tv State Militia Units in World War I CSPAN November 30, 2014 3:01pm-3:52pm EST
for women in the navy and the marine corps. did you have a follow-up? >> baker? >> he and baker had a very good relationship. a working relationship. they had a good working relationship, once were came. bellicose sign in moving the administration towards warthen daniels had been. -- more than daniels had been. but worked well together, they had conflicts in terms of
the run-up to the war with daniels being in the peace camp, and maker outside of it. daniels was probably the loudest voice in the east camp. the -- the peace camp. no one else in the admin's nation was going to get along with him on this front, because he voted against war until the very last moment. thank you. [applause] >> our second speaker is nimrod frazier. he is the sound of a world war i veteran who served in company e one 67th of a treat. -- infantry. this is the division in which douglas macarthur will serve chief of staff and brigade commander during the american offenses of world war i. frazier's father received a purple heart for wounds received at the battle.
mr. frazer himself as a silver star veteran of the korean war, businessof harvard school, and a member of the alabama business hall of fame. author of a history of the 167th infantry regiment. mr. frazer also serves as treasurer of the board of directors of that foundation. he will share some of his research from his unit history in his talk. welcomingn me in nimrod frazier. [applause]
>> thank you. it is a great honor for me to be back at this wonderful place. i'm not an academic. i could better be described as a child of the rainbow division. theew the name of commanding officer of the 106 to heventh infantry -- 167t infantry before i could read. i knew the name of the commander of d company before i could read. my family was divided in later life, but the common ground that i had with my father, who was a very cop located guy. -- complicated guy.
was his best friend who was indeed come but a within. -- in d company with him. his friend blew his brains out in 1937. i like to think of him as willie regimentof the rainbow from alabama. the military was always the common bond with my old man. i would go down to visit him, the one thing we were both comfortable in dealing with was his military service, and then later, with mine. before i get serious year, i must tell you that when i returned from korea, i thought that i might have done the best job i could do there. i smelled a little gunpowder. and i sat down with will. you'd written me one letter while i was there, it was the
only letter i got from him in my whole life. word wasleft, every caution. be careful. get behind a log. , he wantedame back to know when i have been doing. and i told him i had been in , and i did thes best job i could do. and i have to tell you, he was underwhelmed. alabama was in four campaigns. if you want to cap the sudan, it was in seven operations. -- count the sudan, it was in seven operations. we were both there about 10 months. bottom line -- he did twice in 10 months what i had done in my 10 months.
1916, the montgomery advertiser reported the mobilization and federalization of the alabama national guard. with origins as a social militia, the units were made available to the governor when four part-time regimens were authorized by the alabama legislature. that's the date i mark is the beginning of the training 167th of the -- training of the 167th infantry. his orders came from the war department. after entering full-time service
at montgomery's panama park, the racetrack, they don't longer were answerable to the governor. the alabama national guard had become more professional between 1911 to 1915. a full-time regular army captain was assigned a supervisor of training. let's see what we are going to get here. we got to get this right. yes, yes yes.
i got it. that's the way want to be. that's bill screws. graduated the local high school in montgomery alabama, was sent to marion military institute for one year. made the honor roll one time, that was the extent of his college. alabamafied for volunteer regimens commission come at the time of the spanish-american war. he served briefly in the spanish-american war, but brushed up against the regular army there. so much so that he liked it. the regular army was then committed to the adventure in the philippines. screws a job to go
out there as a lieutenant, and work against the insurgent morose. , and i down to mindanao retraced his steps down there. driver, and ind a said i want to go right back into that lake district where these guys were doing all the early fighting. all the senior guys in world war teethcut 13 -- they are in the philippines. my drivers that are not going to go any further, it's dangerous. i can tell you they are still raising hell. the same ones. screws came back, want to stay in the army. they didn't have enough company commands and battalion commands for the west pointers.
but they had made in the captain, made him a regular army captain. and he considered himself a first-class regular army captain. his first duty after coming back were serving in three states in the west, where he was a supervisor of training for militia units that were transitioning in to what was becoming the united states national guard. when he got to alabama in 1912, he immediately cause a shakeup. there was increased federal money coming in to the annual budget in the state of alabama for the national guard. standards were immediately raised. one company was unprepared to go to cap, and was immediately eliminated. another company was eliminated
for general inefficiency. newspapers covered the guard activity, and one reported that regiments faced tactical inblems, long sweating hikes sun blistering target ranges. became involved in the training of these militia troops. they were invited to watch target practice, and invited to parades at the end of summer camp. the individual appearance of guardsmen, and standards of military courtesy or improved. shooting competitions are held regularly, and one person went to the 1912 olympic shooting competition. captain william preston screws,
the supervisor, established an examination board for officers commissioned in 1913. this kind of thing was unheard of in this social militia that had preceded his coming to alabama. a signal corps was established men in 1913, and more than 150 attended attachable school taught by -- a tactical school taught by army officers in 1914. it was considered exactly under the lines of a regular army camp. deficient guard officers were required to drill as privates in an effort to improve professionalism at drill and ceremony. a correspondence school was established by screws for officers, and participation was
made mandatory. drillttendance at continued to be a problem. and most units were below minimum strength. the mobilization in 1916 did not come as a surprise, but the units were not prepared for the new way. the new high requirements for troops on full-time active duty. the war department required dismissal of the officers and enlisted men unwilling to enter federal service, or who were physically unfit for such service. units to war strength, became a challenge. it's units were second-class, officers had always been part-timers. education beyond high school.
most enlisted men were simply there for the money. despite having been ill trained ,nd fully equipped in the past the national guard suddenly offered young men an opportunity to walk away from the simple lives that many had been able -- unable to escape. with little or no education to fall back on, some found military service to be their first real opportunity. my father was one of those. he had seven grades of education, and went into the guard at age 19. all of these men, practically without exception, were grandchildren of confederates. time, the civil war was underway in mexico. the u.s. army was sent to the border. this has been discussed in
previous presentations. mexicans had killed american civilians in a border crossing into new mexico, and president wilson, who would run on a piece ticket, was afraid the fighting would spill over and our country. that was one of his angles. i'm sure that another one was of our being so totally unprepared for a war that was on the horizon. revolution ined mexico, as an internal matter. but the country shared a 2000 mile border, and had been troubled since 1910. authorizedilson 156,000 national guard into the border in 1916.
,aptain william preston screws this was taken at the time of mobilization, was mustering officers for alabama's full militia regiments. he dressed carefully, smoke profanity, buted he was a very rigorous man. committed to the task before him. few companies were up to strength when you mobilize them. there were about 2600 men then. rival companies have three officers and 6i-5 men. -- 65 men. onre was increased emphasis -- at the time of mobilization, on physical fitness.
and on recognizing and controlling venereal disease. battalion marches were practiced with 80 pounds of equipment. this is when they were on active duty for the first four months of basic training. one of the army's most senior officers and commander of the department of the east visited montgomery, and inspected these men there. court-martialed and sentenced to hard labor for one two days for being absent after taps. discipline was more strictly enforced. newspapers treated mobilization positively. the montgomeryt advertiser's october 13 announcement that the expanded 4955, then numbering would move to the mexican border. departing with summary on six
trains -- montgomery on six trains, bound for arizona. they slept on the trains on their way out of there, and prepare their meals there. these are shots on the mexican border. right was taken on a recent visit to novalis. very little in the area has changed in the area since it existed in 1916, except it is no longer gringo town. it is essentially a mexican town. 4.5 months of advanced infantry training introduced rifle companies to reconnaissance patrols.
armedomplicated, heavily patrols of platoon and larger strength were practiced. the men learn to set up ambushes for the capture of prisoners, and to conduct raids and surprise and kill groups of the enemy. the practiced french was trench was -- constructed, and getting relief troops in and out of those trenches in outposts in no man's land were practiced during this advance infantry training long before these men went to france. there he is method of rotating platoons and companies were practiced. home in january of 1917. it, despite many during theirown
service on the border, that there was overwhelming evidence of the national guard of this period, was a very different force then the militia which had, on numerous occasions in proved to be unreliable. from april 6, 1917, when the entered the war, the alabama soldiers guarded railroad bridges until washington decided what to do with them. it did not take long. the demeaning work of guarding august, bridges and in when the war department ordered the name of the fourth alabama infantry to be changed to the 167th united states infantry, permission of infantry regiment and promoted screws to full kernel. -- colonel.
orders authorize the regimen to from 1400 torow 3720. the rifle companies strength was increased from 150 two june of 50. -- to 250. even the band expanded. the first alabama infantry, the second alabama infantry, the first alabama ellery, and the fourth alabama infantry regiment had a total of 5001 at five men. -- 5025 men. screws had worked with all of them, which helps them to cherry his new best 3720 four regiment. had written an officers efficiency report on every officer in the alabama national
guard at that time. eyes ofgazed into the every shoulder -- soldier in that regiment, as he inspected all of them in ranks. 20 out ofthe best 37 5000, and no one was as well-equipped as he was to do that. that thes believed national guard could be trusted to fight in france. make it act would distinct military asset. birth of thethe rainbow division. the national guard units from 26 states were brought to cap mills new york, and made into four infantry regiments. the ohio 166th, which was always with a watchful gaze of secretary of war baker.
the new york67th, 165th, usually called the fighting 69th, in reference to its civil war designation, and the iowa 168. the twice of and thousand men with -- 27,000 men there, regiments and support groups, came from 26 dates in the nation. really a public relations man in the office of militia of the general by the name of man. when baker said he wanted a unit created that would bring the nation from coast to coast into it, and it would represent all the people of the nation.
a reporter, when macarthur was -- when this was in the process of being created, a reporter asked him what are you going to call it? he said it stretches across the country like a rainbow, and macarthur said we will call it the rainbow division. and that was his fingerprint on this organization. macarthur was 10 years younger than screws. i guess i have to say that i always felt the alabama regimen was diminished until the time for the finding came. as they moved from the united , and this is in long
island, where they were. secretary of war baker was credited their, and they have the paper say there were 60,000 people in attendance to this final parade. 15th go back to this infantry. a lot of physical training and drilling, not much open field stuff i can't mills. that long.ot there -- camp mills. a were not there that long. it brought the division together at that point. there was conflict as you brought the diverse groups across the nation together. it was pretty constant fistfights between the irish of
69th, and some of the , told thesediers 15th cavalry guys who would come from the mexican border back up to camp mills that these alabamians argan to be out to get you. so there was tension, no doubt about it. there was an instant that took place at a local railroad station. worker was atad the station, happened to be standing there doing nothing when a bunch of these drunk guys from alabama came in from the city, created havoc with him. i went back and checked with the new york public library, taking a look at the black press of the time it. it was an incendiary event, there is no question about it.
you cannot belittle the situation like that. but i think, in all fairness, we must say that the new york times wrote an article that said there the blackcident, and press reported it regularly. father duffy, who was the priest 165th saidn of the it is a small family row down the can't mills. -- at camp mills. all of that stuff went away when they went to europe. had wasip that we involved in the transportation of soldiers to europe at that time.
germanthe confiscated ships that were in our possession were used for that transportation. mills -- at camp mills, there had been a pickup in the officer corps of the regiment benefited of the product of the officer's training camp in plasterboard, new york, which had been in existence before we got into the war. most of these guys who would volunteer to go to plattsburgh had volunteered for these missions. they were filtered into the established regiments that existed at that time. t got abama uni healthy boost from these new officers. a few years ofd college, which was more than
their national guard trained counterparts from alabama had. and all of them had volunteered. at this point, every person in the rainbow division was a volunteer. the spirit of the volunteer was quite significant, and it's as preparation for what going to face in europe. they were going to face in europe. verys continued to be demanding and very disciplined, as he built the regiment. with this influx of new college classes.required night cap were all in disaster about the way they were received by the alabama soldiers. sprit of the division of the time. the rainbow division became more
unified at camp mills. a mormon replacement brought in -- wroteo road home home, the boys i am with now are from the south. of course, they are good fellows, and all that. but they have different ways, and seem a bit funny to me. in a postwar interview, that medal of honor recipient gave a vivid description of the alabamians. quote -- they were a bit rough, and a bit rowdy. but they were no boys who would stand by closely.
i will tell you how it was. they were so full of life and pep, that they had to be doing something all the time. doing, they nothing would have to try to do something. they would raise hell. after thecontinued african-american soldiers at camp mills had been told by these irish boys that the alabamians were going to be laying in wait for them. the officers of the 167th, before they went to europe, played down these instances. the tensions that did arise, and the violence that did occur, or discouraged by the army at its highest levels.
conflicts among the f and an alsoaphical groups were being addressed at the highest levels by president wilson. he created the commission on training cap activities called the ctca. , theiately afterwards nation had entered the war. it was charged with protecting the newly mobilized american soldiers from the ravages of venereal disease. the goal was to reshape the culture andulter -- theiry, in the image of white, urban, middle-class backgrounds. to make all soldiers fit in their vision of a new american man.
two national guard divisions went to europe at that time. the 42nd, and the 26 new england. they joined the regular army first division, which had gone over a little bit earlier, with jj pershing. as their leader. the second regular army division was created in france by cannibalizing units from the regular army in the united states and shipping them to france. you have the first and second divisions of the regular army, yet the 26 year england, and the rainbow over there. these four divisions were equal in training, and were the only american combat units in france through the winter of 1917 and 1918. they were called the winter divisions. the 167th had a good opinion of itself. as evidenced by a a company --mander sent to his brother
his last letter before sailing. he wrote, are division is in the peak of condition, and morale is very high. is the most feared and respected here. the 165th have long ago learned that there was one regiment that you better not mess with. it is a solemn fact that the -- gotten have gone the goat of everyone here. an officer told me that our boys were the only ones that his crowd of new yorkers were not afraid of. men reach their first destination in lorraine. let's go back and get this. they came into liverpool come across the channel, got off the
train. month waitingt a for someone to decide what to do with them. telcos was about 60 miles from there. aef is where the headquarters was located, and had been since july. france provided the americans with two large maneuver areas, and 21 smaller training areas, all having rifle, machine gun, and grenade ranges. withstood near a village barracks. all were functional, and had been used for french forces. started withning 30 new american officers and two french instructors join the
regimen in 1913. on december 26, the 42nd division started a three-day andh from single integral four. during a great storm. the troops needed to be closer --shim on -- shame on chamonds. it constituted an attempt to toughen up the soldiers. the mostship march was challenging trip yet. it was a test of endurance and tenacity. some identified it as the beginning of the divisions reputation for reliability and toughness. the 42nd division had not yet seen combat, and this experience brought the men and units closer together than anything they had
previously and doing. -- been doing. high command called for additional training of as many u.s. personnel as possible. training of the range oh -- bynbow regiments was done the french. the british conducted specialty training. the national guard made every , tort to work closely resemble the regular army. to facilitate it, commanding general jj pershing created an aef school system. trusted the the major general robert lee bullard, a fellow west pointer, and native of lee county alabama, to head it. the french provided for additional schools to train officers as platoon leaders and weapons specialists.
became aater three-star and commanding general of the third army, when it was created. 3/4 of the original officers of the 167th, and many noncommissioned officers attended the first u.s. school -- the first core u.s. school. most hated it. they understood that many of ,hem had been judged inadequate and they complained that the school was boring, and repetitive. some resented they were considered as being held back. the close order drill required of division officers to be a very embarrassing and demeaning experience. thecore of the regiment,
doughboys, underwent constant maneuvers closer to the villages , and spent time on the rifle and machine gun ranges. they were to be the men for patrols, assault troops, and shock troops. 30 new american officers and two experienced french officers platoon, classes in company, and battalion tack, and offer aided machine gun -- operated machine gun and battalion training. reflects the doctrine that was imposed on aef by general pershing. conduct aared to mobile warfare. moved from baccarat with 110 days, and then went into the champagne to save civilization.
from that point on, they were planning to and --pate in send mail, other areas. there, they fought the greatest challenge. if you don't know that story, you need to buy my book, at the bookstore today. i would like to spend more time talking about this great unit, dealy instructions were to with the training. i hope i have adequately done that. if you have questions, i will be glad to take them here, or later. [applause] >> we have about 10 minutes for questions.
don't go anywhere. >> you talked a lot about the 29th division, blue and gray, where you had new jersey, maryland, and virginia coming together. , particularly as you looked at the history of the 42nd, you talked about the confederate ancestry of the alabamians and the union ancestry of the new yorkers involved. i was curious if there was any we are the reunification of the country personified? >> i think that came later, when they all came together and were big winners. observed that the new york times was always the division headquarters. the new york times was constantly tracking the new york
regimen, the 165th. they were in the paper of the time. there is no evidence of any single reporter in alabama ever visiting the 167th when it was in combat. not a single politician of standing from alabama visited this regimen when it was in combat. it's like it was diminished. macarthur was at the baccarat, he had the french coming was very close to the french. -- his influence with the french that cause the french gear -- to dote bill a to give wild karate gear. . screws came to alabama and brought with him a intendedgion of honor
-- bills rose didn't come to alabama, he was in alabama. the corps commander at the great victory at champagne, came to alabama and decorated on behalf of the nation of france, bill screws with agri-decoration. -- that great decoration. by then, those boys had come home. they were treated differently. than anybody in their town had ever treated anybody. they had come home to a glorious homecoming. there were 75,000 people on the capitol grounds in montgomery. they were different. guru came tohen alabama and decorated those boys, he was decorating the nation. and they were different. these guys were all grandchildren of the confederacy. my grandmother was born in 1860.
i knew many confederates. i knew many former slaves. there was a period of tremendous transition. when they were finally recognized by the united states, and by the nation of france, as great warriors -- which they were -- it certainly created a shift. ii, when people would talk about reg out -- dugout doug, he didn't do it in my father's presence. there was tremendous macarthur loyalty among the common people of the state of alabama. does that -- are there other questions? i love to talk about this outfit. i'm a child of this division, said all of me overdo it. i'm going to step down now. i'm being told to step down. >> no, another question. i saw in your presentation, you memorial inre of a
your book. could you tell us about that, and its reception by the french? >> thank you, amanda. birmingham to to the 42nd division reunion. early 20's.the memorialhere must be a to this division, and it must be where we have shed our blood. he wanted to do it then. he wanted to do it in the 20's, when the economy was good. the feeling about the military was good. it didn't happen. i told you about the tension , it existed in my family resonated with me.
after the old man died, my brother and i had published genealogical collections. i said you did a nice thing for our mother, but we haven't done a dam thing for the old man. we wouldn't be here but for him it. and then my brother died. i made it a point to find out were my old man and been shot up here in. i'd never been on any kind of quest about the rainbow. but i went to france, and there it was. nothing changes much in france. these three lines, roads, even trails are exactly as they were in these 1917, 1918 maps. i found it. i went to the cemetery, 4000 americans buried four miles from
her this great battle was fought. there was a house trailer there, it was a derelict piece of property, owned by three owners. but it stood right square in the atdle of this battlefield the farm. there are remnants there of this fortified 16th-century french farmhouse. so i bought it. it took three years to buy it. you can't do business in france reasonably. [applause] [laughter] and you can negotiate price, you pay with ask for it. i bought it. help, ie considerable identified a guy in england, jim butler. done a british memorial
in normandy. a royal navy memorial on the banks of the thames. he had done field marshal alexander in wellington barracks next to buckingham palace. i knew he was the real thing, but i was always an advocate and admirer of the world war i sculptor. you have all seen his work, it's on the corner between hyde park in st. james park next to the duke of wellington's monument. it's great stuff. so i saw butler. said i'm a devotee of the sargeant jagger stuff. i don't want any modern things come i want to take it back like it was. heart --ve it in your if you ever in your heart wanted to do something, some sculpture that would resonate with you.
, heeached back, in his barn took a piece of paper off the nail on a wall, andrew a stick figure here. it's -- it's in rome. that's mary holding the body of christ. this is a rainbow soldier. he said i'm not a religious man. he said i can't call it the rainbow soldier. it's the soldier. and we made the decision right there to do this work, which he did, it took several months. we had a cast in scotland, moved to buy truck down to the royal academy in london at piccadilly. it was seen by thousands of 2011 atn the summer of the royal academy. there was a great reception in the royal academy, beautifully attended by french and british
dignitaries, paid for by boat -- goldman sachs, incidentally. amanda is calling me down again. france, andoved to erected it on the monument. it's an hour and a half from notre dame, so if you are in paris, you have no excuse not to go down and see it. it's beautiful, and it is serene. we have given it to the nearby town, and it is four miles from the great cemetery. we gave macarthur his memorial. [applause] >> you are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend. follow us on twitter @cs panhistory for information on our schedule and for keeping up on the latest history news. >> you are watching american history tv.