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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, April 13, 1918, Image 14

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-04-13/ed-1/seq-14/

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12 GAS ATTACK SCOUTING. Battles are won through intelligent, con­ tinuous reconnaissance, as much as offen­ sive and defensive combat—always assum­ ing troops to be thoroughly disciplined and well equipped. Be a good scout. Modern warfare re­ quires Infantry and Machine Gun B attalions to do their own reconnaissance, replacing the ideal scout of former days, the alert, fearless and mobile cavalryman, and leav­ ing to E ngineer Troops work of a more or less permanent nature. It is the purpose of the writer to empha­ size the individual element of reconnais­ sance and the necessity for personal appli­ cation by every soldier, and so we will use the shorter, more American word, “scout­ ing,” rather than the more complete word, “reconnaissance.” Don’t lose sight, how­ ever, of the necessity of a thorough study of the regulations and technique of recon­ naissance as laid down by the Field Service Regulations and E ngineers’ Field Manual. Every soldier must be ready to exercise his latent natural craft, his “Injun” nature or “Yankeeism,” if you will, because he may be one of a detail sent out by his command­ ing officer to get the lay of the land—“to scout.” And as “fighting in the dark,” lack­ ing knowledge of country or enemy move­ ments, is a hard, losing fight for troops, per­ sonal interest should make every man eager to take a chance and obtain all possible in­ formation that will result i n . “getting” the enemy or stopping him. The leader of the scouting party is told by his C. O. w here to expect the enemy, of parties similar to his own that may go out, special information required, where to go, when to return and where to report; and he, in turn, repeats his information to the men accompanying him. The Engineers’ Field Manual has already taught him the value of observing roads, railroads, bridges, rivers, woods, telegraph lines, villages, de­ files, valleys, ponds, marshes, heights and of enemy positions, and reporting thereon. Decision quickly arrived at—whether, for instance, information obtained is sufficient to dispatch a messenger or await further developments; hasty, indefinite informa­ tion is often a hindrance rather than help. Use good judgment —if an enemy sniper or scout takes a pot shot at one of your party, don’t send back word; call his bluff. He, too, may be sparring for information. Lay low and wriggle away; you are after in­ formation, not battle, but if you believe he has secured the information he was after, signal to one of your party to “stick” him quietly, and in that case be sure you “ get him” —dead men tell no tales. Speed and caution should go together; don’t loiter. Each man is safer when mak­ ing progress (he is a moving target) and besides, if your troops are on the march, the prompt delivery of information will ex­ pedite their progress; if they are in­ trenched, their safety from surprise or their initiative in attack may depend upon what you report. But be careful how you UNIFORMS FOR THE WOMEN. By General Pershing’s order, the entire canteen work for the army in F rance has been taken over by the Y. M. C. A. This means that hundreds of new canteens will be opened there by fall. The women canteen workers have a regu­ lation uniform, of course. This is it: 1 Gray whipcord coat and skirt. 1 H at, blue or gray cloth. 2 Shirtwaists, blue or white flannel. 1 blue necktie, 1 blue woolen muffler, 1 brazzard, 4 canteen overall aprons, 2 caps. approach the crest of a hill, how you emerge from a shell crater or a wood: do it gradually. Observation of the minutest details, as the kind, direction, regularity or straggling nature of human or animal foot-prints; note whether it was a horse or a mule (the lat­ ter having smaller feet), trotting, galloping or walking; wheel ruts, whether newly made (sharp) or old (partly filled with dust), up-hill or down-hill—wheel ruts go in continuous trace down hill and irregularly up—whether clouds of dust indicate dis­ mounted or mounted troops or wagon trains; newly felled trees or broken branches, condition of camp fires, if at night; regularity indicating an occupied camp; irregular, bright fires a broken camp, intended to deceive, or fires long before dawn indicating an early start; condition of an abandoned camp, whether disorderly, indicating hurried departure; newly made graves, gauging their losses; of barbed- wire or other obstacles. W atch your fords at streams; they may be undercut for pit­ falls—and above all, cultivate your bump of locality, look backwards occasionally—you may have to retrace your steps, so keep yourself oriented, occasionally noting the points of compass. Resourcefulness should be your middle name. If you lack a compass, use your watch—point the hour hand toward the sun and midway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock, the shortest way around, will be due south between 6 A. M. and 6 P. M., or north between 6 P. M. and 6* A. M. If no sun is in evidence look at trees. The shortest distance from heart of tree and the bark is the north side, easily determined by growth rings; or that side of a tree where the roots plunge abruptly into ground, or fungi or moss abounds in greater profusion, that is north. Roots on the south side lie near the surface, and flowers nestle in their shelter on that side. Or at night look at the stars, at the Dipper or G reat B ear—the edge of Dipper (not handle) points to N orth Star—true north. Again, get your general direction from a known range of hills, or woods, observing their outline for night guidance. Summing up, ready decision, good judg­ ment, speed and caution, observation and resourcefulness, and last, but not least, team-work. Keep in touch w ith your party, observe each other’s signals and work to­ gether. ROBT. B. FIELD, 1st Lt. Eng. A BALLADE. (To the Empress Who Sits Enthroned Be­ hind the Cash R egister in the Hostess House Cafeteria.) Oh, ladye fayre, ’tis not for savorie salades,. That I pass by thee with my laden traye; ’Tis not the soupe (I’m rather poor at ballades) That lures me to thy presence every daye_ ’Tis not the hashe ambrosial, that Fm after,. Nor yet the velvet ice-creame nor the pye,. But ’tis the silvery tinkle of thy laughter, The roguish twinkle of thy merrye eye! When I come hack for “seconds” Fm not needing, It is not that I crave these nourishmentes—- ’Tis not the bodye but the soule Fm feed­ ing— To hear thy silk voice murmer “Twenty cents!” —R. E. C. HOSTESS HOUSE NOTES. Wednesday, April 3, was “Albany Day” a t the House, and was one of the most de­ lightful since our opening. During the day about 600 dropped in and we w ere delighted: to find many Albany people among them. The ball game between teams of the 102nd Engineers and the 106th Field Hospital was- intensified by the violent sand storm, other­ wise things went off as we had planned. Iced tea and crackers were served dur­ ing the afternoon, and the largest number we have served remained for supper after­ ward. During the afternoon and evening: the 106th Field Hospital Orchestra played,, and in the evening there was singing also,, led by Dr. Clarke. April 19 will be New England Day here.. All New E nglanders get ready for the rally.. But come over before then if you can. We have recently become a small sub­ station of the Camp Library. The list of books which may be obtained from us is posted on the bulletin. Were any of you in the groups whose pic­ tures were taken in the cafeteria and lounge the other day? Look on the bul­ letin and see how they came out. BRAITHWAITE-ANDERSON. The m arriage of Miss Annie Anderson and Captain Albert Newby Braithwaite, of the British army, was solemnized on the S atur­ day before E aster at high noon at the F irst Presbyterian church in Augusta, Ga., Rev. Joseph Sevier, officiating. There were ne attendants and immediately after the cere­ mony C aptain and Mrs. B raithwaite left for Greenbriar White Sulphur Springs, Va. Both are well-known in Spartanburg and the above announcement is of interest to a large circle of friends.

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