----- Original Message -----
From: Hines, Monte P MVR
To: 'JD Poss'
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2000 11:07 AM
Subject: Meaning and History of the Engineer Term
Meaning - "Let Us Try"
The Corps of Engineers' oldest and most time honored insignia is the exclusive
Essayons Button. It has not changed in basic design since the war of 1812.
It is still the required button for the Army Engineers' uniform.
Evidence which could establish the actual facts concerning the designing and
adoption of the Essayons Button probably burned at West Point in 1838, when
the building containing the library and earliest official Corps of Military
Academy records caught fire.
However, while early Army regulations mentioned the "button of Engineers...
with only the device and motto heretofore established", apparently no authoritative
detailed description of the button appeared until 1840. The Army prescribed
new uniforms on February 18, 1840, in General Orders 7, AGO, which officially
described the button as follows:
An eagle holding in his beak a scroll with the word, 'Essayons,' a bastion
with embrasures in the distance, surrounded by water, and rising sun; the figures
to be of dead gold upon a bright field."
In 1902, when the Army adopted "regulation" buttons, it allowed only the Corps
of Engineers to retain its own distinctive Essayons Button in recognition of
the distinguished traditions that it symbolized.Song:
THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
BRANCH SONG "ESSAYONS"
Essayons, sound out the battle cry
Essayons, we'll win or we'll die
Essayons, there's nothing we won't try
We're the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Pin the castle on my collar
I've done my training for the team
You can call me an engineer soldier
The warrior spirit has been my dream
We are builders, we are fighters
We are destroyers just as well
There've been doubters who met with the sappers
1 - We know our sappers will never fail
2 - And then we blew them all straight to hell
Our brothers fighting on the battlefield
Look to us to point the way
We get there first and then we take the risks
To build the roads and the air strips
And bridge the mighty river streams
We don't care who gets the glory
We're sure of one thing, this we know
Somewhere out there an engineer soldier
Designed the plan for the whole darn show
Essayons whether in war or peace
We will bear our red and our white
Essayons we serve America
And the U.S. Army Corps of engineers