History[ edit ] The area along the Arkansas River had been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous peoples of various cultures. They used the river for transportation as did European settlers after them, and for fishing. By the time of encounter with Europeans, the historical Quapaw were the chief people in the area, having migrated from the Ohio River valley centuries before. In Thomas Phillips claimed a half section of land where Pine Bluff is located.
They used the camps as a base for a series of peaceful, patriotic demonstrations below demanding their promised payments. National Archives Army Chief of Staff and Major General Douglas MacArthur watched a brigade of steel-helmeted soldiers precisely align themselves in a straight four-column phalanx, bayonets affixed to rifles.
He nodded his head in satisfaction. Up ahead, Major George Patton kicked his heels against his mount, and the big horse reared forward to signal a line of cavalry. The riders drew their sabers, and the animals stepped out in unison, hoofs smacking loudly on the street.
Five Renault tanks lurched behind. Seven-ton relics from World War I and presumably just for show, the old machines nonetheless left little doubt as to the seriousness of the moment. On cue, at about 4: Completing the surreal atmosphere, a machine gun unit unlimbered, and its crew busily set up.
This was no parade, although hundreds of curious office workers had interrupted their daily routines to crowd the sidewalk or hang out of windows along Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol to see what would happen.
Up ahead, a group of weary civilians, many dressed in rags and ill-fitting, faded uniforms, waited in anticipation amid their sorry camp of tents and structures made from clapboard and sheets of tin covered in tar paper.
Some loitered in the street. They had heard something was afoot — expected it after what happened earlier. Now, a murmur rose from the camp crowd. Recovering their senses, a few of the men cursed and sent bottles and bricks flying toward the troops — ineffective weapons against so formidable a force.
The missiles shattered on impact on the hard pavement or bounced off the flanks of horses and soldiers. Undaunted, the roughly troops maintained their discipline with tight-lipped determination.
The extra training MacArthur had recently ordered was paying off. Some of the camp inhabitants had already begun running from the oncoming soldiery, but angry packs held their ground, defiantly wielding clubs and iron bars, yelling profanities.
An officer signaled, and the infantry halted to don masks and toss gas grenades. Forming into two assault waves, they continued their push. Clouds of stinging, gray fumes wafted through the air, forcing most of the remaining unarmed veterans to flee in panic.
One particularly pesky truckload continued to throw debris, prompting a quick response from Patton: Douglas MacArthur was charged with using U. National Archives MacArthur could not help being euphoric. If the tactics were not textbook, the results were everything he hoped for — a complete rout.
The troops had exercised perfect restraint in completely clearing the downtown area without firing a shot.
Within hours it was all over. Troopers set the abandoned camp ablaze as the former inhabitants retreated, demoralized and beaten, across the Third Street bridge. MacArthur called a halt to allow his troops to rest and eat while he considered his next move.
Congress had authorized the plan inintending to compensate the veterans for wages lost while serving in the military during the war. But payment was to be deferred until Just one year earlier, inCongress overrode a presidential veto on a bill to provide, as loans, half the amount due to the men.
Known as Bonus Marchers, they came in desperation from all across the nation, hopping freight trains, driving dilapidated jalopies or hitchhiking, intent on pressuring Congress to pass the legislation.
At first the march was a trickle, led by Walter Waters, a year-old former sergeant from Portland, Ore. It soon became a tidal wave, drawing national press attention. They occupied parks and a row of condemned buildings along Pennsylvania Avenue, between the White House and the Capitol.
When new arrivals overflowed that site, they erected a shantytown on the flood plain of the Anacostia River, southeast of Capitol Hill. Glassford pitied the beleaguered itinerants and solicited private aid to secure medical assistance, clothing, food and supplies.
During a May 26 veterans meeting, Glassford suggested they officially call themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force. Adopting the name — which was commonly shortened to Bonus Army — they asked him, and he agreed, to serve as secretary-treasurer of the group.
Working together, Waters and Glassford managed to maintain enough discipline and order in the ranks to ward off eviction. Glassford likely hoped that the horde would eventually lose interest and return home, but Waters had other ideas.
President Herbert Hoover refused to give him an audience.
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NGC Mission Statement National Garden Clubs, Inc. provides education, resources, and national networking opportunities for its members to promote the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility. Walter Waters helped lead the Bonus Army as its members expanded from camps in a row of condemned buildings in downtown Washington into a well-organized, well-run shantytown (top) just across the Anacostia River from Capitol Hill.
They used the camps as a base for a series of peaceful, patriotic.