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An Army of the 


The Constitution of an Effective Force 
of Trained Citizens 


John McAuley Palmer 

Major 24th Infantry, U. S. Army; Graduate, U. S. 
Military Academy, West Point, 1892 ; Honor Gradu- 
ate, Army School of the Line, 1909 ; Graduate, 
Army Staff College, 1910 ; Member of the 
General Staff Corps, 1911-1912 

G. P. Putnam's Sons 

New York and London 

Gbe fmtcfterbocfter press 



s %^>y3. '&<* 

FEB 211917^ 


Copyright, 1916 




Ubc ftnfcftcrbocfter prcM, Hew Dork 



"We must depend in every time of national 
peril, in the future as in the past, not upon a 
standing army, nor yet upon a reserve army, but 
upon a citizenry trained and accustomed to 
arms. It will be right enough, right American 
policy based upon our accustomed principles 
and practices, to provide a system by which 
every citizen who will volunteer for the training 
may be made familiar with the use of modern 
arms, the rudiments of drill and maneuver, and 
the maintenance and sanitation of camps. We 
should encourage such training and make it a 
means of discipline which our young men will 
learn to value." 

(From the President's Message, 
December 8th, 19 14.) 


In this little book I have attempted to give 
a detailed description of a National Military 
System for the United States. I trust that 
this Military System will be found to meet the 
requirements of adequate military strength, 
under forms that are in full harmony with 
American political traditions and ideals. 

In order to avoid a monotonous treatment 
of the many details of military organization 
in the form of a technical prospectus, I have 
attempted to present a graphic picture of the 
completed structure. For this purpose I 
have adopted the fiction that Congress is to 
pass The National Defense Act in the near 
future, and that I am simply writing a popu- 
lar history of the American Army of the People 
as it stands complete a few years later. 

The Author. 

Port Mills, Corregidor, P. I. 
February io, 1915 '. 




I. — Public Opinion and the Na- 
tional Defense i 

II. — The Swiss Military System . 6 

III. — The American System . . 13 

IV. — The Great Enrollment . . 20 

V. — The Call for Officers . . 34 

VI. — The War Department at Work 46 

VII. — The Volunteer Army — Gen- 
eral Orders No. 1 . . 57 

VIII. — Among the Volunteers — Ex- 
tracts from Lieutenant 
Burr's Diary ... 62 

IX. — Preparing for Camp — Lieuten- 
ant Burr's Diary Continued . 74 

X. — The Volunteers in Camp — Fur- 
ther Extracts from Lieuten- 
ant Burr's Diary . . 84 

XI. — The Results of the First Sum- 
mer — Some Secrets of Success 108 


x Contents 


XII. — The Winter's Work and the 
New Enrollment — The Final 
Organization . . .123 

XIII. — The National Volunteer Army 

To-day (192 i) . . . 137 

XIV. — At Last — An American Mili- 
tary Policy . . . 147 

An Army of the People 


An Army of the People 



The American National Defense Act received 
the President's approval on the 16th day of 
February, 1916. Considering the revolution- 
ary character of this great piece of construc- 
tive legislation, it is still astonishing that so 
elaborate a system should occupy the atten- 
tion of Congress for little more than five 

The advocates of an effective National 
Military System expected a long period of 
preliminary agitation with a gradual develop- 
ment of public opinion. But when a few 
courageous leaders frankly presented the 


2 An Army of the People 

issue of National Security to the common- 
sense of the people, the response was over- 
whelming and immediate. This condition 
of the public mind materially simplified the 
legislative problem. That our military insti- 
tutions were antiquated, expensive and in- 
adequate, was the general consensus of public 
opinion. That the public intelligence de- 
manded a sound, sufficient, and businesslike 
solution of the problem of National Defense 
was equally apparent. Under these circum- 
stances it was only necessary for Congress 
to crystallize the public will into the form of 


It thus happened that before the military 
committees began to write the provisions of 
the National Defense Bill, certain general 
guiding principles had come to be universally 
accepted. These may be stated briefly as 
follows : 

I. Our military system should be based 
on the idea of meeting national require- 
ments in a great war. In such a con- 

National Defense Problem 3 

tingency, raw levies organized after the 
outbreak of war would be hopelessly 
ineffective no matter how numerous they 
might be. Improvised forces of volun- 
teers such as were employed in the Civil 
War are, therefore, excluded from con- 

2. A sufficient force should be trained 
and organized in time of peace to assure 
victory at the outbreak of war. 

3. The exact strength of this force was 
variously estimated, but the general 
public sentiment was frequently ex- 
pressed in the saying: "In a great war 
we should be able to mobilize an army 
of a million men." 

4. To expand the existing professional 
regular army into a force of such dimen- 
sions was universally accepted to be both 
impracticable and undesirable. 

5. Public sentiment still adhered to a 
national war army composed principally 
of non-professional citizen soldiers, but 
it was universally accepted that this 

An Army of the People 

army must be trained and organized in 
time of peace. 

6. It was generally conceded that the 
peace training of the War Army should 
be under a uniform national control; 
that the Constitution makes the Federal 
Government the national war-making 
power, and that efficiency demands that 
the war-making power must also be the 
war-preparing power; that the prepara- 
tion of a force for war includes training 
it, disciplining it, and providing it with 
competent officers of adequate training; 
that as the Federal Government is spe- 
cifically denied these essential powers 
with reference to the Militia, it follows 
that no body of citizen soldiers having 
the constitutional status of militia can be 
welded into an effective fighting team for 
war purposes under modern conditions. 

7. It was therefore the consensus of opin- 
ion that our main reliance in war should 
be a national force of citizen soldiers 
organized and trained in peace under 

National Defense Problem 5 

the constitutional power "to raise and 
support armies"; that the officers and 
enlisted men of the organized militia 
should be encouraged to transfer to the 
new national force and should thereby 
become its nucleus and leaven of train- 
ing and efficiency. It was a notable 
fact that this view was accepted by a 
large number of the more intelligent 
officers of the Organized Militia who, 
through their experience, had come to 
see the hopelessness of attempting to 
combine the functions of a State con- 
stabulary and a national war force under 
the same organization. 



The solution of the problem of National 
Defense was materially advanced by the 
general acceptance of the idea of a great 
national army of trained citizenry. But 
there was still much difference of opinion 
with reference to the details of organization. 
Among the first concrete propositions to 
attract the public mind was the suggestion 
that we should organize a force like the 
National Army of Switzerland. 

Under the Swiss system all able-bodied 
young men are required to undergo a short 
but thorough course of military training. 
In every canton, summer camps of military 
instruction are established, and every young 
Swiss is required to attend one of these camps 
after he leaves school and before he enters 


The Swiss Military System 7 

business life. Here he is thoroughly trained 
by expert military instructors furnished by 
the Federal Government. At the conclusion 
of the summer camp of instruction, the 
trained recruits of the year are absorbed into 
the National Field Army and attend ma- 
neuvers with their fellow citizen-soldiers who 
have already received their recruit training 
in preceding summers. Thus each young 
Swiss gives one full summer to recruit train- 
ing, and after that he is mobilized with the 
National Field Army for a short maneuver 
period each year. After several years' ser- 
vice with the Field Army, he passes to the 
Reserve and his active military training is 
concluded unless he qualifies for further 
service as an officer or non-commissioned 
officer. It thus appears that in Switzerland 
a trained and completely organized army is 
ready at any time to spring from the body 
of the people, and yet in time of peace this 
great war force is only embodied as an actual 
military force for a short period of about two 
weeks at the end of the summer. For two 

8 An Army of the People 

or three months before the annual mobiliza- 
tion, the recruits of the year are receiving 
their initial training. During the rest of the 
year, all of the army is absorbed in the mass 
of the people, and engaged in the pursuits 
of peace, except a small corps of trained 
officers and non-commissioned officers who 
constitute the permanent staff required to 
provide for the enrollment, training, supply, 
and mobilization of the war force. 

The benefits of such a system, both to the 
nation and the individual, are apparent. 
From the standpoint of economy, nothing 
could be more satisfactory. Such an army 
requires no barracks or quarters or perma- 
nent military posts. When it assembles, it 
assembles in the field, and knows no life 
except the real soldier's life in the open air. 
Practically all of the money expended upon 
it goes for arms and ammunition and neces- 
sary clothing and equipment. Practically no 
money goes for unproductive supplies or 
plant. Considering the entire force, it is a 
charge upon the nation for only two weeks 

The Swiss Military System 9 

in the year. For the remaining fifty weeks, 
it is practically non-existent as a financial 
burden. And yet it is embodied long enough 
to give a substantial return in military power. 
Its recruits are thoroughly trained to march 
and shoot and live in the open. Its mobili- 
zation plans each year receive the practical 
test of concentration for maneuvers. Its 
fighting organizations actually exist and 
function in peace, and are in the field long 
enough each year to test the troop-leading 
abilities of the higher commanders and their 

Such a military system is equally well 
adapted to the requirements of industrial 
life. It concentrates the training of the 
individual citizen into a period where his 
economic value is a minimum. It does not 
divert the schoolboy from his studies, nor 
the business man from his occupation, for 
the recruit period of intensive military train- 
ing comes in a summer vacation that natu- 
rally marks the interval between school and 
business life. And even the subsequent 

io An Army of the People 

summers on the active list, though they de- 
mand a short maneuver period, are passed 
before the citizen is absorbed in the cares and 
responsibilities of industrial and family life. 
Indeed while the system takes little or noth- 
ing from the productive period of the citizen's 
life, it adds enormously to his industrial and 
civic value, for after his military training he 
goes into business with better conceptions 
f of discipline, organization, and civic respon- 
sibility, and a stronger and more vigorous 

In short, the Swiss system tends to pro- 
duce the maximum number of trained soldiers 
in war with the minimum number of profes- 
sional soldiers in peace. For while the Swiss 
Army comprises all of the young manhood 
of the nation, the permanent peace estab- 
lishment in Switzerland is limited to the 
small corps of specially trained experts who 
4 are necessary to maintain the machinery for 
training, organization, and mobilization. 

It was not surprising that popular interest 
in the Swiss military system should soon 

The Swiss Military System n 

crystallize into proposals for a definite na- 
tional policy. Early in the history of the 
discussion an American adaptation of the 
Swiss system was thus outlined in the edito- 
rialcolumns of one of our greatest newspapers : 

"Let us give all of our able-bodied young 
men a short but thorough military training 
like that given to the young men of the Swiss 
Republic. For this purpose let us organize 
a summer camp of military instruction in 
every congressional district. Let us employ 
the best officers and non-commissioned officers 
of the regular army as instructors in these 
schools and thus transmit the best traditions 
of West Point and the army to the great war 
host of citizen soldiers. Let us then organize 
our trained youth into divisions and field 
armies under uniform and definite National 
control and let us count on this mighty force 
as our main defense in war, our main insur- 
ance of peace. 

"This being the National War Army, we 
may then safely restrict the regular army to 

12 An Army of the People 

those military functions which are exclu- 
sively appropriate for professional soldiers. 
The regular army will still be required to 
garrison our outlying possessions and to de- 
fend great naval bases like Panama and Pearl 
Harbor from sudden attack. Sufficient re- 
serves of regulars will also be required for 
expeditionary forces in small wars, for tem- 
porary occupations of foreign territory, and 
for other sudden emergencies. And further, 
as suggested above, the professional military 
expert in the regular army will find a new, 
and indeed his greatest, field of usefulness in 
training and organizing the great war army 
of citizen soldiers." 




The economical and political advantages of 
the Swiss military system are so great that it 
is not surprising that the first concrete de- 
mand for an American National Army should 
take the form of a proposition to adopt the 
Swiss model in toto. But practical men 
hesitated before espousing the cause of uni- 
versal military service. They conceded that 
universal manhood service is the cheapest, 
fairest, and most democratic method of dis- 
tributing the burden of military preparation. 
They were ready to admit that universal 
military training would carry with it univer- 
sal educational advantages for civic and in- 
dustrial good in peace as well as for efficiency 
in war. But they did not believe that 

the American people were ready for conscrip- 


14 An Army of the People 

tion. And they were justified in their esti- 
mate of the situation. For the discussion of 
the Swiss military system bade fair to de- 
generate into a fruitless discussion of compul- 
sory service. The average man was prepared 
to admit the need of a better military estab- 
lishment, but when the Swiss model was 
mentioned he thought only of the compulsory 
service feature and rejected the whole idea 
because he rejected conscription. It was 
true that compulsory service might be good 
for the people, but it was equally true that 
the people did not want it. Under these 
circumstances the agitation for the Swiss 
model soon encountered serious difficulties. 
Its many advantages were recognized, but 
no practical politician could run the risk of 
proposing what was virtually a draft act in 
time of peace. 

At this stage of the discussion, Senator 
Straightedge made his remarkable speech 
on our military policy, from which we quote 
the following illuminating passages : 

"Mr. President," said the Senator, "I do 

The American System 15 

not profess to be a military expert. But I 
am a man of business and I believe that many 
questions of military policy can be approached 
to advantage from a common-sense business 
standpoint. I believe that we need an army 
or we do not need it. If we do not need it, 
the existing force should be abolished and not 
another cent expended upon it. If we do 
need an army we should make it sufficient 
in strength and effective in equipment and 
training, and it should be conducted on sound 
business principles. To continue to main- 
tain it ineffectively organized and at a notori- 
ously inadequate strength, to my mind, is 
incomprehensibly absurd. 

"I have been very much impressed by the 
economical and democratic military system 
developed by our sister republic in the Alps. 
I find many things in her solution of the 
military problem that seem worthy of study 
by us. But of late, when the Swiss National 
Army is mentioned, I find it condemned 
because the phrase ' Swiss System ' has come 
to be taken as a synonym for conscription. 

16 An Army of the People 

"Mr. President, I have recently taken 
pains to make a study of the Swiss National 
Army, and I find that conscription is not at 
all its essential feature. Indeed I am con- 
& vinced that it would be possible for us to 

adopt all of the virtues of the Helvetian 
National Army without adopting the prin- 
ciple of conscription at all. The real char- 
acteristic of the Swiss System lies in its 
facilities for military training in summer 
camps of instruction. The effect of the law 
of compulsory service is simply to insure 
the maximum number of students. If they 
maintained their training system and did 
not have conscription, they would still have 
the material for a national army precisely 
the same in kind. It would simply be 
smaller. Now Switzerland, from her insecure 
position amid the great warlike nations of 
Europe, must have the greatest possible mili- 
tary force. She must have the maximum 
number of students in her summer military 
schools and therefore, through the law of 
compulsory service, she takes all of the able- 

The American System 17 

bodied young men in the country. In other 
words, conscription is not a part of her system 
of training or of organization, it is simply the 
necessary means of securing the maximum 
enrollment. If she should abolish conscrip- 
tion, her military forces would still be the 
same in kind. They would simply be smaller. 
"Now suppose we had adopted the Swiss 
System years ago, and that at the same 
time we had adopted the principle of uni- 
versal service. Our population is so much 
greater than Switzerland's that we would 
now have a first line of army of more 
than five million men, or a war force, in- 
cluding reserves, of more than eight million 
men. We do not need such an enormous 
force, therefore we do not need the device 
which Switzerland employs in order to draw 
an adequate military force from her meager 
population. It is not necessary for us to 
compel the attendance of every young man. 
If we should train only one in every eight 
under the Swiss system we would have a 
first line army of nearly seven hundred thou- 

1 8 An Army of the People 

sand and a trained war establishment of more 
than a million men. If we should adopt the 
principle of universal service and at the same 
time limit the strength of our military forces 
to our reasonable needs, we would be in the 
singular position of enrolling all of our young 
men, only to discharge seven out of every 
eight before commencing the season's train- 
ing. In short, Mr. President, compulsory 
military service is a necessary part of the 
Swiss Military System as applied to Swiss 
conditions, but it is not a necessary part of 
that system as applied to conditions in the 
United States. 

"Mr. President, the rational application 
of the Swiss System to American conditions 
is not a conscript army at all. It is simply 
the logical development of our traditional 
army of volunteers. Let us give our young 
men a chance to volunteer for training in 
peace. Let us provide adequate facilities 
for such training in every part of the land. 
Let us organize the young men so trained in 
military units that can be speedily mobilized 

The American System 19 

in wax, and let us rely upon this great organ- 
ized host of citizen soldiers to defend our 
national interests. It is my conviction that 
the youth of America will respond to this 
call. They ask you only for the opportunity. 
If they are not ready now, it is for lack of 
that opportunity. I believe that enough 
and more than enough will join the standard. 
And until you have demonstrated that they 
will not come there can be no practical argu- 
ment for conscription." 

This logical development of our traditional 
national army of volunteers to meet the re- 
quirements of modern war became the central 
idea of the National Defense Act. The law 
was approved by the President on February 
1 6th, and on February 22d he issued his pro- 
clamation extending the privileges of free 
military instruction to all of the young men 
in the United States. 



The President's proclamation received the 
widest possible publicity through the press 
of the country, but it was also published 
formally, as prescribed in the statute itself, 
by being posted in all of the post-offices in 
the land. 

The Proclamation contained the full text 
of the Act of Congress with the Special Regu- 
lations prescribed by the President govern- 
ing applications for attendance at the camps 
of military instruction to be established dur- 
ing the coming summer. It was announced 
that one or more such camps would be estab- 
lished in each State, the number to depend 
upon the total enrollment and the distribu- 
tion of applicants in each State. 

Applicants were advised that blank forms 


The Great Enrollment 21 

and descriptive lists could be obtained from 
the Postmaster to be filled in and signed by 
the applicant and returned to the Postmaster 
not later than April 1st, for transmission 
through the Post Office Department to the 
proper military authorities. These blank 
forms were accompanied by a prospectus or 
circular giving full information as to the 
objects of the proposed summer camp, its 
courses of instruction in general terms, and 
the proposed formation of the graduates of 
the school into a field army of volunteers. 
The prospectus described the duties and 
characteristics of the several branches of the 
military service and encouraged the applicant 
to express a preference for that arm which 
most attracted him, or for which he was espe- * 
cially qualified by aptitude or training. It 
also recited the provisions of the law which 
embodied the general principle that all nec- 
essary expenses for transportation, shelter, * 
subsistence, clothing, and equipment incurred 
in attendance at the summer schools, or in 
connection with any of the duties imposed 

22 An Army of the People 

upon officers or enlisted men of the volunteer 
forces, would be met by the United States. 

As these circulars gave to the individual 
applicant all of the information necessary for 
him in making his decision, so the blank form 
or descriptive list furnished him by the Post- 
master enabled him to give the military 
authorities all of the personal information 
necessary to enable them to enroll, clothe, 
and equip him in the summer camps, and sub- 
sequently in the National Volunteer Army. 
The blank form was filled in and signed by the 
applicant and attested by two taxpayers of 
his neighborhood who vouched for the general 
accuracy of the applicant's entries and also 
for certain general information relative to 
his character and history. In the case of a 
minor applicant the signature of the consent- 
ing parent or guardian was also entered. 
The entire document was concluded with an 
affirmation of obligation to serve the United 
States in the event of any war which might 
occur within three years, after the conclusion 
of the summer camps. 

The Great Enrollment 23 

A special form was prepared for applicants 
for service in the cavalry, field artillery, and 
other branches of the mounted service. 
Under the terms of the National Defense Act, 
special inducements were offered to young 
horsemen who were able to provide themselves 
with horses suitable for cavalry or artillery. 
In the case of such volunteers, the Govern- 
ment engaged itself to transport their private 
mounts to and from thecamps and maneuvers, 
to purchase them at a stipulated valuation 
in the event of war, and to pay to the owner 
a cash allowance in commutation of forage 
for the full period of his service. In short, 
the Government called for mounted volun- 
teers, and in turn it undertook the "keep" 
of their horses. This provision was in full 
harmony with the general objects of the 
statute. It proposed to create a great army 
of volunteers and to train them in peace. It 
therefore proposed to take its cavalry and 
other mounted soldiers from the great mass 
of young men who are already natural horse- 
men and who know the horse and how to care 

24 An Army of the People 

for him. For this purpose the postmaster 
distributed a special circular giving the 
specifications for cavalry and artillery horses 
and applicants for the mounted service were 
required to give certain additional in- 
formation on their application blanks. In 
connection with the provisions of the law 
relating to the mounted services, it may be 
said that the Government protected itself 
from unnecessary expense and inconvenience 
in rail transportation by declining to accept 
cavalry recruits in any community unless 
there were a sufficient number in the local 
group to justify the shipment of its horses 
in car-load lots. In order to meet this re- 
quirement, it was necessary for candidates 
for the mounted service to organize them- 
selves into groups of at least ten men resid- 
ing within one day's march of a common 
shipping point. 

The widespread interest aroused by the 
President's proclamation has scarcely ever 
been equalled by any event in time of peace. 
From the day of its publication in the post 

The Great Enrollment 25 

office it was the main topic of conversation 
in every village in the land. The great 
problem of national defense, from being a 
vague and intangible thing, was brought home 
to every family. Many young men were 
ready to file their application papers with the 
postmaster at once, but in most cases they 
were checked by the cautious restraint of 
cool-headed fathers and mothers. There 
was a burst of enthusiasm at first and then 
a period of that careful deliberation which is 
characteristic of our people in facing great 
public issues. In each community men 
gathered together and listened to the veter- 
ans who, more than fifty years ago, had 
enrolled for a great war and who had gone 
to the front untrained, unorganized, and 

The speech of one of these old soldiers 
found its way into the papers and has been 
preserved as characteristic of the period of 
the first enrollment. 

"Boys," said he, "you have asked me to 
talk to you about this new volunteer law and 

26 An Army of the People 

to advise you about enlisting. When I first 
:d about it, I didn't like it. It wasn't 
:e the kind of enlisting we did here in this 
village fifty-five years ago. I was twenty 
years old then, and I enlisted. We were not 
enlisting for a war that hadn't come yet. 
We were enlisting for the war. It was already 
here. We raised a company here in the 
county and less than a third of them ever 
came back again. Some of them were killed 
in action. Some of them died of wounds. 
Most of them died of preventable camp dis- 
eases. Many of those who died might have 
gone on fighting to the end if our officers had 
known their business. I know because I 
was an officer myself. The day we enlisted, 
we elected the best fellow in our company as 
our captain. He wasn't fit to post a corporal's 
guard, but how could we know it then ? One 
man in our ranks became a famous soldier. 
He came out of the war a brigadier-general 
of volunteers. But he marched away from 
here in the rear rank and I was surprised 
when they made him a corporal. 

The Great Enrollment 27 

"I hope to God we'll never have a war 
again, and that you will never see it. If I 
thought keeping out of this new volunteer 
army would keep you out of war, I'd say 
don't enlist. But it won't keep you out if 
war comes. When the call comes you'll 
volunteer as we did nearly sixty years ago. 
The only question is whether you are going 
green and unprepared as we went, or whether 
you will go with some knowledge of disci- 
pline and a soldier's business. I'm not argu- 
ing that these Government camps will make 
you veterans in one summer. They can't 
do that. The best instructors from the 
regular army can't do that, but they can 
turn you from raw recruits into pretty good, 
self-reliant soldiers. We had to get that 
training and be shot at at the same time. It 
was a good thing the fellows on the other 
side were as raw as we were. That was the 
only thing that saved us. 

"But if you ever go to a war it will not be 
the kind of a war that we went to. You can 
put it down that if Uncle Sam ever goes to 

28 An Army of the People 

war again, it will not be to fight raw volun- 
teers, but trained soldiers. 

"But I won't advise you. This is to be a 
volunteer army and each man must decide 
for himself. But I will say this, that three 
of my grandsons are going and I am glad of 
it, and if their granddaddy wasn't a little 
beyond the age limit he'd go himself." 

For a time there was the same hesitation 
to enter the new volunteers that has inter- 
fered with the development of the organized 
militia. Many young men seemed to have 
the idea that the new force, like the militia, 
was to be a sort of constabulary to be called 
out to support the police power of the several 
States in periods of local disorder. This bade 
fair for a time to discourage enlistment, until 
it became apparent from the terms of the 
law that the new force could not be used for 
that purpose. The statute expressly pre- 
scribed that the national volunteers could 
not be mobilized except when war was im- 
minent or in other grave emergency spe- 
cifically proclaimed by Congress. Disorders 

The Great Enrollment 29 

within the borders of a State were to be met 
by such police or constabulary forces as each 
State might, in its wisdom, provide. And if 
any State should call upon the Federal Gov- 
ernment for the aid authorized by the Con- 
stitution, this aid was to be furnished from the 
paid regular army. In short, the National 
Volunteers were to be trained to defend the 
country in war and could be used only for 
war. In time of peace its members would be 
lost in the body of the people, but on the 
threat of war, each man would have his 
appointed place in the great organized war 
host of the nation, which would spring into 
being and begin to move toward the point 
of danger within twenty-four hours of the 
first alarm. 

But how many would enroll? As the first 
of April approached, that question attracted 
widespread interest not only throughout 
the country but especially in the War De- 
partment, where plans were being made for 
the first summer camps. Must the Govern- 
ment provide for fifty thousand volunteer 

30 An Army of the People 

students or a million? This question was 
the subject of much interesting speculation 
as the following quotation from one of our 
popular weeklies will show. 

"In the year 191 5 over nine hundred 
thousand American boys entered their nine- 
teenth year. In the same year there were 
about nine million American young men 
between the ages of eighteen and thirty. It 
is to this host of potential citizen soldiery 
that the National Defense Act extends its 
invitation. At the first passage of the law 
we were skeptical as to its prospects. We 
feared that not enough would come to assure 
the success of the new American Volunteer 
System. But as the enrollment progresses, 
as occasional unofficial returns slip in from 
various communities, a fear of another kind 
arises. Will the Government be able to 
provide facilities for the education and train- 
ing of so vast a school? If one young man 
in nine should respond, we would have one 
million recruits to train. 

' l But while the movement is widely popular 

The Great Enrollment 31 

and a successful enrollment seems assured, a 
careful analysis of population statistics tends 
to justify a much lower estimate. The sys- 
tem makes its largest appeal to the boy who 
is just out of school and who is not yet bur- 
dened with the cares of business or family 
life. Most men of twenty-nine or thirty 
years, though they are eligible under the new 
law and though many of them will want to 
enroll, will be restrained by other obligations. 
We shall therefore probably find that the 
enrollment will be a maximum for young men 
of the minimum age of nineteen and that it 
will fall off for each succeeding year of age, 
at first gradually and then rapidly. Some 
older men will enroll but they will be men 
whose natural military tastes have been con- 
firmed by prior military service and who 
therefore enter the volunteer army as the 
logical candidates for positions as officers and 
non-commissioned officers. And this is as it 
should be, for it is the young unmarried man 
in the first vigor of adventurous youth who 
should first stand ready for national defense." 

32 An Army of the People 

It was not until the tenth of April that 
all of the applications were received and 
classified by the War Department. It was 
then found that the full enrollment for the 
first summer's encampments were as follows : 

Volunteers for Infantry 204,337 

Volunteers for Cavalry 27,163 

Volunteers for Field Artillery 34,364 

Volunteers for Engineers 7,136 
Volunteers for Signal Corps 

(including aeroplane service) 6,723 

Volunteers for Hospital Corps 15,573 
Volunteers for Service Corps 

(including automobile and motor- 
truck service) 1 1 ,427 

Total 306,723 

In addition to the above enrollment for 
the National Volunteer Field Army, there 
were 27,023 applicants for enrollment in the 
summer camps for Coast Artillery. Candi- 
dates were enrolled according to their pref- 
erence as to arm of service, tut, in order to 

The Great Enrollment 33 

assure a proper balance, the Government 
reserved the right to transfer volunteers 
from one arm to the other as special aptitude 
should be demonstrated in the camps of 




The enrollment described in the preceding 
chapter was the general enrollment for service 
as enlisted men in the new volunteer army. 
But as the National Defense Act was based 
on the idea of utilizing all of the potential 
military resources of the nation, it was neces- 
sary to make special arrangements to meet 
the requirements of those citizens who were 
already more or less prepared for service 
as commissioned officers. Under the terms 
of the Act, such specially prepared citizens 
were invited to attend the summer camps 
of instruction with a view to qualifying 
for commissions in the National Volun- 
teers. This great and important body of 
potential officer material was widely scat- 
tered throughout the country and in- 


The Call for Officers 35 

eluded the following important special 

1. Former officers of the regular army or 
volunteers, now in civil life after honor- 
able discharge from the service. 

2. Graduates of West Point in civil life. 

3. Officers of the Organized Militia, sub- 
ject to the consent of their proper State 

4. Former officers of the Organized Mili- 

5. Graduates of accredited military schools 
and of universities and colleges having 
military departments officially recognized 
by the War Department. 

6. Persons who have successfully passed 
the examinations for qualification for 
commission in the volunteer service as 
heretofore provided by law. 

7. Honorably discharged non-commis- 
sioned officers of the regular army, sub- 
ject to proper educational tests. 

8. Honorably discharged enlisted men 

36 An Army of the People 

of the regular army who during their 
military service had passed the pre- 
scribed examination for commission. 

9. Electrical, mechanical, and mining en- 
gineers specially qualified for commis- 
sion in the volunteer coast artillery, 
signal corps, 'and engineers. 

10. Physicians and surgeons desiring 
commissioned service in the volunteer 
medical corps: 

It was provided in the Act that accepted 
applicants from the above described classes 
should be received at the first summer camps 
as student officers of volunteers, and that 
they should be available for duty as assist- 
ant instructors and drill masters of enlisted 
personnel, under the supervision of the 
regular army officers in charge of the camps. 

It was also provided that the body of stu- 
dent officers in each camp should be formed 
into a school of application for practical 
training in the field duties of commissioned 
officers. This school of application was to 

The Call for Officers 37 

be divided into appropriate classes depending 
upon the provisional military rank of the 
students and their respective arms of the 
service. It was announced as prescribed by 
the National Defense Act that, at the conclu- 
sion of the first summer's camps the enlisted 
men completing the course would be organ- 
ized into the formal military units of the 
National Volunteer Army, and that the 
officers for these units would be appointed 
by the President according to their qualifica- 
tions as determined in the summer camps 
and the schools of application. It was also 
provided that in appointments in any grade, 
qualified officers of the same grade in the 
organized militia or of former volunteer 
organizations should, so far as practicable, 
be appointed to the same grade in the new 
volunteer service, provided that such ap- 
pointee should reside in the territorial limits 
actually occupied by the enlisted men of his 
command, and provided that such appoint- 
ment in the case of militia officers should be 
accepted with the formal consent of the State 

38 An Army of the People 

authorities. It was also provided that after 
the appointment and assignment of the offi- 
cers entitled to higher rank by virtue of prior 
commissioned service, the remaining officers 
of the National Volunteer force should be 
selected from the remainder of the student 
officers and the most proficient enlisted re- 
cruits according to their qualifications as 
determined in the summer camps and schools 
of application. 

The spirit of the law governing the appoint- 
ment of National Volunteer officers was sim- 
ply this : As in our past military history, the 
highest military rank should be open to the 
American Volunteer Officer, but no man 
should be intrusted with the command of 
American Volunteers unless he has prepared 
himself for that responsibility in time of 
peace. The law very properly recognized 
the claims of officers who had already exer- 
cised military command, and accepted them 
as presumptively entitled to a similar rank 
in the new force. But qualification to com- 
mand a particular military unit is a question 

The Call for Officers 39 

of fact which can be determined as any other 
question of fact. Whether an alleged major 
of infantry is a major of infantry in fact, can 
be determined with absolute precision. A 
major of infantry in fact is an officer who 
can command and lead a battalion of in- 
fantry in the varied situations of the field ; a 
man who is qualified to instruct, train, and 
command the respect of all the officers and 
men who compose a battalion of infantry. 
Whether a man can handle a battalion of 
infantry can therefore be determined just as 
easily as whether he can ride a horse or run 
a motor boat or an automobile, and in pre- 
cisely the same way — that is, by letting him 
try it in the presence of competent judges. 
And so in the case of Major X. of the Kansas 
Militia Infantry the law was just both to 
the Major and to the higher military inter- 
ests of the nation. It invited Major X. to 
come and be tested as a Major of Infantry. 
It did not propose to make this test offhand 
and without time for practice and reason- 
able preparation. It invited the Major to 

40 An Army of the People 

attend a summer military camp to be held on 
the Port Riley Military Reservation. It 
accepted him as a student officer with the 
provisional rank of major given him by his 
State. It gave him practice as an assistant 
instructor in training the young Kansas 
recruits assembled in the camp. It received 
him into a field officer's school of application, 
similar to the Field Officer's School provided 
at Port Leavenworth for the training of field 
officers of the regular army. It gave him prac- 
tical exercises on map and ground through 
which he was able to train his tactical judg- 
ment and his capacity to make the decisions 
and issue the field orders appropriate to his 
rank. And at the end of the summer he was 
given an opportunity to handle a battalion 
of his arm at drill, on the march, in camp, and 
in a series of typical combat situations. At 
the end of this test the umpires knew, the 
officers and men of the battalion knew, and 
Major X. himself knew whether he was in 
fact a major of infantry of sufficient skill, 
training, and moral force to be intrusted with 

The Call for Officers 41 

the command of six hundred young Kansans 
who were volunteering to risk their lives, if 
need be, in defense of their country. If he 
qualified in this test, it did not follow that 
Major X. had mastered every element of the 
military art. There was still a great field 
for further endeavor before he could feel 
himself fully qualified for the final test of 
battle, but if he failed in this simple and ob- 
vious peace test, it was conclusively shown 
that he could not but fail in the more ex- 
acting test of war. And so if he qualified 
he was invited to enter the National Vol- 
unteer Field Army as a major of infantry, 
and if he failed he made way for some other 
student officer who had been measured and 
not found wanting. Thus the Govern- 
ment recognized the Major's presumptive 
claim to the command of a battalion of in- 
fantry, but it balanced this claim against the 
more imperative claim of the six hundred 
young Americans in the battalion who had 
a right to expect trained leadership in 

42 An Army of the People 

The President's regulations, issued pur- 
suant to provisions of the National Defense 
Act, provided that, so far as practicable, each 
tactical unit of the National Volunteers should 
be officered by qualified officers residing 
within the territorial limits actually contain- 
ing the homes of the members of the force. 
If, for example, one of the counties inhabited 
by the members of an Illinois National Volun- 
teer regiment should also be the home of a 
colonel of the Illinois National Guard who 
had qualified as a colonel of National Volun- 
teers, then that colonel was the logical ap- 
pointee as colonel of the regiment. But if 
no qualified colonel resided in, or conveni- 
ently near, the regimental district, the Presi- 
dent was authorized by law to detail the 
army officer acting as regimental inspector- 
instructor on temporary duty as colonel, 
until such time as the normal course of train- 
ing of the regiment should develop a quali- 
fied officer for that grade and responsibility. 
The intent of the law was primarily to meet 
the first requirement of military efficiency, 


The Call for Officers 43 

that competent leaders must be provided 
for all organized tactical units. But it 
was the policy of the law, with certain ne- 
cessary exceptions in time of peace, to open 
the avenues of promotion freely to quali- 
fied volunteer officers. The historical tra- 
dition that the highest command must be 
open to citizen soldiers of energy, ability, 
and genius was carefully preserved. These 
two necessary conditions were met by the 
clauses permitting the appointment of 
selected regular officers to command new- 
ly organized units until, after a reasona- 
ble period of training, competent leaders 
should be developed within the organization 

The enrollment of authorized student 
officers for the first summer's camps and 
school of application resulted as follows : 

Former officers of the regular army or 
volunteers 787 

Graduates from West Point in civil 
life 97 

44 An Army of the People 

Officers of the Organized Militia 3>427 

Former officers of the Organized 
Militia 3>423 

Graduates of accredited military 
schools 8,270 

Persons qualified by law for volunteer 
commissions 23 

Honorably discharged non-commis- 
sioned officers of the regular 
army 943 

Qualified enlisted candidates for com- 
mission 37 

Practical railroad men, candidates for 
commission in the volunteer railway 
corps 423 

Physicians and surgeons, candidates 
for commission in the volunteer 
medical corps 2,243 

Civil, electrical, and mining engineers, 
candidates for commission in the 
volunteer signal corps 423 

Similar technical experts, candidates 
for commission in the volunteer 
coast artillery corps 847 

The Call for Officers 45 

Similar technical experts, candidates 
for commission in the volunteer 
engineers 627 

Total 21,570 

, 4 



The passage of the National Defense Act 
placed an enormous responsibility upon the 
War Department. In enacting the new law 
Congress had already done its share. It 
had created the legal powers necessary to 
carry the new military policy into effect, and 
had conferred these powers upon the execu- 
tive branch of the Government. The success 
of the National Volunteer System now de- 
pended upon the success of the first summer's 
encampments, and that must necessarily 
depend upon the wisdom of the preparatory 
measures adopted by the War Department. 
The methods adopted for the first enroll- 
ment of officers and enlisted men have already 
been described. This enrollment alone in- 
volved preliminary work of no small magni- 


The War Department at Work 47 

tude. It was necessary first to place the 
fullest information in the hands of the young 
men of the country and to receive back the 
individual enrollment blanks and descriptive 
lists in time to locate, organize, and equip the 
instruction camps before the beginning of 


While the enrollment was in progress, a board 
of officers was detailed by the Secretary of 
War to prepare standardized courses of in- 
struction for the summer schools and to pre- 
pare regulations for their government and 
discipline. Fortunately it was recognized 
that this was one of the most important 
tasks ever assigned a body of American Army 
Officers. It was not merely a military prob- 
lem of far reaching importance. It was one 
of the greatest educational enterprises ever 
undertaken . 

The Government had engaged to open a 
school for more than three hundred thousand 
young men on the first day of July. The 

48 An Army of the People 

success of this school and the future of the 
American Volunteer System to a large extent 
depended upon the wisdom of this board. 
The problem was to prescribe the maximum 
amount of practical military instruction that 
is possible in a ninety-days course of training. 
It must involve the drill of the several arms, 
the practical arts of camping, marching, and 
cooking in the field. It must involve in- 
struction in personal hygiene and field sanita- 
tion. It must involve practical training in 
the care and use of the soldier's arms and 
equipments. For the infantry and cavalry 
it must include target practice and fire disci- 
pline. For the infantry it must include further 
practice in the control of collective rifle fire. 
For the cavalry and field artillery it must 
include the training and care of the horse as 
well as the man, and for the field artillery it 
must include target practice with field guns 
of the modern quick-firing type. For all 
arms it must include tactical and combat 
exercises on varied ground, including recon- 
naissance, security, and exercises in attack 

The War Department at Work 49 

and defense. All of these and much more 
must be imparted to the troops within the 
brief period of one summer, while special 
courses in tactics, troop leading, and field ad- 
ministration must be provided fortheofficers* 
schools of application. In addition to these 
courses for the combatant arms, similar 
courses of instruction must also be provided 
for the supply corps, the sanitary service, 
and other non-combatants. 

It was recognized that the limited time 
available for instruction should be entirely 
consumed in instruction, and that every 
detail of organization and method should be 
perfected and standardized before the recruits 
were assembled. Definite schedules of work 
must be provided for each arm of the service. 
In order to cover the necessary field in the 
limited time, there must be a progressive 
program of strenuous and exacting work, 
but through variety and the use of the most 
practical methods it must be made interest- 
ing to all young men possessing the true 

soldier spirit. Nor were the requirements of 


50 An Army of the People 

amusement and recreation to be omitted in 
this comprehensive educational program. 
The volunteer recruit was to be given an 
honest day's work each day. But after the 
day's work he was to be given every facility 
for athletics and open-air sports. This idea 
was to receive special consideration in the 
selection of camp sites in attractive regions 
so that the nation's students could combine 
their military duty with the benefits of a 
summer's outing. 


It was apparent at once that the methods 
of discipline appropriate for summer schools 
for volunteers must be quite different from 
those developed in the garrison life of the 
regular army. There is a discipline of pro- 
hibition and a discipline of strenuous occu- 
pation. Where men are busy from morning 
until night in useful and absorbing work, the 
problem of discipline solves itself. Where 
men must have many hours of idleness or 

The War Department at Work 51 

must find their employment in an oft repeated 
routine of perfunctory drills, the psycho- 
logical stimulus of progressive interest is 
lacking both to officers and men. In the one 
case discipline is inherent in the work and 
grows with it, in the other case it does not 
develop in the work but must be imposed 
upon it. Officers of the regular army are 
all familiar with the difference in the conduct 
of men in the field and the conduct of the 
same men in a monotonous garrison. When 
the hike is on with something new and vital 
to see and do, there is little business for the 
court-martial. The proper discipline for 
the national volunteers was therefore recog- 
nized to be the natural discipline of active 
strenuous field training. Given a body of 
young men who volunteer to learn a useful 
art, a corps of competent officers to lead them, 
and a varied and absorbing course of instruc- 
tion, no elaborate system of coercion or pun- 
ishment is necessary. Discipline becomes 
the necessary by-product of such a course. 
It grows on the drill ground and on the 

52 An Army of the People 

march, in the striving for skill and in manly 
pride in the daily test of endurance, and 
above all in the true soldier's confidence in a 
wise and capable leader. 

Among a large number of volunteers some 
misfits must be expected. In every camp 
there would be some weaklings and milksops, 
some dullards incapable of subordination, 
some natural Ishmaelites who cannot keep 
in step in any team. There would also be 
some hopelessly vicious and perverted char- 
acters. With these the camp authorities 
would have no time to deal. Ninety days 
is too short a time for developing either a 
nursery or a reformatory. Prompt and 
simple disciplinary measures must be pro- 
vided, particularly to check first offenses, but, 
as a general rule, "quitters" would simply 
be allowed to quit and carry their record of 
failure home with them. No young Ameri- 
can who is worth the cost of training would 
be willing to take a discharge like that. 

Discharge without honor was thus accepted 
as the sufficient basis of the system of punish- 


The War Department at Work 53 

ment. The corresponding principle of re- 
ward lay in a just and sensible system of 
promotion. For even the highest military 
rank lay open to citizen soldiers of character 
and ability. This was one of the underlying 
principles of the National Defense Act, 


While the curriculum board was dealing 
with the courses of instruction and discipline, 
another board of officers was engaged on the 
equally important task of investigating the 
qualifications of army officers for detail with 
the new force of volunteers. In some respects 
this task was of even greater practical im- 
portance than the preparation of a sound 
curriculum and system of discipline. 

A goodfpolicy is of great importance, but 
even the best policy must fail in the hands 
of incompetent or unsympathetic agents. 
It was therefore recognized that only officers 
of the highest character, ability, and industry 

54 An Army of the People 

should be detailed for duty with the volun- 
teers, and that details for any particular duty 
with the volunteers should be restricted to 
officers of recognized qualification and apti- 
tude for that particular duty. It was appar- 
ent that a corps of competent instructors 
and staff officers could be found among 
the officers of the army, but it was quite 
obvious that all army officers were not adap- 
ted for all of the numerous tasks to be per- 
formed in the volunteer service. 

The board of officers was therefore directed 
to examine the efficiency records of all army 
officers with special reference to their quali- 
fications and aptitudes for volunteer service. 
It was instructed, in the case of each officer, 
to specify what duties, if any, he was qualified 
to perform, and for each class of duties to 
construct a list of officers certified to be eli- 
gible and competent to perform those duties. 
The labors of this board would thus result 
in preparing eligibility lists to be used by the 
President in the selection of the first corps 
of officers and instructors for the new volun- 


The War Department at Work 55 

teer army. This task, though of great im- 
portance, was not difficult when approached 
by common-sense methods. For example, 
it was known that the volunteers would re- 
quire an inspector-instructor for each in- 
fantry battalion. As a first step the board 
found no difficulty in defining the qualifica- 
tions necessary in such an officer. He must 
be an expert in infantry drill and in modern 
infantry tactics; he must be qualified to 
instruct and lead each and all of the officers 
and men comprising a war strength battalion 
of infantry. He must possess the soldierly 
character and moral qualities that would 
enable him to lead through the power of 
example. He must be qualified in every way 
to command and lead a battalion of infantry 
in peace or war. Having established a 
measure of the task in this way, the board 
of officers then prepared a list of officers certi- 
fied by them to be qualified for the task. In 
each list the names were arranged in the 
order of army rank, with brief references to 
their special qualifications in each case. 

56 An Army of the People 

Similar lists were prepared for inspector- 
instructors of infantry regiments and brigades 
and for corresponding details in the cavalry, 
artillery, and all other branches of the service. 



NO. I 

On the tenth day of April, 1916, the first 
year's enrollment was completed. It com- 
prised the names of 333,746 recruits and 
2 1 ,570 candidates for commission. By classi- 
fication of the enrollment blanks these men 
were easily grouped by arm of the service 
and their geographical distribution was fully 

On May 1st the President, as Commander- 
in-Chief, published General Orders No. 1, of 
the National Volunteer Army. In this order, 
as authorized in the National Defense Act, 
he organized the new force into fifteen in- 
fantry divisions, three cavalry divisions, and 
a volunteer coast artillery corps of 216 com- 
panies, provisionally organized for assign- 

' 57 

5* An Army of the People 

ment of officers into six brigades of three 
regiments each. 

For each division of the field army he se- 
lected a division commander and division 
staff from specially qualified officers of the 
regular army. He also detailed a regular 
officer as inspector-instructor for each bat- 
talion, squadron, regiment, and brigade of the 
field army, and for each provisional battalion, 
regiment, and brigade of the coast artillery. 
Under the terms of the National Defense 
Act the detail of this corps of army officers 1 
to the volunteers created a corresponding 
number of vacancies in the regular army. 

The order also prescribed, as specified by 
law, that inspector-instructors assigned to 
volunteer organizations should command 
such organizations during the first summer's 
encampment and until competent volunteer 
officers should qualify for command. After 
the qualification and appointment of com- 

* This detail comprised 801 inspector-instructors for 
battalions and squadrons, 219 for regiments, and 75 for 

The Volunteer Army 59 

manding officers from the volunteers, the 
detailed inspector-instructors, under super- 
vision of division commanders, were still to 
be responsible for the peace administration 
and inspection of their respective units, the 
preservation and accountability of its prop- 
erty and equipment, the perfection of mobi- 
lization and concentration plans, and the 
conduct of the winter correspondence schools 
to be provided for the higher military training 
of officers and non-commissioned officers. 

This was in full harmony with the policy 
of the Government to develop commanders 
of volunteers from among the volunteers. 
But it was recognized that there are certain 
necessary functions of administration, prepa- 
ration, and inspection that cannot be 
performed with certainty by busy civilians 
in time of peace. These duties were there- 
fore assigned to the division commander, 
assisted by his staff and the corps of inspector- 
instructors assigned to his division. By 
this arrangement precision of preparation, 
mobilization, and concentration were assured, 

60 An Army of the People 

and the volunteer officer, being relieved from 
the burden of routine peace administration 
and property accountability was enabled to 
devote all of his available time to preparation 
for his more important duties as a troop 
leader in war. 

In addition to the corps of officers detailed 
for duty with the volunteers, the order also 
provided for the assignment of selected non- 
commissioned officers to serve as assistants 
for the inspector-instructors. The number 
so assigned depended upon the arm of the 
service and the requirements of each tactical 
unit. In order to provide available non- 
commissioned officers for this purpose, the 
National Defense Act had authorized the 
corresponding increase in the enlisted strength 
of the army. 

After publishing the organization of the vol- 
unteer army, the territorial location of the sev- 
eral divisions, and the assignment of the 
necessary personnel from the regular army, 
General Orders No. I concluded with the 
general instructions of the Commander-in- 

The Volunteer Army 61 

Chief. These were based upon the principle 
of decentralization. It was recognized that 
the great policy of forming a national army 
must necessarily break down under central- 
ized control in the War Department. Each 
division commander was therefore made the 
responsible agent of the President and was 
fully clothed by him with the necessary legal 
powers. He was given the enrollment cards 
of the officers and enlisted men of his com- 
mand. He was provided with a corps of 
competent assistants, he was allotted his 
pro rata share of the funds appropriated by 
Congress, and he was given the policy of the 
Government as embodied in the regulations 
for the training and discipline of American 
volunteers. The further orders of the Presi- 
dent maybe summed up in this brief phrase: 
"General, there is your division, go and 
organize it and train it." 



A full description of the detailed organiza- 
tion of the National Volunteer Army would 
fill a volume. About eleven hundred instruc- 
tor-inspectors were now busily engaged in 
preparing for the summer camps. Each of 
these officers had his peculiar problem, pecul- 
iar to the requirements of his arm of the 
service, and peculiar to the varying conditions 
throughout the country. As an example of 
the work done by these officers, we will quote 
the following extracts from the diary of First 
Lieutenant Milford Burr, 6th Cavalry, who 
was detailed for duty as a Squadron Inspector- 
Instructor in the Third Volunteer Cavalry 

"May 2d. — Have just read the morning 


Among the Volunteers 63 

paper giving the organization of the new 
Volunteer Army and see that I am detailed 
as Squadron Inspector-Instructor with the 
Third Volunteer Cavalry Division. It gives 
me the Volunteer rank of Major of Cavalry 
without increased pay. 

"Have read the order again and find that 
the Third Cavalry Division is scattered from 
Texas to California. Some dispersion I 
should say. Can we ever get them together? 
I wonder where my squadron is. 

11 May 3d. — Have just received telegraphic 
orders to report to the Division Commander 
at Fort Worth, Texas, without delay. Busy 
packing up. Will take the San Antonio 
express to-morrow morning. 

"May 4th — En route. Have been reading 
the new regulations for the volunteers and 
find that I have my work cut out for me. I 
suppose there are four hundred cowboys out 
there in the desert somewhere waiting for me. 

64 An Army of the People 

I am to round them up and make four troops 
of cavalry out of them in ninety days. I 
concede that the squadron has a good major. 
But where are the other officers? May be 
General Blunt will tell me. I hope so. 

"May 6th. — En route again. Got to Port 
Worth at eight o'clock yesterday morning. 
Reported to the Division Commander and 
hit the road again at five in the afternoon. 
I found that I had met General Blunt before. 
He used to be one of my math, instructors at 
West Point. He was a good instructor then 
and he looks like a real general now. When 
I reported, he shot off his orders right away: 
' Glad to see you, Burr. You draw the First 
Squadron, 32d Cavalry, Headquarters, Tuc- 
son, Arizona. Here are the descriptive lists 
of all your men. They are scattered along 
the Southern Pacific from Deming to Tucson, 
and along the El Paso and Southwestern 
from Deming to Bisbee. You know the 
country, don't you? Pact is, I know you 

Among the Volunteers 65 

do, because that's the reason you were given 
that territory. The Division Adjutant will 
give you your order and a copy of the regula- 
tions governing the training of volunteer 
cavalry. You'll find your work pretty well 
doped out for you and your common sense will 
do the rest. Two sergeants and three corpo- 
rals from the 5th Cavalry will report to you 
at Deming/ 

"I asked the General where the summer 
camps would be. 'Don't know yet,' he 
replied. 'We only got started here day 
before yesterday. But you'll have orders 
in plenty of time. You get the men ready 
for camp and we'll do the rest. ' The General 
picked up a pencil and glanced at a map that 
lay on his desk. As I got up he said : ' Going ? 
Well good-bye, Burr. I'll be down to see 
you when you get your men rounded up. ' 

"At any rate I don't have to worry any 
more because the Third Cavalry Division is 
scattered from the Brazos to the Grand 
Canyon. That is General Blunt's job and 

mine is just the little slice of country south 



66 An Army of the People 

of the Gila. I'm glad that two sergeants and 
three corporals are to report to me. That is 
a little start toward having a squadron of 
cavalry. We'll have to find the rest of them 
out in the chapparal. 

"May 7th. — En route. I have been look- 
ing over the descriptive lists of my squadron 
of mesquite dragoons. It's not so bad after 
all. There are 414 recruits and they are 
pretty well bunched in groups of fifteen or 
more along the railroad. Many of them 
live back in the country, but they are tied 
together into railroad-station groups. There 
are forty-seven recruits near one town alone 
and only twenty-one groups altogether. 
And then there's some trained material. I 
was surprised at the statements of former 
service. There are forty-four men with 
honorable discharges from the army who 
have settled down in the cattle country. 
Ten of them were discharged as non-com- 
missioned officers. There are thirty-six 

Among the Volunteers 67 

youngsters who have served in the militia. 
Among the candidates for the officers' schools, 
there are two veterans of the Spanish-Ameri- 
can War and two have seen Philippine ser- 
vice. There is a graduate from West Point 
who resigned and went into the cattle busi- 
ness, and here is a young mining engineer 
who, after two years at West Point, graduated 
from Cornell. There is one young lawyer 
who graduated from the Virginia Military 
Institute. Two cattlemen who graduated 
from the University of Illinois state that 
they had four years' military training at 
college and one of them became a captain in 
the university regiment. There are seven 
other graduates of military schools. It 
doesn't look like organizing this cavalry 
squadron would be entirely a game of soli- 
taire after all. Under the regulations, I find 
that I am authorized to appoint provisional 
officers and to assign them to troops. With 
this power and after some personal knowledge 
of these men I should be able to have a pro- 
visional organization of the squadron before 


68 An Army of the People 

we go to the camp. When I first looked at 
this proposition I thought I would have to 
go out into the mesquite and yell for my 
cavalry squadron, but already the outlines 
of order begin to appear. Perhaps it is be- 
cause men are naturally organizing animals 
and are bound to organize rightly or wrongly 
whenever we bring them together. If so, 
it is only necessary to point out the right way. 

"May 8th — Deming, New Mexico. — As 
I got off the train yesterday I realized that I 
was just entering my territory and decided 
to make some inquiries about the volunteer 
cavalry personnel in the neighborhood. But 
I found the personnel waiting for me. Thirty- 
three mounted men were lined up south of 
the station to meet me. They were all well 
mounted and their control of their spirited 
horses, all more or less excited by the railroad 
noises, was a pretty sight. As I walked 
along the platform somebody recognized me, 
for a tall cavalier in front of the center turned 

Among the Volunteers 69 

and roared a command, and I immediately 
received one of the most unusual and signifi- 
cant military salutes on record. At the 
word of command each horseman drew a 
yellow emblem from his hip pocket and stood 
at 'Present/ with a copy of the 'Cavalry 
Drill Regulations ' in front of his chin. 

"As I returned the salute there was another 
command which brought the yellow books 
back to the hip pockets. Another command 
and the little troop wheeled by fours and 
moved in column down the street at a walk, 
a moment later it broke into a trot for a 
hundred yards or so, then wheeled about by 
fours and returned, breaking from trot to 
gallop as it passed the extemporized reviewing 
stand. After going two hundred yards be- 
yond me there was a shout and my cavalry 
troop was gone. In a moment the street 
was full of rollicking cowboys engaged in an 
extemporized wild-west show. There were 
all of the usual stunts, bucking ponies, vault- 
ing horsemen, whirling lariats, and sombreros 
picked from the ground. But while the scurry 

70 An Army of the People 

was at its height my tall troop commander 
fired his pistol in the air and immediately his 
horse men galloped toward him and re-formed 
their line. Again he shouted his command 
for a salute, and once more thirty-three 
copies of the Cavalry Drill Regulations were 
presented to the Inspector-Instructor of the 
First Squadron, 32d U. S. Volunteer Cavalry. 

"May 9th. — En route. When I first saw 
the commanderof the Deming troop I thought 
there was something familiar about him. 
It turned out to be Jim Hurley, my room- 
mate for two years at West Point. He was 
one of the most popular men of my class and 
undoubtedly the best horseman. He was 
'found' in Analytical Geometry and Cal- 
culus, and strange to say he has always 
blamed old Blunt, our new Division Com- 
mander, for his discomfiture After leaving 
West Point he studied mining at Cornell, 
and later became a prosperous mining engi- 
neer and ore buyer with headquarters at 

Among the Volunteers 7* 

Deming. When the National Defense Act 
was passed, he immediately became the prin- 
cipal promoter of the volunteer movement 
in Arizona and New Mexico. His business 
interests carried him all over the region from 
Yuma to Denver, and wherever he went he 
talked to the local groups of young men and 
developed the basis of military order by organ- 
izing them, under the leadership of older men 
of former military service. Hurley of course 
enrolled for the Cavalry, and his principal 
work lay in organizing the personnel that 
was embodied later in the First Squadron of 
the 32d Cavalry. But as a promoter he 
worked in a wider field. He helped to pro- 
mote the enrollment of the Second Squadron 
of his regiment which lies grouped along 
the Santa P6 line from Trinidad to Needles. 
He and his ever increasing circle of assistants 
developed the personnel of the I32d Volunteer 
Infantry in the same territory. They also 
got together three batteries of horse artillery, 
one centered at El Paso, one at Tucson, and 
one in the Phoenix region. He also encour- 

72 An Army of the People 

aged the enrollment of mountain ore freight- 
ers as field army teamsters and thus laid 
the foundation for the ammunition and sup- 
ply columns of the First Volunteer Cavalry 
Division. Wherever he went he found inter- 
est, and his natural instinct for organization 
molded interest in the direction of aptitude 
and initial training. Under his guidance 
miners and railroad men enrolled as sappers 
and miners in the engineer service, and most 
of the young doctors in the mining region 
began collecting personnel for field hospitals 
and ambulance companies. If there are 
other men like Hurley in the rest of the 
country, our volunteer army is sure to suc- 
ceed. It seems that his celebration in my 
honor at Deming was more or less spontane- 
ous. When he heard of my assignment, he 
wired Port Worth and found that I was 
already well on the way. 'I had only time 
to bring in the men from the neighborhood/ 
said he. 'If I had had time to call in the 
boys from Cook's Peak and Silver City you'd 
have seen all of Troop 'A' at the station. 

Among the Volunteers 73 

"I very frankly expressed to Hurley my 
admiration for his work and predicted that 
he would soon be in command of the squad- 
ron, or, better, of the regiment. 'Time 
enough for that,' he said. 'That isn't the 
game that I am playing. The nation is 
building up a great institution and I want to 
help build it to last forever. I am working 
as a citizen and not merely as a soldier. If 
I thought of my own interest I'd buy ore 
this summer and not bother with a summer 
camp. This isn't merely a question of indi- 
vidualism, it's a question of organization, 
of standardizing. You're the Government's 
standardizing agent down here. You have 
one of the biggest jobs an American citizen 
ever had to do. I am simply here to help, 
not you, but the success of the job. You 
are to use me where the job needs me most. 
I'll serve wherever you put me, from troop 
commander down to farrier sergeant. No, 
I am not disinterested. I am playing a big 
game and not a little one, and you'll see that 
the stakes I play are worth having. 1 

f »» 




"Tucson, June ist. — Have just returned 

from a visit to all of my stations. In some 

cases all of the men of the local group rode 

in from their outlying ranches and were there 

at the railroad station to meet me. Generally, 

however, the leader of the group would meet 

me with the information I had previously 

written for. In most cases I found him to be 

an old soldier of the Army or the National 

Guard. Sometimes he was a college man with 

military-school experience. I always found 

him to be inspired by Hurley's point of view. 

Hurley's influence and imagination extended 

over three States, while the local leader's 

influence was generally restricted to the limits 

of his own canyon or mountain prairie. 


Preparing for Camp 75 

"At Benson I met one Daniel Blane, a San 
Pedro Valley farmer who rode in twenty-five 
miles with his two sons and twelve other 
boys of his neighborhood. He was an honor- 
ably discharged first sergeant, about forty- 
four years old. He had formerly served with 
the cavalry at Fort Grant. ' Yes, ' said he, ' I'm 
too old to come as a recruit, so I enrolled as 
a student officer. The boys wanted to come, 
and they wanted me to come with them, and 
it didn't take much urging. I'll go through 
the summer camp as a candidate for a com- 
mission because I want the summer camp. 
If I don't get the commission I'll go back 
home just as happy. In the meantime I 
remember enough of the cavalry business 
to help break in recruits. I was going to 
use these boys to help me dig a new irri- 
gation ditch this summer, but we have de- 
cided to put it off till fall. It won't hurt 
the boys, and it won't hurt me, and it 
won't hurt the ditch when we come to dig 

76 An Army of the People 

"Tucson, June ioth. — My office is open 
and we are all busy. I have appointed my 
five regular non-commissioned officers ' Mobi- 
lization Sergeants' as provided in the new 
law. After the summer's camp, one will go 
to each troop center and one will remain with 
me at squadron headquarters. For the 
present I am keeping them with me. They 
are all trained army clerks and I have them 
busy with paper work. My requisitions for 
clothing, ammunition, arms, accouterments, 
horse equipments, tentage, kitchen and field 
wagons are all in. When you realize that 
the supply departments are receiving requi- 
sitions from seven or eight hundred other 
organizations more or less like mine, you see 
there is a big job before them. But if they 
can do it in war, they can do it in peace, and 
everything indicates that every cup and 
cartridge will be in the hands of the men 
within three hours after they reach their 
first camps. The organization of the first 
squadron is so far advanced that I have de- 
cided to issue the clothing and equipments 

Preparing for Camp 77 

before we take the train. The men are anx- 
ious to leave home looking like soldiers. 

"The work has been running smoothly be- 
cause it was all standardized last winter in 
Washington. Take requisitions, for example : 
instead of having eight hundred battalion 
inspector-instructors wasting gray matter 
on the problem of equipment, each one of us 
has his standard 'table of allowances and 
model requisitions.' After a little study of 
local requirements I can turn most of the 
paper work over to my clerks. It is well too, 
for I have been studying the courses of in- 
struction for the Cavalry Summer Schools, 
and I find that I must brush up everything 
I ever knew in order to keep ahead of the 
officers and men of the First Squadron. The 
school work is also standardized and I am 
making requisition now for books, manuals, 
and maps. 

"Tucson, June 15th. — I have completed 
my squadron organization and tentative as- 

78 An Army of the People 

signment of provisional officers. My Squad- 
ron Adjutant is Marshall, a young lawyer 
here in Tucson, who graduated from the 
Virginia Military Institute. My Squadron 
Quartermaster, Williams, is also from Tucson. 
He served in the Philippines as a youngster 
and became a regimental quartermaster 
sergeant. I have slated Hurley as Captain 
of Troop 'A,' to be formed in the Deming 
country. Davis, a ranchman and former 
captain of the organized militia, is to have 
his tryout as Captain of Troop 'B,' to be 
formed at Lordsburg. Moseley, another 
militia officer, is to be intrusted with the for- 
mation of 'C Troop, from Bisbee and the 
Sulphur Springs Valley. Finally my friend, 
former first sergeant Daniel Blane, is to be 
Captain of Troop 'D,' which lies scattered 
from the San Pedro to Tucson. ... I have 
also two extra captains and three extra lieu- 
tenants from the organized militia, whom I 
am attaching to troops for the Summer School 
of Application and the autumn tryout. 

Preparing for Camp 79 

"My Battalion Sergeant-Ma jor is a well 
educated youngster who served an enlist- 
ment in the regular army, where he became 
a regimental clerk. My first sergeants are all 
old soldiers, and my sergeants have all had 
some military training. In most cases I have 
considered the recommendations of the local 
leaders in selecting my corporals. They have 
not had much training, but most of them are 
fine intelligent youngsters, and of course all 
of them are good horsemen and know the 

"Tucson, June 16th. — The orders for the 
summer camp have come. In order to give 
the troops of the several arms a chance to 
observe each other, several camps are to be 
established within marching distance of each 
other in northern New Mexico. The 44th 
Infantry Brigade, with a battalion of the 
29th Field Artillery, a field hospital, and 
an ambulance company, is to come from the 
Fifteenth Infantry Division. The Third 

80 An Army of the People 

Cavalry Division is to be represented by our 
regiment of cavalry, the 2d Battalion of the 
33d Field Artillery (Horse), a mounted engi- 
neer company, and a field company and aero 
detachment from the Signal Corps. 

"Tucson, June 26th. — All arrangements 
have been made for the start. Uniforms are 
to be issued just before the entrainment. 
The stock cars are to be picked up as the 
trains approach Deming, where we take on 
the rest of the baggage and consolidate the 
squadron train. Everything is scheduled 
to arrive at Albuquerque the morning of July 
1st. I find that most of my officers know 
the Field Service Regulations chapter on 
'Railroad Transportation' better than I do. 
The arrangements and train schedules have 
all been made up by Colonel Wilson, the 
newly appointed Railroad Quartermaster of 
the Fifteenth Infantry Division. He is a 
Colonel in our new Volunteer Army. In civil 
life he is a division traffic manager on the 

Preparing for Camp 81 

Southern Pacific. This illustrates one of 
the underlying principles of the new Volun- 
teer Army. Technical experts in civil life 
are selected for corresponding military 

1 ' June 30th. — En route. While we were at 
Deming, one of Captain Biane's dragoon 
mountain boys met some old or new friends 
and came rolling back to the platform more 
like a jovial cowboy than a model volunteer 
soldier. The Captain sent for the offender. 
When he came up defiantly in the custody of 
the First Sergeant, the Captain looked at 
him a moment and said : ' Sergeant Sullivan, 
you can take off Private Riggs's belts and 
uniform and let him wear that new, blue 
fatigue suit of his. Then you can rig up a 
guard house in the baggage car for Private 
Riggs's benefit and keep him there.' I noticed 
the beginning of a gesture of resentment on 
Riggs's part. He looked about the crowded 
platform but did not discover a sympathetic 

82 An Army of the People 

public opinion. He knew Captain Blane 
and he knew Sergeant Sullivan. 

"The next morning as we were en route 
between Rincon and Albuquerque I hap- 
pened to be in the ' D ' Troop car when Cap- 
tain Blane sent for Private Riggs. As nearly 
as I can recall them the Captain's remarks 
were as follows: 'Riggs, this trip of ours is 
not a booze party. The Summer School 
Regulations of the Volunteer Army are 
against it and "D" Troop is going to stick 
to the Regulations. I explained that regula- 
tion to all of you boys before we left Benson. 
I am not going to take a drink until we get 
home, because I am going to obey the law 
up to the limit. Now I want you to under- 
stand that I am Captain of this troop. You 
have just begun soldiering, so you may not 
know what the word ' ' Captain ' ' means. But 
you do know what the word "Boss" means, 
and you can put it down that the two words 
mean just the same thing. Now while I am 
the Boss of this troop, no man stays on this 
job who does not obey orders. If you don't 

Preparing for Camp 83 

like the job, you can ask for your time and 
go home. What do you think about it ? ' 

" 'I don't want to go home,' said Riggs. 
'If you will give me another chance, I'll 
stick.' , 

" 'Sergeant Sullivan,' said the Captain, 
'you can release Private Riggs from arrest. ' " 




"Camp Kit Carson, July ist. — We are in 
camp after a strenuous day. We arrived at 
the camp siding at eight o'clock this morning. 
The horses were on their picket lines by ten 
o'clock and by eleven the baggage was un- 
loaded. At noon we marched into a per- 
manent camp of conical tents prepared by 
the regular cavalry detachment from El Paso. 
The regulars came up to give us a welcome 
and a good start in a model camp, but they 
leave us this evening at six o'clock and from 
now on we will be on our own resources. I 
have just assembled the troop commanders 
to give them the list of camp calls and some 

necessary sanitary orders. The men are 


The Volunteers in Camp 85 

busy getting their tents in order. I can hear 
Sergeant Sullivan now telling the men of his 
troop how they used to do it in the old Third 
Cavalry. I will inspect them after stables. 
Reveille to-morrow morning at five o'clock. 
The summer's course of instruction opens 
at half past six with 'Military Calisthenics 
and the School of the Soldier.' The first 
week the men are to work only six hours a 
day including stables. The Officers' School 
begins to-morrow afternoon with the first 
quiz on Cavalry Drill Regulations and a 
lecture on camp sanitation. 

"Camp Kit Carson, July 10th. — General 
Blunt has been here to inspect the progress 
of the cavalry recruits. After retreat last 
night he assembled the inspector-instructors 
and gave us his views of the summer's pro- 

" ' Three months, ' said he, 'is a short time 
for training a squadron of cavalry. But you 
have the finest natural cavalry material in 

86 An Army of the People 

the world, and if you can teach these western 
horsemen as fast as they can learn you will 
do great things by autumn. The best practi- 
cal rule for cavalry training that I know is 
not found in the military text-books at 
all. I got it from the Book of Common 

" ' It is simply this : ' ' Do those things that 
you ought to do, and leave undone the things 
that you ought not to do. " If you neglect 
that rule there will be no health in you, 
spiritual, tactical, or any other kind. 

" ' So teach these cowboys the plain cavalry 
business and don't teach them cavalry fads. 
Teach them to march and scout and fight. 
I'll excuse you from polo games and horse- 
show stunts until some other summer. You 
will not have time to polish them up as Cos- 
sacks or Uhlans or Household lancers and 
curassiers, but you can go a long way toward 
making the plain "made in America" brand 
that Ashby developed under Stonewall Jack- 
son ; the homespun, serviceable fighting horse- 
men that rediscovered the Napoleonic cavalry 

The Volunteers in Camp 87 

rdle under Stuart and Forrest and Sheridan 
and Wilson/ 

"Camp Kit Carson, July 20th. — As I sat 
by the camp fire last night the Corporal of 
the Guard was inspecting a sentinel within 
earshot of my tent. The sentinel was ap- 
patently not precise in some parts of his 
guard catechism and the Corporal's criti- 
cisms and corrections were delivered in such 
a rich and forceful Irish brogue that I 
moved toward them under the shadow of 
my tent. 

" 'I asked ye for all of your gineral orders 
and not for a racy synopsis of them,' said 
the Corporal. 'The night's young and I'm 
not very busy so just repate them agin. ' 

"The sentinel repeated them again and 
several times again until the Corporal's 
passion for thoroughness was satisfied. As 
the Corporal finally moved away and the 
sentinel resumed his beat, I was able to rec- 
ognize them. Private Burton, a good-look- 

88 An Army of the People 

ing youngster of nineteen, is the son of one 
of the richest cattlemen in Arizona. Cor- 
poral Casey's father is a range foreman on the 
Burton ranch. 

"I record this little scene because it is so 
typical of the democracy of this camp. Bur- 
ton scarcely knew Casey when they came 
down here. But they rode boot to boot at 
the first drills and I notice lately that they 
always ride together when they go on pass. 
If you should meet them on the prairie you 
would not know the rich man from the poor 
man There is a little yellow stripe on the 
Corporal's arm that marks him as one who is 
being tried as a leader of other men. He is 
proud to wear it, and Burton respects it. 
Otherwise they wear the same khaki uniform 
and both have learned to mend it and keep it 
neat and clean and to wear it like soldiers. 
They sleep on the same blankets, eat the 
same daily ration, and do the same daily 
grist of work. They have precisely the same 
financial status here, for Casey does not need 
any money and Burton could not use it if he 

The Volunteers in Camp 89 

had it. They are both at the charge of their 
even-handed Uncle Sam. 

"Camp Kit Carson, July 31st.— July, 1916, 
has been the most strenuous month of my 
life. If anything it was busier than Plebe 
Camp at West Point. We are well along 
though in school of the troop. The men are 
beginning to have the set-up of the soldier, 
and each troop is well grounded in drill. Of 
course it was only possible because the men 
were horsemen to begin with and the officers 
had enoughinitial training toact as instructors 
from the start. Every morning we had drills 
and practical training in the care of arms, 
equipment, and clothing. Each morning's 
work was scheduled in advance so that the 
officers and non-commissioned officers could 
prepare for their duties as instructors. In the 
afternoons we had the officers' schools, with 
gallery practice and other preliminary target 
work for the men. There was plenty to do 
apparently and yet there was energy enough 

90 An Army of the People 

left to organize a baseball league in the squad- 
ron with a team in each troop and a rattling 
game every evening after stables. 

"It is a great college of the open air, and 
I find my job as College President a very 
busy one. But it is only a college after all. 
For scattered around our camps are other 
colleges of infantry, field artillery, and the 
auxiliary services, all bound together in a 
great summer university of National Service. 

"But we have had some losses in personnel. 
Some of the men have found soldiering too 
hard, just as they will find everything too 
hard that requires strenuous effort. They 
have gone home. Many more wanted to 
go home at first, but were ashamed to be 
quitters in the eyes of old comrades. Now 
they have got the pace and are glad they 
stayed. Some of our student officers have 
left us. It is a hard grind for anybody but a 
true soldier, and no other should hold a com- 
mission. Those who expected the glitter 

The Volunteers in Camp 91 

and fuss of a prolonged militia camp, half 
parade and half spree, have learned that wear- 
ing a uniform is not all of an officer's business. 
I recognized some of this type when we 
started, but their elimination has been 
prompt and automatic. To test them as 
officers, it is only necessary to give them an 
officer's job and make them do it up to the 
handle every day. Even the cleverest four- 
flushers can't play that game long. In a 
little while they tender their resignations on 
account of the pressure of private business, 
and their resignations are always accepted. 
For every such vacancy I have a dozen 
understudies who are ready to fill it. 

"But these are not the only losses. Poor 
old Timpkins of my old regiment has been 
relieved from duty as the regular Inspector- 
Instructor of the 2d Squadron. He is a good 
garrison officer but he doesn't fit into this 
Volunteer Educational scheme. There was 
friction from the first in his squadron. He 
could not see that discipline was only a means 
to an end, and that where leading is sufficient 

92 An Army of the People 

and men are eager to follow, it isn't necessary 
to browbeat and drive. General Blunt saw 
the unsatisfactory situation in the 2d Squad- 
ron at his first inspection and fortunately 
had full power to correct it. He relieved 
Timpkins at once and gave him an adminis- 
trative job on the Quartermaster staff of the 
Division. He is sure to make good there 
for he is able and energetic, but he was a 
square plug in a round hole when it came to 
teaching volunteers. 

"Most of the selections of regular officers 
as volunteer instructors have been satis- 
factory. But some army officers fail to get 
into the game. The volunteers are eager 
and willing but they are typical intelligent 
young Americans and want 'to be shown/ 
This is no place for the pompous martinet who 
thinks he can dogmatize because he is a profes- 
sional soldier. In his good-bye conference, 
General Blunt gave us some plain talk on 
this subject. He said: 'You must get over 
the narrow point of view of the old army. 
Remember that military education is one 

The Volunteers in Camp 93 

thing and professional training is another. 
Most of you young gentlemen have been 
educated to death, but your professional 
practice is just beginning. Graduation from 
West Point no more qualifies you for high 
command, than graduation from the Harvard 
Law School would qualify you for the Su- 
preme Bench. Each school is simply a fav- 
ored gateway into a great profession. But 
the gateway brings you only to the threshold. 
And remember that there are humbler gate- 
ways into both professions. Lincoln never 
went to a law school at all. He borrowed 
his Blackstone and conned it by a tallow dip. 
Forrest misspelled the simplest words in his 
tactical messages, but he is a professional 
model for all of us as American cavalrymen. 
So go about your duties here with humility. 
Remember that Cromwell was a country gen- 
tleman like some of your student officers, and 
that he never thought of the profession of 
arms until he was forty years old. And yet 
he founded and led the most irresistible 
cavalry the world has ever seen. Indeed we 

94 An Army of the People 

will miss the real spirit of the American Volun- 
teer System if we imagine that we are sent 
here to advance our personal military am- 
bitions. We are founding a great National 
Institution. There is latent military genius 
among the young men of these camps. It is 
for us to find it and prepare it and make it 
available for the nation. ' 

"Camp in the Mountains, August 3d. — It 
is certainly a relief to be up here in the hills 
after last month's grind. The men took the 
hardships of the practice march as a frolic. 
They had their first bivouac in shelter tents 
last night, and as a result of their formal drills 
in tent pitching they went into camp like 
veterans. The end of the second day's 
march brought us to this valley among the 
pines. I am authorized to stay here three 
days and give the squadron an outing. After 
performing their necessary camp and stable 
duties, the men will be free to fish and swim 
and to ride over the foothills. I am even 

The Volunteers in Camp 95 

granting hunting leaves and some of the 
younger officers are taking their platoons on 
long hikes toward the higher mountains. 
The only condition is that they must march 
like bodies of cavalry and bring back a 
reconnaissance map and report of the trip. 

"On the way up I limited the instruction 
to the duties of the march. Officers and 
non-commissioned officers had already been 
grounded in that part of the Field Service 
Regulations and I exacted the most rigid 
march discipline. My men could ride, but 
they had still to learn the practical art of 
marching. On the way down we will make 
three marches instead of two and, without 
relaxing the march discipline, we will begin 
our practice in advance cavalry reconnais- 

' ' Camp Kit Carson, A ugust 23d. — My four 
troops are on the target range finishing their 
record practice. To most of the men this 
is the most interesting part of the season. 

96 An Army of the People 

Shooting is good sport in itself and the ele- 
ment of competition ^dds a double zest. 
But in the target work I have encountered 
the first serious opposition to my will as a 
commander. I scheduled range practice for 
eight hours a day and immediately found 
active, organized dissent all along the line. 
From Captain Hurley of Troop 'A' down to 
Musician Raff erty of Troop ' D, ' officers and 
men insist that shooting should begin with 
the first clear light of dawn and last until the 
targets disappear in the evening twilight. 
It may have been weakness to change my 
mind, but I yielded to the spirit of protest. 
We literally shoot all day and snatch odd 
moments for eating, grooming, and policing 
camp. I am afraid that there is even a 
gambling spirit growing. I have been un- 
officially informed that every troop is betting 
that it will beat every other troop, that every 
platoon is betting that it will beat every 
other platoon, and that every corporal is 
betting that he will qualify more marksmen 
than any other corporal. The baseball 

The Volunteers in Camp 97 

games scheduled for the rest of the month 
have been cancelled. 

"Camp Kit Carson, August 28th. — The 
troops of my squadron are to have their field 
firing tests next week, so I rode down to see 
the infantry work this morning. In these 
days when battle targets are generally in- 
visible, individual marksmanship is only a 
minor factor in the fire fight. The fire of 
organized masses of men must be controlled 
by their officers and delivered so as to sweep 
areas of the opposing front. This imposes an 
immense task on the infantry officer, prob- 
ably the most important and the most diffi- 
cult thing in the whole range of practical 
military art. It involves fire discipline for 
the squad, fire control for the platoons, and 
fire direction and adjustment for the com- 
panies and battalion. A perfect organiza- 
tion is necessary and one so simple that it 
will not break down in the moral stress of 
the battle. We have the same problem in 

98 An Army of the People 

our cavalry for it will be our chief business 
to dismount and fight on foot, but we have 
other duties and cannot specialize in this 
as the infantry must. On the field range 
to-day, I saw the proficiency test of a com- 
pany of the I32d Volunteer Infantry. The 
company was aligned behind a low ridge. 
The umpire peeping over the crest told the 
captain that somewhere on the crest nearly 
a mile away there was reported to be a hostile 
trench hidden among the mesquite bushes. 
I searched the ground with my field glasses 
as the captain did. After a time I saw a 
silhouette khaki target dimly outlining a 
man lying down between the mesquite 
bushes. Presently I saw another and then 
another vaguely outlining a front of perhaps 
a hundred yards. The other targets, if any, 
were concealed in the brush. The captain's 
problem was to determine the range and 
divide that invisible target into sectors for 
his platoons so that all of their fire should be 
distributed over it. He must overcome the 
psychological tendency for individual marks- 

The Volunteers in Camp 99 

men to concentrate their fire on one or two 
conspicuous points. To gain fire superiority 
he must deliver a sudden and effective burst 
over that entire line and he must make his 
arrangements so that neither he nor his men 
should be exposed to view until all of their 
rifles should crash out into action. 

"The captain, peering over the crest with 
his field glasses, summoned his lieutenants 
and platoon sergeants. They, as they crawled 
to a place beside him, directed their field 
glasses toward the indicated line and after 
finding it each received a part of the whole 
target as the special target of his platoon. 
Each platoon leader then in the same way 
led his squad leaders to the crest and each 
squad leader received the slice of the target 
for his seven men. It was to be surprise fire 
and there was time for this deliberation. In 
the meantime the five best trained estimators 
in the company were each estimating the 
range to be averaged by the captain as the 
initial range for the company team. Then 
and not till then did the company advance. 

ioo An Army of the People 

At the signal each private soldier crawled 
noiselessly to his position on the crest as 
marked by the line of corporals and soon 
each man had his objective and his sight 
setting inspected. As his squad was inspected 
and found ready each corporal signalled his 
platoon chief, and each platoon chief likewise 
signalled his readiness to the captain. 

1 ' Not till all were ready, did the captain give 
the signal, and then at a blast from his whistle 
the whole line flashed forth in a rapid burst 
of fire that spattered the sandy neighborhood 
of the vague target from flank to flank. The 
distribution seemed perfect but too many 
spurts of dust fell short of the target. So 
with a shrill whistle to attract attention and 
one finger pointed up, the captain signalled 
a hundred-yard increase of range first to one 
platoon and then to the other. The message 
was quickly flashed from platoon leader to 
the expectant corporals, and in an instant 
the center line of the puffs of dust crawled 
closer toward the target. This is one of the 
simplest exercises in modern field firing, but 

The Volunteers in Camp 101 

it illustrates the difficulties of the modern 
infantry problem. For perfection in this 
work the summer camps are all too short, 
but fortunately it is the peculiar work of 
officers and non-commissioned officers and 
therefore we can do much to develop it in 
the winter correspondence schools. 

"Camp Kit Carson, September 4th. — As we 
came in from a tactical march this morning, 
we passed over Brown Mesa and I halted the 
squadron where we could overlook the camps 
of the other troops down in the valley. It 
was a splendid picture. On the plain be- 
neath us we could see the 44th Infantry 
Brigade marching in review. Of course 
nothing in the Volunteer Army can touch my 
squadron, but as I saw those solid lines of 
men moving along like some mighty machine, 
I realized that the 'dough boys' have been 
working too. Behind a low hill to the left 
I saw the guns of the light artillery battalion 
booming away at target practice, while on 

102 An Army of the People 

the right we could see the long column of the 
horse artillery moving at a trot along the 
winding road by the river. At the far river 
bend the engineers were just finishing a pon- 
toon bridge, and the ambulance company and 
the field hospital stood halted at the bridge 
head, apparently waiting to cross. From the 
foothills beyond the valley heliograph signals 
were flashing, and on the mesa beside us a 
field wireless station was clattering a message 
to some partner buried in the hills. To cap it 
all, just as we resumed the march the two vol- 
unteer biplanes of the Third Cavalry Division 
came roaring over us, to startle our horses 
and break our march column for an instant. 

"Camp Kit Carson, September 8th — We 
have finished our course in the School of the 
Regiment and are preparing for the man- 
euvers which will terminate this summer's 
camps. The maneuver this year is to be the 
march of our force of all arms, under the com- 
mand of Brigadier-General Gideon Buckles, 

The Volunteers in Camp 103 

U. S. Volunteers, the Inspector-Instructor of 
the 44th Infantry Brigade. The War Depart- 
ment has very wisely limited us this year to 
the three weeks' tactical march of a force of 
all arms with one-sided maneuvers in de- 
ployments for attack and defense and practi- 
cal outpost and advance guard problems. 
We have made fine progress this summer, 
better than anybody expected, but each arm 
has been working up its own specialty and 
we are not developed far enough yet for com- 
bined maneuvers. We are therefore to have 
two weeks of the drill of a reinforced brigade 
on varied ground and under a progressive 
tactical situation in which the enemy will be 
imaginary. It will test our skill in marching 
and camping, and lay the foundations for 
three weeks of tactical maneuvers next 
year. During the winter the officers' cor- 
respondence schools will include tactical 
problems under the applicatory system, with 
the view of preparing all officers for regular 
two-sided maneuvers. 

104 An Army of the People 

"September 29th. — En route, The great 
march is over and we are entrained for the 
homeward journey. The field tests for pro- 
visional officers were made by the inspector- 
instructors under General Buckles during the 
march. Captain Hurley and Captain Blane 
both qualified as volunteer Majors of Cavalry 
so I presume that my immediate command of 
the First Squadron will soon terminate. I 
would like to feel that I could lead these men 
if we should be suddenly called in the field, 
but under the Volunteer Army Regulations 
there is plenty of work for me to do. I must 
still supervise the Government's scheme of 
military education within the squadron and 
I will be busy all winter with the correspond- 
ence schools for officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers. I must check up the arms 
and equipments of the squadron and restore 
them to perfect condition for a sudden call 
to arms. I must perfect the mobilization 
plans of my squadron and devise means of 
communication with every man so that we 
can form for the front on twenty-four hours' 

The Volunteers in Camp 105 

notice. I must prepare for the mobilization 
of horses as well as men and am responsible 
for the proper disbursement of the annual 
forage allowance. I must prepare car sched- 
ules and arrange with the railway people for 
any sudden concentration by rail. Next 
spring the new year's enrollment for recruits 
will be under my charge, and in addition I 
must keep up my general professional studies 
in order to prepare for next summer's camps 
and the first great maneuver season next 
autumn. We have done well this year for 
beginners. Next year we mean to do still 

"September 30th. — En route, Before I left 
Deming this morning I congratulated Hurley 
on his pending promotion. 'Not yet,' he 
said; 'I am on the records as eligible, but I 
have declined the nomination. So has Blane. 
Maybe I'll change my mind some day and 
decide to be a major or perhaps even a briga- 
dier-general. But I have decided to go to 

106 An Army of the People 

your school as a captain this winter anyway. 
If we have a war this year we're going under 
you. After we pump you dry, perhaps 
Blane or I will take your job. 1 No, this 
isn't generosity to you nor disinterestedness 
either. It's simply a square deal to the Gov- 
ernment, to the American Volunteer System, 
and the men of the squadron. In the mean- 
time I'm going to take off my uniform and 
get right down to the ore-buying business.' 

"Tucson, October 2d. — A week ago to-day 
I was marching at the head of a war strength 

1 The Volunteer Army Register for 192 1 carries James 
Hurley as a Colonel of Cavalry, Major Daniel Blane com- 
mands the First Squadron of Colonel Hurley's Regiment. 

Captain Milford Burr of the regular army is borne on 
the Volunteer Army Eligibility Lists as follows: "Squad- 
ron Inspector-Instructor, July I, 1916. Assigned as 
Regimental Inspector-Instructor, Jan. 1, 191 7. Qualified 
as Brigade Inspector-Instructor of Cavalry, Sept. 15, 191 7. 
Qualified for the General Staff with Troops, Sept. 15, 
19 1 8. Especially recommended as General Staff Officer 
with Cavalry Divisions or higher commands." 

Captain Burr completed his tour of duty with the Volun- 
teer Army, June 30, 1920. He is now serving a tour of 
foreign service with the Panama Canal Zone Division of 
the regular army. — Editor. 

The Volunteers in Camp 107 

cavalry squadron fully armed and in the 
military service of the United States. To- 
day as I sit in my office comparing property 
returns with my mobilization sergeants, I 
realize that only we six remain on that 
squadron's active list. Officers and men 
are back at work on their ranches and farms. 
"As I look from my window toward the 
railroad siding I see Captain Daniel Blane 
and his two sons in overalls and straw hats 
unloading a carload of contractors' plows 
and scrapers. Corporal Samuel Riggs, 
booted and spurred and covered with a wide 
Mexican sombrero, has just dismounted from 
his pinto cow pony and is lending the captain 
a hand." 




Lieutenant Burr's diary has given us a 
picture of the first year's work of the new 
cavalry volunteers in a remote region of the 
continent. But a similar work was going 
on for every arm and in every part of the 
country. Lieutenant Burr was but one of 
eleven hundred inspector-instructors who, 
under the supervision of the Division Com- 
manders, formed the first faculty of the 
National Military Schools. On September 
30, 191 6, this great National University cele- 
brated its first "Commencement Day." On 
that day a completely organized volunteer 
field army of over three hundred thousand 
men was arrayed under arms beneath the 

national colors. On the same day a volun- 


Results of the First Summer 109 

teer coast artillery corps of some twenty- 
seven thousand men stood at the guns of our 
seacoast forts and completed its first year's 
target practice. On October 1st this mighty 
force had disappeared. The citizen soldier 
had returned to industrial and business life. 
Nothing remained of the organized volunteer 
army save a small corps of professional mili- 
tary experts who were necessary to maintain 
its system of training and organization, and 
to keep it ready for mobilization. 


The success of the first year's work was 
the natural result of adherence to certain 
fundamental principles of organization. In 
the first place the War Department clearly 
recognized the mission of the summer schools 
and the volunteer army to be primarily 
educational. It was to be a great school of 
public service for the whole people. Having 
accepted the supremacy of the educational 
mission, all details of administration were 
subordinated to it and all methods of instruc- 

no An Army of the People 

tion and discipline were standardized for the 
whole force and for each arm of the service 
before the summer work began. 

Having established the curriculum for 
the summer's university, the War Depart- 
ment then selected its instructors from the 
regular army on the basis of positive educa- 
tional qualification to instruct in one or 
more of these standardized courses. No 
army officer was eligible unless his record 
showed affirmatively his qualification to 
teach American volunteers both by precept 
and example. And no officer was assigned 
to teach in any one of the standardized courses 
unless he was specially qualified for that 
particular course. Other things being equal, 
qualified officers were assigned on the basis 
of army seniority, but seniority was not per- 
mitted to justify the assignment of any officer 
to any task for which he was not specially 
qualified. This rule worked an apparent 
hardship at first, for in many cases army 
efficiency records are negative in character, 
and the routine of a garrison army furnishes 

Results of the First Summer 1 1 1 

little basis for determining real professional 
efficiency. For this reason some most com- 
petent officers complained that they were 
unjustly excluded from certain of the more 
important eligibility lists. To these the 
War Department replied: "It will be the 
policy of the Government to give you an 
opportunity to qualify for any task in the 
training service of the volunteer army. 
Establish your qualification and you will be 
assigned accordingly." One officer who was 
assigned as a Battalion Inspector-Instructor 
of Infantry considered himself slighted be- 
cause he was not intrusted with the instruc- 
tion of an infantry regiment as were several 
of his brother officers of junior grade. But 
being a man of good sense and real professional 
ability, he accepted his school of the battalion 
and conducted it with such conspicuous 
success that on the first readjustment he was 
intrusted with an infantry brigade. 

There was a tendency at first among cer- 
tain ambitious army officers to seek desirable 
volunteer assignments through political in- 

ii2 An Army of the People 

trigue. In this they were apparently justi- 
fied by many precedents in our past history. 
But conditions had changed. A great and 
earnest public sentiment had espoused the 
cause of the new volunteer army, and the 
President's sensible efforts in behalf of 
efficiency were supported by an alert and 
sympathetic public opinion. 


The successful administration and super- 
vision of the widely scattered volunteer or- 
ganization were assured by the system of 
decentralization authorized by the National 
Defense Act. In selecting the ablest officers 
of the regular army as division commanders 
of volunteers and in making these the respon- 
sible legatees of his military authority, the 
constitutional Commander-in-Chief estab- 
lished the new volunteer army on the basis 
of assured success. 

The national military doctrine and the 
national war plans, as prepared in the 
General Staff and approved by the Secretary 

Results of the First Summer 113 

of Wax and the President, thus passed di- 
rectly to the division commander and from 
him through the inspector-instructors to 
every officer and man in the force. The 
division commander was at once the com- 
mander, the supervising instructor, the in- 
spector, and the administrative head of the 
team of all arms assigned to his control. He 
was responsible to the President for its peace 
training and its immediate preparedness for 
war. As the whole system of administration, 
training, and mobilization rested upon these 
officers, their appointment in time of peace 
was restricted by law to selection from the 
professional soldiers of the regular army. 

The sound military basis for this restric- 
tion lies in the peculiar function of the divi- 
sion as the fundamental army unit in which 
the several arms are combined as a co-ordi- 
nated fighting team. The division is a little 
army complete in itself in which the infantry 
is trained to use the support of cavalry, artil- 
lery, engineers, and other auxiliaries, and in 
which the special arms are trained to support 


1 14 An Army of the People 

the efforts of the great primary arm. A 
single division is therefore a little army and 
a large army is simply an aggregation of di- 
visions. A leader or instructor of a division 
must therefore be more than a one-arm expert, 
he must be familiar with the interplay of all 
the components of the modern fighting team. 

On the other hand, companies, troops, and 
batteries; battalions, squadrons, regiments, 
and brigades, are homogeneous units, and 
therefore the duties of captains, majors, 
colonels, and brigadier-generals of the same 
arm differ only in magnitude and not in kind. 
The citizen soldier who can become a good 
captain has only to keep on growing in order 
to become a good colonel or brigadier-general. 
But while a busy volunteer officer from civil 
life might expect to become a good regimental 
or brigade commander, it was quite another 
thing to expect him to become an expert in 
the combined tactics of all arms. 

It was therefore the policy of the Govern- 
ment under the National Defense Act to 
select the commanders of divisions and higher 

Results of the First Summer 115 

military units from the best professional 
talent in the regular army. This was the 
guiding rule for the educational and adminis- 
trative system in time of peace and during 
the first strategic deployment for war. In 
time of peace, therefore, the citizen soldier 
could not rise above the grade of brigadier- 
general, but in actual war every avenue to 
promotion lay open before him and he was 
free to rise as high as his military genius and 
success might carry him. Thus in the Ameri- 
can Volunteer Army as in the old Republican 
Army of France, every recruit was encouraged 
to feel that he carried a Field Marshal's 
baton in his knapsack. 



Another fundamental principle of scien- 
tific organization was applied in the assign- 
ment of recruits and student officers to the 
several arms of the service. Branches of 
the volunteer service having special technical 
duties were recruited from those men who 

n6 An Army of the People 

perform corresponding technical duties in 
civil life. 

We have seen how the cavalry and other 
branches of the mounted service were re- 
cruited from men who are already practical 
horsemen. To make a cavalryman out of 
a practical horseman it is only necessary to 
teach him the military applications of an 
art he already knows. It is true that modern 
military science makes all other sciences 
auxiliary to it and that the service of the 
modern army requires a great variety of 
technical experts to back the efforts of the 
plain fighting man. But under a scientific 
system of organization, the technical expert 
is the easiest recruit to find and the quickest 
to train for war. It is true that he requires 
an elaborate training, but he has already 
received the bulk of that training in civil life. 

The man who runs an electric motor in a 
modern machine shop can soon learn to oper- 
ate the most elaborate ammunition hoist. 
The machinist who can operate and repair a 
power crane in the locomotive works will 


Results of the First Summer 117 

soon master the mechanism of a disappearing 
gun. The trained expert who can use loga- 
rithms and work a slide rule will find no mys- 
tery in the precise readings of a coast artillery 
plotting board. The engineer who directs 
the electric current in a city lighting plant 
will find nothing startling in the fortress 
power room or the mining casemate. For 
every task in the harbor forts of New York 
Harbor, there are scores of skilled artisans 
in the neighboring city who are already ninety 
per cent, trained to man it in war. These 
potential fortress soldiers are already living, 
working, and sleeping within two or three 
hours of their logical war positions. And so 
throughout the military service. The sur- 
geon in civil life practices the same profession 
as the army surgeon under slightly different 
conditions. The trained hospital corps that 
treats the wounded in a railroad wreck or an 
industrial accident is all but ready for the 
wounded on the battlefield. The doctor who 
makes the sanitary survey of a modern city 
can soon prepare himself for the sanitary 

n8 An Army of the People 

service of a modern camp. The drug clerk 
in the corner drug store is compounding 
the same pills as the hospital sergeant is 
compounding in the dispensary tent. The 
chauffeur of the auto-ambulance in the city 
is almost ready for the military evacuation 
service. Every young man who drives an 
automobile for pleasure or business in civil 
life, can do the same thing for the auto- 
machine gun, the ammunition column, or the 
reconnaissance officer of the General Staff. 
And the young man who rides his aeroplane 
for sport needs little more than a formal en- 
rollment to place him in the aero-corps in war. 
The country is full of technical experts 
for every branch of the military service. To 
utilize them in war it is only necessary to 
show each one his place in the organization of 
the volunteer army, and to coach him more or 
less in the military applications of his chosen 
art. Indeed, as a general rule with few ex- 
ceptions, the more we require of scientific 
technique in the modern soldier, the less we 
require of purely tactical training. 

Results of the First Summer 119 

But the infantry soldier cannot be bor- 
rowed half made from the industrial arts and 
trades. This plain, slow-moving fighting 
man, upon whom the decision of all wars 
must rest, is the product of military training 
and of military training only. His rifle and 
his bayonet he carries in his hands as he 
struggles forward on the ground. Modern 
science provides no magical mode of loco- 
motion and no artifice of security for him. 
He marches as he marched in the days of 
Hannibal, and he wins the modern battle 
with the final clash of naked steel as he did 
in the days of Julius Caesar. Advance he 
must if there is to be victory for us, and he 
must advance and endure grievous losses 
with nothing to aid him but confidence in 
his officers and the habit of discipline and 
training. He is not burdened with technical 
devices for delivering indirect fire from behind 
the hill, nor does he enjoy the moral comfort 
of such a method. He must fight his battle 
out in the open where the shrapnel is burst- 
ing, and he must win the decisive fire fight by 

120 An Army of the People 

shooting at what he sees and against an enemy 
who generally sees him. This truth was in 
Napoleon's mind when he pronounced the 
dictum that "in war the moral is to the 
material as three to one." This he found to 
be true at Marengo and Austerlitz. It was 
still true at Chancellorsville and Vicksburg. 
It is truer than ever to-day in the prolonged 
and exhausting nervous strain of the mod- 
ern battle. The success of the volunteer 
army as an organic whole was largely due 
to a recognition of these fundamental prin- 
ciples. All branches of the service were 
organized and trained and advanced to 
substantially the same standard of effici- 
ency. But the training of each special or 
technical branch rested upon an initial basis 
of aptitude or industrial training which its 
recruits brought with them from civil life. 
It is remarkable that, until the passage of 
the National Defense Act, this first prin- 
ciple of correct organization had always 
been completely ignored in our military 

Results of the First Summer 121 


We have seen that the organization of the 
volunteer army required the detail of a large 
number of inspector-instructors to the volun- 
teer service. These officers passed to the 
detached service list of the regular army and 
when the resulting vacancies were filled by 
the promotion of existing officers there re- 
mained many vacancies in the grade of 
second lieutenant. Under ordinary circum- 
stances the selection of proper candidates to 
fill these vacancies would be a serious prob- 
lem. But through the provision of the sum- 
mer camps and the schools of application 
for student officers, the new volunteer army 
was soon prepared to return to the regular 
army as many officers as it had borrowed. 
After promoting the West Point class and 
the usual number of qualified enlisted men 
from the regular army, the remaining vacan- 
cies were filled by the "civil appointment" 
of educated young men who had qualified 
for commission in the summer camps. All 

122 An Army of the People 

of these appointees took the usual educational 
tests required by law, and all were indorsed 
by their regimental and battalion inspector- 
instructors and division commanders as 
specially qualified in character, aptitude, and 
training for a place in the National Officer 
Corps. In short, the summer school of ap- 
plication furnished a continuous test of effi- 
ciency and character extending over a period 
of three months, and was therefore the best 
examination for appointment from civil life 
that we have ever had in our military history. 



After the conclusion of the summer camps 
the great body of recruits returned to their 
places in civil life. No further military duties 
were to be expected of them until next year's 
autumn maneuvers. Until that time they 
were exempt from all military obligation or 
duty unless as impending war should call 
them to the colors. But effective arrange- 
ments were made to continue the military 
training of those members of the force who 
had accepted appointments as officers and 
non-commissioned officers. Correspondence 
schools for officers were organized in each 
division with the regular inspector-instruc- 
tors acting as instructors under the coordi- 
nating control of the division commander. 


124 An Army of the People 

The general outline of the work in these 
schools was standardized in the War Depart- 
ment and based upon the so-called applica- 
tory method. 

This practical method of military training 
appears to have been invented by Frederick 
the Great, and as finally perfected under 
von Moltke, has become the basis of tactical 
training in all modern armies. It is not an 
academic or theoretical method, but it is 
something like the modern practical "case 
method* ' of studying and teaching law. In 
the applicatory method the student is given 
a "military situation" and is required to 
solve it upon the map or the ground. In the 
"situation" he is given an assumed body of 
troops which he is supposed to command; 
the mission of his command is given or im- 
plied, and he is also given certain information 
with reference to the enemy. In short he is 
given precisely the same intellectual problem 
that is presented to a commander under war 
conditions in the field. The student's solu- 
tion of the problem is not to be presented in 

The Final Organization 125 

the form of a general essay on military art. 
He is simply required to write down his de- 
cision, to state his plan of action, and to write 
down the order which he would issue to his 
troops. In short it is a method of practicing 
the profession of arms in time of peace. It 
aims at cultivating tactical judgment and 
not merely tactical knowledge. The com- 
mand of troops in war is for practical men 
and not for pedants. It thus appears that 
the applicatory method is more than an 
educational system, it is also a means of 
discovering and developing tactical capacity. 
In the hands of a competent instructor it 
becomes a tactical measuring rod and is an 
instrument of precision by means of which 
pretenders to the art of commanding troops 
can be detected in time of peace. Nor is 
the applicatory method only adapted for 
the use of higher commanders. In the hands 
of a competent instructor it can be employed 
to train or test a corporal in the conduct of a 
small patrol or a lieutenant-general in com- 
mand of a field army. As this wonderful 

126 An Army of the People 

educational method is peculiarly appropriate 
for correspondence schools, it was rightly 
made the basis of the winter schools for 
volunteer officers. 

Each brigade was organized as a winter 
correspondence college of military art for the 
instruction of the volunteer officers commis- 
sioned in the brigade. In each of these 
brigade colleges the brigade inspector- 
instructor acted as College President and 
supervised a faculty consisting of the regular 
army officers attached to regiments and 
battalions. Similar schools were founded 
for volunteer officers of the auxiliary arms 
and supply corps. And finally the division 
commander, as president of the military 
university, coordinated the educational work 
of the whole division and thus laid the foun- 
dation for practical training in the combined 
tactics of the three arms. 

But, while most of the winter school work 
was conducted by the correspondence method, 
there were frequent opportunities for personal 
contact between instructors and student 

The Final Organization 127 

officers. The duties of the inspector-instruc- 
tors in connection with mobilization and 
concentration plans required some official 
travel within their respective districts. When 
they visited any community for these pur- 
poses, the volunteer officers of the region were 
assembled for conferences, lectures, war 
games, and terrain exercises. Measures were 
thus provided for transmitting the nation's 
standardized military doctrine to every mem- 
ber of the officer corps. But this was not 
sufficient. The winter's training must also 
extend to non-commissioned officers and 
selected privates who were encouraged to 
volunteer as candidates for promotion. For 
this purpose non-commissioned officers' 
schools were established in each company 
and were conducted by the company offi- 
cers under the supervision of the battalion 
•inspector-instructor. The scope of these 
schools was also standardized and the courses 
were so arranged that as the company 
officer mastered any subject in his own 
schools, he transmitted the elements of 

128 An Army of the People 

the same subject to his non-commissioned 

It will be seen from the above outline that 
the work of officers and non-commissioned 
officers was not restricted to the summer, 
and that spare moments each winter were 
devoted to systematic and progressive prepa- 
ration for the approaching maneuver season. 
This program made considerable but not 
unreasonable demands upon their time. For 
ambitious officers the work was a pleasure. 
For officers of the other kind it unerringly 
pointed to elimination. But this was not a 
detriment to the service, for thousands of 
eager and ambitious young Americans were 
striving for promotion to the Officer Corps 
of the National Volunteer Army. 


The success of the first year's work estab- 
lished the new national army on a solid 
basis of popularity and it soon became appar- 
ent that there would be another great enroll- 
ment in 1917. Early in 1917 a movement 

The Final Organization 129 

under Senator Skimp was organized with the 
view of limiting the further growth of the 
force. As its enlisted strength was now about 
320,000 men he proposed that its maximum 
legal strength be placed at 420,000 men. In 
the course of a debate on this subject, the 
following remarks were made by Senator 

"Mr. President, to place any limit on the 
strength of the Volunteer Army is to under- 
mine the whole system. We have made it a 
part of the free school system of America. 
When you founded our modern scientific 
volunteer system, you rejected the principle 
of conscription and announced that here- 
after America would intrust her defense to 
her army of trained volunteers. Shall we 
now apply the principle of conscription to 
the other end and say to our young men, 
'We won't compel any of you to come to our 
national school, but we have decided to 
compel some of you to keep out? It is 
against our traditional policy to draft you 

into the military service, but we have de- 

130 An Army of the People 

cided that we will have to draft you out of 

"Mr. President, the Senator proposes to 
limit the force to 420,000 men. If we adopt 
his views we will be able to train only one 
hundred thousand recruits in the summer 
camps this year. But suppose three hundred 
thousand young men should volunteer. I 
am assured at the War Department that this 
is the probable number. In that event, 
under the terms of this resolution, we will 
have to reject more than two-thirds of them. 
We will have to disappoint more than two 
hundred thousand young Americans who ask 
you to complete their civic education by 
training them to serve you in war. I am 
informed, Mr. President, that the proposed 
restriction is on the ground of economy. 
But where is the economy ? We have already 
demonstrated that the volunteer army is the 
most economical element of our whole na- 
tional system. In time of peace it costs less 
to maintain a war-strength division in the 
volunteer army than it does to maintain a 


The Final Organization 131 

single wax-strength regiment in the regular 
establishment. We can maintain twenty 
men in the volunteer coast artillery for the 
cost of one man in the regular corps." 

Senator Skimp's resolution found no favor- 
able echo in national public opinion and it 
never reached a vote in Congress. 


The second year's enrollment was much 
simpler than that of the first year. In the 
enrollment of 191 6, it was necessary, as we 
have seen, to reach prospective candidates 
through the Post Office Department and 
much unavoidable confusion and error re- 
sulted. In the second year the inspector- 
instructors and the mobilization sergeants 
formed an organized recruiting service and 
the resulting descriptive lists and enlistment 
papers were prepared with accuracy and 
precision. The enrollment resulted in 314,- 
266 recruits for the field army and 24,277 
recruits for the volunteer coast artillery corps. 

As a large number of National Guard 

13^ An Army of the People 

officers had failed to apply for permission 
to attend the special officers' schools in 1916, 
and as many of them now desired to qualify 
for commission in the volunteer service, it 
was decided to continue the officers' schools 
of application for one more year. But the 
rule was established that thereafter promo- 
tion within the national volunteers would 
be from the bottom, and that no original 
commissions for advanced rank would be 
issued. It was thus to be the future policy 
that ambitious citizens who aspired to com- 
mand volunteers must come in at the bottom 
as young men, take the regular recruit course, 
and then work up according to seniority and 
demonstrated capacity. It was the spirit 
both of the law and of the President's regu- 
lations that no man should be promoted to 
any grade until he had affirmatively demon- 
strated his capacity to perform the duties of 
that grade, but that in any group of candi- 
dates so qualified the senior should first be 
entitled to promotion. 

In 1917, 3423 officers of the National 

The Final Organization 133 

Guard enrolled for the summer schools, and 
acted as recruit instructors under the regular 
inspector-instructors. After that year the 
assistant drillmasters for the recruit camps 
were drawn from the volunteer army itself. 
A sufficient corps for this purpose was formed 
from those young officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers who volunteered to serve 
through an additional summer camp in order 
to prepare themselves for promotion. 


The enrollment statistics of 19 16 and 19 17 
when taken together gave some indication 
as to the probable normal enrollment in the 
future. In 1916, out of a total enrollment of 
333,376 recruits, 198,273 were nineteen years 
old, or of the minimum age authorized by law. 
The remainder were older men of various 
ages within the maximum authorized age of 
thirty. In 191 7 out of a total enrollment of 
338,503 there were 201,873 recruits of the 
minimum age, that is young men who were 
too young to enroll in 191 6. In other words, 

134 An Army of the People 

the enrollments of these two years indicated 
an annual enrollment of about two hundred 
thousand young men just arriving at the 
age of military service. This estimate was 
confirmed by other and more detailed analysis 
of the statistics and by investigations made 
by the inspector-instructors in the various 
parts of the country. 

This investigation had an important bear- 
ing on the future organization of the entire 
force, for the first two enrollments had al- 
ready absorbed most of the older men who 
were free to enlist and in a few years practic- 
ally all of the recruits enlisted would probably 
be young men of minimum age. Assuming 
this to be true, it was now possible to estimate 
the probable maximum number of men with 
the colors under normal conditions. This 
estimate is shown as follows : 

Recruits in summer camps of in- 
struction 200,000 

Second-year men available for ma- 
neuvers 200,000 

The Final Organization 135 

Third-year men vailable for ma- 
neuvers 200,000 

Re-enlisted men serving as non-com- 
missioned officers, technical experts, 
and other re-enlisted aspirants for 
promotion 120,000 

Total strength of volunteer army 720,000 

Taking 720,000 as the normal strength of 
the volunteer army for the next ten years, 
the ultimate organization was fixed as 
follows : 

Fifteen army corps (enlisted strength 
per corps 41,000) 615,000 

Six cavalry divisions (enlisted 

strength per division 8000) 48,000 

Coast Artillery Corps 57,ooo 

Total for volunteer army 720,000 

Now as the enrollment for the field army 
was already 620,939 or nearly 94 per cent, of 
normal, as the enrollment of the coast artil- 
lery was already 51,351 or 90 per cent, of 

136 An Army of the People 

normal, and as the shortage in both services 
would certainly be filled before the 1916 re- 
cruits should pass to the reserve, it was wisely 
decided to give the volunteer army its final 
organization and to test it in the maneuvers 
of 1 91 7. As a result of this decision each of 
the fifteen divisions organized in 191 6 was 
expanded into an army corps of two divisions, 
and the three cavalry divisions were formed 
into six divisions of six regiments each. It 
was expected that these organizations would 
reach full strength by 19 19, and that after 
that year there would be a gradually increas- 
ing surplus corresponding to the normal 
increase in population. The War Depart- 
ment proposed to utilize this growing surplus 
in the formation of special auxiliaries assign- 
able to field armies upon mobilization. 




The recent maneuvers of 1921 concluded 
the sixth year of the National Volunteer 
Army. These maneuvers are of special 
interest, because in addition to providing 
the usual field practice for troops and higher 
commanders, they involved a comprehensive 
test of the concentration plans developed by 
Major-General Shunt, 1 Chief of the U. S. 
Volunteer Railway Transportation Service. 
On September 15, 1921, the troops were 
operating as follows : 

1 . In New England, the I Army Corps, the 
1st Cavalry Division, and the New England 

1 General Shunt is well known in civil life as the general 
manager of the Pennsylvania System, and as president of 
the National Traffic Managers' Association. — Editor. 


138 An Army of the People 

Coast Artillery Corps were maneuvering in 
the coast defenses of Boston. 

2. A field army, consisting of the II., III., 
IV. Army Corps and the 2d Cavalry Division, 
supported the harbor defenses of New York 
against an attack by a large detachment of 
the regular army expeditionary force, which 
landed on Long Island under the convoy of 
the Atlantic battle fleet. 

3. The two divisions of the V. Army 
Corps operated against each other in the 
Shenandoah Valley under the observation of 
the corps commander who acted as chief 

4. The VI. Army Corps was engaged in 
similar divisional maneuvers in the vicinity 
of Kenesaw Mountain and Marietta in 
northern Georgia. 

5. A field army, consisting of the VIII. 
and IX. Army Corps and the 2d Cavalry 
Division based on South Bend, Indiana, 
defended the crossings of the Kalamazoo 
River against a superior force invading from 
the direction of Port Huron. The invading 

National Volunteer Army ( 1 92 1 ) 139 

army was represented by the VII., X. and 
XI. Army Corps, and the 3d Cavalry Division. 

6. One division of the XII. Army Corps 
based on Grand Forks, North Dakota, de- 
fended the Red River Valley against the 
remainder of the corps and the 4th Cavalry 
Division which represented an enemy invad- 
ing from the direction of Winnipeg. 

7. The XIII. Army Corps, concentrated 
in the vicinity of Dallas, Texas, had divisional 
maneuvers similar to those described for the 
V. and VI. Army Corps in Virginia and 
northern Georgia. 

8. As the XIV. Army Corps and the 5th 
Cavalry Division were widely dispersed over 
the Northwestern, Mountain and Pacific 
States it was impracticable to concentrate 
them for maneuvers in 1921. Brigade and 
regimental maneuvers were held, however, 
under the supervision of the division com- 
manders and a considerable detachment of 
all arms was concentrated in the coast de- 
fenses of Puget Sound. 

9. As the XV. Army Corps and the 6th 

140 An Army of the People 

Cavalry Division also are widely dispersed 
throughout the Southwest, their autumn 
maneuvers were similar to those described 
for the Northwestern troops. In this case, 
however, the volunteer troops available for 
coast defense maneuvers were concentrated 
near San Francisco Bay where, reinforced by 
a part of the regular army garrison they de- 
fended the rear of the seacoast forts against 
a raiding party of regulars and sailors which 
landed north of Monterey under cover of the 
Pacific battle fleet. 

At the annual inspections with which the 
maneuvers terminated, the enlisted strength 
of the Volunteer Field Army stood at 704,091, 
or 41,091 enlisted men in excess of the normal 
predicted strength of 663,000. On the same 
day the men of the volunteer coast artillery 
corps were inspected at their posts in our 
continental seacoast fortifications. Their 
enlisted strength was found to be 59,337, 
or 2,337 in excess of its normal predicted 
strength. These trained volunteers, all of 
whom resided near their war stations, were 

National Volunteer Army ( 1 92 1 ) 141 

sufficient with the regular coast artillery 
garrisons to form the full war-strength man- 
ning details of the national harbor defenses. 
The total enlisted strength of the first line 
of the Volunteer Army was thus seen to be 
763,428 on September 30, 1921. But this 
does not represent the total trained volunteer 
personnel available for war. The men with 
the colors simply represent the undergradu- 
ates of the American University of National 
Defense. On September 30, 1 92 1 , the alumni 
or graduates of prior years numbered 721,086 
exclusive of reserve officers. The total num- 
ber of trained national citizenry is thus seen 
to be merely a million and a half. 

While the enlisted men of the volunteer 
reserves are not required to attend the annual 
maneuvers, definite plans have been made 
for their employment in war. Upon the 
mobilization of the first line army, the re- 
serves are to be assembled at depots near 
their homes. Under the plans for 1921, 
three hundred thousand will immediately be 
available to replace losses at the front, three 

142 An Army of the People 

hundred thousand will immediately be formed 
into fifteen reserve divisions, and the force 
of trained reserve officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers will also be prepared to under- 
take the immediate training of a million war 
recruits. All of these arrangements are 
definitely organized and are to be supervised 
by those regular inspector-instructors who 
are not called to the front with the first-line 
army. While the enlisted reservists are not 
required to attend maneuvers, every reserve 
officer or non-commissioned officer is in- 
spected each year and assigned to a specific 
task in the annual mobilization plan. 


Another duty performed by the officer 
corps of the citizenry army is the conduct of 
elementary military training in the public 
schools. There are officers and non-com- 
missioned officers of the national force resid- 
ing in every school district, and in each school 
district one or more of them instruct their 
schoolboy neighbors in the mechanism of 

National Volunteer Army ( 1 92 1 ) 143 

drill and the practical art of rifle shooting. 
Indeed in many cases the schoolmaster is 
himself an officer in the national force. 

Thus as time goes on the education of the 
citizen soldier is well begun before he is for- 
mally enrolled in the National Volunteer 
Army. In some States military drill in the 
public schools has been made compulsory, but 
this provision has been found unnecessary 
as public sentiment has established the con- 
viction that education for self-respecting 
citizenship must include some preparation 
for national defense. Some young men evade 
this duty as they evade other civic obliga- 
tions, but their attitude must become more 
and more apologetic in the face of a growing 
presumption that they are probably some- 
thing less than able-bodied men. 


An interesting comment on the maneuvers 
of 1 92 1 is contained in the following extract 
from General Shunt's report of the Volunteer 
Railway Service: " After several years of 

144 An Army of the People 

practical experience we have gradually de- 
veloped a scientific system for the movement 
of large bodies of troops by rail. In a coun- 
try so vast as ours, the precision of these 
arrangements is of vast importance in any 
scheme of national defense. Our progress 
since 191 6 is remarkable, and our success is 
due largely to the sensible arrangement 
through which practical railroad operators 
have been entrusted with organizing the 
military railway service. On the whole the 
operations of the service during the recent 
maneuvers have been satisfactory. We 
have found some defects and have already 
provided corrective measures. No doubt we 
will have something to improve every year. 

"But the maneuvers have demonstrated 
that we have a highly organized military 
transportation service. I am now con- 
vinced that we can deploy three hundred 
thousand fully equipped troops at the various 
concentration points on the Atlantic seaboard 
within twenty-four hours after mobilization 
is completed, or within sixty hours after the 

National Volunteer Army (1921) 145 

first mobilization notice. We can increase 
this force by one hundred thousand men 
every twenty-four hours thereafter until it 
reaches a total of six hundred thousand men, 
and by the end of the seventh day we can 
also deliver fifteen reserve divisions, three 
hundred thousand strong. We can deploy 
upon our northern or southern frontier in 
about the same time. On account of the 
wide area of sparsely settled country in the 
mountain and plain regions a full strategic 
concentration on the Pacific coast will take 
from three to four days longer than on the 
Atlantic seaboard." 

In referring to the success of the joint army 
and navy maneuvers of 192 1, a prominent 
foreign naval authority has recently made 
the following interesting comment: "A suc- 
cessful invasion of the United States, even 
if the American navy should lose command 
of the sea, must now be regarded as beyond 
the bounds of possibility. While the short- 
service American volunteers are not so 

highly trained as the regular soldiers of con- 

146 An Army of the People 

tinental Europe or Japan, still they are 
formed and organized and capable of im- 
mediate combined action. Even the most 
powerful foreign army cannot exert its com- 
bined force in America at one time. Trans- 
oceanic invasion must come in successive 
waves, and each wave of invasion will be 
smothered by sheer weight of superior num- 
bers before the next wave can come. Clause- 
witz has pointed out that even the best 
troops under a Frederick the Great or a 
Napoleon cannot overcome odds much more 
than two to one." 



The successful organization of the American 
Volunteer Army has resulted in a solution of 
the whole problem of national defense. Even 
so late as 1915, there was no definite military 
policy and the several components of the def- 
ense system were uncoordinated and appar- 
ently indeterminate both in dimension and in 
form. This was found to be the natural result 
of attempting to build parts of the superstruc- 
ture of a house before determining its plan 
and foundations. But with the formation 
of the National Volunteer Army this found- 
ation was found to be established not only in 
substantial strength, but in the durable forms 
prescribed by national political tradition. 
But a correct military organization has 

turned out to be something more than was 


148 An Army of the People 

expected. Provision for the national de- 
fense was one of the specific objects of the 
national union as pronounced in the pre- 
amble to the Constitution of the United 
States. But for more than a century and a 
quarter the place for this stone had remained 
unfilled with resulting instability in the whole 
structure of our national polity. We have 
learned at last that sound military organiza- 
tion is simply a part of sound political organi- 
zation, and that to neglect it is to neglect one 
of the principal objects for which govern- 
ments are formed. With the successful orga- 
nization Of THE ARMY OF THE PEOPLE the 

foundations of our Government are now com- 
plete, and American diplomacy and American 
finance are erected upon a stable foundation. 
Our statesmen may now deal with instru- 
ments of precision. We have passed from 
the age of astrology to the age of astronomy. 


The reorganization of the regular army 
was not completed until the spring of 1918. 

An American Military Policy 149 

With the final settlement of the principle 
that the national volunteers form our logical 
and sufficient defense against invasion, it 
was universally accepted that the regular 
army should be restricted to these special 
functions which cannot be performed by a 
citizen soldiery and which therefore must be 
met by an organized body of professional 
soldiers. This restriction of the regular 
army to certain specific and limited duties 
did not diminish its real importance in our 
national system. It simply defined the 
professional soldiers' proper mission in our 
national life and furnished the basis for a 
practical and definite organization. 

So long as legislative proposals for the 
regular army were vague and chaotic ; so long 
as its proper limits and aspirations were un- 
measured or unknown; and so long as some 
of its advocates urged the necessity of a vast 
but undefined expansion in defiance of 
cherished political traditions, the problem 
of scientific military legislation was almost 
hopeless. But when the success of the great 

150 An Army of the People 

volunteer army removed the last pretext 
for a large standing force, jealousy of the 
regular army as a political institution dis- 
appeared and Congress proceeded to ascer- 
tain its legitimate needs and to provide them 
by appropriate legislation. As a basis for 
legislative action, Congress was guided by 
the following general principles which were 
universally endorsed by public opinion : 

1. The most important function of the 
regular army is to provide and develop the 
corps of highly trained professional experts 
who maintain the peace administration and 
training of the volunteer army and keep it 
prepared and equipped for prompt and order- 
ly deployment in war. In providing for the 
detail of inspector-instructors and mobiliza- 
tion sergeants from the regular army, Con- 
gress had already recognized this principle 
in the National Defense Act of 191 6. 

2. The garrisons of all of our over-seas 
possessions must be composed of regular 
soldiers. As the naval situation may not 
permit the reinforcement of these garrisons 

An American Military Policy 151 

at the outbreak of war, they must be main- 
tained at war strength in time of peace. 

3. The Panama Canal Zone must be ab- 
solutely impregnably held not only by the 
forts at its terminals but by a regular mobile 
garrison of unquestioned capacity to defeat 
all land attacks. 

4. All naval bases covering the approaches 
to the Panama Canal or necessary for the 
war operations of our fleet, must be impreg- 
nably held by regular garrisons at full war 

5. Our coast fortresses at home must be 
manned by a sufficient nucleus of professional 
coast artillerists to form the basis for the 
training, organization, and mobilization of 
the Volunteer Coast Artillery Corps. 

6. There must also be a mobile reserve of 
regulars stationed in the United States and 
constantly ready to act as an expeditionary 
force. This force must be prepared to serve 
a peace warrant in disturbed regions within 
our sphere of influence, or to execute a 
temporary receivership under the Monroe 

152 An Army of the People 

Doctrine without disturbing the calm of our 
internal affairs and without diverting the 
national war volunteers from their indus- 
trial occupations. At the outbreak of war 
this regular expeditionary force must be 
ready for immediate cooperation with the 
navy in sudden strategic enterprises, such 
as the establishment of advanced bases for 
our fleet, or the reduction and capture of 
hostile bases which may be used against 

The Regular Army Act of 1918 was drawn 
with the view of providing the limited forces 
necessary for the performance of the above 
described functions. As these functions 
were specific and definite and as the personnel 
and armament necessary for each function 
could be calculated and verified with scientific 
precision, the legislative task was simple. 
The new law involved some moderate in- 
creases in the regular military establishment, 
but its main effect was a readjustment of 
the components of the old army, which had 
grown by gradual and ill-digested increments 

An American Military Policy 153 

and without the guidance of any accepted 
scheme of military policy. 

But the success of the volunteer army not 
only determined the final form of the regular 
establishment. It gave it new ideals and a 
new opportunity for usefulness. The pro- 
fessional soldier no longer stands for some- 
thing foreign to our political ideals. Through 
his work as a teacher and trained adminis- 
trator, the volunteer army claims him as a 
part of itself. The army officer has thus 
found new opportunities for usefulness as a 
citizen as well as a soldier. He is no longer 
tempted to seek his best hope of promotion 
through the caprices of service legislation. 
His chief aim is to establish a high profes- 
sional reputation, for in that way only can 
he obtain the coveted honor of service with 
the American volunteers. 


A large number of officers and enlisted 
men of the Organized Militia transferred to 
the National Volunteer Army in the first 

154 An Army of the People 

enrollment of 191 6. During the winter of 
1916-1917, the final opposition to the volun- 
teer army disappeared and most States re- 
vised their militia laws to meet the new 
condition. Under these new laws the Federal 
Government was finally recognized as the 
national war-preparing power as well as the 
national war-making power. The States were 
therefore able to reduce their military estab- 
lishments to meet their purely local require- 
ments, and were released from any implied 
obligation to maintain expensive military 
contingents for national purposes. In some 
States a small and highly trained State con- 
stabulary replaced the old organized units. 
In others the old organized militia was recon- 
structed to meet the requirements of purely 
local defense. These arrangements were 
regarded as purely State affairs in which 
the Federal Government had no legitimate 

The National Guard, as organized under 
the so-called Dick Law, thus disappeared, 
but its trained personnel, released from the 

An American Military Policy 155 

discouragements and embarrassments of semi- 
constabulary service, passed into the new 
volunteer army and became the main source 
of its first contingent of officers and non- 
commissioned officers. As we look back on 
the national militia policy from 1900 to 191 5, 
we are astonished that anything so absurd 
could ever have been taken seriously. Under 
the Dick Law, the States were induced to 
maintain more troops than they needed, with 
the prospect of losing all of them at the very 
time when they might be needed most; the 
Federal Government was expected to base 
its defense plans on forty-eight State contin- 
gents that it could not control, train, or dis- 
cipline ; and the young men of America who 
desired to volunteer for military training 
found no opportunity except in a force which 
was principally a State constabulary, fre- 
quently dominated by petty politics and 

But the patriotic young men of the Na- 
tional Guard are the real founders of the 
American army of trained citizenry. All 

156 An Army of the People 

honor to them that they maintained the 
tradition of that great national ideal in 
spite of the burdens, disappointments, and 
neglects that characterized their service in 
the nondescript Dick Law army. 

All parties are now agreed that Congress 
builded wisely when it erected the National 
Military System on the unrestricted "consti- 
tutional power" to raise and support armies. 
The abandonment of the constitutional 
militia as a part of the national war host 
was best for the nation, best for the States, 
and best for the patriotic personnel of the 
National Guard. 


The adoption of a definite organization and 
policy for our land forces has resulted in a 
corresponding settlement of our naval policy. 
No longer concerned for the security of our 
coasts, and assured of the inviolability of its 
military bases, the navy is able at last to 
concentrate all of its ability and all of its 
energy on preparation for its true war mis- 

An American Military Policy 157 

sion — that is, the protection of our foreign 
commerce and the strategic control of our 
sea communications. Organization has be- 
come definite because aims have become 
definite, and the sole aim of the navy and of 
the people for the navy is the maintenance of 
a fleet, not for the defense of localities but 
for freedom of action at sea. In this inven- 
tive age the tenure of sea power has become 
too uncertain and precarious to form the 
chief reliance of national defense, and so the 
navy has found its true military mission as 
the strategic advance guard of The Army of 
the People. 


During the debates on the National De- 
fense Bill of 1 91 6, Senator Straightedge 
concluded one of his speeches as follows : 

"I am a man of peace and I do not want 
war. I am a man of business and I do not 
want to spend money on warlike prepara- 
tions. But as I look about me over an 
armed world, what do I find? I find that 

158 An Army of the People 

ours is the only nation on earth that can 
make herself impregnable without an exces- 
sive financial burden. Is it sound states- 
manship, is it good business, to neglect the 
cultivation of this God-given heritage?" 

Only six years have passed and already the 
question has been answered. Our military 
policy is settled. An unassailable America 
stands at the gateway between the two 
oceans and repeats her old message of civili- 
zation and peace. 



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