104th Organization Day:  1965

  

"History of the 14th Infantry"

 

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From "A  History of 14th Infantry" as written in the
104th Organization Day Program, dated 1 Jul 65.
 


The history of the Fourteenth United States Infantry is long and honorable. The first Fourteenth Infantry was activated in July 1798, soon after the Revolutionary War but was disbanded in June of 1800.

The Fourteenth was activated again at the outset of the War of 1812 and each time the unit fought -- at the Battle of Lundy's Lane, Niagara, Frenchman's Creek, Ft. George, Beaver Dams, Chrystler's Field, DeCole's Mill, Chippewa and Cook's Mill -- the hostile invasion force was checked. With Peace secured in May of 1815, the unit was disbanded again.

Thirty two years passed by before the Fourteenth Infantry was again called to arms in 1847, this time for duty in the Mexican War, where the Regiment gallantly fought at the Battle of Contreras, Churubusco, Molina Del Rey, and Chapultepec. In this fighting, the Fourteenth was supported by Engneers under the command of Lieutenants named Beauregard and McClellon -- and by a battery of Artillery commanded by Lieutenant T. J. Jackson (later known as the Great Stonewall Jackson) -- and at one time was led in a Battle by a Captain Robert E. Lee.

At the end of the Mexican War, with the southwestern border secure, the Fourteenth Infantry was again mustered out of service; however, the dark clouds of the Civil War were on the horizon. When the storm finally broke in 1861, the Fourteenth was again called to colors to fight against the Confederacy. This it did with conspicuous gallantry and our colors bear twelve battle streamers reflecting participation in some of the most famous battles of the Civil war; including Manassas, Antietum, Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg.

At the end of the Civil War, at a review of the Union Army in Richmond, Virginia, General Meade assigned the place of honor in the review, the Right of the Line, to the Fourteenth Infantry; stating that the Regiment foremost in battle deserved to be foremost in honors. Thus, the "Right of the Line" became the official motto of our Regiment and we bear it proudly  on our colors and on the Regimental Crest.

In 1865, the Fourteenth Infantry was moved to the new territories opening up for settlement in the western portions of our nation and to aid in putting down the numerous bloody uprisings of the Commanche, Sioux and Apache Indians. Throughout the latter part of the 1800's, the Fourteenth Infantry distinguished itself in some of the more bitter and hand-fought campaigns of the Indian Wars: Arizona, 1866, Wyoming, 1871, Little Big Horn and Bannocks.

There are no streamers on our colors to symbolize the service to our country by four companies of the Fourteenth which, in 1878, were sent to Alaska where they dispersed two companies of Royal Canadian Mounted Police who sought to hold a part of Alaska for England.

With the declaration of the Spanish-American War in 1878, the Fourteenth moved out for action in the Philippines. After landing at Cavite Arsenal, they moved against Manila, paticipating in the the seige of that city and the eventual capture of it. The Red Castle on our Regimental Crest is emblematic of that action in the Spanish-American War.

 

1900 Pictograph of 14th Infantry in Philippines Action

 

The end of the war with Spain did not end hostilities for the Fourteenth Infantry in the Philippines, however. The guerrilla leader, Aquinaldo, and his men rose against American occupation forces and had to be subdued in the battles of Laguna de Bay, Manila, Zapote river, Cavite, and other lesser engagements of the Luzon Campaign.

In 1900, The Boxer Rebellion in China took the Fourteenth deeper into the Far East. Our unit defeated the Chinese rebels in the battle of Yang-tsun and again a few days later in the battle for Peking where the Fourteenth, braving fire from above, scaled the walls of the city and overcame it's defenders. Here the Fourteenth Infantry added it's "Golden Dragon", the Chinese symbol of power, to it's Regimental Crest.

After the expedition ot China, the unit moved to Vancouver Barracks and trained for deployment to Europe during the First Wold War; however, the Armistice cut short the fourteenth's proposed move to that theater. Instead, in 1920, the Fourteenth was sent to Panama where it remained for the next 23 years securing the Panama Canal area.

Jungle-wise as the Fourteenth was after 23 years in the tropics, when the time came during World War II for the big push in Europe, our unit was sent there rather than to the jungles of the South Pacific. In Europe, the Fourteenth was assigned to the 71st Division and fought from Normandy to the Danube, claiming a good share of the 80,000 German prisoners captured by the 71st Division.

During the Korean War, the Fourteenth Infantry, then assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, fought in some of the hardest battles. For over two years, it was engaged in every major campaign, earning five battle streamers and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, embroidered "MUNSAN-NI". Three members of the Fourteenth won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Korea and sixty-five percent of it's men received the Combat Infantryman Badge.

In 1954, after the Korean War truce, our unit, still a part of the 25th Infantry Division, arrived at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Here the Fourteenth Infantry, now organized into the 1st and 2nd Battalions, trains with the 25th Infantry Division in it's role as the Strategic Reserve Force of the United States Army Pacific. In addition to training for the type of combat which might one day require the use of entire unit, the Fourteenth Infantry currently sends volunteer helicopter machine gunners under the 25th Infantry Division's "Operation Shotgun" program to various Army aviation units now engaged in combat operations in South Viet Nam.

Our unit's history is a proud one, a history fraught with hardship, sacrifice and bravery. Our duty is clear and with God's help, we shall keep our place on the "Right of the Line".

[The Unit History of the 14th Infantry ends here because the 14th was still in Hawaii at the time this was written.]

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Acknowledgements:
104th Organization Day, 1965
Copyright 2013  14th Infantry Regiment Association
Last modified: February 04, 2017