The Bonus Army was not actually and army. It was a group of picketers (protestors). The picketers consisted mostly of World War I veterans and their families. Congress had voted them a bonus for their war service in 1924 (thus the name Bonus Army). Since this was during the Great Depression, the WWI veterans needed their bonuses quickly. However, thousands of these people (said to have been 20,000) were going to get their bonus years from then. It was like being promised something but not being given what they were promised. The Bonus Army set up a Hooverville (shantytown) in the U.S. Capitol lawn in 1932. They were protesting for their bonuses, when President Hoover sent the U.S. Army to clear them out. At first, the Bonus Army believed that the army was there for them. They cheered and waved their American Flags. Despite their expectations, the army came with tear gas, guns, and bayonets. They were not there to help the Bonus Army. As a result, many people were injured and hurt, and an infant died. The Bonus Army was no more, their Hooverville was torn down, and billy clubs were used on the resistant people. President Hoover claimed he had rescued the country from mob action; while Americans were disappointed and hung their heads in shame.
They wanted the government to give WWI veterans a $1,000 bonus.
In 1924, a grateful Congress voted to give a bonus to World War I veterans - $1.25 for each day served overseas, $1.00 for each day served in the States. The catch was that payment would not be made until 1945. Members of the Bonus Army encamp within sight of the Capitol, 1932 However, by 1932 the nation had slipped into the dark days of the Depression and the unemployed veterans wanted their money immediately. In May of that year, some 15,000 veterans, many unemployed and destitute, descended on Washington, D.C. to demand immediate payment of their bonus. They proclaimed themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force but the public dubbed them the "Bonus Army." Raising ramshackle camps at various places around the city, they waited. The veterans made their largest camp at Anacostia Flats across the river from the Capitol. Approximately 10,000 veterans, women and children lived in the shelters built from materials dragged out of a junk pile nearby - old lumber, packing boxes and scrap tin covered with roofs of thatched straw. Discipline in the camp was good, despite the fears of many city residents who spread unfounded "Red Scare" rumors. Streets were laid out, latrines dug, and formations held daily. Newcomers were required to register and prove they were bonafide veterans who had been honorably discharged. Their leader, Walter Waters, stated, "We're here for the duration and we're not going to starve. We're going to keep ourselves a simon-pure veteran's organization. If the Bonus is paid it will relieve to a large extent the deplorable economic condition." June 17 was described by a local newspaper as "the tensest day in the capital since the war." The Senate was voting on the bill already passed by the House to immediately give the vets their bonus money. By dusk, 10,000 marchers crowded the Capitol grounds expectantly awaiting the outcome. Walter Waters, leader of the Bonus Expeditionary Force, appeared with bad news. The Senate had defeated the bill by a vote of 62 to 18. The crowd reacted with stunned silence. "Sing America and go back to your billets" he commanded, and they did. A silent "Death March" began in front of the Capitol and lasted until July 17, when Congress adjourned. A month later, on July 28, Attorney General Mitchell ordered the evacuation of the veterans from all government property, Entrusted with the job, the Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two marchers killed. Learning of the shooting at lunch, President Hoover ordered the army to clear out the veterans. Infantry Troops prepare to evacuate the Bonus Army July 28, 1932 and cavalry supported by six tanks were dispatched with Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur in command. Major Dwight D. Eisenhower served as his liaison with Washington police and Major George Patton led the cavalry. By 4:45 P.M. the troops were massed on Pennsylvania Ave. below the Capitol. Thousands of Civil Service employees spilled out of work and lined the streets to watch. The veterans, assuming the military display was in their honor, cheered. Suddenly Patton's troopers turned and charged. "Shame, Shame" the spectators cried. Soldiers with fixed bayonets followed, hurling tear gas into the crowd. By nightfall the BEF had retreated across the Anacostia River where Hoover ordered MacArthur to stop. Ignoring the command, the general led his infantry to the main camp. By early morning the 10,000 inhabitants were routed and the camp in flames. Two babies died and nearby hospitals overwhelmed with casualties. Eisenhower later wrote, "the whole scene was pitiful. The veterans were ragged, ill-fed, and felt themselves badly abused. To suddenly see the whole encampment going up in flames just added to the pity." References: Bartlett, John Henry, The Bonus March and the New Deal (1937); Daniels, Roger, The Bonus March; an Episode of the Great Depression (1971).
a bonus question
The Bonus Army wanted their military bonus early.
how was the veterans bonus army treated
because it was an army that gave the other army a bonus.....................................................hope it helps
Bonus Army happened on 1932-07-28.
Why did the Bonus Army march on Washington, D.C.?
They were nicknamed The Bonus Army
Why did the Bonus Army march on Washington, D.C.?
New Fourth Army incident happened on 1941-01-07.
General MacArthur commanded the infantry and Calvary to drive the Bonus marchers out of the capital. The belongings and shelters of the Bonus Army were burned.
The cast of The March of the Bonus Army - 2006 includes: Gary Sinise as Narrator