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BROOKLYN. N. Y.
New York Division
OFiaCERS AND MEN OF THE DIVISION
HENRY HAGAMAN gURDICK,
Captain, Inf., U.S.R.
(formerly 7th Infantry, N. G. U. S.)
RUPERT LEE BURDICK
BuRDicK &■ King, New York.
R. L. BURDICK
SEP 14 1917
This book is a semi-official record of the Federal Service of the New
York National Guard units. For the first time in the history of the militia
was this organization, in June, 1916, mustered into Federal Service for
action outside the boundaries of our nation. When the Mexican crisis
arose and the call came it found a ready response from the National Guard.
Especially prompt was the preparation and mustering in of the New \ ork
Few of those who witnessed the departure of the various regiments can
ever forget the fortitude of the men, many of whom were of the peace-
ful, civilian population, who, disregarding selfish or pecuniary interests,
entrained willingly to face, at the Mexican Border, what was confidently
expected to be deadly warfare. That this service did not develop
into such an unhappy conclusion does not minimize the courage of the
men, but is rather a matter of congratulation. This service gave the
troops a training under conditions closely approximating war, which will
stand them in good stead in the present war. The reception accorded the
returning units demonstrated that the appreciation of the people was as
sincere as if those ranks had shown vacant places and saddened hearts had
greeted the khaki-clad men.
The lights and shadows of that service are set forth herein ; the dangers,
the dull, hard work, the wonderful training, the happy hours, and the humor
of the trip are told by men who experienced them. Therefore this volume
is a record of achievement, the story of the metamorphosis of well-trained,
but somewhat inexperienced, troops into an efficient fighting machine
worthy to take their place with the armies of the world.
As this book was being outlined a greater call swept the country, and
again our brothers and sons of the National Guard have responded — this
time even more quickly and better prepared, owing to their valuable
Thus, the purpose of the book has been enlarged to furnish a memento
— an all-too-brief record of what these National Guard organizations have
done and are now doing in the service of their nation — that may be to
those who participate a permanent story of their heroism written by those
best fitted to tell it.
And for those to whom this war shall bring sorrow through the loss of
their sons, brothers, sweethearts and friends in the Guard — -may their
number be few — it is hoped that this volume will be a prouf
gift they have given to preserve our national ideals and uphc
mental rights of civilization.
As this book was in the process of preparation its chief editor was
ordered into Federal Service, and the completion of the book had to be left
to another. Feeling that its patriotic purpose should not be abandoned,
the writer has carried on the work, albeit handicapped by the lack of first-
hand information, to which is attributable whatever of error may be found
in this book.
Some of the articles which were expected to be included could not be
secured, because of the mobilization of the Division. Since it was, there-
fore, impossible to give a complete history of each New York National
Guard Regiment, at least one representative story of each branch of the
service has been selected from the material at hand. No unit should feel
slighted by the omission of a more lengthy account of its service, because,
were circumstances otherwise, every one of them would have had a full
R. L. B.
August 15. 1917.
Foreword By Governor Charles .*>. IVhilincin o
Introduction and Review of Mexican Border Service
By Maj. Gen. John F. O'Ryan ii
Review of Mexican Situation to June, igi6 By Cap/. Moses King, U.S.R. 15
Organization of the Sixth Division By Maj. Edzcard Olmsted 21
Commanding Officers, Sixth Division 31
Headquarters Staff, Sixth Division 32
Military Courts and PoHce By Maj. J. L. Kineaid z^
Rifle Practice, Texas, 1916 By Lt. Col. f. .U. Waterbury 37
Entertainments of the Division By Lt. Col. Franklin 11'. Ward 41
•G. O. I, 1917, re Col. N. B. Thurston 45
Signal Corps By Lt. Gordon Ireland 47
Twenty-second Engineers By Lt. C. E. Bregencer 55
Squadron A, Cavalry By Maj. William R. II 'right 63
First Field Artillery By Lt. William P. Welsh 71
Third Infantry By Lt. Kennard Underwood 77
Seventh Infantry By Caft. H. H. Burdick, U.S.R. 83
Twenty-third Infantry By Capt. H. W. Congdon 91
Seventy-fourth Infantry By Capt. K. G. Kaffenberger cjj
PART II. WAR W ITH GERADVNY
Review of Events Leading Up to the Declaration of a State of War with
Germany By R. L. Burdiek 104
President Wilson's Address to Congress, April 2, 1917 107
Service of the N. Y. National Guard Since the Return from Texas:
I. All Units to July 15, 1917 ^^-
II. Units Not in N, Y. Division July 15 to August 15, 1917 112
III. The Twenty-seventh (New York) Division, July 15 to August 15, 1017 113
Governor Charles S. Whitman
August 7. 1917.
Mr. R. L. Burdlok,
The War Record,
1703 Klnga Highway,
Brooklyn, New York.
I am In receipt of your letter
of Jxily 27th, In which you request a foreword froci me
to be included in the publication which you are pre-
paring as a record of the Federal service of the New
York Division, "ational Guard, both on the Llexican
Border and since its return, up to the present laobili-
It needs but a reference to the purpose for
which the Guard was called to demonstrate the successful
acoociplishment of the mission to which it was assigned.
When the Guard was called into Federal service In June
1916 for border duty, if there existed ion-.lnent danger
of an invasion at that time, it went no further, and if
there was danger of further aggression, that danger was
avoided. The force that accomplished this result was the
National Guard and I sincerely believe that last Summer
this force undoubtedly did save the country froni war with
No one Who had the opportunity of seeing our
Guard upon the border could fail, to feel, as I did, a
thrill of pride that these men were our citizens. They
made their own camps, built their own roads, dug their
own ditches, accepted as mere Incidents of the service
the heat, the hardships, the lack of facilities; and with
it all, exercised a self-restraint and discipline which
was reflected In the splendid health and the condition
of the troops upon their return to the State. I am prcud
of every man who did his own part in the Mexican Border
service. TVhatever may be its future, the Guard has
removed the last vestige of doxibt as to its usefulness or
To every officer and man who participated,
I say, "Well done'. You accomplished your mission; more
could not be asked. The State of New York acclalRis you,
and I, in behalf of the people of the State, express their
pride and gratitude.'!
Very truly yours,
Photn Allies Stmlio. N. Y.
Major General John Francis O'Ryan
Commanding, New York Division
INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF MEXICAN
By Major General John F. O'Ryan,
Commanding, New York Division
The New York Division, pursuant to the President's order of June i8,
lyK), was mobilized the following day in the armories of the organizations.
The strength of the tactical division at the time of mobilization was
approximately 14,645 officers and men. These figures do not include the
strength of the coast artillery corps at that time, nor that of the infantry
regiments in excess of the nine constituting the infantry of the Division,
totaling in all 6,430 officers and men.
The tactical division was
Headquarters, N. Y. Division
Headquarters, 1st Brigade
Headquarters, 2nd Brigade
Headquarters, 3rd Brigade
1st Battalion, Signal Corps
constituted as follows :
Squadron A Cavalry
Machine Gun Troop, Cavalry
. Headquarters, Field Artillerj- Brigade
1st Field Artillery
2nd Field Artillery
3rd Field Artillery
1st Field Hospital
2nd Field Hospital
3rd Field Hospital
4th Field Hospital
1st Ambulance Company
2nd Ambulance Company
3rd Ambulance Company
4th Ambulance Company
The Division was promptly recruited, until most organizations were
substantially at war strength. The strength of the Division on the Border
was as follows:
Headquarters, Division 16
Signal Battalion 9
1 St Cavalrj' 56
Squadron A, Cavalry IS
Machine Gun Troop Cavalry. . 4
Field Artillerv Brigade Hdqrs. 4
1st Field Artillerv'^. 42
2nd Field Artillerv 47
3rd Field Artillery 34
1 St Field Hospital 6
2nd Field Hospital 5
3rd Field Hospital 4
4th Field Hospital 6
1st Ambulance Company 5
2nd Ambulance Company S
3rd Ambulance Company 5
4th Ambulance Company 5
1st Brigade Headquarters . . .
2nd Infantry 56
14th Infantry 51
69th Infantry 54
2nd Brigade Headquarters 5
7th Infantry 56
12th Infantry 53
71st Infantry 57
3rd Brigade Headquarters 2
3rd Infantry S3
23rd Infantry 47
74th Infantry S3
Quartermaster Corps Detach-
ment. Division •.
Medical Department Detach-
Supply Train 5
Bakery Company 1
It was with the keenest interest that officers and men who had been:
serving in the Division for a period of years prior to the call, watched the
machine they had assisted in building, assemble, move to the Mexican
Border, and there perform its functions. For three or four years prior to-
the call the time of the officers of the Division had been fully occupied in
zealously preparing for just such an emergency. A comprehensi\e system
of schools for officers had been established, and the graduates of these
"schools were given opportunity to go in for more advanced tactical study
and work. Schools of application for all arms of the service to provide for
technical training of officers had been successfully organized and the results
demonstrated the special capacity and fitness of some officers and the limi-
tations of others. Where the circumstances warranted, officers in the latter
class were caused to sever their connection with the Division. \\ ith the
advance in professional standards among the officers, greater interest in
their work was soon manifested by the enlisted men. Hand in hand with
this instruction and training there was gradually built up a \ery high
standard of discipline. Officers generally came to recognize that advance-
ment was dependent solely upon merit, as determined b}- regimental com-
manders, approved by superior authority. A spirit of confidence in Xew
York Division system and aims was clearly manifested throughout the
Division for some time prior to the call of June i8, 1916. The importance
of this sentiment in its influence on the morale of the Division cannot be
overestimated. Following previous periods of active Fe.leral si?rvicc it
frequently occurred upon the return of regiments to their home stations
that the public were regaled with accounts of factional quarrels among the
officers of organizations or between one organization and another, based
upon incidents of the service. No unpleasant incidents of this character
followed the return of the Division froni the Mexican Border .Service. The
units of the Division went to the border disciplined and very well trained
organizations. They returned from the Border .'Service with higher stand-
ards of discipline, with greater experience, and with increased morale.
Much unfriendly matter concerning the Guard generally had been circu-
lated in the press, particularly in the City of New York, while the troops
were on the Border, and it was with surprise and enthusiasm that the
people of the City inspected the personnel of organizations upon their
return to home stations. The marked confidence of the people in the dis-
cipline and efficiency of the Guard regiments was almost immediately
manifested by the increased applications for enlistment.
Throughout the period of the Mexican Border Service tmder a system
of instruction which called for vigorous physical exercise at all times, and
under conditions of most trying tropical heat, the personnel of the Divi-
sion at all times manifested a truly remarkable esprit. There was naturally
disappointment that there was no opportunity to engage in active cam-
paign, and in consequence there was a sentiment, held more particularly by
those who had abandoned important avocations with the hope of seeing
such service, that the sacrifices in\ohed in continued Border Service were
- — ■<-
unwarranted. Nevertheless, the soldierly spirit was at all times dominant
-everywhere. The personnel of the New York Division had been carefully
instructed in previous years to distinguish between boisterous enthusiasm
and a quiet spirit of military self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice was
everywhere manifest throughout the Division.
All remember the surprise of the people of the Border, both Texans
and Mexicans, during the period when the units of the New York Division
were arriving at McAUen, Mission and Pharr, leaving the trains and
making their camps. The physical fitness of the men, the number of motor
•cars and animals, the batteries of artillery, signal companies, cavalry, engi-
neers and sanitary units, as well as the infantry, all impressed them
mightily. This show of strength undoubtedly solved the Border situation.
The solution was effective, though not glorious, and it provided the coun-
try with a greatly needed asset in the form of a large force of trained and
Brigadier Gener.\l Louis W. Stotesbury
Col. Charles L. De Bevoisk
CuL. \\ ILLAKD C KlSKl
Col. Cornelius Vanderbilt
CoL. William G. Bates
REVIEW OF THE MEXICAN SITUATION
LEADING UP TO THE CRISIS OF JUNE 1916
By Capt. Moses King. U.S.R. W
The history of Mexico has been one of unrest. For over a hundred
years, with the exception of the last quarter of the nineteenth century,
there has been one uprising or revolution after another. First, to throw
off the yoke of Spain, then one faction or leader trying to wrest the power
from another. The brief and stormy rule of Maximillian backed by France
was followed by more unrest. In 1828 and 29 four different presidents
held office, each in turn being overthrown by the man who compelled the
choice of himself as successor. This record, however, was surpassed
in 1846-48 during the war with the United States, when there were twelve
changes in the chief executive.
In 1836 the Texans made good their separation from Mexico, and in
1S45 the state was annexed to the United States and a dispute arose over
the boundary. A.t this time, as in fact at almost all times in its history,
Mexico was torn by revolution and contending factions and there being no
strong government to enforce order a series of outrages upon American
citizens, together with other causes, led in 1846 to the declaration of war
on Mexico by the United States. Owing to the internal troubles in Mexico
this country had little trouble in defeating her armies and annexed a large
part of her territory.
Conditions continued in an unsettled state in Mexico with only occa-
sional brief respites until in 1877 Porforio Diaz ousted Lerdo de Tejada
and became president, and, except for the years from 1880 to 1884 when he
tried having his friend. General Manuel Gonzalez, rule for him and under
his supervision, ruled with an iron hand until 1910. He was strong
enough to suppress all discontent and gave Mexico a period of quiet which
permitted the development of her immense resources.
By 1910 Diaz, being quite old, had lost some of his old time control
of affairs, and opponents began to rise and plot his overthrow. The result
was an ever-increasing amount of unrest, particularly in the north, which
was farthest from the capital and hence most difficult to control, and also
where the richest and largest developments brought about by foreign
capital were located. These were naturally easy prey for the revolutionists
and a source of income wherewith to finance their plans.
Conditions indicating serious unrest and intrigue on both sides of the ^^i^\
border led to the stationing of two cavalry troops along the frontier in
Texas in November, 1910, and these were augmented as necessity indicated
until the entire border line from the mouth of the Rio Grande in Texas to
San Diego, California, was patrolled by United States troops.
In 191 1 Francisco Madero launched his revolution which resulted in the
• overthrow of Diaz. F^caring the neutrality of the United States might be
violated, under orders of President Taft, in March, 191 1, a division of
troops was concentrated at San Antonio, Texas, for the purpose of maneu-
vers and to render the civil authorities any aid that might be required. A
separate brigade was also mobilized at Galveston, Texas, and a partial
brigade at San Diego, California. The return of these troops to their
home station began June 15, 191 1, and continued gradually until August
7, 191 1, as the Madero party gained power.
Subsccjuently and owing to later revolutions whirh were set on foot
against the government of President Madero, it again became necessary to
patrol the frontier in aid of neutrality laws. The United States troops on
the border assisted in the suppression of General Reyes' attempt to insti-
gate an insurrection against Madero's government and later when author-
ized by Congress assisted in preventing the importation of arms, which
was primaril}^ responsible for the unsuccessful end of the insurrection led
by Orozco in Chihuahua.
By 1913 about 7,000 officers and men of the United States Army were
on the border. An extensive patrol was continuously maintained by these
troops from the Gulf of Mexico to Sasabe, 30 miles west of Nogales,
Arizona, a distance, following the winding of the river, of 1,600 miles.
In February, 1913, with the overthrow of the Madero government and
the establishment of the Huerta regime, active military operations were
promptly inaugurated by the so-called Constitutionalists under Carranza
and others. This led to a series of contests for the possession of the
"border towns. Conditions became so bad that orders were issued February
21 and 24, 1913, for the troops of the second division to move to Galvcblon
and Texas City.
The next year following the insult to the United States flag at Tampico
and the demand for a salute, the United States navy seized Vera Cruz.
Under orders of April 23, 1914. the 5th brigade, 2nd division, was rein-
forced and detached and sailed on April 24th under Brigadier General
Funston lor Vera Cruz to relieve the navy of the work of occupying the
town. The troops arrived April 28, 1914, and remained until November 23,
1914, when Huerta w^s forced to give up the government, which was
taken over by Carranza, who has held the nominal control since.
Soon after his accession to power he broke with his chief general, Fran-
cisco ^^i^a, who has ever since endeavored to overthrow his erstwhile
On June 30, 1915. there were 486 officers and 14,354 men serving on or
near the border, and the second division was still at Galveston and Texas
Carranza had not established his government sufficiently strong to
exercise much control over the large states of Chihuahua and Sonora,
which are contiguous to the western part of the United States. These
states had always been claimed by Villa, now styled an "outlaw."
On the night of March 8-9, 1916, with a force variously estimated at
from 500 to 1,000 men, he crossed the international border from Mexico to
the United States at a point about 3 miles west of the border line gate,
and concentrated his force for an attack on the town of Columbus, New
Mexico. The attack was made during hours of extreme darkness and was
for the purpose, according to information subsequently obtained by the
military authorities, of looting the town after disposing of the garrison. A
fight ensued in which seven American soldiers were killed and two officers
and five soldiers were wounded and eight civilians killed and two
Immediately after the raid one troop of Cavalry crossed the border and
pursued the Mexicans. An additional troop, stationed at the border-line
gate, also mounted and struck the retreating Mexicans in the flank ; the
two troops, then joining, continued the pursuit of the Mexicans south for
a distance of 12 miles, discontinuing the pursuit only when their ammuni-
tion was exhausted and the horses and men, without water and almost
exhausted, could continue no longer.
On March 10, 1916, the commanding general of the southern depart-
ment was directed to organize an adequate military force under' the com-
mand of Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing, with instructions to proceed promptly
across the border in pursuit of the Mexican outlaws who had attacked Co-
lumbus. Under these instructions, two columns were organized, one start-
ing from Columbus and the other from Culberson's ranch. The advance of
the Columbus column started on March 15, on the road, through Palomas,
Ascension, Corralitos, toward Casas Grandes. The Culberson column left
the same night, via the Ojitas route, and arrived at Colonia Dublan, 4
miles north of Nueva Casas Grandes, on the night of March 17. These
troops pushed rapidly south, the bandits scattering and fleeing from their
front. Gen. Pershing was acting under orders to respect in every manner
the sovereignty and rights of Mexico and her people, and to avoid all
possible occasion of conflict with, or irritation to, the representatives of the
de facto Government of Mexico.
During the pursuit of Villa and his followers, Maj. Frank Tompkins,
Thirteenth Cavalry, with Troops K and M of that regiment, under the
command of Col. W. C. Brown, Tenth Cavalry, camped outside of the town
of Parral, Mexico, and sent a detachment of soldiers to the town for the
purpose of purchasing supplies, at about 11 o'clock a.m., April 12, 1916.
Major Tompkins was cordially received by the higher civil and military
officials. The Mexican general, Lozano, accompanied Maj. Tompkins on
his way to the camp. On the outskirts of the town, groups of native sol-
diers and civilians jeered, threw stones, and fired on the column. Maj.
Tompkins at once took a defensive position north of the railroad but was
soon flanked by Mexican troops and forced to retire. The American troops
continued to withdraw to avoid further complications, until they reached
.Santa Cruz, 8 miles from Parral. Gen. Lozano attempted to control his
men when the fighting first began, but failed.
For some time subsequent to this. Gen. Pershing's force maintained
itself in substantially the same position, using scouting parties and detach-
ments for the purpose of locating the force of Villa, which had been broken
up and scattered in various directions through the difficult and mountain-
ous country through which the expedition had penetrated.
On the morning of the 2ist of June, 1916, Troops C and K of the Tenth
Cavalry, under the command of Capt. Charles T. Boyd, while on the way
to Villa Ahumada on such a scouting expedition, reached the town of
Carrizal, and sought permission from the commanding officer of the Mexi-
can forces garrisoned there to pass through the town in order to reach
Villa Ahumada. Gen. Gomez, the Mexican commander, sent an officer of
his command to the American troops denying the permission requested.
During the conference, Mexican troops were seen to move toward the
f^ank of the American troops. The latter assumed a defensive position, but
an engagement immediately ensued, in which Capt. Charles T. Boyd and
Lt. Henry R. Lewis S. Morey, Tenth Cavalry, and 9 enlisted men, were
wounded. Twenty-three enlisted men of the Tenth Cavalry and i civilian
interpreter were captured and sent to Chihuahua City.
Gen. Pershing's force has been on Mexican soil since the 15th day of
March, during part of the time engaged in active and vigorous pursuit of
bandits, but during the larger part of the time encamped generally in the
neighborhood of Colonia Dublan.
In addition to the raid on Columbus, N. Mex., several raids of more or
less importance have occurred during the past year, the most notable of
Glenn .Springs, Tex., May 5, 1916, the casualties being 3 American sol-
diers and I civilian killed ; 3 American soldiers wounded. At this place, it
is believed that 2 Mexican bandits were killed and a number wounded,
although it was impossible to secure definite information.
San Ygnacio, Tex., June 15, 1916, the casualties being 4 American sol-
diers killed and 5 wounded ; 6 Mexican bandits killed.
Near Fort Hancock, Tex., July 31, 1916, i American soldier and i
civilian (United States customs inspector) killed, and i American soldier
wounded; 3 Mexicans killed and 3 captured by Mexican de facto Govern-
The known presence of large numbers of bandit forces and irregular
military organizations, hostile alike to the de facto Government of Mexico
and to the Government and people of the United States, made it apparent
that further aggression upon the territory of the United States was to be
expected. The Mexican border is a long and irregular boundary line,
passing in places through cities and towns, but for great stretches run-
ning through sparsely settled regions and through a wild and difficult
country. The forces at the disposal of the commander of the Southern
Department for the protection of this border had been strengthened from
time to time by the transfer to that department of a very large part of the
Regular Army within the limits of the continental United States, including
some detachments of Coast Artillery forces, withdrawn from their coast
f\^ i •
defense stations. It was, however, clear that even thus strengthened the
forces under Gen. Funston's command were inadequate to patrol this long
and difficult line and to assure safety to the life and property of American
citizens against raids and depredations. The President, therefore, deemed
it proper to exercise the authority vested in him by the Constitution and
laws to call out the Organized Militia. On May 9, 1916, he issued a call,
through the governors of the States of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas,
directing the concentration of the militia of those States at places to be
designated by the commanding general of the Southern Department.
The reasons which caused the President to issue the call for the Militia
of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico on May 9, 1916, impelled him, on June
18, 1916, to call into the service of the United States a large part of the
Organized Militia and National Guard of the other States of the Union and
the District of Columbia, the call being duly issued on the date last men-
tioned through the governors of all the States concerned and the Com-
manding General of the District of Columbia Militia.
On August 31, 1916, the date of the latest complete returns received, the
troops in the Southern T")epartment consisted of 2,160 officers and 45,873
enlisted men of the Regular Army and 5,446 officers and 105,080 enlisted
men of the National Guard, making a total of 7,606 officers and 150,953
enlisted men in that department. On the date given there were 1,557 o^-
cers and 28,176 enlisted men of the National Guard in the other military
departments, making a total of 7,003 officers and 133,256 enlisted men of
the National Guard in the Federal service on August 31, 1916.
The mere presence of this enlarged force on the border has sefved to
preserve peace and to protect life and property. Disturbances by outlaws
and bandits in northern Mexico have continued and roving bands of vari-
ous numbers have moved through the territory, harassing Mexican forces
and raiding Mexican communities, but they have not ventured an attack
upon the people of the United States.
From the beginning the department appreciated the sacrifice which the
members of the National Guard were called upon to make in the interest
of the national defense. These organizations, made up of men engaged
in all sorts of industrial, commercial, and professional activity, were sum-
moned suddenly and without opportunity adequately to provide for a pro-
longed absence from home. In many instances family illness, business
commitments, and other pressing engagements had to be faced, and an
effort was made by the department in the presence of extreme cases of
hardship to minimize the sacrifice.
The readiness with which the militia responded to this call was most
gratifying, and when the transitional condition in which it was found by
the call is remembered, the confusions and difficulties attending the mobili-
zation willseem insignificant in comparison with its success.
ORGANIZATION OF THE N. Y. DIVISION
By Major Edward Olmsted,
On Sunday, June i8, 1916, Division Headquarters had been established
at State Camp, Peekskill, for three weeks in connection with the Schools
of Application and preparation for the maneuvers near Green Haven,
scheduled for the following month.
Beginning at about 7.00 p.m. on that day numerous telephone inquiries
were received from newspapers and press associations throughout the
State requesting information regarding the mobilization of the National
Thus the first intimation to the military authorities of the State that
any orders were on the way and, in fact, the full text of the President's
call, received by telephone from the New York Sun and repeated by tele-
phone from Peekskill to the Governor at Albany, was of prior receipt to
the official message. This was as follows:
"Hon. Ch.\rles S. Whitm.^vn, Governor of the .State of New York,
Albany, N. Y.
Having in view the possibility of further aggression upon the territory
of the United States, and the necessity for the proper protection of that
frontier, the President has thought proper to exercise the authority vested
in him by the Constitution and laws and call out the organized militia
and the National Guard necessary for that purpose. I am, in consequence,
instructed by the President to call into the service of the United States
forthwith, through you, the following units of organized militia and the
National Guard of the State of New York, which the President directs
shall be assembled at the State mobilization point. New Dorp (or at the
place to be designated to you by the Commanding General, Eastern De-
partment), for muster into the service of the United States:
New York :
One division, including three brigades of three regiments each, of 'v\-
One regiment and one squadron and one machine gun troops of cavalry.
Two regiments of field artillery.
Two battalions of engineers.
One battalion of signal corps.
Three field hospital companies.
Four ambulance companies.
Organizations to be accepted into the Federal service should have t.he
minimum peace strength now prescribed for organized militia, the mrixi-
mum strength at which organizations will be accepted and to which the}^
should be raised as soon as possible is prescribed in Section 2, Tables of
Organization, United States Army. In case any regiment, battalion, or
.squadron now recognized as such contains an insufficient number or organi-
zation to enable it to conform at muster to regular army organization tables
the organizations necessary to complete such units may be moved to
mobilization camp and there inspected under orders of the Department
Commander to determine fitness for recognition as organized militia by
the War Department. Circular 19, Division of Militia Aiifairs, 1914, pre-
scribes the organizations desired from each State as part of the local
tactical division, and only these organizations will be accepted into service.
It i- Toi'.::f:~x<:d that all officers of the Adjutant General's Department. Quar-
t'-rni;! r r Corps and Medical Corps, duly recognized as pertaining to State
H<;adfju.-i.r'':rs under Table i. Tables of Organization, Organized Militia,
and not elsewhere reriuired for duty in State administration, be ordered to
camp for duty as camp staff officers.
Such number of these staff officers as the department commander may
determine may be mustered into the service of the United States for the
purpose of proper camp administration, and will be mustered out when
their sen. ices are no longer required. Where recognized brigades or divi-
sions are called into sen,ice from a State, the staff officers pertaining to
ihese units under Tables of Organization, United States Army, will be
mustered into service, and also the authorized Inspectors of small arms
practice pertaining thereto. Except for these two purposes of mobilization
^.-imp service and of the prescribed staff service with tactical units, officers
of State Headquarters, under Table i, above mentioned, will not be mus-
tered into service at this time. If tactical divisions are later organized, the
requisite additional number of staff officers with rank as prescribed for
'iivision staff will, as far as practicable, be called into service from those
States, which have furnished troops to such division. Acknowledge.
N'ewton' D. Baker,
Secretarj' of War."
Orders were promptly issued by the Division Commander and the
Adjutant General for the assembly of commands at their home stations and
covered the details of subsistence, transportation, pay, physical examina-
tion, preparation of muster rolls, transfer of property, organization of
depot units, requisitions for supplies and all the procedure requisite for the
transition from the status of organized militia under the so-called Dick
Bill of 1903 to that of National Guard of the United States in the federal
service under the provisions of the recently enacted "National Defense
Act" approved June 3, 1916.
It was a remarkable and fortunate coincidence that a meeting of Com-
manding Officers of all organizations had been called for June 19th at
Peekskill for a conference regarding details of the proposed July maneu-
vers. It was thus possible to convey essential instructions, at first hand
and for the benefit of all those present, concerning the very much more
immediate and important details of the mobilization and to apprise com-
manders of the plans so far as formulated at that time.
The strength of the auxiliary units included in the call and that of the
nine Regiments later designated as those to constitute the three Infantrj'
Brigades, at this time was approximately 14,500 officers and men. By
reason of a recruiting campaign in May there had been a gain in the New
York City commands of some 2,000 men and many companies in up- .State
Regiments f because of similar recent additions), were at war strength.
War Department Reports give the total number of New York troops
moved to the Border as 18,761. The war strength for this force should
have been about 28,000 officers and men, so that the percentage of war
strength furnished was sixty-seven. Due to the fact that all units of the
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Division were not in Texas at any one time, the strength of commands
given in the following table was that as reported at the time of stated
retnrns. The dates noted are those of arrival at and departure from
The War Department plans contemplated the shipment from Govern-
ment Depots and Arsenals to the Mobilization Camp of "war-strength
efjuipment'" — being that required for the difference between commands at
their normal or peace strength and the maximum war strength as pro-
\ided in Tables of Organization. For three years, the Division Commander
had repeatedly urged that these supplies, so much needed immediately
upon mobilization, be stored in the armories of commands for instant
availability. During the week ending June 24th eiTorts in this direction
were renewed with the effect that a -portion of such equipment actually
was delivered to Armories in New York City and issued to organizations.
The Kincaid Bill passed by the State Legislature providing for the
mobilization of the New York National Guard and carrying an appropria-
tion of $500,000 applicable for equipment, etc., was a most fortuitous cir-
cumstance since contracts had been made for the hire, with option of pur-
chase, of horses and mules, so that instructions to anticipate deliveries of
these animals in addition to those owned by organizations, enabled our
mounted commands to report better provided for immediate field service
than those of any other state.
The normal procedure following a call for Federal service in accordance
with former instructions, was for the units to assemble at their Company
Rendezvous (the local armory), recruit and equip new men within the
limits of available materiel and on receipt of orders proceed to join other
units of their regiment at the Mobilization Camp. There it was contem-
plated to raise commands to war strength with complete equipment, muster
them into federal service, commence field training, rifle practice, etc., and
in due course entrain for the concentration camp.
In view of preliminary surveys made about three years before, a site at
New Dorp on Staten Island had been designated as the Mobilization
Camp for New York troops. Early in May of 1916, the State farm at
Green Haven in Dutchess County had been inspected and recommended for
the purpose, and it had been planned to hold the maneuvers on this tract
in July. A detachment of Engineers had already commenced work on
mapping, preparing the water supply, etc. Upon application to the Com-
manding General, Eastern Department, the Green Haven tract was desig-
nated as the Mobilization Camp for the New York Division and was
named Camp Whitman.
In line with existing plans then, orders were issued to the Corps of
F.ngineers and the Sixty-ninth Infantry to proceed to Camp Whitman to
complete the preparation of the site and to the Fourteenth Infantry to
entrain for Peekskill for several days' rifle practice on the range, thence
by marching to Camp Whitman (about thirty miles), the intention being-
to have the other New York Citjr regiments follow in prompt succession.
At the same time, the up-State regiments were to move to Poughkeepsie
and march to Camp Whitman, later marching to Peekskill for several days'
rifle practice and return to the Mobilization Camp. The Cavalry and Field
Artillery were also ordered from their several home stations to camp at
Van Cortlandt Park. After these plans were well under way, the War
Department directed the movement to Texas to expedited because of the
existing emergency (we were afterwards informed by General Parker that
there was at the time immediate need for "men with guns in their hands"),
■-■^^^ so that many of our troops were sent direct from their armories as soon
as entrainment was possible, and the general movement to the Border
The destination of the New York Division was the Brownsville Dis-
trict and more specifically Hidalgo County, Texas, in the "Magic Valley"
("of the Rio Grande), the stations assigned by Brigadier General James
Parker, U. S. A., the District Commander, being the towns of Pharr,
McAllen and Mission on the single-track St. Louis, Brownsville and Mex-
ico Railroad. Pharr is thirty-two miles west of Harlingen — the supply
base — McAllen being about three miles farther west and Mission about
five miles to the west of McAllen.
The country along the railroad is flat with a gradual slope from Mission
to the East and South, except, where under cultivation, covered with chap-
paral, cactus and mesquite, which was very dense along the river, where in
some localities, there were also larger trees. Throughout this section were
numerous irrigation canals with their laterals and ditches.
The First New York Infantry Brigade, consisting of the Second, Four-
teenth and Sixty-ninth Regiments, First Ambulance Company attached, all
under the command of Brigadier General James \V. Lester and numbering
some 3,950 officers and men, were stationed at Mission, the first organiza-
tion to arrive there being the Fourteenth Infantry on July 3rd.
The Third New York Infantry Brigade, consisting of Third, Twenty-
third and Seventy-fourth Regiments, 2nd Ambulance Company attached,
all under the command of Brigadier General William Wilson and number-
ing some 4,120 officers and men, were stationed at Pharr, the first organiza-
tion to arrive there being the Seventy-fourth Infantry on July loth.
The Second New York Infantry Brigade included the Seventh, Twelfth
and Seventy-first Regiments, commanded by Brigadier General George
Dyer, with the remaining auxiliaries — Engineers, Signal and Sanitary
Troops, Cavalry, Field Artillery and Trains, were stationed at McAllen.
where also was situated the Camp Hospital and the Headquarters of
Major General John F. O'Ryan, commanding the New York Division. The
fir->t organization to arrive at McMlen was the Seventh Infantry on July
2nd, and the greatest number of troops at this station at any one time
was 10,290 officers and men, as shown by the return of August 30, 1916.
On the return to home stations at Headquarters, 2nd Brigade and
Second, Fourteenth and Seventy-first Regiments Infantry, and because of
an epidemic of paratyphoid fever. Mission was abandoned as a Camp and
^- ^ ^
First Brigade Headquarters moved to IVIcAllen, tlie regiments constituting
the Brigade being the Seventh, Twelfth and Sixty-ninth.
At the same time, the Third Tennessee Infantry, Colonel Gary F.
Spence, Commanding, replaced the Third New York Infantry in the Third
Brigade at Pharr. Thereafter the designation of General O'Ryan's com-
vmand was changed from New York Division to Sixth Division.
After the departure of Division and Third Brigade Headquarters and
• the Seventh and Twenty-third Infantry, the Third Tennessee Infantry was
moved to Llano Grande, and all the remaining New York Troops were
stationed at IMcAllen under Brigadier General Lester, as Camp Com-
mander. The Brigade thereafter was known as Second Brigade, Thir-
teenth Provisional Division, to which the auxiliary troops were assigned,
all being under the command of Brigadier General James Parker, U. S. A.,
as Division and District Commander.
Other changes of station by New York Troops while on the border were
those of the Third Field Artillery on December 8th, for Brownsville, and
the Division Supply Train on February nth for San Antonio, both by
marching", that of the latter unit covering some 320 miles, a notable achieve-
The last New York organization to leave Texas was the Fourth Field
Hospital which entrained at McAllen on March 12, IQ17.
The first month or six weeks at the border were strenuous in the
• extreme. Unfamiliar and difficult conditions were encountered and dis-
posed of. It was a time of becoming acclimated, domiciled and generally
established in a country, and under conditions of climate and routine new
to all. The necessary orders providing for Service Calls, Schedules of
Instruction. Camp Sanitation and Hygiene, Military Police, Examining
Boards, Prohibition (This was the well-known G. O. No. 7), were promul-
gated for the government of the rapidly growing military communities.
One of these orders prescribed complete measures to be taken for the
protection of the camps in the event of a night attack.
At this time Division Headquarters was in receipt of numerous instruc-
tions from the Southern Department concerning the new materiel and
animals needed to complete our equipment. Innumerable reports, on this,
that and the other thing, were called for. All such matters it was necessary
to communicate to all those concerned, together with instructions regarding
. details of routine, administration, conduct and "setting up housekeeping."
On the part of the troops this last involved hard physical labor under trop-
ical sun or frequent torrential rains in what may be characterized as
"Intensive Castramentation" — the science and practice of camp building, —
Unnecessary to recount the details.
In due course of time the ground was cleared of the chapparal, roads,
drainage ditches and latrines had been dug, mess shacks, incinerators, tent
flooring, frames and screens built, and organizations began to vie with one
another in the matter of horticultural exhibits in their camps. There was
, also much back and heart-breaking labor for the common weal. The disposal
/ of refuse involved the establishment of "Dumps" for this purpose near
V===> each of the Camps, Pharr, McAllen and Mission, and this constituted a
job that was never finished. Also at McAllen numerous details were neces-
sary for work on the water system— which was wholly inadequate. Though
miproved after some time, the mounted commands were always fearful of
its unreliability, a well-founded suspicion in more ways than one, since
the First Field Artillery and Squadron A, Cavalry, drove their own wells
and installed tanks with pumping systems so that thereafter they were
independent of the town supply as their own was superior and more
All this construction work did not move evenly and continuously to
completion as there were many causes for interruption, one being the
frequent heavy rains.
During this time, also, the possibility of imminent active service involv-
ing a moveme-nt "across the river" was impressed on all so that drill,
inspections and the issue of equipment essential to the success of the "big
:push" engaged the attention of those responsible.
Early in August features of more strictly military training commenced.
Elementary small arms practice with rifle and pistol was begun at the
extemporised short ranges about three miles southwest of McAllen for the
troops at that station and at Mission, and another about two miles south-
east of Pharr for the Third Brigade, principally for the instruction of men
whose experience had been limited or none at all.
The "hardening" process was initiated by practice marches of a few
days for Infantry by Companies or Battalions. Some of these were gruel-
The Cavalry, a Squadron at a time, were the pioneers to make the
marches later familiar to all north of Mission and into the bosque from
Sterling's Ranch to La Gloria, Laguna Seca and Young's Ranch.
Beginning August loth, this march of about a hundred miles, sched-
uled to be covered in twelve days, was made by every Infantry Regiment
in turn, one each from Mission, McAllen and Pharr starting on the same
day and followed three days later by the next three regiments from those
The orders for the movement prescribed that bivouacs should be made
in the order named, at Mission, Alton, Sterlings, La Gloria, Sterlings,
Laguna Seca, Youngs, Laguna Seca, Sterlings, Edinburg, Pharr, McAllen,
and that marches should be conducted as in enemy country with the
proper provisions for security, outposts, etc.
The Gulf Hurricane of August i8th, heavy roads, steaming humid days
through the chapparal, and a scarcity of water at some of the bivouacs,
made this march a rather stiff test for the hiking ability and "guts" of our
Infantry, and tried the mettle of transport and supply personnel. Generally
all measured up well, their Route Sketches, War Diaries and Field Orders
ifor the marches, combats (simulated), and outposts filed at Division
.Headquarters, comprising a valuable record of their performance.
October 6th, instruction combat practice for all the Infantry com-
panies and cavalry troops over the rough terrain at La Gloria Ranch
commenced, and continued for two months or until all units had completed
the course in field firing. This involved six days' absence from their
proper stations of commands participating, each battalion making a march
of two days to the range where two days were occupied in the firing prob-
lem and another two days for the return march. The course comprised an
interesting and instructive tactical problem, involving the proper handling.
— as regarded fire discipline and control — of a company in combat, incident
to its advance on a hostile position. The enemy, represented by targets,
appeared unexpectedly at unknown ranges and the advance could only
continue after fire superiority had been gained (as determined by hits on
targets). The relative standing by Brigades, Regiments, Battalions, or
Scjuadrons, and Companies or Troops was indicated by their respective
figures of merit carefully compiled by Major George F. Chandler, Adju-
tant, 1st Brigade, who was the Range officer in charge of the firing and
arranged all details of the problem.
The records disclosed that first place in each Tactical unit of the
Division as above indicated, had been attained as follows:
By Brigades 2nd Inf. Brigade
By Regiments 1st Cav. Regt.
By Battalions Squadron A Cavalry
By Companies Co. "C," 7th Inf.
During October and November, a week's instruction in the mechanism
and practice in firing the machine guns (Colt, Benet-Mercie, or Lewis
types) with which they were equipped, was given machine gun companies
and troops of Infantry and Cavalr\% each unit marching to and from Har-
lingen, where a Machine Gun School of instruction was established for the
In September, October and November, the ist and 2nd Field Artillery
had firing practice with their 3-inch materiel in the desolate terrain to the
north of La Gloria Ranch : and in December, the 3rd Field Artillery
marched via Brownsville for firing practice with their 4.7-inch Howitzers
over the country between the old battle field of Palo Alto and Point Isabel.
During October and November a line of eight detached posts was estab-
lished, covering 28 miles along the Military Road, as a line of resistance and
with a front of about 52 miles along the Rio Grande, as a line of observation.
The Infantry and Cavalry of the Division were assigned by Battalions or
.Squadrons, with detachments of the Machine Gun Companies or Troops
from their regiments, to these detached posts for a week at a time, and
were given detailed instructions relative to the thorough observation, map-
ping and patrolling of their sectors, the establishment of intrenched outpost
positions, opening up of connecting roads, precautions in the event of
attack, etc. As all of this was intensely practical, the situation being a real
one and none of the conditions, assumed, the varied duties necessary in the
carrying out of the orders were performed most efficiently and enthusi-
nstically by all concerned. That those engaged in this duty were on the
"qui vive" was evidenced by the report received at Division Headquarters
at 2 a.m. one dark night that a flotilla of boats crossing from Mexico had
been driven back by the heavy fire of a vigilant but over-zealous outguard
which "shot-up" some drift wood. A sequel to this incident, which may be
apochryphal, but makes a good story, is to the effect that "our friend the
■enemy," Major Flores, Com.niandant of the Mexican garrison at Reynosa,
just across the Rio Grande from Hidalgo, requested that further night firing
be discontinued, as it disturbed the rest of his troops.
Almost immediately after the arrival of the New York Division at its
stations on the Border, the Cavalry commenced patrolling the river bank, at
first under the guidance of detachments of the 28th U. S. Infantry, until
they later became thoroughly familiar with all the fords, crossings, bends,
and with the many trails through the chapparal south of the Militar}'
Road. Besides the many short practice marches and bivouacs of the
mounted troops, the entire 1st Cavalry made an interesting march in
October to Point Isabel, covering i(So miles. Bivouacs en route in both
•directions were at Llano Grande. San Benito and Brownsville, all of which
places were stations of troops, both of the National Guard and the Regu-
lars. The Regiment was reviewed while at Brownsville by Brig. Gen.
James Parker. U.S.A. ("Galloping Jim"), the District Commander.
During the six months while the New York Division was at the border,
there were other frequent reviews of Regiments and Brigades. There were
bIso six occasions when Division Reviews, including detachments of all
arms, were given at the "White House Field" about three miles south-
■east of McAllen, to distinguished personages. These were as follows:
Sept. 22d, Major General O'Ryan, Commanding N. Y. Division :
Sept. 23d, Brig.-Gen. James Parker, U.S.A., Commanding Browns-
Oct. I, Major Genera! Frederick Funston. Commanding Southern
Nov. 16. Hon. Charles S. Whitman, Governor of New York ;
Nov. 2q, Hon. James \^^ Wadsworth, Jr., Senior U. S. Senator, from
Dec. 12, Brig.-Gen. Edward M. Lewis, Ind. N. G., Commanding
Tactical Exercises of the different arms by Company, Battalion and
Regiment were incidental to the training of all the troops. Small Maneu-
Acr problems were worked out in connection with, the daily drills or
marches. In addition to these, in September and October, there were
combined arms Exercises, by Reinforced Brigades, which involved a
inarch to the Rio Grande to repel an invading (imaginary) force, a
bivouac with outposts and a retirement before superior force. These
were also problems covering the attack and defense of a convoy and
several others incidental to the field inspections of troops bv officers of
The departure of several cornm.'uids to their home stations in Septem-
ber precluded the possibility of extensive division maneuvers, which had
Officers of the regular army who were commissioned by the Governor
and their assignments to duty with the New York Division, were as
Colonel W'm. S. ]\IcNair, F. A., as Brigadier General, Commanding
Lt.-Col. Harry H. Bandholtz, Infantry as Colonel, Chief of Staff.
Captain Gordon Johnston, Cavalry, A.D.C. to Commanding General,.
Eastern Department, as Colonel, Commanding 12th Infantry.
Captain \\'illiam N. Haskell, Cavalry, as Colonel, Commanding ()()Xh.
Captain Daniel \\'. Hand, F. A., as Colonel, Commanding 3rd Field
Captain George H. White, Infantry, as Lieutenant Colonel. 74th
Major W illiam E. \\ elsh. Infantry, as Lieutenant Colonel, 23rd
Colonel Johnston being aggrieved at a requirement of discipline, which
in his opinion, publicly discredited his command, tendered his resignation
as Colonel of Infantry. In accepting the resignation his action was char-
acterized by the War Department as indicating a spirit of insubordination
and lack of self discipline, not expected in an officer of his experience. The
services of the other officers named, were of the utmost benefit to the
organizations with which they were connected. Under a ruling of the
War Department, these capable officers were recjuired to resign their State
commissions on the final muster of their commands, who lost them with
Other officers of the Army stationed in Texas, who were temporarily
assigned for duty with units of the New York Division, were
Major Frank E. Bamford, 28th Infantry, as Division Adjutant.
1st Lt. Max R. Wainer, 28th Infantry, as Adjutant, 2nd Brig.
Capt. Arthur G. Hadsell, 28th Infantry, as Adjutant, 3rd Brig.
Lt.-Col. Charles E. Tayman, 28th Infantry, as Camp .Adjutant at ]\Ic-
Allen, imder General Lester.
The Sixty-fifth Infantry of Bufl'alo were reorganized and mustered into
the federal service as the Third New York Field Artillery (Heavy), armed
with 4.7 Howitzers.
Other new commands were the Field Bakery Company, Division Sup-
ply Train and Fourth Field Hospital.
The Pioneer and Pontoon Battalions, Corps of Engineers were reor-
ganized as the 22nd Regiment, New York Engineers, and Headquarters,
Supply and Machine Gun Companies or Troops were organized in the
Infantry and Cavalry, Headquarters and Supply Companies in the Field
Artillerv also, conforming to the provisions of the National Defense Act.
MEXICAN BORDER SERVICE.
Division: Major General John F. O'Ryan
1st Brigade: Brigadier General James \V. Lester
(2nd, 14th, and 69th Infantry)
2nd Brigade : Brigadier General George R. Dyer
(7th, I2th and 71st Infantry)
Brigadier General William Wilson
(3rd, 23rd and 74th Infantry)
Brigadier General William S. McNair
(ist, 2nd and 3rd Field Artillery)
Major William L. Hallahan
Major Frederic N. Whitley
:Major William S. Conrovv
Col. Charles I. DeBevoise
Major William R. Wright
Capt. Henry Sheldon
Col. Henry H. Rogers
Col. George A. Wingate
Col. Daniel \V. Hand
Major John F. Dunseith
Major Louis H. Gans
Major Arthur W. Slee
Major PYank Harnden
Capt. Frank W. Sears
Capt. Charles O. Boswell
Capt. Leander H. Shearer
Capt. Jefferson R. Latta
Col. Tames M. Andrews
Col. John H. Foote
Col. WiUiam N. Haskell
Col. Willard C. Fiske
Col. Gordon Johnston
Col. William "G. Bates
Col. Edgar S. Jennings
Col. Frank H. Norton
Col. Nathaniel B. Thurston
Major Thomas H. Stanton
Capt. Jesse A. Willard
3rd Brigade :
Field Artillery Brigade:
Signal Battalion :
1st Battalion Engineers :
2nd Battalion Engineers
1st Cavalry :
Squadron A :
Machine Gun Troop :
1st Field Artillery:
2nd Field Artillery:
3rd Field Artillery:
1st Field Hospital :
2nd Field Hospital:
3rd Field Hospital :
4th Field Hospital :
1st Ambulance Co. :
2nd Ambulance Co. :
3rd Ambulance Co. :
4th Ambulance Co. :
2nd Infantry :
69th Infantry :
7th Infantry :
3rd Infantry :
23rd Infantry :
Supply Train :
Bakery Company :
Copyright Wlfi. Ci-nwtord & l!u(lul|.l(
Standing, left to right: Capt. Jacckcl, Capf. Aslifonl (U.S.A.), Major Reagan,
Oapt. Humphries, Major Steers, Lt. McCann, Major Waterbury, Major Maloney. Sit-
ting, left to right: Major Kincaitl, Lt. Col. Terriberry, Lt. Col. Sternberger, Major
■General O'Ryan, Col. Bandholz, Major Olmsted, Major Ward, Major \^anderbilt.
MEXICAN BORDER SERVICE.
Chief of Staff:
\sst. Chief of Staff
Asst. Chief of Staff
Judge Advocate :
Asst. Surgeon :
Sanitary Inspector :
Major General John F. O'Ryan
1st Lt. Frederick E. Humphries
1st Lt. Alfred Wendt (ist Cav.)
1st Lt. Robert R. Molyneux (istCav.)
1st Lt. Francis J. McCann (23rd Inf. )
Col. H. H. Bandholtz
Major F. W. Ward
Alajor Edward Olmsted
Major Allan L. Reagan
Major Cornelius \'anderbilt
Major J. Leslie Kincaid
Lt. Col. Henry S. Sternberger
Capt. James F. Loree
Capt. Hugo F. Jaeckel
Lt. Col. W. S. Terriberry
Alajor E. R. Maloney
Major William H. Steers
Major F. M. Waterbury
THE MILITARY COURTS AND POLICE OF THE
By Major J. L. Kincaid, Judge Advocate
No story of the Mexican Border service of the New York Division
vi^ould be complete without some reference to the Mihtary Courts and
The system of courts prescribed for the Army corresponds, in a general
way, to the ordinary courts of criminal jurisdiction. Corresponding with
the Police Magistrate we have the summary court officer. Each regi-
ment and other separate organization has a summary court officer, and
while these men did not make the lasting impression that the General
Courts did, due perhaps to the fact that they could only sentence for three
months, still it is considered that they contributed in no small part to the
maintenance of discipline in the Division.
General Courts-Martials, consisting of from live to thirteen officers, are
appointed by the Commanding General of the Division, and their jurisdic-
tion is practically unlimited. All of the graver military ofifenses and
crimes involving moral turpitude come before these courts for trial.
The New York Division was particularly fortunate in having a large
number of exceptionally clever lawyers who were detailed from time to
time as judge-advocates of the general courts of the Division. Among
these were Lieut. Col. James Crookc McLeer; Capt. William Donovan, of
the 1st Cavalry; Lieut. Nathaniel H. Egleston, of Squadron A; Lieut.
Cornelius M. W'ickersham, of the 12th Infantry, and Lieut. Chas. B. Crane,
of the 7th Infantry.
About fort}' cases were tried by General Courts-Martial during the
Mexican Border service of the Division, and the sentences ranged from
one to ten years.
One of the most interesting things the statistics of the military courts
of the Division show is that in almost two-thirds of the cases tried the
offenders were recruits of less than three months' service. This demon-
strates beyond any question the benefits obtained by proper military
In all about one hundred officers of the Division served as members of
the various General Courts-Martials, and all look back to this service as one
of the most interesting phases of their Border service. At times, the driv-
ing sand storms and the blazing hot sun caused considerable physical dis-
comfort, but the human side of the work always served to hold the interest
of the officers concerned, and many amusing stories are told of the various
trials. One that became almost a classic was the answer of a witness in
one of the famous G. O. No. 7 cases, when he was asked if the prisoner was
drunk. He defined drunkenness as follows: "He is not drunk who from
the floor can rise again and take one more."
The latest change in Tables of Organization provides for two com-
panies of military police, regularly organized and enlisted as such, but at
the time of the Mexican Border service no such organization was provided
for, and the military police was made up of men detailed from the various
organizations of the Division. It consisted of a force of about one hundred
men stationed at Mission, McAllen and Pharr. As a distinguishing mark
they wore upon their arm a blue brassard bearing the letters "M. P." This
work was very efficiently done under the leadership of such officers as
Lieut. Col. McLean, of the 7th Infantry ; Major Button, of the 2nd Infan-
try, and Lieut. Col. Foster, of the 12th Infantry.
The military police were quartered wherever suitable facilities could
be had. In McAllen they were located behind the screen on the stage of
a moving picture theatre.
One member of the military police, in the discharge of his duty, shot
and killed a drunken soldier who was terrorizing the city of McAllen. The
military policeman was tried by a General Courts-Martial for his own
nrotection and was acquitted.
Major J. L. Kincaid, Judge Advocate, and
Major Cornelius Vanderbilt, Inspector
Major General O'Ryan, Directing Battle
:Major General O'Rian. N.G.U.S., anu Major General Funston, U. S. A.
Slow Rifle Fire— /TH Infantry
One Group of 50 Rifle Targets
Rifle Practice— Sharyland
RIFLE PRACTICE, TEXAS, 1916
By Lt.-Col. F. M. Waterbury,
There has been considerable criticism regarding riHe practice and the
training of the National Guard in the use of the rifle while serving at the
border. It is easy to criticise, but difficult to train all men to become good
shots. Some are natural shots. Some can never learn to become even
average good shots, but fire discipline and fire control makes the work of
all of some value on the firing line.
As far as the New York Division is concerned rifle instruction and prac-
tice was not neglected in the training of the men. Before one-quarter of
the Division arrived in Texas the Ordnance Officer had visited the District
Ordnance Depot at Harlington and learned that the Government would
allow ammunition for target practice. Subsequently, under date of July
I2th, telegraphic order No. iJ'Sj was received, which read: "Expendi-
ture in target practice of small arms ammunition for National Guard not to
exceed one hundred rounds per rifle and fifty rounds for each pistol or
revolver is authorized." It was found that there was but one army range
in the immediate territory of the New York Troops, situated about one
mile southwest of Pharr. This was built for two targets only. Target
machines for the equipment of a suitable sized target range for Division
practice could not be drawn as they were not on hand at this depot, con-
sequently an elementary course was arranged and the permission of owners
obtained for the use of lands near Pharr and Sharyland. One range of
25 targets was built at the former place for the use of New York Troops
at Pharr and two ranges of 50 targets each were built at the latter place
for the use of the New York Troops at ]Mc.A.llen and Mission. The "X"
target, with ly^ in. bull, was used on these ranges at 25 yards. Pistol and
revohci- targets were also erected for officers and men armed with pistol
or revoher, the regulation "L"' pistol targets being used at full distance for
the Army Record Course (25 yards).
The practice opened first for the troops at AIcAUen on July 22nd, then
the ranges at Pharr were completed and another one built at Sharyland for
the Mission Troops, so that early in August men were being sent from all
three Brigades each day to this rifle training, weather permitting.
Each one of the three ranges had its corps of range officers, including
a competent instructor on both the rifle and pistol. Schools were held
during the day on the nomenclature of both arms, at which men were
required to take the m.echanism apart and assemble it, and sights, windage,
etc., were explained. At the targets men were given instruction in both
slow and rapid fire, each man being coached by either an officer or non-
commissioned officer. Twenty rounds of service ammunition per man were
used in ihis work; e\ cry organization having the practice with
the exception of two regiments whose firing was postponed on account
of heavy rains which destroyed the ranges and flooded the firing points.
These regiments were to practice last but by the time the ranges were re-
built and the other organizations had fired, they were absent on a ten day
practice march and upon their return were ordered north for muster out.
Each commander kept the record of his men so that extra instruction in
tlie use of the rifle might be given to the poorer shots.
That this elementary instruction proved valuable was demonstrated
when the combat firing exercises were held in October and November at
La Gloria, when everybody, including recruits, participated in a company
tactical problem using ball ammunition, and this without a single accident
occurring, although a quarter of a million rounds of ammunition were
expended in this practice.
New York State had never before had the opportunity of holding com-
bat firing on account of the time required and the impossibility of obtain-
ing a range so situated as to eliminate the element of danger. The
Commanding General instructed the Division Ordnance Officer to build a
suitable range for combat firing at La Gloria, about eighteen miles from
McAllen, this being an ideal location for the purpose, twelve hundred
yards in area with about half the tcrraine open country and the remainder
covered with cactus and chapparal. A company of Engineers and a squad
from the Signal Battalion worked about ten days on a plan designed jointly
by the Ordnance Officer and the Engineers' Topographical Officer. Six
pits were dug and moving targets, in individuals, squads, sections and
companies were erected, over a hundred field targets being used. All the
pits were connected by telephone and controlled by the signal station at
the firing point. The officers and men engaged in the practice did not
know the location of the targets or time of their appearance or disappear-
ance. Just previous to entering the last stage of the combat which was
held in a cleared area of three hundred yards, with the enemy in company
strength, the troops were compelled to thread their way through a hundred
yards of thick cactus and chapparal. The range presented a perfect tacti-
cal problem for a rencontre. To carry this out a simple, special situation
was given each unit before firing, approximately as follows:
The Commander of a company of troops is informed by friendly inhab-
itants that a band of raiders about lOO in number is operating near La
Gloria. The Captain sends out two independent patrols who confirm this
information even as to the number of rifles, whereupon he immediately
marches his company or troop to attack. During a halt while in advance
guard formation, the point is fired upon (blank cartridges from the first
l>it) and the action begins. Some discussion was introduced in the instruc-
tion as to the proper use of an advance guard, its change of mission in
attack, etc. The matter of handling troops was left entirely to the com-
pany or troop commanders. The battalion commander accompanied the
range officer and tactical criticism was made through the proper channel
so as to eliminate any friction which might otherwise obtain. The inten-
tion was to make the combat exercises tactically correct, to teach the mean-
ing of fire superiority and to show that the individual shot must subordi-
nate himself to the unit of which he is only a part. The officers and men
of each battalion or squadron were instructed by the range officer in a
half hour talk upon arrival at the range and before going through the exer-
cises, special attention being given to the enlisted man and encouraging
him to ask questions which were answered carefully by the range officer.
Rifle fire in all its phases from the viewpoint of the expert as well as the
novice was discussed. In ordinary target practice only the target is con-
sidered and not the target the soldier himself presents to the enemy and
this being a good opportunity, demonstrations in visibility were made by
separating companies into platoons, each platoon facing the other over the
last range of three hundred yards, in standing, kneeling and prone posi-
tions, the last with hats off and hugging the ground. A method of crossing
a road by rolling as opposed to dashing across, was chosen. The value of
slow, deliberate movements as a mode of security in scout work was
demonstrated. The danger of glittering equipment was pointed out by
example and the fact was proven that immobility plus the olive drab
uniform renders the soldier practically invisible. Each unit shot once
each day, covering the two days' period that the battalion or squadron
remained at La Gloria. The element of competition injected into the
scheme added materially to the interest which was maintained throughout
the course, while the frequent critiques gave each individual rifleman more
knowledge of actual work on the firing line and of the meaning of fire disci-
pline, fire control and fire dispersion than he had ever before attained.
In rating the different units a formula was developed in which dispersion
of fire was given due weight as follows : Number of hits plus value of hits,
plus target hit, divided by number of targets appearing. The difference in
value of the hits at the various distances was based on regular target
practice, modified by tactical values, i.e., 2, 3, 4 and 5 being given for ist,
2nd, 3rd and 4th ranges respectively. The total figure obtained by adding
the scores of the four distances was then divided by the number of rifles,
this arriving at a final figure of merit after adding the two days' scores
together. It was proved in this firing, as in the slow fire instruction during
elementary practice, that the results from the use of the battle sight were
not comparable with the results obtained with the point blank sight.
This schedule of combat firing was continued without a break each day
for six weeks until all the remaining infantry and cavalry units at the
border had practiced.
In November and December the remaining units at the Border expended
the balance of the one hundred rounds per rifle, allowed by the Govern-
ment for the rifle practice and instruction of the National Guard. This
practice was on the regulation "A" target at 200 and 300 yards on the two
and three target ranges at Pharr, Ponitas and Sam Fordyce, from three to
twenty miles from camp. The Cavalry were also busily engaged in addi-
the balance- of tlu- fifti
tls ]l(.T pistdl
tional pistol practice, nsiiifj up
allowed by the (iovernmcnt.
In August and September the entire Division engaged in field maneu-
vers over an area of ground frcjni the Division Camps to the Kiu (irande.
During these different ])r<)l>lenis about 75,ocK) rounds of blank ammunition
The Machine (iun Companies of the regiments of the Division were sent
to the Ordnance Depot at Harlington where schools of instruction were
held for a period of se\eral weeks.
The .Artillery Brigade of the Xew \'ork Dixision. three conipU'te rc-gi-
ments, had extensive field firing instruction with their ^ in. and 4.7 in.
guns, besides individual pistol practice. The range used by the ist and 2<\
Field Artillery regiments was constructed by the artillery troops at La
Gloria, about a mile from the rifle range. This range was open about three >
months and both regiments not only recei\ed excellent training but did
commendable work. In December the 3rd Field Artillery, e(|uipped with
the 4.7 in. guns, i)racticed at Point Isabel, about 73 miles south of our
The distances to and from all the ranges were of necessity covered by
marching, but as the troops were well seasoned the matter of a twenty or
thirty mile "hike" was of little consecjuence.
The Navy's idea of "unlimited ammunition for rifle practice" would be a
.step of progress if adopteil by the L^ .'>. .Army.
\i\\' York Troops ox thk Rio Gr.\xdi-:
THE ENTERTAINMENTS OF THE DIVISION
By Lt.-Col. Franklin W. Ward,
Assistant Chief of Staff, N. Y. Division
The task of recording all the various forms of entertainment of a
tactical division of New York soldiers responsible for the protection of
approximately -"ifty miles of Texan border along the Rio Grande, is by no
means an easy one, particularly if an attempt is made to follow a strict
definition of the word.
For instance, hurricanes that blew in from the Gulf and swept over and
around them, and the "northers" that swept through them— might be called
entertainments, or at least diversions. Then there was the "hiking" and
the "digging-in" by day, with the pump-handle braying of the burros,
and the ear-splitting shriek of the overworked locomotives, by night, all
entertaining in a more or less serious sense. Then there was pay-day, the
various Palaces of Sweets, the Delmonico Jr. restaurant, the Screen-off-
Restorio, Helen's Palm Cafe, the excursions to Corpus, Bevo, Peruna, let-
ters from home, and The I\.io Grande Rattler.
Then there was the Amusem Airdome Picture Theatre, that great
leveler of military rank, where nightly in clear weather, a single bench
would be very liable to contain, in the order named, a brigadier general,
a mule-skinner, a colonel of infantry, a Mex, six privates, a citizen of Texas
and a contract undertaker.
However, the old saying which indicates that all work and no play
makes Jack a dull boy, was in all probability in the mind of Major General
O'Ryan when he began the development of a systematic and carefully
planned series of entertainments for the benefit of the soldiers of the N. Y.
.Shortlv after the arrival of the troops at ]\IcAllen, Mission and Pharr,
spacious entertainment platforms were constructed of heavy lumber on
ground convenient to the camps located at. those points. These platforms
were elevated about five feet and equipped with the conventional prize
ring, posts, ropes, etc. A piano, hired in the adjacent town, was placed in
one corner and a rough shelter tent built over it to protect it from the
weather. Alany of the individual organizations also erected platforms for
their own use.
The chaplains of the various regiments were asked to formulate plans
for suitable entertainments, and nights reserved for the benefit of each
organization. As a result on at least one evening during the weeks, when
the commands were occupying their "home" camps, thousands of khaki-
clad men would assemble tor the performance. Splendid upstanding men
they were, squatting two-hundred deep, their bronzed open-air faces dimly
illuminated against the darkness of the warm damp night by the lights on
the platform, a suitable setting for any picture calculated to show strong
■:-,-=^; _ ^■-
American manhood, rough perhaps, and brown, but clean-cut as a knife
blade, and all was good nature and good fellowship among these men
with boys' eyes, whose lot, by a trick of fate, had been thrown together.
Who that has witnessed the spectacle can forget the deep quiet that
always prevailed during the rendition by some favorite singer of "You'll
Always Be the Same, Sweet Girl," or ''The End of a Perfect Day"? And
who that heard it will forget the deep-throated tribute that always followed
"Good-bye. Good Luck, God Bless You"?
Favorites, there were many of them — the mere appearance of Bannon,
the popular virger of the 7th Infantry's entertainments, was sufficient to
develop loud calls for "Aladdin's Lamp." Then there was Kirkpatrick of
the Squadron, who could do anything from a four-round go to a love song,
and the Squadron A Glee Club whose songs and music were always a
finished product. Then there was Shriner of the 74th who sang "Asleep
in the Deep," and Metcalf with "Mother Machree." Many others, like
Love of the 2nd Field Artillery, Hyde of the 23rd, and Goodwin of the
I2th became very well known to the tune-loving audiences.
The fight fans were treated to many exhibitions of the manly art. Prob-
ably the favorite knight of the buckskin mits, was little "Stockings"
Conroy, of the 2nd Infantry, who found himself famous after a four-round
go with a Goliath from the 14th, who looked big enough to eat him alive.
At McAllen the most popular figure in the squared circle was Pvt. Norman
Selby, of the 71st Inf., better known among fight fans as Charles Kid
McCoy. It was at the boxing exhibitions that the favor or disfavor of the
soldier audiences was most emphatically indicated, and many a seeker
for pugilistic honors went cold under the boisterous acclamation to "take
It was not long after the arrival of the N. Y. troops in Texas before
large roomy frame buildings were constructed at each of the three camps.
These buildings were furnished with the ordinary conveniences of a club,
there were facilities for letter writing and reading, each house being
plentifully supplied with current literature, newspapers, magazines, etc.
The entire expense of this most highly appreciated enterprise was borne
by the Young Men's Christian Association. A similar building was erected
at McAllen camp by the Knights of Columbus.
This article might not be considered complete unless some mention
is made of the occasional gatherings of soldiers for entertainments of
particular varieties. For instance, forty odd alumni of Amherst and Wil-
liams held a banquet at which "Lord Jeffrey Amherst" and other songs
of college days were sung. All stein songs, however, were omitted. There
were also meetings of the Harvard Club and Psi Upsilon. There was base-
ball galore and later football was played, one of the most notable games
being that between the 4th Ambulance Company and the 69th Infantry's
teams. A bowling tournament at McAllen also attracted much interest.
The star occasion, however, was Frontier Day, for not only did the
entire Division turn out for the entertainment, but every regiment from
Rio Grande City to Brownsville, contributed its quota of men, and the
civilian population of the entire "Magic" Valley attended en masse, arriv-
ing in lumbering carts, autotrucks, jitneys, horse-back, special train, and on
foot. Soldiers, Mexicans, cowboys, rancheros, senoritas, and Northern
tourists met and mingled on the narrow sidewalks of the one main thor-
oughfare of McAllen.
The exhibition was given on the field near Division Headquarters.
The morning was given over to athletic events in which a large number
of entrants from the various regiments of the Division competed for
the prize. In the afternoon the military, mounted and Wild West events
were held. Over six thousand people had passed into the field before two
o'clock and the canteens and pop-corn stands sprinkled around the field,
did a land office business. Boys with peanuts and programs were as busy
as their brothers at the New York Polo Grounds on a Saturday afternoon.
The Cavalry and Artillery events were very interesting but it was the
Grand Melee, in which picked men from Squadron A and the ist Cavalry
participated, that particularly delighted the crowd. Wearing masks and
padded headgear with long paper-string plumes, the combatants, ten to a
side, charged fiercely at each other on horse-back and slashed away at the
streamers with wooden swords.
The Wild and Woolly West in which broncho busting was demon-
strated, proved somewhat of a surprise as the cleverest riding was not done
by the professional Western busters, but by two members of the N. Y.
Division, Pvts. Hathaway of the 2nd Field Artillery and Joe Hooker of the
The evening show was opened by the 22nd Engineers with a fireworks
display that possessed much military interest, for it included the newest
things in trench-lighting and other features.
A mammoth vaudeville show and two championship bouts concluded
the programme, which ended at ii.OO p.m., when the band of the 3rd Ten-
nessee Infantry, which had furnished the music during the evening, played
Home Sweet Home.
The Horse Show which was given under the auspices of the ist Cav-
alry, was another entertainment which was probably the first of its kind
ever held under shnilar conditions, and by a similar organization of men.
Many of the best looking horses entered belonged to men in the ranks.
The entries exhibited, taken as a whole, were the finest class of horses
ever exhibited at a show.
The show lasted for three days and the music was furnished by three
military bands, while the scores of the World's baseball series were posted
on the bulletin board. The show ended with races, a rescue race and a
four-mount relay race being the most thrilling.
Another event that attracted considerable interest among the soldiers
was a point race held by the 12th N. Y. Infantry on Thanksgiving Day,
the race consisting of a three-mile cross country run with full pack and 100
rounds of rifle ammunition.
Perhaps of all the pleasures that the average soldier had, the receipt of
mail from home stood first. It is safe to say a large majority of the men
of the N. Y. Division had never before been so far away from their home
cities, and the daily distribution of letters and packages was an occasion
i)f great interest. Some idea of the magnitude of the task may be learned
vvhen it is stated that the greatest sale of stamps in one month at the
McAllen postoffice before the arrival of the New York troops was 7,300.
In the month of July the sales amounted to 72,700. The day the camp was
established the mail was carried from the station in a push-cart, while
during July the daily delivery averaged three two-horse truck loads. The
mail received averaged from 6o,oo(J to 70,000 pieces, while that sent out
averaged 40,000 pieces a day.
A military postmaster was appointed by General O'Ryan and the post-
ofifice force supplemented by twenty enlisted men experienced as clerks in
the New York postoffice.
M.AjOR General Funstox, USA; M.\.tor Gener.m.
O'Ryan, N.G.U.S., and (in background)
Brigadier General Parker, U.S.A.
HEADQl-ARTERS, DHISIOX, XATIOXAL GUARD, NEW YORK.
Albany, January 15, 191 7.
I. The Division Commander announces with deep regret the death of
Colonel Nathaniel Blunt Thurston, Commanding the 74th Infantry. Colonel
Thurston's death occurred in the line of duty at 11:00 p. m., January 15, 1016,
at McAllen, Texas, and was caused by apoplexy.
Colonel Thurston was so well known throughout the military service
that an extended recital in this order of his qualities and virtues would seem
unnecessary. Essentially he was a soldier. He was rigid and just. But as
many of the younger ofiicers will testify, his sternness was a cloak for a kindli-
ness and sympathetic understanding that marked his character. Of the highest
integrity and loyalty, he combined with these qualities great capacity for
organization and for energetic leadership, which crowned with success every
undertaking entrusted to him.
In the loss of this remarkable man the Division Commander and the mem-
bers of the Division StaflF have lost an intimate friend and a most capable
advisor. The 74th Infantry has lost a Colonel who by virtue of his eminent
capacity and qualities of leadership has raised that regiment to an excep-
tional standard of efhciency, and the National Guard as a whole has lost one
of the most capable men ever in its service.
II. Nathaniel Blunt Thurston enlisted as a private in Company E, 22nd
Regiment, Infantrj-, N. G., N. Y., August 6, 1877 ; was promoted' Corporal.
April 3, 1878; 1st Sergeant, February 20, 1879; was commissioned second lieu-
tenant. February 11, 1880; first lieutenant, April 6, 1880; Captain, December
20, 1886, major, July 28, 1896; lieutenant colonel. May 14, 1898; inspector of
small arms practice and ordnance ofticer on the staff of the major general
commanding the division, with the grade of lieutenant colonel, December 31,
1898; colonel by brevet, September 18, 1902.
Under his brevet commission as Colonel, he was at dififerent times in com-
mand of the 22nd Engineers, the ist Field .\rtillery and the 13th Coast Defense
Command, in each instance with credit to himself and marked benefit to the
command. Under his conduct, the National Guard of this state attained and
held a position of the first importance in the rifle practice of the countrj-, and
repeatedly won the leading trophies for excellence in military marksmaiiship.
Colonel Thurston was in the United States service, as Lieutenant Colonel
of the 22nd Regiment of Infantry, N. Y. Volunteers, from May 24, 1898, to
November 23, 1898, and as Colonel, 74th N. Y. Infantn-. from June 30, 1916,
to the time of his death.
III. The prescribed badge of militar\- mourning will be worn for thirty
days by officers of the Division Staff and of the Ordnance Department.
By Command of Major General O'Ryan :
CHAUNCEY P. WILLIAMS,
Colonel. Adjulant General.
Lieutenant Colonel. Adjutant General.
Buzzer Station Operating Under Difficulties
McAiXEN Camp Telephone Line ^''^Avn!^!^
A Wire Section
THE SIGNAL CORPS
By Lt. Gordon Ireland
The President's call of June i8th found the New York Signal Corps,
under the State Military Law, Section 34, organized as a Battalion, com-
manded by a Major who was also Chief Signal Ofticer of the Division, and
comprising battalion headquarters, one radio company, one wire company
and a telegraph and telephone detachment.
The Battalion assembled in its quarters as promptly as the previously
arranged squad telephone and telegraph notification plan could reach the
men. At 10.00 p.m. on June 19th, less than three hours after the mobiliza-
tion order had been received by telegraph from Peekskill, 92.8 per cent, of
the existing Battalion was in uniform and present at roll calls. Armory
guards were established, entrance and departure allowed on duly counter-
signed pass only ; and the companies settled down to the details of
preparation for entraining, orders for which were expected every moment.
On June 21st, the entire Telegraph and Telephone Detachment was
ordered, and proceeded under command of ist Lt. Frederick M. Steeves,
from Battalion Headquarters to Camp Whitman, at Beekman, Dutchess
County, to establish a complete communication system for the organiza-
tions which were then supposed to be going to occupy that Camp. This
unit was not mustered into Federal Service, and did not leave the State.
The Detachment remained at Camp Whitman, working hard and faithfully
on telephone installation for the whole Camp, and maintaining and operat-
ing it when completed, during the whole period of use of the Camp, until
August 3, 1916.
July 3rd the Battalion, after a medical examination in which not a single
man presented was rejected, was mustered into the active Federal service,
by Capt. J. L. Gilbreth, Inf., U.S.A.
The Fourth brought leaving orders, with details of railroad accommo-
dation ; and on July 5th the Battalion entrained at the Communipaw yards
of the Jersey Central Railroad, and moved out at i.oo p.m., amid somewhat
suspiciously throaty farewells from men and women relatives. The gov-
ernment contract speed of not to exceed 25 miles per hour, observed
throughout the trip, gave ample opportunity, for those who had cheerfully
oflFered greater service than they were afterward called upon to render,
to learn what the rest of the country really thought of them. As far as
the Blue Ridge Mountains, people came to their store or farm house doors
and waved hats or aprons, or sometimes flags, and occasionally cheered a
little as the yellow burdened train passed. From West Virginia onward,
through Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas and into Texas, the encouragement of
supporting loyalty seemed to diminish as curiosity strengthened:
it was not "We are glad you are going forward for us," but "What
do New York soldiers look like? How do they talk?" Throughout the
five days" journey the wire company maintained inter-coach communica-
tion by lines strung along the outside of the cars, which proved of over-
whelming interest at many stops, and gave the telegraph operators excel-
lent opportunity for practice under more or less distracting surroundings.
There were daily schools, lessons in elementary Spanish ; and brisk exercise
at one or two stops each day.
The Battalion train ran through Harlingen Junction, Texas, at night:
and the first sight of the spasmodically irrigated \'alley that was to be their
half-year's home came to most of the men in a glimpse of good-looking
citrus trees and a palm avenue, as the train approached the West McAllen
siding. Arriving at 6.oo a.m., the Battalion had made camp, had break-
fast, pitched conical tents, and unloaded, transported and put away all its
property by ci.20 a.m. At T.40 p.m. appeared and burst a heavy rainstorm
bj' way of hospitable introduction to the similar features of the next few
weeks. The ist Field Hospital, 3rd Ambulance Co., ist Cavalry, and
7th, I2th and -ist Infantry were already established at McAllen. The
Signal Battalion occupied a rectangle about 300 by 800 feet in the south-
east corner of the Camp, next to the McAllen Canal.
The actual performance of duty by the Battalion in and from Mc.'Mlen.
from July loth to December 13, 1916, falls into two distinct classes.
Organized and equipped as Field Companies, its units were charged with
the duty of keeping ready at any moment to be, fully equipped, at any
point of action of infantry, cavalry or artillery ; and thence, preserving
contact w'ith subordinate commanders, to maintain uninterruptedly under
combat conditions such communication, without regard to change of head-
quarters, as would keep the commander fully and continuously informed
as to the progress of the action and the position of his troops, hospitals,
trains and supply departments. On the other hand, in semi-permanent
camps, such as the three of the 6th Division became, even without guar-
antee of continuance, it is the duty of the .Signal troops to erect and main-
tain an efficient, durable, and ample communication system among all
commands. This ordinarily means substantial telephone lines, strung
overhead, from a central switch board to all organization headquarters. In
the absence of the I'elegraph and Telephone Detachment, created, trained
and equipped for this function (and in fact performing it at Beekman).
the field companies, with the readiness in undertaking and ingenuity and
persistence in executing which has come to be characteristic of the Corps,
essayed, constructed and put into successful operation not merely a Camp,
but a Border sector, telephone system, such as no Field Signal Battalion
had theretofore undertaken.
On August 3rd a platoon of the radio company, under ist Lt. Herbert
L Watson accompanied Maior-Cicn. John F. O'Ryan and Squadron A on
the practice march of 80 miles around the Mission — Monte Christo — La
Gloria circuit. They returned to camp on August 8th, in satisfactory
condition, with an excellent march record, and having been able to be of
practical assistance horn La (jioria. in imtling the Commanders, through
the McAllen station, in touch with their much needed forage and supply
Enough riding and draft horses having been received to mount two
wire sections, Co. B undertook field practice involving two imaginary Bri-
gades, in advance, attack, one night bivouac camp and retreat. Officers
representing Brigade Headquarters were found, connected with Field
Division Headquarters, ammunition and supply trains and sanitary units
kept in touch through the night and followed as they advanced or re-
treated. Notwithstanding the actual presence of other troops, much was
gained in self-reliance and the exercise of individual resource by the per-
On August I7th two radio sections went to Alonte Christo, and there
established communication with Division Headquarters for the Range at
La CTloria, during the artillery practice firing, which was maintained until
November, with the addition of a telephone system on the range itself
installed by a detail from Co. A on .September 27th.
On September 20th-2ist a detachment (the McAllen Brigade rein-
forced) of the Blue Division marched south in two columns on parallel
roads one mile apart, met and drove off Red cavalry, in lively brushes on
the outskirts and in the, streets of Hidalgo, camped for the night in the
town, and in the morning withdrew before a threatened flank attack, under
rear guard harassment by Red cavalry. The wire Signal Company was
required to establish and keep up communication between the Right and
Left Columns; which it did continuously, to such eflfect that Commanders
in the critique in the Hidalgo County Court House Wednesday evening
declared that there were more reports made to them of stations established
and ready for business close at hand than they could possibly use.
On September 15th Company B with full equipment and combat train
left Camp at 6.20 a.m., proceeded through McAllen and as far east as
McColl. turned north across the railroad and marched about 5 miles to the
Monte Christo-Edinburg highway, west on that road with an hour's halt
by the roadside for mess, to Lomita Boulevard about nine miles north of
Mission, and along the railroad to "Sterling's" Ranch, where it pitched
camp, at 4.20 p.m. A wind had overthrown the main water supply tank
so that all the animals were watered at the windmill trough a mile and a
half through the chaparral to the northwest.
The permanent communication work of the Battalion arose slowly at
first, but more rapidly in September and October. On July nth, the day
after reaching McAllen, Co. A erected a wireless mast and established
within the Battalion camp a radio station, which remained in continuous
and successful operation from that time until the Battalion left. This
station exchanged messages at first with the station operated by Regular
Signal Corps at Hidalgo ; and received the press messages sent out every
evening from the powerful stations at Miami and Key West, Fla. As the
regular Signal troops were withdrawn more and more from the New York
sector and cojicentrated at company reorganization camps, pursuant to the
War Department's policy, the Battalion radio station took over the relay
work between Fort Sam Houston, Fort Ringgold and Brownsville. Near
the end of September, the regular station at Hidalgo was closed, and the
McAUen station became the official link in the course. The wind storms
of August 5th and iSth, of whose coming warning was received through
the radio station, retaliated by blowing down the pole ; but it was immedi-
ately put up again, and there was no period longer than twelve hours when
this line of communication was out. On the latter occasion all wires,
including the Western Union lines, out of the District were down for four
days, and until August 25th, in addition to the official work, all press
despatches were sent out by this station, working well, to Brownsville.
Time signals were received direct from Arlington, Virginia, at 11.00 a.m.
and 9.00 p.m., and World's Series, election and football returns received
and distributed. Constant operation of a field wireless set for 155 days
over 200 miles has, as the District Signal Officer remarked, probably
not been accomplished by any other National Guard organization.
For the first eleven weeks, until about September 27th, the power
for this station when sending was furnished from the regular portable
generator, turned by four men, with which the field radio section is
equipped. There was then received and set up a new J4 k.w. generator
with a 2 H.P. motor and a 191 5 pack set, which in spite of belt
troubles and mechanical difficulties requiring continual tinkering and
adjustment was kept in commission thereafter ; so that for the last
twelve weeks gasoline supplanted hand power. Detachments from Co. A
relieved the regular operators for ;. short time at the Hidalgo station.
Radio stations were established at Mission and Pharr on July 22nd, and
supplemented other inter-camp communication lines until they were with-
drawn on August 8th.
Very shortly after the Battalion arrived at Mc Allen it became evident
at Headquarters that the existing commercial telephone and telegraph
lines were entirely inadequate to handle the Division's business. Accord-
ingly, the Signal troops were called on for relief; and at once, afoot, with
borrowed draught horses for the wire carts, laid military field lines, on
July i8th to Hidalgo, connecting the Camp with the Border telegraph
system, and on July 20th to Mission and Pharr, connecting those camps
with Division Headquarters. All three of these wires were subsequently
elevated, by working details from the Signal Battalion: and kept under
patrol by Signal Corps linemen until December 9th.
The permanent system was the natural outgrowth of a demand, as the
Camps became seemingly fixed, for stronger and less troublesome con-
struction and additional facilities. On August 5th a squad of ten men,
mostly ex-linemen or with other commercial experience, under Sgt. Don-
ald McLean, assisted by Cpl. Hallam B. Peters, both of Co. A, was assigned
to the construction of a weather-defying, overhead telephone system for
the McAllen and Pharr camps. These men worked steadily, as fast as
supplies could be obtained, first from home quarters, later moving to and
^^M^ L wms.
camping at Pharr, until October i8th, digging holes, erecting poles of 2x4
timber, putting on wooden cross arms and brackets, and stringing twisted
pair wire, between Division Headquarters and the quarters of every
organization Commander at McAllen, including the 1st Cavalry and 22nd
Engineers; Brigade Headquarters and every organization at Pharr; trunk
lines to the commercial telephone switchboards at both places (over which
conversations were subsequently held between McAllen and New York
City) ; an independent double line between McAllen and Pharr: and at each
.^^^ place built and painted a small central exchange with sleeping accommo-
C^ J^^ dations, in which a Signal operator was thereafter on duty day and night.
"'"' On October .'ith and 5th, for the purpose of easing up the strain caused
by the presence of the troops at the Border on the single wire strung bv the
Regulars along the Military Road from Brownsville to El Paso the con-
struction of a metallic telephone line seemed imperative, and was under-
taken by the Battalion by direction of Major F. E. Hopkins, 8th Field
Artillery, U.S.A. Signal O'ficer for the District from Brownsville to Sam
Fordyce, and ist Lt. Ira D. Hough, Co. B, 2nd Texas Inf. (Western Union
District Chief from Dallas), assistant. Business became especially heavy
when, on October 14th (G. O. No. 37), the infantry regiments of the
Division began actual patrol duty at detached two company posts along the
Rio Grande from Madero to San Juan Hacienda. The line was extended
on November ist (G. O. No. 46) to one mile east of Penitas on the west,
and to La Donna Canal on the east. Problems of control, food, medical
•service and patrol reports necessitated immediate and constant connection
with Headquarters. Again the Signal Corps was called upon; and
responded with a proposition to string two additional wires, making a
three wire line, for the whole 52 mile front of the New York sector, from
Donna Pump to Los Ebanos. Construction began, east and west from
Hidalgo, and was pushed as fast as the necessary material was received
from the District Signal Office, at Brownsville.
As the Battalion's men on detached service were drawn in for the
journey home, small parties of Regular signalmen took over the working
of the stations the New York men had been holding: radio at McAllen,
telephone and telegraph at McAllen and Mission, and telephone at Pharr.
With the standard type of construction used, and patrolling to meet
weather conditions continued by the regulars as established by this Bat-
talion, there is no reason why these lines should not continue in service-
able condition for many years. They form a visible, permanent and •
important result of the 6th Division's stay in Texas; and the satisfaction of
aiding by so effective and lasting a contribution at this point to that
national defense for which the Guard stands, may well explain to no small
extent the fact that discontent, grumbling and infractions of discipline
reached their minimum in the Division among the men of the Signal
Master Signal Electrician Willett B. Baker, Co. A, died in the Camp
Hospital at McAllen on October 18th. He was the ranking non-com-
missioned officer of the New York National Guard, and after 36 years of
Militia service in New York and Pennsylvania had on continuous duty
with Co. A from September, 1899, to the time of his death endeared himself
by his loyalty and unselfish devotion, his rare capabilities as drill master,
technical operator and horseman, to every man who had been associated
in any manner with that Company for the last seventeen years. That he
should have closed his eyes in service with the colors, as his lifetime of
devotion testifies he must have wished, is but slight consolation to his
man friends and pupils in their loss.
Not a man of the Battalion was up on charges before a General Court
Martial during the entire period of service; and there were but 15 cases
before the Summary Court within the Battalion. Not one of the Otficers
of the Battalion was on leave or absent for a day from June 19th to Decem-
ber 23rd. Maj. W'illiam L. Hallahan, Capts. Arthur L. Howe and Robert
W. Maloney, and ist Lts. Herbert I.. Watson and Gordon Ireland scrxed
on General Courts Martial at Division Headquarters.
On December 8th instructions from the War Department were for-
warded by telegraph from Headquarters, Southern Department, for the
Battalion, with four other units, to return to home stations for muster out.
Formal transmission of this order ( S. O. No. 276, Dec. 9) was received
from Division Headquarters on December nth. plans provided in antici-
pation for breaking camp and entraining were energetically carried out,
and the Battalion with 68 horses departed from McAUen at 9.45 p.m. on
December 13th, first of such five units to get away, and establishing a
Division record, it is thought, for shortness of time between receipt of
orders and actual pulling out. The homeward route was through Arkan-
sas (with snow at Suttgart), Tennessee and Illinois, where seven cold
hours were spent in railroad yard shifting at Chicago, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
and the Erie through the Southern Tier into Jersey City at 9.00 a.m. on
December 20th. The Companies marched with escorts of ex-members and
bands to their respective Armories, and, e.xcept for necessary guards, were
allowed to go home that afternoon. The property was brought in, checked
and put away, paper work completed, and the command mustered out by
Regular Army Captains on December 23, 1916.
This recital of the varied activities of the Battalion will, in so far as it
proves successful, serve to bring a tingle of just pride into the veins of
every man fortunate enough to have borne a personal part in those activi-
ties; and may enable fellow Guardsmen of the Division, and others, to
understand more clearly the nature of the duties and manner of their
oerformance in this little advertised branch of the service.
Copyright 1916, Undecwood & Underwood
C?, I Back on New York Pavements Again — 7th Infantry Arriving at 23RD Street.
Col. Fiske in Foreground
7 ■• S^vT^^i' ■'^Wr:
Laying Out Trenches With Tape
Constructing Ponton Bridge
THE 22nd CORPS OF ENGINEERS
By Lt. C. E. Bregenzer
At the time of President Wilson's call for Mexican border service, a
provisional company of the 22d Engineers was engaged in topographical
and water supply work at Camp Whitman, N. Y., preparing camp for sup-
posed innocuous summer maneuvers. The remainder of the regiment
joined them June 21, 1916, two days after the call, bringing with them the
advance ponton and combat trains. The work at the new mobilization
camp, already under good headway, was vigorously prosecuted, not only
along the lines of water supply, but also road construction and other engi-
Prepared and hardened by this strenuous work, the first battalion,
Major F. Whitley commanding, was mustered into United States service
July 4th, and entrained for the Mexican border July 12th. The second
battalion. Major W. Conrow commanding, was mustered in July 6th and
departed July 14th. They arrived at McAllen, Texas, on July i8th and
21 st respectively.
The 22d Engineers have an enviable record as rainmakers, and true to
tradition, their advent at McAllen was coincident with a torrential down-
pour of rain, fittingly introducing the rainy season. The camp site of the
engineers was located in a depression or resaca, and it soon required all
their engineering ingenuity to prevent flooding, as the site formed a nat-
ural water basin.
Their first duties perforce were to dig canals, laterals and other ditches,
but these only availed temporarily, as the continued rains and the intrud-
ing back waters of the Rio Grande soon drove them from the site. Their
engineering instinct chose a location, second to none, just a few hundred
yards west of the site occupied by the 12th Infantry. Here they ex-
changed picks and shovels for grubbing mattocks and machetes, and
inspired by the location and its sandy soil, soon cleared the ground of
prickly cactus and wiry mesquitc.
The rainy season and subsequent floods not only harassed the engi-
neers, but laid an especially heavy hand on the 12th Infantry, at the west-
ern end of whose company streets a large lake formed, lending a Venetian
aspect, and driving the occupants from their tents, and rendering the adobe
streets all but impassable. Col. Johnson and Lt. Kluge struggled with the
difficult problem and finally decided to dig a canal, having obtained per-
mission to break the dike of one of the neighboring irrigation ditches.
They sent to the engineers for surveying instruments and several officers
and men were detailed. A profile survey by the engineers verified the
judgment of the officers of the 12th Infantry, and a drainage ditch was
staked from the lake to the irrigation ditch, being a measured distance of
1,475 ^cct. The canal averaged from 2.5 to 14 feet in depth and allowed of
a 0.3 per cent, ruii-ol't'. Vhv ditch was dug by soldiers from the 12th
Infantrv and J'ourtli Anilnilance Company, and about 600 feet by a con-
t racier, who used Fresno scrapers, ])lows and mules. Part of the dike was
blown up with explosives bj' the engineers.
This drainage canal bisected the camps of the 12th lnfantr_\ and
h'ourth .\nibulance Company, so bridges were retjuired to establish inter-
communication. Lt. T-. Koop, of the Engineers, was assigned as bridge
engineer, and he designed and placed four beam bridges of from u to 16
ft span, and one trestle bridge of three 12 ft. s])ans, at \arious hications
on this canal. He was assisted by Lts. Palmer. Mcllen and the writer in
this work. Part of this work was done 1)\' ni,L;lit, and some of the be.ani
bridges took less than two and ojie-half hours in construction.
Lt. Koop continued as bridge engineer and examined all bridges in the
territory occupied by the New York Division, repairing more than thirt\-
and constructing ele\en new bridges. The work extended as far as Oblate
on the .Mission-Monte Christo road, and as far as Hidalgo on the McAllen-
Hidalgo ro.nd. In the two later instances the work was done by Compan\-
A. Prior to the first Hidalgo maneuvers Company C was sent o\ er the
.Middle McAllcn road to repair culverts and bridges. The repaired five and
built one new bridge, covered four culverts and placed a section of cordu-
In this w(irl^ the ninunted section of the company did good service as
they were able to advance with the bridge train, leaving bridge timbers at
■^ite. then returning and handling lighter repairs. Night overtook them at
the site of the new bridge, and they bivouacked at the location, building
the new bridge before mess call sounded the following morning.
Master Engineer Sergeant Richardson gathered statistics on all types
uf railroad and highway bridges, tabulating type of structure, materials
.and Iciad-carrying capacity. Com])any F. l.t. Donoxan in charge, also
built bridges in outlying districts.
Hurins.; the P.rigade maneuvers at Hidalgo, a company of engineers
'ormed part of the advance. During the first. Company A, Capt. Ross
conmianding. were detailed and they carried out the j^ractical part of the
theoretical objective by constructing a fascine raft, hurriedly built from
willows in chokers improvised from poles. The raft sustained a weight of
ten men. During the second maneuvers, held at the same place, Capt.
Daly, commanding E Company, was also given the problem of constructing
a raft. He used empty oil barrels, which were found in the vicinity of the
pumping station at flidalgo, which proved successful.
Even as at Camp \\ hitman, the problem of water supply was one of the
most important, for the arrival of troops and stock soon taxed the pumping
station at McAllen to the limit. This, primarily designed to meet the
needs of a population of 2,000, eventually served 10,000. When it had been
decided to increase the number of supply lines and install showers, I..t. J-
E. Baker, of the engineers, was assigned to the quartermaster at McAllcn,
to design and supervise this work, which involved the design and construc-
tion of 200 sliovvcrbaths and latrines, and laying approximately 6o,oou feet
of pipe, ranging from 6 to .;-4 in. Most of the trench excavating was done
by Mexican labor, but details from the engineers laid the pipe, llie work
consisted of laying a 6-in. pipe from the pumping station parallel to the
railroad to Division headquarters, then south to the regimental street of
the 7th Infantry, then west along the first company street to its end,
where the 6-in. line branched off at an angle of 50 degrees in the direction
of the engineers' camp. At a jioint 400 ft. this side of the latter camp, a
4-in. line was also run in the rear of the 7th. 12th and 71st Infantry, then
reduced to a .^-in. line, supplying the First and Second Field Artillery and
Squadron A. These mains were tapped for showers and supply and there
was no dearth of water after the drilling of a third well at the pumping
station. The work was arduous for it had to be done during the hot Aug-
ust weather. Sgt. Smith and Pvt. Kellogg, of the .engineers, did most of
the work connected with cutting and threading pipe. The field work was
done under supervision of Lt. Donovan and the writer.
I-a Gloria, located about 22 miles northwest of McAllen, in the "hin-
terland," was as well known to the various units as Sterling's Ranch. To
this epitome of desolation, in its disconsolate setting of chaparral, mes-
quite, sage and ubiquitous cactus. Company C was sent to augment the
water supply, when it had been decided to use this location as an infantry
and artillery range. It required a two-day hike to reach this place, a one-
night halt being made at Oblate. La Gloria is not a hamlet or settlement,
but simply a deranged windmill, the erstwhile rendezvous of Mexican
bandits, the marks of whose hurried exit can still be seen in the windmill
structure. When camp was made, and the guard arranged, the windmill
was repaired and careful measurement revealed that under average wind
conditions it would develop about one and one-half gallons of water per
minute. A portable 4 h.p. gasoline engine and a pump jack, both of
remote pattern, had been sent to be installed as a power auxiliary. The
engine particularly was in a provocative stage, as it lacked several essen-
tials. A survey was made for a storage tank, pipe fittings, pump rods,
belting, lumber, engine parts and other supplies, and the writer started for
.Sterling's Ranch to order them. In the meanwhile the engine was taken
apart and cleaned. Several stagnant waterholes in the vicinity, proving
prolific sources as mosquito breeders, were emptied and cleaned, and a
6 X 6-in. timber head was placed in the windmill structure for mounting
the pump jack. As at other times it developed the 22d Engineers had all
trades represented, for four men were found in the company who knew the
moods of gasoline engines and finally coaxed it into action. After twenty-
two working hours the tank was installed, the engine belted up, fittings
made, and the result was ten gallons per minute. Besides the accom-
plished task La Gloria will long live in the memories of Company C, for
the singing of the quartette, the Quixotic speech of "Dizzy" O'Rourke
from the top of the windmill, and the outburst of post No. 4 with "Oh
Sergeant, Sergeant, the 'willies' are coming" !
i iic cumpany left for McAllen at 5.30 p.m., arriving there at 1.55 a.m.,
having taken only the customary rests and one hour at Mission. This is
one of the best hike records made, although it was done under the patron-
age of a glorious moon.
Water supply work was also required at Laguna Seca, where the West
Indian hurricanes had severely damaged the seven extant windmills.
Capt. Woodward and a detail from Company B was hurried there in a
motor truck. When they arrived they found several essentials lacking, but
water as well, so they rigged up a rope drive using the jacked-up rear
wheels of the motor truck as a prime mover, which proved successful.
About September ist, the two battalions were reorganized into a regi-
ment of engineers in accordance with the new table of organization. This
resulted in the apportionment of Lt.-Col. \V. Conrow, commanding. Major
H. Garrison, ist battalion, and Major F. Humphreys, 2d battalion, Capt
Dieges and Lane as battalion adjutants, and Capt. Bates as regimental
adjutant, vice Capt. Barrett, appointed to command of Company B. Capt.
Robinson became topographical officer and Capt. Snyder and Lt. Palmer
were placed in command of Companies D and C respectively. Chaplain
Fell also joined the regiment. Capt. Dunn was made regimental supply
officer, and nine master engineer sergeants were appointed and warranted.
Immediately after the reorganization Capt. Snyder, commanding D Com-
pany, was sent to Los Ebanos, and Capt. Johnson, F Company, to Sam
Fordyce. Major Humphreys also took station at Los Ebanos. These two
companies were given the task of taking care of the heavy ponton train,
which had been damaged by the weather. They also improved the water
supply. These troops remained at the above stations until recalled to
McAllen, when the first battalion was ordered home.
Most of the road work was done under contract, and the engineers only
gave attention to such bad spots as were in need of immediate repair. All
the companies of the regiment did a good share of this work, of which
there was much. It is hardly necessary here to digress on the condition of
the roads during the rainy season. Capt. Daly and Bates, of the engineers,
were in charge of the contract road work for some time, and during the
former's administration one of the main regimental thoroughfares was
treated to a gravel surface, which pro\'ed a great improvement.
At the time the second battalion left McAllen, a map covering 234
square miles in extent had been made. This covered all topographical
features and such other information as was necessary for tactical pur-
poses. Most of this work was done with the military plane table, and
covered territory as far east as Donna and as far west as Los Ebanos.
The data gathered forms a valuable collection of information. The work
was in charge of Capt. Robinson.
The infantry rifle range at La Gloria, designed by Major Waterbury
and Capt. Robinson, was constructed by Company C, who seemed to
have an affinity for the place. The range was 3,600 ft. long, and the work
consisted of digging a conduit trench 3,600 ft. long, 3 x 10 x 7 ft, operating
pits at the 300, 500, 700 and 1,200 yd. points, a set of target butts, and clear-
ing a space 225 x 900 ft. of stubborn cactus, mesquite and other allied desert
growth, also in the construction of mechanism for operating surprise fig-
ures at various points. It took a week of good hard work, and a detail of
60 men from B Company helped one day in clearing. Lt. Palmer, com-
manding C Company, and a detail of thirty-four men, also took charge of
the operation of the range, later succeeded by Lt. Barbour and a detail of
men from Company E.
Under direction of Lt.-Col. Conrow and the immediate supervisioin of
■Capt. Robinson, a complete system of modern trenches was traced and
constructed in a field adjoining the engineer camp. The dimensions were
■of a size to accommodate one company. The first-line trenches were of the
■en-quad traverse type, and were connected by communicating trenches
to dressing stations, bomb-proofs, latrines, overhead shelters, and other
features dictated by most modern practice. Work in sapping and mining
was also carried on, and troops were trained in defensive work in con-
nection with mine craters. The execution of this work was the daily engi-
neer drill of such engineer troops as were not otherwise detailed. In front
of the trenches a complete system of barbed wire entanglements was con-
structed, together with other types of obstacles. A trip wire system was
also installed to prevent night surprises and attacks. On approaching the
entanglements the enemy could not avoid contact with the wire, which
automatically released a device, which in turn exploded flares provided
with reflectors, outlining all in strong silhouette, and bringing them under
■direct field of fire of the trenches. Mortars were also constructed having
a sector of from 40 to 60 degrees, from which illuminating bombs were
fired, lighting up the entire field. Several night maneuvers proved the
success of this work.
The entire system of defense was used as a school of instruction for
members of the various infantry units, who attended lectures by engineer
•officers and were taught how to trace and dig trenches efficiently.
Shortly after the engineers arrived on the border Lt. Thos. A. Crim-
mins, of A Company, was detailed to the quartermaster's department to
supervise the erection of structures. He was assisted in the work by
Master Engineer Sergeant Kiniernan, Sergeant Boster, F Company, and
Privates Colgate, Patterson and Vollmer, of A Company.
The work done under them consisted of 149 mess shacks, six regi-
mental storehouses, quartermaster's depot, base hospital, field bakery,
■pack train shed, and motor truck shed, besides tent flooring benches and
tables. It is estimated that approximately 1,250,000 feet of lumber were
used in these various operations. This work without question contributed
more to the comfort of the men than any other performed, for no one will
gainsay that the mess shacks and tent floors did a great deal to make life
Everyone who was on the Border is familiar with the necessary but
.malodorous existence of incinerators, and a trip of inspection among them
^ r >=-:-
was highly interesting, because they revealed so many and varied ambi-
tions along lines of masonry construction. Several experimental ones
Iniilt by the engineers almost rivaled the famous (luiffery and pungent
"Incinerator" of Rio Grande Rattler fame.
Two were built by the engineers along the line of boiler furnace con-
struction, supplied with grates, ashpits and superimposed grates for des-
troying solid mess offal. By means of baffles, the space under the pan
was reduced to six inches and this saved much wood. Tests made with
these showed that the offal of one mess could be destroyed in two hours,
shortening the term of the blacklisted detail in charge. The C Company
incinerator showed the love of the craftsman, for Private Kelly, who is a
bricklayer by trade, did work which is rated at the laying of eight-brick per
day, and the job was certainly a fine one.
Seeking after comfort is one of the unwritten laws of the soldier and in
pursuit of it sluiceways and watergatos on a neighboring ranch suf-
fered, according to claims by the owner. At all events a detail from
Company C was ordered to rebuild them. Whoever supervised the work
was no mean adept at demolition work, for he knew how to get at the inner
workings. After a week's hard work these were replaced with new
material. To placate the outraged feelings of the owner, standards
equipped with drums, were added which would save him from a wetting.
The sluiceways were 4 x 6 x i8 ft. with 4x6 gates.
This describes briefly the various engineering activities of the 22d Engi-
neers on the Border, which though brief in description involved many
weary hours of work. Details were always in demand and little time was
devoted to siesta and maiiana, the prevailing Mexican deities.
In addition to their engineering duties, the engineer troops enjoyed
all the various phases of infantry drill. In addition they had ponton
bridge trestle drills on Lake Conception, and several exciting races. Be-
sides this a mounted detail from each company, under the command of
Capt. Bates, were given a vigorous course in cavalry drill, and those who
were present afterwards denied seeing anything so very wonderful in Cos-
sack riding. That the engineers were proficient in infantry drill is easily
shown bv the splendid showing made by the Second Battalion at the third
review, on which occasion they not only received the encomiums of ]Major
General OR van, but also of the regular army officer. The battalion was
under command of Major Frederick Humphreys.
Much improved in health, discipline and morale the First Battalion left
for New York October 12th. The Second Battalion, in the same condition,
only with a hardier bronze, arrived in New York on Christmas Eve and
paraded up Fifth .\vciuie under the leadership of Colonel Cornelius \'an-
V.-^^ '■<■.*■ -isi
Bivouac at Ojo de Agua
THE SQUADRON A, CAVALRY
By Major William R. Wright
On June 19, 191 7, information was received that the President of the
United States had called upon the National Guard to do something as yet
undetermined but involving mobilization. The Squadron at that time was
scattered over the face of the earth, in Switzerland, California, Yellowstone
Park and many other places frequented by privates of cavalry when
not on active duty, but all started back at once, and by the same evening
95 per cent, were on deck for assembly, all others coming in to report with
a promptness in proportion to their distance.
During the first week of our service the galleries of the armory were
filled with eager cavalrymen, the burden of whose conversation was "A
horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse." The 130 horses always on hand
would of course not go far towards mounting the 500 eager applicants that,
with the troops at war strength, would clamor for something better than
shanks mare. Fortunately arrangements had already been made to supply
the Squadron with horses for Camp Whitman and this contract was changed
to meet the new conditions. On Wednesday, the 20th, therefore, Troops
A and B mounted their own horses and rode off to Van Cortlandt to
establish camp, while a detail from the other troops departed for the West
130th Street docks to receive the first instalment of our new thorough-
In accounts of the doings of the various equine reception committees
details vary, but all unite in saying that German Sherman was right. A
vast open space with a concrete floor was carefully moistened to the
required degree of slipperiness, and filled with the requisite number of
horses from lighters, the horses were then properly excited by black snake
whips operated by well-trained hostlers, and the game was on. The rules
prescribed that troopers should not hit in the clinches and should break
clean when torn asunder by two or more steeds going in diflferent direc-
tions, but no restrictions were placed on the steeds themselves. A man
who did secure a good horse and got him out of the dock usually had him
taken away by the Division Q. M. Department at once and given to some
other organization ; unless the intelligent animal seconded his efforts to
dodge quickly around the corner and escape with his prize. Even when
our chargers were safely delivered, assigned to troops and tied on the picket
line troubles did not cease. Devilish ingenuity was shown by stable
sergeants who had acquired a particular trying lot. He who could day
after day report the same number of horses on the line and yet point with
pride to a steady improvement in their appearance and manners, was in
direct line for promotion. Sorry indeed was the fate of the recruit horse
guard who, while dreaming of the glories of war, found at the end of his
tour of duty that he had seven more horses than when he started, and that
^\ xM \
all of the seven were kicking seventeen different ways. Stern were the
refusals of experienced troopers when loose horses were brought up to be
tied to their line; although their captors (from another troop) might even
tearfully protest that they just saw them break away from that line and
had expected thanks for their kindness.
During this excitement the troops had all been moved to the camp at
Van Cortlandt Park, recruits had been enlisted to fill all the five troops to
within a few numbers of war strength, large boxes of uniforms, supplies
and arms were arriving daily, and drills, horse training and fatigue duty
were ahvays with us.
Our departure had been delayed by the necessity of securing horses
for all. On July 5th, however, everything was ready ; all sworn in, exam-
ined, and mustered ; well equipped with arms, uniforms, and other martial
trappings ; a horse, such as he was, for every man, mules for every wagon
and machine gun pack, and we received the permission of the Eastern
Department to fire when we were ready. On the morning of Thursday the
sixth, we broke camp, packed up, received the colors with ceremony, and
in column of twos rode under the fine trees of the park bound for our
entraining point at Yonkers — "Every man a millionaire and mounted on a
thoroughbred'' — as the daily press so beautifully and truly has described it.
Let us pass briefly over our outward bound trip. It was marked by
extreme deliberation and lack of haste. Twice freight trains could not
slow up enough and ran into us from the rear. As the rear car by regula-
tions is devoted to officers, these accidents could not have had serious
consequences and created no excitement. Through the heart of the con-
tinent we majestically proceeded while tortoises and snails whizzed by us
towards the front. At Parsons, Mo., when we had finally learned the art
of sleeping in day coaches, they were removed, and we had to start all over
again and get the hang of a tourist sleeper. At last we were in Texas,
we reached Houston, Harlingen, Donna, Pharr, McAllen ; — we were then
in the "M.Tgic A'alley," — on the Border at last.
For the first month or two our chief impression of Texas can be
expressed in three letters, — an M, a U, and a great big D. There was mud
in camp and mud when we drilled, mud on all hikes, and mud in which our
motor trucks sank with all on board. Our horses drank the same material
slightly diluted with water, and in so doing plastered themselves and their
riders from head to foot. Very soon after our arrival our camp was
ditched and supposedly drained ; dikes and ditches protected all tents and
we thought that we were ready for anything. One Sunday, however,
Texas favored us with the first of its many weather surprises. A shower,
seemingly no more severe than others, visited us and our beautiful camp
disappeared under the waves. Ditches ceased to exist, dikes were sub-
merged and dissolved. With frantic haste each troop turned out en masse
and put forth every effort to dam the waters into another Troop street be-
fore they could be dammed into theirs.
Our military instruction and training falls naturally into several classes.
I >»■ ^
First our hikes, because in many ways they were a holiday as they took us
out of the camp and varied the monotony. On August second, three weeks
after our arrival, we were pronounced ready for our first one, and accom-
panied by the Division Commander set out to look over the ground for the
Infantry hikes which later were required of all troops. The first of the
Division, we left our hoof marks in turn in Sterling's, La Gloria, McAUen's
Ranch, Young's Ranch, I,aguna Seca and Monte Christo. 'Tis true that
our own motor trucks and those sent to us by the Division Quartermaster
sank all over the country and had to be pulled out on our return trip. Still
we saw the mesquite country, and we successfully made one day's march
of over thirty miles. Getting away from the McAllen mud hole did both
men and horses good in spite of hard work and short rations.
While the Infantry marches previously referred to were being held.
Troop C was detailed to Monte Christo, ostensibly as Supply Depot gu^ard,
really to act as stevedores. This hard work was turned into a sporting
event and many records for unloading freight were shattered by our ama-
teur roustabouts. Later Troops D and A in turn held down this job, btit
C Troop had the longest service, including the experience of passing
through the hurricane in shelter tent camp, and "pointed with pride" to the
fact that one tent stayed up throughout the storm. B Troop saw detached
service at Mission with Troop D, 2nd U. S. Cavalry, while the Machine
Gun Troop had two private trips, to Penitas for target practice and to
Harlingen, at the Machine Gun School.
Drills were varied with field problems and, no matter what decision
was given by an umpire, these always furnished food for discussion and
mutual recrimination for days afterwards. We had also several larger
maneuvers in connection with other troops of the Brigade, the first of
which was made notable by our capture of Hidalgo without firing a shot;
owing to our adopting the safe though oft-neglected method of approach-
ing via the family entrance instead of the front door. On another occasion
we planned a little problem all our own, to attack theoretically a former
Mexican settlement, where some squatters had recently been evicted and
their houses and crops burned by the sherifs. Approaching the supposedly
deserted ruins, concealed in thick brush, we guarded every avenue of exit,
formed cordon of mounted .skirmishers and charged in with raised pistols,
to discover that our "bag" contained five Texas rangers, bristling with
weapons as usual, and somewhat puzzled at our offensive appearance.
A feature of our training throughout was the call to arms, usually just
when one was carefully squeezing four aces. At this psychological moment
a loud bugle call would shatter the calm of night. Musical critics would
announce that it was "To Horse,'' "To Arms," or anything equally foolish.
You were expected to dash madly to your tent, clothe and arm yourself
and possibly continue to the picket line, where you rudely awakened your
trusty steed and placed saddles and other things on unusual parts of his
anatomy, owing to the dark and to his habit of changing ends while you
picked things up. Then in some cases you would form skirmish line and
plunge through the cactus, invariably picknig oui the largest and thorni-
est plant on which to prostrate yourself when the line was halted.
A particularly pleasant and profitable trip was the field firing at La
Gloria. We had had practice before at the short range near Sharyland,
but this was different. Not only was it instructive, but it was good fun,
and we fired with vindictive energy at the sometimes almost invisible
silhouettes. When all records were in, and we learned that the Squadron
led the Division in battalion scores, and that all of our troops had finished
in the first twelve companies, we were satisfied indeed.
Reviews, possibly unpopular to other troops at McAllen, were no hard-
ship to us. As the line of march to the White House field ran by our camp,
and as our honorable position at such functions was at the tail of the
column, we could always breakfast, saddle and fall in leisurely, while in-
fantry and artillery plodded by, and finally the appearance of the First
Cavalry would warn us that our time was approaching. Nor when we
reached the held was the review lacking in novel features, at least after the
introduction of the "extended gallop." We received this innovation coldly
when first it was sprung on us, and the Squadron Field and Stafif beat the
rest of the organization by approximately half a mile. Thereafter we woke
up to the possibilities of such a maneuver, and on future occasions they
had to ride for their lives.
One of the pleasantest features of our service, the nearest approach to
what we had expected when mobilized, was river patrol. Within a week
of our arrival at McAllen a composite troop was ordered to Hidalgo for
this duty. How eagerly were places on this detail sought after. \\'hat
tales they brought back of the iazy brown river, of peaceful Mexico seen
close at hand, of willow thickets and steaming heat therein, of Mexican
guides and of the military road. Later the entire Squadron performed this
duty; the Machine Gun Troop at Jackson's Crossing, C and D at Madero,
A and B at Dougherty's Ranch. These were halcyon days. W'c clamored
for Cossack post assignment, or failing that to be at least on a visiting
]iatrol. Even in the camps of the supports the mess which did not supply
duck, quail, rabbit, hot bread and honey was at once deserted for neigh-
boring haciendas which did so. AH too soon were we ordered back.
Lieutenant Colonel John D. Hartman, 2d U. !>. Cavalry, joined us in
August as Inspector Instructor. Remaining only a short time, he proved
himself to be the finest type of regular cavalry officer, and left with us the
sincere hope that our trails would often cross again. He returned later
and with nimierous other members of the Inspection Board put us through
our paces in an unexpected and thorough field inspection. A little later
Captain KdlvTt C. Foy, 2d U. .S. Cavalry, was detailed, afterwards affec-
tionately and naturally, but to his own great mystification, known as
'"Eddie." He introduced us to the "Riley seat" which caused stiffness and
soreness to so many supposedly hardened cavalrymen. .\t first it seemed
to consist of placing our knees against our chests and maintaining our
equilibrium hv pra\-er alone. Later we grew more at ease.
One day the Major General appeared approaching from the direction of
McAllen. The Squadron was at drill. Number i gazed in horror, hoping
against hope that something would deflect him. Hope faded and died.
"Turn out the guard, Major General Commanding.'" One bashful rookie
burst from the guard tent, blushing at thus being thrust into the limelight.
He formed platoon front, counted fours and presented arms. The General
appeared mterested. He dismounted, inspected the guard in detail and
asked for the commanding officer. For some time after this the guard
tent was always crowded ; Generals, Colonels and privates who passed
were received with all the honors of war. The entire guard was there in
serried ranks. Arms flashed and bugles flourished. Evidently we were at
While all these martial duties had been going on our camp had been
gradually changing; in fact, improvements were being made up to the date
of our departure. The camp water system, which never produced more than
a gentle perspiration, was replaced by our own well, pump, tank and pipe
lines ; the gift of a member of Troop B, anonymous but ever blessed.
Watering troughs for the horses and shower baths for the men appeared.
Water flowed freely. No longer was it necessary to buy White Rock with
which to shave. Not to us applied the daily order which came down from
headquarters that "owing to the scarcity of water shower baths would be
permitted only between the hours of 2.00 and 2.05 a.m." Canvas covered
horse sheds, screened tent frames, mess shacks, officers' "bird houses"
appeared, and our own roomy infirmary and diet kitchen. When once
admitted there even caviar and pate-de-foie-gras was yours for the asking:
and methods of faking just the right temperature to prolong the stay were
cherished secrets. The Squadron A Club, "Texas Branch," was built,
which made us think of home over our Beevo because it was so different
Cboth architecturally and alcoholically). Later it was supplied with a
large blackboard for football scores and totally erroneous and misleading
More sturdy sports prevented our decadence. We entered the Field
and Frontier Day with enthusiasm. Our magnificent track and field team
of one consistent point-winner carried off the point prize from all the foot
soldiers of the Division. Our mounted athletes also scored the greatest
number of points in the mounted part of the program, and we were con-
tent. Two polo games were played with the Army Officers at Fort Brown.
Both lacked the vital element of victory, but both were close, fast con-
tests and also served to introduce us to the joys of Brownsville. In camp,
ba,seball (hard and soft), football, soccer, and general roughhouse filled
our few daylight hours of leisure, while at night the great American game
flourished, with bridge or chess for the high-brows. Several crap shooters
of All-American calibre were also discovered. Such were our humble and
A few days before Thanksgiving the Division Commander sent word'
to us that in appreciation of the services of the Squadron, a three days"
holiday could be granted to a reasonable number. The fortunate ones
scattered over Texas, — to San Antonio, Galveston, Corpus Christi, and
many other abodes of civilization. Such an event as this predicated other
happenings. They came on the Monday following our return, in the shape
of orders for home. Whether these orders resulted from petitions from the
above mentioned towns that we be removed at once, we cared not. We
•only rejoiced and wired to New York to reserve tables at our favorite
hostelry, to celebrate our relief from bondage.
Thursday, December 15th, was finally set for our departure. Camp
was struck, our furniture and personal property distributed to the less for-
tunate, the 32 horses per troop which we were to take home were picked
out and the other sent to San Antonio, the train all loaded,' and we were
ready. We cannot fail to make mention of the kind send-off given us by
the less fortunate organizations which we left at McAllen. The luncheon
at the 1 2th Infantry Camp, their subsequent parade at the train, the colifee
and chocolate served by the 69th at the train that evening, the turning
out of the entire 1st Cavalry mounted to bid us farewell, all made us feel
that the New York Division was something more than a name.
About midnight the wheels commenced to turn ; we were off at last.
The trip home was of course marked by the same speed as when outward
bound. Of course at one place we had to unload and repack all of our
wagons, because the cars in which they were placed were declared to be
too large to go through certain West \'irginia tunnels : but this was
merely a customary and usual incident to troop travel. Finally, the
first section pulled into Jersey City at i a.m. on Saturday, December
23rd, and at daylight we started to unload. The second section, with
the horses, arrived about 10, and by noon we were saddled up and
ready to start across the ferry. Horses and men were chilled through
l)y the biting cold wind, but we were on the last lap and the knowl-
edge of this brought a warm glow in spite of all. Soon we were all
formed in the West 23rd Street Ferry plaza, with wagons packed and
ready to be towed behind the motor trucks which had done such good
service throughout. Escorted by the Depot Squadron we marched through
to Fifth Avenue, swung into platoon column, and drew sabre. What we
had been dreaming of for months was actually taking place, but not until
this moment could we feel that it was really true. Through Christmas
streets, and between Christmas crowds which received us with kindly
applause, past friends whose greetings strained "attention" to the break-
ing point, past the reviewing stand at the University Club, filled with civic
and military dignitaries, we pressed on to the Armory, and finally filed
through its familiar door. A few minutes to put away equipment and
horses (and how it all ever was packed in there will always remain a
mystery), and we reformed dismounted to march to the 8th Regiment
Armory, adjoining ours, where ex-members and families, food and drink,
laughter and a few tears awaited us. We formed in mass, retreat was
sounded, and we were dismissed. The finish line was crossed.
Skhj-ful Work in a Tight Place
Arti!i.i-rv Rrtgadr Rfvif
THE FIRST FIELD ARTILLERY
By Lt William P. Welsh
Among the many experiences incidental to service on the border, in
our recent unpleasantness with Mexico, the period of encampment at Van
Cortlandt Park during the first ten days following the President's call will
hold its place in the minds of most artillery men with almost anything
that happened subsequently. I say artillery men, because other organiza-
tions were happily spared the trials which fell to the lot of the First and
Second Regiments of Field Artillery. Squadron A and the First Cavalry
were encamped somewhere up in the hills to the northeast, nobody knew
just where, but the four city batteries of the ist F. A., B, D, E, and F,
along with the entire 2nd F. A., were spread out invitingly on the most
accessible and attractive area in the Park, the polo field. The result was
that every day a host of admiring friends gathered to partake of the specta-
cle. They were most welcome, and it would be unfair to imply that their
attentions and interest were not much appreciated by officers and men
alike, but the efifect from the military standpoint was lamentable. The
reavy routine chore-work characteristic of field artillery was increased to
endless proportions. Everywhere the machinery was clogged. Watering
horses, feeding, grooming, all was done when the opportunity seemed
ripe and accomplished more by persuasion than by command. But even
these things were secondary matters. The chief occupation consisted in
sending after, extricating and bringing up to camp the horses purchased by
the government and unloaded on the pier at 130th Street and Hudson
River. It was this activity which more than anything else furnished the
tragedy and comedy of those days and stamped the proceedings as some-
thing better than a cross between a three-ring circus and a veritable loi-
Ranch. These horses were powerful and must have been more or less wild
when they left their native ranges "somewhere in the Northwest," and
their natural dispositions were not improved by the hard trip East. They
were unloaded in Jersey, ferried across the river in lighters and herded on
the huge pier in an excited and formidable mass formation — and this is
where the show started. The simple problem then consisted in getting
them from the pier to Van Cortlandt. To do this a detail from each bat-
tery was sent down to the pier, where each man in his turn was directed to
a certain horse with instructions to place a halter on it if possible and lead
it away. And it must be said that the ensuing melees demonstrated a high
order of courage and resolution on the part of the men. But the agility
and skill in all-round oflfensive-defensive tactics displayed by the horses
remains unparalleled in the experience of all who participated in the
mighty scenes. Three months later. General Frederick Funston reviewed
the entire New York division in a great Texas field three miles from the
Rio Grande : and it is said that his only comment was made when the
artillery rolled by pulled by these same horses. "They have done wonders
with the horses."
Any chronicle of field-artillery is apt to take on the appearance of a
series of anecdotes about horses. This is not because there is nothing else
of interest in it, but because they are the center of interest, the first and
last dominating problem. There was much going on all this time of a
very different character. Endless checking and re-checking of property,
muster-in rolls which had to be made out according to the complex Gov-
ernment system. Physical examination had to be made ; Federal oaths
had to be signed ; and, last but not least, a large percentage of recruits in
all organizations had to be instructed in elementary military principles,
for no one knew how soon we would be sent into action.
The horses arrived at camp in groups of half a dozen or so at all hours
in the day and night and each man had a story of struggle to tell, usually
corroborated by mute evidence in the way of torn clothing and occasion-
ally bruises and bumps ; only in one or two cases were there any serious
mishaps. Some of the horses, having contracted influenza, were separated
from the others and placed under the care of the veterinaries. Government
officials proceeded to inspect and approve those fit for service, and to con-
demn those unfit. Those which were approved had to be branded and
shod. This last was accomplished with the aid of great stocks built for
the occasion, which were the scene of many more heroic and it must be
said, brutal struggles.
But at last things were whipped into shape and orders came to move,
the Second Battalion under Major Austin being the first to go. They
entrained at Yonkers on the 28th of June and pulled out late that night. It
was five days later that orders came from Headquarters, B Battery and
the Hospital Corps to move out, which organizations were the only remain-
ing units of the First F. A. at Van Cortlandt; Batteries A and C having
been mobilized at Camp Whitman, did not join the regiment until all
units reached the border.
Headquarters, B Battery, the Hospital Corps and the band entrained
at Yonkers on July 3rd, and pulled out that night. A bit of interesting
inside history may be mentioned here. About six o'clock that evening
when every unit had been loaded, bag and baggage, orders came counter-
manding the order to entrain and directing that all units return at once to
Van Cortlandt Park, there to await an inspection of property which would
be held by a Federal Inspector, some time in the indefinite future. The
consternation caused by this order need hardly be mentioned, but fortu-
nately Tt.-Col. Smith, who was in command of the regiment in the absence
of Col. Rogers, knew where a strenuous kick would do some good and
proceeded forthwith to register the kick. What transpired is veiled by the
censor, but after a tense period of several hours, new orders came clearing
the tracks and the air simultaneously, and the train started on its eight-
A detailed account of experiences on the trip down would not \ary a
great deal from those of other organizations on the way to the border
under the same conditions. All had to take whatever accommodations
were provided by the unsympathetic railroads, and make the best of them.
These might have been a whole lot worse, but they should have been a
great deal better. The difficulties of feeding the two hundred men on our
train three times a day were not lessened by the primitive, improvised
kitchens it was necessary to rig up in the common freight cars allotted to
us for that purpose. The stoves had to be taken down, reinforced and put
up again at least once a day. Whether we had cofifee for supper or not
depended in large measure upon the temperament of the engineer ahead.
If he was inclined to put on the brakes sharply, stop unexpectedly, or start
again suddenly, the absolute minimum of liquid in all receptacles would be
emptied on what remained of the fire in the stove and the constantly
soaked floor. But it was valuable experience in developing the resource-
fulness and self-reliance mentioned in the drill regulations and that is the
spirit in which it was taken by the men.
The country we traversed during the greater part of the journey was
monotonous, iminteresting and remarkable for lack of variety, until we
reached the lower region of Texas, when the weird hanging moss began
to appear on the trees and all vegetation gradually changed. Houses and
signs of human activity became very infrequent, and the beloved cactus
made its first appearance. On the day before we reached our destination
we stopped at the little town of Kingsville and every one remembers its
refreshing tropical beauty, with its palms, Spanish mission architecture,
plaza and clustered electric lights. It is decidedly the prettiest place we
visited, all the more pleasing because of the desolate region surrounding.
In regard to the welfare of the horses it is only necessary to explain
that approximately once in every twenty-four hours they were unloaded,
watered, fed and groomed. This schedule extended over a period of eight
days proved to be every exhausting to the already sorely tried animals.
The great heat also contributed to their discomfort, so that when we
arrived at our destination they were all very tired, a large percentage sick
with distemper, and some were greatly emaciated and worn, — this in spite
of all that could be done by commanding officers, veterinarians and all con-
cerned to alleviate the harsh conditions.
The Second Battalion reached McAllcn on July 5th and proceeded at
once to make itself at home. The ground had to be cleared first of cactus,
mesquite, tarantulas, scorpions, lizards and various other fauna and flora
more or less frightful in appearance, but rarely the source of real danger.
The ground allotted to the First F. A. was fortunately slightly higher than
that of the rest of the camp : but the full advantages of this were not mani-
fest until later. By the time the second train, containing Headquarters, B
Battery, etc., arrived on July nth, the Second Battalion was well estab-
lished. L.t.-Col. Smith was greeted at the depot by Major Austin, who
gave great assistance in the work of hauling material from train to camp,
using the Second Battalion horses which had recuperated from the trip.
The days that followed were long and arduous, the business of making
camp occupying the attention of everyone. Weather conditions were a
chief source of exasperation. We were told by the natives in all sincerity
that prior to the arrival of the soldiers it had not rained a drop in eleven
months. If this was true, Mother Nature certainly exerted herself to make
up for lost time. The sky was heavy with great dark clouds most of the
time, the air hot and humid. Suddenly it would start raining and for a
few minutes it would seem like a small sized cloud-burst, when it would
as suddenly stop, the sun would break through, bake everything to a crisp
brown for a space and retire behind the clouds; then it would start raining
again. The soil was of a sandy nature which soaked in the water rapidly,
but the time came within a few weeks when it seemed to have soaked in
about all it could contain ; when the camps pitched on the lower ground
began first to be muddy, then sloppy and finally flooded. It was then that
the higher ground of the First proved to be a blessing. Except during
actual showers, our ground was always dry and strong underfoot. But
heavy rains and hot sun were not the only extremes to which we were
treated. Great hurricanes swept in from the Gulf on more than one
memorable occasion, threatening to scatter our tents and material over a
large portion of Texas. The actual damage done was comparatively small,
due to the great energy of every one in safeguarding property.
Field training began in earnest the second week after reaching Mc-
,\llen. Everything previous to this may be said to be part of the mobili-
zation. The mobilization was completed with the arrival of A and C
Batteries on July 17th and i8th. This united the First Battalion under
Major Seymour. Lt.-Col. Smith was now in command of the entire
regiment, the first time it had been brought together. He at once adopted
a programme of progressive training, starting with elementary draft exer-
cises for the horses. In the instruction of the men he laid especial
emphasis on the importance of guard duty and gave this particular branch
his keen personal attention. OfScers' School was conducted every day,
Major Seymour and Major Austin supervising the instruction alternate
This schedule was followed consistently and began at once to show
results, so that when Col. Rogers arrived on July 22nd the whole regiment
was "rolling wheels." hiking and holding mounted drills every day.
Col. Rogers was in Japan when the call came and immediately started on
the return journey to join his regiment. He had been troubled with ill
liealth for some time, and when he arrived in McAllen, he plainly showed
the efifects of his ailment. However, ill health did not deter him from
taking very active command and, after preliminary inspection of all bat-
teries, assured General McNair, in response to the General's query, that
the regiment was prepared to hold a mounted review at once. The next day
our first mounted review was held, and from that time forward the prog-
ress of the regiment proceeded with great rapidity. Hikes were taken in
all directions, the longest being to Sterling Ranch on September 14th,
pitching camp for the night and returning to McAlIen the next day. On
August 31st, the first brigade review was held in Jennings' Field. Mean-
while, the climate was not improving Col. Rogers' health, and he was
granted a thirty-day leave of absence. He left McAllen on the ist of Sep-
tember, Lt.-Col. Smith resuming command of the regiment.
Space limitations prohibit recounting all the incidents which would
make interesting reading, but one event should be included, chiefly
because it was the nearest thing to real action which we experienced.
Shortly after midnight, August 17th, the camp was startled by several
shots fired from the direction of the Mexican settlements in back of the
watering troughs, about a half mile away. This was followed rapidly by
several more coming from our sentries who at the same time sent out a
call to "Turn out the Guard." More shooting and more calls repeated
from sentry to sentry turned everyone out in a general alarm. To add to
the excitement, the bugle sounded the call "To arms." It is not too much
to say that everyone believed that we were actually attacked. Batteries
were hastily formed, marched to the parks, and the horses were harnessed
and hitched in record time with a remarkable lack of confusion. But
before the harnessing was complete the shooting was stopped and every-
one was wondering what had happened. After a wait of a few minutes
General McNair directed that the horses be unhitched and unharnessed.
The excitement was over. The next day it developed that a few members
of the 2nd F. A. had merely taken that way to celebrate the first pay day.
It is hardly necessary to add they were given something else to celebrate.
One feature which served to break the monotony of camp life was the
sporting Saturday nighter held nearly every week. The regiment is in-
debted to Captain Herbert Shipman, Chaplain, for the clean, sportsman-
like conduct of these events, which proved so popular. The regiment is
proud to have among its members several real champion amateur pugilists
who demonstrated their superiority on many occasions.
Chaplain Shipman held divine service regularly every Sunday morn-
ing, the attendance being consistently good and in no small way a tribute
to his talent and earnestness.
The month of September was devoted to an elaboration of the field
training of the earlier weeks. The efficiency of the men improved notice-
ably; their work became easier in consequence, and this in turn improved
their spirit. They gathered speed, so to speak ; they felt that they were
really soldiers. Towards the end of the month, preparations were made
for target practice at I.a Gloria, six miles above Sterling Ranch. Captain
Verbeck was directed to proceed with A Battery to La Gloria to lay out
the ranges, set up targets and prepare problems. Accordingly on Septem-
ber 15th, A battery left McAllen. The country around La Gloria was
quite wild and broken only by rough trails. This added to the difficulties
of the task, but the manner in which Captain Verbeck executed his com-
mission excited much favorable comment. On September 28th, the ranges
were reported ready for firing. And on October 2nd, B and C Batteries
hiked to Sterling; l^anch, which was to be their camp during target practice.-
Lt.-Col. Smith was granted a leave of absence of thirty days, beginning
on the 1st of October. Col. Rogers had been granted an extension of his
iea\e. so the command of the regiment during target practice devolved
upon Major Seymour. This placed Captain X'erbeck battalion commander
of the First Battalion, which position he retained during their firing.
On October 3rd B and C batteries, under Captain McClure and Captain:
Blakcslie respectively, reported to Captain Verbeck at La Gloria for the
first problem. General McNair, brigade commander, supervising the fire,
directed that Captain Verbeck fire one problem for instruction purposes.
This served to show the officers the general character of all ensuing prob-
lems. The flat character of the terrain made it necessary to erect observa-
tion ladders on nearly all problems, using a modification of direct laying.
The officer firing the problem from his position on the ladder would give
the general direction to one gun of the battery by directing that the trail
bo shifted to right or left; then parallel fire would be established for the
other three. After each problem. General McNair would hold a critique in
which errors in observation or method were pointed out and the way to-
correct them indicated. All data was checked up with the observations of
the range party. Each day two batteries would fire ; the third doing range
party duty. That gave each battery two days successive fire, followed by
one day on the range, then two days fire again. On the 12th of October
the First Battalion exhausted its allowance of ammunition and prepared to
return to McAllen. Each ofiFcer in the battalion had fired at least two
problems, the battery commanders firing considerably more.
The Second Battalion hiked to Sterling Ranch while the First returned
to AIcAUen. E Battery under Captain Delaney took the place of A Battery
at La Gloria, D and F under Captain Simpson and Captain Reid respectively
taking the place of B and C at Sterling. A Battery did not return to
^[c.\llen, but moved down to Alonte Christo where it remained anticipating
orders to return to New "S'ork, which everyone was expecting upon the
conclusion of firing practice.
Major Austin conducted the fire of the Second Battalion with General
McXair supervising as before. The schedule followed was practically the
same as that of the First Battalion.
The firing records, of course, are the property of the War Department
and not to be published, but it is not too much to say that they were in
general highly satisfactory. The days spent at target practice were easily
the most interesting and enjoyable of all the time spent on the border,
and there are manv pleasant recollections which both officers and men
Upon returning to ]\IcAllen all preparations were made to return home
and in a few days transportation was provided, orders came, and on Octo-
ber 19th the First Battalion entrained for home. The Second Battalion
followed a few- davs later.
THE THIRD INFANTRY
By Lt. Kennard Underwood
This regiment went on duty at its various home stations on June 19,
1916, under command of Col. Edgar S. Jennings, of Auburn. It was
mustered into Federal service on July 5, 1916, at Camp Whitman, New
York, did border duty at Pharr, Texas, as part of the Third Brigade, New
York Division, and was mustered out of Federal service on October 5,
191 6, at Camp Whitman, New York. The regimental headquarters are at
Rochester, N. Y., the various organizations being stationed as follows:
■Companies A, G, H, Machine Gun Co., Headquarters Co., and Hospital
■Corps Detachment at Rochester, N. Y. ; Co. B, Geneva ; Co. C, Syracuse ;
Co. D, Oswego; Co. F, Niagara Falls; Co. F, Medina; Co. I, Olean; Co.
K, Hornell ; Co. L, Elmira, Co. M and Supply Co., Auburn. The writer
was detailed from the Machine Gun Co. to duty with the Supply Co. and
this narrative is therefore apt to contain overmuch information relating
to the supply service and transportation features of our experience. If
any one feels he has been slighted he may hire hall or wait for the second
edition of this volume.
Our regiment mobilized nearly up to peace strength within twenty-
four hours. Pursuant to orders received, we remained at home stations
for a week, recruiting actively and setting our domestic and business
aflfairs in order. Plans had been prepared relating to the movement to
July camp and these were helpful and were acted on by our quarter-
master, at that time Capt. David D. Mohler of Syracuse. He also con-
tracted for about 30 horses which were provided by an Auburn firm.
These last were loaded at Auburn during the afternoon of June 26th. At
10 o'clock that evening Col. Jennings and certain of his stafif left Auburn
and joined the first section (The Rochester Companies) at the Dewitt
freight yards, outside Syracuse. The other companies left at various
times during that afternoon and evening, in three other sections. We
arrived at Green Haven, N. Y., at approximately the same time. Our sec-
tion unraveled itself from the car seats and marched up about a mile and a
half to a good camp site, where details commenced laying out the camp.
Meanwhile other details were engaged in unloading animals and baggage,
and in drawing up forage and a moderate amount of rations, kindly pro-
vided even at that late hour by the Quartermaster Corps officers encamped
near the railroad station. To one unacquainted with the workings of a
Division camp the number of officers in that Quartermaster Corps encamp-
ment seemed unending. We later found that duty was provided for each
one of them. This same Quartermaster's Corps furnished us with trans-
portation, of the mule and motor variety, and kept their drivers on the
job so well that by ten o'clock that night most of the baggage had been
moved up and most of the men slept in camp that night. The days fol-
lowing were spent in practice marches, close and extended order drills,
inspections and all the endless detail of camp life. Water pipes were laid
down by our engineering expert, Capt. Thurber Brown, the former Ord-
nance officer, who was given command of K Company at Camp Whitman
and retained same until our return home. The medical corps detachment
performed nobly, scratching and scraping the regiment into shape for the
muster in, which took place on July 5th. We mustered in 54 officers and
1. 716 men. Shortly after our arrival we were presented with two dozen
mules and the wagoners of the newly organized Supply Company pro-
ceeded to brush up on the art of mule skinning. Subsequently three of
the companies acquired motor trucks, donated by patriotic citizens at the
home towns. The trucks did yeoman service with the Supply Company at
various times. The U. S. Q. M. Corps supplied us with free gasoline for
a short time, then the lid shut down hard and our company funds had to
pay the freight. We felt abused for a time — if we were willing to wear
out the truck in United States service, shouldn't the government supply
the gas? We finally decided that the government desired to give the
wagoners in the Supply Company a thorough, practical experience in the
care and handling of mule teams.
On July I2th the railroad company began to spot our cars for baggage
and animals, and by 2 a.m. of the 13th a great part of the loading was
accomplished. A final physical examination was required early that morn-
ing and then with the band in full blast, we marched down to entrain. The
movement was accomplished in three sections, long loads at that. The
first section left at 2.30 p.m., the second at 4 p.m., and the third about
4.30 p.m. Having been assured that morning by certain of the non-
coms of the O. M. Corps that we could not possibly leave that night be-
cause so much loading remained to be done, there was a universal feeling
of satisfaction in the regiment over our prompt getaway.
The first section drew tourist sleepers at Philadelphia, the second pulled
a couple of drawheads at Warwick, N. Y., and in consequence missed out
on the tourists at Philadelphia, obtaining theirs at Cincinnati, while the
poor third section eased its slumbers on car seats until St. Louis was
reached. The first section carried all of the animals, which the members of
our Supply Company and Lt.-Col. Ross took out daily for their exercise
period of two to four hours.
Our transportation carried us from Green Haven to Maybrook Junc-
tion on the Central New England, thence to Easton, Pa., on the Lehigh
and Hudson, to Bethlehem. Pa., on the C. R. R. of N. J., to Philadelphia
on the Philadelphia & Reading; to .St. Louis on the Baltimore & Ohio, to
Dallas, Texas, on the Frisco; to San Antonio, on the M. K. & T. ; thence
to Pharr, via the Sunset and the S. L. B. & M.
Once on board the troop trains, feeding the regiment was the biggest
problem. Each section was provided with an open end baggage car,
placed in the center of the train, in which the regulation brick and dirt
lined wooden boxes were set up, two stoves to a car. With well over 500
men to a section the cooks had their hands full and the train mess ser-
geants, who ruled supreme, were kept on the job most of the time in pro-
viding their cars with wood, ice, water and rations for twenty-four hours
ahead. These last were drawn from a box car, one to each section.
The men met with considerable hospitality aleng the way. On one
occasion the proprietor of a canning factory opened his warehouse to a
few of the boys, the news spread too rapidly and but for the timely inter-
vention of an officer this merchant would have been out of stock for some
days. At Washington, Ind., the local order of Elks invited the men up to
their club and made many poor souls happy on a hot Sunday afternoon.
The inhabitants of Springfield, Mo., with their Mayor, greeted us with a
fine supply of sandwiches, fruit and buttermilk. Springfield has a number
of pretty girls, so they tell me. At Bushyhead, Oklahoma, a young lady,
deeply interested in one of our brave boys in the first section sleepers,
failed to note a belated north bound express and it remained for "Joe"
Heick, a product of M Company's training, to snatch her to one side in
safety almost from under the pilot of the oncoming flier.
On the morning of July 2ist we arrived at Pharr, Texas, and with feel-
ings of curiosity, not unmixed with pleasure, gazed at the little town of
the appropriate cognomen, where we were to make our station for the next
— well, some said months, others were positive that with the Third New
York on the border a general movement into Mexico was close at hand.
The second and third sections pulled in in rapid succession and by noon
our patch of ground was swarming with men, busy in rooting out the cac-
tus, mesquite, tarantulas and land turtles. Thanks to the civil authorities
of Pharr, a large part of the clearing had been accomplished before our
arrival, water pipes had been laid and shower baths set up. The pipes
were later buried to avoid the heat.
Our camp lay on the right of the brigade, the 23rd N. Y. and the 74th
N. Y. occupying the center and left respectively, with Brigade Head-
quarters to the right of the 74th at the edge of the main road south from
Pharr. Between the 23rd and the road lay an open field, occupied in part
by the Depot Quartermaster and a company of the 28th U. S. Infantry.
The labors of the first few days taxed the strength of the men heavily.
To dig with the thermometer mounting towards 135 degrees, when one's
energies have been sapped by a week of train travel, is productive of head-
ache, stomach trouble and other distress. We were fortunate in having
few men knocked out. Much hard work with pick and shovel was done
in laying the pipes under ground, in grading and ditching the streets and
clearing the camp. A post exchange was constructed near the guard
tent and Lieutenants Whitley and Hodder were placed in active charge
under the supervision of Lt.-Col. Ross. For the first night or two the
regiment suffered from expectation of nocturnal visits by tarantulas and
scorpions. Night attacks from this quarter not developing to any extent,
aporehension soon gave way to indifTerence, and the most timid rookie
was able to snatch a few hours' repose.
Across from the regiment's front was a large field which we used as our
-first corral. Shortly after our arrival the Government or somebody sent
us 69 mules and more horses, which with those brought from Whitman
gave the Supply Company about 140 animals to care for. This last lot
descended on us without warning and of course we were unprovided with
any quantity of ordinary veterinary supplies. However, due to good luck
and the constant attention of the drivers, under the supervision of Stable
Sergeant Miner, our picket lines remained full and we are proud that at
the successful conclusion of our "hike" the inspector of transportation for
g f 've Ki the Department Quartermaster rendered a splendid report to his chief.
— ^ == ^'1 A rifle range (so-called) lay about a mile southeast of our camp and
the companies in turn spent a day at the butts. For other diversion base-
ball was plas'ed and an amuf.ement platform was constructed on which
members of the Third Brigade gave occasional entertainments, exhibiting
skill in boxing, wrestling and clog dancing. Monologue and dialogue
artists were also popular.
The twelve day hike in August has been so well described by Capt.
Rupert Hughes and other of the participants that perhaps the tale is of no
further interest to an outsider. But to the men who tramped the long, hot,
wcarv march, with its drag, slip and recover through sticky Texas clays,
who endured the thirst, sore feet and bowel trouble which seemed inevit-
able concomitants of our peregrinations, who cheerfully bore a weakening
comrade's rifle or pack, encouraging him on through dizzy heat for the last
mile, inwardly wondering if the march would ever end, who with dust-
caked lips and parched throats sang their Vv^ay into camp, the memory of
the hike will remain clear and cherished as an event where they made
good. The Third went out first from our Brigade. General Wilson, the
Brigade Commander, elected to make the march with us. We moved out
on August 17th, with full marching equipment on the men, ambulances
and ammunition wagons witii each battalion and wagon train plodding in
First pav day for a portion of the men furnished additional excite-
ment. The next morning we camped at Mission in a drizzle which in-
creased in severity. By 2 p.m. our pup tents were afloat in spite of ditch
or drain. A change of camp was imperative and Col. Jennings obtained
permission for us to occupy the tents of the 14th N. Y. Infantry, they
being on the first leg of their hike. Certain of the companies quartered
themselves about town in school buildings and over stores. About half
the regiment reached the I4th's camp, where wood and forage was given us,
out little attempt at cooking supper was made. The change of camp was
made in the midst of a hurricane which swept over the country. Next day
we rested and gathered up the loose ends, assisted by the provost guard.
We reached Alton Sunday morning without mishap, reports of impassable
roads notwithstanding. By the 21st the roads had improved and we made
good time, arriving at Sterling's Ranch about 10 o'clock. We camped there
^lext to the 14th, who were about to start for Laguna Seca. Being behind
schedule the regiment marched over to La Gloria and back on the day fol-
lowing, taking advantage of this opportunity to try out the emergency
ration. At Sterling's rations for three days were drawn and distributed to
the companies. The ten mile march to Laguna Seca, the place of windmills,
taxed the men considerably. Major General O'Ryan visited camp at re-
treat and we learned that the Third was doing as well as, if not better than,
the other regiments. Next morning we proceeded six miles up the road to
Young's ranch, where we were hospitably entertained in the big ranch
pool or tank. Mr. Young offered our quartermaster a "small pasture" of a
thousand acres in which to graze our animals, which the latter declined
with thanks. However, they found plenty to eat in the enclosure around
the ranch house.
Nothing eventful occurred between Young's and Sterling's which we
reached Saturday noon, after spending another night at Laguna Seca. We
pitched camp in a field across from our former ground, then occupied by
the 7th N. Y.. with the 2nd N. Y. next door. The Seventh marched ofif to
La Gloria that afternoon and about midnight we heard the band playing as
the Second started off over the Laguna Seca road. We left camp Sunday
morning for Edinburgh. The wagon train was allowed to go through the
regiment on the march and reached Edinburgh in time to get the wagons
unloaded and the cook tents up before the column came in. By now the
camp at Pharr was lovingly termed "home," the previous ten days having
made us aware of its comforts and conveniences, and with light hearts
we swung off next morning on the eight miles that lay between. Our band,
which had remained at camp, was out to greet us and a majority of the town
folk were around to watch us march in.
We were scarcely settled when orders came to prepare for movement
north. The paymaster, Co1. Sternberger, spent a happy day in camp, and
on September 8th we left Pharr for Camp Whitman, the last to come and
the first to go of our Brigade. What luck! The Supply Co., less its cap-
tain and a few sergeants, remained behind to dispose of the animals. We
went north via New Orleans and Cincinnati and reached Green Haven dur-
ing the night of September 14th, detraining next morning in a pouring rain.
Tt always seemed to rain when we changed camps. Some fever cases devel-
oped on our way north and the medical authorities kept us in quarantine
for most of our stay. On October 4th final payrolls and muster rolls were
signed as of October 5th and we returned to our home stations.
The regiment performed the duties required of it remarkably well.
Large numbers of untrained recruits joined it in June. The experience
gained by these men and by those with prior service to their credit will be
of value to the country in future mobilizations. It is a strain on any organ-
ization thus composed to be shifted from pillar to post without opportunity
to relax, and the writer believes that Col. Jennings is to be congratulated,
as well as commended, on having taken this command on this tour of
service without greater loss of life, and on the success attained and soldierly
spirit shown by this regiment.
The Famous Garbage Incinerator
The Start of tut First Hike
First VVacons on the Camp Ground
THE SEVENTH INFANTRY
By Capt. H. H. Burdick, U.S.R.
The President's call of June 19th found the Seventh Regiment not
unprepared. A short and busy week served to arrange all the details of
the mustering in, which was accomplished on June 26, 1916. There had
been some question as to whether the regiment was to proceed to a mobili-
zation camp or direct to the border. It was with much satisfaction that
orders were finally received directing the regiment to entrain immediately
for Brownsville, Texas.
The departure was made June 27 by way of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
In heavy marching order the ranks passed through cheering crowds to the
ferry and after a short delay while final details were arranged, the journey
was begun. The regiment was divided into two sections; the second of
which often dropped far behind the other.
The route lay through Harrisburg, Pa., Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis,
Tnd., St. Louis, Mo., and thence to San Antonio and McAUen, Texas,
reaching there July 2. Everywhere along the line ovations were given to
the troops, and at several places special receptions and drills were held.
While en route a certain discipline was maintained, and instruction given.
During the trip the second section ran just ahead of the Seventy-first
Regiment, being the first of the New York Division to make camp on the
The camp site was a barren flat adjoining the town, and our first duty
was to pitch tents along the company streets, which had already been
partially staked out. The sun was extremely hot and a number of the men
unthinkingly stripped to the waist, only to suffer severely later from sun-
Before our arrival there had been no rain for a number of months, six-
teen according to local weather sharks, but no sooner had we pitched our
tents than a storm suddenly swept down on us. These sudden storms,
which were severe, were frequent occurrences during our stay, and a dis-
agreeable feature of camp life and marching alike. We had immediate and
practical instruction in drainage around the tents, and quickly learned to
dig ditches large enough to carry oft' the deluge of water which came
The real bright spot of our arrival was the first hot meal we had had
for six days. After policing our camp we learned much about scorpions
and tarantulas. Although there was a natural fear of these at first we soon
grew accustomed to them, but always looked before we sat.
We soon got down to a regular schedule. At 5 a.m. we were turned
out; 5.15 Assembly and setting-up exercises; 6 o'clock breakfast; Assem-
bly at 7 o'clock for drill until 8.30. Owing to the heat of the day we
were given a rest until dinner at 12 o'clock, and a further rest until 4,
when we again assembled for an hour's drill. Supper was at 6 p.m. and
taps at lo.
Jt was not long before boxes began to arrive from home, and tea parties
were promptly held in each tent occupied by the recipients. It was singu-
lar how many friends a man seemed to have who had just signed for
delivery of a box of "eats." However, the men were generous and many
learned to respect the excellent cooking of some unknown mother and
have a warm spot for home folks whom they have never seen.
No cots were provided at first, but some men purchased their own.
With these and the shipment which finally came from the Government we
began to set up housekeeping in a most orderly way. A rigid inspection
of equipment made order our watchword.
It was a curious fact that we on the border actually knew less about
the immediate situation in Mexico than those in New York. In fact the
greater part of our information came from the New York newspapers.
\Ve had various practice marches and an increasing amount of work
which broke us into shape for the long hike which came later. The first
real test of our endurance came on July 21, when some of the companies
left camp for a four-day hike of about ij miles, through Mission, IVIadero
As this hike was typical of the experiences we had I shall describe the
trip of Company' I in some detail. At four o'clock in the afternoon we
formed in the company street with our rolls, consisting of shelter tent half,
tent poles and pins, blanket and poncho. We also carried an extra suit of
underclothes, socks, a towel and an extra "O. D." shirt. At five o'clock,
headed by the field music, we marched out of camp to the accompaniment
of rousing cheers and cries of "good bye" and "good luck" from the other
companies which made the blood course faster through the veins. Colonel
Fisk and Major Falls accompanied us a short distance on their horses.
After about a mile the musicians left us and we settled down to the march
The temperature was about 120 degrees and the dust kicked up by the
men filled eves, nose and mouth. We passed thriving ranches and now
and again a Mexican "jacal" or hut. About three miles out we came to a
bungalow settlement called "Sharyland." This settlement consisted of
modern small bungalows, surrounded by intensively cultivated small
farms. \\"e reached Mission about 7.30 p.m. just as a terrific dust storm
blew up, preceded by a heavy wind and followed by a tremendous down-
pour of rain. Fortunately, the 3d U. S. Cavalry, stationed nearby, took us
into their shacks for the night. The rain turned the whole country into a
sea of nmd.
•Saturday morning early we started on the hardest part of our hike to
Granjeno. The road was ankle deep in mud — not just ordinary, every-
day mud, but mud that clung to the shoes until each weighed about eight
We sloshed along in this muck, in some places no road was visible,
being covered entirely by water. At 11.45 a-"''- we had traversed the six
miles of our march, and a weary lot of men pitched their "dog" tents be
side the ruins of the old mission building of St. Peter's Novitiate Mission.
Sunday morning we made the five miles to Hidalgo in short time.
From here we had a good view over into Mexico but we were not espe-
cially tempted by the sight. Here we saw for the first time the picturesque
Texas rangers and the first real "movie" cowboys. Monday we made
the last stage of the hike back to camp, some seven miles through the
sticky mud. Although tired out. we marched into our company street in
For some time after this we put in our time making permanent im-
provement to the camp — digging sewers, laying water pipes, grading the
streets and the like. All this gave us the impression that we were due
for a long stay, although there were constant rumors of our being ordered
home. These rumors were usually without foundation. One instance was
c|uite amusing: The quartermaster called out to the mess sergeant of the
1st Company, "Come and get your meat." A great cheer went up from the
men, who understood him to say, "We"re going home next week."
A\e had to do most of our own washing because the laundry facilities
were poor. Each squad, as a rule, provided itself with a metal wash tub
and a sprinkling pot. The pot served as a shower bath and it was not an
uncommon sight to see a man standing in a tub with another man holding
the water pot on high for the daily shower.
Some squads built wooden floors for their tents at their own expense,
and one even went so far as to put down linoleum rugs. By the first of
.August the rations had so improved and things were running so smoothly
that there was little complaint among the men. Amusements of various
sorts began to spring up, and a "movie" show in a large circus tent was
installed near the camp.
We built permanent mess shacks of wood which were a great improve-
ment over our previous arrangement. Before this we had eaten on impro-
vised tables and often on our cots.
We did not receive our first pay until the middle of August and it was
certainly welcome when it did come.
Somewhere about this time we experienced a terrific hurricane that
held us storm bound for twenty-four hours. Forced to stay in our tents,
as it was dangerous to move outside, we prepared our own meals and
slept in our clothes, ready for a quick move should the tents blow away.
On August 23 we started on the "big hike" of one hundred miles. This
march was the great test of our endurance and it will always be remem-
bered. At 7 a.m. we started out with full equipment weighing sixty
pounds. This hike, although severe on the men, was of real usefulness in
giving the stafif an opportunity of commanding a whole division in the
field, and in giving the quartermaster's department training in provisioning
so many troops on the march. All the infantry of the division started from
their respective camps at different times, but over the same course, in
the fiillowing order: Seventy-iirst Regiment from McAllen, the Third
Regiment from Pharr, the Seventh Regiment from McAllen, the Four-
teenth Regiment from Mission, the Sixty-ninth Regiment from Mission,
the Sevcnt_v-fourth from Pharr and the Twelfth Regiment from McAllen.
The first leg of the hike was to Mission, six miles. We made this in
one hour and fifty minutes with only one rest, a considerable excess of
speed over the army regulation requirements. Seven men dropped out,
and four of these had to be taken back in the ambulance. The next
morning we turned out early and when we set out on our march our tents
were several pounds heavier, being saturated with the dew which fell
almost like a light rain It was a rule that every camp site must be left
immaculate, and this was our regular morning task before setting out on
The second day we made seven miles to Alton, marching in stretches
of thirty-five to fifty minutes with ten-minute rests. But few men dropped
out on this day. The third day we proceeded north on a fairly good road
for seven and a half miles to Sterling Ranch. This was a central base
from which we were to take two and four-day marches. Here the water
supply was good, and we found an ingenious shower bath. A big pipe,
about eight inches in diameter, was run from a pumping station over a
dried pool at an elevation of twelve feet for about twenty-five feet. From a
series of holes punched in the under side of the pipe water came down with
considerable force. We bathed in companies, being allowed twenty minutes
per company. Returning to camp, we found the Fourteenth Regiment,
and later the Second Regiment arrived, each at a different stage of the
The next day's march to La Gloria was one of the most difficult. We
marched in the afternoon, carrying full canteens, as there was no water
at our destination. At four o'clock, when we started, the thermometer
registered 132 degrees, and by the time we sighted our destination we
were a bedraggled lot of men. Monday our return to Sterling Ranch was
without event. Here we found the Seventy-fourth Regiment and the
lliird Regiment. Another shower bath and a washing of clothes prepared
us for the twelve-mile march through the desert to Laguna Seca. .\ few
more men were sent back to McAllen, and a number of others were ill
from exhaustion and over-indulgence in "belly-wash," as grape juice and
lemonade were called.
This day's march was monotonous and tedious. Occasionally we had
tu make detours where we found the road inundated. The sand at times
was three or four inches deep, which made marching difficult. Thus far
we had been favored with excellent weather, but this day a rain storm
forced us into our tents.
On Tuesday we started out at the usual hour for Brown's Ranch, only
seven miles. This was through flat country, but the roads were fair. We
arrived in good season with the exception of our wagon train, which
did not arrive until five hours later, having been stuck in the mud, hence
e — c-^
we had nothing to eat until mid-afternoon. On Thursday we broke camp
at 4.30 a.m. and doubled back on our trail to Laguna Seca. The heat this
day was intense. Although the continuous marching took its daily toll of
men who were forced to drop out, nevertheless we made the best showing
in this respect, of any of the regiments who completed the hike. It was
on this march that we passed our old friends, the "Fighting" Sixty-ninth
Regiment. Upon our arrival at Sterling Ranch we learned that the Third,
Fourteenth and Seventy-first Regiments had been ordered back to New
York, and while we envied them it gave us hope that our turn would soon
The next leg of the hike, from Sterling Ranch to Edinburg, nearly fin-
ished us. We passed over fourteen miles of dusty roads that coated us with
dust until we resembled black men. Owing to the peculiar rarification of
the air, our destination seemed close long before we ever reached it, and
we nearly gave up hope of getting there before we finally made camp.
The mirage of the Edinburg Court House is now history. When tents
were pitched the men fell into them without even removing their sweat-
soaked clothing. Hardly half the men responded to mess-call; resting
being preferred to eating.
This was the last night, and an early march being planned, more than
half the regiment struck their tents, made up their rolls and slept on their
ponchos. At 12.30 a.m. a heavy thunder storm broke without warning
over the camp, soaking every man not under cover. What followed was
a fine example of the value of discipline. First, an officers' call was
sounded, soon after the Assembly went, and we were ordered to strike
tents and make up our rolls for the march back to McAllen. This brought
order out of chaos and was the best possible move in the circumstances.
The first grumbling was quickly replaced by good humor and all possi-
bility of panic averted. After a hasty breakfast we took up the march at
2.30 a.m. Although rain had ceased, the road was a mire. We splashed
and stumbled along in the dark for three hours with occasional rests.
After about four miles we found dry roads the rest of the way to camp.
The men in camp, headed by the field music, turned out to give us a rous-
Many a man stooped with fatigue and the weight of the burden he
had carried for twelve miles that morning, stood erect, threw back his
head, and, strengthened by that emotion that comes to one upon such an
occasion, strode manfully into the regimental street with a full heart,
proud of his accomplishment but glad that the task was done.
Company I of the Seventh was the first detailed to real serious work,
that of guarding a pumping plant at Madero, Texas, on the bank of the
Rio Grande. The men performed their duties there excellently, and put
in much hard work improving the fortifications. Later they were relieved
by other companies of the 7th Regiment. This was about September 20
and the weather had moderated so that 90 degrees was about the daily
average, and at niglit extra blankets were needed.
IS^i — ^^^^
During this period occurred another maneuver which is adequately
described in other chapters. The solution of these tactical problems gave
us good training. Following this came several reviews and other field
exercises. On each occasion we showed greater efficiency, for by this
time we had become as hard as nails. We had special drills in open for-
mation and field firing problems. Both officers and men profited much
When the news that we were ordered home finally did arrive we could
hardly believe it at first, but when we were officially notified such cheering
broke loose as surpassed by far any efforts in this line which had been
made before. As glad as we were to return to New York, each one of us
felt in his heart a bit of regret at leaving the "Magic Valley."
The Sixty-ninth Regiment gave us a farewell dinner on the day of our
departure, relieving us of preparing a last meal. We were dined, company
for company, squad for squad, and man for man, by the Sixty-ninth, who,
although green with envy at our happy lot, gave us a most unselfi^i
send-off. The departure with the rousing cheer of our brother regiment
brought an extra throb to our hearts and choke to our throats.
The journey home seemed interminable, and the miles dragged; but
each click of the wheels sang its song of joy as we neared our destina-
Our welcome in New York, where we were met by a huge turnout of
the veterans, and our triumphal march on the good old pavements of New
York, through frenzied crowds, amply repaid us for our labor.
We reached our Armory about i p.m., November 28, where we were
given an ovation. In four days we had completed checking up the prop-
erty and were mustered out December 2, 1916, closing an important
chapter in the history of the Regiment.
The " Mary Powell " and Mess Shack
Shower Baths at Sterling's Ranch
Outpost Duty on the Rio Grande
THE TWENTY-THIRD INFANTRY
By Capt. H. W. Congdon
The President's call was received on the usual Headquarters Night,
Monday, the 19th of June, and many of the members of the Regiment were
therefore in the building. The rest were quickly gathered in, so the full
strength was reported present within a few hours.
Recruiting was to begin at once, and the officers were kept busy sifting
out those obviously unfit physically from among the throngs that sought
to enlist. This rush continued until the rumor became current that our
Regiment would not be one of those to go, when it almost entirely ceased,
and did not greatly revive when our departure became almost a certainty.
Intensive drills were begun the following day, using not only the drill
sheds, but the adjacent streets and even the Park, where signalling,
patrolling, and extended order work was taught amidst admiring crowds
of nursemaids and children. In this way even the recruits were given a
smattering of the work that was later drilled into them on -Texas plains.
Orders were finally received to entrain, and on the afternoon of July
Fourth the column moved from the Armory, over 1,100 strong, and started
the march to the Chambers Street Ferry through streets that were crowded
enough around our own Armory but strangely deserted -down-town. The
people on the curb displayed little enthusiasm, but plenty of good-will;
they seemed stunned by our sudden departure.
Arriving at Jersey City the regiment was packed into two sections, long
trains with flat-cars at the head for our wagons, freight cars for our heavy
tentage and supplies, and then the Erie day-coaches of ancient build, which
we firmly believe had carried our fathers to the Civil War. They were not
luxurious, but the men were looking for service and not a holiday, and
there was surprisingly little grumbling except from some of the lengthy
ones of the First Squads, who found sleep impossible on any combination
of seats and backs that they could evolve, and who finally took refuge on
tfte bare wooden floors.
Our first greetings came from a little town in Jersey through which
our train rolled slowly : the station platform was packed with cheering,
singing people grouped around a band, while fireworks and Chinese lan-
terns added their touch of gayety to the reception. As we progressed we
found constantly increasing enthusiasm, and all felt its inspiration. Reach-
ing Chicago, the first section had half a day liberty while waiting for the
second to catch up, and for the equipment of trains with water, ice, and
supplies. The men certainly enjoyed Chicago's hospitality, and not once
was it abused : no one forgot that he was under constant scrutiny as an
exemplar of his regiment and state.
Continuing our journey after this pleasant pause, and running on
fast-freight schedule, the next stopping place was Oelwein. Iowa, where
the Chicago Cjicat W csterii has its junction and shops. Here, the whole
town was out to greet us, including bevies of pretty girls who led us to
a counter where ice-cream cones in unlimited quantities were passed out
to us: an especially pretty but husky young woman being stationed at
the head of the line to keep it moving, while automobilists picked up the
dazed young fellows for a spin around the city ; spins that nearly cost two
men dear, as they were brought back to the station after the train had
begun to move so they just "made'" the rear platform of the last car!
Oelwein certainly was a hospitable town : for besides the cordial greet-
ings and the ice-cream, the men found it very hard to spend any money,
the shop-keepers either charging absurdly low prices or else good-
naturedly waving away the proffered change with a smile and "Oh, that's
all right, boy''!
Towns seemed to vie with one another to show the troops hospitality
of a much-appreciated kind : Olathe, Kansas, had the bright idea to halt
the train alongside the lake belonging to the Country Club, and there the
boys shed their clothes and swam for a glorious half hour. To be sure,
thev were mighty shy of the muddy water, and it required the leadership
of some of the native small boys before they dove in. As one man
expressed it, "I'm so dirty now that I hate to think of getting into that
muddy water and getting dirty all over" ; but they discovered that it was
wet, and cool, and not so dirty as it looked.
On two other occasions there was an opportunity for a cooling swim:
so with these, the cordial receptions from even the tiniest prairie towns,
and the regular and ample meals, the trip was not as bad as the news-
papers made out.
The last two hundred miles of the journey was especially interesting,
for every bridge and culvert had its guard of a squad or so, and the spice
of danger that they suggested was a welcome break to the monotony
while the assurance that Uncle sam was "prepared" and taking no chances
was good news to write home. Letters home : that was another act of
kindness that we appreciated. Town after town greeted us with free
postal cards or stamped souvenir post-cards, and everywhere the small
boys were ready to catch letters from the flying train to take to the post-
office. Sometimes a billet-doux would be thrown in, and more than one
correspondence was started between sentimental school-girl and soldier-
boy who never saw one another.
July eleventh brought the first section of our train to the destination,
Pharr. The bugle sounded and the men started to alight, when the train
began to move again. Supposing it would pull on a siding, half the regi-
ment stayed aboard, while the rest of us had the alarming experience of
seeing our "home'' dwindle to a dot and finally disappear over the hori-
zon ! Some excited telephoning resulted in the train being flagged at
McAUen and the conductor brought to the phone, where he declared he
had orders to deliver his train at Mission, and if we were deserters he
didn't care : that "orders was orders." But a few pointed remarks from
our Adjutant brought him to see that while his premises were correct
his deductions were at fault, and we were reassured by seeing a tiny jet
of smoke in the distance take shape as our returning train.
Detrainment was then effected promptly and smoothly, and many willing
hands intelligently directed soon emptied the freight cars, while others
played mule and hauled the wagon? over to our camp-site by hand-power:
mules being a minus quantity for several weeks. Camp was made with the
accustomed rapidity and neatness, greatly aided by the preparations that
had been made by the Army officials, who had driven a stake to mark each
tent, laid water to each company street and elsewhere where needed, and
had all the comforts of a semi-permanent camp, even to shower-baths,
practically ready for us.
Our arrival marked an epoch for that locality, for it rained. We broke
a drought that had lasted from eighteen to twenty-nine months, accord-
ing to the story-teller. And we broke it beyond repair, for the rain kept on
until we had to grow web-footed. Texas mud is something that should be
experienced ; it cannot be described. But it is certainly the highest devel-
opment of mud that has yet been found, being both exceedingly sticky and
alarmingly slippery, very dense and at the same time most liquid and
penetrating. Our first work was to make our camp secure against the
enemy, therefore, and the Panama Canal was no busier place than the
Twenty-third's camp as we dug drains and ditches and formed dikes and
sidewalks. Enthusiasm having once been engendered, companies vied
with one another in making their homes decorative if not luxurious: palm
trees were bought and set out, cannas and other plants decorated some
streets, while flowering cacti were thoughtfully planted around the officers'
tents to keep those gentlemen from straying from the strait and narrow
The men's behavior was not only good : it was splendid. An order, the
famous "G. O. 7," had been issued prohibiting drinking of even the inno-
cent "near beer." The men played the game and lived up to the spirit of
the order. Of course it would be foolish to state that there was no drink-
ing at all, for liquor was easily obtainable in the near-by towns : but there
was practically no drunkenness, and the Military Police had an easy time
for many weeks to come. The snakes, centipedes, tarantulas and scor-
pions that we saw in abundance were all the real thing and not figments
of disordered brains.
Saturday afternoons and all day Sundays the men were free to enjoy
themselves, the duties of the day being very light and limited to a few.
Visits were made to all the adjoining camps of our New York troops, and all
felt on returning to our camp that we not only had the best station, but alto-
gether the best camp on the Border. Maybe this was not so, but it was a
very good thing that we believed it : it was easier to maintain its neatness
and to develop improvements when backed by real pride. Pharr is a little
town, and the incursion of about 4,000 troops, a Brigade with an ambulance
company added, made it ours by sheer weight of numbers. The people had
to put up with much that must have been disturbing to their quiet life :
the leisurely work of the storekeeper changed to a mad hustle to keep up
to his orders, the hotel work took on an olive-drab complexion, the towns-
folk were practically crowded out of their own movie-house of evenings,
and of their church on Sundays : yet it must be acknowledged that thej'
lost no opportunities that Fate had thus tossed to them, and it was aston-
ishing to see the numbers of new automobiles that appeared in the village
after a month or two 1
Drills were begun at once, of course, but nothing was done in a hurry.
The men were developed slowly and given plenty of time to become accli-
mated. Drills were made short at first, with plenty of rests, and the work
made harder progressively. With a large proportion of new and untrained
men every angle of military life had to be developed and polished : men who
had never known the meaning of the word "police" save as applied to an
individual in blue cloth and brass buttons, now learned its more intimate
application, and the sanitary report of the camp showed how well they had
taken to heart their instruction in personal and camp hygiene. And this
tine health record was general among the New York troops. They learned
many things that had been far from their thoughts a few weeks earlier:
more than one man has gone home to wife or mother able to teach her how
flannels ought to washed, and the bachelors will certainly be in danger
next Leap-year, so well "house-broken" are they. Many experts were
discovered or developed in lines as varied as opera-singer and mule-
skinner, wireless expert and carpenter; no matter what the Colonel called
for, some Company could produce the very man wanted : and that man
could deliver the goods !
After six weeks of preparation the regiment started on The Big Hike.
This was over the same ground taken by all the other regiments, and
probably all had about the same experience. The chief novelty was the
lack of water, something we have never experienced in our Northern
duties. Dirty canal water that tasted of garden mould, alkali water that
tasted as nothing else under the heavens, "sterilized" water that had
been prepared with the little ampule of calcium hypochlorite, all of these
kinds of water in quantities so small that they had to be cherished : how
we longed for the good old Croton. Many a man regretted the pure, clean
water wasted in the bath-tubs at home.
The heat was pretty severe, and the men felt it keenly on some of the
marches, notably that from Ta Gloria to Laguna Seca. A thermometer
on one of the wagons registered 130 in the more-or-less shade. Coupled
with the heat on this march was the deep and slimy mud which made the
name of our destination, Laguna Seca — Dry Pond — a ghastly mockery,
and the smells from the rotting vegetation in the mud and the drug-like
fumes from the bruised plants by the road-side. The men suffered, but
they were plucky, and more than one man got into camp practically uncon-
scious, his burden shared among his comrades. We like to think of the
bandit-like appearance of Chaplain Cadman with a rifle taken from one of
these men over his shoulders as he sat his placid horse. The regiment's
record for the march was very good, but the most welcome sight for
many days was the grain elevator at Pharr when we spied it on the south-
Adventures there were, of course : the bold pigs at Young's Ranch who
upset the pail of precious water in a certain officer's tent and then scratched
their backs on the under side of his cot while he hurled maledictions at
them ; the affectionate snake which tried to go to bed with one of the men ;
the coyotes which caused loud challenges from an alarmed sentinel as
they rummaged in the garbage pit ; all these and many others are history.
Less historical but equally believed is the story of the mad dash made by
the advance guard as the regiment approached Edinburg, to keep its
cupola-ed County Court-house from sliding over the horizon after it had
eluded our pursuit for many weary hours: Edinburg, the smallest town
with the best lemonade and layer-cake in Texas.
Other minor experiences helped the weeks to speed by in routine work:
the two-day Hidalgo hike that laid out so many, the field-firing exercise
at La Gloria that almost repaid us for the hard marches there and back
but which was rather an aggravation when we found how f^w cartridges
we were permitted to fire ; finally the Great Adventure of Election Day,
when each qualified voter was permitted to exercise the right of suffrage
and a lengthy wind-twisted ballot in a snake-charming act.
The best part of the whole tour of duty was the outpost work on the
Rio Grande. It was hard work, but interesting, so despite discomforts
that we were spared in our comfortable home-camp, it seemed rather like
a vacation. There were trees and shade and swimming in the resaca,
bailies, whereat we might dance with exceedingly unattractive sefioritas
to the music of a drum and accordion "executing" Tipperary. The natives
liked that tune; but it was a long, long way from Tipperary! Capote
Ranche has the pleasantest sound of any of the names in our recollections.
This was the land of real adventure, the place where we met coyotes
and wild-cats face to face in our reconnaissances, where we got lost in
much-tracked wilderness for hours at a time, where the sentinels heard
strange noises by night and by day and were always on the alert in a
manner that could not be attained in sleepy, peaceful Pharr. It was at
our Number Three outguard that the corporal reported a tragedy on the
other bank: a screaming woman, a rifle shot, and then deep silence! It
was near our Reserve camp that we found the old live-oak tree with the
two deeply-graven crosses in the trunk, just under a convenient horizontal
limb ; near it, too, was a ruined house beneath two lofty palm trees.
There was a strange brown stain on the floor, and patrols usually closed
up and quickened their pace as they passed it in the dim moonlight.
The outguards did their own cooking, and many a savory dish was
concocted : stews of toothsome turtle and frisky kids, strange composi-
tions evolved from canned goods, still stranger interpretations of the
bill-of-fare laid down in the Manual ! And despite our very excellent
official cooks, many a squad declares it fared better on the River than at
Pharr. Yet at Pharr there was one great Feast, the real Thanksgiving
Dinner, which outshone the Christmas Dinner because it was the first
real feast. It was as good a dinner as we had ever had at home; com-
mencing with the savory bisque of tomatoes and going through the
accepted program to mince-pies and ice-cream of our own making. Some
fortunate ones were able to add quail or duck to the official roast turkey,
for there was excellent shooting to be had for the trouble of taking a walk
with a gun, and the game-wardens considered us all as residents, not to be
bothered for licenses.
After many disappointments that were harder to bear than home-folks
can realize, the orders home were received at last, and never was a camp
broken by more willing or efficient hands. Not an order was given;
everything moved automatically, as in a dream, and in a surprisingly short
time the train was loaded, and the regiment found itself marching out of
camp for the last time, escorted by the band of our old friends, the Third
Tennessee. The journey home was uneventful, but the reception that we
met with when Brooklyn was reached will never be forgotten by any of
us. The streets were filled with throngs of people, the s..hool-children
lined the curbs waving flags, the Governor and Mayor reviewed us, and as
an escort we had our Veterans in a regiment about as big as our own and
marching, so it is said, quite as well. Arrived at the Armory we met a real
ovation, and before long the men were turned over to their families for
admiration. So ended, on January ninth, our first long tour of service
since the Civil \\ ar that saw our beginnings.
r*>r > , M
THE SEVENTY-FOURTH INFANTRY
By Capt. Karl G. Kaffenberger
The Call of the President, June 19, 1916, found the 74th Infantry, N. G.
N. Y., ready for service as it had been many times before in its early his-
tory. However, for a time shortage in numbers led to strong misgivings
that the Regiment would not be selected for Border Service on the Mexican
Frontier. As a result everyone bent their energies to a brief campaign of
intensive recruiting and outfitting between the call of the President and
July 5th, the date the Regiment started for the Border.
Just before the muster of the Regiment July i, 1916, the 74th received
as its new commander, Colonel Nathaniel B. Thurston, an officer well
known in the New York Division and throughout the army for his faithful
and varied services.
The departure for the Border will be long remembered by the men of
the Regiment. Throngs of people lined the streets to see their Buffalo
boys depart at the Nation's urgent call. Just what was coming no one
knew, but the men were ready and willing for what might come.
The trip to the Border was one of great inconvenience on account of the
lamentable lack of tourist sleepers for transporting the men. However,
like good soldiers, the men accepted this and the rather meagre train ration
with cheerful grumbling as part of the game. The trip to the Border was
uneventful, but grew in interest as we neared the southern part of Texas.
To most of the .soldiers the cacfus and mesquite, which were to become
such familiar sights, presented a peculiar interest which grew, colored by
the uncertainty of the exact destination and the picturesque appearance of
the dark-skinned Mexicans whose tantalizing "Manana" and friendly
"Adins" were soon to be passwords among the northern soldiers.
Upon arriving at Pharr on July loth it was the good fortune of the
Regiment to find the camp all staked out, the latrines built and the water
system installed. With this as a start, and by hard toil with pick and en-
trenching shovel, good roads were built in the camp, and soon the 74th
enjoyed the reputation of having one of the finest camps on the Border.
After the arrival at the Border, Capt. George H. White, 28th U. S. Infan-
try, was assigned to the Regiment on detached service as Lieut. Colonel,
known to many as an Inspector Instructor of exceptional ability with the
New York Division. Colonel White was a great help to the Regiment,
adding much to its efficiency in administration, in drill, and in the field.
On the 23rd day of August, after over a month of preliminary training,
the Regiment started on its ten-day practice march to measure its strength
with other units in the New York Division.
On the second day while at McAIlen, Colonel Thurston's illness required
his removal to a northern climate. While en route the newspapers pub-
lished a report that the Colonel had died, but fortunately he lived to read
the account of his death, and to receive many eulogies which so many
times are not voiced until a man has passed away.
Probably nothing at the Border did more to harden the men and put
them into fit shape than the practice march of 85 miles or. better. The
first day's march was but three miles between Pharr and McAllen, but
many a stalwart man fell by the wayside, being unaccustomed to the exer-
tion of carrying his heavy pack in this torrid climate. The second day the
command started at Mc.'^llen, making a short four-mile hike for practice.
On the third day a march of five miles was made to Mission and on
a fourth one of five and one-half miles from Mission to Alton. These two
marches were probably the most disastrous, in numbers of men falling out.
At Alton there was a scarcity of drinking water and that which was fur-
nished had to be hauled five miles by mule team. Many a novice who
failed to accept the warning requiring the careful use of the water in his
canteen learned a bitter lesson that day.
On the next day, a march of six and three-quarter miles was made to
Sterling's Ranch, which was a veritable oasis in this desert mesquite coun-
try. Here was found abundance of good drinking water, canteen and a
refreshing shower bath which had been cleverly improvised by the enter-
prising ranch owner. Perhaps nothing showed the cheerful grit of the
74th more than the march to the one-time bandit stronghold of La Gloria,
five and three-quarters miles distant. The road, which was no more nor
less than a wagon trail, led through dense mesquite and cactus so thick
that it was impos.sible to detour around mud holes and puddles. The rain
fairly deluged the road and in many places the water was above the knees
of even the tallest men. However, the ranks were unbroken, and the men
drenched to the skin marched smiling and singing through the water.
That night at La Gloria, bonfires were built and the men gathered around
until the wee small hours drying their clothes and equipment.
The seventh day brought the Command back to Sterling's Ranch. On
the eighth day the Regiment marched to Laguna Seca, a distance of ten
and one-half miles. It had rained during the night and marching was
made difficult because of knee-deep puddles and heavy mud which gath-
ered on the shoes during the first few miles. The road was later very hot
and sandy. But this time, however, the men were becoming hardened to
the hiking, and very few fell out. Next day the 74th continued its march
to Young's Ranch, the northernmost point of the entire march. Here were
located two excellent swimming tanks which afforded great pleasure to
the weary soldiers.
The tenth day brought the Regiment again to the quaint little Mexican
town of Laguna Seca, and the eleventh day to the familiar Sterling's
Ranch. l"he twelfth day was the supreme test of the hike, a distance of
fifteen miles being covered between Sterling's Ranch and Edinburgh.
Leaving camp at 3.30 a.m. after a drenching rain, the Command marched
in the regulation 50 minute hitches and 10 minute rests to Edinburgh.
During the march the weather was excellent, but upon arriving at Edin-
burgh the rain again deluged the troops, and dog tents were pitched in a
veritable quagmire. During this march only eight men fell out, which was
a very excellent record, comparing favorably with performance to be
expected frora highly trained troops.
From this time until September 26th various Battalion, Regimental
and Brigade maneuvers were held. These culminated in the maneuver of
a reinforced brigade along the Rio Grande River. On .September 25th and
26th the Regiment started out from Pharr and joined the balance of the
troops at East McAllen road. From here the Brigade proceeded to the
Taylor road at the Border, along which the maneuver was carried out.
After a night in shelter tents, the Command marched north along the
Pharr road as a withdrawing movement. The entire distance marched in
this problem was 28 miles.
October i8th. Companies A and C marched to San Juan Hacienda for
detached duty on outposts along the Rio Grande River.
This was the first detachment of the Regiment used on this service,
which was continued in short periods from four days to a week by other
detachments and battalions of the Regiment. Perhaps nothing that was
done approximated more nearly war conditions than the work at these out-
posts, particularly in the case of early detachments, where reconnais-
sance was original in unknov.m terrain. Many lessons of self-reliance
were learned by both officers and men during these periods of detached
After October i8th, outpost duty at the Border, maneuvers near Pharr,
and rifle practice at La Gloria followed in rapid succession, for the various
units in the Command. The practice at La Gloria in combat firing was
most interesting and instructive, due to the careful and up-to-date method
of conducting this practice as carried on by Major Chandler of the loth
Upon the return of the First Battalion from La Gloria a forced march
was made of 26 miles in 12 hours from Sterling's Ranch to Pharr, includ-
ing a four-hour halt at Edinburgh for dinner.
From October until January great progress was made in the set up and
precision of the troops at Pharr.
The Regiment participated in three great reviews of the New York
Division. The first, to Governor Whitman, October 16, 1916; the second
to Senator Wadsworth, November 29, 1916, and the third to Major Gen-
eral O'Ryan, December 5, 1916. Besides these, numerous small reviews
were held. On October 22nd the Regiment participated in night maneu-
vers in the direction of San Juan. From this time until the 74th was
ordered to McAllen, regular drills, ceremonies and garrison duties were
On January 12 and 13, 1917, the 74th Regiment moved to McAllen,
where they occupied the old camp of the 7th Regiment.
Suddenly, on January 15, 1917, the Regiment sustained a very serious
loss in the death of its Colonel Nathaniel B. Thurston, who had returned
to his command during the month of November. Colonel Thurston was
respected and admired by all members of his Command, and his death was
mourned by all. It is hard to measure the devotion of the Regiment to
Colonel Thurston. His character was broad and confidence-inspiring. The
officers found in him a friend and advisor, the men an honest and square
leader. On January i6th a Brigade funeral was held for Colonel Thurston.
Among the many rumors that were rife in the latter days of the Regi-
ment's stay at the Border was one that it was to return to Buffalo early in
February. In fact an order had been seen, but hopes were dashed to the
ground when the order came suspending further troop movements. At
this time the Regiment was ordered to Penitas by Battalions for rifle prac-
tice. Only the first Battalion, however, went, as orders were received on
February 9th, ordering the return of the Regiment at once. Camp was
broken at Penitas in 45 minutes and as the Battalion neared McAllen, Ser-
geant Bolton and his band greeted them with "Hail ! Hail ! the Gang's all
here," "It will be a hot time in the old town to-night," and "Home, Sweet
Home." The effect was magical, and enthusiastic shouts greeted the
Battalion as it reached camp.
The Regiment left McAllen for Buffalo, February 14, 1917. Just before
leaving Lieutenant White was relieved of the command of the Regiment
and the Regiment was brought home under command of Major Arthur
Kemp, now its well-known and popular Colonel. It arrived at its home
station February 20, 1917. Many amusing scenes were witnessed as sol-
diers slipped on the icy pavements after their experiences in Texas gumbo
and alkaline sands.
It was with eager expectancy that the Regiment hit Buffalo. The great
blasts of whistles, which greeted the troop trains as they entered the
City, made the men feel that they were not entirely forgotten during their
eight months' .stay at the Border. It was a veteran organization that the
people viewed as the 74th marched up Main Street, not veterans of a
war, but veterans of an expedition, which had hardened and seasoned the
men to an astonishing extent.
' l/^il^ 4''^'^''^
WAR WITH GERMANY
THE NEW YORK DIVISION
j^^.— _'^ . Editor's Note: Obviously this record is incomplete, but rather than omit '%\
this important service such facts as are available at the
time of going to press are included.
^i^i=:=^^^M.li^Xt^^^" " --^--^^^^
REVIEW OF EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF WAR ^VITH
By R. L. Burdick.
Not in ten, nor perhaps even fifty, years will the question of the respon-
sibility for the greatest war be definitely placed by historians. Although
most of us have our own and a rather unanimous opinion on the subject,
yet it would be futile at this short range to lay the blame on any one or
group of agencies. It may well be that later historians of broad view may
show the war to have been an economic necessity, a racial upheaval, or a
readjustment of social forces. These problems we can but speculate upon,
the while we sufTer.
But even after the brief period of our own entry into the conflict we
can definitely point out the causes and events which led the greatest
democracy of the modern world to take up arms. When the wrack of war
is done, when the aching hearts find respite, and when the battlefields of
France are once more green, our great cause shall stand unchallenged —
that cause summed up in the imperishable words of President Wilson — "to
make the world safe for democracy." Those few words rank with Patrick
Henry's enunciation of our national ideals and with Lincoln's memorable
address at Gettysburg.
This, then is our cause. Let us refresh our memories with the facts
which led up to the National crisis. Surely we cannot forget the sinking
of the Lusitania and the immediate sentiment of our nation for entering
the war. As we look back, however, we see that the opinion of the people
had not sufficiently crystallized to enable us to enter upon such a policy.
It is a characteristic of our form of government that we must ponder long
before acting, but that when we do strike our unanimity of opinion lends
the greater force to the blow.
The later sinking of various of our ships and the consequent loss of
American lives did not of themselves constitute a sufficient cause for
precipitating us into the struggle. Their effect was, nevertheless, cumula-
tive, and stored up a growing reservoir of wrath which needed but a drop
more to burst its containing walls.
A year ago. in August, 1916, there seemed little likelihood that we
would become immediately involved in the European struggle. We had
been in a measure reassured of the safety of our foreign commerce and the
observance of international law on the seas, by Germany's promise of May
4 to conduct her submarine warfare with proper regard to the rights of
The state of strict neutrality which we were trying to maintain, at the
urgent behest of our governmental leaders, seemed easier of achievement.
Yet the respite was brief; before long there appeared evidence of Teutonic
plots in our own country. The actual details of these have never been
fully made public, but undenied newspaper reports of the origin of the
Welland Canal plot, of the blowing up of the Canadian-American bridge,
left no room for doubt as to these later activities. Many of them were
traced to the doors of the Central Powers' embassies.
These negotiations fell through, as might have been expected, because
of the diversity of peace terms which could not be reconciled. Then, as a
bolt from the blue, came the announcement, on January 31, 1917, of Ger-
many's new submarine policy. Disregarding her previous promise of May
4, 1916, she declared a ruthless policy of unrestricted naval warfare to com-
mence February ist in all waters surrounding her enemy countries. As a
sop to the United States one ship per week flying our flag was to be
"allowed" to sail through a prescribed course to Falmouth. This made the
break practically certain. Our stand for the freedom of the seas was
The President acted promptly. On February 3d passports were handed
to the German Ambassador, Count von Bernstorff (who, by the way, did
much to prevent a crisis arising), and our Ambassador in Berlin, Mr.
Gerard, was recalled. In quick succession followed Mr. Wilson's appeal
to other neutrals to take the same action, and his refusal to open nego-
tiations with Germany until she should withdraw her new policy.
The one last straw which broke the back of our endurance was the
authorized publication on February 28th by the Associated Press of the
contents of a note signed by the German Foreign Secretary, Zimmerman,
addressed to the German Ambassador to Mexico proposing an alliance
with Mexico in the event of war between the United States and Germany,
and even proposing that Japan be invited to join. Financial aid and
territorial annexation was promised to our southern neighbors. Let it be
said right here that Japan immediately repudiated any knowledge of the
proposal and refused absolutely to take it into consideration.
Two points in this scheme stood out prominently. The first was that
Germany expected, despite her ofifer of negotiations of February 12th, that
the United States would consider her pronouncement of January 31st a
cause of war. This necessitated a definite decision as to whether we were
to face the issue squarely and take its consequences or back down from our
position. We all know the answer — its wording is set forth on another
page in President Woodrow Wilson's address to the joint session of Con-
gress, April 2nd.
The other point which fanned the flame of our anger was the under-
handed attempt to re-embroil us with our then peaceful neighbor, Mexico.
Was Germany to be let go unpunished for attempting to set at naught our
successful eflforts to quiet the disturbance on our southwestern border ;
was all the work of our army in Mexico, the service and sacrifice of our
National Guard to be flouted ; or did the Monroe Doctrine still hold good ?
Those were the burning rmestions — and their answer was worthy of a land
known for its love of liberty and justice.
Even previous to this, far-seeing eyes beheld another development
which made a growing demand for our entry into the war — the weakening
of Russia. Should disaster fall in that direction a greater burden would be
thrown on France and England and the chances of defeating the blood and
iron rule of Germany became less, unless supported by the United States.
The Russian Duma brought about, on November 24, 1916. the replacing
of Boris V. Stiirmer, a pro-German, by Alexander TrepoiT as Premier.
Later, Prince Golitzin succeeded Trepofif. The crisis in that nation rose on
March 12th when the Duma refused -to dissolve upon order of the Czar.
That body in answer demanded internal reforms, a more energetic prose-
cution of the war, and even charged the Administration with being pro-
Three days later Czar Nicholas 11 abdicated the throne, both for himself
and his son, designating his brother, Grand Duke Michael Alexahdrovitch,
as his successor. A new cabinet was hastily formed ; on March i6th the
Duma declared for universal suffrage, liberty of speech, press and religion,
general amnesty and the abolition of political police. The Grand Duke
provisionally renounced the throne in favor of the democratic form of
'government they wished, and an election was called. Pending this, the
Provisional Government repeated its allegiance to the Allied Powers.
In spite of the long forbearance of this country in the face of growing
difficulties, we did not lie idle. During the last year the Army and Navy
have been active in preparing against eventualities. A Council of National
Defense was created by Congress. The Army awarded contracts for 175
airplanes and contracted for 200 more building. Late in December the
General Staff completed and laid before the Senate and House Committees
on military affairs the plans for the raising and mobilizing of 1,500,000
trained troops on a basis of universal military training. When this plan
was made public it created widespread discussion. There were many who
favored it as a necessity of preparedness, while others looked upon it
unfavorably as a phase of military domination inconsistent with our con-
stitutional ideals. The Sixty-fourth Congress had passed the Army Appro-
priation Bill in its first session but this feature was not included.
L^pon reconvening in 191 7, Congress in January and February passed
.several large bills appropriating money for the use of the Army and Navy.
On February 27, it authorized the President to supply defensive weapons
to merchant ships, which was announced on March 12. When the first of
these ships sailed the country held its breath, expecting an actual com-
mencement of hostilities. The Navy Department let contracts for four
liattle cruisers and six scout cruisers on March 15.
Aleanwhile President Wilson called a special session of the new (Sixty-
fifth) Congress which met in joint session on April 2, 1917, when the
President addressed them. Debate waxed heavy on the war resolution but
finally, on April 4th, the Senate passed it by 82 to 6, the House passed it
April 6th by 373 to ^o: it was signed by the President and was transmitted
to the world.
President Woodrow Wilsons Address to Congress
in Joint Session, April 2nd, 1917
Gentlemen of the Congress:
I have called the Congress into extraordinary session because there are serious,
ver>' serious, choices of poHcy to be made and made immediately, which it was neither
right nor constitutionally permissible that I should assume the responsibihty of making.
On the third of February last I officially laid before you the extraordinary announce-
ment of the Imperial German Government that on and after the first day of Februarj-
it was its purpose to put aside all restraints of law or of humanity and use its sub-
marines to sink every vessel that sought to approach either the ports of Great Britain
and Ireland, or the western coasts of Europe, or any of the ports controlled by the
enemies of Germany within the Mediterranean. That had seemed to be the object of
the German submarine warfare earlier in the war, but since April of last year the
Imperial Government had somewhat restrained the commanders of its undersea craft in
conformity with its promise then given to us that passenger boats should not be sunk
and that due warning would be given to all other vessels which its submarines might
seek to destroy when no resistance was offered or escape attempted, and care taken that
their crews were given at least a fair chance to save their lives in their open boats.
The precautions taken were meagre and haphazard enough, as was proved in distressing
instance after instance in the progress of the cruel and unmanly business, but a certain
degree of restraint was observed. The new policy has swept every restriction aside.
Vessels of every kind, whatever their flag, their diaracter, their cargo, their distination,
their errand, have been ruthlessly sent to the bottom without warning and without thought
of help or mercy for those on board, the vessels of friendly neutrals along with those of
belligerents. Even hospital ships and ships carrj-ing relief to the sorely bereaved and
stricken people of Belgium, though the latter were provided with safe conduct through
the prescribed areas by the German Government itself and were distinguished by unmis-
takable marks of identity, have been sunk with the same reckless lack of compassion or
I was for a little while unable to believe that such things would in fact be done
by any government that had hitherto subscribed to the humane practices of civilized
nations. International law had its origin in the attempt to set up some law which would
be respected and observed xipon the seas where no nation had right of dominion and
where lay the free highways of the world. By painful stage after stage has that law-
been built up, with meagre enough results indeed, after all was accomplished that could
be accomplished, but always with a clear view, at least, of what the heart and con-
science of mankind demanded. This minimum of right the German Government has
swept aside under the plea of retaliation and necessity and because it had no weapons
which it could use at sea except those which it is impossible to employ as it is employing
them without throwing to the winds all scruples of humanity or of respect for the
understandings that were supposed to underlie the intercourse of the world. I am not
now thinking of the loss of property involved, immense and serious as that is, but only
of the wanton and wholesale destruction of the lives of non-combatants, men, women,
and children, engaged in pursuits which have always, even in the darkest periods of
modern history, been deemed innocent and legitimate. Property can be paid for; the
lives of peaceful and innocent people cannot be. The present German submarine warfare
against commerce is a warfare against mankind.
It is a war against all nations. American ships have been sunk, American lives
taken, in w^ays which it has stirred us very deeply to learn of, but ships and people
of other neutral and friendly nations have been sunk and overwhehned in the waters
in the same way. There has been no discrimination. The challenge is to all mankind.
Each nation must decide for itself how it will meet it. The choice we make for our-
selves must be made wnth a moderation of counsel and a temperateness of judgment
befitting our character and our motives as a nation. We must put excited feeling
away. Our motive will not be revenge or the victorious assertion of the pliysical might
of the nation, but only the vindication of right, of human right, of which we are only a
When I addressed the Congress on the twenty-sixth of February last I thought
that it would suffice to assert our neutral rights with arms, our right to use the seas
against unlawful interference, our right to keep our people safe against unlawful
violence. But armed neutrality, it now appears is impracticable. Because submarines
are in effect outlaws when used as the German submarines have been used against
merchant shipping, it is impossible to defend ships against their attacks as the law of
nations has assumed that merchantmen vw)uld defend themselves against privateers or
cruisers, visible craft giving chase upon the open sea.
It is common prudence, in such circumstances, grim necessity indeed, to endeavor
to destroy them before they have shown their own intention. They must be dealt with
upon sight, if dealt with at all. The German Government denies the right of neutrals
to use arms at all within the areas of the sea which it has proscribed, even in the
defence of rights which no modern publicist has ever before questioned their right to
The intimation is conveyed that the armed guards which we have placed on our
merchant ships will be treated as beyond the pale of law and subject to be dealt with as
pirates would be.
Armed neutrality is ineffectual enough at best; in such circumstances and in the
face of such pretensions it is worse than ineflfectual ; it is likely only to produce what
it was meant to prevent ; it is practically certain to draw us into the war without either
the rights or the effectiveness of belligerents. There is one choice we cannot make,
we are incapable of making. We will not choose the path of submission and suffer
the most sacred rights of our nation and our people to be ignored or violated. The
wrongs against which we now array ourselves are no common wrongs ; they cut to
the ver>' roots of human life.
With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am
taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience
to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent
course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against
the government and people of the United States ; that it formally accept the status of
belligerent whidi has thus been thrust upon it; and that it take immediate steps not
only to put the country in a more thorough state of defence, but also to exert all its
power and employ all its resources to bring the government of the German empire to
terms and end the war.
What this will involve is clear. It will involve the utmost practicable cooperation
in counsel and action with the governments now at war with Germany, and, as incident
to that, the extension to those governments of the most liberal financial credits in
order that our resources may, so far as possible, be added to theirs. It will involve the
organization and mobilization of all the material resources of the country to supply the
materials of war and serve the incidental needs of the nation in the most abundant,
and yet the most economical and efficient way possible.
It will involve the immediate full equipment of the navy in all respects, but par-
ticularly in supplying it with the best means of dealing with the enemy's submarines.
It will involve the immediate addition to the armed forces of the United States already
provided for by law in case of war, at least 500,000 men, who should, in my opinion,
be chosen upon the principle of universal liability to service, and also the authorization
of subsequent additional increments of equal force so soon as they may he needed and
can be handled in training.
It will involve, also, of course, the granting of adequate credits to the Government,
sustained, I hope, so far as they can equitably be sustained by the present generation,
by well conceived taxation. I say sustained so far as may be equitable by taxation
because it seems to me that it would be most unwise to base the credits which will
now be necessary entirely on money borrowed. It is our duty, I most respectfully urge,
to protect our people so far as we may against the very serious hardships and evils
which would be likely to arise out of the infliction which would be produced by vast
In carrying out the measures by which these things are to be accomplished, we
should keep constantly in mind the wisdom of interfering as little as possible in our
own preparation and in the equipment of our own military forces with the duty— for it
will be a very practical duty— of supplying the nations already at war with Germany
with the materials which they can obtain only from us or by our assistance. They are
in the field and we should help them in every way to be effective there.
I shall take the liberty of suggesting, through the several executive departments
of the Government for the consideration of your committees, measures for the accom-
plishment of the several objects I have mentioned. I hope that it will be your pleasure
to deal with them as having been framed after very careful thought by the branch of
the government upon which the responsibility of conducting the war and safeguarding
the nation will most directly fall.
While we do these things, these deeply momentous things, let us be very clear and
make very clear to all the world what our motives and our objects are. My own
thought has not been driven from its habitual and normal course by the unhappy events
of the last two months, and I do not believe that the thought of the nation has been
altered or clouded by them.
I have exactly the same things in mind now that I had in mind when I addressed
the Senate on the 22d of January last; the same that I had in mind when I addressed
the Congress on the 3d of February and on the 26th of February. Our object now, as
then, is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as
against selfish and autocratic power, and to set up amongst the really free and self-
governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as will hence-
forth insure the observance of those principles.
Neutrality is no longer feasible or desirable where the peace of the world is
involved and the freedom of its peoples, and the menace to that peace and freedom lies
in the existence of autocratic governments backed by organized force wTiich is controlled
wholly by their will, not by the will of their people. We have seen the last of neutrality
in such circumstances.
We are at the beginning of an age in which it will be insisted that the same
standards of conduct and of responsibility for wrong done shall be observed among
nations and their governments that are observed among the individual citizens of
We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling towards them
but one of sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse that their Gov-
ernment acted in entering this war. It was not with their previous knowledge or
approval. . • . ij
It was a war determined upon as wars used to be determmed upon m the old,
imhappy days when peoples were nowhere consulted by their rulers and wars were
provoked and waged in the interests of dynasties or of little groups of ambitious men
who were accustomed to use their fellow men as pawns and tools.
Self-governed nations do not fill their neighbor states with spies or set the course
of intrigue to bring about some critical posture of affairs which will give them an
opportunity to strike and make conquest. Such designs can be successfully worked out
only under cover and where no one has the right to ask questions.
Cunningly contrived plans of deception or aggression, carried, it may be, from
generation to generation, can be worked out and kept from the light only within the
privacy of courts or behind the carefully guarded confidences of a narrow and privi-
leged class. They are happily impossible where public opinion commands and msists
upon full information concerning all the nation's affairs.
A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except by a partnership of
democratic nations. No autocratic government could be trusted to keep faith within
it or observe its covenants.
It must be a league of honor, a partnership of opinion. Intrigue would eat its
vitals away; the plottings of inner circles who could plan what they would and render
account to no one would be a corruption seated at its very heart. Only free peoples
can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a common end and prefer the interests
of mankind to any narrow interest of their own.
Does not every American feel that assurance has been added to our hope for the
future peace of the world by the wonderful and heartening things that have been hap-
pening within the last few weeks in Russia?
Russia was known by those who knew it best to have been always in fact democratic
at heart, in all the vital habits of her thought, in all the intimate relationships of her
people that spoke their natural instinct, their habitual attitude towards life.
The autocracy that crowned the summit of her political structure, long as it had
stood and terrible as was the reality of its power, was not in fact Russian in origin,
character, or purpose, and now it has been shaken off and the great generous Russian
people have been added in all their native majesty and might to the forces that are
fighting for freedom in the world, for justice and for peace. Here is a fit partner for
a League of Honor.
One of the things that has served to convince us that the Prussian autocracy was
not a.nd could never be our friend is that from the very outset of the present war it
has filled our unsuspecting communities, and even our offices of government, with spies
and set criminal intrigues everywhere afoot against our national unity of counsel, our
peace within and without, our industries and our commerce.
Indeed, it is now evident that its spies were here even before the war began; and
it is unhappily not a matter of conjecture but a fact proved in our courts of justice
that the intrigues which have more than once come perilously near to disturbing the
peace and dislocating the industries of the country have been carried on at the instiga-
tion, with the support, and even under the personal direction of official agents of the
Imperial Government accredited to the Government of the United States.
Even in checking these things and trying to extirpate them we have sought to put
the most generous interpretation possible upon them, because we knew that their
source lay, not in any hostile feeling or purpose of the German people towards us (who
were, no doubt, as ignorant of them as we ourselves were), but only in the selfish
designs of a Government that did what it pleased and told its people nothing. But
they have played their part in serving to convince us at last that that Government
entertains no real friendship for us and means to act against our peace and security
at its convenience. That it means to stir up enemies against us at our very doors the
intercepted note to the German Minister at Mexico City is eloquent evidence.
We are accepting this challenge of hostile purpose because we know that in such
a government, following such methods, we can never have a friend ; and that in the
presence of its organized power, always lying in wait to accomplish we know not
what purpose, there can be no assured security for the democratic governments of the
We are now about to accept gage of battle with this natural foe to liberty and
shall, if necessary, spend the whole force of the nation to check and nullify its pre-
tensions and its power. We are glad, now that we see the facts with no veil of false
pretence about them, to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the world and for the libera-
tion of its peoples, the German peoples included; for the rights of nations, great and
small, and the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of obedience.
The world must be made safe for democracy; its pace must be planted upon tested
foundations of political liberty.
We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek
no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely
make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied
when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of the
nations can make them.
Just because we fight without rancor and without selfish object, seeking nothing for
ourselves but what we shall wish to share with all free peoples, we shall, I feel con-
fident, conduct our operations as belligerents without passion and ourselves observe
with proud punctilio the principles of right and of fair play we profess to be fighting for.
I have said nothing of the governments allied with the Imperial Government of
Germany because they have not made war upon us or challenged us to defend our right
and our honor. The Austro-Hungarian Government has, indeed, avowed its unqualified
indorsement and acceptance of the reckless, lawless submarine warfare adopted now
without disguise by the Imperial German Government, and it has, herefore, not been
possible for this Government to receive Count Tarnowski, the Ambassador recently
accredited to this Government by the Imperial and Royal Government of Austria-
Hungary; but that Government has not actually engaged in warfare against citizens of
the United States on the seas, and I take the liberty, for the present at least, of post-
poning a discussion of our relations with the authorities at Vienna. We enter this war
only where we are clearly forced into it because there are not other means of defend-
ing our rights.
rt will be all the easier for us to conduct ourselves as belligerents in a high spirit
of right and fairness because we act without animus, not in enmity towards a people
or with the desire to bring any injury or disadvantage upon them, but only in armed
opposition to an irresponsible Government which has thrown aside all considerations
of humanity and of right and is running amuck.
We are, let me say again, the sincere friends of the German people, and shall desire
nothing so much as the early reestablishment of intimate relations of mutual advantage
between us, however hard it may be for them, for the time being, to believe that this is
spoken from our hearts. We have borne with their present government through all these
bitter months because of that friendship— exercising a patience and forbearance which
would otherwise have been impossible. We shall, happily, still have no opportunity to
prove that friendship in our daily attitude and actions toward the millions of men and
women of German birth and native sympathy who live amongst us and share our life,
and we shall be proud to prove it towards all who are in fact loyal to their neighbors
and to the Government in the hour of test. They are, most of them, as true and loyal
Americans as if they had never known any other fealty or allegiance. They will be
prompt to stand with us in rebuking and restraining the few who may be of a different
mind and purpose.
If there should be disloyalty, it will be dealt with with a firm hand of stern repres-
sion; but, if it lifts its head at all, it will lift it only here and there and without counten-
ance except from a lawless and malignant few.
It is a distressing and oppressive duty, gentlemen of the Congress, which I have
performed in thus addressing you. There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and
sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war,
into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the
balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things
whicli we have always carried nearest our hearts — for democracy, for the right of those
gf<--;__^ *. who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and
'■i^^r~v liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free
peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at
To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are
and ever>-thing that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come
when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that
gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her.
she can do not other.
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D'UXBAK Leather Belting has won an immense
trade in all countries of the world because it gives the
maximum return for its cost. Compared with ordinary
leather belting or with canvas or rubber beltings it is
far more economical and gives much more efficient
pUXBAK was designed primarily for use in damp
climates or where water, steam, oil or acid fumes de-
stroyed ordinary belting. But the waterproofing treat-
ment, through which DUXBAK leather is put, so in-
creased its flexibility and pulley gripping qualities that
we soon found .power users applying it to all their
This double quality makes DUXBAK the most
widely used belting in "the world, as it supplies, in itself,
every belting requirement of any belt user, whatever
his industry may be.
We have many interesting features to tell you about
the uses of DUXBAK Belting. Write us for full par-
ticulars, sample and prices on any size and any quan-
tity you require.
Prompt deliveries made from our
various depots in the world's princi-
pal trade centers.
r/ tgmn'/Ut/ n/ia/ii/
T.4NNERS, BELT M.\Nl FACTVRERS
New York: :iO-3S Ferry Street
Oak Leather Tanllerie^: Bristol, Tenn.
Offiees and Branches in ->lany Important (
Cable Address: "OCRBYBM"
A. B. r. Code Sth Edition
•ILW YORK OFFICE Vt. IJreeze, Pa.
IToduce Exchange Annex Telephone Brond 4210 Pt. Arthur, Texas
San Francisco. Cal.
CHAS. MARTIN & CO.
INSPECTORS OF PETROLEUM
Authorized and Approved by the New York Produce Exchange
TANK MEASURING A SPECIALTY
FRANCE AND CANADA
New York City
Rosenwasser Bros. Inc.
Executive Offices and Factories
LONG ISLAND CITY
N. Y. Salesroom, 452 Fifth Avenue
FINE WELT SHOES
U. S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps
Leggings, Knapsacks, Haversacks
and Army Supplies
U. S. A., N., and M. C. Standards
LEWIS AUTOMATIC MACHINE GUNS
MILITARY HIGH-POWER & SMALL CALIBER SPORTING RIFLES
AUTOMATIC PISTOLS and AMMUNITION
Factories: Sharon, Penn.; Utica, N. Y., U. S. A.
Executive Offices: 50 Church Street, New York City
with Double Table Clamps.
Polished and Full Nickel-plated
So Simple a Child can use it
Surgical Instrument Makers
GEORGE TIEMANN & CO.
Surgical Instrument >Iakers
107 Park Row
THE STANDARD COMMERCIAL
TOBACCO CO., INC.
New York — Russia — Greece
The Army & Xa\v Co-operative
Company, backed b\' 7,000 Arm\-.
N'avy, Marine Corps and National
(iiiard Officers, has made arrangements
to fill your requirements, no matter
where you are serving, whether abroad
or in the I'nited States, and with
Our experience in the past, making
shipments abroad and together witli
the large stock of uniforms and equip-
ment on hand at all times, give assur-
ances of service. Why not take advan-
tage of this?
Write for price list and mail order
Arm}' & Navy Co-operative Company
t6 East 42nd Street, near Fifth Avenue
Ninth I lixir
New York City
Washington, D.C. : 721-7 i7thSt.. N.W.
Philadelphia, Pa.: 1121-3 So. Broad St.
Telephone Chelsea 3978
Night Telephone Bergen 1937
William J. Kennedy Co.
518-520 West Twenty-second Street
PURSCH & LEVIN
FUR TRIMMED GARMENTS
H TII WKM E
MIETZ OIL ENGINES
>I.\KIXE AM) ST.VTION.MJV SIZES ■.'- l()0 II. I'.
Over 300,000 H.P. in operation
Used by U. S. and Foreign Govern-
AUGUST MIETZ CORPORATION
i;s-i:is MOTT sTKEET m:w vokk < itv
'Mid Summer Flowers
with the kiddies, are easily possi-
ble where ELECTRIC SERV-
ICE in the Home economizes
labor, and gives you leisure for
The use of Electricity — Electric
Lighting — the Electric Washer —
Vacuum Cleaner — Iron, etc., will
make each day go twice as far as
Make the most of the summer
days. Win health and happiness
by using Electricity. Ask Us
BINGHAMTON LIGHT HEAT
AND POWER CO.
172 Washington St.
BINGHAMTON, N. Y.
Our soldiers are protecting
Have you PROTECTED
your family ?
Our policies are THE PER-
FECTION OF PRO
TECTION Inquire of
Security Mutual Life
Binghamton, N. Y.
COAL COMPANY OF FULTON
Gloversville, N. Y.
Binghamton, N. Y.
RAILROAD AND MARINE
Full line of Bronze and Iron
Body Valves carried in stock.
WILLIAM E. WILLIAMS
62 FRONT STREET, NEW YORK
EMPRESS OF CIGARS
On sale at
TOBACCO CORPORATION OF AMERICA
6 East 39th St., New York City, N. Y.
43 Murray Street
"Binghamton's Most Popular
FOWLER, DICK & WALKER
The Department Store Which
SPECIALIZES IN Men's Clothing
C. Kenyon Company
UNCLE SAM'S FIGHTING MEN WEAR THEM !
OUR SOLDIERS WITH PERSHING - ON THE BORDER - IN TRAINING
ARE FITTED WITH
The Endicott-Johnson U. S. Army Shoe
(BACKED BY 25 YEARS OF THE "SQUARE DEAL")
U. S. ARMY SHOE
Made over the regulation
Munson last designed by Gov-
ernment experts, is the ideal
shoe for drill, hiking or every-
No "sore feet" in this shoe —
it's the most comfortable ever
made, supporting the foot
where it needs support.
DRIES SOFT after wetting.
U. S. ARMY SHOE
(LOOK FOR THIS STA:\lr OX SOLES)
SOLDIER or CIVILIAN-CAMP or STREET
Endicott-Johnson U. S. Army Shoes "Fill the Bill"
ENDICOTT, JOHNSON & CO.
MAKERS OF ARMY AND NAVY SHOES FOR THE I'NITED STATES GOVERNMENT
ENDICOTT, NEW YORK
write For * '
INTERNATIONAL MOTOR CO. West end. Ave.& S^^^t. f^EW YORK CITY.