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Basic Training Since 1826 Image Credit: True West
Basic Training Since 1826 Image Credit: True West

Basic Training Since 1826

Jefferson Barracks, south of St. Louis,

Marshall Trimble

Did frontier soldiers go through boot camp?

Bill Haines

Nashville, Tennessee

Jefferson Barracks, south of St. Louis, Missouri, was established July 10, 1826. It was the first Infantry School of Instruction or basic training under Brev. Maj. Stephen Watts Kearny. Col. Henry Leavenworth arrived a few months later. For the first time in the nation’s young history, recruits received training in close order drill, tactics, marksmanship and weapons of every type.

The first Marine Corps recruit depot opened at Port Royal, South Carolina, on June 1, 1911. Parris Island was officially designated a Marine Corps recruit depot on November 1, 1915; training was continued from then on. New recruits spent a period of learning the basics before their assignment to a regular outfit.

Did ballistics forensics ever come into play in solving crimes in the Old West?

David Aufiere

Columbia, Louisiana

Ballistics science has been around since the 1500s. Prior to the advent of mass production firearms, when each gun was handmade, it was possible to identify the bullet fired by a particular weapon. The first documented case was in 1835 in London; police were able to get a conviction when they matched the bullet found at a murder scene to the mold used by a suspect. The same guy had a barrel that matched the bullet.

That all changed when manufacturing replaced hand tools, making the abili


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