OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 07, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-07-07/ed-1/seq-2/

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militia that has reached the border.
In th& opinion of recognized au
thorities on military matters not
even the delays of days and weeks
that have characterized the mobili
zation of the national guard are so
significant as the glaring lack of
training and the no less obvious lack
of equipment when these regiments
are within gun shot of Mexico.
Compared with the Mexican sol
diers across the border the national
guardsmen who have arrived in El
Paso shine in the matter of military
externals, such as uniforms and
tents, although some did not possess
the appearance of American soldiers
when they arrived in various combi
nations of regulation olive drab ci
vilian clothing and derby hats.
Compared with the regular soldiers
stationed at Ft Bliss and in the city
of El Paso these national guard boys,
whose fine patriotism does not take
second place to anybody, are lament
ably lacking, it is glaringly obvious,
in certain things that military tradi
tion and present necessity require,
and this despite the appropriations of
millions by congress and state legis
latures and warnings that the U. S.
war dep't long ago gave command
ers of these 48 little, independent,
unco-ordinated armies to bring their
units up to war requirements.
In matter of equipment some of
the militia forces here are days and
weeks from war requirements; in the
matter of training and efficiency
they are months distant
Take, for instance, the Massachu
setts national guard contingent,
which is rated, along with the Penn
sylvania and New York ' militia, as
the best in the country.
More than 50 of the 73 men of
ambulance corps No. 1, when de
trained here to go into camp, fainted
more from lack of food than from
the heat
On the train for more than four
days their meals had consisted large
ly of tomatoes, crackers and coffee.
Field hospital No. 1, consisting of 67 1
men and" 5 officers, were using their
cots for the -sick among themselves.
Men of the Fifth. Eighth and Ninth
Massachusetts infantry aTived at
Camp Cotton, which is on the out
skirts of El Paso, only a short dis
tance from the Mexican border, with
out automatics.
The machine" gun company of the
Eighth had several of their automat
ic rifles out of commission. But for
tunately for the men the iather of
one of them, Henry Parkman, gave
the company $5,000 to buy fonr
Lewis machine guns.
No one questions Parkman's gen
erous and patriotic motives, but it is
thought he wanted to give his son
and the sons of other Massachusetts
men the best fighting chances for
their lives with a machine gun that
Wias demonstrated its superiority over
the kind now being used by the mili
tia and the regular army.
"If I had my way," said a sergeant
who saw active service in the Phil
ippines, "I'd throw these 'Benny Mer
cers' (the name the company gives
to the automatic rifles of the Benet
Mercier model) over the border into
Mexico and count on the Mexicans
doing more damage to themselves
with them than to us."
When Batteries A, B, C, D, E of the
First Light artillery, Massachusetts,
arrived in their trains at Ft. Bliss, op
posite thetretch of cacti, rock and
sand newly named Camp Pershing,
only one battery! Battery B of Wor
cester, under Capt. Herbert, was able
to unload under its ,own man-and-horse
power!
All the other batteries had to be
assisted in unloading and hauled into
camp by A and B batteries of the
Fifth field artillery of the U. S. reg
ular army, stationed at Ft Bliss, and
by one of the regular motor" truck
companies.
As yet none of these batteries ex
cept Battery B. which brought 130
horses along with it, has any hordes
for their guns and other wheeled,
equipment!
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