My Col. Gimperling Journey–part 5


When I first discovered the document above I just glanced through it to get an idea of where he had been stationed and promoted. But this time, as I made the translation, I started looking up more information on his different duty stations and the units to which  he was assigned. It became a wonderful history lesson for me. I hope you enjoy it too.

His military history translated from the above image:

June 15th, 1904 – graduated form USMA and received his gold bars (Second lieut.)  and assigned to the 21st Infantry:
October 1906 to Sept. 5th, 1908 – was stationed at Fort Logan, Col. as commanding a Machine Gun Platoon:  (This was probably is permanent station)
From Dec. 1906 to June 1907 – in the vicinity of Laredo & Rio Grande, Tex. did Progressive Military Map Work:
October 1907  something to December 1907- he took his 30 day of leave of absence at Fort Logan, Col.:
Dec. 1907 to May 1908 – on Progressive Military Map Work in southeastern Arizona:
May 1908 to September 1909 – At Fort Logan, Col. :
October 1909 to June 1912 – in Philippines at Camp Keithley and at Parang Moro:
March 11, 1911 – Promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant with the 6th Infantry: It took him 7 years to get promoted where the top graduate in his WestPoint class made it in two years. It could be that his class ranking, 122/124, stayed with him for many years and might have affected what his duty stations were available to him.
February 1912 to May 1912 – In the field against hostile Moros:
June 1912 to October19 12 – en route to US from Philippines with 30 days leave of absence:
October 1912 to to April 1914 – at Presidio of San Francisco, Cal.:
April 1914 to February 1917 – at El Paso, Texas
April 1914 to March 1916 – at El Paso, Texas with Punitive Expedition into Mexico – With Gen John J. Pershing chasing after Pancho Villa:
July 1st 1916 – Promoted to Captain, 34th Infantry:
February 3rd 1917 to April 5th 1917 – at Presidio, Texas:
April 1917 to July 1917 – Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Williams College, Mass.:
June 25th 1917 – Honorary Degree of M.A. from Williams College:
July 1917 to November 1917 – at Fort Bliss, Texas with 64th Infantry:
Aug. 5th 1917 – Promoted to Temporary Major of Infantry:
Aug. 5th 1917 – Promoted to Major of Infantry, National Army:   

Nov. 1917 to July 5, 1918 – at camp Lewis, Washington with 348th Machine Gun Battalion, 91st Division:
July 5th to July 22, 1918 – en route to Cherbourg, France:
Sept. 1, 1918 – assigned as Division Machine Gun Officer, 30th Division, Joined Sept. 5:
Sept. 28 1918 to Oct. 22 1918 – in Belgium-Somme Offensive, Hindenburg Line:
Oct. 3, 1819 – Promoted to Lieut. Colonel of Infantry, U.S.A. :
March 17, 1919 to April 2, 1919 – Left France with 30th Division in route to Camp Jackson S.C.


Take note of the name Captain Lafayette Campbell. It will come up again in a significant way.

I found the following article interesting and it corroborates where he was in Dec. of 1906 and that his parents were still living.

Army & Navy Life and the United Service (January thru June 1907) – Probably the for runner of the “Stars and Stripes”.

Communications desired for publication in this department are
invited from our readers in every branch of the service.
All contributions must be signed by the sender as a guarantee
of good faith but no contributor's name will be published without permission.

Fort Logan, Col. 1907

The holiday week has come and gone and  the garrison’s life has been relieved and light-

ened by it In fact the continuous school and practice march regime finally becomes so irk-

some that any change is welcome.

All told, the week was celebrated very quietly. All the companies had special dinners,

with elaborate bills of fare, for both Christmas and New Year’s day. A number of small

dinners were given by various officers of the post and a pretty hop was held in the post

hall on New Year’s eve.

On New Year’s day Governor McDonald held a formal reception at the statehouse in

honor of Governor-elect Buchtel. This was attended by the officers of the garrison in a

body and was a brilliant affair.

Snow began falling about noon on New Year’s day, so the beginning of 1907 was, for

us, white and beautiful.

Most of the members of the command have overcome the difficulties at first experienced

from the effects of the new climate and high altitude, and the health of the garrison is now

generally good.

A large number of officers are now on leave and others expect soon to go.

Lieut. Gimperling left about two weeks ago for the lower Rio Grande valley, to begin work

on the progressive military map of the United States. His station, while on this duty, will

be Ft. Mcintosh, Texas. His father and mother had just arrived to pay him a visit and he

had expected the pleasure of having them with him at this post during the winter.


There is a good chance Col. G received this medal having served in the Philippines during the Insurrection (between 1898-1913):
Philippine Campaign Medal – Army

While he was stationed along the Texas/Mexico border he must have been involved with evaluating at least two machine guns since he wrote the following letter.

I can’t remember where I found this letter form Capt. G and after much searching I still could not fine it.


For a better understanding of the new machine guns and the role they  played in the World War, go to this site and learn.

From it, you can understand the high level of  interest the US Army had in the new weapon.


This probably one of the machine guns Col. G was writing about while stationed at Camp Cotton, Texas

1909 Benet-Mercie Machine Rifle: The Daylight Gun

Camp Cotton, Texas 1916 follows:



Yet another search for T.N. Gimperling found the following article from the Williams College Record. Cap. Gimperling is mentioned in the last paragraph.
It looks to me like the old microfilm was scanned in and some of the letters were not interpreted quite right. Have fun making your own translation – Jim’s in error. He was only there about 3 months.:

Full text of “The Williams record [microform]

Shades Of Purple 
Letter to the Editor
by Jim I'urcell 

This is not the first time 1; 
come to Williams. In 1917, ;is all 
the world awaited the entry if the 
United States into the war, Pr, iident 
Garfield and the Williams ;iculty 
were alrfeady outlining the i Ijege'.s 
plans for a war training p igram 
Just two weeks before Wilso ;'s waj 
message, 195 undergraduates i ad vol- 
unteered for the R.O.T.C. ourse 
known as Military Arts 3-4. !| con- 
sisted of four hours per week f if\\\ 
and two hours of theoretical \; ; k. 

Only three weeks had pass since 
the declaration of war: 434 \', :liatns 
men had enlisted for the tnii ing; a 
month later another 126 haii joined 
the ranks. Forty-three hiin been 
sent to federal training cani.s, 20 
had gone to France to serve n the 
ambulance corps, and 14 had signed 
up for a new navigation en ise to 
be given here to train men ir the 
Naval Coast Defense Reser\;. in 
May, a unit of the Medical I iilisted 
Reserve Corps was opened 1 1 Wil- 
liams .students. In addition, tlio col- 
lege donated eight ambulances to the 
field service. 

In the summer of 1917, the colli 
was kept open for summer training 
under the R.O.T.C. For all the ,olun- 
teers, uniforms were supplied l.y the 

The organizer of the Williams 
R.O.T.C. and its commanding officer 
for a year was Captain Thomas Nor- 
ton Gimperling of the 34th infantry. 
He looked handsomely military, sort 
of like President Garfield in a Boy 
Scout uniform.


Photo of Col. G’s HQ, 30th Div. in France:


Lt. Col. G might be in this photo some where or in one of the buildings.

Each bog post has to end somewhere so here is where this one ends.  More to come on Col.G.


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