Sunday, September 30, 2007

Manning Ferguson Force

Manning Ferguson Force was a Harvard-educated lawyer and son of District of Columbia's mayor. During the American Civil War, he served as an officer under the command of General Sherman and advanced to the rank of general. General Force was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for extraordinary courage on the battlefields in and around Atlanta, Georgia. The general was severely wounded and disfigured for the rest of his life. Click on the photo above to read the placard about this Civil War hero.

I'd never heard of this man until I visited the museum on the military base of Fort Lewis, Washington. Fort Lewis is located beside Interstate 5 twenty miles south of Tacoma. As my wife and I drove the return trip to Seattle from Portland, we stopped to tour the museum. We were required to register at the Army's processing center before we were allowed to enter the post's gates. The process of registering was somewhat lengthy as we queued with military personnel and their families. Many people were waiting to get help with vehicle registrations, housing, and other matters associated with life in the military. I was impressed with the system of picking a number to wait our turn. It was computerized and eliminated most tension that often occurs with people waiting in lines.

I'm so glad we persevered in obtaining the pass to enter the fort grounds. The museum was very rich in military history of the Northwest with displays and information ranging from the Pig War on San Juan Island in 1859 to current portraits of soldiers killed-in-action in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fort Lewis is home of 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division; 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division; and the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne).

The museum is housed in The Red Shield Inn which was built in 1918-1919 and is now placed on the National Register of Historical Places by the United States Department of Interior. This building is another story. A picture of the front of the building is below the picture of General Force.

The bottom picture shows Interstate 5 which is only a couple hundreds yards in front of the museum. Trucks and cars zoom past the museum at high speed in an unending flow. I suspect only a tiny fraction of motorists on the interstate highway know the stories of heroes in this important museum.

Click on each picture for an enlarged view.

Have a good week!


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