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The monitor. (Omaha, Neb.) 1915-1928, August 14, 1919, Image 1

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[ — i The Monitor i —■ i
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$2.00 a Year. 5c a Copy _OMAHA. NEBRASKA. AUGUST 14, 1919_Vol. V. No ’^holc No. 215)
v Pioneer Infantry Bury 21,000 U. S. Soldiers
Rumored Ragsdale
Was Riot Leader
South Carolina Congressman Was Un
friendly to Race; Lost Life Leading
Washington Riot Is Report From
Xatiouul Capital.
One of His Latest Acts in Congress
Was to Have Provision For Howard
University Stricken From Sundry
Civil Appropriation Bill.
(Special to The Monitor.)
WrASHINGTON, D. C., Aug. 13.—
Vl While there is some mystery sur
rounding the death here of Congress
man J. Willard Ragsdale of South
■' Carolina, who died during the recent
race riots, there are persistent rumors
that will not down that he owes his
death to participating as a leader in
the riots. It is positively stated by
those in a position to know that Con
gressman Ragsdale was wounded when
leading a mob and subsequently died
from his wounds. One report was that
he died with heart failure in the house
office building; another that he died
at his residence. One fact is indis
putable, he is dead, and there seems to
be a disposition to surround his death
with a veil of mystery.
He was noted for his unfriendly at
titude toward the Colored race and
was an outspoken opponent of higher
education for this people, maintaining
that education was not the solution of
the race problem, but only intensified
it. Among his last acts in congress
was the raising of a point of order on
Howard university appropriation bill,
which caused it to be stricken from
the sundry civil appropriation bill.
\T7TASHINGTON, Aug. 13. —The
YV widespread race riots in various
parts of the United States are under
investigation by the United States
Trusted agents of the Department
of Justice and other governmental or
ganizations are endeavoring to deter
mine exactly what is behind the spread
of assault and murder throughout the
northern states.
The situation admittedly is very'
serious. Starting here in Washington
there have been race clashes in a
dozen other localities, culminating in
the present rioting in Chicago.
Scope of Inquiry
The inquiry now under foot is de
signed to determine these facts:
First—Whether there actually exists
a regularly organized body whose ob
ject is to stir up racial hatred in order
to emphasize apparent unrest in the
United States.
Second—Whether there is any con
nection between the present series of
race riots and the pro-German propa
ganda that immediately preceded the
entrance of the United States in the
Third—Whether there is any actual
conection between the present race
disturbance and the activities of the
I. W. W , a score of whose leaders now
are under severe prison sentences.
Naturally, the officers concerned in
the investigation arc not talking for
publication. Privately they declare the
less said about their work the easier it
will be. However, it is generally ac
cepted that steps are being taken to
combat further spread of the disturb
ances. In this connection it is known
that the authorities have secured pos
session of much important informa
tion as the result of the arrest of lead
ers of the recent rioting here in Wash
Install Local Post of Grand Army of
Americans With Charter
List of Fifty.
Youngstown, O., Aug. 13.—A num
ber of local Colored men in this city
who saw' service in the United States
army during the war with Germany
took out a charter in the Grand Army
of America at a meeting recently. The
charter was signed by fifty former
Responsibility for Trouble Does Not
Rest on Tenth Cavalry.
NEW YORK, Aug. 10.—A denial
that troopers of the Tenth cavalry
started a riot in Bisbee, Ariz., on July
3, has been sent by Lieutenant Colonel
F. S. Snyder, commanding the regi
ment. Colonel Snyder wrote that, after
full investigation, he had concluded
that local officials had planned de
liberately to aggravate the troopers so
that they would furnish an excuse for
police and deputy sheriffs to shoot
them down. He charges that members
of the I. W. W. had influence in this
According to Colonel Snyder’s ac
count the troopers did take a pistol
away from a provost guard of the
Nineteenth infantry after he had
taken a pistol away from a trooper
without cause. He says the troopers
were culpable in this instance, but in
no other. In the confusion that fol
lowed, the account says, the civilian
officials “then started to take pistols
away from the cavalrymen and to as
sault and ‘shoot-up’ the soldiers as
soon as they disarmed them.” The ac
count says that the soldiers gave up
their weapons without filing a shot.
Colonel Snyder declared that the
civilians fired upon soldiers who were
riding in automobiles and wounded
some of them. He says that affidavits
show that civilians made at least four
unprovoked assaults on individual
troopers, attempted to kill nine by
shooting, and robbed one. Several af
- davits are cited, one charging that a
Mexican woman was shot by a civilian
and not by a trooper. There was a de
liberate effort to “hunt down the
troopers” and kill them, Colonel Sny
der charges. The members of the
Tenth cavalry had been invited to Bis
l>ee to take part in the Fourth of July
(By Associated Negro Press.)
Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 13.—Rewards ag
gregating $1,500 were offered here to
day for arrest and conviction of the
persons who lynched Bony Washing
ton, a 72-year-old Negro, near Milan,
Ga., May 26 last.
Governor Dorsey offered $1,000 re
ward and to this Dr. Floyd McRae, an
Atlanta physician, whose family home
was in Telfair county, in Vhich Milan
is situated, added $500. The governor’s
reward provides $500 for the first ar
rest and conviction in the case and
$100 each for the next five.
Alston Burleigh, Howard University
Student, Holds Ow'd at
|{. O. T. C.
Camp Devens, Mass.—The com
manding officer of the recently held
Camp Devens It. O. T. C. infantry
camp, Camp Devens, Mass., announces
in an official communication the
names of certain students from the
various colleges and universities of the
country who have won approval by
exceptional zeal, enthusiasm and apti
tude displayed by them in their work
at the camp. Out of a list of seventy
seven men, representing such institu
tions as the University of Maine, St.
joiin’s school, Clason Military acad
emy, New Bedford High school, New
Britain High school, Harvard univer
sity, Yale university, New York Mili
tary academy, Cornell university,
Syracuse university and institutions of
that character, the name of Alston
Burleigh, a Howard university stu
dent, appears. Howard is the only one
of the Colored schools whose represen
tative won this exceptional mark of
approval at Camp Devens.
New York, Aug. 13.—Ida Europe,
sister of Lieutenant J imes Reese Eu
rope, died July 16 in Lellevue hospital.
Her remains were shipped to Wash
ington, D. C., for burial in Harmony
It is a wise policy to remain true
and loyal to old friends.
j^pHESE riots have a lesson which the whites should take to
^ their souls. It is that each one of us has a responsibility
to the community in dealing with our Colored fellow citizens.
Every time a white man insults a Negro, every time he con
veys by his conduct an overweening sense of his race su
periority, he contributes to the cause out of which these race
riots have sprung. No race responds so to sympathetic aid
as the Negro. No race can lie made as easily to forget or
forgive past wrongs by sincere cooperation and protection.
William Howard Taft.
Lessons from Chicago Race Riots
Ex-President Taft Expresses Opinion of Causes Contributing to
the Serious Conflict in Illinois Metropolis and Urges Sympa
thetic and Intelligent Cooperation; Disapproves
Attitude of “Educated Extremists.”
(From the Chicago Daily News.)
The migration of southern Negroes I
to northern cities, induced by the pros
pect of high wages and stimulated by i
southern discrimination in educational
facilities and the administration of;
justice, has created a congestion and a
lack of proper housing in such cities.
Then the stories of the treatment of
the Colored troops in France, some of
them unfortunately tine, have been
! given wide publicity among Negroes
in this country. Editorials dwelt on
the heartlessness of race antagonisms
that were active even when Negroes
were shedding their life’s blood for
tlieir country.
Negro leaders are divided into two
c lasses. There are those who feel as
deeply as they can the injustice and
heart misery arising from race preju
dice, and they would restrain as far,
| as possible by legisation and executive |
action such injustice. But they be-1
lieve that the real way to ameliorate j
conditions is to educate the Negro for
life by vocational and character train
j ing, and by thus increasing his value
to his community and himself to mod
erate and neutralize the prejudice.
They deprecate much the inflaming of
the souls of Colored men against the
white race, even when there are facts
justifying indignation and a deep
sense of wrong.
There are other Negroes, educated
men, who with no restraint have pour
ed out their agony of soul and sense of
outrage in addresses and editorials
and roused fellow Negroes as they
never have been roused before. The
hnchings, those horrible exhibitions of
blood lust against which all good peo
ple are joihing in apparently hopeless
protest, have led to desperation among
the blacks. The retired Negro soldier,
used to arms, returning from the war
environment, resenting the ingratitude
he sees in all of this, is prompted to
“direct action” to remedy his wrongs.
On the other side, among white peo
ple, we have those who look with sus
picion on any source from which tin
supply of labor can be increased. The
lower in the scale of intelligence the
stronger their feeling against a race
they glory in calling inferior. The
minute there is an outbreak, the law
less and the criminals, coming out into
the open like cockroaches at night,
join in the quarrel with avidity and
divide by color. Thus the riot begin
ning in a single quarrel develops for
midable proportions. Innocent people
of both races, frightened by reports,
arm themselves for protection, and we
have a situation deplorable, indeed.
The evidence seems to show, as is
usually the case, that in Chicago the
whites were the aggressors in stoning
a Negro lad into a watery grave be
cause he had passed a supposed line of
segregation between white and Negro
bathers on a city beach. Soon, how
ever, both sides were guilty of lawless
assaults and murder. As always, the
Negroes suffered most.
Dr. Moton, the wise and able head of
Tuskegee, anticipating the possibility
of such distressing outbreaks, de
scribed in a commencement address at
Hampton last May a state of things at
Birmingham some weeks before. He
said that rumors spread that the Ne
groes of the neighborhood were get
ting aims and drilling with the pur
pose of attacking the whites on a cer
tain Saturday night.
It gave him and others great con
cern. They investigated. They could
find no basis for the report of such a
plan. But they did find that Negroes
and white men alike, stirred by the re
ports, were arming themselves and
that the supply of small arms and
ammunition in the shops in Birming
ham had been completely exhausted.
A committee of leading white men and
Colored men met and did everything
possible to allay alarm, and the dread
ed Saturday night passed without inci
dent or outbreak.
The number of the dead and wound
ed in Chicago should lead the authori
ties of every city with congested Ne
gro quarters and population to call to
gether leaders of both races, who, act
ing jointly, should take appropriate
measures to stop hysteria, to allay
alarm and to arrest loud-mouthed agi
tators and criminals before trouble be
gins. The editors of the Colored press
should be reasoned with to cease pub
lishing articles, however true, having
inciting effect.
The educated extremists among the
Negro leaders must certainly see that
however great the injustice done to
their race through blind prejudice,
“direct action” is the worst possible
remedy. The more white victims the
greater the Colored victims will be,
and in the end the feeling out of which
this evil has come will be increased
and the slow and steady improvement
in the agricultural and industrial
status of the Negro shown by statis
tics will bo obstructed. Such leaders
should use every argument to quiet
their followers and to condemn fur
ther lawlessness as an offset to white
outrage. Those who suffer from such
riots are often, one might almost say
usually, not participants in the fight
ing, but bystanders who happen to be
in the line of fire, either through un
wise curiosity or because they can’t
help it.
These riots have a lesson which the
whites should take to their souls. It is
that each one of us has a responsi
bility to the community in dealing
with our Colored fellow citizens.
Every time a white man insults a Ne
gro, ever}' time he conveys by his con
duct an overweening sense of his race
superiority, he contributes to the cause
out of which these race riots have
come. No race responds so quickly to
sympathetic aid as the Negro. No race
can be made as easily to forget or for
give past wrongs by sincere coopera
tion and protection.
If this trouble spreads to all the
large cities, the' authorities and the
prominent and trusted leading citi
zens of these cities must have fore
sight and take quick action. No doubt
must be left of the intention of the
city and state to suppress lawlessness.
Troops in impressive and overwhelm
ing force must be summoned at once.
Meantime the joint measures of wise
and leading whites and Negroes to
give the Negroes to know that the
state will protect them and that they
are not to be abandoned to the mercy
of hoodlums and gunmen will do much
by way of prevention.
Another lesson of the Chicago riots
is in making clear the responsibility of
the large employers of labor who in
vite southern Negroes into their
plants for their proper housing. They
owe it to the community in which they
live to see to it that they are not thus
sowing seed plots of riots and lawless
ness in their quest for labor.
Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 13.—The
biennial session of the Supreme Lodge
of Knights of Pythias and the Su
preme Court of Calanthe, eastern and
western hemispheres, will be held here
the week beginning August 25.
Preaches at Union
Vesper Services
The Rev. Thomas A. 1 aggart, Pastor
of Bethel Baptist Church, Delivered
Admirable Address to Hundreds at
Syndicate Park Last Sunday.
□ANY hundreds of people of both
races crowded Sunday evening
around the grandstand at Syndicate
park. Twenty-first and F streets, to
listen to one of the most timely and
remarkable addresses ever delivered to
an audience of such a character.
During the summer months all the
various denominations of white
churches on the South Side have been
holding, instead of their usual serv
ices, a vesper service Sunday evenings
at Syndicate park. Rev. C. F. Holler,
chairman of the committee of ar
rangements, announced the services
for August 10 in the following man
“South Omaha people will reflect
credit on themselves by being present
on this occasion to hear Rev. Thomas
A. Taggart, who has accomplished
wonderful things in the building and
equipment of the fine Bethel Baptist
church, and has gathered into the
kingdom of Christ over 800 Negroes.
The entire congregations of the vari
ous churches are requested to note the
change of time to 7:45 sharp and be on
The congregations of these various
churches were out, and in addition all
the members and friends of Bethel
Baptist church. The weather was ideal.
Underneath the sky and trees the peo
ple, with bared heads, worshipped to
In the midst of hundreds of both
races Rev. Mr. Taggart spoke on the
theme, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”
This he handled in his own inimitable
fashion. He said:
“God made of one flesh all the na
tions of the earth to dwell in unity and
harmony on the face of His earth,
helping each the other as brethren and
glorifying Him as Father. It is the
thoughts of self that create trouble in
the world. The mad, insane rush for
money, place and fame that ma)ces us
go to any end to get ahead and create
false boundaries to aggrandize our
“Love of self, self-worship, has
caused all the hellishness we have ever
known or shall ever know. Let us stop
our foolishness and learn to live to
gether in unity and peace. Christianity
of the head that never reaches the
heart is vain, a snare and a pit to him
who so deludes himself.”
He struck the keynote when, in his
message, he mentioned the propa
ganda of the press, which keeps stir
ring strife among the blacks and
whites, by putting out false news and
then, after finding the truth, they fail
to publish it and keep the public blind.
He continued: “We should live as
Christians and pray and reason things
out without getting our innocent sons
and daughters killed while the press
which stirred the strife (and those be
hind who pay it) sit off and laugh.”
He urged his white hearers, who
could get nearer the press, to see to it
such practice should be stopped. He
did not fail to tell his people to put
away nonsense and use their brains.
Some who heard the sermon came
‘away, saying that they felt that God
had sent the message to awaken them
to the real tioith of Christian service.
Nearly 21,000 Bodies of American
Soldiers Were Gathered at the Ar
gonne and Buried by the 816th Pio
neer Infantry in Largest Military
Cemetery in the World.
Composed of September Draftees,
This Was One of the “Minute”
Trained and Equipped Organiza
tions Which Arrived Overseas
Shortly Before Armistice Was
Signed—Built Railroads and Buried
the Dead—Many Nebraskans and
W'estern Men in Regiment.
BREST, France.—By the time this
reaches you the boys are hoping
they will be on the seas en route for
the United States, for all are anxious
to be home again. The 816th Pioneer
Infantry is composed largely of west
ern men. Several Nebraska, Iowa and
Minnesota men are in our outfit and
all pine for the ozone of our western
prairies. Among the Nebraska men
are Letcher of Nebraska City; Frank
Blackwell, Rufus Long, Cecil Wilkes,
Shelley Cook and others from Omaha.
What we have been doing is told in
the following article from the local
Dame Fortune did not destine the
816th Pioneer infantry to be a fight
ing outfit to come to France to wins
its spurs amid shot, shell and machine
gun bullets, nor did as much as offer
the privilege to members of this or
ganization to witness the big game
from a distance when the war was on.
Afterward, however, the regiment had
the opportunity to see the afterglow
quite fully and completely.
Minute Trained Outfit
The 816th, like many of its sister
outfits, was one of the “Minute”
trained and equipped organizations
and was brought up in the states un
der the command of Colonel L. A. I.
Chapman, formerly of the cavalry,
regular army. The men were selected
from the September draft, half of
which reported for duty to the regi
ment two days before October 2, 1918,
the time of departure from Camp
Funston. Arriving in Camp Upton
on October 5, the mad rush for equip
ment, inspection and squads east was
finally ended and on October 12 the
regiment embarked.
Life on the rolling sea was none of
the expected pleasures of a sea-going
voyage, and after 13 days and nights
the Ceramic, Baltic and Talthibius,
carrying the regiment finally dis
charged its cargo in Liverpool on Oc
tober 24.
Railroad Work.
Resting a few days at Camp Knotty
Ash, they crossed England and left
for France via Le Havre arriving,
finally, at Foulain (Meuse). The 816th
was attached to the first army and
with its sister outfit, the 815th, was
almost forgotten in the city of Ver
dun after the armistice. Several days
later it was assigned to railway work
to open the Eix tunnel and rebuild
the line from Verdun to Audun, and
the line from Verdun to Sedan.
February 1 saw the end of railway
construction in this area and the regi
ment was split, six companies under
the command of Major Robert Blaine
leaving for the intermediate section.
In March the 1st battalion was moved
from Verdun to Romagne to work in
the cemetery.
Argonne Cemetery.
When this job was finished the or
ganization moved to Romagne and
established headquarters, Camp Ro
magne. The 816th in company with
other organizations, making a total
strength of approximately 10,000 men,
holds the reputation of being members
of the largest undertaking establish
ment in the world.
To June 30, 20,890 bodies of Amer
ican soldiers were gathered from the
trees and brush of the Argonne and
concentrated in the Argonne cemetery,
the largest military cemetery in the
Will Soon Go Home.
While the 816th Pioneer infantry
did not appear in action, or even reach
the zone of advance until the war
was over, it still prides itself on many
accomplishments with the pick ami
shovel that will last in the memories
of the folks at home. It performed
a great and important work in the
Argonne cemetery, and arriving in
Brest on July 6, it hopes to soon say
good-bye to France, feeling that it
has really done something worth while

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