History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts- Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri is named in honor of United States Army officer Leonard Wood.

General Leonard Wood, via Wikimedia Commons.

General Leonard Wood, via Wikimedia Commons.

1. Wood served as personal physician to Presidents Grover Cleveland and William McKinley.
2. Wood, and future president Theodore Roosevelt, organized the Rough Riders, “one of the most unique army units the world has ever seen.” The unit was comprised of “western fighters and bronco-busters.”
3. While Military Governor of Cuba (1898-1902) Wood sanctioned Walter Reed, a U.S. Army physician, to carry out experiments that confirmed the theory that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes. Wood called the conquest of yellow fever “worth the cost of the war, and probably the most important (advance) in the field of medicine since the discovery of the vaccination.”
4. Wood received the literary wrath of popular American author Mark Twain after the First Battle of Bud Dajo, also known as the Moro Crater Massacre.
5. Wood, on former President Roosevelt’s recommendation, ran for the 1920 Republican Party presidential nomination. Warren G. Harding prevailed and went on to win the presidency.

Sources:
http://www.theodorerooseveltcenter.org
The Marion Star (Marion, Ohio), 6 January 1919
http://www.ralphmag.org/EC/yellow-fever.html
Samuel Clemens, “Comments on the Moro Massacre” (12 March 1906)

History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts is an occasional series of interesting facts regarding namesakes and historical figures in Pulaski County, Missouri.

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History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts- Anthony Wayne

Waynesville, Missouri is named in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Anthony Wayne.

624px-Anthony_Wayne

1. Wayne once requested his own court martial proceedings- to clear his name. After due consideration, the court unanimously decided that Wayne “did every duty that could be expected from an active, brave and vigilant officer, under the orders which he then had. The Court do acquit him with the highest honor.” Washington heartily approved the verdict.
2. Brigadier General “Mad” Anthony Wayne commanded his troops in a daring nighttime assault at Stony Point, New York. The British were soundly defeated, and the American victory boosted the Continental Army’s morale.
3. Wayne is remembered for stating “Issue the orders Sir, and I will storm hell.”
4. In 1882 the monument at Wayne’s second burial spot at Radnor, Pennsylvania was defaced by relic hunters- a “decided nuisance.”
5. Wayne was first buried near the place of his death at Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1809 his son decided to have him reburied closer to the old homestead in Eastern Pennsylvania and directed a physician to complete the task. On opening the grave, the body was found in “a good state of preservation.” Concerned about decay during the return trip, the doctor, who was expecting to find only a pile of bones in the coffin, boiled the body parts until only the skeletal remains remained. The physician then reburied the knives, the iron kettle, and the fleshy remains in the original burial spot. He then returned to Radnor, PA to rebury the bones at the new grave. A newspaper article relaying the story reported “So General Anthony Wayne is honored with a twofold burial, his flesh in Erie and his bones in Eastern Pennsylvania.” Oral history also tells that not all the hero’s bones made it to their final resting place in Radnor- some bouncing out along the way. Legend recounts that the ghost of Mad Anthony Wayne travels the old road between the two points looking for his lost bones.

Sources:

http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/served/wayne.html
St. Joseph Weekly Herald (St. Joseph, Missouri) 13 July 1882
The Weston Democrat (Weston, West Virginia) 23 October 1880
https://www.historyisfun.org/blog/mad-anthony-waynes-bones

History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts is an occasional series of interesting facts regarding namesakes and historical figures in Pulaski County, Missouri.

History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts- Casimir Pulaski

Pulaski County, Missouri is named in honor of Kazimierz Michał Władysław Wiktor Pułaski, more commonly known as Casimir Pulaski.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

  1. Pulaski saved George Washington’s life during the Battle of Brandywine. The battle was Pulaski’s very first engagement with the British.
  2. The cornerstone of the Casimir Pulaski monument in Savannah, Georgia was laid by General Marquis de Lafayette in 1825.
  3. In 2009, 230 years after his death, Congress and President Obama proclaimed Pulaski an honorary United States citizen.
  4. The annual Pulaski Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City has been a tradition for 80 years, beginning in 1937.
  5. Pulaski is often recognized as the “Father of the American Cavalry.”

Sources:
https://www.congress.gov/111/plaws/publ94/PLAW-111publ94.htm
http://www.pulaskiparade.org/
https://www.nps.gov/fopu/learn/historyculture/casimir-pulaski.htm

History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts is an occasional series of interesting facts regarding namesakes and historical figures in Pulaski County, Missouri.