Transcription of the Soldiers' Newsletter, 29 October 1918
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
News letter No. 16
October 29, 1918
To Our Soldiers, “Here” and “There”:
The N.U.L.S. S.A.T.C. is now on, full blast! Sentries pace up and down our halls, wearing out our linoleum and their shoe leather. Every man coming in or going out of the building has to show good reason why, even our faculty men. The first floor corridors and rotunda are the general assembly grounds and – smoking pavillion – the only place in the building where smoking is permitted. ( So strict is our military discipline that a L.S. faculty men tall, stately and abstractedly aloof in attitude – a man well known to seniors of recent years- was accosted, arrested and – held in durance vile for five long minutes, because he was carrying a lighted cigarette while walking down the stairs!) G.H.Q. are in the Y.M.C.A. office. [Meal?] is served in the old Kohlsaat oafé. The barracks are on part of the second and all of the fourth floors. The Y hut is in the second floor assembly room. A large number of showers have been installed down stairs. We have a band of 40 pieces and an orchestra of 30, and music reigns, and rains about our ears. The drill ground is in Grant Park, and our unit marches over there for two hours drill every day, with the band leading the way. They also go over there for the flag raising and lowering. There are about 550 men in the Law and Dental Unit. To make room for these men, the School of commerce has moved down to the Law floor, and, to quote Prof. Greeley, we are “as thick as flies in August”.
Lieut. Joe Keig writes breezily from Texas. Since he accuses the ed. of unmilitary conduct, will only quote that part of his letter which [tells?] about some one else: “I met one of our law school men today, and because he had a brand new embryonic moustache he had to inform me that he was Lieut. Wade, who, you know was one of the scheming politicians of the class of 1919. He is now a bomber – and of no mean ability – but that perchance is due to the cultiviation of a moustache. If you don’t believe what I say, I refer you to the case of “Our Colonel vs. The Field”
We were delighted with a call from 2nd Lt. Button recently. The bars were won in C.A.C. That man believes in seeing America first, having since last March travelled to Portland, Me., then to Fort Monroe, Va., and when last heard from was stationed at the Presidio, Cal.
Benj. Black, Base Hospital 49, A.E.F., writes that he now gets his news of the war from a more direct source than the newspapers. IN writing of the French, he says “I have never met and do not expect to meet a finer class of people than the French. They treat us as they would their dearest friends, and are eager to teach us their language.”
Its 2nd Lt., O.D., L.M. Allen now. The latest report from him is that he is the 1340th inhabitant of May’s Landing, and the silver lining to his cloud is the adjanency of Atlantic City. We all extend to him, and all the other going-up men we may mention, our sincere congratulations.
Lt. Sherwood writes that he, Lts. Keig, Brown and Wade are bunched at Taliaferro Field; that Lt. Wade is president of the student-officers self-governing board and (can it was?) “Joe” is on the discipline comm.
Serg. “Art” Hall has broken a long silence to tell us that he has finally made a transfer from the Base Hospital to the Office of Corps surgeon, and is much pleased with the new location. He says: “When we arrived here the Sanitary Section had not come, so the C.O. picked me out for Sanitary Serg. So I have been seeing streets swept, supervising the removal of garbage, etc. In fact its a wonderful job, but I must soon go back to paper work.“
1st Lt. S.J.White has now been in France for some three months, Of his impressions he writes: “The French are indeed a wonderful people. I [think?] we can learn some valuable lessons from them in the art of conservation. One speaks of the Packing House utilizing the squeal and all the other parts of the famous pig. I think the French can go one better on that and cherish a fond memory, at the same time leaving not a little bit of the pig. Every available inch of ground is under cultivation, and the product of the soil is excellent; that is to say things have a wonderful flavor. Eggs are very scarce over here and very expensive. I cannot explain the shortage; perhaps there are only a few hens or those living are of a hesitating nature, one never knows. I have seen quite a bit of France since I have been here and have visited many interesting cities and villages. The one thing that impresses me is the age of everything at one time in my life I was very proud, being a Virginian, and placed much faith in the Virginia Society for the preservation of Virginian antiquities. Never again will I boast. I have seen things so old that the oldest thing in the States is too modern to consider. The Americans are doing their part with an ardor and spirit that is worthy of the very best soldiers. Our men are showing up to the best advantage.
They are well fed and well preserved, and have their hearts in the work and that is half the battle. Lt. Maher (‘16) has been promoted to 1st Lt and is aide-de-camp to the Commanding General.”
We were much delighted to hear from Lt. L.J.West, 21st F,A., who has this to say: “To date I have experienced two campaigns, and the second has proved to be a repetition of the first big success. It can be briefly summarized in rain, mud little or no sleep. But it is no different from that already experienced by thousands of our splendid troops. The morale of our men is excellent; our biggest trouble is to hold them down. In several instances they have interpreted an objective as only the starting point. Have watched with interest and pleasure the rise of our Dean and Colonel.”
From Corp. Joe Mayer we hear: “Just to let you know that I’m in the goinp now and having a great time of it. Havn’t run into any N.U.Law men yet, but expect to. Hear from Wohl that a N.U. reunion is planned in Paris soon and I guess everybody that can will be there.”
Max Arkin, Med. Supp. Dept., writes: “The more I see of France and its people, the more I become inspired and convinced that the battle we are fighting is the most justified one in the history of mankind.”
We have received word of the safe arrival overseas of Lieuts. Groth and Henderson. There are others of whom we are waiting to hear such [news?].
Good Luck and Bad Luck have paid recent visists on R.V.Jackson. He has received ·his commission as 2nd Lieut., QM.C., and has a broken leg: caused by contact with an unruly government horse. Congratulations and Commiserations!
“Jake” must have to use a pretty big megaphone if he sings where he is now. Serg. Jacobson writes: “Have crossed the ocean, England, the Channel and now France, clear up to the front for the big show. We eat well and we have good quarters, now and then. We sleep well when Jerry lets us and Fritz stays away. Our work has begun and ply ceased.” He is with the 310th Field Sig. B’n.
Louis Brais, 1920, is in the U.S.T.C. at Puget Sound and expects to enter the Paymaster School.
Lewis Scharf is a candidate in the Central Officers School at Camp Gordon, Ga. He says: “This afternoon I heard my name called, and there was Mr. Rowe. There is a Mr. Crow in my barracks (1915), who is a former N.U.L.S. man.”
We were glad to hear from Samuel Segal, telling us news about himself and others. Because of foot defects he has been put in the class for Domestic service only, lie served as Campany clerk for a time, and is no detailed for special duty with the Camp Judge Advocate, and enjoys his work immensely. To him we are indebted for the information that “King” Cole has been made a captain, and transferred to Camp Custer. Heals tells of the very efficient work 1st Lieut. Frank Marshall has done with his men. That was corroborated by the recent report of the latter promotion to a captaincy, which makes the second “rise” in two months. Double felicitations!
From M.R. Shapiro, Ord., we learn “Last week, while on a visit to a large town near the camp where I am now located, I saw General Pershing in his Locomobile. It would be an inspiration to every man in the A.E. to see him. Now, about our own organization, We have the greatest little detachment in the entire army, and the finest bunch of boys you could ever dream of. The work is hard but very necessary and done with a spirit that can only be shown by true Americans. We are located in a beautiful valley, all by ourselves, very near the front, where we can hear the booming of the big guns and see the great flashes of light which shows us the result of our hard work, and gives us the knowledge that our comrades at the front are plentifully supplied to give the boch all that is coming to him. The way things have been going for the past few weeks, it looks as tho I might send in my application for a post graduate course to start in October (not to mention the year.”
Through his sister, we learn that Lieut. Lawrence Johnson was wounded at Chateau Thierry on July 18th. On the first of this month he was still in a hospital but able to walk about. LeRoy Crawford has also been reported wounded, how seriously we have been unable to learn.
It is with the deepest regret we chronicle the death, by aeroplane accident of Lieutenant Jasper J. Ffrench, on October 23rd, while engaged in instruction work. Lieut. Ffrench had been in the air service about a year, and since last February had been a ”stunt” instructor and exhibition flyer. He is said to have had about 300 pupils, with never an accident until this fatal one. Mr. Ffrench had been married Just one month. Those of us who knew him will always remember his genial [winning?] personality.
We were regaled recently by a visit from Samuel Rosenthal, who [look?] the part of a real sailor boy. He is enlisted in the U.S.N.Aux. at the Municipal Pier, where he is working hard at signals, navigation, seamanship and gunnery.
A visit from Lieut. Jos. Wright brightened up our office to a large extent. We can believe all we hear about the Dallas’ maidens ardor. I was then enroute for an eastern field, Best of luck to him.
A safe arrival overseas is our first lady star, Miss Goldman. “I was fortunate in that the troops which came over on the boat with me were part of the division from Camp Grant, and there were lots of Chicago men. You might be interested to know that Christie Mathewson, the famous baseball star, was on our boat, and he was a regular chap.” Miss G. is in France with the Women’s Telephone Unit where we know she will do good work.
T.J.Matousek is now instructor in the Sustenance Dept. at Camp Johnston. “I am enjoying the work, but am afraid it will be rather too permanent. My being accepted for limited service may make my stay here longer than I want it to be.”
Another of our lady stars is Miss Schaffner, who has been doing War Ambulance work in New York City, and is now enroute. “Our main work is transporting men to the various base hospitals in this city; this work often keeps us at work from 20 to 40 hours on a stretch. Am getting very impatient to help on the other side. We ambulance women work entirely without pay, and furnish all of our own supplies and equipment for our ambulances.
Let us all rise and bow as Brother Brewer comes to the front. Not only because he is now a Captain, if you please, but because he has again deigned to write us. “Camp Lee is not such a bad place to be, but the only complaint is that it has one of those necessary nuisances known as a depot brigade. Military life in a depot brigade is very attractive, nevertheless. Equally attractive, in fact, as tanglefoot is to flies. When one gets into it there seems to be no salvation except old age or a miracle. I am cherishing hopes that the miracle will occur before old age or inertia overcomes me. The various companies I have commended have scattered through this and other camps and gone over, but I must continue to rise by the notes of the same trumpet that amputated my slumbers last December, and to illustrate the position of a soldier, make rosters, reports, etc. My present charge is one of Uncle Sam’s latest inaugurated experiments, DEVELOPMENT BATTALIONS, self-explanatory. These battalions are the fine combs of the service, and certainly do catch the sediment. We send our illiterate to school take the “object” out of our conscientious objectors; naturalize our aliens, friend or enemy or ?%$)’/( in the alternative; have roof walking parties for those with pes plams; flexing exercises for those with hallux rigidus; and transportation for the balmy and hopeless. During the present month and last this company alone issued permanent passes 89 men. The formality of completing a discharge via Certificate of Disability was at first as complicated as Professor Millar’s course in C.L.P., but now it is as routine and commonplace as the morning report. It’s wonderful to get the news letters and hear from so many of the one time happy-go-lucky-care-free- group, and to note the various ways in which each one is helping to “make the world a safe place for Democrats to live.”
A newspaper clipping tells us that Lieut. Lloyd Taylor was one of the expert flyers from Rantoul field whose antics and mastery of the air made us sunburn the roofs of our mouths during the recent war exhibit in Chicago. Wish we had known it at the time.
Cadet Bell writes from Lonake, Ark. “Came here on Friday, the 13th. Regardless of starting on Hangman’s day as yet luck seems to have been with us, for we have flown each day since. The first officer I ran into here was none other than Lieut. Lorin Taylor, who is acting as “clean-up” instructor, so to speak. After the Efficiency Board get a ride with each graduating cadet, if they don’t happen to like the way the cadet misses the clouds, Taylor takes them up and shows them how. l started this letter yesterday, but was rudely interrupted to shovel coal for my flag and country, and I have been shoveling ever since.
Flying coal heavers, learning to be aviators with pick and shovel. This is a new field, and a fine one, the direct opposite of Camp [Dick?] where they keep HORSES in the horse barns. Many times I wonder what other hoses occupied the stall I had at Dick; Barn F, Stall 42.
Clyde DeWitt is with the U.S.N. Aviation Detach, at Cambridge, Mass. “So far I am very well satisfied with this branch of the service. We first study navigation, signalling, seamanship, etc. Then we go on to the main ship where we study engines, theory of flight, and similar matters. It is by no means certain that we will get that far, as they discharge men from the school so rapidly and for such slight reason that no one feels secure from one minute to the next. For instance, men have been discharged the past week for going to inspection without their nails properly manicured. Can you beat that?”
Its Corporal Turnbull now, and he is still hoping to get a whack at the Hun before the game is up. He expects to go to Camp Meade as soon as the “flu” ban is lifted.
At last accounts Jos. Wagner of the 149th F.A. and Corp. Forgy of the 132nd Inf. were well and most actively engaged. We are anxious to hear from Harry Norton of the 122nd F.A., who has also been after the big game.
We have been delighted to receive calls from two veterans, each wearing two service stripes; Lieut. Dixon (’19) of the 140th F.A. and Lieut. L.C.Gilbertson (’15) of the 7th F.A. Both were sent to this country to be made Firsts, and to be reassigned and go back with inexperienced units. We were glad to hear first hand news from them.
The family have received notification from the Government of the death of Benjamin Wohl by aeroplane accident in France. No particulars have reached us.
We have also received word of the death of Richard Munzer, 1914, in Paris of pneumonia. Mr. Munzer was a lieutenant in Q.M.C.
Again an honor has come to us, and we shine in reflected glory. Burton C. Bovard ( ’19) has been cited for distinguished service s by the director of the medical service of the 1st British Army. Mr. Bovard has been in the N.U. Hospital Unit 12 since May 1917. It is customary to send a team of six members of the unit to the casualty clearing stations near the firing line. Mr. Bovard has been sent twice, the last time being there for three months. It was during this time that the unit was commended by the British Army for its excellent work. “The readiness with which they performed any duties allotted to them was much appreciated” is the report of the Lieut.-Col. The recognition is the first of the kind given to an American surgical Unit.
A telegram from John Crossley announces the receipt of commission as 2nd Lieut. Art. and his new assignment at Camp Jackson.
We have had a flying visit from our Colonel, so brief that we can scarcely realize he has been with us. He brought the good news that Professors Millar and Keedy are now Lieutenant Colonels, J.A.
This issue of the N.U,L.S. News letter is being sent to every name on our military list, together with some data which we trust YOU will give immediate attention, in order that the records of the University may be kept up to date.
In explanation of this little sheet, would say that it was the inspiration of our Colonel-Dean, designed as a means of keeping the men in service in touch with one another. The response from the men has been, in the main, good, and they all seem to appreciate the service deeply. The editor pro tem only regrets that conflicting duties make the aditions so irregular. Because the line had to be drawn somewhere, and because at the beginning we had little data concerning alumni, the circulation has been restricted to men who were enrolled in the school at the time of their entry into service.
A rough recapitulation of our list to date includes, in the U.S.Navy
Enlisted men 33
Commissioned Officers 13
Non-Comm. Officers 35
Commissioned Officers 161
Aviation Cadets 7
Candidates in O.T.C.’s 10
Names previously reported, lost track of 11
Gold Star Names 6
ALL HAIL to the war record of Northwestern University Law School.