At Camp Upton

HISTORY OF THE 305th Infantry
Frank Tiebout

Chapter 1 - At Camp Upton



FORTY years hence, when little John clambers upon your knee with a "Grandpa, tell me a soldier story," you will not have to disappoint the child. If your memory has not survived the strain, if you still suffer from shell shock, you can at least look in the book for inspiration. The Regimental Story will remind you of all the stories it fails to record. On the other hand, if your imagination is too fruitful, it will serve as a check upon the irresistible tendency to tell a whopper. By all means, keep the child quiet; his mother will thank you; but at the same time fill him with a wholesome respect for the glory of American Arms, and of the Three Hundred and Fifth. Yet be careful! Get these few essential facts straight, or the boy will come back at you with embarrassing questions as soon as he is old enough to read the book for himself.

However, the main purpose of this story is to record the fun and the facts as we found them. To be sure, we often had to manufacture the fun, though really, a laugh could be found in almost any situation, however tense, however hopeless and disagreeable. You laughed your way through stump pulling, kitchen police, through the endless drilling-, through the submarine zone, through marmalade and tea; through shell fire on the Vesle, through machine-gun fire in the Argonne; through the five months following the armistice-the hardest battle of the war. Your persistent good humor went a long way toward beating the Hun.

Come back to Upton with us then; come over to France. Get into the old ramshackle billets again where you argued for standing room with the cows and chickens. Step down into the trenches once more; roll around in the muddy old funk holes. Get real muddy! Sleep on the floor of a cold hommes et chevaux parlor car. Sample the cold corned willie. See if the canned goldfish is any less delicious than it used to be. Growl and grumble as you used to and then-laugh, as you used to.

Begin your story by telling how you and a host of other civilians, in the summer of 1917, knowing nothing of military life and caring less, were called upon by the United States to show the world, Germany in particular, that there are certain outrages we cannot stand for; how your local board instructed you to report on such-and-such a day, how the bands and the banners and the tears convinced you that the trenches were only a week or two away at most; how you landed at Camp Upton near Yaphank, Long Island, and felt your heart sink. On that memorable day, you probably experienced no patriotic thrill. You and your trainload of comrades, mostly in old clothes, with little handbags or bundles containing the things your mother thought necessary to military life, a mob of boys of all the nationalities and creeds that go to make up the cosmopolitan city of New York; who couldn't keep step, of course; who could scarcely align themselves in a " column of two's "-you couldn't have licked Germany on that afternoon! Officers and men who that day saw you struggle toward the barracks often recalled the picture, ten months later, when they saw you filing silently through the communicating trenches in the pitchy darkness, single file, five paces apart, every man keeping contact, tried, reliable, dependable. What a change- eh?

"It was a Wednesday afternoon, at three P. M.," writes a scribe from F Company, "and raining like mad when our train pulled into a place called Camp Upton. They had a band of music at the station playing the Star Spangled Banner, to get us to feel like fighting. It did-the way they played it. A few roughnecks from the regulars received us. The Sergeant gave a command: 'Column of two's. Forward, MARCH!' But we bums stood like a bunch of dopes, for we didn't know what 'a column of two's meant. All the way to the barracks, the one-month veterans were saying: 'Wait till you get the needle."'

Irvin Cobb, in the Saturday Evening Post, said: "I saw them when they first landed at Camp Upton, furtive, frightened, slow-footed, slack-shouldered, underfed, apprehensive-a huddle of unhappy aliens, speaking in alien tongues, and knowing little of the cause for which they must fight, and possibly caring less. I saw them again three months later, when the snow of the dreadful winter of 1917-1918 was piling high about their wooden barracks down there on wind-swept Long Island. The stoop was beginning to come out of their spines, the shamble out of their gait. They had learned to hold their heads up; had learned to look every man in the eye and tell him to go elsewhere, with a capital H. They knew now that discipline was not punishment, and that the salute was not a mark of servility, but an evidence of mutual self-respect between officer and man. They wore their uniforms with pride. The flag meant something to them and the war meant something to them. Three short, hard months of training had transformed them from a rabble into soldier stuff; from a street mob into the makings of an army; from strangers into Americans. After nine months I have seen them once more in France. For swagger, for snap, for smartness in the drill, for cockiness in the billet, for good-humor on the march, and for dash and spunk and deviltry in the fighting into which just lately they have been sent, our Army can show no better and no more gallant warriors than the lads who mainly make up the rank and file of this particular division."

The Three Hundred and Fifth Infantry was a part of that 77th Division. Just when was the Three Hundred and Fifth Infantry born? Some will say that the regiment began when the 77th Division was drawn up on paper and the words "Three Hundred and Fifth Infantry" written down for the first time. Others will maintain that it began with a handful of reserve officers, fresh from the First Plattsburg Training Camp, who boarded the train for Yaphank on August 29, 1917, who groped their way among a myriad of sweating workmen, teams, wagons, motor trucks, jitneys, lumber piles, stables, shanties; over fresh broken roads, felled trees, stumps, brush and sticky mud; who somehow found a hill upon which sat an unpainted shack and some vague personage who directed them to Barrack J, No. 21; who bought iron cots from colored workmen not unwilling to pick up an illegitimate penny on the side; who shivered for want of blankets and baggage, washed at the community spigot, got a dose of lead poisoning and swore off on water for many weeks; who presently found their names dangling from a sort of family tree with Colonel William R. Smedberg's name away up at the top, followed by Lieut.-Colonel James C. (Jim Crow) Rhea's; a little further down, the majors of the First, Second and Third Battalions, respectively-Walter W. Metcalf, Charles W. Dall, Harold C. Woodward; and spreading below them on the lower branches, each little cluster of company officers. While much of the success of the Three Hundred and Fifth Infantry can be attributed to the Regular Army "idea," and to the high-minded principles and ability of Colonel Smedberg (a situation which found a parallel in many another regiment of the National Army), a good deal of credit can be given, with all fairness, to the Reserve Officers, business men, college men, volunteers-all interested, all enthusiastic. " When I gave an order," said Colonel Smedberg, "I knew that it would be well carried out."
One morning they were roused as usual by the distant barrage of count-less hammers pounding away across the horizon, to find that the Rookies were due. Seemingly out of nothing, a city of barracks like a boomtown in the mining regions had arisen down in the "R " section to receive them, and thither journeyed each little family of company officers. What a scramble ensued for cots and bed-sacks and straw, for mess kits and blankets and civilian cooks, for stoves, fuel, ice-boxes and rations!

And this is where most of you will doubtless say the Three Hundred and Fifth Infantry had its beginning.

"To half-finished barracks in a half-cleared forest, by the chances of the draft and the accidents of the Adjutant General's Department, there had come a handful of soldiers by profession, some scores of men who for a few weeks bad studied the military, art, and nearly four thousand young citizens, ignorant of war, some eager, some reluctant, all unready for what they then considered hardship and restraint. Drill was to deal with their muscles; discipline, to bring incessant reminders of duty. They little knew how soon this great body would begin to have a military semblance, aware of its ordered strength and conscious of a collec-tive purpose. Soon would both officers and men grow proud of themselves and of each other; the great traditions of soldiership would have laid hold of them."

What really laid hold of them without a moment's delay, was a Regular Army Sergeant who ordered them into the bath-house, QUICK.
" Oh, but I've had a bath."
"I don't care what you did last year; you're in the Army now."
"But I took one this afternoon."
"Hard luck; you've got to take another and be checked."

Perhaps the water wasn't hot enough for those addicted to bathing-, more than likely it was ice-cold. The artful dodgers were hauled out of bed by the strong-arm squad for their first encounter with disciplinary action -whisk brooms and floor brushes vigorously applied by the First Sergeant's earlier and bitter victims.
"When do we eat?"

Almost the first words uttered by the new recruit. Expressive of the soldier's chief concern-his stomach. Heard later on the march, in battle, in billet; later still the doughboy's victorious greeting to the armistice. Certainly, the first words spoken at Camp Upton. He ate, and ate well, astonished to find so few beans, popularly rumored as the basis of army fare. To be sure, he was served " a thousand on a plate" very early in the game. However much he despised them then, he would later have given his overcoat for a single plate of those he earlier spurned.

And having eaten, he stood around that first evening, by the large bonfire kindled just outside the kitchen door, speculating as to his luck, his fate, telling his new-found comrades just what he thought of everything, particularly of his new officers. He had them sized up. He sang a bit. Heads bent close together as nasal agonies rent the night air. The bank clerk was suddenly surprised to find his arm wrapped affectionately around the motor-man's shoulders. The street cleaner hooked up with the little pants-presser. Months later, they dug a funk hole together on the Aisne-, and the street cleaner felt mighty sad when his buddy, the little pants-presser, "went west."
"Lights out! Get to bed!"
But not to sleep. Those wild Irishmen of F Company did not seem to care a bit if the occupant were still on the bed as it flew downstairs. Poor old Simon, already in a fair way to establish himself as the A Company barber, knew nothing of camouflage, failed utterly to detect in time the tricky genius of his new comrades, fell to the floor with a crash, all doubled up like a jack-knife in his folding cot, and reported to the orderly room that McGowan and his bunkies were a "geng uff loifers." Thus ended, as in a score of barracks, a perfect day.

The same tough army sergeant, who greeted you at the train, threw you into the bath and ordered you to bed, ordered you out. This was a bit too soon to curse the buglers. There weren't any. It was after hearing Reveille blown a countless number of times that you dreamed of the happy days to come, back in civil life, when, disgustingly wealthy, you could hire a bugler of your own, throw a brick at him, roll over and sleep as long as you darn pleased. You rose and made your own bed; a new experience, waving three blankets and a bed-sack into place. Thank Heaven, there were no sheets and pillows to battle with!

Sour faces at breakfast. Then for a roll call, and off to the Infirmary for an examination. Here's where one might have seen at first, some great stalling. "I can't hear." "I can't see out of this left eye." "I've got flat feet." All the excuses in the world; but always the same answer, " You'll do." Then for the needle. You have seen them keel over before it ever touched their arms. And some of them played faint. But the supposed terrible after-effects of the Typhoid Prophylaxis always got you twenty-four hours off; so, 'twas almost worth it. And five needles worth made you a veteran.

The qualification cards which showed a man's entire pedigree and which took so many hours to make out also revealed a surprising assortment of nationalities, whose names ran the gamut of the alphabet, backward and forward. It is said that a lieutenant, calling the roll of his company, happened to sneeze. Four men answered: "Here!" Side by side, on the H Company roster, perched a Parrot and a Peacock. Nearby, towering well above their fellows, stood "Great" Scott and "So" Long. There was a Mason, a Brewer and a Singer; a Jewel and a Penny. One of the first corporals to be turned out was called Trainer. Bosch proved himself a good patriot despite his name. Fries made an excellent cook. But how appro-priate, that Piper should have become a bugler!

Is there any company commander who didn't complain that all the qualification cards ever did for him was to betray the presence within his flock of a prize mechanic, chauffeur, plumber or typist? And wasn't it a fact that every man thought himself either skilled in the care and handling of horses, or a motor cyclist-having, no doubt, the vision of riding through the war as a messenger or a general's chauffeur? Only by the basest sort of deception could the captains, wild-eyed from an excess of paper work, retain any sort of clerical assistance. No one but an officer can appreciate the trials and tribulations of those early days: the first morning reports, with Recruits entered in red, Assignments in black, the ration figures, plus and minus, always wrong, the ever-changing rosters, the receipts demanded and given for all the men and equipment passing back and forth from one unit to another.

Well, the cards were a lovely color, and beautifully theoretical; and they did provide some amusement. Questioned as to his age, a man answered, "Twenty-seven." When asked when he would be twenty-eight, be scratched his head, utterly baffled, and ventured: "Either May or December." A private was asked if, within his military experience, he had attended any schools. "Yes," he replied, "the School of the Squad and the School of the Soldier. "

It was true that even before any of these pertinent facts concerning your history were known, you were told to spit out that gum, stood up in line, heels together, stomachs in, heads back-well, see paragraph 51 of the I. D. R. That's the way you couldn't stand, then. Thus began the elaborate and painful process of teacbing the difference between the right foot and the left foot; between the muzzle and the butt of the rifle; between a general and a private. Now and then, the Two Silver Bars would crawl out from beneath a stack of papers, forms and records and emerge from the sanctity of the Orderly Room to see how the work was progressing. All this preliminary work was of course up to the lieutenants, many of whom without doubt wondered, when they first called their little bunch of beginners to attention, whether or not the order would be promptly obeyed. Thank Heaven, it was. One must not forget ., while trying to analyze the success of the National Army, that the men were ready, willing and ambitious to become good soldiers. General Alexander, after assuming command of the 77th Division, learned to feel that his men would and could do anything expected of them. It was the willing spirit, which carried them through.

The riot, which greeted the first weekend passes proved that a system was necessary-discipline all the way into New York; discipline all the way back. Passes kept the men alive and brought a rich harvest to the " news butchers " of the Long Island Railroad, though the labor of issuing them and issuing them fairly almost killed off the lieuten-ants. At first, only those with army uniforms could go-oh yes, white collars and all. Finally, the uniforms did come. Hats would insist upon covering only the back of the head, or else flopping down around the ears; despite the careful measuring, sleeves were too long, necks too big, leggings, size five, wrapped loosely about a number three leg, shoes a full inch too long, as the lieutenant had insisted upon giving them to you, the overcoat often looking like a bath robe. But with the uniform came a bit of swagger, a little thrill of pride, plenty of work for the new company tailor and passes.

Mindful of the first week's experience, most any captain might have been heard addressing his tribe on Monday morning: "I want no pathetic telegrams to come pouring in on me this Friday. I don't care to hear that Solomon Levinsky has to be present Saturday morning, at the winding up of his pants business. Warn your grandmothers, aged aunts, sisters, brothers and cousins not to celebrate their marriages or burials on Saturday. Instruct all relatives knocking at death's door to wait in the vestibule until your turn for pass comes round."

It was soon noised about that all Jews would be permitted to go to the city for the celebration of Yom Kippur. A knock was heard at a certain orderly room door. In the gloomy hallway stood a big, strapping fellow who made known his desire for a pass. "You want to go in for Yom Kippur?"
"Yiss, sorr."
" What's your name?"
"Patrick Shea."

Good old Pat - one of the best fighting Irishmen that ever struggled through the Argonne with his back-breaking burden, a Hotchkiss machine gun. Nearly everybody in the Regiment knew Pat Shea, of the Machine Gun Company, and felt mighty bitter when be lost his life at the Meuse, in the last few minutes of the war

It was after explaining different things to a bunch of recruits that an officer gave the sudden command, "Right Face!" The execution was far from perfect.

"What's the matter with that man? I said, "Right Face!" not Left Face."'
"Me no spigk English."
About an hour later, it being Friday, the officer could have sworn that in response to his announcement concerning passes the same man answered: Sure, I want a pass tomorrow."

But there were compensations for your being denied a pass. "You new that if you didn't get one, you would at least get a day off, and one of 'Dutch' Richert's juicy steaks," to quote from the reminiscences of F Company. "After inspection, there was plenty of fun in the old mess hall, 'Ed' Hoffman beating the box, the pool sharks playing 'Drop Dead' and old 'Dutch' behind his counter, all dressed in white like an Astorbilt chef, waving succulent beef-steak under the noses of the guys who had to go out on the morning train and who wouldn't get any. We lived high, there in camp, over the weekends. So many of the boys going into the city made a big ration saving, and the money went into the company fund for chicken and ice cream and such things. And then, on Sunday, you'd meet your father, or your mother, or your sweetie at the eleven-thirty train. Not so bad, any way you look at it."

After parading around town of a Saturday with a new uniform on, it was pretty tough going back to camp on Sunday night, or on the Three A. M. "Owl," landing just in time for Reveille. No one was in any condition to drill on Monday, and the boys would stall around the Top Kicker for a while, looking for a detail that would keep them from drill. In those days, it was stump pulling which served as the hardening details; sometimes the whole battalion would turn out in a body.

In fact, our first offensive was under the command of Major Metcalf over a No-Man's-Land of Long Island brush and trees. One B Company veteran writes: "Armed with pick-mattocks, axes and brush cutters, the company marched daily to the task and all day long fought the foe with might and main. Captain Purcell would go among his men, keeping up their morale, showing them personally how to use the axe. Some of his exhibitions were very-er, very. 'The will to use the bush-hook,' we'd cry, and go to it. After two months of such work, thin men increased unbelievably and stout men lost their excess weight; best of all, the jungle became a fine parade ground. Then came the work of clearing for the rifle range; but that was easier, for every organization in the Division took over a sector."

By the middle of November, things had settled down and were running smoothly, everyone feeling fairly well experienced, and believing that the trenches were not very far off. Still, the manual of arms, executed at first with the ancient and honorable Krag-Jorgensens, later with the new Winchesters, was rather rough in spots. In the Second Battalion, it even hap-pened that the officers were stood up publicly by Major Dall for drill in the art of criticism - but the appreciative mob which collected failed to appreciate that qualifying fact, and could not disguise its enjoyment of something which appeared to be the disciplining of their officers. The first schools for the training of non-commissioned officers had turned out some excellent men, with a budding taste for authority. Yet the officers have never ceased to regret the theory of the Division Commander who forbade the placing of any real responsibilities upon the shoulders of our non-coms. Far better it would have been at camp and throughout all our subsequent experience, if it had not always been required that an officer be present, whether at the fairly simple task of filling a bedsack, or at an inconsequential gathering of any sort.

It was all very much like going to school again. For some-for many, rather, there was the English school; much of our soldier material couldn't even speak the language. Imagine the difficulties of teaching the rudiments of military art to men, however willing, who couldn't understand; officers have had some times to get right down on their hands and knees to show by actual physical persuasion how to "advance and plant the left foot."

Imagine, too, the difficulties of teaching the open order as prescribed in the I. D. R., and as advocated by the foreign instructors in all its diverse ramifications. Imagine trying to teach the methods of patrolling, or posting an outguard. After discoursing for three long hours, a lieutenant was finally satisfied that every man in his platoon had a passable idea of an outpost, outguard, picket, etc. Looking over his men, he asked the company barber: "What is a picket?" The young man spoke right up, thoroughly sure of his ground, "Oh, yess, vat iss a picket? A picket iss a board mit sticks tacked on it."

A period of intensive training brought instructors from overseas, shortly after Christmas. Having read endlessly of the Western Front and filled with the glamour of the trenches, we were thrilled to see and hear the men who had been there. Captain Nicot, charming personally, interesting in his lectures on bombs, but far more interesting when recounting far into the night his vivid, intimate tales of life in the trenches; the diminutive Lieutenant Geismar holding forth in broken English upon the intricacies of the F rench Chauchat

auto-rifle-the "Ford Rifle" or "jitney Gun" as the men called it-pointing out ze movabble an ze fixed parts: "An' now, ze barrell catch, she get coughed. Coughed! Do you not know what I say? C-a-u-g-h-t! Coughed!

And Lieutenant Poire too-Henri Poire, who went every step of the way with the Three Hundred and Fifth. At first, we thought of him as the champion blackboard artist of the world. He could erect and erase more and dustier battlefields than perhaps any other man living. Many an afternoon the great Y. M. C. A. hall on Eighth Street was jammed to overflowing with snoring, appreciative officers. They appreciated the rest. "I love these lectures by dear old Poir6, " one of them was heard to remark at the hour of dismissal. " If I weren't required to be here, I'd be ordered out on something tremendously arduous, and then I'd never get any sleep at all."

"Very interesting and helpful talk we've had tonight from Lieutenant Poir6 of the French Army," General Wittenmyer would say. "But you'll find it all set down very clearly in your little blue book, the Platoon Commander's Manual."

For the officers, the first blood-curdling thrills of the bayonet schools had been almost exhausted at Plattsburg. Their imaginations were stirred anew, however, by the vigor and originality of the burly British Sergeant-Major Covington, fresh from the training grounds of France. "In, out, on guard!" became the popular catch-phrase, though scarcely more often heard than "Around me MOVE!" and "Carry On." It was here that Lieutenant "Jim" Loughborough experienced a revelation, in which be saw himself as a future Master of the Bayonet, spearing eight Germans single-handed, in mortal combat, on the banks of the Vesle.

The authorities apparently thought we might have to do a little wrestling with the Boche, so they opened up a course in jiu-jitsu. Peculiar methods of choking and resuscitation seemed to be the Jap's chief stock in trade. It was Lieutenant " Phil " Gray who first submitted to the experience of being " put out cold," just to know how it seemed; whereupon many others bad the courage to follow suit.

A class of Jiu Jitsu.

"Terrible Tony" Loughborough, as the lieutenant was called by the Signal Platoon, dropped in one afternoon to watch Colonel Smedberg and Lieut.-Colonel Rhea pairing off. Mr. Allen Smith, the instructor, inquired if the lieutenant would like to join in. Assenting, he was matched against "Moocher" Rosenquest, private, who, for once in his life, displayed ambition -a strong desire to strangle the "loot." To quote the Headquarters Company Historian, "he pressed and squeezed in forty different ways, not knowing that he had the lieutenant nearly dead of suffocation. How was he to know? There was no clapping of the victim's hands-token of surrender. Sergeant "Dan"Bunny, of "Bunny's Trained Fleas," one of Loughborough's Intelligence squad, maliciously gave his buddy,- Rosenquest, the high sign to press still harder, thoroughly enjoying the massacre of his chief. 'My God, man!' exclaimed Smith, happening along, 'do you wish to kill the lieutenant? Let him go!' And then, after vigorous denunciation, 'Quite correct, Lieutenant, you failed to clap your hands.' Unfortunately, no one had ever informed him of the distress signal."

Nor to be forgotten are the old Sniping, Observation and Scouting courses in the "German" trenches out beyond the Depot Brigade; nor the three weeks' engineering course during the most brutal weather of Long Island's most brutal winter-when digging a practice trench with anything less sharp than an axe was impossible, when the boring of holes in the frozen ground for the construction of gabions, fascines and hurdles took hours to accomplish, particularly when someone of the class had the foresight to construct a huge bonfire.

Many a day was spent indoors on account of the cold, the thermometer at times venturing to twenty below zero. The wind whistled through the chinks of the draughty barracks; the cannon stoves waxed red hot; the thud of rifle butts on the mess hall floor resounded early and late. There was little
else to do-until evening. New York never knew what really good times we had then; thought us abused and discontented, perhaps. When winter had put an end to baseball and football, the Y. M. C. A. huts, the K. C. club rooms and halls were crowded, always populous with the eternal letter writers, the book worms or the roistering mob eagerly supporting their company show, a boxing contest, or a basketball game. Movies, too, and later a Liberty Theatre with genuine New York attractions. Or wafted over the " campus " on the dusty, gusty, night breeze might be heard the nasal whine of a straining quartette:

I took out ten thousand, Insurance;
For bonds I gave fifteen bucks more;
To wifey and mother
I 'lotted another
Ten dollars, and then furthermore
I ran up big bills at the Laundry,
And finally pay day was there.
I went up for my dough, But the answer was "NO!
You've already drawn more than your share."

-or perhaps the roar of a hundred voices rending "Robbie's" war song limb from limb:

At our hike and drill,
To work with all our will,
And find it fun to take a gun
And "One, Two, Three, Four."
Put in every step,
All our punch and pep,
So we'll be one to hit the Hun
An awful wallop! With English and with French,
We'll leap from out our trench,
'Twill be to see Democracy survive;
And we'll open up a gap -Push the Kaiser off the map,
When the Three-0-Five begins its drive.

Another favorite:

There's only one side that can win-
That's the Allies' side,
of course, And 'tis because our Uncle Sam
Has made himself the boss. His nephews, who will do the job
Are the boys of the Infantry.
So, let's all strive
To make Three-O-Five
Bring home the Victory.

The idea, of course, was that we'd go over the top a'singing. "A singing army is a winning army," roared the long-haired leader from the War Camp Community to the entire Division which was subjected in groups to his tutelage, the only recollection of which is "Keep your head down, Allemand, and its numerous parodies.

But anon, the lights in a fleet of brilliant barracks would wink out, dimmed by the unpopular bugler, and calm would reign, punctuated only by the steady tread of a nearby sentry walking post. How he delighted to halt the belated pedestrian, particularly the officers returning late to quarters after their midnight inspection of barracks to see that all bunks were thoroughly partitioned off, as prescribed, by the hanging shelter-halves, and that the rows and rows of snoring men were following instructions, really sleeping " head to foot.
An officer was thus one night halted by an inexperienced sentry.
"Halt! Who is there?"
"Officer of the Camp."
"Halt! Who is there?"
"Officer of the Camp."
"H-halt. Who the Devil are you, anyhow?"
"Then get the hell out o' here, quick; my orders is to challenge three times and then shoot!"

February brought no let-up in the disagreeable weather, which greeted still another quota of recruits, entirely new to the game, lorded over by the remaining old-timers, stuck with the needle, outfitted and launched upon the now familiar course of rudimentary training. In November, December, February, and again in March, each company had been sifted down to a mere hundred or so - all over again, the company commander would have to organize his unit, re-size and redistribute his men in order to balance the platoons' start in once more upon the rudiments of drill, spend long days at the rifle range teaching -the infant mind to shoot. For it seemed that we might become a depot division; time after time, our ranks were depleted in order to bring another unit up to combat strength. In those days, the mere receipt of a few blue barrack bags, not then an article of general equipment, would be the signal for deep agitation within the Regiment, it being popularly supposed that the men who had fallen into disfavor would be sent to Atlanta., Georgia, or, as it seemed in our eyes, to some other undesirable camp. That was not always the reason for their going; it was a matter of necessity. Popularly sung to the tune of "Marching through Georgia" was the parody, "Look out, look out! You'll get the bag of blue."

But along with February's blustering weather came the rumor that the Division would really not become a depot; that it would really go, soon. More than rumor, it proved to be. General Johnson, who took command while General Bell was abroad, gathered the officers together and announced that he had reported the Division ready!

Ready! It was time that New York should see what a fine body of troops she bad sent down to the Long Island camp. On December ninth, eight thousand people had witnessed two performances at the Hippodrome of "A Day at Camp Upton," prepared by Lieutenant James E. Schuyler and enacted by two hundred and eighty selected doughboys. New York was en-thusiastic enough, and yielded up $18,000 profit, which was once intended to be used for the erection of a winter drill hall. Luckily, a compromise was effected whereby only the greater portion of it was wasted upon a huge tent, in which all of two shows were given prior to our departure, the balance being distributed among the regimental and company funds. Many a good dinner came out of those funds during the tedious, sodden months which followed the armistice.

Again, Canada had been shown what New York was accomplishing in the way of an army, when a select little coterie of the Hippodrome veterans journeyed to Montreal to participate in the Canadian Victory Loan Parade -royally dined and entertained in leading hotels and Pullman cars, so different -oh, so different from our subsequent means of transportation.

New York was to be shown. Not sufficient were the reviews held at Camp Upton; a parade was necessary. In preparation thereof the Regiment would march to the aggravating thumpings of the bass drum, up and down, up and down, in platoon front. And about that time, too-whether by way of preparation for the parade or for our future hikings in France no one can say-there was instituted a system of battalion night marches, which displeased everyone immensely. There would usually be a thaw, the night of the party. The Third Battalion delights in telling how Adjutant Grafmuller, who spent most of his time rushing up and down the length of the column, as a test of liaison perhaps, was not very sure-footed and, as a result, was usually either picking himself out of a puddle, or falling into another one. Occasionally, the guide would become lost, putting everyone into a sweet humor.

While passing the Negro Barracks one night, there was a rush of dark figures to the curbing.
Wha's de matter, Boss?"
velled a Darky.
"Why, ain't you heard? The war's over!"
Whoopee! " the delighted rejoinder.
Encouraged by the apparent credulity of repeated questioners the same doughboy attempted the same extravagant replies again and again.
Say, wha's all de rumpus ovah?
Why, ain't you heard?
The war's over!"
"Yeah," came the scornful reply the last time. I'll bet yo' wish t it was!"

Washington's Birthday was selected for the parade, the movement beginning with the entraining of the Three Hundred and Fifth on the morning of the twenty-first. All along the route, eager crowds cheered the future Argonne fighters on their long journey up First Avenue to Fifty-ninth Street, thence down Fifth Avenue to Madison Square. The parade was a great triumph, despite the snow and the slippery pavements-ruinous to the dignity of many a blushing doughboy or proud officer. Impartial critics expressed sincere admiration for the appearance, carriage and evident discipline of the troops, who erect, proud and purposeful, marched with a swing and a snap and a precision truly remarkable. Half of the men, and most of the city felt that we might move directly to the port. And, however much the prospect of leaving home may have saddened the stoutest hearts, there were few men who looked forward with any degree of pleasure to another period of drillful waiting.

But there was much to be done, before the Division could leave. We had to return to Camp. The- tables of infantry equipment, very uninteresting but highly imaginative, demanded that each man carry on his person, in his pack or in the barrack bag, nearly everything but the kitchen stove-a hideous amount of equipment, all very pretty and possible for garrison but a terrible handicap in the field, or even in training. All of it had to be issued, reissued and marked. Early and late, the mechanics tapped and hammered the numbers, names and unit designations on leather and metal; the painters lost sleep over the job of marking the web equipment, blankets, bedsacks and bags. Inspections which proved that a man couldn't keep his two " laces, shoe, rawhide, extra" more than two minutes were held morning, noon and midnight; awful tales were told of company commanders being turned back in disgrace from the gang plank because one man of the unit lacked a single sock of the required five pairs. Five pairs! These were parlous times-worse even than the old regular Saturday morning inspections with their frost-bitten ears and subsequent mad dashes toward the New York trains.

"Have you a tooth-brush?
" Yes, sir. "
"Let me see it." Whereupon the soldier would pull from a grimy pocket a still grimier tooth-brush with which he had been cleaning his rifle.

An ominous twenty-four-hour leave in which to attend to final business affairs was granted early in April. The advance party of the Division had sailed. On Palm Sunday, it seemed that every woman within a radius of a hundred miles came to see Johnny off; the camp never looked so decorative; tearful wives, mothers and sweethearts were there by the thousands to say " Good-by. " Yet the agony had all to be gone through with again, another weekend. At last, on Sunday morning, the fourteenth, we were told to line up and empty our bedsacks of straw and to pack the barrack bags-more fuss than a bride might have packing her trousseau. Repeated formations; repeated inspections, eliminating this and that. Yet some of the boys carried away enough to stock a country store. Then, in the night, barracks were policed for the last time ere the troops marched silently to the waiting trains -a secret troop movement which all the world could have known about. Not a man was absent from his place, a fact which speaks wonderfully for the spirit and discipline of these New York boys, about to leave home, the most wonderful city and the most wonderful people in the world-about to undertake

the most difficult and heart- breaking job of their lives. At the very first stage of the journey, a most lamentable accident occurred, the derail-ment of a train bearing a greater part of the Second Battalion. "just as everybody was falling asleep over his equipment, it seemed as though everything began falling allover everything else. There was a terrible rumble and a crash and a grinding-and darkness; terrible moaning as someone crawled out from under the pile of seats, packs, rifles, glass and dirt, to strike a match. We were lying on the ceiling of the cars, gazing through the debris up toward the floor. Somebody chopped a hole through the floor, through which we clambered only to find the whole train in the same topsy-turvy condition. By the light of huge bonfires hastily kindled, the rescue work went on. Three of our good pals were killed; Murphy, Mohan and Hudson, and sixty others were so badly injured that they didn't come across with us. Back to camp went the trainload for replacements. And that same afternoon, we staggered up the gang plank, looking as if just returning from France, instead of going."

Take the very blood within me,
Pour it in the carnaged gore,
It can be no more the noble
Than the gifts of those before.
Oh! the pain that waits beyond me
May be more than I can bear,
But the heart that throbs within me
Knows me eager for my share.

There was laughter where my pathway led in days of long ago,
And the coming generation,-they must find it even so;
There were schools that I attended, shaded groves in which to stroll,
And a just God dealt the measure by an old and ancient scroll; There were garlands by the wayside with their fragrance all for me; There were tender thoughts to woo me when my dreams were young and free; There were tender loves to cheer me, wondrous hopes in hours of ease,- To the coming generation,-we must leave a share of these!

Bring the shriek of battle round me,
Throw me headlong in the flame,
I may tremble, weaken, cower,
But I'll soldier just the same.
Spare me! God, I could not ask it,
When the Cause is wholly Thine;
All I ask of Thee is courage
And a goal beyond the line.

There were cities builded for me; there were comforts never few, And no threatening foreign tyrant shall make them less for you-, There was all a dreamer envied, all a dreamer craved, And now a Freedom's Conquest calls that it be saved. We shall go with Glory silent, not one voice to cheer, Not one friendly bandclasp, not one falling tear;- We can lay on Freedom's altar only that which Freedom gave, Nor applause, nor tender partings will we need to keep us brave.

This is the song of the soldier,
Finding a voice in a pen,
Lost, perhaps, in the millions
Who champion the cause of Men;

This is the heart of the soldier,
Wistful and longing and young,
There at the stern of the transport
Wishing the song were sung-,

Watching his Liberty Goddess
Grow dim in the land behind,-
Knowing the tug at his heartstrings
Is meant for men of his kind;

These are the dreams of the soldier
Who prays he'll never forsake,
And such are the dreams of the millions
Who yet follow in his wake.

From " Up With the Rations, and Other Poems," By John Palmer Cumming, Sgt., Supply Company.
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