It is a fashion for the beginning of a renaissance to slip into history unnoticed. The second phase is filled with reactions that stand out more boldly. So it was not until after the Spanish-American War that the people found out that a highly efficient set of trained men had overcome hideous obstacles and had been the mainspring of success. The groups of onward-looking officers, in the eighties and nineties, who tugged and strained at the thongs of neglect and provincialism, with which circumstances had bound as high-minded a body of men as ever existed, were to witness soon some of the fruits of their sincere efforts.
Before the augmented army now lay a problem of a very delicate, trying and constructive nature, that of skillfully administering Porto Rico, Cuba, Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines. 1899 From Porto Rico the troops had been sent home. Hawaii was too new an acquisition to be dealt with, except politically. Guam was insignificant relatively. Accordingly, military attention had to fasten itself for the present on Cuba and the Philippines.
In Santiago, Cuba, then one of the filthiest cities of the Western Hemisphere, Colonel Leonard Wood had to deal with a situation that would have taxed the capacity of any administration. Refugees and half-starving natives who knew nothing of hygienic conditions and who spoke a Latin language had to be fed and controlled. They had to be taught by rigid discipline and rigorous measures that they could not pollute their premises. The city was divided into 5 sections, each under a medical inspector. Aiding these supervisors were subinspectors, p398 also medical men, who specifically looked after the sewers, streets, houses, dispensaries and street cleaners. In the early stages of this renovation some 500 cubic yards of refuse were burned daily. Within a month the death rate dropped from an average of 70 to 20 a day. Only by imposing military discipline could Colonel Wood have effected his colossal task.
The situation in the Philippines was of a different character. Because the President had enunciated a policy of "benevolent assimilation" in order to pull the peace treaty through the Senate,
1899 General Otis in command at Manila was compelled to issue an order to the Filipinos which implied very mild dealings. In a few days, the mistake of such a policy was evident. The half-civilized natives, as they invariably act under such treatment, ascribed our overtures to cowardice and weakness. Their previous hostile attitude emphasized itself at once by defiance, accumulation of arms and open attack.
The army in the Philippines consisted of 20,870 men, 5,372 of whom were regulars. All of the volunteers and 1,650 of the regulars were entitled to their discharge. The volunteers were especially uneasy because similar organizations in the Western Hemisphere had been discharged. The ratification of the treaty of peace (April 11, 1899) was shortly to take place. Had these volunteers elected to go home they would have left General Otis with less than 4,000 men to operate in an unknown country infested with several hundred thousand native warriors. To the great credit of these volunteers they chose to remain and serve their country beyond the time required. This is the first case on record in the United States where volunteers acted so unanimously and patriotically. Even with this increment, there was left, after eliminating those who were acting as provost guard and civil administrators, only about 12,000 effective troops in the Philippines. Before this tremendous task of colonization by so few men, Congress still sat supinely awaiting developments.
1899 But the development came inevitably in the shape of an attack on Manila by some 40,000 Tagalogs about 8:30 P.M. one evening. Feb. 4, 5, 6
1899 For three days the insurgents kept up a continuous fire, being very aggressive in the night time. But the Americans, though outnumbered, were able to throw back these p399 assaults after much hard fighting. The United States troops lost some 250, whereas the insurgents lost about 3,000, in addition to the prisoners and 2 Krupp guns taken.
It took this outbreak to convince Congress that something must be done to provide some sort of competent force to pacify these islands.
1899 That body therefore passed an act "for increasing the efficiency" of the army of the United States. It was provided that the regular army consist of 3 major generals, 6 brigadier generals, 10 regiments of cavalry, 7 of artillery, 25 of infantry and the staff departments. Second lieutenants were to be examined as to their proficiency before being taken into the service and all grades above were to be filled by seniority, except of course those of general officers. The Military Academy was enlarged by giving to each congressional district, each territory and the District of Columbia the appointment of a cadet. Twenty were allowed to be appointed by the President at large. March 2
1899 The President was authorized to keep the strength of the regular army at a maximum of 65,000. Retired officers were allowed to be placed on active duty other than in command of troops. Cooks were to have the same pay and allowance as sergeants of infantry. In addition to the regular force thus outlined, the President was authorized to raise 35,000 volunteers and to organize them into 27 regiments of infantry, at the war strength of the regular army, and 2 regiments of cavalry. Each regiment was allowed 1 surgeon with the rank of major and 2 assistant surgeons with rank of captain and first lieutenant respectively. The discouraging part of this whole law was that the force so created was but temporary. Except the regular army as it existed after the war with Spain, all were to be discharged not later than July 1, 1901. The main good feature was that volunteer officers, instead of being appointed by the states were to have federal commissions from the President. The regular officers on duty with the volunteers, except the staff, were to be continued. Some minor features, such as enlisted men being allowed to make allotments of their pay for the support of their families and relatives, were good things. But in the main the law was a makeshift, as we shall see.
The character of the volunteers obtained under this act has never been surpassed in our service. The field officers of the p400 regiments were selected from experienced officers in the regular army, and the company officers were taken principally from those who had served creditably in state organizations during the war with Spain. As a result, no less than 1,524 officers and 33,050 enlisted men were on their way to the Philippines six months after the law was signed by the President.
1899 For the troops then around Manila, the new climate under the equatorial sun was immensely trying. The rainy season just closing was giving place to an intense heat which prostrated many of the men. In many places the terrain was so dense and the advance so difficult that it took the most determined grit to go ahead.
1899 General MacArthur followed up the attack upon Manila with a sharp engagement which ended in the occupation of Caloocan, adjacent to the city. With the small force at General Otis' disposal this work was all that could be done. The purpose was to extend the lines and assure confidence in the city itself. Any wider operations were out of the question. There were hardly troops sufficient to garrison the towns taken, to occupy the country and protect the lines of communications. The army was now purely on the defensive, because it did not have enough troops to act otherwise.
1899 However, the Island of Panay was occupied by General Miller and a battalion of the Twenty-third Infantry went into Cebu. Feb. 26
1899 General Smith seized the island of Negros and the city of . March 10
1899 Then General Wheaton captured Pasig and occupied Taguig.
1899 At the latter place a counterattack upon Wheaton's forces embarrassed his troops for the moment, but finally he succeeded in driving the insurgents •fifteen miles down the lake. Thus Wheaton was able to separate the Filipino forces of the north and south. General MacArthur then began an advance upon Malolos, the insurgent capital, which contained many stores for the insurrectos. Here the fighting was quite heavy, but March 31
1899 MacArthur was finally enabled to occupy the place and accomplish his mission.
General Otis was now in a position, because of the beginning of the dry season and the reënforcements of regulars, who had come in since March 10th, to carry on his operations in larger
p401 measure. It must be remembered that during this time the only additional forces available were the regulars throughout the United States and other island possessions. In other words, the home country, as usual, had to be stripped of its land defense in order to cover a relatively small territory in the Pacific.
1899 However, Lawton with a force of 1,409 troops crossed Laguna de Bay and captured Santa Cruz. The advance by General MacArthur was at a standstill especially beyond Malolos, because the insurgents now threatened his flanks and communications and there were not enough troops to guard a further extension. April 24
1899 However, that doughty general as soon as possible resumed his advance, crossed the Angat River while 4,000 Filipinos were in his front, May 5
1899 captured Calumpit and occupied San Fernando. April 22
1899 In the meantime, General Lawton, with some 4,000 men, moved out through Norzagaray, Baliuag and San Miguel for the purpose of taking San Isidro, a very important insurgent stronghold. May 17
1899 He captured the city, but was too late to take Aguinaldo, who had escaped north with his cabinet. By the combined operations of MacArthur and Lawton, in spite of the lack of reasonable forces, these men succeeded in gaining all the territory to the north of Manila.
Heat and amoebic dysentery had wrought such fearful havoc with General MacArthur's troops under the strain of continuous marching and fighting that his force was a matter of great concern to him. He reported that 4 of his regiments had an enlisted strength of 3,701 men altogether. Of those, 1,003 were sick and wounded so that he had an effective force of but 2,698 men, of whom, after all the details were made for special duty, 2,307 could be used on the firing line. Many of the latter were so weak that they could scarcely march •five miles. Subtractions, too, had to be made from the troops around Manila. The Spaniards having withdrawn from the Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, it was necessary to send a force to occupy that part of the island group.
The situation was very critical for these few troops alone in the Far East. Washington was wiring to send the volunteer regiments home immediately. Although General Otis persuaded them to remain, by the end of May they had become very restless and desired to depart. The other troops were in large p402 measure sick and the time it would take to police this land looked long. So weak were our forces that they could attempt to hold only the principal city of Cebu. In the meantime the natives in other parts were permitted to drift, grow in strength and pursue the destructiveness of insurrectos. Since the only government that had existed had been sent away, there was no law and order in most of the islands.
However, the Twenty-third Infantry proceeded to Cebu and General Smith with 2 battalions of the First California Regiment went to Bacolod on the island of Negros.
1899 Seven hundred and fifty-five officers and men of the Twenty-third Infantry occupied Jolo. In the vicinity of Manila General Lawton was able to concentrate about 4,000 troops under Wheaton and Ovenshine in order to disperse the enemy on his flanks. June 10
1899 He attacked the Philippine entrenchments at Zapote River. In spite of stubborn resistance he carried these lines. June 15
1899 He then received the surrender of Imus, of which place he took possession.
1899 The insurgents in the meantime attacked General MacArthur at San Fernando where they were repulsed, Generals Funston and Hale figuring prominently in driving them back. July 1
1899 A similar attack was made later with the same results. The insurgents now having divided their forces and having retreated to Dasmarinas and Malabon, General Wheaton pursued one of the columns and routed it. July 26
1899 Then General Hale captured Colomba on the southeastern part of Laguna de Bay.
The terrible consequences of piecemeal legislation now began to manifest themselves. General Otis had to stop his operations in order to reorganize his forces. In the meantime the insurgents were adding to their numbers, and organizing their resources and strength for one of the most deadly guerrilla warfares in the nation's annals. Of the regulars, 60 per cent of the enlisted men in the artillery and infantry regiments were being discharged. By the end of June, 8,000 volunteers had sailed for the United States. Of 32,200 men in Luzon and the Visayas, only 20,000 were present for duty. Minor actions continued through this distressing dearth, notwithstanding the fact that there had been a rainfall of •forty‑six inches in a single month and many severe typhoons. In the meantime the new organizations, filled with recruits, were beginning to arrive.
1899 By the end of the summer the troops fit for duty outside of the city of Manila numbered about 13,500; 5,000 of these were required to hold the lines of communication. This decrepit and unstable condition of the army can be charged up to the months of blank legislation after the war with Spain.and During that time, the forces in the Philippines had to march and fight against odds which increased their casualties beyond national necessity. We hear in the commercial world those apt phrases of "spending money in order to make it" and often about the "early bird." But when it came to war we somehow reasoned differently. We seemed to have the tiny shopkeeper's idea of that sort of business. By that view we lost billions, and incidentally strewed over the fields our dead brothers, husbands, sons and fathers prodigally.
1899 Since the first fight of this year 19 officers and 342 enlisted men had been killed or mortally wounded: besides, 87 officers and 1,325 men had been wounded. The losses, therefore, for these few months' fighting totaled 107 officers and 1,667 enlisted men, or more than had been lost in the entire war with Spain. Few people realize under what handicaps the army was placed in these far‑away islands of the orient, while a prosperous people in the home country were immersed in ethics, politics and business.
In Cavite and Morong, strong forces of insurrectos had attacked the Americans at various times and had been driven back. But in the plain of central Luzon, Aguinaldo still had his headquarters and had set up a dictatorship for his people. He was occupying Tarlac as his capital where he and his cabinet resided.
1899 Generals MacArthur and Wheeler, as the dry season was again approaching, went forward and took Porac. Several weeks later three separate columns started out to make a vital stroke against Aguinaldo's territory. Oct. 12
1899 General Lawton with the principal force of 3,500 men, began the movement by proceeding to Arayat, where he drove the insurgents away. Oct. 18, 19
By Nov. 1
1899 Later he occupied Cabiao and San Isidro. Before long he had in his hands other towns such as Cabanatuan, Aliaga, and Talavera. Young's cavalry having swept the flank west of the line of advance, Lawton's column then pushed on toward the north as far p404 as San Nicolas, which it occupied. Nov. 13
1899 Turning west it took Asingan and Rosales. The results of this movement brought about the establishment of a chain of outposts along the edges of the plain of central Luzon. The force also coupled up with General Wheaton, who had gone by water from Manila and had driven 1,200 insurgents out of the entrenchments at San Jacinto with great loss. Nov. 5
1899 In the meantime General MacArthur, who had started out from Angeles, had advanced up the line of the railway and had captured Magalan, Bamban, Capas, and Concepcion. Nov. 12
1899 He then attacked and took Tarlac, Aguinaldo's capital, but he was just too late to capture the insurgent leader, who had fled with his forces. Nov. 17
1899 He then had to content himself with the occupation of Gerona and Panique. Nov. 20
1899 Reaching Dagupan, he coupled up with Wheaton, who had arrived there the day before.
The outline of these actions stated in such brevity gives no indication of what these troops overcame and suffered. Were we to look back upon the tortures of the troops in the Everglades of Florida, the Apache country of Arizona and Scott's column in southern Mexico and were we to combine all those hardships, we might have a picture of the intrepid work of these men. General MacArthur says in his report:
"The division camped in extended order, occupied towns in extended order, lived, marched, fought, and slept in extended order, with a view to sudden attack or defense at any time during the day or night. That is to say, the entire command has in effect, aside from the period of actual marching and fighting, been on outpost duty, without reserve, respite or relief, for nearly ninety days. . . . The sun, field rations, physical exertion, and the abnormal excitement arising from almost constant exposure to fire action, have operated to bring about a general enervation from which the men do not seem to readily recover."
The year of 1899, however, should not be closed without a word for the work of General Young, who with a small force of 80 troopers of the Third Cavalry and some Macabebe scouts, hotly pursued Aguinaldo in the hope of capturing him.
1899 With only this small force he occupied San Fernando de Union after p405 a short fight and then reached Namacpacan. Nov. 23
1899 He then received reënforcements and proceeded to scour the northern provinces. Going along the coast, he released American and Spanish prisoners at various places and sent Major March eastward in pursuit of the insurgent leader. At Tila Pass, high up in the mountains, March encountered Aguinaldo's rear guard under General Pilar. He attacked the Filipinos, captured Del Pilar and killed 51 others, his own loss being only 2 killed and 9 wounded.a In the meantime General Young took the enemy's trench in the Tangandan mountains. But Aguinaldo eluded his pursuers in fleeting and slippery fashion. However, the insurgents by the actions of this year could set up no claim to a government in so much as the President of their Congress had been captured, their capitals had been taken and Aguinaldo had been driven into hiding.
1899 Meanwhile, General Schwan, with 1,744 troops and 63 scouts, went out against the insurgents who were attacking our lines of communication in the south. Beyond Perez Dasmarinas he killed 100 of them and destroyed their organization. Then General Lawton was brought from the north for a similar southern expedition. Dec. 18
1899 He started for San Mateo and Montalban with 2 battalions of infantry, 9 troops of cavalry and 2 guns. His progress was impeded by the heavy rains which caused the Mariquina to rise as only tropical rivers can do. It was while superintending the crossing at San Mateo that he himself was killed.
While some of the troops fell back with his body, Colonel Lockett drove the enemy into the mountains. But after he had drawn off, the insurgents again became aggressive and came back as far as San Mateo. The insurrecto general, Santa Ana, then attacked the American garrison at Subig. The offensive was repulsed and a second advance by Lockett with some 2,500 troops caused a defeat at Montalban.
1899 Lockett routed the enemy, killed at least 80 and captured 24 together with much war material. His only loss was 1 drowned and 7 wounded.
Thus terminated the destructive year 1899 in the Philippines. The force now consisted all told, counting the sick, of 51,167 officers and men. Altogether 509 soldiers had been killed, 2,223 had been wounded and about 1,000 had died of p406 disease. This enumeration includes the death of 1 general officer.
Though the Indian wars had ceased, another desperate conflict had taken their place. The regulars and volunteers in insufficient numbers and only half armed with Krags had to beat down in torrid weather another sort of barbarian. The days of Arizona repeated themselves under an equatorial sun. But the multitudes of Filipinos were even more perfidious and more prone to conduct small actions than the redmen. The trials of these unacclimated soldiers expressed themselves in dysentery, cholera, sleeplessness and wounds. Although the blue uniform was so stifling that it was slowly giving way to khaki, for days the soldier was wet, hungry and worn out by the endless vigil he had constantly to keep. Probably in the Philippine War more than in any other in our history did the military man shorten his life, if he survived at all.
Since it would take a volume to describe in detail these actions, the general operations can only be sketched.
1900 General Bates, succeeding General Lawton in command of the First Division of the Eighth Corps, set out to overcome the depredations of guerrilla warfare into which the Filipino troubles had settled. His force was better off than before. Since October, 1899, there had been received in the islands from the United States 25 fresh regiments. Wheaton delivered a series of attacks near Bacoor and Schwan moved along Laguna de Bay; and onward for •600 miles. Feb. 8
1900 These 2 columns had many small actions in which intrenched positions and garrisoned towns were captured. The insurgent forces were either annihilated or dispersed, so that they never again raised their hands in this part of the country.
1900 Meanwhile the Forty-third and Forty-seventh Volunteer Infantry and a battery of the Third Artillery under General Kobbé were sent to the islands of Samar, Leyte and Catanduanes. Jan. 23
1900 This officer overcame a decided resistance at Legaspi and captured the Chinese leader, Paua.
Generals Bates and Bell with about 2,300 men, having sailed from Manila, occupied the provinces of North and South Camarines and western Albay. General Bell was then appointed military governor of these districts and General Kobbé
p407 of Mindanao and the Jolo Archipelago. In General Bell's Department the insurgents who had been driven away from the north had taken refuge.
1900 His force defeated the insurrectos in a hot fight near the mouth of Bicol River, dispersing the Filipinos and capturing many supplies.
1900 Another expedition of the Fortieth Volunteer Infantry, under General Bates, went to establish garrisons in Mindanao. Owing to General Bates' promptness and to the appearance of the gunboats, there was little resistance met at Surigao. March 27
1900 The insurrecto chief, Garcia, surrendered with such cannon as he possessed. But a week later the insurgents returned from their mountain fastnesses and made a night attack on the American troops. There was much hand-to‑hand fighting in the mix‑up, but after a time the Filipinos were driven off, leaving 2 Americans killed and 11 wounded.
May 10, 16
1900 One of the most daring expeditions was that conducted by Major March and Colonel Hare, who left Candon and Bangued in order to scour the northern province. May 19
1900 March missed Aguinaldo by a close margin at Sagad, while Hare surprised and killed the chieftain near Malibcong.
1900 General Arthur MacArthur succeeded General Otis in command of the Philippine troops and as governor-general. Under him were General Bates in Southern Luzon, General Hughes in the Visayas and General Kobbé in Mindanao and Jolo. June 30
1900 His total forces numbered 63,284.
Congress, in the meantime, had done nothing for the creation of a permanent force large enough to police and hold our island possessions and to be a safeguard at home.
1900 A procrastinating enactment continued in effect until June 30, 1901 the existing force of mixed regular and volunteers. April 4
1900 Another caused the army to establish a military post at Des Moines, Iowa, and to proceed with the armament of our fortifications. May 25
1900 Congress then revived the office of lieutenant general for the senior major general commanding the army. June 6
1900 Two provisions which showed the belief in the school advancement of the army were the appropriation for a modern military hospital at the School at Leavenworth and May 26
1900 the authorization for the establishment of an Army War College at Washington. The last law stated that the object of such a college was "the direction and coördination of p408 the instruction in the various service schools." Thus was allowed a master school for all branches of the service and for higher work in military strategy and information. The college was established and improved in the next two years.
The war in the Philippines by the middle of the year had settled into guerrilla warfare and brigandage of the most subtle type. The inhabitants secreted their arms in their houses, in the jungle or buried them in the ground. They would give their word that they were friends and break faith. Giving the impression that they were going about the ordinary pursuits of a peaceful life, they would lead the soldiery to believe that they were loyal. But when an opportunity offered to attack a convoy or small parties on the march, they would suddenly rise, attack with vigor and quickly melt into the population, acting thereafter as if they had always been "amigos." Under such conditions, there could be no large actions, but the creese, bolo and spear, together with rifles, played havoc with lonely sentinels and small bands of Americans. In spite of such occurrences the army built over 400 posts in the Islands and many miles of road.
1900 While this difficult task was before the soldier in trying to civilize the Filipino with a Krag, trouble in the Far East brought a part of the forces into China. General Chaffee was to command the expedition which, in conjunction with the allied troops of the European powers, was to make the foreigners safe against the "Boxers." In Manila, General MacArthur received orders to dispatch a regiment to the scene of difficulty. July 6
1900 The Ninth Infantry under Colonel Liscum, though delayed by a typhoon, acted with such promptness that it landed at Taku, China, nineteen days after it received its first instructions. The speed that this regiment showed is again an illustration of the celerity that is habitual with trained and ready leaders and troops. The province to which they were going made it impossible to receive supplies often, after they had landed. Since the small transport service for the Philippines could not be interrupted, and the port of Taku was closed in the winter season, it was necessary that the Ninth take with it all the rations, clothing and ammunition it might require for several months. Notwithstanding such handicap, this regiment found p409 itself in China in record time. July 13
1900 Five days later 2 battalions of the regiment arrived at Tientsin, •about forty miles inland from Taku. With the British, French and Japanese this part of the Ninth helped in the attack of that strong, walled city. Having to go forward under very little cover, the Americans suffered extremely. For fifteen hours they were in the front line, exposed to a vicious fire. When the city was finally captured, 18 had been killed and 22 wounded. This total includes Colonel Liscum himself, who was among the dead.
July 26, 29
1900 A couple of weeks later the Fourteenth Infantry arrived, and finally General Chaffee. Shortly thereafter, the movement against Peking, •about seventy miles away, was begun. Aug. 4
1900 The American column, all told, consisted of the Ninth and Fourteenth Infantry, 2 troops of the Sixth Cavalry and 1 battery of the Fifth Artillery. In the early part of the march, the Chinese held up the progress along the Pei‑Ho River. Aug. 5
1900 The Allies attacking on front and flank carried torpedos and took Pei‑Ts'ang. Aug. 6
1900 The next day the column had a severe four-hour engagement at Yang Ts'un. Although the allies were successful, the Americans lost 7 killed and 65 wounded. After these actions the troops were granted a day of rest, so worn were they by the continuous fighting and intense heat. When the march was resumed, minor skirmishes took place all along the way until within •about twelve miles of Peking. Aug. 13
1900 At that point, it was decided among the various commanders that the day would be spent in reconnaissance, but the Russians becoming ambitious (although they had been slow on the march) attacked the Tung Pien gate of the outer city. Although they forced an entrance, they were thrown into confusion after they were once inside. Aug. 14
1900 The other allies coming to their aid the next day, were able to blow up the gate by evening. When General Chaffee found the Fourteenth Infantry and the American guns there, he was able to effect an entrance and then to sweep the Tartar wall clear of the Chinese, so that the march to the British Compound could be resumed. South of the gate 2 companies of the Fourteenth had already scaled the walls, and placed the first flag of any foreign nation there. They then drove the Chinese southward to the Sha Huo gate. The relief of the legations could now be effected. The American forces had lost 177 officers p410 and men in the entire campaign. General Chaffee describes the conditions he found as follows:
"Upon entering the legations the appearance of the people and their surroundings, buildings, walls, streets, alleys, entrances, etc., showed every evidence of a confining siege. Barricades were built everywhere and of every sort of material, native brick being largely used for their construction, topped with sand-bags made from every conceivable sort of cloth, from sheets and pillowcases to dress materials and brocaded curtains. Many of the legations were in ruins, and the English, Russian, and American, though standing and occupied, were filled with bullet holes from small arms, and often having larger apertures made by shell.
"The children presented a pitiable sight, white and wan for lack of proper food, but the adults, as a rule, seemed cheerful and little worse for their trying experience, except from anxiety and constant care. They were living on short rations, a portion of which consisted of a very small piece of horse or mule meat daily. The Christian Chinese were being fed upon whatever could be secured, and were often reduced to killing dogs for meat.
"All the surroundings indicated that the people had been closely besieged, confined to a small area without any comforts, no conveniences and barely existing from day to day in hope of succor."
1900 When the Chinese opened fire from the Imperial City, Chaffee replied with four guns from the Ch'i Hua gate of the Tartar Wall. Two of the outer gates of the Forbidden City were blown over by Riley's artillery, but Riley himself was killed. A vigorous pursuit drove the Chinese from the four gates in succession, but any further offensive was blocked by a decision on the part of the Allied Council that they would not enter the Imperial City. Upon the urgent request of the various ministers, the decision next day was reversed. General Chaffee then reoccupied the line he had gained the day before. But it was not until some days later the Allied troops entered the royal enclosure.
Aug. 28, 29
1900 While this trouncing of the Boxer was going along, some 12,000 troops had been sent from America to reënforce the troops around Peking. They consisted of 7 regiments of infantry, 3 of cavalry and 2 of artillery. They had reached Nagasaki, Japan, where, because of the capitulation of events just described, they were diverted to Manila to join the troops there. Oct. 3
1900 General Chaffee then began the withdrawal of the American troops from China to Manila, except 1 regiment of infantry, 1 squadron of cavalry, and 1 light battery as a guard for the American Legation.
Late in the year General MacArthur, the Governor General of the Philippines, saw the profitlessness of treating the captured insurgents with consideration. They always responded with cruelty and treachery. Leniency seemed merely to cause more blood to be spilled. It had heretofore been the custom to disarm the captives and liberate them. These semicivilized natives, attributing such actions to fear, responded by further and greater depredations.
1900 General MacArthur, therefore, issued a proclamation which he had distributed everywhere in the islands. It stipulated that
"whenever action is necessary, the more drastic the application the better, provided only that unnecessary hardships and personal indignities shall not be imposed on persons arrested and that the laws of war are not violated in any respect touching the treatment of prisoners."
Such a major operation on the insurrecto cut deep and saved the lives of many an American and native, although it did not please some American ethicists 6,000 miles away. From then on, all prisoners were to be held in custody and all who surrendered themselves were to be disarmed and released.
1901 In one month some 50 prominent Filipinos, insurgent officers, agents, sympathizers and agitators were deported to the Island of Guam, with a consequent partial calm to the Philippines.
It was not until it was plain to every one that troubles abroad, even outside our possessions, were still persisting and that the time for the volunteers to be mustered out of the service was fast approaching, that Congress shouldered the
p412 detestable burden of revamping our common defense.
1901 It passed a law which caused the army to consist of 30 regiments of infantry, 15 regiments of cavalry1 and 1 corps of artillery with the appropriate staff corps. The total strength was to be a maximum of 100,619 officers and men. The ranking general in command of the army was to be a lieutenant general. Of this hundred thousand, 12,000 were to be natives of Porto Rico and the Philippines who were not to serve outside those islands, and who were to have officers as their majors and captains. This move was the origin of the Philippine scouts and the Porto Rican regiment. In the artillery corps the strength of the units was fixed, but in the infantry it varied for a company from 65 to 146, and in the cavalry from 100 to 164 as the President might prescribe. Each regiment was to consist of 3 battalions of 4 companies each, an organization General Upton had twenty years previous shown to be sound. The general officers were to consist of 1 lieutenant general, 6 major generals and 15 brigadier generals. The most signal change was in the artillery corps: its various dissimilar units were to be combined under the control of a single "Chief," the ranking officer of the corps. Between the coast and the light artillery he could make such transfers as necessity demanded. The system of detail between the staff and line, another of Upton's recommendations, caused officers in the staff departments to have experience with troops and a consequent understanding of the needs of the fighting branches. An officer was to be on duty with the staff no longer than four years, when he had to be assigned again to troops. Not less than 20 per cent of the vacancies among officers made by the increase were to be filled before July first, and the same amount each succeeding year until the total would be attained. Men not over forty were eligible for the new appointments in the grades of first and second lieutenants only, providing they could pass the examinations before the examining boards. Enlisted men were eligible for second lieutenancies, if they had served one year and could pass the tests. The President was directed not only to maintain p413 the army at its maximum strength until Congress should vote otherwise, but he was to be allowed to exceed the maximum allotted, when the army was recruiting men for service in the island possessions. Such a move allowed for casualties and discharges during the long journey. Two brigadier generals of volunteers were to be appointed in the regular army and retired as a reward for their services in the war with Spain, and 1 brigadier general from the retired list of the army, who had distinguished himself in command of a separate army, was to be appointed a major general retired. Looking to more extended training as a result of the awakening in the army, appropriation was made for four permanent camps of instruction for the regular army and the National Guard. Retired officers could be detailed on duty with schools so as to be instructors in drill and tactics.
This legislation, though a step forward, came so late as to be embarrassing to General MacArthur. The new force could not be organized and transported in time to relieve the volunteers who were to go out in a few months. At the beginning of the year he had had about 70,000 troops. During the six months afterward he had to send home some 30,000. By the end of the year he had only some 43,000 left him.
1901 He warned the War Department that after May 1 it would be safe to send away the volunteers, only if replaced by regulars. But there were no regulars to be had. On account of the great delay in legislation the Adjutant General was so distracted over the possible undoing of all the previous work in the Pacific that Jan. 29
1901 he had to ask Colonel Leonard Wood in Havana if the Tenth Infantry could not be spared from the small force there. The United States proper did not have a regular infantry regiment within its borders.
Twenty-five regiments of United States Volunteers, trained and veteran troops, had to be mustered out according to the new law. They were all sprinkled well over the Philippine Islands. Their officers with detachments of these troops were governors of provinces, towns and districts, giving all sorts of civil and military administration in order to hold the great native population in check. Were they to be taken away, much of the country would be without restraint or the appearance p414 of force which awed the insurrecto into respect and peace. Misery and bloodshed would have followed.
The army was fortunate, however, in the turn of events at this critical time when the regulars would otherwise have been left high and dry. The crafty chieftain, Aguinaldo, had so screened himself with mystery as to his whereabouts, that a very few of his own troops knew exactly the location of his headquarters. But by this time, through MacArthur's policies, it was beginning to sink into the insurrecto mind that to turn "Americanista" was the better part of valor. Two of Aguinaldo's messengers, bearing important dispatches in cipher, gave themselves up as friends of the United States at General Funston's headquarters. After a sleepless night during which the messages were being decoded, a very desperate plan formed itself in Funston's mind. Believing the words of these former insurrectos with reference to the position of Aguinaldo's hiding place, he conceived the idea of taking certain friendly Macabebe scouts, who speak well the language of the district in which Aguinaldo was supposed to be, of dressing them up as insurrectos and of having them pose as a successful war party that had taken American prisoners. He and 4 other officers were to be the disarmed captives. After gaining General MacArthur's permission and holding the most minute rehearsals with 84 Macabebes,
1901 he and his party went aboard a naval vessel and were landed at night on the east coast of Luzon. It was one of those bold masquerades where any little slip in the play acting by one of the number meant annihilation to the party. For •one hundred and ten miles, through the thickest of trails, with next to no food, at times miraculously escaping discovery, March 23
1901 they finally came to their goal, Palanan, and found Aguinaldo there. A rush by the Macabebes and the insurrecto leader and two of his cabinet were pinioned. The whole party with the prisoners were then brought back by a naval vessel to Manila.
1901 This occurrence was the start of the collapse of the Filipino resistance. Aguinaldo called on his countrymen to desist. Other insurgent leaders were taken prisoners and the insurrection was officially at an end, though many a soldier was killed thereafter. However, the army had made the Islands so safe p415 by its courageous feats, in spite of disease and treachery, that it was now possible to install a civil governor of the Philippines — William H. Taft. General MacArthur, who was called back to the states, was succeeded by General Chaffee as military governor. The army through this year had brought its total of posts built and stations located up to 502. The Secretary of War said:
"I cannot speak too highly of the work of the army in the Philippines. The officers and men have been equal to the best requirements, not only of military service, but of civil administration with which they were charged in all its details from the date of our occupancy in August, 1898."
Insurrection, however, continued in scattered places, especially in the provinces of Batangas and Samar.
April 16, 27
1902 The troops under General Bell and General Frederick D. Grant, after many arduous pursuits, were able to take the two ringleaders, Malvar and Lukban. But the main part of the activities was over, with a total loss to the army of 330 officers and 6,746 enlisted men killed, dead or wounded. July 4
1902 President Roosevelt was Arar enabled to announce the end of the insurrection and to grant complete "pardon and amnesty" to the natives. The office of military governor was abolished with the thanks of the President. However, the Mohammedan Moros were still untamed in Sulu. Expeditions against them, notably those of Colonel Frank Baldwin and Captain John J. Pershing, were temporarily successful.
1902 In Cuba, the forces under Brigadier General Leonard Wood were withdrawn from the island after as great reconstruction work as had been known in history. Feb. 24
1902 Since Cuba had been granted autonomy and had elected a President, Vice-President, Senate and House of Representatives, the army's work was over. But it had given the people a splendid example of how to live in peace and health. While General Wood was using his military forces to establish order, sanitation and discipline and to supply the starving Cubans, Major W. C. Gorgas, of the Medical Department, was conducting a ruthless war on yellow fever, which for two hundred years had been the curse p416 of the West Indies. Even in our own country it is estimated there had been at least 500,000 cases of that disease in a century (1793‑1900). Major Gorgas, with the backing of General Wood, had the cases at once reported, the suspect isolated and the habitation of the sick man thoroughly fumigated. A war of extermination was waged on the mosquito. Buildings and houses were screened and the natives taught personal hygiene. Such men as Major C. L. Furbush did their work with such despatch and consideration that Havana has since given many public expressions of its gratitude.
1902 In the same way the medical corps in the Philippines was confronted with the plague of Asiatic cholera. The devastations of the disease had reached the appalling number of 300,000 deaths. The skillful and determined measures taken by these hygienic experts practically eradicated this dread disease in two years, and soon brought it under control. Recognizing that with and food products are the only carriers of infection, most edibles and water were required to be boiled before eating. Quarantine was established on incoming shipping. The extermination of rats and other vermin was begun, and the Philippines were made livable. It must be remembered that the army was the pioneer in these matters.
Since the war with Spain, all of the regular infantry regiments had been required in the Philippines, with the exception of a few scattered companies. A large proportion of the regular cavalry, artillery and staff troops had been there most of the time.2 In addition, 25 regiments of the United States Volunteers and 19 organizations of state troops had been necessary to augment the regulars, whose soldiers had seldom been in the United States since the war.
to July 4
1902 To show the magnificent proportions of the Philippine contest, there had been 2,811 separate actions and battles in a little over three years. In most of these engagements the troops had been ambushed.
Congress, seeing the results of trained and scientifically educated officers, was particularly liberal in its legislation covering army educational interests.
1902 It made an appropriation for enlarging the buildings at West Point and gave a generous p417 allowance for the continuance of the Army War College, situated at Washington Barracks on the outskirts of the capital. Secretary Root realized that the military education of officers was especially important after the effects of the law of 1901. Out of 2,900 officers in the army, 1,818 had been appointed since the beginning of the war with Spain and only 276 of the latter were West Pointers. He realized that some systematic and technical education would have to be imparted to these men, who were possessed of practical experience with troops and in a peculiar type of warfare, but had had little chance to lay for themselves a military foundation. Accordingly, the "garrison school" made its appearance, and special service schools were to follow. Demonstrations and maneuvers were also to give practice to the soldier. Sept.
1902 This year joint maneuvers were held on the New England coast with regular artillery and militia against battle ships. Although this first trial was not all that could be expected, it was a beginning of those exercises in the field which were to give officers practice similar to that of action; and inculcate in troops the necessary knowledge of their duties and requirements.
1902 A new cavalry drill regulation, which is essentially in effect to‑day, appeared this year. The troop was formed in single rank, with divisions for platoons and squads. The tallest men were in the center and shortest on the flanks. The squadron, consisting of 4 troops, was drilled by the major.
After one hundred and eleven years of silence on the point, the Congress considered again the militia.
1903 The "Dick Bill" made for the first time federal mention of the National Guard, which was the higher distinction among state troops known as "organized militia." All other male citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, were to be known as the Reserve Militia. The "organization, armament and discipline" of the organized militia were in five years to be the same as those features of the regular army. The organized militia was to be paid during its activities and was required to participate in practice marches, or go into a camp of instruction for five consecutive days and to assemble for drill and instruction or target practice at least twenty-four times during any year. The act provided for the detail of regular army officers at p418 camps of instruction or for temporary duty with the militia. One bad feature of the law was that the service was entirely optional and that these able-bodied men were not subject to call. Neither were the governors of states bound to comply with the order of the President, when he requested the service of the National Guard. In fact the troops could disregard the call of the governor with impunity. The same old error was also committed — the militia could not be called out for more than nine months. No specific provisions were made for a volunteer reserve, which had been suggested.
1903 Following an act allowing the higher officers of the Philippine Constabulary to be appointed from the regular army, Feb. 14
1903 came the signal legislation which created a general staff, whose main duty should be to prepare plans for national defense and for the mobilization of the forces in war against any nation. It was to consist of 1 chief, 2 general officers, 4 colonels, 6 lieutenant colonels, and 12 majors. Twenty captains were also to be selected from the captains and lieutenants in the army at large and to have the pay of a captain, mounted. The commanding general of the army was to become the chief of staff by virtue of his being the ranking officer in the service. Because the President was commander in chief under the constitution, the duties and title of this new office were more fitting for the work of actual administration. March 3
1903 The chief of artillery, by a separate act, was made a brigadier general and was made an additional member of the General Staff.
The corner stone of the War College building was laid in Washington this year, at which exercises Secretary Root paid tribute to General Upton's memory, the man who had foreseen the necessity of such a thing as a general staff and a school of this kind thirty years before. It was this brilliant secretary who also had General Upton's Military Policy of the United States brought from its obscurity and published in book form.
The Moros in the Philippines still continued to give trouble to the army. Brave to the point of fanaticism and in many ways more cunning than the Indian, they became a continual menace for many years.
1903 Conspicuous among these actions was that of Captain John J. Pershing's detachment which destroyed a fort belonging to the Sultan of Baccalod.º May
1903 When, later, this p419 same American force was fired up by Taraca Moros during an exploring tour of the American troops, several of the Moro forts were stormed and captured.
While those engagements in the Philippines were taking place, better lines were being followed in the War Department.
1903 Under the workings of the new general staff and at the suggestion of Secretary Root, a joint Army and Navy Board of 4 officers from each of the services was created for the coördination of plans in case of war. Aug. 15
1903 General S. M. B. Young became the first chief of staff, who at once relieved the War College of the burden of projects falling to its lot and left it free to follow its immediate duties in reference to school work.
Along with better management went efforts at obtaining more skill.
Sept. 8, 9
1903 The first national rifle contest was held at Sea Girt, New Jersey, in the fall of this year. Six prizes were awarded, the first being won by the team from the New York National Guard. The Army Rifle Team was fifth and the Marines sixth.
The American troops in the Philippines had been reduced to such an extent that
1903 toward the end of the year they numbered only 843 officers and 14,667 men. This diminution left a tremendous task upon their hands. The Secretary of War, Root, was so gratified with their accomplishments that he said of the army:
"I do not think that any government ever had a body of public servants presenting a better standard of personal character, a higher average of competency, or a more completely controlling sense of public duty. A country is fortunate which has such officers to rely upon in time of need."
Although the Congress did not now raise the personnel, it did do something for material advancement.
1904 Realizing that the new island possession ought to have permanent fortifications, after five years of thought on the matter it made substantial appropriation for defense. April 23
1904 On another line, too, it showed its appreciation of the veteran. Those officers below the grade of brigadier general who had been retired on account of wounds after forty years' service, were to be advanced one grade, provided they had served in the Civil War.
Again the Moros in the Philippines continued to give trouble in Mindanao and Jolo. Datu Ali with some 3,000 followers defied all efforts to catch him for some time, his troops committing all sorts of depredations, especially at night.
1904 Pursuits by the American troops were almost constant. This old chieftain once agreed to surrender, but soon afterwards broke out in armed resistance, and so terrorized the country that we shall hear of him again.
In the states, combined maneuvers were carried on with enterprise and success.
1904 At American Lake, Washington, 1,687 regulars with 2,324 militia from Washington, Oregon and Idaho were placed in the field under command of General Funston; Aug.
1904 at Atascadero, California, 2,247 regulars with 2,181 National Guard of California were similarly placed under General MacArthur; Sept.
1904 and at Manassas, Virginia, 5,062 regulars and 21,234 eastern National Guard were under General Corbin. These troops had the actual practice in exercises and joint operations of those numerous details that actually confront troops on the ground. The eastern troops were assembled in Virginia upon the scene of action of the second battle of Bull Run of the Civil War. For two days they worked upon the situations that confronted Lee and Pope in 1862. The result was an exceptional benefit to the troops. It is a pity that such training could not be conducted during the next year, but Congress would not appropriate the funds.
As to materials for war, this year marked the completion of about half of the recommendations of the Endicott Board submitted in 1885. It had been difficult to accomplish this small fraction of the contemplated task because of the shortage of enlisted men. Notwithstanding this condition, materials were purchased and many guns emplaced.
1904 It was in this year that the army was territorially divided into five grand divisions under major generals, each division being subdivided into departments under brigadier generals. The office of adjutant general coursed to exist and was replaced by that of a newly created military secretary, who was given the additional labor of the former record and pension office.
1904 Another evidence of the renaissance in the army was the p421 establishment of the Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. Its object was to instruct specially selected officers in the duties of the General Staff of the army, to improve their qualifications as instructors and to prepare them for duty in the Army War College. In addition to this direct purpose, they were charged with the investigation of such military inventions, discoveries and developments which would affect the various arms of the service. The student personnel was limited at first to from 9 to 15 officers of the artillery and engineers. Later, selection was made from the upper half of the class of the infantry and cavalry schools.
The army during this year dwindled to nearly half its authorized size.
1904 At one time it numbered altogether 3,750 officers and 56,064 enlisted men. Because the pay was practically the same as it had been at the close of the Civil War, privates could not be had and officers had a hard time to live decently. Neither could the troops improve by practice in military work. Such maneuvers as had taken place in 1902, 1903, 1904, were out of the question, because of the lack of appropriation. Altogether it was a parsimonious time for the service.
But as usual, improvements seemed to go along as far as it would within the army. 1904 A very comprehensive set of drill regulations appeared. More reference was made to movements in battle; the location and position of troops with reference to the ground was more carefully considered; and rapid fire was prescribed at a distance of two hundred yards from the enemy. The range for the rifle was classified as follows:
|Up to||300 yards||short range|
|300 to 600||mid‑range|
|600 to 1,000||long‑range|
|1,000 to 2,000||extreme‑range|
The company was divided into 2 platoons. The command "fours right" became "squads right," and the normal attack by battalion was given with great precision. Although it has been found out since that there is nothing more detrimental than a normal formation for attack, these drill regulations showed a decided tendency toward battle movement rather than p422 pure drill. There was provision for instruction on varied ground against an imaginary enemy, when his position and force were merely assumed, against an outlined enemy when his position and force were indicated by only a few men, and against a represented enemy when the actual number of troops played the part of a hostile force.
In addition to other setbacks, shortage manifested itself in the officer personnel of the army. Through the detail of officers to the militia and to the staff, 25 per cent of the line officers and 11 per cent of the staff officers were absent from their posts on other highly necessary service. The Secretary of War felt that there should be a corresponding increase of officers in the various branches in order to fill this gap.
1905 President Roosevelt even made this suggestion the subject of a special message to Congress. But nothing was done. On the other hand, by the details of officers mentioned above, the regular had so well equipped the National Guard that Secretary Taft was able to report that, with few exceptions, the militia conformed to the organization of the regular army. However, the secretary pointed out that much remained to be accomplished in the line of supply, discipline and training before there would be anything like a high average of efficiency. Both the army and the National Guard had done all it could without the help of Congress.
Although he had failed with the legislators along other lines,
1905 President Roosevelt created a board to bring up to date the report of the Endicott Board. Headed by the secretary, Mr. Taft, this new commission contained the names of the best technical minds in the army and navy on fortification. These men were to have supervision of matters pertaining to our seacoast protection, to armament in general and to the disposition of torpedoes and mines.
1905 A distinct loss to the service and the country occurred at this time in the death of Colonel Arthur L. Wagner, the foremost American strategist and military writer of his time. As a critical student of military history and tactics and the outstanding pioneer of the renaissance, he had left the impress of his knowledge and personality on the schools at Leavenworth to such a degree that in the high standard of that institution p423 his labors are felt to‑day. As soon as he came back from the Spanish-American War, in which he had served both in Cuba and the Philippines, he was made in succession Commandant of the Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, was appointed to the General Staff of the army and was given the directorship of the Army War College. He was chief umpire at the Manassas maneuvers in Virginia and was generally looked to as the final authority on military tactics and strategy. His personality was of such an engaging sort that he could readily place his fine technical and tactical knowledge in the hands of the student. One has said of him that his attitude was as courteous to the lower ranking second lieutenant as to a general. What the service owes to him can scarcely be estimated. Much of the success of our troops in the World War was due to his incipient efforts in awakening the officer back in the nineties to the realization of the unique and endless study and practice required by his magnificent profession. The untimely tragedy of his death is all the more accentuated by the fact that at the very hour he was dying, his commission as a brigadier general in the regular army was lying on the President's desk for signature.
It is a singular coincidence that one of the effects of the thought induced by Wagner and others showed itself in a little over a month after his death.
1905 The Army Signal School was established at Fort Leavenworth for the purpose of preparing officers of that corps for the active duties of that branch of the service. The work was largely laboratory in character and was conducted from a standpoint of experiment and research. It was there that some of the great inventions of Colonel Squier were later perfected, inventions which have been of benefit to the entire electrical world.
In the Philippines the depredations of Datu Ali had reached such a point that it was necessary to take drastic measures against all the outlaw bands. Although the utmost effort was made to have him surrender without resort to force, every attempt proved to be fruitless in dealing with this class of frenzied Mohammedans. Finally an expedition of 3 officers and 100 picked men from the Twenty-second Infantry and 1 officer and 10 Filipino scouts under Captain Frank R. McCoy
p424 went against them.
1905 Seventy-seven men of this party, with cooked rations for one day and without baggage and other accouterments, set out from Digos. Oct. 22
1905 After many hardships they arrived at the Malalag River where they surprised and killed Datu Ali in his hiding place. The result of this success was the seizure and surrender of the hostile Moros and complete pacification of the Cotabato district. The character of the work performed by these troops was no less creditable and daring than that of Funston in the capture of Aguinaldo.
In the Philippines, the army had to be called into activity to quell disorders with which the constabulary and scouts were unable to cope.
1906 Notably, Colonel J. W. Duncan took a detachment of the Sixth Infantry against the stronghold of Bud‑Dajo. March 5‑6
1906 The attack of the place was fraught with some of the most desperate fighting known in the army's many engagements in the islands. It looked for some time as if the place could not be carried. Finally Lieutenant Gordon Johnson, with a few men, made their way over the stockade and thus effected an entrance, so that the troops were able to disperse or kill the band of outlaw Moros.
1906 On the west coast of the United States, the San Francisco fire had shocked the country and had spread lawlessness throughout the city.b No organized body of men could be found to cope with the situation except the troops of the army. Hospitals and fire departments were buried in flames. So prompt was the action of the military man that in less than three hours after the catastrophe (5:14 to 8 o'clock) General Funston had taken charge of the city, and a heavy force of the Twenty-second Infantry, Sixth Cavalry, a detachment of the artillery corps under Colonel Morris, and 2 companies of the First Battalion of Engineers, occupied the principal streets. Fort Mason and the Presidio army posts afforded succor for thousands of homeless as in previous days on the plains. One report states of the soldiers that:
"They were confronted by appalling conditions, which increased at an alarming rate, from hour to hour, until they threatened to swamp the puny human energies arrayed against them; courage, persistency and endurance won the day, but p425 not until human nature was nearly exhausted. When Saturday morning came (there was no dawning in those days) it was apparent that the worst was over, as the fires had reached their limits, and all breathed more freely. But a new demand arose, or rather, one existing had increased until it seemed almost impossible to meet its requirements — it was the question of how to feed and shelter hundreds of thousands of men, women and children whose homes had been destroyed, and occupation gone, many of them having lost all but what they were wearing. How this was done and what other assistance was rendered by the United States Army will be told by the extracts from the newspapers from April 18th to May 6th; and from other sources.
"It is proper here to note the first act by the Army, immediately succeeding the disaster, the promptness of which can not be too highly commended. The Department Commander, General Funston, sent a mounted messenger to Fort Mason and the Presidio, ordering all available forces to report promptly to the mayor to assist the police in guarding public property and preserving good order. To this act may be ascribed the perfect order and public safety at a time when lack of them would have resulted in anarchy and riot.
"Immediately after the earthquake General Henry G. Sharpe, Commissary General, ordered Colonel Davis to ship 400,000 rations from Portland, Oregon, to San Francisco; Major Geary was ordered to ship 300,000 rations from Seattle, Washington, and Captain Simonds was ordered to purchase 200,000 rations at Los Angeles and vicinity. The commissary storehouses at the Presidio, Fort Mason and Fort Miley were thrown open and rations issued to the hungry people. Bread in large quantities was baked and large kettles of coffee were made and distributed to the people. The following morning relief supplies began to pour in from neighboring cities and the Subsistence Department at once began to receive the supplies and arrange them for distribution."
The army was not satisfied with bringing San Francisco through the first stages of its terrible shock, but performed all manner of services in putting the city on its feet again.
p426 "So much general abuse and misappropriation of supplies existed openly on every hand, while the police force was so entirely inadequate, that the army was asked to assume the duty of distributing the relief stores. The troops had performed almost constant duty for nearly two weeks, and were utterly worn out. General Greely called for more troops, and while the number he called for could not be spared, two additional regiments, one of infantry and one of cavalry, were ordered to San Francisco for duty. Also, there were ordered by the Secretary of War, by telegraph, to report to General Greely for duty in conducting relief work, forty-five specially selected officers of experience and of proved administrative ability, all to proceed to San Francisco and report without delay. The orders were sent out from Washington late on April 30th, and received late that night, or on May 1st and on May 2nd the first arrivals reached San Francisco and reported at Division Headquarters, about sundown.
"Next morning the work of supplying over a quarter of a million people began in earnest. With scanty and broken-down transportation, telephone and telegraph lines down, with an insufficient force of troops to guard all points at which guards were needed the problem seemed staggering; yet it had been solved, and that quickly."
And the army fully accomplished the work. It fed the starving populace, gave havens of comfort, killed looters, opened stores, supervised hospitals, got the fire under control, and many an officer and soldier did not sleep while the constant need for them existed.
In the West Indies the army was called into play on a very delicate mission. The Cuban government was beset with an insurrection of such alarming proportions that it requested assistance from the United States. At once the President dispatched 5 regiments of infantry, 2 of cavalry and several batteries of artillery. The ease with which they crept into the island and their dispatch of movement grandly attested to the existence of a general staff. After the arrival of so many well disciplined and well trained soldiers, the insurrection cooled and ceased. For over two years thereafter they kept p427 order in Cuba by their very presence, and without resort to arms.
1906 Congress now realizing that it had committed an error in not providing for joint maneuvers in 1905, appropriated $700,000 for the purpose. But the irony of this measure was not wholly realized until later. An inventory showed that there was so much of the army in Cuba, the Philippines, Hawaii, and Alaska that the United States proper had a mere shadow of troops. Since there were too few soldiers for the execution of exercises, there were none that year.
1906 Congress also increased and reorganized the ordnance department. That branch was to have 1 chief, with rank of brigadier general, 6 colonels, 9 lieutenant colonels, 19 majors, 25 captains and 25 first lieutenants. The temporary transfer of officers from the line of the army after examination was continued, as was also the advanced grade over the line commission for those temporarily detailed to the department. June 25
1906 A powder factory, the first in the history of the army, was also provided for in the shape of Picatinny Arsenal at Dover, New Jersey. The service could now manufacture its own ammunition, and keep it uniform. The law caused the erection of seacoast batteries on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, and allowed the building improvement at the Military Academy to proceed.
Echoes from other days faintly sounded in the west. Some 300 Ute Indians broke out from their Uintah reservation across Wyoming. The governor to state had to call for United States troops, which were immediately furnished. The Utes were intercepted by the soldiers and led back to Fort Meade, South Dakota. It would appear from this episode that the previous statement in this history concerning the close of the Indian Wars in 1898 was an error. But the flight of the Utes was more of an economic disturbance than a devastating outbreak, as the outcome clearly shows.
The encampments of this year were fraught with more marching and training in the field than at any previous time. Formal ceremonies were kept to the minimum; and spectacular exhibitions, such as sham battles having no military value, were eliminated; 49,717 troops, regulars and militia in about equal proportions, were assembled in seven camps over the country.
p428 These maneuvers demonstrated the advantage of numbers in such practice. Accordingly, the Secretary of War, realizing that there was no longer necessity for the small posts of Indian times, recommended that the troops be combined into larger units so as to be organized on a tactical basis. Every officer then might gain actual experience in the work of administration, supply and movement incident to war. As it stood, officers had seldom a chance to command more than a regiment and general officers were in the predicament of being forced to use the pen more than the stirrup. In some cases they were benefiting for the future welfare of the nation as much as engineers in jail. Besides, the Secretary's plan was a money-saving proposition. But politics which wanted the little post as a pie to its locality defeated the idea by ignoring it.
1906 The report of the Coast Defense Board, or Taft Board, showed a rather depressing state of affairs on our shore line. It found, after its labors, that the coast defense we then had was able only to cause an enemy to land with mobile troops. It could keep off ships but not transports laden with soldiers. In other words, all the United States then possessed was a partial harbor defense. Chesapeake Bay was entirely open. The investigations proved that our lackadaisical attempts in the past had but put us where we started — with a sole dependence upon the mobile army.
1907 However, a signal and excellent change in the organization of the artillery corps came from Congress the next year. For a long time army officers had tried to show the law makers that field artillery, or artillery with the mobile army, did not bear much more resemblance to coast artillery in organization and duties than did cavalry to infantry. This contention caused the coast and field artillery to be separated into two district branches and to be incorporated into the line of the army. The chief of artillery was to become chief of coast artillery after a year. The field artillery was to consist of 700 officers and 19,147 men. As a consequence, the increase of officers in that branch was so great that promotion far exceeded that of any other arm for some time. Young p429 lieutenants became captains of artillery, whereas old lieutenants of infantry and cavalry still remained lieutenants.
1907 A little over a month later the office of military secretary, after a short life of two years, was converted back again into that of adjutant general. The office of lieutenant general was abolished.
It was at this time that representatives from the army began that great contribution to commerce and progress, the Panama Canal. President Roosevelt realizing that civilians could not finish this gigantic undertaking, turned to the army. As Arthur Bullard says:
"Mr. Roosevelt, while President, came to the conclusion that the canal could not be built by civilian engineers — men trained in private enterprise. There was no way to make them stick to the job. Successful construction men can always command high salaries. And men like Wallace and Stevens, who are used to being their own masters, find the Government service, with its inevitable red tape, irksome. It is impossible to a permanent working force if the Boss is likely to throw up the job any minute. Under such circumstances no man feels sure of his position. For the spoils system, so much decried in politics, is the ordinary practice in railroading and construction work. What was needed was not only engineering genius, but executive ability. Mr. Roosevelt appointed a Commission of army officers, men who would stay on the job till they were ordered home."
Accordingly, after Mr. Stevens had resigned
1907 Colonel George Goethals, corps of engineers, was appointed Chairman and Chief Engineer of the Panama Canal Commission. At the same time he was made Civil Governor of the Canal Zone. The other members designated were Colonel H. F. Hodges, Lieutenant Colonel D. D. Gaillard, Lieutenant Colonel William L. Sibert, corps of engineers; Civil Engineer H. H. Rousseau, of the navy; Colonel W. C. Gorgas, medical corps; Maurice H. Thatcher and Joseph B. Bishop (secretary).
What the project needed was a determined administrator p430 at the head and a staff of assistants who would loyally and punctually carry out their chief's wishes. Colonel Goethals was the soldier who let nothing interfere with his mission — to complete the canal. Colonel Gorgas, hand in hand with him, eliminated the yellow fever so that the dread of that disease did not continue to drive the laborers away. Colonel Goethals helped Gorgas in so doing, and the whole staff worked as a disciplined unit, irrespective of personal opinion. Colonel Goethals watched the calendar and his forces minutely. The loose ends were soon knotted. There was no graft. So much did army standards count, that President Roosevelt soon gave complete control of affairs to Goethals. And in the incredible space of six years, what the world had been trying to do for nearly half a century, was finished.
The army's activities in general at this time were very much scattered.3 In the Philippines, the Pulojanes in Samar and Leyte were making it hard for the constabulary to control them. General Wood sent some detachments of infantry into the island.
1907 In a short time he was able to report the trouble at an end. The Army of Cuban Pacification too, under General Barry, was performing its work quietly. It kept the Cubans in leash without friction. A regiment also in the west p431 conducted the Ute Indians on their long journey from Fort Meade, South Dakota, to the Cheyenne River Reservation.
But the members of the service were in a serious state of depletion, principally on account of the pay of the soldier. Men who could get from $1.75 to $2.50 a day as common laborers scarcely wished to be on a restraining post at $13 a month. Many a company during this time was reduced to as few as 8 privates. Since the skill required of an enlisted man was now much greater than ever before, the inducement to enter the service was still less attractive.
It was in this year that the War Department could not carry on maneuvers with the National Guard because the army was absent in many islands, in Alaska and at the Jamestown Exposition. However, some joint army and militia coast defense exercises took place along the Atlantic coast.
For the officers of the army the commander in chief raised the standards of physical fitness. Field officers, those officers of an age tending to corpulency, had to undergo test rides and other exercises in order to determine whether they could stand the strain of battle. This requirement caused a general movement within the service toward having all officers gain physical stamina far above that of the average civilian. Requirements for daily exercise and medical examinations were to keep the personnel active.
1908 Congress opened the next year with the passage of an act to put the medical corps on a firmer basis and to increase its personnel. The corps was to consist of a medical corps proper, a reserve corps, a hospital corps, a nurse corps and dental surgeons. The medical corps proper was to consist of 1 surgeon-general with rank of brigadier general, 14 colonels, 24 lieutenant colonels, 105 majors and 300 captains and first lieutenants. All officers in the corps were to have mounted pay. Young graduates of medical schools throughout the country could be appointed as first lieutenants of the reserve corps and were liable to service at the call of the President.
1908 One of the greatest pieces of legislation for some years from the standpoint of morale and justice was the readjustment of pay both for officers and enlisted men. The new schedule, although not tending toward indulgence or extravagance, gave p432 a living salary to the officer and a means of obtaining the proper quality and quantity of enlisted men.4
1908 A third law put the Porto Rico Provisional Regiment on a basis more nearly resembling the regular army. The name was changed to the "Porto Rico Regiment of Infantry of the United States Army." Its enlisted personnel was accepted for three years and its junior officers were given a status more nearly that of the regular army. In the same law, besides the allotment of $300,000 for the construction of gun and mortar batteries for our coast defenses, the sections took up seriously the improvement of the militia provisions. All able-bodied citizens between eighteen and forty-five were theoretically liable for service in the militia but there was no penalty in time of peace for disobedience to the terms of the act. The supply and organization was to be looked after on a more businesslike basis. The standard of the regular army was to be had within two years. The law p433 read well, in that it appeared to cause the militia to serve wherever and whenever the President wished. But the governors could decline to send out a single man or to furnish the proper type of officers, whenever those executives so decided.
Throughout the army there was particular zeal shown in the improvement of its parts, in many ways. 1908 The pay bill had increased the number of soldiers. There were now commands large enough to allow the officer and soldier practice in the field. Minor difficulties in the Philippines were suppressed and the Army of Cuban Pacification was quietly delivering peace. Eight camps of instruction and eleven military districts held joint exercises with the militia to the number of 75,000 men. This year also marked the complete issue of the new United States magazine rifle, "model 1906," which for accuracy, speed and power far surpassed the Krag. The ammunition, the magazine and bolt action combined to secure greater ease and speed in reloading. The effect of the establishment of the Picatinny Arsenal was apparent; that plant was turning out •about 500 pounds of uniform smokeless powder a day.
1908 It was this year that the Wright brothers made successful flights with a biplane. Several army officers helped in these progressive tests. One, indeed, lost his life so doing.c Yet the War Department was prevented from purchasing a single plane because of the absence of funds allowed by Congress. Although this was a new invention, whose efficiency had not been fully shown, it was too bad that the apathy displayed itself just nine years before we tackled the World War. Similarly there were absent, searchlights, submarine mines and power plants for the coast defense.
1908 In the summer the "Division of Militia Affairs" was created as a part of the general staff. All the militia records were taken from the adjutant general's office and placed in the office of the new bureau, which was to have the superintendence of the organized and unorganized militia during peace so as to coördinate the efforts of the National Guard with the work of the regular army. Thus the state troops could be given more recognition.
1908 The tests for physical fitness were put in force throughout the service with vigor. All field officers of the mobile army were to demonstrate to a medical officer that they could ride •thirty miles a day for three consecutive days. For these older officers this distance had to be covered in periods of six hours for the first two days and in seven and a half hours for the other. Field officers of the coast artillery had to walk •fifty miles in three days and in a total of twenty hours, the march on any day to be in consecutive hours. When any of these officers could not make the test, they were to be retired either for length of service or by a retiring board. All the junior officers below field grade were to have a physical examination each year.
The activities of the army during the next year were wide and varied. In the Philippines the Moros, giving trouble to the civil authorities, had to be suppressed in many minor actions by the regulars.
1909 The Army of Cuban Pacification was brought home, it having completed its usefulness without resort to force. Many defects were brought to light by the army in joint maneuvers with the National Guard of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. Means of supply and mobilization were particularly lacking, principally because the appropriations for vehicles had been inadequate.
1909 Congress passed a law which appointed a court of inquiry into the case of 3 companies of the Twenty-fifth Infantry. It seems that on one night three years before (August 13‑14, 1906), certain colored soldiers of this regiment took their rifles from barracks and "shot up" the town of Brownsville, Texas, where the Twenty-fifth was then stationed. Investigation could not ascertain the culprits. Accordingly President Roosevelt summarily dismissed the 3 companies without honor. It subsequently developed that great provocation had been given these men by the Mexican element of Brownsville especially, and that there were many good old soldiers, not implicated in the riot, who had lost the value of all their service. Accordingly Congress at this time made provision for complete investigation of each case so as to return the innocent men to the colors and to give them back their lost time. Many were reinstated under this provision.
1909 Effort within the army was made to have a modern type of equipment for infantry. A study by a board of 6 officers was begun at Rock Island Arsenal. The accouterments of the armies of the world were investigated. From the work of this board there was later evolved the modern infantry pack.
There was much yet to be desired if the efficiency of the service were to count in time of war. Secretary Dickinson, having investigated conditions from records and interviews, showed how nearly 40 per cent of the officers of the army were on detached duty, away from troop training. Such work as duty with National Guard, at schools, and at the Military Academy, left too much to be done by those who remained. He pointed out a need for more officers. He showed that there ought to be an appropriation of at least a half million for aeroplanes. He showed how West Point could not fill the vacancies and that the economy of turning out more cadets with about the same overhead at that plant was apparent. His remarks on the organized militia show what the service was trying to do, but that it could not make a truly efficient showing without Congressional help:
"Much remains to be done in the way of instruction. While the Constitution provides that discipline shall be the same as that of the Regular Army, it reserves to the States the authority of training the militia. It thus appears that while the War Department can fix standards it has no authority to take direct charge of the training and cause the organized militia thereby to attain such standards. The War Department may provide ways for training, make suggestions as to methods, and fix the standards that must be attained, but it cannot directly conduct the training. . . . As to the mobile state forces, it is specially desired to have them conform to the course at the Army School of the Line at Fort Leavenworth, Kans.
The efforts of the army tended toward practical as well as theoretical education. Field batteries of the Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, and Indiana National Guard participated in a school of instruction with a battalion of regular field p436 artillery at Sparta, Wisconsin. Field schools for the instruction of medical officers were held at Sparta, Antietam and the San Francisco Presidio. One hundred and thirty-eight companies of militia coast artillery had been organized this year. In rifle practice 43 militia teams attended the national match at Camp Perry, Ohio. Seventy-eight civilian rifle clubs and 44 schoolboy rifle clubs had been built up.
But when it comes to real discipline and training, such exercises are but rudimentary. Something had to be done by Congress or our whole military organization would be useless in time of war. Secretary Dickinson showed, for instance, that the field artillery with its 48 batteries was far below proportion even for the small army we had. He showed that the posts of the army should be so arranged as to operate tactically instead of administratively and so as to coöperate with the National Guard. He pointed out that the small post was but an accidental result of Indian troubles, that it prevented training and should be abolished. He showed how much more money it took to run these many little plants than a comparatively few large ones. He conclusively proved that under his recommendations there would be vastly more economy, rapidity of mobilization and training of the militia. This logical suggestion was right on the line upon which the general staff had been working, and upon which Secretary Taft had expressed himself several years before. But Congress took no action on the matter.
It did realize, however, the need of more graduates of the Military Academy and the economy of increase.
1910 Accordingly, it passed a law which allowed the Corps of Cadets to be increased by one‑fourth its existing size. The enlargement was made by allowing to the Congressman an appointment every three years, instead of every four. This change did not affect the four-year course.
The activities of the army this year were various.
1910 The large proportion of regular troops was used in fighting the great forest fires in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. The soldiers performed excellent service, as would any well-disciplined body of men. But after all, this was scarcely the appropriate work for troops who needed technical and tactical practice. p437 As well use engineers to dig ditches. By the withdrawal of so much of the army for this labor the plans for a camp of instruction for both regulars and National Guard at American Lake had to be relinquished. Either there was no other disciplined body of men for the job or the emergency was so great that the army was the only dependable resort. At any rate, the emergency could scarcely exist for two months, to the exclusion of more important activities.
During the summer, military tournaments of no tactical value were held at seven cities scattered over the United States. Competitions in drill, wall scaling, packing and bridge building caused certain troops to gain skill in elementary exercises, but the character of these events was more spectacular and athletic than fundamental.
The General Staff, meanwhile, had worked out a plan for combining the regulars and National Guard into 3 divisions composing a field army. Of course there was no money to try and test out this paper machine. But the scheme was meticulously drawn up and nicely tabulated. At least the army had marked everything out to the limit of its powers.
Other things had been suggested by the General Staff. In consonance with them, Secretary Dickinson showed Congress that there should be an elimination of inefficient and unprogressive officers, that there should be more officers, that we needed aircraft, guns and ammunition and, above all, that there should be a comprehensive law for the methodical mobilization of a volunteer army in time of war. He showed how no use had been made of the discharged soldier, who had had three years' good schooling and was qualified to enter a reserve army, and that there existed only 1 regular officer or soldier for every 10,000 inhabitants. He brought to light the fact that there was little reserve ammunition. The chief of staff, too, explained that at the current rate of appropriation, it would take fifty years to get an adequate reserve supply of field artillery material.
The Secretary summed up the whole matter when he said:
"In order to avoid the waste inseparable from going to war without full preparation, we must be ready with a complete p438 system for passing from a peace to a war establishment. We should undertake without further delay the problem of simplifying and perfecting the administration and organization of the army to the end that the new army of regulars, organized militia, and volunteers may pass automatically from a peace to a war basis. We have vast military resources, and if we but organize them in time of peace it will not only have a tendency to prevent war, but should war come it will enable the nation to conduct its campaigns with a greater regard for economy and efficiency than has been hitherto possible. It is futile to attempt to place the military establishment of the country upon a proper basis, having due regard for economy and efficiency, by the passage of detached legislation."
In the face of these sentiments, Congress voiced another "detached" law.
1911 It increased the corps of engineers by 5 colonels, 6 lieutenant colonels, 19 majors, 17 captains and 13 first lieutenants. The enlargement was to take place by lineal promotion and by the addition of second lieutenants in five annual increments. When the West Point quota of graduates was exhausted the remaining vacancies were to be filled by civilians who could pass a thorough examination.
In these times of prosperity, the army, in general, was looked upon with disfavor. So common had it become for a certain class of our population to discriminate against soldiers, that
1911 Congress had to pass a law in order to give them the ordinary rights of citizens. Signs had been posted outside of places of amusement "No soldiers admitted." Insults and abuses had been heaped upon the man in uniform in various ways. It came to such a pass, that our lawmakers thought it wise to allow a fine of $500 to be imposed on any proprietor, manager or employee of a public place who caused such class distinction.
1911 Congress by this time saw the need of detailing officers to act as instructors of the National Guard. It accordingly passed a law which permitted the President to detach an officer for that purpose in the proportion of one for each regiment or separate battalion of infantry, and an equivalent number for other branches. Such detail was to create a vacancy for promotion p439 and allow corresponding appointments of second lieutenants.
1911 At the same time, the injustice done to officers by regimental promotion before October 1, 1890, was overcome. Those who had suffered by stagnation in a particular regiment and had thus been topped by men of shorter length of service were to be advanced to the grade they would have attained, had promotion always been lineal in the particular branch of the service. The ones who had been fortunately favored by regimental promotions were not to be affected.
By these acts Congress had added 12 engineer officers, 60 dental surgeons and some 200 line officers to meet the demands of detached service. Although the vacancies were to be filled in annual increments, West Point was still unable to fill the quota of second lieutenants. Consequently many officers were taken in from civil life, after rigid examination.
Similar care was taken with the recruitment of enlisted men, 72 per cent of the applicants being rejected.
1911 In the Philippines the Moros in the Sarangani peninsula of Mindanao became so lawless that an expedition under Major Heiberg commanding some Philippine Scouts was sent against them. After arduous labor by his and other columns, peace was restored. At the same time detachments of the Regulars had their hands full in preserving order in the Lake Lanao district, Mindanao.
One of the biggest demonstrations of the inefficacy of our efficient regular army was the attempt to assemble in Texas a division and some regiments of coast artillery. The border along the Rio Grande was again so filled with unrest that it was felt necessary to make a show of strength in Texas. Already 2 troops of cavalry had been dispatched to help the civil authorities preserve the neutrality. But affairs became so threatening that a larger force was necessary.
1911 Accordingly, orders were issued for the concentration of a "maneuver division" at San Antonio. It was to be composed of 3 brigades of infantry, 1 brigade of field artillery and 1 independent cavalry brigade, with the necessary auxiliary troops, all under the command of Major General William H. Carter.5 At the same time p440 36 companies of coast artillery, equally divided into 3 regiments, were ordered to Galveston under Brigadier General Albert L. Mills. The officers of the staff and the troops were assembled from everywhere and had never had a chance to work together before. The division was never up to full strength during its entire stay and it was several months before the railroads could get the last regiments to their destination. General Wood, Chief of Staff, said of the division's work:
"The mobilization has emphasized the fact that our regiments in peace should be kept at greater strength, and it has also brought out very forcibly the necessity for a reserve with which to bring the regiments from their peace strength to full war strength. The experience in the mobilization in Texas has also emphasized the necessity for accumulating a sufficient quality of reserve supplies and the establishment of proper depots; in short, the necessity for proper military organization and preparedness for war."
The concentration took practically all of the various units of the United States Army within the continental limits and put them in a position to patrol the border from the mouth of the Rio Grande to San Diego, California. The maneuvers afforded the regulars an excellent object lesson of the workings of a regular division, something never demonstrated before in our history. It gave great practice to the staff and line in understanding our deficiencies with regard to supply and movement. Above all, it proved what the army had long known, that our land forces were deprived of making a showing against a stout enemy.
Although the elements of movement and strength were denied the service, the fruition of the renaissance was still manifesting itself.
1911 A School of Fire for Field Artillery was established at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Its purpose was to give a thorough, practical and theoretical course of instruction in the principles and methods of field-artillery target practice. The service was doing the best it could to gain experience in military technic. But a school of this kind at that time looked pathetic and grotesque when it is realized that there was not p441 enough field-artillery ammunition in the United States to last through a normal modern battle.
1911 In other fields the army was also pushing ahead. The "Taylor system" of scientific management was put into effect at Watertown Arsenal. The bureaus and branches of the War Department were united with a resulting economy in overhead. Foreign service regiments were recruited up to full war strength before sending them abroad so as to save the expense of transporting separate recruits and to have a maximum number of soldiers in our possessions. Mounted troops were stationed where climate favored year-round training. A new Infantry Drill Regulations gave a more important place to combat than ever before prescribed in such a work. The mechanism of drill was subordinated to tactical principles which were laid down concretely, but with sufficient latitude for application.
1911 It was this year more than any other that marked the decided change between the old army and the new. The forward-looking spirit had saturated the big percentage of the service. The officer became a practical progressive in his profession, or he was cast aside. Bad habits and laxity were treated with such harshness that the army was signally purged of the laggards. As for efficiency, it began to take on a business aspect. The soldier became primarily a worker. He was not limited to an eight-hour day. He had not only to keep fit but also to demonstrate his capacity for leadership and the proper execution of his tasks. In effect, a great milestone of the renaissance had been set up on the way toward larger fruition.
Actions were still going on in the Philippines, as is illustrated by the fact that the Moro outlaws were yet on the warpath. Captain E. G. Peyton with 2 troops of cavalry and 2 companies of Philippine scouts rounded up the worst of these outlaws in the island of Jolo and succeeded in reducing them.
1912 Twenty Moros were killed and 2 Americans wounded, 1 officer and 1 enlisted man.
So recurrent were the depredations of the Moros that a word might be here said about the peculiar nature of the activities of the soldier in grappling with these determined people.6 In p442 the first place, the Moro was a Mohammedan. The Moro chief, or Datu, sometimes Maharajali Saakat, made his own laws for his particular gratification. Agriculture and trade were thus discouraged because the Datu took away the produce at his own pleasure. The main ambition of the Moro was, therefore, to get a rifle, which he could hide and keep. With every weapon he could purchase another wife or raise himself in rank and power. This power was mostly abused and a menace to our standards of civilization. Sleeping soldiers would be stabbed in the dead of night and their rifles seized. When Captain (now General) Pershing was Governor of the Moro province, he came to the conclusion that the key to progress for the Moro was to deprive him of his firearms. Accordingly, all that could be called in were taken and paid for. But Moro agitators harangued the people, contending that the Americans were taxing them, denying them slaves, limiting them to one wife and charging them for the privilege of being married. Open resistance by hundreds of Moros followed. They took refuge in the Bud Dajo crater in defiance of the orders of the governor. It would have been but a day's operation to have potted them where they were, but Captain Pershing understood that many ignorant and misguided men were among the contenders. It was then that Major Peyton, Philippine scouts, was ordered to conquer this band, but spare their lives if possible. He surrounded the pit and prepared to starve out the Moros. Double sentinel posts, one soldier with a rifle and another with a shotgun, were placed about the camp. These men did not sleep because they knew death in the shape of a creeping Moro would await them if they winked. Barbed wire besides was strung up near the main body. Sallies by the Moros night after night kept the soldiers engaged, when these half-civilized natives tried to cut their way out. Crazed or running , in religious frenzy, a single Moro with creese or bolo would charge a whole battalion of troops. Finally, all the Moros in the crater decided to come in, except 47, who disappeared in the jungle. But these latter ones were similarly forced to surrender later.
1912 During the next year, a renegade Moro by the name of Dowd collected a band of outlaws in a very inaccessible place. p443 Major Peyton, with 5 companies of scouts, 1 company of infantry and 2 troops of cavalry, went against them. Dowd had committed all sorts of crimes, so that after being induced to come to a conference and having been told that nothing would be done to him if he surrendered, except to put him before a court, he departed with a defiant refusal. It was then that Major Peyton did a very unique thing. Finding the ordinary trails to Dowd's position well covered with fire, he resolved to cut new trails. The continual chopping in unseen places warned the Moros that the troops were coming on, but they could not see their targets and they did seem to be able to change their plan. A severe action followed, when most of the Moros were either killed or captured. Dowd escaped but was later killed in an effort to capture him.
Although all of the arms of the Moros were not yet taken, the troops for political reasons were withdrawn.7 It was reported that quiet reigned. It did, with much robbery, murder, arson and peonage. When later, new troops, unacquainted with Moro customs, attempted to round up the increased number of recreant Mohammedans, their losses were unnecessary in many cases. One company, having to learn afresh the dangers that attended work with these savages, camped on the edge of a large lake where the surf was rolling high. In the night the noise of the waters kept the sentries from hearing sounds of lurking Moros. As a consequence, several stole into camp, cut off the captain's head and severely wounded a lieutenant.8
1912 In the early part of the year the Maneuver Division and the First Separate Brigade were disbanded. But the border raids still continued. In fact, the withdrawal of the troops caused more depredations and seemed to be an open invitation to Orozco's rebel forces. The Ninth Cavalry was sent to Douglas, Arizona, and the Thirteenth to El Paso, Texas. These regiments were particularly successful in suppressing the attempt made in Texas by General Reyes to instigate an insurrection against Madero.
This command also enforced the embargo on arms and ammunition p444 for the Mexicans. It patrolled so carefully that it prevented raids on American ranches in Texas and Arizona. Before the end of the year there had to be upon the Mexican border 6 regiments of cavalry, 1½ regiments of infantry, 1 battalion of field artillery, 2 companies of coast artillery and 1 company of the signal corps: a total of 6,754 officers and men. During the summer 67,280 men of the organized militia participated with the regular troops in five joint maneuvers. The tactical work developed in these was very superior to anything in the past.
It was at this time that the floods along the Ohio and the Mississippi produced such tremendous trouble and loss that
1912 it was necessary to call our officers and troops of the regular service to alleviate the suffering. So quietly, methodically and efficiently did the supply and the care of the refugees take place that there was little notice of the actions of the army by the public.
The mobile army in the United States was at this time scattered in some 49 posts throughout 24 different states. The average strength per garrison was less than 700 men. Effort was made by the General Staff to form these troops into a tactical organization of 3 infantry divisions composed of 2 or 3 brigades, with the proper attached troops. Of course this organization could be made only on paper as long as Congress persisted in scattering the army so widely and withholding from it the vital training necessary for large bodies of troops. A scheme of complete organization worked out by the War College Division of the General Staff tried to rectify the utter absence of technical and tactical organization throughout the country. A sound and definite policy was formulated. It estimated that at the outbreak of war with a first class power the United States should be capable of assembling at once an effective force of 460,000 mobile troops and 43,000 coast artillery. It gave this strength as a minimum for the first line necessary.
1912 In addition it conservatively felt that plans should be made to raise 300,000 men. But these projects could not be carried out without legislative help.
1912 It was during this year that a very drastic "Manchu Law" was passed by Congress. It provided that officers who had not p445 served two years of the previous six with a troop, battery or company should immediately be returned to troops and serve there the required time. Only certain officers of the Judge-Advocate-General's Department, the Ordnance Department and those on duty in the Panama Canal Zone were exempted. The law was swamping in its effect and caused temporary demoralization in the service schools and some staff departments. However, the idea was sound in that it showed a desire to have an officer familiar with his duties of command as well as those of staff work.
At the same time, the quartermaster, subsistence and pay departments were combined and called a quartermaster corps under a chief with the rank of major general. Such consolidation made for better efficiency and economy. The control of these correlated branches now came under one man so that waste of material and motion could later be avoided.
It is interesting to note that there was a fair attempt this year to notice the air work of the army. An appropriation of $100,000 for the purchase, maintenance, operation and repair of airships and other aërial machines did not go very far, but it showed a tendency to note the existence of this new branch of the military service, however slightly.
One very important part of this law was the attempt by Congress to create a reserve for the regular army. When a man enlisted, he was to serve three years with the colors and four years with the reserve. The law as it stood was a good idea, but there was no provision in it for the payment of soldiers while in the reserve, except in case of war. Also, a man understanding the type of service upon which he was to enter hesitated about signing up for so long a time as seven years. In other words, certain compromises in the measure resulted in defeating its purpose. As a concrete example of what actually happened, the Secretary of War after two years was able to report that there existed the magnificent reserve in the United States of sixteen men.
A board of general officers presided over by Secretary Stimson met in Washington for the purpose of organizing as perfectly as possible the land forces of the United States for war, so that when an emergency came there would not be any great
p446 amount of turmoil or needless expense in passing from one stage to the other. Of course what the board could do was limited in view of the absence of legislation. However, the mobile army within the United States was given a tactical organization into divisions and brigades for the purpose of administering all military matters territorially.
1913 For this purpose, peace distribution was reorganized into six geographical departments: Eastern, Central, Western, Southern, Philippine and Hawaiian.
The Mexican frontier continued to be patrolled by 6,700 soldiers who tried to cover a territory of •1,600 miles in extent, from the Gulf of Mexico to •thirty miles west of Nogales, Arizona. Huerta having succeeded Madero was opposed by Carranza, Villa and . Much firing took place on the territory adjacent to the boundary line, which was coveted by all the Mexican parties. Many refugees and wounded Mexicans came over the border. Often shots flew northward across the Rio Grande. A slight mistake on the part of the troops and international relations would have become very complicated.
1913 At length, the trouble became so acute that orders were issued for the concentration at Texas City and Galveston of the Second Division under Major General Wm. H. Carter. The 11,450 men making up these organizations were transported with great dispatch in comparison to the speed of the maneuver division of 1911. In a little over a week after the first orders were issued, all the troops had reached their destinations.
At war strength this division should have been 22,565. As it was, had the division been involved in hostilities, it would have been necessary to recruit it by 50 per cent in the face of the enemy, with the consequent disaster that has similarly overtaken such unreadiness in the past. Of the force assembled in Texas, the British and German military attachés stated that they had never seen a finer body of troops collected, nor had they seen better discipline, less intoxication or such perfect sanitary arrangements in camps. Although the country was drained of its trained forces, those who were ready were in perfect condition.
1913 In the valleys of the Ohio and the Mississippi, floods of a graver nature than the year before rendered many people homeless p447 and caused much suffering. The army was again called upon to handle the situation. With energy, skill and dispatch supplies were distributed, refugees taken care of and the interruptions to business curtailed. In a similar way troops took care of the devastated regions of Omaha, Nebraska and Lower Peachtree, Alabama. Later the soldiers efficiently fought forest fires in California and in the Adirondacks.
1913 A camp of instruction for regular cavalry was held at Winchester, Virginia. The Tenth, Eleventh and 2 squadrons of the Fifteenth Cavalry participated. July 18 to
1913 Similarly camps of instruction for field artillery were held at Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, Fort Riley, Kansas, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. It in this year that the army began really to spread its education to civilians other than the National Guard. Undergraduate students of seventeen years of age or over, who were physically qualified and recommended, were given the opportunity of taking a practical course of instruction. Two such camps were held at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and at the Presidio of Monterey, California, during six weeks of the summer. The object was to give training in maneuvers, tactics, care of troops, camp sanitation and rifle practice. The paramount idea was that of bringing to young men something which would render them more capable in sudden emergencies and make them, incidentally, more valuable citizens. There being no appropriation to cover all expenses, the students had to pay for their transportation as well as for their subsistence and clothing. Even with this voluntary drawback, at Gettysburg 159 young men from 63 universities and colleges, and at Monterey 85 from 27 educational institutions, received the course.
1913 Another evidence of the renaissance was the establishment of the School of Musketry at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Its purpose was especially that of giving instruction in small-arms firing. The founding of this school was the small beginning of the great Infantry School now at Fort Benning, Georgia, with its elaborate curriculum. Courses were given to both officers and enlisted men of the regular army and National Guard. Along this same line an aviation school at Augusta, Georgia, was transferred to Texas City, in order to participate in the operations of the Second Division. Although 15 aeroplanes constituted p448 the entire equipment of the army aviation corps, two nonstop flights of •240 miles were made and sketches drawn by the reconnoitering officer. Of course we had no dirigible balloons of any sort.
1914 The appearance of new Tables of Organization and Field Service Regulations disclosed a tendency toward a more modern use of troops in the field. March 19
1914 Improvements in administration and supply had been culled from the best of foreign methods. Officers and men were given more independence in the execution of their tasks. The idea of simply looking in the book to see what one had to do, was overcome by an emphasis upon principle rather than precept.
The troops in the Moro country of the Philippines were again on the move. Some trouble was experienced in getting the Moros to subside, after being some time without restraint.
1914 An action at Bud Tandu was decisive.
1914 At last legislation conscientiously tried to put the volunteers on a sound basis for any emergency. The land forces of the United States were to consist of the "regular army, the organized land militia while in the service of the United States and such volunteer forces as Congress may authorize." The term of enlistment for volunteers was to be the same as that for regulars. No officer above the grade of colonel was to be appointed in the volunteers. The President could appoint regular officers to volunteer commissions in the proportion of 4 to each regiment of cavalry, field artillery or infantry, or to 12 companies of coast artillery; and not more than 1 to each volunteer battalion of engineers, signal corps or field artillery. The regular commissions were not to be vacated by the appointment of regulars to higher grades in the volunteers. By the removal of the regular officers for such purpose, temporary vacancies and promotion were created in the regular service. When war was imminent or upon us, all organizations of the land forces were to be recruited and maintained at their maximum strength. The measure showed the first inclination of Congress in our history to foresee the necessity of having an established status for the volunteer before the emergency occurred.
1914 Another act appropriated $250,000 for airships and other p449 aërial craft. It also authorized the Secretary of War to purchase a tract of land either near Tullahoma, Tennessee, or at Anniston, Alabama, for the purpose of establishing a permanent maneuver camp for the troops of the United States army and the National Guard.
1914 The organization of aviation units was for the first time seriously given attention in legislation. An aviation section of the signal corps, to operate and supervise military craft, was to be composed of not more than 60 officers and 260 enlisted men. Officers were to be detailed to this work for four years and were to be classified either as junior military aviators or military aviators. The junior aviators were to have the rank, pay and allowances of a grade above that which they held in the line, provided they did not hold rank above that of first lieutenant. Only 15 military aviators were allowed. They were to have the rank, pay and allowance of a junior military aviator and also to receive an increase of 75 per cent of their pay. Both types of aviators could be given this higher rate of pay only when they were making regular and frequent flights. The hazard of the position of aviator was recognized when Congress allotted to the widow of an officer or enlisted man, killed as a result of an aviation accident, one year's full pay.
The task of patrolling the Mexican border, a duty most arduous and thankless, was performed by 250 officers and 8,260 enlisted men assigned from the Southern and Western Departments. Due to an unpleasantness which had arisen when Admiral Mayo was insulted by the Huerta Government at Vera Cruz it was thought necessary to bring the army into play in Mexico itself. Brigadier General Funston was ordered to go to Vera Cruz.
1914 He at once set out by way of Galveston with 4 regiments of infantry of the Fifth Brigade, Company E of the Second Battalion of Engineers and a field hospital. April 24
1914 He was followed later by the Fourth Field Artillery from Texas City. April 28
1914 General Funston reached Vera Cruz promptly and disembarked his troops. April 30
1914 A little later he took command of the city. Under him were 225 officers, 3,832 enlisted men of the regular army and 113 officers and 3,333 men of the marines. He extended his line so as to include El Tejar, which controlled the water supply of the city.
p450 Due to the change of government in Mexico there was little action that could be taken. However, the conduct and work of the troops were excellent in this trying situation. Officers and men had to deal very tactfully with the natives because they could neither go into Mexico nor go away from it. General Funston's predicament was all the more pitiable when it is considered that had he received an order to journey in the path that Winfield Scott had followed nearly seventy years before, he would have found that he could not budge. He had almost no transportation and a reduced peace strength which lowered his numbers to a pitiable figure. The Mexicans, too, were strong and armed with modern weapons. Thus a great nation of over 100,000,000 people for the third time in three years presented a spectacle to the world of being unable to assemble in their troubles even the semblance of a powerful force.
So successful had been the encampments, especially with the students, in the previous summer that effort was made to have two sets of two each this year.
to Aug. 7
to July 1
1914 As a consequence 348 students were sent to Burlington, Vermont; 120 to Asheville, North Carolina; 114 to Ludington, Michigan; and 85 to Monterey, California.
All through this year labor disturbances, especially in the coal regions, demanded the dispatch of regular troops to quell the disorder. Colorado, Montana and Arkansas were all visited by the Federal forces with the usual lulling effect. Such police work deprived the regular army of giving the instruction necessary in joint encampments with the National Guard. The consequence was that during this year there was almost a dearth of such field work. Even the camps for medical officers and schools of instruction for field artillery had to be canceled, with the exception of a field artillery encampment at Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania.
The legislation for the army during the second year of the World War was quite scattered.
1915 Several million dollars were spent on the armament of the Panama Canal. The enormous allotment of $15,000 for the purpose of having officers sent abroad to observe and study the war in Europe, did not show an excessive interest in the illuminating situation of p451 a new type of warfare overseas. On this account officers of the highest merit could not be sent to the scene of the World War in order to learn the endless details of that mechanism which would have been so invaluable to us later. At this late date, Congress began to look at aviation a trifle more earnestly. March 4
1915 Its extreme activity manifested itself in the appointment of 3 army officers who were to report on the "advisability of the acquisition by the government of land for an aviation school and training ground." The Porto Rico regiment of infantry was incorporated into the regular army, its officers being sprinkled about on the list with regular officers according to length of service. Modern discipline throughout the penitentiaries of the service had been put in vogue with success. Congress, therefore, changed the name of the military prisons at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to that of the United States Disciplinary Barracks. The thanks of Congress were extended to the members of the Isthmian Canal Commission. Colonel Goethals was raised to the grade of major general as was also Brigadier General William C. Gorgas. Colonel Hodges and Lieutenant Colonel Sibert were made brigadier generals of the line. A survey of the legislation effected this year, although no part of it was bad in itself, gives the impression of futility. The country was looking upon the World War in Europe as a spectator. That the mightiest conflict in history had embroiled half the civilized world caused little suspicion that somehow the fray might strike us, or a belief that we might be free from it with a little more intelligent strength.
Mr. Gardiner, Representative from Massachusetts, had offered excellent bills for appropriations for the aviation corps, for the making of a sufficient quantity of small-arms ammunition and for the production of field artillery material and ammunition. Although every one of these measures was decidedly necessary, even were we not going to be thrown into the World War two years later, the Congress overwhelmingly rejected them.
The state of the army at this time was deplorable in size and excellent in quality.
1915 It is sufficient to say that all the foot-loose mobile units we had within the borders of the United States consisted of 1 regiment and 1 squadron of cavalry and p452 1 regiment of field artillery.9 There was not a single regiment of infantry in its quarters or permanent station. In other words, the army was doing war duty, especially on the Mexican border, with only the mounted force above shown free for emergency. Besides, 27 companies of coast artillery would soon have to be sent away in order to garrison forts in the Philippines, Hawaii and the Canal Zone. This is all the more striking when it is known that the army consisted at this time of 31 regiments of infantry, 15 regiments of cavalry, 6 regiments of field artillery, 170 companies of coast artillery, 8 companies of signal corps, 3 battalions and a detachment of engineers, 7 field hospitals, 8 ambulance companies, 1 evacuation hospital and the Philippine scouts.
Mr. Garrison, one of the ablest Secretaries of War this country has ever seen, and one who as much as any martyr sacrificed his personal interests for a principle, showed that, when the proper deductions of the naturally stationary troops were made, there remained but 24,602 men of the mobile forces in the entire regular army. This was a smaller actual strength than at any time since 1861, except in April, 1865, when we had so many trained veteran volunteers still in the service. Equal to the shortage in troops was that of the officers. Over 28 per cent of them were absent from their commands for the valid reasons of detached service and casualties. Only 200 line officers had been added to the service, when many times that number were needed. All manner of materials for war were absent. The United States had only 21 aëroplanes and no dirigibles, whereas France had 500 aeroplanes and 11 dirigibles and Great Britain 250 aeroplanes and 8 dirigibles at this time. The United States possessed all told not 700 3‑inch field pieces, whereas France had 4,800 even prior to the beginning of the war in Europe. In the entire country, the ammunition for field artillery totaled only 5,800 rounds, or about all that would suffice for a two days' battle: as for p453 rifle ammunition, there was enough on hand for only four days' fighting.
The organized militia of the entire United States amounted to only 127,410 men, including coast artillery and staff. Nothing of real value had been done to establish a "second line" on a firm basis, although efforts of the general staff had been incessant in its endeavor to gain a tactical organization of the combined regular army and militia. Outside of 1 New York and 1 Pennsylvania division, other National Guard units were woefully deficient in personnel, matériel and training.
The year ended with the carrying out of a very happy idea by General Wood, then in command of the Department of the East.
1915 He established a military instruction camp for business and professional men which was held at Plattsburg, New York. The way in which the attendants set aside their personal business and whole-heartedly entered into the spirit of rigorous discipline cannot be too highly complimented. The conduct and training of that month was something that was of the utmost value later in our participation in the war. Although the size of the assemblage made it only a drop in the bucket, it was the start of the training camp, which was to be a great factor later.
The affairs in Mexico, marked by the killing of defenseless Americans, grew to be of such grievous nature that the country clamored for retribution. For months the matter became more serious.
1916 Finally Pancho Villa with about 1,500 bandits rode across the border and attacked the defenseless town of Columbus, New Mexico. He looted the place with the usual brutality to women and children, killing 11 civilians, 9 soldiers, wounding many others and burning a number of buildings. Having cut the telegraph wires, he embarrassed the Thirteenth Cavalry in its communication with the town. Nevertheless, some 250 of the Thirteenth pursued the raiders, killing 40 of them and wounding many more. The regiment's loss was 1 killed.
It was found immediately necessary to send a force into Mexico, since the Carranza government had shown itself incapable of protecting Americans and American soil.
1916 Brigadier General John J. Pershing was appointed to p454 command a punitive expedition for the purpose of rounding up Villa.10 With great dispatch he began his crossing of the border from Columbus, having under him the Sixth and Sixteenth Infantry, the Eleventh and Thirteenth Cavalry, 1 battery of the Sixth Artillery, the First Aero Squadron, and some engineer, signal, ambulance and hospital troops. At the same time Colonel George A. Dodd with the Seventh and Tenth Cavalry and 1 battery of the Sixth Artillery crossed the border further west. The march south was exceedingly difficult both because Carranza refused the use of the railroads to the troops and because the villages, in most cases, could not be used. The available motor truck and pack train supply was far from adequate, almost disgraceful. As the troops proceeded farther and farther from their base, their hardships increased.
The expedition, too, had orders from Washington which embarrassed it. It was to proceed against Villa without occupying towns and without coming into conflict with Carranza forces. It was a difficult proposition thus to march in the waste places and to keep out of the way of the Mexicans who were actively hostile to the Americans.
1916 Pershing had to be reënforced by more troops later. For instance, parts of the Twentieth and Twenty-fourth Infantry started from Columbus. Meanwhile some other regular regiments of the country were concentrated along the border, and an extra motor truck train was purchased.
1916 The American troops reached a point •two hundred miles south of the border in spite of these handicaps. March 29
1916 Colonel Dodd with about 400 men of his cavalry regiment surprised and attacked about 500 bandits under Villa at Guerrero. He scattered the force after a sharp fight and captured 2 machine guns and a large number of horses, saddles and arms. The Villa forces lost at least 30 killed, whereas the Americans had 4 men wounded, not seriously. This battle was the only one of the war which was directly concerned with Villa. The others were the results of the hostile attitude of the Carranza troops in apparent opposition to the first understanding between the two governments.
1916 General Pershing's headquarters were transferred to Namiquipa, •about two hundred and twenty-five miles south of Columbus. Supplies were more and more difficult to get, but field bakeries and rolling kitchens began to count in relieving the hunger of the troops.
Minor actions, on account of the opposition by Carranza, took place at several Mexican towns.
1916 Colonel Brown, with 271 officers and men of the Tenth Cavalry, met Villistas at Agua Caliente. April 7
1916 Captain Kendrick similarly with 96 officers and men of the Seventh Cavalry had a brush with some Villistas at Agua Zarca. April 10
1916 Major Howze with 264 officers and men of the Eleventh Cavalry had a larger engagement at La Joya. All these actions were successful in driving back the enemy.
In scouting ahead of the column, Major Frank Tompkins with 2 troops of the Thirteenth Cavalry came to the town of Parral. General Lozano of the Carranzistas accompanied Major Tompkins to his camp, but the Americans were followed by a jeering mob of Mexicans who threw stones at them and fired in their direction. Major Tompkins took up a defensive position north of the railroad, and in superhuman self-control refrained, under the orders of his government, to bring on a fight with the Carranzistas. However, he was finally flanked out by a superior force of Mexican troops, who did not seem to be controlled by their general.
1916 About 300 of them pursued the small force of American cavalry which had to withdraw under instructions that exasperated these brave but obedient men. The scattering losses in this defensive retreat had been about 40 Mexicans against 2 American soldiers killed and 6 wounded. It was not until •fifteen miles of withdrawal had taken place that the pursuing Mexicans ceased their fire. There the 2 troops were reënforced by 1 squadron of the Tenth Cavalry and 4 machine guns.
This incident caused the general knowledge of what the army was aware of long since, that the whole Mexican nation was actively hostile to our troops.
1916 General Pershing was reënforced by 2,300 troops, including the Seventeenth Infantry, the Fifth Cavalry and 1 battalion of the Fourth Field Artillery.
Small engagements scattered themselves about during the
p456 remainder of the month.
1916 Colonel Brown with 45 men of the Seventh Cavalry drove back a small force of Villistas at Verde River. April 22
1916 Colonel Dodd with 154 men of the Seventh Cavalry had a very successful battle with an equal number of Villistas at Tomachie.
1916 A conference between the representatives of the two nations, Obregon and Trevino for Mexico and Generals Scott and Funston for the United States, was held at El Paso, Texas. While the deliberations, which seemed to reach a deadlock, were in progress, May 5
1916 a raid was made by a party of Villa bandits, numbering about 50, on Glenn Springs, Texas. Nine men of the Fourteenth Cavalry, who were on picket duty there, were surrounded. Taking refuge in an adobe hut, they fought with great valor. But when the Mexicans set the roof afire, they had to flee: 3 were killed, 2 wounded and 2 badly burned. The Villistas also killed a boy in the village. May 5
1916 Major Langhorne pursued the bandits, capturing 14 prisoners.
At Ojos Azules in Mexico, Major Howze with a squadron of the Eleventh Cavalry routed with great success a force of the Villistas. These events caused the President to see that negotiations were futile, and that more strength would have to be applied to the wily work of the Carranzistas.
1916 Accordingly, he ordered the last of the regular mobile troops, who happened at that moment to be in the United States, to the border — the Third, Fourteenth, Twenty-first and Thirtieth Infantry, the Fifth Field artillery and practical all of the remaining coast artillery. With the country so drained, he caused the governors of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to send their National Guard to report to the regular army whose officers would federalize the militia organizations.
1916 Minor actions continued through the month with Carranzistas in Mexico, the feeling growing more intense. May 14, 25
1916 Small detachments of the Sixth and Seventeenth Infantry, respectively, had sharp engagements at San Miguel de Rubio and Alamillo Cañon.
1916 It was while all this was happening that Congress, having a concrete example of the meagerness of our forces, passed a National Defense or Reorganization Act, which was one of the greatest advances over all previous military legislation.d The p457 regular army was to consist of 65 regiments of infantry, 25 of cavalry and 21 of field artillery, an equivalent of 93 companies of coast artillery, 8 aero squadrons, 7 regiments of engineers, and the corresponding staff corps. This organization gave the country a peace force of 175,000 men as fighting units. The army of the United States was to include the regular army, the volunteer army, the officers' reserve corps, the enlisted service corps and the National Guard (while in the service of the United States). The mobile troops of the regular army were to be organized into divisions and brigades on a tactical basis. Four major-generals and 19 brigadiers were added to the line. The General Staff was to consist of the chief of staff, 2 general officers of the line, 10 colonels, 10 lieutenant colonels, 15 majors and 17 captains, to be detailed for four years at a time. The cavalry and infantry regiments had added to them a supply company, a headquarters company and a machine‑gun company. A division had 3 brigades of 3 regiments each. The increase was to take place in five equal and annual installments. Promotion was equalized to a certain extent between branches by the addition of a small number of colonels to the infantry and cavalry. An officers' reserve corps was provided for by giving commissions to civilians proven to be qualified by examination. An enlisted reserve corps was to be built up by soldiers furloughed to the reserve, the enlistment for the regular soldier being three years with the colors and four years with the reserve. Men with character "excellent" could be transferred to the reserve after one year. Vocational training of the soldier was provided for, and federalizing about 425,000 National Guard could be had under the law. The medical corps was to consist of medical corps proper, medical reserve corps, dental corps, veterinary corps and nurse corps. A special provision authorized the Secretary of War to maintain training camps which gave opportunity for much more unified handling of state troops. The President, when authorized by Congress to use the land forces, could draft the National Guard and the National Guard Reserve into the service of the United States. May 4
1916 The Corps of Cadets by a previous act had been increased to a maximum of 1,334 cadets, by giving each Congressman two appointments. p458 Altogether legislation allowed the army a maximum war strength of 287,846 men.11
1916 The training camp at Plattsburg was opened for business men in spite of the fact that there was scarcely any army in the country.
On the Mexican border the number of American troops had materially increased, although the above law which could not be put in force for many months did not swell the total.
1916 The President had to resort to calling out more National Guard from the majority of the states in the Union. With great difficulty they were transported to camps along the border and in the United States, until by the end of the year some 75,000 were stretched along the Rio Grande.
1916 In the meantime some 100 Mexicans attacked the Fourteenth Infantry camp at Laredo and killed 4 soldiers, and the next day a detachment of the Twenty-sixth Infantry was fired on at West Brownsville.
Within Mexico it was felt by General Pershing that a great force of Carranzistas were collecting at Laguna de Bay with malicious intent. Under Captains Charles T. Boydº and Lewis S. Morey 2 troops of the Tenth Cavalry were sent to scout toward the Mexicans and find out their strength. Having arrived within •two miles of Carrizal, the troops halted and requested to pass through the town. The request was denied, but a conference between commanders took place outside the town.
1916 While this council was in progress a large force (about 400) of Mexican troops circled the camp, placing at advantageous points machine guns. When the Mexican commanders suddenly withdrew, the Carranza troops opened fire. The little force of 90 cavalrymen were in a distressing predicament, but gallantly formed and attacked. Captain Boyd and Lieutenant Adair were killed, besides 38 others killed or wounded. Captain Morey was severely wounded. The Americans finally made their way back in various ways except 24 who were captured. The Mexicans lost 40 killed and 39 wounded including General Gomez.
This marked the end of actual hostilities of a grave nature. The large force collected on the border alarmed Carranza to such a degree that he tamed his defiant attitude. Had such numbers been capable of action in the first place, doubtless the casualties of this expedition would have been . A joint commission then tried to settle the difficulties, so that the troops were held in Mexico and in the United States, on both sides of the Rio Grande and in a very delicate and difficult situation.
p460 They could move neither backward nor forward.
1917 Finally they were begun to be withdrawn because of a diplomatic protocol between the nations. Villa was still uncaptured.
General Pershing's task through this whole campaign was, to speak mildly, awkward. He had to advance with little transportation through the most trying part of a tensely hostile country. He was allowed to attack one party but not the other, while both were equally antagonistic. He was in the position of the man who had to walk into a hungry leopard's cage with orders to beat Mr. Leopard, but under no conditions resist Mrs. Leopard with her cubs. With such a mission, who could have done better?
The experiences of the army in this phase between the war with Spain and the World War had been cosmopolitan and diverse. It was all in the work of the year for an officer to be student, instructor, leader, governor, judge, jury, councilor, fighter, constructor, almsgiver, executive and peacemaker. It was in the work of the day for both officer and enlisted man to crawl through tormenting jungles or press forward over parching trails while deadly pestilence or Mauser bullet doggedly pursued. It has been impossible to record the many annihilations of whole companies and detachments as they were ambushed on the march as late as 1905. But more disheartening than any physical discomfort, disease or wounds, which the American soldier bears with fortitude and sportsmanship, was the criticism of his own people back home. After he had gone forward with only the good of his nation in his mind, it hurt him keenly to find the press construing his sincere struggles and daring achievements as acts of cruelty or selfishness.
Through all this gruelling can be traced the soldier's stubborn desire for the improvement of the service. His ambition and pride must psychologically point that way. He enters his profession without hope of wealth or gain, much as does the clergyman. He feels that he is about to engage in a noble undertaking, whose discipline is the very essence of high-mindedness. He finds himself cut off from private business enterprises both by regulations and his movements hither and yon. He does not change his job. He cannot be promoted a single grade through his own efforts, unless it be in that far‑away time when he becomes p461 a colonel. The outlet then for his energies is to be known to his superiors and inferiors as an efficient officer. When he finds, after study and practice, deficiencies that rob the army of its best results, he strives to have them remedied. When he sees lives and money expended uselessly by his nation, he is obsessed with the desire to prevent another such disaster. It is his invariable rule when confronted with any task, to think first of his duty to his nation. His superiors often change, but his employer — his country — always stays. There are no strings, no side issues. His duty runs straight between his master and himself. He feels his patriotism too deeply even to discuss the matter. He may not wave a flag, but he can grit his teeth.
1 This was the real beginning of the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th Infantry and the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th Cavalry regiments — mostly organized in 1902.
2 Volunteers about equaled the regulars in number.
|Geographical distribution||Officers||Enlisted men||Total|
In the United States
In the Philippines
In Porto Rico
Troops en route and officers at other foreign stations
In the Philippine Scouts
In the Porto Rico Regiment
In the Hospital Corps, excluded by the Act of March 1, 1887 (24 Stat. L., 435), from being counted as part of the enlisted strength of the army
Making a grand total of
|Rank and Arm of Service — Battery, Troop, Company||First enlistment|
Sergeant, first class — signal corps
Sergeant — engineers, ordnance, signal corps
Cook — artillery, cavalry, infantry, engineers, signal corps
Corporal — engineers, ordnance, signal corps
Corporal — artillery, cavalry, infantry
Private, first class — engineers, ordnance, signal corps
Trumpeter — cavalry
5 Author of many technical works especially a standard textbook on "Hippology."
6 These facts were obtained, at the solicitation of the author, from an eyewitness.
7 The Presidential elections were in sight.
8 Thirty inf., 15 cav. and 6 F. A. regiments, 18 F. A. batteries, 6 sig. corps, 12 eng. and 24 C. A. companies in Philippines, 1899‑1912.
9 Four troops of cavalry at Fort Sheridan, Ill.; 4 troops and 1 signal company at Fort Leavenworth; 2 troops at Fort Robinson, Nebraska; 1 regiment of field artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma; 4 troops of cavalry at Fort Meade, South Dakota; and 2 troops at Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming.
10 His order organizing the expedition was dated March 14.
|31 regiments infantry||1,531||25,035||56,315|
|15 regiments cavalry||750||12,240||18,540|
|6 regiments field artillery||246||5,010||7,116|
|3 battalions engineers||57||1,234||2,002|
|Coast artillery corps (170 companies)||701||19,321|
|Other troops and staff departments||765||1,472||1,472|
|65 regiments infantry||3,314||85,685||126,230|
|25 regiments cavalry||1,300||24,350||36,250|
|21 regiments field artillery||876||17,752||26,361|
|7 regiments engineers||231||4,697||7,077|
|2 battalions mounted engineers||32||458||692|
|Coast artillery corps (263 companies)||1,201||30,009|
|Other troops and staff departments||1,797||19,154||24,356|
a The summary account given by Ganoe differs from the facts as stated today: to the spelling Tila Pass seen in American documents of the time, Tirad Pass is now preferred. The date of the battle was December 2, 1899. Gen. Gregorio del Pilar was not captured but killed; he was 24 years old.
b The fire, its law and order problems, and the rôle of the army in managing the situation, are covered in detail in a full-length illustrated book onsite luridly titled The Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror.
d What follows is merely a skeletal summary of provisions affecting the Army. The Act was much wider in scope, including among other things provisions for the manufacture of arms and munitions; some details in Turnbull & Lord, History of United States Naval Aviation, p106.
Images with borders lead to more information.
The thicker the border, the more information. (Details here.)
History of the United States Army
A page or image on this site is in the public domain ONLY
if its URL has a total of one *asterisk.
If the URL has two **asterisks,
the item is copyright someone else, and used by permission or fair use.
If the URL has none the item is © Bill Thayer.
See my copyright page for details and contact information.
Page updated: 28 Feb 16