#121 When the Civil War Came to Our Backyard

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy, Military Milestones

On October 19, 1864—the same day Norwich alumnus Major General Horatio Wright played a key role in the tide-turning victory against the Confederate Army at Cedar Creek—Norwich University cadets and faculty set out to defend the U.S.-Canada border in what became the northernmost conflict of the Civil War. Six hundred miles north of the raging battle at Cedar Creek, Va., …

#119 Henry Hancock, Class of 1843, Surveyed Los Angeles and Owned the La Brea Tar Pits

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Henry Hancock was a native of Bath, N.H. who, before enrolling at Norwich University, attended Newbury Methodist Seminary in Newbury, Vt. This makes him a “double graduate” of Norwich. Newbury Methodist Seminary later moved to Montpelier, where it became Montpelier Seminary and then Vermont College, which merged with Norwich University in 1972. Hancock attended Norwich around the turbulent time of …

#118 Edwin Ferry Johnson Helped Engineer the American Landscape

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Edwin Ferry Johnson was a native Vermonter and the son of a prominent civil engineer; his father was surveyor-general of Vermont for many years. In early life, Johnson learned the skill of surveying as an apprentice to his father. In 1818, at age 15, he assisted his father when he participated in the great Northeast Boundary Survey of the U.S.-Canada …

#110 – Major General Seth Williams, Class of 1903, Helped Shape the Modern Marine Corps

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

By Gary Appleby ‘90 On April 1, 1917, only five days before formally entering the war, the Commandant of the Marine Corps appointed a three-man board to “recommend a site in the Washington area for a temporary training camp and maneuver field for the Marine Corps.” America was preparing to enter the war and needed freshly trained Marines, a place …

#107 Brigadier General Charles Coolidge, Class of 1863, Served in Five Major Conflicts

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Brigadier General Charles Coolidge was a native of Boston, Massachusetts and a descendent of Revolutionary War patriots. He attended Norwich University from 1859 to 1861 before enlisting in the 16th U.S. Infantry as a humble private. This would be the first of five major conflicts in which Coolidge would serve his country: the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American …

#105 Edward Hale Brooks, Class of 1916, Led the “Hell On Wheels” Division on Omaha Beach

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Edward Hale Brooks was one of three Norwich men to command the 2nd Armored Division during World War II. He led the so-called “Hell On Wheels” division into action at Omaha Beach and received numerous military decorations including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Distinguished Service Medal. Brooks was a native of Concord, New Hampshire. He graduated from Norwich in …

#102 Aviation Pioneer Porter Adams Brought His Vision to Norwich

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Porter Hartwell Adams was born in Quincy, Mass. He was rumored to be descended from U.S. Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. He was one of the first students to study aeronautical engineering at M.I.T., where as a laboratory assistant he helped build the first wind tunnel at an educational institution. After graduating from M.I.T., Adams and a classmate, …

#97 Mike Thomas Brown, From Rehabilitation to World Champion

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

It’s called mixed martial arts, although people unfamiliar with one of the world’s fastest-growing sports might view it as mayhem. It’s a fast, intense combat sport, and many call it brutal. Mike Brown is one if its stars, winning the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) featherweight title in November 2008 in a first-round knockout over defending champion Urijah Faber. A native …

#96 Colonel Frank Tompkins Led Norwich’s Cavalry Charge

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Frank Tompkins was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a Civil War general who commanded the 1st Vermont Cavalry. His 32 years of service with the U.S. Army included stations in Cuba, the Philippines, Mexico and France. He became well-known for his pursuit of Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa during the Mexican Revolution. Tompkins’ men helped beat back Villa’s …