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Manly And Walker

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From the Grand Rapids Democrat. Grand Rapids is proud of the Michigan Soldiers' Home. Under the administraron of the new commandant, Capt. C. H. Manly, the home is conducted on business principies. Capt. Manly is a thorough-going business man as well as a brave soldier, and upon hisincoming he introduced a system of management which is vigorous and economical. The new commandant has shown no disposition to do away with the old simply to make room for the new, but on the contrary has clung to and utilized the good rules in force and only added to them where in his judgment the administration of affairs could be rendered more perfect andfar reaching. The new administration, to use the commandanf's own words, will be nrm and only as severe as neecl be, but clement and tempered at all times with kindness and gentleness toward the old men. The inmates were led to admire the new onearmed commandant at first sight for his courteous and soldierly bearing. The experience of two weeks has taught every man in the Home to respect him. The new rules, many of them, have been enforced with a vigor unknown in the history of the institution, but the men who have been called upon through infraction of rules otherwise to feel the weight of the iron hand which is over them, are now the most loyal to the new commandant. The home and its surroundings are the pride of this city and state. When the spring has blossomed into the summer, the promises now seen of beauty of landscape and foliage yet to be, will be realized in a picture of remarkable power and beauty. Capt. Manly is hard at work laying out the grounds and beautifying the lawns and drives, the work going on under his immediate supervisión. He is hampered by the meagre appropriation made for the purpose - #4,000 - but by saving the expense of a professional irtist, doing that work himself, he :xpects to make a creditable showng before funds run out. "I am only an amateur landscape gardener," remarked Capt. Manly to a reporter for the Democrat yesterday, "but I have made the art something of a study in my own home in Ann Arbor, so I have my ideas here. I have as pretty a lawn at home as you can fïnd in the state, if I do say it myself," added the captain modestly. "I propose," he continued, "to level this ground in front sloping from the foot of the building to the foot and make a beautiful lawn of it. Two small fountains, onc on either side of the flagstaff, will be put in half way down. Flower beds in shapes and colors of army corp badges will be scattered about the sward to heighten the effect. I would like to have made terraces instead of a monotous slope, as they would show off the building to much better advantage, but the grade has already been made and the earth carted away, and to do so would require considerable additional expenditure. For a drive in front Maj. Long and I are perfecting what seems to us a beautiful idea. The drive will be in forra of a crescent, running from the road at either corner of the grounds to the front of the main building. The drive will be 40 feet wide with two 16-feet roads, betweenwhich will be an 8-feet stretch of grass and flower beds. We are going at work in earnest and will have our present plans completed by July 1. My intention is to expend the appropriation on lawns about the building and wait for further funds to carry out what improvements I expect to make in the woods and surrounding the grounds." Capt. Manly, of Ann Arbor, the new commandant, is one of the héroes of the war of whom the state is -proud. He carries an empty sleeve at his left side as a constant reminder of the stormy times when he won his spurs. Personally be is a most kindly and courteous of men. Tall, erect, of commanding presence, he is the typical picture of a soldier with his empty sleeve and broad slouch hat. In him the instinct of a soldier, to obey and be obeyed, is strongly marked, and the board's choice in appointing him to his present position was a wise one. The captains family will come this week to take up their residence at the home. The new adjutant, Warren E. Walker of Ann Arbor, will also arrive in a day or two. He will take Maj. Long's position at once, the major remaining until the expiration of his term, June 30, to initiate the new-comer into the intricacies of the clerical work of the institution. Walker, who fought with Company D, Fourth regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, has a war record to which all his friends point with pride. He was by the side of the gallentCol. Jeffries when the latter feil from a bayonet thrust while in defense of the old flag. Capt. Manly has some ideas of ms own in regard to the administration of the home. He is slow to , make changes, and up to date has issued only two orders, but both of these orders have been radical steps towafd better management. Capt. Manly himself sets the example for punctuality and soldierly bearing. The commandant puts in a busy day six times a week, but on the seventh day the curtains are drawn in his office and the dust allowed to accumulate. No work is done. Week days Capt. Manly is busy in his office from 7 to 10 and from 1 to 2 o'clock in disposing of routine business. After 2 o'clock until tea time, he is to be seen about the grounds directing the improvements in progress. Order No. 1 was for a weekly inspection to be made throughout the institution from cellar tö garret every Sunday morning. The commandant, accompanied by his staff, takes from 7:30 till noon to visit every room and inspect every department. The first i,nspection was not satisfactory, but at the second inspection, last Sunday, the men were found in their rooms with everything in apple-pie order. The new rule works well. It also took a second application to have rule No. 2 enforced. This rule requires every inmate not otherwise employed to attend the funerals of their com1 rades. April 14 was the first funeral under the new regime and 190 veterans attended. At supper time Capt. Manly addressed the vets on the subject, and 310 were present at the second funeral on the following day. The inmates are finding out that the new commandant makes rules to be obeyed and that he requires punctilious observajice. No order given an inmate has yet been disobcyed. "Oi)e thing I have decided to put down," said Capt. Manly, "and that is the use of intoxicating liquors by the inmates in this institution. I have told them that this rule will be rigidly enforced. Of course, I can only deal with offenders when I find bottles on their persons or in their rooms. I have made the penalty explicit and it is thoroughly understood. For the first offense the inmate will be publicly reprimanded; for the second offense suspended for, three rnonths, and for third offense expelled from the home. The men understand that when they are expelled that their expulsión is final. When a man is sent away he will not be allowed to return under any circumstances while I tremain here. "I have deckled," continued Commander Manly, "to dispense with tlie old-time luxury of two tables for the officers of the home, one for the commandant and one for the adjutant. While I am here all the officers shall sit at one table. We will have the same food as the inmates, which is good enough for any one. The fare here is as good as any hotel in the world as far as it goes. The bilí of fare isplain. The meats are the best in the market, better than you will find on the table of any workingman in the state. It is all well cooked with puddings, good coffee and other relishes, and we have pie and cake on Sunday. If I want lettuce or other hot house luxuries out of season on my table I will pay for them myself out of my own pocket and not look to the state hereafter to do so. We have good goods and buy closely and economically. The report of the board for the quarter ending March 31 shows that the cost was 5 8-10 cents per meal. This expense considering the fare, which any citizen of the state or outside of the state, can drop in and sample at any time, speaks eloquently and finally for itself." "We now have 465 veterans in the t home. The number is falling off, , asmany are goingaway on furloughs. ( The number varies from 700 in the winter to 400 in the summer. We , have now on the rolls present and absent 698 names. The highest nmmber in the history of the home, I think, was 7Ó6. I think it will never run beyond that figure, but in a few years will gradually decrease. We have several men of the same name and we designate them in a manner which often appears ludicrous to visitors. We have three Wm. H. Allen 's, three George W. Smith's, etc. AVe cali thefirstWm. H. Allen who entered the home 'Wm. H. Allen, First,' the second one 'Wm. H. Allen Second,' and so on. The men are uscd to it and will only respond to their own special cognomen."