|Scope & Content||
Roger Stanley Fitch was born in Buffalo, New York on July 31, 1877. His military career began in May, 1898, when he traveled from New York to San Antonio, Texas, to join Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Rider division as a private soldier. As a member of the Rough Riders, Fitch served in the Santiago Campaign during the Spanish-American War on the island of Cuba in 1898 and was later commissioned in the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Cavalry for his faithful service in the division. Subsequently, in 1901, Fitch was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1901, and to captain in 1908. He also served for three tours in the Philippine Islands and held various staff positions abroad. During World War I, he entered the conflict as a Captain of Cavalry, while at times holding the temporary rank of Colonel in France. In 1917, prior to the United States entering the war, Fitch was appointed to Chief of Staff for the 86th Division and traveled to the Western Front and observed the conditions of the fighting. A majority of his time seems to focus on the conditions and realities of warfare on the British, Belgian and French front lines, at Ypres, Hoogstade, and Avocourt (near Verdun) respectively. The report also informs American military commanders as to the nature for a nation to fight such a large-scale war. The observations culminated in the creation of a report given to Major General T.H. Barry, U.S. Army in January of 1918. In 1918 as well, Fitch was the Assistant Chief of Staff of the 89th Division in Argonne. He would soon after be appointed as Assistant Chief of Staff of the 7th Army Corps in Luxembourg and Germany until its disbandment in 1919. After returning from overseas, Fitch served on the War Department General Staff followed by appointments as the Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of war Plans and Training for the Ninth Corps and an instructor of the 40th division at San Francisco. In 1926, Fitch was permanently awarded the rank of Colonel and stood as the head of the Pans and Training Section in the Office of Cavalry in Washington, D.C. In 1928, he was appointed the Colonel of the 11th Cavalry and Commandant of the Presidio of Monterey. Fitch would retire from duty after two years of duty at the Presidio on October 31, 1930 at his own request after over 30 years of service. Following his retirement Fitch received a Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Government which championed his distinguished time of service. The attack on Pearl Harbor though would lead Colonel Fitch to return to active duty and acts at the commander of Fort Ord until his official retirement in 1943. Outside the realm of the armed services, Fitch was also an active of the Monterey, California community. He was dedicated in preserving the rich history of the Monterey area and educating the public on the area's vibrant past. He was a graduate of the Army Staff College and earned an honorary degree from the Infantry and Cavalry School. In addition, Fitch was an instructor in the Department of Military Art in the Army Service Schools for a span of five years. He died in 1955 at the age of 78. The exact manner he was preserved after death is unknown at this time.
Wheeler, Joseph. Santiago Campaign, 1898. Lamson, Wolfe, and Company: New York. Print.
Collection consists of 3 boxes. The collection contains the Fitch papers and focuses on the past Colonel.
Box 1 contains a memorandum for Colonel Fitch from 1928, "Defense of the Pacific Coast" essay and article, a history of Fort Ord, photographs regarding the conditions of the Presidio of Monterey, program for the annual football game against the Presidio and the American Legion, speeches, letters, and invitations, as well as a booklet about the Presidio of Monterey, overseas observations conducted by Fitch in the WWI era, a collection of letters addressed to the President regarding Fitch's request for promotion to 2nd lieutenant in 1898/1899, a lecture booklet, farewell addresses from particular generals, and papers found in a scrapbook for Colonel Fitch.
Box 2 contains the colonel's past awards, original correspondences, personnel records of the Presidio of Monterey and the Gigling Reservation from 1928-1930, misc. files, a French book about the French Army at Verdun during the First World War, Fort Ord Panorama clippings, correspondence about cavalry talks, misc. speeches, a picture of Fitch in uniform, Stewart E. White pictures, and a summary of cavalry employment circa 1914.
Box 3 contains original correspondences by Fitch, photos, memo card on the National Defense Act, a journal or possible scrapbook, personal speeches, extracts from Moltke's Correspondence (pertaining to War 1870-71), a booklet on Estimating Tactical Situations, a Study in Staff Supply, a history of the Army Service Schools, and various newspaper articles and copies of letters.
|Collection||Colonel Roger Fitch Collection|
|Extent of Description||3 Document Cases; 4.5 cu. ft|