Posted on Dec 8, 2015
COL Sam Russell
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Sometimes digging through century old newspapers hits pay dirt. From the 30 Nov 1890 New York Sun, is this fantastic write up of the first Army-Navy football game. Enjoy!

Uncle Sam's Cadets Kick
The Lads of West Point and Annapolis Try for Goal.
The First Test of Athletic Strength Between the Two Academies, and the Naval Cadets Swamp the West Pointers.
For the first time in the history of the two academies, the cadets of West Point and Annapolis met yesterday in an athletic contest. It was a football match played at West Point, and the navy downed the army by a score of 24 to 0. The game marks the beginning of a series of athletic contests, and it also demonstrated the fact these young soldiers and sailors were very clever all-around athletes.
The Naval Academy boys won, because they knew the points of the game. West Point placed in the field an eleven that has been organized only within a fortnight. The lads have never had any practice with outside elevens. They were plucky, however, and time and again the West Point men by their superior strength broke the Annapolis rush line.
The picturesqueness of the field made up for the lack of enthusiastic cheering that is such a feature of the college games. It was a great day for the two academies and one that will be remembered. Navel and army officers were there in force and in all the glory of gold ace and shoulder straps. For the most part they were ignorant of the game, but that didn't dampen their enthusiasm.
"If this game could only be introduced in the army" said an officer after a particularly lively scrimmage in which four men were laid out, "promotions would not be so slow. It's quicker than old age and seems to be more fatal."
West Point's plucky quarterback, Walker, was the only man who was compelled to retire. The wind was knocked out of him three times, and the last time he was carried off the field unconscious. His injuries were in no way serious, however, and were due to recklessness in tackling.
At 11 o'clock yesterday morning about 150 officers of the navy, the army, and the naval reserve, with not a few ladies, left New York for West Point. Lieut. Nazro of the Hydrographic Bureau had been industriously working up enthusiasm among the naval officers in New York and Brooklyn, and made all the arrangements for the excursion. The officers wore the regulation blue dress overcoats, but no other part of their uniforms. There were men there from all the gunboats anchored in the harbor, and from the navy yard. Among the prominent ones were: Admiral Luce, Capt. Willse of the Minnesota, Commander Chadwick of the Yorktown, Capts. Erben and Kane of the navy yard, Lieut. Haesler of the Boston, Lieut. Colby of the Yorktown, Lieuts. Fullan and Kimble of the Blake, Lieut. Tuxtun of the Cushing, Lieut. Bristol of the Yantic, Lieut. Vreeland of the Vermont, Lieut. Bryan of the Cushing, Dr. Bogart of the Blake, Lieut. Carden of the Revenue marine, Lieut. Kane of the Marine Corps, Assistant Engineer Moritz, S. Dana Green, and Marston Miles. There were about thirty members of the Naval Reserve and as many more cadets from Annapolis. A dozen well-bronzed sailors from the Boston accompanied the officers. As the ferryboat carried the navy men up the river past the Brazilian gunboats anchored in the stream, they looked them over critically, and said that for the length of time they had been in port the Brazilian boats looked very dirty. There were few arms officers with this excursion, and when the Annapolis cadets and their friends had climbed the hill and reached the West Point campus they announced the fact with a loud:
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Hi! Ho! Ha!
U.-S.-N.-A.
Booom! Siss! Ba-a-h!
This cry was a new one, and scored a hit with the West Point men. They saw that they would be outcheered if they clung to the old hurrah cry, so this was shortened, and they answered the Annapolis men later with:
Rah! Rah! Rah!
U.-S.-M.-A.
The cheering on both sides was very ragged, however, and during the game, when their elevens most needed support, the young men became so interested that they couldn't cheer with any strength. A dozen Yale men could have cheered them to a standstill.
In the Officers' Club were gathered a large number of army officers who were anxious to show the navy what good fellows the West Point men were when they were at home. It was a notable gathering of the army and navy officers, and the largest of its kind that has occurred in a good many years. The novelty of a football game between the two academies and the prospect of meeting old friends brought them together. There was Col. John M. Wilson, Superintendent of West Point; Col. Hawkins, Commandant of Cadets, and all the officers of the military academic staffs and of the troops stationed there. Some of the visitors were: Col. Whipple and Lieuts. Warren, Judson, Shunk, Flagler, Tryer, Duncan, Ramsey, Winslow, and McGregor of the army, and Capts. Hart and Thurston of the Twenty-second Regiment, N.G.S.N.Y. A luncheon was served in the club for all the guests, and before they had finished their cigars the post band appeared on the campus, and a guard of soldiers had been stationed inside the ropes that enclosed the football field to do police duty.
The ladies were divided in their loyalty between the orange, black, and gray colors of West Point and the maroon and old gold of the youngsters from Annapolis. They walked around the Academy buildings with half a dozen cadets in tight-fitting gray uniforms as escorts for each lady. The sun was shining brightly and the old gray Academy buildings were an excellent background for the brilliant football field, showy uniforms, and the bright dresses of the ladies. New chalk lines had been marked out on the turf, that was as hard as a board, and around it was a rope fence to keep back the crowd. Every few yards inside the fence were the soldiers doing the police duty. Most of the ladies and officers were on the west side of the field, so that the sun would not shine in their faces. At the south end was the regimental band, and the cadets of the two academies crowded the ropes on the west side. They were enjoying the day for all that it was worth, for the Government does not give as many holidays as the college man has. The naval cadets were younger and as a rule somewhat smaller than the West Pointers, but they were sure that their football eleven was more than a match for the army men's superior muscle. They cheered everybody, and at intervals satisfied themselves that they were "all right" by saying so all together. Their slang was rather nautical, and the signals of their foot men were decidedly salty. When Capt. Emrich shouted to his quarterback, "Let her luff" and then made a brilliant dash up the field, the navy cadets went wild in their enthusiasm, and yelled back "Heave round" and "Savez the bobstay." No signals are repeated by the Annapolis men.
During the game Capt. Emrich kept up a running fire of such orders as, "Reef topsails," "Back ship," "Splice the main brace," "Furl sails," and other orders that would make a West Pointer seasick. The Annapolis men showed their training by the readiness with which they noted on those signals and their skill in guarding the backs.
Before the teams appeared on the field the naval cadets were massed along the southern side of the field, and the West Pointers on the northern end. The Annapolis men wore long blue overcoats, and carried canes decked with their academy colors. The Military Academy men appeared in their tight fitting gray jackets, that made them look as if they wore corsets. They probably didn't, from the freedom with which they yelled. Back of them were the coaches that run to an from the trains. They were loaded down with cadets in gray. Every inch of the ropes on the visitors' side of the field was taken up. There were campstools for the ladies, and the officers stood up back of them. The football ground is in the middle of a large level field, that rather dwarfed its size.
The band had played a number of selections and the cadets had practiced their yells until they were beginning to get hoarse when the Annapolis men cried: "Here they come," and fifteen sturdy looking young men in mudstained canvas jackets with an assortment of bright-colored caps and red stockings, trotted on to the field. They were not as sturdy looking lot of men as a college team, although their rush line averaged about 170 pounds. Their jackets showed signs of having gone through some rough and tumble games, but they looked as if they meant business. As they passed through the ropes one of the cadets punted the ball high up and into the middle of the field. The kick promised well, and as the men started down the field after it they were greeted with an encouraging cheer that ended in staccato shout, "The Navy." The West Pointers cheered them and they greeted their own eleven. The latter were men of sturdy calves, strong necks and muscular shoulders. Their canvas jackets were clean, and their black stockings had not been torn. They wore orange and black caps. For a few minutes the young men tossed the ball, jumped on it, and tried their skill at punting and drop kicks. Every good punt was greeted with cheers from the spectators, many of whom thought that football was really what it's name implies. The West Pointers were slow in their movements, and didn't slide into the turf for the ball as did the youngsters from Annapolis. When they had settled the position of it by a mathematical calculation they dropped on it with a vim. It was evident, however, that they still had some regard for their faces and their jackets. They improved greatly in this respect before the game ended.
Hyndman, Yale, '84, was the referee and Balknap, Annapolis, '91, was the umpire. West Point won the toss, and took the southern goal with the wind slightly in their favor. At 2:35 the teams lined up in the centre of the field in this order:
Annapolis. Positions West Point.
Beuret ….. Left end ….. Moore.
Ward ….. Left tackle ….. Crabbs.
Lane ….. Left guard ….. Murphy.
Irwin ….. Centre ….. Adams.
French ….. Right guard ….. Heavey.
Macklin ….. Right tackle ….. Shoeffel.
Laws ….. Right end ….. Prince.
Johnson ….. Quarter back ….. Walker.
Hartung ….. Left half back ….. Timberlake.
Emrich ….. Right half back ….. Michie.
Althouse ….. Full back ….. Ames.
Annapolis began the game with a dribble and a wedge that surprised their opponents and carried the ball twenty-five yards into their field. Emrich then began a series of successful rushes against the West Pointers that carried the ball slowly toward their goal. The Annapolis men played cautiously at first and clung to the ball. Their signals were perfect, and when their half backs had the ball they guarded them well. The Annapolis rush line couldn't do much against the strength of the West Pointers, but they made up for it by excellent team work. Timberlake made the first long run for West Point. He dodged down the field, tipped over two naval men, and gained forty yards. Then the gray-coated cadets began to hope and cheer for victory. It was useless, however, and notwithstanding another sharp run by Michie, the ball was successfully worked inside the twenty-five-yard line. Annapolis was now lined up within twenty feet of the goal line and had three downs. "Reef ship," shouted Emrich. The ball was passed back to him, and with a strong run he carried it over, scoring the first touch down for Annapolis. The naval cadets hugged each other and themselves and cheered till the echo came back from Storm King. They felt that the game was practically won.
The wind was strong, and Emrich's kick didn't carry the ball over the goal line. Then it was West Point's turn, and they made another desperate fight inside their twenty-five-yard line. Michie made several short runs, and then the ubiquitous Emrich grabbed the ball, and after some very pretty dodging made another touch down for Annapolis. He again failed in his trial for a goal, and Ames cheered the West Point men by a long punt that carried the leather well down the middle of the field. Althouse got it and promptly brought it back to the 25-yard line. The elevens fought briskly until the ball had been downed three times by Annapolis and then Emrich tried a goal from the field. The ball seemed to pass directly between the goal posts, but it was not allowed. Back at the twenty-five-yard line play was resumed, and the West Pointers began to brace up. Johnson got an opportunity, however, for a run, and dashed down the field with all of the West Pointers except Ames behind him. Ames tackled too near the line, and Johnson rolled the ball over for another touch down. Again they lalled in a try for a goal. West Point now began to play in earnest, and their superior strength forced the ball down the field toward the Annapolis goal. Timberlake made a long run across the field, and for the first time in the game carried it into the Annapolis territory.
Murphy, at left guard, got several good runs on passes, Althouse saved them by a long punt down the field, and then Prince brought it back by a brilliant run of forty yards. The ball was now inside the 25-yard line, and had the West Pointers been up in team work they could have rushed it over. Time was called for the first half with the ball within thirty yards of the Annapolis goal. The score was Annapolis, 12; West Point 0.
The West Pointers profited in the second half by their experience with the Annapolis men, and worked the V successfully a number of times. West Point began the play, and gained twenty-five yards on a wedge. Emrich was laid out by a rough tackle. He had pluck, however, and after getting his breath resumed play.
"What's the matter with Emrich," yelled his friends.
"He's all right," shouted a score of cadets, with a yell.
There was no doubt about it, and he continued making the plays of the game. His work compares favorably with the half-back work of Yale and Princeton. Walker, the plucky little West Point quarter back got his first knock when he tackled Emrich, who rolled him over. Walker was unconscious for half a minute, but his men got him on his feet, and as soon as he could get his breath he was ready to play. The ball was again worked toward the West Point goal and within ten feet of the line it was downed three times by Annapolis. "Savez the bobstay," called Emrich. The quarter back passed the ball to him, and over the line he went for another touch down. This time he kicked a beautiful goal, and the score was increased to 18 to 0.
Emrich made one very pretty criss-cross run, and started the West Pointers off after his quarter back. He gained twenty-five yards from the centre of the field. Michies and Murphy were working hard, but they were not supported. When Capt. Emrich yelled "Stand by to clear anchor" an Annapolis wedge carried the ball ten yards against West Point. Emrich made another touch down and from it kicked a clean goal. In a tackle near the end of the game four men were laid out for a minute. Walker, as usual, got there in time to tackle and get jumped on. Emrich was also thrown heavily. Johnson made another pretty run across the field for Annapolis. "Furl sail" and "Tack ship" worked the ball toward West Point's goal again. Then Ames and Emrich exchanged some long kicks. Walker was thrown again, and this time he was carried off the field, and Lyon was substituted. Time was called at 4:30, with the ball about in the centre of the field, and the score 24 to 0 in favor of the naval cadets. There was a good deal of loud cheering, and the game ended. The Annapolis men went wild over their victory. When the score reached Annapolis last night the naval cadets were so delighted with the victory of their team that they fired twenty-four guns and then paraded the streets with horns. The day's sport was wound up with a hop at West Point last night.

POST SCRIPT

Army Football Team

James Thaddeus Moore (Left end), class of 1892, served in the Infantry, rose to the rank of Major, was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, Cuban Pacification, and the Punitive Expedition. He died on active duty at Fort Bliss, Texas, 14 May 1916.

Joseph Thaddeus Crabbs (Left tackle), class of 1891, served in the Cavalry and later Quartermaster, rose to the rank of Major and retired for disability in 1908. Ran the New York City railways from '08 to '15. Served during World War I as a Colonel in the National Army. He died on 11 Mar 1929 and was posthumously promoted to Colonel.

Truman Oscar Murphy (Left guard), class of 1891, served in the Infantry, was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection, and World War I. He served as a Brigadier General during the Great War, retired as a Colonel in 1921, was promoted to Brig. Gen. from the retired list in 1930, and died in Washington, D.C. on 1 Sep 1938. For his service in WWI he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and a Silver Star Citation in Cuba.

Sterling Price Adams (Center), class of 1892, served in the Cavalry, was a veteran of the Philippine Insurrection, and commanded various training units during World War I. He retired as a Colonel in 1922 for disability and died in San Antonio, Texas on 7 November 1947.

John William Heavey (Right guard), class of 1891, served in the Infantry, was a veteran of the Puerto Rican Expedition, Moro Expedition, Cuban Pacification, and served in the Militia Bureau during World War I. He retired as a Brigadier General in 1931 after 40 years of service and died in Washington, D.C. on 18 Nov 1941.

Frances Henry Schoeffel (Right tackle), class of 1891, served in the Infantry and Judge Advocate, was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, China Relief Expedition, Philippine Insurrection. He retired for wounds as a Major in 1903, and later served as a Lieutenant Colonel during World War I at the Hoboken Port of Embarkation. He was awarded a Silver Star Citation, Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Medal. He died at Marion, Massachusetts on 15 Sep 1957.

Leonard Morton Prince (Right end), class of 1892, served in the Infantry. He died in Chicago, Illinois on 1 November 1895.

Kirby Walker (quarterback), class of 1892, served in the Cavalry, was a veteran of the Philippine Insurrection, commanded an infantry regiment and infantry brigade in World War I when he was awarded a Silver Star. He retired as a Colonel in 1928 and died in San Diego, California on 10 Jan 1960.

Edward Julius Timberlake (Left half back), class of 1893, served in the Artillery Corps and Quartermaster Corps. He retired at the rank of Colonel in 1933 and died at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida on 27 Nov 1950.

Butler Ames (Full back), class of 1894, served in the Infantry and resigned his commission in 1894. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel of Volunteers in the Puerto Rican Expedition and served as a U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts from 1903 to 1913. He was a Major General in the Massachusetts State Guard during World War I. Treasurer and Director of Wamesit Power Company; Vice President and Director of Ames Worsted Company. He died in Tewksbury, Massachusetts on 7 November 1954.

Dennis Mahan Michie (Right half back), class of 1892, served in the Infantry, veteran of the Spanish-American War where was killed at San Juan on 1 Jul 1898. Michie Stadium at West Point was named in his honor.
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LTC Bink Romanick
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COL Sam Russell Go Army, beat Navy!
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Capt Walter Miller
Capt Walter Miller
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Probably should call it the Navy/Army game now.

Let me hasten to add that I don't really care who wins.

Every year the cadets are bursting blood vessels to win and Navy just runs away from them.

Walt
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LTC Bink Romanick
LTC Bink Romanick
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Capt Walter Miller yes it's disappointing
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Capt Walter Miller
Capt Walter Miller
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If the Marines were helping the Army, Army would probably win.

Walt
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Capt Walter Miller
Capt Walter Miller
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That's not in the cards though.

Walt
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SFC James J. Palmer IV aka "JP4"
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Edited >1 y ago
#GOARMYBEATNAVY

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SFC James J. Palmer IV aka "JP4" No one can take your dreams away....no one..... :D
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SFC James J. Palmer IV aka "JP4"
SFC James J. Palmer IV aka "JP4"
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I'll save you some fresh crow. Lol. Seasoned to perfection.
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SGM David W. Carr  LOM, DMSM  MP SGT
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I loved working the Army-Navy even more than regular football games while stationed as an MP at West Point. The atmosphere during the games was highly charged. I worked the Superintendent's box.

The mule detail had to travel with the all important mules especially when a goat went missing.

the Ben Franklin hotel was truly party central the night prior and after the game.
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LTC Jeffrey Strickland
LTC Jeffrey Strickland
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I was faculty there 1991-1994 and 199-2002. When were you there?
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SGM David W. Carr  LOM, DMSM  MP SGT
SGM David W. Carr LOM, DMSM MP SGT
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I was there from Jan 78 to Jun 81 I was going to hostile environments 91-95
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