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I. Newton Ritner conducting a night meeting during the 1890s in a Fort Keogh, Montana, barracks. (T. G. Steward, Active Service)

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Henry A. Brown preaching in Cuba to Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders. (Archives, U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, Fort Wadsworth, New York)

CHAPTER 5

In Garrison, the field, and Mexico:

1898-1917

THE ARMY

The United States had become the leading industrial nation in the world. Its westward expansion to the Pacific was completed. It now possessed wealth and military potential that resulted in movement away from its traditional foreign policy of icolation and neutrality. Though most Americans still adhered to the sentiment expressed in Washington's farwell address of a century earlier—no “permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others” the first signs of the demise of that philosophy appeared on the horizon.' The Spanish-American War and the treaty of 10 December 1898 became an expression of a new and aggressive policy; in less than one year the United States became the liberator of Cuba and a colonial

power. This newly acquired status confronted the War Department with some most unfamiliar responsibilities. The Army, for instance, was now required to pacify the Philippines and govern Puerto Rico. It was also ordered to occupy Cuba, the country it had liberated, and it stayed there until 1902, when the American government considered the Cubans reasonably competent to govern themselves. During the occupation significant progress was made in public education, public works, and health. Chaplain William T. Anderson was praised by his superiors for his achievements in the education and sanitation efforts at Manzanillo, where he served as Inspector of the Public Schools and a member of the Board of Health. Cubans, however, did not appreciate him or his work, any more than they appreciated the presence of the occupation force itself. Anderson "force[d] them to keep clean,” and he was the “most hated of

See notes at end of chapter.

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all” Americans. He said that they attacked him in the daily papers and would have choked him if they dared.?

Neither was the American presence appreciated in Puerto Rico. Five years after the annexation and three years after the establishment of a civil government, Chaplain Edward J. Vattmann, who was sent there by President Roosevelt to adjudicate some church and state matters between the governor and the Catholic bishop, wrote in January 1904 that Americans are not much loved here and ... less loved than 3 years ago.” Three months later, however, Governor William H. Hunt lauded Vattmann in a letter to Secretary of War Taft for ameliorating the situation. He said that Vattmann mingled with the people; “explained to them in most effectual ways, the hopes and objects of American government”; and inspired among them "greater confidence ... in the Government.” In addition, by suggesting a “method of finally determining any questions which

.. exist between the Government and the Church,” Vattmann “happily settled” the "misunderstanding” between the governor and Bishop James H. Blenk. The bishop extolled him for his “intelligence and disinterestedness," as did the governor, who called him “a power for permanent

.

Along with its responsibility for the administration of the island dependencies, the War Department was faced with the necessity for reorganizing the Army so that it could respond appropriately to any contingency. Secretary of War Elihu Root, appointed by President McKinley in 1899, began the reorganization, basing it on the "fundamental proposition” that “the real object of having an army is to provide for war.” He initiated reforms of both short and long range importance, including: expansion of the Regular Army; augmentation of the Regular Army with an effective reserve force; creation of three-battalion regiments; elimination of the rigid seniority system of promotion; establishment of an education system throughout the Army for the professional development of officers; formation of a general staff to make plans for war during peacetime; and the creation of the position of Chief of Staff to replace that of the Commanding General of the Army.*

When Root retired from the War Department in 1904, he had achieved some of his goals. The colonial governments in Puerto Rico and the Philippines were functioning effectively, and the outlines of his Army reform program were complete. It remained, however, for his successors and the chiefs of staff to follow through with what he had started; in that respect two men, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and Major

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General Leonard Wood, were especially successful. Their refinements resulted in the creation of the division, the massing of large bodies of men for military operations, and a more effective citizen reserve force. Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War during World War I, paid tribute to Root, saying that his reforms were indispensable to the prosecution of that war.

If not indispensable, the reforms were certainly most beneficial to the Army as it responded to various missions during the 15 years following the official end of the Philippine Insurrection. For the first 10 years of that period its strength averaged 74,907; about one-third of that number was usualy stationed in the islands and the remainder at small posts throughout the United States. During the last five years, its average strength was 99,715, deployed in the insular territories, China, Mexico, and the United States, particularly along the Mexican Border. In the spring and summer of 1911, using the Mexican Revolution as a pretext, General Wood took a major step toward preparing the Army for any contingency by massing a “Maneuver Division” near San Antonio. When the Mexican counterrevolutions began in 1912, the border patrols were increased. In that same year, under the terms of the “Boxer Protocol of 1901,” the 15th Infantry Regiment was ordered to Tientsin, China, where it stayed until 1938. From April to November 1914, the 5th Brigade of Major General Frederick Funston's 2nd Division reinforced the marines at Veracruz, Mexico, for 11 months, from March 1916 to February 1917, Brigadier General John J. Pershing's Punitive Expedition, which included most of the Regular Army in the states, went into Mexico to chase Pancho Villa, whose forces had raided Columbus, New Mexico, on the night of 9 March 1916. The rest of the stateside Regulars and National Guard units patrolled the border. On both sides of the border, the mobilizations and operations constituted an excellent school of application. Officers received valuable command and staff experience with large bodies of men and the transportation, signal, and supply systems were field-tested.

AMERICAN CHURCH LIFE

Almost anything said about American church life between the “splendid little war” and the “Great War” would be true, at least partially. Expansion continued to be one of its most salient features. Through the efforts of home mission boards, church extension officers, and revivalist

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