Soldiers’ Newsletter, 29 March 1918

Transcription of the Soldiers' Newsletter, 29 March 1918


NEWS LETTER NO. 11.         March 29, 1918

My dear friends:

Northwestern University Law School has great cause to be proud of its part – thus far – in the war. Since the declaration of war by the United States, and even before that day, this school has taken its part, and an important one, in the fight for Liberty and Democracy. We have had large and successful delegation in the training camps and ground schools; Northwestern men may be found in the Navy Yards and Cantonments all·over the country; some are guarding valuable crops in Cuba; others are sailing the seas in transports as paymasters; and in the strenuous and arduous work at Washington itself we have played a strong hand. Nearly every branch of Uncle Sam’s service has one or more of our men enrolled in it. One of the first hospital units to go over was supported by eight of our gallant crew. Our ambulance men were among the first on the field; so were our Y.M.C.A. workers. And now that the crucial time has come for the American Expeditionary Force to take its place in the great conflict, N.U.L.S. is again at the front! We have four men in the 149th, which is doing such strenuous work on the front lines: Lieuts. W.B.Wolf, ‘10, and Dixon, ’19, and Privates Seifried, ‘14 and Wagner, 17. Then there are Lieuts. Gilbertson, ’15, of the 7th F.A. and Johnson, ’19, 4th Inf. Besides these, we have 18 or 20 of the alumni and students who are now in France, but whose present assignments are not known o us.

To this little band of our men, now actually and actively fighting this great battle for us, we, the Faculty, the student body, the editors, and all other N.U.L.S. men in service, send our warmest greetings of appreciation and encouragement. That they are doing their part well, we know. They and all those who are to follow them will be able to look us straight in the eye when they return. The only question is – Will we be able to return the look as frankly, confident that we, too, have done the best we could?

Doubtless you will be interested in the following tabulation of Law School men now known to be in service:



Colonels 3

Lieutenant-Colonels 2

Majors 7

Captains 8

First Lieutenants 26

Second     ”     60

Aviation Cadets 23

Sergeants 10

Corporals 9

Hospital Orderlies 6

Privates 40





Lieutenants 5

Ensigns 5

Privates 11





Lieutenant 1

Sergeant 1

Private 1





Camp Workers 3



Drivers 2


Rank Unknown 8


Our roll has had several additions since our last edition:

Messrs. Ahlvin, “Torch” Crane, Ball and Sutherland have joined the army, and have been assigned to the Ordnance School at Evanston.

Messrs. Joe Allen and Bedker have gone to Camp Zachary Taylor.

S.E. Basinski is with the C.O.C.N.A., Ft. Winfield Scott, Cal. Benj . Black has paid us another call, and tells us he is Ward “Master ” instead of Chief. What he has to say about the morale and personnel of the U.S.N.A. is worthy of a much larger audience than our editorial sanctum. According to his views, the boches will shrivel up and fade away at the mere sight of our men. E’en so be

Charles H. Blim has gone to Kelly Field, Texas, as chauffeur in the Aero service.

L. Newman visited us this week on furlough. He has joined a Q .M. Motor Truck Co., and expects soon to be on his way. He is wearing a corporal’s bars. He reports that J. Bomash has already started for “over there”, in the Spare Parts Dept.

Jaspar Ffrench paid us a call recently. He has received his avaition commission and is now doing instruction work. So also K.P. Grubb.

C.F. Jacobson came in to see us while on furlough from Camp Custer. He is mastering the mazes of radio work, and is mighty pleased with his branch of the service.

M.A. James has already begun to fulfill our prophecy, for its corporal James now! How do you suppose we guessed it, Corp. ?

Lt. Marshall is also among our recent visitors, looking as jaunty as usual.

H.S.Norton declares, “Believe me, this old berg is a glad sight to me.” He is home on a ten-day furlough after seven months in Texas, and looks every inch a soldier. He, also is enthusiastic in his work.

We are sorry to chronicle anything so sad, but friend Rauhoff has the measles ( we trust “had” by this time.) He seems to bear up manfully under the affliction of having to stay in bed – a real bed. But then, he always was a cheerful — fellow! He reports spending the time reviewing Contracts! Some life’!. As soon as “let out” he anticipated going on furlough to Paree “for a much needed rest”.

And Art Hall is a Corporal! Our honors are really coming too fast for us to assimilate them. Knowing his ability for hard work and conscientious effort we are sure the honor was deserved. Congrats!

Corporal T. Stone is authority for two statements: one that army life has added 20 lbs. to his being; and another that privates are getting scarce at Camp Grant. His company promised a consignment of privates in the last shipment, and drew one captain!

Lt. Thorsness, Q. M.C., was sent from camp Grant to Camp Johnston to an officers’ training school. He is now at Camp Meigs, near Washington, and expects soon to set sail. In a recent letter he says “On arrival here was given a position as Asst. Company commander. It seems we are here to take a psychological exam, to find out how normal we are. While at Camp Johnston I saw HarveybFranks and Bill Jarvis Harvey is making up courses for enlisted men, a very responsible position; Bill is asst. instructor, and has been recommended for a commission.”

J.L.Turnbull has joined the Signal Corps and is in the 3rd Depot Battery, Fort Leavenworth.

L.G.Caldwell is at it again. He has started back to France as a civilian, and will let us know later what branch of the service is lucky enough to have him in it.

Peter McNamee, ’16, is one of the latest “rookies” at Camp Grant. Peter is the fourth of his immediate family to don the kahki.

You will be glad to learn that Major R.W.Millar has joined the Judge Advocate General’s forces at Washington, where he will be pleased to pull all N.U.L.S. men out of court martial difficulties, for old times’ sake.

In view of present conditions, our foreigners must have first space. From Jos. H. Wagner, Batt C., 149th Art., A.E.F.

“I certainly was surprised to receive that splendid box of goodies from the faculty and students of dear old Northwestern Law School. I have some news for you. Arthur Dixon, 2nd Lt. has been assigned to our battery. He has asked if I have heard from the law school, he not having heard from it for over a month (all letters and packages have been sent to A.J., but our address for him was incomplete. Whose fault?) Fritz Seifried is also with us. I guess the law school is as well represented in Batt.C. as in any other army unit. The training in our unit is going along as usual, and from reports, our brigade and division is the best one in France. The spirit of the boys is good, even tho our work is getting harder as we advance in our training. I suppose Lloyd George’s offer of peace caused a lot of excitement back in the States. We all hope it comes to something .”

From Lt. L.E. Johnson, 9th Inf., A.E.F.

“Kindly accept a belated message for the news letter from one of the sheep who has certainly strayed a long, long way from home. He’s got into a hek of a lot of trouble and a peck of work, but has many compensations to repay him for it, a few of which he will now relate.

After leaving the boat we entrained and began a three days’ journay, arriving finally at a school where we learned about abstacles fusier metrie and a number of other things not included in the school curriculum. Then I joined this company, joining it on the eve of its departure for the woods where for two months I acted as a lumber jack. we had french axes (model of 1816) to work with. They are modifications of the broad axes you read about in the middle ages history. I learned quite a bit about forestry during my stay in the woods. Best of all, there was plenty of game in the forest – wild pig, deer and wolf being among the specimen. One afternoon a fellow officer and I went hunting. We accomplished getting lost but no more altho we had a beautiful shot at a big buck. We scared him qui te a bit, but could not keep up with him after he started running.

We are now back at drill and hard at work – intensive training I believe is what they call it. We went thru our first hardship the other day when we left at 9 P.M. one night and got back to camp the next night at 10 P.M. It was a tough, sleepless, cold grind, but gave me a whale of an appetite. Its two days since then, and I’ve spent most of these days eating.

This is a rapid sketch of my doings for the past while. I wish to thank the school for its Christmas box—-. Its the thot and spirit which prompted the gift which is especially sheering to me. We cannot see you people back in the States, but we are stirred to redouble our efforts when we read of what you are doing and receive these evidences of your faith in us. And we will make good – America will place men on the firing line who will do their “darndest” for her and for the principles for which she stands. Our faults and failings are being unmercifully exposed, but we are stronger as a nation for it, and when the war is over the army will release to the law, the sciences and the industries men who have been physically hardened and mentally bettered, so that they can take up their civil duties with renewed energy and vigor.”

From Lt. H.L.Jones, Hdqtrs. Detachment, 3rd Aviation Inst.Center, AEF.

“ (in re Christmas box) Let these poor thanks be magnified a thousand times to express my real appreciation of your kindness and thoughtfulness!! Up to the present time, I have received but three “Etrennes”, as the Franch call Christmas boxes, and two of these were from Northwestern. Mercie bien! Since Christmas I have feasted my corpulent self on that vertitable storehouse of delectable dainties – Chocolate, fruitcake, chiclets, etc., ad indigestum!! And I have “fumeyed” Camels and nibbled nut bars!! (How he does make our mouths water.)

Received a fine postal picture of the Major – suppose he continue to ”shed copious quantities of ink for his country”. Received my regular army commission last week, pursuant to the exams which I endured at Fort Sheridan in the remote past before entering the air service. I am at present attached to the Aviation camp here and hope to continue my flying training, but then, I might be ordered back to the States. Mysterious are the ways of the Army! Have been looking and looking for more editions of your newsletters, which did much to enliven my fallen spirits while trying to push myself into the army last summer.”

This from D.L.Traxler, of the 3rd Training Camp, who is beginning to put on the physical aspect of a middleweight champion:

“Horton just returned to the O.T.C. after a measles siege. We are glad to have him back, having been doubly sorry to see him go (his sake and our own – quarantine).

Life at the training camp still possesses the monotonous spice of new subjects every week. Horses have been of special interest to me, and I suspect I have been of quite a little interest to the horses. The first afternoon we had equitiation, I won once and the horse won twice, but this afternoon I stuck on very comfortably the whole time, mounting and dismounting while the horse was moving, according to orders! Being surrounded with Illinois and Wisconsin men here, I have a hot time. Our football victory over Michigan is always a pleasant comeback, and our sweeping victory over Illinois last week was a most opportune rebuttal to many bandied remarks of that week. Tis time for me to wander upstairs into the dark squad room and sink my weary mind on a Hoover pillow.”

A.B.Chipman, from his 3rd O.T.C. at Leon Springs, writes:

“The work is exceedingly interesting. Horses and firing data do not hold such a terrible scare for me. Geometry and Trigonometry both are somewhat rusty to me, but I am gettinghold of it now. A few days ago I ran across Joe Lemen (’16). He is in camp here from Camp Logan. He dropped in for a few minutes and we went over Newsletter No. 9.”

Again “quitting time” has come apace, and we must say Adieu and “the best of luck” to each one of you.

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