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The Evening Missourian. [volume] (Columbia, Mo.) 1917-1920, December 23, 1918, Image 4

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89066315/1918-12-23/ed-1/seq-4/

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Page Eight
THE EYESISG 3IISS0UBIAS, JfOSDAT, DECE3IBER 23, 1918.
ABOUT THE MAN WHO MADE
SELECTIVE DRAFT POSSIBLE
(Tbe following character sketch of Ma
Jor General Enoch II. Crowder, published
In tbe Detroit,. News, will be of Interest In
loiumnia wnere uenerai ironraer is re
membered by many.)
Perhaps no Army officer's name, ex
cept Pershing's Is so widely known
amongst Americans as that of MaJ.
Gen. Enoch H. Crowder. This Is by
no means due to the military achieve
ments or personal qualities of Gen.
Crowder, but Is entirely accounted for
by the new relations which the war
made necessary between the people
of the United States and their mili
tary organization.
When the people, through their rep
resentatives, elected to form them
selves Into the Army of Democracy,
some orderly method had to be de
vised for registering, selecting and
Inducting them into the service, and
the man who prepared these paths
and opened these dodrs was the Pro
vost Marshal General of the United
States. Ills office was, as It were, the
gateway through which the civilian
passed to military service.
It was Gen. Crowder who appointed
and directed the registration boards
with their various medical and other
assistants. It was he who arranged
the intricate numbering system and
supervised the making of the call for
men. Ultimately, into 10,750,000
American homes the name Crowder
came with the authority of the Unit
ed States behind it; families by the
thousand viewing it with a certain
dread; young men by the thousands
hailing it with the superb joy of ad
venturous youth.
It was In some senses a terrible
responsibility to place on one indi
vidual's name. To the short-sighted
and antagonistic the thought
that "this was Crowder's doings." It
Is no reflection on the loyalty of the
more domestic members of American
families, those who believe their coun
try right but dreaded the stern Issue
of war as it might touchttheir families,
to say that the signature, "Enoch H.
Crowder, Provost Marshal General,"
stood out in an ominous light.
That is to say, everyone knew the
name; few knew the man. They saw
his picture In the papers, he typified
to them the power they had delegated
to their civil and military leaders, but
as to what manner of person he was
and how he came to be assigned to
the simply colossal task that was laid
upon him, few knew. Indeed, few
know now.
It Is not the purpose of this article
to describe the selective draft. We
are too close to be able fully to real
ize its historic import. Only by ex
ercising an act of will and returning
ourselves to the state of mind which
all the associations of the word "con
script" awakened in us five year ago,
can we even dimly realize the tre
mendous decision the American peo
ple made when they consented to the
war and the draft.
The draft was implied in any war
undertaken under modern conditions.
It was not the act of the Government
going out and taking citizens by
force; it was the act of citizens them
selves, choosing and sending men for
the common defense; and in the fair
est way, and most business-like way,
instituting a rule of universal service
from which neither wealth nor social
position, influence nor any purely per
sonal excuse could exempt a man.
Fairest War to Kalse an Army.
In Civil War times the ability to
raise a few hundred dollars exempted
a man from military service. But we
have lived to see millionaires sleep
ing on iron cots, day laborers their
bunkies; we have lived to see social
favorites on the drill fields, dock
walloDers their next in line: we have
came lived to see the mechanic's son com
manding the stateman's son in the
ranks the fairest, most successful,
mast democratic mode of raising an
army ever adopted.
Only a democracy could have done
it. The draft, be it said, proved our
democracy by an acid test.
But did you ever speculate on the
The Alen's Store Where Ladies Enjoy Shopping 111
SILK SHIRTS I
of S. & B. Originality Make Most Practical
and Useful Gifts
$4 to $8
New Styles arc Slwwi HERE FIRST I
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chances the draft had of falling?" No
matter how perfectly It had been de
vised, It assuredly would have failed
if the people had not wanted It. But
wanting it as they did, willingly abid
ing by its method, the draft still had
1,000 chances to fall because of the
vastness of the work and the vaster
inexperience of America in such mat
ters. Odium or credit? which was it to
be for this name "Crowder" that had
become so ubiquitous in the land?
Be" sure that one man was keenly
alive to all the possibilities, and he
was the man who tore that name.
Who Is This Creator of Armies?
Who is he? How did he know just
what to do? Where did he learn the
intricacies of the selective draft? By
intricacies I mean, of course, the
problems which he met; the opera
tion of the draft Itself, like all great
things, is simple.
And that is the story. When you
know It you will be grateful that
there was a Crowder in the country at
the nick of time.
It ought to be obvious to you, how
ever, that Gen. Crowder's knowledge
was not assembled in a night. And
ye It must be equally obvious that
there has never been in the term q
his military experience a draft on
which he could practice. Hu was 2
years old when the Civil War began.
I am, not writing this story with
Gen. Crowder's consent. He is a mod-
est man. Congress wanted to make
him a lieutenant-general a few weeks
ago, in recognition of his work, but
he refused; he said the greater part
of the credit was due to the draft
boards who worked with him. That
was no grandstand play; it was char
acteristic of the man.
It would-be extremely difficult to
gain his consent to a story about
himself, and I did not press him so
hard as to bring down a flat prohibi
tion. I had my facts before I went
to him. I only wanted to know wheth
er I was misinformed. The story 1
put up to him was the barest skele
ton of what appears here, with ever
shred of purely personal matter
stripped off. People who know him
best supplied the Ilesh and blood of
it.
Maj-Gen. Crowder is aware, I think,
or the delicacy of his relation tc
American homes. He it is who stands,
figuratively speaking, at the door of
the home and says to the young man,
"Your place Is ready now." The
young man has been waiting with a
good deal of eager excitement for his
coming, but there are folks in the
background who had never expected
to live through that experience.
Aside from his natural disinclina
tion to publicity, I think this is the
reason Gen. Crowder would much
rather not be exploited in the public
prints'. His name has stood at the
doors of so many homes, his coming
has meant so much in so many differ
ent ways, that I think he feels that
something like a sacred silence should
be observed regarding it.
He and the boys have gonu'out to
gether from the doors of millions of
homes; if praise is to be bestowed
he would rather have it go to the
boys. He was a soldier doing the
duty the people had laid on him; they
wen; young civilians changing their
lives for their country's sake I am
sure he would have the public think
of them, and of himself not at all.
This would be affectation in some
men; it Is Gen. Crowder's nature. He
is a human sort of a man. He wishes
to be courteous to everybody and he
t'sually succeeds, though often against
odds. And so far from being an ogre
invading the homes and lives of
Americans, he has lived through 10.-
000.000 men's experiences, and the
sensitive surface of his heart has not
been worn hard. I thoroughly be
lieve that.
self racing horses and playing cards
Destiny Knocks at the Door.
At any rate, while stationed at
Standing Rock, North Dakota, he
found an old, dust-covered, time
stained Government publication one
of those numerous books the Govern
ment prints and few people read
which contained perhaps the driest
reading In the world, from tho stand
point of a young officer on the frontier.
It was a report of the Provost Mar
shal, who held that rank during the
Civil War. In it he had written the
devices he had tried in the drafts of
those times, wherein they had suc
ceeded and wherein they had failed,
and being an enthusiast in that re
mote field, he had added a study of
the draft systems of the world.
This book fascinated the young offi
cer, ins mi tin uooKeu useu 10 uie
subject. He lived with the book, slept
with it. and digested every morsel of
its information. Of course It was ofj
no "practical use" to him. The wag
was over; tlje volunteer system wai
what our people swore by; all talk of
drafts was ancient history.
Nevertheless, with only a student's
interest In the subpect, and with a
peculiarly sympathetic insight into
the old dead-and-gone Provost Mar
shal's difficulties, which had been so
laboriously written out and so uncere
moniously tossed into . the rubbish 1
corners of a hundred army posts.
young Crowder could not rid his mind
of the matter.
He has that book yet. There may
bo a copy of it in the Congressional!
Library. There may be a few lying
lost in undisturbed garrets through
out the country. But at least one
copy is valued, and that Is Gen.
Crowder's. He never lets It get be
yond his reach; perhaps it would
be more accurate to say that he nev
er lets It get within anybody else's
reach.
Kight .Man In Nick of Time.
That was years ago. When the war
-ame, when it became imperative to
mobilize the largest army of the mosl
carefully selected material in , the
shortest period of time, who was
there to do it? Only one post In the
mny had such a task amongst its
stated duties, and that was the Provost
Marshal's post. And it so happened
that the young officer who had made
the mobilization of civilians his spec-.
ialty was "he very man who had come
through stage after stage from a
lieutenant of cavalrv, through judge
advocate of the army, through Socre
tary of State and Justice for Cuba to
the office of Provost Marshal General
of the United States. The discovery
of the man who knew most about such
affairs and his appointment to his '
present post were almost coincident,
and with both came the imperative
need of the country.
j, Now, that may not he Destiny. Gen.
Crowder and I, without doubt, dis
agree on that point.. But if there is
any other adequate "name for it, it
has failed thus far to suggest itself.
At least one man is going to continue
to believe that decades ago the Des
tiny that has always sent fit servants
to the Republic, made in obscurity and
in seeming aimlcssncss the choice of
a man and a task, and that of this man
it may be truthfully said today, "To
this end was he born, and for this
cause came he into the world."
It explains, as nn nthc .l,
the superb success and Justin
.. .., , mc acictuve araft
tem or the United States.
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Open Evenings
Until
Christmas
L0Mffiar1IiMnfl&
'Everybody's Store'
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i
CLASSIFIED ADS.
nail a Cent a Word a Day
We Always Have Chocolate and Va?iilla Flavors
Half of the pleasure of this event is the delight of the
youngsters as they jrolic around the Christmas tree.
The other half is in the Candies, Pop-corn, Fniits and
WAGNER' SICE CREAM. Wagner's will
round out the evening's enjoyment.
Order now for Christmas Eve.
TAVERN DRUG STORE
Phone 419
FOR BEST
FOIJ HUNT FuniiiliiMl bt-pln;r room
-and kitchenette near ClirUtl.in I'ollece
IIIsli nliil .li'ITTs(iii m-IkmiN. riione llsl
tirceu. r-ini
THE BOY IN HIS
TEENS-
GIVE HIM A BANK BOOK
Suggest to him, br concrete example,
what to do with the dimes and quarters
that he is beginning to earn.
You no doubt wish him to be a hustling
young man of affairs, self-reliant and prepared for
the future.
Successful men are thus developed. They do not
step into positions of trust and responsibility. They
are trained today, while in knee-breeches for
places of responsibility in Tomorrow's World.
The gift of a bank book, with an initial deposit
as a nucleus, this Christmas 1918 will point the
way of a life-time.
BOONE COUNTY TRUST COMPANY
W. A. BRIGHT, Pres.
S. C. HUNT, Vice-Pres.
E. P.
ALEX BRADFORD, JR., Vice-Pres.
S. F. CONLEY, Sec'y.
RUETHER, Treas.
How Did He Do HI
But how was he able to organize a
draft a thing that had never been
done before? How did it happen
that at the precise moment of time the
man who could do the job was there,
in the War Department, ready to do
it? An enemy might answer: "Why,
the United States Government was
preparing for this all the time. All
it had to do was to go to a pigeon
hole and take out the plans." Such
an answer would not be true. It is
true, however, that one officer hap
pened to know how to proceed.
We are going to believe in destiny
after the war just as we now look
back and believe that Lincoln was a
man of destiny, and just as we all
believe that a Higher Power has con
trol of the destinies of the Republic.
And I have thought that Enoch H.
Crowder is a man of destiny, prepar
ing through long and arduous and ob
scure years, and appearing after- 3G
years of fairly commonplace military
life in the precise position to do the
precise work the nation in its emer
gency called for.
I have reason to believe that Gen.
Crowder would not indorse this view
of himself as a man of destiny. It
doesn't appeal to him at all. But let
me tell the story, that the reader may
draw his own conclusion.
Thirty-seven years ago, Enoch Her
bert Crowder, a Missouri yonth, grad
uated from West Point at the age
of 22. Five years later he took his
law degree at the University of Mis
souri. His military life began, as most
young officers did, on the plains of
me west, iney say ne was not a
.uuuoi. .d, uuu uu uvea uui illljieur lO
be robust even now. Perhaps it was
that, but more, likely it was his cast
ot mind, that led him to enter unonl
I'Oi: l:i:.T I.Iirht nmm house at HIT,
Iithro road In Weotiuount. Furnished
or uiifuriiMicd. available Immediately
Tliune 1171 White. C ir.'tf
FOIt KHXT Unfurnished or partly
fiirnWlieil airirtmiMits nt two, three or fle
rouiiM anil hull. Apply 1UK l'a'inln.
phone 1H:: Orwii. II IKHT (
FOIt KENT Fnrnlsheil rooms, with or
without board. I'bone 1H3 White. H-3ttf
FOR SALE
FOH SAI.K-- l'latiV. (Hirer typewriter,
new xhot etui, Movei anil other household
SooiN. verv reasonable. Le.ivliic town. I
fail at im I.oeut. I'-OC
TEACHERS WASTED
We have remunerative positions for
available teachers. Write for registration
blank. No advance fee. Central Educa
tional nure.111. Metropolitan Dldg., St.
Louis, Mo. W. J. Hawkins, Msr.
Sat.-Mon. June 19
EVERYTHING FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS DINNER AT
HETZLERS MARKET
"Where Quality & Sanitation Reign Supreme"
la studious existence at his lonely
U3 IJ3J I LH 1 1 J j 1 1 1 1 1 1 n l u i u 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 in IJ 1 1 1 IJ I ! IJ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 n 1 1 1 1 1 1 LI I LU 1 1 IXI U 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 U 1 111 fU U IX 1 frontier post, instead of amusing him-H
JOIN OUR CHRISTMAS SAVINGS CLUB
Have Money Next Christmas
Get the savings habit it is the basis of
success. The business of young people is
is given every consideration and assistance
at this bank.
Boone County National Bank
Resources 81,750,000.00
R. B. PRICE, PRESIDENT
l
sys-
Hi.;
&
$ i
I
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