Binder Chapter 7 Outline

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Chapter 7:
America Goes to War
Building a National Army-Meirion and Susie Harries
* Early fall of 1917 watchers near rail tracks would have seen young Americans riding to their appointed camps and cantonments * Very diverse people riding: Chocktaws and Cochin Chinese, Hebrews, Greeks, Italians, English, Irish, Scots, Slavs, Swedes, Germans, Austrians, Albanians, Poles, Armenians, Syrians, Finns, Hispanics, and Japanese. Blacks went on separate trains * Attracted men with all shapes and sizes

* Lanky recruits of Scots blood from the mountains of N. Carolina * Short stocky Mediterraneans from NE
* Recent immigration was heaviest
* Smallest size was 5”1 128 lbs
* Largest size was 6”6
* Weight limits varied on your specialty
* 190lbs for infantry, engineers, and artillery
* 165lbs for cavalry
* Average recruit 5”7.5 141.5 pounds
* Divisions with large amount of Eastern European immigrants received smaller average ration and smaller uniforms than Midwestern divisions with Scandinavians and Germans * Many divisions were extremely diverse: New Yorks’s 77th division with 42 different languages or dialects spoken * 400,000 first generation immigrants drafted

* Including alien enemies and ineligible
* Major General George Bell of 33rd division ( contingent was about 15,000 National Guard Vounteers) * Complained to Adjutant General that “the local boards in Illinois had very evidently spared men of the draft age of American birth or stock at the expense of those of foreign birth or patronage” * Many of the immigrants couldn’t speak English or understand commands * Forced to eat odd food like boiled potatoes and stewed apricots, created serious morale problems in their units * German or Austrian immigrants had even more anziety “ifi ti were known in their home countries that they were in the American army, their families would be hunted out and killed. “ * Recognized as one of the many deliberate propaganda attempts to disrupt recruitment and ruin morale in camps * Army authorities believed the Lutheran Church Board to be one of Germany’s instruments noting “its efforst to place its pastors in as many camps, forts and other military establishments as possible” * Anti-Semitism surfaced

* 6 weeks after his induction from the Brond, Otto Gottschalk was dragged from his tent, stripped and thrown into a ditch of black muck, he was forced to drink the muck and beaten badly * After the draft, large amount of unsuitable immigrants appears to have been sent back to the ghettos * Immigrants would for m their own groups “development battalions” with officers at their own * Camp Gordon in Georgia

* 2 slav companies
* 2 italian companies
* Russian-Jewish battalion
* Became disciplined and proficient in drill
* 92% were willing to go abroad immediately
* Blacks were discriminated highly
* No blacks were appointed to the draft boards
* Local boards conscripted higher proportion of blacks than whites relative to population * The majority of blacks that filled army were the least socially desirable, attempt to clean neighborhoods up? * Blacks had the worst living conditions and most had only 6 weeks training * In October 1912, black stevedore and labor battalions were formed at Camp Hill, Va * 6,000 men had no barracks, messhalls, clothing, or sanitary arrangements of any kind * Forced to stand by fires at night and fortunate ones slept in small dirty tents on bare ground in winter * Inevetiably the soldiers fell sick and disease spread rapidly * Went to crowded hospitals without cots nor thick blankets...
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