The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.

THE UNIVERSITY IN WAR SERVICE

The Mexican War. — The part which the alumni and nongraduates of the University have played in the wars of the country has been a very large and impressive one. By the close of the Mexican War the University had been open less than seven years, and the total number of its students and former students, exclusive of nongraduates, was only 103. The war was, moreover, not favored by the North; yet there were five University men who fought in Mexico, three of them officers.

Paul W. H. Rawls, who graduated in the first class (1845), Captain of Company A of the First Michigan Infantry, was mustered in November 29, 1847, and was mustered out July 18, 1848, after the completion of the war. Platt S. Titus, who attended the University in 1842-43, was one of the two University men who fought in both the Mexican and the Civil wars. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Fifteenth United States Infantry in 1847, and at the storming of Chapultepec in 1847 he was made brevet first lieutenant "for gallant and meritorious conduct." His regiment was disbanded in 1848. In the Civil War he was a first lieutenant and later captain of Company I, Tenth Michigan Infantry.

O. Satterlee Hoffman, who attended the University in 1843-44, was lieutenant of artillery in the Mexican War and was killed by a cannon shot in the battle of Chapultepec. Jabez Smith Cook, a student in the Department of Medicine and Surgery in 1851-52, was a private in Company H of the Second Kentucky Infantry from May to September, 1846. Comfort Everett Rutherford, a medical student in 1865-66, was musician in the Ohio Infantry, 1847-48, served in the Mexican War, and was later a sergeant in the Civil War.

Of the 103 University of Michigan graduates who were in attendance before the close of the Mexican War (1837-52), 17, or 1 in 6, were soldiers in the Civil War.

The Civil War. — The news that the Confederate army had fired upon Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston reached Ann Arbor on a Sunday. Religious services seem to have been forgotten. A platform was quickly erected on the courthouse square, and President Tappan of the University addressed a great throng. After reading a few passages from the Old Testament, he spoke with much power.

Page  194Three companies of student soldiers were at once recruited: the Tappan Guards, commanded by Captain Charles Kendall Adams ('61), later Professor of History in the University, and President of Cornell and Wisconsin, the Chancellor Greys, commanded by Captain Isaac H. Elliott ('61), and the Ellsworth Zouaves under Captain Albert Nye ('62). A large part of the University's body of students underwent the military drill continued through 1861 and 1862, and nearly one-half the members of the classes of 1859, 1860, 1861, and 1862 entered the war — 78 out of 165. Of the twenty-two of the class of 1862, seven were casualties.

The entire contribution to the prosecution of the war by University of Michigan men was a very impressive one. In all, according to the unpublished memorial roster prepared under the direction of the late Professor Isaac N. Demmon, 1,804 men served with the colors, of which number 61 are known to have been killed or to have died of wounds, 48 to have died of disease while in service, and 181 to have been discharged because of wounds or disability — 15.7 per cent, or nearly 1 in 8. (It is interesting to note how the number has grown. The list published in the University Catalogue of 1864-65 numbers 674. On the tablet in Alumni Memorial Hall this number is stated to be 1,514, whereas by our analysis of the memorial roster it is 1,804. This number, it is believed, is very nearly complete, though as regards the highest ranks of the officers in the list it has been necessary to edit the roster to some extent. For example, if a man was rated as a noncommissioned officer and was regimental adjutant or aide to a general, he has in the analysis been given a conservative rank of lieutenant, since many gaps in the promotions entered in the roster are self-evident.)

The number who served as officers, and especially as commissioned officers, is large. Few University men seem to have entered the navy, five only, and all these were seamen. In the army, the field officers of the line were 2 brigadier generals, 28 colonels, 32 lieutenant colonels, and 31 majors; of lower rank, line (commissioned): captains, 220; first lieutenants, 149; and second lieutenants, 66; line (noncommissioned): sergeants, 150; and corporals, 108; medical: surgeons, 156; and assistant surgeons, 275; clerical: chaplains, 8.

University men under Captain Gabriel Campbell ('65) composed Company E of the Seventeenth Michigan Regiment and were known as the "singing company." They were mustered in during the summer of 1862, and only two weeks after they left the campus they were fiercely engaged at the battle of South Mountain, where Drayton's brigade of Confederate troops was strongly entrenched behind stone walls on the crest of a steep mountain and had supporting batteries in commanding positions. Orders were received from the Union command to silence the enemy batteries, and the Seventeenth Michigan was ordered forward. This charge appeared so desperate that volunteers were called for, and the singing company responded to a man. They charged and drove the enemy from their position. The regiment was afterwards known as "the stonewall regiment." As the battle was reported by the New York Press:

The impetuous charges of some of our regiments, particularly that of the 17th Michigan, but two weeks from home, carried everything before it, and the dead bodies of the enemy on that mountain crest lay thick enough for stepping stones. Nearly the whole of General Drayton's brigade was killed, wounded or captured.

The Twentieth Michigan Infantry, with almost half of its men from Washtenaw County, contained two companies of Ann Arbor men. All the officers were Page  195University men, as were indeed many officers of the other companies. Of this regiment's total enrollment of 1,157 men between November, 1863, and November, 1864, 537, or nearly one-half, were included in the list of killed, wounded, and prisoners:

Three times the regiment lost almost 50 per cent of the men engaged, at Spottsylvania, at Petersburg, and finally at the assault on the crater, after which there were only eighty men and four officers left for duty.


(Shaw, p. 302.)

Captain W. H. Allen Zacharias ('60), of the Seventh Michigan Infantry, was mortally wounded at the battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. His body was found on the battlefield. The following lines were written on an old envelope clutched in his dead hand:

Dear Parent, Brothers and Sisters: I am wounded, mortally I think. The fight rages round me. I have done my duty. This is my consolation. I hope to meet you all again. I left not the line until all had fallen and colors gone. I am getting weak. My arms are free but below my chest all is numb. The enemy trotting over me. The numbness up to my heart. Good-bye all.

Your son,

Allen

William Longshaw ('59m), Assistant Surgeon in the navy, was cited in General Orders for heroism at the attack on Fort Moultrie. He was later killed in equally heroic action at the attack on Fort Fisher on January 18, 1865, while attending a wounded marine under fire.

The Spanish-American War. — In the spring of 1898, when it became apparent that the United States would be involved in a war with Spain, a mass meeting was held which crowded the auditorium in University Hall. Acting President Hutchins presided, and Professors Bradley M. Thompson, Jerome C. Knowlton, and Richard Hudson, Dean Victor C. Vaughan, and Colonel Henry S. Dean addressed the meeting. Students were urged to keep cool, but yet to get ready. Plans for military drill were considered.

In service in the Spanish-American War the total enrollment of University of Michigan men was 576. In the army the enrollment was 514. The statistics on officers are as follows: brigadier general, 1; colonel, 2; lieutenant colonel, 1; major, 8; captain, 41; first lieutenant, 43; second lieutenant, 22; sergeant, 50; corporal, 55; surgeon, 40; assistant surgeon, 22.

In the navy the enrollment was sixty-one, and in the marine corps, one, a second lieutenant. In the navy the officers in the line were one captain and four ensigns. The casualties in the service were small. The number of killed in both army and navy was five; nine died of disease; and two were wounded.

The University of Michigan men enlisted in the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Michigan Infantry, and these regiments served in the Cuban campaign brigaded with the Ninth Massachusetts, with Brigadier General Henry M. Duffield, who attended the University in 1858-59, commanding. Said a war correspondent:

During the campaign I saw many University of Michigan men doing their duty. Both the Thirty-third and the Thirty-fourth Michigan did excellent work. That of the Thirty-third was the most onerous of any regiment in the campaign. It had to guard Siboney most of the time and look after the Spanish prisoners all of the time. The men had to bear the brunt of the yellow fever from start to finish. These regiments were also greatly superior, physically, to any of the other volunteer organizations there, excepting the First Volunteer Cavalry, which was composed of picked men.


(Scoville, p. 104.)

Dr. Vaughan reported: "During the Santiago Campaign the Thirty-third Michigan alone stood between a well equipped Spanish garrison of five hundred men easily reinforced at any time Page  196… and all of the supplies, food and ordnance at Siboney."

Three Michigan men served in the "Rough Riders" of Roosevelt, the First United States Volunteer Cavalry, and one of them, Oliver B. Norton, a medical student here in 1897-98, fell in the charge up San Juan Hill. Colonel Roosevelt said of him: "He was not only a gallant soldier but a true and brave man." One soldier, Antonio Prudenthia Entenza, a private in Company D, Thirty-fourth Infantry, was in April, 1898, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He studied law at the University in 1907-8.

Four Michigan men were in the Second United States Cavalry, known as "Torrey's Rough Riders."

Fuller information concerning Michigan's participation in the war is to be found in "Michigan in the War." This article listed 259 participants in the war, whereas our analysis of the typed roster at the Library gives 576.

From the faculties, a dean, a professor of mechanical engineering, a professor of ophthalmology, and a head surgeon of the University Hospital were in active service. Victor C. Vaughan (Ph.D. '76, '78m, LL.D. '00), Dean of the Department of Medicine and Surgery, was a division surgeon with the rank of major. He and Charles B. de Nancrede, Professor of Surgery, who held the same rank in the medical staff, were at the base hospital in Siboney where all the wounded from the battle of Santiago were treated. Dr. Vaughan was later stricken with yellow fever. The heroic deeds and faithful services of both Vaughan and De Nancrede were mentioned in the report of the officer in charge of the Siboney division hospital. Dean Mortimer E. Cooley was chief engineer on the United States' converted cruiser "Yosemite," which was on blockade duty and acted as scout and convoy. Walter R. Parker ('88e, M.D. Pennsylvania '91), Professor of Ophthalmology, was watch and division officer, with the rank of ensign, on the "Yosemite."

Of the fifty-six men who served in the navy during the war, forty-six were assigned to the "Yosemite," manned by the Michigan Naval Reserve.

In June, a month after going into commission, the "Yosemite" acted as convoy for the "Armeria," which was loaded with ammunition for Key West, and later as convoy for eight hundred marines destined for Guantanamo. In the same month, under her fire, the "Antonio Lopez," bound to San Juan, Puerto Rico, with ammunition and supplies, was driven ashore and destroyed under the guns of the forts and of three enemy gunboats.

Of the seamen on the "Yosemite," Edwin Denby ('96l), who had been famous as center on the University football team, was gunner's mate, third class, and afterward was Secretary of the Navy in President Harding's cabinet. Theodore H. Hinchman ('91, '93e), Chief Machinist, was in later years widely known as an architect, and was one of those who designed the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

The University's contribution to the administration of the war was noteworthy. In President McKinley's cabinet the secretary of state was William R. Day ('70, LL.D. '98), afterward president of the Peace Commission at Paris. Senator Cushman K. Davis ('57, LL.D. '86) was chairman of the United States Senate committee on foreign affairs, and later was a member of the Peace Commission at Paris. Dean C. Worcester ('89, Sc.D. hon. '14), Instructor and later Assistant Professor of Zoology, was a member of the Philippine commission of 1899-1913, and was Secretary of the Interior of the Philippine Insular Government from 1901 to 1913. George de Rue Meikeljohn ('80l) was Assistant Secretary of War for the period 1897-1901.

Page  197The World War. — Unlike the earlier wars in which the United States had become engaged, the World War of 1914-18 did not immediately involve the United States.

A considerable percentage of the American people were of German birth or extraction and strongly sympathetic with Germany. This, and the traditional attitude of the country in opposition to participation in the wars of Europe, aided by a whirlwind of propaganda which swept the country, resulted, under the Wilson administration, in a policy of "watchful waiting" without preparation. The Oratorical Association, which brought nonresident lecturers to address the student body, included speakers opposed to war — Bryan, Jordan, Wise, Beveridge, Norman Angell, and others — but no single speaker who set forth the need of national preparedness.

To meet this attitude toward preparedness, which was only less marked in many other communities, the so-called "preparedness" movement was started in the country and various defense organizations to develop opinion were set up, with headquarters in New York City. The largest and most important of these was the National Security League, and as early as October, 1915, an Ann Arbor branch was started in the University by Professor Hobbs, with President Emeritus Angell the honorary chairman and with some sixty charter members from the faculties as a nucleus (Mich. Daily, Nov. 6, 1915). The membership was soon afterward much enlarged from both "town" and "gown," and the local organization was recognized as the most active branch within the state. Its chairman was placed on the executive committee of the national organization, where he served throughout the war. In March, 1917, the membership of the Ann Arbor branch was 245.

Through lectures and meetings the Ann Arbor branch of the National Security League sought especially to impress upon the community the need for acting at once to prepare the country with adequate defense, and to start military training upon the campus. Colonel L. R. Gignilliat, the head of the Culver Military Academy, General Leonard Wood, Admiral Peary, Frederick R. Coudert, of New York, and former Secretary of War Stimson were all brought to the campus to address the faculty and students. A meeting held in Hill Auditorium, February 23, 1915, with all standing room taken, was addressed by General Wood and Admiral Peary. It was a stirring occasion not likely to be forgotten by anyone who attended it.

Voluntary military training of students was started upon the campus and was carried on under the able direction of Major Clyde Wilson, of the College of Engineering faculty, a high-ranking officer in the Michigan National Guard. The work started in 1916 and grew rapidly, until, at the close of the spring semester, as many as nine hundred men were in training. Deans Victor C. Vaughan, Mortimer E. Cooley, and Henry M. Bates were all active in promoting the work of the Security League, although, on the other hand, several professors connected with the Department of German used their classrooms for active German propaganda and were consequently dismissed.

In the spring of 1916 a group of distinguished Americans, including many professors in American universities, signed a memorial of sympathy with the Entente allies in their struggle with Germany (Journal des Débats, Apr. 29, 1916). Among the five hundred signers of this memorial were fourteen University of Michigan professors — Barrett, Bates, Bigelow, Bonner, Hewlett, Hobbs, Kelsey, Lombard, De Nancrede, Page  198Novy, Reeves, Sadler, Van Tyne, and Vaughan (Ann Arbor Times News, Apr. 14, 1916; Mich. Daily, Apr. 18, 1916). The memorial set forth, among other things, that "we are expressing the conviction and feelings of the overwhelming majority of Americans." This action was denounced to President Hutchins by Congressman Cramton, who represented a section of the state where there were many citizens of German extraction.

The Security League early took up actively in the University Senate the question of the adoption of compulsory military training upon the campus. Already, on November 24, 1914, the organization had presented a petition signed by fifty members of the faculty requesting the establishment of military training upon the campus, but without response from the Board of Regents.

A large and representative committee of the University Senate was appointed to consider the matter, and the meeting of November 8, 1915, at which it came up for final action, was one of the largest in the history of the Senate. The result was an overwhelming vote for compulsory military training of students for the first two years, under General Order No. 49 of the War Department — essentially the system then in use in the landgrant colleges. Carried up to the Board of Regents, the matter was tabled. The subject was, however, much discussed in the press by members of the faculty and students, and a straw ballot to test the student feeling was carried through by the Michigan Daily. This ballot, to the surprise probably of both sides, showed a small majority for compulsory training, with about one-third of the student body voting ("Military Training," p. 148).

As the country drifted toward war, student feeling changed markedly, and in March, 1917, a new straw ballot with a large majority of the male students voting declared for compulsory military training by an altogether overwhelming vote — 3,369 for and 632 against. The number of students enrolled in the University that spring, according to a count announced in the Michigan Daily on April 18, was 7,517.

Soon after this student ballot had been taken, the Regents took from the table the Senate action nearly a year and a half old, and by unanimous action they rejected it and adopted in its place a plan for voluntary training with a large proportion of theoretical (lecture) work in place of military drill. This plan was possible under a new modification of the War Department's General Order No. 48, which had been made in response to an urgent appeal from a group of university presidents. General Leonard Wood, whose advice had been asked by the Regents, had strongly urged compulsory training (Detroit Free Press, Feb. 15, 1916).

The Regents' rejection of the University Senate plan occurred only a week before the United States entered the war. The Security League had arranged a monster mass meeting to be held in Hill Auditorium on the afternoon of April 2, with addresses by Frederick R. Coudert, of New York City, eminent international lawyer, and the Honorable Henry L. Stimson, former Secretary of War. While this meeting was in progress, President Wilson was addressing the houses of Congress meeting in joint session, to ask for a declaration of a state of war with Germany. All University classes were suspended during the meeting, and all standing room in the great auditorum was taken. The chairman of the Security League presided. As reported by the Michigan Alumnus (23: 446-47):

Michigan became aroused as never before. The whole atmosphere became charged in an Page  199instant. The citizens of Ann Arbor, together with the two University divisions of the Michigan Naval Militia in uniform and the student volunteer divisions, filled the great hall to its utmost capacity, more than 5,500 persons witnessing the demonstration.

According to another account:

As the uplift of the great demonstration held on Monday in Hill Auditorium is succeeded by calm reflection, the gathering takes on more and more the character of a great service of consecration to the nation in its hour of need …

Both the speakers were much moved by the occasion and by the rapt and even intense attitude of the great audience. As the … national emblem floated down …, Mr. Coudert exclaimed, "My, but that is inspiring!" Mr. Stimson was visibly affected, his voice betraying his emotion throughout the speech …

The roar of the "ayes" which came in voting on the resolutions suggested a touchdown at football, and there could be no doubt of the earnestness that lay behind it.


(Mich. Daily, Apr. 5, 1917.)

Following this meeting the students turned out in great numbers for drill, and Major Wilson and his helpers had to deal with no less than twelve hundred men. In addition to the gymnasium, other University buildings were brought into use, and State Street was occupied by marching men. Major Wilson in this strait called in fifty faculty men to assist him, and they were drilled at special additional hours.

When President Hutchins' letter asking for the detail of an army officer to drill students under the regental plan was sent, we were already at war and all efficient officers were already assigned to other tasks. The letter therefore brought no response, but two professors, through a personal visit to Washington and a representation of the wealth of officer material available at the University, were able to secure an invalid officer through transfer from another university that had been lukewarm on military training. The promise of fifteen hundred old Springfield rifles was also secured. Under this arrangement Major Charles W. Castle, Professor of Military Science and Tactics, was assigned to the University and was the first to hold this title. His physical infirmities stood in the way of any efficient work in training, but since we were already at war his presence upon the campus gave official standing to the University efforts, and he was able to make examinations of students who were applying for admission to the army training camps now established. By May, 315 men had been examined and recommended for the camps. Major Castle was materially aided in this by an action of the University Senate, approved by the Regents on March 20, which had provided that students who enlisted for military or naval service during the spring semester would be given credit for a full semester's work, and that seniors would be allowed to graduate with their class, provided their work when they left was satisfactory. For the students who still remained upon the campus, the College of Engineering organized two battalions for military drill and announced seven courses in military science. Other departments also offered special courses: Dr. Novy in military hygiene and Professor Wilgus, who had taken charge of the military drill of the Law School as a separate unit, in military law ("Faculty in Service"; "University at War," pp. 404-14; "Motor Ambulance Production").

The ill-conceived and greatly belated plan of the Washington administration for the training of officers — the Students' Army Training Corps, S.A.T.C. — had a history which it would be pleasant to overlook. It accomplished nothing toward winning the war, but it entailed sacrifice of life on the campus paralleled only by casualties in the field. Early in Page  2001918 the University was requested by the government to determine what number of men preparing to serve as army mechanics could be cared for at this campus. Dean Mortimer E. Cooley and Professor Henry H. Higbie made an investigation, and by April 15 the University replied that it could provide for two hundred. Demands from Washington were then made that this figure should be enlarged. On May 2 a revised figure of eight hundred men was put in, and with the use of additional temporary barracks seven hundred men were trained under the command of Major Ralph H. Durkee, U. S. Army. Further demands from the War Department brought the reply that in the fall semester of 1918-19 twenty-eight hundred men could be fed and nine hundred housed. Actually, the University was compelled both to feed and to house about thirty-six hundred students, with little time for preparation. With the use of the Michigan Union Building, then under construction, and with the evacuation of a large number of fraternity houses, this was in a fashion accomplished, though under most unsatisfactory conditions which it was impossible to avoid. This work was under the command of Major Ralph H. Durkee, U. S. Army, who in the spring had had charge of the training of mechanics. All University courses were practically disrupted, notwithstanding the fact that the women students had to be cared for in addition to to the large number of men in military training. One of the fundamental ideas of the S.A.T.C. was that the undesirability of war should be duly stressed in the training, and a so-called "war-aims course" was included. As it turned out, this type of course prescribed by the War Department for all S.A.T.C. units proved highly unsatisfactory.

And then, with the men herded closely in the temporary quarters upon the campus, there came the epidemic of influenza which swept the country and was particularly fatal in the crowded cantonments of army men. Such medical men as were still remaining in the city, and volunteer organizations of young women nurses after brief training courses, made a response to the grave situation, but in the brief time when the epidemic was prevalent no less than fifty-seven S.A.T.C. students on the campus perished. Though their friends might have the consolation that they had died in the service of their country, there was no thought that they had aided in winning the war. When a brief month had elapsed, on November 28 following the armistice, the organization was disbanded.

Coincident with the organization of the S.A.T.C., a naval unit — the Students' Naval Training Corps, S.N.T.C. — was set up upon the campus, but was strictly limited to six hundred men. Moreover, it was organized under officers of the Navy Department, Rear Admiral Robert M. Berry, U. S. N., commanding, with Lieutenant A. E. R. Boak (j.g.) Executive Officer. Lieutenant A. H. Porter (j.g.) was also assigned to the unit, and there were six experienced petty officers from the Great Lakes Training Station. Only about one-half of the men of the unit of six hundred were from the University, the others having been sent from other stations in the country. Because of its smaller size, its picked men, the liberal policy of the commanding admiral, and the splendid work of Lieutenant Boak as executive officer, this organization, quite in contrast to the S.A.T.C., achieved a distinct success and was one of the very best units developed in the naval service during the war. It was organized as two battalions, each composed of four companies. The men never went to sea nor into service for the country as an organization, Page  201but they received an excellent training, and because of the wise policy of resting the men after the influenza epidemic, only one died, whereas fifty-seven of the S.A.T.C. made the supreme sacrifice.

Many from the faculties of the University went into administrative and other war services. Prominent among these were Dr. Victor C. Vaughan, who was placed on the Medical Advisory Board of the Council of National Defense; Professors Alfred H. White and Moses Gomberg, both of whom occupied prominent positions in the Ordnance Division of the Army in the Department of Munitions; Professor Peter Field, who occupied an important place at the Sandy Hook Proving Grounds; Professor Alfred H. Lovell, Colonel in an engineer regiment; Dean Henry M. Bates and Professor Jesse S. Reeves, both in the Judge Advocate General's Department.

The body which as an organization reflected greatest credit upon the University in the World War was undoubtedly the University divisions (Seventh and Eighth) of the Michigan Naval Militia. The inception of these units was due to a desire on the part of the Navy Department to make use of University men and train them to become naval officers, and the University of Michigan was selected because of the excellent work of the Michigan Naval Militia. The organization was formed November 14, 1916, on orders from the Navy Department, at a meeting in Room 348, (West) Engineering Building. The Deck Division chose Professor A. E. R. Boak as Lieutenant and Joseph R. Hayden, who was then Instructor in Political Science, as Lieutenant (j.g.). Orange M. McNeil, Instructor in Civil Engineering, was selected as Lieutenant of the Engineer Division, and Instructor Elmer A. Harrington as Lieutenant (j.g.). The divisions were mustered into the service January 10, 1917, with ninety-six men. These two divisions were the first naval militia units to be formed in any college or university of the United States, and they entered upon a most distinguished career in the service of the country. Hayden became senior officer, but Boak, because his naturalization papers from Canada were not complete when the divisions were mustered into the state service on January 10, 1917, was made lieutenant, junior grade. He later played an important role as executive officer in the naval unit formed upon the campus in the fall of 1917. Harold Stacey Hulbert was made medical officer of this unit. As a result of his skillful work all of the 159 men who went to the Great Lakes Training Station were accepted — a remarkable record. Of this number, also, despite the hazards of war, all were alive in 1921 with the exception of Ralph Russell, who died of endocarditis on June 22, 1918, as he was about to embark for France with the United States Naval Batteries.

Especially because of early organization, high intellectual rating, and devotion to their work, the men of these units became so valuable to the Navy Department in connection with the rifle ranges that the organization was for a time broken up for special details under Major W. C. Harllee, who was largely responsible for this important work of the Navy Department, and under whom Lieutenants Jenkins and Harrington were right-hand men.

The service of the units on the western front came late in the war with the organization of the naval railway batteries — fourteen-inch, fifty-caliber naval guns on railway mounts — which played such an important part toward the close of the war. With all available experienced naval officers detailed at the time the batteries were organized, one of the chief Page  202difficulties of Admiral C. P. Plunkett, who was in charge, was to find suitable officers and men. To the question, "Where'll you get your men?" he replied: "Never mind about the men. I'll get the men and they'll be damn good ones, too." To the further question, "Where?" he replied: "From Harllee's Rifle Ranges." "And the officers?" "We'll make 'em."

Ten out of the twenty-two line officers who served with the batteries were former members of the Seventh and Eighth Naval divisions. McNeil was in charge of important construction work on the batteries; Hayden commanded Battery No. 4; and six others from the University units were junior battery officers. In addition, sixteen petty officers of the five batteries were from the University divisions. The last big-gun shot of the war was fired by Lieutenant Hayden's fourteen-inch gun of Battery No. 4 at exactly 11 o'clock of Armistice Day.

Three ambulance units for work with the French army were sent from the campus with some seventy-seven men. Richard N. Hall, who had attended the Literary College in 1911-12, and had afterwards entered Dartmouth College, went to the front with the Dartmouth ambulance unit. On Christmas day, 1915, he was killed on the Alsace front; he was the first American casualty in the World War (Richard N. Hall Post, p. 43). Of the University ambulance units, Section 591 included as thirty-two of its thirty-six members, Michigan men.

If, because of unfavorable early conditions upon the campus, the University's response to the war had at first been sluggish, this was later overcome, and her part became a most impressive one. Without regard to administrative positions, the actual participation in the front service was equivalent to that of an entire division. The statistics carefully compiled by Harley L. Sensemann, Director of the Alumni Catalog Office, show that 12,601 men were in actual service, of which number 4,761, or more than one-third, were officers. Of the 166 faculty men in the service, 85 were officers. The high proportion of officers reflects the merit system of selection, which had never before been applied in our military history. Of the 4,761 officers mentioned above, 3,880 were army officers, 531 naval officers, 317 army aviation officers, and 48 naval-aviation officers.

A classified list has some interest. There were one major general, four brigadier generals, two rear admirals, and one surgeon general. The list of regimental army and navy officers follows. Army: colonels, 31; lieutenant colonels, 98; majors, 366; captains, 973; first lieutenants, 1,209; second lieutenants, 1,097. Navy: commanders, 12; lieutenant commanders, 19; lieutenants (s.g.), 70; lieutenants (j.g.), 109; ensigns, 319. Naval Aviation: lieutenants (s.g.), 4; lieutenants (j.g.), 7; ensigns, 37.

Of the 234 men who died in the service, 97 were officers. There is no record of a desertion or of seriously culpable conduct among the University of Michigan men who were in service. Two of the alumni served in the German army, of whom one was killed in an aeroplane battle, and the other served throughout with distinction.

At the conclusion of the war a post of Veterans of Foreign Wars was established upon the campus, composed largely of those students who had returned to the University.

Page  203
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