'Following The Lieutenant' Tells The Story Of The Army's Experiment With Bicycles

Sep 13, 2018

The Buffalo Soldiers of the Bicycle Corps.
Credit Eric Westrom

In 1897, the U.S. Army wanted to see if bicycles might serve a practical purpose for soldiers. To test the mettle of both the bike and the rider, a trek was organized from Missoula to St. Louis. Lieutenant James Moss led a platoon of Buffalo Soldiers through the wilderness and today, Idaho filmmaker Eric Westrom captures the journey in the documentary Following the Lieutenant: Buffalo Soldiers of the Bicycle Corps. Westrom joins Idaho Matters to talk about the expedition and making the film.

Eric and his actors have been filming parts of the documentary all over Idaho. For Eric, the film has been a labor of love, from the research into the history, to the careful choosing of period clothing and bicycles for the film. You can watch some of the video that Eric has shot so far for the film right here: