OCR Interpretation

The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, January 12, 1918, Image 8

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-01-12/ed-1/seq-8/

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6 THE WADSWORTH GAS ATTACK a n d RIO GRANDE RATTLER TWENTY THOUSAND MORE TO COME At Least That Number of National Army Men will Arrive Soon, Says General O’Ryan. Camp W adsw o rth is going to have its population doubled. Into this reservation will come at least 20,000 more men. They will come to fill up the New York regi­ m e n ts whose ranks w ere depleted to bring the Tw e n ty-seventh Division up to European w a r strength. Into Broadway and Forty-second street, the four principal, pine-clad corners of this camp, will soon come m arching company after company of national arm y soldiers. O riginally they cam e from up York State, and down York State, and from other places in th a t S tate from w hich also cam e the N ational Guard regim e n ts th a t w ere em ptied of men. . T h e se are the gaps they will fill—- the gaps in the old 1st, 2d, 12th, 47th, 74th, and 10th, and perhaps some ' o thers. . . New Problems Arise. They will bring furth e r problem s to the camp officials, and ju s t as perplexing ones to the city of Spartanburg, whose streets a r e now dotted w ith more soldiers than th e r e are civilians. M ajor-General John F. O’Ryan has said th a t the new troops will come w ithin the next few weeks. He said th a t a week ago. He said: “Camp Wadsworth is soon to have addi­ tional troops from New York, and I think it is but right that the business interests of Spartanburg have this information, that they may be prepared to meet such addi­ tional demands as may come upon them by reason of the increase in the soldier popu­ lation^ No official announcem e n t had yet been made, a t the tim e this issue of the Gas At­ tack w e n t to press, as to w h a t place the new troops would have in cam p ; th a t is, w h e ther they would be a p a rt of the Twenty- seventh division, or w h e ther they would have a separate camp of their own. These are the things for the. rum o r fiends to feed upon. Changes in the Camp. Camp W a d sw o rth has changed a lot since the early days of Septem b er, when the first N a tional Guard units came here and found it the Sunny South, and cut down trees and dug up stum p s, and m ade habitable streets out of virginal forests. Its personnel and spirit have changed. More than a thousand enlisted men have been discharged because of physical de­ fects, and some fifty or sixty officers have m e t a sim ilar fate. The exact num b e r of enlisted men thus discharged is said to be CANNIBALISM! All the beasts, num b e ring thousands, form erly in the vast supply zoo of the Hagen- beck Brothers, at H am b urg, Germany, have been butchered and fed to the kaiser’s sol­ diers. The zoo’s daily feed bill was enor­ mous, so instead of feeding the anim als, the governm e n t decided it was better to feed the anim als to the soldiers. This is the story G. W. M eredith, of Los Angeles, brings home w ith him from Germany. The collection in ­ cluded lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, the rhinocerous and hippopotam u s—specimens of alm o st every jungle beast and reptile.—Ex­ change.—A fter dinner yesterday, some of the Camp W adsw o rth soldiers wondered w h a t zoo in Carolina had been comm an­ deered by our Q. M. 1,100. Of the officers who have been re­ cently rejected, some have been asked to resign and others will be transferred to non- com b a tant branches of the service. The elim inations are said to be p a r t of the weed- ing-out th a t is being done and will con­ tinue to be done until this division is fit and ready to go to France. W ith this weeding-out process has oc­ curred a change of spirit. The m alcontents disappear. The soldiers rem ain. Disci­ pline grows, efficiency im p roves. These platitudes are the natural concom itants of such changes in the personnel. Spartanburg’s Help. Gen. O’Ryan says th a t the health record of the division has been rem a rkable—th a t it has probably been the best of all the arm y division. He attrib u tes this not only to the ability and energy of the officials at camp, but also the help th a t the city of Spartanburg has rendered in protecting the soldiers from disease. ‘‘Spartanburg has made good,” said the general. Civic Morale. “ Civic morale, the morale of the civilian population, is perhaps a factor you have not thought of, but there is much importance to be attached to the attitude of the public to­ wards this w ar and its issues. Optimism and loyalty count heavily and where the public maintains and expresses those things, the ef­ fect is to be felt not only by those high in authority, but by the men in the army. And now is the time for optimism and encourage­ ment, and not for criticism and fault finding. Those of us who are absorbed in the details of one division may sometimes be impatient and restive, but think if we could retire to some place alone, and away from concerns of our own immediate duties and see the whole line of achievements of the government in the last few months pass before us in review, we would understand that great things have been accomplished and that the government is making progress in the great undertaking. ’ ’ PROLONGED HARDSHIPS. Officers Must Be Able to Stand Them Be­ fore They Can Go “ Over There” “ Capacity to perform a highly specialized and arduous type of service ’ ’ is the test by which the fitness of general officers of the army for service “ Over There” is to be judged. Physical examinations have already proved the unfitness of a number of high officers in the Regular Army and N ational Guard to stand rigorous service in France. Announce­ ment has been made th a t these officers and others who cannot pass the examination will be utilized in training troops in camps and cantonments in the U nited States. Following is Secretary B a k e r’s statem ent regarding the physical examination before be­ ing detailed for service overseas: “ All general officers of the Regular Army and the N a tional Guard are being examined by medical boards and efficiency boards with a view of determining the advisability of sending them for service abroad. The con­ ditions of foreign service in this war are un­ usually severe, requiring th a t general officers shall be not only adequately grounded in m ilitary science and adequately alert physi­ cally to acquire rapidly the lessons which the new form of w a rfare require, but able to endure prolonged hardships. “ The determ ination of these boards are impersonal and in the interest of the success of our armies and the welfare both of lead­ ers and men, and will be affirmed by the W ar D epartment. This policy will no doubt com­ mend itself to the people of the country as being in the public interest, and even where it is necessary to delay the opportunity for foreign service to soldiers of long experience it will be understood to imply nothing in any way prejudicial to the officers involved. “ Boards of this kind have already found some of the general officers of both the Reg­ ular Army and the N ational Guard physically unfit. Such finding does not in any way re­ flect upon the past services of the officer or upon his present zeal and willingness to make personal sacrifices in the further service of his country, but the question to be determined is one of capacity to perform a highly specialized and arduous type of service. ’ ’ A GOOD SOUP. ‘ ‘ T h a t’s w hat I call a good soup, ’ ’ re­ marked the lieutenant, putting down his cup. “ Thank you, sir,” replied the mess ser­ geant, “ but we have been serving it as coffee.”

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