Press enter after choosing selection

Welcoming The Volunteers

Welcoming The Volunteers image
Parent Issue
Day
8
Month
September
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

- - - - - - - - - h - v ■ v p ■ ■ ■ g ■ i ■ ■ Home coming volunteers from the Philippines have been arriving in large nuiiers at San Francisco during the pasl six weeks. A few are still in the far cast, waiting for transports or figliting fever in the hospitals, but the greater part of the survivors of the big army of eitizen soldiers which crossed the ocean last wiuter have eome home. The people of San Francisco have greeted eaeh returning regiment with a hearty welcome, but of course the warmest and most euthusiastic reception was reserved for the California soldiers, who wcre the last to leave for home. The plan adopted by the war department in regard to mustering out these returning soldiers has been for each regiment to go into camp on the Presidio grounds until the discharges and other papers could be made out. This has not only facilitated matters, but has given the volunteers a chance to recover from the efïects of their long sea voyage. Whtle the ocean trip has been on the whole a beneficial one to the war worn soldiers, tired out after months of hard earupaigning, the conflnement on a erowded transport is bound to be more or less irksoine. Yot it is estimated that the Nebraska regiment weighed 10.000 pounds more when it marched down the gangplank at San Francisco than when the boys went aboard at Manila. The Presidio camp is an ideal one for the purpose. It has been established so long that all the little eönveniences which go to make tent living comfortable have beeome fixtures. The tents. instead of being pitched on the naked ground, . are all f urnished with neat board floors. The company streets are well laid out and each f urnished with a good supply of water. Some of the regiments have gone back to the same spots which they oecupied last year, when they were composed of raw militia. Kow they are vetei-an regiments, each one of them having earned its share of glory in the far east. After two or three weeks' rest at the Presidio the volunteers are ready to go back to their homes, where they receive flnal ovations and then gradually drop back into the prosaic ways of the eivilian. The arrangements made for the return of the Pennsylvanians show to what an extent the interest of the citizens of the Keystone State have been aroused. When the regiment landed from the transport, it was met by a large delegation of home people who had come clear across the continent to welcome the héroes back to their native land. At the camp many thing3 were done for thelr comfort, and I I I I I I I I I I I I I i 1 I I I I i 1 1 I I I V j : cial trains made up of sleepers were ! recently pnt at the disposal of Lieu! tenaut Colonel Barrett so tliat his men j might make the long overland journey ■ iu comfort. Being the only eastern volunteer regiment that has seen service in the Philippines, the Teuth Pennsylvania seems to have earned for itself the sympathy and interest of the whole country east of the Mississippi. lts progress across the country has been a series of ovations. The Nebraska boys were also greeted at San Francisco by a big Nebraska delegation, whieh included Governor Poynter and other prominent officials. Their reception was a type of the manner in which the other volunteers have been received and is worth describing. As the parading column swung into Market street, San Francisco's principal thoroughfare, it was in three distinct parts, quite noticeable because of the difference in the uniforms of the men. First carne a rollicking band and a body of smartly dressed and hearty looking men all in army blue. They were the Third artillery regulars from the Presidio, detailed by Major General Shafter as the government escort to the batüe scarred volunteers. People who did not know scanned their ruddy faces and remarked: "Well, they do not look so badly used up." But in a mement they realized their mistake when there carne swingiug along company after company of slim, lithe young fellows, with thin, tanned eheeks, weather worn campaign hats, faded khaki trousers and leggings, old blue flannel shirts and carrying dingy Springfield rifles and rolls of much used blankets over their coatless shoulders, while battered haversacks and canteens hung about their loins. The contrast between the home barracks regular and the flring line volunteer from foreign fields was too great not to be appreciated even by a stranger to military appearances. These gaunt, smiling fellows were the famous Nebraskans. Behind them trooped the Utah gunners, who themselves have a proud record of 24 engagements, with markable freedom from injuries. Gunless and without blankets, they looked the part of the light artlllery that handled field rifles and manned rapid fire small batteries on the river gunboats. Their khaki of peculiar tan and the two little ragged remnants of red guidons fluttering above them told plainly that they were just from Luzon and not from comfortable quarters and good meals at the Presidio. Just behind them clattered the rest of the artillery escort, 12 six horse teams of glistening blacks with fiery red blankets, rough riding drivers and field rifles and gun caissons, each with its erect and neatly uniformed men in blue perched back to back on the springless seats. Finally rode a blue suited troop of tbe Sixth regular cavalry from the Presidio, mounted on bays. The real fighters could not be mistaken. Young Colonel Mulford, who went away a major, rode at their head, and close behind came the regimental band, playing with a spirit of genuine gladness that awakened a sympathetic something in every hearer. At the head of the Utah artillery rode Major Grant, who has already been asked to take the Republican nomination for mayor of fcalt Lake City. His cocuinanding figure and bearded face attracted instant attention. Similar scènes to this are reproduced on a sma'ller scale when the regiments are brokeri up into cotnpanies. Each city and town prepares a special reception to the company which it sent to make up the regiment. So that in at least four states there are folks who just now think more of thin faced fellows in worn khaki uniforms tban of the common affairs of life- those affairs which are of importance to broad earners, but which do not stir the heart at all.