Post by topkick1833 on Aug 4, 2008 13:18:18 GMT -5
The Quartermaster museum has a display depicting water carrier ravine. "Benteen called for volunteers to make an attempt to get to the river. Seventeen volunteered. Four men were selected to provide covering fire including Blacksmith Henry Mechlin and Saddler Sergeant Otto Voit, both Quartermasters."
Voit was the saddler for his company, not a Saddler Sergeant. There is considerable debate as to whether or not Benteen called for volunteers, or whether the "sharpshooters" he assigned, who included the company tailor as well as the blacksmith and the saddler, were assigned to cover one of the later water parties.
This was on the original board a few years ago and I pointed out that the museum has it wrong. Neither of these guys were "quartermasters". The title "Quartermaster Sergeant" was a staff position; that position was held by Thomas Causby on 25 June 1876. He was on detached duty at the Yellowstone Depot. Voit was his company's saddler sgt. like nano....stated. The title "Saddler Sergeant" also a staff position, was held by John Tritten, also at the depot. Only he was authorized to wear the chevrons depicted; and then by regs, only on the dress coat. But we know how regs were ignored.
The Quartermaster Department had no enlisted men in the 19th Century. Enlisted men from the line units were detailed to the QM Department.
The list of Medal of Honor wnners probably includes QM sgts and Commissary sgts, and the others because the QM Department and later Corps eventually became responsible for training men to fill those positions.
Although the seperate rank of company QM sgt had been discontinied by 1876, it appears one of the company sgts continued to do the job.
Melani, I was able to get on the site with no problem. But you probably already know that by now, since this thread is almost a year old. Has anyone tried to correct the possible mistake the museum made?
Post by topkick1833 on Jul 6, 2009 18:36:23 GMT -5
I visited the museum after the original posting here. I went down that way and had "an opportunity" to swing by and look at the actual display. On staff was an active duty staff nco who did not have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the specifics of the display. Other areas of the museum he was superb, but the LBH display he only new basic information. In a nutshell, next time I go down that way I will need to grab uniform regs, unit rosters and the like to assist with the proper interpretation of the display. Otherwise I become another tourist passing along info. with no documentation to validate the correction.
Some things in the display's can be interpretted wrong very easily, such as the quartermaster bit. I'm sure the "quartermaster" verbiage was over-emphasized when the display was originally constructed since it is in the Quartermaster Museum.