merit, and any one from senior to prep could be
captain. Hut in 1884 a rule was made appointing all
commissioned officers fromthe Senior class, sergeants
from the Juniors and corporals from the Sophmorc class.
This rule is strictly adhered to at present, much to
the disgust of the promising Freshman who has drilled
three years. Under the last detail it was provided by
law that students holding commissions during their
graduating year should receive appointments in the
The next instructor was Lieut. Griffith. Under him
Grant Memorial Hall was completed, and four compa
Then came the man who was needed, Lieut. John
J. Pershing, lie is a strict disciplinarian in every
thing, and especially in the smaller details.
More allenlion began to be given to the general
build and setting up of the cadets; more to their per
sonal appearance. The band was brought under con
trol. The present systematic way of reporting delin
quencies was adopted. After Lieut. Pershing had been
'lore one year, Company "A," under his "coaching,"
went to Omaha and bore off all the honors in the na
tional competitive drill held there. They also bore off
the " Omaha cup" and Si, 500 in cash. The battalion
to-day numbers 362 men. The battery has been in
creased to four 3-inch muzzle loading cannon, and four
breech loaders arc expected in a month. The cavalry
company has fifty sabres, and there are about 300 ri
fles for the infantry drill.
At the beginning of the year both the old and new
cadets are drilled in the setting up exercises. In a
month the old cadets are divided into three detach
ments, one of which drills in artillery, one in the sabre
drill, and the other in the English setting-up exercises.
These change about every week until after Christmas,
when the best men are selected for the permanent ar
tillery and cavalry companies. The rest join the new
During the last week of May the competitive drills
take place, when each company competes for the
Omaha cup. Each company has an artillery detach
ment which tries for an clcgnnt artillery guidon. There
are also individual drills, the prizes being gold and sil
ver medals. This is the great event of the year and
one which is looked forward to by hard work on the
part of all.
After Decoration day the annual encampment takes
place when the cadets undergo the outdoor life of sol
diers for a week. Merc, practical work in guard duty,
in skirmish drill and in getting up at 5:30 at "night'
is experienced. This ends the work for the year.
In addition to the battalion is a cavlary troop of
twenty men just organized, and also a military club
composed of the officers.
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