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CAMP GEORGE H. THOMAS, Chickamauga Park, Saturday, June 18, 189S. - Pour weeks have passed since the "Boys in Blue" of the Thirty-first Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, through which the flower of Ann Arbor's citizen and student soldiers is scattered, ieft their cool abode on the cool and shady banks of Island Lake for a new and strange camping ground, beneath a humid Southern sun on the b.inks of the famous Chickamauga. Ieft Michigan a half-drilled, haifequipped lot of recruits, compara.tively wel) disciplined as discipline went at Island Lake, but awfully lacking in many respects the training of good solriiers. One month of rigid army discipline and drilling such as only a regular army man like Col. Gardener could have administered, has, in great measire, changed all this. It is true that even yet the Thirty-first are not fully equipped, that canvas suite are yel to be issued, and that issues of duplicates has scarcely 'been attempted, save in ihe case of underclóthing. It is also true that they have not yet received that n;ost neoessary article of warfare oí al) - a soldïer's gun, but this fact may prove a blessing in disguise. Had they been furnished with guns f rom the beginning, so much attention would have been paid to the "manual of arms," as the movements are called, that not nearly their present efficiency m the foot movements cou'.d have been ai.tained. The foot and field 'movements axe by far the more difficult of the two, and with constant practico three times a day since arriving at Camp Thomas the Thirty-fiist Regiment is prepared to make an imposing appearance. When they receive guns, and it is sai?. that day is not far distant, it will only be the work of a week or two of practice in handling arms when they will be both an efficiënt and well drilled regiment of volunteers. If both movements had been attempted on the start they probably would not 1 ave been competent in either until the nd of another month at least. It is within possibility that rifles, bayone.ts and belts wiil be issued before the end of this week. Seven thousand new Krag-Jorgensen rifles arrived at the park yesterday. and, as the Michigan requisiüon for this gun was among the flrst to be handed in at army headquarters, it seems quite evident that the boys will reasonable. Yesterday the story was shoulder the modern rifle. Much, however, will depend upon whether the Thlrty-flrst is to go with the fïrst expedition to Porto Rico. 'Tis said we would have been issued arms sooner had not all the late shipments ox ordnance supplies been drverteci to Tampa and San Francisco to equtp the invading armies. The boys are'aehing for a change of scène and a chance to actively particípate in the war. The old Chickamauga battlefleld, with its grinning cannon and maible slaibs, its gory field and grape-scarred log houses, the invulnerable hills and murky river - lundmarks of a former time - are all familiar to the men and they long for new regions to exülore. The only redeemine feature of the wait at Camp Thomas is the hope that they may remain long enough after pay day so tnat every man can pa,y homage to a good restaurant at Chattanooga and visit Lookout mountain. Wlth this hope, however, rumor playa all kinds of havoc, and il is remarkable how short a time it takes for the most unfounded story to gain credence in camp. This story, in turn, is swept away the next day by another, vrhk-h appears, for the time being, more afloat that we were to go to Washington to guard the National Capicol. It came about in this wise. Last Saturday the Thirty-first was inspected by U. S. A. Inspector Major Davis, of the First Regular Artillery, and he is said to have made the remark that our regiment rcade the best appearanee of any volunteer regiment he had examined, and that the war department was crjking for such a regiment for guard purposes at Washington. A great deal of discussion on the part of the men was the Army offlcers will neither affirm or deny such rumors, and they generally die out in the same spasmotic manner in which .they are ushered into existence. The feeling seems to be better fouTided that we are to form a part of the flrst expedition to Porto Rico. It has rained every day for the past week, and 'tis said by old inhs-bitants that we are iaving to taste of the rainy season, which sometimes visits Georgia at this time of year. To whatever extent the rain may interfere with drills, and upset the plans of the cooks, the prevailing moisture has proved a most welcome visitor. It has laid the dust, cooled Che temperature, ana caused the leaves and grass to once more sparkle in the sunshine. It rained hardest on Sunday afternoon, and for á time it seemed that everything would be washed away. The drainage ditch at the back of our camp assuraed alarrning proportions, and the "Buzzacot" ovens of some of the companies up the line floated away Hke Sampson's monitors. The boys are indebted to Col. Gardener for the fact that their quarters remained dry. When we flrst pitched camp he eommanded that a large ditch be dug back of the row of tents and eaves ditches be dug from the sides of each tent to the big ditch.Thus all the water was carried off, and the boys quite enjoyed the rain. The fact that the Thirty-flrst regiment is without a peer in camp at Chickamauga, as regaros appearance equipments, -discipline and sanitary conditions of the camp, reflects great credit upon Col. Gardener, who has been largely instrumental in bringing about this condition of affairs. 1though he is a strict disciplinarían and promises harsh treatment in case one of the boys offends against the Arttoles of War, yet he is a genaral favorite among the officers and enlisted men, and all would like to see him permanently raised to the position of brigadiergeneral. His long experience as a regular army officer renders him particularly efficiënt as a comtnander, and all his men recognize that he has their interests and welfare at heart. The general health of the boys continúes at the fbest. The cases at the hospital are few and unimporiant. One man, suftering from fever, is rapidly improving. About half of the boys vho were vaccinated have been parading sore arms; the other half will havo to be vaccinated over again. The vaccinations, while quite palnful for a few düys, only incapacitated one or two of the men of Company A from attending drill regularly. Cons44erable trouble has arisen over the transfer oL t..tí -i hospita] ision .ii-.u!in..a;5, tnere te iunn i División huápiLix. corps. 'J He tran.-ier of .vldjur Biuaie was promptly followed by the cransier oí jJr. Coiby, Hospital ards l'aniiur and Freeiond, and nine coi-p.s men, of w-hom W. .1!. Richmand, is trom uompany A. These promptly enteren a protest against t-elng transferred from their Company and regiment to the regular army iuspital Corps. The men say they voluuteered to go on the regimental for tne experience chat they would (ierive in caring for their sicK comrades, and that they do not propose to Joln a large Corps, wttere part of iheir work wili be to talce care of mules, dig trenches, and engage in other rn labor. Accordingly, they all enïared a protest and made application to remain with their regiment. Colonel i.lsU'Jener, in hearty sympathy with t:ie boys, endorsed their application, but it was returned from Corps, heaaquarters, mai lied "disapproved," on the grouuds that the volunteer army and State mihtla when called into the services of the United States are subject to the orders ana regulations governing the regular army, and that the hospital corps of the United States Army shall eonsist of hospital stewards and privates frorn the garrison, camps, or field, and that auch corps shall be permanently ai ed to the medical department. ThereUDon. Col. Gardener respectfully ed the documenta to the corps commander with the request that the following facts be taken into consideration, and that the respectful applieations of the men to be returned to tneir regiment, be given further uUention. He pointed out that while special orders on the subject spoke of men as -privates of the hospital corps, in this case they were really not such, but privates of companies of the regi-ment, some of whom had nat even been detailed at hospital attendants. He said that there was no recognized organizaron by that name under the laws Of the state of Michigan, nor had these men ever been carried on any muster roll or return as belonging to a hospital corps, but were simply in attendance upon the sick in his regimental hospital. They enlisted in good faith as volunteers and it was not understood by them that they could be transferred to the regular establishment without their consent. The hospital corps waá not organized under the act creating the volunteer forces, and henee is not a volunteer organization. He said that if the order transferring these men against their will from t'he volunteer army into the regular establishment is a legal one, the fact that this can be done should be stated to men before they enlist, which was not the case in the Thirty-first regiment. In conclusión, he requested that the matter be referred to the adjutantgeneral of the United States army for consideration. Col. Gardener and the other offlcei-s do not object to the establishment of the división hospital, if a división hospital is needed, but they do object to the breaking up of the Michigan hospital, which is regarded as the best equipped and furnished army hospital in the park. The governor of Michigan and several outside friends have contributed extensively to the maintenance of the establishment, and it would not be just to neglect our regiment even to share our medicine with regiments who are ill supplied. Sick men are always better off among their friends, and Col. Gardener does not eonsider any ether hospital neeessary. It as at least hoped that the men who are detached will not be left behind when we leave here. Captain Granger was today in receipt of the following, letter, together with a check for $35, which explains itself: "Aan Arbor, June 16, 1898. Our Dear Captain Granger- The ladies of Ann Arbor, assisted by the Woman's Auxiliary of the Y. M. C. A., are very desirous of sending a box to the boys of Co. A, but after inquiry thought best to .send money, to be used at discretion. Please use it sp that it will do them the most good. They have requested us to purchase pickles, so be suxe and get some for them. We would also suggest lime juice, Jamaica ging-?r and summer sausage, or anythirig that will be best for them to have. Our interest in your eompany grows every day, and must increase as long as the war lasts. Most respectlully yours, Adolia A. Howlett, A'Ace B. Gillette." The wisdom of sending mcney insteacl of cakes and luxuries carnot be too highly commended. Cakes and cookies are very appetizir.g, but in this climate and after living-, as the boys have been, upon the plainest food, they are a fruitful source of woe to the man who receives a "box" from ho-ne. In fact, most of the cases of dysentery and stomach trouble that now prevalí in camp have been brought about in this way by the gifts of well-intentioned frienda. CRUMBS OF HARDTACK. Post Quartermaster Huntoon is busy issuing shelter tents to the boys today. The second consignment of shoes for Company A, consisting of 81 pairs, arrived today, and will be boxed for future use. Company F, Mason, boasts of a giant. He is 5 feet &■ niches in hls stocking feet, tips the scales at 200, and the biggest things about him are his feet. Brown canvas suits are 'being received daily, and it is hoped our company will be fltted out by Monday. All non-eommissioned officers are being instrucited on guard duty and the movement of troops in campaigning. Captain Granger, Lieut. Pack and Sergt. Cooper have at different times carried on. the instruction. Private Henry Danforth, of Company I, has been transferred to Company A. He is an Ann Arbor bey and is glad to get back among his friends. All volunteers are paid by the United States from the date of enrollment, which, with Company A, was April 26. All offlcers are paid from date of ter, on May s. Private Ernest Hinz, of Company C, a former member of Ccmptny A, who failed to return to Island Lake while in Ann Arbor on leave, in time to muster with nis company, ha's now been transferred. Company A reeently gained two men and lost one by transfer. We now have 80 enlisted men, and must have 24 more to make up the full complement. The flrst sergeant and clerk of Company A have just received iheir field writing desk. It is a unique little affair, consisting of three drawers, nine pigeon holes, eight ledges for books and a writing table, the whole folding together in such a way as to form a small chest. Throug'h the kindness of Prof. F. W. Kelsey, the Woman's League of Ann Arbor has sent 24 handsome housewives for the University of Michigan students and graduates. The boys hlghly appreciate the little souvenirs. By the kindly efforts of Mrs. V. C. Vaughan, the "Circulating Library of Company A" has been increased by 100 volumes of magazines and story books. Our library is now half as large as the regimental library, a fact of which we are very proud. A regiment of Georgia "crackers" has become a part of the First brigade, and are now our neighbors on the west. They were met by men of the other regiments of the brigade with coffee, water and food, and were accorded a hearty reception. The omcers were invlted to become the guests at dinner of corresponding officers of the Michigan regiment. , After 'i hours" guard and 12 hours' fatigue duty, the boys are allo wed 12 li.iius to vislt Lookout mountain. Among the men w5io nave availed themselves of tni.s privilege during th v aie Sergt. Petrie, Setgt. Wilson, iral Tice, Corporal Walz, and Privates Bach, James Tice, Sheidon i ger, Trojanowski, Stocking and Ed ards. Lieut. Pack made a business trip to Chattanooga yesterday, and, incidentally, scaled the mountain. Gus Hmlt is weeping over the fact that one vandal has stolen al! the buttons off his overcoat. It seems that some of the boys who visit Chattan impose upon their comrades in order to please the fair Southern üamsels. A mock court, held in the Summer house, is the latest. Yesterday Trojanowski was arresteö by the 1-oys on ths charge of embezzling ancient eggs and as3aultlng Mr. Hurrey with the m. He pleaded "not gullty." C. F. Juttner oonducted the defence, attemptmg to show that a civil and criminal action could not be maintained at the same time n the same court. Dodsley and Stocking carried on the proseeutlon, W. H. Alurray presided as judge. At the end of two hours' heated argument and -examination, the case was brough: ■ lose, his honor charging the jury, and the six men. erood and Irue, turred a verdict of "giiilty." Trojanowski was sentenced to live tvvo weeks on hard tack and bacon, and to trcat the erowd to lemonade. He has petitioned for another haaring, howevei , and there is a prospect that the mock rt will be carried merrily along. Burkhardt says that we have a horse in camp that can talk. When the groom was currylng its tai'., it opened its in urn and said, "Remember the ne." Lombard says the reason why he does not disrobe at night is because it 1; much troiïble to put his clothes on again in the morning. He is rapidly acquiring the proper spirit of a soldier. FRANK A. WAGNER.


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Ann Arbor Democrat