St. Andrew's Cross
By Hubert Carleton, George Herbert Randall, Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Leon C. Palmer
New Chapter at Camp Cody
Installation of the Bishop Howden Army and Navy Chapter of the Brotherhood at Camp Cody, N. M., took place in St. Luke's Church, Deming, N. M. Numbering twenty-two members, including officers and privates, the men were received by the Bishop at the morning service, and were given the Brotherhood badge as he extended the hand of fellowship to each candidate.
How eagerly the men grasped the privilege of reconsecrating themselves to service in the spread of Christ's Kingdom among men is illustrated by the action of one of the new members. This man had been confined to the hospital for some time, but so anxious was he to be one of the charter members of the Chapter that he insisted on being taken to the church in a wheel chair. After the service the members of the new Camp Cody Brotherhood grouped themselves in front of the church and were photographed. Already two members of the Chapter are on the way to France.
Our good friend and co-worker, Doyle E. Hinton, Brotherhood Secretary at Camp Cody, is responsible for the existence of the Chapter. By his tireless efforts he located the Churchmen at Camp Cody, and stirred them to grasp the privilege of membership in the Brotherhood. After much hard work the Chapter was brought to the point where it was ready for membership as a military organization. At this time Bishop Howden, of New Mexico, was supposed to be in Chicago, about to leave for his home in Albuquerque. Mr. Hinton kept the wires hot and finally located the Bishop and received the assurance that he would be at Deming and receive the group into the Brotherhood on the second Sunday in March.
Speaking generally of Mr. Hinton's work, I wish to say he deserves the heartiest support of the boys in khaki, and he is receiving it. He is here, there and everywhere, visiting the sick in hospitals, calling on men in their quarters, always giving a hearty hand clasp and a cheery "How are you today?" Invariably there follows the invitation to "come down to the Parish House tonight." And we always come!
It is a pleasant place to spend the evening and the afternoon of Sundays. Rocking chairs, tables with generous supplies of current reading matter, writing material, victrola and piano, are displayed about the building in a way that gives it the "home" touch. Two of our members are violinists, while Father Holsapple is a musician of rare ability, and there is never a lack of entertainment of a high-class order. W. A. T.
Iowa Year Book of Agriculture, Volume 18
By Iowa Department of Agriculture, Iowa, State Fair, Iowa State Agricultural Society
Remarks of the Governor Honorable William Lloyd Harding
Honorable William Lloyd Harding: Gentlemen: It was my privilege, and I felt it also a duty, to visit the troops down at Camp Cody. In fact, I am trying to visit the Iowa troops wherever they may be stationed in this country, once at least before they leave for across the water. (Applause). I saw 25,000 American soldiers on that parade ground on Sunday morning, 8,000 of them from Iowa, and when you look at that body of young men, the suggestion made by Mr. Wallace of what they are doing and how little we may be doing here at home as compared with what those young men are doing, comes home all the more strongly.
It seems to me there ought not to be a single, solitary person in all this state that is not a member of the Red Cross. While at Camp Cody I visited the hospitals. The work that the Red Cross is doing there is remarkable. These boys are a long ways from home. They are just as far away from home there as if they were in France, because Nature never picked that place as a training camp. I understand that to be a brave man you must have a lot of "sand", and after you have been there for twenty-four hours you have plenty of it.
I visited the hospitals, and one lad was very sick, but the smile that came over his face when he saw somebody from home was pathetic. Before I left he turned on his pillow, and I know there were tears in his eyes (but nurses were about) as he told me of the good treatment he had received from the Red Cross. The money that we are going to give to this Red Cross is to see that the sick boys are taken care of, and I think if that message can be carried all over the state into every home there will be no question about the success of this campaign. Now, the thought I want to leave with the fair association—and I think it is the thought that ought to be brought home to you people—is that it is not necessary for men to change their occupation in order to help win this war.
Too many men and women think, now that we are at war, that they must change their occupation and get into some other line—some branch of the service in order to help their country in this hour of need. What we do need is every man with his shoulder to the wheel in his own business pushing harder than he has ever pushed before. If your business was important in the days of peace as a producer, then it is doubly important in the time of war. These other matters that we take on, such as the Red Cross, the Liberty Bonds, and the Y. M. C. A. are simply additional burdens but it does not mean that a man should let up In his ? usual and ordinary avocation.
We have a great deal of trouble in our office because of those who want to organize home guards or something of that kind. They think it would be nice to have a body of men training in their town. It would be, but we don't want men training as home guards when we have a war on our hands. They had better be training in home, gardens and home farms rather than marching around with a broomstick trying to be a trained soldier. And the message that must somehow get to our people in all its seriousness is that each man must now attend to his own business, provided the government has not called him to go into the service. Not five minutes ago I got through talking with a man who is past the age limit who says he wants to serve his country.
I said "If you do and you mean it, get on a pair of overalls and go out and pick corn," but that didn't appeal to him. Now, we have that type of men, unfortunately, right here in Iowa, and it is up to those who are real patriots to carry this message: That every man should take the place that he can find that is open and get into it and work. That is the spirit of the true soldier, and I want to tell you it is the spirit of the boys down there at Camp Cody. They are not complaining; they are feeling good. There are conditions that could be changed, no doubt, and that ought to be changed, and I have no doubt will be changed; but the boys are not saying anything about it, and you never would find it out if you had to wait for them to tell you. And we have got to have that same spirit right here at home.
MARTIN COUNTY IN THE WORLD WAR 1917-1919
This volume is affectionately and reverently dedicated to the Heroic Men of Martin County, Minnesota,
who gave their lives upon the field of battle or through disease in the righteous cause of Liberty, Justice and Equality
Chapter III - The Call to the Colors
Martin County young men did not all wait for the declaration of war before placing themselves at the disposal of the country in the struggle that they believed inevitable.
During the early months of 1917, prior to the passage of the "War Act" about a score sought enlistment offices and enrolled for the army or navy. As soon as war was a reality a very considerable number began putting their affairs in order and quietly slipping away to enlist. At that period enlistments were open in all branches of the service and the young men could elect to serve in whichever best suited their inclinations. Some sought the army, others the navy or marines. No recruiting office was maintained in the county, the prospective recruit having to go to Mankato, Albert Lea or the Twin Cities to enroll.
It is believed that the honor of being first to enlist after war was declared goes to Lee R. Oles of Truman. On April 10th he signed up for the infantry at the Mankato recruiting office. Oles did not realize his expectations of service at the front. He was sent to a training camp and died of disease.
Other early enlistments were Hanson Smith of Cedar who joined the marines. David Levin, Sherburn, marines, Thad Allen, Fairmont, marines; Wm. Kauder and Carl Jessen of Fairmont, navy. These, and several others enlisted in April, 1917. By May 1st Lake Fremont township had 14 volunteer enlistments in army and navy. In proportion to its population this township excelled all other parts of the county in voluntary enlistments, with the exception of the village of Ormsby. By May 9th every man of military age in that little town had volunteered. A study of the service records of the county, printed elsewhere in this book, will disclose that a large proportion of the men from this county were voluntary enlistments.
There existed in Martin County one company of National Guard Infantry stationed at Fairmont, though many of its members were residents of surrounding towns and villages. This unit was at that time designated Co. E, 2nd Infantry Minnesota National Guard.
The Fairmont National Guard company had existed continuously since May 2. 1882, except for a short period after its return from service in the Spanish-American War. At the time of the company's organization it was officered by ex-soldiers of the Civil War. Wm. Bird was Captain, J. A. Everett First Lieutenant, and C. H. Bullard Second Lieutenant. Many of the enlisted men of that period were also veterans of the war of the 60's.
During the period 1882-1898 the company, which was then Co. D, 2d Infantry, M. N. G., and one of the earliest military companies of the state, was called to arms but once. That was during a serious strike on Minnesota railroads in 1894. Mobilization was at the state capitol. Their service was short and without casualty or noteworthy incident.
As Co. D, 12th Minn. Volunteer Inf., the company was called to Federal service for the Spanish-American war. Its experiences at that time are made the subject of a chapter in another part of this volume.
The Spanish-American War saw Co. D converted from a national guard to a volunteer organization. Therefore when demobilized the unity of the organization was lost and for a few years there was no National Guard company in Martin County. In 1904 the company was reorganized as Co. E, 2nd Infantry, M. N. G., principally by men who had previously served in its ranks in the volunteer service.
In June, 1916, the company was again called to service on the Mexican border where it was on duty as a national guard unit in Federal service until January, 1917. This period of its activity is treated as a separate subject elsewhere.
Returning to its home station many of the men were discharged on account of removal from the company station, dependents and other reasons. The coming of war therefore found the company depleted in numbers and with a call to active combat service imminent.
Co. E did not wait for the declaration before opening its recruiting campaign. With the breaking off of diplomatic relations with Germany in February, 1917, additional men for the ranks were sought and after April 6th a systematic campaign was carried on. Recruiting parties, usually with a detail of men in uniform, martial musie, banners and speakers, drove with automobiles to other towns —Sherburn, Welcome, Ceylon, Jackson, Truman, Winnebago, Wells, Blue Earth, Minnesota Lake, Madelia, Triumph, and other places and at street meetings stirred up enthusiasm for enlistments either in the National Guard company or the general service, and constituted as well a powerful factor in unifying public sentiment for the more exacting war experiences soon to come. J. A. Everett, Civil War veteran, Albert R. Allen, county attorney, Ex-Senator J. E. Haycraft, Alfred Torngren and Arthur M. Nelson, editors, G. A. Sutherland, Rev. I. E. Moody, and others gave much service in this campaign as speakers.
Physical requirements for the Co. E recruits were much higher than for the general service later. On April 20th 20 volunteers were examined of whom 13 were rejected. Ten of the rejected were later accepted for service under the draft. The last considerable increment of recruits for Co. E was secured on Memorial day when there were 25 enlistments. This practically filled the ranks though later there was an increase in personnel authorized that called for a number of additional enlistments that were easily secured, and before its departure the "home company" was compelled to turn down many who desired service in its ranks.
On May 19th the company commander received official notice that his command would be called to Federal service on July 15th. It was announced that the company would be at first mobilized at its home station. Preparatory to its departure the men conducted many dances and other entertainments to raise funds for its use in the service. In this they were very successful and the public generous. A fund of several thousand dollars was readily raised. It was of course taken for granted that the company would remain intact throughout its service. The policy of the government to discourage local units in its armies was not then foreseen.
On July 15th Co. E entered upon the most enjoyable period of its service. Under its own home officers, among the home people, it went into camp at the Martin County fair grounds, establishing Camp William Bird. The camp was named in honor of a pioneer Civil War veteran, long prominent in Martin County and the first commander of the original Fairmont National Guard company. The time at Camp William Bird was spent in active military drill, interspersed with many social diversions, tending to make it pleasant for the soldiers, but all chafed under the delay in leaving "for the front." It was at all times anticipated that the command would depart long before the final "marching orders" did actually arrive.
Believing that the time of departure was near at hand the people of Fairmont arranged a monster farewell for the company on July 29th. It is estimated that 20,000 people attended. There was a great parade and speaking exercises at which Hon. Dar Reese of St. Paul was the principal orator. The men in uniform were the heroes of the hour and enthusiasm and patriotism were at a dizzy height.
The final separation from the state service came on Aug. 5th when, under the selective service act, the men were formally discharged from the National Guard of the state and drafted into Federal service. It was not realized at the time that this was the beginning of the end of Co. E as a local military unit. With the draft into Federal service the departure of the company was expected daily. Everything was in readiness but the weeks dragged on and the volunteers saw a large number of selective service men move out before they left Camp William Bird behind. Finally on Sept. 27th the command entrained for Camp Cody, New Mexico.
On reaching the new camp the company became Co. E, 136th Infantry, 34th Division, and complete reorganization to conform to new regulations took place. Old standards were abandoned and one feature of the system was to abolish local units and disintegrate national guard commands. The personnel of an infantry company was increased to 250 men with five officers. The company went into service with 150 men and three officers.
Local character began to fade with the assigning of 100 new men to Co. E at Camp Cody. A few of these came from Camp Dodge, Iowa, through the selective draft. Others had previously been a part of a South Dakota National Guard unit that was broken up after entry into Federal service. Officers and men were transferred under the new regime regardless of personal wishes and without reference to localities or branches of the service. The personnel of the home company quickly changed and soon entirely lost local significance.
At Camp Cody began a long and heart-breaking period of further intensive training, extremely disheartening to officers and men who had been among the first to volunteer and who represented the highest class of American soldier material. It was not until April, 1918, that the first Co. E men were sent overseas. At that time four enlisted men were selected and sent across as replacements. The conviction began to settle down that the company was soon to be broken up and the officers and men scattered here and there through the service as replacement troops.
June, 1918, saw the finish of Co. E so far as its identity as a local company is concerned. All of the privates were withdrawn to help fill the ranks of depleted organizations in France. Of the original personnel only the officers and non-commissioned officers were left. The privates were rushed across the Atlantic and into the ranks of regiments at the front. They went to various divisions and nearly all participated in the various engagements that occurred between July loth and Nov. 11, 1918.
This disposal of the men of Co. E removed its last vestige as a home and national guard unit. The ranks were at once refilled with selective service men from Texas, New Mexico and other southwestern states and the officers and non-coms remaining again took up the weary grind of instructing a fresh lot of recruits.
On August 26, 1918, the entire 34th Division, including Co. E, left Camp Cody on the first leg of their journey to the front. They were sent to Camp Dix, New Jersey, for immediate embarkation but once more the old hoodoo pursued the division. The great influenza epidemic hit the command at Camp Dix and delayed departure. Hundreds of men of the division died. While the 34th lay in quarantine, fighting a foe more subtle and deadly to its personnel than the guns of Germany, the other American divisions were fighting gloriously at St. Mihiel and the Argonne.
Not until Oct. 12, 1918, did Co. E finally embark as a unit. On reaching France they were sent to the great classification Camp at LeMans, there to be finally and completely broken up, officers and men being sent to various commands in combat service but too late to participate in the fighting, the armistice being at hand. The major part went to the 4th Division and spent many months in Germany with the Army of Occupation.
In at least one respect Co. E was fortunate. Although its original members served for an average of more than two years its losses were small. Only one man, Edward J. Troska, was killed in battle. But one, Lester C. Personius, died of disease. Several were wounded in battle, the exact number having never been determined.