The news-herald. (Plattsmouth, Neb.) 1909-1911, October 07, 1909, Image 3

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

VSIilNGTOX-Lieut.-Gen. Nelson A. Miles conies
to Washington at intervals to visit Ills son, Lieut.
Sherman Miles, who is stationed t Fort Myeiv
just across the Potomac. Gen. Miles does not
show liis years. He was in the capital when
Mr. Roosevelt made his lUU-mile ride and he was
deeply Interested in the performance.
Just before Lteut.-Gen. Nelson Appleton Miles
retired from active service, ho rode a horse SO
miles In nine hours. It Is more than barely pos
sible that Gen. Miles did- this thing in order to
show that at 64 he was still lit to do something
which would have put many a younger man on
the tick report for a month. It was rather a
spectacular feat. Miles' friends ad
mit that he Is a little fond of the
spectacular. It Is n weakness, a minor weakness,
of a Btrong man and of one of the finest soldiers
that America ever produced.
There is no parallel no exact 'parallel at any
rate to the career of this Massachusetts soldier.
In 1861, when ho was 21 years old he was a clerk
In a Washington street store, l'.oston. He knew
absolutely nothing about military af
fairs save what he had learned from ta
king a few "drill lessons" from an old
French soldier named Caliguac. Miles'
father, a fairly prosperous farmer, had
given him $1,000 In cash. The boy
promptly spent It In the work of raising
a company of men whose services he In
tended to offer to the government. He
raised his company and was made Its
captain, as he should have been. Prompt
ly the governor of Massachusetts told
Miles he was too young to command a
company and that he must give way to
another man and take the place of first
As some one else has put it, Miles con
cluded that ho was In the military busi
ness for tho purpose of fighting confed
erate soldiers and not for tho purpose of
: "Jf.
iTfl T Mill) '
fighting tho governor of Massachusetts. So ho re
linquished his commission as captain, took his place
as first lieutenant and went to the front. In four
years he was a major general and one of the best
known soldiers of the world. What became of the
captain the histories at hand do not relate.
During tho war of secession Gen. Miles was shot
four times. He never speaks of his wouuds. Not
one person in a hundred knows that he ever re
ceived a scratch, yet one of the bullets that reached
him nearly ended his soldier life. It was at Chan
cellorsvllle that Miles received the wound that
the surgeon said would kill him. He fooled
the surgeons, got well and received a medal of
honor from congress for conspicuous gallantry
on the field of battle, and with the medal came
a commission which gavb him the right to
wear a star In his shoulder kuot.
On that day at C'huncellorsvillo, Miles was
holding a lino of nbattls and, rifle pits against
a tremendous force of thediomy. He was In
command of the skirmish line In front of tho
first division of the Second Army corps. In
order to hearten his men Miles constantly ex
posed himself to the fire of tho enemy. Ho
Btood upright In the open, courting bullets and
posslhlo death. The confederates couldn't hit
him for a long time. Tho inspiration of his
conduct enabled his men to hold their ground
long after It seemed certain that the enemy
would drive them back. Finally a bullet
found Its mark, and Miles went down with a
wound that ranged downward through his
body Into his thigh, producing an Injury that
made tho surgeons say "death," but neverthe
less, death did not come,
At tho battle of Fredericksburg, Miles was
shot In the throat. It was a Jagged wound
that bled profusely and caused great pain. He
was ordered to go to tho rear. The order
came from a superior, and so, soldierlike, Miles
obeyed, though he didn't want to go. At tho
time of the Fredericksburg fight Miles already
had won considerable fame as a soldier. Ho
was known to all the generals of the service.
While on his way to the hospital he came up
with Gen. Hancock.
Miles put his baud to his throat so that Han
cock wouldn't know be was wounded. At the
front was a stone wall, behind which a force
of the enemy was located. This force was do-
Ing great damage to the unionists. Miles
tolntcd to the wall and told Hancock that a
ell-directed charge would take It, atid then
ae said: "General, 1 want to J cad the charge."
Hancock knew courage when ho saw It,
but he also knew a wounded man when he
,aw one. He made Miles go to the rear, be
ause of his condition, but ho took good care
.bat bis 'courage wua mado a matter of
It is probable that military men regard Gen.
iV C Sit "' J ,
kr' i - 7 is
" n 111
W H 111 1: i -rO
4 a
:Sn,4r ii?Kk4 - vA,tJ
jjj f?
fhey were holding otT an apparently nv
erwhelining force, when a bullet struck the
major that was Young's rank at the tlnio
In the elbow, shattering tho bone. He
kept on lighting, but Anally the surgeons
made him submit to first aid lo-the Injured
While they were nt It, the horses of tho
squadron, the men being dismounted, stam
peded and went through the line, doing
much damage with their heels. Wounded
as he was, Maj. Young succeeded in keep
ing up the heart or his troopers, who now
had no means of cscapo from the tremen
dous force at their front, except their own
legs, nnd he succeeded In holding them to
their duty until they were enabled to draw
off In something like order. If one wishes
to get an Idea of the hell of war ITT him
know that on that day tho losses of Maj.
Young's command wero 80 per cent, of the
men engaged.
A writer in the Washington Herald some
time ago told a story of Gen. Young at the
time that wns In Germany, on assign
ment from the war department, to watch
the maneuvers of Kaiser William's army.
It seems that the general on his way to Her
lin had stopped for a day at Dresden, and
while there ho was told that It would not
do to let Kmperor William know that he
had made a visit to any town In Germany
before paying his respects to the kaiser at
tho capital. The general met the emperor,
and as the newspaper writer has It, the first
question the emperor put was: "Is this the
first place in Germany you have visited?"
The generul was startled by the sudden
ness of the attack and ho blurted: "Oh, no,
your majesty!"
"Indeed," said tho emperor, surprised.
"What other German towns have you
Miles' career on the plains with more wonder
than they do bis career In the war of secession.
History has shown that some men lacking In
early military training can spring full-fledged Into
warriorhood when the time offers. This has held
to be true; however, only of certain kinds of war
fare. It was always supposed by the old reg
ulars tint no soldier could make a successful
Indian fighter until he had been for years on
the plains and had learned the ways of the
savage. Miles went through six great Indian
campaigns, and carried every 'ono of them to
success. He was one of the greatest Indian
fighters of American history.
Not ninny years after the civil war the Chey.
ennes, the Arapahoes, the Klowas and the Co
manches formed a league und raided the fron
tier. MileH went alter them. It was his first
great Indian engagement. He completely
smashed the reds In a hard, driving, fighting
campaign, lie did that which was prophesied
ho could not do, and be did It so effectively
thy t these warlike plains Indians never again
took the warpath.
Later, Gen. Miles look up the trail of Sitting
Pull and Crazy Horse, with the Fifth Infan
try, and a few companies of the Twenty-second
inlautry. Crook and Terry had accomplished
comparatively nothing against the bauds of
these chiefs, but Miles followed them relent
lessly with bis handful of men, fought them
victoriously time after time, and finally cap
tured 2,000 of them and sent them Into the
It was Gen. Miles who overcame the great
est Indian general who ever fought west of
the Mississippi river Chief Joseph of the Nez
Pcrces. It was Miles who broke the power of
the Apaches, and It was Miles who made the
liannock8 and the MInneconJous sue for peace.
This clerk who beenmo a soldier, battled for
peaco on tho frontier, and won his battle.
Lieut. Gen. Miles loves gold braid and tho
whlnlest of shiny gold buttons. Again, It is tho
one weakness of a great American soldier.
Gen. Young's Great Record.
Another retired lieutenant general, Samuel
Haldwln Marks Young, has a namo long
enough, but not nearly to long as hl3 army rec
ord. Gen. Young hasBcrved In every rank
known to the military organization, barring only
that of general, n rank which stands by itself
and which stands in the American service by
only a few men. When he was a boy Lieut. Gen.
Young was a private of volunteers. He was as
proud when he wi'-i made a corporal as ho was
on that day five ears ago, when his commis
sion as lleutemim general of the army of the
l.'nlted States wa. signed by Theodore Koose
velt who had foiulit on the Cuban battlefields
under the eye or ilie miin ho was commission
ing. It took Gen. Young only six months to reach
tho grade of cupU'in. Ho wns given the com
mand of a troop of the Fourth Pennsylvania
cavalry, and his liking for the mounted serv
ice was such that ho stayed In the saddlo all
through his career as a regular. The general
served four years with the Pennsylvania vol
unteer cavalry, and before ho eft Its ranks
he had led It In battle as its commanding of
ficer. In every fl :ht from that at Mechanics
vllle to the skirmish vhlth preceded the sur
render at Appomattox, tho Pennsylvania sol
dier bad a part.
Only one or two officers in the United States
service received more brevet commissions for
gallantry In action thuu did Gen. Young. Tlia
list is a long one, nnd it Includes recognition
for gallant and meritorious services at the
Battle of Sulphur .Springs, Amelia Spring, Sail
ors Creek and a final brevet as brigadier gen
eral "for gallant and meritorious service dur
ing tho campaign terminating with tho surren
der of the Insurgent army under Gen. Robert
K. Lee."
At tho battle of Gaines Mills, Young's squad
ron or tJio Fourth cavalry wns cut off from
(ho rest of tho command by a largo force of
the enemy. He ordered his men to dlauiouut
and to fight on foot.
Dy this time Gen. Young had pulled himself
together, and he said quickly: "1 have visited
Chicago and Cincinnati." The emperor roared
and went over und shared tho joke with tho
When Young came out of the civil war' he
dropped his brigadier generalship of voluntoert
for a second lieutenancy of regulars. At the
beginning of the Spanish-American war Gen.
Young was Rent fo Cuba as a brigadier gen
eral. Prior to the outbreak of the war Theodore
Roosevelt had said to Gen. Youug that he
would like to go to tho front with tho cavalry
mento the real front, where there were bul
lets flying.
After the battle of Las Guaslmns, the man
who afterward became president of the United
States, came up to Gen. Young with a look of
joy all over his face, held out his hand, and
said: "By George, general, you certainly made
good on those bullets."
Yellow fever laid Its band ou Gen. Young
In Cuba. As soon as ho had recovered he
went to the Philippines and was there In ac
tive service In the field for several years. He
succeeded Gen. Miles as chief of the general
staff nnd as lieutenant general of the army. He
retired from the service about four years ago,
after bavins followed the flag for 41 yeaii.
Gen. Cabell of Texas Tells How Stan
and Bars Were Designed and
Made at Richmond.
Gen. W. L. Cabell of Dallas, Tex.,
commander of the transmisslssippl
department of the I tilted Confederate
Veterans, wrote recently the follow
ing history of the confederate flag:
When" (lie confederate army, com
manded by Gen. Beauregard, and tho
federal army eonlrontcd each other at
Manassas It was seen that t he confed
erate flag and the stars nnd stripes
looked at a distance so much alike
that It was hard to distinguish one
from the other.
Gen. Beauregard, after the battle of
July 18, at Blackburn ford, ordered
that a small red badge should be
worn on the left shoulder by our
troops, and, as I was chief quarter
master, ordered me to purchase a
large quantity of red flannel and to
distribute It to each regiment.
Dining the battle of Hull Uun It was
plain to be seen that a large number
of federal soldiers wore n similar red
budge. Gen. Johnston and Gen Beau
t'egard met at Fairfax courthouse In
the latter part of August or early
September and determined to have a
C O Q tglffil
Q o a .s-
The Stars and Bars.
battle flag for every regiment or do
Inched command.
Gen. Johnston's flag was In the
shape of on ellipse a red flag with
blue St. Andrew's cross and stars on
the cross (white) to represent the
different southern states. (No white
border of any kind was attached to
the cross.) Gen. Beauregard's was a
rectangle, red, with St. Andrew's cross
nnd white stars, similar to Gen. John
ston's. "After we had discussed fully the
two styles, taking Into consideration
the cost of mnterial nnd the care of
making the same, It was decided tho
elliptical flag would be harder to
make; that it would take more cloth,
and It could not be seen so plainly at
a distance; thnt the rectangular flag,
drawn by nnd suggested by Gen. Beau
regard, should be udoptcd. Gen. John
ston yielded nt once.
"No one else was present, but we
three. No one knew about this flag
but we three until an order was Issued
adopting the Beauregard flag, as It
was called, and directing me, ns chief
quartermaster, to have the flag done as
soon as it could be done.
"I Immediately Issued an address to
the good ladles of the south to give
me their red nnd blue silk dresses, and
fo send them to ('apt. Colin McRae
Selph, quartermaster at Richmond, Va.
(Capt. Selph Is now living In New Or
leans), where he wns assisted by two
young ladles, the Misses Carey from
Baltimore, and Mrs. Henningsen of
Sanvnnnah and Mrs. Hopkins of Ala
bama. The Misses Carey made battle flags
for Gen. Beauregard and Gen. Van
Dorn and I think for Gen. J. 12. John
ston. They made Gen. Beauregard's
out of their own silk dresses. This
flag Is now in Memorial hall, New Or
leans, with a statement of that fact
from Gen. Beauregard. Gen. Van
Horn's Hag was made of heavier ma
terial, but very pretty.
The statement going around that
this flag was first designed by federal
prisoners Is false.
Gen. Beauregard's battle flag is In
Memorial hall at New Orleans. The
Washington artillery battle flag can be
seen at the Washington artillery hall
Chattanooga Times.
To Improve Artillery Fire.
The war department has adopted for
the coast artillery service a range
board, the Invention of Maj. F.. W.
Hubbard, uminanditnt at Fort Me--Henry,
Md. The board is a mechani
cal device for automatically comput
ing the working range or elevation
which must be given a heavy gun to
reach a given target. In artillery the
rauge, or distance to the target, Is
the prime factor in hitting. The
range finder gives this distance regu
larly every 15 seconds. The device
corrects t lie observed range every 15
seconds, giving a fictitious or correct
ed range, to which the gun Is ele
vated. "The good old days of the smooth
bore, when at target practice, about a
shot an hour was fired, and then only
nfter careful computations, have passed
away," said Maj. Hubbard. "The mod
ern 12 Inch gun can be fired, with all
allowances made, once a minute, with
an even chance of hitting a moving
target Ht long range. This Improve
ment has been due not only to Im
proved guns, powder and carriages,
but to the constant and devoted work
of our artillery otllc.ors extending over
a period of years. As far us can
be ascertained the coast defense serv
ice In th's country has not its equal