Following The Troops

More than 100 years ago a group of twenty black soldiers of the 25th Infantry based at Fort Missoula in Missoula, Montana, bicycled from Missoula to St. Louis, Missouri. Their 1900-mile, 40-day journey was undertaken to determine if the bicycle could serve a useful purpose in the military.

In 2010, Mike Higgins, a 48-year-old history teacher from Deaver, Wyoming retraced the soldiers’ route. “Twenty years ago I heard of the 25th Bicycle Corps through an article in a childrens magazine. About seven years ago I bean to wonder about the possibility of retracing the route they pedaled back in 1897. I began searching for anything that would give me information about their trip. The more I learned, the more fascinated I became. I decided to determine, as precisely as possible, when and where the Corps went. Much was known but there were gaps that I have tried to fill. Researching the route not only deepened my admiration for the soldiers who rode it but made me wonder – who were theyω What did they think and feel on this journeyω Precious little remains to help answer those questions so each new find feels like unearthing a little bit of treasure."

“Many would consider the story of the 25th nothing more than a curious footnote but to me it represents many things to care deeply about. I think the story deserves to be researched, pondered and remembered.”

Mike has gathered all he has learned about the 25th in an extensive website: