1. Camp Upton


L. Wardlaw Miles
Captain, 308th Infantry




Camp Upton

IT is not possible to name a particular day and hour, which saw the birth of the 3o8th Infantry. Like the rest of the 77th Division of the National Army of America, it did not exist at the beginning of September, 1917, yet well before the end of that month it was in vigorous being. The Thompson-Starrett Company had already been working two months to transform the and tract of scrub oak surrounding Yaphank, Long Island, into a cantonment when a notice appeared in the New York newspapers instructing all officers assigned to Camp Upton to report there on September 1st. In response to this order hundreds of newly commissioned officers hurried to camp by train and automobile.

Alighting at the station, the vanguard of officers crossed the tracks, acknowledged the salute of a Negro sentinel, and then took a motor bus for the camp half a mile away. Here they found little to suggest the recently established military regime, and the few uniforms were lost in the predominating mufti-a mufti for the most part of overalls. The rough roads, always abominably dusty when they were not vilely muddy, the stumps remaining from the recently cleared forest of scrub oak, and the unpainted shacks of every sort and size, all these suggested a huge western mining camp in the throes of a violent boom. Great white circus tents served as mess-halls. Gleaming signs advertised streets leading to this or that headquarters. And through these streets-if the name may be used for roads which bounded often unbuilt lots- swirled a ceaseless stream of pedestrians, motor cars, auto trucks, and horse-drawn vehicles, bearing loads of material to hasten the work of construction. No boomtown, bare and blatant, ever sprawled over a wider area or ever presented a scene of more intense activity.

There was, however, little time for observation on the part of the newly arrived officers. No sooner had they gathered their luggage than a solider stepped briskly up, saluted, and directed them to register in a large ominous- looking volume. In camp but a few minutes they found themselves already confronted by that all regulating body, the M. P. Now formally enrolled with the 77th Division, another member of the M. P. directed them to Division Headquarters, known at even this early date as "The Hill." Again the vanguard set forth along the dusty roads, laden with handbags, clothing rolls, suitcases, and all other imaginable forms of luggage. (All, one should say, except the musette bag, which later enjoyed such deserved popularity in France.) A none too dignified procession it must have appeared, tramping the dusty thoroughfare and dodging motors, which were no respecters of rank. Tired, dirty, dishevelled, but still full of optimism toward the Great Adventure opening before them, the officers presented themselves to the Division Adjutant. Through his hand Fate now assigned these officers to their respective organizations. Practically all the officers who were to join the unit which this history describes were already known to one another, having come from the 7th and 8th Companies in the New York Regiment at Hattsburg.

Now for the first time men heard the names of the regiments, battalions, and trains with which they and their friends were to cast their lot.

"I'm the 305th. "

" Oh, are you? I'm the 308th, whatever that is."

Strange that words which were to mean so much later and become so unforgettable should then mean nothing at all! All the officers were assigned to barracks in what was then known as the "J" Section of the camp. A mess was started which, true to the old joke, at once proved itself deserving of the name. That the life before the arrival of the drafted men was not to remain one of leisure became obvious as soon as a meeting was called by the 308th Infantry's Commanding Officer, Colonel Nathan K. Averill, formerly of the 7th Cavalry. Stalwart, vigorous, intense, masterful-the stern voice breaking at intervals into genially reverberating laughter-it was necessary to see and hear him only once to know that our future leader was to be a man. Later it was the fate of the 308th to be led in turn by several others, but it is no necessary disparagement to them to say that to no other has it rendered the homage and affection that went to the Colonel with whom it began and ended.

Lieutenant Colonel John J. Boniface, also a cavalry-man, soon became another familiar figure, with his huge curved pipe and gold-headed riding crop. These were the only two officers of the regular army assigned to the Regiment. The Battalion Commanders, Majors Bradley Martin, Clarence Fahnestock, and Frank L. Nelson, were all graduates of Plattsburg, as were Captains Kenneth P. Budd, the Adjutant, and Harry Chinner, the Supply Officer. Officers were now assigned to companies, each of which consisted so far of one captain, three first lieutenants, and two second lieutenants, with three non-commissioned officers from the regular army-but so far with no private soldiers to drill. These "companies " now moved over to the " P " Section, the Regiment's future home. Regimental Headquarters installed itself in a one story building on Fourth Avenue, from which sanctum General Order No. 1 was issued, proclaiming that the undersigned-Colonel Nathan K. Averill- assumed command of the 3o8th Infantry.


A memorandum now appeared, stating that the first increment of drafted men would arrive at Camp Upton on September 10th. At once the Quartermaster's Department was besieged by excited demands for food and clothing, for information as to the proper amounts which should be provided, and for the time of its delivery. Card indexes were prepared blankets, messgear and iron bunks made ready, and kitchens stocked.

Meanwhile a very remarkable thing was elsewhere taking place-a thing, which the wildest visionary would not have dared to prophesy two years before. Entirely unaware of the preparations made for their reception in Yaphank, Long Island, thousands of young men representing every section of lower New York State, from Poughkeepsie to Staten Island, and from West Street to Montauk Point, were (like many other thousands of young men all over the country) in good-natured and orderly fashion accepting the fact of the draft.

At their various draft boards these young men were taken in charge by officers. At the Long Island Station they finally parted from their relatives and friends to start the first lap of their strange new journey.

It may be claimed for the 77th Division that no other offered so picturesque an illustration of the American melting-pot. The wide swath of " the Democratic Army " cut straight athwart the entire body of the metropolitan population. All walks of life and probably every civilized race were represented. Nothing more unmilitary in appearance can be imagined than the long columns of civilian-clad men, each with paper-wrapped or rope-tied bundle, or valise, or suitcase, which wound from train to barracks. The members of most draft boards flaunted banners and signs proclaiming their identity and often expressing the familiar legend: "To Hell with the Kaiser." Some looked very dejected; a few were boisterously drunk; the great majority accepted the situation with that practical American stoicism which is equally far removed from enthusiasm or despair. These men had not chosen war, but since the job was inevitable they were going to see it through.

And, from the start, they did. To be fair, one must speak only in terms of broad generalization and ignore the untypical exceptions in order to give the truth. And the truth is that these men, in the great number of cases, entirely ignorant of all military discipline, accepted the situation magnificently. That this was not mere apathy and lack of spirit became evident when they were exposed to fire ten months later. Meanwhile, already on the trains men and officers had met and made their first mutual appraisement. One remark overheard may be taken as fairly characteristic of the first and lasting impression made on the enlisted personnel by their new officers: " Gee! They're regular guys!" Nor were the officers for their part less cordially appreciative of the newcomers.

As soon as they had arrived the men were allotted to regiments. The quota of the 3o8th was marched to Casual Barracks P 47 and P 48 where each man was registered, given mess kit and blankets, and assigned to a bunk with the fervent admonition not to leave it, for bunk number and corresponding number on the qualification card were the individuals only identification. Now the men for the first time knew the strange experience of finding themselves at last in a military cantonment, under military discipline, and subject to a thousand new impressions.

"Some ugly building . . . Mighty clean though . . . When do we eat? . . . Wonder what the meals are like . . . This bed feels pretty good; I heard we had to sleep on the floor . . . What's this thing? . . . Eat out of that? . . . See that gink, he's the Captain . . . What d'ye mean inoculation? . . . Real blankets all right! "

All such conjectures and comments ceased suddenly at the Sergeant's terse command: "Come and get it!" and the first introduction to army chow soon proved that military food-like many other military matters-was not so bad after all. After mess each man was classified, and his name, age, home address, race, and occupation recorded. Then all were allowed the freedom of the camp, a freedom of little temptation since one barracks looked just like another, and the fear of losing one's way had been deeply impressed on all. That first night proved a memorable one. The unique experience made sleep impossible. jest and laughter echoed through the barracks almost until the first note of reveille.

Four days later these so-called " casuals " were definitely assigned to particular companies, and the 308th Infantry began to develop a real entity. The long-waited uniforms arrived and were piled high on the mess hall tables to be thence distributed until late into the night. Endless labor it seemed at the time, with endless problems of ludicrous misfits and necessary exchange. Yet at last it was somehow accomplished, and at last, properly equipped from hat-cord to shoe-strings, the rookie appeared transformed from civilian to soldier. An indescribable transformation! Coats had contracted into blouses; pants bulged into breeches; the hidden truth of a man's calf stood revealed by canvas leggins. With all this came a more soldierly bearing, while the military salute began to lose its absurdity and to acquire significance. Heels started to click sharply, and the peaked campaign hats to tilt at the proper smart angle.

"By the numbers" Learning to throw grenades


Camp Upton when completed took the shape of a huge U built about "The Hill " already mentioned. Rows upon rows of bare-faced wooden barracks, each with a latrine on one side and a company street on the other, were divided by miles of straight metalled roads into rectangular blocks, like city squares, each of which contained a regiment, battalion, or train. Only the base of the U-about one eighth of the finally completed cantonment-had been built by the beginning of September, 1917. In the center, high upon the hill which gave Division Headquarters its name, were situated the numerous staff buildings and the Headquarters of Major General J. Franklin Bell.

While men labored with office work, equipment, and drill, the task of building construction kept pace, and the great arms of the U stretched westward, and their junction at its base broadened to the east. The first officers of the 308th to arrive in September made their ablutions, together with hundreds of civilians, at one lone pump. Later each barracks boasted its latrine, and the spaces between the barracks lost their innumerable stumps till they became leveled into the smoothest of company streets and fire-breaks. Apart from purely military work, industry hummed all day long, pierced at intervals with the shrill whistles of donkey engines. Buildings sprang up not "over night " but in the course of a few hours. They were constructed in sections lying flat upon the ground, and then at the sounding of a whistle these were hoisted into place and bolted together, about forty men taking part in the erection of each building. As soon as the roof was in place, the plumbers and electricians entered, and in a few hours what had been barren ground bore a completed structure with running water and electric lights. Y. M. C. A. and K. of C. buildings were erected, as well as a church, hostess houses for men and officers, a huge store, and an hotel. The Officers' Hostess House on the slope of the hill just above the regimental area was built and run largely by the ladies and friends of the 308th Infantry. A regimental canteen was started, which under the efficient management of Lieutenant Harold Bache, brought a regular revenue to the 308th Regimental Fund. Later a Regimental Theatre (the only one in camp) was erected by carpenters and mechanics of the Regiment under Lieutenant Bebell and Sergeant Gerus, Headquarters Company, and through the gener-osity of Majors Martin and Fahnestock, so swelled the coffers that the fund became one of the largest of it's kind in the National Army.

The first days at camp had been devoted to recording the men at the mustering office, medical inspections, and inoculations against typhoid and diphtheria. Long columns of men were constantly being marched to and from such destinations, or stood patiently waiting as the wheels of the vast machine slowly turned about them. Other columns of casuals, some still civilian-clad, and all bowed beneath great blanket-wrapped bundles of equipment, moved through the hot September sun from one barracks to another wearily seeking their final location. The individual, so all-important to himself, so insignificant to these busy thousands, yearned to exchange his wanderings and serial number for a local habitation and a name. As is the wont of men, he clung with pathetic tenacity to the particular bunk, which had acquired some little familiarity. And, finally settled, he began immediately to grow a feeling of esprit and pride in the outfit which he henceforth called his own.

The "needle" of the inoculation, at first dreaded, soon grew commonplace through familiarity, but continued to be the subject of banter as long as new recruits arrived. once over the effect of the inoculations, men were set to work to clear away the debris which cluttered the ground around the new barracks so that there might be areas in which to drill. The second week saw everyone started upon the drill rudiments. Officers who on the Plattsburg parade ground four months earlier, in the sweat of their brow and in the anguish of their hearts, had about-faced, forward-marched, and halted for some dreaded superior, attempted to pass on the knowledge
of Infantry Drill Regulations to others as ignorant now as they had been earlier. Guard duty started; and setting-up exercises, alternating with moderate hikes, commenced the process of hardening.

With the issue of the cosmoline-smeared rifles from out the great coffin-like boxes, work grew more intense. Once cleaned with gasoline and properly oiled, the number written on its owner's hat-band, the "soldier's best friend" was gradually introduced to him. Soon every- company street was full of little groups executing with ever increasing dexterity the manual of arms. Upon which would suddenly descend the Colonel, to pause and make silent observation, while he stood in characteristic attitude, feet apart, hands clasped behind back, riding crop tapping boots, watching the self conscious drillmaster and recruit. After a little the officer might be summoned to the Colonel's side and comment, flattering or otherwise, expressed. "See what I mean? " The officer always saw-or if he didn't see, he said he did.

Having mastered the problem of combining Right Shoulder Arms with the first three steps of Forward march, Platoons began to drill on grounds away from the barracks. One such ideal drill ground was discovered in Smith's Field some three miles west of the regimental area. Here and in similar places, under the bluest of autumn skies, snugly enclosed by woods, the companies learned close and open order, pitched tents, did bayonet and setting-up exercises, and finally mastered the intricacies of battalion drill itself.

But there were many other activities: policing of bar-racks, details to be furnished for other than military duty, Saturday inspections, and the voluminous an meticulous horrors of paper work. Changes in personnel occurred daily as men were shifted about in accordance with their particular adaptation to the military machine. Major Martin relinquished command of the 3rd Battalion to become Adjutant of the 154th Brigade, while Major Clarence Fahnestock, later a victim of pneumonia overseas, was transferred to the 76th Division. Captain Kenneth P. Budd, hitherto Adjutant, was promoted to Major and took command of the 2nd Battalion. Captain Allen L. Lindley became Adjutant, reluctantly relinquishing command of I Company, which he had made one of the best in the Regiment. To the two officers just named a great part of the Regiment's success was due. What their tact, personality, and driving force did to vitalize and coordinate the growing organization cannot be overestimated, and by no one was this better appreciated than by the Regimental Commander himself, who could always rely on their sound judgment and clear vision. Captain Harry Chinner was promoted to Major and succeeded Major Martin's command of the 3rd Battalion. The 1st Battalion was commanded by Major Frank L. Nelson. Captain Clifford W. Gaylord, formerly commanding D Company, which under him was organized and made to function properly perhaps before any other company in the Regiment, now became Regimental Supply Officer, a position which he filled most efficiently until later in France he was made G i of the 77th Division. At this point mention may be made of the Regimental Mess which was started by Colonel Averill, and at which the officers learned to know each other; through this association were started those friendships and that esprit which down to date so signally have marked the 308th.

By mid-October most of the companies were about 80 per cent full strength. Visitors to the camp at this time were astonished at the transformations worked in so short a period. Faces had bronzed, backs straightened and shoulders squared. Already carriage and drill spoke eloquently for the men's military training. In reality just completing the initial stage, they now regarded themselves as veterans and looked with contempt upon the constantly arriving newcomers. In the presence of the latter, the older men saluted punctiliously and added a bit of swagger to their walk. They talked of K. P's., chow, reveille, close order, and fatigue with the fluency of long acquaintance. And they dilated particularly upon the terrible "needle." The rookies were duly impressed, but before long they too had learned, and were ready in turn to pass on their knowledge to yet newer comers.

November found the regiment operating with comparative smoothness. No rosy glow of memory can make those who lived it forget that the life was a hard one for men and officers alike. In addition to the regular routine, orders emanated from Division Headquarters with alarming frequency. It seemed that the Colonel and Captain Lindley, aided by the latter's six assistants, were determined to put down a smothering barrage of official Papers upon the Company Commanders and their subordinates entrenched in the little orderly rooms. From the windows of the latter, lights gleamed late into the night, and this after days of eight hours' drill. In addition to the regular routine of Morning Reports, Ration Reports, Service Records, Qualification Cards, Muster Rolls, Pay Rolls, Company Fund Records, Ordnance Requisitions, and Quartermaster Requisitions-in addition to these and similar demands of paper work came requests for lists of every possible kind of enlisted man, whether auto-mechanic, landscape gardener, or "left-handed Presbyterian." A fierce exasperation burned in the hearts of Company Commanders who were constantly obliged to give to other units their best non-commissioned officer material.

Six days they labored and did all, or at least all that was humanly possible, that they had to do. Saturday morning and Company Inspection! The last scrap of paper and cigarette butt is picked up from the company street, the latrine has been scrubbed, rifles cleaned, and all equipment put in prescribed order. The Colonel enters the barracks. Attentions called; each man stands motionless at the foot of his bunk; and in a dreadful hush inspection begins. At last-for good or till-it is over. "As you were" is shouted, and those who are fortunate execute a wild dash for the train and Sunday leave. Those weekend passes, pretty generously given, afforded a blessed relaxation. Many were the means employed for their attaimnent. Vital statistics would show that the proverbial death rate of office boys' grandmothers on ball game days was nothing to the mortality of recruits' relatives at such times. Thus the men were enabled to see New York and New York herself had the opportunity to look upon her transformed soldier sons.

Especially conspicuous were the newly appointed non- commissioned officers, many of whom were attending the Officers' Training School started at Camp Upton in January, 1918. These swaggered about the metropolis with a swinging of arms well calculated to display their newly -won chevrons. One felt a pardonable pride when first introduced as Sergeant or Corporal. "The backbone of the army is the Non-Commissioned Man," and Kipling's words were never better exemplified than in the case of the 308th Infantry. Whether training in America or fighting in France, the more they were allowed to exercise authority and initiative the better was the result. With just as much pride as the newly appointed N. C. O's. but perhaps showing a trifle more self-consciousness, ar-rived the officers from the Second Training Camp to com-plete our quota.

At this time the Medical Staff instituted rigorous methods to safeguard health. Shelter-halves were ingeniously stretched between the bunks to minimize danger of possible contagion, and the most searching investigations directed against the company kitchens. The fine autumn weather had now begun to be broken by what was to prove the severest of winters. The Officer of the Day, on his nightly rounds from barracks to barracks, was required to note whether windows were lowered six inches from the top in order to provide each occupant his due 180 cubic feet of air, and woe to the Company Commander whose barracks windows were not sufficiently opened to the bitter winds which swept Upton! For this, as for a hundred other sins of unconscious commission or omission-for labor details unsupplied, for unpoliced. streets, for undelivered Morning Reports-came the prompt demand from Headquarters "to explain herewith in writing," while from the Company Commanders and Clerks, bowed over the paper-littered desk beside the orderly stove, went tip the fervent prayer " Good Lord deliver us!"

Though inclement weather retarded work, drill was carried on whenever possible. Boxing gloves were distributed, and the barracks' rafters rang with howls of delight over bouts, which made up in spirit for what they lacked of science. British and French instructors, men who had seen the Real Thing-that Real Thing still so far away-lectured at night to officers fighting a hopeless fight against weariness and sleep. On other nights these officers themselves held classes for non-commissioned officers. Concerts were given by the band which had reached a fine efficiency under the direction of Leader Oliver C. Miller. At night the Y. M. C. A. and K. of C. furnished the diversion of moving pictures and other entertainments. All day long on Sunday the company pianos, gifts of the Regiment's staunchest friend, Mr. Joseph McAleenan, were in constant operation. At such times the Mess Sergeants enjoyed particular glory, proving to hundreds of visiting relatives and friends how fine a thing was army chow.


Christmas was coming. Colder weather and one in-tense preoccupation in every mind: " Can I get home? " Before this was answered came the Christmas party at the Auditorium, and for the first time since its formation the men of the Regiment were gathered together in one body to be addressed by the Colonel. As he stepped forward on the stage, the mighty shout which went up from some three thousand doughboy throats was only to be surpassed by the mightier shout which acclaimed his speech. They were all for him, body and soul. Following the Colonel's address, there were calls for Mr. McAleenan, who reluctantly mounted the stage and addressed the men, awaiting such an opportunity to thank the one whose generosity had supplied them with pianos, athletic equipment, tobacco and candy, and henceforth was to them "Uncle Joe," the never-to-be-forgotten friend of the 308th. To his benefaction was due in no small manner the beginning of that company spirit which so marked the Regiment.

One half of the unit received Christmas leave; the other half New Year's. For many it was to prove the last of such reunions. All wondered what the future was to bring and none knew. Perhaps Fate is kind in such cases not to let us know. At any rate it was for many a time of great happiness.

Holidays over, work commenced with redoubled activity. Against the brightening horizon of bitter dawn, the bodies of men showed black as they marched across those barren fields toward the rifle range. Here the red flag, signal that all was ready, hoisted, the men would lie prone with ammunition beside them, waiting for the targets to rise from behind the butts. A shrill whistle from the Major announced "Commence Firing"! Then for the first time there came to many the intense sensation of firing a rifle, and finding it didn't kick as much as they feared; of seeing the target sink; and of seeing it rise again, perhaps with the bitter chagrin of watching the wagging flag signal "Miss," perhaps with the rapture of seeing the white disk mark a "Number Five." Meanwhile within the butts, the markers listened to the venomous scream of the bullets ricocheting overhead, and hauled down the targets and dabbed white paint over the black splotches, and hoisted again and marked the hits with the proper disks, finding time to gamble various amounts on their particular charges. Noon brought " Cease Firing " and-if one's Mess Sergeant was the right sort -hot coffee and stew and sandwiches eaten beside roaring fires.

On February 2nd, the entire Regiment entrained for New York and a four days' celebration there. On the 3rd, the Regimental Show organized by Lieutenant Louis Lederle, Adjutant of the 3rd Battalion, was presented at the Hippodrome with a profit of $8,000. In spite of the fine bill provided by many generous professional volunteers, the chief interest of the audience, packed with friends and relatives, centered on the chorus, drills, and sketch in which members of the Regiment participated. Now first appeared the Regimental Colors, the first to be received by any Regiment in the National Army.

On Monday, February 4th, New York had its first opportunity to see a parade of a unit of the National Army. When, in the bitter cold, before a vast crowd, the Regiment paraded up 8th Avenue and down 5th Avenue, the city was genuinely astonished at the showing of the men, and the papers lavish in their praise of what was at once acclaimed as "New York's Own." Later in the month a Regimental circus was held at camp in the auditorium to raise funds for the 308th Infantry Association, and the antics of the performers drew crowds for three days. Again on Washington's Birthday the Regiment paraded in New York, this time together with the entire Division and through a driving snowstorm.

The Washington's Birthday parade in Fifth Avenue

With the completion of the new trench system, patterned after a sector of the Western Front, the regiment engaged in maneuvers, which suggested something of actual war. Men leaped over or into real trenches, and advanced cheering in innocent simulation of a real bayonet charge. A big tank from England lumbered about; from their emplacements machine guns wiped out imaginary enemies; and gas alarms sounded while the doughboys went over the top. Practice in throwing nonexplosive hand grenades began. Platoons were for a time divided into grenade throwers (sometimes called grenadiers), rifle-grenadiers, riflemen and liaison agents, according to the directions of the red pamphlets, recently distributed to the officers and carefully marked with the suggestive legend, "Not to be Carried in the Front Line Trenches. "

By the 15th of March, every one knew the day of departure was very near, and the Colonel generously granted passes for farewell visits. Parents, wives, and sweethearts flocked to camp for a last talk with the one particular boy, only to learn from that individual in tones void of any emotion that the Regiment might not go for months. But he really knew. And the otherwise suppressed feelings had to find vent in frolicsome parades and demonstrations.

March brought news of the great German drive and, though less definitely, a thousand rumors of our own early entrance on the stage of the world drama. Captain Gaylord packed the regimental warehouses with material and equipment. Supply Sergeants worked day and night issuing "Equipment C" to platoon leaders, and one inspection followed closely upon another. Marking baggage, packing, roster-making, and sending in of reports never ceased. Piles of boxes and crates, marked with blue stripes and the Statue of Liberty, bore the significant if indefinite address: A. E. F. At last with the first days of April, came the long expected orders: everything must be packed in thirty-six hours, and the Regiment must be held ready to leave at any moment.


One pauses for a retrospective glance at the men who then commanded the companies. Let us in fancy wait a moment by the Regimental Headquarters' door as they file into the Colonel's sanctum to take their seats upon the "Mourners' Bench," at one of those nightly meetings when the day's work was reviewed, criticism favorable or unfavorable bestowed, and instruction for the next day outlined.

Here they come! Harvey, short, dark, energetic. Whittlesey, tall, lank, serious, bespectacled. He listens judicially or talks quietly in the same level tones which he will never lose in the face of danger and despair. There is Mills, powerful of frame and deep of voice, full of jest, the very figure of an ideal soldier. Here is McMurtry, bustling, breezy, and busy, yet full of his own humorous ways. "What's the dope, Breck?" he is asking. And how shall one describe Breckinridge? A personality at once odd, laughing, kindly, and capable, that so well knows how to tie men's hearts to him. Whatever his answer, it probably ends with the familiar and vehement asservation "as sure as God -made little green apples." Fahnestock, slender, dark, and graceful. Sturgis, Frothingham, Gaylord, Harrington, Forsyth, Whitehouse, Sterling, Crook. What cleancut, soldierly-looking men they all are! And last Brooks. None among them all is better to look upon than Bell Brooks with his fair hair and clear blue eyes. Like Mills, he too is to give his life in France within a few months. The door closes behind him, and the Captains pass on.


Perhaps General Bell remembered Carlyle's saying: "Show me how a man sings, and I will tell you how he fights." At any rate he was of the opinion that a singing army would be a victorious one. And so the order went forth early that the men should sing while marching to and from drill. For myself nothing so vividly brings back the Upton days, or indeed the later days in France, as do the songs then popular,

"The tunes that mean so much to you alone Common tunes that make you choke and blow your nose, Vulgar tunes that bring the laugh that brings the groan-I can rip your very heartstrings out with those."

Here are some of them:

Good Bye, Broadway. Hello France!
We're ten million strong.
Good-bye brothers, sisters, mothers,
Now we won't be long! "

(For me that means the cool emptiness and the clean piney smell of the new barracks in the earliest September days before the arrival of the Draft.)

"I may be gone for a long, long time"

(The same, and the voice of one gallant friend who sang these words constantly-and then, to his bitter regret, instead of being gone for a long, long time, never went at all.)

" Keep your head down, you dirty Hun

(The closing in of a dark November day. The rain lash-ing at the orderly room window. In the mess-hall, a crowd shouting out the words around the piano.)

"Liberty Bell, it's time to ring again, ring again"

(Orderly swing of marching men, whose feet are thumping on the road towards drill at Smith's Field. The voices of a platoon in rhythmic chorus, singing in the sun-flooded autumn morning.)

Over there! Over there!
Send the word, send the word-"

The hour had many such, ranging from the jerky rag-time of the Darktown Strutters' Ball to the heavy sentiment of Just a Baby's Prayer at Twilight. (In extenuation of the sentimentality let it be remembered that a recruit drilling hard all day in the open air can healthily digest a dose of sentimentality, which would wreck the constitutions of five indoor intellectuals.) But when all is said, one song alone, neither ragtime nor sentimental, best voiced our Division:

Oh, the army, the army, the democratic army!
They clothe you and they feed you
Because the army needs you. Hash for breakfast, Beans for dinner, stew for supper-time,
Thirty dollars every month, deducting twenty-nine.
Oh, the army, the army, the democratic army,
The Jews, and the Wops, and the Dutch and Irish Cops, They're all in the army now! "
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