Newspaper Article, September 15, 1917
[Newspaper Article: Quincy Daily Herald, September 15, 1917, p. 1, col. x]
FROM COLONEL TO PRIVATE
FIGHTING FIFTH CHEERFUL
ON ITS JOURNEY SOUTHWARD
Herald Man Goes to St.
Louis With Quincy Boys
Off to War.
Train One of Burlington's
Best and Boys are Mak-
ing Their Journey
By TRUMAN T. PIERSON.
(Passed By the Censor.)
On Board Fifth Regiment Special, Somewhere in Missouri, En Route for Somewhere in Texas, Sept. 14. -- The Herald man in the Fifth infantry special has just finished a mile walk. Believe me, it was quite a walk. This train of twenty-two cars, eight side-door Pullmans, otherwise known as box cars, two what were once common baggage cars but have been transformed as if by magic into the dandiest kitchens you ever saw in all your lives, and the rest Pullman cars, most all of them standard sleeping cars with plush and plumpness in all of the berths.
Talk about going to war in style! The boys of the Fifth are certainly doing this very thing. This is being written on Col. Center's private typewriter. The reporter, being a bigger man than the physician, managed to get it away from him. Across the aisle about two berths in the rear is our old friend, Bishop Fawcett, now Captain Fawcett, chaplain of the Fifth. I don't know what the good looking chaplain is writing, but he is pounding his typewriter and doing his level best to make greater speed than I am making. I have a hunch the bishop is pounding out notes for his sermon to the boys which must be delivered on the train this time as it will be Monday before we land in Texas. The boys will surely listen to this sermon for on board train they can't help themselves. Right ahead of the bishop there is a merry game of something or other going on, just what, it is hard to say, for the censor says it wouldn't be according to Hoyle. Anyway, there must be something substantial about it because one officer said that some of the proceeds of Lieutenant So-and-So ought to go to the chaplain's fund.
But, by the way, concerning that mile walk. How did I manage to walk a mile when I am aboard a train? Why, that is easy. This train is said to be just a half mile long and I walked from the rear to the front and back and between dodging boots and shoes hanging from the ceiling, and bare feet and what not in the aisles, it was some walk.
Leaving the officers' quarters, one goes first into the sleeping cars Herkimer and Zenith. Here are the boys of the machine gun company. Sergeant Michels was in charge and, although I met the six-footer only last night for the first time, he greeted me as if I were a long lost brother.
(At this point we were held five minutes to let the Colorado Limited pass. It was crowded with men and women. For the most part they were wearing diamond rings, too, and you ought to have heard the demonstration they made. They cheered and they waved handkerchiefs, and they said all kinds of nice things. "Bring back a helmet for me," yelled a mighty fine elderly woman with beautiful hair of silver and roses in her cheeks that would rival the roses of June. "We'll bring back a whole raft of 'em," answered a youthful corporal of F company. "Righto," yelled a pack of privates.)
In the next Pullman was the band. The stout bandmaster happened along and he and his men saw to it that The Herald man had a bang-up time.
The next car was a dandy for a fat man. It was chock a block with good things to eat and well fed custodians. They insisted that the reporter had a hungry look, and nothing would do but that he take a seat on the corner of an ice box and eat. And such eats! There were ham, chicken, bread and butter pickles, biscuits right out of the oven, corn cake, coffee, ice water, bananas, apples, watermelon, muskmelon.
(Pardon, ust a minute.)
Sitting on a Six-Shooter.
For the last fifteen minutes the tenderfoot scribe has been sitting on something that seemed awful hard for a Pullman car seat. He is investigating. The mystery is solved. Also the seat is softer. Somebody put Col. Center's big six shooter back of him fully loaded and a careful examination of the pesky thing reveals enough war stuff in it to blow him to Kingdom come or Hannibal. With the shooting iron removed let us proceed. Let's see, we stopped with a ham sandwich with four slices of the finest kind of Adams county pork in it. Well, after making escape from the kitchen in the next Pullmans were the rank and file of the regiment. (The old train is going so fast I can almost write French on the typewriter.)
The privates are singing all the old songs of 1898, the "Wearing of the Blue", "Just as the Sun Went Down", "Hot Time in the Old Town" etc.
Second Square Meal Stretches Belt.
Passing through two more Pullmans and walking over about six dogs of all colors and nameless breeds, (they are all mascots), landed The Herald man in another kitchen car and, trying to steady himself put his clumsy hands on a red hot stove. But what is a hot stove with a regiment of Quincyans? Here he must still have had that hungry look for before he could get out of that car he had to eat another meal. Did he eat it? His belt is out to the last notch. He will have to leave a couple of items out of his expense bill.
There is a lot happening on this trip that will never get into print. For instance, Col. Wood, the high muck-a-muck of the outfit, has his private headquarters in a drawing room which bears the inscription "Women." There are no women within forty miles of us but about four-fifths of the regiment is busy writing post cards and letters to some of the dearest women in the world, the women back in Quincy.