“Rhody Redlegs”

A History of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery and the 103d Field Artillery, Rhode Island Army National Guard, 1801–2010


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About the Book

Formed in 1801 to protect sea captains against attack from the British navy and Barbary Pirates, the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery remains one of the most famed regiments in the U.S. Army. It distinguished itself during the War of 1812, the Dorr Rebellion, and in nearly every major engagement of the Civil War. After assuming the identity of the 103d Field Artillery Regiment of the Rhode Island National Guard, the unit battled amid the carnage of the Western Front in World War I, fought the enemy in the mosquito- infested South Pacific islands during World War II, and weathered the scorching deserts of Iraq in the twenty-first century. Based on extensive primary research and interviews with veterans of the corps, this narrative offers an insider’s look at the illustrious regiment in its first full history.

About the Author(s)

The author of six books on American military history, Robert Grandchamp lives in Jericho, Vermont, where he works as an analyst with the government.
Award winning historian Jane Lancaster lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Cynthia Comery Ferguson is the author of several organizational histories and a number of articles on Rhode Island History. She heads the communications department of Ready to Learn Providence, a large nonprofit agency in Rhode Island.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Grandchamp, Jane Lancaster and Cynthia Ferguson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 269
Bibliographic Info: 192 photos & illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6375-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8582-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Foreword by Col. Howard F. Brown      1

Preface      3

Introduction: Citizen-Soldiers      5

In Memoriam: Major General Harold Newton Read      7

1. Early Beginnings, 1801–1829      9

2. The PMCA and the Napoleonic Era      17

3. The Dorr Rebellion      23

4. The Golden Age of the PMCA      33

5. Colonel William Sprague and the PMCA      42

6. Artillery Primer      50

7. The Civil War      65

8. A Push for Professionalism      99

9. Restoring the Legacy      110

10. The Mexican Border      117

11. World War I      125

12. Between the Wars      144

13. World War II      152

14. Korea and the Cold War Era, 1946–1989      178

15. The War on Terror      193


I: Commanders of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery      213

II: The Original Members of the PMCA      214

III: The Bicentennial of 2001      215

IV: Rhode Island Batteries in the Civil War      216

V: The Forlorn Hope      219

VI: Memorial Roster of the First Rhode Island Light Artillery      226

VII: 24 July 1943 General Barker Letter      232

Chapter Notes      239

Bibliography      249

Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

“a worthwhile investment”—Civil War News; “the volume offers chronological chapters detailing the deployments and institutional development of the PMCA from its founding to the present”—Reference & Research Book News.