America’s First Division 90 years ago

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,