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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, November 01, 1916, Image 6

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1916-11-01/ed-1/seq-6/


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THE EIO GEANDE RATTLER TH E STORY OF THE HIKE ..B y Lieut. Col. R e g inald L. ro s t e r , . . 12th Now Y o rk In fan try . A r thur B a lfour ouce saUI, “ The mistist Bonsatioiionsatioi I know is the feel prem B th e golf elub ju s t as you fa r and clean and tru e . ” Quite so. B u t th e r e ’s another, jus: a shade nearer the acme of supretnity. I t ’ss too hikeike a hundredundred miles, under the ’ t h a h mill inrelentiug Texas sun—through hurri- ane, rain, heat, dust—and then, when 'o u ’ve trudged to the very end, to look back a t th e tail of your regiment and see the last squad of the last conv nyy elosedlosed upp ass compactlyompactly onn the col pan c u a c o t umn as the drill book specifics— T h e r e ’s a sensation for you! And e glad you belong to the bunch y o u ’re glad you belong to th e bunc from Oolurabiis Avenue and Sixty-Se< ond Street. _ ypH, vou’re glad yo u ’re o ^ h e Mex- yPH, you re glad yoi ican border with the Tw e lfth In f a n try , whose home h a b itat is New York C i ty ’s heart. B u t y o u ’re gladder the h i k e ’s done E v e r y New York Regim ent on the border, down where th e glinting Rio G rande takes its last beud for the ) the Gulf, has duly made hom estretch to th e Gulf, h; its hike. “ W eather conditions permit* 5 bright lexicon tin g ” is not in th e th e citizen soldier. You do wh ha at t Oldld no m a tter w O Sol and Ju] Pluvius, acting in wicked concert, r”bit I f the mercury sizzles up to 125 or 128 in the glare, you w a lk ju s t the sam e; and just as fa s t as the m arch table prescribes, 2% to 3 m iles an hour. I f the wireless S. 0 . S .’s from Browns­ ville “ H u rricane com ing,” you walk and hope th a t you can reach camping ground before it lights upon the de­ voted regiment. When the m ilitary powers-that-be laid out the route of the “ big h ik e ” for the New York troops stationed along the border a t P h a rr, McAllen and Mission, they figured on no picnic stroll. None but the fittest w-ould go. So a com prehensive circle was lined out on the map, the regim ents to follow a 80 behind the other. They fiery of face and lean of waist, setting out as if in the enem y ’s country. Counting the distance taken up by the • g uards, f winding wagon train s of food for men, and forage for the p a tien t ho and mules, Col .lohnston’s coinn stretched more than a mile along the linutesnuica tou t les, road and took tw e n ty au l paoB. InIn thh aa tt wagonagon trainrain w'ere'ere threehree d a y s ’ t w t w t da, food for 1,000 liungry men, 12,( pounds—mostly tinned beef and great sides of sow-belly; a ton of har<l tack, jam , 1,000 pounds of coffee, half a ton of chocolate ,oatm eal, prunes, sugar, condensed milk, rice, potatoes and can­ ned tom atoes. So much for food. Now, something more im p o rtant. “ Every man m u st luive enough left in his canteen a t the end of the d a y ’s march to wash his fe e t ” — th a t was the This was training for the desert. N o thing to drink at all (remember the sixty pounds on each sw e a ting back and the 125 degrees in the sun) for the first two hours. Then one rinse of month. L a ter on a half, four swal- Spare w a ter w’as taken along, ju s t t he foodood was.as. On<ne f w O wagon lugged load of fifty gallon cans,.a can for d a t the tail of company, and a t th e t! cession chug-chugged a and a half-ton auto ank filled w ith 800 gallons )reeious fluid, for those stops un-w ithered w a ste where no the pro- big grey one ckk carryin]arrying truc c a 0 gallons of the A V ISIT TO TH E D. Q. M. Office of Depot Q u a rterm a ster the Busi­ est Spot in Division. There arc those who go to war or Texas armed w ith guns and bayonets or sabre or aide-arms. Some go armed with typewypew ritersriters andnd indeliblende pencils and memorandum books of the U. S. a i emorandnm books of T h e r e ’s a man th a t thinks th a t the clerks of the Depot Q u a rterm aster ^ corps are, in their own way and their own place', nuVo ^important soldiers than the faith fu l boys who plunge ahead w ith draw n bayonet ami b reath­ less cry to carry a trench or put fear into the enem y ’s heart. For the soldier works a t his maxi­ mum only in an emergency, while the clerks in the Depot Q u a rterm a s ter’s office,Lord help them ,have been sw’cat- ing over books ami requisitions 15 hours a day during a long hot THE ARTILLERY RANGE AT LA GLORIA First and Second Field Enjoy Target Work Under Actual Service Conditions r ’s nniforni, a t a type- ?sk, or superinteiniing f trains and cars. Im- the movement agine han<f!ng out forage by the load day a f te r day, and never seeing lositeosite amind a rnately ankhe in mud. Who is the Depot Quarterm astei In the first place, the scenery but the wall opp a 'hichhich iss alternatelternate ly ank l d< rst place, th e I). Q. . I t is an institution. Like road w i a in dust ajid knee deep • Who is th e Depot Qu£ Villi’ Mission was the first halt. Of a sudden itself into fifteen separate lines—th >and, hospital an a Tru.st Company or a railroad, the work is departm entalized and system a ­ tized so th a t, unless you know the w o rkings of this station, yon could pass the new D. Q. M. office a t W est McAllen and hardly know it was there. B u t inside th a t renovated barn sit the men who direct the influx of food­ stuffs and forage for the entire 12,000 men of the Division. H e re is the new Division Paym aster. ster. We don’t have elve companies, band , hospital pply ontfit.The wagons seemer rk themsel bled to their well-earned hay and to ’' othe r. They were m ake ninety-four m iles in stages, short ones a t first and getting longer, so th a t the last four days the boys were to do more than they did in sup of w a ter in the m a k e shift corral, and up sprung a little city of dog ten ts—-500 of them, two men to a tent. Then the train came up, and out piled the cook stu f f ; pots and ^jans w ent on quickly built fires, and the m akings of a dinner were in evidence. Camp The longest d a y ’s stage w as fifteen m iles (some maps make it eighteen) and the shortest five miles. The route lay through the Texas w a ste—cactus and m esquite and more cactus from McAllen to Mission to Alton to S ter­ lin g ’s Ranch; then to La Gloria (raid­ ed by bandits and burned down last year) and back next morning; a bivou­ ac where the individuals from Colonel food; then had been pitched. And now the great tre a t—a cup of w ater. Each company form ed, m arch­ ed a b it and lined up where the motor tank stood,ood, everyvery man,an, cupup inn , hand.and. e m c i , h Yes, he had used up the leavings of his his feet, and the ca of pedals had been gone over—plai here, iodine there; a blister pricket ientifically, a corn shaved. T h a t ’s ho\ from S terlin g ’s again to Laguna S< and on next day to Y o u n g ’s Ranch; ,ckck too Lagunaaguna Secaeca oncence moreore andnd a ba t L S o m a th ir d tim e to S terling's, now th e big E d inburg,nburg, tww elve i fifteen m iler to E d i t on the final day to McAllen. E v e r hear of “ Schdule A N o f Then be apprised th a t it is the soldier m a n ’s Vade Mecum, H o y le’s Games and the Ten Commandments all rolled into one. I t is th a t p a r t of the Field Equipm e n t M anual, U n ited States Army,which says ju s t w h a t individuals and organizations may and m ay not have in possession a t any and all times. I t is the the thing skinned down as lade to hike day afte r day w ithout going under. “ Nowhere to go b u t o u t ! ” You rC' member this line when you m ake and break camp day after day, and walk through the same dust and past the mud holes and into the same all the while you are learning w h a t soliders call “ march discipline.” You learn the tricks o f the road—the min inuteu haltalt at t the end of the first y-five-five minutesinutes too adjidjust ten-m te h a forty m t a packs; ■e-minute h a lt at the end of finele ass possible—ossible— onene :alionalion off fourour compaiompanies, the a p o baggage wagon to ich batt o f c and ib;^ wagon. On th e baggage wagon may be the cooking utensils and 50 pounds of baggage per officer, no officer, 1 :on 1,2( Y twenty-Qvo m inutes, every man ing instan tly to the right hand of the road and sittin g down by order; the opening out of the column to get air down the middle; the tim ing of the pace to get from 102 to 108 steps a m inute, so th a t the m iles may be reeled off every seventeen or eight- m inutes; the call of “ m essage!” a hand shot up to a ttrac c t atten- more; on the com b at wagon rounds of am u nition for every ten i ghtght axes,xes, eightight shohoveb and a han d sho t up to a ttr a t tion and the word passed froi by seven litters, ei a e s and eight picks (for entrenching) and a box of reserveeserve surgicalurgical dressingsressings, •I for the bfickfick private—rivate— hihe ything he ownswns onn hisis ha r s d b p carries e owns on h b e; 1 pound of bayc ik, which contains poncho, shelter half, ten t pins clothing, rations and mess kit. When pany to company by the Sergeants, sending orders from the Colonel column to long a thousand men then everythin g he o o h is b a ck— 8. pounds of rifle; 1 poun d o f ba y o n e t; 2 pounds of pack, which contain s blank poncho, shelter half, te n t pin s, ext you count the filled canteen, entrench ing tool, belt filled w ith aminunil g order} where along the colum n the head, rear and mii Among a thousan d men the re is al­ ways some one “ off his feed .” Soi body takes his gun; an officer will up his pack “ only ten minutes to the next halt, B ill,” from the sym­ pathetic Corporal, and perhaps the sur­ geon riding up w ith a nip of arom atic in g tool, be lt filled w ith ammunition, first aid packet and everything, includ­ ing:ng thehe clothinglothing hee wears,ears, thehe soldieroldier t c h w t s lugs from 58 to 61 pounds, no m a tter w h e ther he is 5 f e e t 4, and w eighs 125 pounds:pounds: orr iss a 180-pound80-pound six-footer. o i a 1 The boys from Columbus Avenue ed up to “ Schedule A ,” no more, So they started. brave sight—a regim e n t of hammered down soldiers, Zachry & Cawthon A Military Dry Goods Store Announce a new line of SUITCASES Handy for the boys on fur­ lough. Look ’em ov^r. Steamer Trunks S p e c ial P r i c e s Bath Robes Get one for that morning shower. Don’t forget a warm blank­ et or comforter. Worth the price, Zachry & Cawthon There they are, fixed comfortably for the w inter, or two winters, or (par­ don) as long as “ this emergency shall require.” In the event of the Division or any p a r t of it moving across the ■der, the Depot Quarter! canteen for h is fee t, an d th e cap tains had made foot inspection. Every pair of pedals had been gone over—plaster apples and geti Stop into thi m eet the force. For heaven’s sake thehe don’t slam t door. Sergeant C. B. Francke will probably thehe firstirst manan youou meet.eet. Hoo iss chiefhii be t f m y m H i e clerk and he has 23 years of acti^ service, 20 of them spent in quarter- Toperty comes under the ken of Capt. F . M. Conklin, who also cares for the construction of new arm y build­ ings and the managem ent of the w ater th e C any- to his M ajors ficer w ill pick m inutes more ■iding u p w ith a n ip o f arom: spirits of ammonia to whip along a agging heart or to put one more punch into rebellious muscles. Then the day of days, the last! Only ,’elveelve milesiles too home.ome. Inn thehe distanceista: tw m t h I t d McAllen looked like fairyland, the \ m anent camp a city of delight, y own te n t a palace. In they swung w ith the regular arm; inspectors a t their lieels, the 1,00 hearties, skinnier than ever, ho1 sweaty, doused w ith dust, but all there The ambulance held one man. So it was “ Hail, H a il, the G a n g ’s All H e r e ! ” from a thousand throats as the long column wound itself home, its duty done. And say, you New Yorkers hats off to Charley B a jart, who carries the T w e lf th’s national colors. He had flag. And the surgeons him go to the Spanish ' Tw e lfth, because he was ■—eighteen years ago. w ith the old then THETA DELTA CHI. M any of the Theta D e ltas in the New York Division have suggested th a t an oldtime banquet be held on dion night a t “ somewhere in Tex- ’ O f course it will be “ w ith o u t” L ieutenant Dean Nelson, 2nd Field A rtillery, M. P., is one of the com­ m ittee. I t is requested th a t those Thetas who desire to “ give the hours the te th e r ” notify A rthur L. Howe, igalgal Corps,orps, McAllen,cAllen, Texas,exas, notot later Si C M T n than Saturday noon so th a t the Com­ m ittee may m ake suitable arrange­ ments. I t is being predicted th a t nniverss ervice will soon bo adopte in Canada. W hile Canada has mE splendid record in enlisting volunteers for the European war, it has become apparent th a t i t m ust abandon the vol­ unteer system if it is to raise 500,000 men as proposed by the Canadian ernm ent. Several of the large c have petitioned the government pass a law for conscription on the lines of th a t which was enacted by the B rit­ ish House of Parlim cnt. Canada is having the same experience in raising troops as all other countries th a t have depended upon a volunteer system in a great w ar have had. W ith the adop­ tion of this policy by Canada, only the .U n ited States and China w ill be cling­ ing to the volunteer system.—Army and N a v y Journal. ision Pay m a v a it for Brownsville to pay us now, have our owm paym aster in the B i­ nd dispatc Depot Q u arterm aster re­ post, next to the railroad, 8 a t his post, ne x t to 1 dispatches by trucks, the necessary s At th a t doesn’t ■agons or pplies of Q. M. I t ’s all p a r t of his y e a r ’s irk and like the boy who eats gn s sick,!k, hee expectsxpects it. h e . Q. M .’s office and \ • m ’s lol. W. M. Bertseh is Depot Quarter- ster. A ssisting him is Captain L. M. Purcell, in charge of the personr of the office force, and finance. Liei Sidney A. Storer directs the handling transportation, receiving and ship- sportULiwii, ping freight, etc. supply. Capt. J. O. Steger is the man who handles m a terial and questions pertain- bsistence.bsistence. the paym aster? M eet Lieut. K earns, who ing to su F ranklin K earn s, who now pays all the men in McAllen and Pha: A necessary corner of the D. Q. M. ipairpair shops,hops, undernder thehe di­i­ work is the re s u t d rection of Mr. A. J. Robinson. Here are blacksm ith, w h eelw right and sad- shops. ry horse in the Division receives daily 12 pounds of oats, and 9 pounds for a mule. Both receive 14 pounds of hay a day. Your daily bread and K aro cost the It an;ything governm ent a n up to 29.! a day. Goods are computed in money and your comp; geant feeds you either beans and bacon and roast beef out of this small but lany supply 5 bean s an d ba< Contrast this 30 cents w ith the current prices in a McAllen lurren t prices in a McAllen restau- •ant and give Uncle Sam credit for ’ceding his soldiers wisely if not too n in Texas: rloin steak—60 cents (potatoes Tender! Ham and eggs—45 cents. H o t roast \beef sandwich—30indwicn— cents. JU Home made pie (doubtful)—15 cen T h a t affairs have run smoothly in t ranks of the Depot Q u arterm aster sta- 8 due to the experience and is < ■ough:ness irough Captain 8tieger 'eterans such ptain Purcell aud Captain Purcell Francke, for in the first hen every train dumped few weeks when a thousand more troops into McAllen, there was plenty of work to do but few trained men to do it. Gradually a few soldiers and civilians elerksw ere school­ ed in the difficult and technical work of the corps, so th a t today the D. Q. M. station is equipped for permanency and efficie: ;reat help to the expeditious hand- 9 the erection of .stores and the present offices at McAllen. The D. Q. M. now has plenty of facilities for keeping busy. And the chances are th a t he w ill do it. A LETTER FROM HOME. My Dear R a ttler: M ay T expi my pleasure in receiving you each wi and my pleasure in reading iiy pleasure in readin g you. here in little old New York there plenty of almost everything and a rfeit of some things, newspapers in particular, printed in all languages and script. They are stacked high on the newsstands * or discarded on every trolly. On Sunday they are as thick as blankets and big enough to cover the Pali-ades;o£ these I glance at head* ines, fold them again and present em to the ashman. But the paper of just _ . pap er of ju s t eight pages th a t comes to me by mail! The Rio Grande R a ttler! I read from first to last page, its editorials, its personal items, its news of the games and the hikes, the poems and jokes, and even the ads. I read it all. You see I ’m the mother of a Corporal down there and I am looking for the one small paragraph which may give the date of his return. Ju s t the same. The R a ttler is splendid idea, full of courage and ] id idea, fu ll o f courage an d pep **—and certainly m ust be a pleasure to any not on the Border. H e re’s wish ihing it every .success, but not too long a life.—A Devoted Reader STIRRING DAYS OF SHOT AND SHELL Now th a t the 1st Field A rtillery has irned from La Gloria, having coni- ;ed its range firing with the threo- and the 2nd Field is inch guns, an d th e 2nd Field hard a t it pounding away a t the 1 targetsgets hiddenidden in thehe brush, Ra' h in t iders here and at home will w a n t to of whai h at such have some idea of w is like, ami of w h at i t i behind a gun. “ Going into actio n ” connotes a great ?al to an artillerym a n . He acts aud ; m eans to sta deal to an artillery m a n . H e thinks more quickly in those few ments of excitem ent s o f excitem ent than a t any othi tim e in his life as a soldier.The drivers strain every muscle to bring their horses up to the greatest possible ef­ fo r t—to run, to wheel, to stop— so th a t i and each caisson of the each gun and each caisson of th e b a t ­ he icklyickly i eive the orders for In real fighting many live.s tery may be brought into the desired position as qu as possil b a ttery ready 'ing. In real fightin g many live.s ly depend- upon the rapidity in which battery gets into action, and it is r the drivers jo do i t so quickly th^: e gnnner and his men may get thei; t them into *th^' ige and deflection and effect in ice of thi try or cavalry. It is hani work. It pin a rapidly niovinj_ tect the advance of th e ir I t is harrl tim e to catch an g enemy force or pro- iice of th e ir own infan- ilangerous work, too, in a way, and requires nerve and skill. And when the battery is placed, and the horses and carriages have retreat­ ed to the rear, those all im p o rtant or­ ders come flashing a t the gunner and his five or six men w ithin so brief a space, piling one upon the other in quick succession, th a t it sometimes seems next to impossible for the men to hear them and carry them out accu­ rately. Speed is im p o rtant, but w ith­ out accuracy it means nothing, th is idea may be hackneyed, but neverthe­ less ii tt iss perhapserhaps truru ee rr off artilleryrtille: fire thanhan of ' turmoil i p t o a t o any other work in the world. And so the gunner toils, nnm it heat, and sweat, and dust and lil about him. ugh none of the New York e know of have ever seen ac­ tual fighting in the artillery, thoi the range at L a Glor : w hh aa tt realeal actionctii ineang oryery leasteast theye; get an insight int iroblems which their commandei go to th e rang e at ste o f w r a v l th problem s whii it face when they come to direct the fire upon a human enemy forci A t L a Gloria there are targ e ts to shoe whichhich thehe sww iftlyftly flylying at, targets w t s i f shells m ust find and burst over full ch m u st be caught as they go. ; o f work is decidedly different and ■e difficult than th a t of aim ing at some im aginary object when your gun is resting quietly and cooly in the b a tte r y ’s back-yard. I t is hotter work, ’s back-yard. I t is hotte r work, faster work and it is blacker work, all, i t calls out the best ■ery individual guards- too, but at effort froi I a t the guns, for it presents i h whilehile strivingtriving for,or, ininstead thing worth w s f i of a purely m echanical labor, made dry andnd stiltedtilted andnd uninterestingninteresting byy con-i a s a u b c tinual practice. The dull, deadly off thehe gunun a tt a m aa nn ’s’s cottonott boom o t g a a m c stuffed ear aw akens bis spirit almi to fighting pitch, and gives his true soldier’.9 will a fa r greater im petus to his nation, than ever did, oi .east he gets a the mere playmg^i McAllen camps, taste of w h at real action means when jloria. he goes to La The stationary targ e t is the house, well protected by sand latat whenhen a shrapnelhrapnel shellhell biursts is th block- san d bags so th w a s s b too fa r over or around it there is no dam ­ age done. The h e ight o f burst, the range and the angle of deflection must rrect according to the exactly correct according to th e posi­ tion of the firing battery, before a sin­ gle shot could take effect, no m a t­ ter how closely it shaved its mark. La Gloria is 2800 The extrem e range at yards for the 3-inch guns, and a t this range* a battery coming into action igle, w o rking qui tryry inin gg too catchat a foe ' asty infantry lUgh t t c or to cover a h; nust needs do a good pi n order to be successful.. are the moving tar- list of four boards, charge, must of work in oruer lu oo 9 uuwsbi . ui And then there are th e moving gets. These two yards square each. A string of them are drawn across a given space in the brush, by horses, the animals excepting by care A fter each shot fro; Iragging from a safe distance, and lach target is very carefully screened 10 th a t its w h ereabouts cannoit )uts cann o be dis­ covered excepting b y careful calcu­ lation. A fte r each shot from a single gun rvew data m ust be m ade and given the gunners, and th a t quickly else the thing get away, as though a troop of cavalry were rapidly getting out of ?sides these targrg ee tsts ther<here t are ma­ chine gun targets, and upon the whole, the range may be considered perfect as drawing out the best effort of the artillerym e n and machine gun troops, who can thus get their only experience —this side of Mexico—in this most im­ portant branch of service. The exper­ ience is invaluable, and the two or three weeks th a t have ju s t begun for spent, indeed.—R. W, “ A IR P L A N E ” DISPLACES “ AERO­ PL A N E .” The name “ aeroplance” to desig­ nate heavier-than-air c r a f t has been discarded officially by the national ad­ visory committee for aeronautics. In a report issued last week on “ Nomen­ clature for Aeronautics,” the name airplane” is substituted for any form of aircraft heavier than air ich has wing surfaces for sustention th stabilizing surfaces, rudders for eringring audud powerower plantlant foror propul­ropul­ stee a p p f p sion. The landing gear may be suited either land or w a ter use. n introductionntroduction too thehe An i t t report says it is issued to elim inate duplications and erroneous use of aeronautical terms. Only new term s peculiar to aeronautics are defined in t pesuled list of 142 words and phra: PHARR DRUG STORE Your Business Appreciated EASTMAN KODAKS TOO a ! - I - Folsom Hardware Co. The finest line of Mexican drawn work in the city. Hardware for the carpenter\*9oldiers. Blankets for everybody. Chairs for your tents. “If we haven’t got it, we’ll get it for you” The Brightest Spot in Pharr is LINESETTER’S Palm Garden Adjoining P h a rr Hotel O rchestra Music Best Cuisine __________ W ith Every Meal Best Service-Colored Waiters Best Surroundings Reasonable Prices Enjoy Your Dinner Here! PUT YOUR MONEY IN THE First National Bank Of Pharr ’A s Safe as Safety Itself” The Rattler ^ PHARR W. W. IRVINE Pocket Billiards 2'/2C. a Stick Ask the bo;s for onr address Those who can bank here will find courte­ ous treatment coupled with every facility for the careful handling of your business li First National Bank, Mission Fred H. Morgan, Cashier ^ i . : ' ' .. i .. H I J iil I

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