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First Blood & The End Of An Army

2 November 1783- Upon the end of the Revolutionary War and America gained its independence, the Continental Army was reduced in size. General George Washington would put forth plans for a peace time army, comprised of a small regular army, a well trained militia, a system of arsenals and a training academy for officers and engineers. With the reduction in force approved by Congress, Washington would on this day issue his “Farewell Orders issued to the Armies of the United States of America” nationwide to all the Soldiers being furloughed by the reduction of forces.He would soon after say his farewells to the small group of remaining Officers in the reduced army and on 23 December would formally resign his commission as Commander in Chief.

3 November 1917- The US 1st Division would take part in their final stages of training with the French Army during WW1 after their arrival to Europe. On Infantry and Artillery Battalion from each Regiment would accompany a French Regiment to the front lines for 10 days. American forces holding a section of the line at Artois would be the first Americans to face direct combat in WW1. During the first morning they were on the line, a German raid would hit their lines. Three Americans would be killed with a further 16 being captured by the Germans. Soon after American Officers would inspect the unit and find it had preformed well in the face of attack. 4.7 million Americans would follow the 1st Division in France during the war, with 116,516 dying during their time in France. Over 63,000 of those deaths would come as a result of sickness and disease, the Spanish Flu taking many of those.

5 November 1970- The US Military Assistance Command in Vietnam would report the lowest weekly death toll of American troops in five years. 24 Americans would die during the last week, the fifth consecutive week the death toll would be under 50. Though the death toll was low, 431 Americans were still injured during the time period. Most injuries would come from mines, booby traps, mortar fire and snipers. The low death toll was a reflection of the gradual transfer of combat responsibilities to the South Vietnamese forces and America took a more defensive role in the war. During the course of the war over 58,000 Americans would die in Vietnam, their names forever inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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