The real Dwight D. Eisenhower graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1915, and he married Mary "Mamie" Doud in 1916. When "Dixie Double" Woodrow Wilson declared war on the Second Reich in March 1917, Dwight expected to put his military training to good use by serving in France.

The War Department denied him that opportunity and instead he was assigned to Camp Colt in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. While there he saw his first French made Renault tank and fell in love with it immediately!

Photo taken of Mamie Doud and
the real tall Dwight D. for their engagement, February 1916.

The short life of the real Dwight D. Eisenhower has all the makings of a Shakespearian tragedy.

After 4 years at West Point he was denied the opportunity to serve his country "over there."

For a minor infraction of the Army Regulations, the War Department exiled him to the Panama Canal Zone.

When his wife left with their baby son John, that was more than enough heartache for him to contemplate doing a Romeo and Juliet.


group photo of the Doud family. On the
left can be seen John Eisenhower, Mamie,
and the Dwight Double behind her.

You don't have to be an MIT graduate to solve the Eisenhower enigma . . . but it helps....The amount of books on "Eisenhower" is olympic, and the largest single volume biography contains almost 1,500 pages. Nobody is expected to read the massive tomes and expose the glaring omissions, inconsistencies, and contradictions by the authorized biographers!

There are 3 superstar generals in the New Jerusalem: George Washington, Douglas MacArthur, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. General Jackson did more fighting in 2 hours than General Washington did in 7 years. "Field Marshal" Douglas "Bugout Doug" MacArthur fled from the Philippines in a torpedo boat, and the real Dwight D. Eisenhower was buried in the Panama Canal.

The real Eisenhower’s ancestors were Pennsylvania Dutch. They came from the Rhineland, where the name was originally spelled Eisenhauer—literally iron hewer. They were religious dissenters, followers of Menno Simons, founder of the Mennonites, a persecuted sect in their German homeland. During the Thirty Years’ War, the Eisenhauers fled to Switzerland. In 1741 Hans Nicol Eisenhauer, together with his wife, their three sons, and a brother, sailed from Rotterdam on the Europa, bound for Philadelphia.

The real tall Dwight D. on his way
to West Point in 1911.

On October 14, 1890, the real Dwight D. was born in Denison, Texas, His father's name was David and his mother's name was Ida.

Originally, his name was David Dwight but his name was later changed to Dwight David because 2 Davids in the family was confusing.

In 1892, the family moved to Abilene, Kansas, which was named after the Biblical town of Abilene (Saint Luke 3:1).



The real Dwight D. (18901923)
the West Point Military Academy.

The state of Kansas is completely flat and was named after the Kanza tribe of the Sioux family. The real Dwight was a "jock" meaning his main reason for attending the West Point Military Academy was to play sports:

One of the reasons for going to West Point was the hope that I would continue an athletic career. It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance that I attached to participation in sports. We were given fixed hours for recreation. We went to the baseball field to work under the eyes of coaches and we did the same on the football field. Every moment I was allowed on the field I tried to take advantage of the opportunity. At that time my dimensions, as I recall, were five-feet eleven in height and 152 pounds in weight (Dwight the Double, At Ease. p, 7).

The real Dwight met his future bride while he was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The couple intended to marry in December 1916 but the date was advanced to July because it looked like war with Imperial Germany was imminent.

Hog heiress Mamie Doug
(18961979) at age 17.

On July 1, 1916, the real Dwight married Mary Geneva "Mamie" Doud.

The wedding took place in the bride's home at 750 Lafayette Street in Denver, Colorado.

Mamie Doud was a hog heiress because her wealthy father owned a company called Montgomery Live Hog Buyers.

The "Unsinkable Molly Brown," a survivor of RMS Olympic, was just one of the many rich and famous residents of Denver at that time.


Wedding portrait of the real Dwight
and Mamie, July 1, 1916.

The ancestorsof of the Doud family arrived in New England in 1639. That was shortly after New Boston was founding by John Winthrop. The Doude (Doud) family settled in the Connecticut colony and later moved to New York State.

In March 1917, "Dixie Double" Woodrow Wilson declared war on Queen Victoria's favorite grandson. After 4 years of training at West Point, the real Dwight expected to be sent to France as an officer commanding troops.

To his great disappointment he was assigned to training soldiers for overseas duty at Camp Colt in Gettysburg. Pennsylvania.

The real tall Dwight with a Renault tank at
Camp Colt, Gettysburg, June 1918.

While training soldiers at Camp Colt, Dwight saw his first French made Renault tank, and he fell in love with the machine immediately!

He knew it was a winning weapon and the key to success on the French battlefields!

The real Dwight with a Renault tank at
Fort Meade, Maryland, in 1919.

The "tank" was named by the Churchill double but the idea for a tracked vehicle came from Benjamin Holt's caterpillar tractor. The first British tank was a monster on tracts and totally impracticable and unreliable. It took the brainy French to develop the first practicable tank for the battlefield!

By not going overseas he missed a chance of becoming a real war heroes like "Wild Bill" Donovan, General MacArthur, and Harry S. Fakeman. It was a prodigious waste of money by the government for his 4 years at West Point.

"Little Ike" or "Ikky" Eisenhower

The real Dwight was training officers at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, when Mamie gave birth to a baby boy which she named Doud Dwight but almost immediately changed his name to "Little Ike" or "Ikky."

In June 1918, the real Dwight was placed in charge of Camp Colt in Pennsylvania, where he saw his first Renault tank and was enthralled.

However, the "War" Department still refused to send him to France.

Just before the armistice, Camp Colt was a very dangerous place because 175 soldiers died of "Spanish flu."


The real Dwight and Mamie
holding baby Ikky at Camp Colt.

To add to his disappointment at missing the "Great War," his son died of "scarlet fever" in January 1921. In the "most unkindest cut of all," the real Dwight was charged with embezzling money from the War Department by claiming a living allowance for his dead son:

It was shortly after the dinner with Connor that Ike ran foul of Army Regulations and the inspector general. Eisenhower was charged with improperly drawling a quarter allowance for Ikey during the period he was residing in Boone, Iowa, with Mamie's aunt. The 1921 Army was an army that looked after the nickels and dimes, and Ike had received $250.76 to which he was not entitled. Even more important, he had signed a false official statement—a hanging offense in the Regular Army. Eisenhower offered to repay the money but the War Department was adamant. (Smith, Eisenhower in War and Peace, pp. 62-63).

General Eli Hemick (1863–1945) was determined to court martial the real Major Eisenhower, but Colonel Connor Fox came to his rescue by offering him a chance to serve with him in the Panama Canal Zone.

Colonel Fox Connor (18741951)
in Clairmont, France.

Confederate Colonel Fox Connor saved the real Major Eisenhower from a court martial by offering him the chance of serving with him in Panama.

For that grave offense he was exiled to Panama with his young wife. While in Panama Mamie gave birth to another boy which they named John.

John was the sole surviving descendent of the real Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The real Dwight and Mamie en route
to the Panama Canal Zone.

That was a worse fate than a Russian exiled to Siberia by Ivan the Terrible Double. Here is a description of their accommodations from a granddaughter of the real Dwight:

Ike and Mamie were assigned to quarters next to General and Mrs. Connor in a two-story house. Built on stilts, it had been created by the French at the turn of the century. The house had been unoccupied for nearly a decade, and the jungle had all but reclaimed it. Thick vines wound around the wire screens and lattices that substituted for windowpanes. The porch, collapsing from damp and mildew, opened into the house itself, which was infested with lizards, spiders, cockroaches, and snakes. Their first night in Panama, Mamie remembered a rat gnawing on the leg of a nearby chair all night long. (Eisenhower, Mrs. Ike, pp. 76-77).

The Eisenhowers also had to contend with BATS which were imported by the French to consume the mosquitoes who spread yellow fever. It was illegal to kill bats so they would swarm out of the jungle at night and bombard the house!

Camp Gaillard and the nearby Panama Canal was
like the proverbial "dark side of the moon."

The by now "General" Connor told the real Dwight to expect another war within 20 years and to prepare for it by reading from his extensive collection of military tomes.

All the real Dwight wanted to do was return to the States and continue his love affair with the tank!

Finally, in early 1923, Mamie had had enough of the bats, rats, and snakes. She took baby John back to Denver, vowing never to return.


Mamie Eisenhower in Panama
on the right holding her
baby son John.

Here is a brief quote from the daughter of John Eisenhower:

When she left with John and Katherine, Ike begged her not to go but Mamie was adamant. His imploring words, she later admitted, stayed with her for the rest of her life. The trip to Denver had come at one of those defining moments that occur in every person's life, and from the vantage of 750 Lafayette Street she was able to take stock of her marriage and the life she had led for nearly eight years. (Eisenhower, p. 83).

Mamie realized that the Panama posting was a dead end for her husband. However, she did return in September 1923 but with her son John and a shrunken husband:

At this turning point in her life, Mamie was infused with a new sense of dedication. Once she had recommitted herself to her life with Ike, she was anxious to leave Denver at the earliest possible moment. With her return to Panama she threw all her efforts into keeping up with her husband and providing unstinting support. (Eisenhower, p. 84).

Obviously, that was not the Ike that was buried in the Panama Canal. The chance of 2 people from the same location having the exact same names is rare . . . but it does happen. President Joe Biden has the same name as the sent to "Purgatory" Senator Joe Biden from Delaware.

A shrunken Ike returned from Panama with Mamie and her son John

A shrunken Ike, Mamie, and her baby son John returned to the States in September 1924. Even Dwight the Double was bewildered by his many War Department assignments:

The War Department moves in mysterious ways its blunders to perform—this sentiment expresses my mood in the fall of 1924. Why, three months ahead of schedule, I was moved thousands of miles from Panama to the Chesapeake Bay to join three other officers in a football coaching assignment is still a cosmic top-secret wonder to me. Then as now, one guess is as good as another (Dwight the Double, At Ease, p. 196).

It does sound as corny as Kansas in August but an intellectual "Eisenhower" graduated from the War College in Fort Leavenworth. Kansas.

"Ike the Golfer," Mamie, and her son
John ready to tee off in Denver.

After his "return" from Panama, Dwight the Double discovered a passion for golf which never left him until he faded away in 1969.

As President, he triggered the Cold War because he was afraid that the "Soviets" would conquer the world and outlaw golf!

A virtual will-o'-the-wisp, he was sent to France in 1928, to work with the Battle Monuments Commission.


Dwight the Double at work on his guide
for the Battle Monuments Commission.

The real Dwight would never have gone to France to write a tourists guide to the battlefields because he was denied permission to serve his country "over there."

Mamie and Dwight the Double in
San Reno, Italy, August 1929.

After he finished his assignment for General Pershing in Paris, Dwight the Double, Mamie, and 2 friends spent the summer touring Europe.

On July 5, they left Paris for Italy. They covered 1,800 miles and visited 4 countries: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium.

As Allied commander-in-chief, Dwight the Double said that the trip helped him learn "European geography."


Mamie and Dwight the Double with
Bill and Helen Gruber on an
Alpine precipice.

He forgot his geography lessons because during Operation Torch he decided to invade Berlin vie North Africa. His geography lessons ended in early September when the party returned to Paris.

Dwight the Double, Mamie, and her son John sailed on the Leviathan; arriving back in Washington City in late September 1929. Just a month later the Stock Market crashed, leading to the finacial and political chaos of the Great Depression.

Vital Links


Ambrose, Stephen E. Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 18901952. Simon & Schuster, New York 1983.

Eisenhower, Susan. Mrs. Ike: Memories and Reflections on the Life of Mamie Eisenhower. Ferrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1996.

Eisenhower. Dwight the Double. At Ease. Doubleday & Company, New York, 1967.

Korda, Michael. Ike The American Hero. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2007.

Manchester, William. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur, 18801964. Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2008..

Miller, Merle. Ike the Soldier, RosettaBooks. 2018. (Massive Kindle Edition).

Smith, Jean Edward. Eisenhower in War and Peace. Random House, New York, 2012.

Copyright © 2024 by Patrick Scrivener