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Full text of "Company B of Davenport"

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Company B of Bavenport 

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riilNTED FOB COMI'ANY R BY THK, DEMOCUAT CO. 
DAVENPOKT, IOWA. 






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Company B of IDavcnpovt. 



TART I. 



TWENTY YEARS OF PEACE. 

l87«-I.sitS. 

In May, 1878, was organized the first military company, with 
headquarters at Davenport, since the close of the war of the rebellidi;. 
This was accomplished by J. A. Andrews, who had been a major in the 
army, and the coni[)any, as originally formed, was comjiosed entirely of 
men who had served as soldiers in the Union army. The original 
plans for the company were that it should be composed only of 
ex-soldiers, and, while a part of the National Guard, it was an organiza- 
tion to keep together the comrades of the war, and keep alive the mili- 
tary and patriotic S[)irit tliat had led them to enlist, and endure years 
of hardship in the defense of their country. 

The organization was mustered into the state service as Co. B, of 
the Ninth Infantry, Iowa National Guard, which was then compara- 
tively in its infancy. The Guard was small and derived but very little 
assistance from the State. The uniforms were purchased and paid for 
by the members, and became the property of the state, when tlie 
company was mustered into service, without any compensation what- 
ever. Afterward the company, like others, were allowed four dollars 
per annum per man, to keep uniforms in repair and re[)lace them when 
necessary. The companies of the Guard having uniformed themselves, 
when uniformed at all, there was a great variety of clothing worn, and 
when brought together into regiments no two companies presented 



*Pai'es .5 to 20 of Fart I are republisliert from a souvenir hlstoi-ical sketch of the company 
nriiitcil in ".a. For tlie reniaiiiclcr of IMrt i ;i.nii :i.ll of I'art II. I am rcs|iipnsihu-. Tin- liooli nuiUifi- 
•tll.iins nor alms at " tlie diKiiitv of liistory." My pail, is simply an aiToonl, ol somi- things ilone ami 
said in the camps of Coiiipaiiv 1'. diuiim tlii' Spanisli war. Tho purposu of this writiiii; is to give 
some notion of tilt" Iviiid ol life we led in Uncle Sam's \oliiiiteer army. ,,,„,„,,„ ^ ,„,„,- 

Gl'.OlMih ('. COOK. 



even the same general appearance. Some had uniforms for a portion 
of the men, some a portion of a uniform for each man, and some, to 
the mortification of both themselves uud the public, were compelled to 
wear, on all occasions of drill and parade, clothing wholly unmilitary. 
Company B, however, was exceptionally well uniformed and equipped, 
being composed, as it was, of men who had seen service in the army, 
and who knew the requirements of a soldier, and had the pride in the 
organization and the service to enable them to provide clothing in 
which to make a creditable appearanct;. 

The first officers elected were: Ca[)tain, J. A. Andrews; first 
lieutenant, E. L. Crook; second lieutenant, H. L. Mason. The armory 
of the company was in the Metropolitan haK, on the fourth floor of the 
W. C. Wadsworth block, and was then the only ])lace to be obtained 
large enough for drill purposes. lu January, 1S7'J, both lieutonants 
resigned, and an election was ordered for Febi'uary 17th, to fill tlio 
vacancies. Geo. W. Hutchius was elected as first lieutenant, and 
Chas. AV. McElroy as second. Soon after this young recruits began 
to be enlisted. This caused some discord among the old members, 
and frustrated the plan to keep the company as an old soldiers' organ- 
ization. The matter of subsistence also became a serious question 
with many, and members became tired of paying all the expenses them- 
selves. Companies, to maintain their existence, were largely depend- 
ent on the communities in which they were stationed, or on a.ssessinents 
upon individual members. These conditions beget a spirit that yields 
very unreadily to discipline, and, while the Guard, as a whole, was far 
in advance of what might have been expected in this particular, there 
often occurred instances of disregard of authority highly injurious, 
and calculated to unfit, rather than pre))are, men for the strict observ- 
ance of law and orders, without which all military organizations become 
disgracefully ineffective. Through these causes, and others, the com- 
pany began to degenerate, and the members to lose interest. Discords 
arose between members, and contentions between officers and men, 
created by a feeling of opposition to authority. 

The company had not wholly disbanded in 1881, but was on the 
verge of going to pieces, and would soon have been mustered out of the 
service. Several influential citizens then became interested in the 
matter, and took steps toward a reiu'ganization, which was effected early 
in the year. A thorough weeding out was made of the old member- 
ship, and new recruits were enlisted until the interest was again 

6 



revived. The first officers of the reorganized company were: Henry 
Egbert, captain; P. W. McManus, first lieutenant; E. I. Cameron, 
second lieutenant. Captain Egbert had been a colonel in the army, 
and Lieutenant McManus also, both having had experience in various 
positions and in different commands, so both were eminently fitted to 
put the company in the best possible shape, and upon a firm and cor- 
rect military foundation. It was decided to have a state encampmeut 
at Des Moines in October of this year, and this served to interest the 
men still more in the drills. All worked together, and soon the com- 
pany was making fine progress in drill. Its quarters were still in 
the Metropolitan hall ; weekly drills were held and largely attended. 
The company went into camp at Des Moines October 30, 1881, 
with the other state troops. This encampment was the first experi- 
ence of most of the men, and many of the officers, in camp life and 
duties, and here they had their first practical solution of military 
movements by regiment. This encampment was very crude in more 
ways than one. The rations were scant and entirely different from 
anything the men had ever experienced ; the cooking was villainous. 
No blankets being provided, each man carried quilts and other bed 
clothing from home. None of the men had overcoats, except their per- 
sonal property of that kind, and on cool mornings and evenings it was 
difficult to distinguish the soldier boys from the other citizens. There 
was a great deal of "skylarking" and "foraging" among the men, 
and the people who lived within reach of the camj) ground were 
heartily glad when " the war was over," and they were again left to 
the enjoyment of peace and what was left of their property. This tour 
of duty, however, primitive as it was, served to interest officers and 
men more deeply in the Guard, and to show them their failings from 
a military standpoint. They set about informing themselves regarding 
military matters, and preparing to make a more creditable showing in 
the future. All returned to their homes fairly well pleased with the 
camp trip, and fully determined to go next year and do b^^tter. Soon 
after returning from Des Moines, Captain Egbert resigned and Lieu- 
tenant McManus was elected as the next captain. Lieutenant E. I. 
Cameron as first lieutenant, and Geo. V. Laumau as second lieuten- 
ant. On the strength of the interest awakened by the encampment 
a number of good new recruits were secured, and the company did 
some faithful work, showing steady improvement and putting itself 
in very presentable shape as to proficiency in drill. 

7 



The question of subsistence was still the hardest one to solve, and 
subscription papers were often seen passing around to pay armory rent 
and other incidentals. A brigade en(-atu[)inent was ordered from July 
Bd to 8th, 1882, at Muscatine, and the early summer of this year was 
occupied by the company in extra and regular drills, preparing for the 
event. They went into camp as ordered, in good form, showing while 
there that they were equal in personnel and discipline to any com- 
pany of the brigade. The five days' encampment were of great bene- 
fit to the officers and men, for many of them had been through tlie one 
of 1881 and knew how to go about getting the most benefit from this 
one. There was not so much time wasted in preluninaries, and more 
devoted to telling work. A part of the weather was rainy, but, on the 
whole, the encampment was well enjoyed by all. The boys did some 
" foraging," but were quite mild as compared to the year before. The 
showing made by the company was good enough, so that our captain 
was wanted for a higher position, and in April, 1SS3, he was elected 
lieutenant colonel of the Second regiment, of which our comfiaiiy 
was then a part, having been transferred from the old Ninth when the 
Guard was reorganized an^l the regiments were condensed from nine to 
six. By this arrangement the regiment gained a first-class ofiicer 
and the company lost the best captain we ever had. On May 22, 

1883, E. I. Cameron was elected captain, Geo. V. Lauinaii first 
lieutenant, and H. W. Gilbert second lieutenant. These officers 
continued the policy and plans of the company as they had been 
before; the men showed the effect of regular drills, and, seeing the 
necessity of it, began to show better discipline. The boys held social 
parties, and occasionally gave a ball, fo increase tlieir income and |>ro- 
vide for expenses as far as possible. 

The encamjiment of 188-1: was by brigade, and was held in Fair- 
field. All showed marked inqirovement as compared with the year 
before, and the encampment was a very profitable one. We went into 
camp August 11, and did telling and regular camp work for five days. 
The boys enjoyed the time spent there, and most of them were more 
enthusiastic than ever. In April of this year Lieutenant Lauman 
severed his connection with the company, being compelled to remove 
to Chicago for [)erraanent residence. At an election held March 2."), 

1884, H. W. Gilbert was elected first lieutenant, and W. J. McCui- 



lough second lieutenant. 




CAPTAIN liOliEKT T. KRKNUU. 



With these officers, the company eutered its first competitive 
drill. This was for a purse offered by the Fair Association, and was 
asaiust the Eodman Rifles of Rock Island, Ills. This was an old com- 
pany, and a good one, having won several prizes before. We had 
many misgivings as to the outcome, but all worked faithfully and 
hard. We had a great many extra drills, and many of them secretly, 
as our opponents had spies at our armory on regular drill nights to 
note our progress. We were coached by C. F. Garlock for a few 
drills, and every man took hold determined to do his best. The Rod- 
mans came over, thinking it only a matter of form to go to the 
grounds, drill, and get the purse. They had ordered a banquet before 
they left home, and intended paying for it with the prize money. We 
drew choice of place and drilled first. The boys were cool and deter- 
mined, and, though some errors were made by both ofiicers and men, 
all felt they had done their best and knew they had " i)ut up " a good 
drill. Our ojtponents were surprised, and half beaten, when we 
finished the program. Their captain said afterward that when we 
came onto the field and stacked arms he knew he was beaten. That 
"stack" was enough. The judges' decision gave us the purse by a 
handsome margin. The boys received many congratulations, and 
deserved them. They were quiet themselves, however, and made no 
demonstration on the grounds. We escorted our guests and late 
opponents from the grounds to the boat, to couvey them home, then 
returned to our armory. When we reached there the boys gave vent 
to their pent-up feelings, and fairly made the old building tremble. 
The Rodmans went home, invited the street urchius to eat their ban- 
quet, and then broke all the dishes and furniture. AVith the money 
won in this drill, and a little collected other ise, we bought a new gun 
case, and a nice one. It was a great addition to our ([uarters, as it was 
handsome, made of hard wood, and was a fine piece of furniture It is 
still in use in the new armory, and, beside being very useful, is a con- 
stant reminder of our first prize drill. 

In 1884 a consultation was held with brigade and regimental com- 
manders, at which it was determined to make a trial of camjting by 
regiments, instead of, as formerly, by Ijrigade. In accordance with this 
decision the Second reginunit went into camp in August, 1885, at 
Centerville. The company had worketl hard preparing for this 
encampment, as there was to be a prize drill for purses offered by 
citizens of Centerville. We went from home feeling that we should 

11 



be among the winners, as we had carefully prepared ourselves for 
almost anything in Upton. The progiams were to be given us thirty 
minutes before we went on the ground, so no one knew what we were to 
do. This being our second drill, however, we had a little better idea 
than before. There were six comi)auies competing in this drill, two 
not entering, and the decision of the judges gave us the second place. 
We were satisfied, for the drill was fair, and all thought us rightly 
placed. There was some jealousy engendered by this competition 
among companies who did not win, and who thought themselves our 
superiors. Some of this feeling still exists in the CJuard, I am sorry 
to say. 

In ISSn, the encampment was again by brigade, and was at Oska- 
loosa. At this encampment the regiment was commanded by our old 
Captain, P. W. McManus, as colonel, the boys having had the pleas- 
ure of casting an unanimous vote for iiim for this position on October 
20, 1885. We had also worked hard, and many extra hours, prepar- 
ing for this encampment, for, though we were not expecting any com- 
petitive drill, we were anxious to keep the reputation we had gained, 
to show the brigade that the honors we had won were not accidental, 
and that we were prepared to hold them. After we were settled in our 
quarters it was announced to the brigade that a new stand of arms, 
of the latest improved pattern, would be given to the com pan v being 
the most proficient in drill, making fh(! best and most soldierly appear- 
ance during the encampment, and having the highest percentage on 
inspection. Of course, we did our best, and were in shape to do well, 
owing to our careful work at home. We were much gratified, and very 
highly elated, to hear from the adjutant general, after the whole 
encampment had been passed upon and the pay rolls made up, that we 
had won the guns. This gave us first pla(;e in the brigade of twenty- 
four com])anies, and the boys were more than pleased. The G. A. II. 
encampment was to take place at Maquoketa in September, immediately 
following our Oskaloosa trip, and we buckled down to hard work again, 
preparing to go into the prize drill to be held ihere at that time. We 
had at this time secured quarters from the city, in a building built for 
a market house, but then unused. We had secured some fine new 
lockers in the company rooms, and a new fancy dress uniform, which 
we had not yet worn in public. The.se last were [)urchased with money 
obtained by inducing the Washington Eifles, of Washington, D. C, 
who were then making a tour of the country, to stop here and give an 

12 



exhibition. They had about eighty men, and we had to provide for 
their eatertainment. We did a large amount of work and talking, and 
secured enough subscriptions to guarantee expenses. They came and 
were quartered at the Kimball House. This was the largest military 
parade seen here since the war upi to that time, and was a pronounced 
success, financially and otherwise, for us. The boys were very anxious 
to initiate these uniforms, and do so in a befitting manner. We were 
to wear them for the first time at the Maquoketa drill, and the Gover- 
nor's Greys of Dul)a(|ae were entered against us, all other companies 
having withdrawn when they entered. The Muscatine company was 
barred from the first, for if it entered the Greys would not, being 
afraid of their laurels. The Greys had been called the first company 
in the state, and were conceded to be the " crack " company of their 
regiment and Ijrigade. We therefore had the honor of our regiment 
and brigade, beside our own, to uphold, and were naturally a little 
nervous. The boys worked hard, however, drilling both morning and 
evening, working in the armory, on the streets, and in vacant lots. 
The programs were to be mailed to us the day before the drill. We 
went through ours twice, as we understood it, and took the morning 
train for Maquoketa. When we arrived there we learned the 
Dubuque company had been there two days, but vve could not find 
them. After some time they were discovered out in a pasture, behind 
the fair grounds fence, hard at work, drilling the program. When 
any of our boys went in sight the Greys stopped drilling. Our boys 
were not formed in line at all, after breaking ranks, until time for 
drill, and never were on the drill grounds as a company until they 
went on to drill the program. Our opponents were on the grounds, 
however, and drilled the program all the day before our arrival. We 
kept cool and got our dinners, then drew for places. We secured the 
choice, and took first. We went onto the grounds and completed the 
program in the time allowed, and did it with as few errors as we ever 
made in a drill. There was a special point made of the time consumed 
in executing the maneuvers in the program, it being thought that it 
could not be finished in the time given. Companies were to be given 
credit for extra time. Both companies drilled well, but while we thought 
we had won, there was nothing sure. Our opponents congratulated us 
on the drill we had put up ; they did not consider it up to theirs, but very 
good for us. About an hour after the drill we were ordered to report 
to the commander of the camp with our companies. They were soon 



iu Hue in front of bis quarters, and the officers reported. Ho then 
thanked us for our entertainment, and congratulated us on the finish of 
our drills and our appearance, keeping us in sus[)ense while he made 
quite an address, and then announced that Company B had won. This 
was the crowning success of our efforts as a military company, and the 
boys cheered and congratulated themselves witliout restraint as soon as 
the ranks were broken. We came home on the evening train, and were 
met at the depot by a delegation of citizens and a band, and escorted to 
Turner Hall, where a reception and supper had been [jrepared for us. 
In 1SS7, our encampment was at Ottumwa, and was by brigade. 
We had the usual routine of camp duties, and the men .showed a bettor 
understanding of the duties of a soldier, and what was necessary to be 
done to receive the fullest benefit from an encam[)ment. Every opjxir- 
tuuity was improved, liy both officers and men, to learn all that it was 
possible to do in the five days allowed us. The weather was fearfully 
hot, but the men, as a rule, were in good health, and showed but little 
effect of it. One day, however, was trying. This was Review day, 
when the men were kept standing for a long time in one position in the 
hot sun. Many of them were carried to their quarters, luiviug fallen 
down from the effects of the lieat. Some companies lost most of tlieir 
men in this way. Our company was fortunate in this regard, as only 
one man was obliged to leave the ranks. Our men, however, were in 
good condition and had been taking care of themselves. There were, 
however, no serious lasting effects from the lieat, and all recovered 
during the night. During 1886 and 1887 we had gradually secured 
more room from the city for armory purposes, and now had good com- 
pany and drill rooms iu the building owned by the city and formerly 
built for a market. The city had remodeled the interior for us, and all 
was pleasant. The camp pay of the men, now allowed by the state 
and placed in the company treasury, enabled us to get along quite 
comfortably. Early iu May, 1888, our captain's commission expired, 
and on May 14, H. W. Gilbert was elected Captain, R. J. Muckle first 
lieutenant; J. J. Frazier second lieutenant. Lieutenant W. J. 
McCullough had been appointed quartermaster of the Second regi- 
ment on May 14, 1888, and was not a candidate for a lieutenancy. 
The regular drill work of the company was kept up, and considerable 
interest was taken in target practice, a number of men making very 
creditable scores. 

14 




1. FIRST CAMP. 2. TUB ARRIVAL. 3. FIRST MESS. 



Our encampment of 1SS8 was at Burlington, and was a ver}' suc- 
cessful one. The com[)any made a good showing, and was highly com- 
plimented upon its appearance and improvement. Competitive drills 
in the Guard had been vetoed, on account of the unpleasant feelings 
shown by some companies in consequence of the ones we had before. 
Our comiianv had not participated in any interstate drills that were 
being held in various parts of the country, believing, as facts have 
proven, that most, if not all of them, were "fixed," and that merit did 
not win. This is now thoroughly believed, and such competitions are 
of the past. We now began regular meetings for the officers and non- 
commissioned officers, and had, in addition to the company, a lai-ge 
cadet corps, formed this year, drilling once a week, composed of boys 
who were interested but who were too young to enlist. This made a 
CTood source from which to recruit the company, and they were drilled, 
ready to take their places in the ranks as soon as enlisted. Most of 
the cadets enlisted iu the company as soon as they were old enough, 
and, of course, were far superior to raw recruits. 

In 1S89, the city concluded that they wanted our company room 
for i)olice patrol purposes, and as we were subsisting on their charity 
as rec^arded the armory, having no lease, they took it. This com- 
pelled us to move our furniture and lockers into our drill room, which, 
being none too large in the first place, was now too small for drill pur- 
poses. We drilled on the street when the weather would permit, and 
when it would not, could not drill at all. The loss of the company 
room diminished the interest of some members ; drills and other meet- 
ings were not so well attended as before. Our encampment this year 
was on August 5, at Ft. Madison, and was by regiment. We had two 
companies of U. S. Regulars in camp with us here, which was a great 
help to the members of the Guard, both officers and men, and all 
profited by it to the fullest extent possible. The trip to and from Ft. 
Madison was made by boat, and was greatly enjoyed by all. It was an 
a'Teeable change from<-the long night rides in crowded trains, and was 
highly appreciated. Soon after our return from encampment we were 
compelled to move our quarters, our drill room Ijeing taken for a house 
of detention iu connection with the police department. After some 
" house hunting," we secured a room in the Turner hall building for 
a company room, and moved our furniture into it, using the gym- 
nasium for drill purposes. This was unsatisfactory in many ways, for 
we were practically without a home. We lost our cadet corps soon 

17 



after moving here, as many parents objected to the location, and would 
not allow their boys to attend drills on account of the surroundings. 
There was some talk of other cjuarters, but nothing was accomplished. 
There was no other place in the city available, and none could be 
secured at all for the small sum the state allowed for the purpose. 
Some of the boys were becoming discouraged and losing interest. 

A brigade encampment w^as ordered for J)es Moines in 1890. 
This spurred the men up somewhat to renewed efforts, and we again 
buckled down to hard drills, and went into camp in August in good 
shape. There was nothing different from the regular camp life, except 
the pre.seuce of a regiment of I'nited States troojjs, which was a great 
assistance to us in many ways. In September of this year the Expo- 
sition and Fair Association held its first show, and offered three 
prizes for an exhibition drill. We began preparing for this at once 
on our return from camp, and on the day of the drill had a team in 
fair shape. The only outside company entered was Company C, of 
Muscatine, and, there l)eing three prizes, we organized a cadet corps 
for the occasion. The program was (piite difficult, and the day was 
rainy, but on the whole it was a very good military exhibition. The 
judges gave Company C first, our comi)any second, and the cadets 
third. We did not do as good work as we had expected, owing to the 
inability of some members of the team, both officers and men, to be 
present. Their places had to be filled by others not used to them. 
The place of second lieutenant was filled by a man fnmi the ranks 
who had never been in the position before. We also lost on insj)ec- 
tion, owing to several guns having broken firing pins in them because 
we were unable to get new ones from the state to replace them. Tiio 
judges, being regular army officers, threw out these guns as being 
unserviceable. This was our last competitive drill, and was our fifth 
one, out of which we won three first and two second prizes. During 
the winters of 1890 and 1891, business arrangements calling him per- 
manently away from the city, our second lieutenant left us, and in 
the spring of 1891, F. M. Parmele was elected second lieutenant. 

The year of 1891 was a busy one for us. We had decided to 
settle the armory question by building one. We thought if we could 
arrange to raise part of the money, a>nd use our state allowance, 
together with the income from our armory building, we could have a 
home of our own, and so went to work to secure it. We arranged to 
lease the ground from the city at a nominal rental, and secured a lot 

18 



sixty-three feet wide and one hundred and fifty feet long, in a desirable 
location on Fifth street between Main and Brady. A fair was held 
which netted us a little more than §600. We then issued certificates 
of stock at §10 per share and began disposing of them. The mem- 
bers of the company took a good many of them, and several citizens 
assisted in this way. We did not, however, succeed in obtaining as 
much as we had hoped. The foundation was laid in the fall, and the 
next spring we began the erection of a brick building 63x150 feet, 
thirty feet of the front being two stories and the balance one story in 
height. The building was completed slowly, owing to the financial 
difficulties, but was finally finished. We took possession in February, 
1891. We had planned for an opening ball, but this had to be post- 
poned because water had got under the improperly laid maple floor, 
causing it to warp. This we had to replace with a new floor, causing 
us much delay and unlooked for expense. When the floor was finished, 
however, the new armory was dedicated with the finest military ball 
ever seen here. It was a complete success, and was attended by many 
prominent people from military and social circles. We now think we 
have as fine an armory as any in the state, having nice, comfortable, 
commodious company rooms on the second floor, front, and a drill 
room 60x120 feet of clear space. We have gas and electric lights, 
water, toilet rooms, reception rooms, and all the requirements of a 
comfortable and complete building. 

Our encampment of 1891 was held here at Davenport, and was 
regimental. This was the first of the kind seen here since the war, and 
was a surprise to many people. Few expected to see such a well 
organized, disciplined and equipped force as a part of the Iowa Guard, 
and many acknowledged that the state troops were deserving better 
support than they received from the state who had before held the 
opinion that we did not amount to much, and that the money appro- 
priated for us was wasted. 

At this encamj)ment the matter of going to Chicago for the dedi- 
catory ceremonies of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1892 was 
discussed, and there was talk of taking the whole state Guard. This 
was afterward found impracticable, or too expensive, and it was decided 
to send part of the Guard. It was finally decided that the first and 
second regiments should be detailed as the " Iowa Provisional Brig- 
ade," to represent the Iowa National Guard for this service. This 
duty was to be in lieu of our regular encampment, and we were ordered 

19 



to be in readiness for this trip on October 11. I'i anil IH. Our orders 
were afterward changed to the 20th. '21st and 22nd of October, owing 
to the change of dates for the dedication exercises. The Second regi- 
ment was afterward ordered to Davenport, and the first to Burlington, 
for a two-days' encampment of insti'uction before going to Chicago, as 
we had never been in camp, or together as a regiment, under the new 
revised tactics and new formation. The Second battalion of the Second 
regiment was quartered here in our armory, and Imd [ilenty of room. 
Rations were served by contract. The camp was very profitable in 
many ways, to officers and men alike, and had much to do vv'ith the fine 
appearance the Iowa troops made in Chicago. We arrived in Chicago 
on tlie morning of the 19tli of October, and were quartered in tlie 
Agricultural building at Jackson Park. The quarters were comforta- 
ble and plt>asant, but the rations were net what they should have been. 
Being furnished on contract, however, they probably were as good as 
could be expected. The trip was greatly enjoyed by us all. The 
limited quarters would not allow of much military work, and the boys 
put in the time seeing the exposition grounds and Chicago. There 
were troops there from all the states and territories which had a Guard, 
and we learned from seeing these and the different e(|ui[)ments. The 
men had five days in Chicago, and to mauj' of tliem it was the 
experience of a lifetime. Our active service in the Guard here in Iowa 
has not been as much as in many other states. Here there has been 
no call for it, and no cause for it. The nearest ap[)roach we liavo had 
to active service, aside from the regular camp service, was at the time 
of the What Cheer coal miners' strike in 1887. Wo then had a tele- 
gram to be in readiness to go to Wiiat Cheer on receij)t of telegraphic 
orders. All of the commissioned officers of the company were out of 
the city when the telegram came, but inside of an hour forty-eight 
men were in the armory, under command of the first sergeant, ready to 
go. This was the entire membership that was in the city, except two, 
who were unable to go on account of sickness. The officers returned 
later, and all lay in the armory all night expecting to be called to move 
any minute. But no orders came, and in the morning we were tele- 
graphed that we would not be needed. 

In the iVIay election of 1893, Edward G. Peck was chosen for captain, 
F. M. Jones for first lieutenant, and E. R. Hasson for second. Peck, 
however, for business reasons, never qualified as captain of the com- 
pany. First Lieutenant Jones commanded the company for six mouths, 

20 




lilKDS EYE VIEW OF FIRST CA511'. 




CAMP OF SECOND BATTALION. 



and was then, on November ITtb, made captain. Sergeant T. C. Dal- 
zell was elected first lieutenant January 15th, 1894. There was no 
encampment in 1893. One day, however, Captain Jones mobilized 
the company, put the boys in heavy marching order, and the baggage 
on a train, and ran down to West Davenport. They were very much 
fooled boys, for they were going against Chicago strikers, or, Indians 
at least. 

In the February inspection of 1894, Company B made a poor 
showing. There was not much interest in the company at that time, 
alth.nigh the Burlington encampment for the week, beginning August 
24th, did something in the way of reviving it. lu November, Captain 
Jones resigned, on account of removal from the city, and four years 
later, when the comp'any was passing through Davenport on its way 
south, lie was able, in his position of chief train des[)atcher of the 
Iowa division of the Rock Island n)ad, to give the boys that very much 
appreciated last hour at home. In January, 1895, Robert Tillinghast 
French, then a private, was elected captain over J. Matteson,then first 
sero-eant. First Lieutenant Dalzell wanted French for captain, and 
threw him his support. It was the closest and most exciting election 
of ofiicers ever held Ijv the company, and it brought a splendid man to 
the top. The cham[)ague punch that night at French's was excellent. 
Early in July Second Lieuteuaul Hasson resigned, and First Sergeant 
Matteson was elected to fill the vacancy. In August the brigade 
encampment was held in Centerville, and nothing memorable occurred, 
except a well-exeeuted raid on the sutler. The camp was on top of a 
coal mine, and as hot as though it were all on fire. The company did 
Udt make much of a showing, for only about half the boys could get 
aw-ay from work. Lieutenant Routhers of the Eighth Infantry, who 
was at the time detailed for work on the Island, had been coaching the 
company two or three times a week, and had the full membership been 
at Centerville, we would have done very well. The boys gave a lawn 
fete and exhibition drill that summer at the Outing Park. It was a 
very successful society event. In the February inspection the com- 
pany made a fair showing. 

The regimental encampment at Ottumwa in 189(5 began on July 
25th, and the seven succeeding days were very rain}'. The tents were 
rioored with loose boards, across two-by-fours which were laid flat. 
The ground was low, and one very rainy night the water threatened 
to rise over the floors. So the ca[)tain came down the company street 

23 



in the rain and helped the fellows turn the two-by-fours on edge. Thi'U 
Captain Robbie went back and sat all night, holding the flies of his 
own tent shut. The drills at Ottuiuwa were before breakfast, and the 
men had the afternoons otf. The eom[)any made a good showing that 
year. 

There was some nervy diving in the Ottumwa natatorium during 
that encampment. The bath house tank was some seventy-five feet 
long and fifty feet wide, with water from four to eleven feet deep. 
There was a good deal of diving, and the climax of it came when Cap- 
tain French and Charlie Sartorius, a boy of twelve or thirteen, whom 
Altman had brought to camp, unostentatiously dived forty feet from 
the rafters of the building. The adjutant and staff officers were well 
" whacked" with rubber bat's in that swimmingr tank. After livine 

o o o 

under the Articles of War and the army regulations, it is odd to look 
back and think of enlisted men whacking officers. 

Shortly before the Ottumwa encampment Captain French, First 
Sergeant Hender, Sergeant McManus and Private Main had gone to 
Cedar Eapids, for target [>ractice on the range there, 'ihey say that 
Captain and Commissary Jiill}- McCullough shot six times and got a 
black arm. (By the way what was it that dropped out of BilJv's iiat 
when he gracefully bowed to the ladies y History is silent, so ari^ the 
ladies, but they know. ) The lack of a range has been and still is the 
greatest handicap of the Davenport coni[)any. Its other handicap — 
debt — was removed by the energy and administrative ability of Ivobert 
T. French. In the spring of '9G the armory was badly run down for 
lack of repairs, and the company was loaded with an indebtedness of 
$6,7(H). With the assistance of Col. George French, Judge Nath. 
French, and of his sisters. Miss Alice Frcuich and Miss Francos French, 
the caijtain set about paying off this indebtedness. The members of 
the company also worked hard, and in a very short time, by the help of 
city, county and citizens, the thing was accomplislnMl. Nine thousand 
five hundred dollars was raised. The debt was paid, and great im- 
provements were made on the armory. Bath rooms, and athletic 
rooms, and a room for the non-coms, were added. A new roof 
was put on, and a new floor laid in the drill hall. Electric lights 
were put in, everything was replastered, the assembly room was re- 
modeled. Later, the company had fine new uniforms by a regular 
army tailor. These were not the unsoldierly and ugly fancy dress uni- 
forms of earlier days, but the trim blouse and trousers of the regulars. 

24 



Uncle Sam doesn't go iu for pomp and paraphernalia with his regnlar 
soldiers. He gives them exactly what they need, and dresses them not 
for show, but for work. Say what you please of the Kaiser's army, 
there is more good sense in Uncle Sam's. The good, clean ])uilding, 
the good, clean clothing of company B, gave it self yespect and made it 
soldierly in appearance and spirit. That was Robert French's work, 
and it was work characteristic of the man. His sister. Miss Frances, 
gave the boys a good piano, which still rings blithely with muscular 
music. 

Captain French improved not only the financial, but the social 
condition of the company. The first dance after the laying of the new 
floor was in October, '96. There was a reception iu the afternoon, and 
in the evening an excellent military ball. At the reception the com- 
pany went through guard mount and the bayonet exercises, and in the 
evening a smart company drill. On the evening of November -ith, '11(5, 
Captain French arranged to have the returns of the McKinley-Bryan 
election posted in the hall, and had hundreds of chairs brought down 
from Libr iry hall. A great many women availed, themselves of the 
oportunity to watch the returns. It was decidedly worth doing that. 
It seemed to remove something of the sordid associations of politics to 
have the best women of the city gathered there, absorbed in the news 
of the great election. 

After paying off the debt, remodeling the armory, reclothing the 
company and setting it on a higher social level. Captain French felt 
that his work was done, and, in November, '9G, resigned. Afterwards 
he planned to give a medal to the best drilled soldier of the company, 
and that medal is now being competed for iu three annual drills and 
inspections. It is not too much to say that Captain French did more 
to insure the refinement and stability of Company B than any man who 
ever belonged to it. We would not be in this armory today were it 
not for him. 

On December '2Sth, First Lieutenant T. C. Dalzell was elected 
captain and First Sergeut Hender was elected first lieutenant over 
Matteson. In the inspection of February '28th, 1897, the company 
made a capital showing. Rifles had been blued, there was a large 
company, and only the lack of target practice prevented the company 
from leading the entire Iowa division. In August of that year, the 
regimental camp was at Washington; the Davenport company made a 
clean sweep. Every orderly man was a "B" man, and when the boys 

25 



came home, Burmeister, being right guide, had a big, beribboued 
broom strapped to his rifle. Id the fall, Header, Roe, Burmeister, 
Lapitz and Watkius qualified at the Muscatine range as state sharp- 
shooters, and nearly all the rest of the coinpan_y as marksraen. 

Captain French had gone east in December '95, to work in the 
Carnegie iron and steel mills at Homestead, Pennsylvania. While 
there, in September '!)7, he was taken sick and went with his brother. 
Col. George W. French, to Toronto, Canada, where he was placed in 
the hospital. His sickness proved to be typhoid fever, and after a 
long and bitter battle, in spite of splendid pluck and perfect nursing, 
he died in Toronto hospital, November 7th, 1897. His sister. Miss 
Alice French, was with him through it all. It was an unspeakable 
blow to his family, and his many, many friends. Captain Dalzell and 
the non-commissioned officers of the company went to Chicago and met 
the train bearing the body home. The non-coms bore the coffin from 
the train to the hearse through the dense and sorrowing crowd which 
had gathered at the station. The company attended in a body the 
funeral services at the house. 

Robert Tillinghast French was only twenty-five when he died. 
He was graduated from Harvard in '93, after living four years strongly 
and beautifully at Cambridge. There he wrote, bo.xed, helped p(!o|)le, 
was loved. With his keen, strong intellect he performed collegiate 
duties easily and well, and had time to enjoy good things and make 
others enjoy them. After graduation he came to Davenpoit ami set 
about learning the business of manufacturing steel and iron. He liegan 
at the bottom and learned to do, himself, every kind of workwliicli was 
done in the Eagle works and the Sylvan Steel works dI Mnlinc. With 
grimy shirt, coarse shoes and dinner basket, lie went and came; by 
night and day he worked as rougher, roller, finisher, toiling, taking no 
favors. He was in earnest, he was thorough, he did the little things 
that culminate in great things. He was as ready to give iiis last dollar 
to a fellow workman who needed it as he was to give a threshino- to 
any hugh lubber who needed that. He was just and did justice, he 
was fearle.ss and very tender. College chums, fellow workmen, society 
girls, men of company B, idolized the beautiful fellow. It is hard to 
see a limit to what he might have done and been. He was greatly 
loved and greatly worth loving. 

Lieutenant Matteson resigned in November, and First Sergeant 
James M. McManus was elected to fill the vacancy. In February, '96, 

26 




WITH ALL HOME COMFORTS. 



on inspection, company B made the best showing of any company in 
the state. Captain Tom Dalzell [)laced the superstrncture of that ex- 
cellence upon the broad and deep foundations laid by Captain Robert 
T. French. 




29 



PART II. 

SEVEN MONTHS OF WAR. 

April 23— November 30, 1898 
The weeks of April, 1898, were weeks of anxious expectancy for 
Co. B. lutere.st in tlie company rose to a higlier pitch than ever be- 
fore, oil the part of the boys themselves, and on the part of the city. 
Fellows who waiitotl to be " in it" spoke to Captain Dalzell about join- 
ing the company in case it .should be called out. President McKin- 
ley's call for 12.1, ()()() volunteers brought this interest to fever pitch. 
The days of waiting for orders became tenser and tenser. All day 
Saturday, A[)ril 23, men kept dropping into the armory to hear the 
news. At length, in the afternoon, First Sergeant Roe received the 
telephonic orders from Captain Dalzell to mobilize the company at the 
armory. Roe sent Corporal Leonardy out to notify the men, ordering 
them to report at 7:30 that evening. Leonardy went up one street 
and down another, stop[)ing at stores and shops and offices. Burmeis- 
ter shut his banking ledger with a snap, Martin left three yards of 
cloth unmeasured, and the girls in "The Fair" store threatened to 
mob Leonardy for taking him away; Main stop[)ed .selling a bed-room 
set. Miner left the telegraph key in Moliue to tick its message on the 
desert air, McManus left an unfiled [jjeadiug. Captain Tom dropped a 
half spanked orphan, Hender and Middleton a half dissected cat. By 
half [)ast four blue blouses and gray campaign hats were hurrying 
hither and thither through the streets. It is astonishing how each 
row of brass buttons seemed magnetized by some one particular girl. 
Tillie and Mary and Sadie and Anne were all affected in much the 
same way, by the buttons and the news. It was very touching and 
very pleasant. 

30 



By 7:30, the company was assembled in the armory, and Fifth 
street was packed with an interested crowd of observers and well-wish- 
ers. Everybody answered roll call, and then the boys were allowed to 
return till 9 o'clock to the bosoms of their families and best girls. One 
man really got married, and rumor married about ten more in those 
ninety minutes. 

Guard duty began that memorable evening of April 23, and until 
September 20, six months afterward, there was never a time, night or 
day, when there were not three of four men of Co. B awake on guard. 
That first guard-detail consisted of Sergeant Main. Corporal Leonardy, 
Privates Claussen, Greene and Carson. That night the same un- 
wonted kind of activity was going on in every Iowa town which sup- 
ported a company of the Guard; yes, from Oregon to Florida, from 
Maine to California, the same thing was happening. The whole wide- 
spread, mighty nation, city by city, town by town, was gathering its 
companies of blue-bloused men, soon to be massed by regiment and 
brigade, division and corps. The mobilizing of Co. B was in itself a 
small thing, but as part of a mighty process it was impressive. 

The first night in the armory, we spread our blankets and over- 
coats on the uuearpeted floor, — a dryer but harder bed than we later 
became accustomed to. Discipline had not yet fairly l)egan among us; 
the nieht was a good deal of a lark, and there was very little sleeping. 
We lay on overcoat buttons long enough, however, to get up with 
eagles stamped on our skins. The men dispersed to their homes aud 
to restaurants for breakfast, so there was no cooks' police, but after 
breakfast the room-orderly and a detail for special fatigue swept out 
the armory. It needed it. Sunday and Monday passed slowly, with 
much drilling of rookies, — the men dispersing for meals, and gather- 
ing for sleep and drill in the armory and for marches through the 



streets. 



Public interest in the company was at the highest pitch. The 
Davenport Shriners donated a hundred dollars toward a company fund 
for the relief of sick and wounded, the August Wentz Post invited us 
to an army supper, ladies gave little spreads to their friends among 
the boys, and — highest tribute of all — " a soldier " was treated with 
respectful idolatry by the street arabs. The urchius could not quite 
repress their curiosity as to whether we were " scared at going to war, " 
but they were ready to believe us when we said we were not, and it was 

31 



evident: that at last we had that veiy difficult thing to win — the sti-eet 
arahs a[)j)n)va]. 

Sunday evening, we inarched down to eat the bean supper of the 
veterans. They lined up in front of the armory, and the company, fol- 
lowing the colors, marched past them as they stood with bared heads. 
We formed line on the right, they marched past us, and, preceded by 
the old Second Regiment band, led the way to their hall. There they 
formed line again, wbilo a level beam of sunset light touched their 
faces as we went before them up the stairs to the scene of tlie beau 
banquet. Maybe we only fancied it, but it seemed to us that their eyes 
flashed with the tire of "tjl as thev looked at the vouuir men eoinc out 
that day. as they had gone long years before, in answer to the call of 
Uncle Sam. There was a touch of real poetry in this fraternizing of 
old and young, this passing on of the torch of patriotism fi-om genera- 
tion to generation, from wai- to war. They had our deepest veneration, 
those men wlio had been thrnvigh winter's cold and summer's heat, who 
had stood fierce bittles and long marches, fever and famine, imprison- 
ment, los.s of comrades, di.sease and wounds. They were better men 
than we, for they had been tried and found not wanting, they had done 
what we only hoped, and as it proved, hoped vainly, to do. But the 
veterans didn't play fair. Heroes of '01, you talked us half to death. 
you know you did. You told us lies that had been mellowing a tiiird 
of a century, and you never gave us a chance to lie back. You tireil 
smooth-l)ore yarns at us by file, and muzzle-loading jokes by volley. 
You had been drilling with those antiquated weapons more years than 
we had lived, and you used them with the deadly rapidity of a Maxim 
gun. You riddled, and sat upon, and bottled up our fledgling wit and 
eloquence. Your toast-master ignored our signals of distress. Why! 
Cervera's sufferings at Santiago were insignificant, compared with ours, 
in this first dreadful engagement of tlie Spanish-American wai". Praise 
is exhausted and furtiier tribute would be an anti-climax, when now we 
say that your actions of '61-'G5 speak louder (and longer) than your 
words of April 24-, 1898. 

Many of our good-byes were said Monday evening, for we had a 
general idea that we would leave Davenport within the next twelve 
hours. Of course, many of these good-byes did not prove final, for 
our friends and relatives visited us in Des Moines, and then we passed 
through Davenport on our way south. But these first good-byes were 
trying enough to many a mother. Monday night we did not sleep 

82 




rilE TIIKEE MUSKETEERS OF THE KITCHEN. 



much. A false alarm was spread that we would leave at 3 in the 
morniug, and in conse(|uence we had knapsacks packed and blankets 
rolled, and were in hourly expectation of orders to fall in and board 
the train, — a movement we had rehearsed in the armory by means of 
chairs arranged like car seats. At last, however, we were assured that 
we could not leave till S o'clock the next morning, and snatched a 
brief nap before the dawn. 

After a 6 o'clock breakfast Tuesday morning,— the last meal we 
were to eat as separate individuals, — we reassembled and again made all 
preparations for the start. Company L of Maijuoketa, afterward camped 
near us in the Forty-nineth Iowa at Jacksonville, came marching up 
Main street to the armory a little after 8. They shared in the rousing 
farewell which Davenport gave her soldiers that Tuesday morning. 
The old company of forty odd men, as it appears in the well known 
picture taken on the court house steps, marched through the crowded 
business streets before boarding the train. The Second Eegiment 
band was going too, and they headed us in the parade. Business and 
bunting were suspended everywhere; the schools poured forth their 



swarms to see us go. 



Doubtless everv one in the company felt heroic thrills and shivers 
chasing up and down his spine, as the band played proud music, and 
his feet fell in cadence on the pavement, and his rifle barrel aligned 
itself with those of his comrades, and people cheered and waved, and 
friends caught sight of him and shouted his name. As we look back 
on it, it seems strange, — that war fever which possessed the nation. But 
there was no doubt about its existence then; it was a spirit that fired 
every soldier's heart with the strength of sympathetic thousands who 
remained at home. It was redeemed from being merely theatrical by 
the faces of mothers and sisters, wives and sweethearts, among the 
merely interested thousands of the crowd. And who can say that such 
a mighty expression of enthusiasm does not fill a man with courage to 
die rather than disappoint the hopes his fellow-citizens have formed of 
him? At any rate, no one who wore the blue that day, and felt the 
enthusiam of that great mass of people, can ever forget it, or remem- 
ber it without a thrill. And of some things there that day we do not 
speak; they are not for speech. 

When we got aboard the train for Des Moines, and pulled slowly 
out, there was barely room in Fifth street for the train to pass through 
the crowd. Pavements, sidewalks, windows, roofs, sheds, car-tops and 

35 



wood piles, were so densely packed with people that you couldn't see a 
square foot of the horizontal surface. Tommy Owens said there wasn't 
room for a cat. 

Our train pickctl up Company C of Muscatine at Wilton and Company 
I at Iowa City. There the students and faculty of the University were at 
the station, Company I being escorted to the train by the S. U. 1. bat- 
talion, which had volunteered, as a body, its services for the war, with- 
out, however, having them accepted. '• K " joined us at Grinnell, and 
a fragment of "L" at Newton. " L " was afterward recruited u[) 
from all over the state. The si.\ companies reached Des Moines about 
S in the afternoon, and went into camp in the booths under the am[)hi- 
theatre. Under the guidance of our ex-regular sergeants. Roe and Mc- 
Burney, Company B soon had quarters that were the model of all the four 
regiments. The company kitchen was set up across tlu* race track, and 
"Butch" Siegrist was installed in the most important office in the 
company, that of cook. Privates Willey and Young were the first of 
that noble line of cooks' police, who hewed wood, drew water, built 
fires, ladled out slumgullion, stood guard over artillery pie, washed 
dishes and scraped skillets. Three days later Privates Pfabe and Al- 
ford got the first red ink kitchen police, which after all differs very lit- 
tle from black ink kitchen police. When you get red ink kitchen po- 
lice you have the unselfish pleasure of feeling that you are doing some 
other fellow's work for him. 

After a very early breakfast Tuesday morning, a dinner consisting 
of a corned beef sandwich on the train, and the work of making cam]), 
which included the toting of the villainously heavy me.ss chests, we 
were very ready for our first regular supper at 7 o'clock. The com- 
pany fell in single file, marched over to the kitchen, and every man, 
taking his tin plate of bacon and baked jjotato, his slab of soft bread 
and his cup of coffee, sat down on the grass and made a meal fit for a 
king. Our satisfaction was meanly increased when we saw less effici- 
ent mess sergeants than ours still struggling with camp stoves and 
uncooked rations, while their hungry companies rabbled around and 
made impolite remarks. Sergeant Roe chuckled with grim satisfaction 
to see how we rookies filed out there and took our soldier grub and 
liked it. 

While we were sitting there an important young officer of the 
Third strolled up, and approvingly noted our cuisine. He was a good 
officer, and stood up to his uniform with soldierly dignity. A private 

3G 



of Company B, who happened to be an old college chum of this officei', 
was standing up with a cup of coffee in one hand and a gigantic bacon 
sandwich in the other. Naturally he didn't salute his superior officer. 
He just yelled out at twenty yards, "Hello Johnnie! How are you, old 
chap? Glad to see you! Come over here!" The officer looked as 
though he'd been caught doing something wrong, but friendship over- 
came chargiu and military etiquette. He obeyed the private's orders 
and came. A month later disciplined instinct would have made the 
thing impossible to both private and officer. 

Wednesday morning Company B sent out Privates Miner, Greene 
and Parker II as its first guard detail. You could pick a " B " man on 
guard mount at a hundred yards. There were regularly two orderlies 
a day from each regiment; one for the colonel, and one for General 
Lincoln, the camp commandant. On Wednesday but one orderly was 
chosen, and that one was Private Miner of B company. History re- 
peated itself on almost every guard mount in Des Moines. Company B 
" got both orderlies, " which phrase came with almost as much regu- 
larity as breakfast. If some other company got an orderly one of our 
men would challenge Adjutant Goedecke's selection, and usually win 
out in competitive drill. One morning "Doc" Hoag ran against a 
man fresh from three years in Uncle Sam's regular infantry. The 
regular was chosed for orderly. Doc challenged, and in the ensuing 
competitive drill, in the bayonet exercise, the regular's bayonet fell off, 
and Doc won. We couldn't lose. 

From the beginning Company B was systematically trained for en- 
durance. At Des Moines we were " hardened " as was no other company 
in the four re^riments. Every inoruiug, before breakfast, the company 
was lined up for trunk, leg, arm, hand and foot exercises. After that 
we had three or four minutes of double time, and this was gradually 
increased to seven or eight minutes. Most of us got so that we could 
do our mile without puffing. Of coarse we thought this " wind " was 
going to be used in chasing routed Spaniards. By the end of three 
weeks in Des Moines we were physically in beautiful shape for a fight. 
Uncle Sam should have given the Spanish army free transportation to 
Iowa and turned us loose on it in a nice clean country. We all had 
colds on account of the wet, chilly weather, and although a mile run 
before breakfast is rather an heroic remedy, it does cut the phlegm out 



of one's luugs. 



37 



Geueral Lincoln, who iuipressud us U8 the pattern of a soldier, gave 
us a good deal more division drill than wo afterward got in the South. 
He handled the four regiments together as they would have been 
handled in battle, and it was soinotinies pi-elty rough on the companies 
which hadn't been training in ilouble time. One day he marched the 
division out of camp in column of fours, an<l then took the road to the 
east, up a sandy hill. Far out in advance and on the flanks were the 
scouts, then came the point, flankers, advance, sup[)ort, and reserve of 
the advance guard, and then, with an interval of several hundred yards, 
the main body. It gave us a vivid idea of how a great army goes for- 
ward, feeling for its enemy. The four thousand men were like one 
great beautiful creature, its scouts and flankers were as tentacles and 
feelers, carrying back intelligence to the brain. And the brain was 
the square-shouldered, scjuare-jawed man at the head of the main 
body, who sat his horse superbly, had quick eyes, firm lips, and few 
words, which made men jump in obedience. We realized for the first 
time, and as we never afterward had a chance to realize, the force of 
Na[)oleoirs [)reference for an " army of sheep led by a lion " to " an 
army of lions led by a sheep. " The division went cautiously np the 
road, through the steep and narrow cut in the crest of the clay liill. 
The enemy ought to have been right there on that commanding cn'st, 
but he wasn't. If he had been, we'd have gone at him in line instead 
of column. The column wound up through the hilly country for two 
or three miles. The road was beauii fully wooded, the leaves made for 
the earth a garment of delicious green, the wild crabapple and cherry 
blossoms gave to the eye and lungs their perfect lines and fragrance. 
In route step the long, blue column, bristling and glistening witli 
rifle barrels, went down a long hill, crossed a lovely stream over a 
bridge flanked with great elms, and up the other hill. Looking back 
from the crest of this second hill we saw a mile of blue-shirted soldiers 
in column of fours between the green woods each side the road. A 
light shower had fallen and turned the road-bed brown. When three 
or four thousand men passed over that bed they won- four hard, dry, 
light-yellow paths, side by side, with untouched strips of wet brown 
between. From the crest of the third hill, looking back we saw this 
beautiful color effect. The rest of that march, however, we didn't 
have much time to admire color effects. The sound of firing came 
back faintly from the front, and our part of the column took the 
double time up hill and down dale. Particularly up hill. Some say 

' 38 




AT aULl'llUK SPKINOS. 



we " double-timed " three miles, and it did feel like it. Men dropped 
out right and left. Company B lost but two or throe men, and these 
were afterward thrown out on physical examination. After puffing up the 
last hill (the attraction of gravitation is a cruel thing sometimes) we 
didn't have much ginger left. But the tiring was very loud now ; we 
saw the spurts of flame-lit smoke ahead and to our right in a wooded 
hollow across a bit of green pasture land. The smell of gun powder 
came to our noses ; men who were staggering whitfed it, forgot they 
were out of breath, and instinctively lengthened the step to get there 
quicker. Our battalion swung over that pasture and formed line as 
though we had just begun to take the double time. That sprint, with 
the queer exhilaration of " smelling powder, " gave us a better idea of 
actual warfare than anything else in our seven months' service. 

It rained on that march. We manoeuvered and lay on the crest 
of a plowed field, and woe to the man who refused to lie down in the 
mud! The enemy's bullets were supposed to be whizzing over us. If 
they really had been, we would no doubt have been less reluctant to 
snuu'o'le down in the mud. General Lincoln seemed to see exactly 
what every man in the division was doing. To us, the country being 
broken, it looked at times rather scattered and hap-hazard, but every 
battalion had its movements precisely outlined. To the general it was 
all as clean-cut as checkers. 

This particular drill came well along in May, Init it is spoken of 
here as typical of the kind of work we were doing in Des Moines. 

On Sunday, May 1, 1S9S, while Dewey was smashing Montojo's 
squadron half a world away, we were receiving visitors from Daven- 
port. An excursion came out, bringing friends and relatives, and 
" they certainly were good to us. " The ladies of Des Moines gave the 
men a chicken dinner that evening, and Company B was served by the 
girls of the Salvation army. In order not to shock the spiritual war- 
riors, every fellow was obliged to exercise a censorship over liis remarks. 
The boys succeeded so well that they won a reputation for piety, — a 
hard thing for a Davenporter to achieve in the godly interior of the 
state. 

The two batteries of light artillery which, under the president's 
call, had been designated as part of Iowa's quota, were now thrown out, 
and a regiment of infantry was substituted, in order to give all four 
regiments of the Guard a chance to serve Uncle Sam. There had 
been great rivalry and much discussion, half a dozen plans and a great 

41 



deal of politics, much [mlling of wires and a speech by Governor Sliaw 
to the men, and still things were as far as ever from solution. But 
Saturday, the war department consented to receive four infantry regi- 
ments of eight hundred men each. Every cme was happy, except the 
men of the batteries. They came trooping down to supper, from the 
exposition building on the hill, witli improvised red stripes and chev- 
ron.s pinned on their civilian coats and trousers. Frf)m the tlag-stalf 
of their building, at half staff in the sunset light, flew their flag, an 
iuimensvT red table cloth. 

Monday, when the third battalion of the Second moved into the 
commodious (juarters of the ex-artillery men, we found written on the 
walls, "Batteries A and B, Iowa light artillery. All shot to h 1, 
April :iotli, 1S08." 

Our battalion was moved into the exposition building in order to 
give more room for the now men coming in to fill the companies of the 
regiments. We went to DesMoines on a peace footing of forty-five 
men, and in order to fill Iowa's <[uota it was necessary to have com- 
panies of sixty seven. So Monday afternoon we greeted the first 
rookies from Davenport— Kulp, VauPattcn, Busch, "Pete" Smith, 
Strasser, Reupke, Verner, Wohlert, Rosche, Bruhn, Lepper, Schick, 
Spelletich, Glaspell, Warner, Spoth, Weiss, and Walter Kunkel. The 
last named aspirant for military glory raised a roar at supper. I don't 
know just why, but believe he wanted china dishes and a napkin, and a 
silver s[)Oon. Unfortunately our rations did not include Mellin's [(mkI. 
That night he wanted Uncle Sam to give him a night gown, sheets, and 
mattress. We don't know whether he wanted a valet to undress him 
and i)ut him to bed. He needed somebody. Captain Ualzell, however, 
trusted him to find his way back to Davenport alone the next day, and 
never having heard that he didn't arrive .safely, we will assume that he 
did. Strasser, Glaspell, Reupke, Verner and Warner stayed with us 
until the physical examination of May l^lh. They acted well and we 
lost them regretfully. The otlu-rs made excellent soldiers, Speth be- 
coming wagoner, and Billy Wei.ss, the most (jtficient of our com[)any 
cooks, finally being made corporal in charge of the kitchen. 

The day we reached the exposition i)uil(ling three privates of 
Company B received a new honor. Ackley, Bowman and Barmettler 
were detailed as toilet watch. Ihe office was abolished the next day, so 
these men were the only ones to hold it during the Spanish-American 
war. Ackley was afterward reduced from toilet watch to company 

42 



artificer. A man named Caldwell, who had been enlisted a few days 
before, was discharged on the third. He may have been all right, but 
his looks made Sergeant Koe covmt the company spoons. 

On the sixth, Stebens went on special duty as cook, holding the 
place until the twenty-seventh. On the seventh. Cook went on special 
duty as drum-major. He continued to act until the fourteenth, when, 
thanks to Drum-Major Lembrecht, the band was broken up, and the 
Fiftieth Iowa lost the inspiration of their superb music. Those days 
in DesMoiues we thought we were going out to fight, and some of us 
to die in battle. And in those days, on guard mount and parade, the 
music of the old Second Eegiment band talked to us proudly and 
solemnly, and told us to be brave and do our duty, in spite of Spain 
and hell, and said that life was beautiful, but also that death was just 
as beautiful as life, when it came to a soldier and he met it as he ought. 
And we believed what the music said, and it made those first days of 
the war ideal days, bright with promise of action, and honor, and ad- 
venture, and strenuous life. It is not true, however, that he did not 
count the cost. We knew perfectly that we should sleep in the wet, 
toil in sun and rain, and eat coarse food. We were prepared for these 
things, and for things far worse, if they should come. With open eyes, 
the whole thing was a glory, — hardship, danger and all. — for the thing 
was life, — life of hard limbs, sound lungs, clear eyes, — athletic, dan- 
gerous, fascinating life. We were going out. to work for this big 
country. In spite of the gilded talk about the war for humanity's 
sake, the men in the ranks were themselves human ; they were angry, 
and they wanted to thrash the treacherous people who had mur- 
dered the sailors of the Maine. To our soldiers and sailors it was a 
war of revenge, and they don't care who knows it. They were also 
sorry for the reconcentrados and meant, if possible, to strike a lick or 
two for them. 

On the thirteenth of May came the long dreaded physical ex- 
amination. The men who thought they were under weight drank a 
couple of gallons of water apiece and "scrooched" when they came to 
be measured. One man got hold of the oculist's chart and learned it 
before he went in. Another, a little deaf, averred that he could hear a 
watch ticking behind the surgeon's back. Unfortunately it was a stop 
watch and not at that time ticking. So he was one of the fourteen 
men at first thrown out of Company B. One of our men tried the ex- 
amination a second time the next day, and made it; another got another 

43 



lUciu who had alreach- passed, who had a simihir general desci'iption, 
to be esaaiined for him. Sharpe, worthy of his name, had a fast heart 
and slowed it up with about fifty drops of digitalis. Most everybody 
had varicose veins and varicocele, but light causes did not throw a man 
out. When that examination was over, we counted up our losses as we 
would have done after a battle. The severest loss, and as we felt an 
unjust one, was that of Captain Tom, himself. He, the wiriest and 
most tireless of us all, was under weight. Influential Davenporters 
got this news by telegraph, and forthwith deluged Senator Allison with 
telegrams asking him to "see the secretary of war and secure an ex- 
ception in favor of Oa[>fain Dalzell, on account of his s[)loudid work at 
the head of the company, and his otherwise perfect physic 1 condition." 
The nest day this answer came to "Hon. Geo. T. Baker, mayor, and 
others: Dalzell matter satisfactorily arranged." Then Lieutenant 
Neugarden, conducting the physicial examinations, received telegraphic 
orders from the secretary of war to "commission Thomas C. Dalzell 
captain of Company B,Fiftieth regiment infantry,Iowa volunteers, regard- 
less of weight." The U. S. officers raised their eyebrows and realized 
that we were somebody. Thus the greatest possible misfortune that 
could have overtaken the company was averted. Davenport, not for 
the last time, earned the gratitude of the whole regiment for, in conse- 
quence of this action, the under and over weight clause was quietly 
droj)ped from the physical requirements as to commissioned officers. 
When the smoke finally cleared away after this examination, we had 
lost ten men instead of fourteen. The rejected were Sergeant Main, 
Privates Carson, Claus-sen, Jucksch, Lapitz, Young, Grupe, Bischott', 
Glaspell and Wallace. Jimmie Carson, however, wouldn't give up. 
He stowed himself away on the train south, and, after doing all kinds 
of work for the company, finally passed the examination in Jackson- 
ville, was enlisted, and became one of the best corporals in Company B. 
These ten men were discharged on the fourteenth, the day after the 
examination. Hansen was discharged on the sixteenth. Barmettler 
and Watkins passed the physicial examination and refused to be 
mustered into the United States service. They were discharged from 
the Iowa National Guard the same day as the ten rejected men. Watkins, 
who was married just before the company left Davenport, may possibly 
have had good reason for what he did. Barmettler, therefore, is the 
only man, of or connected with, Company B who showed a nice, clean, 
white feather at the prospect of fighting Spain. 

44 




IICH, AN's Al.l.l'.'Y IT I " J'A 'I'. 



^-m 


K4' 


j / 
1 / 


^ZT^kMii 


BB^H: 






At 1 l-,K IIKII.L. 



The next day, Sunday the fifteenth of May, has far pleasanter rec- 
ollections. After the exauiiuatiou, it was known that the regiment 
would soon be mustered into the United States service and leave Des 
Moines. So nearly every man's mother and sisters and sweethearts* 
came out to spend Sunday with him. Excursion trains from Daven- 
port came out laden with the dearest and [)rettiest women in the world, 
and (incidentally) with some rattling good things to eat. Leave was 
easy to get that afternoon and evening, and few of us there were who 
didn't take it. Back of camp the woods were full of us, Lives there 
a man with soul so dead that he didn't say to himself that day, "This 
is worth getting shot for?" A Companj' B [larty of a dozen or more 
took supper at the Savery Hotel that evening, and after taps there was 
some very scientific guard-running. Mac pulled Van and Kidp tlirough 
the ijuard line. 

"Halt, Who's there?" said the sentry. 

"General officer," remarked the lieutenant, — "Don't you know 
better than to stop a general officer under escort?" So the sentry 
wilted, while the "general officer" and his escort passed on. It is not 
possible now to speak properly of the anxiety at that time of those who 
loved us. We can only touch the lighter siile of things. We ate sup- 
per iintil the Savery waiters said the kitchen was empty of everything 
edible. 

On Monday, the sixteenth, there were some necessary changes and 
[)romotions among the non-commissioned oSicers and privates. Ser- 
geant Burmeister being a})poiuted (piartermaster-sergeant, and Ser- 
geant Main having dro[)pod out in the physical examination. Corporals 
Leonardy and Schmidt were made sergeants. There being approxi- 
mately one corporal to every seven privates, the increase of the com- 
pany from a total of forty-five to a total of sixty-seven necessitated six 
corporals instead of four. Privates Greene, Parker II, Taylor and 
Miner were therefore [)romoted to be corporals, and were therefore 
obeyed and respected accordingly. 

That afternoon, the Des Moines branch of the Sons of the Bevolu- 
tion presented to the regiment a beautiful silk battle-fiag. We were 
not really mustered into the United States service until the following 
day, but the flag bore on its blue folds not the name of the old Second 
Regiment I. N. G., but the name of Uncle Sam's regiment, the Fiftieth 

*Tlie pliiial here is a typographical error which was earnestly pointed out by Alfred Van Patten 
too late for correction. John Chambers also denies it. 

47 



regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, which, strictly, was not in being 
until after the formal muster-in. The flag was none the less beautiful 
as the committee of the Sons of tlio Revolution presented it to our Ser- 
geant McBurney, who had been detailed as color bearer of the new regi- 
ment. Company C escorted the colors to Company B, now the color 
company of the regiment. The honor liad fallen by good luck to the 
best company, for after Major Caugldan's election our battalion had 
changed rank and number from Tiiird to Second, placing it in the cen- 
ter of the regiment. Company B was the right center company of the 
battalion, and therefore we took care of the colors. 

Captain Dal/.t'lTs action in declining nomination as major, be- 
cause he wanted ti> stick l)y Ihe coiiipiuiy is characteristic of his steady 
devotion to our interests. 

On the seventeenth, tiie regiment was mustered into United States 
service. Company B should have been the second company in, but George 
Martin was down town and we had to stand around and see Companies C 
and D [)rccede us. (leorge was expecting to get back in time for drill, and 
had not the muster-in turned up, no (juestions would have been asked, 
as he had not missed any roll call or check. But when at last hi> hove 
in sight about '2 o'clock, a good many (juestious were asked, by every 
man in the company, and in most vigorous language. George is a 
popular fellow, but never in all his life did he get so warm a reception 
as he got that afternoon. He liad time to think it over doing red-ink 
kitchen police. 

It was rather impressive, when, after muster-roll was verifud, we 
all held up our liaiuls and Captain Olrastead pronounced the words of 
the oath that bound us. " I do solemnly swear that I will bear true 
faith and aUegiauce to the United States of America, that I will serve 
them lionestly and faithfully against all their enemies whomsoever; 
and that 1 will obey the orders of the president of the United States, 
and the orders of the otKcers a[>pointed i ver me. according to tiii> Eules 
and Articles of War." 

Very short and simple, that, but thes(> same Rules and Articles of 
War are neither short nor simple, and it takes strong virtues to obey 
them. If a man hasn't those virtues when he joins the army, he gefs 
them. He has to. The ceremony over, we marched down out of the 
large pavilion-like Power hall where it took place. We were State 
militia no longer, but United States Volunteers. As we passed in 
route step the companies not yet mustered in, we scoffed at them, and 

48 



called them militia, and invited their attention to the fact that we be- 
longed to a higher grade than they, and pointed out tliat they were 
honored in being allowed even to speak to us. 

Friday, the twentieth, was our last day at Camp McKinley, and 
glad we were it was so. We wanted to get south, and we wanted to 
get away from Des Moines, which struck us as being about the coldest 
blooded place we had ever seen. Patriotic individuals there naturally 
were, and Com})any B is glad to ex[)ress to them its gratitude ; but in con- 
trast with our home-town, — warm-hearted old Davenport, — Des Moines 
is a selfish iceberg. Few icebergs are remarkable for unselfishness. 

We fell in for most everything that day. We fell in for pay — not 
unwillingly. We were tremendously rained on while lined up for pay, 
but we felt that our ducking was in a worthy cause, and nobody wanted 
to fall out. We fell in to hear the Articles of War read, and tried to 
remember for what things " the punishment shall be death, or such 
other penalty as a court martial may direct. " We fell in for equip- 
ment, each man drawing underwear, woolen socks, shoes, blue shirts, 
leggings, and campaign hats. We fell into the mud, and what with 
pay, and orders to move on the morrow, we fell finally into a good 
humor that nothing could make us fall out of. If someliody told you 
he was going to beat your eyeballs in with a mallet you just smiled at 
him benignly. In the evening you went down town and smiled several 
times. To be sure you did a little perfunctory grumbling because the 
state didn't pay you state pay — which for enlisted men is twice as 
much as government pay, — but on the whole you were deeply and 
solidly contented. 

Next morning we were up bright and early, and after breakfast 
each man threw away about half his duds and packed the essentials in 
his blanket roll. We had turned in our knapsacks, and were glad of it. 
The weight of a blanket roll exerts pressure straight downward and is 
so distributed that you hardly feel it. Wo had to smile at the scribe 
who wrote so naively for his paper, "they carried their blankets " — 
serenely ignorant that those horse-shoe shaped rolls were our trunks, 
containing soap, towels, tooth-brush, blue shirt, underclothing, stock- 
ings, shoes, blouse, writing material, etc. 

When at last, after the cooks and kitchen police had packed the 
mess-chests, and another detail the ammunition and other company 
effects, and the wagons lumbered off with them down to the tracks, the 
order came to fall in. It wan very simple — just like any other forma- 

49 



tion, except that we were in heavy instead of light marching order. 
While the roll was being called in front of the exposition building 
Billy Weiss, who wasn't feeling well, fainted and was carried back into 
the building. He was soon all right however, and at secure arms, in a 
brisk shower, we marched down the iiill past the old Fourth, then 
quartered in the horse barns. The Fourth formed line and presented 
arms to our column. The shower ceased, a splendid rainbow appeared 
in the west, and we took it for a good omen. We then halted and 
rested in place, supporting the rifle butts on our toes to keep them out 
of the mud, while we waited for our cars to be backed in. This irave 
us a good chance to say good-bye to our friends of the Fourth. Natur- 
ally they were jealous, for our orders were for Tam{)a, and the chances 
looked good for our striking the Cuban coast ss soon as the regulars 
themselves. We were the senior regiment, and were therefore given 
the first chance. When at last the cars were ready for us it took a 
good while to load and stow the company baggage — the mess chests, 
qnarteriiiaster's chest, officers" trunks, first sergeant's desk, etc. It 
was a busy day for the baggage detail, composed of Sergeant Burmeis- 
ter, Privates Kulp, Ackley. Sharpe and Smith. Then there was a good 
deal of miscellaneous delay,- backing and filling of day-coaches and 
baggage coaches and engines, so tliat it was 12 o'clock or so when we 
got away from Ues Moines. 

Telegrams had been sent on to Davenport, and since Friday morn- 
ing the people there had been busy preparing that royal reception of May 
21, which no man of the Second battalion will ever forget. Tlie train 
swung through the deep cut in the hills about half past 1, and iU-ur old 
Davenport burst on our eyes for the last time in many a day. 

Everyone in town must have been on Fifth street. Squads of 
men, women and children cheered us all along the line. Four or five 
blocks from the armory the crowd grew dense, and the train moved 
slowly. Companies C, D and M looked wonderingly at the excited, eager 
throng. They were expecting in Davenport to look at happiness 
through another company's eyes. When they received the order to 
dismount, enter the armory, and be fed, they obeyed with alacrity, and 
murmured, " verily, these people are the real thing! " The multitude 
was fed, and lo, there remained after the feast as many basketfuls as 
there were men. Muscatine people had come up to feed Company C, 
thinking that Davenport would care only for her own. When they saw 
bountiful tables spread for__ the whole^ battalion, they saw that this 

50 




THE KITCHEN AKTKU A Cl.orii l;l UST 




KEGIMEMAI, III.AiH^.l ARTEKS AFTER A SHOWER 



thing had beeu quietly doue by people whose hearts were richer than 
rubies and fine gold. Every man's relatives and closest friends were 
inside the armory, where, after a tight squeeze from the train to the 
door, we all were welcomed. We were petted, and what of it? We 
didn't get too much petting iu camp; we would have got none too 
much in Cuba, where chances seemed at least even that we were going. 
No man there would have fought better or endured hardship better 
had we been sent off coldly with no sign of loving appreciation of our 
city. At the time we received that lavish hospitality we did not have 
time to think, in the whirl of hand-clasps and sandwiches, pies and hugs, 
coffee and greetings, tobacco and good wishes, pickles and kisses, that 
were rained upon us. We did not know, till we got the Davenport pa- 
pers, just what people had done the hard work of preparing that dainty 
dinner and the dainty travel rations they sent with us. Mayor Baker, 
Mr. Juily, W. D. Petersen, S. F. Smith, W. J. McCullough, B. F. Til- 
linghast, C. A. E'icke. "Vinegar" Smith, Col. McManus, Nath. French, 
J. B. Meyer, Major Marks, Chas. N. Voss, George Metzger, A. \V. 
VanderVeer, The Daughters of the Revolution, the members of the 
Women's Relief Corps of the Grand Army post, relatives and friends 
of the boys among thi^ women. The Davenport Lodge of Elks, Hal 
Decker, Will Altman, Van Patten A Marks, J. H. Skelly, Otto Albrecht, 
Beiderbecke & Miller, the W. A. O. Market, The Fair, John McSteeu, 
Henry Kohrs, Haase Bros., George W. Cable, Ferd. Roddewig's Sous, 
and dozens of others, — all came in for their share of gratitude; all con- 
tributed their quota toward that superb exhibition of public spirit. 
The big, warm heart of the city seemed to express itself through the 
men and women who did the work, and work of that kind, taking shape 
in the Patriotic Relief association, continued throughout the war. 

Everybody was a little hysterical that day, and doubtless did and 
said things that seem unaccountable wheu looked back upon i«u cold 
bloo.l. But there were no discreditable things said or done; — our 
parting this time was sharp, quick and for sure, — the pain was prop- 
erly faced by the women. Coming out of the armory, loaded down 
with three days' provisions apiece, we found the crowd unscattered by 
the brisk shower which had passed. Boarding our train, catching a 
last glimpse of a dear face, craning from window and platform, we 
pullrd slowly eastward, past Brady, Perry and the station, and out upon 
the bridge. The impressive thing was the silence of the crowd. A 
rainbow spanned the east, as in the morning one had spanned the west; 

r>3 



we seemed traveling out from the arch of one into the arch of the 
other. With roses in our hats and on our breasts, our train like a 
bower, and bugles blowing good-bye, out over the bridge went the 
Second battalion. That day had more true life packed into it than an 
ordinary year. We had really lived, and as we sat and thought it all 
over, every man (juietly felt that ho was doing the one true thing. 
The discontent of youth had vanished, and in its place came the euobl- 
ing feeling that Destiny was going to give us a chance to do some- 
thing worth doing. Many a man silently wondered, I suppose, if he 
would ever see the great river and her citied hills again. A few of us 
did not. Most of us felt that a gowl fight and an athletic death was 
not a bad thing, but each really expected something better — a safe re- 
turn — at least we told our folks so. To die gaily and with glory, how- 
ever, was better luck than four of our poor fellows had. 

The battalion reached Chicago sometime after midniirht, and for 
thirty-six hours, side-tracked beside the Chicago river in day coaches, 
it waited for the old Pullman cars which were to take it south. Major 
Tillie, Sunday afternoon, took the companies out for a walk, without 
arms, through the streets, and naturally the soldiers attracted a good 
deal of attention. Very strict guard was kept on Sunday and Sunday 
night, and very few men succeed in running the guard. Three or four 
men climbed up on top of the passenger coaches and got through in 
that manner. The foxy baggage detail persuaded the sentinels that 
they themselves were guarding tlieir freight cans. They ox[>lained 
that they were obliged to go constantly in and out from their cars to 
the rest of the train. Then the posts up and down lieside the cars 
were arranged so as to let the baggage detail do its own guarding. 
They were all there for breakfast, anyhow. A circus train stopped on 
the track next to us for an hour or two. Some of the boys gave an 
elephant a beer bottle full of liquid which the elephant didn't like. So 
instead of drinking it, he sfjuirttnl it all over Fred Vollmer. The train 
was surrounded Sunday and Sunday evening by a great crowd of 
women, some of them respectable, and through windows and over well 
guarded car platforms they heard and made rapid love. There were 
provocation and repartee and gutiaw, giving of addresses, squeezing of 
hands, and ardent glances. When, at 1:3(1 Monday afternoon, the 
whistle blew, and the Pullman train, to which the battalion had been 
transferred, started slowly out, one of the fellows of B company crying, 
"come and shake hands good-bye!" leaned from the window, pulled up 

54 



from the ground and fervently kissed a buxom damsel, while her heels 
and hosiery dangled blithely in mid-air. From tlie train windows 
there came a chorus of soldier raillery, — "Warm baby!" "Don't let 
her drop! " "Look at Andy ! " " Take her to Tampa! " " Great and 
only performance on the flying trapeze! " " Conductor, here's a lady 
stealing a ride! " " The girl he didn't leave behind him! "' The train 
moved more rapidly, and Andy reluctantly released his fair prisoner. 
As she reached the ground, there was a chorus of " Oh's, " and Koch, 
the company ringmaster, announced " the great and only parachute 
drop. " The men e.xpressed their regret at her abrupt departure, while 
the permanently blushing damsel waved good-bye and said she was 
sorry too. 

Through the towns and villages of Indiana, along the Monon 
route, the battalion had a continuous ovation, culminating at the pretty 
college town of LaFayette, the home of General Wallace. Reaching 
LaFayette about half past five Monday afternoon, we stopped for 
coffee ; and about eight thousand people did everything that hospitable 
people could do in half an hour. Every soldier who, for any reason, 
stepped off the train, was escorted up to a kind of cluli-room where 
there were many kegs and kind words. The best girls in town l)egcred 
buttons and got them, and Billy Weiss's friends there loaded him with 
cigars and good wishes. Always excepting Davenport, the magnanim- 
ous, LaFayette was the best town we saw, from Des Moines to Jackson- 
ville inclusive. We were unfortunate in going through the laro-er 
places on the Southern railroad at night, so only the meu on guard 
saw anything at all of Louisville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta. The way 
that engineer jerked the train through the mountains of Kentucky and 
Tennessee was a cautiou. Tunnels and trestles and curves and hiii-h 
embankments went spinning back under us, till the meu in the two 
freight cars swore their wheels touched the track only once a minute. 
They touched hard enough then to make up, however, so it wasn't 
wholly like riding through the downy air. Monday night, the men on 
guard were issued ammunition for the first time, and the old Sprino-- 
field chambers felt the kiss of ball cartridges. There were rumors of 
Spanish spies and sympathizers attempting to do to Uncle Sam's sol- 
diers en route what they had done to the sailors of the Maine. It was 
doubtless just a cock-and-bull story, but the sentinels were delightfully 
busy looking for men with dynamite sticks, and they liad orders to 
shoot, if anyone came within ten feet of the tracks and did not immedi- 



ately withdraw when onlered. It was, no (ioubt, a very unnecessary 
precaution, but it gave everybody a delicious sense of danger, and 
the sentries felt like the real thing. At this time began the small 
boy's incessant [)lea, — "Give me a bullet," — which is the small boy 
word for cartridge. The ride down was hardly monotonous at all, for 
there was much to see, and there was the inspiring idea that we were 
getting straight to the front, eu route to Cuba. We saw some fine old 
mansions, but tlie mountain belt of Kentucky and Tennessee seemed 
to be mostly inhabited by cabins, niggers, whitewash, mules and 
razor- backed hogs. Ackley tried to catch a razor-back to shave him- 
self with. Wc all needed a shave and a bath, and Tuesday afternoon 
we had the latter. Major Tillie took advantage of a two-hour stop at 
Harriman junction, and ordered the battalion into the Emery river. It 
was a clear, swirling stream, at the base of a pine-clad mountain. The 
water, trans{)aient and blue as the sky, was whitened with the gli^ani 
of three hundred lithe young bodies. Too bad there weren't Filipinos 
on the other bank. 

This side of Chattanooga the battalion picked u[) a soldier, who 
proved to be a deserter from a New York regiment. He was held, con- 
stantly guarded, for three weeks, and was then released, for lack of 
specific charges on the part of his officers. 

Wednesday morning, we were in Georgia — sparsely settled, im- 
poverished Georgia, with her dark-red, melancholy .soil and scrubby 
forests, her huge, white l)lossonis swaying indolently in cabin do;)ryards, 
— where |)eople have nothing to do and a life-time to do it in. We 
stopped early in the morning in a village called Lumber City, for set- 
ting-up exercises and a march through the streets. We were feeling 
the unwonted southern heat a good deal, after the cold, wet spring in 
Des Moines. There was a good artesian well at one house, and the 
owner talked pleasantly. As B company swung cheerfully down one 
of the grass-grown streets we saw a sour-faced, crabbed old codger sit- 
ting on his front porch. We were in route step, but. as usual, ten or 
twelve blithe whistlers were rattling a lively tune to which our column 
marched. At first the old codger on his front ]ioivh Kx iked at Uncle 
Sam's blue uniforms with no kindly eyes, but the tune we whistled 
was " Dixie, " and he pricked up his ears. Passing just beyond the 
yard, the column swung about by fours and came back. The old fel- 
low saw us returning. He shuffled his slippered feet down the gravel 
walk from porch to gate, and, as we shot past, Dixie was too much for 

5G 



him — liis coufederate heart melted, and thirty-five years of peat-up 
hatred broke down. Then and there he was reconstructed, and gave us 
his hearty benediction — " Go 'long ye whole-souled critters; go 'long! " 

About 11 o'clock, the train slid up to the village station of 
Graham, Georgia, and stopped, waiting for a north -bound freight to 
pass. Through the level line of car windows quickly bulged the small 
letter battalion, — blue-shirted chests and arms, gray hats and eager 
faces. B company looked out upon a girl. There were other folks 
there, but B company didn't see them. The girl wore a calico dress, 
but was herself " finer than silk. " She had a broad, tri-colored rib- 
bon in her hands. Murmurs of approval rang along the line. 
" Whew ! " " Hot Stuff! " " There's my girl ! " 

" Won't you give me that? " asked a sergeant — " that ribbon ? " 

" I cannot give you that, " said she, gravely. "A soldier gave it to 
me. " Her voice wrought a (juick change of tone in most of the men, 
but the irrepressible Andy, who had kissed the dangling damsel, asked 
flirtatiou-sly, "Won't you shake hands with me?" 

" With a soldier, always, " she replied instantly, and, stepping near 
the window as she S[)oke, she gave her hand to Andy, and looked at 
him with frank, kindly eyes. He didn't feel much like picking this 
girl up, and if he had the others would have given him — never mind. 
There was a little stir of applause. 

" You seem to think highly of a soldier, " said some one. 

" My father was a soldier, " she replied. Her eyes turned to a 
tall stoop-shouldered man in his shirt sleeves. He had a pale beard 
and gentle eyes. 

" Yes, " said he quietly, " I fought fo' yeahs against those l)lue 
suits of yuahs. But that's all ovah now — that is all ovah. " 

" It must be hard to forget, eh?" asked one of the boys sympa- 
thetically, 

" We can't forget, — we forgive though. " The old Georgian and 
the young lowan shook hands and liked each other. 

" Won't you tell me your name?" said H , who wasn't inter- 
ested in the old man. 

" Yes indeed. Mattie Burney is my name. " 

" Mine's , Company B, Fiftieth Iowa Volunteer Infan- 
try, " said Sergeant . " Here I'll write it for you. " He tore ofif 

the stiff back of a cigarette [)ackage, wrote and handed it to her. 

" So you-all are from Iowa, " she mused. 

59 



'•Oh, Miss Buruey, "' called Private C , "we must have some- 
thing to remember you by. Can't you give me something — anything? 
Here's a cartridge to remember C ; that's me. " 

" I do wish I had something. I would give it so gladly. If 1 
had known yo' all were comin' I would have had something. And I 
would have worn a prettier dress. '" 

" Give me that ribbon, " coaxed A. '' come on. " 

" Oh no; not that. I will keep that always. It was given to mo by 
a solditr who went through heah yesterday. He would not like it. " 

•' Company B envies him, " said C. " I wish wo had something 
worth giving you for you to keep always. " 

"I thank Company B, " she said sweetly, '• I sliall always keep — 
the memory of you-all. " 

Her voice had the languorous, unconscious grace of the South. 
Her manners were charming. This country girl in her calico dress 
seemed to have inherited some courtly tradition of kind and lovely 
breeding. 

" That's a pretty comb, " put in A. 

"Do you like it?" Wearing no hat. she drew tiio half circle of 
the plain, celhdoid comb from her hair, which rippled into pretty 
freedom. 

" Will you give it to me?" asked A. eagerly. 

" Did you ever see such hair?" asked one in an aside. 

" No, and I never saw a girl talk like this witli nit-n, and not think 
of herself one bit," said another. 

Five or six boys were clamoring for the comb. Perplexed, she 
looked from one to the other. 

" Now we'll see wliich one she likes best" said the sergeant. 

•■ Oh, i wish I had enough to go 'round, " she laughed. "There! " 
.iiid breaking the comb in three pieces, she gave one each to three 
of the fellows. In the fight which ensued one piece was broken in two, 
so four men were lionoriMl. The whistle of the aj)proaching freight 
came from afar. 

"That means that we'll b(! pulling out, " said one of the fellows 
regretfully. 

" I'm sorry we're to see so little of you, " said Miss Mattie, " I 
like you boys. " 

" There's no place I'd rather stay than here, "' said one. 

bO 



"So say we, all of us!" "Me too!" "That's my bet!" came in 
hearty chorus. 

But her eye flashed, and, and she oxflaimed "Oh no, not here! It 
is splendid to see you-all, so merry and brave, going to face death 
gaily for honor and our country. I wish I were a man! " 

"Thank you for saying that!" cried one. "The sjiirit of the 
South said that!" 

As the freight thundered in on the track behind the special 

H leaned over and said in a low voice something, of which the 

word " write " could alone be distinguished. Then he took her hand 
and squeezed it in both of his. 

" Saw off, H , " said the sergeant, " you're appropriating public 

property. " Miss Mattie is our girl — Company B's girl. " 

" 1 would appropriate her if I had a chance " said the irrepressible 
one. " ril try it after the war. " 

" Come, come " put in Private C , seeing the girl getting un- 
comfortable, "You've made us all your friends. Miss Mattie, and though 
we never have the good luck to see you again, there's not a man of us 
who won't always have a warm spot in his heart for you and Graham. " 
The bell rang, the pacing sentries mounted the platforms, the 
train moved off, the brakemen swung aboard, the battalion waved and 
shouted its farewells. 

"Glory and good luck to you all!" called out Miss Burney. And 
every man who had looked at her and listened to her for those few 
minutes watched her waving pennant disappear, and carried away as a 
life-long possession the image of her lovely southern girlhood. 

Miss Mattie now owns, and doubtless will "keep always," the 
finest tortoise-shell comb to be found in Jacksonville: nor is it broken 
into four pieces, either. 

At Jessup, Georgia, sixty miles from Jacksonville, Major Tillie 
received orders to stop at Jacksonville, instead of going on to Tampa. 
It was disappointing, for Tampa today meant Cuba tomorrow. We 
reached Jacksonville at dusk, — a quick dust leaving no transition be- 
tween day and night. We shouted greetings to our friends, saw by 
day-light the unwalled tents of the Third and First battalions among 
the pines, were drawn onto a side-track near by, and then it was night. 
Our quarters till the morrow were on the Pullmans, and tlien a long 
farewell to linen sheets. Everybody but the men on guard was given 
liberty and made a rush for down-town bath-tubs, barber shops and 

()1 



ice-cream parlors. To the men left alone by the cars in the woods 
there were no such comiuou and familiar sights and sounds as buzzing, 
crackling street cars, and silken scrape of razor over four days' beard. 
There was only the mysterious night, vast and silent, with the outline 
of strange half-tropic trees against the sky, the rustling of palmetto 
fronds against your leggings, solitude, the unknown — and snakes. 
Guard duty from 2 to 4 a. m is always a lonesome job, but that first 
night, to wake out of sound sleep and go [)acing up and down the un- 
known grouiiil, wading through snakes you couldn't see, was decidedly 
trying on the nerves. Men came along from D company, ; nd said two 
rattlers had crawled up into their car, one of them being still alive in 
there. Butch Siegrist promptly saw a large white snake glide past 
l)im and go underneath the car. He said he licard its scales rustle 
too. Sergeant Leonardy immediate]}' mounted tilt! car |)latform, [)re- 
sumably to keep the thing from getting through the door into the car. 
Cook said he certainly saw something white moving under the car. 
Sergeant Leonardy, on the car platform, courageously ordered him to 
charge it with the bayonet. Cook saitl his long suite with vrhite 
snakes was bullets rather than bayonets, but remembering he liad 
sworn to obey orders, he approaclieil the white thing gingerly, gave a 
convulsive poke vrith his bayonet, and impaled upon it a writhing- 
newspaper. The Jacksonville Times- Union never before nor after 
awakened so much interest. ^Butch did the rest of his two hours on 
the platform instead of down in the ditch. 

ISoon after daybreak next morning we were lined up by com- 
pany, in heavy marching order, beside the railroad track, and the Pull- 
mans backed away. We stacked arms, piled up blanket rolls, and were 
issued a corned beef sandwich apiece. This, thanks to Davenport, was 
the first army travel ration we had touched since the day we left Des 
Moines. Then we went to work. We arranged the mess chests, dug 
an oven, set up our three un walled Sibleys and two officers' tents, and 
camp was made. There wasn't mudi to it, but it was all we had. The 
old Sibley's full capacity was fourteen men, but it was necessary to as- 
sign twenty-one or twenty-two to each of our tents. As the roof came 
right down to the ground, there was no ventilation ; we had not yet 
found a straw stack, anil we were not allowed to trench the tents, for 
fear of stirring fever germs out of this temporarily dry swamp. 
Luckily, it didn't rain to amount to much the first three weeks. We 

62 




A IIOSi'ITAL AiMiiULANCE. 



thought it was raining five or six times, but that was due simply to 
our entire ignorance, at that time, as to what rain really is. 

The result of the inadequate tentage was that seven or eight men 
in each tent immediately set about constructing the "shacks" which 
formed the distinctive feature of our first camp. The company, as a 
whole, worked at the large shelter, with its roof of pine boughs, which 
was a common loafing place when the men were off duty. Then from 
two to four men would club together and make a private shack for 
sleeping purposes. The first form of shack was this: — Four small 
pine trees were trimmed and set as posts, forming a quadrangle about 
seven feet long, and wide in proportion to the number of men " in ca- 
hoots. " Supports and braces ran back and forth between them; then 
smaller horizontal beams, also of rough pine, were run from post to 
post, about two and a half feet above the ground. These beams were 
mortised, roped, or nailed, or all three. Auger holes were bored at 
six-inch intervals though these beams, and sixty or seventy yards of 
rope were passed back and forth, making a tight netting. This was 
tilled up with small boughs and pine needles, and, covered with a 
blanket, it made a decidedly comfortable bed. The roofs were at first 
simply a mass of pine boughs to keep off the sun. When it was rain- 
ing we stretched a sloping rubber blanket immediately under the ceil- 
ing. Unfortunately, after our beds were nicely fixed up, we received 
orders from brigade headquarters to air all bedding daily, if it wasn't 
raining, and to burn all bedding weekly. The order was meant to ap- 
ply to the straw in the tents, but it was rather pedantically extended to 
the pine needle bedding of the shacks. By that time the small pine 
trees had all been cleared out, and it was against orders to cut trees. 
It wasn't so much fun sleeping on three ropes, but iu that lazy climate 
you could sleej) on a tight rope. 

After the real rain of June 20 we saw that what we had hitherto 
called rain was only a drizzle. Preferring possible fever to certain 
drowning, we immediately trenched the tents. Finding that we were 
rooted in Jacksonville, many men bought lumber, built dry-goods 
boxes on stilts, and lined them with tar pai)er and oil cloth. Those in 
the tents bought boards and laid floors. There were some new tents, 
eight by ten A wall, but by the time we got them more men had come 
to fill them, and there was always a place for " the shacks. " 

We were nine weeks and four days in our first camp under the 
pine trees, and six weeks and two days in the new camp. Most of the 

65 



illustrations in this volume an* of the old carap, which may be recog- 
nized ever3'\vhere by the presence of trees near at hand. 

The day after we reached Jacksonville the " Metropolis" said: — 
"The Fiftieth Iowa regiment has no band with i*^, but this reffimeut is 
one of the finest volunteer organizations in the United States. " And 
the "Times-Union and Citizen " said: — "The Second battalion of the 
Iowa regiment lias always been a very popular social organization in 
its native state, ami has in its ranks some of Iowa's most po[)ular and 
iiiHucutial citizens. The 'Second' is the wealthiest battalion in camp, 
and they are well equipped in every particular. " 

That same day we all had our hair clipped short, and certainly 
didn't look like " Iowa's most popular and influential citizens. " Mus- 
taches aLso wei'e far below par. Uncle Sam didn't issue napkins, and 
a mustache waxed with slumgullion isn't as swell as der Kaiser's. 
Truth compels us to say that, being hairless, we kept cleaner, but we 
looked like a lot of jailbirds. The word " wealthiest " in the Times- 
Union puff may possibly have accounted for the enterprising mer- 
chant's show window rigged up with a big sign, "The Fiftieth Iowa. " 
By the time twenty regiments got to Jacksonville, and among them 
had over five hundred thousand dollars a month to spend, we didn't see 
much of signs to catch exclusively this or that particular regiment. A 
regiment on a war footing, as all of them finally were, draws §26,- 
509.0(> a month, the field and staff officers $2,0(it).()0, the line officers 
14,700.00, the baud S4.S.-),80, the sergeants Sl,44t).()0, the corporals 
12,590.00, the privates *ir),339.()0. 

Of course some of this money was sent home, but, as nearly as 
we can estimate it, as much came from home. It is not cxairiroratiui' 
much to say that two million dollars in cash was put in circulation in 
Jacksonville by the soldiers encamped there during the war. War is 
a good thing for cities and sutlers. The next war I'm going to be 
either a city or a sutler; preferably a sutler. The colonel touched 
seven months' pay at the rate of 8i3,")0O.OO a year, but our sutler, Hal- 
lowell, piled up his §3,500.00 in four mouths. 

But though, in many merchants, th'* great sum of money out in 
camp excited cupidity, causing them to regard the soldiers simply as a 
source of revenue, there were many kind, unselfish and very hospitable 
people in Jacksonville. Every man in the company, I suppose, could 
give instances of this. There are a dozen ])eople of this kind I. my- 
self, happen to know about. Mr. and Mrs. Hammett invited many a 

66 



homesick youth to dianer, and, after the company left for the north, 
took sick men into their own house. Mrs. M. E. Satchwell frequently 
sent magazines and basketfuls of good things out to the boys she 
knew, and, although half sick herself for awhile, she visited the hospi- 
tals, often and always looked out for any Company B boys she found 
there. Mr. and Mrs. Ed Fettiug couldn't do enough for the four fel- 
lows they took under their downy wings. The Misses Fetting, one of 
them a trained nurse, did untold good in the Second division hospital. 
The Misses Stout gave the boys dinners, and their father, Dr. Stout, 
gave them medicine. Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Bishop could not have 
been kinder. Dear old Major Anderson, perfect type of the old- 
fashioned southern gentleman, put some of the boys up at the Seminole 
club, and made life very agreeable just by being around. And, as I 
say, these are the people whose kindness was observed by one man 
only. Multiply by a hundred and it makes a goodly showing for the 
city on the St. Johns. 

The second day were in Jacksonville Company B of the Fiftieth 
was ordered to furnish what was known as the " water guard, " for the 
ostensible purpose of })reventing any one from decimating Uncle Sam's 
army by poisoning the city water supply. There were rumors of sacks 
of arsenic sunk in S|)rings near other camps. Water was piped out to 
camp from the Jacksonville water works, so, of course, it would involve 
poisoning the water of all the men, women and children in the city. I 
suppose, however, that a man who could commit the colossal crime of 
poisoning five thousand soldiers would not hesitate if he incidentally 
had to poison ten or fifteen thousand non-combatants. The fact that 
the possibility of such a thing was an idea seriously entertained by 
any number of people shows how excited the public imagination was at 
that time. And really, when you think of it, the men who blew up the 
Maine would hardly have shrunk from this more colossal crime. I sup- 
pose, however, that the general officers who established the water 
guard hadn't the slightest idea of guarding against poisoners. The 
beautiful grounds of the water-works were in the part of town nearest 
camp, and, without guard, many soldiers would have loafed there, and 
might possibly have caused some disturbance. Further, the most im- 
portant thing we could learn in Jacksonville was to keep vigilant watch 
on guard where we felt a serious responsibility. Hence the myth of 
the poisoners. The poison was like the sticks of dynamite that didn't 
wreck the train. At 9 o'clock on the morning of the 27th Lieutenant 



Header, Corporals Taylor, Greene and Miner, and fifteen privates, 
slung on their blankets and marched down to the water works for 
twenty-four hours of guard duty. In the midst of grounds prottily set 
out with trees and shrubbery- stand the buildings containing the big 
engines, furnaces, etc., of the water-works. Beside the big tower, not 
yet in use, there was an open reservoir, the size and shape of a base- 
ball diamond, which gave a large reserve of water in case of a fire. 
In the midst of a, smaller circular reservoir near by rose the jet of a 
fiuo artesian well, six inches in diameter and four feol in height. In 
the bark of the main building was a deep pit, into which the water was 
continually rushing before being forced into the pipes. This was the 
point where poison would be most effective. These three points had 
four sentrie.s, two on the big reservoir. There was another circular 
pond toward the left and rear of the building, and here was the fifth 
post. Of course ten men and two corporals were always at libertv to 
wander through the shady walks, and strike up flirtations witii the 
girls, and tease Old Joe, the eleven-foot alligator. A corporal and 
private went out to arrange for meals, and, after finding no decent res- 
taurant within nine blocks, they began to try private houses. After 
parleying with half a dozen ladies (some of whom they after- 
ward met more regularly) they struck a benevolent boarding house 
woman, whose cheery old darky cook certainly did beat Yillian and 
Stebens. This corporal was very neatly cut out by this private in the 
graces of a certain slim and charming damsel. If you don't believe it 
ask Miner. It was frightfully hot on some of those posts from 12 m. 
to 2, and from 2 till 3. The almost tropical sun stood square over 
your head and kept up a steady tattoo of heat waves. It was only 
ninety-two or -three in the shade, J)ut in the sun it was hotter, I 
think, than Iowa sunlight would be with the thermometer at ninety- 
two. Some of the fellows started to sleep on the grass outside the 
building that night, and a cool mist, delicious but dangerous, hung 
over them, soaking their blankets. Most of them moved inside after 
the first watch. 

Between midnight and 2 o'clock, with no sound audible but a low 
purring of machinery, the sound of falling water and the crunch of 
sentries' shoes in gravel, Doc Hoag on Post No. 4, spied a dark form 
slipping along in the shadows. 

" Halt! " sang out Doc. Tommy Owens would have said the dark 
form halted with a jump. There is something persuasive about the 

68 




A CRACKER S STANHOPE. 




FOURTH VIRGINIA MASCOTS AT DRILL 



word " Halt, " spoken loudly amid dead silence by a man with a 
loaded gun. 

"Who's there?" 

No answer. 

" Answer, or I'll shoot, " observed Doc, cocking and leveling his 
Springfield. 

" Don't shoot. It's me — an officer, " said a scared voice hastily. 

" Step into that light and be recognized, " was Doc's varia- 
tion of the regular formula. 

The dark form stepped with alacrity, and became visibly a big and 
very nervous policeman. 

"Oh," said Doc, lowering his rifle, "you're thai kind of an offi- 
cer, are you? What the H — 1 are you doing here? " 

"Why, nothing." said the policeman, sheepishly. "I was just 
comin' in for a little nap on this bench. None o' you fellows ever saw 
me before. Bin doin' it every night since this guard was put on. " 

" Not with this guard, you ain't, " said Doc, and he called the 
corpoi'al. When the corporal came, and understood, the officer was 
extremely relieved to find that he was at liberty to decamp. 

The water guard was relieved nest morning. Though guard duty 
is never a " snap " this episode, being out of the routine, was pleasant 
The routine of camp life was uninterrupted for a couple of weeks. The 
first Sunday in Jacksonville, the '29th of May, a large number of men 
from our company went down to Pablo beach, and had their first 
glimpse of and dip in the ocean. It was amusing to see the big eyes 
of the inlanders, who had uever seen the great waves break, nor smelt 
salt water, nor seen the skyline unbroken by any land. It was still 
more amusing to see them batted by the serf, and the half injured, half 
puzzled expression when the big combers knocked them down. Jimmy 
Carson said the waves tried to knock his head off when he wasn't look- 
ing. The sublimity of the sea awed them a little. Men who would 
carelessly swim across tlie Mississippi didn't feel like getting over their 
depth in this "stream of ocean" which was three thousands miles 
wide. It was, perhaps, fortunate, for we found afterward that Pablo 
beach had some very wicked cross-currents, that sometimes, wind and 
tide being right, carry swimmers northward and then toward Spain. 
One man who " knew rdl about the ocean " was out two or three hun- 
dred yards from shore when he saw four or five huge, black creatures 
bobbing shoreward from the deep sea. In spite of his nautical knowl- 

71 



edge he took the playful dolphins for sharks, made record-breaking 
time to the beach, and didn't boast any more of his intimacy with Mr. 
Neptune. 

The cooking for the first three or four days in Jacksonville wasn't 
verj' satisfactory, and we had no slielter from the sun while eating. 
Hence Captain DalzelFs telegram to Davenport for the mess-tent, the 
arrival of which, after three or four days, removed the greatest discom- 
fort of our lives in camp. The southern pine, which Jock called " tele- 
graph polos mit vitskers," were really of no account as shade trees. 'Iheir 
decorative value, however, was not !i[)preciated hy the boys who wrote 
home. In the first place, they were neither [)alm trees nor paliiu>tt() 
trees, as our good " Taps " wrote in his letters to The Democrat. 
They were the very resinous hard [)ine of the south. If you don't be- 
lieve they are resinous just lean your blue shirt against one of them, 
the bark of which has anywhere been cut througii. In place of the 
rigid symmetry of the northern pine, their branches grow with irregu- 
lar ;uid spontaneous grace. Each branch grows as it plea.ses, bending 
this way and that. The northern pine is a despot that allows no lib- 
erty of choice to its members in their growth. The palmettos are, of 
course, only a foot or so high. They give a half tropic character to all 
that part of Florida. Down at Pablo, only twenty odd miles away and 
no farther south, palm trees ai-e plentiful; their leaves and fronds be- 
ing like the palmetto, arranged und)rolla fashion, their trunks having 
a surface which looks like a pineapple, — endogenous affairs, --that is 
the trunk keeps growing up inside of itself, instead of adding new 
layers outside a central heart. Across the St. Johns river from camp 
were luxurious plantations, the houses being set round with date-trees, 
which look like sheaves of lances set with dajfifors, banana trees, whose 
big green flags flap lazily like elephant's ears, and married pairs of tig 
trees. There were groves of small orange trees, the big ones having 
been split by the great frost three years before, and lemon trees. 
There were little Japanese plum trees, rich and neat, and pomegran- 
ates whose seeds are sweet to eat and look like hexahedral rubies set in 
transparent green stone. There are velvet plants, and campVior trees, 
and everything else that can delight the tree-loving imagination. In 
the hummocks, which are little islands of big trees, amid swampy 
ground and low-growing timber, are magnificent live oaks, twenty and 
thirty feet in diameter, whose branches grow straight out for a hun- 
dred feet and then dip to the ground, making an interior hall, fes- 

72 




A SOLDIERS MARRIAliE. 




-•^--'•-' -■■--^--- 



AKKIVAL OF THE KOOKIES. 



tooned with trailing, gray-greeu, Spanish moss. You could sail across 
the St. Johns and up into tributaries that took you right into this Gar- 
den of Edeu. Then rowing back through the still night, the swirls of 
the oars and the wake of the boat would bubble and glisten with phos- 
phorescent fire, and the big southern moon would shine so bright that 
you could easily read by it. 

But tho.se glimpses of fairy land were infrequent. The frequent 
thing was something like this: — At -iiSO the trumpeters blew reveille. 
You were dead asleep, but you heard it, and before you woke up you 
were mechanically crawling into a blue shirt and feeling for your 
shoes. You pulled on trousers, laced your shoes, and tumbled out of 
your tent into the street. Then the first sergeant winked, or some- 
thing, and each squad fell in in front of its tents. The corporals re- 
ported absentees, and each put his squad thi-ough the seventeen exer- 
cises. The first sergeant winked again, squads were dismissed, every- 
body grabbed his towel and made for the wash- basins. Five minutes 
after dismissal of squads, at quarter past five, mess call sounded; the 
privates fell in, regardless of height, at the officers' end of the com- 
pany street, and were marched to the three long tables which ran from 
end to end of the mess tent in the rear. Tin plate, knife, fork and cup 
were at each plate; bread and bacon, potatoes and coffee, were passed 
around. After mess you usually had ten minutes or so to roll a cigar- 
ette and get your eyes open. Then came the notes of fatigue call ; the 
twelve companies were formed, and each one was marched by a com- 
pany officer over back of the tents of the field and staff. It was un- 
usual in military life, but the battalion commanders were obliged by 
brigade orders to be present for fatigue, and after the companies were 
lined uj) on the railroad track in the first camp, and on the shellroad 
in the second, the majors gave the command, " Forward, march! " and 
went back to bed. Then the regiment went forward slowly and loosely, 
across the entire camp, from the field officers' tents to the line of sinks, 
picking up every stick, scrap of paper, cigarette butt, lemon jjcel, twig, 
and wisp of hay. Each battalion had its bonfire in the rear, where 
everything burnable was burned, and the rest carted away. This " po- 
lice " duty was done thoroughly, and any attempt to shirk it was dis- 
astrous. Immediately after fatigue call, and while the well were pick- 
ing up " snipes, " the sick were taken up by the " non-com " in charge 
of quarters to the surgeon's tent. Until the middle of August there 
were not many to respond to sick call, but after that time about half 

75 



the company responded to fatigue and half to sick call, beside those 
uaahle to respond to either. So benches were placed beside the sur- 
geon's tent, and these benches were better filled than the " pews " on 
Sunday, after the grave and lovely notes of " church. " Each man had 
a minute or two to tell his troubles to the lieutenant surgeons, who did 
and said what they could, while the hospital steward marked each man 
"for duty, " or "sick in (juarters, " or "sick in hos[)ital, "' in the com- 
pany sick books. 

After fatigue and sick call came inspection of quarters, un- 
heralded by any bugle call. The company commandant, accompanied 
by a sergeant who shouted out "attention!" marched down one side 
of the company street, through the mess tent and kitchen, and back on 
the other side. The men stood at attention, each man in front of his 
own slee[)ing ([uarters. Blankets had to be airing, if it wasn't rain- 
ing; clothing had to be neatly folded, ami after the tent floors were in 
they had to be cleanly swept. 

At 5:40 came the first call for guard mount. The guard detail 
fell in in the company street and was inspected by the first sergeant. 
Of course the most perfect condition and cleanliness of person, cloth- 
ing, and equi[)ment was required of men going on guard. The guard 
detail of each rom|)any consisted always of from three to four privates; 
once in four days a corporal also; once in twelve days a sergeant also. 
At 5:45 came guard mount, and then each first sergeant marched his 
detail out onto the field otficers' street, where the ceremony of forming 
the guard and marching it to review took place. The inspection of 
the guard was rather trying on the men. To stand for ten or fifteen 
minutes (it seems an hour) motionless and rigid, with eyes straight to 
the front, is never luxurious. With the thermometer at ninety, and no 
breeze blowing, and the air still wet with the unscattered mist of the 
night, and the wet ground steaming in the sun, it may fairly be called 
uncomfortable, and nearly every day some man would keel over like a 
log. It was wise, on tho.se guard mounts, not to fix the eye-balls too 
steadil}'. If things began to swim a little, and get the least bit cloudy 
on the edges of the field of vision, it wasn't in the book but it was ex- 
cellent good sense to look first at near things and then at distant ones. 
To rest tl\f optic nerv^e wards off loss of consciousness and prevents an 
unpleasant tumble. It spoils the looks of the line to have men fall- 
ing over. 

70 



It was, perhaps, on guard mount that we felt most keenly the lack 
of a band. Fatigue being over, most of the regiment watched guard 
mount from the officers' street. Guard mount is a pretty ceremony, 
and it is rendered interesting by the rivalry of the companies in re- 
gard to getting one of their men in as orderly. A good band makes a 
difference of fifty per cent, in the tone and spirit of a regiment, and 
the difference is felt chiefly on guard mount and dress parade. 

The orderly having been selected, and the new guard having 
marched off to relieve the old one at the guard house, most of the fel- 
lows put on leggings, got out rag and stick and gun-oil, and went to 
work on their rifles. The rust started over night in that damp air, 
and once well started there was no stopping it. Belt plates came in 
for a furbishing only once or twice a week, but certainly they got it be- 
fore Saturday morning inspection. 

During guard mount the non-com in charge of (juarters went over 
to the commissary tent, with a couple of men and a Buzzacotte camp 
pan, and drew the meat for the dav. This meat was refrigerated beef, 
put out of the cars right there and then. That furnished to Company 
B was perfectly good and sweet, except one day, when the outside of 
it was pretty rank. It was only necessary, however, to cut oft the out- 
side part, the inside Ijeing unspoiled. We saw nothing of the famous 
(or infamous) canned roasted beef, which was an emergency ration. 
We drew the regular field ration; not, of course, as full or varied 
as the garrison ration. Half an hour after meat was issued the ice 
came up from town, and the non-com sent two men and a rubber 
blanket after it. 

At 6:25 came first call for drill, followed at 6:30 by drill call, 
which found the men standing, in leggings, web-belts with bayonets 
thrust into them, and rifles, either near their regular places in 
company line or else running to get there. Assendily, five minutes 
later, meant fall in, which command was instantly given by the first 
sergeant, who called the roll and reported to the captaiu. He. taking 
command, marched the company out for the regular morning drill. 
The various kinds of drill can best be considered later in a separate 
paragraph. After a drill of an hour and a half or so we would hear, 
being then out in the woods, the welcome notes of recall, blown over at 
camp. The company having been marched in, and having been brought 
to port arms and dismissed by the first sergeant, there was a rush for 
the cool water, prepared by the non-com in charge of quarters. No 

77 



canteens were allowed on drill, the theory being that a man stands it 
better without water. After being almost continually busy from a 
quarter to 5 until 8, the men were, as a rule, free from recall until 
drill call at 3:30 in the afternoon. This time after drill was employed 
by the men in bathing, sewing on buttons, or removing pine pitch 
from blue shirts. Some washed their own underclothes, others gave 
them to the crowd of negro washermen and women. The.se darkies, be- 
ing unable to road, but having long memories, would put little tags of 
colored cloth ou each bundle of clothes and remember in tliat way 
which clothes were whose. The most conspicuous of these people was 
" Old Reliable "' as he called himself. Although he was no more relia- 
ble than the others, the name stuck to him, and he, being the only en- 
ergetic nigger in the south, reaped a silver harvest; and no doubt now 
has a brown stone front and a white trash coachman. When you told 
him tho.se things hail to bo back ne.\t day, ho answered, "I'll do my 
endeavorest, boss; I'll do my endeavorest. " There was, as a rule, noth- 
ing but mess call at noon for the men, and that was not compul.sory. 
Some of them, therefore, often s[)ont the intervening time down town, 
going to Nick Arend's for lunch, and spending several hours in the 
cool and cosy rooms of the Seminole club, where there were billimds, 
cool drinks and things to read. For the officers and non-commissioned 
officers, however, there was daily theoretical instruction. School call 
was sounded at 10 o'clock ; the officers' school lasted about half an hour ; 
and then all non-coms not on guard or special duty went over and sat 
near the colonel's tent, under the big tree which figures in the illustra- 
tions. Captain Bisho[) of C company was instructor, under the su[)er- 
intendence of Colonel Lambert. Obscure points in tactics, and their 
practical application, were explained by the instructor, who answered 
questions which had puzzled corporals and sergeants in the perform- 
ance of their duties. Captain Bishop's regular army e.\perience had 
very well qualified him for this instructorship. 

At 11:80, came first sergeant's call. At this time each first ser- 
geant, repairing to the office of the sergeant-major, received back the 
company sick book, which the non-com in charge of quarters had taken 
up to the surgeon at sick call. He also received his first sergeant's 
book, which had been sent to the sergeant-major not later than 8:30, 
and from which the sergeant-major had calculated the portion of the 
next days' guard allotted to each company. 




A POPULAR lA^LIMi: 



4 J 








'VJlAi 







STAFF OFFICERS EN.IOVIN(i THEMSELVES. 



At 12 came: — 

"Soupy, soupy, soupy, without a single bean. 
Porky "porky, porky, witliout a streak of lean, 
Coffee', coffee, coffee, the worst I ever seen. ' 
But Company B, as will be afterward explained, fared better than the 
rude soldier rhyme of "Mess" would have you believe. 

If there were clothes to be issued by the regimental quartermas- 
ter, they were issued about 1 oVlock. The issue of rations to the com- 
panies occurred regularly every teu days, but the men were at drill and 
saw nothing of it. At 3:30 came drill call and assembly, as m the 
morning, and the drill was the same as then, only that reviews were 
sometimes substituted. Recall brought us in pretty tired, and we lay 
around and swapped lies for three quarters of an hour. At 5:30, came 
dress parade, the showiest thing in military life. Don't imagine that 
we put on those hot blouses for dress para.le, or wore trim caps with 
shining visors. Blue shirts and campaign hats "went" on dress pa- 
rade as elsewhere. The showiness is in the regimental formation, and 
the reporting of the battalion adjutants; in the how-de-doing of the 
adjutant and the colonel, and the publication of orders; in the sounding 
off and trooping of the band, in the playing of the Star Spangled Ban- 
ner and the sounding of retreat, which officially ends the day's work; 
and the marching up of the field and staff, the colonel returning their 
salute, and the passing iu review of the companies, each one putting 
up the very best line of which it is capable. 

For several weeks during the rainy season drill call would sound 
at 3:30, and then, immediately, instead of assembly would come recall, 
which was to say that Jupiter Pluvius had the floor and we would not 
drill. Then we put our heads in, and shut the tent-flies, and made bets 
as to whether the water in the company street would or would not rise 
higher than the four-inch tent floors. Of course there was an order 
aglinst games of chance in quarters, but what was there to do? And 
the non-com in charge of quarters was not going to get a ducking just 
to see what was being done in each tent. 

On rainy days, also, retreat roll call was substituted for dress pa- 
rade. If it was pouring at 5:30 the corporals checked their squads 
and reported to first sergeants, who reported to battalion adjutants, 
who told Fritz Goedecke. If it was not actually raining each com- 
pany was lined up in its own street, without arms, facing the west; then 
brought to parade rest, while the assembled field music sounded re- 
treat, and the band played the Star Spangled Banner,— an air that 

81 



grows sweeter and sweeter to a man the longer he is a soldier — an air 
that seems to idealize all the work-a-day details of his life. To staiid 
at the end of the day and hear that piece made a man feel (what no 
man ever spoke of) the fact that he was working for his country ; and 
that, however trivial or prosy his work, it was the best he could do for 
her, and he must do it well. 

After dress parade, or retreat roll call, came mess call at six, and 
supper. After supper the point of most interest was the issue of 
candies. There was about one-fourth of a candle for every four men, 
and competition was lively. The non-com in charge of quarters had to 
be careful to keep candles from being appropriated and hoarded by 
tlirifty individuals. Matches were almost as valuable as candles. The 
market price of a match was "the makin's " of a cigarette. There 
were but two more calls, the long and sweet tattoo, which, at (juarter to 
9, told men that there were but fifteen minutes more of ligiits. Men 
visiting other companies sauntered back to their own quarters, men 
from town came in, walking rapidly or running; men at the sutler's 
finished their ice cream and " s(]uared up, " men writing letters wrote 
" must stop, there's tattoo. " Those who liked to undress with a light 
did so, and then came ''taps" — most musical, most melaiicholy of 
bugle calls, full of yearning for and promise of peace in the midst of 
war, and, over the grave, full of yearning for the life beyond it. Just 
before taps you had glimpses of dozens of candle-lit interiors, showing 
brown faces against white walls. After it, on a dark night, you saw 
nothing but darkness; in half moonlight the tents showed ghostly 
gray. Just after tape you saw a single light moving from tent to 
tent. It was the non-com in charge taking check. 

Taps:— 

I. II. 

Day is o'er; Life is o'er: 

Night's begun: Death's begun; 

Let the lights Let tlie eyes 

Shine no more, See no more, 

Duty's done. Duty's done. 

Wearied sore, Wearied sore, 

Sleep each one,— Sleep this one,— 

Day is done. Life is done. 

The regular routine made every day very much like every other. 
They were all of the same type with individual variations. Sunday 
there would be excursions to Pablo and St. Augustine, or across the St. 
John's, or dinner with friends down town, or an alligator hunt. Fre- 
quently, [for awhile, there wouldJ;be an afternoon thunder-storm or 

82 




THE "FORTS grabs" HOTKL. 




OUR bob" on kitchen police. 



cloud-burst in the place of afteruoou drill. Sometimes we would go 
on the rifle range for a day s target work. Sometimes there would be 
brigade, or division, or even corps review. Every day between 8 and 
12,''or between 1 and 3:30, there would be a large detail from each 
company for special fatigue. Seven or eight men under a corporal 
would go and dig trendies in the vain attempt to drain the flat, low 
camp; 'or they would grub giant stamps off the parade ground, or 
build bridges over trenches, or shovel and haul sand, or help build a 
stable for officers' horses. Of course, drill was our main business io 
life, and we got all kinds of it, from squad drill up to regimental drill. 
The rookies drilled under McBurney, who promptly scared them into 
being good soldiers. Their progress was thorough and remarkably 
rapid. I am sure every man of them thought he would be blindfolded 
and shot if he did right face instead of left. "Lane! Lane! step up 
there, sir!" became a stock quotation. Tommy Owens, however, was 
not to be abashed by Mac's rigid soldier face. Oue day Tommy was 
very slow in executing " about face. " 

"Owens, what do you mean?" demanded the sergeant sternly. 
•'You have drilled before. You should be ashamed, sir. Turn 
promptly on your right heel. " 

"Sure, Sergeant," said Tommy, in honied tones; "Sure an' the 
heel of me goverument shoe has come off, sor, an' how kin Oi turn 

on ut?" 

Men say that Mac, although on duty, smiled. Tliis, however, is 

probably an exaggeration. 

For some reason, there was very little brigade or division drill 
such as General Lincoln gave us in Des Moines. To be sure, there 
wasn't enough open ground for neat manoeuvers, but if our division 
had operated in Cuba it would not have had much country. What- 
ever the reason, three-fourths of the drill was by battalion, and three- 
fourths of that was wisely open order, twocompauies advancing by sec- 
tion, two companies in reserve, all being thrown at last upon one firing 
line' then " to the charge, " and " charge. " After advancing by rushes 
over a Florida field, suuggling dowu into the deep sand to avoid 
imaginary bullets, we would find our legs full of "jiggers" ovchigres; 
little beasts that worked under the skin and made itchy red spots. 
Upon these we put kerosene. Some tried gun-oil. Other days we 
practiced advance guard work, throwing out point and flankers, form- 
ing company in advance, support and reserve. The advance in battle 

85 



formation and open order was performed to the satisfaction of General 
Bancroft by Major Tillie's battalion. This was the first day he saw 
our drill, and he complimented it hij^lily, saying to the major. "That 
movement was very well executed. You may take your battalion in, 
sir!" General Bancroft was a terror, and his praises were as rare as 
white blackbirds. 

The battalion was marching over to the parade ground one day 
when General Lee, a couple of staff officers, and a carriage containing 
the general's daughters, came up the road across which the battalion 
wa.s marching. (Jt-neral T.,ee reined in his big horse, and as Company 
B came along he exclaimed to the ladies, " Look at those faces! Just 
look at those faces! Did you ever see finer faces than those?" Were 
it not for the well known modesty of the present company chronicler 
he would mention the fact that ho himself was the person the general 
was thinking of; and, also that, with his customary tact, the general 
said faces instead of face, iu order to avoid hurting the other boys' 
feelings. 

One day the entire regiment was given a red-hot battle drill, with 
the three-mile house as an objective. We were closing in on this 
house through thick woods, devoid of underbush for the last twn or 
three hundred yards. Two fat darky women were waddling along 
through the woods, carrying baskets, when they saw the regiment com- 
ing for them. At a hundred and fifty yards the bugle sang out the 
fierce and rapid "kiU'em! kilTem! kiU'om! " of the charge, and the 
regiment shot forward, yelling, with glistening, bristling bayonets. 
The two fat darky women wailed and Heil. They wont faster than the 
regimental sprinter; they cleared the road fence like antelope; they 
pattered down the shell road in a cloud of white dust ; they bolted into 
a cabin, and shut the door, and probably piled tables and chairs 
against it. 

Another day the Second battalion was drilling on new ground. 
There was a dip, or hollow, about fifty yards from the eastern fence. 
At two hundred yards, moving east, we charged ; we came to the hol- 
low, went down into it and struck a swampy creek at the bottom. The 
officers were in the rear and didn't see it, .so the battalion raced throusrh 
it — knee deep and thigh deep, — neck deep if you upset, as some 
men did. It was wettish and muddyish, but it was good fun. 

One day General Bancroft put each company separately through 
company drill. Poor Heatou of Fairfield snarled his company, tangled 

86 



it and drew it into hard knots, while Old Two-Two, or Too-Too, or 
Toot-oo, laid on the lash of his satiric tongue. " B " watched " M," made 
mental notes, and when Amos came over we took a cadence of a hun- 
dred and thirty, and snapped through manual and marching without a 
slip. We had a tumble, though. The stumps had not yet been 
grubbed up, and Captain Tom, facing his company, was marching 
backward as we came left front into line. The captain struck a stump 
emphatically, and describing an airy parabola, sat down still more 
emphatically in traus-stumpian territory. The captain's first remark 
was also emphatic. Bancroft promptly decided that here was a forci- 
ble nature, and treated the captain with marked respect. 

Another day, on battalion drill, Bancroft sent two of our captains 
from the field on account of some trifling mistake. " Go to your quar- 
ters and study the drill regulations, " did not seem wall calculated to 
preserve the respect of the enlisted men for their company oflicers. 
The men, however, knew that we all made mistakes,— even General 
Bancroft— for we saw him make them. Even the privates knew that 
on brigade review the brigadier should bring his command to present 
arms before he himself turned and saluted the reviewing officer. Our 
brigadier terrorized and bullied the men on guard. He scared one 
sentry so that he could not give his general orders, and then asked the 
boy if his mother had good sense. Brigadiers should not ask imperti- 
nent questions about people's mothers. General Lincoln was just as 
strict as General Bancroft. Lincoln's men respected him, and obeyed 
instantly and cheerfully. His rebuke was just as stinging, but it was 
invariably felt to be based on accurate judgment and justice. General 
Bancroft is doubtless a charming man in private life; he may do well 
as a Harvard overseer, and as vice president of the Boston Street Rail- 
way, but as a brigadier he was a martinet, and, worse than that, an 
amateur martinet. If he had really known his own business we would 
have respected him for his sharp criticisms of the way we did ours. 
But why that piece of paper he carried and consulted when he desired 
to see seven or eight regimental evolutions? The general orders of 
every private in the brigade required more memorization than those 
seven or eight commands. He is reported to have said that the 
Fiftieth Iowa was not fit to march in a Boston torch-light procession. 
Also that they were undersized clerks and desk-men who lacked physi- 
cal vigor and intelligence. I suppose he was thinking of such puny 
creatures as Ham Gronen and Bill Schwartz! Still, General Bancroft 



■ST 



did give us the uew and true iuformatiou that two nud two make four. 
He also told the assembled officers and non-coms of the brigade that 
the regulation quick timo step was thirty -six inches. The two plus 
two sum had convinced us of his uiathemnticnl accurac}', so, of course, 
we knew the Drill Regulations must be mistaken in giving the 
regulation step as only thirty inches. Thirty inches might do 
for undergrowu Iowa men, but for a stalwart Bostonian torch- 
light [)rocessiou the proper step Wiis thirty-si.\. When the trump- 
eter at the guard house sounded two flourishes for the brigadier 
you could see men '' rul>bor-ueckiug '" from every comi)anv street to 
see who was going to catch it now. It was nut for General Bancroft, 
however, that Sentry No. 1 called out, " Turn out de whole push ; here 
comes the main guy! " 

For a variety of incidents and causes General Bancroft was 
cordially hated by every officer and man in the regiment, and, it is 
likely, in the brigade. The brigade adjutant. Lieutenant Cassatt of the 
Fourth United States regular cavalry, captain of volunteers, was nat- 
urally not charmed with the task of licking volunteer regiments into 
shape while battles were being fought in Cuba. He was sore, and 
General Bancroft may have been influenced by his tone and attitude. 
Three of our men who wanted to be transferred to a retjular reeiment 
in front of Santiago nearly had their heads taken otl for daring to want 
to do what he, Captain Cassatt, was not permitted to do. 

Well, we learned open order battalion drill down there, anyway. 
We didn't know the drill signals of the bugle, only " halt, " an<l " to 
the charge," and "charge," and " to the rear," and "assembly. " But 
even the United States regulars are, and have always been, shaky on 
those drill signals. Our s(|uad.s, the units of the battle formation, were 
not drilled often enough by themselves, nor were they kept intact, as 
they should have been. A corporal would have one s<|uad one day and 
another the next, and very seldom did ho have in [)ractice the seven 
men he theoretically commanded. Vacancies in the front rank were 
not filled by rear rank men, — as they should have been, — hence the 
squads were not fixed units. There was, in fact, none of the pedantic 
perfection of European armies in our organization; but neither was 
there in the Rough Riders' regiment, who managed to fight and live 
pretty well. 

Sometimes, instead of drill, the company, or even the battalion, 
would go on a " hike. " A hike is soldierese for a walk without arms. 

88 




MAKING ROUNDS OF POSTS ON PROVOST GUARD. 




A S(iUAD ON PROVOST GUARD. 



On the beautifully wooded shell roads about the city the hikes were a 
pleasant substitute for drills. One picture shows B company hiking; 
another shows them fallen out at Sulphur Springs. Another day we 
marched into a beautiful park in the far suljurbs of Jacksonville. That 
day we were commanded by Sergeant Roe, who sent a diplomat to ask 
the old gardener, who had charge of the park, if we might swim in the 
artificial lake. The old fellow demurred at first, but was won over, 
sent men to the gates to keep women away, and the whole company 
revelled for ten minutes in the deliciously cool water. 

Another substitute for drill was the very necessary target practice. 
Large details of the company were out at three different times, and 
fired four thousand rounds. Some good scores were made. The roar 
of the firing line gave us a good idea of the sound of battle. The 
Springfield bullets could be seen making a down-curving, silver line in 
the air between rifle muzzle and target. The pine trees back of the 
range were, many of them, cut through and felled by so many bullets 
striking them in the plane of the line of fire. 

One day, the battalion marching in route step past the mule-filled 
division corral, Company C's dog, Sampson, chased some chickens into 
a door yard. An officer and sergeant passed around the house and suc- 
ceeded in driving the dog out of the yard. After he was out, and had 
run back near the column, the owner of the chickens shot at him with 
a pistol. The shooter proved to be a Jacksonville policeman off duty. 
He was standing on the porch roof in front of the second story 
windows of his house. A woman was with him, endeavoring to calm 
his angry passions and get him to step inside. After the pistol shot 
the owner of the dog told the owner of the chickens what he was. The 
infuriated policeman then brandished his pistol fiercely and invited the 
man who had called him that to step out of the column and be shot. 
There were a great many men fingering nervously at the ball-cart- 
ridges in "each web belt, and fign.ring how to miss the woman beside 
the angry brute. Major Tillie brought the battalion to attention, and 
averted further exchange of courtesies. Upon his reporting the con- 
duct of the policeman, however, that individual was dismissed by the 
city authorities. 

Of course we got so we could take care ourselves; and our mess 
was really extremely good after McBurney got things running 
smoothly. Our company had the reputation of having the best mess 
in the Seventh army corps. In the first place, McBurney had been in 

91 



charii'e of a company mess in the regular army, lu the second place, 

Davenport kept our company fund up so that we could buy extras. In 

the third place Weiss and Sharpe and Koch knew now to cook: ami 

when, after many changes of dynasty, those men wore established, 

Weiss as first cook and corporal, and the others as his assistants, 

things were as right as things could be. For dinner we would have, 

say, boiled beef, [Kitatoes, tomatoes, soft bread, hard tack, butter, 

coffee and ice water, — the coffee with or without sugar, as you chose. 

On Fourth of July, thanks to Mr. Peterson's generosity, we had for 

supper ham, mutton, mashed pitatoes, corn, pea.-<, cheese, hard tack, 

bread and butter, n whole pic apiece, cotfee and claret lemonade. 

Here is the regular field ration, given in pounds and ounces: — 

Ham, pork, bacon ^i'?Si 

Fresh (or salt) beef } "•"" 

Jiread (or Hour) j _ 

Heaos (or peas) I -■"!' 

Kice or hominy Jlj" 

Ground colTee '-1 

Sugar -*" 

Candles •"; 

JSalt /'^ 

Pepper "" 

Fresh vegetables, i. e. potatoes ' 

The articles in parenthesis were not issued in Jacksonville. 
Once or twice a week McBurney would buy something like this: 
(a sample bill, dated September 10) one dozen cabl)ages, five pounds 
apricots, starch, ten pounds tapioca, six gallons milk, tea, extract 
of lemon, lemons, six pounds prunes, four pounds butter, two gal- 
lons syrup, eight pounds oatmeal, five hams. On this inll also ap- 
pear three dozen eggs, cocoa, cakes and L crackers, these being for 
the sick, who, we felt, fared better as to nourishment and care while 
they were in ([uarters than they did after they went to the big hospi- 
tal. It was certainly so till mid-August, when women nurses were 
employed and the hospital food supply vastly iiii|)rovcd. For the com- 
pany, also, fish was bought once a week, peas and mutton occasionally, 
and many other things. Unfortunately, the volunteer commissary, un- 
like the regular one, ctjmpelled each company to draw full rations, and 
gave no credit for rations saved. It took too much mathematics and 
administration to do that. We had far too much cotfee and far too 
much l)akiiig powder. These could be sold or exchanged at first, but 
afterward, not Royal Baking powder, but some cheap stuff, was issued 
that wouldn't sell. Arbuokle's coffee became a drug on the Jackson- 

92 




1. GUARD MOUNT. 2. OUR LOUNGING PLACE. 3. OFFICER'S STREET. 



ville grocery market; and being unwilling to give it away, McBurney 
stored it up in the old Sibley we used for a commissary tent. Could 
we have got credit for rations saved, or have sold the excess at a fair 
price, it would have been unnecessary to draw on the company fund 
for extras. As it was it cost Davenport something, but the city can 
feel that through its genei'osity Company B did not suffer by refisou of 
poor and insufficient food. 

When the band arrived two of the bandsmen were assigned to 
" B " for rations. Some of the others heard their reports and came in 
as guests, so that we had five or six extra men at every meal. Bands- 
men are always pets, but other companies were getting credit for feed- 
ing them while " B " was actually doing it, and we had to have the ad- 
jutant invite them to mess where they were assigned. Finally, of 
course, they established a mess of their own. 

Having described roughly the daily routine, the drill and the 
mess, it is time to resume the interrupted chronicle. Early in June, 
everybody was vaccinated, drill was discontinued two days, and men lay 
around, each one claiming the biggest arm. On the tenth, Craik was 
transferred to the hospital corps, which was being recruited from the 
ranks. Naturally many men who had no hospital experience had to be 
selected, and it was rough on the sick, till the nui'ses learned their 
business. Neither Major Robertson, ranking regimental surgeon of 
the Second division, nor Lieutenant-Colonel Maus, chief surgeoa of 
the Seventh army cordis, were to blame for this necessity. They did 
the best that could be done under their orders. Surgeon-General 
Sternberg was trying to get the army upon a field basis, and that pre- 
cluded the hiring of trained women nurses. After it became evident 
that we would not take the field in Cuba women were admitted, aud 
saved many lives. The blame goes back to congress, which had for- 
gotten, in framing its volunteer army bill, to make provision for a 
hospital service. If public attention had not been directed so exclu- 
sively to canned roast beef, people could see that congress was more 
responsible than any military man for defects of organization. The 
National Guard had the basis of a good hosjiital service which had, as 
privates, medical students aud registered pharmacists, — men of experi- 
ence iu nursing — and these men could not be enlisted in the volunteer 
service, simply because congress had forgotten. Chairman Hull's first 
army bill had not forgotten, but that was cut to pieces, and the result- 
ing patchwork bill left out the hospital corps. Three- fifths of the men 

95 



whu (lied in army camps can tlmnk congress for their tombstoues. 

On the thirtoeuth, James Y. Cautwell. originally one of the 
privates of the I. N. G. hospital corps, who had enlisted in the com- 
pany when that corps was thrown out. was tiausferred to the hospital 
service. How valuable that kind of a man was among those untrained 
men may be seen from the fact that he was very soon made acting 
steward — a rank corresponding to a sergeam-y in the line. On the 
eleventh. Lieutenant Hender and Sergeant Burmeistor went on de- 
tached duty as recruiting officer and sergeant, with station at 
Daven[»ort. 

On the fourteenth t>f .hint' occurred the unveiling of the confed- 
erate monument in Jacksonville. Federal and confe<lerate veterans 
marched side by side, and every regiment in the Seventh army corps 
was represented by a comjiany. The Fiftieth .sent one hundred and 
five men, of whom one humlred antl three were six feet or over in 
height. B company was represented by Lieutenant McManus, Ser- 
geants Koe, Middleton and McBurney, Privates C. Hoover, O. Hoover, 
Lasher, Gronen, Busch, Sharpe. Koch, and Mason, — our tallest set of 
four. Captain Bisbee of "A" commanded this six-foot company. 
General Lee is said to have s|)oken highly of their a()pearance. It is 
too bad that General Bancroft didn't arrive a few days sooner, that 
he could have seen this company. It might have changed his idea of 
the size of the lowans. The body guard of the first Frederick could 
hanlly have been stouter or bigger men than these. It was frightfully 
hot, they say, on that parade, and many a man fell out; not, however, 
from the ranks of the Fiftieth. The sand, stirred up by thousands of 
feet, filled their eyes, and mouths, and lungs, but no one let go. Our 
own Company B had constantly a good record in this respect. On one 
hot regimental drill the woods were full of stragglers, but B company 
didn't lose a man. 

On the twentieth General Bancroft, newly assigned to the brigade, 
reviewed his command. It rained tremendously, the first real rain of 
the season and the brigade was .soaked. Fortunately the general was 
soaked too. Billy Kulp was No 1 on guard that day, and Bancroft, 
coming in through sheets of rain, won Billy's admiration by the things 
he said to his " dog robber " and his horse. But from Billy's account, 
print couldn't do justice to the general's remarks. 

The next day everybody grubbed stumps, and got paid for four- 
teen days. The boys chipped in and gave Jimmie Carson $7.28, he 

96 



having joined too late to receive pay with the others. In general, if 
one man had money and another haduH. the man who had it would di- 
vide. There were one or two " dead beats, " but they were known and 
avoided. Part of Jacksonville was torn loose that night. But the 
Fiftieth had a wonderful record for good behavior. The provost guard 
down town made hundreds of arrests, but they didn't get any Fiftieth 
Iowa men. How good we were! Or— how clever. Frank Fidlar, being 
in charge of quarters, was instructed to sit up and see if X came home 
sober. X was a fine fellow otherwise, but the officer who gave him a 
pass had to make him promise not to get drunk. And then, to make 
sure, he had to detail somebody to see that he didn't. On this night, 
though, there was no doubt about his being sober, for Frank said he 
was. There's no disimting expert testimony. 

On the twenty-third Lieutenant McManus was " detailed to act as 
battalion adjutant for Major Tillie, and when he started to mount his 
horse the saddle, which was not properly adjusted, slipped and turned, 
throwing him. Tlie horse started forward, striking the lieutenant on 
the knee cap, and slightly spraining the right knee. He will be on 
the sick list for a few days. " So wrote Miner at the time. It was 
just thirty-one days before the lilg lieutenant could return to duty. 

Next day, just two weeks after the departure of Heuder and Bur- 
meister, the first rookies arrived for Company B. Seven in the morn- 
ing in charge of Hedley Beesley, an old time color sergeant of the 
British army, and twenty-four in the evening in charge of C. A. 
PK.hde, an old Company C man. Both Rohde and Beesley were newly 
enlisted, and naturally added two excellent soldiers to the company. 
With these Company B rookies came some for other companies. 
Among the new '" B" mem were the bridegroom colony ; Grilk who be- 
came \)rigade quartermaster's clerk, Meyer the bear, and Tommy 
Owens, our Mulvaney, now in the Philippines with Company G of the 
Fourth Regular Infantry. Tommy heard that a recruit must be under 
forty, so when Hender asked him his age, he replied cheerfully, 
" thirrty-noiue, soi-. " 

" Can't take men over thirty-five, " said Heuder. "Next. " 
Tommy returned crestfallen to Rohde's. He had a " 'skee ,' and 
suddenly brightened up a bit. By and by he returned to the armory 
and, winking at Hender, said, " Leftenant! oh Leftenant! Me aunt has 
looked at me age in the family boible and she siz Oi'm only thirrty- 
four. " It was Tommy who said, " We Germans must together stick- 

97 



en." In this " bunch" were also Proctor, sometimes cook; and little 
Reavy, the best shot among the new men; and big Bill Schwartz, the 
biggest man in the regiment, who dined with Lee an<l " didn't seem to 
know the use of fear, "' and Lauily, who stayed in Jacksonville with 
the sick when the regiment came north; and Gustav LeGrande and 
John Schroeder, who gave their lives in the service of their country. 

Next day came Edward L. Nebergall, an old B man. The day after 
came Max Paul, Pete Paulsen, Price, who later nearly died, Rhodes 
and Thompson. On July 3 came Reynolds, who lost his eye while in 
the service, and Ed. Schroeder. The last of the rookies was Huss on 
July 16. 

On the twenty-fifth. Corporal John Miner, a non-ccni who did his 
whole duty and was popular (a rare tribute if you stop to think) was 
transferred to the volunteer signal corps, with station at Tampa. Gen- 
eral Greeley's corps, as everybody knows, was the most perfectly or- 
ganized and scientific in the army. John is a tclegra|)her, and the 
signal corps got a good man. 

The addition of forty rookies to the company roster necessitnted 
six new corporals, and Miner's transfer a seventh. On Monday, June 
27, the seven were appointed. They were: C. W. Hoover, O. G. 
Hoover, L. G. Lasher, W. J. Carson, G. C. Cook, V. H. Plath, and L. 
Petersen. 

On Saturday, the seventh of July, the regimental and company 
streets were made mathematically straight, all the big stumps were 
grubbed or chopped out. long grass cut. |)ine trees felled, and Hogan's 
alley redeemed from its pictures<}ue irregularity. The camp looked 
more military but not half so pleasant. Men away Saturday came into 
the new street after dark and didu"t know whether they had lost their 
minda. their regiment, or their sobriety. 

Gloomy rumors ran through camp Sunday evening, the third of 
July. It was reported that Shafter v as routed with loss of five thou- 
sand. " If the regulars are beaten, what will ice do? " was asked des- 
pondently. "Keep at it till we learn to lick them! " was the grim an- 
swer. Of course, we learned next day of the great sea fight, and 
shared the jubilation of the nation, though, as Stephen Crane would 
say, there was a greenish streak of env)' in our purple joy. For, 

" We fall in line eight times a day, 
We drill in sun and rain, 
And pay five cents a day to read, 
What others'do to Spain. ' 

98 




CO. B S STREET— LAST CAMP. 



A o-raud parade of the whole Seventh crops had been planned for 
the Fourth, but it looked like rain all morning, and the parade was 
postponed until next day. The supper that night has already been 
mentioned. When the lavish board was revealed to our long expec- 
tant eyes, there were three rousing cheers and a sonorous tiger for Ser- 
geant McBurney and the three Musqueteers, Weiss, Sharpe and Koch. 
Some said it was the Patriotic Relief association which had sent us the 
hundred, some said it was Mr. Petersen ; so we cheered them both, and 
found out later that l)oth deserved our cheers. Captain and Mrs. Dal- 
zell, Major and Mrs. Tillie, Lieutenant and Mrs. Fred. B. Monroe, and 
Colonel Lambert were the guests of the mess. " Professor " Bill 
Schwartz exhibited his bear, while Manager Koch " sold tickets for the 
bio- show." By the way does Villian remember his bare-dance? The 
historian is unable to ascertain, but Lawson thinks he does. 

It didn't rain on the Fourth. Can any body tell me whether it 
rained on the fifth? Well, never mind— No, we can't print it that 
way, although it's expressive. We 11 simply say that it rained. The 
corps was out in ponchos and rubber blankets. We stood in column, 
waiting, and it rained. The sand was slushy with water, the pave- 
ments were submerged. Twenty odd regiments went past the Windsor, 
where General Lee and his staff had their reviewing stand. When the 
Fiftieth passed in double time, guide right at secure, the men on the 
left of platoons couldn't see the right for the sheets of rain. Call me 
a liar if you could find enough air to breath — the space around your 
nose was so full of cascading rain water. From the time we got into 
column the cadence never let up; we kept time, marked time, and dou- 
bled time, sometimes in six inches of water. We made some great 
double time around street corners, and it was great to hear on the brick 
pavement the single footfall of a thousand feet,— a little squdgy— but 
then ! The regimental feeling had already struck us in Des Moines, — 
the feeling that the regiment's honor was our honor — the feeling that, 
whoever died or was killed, the regiment was indestructible. To hear 
your regiment keep step in double time on brick pavement gives you 
a delightful sense of the might and power of it— so many disciplined 
men acting together are irresistible if only they think so. Well, as 
I said, it rained. Captain Tom had the laugh on all of us, for he wore 
no poncho or rubber blanket. We did. Of course we were soaked, 
anyway, and then we had the darned wet blanket fla[)ping at us, and tir- 
ino- our arms out holding it over our shoulders. The next time Com- 



our 

101 



jpany B raus up against Noah's flood it goes uublauketecl, like Captain 
Tom, and takes its ducking right on its blue shirt. On the whole it 
was good fun — aftorwnrd. Everybody stripped, iiud rubbed, and got 
on dry clothes; and the non-coms paddled about with whiskey and 
quinine. Vigilance was necessary to get the quinine down and keep 
the whiskey up. 

Billv Kulp wont to the hospital on July 8. and the coni[)any had 
no more of hi.s sunny society. On .Sunday, the tenth, we hunted alli- 
gators. Near the Old Soldiers' Home, on the St. John's, is a swamp 
disemboguing in the St. John's. It's a hundred yards wide, full of 
six-foot sea-grass, and covered with six inches to two feet of water. 
In the middle the water is ten feet. Doughty Doty led the way to the 
middle. We poked around for alligators, and then saw a snake six 
inches in diameter. Only one coil of the brute was visible, and judg- 
ing by the thickness, it must be twenty feet long. So liill Schwartz 
dropped a telegraph pole on its head. The exjjected giant writhings 
of the boa constrictor did not follow. It was only a very much dis- 
couraged water moca.ssin full of little mocassins. It came to presently, 
but Bill Schwartz arranged a rope around its neck, and we boxed it. 
Then we heard the big alligators bellowiug like bulls; and a cracker 
urchin, in whose back yard this swam|) was, showed us the way 
through the thickets to their hole. It was on the bank about twenty 
feet from the edge of the swamj). It was an innocent looking affair, 
about four feet in diameter, full of water, and apparently only six 
inches deep. But we poked a pole into it and got bottom at fifteen. 
It ran down slantwise at an angle of forty -five degrees. Mr. and Mrs. 
Alligator were not at home. We started to find them by taking open 
order and going through the swamp. Some of us went knee-deep in 
the water, decided that it was wet, and went and got bread and milk of 
a nice cracker eirl, — the urchin's sister. The other fellows, — Schwartz, 
Doty, Rosche, Kurtz, Traeger, Miller, Pfabe, Nebergall, and some 
more, kept floundering around till they got a little fellow, — not a ten- 
footer, but then, — an alligator. As a result of this expedition Bill 
Schwartz finally died — not big Bill, but little Bill, the alligator. The 
snake died too, and Rosche skinned it. He did nol want the skin to 
cobble shoes with. 

On Saturday, the sixteenth, the corporal in charge of quarters 
was honored by a personal visit from Jersey Woods, the famous hunter 
and fisher, now a company cook in the Second Mississippi, camped five 

102 



a 
a' 

H 



o 
o 
w 




miles away, over at Panama park. Jersey and a friend o£ his intro- 
duced themselves to the corporal, and said it was a long time between 
drinks. So the corporal left some one else in charge of quarters and 
went over to the Fourth Illinois canteen. After waiting half an hour 
for the window to open, they bought and drank what the temperate 
corporal considered a fair allowance. Woods was scandalized, but the 
corporal pleaded duty. Woods was due to have supper ready at 6 
o'clock, five miles away, and it was then 5. So, with injunctions to 
walk fast, the corporal bade the Mississippians an revoir and returned 
to quarters. The revoir came sooner than the corporal expected it. At 
5:30, with the company lined up for retreat roll call, and each man an- 
swering '-here!" Jersey and his pal came rolling in, loaded to the 
o-uards. No one knows how much beer there was inside of them. In 
2>lain sight were fourteen full bottles festooning their persons. The 
corporal, who was standing behind the line, gasped and made signals 
of distress. He steered his guests to his tent, and they pulled out bot- 
tles for five minutes. The corporal persuaded them that they were 
huuf^rv, and sot them off to the sutler s. Then he transferred a few 
of the bottles to the tents of his comrades — just few enough so their 
absence would pass unnoticed. At mess he tried to keep one eye on 
his tent. Jersey and Company, however got in somehow, unseen, and 
were rapidly making dead soldiers when the men came up from the 
mess tent. The Mississippians were very happy and generous and 
cordial, and the corporal introduced eight or nine of his friends. Of 
course, Jersey asked everybody to have one, and, of course, everybody 
did. A dozen men can, at a pinch, handle twelve bottles without out- 
rao-ing the proprieties. But it was really pathetic to see the expres- 
sion on Jersey's face when he found the bottles all empty and nobody 
full. He wanted to send for three dozen more; or, if the rest of the 
corporal's company would drink with him, three hundred more. We 
explained sorrowfully that the canteen was now closed. (I hope for 
the sake of our veracity that it was. ) We also regretted to say that 
our tyrannical officers — Lieutenant Jim had limped down from his tent 
to help tide over the emergency — that our d — d — officers wouldn't 
allow us to have our friends sleep with us. Also that our d — d — d— 
sentinels arrested everybody who tried to get out after 7 o'clock, and 
the only way to keep out of the guard house was to go at once. Lord 
forgive us the lies we told that delightful giant with his tender heart 
and hard muscles! It seemed to him the most natural thing in the 

105 



world to walk into a company's quarters and get it druuk. Discipline 
was an idea which his big, innocent mind had never entertained, — it 
was no use arguing that way at all. Wu didn't want to hurt his feel- 
iucs; for, in the first [ilace, he was a royal good fellow, and in the sec- 
ond, he was six feet three, weighed two-thirty, and was as bard as iron. 

He told us that he was out one niglit. after tajis, with four or five 
comrades, and the sentry wouldn't let them in. They didn't know 
what to do, but Jersey said, narrating: "I tol 'em I'd hold the guard 
'n they cud go in. So I held him and they ran in. " 

" You held him?" 

•' Yeah. "' 

'• How was that?" 

'• Jest held him. " 

" Didn't he call the corporal?" 

" Nao: not till the boys was in. I held his miouth shot till they 
'uns was in. " 

" Well what happened to you? Di<ln't you get caught? How 
did you get away?'' 

" Oh, 1 went back to the woods and stayed all night. " 

You couldn't get him to make a story of it. He just told it as a 
very ordinary fact. But to march up and hold a man with a bayo- 
neted rifle, who has thirty other men within call, to get past his 
charged bayonet, hold him, and " hold his miouth shet, " would not, to 
most men, be quite so simple. Jersey joined his regiment in a day or 
two, and was not disciplined. In the first place, the Mississippians, 
officers and men, were by no means pedantically military; in 
the second, everybody liked Jersey ; in the third, everybody was afraid 
of him; in the fourth, he was not afraid of anything that lives; and, in 
the fifth, his life had been spent camping, and he was an " out of sight 
cook, " whose eccentricities must be condoned. There are a dozen Jer- 
sey stories, but space is lacking. 

Lieutenant McManus returned to duty on Sunday, July 24; and 
on that day. Dr. Kulp came down from Davenport to look after Will, 
who was then a very sick man, having been in the hospital seventeen 
days. Dr. Kulp was a week in Jacksonville and at the end of that 
time. Will having been granted sick furlough, father and son went 
north, where "little Doctor Kulp" had a slow but steady con- 
valescence. 

106 



Next day Company B was detailed to serve for a week as brigade 
patrol. It now became our duty to arrest soldiers found in the coun- 
try around camp without authority in shape of a pass. There had been 
some complaints from citizens that the soldiers were trespassing and 
stealing fruit and poultry. National Guardsmen call it not stealing, 
but foraging. The distinction is without a difference; and further, we 
were now very decidedly not in the guard. The strictest orders were 
issued against trespassing and pillage. The matter is covered in a red- 
hot article of war, to which the men's attention was invited. Finally 
the patrol was put oa to make sure ; and to make sure for miles and 
miles, the orders were to arrest all soldiers near our lines without 
passes. These lines covered the country from a point due west of our 
reo-iment over a big quarter circle to a point in the north. The com- 
pany was divided into two platoons, which relieved each other every six 
hours. Each platoon was divided into five squads, having from six 
to teu men, each squad, under its corporal, having a definite post or 
section of the country to watch, There were two or three men con- 
stantly on watch, one every two or three hundred yards. There were 
a good many arrests, some funny ones, and some very pleasant experi- 
ences with the inhabitants in the vicinity of the posts. The squad on 
Post No. 3 is shown in the illustration in front of an old darky 
preacher's house. One of his women folks made delicious corn-bread, 
and served it very cheaply to the men of the squad. When it rained 
the squad headquaters were, by the old gentleman's invitation, moved 
from under the trees into his house. There were a dozen darky cabins 
within sight. Four men and the corporal sat under a tree, on chairs 
borrowed from the kind old preacher, while two men were out on post. 
One was posted two hundred yards south near the railroad which ran 
eastward to the river, The other was two hundred yards north. One 
day a Virginia Methodist preacher, who had enlisted, started to cross 
the line with two fellow soldiers, carrying fish-poles and their Spring- 
ffelds. They were going shooting ; their captain had winked at then- 
taking their rifles, and had given them passes. But the patrol had or- 
ders to take all weapons whatever from soldiers, so they had to leave 
their rifles, which were sent in to Captain Dalzell, whose headquarters 
were now at the guard house of the Fourth Illinois. The preacher 
tried to preach lis into letting him keep his rifle, but we were there to 
obey orders. Another time, seven Virginians under a first sergeant 
came out in a wagon to get sand. They were shoveling blithely away 



107 



when Herman Miller arrested them and brought them up to the cor- 
poral at Post No. 3. 

" No, they had no passes — didn't know they had t«i have any. " 

" Did they want to send the driver in for one — it would save their 
going to the guard house? " 

" Well, I should say so. " They sat around for half an hour and 
entertained the stjuad. They were merry-hearted fellows, who kept up 
a running fire of witty comment on their situation. One of them said 
when he went to the guard house he wanted to go there for getting 
good and drunk and raising h —1. He didn't want to go for shoveling 
sand,- no satisfaction in that. The driver finally came back with a 
pass signed by a lieutenant. Company iMisses didn't go, so we had to 
march them otf to the guard house, wishing them good luck and good- 
bye. Of course they were soon released, but his company guyed the 
first sergeant half to death. 

The Second New Jersey men were the ugliest at being arrested. 
They were an Irish regiment, and, con8e(|uently. Tommy Owens liked 
nothing better than to bring them in. Some meditated resistance, but 
looked at the bayonets and thought better of it. When a man was 
grouchy and refused to give his name there was some satisfaction in 
arresting him. Some fellows wo were sorry for, they drifted out there 
innocently and would have done no harm. But ignorautia legis nemi- 
nem excusat. 

Corporal Louis Peterson, on Post No. 1, had a number of experi- 
ences. His post lay along two main lines of travel, the north bound rail- 
road and the shell road. He had nine men, four near a house on the rail- 
road, four near another house on the shell road and one man between. 
In the house nenr the railroad lived a pleasant Illinois sclioolm'am 
who kept a cow and gave the boys buttermilk. Then the railroaders 
crowed over the shell-roaders. But in the house by the shell road 
lived a cracker dross- maker who kept chickens, and one fine day she 
cooked some tender ones and some corn-cake for the shell-roaders. 
Then ihey crowed. Then somebody surreptitiously milked the school- 
m'am's cow, and, suspecting the railroaders, she gave them no more 
buttermilk. Cor[)oral Louis, however, refuses to believe that his men 
milked that cow. One day an ex-regular tried to make Louis believe 
that his " buzzard " (discharge paper) from the Tenth United States 
Infantry entitled him to go through the lines. But it didn't. An- 
other time a Rough Rider ( from Torey's Second United States Volun- 

10« 




CU.iK SHACK IN OUR NEW QUARTERS. 




KITCHEN POLICE AT WORK. 



teer Cavalry, stationed out at Panama) tried to ride through toward 
town, close behind a couple of officers. Sparbel stopped him and called 
the corporal. The cavalryman said he was with the officers. " Then 
why don't they stop and see you through?" asked guileless Louis. 
Not being able to explain why, the cavalryman was sent in to see if he 
could explain to Captain Tom. He started to mount, but was stopped 
by Sparbel, "and had to walk beside his horse, and not ride, and you 
can imagine, " says Louis, who was three years in the United States 
cavalry, "how a cav'ryman feels when he is made walk by a infan'yman 
when he have his horse along. " After this a log-train came booming 
along from Panama — huge tree trunks bound together upon wheeled 
trucks under the ends. On this train was a Mississippian who was go- 
ing to town, patrol or no patrol. It is really a delightful way to run 
a guard line — on a fast moving train — and the Mississippian revelled 
in the situation. He leaned over and shouted to Louis: "You blank- 
ety blank blanked blank! you can go to h — . I'm going to town. " But 
just then the train stopped, and Louis, running up, politely asked to 
see the gentleman's pass. The Mississippian was cursing Fate when 
he went to the guard house. 

It was the bee and the elephant over again when Midget McKown 
gravely marched into camp with three burly Illinoisians whom he 
had arrested. 

An extract from a letter of Corporal Petersen will explain itself: 
" One day, while we were on duty at the shell road. Col. Bryan, of 
the Third Nebraska regiment, was going to Jacksonville, mounted on 
his horse, in a uniform consisting of a pair of overalls, a citizen shirt 
and a campaign hat. There was nothing at all about his uniform to 
indicate that he was an officer. One of my men halted him, su[)])Osiug 
him to be an enlisted man of the Second United States Volunteer 
Cavalry. I recognized the colonel, and after he was released, he said: 
' I wish I had as good men in my regiment as this guard is. He is 
doing his duty, and I am very thankful to you boys for what you have 
done for me, for I have learned something.' He then asked us if ever 
we got to his camp to come and make him a call — he would be pleased 
to see us. Just then a private of Bryan's regiment came along, and he 
had no pass, but the colonel stayed and said to me, ' this man has my 
consent to go to town, but as we didn't know about the provost guard 
we gave no passes, but let the boys go without, ' and Bryan took the 
private in his charge, and both left happy. I don't remember which 

111 



of the boys it was who took Brj'BU, but I believe it was Doty or 
Sparbel. " 

The military ifijnornnce and the kindliness of the famous William 
Jennings a|)[)ear clearly enough in the simple narrative. 

The other companies of the regiment moved camp on Monday, the 
Ist of August. Company B, being still on patrol, could not move with 
the others. We were relieved that night, however, bv a conipauv of 
the First Wisconsin, and coming into the old cam[), found the ground 
hitherto occupied by the other companies as bare as an old bone. Not 
a vestige of its recent occu[)ation was left; and Company B's tents 
8to<id out, prominently alone. It was very pleasant to have no re- 
strietinir iruard-line around ns. We strolled over the ditfieult old 
places just for the fun of pa.ssing them unchallenged. Mess tent, 
kitchen, chests, hammocks, tent tloors, tents, |>oles, bundles of pegs, 
camp stools, improvised arm racks, rxld lumber, clothes lines: the 
lilaiiket rolls, canteens, haversacks, belts, bayonets, and rities of those 
with the wagons, all were piled into the wagons. The shacks tiicm- 
selves, some of them two-storv ones, were loaded on. One of tiiem 
looked like a cage on a circus wagon. Bob Osborne, craning his long 
neck out of the cage, was giraffe, and Jock exhibited him all along the 
route. But the great feat of the day was moving the big Company B 
bath house on a wagon. It was ten feet high, ten wide and twenty 
long and weighed, anyhow, a ton and a half. By means of ropes and 
poles and the muscle of sixty men, it was upset onto an army wagon, 
upon which two-inch boards were laid lengthwise. Speth acted as 
wagoner, but it was Company C's six- mule team and driver. This 
driver, a civilian, of course, had his leggings on backward: and Bob 
Osborne, seeing the hootloo, swore they'd never get that l)ath house 
over there. It wa.s about the biggest wagon load ever hauled, and as 
the wagon cleared the camp and struck a ditch there was a crash. Part 
of the side upon which it rested had given away, and let the whole 
thing down on the hind wheels. But they b(X)sted her up, and stuck 
under her a two-inch board, crosswise from wheel to wheel, and went 
ahead. The batii house was worth the trouble. Its use saved hosjii- 
tal room and funeral expenses. 

It was time the old camp was moved. We should have been out 
of there just six weeks sooner, after the first heavy rain. The ground 
being low and flat, there was no way of draining off the water. In 
vain we dug ditches six feet deep at one end. The water merely stood 

112 




AT MAYPORT HOTEL. 




AN OUTING AT MAYPORT, FLA. 



six feet deep. The soil was not sand, but hardpan,— packed, black 
earth that held water indefinitely. After a rain, the water was one or 
two inches deep over the company street, and a foot and a half in the 
southeast corner of camp. The pictures of the coloners tent and cook 
shack tell their own story. We built an island for the mess tent and 
kitchen, being forced, however, by the lack of wagons, to leave around 
our island deep pools, which were soon covered with green scum, and 
lay there rotting in the sun. Before we built the island, we stood 
ankle deep in water at meals. I do not know who is responsible for 
keeping the brigade there. Colonel Jackson reported after the first 
heavy rain that the camp was unsuitable. How very unsuitable it was 
I do not think he realized. Our lieutenant-surgeons reported week 
after week upon the unsanitary condition of things behind the kitch- 
ens. These reports were neatly endorsed and pigeon-holed. It's all 
over now though, and there's no use rattling the bones. If we have 
another war we'll go though precisely the same thing again. The vet- 
erans of the cival war snitf at criticism of our army camps and grunt 
out, " Soldiers must die. " To be sure, and cheerfully,— Jt'/ien neces- 
sary. But that things were scandalously mismanaged in '61 is no 
justification for mismanagement in '98. In ".18 we had the whole 
friendly continent to camp in, and thirty-eight years of medical devel- 
opment to devote to sickness and sanitation. A good deal may be at- 
tributed to inexperience, but a great deal must be attributed to lack 
of intelligence, energy and sense of duty on the part of liigh officers. 
When a man, soldier or civilian, lays down his life for a great end it 
enobles his nation and the world. When men's lives are sacrificed 
through lazy brutality it degrades. 

Well, the new camp was better. It was high, sloping, sandy and 
treeless. The sickness which developed there so rapidly through the 
month of August was simply the result of our old surroundings. Two 
weeks after we got into the new camp there was an official investiga- 
tion of the sanitary, or rather of the unsanitary, condition of the old 
one. A lieutenant-surgeon and two hospital stewards were trying to 
locate the first case of typhoid fever and the cause of it. Sergeaut 
Leonardy was detailed by Adjutant Goedecke to assist the stewards 
and answer their questions. He had to describe the old camp, tell 
how far the sinks were from the kitchens, how far the bath house was 
from the sinks, how many men there were in each tent, how green the 
pools were, and how many cubic feet of liquid daily leaked out of the 

115 



old slop-barrels. The investigation revealed that the first case of 
typhoid fever was Private B. Meudouhall's. of Company Ij. I supjiose 
that knowledge gave the authorities much satisfaction, but to unpro- 
fessional {)eople the investigation was much like locking the stable 
door after the calf was stolen. 

On August 21, General Lee sent a telegram to Senator Gear, say- 
ing that the condition of the Fiftieth Iowa had been greatly exagger- 
ated in the reports which had reached the state. He stated that the 
regiment had on that day but seventy-six in the hospital and sixty- 
four sick in (luarters. The general probably instructed somebmly to 
have somelxxly else send au orderly to so-and-so with instructions to 
have so-and-so report number of sick in regiment. Then so-and-so 
looks at the regimental sick books and finds one hundred and tliirty- 
four sick, and that is the official figure sent to Senator Gear. On the 
twenty-fifth, however, the comp(itiy sick book of •' B " showed nine sick 
in hospital and sixteen in quarters. The regimental book softened 
these figures to five in hospital and six in quarters. The regimental 
book showed eleven sick, the company book showed thirty-four, and 
there were a dozen half-sick men not on the company book. On the 
same day a regimental medical officer stated privately that forty per 
cent, of the regiment was unfit for duty. Two weeks hitter it was sixty 
|ier cent. Men recuperating at Pablo l)each were carried on the books 
as being on special duty. A company of the First Wisconsin, wliic li 
had shared the swamp with us, were hard hit by the typhoid. Seven- 
teen of their men had died up to August 21.— the regimental flag was 
always at half mast, funeral escort duty was as regular rs guard mount, 
and the company turned out three fours instead of eleven. 

The names of our dangerously sick in the latter part of August 
and in September would comprise half the company roster- -and no- 
body was wholly well. The meaning of the lialf-masted flag came 
h-ime bitterly to the boys and those at home, when on Friday. August 
r.l. Walter G. Nagel died in the Second Division hosi)il!il of typlioid 
fever. His father had left Davenport the night before, accompanied 
by Miss Erlith Risley, but unfortunately they could not arrive in time. 
Nagel was one of the best soldiers, one of the best-liked and brightest 
men in the company, — a college man and a journalist of great promise 
—who at the age of twenty-three had already done excellent work in his 
profession. 

116 



The newspaper men of Davenport met and appointed a committee 
to call upon the bereaved family and tender the sympathy and assist- 
ance of newspaper men in any capacity in which they might be of ser- 
vice. Another committee drew up resolutions expressive of the sense 
of the meeting, as follows: — 

" Prompted by sentiments of patriotism, Walter G. Nagel, in re- 
sponse to his country's call for defenders, offered his life upon the 
altar. While in line of duty he was stricken. Inasmuch as he was 
actively engaged as a newspaper man upon the Davenport Daily Re- 
publican at the time of his enlistment, and had been for a period of 
two years, it was deemed fitting and appropriate that we, the repre- 
sentatives of the newspapers of the city of Davenport, offer an humble 

tribute to his memory. 

" Recognizing in him a man of sterling qualities— pure in charac- 
ter noble fn purpose-it is with the deepest regret that we learn of 
his' demise. His enlistment in Company B of the Fiftieth Iowa Vol- 
unteers was but an illustration of the inward promptings of his nature. 
As a newspaper man, he was prompt, faithful, and true-a soldier, he 
placed his life in the keeping of the Father who gave, and bowed to 

His immutable will. 

" While death was not from wounds received upon the held ot 
battle, yet in line of duty he fell, and not the less glorious is the sacred 
halo which surrounds the memory of this hero. Therefore, 

" While to those who knew and loved him best -to his mother, 
bowed with her awful grief; to his father, who watched and guarded 
him in his youth, and to whom he was an honor in manhood; to those 
whose love he had enshrined in his mauly heart, we can offer no con- 
solation, yet we come with this our tribute: 

"Resolved: That in the death of Walter G. Nagel the com- 
munity has lost a young man wht. was an honor to it; that the press 
has lost one of its brighest and best representatives; that the nation 

has lost one of her bravest and truest sons. " 

"S. W. Se.\rle, 
" F. J. B. HuoT, 
"S. D. Cook." 
So wrote his friends and fellow workers, the newspaper men of 
Davenport. His soldier comrades silently thanked them for those 
words. The bond of soldier life together is even closer than the bon.ls 
of daily work. In camp, every man's chaiacter is shown with start- 

iiy 



ilug tlistioctness through all surface [xjlish aiicl accidents of breeding. 
The four or five essential traits of a man, — his courage and kindness, 
his temixrance and truth, — these come to nn infallible test, and by that 
constant test of mess and bunk and drill and fun and sickness, Nagcl 
was tried by his comrades and found not wanting. The things they 
said were simple, but they canio from each man's heart. There was 
hardly anyone there who did not know that, while he himself went on 
living, a better man than he had died. 

(Jn Sunday the company fell in without arras and escorted the 
body to the station, whence it was to be carried to Oakdale in Daven- 
port. The boys filed past the cotfin, one by one, and saw iiiiu lying 
beautiful in the perfect peace of death. Bobbie Sindt blew " taps, " 
and the soul of the boy was in the lovely notes wiiich yearned and 
prayed. The hearse moved slowly down the Sabbath street followed 
by the company, marching very slowly and faultlessly to the solemn 
beat of a single mutHed drum. The armed firing sijuad was to the 
right ami left of the hearse, the band of tlu- Fiftieth jirccedeil it. 
Three or four times they played slow and powerful music, whicli being 
heard under those circumstances, voiced for us the wonder and mys- 
tery and sadness of death — '• vast and well-veiled Death " — which comes 
" in the dav, in the night, to all. to each, sooner or later, delicate 
death. " 

Another soldier's funeral escort preceded us to the station, and 
we [)assed still another which was returning. Mr. Nagel, at the sta- 
tion, passed down the line and pressed the white-gloved hand of every 
man in thi' company. It was pitiful beyond words to see him. 

Private Robert Risley was furloughed and accompanied the coffin 
home. And so we had done the last thing we could do for Walter 
Nagel, except remember him to the ends of our days as the pattern of 
a man and soldier. 

The peace protocol had been signed, the fighting was over, we 
had missed it. As long as we had a faint hope of movement and 
action, the man kejjt up; each one was interested in fitting liiinself to 
play his part in possible great events. But now came disillusion. It 
was all over, others wore the laurel, we the rue. It was very thought- 
ful of President McKinley to say that we too had done our duty and 
were entitled to ecjual credit. Eoosevelt, who must have been the best 
man to serve under who ever lived, said the same thing of the Rough 
Rider squadron which remained at Tampa. The consolation was kind, 

120 



ta 

» 

> 

3 

o 



o 
> 



a 




but uot wholly effectual. Had we been perfect soldiers of the German 
and English type, it would have been ours not to reason why. We 
would have waited, or fought, imperturbably, according to orders. 
But blind obedience, be it a good or bad (quality, is not in the Ameri- 
can soldier. Obedience yes, but it is open-eyed obedience that reasons 
and sees why. 

Consequently, — the war practically over, no active service to hope 
for, sickness honey-combing the regiment, — discipline began to relax. 
Guard duty was no longer done with precision. The business men at 
home were working to have the regiment brought north for recupera- 
tion. Thea came news that a hundred thousand volunteers were to be 
mustered out. It was left to the regiment itself to determine whether 
to go north or stay in Jacksonville. Most of the men wanted to go 
north, most of the ofRcei's wanted to stay. The discussion was unsol- 
dierly, but the regiment cannot be criticised for entering upon it. 
Brigade head(juarters ordered the regiment to find out what its own 
wish was, and the process of finding out necessitated votings and dis- 
cussions. The following telegram bears on the point: " Washington, 
I). C, August 22, 1898. Mayor George T. Baker, Davenport, Iowa: — 
The recpaest for the removal of Fiftieth Iowa regiment should originate 
with the officers and men. If they desire this, I can co-operate. Will 
promptly inquire as to need of trained nurses and medical attention. 
" James AVilson, Secretary of Agriculture. " 

On Saturday, the twentieth, telegraphic orders were i-eceived from 
the war dej^artment to grant Privates Alfred VanPatten and John 
Chambers honorable discharges ; and Monday evening, they left for the 
north. No men in the company were more anxious to get to the front 
as long as there was auy front. Chamljers had been company clerk, 
then with VanPatten had guarded the regimental colors carried by 
McBurney, and then had been sent, together with a corporal of " K, " 
to take a prisoner to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth. The 
penalty for letting a prisoner escape is imprisonment. This prisoner 
did )iot escape. VanPatten had declined the position of mounted or- 
derly to General Lee. As the two passed through the streets of Jack- 
sonville with their discharges in their pockets, they had great fun 
with the provost guards. These guards had orders to make soldiers on 
the street keep their blue shirts buttoned at the neck. Van and Cham, 
left them conspicuously unbuttoned. 

" Button up your shirt, " said a guard. 

123 



" It's too hot, " said Cbam. 

" Why, — why, — it's orders, " gasped the guard, in blank amaze- 
ment at being disobeyed. 

" Orders be d — d, " said the ex-soldier. 

Then the guard, being a rookie, and a man of no determination, 
stood with his mouth o[>en, staring helplessly after those high-handed 
law-breakers. 

The entertaining performance being repeated witli another guard, 
he got angry, called the cor[X)ral. who likewise got angry, and when 
he gave orders to march them off (o " Hotel Peek-n-lK)o, " Van and 
Cham., calmly prmlucing their '• buzzards, " told the irate corpora! to 
go to Jacksonville. They walketl away, exploding with laughter, ami 
the foolish look on that corporal's face was a study. 

On the twenty-seventh, S»'rgeant Burnieister rojoincil the com- 
pany after a long siege of serious sickness in Davenport, wiierc lie iiad 
gone on recruiting service, June 11. 

On Se[)tember ;?, Captain Ualzell telegraphed Mayor liaker: 
"Use all possible means to get regiment moved quickly. Sickness 
steadily increasing. Company B has twenty hospital cases, five new 
ones today. Can you send us reliable person to assist in looking after 
the wants of sick men? " 

It had already been decided to move the regiment north, and it 
was simply a question as to how quickly it could be done. On Sep- 
tember 1, Cautwell's letter to The Democrat shows that of Com[)any 
B's one hundred and six men, five sick men were at Pablo beach, fif- 
teen in hospital, nineteen in quarters, two iti the city and two north on 
furlough. Bob Osborne at this time won golden opinions for his care 
of the sick in quarters. With them he was as gentle, patient and 
painstaking as Com[)auy B's good angels, Mrs. Dalzell and Mrs. 
Hender, who worked night and day caring for the sick. Somebody 
printed a disparaging remark about Captain Dalzell in one of the 
Davenport papers. The company rallied in an instant to their leader's 
support, and had they discovered him, they would have kangarooed 
the writer of that remark. 

How cut up the company was by sickness may be seen from the 
fact that in a review of the Seventh corps held August 30, Com[)any B 
could turn out but twenty-six men. The uewswaper files for the first 
two weeks of September show the details of the process of caring for 
the sick and getting them home. L. A. Dilley came down to Jackson- 

124 




MAJOR THOJIAS C. DALZELL. 



ville as Davenport's personal representative, with carte blanclie to do 
everything necessary for both the sick and well among the Daven- 
port boys. 

Saturday night. September 10, Company B lost its second mem- 
ber by death. John Schroeder, whose home was seven or eight miles 
from Davenport on the Jersey Ridge road, joined the company at 
Jacksonville, June 24, and quietly performed all his duties until Sep- 
tember 1, when he went on sick report, and for three days was sick in 
quarters, " in line of duty. " On the fourth of September, typhoid 
having developed, he was transferred to the Second Division hosjai- 
tal, and after a sickness of only ten days, death came suddenly and un- 
expectedly as the result of a perforation. He was buried at Daven- 
port, and as one of the four who " gave all they had to their country, " 
his memory will ever be honored by his comrades of Company B. 

On the thirteenth, the paper work having been completed and the 
red tape unrolled, the Fiftieth broke camp. How luajiy little typhoid 
fever bugs must have met an unlamented death in that thick cloud of 
smoke which went up from burning bedding and superfluous effects 
— the tag-rag and bob-tail of a permament camp! In spite of all the 
sickness and death and monotony endured on that spot, there is still a 
kind of homesickness in looking back to it Many a word of soldier 
wit and pathos was spoken there, many an unspoken hope and thought 
is linked with the sight of those '' telegraph poles uiit vitskers, " many 
a starlight night and crimson dawn was beautiful there for us. The 
regiment left Jacksonville at noon, and after doing nothing for so long, 
the four days' trip to Des Moines was pleasant to the remnant of Com- 
pany B which had its health. The engine didn't have so much to pull 
coming back, the men were so thin. It is estimated pretty closely 
that the company had lost three thousand four hundred aud forty 
pounds since it first left Davenport. On Saturday, the seventeenth, 
the regiment reached Des Moines. All the way through Illinois and 
Iowa, until they reached Des Moines, the boys were warmly welcomed. In 
Des Moines no one paid the slightest attention to the soldiers, their com- 
fort or even their necessities. Nothing to eat had been prepared for 
them, so that what they ate the first day they paid for themselves. 
Don't talk Des Moines to us — we won't have it. 

After the regiment left Jacksonville, 0. A. Landy, private of Com- 
pany B, took Mr. Dilley's place as Davenport's representative in car- 
ing for the men too sick to come north. These were Olin G. Hoover, 

127 



Gustav B. LeGrande, Miller, Kurtz. Bullock, Gosch, Price, Rosche 
and Kahles. The hospital was so far improved by this time in every 
respect, that nothing more could have been done than was ilone for 
these men. In spite of all care, however, two more of the boys lay 
down their lives in the service of their country. Corporal Olin G. 
Hoover, an old member of the company, who, in April, had given up a 
gootl (Kjsition in Chicago to come back to Davenport and re-enlist for 
the war, died of typhoid fever in the Second Division hospital on 
September 19, two days after the regiment had reached Des Moines. 
The body was .sent to the family home in Evanston, Illinois, whence 
the funeral took place. Ciustav Birnhard LeGrande, of Valley City, 
died the twenty-fifth of September, at 2 p. m., of typhoid fever in the 
Second Division hosi)ital. He was burietl at his home in Valley City 
on the twenty-ninth. The comi)any, being then home on furlough, 
went out to attend the funeral, " taking with them so many tloral otTer- 
ings that the bereaved family could have no doubt of the sincerity of 
the tribute [)aid to the dead soldier. " 

The Saturday that the well, or the theoretically well, men of the 
regiment reached Des Moines, the sick of Company B were, through 
the efforts of Davenporters, brought directly home instead of to Des 
Moines. " Two agents of the people of DaveufMirt went several hun- 
dred miles down tiic road to meet the train, and supplied its barren 
hospital care with the stores for which the men of all the companies of 
the regiment were languishing. " Those rei)resentatives of Davenport 
were W. D. Petersen and B. F. Tillinghast. who met the train at La- 
fayette. Indiana. They succeeded, with the help of citizens at home, 
in getting tin- lars of the sick switched off the Northwestern at De- 
Witt. There were two hospital slec|M"rs full of fever-wasted high-tem- 
[)eratured men, and they ran over into the day coaches. 

When the train reached Davenport, carriages and ambulances were 
assembled at the Milwaukee de[)ot. Captain Dal/.ell. Lieutenant Mc- 
Manns, Koch. Weiss, Carson, Wohnrade, Sonntag, Reynolds, Sharpe, 
Fislier, Colony, and Fidlar were the dozen Davenporters taken from 
this train to the hospital or their homes. Of course, this was nothing 
like the full number of very sick men. many of whom had come home 
previously, and several of whom came down with fever after returning 
from Des Moines. But Davenport did her very best for her own sick 
and those from other places. Nor is there anything much better than 
Davenport's best. 

128 



On September 20, what was left from Company B came back 
home on a thirty-day furlough. Sergeant Leonardy and three men 
were left in Des Moines to look after the regimental government prop- 
erty. When at 6:30, Company B reached the home it left on April 
23, they were a worn and sorry lot,— it was all over, and they had not 
seen a Spaniard. But as the boys marched down Perry, over Second, 
and up Main to the Armory, escorted by the " Daily Blues, " a glance re- 
vealed that these thin, brown men were soldiers. Their column of 
fours was an elastic unit with fixed intervals, every man of them 
stepped just thirty inches twice a second, and he did it without think- 
ing of it, unconsciously, tirelessly. Tight blanket roll, canteen and 
haversack were on him like his blouse, as part of him. He could 
march like that till the cows came home, in rain or shine, in heat or 
cold, fed or hungry— no matter— that cadence wouldn't fail if the 
column moved all day and all night. His baptism of fire had never 
come, but marching up Main street there, in the dusk of that Septem- 
ber day, was nevertheless a very perfect and effective fighting machine. 
In spite' of all blunders and original inexperience, these men were sol- 
diers who knew their business. They could have gone open order up 
San Juan as well as they swung that column through our city streets. 
The company returned to Des Moines on November 1 and passed 
a disagreeable month there, being finally mustered out of the United 
States service on November 30, sis and a half months after they were 
mustered in, seven months and one week from the time they were 
mobilized for the Spanish war. 

The company is now reorganized as " B " of the Fiftieth regi- 
ment, I. N. G., with Captain James M. McManus, First Lieutenant J. 
E. Burmeister and Second Lieutenant E. D. Middleton as company 
officers. Captain T. C. Dalzell has become Major Dalzell in command 
of Second battalion. The company history begins with the veteran 
soldiers of '65, and now again its ranks are full of men who know what 
real soldiering is. Six of the old "B" boys are now in the Philip- 
pines, and several more are going. Tommy Owens— shrewd, witty, 
reckless, Irish soldierman— is with the Fourth ; Lasher, Carson and 
Proctor with the Twelfth; Haney and Witt with the Nineteenth. 
Lasher was made corporal within two weeks after he joined the regu- 
lars Company B, as it is now organized in Davenport, is better 
trained than most of the companies of Uncle Sam's regulars, these be- 
ing now filled with rookies, who have had less training than that ot 
Company B's camp life at Des Moines and Jacksonville. 

131 



I 



1[n /llbcmonam 




» 



WALTER G. NAGEL, 

DIED AT CAMP CUBA LIBRE, 

AUGUST 19. 1898. 



i 



1[n /Iftentoiiam 




JOHN SCHROEDER, 

DIED AT CAMP CUBA LIBRE, 
SEPTEMBER 10, 1898. 



ITit /Ifccmoiiam 




OLIN G. HOOVER, 

DIED AT CAMP CUBA LIBRE. 
SEPTEMBER 19. 1898. 




t 



In /Ibcmoriam 




GUSTAV B. LeGRANDE, 



DIED AT CAMP CUBA LIBRE, 
SEPTEMBER 25, 1898. 



The following is a complete roster of Coinpauy B, Fiftieth regi- 
ment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry: 

COMPANY OFFICERS. 

Captain, Thomas C. Dalzell. 

First Lieutenant, Alfred B. Heuder. 

Second Lieutenant, James M. McManus. 



SERGEANTS. 

First, Albert A. Koe. 

Q. M., Julius E. Burmeister. 

Edward D. Middleton. 

Henry G. McBurney. 

John P. Leonardy. 

Emil Schmidt. 

COKPOEALS. 

Frank S. Fidlar. 
DeForrest C. McCollister. 
James A. Taylor. 
George H. Greene. 
Francis J. Parker. 

John A. Miner. 

Transferred IT. s. Signal corps. 
Charles W. Hoover. 

Olin G. Hoover. 
Died September HI, 189S. 

Louis G. Lasher. 

William J. Carson. 

George C. Cook. 

Discliarg d September 10, 
Victor H. Piatt. 
Louis Peterson. 
William F. Weiss. 
James D. Mason. 
Hamilton F. Gronen. 

MUSICIANS. 

Kobert E. Siudt. 
Phillip A. Sonntag. 

ARTIFICER. 

Laytou R. Ackley. 

WAGONER. 

Emil A. Speth. 



PRIVATES. 

Alford, Frank H. 
Attwater, Frank 
Baker, David S. 
Beesley, Hedley 
Bowman, Fred L. 
Bruhn, Ernest E. 
Bullack, Claude J. 
Busch, August 

Cantwell, James Y. 

Transferred to Hcspital Corps. 
Chambers, John D. 

Discharged August 20. 18H8. 
Colony, Philo C. 
C'orry, William H. 

Craik, Alex L. 

Transferred to Hospital Corps. 
Doty, Jessie L. 
Evers, Daniel F. 
Finger, Carl F. 
Fisher, William F. 
Gosch, AVilliam H. 
Grilk, Arthur C. 
Gi'oeuwaldt, Henry 
Hass, Albert 
Haney, Edward 
Hoag, Harry N. 
Hoeft, Henry, Jr. 
Huss, Rudolph 
Johannsen, August 
Kahles, Adolph, Jr. 
Koch, Hugo V. 
Kulp, Oliver W. 
Kurtz, Edgar M. 



141 



Lanily Olo A. 

Lane, Frank 

Lantry, Charles B. 

Lawsou, Joseph 

LeGrande. (nistav B. 
Died September ■^■>, IS'.tS. 

Lepper. Charles D. E. 

Martin. George H. 

McKown, Harry T. 

Meier, Henry 

Miller, Herman H. 

Miller. Marshal! 

Muhs. William 

Najrel. Walter G. 

Died August I'.i. \SW. 
Nebergall, Edward L. 
Osborne. Robert P. 
Owens, Tlioiuas F. 
Pahl. Max 
Parker, Albert M. 
Paulsen. Peter 
Pfabe, Harry 
Price, Obed K. 
Proctor, Alfred 
Renvy, Edward 
Reynolds, Charles 
Risley, Robert 
Rhoades, John 



Rohde, Carl A. 

Rosche, Theodore H. 

Schick, Fred 

Schmidt, Herman T. 

Schmidt. Andy W. 

Schmidt, Paul 

Schmidt, John A. 

Schroeder, John 

Died Seuteniber 10, 18'J8. 

Schroeder, Eddie 

Schwartz, William 

Sharpe, Walter I. 

Siegrist, Martin 

Smith, Peter L. 

Sparbel, Ernest 

Spelletich, Felix 

Stebens, Charles 

Thompson, Charles 

Traeger. Fred 

YanPatten, Alfred S. 
Discharpeil .\ugust 20, 1898. 

Villian, Edward H. 

VoUmer, Fred 

Wohnrade, Henry 

Weingartner, Edwin C. 

Willey, Fred O. 

Witt, John 

Wohlert, Houry. 



142 



i