Fort Sill (PDF)


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History of Fort Sill ……. Fort Sill, the U. S. Army’s only Field Artillery School, is rich in Indian lore and the tradition of American soldiers of the plains country. It dates back to 1869, when Gen. Phil Sheridan selected the site as his base of operations in dealing with the Indians. He named the camp in honor of his West Point classmate Brig. Gen. Joshua W. Sill, who was killed December 31, 1862, while leading his troops into the Battle of Stone River, Tennessee. If General Sheridan had remained in charge of the camp, there likely would have been little trouble with the Indians, but a group of peace-loving Quakers was assigned the job of managing frontier affairs. Chiefs Satanta, Satank, Big Bear, Lone “Wolf, and Geronimo created plenty of trouble – especially old Chief Geronimo. In 1910 the late Capt. Dan T. Moore was sent to Fort Sill to establish an Artillery School of Fire. The first class was held September 15, 1911, with 14 captains and 22 noncoms as “students.” Then came the first World War, and artillerymen by the thousands arrived for technical training in the use of big guns. The site now occupied by the Replacement Center became Camp Doniphan, where the 35th and 36th divisions were mobilized. In 1917 Post Field was established and named in honor of Lt. Henry B. Post, who was killed in 1914 while attempting to set a new altitude record. Now Fort Sill carries on in another war. Student officers, officer candidates, and enlisted specialists are busy with their training, training that already has been proved. For after Bataan, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, referring to the present method of massing artillery fire by use of a fire-direction center connected with all available observation posts, said: “I can make no suggestions for the improvement of the methods taught at Fort Sill.” Even so, research experts here are seeking new improvements to increase the fire power of America’s armaments. For they know war only serves to prove the motto of the Field Artillery School, “Cedat Fortuna Peritis”, Skill Is Better Than Luck.