Maneuver Sketch Fort Sheridan and Vicinity

Unrecorded map of Fort Sheridan used in training the 2nd Infantry Regiment, with manuscript notes by a decorated Army general.

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Fort Sheridan, located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan about 30 miles north of Chicago, has a long and fascinating history with the U.S. Military and the city to its south. It was established in 1887 as Camp Highwood, partially in response to business leaders’ requests for a local military garrison after the Haymarket Riot the year prior. It was renamed Fort Sheridan in 1888 after Civil War Cavalry General Philip Sheridan to honor his services to Chicago and, in 1894, troops were used to quell the Pullman Strike. Beginning with the Spanish-American War of 1898, Fort Sheridan became a mobilization, training, and administrative center.

It was under those auspices, in 1926, that Capt. E.J. Houck and Sgt. M.H Wright of the 2nd Infantry Regiment compiled this map of the fort’s grounds under the watchful eye of Col. P.L. Miles. Constituted formally in 1815, the 2nd is a highly decorated unit that has served the U.S. Army for over two hundred years. Its members (minus the 2nd and 3rd Battalions) were headquartered at Fort Sheridan between 1922 and 1936, during which period they took part in garrison training, maneuvers, field training, and other duties.

This map was apparently designed to help facilitate training during the Spring of 1926. It presents a detailed overview of the camp, part of the town of Highwood, and nearby lightly forested areas. Manuscript annotations applied in pencil throughout the image reflect real or proposed movements inland for a variety of units, generally organized by company, stationed near the beach. Further notes in the upper right indicate that they were made as part of a command lecture given by none other than Brigadier General Edward King.

After starring as halfback for the Army Black Knights Football Team, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and earned a Distinguished Service Cross for his actions in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. He fought again in World War I, where he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal and French Croix de Guerre. Beginning in 1925, King served as the Commandant of the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It was in that role that he delineated the unit movements, making this a unique example of interwar military history.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1926

Author: Captain E.J. Houck and M.H. Wright

Sheet Width (in): 37

Sheet Height (in): 26.5

Condition: B

Condition Description: Blueprint paper formerly folded into sixteen panels, with varying degrees of discoloration and soiling divided along old fold lines. Former creases also show moderate wear and discoloration, but not enough to obfuscate any image or text. Three scattered dark spots, each about the size of a pencil eraser, on the left side of the sheet. Scattered manuscript annotations in pencil throughout.

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