History Begets Art: “Marechaussee on Horseback”

The Military Police Corps Regiment was officially established September 26, 1941, just shy of 75 years ago. Their roots run much deeper though, all the way back to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. General Washington requested that the Provost Marshall position be created to handle the Continental Army’s disciplinary issues. William Maroney was tapped to fulfill the newly created staff position in January, 1776. During the Spring of 1778, Congress established the Provost Corps. General Washington referred to these troops as the “Marechaussee”, a French term used to describe a local guard force, or, loosely, the constabulary. The Marechaussee Corps would be formed exclusively as a police organization. Organized and equipped as light dragoons, they utilized their speed to aid in troop movements and in moving prisoners from the battlefield. The Marechaussee protected the Army’s rear and flanks during troop movements, searched for stragglers, guarded river crossings, and engaged in combat when needed.

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“Marechaussee on Horseback” by sculptor James Hall III. Photo courtesy of United States Army Military Police Corps Regimental Museum.

During the Military Police Corps 75th anniversary celebration, to honor this legacy, Military Police Regimental Association will host a ribbon cutting of James Hall III’s sculpture “Marechaussee on Horseback” at Memorial Park (Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri) September 19th, 2016 at 0945, followed by the annual Memorial Grove Dedication at 1000.

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“Gateway to the Regiment” by artist James Hall III. Image by Mr. Michael Curtis (Fort Leonard Wood).

“Marechaussee on Horseback” joins Mr. Hall’s bronze crossed pistol archway, “Gateway to the Regiment” (2008), and his 10 foot tall bronze replica of a World War II era Military Police soldier, “Of the Troops and for the Troops” (2010).

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“Of the Troops and for the Troops” by sculptor James Hall III. Photo courtesy of Military Police Regimental Association.

“Marechaussee on Horseback” depicts a lone mounted police soldier, surveying an endless field, and contemplating the Military Police Corps’ past, present, and future. The visual inspiration for the piece is Rick Reeves’ artwork “Dawn of the Regiment”. The sculpture is made of silicon bronze (copper with some tin), is almost 18 feet tall, almost 11 feet long, and weighs in at just under 3,000 pounds. The majority of the statue is 3/16″ thick. The legs of the horse are 1/4″ thick. During a four year long process, the piece was sculpted at JH Creative Studio in Nixa, Missouri and then shipped to AdAstra Art Bronze in Lawrence, Kansas where molten bronze was poured into the ceramic molds. After the molds were broken off of the hardened bronze mixture each piece was welded together and the patina was applied. The completed sculpture was installed at Memorial Grove September 2, 2016.

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“Marechaussee on Horseback” by artist James Hall III. Photo courtesy of United States Army Military Police Corps Regimental Museum.

Memorial Park is a serene location for soldiers, past and present, to reflect and to pay homage to fallen comrades. Memorial Park is home to the Chemical Corps Memorial and the Engineers Memorial, in addition to the Military Police Memorial. The Veterans’ Memorial serves as the central hub. The Engineers Memorial Grove includes a nine foot tall bronze sculpture, “The Sapper”, by Andrew Chernak, which was unveiled May 5, 2006. Replicas of “Gateway to the Regiment”, “Of the Troops and for the Troops”, and “Marechausse on Horeseback” are available at the nearby Mahaffey Museum Complex gift shop. For Fort Leonard Wood Access Control and Gate Information please refer to http://www.wood.army.mil/LEC/SOB/Access%20Control%20and%20Gate%20Information.html.

For more ideas on things to see and do in Pulaski County, Missouri please visit www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com.

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