The Harvard Regiment engaged in its first field problem on Sunday, May 7. Promptly at 1.45 o'clock, the Regiment started on its way to Belmont, preceded by a covering detachment known as an Advance Guard, which was the first phase of the field exercises. Motorcyclist messengers were speeding back and forth between the Advance Guard and the Main Body, carrying messages and keeping the commanding officer informed of the result of the reconnaissances made.
When the head of the Main Body reached the railroad crossing at Concord avenue, near Bay State road, Col. Cordier received information that hostile patrols had been sighted in the vicinity of Spy Pond. He immediately notified the Commanding Officer of the Advance Guard of this information, and the latter at once despatched an officer's patrol to reconnoitre in that direction. This occasioned a short halt of the column, but within fifteen minutes a motor-cyclist arrived with a message from the front stating that the hostile patrols had been repulsed and that the progress of the command need not be further delayed. Throughout the advance messages were sent back and forth from head to rear of the column and the cyclists and mounted orderlies, as well as the officers in command of the various sub-divisions, had ample opportunity to make use of the knowledge which had been imparted to them in the training of the Regiment.
Upon reaching Belmont the situation changed, and the Regiment deployed across the hills to the north of Belmont, taking up an intrenched position commanding Arlington Heights.
The third phase was a withdrawal to intrenched lines at Cambridge, where the 1st Brown Brigade, of which the Harvard Regiment formed a part, was to make its stand against the advancing White forces. The General Situation, the Special Situation and the Field Orders issued, follow:
The United States (Brown) and a Foreign Power (White) are at war. A White army landed at Newburyport on May 1, and now occupies Essex and Middlesex Counties, as far as the line of Lowell-North Billerica-Wilmington-Reading-Wakefield-Saugus-Lynn-Swampscott. A Brown field army, less one division, is encamped at Dedham. The division, less one brigade, is occupying Boston. The First Brigade, Third Division, First Field Army, Brown, is encamped at Cambridge.
Special Situation. Brown.
At 1 o'clock, May 7, Brigadier-General X., commanding the 1st Brigade at Cambridge, receives the following message: 1st Brown Division, Boston, Mass., 7 May, '16. 12.30 P. M.
To C. O., 1st Brown Brigade, Cambridge:
1. Our aviators report large force of White infantry moving from North Billerica over South Billerica-Bedford road, in direction of Lexington.
2. You will order a reconnaissance in the direction of Arlington Heights and Waltham.
3. The 2d Brigade will march from Boston to Cambridge, and the 3d Brigade will remain in camp at Boston.
4. I will occupy the 2d Brigade. A--- Major-General.
General B--, commanding the 1st Brown Brigade, then issues the following order:
Field Orders, No. 1. Headquarters, 1st Brigade, Cambridge, Mass., 7 May, '16, 1.00 P. M.