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tical address,” and “regularly attracted from 1600 to 2500 officers, enlisted men and civilian participants.” Brigadier General John J. Pershing wrote that Axtons work was of the “highest character,” and that no chaplain could “approach him in inspiring men with high ideals," or "exert a greater influence over discipline.” Subsequently, when a vacancy in the rank of major finally became available, Axton was promoted over eight chaplains senior to him."
As the Mexican revolution continued, the struggle for leadership in Mexico narrowed to two men, Venustiano Carranza and Francisco "Pancho” Villa. Finally, in 1915 Carranza emerged as the “First Chief," and President Wilson recognized his de facto government. Consequently, Villa began to consider the United States as his enemy and to seek revenge. In the early morning of 9 March 1916, Villa and a band of about 500 to 1,000 men slipped through the 13th Cavalry Regiment's border patrol and attacked Camp Furlong and Columbus, New Mexico. Although caught by surprise, the Army reacted quickly and effectively, and in slightly more than an hour drove the Villistas out of town. The Villistas, however, managed to set fire to many buildings, loot some stores, and inflict casualties. Seventeen Americansmeight soldiers and nine civilianswere killed, and others were wounded. Some Villistas were also killed, wounded, and captured; Columbus citizens publicly burned 19 of the dead raiders on a huge funeral pyre. $2 Meanwhile, American troops pursued Villa and his band for about six hours, going 15 to 20 miles into Mexico; before returning they engaged in several sharp encounters with the Villistas, killed 70 to 100 of them, and did not lose a man.
As a result of Villa's raid, Major General Frederick Funston at the Southern Department Headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, was directed to send an armed force into Mexico. Its mission was to pursue the Villistas who had attacked Columbus until they were “broken up." On 11 March Funston issued orders to Brigadier General John J. Pershing to organize and command what eventually became known as Pershing's Punitive Expedition. Four days later, after establishing his headquarters at Columbus, Pershing and his forces crossed the border into Chihuahua to pursue Villa. They did not return from the expedition until 5 February 1917, but the active pursuit of Villa's forces and the major encounters all occurred between 15 March and 22 June 1916.84 During that time Pershing's troops chased Villistas throughout most of Chihuahua and penetrated over 400 miles into Mexico. They engaged in only six major encounters, four with Villistas and two with the forces of Carranza's de facto government. Dur
ing the other eight months, they set up a base of operations and stayed about 120 miles south of the border near Colonia Dublan; no action of importance occurred during that time. 85
The ministries and duties of the chaplains on the expedition varied. Only a few Regular Army chaplains accompanied their regiments across the Rio Grande; the others remained at their stations or along the northern side of the border. Simon M. Lutz of the 13th Cavalry Regiment was the first to participate, albeit before he crossed the border. Four days before he went into Mexico, he held a memorial service in front of the post hospital at Camp Furlong for the troopers killed during Villa's raid. On 15 March he went with the Thirteenth into Mexico and stayed there until the following August, when he was transferred to Fort Bayard, New Mexico. While traveling with the expedition, he usually reported that he was on detached service in charge of the regimental mail, and that he did his chaplain duties as the occasion and opportunity permitted.” One of those duties was the burial of troopers killed in the 12 April clash with Carranza's forces at Parral; Lutz buried them with military honors, under a wooden cross on an immense mesa near the camp.” 88
Other chaplains also often found it impractical to hold services while the situation was "unsettled,” i.e., when the troops were "on the march,“ scattered, or sick; or when the weather was windy, dusty or rainy. Once conditions were favorable, however, they held services that were "well attended.” On two occasions, John A. Randolph, a Methodist, reported that he and Francis P. Joyce, a Catholic, held “Union” services. Randolph called his services “preaching services" or "services of song." He also served as regimental postmaster and money order clerk; in one month he wrote 998 express money orders worth $28,175. Moreover, he provided moving pictures for entertainment, and on one occasion arranged for a Y.M.C.A. director to present a lecture. In addition to religious holy days, some chaplains observed patriotic holidays, such as “Flag Day."
Timothy P. O'Keefe believed that logistical problems prevented chaplains from rendering more effective ministries in Mexico. In December 1916 he recommended to his military superiors that the chaplain's tent, movie projector, phonograph, records, organ, regimental library (“in whole or part”), vestments, and other religious articles be made part of a chaplain's field equipment by Army regulations. He said that he was "allowed but fifty pounds, bedding roll in
cluded,” and that his equipment was “boxed up at home station,” when it was most needed.88
Chaplains on the American side of the border were engaged in activities similar to these of their colleagues in Mexico. In Columbus, John L. Maddox and Washington W. E. Gladden attended to the postmaster duties in their regiments. Gladden also served as the regimental property officer, and Maddox as assistant to the base commander. Thomas J. Dickson was responsible for the post exchange at Camp Harry J. Jones in Douglas, Arizona. Fortunately, they were able to find sufficient time for their religious duties. Dickson even provided religious services for nearby units, both Regular Army and National Guard. He also showed movies to the troops. To cover the scattered elements of the 6th Cavalry Regiment in the Big Bend district of Texas, Charles W. Freeland became a circuit rider. Moreover, when he asked the Y.M.C.A. for assistance, it sent two field secretaries to visit the outlying detachments in the district with their “Ford delivery-wagon equipped with a moving picture machine, Delko lighting plant, organ, phonograph, etc.” Freeland reported that their visits were a "great success.” 89
The entertainment provided by the chaplains and the Y.M.C.A. was especially useful in helping troops on both sides of the border cope with the monotony and the lack of places to go and things to do. Officers frequently found themselves leading units with low morale. More significantly, they learned that monotony usually created a greater market for prostitution and a higher rate of venereal diseases. Concerned about the rising incidence of venereal disease and the corresponding loss of individual and unit effectiveness, the Secretary of War ordered a study of conditions in the camps and their adjacent communities and made recommendations for the control of prostitution. In addition, the Y.M.C.A. and the War Department cooperated in a program of sex education for the border troops.
A National Guard chaplain, James Naismith of the First Kansas Infantry Regiment, was particularly impressed with the educational campaign against venereal disease, assisted in it, and supplemented it with a moral campaign of his own. As soon as the camp at Eagle Pass, Texas, was established, organized vice interests began construction of a long wooden shack that was partitioned into “cribs”; it was to be used as a house of prostitution. Naismith and other chaplains stationed at the camp filed for an injunction against the operation, but the district
judge refused to grant one. Subsequently, however, when the judge was away and the facility was nearly completed, Naismith helped to obtain the injunction from the judge of a neighboring district. Consequently, construction of the building came to an abrupt halt, and "an exodus of waiting, out-of-town prostitutes took place.”
Although organized prostitution disappeared, clandestine prostitution continued to flourish, and the Army found itself in a constant battle against venereal disease on a medical basis. Chaplain Naismith, however, believed that an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure; he therefore continued his sex education activities and used every means at his disposal to suppress prostitution. He even engaged in what he called “practical” or “strange” preaching, namely, organizing letic competition in which soldiers could use their excess energy. One of the sports that he taught them was basketball, a game he had invented in 1891.92
General Pershing's pursuit of the Villistas officially terminated on 5 February 1917, when his entire expeditionary force—which had assembled at Palomas, Mexico crossed the border and headed for Columbus. At that time the chaplaincy enjoyed the esteem it had won in the three conflicts at the turn of the century; it also enjoyed additional respect from the cumulative effect of the ministries of individual regimental chaplains on the posts, in overseas garrisons, on marches and maneuvers, and on various military operations. Furthermore, those ministries were made possible by efforts from within and without the Army. As churches established commissions to recommend candidates for the chaplaincy, and as the Army raised its standards by lowering the maximum age for appointment and examining all candidates, political appointments gradually diminished. Moreover, the very existence of the General Staff encouraged chaplains to submit suggestions to it, through channels, for the improvement of the chaplaincy. If the suggestions were not adopted, at least they received consideration instead of mere polite and terse acknowledgements. Significantly, working in tandem, Orville J. Nave and the Federal Council of Churches lifted up the chaplaincy before the churches as the key to the moral and religious welfare of servicemen. As a result, they stirred the churches to action on behalf of a more effective chaplaincy, and that action eventually influenced both Congress and the War Department to furnish 'additional supplies, equipment, and facilities to the chaplains. The hope expressed by Sephas C. Bateman in 1904, that the position of
chaplain would be invested with greater dignity and rendered more efficient, was evolving toward fulfillment. Nevertheless, there was much to be accomplished, especially in regard to the non-chaplain duties in which too many chaplains were engaged. Writing about the pre-World War I status of chaplains, no less a personage than General John J. Pershing said: “Customs in our army ... had often relegated them to the status of handy men who were detailed to write up boards of survey or operate libraries.” 93
Richard D. Heffner, A Documentary History of the United States, (New York: The New American Library, 1952), p. 67; Russell F. Weigley, History of the United States Army, (New York: Macmillan Company, 1967), pp. 313–314.
Weigley, History of the U.S. Army, pp. 318,319; Chaplain William T. Anderson to George A. Myers, Cleveland, Ohio, 21 March 1901, “George A. Myers Papers, 1890–1929,” Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio; Monthly Report of Chaplain William T. Anderson from Manzanillo, Cuba, 31 October 1901, AGODF No. 53910, W. T. Anderson, RG 94, NA.
3 When Vattmann retired from the Army in 1905, the Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs offered him the position of Assistant Superintendent of Filipino Students in the United States, apparently in recognition of his success in resolving church and state problems in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Vattmann accepted the position and served in it until he resigned eight years later. Chaplain Edward J. Vattmann to Colonel Clarence R. Ewards, Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department, Washington, D.C., 19 January 1904, Selected ACP, E. J. Vattmann, RG 94, NA; Governor William H. Hunt to Secretary of War William Howard Taft, Washington, D.C., 23 March 1904, Selected ACP, E. J. Vattmann, RG 94, NA; Bishop James H. Blenk to Edward H. Vattmann, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 23 March 1904, Selected ACP, E. J. Vattmann, RG 94, NA; Special Orders No. 97, paragraph 5, War Department, Washington, D.C., 27 April 1905; Special Orders No. 121, paragraph 28, War Department, Washington D.C., 24 May 1913; Memorandum for the Adjutant General of the Army from Colonel Clarence R. Edwards, Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department, Washington, D.C., 20 July 1908, Selected ACP, E. J. Vattmann, RG 94, NA.
* Weigley, History of the U.S. Army, pp. 314–317; Marvin A. Kriedberg and Merton G. Henry, History of Military Mobilization in the United States Army, 1775–1945, (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 1955), pp. 175–181.
5 Weigley, History of the U.S. Army, pp. 322–327; Kriedberg and Henry, History of Military Mobilization in the U.S. Army, pp. 181–185.
Weigley, History of the U.S. Army, pp. 334-335, 347–348, 351-352, 568; Kreidberg and Henry, History of Military Mobilization in the U.S. Army, pp. 179 196–199.
* H. Shelton Smith, Robert T. Handy, and Lefferts A. Loetscher, American Christianity, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1963), pp. 215-217, 219; Winthrop S. Hudson, Religion in America, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1965), p. 327; Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People, (New York: Yale University Press, 19720, pp. 823
Smith, Handy, and Loetscher, American Christianity, p. 220.
° Smith, Handy, and Loetscher, American Christianity, p. 219-220, 362–363, 366–368; Hudson, Religion in America, pp. 317, 319, 322–323 ; Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People, pp. 802–804, 880–881; Martin E. Marty, Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America (New York: Dial Press, 1970), pp. 182–183, 208–209.
General Orders No. 36, Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D.C., 4 March 1899, Section 7.
11 “Candidate's Examination, Chaplain H. Percy Silver," filed with a letter from the President of the Board of Officers to the Adjutant General U.S. Army, Washington, D.C., 12 July 1901, AGODF No. 315634, H. P. Silver, R.G. 94, NA.