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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, December 08, 1917, Image 8

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1917-12-08/ed-1/seq-8/

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6 THE WADSWORTH GAS ATTACK a n d RIO GRANDE RATTLER K E E P AWAY FROM LUNA PARK. B rightly Lighted Stockade Serves as Division Prison. The Twenty-seventh. Division prison was established on October fifteenth. C aptain H. O. Young, U. S'. R., the comm andant, a t 11 o’clock th a t m o rning received his first boarder. Since then the num b er of his charges has increased to more than half a hundred. “L u n a P a rk,” the officers living w ithin sight of the barbed w ire stockade, have named it. This, because of the num erous electric lights th a t have been placed along the top of the big fence and about the sev­ eral buildings to facilitate the vigilant watch th a t the guard detail continually m aintain. The lights burn throughout the night. The prison camp is situated some eight hundred yards north of Division H e a d q u a rters, di­ rectly back of the Signal Corps quarters. The stockade is about one hundred and fifty feet square. W ithin the outer fence, w h ich is about ten feet in height, is a second fence of equal height, w ith a space of a dozen feet intervening. This makes escape from the interior of the pen practically impossible. Occupy New Quarters. Since the establishm e n t of the prison, the guard of sixty-four men, sixteen each from the four infantry regim e n ts th a t at present are included in the 27th Division, and guests have been quartered under canvas. This week rem oval to the new quarters in the fram e building th a t has been constructed was effected. Staff An Efficient One. A ssisting Captain Young are F irst Lieu­ tenant Edward D. Spring, U. S. R., A d jutant, form erly a sergeant in Company I, 74th New York Infantry; L ieutenant Horace Zimmer, U. S. R., Supply Officer; L ieutenant Otis Thomas, U. S. R., Mess Officer. Lieu­ tenant Thom as last week relieved L ieutenant Amory, U. S. R., form erly w ith Squadron “A,” who is now in W ashington on special duty. L ieutenant Thomas supervised the preparation of the Thanksgiving dinner at the prison and the satisfaction m a n ifested by the boarders is indicative th a t he was most successful. Reclamation Is Plan., L ieutenant Spring, in discussing the pro­ gram at the camp, says: “Those confined here are of several classes, among which are men from the tough ele­ m ents of our larger cities who evidently did not have the rig h t sta r t in life to begin w ith. We have w ith us not only men who are sentenced from w ithin the ranks of the 27th Division, but men who have been picked up as deserters from all parts of the coun­ try, including those who are classed as 'Ab­ sen t'w itho u t leave’ from the N a tional army. It is the aim of the officers attached to this w o rk to see to i t th a t the men in this prison, either aw a iting trial or under sentence, no m a tter w h a t their reputation or conduct was before entering, shall be better both physic­ ally and morally. We aim at reclam ation, and when these men are released we w a n t them to leave us w ith the. proper idea of good soldiering.” In connection w ith the v/ork at the camp no drilling is done. The prisoners are used to assist in the road building and to do other w o rk about the reservation. As a re­ sult the guard is given little or no tim e for training, for the detail is split up and a member is sent w ith each detachm e n t of prisoners sent out from the camp to work. The heaviest sentence th a t has so far been imposed on one of C aptain Young’s boarders is five years a t hard labor. T h a t m an was removed to a federal prison early this week. There are still several men confined whose sentences range from one to two years. Many of the prisoners, L ieutenant Spring states, upon whom sentences under three m o n ths have been imposed, are men th a t have been encbarged to Captain Young by their ■ com­ m a n d ing officers because they were consid­ ered too refractory for confinement in their own regim e n tal guardhouse. The larger per­ centage of those confined are of th is class. Sanitation Perfect. Every effort is being put forth to m a in­ tain a high standard of efficiency in connec­ tion w ith the sanitation of the camp. P e r­ sonal cleanliness is playing a big p a r t W hen the guests are received they, are searched. Weapons, knives and razors th a t they may have in th e ir possession, are taken, from them and deposited in the safe. Each Wed­ nesday and Saturday afternoon they are is­ sued their razors and are allowed to shave, under guard. On Saturdays the men m u st bathe, “w h e ther they lik e it or not,” Lieu­ tenant Spring stated. If they are ill, the men are transferred to the base hospital, w h ere they are kept under guard. Contagi­ ous cases, th a t it is deemed unnecessary to transfer to the hospital, are segregated. Mail th a t is received a t the prison for the men confined is delivered to them , unopened. Packages are first given to the men and they are allowed to unpack them under the supervision of the sergeant of the guard. THE INCENTIVE. By L ieutenant L. D, W hyte, U. S. R. Many men, both of the commissioned and enlisted personnel of the Twenty-seventh Division, have asked the w riter w h a t pro­ nounced differences there are between the Officers’ T raining Camp and this one of ours. There is one chief difference—-more hours for work. • T h is, combined w ith the ever- prevalent thought: “W ill I m ake good?” r e ­ sults in a nervous tension w ell-nigh unbear­ able. Invariably the next question has to do w ith discipline. - The disciplinarians in charge of the O. T. C, were and are, seem­ ingly,’ w ithout hearts.- But the men re­ sponded ■ nobly. And why w o u ldn’t they re­ spond nobly. Consider the incentive. Well, this incentive was not sufficiently strong to prevent some of them breaking rules and disobeying orders. For instance, one m an touched a plate on a mess table before receiving the order “Sit down.” He was confined to the post for th ir ty days. A n o ther m an told a .non-com- missioned officer to go to hell. He had to go back to the next camp for three m o n ths’ ad­ ditional training. Still another was at odds w ith an acting non-commissioned officer and disobeyed him in w h a t seemed a triv ial m a tter. He was confined to the company barracks, except when at drill, for the entire period of three m o n ths and was then discharged w ithout commission. Incidentally, th is m an was drafted into the N a tional army. A n o ther candidate was selfish and w ithout consideration for the comfort of nor desire to- w o rk w ith his bunkies. He received no commission. \Y o u r Incentive.\ “But,” the enlisted m an argues, “are we expected to reach this high standard of dis­ cipline w ithout the incentive the Platts- burger has?” In both this and the officers’ train in g camp- the same things are taught in view of the common goal of defeating the enemy. Get rig h t down to the bottom of things. You have an incentive. It is the sam e as your officers’—TO ' BEAT THE ENEMY. T h a t was the reason for your enlistm ent, w asn’t it? Very well, then; play i t for all i t is w o rth. Climb up upon your- toes. R epeat to your­ self m any tim es: “MY INCENTIVE—TO BEAT THE ENEMY.” From General P e rsh­ ing’s reports and from the officers and non­ commissioned officers of the allied arm ies who are now in Camp W adsworth, teach us th a t there are three pat rules 'necessary to the successful term ination of this w a r: The first is D ISCIPLIN E ; the second is D ISC IPLIN E ; the th ird is D ISCIPLINE. W h a t has th a t to do w ith incentive? Ju s t this; our incentive is w o rthless unless we subject ourselves to the m o st severe disci­ pline—the discipline th a t keeps every but­ ton in place and m akes us obey every order sub-consciously. - Our m inds are of the type To ask the “why” of everything and to reason how else it m ight be done or w h ether it m ight ju s t as well rem a in undone. Men who have been across No M an’s Land tell us th a t this can not be; to obey orders and then, if you are still alive, reason it out. Have you ever read E lbert H u b b a rd’s “A Message to Garcia?” If you haven’t, read it. If you have, read it again. Draw for yourself a m ental picture. Make it repulsive, revolting beyond description. Label it, “ENEMY.” W h ether you are a t bayonet w o rk or on K. P., repeat to your­ self: “THAT’S WHAT I’M A F T E R .” St. James Catholic Church, Baltimore, which is attended by several thousand native born Germans, or their descendants, held a service on Thanksgiving in which they prayed for President Wilson. There are 120 young men from this church in United States service.

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