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Full text of "The story of General Pershing"



X 



THE STORY 
OF GENERAL PERSHING 



THE STORY OF 
GENERAL PERSHING 



BY 

EVERETT T. TOMLINSON ' 

AUTHOR OP "FIGHTERS YOUNG AMERICANS WANT TO KNOW," ETC 




ILLUSTRATED 



D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 

NEW YORK LONDON 

1919 



THE NEVy YOtv^ 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

ASTOR^LENOX AND 
riLDENFOL'NDATIOi^^: 

R 1319 L 



COPYPJGHT, 19 1 9, BY 

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 



Printed in the United States of America 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

The writer gratefully acknowledges tlie aid 
lie has received in tlie preparation of this book. 
To President Greene and Mr. J. E. Bell of Wil- 
liam Jewell College, Missouri, he is under 
special obligations. Mr. Bell in order to aid 
the writer spent several days in Linn County* 
Missouri, verifying and obtaining facts. To 
Mr. Herbert Putnam of the Library of Con- 
gress, Mr. John Cotton Dana of the Newark, 
New Jersey, Public Library, and to Dr. Arthur 
E. Bostwick of the St. Louis Public Library he 
owes a special debt of gratitude for bibliog- 
raphies and carefully prepared suggestions as 
to sources of information. From Cashin's 
** Under Fire with the 10th U. S. Cavalry,'' 
Missouri State Historical Review, Eeports of 
the War Department and other publications, 
selections and citations have been made and 
from the facts contained in dispatches from 
France, particularly the very excellent reports 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

in the New York Times and New York Sun, 
the writer has obtained valuable information. 
The direct aid of United States Senator Fre- 
linghuysen in obtaining data from the War 
Department and the suggestion of United 
States Senator Warren have been most help- 
ful. Replies to questions sent to friends and 
relatives of the General have assisted in veri- 
fying certain facts and figures. Many who per- 
sonally knew the great commander in his 
younger days have very kindly given the writer 
such help as lay within their power. He gladly 
recognizes his indebtedness, especially to the 
following persons: Mr. Charles Spurgeon, 
Brookfield, Mo.; Judge 0. F. Libby, Bigger, 
Mo.; H. C. Lomax, Esq., Laclede, Mo.; S. E. 
Carothers, Waco, Tex.; Mr. Robert S. Huse, 
Elizabeth, N. J., whose father was the *^ splen- 
did old Caleb'' of the Highland Military 
Academy; Hon. E. W. Stephens, Columbia, Mo.; 
Mrs. Louisa D. Warren, Meadville, Mo., and Mr. 
Wesley L. Love, Brookfield, Mo. Major James 
E. Runcie, Librarian of the United States Mili- 
tary Academy, West Point, N. Y., and General 

vi 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

P. C. Harris, acting the Adjutant General, Have 
both been exceedingly kind in providing and 
verifying certain items of information which 
otherwise it would have been difficult if not 
impossible to obtain. The writer wishes to 
thank all these good people who have helped 
to make even the gathering of data an inspira- 
tion. Articles appearing in many current mag- 
azines and newspapers have provided interest- 
ing items, but the writer has quoted from them 
only after verification of certain details. 



vu 



PREFACE 

The purpose of the writer of this little book 
is merely to tell the story in outline of the 
career of the commander of the American Ex- 
peditionary Forces in France. The modesty of 
General Pershing has kept his name out of print 
to a greater extent than in the case of many 
of our prominent men. His advancement also 
came rapidly in these recent years. As a result 
of these two conditions many of the fellow 
countrymen of the General are not familiar 
with the story of his early life or his successful 
work in the Philippines. This they not only 
have a right to know, but they ought to know. 

The writer has endeavored to tell the story 
briefly as it has been told him, or as it has been 
kept in the records of the War Department and 
elsewhere. The complete biography and the 
analysis of General Pershing's personality and 
military career he leaves to later writers. The 
simple story of the struggles and achievements 
of a more or less typically successful American 
is presented, with the hope that others also may 

ix 



PREFACE 

find in the record the inspiration and interest 
whicli the writer has found. Sometimes fight- 
ing against obstacles that appeared almost in- 
surmountable, struggling to obtain an educa- 
tion in the schools, not faltering when tragic 
sorrows came, his determination succeeding 
in military campaigns where previous centuries 
of fighting had failed — the career of General 
Pershing has been a continuous overcoming. 
Confidence in a great leader is an essential con- 
dition of victory and the writer has tried to 
present facts to show that the trust of the 
American people in their military leader is well 
founded. 

Some years ago a certain tight-fisted denizen 
of the United States inquired sneeringly of a 
young man from his village, who was working 
his way through college, *^What do you expect 
to make of yourself anyway f Instantly came 
the reply, * * A man. ' ' Cause and effect, aim and 
incentive, object and motive alike are all 
summed up in that response. Behind the Gen- 
eral is the man whose story the writer has tried 
to tell just as he has found it. 



CONTENTS 

OHAPTEB PAGB 

I A Historic Moment 1 

II Birth and Early Home 7 

III Boyhood and Student Days 22 

IV Fighting the Apaches and the Sioux. 44 
V A Military Instructor 56 

VI In the Spanish War 65 

VII In the Philippines 86 

VIII Subjecting the Moros 96 

^ IX In Pursuit of Villa 118 

X Called to Command the American Ex- 
peditionary Forces in France 131 

XI Why America Went to War with 

Germany 149 

XII In England and France 161 

XIII At the Tomb of Napoleon 171 

XIV A Wreath for the Tomb of Lafayette. 181 
XV Fourth of July in France and Bas- 

TiLE Day in America 193 

XVI Incidents and Characteristics 203 

XVII What Others Think op Him 225 

XVIII As A Writer and Speaker 238 

XIX The Man Behind the General 242 

XX His Military Record 257 

xi 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



FACING PACi 



General Pershing Frontispiece ''^- 

The Home of the Pershings, Laclede, Missouri 10 

General Pershing as a Boy 22 

The Church the Pershings Attended at La- 
clede 28 

The Prairie Mound School 28 

The Highland Military Academy 34 

United States Military Academy, "West Point, 

N. Y 34 

Col. Huse, ''Splendid Old Caleb*' 40 

KiRKsviLLE, Mo., State Normal School 40 

The Lieutenant in the Family 46 

General Foch and General Pershing 254 



••• 



THE 

STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 



CHAPTER I 

A Historic Moment 

The morning of June 13, 1917, was one of the 
historic mornings in the history of the world. 
On the landing dock at Boulogne, France, a de- 
tachment of French infantry was drawn np in 
line. The men were clad in the uniform of 
battle. Their faces confirmed the report that 
recently they had seen hard service in the 
trenches — as they had. Not a young soldier 
was in the lines — they were all middle-aged 
men, perhaps made older by the fearful expe- 
riences through which they recently had passed. 

1 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

This morning, however, there was an air of 
eagerness and expectancy in the expressions on 
their faces ; and the eyes of all, with an intent- 
ness that was at once pathetic and tragic, were 
watching a boat that was drawing near the 
landing stage. 

In the assembly on the dock an observer 
would have seen certain of the great men of 
France. There were Brigadier General Pelle- 
tier; Rene Bernard, Under Secretary of State 
for War ; General Dumas ; General Dupon, rep- 
resenting General Petain; and the military gov- 
ernor of Boulogne. ^ Representatives of other 
nations and forces also were in the midst of 
the eager throng. There, too, were Sir George 
Fowke, representing General Sir Douglas 
Haig; and Captain Boyd, Military Attache of 
the American War Department. Men, resplen- 
dent in their uniforms and decorations, who 
represented the British and French navies, also 
were in the assembly, all as deeply interested 
as were their military comrades. The nearby 
streets were filled with people waiting and sub- 
dued, and yet in a state of mind that at any 

2 



A HISTORIC MOMENT 

moment would have carried the great assembly 
into the wildest enthusiasm. 

The cause of the excitement was to be 
found in a little group of men assembled on 
the deck of a steamer that was slowly ap- 
proaching the dock. In the center of the group 
stood a man in the uniform of the United States 
Army. He was six feet in height, broad shoul- 
dered, trim-waisted, muscular and wiry. His 
hair was gray and his closely cropped mustache 
was also tinged with gray. His dark eyes were 
glowing, though every nerve and muscle was 
under the control of his will — a will that was 
as strong as his prominent chin and nose indi- 
cated. It was the first time in the history of 
the world that an American soldier was landing 
in Europe, there to fight for his own country 
and for the liberty of the world. There is slight 
cause for wonder that a murmur ran from one 
to another in the expectant crowd: ** Truly 
here comes a man!'' And the man was to be 
followed by millions, clad in the uniform of the 
land from which he came. 

We may be sure that when this soldier, Gen- 
3 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

eral John Joseph Pershing, stepped ashore and 
General Dumas greeted the American in the 
words, * ^ I salute the United States of America, 
which has now become united to the United 
States of Europe,'' there was a cause for the 
deep emotion that manifested itself in Per- 
shing's dark eyes. It was, as he said, **a his- 
toric moment." As he greeted the French 
colors, the detachment of brave men that had 
recently come from the firing line stood immov- 
able like men of steel, and the American gen- 
eral slowly passed down the line, his face alone 
still betraying his feeling over the deep so- 
lemnity of the moment. Ajid what a moment 
it was! Their dead had not died in vain, their 
heroic struggle against barbarism, all the sor- 
rows and losses the devoted French people had 
borne were now focused on the coming of an 
American general and his staff. For behind 
him was America, and she was coming too. 

And this American general, with his staff of 
fifty-three officers and one hundred and forty- 
six men, including privates and civilian at- 
taches, stood before the beholders as the fore- 

4 



A HISTORIC MOMENT 

runners of a mighty host which was deter- 
mined to help clear the world of the German 
menace to life, liberty and the pursuit of happi- 
ness. General Pershing, the fifth full gen- 
eral of the United States, is the successor to 
Washington, Grant, Sherman and Sheridan. 
So modest has been his career, so great his re- 
luctance to appear in print, that many, even 
in his own nation, are not familiar with the 
deeds he has done. He has not sought pro- 
motion, but promotion sought him. Appar- 
ently, at times, in far away provinces, he has 
been banished to obscurity. Seven years passed 
before he was raised from the rank of a second 
lieutenant to a first lieutenancy, and yet the 
year 1917 found him in command of the Amer- 
ican Expeditionary Forces in France, the first 
leader of American troops to land with dra^vn 
swords on the soil of Europe. The record is 
marvelous and it is also inspiring. What man- 
ner of man is this commander? What is the 
story of his life! Who were his father and 
mother? Where did he come from? How did 
he develop the powers that led one American 

5 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

President to advance him eight hundred and 
sixty-two points at one time and caused another 
President to select him as the one man to com- 
mand the soldiers of the United States in 
France? What are his qualifications — mental, 
moral and physical? 

This story is an attempt to answer these 
questions in such a manner that the people of 
his own land may be able to understand a part 
at least of the career of the man behind the 
general. It does not try to analyze critically 
the military career of General John Joseph Per- 
shing, nor does it primarily portray the devel- 
opment of the soldier. It is rather a modest 
recital of the leading events in the life of Per- 
shing, the man, who became Pershing, the 
General. 



'CHAPTER n 

BiBTH AND EakLY HoMB 

Feom this, the time of our greatest war, we 
must drop back approximately half a century to 
the time of our second greatest war. It is note- 
worthy that General Pershing, our leader in the 
war for the world's freedom, was bom in the 
early days in the war for the negroes ' freedom. 

The future general first saw the light Septem- 
ber 13, 1860, in or near the little village of La- 
clede, Missouri. The lad was **from Missouri'* 
and the current semi-slang expression has cer- 
tainly been true in his case. One had to **show 
him, ' ' for he made up his mind, mapped out his 
own plans and conducted his own studies and 
investigations. This characteristic has re- 
mained with him to this day. The accepted date 
of his birth and the house in which he was born 
are still matters of mild dispute among the good 

7 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

people of the little village of Laclede. A friend 
of his boyhood days says, ^'He was born in a 
section house about 3,000 yards from the site 
of the old depot. The foundation is still there. ' ' 
But the people of Laclede and Meadville, a 
nearby hamlet, are not a unit in this detail, 
though all are heartily agreed and proud in 
their recollection of the lad who since has made 
the little hamlet famous. 

** Grandma" Warren (Mrs. Louisa D.) 
through her daughter sends the following con- 
tribution to this mooted question: 

**My mother states that in the spring of 1859, the 
General's father and mother, then recently married, 
came to board with her father, Meredith Brown, who 
resided about two and one-half miles east of Mead- 
ville, Mo. My mother, then a widow, was living at 
the home of her father and was associated with the 
Pershings that summer. 

''In the fall of the year the Pershings moved to 
a house of their own about a half mile west of the 
Brown home and this is the place where the General 
was born. The tract of land on which the house stood 
is now owned by John Templeman and is the north 
1/2 of Sec. 5, T'wp 57, range 21, Linn Co., Mo. The 
house in which the General was born was destroyed 

8 



BIRTH AND EARLY HOME 

by fire during the Civil War. IMother was present 
at the General's birth and dressed him in his first 
suit. 

* ' From the house where the General was born they 
moved to what was known as the 'Section House,' — 
a house built for the section foreman of the railroad. 
This house was located about two miles west of Mead- 
ville on the Hannibal and St. Joseph R. R., now the 
Burlington. 

''During the time from 1859 and a few years later, 
the senior Pershing was section foreman on this road. 
At the last mentioned place of residence the second 
child was born. 

"After a few years' residence at the section house, 
the family moved to Laclede, Mo., seven miles east of 
Meadville. At this place the father engaged in mer- 
cantile business, continuing in the business for a num- 
ber of years. My mother visited at the Pershing home 
at this place frequently. After leaving Laclede, 
mother lost communication with them. 

* ' The citizens of Meadville and vicinity have in the 
course of construction at the present time a large sign 
to be erected at the birthplace of the General. My 
mother is now in her 85th year. 

"The place of the General's birth is near a small 
stream known as Hickory Branch and the community 
along this stream is known as the Hickory Branch 
Community. In closing, I wish to pay my respects to 
the General: John J. Pershing, the baby, belongs to 

9 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

Hickory Branch. John J. Pershing, the man, be- 
longs to the world. 

** Yours truly, 

^'E. S. Warren. »^ 

It is not strange if seven cities contended 
with one another for the honor of being the 
birthplace of Homer that two small villages in 
Missouri are divided in their claims for a simi- 
lar honor in the case of the present foremost 
American soldier. As to the merits of the con- 
test it is impossible to pronounce judgment at 
this time. The General himself has only hear- 
say evidence of the exact locality of his birth, 
though there is no question as to its having 
taken place in Linn County, Missouri, and that 
his boyhood was passed in the village of La- 
clede. 

The General's father, John F. Pershing, a 
short time before the birth of his oldest child 
(the general), came from Westmoreland 
County, Pennsylvania, and went to work as a 
section foreman on the Hannibal and St. Joe 
Eailroad. He was a forceful man, of energy 
and ambition, and it was not long before he 

10 




i.;^^^Hmmi^^t 



THE M..'V 

PUBLIC Lj] 



YOhK 

!RARY 



ASTOR, LFNOX 
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 



BIRTH AND EARLY HOME 

was running a general store and at the same 
time was postmaster of the village. A man 
now living, who worked for the GeneraPs 
father in both the general store and post office, 
has this tribute to pay to his one time em- 
ployer: *'He was a very active business man 
with wonderful energy, strictly honest, never 
stooped to a dishonest trick; a pronounced man 
in the community; the leading business man. 
He liked to make money. He lost two fortunes 
on the Board of Trade, Chicago. He traveled 
several years out of St. Joseph, probably one 
of the best paid men. He later left St. Joe for 
Chicago, where he was traveling salesman for 
another firm. He made many business ventures 
— was something of what to-day is called a pro- 
moter. 

**He was a man of commanding presence. 
He was a great family man, loved his family 
devotedly. He was not lax and ruled his house- 
hold well.'' 

The older Pershing was insistent that his 
children should be able to meet the difficulties 
in life that must be overcome before success 

11 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

can be won. The value of regular habits of ap- 
preciation of the things worth while, was his 
hobby and he taught by example as well as by 
precept. Hard work was essential. Therefore 
hard work must be undertaken and done, and he 
began early to train his three boys and three 
girls, who of the nine that were born to him 
grew to maturity. His creed included the pre- 
cept that it is well to learn to bear the yoke in 
one 's youth. Every Sunday the Pershing fam- 
ily were seen on their way to the little Methodist 
church of which the father and mother were 
members, Mr. Pershing at one time being super- 
intendent of the Sunday School. He is reported 
also to have been a local preacher. He was one 
of the founders of his church. 

A neighbor writes, ''When the Civil War 
broke out, the elder Pershing left the railroad 
and became the regimental sutler of the old 
18th Mo. Eeg. Infantry. Later he engaged 
in merchandising and farming with success, 
but was caught in the panic of 1873. About 
1876, he went to work for I. Weil & Company 

12 



BIRTH AND EARLY HOME 

of St. Joseph, Mo., as a traveling salesman, 
selling clothing, and later for a big Chicago 
house. The family lived at Laclede until about 
1886, at which time they moved to Lincoln, Ne- 
braska, where two of the daughters now reside. 
General Pershing's father and mother are both 
dead. 

*'The Pershing family were zealous church 
people. John F. Pershing was the Sunday 
School superintendent of the Methodist Church 
all the years he lived here, I think, or until he 
commenced to work for I. Weil & Co. Every 
Sunday you could see him making his way to 
church with John (the general) on one side and 
Jim on the other, Mrs. Pershing and the little 
girls following along. The family was a serious 
loss to the Methodist church when they moved 
away from here.'' 

Throughout his life there was an air of seri- 
ousness under which the future general was 
brought up. Doubtless from his earliest days 
the impression that if he was to do anything 
worth while he must first be something worth 
while, consciously or unconsciously influenced 

13 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the life of the son of the father, who was eager 
to have his children secure the best education 
within their power to obtain and his ability to 
give. At all events, the General's life-plan 
seems to have been to get ready, whether or not 
the test comes. If it does come, one is prepared; 
if it does not come one is prepared just the 
same. Here again it was the man behind the 
general, shaped, guided, trained and inspired 
by the strong, earnest personality of his father. 
From a member of the Pershing family the 
following statement has been received: ^^His 
(the general's) father was bom near Pitts- 
burgh, Pa., his ancestors having come from 
Alsace-Lorraine. He was prominent in church 
work and all philanthropic work. He estab- 
lished the Methodist Church at Laclede, Mo., 
and after moving to Chicago was instrumental 
in forming the Hyde Park Methodist Church. 
He was also active in the Y. M. C. A., Chicago, 
and organized the Hyde Park branch. He was 
in the Union Army and was the first man to ob- 
serve Memorial Day in Laclede, taking his own 
children and the children of his neighborhood, 

14 



BIRTH AND EARLY HOME 

with flowers from his own garden, to decorate 
the graves of the soldiers. Mr. Pershing (John 
Fletcher Pershing) was president of the school 
board at Laclede and it was through his work 
that the graded schools were organized and 
new buildings erected. He was also postmaster 
in Laclede." 

Of his mother — the best report from Laclede 
is that she was a ** splendid home maker." 
Why is it that most great men have had great 
mothers? Frequently we are disappointed in 
the sons of great men. Either the boys do not 
measure up to their sires, or we are prone to 
expect too much of them, or, as is quite likely, 
we contrast the young man at the beginning of 
his career with the reputation of his father 
when it is at its zenith. 

But history is filled with examples of men 
who have attributed all they have done or won 
to the inspiring love and devotion of the 
mothers that bore them. And General Pershing 
is no exception to this rule. One time, when, 
after years of absence he came back to Laclede 
as a brigadier general in the army of the 

15 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

United States, he went to call upon Aunt Susan 
Hewett, an aged widow and old resident of tlie 
town. In his boyhood, Aunt Susan and her 
husband, * ^Captain'' Hewett, had *'run the 
hotel.'' Aunt Susan in her prime was famous 
for her pies and her love of boys, and Johnnie 
Pershing was a favorite. As a result of her 
affection for the lad he was a frequent and 
successful sampler of her wares. The picture 
of Aunt Susan and her pies and the sampling 
done by the future general of the United States 
Army is one that is easily imagined and 
strongly appeals to those who know the worth 
of well made pies, — for in spite of local pride, 
good pies are not all limited to New England. 

To a reporter two or three years ago Aunt 
Susan said,* *'Law, yes, I remember John when 
he wasn't more'n two or three years old. When 
John was big enough to put on trousers he used 
to eat more pies in our kitchen than any other 
boy in town. 

**He was back here about ten years ago. It 

*Missouri Historical Review. 
16 



BIRTH AND EARLY HOME 

was on the 24tli day of October that Uncle 
Henry Lomax came to my house and said, * Aunt 
Susan, there's a gentleman outside that wants 
to see you.' When I stepped outside and saw 
a tall young man, Uncle Henry asked me if I 
knew who it was. 

** ^Yes,' I said, 'it's John Pershing. I can 
see his mother's features in his face.' He came 
to me with his arms open and he embraced me 
and kissed me and we both cried. 'Aunt 
Susan,' he says, and I'll never forget his words 
as long as I live, 'it does my heart good to see 
my mother's dear old friends. The place seems 
like home to me and it always will. I've been 
away a long time and there have been many 
changes, but this is home.' The chrysanthe- 
mums were in bloom and after we had talked 
a while in the parlor I went out and picked a 
bouquet for him to take away. 

' ' ' They are going to have some kind of a re- 
ception for me to-night and I want you to come, 
Aunt Susan,' he says. I told him I'd try to be 
there but that I was tired and worn out because 
I had been working hard in the garden. 'You 

17 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

won't have to walk, Aunt Susan, because 111 
come after you myself. ' About five in the after- 
noon he came in a buggy. We went to his re- 
ception together and my! what a crowd. The 
whole house was packed and people were stand- 
ing in the yard. Johnny shook hands with 
everybody and talked to them and he finally 
made a speech, which I didn't hear because 
there were so many people around. John Per- 
shing always did have talent." 

This incident of his later years is eloquent 
of the earlier years — and of Pershing's mother. 
Behind the figure of the living is another who 
being dead, yet speaketh. **A splendid home 
maker. ' ' 

The relatives of General Pershing disclaim 
all knowledge of this incident and are inclined 
to pronounce it ' ' mostly fiction. ' ' The incident 
is taken from the Missouri Historical Review. 
In other forms also the story has become cur- 
rent. A former friend of the family, now a resi- 
dent of Laclede, also questions the reliability of 
the tale, basing his conclusion upon the fact 
that the local village taverns were not places 

18 



BIRTH AND EARLY HOME 

Avliich such a man as General Pershing's father 
would knowingly permit his boys to frequent. 

Nor is Aunt Susan's fact (or fiction) the only 
tribute. Before me is a letter from a long time 
friend and neighbor of the family which states : 
*^Mrs. Pershing stood high among her neigh- 
bors. She was a woman of unusual intelligence 
and much better educated than the average 
woman of those days. She was an unusually 
cultivated woman. Mr. Pershing probably had 
the best library in the town. His father and 
mother were both religious and John went to 
Sunday School and church every Sunday. ' ' The 
deep affection is apparent as one reads between 
the lines of many letters received from those 
who years ago knew her both personally and 
well. It is not difficult to trace the source of 
the inspiration of Pershing's life. 

An intimate friend of the General in response 
to a personal request has courteously given the 
following modest statement: ^^ General Per- 
shing's mother was Ann Elizabeth Thompson. 
She was born near Nashville, Tenn. Although 
she came of a southern family she joined her 

19 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

husband in her sympathy for the cause of the 
North, and made the first flag that was raised 
in Linn County, thereby risking the lives of her 
family. One of her brothers was in the South- 
ern army, and one served on the Northern side. 
When her brother, Colonel L. A. Thompson, 
was wounded, her husband secured permission 
to cross the line and brought him home. Mrs. 
Pershing was always an inspiration for her 
children and her ambition for them, especially 
in an educational way, was without bounds. ' ' 

And there came a time when General Per- 
shing doubtless realized as never before all that 
his mother had been to him. His troops were 
mounted and he was about to give the command 
for the departure of his men on an expedition 
against the Moros. At that moment an orderly 
advanced and gave him a message which in- 
formed him of the death of his mother, in her 
far away home. It was a blow as hard as it was 
sudden. The face of the leader was almost 
ghastly in its whiteness. He swallowed hard 
two or three times and then quietly gave the 
command for his troops to advance. He was 

20 



BIRTH AND EARLY HOMS 

a soldier of his country and tlie message whicli 
had brought him the deepest sorrow of his life 
up to that time must not be permitted to allow 
his personal grief to interfere with his duty. 
The lesson his mother had taught him was put 
to the test and was not forgotten. 



21 



CHAPTER ni 

Boyhood and Student Days 

• In tlie family were three boys and three girls 
(of the nine children) that lived to manhood 
and womanhood. Ward, the general 's younger 
brother, an officer in the Spanish-American 
war, is dead. Lieutenant Paddock married the 
GeneraPs sister, Grace. He died in China dur- 
ing the Boxer uprising. Two other sisters now 
reside in Lincoln and a brother is in business in 
Chicago. 

The writer quoted above also says, '*John 
was always settled as a boy. There was noth- 
ing sensational or spectacular about him. He 
had the confidence of everybody.'^ Another of 
his boyhood chums writes: *^ John Pershing was 
a clean, straight, well behaved young fellow. 
He never was permitted to loaf around on the 
streets. Nobody jumped on him and he didn't 

22 





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General Pershing as a Boy. 



THE I^EV/ : -1^ 
PUBLIC LIBK^R^ 

ASTQR, LENOX 
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS' 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

jump on anybody. He attended strictly to his 
own business. He had his lessons when he went 
to class. He was not a big talker. He said a 
lot in a few words, and didn't try to cut any 
swell. He was a hard student. He was not 
brilliant, but firm, solid and would hang on to 
the very last. We used to study our lessons 
together evenings. About nine-thirty or ten 
o'clock, I'd say: 

** *John, how are you coming!' 

'' * Pretty stubborn.' 

** * Better go to bed, hadn't we?' 

** *No, Charley, I'm going to work this 
out.' " 

One, who distinctly recalls him as a boy, de- 
scribes him: ^'His hair was light and curly. 
He had large black eyes; was square- jawed 
and was iron-willed. His shoulders were square, 
and he was straight as an arrow. He had a 
firm, set mouth and a high forehead, and even 
as a boy was a dignified chap. And yet he was 
thoroughly democratic in his manner and 
beUef." 

Another, who was a playmate, has the fol- 
23 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

lowing tribute: ^*As a boy Pershing ^as not 
unlike thousands of other boys of his age, 
enjoying the same pleasures and games as his 
other boyhood companions. He knew the best 
places to shoot squirrels or quail, knew where 
to find the hazel or hickory nuts. He knew, 
too, where the coolest and deepest swimming 
pools in the Locust, Muddy or Turkey creeks 
were. Many a time we went swimming to- 
gether in Pratt's pond. At school John was 
studious and better able than the most of us 
to grasp the principles outlined in the text 
books. As a rule he led his classes, particularly 
in mathematics. His primary education was 
obtained in a little white school house of one 
room, eighteen by twenty feet, which is still 
standing. Later he attended Lewis Hall, a 
building which formerly was a hospital in the 
War of the Rebellion. It was located across 
the street from the Pershing residence. This 
building later was moved to the old Pershing 
farm (now owned by Mrs. John Deninger's 
family) and is used as a barn. 
**John was and is naturally human and that 
24 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

is why lie always had so many friends. His old 
playmates and friends are all prond of his suc- 
cess as a soldier, but they love him because of 
his high standards of principles and his un- 
swerving integrity. As a boy he was forceful, 
honest in every way and when he had given his 
word we all knew we could depend upon it 
absolutely." 

This boyhood friend acknowledges modestly 
that he and John were not entirely ignorant of 
the sensations produced by certain hickory or 
osage switches in the hands of an irate or hasty 
teacher, but this chapter is not enlarged. There 
is, however, an unconsciously proud and tender 
touch in his closing words, *'I have two sons 
in the army doing their bit, and I am thankful 
that they will be under the direction and order 
of my old friend, John J. Pershing.'' True 
praise could not be better expressed than in this 
gracious and kindly reference. 

But the future general's boyhood was not all, 
nor even chiefly devoted to swimming and nut- 
ting. There was hard work to be done and he 
was a hard worker. Long rows of corn had to 

25 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

be planted and cultivated, pigs and cattle must 
be fed and cared for, and the ** chores'' on a 
Missouri farm began early in the morning and 
were not all done when at last the sun set. The 
boy Pershing did much of his labor on the 
farms that his father had leased near the vil- 
lage. Frequently the farm-work lasted until 
late in the fall and thereby interfered with at- 
tendance at school. Here, too, there were ob- 
stacles to be overcome and the commander of 
our army in France was early learning his les- 
sons of control and self-control in a little hamlet 
in Missouri. 

At that time Laclede and vicinity had more 
negroes than whites in its population. When 
Pershing had arrived at the mature age of 
seventeen, the teacher of a local negro school 
suddenly left and the school was turned over 
to him. There were three elements in the 
*^calP' to this untried position — the school had 
no other teacher, the need was great and in 
spite of his youthfulness it was believed there 
was no one who could do better under the cir- 
cumstances for the colored children than he. 

26 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

He understood them, lie wanted to help them, 
and he was able to control them. And he did. 
** Discipline,'' as it was commonly understood 
in the country schools, might have been defined 
as the ability to whip the older boys. Disci- 
pline as a positive as well as a negative force 
was something new, and the new teacher 
finished the year with the reputation of having 
trained his pupils to do something worth while. 

Then white schools were taken by the youth- 
ful pedagogue, and in them also he succeeded. 
There was growing up in his mind a strong 
determination to secure an education. In this 
way he was earning and saving money by which 
he should be able to carry out his growing 
plans. Dimly in the background also was an 
ambition ultimately to study law. In this de- 
sire not only his father and mother but also 
his sister now was sharing. 

In the Missouri Historical Record, April- 
July, 1917, there is recorded the story of a con- 
test into which the young teacher was forced 
by an irate farmer whose children had been 
disciplined. 

27 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

** Though he never sought a quarrel, young 
Pershing was kno^vn even at this time among 
his fellows as a ^game fighter/ who never 
acknowledged defeat. To a reporter for the 
Kansas City Star, who was a pupil under Per- 
shing when the general was a country school 
teacher at Prairie Mound, thirty-seven years 
ago, was recently related an incident of him as 
a fighting young schoolmaster. One day at the 
noon hour a big farmer with red sideburns rode 
up to the schoolhouse with a revolver in his 
hand. Pershing had whipped one of the far- 
mer's children and the enraged parent intended 
to give the young schoolmaster a flogging. 

*'I remember how he rode up cursing before 
all the children in the schoolyard and how 
another boy and I ran down a gully because 
we were afraid. We peeked over the edge, 
though, and heard Pershing tell the farmer to 
put up his gun, get down off his horse and fight 
like a man. 

* ' The farmer got down and John stripped off 
his coat. He was only a boy of seventeen or 
eighteen and slender, but he thrashed the old 

28 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

farmer soundly. And I have hated red side- 
burns ever since." 

Through all these various experiences he was 
saving every penny possible, with the thought 
in view of the education he was determined to 
obtain. At last the time arrived when he and his 
sister departed for Kirksville, Mo., to enter the 
State Normal School. His father had done all 
in his power for him, but his main reliance now 
was upon himself. There he continued his for- 
mer steady methodical methods, doing well, but 
not being looked upon as an exceptionally bril- 
liant student. ITe was still the same persistent, 
reliable, hard-working, successful student he 
had formerly been. 

It is not quite clear just when his decision 
for West Point was made. His room-mate at 
the State Normal School reports that it was in 
the spring when he and Pershing were at home 
in vacation time that the matter was decided. 
According to his recollection and report to the 
writer, when the two boys were at home the 
elder Pershing urged his son's room-mate again 
to enter his store as clerk. A definite answer 

29 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

was postponed until the following day. **So 
next day I saw Pershing," he writes, **and 
asked him what he was going to do. He didn't 
know; he didn't want to teach a spring term 
of school; believed he would go back to Kirks- 
ville for ten weeks. And then came the West 
Point opportunity." 

Another friend of Pershing at that time sends 
the following quotation from the local paper 
which evidently places the date at another 
time: **In looking over some old papers the 
other day, I ran across a copy of the Laclede 
News under date of December 28th, 1881, and 
among other news items found the following: 
* John J. Pershing will take his leave of home 
and friends this week for West Point, where 
he will enter the United States Military Acad- 
emy. John will make a first-rate good-looking 
cadet with Uncle Sam's blue, and we trust he 
will ever wear it with honor to himself and the 
old flag which floats above him. John, here's 
our hand ! May success crown your efforts and 
long life be yours.' " 

In reality, however, the only confusion is be- 
30 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

tween the time when the thought entered Per- 
shing ^s mind and the time when he entered the 
Military Academy. 

An advertisement had appeared in the local 
papers concerning a competitive examination 
for entrance. The announcement bore the name 
of Congressman J. H. Barrows, the ** green- 
back'' representative of the district, formerly 
a Baptist minister. He was looked upon by his 
constituency as true and reliable, a reputation 
that was not without ^ts appeal to the lads who 
wanted to go to West Point. It is a current 
report that not always had these appointments 
been made on merit alone and that ^ ^ from $250 
to $500 was the amount frequently paid to ob- 
tain them.'' The examination was to be con- 
ducted at Trenton, Mo., and was open to all 
who were eligible. 

Pershing decided to try. In making this de- 
cision his sister strongly encouraged him, and 
was the only one of his family who was aware 
of his plan. His room-mate writes that Per- 
shing urged him also to try. ' ' No, ' ' I told him, 
*^I didn't know that I could pass." ^^Well," 

31 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

he said, ** you'd better come and we'll take a 
chance. One or the other of us ought to win. ' ' 
I told him he had been in school three months 
while I had been selling goods, and that if he 
thought he would like it, to go, that I didn't 
care for it. But I should like to have the edu- 
cation, though I should probably stay in the 
army if I happened to pass. ^*No," he said, 
**I wouldn't stay in the army. There won't be 
a gun fired in the world for a hundred years. 
If there isn't, I'll study law, I guess, but I 
want an education and now I see how I can 
get iV 

Eighteen took the examination and Pershing 
won, though by only a single point, and that 
was given only after he and his competitor, 
Higginbottom, had broken the tie by each dia- 
graming the following sentence — ^^7 love to 

Higginbottom 's solution — 
*^ I"— subject. 
* ^ love ' ' — predicate. 

'*to run" — infinitive phrase qualifying the 
meaning of the verb. 
32 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 



Pershing's solution was as follows: 

^^ I' '—subject. 

* * love ' ' — predicate. 

**to run'' — is the object. 

The commission preferred Pershing's dia- 
gram, and thus by a single point he won the 
competitive examination and received the ap- 
pointment. 

When, however, Pershing and his sister in- 
formed their mother that he had passed the 
best examination and was to receive the ap- 
pointment to West Point, she expressed her 
strong disapproval of the plan to make a soldier 
of John. Her objections were finally overcome, 
and she consented, partly because she believed 
her boy when he said ^ ^ there would not be a gun 
fired for a hundred years" and partly because 
she was even more eager than he for him to 
obtain a good education. 

Thirty years afterward General Pershing 
himself wrote: ^^The proudest days of my life, 
with one exception, have come to me in connec- 
tion with West Point days that stand out clear 
and distinct from all others. The first of these 

33 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

was the day I won my appointment at Trenton, 
Missouri, in a competitive examination with 
seventeen competitors. An old friend of the 
family happened to be at Trenton that day and 
passing on the opposite side of the street called 
to me and said, * John, I hear you passed with 
flying colors.' In all seriousness, feeling the 
great importance of my success, I naively re- 
plied in a loud voice, *Yes, I did,' feeling as- 
sured that no one had ever passed such a fine 
examination as I had." 

In spite of his success, however, Pershing 
was not yet ready to take up the strenuous 
course in the Military Academy. The work 
is severe and only the fittest are supposed to 
survive. He must have a more careful prepa- 
ration in certain branches, he decided, and 
accordingly entered the Highland Military 
Academy, Highland Falls, New York, in which 
he continued as a student until the following 
June (1882). The head of the school was sin- 
cerely loved and deeply respected by his boys, 
and in after years General Pershing usually 
referred to him as *^ splendid old Caleb" — for 

34 




The Highland ^Military Academy 




United States Military Academy, West Point, N. Y 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

** Caleb*' was the title the students had be- 
stowed upon Col. Huse. 

In the military school Pershing's record is 
much what one who has followed his develop- 
ment in the preceding years would expect it to 
be. He was an earnest, consistent student, 
doing well and steadily improving in his work, 
without any flashes of brilliancy. He was mov- 
ing not by leaps but steadily toward the educa- 
tion he was determined to obtain. 

Those who recall him as a pupil at Highland 
say that he is best remembered for his physical 
strength and his skill as a horseman. Doubt- 
less he had had training and experiences which 
were outside those which many of his class- 
mates had shared. 

At last in July, 1882, when he was not quite 
twenty-two years of age, Pershing became a 
plebe in the United States Military Academy at 
West Point. A part of his dream had been real- 
ized. His record shows that he still was mani- 
festing the traits he already had displayed. 
Persistent, determined, methodical, a hard and 
steady worker, he was numbered thirty when he 



THE STORY OP GENERAL PERSHING 

graduated in his class of seventy-seven. How- 
ever, his ^*all around'' qualities were shown by 
the fact that in his fourth class or final year, 
upon the recommendation of the commandant 
of Cadets, he was appointed by the Superintend- 
ent of the Academy to be the senior, that is, 
first in rank, of all the cadet captains — an honor 
worth while and of which Pershing was justly 
proud. 

His love of West Point has always been 
strong. He is proud of the school and proud 
to be counted among its graduates. Loyal in 
all ways he has been specially loyal to West 
Point. Perhaps his true feeling can be best 
shown by the following letter written by him 
when he was in far-away Mindanao. He was 
class president at the time and sent the letter 
for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the gradua- 
tion of the class. Like many an *^old grad" 
the thoughts of the writer turn affectionately 
to the old days. The joys and disappointments 
are alike remembered and General Pershing 
shows a slight tendency to recall an occasional 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

slip in the strict rules of the institution. This 
infraction is not upheld by him, and his friends, 
who are fully aware of his belief in strict disci- 
pline, will perhaps condone the slight infringe- 
ment when they are aware that he records also 
the strict penalty which followed it. He indi- 
rectly shows that the infraction was due not to 
a desire to avoid a task but came of a grim de- 
termination to accomplish it. 

Greeting to the Class. 

Headquarters, Department of Mindanao. 

Zamboanga, P. I. 
March 15, 1911. 

To the Class of 1886, 

U. S. Military Academy, 
West Point, New York. 
Dear Classmates: 

The announcement in the circular sent out by 
your committee saying that I would write a letter of 
greeting to be read at the class reunion imposes upon 
me a very pleasant obligation. It gives me an oppor- 
tunity as Class President to write you collectively 
and to say many things that I would like to say if 
I were writing to each individual. Above all, how- 
ever, I am permitted to feel myself a real part of the 

37 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

reunion. This letter shall be a heartfelt and sincere 
word of greeting from the opposite side of the world. 
I shall try to imagine myself among you around the 
banquet table or perhaps again in the old tower room, 
first floor, first division, or familiarly even in the 
** usual place. ^' With this greeting I also send a word 
of explanation and regret for my absence, a few lines 
of reminiscence and pages of affection and friendship 
for all recorded at random. 

It is unfortunate indeed for me that higher author- 
ity has concluded that I should not leave my post at 
this time. This is a great disappointment to me. There 
is nothing that could equal the pleasure of meeting 
once more with old '86 — companions of my youth, 
the friendship for whom is above all others the dear- 
est and most lasting. To be again for a few hours 
as in the olden days at West Point with those who 
stood shoulder to shoulder with me and I with them 
through over four years, would be worth a great sac- 
rifice. The thought makes me long for cadet days 
again. I would gladly go back into the corps 
(although of course it has gone entirely to the dogs 
since we were cadets) and gladly (in spite of this) 
go through the whole course from beginning to end 
to be with you all as we were then. Life meant so 
much to us — probably more than it ever has since — 
when the soul was filled to the utmost with ambition 
and the world was full of promise. 

The proudest days of my life, with one exception, 
have come to me in connection with West Point days 

38 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

that stand out clear and distinct from all others. The 
first of these was the day I won my appointment at 
Trenton, Missouri, in a competitive examination with 
seventeen competitors. An old friend of the family 
happened to be at Trenton that day and passing on 
the opposite side of the street, called to me and said, 
'^John, I hear you passed with flying colors/' In all 
seriousness, feeling the great importance of my suc- 
cess, I naively replied, in a loud voice, **Yes, I did,'' 
feeling assured that no one had ever quite passed such 
a fine examination as I had. The next red letter day 
was when I was elected President of the Class of '86. 
I didn't know much about class presidents until the 
evening of our meeting to effect a class organization. 
To realize that a body of men for whom I had such 
an affectionate regard should honor me in this way 
was about all my equilibrium would stand. Another 
important day was when I made a cold max in Phil, 
at June examination under dear old Pete, with 
Arthur Murray as instructor. This was the only max 
I ever made in anything. I fairly floated out of the 
library and back to the barracks. The climax of days 
came when the marks were read out on graduation 
day in June, 1886. Little Eddy Gayle smiled when 
I reported five minutes later with a pair of captain's 
chevrons pinned on my sleeves. No honor has ever 
come equal to that. I look upon it in the very same 
light to-day as I did then. Some way these days 
stand out and the recollection of them has always 
been to me a great spur and stimulus. 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

What memories come rushing forward to be re- 
corded. It was at Colonel Huse's school, now called 
The Rocks, I believe, with splendid old Caleb at its 
head that several of us got the first idea of what we 
were really in for. Deshon, Frier, "Winn, Andrews, 
Clayton, Billy Wright, Stevens, Segare and the rest 
of us at Caleb's used to wrestle with examinations of 
previous years and flyspeck page after page of stuff 
that we forgot completely before Plebe camp was over. 

This brings up a period of West Point life whose 
vivid impressions will be the last to fade. Marching 
into camp, piling bedding, policing company streets 
for logs or wood carelessly dropped by upper class- 
men, pillow fights at tattoo with Marcus Miller, sabre 
drawn marching up and down superintending the 
plebe class, policing up feathers from the general 
parade; light artillery drills, double timing around 
old Fort Clinton at morning squad drill, Wiley Bean 
and the sad fate of his seersucker coat; midnight 
dragging, and the whole summer full of events can 
only be mentioned in passing. No one can ever for- 
get his first guard tour with all its preparation and 
perspiration. I got along all right during the day, 
but at night on the color line my troubles began. 
Of course, I was scared beyond the point of properly 
applying any of my orders. A few minutes after 
taps, ghosts of all sorts began to appear from all 
directions. I selected a particularly bold one and 
challenged according to orders, "Halt, who comes 
there ?'^ At that the ghost stood still in its tracks. 

40 




Cal. Huse 
Splendid Old Caleb ^' 




Kiiksville, Mo., State Normal School. 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

I then said, ''Halt, who stands there?" Whereupon 
the ghost, who was carrying a chair, sat down. When 
I promptly said, "Halt, who sits there?" 

After plebe camp came plebe math and French. I 
never stood high in French and was prone to burn 
the midnight oil. One night Walcott and Burtley 
Mott came in to see me. My roommate, ''Lucy" Hunt, 
was in bed asleep. Suddenly we heard Flaxy, who 
was officer in charge, coming up the stairs several 
steps at a time. Mott sprang across the hall into his 
own room. I snatched the blanket from the window, 
turned out the light and leaped into bed, clothing and 
all, while Walcott seeing escape impossible, gently 
woke Hunt, and in a whisper said, "Lucy, may I 
crawl under your bed?" I paid the penalty by 
walking six tours of extra duty. 

The rest of it — ^yearling camp and its release from 
plebedom, the first appearance in the riding hall of 
the famous '86 New England Cavalry, furlough and 
the return up the Hudson on the Mary Powell; sec- 
ond year class with its increasing responsibilities and 
dignity — must all be passed with slight notice. While 
the days were not always filled with unalloyed pleas- 
ure, to be sure, yet no matter how distasteful any- 
thing else may have been up to that time there is 
none of us who would not gladly live first class camp 
over again — summer girls, summer hops, first class 
privileges, possible engagements, twenty-eighth hop, 
and then the home stretch. As we look back from the 

41 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

distance of a quarter of a century the years went by; 
all too rapidly. 

The career of '86 at "West Point was in many re- 
spects remarkable. There were no cliques, no dissen- 
sions and personal prejudices or selfishness, if any 
existed, never came to the surface. From the very 
day we entered, the class as a unit has always stood 
for the very best traditions of West Point. The spirit 
of old West Point existed to a higher degree in the 
class of '86 than in any class since the war. The 
West Point under Merritt, Michie and Hasbrouck was 
still the West Point of Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, 
Schofield and Howard. The deep impression these 
great men made during their visits to West Point 
in our day went far to inspire us with the soldier's 
spirit of self-sacrifice, duty and honor. Those char- 
acteristics were carried with us into the Army and 
have marked the splendid career of the class during 
the past twenty-five years. The Class of ^86 has 
always been known in the Army and is known to-day 
as a class of all-around solid men — capable of ably 
performing any duty and of loyally fulfilling any 
trust. The individual character of each man has 
made itself felt upon his fellows in the Army from 
the start. In civil life, as professional men, or as men 
of affairs, wherever placed the Class of '86 has always 
made good. Well may we congratulate ourselves 
upon reaching this quarter century milestone, on the 
achievements of the class. 

If I thought you would listen longer I should cou- 
42 



BOYHOOD AND STUDENT DAYS 

tinue, but the evening will be full of song and remi- 
niscence. Those of us out here will assemble at Manila 
and wish we were with you at West Point. It may be 
that age and experience will prevent a repetition of 
the lurid scenes enacted at the class dinner in New 
York in *86. Yet when you feel time turn backward 
and the hot blood of those days again courses through 
your veins, there is no telling what may happen. 
Still all will be for the glory of the Class and will 
be condoned. Then here's to the Class of '86, wives 
and sweethearts, children and grandchildren, your 
health and your success ! 

Always affectionately, 
J. J. P. 



43 



CHAPTEE IV 
Fighting the Apaches and the Sioux 

At last the days at West Point were ended 
and the class of '86 was to take its place with 
others in the wide, wide world. To young 
Pershing fell the lot to be assigned to the Sixth 
Cavalry in the southwest, where General Miles, 
the successor of General Crook, was soon to 
bring the war against the Apaches to an end. 
He was then a second lieutenant. 

The wily and daring leader of the redmen 
was commonly known as Geronimo, a medicine 
man and prophet of the Chiricahuas. Strictly 
speaking, the Indian's true name was Goyath- 
lay, *^one who yawns," but the Mexicans had 
nicknamed him Geronimo — the Spanish for 
Jerome. 

This Indian was born about 1834, near the 
headquarters of the Gila Elver, in New Mexico. 

44 



FIGHTING APACHES AND SIOUX 

He was the son of Taklishim, ^*Tlie Gray 
One.'' Neither the father nor the son was 
a chief, although Geronimo's grandfather 
claimed to be a chieftain without having been 
born to the purple or elected by the tribe. 

In 1876, the Mexican authorities complained 
bitterly to the United States of the raids and 
depredations in the state of Sonora by the 
Chiricahua Indians with the result that it was 
decided by the Government to remove the tribe 
from their reservation on the southern border, 
to San Carlos, Arizona. But Geronimo, who 
was a natural leader, soon gathered a few of 
the younger chiefs about him and fled into 
Mexico. 

Later, he was arrested and sent with his 
band to Ojo Caliente, New Mexico. There, ap- 
parently, thoughts of war were abandoned and 
the redmen became successful tillers of the soil 
in the San Carlos Reservation. 

After a time, the tribe once more became rest- 
less and discontented because the Government 
would not help them to irrigate their lands. 
Just how much justice was in the claim it is 

45 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

impossible now to ascertain. Other nearby 
lands were being watered and this favoritism, 
as they believed, as well as the competition of 
the neighboring ranches, doubtless had a strong 
effect on the Indians. At all events, in 1882, 
Geronimo was the leader of a band that was 
engaged in many raids in Sonora, but at last 
his force was surrounded and he surrendered to 
General George H. Crook in the Sierra Madre. 

In spite of the fact that Geronimo had one 
of the very best farms in the entire San Carlos 
Keservation, the Apache leader soon was again 
in trouble with the United States in 1884, when 
attempts were made to stop the making and 
sale of tiswin. This was an Indian drink and 
highly intoxicating. 

In 1884-5, Geronimo gathered and led a band 
of Apaches that not only terrorized the settlers 
in southern Arizona and New Mexico, but also 
the inhabitants of Sonora and Chihuahua in 
Mexico. General Crook was ordered to proceed 
against the raiders and to capture or kill the 
chief and his followers. The story of the war 
is filled with exciting deeds of daring, but 

46 




The Lieutenant in the Family. 



r 



THE NEAA' vnr^K 
^PUBLIC : . 



ASTOR, LENOX 
: TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 



FIGHTING APACHES AND SIOUX 

through them all Geronimo looms as the fore- 
most figure. His name came to inspire terror. 

At last in March, 1886, a truce was made and 
this was followed by a conference, at which 
terms of surrender were agreed upon. But the 
wily Geronimo was not yet caught. Again 
with a band of his devoted followers he fled to 
the Sierra Madre mountains, beyond the bor- 
ders of Mexico. 

General Miles was now in command of the 
United States troops and quickly he began an 
energetic campaign against the Apache out- 
laws. This continued until August, when the 
war came to an end. The entire band of 340 
were made prisoners and the warfare at last 
was ended. Geronimo and Nachi (the latter a 
hereditary chieftain of the tribe, though his 
comrade was the real leader), were sent as 
prisoners of war to Florida. Later they were 
removed to Alabama and at last were settled 
near Fort Sill, Oklahoma. There, Geronimo 
evidently concluded (and his conclusion was the 
more easily arrived at because he was under 
the continual supervision of United States sol- 

47 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

diers) that he had had a sufficiency of war and 
that henceforth he was to be a man of peace. 
He became prosperous, and was a most cautious 
spender of his money. 

The part which Lieutenant Pershing, a young 
officer fresh from West Point, had in the round- 
up of this campaign naturally was not of a char- 
acter to bring him into great prominence. That 
he did his work well and that he had the full con- 
fidence of his men, however, are evidenced from 
the following incidents which remain among the 
reports of the campaign. 

In the autumn maneuver in 1887, he was spe- 
cially complimented by General Miles for 
** marching his troops with a pack train of 140 
mules in 46 hours and bringing in every animal 
in good condition. ' ' Doubtless his early experi- 
ences in dealing with mules on a Missouri farm 
had stood him in good stead. 

Another instance of his courage and his abil- 
ity to deal with men, even at this early stage in 
his career, was shown when word came of the 
dire predicament of a score of *'bad men'' — 
horse thieves and cow-punchers — who had been 

48 



FIGHTING APACHES AND SIOUX 

surrounded by the Indians and were threatened 
with the death of every one in the band unless 
they should be speedily rescued. The young 
lieutenant with his detachment not only suc- 
ceeded in penetrating to their refuge, but also 
in saving every one of them without the loss of 
the life of one man, white or red. The same 
qualities that had been displayed in his student 
days were here again in evidence. His sense of 
duty was still strong upon him and quietly, per- 
sistently, he worked hard to do his best. 

There still was work for the lieutenant on the 
border, for the troubles with the Indian tribes 
were by no means ended. His service on fron- 
tier duty at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, and in 
the field from July 30, 1886, to July 30, 1887, 
was followed by duty at Fort Stanton, New 
Mexico. 

He went to Fort Wingate, New Mexico, in 
February, 1889, remaining there until Septem- 
ber 1, 1889. He then returned to Fort Stanton 
to stay until September, 1890, when again he 

was sent to Fort Wingate. 

49 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

At Fort Wingate, with the exception of a 
few weeks spent in scout duty, he remained until 
December 1, 189Q, when he was transferred to 
take the field in the campaign against the Sioux 
Indians at Pine Kidge Agency, South Dakota. 
In February, 1891, he was stationed at Fort 
Niobrara, in Nebraska, only to return to the 
Pine Eidge Agency to take command of the 
Sioux Indian Scouts until July of the same 
year. Again he was with his troops at Fort 
Niobrara, remaining until August 7, 1891, when 
he was in command of a detachment (rifle team) 
en route to Fort Sheridan, Illinois. On Sep- 
tember 25th he became Professor of Military 
Science and Tactics at the University of Ne- 
braska at Lincoln, Nebraska. 

This brief record, however, does not cover all 
that the young officer was doing. Studying and 
at the same time working hard at his duties, 
he was already laying the foundations for that 
which later was to come. At the time, however, 
his future career seemed vague if not impos- 
sible. Indeed, he himself was almost convinced 
that war had ceased to be a threat among the 

50 



FIGHTING APACHES AND SIOUX 

nations. '^ There won't be a gun fired in a hun- 
dred years/' he had declared to a friend when 
he was about to enter West Point, and the 
thoughts of the young officer reverted to the 
law for which in his younger days he had 
almost decided to prepare. 

That he was not without suggestions and de- 
sires to improve the conditions in the army is 
shown by the following letter which he wrote 
the Journal of United States Cavalry in 1889: 

[Journal of U. S. Cavalry, December, 1889.] 
Some Hints for Improvement. 

More prominence should be given to the revolver 
competitions and some changes might be made in the 
manner of conducting them. We should have a regu- 
lar revolver competition and teams with competitors 
one from each troop held every morning, best pistol 
shots in the troop, and not have pistol competition 
supplementary to carbine competition though the two 
might be held at the same time and place. 

In connection with the army carbine competition 
there should be an army revolver, competitors to be 
selected from the various revolver teams as they are 
held for the army carbine competitions. 

Prizes for the revolver teams should be the same 
as those awarded to the infantry department and 

51 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

for the army revolver team the same as those 
awarded to the infantry division teams. 

No good reason can be seen why dismounted re- 
volver firing should not be held at the three ranges, 
25, 50 and 75 yards, the same as for individual record 
in the troop. In the mounted firing, both in troops 
and practice competitions, no gait slower than ten 
miles and a half should be permitted. These changes 
would give a stimulus to revolver firing in the army 
which would bring about surprising results. 

J. J. Pershing, 
Second Lieutenant, 6th Cavalry. 

In the part which Lieutenant Pershing took 
against the Sioux, he was sharing conditions 
which were by no means slight or insignificant. 
The Sioux were notably brave and bold and 
more than once their chiefs had outgeneraled 
the trained white soldiers that fought them. 

It is difficult to determine at this time just 
where to place the blame for these wars mth 
the Sioux. The stories of the causes of the out- 
break told by the Indians themselves differ 
radically from those which were given by cer- 
tain of the whites, but whatever the true cause 
may have been, young Pershing had nothing to 

52 



FIGHTING APACHES AND SIOUX 

do with that. He was simply obeying orders 
and doing his best in the war with the redmen 
who already confronted him. 

Sitting Bull in particular was a strong and 
successful fighter. Crazy Horse, a bold and 
able chief, had, as the Sioux believed, been 
treacherously seized and bayoneted by the 
whites. Indeed, one of their rallying cries in 
the campaign was, *^ Remember our Chief, 
Crazy Horse." 

General George A. Custer and nearly every 
one of his soldiers had been killed in a battle on 
the plains, in which the Indian leaders had 
succeeded in first surrounding Custer's force. 
Pa-he-hors-kah-zee (Long Yellow Hair), as the 
redmen had named Custer, was respected and 
greatly feared by them and for that reason they 
did their utmost to shoot him first of all when 
he finally took his stand in the center of the 
hollow square, into which he formed his troops 
when he discovered, after the breaking out of 
the battle, that he and his men were nearly 
surrounded. 

The death of General Custer greatly angered 
53 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the whites, and it was promptly decided that 
once for all they would put an end to the up- 
risings of the strong and wily Sioux. This re- 
sult, of course, was at last accomplished and in 
the final battle Lieutenant Pershing had his 
part. This battle, which the whites call 
Wounded Knee and the Indians term The 
Massacre at Wounded Knee Creek, was won 
when the troops finally surrounded the tepees 
of the redmen and then demanded that every 
gun should be given over. 

This demand the Sioux refused, declaring 
that their experiences with the whites did not 
warrant them in making themselves entirely 
defenseless. They also explained that they 
themselves had bought and paid for every gun 
in the possession of the tribe. 

This explanation or refusal was declared to 
be unsatisfactory. The command to attack 
quickly was given, the soldiers fired obediently 
and the report was made that they shot down 
every man, woman and child, with few excep- 
tions, in the Indian village. 

Thus the great Indian wars came to an end 
54 



FIGHTING APACHES AND SIOUX 

and whatever may have been his feelings con- 
cerning the justice of the methods employed to 
subdue the Sioux, Lieutenant Pershing did not 
speak. He was a young officer and his part was 
not to explain, but to obey. 

In September, 1891, he became Professor of 
Military Science and Tactics at the University 
of Nebraska. 



56 



CHAPTER V 

A MiLITAKY InSTBUCTOR 

At the University of Nebraska the young 
instructor-lientenant revolutionized his depart- 
ment. It is said that when first the students 
presented themselves before him, according to 
the rules of the University, for drill, their prep- 
arations were nil and their appearance was far 
from being prepossessing. Previously the mili- 
tary drill had been more or less looked upon 
by the student body as a somewhat necessary 
but negligible and irksome task. Few prepared 
carefully for it and all were glad when the hour 
ended. 

Under the new instructor the change was 
startling and immediate — and the college boys 
liked it. Among the strict demands of the new 
instructor was one that required every student 

56 



I 



A MILITARY INSTRUCTOR 

when he appeared for drill to have his boots 
well blacked. Not only must the toes of the 
boots appear well, but every boy must see to 
it that the heels also received proper attention. 
Perhaps Lieutenant Pershing was interpreting 
for the Nebraska boys the familiar old proverb, 
^' Black the heels of your boots." 

The new professor speedily became popular, 
for no man is more unpopular in a student body 
than the teacher who weakly condones their 
neglect or too readily excuses their deficiencies. 
In spite of their protests to the contrary, they 
like the strict work and the fair and exacting 
teacher. And Pershing was liked — and liked 
more because he did not try to secure the good- 
will of his students. 

The impression which the new instructor in 
military tactics made upon the student body 
is well shown by the following statement of 
the director of athletics in the University at 
that time, who naturally cooperated with the 
official representative of the Government whose 
influence over the college boys speedily became 
pronounced. 

57 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

**He was the finest man I ever worked with," said 
Best. ''It is true he was mighty strict with his work, 
but the results he got were so good that everybody 
he worked with loved him for it. When he was here 
we had a regiment the University could be proud 
of. I just worshipped that man and everybody 
around the University felt the same about him. 

"Usually he was mighty dignified in his work, but 
he had a way of getting next to the new men. 

' ' The boys at the University got a surprise the first 
time Pershing drilled them. It had been their habit 
before this time to come to drill with shoes blackened 
or not, just as they pleased. When Pershing took 
hold the first thing he looked at was to see that all 
shoes were well blackened and that the heels looked 
as good as the toes. He was just that thorough-going 
in everything all the time." — From the New York 
Times. 

An incident recently told by one of his stu- 
dents in the University of Nebraska also is 
illustrative of the grip the drillmaster had 
upon the student body. 

When Lieutenant Pershing later was ap- 
pointed to a new position in the Army there was 
keen disappointment among the students, all 
of whom were his strong admirers. Cer- 
tain of his cadets, who had profited greatly 

58 



A MILITARY INSTRUCTOR 

under his discipline and served under his 
orders, got together and decided that they 
wanted to wear badges of some kind. Gold 
medals were suggested, but for obvious reasons 
were not selected. Then one of the cadets ^sug- 
gested a plan as novel as it was new, and after 
a hearty laugh a delegation went to Lieutenant 
Pershing to ask for the gift of his riding 
trousers. 

**Good Lord!" exclaimed the astonished in- 
structor in tactics. 'VWhat do you want of my 
trousers!" 

The students then explained their plan. 
They were to cut the trousers into such small 
bits that both the blue of the cloth and the 
yellow of the border would be found in every 
piece. Of these little strips they would make 
badges — one for every cadet. 

The lieutenant promptly presented his visit- 
ors with his best pair. 

One of the little band in relating the incident 
not long ago said, ' ' We made the badges, which 
as far as I know were the first service badges 
ever used in the United States. If I could onljr 

59 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

buy, borrow, beg or steal one of those badges 
I'd readily wear it in France by tlie side of my 
ribbon of tbe Spanisli-American war/' 

With duties that were not arduous Lieuten- 
ant Pershing now not only continued his 
studies, particularly in strategy, but also found 
time to carry out the desire and plan that more 
or less had been in his thoughts since his boy- 
hood — he took the course in law as it was given 
in the University. From this course he grad- 
uated and consequently was entitled to write 
another title after his name — that of Bachelor 
of Laws. He then was ** Professor" Lieutenant 
John Joseph Pershing, A.B., *^ Esquire." 

However, he was soon to become first lieu- 
tenant in the lOtli U. S. Cavalry — a promotion 
which he received October 20, 1892. Joining 
his troop on October 11, 1895, he was again sent 
into the service with the 10th Cavalry at Fort 
Assinniboine, Montana, where he remained 
until October 16, 1896. In June and July of 
that year the monotony of life in the fort was 
varied by service in the field, where he assisted 
in deporting the Cree Indians. 

60 



A MILITARY INSTRUCTOR 

A brief leave of absence followed tliis work 
on tlie frontier, but on December 17, 1896, lie 
was assigned to duties at the Headquarters of 
the Army at Washington. This inside work, 
however, did not strongly appeal to the active 
young lieutenant, and in May of the following 
year he rejoined his regiment at Fort Assin- 
niboine, Montana. 

Here, however, his stay was to be very brief 
at this time. Promotion apparently had been 
slow, and doubtless many a time the heart of 
the ambitious young officer must have been 
somewhat heavy. The teachings of his father, 
however, were now bearing fruit and not for a 
moment did Lieutenant Pershing relax his 
steady, persistent labors. Whether recognition 
and promotion came or not he was to be pre- 
pared. 

But the quiet, efficient young officer had not 
been unnoticed or forgotten by those who were 
higher in authority. At this time a new in- 
structor in military tactics was needed in the 
United States Military Academy at West 
Point. What could be more natural than that 

61 



THE STOR!f OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the choice should fall upon Pershing? He was 
a hard worker, he had seen active service on the 
plains, he had learned- how to deal with men, 
and, besides, he had had actual experience in 
teaching tactics when he had been stationed 
at the University of Nebraska. And behind the 
experience was a personality quiet, modest and 
marvelously efficient. Lieutenant John Joseph 
Pershing was assigned to duty at the United 
States Military Academy as Assistant In- 
structor of Tactics, June 15, 1897. 

To be back again in the well-remembered and 
beloved institution where he himself had been 
trained was a joy and honor. His devotion to and 
appreciation of West Point strengthened and 
intensified by his experiences in the years that 
had intervened since his graduation, we may be 
sure that the heart of Lieutenant Pershing was 
proud of the confidence which had been mani- 
fested in his selection to fill the vacant position. 

Here again there was a continuance of his 
previous record of quiet and efficient service. 
It is true he was older now and he was more 
ready for the public and social duties of hia 

62 



A MILITARY INSTRUCTOR 

position than perhaps he had been in his earlier 
days. And to the social side of his new task 
he responded as became one in his position. 

It was not long, however, before a fresh op- 
portunity presented itself — the one for which 
he had been waiting. The troubles between 
Spain and the Island of Cuba had for a con- 
siderable time been threatening to involve the 
United States. Many people sympathized 
with the Cubans in their longing and their ef- 
forts to secure their independence. The sturdy 
fight which the Islanders were making ap- 
pealed strongly to many patriotic Americans 
who were glorying in the traditions of the 
struggle their own forefathers had made a 
century and a quarter earlier. 

The friction between the United States and 
Spain steadily increased. The latter nation, 
perhaps not without a certain justification, 
was claiming that her colonists were fitting out 
expeditions and obtaining munitions and sup- 
plies for their soldiers in the cities of the 
United States, a supposedly neutral nation. 
She was not unnaturally irritated, too, by the 

63 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

steadily increasing numbers of Americans that 
were serving in the hard pressed and poorly 
equipped troops of Cuba. The culmination, 
however, came when the United States battle- 
ship, Maine, was blown up in the harbor of 
Havana, February 15, 1898. The long delayed 
declaration of war by the United States, April 
21, 1898, was the speedy outcome. 



64 



CHAPTER VI 
In the Spanish Wae 

Lieutenant Pekshing instantly grasped his 
long awaited opportunity. He resigned Ms 
position at West Point, and at once was sent to 
his regiment, the 10th Cavalry, then at Chica- 
mauga, and afterwards near Tampa, Florida, 
but in June of that same year he went to Cuba 
and shared in the campaign against Santiago. 
Many have thought that the nickname ^^ Black 
Jack" was affectionately given him because he 
was such a daring and dashing leader of the 
exceptionally brave black men of whom the 10th 
U. S. Cavalry at that time was composed. 

In this campaign no official records can have 
quite the same human touch as the words of 
the modest young officer himself. In a lecture 
or address in the Hyde Park M. E. Church, 

65 



THETSTORY of general PERSHING 

Chicago, November 27, 1898, the church whose 
founding was largely due to the interest and 
labors of his father, — Lieutenant Pershing 
described the experiences and deeds of his 
troop. The interest at the time was keen in 
the campaign he described. To-day, however, 
the interest is still keener in the young lieu- 
tenant who gave his vivid description of the 
battles in which he shared. 

Address by Lieutenant Pershing at the 
Hyde Park M. E. Church, Chicago, at a patri- 
otic Thanksgiving service, November 27, 1898: 



The admonition of George "Washington, "In peace 
prepare for war," had gone unheeded for one-third 
of a century. Congress had turned a deaf ear to 
the importunities of our mihtary commanders. The 
staff departments of the army were only large 
enough to meet the ordinary necessities in times of 
peace of an army of 25,000 men. They had not trans- 
ported even by rail for over thirty years a larger 
command than a regiment. In the face of all this 
every official both civil and military of staff and line 
seemingly did his best to overcome these adverse con- 
ditions and though of course mistakes were made I 
should hesitate to attribute to any individual other 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

than the purest motives of patriotism. The wonder is 
it was done at all. The wonder is it was done so well. 
The point of embarkation for the first army of in- 
vasion was Port Tampa, Florida. There was some 
delay in the embarkation due to various causes one 
of which was the inexperience of oflBcers in transport- 
ing troops by water. Another cause of delay was 
uncertainty as to whether or not the Spanish fleet was 
really confined in the harbor of Santiago. 

On the afternoon of June 14th, the fleet steamed 
out under its naval escort and a grander and more 
impressive sight the world has never seen. 

Arriving in the vicinity of Santiago some time was 
spent in deciding where to attempt a landing. Two 
plans were proposed, one an attack from the west, 
which was said would involve, with the assistance 
of the navy, the capture of the outer defenses of the 
harbor of Sanitago. The other plan, the one which 
was adopted, ignored the existence of Morro Castle 
and the coast defenses and contemplated an attack on 
the city from the rear. This decided, a point of de- 
barkation was selected at Daiquiri. There were no 
good maps of Cuba and very little was known of the 
coast or country. 

At Daiquiri the navy prepared the way for land- 
ing by bombarding the town and driving out the 
Spanish troops who before leaving set fire to the 
buildings of the town and the machine shops and the 
mines located there. There were no docks at Daiquiri 
except a small wooden affair, old and out of repair. 

67 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

The vessels could not go nearer than about 300 yards 
from the shore and then only in calm weather. 

Nothing was taken ashore with the troops except 
what they carried on their backs, but the load was so 
heavy that to fall overboard in deep water meant to 
be drowned, though from the entire army but two 
men were lost. 

On the morning of June 23d, the Tenth Cavalry, 
together with the First Cavalry and Roosevelt's 
Rough Riders and regiments which formed the sec- 
ond brigade of the cavalry division, were sent ashore 
and moved out northwest passing through Siboney 
to a point beyond the most advanced outposts to- 
ward Santiago. These troops though belonging to the 
cavalry were dismounted and in marching through 
marsh and bog overhung with boughs and vines, 
clad as the}^ were in heavy clothing, they soon began 
to feel the wilting effects of the tropical sun; but 
every man had resolved for the honor of his country 
to make the best of the situation as a soldier and 
whether working or marching or fighting all behaved 
as though the success of the campaign depended upon 
their own individual efforts. 

On July 10th, the day set for the ultimatum of the 
bombardment, the white flags of truce were again 
taken do^vn and the men again climbed into the 
trenches. At four o'clock in the afternoon at the 
signal of the first gun from our northern battery the 
firing began and the battle raged with the same old 
fury as of those early July days; shells and bullets 

68 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

whistled violently for a few minutes but the enemy's 
fire gradually died away into silence. They realized 
their helplessness and the battle was over. 

Our reinforcements had begun to arrive and the 
terms of capitulation dictated by the commanding 
general were soon agreed upon. On the morning of 
July 17th the lines of both armies were drawn up to 
witness the formal surrender. General Toral with an 
infantry escort rode out from the city to meet Gen- 
eral Shafter, who was escorted by a squadron of 
mounted cavalry. The formalities were courteous 
though simple. Arms were presented by both com- 
manders and the Spanish General tendered his sword 
to our commander. 

General Shafter, accompanied by all the general and 
staff officers, his escort of cavalry and one regiment 
of infantry, then entered the city. 

Shortly before twelve o 'clock our troops were again 
drawn up in line along the six miles of trenches and 
stood at present arms. An officer ascended to the top 
of the Governor's palace and lowered the Spanish 
colors and now held the Stars and Stripes, impatient 
to declare our victory to the world. Suddenly at 
exactly twelve o 'clock the enthusiasm burst forth, can- 
non boomed the national salute, bands played the Star 
Spangled Banner, hats were thrown into the air and 
ten thousand men as if to burst their throats joined 
in one grand American yell. There just beyond the 
hill outlined against the clear sky, over the Governor 's 
palace in the captured city, though invisible to many 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

of us, floated our own beloved flag. The campaign 
was over. For us the war was ended. 

On June 29th a part of General Garcia 's Army 
with some 4000 Cubans were marched to the front, 
but they rendered little assistance, either in working 
or fighting. The most of them fled at the first ex- 
plosion of a Spanish shell over El Pozo Capital Hill 
on July 1st. However, some excuse is theirs. Ragged, 
some half naked, wearied from hunger, laden with 
huge earthen water pots, heavy packs and cooking 
utensils slung over their backs, armed with every con- 
ceivable obsolete pattern of gun, it is no wonder 
that they dared not face the deadly Mauser rifle; we 
ourselves had much less contempt for Spanish arms 
after we had met them face to face on the battle field. 

On June 30th the general order came to move for- 
ward and every man felt that the final test of skill at 
arms would soon come. The cavalry division of six 
regiments camped in its tracks at midnight on El 
Pozo Hill, awoke next morning to find itself in sup- 
port of Grimes' Battery which was to open fire here 
on the left. 

The morning of July 1st was ideally beautiful; 
the sky was cloudless and the air soft and balmy; 
peace seem to reign supreme, great palms towered 
here and there above the low jungle. It was a picture 
of a peaceful valley. There was a feeling that we had 
secretly invaded the Holy Land. The hush seemed to 
pervade all nature as though she held her bated 
breath in anticipation of the carnage. 

70 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

Captain Capron's field guns had opened fire upon 
the southern field at El Caney and the hill resounded 
with echoes. Then followed the reply of the musketry 
of the attacking invaders. The fighting in our front 
burst forth and the battle was on. 

The artillery duel began and in company with 
foreign military attaches and correspondents we all 
sat watching the effect of the shots as men witness 
any fine athletic contest eagerly trying to locate their 
smokeless batteries. A force of insurgents near the 
old Sugar Mill cowered at the explosion of each firing 
charge apparently caring for little except the noise. 

A slug of iron now and then fell among the sur- 
rounding bushes or buried itself deep in the ground 
near us. Finally a projectile from an unseen Span- 
ish gun discharged a Hotchkiss piece, wounded two 
cavalrymen and smashed into the old Sugar Mill in 
our rear, whereupon the terrorized insurgents fled 
and were not seen again near the firing line until 
the battle was over. 

When the Tenth Cavalry arrived at the crossing of 
San Juan River the balloon had become lodged in the 
treetops above and the enemy had just begun to 
make a target of it. A converging fire upon all the 
works within range opened upon us that was ter- 
rible in its effect. Our mounted ofiicers dismounted 
and the men stripped off at the roadside everything 
possible and prepared for business. 

We were posted for a time in the bed of the stream 
to the right directly under the balloon and stood in 

71 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the water to our waists waiting orders to deploy. Re- 
maining there under this galling fire of exploding 
shrapnel and deadly Mauser bullets the minutes 
seemed like hours. General Wheeler and a part of 
his staff stood mounted a few minutes in the middle 
of the stream. Just as I raised my hat to salute in 
passing up the stream to pass the squadron of my 
regiment, a piece of bursting shell struck between us 
and covered us both with water. Pursuant to orders 
from its commander, with myself as guide, the sec- 
ond squadron of the Tenth forced its way through 
wire fence and almost inpenetrable thicket to its posi- 
tion. The regiment was soon deployed as skirmishers 
in an opening across the river to the right of the 
road and our line of skirmishers being partly visible 
from the enemy's position, their fire was turned upon 
us and we had to lie down in the grass a few minutes 
for safety. Two officers of the regiment were 
wounded; here and there were frequent calls for the 
surgeon. 

White regiments, black regiments, regulars and 
rough riders representing the young manhood of the 
North and South fought shoulder to shoulder unmind- 
ful of race or color, unmindful of whether commanded 
by an ex-confederate or not, and mindful only of 
their common duty as Americans. 

Through streams, tall grass, tropical undergrowth, 
under barbed wire fences and over wire entangle- 
ments, regardless of casualties up the hill to the right 
this gallant advance was made. As we appeared on 

72 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

the brow of the hill we found the Spaniards retreat- 
ing only to take up a new position farther on, spite- 
fully firing as they retreated and only yielding their 
ground inch by inch. 

Our troopers halted and laid down but momentarily 
to get a breath and in the face of continued volleys 
soon formed for attack on the block houses and in- 
trenchments on the second hill. This attack was sup- 
ported by troops including some of the Tenth who had 
originally moved to the left toward this second hill 
and had worked their way in groups slipping through 
the tall grass and bushes, crawling when casualties 
came too often, courageously facing a sleet of bullets 
and now hung against the steep southern declivity 
ready to spring the few remaining yards into the 
teeth of the enemy. The fire from the Spanish posi- 
tion had doubled in intensity. There was a moment's 
lull and our line moved forward to the charge across 
the valley separating the two hills. Once begun it 
continued dauntless in its steady, dogged, persistent 
advance until like a mighty resistless challenge it 
dashed triumphant over the crest of the hill and fir- 
ing a parting volley at the vanishing foe planted the 
silken standard on the enemy's breastworks and the 
Stars and Stripes over the block house on San Juan 
Hill to stay. 

This was a time for rejoicing. It was glorious. 

***** 

But among the scenes of rejoicing there was others 
of sadness. Both American and Spanish troops lay 

73 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

dead and wounded around us; all were cared for 
alike. I saw a colored trooper stop at a trench filled 
with Spanish dead and wounded and gently raise the 
head of a wounded Spanish lieutenant and give him 
the last drop of water from his own canteen. Their 
dead, of whom there were many, had fought bravely 
and we buried them in the trenches where they gal- 
lantly fell. 

The losses of the day were heavy — the Tenth 
Cavalry losing one-half of its officers and twenty per 
cent of its men. We officers of the Tenth Cavalry 
have taken our black heroes in our arms. They had 
again fought their way into our affections, as they 
here had fought their way into the hearts of the 
American people. Though we had won, it had cost 
us dearly. 

An attempt was made that evening to recapture 
the hill, but our defense was so strong that the at- 
tempt was futile; the Spaniards retreating to their 
first interior line of intrenchments 300 to 500 yards 
away. 

The firing on both sides was kept up until dark 
and ceased only at intervals during the night. Over 
El Caney the battle had raged all day, but steadily 
as the Spaniards had held their positions the fierce 
charges of the gallant Seventh, Twelfth and Twenty- 
fifth regiments of infantry were resistless. Soon after 
San Juan was ours, El Caney fell. 

By morning the position was strengthened so that 
our line was fairly well protected, reveille was sounded 

74 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

by Spanish small arms and artillery in chorus, but 
the signal had been anticipated and all men were in 
their places at the firing line. 

Daylight was breaking in the east when both sides 
began where they had left off the night before and 
the firing all day was incessant. A few moments 
after the firing opened, some cannoneers permitted a 
limber from one of the guns of the light battery near 
us to get away and it went rolling down the hillside 
to the rear for a quarter of a mile. Our artillery was 
silenced by the enemy's small arms and compelled to 
take up a new position ; strong shrapnel went screech- 
ing over head and bursting beyond. The adjutant 
of my regiment was stricken by a hidden sharp- 
shooter. The heat soon became intense and there 
was no shelter and cannon balls plunged through the 
lines at the top of the hill and went rolling to the 
bottom of the valley; buUets spattered against the 
isolated trees or grazed the newly made earthworks 
covering with dirt the men in the trenches and fairly 
mowing the grass for many yards in our front. Thus 
the day went on and the night and the succeeding 
day began. Then came the welcome truth ; everybody 
drew a long breath and thanked God ; it was possible 
once more to walk erect; however, the echoes of the 
last three days were slow to die away and at the 
breaking of a bough or the rusting of a leaf there was 
a temptation to duck. 

At noon on July 4th the regiments were formed into 
line and I had the pleasure of reading to my regi- 

75 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

ment a telegram from the President extending the 
thanks and congratulations of the American people to 
the army in front of Santiago for its gallantry and 
success. 

The brave Linares, however, had already realized 
the hopelessness of his cause, but he would not sur- 
render without permission from his home govern- 
ment. Therefore the city must be bombarded. 
Pacificos and the non-combatants were ordered out 
of the city and were permitted to come within our 
lines. All day long on the dusty road leading from 
Santiago to El Caney passed the long white line; 
faint, hungry women carried a bundle of clothing 
and parcel of food or an infant while helpless chil- 
dren trailed wearily at the skirts of their wretched 
mothers. An old man tottered along on his cane and 
behind him a puny lad and an aged woman; old and 
young women and children and decrepit men of every 
class — those refined and used to luxury together with 
the ragged beggar — crowding each other in this nar- 
row column. It was a pitiful sight; from daylight 
to dark the miserable procession trooped past. The 
suffering of the innocent is not the least of the sor- 
rows of war. 

The days of truce and hostilities alternated; all 
roll calls were suspended except the sunset call and 
retreat on days of truce. 

At the evening call we daily ceased our chatting, 
cooking or working and groups or lines of officers and 
men stood with uncovered heads in respectful and 

76 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

reverent attention as the music of the Star Spangled 
Banner and the sight of the flag we had planted on 
the hiil above us, lifted us out of ourselves and car- 
ried us in thought to home and country; it was the 
soldiers' silent Ave Maria. 

Duty in the trenches was no less arduous because 
of the few days of truce ; all the available men would 
report to work at strengthening positions and build- 
ing bomb-proof shelters. Vigilance never relaxed 
until the capitulation. The rainy season had set in in 
earnest and the trenches were at times knee deep with 
mud and water. The constant exposures to the heat 
and rain together with the strain of battle began to 
have its effect upon even the strongest of us. Our 
sick list gradually grew and the dreaded yellow fever 
appeared in our ranks; the field hospitals already 
overcrowded with wounded were compelled to ac- 
commodate the increasing number of fever patients; 
medical supplies and food for the sick were lacking 
and though many things were furnished by the Red 
Cross there was yet a shortage. 

Since July 3d the firing from the Spanish trenches 
had become irregular, desultory and non-effective. 
Our artillery gunners now knew the range of every 
Spanish battery and our men in the trenches — every 
one a trained marksman — knew the distance of every 
Spanish position. A Spanish captain told me after- 
ward that it was dangerous for them even to stick 
up a finger for fear of having it shot off ; and yet the 
Spanish commander still held out. 

77 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

The literary style of the young lecturer re- 
veals the direct virile qualities that since have 
made General Pershing one of the most force- 
ful and clear American writers on topics hav- 
ing to do with the military affairs of the coun- 
try. His use of adjectives perhaps is some- 
what freer than in his later writings, but there 
is the same vivid, direct power of expression 
and description. His modesty at the time pre- 
vented him from referring to the fact that 
twice he was recommended for brevet commis- 
sions in the war with Spain for ** personal 
gallantry and untiring energy and faithful- 
ness.*^ Nor did he mention the words of Gen- 
eral Baldwin, a brave soldier of the Civil War, 
who said of him: *^ Pershing is the coolest 
man under fire I ever saw.*' And he makes 
no mention of the earnest protest of a certain 
foreign officer, the representative of his own 
government in the Santiago campaign, who 
begged the daring troops not to make the now 
famous charge up San Juan Hill because they 
would be rushing into certain death. 

The official records, however, are now avail- 

78 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

able and consequently we are not dependent 
upon stories which occasionally seem to pos- 
sess a snow-ball like quality of increasing in 
size as they gain in distance from their start- 
ing points. 

Headquarters, Tenth U. S. Cavalry, 

Camp Hamilton, Cuba, July, 1898. 
Adjutant General, Second Brigade, Cavalry Division, 
Fifth Army Corps. 

Sir: — I have the honor to submit the following re- 
port of the part taken by the Tenth Cavalry in the 
battle of July 12th and 13th, 1898, before Santiago 
de Cuba. 

On the morning of July 1st the regiment, consisting 
of troops, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I, field and staff, oc- 
cupying a position on the left of the second cavalry, 
directed the line extending nearly north and south 
on a ridge some three or four miles from Santiago. 

At about 6 :30 A. M. a battery of artillery massed a 
short distance from our right opened upon the works 
of Santiago, the regiment being exposed to much of 
the return fire of the American batteries. After the 
artillery fire had ceased the regiment moved right 
past the sugar miUs and proceeded in rear of the 
town on the road toward Santiago. The movement 
was delayed as we approached the San Juan river 
and the regiment came within range of fire about 
half a mile from the crossing. Upon reaching the 

79 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

river I found that the Seventy-first N. Y. Volunteers 
were at the crossing and that the regiment preceding 
mine had moved to the right. The Tenth Cavalry 
was here subject to and confronting radically an in- 
fantry fire from the three block houses and intrench- 
ments in front and the works farther to the left and 
nearer Santiago. The fire was probably drawn by 
a balloon which preceded the regiment to a point near 
the ford where it was held. I was directed to take a 
position to the right behind the river, however, for 
potection moving to this position and while there the 
regiment suffered considerable loss. After an inter- 
val of 20 to 30 minutes I was directed to form line 
of battle in a particularly open field facing toward 
the blockhouse and strong intrenchments to the 
north occupied by the enemy. Much difficulty was 
found on account of the dense undergrowth crossed 
in several directions by wire fences. As a part of the 
cavalry division under General Sumner, the regiment 
was formed on two lines. The first squadron under 
Major S. T. Norvall consisting of troops A, E, B and 
I leading. The second line under Major T. J. Wint 
consisting of troops C, F and G. Troop D having 
crossed further down the river attached itself to a 
command of infantry and moved with that command 
on the two blockhouses. The regiment advanced in 
this formation under a heavy fire from the enemy's 
position proceeding but a short distance when the 
two lines were reunited into one. The advance was 
rapidly continued in an irregular line toward the 

80 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

blockhouses and intrenchments to the right front. 
During this advance the lines passed some troops of 
the first cavalry which I think had been previously 
formed on our right. Several losses occurred before 
reaching the top of them; first lieutenant W. H. 
Smith being killed as he arrived at its crest. The 
enemy having retreated toward the northwest toward 
the second and third blockhouses, new lines were 
formed and rapid advance was made upon the new 
positions. 

The regiment assisted in capturing these works 
from the enemj^ and with the exception of Troops C 
and I who had joined the first volunteer cavalry, then 
took up a position north of the second blockhouse, re- 
maining there during the night. With some changes 
in the positions of troops they held this line of the 
second and third under a heavy and continuous fire 
from the enemy's intrenchments in front and the regi- 
ment now occupying a part of the advance intrenched 
positions. Some troops lost their relative positions 
in line during the first day of the battle but attached 
themselves to others and continued to move forward. 
During the entire engagement the regiment acted 
with exceptional coolness and bravery. It held its 
position at the ford and moved forward unflinchingly 
after deploying through the advance under the heavy 
fire from the enemy's works. 

The officers and men in general throughout ex- 
hibited great bravery obeying orders with unflinch- 
ing alacrity while attacking with small arms an 

81 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

enemy strongly posted in intrenchment and block- 
house supported with artillery. Words cannot ex- 
press my gratification at such conduct and I would 
request such service receive some special recognition. 
It is difficult to distinguish between officers and men 
all of whom are so deserving but of the officers whose 
conduct on the field came under my direct personal 
observation I would especially mention Major S. T. 
Norvall, Major T. J. Wint, squadron commander, 
first lieutenant J. J. Pershing, quartermaster, and 
first lieutenant M. H. Bowman, adjutant, for their 
untiring energy, faithfulness and gallantry during 
this engagement and would recommend the officers 
mentioned for brevet commissions, . . . 
Very respectfully, 

(s) T. A. Baldwin, 

Lieutenant Colonel, Tenth Cavalry, 
Coihmanding. 

[A True Copt] 
Second lieutenant, Tenth Cavalry, acting regimental 
adjutant. 



**A foreign officer standing near our position when 
we started to make that charge was heard to say, 
'Men, for Heaven's sake don't go up that hill. It is 
impossible for human beings to take that position 
and you cannot stand the fire.' Notwithstanding 
this with a terrific yell we rushed up to the enemy's 
works and you know the result. Men who were near 

82 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

said that when this officer saw us make the charge 
he turned his back and wept. ' * 



Camp A. G. Porse, 
Huntsville, Ala., December 1, 1898. 
The Adjutant General, U. S. Army, 

Washington, D. C, 
Through military channels, 

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following 
report of the part taken by Troop D, Tenth Cavalry, 
in the engagement before Santiago de Cuba so far as 
it is known to me. As we approached the foot of 
the hill our artillerymen fired over our heads at the 
enemy on top of it. This caused a slowing up on the 
general advance. When I was about half way up 
the hill I was disabled by three bullet wounds re- 
ceived simultaneously. I had already received one, 
but did not know it. What took place after my dis- 
ablement is known to me only through the statement 
of my men and others subsidized by the depositions 
enclosed herewith. My platoon went to the top of 
the hill with the infantry and was soon afterward 
conducted by Lieutenant J. J. Pershing, R. 0. M., 
Tenth Cavalry, to the line of the Tenth Cavalry some 
distance to the right. 

Very respectfully, 
John Bigelow, Jr., 

Tenth Cavalry, Commanding, 
Troop D. 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

In the report of Major Wint, November 28th, 
1898, to the adjutant-general is the following: 
^'Lieutenant Pershing, E.O.M., was with the 
Second Squadron when passed on Sugar House 
Hill and during its advance on San Juan Hill he 
conducted himself in a most gallant and efficient 
manner. ' ' 

The war with Spain was soon terminated but 
the executive ability of Lieutenant Pershing 
was still in demand. The period of reconstruc- 
tion was difficult then, as it always is, present- 
ing problems different from those of active 
fighting, but no less puzzling and perplexing. 
In this trying time we find him serving as an 
executive under the direction of the War De- 
partment and manifesting in his quiet, persist- 
ent way the same qualities of efficiency which 
had marked his career up to this time. On 
August 18, 1898, he was serving as Major Chief 
Ordnance Officer with the United States Vol- 
unteers, remaining on duty at the Headquarters 
of the Army until December 20, 1898, and then 
on duty in the office of the Assistant Secretary 
of War, under whom he organized the Bureau 

84 



IN THE SPANISH WAR 

of Insular Affairs, and was at the head of that 
Bureau until the following August. On May 
12, 1899, he was honorably discharged from Vol- 
unteer service and on June 6, 1899, he was 
Major and Assistant Adjutant General, United 
States Volunteers. I 

Office and work of detail did not, however, 
appeal strongly to him. Having known the life 
and work in the field, and also possessed of a 
temperament that demanded more active work 
and out-of-door life that an office provided, at 
his own request he was sent to the Philippine 
Islands and was assigned to duty as Adjutant 
General of the District of Mindanao and Jolo 
(afterwards a Department under the same 
name). 

He became captain in the First Cavalry, Feb- 
ruary, 1901, and on August 20th of the same 
year he was transferred to the Fifteenth Cav- 
alry. His work in the Philippine Islands con- 
tinued and there his soldierly qualities found a 
larger field for development and activity than 
they had known before. 



85 



CHAPTER VII 
In the Philippines 

The supreme testing of Pershing up to this 
time in his career came in the Philippines. 
There he was dealing with a strange people 
who for three centuries had learned their les- 
sons and formed their opinions of the white 
men from their contact and dealings with the 
Spaniards, of whom they had seen chiefly the 
adventurers or those who for the **good of 
their country^' had fled from their homes. To 
such men the exploitation of the ** natives" 
was a legitimate game and the little brown 
men had thoroughly learned to play their part 
in it. 

The provinces in which Pershing was to find 
his field of activity were as difficult as any in 
the islands. For years the natives had been 
accustomed to import arms from Borneo and 
elsewhere. Certain of the tribes were famous 

86 



IN THE PHILIPPINES 

also for their skill as forgers of swords, krises 
and barongs. Every datto had numbers of 
lantaka or brass cannon and was well skilled 
in the use of them. Pershing's problem was 
not only to subdue these men, — farmers, 
artificers and all alike fighters after their own 
manner, but he must also at the same time 
convince them of the good will and helpful in- 
tentions of the new Government, which for a 
time and for their own good was now to con- 
trol them. Naturally suspicious, treacherous 
in many ways, the Islands presented difficul- 
ties that well might have staggered the young 
officer. 

General Pershing's first term of service in 
the Philippines was from 1899 to 1903. In the 
interval between his first and second terms of 
service as soldier and governor in the Islands, 
he was back in the United States to serve on 
the General Staff and also was serving as 
military attache in the army of General 
Kuroki in the war between Russia and Japan. 

In his first years in the Philippines his work 
was of a character that made him known tc 

87 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the Army and to the authorities at Washing- 
ton, but it did not make him widely known to 
his countrymen. 

Briefly stated, his record during his two 
terms of service in the Philippines is as fol- 
lows: he was in the field November, 1900, to 
March, 1901, against General Capistrano, the 
commander of the insurrectionary forces; he 
was in command of an expedition against the 
hostile Moros of Maciu, starting from Camp 
Vicars, Mindanao, September 18, 1902. In the 
actions at Guam, September 18, and at Baya- 
bao, September 20, 1902, he had a responsible 
part. On September 29, 1902, he captured 
Fort Moru, driving the Moros from that Pen- 
insula on that date. He attacked the Moros 
at Maciu, September 30, 1902, capturing their 
two forts and then returned to Camp Vicara 
October 3, 1902. He was again in action at 
Bacolod, April 6-8, 1903, and again at Calabui 
April 9, 1903, and laraca Eiver, May 4, 1903. 
He commanded the first military force that 
ever encircled Lake Lanao. 

In May, 1902, General Chaffee was desirous 



IN THE PHILIPPINES 

of securing a young leader to deal with the 
troublesome and specific problem in the prov- 
ince of Zamboanga, where the fierce and turbu- 
lent little Moros dwelt. Many of these people 
were Mohammedans and had been taught that 
the swiftest and surest way to secure happiness 
in the next world was by the slaughter of 
Christians in this present world. During 300 
years they had fought the Spanish invaders, 
whose every attempt to subdue them had failed. 

Pershing in command of five troops of the 
Fifteenth Cavalry, together with a battery of 
artillery, a company of engineers and a bat- 
talion of the Twenty-seventh Infantry, was 
stationed at Camp Vicars in the Lake Lanao 
District of Mindanao. He had taken the place 
made vacant by the promotion of Colonel Bald- 
win. 

Although'the Americans had obtained a foot- 
hold on the southern side of Lake Lanao, very 
few of them had actually become friendly. In 
fact the Spaniards, in all the years of their occu- 
pation, had never subdued the main tribes to 
subordination. 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

Among those who especially defied the Amer- 
ican authority was the Sultan of Bacalan and 
600 of his followers who occupied a stronghold 
on the western side of Lake Lanao from which 
they made almost daily forays. Walls of earth 
and bamboo some 20 feet in thickness had been 
added to the natural defenses of the position 
they selected. A moat 40 feet wide and 30 feet 
deep surrounded the position. The defenders 
thought it was proof against any possible at- 
tack. Friendly overtures failed to make an im- 
pression upon their leaders, and their cotta was 
finally surrounded and their surrender de- 
manded. Still confident of their prowess, they 
declined to accede to the American Command- 
er's demands and the latter was compelled to 
assault this strong fortification. Accordingly 
trees were felled and used to make a crossing 
over the moat and when all was in readiness the 
place was taken in a fierce hand-to-hand encoun- 
ter between the Americans and the Moros. The 
American success was complete and a severe 
lesson was taught to Moros in that region. Gen- 
eral Pershing completed the conquest of Min- 

90 



IN THE PHILIPPINES 

danao Moros by marching his command entirely 
around Lake Lanao through the dense jungles 
and swamps bordering the lake. 

As a matter of interest several reports made 
by General Pershing on his work in the Philip- 
pines follow, and some in which reference is 
made to him by certain of his superior officers 
at that time. 

In the later reports sent by Pershing there 
is manifest the same painstaking carefulness 
and thorough understanding of his task. He 
makes recommendations concerning the distri- 
bution of the troops in the Philippines, goes 
into detail about the necessity and the location 
of cold storage plants, and has positive convic- 
tions as to what changes ought to be made in 
the Subsistence Department. Certain posts 
also ought to be made permanent. He clearly 
presents the reasons leading to his conclusions. 

Annual Report of the Lieutenant General command- 
ing the Army — 1901 
The command left Cagayan, December 16th, under 
Major Case, accompanied by Major J. J. Pershing, 
adjutant general, department of Mindanao and Jolo. 

91 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

In a narrow gorge 800 feet deep formed by the 
river the insurgents were found in three strongly 
constructed forts which our troops attacked with- 
out loss. The enemy must have suffered severely, but 
his loss was not ascertained. Two cannon fell into 
our hands. The 18th and 19th of December were 
consumed in surrounding the stronghold of Maxa- 
jambos by gaining a position commanding Langaran 
to the south of Maxajambos. Langaran, which was 
the headquarters of the insurgents, was entered on 
the 20th and considerable quantity of provisions, 
ammunitions of war, cuartels, etc., were found and 
destroyed. The insurrectos had made good their 
escape under cover of darkness. 

On the 28th, the insurgents were discovered a mile 
and a half south of Langaran occupying a strong 
position which our troops succeeded in reaching and 
the enemy was forced to retreat in disorder. The 
command then moved on to Talacao but was not met 
by any resistance. Such buildings as had been used 
by the insurgents for storehouses, etc., were de- 
stroyed as well as supplies. One prisoner was taken. 
The surrounding country was thoroughly scouted 
without encountering any enemy force. The troops 
returned to Cagayan the 31st of December. 

From the report of Captain James J. Mays, 
40th Infantry, concerning the attack on 
Cagayan, December 16th to 25th, 1900: 

92 



IN THE PHILIPPINES 

He reports, "late in the afternoon of December 
17th insurgents concealed in the brush fired on 
horses that were being watered in the canon. Major 
Pershing, who was with the command, took fifteen 
men on one bluff and I took about the same number 
on another and poured volleys into the canon, firing 
at smoke from insurgent pieces, silencing their fire. 
I think we killed some of them, but do not know. 
The following morning Major Pershing crossed the 
river and joined Captain Millar. Captain Millar 
threw shelly into Maxajambos and signaled that the 
place seemed deserted. During the day I kept 
patrols on the plateau. Senor Cruz came out on 
the morning of this day and I sent him to Captain 
Millar. I questioned him about the plan of cutting 
through the timber. He said he never heard of any- 
one getting through there and that it would be very 
difficult on account of the canon, and also that it 
would end on top of a cliff 400 or 500 feet high. I 
concluded not to attempt it.'* 

To the Headquarters Department of Mindanao 

and Jolo. 

Cagayan de Misamis, P. I. 

February 2, 1901. 
The Commanding Officer, Provincial District of 
Mindanao and Jolo. 
Sir: I am instructed by the department com- 
mander to advise you that General Capistrano, com- 

93 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

manding the insurgent forces in Northern Mindanao, 
has signified his wish to meet the department com- 
mander in conference and to direct that you take 
whatever measures are possible to insure his safe con- 
duct accompanied by his staff and that of any tribes 
with a pass signed by the commanding general and 
countersigned by the adjutant general. Patrols and 
expeditionary forces need not be suspended but should 
be warned to be at special pains not to molest un- 
resisting parties of natives and to take special care 
not to interfere with individuals or squadrons, to indi- 
cate that their mission is peaceful. 
Very respectfully, 

J. J. Pershing, 
Assistant Adjutant General. 

To the Headquarters Department of Mindanao 

and Jolo. 

Cagayan de Misamis, P. I. 

February 28, 1901. 
To the Commanding Officer, 1st District of Min- 
danao and Jolo. 
Sm: I am instructed by the Department com- 
mander to invite your attention to the fact that there 
are at this place ten prisoners of war either now 
or recently officers in the insurgent forces. With 
one or two exceptions these officers have voluntarily 
surrendered one at a time and have been induced to 
do so with a distinct understanding that they would 

94 



IN THE PHILIPPINES 

not be closely confined or otherwise molested so long 
as they refrained from all conduct which might be 
construed as hostile to the United States. 

It is understood that most of these have severed 
their connections with the insurgent forces and have 
thrown up their appointments as officers. 

You will please assemble these men, give them 
strict, but fair limits of arrest, extending in no case 
beyond the limits of the town of Cagayan de Misamis 
and inform them that any violation of their obliga- 
tions as prisoners of war, however slight, will be 
followed by immediate arrest and deportation from 
the Philippine Islands to Guam; also that they are 
to report daily in a body at a stated hour to the 
Provost Marshal. 

The Department Commander further directs that 
you assemble all the more prominent citizens of this 
and adjoining towns who are known or suspected 
of being in sjanpathy with the insurgents and in- 
form them that they must refrain absolutely from 
giving aid or comfort to them and without communi- 
cating with the insurgent forces in any manner under 
penalty of immediate arrest and deportation. 

In carrying out the terms of this order you are 
directed to exercise considerable vigilance and the 
most drastic vigor. 

yery respectfully, 

J. J. Pershing, 
Assistant Adjutant General. 

95 



CHAPTER VIII 

Subjecting the Moeos 

The first period of General Pershing's ser- 
vice in the Philippine Islands lasted until 1903. 
He then was recalled to the United States and 
became a member of the General Staff Corps. 
This position he held until 1906. 

Within that time, however, he was appointed 
the military attache at Tokio, Japan, and was 
with General Kuroki in the latter 's campaign 
in the war between Japan and Russia. It is 
said that his report forwarded to our Govern- 
ment is one of the most lucid and forceful 
military documents ever received by the De- 
partment. 

If any discouragements had come to the 
young officer in his lonely campaigns in the 
jungles of the Philippines and he had felt that 
somehow he had been banished to a region 
where his services of necessity would never be 

96 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

recognized, that thought was banished by the 
action of President Roosevelt in 1906. 

His services in the First and Fifteenth 
Cavalry as well as his activities in Washington 
and his report as the military attache of his 
Government, had brought him very strongly 
before the attention of the President, who now 
was eager to reward him for his faithful ser- 
vices. 

There were certain obstacles, however, in 
the way, and the President did his utmost to 
secure the proper legislation to enable him to 
reward the soldier whom he was eager to 
honor. There were delays, however, and the 
delays continued. Red tape exerted its bind- 
ing force upon the makers of the laws and no 
apparent progress was made. 

Thereupon President Roosevelt in his direct 
way determined to wait no longer for changes 
in the laws. Promptly he nominated Pershing 
to be Brigadier General; the nomination was 
confirmed and the long deferred recognition 
was now manifest. 

He had labored in somewhat obscure fields. 
97 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

He had assisted in subduing insurrections, 
had supervised many local improvements in 
the territory within which he was working. 
He had assisted in winning victories and had 
warded off attacks by hostile Moros. There 
had, however, been nothing spectacular in his 
work. His reliability, good sense, bravery and 
administrative ability, however, were now bet- 
ter known and he was in every way prepared 
for the more important problems which now 
confronted him. 

The President by his action had raised or 
* 'jumped" the new general eight hundred and 
sixty-two orders. Worthy as the honor was 
and worthily bestowed, for a time there were 
protests from disappointed seekers after office. 
Some cried ** politics,'' but as a rule these ob- 
jections came in loudest tones from those who 
by devious ways had sought certain '^pulls'* 
for their own elevation. Personal ambitions 
and personal jealousies, perhaps, also entered 
to a degree and aided not a little in delaying 
the legislation which President Roosevelt 
desired. 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

Doubtless this condition deeply hurt Gen- 
eral Pershing, but there was no complaining on 
his part. It was his to show that he was not 
unw^orthy of his new honor. Years before he had 
been taught by his father that to be worthy 
of promotion was more than the promotion it- 
self. And now he was soon to return to the 
Philippines to show in the jungle and on the 
field, in council and administration, that the 
action of the President had not been the re- 
sult of idle or thoughtless impulse. 

Not long before this time, on January 26, 
1905, General Pershing was married. There 
is a current story, for the truthfulness of 
which the writer cannot vouch, that when the 
nomination of Major Pershing for promotion 
was placed before the Senate, there was made 
at the same time a just and true statement of 
the distinguished services he had rendered his 
country in his career in the Philippines. In 
the visitors' gallery with friends, intently 
listening to the proceedings, was Miss Frances 
Warren, daughter of United States Senator 
Warren of Wyoming. As she listened to the 



883549 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

words spoken concerning the American officer 
in the Philippines it is said she remarked, 
*^What a wonderful record. I should like to 
see the man who made it.^^ Not long after- 
ward she did see him though the meeting was 
entirely unexpected. Doubtless the man im- 
pressed her more than had his praises to which 
she had listened in the halls of Congress, for 
on January 26, 1905, she became Mrs. John 
Joseph Pershing. 

The general, who for years had been com- 
pelled to live a somewhat lonely life, whose ac- 
tivities had kept him far from friends and his 
own people, was now to have the help and com- 
fort of the strong and beautiful daughter of Sen- 
ator Warren. Never effusive nor one to refer 
to his personal or private affairs, his friends 
nevertheless have told of the deep love of the 
General for his wife and family — a tragic set- 
ting for the terrible tragedy which later in a 
moment disrupted his home and deprived him 
forever of his wife and three little daughters. 

Directly after the wedding and before the 
general and his bride could carry out the plans 

100 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

of a trip they were expecting to make to Japan, 
he was abruptly ordered to join the forces of 
General Kuroki, as has been said, as the rep- 
resentative of the Army of the United States 
in the war between Japan and Russia. Like 
the good soldier that he was there was no com- 
plaining, no expression of his personal disap- 
pointment; he at once obeyed. 

For a time General Pershing's work in the 
Philippines, to which he soon returned, was not 
unlike that in which he formerly had been en- 
gaged. 

The raids of the Moros on the coast towns 
were checked by Pershing's brilliant victory 
at Bayan. But the tribe though defeated in 
this battle were by no means conquered. They 
were obdurate and their long experience with 
the Spaniards made them confident of their 
ability to hold off the new invading force. 

Six hundred hot-headed Moros were ready 
to defend their fortress — the first of forty 
similar ones, — in the crater of an extinct vol- 
cano. The most hot-headed of all was the 
leader, the Sultan of Bacolod. Walls of earth 

101 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

and bamboo, forty feet in thickness, had been 
added to the natural defenses. A moat forty 
feet wide and thirty feet deep surrounded the 
position. The defenders believed it was proof 
against every possible attack. 

With j&ve hundred of his own men and an 
equal number of selected Filipino scouts 
Pershing advanced. The march was difficult 
and slow, for in many places the troops were 
compelled to cut a pathway through dense 
jungles and all the way they were exposed to 
sudden and fierce attacks by the fanatical 
Moros. But Pershing relentlessly pushed for- 
ward and at last arrived at the foot of the 
mountain on which the Moros had confidently 
gathered in their supposedly impregnable 
stronghold, — ^' proof against all attacks.'^ 

Not a day was lost. Quietly the leader re- 
marked that he would *'take the place if it 
took ten years to capture if — a remark that 
reminds one of a similar declaration by an- 
other American soldier that he would *^ fight 
it out on this line if it takes all summer.'^ 

First, his jungle fighters cut a trail entirely 
102 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

around the base of the mountain, at the same 
time doing their utmost to protect themselves 
against attacks from the Moros who were as 
skillful in this work as they were in nearly 
every phase of fighting in the jungle. The 
men were compelled also to protect themselves 
from attacks from above, for it was a favorite 
method of the Moros by unexpected attacks, 
in rushes of wild fury, to scatter their enemies 
when they tried to ascend. 

The soldiers speedily formed a complete 
cordon around the mountain and the siege 
promptly began. Pershing knew what the 
Moros did not know that he knew, — when they 
had withdrawn to their stronghold they had 
done so in such haste that they neglected or 
were unable to bring with them supplies suffi- 
cient for a long siege, and not many days 
would pass before the necessity of obtaining 
food would compel them to try to break the 
iron ring about them and to send out parties 
for help. 

Pershing^s information soon proved to be 
correct. After a few days, in small detach- 

103 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

ments the Moros did their utmost to gain the 
open jungle by dashing through the surround- 
ing lines. But every dash was frustrated, al- 
though the fanatical fighters recklessly threw 
themselves into what was certain death. The 
failure of one band to break through was 
merely a clarion call to others of their fellows 
to renew the attempt. The mad and useless 
efforts were all baffled. 

At last on Christmas Day, 1911, the Moros in 
the little fortress did what Moros had not done 
before, — they marched down the mountain side 
and surrendered, — that is, all did save a few 
who made a final wild attempt to break through 
the jungle. The effort was vain, however, for 
the regulars hotly pursued the little brown 
fighters and the desperadoes paid the penalty 
of their daring. 

A second fortress was taken in a similar 
manner. But the leader was as wise as he 
was brave and determined. After he had 
permitted the knowledge of the fall of the first 
forts to be carried throughout the tribe, soon 
after the beginning of the siege, he sent a 

104 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

message within the third fort that the inmates, 
if they surrendered, would receive the same 
generous treatment the defenders of the other 
forts had received. 

Soon the brown fighters were convinced and 
promptly acted accordingly. They discovered 
that they were dealing with a leader different 
from any they had previously known. He did 
exactly what lie said he would do. His promise 
could be trusted. His word was reliable; and 
forty forts soon were given over to the 
Americans. 

The subjection of all the Moros, however, 
had not yet been accomplished. Some still 
distrusted the white men and, as they believed, 
fought to retain and defend their homes. At 
last, however, at the Battle of Bagsag in June, 
1913, the task was completed, though Per- 
shing's work was not yet all done. What he 
had believed to be only a temporary task had 
now assumed larger and longer proportions. 
He had done so well that he was retained 
not only in command but also was the gov- 
ernor of the newly conquered, but not yet 

105 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

friendly province. Perhaps there is no better 
proof of the ability and sterling character of 
General Pershing anywhere to be found than 
the fact that the little brown Moros whom he 
defeated and overthrew, later made him a 
datto of their tribe — an official position that 
granted him full power of life and death over 
every man, woman and child in their numbers 
and also made him a judge as well as a ruler 
over them. 

In his quiet, efficient, modest manner Gen- 
eral Pershing in a larger way had manifested 
the same qualities that had marked the lad 
at Laclede, the student at West Point, and 
the young lieutenant leading his black troops 
in Cuba. To-day all Americans are proud as 
.well as pleased that there were leaders able 
to recognize, and brave enough to reward, the 
services of a soldier who had filled with honor 
every position to which he had been assigned. 

In the reports to the War Department there 
are many interesting incidents descriptive of 
the daring and labors of General Pershing, 
who was not only in command of the troops, 

106 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

but also, as has been said, the military gov- 
ernor of the Province of Mindanao. In his 
own reports there are general as well as 
specific recommendations and the directness 
with which he states what to him appear to be 
needful for the good of the Filipinos as well 
as of the American troops, is marked. 

[From the Report of June 30, 1910.] 

To the Adjutant-General of the United States Army: 
To keep down the lawless element among the 
Moros and pagan tribes a relatively large force 
must be maintained in this department. We have 
now occupied these Islands long enough to determine 
quite definitely where such posts should be located. 
There should be a regiment post on the Island of 
Jolo, a brigade post in the Lake Lanoa division and 
the regimental post in some point in the vicinity of 
Zamboanga, besides smaller posts at Fort Overton 
and Malabang. 

Jolo is the strategical site for the post in the Sulu 
Archipelago. From there any point in the Island 
can be quickly reached and the other islands of 
the Sulu group can be easily controlled. It pos- 
sesses a good harbor and is otherwise well situated 
as a military station. Mounted troops can go any- 
where on the Island and they exert more influence 
over the Moros than dismounted troops. 

107 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

The Lake Lanoa Moros are turbulent and unruly 
and the presence of a relatively large force in that 
region will be required for years to come. The 
shores of Lake Lanoa afford a very desirable place 
for a military post. The country is very fertile and 
in case of necessity troops could maintain them- 
selves there almost indefinitely. 

The erection of a permanent post at Zamboanga 
is in every way desirable. Troops located at Zam- 
boanga could be sent to any place in the department 
more quickly than from any other point. 

After stating that many of the barracks and 
quarters will not last long, he comments : 

Permanent posts should be built entirely of con- 
crete or of a combination of concrete and most dur- 
able hard woods. 

The khaki uniform furnished by the quarter- 
masters' department for tropical service is poorly 
made and ill-fitting. The American made cotton 
khaki cloth is heavy, shrinks badly, fades rapidly and 
is almost as warm as woolen cloth. This clothing is 
as poor an excuse for a military uniform as can be 
imagined. Instead of offering inducements to sol- 
diers to enter and remain in foreign service by 
giving them good-looking and well-fitted clothes, we 
force upon them these unbecoming, hot, heavy, ill- 
fitting uniforms. The best khaki cloth is of English 
manufacture and should be prescribed for the army. 

103 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

It is light, cool, holds its color and does not shrink. 
All uniform cloth ought to be manufactured by 
tailors enlisted for the purpose. 

He goes on to discuss the water snpply, public 
animals, ships and drydocks, and pack and 
wagon transportation, water and sewer sys- 
tems, the roads and the works, ice and cold 
storage plants and also makes suggestions for 
the engineering and ordnance departments. 
He asks for the construction, for military pur- 
poses, of a telegraph line of communication 
with the District of Davao. He speaks also 
of the marked improvement in the target prac- 
tice, especially in small arms. He gives the 
details of the eighteen expeditions entered 
upon and has a complete description of the 
Subano uprising, which occurred in November, 
1909, among the hill people of Zamboanga. 
Certain Moro chiefs from Lake Lanoa, as- 
sisted by pagan and Christian outcasts and 
criminals from the Misamis Strip, planned to 
gather the hill people into an inaccessible part 
of the ^^Bolman Country.*^ This plan was 
carried out by resorting to false prophecies, 

109 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

and, in many cases, to violence. Thousands 
of these small pastoral Subanos were driven 
into camps, where they would be more com- 
pletely under the control of these self-ap- 
pointed leaders. Large camps were built, one 
at Bolman and one at Dampalan, and prepara- 
tions were made for defending them. The 
positions were well selected. The occupants 
were armed with spears, krises, kampilans and 
barongs. A constabulary force from Capitan 
was sent November 28th, by the Governor of 
the Moro provinces, to the outskirts of the 
Barbon camp. The Subanos, under the lead- 
ership of their Moro chiefs, attacked the con- 
stabulary with spears, and several of the men 
were killed. Upon the call of the Provincial 
Governor for troops, the second company of 
Philippine scouts, commanded by Captain 
Moses T. Barlow, was sent to Dipolog to re- 
port to Major John J. Finley, Governor of the 
District of Zamboanga, who was placed in 
command. 

In the report of Major Finley that officer 
writes: 

110 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

''The considerable reward offered for the appre- 
hension of the leaders did not stimulate the natives 
to search for them. The Subanos were thoroughly- 
subdued and terrorized by the rigorous discipline of 
the camp and after the fight of November 28th they 
were only too glad to hide themselves in the woods 
and mountains. The Philippines made no effort 
whatever to earn the reward. 

''Ample time was given for the hill people to take 
a look at the troops and become convinced that this 
form of governmental power was friendly and really 
interested in their salvation and prosperity. After 
becoming thus convinced, the good influence of the 
government spread with rapidity among the Subanos. 
They returned to their farms by hundreds daily, 
they preferred their services to the government and 
declined remuneration. The important witnesses 
emerged from their hiding places and the apprehen- 
sion of the leaders became a possibility. The leaders 
were caught, the witnesses came forward from their 
hiding places to convict them, and the wondering 
Subanos reclaimed their homes and began life anew. 
There was a general rejoicing among them.*' 

He reports a shortage of officers and states 
that two-year troops hardly get acquainted 
with the people or really become interested 
in the larger problems that are being worked 
out under American control '*The army can- 
Ill 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

not do itself full justice in the administration 
of civil affairs in a Moro Province unless the 
period of service be extended." He declares 
that service in the Philippine Islands is not 
more arduous than service in Texas or Ari- 
zona. *^ There is no reason why enlisted men 
should be given credit for double service for 
every year spent in the Islands.'' 

He reports also that the Philippine Scouts 
are in excellent condition. A high state of disci- 
pline exists among them. Their officers are 
enthusiastic and willing, and the same spirit 
extends to the men. 

In 1911, similar reports are made concern- 
ing uniforms, clothing, etc. The general 
good health of the soldiers is described. Only 
three cases of typhoid fever occurred in the 
entire department. **Too much time is devoted 
to target practice in comparison with other 
classes of training. The increased pay for ex- 
pert riflemen, sharpshooters and marksmen 
does not serve to increase appreciation and the 
efficiency in rifle fire." He recommended that 
extra pay be discontinued. 

112 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

He reports nineteen expeditions of the troops 
and gives a clear account of the pagan upris- 
ing. He urges an increase in the regular regi- 
ments of infantry in time of peace, to form a 
substantial basis in the first line when war 
comes. *^ Under no circumstances should the 
enlisted strength of a regiment be less than 
one thousand men, in time of peace. In war 
this should be increased to two thousand four 
hundred or even three thousand.^' He recom- 
mends that the cavalry regiments be made 
smaller. He states that the efficiency of the 
cavalry is not as high as it should be, while 
the field artillery is below the recognized re- 
quirements. The Philippine Scouts sometimes 
are inclined to consider themselves on the same 
footing as the white troops, with a consequent 
disinclination to perform duties away from 
well-equipped and centrally located garrisons. 

''Considering their low cost of maintenance I be- 
lieve it poor policy not to keep them up to the 
authorized maximum strength of 12,000, reducing 
the garrison of American troops accordingly. 

'*! believe the time is propitious for the orgau- 
113 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

ization of Philippine cavalry, mounted on hardy 
native ponies which require none of the expensive 
hay of the American horse. 

**The post exchange ought to be authorized to sell 
beer and light wines. Conducted under proper 
regulations and under official supervision this fea- 
ture formerly served as a means to furnish soldiers 
with a club of their own and save many from the 
grog shops and the brothels. The reestablishment 
of that part of the exchange would go far to reduce 
desertion, venereal diseases and alcoholism among 
our troops.*' 



In 1914 General Pershing was recalled from 
the Philippine Islands. 

His work and that of General Funston was 
now fully recognized by his countrymen. Peace 
had come in the Philippines and the victorious 
leaders had been successful not only with their 
enemies, but also in winning the confidence of 
most of the tribes they conquered. It is said 
there was no man in the islands who was more 
deeply respected and loved by the natives than 
was General Pershing. They were fearful of 
him, also, because they knew that he would do 
exactly what he said he would do. Strict with 

114 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

offenders against the laws, he was at the same 
time gentle and friendly to the deserving, and 
it was not long before all were aware that he 
was working not for conquest or for the glory 
of his nation, but to help his country solve one 
of the most difficult problems left by the Span- 
ish War. That problem was to reconstruct and 
reorganize the life among the Filipinos in such 
a way that they themselves should be helped 
and not hurt by the plan. When General Per- 
shing returned to America, hope was strong 
that not many years wo aid elapse before the 
little brown men would be able to care for 
themselves and be recognized as an independent 
nation. 

For a brief time he was stationed at the Pre- 
sidio in San Francisco, California, but soon 
afterward was placed in command of the 
southwestern division, along the Mexican bor- 
der. It was while he was stationed there in 
command of a scant and greatly extended line, 
which required constant change on his own 
part in order to keep in touch with the various 
elements in his command, that the great 

115 



THE STORY OP GENERAL PERSHING 

tragedy of the death of his wife and three 
little daughters occurred. 

On August 27, 1915, while he was in command 
at El Paso, word came to him over the tele- 
phone of the awful fire in the Presidio at San 
Francisco, where his family, then consisting of 
his wife, three little daughters and a little son, 
wc; 3 residing in his enforced absence. Of these, 
all except Warren, the little boy, perished in 
the fire, a maid having succeeded in rescuing 
the little fellow. When the terrible message 
was received by the general it is said that at 
last he inquired, ' ^ Is there anything more to be 
toldr' 

Upon being assured that he now knew not 
only the worst but had heard all, he quietly 
hung up the receiver and turned away. There 
was to be no manifestation of his almost 
crushing sorrow. It was his own, and there 
we too must leave it. There are few who can 
fail to understand. The lines in his strong 
face were soon deeper, the graying hair be- 
came lighter still, but General Pershing's suf- 
fering and sorrow were his own, not even to 

116 



SUBJECTING THE MOROS 

be referred to except as one of the facts in 
the life of a man who belongs not to himself 
alone, but also to his country. 

It has been reported that the general re- 
quested that he might be sent on the most 
dangerous service to which his country could 
assign him. Whether or not he ever made the 
request the writer does not know, but that he 
might have had such a feeling in his heart can 
readily be understood by all. The little 
motherless lad, Warren, has been cared for 
by the general's sisters, who now reside in 
Lincoln, Nebraska. 



117 



CHAPTER IX 
In Pursuit of Villa 

General Pershing had been sent to the 
Mexican border in command of the Southwest- 
ern Division early in 1915. In command of 
the El Paso patrol district, he necessarily W5as 
busy much of his time in guarding and patrol- 
ling the long thin lines of our men on duty 
there. 

The troubles with Mexico had been steadily 
increasing in seriousness. The rivalry and war- 
fare between various leaders in that country 
had not only brought their own country into a 
condition of distress, but also had threatened to 
involve the United States as well. Citizens of 
the latter country had invested large sums in 
mining, lumber and other industries in Mexico 
and were complaining bitterly of the failure 
of our Government either to protect them or 

118 



IN PURSUIT OF VILLA 

their investments. Ag>ain and again, under 
threats of closing their mines or confiscating 
their property, they had ^* bought bonds'' of the 
rival Mexican parties, which was only another 
name for blackmail. 

Raids were becoming increasingly prevalent 
near the border and already Americans were re- 
ported to have been slain by these irresponsible 
bandits who were loyal only to their leaders 
and not always to them. The condition was 
becoming intolerable. 

Germany, too, had her agents busy within the 
borders of Mexico, artfully striving not only to 
increase her own power in the rich and dis- 
tracted country, but also to create and foment 
an unreasonable anger against the United 
States, vainly hoping in this way to prevent the 
latter country from entering the World War 
by compelling her to face these threatening 
attacks from her neighbor on the south. Presi- 
dent Wilson was doing his utmost to hold a 
steady course through the midst of these perils, 
which daily were becoming more threatening 
and perplexing. 

119 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

The climax came early in March, 1915, when 
Francesco Villa, the most daring and reckless 
leader of all the Mexican bandit bands, sud- 
denly with his followers made an attack on the 
post at Columbus, New Mexico. The American 
soldiers were taken completely by surprise. 
Their machine guns (some said there was only 
one at the post) jammed and their defense was 
inadequate. They were not prepared. When 
Villa withdrew he left nine dead civilians and 
eight dead American soldiers behind him. 

Instantly the President decided that the time 
had come when he must act. There was still 
the same strong desire to avoid war with Mex- 
ico if possible. The same suspicion of Germany 
was in his mind, but in spite of these things 
Villa must be punished and Americans must be 
protected. Quickly a call for regulars and State 
troops was made and General Pershing was 
selected as the leader of the punitive expedi- 
tion. 

The New York Sun, in an editorial at the 
time of his selection, said: *'At home in the 
desert country, familiar with the rules of sav- 

120 



IN PURSUIT OF VILLA 

age warfa.'-e, a regular of regulars, sound in 
judgment as in physique, a born cavalryman, 
John J. Pershing is an ideal commander for the 
pursuit into Mexico." 

The selection indeed may have been * * ideal, ' ' 
but the conditions confronting the commander 
were far from sharing in that ideal. Equip- 
ment was lacking, many of his men, though 
they were brave, were untrained, and, most 
perplexing of all, was the exact relation of 
Mexico to the United States. There could not 
be said to exist a state of war and yet no one 
could say the two countries were at peace. He 
was invading a hostile country which was not 
an enemy, for the raids of bandit bands across 
the border did not mean that Mexico as a state 
was attacking the United States. He must 
move swiftly across deserts and through moun- 
tain fastnesses, he was denied the use of rail- 
roads for transporting either troops or supplies, 
enemies were on all sides who were familiar 
with every foot of the region and eager to lure 
him and his army into traps from which escape 
would be well nigh impossible. The fact is 

121 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

that for nearly eleven months Pershing main- 
tained his line, extending nearly four hundred 
miles from his base of supplies, in a country 
which even if it was not at war was at least 
hostile. It is not therefore surprising that 
after his return the State of New Mexico voted 
a handsome gold medal to the leader of the 
punitive expedition for his success in an ex- 
ceedingly difficult task. 

It was on the morning of March 15, 1916, 
when General Pershing dashed across the bor- 
der in command of ten thousand United States 
cavalrymen, with orders to *^gef Villa. A 
captain in the Civil War who was in the Battle 
of Gettysburg, when he learned of the swift 
advance of General Pershing's forces, said: 
**The hardest march we ever made was the 
advance from Frederick. We made thirty 
miles that day between six o'clock a.m. and 
eleven o'clock p.m. But Maryland and Penn- 
sylvania are not an alkali desert. I have an 
idea that twenty-six miles a day, the ground 
Pershing was covering on that waterless tramp 
in Mexico, was some hiking. ' ' And the advance 

122 



IN PURSUIT OF VILLA 

is one of the marvels of military achievements 
when it is recalled that the march was begun 
before either men or supplies, to say nothing 
of equipment, were in readiness. 

It may have been that it was because of his 
better knowledge of these conditions that the 
general wrote: 

* ' ' Our people are not a warlike people and the 
average person knows little about our army. The 
centers of population have never been brought into 
close contact with it, and, hke anything that is un- 
familiar, the people entertain a certain prejudice 
against it. To overcome this prejudice and to arouse 
and maintain an active interest in military pre- 
paredness it will be necessary to adopt some plan 
that will bring the army more closely in touch with 
the people. The time for this seems opportune and 
it can best be done by assigning the various units 
of the army to prescribed districts for local re- 
cruiting. 

''If each regiment or smaller unit were composed 
of young men whose families were neighbors, espe- 
cially if the home station of that unit were easily 
accessible, the people would undoubtedly support the 
unit with men and money. Each regimental unit 
might be given a local name and there surely would 

* Quoted in the Army and Navy Jounuil from the New. York 
Times. 

123 



THE STORY OP GENERAL PERSHING 

be quite as much pride in having a regiment named 
for a city or state as in having a war vessel so 
named. A regiment recruited locally would start 
out with a high esprit de corps and the evil of de- 
sertion would be eliminated. Men now desert mainly 
because they have no pride or interest in the in- 
dividual organization to which they belong. Local- 
ization would soon develop both. It would also in 
time become an easy stepping stone to universal 
training to which we must come if we are ever to 
hope for a satisfactory solution of our military 
problem. 

''Universal training does not mean that every man 
would have to serve with the army two years or 
any other given length of time, but it should mean 
that every young man though not drawn to the 
colors would have to take a certain amount of mili- 
tary training. Universal training is a necessary 
prerequisite to effective war armies. 

** Under a system of compulsory service the whole 
number of men to become eligible each year would 
be greater than required for active service in the 
army, but selections could be easily determined by 
lot. Those not drawn for service with the colors 
would be given enough training to teach the mean- 
ing of discipline and make them familiar with the 
principles of marching, camping and shooting. They 
would all be subject to call in case of war and the 
question as to whether they were needed at the front 
would not be left to the judgment or personal in- 

124 



IN PURSUIT OF VILLA 

clination of the individual. The humiliating spec- 
tacle of expending time and effort after war begins 
in appealing through the press and platform directly 
to the people to support the Government would not 
have to be repeated. Each man would expect to do 
his part. Men called out for service during the war 
require at least a year of drill before they are 
familiar with what the modern soldier must know. 
The demands of modern warfare upon individuals 
are greater than ever before and only the thoroughly 
trained and tried soldier is able to stand the strain. 
In the Civil War troops were confronted by equally 
untrained levies." 

Behind this calm, clear and deliberate utter- 
ance it is easy to read the unspoken anxiety 
and the needless strain forced upon the com- 
mander of the punitive expedition in pursuit of 
Villa. And these words were written long be- 
fore Pershing ever dreamed he would be the 
leader of a mighty host to cross the seas and 
in a foreign land fight not only the battles of 
his country but also those of humanity as well. 

Although the punitive expedition failed in its 
main purpose, — the capture of Villa, — the 
opinion in America was unanimous that the 
leadership had been superb. The Americun 

125 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

Review of Reviews declared that *Hhe expedi- 
tion was conducted from first to last in a way 
tliat reflected credit on American arms. ' ' 

An interesting incident in this chapter of 
Pershing's story is that fourteen of the nine- 
teen Apache Indian scouts whom he had helped 
to capture in the pursuit of Geronimo, in 1886, 
were aiding him in the pursuit of Villa. Sev- 
eral of these scouts were past seventy years of 
age; indeed, one was more than eighty, but 
their keenness on the trail and their long ex- 
perience made their assistance of great value. 
One of the best was Sharley and another was 
Peaches. Several of these Indian scouts are 
with the colors in France, still with Pershing. 

The main facts in the story of the punitive 
expedition are as follows: 

LEADING EVENTS IN THE PUNITIVE 
EXPEDITION INTO MEXICO 

1916 
Feb. 17 Report in United States Senate that 

76 Americans since 1913 had been 
killed in Mexico. 36 others had been 
slain on American soil 
126 



IN PURSUIT OF VILLA 



March 9 Villa and his band cross the border 

and attack the 13th U. S. Cavalry at 
Columbus, New Mexico. 8 troopers 
were killed and 9 civilians wounded. 

March 10-13 Notes were exchanged between the 
U. S. and Carranza. The U. S. de- 
cided upon an immediate punitive 
■ expedition. Two columns estimated 
at 6,000 men under Brigadier-General 
John J. Pershing and Colonel Dodd 
enter Mexico from Columbus and 
Hachita. 

Three columns are in Mexico. The 
maximum penetration is reported as 80 
miles. 

It was officially announced that 
18,000 Americans were now on the 
border while 12,000 have penetrated 
375 miles. 

A false report of Villa's death. 
Conferences are held at El Paso 
between American and Mexican offi- 
cials. The Americans ask for the 
active cooperation of the forces of Car- 
ranza. Skirmishes are reported in 
Mexico and raids are made on the 
frontier by followers of Villa. 

May 9 President calls the militia of Texas, 

New Mexico and Arizona to the border. 
127 



March 20 



April 11 



April 16 
April 23-29 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

Additional regular troops are also 
sent. 

May 22 Carranza protests to the United 

States against the violation of Mexican 
sovereignty. 

June 18 President calls many militia units to 

the federal service for duty on the 
frontier and in mobilization camps. 

June 20 In a note to Carranza the President de- 

clines to withdraw American troops. 

June 21 A force of Carranza 's men attack a 

scouting body of U. S. cavalry at Car- 
rizal. A score of Americans are killed 
and 22 made prisoners. 

June 22 Secretary of State Lansing informs 

the governments of South and Central 
America concerning the intentions of 
the United States in Mexico. 

June 24 Carranza again demands that Ameri- 

can troops must not advance west, east 
or south in Mexico. 

June 25 Secretary Lansing enters a demand 

for the return of the prisoners at Car- 
rizal. In the same letter he also de- 
clares that the action at this place was 
a ''formal avowal of deliberately 
hostile action." He also inquires 
what Carranza 's intentions are. 

June 28 Carranza orders the release of the 

prisoners at Carrizal. 
128 



IN PURSUIT OF VILLA 

July 1 . American troops in Mexico are gradu- 
ally being withdrawn. 

July 4 Carranza suggests the acceptance by 

the U. S. of Latin- American offers of 
mediation. 

July 7-10 Views of American and Mexican offi- 
cials are exchanged at Washington. 
Within three weeks 60,000 militia has 
been brought to the border. 

July 20 Carranza suggests a conference of 

three commissioners from each nation 
to confer concerning withdrawal of 
troops and the raiding of bandits. 
President accepts the proposal. 
The 98,000 militia on the border is in- 
creased by 25,000 more. 
Luis Cabrera, Ignacio Bonillas and 
Alberto J. Pani are selected as Mexi- 
can commissioners. 

Franklin K. Lane, George Gray and 
John R. Mott are named as commis- 
sioners of the United States. 
The War Department orders 15,000 
militia to return from the border to 
state mobilization camps. 
American-Mexican joint commission 
meets at New London, Conn. 
The War Department orders a return 
of militia regiments to be mustered 
out of federal service. 
129 



July 28 
Aug. 1 


Aug. 


3 


Aug. 


22 


Aug. 


30 


Sept. 


6 


Sept 


7 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

Sept 22 Militia from Kansas, Wisconsin and 

Wyoming are ordered to the border in 
place of the departing units. 

Nov. 15 Militia to the number of 5,296 ordered 

from the border. 

Nov. 21 The President 's new proposal is placed 

before the Mexican commissioners. 

Nov. 24 At Atlantic City, N. J., a protocol 

signed by the joint commission is sent 
to Carranza, It provides for the with- 
drawal of the punitive expedition 
from Mexico within 40 days after 
ratification and also for combined pro- 
tection for the border. 

Dec. 18 Carranza refuses to ratify the protocol 

and explains his desire to submit a 
counterstatement. The U. S. force on 
the border is reduced to 75,000 men, 
while 12,000 are still in Mexico. 

Dec. 27 Carranza asks for revision of the proto- 

col. This is declined by the U. S. 

Early in the following year satisfactory ad- 
justments were made and the punitive expedi- 
tion was withdrawn. Villa was not captured, 
but it is confidently believed the troubles on the 
border have been greatly mitigated. 



130 



CHAPTER X 

Called to Command the American Expedi- 
tionary Forces in France 

Meanwhile matters were moving swiftly, the 
results of which were to summon General 
Pershing to other and far higher duties. The 
attitude of Germany was steadily becoming too 
unbearable for any self-respecting nation to 
endure. War may be the great evil which it 
is often called, and doubtless no words can de- 
scribe its horrors, but there is one evil even 
worse — for a nation to lose its ideals. The time 
for action by the United States had come. 

In President Wilson ^s war message after re- 
ferring to the dastardly deeds of Germany he 
wrote, **I was for a little while unable to believe 
that such things would be done by any govern- 
ment that had hitherto subscribed to humane 
practices of civilized nations," and he refers 

131 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

also to the wanton and wholesale destruction 
of the lives of noncombatants — men, women 
and children — engaged in pursuits ^ ^ which have 
always, even in the darkest periods of modem 
history, been deemed innocent and legitimate." 

In spite of the Teutonic claim of a higher 
*^kultur'' than other nations and the loudly 
expressed desires for the *^ freedom of the 
seas,'' Germany's brutal disregard of the 
rights of neutrals had extended far beyond the 
confines of Belgium, which she ruthlessly in- 
vaded and ravaged. 

On the sea her former promises were like her 
treaty with Belgium — * * scraps of paper. ' ' 

And the President had now behind him not 
merely the sentiment of his people, but also 
specific examples to uphold him. For instance, 
Admiral Sampson in the war with Spain, had 
appeared May 12, 1898, with his fleet before 
Santiago, Cuba. There he conducted a recon- 
noissance in force in his efforts to locate the 
Spanish fleet, of which Admiral Cervera was in 
command. Sampson, however, did not bom- 
bard the city, because, in accordance with the 

132 



COMMAND OF THE A. E. F. IN FRANCE 

accepted laws of nations, lie wonld have been 
required to give due notice of his intention in 
order that the sick, women, children and non- 
combatants might be removed. And yet every- 
one knew that a hard, quick bombardment of 
Santiago would have given him the city. He 
attacked the forts only, and before a gun was 
fired gave his ships' captains word that they 
were to avoid hitting the Spanish Military 
Hospital. 

Even in the general orders of the German 
Admiralty staff (Berlin, June 22, 1914) was 
the following direction, after stating that the 
passengers of every armed captured merchant 
vessel were to be left to go free ** unless it ap- 
pears they have participated in the resistance ' ' : 
*^ Before proceeding to the destruction of the 
(neutral) vessel (which has been seized for 
proper reason), the safety of all persons on 
board, and, so far as possible their effects, is 
to be provided for." 

President Wilson, at first unable to believe 
that Germany was deliberately violating her 
word and even after it was impossible to avoid 

133 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the conclusion that the campaign of the Ten- 
tons was being conducted, to use their own ex- 
pression, * ^ ruthlessly, ' ' still was doing his ut- 
most to keep the United States out of the World 
War. For this he was bitterly assailed and 
criticised. However, he patiently held to his 
policy announced a year before, that he would 
**wait until facts become unmistakable and 
even susceptible of only one interpretation." 

As early as December 24, 1914, Admiral Von 
Tirpitz in numerous inspired newspaper articles 
and interviews, began to explain the possibility 
of a very decided change in the German U-boat 
campaign. This too was before Germany was 
really suffering in any marked degree from the 
tightening work of the British navy. In spite 
of his arrogant words, however, the German 
admiral directly asks, *^What will America 
say?" 

On February 4, 1915, the Germans in a way 
that was outside all international law, publicly 
declared that * within certain expressed limits 
of the sea or war zone, their U-boats would sink 
vessels without warning found there without 

134 



COMMAND OF THE A. E. F. IN FRANCE 

permission, or if they were engaged in dealings 
with the enemy/ 

Six days later President Wilson warned Ger- 
many that she will be held to ' ^ strict accounta- 
bility" if the rights of American vessels within 
the proscribed limits are violated. 

It was April 22, 1915, when, through the 
acknowledged direction of the German Em- 
bassy, advertisements appeared in New York 
papers warning all against sailing on vessels 
planning to pass through the war zone. And 
this was done in the face of the President's 
words and the correspondence that had been 
carried on between the two countries. 

The Lusitania was sunk May 7, 1915. A 
thousand lives were lost, many of them Ameri- 
cans. A roar of anger rose from America and 
the civilized world at the brutality of this act, 
as well as at the dastardly disregard of the 
rights of neutral nations. **They were 
warned," said the Germans glibly, as if their 
** warning" was sufficient. For a nation that 
had made huge profits in selling munitions at 
other times to warring peoples their **wam- 

135 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

ing'* would have been ridiculous had it not 
been tragic. The commander of the U-boat re- 
ceived a German medal for his *^ gallantry^' in 
sinking the Lusitania and sending hundreds of 
innocent victims to their watery graves. As 
if to add insult to injury Germany proclaimed 
a holiday for her schools on the occasion. 

President Wilson still held to his patient 
course. He would give Germany every oppor- 
tunity to explain the act before he himself 
acted. May 13, 1915, his first so-called "Lusi- 
tania letter'^ was written. Germany replied 
May 28th, declaring that she was justified in 
sinking the great vessel. On June 9th, the 
President sent his ** second Lusitania letter,'' 
and correspondence followed which plainly in- 
dicated that Germany was trying to evade the 
real issue. 

July 31, 1915, .saw the *^ third Lusitania let- 
ter, ' ' for even then the President w^as doing his 
utmost to avoid war, if avoidance was possible. 
On August 19, 1915, the Arabic was torpedoed 
by a U-boat and still other Americans lost 
their lives. The German ambassador to the 

136 



COMMAND OF THE A. E. F. IN FRANCE 

United States, Connt von Bernstorff, however, 
apparently thought to stave off action by pledg- 
ing (orally) for his country that her submarines 
would not sink ^* liners" without warning. 

The ambassador's words were not unlike 
those previously received, for instead of the 
matter being settled, still more unsatisfactory 
correspondence followed and other boats also 
were sent to the bottom of the sea. 

The following February, Germany made cer- 
tain proposals that had an appearance of a 
grudging or compulsory willingness on her part 
to provide for the Liisitania victims, but within 
a few days (March 24, 1916), another passenger 
steamer, the Sussex, was torpedoed, and among 
the lost were Americans. 

The feeling in Washington was becoming 
tense and was still more intensified in April, 
when Germany sneeringly explained that she 
was not positive whether or not she sank the 
Sussex. She did admit, however, that one of 
her submarines had been in action near the 
place where the Sussex was sent to the bottom. 

Eight days later President Wilson threatened 
137 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

Germany that he would break off diplomatic 
relations if similar acts recurred. Perhaps be- 
cause she was biding her time Germany on May 
4th gave a ** promise'' that no more ships 
should be sunk without warning. 

In October of that same year (1916) a German 
submarine appeared off the New England coast. 
Her officers put into Newport and it is said 
were even graciously received and most courte- 
ously treated. Then, in return for the hospi- 
tality thus received, the submarine sank the 
StephanOf which had a large body of Americans 
on board returning from a vacation spent in 
Newfoundland. Without doubt many would have 
been lost if American men-of-war had not been 
at hand to rescue the victims from the water. 
Still, apparently there was not even a thought 
in the minds of Germany's rulers, that they had 
violated any rules of decency, to say nothing 
of rules of right. 

The patience of the United States was near 
the breaking point when still the dastardly 
deeds did not cease, and few were surprised 
when at last, January 31, 1917, Germany dis- 

138 



COMMAND OF THE A. E. F. IN FRANCE 

covered that deceit no longer was possible and 
that the patience and hope of America could no 
longer be abused. On that date the German 
leaders came out openly and informed the Pres- 
ident that they planned to ** begin an unre- 
stricted submarine war." Three days after- 
ward President Wilson gave the German am- 
bassador to the United States his passports 
and recalled the American ambassador (Ge- 
rard) from Berlin. 

Such evasion and hypocrisy, such wanton 
brutality and cruelty as had been displayed by 
Germany were without parallel in history — or 
at least since the history of civilization began. 
Naturally a declaration of war by the United 
States was the only possible outcome. 

The unlawful sinking of American vessels or 
of other vessels having Americans on board 
makes up a list that is striking when it is looked 
at as a whole and it is recalled that they had 
been sunk after Germany had ^* ruthlessly" 
repudiated the pledges she had given. 

Housatonic, February 3, 1917. 
Lyman M. Law, February 13, 1917. 
139 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

Algonquin, March 2, 1917. 

Vigilancia, March 16, 1917. 

City of Memphis, March 17, 1917. 

Illinois, March 17, 1917. 

Eealdton, March 21, 1917 (sunk outside the 

''prohibited zone" arbitrarily proclaimed 

by Germany). 
Aztec, April 1, 1917. 



Perhaps in this list should also be included 
the sinking of the William P. Frye, January 
28, 1915, by the German raider, Prinz Eitel 
Friedrich, The very acme of impudence 
seems to have been reached when this raider, 
after having unlawfully sunk American vessels, 
sought refuge in the American port of Newport 
News, Virginia. No clearer testimony has ever 
been given of the state of mind among the Ger- 
mans, unless it is the actions of the German 
crew of this vessel after they had been interned. 

Preceding the declaration of war by the 
United States, two hundred and twenty-six of 
her citizens had lost their lives by the unlawful 
acts of German submarines. Among those who 
perished in this manner were many women and 

140 



COMMAND OF THE A. E. F. IN FRANCE 

children. In nearly every instance there was 
not even the form of an excuse that Germany 
was acting in accord with the laws of na- 
tions. Outside the American vessels the 
official estimate made at that time by the 
Government of the United States was that 
six hundred and sixty-eight vessels of neu- 
tral nations had been sunk by the piratical 
German submarines. It appeared almost as 
if the rulers of Germany either were insane 
or were so bent on their wild dreams of 
subduing the world to their will that they de- 
liberately said to themselves, **evil, be thou 
our good. ' ' They had thrown down the gaunt- 
let to the civilized parts of the entire world. 
Even after Brazil, China, Bolivia, Guatemala 
and other nations broke off diplomatic relations 
with Germany and almost all the civilized na- 
tions of the earth had protested against the 
brutal policy boldly followed by her, she whin- 
ingly complained that the world was jealous of 
her greatness and had combined to overthrow 
the **kultur" she was so eager to share with all 
mankind. 

141 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

In addition to the f rightfulness of Germany 
on the seas (a term she herself had invented 
and blatantly advocated), the activity of Ger- 
man spies and the dangerous ** propaganda" 
she was putting forth in the United States were 
even more insulting and quite as threatening 
to American lives and property as was her 
dastardly work with her submarines. Many of 
the intrigues were not made known by the Gov- 
ernment of the United States. 

When the message of President Wilson was 
presented, the committee on Foreign Affairs in 
the House of Representatives went on formal 
record, after presenting its resolution declar- 
ing a state of war to exist between the United 
States and Germany, that within our country 
at least twenty-one crimes or *' unfriendly ' ' 
acts had been committed either by the direc- 
tion of or connivance with the Imperial Ger- 
man Government. And nearly every one of 
these unfriendly acts in itself was a sufficient 
basis for war. Included in this list were the 
following clearly known facts: 

An office had been maintained in the United 
142 



COMMAND OF THE A. E. F. IN FRANCE 

States to issue fraudulent passports for Ger- 
man reservists. This work was under the 
direction of Captain von Papen, who was a 
member of the German Embassy. 

German spies were sent to England who 
were supplied with passports from the United 
States. 

In defiance of our laws steamers had been 
sent from our ports with supplies for German 
sea raiders. 

Hindus within the United States had been 
supplied with money by Germany to stir up 
revolutions and revolts in India. 

A German agent had been sent from the 
United States to blow up with dynamite the in- 
ternational bridge at Vanceboro, Maine. 

Germany had provided funds for her agents 
in the United States to blow up factories in 
Canada. 

Five distinct conspiracies had been un- 
earthed, in which Germany was the guiding 
spirit, to make and place bombs on ships leav- 
ing ports of the United States. Several of 
those conspiracies were successful and the 

143 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

murderous bombs were placed even on board 
vessels of the United States. She was work- 
ing to arouse and increase a feeling of bitter- 
ness in Mexico against the United States. In 
this way it was hoped by Germany that we 
would be dra^\Ti into war mth Mexico, and 
thereby be prevented from entering into either 
the Great War or European affairs. 

Providing huge sums of money to be used 
in bribing newspapers in the United States to 
publish articles whrch should prevent America 
from entering the war and arouse a feeling of 
bitterness against England and France. Later 
it was admitted by German agents that a plan 
had been formed by which forty leading Ameri- 
can newspapers were to be purchased and used 
for this purpose. The plan was not wholly suc- 
cessful, but many papers or certain editors 
were proved to have been bought with this end 
in view and some fully earned their money. 

Insult was added to injury. Such colossal 
brutality was even commended and upheld by 
the friends of Germany and defended on the 
ground that the ''fatherland" had been at- 

144 



COMMAND OF THE A. E. F. IN FRANCE 

tacked treacherously and therefore was en- 
titled, whether or not she was acting in accord 
with established and accepted laws, to which 
she had given her approval, to defend herself 
in every possible way. 

Perhaps the climax of this outrageous dis- 
regard of decency came when Secretary Lan- 
sing exposed March 1, 1917, the infamous 
** Zimmerman note/' It was written before 
war had been declared, and, ofi&cially at least, 
Germany and the United States were friends 
at the time. Indeed it was only three days 
after the appearance of President Wilson be- 
fore the Senate with his plan for a league of 
nations to secure and assure justice and peace 
for all nations. This infamous note was even 
brought to the United States and was to be 
carried across the border into Mexico, a coun- 
try with which we were not at war and with 
which the President was doing his utmost to 
maintain peace. 

It is impossible to give the entire message 
but the following extracts will reveal its char- 
acter : 

145 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

*' Berlin, January 19, 1917. 

**0n February 1 we intend to begin submarine 
war unrestricted. In spite of this it is our intention 
to keep neutral the United States of America. 

'^If this attempt is not successful we propose an 
alliance on the following basis with Mexico, — That 
we shall make war together and together make peace. 
"We shall give general financial support and it is 
understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost ter- 
ritory in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. The de- 
tails are left to you for settlement.** 

The German Secretary then goes on to in- 
strnct the German Minister in Mexico to open 
secret negotiations with Carranza just as soon 
as it is plain that the proposed U-boat cam- 
paign brings the United States into the war 
and also to get Carranza to draw Japan into 
the proposed war against us. 

Just how the Government obtained this note 
will not be known until an explanation is given 
later, but its authorized publication by Secre- 
tary Lansing instantly aroused an intense feel- 
ing of anger throughout the country. For a 
** friendly'^ nation to be plotting against a 
** friend," to attempt to use that nation even 

146 



COMMAND OF THE A. E. P. IN FRANCE 

then as a base of operations against its peace 
and security, to say nothing of the plan to in- 
duce still another friendly power to attack us, 
outraged our every sense of decency and jus- 
tice. A cry of anger and dismay was heard on 
every side — except perhaps from certain pro- 
Germans who weakly protested that **the letter 
was a palpable forgery, too apparent to be 
read under any other supposition than that 
the German Secretary never wrote such a piece 
of work.'' 

The dismay of these friends of Germany can 
only be imagined when Secretary Zimmerman 
boldly acknowledged that he had written the 
letter. He even defended himself in doing so. 
As if that were not sufficient, he proceeded to 
complain because the United States had inter- 
cepted the letter, for the Mexican President 
had quickly declared his ignorance of any such 
message. It is difficult to say whether the calm 
assurance of Zimmerman that he was the 
writer or his childish whining that the United 
States had no right to intercept even such 
treacherous messages if they chanced to be 

147 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

written by Germany, produced the greater con- 
sternation. The inability of Germany to com- 
prehend why any nation should object to any- 
thing Germany wanted to do or say was itself 
beyond the ability of a civilized people to un- 
derstand. It was perhaps the most sublime 
impudence the world ever has witnessed. 



148 



CHAPTER XI 

Why Amebica Went to Wae with Germany 

A state of war had been declared April 5, 
1917, to exist between the United States and 
the Imperial German Government. There is 
no clearer or more forceful statement of the 
reason why we went to war than the address 
delivered by President Wilson at Washington 
on Flag Day, June 14, 1917: 

My Fellow- Citizens : We meet to celebrate Flag 
Day because this flag which we honor and under 
which we serve is the emblem of our unity, our 
power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It 
has no other character than that which we give it 
from generation to generation. The choices are ours. 
It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that exe- 
cute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And 
yet, though silent, it speaks to us — speaks to us of 
the past, of the men and women who went before 
us and of the records they wrote upon it. We cele- 

149 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

brate the day of its birth; and from its birth until 
now it has witnessed a great history, has floated on 
high the symbol of great events, of a great plan of 
life worked out by a great people. We are about 
to carry it into battle, to lift it where it will draw 
the fire of our enemies. We are about to bid thou- 
sands, hundreds of thousands, it may be millions, of 
our men, the young, the strong, the capable men of 
the nation, to go forth and die beneath it on fields 
of blood far away — for what? For some unaccus- 
tomed thing? For something for which it has never 
sought the fire before? American armies were never 
before sent across the seas. Why are they sent now? 
For some new purpose, for which this great flag 
has never been carried before, or for some old, 
familiar, heroic purpose for which it has seen men, 
its own men, die on every battlefield upon which 
Americans have borne arms since the Revolution? 
These are questions which must be answered. We 
are Americans. We in our turn serve America, and 
can serve her with no private purpose. We must 
use her flag as she has always used it. We are ac- 
countable at the bar of history and must plead in 
utter frankness what purpose it is we seek to serve. 

FORCED INTO WAR 

It is plain enough how we were forced into the war. 
The extraordinary insults and aggressions of the 
Imperial German Government left us no self-respect- 

150 



WHY AMERICA WENT TO WAR 

ing choice but to take up arms in defense of our 
rights as a free people and of our honor as a 
sovereign Government. The military masters of 
Germany denied us the right to be neutral. They 
filled our unsuspecting communities with vicious 
spies and conspirators and sought to corrupt the 
opinion of our people in their own behalf. When 
they found that they could not do that, their agents 
diligently spread sedition among us and sought to 
draw our own citizens from their allegiance — and 
some of those agents w^ere men connected with the 
official embassy of the German Government itself 
here in our own capital. They sought by violence 
to destroy our industries and arrest our commerce. 
They tried to incite Mexico to take up arms against 
us and to draw Japan into a hostile alliance with 
her — and that, not by indirection, but by direct sug- 
gestion from the Foreign Office in Berlin. They 
impudently denied us the use of the high seas and 
repeatedly executed their threat that they would 
send to their death any of our people who ventured 
to approach the coasts of Europe. And many of 
our own people were corrupted. Men began to look 
upon their own neighbors with suspicion and to won- 
der in their hot resentment and surprise whether 
there was any community in which hostile intrigue 
did not lurk. What great nation in such circum- 
stances would not have taken up arms? Much as 
we had desired peace, it was denied us, and not of 
our own choice. This flag under which we serve 

151 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

would have been dishonored had we withheld our 
hand. 

But that is only part of the story. We know now 
as clearly as we knew before we were ourselves en- 
gaged that we are not the enemies of the German 
people and that they are not our enemies. They did 
not originate or desire this hideous war or wish that 
we should be drawn into it; and we are vaguely 
conscious that we are fighting their cause, as they 
will some day see it, as well as our own. They are 
themselves in the grip of the same sinister power 
that has now at last stretched its ugly talons out 
and drawn blood from us. The whole world is at 
war because the whole world is in the grip of that 
power and is trying out the great battle which shall 
determine whether it is to be brought under its 
mastery or fling itself free. 

THE MASTERS OF GERMANY 

The war was begun by the military masters of 
Germany, who proved to be also the masters of 
Austria-Hungary. These men have never regarded 
nations as peoples, men, women, and children of like 
blood and frame as themselves, for whom Govern- 
ments existed and in whom Governments had their 
life. They have regarded them merely as service- 
able organizations which they could by force or in- 
trigue bend or corrupt to their own purpose. They 
have regarded the smaller States, in particular, and 
the peoples who could be overwhelmed by force as 

152 



WHY AMERICA WENT TO WAR 

their natural tools and instruments of domination. 
Their purpose has long been avowed. The states- 
men of other nations, to whom that purpose was 
incredible, paid little attention; regarded what Ger- 
man professors expounded in their classrooms and 
German writers set forth to the world as the goal 
of German policy, as rather the dream of minds de- 
tached from practical affairs, as preposterous private 
conceptions of German destiny, than as the actual 
plans of responsible rulers; but the rulers of Ger- 
many themselves knew all the while what concrete 
plans, what well-advanced intrigues lay back of what 
the professors and the writers were saying, and were 
glad to go forward unmolested, filling the thrones 
of Balkan States with German Princes, putting 
German officers at the service of Turkey to driU 
her armies and make interest with her Government, 
developing plans of sedition and rebellion in India 
and Egypt, setting their fires in Persia. The de- 
mands made by Austria upon Serbia were a mere 
single step in a plan which compassed Europe and 
Asia, from Berlin to Bagdad. They hoped those de- 
mands might not arouse Europe, but they meant to 
press them whether they did or not, for they thought 
themselves ready for the final issue of arms. 

A TOOL OP GERMANY 

Their plan was to throw a broad belt of German 
military power and political control across the very 
center of Europe and beyond the Mediterranean into 

153 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the heart of Asia; and Austria-Hungary was to l^e 
as much their tool and pawn as Serbia or Bulgaria 
or Turkey or the ponderous States of the East. 
Austria-Hungary, indeed, was to become part of the 
Central German Empire, absorbed and dominated by 
the same forces and influences that had originally 
cemented the German States themselves. The dream 
had its heart at Berlin. It could have had a heart 
nowhere else! It rejected the idea of solidarity of 
race entirely. The choice of peoples played no part 
in it at all. It contemplated binding together racial 
and political units which could be kept together only 
by force — Czechs, Magyars, Croats, Serbs, Ruman- 
ians, Turks, Armenians — the proud States of Bo- 
hemia and Hungary, the stout little commonwealths 
of the Balkans, the indomitable Turks, the subtle 
peoples of the East. These peoples did not wish to 
be united. They ardently desired to direct their 
own affairs, would be satisfied only by undisputed 
independence. They could be kept quiet only by 
the presence of the constant threat of armed men. 
They would live under a common power only by 
sheer compulsion and await the day of revolution. 
But the German military statesmen had reckoned 
with all that and were ready to deal with it in their 
own way. 

THE PRESENT CONDITION 

And they have actually carried the greater part 
of that amazing plan into execution. Look how 

154 



WHY AMERICA WENT TO WAR 

things stand. Austria is at their mercy. It has 
acted, not upon its own initiative nor upon the choice 
of its own people, but at Berlin's dictation ever 
since the war began. Its people now desire peace, 
but cannot have it until leave is granted from Berlin. 
The so-called Central Powers are in fact but a single 
power. Serbia is at its mercy, should its hands be 
but for a moment freed; Bulgaria has consented to 
its will and Rumania is overrun. The Turkish 
armies, which Germans trained, are serving Germany, 
certainly not themselves, and the guns of German 
warships lying in the harbor at Constantinople re- 
mind Turkish statesmen every day that they have 
no choice but to take their orders from Berlin. 
From Hamburg to the Persian Gulf the net is spread. 

A FALSE CRY FOR PEACE 

Is it not easy to understand the eagerness for 
peace that has been manifested from Berlin ever 
since the snare was set and sprung? Peace, peace, 
peace has been the talk of her Foreign Office now 
for a year or more ; not peace upon her own initiative, 
but upon the initiative of the nations over which 
she now deems herself to hold the advantage. A 
little of the talk has been public, but most of it has 
been private. Through all sorts of channels it has 
come to me, and in all sorts of guises, but never 
with the terms disclosed which the German Govern- 
ment would be willing to accept. That Government 

155 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

has other valuable pawns in its hands besides those 
I have mentioned. It still holds a valuable part of 
France, though with slowly relaxing grasp, and prac- 
tically the whole of Belgium. Its armies press close 
upon Russia and overrun Poland at their will. It 
cannot go further; it dare not go back. It wishes to 
close its bargain before it is too late, and it has little 
left to offer for the pound of flesh it will demand. 
The military masters under whom Germany is 
bleeding see very clearly to what point fate has 
brought them. If they fall back or are forced back 
an inch their power both abroad and at home will 
fall to pieces like a house of cards. It is their power 
at home they are thinking about now more than their 
power abroad. It is that power which is trembling 
under their very feet; and deep fear has entered 
their hearts. They have but one chance to perpetuate 
their military power or even their controlling politi- 
cal influence. If they can secure peace now with 
the immense advantages still in their hands, which 
they have up to this point apparently gained, they 
will have justified themselves before the German 
people; they will have gained by force what they 
promised to gain by it — an immense expansion of 
German power, an immense enlargement of German 
industrial and commercial opportunities. Their 
prestige will be secure, and with their prestige their 
political power. If they fail, their people will thrust 
them aside; a Government accountable to the people 
themselves will be set up in Germany as it has been 

166 



WHY AMERICA WENT TO WAR 

in England, in the United States, in France, and in 
all the great countries of the modern time except 
Germany. If they succeed they are safe and Ger- 
many and the world are undone; if they fail Ger- 
many is saved and the world will be at peace. If 
they succeed America will fall within the menace. 
We and all the rest of the world must remain armed, 
as they will remain, and must make ready for the 
next step in their aggression; if they fail the world 
may unite for peace and Germany may be of the 
union. 

Do you not now understand the new intrigue, the 
intrigue for peace, and why the masters of Germany 
do not hesitate to use any agency that promises to 
effect their purpose, the deception of the nations? 
Their present particular aim is to deceive all those 
who throughout the world stand for the rights of 
peoples and the self-government of nations; for they 
see what immense strength the forces of justice and 
of liberalism are gathering out of this war. 

PROPAGANDA 

They are employing liberals in their enterprise. 
They are using men, in Germany and without, as 
their spokesmen whom they have hitherto despised 
and oppressed, using them for their own destruction 
— Socialists, the leaders of labor, the thinkers they 
have hitherto sought to silence. Let them once suc- 
ceed and these men, now their tools, will be ground 
to powder beneath the weight of the great military 

157 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

empire they will have set up; the revolutionists in 
Russia will be cut off from all succor or cooperation 
in "Western Europe and a counter-revolution fostered 
and supported; Germany herself will lose her chance 
of freedom, and all Europe will arm for the next, the 
final, struggle. 

The sinister intrigue is being no less actively con- 
ducted in this country than in Russia and in every 
country in Europe to which the agents and dupes 
of the Imperial German Government can get access. 
That Government has many spokesmen here, in 
places high and low. They have learned discretion. 
They keep within the law. It is opinion they utter 
now, not sedition. They proclaim the liberal pur- 
poses of their masters; declare this a foreign war 
which can touch America with no danger to either 
her lands or her institutions; set England at the 
center of the stage and talk of her ambition to assert 
economic dominion throughout the world; appeal to 
our ancient tradition of isolation in the politics of 
the nations, and seek to undermine the Government 
with false professions of loyalty to its principles. 

But they will make no headway. The false betray 
themselves always in every accent. It is only friends 
and partisans of the German Government whom we 
have already identified who utter these thinly dis- 
guised disloyalties. The facts are patent to all the 
world, and nowhere are they more plainly seen than 
in the United States, where we are accustomed to 
deal with facts and not with sophistries; and the 

158 



WHY AMERICA WENT TO WAR 

great fact that stands out above all the rest is that 
this is a people's war, a war for freedom and justice 
and self-government among all the nations of the 
world, a war to make the world safe for the peoples 
who live upon it and have made it their own, the 
German people themselves included; and that with 
us rests the choice to break through all these hypoc- 
risies and patent cheats and masks of brute force 
and help set the world free, or else stand aside and 
let it be dominated a long age through by sheer 
weight of arms and the arbitrary choices of self- 
constituted masters, by the nation which can main- 
tain the biggest armies and the most irresistible 
armaments — a power to which the world has afforded 
no parallel and in the face of which political freedom 
must wither and perish. 

For us there is but one choice. We have made it. 
Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to 
stand in our way in this day of high resolution when 
every principle we hold dearest is to be vindicated 
and made secure for the salvation of the nations. 
We are ready to plead at the bar of history, and our 
flag shall wear a new luster. Once more we shall 
make good with our lives and fortunes the great 
faith to which we were bom, and a new glory shall 
shine in the face of our people. 

The war was now on. All the latent power 
of the nation of every kind was to be used in 
every way to help drive the German menace 

159 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

from the world. A visit to the new world by 
Marshal Joffre, Viviani, Lord Asquith and 
others helped to accelerate matters. No one 
will know until the war is ended just what took 
place in the councils between these great men 
of the old world and the leaders of the new. 

Everyone does know, however, the instan- 
taneous activity and enthusiasm which seized 
with compelling force upon the people of the 
United States. 

But there must be a military leader. What 
was more natural than that the choice should 
fall upon General John Joseph Pershing? Gen- 
eral Funston had died suddenly at San Antonio, 
Texas, and there was no one now to outrank 
the leader of the punitive expedition into 
Mexico. 

So General Pershing was selected. The man 
who had feared he was to be ignored and left 
forgotten in the jungles of the Philippines was 
now to be the Commander of the American Ex- 
peditionary Force in France. Promotion once 
more had come to the man who had sought 
first to be worthy to be promoted. 

160 



CHAPTER XII 

In England and France 

On June 8, 1917, General Pershing with his 
staff arrived (on the White Star Liner, Baltic), 
at Liverpool. There was keen excitement in 
the busy city and a warm welcome for the 
military representative of the great republic 
which now was one of the Allies. Accompanied 
by a guard of honor and a militar}^ band which 
was playing the Star Spangled Banner, a 
British general was waiting to pay due honor 
to the arriving military leader. The British 
admiral in command at Liverpool was also 
present to greet the arriving General, as was 
also the Lord Mayor of the city. The docks 
and shops, the houses and parks were filled 
with a waiting, eager throng that was quiet in 
its deep, tense feeling. 

161 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

To the British public General Pershing gave 
ont the following message : 

"We are very proud and glad to be the standard 
bearers of our country in this great war for civiliza- 
tion and to land on British soil. The welcome which 
we have received is magnificent and deeply appre- 
ciated. We hope in time to be playing our part — 
and we hope it will be a big part — on the western 
front/' 

As soon as the American Commander had 
been suitably greeted he started for London 
by special train. The official state car had been 
attached to the train for the General's benefit. 
In his swift ride through the many busy cities 
which remind one more of American cities 
than does any other part of England, through 
the beautiful and carefully cultivated rural 
regions, past Oxford with its crowning towers, 
many hoary with age, the party was taken. It 
is only natural to conjecture what thoughts 
must have been in the mind of the General at 
the time. Was he thinking of Laclede and the 
negro school which he had taught? Or of his 
modestly brave work in Cuba and the Philip- 

162 



IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE 

pines? Or did the statement he had made to 
a friend years before when he started for 
West Point that **war was no more and a gun 
would not be fired in a hundred years, '^ again 
come back to him, when, seated in the car of 
state, he was swept swiftly toward London on 
that beautiful and historic day in June! 

In London, United States Ambassador Page, 
Admiral Sims of the United States Navy, Lord 
Derby, British Secretary of State for War, 
General Lord French and many other leaders 
of the British Army were waiting to receive 
him. Throngs of people on every side were 
doing their utmost to show that they too as 
well as the representatives of their Govern- 
ment, wanted to manifest their appreciation in 
every possible way of the coming of the Com- 
mander of the American Expeditionary Force, 

The following day General Pershing was pre- 
sented formally to King George V at Bucking- 
ham Palace. General Lord Brooke, com- 
mander of the Twelfth Canadian Infantry 
Brigade, as was most fitting, was the spokes- 
man. To General Pershing the King said : 

163 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

**It has been the dream of my life to see the two 
great English-speaking nations more closely united. 
My dreams have been realized. It is with the utmost 
pleasure that I welcome you, at the head of the Ameri- 
can contingent, to our shores.'* 

His Majesty conversed informally with each 
member of the General's staff and talked with 
the General a longer time. His intense inter- 
est and enthusiasm as weU as his gratitude 
were manifest not only in his spoken words 
but also in the cordial grasp of his hand when 
they departed. It was the representative of 
one great nation trying to express his appre- 
ciation to the representative of another nation. 

There were numerous formal calls and enter- 
tainments to follow and on June 11th, when 
these all had been duly done, General Pershing 
and Ambassador Page were entertained at 
luncheon by King George and Queen Mary, who 
personally showed their guests through the his- 
toric rooms and beautiful grounds of the 
palace. It was not merely a meeting of the 
English king and the American soldier — it 
was the quiet manifestation of the deep feel- 

164 



IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE 

ing and strong ties that now bound together 
the two great peoples they represented. 

General Pershing then departed for the War 
Office where already members of his staff had 
been busily conferring with the corresponding 
members of the British Army. 

In the afternoon of that busy day General 
Pershing was taken as a visitor to the House 
of Commons. In the Distinguished Visitors 
Gallery he sat watching the scene before him 
though he himself in reality was the observed 
of all the observers, as perhaps he was made 
aware a little later when as a guest of the 
members he **took tea^' on the Terrace. 

In the evening he was the guest of Ambas- 
sador Page at dinner when among others he 
met Premier Lloyd George, Arthur J. Balfour, 
Lord Derby, Lord Robert Cecil, Viscount 
French, Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Vice-Ad- 
miral William S. Sims, U. S. N., and General 
Jan Smuts. It may all have been a part of the 
formal reception of a welcome visitor, but it 
also was more, for in this way England and 
America were doing their utmost to express to 

165 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the world the cordial relations existing be- 
tween the two great nations now banded to- 
gether to fight a common foe. 

There are many formalities which have 
grown to be a part of the reception of the 
representative of a foreign power by the coun- 
try which receives him. In a democratic land, 
like the United States these may appear to be 
somewhat exaggerated, but they have also be- 
come the expression of the desire to honor the 
land from which the visitor comes and con- 
sequently cannot be ignored. Shaking hands 
as an expression of personal regard is doubt- 
less a somewhat meaningless conventionality, 
but the man who refuses to shake hands is 
looked upon as a boor. Doubtless General 
Pershing, whatever his simpler tastes might 
have dictated, was well aware that behind all 
the formal display was the deep-seated desire 
to honor the country whose personal repre- 
sentative he was. 

After a visit to a training camp to witness 
the British method of training for fighting in 
the trenches, he was the guest at a luncheon 

166 



IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE 

of Lord Derby, the British Secretary of State 
for War. Although the day had been strenu- 
ous, nevertheless in the evening he and eigh- 
teen members of his staff were the guests of 
the British Government at a formal war-din- 
ner. This dinner was served at Lancaster 
House, a beautiful building which the Govern- 
ment uses solely for state entertainment of 
distinguished visitors from abroad. Eight 
members of the British Cabinet were among 
the thirty present. The dinner was served in 
the magnificiently furnished dining-hall. The 
guests were seated at six round tables, each 
presided over by one of the distinguished men 
of Great Britain, the Prime Minister sitting at 
the head of the first table and Lord Curzon, 
Lord President of the Council ; the Eight Hon- 
orable George M. Barnes, Pensions Minister; 
Viscount Milner, member of the War Cabinet; 
Earl of Derby, Secretary for War and Sir 
AJfred Mond, presiding at the others. 

The four days of formal welcome in England 
were at last ended and General Pershing and 
his staff sailed for France where the military 

167 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

activities of the United States were to be made 
a part of the common purpose to turn Germany- 
back from her designs. 

In France, too, although she is not a king- 
dom, there were to be certain formal cere- 
monies of recognition. The French people are 
somewhat more demonstrative than the Eng- 
lish, but behind it all was the common en- 
thusiasm over the entrance of America into the 
Great War. 

Of General Pershing's reception at Boulogne 
we have already learned.* Before he departed 
for Paris, however, he said to the reporters of 
the French newspapers, whom he received in 
the private car which the French Government 
had provided for his use : * ' The reception we 
have received is of great significance. ^It has 
impressed us greatly. It means that from the 
present moment our aims are the same.'' 

To the representatives of the American 
press, whom he welcomed after he had received 
the French, he said: *^ America has entered 
this war with the fullest intention of doing her 

* See Charter L 
168 



IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE 

share, no matter how great or how small that 
share may be. Our allies can depend on that." 

Great crowds of enthusiastic people from 
streets, walls, windows and housetops greeted 
the American General when the train that was 
bringing him entered the Gare du Nord at 
Paris. Cordons of **blue devils'* were on the 
platforms of the station and dense lines of 
troops patrolled the streets and guarded ad- 
jacent blocks as the party was escorted to the 
Place de la Concorde, where General Pershing 
was to make his temporary headquarters at 
the Hotel de Crillon. 

Bands were playing the Star Spangled Ban- 
ner and the Marseillaise, the flag of the United 
States was waving in thousands of hands and 
displayed from almost every building, while a 
steady shout like the roar of the ocean, **Vive 
PAmerique!'* greeted the party as the auto- 
mobiles in which they were riding advanced 
along the densely packed streets. It is said 
that General Pershing was ** visibly affected*' 
by the ovation into which his welcome had been 
turned. What a contrast it all was to the life 

169 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

and work in the jungles of the Philippines 
where the young officer had perhaps feared he 
had been left and forgotten. And yet it was 
the faithful, persistent, honest work done for 
the little "brown Moro people which helped to 
make the present occasion possible. 

In the evening of that day (June 13th) 
American Ambassador Sharp gave a dinner 
in honor of the coming of General Pershing. 
At this dinner the chief officers of the French 
army and navy were present. Indeed in the 
brief time before General Pershing was to 
assume his active duties it almost seemed as 
if the desire of the French Government and 
the French people to do honor to the Ameri- 
can commander would test his powers of en- 
durance to the uttermost. There were several 
events, however, that stand out in the fore- 
ground of those remarkable days. 



170 



CHAPTER Xni 

Xt the Tomb of NAPOLEo:er 

One of these notable events was the visit of 
General Pershing to the Hotel des Invalides in 
which is the tomb of the most brilliant soldier 
of all history — ^Napoleon Bonaparte. General 
Galterre and General Niox, the latter in charge 
of the famous monument, received the Ameri- 
can General and his staff when they arrived at 
the marvelous building. 

An interesting incident that was reported as 
having occurred directly after the entrance of 
the party was the spontaneous action of General 
Pershing, when his party met some of the aged 
veterans of the former wars of the French. Im- 
pulsively stopping when he was saluted by a 
bent and aged soldier who had seen service in 
the Crimean War, General Pershing shook the 

171 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

old soldier by his hand as he said, * * It is a great 
honor for a young soldier like myself to press 
the hand of an old soldier like yourself who 
has seen such glorious service.'' This natural 
and impulsive action by the American is said 
to have deeply touched not only the Crimean 
veteran, but also all who saw it and even more 
those who later heard of it, for the simple act 
was soon a topic of conversation among the 
already deeply enthused people of Paris. 

The American soldiers were conducted first 
to the great rotunda where one can stand, and, 
looking down, see the tomb of Napoleon resting 
in eloquent silence in the sarcophagus beneath. 
But the Commander of the American Expe- 
ditionary forces was to have a still more dis- 
tinctive honor — he was to be taken into the 
crypt itself. How much of an honor the French 
consider this may be judged from the fact that 
in addition to the crowned heads of Europe 
that had been admitted there, Ex-President 
Theodore Eoosevelt is the only other American 
previously taken to this spot. It was also a part 
of the directions which Napoleon himself had 

172 



AT THE TOMB OF NAPOLEON 

left that only a Marshal of France was to re- 
main uncovered in the presence of the Little 
Corporal of Corsica. 

Naturally the American soldiers followed 
this precedent and it was Marshal Joffre him- 
self who led them to the crypt. The door is 
immense and heavy, and made of brass. Just 
before the great key was inserted in the lock 
and the massive door was slowly to swing open, 
Marshal Joffre and General Niox left General 
Pershing alone before it. Those who saw him 
report that General Pershing drew a deep 
breath and then without confusion or delay 
quickly turned the key in the lock of the great 
brass door. 

In a small alcove within the crypt was the 
case which held Napoleon's sword. General 
Niox quietly unlocked this case and took out 
the famous sword and kissed it. Then he ex- 
tended the sword to the American soldier. 
General Pershing received the weapon, for an 
instant held it at salute and then he too kissed 
the hilt. One cannot help wondering whether 
the impressive moment suggested to the General 

173 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the mighty contrast between the aims of Napo- 
leon and those which were guiding the United 
States in the desperate war in which she now 
was to share. Brilliant as Napoleon was, mighty 
strategist and soldier that he proved himself 
to be, it is difficult even for his warmest ad- 
mirers to defend the principles (or explain the 
lack of them) that controlled him in his cam- 
paigns. On the other hand, Pershing was the 
representative of a nation which was to fight 
with its utmost power — ^not for conquest nor to 
overthrow its rivals. Vast sums were to be ex- 
pended, millions of men were to respond to the 
call to the colors — for what? *'To make the 
world a decent place to live in." The living 
and the dead met in the crypt of the Hotel des 
Invalides, but the aims that animated the two 
men — one in the early days of the preceding 
century, and the other in the year 1917 — were 
as far removed from each other as the East is 
from the West. 

A ceremony like that with which Napoleon's 
sword had been extended to General Pershing 
was also followed in the case of the cross of 

174 



AT THE TOMB OF NAPOLEON 

the Legion of Honor, the visitor holding it to 
his lips a moment and then passing it back to 
General Niox. A correspondent writing of the 
occasion says : * ^ This was the most signal honor 
France ever bestowed upon any man. Before 
this occasion not even a Frenchman was per- 
mitted to hold the sacred relics in his hands. 
Kings and princes have been taken to the crypt 
that holds the body of the great Emperor, but 
they only viewed the sword and cross through 
the plate glass of the case in which they rested. 
The relics had not been touched since the time 
of Louis Philippe. '' 

Next followed a formal call upon the Ameri- 
can ambassador and then w^ith lines of soldiers 
and the music of many military bands he was 
escorted to Elysee Palace, where formally he 
was to be presented to President Poincare. 
Still the enthusiasm of the people endeavored 
to find expression. Flags and cheers were on 
every side. Flowers were cast upon the slowly 
advancing procession and there were many 
eager watchers, young and old alike, down 
whose cheeks unchecked tears were falling. The 

175 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

occasion was formal and stately, but its neces- 
sary formalities were not able to repress the 
deep emotions of the brave and valiant people. 

Instead of the enthusiasm dying away it 
almost seemed as if it had increased in volume 
when General Pershing entered the diplomatic 
box that afternoon in the Chamber of Deputies. 
Premier Ribot was addressing the body when 
the General quietly and without any ostentation 
took the seat assigned him. 

Speedily, however, the arrival of the Ameri- 
can General became known in the chamber. The 
deputies leaped to their feet and cheered and 
then remained standing and continued their 
cheering. General Pershing was at last com- 
pelled to rise and bow to the assembly in 
acknowledgment of the remarkable greeting 
which he had received. Then the packed gal- 
leries took up the same theme. ^^Vive TAme- 
rique!" resounded loud and long and then was 
repeated again and again, as if the grateful 
spectators were fearful lest their former at- 
tempts to express their feelings had not been 
adequate. And all this applause was against 

176 



AT THE TOMB OF NAPOLEON 

every tradition and custom of the dignified 
Chamber of Deputies. 

At last it was possible for the Premier to con- 
tinue his address, but no longer was he speak- 
ing of Greece, as he had been when the Ameri- 
cans had entered, he now was doing his utmost 
to portray the might and the unselfish devotion 
of the nation across the sea whose leading sol- 
dier was now not only with them in soul, but 
also in body. He closed his eloquent address 
by quoting the words of President Wilson, 
**The day has come to conquer or submit. We 
will not submit ; we vrill vanquish. ' ^ 

M. Viviani, who recently had visited the 
United States, was the speaker to follow the 
Premier. Eloquent, earnest, devoted — there is 
no one to whose words the Chamber usually is 
more willing to listen. Viviani at this time also 
spoke of the United States — its people, its Pres- 
ident, its Army and its help, enlarging particu- 
larly on the principles for which both France 
and America were fighting. 

Wlien the eloquent speaker ended his address, 
almost as if the impulse had been kept too long 

177 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

under control, the Deputies again rose and 
cheered and continued their cheering for Gen- 
eral Pershing, until at last once more he was 
compelled to rise and bow in his acknowledg- 
ment of the remarkable ovation he had re- 
ceived. And the cheers continued after he had 
gone. 

Before the people of Paris, Joffre and Per- 
shing stood together, each bare-headed, on the 
morning of June 15th. They were on the bal- 
cony of the Military Club. In the Place de 
rOpera was a crowd assembled to do honor to 
the two military leaders — a public reception 
by the city. The wild cheering rose in waves. 
The excitement was intense. The hopes of the 
people, who, as one distinguished Frenchman 
said, ^^had surprised not only the world, but 
also their own nation by their bravery, deter- 
mination and heroic endurance,'' were now 
keyed to the highest pitch. America was com- 
ing. Nay, America is here in the person of its 
commander, whose Alsatian ancestors years 
before had found a home in America. Surely 
the peoples were indeed one. **Vive TAme- 

178 



AT THE TOMB OF NAPOLEON 

rique!'' *'Vive Joffre!'^ **Vive Pershing!'* 
It almost seemed as if the cheering would never 
stop. 

A correspondent describes what occurred in 
a momentary lull in the tumult. A young girl, 
excited, ardent, patriotic, in a clear call, was 
distinctly heard above the cries of the vast 
assembly as she shouted, **Vive Joffre, who 
saved us from defeat! Vive Pershing, who 
brings us victory!'' 

Instantly the crowd responded and for a 
moment it seemed as if the excitement would 
break all bounds. The applause became deaf- 
ening. The vast assemblage took up the mov- 
ing words of the unknown young girl. **Vive 
Joffre!" *^Vive Pershing!" rose in a wild cry 
of joy and hope. Indeed, long after the two 
soldiers had withdrawn and the balcony of the 
Military Club was no longer occupied, the en- 
thusiastic crowd refused to depart and the 
streets still resounded with **Vive Joffre!" 
**Vive Pershing!" Pleased General Pershing 
must have been by the wild demonstration of 
the affection and hope, and yet he must also 
' 179 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

have been made intensely serious by the appeal 
of two great peoples to lead them to a victory 
that should forever put an end to the savagery 
and the cruelty which the German nation, 
wherever it touched the world through its 
army, was manifesting as the controlling mo- 
tive in its life. 



180 



CHAPTER XIV 

A Wreath for the Tomb of Lafayette 

The official calls and the ceremonies that 
were designed both to recognize formally the 
full meaning of the entrance of the United 
States into the world war and to arouse a 
fresh enthusiasm in the French people were 
almost at an end. General Pershing announced 
that on the following day he intended to be- 
gin the work for which he had come. Already 
the headciuarters of the American Army had 
been established at the Rue de Constantin and 
the work there was in full operation. 

However, there were two other visits which 
the American commander desired to make 
while he was in Paris. In Picpus Cemetery, 
Paris, was the tomb of Lafayette. The friend- 
ship of the young marquis, his enthusiasm for 

181 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

the ideals of democracy and the aid he had 
given the colonies in America in their strug- 
gles for independence nearly a century and a 
half before this time, had made his name as 
familiar as it was beloved in the United States. 
He had been the personal friend of Washing- 
ton, his visit to America after the new nation 
had been formed, his gifts and his example 
alike had added to the esteem in which he was 
held there. As Lafayette had come from 
France to help America so now Pershing had 
come from America to help France. What 
could be more fitting than for the American 
commander to manifest publicly the memories 
of the deep appreciation w^hich clustered about 
the name of Lafayette? 

Accordingly General Pershing and a half- 
dozen of his officers were taken to the tomb in 
Picpus Cemetery. There the little party was 
met by the Marquis and the Count de Cham- 
brun who are direct descendants of Lafayette. 
Two orderlies carried a wreath of American 
Beauty roses which was to be placed on the 
tomb of the ardent young Frenchman. There 

182 



A WREATH FOR TOMB OF LAFAYETTE 

were no formal or public services — the occa- 
sion being more like a token of the personal 
feelings^ of the representative of one great na- 
tion for the honored dead who had been the 
representative of another. The oft quoted re- 
mark of General Pershing, ^* Lafayette, we are 
here,'' added to the impressiveness. 

General Pershing was welcomed at the ceme- 
tery quietly by the two descendants of Lafay- 
ette and by them was conducted to the tomb. 
The General and his fellow officers stood at 
salute while the orderlies were placing the 
wreath of roses on the marble slab that marked 
the final resting place of the brave and bril- 
liant young French soldier. 

In spite of the simplicity of the beautiful 
ceremony, however, the enthusiastic people of 
Paris felt that somehow they must express 
their appreciation of the tender and dignified 
tribute to one of their honored dead. Great 
throngs lined the streets through which the 
party passed, while a vast concourse assem- 
bled in the vicinity of Picpus Cemetery. Their 
quickly aroused sentiments had been deeply 

183 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

stirred. A glimpse of the passing American 
General was sufficient to deepen this appeal 
and the cheers that greeted the Americans were 
fervent and heartfelt. 

The third day was to be the last of the 
formal ceremonies. General Pershing paid the 
formal and official calls expected of him, had 
Imicheon with Marshal Joffre and then visited 
the French Senate. As soon as he and Am- 
bassador Sharp were discovered in the diplo- 
matic box, every senator sprang to his feet 
and the cheering was loud and long — *'Vive 
PAmerique!^' *^Vive ITershing!'' It almost 
seemed as if the dignified senators were de- 
termined to make their salvos louder and more 
genuinely enthusiastic than any that had yet 
been heard by the distinguished visitor. Again 
and again General Pershing bowed in ac- 
knowledgment of his generous reception. 

At last when the senators once more took 
their seats, Premier Ribot referred to the 
presence of the soldier from the United States 
and called upon M. Viviani to speak in ac- 
knowledgment of the event. Eloquent as 

184 



A WREATH FOR TOMB OF LAFAYETTE 

Viviani is known to be, it is said tliat never 
had his words been more expressive or appeal- 
ing than on this momentous occasion. Repeat- 
edly he was compelled to pause and wait for 
the applause to cease before he was able to 
continue his address. In his final words he 
referred to his own recent visit to the United 
States and in vivid phrases pictured the con- 
ditions as he had found them there. The ideals 
of civilization, the rights of free peoples, the 
heritage received from sires who had dearly 
paid for that which they bequeathed their 
children were to be defended and upheld. 
Savagery, brutality, disregard for national and 
individual rights were to be overthrown. Be- 
cause of the ideals under which the United 
States had been reared and the freedom the 
nation had enjoyed the people were determined 
to share in the battle for the same privileges 
to be enjoyed by all mankind. 

The response of the audience was instan- 
taneous. Leaping to their feet they shouted, 
'^Vivent les Etats Unis!^' ^^Vive TAme- 
rique!" '*Vive ITershing!'' Not until after 

185 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

General Pershing once more arose and again 
and again bowed in acknowledgment of the 
soul stirring tribute to him, and through him 
to the nation of which he was a part, was quiet 
restored. Even then the Senate unanimously 
voted a recess of a half-hour to permit the 
Senators personally to meet and greet the 
American Commander. Antonin Dubost, Presi- 
dent of the Senate, escorted General Pershing 
through the imposing lobby of the Luxem- 
bourg and introduced him to the members of 
the Senate, one by one. The occasion served 
as a fitting climax to three such days as Gen- 
eral Pershing never before had seen and the 
world never had known. 

Of Pershing *s coming to France and of his 
gracious, quiet manner of receiving the wel- 
come of Paris, and his dignity that fitted every 
occasion, the Paris newspapers, made much. 
The outstanding quality, however, appeared 
to be his simplicity. Georges Clemenceau wrote 
the following tribute when the three days of 
welcome passed: 

*' Paris has given its final welcome to General 
186 



A WREATH FOR TOMB OF LAFAYETTE 

Pershing. We are justified in hoping that the ac- 
clamations of our fellow-citizens, with whom are 
mingled crowds of soldiers on leave, have shown him 
clearly right at the start in what spirit we are wag- 
ing this bloodiest of wars: with what invincible de- 
termination never to falter in any fiber of our nerves 
or muscles. 

''What does France stand for to-day but the most 
striking proof of the perseverance of the French 
spirit? I can even say that never was such a pro- 
longation of such terrible sacrifices demanded from 
our people and never was it so simply and so easily 
obtained. 

"Unless I misjudge America, General Pershing, 
fully conscious of the importance of his mission, has 
received from the cordial and joyous enthusiasm of 
the Parisians that kind of fraternal encouragement, 
which is never superfluous, even when one needs it 
not. Let him have no doubt that he, too, has brought 
encouragement to us, the whole of France that fol- 
lowed with its eyes his passage along the boulevards, 
all our hearts, that salute his coming in joy at the 
supreme grandeur of America's might enrolled under 
the standard of right. This idea M. Viviani, just 
back from America, splendidly developed in his elo- 
quent speech to the Chamber in the presence of Gen- 
eral Pershing. 

''General Pershing himself, less dramatic, has given 
us in three phrases devoid of artificiality an impres- 
sion of exceptionally virile force. It was no rhetoric, 

187 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

but the pure simplicity of the soldier who is here to 
act and who fears to promise more than he will per- 
form. No bad sign this for those of us who have 
grown weary of pompous words, when we must pay 
so dearly for each failure of performance. 

**Not long ago the Germans laughed at 'the con- 
temptible English army' and we hear now that they 
regard the American army as too ridiculous for 
words. Well, the British have taught even Hinden- 
burg himself what virile force can do toward filling 
gaps in organization. Now the arrival of Pershing 
brings Hindenburg news that the Americans are set- 
ting to work in their turn — those Americans whose 
performance in the war of secession showed them 
capable of such * improvisation' of war as the world 
has never seen — and I think the Kaiser must be be- 
ginning to wonder whether he has not trusted rather 
blindly in his 'German tribal god.' He has loosed 
the lion from its cage, and now finds that the lion 
has teeth and claws to rend him. 

* ' The Kaiser had given us but a few weeks in which 
to realize that the success of his submarine campaign 
would impose the silence of terror on the human con- 
science throughout the world. "Well, painful as he 
must find it, Pershing's arrival in Paris, with its 
consequent military action, cannot fail to prove to 
him that, after all, the moral forces he ignored must 
always be taken into consideration in forecasting 
human probabilities. Those learned Boches have yet 
to underetand that in the course of his intellectual 

188 



A WREATH FOR TOMB OF LAFAYETTE 

evolution man has achieved the setting of moral riglit 
above brute force; that might is taking its stand he- 
side right to accomplish the greatest revolution in the 
history of mankind. 

''That is the lesson Pershing's coming has taught 
us, and that is why we rejoice." 

Another graceful tribute was that of 
Maurice de Waleffe who wrote: 

" 'There is no longer any Pyrenees/ said Louis 
XIV when he married a Spanish princess. 'There 
is no longer an ocean/ Pershing might say with 
greater justice as he is about to mingle with ours 
the democratic blood of his soldiers. The fusion of 
Europe and America is the enormous fact to note. 
Henceforth there is but one human race, in the Old 
World as in the New, and we can repeat the words 
of Goethe at the battle of Valmy: 'From to-day a 
new order of things begins.' " 

In the evening after his first day of work, at 
the opera the enthusiasm of Paris found one 
more outlet for its admiration of the Ameri- 
can General whose physical strength and bear- 
ing, whose poise and kindly appreciation of Ms 
welcome again found expression. The General 
arrived at the close of the first act. It was 
now the turn for the society of Paris to ex- 
press itself. The wildest enthusiasm instantly 

189 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

seized upon tlie audience as soon as his ar- 
rival became known. As he entered his box, 
which was draped with the American colors, 
the orchestra quickly struck up the national 
anthem, for the moment droi^ng even the 
wild cheering of the crowded house. The cur- 
tain rose and Mme. Kichardson, holding aloft 
a large American flag as she advanced to the 
front of the stage, began in English to sing 
the Star Spangled Banner. After each stanza 
the wild cheering seemed to increase in volume 
and enthusiasm. Then Mile. Marthe Chenal 
followed and began to sing La Marseillaise. 
It was now the turn of the American oiBficers 
and soldiers present to cheer for France; and 
cheer they did. A chorus of soldiers and 
sailors accompanied each singer. When Gen- 
eral Pershing departed from the opera house 
the throngs assembled on the streets joined in 
another outburst. By this time even the slow- 
est of Americans must have been fully aware 
that the French were glad that the commander 
of the Army of the United States was in Paris. 
The new problem confronting the American 
190 



A WREATH FOR TOMB OF LAFAYETTE 

General was stupendous. His recommenda- 
tions were to be final at Washington. In his 
duties he was to have the assistance of 
Marshal Joffre, whose ability as a soldier and 
whose position as the official representative of 
France would mean much to General Per- 
shing. The British War Office (May 28, 1917) 
had said that including those already serving 
in French or British armies there shortly 
would be 100,000 American soldiers on French 
soil. Within a year the number was to exceed 
1,000,000 and hundreds of thousands more were 
to follow. No such numbers or speed in trans- 
porting troops 3,500 miles had ever been 
known before. And in France plans must be 
formed, organizations made, great buildings 
must be erected, military measures must be 
adopted — and General John Joseph Pershing 
must be the directing power. What a task! 
Small cause for surprise is it that he solemnly 
said to a prominent clergyman before his de- 
parture from America that he ^^felt the need 
of all the help that could be given him,— human 
and divine." 

191 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

Already in France Americans were drilling 
in preparation for active fighting. Among 
these were detachments of college students 
from Harvard, Princeton, Yale, University of 
Chicago, Williams, University of California, 
and many other American colleges, but a vast 
concourse of men from every class and con- 
dition in life in the United States was making 
ready to joiur their fellow soldiers across the 
sea. From no man in all the world was more 
expected than from General Pershing. And 
the expectations were resting on strong 
foundations if the manner in which he carried 
himself in the four trying days in London and 
in the three days of formal ceremonies in 
France and then in the beginnings of his heavy 
labors in preparing for the demands of 
Americans who were yet to come, were indi- 
cations. By many he was declared to be the 
personification of the best type West Point 
could produce. 



192 



CHAPTER XV 

FouKTH OF July in France and Bastile Day 
IN America 

The manifestation of the feeling of France 
and England for the United States as shown 
to General Pershing was still further in evi- 
dence when the national holiday of each na- 
tion was celebrated. In this celebration all 
three nations united. ^^ Never did I expect to 
see a day like the Fourth of July this year in 
London/' wrote an American stopping in that 
city. ^^The flag of the United States was 
everywhere in evidence. I don't think Great 
Britain ever saw so many American flags at 
one time. The streets almost seemed to be 
lined with them. They were hanging from 
windows, stretched across the streets and side- 
walks, carried in the hands of the passing 

193 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

people and everywhere were in evidence. 
Bands were playing the Star Spangled Ban- 
ner, public meetings were held, addresses 
were made and dinners given — all showing 
that the new feeling between the countries was 
not only friendly but also most intensely 
cordial. From the King and Queen to the 
humblest newsboy the enthusiasm was every- 
where to be seen/' And what was true in 
London was true also throughout the kingdom. 
From the front General Pershing received 
the following telegram: 



**Dear Gen. Pershing: In behalf of myself and 
the whole army in France and Flanders I beg you 
to accept for yourself and the troops of your com- 
mand my warmest greetings on American Inde- 
pendence Day. 

''Fourth of July this year soldiers of America, 
France and Great Britain will spend side by side 
for the first time in history in defense of the great 
principle of liberty, which is the proudest inheritance 
and the most cherished possession of their several 
nations. 

''That liberty which the British, Americans and 
French won for themselves they will not fail to hold 

194 



FOURTH OF JULY IN FRANCE 

not only for themselves but for the world. With the 

heartiest good wishes for you and your gallant array, 

** Yours very sincerely, 

'^D. Haig, 
** Field Marshal." 

To this hearty message of congratulation 
and good will General Pershing sent the fol- 
lowing response to the Commander in Chief 
of the British Army in France and Flanders: 

"My dear Sir Douglas: Independence Day greet- 
ings from the British armies in France, extended by 
its distinguished Commander in Chief, are most 
deeply appreciated by all ranks of the American 
forces. The firm unity of purpose that on the Fourth 
of July this year so strongly binds the great allied 
nations together stands as a new declaration and a 
new guarantee that the sacred principles of liberty 
shall not perish but shall be extended to all peoples. 

''With the most earnest good wishes from myself 
and entire command to you and our brave British 
brothers in arms, I remain, always in great respect 
and high esteem, 

** Yours very sincerely, 

**JOHN J. Pershing." 

In Paris also the celebration was an evidence 
of the same or even greater enthusiasm. 

195 



THE STORY OF GENERAL' PERSHING 

Flags, bands, cheers, songs, public meetings 
and addresses — these all were like a repeti- 
tion of the scenes that had greeted the arrival 
of the American commander on the soil of 
France. Once more General Pershing was the 
idol of the day, because in this way the French 
people best believed they could express their 
deep appreciation of the part America was 
promptly taking in the fight for freedom. 

The response of America was equally strong 
when ten days later the great country, more 
than 3,000 miles away, joined in a hearty cele- 
bration of the French national holiday — 
Bastile Day. As Lafayette had brought to and 
presented to the United States the key to the 
famous old prison so it seemed almost as if 
the key had unlocked the doors of every Ameri- 
can heart. The French flag was flying from 
thousands of buildings. The French national 
air was heard on every side. 

In America, too, just as there had been a 
brief time before in France, there were great 
assemblies quickly aroused to the highest pitch 
of enthusiasm by the words of orators describ- 

196 



FOURTH OF JULY IN FRANCE 

ing. the marvelous heroism and devotion of 
France in the present world war. As one 
famous , speaker said, '^France had not only 
found her soul and surprised the world by her 
devotion; she had even surprised herself.'' 

Perhaps the celebration in America reached 
its highest point in a vast meeting in the 
Madison Square Garden in New York City 6ii 
the evening of July 14th. One newspaper 
glowingly described the vast concourse that 
filled the Garden: **It isn^t too much to say 
that perhaps the air quivered no more vio- 
lently around the Bastile on that great day in 
Paris 129 years ago, than it did in Madison 
Square Garden last night when at the apex of 
a day of glorious tribute to France a tall young 
man wearing the horizon blue of the French 
army and noted throughout the world for his 
singing, sang with splendid fervor France's — 
and now in a way our owm — 'La Marseillaise.' 

The Garden fairly rocked with the applause, 
as banners and flags were waved in the hands 
of the excited, shouting throng. French sol- 
diers with the little marks upon their sleeves 

197 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

that showed the bravery on the battlefield of 
the men privileged to wear them, soldiers and 
sailors of many lands, war-nurses in their cool 
white costumes, men who had fought in 
France, Belgium, Serbia, Italy, at Gallipoli, at 
the Marne and at Verdun — and many more 
were there to assist in expressing the feelings 
of America for her ally. 

^^They shall not pass'* — it was almost like 
the determination of the men that doggedly 
stood before and blocked the Germans as they 
did their utmost to drive through Verdun. 

A message from General Foch was read by 
the chairman, Charles E. Hughes. ** After 
four years of struggle the plans of the enemy 
for domination are stopped,'' began Judge 
Hughes, but he also was compelled to *^stop" 
until the deafening applause that interrupted 
the reading of the message from the great 
French commander had quieted down suffi- 
ciently to enable him to proceed. After several 
minutes passed he resumed. *^He (the enemy) 
sees the numbers of his adversaries increase 
each day and the young American army bring 

198 



FOURTH OF JULY IN FRANCE 

into the battle a valor and a faith without 
equal; is not this a sure pledge of the definite 
triumph of the just cause T' 

If the true answer to the question of the 
commander of all the armies of the allies was 
to be measured by the mighty roar that spon- 
taneously arose, then the General must have 
been convinced as well as satisfied. 

^'We are doing more to-night than paying 
tribute/' declared the chairman. *^We are 
here to make our pledge. We make our 
pledge to the people of France. We make our 
pledge and it is the pledge of a people able to 
redeem it.'' 

Secretary of the Navy Daniels read a mes- 
sage from President Wilson: *^ America greets 
France on this day of stirring memories, with 
a heart full of warm friendship and of devo- 
tion to the great cause in which the two peoples 
are now so happily united. July 14th, like our 
own July 4th, has taken on a new significance 
not only for France but for the world. As 
France celebrated our Fourth of July, so do 
we celebrate her Fourteenth, keenly conscious 

199 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

of a comradeship of arms and of purpose of 
which we are deeply proud. 

*'The sea seems very narrow to-day,- France 
is a neighbor to our hearts. The war is being 
fought to save ourselves from intolerable 
things, but it is also being fought to save man- 
kind. We extend oiir hands to each other, to 
the great peoples with whom we are associated 
and the peoples everywhere who love right and 
prize justice as a thing beyond price, and con- 
secrate ourselves once more to the noble enter- 
prise of peace and justice, realizing the great 
conceptions that have lifted France and 
America high among the free peoples of the 
earth. 

* * The French flag floats to-day from the staff 
of the White House and America is happy to 
do honor to that flag. ' ' 

A similar statement was made by Great 
Britain's ambassador, the Earl of Beading, who 
declared that Bastile Day was also being cele- 
brated throughout the British Empire. 

The climax came when Ambassador Jusso- 
rand spoke: 

200 



FOURTH OF JULY IN FRANCE 

**Your national fete and ours have the same mean- 
ing: Emancipation. The ideal they represent is so 
truly the same, that it is no wonder, among the 
inspiring events in which we live, that France cel^ 
brated the other day your Fourth and you are now 
celebrating our Fourteenth. We owe so much to 
each other in our progress toward Freedom. 

** Those enthusiastic French youths who served 
under Washington, Rochambcau and Lafayette had 
seen liberty and equality put into practice, and had 
brought back to France the seed, which sown at an 
opportune moment, sprang up and grew wonder- 
fuUy. 

*'The two greatest events in our histories are 
closely connected. Between the end of your revolu- 
tion and the beginning of ours, there elapsed only six 
years. Our flag, devised the day after the fall of 
the Bastile, combining the same colors as your own, 
is just a little younger than your Old Glorj^, born 
in revolutionary times. And the two, floating for 
the first time together over the trenches of distant 
France, defying the barbaric enemy, have much to 
say to each other, much about the past, much about 
the future. 

*' United as we are with the same firmness of pur- 
pose, we shall advance our standards and cause the 
enemy to understand that the best policy is honesty, 
respect of others* freedom and respect of the sworn 
pledge. 

*'That song of freedom, the * Marseillaise' will 

aoi 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

again be sung at the place of its birth, that Alsatian 
song bom in Strassburg, justifying its original title, 
a 'War song of the Rhine.' 

**The place where he shall stop is not, ho'V'Tever, 
written on the map, but in our hearts, a kind of map 
the enemy has been unable to decipher. But what 
is written is plain enough, and President Wilson is 
even plainer in his memorable speech at the Tomb 
of Washington on your own Fourth. It comes to 
this: 'One more Bastile remains to be taken, repre- 
senting feudalism, autocracy, despotism, the German 
one, and when it falls, peace will reign again. ' * ' 

And over in France was an American — 
brave, kind of heart, dignified and tremen- 
dously in earnest who stood before the people 
of the old world as the very personification of 
the spirit that animated the new world. 



202 



CHAPTER XVI 

Incidents and Characteristics 

One of the most striking elements in the grip 
which General Pershing has upon his soldiers 
is well shown by the following extract from a 
letter which a quiet, unknown doughboy re- 
cently sent from France to his mother: ''I think 
I forgot to tell you that Pershing looked us 
over. He is a wonderful man to look at. 
Power is written all over his face. Believe me, 
with a man like that in the lead we ought to 
win, hands down. Just one look commands 
respect and confidence.'' 

One reason for this confidence doubtless is 
the frequently expressed opinion which the 
commander also has of his men. Again and 
again he has publicly declared that the ideal- 
ism of the American soldier boys was bound 
to win this war. * * They will defend these ideals 

203 



THE STOKY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

at any sacrifice. ' ' And those who are aware of 
the spirit of many a young American student 
in college or worker on some quiet farm, will 
understand why General Pershing has made so 
much of this idealism which he says is the 
backbone of the American fighting men in 
France. 

It is not only the General, but the man Per- 
shing behind the General that makes its appeal 
and finds its response from the American boys. 
In every Y. M. C. A. hut in France to-day there 
is hanging a picture of the leader of the Amer- 
ican armies. Underneath this picture are the 
following words, which bear his own signature : 

** Hardship will be your lot but trust in God 
will give you comfort. Temptation will befall 
you but the teaching of our Saviour will give 
you strength. Let your valor as a soldier and 
your conduct as a man be an inspiration to 
your comrades and an honor to your country." 

The meaning of these words perhaps becomes 
more apparent if for a moment they are placed 
in contrast with the reported relations exist- 
ing between the German soldiers and their 

204 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

officers, sometimes driven into battle by brutal 
methods, threatened, kicked and beaten, and if 
they protested, sometimes the gunners were 
chained to their guns — small cause for surprise 
is it that the American boys fail to appreciate 
the ** blessings'' of autocracy or are determined 
that the brutality and aims of all war lords 
shall forever perish from the earth. 

Then, too, his personal interest in the young 
American fighter who has done something to 
deserve recognition is one of his elements of 
strength. There must, however, first have been 
given an indication that the deed was worthy 
of praise — for General Pershing's commenda- 
tion is not cheap nor does he scatter it promis- 
cuously. The following incident may be looked 
upon as typical 

John Kulolski, born in Poland, emigrant to 
the United States, enlisted at Buffalo, New 
York, June 7, 1916. In the following year, on 
his birthday, he reenlisted and on the same 
month and day in 1918 he was sent to the 
trenches. Indeed, he declared that his birthday 
^* always brought something great into his 

205 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

life/' His first service in the army was as a 
cook, but at his own request he was trans- 
ferred to the fighting forces. Cooking might 
be necessary, but it was **too slow for him." 
Soon in the Bois de Belleau he found his oppor- 
tunity. The fighting was savage and John 
Kulolski's company was in peril from a nearby 
gunners' nest. Suddenly, without orders and 
with the new spirit of initiative which had 
been acquired by the young Pole in America, 
he darted ahead alone, and by the sheer force 
of his own impetuous act charged the gun and 
made prisoners of the gun crew and its officer. 
Doubtless his very daring caused his enemies 
to believe that he was not alone but was one 
of many who were about to attack them. At 
all events the Germans surrendered to John 
Kulolski and his bravery was quickly known 
all along the line. 

To him as soon as he heard of his daring deed 
General Pershing sent the following telegram 
from headquarters; 

**For Private Kulolski, Company (deleted). 

**I have just heard of your splendid conduct on 
206 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

June 6tli when you alone charged a gun, captured 
it and its crew, together with an officer. I have 
awarded you the Distinguished Service Cross. I con- 
gratulate you. 

''Pershing.'' 

"Who does not know that Knlolski-s deed and 
the commander 's quick and personal as well as 
official recognition of the heroism of this pri- 
vate soldier at once aroused a spirit of grati- 
tude and enthusiasm not only in the heart of 
the young Pole, but also caused a thrill in the 
heart of every doughboy in the ranks that 
heard the story? 

From Paris, July 22, 1918, the Associated 
Press sent the following despatch: 

''Your country is proud of you, and I am more 
than proud to command such men as you. You have 
fought splendidly." 

General Pershing thus addressed wounded 
American soldiers lying in the American Red 
Cross hospitals in Paris to-day. In each ward 
of every hospital he talked to the men. He in- 
quired if they were being well cared for, how 
and where they were wounded, what regiments 

207 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

they belonged to, and expressed his sympathy 
to scores of patients. 

General Pershing also talked to the phy- 
sicians, surgeons, and nurses, and thanked them 
for the work they were doing in caring for the 
wounded. 

**No one can ask of any fighting force more 
than that they should do as well as you have 
done," he said to his troops. The General 
added that he wished he could speak personally 
with each and every man in the hospital, but 
this was impossible. So he asked Major James 
H. Perkins to repeat his message and say to 
each individual man, **The American people 
are proud of you.'' 

It is a very devoted and democratic army 
which General Pershing commands in France. 
Those who know him personally have a deep 
affection for him for they understand what he 
is. Those who do not have a personal acquaint- 
ance admire him no less for what they believe 
him to be. It is a common remark in the ranks, 
even by those who never even saw their leader, 
* * What a fine man Pershing is. ' ' His nickname 

208 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

** Black Jack'* is an expression of admiration 
and affection, as much so as when the French 
poilus tenderly refer to * ^ Papa ' ' Joffre. 

Whenever General Pershing in his scattered 
duties arrives at a place where there are 
wounded American soldiers he never fails to 
find a few brief minutes when he can visit these 
boys and speak a word of affectionate appre- 
ciation of what they have done. It is usually, 
however, not to his own but to his country's 
pride and sympathy that he refers. '*Your 
country is proud of you. ' ' Sometimes it is just 
a handclasp, sometimes only a glance from his 
dark eyes, expressive of the deep interest and 
pride in his soldier boys that he can give the 
wounded. He is a man of few words and as a 
consequence every spoken word counts. 

A direct report states that ** faces are 
brighter, eyes have a new expression whenever, 
which is as often as the crush of his duties per- 
mits — he visits a hospital." 

One further incident will illustrate the 
many-sided activities of the American General. 
One evening at a certain nameless point he 

209 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

found that he had a very few minutes free 
before his automobile was to rush him to the 
next place he was to visit. Instantly he de- 
cided to visit the Y. M. C. A. hut. As he drew 
near he found that a couple of hundred boys 
were in the building and that someone was 
** banging the piano" with a furious rag-time. 
Hobnailed shoes were noisily keeping time to 
the music and the lusty voices of the shouting 
and singing young soldiers were plainly heard 
far beyond the building. Not one of the boys 
was aware that the commander was anywhere 
in the vicinity. 

Suddenly a yell arose near the entrance. 
Instantly every soldier turned to discover the 
cause of the break. * * General Pershing ' ' ran as 
a loud whisper throughout the assembly and 
instantly every one of the assembled doughboys 
sprang to his feet and stood at attention. Then 
no longer able to repress or restrain their feel- 
ings they united in such an enthusiastic yell 
as might have revealed their presence to an 
enemy if he was not too far away. 

Quickly the General was in the midst of the 
210 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

throng and was telling his admirers jnst how 
he had * dropped in to see how they were get- 
ting along." He was delighted, he told them, 
to find everything in good order and expressed 
his deep satisfaction with the manner in which 
they were doing their part in the gigantic 
straggle. ^*Your country is proud of you," 

Small cause for wonder is it that it is cur- 
rently reported that * ^ no army ever went to the 
battlefield better protected against the pitfalls 
of army life than the American forces in 
France." Every friendly and helpful activity 
receives his cordial support — Eed Cross, Y. M, 
C. A., Knights of Columbus, Salvation Army 
and all. He is deeply concerned not only with 
the quality and quantity of the work in France 
but also with the reports that are to go back 
home concerning what the boys are doing on 
the far distant fields of France. Still more is 
he concerned about the effects of their stay 
upon the boys themselves. ** Everything pos- 
sible is being done to see that these young 
Americans who will return home some day 
shall go back clean." 

211 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

He is deeply interested in all the athletics 
and sports of his troops. He simply is in- 
sistent upon one main quality, *^ everything 
must be clean." 

A certain reporter for a New York news- 
paper sends the following incident: 

Passing a dark comer one night I encountered a 
M. P. (Mihtary Policeman). Some of the M. P.s 
are a bit rough. They have to be, and they would 
wade into a den of wildcats. 

"Hey, you pencil pusher," he called, "did you 
see the big boss?" 

I had. 

"Well," he said, "you've flashed your lamps on 
the finest man that ever stood in shoe leather." 

One day General Pershing arrived at a sta- 
tion where a motley crowd greeted his coming. 
The following day there was posted on a bulle- 
tin board of the barracks a cordial commenda- 
tion of the young I'rench officer who had so 
efficiently done his duty at the station in hand- 
ling the somewhat unruly assembly at the ar- 
rival of the American commander and his staff. 
That is General Pershing's way. Quietly cor- 

212 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

dial, looking for good in every one of his men 
and usually finding it, a strict disciplinarian 
and quiQk to punish neglect or an evil deed, he 
is the, idol of the army. 

** General Pershing is one of the finest men 
I ever met. Everybody in the army admires 
him greatly, '^ declares a prominent American 
officer, and another adds, *'I have never met a 
nobler man in my life than General Pershing." 

According to a statement of an orderly ser- 
geant of the commander, the General has a reg- 
ular order for beginning the Avork of every day. 
Eising at five o'clock there is first a half hour 
of setting up exercises which the two men take 
together. Next the General, although he is at 
an age when most men abandon running ex- 
cept as a necessity or a last resort, goes out for 
a run of fifteen minutes. Later there is a united 
attack upon the medicine ball and there is no 
slight or ''ladylike'' exercise. Although the 
sergeant is twenty-five years younger than the 
General, he acknowledges that he is usually 
the first to declare that he has had sufficient 
for the beginning of the day. 

213 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

The hour of retirement is usually eleven 
o'clock, and just before that time there are 
more setting up exercises, after which the ser- 
geant says he himself is entirely reconciled to 
the suggestion to turn in. 

In this way and because he has followed this 
somewhat strenuous plan since he was a young 
man General Pershing has kept himself in mag- 
nificent physical condition. 

Indeed, the sergeant said that in the ten 
years during which he had been the command- 
er's orderly he has never known but one day 
when the General was incapicitated for his 
duties. That day was in the early rush of the 
punitive expedition into Mexico to get Villa. 
The change of water or perhaps the quality of 
it made him ill, but even then, in spite of the 
surgeon's advice for him to remain quietly in 
his tent for a day or two, General Pershing, 
unmindful of the influence of his example, * ^ dis- 
obeyed orders" and resumed his work. For- 
tunately no ill effects followed his disobedience. 

A tender touch in the sergeant's statement is 
one upon which we have no right to enlarge 

214 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

though the fact is as suggestive as it is char- 
acteristic. The first duty of the orderly in 
unpacking the General's belongings when they 
move to new quarters is to take the photograph 
of Mrs. Pershing and the four children as the 
family was before that terrible fire in the Pre- 
sidio, and place it in a desk or bureau where 
it is easily seen. Often the General sits in 
silence before it, and as he looks at the family 
group, the sergeant believes that, for the time, 
the tragedy is forgotten and to the silent soldier 
his family again seems to be complete. It is 
an occasion into which an outsider, however, 
has no right to enter and however strong may 
be his sympathy, the sorrow is too intensely 
personal for even a close friend to obtrude. 

In the letter which General Pershing wrote 
from Mindanao to his classmates on the occa- 
sion of their twenty-fifth anniversary of their 
graduation from West Point he lightly referred 
to his difficulties in acquiring French. In view 
of his ancestry, for his name and lineage can 
be traced back to Alsace, this at first may ap- 
pear somewhat strange; but the statement is 

215 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

his own. However, when he first went to 
France his fluency in the language of the people 
of that country was not sufficient to satisfy him 
and an interpreter was provided, who usually 
was present when he met with French officers 
who were as ignorant of his language as he was 
of theirs. In a brief time, however, the inter- 
preter was discarded. General Pershing, in 
spite of the difficulty of acquiring a new lan- 
guage when one is older, was soon conversing 
in their own tongue with Marshal Jolfre, Gen- 
eral Petain and General Foch. Just what the 
opinion of his accent was we do not know and 
they doubtless were too polite to express it. The 
essential point, however, is that just as the 
American Commander years before had learned 
the language of the Moros in order to assist 
him in his task of dealing with the little brown 
people, so he resolutely set to work to learn 
French, at least to an extent that enabled him 
to understand what was said in his presence 
and to express himself to his friends without 
the aid of an interpreter. 
Not long before the raid upon Columbus by 
216 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

Villa and his bandits General Pershing, in a 
letter from which the following extract is taken, 
wrote: **'We do not want war if we can hon- 
estly avoid it, but we must not hesitate to make 
war if the cause of civilization and progress 
demands it. Nearly every step in human 
progress has been at the sacrifice of human life. 
There are some things dearer even than life. 
If a nation has set up high ideals either for 
itself or for others it must be prepared to en- 
force those ideals if need be by armies and 
navies. Of course it would be better to enforce 
them through moral prestige." These senti- 
ments were expressed long before the declara- 
tion of war with Germany or the President had 
written his famous words about making the 
world safe for democracy. They are doubly 
interesting for that reason and expressive of 
General Pershing ^s innermost feelings when 
there was every reason why he should express 
himself freely. Most brilliant American fight- 
ers have not been lovers of war for its own sake. 
Washington was reluctant to enter upon war, 
although when he believed there was no escape 

217 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

he fought to the uttermost limit of his power. 
General Grant's most frequently quoted words 
are not warlike, but **Let us have peace/* And 
General Pershing is not one whit behind the 
other two. 

Early in July, 1918, Chairman Hurley sent a 
cablegram to the American fighting men in 
France that the shipbuilders at home would 
launch one hundred merchant ships July 4th. 
Promptly from General Pershing came the fol- 
lowing appreciative and defiant acknowledg- 
ment : ^ ^ The launching of one hundred ships on 
the Fourth of July is the most inspiring news 
that has come to us. All ranks of the Army in 
France send their congratulations and heartfelt 
thanks to their patriotic brothers in the ship- 
yards at home. No more defiant answer could 
be given to the enemy's challenge. With such 
backing we cannot fail to win. All hail Ameri- 
can shipbuilders." 

His quick sense of appreciation is seen also 
in the following telegram which he sent Pre- 
mier Clemenceau after the hearty congratula- 
tions sent by the great Frenchman on the occa- 

218 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

sion of the parade of American troops in Paris 
in the celebration of the Fourth of July: 

^* Permit me to tell you how much I am touched 
by the cordial telegram you sent me. I shall not 
fail to make it known to the troops in question. All 
the officers and men of the troops who had the privi- 
lege of participating in the Fourth of July ceremony 
in Paris will retain unforgettable recollections of 
the enthusiastic reception accorded to them. Proud 
of the confidence France places in them they are 
heartened more than ever to do their duty until 
common victory comes." 

One day in France he saw two Ajuerican 
soldiers at work on a woodpile. One glance was 
sufficient to show him that the two men were 
working out a form of punishment for some 
misdeed. As we know General Pershing is a 
believer in strict and if necessary stem disci- 
pline. Soon after coming to France he had 
ordered one American soldier to be hanged for 
a nameless crime and several others to be disci- 
plined severely for drunkenness. Believing in 
the best and hoping and expecting the good in 
every one of his men to manifest itself, never- 

219 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

theless he is severe when severity is demanded. 
And he was at once interested when he first saw 
the two American boys at the wood pile, mani- 
festly serving a sentence of some kind. 

Stopping his automobile, General Pershing 
sent his orderly to find out what the offense was 
for which the two soldiers were serving their 
sentence. Upon the orderly's return he re- 
ported that the two men had taken ** French 
leave'' of their company several days before 
this time. They were jealous because certain 
of their fellows *^had been sent up ahead to 
fight" while they had been left behind. And 
they were eager to fight. They had enlisted 
and come to France for that express purpose. 
And now to be left behind! The thought was 
more than the two Yankee boys could endure. 
Fight they could and fight they would — with 
or without specific orders from their officers. 
And fight they did, for without any ceremony 
they departed for the front one night and kept 
on going until they found it. According to 
their own story they ** found war and mixed 
in." And also they were found out and sen- 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

tenced to serve five days at the woodpile as a 
penalty for their disobedience and over-hasty 
zeal. R is said General Pershing hastily de- 
parted from the spot and that he laughed heart- 
ily at the story of Americans who were pun- 
ished not because they were not willing to fight, 
but were so eager that they did not wait for 
such a little thing as orders or commands. x\nd 
then the General fell to talking about his favor- 
ite theme — the daring and bravery of his men 
in the campaign against the Moros. 

One day in Paris, General Pershing saw a 
tiny man — a dwarf — upon the sidewalk of the 
street through which he was passing at the 
time. The little man instantly recalled to the 
commander the wedding of Datto Dicky of Jolo. 
The little chieftain was about to be married. 
There was a current report that he was the 
smallest man in the world, but the statement 
has not been verified. At all events, whatever 
he may have lacked in stature he more than 
made up in his power over the tribe of which 
he was a chief. 

At a fair in Zamboanga, Datto Dicky was 
221 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

about to take unto himself a wife, the little lady 
being as diminutive as her prospective husband. 
After the formal wedding General Pershing 
presented to the bride a tiny house in every 
way adapted to the needs of such a diminutive 
couple. The dwelling stood on stilts on the 
beach, a thing of beauty in the eyes of all the 
Moros that were attending the fair. 

The tiny chieftain and his bride gratefully 
accepted the present of the little building, 
which they occupied during their honeymoon. 
Upon their return to Jolo they in turn gave 
their present to the children of the General and 
they used it as a playhouse. As Datto Dicky 
is said to have been just two feet and three 
inches in height the little children of the Ameri- 
can governor doubtless found the structure 
much to their liking and well adapted to their 
needs. They were as delighted over Dicky's 
generosity to them as the diminutive chieftain 
had been over the unexpected gift their father 
had given him. 

The following incidents are taken from the 
New York Times: 

222 



INCIDENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS 

** About ten years ago he and Mrs. Pershing were 
in Paris and the General, who was then a captain, 
was suffering from a slight indisposition, which his 
doctor thought might be attributable to smoking. 
Upon Mrs. Pershing's insistence the captain went to 
Mannheim where there was a famous cure. The resi- 
dent doctor examined him and advised that he give 
up smoking. It happened that Pershing had alwaj'^ 
been an inveterate smoker. His cigar was a part of 
his life. He wrestled with the question a day or 
two and made up his mind that he would follow the 
medical advice. 

''When asked if he hadn't found the job a hard 
one and whether he wasn't still tempted the reply 
was: 

*' 'Not in the least, the only hard thing was in 
making up his mind. He had hardly given the mat- 
ter a thought since.' 

"There are two subjects which the General will 
always talk about with interest — his farming expe- 
rience and his four years with the Moros in the 
Philippines. 

"He loves to hark back to those days when his 
highest obligation was to get out into the cornfield 
at the very earliest minute in the morning that there 
was daylight enough to see the ears of com. When 
he was fourteen he took the management of the farm. 
His father had been a rich man, but the panic of 
1873 broke him. John was the oldest of nine chil- 
dren and he had to go to the front. In everything 

223 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

that he does now I can detect the influence of his 
early training. I can see in the General of to-day 
the farmer boy with his contempt of hardship, the 
country school teacher with his shepherding instinct 
for those around him and the general wariness of 
country bringing-up. It is inexorably true that the 
boy is father to the man.'* 



224 



CHAPTER XVII 

What Others Think of Him 

In quoting a few words from the opinions 
others have expressed concerning the Ameri- 
can Commander doubtless some of them may 
seem to be a trifle too laudatory. It is not to 
be forgotten that the words of those who per- 
haps did not fully share the sentiments have 
not been recorded. If such opinions exist, 
their record has not been brought to* the atten- 
tion of the writer. As a rule, Americans have 
no comparative degree in their estimates of 
men. They like a man or they do not like him. 
He is either a success or a failure, good or 
bad, wise or foolish. Between the two extremes 
there is little standing room, and into one cata- 
gory or the other they cast nearly everyone. 
If General Pershing has not escaped this con- 
dition, his consolation doubtless is that he is 

225 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

merely sharing the common lot of his fellow- 
citizens. 

A close friend has this to say of him: **You 
should meet him at a dinner party and Msten 
to his stories. You should stand with him be- 
fore his tent in the field, in the sunshine — he 
loves the sunshine and the wide out-of-doors — 
and hear him tell stories of his campaigning 
at his best. You should meet this big man with 
the heart of a little child, this man who by 
befriending his enemies has made them his 
companions, this man who stands up erect and 
faces the horrors of disaster with a «mile and 
prays in his heart for the sufferers.'' 

Another friend says: ^' There is something 
about Pershing that reminds one of Lincoln. 
It may be his ready wit and never failing good 
humor or perhaps his big sympathetic heart. 
In the army the similarity is frequently pointed 
out.'' 

An officer who served under him in the 
Punitive Expedition into Mexico and was 
thrown into close relations with him writes : * * I 
have had the pleasure of knowing many of our 

226 



WHAT OTHERS THINK OF HIM 

great men, but Pershing is the biggest of them 
all. He combines the rugged simplicity of 
Lincoln ^ with the dogged perseverance of 
Grant ; the strategic mystical ability of Stone- 
wall Jackson and the debonair personality of 
McClellan. In one quality, that of intuition, he 
may be inferior possibly to Eoosevelt, but in 
cold logic and in supreme knowledge of human 
nature and of soldier nature I have never met 
his equal.'' 

The colonel of his regiment when Pershing 
was a lieutenant in the 10th Cavalry said of 
him: **I have been in many fights but on my 
word he is the bravest and coolest man under 
fire I ever saw." 

In 1903, Elihu Root, then Secretary of State, 
in President McKinley's cabinet, cabled him: 
**The thanks of the War Department for the 
able and effective accomplishment of a diffi- 
cult and important task.'' 

A simpler, but no less effective estimate of 
his character, although it was given in a way 
to puzzle him and perhaps also was a source 
of embarrassment was the act of the Sultan 

227 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

of Oato who officially made young Major 
Pershing the ^ * father ' ' of his eighteen^year-old 
boy. This was the highest tribute the. ruler 
of the tribe could pay, to give his own son to 
the American officer. And this was done, too, 
w^hen by his training and religion the Moham- 
medan chieftain looked down upon even if he 
did not despise a Christian. 

Georges Clemenceau, whose words have been 
previously quoted, has this to say concerning 
the directness and simplicity of the American 
General: ''General Pershing has given us in 
three phrases devoid of artificiality, an impres- 
sion of exceptionally virile force. It was no 
rhetoric, but pure simplicity of the soldier who 
is here to act and who fears to promise more 
than he will perform. No bad sign this, for 
those of us who have grown weary of pompous 
words when we must pay dearly for each fail- 
ure of performance. '' 

An intimate friend of his boyhood w^rites: 
"John was and still is intensely human and 
that is why we all love him. His old play- 
mates and friends are proud of his success as 

228 



WHAT OTHERS THINK OF HIM 

a soldier, but they love him because of his high 
standard of principles and unswerving in- 
tegrity. John J. Pershing is revered by the 
entire population of Linn County, Missouri, 
and r hope in the near future to see a statue 
of Pershing erected in the beautiful town park 
of Laclede, in his honor/' 

A well-known college president writes of him : 
**It is his foresight as distinct from vision 
which has most impressed me. He sees what 
ought to be done and then does it. His spirit 
of determination, his persistence, his f oresight- 
edness, seem to me the predominant traits in 
a well-rounded character. Strength rather 
than brilliancy, solidity, reliability, saneness 
are other terms by which the same qualities 
might be defined.'' 

Another distinguished president of a college 
in General Pershing's native State makes the 
following analysis : *^I have been here twenty- 
six years and have had a good deal to do with 
young men. I have never seen a man yet that 
had these characteristics that failed in his life 
work : 

229 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

'^ First, Pershing's modesty. 

^'Second, His friendliness — ^his ability to get 
along with his fellows. 

^' Third, His industry. 

'* Fourth, What the boys call, * everlastingly 
on the job' — always in his place, always had 
his lessons, always performed his duties. 

^' Fifth, His courage in facing every obstacle. 

*' Sixth, His forward look — his looking 
ahead. 

*'My secretary adds that I have omitted one 
of the strongest of General Pershing's at- 
tributes — his sense of right.'' 

It is a great asset when the people of a man's 
native town speak of him, even of his boyhood, 
in terms of affection and confidence. It is to 
his credit when school and college mates write 
of their belief in his sterling character. It is 
a source of pride when the early efforts of a 
young man, in the trying days of his first 
experiences in his chosen profession, find a 
cordial response to his efforts and it is a still 
deeper source of gratification when he has done 
his best and has received recognition and re- 

230 



WHAT OTHERS THINK OF HIM 

ward from the nation at large. And then when 
maturer days have came and the glitter and 
the glamour have lost much of their appeal, for 
one to find that the great ones of the earth 
recognize and value more highly than the doer 
the deeds he has done — all this is a heritage 
the children and the coming generations will 
receive with grateful hearts. All these are a 
part of the possessions of General John Joseph 
Pershing. 

The supreme honor thus far which General 
Pershing has received is the recognition from 
his own country which found its expression in 
his appointment as General, October 6, 1917, 
**with rank from that date, during the existence 
of the present emergency, under the provisions 
of an Act of Congress approved October 6, 
1917.'' 

"When, on October 8, 1917, he accepted this 
appointment what thoughts must have been in 
his mind. He had then received the highest 
military honor the United States of America 
could bestow upon a soldier. He was the suc- 
cessor in office of Washington, Grant, Sher- 

231 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

man and Sheridan. What a wonderful list of 
honored names it is! And a half-century had 
elapsed since anyone had received such an 
appointment. The wildest dream of the young 
captain of cadets at West Point had come true. 
And he had expressed his opinion just before 
he went to West Point that there would be 
slight opportunity for promotion in the per- 
manent peace which apparently had settled 
over the nations of the earth. It is a source 
of comfort to learn that even the wisest and 
the best of men are sometimes compelled to 
revise their judgments. 

It is not incredible that the gift which 
Marshal Joffre provided, or at least one in 
which he was the prime instigator, the pres- 
entation of a small gold-mounted sword for 
General Pershing's little son, Warren, may 
have touched the General's heart as deeply as 
any honor he ever received. A sword from 
the Field Marshal of France, given in the 
greatest war ever fought by mankind! And 
we may be sure that however kindly the feel- 
ing of the foremost soldiers of France may 

232 



WHAT OTHERS THINK OF HIM 

have been for little Warren Pershing the gift 
nevertheless was made to the boy because he 
is the son of his father. 

A siniilar method of expressing the regard 
for the father by a gift to his son was followed 
in an incident in the celebration of Bastile 
Day in Paris, July 14, 1918. At the general 
headquarters of the American Army in France 
the members of the graduating class of the 
Lycee presented to the American Commander 
a marvelously bound volume of episodes in the 
history of France. This beautiful work, how- 
ever, was ^Ho be transmitted to Warren Per- 
shing from his comrades of the Lycee. '* 

What other people than the French would 
have thought of such a dainty and yet effective 
way of expressing their admiration of a man! 
Sometimes a son objects to being known chiefly 
because he bears the name of his father. It 
is seldom, however, that a man ever objects to 
being known as the father of his son. 

Just before this volume was given by the 
students, General Pershing had presented their 
diplomas to the members of the graduating 

233 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

class of the Lyeee. This very pleasing duty 
had followed after he had formally received 
the American troops and the French societies 
which had marched through the streets that 
were gay with brilliant decorations and 
thronged by cheering thousands. 

On August 1, 1918, there appeared in many 
American newspapers the following brief and 
simple message from France: 

*'With the American Armies in France, Aug. 6. 

''President Poincare personally decorated General 
Pershing with the Grand Cross of the Legion of 
Honor this morning with impressive military cere- 
monies at American General Headquarters." 

This was all that was cabled, but a column 
would not have added to the meaning. As far 
as military recognition was concerned France 
could do no more. Her choicest honor, the one 
most highly prized by her patriotic soldiers, 
had been bestowed upon a soldier from across 
the sea, not only as a token of her esteem for 
the man, but also for the country which had 
chosen him to be the leader of her armies. 

234 



WHAT OTHERS THINK OF HIM 

Nor was this the only honor of its kind. 
England already had shown her appreciation 
by awarding him the Grand Cross of the Order 
of thf. Bath — an honor which it is said was then 
bestowed for the first time upon a soldier of 
a foreign nation, or at least upon a soldier from 
the United States.* And other similar orders 
and decorations were given and by different na- 
tions. It is difficult in democratic America to 
appreciate just how much such recognition 
means in the lands in which they were so gen- 
erously bestowed. We may be certain, how- 
ever, that these honors, which are rare, were 
not bestowed thoughtlessly and that General 
Pershing was deeply appreciative in each in- 
stance of the motive and feeling that lay be- 
hind the gift. 

Without question, the honor which most 
deeply touches the General is the confidence 
and affection of the men he commands. This 
is more and deeper than mere popularity. The 
latter varies and shifts as a weathercock veers 

* Beyond the cabled report the writer is unable to verify this 
statement. 

235 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

with the changing winds. Many of the world's 
great characters have not only not had it, but 
have suffered martyrdom because they or 
their teachings were unpopular. But the deep 
regard, the confidence and pride which the 
American forces universally manifest for their 
leader are based primarily, not upon their im- 
pulses or impressions, but upon their belief in 
the qualities he has quietly manifested, the 
record he has made, and the power of his own 
personality. 

Deeply impressed as the American com- 
mander must be by the receptions given him, 
the formal honors bestowed upon him by his 
own and other countries, there is still a minor 
chord that sounds in the chorus of acclaim. 
What would the mother, who in the little Mis- 
souri village first fired his boyish heart with 
an earnest desire to make the most of himself, 
say now if she was here to treasure in her 
heart the words that have been spoken in 
memory of the deeds he has done? And his 
wife — if she had not perished in the fire at the 
Presidio, and now could follow his career with 

236 



WHAT OTHERS THINK OF HIM 

the pride which a good woman ever has in the 
recognition of her husband, what added 
strength her sympathy and fellowship would 
give to the arm and heart of the man whose 
name and lot she shared. Sometimes there are 
tragedies for our soldiers greater even than 
the battlefields provide. 



237 



CHAPTER XVin 
As A Writer and Speaker 

The two predominant qualities that liave 
marked General Pershing in other lines of 
activity naturally appear in his written and 
spoken words. These are simplicity and force- 
fulness. 

He writes but little and then only when he 
has something to say. What he has to say he 
tells and then stops. His style is lucid and in- 
teresting; even his early reports make good 
reading. 

Certain of his sayings have almost the force 
of proverbs. For example, when one has once 
heard, *^ Germany can be beaten; Germany must 
be beaten; Germany will be beaten,'' he can 
never forget the terse epigrammatic phrasing. 
The same thing is true also of his response to 
the message of the French school children who 

238 



AS A WRITER AND SPEAKER 

invaded his headquarters, bringing their 
Fourth of July greetings: 

To-day" constitutes a new Declaration of Indo- 
pendence, a solemn oath that the libei-ty for which 
France has long been fighting will be attained. 

It is not much when measured in words, but 
it is enough when behind it is the man. 

Similarly terse and appealing are his words 
already referred to, hanging in every Y. M. C. 
A. hut in France. 

He is not an orator in the sense of being 
oratorical, but he is conversational, direct and 
impressive in public address. His soldierly 
bearing, his fine physique, clear voice and 
strong face are accessories of no small value. 

There is a field in which General Pershing 
has been a pronounced success as a speaker 
which perhaps is not commonly known, and 
that is at dinners and similar public functions. 
Anyone who notes the corners of Pershing's 
mouth, at once is aware that the General pos- 
sesses a keen sense of humor. No better illus- 
tration could be given of this fact than an inci- 

239 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

dent not long ago recorded in the Missouri His- 
torical Review: 

*'He was invited to a stag dinner party one even- 
ing where a jolly story-telling lot of goc>*d fellows 
were to be present and he went primed with his best 
stories, a memorandum in his vest pocket to aid him 
in telling them. The memorandum was accidentally 
dropped on the floor and was picked up by one of 
his friends, who immediately saw what it was and 
decided to have his little joke at the General's ex- 
pense. The finder got an opportunity to spring the 
first story and promptly started off with the first 
one on the list. Pershing said nothing and laughed 
— ^he always does when a good story is told, and 
makes you laugh, too — ^but when the second one on 
his list was told he felt in his pocket for the memo- 
randum and discovered its loss. A few minutes later 
the General, after a consultation with a waiter, an- 
nounced that he had just received a message which 
would require his absence for a few minutes on im- 
portant business. 

'^Jumping into a car ho was hurried to a hotel. 
From the clerk he secured the names of half a dozen 
traveling men — drummers — who were stopping there 
and announced that he wanted to see these men at 
once on important business. The drummers re- 
sponded and in twenty minutes the General was back 
at the banquet, before the coffee had been poured, 
with a new stock of yarns. Then ensued a battle 

240 



AS A WRITER AND SPEAKER 

royal between the two famous raconteurs, much to 
the amusements of the guests, until his friend played 
out the (firing and left the General victor in the 
humorous contest. 

"Just at this juncture one of the drummers, made 
up as a police officer, arrived, arrested the joker, 
searched him and found the General's memorandum, 
which he exposed to the hilarious guests with the 
significant comment: 'General Pershing has really 
been the only entertainer this evening, but lots of 
people are making reputations with the public on the 
General's ideas.' '* 

His words to the British public and his pub- 
lic address in France are alike notable for their 
simplicity and directness, their friendliness and 
dignity. He understands thoroughly his part. 
It is a great advantage for America to have a 
representative for whose public utterances no 
apology must be made and no explanations 
given. 



241 



CHAPTER XIX 
The Man Behind the General 

It wonld be as impertinent as it is impossible 
for one who has not been associated with Gen- 
eral Pershing for a long time directly and 
closely to attempt anything like an analysis of 
the man or his career. There are, nevertheless, 
certain qualities that have become more or less 
the possessions of the public because they have 
been manifested in his public service. It is 
therefore permissible to refer briefly to certain 
of them. 

As a foundation for all his work is a strong, 
vigorous body which at all times has been 
cared for in a way to make it the servant and 
not the master of the man. Regular and some- 
what strenuous physical exercise maintains the 
uniformly excellent health and vigor of the 
Commander. Naturally strong, hard work de- 
veloped his strength in his boyhood, and his 

242 



THE MAN BEHIND THE GENERAL 

military career has made many demands upon 
as well as increased these powers. Even when 
he entered West Point he was an acknowledged 
expert 'in horsemanship and his early work in 
the ten years of his campaigns against the 
Indians, certainly tested his skill to the utmost 
in this particular line. 

He has known almost every form of active 
service the American Army can provide. In the 
demands for rough or heavy work excellent 
judges asserted when he was sent to France 
that he has no superior and since his arrival 
he has shown that he was equally at home in 
the finer and higher demands that were made 
upon him. His distinguished bearing, his 
physical vigor and good health have provided 
an excellent foundation. The old Latin proverb 
Mens Sana in corpore sano has certainly been 
verified in the life of General Pershing. 

It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who has been 
frequently quoted as having said that ''the 
foremost qualification for success is the proper 
selection of one's grandparents." The force- 
fulness of General Pershing's father, the inspir- 

m 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

ing words of liis mother form a rare back- 
ground. ^* Foremost citizen/' *^ devoted to Ms 
family/' ** sterling/' ^ ^ ambitions " — these are 
some of the words of old-time friends and 
neighbors, descriptive and expressive of their 
estimates of his father. All of them, however, 
are not more suggestive and tender than a 
neighbor's description of the General's mother 
as a ^^ splendid homemaker," and *'an inspira- 
tion to her children." There are many things 
a son cherishes more highly than the inherit- 
ance of great riches, and foremost is the herit- 
age of a good name. 

As the oldest of nine children naturally he 
learned and assumed certain responsibilities at 
an early age. With the advice and help of his 
mother it is said that even when he was only 
fourteen he Avas managing a farm in the absence 
of his father. There was work to be done and 
in abundance. There is ancient authority for 
the claim that it is good to *^ learn to bear the 
yoke in one's youth." A **yoke," however, is 
not the burden, it is a contrivance which enables 
one to bear his burden. 

244 



THE MAN BEHIND THE GENERAL 

A prominent and successful man of business 
in New York City declared not long ago that if 
a man does not learn to work when he is young 
(this man placed the limit at twenty-two) he 
does not learn afterward. This was the result 
of both observation and experience. 

Whether or not these conclusions are correct, 
certain it is that in the case of General Per- 
shing, as it has been also in many other marked 
instances, he learned not only to work but also 
learned how to work when he was only a boy. 

His birthplace was in the great state of Mis- 
souri. Eeference has already been made to the 
semi-slang expression which indicates that a 
man from that State *'must be shown." Not 
long ago there appeared in one of the foremost 
newspapers of America a bit of verse apply- 
ing this saying to the present gigantic task of 
the Commander of the American Expeditionary 
Forces in France. The following quotation 
(The Evening Telegram), whatever it may lack 
in poetic flavor, is expressive of the public con- 
ception of the meaning of the statement: 

245 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

*'When 'Jack' Pershing left for Europe 

With his sturdy fighting men, 
Kaiser Willy said, 'How silly! 

I'll annihilate them when 
I have time to bother with 'em, 

For that peewee Yankee force 
Won't be in it for a minute 

With my Prussian troops, of course.' *' 

*'Isthatso? Well, Kaiser Willy 

You have made a foolish bet, 
You have boasted, then you've roasted, 

But you haven't whipped 'em yet. 
Let this, Kaiser, make you wiser. 

If you really care to know, 
Jack was born in old Missouri, 

He's a man you'll 'have to show.' " 

*' Pershing, Pershing, 'Black Jack' Pershing, 

We are with you, one and all. 
We will ever pull the lever 

That will make the Prussians fall. 
Fighting Pershing, — yes, we know you, 

Old Missouri bom and bred. 
Here's our motto, we will show you, 

*A11 together! Forge ahead!' " 

His determination is one of liis fundamental 
qualities. It is seen in the very expression of 

246 



THE MAN BEHIND THE GENERAL 

his face, emphasized by the prominent nose and 
jaw. Althougli it was doubtless a lieritage, 
nevertheless the trying experiences of his early 
days intensified and aided in developing the 
quality. 

He knew the meaning of hard work wlien he 
was a boy, as has been said, but it did not shake 
his ultimate purpose. He was eager to obtain 
an education and with this determination once 
fixed in his mind he never relaxed. Working, 
teaching, saving, when he entered the Kirks- 
ville Normal School he understood something 
of the price he was paying for the advantages 
he received. He knew what the attendance had 
cost him and it is easily understood why he was 
determined to get the worth of his money. 

At West Point this same element was still 
prominent. It impressed his classmates and 
teachers. He saw what he wanted and wasted 
no time or effort on *^ asides'^ that might inter- 
fere. To be senior captain of cadets was to 
him the supreme honor — therefore it was only 
natural that he won the appointment. 

The same spirit carried him through his cam- 
247 



THE STOPvY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

paign in the Philippine Islands. The Moros 
could be brought to reason, therefore the Moros 
were brought to reason. It animates him in 
France — *' Germany can be beaten," ^'Germany 
must be beaten, ' ' and the third clause is as natu- 
ral as the words of the General can make them 
— * ^ Germany will be beaten. ' ' It is fitting that 
the commander of the best trained army 
America ever had should lead it in a spirit of 
determination that cannot be shaken. 

Underneath this firmness is an unfailing 
spirit of fairness. After seven years of hard 
work he established in the Philippines a new 
record in diplomacy by winning the complete 
confidence of the natives. Said one man, ^'In 
all the Philippines there is no one so beloved 
for his gentle yet unrelenting manner, his ab- 
solute fairness and justice, as this soldier who 
had the unusual power of instilling love for 
himself and fear for his enmity at the same 
time. ' ' 

In his boyhood his close friends report that 
this same quality often made him the protector 
of the younger boys when they were the victims 

248 



THE MAN BEHIND THE GENERAL 

of the school bully. *'As a young follow/' 
states one of his early friends, *'he was accom- 
modating and never pushed himself forward. 
He was always ready to help other fellows who 
were not able to work out their problems. As 
a boy his decisions were always quick and accu- 
rate.'' 

Of course the spirit of fairness implies the 
possession of a kindly nature as well as imagi- 
nation. One cannot be fair or just to his enemies 
unless he can first get their points of view. 
This was the underlying quality in the work 
Lincoln did. He saw what his opponents saw 
but he also saw more. It is the quality which 
makes of a man or a boy ^^a good sport." He 
appreciates his antagonist and also — in the end 
— is appreciated by his antagonist. 

A writer in the Missouri Historical Review, 
whose words have before been quoted, pays the 
following tribute to this quality in General 
Pershing: 

With his scholarly attainments, his ability as a 
writer and speaker and his grasp of big problems, 
Pershing might have developed into a statesman; he 

249 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

certainly would have succeeded as a business man 
if he could have contented himself with the hum- 
drum life in a downtown office; and with his at- 
tractive personality he might indeed have led a 
successful career as a politician, except for his un- 
fortunate modesty which even in the army has fre- 
quently delayed for him a merited promotion. As 
a soldier, Pershing's methods are those of clemency 
rather than ruthlessness and he makes personal 
friends even of his enemies. 

Writing as lie did before the declaration of 
war with Germany lie adds: 

Since the death of General Funston he has been 
in command of the Department of the South, one 
of the important military posts of the country at 
the present time. With this country an active par- 
ticipant in the War of the Nations and the prob- 
ability that a strong expeditionary force will be sent 
to cooperate with the Allies in France, what is more 
probable or desirable than that General Pershing 
should command it? He has participated in every 
war in which this country has been engaged for 
thirty years and in every campaign has added luster 
to his own name and distinction to American armies. 

One lias to read no more than the painstak- 
ing reports which lie sent from the Philippines 

250 



THE MAN BEHIND THE GENERAL 

to the Adjutant General or to the Headquarters 
Department of Mindanao and Jolo to compre- 
hend the mastery of details whicli has been a 
striking characteristic of General Pershing. 
From his recommendations concerning military- 
posts and the disposition of the troops in the 
province he turns to deal specifically witli de- 
tailed suggestions about cold storage plants 
and to present carefully prepared suggestions 
to aid the quartermaster from whom * ' too much 
is expected.'' It is easy for one to tell what 
ought to be done. The world has never lacked, 
nor does it lack now, multitudes of men who 
fancy they are competent to do that. But to 
find one who is able to tell how to do it — he 
is the individual for whom the world ever has 
a warm welcome. Many are officious, but only 
a few are competent or efficient. 

Nor is this quality of mind and heart limited 
to details of administration alone. It applies 
also to his knowledge of men. The incident of 
the telegram to the former cook, John Kulolski, 
related in Chapter XVI, is illustrative. Most 
men find that for which they are looking. If 

251 



THE OTORY OP GENERAL PERSHING 

they expect to find evil they seldom are dis- 
appointed. If their objective is the thing worth 
while, that too they find. To know men as well 
as maps, to study soldiers as well as supplies, 
to grasp the varying and differing elements 
that compose an army — these are the essential 
elements in a successful leader of men. To the 
German war lords their men may be merely 
*' cannon fodder.'' To the public a French sol- 
dier may be a poilu, a British fighter a Tommy, 
an American a doughboy. To General Pershing 
every one that carries a gun is above all else 
a man. This is at once the basis of his confi- 
dence in and appeal to his followers. It may 
be because of this trait that Rowland Thomas 
and others have described General Pershing as 
*'tlie most brilliant and most dependable gen- 
eral officer in our army. ' ' 

Like many men who are large, physically as 
well as mentally, he has almost infinite pa- 
tience. This quality too is so closely linked to 
self-control that at times it is difficult to dis- 
tinguish between them. Confidence and self- 
possession are the foundation stones upon 

252 



THE MAN BEHIND THE GENERAL 

which patience rests. It is the man sure neither 
of himself nor of tlie goal he seeks nor of the 
cause for which he fights who becomes impa- 
tient. Was promotion delayed? Then he must 
wait with patience, first making himself fit to 
be promoted or doing his work in a manner 
that would compel recognition. Had the Moros 
for three centuries successfully resisted every 
attempt to subjugate them? Then his cam- 
paign must be so conducted that the little 
brown people must be made to see that the 
United States was seeking to help as well as to 
subdue. Had Germany for more than forty 
years been preparing armies to overthrow civil- 
ization and dominate the world? Then, *' Ger- 
many can be beaten, Germany must be beaten, 
Germany will be beaten,'' is the quiet state- 
ment of the American Commander, because, 
having confidence in the cause for which he is 
fighting and faith in his fighters, he can be 
patient. With the end in view, there must be 
no hasty or impatient activity which might 
lead to disaster. 

One distinguished writer on military topics 
253 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

has called liim the American Kitchener, be- 
cause of his ability as an organizer. Points of 
resemblance there may be and doubtless are, 
and these are not limited to any one man, 
British or American, but the people of the 
United States are well content to take him as 
he is. If comparisons are to be made then the 
resemblance should be based upon the fact that 
the party to which reference is made is *4ike 
Pershing,'' not because General Pershing is 
like another. 

It is a marvelous time in the history of the 
world and the times require men equal to the 
demand. Nearly four years of the war passed 
and up to that time the hearts of many were 
heavy because no one outstanding figure had 
appeared. The unspoken call was for a leader. 
Great men, good men and many of them were 
in evidence, but the Napoleonic leader had not 
appeared. 

Then upon the insistence of the President of 
the United States a supreme commander, one 
brain, one heart, one sole power to direct, was 
found and the Allies were no longer separate 

254 




\ 



THE NE'v YQf.r 
PUBLIC LiBHARY 






THE MAN BEHIND THE GENERAL 

units, eacli free to come or go, without adhe- 
sion or cohesion. There was now to be one plan 
and one planner. The world already is aware 
of the result, for Foch has been tried and tested. 
The great unifying power has been discovered. 
The man for whom the world had been waiting 
had appeared and taken charge. Whether 
times make men or men make the times is a 
riddle as old as the one concerning the egg and 
the hen as to which was first produced. With- 
out question both are true. 

But no military genius can win battles, much 
less win a war, unless he is supported by strong 
men and true. And in the number of those who 
are closest to Foch is the Commander of the 
American Expeditionary Forces in France. AJl 
are rejoiced that he is where he is, but they are 
equally proud that he is what he is. 

It is easy to paraphrase the words of the great 
Apostle to the Gentiles, and to say of General 
John Joseph Pershing that he too **is a citizen 
of no mean country.'^ It is also easy to say 
that he is no mean citizen of that country, for 
he is both the citizen and the general, the man 

255 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

as well as the soldier. And there is the strong- 
est possible desire on the part of his country- 
men, that, upheld by his armies and helped by 
everyone in his native land, he may speedily 
add new luster to his name and to that of his 
own land until the words of the greatest orator 
of the new world may have an added signifi- 
cance and a deeper meaning — ^'I — I also — am 
an American!'* 



256 



CHAPTER XX 

His Military Record 

The complete Military Record of General 
Pershing as it lias been kept by the War De- 
partment of the United States is here pre- 
sented. To the facts obtained from this De- 
partment are added a few later items, which 
the Acting Adjutant General kindly has pro- 
vided. 

JOHN J. PERSHING 

BORN SEPTEMBER 13, 1860 IN AND APPOINTED FROM 
MISSOURI. 

Cadet Military Academy July 1, 1882 

2nd Lt. 6th Cavalry July 1, 1886 

1st Lt. 10th Cavalry Oct. 20, 1892 

Captain, 1st Cavalry Feb. 2, 1901 

Trs. to 15th Cavalry Aug. 20, 1901 

Brigadier General Sept. 20, 1906 

Accepted Sept. 20, 1906 

Major General Sept. 25, 1916 

General Oct. 6, 1917 

257 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

VOLUNTEER SERVICE 

Maj. Chief Ord. Officer Aug. 18, 1898 

Honorably discharged May 12, 1899 

Maj. A. A. G June 6, 1899 

Honorably discharged June 30, 1901 

SERVICE 

Served with regiment on the frontier from Sep- 
tember, 1886 to 1891 ; Professor of Military Science 
and Tactics at Ujiiversity of Nebraska, September, 
1891 to October, 1895; was Instructor of Tactics at 
the Military Academy at West Point, N. Y., June, 
1897 to May, 1898; served throughout the Santiago 
Campaign in Cuba, June to August, 1898; on duty 
in War Department, August, 1898 to September, 
1899, when he left for Philippine Islands; served 
in Philippine Islands until 1903; member General 
Staff Corps 1903 to 1906 ; and also Military Attache 
at Tokio, Japan; served again in Philippine Islands 
from 1906 to 1914; commanded Punitive Expedition 
in Mexico from March, 1916 to February, 1917; 
commanded Southern Department to May, 1917, and 
United States Forces in France since that date. 



BATTLES AND CAMPAIGNS 

Sioux Indian Campaign, South Dakota, Septem- 
ber, 1890 to January, 1891 ; action near mouth of 
Little Grass Creek, South Dakota, January 1, 1891; 

258 



HIS MILITARY RECORD 

Las Quasimas, Cuba, June 24, 1898 ; San Juan, Cuba, 
July 1, 1898, and was recommended by his regi- 
mental commander for brevet commission for per- 
sonal gallantry, untiring energy and faithfulness; 
and by the brevet board convened that year for the 
brevet of Captain for gallantry at Santiago de Cuba, 
July 1, 1898; in the field in Philippine Islands, 
November, 1900 to March, 1901, against General 
Capistrano, commander of insurrectionary forces; in 
command of an expedition against the hostile Moros 
of Maciu, starting from Camp Vicars, Mindanao, 
September 18, 1902; action at Gauan, September 
18, and Bayabao, September 19, 1902 ; captured Fort 
Moro, September 29, 1902, driving the Moros from 
Maciu Peninsula on that date. He attacked the 
Moros at Maciu September 30, 1902, capturing their 
two forts, and returned to Camp Vicars, October 3, 
1902; was in action at Bacolod, April 6 to 8, 1903: 
Calahui, April 9, 1903, and Taraca River, May 4, 
1903. He commanded the first military force that 
ever encircled Lake Lanao; Punitive Expedition in 
Mexico, 1916 and 1917; and since June, 1917, com- 
manding the Expeditionary Force in France. 

An additional statement by the War Depart- 
ment: 

John J. Pershing was appointed a Major General 
in the Regular Army, during a recess of the Senate, 
on September 25, 1916, with rank from that date. 

259 



THE STORY OF GENERAL PERSHING 

His name was submitted to the Senate on December 
15, 1916, for the permanent form of commission, in 
confirmation of his recess appointment, and the 
nomination was confirmed on December 16, 1916, the 
permanent commission being signed on December 20, 
1916. He accepted his appointment as Major Gen- 
eral on September 30, 1916. 

He was appointed General on October 6, 1917, with 
rank from that date, for the period of the existing 
emergency, under the provisions of an Act of Con- 
gress approved October 6, 1917. He accepted this 
appointment on October 8, 1917. 

Gen. Pershing sailed for Europe on May 28, 1917. 

Prior to that date a total of 211 officers and 919 

enlisted men had embarked from the United States 

for Europe. 

(1) 



260