Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


Chapter 11
Military History

by Ernest C. McAfee, Late Captain Second Missouri Infantry

Part 11
Spanish-American War


I am asked to contribute a chapter concerning those who enlisted from Greene county to serve in the war against Spain in 1898, and to relate something of our experiences as soldiers. I shall acquit myself of the honor as best I may, but shall advert to general features of the war also, taking advantage of this opportunity to make many assertions tending to shatter some popular beliefs, as will frequently appear in the course of the narrative.

I am writing these, words on the 6th day of March, 1915. At this moment war is raging in Europe and has been for eight months. Up to this time nothing has been accomplished by the warring nations beyond the extermination, almost, of the valiant little nation of Belgium, itself a neutral in the controversy. If published reports be true the bloodshed and horrors of the present European war are without a parallel in history, and out of it all comes not a single recompense. Mindful of its magnitude, to write of our own little Spanish war seems but to write of an insignificant thing, yet to those concerned, it was not. It is well entitled to its little place in history.

From the first of May, 1898, to some time in March, 1899, I commanded a company of infantry in the Second Missouri Volunteers, which regiment contained the bulk of Greene county soldiers. I am therefore familiar with all that took place concerning them. The narrative will be of interest to the soldiers and their children, at least I hope so; but previous to my connection with the army, I chanced to be witness to many things in New York and Washington concerning the war that may also be of interest. I will relate much of that also. The proper recital of what follows makes necessary the mention of my own observations and experiences frequently, but I hope to escape the charge of immodesty when the fact is understood.

At the beginning of the year 1898, the people of the United States were in an uneasy mood. The country had suffered from a long business depression, and although a new administration had controlled affairs for a year, yet no relief was in sight. This condition was the cause of much of the prevailing unrest. In Cuba there existed another of the periodical revolutions against Spanish rule, and to that island had gone many adventurers from this country to add to the foment and confusion. These men had caused to be published in our newspapers certain accounts of outrages at the hands of the Weyler regime, which we were later to learn were greatly exaggerated.

While the Cuban situation caused high feeling in some quarters, the bulk of the American people knew or cared but little about it. Revolutions in Cuba had been frequent and had ceased to attract much attention in this country. It was not until the Maine disaster that the people betrayed any especial antagonism to Spain, but when that news came they became frenzied. But for the destruction of the Maine in Havana harbor, there would have been no war.

When we come to analyze it, the universal clamor for a war with Spain is easy to account for. We had been at peace with the whole world for half a century and it had been thirty-three years since our Civil war. In 1898, the greater portion of our men had been born and reared to manhood within that period. Those who would compose our soldiery were of these, and their ideas of war were only such as they had gleaned from fireside stories, or from flaming histories dwelling long on the glories, but briefly on the evils of armed conflict. A war with Spain was a thought appealing to a romantic as well as a patriotic sentiment. Then too, such a war would afford North and South to unite under one flag in a common cause, and both were anxious for that. Everything was propitious for the war. [388-389]

REMEMBER THE MAINE.

On the night of February 15, 1898, I happened to be in the city of New York, where, returning to my hotel from a theatre I saw in Herald Square the first bulletin announcing the destruction of the Maine in Havana harbor but a few hours before. The news was meagre and the first reports declared that Spanish officers had torpedoed the ship, and had thus murdered several hundred of our sailors while they were on a peaceful mission in Spanish waters. These reports went by wire to all newspapers in the country with the result that within twenty-four hours the whole people were aflame with indignation.

I cannot hope to describe the scenes in New York. On the following days the city teemed with excitement. Tremendous crowds surrounded the newspaper offices awaiting news. Slowly it came to be known that our sailors had been done to death and that our people in Cuba were in hourly danger from the Spaniards. New York had many Spanish residents, and these had to be protected from the excited throngs. Indignation meetings sprung up in all parts of the city and General Weyler was burned in effigy near Chatham Square. The usual recruiting stations for the army and navy were deluged with men seeking enlistment, while the stock and produce exchanges had all sorts of flurries in anticipation of war.

As the official investigation of the Maine disaster progressed, various diplomatic twists occurred and these indicated the final attitude of Spain. At this time I was in Washington. No person familiar with events, could doubt the certainty of war, and then ensued the wild scramble for army commissions by political favorites, and for subsistence, clothing supplies and transportation contracts, and for administration favors generally. The White House was besieged, while the War, State and Navy offices were thronged with men seeking favors. The awarding of contracts to men who later sold them at great profit was one of the scandals of that time. Members of Congress influenced by thousands of telegrams from home were ready to vote for war at the first opportunity.

Early on March 6, I was fortunate in securing a gallery seat in the chamber of the House of Representatives. The corridors of the capitol were thronged with people unable to get within the chamber to hear the discussion on the proposal to issue $50,000,000 in bonds for war purposes. Thomas B. Reed of Maine was then speaker and under his famous rules his power was all but absolute. He was known to oppose the war but realizing the futility of opposing it he permitted the House to talk itself into a war frenzy. Many were the speeches made that day, but the speech of them all was that of Gen. Joseph Wheeler, the famous ex-confederate, at this time a member of Congress from Alabama. That white-haired grizzled warrior, with a sincerity none could doubt, begged opportunity to lead a regiment under the flag he had once repudiated. Members on the floor and gallery visitors all rose to their feet to accord him tremendous and long applause, and many old soldiers in that throng gave way to tears. The appropriation was voted shortly afterwards. [390]

ROOSEVELT'S ROUGH RIDERS.

It was about this time that Theodore Roosevelt, holding an obscure position in the Navy Department, began to feel the lure of the limelight. For several years previous Wild West shows had been popular in the eastern states where the cowboys' rough riding feats had attracted attention. Quick to see the possibilities of the idea, Roosevelt resigned his position, returned to New York and announced his intention to recruit a regiment to be composed of "rough-riders." When the call for volunteers came in April, the project had received great newspaper notoriety. Securing, as a nucleus, less than two hundred western cowboys, he was able to fill out the regiment with recruits from New York City. It was said that Roosevelt was refused a colonel's commission because he could not qualify, while others said he refused such a commission for that reason. However that may be, Dr. Leonard Wood, formerly connected with a hospital corps in the regular army, but at this time a New York civilian was given a colonel's commission to command the regiment. Roosevelt received a commission as lieutenant-colonel. The regiment was mustered into service as the First United States Cavalry, but was subjected to the euphonious sobriquet "Roosevelt's Rough Riders" by the newspapers.

Going somewhat ahead of my story, I will take occasion to say that outside of the newspapers, I am unable to find that either Roosevelt or the regiment to which he belonged took any preeminent or unusual part at the so-called battle of San Juan. The records of the war department show that General Wheeler was in command of all land forces and directed all movements around Santiago. It was Leonard Wood and not Roosevelt who commanded the rough-rider regiment. San Juan hill was scaled and captured by five regiments of infantry, part of them negroes. After it was captured it was occupied by all troops. The official report of General Wheeler makes no mention of Roosevelt's name although that of Wood and other officers is given honorable mention. Roosevelt was never a colonel until after the promotion of Leonard Wood, and that was after the fighting was over.

This is not in accord with the popular understanding of it. It was from the newspapers whose representatives were with Roosevelt that came the impression that the rough-rider regiment and its lieutenant-colonel captured San Juan hill. The telegraph cable to Key West had been cut and to get into the United States the news had first to go to Europe and then to New York. The rough-riders being a New York regiment, it is safe to assume that stories of its prowess wouldn't shrink any when first printed by the newspapers of New York. A misapprehension of the facts has long existed, and the correction should have come from Mr. Roosevelt, but since he has neglected it, I use my prerogative as a historian to make the correction myself. [391-392]

When war was declared the regular army was inadequate both as to numbers and efficiency. The constant output from West Point had over-officered it with unseasoned and inexperienced men. The recruiting offices, for the army had long been the refuge for men unable to support themselves, and who had enlisted from necessity and not from choice. Such soldiers could not be relied on; hence, as always, the hope of the nation was in her volunteers, men who would enlist from choice and not from necessity.

Many of the states had an established militia known as the "national guard." The national guard was designed as a reserve to the regular army in case of war, and for that reason was armed and partially equipped by the United States. The national guard had been maintained in this way for many years, but for lack of financial encouragement it was difficult to keep it in any state of efficiency in most of the states. In those states already maintaining a national guard the call for volunteers had been anticipated, and had been recruited to full strength. Thus, when the call came in April, a reserve of the national guard more than double the strength of the regular army, was ready to respond.

The state of Missouri had never been very liberal in her appropriations for her national guard. During the administration of Gov. D. R. Francis, several years previous to this, the Missouri state militia had been re-organized into a single brigade, consisting, however, of four regiments and battery of light artillery. These constituted the national guard of Missouri. The battery and First Infantry were organizations composed of St. Louis men exclusively. The Third Infantry was from Kansas City and Jackson county. The Fourth Infantry was from St. Joseph and vicinity while the Second Infantry (our regiment) was composed of men from central and southwest Missouri.

At this time the Second was known to be the largest and most efficient :organization of the Missouri national guard. It was commanded by Col. W. K. Caffee, of Carthage, a very efficient officer and one who took great pride in his regiment. The cities of Butler, Clinton, Carthage, Joplin, Lamar, Jefferson City, Nevada, Pierce City, Sedalia and Springfield each had one company in the Second Regiment. These companies had all been recruited to full strength, and when the call came for volunteers were ready to move.

Springfield's company was known as "Company K," and was commanded by Capt. A. B. Diggins, who had previously been lieutenant-colonel of the regiment, but had resigned that position in order to take command of Company K, and keep that company in the regiment. Wesley Benedict, now a well-known business man of Catoosa, Oklahoma, was first lieutenant. The second lieutenant was Harry D. Durst, now a prominent lawyer of Springfield. Company K was a clean, efficient organization, well disciplined, and popular in the regiment. It was fully equipped at this time and ready to move. [392-393]

NATIONAL GUARD REQUIREMENTS.

The volunteer call required all national guard regiments who were to come into the United States service to contain twelve companies. None of the Missouri regiments at that time had more than ten companies, and it was only the Second Regiment who had that many. As a consequence, all regimental commanders were required to fill their regiments to twelve companies. Caffee required two more companies for the Second Missouri and decided that the two should come from Sedalia and Springfield. It was because of this that Springfield was able to contribute two companies to that regiment.

Although I had been one of the commissioned officers at its organization several years before, at this time I was not a member of the national guard. My former connection with the regiment was the reason why Colonel Caffee offered me command of a new company provided one could be organized immediately. The telegram from Colonel Caffee asking me to act came to me on the afternoon of May 3, 1898. Upon my telegraphic acceptance of the honor immediately afterwards, I was given authority from Jefferson City. Captain Diggins was appointed to muster into the state service the new company as soon as I had completed the organization. The company would be known as "Company M." I was able to organize the company within twenty-four hours. I was selected as its captain, while George H. Townsend, a former captain in the old Fifth Missouri, was selected as first lieutenant. The selection of a second lieutenant was deferred until after our establishment in camp at Jefferson Barracks, Neither officers nor men had uniforms and looked like anything but soldiers. Our appearance caused some frivolous person to name the company "McAfee's Guerrillas," a name which lasted long enough to afford the basis of a most amusing incident later on, which will be related in its turn.

Company M was organized one day and departed the next. I have heard of no similar instance of quick work, yet the matter was not so difficult as it might appear, and the fact reflects the temper of the times rather than any creditable performance of the organizer. It was much more difficult to keep men out of the new company than to take them in. Captain Diggins had been compelled to turn away a hundred or more applicants seeking to join Company K, and these, of course, sought to enlist in the new company. Twenty men from Texas county telegraphed me on the night of the 3rd to save places for them. These men or the most of them, headed by W. E. Barton, now a prominent attorney at Houston, walked from Houston to Cabool, a distance of twenty miles, in the night time, in order to get to Springfield. There were two hundred and seventy-eight applications for enlistment, and out of this number was selected the eighty-four men required.

May 4th, the day the company was, organized, and while enlistment was going on, the telegraphic order came for Missouri troops to move to Jefferson Barracks. B. E. Meyer, manager of the Busch interests in Springfield, was running an ice plant. The steam whistle was set going and for an hour blew a steady blast. That was recognized as the war signal and all was excitement. Everybody wanted to help, and all did help who could. B. E. Meyer turned over for the use of the new company a building of ample floor space for drill purposes. It was in this hall that the two officers were elected and the company mustered in as a national guard company of the Second Regiment. [393-394]

FAREWELL RECEPTION.

There had been a constant rain all day and the new company without uniforms presented a bedraggled appearance, but notwithstanding that we were asked to attend a farewell reception and ball that had been arranged for Company K at the Metropolitan Hotel before it was known there would be another company to go. A liberal purse was subscribed by the citizens and equally divided between the two companies, while ten barrels of apples were contributed to us by B. E. Meyer. This constituted the travel rations of Company M until we should reach Jefferson Barracks next day. The two companies took a special train at the old north-side Frisco depot that night, Company M marching from the south-side in a driving rain. As the train left the depot, every locomotive in the railroad yard whistled a long and loud salute, those were soon joined by the railroad shops and other whistles in the town until the noise was deafening. No more hearty or sincere God-speed was ever given departing soldiers.

Our train took us through to Jefferson Barracks, where all was in confusion. My company had neither uniforms, tents, rations or arms. The first thing was to secure tents and this we were able to do through the untiring efforts of Emmett Newton, who had been made our commissary and quartermaster sergeant. We drew several large-extra tents, anticipating the need of them in case of sickness, and the wisdom of that was soon to be made manifest. The next essential was blankets; these we procured in the city of St. Louis from one of the large stores. Requisitions for rations were hastily made and honored so that with the exception of uniforms and arms my company was fairly well possessed of all necessities. All of this was saved to Company K, as that company was well equipped in all things before leaving home, but Company I, of Sedalia, like Company M, had to provide itself at Jefferson Barracks in a similar way. [394]

All Missouri troops had mobilized at Jefferson Barracks within a few days. In addition, several troops and companies of the regular United States army were there. Regimental camps were established and then began the routine and discipline of army life so irksome to the soldier fresh from civilian ranks. We were required to drill many hours each day, and furnished details of men for whatever purpose brigade headquarters required. If any soldier expected a life of ease, he was most grievously disappointed.

After a week's drill, all companies were prepared for the muster into the United States service. Rigid physical examinations were had, and the prescribed standards, rigidly observed. My company lost several men from physical defects disclosed by the examination, but their places were filled from the crowds that thronged the barracks clamoring to go to war. It was just previous to this that my second lieutenant was elected. A spirited contest was on between W. E. Barton and Jere D. Cravens with the result that Cravens was elected. The roster of both Company K and Company M on the day they entered the United States service at Jefferson Barracks follows:

Company K—Captain, A. B. Diggins; first lieutenant, Wesley Benedict; second lieutenant, Harry D. Durst; first sergeant, quartermaster sergeant, sergeants, corporals, musicians, artificer.

Company M—Captain, E. C. McAfee; first lieutenant, George H. Townsend; second lieutenant, Jere D. Cravens; first sergeant, Guy D. Skinner; quartermaster sergeant, Emmet Newton; sergeants, B. M. Massey, Charles Rush, Ralph McElhaney, Charles B. McAfee, Jr.; corporals, James Stewart, Everett Thompson, Joseph Harris, Henry C. Young, Alfred E. Meyer, William E. Barton; musicians, Almond R. Blair, William H. Howard; artificer, William H. Harmon.

Before following the story of the two Springfield companies of the Second Missouri, I will advert to other Greene county soldiers who joined other regiments.

The Fifth Missouri was recruited from the "left overs" at Jefferson Barracks, and several Greene county men enlisted with it. I am unable to procure their names. The Sixth Missouri was next recruited and also contained soldiers from this county. The Third United States Volunteer Engineers was a regiment recruited largely from Missourians. That was an excellent regiment and contained a number of young men from Springfield and vicinity. Among these were Joseph Fisher, now prominent in Springfield, W. E. Baker, Louis Allman, Fred Hayes, Walter Opdyche and others, whose present whereabouts I do not know. [395]

The second call for volunteers came in June. It had been learned that negro soldiers could best resist the ravages of the Cuban climate, and authority was given to enlist regiments of negroes under the name of "immunes." The regimental staff and captains of companies were white, but all lieutenants and soldiers were negroes. Commissions to officers of "immune" regiments were issued direct by President McKinley.

Jesse J. Mayes, then a St. Louis reporter on the Globe Democrat, buta native of Greene county, secured a captain's commission in one of the immune regiments and recruited his company at Springfield. His lieutenants were Thomas Campbell, a negro mail-carrier, and Joe Armstrong, a former negro member of the Springfield police force. I cannot give the names of the Greene county negroes composing Mayes company. Captain Mayes later secured a lieutenant's commission in the regular United States army and served in the Philippines. I understand that he now holds the rank of captain.

OFF FOR CHICKAMAUGA.

Chickamauga Park, a reserve on the state line between Georgia and Tennessee and but a few miles from Chattanooga, had been selected as general mobilization camp for the volunteer army. As soon as regiments were taken into the United States service, they were sent to Chickamauga. Ours was the first regiment to leave Jefferson Barracks. We required three special trains, each composed of twelve coaches and a sleeper. In addition there was a baggage train. A peculiar combination of numbers in connection with our departure from Jefferson Barracks struck terror to the hearts of the superstitious. We were scheduled to reach Chickamauga on May 13th; it required thirteen trains to move the regiment; there were thirteen cars in each train; in our train the engine was numbered four hundred and thirteen, and there were thirteen officers in our sleeper. As we stood in the St. Louis Union station and were discussing this remarkable aggregation of thirteens, a newspaper boy boarded the car. Inquiry revealed that he was thirteen years old! This proved too much for Lieutenant Aloe, our battalion adjutant. He contrived to be left that evening, but followed the next day with another regiment. It is a fact worthy of note that our train went through safe while Aloe's train was wrecked. [396]

Our route was through Indianapolis, thence south through Cincinnati and Covington to Chattanooga. At every town and city through which we passed we were accorded the usual salutes of steam whistles, etc. As our train crossed the Ohio river into Kentucky, we were first made mindful of the loyalty of the southern people. At Covington all troop trains were halted beside long lines of tables piled with sandwiches and coffee, and presided over by hundreds of pretty girls. Soldiers were disembarked, fed, and made to feel the hospitable spirit for which the south is noted. I will say here, that our regiment was henceforth quartered among the southern people, and the same spirit was universally manifested.

The railroad station where our troops were finally disembarked was Lytle, Georgia. Ours was among the first regiments to arrive at the park. At that time the town consisted of a depot, postoffice, blacksmith shop and two or three stores. Work had begun on a quartermaster depot platform, but aside from that and a few officers' tents scattered about there was but little to indicate a mobilization camp.

Our regiment was marched about three or four miles within the park and assigned to our place. The country was rocky and rough and much resembled the Ozark hills in Stone county. Our camping place was on the slope of a hill covered with forest trees where the ground was so rocky that it was next to impossible to drive a tent-pin. The weather was bad; recent rains had made it muddy wherever there was enough soil. Our lines were established and details for guard duty immediately formed. Meanwhile the soldiers pitched their tents and made preparation for a permanent camp. It was here that the real hardships of army life began.

I do not know who was responsible for selecting sites for the various regimental camps, but as subsequent events proved, it was a sad mistake to establish the camps in the shade of the forests. We all had made "wet camps" and in the forest shade the sun could not reach us to keep us dry. This of itself was a sufficient cause for sickness, but added to the change of diet and water to which all were subjected, it resulted in an early filling up of regimental hospitals which otherwise would have been prevented.

From the time of our arrival the park filled rapidly with regimental camps. Our regiment was assigned to the Third Brigade of the Third Division of the First Army Corps. Our division was commanded by General Sanger and our brigade by General Andrews. The nine regiments of our division were stationed in regimental camps in convenient proximity to division headquarters. Elsewhere in the park were stationed other divisions of other corps together with cavalry regiments and batteries of artillery of both the regular and volunteer service. By the end of May upwards of eighty thousand soldiers were there and each regiment fitting itself for the front.

It was but a short time after our arrival at this place that my company was fully equipped. New uniforms, army regulation blankets and clothing supplanted the civilian toggery of Company M, and the company was armed. The regiment underwent a rigid inspection by regular army officers assigned to such duty, and was reported ready to go to the front. This news was hailed with delight, and the Second regiment was proud. Orders to move were hourly expected, but alas, little we knew the forces that guided our destinies. Fate decreed that we were never to leave our native shores. [397]

Much conjecture was indulged in as to why our regiment—one that had attained a high mark after rigid inspection—was not selected to go to Cuba, but it was not until afterward that the truth was known. The Second Missouri was denied its rights because its colonel, two years before, had announced himself a Free-silver Republican! This fact will be testified to by the Missouri members of Congress at that time, and by United States Senator Cockrell, then chairman of an important senate committee. In the place of our regiment was sent the Seventy-first New York, whose colonel had no such handicap, but whose conduct before Santiago brought the blush of shame to all who knew of it.

EPIDEMIC OF TYPHOID.

About the first of June an epidemic of typhoid fever prostrated thousands of soldiers. This was caused principally by flies. Sanitary regulations had been neglected in the great hurry of perfecting the regiments and the division hospitals were inadequate to the great demands upon them. Our regiment was far more fortunate than others; our hospital was in charge of Doctor Crawford, of Sedalia, ably assisted by Lieutenant Rutherford and Captain —— as assistant surgeons. Dr. R. M. Cowan, now a practicing physician of Springfield, was one of the two hospital stewards. It was the policy of our regiment to keep its sick either in quarters or in the regimental hospital, thus avoiding sending them to the division hospital among strangers. At one time my company had fifty-six men on the sick list, nineteen of them having typhoid fever. It is gratifying to remember that none of these succumbed. Later I lost one man, Ora Van Geison, who enlisted from Barry county. Company K also lost William Walker, of Springfield, a dutiful soldier whose death cast a gloom over both, companies.

Much has been written of the neglect of soldiers at Chickamauga by the United States government. Much blame was attached where it was not deserved; but it is easily understood where the facts are known. The call for troops called to Chickamauga thousands of volunteers from the various walks of life. They were unfamiliar with army life and knew not what to expect. Enroute to the camp they were provided with so-called "travel rations" consisting of hardtack and bacon. This was their introduction to army diet, and they thought themselves restricted to that throughout the term of enlistment.

From ham, eggs, cakes, coffee, ice cream and pie to hardtack and bacon is a severe drop and the soldier's first letter to his mother, sister or sweet-heart proclaimed that he was starving.. As a result each mother, sister or sweetheart immediately sent to the soldier a box of grub usually consisting of a ham, a cooked chicken, a cake and like food. These consignments came, but in the confusion at Lytle, were not delivered until long after. The soldier receiving such food invariably took it to his tent to eat at irregular times, and the result can be imagined. I saw not less than fifty wagon loads of such consignments at Lytle station at one time. [398]

Fortunately I had foreseen this, and when such packages reached my company, I promptly confiscated them and turned them over to the quarter-master. This high-handed procedure on my part nearly caused a revolt in Company M, but when it was understood that each soldier could have his home grub, but at meal time only, there was no further trouble. The practice of sending food to soldiers was confined to the first week or two, after which it ceased altogether; but while it lasted it was the source of much sickness and distress.

The Second Missouri was well officered with men who knew their rights, and had no difficulty in procuring subsistent stores. It is true, however, that many regiments suffered for lack of sufficient food, but that was because of the ignorance of the volunteer officers. This was notably true of Eastern regiments, whose officers, as a rule, came from large cities. They seemed helpless. The government supplied the camp with the best food known. Train loads of fresh beef, packed in ice, came daily from Chicago packing houses. Potatoes, cabbage, coffee, sugar, fresh milk, butter, and bread fresh baked on the ground was furnished. Never was an army better supplied. Yet, because of the inexperience, over-caution and timidity of officers, it was a long time before some regiments were properly fed. The government deserves no censure for a lack of food at Chickamauga.

The government furnished wood for fuel. A lanky Georgian had the contract, and, with a score of wagons, delivered wood at each regiment, for which he took a receipt. I think he expressed the situation tritely when he declared to me something like this: "I'm mighty glad to get around to a Missouri camp. A Missourian knows a cord of wood as far as he can see it, but these d—— New Yorkers want to count every stick!"

Our regiment was surrounded by Eastern regiments, principally from New York, Pennsylvania and the New England states. These soldiers looked upon the Missouri regiment with much curiosity. My company had been nicknamed "McAfee's guerrillas," from the fact that at first we were not in uniform; the name stuck, and caused questions to be asked by our Eastern neighbors. My men conceived the idea of gaining notoriety out of it.

Private Yandell, of Webster county, was our company cut-up, and began to pose as a son of Jesse James. It soon began to be noised about that a son of the notorious Missouri bandit was a member of my company. Sunday was visiting day, and I noticed that my company was honored with throngs of eastern soldiers each Sunday afternoon. I soon learned the joke, and it was indeed an amusing sight. Yandell would stand in a conspicuous place, and seemingly took no notice of the gaping crowds. Visitors were always warned that Jesse James' son was very sensitive, and wouldn't meet strangers. This was at about the time of the kodak craze, and it was our regular Sunday treat to see Yandell snapped by kodaks seeming to be unconscious of it. I have no doubt that many an Eastern home now cherishes Yandell's picture as a son of Jesse James.

In June all companies were recruited to a strength of one hundred and six men each. Capt. A. B. Diggins was selected to return to Missouri to recruit soldiers for our battalion. Thus many soldiers joined us later who were unable to do so at first. [399-400]

A SUMMER OF HARDSHIPS.

The months of June and July were months of hard life for us all. We were required to drill five hours each day, and to keep up details for various labor purposes. Our camp was moved from the woods to an open plain, and this resulted in a great shortening of the sick list. Regimental and brigade drills were frequent, and we had several reviews. We had one review which required all the troops in the Park. I think there was upwards of seventy thousand troops, infantry, cavalry and artillery. On that occasion Company M bore the colors of the regiment.

By the middle of July we all knew the fighting in Cuba was over, and we all wanted out. With nothing ahead in the fighting line it seemed foolish to retain soldiers, yet it was done. Regimental officers sent a special emissary to Washington to secure our musterout, but General Sanger refused conent. Then came applications for discharge, and many soldiers were able to secure discharges from Washington, while others succeeded in securing transfers to other regiments under order for garrison duty in Cuba. At length our regiment was ordered to hold itself in readiness to go to Matanzas, which gave us something to hope for.

At about this time I secured a leave of absence and went to New York, where I immediately took sick at the St. Denis Hotel. I sent for a doctor who proved to be Doctor Harrison, who had been a surgeon in the Confederate army. Doctor Harrison had himself been at Chickamauga during the War of the Rebellion, and pronounced my case to be miasmic or malarial fever. I remained at the St. Denis nearly three weeks, the doctor visiting me every day, sometimes twice a day. Familiar with New York customs I began to feel nervous about the size of the doctor's bill yet to come.

When I was able to walk about I visited the doctor's office to settle up; I was wearing the regulation blue uniform at the time. With fear and trembling, I asked the doctor what I owed. In substance he replied: "Young man, I put in four years killing men who wore that uniform, but I have lived to be glad that some survived. To minister to a wearer of it after all these years is an experience too gratifying to charge for. You owe me nothing. I am only too glad to contribute something to the flag." [400]

I mention this circumstance to show the temper of the people of New York at that time. It is true that on street cars conductors refused to take fare. The hotel cut its rate in half voluntarily. I selected a hat in a hat store, but no pay would be received for it. It was the universal custom to pay deference to soldiers. For once the proverbial chilliness of New Yorkers was missing, the only time, by the way, I have ever noted it.

During my absence in New York the Second Missouri had moved from Chickamauga to a camp near Lexington, Kentucky, so that it was at the latter place I rejoined it. Our brigade at this camp (called Camp Hamilton) consisted of the First Territorial, Second Missouri and Third Mississippi regiments. The First Territorial was a regiment consisting of companies from New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma, and was well officered and competent. The Third Mississippi had officers commissioned by the governor of Mississippi, but the soldiers were recruited principally from New Orleans and Chicago. Hence this regiment was a sort of conglomerate mixture, and caused considerable trouble to our brigade officers. There were two other brigades encamped at Lexington, the three composing the Third Division of the First Army Corps.

The Kentucky camp was a splendid one. It was situated on several estates about six miles from Lexington, in a locality famous for blue grass pastures and turnpike roads. The camp was established with particular care as to sanitary requirements; this, together with the season of the year, quickly restored the hundreds of fever-stricken soldiers brought from Chickamauga. Lieutenant Cravens had contracted typhoid fever at the Chickamauga camp, and this developed soon after the arrival at Lexington. He was taken to St. Joseph's hospital in Lexington, where after several weeks he fully recovered.

I have neglected to state that at the Chickamauga camp each infantry was furnished with two four-mule army wagons. The dealer in mules who furnished such animals to the government was Charles Seifert, an old Springfield man and a friend to many of our boys. Through his friendship, my company was supplied with eight large iron-gray mules, well matched and of such extraordinary appearance that they soon became coveted by other officers. Much of my time was consumed during the months that followed in keeping these mules. Every device known was resorted to, but eternal vigilance of Quartermaster Emmett Newton prevented them being juggled away from us. [401]

Considering the horses of our mounted officers, the staff and ambulance requirements, our regiment was equipped with something like one hundred and twenty-five horses and mules. These animals required a corral, and were attended to by permanent details from the various companies. At Lexington the corral was quite near the regimental camp, which fact, on occasion, was unfortunate. Those familiar with the arrangement of a regimental camp will know that the tents of each company flank a "company street," facing it. At the upper end of the street are the officers' tents, while at the opposite end is the commissary and company kitchen, with the various cooking apparatus and utensils. One October night, at Lexington, the animals in the corral took the notion to stampede. They broke down their barriers and, after the manner of all stampedes, made a mad rush to the worst place possible. This, of course, in our case, was the row of twelve company kitchens, and it was along that row that more than a hundred frenzied mules and horses took their way. Guy-ropes, tents, ovens, kettles and like paraphernalia were torn, scattered, mixed and demolished beyond description. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the incident furnished excitement which, considering the wearing monotony we endured, was welcome in most any shape.

Our camp at Lexington was wholesome, and those who had suffered from Chickamauga maladies soon convalesced and became strong. In October we received orders to prepare to embark for Cuba. Mantanzas was the place assigned to us, and we looked forward to a period of garrison duty on foreign soil. But this was later denied us, for we were soon ordered to take up winter quarters at Albany, Georgia.

A glance at the map will show that from Lexington, Kentucky, to Albany, Georgia, is not so very far, that it should be not more than twenty four hours by going directly there via Atlanta and Macon. But in our move to Albany occurred one of the many inexplicable features of army transportation. We were loaded on trains and, after many seemingly useless delay, started, not to the south, towards Albany, but north, towards Louisville. From Louisville, via Bowling Green, Nashville and Birmingham to Montgomery, where we hung up twenty-four hours behind a wreck. The advantages of this route were never made plain to me then, nor have I ever been able to comprehend them since. No officer familiar with the task relishes the custody of soldiers on a railroad train at all, and each unnecessary minute of it peeves him, and every meal on travel rations reduces the patriotic ardor of any soldier and renders him less susceptible to the sense of quietude so essential to the peace and pleasure of the officer. The peace and pleasure of that trip—or the lack of it—will remain with me always. I will always contend that the forty-eight extra hours of extra tribulation should be charged up to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company, whose haul of us could be but the result of ways that are dark and tricks that are vain. [402]

Our sojourn at Albany but little differed from that at Lexington. Camp routine did not vary. The soldiers were provided with Sibley tents and stoves against the cold blasts of winter. It was not until in February, 1899, that we suffered from cold weather, but in that month for one day, I believe, the thermometer went to zero, a rare thing in that latitude. We had advance information of the storm, and were fairly well provided for it when it came. The same storm dropped the mercury to twenty-six degrees below zero here in Springfield. While zero weather is rather "airy" for tent life, we endured for the short period with but little discomfort, although my first sergeant, Minar Massey, contracted a cold that later developed into tuberculosis, from which he died some years later.

The Second Missouri regiment was mustered out at Albany on the 4th day of March, 1899, and just in the nick of time. As was learned later, the war department seriously considered revoking the muster-out order, so as to send the regiment to the Philippines, where trouble had just begun, but concluded to let us go.

There was but little change in the membership of Company M since its organization. Some of the men had been discharged by special order, some had been transferred to the United States Signal and other corps. One had died and three had deserted. Two of the deserters were recruits not from Springfield, the other was. The Springfield deserter, ignorant of the amnesty proclamation of President McKinley, hid in the remote hills of Greene county for five years, thinking a price was on his head, but later, learning the truth, yielded to the lure of brass-buttons again, and managed to get on the police force. Most of us looked upon that as a sort of species of doing penance.

It is proper to indulge in some reflections at this time. One-half of the uncivilized world is now at war, but our country is at peace. The fact that we are at peace is due to the moral courage and character of our President and his cabinet. To men entrusted with the grave responsibility of government, and with the lessons of other wars before them, the idea of conflict is one not to be trifled with. On our southern borders we are harrassed by turbulent Mexican factions. Not long since a score of our marines were killed at Vera Cruz and our flag dishonored, and yet we have no war. I cannot but contrast the feeling now with that prevailing seventeen years ago. Murmurs we have, it is true, and much criticism of our President, but there is no such cry for war as in 1898, though the provocation is equal, if not greater. There are reasons for this, and some of them are the lessons from the Spanish war.

The true patriotism of the American people cannot be doubted, but it is often sorely tried. Nothing so dampens patriotic ardor as the after-knowledge of the uses to which it was put in war. War is, and has always been the opportunity for humbug, where great men may appear small, and small men may appear great. It has never failed to shelter chicanery or to subject worthy patriotism to unworthy profit. Nothing has so far prevented our war with Mexico as the memories of our war with Spain. [403]

The short duration of the Spanish war; the ease with which the foe was beaten, and the political aftermaths, all combined to make it appear a sort of joke. Those who called it that, however, are those who did not participate. A joke is, or is not a joke, according to the viewpoint. The viewpoint of the civilian pursuing his daily avocation differs from that of the soldier being shot at, lying in a fever hospital or chafing under the monotonous restraints of an idle army. What seems a joke to the civilian seems quite different to the soldier. There are yet living some two hundred thousand men whose enlistment to serve against an untried foe was no joke, and they are a little sensitive about hearing it mentioned that way.

What the American people have gained by the war with Spain is not territory or wealth, or even any especial fame, but is wisdom. That wisdom rife in the same generation, has warned us to that state of mind that has so far held us aloof from armed conflict at a period when half of the civilized world is hurling itself to destruction. Who can say but that for our little Spanish war, happening when it did, we, too, might now be plunged into something perilous to the nation's existence? If it has served to save that, it has amply justified all it cost. [404]

OFFICERS OF COMPANY K.
Captain——Diggins, Archibald B.
First Lieutenant——Benedict, Charles W.
Second Lieutenant——Durst, Hairy D.
First Sergeant——Sansone, Charles
Quartermaster Sergeant——Anthony, Robert L.
Sergeant——McCauley, William R.
Sergeant——Cunningham, Thomas P.
Sergeant——Roberts, William
Sergeant——Hardin, William R.
Corporal——Kirkpatrick, Harry F.
Corporal——Price, William R.
Corporal—Walker, Isaac G.
Corporal——Wood, Jr., Henry N. B.
Corporal——Banks, Frederick O
Corporal——Ward, Edward L.
Corporal——Austin, Albert M.
Corporal——Alderfer, Wilbur J.
Corporal——Newson, Clifford S.
Corporal——Ferbrache, Presley E.
Corporal——Gilbert, Ransom R.

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS.
Cook——Kurtz, Louis
Musician——Harcum, Glen E.
Musician——Crenshaw, Thomas T.
Artificer——Lilly, John M.
Wagoner——Fallin, Walter A.

PRIVATES.
Alder, Rolla C. —— Smith, William M.
Beaty, Werner C. —— Stoughton, Benjamin W.
Bremer, John L. —— Thorn, Claud G.
Brown, Daniel K. —— Thornbrough, John L.
Campbell, William F. —— Weaver, Campbell J.
Cater, Theodore T. —— Welch, Charles O.
Coffland, James W. —— Boyer, William P.
Costello, Edward J. —— Carlisle, Robert R.
Drager, Albert W. —— Curry, James T.
Durnell, Benjamin F. —— Hayton, William W.
Fain, Fred O. —— Orchard, Jesse
Fallin, Wilburn M. —— Tracey, Chauncey I.
Gardner, Homer E. —— Boyden, George T.
Gregson, Carl A. —— Baker John C.
Hardman, James C. —— Anderson, Lynn N.
Heacker, Jr., Frank A. —— Benjamin, Mortimer
Hopkins, Homer C. —— Bronekamp, Edward T.
House, Amos B. —— Campbell, John P.
Jenkins, James E. —— Casebeer, Archie B.
Long, Leslie S. —— Dacy, John F.
Linsley, Walter T. —— Dooley, John L.
Linsley, Walter T. —— Dooley, John L.
Marsh, Myron C. —— Doolittle, Oscar F.
Melville, Charles J. —— Elliott, Randle
Moore, Arthur E. —— Emmerton, Charles A.
McBride, Clarence L. —— Guthrie, Sidney E.
McCall, John B. —— Hansell, Milton L.
McCracken, Benjamin N. —— Hale, Joseph
McLaughlin, Liberty U. —— Hannon, Edward F.
Jones, Thomas R. —— Wishart, Dow
Kelly, William J. —— Heacker, Joseph J.
Krafft, Theodore J. —— Sawyer, Robert M.
Lamons, Henry T. —— Baker, James E.
McMurry, Loyd E. —— Brown, Harry C.
Penticost, Fred W. —— Morrison, John D.
Phelps, John S. —— Palmer, James G.
Porch, James H. —— Roberts, John P.
Pryor, Oscar A. —— Starr, Frank A.
Rankin, Guy D. —— Smythe, Will L.
Reece, Walter S. —— Sport, Patrick
Richesin, Marcellus —— Sport, Nick
Schlemmer, Julius J. —— Wallace, Lewis E.
Shriver, Fred M. —— Walker, William G.
Wimburly, Runzy

OFFICERS OF COMPANY M.
Captain —— McAfee, E. C.
First Lieutenant —— Towuaha, G. H.
Second Lieutenant —— Cravens, J. D.
First Sergeant —— Massey, B. M.
Quartermaster Sergeant —— Newton, Emmett
Sergeant —— McElhany, Ralph
Sergeant —— McAfee, Jr., C. B.
Sergeant —— Campbell, E. H.
Sergeant —— Gatts, W. E.
Corporal —— Hennery, U. S.
Corporal —— Arnold, A. L.
Corporal —— O'Daniel, J. C.
Corporal —— Angel, Lucien O.
Corporal —— Hazzard, H. W.
Corporal —— Sampey, A. F.
Corporal —— Symington, J. M.
Corporal —— Lawrence, E. E.
Corporal —— McKinney, O. A.
Corporal —— Ball, W. B.
Corporal —— Gentry, R. C.

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS.
Cook —— McClintock, A. L.
Musician —— Blain, E. R.
Musician —— Mullins, F. C.
Artificer —— Thompson, E. A.
Wagoner —— Morris, O. W.

PRIVATES.
Ables, H. —— McAdoo, Joseph
Bays, J. E. —— Gold, V. R.
Bryant, J. H. —— Bates, F. R.
Burnett, George —— Cass, L. W.
Burson, Leon —— Coss, C. E.
Burton, C. J. —— Diringer, F.
Butler, J. T. —— McKinney, E. E.
Camp, Herschel —— Skinner, S. G.
Debo, J. H. —— Arnold, Oscar
Dick, Charles —— Braswell, W. F.
Emmerson, W. D. —— Campbell, Abner
Farley, John —— Choat, J. E.
Frasher, J. W. —— Clay, John R.
Frasher, O. A. —— Coffland, C. A.
Gault, Clyde —— Cotton, G. W.
Gibson, Thomas F. —— Davis, Frank
Lemon, W. A. —— Gilliland, Jesse
Lewis, M. E. —— Glen, W. F.
Keech, W. M. —— Hampton, A.
McCoy, A. —— Harmon, W. H.
McCoy, Charles —— Harris, Joseph
McKinney, M. B. —— Howard, W. F.
McKinney, R. G. —— Jener, W. A.
McNaught, L. Q. —— Lawson, A. M.
Marr, F. —— Mack, Charles E.
Matlock, N. W. —— McClure, C. L.
Miller, F. A. —— Scott, J. F.
Pebit, Joe —— Smith, A. E.
Phelps, W. G. —— Smith, W. P.
ritchey, L. V. —— Snyder, J. J.
Rogers, Charles —— Spratley, A.
Sams, J. R. —— Stratton, H.
Styker, H. A. —— Stokes, J. W.
Stewart, J. A. —— Thornburgh, J.
Siler, J. P. —— Van Vant, E.
Willis, Clyde —— Barton, W. E.
Tandle, W. H. —— Arbuckle, Jud
Young, H. C. —— Alar, William
Wade, Ross —— Van Geison, O.
Rush, Charles R. —— McQuitty, W. D.
Wallace, J. D. —— Overshart, F.

[404-408]


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