Soldiers’ Newsletter, 23 July 1917

Transcription of the Soldiers' Newsletter, 23 July 1917


MONDAY, JULY 23rd, 1917

My dear friends:

Three communications have gone out to you – two newsletters and a marching song – all from the pen and brain of the revered leader of our legal army. That you have enjoyed them and the spirit of fellowship in which they were sent is evidenced by the cordial letters you have sent in so generally. And now – like a bolt from the skies – comes the order to your lowly servitor – not even a “top sergeant’ or a ” lance corporal” or “Swiss Navy” – to edit the next bulletin. You have heard of the cat who assayed to take the place of the king. I know it’s not nice to call a lady a cat; but this one (lady) feels presumptious in even sitting on the footstool, and will not try to climb to the throne.

First of import is the fact that “our Major” has been called into active service in the Judge Advocate General’s office in Washington. When I read of the comprehensive and unassailable details for the draft drawing, I felt sure I could see traces of the master-mind; and I feel confident that the moving pictures of the momentous drawing will show major Wigmore at the front! Mr. Wigmore reports congenial surroundings and responsible work. The powers have promised to return him to us in September.

From all of the training camps comes messages of mingled optimism and fear, now that the end of the trial is so close. All speak of the weeding out process and some of the “humiliation” of failure to win a commission. Please be assured that your friends on the outside do not look at it in that light. You have made a fight and run a race, with all the power at your command. If others had the strength to fight harder and run longer, that is no disgrace to you. You have at least done your best. The disgrace is to those who have not tried.

From all of the camps, also, come accounts of the studying of the chapters on Evidence in the Manual of Courts Martial, and all tell of the pride with which they announce to their envious comrades that they “sat under the teaching” of the author. Mr. DeWitt, 1st Battery, 11th P.T.R., writes: “Can you imagine a person of ordinary capacity trying to absorb 30 pages of these chapters in 40 minutes? Well, that is what our captain said we should do, and that is practically all the time we had to do it in. Would disobedience to the above command be punishable under the 64th A.W., do you suppose?” From Ft. Benj.Harrison Mr. Ottenheimer, ’16 , writes : ” Something that may be of interest to you is that I am conducting the company class in Courts Martial, and it is an extreme pleasure to instruct in a course in which you are the author and compiler of the book,” (Hssst! Another cat?)

Several reports have come in of the horseless cavalry troop at Ft. Sheridan. But now their troubles have been somewhat mitigated by the arrival of the 1s t Ills F.A. (accompanied by our honored high private Jos. Wagner), and they have 100 horses for 160 men. From horseback riding stories l have heard I can well imagine that some of the novices look back with longing to the broomstick and rocking horse days. Mr. Pallasch writes of their intrepid captain who leads them down steep ravines and thro thickets, and the rest of them wallow their feelings and unhesitatingly follow on. Mr. Erickson sent a picture of the school of the Horse, showing a company of men gazing with awe and amaze at a lone beast standing at the center. We were interested in some of the men in the pictures; especially so Mrs. Groth. Oh, don’t you know here that’s another story.

While Mars was so busy around our Camp during May and June other members of the Olympian family came down and mingled with our affairs. Venus came and brought her daring son, Cupid. The upshot was that in June Miss Birney confessed that she was married in May – to a Dent. And on the night of Mr. Wigmore’s reception to the seniors Cupid called for Miss Irmis and led her ot where August was waiting round the corner. They hied themselves to the minister’s – and lived happily ever after. And I might go further down the list; but we mustn’t gossip.

And now comes Mr. Gorch with the query: “Since my wife and I are one, can I claim to have graduated in 1917?”

Diana is also with us, lot more from her later.

So far our news has been confined mostly to men “Everywhere in the U.S.” This time, through the courtesy of one of our co-eds, we are able to give some items concerning our boys across the water in Unit No.12. I am sure they won’t mind a few extracts for the benefit of their interested friends.

Some parts of their experience on the way over are best left to the imagination. The truth is too pitiful to contemplate. No, they were not SEA-SICK. They would have preferred even that. And they did encounter some submarines, which was very exciting.

The first extract tells of a Masonin meeting which five of them attended in England. “They treated us as the guests of honor and certainly did show us a good time. During the course of the affair Hall, as spokesman of our gang, delivered himself of a most wonderful line of bunk, which was worth coming clear over here to listen to. I never knew it before, but as a bunk artist you will certainly have to give Hall the hand painted suspenders. He’s there!” When they left England the “whole town turned out to give us a send off and a big band preceded us to the depot. It was a real send off and went right to my heart.” The place where the No. 12 is stationed “is a large camp consisting of 5 base hospitals placed side by side. Everything is under canvas except suoh buildings as the mess hall and bathhouse. Now that we have arrived the British force will move out and we will run it instead. Of course the 4 hospitals adjoining will continue in British hands, for the present at least.” (There’s a chance for Sirs Henderson and Taylor, languishing at Ft. Sheridan with Unit No.9) “You have to fight for every blanket, bed, candle andmatch that you have. As _______ (censored) is in my tent and is so all-fired easy, I have to fight for his share too.” You will be interested to know the work assigned to the several “laws” in the unit. Bovard, Anderson, Clauson and McKenzie are orderlies in the medical wards; Hall, orderly in the heavy surgical ward; Myers, detailed to outdoor work, such as repairing paths and walks, and unloading trucks; Strickler has charge of the bathhouse (they call him Bathhouse John); “and what do you think Raugoff, with his bloody ideas, is doing? He is a mild mannered cook in the patients’ kitchen. There he helps (?) concoct dainty puddings which the rest of us never see. He is happy as a lark, and already shows signs of obesity.”

That’s all we’ll tell about you this time boys, but more later, By-the-way, how’s my friend Capt. Koch? Greet him for me, please.

Golding, 1st Batt. R.O.T.C., neé C.Batt., I,N.G., writes: “Texas never was like this” and “To groom a horse again will indeed be heaven.” Mr. Golding sets forth the decision of Judge Kocourek in the case of Goling – appelent- v. Evolution of Law, Incorp., and asks for a reversion of said verdict by this jury. Because of the seriousness of the question involved and the length of the premisse, we must hold it over until our next issue.

J .M.Larimer, writing from Ft. Monroe reports: The heavy artillery offers, in my opinion, a very interesting field for those who are not afraid to think.—-There is more class-room work, a greater amount of material and a most interesting field for individual work.” “As to the camps, the advantages are all with Fort Sheridan.”

Not a word from Corp. Lodwick since his return from his furlough. What ho, sailor lad?

We hope the boys in the camps will not fail to send their forwarding addresse when they leave the training stations.

There are many more messages, which will be acknowledged later .

Now, fall in, forward march, which we O.K. a big check for each one of you, which is to be cashed in for real success in all your endeavors .


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