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About The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922 | View Entire Issue (May 4, 1917)
THE 8EMLWEEKLY TRIBUNE, NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA.
jkjs(? 'Grcai Drive - a
How one section of
the German line was
taken by tie French
m a recent advance
on the western front
T IS lute In tin nftirnouu, a ui,ipuru
tlvo calm Ih over the sector, so Unit a
dull booming of cnnnonudlng fur over
on the left can lie heard. Through
the Rector among the thousnnds of
soldiers Ih a note of expectancy.
They are quieter than usual.
Suddenly from near the vlllugo In
the rear come several sharp reports
In quick succession from a battery.
There uro several answering booms
farther away ; Immediately more reportH nearer ut
hand, and Instantly It Is followed by n crash and
tear of sound. The llrst Impression Is that the
town Is being blown up In a bomhnrdmcnt. Few
liavo over heard anything llico It. The soldiers look
nt each other.
"It Is the nttack beginning," they say, Later
they get their orders.
lu a smaller town nearer the trenches, whero
there Is oven more artillery, the iioIho Is still great
er. IJy tbo sound thero seems to be a gun to
every few square foot, one thinks when thinking Is
possible. Tho scream of tbo shells passing over
from batteries In the rear Is drowned In this din.
It In nn Inferno of ear-splitting noise.
In tho trenches tho few soldiers cower In tbo
dugouts. Heaps of debris fall about them. To
them tho nolso of tho guns lu the rear Is drowned
lu tho crash of hundreds of shells bursting in tho
Germans' trenches before them and tho shrieks of
tho shells us they tear nhovo them In the air faster
than sound In such numbers that the notsu Is In
describable. Where tbo enemy's trenches nro Is now
i continuous mnso of spouting dirt that shuta out
everything. The whole German lino hero Is be
ing beaten to pieces.
t Few of tho soldiers have ever experienced any
thing llko tills. Tho trenches of the Germans aro
Ibut 100 feet away. Now and then a shell falling
ishort of Its range comes near tbo French trenches
lor tears Into them, but with the Innumerable shells
innw tearing about It cannot bo helped,
i The Gerimtiis, taken by surprise, do not reply
until soma time Inter. They open up their own
lartlllery little by little. Their guns, is seems, are
jnlmed at Uio batteries of tbo French they know,
ifor few of the shells' fall about the trenchen. Hut
Jit Is nothing td tho madness of the ilro they aro
Somo of tho French guns are aimed at tho Ger
liiutn batteries and an artillery duel is on. Tho Ger
linan guns nro outnumbered. Other French guns
iuro tiring on tho roads of tho enemy to prevent
Itroopa and supplies from being hastened up.
And now In tho rear of tho French lines no
body seems to know where they aro coming from,
where they have been concealed all this time still
other guns of nil sizes aro being rushed up. They
itear through tbo aiuatcd villages drawn by wild
Istccds muddened by tho drivers. Efforts of spies
luro now In vain.
Tho lino boarlng assorted equipment lias ceased
In a measure. Instead aro tho guns and the heavy,
skidding caissons bearing ammunition. Darkness
falls nhd tho whole countryside is covered with
Hashes. It 1b Impossible to distinguish sound from
sound, but tbo Hashes dart out from everywhere
like summer lightning. More guns aro being
.rushed up, an Increased number of ammunition
'wagons', and troops countless numbers.
The terrific cannonading continues all night.
(Soldiers, who uro able, sleep In dozes. Morning
ibreaks. Tho soldiers nearer the front begin to
inarch up. As soldiers enter tbo rear towns those
who were there, equipment ready and waiting, go
As tho men march they frequently turn off Into
the fields along tho road to avoid tho guns and
wagons thundering by. As far ns ono can seo tho
whole road, ahead and behind, Is n compact mass
of troops marching up.
Thu Germans nro now Bholllng tho roads at
inany placeB. At llrst tho shells fall among them.
Thero aro the usual scones of tho dead, torn tip In
ovury manner, wlillo tho chnpinln-prlesta, facing
tho almost curtain death of tholr lot, tiro seen
through little clearings In tho thick clouds of chok
ing sinoko rushing about, somo themselves wound
ed, helping those asking for aid.
At these points the soldiers following turn oft
from the road, take to the fields or other roads
until they nro past. IJy this means tho Germans,
knowing what Is coming, are making desperate
efforts to stop the onrush of troops by shelling the
roads. The gigantic shotgun chnrges of their
shrapnel break ovtjr the heads of the soldiers,
while many are torn to hits by the concussion
shells crashing Into the road among them. The
soldiers then take roundabout courses. Most of
them nre getting through.
Fast the last town, where the road terminates
because It has been blown Into nothing, It soon be
comes Impossible for the soldiers to inurch nlong In
masses. They scatter over the ground on their wny
onward. The tcrrlllc bombardment of their own
side continues without letup. Also German shells
fall over nil tho land here and It Is a question of
which of tbo soldiers will get through. From be
hind como such numbers of troops that thero seems
to he no end to them.
With a legion ahead and nn endless number be
hind, we enter tho ditch nnd continue our way,
now In single llle, for there Is not enough room for
two to walk abreast. As we proceed tho trenches
get deeper nnd deeper and soon our heads aro below
the surfaco of tho ground.
Casualties aro lessened now. Shells continue to
hurst about, even In greater numbers than In tho
lnnd we have left. Hut tho most of tho shells tear
up columns of enrth nbout, but above us.
Uccuusc tho ditches wo are traveling In nre so nnr
row few shells explodo there and now for tho most
part the men aro caught only by tho debris, that In
Rome plnces partly buries them.
Thero seems to bo no end to the trenches that
branch off, continue to separate until they enter a
region of trench network. Tho detachment I am
with receives orders which of the boyaux (tho com
munication trenches) to take us we proceed. Now
wo movo forward slowly, frequently crouch under
tho fall of the dirt, stones and things and cringe
ugalnst tho all-penetratlug tear, tho mighty explo
sions of the shells near us and thu shrieks of others
As wo approach tho first lino tho confusion of
nolso of the batteries pounding away behind lessens
In sharpness, takes on more of n roar, n regular
working as though of some gigantic machine, grows
loss harsh and a new confusion In front begins to
grip the senses.
Ono sees nothing except occasionally when ho
opens his eyes for n brief period to seo tho direc
tion, tho geysers of spouting ground nbout them
nnd out above In front. Eyes closed nnd head low
ered, ho feels his way, tho same as tho man before
him and the ono behind him.
Suddenly one bumps Into tho mnn In front and
conies to a stop. As soon ns ono is nblo he opens
his oyes and sees everyone In front has como to n
halt. They are near thu llrst Hue, tho mnn In front
shouts. Soldiers thickly crowd the trench In front
us far as hu can sec.
Other soldiers, still coming tip, nlso como to n
halt, soon tilling up the trench In behind. . Onu feels
himself to be part of it tightly Jammed mass of
men cowering thero In thu trenches under tho
spouting of tho land about them, debris falling over
all. They aro standing by tholr rltles, llxlug on
them their bayonets, all currying Utelr full equip
There Is a strange primness among thoso stand
lug there. No onu In the crowded mass of men
tries to speak. Tho din seems more than a human
being Is able to stand. Ono fuels like Jumping nvor
the trenches nnd, rugardlofes of anything, rushing
blindly on. Anything but tho strain or this, hu
thinks, action and more action. lie nevor before
thought he could be capable of so much action.
What is coming, let It happen quickly, he thinks.
Ilend lowered and oyes closed, one's thoughts
pierce tho musses of flying things that look llko
clouds out thero In front, picturing a scene ns ho
last knew It his home, his town and tho people
hu had grown up with, away off on tho other sldu
of that. Uu wondered what has become of them
nnd he wonders whether ho will evr know.
SHU they wait, minute aftor minute, while tn
one's bewildered senses It seems as though many
hours uro passing. No wounded lure being passed
nlong on tholr wtiy buck. Tho younger men aro
wondering why. Thoy nro probably being taken
back In nnother trench ruscrved for them and for
Thuti suddouly, possibly within tho space of only
a fow seconds, thoro seems to bo sudden qulut. It
Is tho llrst cossatlon lu a bombardment of their
guns that has lasted almost "0 hours. It Is a com
parative quiet, a tranquil period to the confused
senses of tho beings thero; at other times somo
might cull it n terrific rucket. For Just now they
do not hear the shells of tho Germans crashing
above them. It Is thus for only n brief period.
As suddenly grows n new confusion In front. At
first It sounds llko n murmur, a bnbblc of mnny
voices. They turn out to bo shrieks. The order
bus been given to jump out nnd ndvnncc. They
come from men delirious In n frantic haste to rush
on after tho strain of It.
As tho men In front Jump out nnd rush nlong
In advance, titles hold almost nt nrm's length, with
tho bayonets In tbo dim smoke clouds sticking out
In front, the other crowds back in tho trenches rush
out to fill their places and In turn Jump out nnd
rush on. It Is all done as quickly as possible ; there
Is no times lost and hnrdly a motion.
And wlillo tho mass of frenzied men rush on to
ward the trenches of tho Germans, falling- by
scores, whole groups of them turn this way and
that as the Germans concentrate their fire among
them, others keep filling in from the rear. There Is
no end to their number, apparently. Tho entire
rear Is now packed with men nnd more men, while
behind them are still more men men without num
ber. "There will be a slgnnl when you get out there,"
we uro told. "It Is nn order to fall on your faces.
Fall on them ! No time to lose."
The men who first leaped out and started to rush
nlong fell In another wny long ago It was but
several seconds or so nnd the ranks behind them
In turn dissolved. Still others enme on nnd now
tho first of the ndvanclng mass aro at the first
trenches of the Germans.
Comes tho signal. Suddenly in the frenzy men
cease to leap from tho trenches, while the advanc
ing rnnks rushing blindly on fall Hat. Almost at
the same Instant, possibly a couple of seconds later,
to the men lying thero comes u nolso thnt Is even
greater than the crash of a fow minutes before.
Hut It is hnrdly perceptible, for the senses, work
ing at capacity, cannot grasp It all.
It Is tho French guns opening up ugaln. They
nre tearing out a way for the Infantry, tcnrlng
away what humanity Is left In the second nnd third
line trenches. Even during tho previous hours of
bombardment the Germans tried to keep thoso in
somo sctnblnnce of holes. Thero cannot be many
beings left In them, but re-enforcements probubly
nro coming up,
A fow seconds later the gunfire of tho French
again ceases as though by magic. Immediately the
soldiers Jump to their feet nnd again rush on
They pass over tho llrst line of German trenches,
reach tho second line and on to the third line.
Another signal, a loud shouting and they again
fall down. Tho guns open up ugaln
This tlmo the guns pound away on German
works farther in the renr. They stop again nnd
tho troops dnsh on. Every mnn knows his place In
tho drive nnd every body of men. When one mnn
falls another Is thero to do what ha was doing.
The soldiers feel tho success of it by this tluiu.
They nro instilled with enthuslusm, tho wild joy ot
victory. Shells fnll among the advancing hordes,
but In the wild din Just passed those who escape
hardly know It.
Now thero uro fewer guns firing on the German
side. Others of the French artillery, when not fir
ing nt places ahead of tho advancing soldiers,
quickly change their runge to the batteries,
The French have now pussed thu first four lines
of regulnr trenches and nro running ovur the not
work of connecting trenches. Masses of Germans
aro In these. Terrified by what they have been
through, fow show resistance. It Is usuloss. The
French soldiers continue to advance, charging
when roslstnnce Is offered, delirious with the wine
of u successful drive. They do the feats of super-
beings and nre unnwuro of It
Hours later, after It has ceased and tho lines are
ngiiln deadlocked, soldiers In tho towns of the old
sector gather In groups around tho bullotiu boards
whero is posted the brief olllclal communique.
The soldiers standing around reading are new
troops. They nre on their way to tho trenches.
Ambulances still rush up from the reur and back
again, catching up with tho work.
The tnnssos of prisoners nre nlreudy on their way
southward. Included In the number taken was a
dotiuiiiuent, n crowd of 70 men who wore all that
remained of several hundred Gurinun soldUirs.
Thoy wero cnught In a trench nnd unable to es
cape during the terrlblo bomlmrdinont, explain tho
fow ablo to think coherently. Retreat had boon cut
off by shells falling behind them,
New Legislative Measures
Tho following Important moaauroB aro among tho big things dono
at tho legislative session just onded:
Prohibition legislation, apparently suiting all concerned.
People glvon right to say whether thoy want a constitutional con
vention to mako over organic law.
. Partial woman suffrage women to voto on prostdont, county
oftlcors (savo Judge), and on municipal officers.
City managership system, optional, for cltios of from 1,000 to 100,
Acceptance of federal aid for good roads, and enactment of legis
lation tending to glvo highways movement its most potont boost.
Four-year terms for county officers (savo county Judge), thus
assuring of shorter ballots.
Prosldontlal electors' names stricken from ballots, also a step
toward shortening ballot. t '
Nonpartisan election of stnto superintendent, county superintend
ents nnd rogonts of tho state uulvorslty, following up nonpartisanshlp
in judicial affairs.
Reorganization of stnto board of health, putting this on a parity
with any stato department in the country, and aiding public health
movomont In most offectlvo mannor.
Legislation enabling financially embarrassod persons to pay debts
Gradually Into court a poor man's bankruptcy.
State hall Insurance system, optional for farm localities.
Means to allevlato railroad car shortages, by providing for fair
distribution of cars.
Publicity appropriation and statute giving tho stato tho means of
tolling of its resources to tho world.
Omaha wator district given right to mako nnd sell Ice.
City of Omaha given moans to condemn and acquire public utili
ties undor plan fair to corporations and safo so far as peoplo are con
corned. Needed irrigation legislation tending to help Irrigators and make
more stable districts' financial operations.
Laws to encourage lnterurban railway building, thus bringing
closer the lntonsivo development of tracts of land in moro populous
sections of stnto.
Laws to encourago building of railroad branch lines In less popu
lous sections of state, thus tending to build up tho remote portions of
Extensive amendments to workmen's compensation nnd employers'
liability law, these going farther toward holplng tho working men and
establishing a closer relationship between capital and labor.
Validation of snlo of sallno lands, thus securing hundreds of small
homo owners against attack of tholr rights.
Double election board legislation, providing means for facilitating
count of ballots.
Legislation and appropriations for uso of national guard to meet
emergencies of present war, also recognition for men who sorved on
Rural and small town school legislation, aimed to mako school
work moro extensive and more effoctlve, and tearing down tho barrier
of too tight money bags in smaller districts.
Provision for acceptance of federal aid In vocational school train
ing. Grant of additional powers to board of commissioners of stato
Institutions, and liberal appropriations fc care and housing of stato
Liberality shown toward state normal schools, state university and
Omaha Medical college.
Free uso of telephones for local service or long distance denied to
Consolidation of more state departments, and numerous minor
changes In stato departmental laws, tending to moro stato government
LATE NEWS FROM CAPITOL
Items of General Interest Gathered
from Reliable Sources Around the
Western Newspaper Union News Service.
George E. Hall, state treasurer, has
given out tho following statement:
"I want to deny a story which Is
being circulated that I as stato treas
urer had made tho statement or taken
tho position that the appropriation of
$60,000 for the uso of tho governor in
enforcing tho provision of tho prohlbl-
Uon law as passed by this legislature
in H. R. 793, was not a valid ono and
would not be allowed by me.
"On the contrary I have made state
ments and at all times taken the posi
tion that tho appropriation was and is
legal ono for carrying out the provis
ions of the law and is available for
tho use of tho governor as provided in
Urges Use of Old Straw.
Nebraska straw stacks, usually
burned to got them- out of tho way,
might have saved a largo portion of
the winter wheat crop. A very fow
wero saved by last summer's straw
and many farmers will hereafter profit
from the example ot their moro canny
A. E. Anderson, Held agent In Ne
braska for tho bureau of crop est!
mates of the department of agrlcul-
turc, said recently that In every case
ho had observed whore straw waB
spread thickly over the fields a fino
stand of wheat resulted this spring,
That it was the straw and nothing else
which saved tho crop Is Indicated by
the fact that floldB nearby, unstrawed,
wore perfectly bare.
"It 1b a crime to burn straw stacks,"
he said. "While tho fertilizer value of
straw isn't high, tho organic matter
which It leaves in tho boII 1b of im
mense value. Last winter's experience
would Indicate that It may mean the
dlfforonco between success and ruin,
when used as protection for winter
State Auditor W. H. Smith has com
pleted a statement showing thnt tho
expenses of tho stato government the
past three months aggregated $1,577,
672. This 1b unusually large, but It
Includes $109,689 for legislative ex
penses, $349,000 semi-annual school ap
portionment, and $122,000 for perma
nent improvements at state institu
tions. It includes a total of $422,703
spent for tho maintenance of state in
stitutions and improvements at insti
tutions. For food the state board spent
Tho following recapitulation of the
auditor's statement shows tho differ
ent purposes for which state funds
Salaries and wages $ 414,341.44
umer services and expenses..
Books and printing
Telegraph and telephone
Transportation, telegraph and
teiepnone (tmecn institu
tions and board)
Mileage and traveling expenses
Furniture, repairs and equip
Articles of food and clothing..
Fuel, light and power
Machinery, toots nnd supplies
Permanent improvements, new
. buildings and land 122,057.74
Aid of school districts 1,538.00
School apportionment 349.S50.41
Use In prosecutions 705.55
aiaie nia oruige Y.uva.ia
Support of national guard, ar
mory rental and emergency. 7,174.85
University departmental ex
Physical plant improvements,
normal schools 9,843.08
Single miscellaneous items... 3,644.37
Fire commission (no reports). 3,931.85
Procuring nbstracts ot land... 281.90
Next to Longest In History.
Tho one just closed waB next to
tho longest legislative session in Ne
braska's history. Whon tho gavol
fell for the last time tho 1917 session
had excoeded all others within tho
last forty-flvo years by ton days, and
will Iiryo been surpassed only by
tho 1871 sosslon, when the lnwmak
ors gathered January 6 nnd did not
adjourn until Juno 7. This record
was not ovon approached until 1913
whon tho loglslattiro convened Janu
ory 7 nnd went homo April 16.
Postpone Rural Life Conference.
Owing to tho present national emer
gency, It Is announced that tho annual
rural life confoionco, set for Juno 5 to
15, will be postponed. "Wo felt that
tho Rural Llfo conference, doalrnblo as
It Is, Is socondary to war problems
that roqnlro action," snld Prof. C. W
Pugsloy, dlroctor of tho agricultural
i I I
Of fl ...imhor vet nllvn nr .mml,,,..., ... Mansion survico, in uipiuiuinK iniS
..vi.. iWntiv. '1't.nvnr.. ' L drolslon. "Wo conclwlod that tlmo
Willi, mi f. Mnrtln. in New Ynrlf Nun wmui
- - ii,
Stato institutions, libraries..
uenei or tne unnu, xi.
Grand total $1,577,672.17
The auditor's report Includes the
following expenditures for fifteen state
institutions undor the state board of
Salaries and wages $ 99,219.47
Transportation, telegraph and
Articles of food 94,100.46
Stationery, books and paper.... 1,934.71
Fuel. Ucht and power 76.052.58
Machinery, tools and supplies.. 15.852.28
General repairs 4,840.95
Furniture and equipment 8,794.5b.
New buildings and land 21,718.97
Permanent improvements to
buildings and grounds 4.624,60
Relief of the blind 240.97
Grand total $422,703.33
Clears Title to Saline Lands
Title to 10,000 acres of saline lands
around Lincoln was cleared and quiet
ed by the passage In the Nebraska
senato by H. R. 799, Introduced by
Govornor Neville. This land Is mostly
hold by small farmors, and tho quos
tionabllty of title only arose within
tho last fow weoks. Tho land had boon
Bold by tbo state In tho 80's nnd tho
90's. Land Commissioner Shumway
raised tho question of legality, holding
to a technical Interpretation of tho
law, which forbids the Bale of sallno
lands except under certln conditions.
Tho legislature adopted without dls
sont n resolution petitioning Presi
dent WIlBon and congrosB to paBs a
law "that will prohibit tho manu
facture salo and transportation of
malt, splrltous, vinous, alcoholic and
Intoxicating liquors In the United
States during tho period of tho war."
Tho spreading of Btraw, from stacks
that ordinarily are burned, over tho
fields during tho winter resulted In
saving many crops of whoat, and tho
department ot agrlculturo urges tho
gonoral adoption ot tho Idea.
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