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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, May 26, 1918, Image 29

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Heroic Flier, a Factory Worker in Wallingfork, Drab
Little Connecticut Town, Where Family Still Lives
By Unostentatious Toil?Inhabitants Strain Their
Memories to Recall Him,
By Carolin? Dawes Appleton
WHEN Raoul Lufbery fell from I
the cold heights he had at- j
tained he flashed across the
already lurid skies of war with
meteoric brilliancy. The flames which |
enwrapped him still burn, lingering to j
cast ligh; upon tho darkness of his j
lor.ely, roving boyhpod, the drab com- ;
mor.places of his youth. For there
were drab places in his kaleidoscopic
career, and they lie like shadows across
the vivid page which reads of romance ?
and adventure, and the nomadic trail
which wound from Cuba to Bombay,
Cairo to Ceylon, Constantinople to
Algiers, and ended in a streak of fire
across the skies of France.
While the world gasps at the exploits
of the hero, the little town of Walling
ford, in the Connecticut hills, where
lies Lufbery's only personal link with
his paternal country. America, grills its
memory to recall significantly the si?
lent, taciturn youth who lived and
worked there some twelve years ago,
nor showed any especial promise of
forthcoming glory.
Baoul Lufbery's childhood was spent
in France; not in Bonrges, as has been
supposed, but in Blois, near Tour. His
father, Edward Lufbery, the son of
American parents hailing from New
Jersey, early evidenced the wandering
ipirit which marked his son. He trav?
eled far for many firms, and while in
Prance married a French wife, who
died in a few years, leaving behind her
three small sons. Of these was Raoul.
His father describes his childhood
doubtfully, at a loss to reconcile his
early traits with his present fame.
He Was a Quiet
Boy?Not Gay
Raoul was heavy bodied and some?
what feeble limbed in his babyhood
and later an unenthusiastic, almost mo?
rose, child, with but a grave interest in
childish games. Neither was he a stu?
dious lad, but an open and positive
enemy to all forms of schooling. His
games he .approached with profound
analysis, dropping them abruptly upon
exhausting their possibilities for
amusement. So it was with Raoul in
his pursuit of trades and crafts in
later years. None could hold him
when he had learned the workings of
One would think, observes Lufbery
pere, that Raoul had always been a
hero of romance. But no?he was a
quiet boy, not gay, not gay at all!
Afte? his mother's death he was sent
to the hill country in France, Cevennes
and boarded there with a peasant fam?
ily for a year or two. The coarse black
bread, sour wine, savory ragouts anc
the freedom of the open, sunlit? country
strengthened the slim, coltlike limbs
and made muscular the heavy body
Somewhere in the hills the wanderinj
spirit was breathed into the grave
young soul of Raoul, and when he re
turned to Blois it was not to remain.
The black apron, cropped head an?
dog-eared books of the ?cole civile a
Blois appealed to him not (pt all. Hi
Bet out upon the smooth, white poplar
sjfirted roads of France a sturdy, self
sufficient child. He slept in fields an?
beneath trees when he was tired
worked for food when he was hungry?
the trail of the petits Savoyards o
rhyme and story, those ageless littl
gamins whose wanderings have mad
France pictrureful since the Middl?
So he roamed, always dutifully i
touch with his home and father a
Blois, always within the boundarie
of France. There are vineyards, for
ests, fields and mountains in the Mid
which could claim that with them Raou
dwelt awhile, paBsed on, returned an
passed again, leaving likeable but quit
unsensational impressions behind hin
He was a steady boy, they could saj
but not gay?not gay at all.
In these years his father marrie
?gain, also a Frenchwoman, who die
eventually, leaving him with five moi
little ones, the youngest but a yet
old. This latter age was a difficu
one, Lufbery vere admits, and too e:
acting even for his paternal resourc
fulnesss. From the other end ?
France he summoned the ambulatoi
Raoul, then fifteen, and requested h
assistance in caring for his comp!
cated household. This responsibili
young Raoul assumed casually ai
played nursemaid effectually for tv
or three years. Then the year-o
difficulty in the form of his youi
half-sister, Berthe, became less dif
cult; his older sisters, Yvonne, Mai
Louise and Germaine, were growing o
enough to fill this sphere of his u?
fulnesss. So he moved on, leaving tl
particular drab spot in his career, p<
ceiving hia duty to have been w
From this time on Raoul scoured t
?even seas. Many anecdotes are t<
of hia adventures and many tales ha
come to light with hia fame. I
father lays especial stress upon I
?on'a sojourn in Egypt. There
found the East which ordinary tri
ellera fall to find and he learned
love the freedom of burning sands, 1
golden glory of the skies by day, i
purple hase which shrouded the t
cient ruin? by night, the odd compi
iohshlp of desert roving bands
Araba and their swift wild steeds.
Egypt, he wrote home, he could w
to live always?could he wish to 1
"always" anywhere. But he could :
pause for long. In Algiers he fot
*n Eastern France and stayed ? wh
He worked at odd jobs and finally
?hiploading among the rioting carg
of the Orient, the heavy acent of spic
the glare of cloudless suns and to
dull chant of tireless native labor.
With this latter Raoul's Western phy?
sique could not compete. Seriously
hurt by the strain of cargo shifting, he
was carried to the hospital at Algier^
where he recuperated slowly and, half
in payment for the kindnesses of new
friends and half for sheer inability to
be entirely idle, he worked as hospital
orderly while he regained his strength.
From Algiers *
To Wallingford
Meanwhile his father, for some rea?
son known only to himself, gathered
up his growing family and conducted
them overseas to the little town of
Wallingford, 'Conn. Here they lived
in simple poverty. Himself a man of
many trades, Edward Lufbery estab?
lished a bakery at Wallingford, in
which his two sons, Charles and Rene,
worked with him off and on. The bak?
ery thrived a while and then he gave it
up. Three of his daughters became
trained nurses. The fourth, Berthe
who presented such difficulties in th<
first years of her life, has grown tc
great beauty and is married now ir
Wallingford, at seventeen, and witl
her and her young husband Lufberj
pere lives in meagre simplicity.
From Algiers, twelve years ago, thi
wandering Raoul descended upon Wal
lingford unannounced. His father ha<
just sailed for Antwerp. Thus the;
missed each other and never met again
Here Wallingford's memories begir
Here began perhaps the drabest perio
of the colorful life wl#ch the worl
associates with the career of Lufberj
No one understands, neither Walling
ford nor his family, why Raoul settle
down to factory work for nearly thre
dull years. He made casket fitting!
silver casket fittings.
His father shakes his head.
"Casket fittings," he observes, ur
comprehendingly. "Raoul was a str?ng
boy. Often in the last few days
have said that no one knew him, eve
until now. He hated shop work. K
hated towns and cities and reguli
hours and smoke and all that. We?v
never understood him at all, I thin
until, perhaps, now." His father lool
away over the warm green hills, and :
his lined old face Is the reflection
his boy's glory, the gleam of a ne
understanding of that strange spii
whose swift, sudden success his o*v
youth micht have known.
It Was to the Sky
He Belonged
"He was a strange boy," he resum
abruptly. "It is the war! It was t
war that he waited for, that he we
dered all over the earth to find!
walked on the ground and lived a
worked on the ground, and all the ti;
it was in the sky that he belong?
The war has been mother, s wee the:
and wife to him"- Lufbery pi
pauses here. He darts a slightly s
picious glance from side to side
though he had been surprised into
great confidences.
Sweetheart or wife? Lufbery's ft
ily have nothing to say except t
they have never heard of a worn
When the news of his death reac!
his father it. was through a press <
patch, and while he waited for the
ficial notification which has not ct
he became nearly certain that th
must be a wife in France of wr
Raoul never wrote and that it was
who was notified as "next of kin." 1
is possible, but improbable, since Mi
Lufbery joined the service of
United States but recently, and the
tails of hjs official record are doi
less still in France and not on the :
of the War Department in Wash
ton. Yet there may be a wife.
would almost soem that such a ron
tic possibility appeals to Lufbery p
As he says, Raoul had known and 1
known by many great people since
well won fame?and he might !
married any one, any onel And as
edly he would not have written h
about it if he had, for he never w
of anything that concerned him per?
sonally If It could be avoided. So
much then, for a wife. As to sweet?
hearts of his youth, Wallingford
scratches an ear and tries to remem?
ber. Truly Wallingford remembers
very little of Lufbery. That he worked
at Simpson's, yes, but there were many
boys in the "works," and it cannot be
remembered that young Lufbery was at
all exceptional or distinctive. Cer?
tainly he was not distinctive to such a
degree as to warrant the feeling which
they now entertain, the somewhat
guilty consciousness of having over?
looked the youth of greatness and not
foreseen its glory. But he was a steady
boy, that is certain. And gay? No,
not at all gay. If there was a girl, she
has not come forward to claim his
memory. But it was twelve years ago
that he was there. If a girl existed
Wallingford cannot produce her.
The Old Men
Strain Their Memories
The old men remember him as among
the boys at Simpson's, but they are a
little too old to halt their minds at
a decade. Like overzealous fishermen,
they cast too far and the bait 1b swal?
lowed in fruitless anecdotes of their
own gallant youth. -,
The younger men are dazzled by the
new and radiant vision of Major Luf?
bery strung with medals. There is the
Legion of Honor, the Medaille Mili?
taire, the Croix de Guerre and the
British Military Cross. Also a Monte?
negrin order which, Raoul wrote, was
not so hard won as the others, but oi
which he was verp proud.
Wallingford has thrilled daily at his
exploits and counted breathlessly the
enemy planes that fell beneath his
skilled onslaught. It is not surpris?
ing therefore that the past should b?
dimmed by the present and that ii
should be difficult to recall the quiet
morose lad who worked upon th?
lugubrious bright work of casket fit
tings and then vanished from view tt
reappear in the guise of America'!
greatest "ace." But Wallingford is de
termined to erect a monument to him
?_- ? i?_^^?W_WW_BM_WW_^nM__BW_WWWW*l
I^goui Gervais L>izf:Jbe?Z>r
to commemorate those three Incon?
gruous years which compose his total
sojourn in the land of his citizenship.
There is a woman in Wallingford
who remembers him very well. She
is the wife of his brother Charles, who
served fifteen months in the French
army before he was wounded and re?
turned to this country. With them
Raoul lived during his sojourn in Wal?
lingford, in a little house vine-covered,
poor and excessively neat, under the
shadow of a factory wall behind which
Charles now works. The air is heavy
and sweet with the scent of warm earth
and growing things, and Mme. Lufbery
sits in her tiny kitchen, her foot on a
cradle rocker, keeping a wary eye upon
the motionless and mysterious little
bundle among the pillows. The day
is warm, but there is a faint blaze in
the stove near which the cradle stands,
Through France, Cuba, Egypt and Algiers Also This
Youth Passed Unheralded Until He Found Fame in
The Warfare of the Skies?Father Marvels at His
World Known Achievements.
for there are still treacherous May
breezes which have S way of penetrat?
ing the most careful wrappings.
What the Brother's
Wife Recalls
What manner of lad was Raoul in
those two years of casket fittings?
No young friends? No church soci-?
ables and strawberry festivals, no
girls? Mme. Lufbery laughs softly at
the thought of Raoul and love, and
shrugs expressively.
"'E'ad no time for love!" she pro?
tests. She Is very French and her ac?
cent is the soft, liquid b-r-r-r of the
Midi. "Always 'e came 'ome, tran?
quil?quiet?dull like 'e was tired. Af
taire diner 'e went to bed like an old
man, or a very leetle boy and at break?
fast it was the same. Not gay! No,
no, not gay at all! I used to look at
him and say to Charles: 'Mon Dieu, is
zat boy some one who 'as kill tipers in
Afrique; who 'as see the world from
Calcutta a Paris?no, no, I cannot be?
lieve!' And always Charles would
shake 'is head at me and say: 'Zut!
Laurence, 'e is 'ere only for a leetle
time. *_ will go on?'e cannot stay?
in 'im is somsing not to rest. 'E 'as
not found 'is m?tier!'*
Mme. Lufbery is interrupted. There
is a faint plaintive wail from the
cradled bundle beside her. She bends
over it swiftly, murmuring, and when
she raises her head her eyes are wet
and ? trifle red.
"My baby," she says, simply. "It is
eight weeks old. I write to Raoul
when it 'as just one day of life, and
I ask 'im, can you not come 'ome to
be 'is godfaser? For eight weeks we
'ave wait for its christening. Just now,
when could I hear from Raoul that
'e would come and give to it 'is great
name?'e is gone! Ah!" With clenched
hands she gazes heavenward. "We
would not all feel so bad if they?
THEY could not say they 'ad kill 'im!
If only they could not say they 'ad
make 'im fall."
Young Raoul struggles and reveals
himself to be misroscopic and some?
what red, and weens dolorously, ref ur
ing to be consoled. Mme. Lulbery rocks
the cradle violently and rummages in
a cardboard box for the, at present,
more distinguished Raoul's, last letter.
It is in French, and she reads it aloud
with that deep thrill in her voice which
speaks of reverent patriotism. The
vibrant quality appears to fascinate
the young Raoul whose wail ends in
a contented gurgle.
He Preferred to
Live in the Clouds
."I could wish to see Wallingford
again"-this Major Lufbery wrote
before, and not in answer to, the let?
ter concerning his newly arrived name?
sake. "But it is not for me now. I
like the game here, thank you?I pre?
fer to perch among my clouds and
shoot at Boches even to passing a
pleasant hour with you all. I cannot
come now. After the war we shall
see?but I shall not, I think, live so
In spito of this, his sister-in-law
had written, believing that he must
consider the importance of the occa?
sion. Unfortunately, she cannot know
what he intended. She wipes her eyes
now with the characteristic poise which
women of her race can assume with
such startling suddenness.
"Vous voyez," she says. "We did
not expect 'e would live. How could
get for every Boche gun? No, we
were not surprised?but?of course?"
her eyes again fall upon her child,
crowing and sucking upon an incred?
ibly large corner of his pillow. "Ne
vaire mind, mon petit! When thou
art grown there will be bigger aero
plans and periaps even bigger deeds
for thee to do!?L?! 'E will be a great
aviateur, celui-ci!" observes Mme. Luf?
bery with conviction and that far away
maternal gleam in her eye by which
one reads that she already traces her
young son's flights into the heavens
and their attendant fame. "Excuse-"
she begs, "I go to put 'im in the gar?
den?to look at the sky!" She pro?
duces a blanket mysteriously and
swathing the infant Raoul gathers him
up, cradle and all, and disappears into
the. garden.
And swiftly the empty silence of the
little kitchen conjures up a picture of
the other, great Raoul, a stocky lad of
twenty, hands stained with the metal
of his casket fittings, his eyes sullen
and tired with the grind of his day's
labor; bending low, peasant wise, over
a dish of steaming ragout upon the
little table. His shoulders are bent
beneath a flannel shirt, open at the
throat, and he eats slowly with a large
but indifferent appetite. Through the
open door comes the May fragrance
of the Connecticut hills. His eye wan?
ders, as he eats, about the dim room.
There is a coffee can on a shelf be?
hind the stove and propped behind it
two vivid postcards?upon one the blue
harbor of Algiers, rimmed with white
terraced buildings gleaming in a tropic
sun?upon the other a lonely palm tree
waving over the cool shadowy ruins of
Karnak. He cannot discern the details
from his table, but across the blue
skies of each is scrawled his name,
"R. Lufbery." He would have seen
no symbolism in this now, in any case.
With fluent apologies Mme. Lufbery
returns, having installed her offspring
to gaze unhindered upon and take coun?
sel with the heavens. Perhaps, she
thinks, it will do good to have him
look at the sky. . . .
She Brings Out
His Picture
Upon sudden thought she resurrects
a snapshot of the great Raoul, en avia
! teur, beside his machine. Across the
| sky of this, also, is inscribed his name.
! Mme. Lufbery can with difficulty be
persuaded to part with it.
They are all very proud of him. The
family, his father, Wallingford?old
and young?and in their pride they aro
all trying to remember more about
him. Lufbery, half American, half
French?with the balance swaying to?
wards his Americanism because of his
citizenship and the strong Yankee
strain in him that balanced the vivid
Gaelic There are many anecdot<**s
which have come to light with his
fame, which came to light, indeed, with
each new triumph and decoration. He
lived the latter years among gre3t men
and great deeds and himself stood apart
and greater. There, were many boys in
the Wallingford "works" and he is re?
membered there by this same aloofness
?then an unboyish tendency to ?void
the intimacies of small town life.
When Lufbery was borne awaj' from
the field of wild flowers where he and
his broken winged plane had fallen,
his loss pierced the far corners of the
earth and the flame of his fall wrote
his name across the firmament as he
scrawled it upon the pictured blue of
Algiers and Karnak years ago. An
American, his only link with Amerjca
lay in those three short, dull years at
the craftsman's bench.
To-day, outside Simpson's where he
worked, is a group of boys sitting on
a fence in the sun, waiting for the one
o'clock whistle to blow. With them
once sat the gloomy, silent lad that
was Lufbery, chafing beneath the re?
straint of work shop and foremen, only
passively interested in this new trade
which he learned easily and well, and
whose limited possibilities his imagina?
tion quickly grasped and rejected. He
waited sullenly for the bell stroke in
his own consciousness which should
tell him the time had come for him to
move on. When the factory whistle
shrieked and he joined the jostling
throng at the door, casting a last
glance at the cloud-flecked sky, he eouli
scarcely have known that his destiny
lay so high and so much akin to tho
wheeling birds above him.
When the bell within him sounded
he moved on, disappearing as suddenly
as he had come. He moved steadily on
between the narrow hedges of his life's
maze, seeking the opening and the end
of the path. And all the while the sky
i was clear above him and was his own.
The fair blue skies of France, the
torrid inverted brazen bowl of the
tropics, the chasing leaden clouds over
many seas, the smoky arch above tho
cities he hated, and once again the
sweet French blue, now stained, shat?
tered, pierced by a thousand sheila,
flaming with his name.
[ "Raoul was a strange boy-" says
his father. "And gay? No, no; not
gay at all!"
The Lexicon of the
I. W. W.
In Chicago 113 members of ?the In?
dustrial Workers of the World, headed
by "Big Bill" Haywood, are on trial,
charged with sedition and conspiracy
? to obstruct the progress of the war.
And the prosecution of the I. W. W.
j has brought to light the queer jargon
! that has been invented and is now used
| by the "wobblies," as the members of
I the organization are called.
Some of the slang phrases which
have figured in the trial, and which
| have been explained to the juror? in
j Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis' court
i include the following:
The American Federation is known
as the "A. F. of Hell."
"Battleship" means a disturbance in
a jail.
"Blanket stiff" is a worker who ear
i ries bedding with him.
"Black cat" and "wooden shoe" are
: symbols of sabotage.
Discontented workers are called
| "class conscious soldiers and rebels."
The "wobbly" word for jail is "can.**
A "sab cat" is a saboteur, an expert
| in the application of sabotage.
A small businesa man is typified as ?
I "cockroach."
"Cossack," to thoae acquainted with
' the vernacular, mean* a mounted po?
"Hay stake" means the money accn
j mulated during the harvest season.
"High life" is the term applied to
j lye or corrosive sublimate, intended to
? be placed in a 'scab's" shoes.
Any one whose mode of living agrees
j with the "principles of the I. W. W. is
said to be a 'Jake' "; if a woman she is
! a "Jill."
j A "scis8orbill" is a workman con
| tented with the present social system.
Officials of the American Federation
| and of other craft unions are called
? "labor fakers."
"Spittoon philoaophex" is the term
! applied to inactive members of the or
j ganization, who simply discuss eon
j dirions in saloons and meeting halls.
! Bolivia Welcomes Japanese
! Envoy Arranging for Emigra?
tion of 10,000 Farmers
LONDON, May 26.?A Bolivian plenl
potentiary, Munoz Reyes, has arrived
in Tokio to arrange for Japanese emi?
gration on a large scale to Bolivia,
says a dispatch from Tokio to *Th?
j Daily Mail."
The dispatch, which is dated May 18,
says that the mission of the Bolivian
emissary is to arrange for the sntle
; ment, as a first atep. of 10,000 Jap?
anese farmers in Bolivia to work v?at
tracts of uncultivated land. "Ta*
Mail's" correspondent adds that an im?
portant development in Japanese emi?
gration to South America is fore?
This picture of the famous Ace, his mascot, and his fighting aeropl ane is the last sent by him to his family, though it was taken before he
I entered the American service. His signature appears at the top.
How Memorial Day Was Started Fifty Years Ago
THE fiftieth anniversary of Me?
morial Day will be celebrated
next Thursday by those cere?
monies that have been customary ever
since Major General John A. Logan
I issued his famous order in May, 1868.
Despite the importance of the pres
i cnt occasion no new feature has been
j planned to mark the day. There will be
! the usual parade, which will be re
?viewed by Mayor Hylan, and in the
1 evening exercises and music at Car
negie Hall. Governor Whitman is ex?
pected to deliver an oration and De?
partment Commander William F.
Kirschnei- will speak for the veterans.
From time to time the honor of hav?
ing originated Memorial Day is claimed
by some bold spirit who refuses to re?
main any longer in historical oblivion.
But the veterans themselves rise up
in indignation when any such idea is
put forward.
"Don't take any credit away from
General Logan," said one grizzled war?
rior the other day. "He alone created
Memorical Day, and nothing is too
good to say about him."
"Black Jack" was a fascinating and
picturesque figure, idolized by his sol?
diers. He was not merely a skilled
fighter, but a brilliant public speaker,
whose eloquence and dramatic powei
were well attested. His wife, a clever
and accomplished woman, was of in?
valuable assistance to him throughout
his career. She has told the story of
her husband's life and work in a most
delightful volume of biography.
In January, 1868, General Logan's
comrades of the Grand Array of the
Republic elected him commander in
I chief. He was twice re?lected. It was
?during his first incumbency that he
issued the order which he often re?
ferred to afterward as "the proudest
act of my life" setting apart the 30th
of May ns a day in memory of the
dead soldiers, who lost their lives to
perpetuate the Union?a day on which
to decorate' their graves and keep in
mind their glorious deeds.
Logan's Order
For Memorial Day
The order was issued to all the posts
of the G. A. R. throughout the coun?
try in these words:
Headquarters Grand Army of the
Republic, Adjutant General's Office
i 446 14th Street, Washington, D. C,
May 5, 1868.
General Orders No. 11.
"The 80th day of May, 1868, is des?
ignated for the purpose of strewing
with flowers or otherwise decorating
the graves of comrades who died in
defence of their country during the
late Rebellion and whose bodies now
lie in almost every city, village,
hamlet and churchyard in the land.
In this observance no form of cere?
mony is prescribed, but posts and
comrades will in their own way ar?
range such fitting services and testi?
monials of respect as circumstances
may permit.
"We are organized, comrades, as
our regulations tell us, for the pur?
pose, among other things, 'of pre?
serving and strengthening those ?
kind and fraternal feelings which
have bound together the soldiers,
sailors and marines who united to?
gether to suppress rebellion.' What
can aid more to assure this result
than by cherishing tenderly the mem?
ory of our heroic dead, who made
their breasts a barricade between
our country and its foe. Their sol?
dier lives Were the reveille of free?
dom to a race in chains and their
deaths the tattoo of rebellious
..tyranny in arms. We should guard
their graves with sacred vigilance.
All that the consecrated wealth and
taste of the nation can add to their
adornment and security is but a fit?
ting tribute to the memory of her
slain defenders. Let no wanton foot
tread rudely on such hallowed
ground- Let pleasant paths invite
the coming and going of reverent
visitors and fond mourners. Let no
vandalism or avarice or neglect, no
ravages of time, testify to the pres?
ent or to the coming generations
that we have forgotten a3 a people
the cost of a free and undivided re?
"If other eyes grow dull and other
hands slack, and other hearts grow
cold in the solemn trust, ours shall
keep it well, as long as the light and
warmth of life remain to us.
"Let us, then, at the time ap?
pointed, gather around their sacred
remains and garland the passionless
mounds above them with the choicest
flowers of springtime; let us raise
above them the dear old flag they
saved from dishonor; let us. in this
solemn presence, renew our pledges
to aid and -assist those whom they
have left among us, a sacred charge
upon a nation's gratitude?the sol?
dier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
"It is the purpose of the com?
mander in chief to inaugurate this
observance with the hope that it will
be kept up from year to year while
a survivor of the war remain? to
honor the memory of his departed
comrade?. He earnestly desires the
public pretss to call attention to thia
order and lend its friendly aid in
bringing it to the notice of com?
rades in all parts of the country in
time for simultaneous compliance
"Department commanders will use
every effort to make this order ef?
By order of
"Commander in Chief.
"Official: N. P. CHIPMAN,
"Adjutant General."

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