Born in 1891, Samuel Iredell “Si” Parker attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked summers at a ranch in Kansas where he learned the quick draw and how to shoot from the hip, a skill, Parker held, that saved his life many times.
The idea of permanent divisions percolated throughout the U.S. Army for at least twenty years prior to 1917. The basic formation for more than a century had been the single arm regiment. Temporary “divisions” had been formed in the Civil War and the Spanish-American War to consolidate commanders’ span of control and to combine infantry and field artillery. While the major European powers organized divisions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,