From our kitchen to yours, we wish you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!
A-TRP, 1-104TH CAV,
28TH ID, PA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
Visit us at FirstTroop.com
Email: [email protected]
This purely volunteer cavalry troop was the first organized in defense of the colonies. Today the Troop is certainly the oldest mounted military unit and quite possibly the oldest military unit of any kind that has been in continuous service to the Republic. The times that called it into being, and the character of the original members who fought through the seven years of the American Revolution,
together forged concepts of service and a body of tradition that have given it a continuity of purpose for almost 250 years. The First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry is a private military organization in the service of the United States. Because unique demands and opportunities are imposed upon its members, they become a closely knit fraternity. Membership is by election. Members who serve in the Troop are members of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard who serve with A Troop 1-104th Cavalry in the 28th Infantry Division. Many have served overseas, and include deployments to Bosnia, Cuba, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and other locations during their Troop service or at another time during their military career. New recruits interested in joining the PA National Guard, or prior-service military looking to join are welcome to inquire about membership. Many officers have resigned their commission to join our enlisted ranks from all branches of service. Please feel free to post questions about membership to our Facebook wall. We will get back to you promptly, and will gladly arrange a meeting at your convenience.
Operating as usual
From our kitchen to yours, we wish you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!
248 years ago at Carpenters’ Hall, 28 men associated as the Light Horse of the City of Philadelphia, now known as First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry. We wish all of our fellow Troopers a very happy anniversary!
“For These We Strive”
The Troop extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Honorary Quartermaster Sergeant Roy Warren West. May his name and wit be eternal through the legacy of his writings and his family. To his memory!
“Roy Warren West of Philadelphia, PA died on Sunday, October 30, 2022. He was 88 years old.
Born in Philadelphia, Roy was the son of the late Robert Murray West and Ethel (nee Povlick) West. Roy is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Donna (nee Marva) West. He was the devoted father of Joshua Robert West. He was the cherished grandfather of Graisyn Thomas Marva West and Claire Pearl West. Roy is also survived by his daughter-in-law, Marcy Hohenadel West. Roy was predeceased by his four brothers, Robert Murray West, Jr., Wilson West, William (Bill) Eckard, and John (Jack) Eckard.
Roy was a graduate of Dickinson College, Class of 1956. He earned his Masters-Degree from Temple University.
Roy was a veteran who joined the Navy in 1957 and served for 6 years on active duty as a Commissioned Officer; after which he became part of the Naval Reserves. He retired his Naval Commission after twenty one years with the rank of Lieutenant. He subsequently enlisted in the PA Army National Guard‘s First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry, also known as the First City Troop, as a Sergeant. He retired from the military for the final time in 1994 after thirty-seven years.
Roy had a wide range of talents and interests. He was a devoted family man, talented singer, writer, educator, business owner, avid stamp and coin collector, history buff and patriot. As a singer, he was a baritone who sang for fun at Gino’s Italian Opera Bar on Walnut Street. As an author he wrote and had published four books including two action books: “Code Name Moby Dick” and “Destroyer”. He also wrote two books of limericks titled “Limerick for the Main Line – or the Art of Social Descending Made Easy” and “A Lilt in his Kilt”. Additionally, he wrote a quarterly magazine on limericks. As a business owner, he owned a men’s custom clothing store on Walnut Street for five years. As an educator, he taught high school in the Philadelphia School System for approximately 15 years.
His love of history and patriotism ran deep through his genes and goes back to the 1700s as he was a direct descendant of John Hart, one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence. As a result, Roy was a proud member of Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Sons of the Revolution. He was also a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Wars. Roy was especially proud that his son Joshua, and grandson Graisyn, followed in his footsteps and became members of the Sons of the Revolution. Additionally, Roy was also an Associate member of The Orpheus Club of Philadelphia, and a member of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia (NAS).”
Photos from 1st Squadron 104th Cavalry Regiment's post
Queen Elizabeth II visited multiple cities during our bicentennial year, but started with Philadelphia on July 6, 1976. Monarch for 70 years, she was the symbolic and cultural leader of our British cousins. Once enemies, Queen Elizabeth reigned during the further expansion of the “special relationship” between our sovereign nations. In recent years, the Troop has had the honor of es**rting members of the Royal Family while visiting Philadedelphia, and we have had the pleasure of being hosted by various members during visits to England. We extend our condolences to King Charles III, the family, and the British people.
The video features clips from the Royal visit in 1976. At the 11:38 mark, the Troop is seen on parade.
Nemeth Collection, Bicentennial Parades - Cheltenham and Phila. Queen Elizabeth II visit to Philly. Penns Landing shots. Mary and Jim Nemeth.
The below Hessian cap plate is from the private collection of Honorary Curator J. Craig Nannos.
We were delighted to host two gentlemen from The Household Cavalry during their stay in Philadelphia. Their visit included a tour of Independence Hall, riding instruction, polo, a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game, and a special reception held at the armory in their honor.
Our new friends from the Blues and Royals Regiment exchanged flags with us. Along with our Markoe Standard, we hope they departed with many fond memories.
Not your average chow hall.
Some of our members have revived a lunchtime tradition of cooking for their fellow Troopers during home station drill weekends.
Here is another article covering the recent visit of President Gitanas Nausėda of Lithuania. He is the first head of state to visit the armory since President Theodore Roosevelt joined the Troop for a luncheon in his honor in 1905.
Pennsylvania Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler met with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda during Nauseda
Photos from Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs's post
We were proud to support the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division change of command ceremony with Troopers serving as part of the color guard. We wish the outgoing command team the best of luck in their next endeavors, and welcome the new command team with best wishes for great success.
Happy Father’s Day!
Please feeel free to share a picture of your Troop dad in the comments.
Dr. J. William White served as Surgeon in the Troop. He is memorialized in architecture, as seen below, as part of the fountain in Rittenhouse Square on the reverse side, as well as in “The Agnew Clinic”, a painting by Thomas Eakins.
From the Archives of the University of Pennsylvania
Dr. J. William White was born in Philadelphia in 1850. His father, Dr. James W. White, was the longtime president of the S.S. White Dental Company. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1871. He began his career at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1874, and rose through the ranks as a surgeon and specialist in Venereal Diseases. In 1900 he was named John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery, a position he held for 12 years until his retirement in 1911. In this capacity White co-authored many medical textbooks on surgery, venereal disease and anatomy. In 1912 White was named a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.
A noted boxer, climber, and hiker himself, Dr. White was an early and significant supporter of Athletics and Physical Education at Penn. In 1884 he was named the University’s first Chair of Physical Culture, a voluntary position which he maintained until 1887. From 1882 to 1890 Dr. White was president or vice-president of the University’s Athletic Association, and throughout the 1890s he served as both formal mentor and adamant supporter of the University’s Football and Rowing programs. In 1905, fund raising efforts headed by Dr. White culminated in the opening of Penn’s first Gymnasium, open to all male students.
An important part of the Penn community for over 40 years, Dr. White was also involved in the civic life of Philadelphia. At various times in his career, Dr. White served as Chief Medical Officer for Blockley Hospital, the Eastern State Penitentiary, and the Pennsylvania Rail Road. He also chaired the Fairmount Park Commission, served on the committee overseeing Philadelphia’s Department of Charities and Correction, and belonged to many social, service, chess and medical clubs and organizations.
Dr. White’s extensive annual travels in Europe, and close friendships with Americans and Englishmen such as the painter John Singer Sargent, the English doctor Sir Frederick Treves, the writer Henry James, and former President Theodore Roosevelt, made him acutely aware of Europe’s plight at the start of the first World War. His sympathy for the suffering Belgian nation lead him to spearhead relief fundraising drives, and, in 1915, to serve in a University of Pennsylvania Medical School unit at the American Hospital in Paris. To raise American awareness of the war in Europe, Dr. White published A Primer of the War for Americans in 1914, which was enlarged in 1915 to A Textbook of the War for Americans.
In 1888 Dr. White married Letitia Brown. “Letty” was Dr. White’s constant traveling companion, accompanying him all but his final summer voyage in the summer of 1915. Dr. White died in 1916.
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, J. William White Memorial Building (built 1913-1922, Brockie & Hastings, architects). Located at 34th and Spruce streets. Looking southwest. Photo Credit: University of Pennsylvania Archives. Photo was taken, circa 1925.
Happy birthday to the U.S. Army!
Happy 247th Birthday to the U.S. Army!
Though the Pennsylvania National Guard traces its lineage to 1747, the Second Continental Congress established the U.S. Army, then known as the Continental Army, in 1775.
It was in that year, at the start of the American Revolution, that First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry es**rted Gen. George Washington to New York to take command of the Continental Army. The Army's first units included a regiment of rifle companies from Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution (1775-1783) Pennsylvania supplied 6,000 Soldiers for military operations in New York. One unit, the Philadelphia Artillery Battalion, lives on as today's 103d Brigade Engineer Battalion. In all, tens of thousands of Pennsylvania Soldiers were called to service over the next seven years.
The Troop is always honored to present the colors at The Devon Horse Show and share in the proud equestrian tradition that has been part of the Philadelphia area for generations.
Photos from Three Diamonds Stable's post
“Lest we forget.”
Non-Active Corporal Eugene Pendergass Hough, as part of his Legacy Marker Program, organized a ceremonial flag unfurling and folding at The Grand Hotel of Cape May in honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. You can see the Troop’s Markoe Standard flying on the staff in the background.
Twenty years ago, today, the Troop mobilized for the first time in fifty years for a deployment to Bosnia & Herzegovina as part of SFOR-12, Operation Joint Forge. Since then, the Troop has deployed multiple times in part or as a complete unit. The last two decades following 9/11 have been busy, and we thank all of our Troopers who have answered the call to serve.
Happy Armed Forces Day to all who currently serve! We especially thank our recently returned Troopers who served for almost a year in Egypt!
A job well done! Welcome home, Troopers!
To all the moms in the Pennsylvania National Guard family, Happy Mothers Day!
Photos from Mobilization and Deployment, DPTMS's post
We look forward to welcoming home our deployed Troopers! Well done!
Photos from Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society's post
The Troop was honored to host the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution for their Annual Meeting yesterday. The Sons and its Color Guard have been tremendously generous to our organization, and Honorary Captain Dennis Boylan was on hand to pass on our deep appreciation for their support over the years.
Captain Boylan presented briefly about the Troop, its history, and its current mission supporting the Commonwealth and country, specifically highlighting our group of Troopers currently deployed as part of Task Force Sinai in Egypt. He was able to provide tours of our newly renovated museum, demonstrating the value of the Society’s generous investment in helping us to preserve a history dating back to the time of the Revolution.
Many thanks to the gentlemen of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution and its Color Guard, and congratulations to all of their newly elected members, managers, and officers!
Mr. Peter Morgan Adams of the Huguenot Society of Pennsylvania recently published an article in the society’s periodical about his research into our first captain, Abraham Markoe. In his pursuit of writing a small book on Markoe and his influences on this nation, he would be grateful for anyone who might have additional information or primary resources to be in touch with him.
Congratulations to all of the Troopers who participated and facilitated the Spur Ride in the Sinai!
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to one and all! 🇺🇸☘️🇮🇪
The Society of The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick - Philadelphia, PA
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day from the First City Troop!
From “The Irish in the American Revolution: And Their Early Influence in the Colonies,” by James Haltigan (1908):
“Of the twenty-eight men who organized the First Troop of the Light Horse of Philadelphia, on November 17, 1774, ten of them—James Mease, John Mease, Henry Hill, John Boyle, John Mitchell, George Campbell, Samuel Caldwell, Andrew Caldwell, George Fullerton, and William West, Jr., were members of the Friendly Sons, and two more—John Dunlap and Blair McClenchan—afterward became members. Of the eighty-eight men who served in the First Troop during the entire period of the Revolution thirty of them, or more than one-third, belonged to the Irish organization.
[. . .]
“The Light Horse, which we have seen, numbered in its ranks a great many of the society members, was in active service under the immediate direction of Washington himself, and in the retreat from Princeton it was ordered to cover the rear of the army, and was the last to cross the Delaware River. On December 25, 1776, the troop recrossed the river with Washington at McKonky’s Ferry, eight miles above Trenton. “The passage was made difficult and dangerous by storm, darkness, and floating ice, and the boats upon which the troop had embarked not being able to reach the shore, the men were compelled to take the water and force a passage amid the floating ice with their horses.” That passage has become historical in print and painting, and we may well be proud of the presence of so many members of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.
In all subsequent operations of that campaign, they did their duty as soldiers and men. They continued active service until January 23, 1777. They were twenty-five in number, ten of them being Friendly Sons. Washington called them his “aids.”
[. . .]
These statements enable us to form some idea of the patriotism of the Friendly Sons. In the long lists of “disaffected persons” and British sympathizers, there are found none of the members. They had all cast their lot with the Revolutionary cause, and many of them lived for years afterwards to enjoy the blessings of independence.”
When the Troop isn’t drilling at home in the armory, you can usually find us at Fort Indiantown Gap.
It's now easier to send First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry a message.
Princeton (3 Jan 1777)
Trenton was reoccupied on December 30. The Troop performed critical reconnaissance the next day. Twelve Troopers under Colonel Joseph Reed, the Adjutant General, captured eleven dragoons within sight of the enemy’s main army. As Lord Cornwallis occupied the lines across from Trenton, Washington slipped the Army out at night and marched on Princeton. Units of Pennsylvania Militia, the rear of the Continental Army, were panicked and routed by fifty British dragoons during the night march. The dragoons then encountered twenty-two Troopers aligned abreast blocking the road. After consideration the dragoons withdrew and the Troop marched on Princeton.
During the climax of the Battle of Princeton, General Washington, with many Troopers by his side, led the counterattack against the British. The Troop charged in “the fine Fox-chase” and the Army routed three British regiments that day. General Washington withdrew the Army to Morristown before Cornwallis could bring up his superior forces. The successful rear guard action by the Troop saved the artillery train. “The ten days that changed the world” were over. It would be four long years until Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown but the Republic would prevail. General Washington relieved the Troop on January 23rd and they returned to Philadelphia.
General George Washington leads a counterattack at the battle of Princeton ,
January 3, 1777. This victory along with his previous crushing defeat of the Hessians at Trenton literally saved the patriot cause. Here Washington with his staff and es**rt of Philadelphia Light Horse, rally the Philadelphia Associator Battalions , riflemen and other Continental troops. Some wounded of the 17th Regiment of Foot are seen in the foreground. In the far background is the Thomas Clarke house which still stands.
Merry Christmas, one and all!
Thanks to Liberty USO for sending our Troopers and so many other military men and women care packages this Christmas! May all of them come home safely to reunite with their families and spend next Christmas with the ones they love.
The Troop held its memorial service this past Sunday to honor the life of General Washington. We honor a great man whose humility and steadfastness were inspiring to his men, and to our young nation. To his memory!
in 1799 at Mount Vernon, George Washington passed away of a throat infection. Tobias Lear recorded Washington's final moments in his journal that night: "I am just going," he said. After uttering some instructions, he whispered finally, "Tis well."
Read Tobias Lear's account as he wrote it: https://bit.ly/31AYde8
Life of George Washington: The Christian, lithograph by Claude Regnier, after Junius Brutus Stearns, circa 1853. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Gibby, 1984 [WB-55/A1], Washington Library, Mount Vernon, VA.
Happy Thanksgiving to our Troopers away from home this year. Please know that each Troop family is keeping you in their hearts and in their prayers this day and everyday.
While many of our Troopers were able to celebrate our 246th anniversary at home, our Troopers deployed to Sinai, Egypt were able to put away the camouflage for a moment and gather to raise a toast to another year since our founding in 1774. We commend our forward Troopers for being mission focused, but managing to keep tradition and strengthen Troop fraternity.
Trooper “Pete” Conrad brought Princeton University flags to the Moon. It makes the myth of a small Troop flag being placed on the Moon a bit more believable.
: On November 19, 1969, Charles "Pete" Conrad (1930-1999) became the third person to walk on the moon. A member of Princeton University's Class of ‘53, Conrad studied engineering, participated in the Aeronautical Engineering Program, and served as Vice President of the Flying Club. Also known for his sense of humor, the 5-foot-6 inch astronaut’s first words when stepping on the moon’s surface were, “Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.”
Conrad brought five Princeton flags on the Apollo 12 mission. This autographed “Moon flag” is from the Memorabilia Collection, AC053, Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
Congratulations to our very own Color Sergeant Mataio Nuualitia!
We are proud of all of our Troopers deployed to the Sinai, and we look forward to your safe return.
Today marks the 247th anniversary of our founding. This past Saturday our members gathered to celebrate at our armory. Thank you to Troopers past and present, and to all of our supporters who make our service possible, especially our families.
“For These We Strive”
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