Dennis Michie – Captain, United States Army

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During the battle of Santiago, Captain Michie led a patrol along San Juan River. He had organized his men for an assault on a hill when he was killed by a Spanish bullet on July 1, 1898. Michie was 28 years old at the time of his death, but he has never been forgotten for his efforts in establishing football at West Point.

The first Army-Navy game was played in 1890 at the instigation of West Point Cadet Dennis Michie ('92). It seems that West Point had never fielded a football team before, but Cadet Michie was sure that if Navy challenged Army to a game, the Military Academy would come up with a team. So Cadet Michie got some friends at the Naval Academy to issue the challenge, and a
tradition was born. Played on a frozen field at West Point, the inaugural game was won by Navy 24-0.

Michie, who was born at West Point and whose name now graces the football stadium there, died less than two months later. On July 1, 1898, Captain Michie, commanding the 16th and 6th Infantry regiments, was killed in the battle for Santiago on Cuba.

Interestingly, after graduating from West Point, Michie initially served with the 17th U.S. Infantry Regiment, veterans of which founded the VFW forerunner group in Columbus, Ohio in 1899.

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Photo Courtesy of the United States Military Academy

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