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Title: The Career of Leonard Wood
Author: Sears, Joseph Hamblen
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: LEONARD WOOD (portrait)]







Copyright 1919 by

Printed in the United States of America


By Corinne Roosevelt Robinson

  Your vision keen, unerring when the blind,
    Who could not see, turned, groping, from the light.
    Your sentient knowledge of the wise and right
  Have won to-day the freedom of mankind.

  Honor to whom the honor be assigned!
    Mightier in exile than the men whose might
    Is of the sword alone, and not of sight.
  You march beside the victor host aligned.

  Had not your spirit soared, our ardent youth
    Had faltered leaderless; their eager feet
  Attuned to effort for the valiant truth
    Through your command rushed swiftly to compete
  To hold on high the torch of Liberty--
  Great-visioned Soul, yours is the victory!

  November 11, 1918

  _From "Service and Sacrifice: Poems"_

  Copyright. 1915. 1916. 1917. 1918. 1919. by
  Charles Scribner's Sons.
  By permission of the publishers.


I.    The Subject         11

II.   The Indian Fighter  25

III.  The Official        51

IV.   The Soldier         77

V.    The Organizer      101

VI.   The Administrator  129

VII.  The Statesman      159

VIII. The Patriot        201

IX.   The Great War      225

X.    The Result         257





In these days immediately following the Great War it is well upon
beginning anything--even a modest biographical sketch--to consider a
few elementals and distinguish them from the changing unessentials, to
keep a sound basis of sense and not be led into hysteria, to look
carefully again at the beams of our house and not be deceived into
thinking that the plaster and the wall paper are the supports of the

Let us consider a few of these elementals that apply to the subject in
hand as well as to the rest of the universe--elemental truths which do
not change, which no Great War can alter in the least, which serve as
guides at all times and will help at every doubtful point. They range
themselves somewhat as follows:

The human being is entitled to the pursuit of happiness--happiness in
the very broadest sense of the word. No one can approach this object
{12} unless he is in some way subordinated to something and unless he
is responsible for something. No man can get satisfaction out of life
unless he is responsible for what he does to some authority higher
than himself and unless there is some one or something that looks to
him for guidance. Perhaps the existence of religion has much to do
with this. Perhaps prayer and all that it means to us belongs in the
category of the first of these elementals. Certainly the family is an
example of the second.

The family is the unit of civilization--always has been and always
will be. The father and the mother have their collective existence,
and their children looking to them for guidance, support and growth,
both physical and moral. The moment the family begins to exist it
becomes a responsibility for its head, and around it centers a large
part of the life and happiness of the human being.

In like manner the state is the unit to which we are subordinated.

These constitute two examples of responsibility and subordination
which are necessary to the {13} acquirement of civilization, of
happiness and of the rewards of life.

Wherever the state has presumed to enter too far into the conduct of
the family it has overstepped its bounds and that particular
civilization has degenerated. Wherever the family has presumed to give
up its subordination to the state and gather unto itself the
responsibility through special privilege, that particular state has
begun to die.

In modern civilization it is as impossible to conceive of a state
without the unit of the family, as it is to consider groups of
families without something that we call a state. It is ludicrous to
think of a strong and virile nation composed of one hundred million
bachelors. We must go back to the feudal days of the middle ages to
get a picture of the family without a state.

In other words, a man, to approach happiness, must have his family in
support of which it is his privilege to take off his coat and work,
and--if fate so decree--live; and he must have his country's flag in
honor of which it is his privilege to take off his hat, and--if need


Love and patriotism--these are the names of two of the sturdy beams of
the house of civilization.

These old familiar laws have been brought forward again by the
outbreak of the Great War. There is a letter in existence written by a
young soldier who volunteered at the start, a letter which he wrote to
his unborn son as he sat in a front line trench in France. It tells
the whole great truth in a line. It says: "My little son, I do not
fully realize just why I am fighting here, but I know that one reason
is to make sure that _you_ will not have to do it by and by." That lad
was responsible for a new family, and was the servant of his
state--and he began his approach to the great happiness when he
thought of writing that letter.

It will be well for us to remember these simple laws as we proceed.

Fifty-eight years ago these laws and several more like them were just
as true as they are now. Fifty-eight years hence they will still be
true, as they will be five thousand eight hundred years hence.
Fifty-eight years ago--to be exact, {15} October 9, 1860--there was
born up in New Hampshire a man child named Leonard Wood, in the town
of Winchester, whence he was transferred at the age of three months to
Massachusetts and finally at the age of eight years to Pocasset on
Cape Cod. This man child is still alive at the time of writing, and
during his fifty-eight years he has stood for these elemental truths
in and out of boyhood, youth and manhood in such a fashion that his
story--always interesting--becomes valuable at a time when, the Great
War being over, many nations, to say nothing of many individuals, are
forgetting, in their admiration of the new plaster and the wall paper,
that the beams of the house of civilization are what hold it strong
and sturdy as the ages proceed.

This place, Cape Cod, where the formative years of Leonard Wood's life
were passed, is a sand bank left by some melting glacier sticking out
into the Atlantic in the shape of a doubled-up arm with a clenched
fist as if it were ready at any moment to strike out and defend New
England against any attack that might come from the eastward. Those
who call it their native place have acquired {16} something of its
spirit. They have ever been ready to oppose any aggression from the
eastward or any other direction, and they have ever been ready to
stand firmly upon the conviction that the integrity of the family and
of the state must be maintained. And young Wood from them and from his
Mayflower Pilgrim ancestors absorbed and was born with a common sense
and a directness of vision that have appeared throughout his life
under whatever conditions he found himself.

There seems to have been nothing remarkable about him either in his
boyhood or in his youth. He achieved nothing out of the ordinary
through that whole period. But there has always been in him somewhere,
the solid basis of sense and reason which kept him to whatever purpose
he set himself to achieve along the lines of the great elemental
truths of life and far away from visionary hallucinations of any sort.
If it was Indian fighting, he worked away at the basis of the question
and got ready and then carried out. If it was war, the same. If it was
administration, he {17} studied the essentials, prepared for them, and
then carried them out.

Like all great achievements, it is simplicity itself and can be told
in words of one syllable. In all lines of his extraordinarily varied
career extending over all the corners of the globe he respected and
built up authority of government and protected and encouraged the
development of the family unit. One might say "Why not? Of course."
The answer is "Who in this country in the last thirty years has done
it to anything like the same extent?"

Many minds during this time have advanced new ideas; many men have
invented amazing things; many able people have opened up new avenues
of thought and vision to the imagination of the world, sometimes to
good and lasting purpose, sometimes otherwise. But who has taken
whatever problem was presented to him and invariably, no matter what
quality was required, brought that problem to a successful conclusion
without upheaval, or chaos, or even much excitement for any one
outside the immediately interested group?

It is not genius; it is organization. It is not {18} the flare of
inventive ability; it is the high vision of one whose code rested
always on elemental, sound and enduring principles and who has not
swerved from these to admire the plaster and the paper on the wall. It
is finally the great quality that makes a man keep his feet on the
ground and his heart amongst the bright stars.

Of such stuff are the men of this world made whom people lean on, whom
people naturally look to in emergency, who guide instinctively and
unerringly, carrying always the faith of those about them because they
deal with sound things, elemental truths and sane methods--because
they give mankind what Leonard Wood's greatest friend called "a square

It is difficult to treat much of his youth because he is still living
and the family life of any man is his own and not the public's
business. But there is a certain interest attaching to his life-work
for his country in knowing that his great-great-grandfather commanded
a regiment in the Revolutionary army at Bunker Hill and that his
father was a doctor who served in the Union army during the Civil War.
Out of such heredity has {19} come a doctor who is a Major General in
the United States Army.

At the same time his own life on Cape Cod outside of school at the
Middleboro Academy was marked by what might distinguish any youngster
of that day and place--a strong liking for small boating, for games
out of doors, for riding, shooting and fishing. These came from a fine
healthy body which to this day at his present age is amazing in its
capacity to carry him through physical work. He can to-day ride a
hundred miles at a stretch and walk thirty miles in any twenty-four

Later in life this was one of the many points of common interest that
drew him and Theodore Roosevelt so closely together. It has no
particular significance other than to make it possible for him in many
lands at many different limes to do that one great thing which makes
men leaders--to show his men the way, to do himself whatever he asked
others to do, never to give an order whether to a military, sanitary,
medical or administrative force that he could not and did not do
himself in so far as one man could do it.


There was little or no money in the Wood family and the young man had
to plan early to look out for himself. He wanted to go to
sea--probably  because he lived on Cape Cod and came from a long line
of New Englanders. He wanted to go into the Navy. He even planned to
join an Arctic expedition at the age of twenty and began to collect
material for his outfit. But finally, following his father's lead, he
settled upon the study of medicine.

This led to the Harvard University Medical School and to his
graduation in 1884. There then followed the regular internship of a
young physician and the beginning of practice in Boston.

Then came the change that separated Wood from the usual lot of well
educated, well prepared doctors who come out of a fine medical school
and begin their lifework of following their profession and building up
a practice, a record, a family and the history which is the highest
ideal man can have and the collective result of which is a sound

Wood wanted action. He wanted to do  {21} something. He had a strong
inclination to the out-of-doors. And it is probably this, together
with his inheritance and the chances of the moment, that led him to
enter the army as a surgeon. As there was no immediate vacancy in the
medical corps he took the job of contract surgeon at a salary of $100
a month and was first ordered to duty at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor
where he stayed only a few days. His request for "action" was granted
in June, 1885, and he wais ordered to Arizona to report to General
Crook on the Mexican border near Fort Huachuca.

And here begins the career of Leonard Wood.








The problem was what turned out to be the last of the Indian fighting,
involving a long-drawn-out campaign. For over a hundred years, as
every one knows, the unequal struggle of two races for this continent
had been in progress and the history of it is the ever tragic story of
the survival of the fittest. No one can read it without regret at the
destruction, the extermination, of a race. No one, however, can for a
moment hesitate in his judgment of the inevitableness of it, since it
is and always will be the truth that the man or the race or the nation
which cannot keep up with the times must go under--and should go
under. Education, brains, genius, organization, ability, imagination,
vision--whatever it may be called or by how many names--will forever
destroy and push out ignorance, incompetence, stupidity.

The Indians were not able--tragic as the truth {26} is--to move
onward, and so they had to move out and give place to the more worthy

The end of this century of struggle was the campaign against the
Apaches in the Southwest along the Mexican border, where they made
their last stand under their able leader Geronimo.

The young doctor was detailed at once for duty on a broiling fourth of
July under Captain--afterwards General--Henry W. Lawton, and the next
day he rode a horse over thirty-five miles. That incident to the
initiated is noteworthy, but even more so is the fact that shortly
afterwards in a hard drive of five succeeding days he averaged
eighteen hours a day either in the saddle or on foot, leading the
horses. It was a stiff test. To make it worse he was given the one
unassigned horse--that is to say, a horse that was known as an
"outlaw"--whose jerky gait made each saddle-sore complain at every
step. The sun beat down fiercely; but, burned and blistered fore and
aft, Leonard Wood could still smile and ask for more action.

The stoicism of the tenderfoot who had come to play their game was not
lost on the troopers {27} with whom he was to spend the next two years
fighting Indians. He "healed in the saddle" at once and a few weeks
later was out-riding and out-marching the best of Captain Lawton's
command, all of whom were old and experienced Indian fighters.

This was not to be the last time that Leonard Wood was to find himself
faced at the outset by tacit suspicion and lack of confidence on the
part of the men he was to command. Years later in the Philippines he
was put up against a similar hostility, with responsibilities a
thousandfold more grave, and in the same dogged way he won
confidence--unquestioning loyalty--by proving that he was better than
the best. "Do it and don't talk about it," was his formula for
success. It was this quality in him that made it possible for Captain
Lawton to write to General Nelson A. Miles, who had then succeeded
General Crook, after the successful Geronimo campaign: "... I can only
repeat that I have before reported officially and what I have said to
you: that his services during the trying campaign were of the highest
order. I speak particularly of services {28} other than those
devolving upon him as a medical officer; services as a combatant or
line officer voluntarily performed. He sought the most difficult work,
and by his determination and courage rendered a successful issue of
the campaign possible."

General Crook, who commanded the troops along the border,
characterized the Apaches as "tigers of the human race." Tigers they
were, led by Geronimo, the man whose name became a by-word for
savagery and cruelty. For a time these Indians had remained subdued
and quiet upon a reservation, and there can be no question but what
the subsequent outbreaks that led to the long campaign in which Wood
took part were due largely to the lack of judgment displayed by the
officials in whose charge they were placed. Both the American settlers
and the Mexicans opposed the location of the Indians on the San Carlos
reservation and lost no opportunity to show their hostility. When
General Crook took command of that district he found he had to deal
with a mean, sullen and treacherous band of savages.

The American forces were constantly embroiled with the Chiricahuas.
Treaties and agreements {29} were made only to be broken whenever
blood lust or "tiswin"--a strong drink made from corn--moved the
tribe to the warpath and fresh depredations. Due to General Crook's
tireless efforts there were several occasions when the Indians
remained quietly on their reservation, but it was only a matter of
months at the best before one of the tribes, usually the Chiricahuas,
would break forth again. Not until the treaty of 1882 with Mexico was
it possible for our troops to pursue them into the Mexican mountains
where they took refuge after each uprising. In 1883 General Crook made
an expedition into Mexico which resulted in the return of the
Chiricahuas and the Warm Springs tribes under Geronimo and Natchez to
the Apache reservation.

Two years of comparative quiet followed. The Indians followed
agricultural pursuits and the settlers, who had come to establish
themselves on ranches along the border, went out to their plowing and
fence building unarmed. In May, 1886, the Indians indulged in an
extensive and prolonged "tiswin" drunk. The savagery that lurked in
their hearts broke loose and they escaped from {30} their reservation
in small bands, leaving smoking trails of murder, arson and pillage
behind them. Acts of ugly violence followed. General Crook threatened
to kill the last one of them, if it took fifty years, and at one
moment it seemed as though he had them under control. "Tiswin" once
again set them loose and they stampeded.

Their daring and illusiveness kept the American and Mexican troops
constantly in action. One band of eleven Indians crossed into the
United States, raided an Apache reservation, killed Indians as well as
thirty-eight whites, captured two hundred head of stock and returned
to Mexico after having traveled four weeks and covered over 1,200

It was into such warfare that Wood was plunged. No sooner had he
arrived and begun his work than he put in a request for line duty in
addition to his duties as a medical officer. This was granted
immediately, because the need of men who could do something was too
great to admit of much punctiliousness in the matter of military
custom. Before the arrival of his commission as Assistant Surgeon,
January, 1886, he {31} had served as commanding officer of infantry in
a desperately hard pursuit in the Sierra Madres, ending in an attack
on an Indian camp. He was repeatedly assigned to the most strenuous,
fatiguing duty. After having marched on foot one day twenty-five miles
with Indian scouts he rode seventy-three miles with a message at
night, coming back at dawn the next day, just in time to break camp
and march thirty-four miles to a new camp. He was given at his own
request command of infantry under Captain Lawton, and this assignment
to line duty was sanctioned by General Miles, who had recently taken
over the command of the troops along the border.

General Miles was one of the greatest Indian fighters the country has
ever known. He was peculiarly fitted to assume this new job of
suppressing the Apache. He judged and selected the men who were to be
a part of this campaign by his own well-established standards. As its
leader he selected Captain Lawton, then serving with the Fourth United
States Cavalry at Fort Huachuca, primarily because Captain Lawton
believed that these Indians could be subjugated. {32} He had met their
skill and cunning and physical strength through years of such warfare
under General Crook, and possessed the necessary qualifications to
meet the demands of the trying campaign that faced him. After speaking
of Captain Lawton, General Miles says in his published recollections:

"I also found at Fort Huachuca another splendid type of American
manhood, Captain Leonard Wood, Assistant Surgeon, United States Army.
He was a young officer, age twenty-four, a native of Massachusetts, a
graduate of Harvard, a fair-haired, blue-eyed young man of great
intelligence, sterling, manly qualities and resolute spirit. He was
also perhaps as fine a specimen of physical strength and endurance as
could easily be found."

"... His services and observations and example were most commendable
and valuable, and added much to the physical success of the

General Field Orders No. 7, issued April 20, 1886, by General Miles
for the guidance of the troops in his command, tell clearly and
concisely the character and demands of the time.


"The chief object of the troops will be to capture or destroy any band
of hostile Apache Indians found in this section of the country, and to
this end the most vigorous and persistent efforts will be required of
all officers and soldiers until this object is accomplished.

"... The cavalry will be used in light scouting parties with a
sufficient force held in readiness at all times to make the most
persistent and effective pursuit.

"To avoid any advantage the Indians may have by a relay of horses,
where a troop or squadron commander is near the hostile Indians, he
will be justified in dismounting one half of his command and selecting
the lightest and best riders to make pursuit by the most vigorous
forced marches until the strength of all the animals of his command
shall have been exhausted.

"In this way a command should, under a judicious leader, capture a
band of Indians or drive them from 160 to 200 miles in forty-eight
hours through a country favorable for cavalry movements; and the
horses of the troops will be trained for this purpose."


To get a picture of young Wood at this time it is necessary to look at
the situation through the eyes of that day and through the eyes of
youth as well.

A young man of twenty-four had been brought up by the sea in what we
will call for the sake of politeness conservative New England. He had
all the sound and sane basis of character that comes from what in this
country was an old and established civilization. He had been educated
in his profession at the most academic and conservative institution in
the United States; a profession which while not an exact science is
nevertheless a science requiring sane methods and the elimination of
risks. He had begun the regular work of this profession. He possessed
also what every young man with a healthy body of that day possessed--
and still possesses--a passion for romance, for the road, for the
great adventure which at that time in this country still centered
around the pistol shooting, broncho riding, Indian fighting cowboy.

We who are old have forgotten the paper covered stories we used to
read surreptitiously {35} about the "Broncho Buster's Revenge," or
"The Three-Fingered Might of the West." But we did read them and long
for the great life of the plains. Even Jesse James was a hero to many
of us.

But for a New Englander educated at Harvard to the practice of
medicine to pick up his deeply driven stakes and actually go into this
realm of romance was unusual in the extreme; and to be so well trained
and in such good condition, with such high courage as to make good at
once amongst those men who looked down on an Eastern tender-foot was
sufficiently rare to promise much for the future.

The young man had the love of romance that all young lives have, but
he had the unusual stimulus to it that led him to make it for the
moment his actual life. And those who study his whole life will find
again and again that when the parting of the ways came he invariably
took the road of adventure, provided that it was always in the service
of his country. Such then was the makeup and the condition of this
young man when in the spring of 1886 Captain Lawton, having {36}
received orders to assume command of the expedition into Mexico
against the hostile Apache, included Wood as one of his four officers.
The force consisted of forty-five troopers, twenty Indian scouts,
thirty infantrymen and two pack trains. And thus began the
two-thousand-mile chase into the fastnesses of Sonora and Chihuahua
which ended with the surrender of Geronimo.

General Miles' campaign methods differed from those of General Crook
in many ways. He always assumed the aggressive. His motto was, "Follow
the Indian wherever he goes and strike him whenever you can. No matter
how bad the country, go on." Under these instructions the troops went
over the border and down into the depths of the Sonora, jumping the
Indian whenever an opportunity offered, never giving him any rest.
Wherever he went the troops followed. If he struck the border, a well
arranged system of heliostat stations passed the word along to a body
of waiting or passing scouts. General Miles' methods differed from
those of General Crook also in the matter of the use of the heliostat,
a system of signaling based on flashes of the sun's rays from {37}
mirrors. He had used them experimentally while stationed in the
Department of the Columbia, and now determined to make them of
practical use at his new station. Over the vast tracts of rough,
unpopulated land of Arizona and Mexico the signals flashed, keeping
different detachments in touch with their immediate commands, and the
campaign headquarters in touch with its base.

Even before Captain Lawton's command could be made ready the Indians
themselves precipitated the fight. Instead of remaining in the Sierra
Madres, where they were reasonably safe from assault, they commenced a
campaign of violence south of the boundary. This gave both the
American troops and the Mexicans who were operating in conjunction
with them exact knowledge of their whereabouts. On the 27th of April
they came northward, invading the United States. Innumerable outrages
were committed by them which are now part of the history of that
heart-breaking campaign. One, for example, typical of the rest was the
case of the Peck family. Their ranch was surrounded, the family
captured and a number of the ranch hands killed. The husband {38} was
tied and compelled to witness the tortures to which his wife was
submitted. His daughter, thirteen years old, was abducted by the band
and carried nearly three hundred miles. In the meantime Captain
Lawton's command with Wood in charge of the Apache scouts was pursuing
them hotly. A short engagement between the Mexican troops and the
Indians followed. On the heels of this the American troops came up and
the little Peck girl was recaptured. Nightfall, however, prevented any
decisive engagement, and before daybreak the Indians had, slipped

The Indians found it better to divide into two bands, one under
Natchez, which turned to the north, and the other under Geronimo,
which went to the west. The first band was intercepted by Lieutenant
Brett of the Second Cavalry after a heartbreaking pursuit. At one time
the pursuing party was on the trail for twenty-six hours without a
halt, and eighteen hours without water. The men suffered so intensely
from thirst that many of them opened their veins to moisten their lips
with their own blood. But the Indians suffered far more. In Geronimo's
story of those {39} days, published many years later, he wrote: "We
killed cattle to eat whenever we were in need of food, but we
frequently suffered greatly for need of water. At one time we had no
water for two days and nights, and our horses almost died of thirst."
Finally on the evening of June 6th the cavalry came into contact with
Geronimo's band and the Indians were scattered.

For four months Captain Lawton and Leonard Wood pursued the savages
over mountain ranges and through the canyons. During this time the
troops marched 1,396 miles. The conditions under which they worked
were cruel. The intense heat, the lack of water, and the desperately
rough country covered with mountains and cactus hindered the command,
but the men had the consolation of knowing that the Indians were in
worse plight. Furthermore, the trustworthiness of the Indian scouts, a
tattered, picturesque band of renegades, was coming under suspicion.
Perhaps it was because of their unreliability that an attack made upon
the 18th of July was not an entire success. The Indians escaped, but
their most valued  {40} possessions, food and horses, fell into the
hands of our troopers.

It was the beginning of the end. A month later they received word that
the Indians were working towards Santa Teresa, and Captain Lawton
moved forward to head them off. Leonard Wood's personal account of
this engagement follows:

"On the 13th of July we effected the surprise of the camp of Geronimo
and Natchez which eventually led to their surrender and resulted in
the immediate capture of everything in their camps except themselves
and the clothes they wore. It was our practice to keep two scouts two
or three days in advance of the command, and between them and the main
body four or five other scouts. The Indian scouts in advance would
locate the camp of the hostiles and send back word to the next party,
who in their turn would notify the main command; then a forced march
would be made in order to surround and surprise the camp. On the day
mentioned, following this method of procedure, we located the Indians
on the Yaqui River in a section of the country almost impassable for
man or beast and {41} in a position which the Indians evidently felt
to be perfectly secure. The small tableland on which the camp was
located bordered on the Yaqui River and was surrounded on all sides by
high cliffs with practically only two points of entrance, one up the
river and the other down. The officers were able to creep up and look
down on the Indian camp which was about two thousand feet below their
point of observation. All the fires were burning, the horses were
grazing and the Indians were in the river swimming with evidently not
the slightest apprehension of attack. Our plan was to send scouts to
close the upper opening and then to send the infantry, of which I had
the command, to attack the camp from below.

"Both the Indians and the infantry were in position and advanced on
the hostile camp, which, situated as it was on this tableland covered
with canebrake and boulders, formed an ideal position for Indian
defense. As the infantry moved forward the firing of the scouts was
heard, which led us to believe that the fight was on, and great,
accordingly, was our disgust to find, on our arrival, that the firing
was accounted for by the fact that {42} the scouts were killing the
stock, the Apaches themselves having escaped through the northern exit
just a few minutes before their arrival. It was a very narrow escape
for the Indians, and was due to mere accident. One of their number,
who had been out hunting, discovered the red headband of one of our
scouts as he was crawling around into position. He immediately dropped
his game and notified the Apaches, and they were able to get away just
before the scouts closed up the exit. Some of these Indians were
suffering from old wounds. Natchez himself was among this number, and
their sufferings through the pursuit which followed led to their
discouragement and, finally, to their surrender."

The persistent action of our troops was beginning to have its effect,
and when the Indians ceased to commit depredations it was good
evidence to those who knew Indians and Indian nature that they were
beginning to think of surrender.

One night the troops ran into a Mexican pack-train, which brought the
first reports that Indians were near Fronteras, a little village in
Sonora. Two of their women had come into town to find the {43} wife of
an old Mexican who was with the Americans as a guide, hoping, through
her, to open up communications looking to a surrender. As soon as the
report was received Captain Lawton sent Lieutenant Gatewood of the
Sixth Cavalry, who had joined the command, with two friendly Apaches
of the same tribe as those who were out on the warpath, to go ahead
and send his men into the hostile camp and demand their surrender.
This he eventually succeeded in doing, but the Indians refused to
surrender, saying that they would talk only with Lawton, or, as they
expressed it, "the officer who had followed them all summer." This
eventually led to communication being opened and one morning at
daybreak Geronimo, Natchez and twelve other Indians appeared, in camp.
Their inclinations seemed at least to be peaceful enough to allow the
entire body of Indians to come down and camp within two miles of the
Americans. It was agreed that they should meet General Miles and
formally surrender to him and that the Indians and the troops should
move further north to a more convenient meeting place. To give
confidence to the Indians in this new state {44} of affairs, Captain
Lawton, Leonard Wood and two other officers agreed to travel with
them. Due to a mistake in orders, the American troopers started off in
the wrong direction, and Captain Lawton was obliged to leave in search
of them. This left the three remaining officers practically as
hostages in the Indian camp. Speaking of this incident. General Wood

"Instead of taking advantage of our position, they assured us that
while we were in their camp it was our camp, and that as we had never
lied to them they were going to keep faith with us. They gave us the
best they had to eat and treated us as well as we could wish in every
way. Just before giving us these assurances, Geronimo came to me and
asked to see my rifle. It was a Hotchkiss and he had never seen its
mechanism. When he asked me for the gun and some ammunition, I must
confess I felt a little nervous, for I thought it might be a device to
get hold of one of our weapons. I made no objection, however, but let
him have it, showed him how to use it, and he fired at a mark, just
missing one of his own men, which he regarded as a great joke, rolling
on the {45} ground, laughing heartily and saying 'good gun.'

"Late the next afternoon we came up with our command, and we then
proceeded toward the boundary line. The Indians were very watchful,
and when we came near any of our troops we found the Indians were
always aware of their presence before we knew of it ourselves."

For eleven days Captain Lawton's command moved north, with Geronimo's
and Natchez's camps moving in a parallel course. During these last
days of Geronimo's leadership his greatest concern was for the welfare
of his people. The most urgent request that he had to make of Captain
Lawton was to ask repeatedly for the assurance that his people would
not be murdered.

Captain Lawton in his official report says of Wood's work in the

"No officer of infantry having been sent with the detachment ...
Assistant Surgeon Wood was, at his own request, given command of the
infantry. The work during June having been done by the cavalry, they
were too much exhausted to be used again without rest, and they were
left in camp at Oposura to recuperate.


"During this short campaign, the suffering was intense. The country
was indescribably rough and the weather swelteringly hot, with heavy
rains for day or night. The endurance of the men was tried to the
utmost limit. Disabilities resulting from excessive fatigue reduced
the infantry to fourteen men, and as they were worn out and without
shoes when the new supplies reached me July 29th, they were returned
to the supply camp for rest, and the cavalry under Lieutenant A. L.
Smith, who had just joined his troop, continued the campaign. Heavy
rains having set in, the trail of the hostiles, who were all on foot,
was entirely obliterated.

"I desire particularly to invite the attention of the Department
Commander to Assistant Surgeon Leonard Wood, the only officer who has
been with me through the whole campaign. His courage, energy and loyal
support during the whole time; his encouraging example to the command
when work was the hardest and prospects darkest; his thorough
confidence and belief in the final successes of the expedition, and
his untiring efforts to make {47} it so, have placed me under
obligations so great that I cannot even express them."

Through the formal language of a military report crops out the respect
of a commanding officer who knew whereof he spoke, the acknowledgment
that here was a young subordinate who never despaired, never gave up,
who always did his part and more than his part, and who placed his
commanding officer under obligations which he was unable "even to
express." That was a great deal for any young man to secure. To-day,
after the Great War, there are many such extracts from official
reports and all are unquestionably deserved. But they are the result
of a nation awakened to patriotism when all went in together. In 1886,
when the nation was at peace, when commercial pursuits were calling
all young men to make their fortune, young Leonard Wood answered a
much less universal call to do his work in a fight that had none of
the flare or glory of the front line trench in Flanders.

Out of it all came to him at a very early age practice in handling men
in rough country in rough times--men who were not puppets even {48}
though they were regular army privates. They had to be handled at
times with an iron hand, at times with the softest of gloves; and an
officer to gain their confidence and respect had to show them that he
could beat them at their own game and be one of them--and still

The Congressional Medal of Honor awarded him years later for this
Indian work is a fair return of what he accomplished, for this Medal
of Honor, the then only prize for personal bravery and high fighting
qualities which his country could give him, has always been the rare
and much coveted award of army men.

It was in Wood's case the mark of conspicuous fighting qualities,
conspicuous bravery and marked attention to duty--a sign of success of
a high order for a New England doctor of twenty-five.







Chance no doubt at times plays an important part in the making of a
man. Yet perhaps Cassias' remark, through the medium of Shakespeare,
that "The fault is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are
underlings," has the truer ring. Chance no doubt comes to all of us
again and again, but it is the brain that takes the chance which
deserves the credit and not the accidental event, opportunity or
occasion offering.

It was not chance that sent Leonard Wood to Arizona to fight Indians.
It was the result of long hours of meditation in Boston when, as a
young doctor, he decided finally to leave the usual routine of a
physician's career and strike out in another and less main-traveled
road. There was nothing of luck or chance in this decision, the
carrying out of which taught him something that he used later to the
advantage of himself and his country.

Out of the Indian experiences came to him in {62} the most vigorous
possible way through actual observation the necessity for bodily
health. No man could ride or walk day in and day out across waterless
deserts and keep his courage and determination, to say nothing of his
good common sense, without being in the best of physical condition. No
man could get up in the morning after a terrific night's march, and
collect his men and cheer and encourage them unless he was absolutely
fit and in better condition than they.

He learned, too, that all matters of outfit, care of person, of
equipment, of horses required the most constant attention day by day,
hour by hour. He had to deal with an enemy who belonged to this
country, who knew and was accustomed to its climatic conditions as
well as its topography, and he had to beat him at his own game, or

He learned that preparation, while it should never delay action, can
never be overdone. This must have been drilled into the young man by
the hardest and most grueling experiences, because it has been one of
the gospels of his creed {53} since that time and is to this day his
text upon all occasions.

He learned, too, something deeper than even these basic essentials of
the fighting creed. He developed what has always been a part of
himself--the conviction that authority is to be respected, that
allegiance to superior officers and government is the first essential
of success, that organization is the basis of smoothly running
machinery of any kind, and that any weakening of these principles is
the sign of decay, of failure, and of disintegration.

He learned that a few men, well trained, thoroughly organized, fit and
ready, can beat a host of individualists though each of the latter may
excel in ability any of the former, and there is in this connection a
curiously interesting significance in the man's passionate fondness
throughout his whole life for the game of football. At Middleboro, in
California, in service in the South and in Washington, he was at every
opportunity playing football, because in addition to its physical
qualities, this game above all others depends for {54} its success
upon organization, preparation and what is called "team play."

Through these early days it is to be noted, therefore, as a help in
understanding his great work for his country which came later that his
sense of the value of organization grew constantly stronger and
stronger along with a solid belief in the necessity for subordination
to his superior officers and through them to his state and his flag.
The respect which he acquired for the agile Indians went hand in hand
with the knowledge that in the end they could not fail to be captured
and defeated, because they had neither the sense of organization, nor
the intelligence to accept and respect authority which not only would
have given them success, but would in reality have made the whole
campaign unnecessary, had the Indian mind been able to conceive them
in their true light and the Indian character been willing to observe
their never-changing laws.

The result, however, was that the spirit of the Indians was broken by
the white man's relentless determination.

The hostile Apaches were finally disposed of by {55} sending them out
of the territory. They were treated as prisoners of war and the
guarantees that General Miles had given them as conditions of
surrender were respected by the Government, although there was a great
feeing in favor of making them pay the full penalty for their
outrages. President Grover Cleveland expressed himself as hoping that
"nothing will be done with Geronimo which will prevent our treating
him as a prisoner of war, if we cannot hang him, which I would much

At the end of the campaign General Miles set about reorganizing his
command. For several months Wood was engaged in practice maneuvers.
The General wished to expand his heliographic system of signaling, and
to that end commenced an extensive survey of the vast unpopulated
tracts of Arizona, which his troops might have to cover in time of
action. Wood was one of the General's chief assistants in this survey,
and in 1889, when he was ordered away, he probably knew as much of
Arizona and the southwestern life as any man ever stationed there.

The orders which took him from the border {56} country made him one of
the staff surgeons at Headquarters in Los Angeles. This post promised
to be inactive and uninteresting but Captain Wood managed to
distinguish himself in two respects, first as a surgeon and second as
an athlete. This period of his life varied from month to month in some
instances, but in the main it was the usual existence of an army
official in the capacity of military surgeon. It extended over a
period of eleven years, from 1887 to 1898. These were the eleven years
between the ages of twenty-seven and thirty-seven--very critical years
in the existence of a man. It was during these years that he met Miss
Louise A. Condit Smith, a niece of Chief Justice Field, who afterwards
became his wife and began with him a singularly simple and homelike
family life that is the second of his vital interests in this world.
He has never allowed his family life to interfere with his service to
his country. And, paradoxical as it may seem, he has never allowed his
lifework for his state to interfere with the happy and even tenor of
his home existence. Children came in due course and the family unit
became complete--that quiet, straightforward {57} existence of the
family which is the characteristic of American life to-day, as it is
of any other well-organized civilized nation.

In the practice of his profession he was able to do a lasting service
to his commanding officer. General Miles suffered a grave accident to
his leg when a horse fell upon it. It was the opinion of the surgeon
who attended him that amputation would be necessary. But the General
was of no mind to beat a one-legged retreat in the midst of a highly
interesting and successful career. Captain Wood had inspired
confidence in him as an Indian fighter--a confidence so strong that he
thought it might not be misplaced if it became confidence in him as a
doctor--and so Wood was summoned.

"They say they will have to cut off this leg, but they are not going
to do it," said the General. "I am going to leave it up to you. You'll
have to save it."

A few weeks later General Miles was up and about, and under his young
surgeon's care the wound healed and the leg was saved.

While stationed at Los Angeles headquarters {68} Wood found himself
with enough time for much hard sport. It was a satisfying kind of life
after the strenuous months of border service.

In 1888 he was ordered back to the border where he served with the
10th Cavalry in the Apache Kid outbreak. After a few months of active
service, he was ordered to Fort McDowell and then, in 1889, to
California again.

From California he was ordered to Fort McPherson, near Atlanta,
Georgia, where he again distinguished himself at football. He trained
the first team in the Georgia Institute of Technology, became its
Captain and during the two years of his Captaincy lost but one game
and defeated the champion team of the University of Georgia.

An incident has been told by his fellow players at Fort McPherson
which shows exceedingly well a certain Spartan side to Wood's nature.
One afternoon at a football game he received a deep cut over one eye.
He returned to his office after the game and, after coolly sterilizing
his instrument and washing the wound, stood before a mirror and calmly
took four stitches in his eyelid.

Such were the characteristics, such the {59} experience, of the young
man when in 1896 he was ordered to Washington--that morgue of the
government official--to become Assistant Attending Surgeon. The holder
of this position often shares with the Navy Surgeons the
responsibility of medical attention to the President, and in addition
he acts as medical adviser to army officers and their families and is
the official physician to the Secretary of War.

It was not an office that appealed to Captain Wood. It could not;
since he was a man essentially of out-of-doors, of action and of
administration. Yet he seems to have made such a success of the work
that he became the personal friend of both Cleveland and McKinley. His
relations with President Cleveland were of the most intimate sort,
resulting from mutual respect and liking as well as a mutual
understanding on the part of both men of the other's good qualities.
He saw him in the White House at all hours of the day and night; saw
him with his family and his children about him; noted their fondness
for their father and his devotion to them. It was a quality so marked
in Lincoln, so strong in most great men {60} of the sound, calm,
fearless, administrative sort. Wood himself has exhibited the same
quality in his own family. And in those days the perfect understanding
of the father and his children, the simple family life that went on in
the splendid old house in Washington which combined the dignity of a
State and the simplicity of a home unequaled by any great ruler's
house upon this earth--all tended to bring out this native quality in
the President's medical adviser.

It was at the conclusion of Cleveland's second term that Wood was
assigned to this position. On one of the President's trips for
recreation and rest--a shooting expedition on the inland waters near
Cape Hatteras--he was one of the party which included also Admiral
Evans and Captain Lamberton. The hours spent in shooting boxes or in
the evenings in the cabin of the lighthouse tender gave opportunity
for him to study Cleveland off duty when the latter liked to sit
quietly and talk of his early life, of his political battles, of
fishing, shooting, and of the urgent questions which beset him as
President. And Wood brought away with him a profound respect for the
{61} combination of simplicity and unswerving love and devotion to his
country, coupled with rugged uncompromising honesty which seem to have
been the characteristics of Grover Cleveland.

This particular trip was immediately after the inauguration ceremonies
of President McKinley, and Cleveland was not only tired from the
necessary part which he himself had taken in them, but also from the
first natural let-down after four years of duty in the White House.
Wood has given a little sketch of the man:

"I remember very well his words, as he sat down with a sigh of relief,
glad that it was all over. He said: 'I have had a long talk with
President McKinley. He is an honest, sincere and serious man. I feel
that he is going to do his best to give the country a good
administration. He impressed me as a man who will have the best
interests of the people at heart.'

"Then he stopped, and said with a sigh: 'I envy him to-day only one
thing and that was the presence of his own mother at his inauguration.
I would have given anything in the world if my mother could have been
at my inauguration,' {62} and then, continuing: 'I wish him well. He
has a hard task,' and after a long pause: 'But he is a good man and
will do his best.'"

He has spoken often, too, of Cleveland's love of sport, of the days
which Jefferson, the actor, and Cleveland spent together fishing and
shooting on and near Buzzard's Bay--the same spot where he himself as
a boy spent his days in like occupations. The sides of Cleveland's
character that appealed to him were the frankness with which he
expressed his views on the important questions of the day, the
sterling worth and high ideals which emphasized his sense of duty, his
love of country and his desire to do the best possible for his fellow
citizens, coupled with his perfectly unaffected family feelings and
the amazing devotion and affection which he invariably elicited from
all those who came into association with him, even to the most humble
hand on the light house tender. Jeffersonian simplicity could have
gone no further, nor could any man have been more definite,
far-sighted and fearless than was Cleveland in his Venezuelan Message.
These two extremes made a vivid and lasting impression upon {63} the
young man, because both sides struck a sympathetic chord in his own

There followed, then, the same association with McKinley, growing out
of the necessary intimacy of physician and patient. But in this latter
case two events, vital to this country as well as to the career of
Leonard Wood, changed the quiet course of Washington official life to
a life of intense interest and great activity.

These two events were Wood's meeting with Theodore Roosevelt and the
Spanish War.

One night in 1896 at some social function at the Lowndes house Wood
was introduced to Roosevelt, then assistant Secretary of the Navy. It
seems strange that two men so vitally alike in many ways, who were in
college at about the same time, should never have met before. But when
they did meet the friendship, which lasted without a break until
Roosevelt's death, began at once.

That night the two men walked home together and in a few days they
were hard at it, walking, riding, playing games and discussing the
affairs of the day.

This strange fact of extraordinary similarities {64} and vivid
differences in the two men doubtless had much to do with bringing them
together and keeping them allied for years. Both were essentially men
of physical action, both born fighters, both filled with an amazing
patriotism and both simple family men.

On the one hand, Roosevelt was a great individualist. He did things
himself. He no sooner thought of a thing than he carried it out
himself. When he was President he frequently issued orders to
subordinates in the departments without consulting the heads of the
departments. Wood, on the other hand, is distinctly an organizer and
administrator. When he later filled high official positions, he
invariably picked men to attend to certain work and left them, with
constant consultation, to do the jobs whatever they were. If a road
was to be built, he found the best road builder and laid out the work
for him leaving to him the carrying out of the details.

Yet again both men had known life in the West, Roosevelt as a cowboy
and Wood as an Indian fighter. Both had come from the best old
American stock, Roosevelt from the Dutch of {65} Manhattan and Wood
from New England. They were Harvard men and lovers of the outdoor,
strenuous life. Their ideals and aspirations had much in common and
they were both actuated by the intense feeling of nationalism that
brought them to the foreground in American life.

Soon they were tramping through the country together testing each
other's endurance in good-natured rivalry. When out of sight of
officialdom, they ran foot races together, jumped fences and ran
cross-country. Both men had children and with these they played
Indians, indulging in most exciting chases and games. They explored
the ravines and woods all about Washington, sometimes taking on their
long hikes and rides various army officers stationed at Washington.
Few of these men were able to stand the pace set by the two energetic
athletes, and it was of course partially due to this fact that
Roosevelt in later years when he was President ordered some of the
paunchy swivel-chair Cavalry and Infantry officers out for
cross-country rides and sent them back to their homes sore and
blistered, and with {66} every nerve clamoring for the soothing
restfulness of an easy chair.

Wood was dissatisfied in Washington, bored with the inaction. He
longed for the strenuous life of the West. The desire became so strong
that he began a plan to leave the army and start sheep-ranching in the
West. It was the life, or as near the life as he could get, that he
had been leading for years; and the present contrast of those days in
the open with the life he was now leading in Washington became too
much for him.

Here again seemed to arise a turning point. Had it not been for his
own confident conviction that war was eventually coming with Spain,
Wood would probably have gone to his open life on the prairie. What
this would have meant to his future career nobody can tell, nor is
speculation upon the subject very profitable. But it is interesting to
note that what deterred him were his ideas on patriotism and a man's
duty to his country, which struck a live, vibrating chord also in
Theodore Roosevelt's nature and influenced Wood to stay in his
position and wait.

It is only possible to imagine now the {67} conversations of these two
kindred spirits on this subject. Roosevelt, as is well known, was for
war--war at once--and he did what little was done in those days to
prepare. There must have been waging a long argument between the now
experienced Indian fighter and doctor, and the great-hearted American
who knew so little of military affairs.

These talks and arguments became so frank and outspoken that they were
well-known in Washington circles. Even President McKinley used to say
to Wood:

"Have you and Theodore declared war yet?"

And Wood's answer was:

"No, we think you ought to, Mr. President."

As each day passed it seemed more likely that Spain and America would
become involved over the  injustices Cuba and the Philippines were
being forced to suffer at the hands of their greedy and none
too-loving mother country. On their long walks they discussed all the
phases of such a conflict and each of them became anxious for war
without further delay, for delay was costing time and money, and
peaceful readjustment seemed {68} quite out of the question. So keen
had they become in this war question that the two of them became known
in Washington as the "War Party."

It was becoming evident to many others that war was inevitable when
the destruction of the _Maine_ in Havana Harbor brought the situation
to a head. It found both these men prepared in their own minds as to
what their courses should be. When Wood arrived at Fort Huachuca in
1885 he was asked by Lawton why he came into the army. Lawton had
studied law at Harvard after the Civil War and was interested in the
views of a man who had studied medicine there. Wood replied that he
had come into the army to get into the line at the first opportunity;
and from that moment he began systematically his preparation for
transfer. As a part of this policy he took every opportunity to do
line duty. The result was that when the Spanish War came he had strong
letters from Lawton, General Miles, General Graham, Colonel Wagner,
General Forsythe, and others, recommending him for line command. These
recommendations varied from {69} a battalion to a regiment. Both
Roosevelt and Wood had discussed the possibility of organizing
regiments, Roosevelt in New York and Wood in Massachusetts, but as
turmoil and confusion enveloped the War Office they realized that this
plan was not feasible.

The efforts of Roosevelt's superiors to keep him in his official
capacity as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and away from active
service were fruitless. Finally, when it became evident that he would
go into the service and see active fighting, Secretary of War Alger
offered him the colonelcy of a regiment of cavalry. Roosevelt, because
of his lack of experience in military affairs, refused the offer but
agreed to accept the position of lieutenant colonel of such a regiment
if his friend, Leonard Wood, would accept the colonelcy. Secretary
Alger and Leonard Wood agreed, and work was commenced at once
organizing a regiment that was later to become known as the Rough
Riders. The official name of the regiment was the 1st Volunteer
Cavalry. The name Rough Riders "just grew." The organization became
known under that name among the friends {70} of its leaders, later
among the newspaper correspondents and consequently the public, and
finally when it appeared in official documents it was accepted as

Preparedness was all too unknown in those days, but Wood, who became
its nation-wide champion in the days to come, was well schooled even
in those days in its laws. He only learned more as time went on. The
chaos and tangle of red tape, inefficiency, unpreparedness in all
branches of the service blocked every effort that a few efficient and
able men were making. Seeing the hopelessness of trying to accomplish
anything under such conditions Wood introduced a novel method of
organization into the War Department.

Instead of pestering the hopeless and dismayed functionaries of the
various Government departments with requests for things they did not
have and would not have been able to find if they did have them, Wood
merely requested _carte blanche_ to go ahead and get all necessary
papers ready so that they might be signed at one sitting. He made
requisitions for materials that he needed {71} and when these
materials were not to be found in the Government stores he wrote out
orders directed to himself for the purchase in the open market of the
things required. Alger recognized immediately that in Wood he had a
man accustomed to action and full of vision--a man whom nothing could
frighten. The two men understood one another. If those who surrounded
the Secretary of War in those days had been as capable of
organization, the history of Washington during wartime would have been
quite different. But for the most part they failed. The see-nothing,
hear-nothing, do-nothing, keep-your-finger-on-your-number spirit
among many of them was quite great enough to throw the War Office into
chaos. The game of "passing the buck" did not appeal to Wood; neither
did he stop to sympathize with a certain highly placed bureaucrat who

"My office and department were running along smoothly and now this
damned war comes along and breaks it all up."

When all of his papers and documents were ready. Wood appeared before
Secretary Alger. {72} "And now what can I do for you?" said the

"Just sign these papers, sir. That is all," replied the Rough Riders'

Alger, beset by incompetence, hampered by inefficiency in his staff,
was dumbfounded as he looked through the papers Wood had prepared for
him to sign. There were telegrams to Governors of states calling upon
them for volunteers; requisitions for supplies and uniforms; orders
for mobilization and requisitions for transportation. Alger had little
to say. He placed enough confidence in Wood to sign the papers and
give him his blessing.

When the army depots said that they could not supply uniforms, Wood
replied that his men could wear canvas working clothes. As a result
the Rough Riders, fighting through the tropical country in Cuba, were
far more comfortable than the soldiers in regulation blue. The new
colonel seemed to know what he wanted. He wanted Krag rifles. There
were few in existence, but General Flagler, Chief of Ordnance,
appreciated what the young officer had done and saw that he got them.
{73} He did not want sabers for the men to run through one another in
the pandemonium of cavalry charges of half wild western horses. The
Rough Riders therefore went into action carrying machetes, an ideal
weapon for the country in which they were to see service. With the
saber they could do nothing; but with the machete they could do
everything from hacking through dense jungle growths to sharpening a
pencil. During the days that followed many troopers equipped with
sabers conveniently lost them, but Wood's Rough Riders found the
machetes invaluable.

The authority to raise the regiment was given late in April, and on
the twenty-fourth day of June, against heavy odds, it won its first
action in the jungles at Las Guasimas. This was quick work, when it is
remembered that two weeks of that short six or seven week period were
practically used up in assembling and transporting the men by rail and
sea. Here is where organization and well-thought-out plans made a
remarkable showing.

It was not only a question of knowing what he wanted. It was his old
slogan: "Do it and don't talk about it."








The name "Rough Riders" will forever mean to those who read American
history the spontaneous joy of patriotism and the high hearts of youth
in this land. It was the modern reality of the adventurous
musketeers--of those who loved romance and who were ready for a call
to arms in support of their country. They came from the cowboys of the
west, from the stockbrokers' offices of Wall Street, from the athletic
field, from youth wherever real youth was to be found. Something over
20,000 men applied for enrollment. None of them knew anything of war.
None of them wanted to die, but they all wanted to try the great
adventure under such leaders. And they have left an amazing record of
the joyousness of the fight and the recklessness that goes with it.

Now and then there have been organizations of a similar character in
our history, but only here and there. It was the first outburst of
that day {78} of the spirits filled with high adventure; and the
record cheers the rest of us as we plod along our way, just as it
cheers us when we are ill in bed with indigestion to read again the
old but ever-young Dumas.

It would have been impossible for any one to have organized and
controlled such a group without the enthusiasm of men like Roosevelt
and Wood, as well as the knowledge these two had of the West, the
Southwest and the South.

It detracts nothing from Roosevelt's greatness of spirit to say that
it was Wood who did the organizing, the equipping of the regiment. In
fact Roosevelt declined to be the Rough Riders' first Colonel, but
consented to be the second in command only if Wood were made its
commander. The fact that Roosevelt was not only known in the East but
in the Northwest, and that Wood was quite as well known in the
Southwest and the South meant that men of the Rough Riders type all
over the country knew something of one or the other of the regiment's

It detracts nothing from Wood's amazing activity in organization and
capacity for getting {79} things done, to say that had it not been for
Roosevelt's wonderful popularity amongst those of the youthful spirit
of the land the regiment would never have had its unique character or
its unique name.

This is not the place to tell the story of that famous band of men.
But its organization is so important a part of Wood's life that it
comes in for mention necessarily.

In the Indian campaign with the regulars he had known the great
importance of being properly outfitted and ready for those grilling
journeys over the desert. In the Spanish War he learned, as only
personal experience can teach, the amazing importance of preparation
for volunteers and inexperienced men. The whole story of the getting
ready to go to Cuba was burned into his brain so deeply that it formed
a second witness in the case against trusting to luck and the occasion
which has never been eradicated from his mind. Yet this episode
brought strongly before him also the fact that prepared though he
might be there was no success ahead for such an organization without
the sense of subordination to the {80} state and the nation which not
only brought the volunteers in, but carried them over the rough places
through disease and suffering and death to the end.

Eight days after the telegram calling upon the Governors of New
Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma and Indian Territory for men to form the
regiment, the recruits gathered at San Antonio where Wood was waiting
to meet them. The most important thing about them for the moment was
that they knew nothing of military life. Wood believed with Old
Light-Horse Harry Lee "That Government is a murderer of its citizens
which sends them to the field uninformed and untaught, where they are
meeting men of the same age and strength mechanized by education and
disciplined for battle."

Furthermore during the years that he had been in Washington Wood had
used some of his spare time in studying parts of American history that
are not included in school books. He knew that the volunteer system in
the Revolutionary War had worn General Washington sick with
discouragement and fear lest all that he had built up be {81} broken
down through lack of discipline. He knew also that in the Civil War
the volunteer system proved inadequate on both sides and that it was
not until the war had gone on for two years that either the North or
the South had what could properly be called an army.

To aid him in the training of these troops he had the assistance of a
number of officers who had seen service in the Regular Army, and
together they mapped out a course of drills and maneuvers that worked
the men from a valueless mob into a regiment trained for battle. The
human material that they had to work with was the best; for these men
had been selected from many applicants. The lack of discipline and the
ignorance of military etiquette led to many amusing incidents. Colonel
Roosevelt in his history of the Rough Riders tells of an orderly
announcing dinner to Colonel Wood and the three majors by remarking

"If you fellers don't come soon, everything'll get cold."

The foreign attachés said: "Your sentinels do not know much about the
Manual of Arms, but {82} they are the only ones through whose lines we
could not pass. They were polite; but, as one of them said, 'Gents,
I'm sorry, but if you don't stop I shall kill you.'"

The difficulties to be surmounted were enormous; and any officers less
democratic and understanding might have made a mess of it. Both
Roosevelt and Wood understood the frontiersmen too well to misjudge
any breaches of etiquette or to humiliate the extremely sensitive
natures of men long used to life in the open.

Upon Colonel Wood fell practically all the details of organization.
There were materials and supplies of many kinds to be secured from the
War Department; there were men to be drilled in the bare rudiments of
military life; non-commissioned officers and officers to be schooled,
and a thousand and one other details. At first the men were drilled on
foot, but soon horses were purchased and mounted drill commenced, much
to the delight of many of the cowpunchers who by years of training had
become averse to walking a hundred yards if they could throw their
legs over a horse. There was no end to the {83} excitement when the
horses arrived. Most of them were half-broken, but there were some
that had never seen, much less felt, a saddle. The horses were broken
to the delight of every one in camp, because training them meant
bucking contests, and the more vicious the animal the better they
liked it.

From simple drills and evolutions the men advanced to skirmish work
and rapidly became real soldiers--not the polished, smartly uniformed
military men of the Regular type, but hard fighters in slouch hats and
brown canvas trousers with knotted handkerchiefs round their necks.

The commander of any military unit at that time had much to worry
about. It depended solely on him personally whether his men were
properly equipped, whether they had food; and when orders came to move
whether they had anything to move on. The advice that he could get, if
he was willing to listen to it, was lengthy and worthless, and the
help he could get from Washington amounted to little or nothing.

In May the regiment was ordered to proceed to Tampa. After a lengthy
struggle with the {84} railway authorities cars were put at the
disposal of Colonel Wood, who left San Antonio on the 29th with three
sections, the remaining four sections being left to proceed later in
charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt. The confusion of getting
started was reduced to a minimum by Wood, who had worked out a scheme
for embarkation; but due to delay on the part of the railway
authorities in providing proper facilities for handling the troops and
equipment they were delayed four days. Everywhere along the line of
travel they were cheered enthusiastically by people who came to greet
the train on its arrival in towns and cities.

Tampa was in chaos. There seemed to be no order or system for the
disembarkation of troops. Every one asked for information and no one
could give it. Officers, men, railroad employees and longshoremen
milled about in a welter of confusion. The troops were dumped out with
no prearranged schedule on the part of the officers in charge of the
camp. There were no arrangements for feeding the men and no wagons in
which to haul impedimenta. In such conditions it {85} required all the
native vigor characteristic of their Colonel to bring some sort of
order--all the knowledge he had gained from his Indian campaign. And
even then there was still needed an unconquerable spirit that did not
know what impossibilities were.

After a few days at Tampa, Colonel Wood was notified that his command
would start for destination unknown at once, leaving four troops and
all the horses behind them. On the evening of June 7th notification
came that they would leave from Port Tampa, nine miles away, the
following morning, and that if the troops were not aboard the
transport at that time they could not sail. No arrangements were made
by the port authorities for the embarkation. No information could be
obtained regarding transportation by rail to the port. There was no
information regarding the transport that the troops were to use. In an
official report made to the Secretary of War Colonel Roosevelt had the
following remarks to make about the conditions that confronted them in

". . . No information was given in advance {86} what transports we
should take, or how we should proceed to get aboard, nor did any one
exercise any supervision over the embarkation. Each regimental
commander, so far as I know, was left to find out as best he could,
after he was down at the dock, what transport had not been taken, and
then to get his regiment aboard it, if he was able, before some other
regiment got it. Our regiment was told to go to a certain switch and
take a train for Port Tampa at twelve o'clock, midnight. The train
never came. After three hours of waiting, we were sent to another
switch, and finally at six o'clock in the morning got possession of
some coal cars and came down in them. When we reached the quay where
the embarkation was proceeding, everything was in utter confusion. The
quay was piled with stores and swarming with thousands of men of
different regiments, besides onlookers, etc. The Commanding General,
when we at last found him, told Colonel Wood and myself that he did
not know what ship we were to embark on, and that we must find Colonel
Humphrey, the Quarter-master General. Colonel Humphrey was not in his
office, and nobody knew where he was. The {87} commanders of the
different regiments were busy trying to find him, while their troops
waited in the trains, so as to discover the ships to which they were
allotted--some of these ships being at the dock and some in
mid-stream. After a couple of hours' search, Colonel Wood found
Colonel Humphrey and was allotted a ship. Immediately afterward I
found that it had already been allotted to two other regiments. It was
then coming to the dock. Colonel Wood boarded it in midstream to keep
possession, while I double-quicked the men down from the cars and got
there just ahead of the other two regiments. One of these regiments, I
was afterward informed, spent the next thirty-six hours in cars in

The conditions at Tampa provided material for a spirited exchange of
letters and telegrams between General Miles, who had taken command,
and Secretary of War Alger.

On June 4th, General Miles filed by telegraph the following report to
the Secretary of War:

"Several of the volunteer regiments came here without uniforms;
several came without arms, and some without blankets, tents, or camp
equipage. {88} The 32d Michigan, which is among the best, came without
arms. General Guy V. Henry reports that five regiments under his
command are not fit to go into the field. There are over three hundred
cars loaded with war material along the roads about Tampa. Stores are
sent to the Quartermaster at Tampa, but the invoices and bills of
lading have not been received, so that the officers are obliged to
break open seals and hunt from car to car to ascertain whether they
contain clothing, grain, balloon material, horse equipments,
ammunition, siege guns, commissary stores, etc. Every effort is being
made to bring order out of confusion. I request that rigid orders be
given requiring the shipping officers to forward in advance complete
invoices and bills of lading, with descriptive marks of every package,
and the number and description of car in which shipped. To illustrate
the embarrassment caused by present conditions, fifteen cars loaded
with uniforms were sidetracked twenty-five miles from Tampa, and
remained there for weeks while the troops were suffering for clothing.
Five thousand rifles, which were discovered yesterday, were needed by
{89} several regiments. Also the different parts of the siege train
and ammunition for same, which will be required immediately on
landing, are scattered through hundreds of cars on the sidetracks of
the railroads. Notwithstanding these difficulties, this expedition
will soon be ready to sail."

In answer to this dispatch was sent the following reply from Secretary

"Twenty thousand men ought to unload any number of cars and assort
contents. There is much criticism about delay of expedition. Better
leave a fast ship to bring balance of material needed, than delay

This slight difference of opinion which a shrewd observer can discover
between the lines was characteristic of the whole preparation of the
United States army that undertook to carry on the war with Spain. As
one remembers those days, or reads of them in detail, it seems as if
every one did something wrong regularly, as if no one of ability was
anywhere about. As a matter of fact, however, the organizing and
shipping of a suddenly acquired expeditionary volunteer force has
never been accomplished in any other way. The truth {90} of the matter
is that it can never be run properly at the start for the simple
reason that there is no organization fitted to carry out the details.

The officials in Washington who had to do with the army--good men in
many cases, poor men in some cases--if they had been in office long
had been handling a few hundred men here and there in the forts, on
the plains, or at the regular military posts. They could no more be
molded into a homogeneous whole than could the cowboys, stockbrokers,
college athletes, and southern planters maneuver until they had been

To Colonel Wood, busy most of the hours of the day and night trying to
get order out of chaos in his small part of the great rush, the whole
episode was a graphic demonstration of the need of getting ready. Many
years later a much-advertised politician of our land said that an army
was not necessary since immediately upon the need for defense of our
country a million farmers would leave their plows and leap to arms. To
an officer trying to find a transport train in the middle of the night
with a thousand hungry, tired, half-trained men under him such logic
aught well have {91} caused a smile, if nothing worse. Leave his plow
at such a call the American Citizen will--and by the millions, if need
be. He has done just that in the last two years. He will leap to
arms--to continue the rhetoric--but what can he do if he finds no
arms, or if they do not exist and cannot be made for nine months?

But the thing was not new to Wood even in those days. As he talks of
that period now he says that it was not so bad. There was food, rough,
but still food, and enough. There were transports. It only needed that
they be found. If you could not get uniforms of blue, take uniforms of
tan. If you could not find sabers, go somewhere, in or out of the
country, and buy them or requisition them and put in the charge later.

Yet, even so, no man in such a position, going through what he went
through, worrying hour by hour, could fail to see the object lesson
and take the first opportunity when peace was declared to begin to
preach the necessity for getting ready for the next occasion. And it
was largely due to Leonard Wood, as the world well knows, that what
{92} little preparation was made in 1915 and 1916 in advance of the
United States declaring war was made at all. It was the lessons
acquired in the Spanish War and in the study of other wars that made
of him the great prophet of preparedness.

For several days the troops remained aboard the transport in Tampa
harbor awaiting orders. The heat and discomfort told upon the men, but
on the evening of June 13th orders came to start and the next morning
found them at sea. On the morning of the 20th the transport came off
the Cuban coast; but it was not until the 22d that the welcome order
for landing came. The troops landed at the squalid little village of
Daiquiri in small boats, while the smaller war vessels shelled the

In the afternoon of the next day, the Rough Riders received orders to
advance; and Wood, leading his regiment, pushed on so as to be sure of
an engagement with the enemy the next morning. It was due to his
energy that the Rough Riders did not miss the first fight. Under
General Young's orders the Rough Riders took up a {93} position at the
extreme left of the front. The next day the action of "Las Guasimas"

"Shoot--don't swear" growled Wood as the fighting began. He strolled
about encouraging his men and urging them to action. Under his quiet,
cool direction they advanced slowly, forcing the enemy back, and
finally driving him to his second line of defense. Soon the Rough
Riders' right joined the left of the main body and in a concerted
attack the Spaniards were routed, leaving much of their equipment in
their hasty retreat.

At this juncture it was reported to Roosevelt, whose detachment was
separate from that of Wood, that Wood had been killed. Roosevelt
immediately began taking over the command of the entire regiment,
since it naturally devolved upon him. As he was consolidating his
troops he came upon Wood himself very much alive.

Major-General Joseph Wheeler made the following report of the Rough

"Colonel Wood's Regiment was on the extreme left of the line, and too
far-distant for me to be a personal witness of the individual conduct
of his officers and men; but the magnificent and brave {94} work done
by the regiment, under the lead of Colonel Wood, testifies to his
courage and skill. The energy and determination of this officer had
been marked from the moment he reported to me at Tampa, Fla., and I
have abundant evidence of his brave and good conduct on the field, and
I recommend him for consideration of the Government."

On the 25th, General Young was stricken by the fever and Wood took
charge of the brigade on the 30th, leaving Roosevelt in command of the
Rough Riders. The afternoon of the 30th brought orders to march on
Santiago, and the morning of July 1st found them in position three
miles from the city, with Leonard Wood commanding the second
dismounted cavalry brigade. During the next two days, the enemy fought
fiercely to regain his lost positions, but the cool persistence of the
American troops forced him constantly backward.

In endorsing Wood's report of this action, General Wheeler said, "He
showed energy, courage, and good judgment. I heretofore recommended
him for promotion to a Brigadier-General. He {95} deserves the highest
commendation. He was under the observation and direction of myself and
of my staff during the battle."

After a short siege the Spanish command capitulated on the afternoon
of July 17th and the American forces entered Santiago.

Wood's promotion to Brigadier-General of the United States Volunteers
came at once, and Roosevelt was made Colonel and placed in command of
the 2d Cavalry Brigade.

The condition of our forces at this time, struggling against the
unaccustomed and virulent dangers of the tropics, was pitiable. The
"Round Robin" incident in which the commanding officers of the various
divisions in the command reported to Major-General W. R. Shafter, that
"the Army must be moved at once, or it will perish," has become a part
of the record of the history of those times. Whether the sickness and
disease they suffered could have been prevented became a matter of
great controversy.

This "Round Robin" was a document signed by practically all general
officers present, in order to bring to the attention of the War
Department {96} the conditions existing in the army that had captured
Santiago showing that it was suffering severely from malaria and
yellow fever; that these men must be replaced; and that if they were
not replaced thousands of lives would be lost. It was sent because
instructions from Washington clearly indicated that the War Department
did not understand the conditions, and it was feared that delay would
cause enormous loss of life. The men had been in mud and water--the
yellow fever country--for weeks and were thoroughly infected with
malaria. Although he had signed the "Round Robin"' with the other
officers General Wood later on gave the following testimony before the
War Investigation Committee:

"We had never served in that climate, so peculiarly deadly from the
effects of malaria, and in this respect my opinions have changed very
much since the close of the war. If I had been called before you in
the first week of August, I might have been disposed to have answered
a little differently in some respects. I have been there ever since,
and have seen regiments come to Cuba in perfect health and go into
tents with floors and {97} with flies camped up on high hills, given
boiled water, and have seen them have practically the identical
troubles we had during the campaign. The losses may not have been as
heavy, as we are organized to take them into hospitals protected from
the sun which seemed to be a depressing cause. All the immune
regiments serving in my department since the war have been at one time
or another unfit for service. I have had all the officers of my staff
repeatedly too sick for duty. I don't think that any amount of
precaution or preparation, in addition to what we had, would have made
any practical difference in the sickness of the troops of the army of
invasion. This is a candid opinion, and an absolutely frank one. If I
had answered this question in August, without the experience I have
had since August, I might have been disposed to attribute more to the
lack of tentage than I do now; but I think the food, while lacking
necessarily in variety, was ample."

Only a few years later the explanation of yellow fever transmission
became clear to all the world. This discovery and the definite methods
of {98} protection against its spread and the spread of malaria were
largely the result of Wood's administrative ability and his knowledge
of medicine. For it was as the result of studies and experiments
conducted under his direct supervision that it became known that
yellow fever was the result of the bite of the mosquito and not of bad
food or low, marshy country or bad air or any of the other factors
which had so long been supposed to be its cause. The taking of
Santiago practically ended the Spanish War. But for the military
commander of the City of Santiago it began a new and epoch-making







To understand the work accomplished by Wood in Santiago, it is
necessary to renew our picture of the situation existing in Cuba at
the time and to realize as this is done that the problem was an
absolutely new one for the young officer of thirty-seven to whom it
was presented.

Nobody can really conceive of the unbelievable condition of affairs
unless he actually saw it or has at some time in his life witnessed a
corresponding situation. Those who return from the battlefields on the
Western Front of the Great War describe the scenes and show us
pictures and we think we realize the horrors of destruction, yet one
after another of us as we go there comes back with the same statement:
"I had heard all about it, but I hadn't the least conception of what
it really was until I saw it with my own eyes."

In like manner we who are accustomed to reasonably clean and
well-policed cities can call up no {102} real picture of what the
Cuban cities were in those days, unless we saw them, or something like

Yet in spite of this it is necessary to try to give some idea of the
fact, in order to give some idea of the work of reorganization

For four hundred years Cuba had been under the Spanish rule--the rule
of viceroys and their agents who came of a race that has for centuries
been unable to hold its own among the nations of the earth. Ideas of
health, drainage, sanitation, orderly government, systematic
commercial life--all were of an order belonging to but few spots in
the world to-day. Here and there in the East--perhaps in what has been
called the "cesspool of the world," Guayaquil, Ecuador--and in other
isolated spots there are still such places, but they are fortunately
beginning to disappear as permanent forms of human life.

In Santiago there were about 50,000 inhabitants. These people had been
taxed and abused by officials who collected and kept for themselves
the funds of the Province. Fear of showing wealth, since it was
certain to be confiscated, led all classes of families to hide what
little they had. {103} Money for the city and its public works there
was none, since all was taken for the authorities in Spain or for
their representatives in Cuba. Spanish people in any kind of position
treated the natives as if they were slaves--as indeed they were. No
family was sure of its own legitimate property, its own occupation and
its own basic rights. The city government was so administered as to
deprive all the citizens of any respect for it or any belief in its
statements, decrees or laws. Not only was this condition of affairs in
existence at the time of the war but it had existed during the entire
lifetime of any one living and during the entire lifetime of his
father, grandfather and ancestors for ten generations.

As a result no Cuban had any conception of what honest government,
honest administration, honest taxation, honest dealings were. He not
only had no conception of such things but he believed that what his
family for generations and he during his life had known was the actual
situation everywhere throughout the world. He knew of nothing else.

The city had no drainage system except the {104} open gutter of the
streets--never had had. The water system consisted of an elemental
sort of dam six miles up in the hills outside the city, old, out of
repair, constantly breaking down, and a single 11-inch pipe which had
a capacity of 200,000 gallons a day for the city--something like four
gallons to a person. This was not sufficient for more than one-quarter
of each day. In other words the city at the best was receiving for
years only one-quarter of the water it absolutely needed for

Plagues and epidemics, smallpox, yellow fever, bubonic plague, typhus
and tetanus followed one another in regular succession. The streets
for years had contained dead animals and many times in epidemics dead
human beings--sights to which the citizens had been so accustomed
throughout their lives that they paid no attention to them. The
authorities being accustomed to keeping the public moneys for their
own use spent little or nothing upon public works, cleaning the
streets or making improvements. They did not build; they did not
replace; they only patched and repaired when it was absolutely
necessary. It was {105} a situation difficult to conceive, impossible
to realize. Yet one must constantly bear in mind that there not only
appeared to be nothing out of the ordinary in this, but in reality
there was nothing out of the ordinary. It was the accustomed, usual
thing and had been so for centuries.

The sense of personal responsibility to the community was not dormant;
it did not exist. The sense of duty of those who governed to those
whom they governed was not repressed by modern corruption only; it had
ceased to exist altogether. No city official was expected to do
anything but get what he could out of those under him. No citizen knew
anything but the necessity--to him the right--of concealing anything
he had, of deceiving everybody whom he could deceive and of evading
any law that might be promulgated.

The integrity of the family and its right to live as it chose within
restrictions required by gregarious existence had disappeared--never
had existed at all so far as those living knew. The responsibility of
the individual to his government was unconceivable and inconceivable.

Had all this not been so there would have been {106} no war on our
part with Spain, for the whole origin of the trouble which eventually
led to war grew out of the final despair of men and women in Cuba who
gradually came to realize in a dim way that something was wrong and
unfair. Out of this grew internal dissension which constantly spilled
over to interfere with international relations.

It was the inevitable breaking down of a civilization because of the
years during which civilization's laws had been disregarded, and
because all this took place in close proximity to a country where the
reverse was the evident fact. There are such rotten spots still upon
this earth--one just across our doorstep on the Rio Grande, and
somebody some day must clean that house, too.

Added to all this, and much more, was the fact that the city of
Santiago had been besieged by land and by sea. Thus naturally even the
conditions in this cesspool were intensely exaggerated.

Into such a plague-stricken, starving city on the 20th of July, 1898,
Wood, then Brigadier General of United States Volunteers, thirty-seven
{107} years of age, fresh from the job of army surgeon to the
President in the White House, some Indian fighting in the Southwest
and the task of getting the Rough Riders organized into fighting
shape--fresh from the fighting that had taken place on and since July
1st--into this situation on July 20th General Wood was summoned by
General Shafter, commanding the American forces, with the information
that he had been detailed to take command of the city, secure and
maintain order, feed the starving and reorganize generally.

Why he was selected may be easily guessed. He was a military man who
had made good recently, who had made good in the Southwest, whom the
President knew and trusted--and he was a doctor who had just shown
great organizing ability. The job itself was as new to him as would
have been the task in those days of flying. But with his inherited and
acquired sense of values, of the essentials of life, with his
education and his characteristic passion for getting ready he started
at once to pull off the wall paper, hammer away the plaster and
examine the condition of the beams which supported this leaning,
tottering, {108} out-of-repair wing of the world's house of

What he found was rotten beams; no integrity of family; no respect for
or responsibility to the state; no sense on the part of the citizens
of what they owed to themselves, or their families, or their city--not
the slightest idea of what government of the people for the people by
the people meant. The government was robbing the family. The family
was robbing the government. That was the fundamental place to begin,
if this wing of the house was not to fall.

Naturally the immediate and crying needs had to be corrected at once.
But Wood began all on the same day on the beams as well as on the
plaster and wall paper--this 20th day of July, 1898. Another man might
well have forgotten or never have thought of the fundamentals in the
terrible condition within his immediate vision. That seems to be the
characteristic of Wood--that while he started to cure the illness, he
at the same time started to get ready to prevent its recurrence. And
there we may perhaps discover something of the reason for his success,
something of the reason why people lean on him and {109} look to him
for advice and support in time of trouble.

These immediate needs were inconceivable to those who lived in orderly
places and orderly times. Of the 50,000 inhabitants, 16,000 were sick.
There were in addition 2,000 sick Spanish soldiers and 5,000 sick
American troops. Over all in the hot haze of that tropical city hung
the terror of yellow fever, showing its sinister face here and there.
At the same time a religious pilgrimage to a nearby shrine taken at
this moment by 18,000 people led to an immense increase in disease
because of the bad food and the polluted water which the pilgrims ate
and drank. In the streets piles of filth and open drains were mixed
with the dead bodies of animals. Houses, deserted because of deaths,
held their dead--men, women and children--whom no one removed and no
one buried. All along the routes approaching the city bodies lay by
the roadside, the living members of the family leaving their dead
unburied because they were too weak and could only drag themselves
along under the tropic sun in the hope that they {110} might reach
their homes before they, too, should die.

This was enhanced by the fact of the siege and the consequent lack of
food. The sick could not go for food; and if they could have done so
there was little or none to be had. Horrible odors filled the air.
Terror walked abroad. It was a prodigious task for anybody to
undertake, but it was undertaken, and in the following manner:

Simultaneously certain main lines of work were mapped out by Wood and
officers put in charge of each subject, the commanding officer
reserving for himself the planning, the general supervision, the
watching, as well as the instituting of new laws based upon the
existing system of the Code Napoleon.

It was first necessary to feed the people and to bury the dead. There
were so many of the latter that they had to be collected in lots of
ninety or a hundred, placed between railway irons, soaked in petroleum
and burned outside the city. It was such dreadful work, this going
into deserted homes and collecting dead bodies for the flames, that
men had to be forced to it. All were {111} paid regularly, however,
and the job was done. General Wood's own account of this task is
better than any second-hand description can even hope to be.

"Horrible deadly work it was, but at last it was finished. At the same
time numbers of men were working night and day in the streets removing
the dead animals and other disease-producing materials. Others were
engaged in distributing food to the hospitals, prisons, asylums and
convents--in fact to everybody, for all were starving. What food there
was, and it was considerable, had been kept under the protection of
the Spanish army to be used as rations. Some of the far-seeing and
prudent had stored up food and prepared for the situation in advance,
but these were few.

"All of our army transportation was engaged in getting to our own men
the tents, medicines and the thousand and one other things required by
our camps, and as this had to be done through seas of mud it was slow
work. We could expect no help from this source in our distribution of
rations to the destitute population, so we seized {112} all the carts
and wagons we could find in the streets, rounded up drivers and
laborers with the aid of the police, and worked them under guard,
willing or unwilling, but paying well for what they did. At first we
had to work them far into the night.

"Everything on wheels in the city was at work. Men who refused and
held back soon learned that there were things far more unpleasant than
cheerful obedience, and turned to work with as much grace as they
could command. All were paid a fair amount for their services, partly
in money, partly in rations, but all worked; some in removing the
waste refuse from the city, others in distributing food. Much of the
refuse in the streets was burned outside at points designated as
crematories. Everything was put through the flames.

"In the Spanish military hospital the number of sick rapidly
increased. From 2,000 when we came in, the number soon ran up to 3,100
in hospital, besides many more in their camps. Many of the sick were
suffering from malaria, but among them were some cases of yellow
fever. Poor devils, they all looked as though hope had {113} fled,
and, as they stood in groups along the waterfront, eagerly watching
the entrance to the harbor, it required very little imagination to see
that their thoughts were of another country across the sea, and that
the days of waiting for the transports were long days for them."
[Footnote: _Scribner's Magazine_.]

A yellow fever hospital was established on an island in the harbor.
The city was divided into districts and numbers of medical men put in
charge, their duty being to examine each house and report sanitary
conditions, sickness and food situations. As a result of these reports
Wood issued orders for action in each district so that the food, the
available medical force and the supplies of all kinds should be used
and distributed to produce the greatest results in the shortest
possible time. In one district alone just outside the city there were
thousands of cases of smallpox in November. The streets were filled
with filth and dead and wrecked furniture. The wells were full of
refuse. The task seemed almost hopeless. Yet, under Wood's system of
detailing squads to undertake the work in certain sections {114} with
the system of centralized reporting, the epidemic was checked in a
month, the district cleaned and scrubbed from end to end with
disinfectants and the small pox cut down to a few scattering cases. In
this district of Holguin the plan was adopted of vaccinating two
battalions of the Second Immune Regiment. These men were then sent
into the district to establish good sanitary conditions and clean up
the yellow fever. The work was done successfully without the
occurrence of a single case of smallpox amongst the American troops.
No better demonstration of the efficacy of vaccination was ever given.

Thus the first task of feeding the starving population and cleaning
the city was simultaneously undertaken by districts under the
direction of officers having authority to proceed along certain
established lines. Episodes illustrating these "established lines" are
many, but there is space here, for only one or two of them.

It developed at the outset that there was food and meat in the city
which the people could use, but which was beyond their reach on
account of the high prices. General Wood no sooner heard {115} of this
than he "established a line of procedure" to correct it. He sent for
the principal butchers of the city and asked:

"How much do you charge for your meat?"

"Ninety cents a pound, Señor."

"What does it cost you?"

There was hesitation and a shuffling of feet; then one of the men said
in a whining voice:

"Meat is very, very dear, your Excellency."

"How much a pound?"

"It costs us very much, and ..."

"How much a pound?"

"Fifteen cents, your Excellency; but we have lost much money during
the war and..."

"So have your customers. Now meat will be sold at 25 cents a pound,
and not one cent more. Do you understand?"

Then, turning to the alderman, he charged him to see that his order
was carried out to the letter, unless he wanted to be expelled from

Thenceforward meat was sold in the markets at 25 cents. The same
simple plan was evolved for all other kinds of supplies. Naturally
such high-handed methods caused a great hue and cry {116} amongst
certain of the citizens and no such method could have been carried out
by any one but a military commander with absolute authority. Some of
the newspapers, all of which had been given a free hand by Wood and
were allowed for the first time to say what they liked, started a
campaign against the new administration and its busy head. But hand in
hand with this autocratic procedure went the organization of native
courts, the appointment of native officials for carrying on the
government, native police to catch Cuban bandits and native judges to
give decisions and impose sentences. Furthermore, in these same days
of autocratic action, the people gradually discovered that although
everybody was forced to work all those who did got paid--something new
to the Santiago-Cuban consciousness--that the invading American army
was not arresting natives in the streets and thrusting them into jail,
but that their own native police were doing this work. Gradually, as
the city became clean, as prices fell, as payment for work came in, as
illness decreased, as law became fairly administered by the Cuban
officials themselves, a certain awe {117} and veneration grew for the
invaders and their big, hardworking head. It was a revelation,
unbelievable yet true, unknown yet a fact, which opened up to the
minds of these long-suffering, incompetent people the first vision of
an existence which has since through the same agency of General Wood
become a fact throughout the whole island, so that Cuba is to-day a
busy, healthy, self-governing state.

Parallel with the feeding and sanitation work General Wood put into
effect a certain system of road building where it was necessary in
order to keep the people at work and allow them to make money and at
the same time to produce necessary transportation facilities. Five
miles of asphalt pavement, fifteen miles of country pike, six miles of
macadam were built and 200 miles of country road made usable out of
funds collected from the regular taxes which had heretofore gone into
the pockets of the Spanish government officials. The costs varied
somewhat from the old days, as may well be guessed. A quarter of a
mile of macadam pavement built by the Spaniards the year before along
the water-front had cost $180,000. Wood's {118} engineers built five
miles of asphalt pavement at a cost of $175,000.

At the same time a reorganization of the Custom House service was
instituted which increased receipts; jails and hospitals were
reorganized under the system existing in the United States; and
perhaps in the end the greatest work of all was the establishment of
an entirely new school system based on an adaptation of the American
form. Teachers had disappeared. There were none, since nobody paid
them. School houses were empty, open to any tramp for a night's
lodging. In a few months this was changed so that kindergartens and
schools were opened and running.

In fact the work was the making of a new community, the building of a
new life--the repairing of the tottering wing of the old, old house.

All this, as may be supposed, did not take place without friction,
obstruction, and without at first a great deal of bad blood.

Wood's methods in dealing with disturbances were his own and can only
be suggested here by isolated anecdotes and incidents. When an
official who had the Spanish methods in his blood {119} did not appear
after three invitations he was carried into the commanding officer's
presence by a squad of soldiers in his pajamas. The next time he was
invited he came at once.

"One night about eight o'clock, General Wood was writing in his office
in the palace. At the outer door stood a solitary sentinel, armed with
a rifle. Suddenly there burst across the plaza, from the San Carlos
Club, a mob of Cubans--probably 600. Within a few minutes a shower of
stones, bricks, bottles and other missiles struck the Spanish Club,
smashing windows and doors. A man, hatless and out of breath, rushed
up to the sentry at the palace entrance and shouted, 'Where's the
General? Quick! The Cubans are trying to kill the officers and men in
the Spanish Club!'

"General Wood was leisurely folding up his papers when the sentry
reached him. 'I know it,' he said, before the man had time to speak.
'I have heard the row. We will go over and stop it.'

"He picked up his riding-whip, the only weapon he ever carries, and,
accompanied by the one American soldier, strolled across to the scene
of {120} the trouble. The people in the Spanish Club had got it pretty
well closed up, but the excited Cubans were still before it, throwing
things and shouting imprecations, and even trying to force a way in by
the main entrance.

"'Just shove them back, sentry,' said General Wood, quietly.

"Around swung the rifle, and, in much less time than is taken in the
telling, a way was cleared in front of the door.

"'Now shoot the first man who places his foot upon that step,' added
the General, in his usual deliberate manner. Then he turned and
strolled back to the palace and his writing. Within an hour the mob
had dispersed, subdued by two men, one rifle and a riding-whip. And
the lesson is still kept in good memory."

"One day about the middle of November the native _calentura_ or fever,
from which General Wood suffered greatly, sent him to his home, which
is on the edge of the town, earlier than usual. He had no sooner
reached the house than he was notified by telephone that a bloody riot
had occurred at San Luis, a town 20 miles out on the {121} Santiago
Railway. The fever was raging in the General, his temperature
exceeding 105, and he was so sick and dizzy that he staggered as he
walked. But with that indomitable will that had served him on many a
night raid against hostile Apaches, he entered his carriage and was
driven back to the city. He picked up his chief signal officer,
Captain J. E. Brady, at the Palace and hastened to the building
occupied by the telegraph department of the Signal Corps on Calle
Enramadas. Captain Brady took the key at the instrument.

"'Tell the operator to summon members of the rural guard who were
fired on, and the commanding officer of the Ninth Immunes,' ordered
the General, tersely. Thenceforward, for three hours General Wood sat
there, questioning, listening, issuing orders, all with a promptness
and certainty of judgment that would have been extraordinary in a man
quite at his ease; yet all the time, as he could not help showing in
mien and features, the raging fever was distressing to the point of
agony. Those about him could not but marvel at the man's resolution
and endurance. The {122} following day, although still racked with
fever, he went by special train to San Luis and investigated the
affair in person.'" [Footnote: _Fortnightly Review_.]

The basis of the great work, however, as General Wood has himself
repeatedly said in conversation and in print, was to effect all this
regeneration without causing the Cubans to look upon the American Army
and the American control as they had for years looked upon the Spanish
Army and the Spanish control. That his success here in the most
difficult phase of the whole prodigious enterprise was absolute has
been testified to in innumerable ways and instances.

Only one or two of these can be given here, but they are illuminating
in the extreme and they suggest the success of the methods of the man
who had been put in charge of this difficult work.

Death amongst the Spanish soldiers had been very heavy from yellow
fever and pernicious malaria and the course of the troop-ships which
carried them back to Spain was marked by long lists of burials at sea.
These ships carried with them most of the nurses and nursing sisters
to {123} care for the sick and dying during the voyage. It was a great
drain on the nursing force at Wood's disposal in Santiago. He,
therefore, hit upon the idea of offering to pay for the return trips
of these nurses if they would come back at once; with the result that
most of them gladly accepted and rendered splendid service in Santiago
to the sick as a token of their appreciation of the military
governor's act. This did much to establish friendly relations between
Americans, Spaniards and Cubans who had so short a time before been

Another vital point was the relations of the invaders with the Church.
It had never been contemplated that a Catholic viceroy should be
replaced by a Protestant. This viceroy had so many intimate relations
with the Catholic Church in which he represented the Catholic king
that it was absolutely necessary for whatever American happened to be
governor to play the game regardless of what his own religious
scruples might be. As an interesting example of how well this was
handled by Wood the story of Bishop Bernaba is a charming instance.


This bishop was elevated from priesthood while Wood was governor and
because of his affection and respect for the American officer he asked
him to walk with him daring the ceremonious procession from the
priest's little parish church, where he had served, to the old
cathedral where he was to officiate thereafter. It was a solemn
religious function and has been described, because of the terrific
surroundings of the hour, as not unlike the ceremony which took place
in Milan after the Great Plague.

The entire population of the city with some forty or fifty thousand
from the surrounding hills packed the streets along the route of the
procession. None of them had had a blessing from his own Cuban clergy
in many years. It was like a mediaeval scene. The old bishop bowed by
years, weakened by his recent grief at the suffering of his people and
by the excitement of the moment, and General Wood, the American
Protestant, walked together under the bishop's canopy. The people in
the streets, seeing this, cried: "Thank God, the General is a Catholic!
We didn't know it!"


From time to time the old bishop, tired with the exertion of swinging
the censer with the holy water, would hand it to Wood and ask him to
continue the function by his side until he could secure a slight
respite. Occasionally as he leaned forward to bless the thousands who
lined the way and who had come to feel his touch and kiss his hand his
miter would slip to one side on his head and the unperturbed American
general would lean forward and straighten it for him. Each time the
old bishop turned to him and murmured, "Thank God, you are here! I am
so old that I could not have made this journey, if you had not been
here to help me."

Wood told him that he was not a Catholic, that indeed from Bishop
Bernaba's point of view he was a heretic and bound for Hell.

"No," said the bishop, with a smile, "you are a good Catholic; only
you do not know it."

Small wonder that when he left Santiago in the spring of 1899 to visit
the United States Wood was presented by the people of the city with a
magnificent hand-work scroll which said in Spanish:


"The people of the City of Santiago de Cuba to General Leonard Wood
... the greatest of all your successes is to have won the confidence
and esteem of a people in trouble."

Small wonder that in December, 1899, less than a year after the United
States took over the island, he was appointed by President McKinley
Governor General of Cuba and made a Major General of United States







It has been said that General Wood's work in Havana as
Governor-General of Cuba was the continuation of his work at Santiago
on a larger scale. This would seem to be erroneous.

The Santiago problem was the cleaning and reorganizing of a city of
60,000 inhabitants. Many stringent measures could properly be put into
operation in such a community which were quite impossible in a city of
350,000 inhabitants like Havana, or in a state of two and one-half
million people such as the Island of Cuba. It was possible in an
epidemic to close up houses temporarily, stop business and commercial
intercourse for a period where only 60,000 people were concerned. But
to stop the daily commerce of a large city, the capital of a state,
was out of the question.

Furthermore the problem in the first instance was one of organizing a
community in so {130} deplorable a condition that it was on the verge
of anarchy. In the second instance much of the cleaning-up process had
been at least begun by other American officers. It was here in Havana
a case of administration and statecraft as against organization.

It was the taking of a crown colony of Spain--a kingdom--which had
never been anything but a royal colony, and turning it in two years
and a half into a republic, self-governed, self-judged,
self-administered and self-supporting.

Roughly speaking, there had never been such a case. Even now the
proposal of the Philippine Islands would practically be the second
case should independence be granted to them by the United States. In
all history a colony, once a colony, either has remained so, or has
revolted from the mother country and by force of arms established its
own independence.

These two problems, then, were quite different in their essential
elements and they required different qualities in the man who settled

President McKinley's instructions to the new Governor-General were "To
prepare Cuba, as {131} rapidly as possible, for the establishment of
an independent government, republican in form, and a good school
system." And both the President and the Secretary of War left their
representative entirely to his own resources to work this out. His
work was laid out for him and he was given a free hand.

General Wood, therefore, in December, 1899, after having been received
with a magnificent ovation on his return to the United States, made a
Major-General and given an LL.D. degree by his own University of
Harvard--after having returned to Santiago suddenly upon the outbreak
of yellow fever, cleaned the town, covered it with chloride of lime,
soaked it with corrosive sublimate, burned out its sewers and
cesspools, and checked the epidemic,--finally took up his residence in
Havana and began his work.

One can readily imagine the immediate problems all of which needed
settlement at once, none of which could be settled without study of
the most thorough and vital sort. Wood's method was that of an
administrator and statesman of great vision. He immediately proceeded
to {132} secure wherever he could find them the best men on each of
the problems and set them to work with such assistance, expert and
otherwise, as they required to make reports to him within a limited
time as to what should be done in their particular branches of the

Again, it was so simple that it can be told in words of one syllable.
But the great administrator appeared in the selection of the men for
the jobs and in the final acceptance, rejection, or modification of
the plans proposed. While he was an absolute monarch of the Island he
never exerted that authority unless there was no other possible
course. In all cases he left decisions in so far as that could be done
to native bodies and native representatives and native courts with
full authority.

Chief Justice White of the Supreme Court upon being consulted told him
that in the main the laws were sound but that the procedure was
faulty; that he must look closely to this and make many modifications.
This hint from a great authority became his guide.

The most crying needs of the moment were the {133} courts and the
prisons. Prisoners were held without cause; trials were a farce; the
prisons themselves were filthy places where all ages were herded
together; court houses were out of repair and out of use; records
hardly existed, and the whole machinery of justice was that of a
decayed colony of a decayed kingdom totally without the respect of the
public and without self-respect.

General Wood began with characteristic promptness to get to the root
of the matter. The principal officer charged with the prosecution of
cases was removed and a mixed commission, selected and appointed by
himself, substituted. As a result in a short time six hundred
prisoners were freed, because there was not sufficient evidence
against them to warrant their arrests. Court houses were put into
repair. Judges with fixed and sufficient salaries were appointed;
officials were set at work upon salaries that were fair and--what is
far more to the point--were regularly paid. Prison commissions
appointed by Wood examined conditions and the prisons were cleaned,
moved to other buildings, or renovated and remodelled according to
modern American methods. {134} The result in less than six months was
that native officials were conducting this work in a self-respecting,
honorable manner, convicting or releasing prisoners in short order and
bringing the idea of justice into respect in the public mind. The
establishment of order was a natural result. Outbreaks and riots
became unknown. The people began to realize as no amount of exhibition
of power on the part of the invaders could ever have made them realize
that peace, order, fair play, and a chance to live had come upon the
land in what seemed some miraculous fashion.

The respect of the individual for the State was born again in the
Cuban mind--born, perhaps it is fairer to say, for the first time in
the heart of this much abused and ignorant people. Once this really
pierced their inner consciousness--the inner consciousness of the
whole people, of everybody poor or rich--these people felt safe and
secure and knew they could take up their enterprises with safety and
with hope of adequate returns which should belong to themselves.

It was so sound to do this wherever possible through the medium of the
Cubans themselves and {135} not through army officials! It was so sane
and clear-visioned a method to begin with this great beam of the
remodeled Cuban house--this building up by the process of individual
observation of confidence in those who ruled them!--and the men whom
General Wood selected to draw the plans were experts in just such
work. He selected them. He passed on their schemes. They did the work.
And to this day he gives them credit for the whole thing.

Next came the necessity for inculcating the idea of government of the
people by the people. Six months after taking office General Wood had
appointed a commission on a general election law, had adopted a plan
much after our own electoral laws with the Australian ballot system
and a limited suffrage, had prepared in his own office in Havana all
the ballots, ballot boxes, circulars describing election rules and had
successfully held throughout Cuba the first real election ever known
on the island--ever known to the people. Municipal officials and local
representatives were chosen everywhere by the people themselves for
the first time in their lives.


Whether such a thing would be successful and prove effective the
Governor-General did not know. But he knew that it was the right thing
to do if they were ever to govern themselves; he trusted them--and he
took the risk.

Next--or rather at the same time with these two basic lines of
constructive building--came the school system. When the United States
took over the Island the school system was non-existent. There was not
one single schoolhouse belonging to the State anywhere on the Island.
There were no schools at all except private and church schools and
very few of them. Children in the mass did not attend school. There
was no foundation to build on. The whole school system had to be
created new from the bottom to the top. That schools were another of
the main beams of this new house is self-evident. Yet the action taken
was much more far-seeing than would have been possible without a
single autocrat to decree, and without a man who could see many years

"I knew," said the Governor-General in one of his reports, "that we
were going to establish a {137} government of and by the people in
Cuba and that it was going to be transferred to them at the earliest
possible moment; and I believed that the success of the future
government would depend as much upon the foundation and extension of
its public schools as upon any other factor, that such a system must
be entirely in the hands of the people of the island."

This was the situation when in the beginning of 1900 within a month
after taking office Wood selected a young West Pointer who had been a
teacher to draw up a school system and school laws. The result was an
adaptation of the Ohio and Massachusetts School Systems; and when in
1902 the Island was turned over to the Cubans three thousand eight
hundred schools were in operation in good schoolhouses, with native
teachers well paid, with 256,000 pupils, and at an expenditure of
$4,000,000 a year out of a total annual state revenue of $17,000,000.
In other words nearly one-quarter of the Island's revenue had been
spent on the education of children to make them good and
self-respecting citizens where nothing whatever had been spent before.


It was a very bold step. No other country on earth had ever spent so
large a portion of its revenue on education. The appropriations in the
United States to-day are pitiful in comparison--and yet our country
is supposed to be doing pretty well by its future citizens. Again the
step taken by the Governor-General was a piece of construction of the
main essentials--of the things that make no show, but build, always

American teachers were not employed, in order that the Cubans filled
with suspicion of what the invaders were going to do might not be led
to believe that there was any attempt being made to "Americanize" the
Island. But on the other hand in the summer of 1900 one thousand of
these new Cuban teachers were invited with all their expenses paid to
spend several months at Harvard University in Cambridge and learn
something of American pedagogy. The preparations for transporting this
large number and handling them during their stay in the United States
involved a large amount of work, but the trip was carried through
without mishap or accident of any kind, and the thousand teachers
returned to {139} their homes in the Island not only with the great
benefit resulting from this instruction, but with the immense stimulus
of a visit to an organized and comparatively smoothly running
civilization. What they saw was of even greater benefit to them in the
long run than what they learned in their summer courses.

At this time the city of Havana was a fever-ridden, dangerous city.
Yellow fever and other tropical diseases existed always and blazed up
into epidemics at certain seasons of the year. Such systems of
drainage as existed emptied into the harbor or into the street
gutters. A beginning had been made to cleanse the city before Wood
took charge, but little had been done in the smaller cities of the
Island, all of which were in somewhat the same condition as Santiago
in 1898 except for the added scourge in the latter city resulting from
its siege.

Nevertheless different methods had to be used in Havana. It is
impossible here to go into the mass of detail in the appointing of
commissions to carry out the different sanitary works that were
required in Havana and all over the Island {140} in cities, towns and
country districts. But, familiar as it now is, there will never be an
account of this work which has made Cuba one of the healthiest places
to live in either in or out of the tropics--there will never be a
description so short that it cannot tell of the work of the unselfish,
altruistic group of physicians who solved the yellow fever problem for
all time. It gives him who writes even now something of a thrill to
tell a little of it again and to pay tribute to the man who organized
the work and to the men who carried it out under his unfailing support
and encouragement. It is the greatest achievement of medicine since
the discovery of the smallpox vaccine. It is one of the bright spots
in the history of mankind.

Here it is told best by the organizer of it in his official language
with all the reserve and reticence that go with all the writing he has
ever issued. Between the lines one reads the story of a hundred cases
of bravery as great as that required by any fighter in the world, a
hundred instances of self-sacrifice and risk willingly given in those
fever-stricken places and quarantined hospitals, freely {141} offered
that those who came after might be saved from the black cloud which
then hung over all tropical and semi-tropical countries.

In the Spring and summer of 1900 a yellow fever epidemic broke out in
Havana and in many parts of the Island. All the sanitary methods known
to man seemed to have no effect upon it. Nothing seemed to do much

At this point General Wood, knowing of the theory of Dr. Findlay that
yellow fever was transmitted by the bite of a mosquito and at his
wits' end to know what step to take next, received notice that a
commission consisting of Drs. Reed, Carroll and Lazaer had been
appointed to make a thorough study of the disease at first hand and
report to him. "After several preliminary investigations Dr. Lazaer
submitted himself as a subject for an experiment for the purpose of
demonstrating that the yellow fever could be transmitted in this way.
He was inoculated with an infected mosquito, took the fever and died.
Dr. Carroll was also bitten and had a serious case of yellow fever,
but fortunately recovered.

"The foregoing was the situation when Doctors {142} Reed, Carroll and
Kean called at headquarters and stated that they believed the point
had been reached where it was necessary to make a number of
experiments on human beings and that they wanted money to pay those
who were willing to submit themselves to these experiments and they
needed authority to make experiments. They were informed that whatever
money was required would be made available, and that the military
Governor would assume the responsibility for the experiments. They
were cautioned to make these experiments only on sound persons, and
not until they had been made to distinctly understand the purpose of
the same and especially the risk they assumed in submitting themselves
as subjects for these experiments, and to always secure the written
consent of the subjects who offered themselves for this purpose. It
was further stipulated that all subjects should be of full legal age.
With this understanding, the work was undertaken in a careful and
systematic manner. A large number of experiments were made.

"The Stegomyia mosquito was found to be beyond question the means of
transmitting the {143} yellow fever germ. This mosquito, in order to
become infected, must bite a person sick with the yellow fever during
the first five days of the disease. It then requires approximately ten
days for the germs so to develop that the mosquito can transmit the
disease, and all non-immunes who are bitten by a mosquito of the class
mentioned, infected as described, invariably develop a pronounced case
of yellow fever in from three-and-one-half to five days from the time
they are bitten. It was further demonstrated that infection from cases
so produced could be again transmitted by the above described type of
mosquito to another person who would, in turn, become infected with
the fever. It was also proved that yellow fever could be transmitted
by means of introduction into the circulation of blood serum even
after filtering through porcelain filters, which latter experiment
indicates that the organism is exceedingly small, so small, in fact,
that it is probably beyond the power of any microscope at present in
use. It was positively demonstrated that yellow fever could not be
transmitted by clothing, letters, etc., and that, consequently all the
old {144} methods of fumigation and disinfection were only useful so
far as they served to destroy mosquitoes, their young and their eggs."
[Footnote: General Wood's Report on the military government of Cuba.]

That is the story of a work that has made Cuba a healthy land, that
has freed the southern part of the United States forever from the
dread disease, that has made the building of the Panama Canal a
possibility and the Canal Zone healthier in death rate per thousand
than New York City, that has finally rid the earth of yellow fever as
vaccine rid it of smallpox and typhoid, and as the discoveries during
the Great War have made it possible to check tetanus and typhus and
bubonic plague.

It was done--the work was done--by the doctors named and their
assistants and the many men who took up the burden in other places and
carried on. All honor to them! But the man who approved the idea, who
took the risk and the responsibility and backed up those who worked--
the man who kept in touch with it day by day and {145} saw that it was
carried through--was Leonard Wood.

Simultaneously with these basic administrative activities many other
lines of constructive state building were inaugurated, under the same
administrative plan--the plan of the appointment of a specialist or a
commission of specialists to draw up plans and report to the
Governor-General who then decided and started the actual work of

A railroad law was written, and General Wood persuaded General
Grenville M. Dodge and Sir William Van Horn to help him to build much
of the present railway system of Cuba. Hard modern roads took the
place of the muddy routes almost impassable at certain seasons of the
year which had been the only means of communication throughout the
island. Hospitals and charities were grouped under a new organization
consisting almost entirely of Cubans which renovated old hospitals,
built new ones, put children first into temporary homes and then did
away practically with asylums as soon as the destitute children could
be put out among the Cuban families who {146} took them under a newly
made law. Thus, in so far as was possible, no child from that time
forward grew up with the stigma of an orphan asylum resting upon him
or her, but had the chance offered to become in time a self-respecting
inhabitant of a self-respecting community.

Immense sums were disbursed by the military government in public
works, harbor improvements, lighthouses which had almost ceased to
exist, post offices and postal systems, telephone and telegraph
connections, offices and organizations and an entirely new system of
custom houses and quarantine administrations.

The account of these in detail is the same story over and over
again--the building of a state from bottom to top; and the
administration of this state by those people who throughout their
entire lives had known nothing of the sort--much less had any voice in
its management.

Two require special notice because of the tact and judgment required
in handling them and because of the vital importance their
consummation meant in the final settlement of Cuban difficulties.

One was the ending of the long standing war {147} between the Spanish
Government and the Roman Catholic Church upon the question of church
property appropriated by Spain. No settlement had been made since the
concordat of 1861. And when General Wood took command of the Island
the Church came to him and said: "What is the United States going to
do? Is it war, or peace? Give us our property back, or pay us for the
use of it."

With infinite wisdom and tact the Governor-General appointed judicial
commissions to make an exhaustive study of the situation which
resulted in reports showing that the claims of the Church were in the
main just and fair, and a settlement was reached by which the State
purchased most of the property, and rented for five years the rest, so
that time should be given for equitable adjustment. This settled for
all time a century-old trouble which alone would have made the setting
up of a peaceable and effective government doubtful.

The other sound reorganization of a delicate nature was the action of
the Governor-General in revising a law which made marriages only legal
if {148} performed by a judge and ignoring the church ceremony
altogether. The changed law recognized either church or civil marriage
and quieted the most serious of all family troubles in the Island.

Finally a constitutional convention was planned and held, at which a
constitution of the republican form based upon that of the United
States was framed and adopted; an electoral law for elections in the
Cuban republic was also adopted; and the general administrative law of
the land was rewritten and adapted so that the government of the
Island could be turned over to its inhabitants in workable form even
though that form was new to them and they new to self-government in
any form.

Look for a moment at the result of this work. In December, 1899,
Leonard Wood took command of the Island of Cuba. In May, 1902, he
turned over that Island to its own inhabitants. In 1899 except for the
military work done by the American Army the Island contained Spaniards
who had for years been its autocratic rulers and who had recently been
defeated in a war; and Cubans who {149} had for years been governed by
a tyrant race. In 1902 these two century-old hostile groups, neither
of whom had ever had any real experience in modern representative
government, received their country at the hands of the Americans with
new laws, with a republican form of government, with their own kind
for rulers elected by their own people, and began an existence that
has now been running long enough to prove that the work was so well
performed for them as to make the impossible possible--the rotten
kingdom, a clean republic; the decayed colony, an independent, proud

It is a piece of work unparalleled in the annals of history. And the
closing episodes which occurred in Havana are a witness to the
affection and pride in which the people held the man who had
accomplished it, the nation which had ordered it and their Island
which was the scene of its happening.

One typical episode occurred on the night of President Palma's
inauguration ball given to the new President and the new Cuban
Congress by General Wood. Wood took a number of the {150} principal
representatives of the new Cuban Congress to the Spanish Club--the
hotbed of the Spanish _régime_--where there was a celebration in
progress in honor of King Alfonso's birthday. The two nationalities
fraternized at once under the influence of the American
Governor-General, and all of them, Spaniards and Cubans, drank the
health of the King of Spain. The President and the principal members
of the Club then joined the party and went to the ball together, where
in turn all of them, Spaniards and Cubans alike, drank the health of
the new republic. When Wood's family left for Spain the Spanish colony
in Havana made a request that they should sail on the Spanish Royal
Mail Steamer in order that they might show their appreciation of his
work. And this ship when she sailed was the first Spanish boat to
salute the brand new Cuban flag which had just been raised at the
entrance to the harbor where for 400 years before that day the flag of
Spain had waved.

Another witness to the singular skill with which the Governor-General
handled the diplomatic relations of the republic, and which is
probably {151} unequaled anywhere in history, follows. This witness
has to do with his work in laying the foundations of peace between the
government of the Island and the Catholic Church. It is only possible
here to quote from a few of the documents which Wood received not only
as acknowledgment of his wise and sane policy, but as voluntary signs
of personal affection and respect which the writers held for him when
his difficult task was done. Monsignor Donatus, Bishop of Havana,
wrote among other letters three which deserve quoting here. They were
all voluntary expressions on his part. The first, dated at Havana on
August 10, 1900, says in part:

"To His Excellency, Major-General Leonard Wood, U.S.A., Military
Governor of Cuba. Honored Sir:

"I saw published in the official Gazetta yesterday the decree whereby
you give civil effects and validity to religious marriages. This act
of your Excellency corresponds perfectly with the elevated ideals of
justice, fairness and true liberty to which aspired the institutions
and government of {152} the United States, which you so worthily
represent in this Island.

"I gladly take this opportunity of declaring that in all my dealings
with your Excellency I have found you ever disposed to listen to all
reasonable petitions and to guard the sacred rights of justice which
is the firmest foundation of every honored and noble nation.

"I am moved, therefore, to speak the thanks not only of the Catholics
but likewise of all others who truly love the moral, religious and
political well-being of the people, and to express to your Excellency
the sincere feelings and satisfaction and gratitude for this decree,
which is worthy of a wise leader and an able statesman. This too gives
me confidence that all your decrees and orders will continue to be
dictated by the same high-minded and liberal spirit of justice that
while it respects the religious sentiment, also guarantees and defends
the rights and liberties of all honest institutions. Very respectfully
yours, X. Donatus, Bishop of Havana."

The second from the same place, dated December 11, 1900, says:


"All lovers of liberty of conscience, all guardians of the sanctity of
the home and all who understand and admire good citizenship must
recognize in this as in your other order on the same subject, the
wisdom of a far-seeing statesman and the courage of a fearless

"Thanking you therefore in my own name and in the name of the Church I
represent, I remain with every sentiment of respect and esteem, Very
sincerely yours, X. Donatus, Bishop of Havana."

And finally as the Bishop was leaving Havana in November, 1901, to
become the Bishop of Ephesus and proceed to Rome, he wrote:

"Called by the confidence of the Holy Father to a larger and more
difficult field of action, I feel the duty before leaving Cuba to
express to your Excellency my sentiment of friendship and gratitude,
not only for the kindness shown to me, but for the fair treatment of
the questions with the Government of the Island, especially the
Marriage and Church Property questions. The equity and justice which
inspired your decisions will devolve before all fair-minded people to
the honor, not {154} only of you personally, but also to the
Government you so worthily represent. I am gratified to tell you that
I have already expressed the same sentiment to the Holy Father in
writing and I will tell him orally on my visit to Rome. Yours very
respectfully, X. Donatus, Bishop of Havana."

An interesting result of this work of Wood's in regard to the
settlement of the religious questions of the Island came later on when
he was starting on his way to take up his work in the Philippines in
the form of a delegation of Church authorities headed by Archbishop
Jones. This delegation came to General Wood to say that its members
proposed to approach the President of the United States and suggest
that Wood be given the same authority to represent church matters in
the Philippines as he had had in Cuba. They added that if this were
done, they would give him full power to represent the Catholic Church
as a referee and confer upon him the power not only to recommend
action in all matters, but to settle all matters for the Church

It is very doubtful if such authority has many times in history been
given to a Protestant by the {155} Church of Rome, and it marks the
extraordinary height to which Wood's ability had lifted him in the
world at large.

It is hardly to be wondered at that Theodore Roosevelt wrote at the
time: "Leonard Wood four years ago went down to Cuba, has served there
ever since, has rendered services to that country of the kind which if
performed three thousand years ago would have made him a hero mixed up
with the sun god in various ways; a man who devoted his whole life
through those four years, who thought of nothing else, did nothing
else, save to try to bring up the standard of political and social
life in that Island, to teach the people after four centuries of
misrule that there were such things as governmental righteousness and
honesty and fair play for all men on their merits as men."

[Footnote: _Harvard Graduates' Magazine_.]








Meantime, while Wood was carrying on his work in Cuba, events of
importance to him and to his country were taking place in the United
States. The popularity of his war record had made Roosevelt Governor
of New York, and when the time came for him to run for a second term
the Republican organization of the state forced him to take the
nomination for Vice-President of the United States in order to keep
him out of the gubernatorial field. He objected strongly and tried to
remain in the state fight, but at the convention in Philadelphia upon
a certain momentous occasion Thomas Platt, then head, of the state and
national Republican organization, is said to have remarked to him:

"Mr. Roosevelt, if you do not desire the vice-presidential nomination,
there is always the alternative of retirement to private life."

In other words party machinery was too strong {160} for him and
much against his will he was forced to run as second on the
McKinley-Roosevelt presidential ticket.

The Republicans were successful and Roosevelt, knowing that there was
little for him to do in Washington, was planning an extended trip
through the Southern states to make an exhaustive study of the negro
question. He had indeed begun to accumulate material on this subject
when on September 6, 1901, McKinley was shot at Buffalo. A few days
later he died; and Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United

For Wood this meant much in the future--much of good and something of
trouble. Roosevelt was his devoted friend and supporter, and upon his
return to the United States in early 1902 he found this devoted friend
the head of the nation, himself a Brigadier-General of the regular
army scheduled to go into regular army work and to live on an army
officer's pay. In this country there is no other procedure possible.
In England such a man would have been given a title and a large sum of
money to make it possible for him to keep up the position which a man
of his abilities and {161} attainments should keep up. Here the case
is different.

He had the alternative of going on, or retiring and entering
commercial pursuits. Offers looking towards the latter contingency
were not wanting. He was, in fact, asked to take a business position,
which offered him forty thousand a year. Here was a large income for a
man of forty-two, regular work of an interesting sort, security and a
clear future for himself and his family. Instead, he accepted the
appointment to the Philippines which meant and indeed, as the outcome
showed, actually involved more than a hundred military engagements
amongst the natives of the islands in many of which he risked his

Here again he took the road of service to his country as he had each
time the ways divided since the day when as a young doctor he entered
the army. No one but he himself can tell in detail just the reasons
which led to this decision, but in the main they were the instinctive
desire for action, for execution and for the open road, which then as
now swayed him in all his actions and decisions. Then, too, he felt
that since {162} Roosevelt was President, criticisms of their
relations in political circles might readily arise, as indeed did
occur later; and lest their friendship should be misunderstood he took
the Philippine appointment--applied for it, even--in order that being
thus out of the country, cause for any such occurrences might perhaps
be avoided.

It is always interesting to look back through the career of such a man
and speculate on the chance or wise decision which caused the choice
of the right road or the left road at such a time. Neither Wood nor
Roosevelt could possibly know or foresee that this decision would
furnish the former with the material which eventually led to his doing
more than all the rest of the United States put together to start
preparation for the Great War. Neither of them could have guessed that
his administration in the Philippines would bring out further
qualities in Wood which showed the statesman as well as the
administrator in him.

What might have happened otherwise is again a futile
speculation--perhaps something to bring him still more before the
people of his country, perhaps less--yet it may be safely said,
judging {163} from history and biography the world over, that it is
probable no road he might have taken would have suppressed Leonard
Wood's executive and administrative qualities. Indeed the fact that
for practically thirty years he has been in the army, that he is a
soldier in every inch of his big body, has never even to this day made
him a militarist. He is and always has been an administrator; and that
quality with all that it means would in all likelihood have cropped
out in whatever profession he might have chosen or been forced into by

Men of ability are doubtless occasionally kept down; but not as a
rule. They rise to the occasion. And conversely men of small minds,
dreamers and theorists looking to the settlement of all problems on
the instant seldom last long at the top although they rise to
prominence here and there in times of excitement and hysteria such as
we are passing through to-day. It is only the sound common sense of
humanity coupled with great ability that stands the test. It is only
they who keep ever before them the fact that {164} elemental laws do
not change, cannot be changed, who stand the test and strain of

The entire world since the Great War is filled with new theories, new
plans, new outlooks for all of us. We cannot go back to the old
status. Yet because we cannot go back there would seem to be no reason
for our going mad. The wall paper has changed--must change. New
decorations with wonderful and to American ears unpronounceable names
have been displayed before the eyes of Europe and America by the
advanced architects of the day. But that individual--not to mention
nations--who becomes fascinated with the new colors and designs will
suffer horribly in the end if, having forgotten to look to the beams
of his house, he finds it shortly tumbling about his ears. Sane
vision, clear thinking at critical times has saved and will save many
times again those who would fall but for such guidance.

To-day in this land such men are needed. They must come forward, not
in haste or with sudden panaceas, but with the same old sound common
sense which has made us what we are and will keep {165} us from
becoming what parts of the rest of the world have already become.

In 1902 the situation, while not as acute as to-day, had nevertheless
its problems to be solved; and though we had just finished what in the
light of history was a short and almost insignificant war the country
was startled from end to end by the discovery of its unpreparedness.
As has already been said our amazing lack of men and equipment for any
such occasion had been impressed upon Wood's mind by personal
experience and by his own native instinct for the reverse.

It was of great interest to him, therefore, to receive shortly the
appointment to visit Germany as an American military observer of the
German Army maneuvers. And out of this trip he learned more thoroughly
the lack of foresight in military matters in this country and saw more
clearly the position which we should be in, if such a machine as the
German Army were pitted against us instead of the weak and decayed
forces of Spain.

In the course of these maneuvers he met many of the greatest military
men of Europe. He was received and entertained by the German Emperor
{166} not only because of his position in the American army and as the
representative of the United States, but as the man who in Cuba had
treated with such kindness and courtesy German officers of a visiting
training ship who were ill with the Island fevers. He witnessed the
grand maneuvers of the greatest army the world has ever known. But,
what in his own belief was of far more importance, he met and talked
with European military experts of world-wide reputation.

Among these men the most congenial spirit was Lord Roberts. The little
man of Kandahar, the great fighter of Britain's battles, the idol of
the British public, was then striving to awaken the English people and
the English government to their own unpreparedness. He sought even
then to show them what an attack by a force like the German Army would
mean to the British Empire. For years he kept at it, lecturing,
speaking, crying aloud throughout England up to the very day when
without warning in 1914 his countrymen found themselves with a scant
two hundred thousand soldiers confronted by five millions of trained


The great fighter, the great preacher, his little body filled with
patriotism and a great heart, unbosomed to Wood and met a responsive
assent in Wood's own nature. They discussed from all sides the right
thing to do. They went over all the European systems together with the
desire in their hearts to find something which should at the same time
give a nation a force of great size that could be quickly put into
action and still not turn that nation into a huge military machine.
Neither of them was a militarist. Both felt that peace was best
preserved by the power to preserve it.

Together they seem to have arrived at some adaptation of the Swiss
system which provides that small country with a relatively enormous
military force without causing the citizens to give up their
commercial pursuits. At that time it is probable that Wood began to
formulate the idea of universal military training of all male citizens
between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one while they were finishing
school and college and before they had settled upon their life work.

At all events the material upon the subject {168} which he managed to
accumulate in the way of books, pamphlets, records and so on
constitutes now one of the main portions of his extensive library. And
the whole trip was an example in his case of what a man can do
incidentally--or apparently incidentally--while occupied ostensibly
with some other work. During his stay in Europe he met many statesmen
in Germany, France and England and absorbed from them all he could on
the subject that was fast becoming his greatest interest.

Upon his return to the United States the difficulties which Taft, the
Governor of the Philippine Islands, was having in trying to bring
order amongst the Moro, or Moslem, Islands and the half savage tribes
which inhabited them led President Roosevelt to consider the
advisability of sending some one to undertake this difficult and
dangerous task. Speaking of it to Wood one day the latter said:

"Why not send me?"

Roosevelt immediately referred him to Mr. Root, then Secretary of War,
with the result that he was appointed Governor of Moro Province to do
{169} the work there amongst these new wards of the United States
under different conditions which he had already done in Cuba.

Wood felt very strongly that it would be far better for him to be
there during the administration of Roosevelt in order that their
personal relationship might not be misunderstood. This was the more
forcibly brought in upon his consciousness by the occurrence at that
time of what is known as the Rathbone affair.

Major Estes G. Rathbone, formerly an assistant postmaster-general and
at this time detailed to duties in the newly organized Post Office in
Cuba, had been charged with wastefulness of public moneys and
unwarranted expenditure of public funds for personal expenses. He,
with certain associates, was brought to trial and convicted. He was
sentenced to a long term of imprisonment. It was one of the few cases
of malfeasance in office which occurred in Cuba during Wood's
administration and was dealt with by the regular courts in the regular

Nothing further would have come of it in all probability had not the
extraordinarily close {170} relations of Wood and Roosevelt furnished
an excuse. The fact that Roosevelt was President of the United States
and that as such he proposed the name of Wood for advancement to
Major-General of Regulars from Brigadier-General added fuel to the
flames. The fact that Wood was the senior Brigadier and that as such
he would naturally become Major-General in regular seniority seems to
have carried no weight at the time. Even then the Rathbone affair
would have had no connection with the matter of this appointment had
not Major Rathbone possessed personal friends high politically in the
government of the time, and had not the regular army officers looked
with disfavor upon the appointment even in regular order of a man who
had been an army surgeon and who was not what is known as a line
officer originally.

All these influences, however, coming together at the same time caused
an uproar in Congress over his appointment which, while it cleared
Wood entirely, still made a political scandal that hurt to the quick
the man who had just accomplished what he had accomplished in Cuba.

Wood was charged with conduct unbecoming {171} an officer; that he
made an intimate friend of an ex-convict in Santiago, and employed him
as a newspaper correspondent to blacken the character of eminent
American officers and advertise himself; that Rathbone was unjustly
accused and convicted through Wood's direct agency; that Wood had been
guilty of extravagance; that he had accepted while Governor-General
presents from a gambling house in Havana, and so on.

All this evidence and much more was laid before the Committee of the
Senate on Military Affairs and was most thoroughly aired. The result
was the absolute vindication of Wood, his confirmation as
Major-General of the Regular Army and a report which is a part of the
records of the Senate in which it is written that:... "not one of them
has a better claim, by reason of his past record and experience as a
commander, than has General Wood; and in the opinion of the Committee
no one has in view of his present rank equal claim to his on the
ground of merit measured by the considerations suggested."

The whole episode thus ended in still greater credit to General Wood.
It is only interesting {172} and in point here and now because it
brings out the fact that the man himself never had the support of the
Washington Army Department men until his service in the Philippines,
except here and there amongst those officers who have served under
him. Doubtless his extraordinary executive work in getting the Rough
Riders ready for action and his methods which over-rode precedents and
destroyed red tape throughout the whole of the War Department of that
day had much to do with this. That there should follow in so few
months his remarkable success in Santiago, his appointment as
Governor-General of Cuba, his quick and successful organization and
administration of the Island so that it could be turned over to the
Cubans in such short order--all tended to fan the flames of prejudice.
Hence when the opportunity of the Rathbone affair occurred the flames
became a veritable conflagration, which, however, burned only those
who brought the charges and touched the character of Wood himself not
at all.

In the meantime early in 1903 he started upon his duties in the
Philippines. Instead of proceeding by the usual route through
California and {173} over the Pacific to Manila, Wood decided to make
the voyage the other way round with a definite plan for acquiring data
upon his new subject and relative to his new duties as he went along.

In Egypt he spent some time with Lord Cromer, then just preparing to
give up his work there as Viceroy. Cromer, like all other persons in
executive capacities throughout the world, knew well all that General
Wood had done in Cuba. He had a very high appreciation of what had
been accomplished in the time, because from his own experience he knew
better than most men what the difficulties had been. He took a great
liking for the quiet, stalwart American and told him that his
administration in Cuba was one of the finest in Colonial history and
the best in our generation. Later when Lord Cromer was asked to
suggest some one to succeed himself in Egypt he said that
unfortunately the best man was unavailable since he was an American
citizen named Leonard Wood.

He gave him all the facilities for studying the government and
administration of the British protectorate and helped him wherever and
{174} whenever he could. Wood's great interest was the study of the
way in which men of different and conflicting religious beliefs were
handled, and he collected large quantities of books and documents to
be studied later as he proceeded eastward. No man could have asked for
higher appreciation than was accorded him voluntarily by the able and
experienced administrator of Egyptian affairs.

From Cairo he proceeded to India and spent sufficient time to
accumulate information there. He was to govern a Mohammedan population
mixed up with Confucians, cannibals, headhunters and religions of
twenty different varieties, and he studied as he went along all the
methods employed in similar situations to preserve order without
creating religious wars.

He even made a special journey to Java at the invitation of the Dutch
government, where the Dutch governor gave him all the assistance in
his power. Here he found the problem more closely allied to his own
than elsewhere.

So that on his arrival in Manila he had gathered information upon most
of the problems which would shortly confront him from sources {175} of
unquestioned authenticity and from men of unquestioned ability. Some
friend one night in Manila spoke of the large number of books that
filled the walls of his house and wondered when he expected to get
time to read them. Wood's answer was that he had read them all and
only used them now as reference books to refresh his memory.

New as the problems were, therefore, he had by the time he began
active work as Governor whatever preparation any one could secure for
the work in hand.

The Spaniards had failed in their government in the Philippines as
they had elsewhere. In Mindanao and Sulu--the country, or islands,
inhabited by the Moros--they had failed signally because of their
intolerance of the religious beliefs of the people and their careless
impatience generally towards a colony which from its very nature could
not produce much money. Furthermore they did not send sufficient
military forces or sufficiently able officers to maintain their
supremacy. And finally they did not deal with the people through the
native clergy and priests. Consequently when the Americans came in the
Moros were united only {176} in their hatred of the white race, placed
no confidence in anything their rulers told them and only obeyed
white-man-made laws as long as the white man was in sight.

After all a sultan or datu had his position and authority which had
come down to him through generations and his religion which had been
taught him from birth. He saw no reason why he should give up these
without a struggle just because some other man arrived with a
different religion and a different form of sultan government. The
country was such that it was easy to avoid the new rulers.
Transportation over large parts of the southern islands was through
jungle and pathless forests where even riding a horse was impossible.
Streams without bridges, settlements without approaches except a
trail, tropical climates to which only the Moros themselves were
accustomed spread over a land of almost impenetrable jungle. The Moros
themselves understood such a situation and could easily move from one
spot to another, one island to another, one settlement to another;
while the army had to fight its way in and then fight its way out


While the problem of administration was not unlike that in Cuba in so
far as the organizing of courts, law, education, native officials and
so on went, there were here in Moroland the infinitely more difficult
and delicate tasks of dealing with many different religious laws and
customs and the hereditary rank and rights of tribal rulers, none of
which existed in Cuba.

The quality of statesmanship in Wood which dealt with these problems
and settled them so that from a slave-holding, polygamous, headhunting
land there arose a self-governing community is of the highest order.

It was put into force in the commander's usual, commonplace, thorough
way without haste or excitement, but where necessary by force of arms
which required more than a hundred engagements and many hard-fought
battles. Wood first spent some time in Manila going over the situation
with Mr. Taft. There he learned Taft's wishes and views and prepared
his military forces. He was both military commander and civil governor
of the Moroland and as such was again an absolute autocrat. When he
was ready he started directly {178} into the jungle from Zamboanga.
The journey took him and his staff through forests, over unfordable
rivers, across mountain ranges on foot, across the straits that
separated one island from another in dugouts, into forts, into towns,
into villages and hamlets in a nerve-racking journey of over a month
without a pause except for necessary sleep.

He wanted to see with his own eyes and hear with his own ears at first
hand what was the condition of affairs, what was going on, what were
the different and varying situations in order that he might the more
correctly and certainly draw up plans for the reorganization of the
colony. In one village he was a military commander issuing orders; in
another he was a criminal or civil judge sitting in session; in
another he was a listener to the advancement of the plans and the
religious ceremonials of the sultans or datus of the place.

Naturally all came to see him. He was the embodiment of the new
conquerors and curiosity alone would have brought every one, to say
nothing of policy which brought those who desired {179} to impress him
in order that special favors might be expected for themselves. He was
the Great White Sultan judged by the standards known to their other

And the problems were infinitely varied and in most cases entirely new
ones to the "doctor from Boston."

But, as in other places, he used his own methods in each instance to
settle the particular problem, always emphasizing the one great fact
that if the Moros would deal fairly with the Government of the United
States they would benefit as never before, secure fair and just
treatment and be assured of their right to live in peace.

Yet when things became a little clogged he took immediate steps to
clear the situation with force if necessary, but always with diplomacy
if that could be made to do the job.

"In Jolo there was a mess. The puffed-up Sultan, with whom General
Bates in 1899 had made a treaty by which the Sultan engaged to keep
order, was away in Singapore having a 'time.' His brother, the Rajah
Mudah, was acting as regent. The sub-chiefs and datus were in a great
{180} row. The Moros were murdering and robbing, all over the island.
General Wood led an expedition to find out what was the matter. It was
not a punitive expedition, but rather one meant to let the natives see
the stalwart soldiers of the United States and understand the futility
of resisting them. The Rajah Mudah was sulky. The General sent him a
polite invitation to visit him in camp near Maibun, the Rajah's town.
Mudah returned word that he was ill. Another invitation failed to
budge him. General Wood ordered Colonel Scott to pay a call upon the
sick Rajah and to take along a company of infantry. Colonel Scott and
Captain Howard found the Rajah lounging among his pillows. He greeted
them in the languid accents of the sick. Solicitous inquiries about
the nature of his malady were made. The Rajah had a boil. Colonel
Scott was deeply sympathetic. Would the Rajah object to showing his
boil. Perhaps the visitors might be able to suggest a remedy. The
Rajah did not show his boil. Captain Howard put his company into line.
The Rajah sat up with a jerk, and Moros came running from all
directions to see what was {181} happening. Colonel Scott very quietly
explained that the soldiers had been sent as a guard of honor to
escort the Rajah to the General. If the Rajah was quite sure that he
was feeling sufficiently strong to travel, they would go.

Peering through half shut eyes, the Rajah Mudah pondered for a moment.
Then he announced that he felt greatly improved and that undoubtedly
his condition would be immensely helped by a ride in the air.

"General Wood greeted him cordially and ceremoniously. He personally
conducted him around the camp, pointing out what fine, big men our
soldiers were, and especially directing his attention to the machine
guns. Would the Rajah like to see the guns in operation?

"After the guns had mowed down a few trees the Rajah's face assumed a
thoughtful expression. He became enthusiastically friendly."
[Footnote: _World's Work_.]

Such methods in time made an impression. Even the Moro mind began to
absorb the fact that it was much better to accept the invitation than
to undergo what followed any failure to do so.


Wood had also to add to his difficulties in the beginning the
prejudice of army officers he found in the islands. The older men over
whom he had been promoted by President McKinley had no love for him.
They called him a doctor. He was not of the army fraternity. They had
heard that he had done well, but not by established methods. The
younger officers took their cue from their seniors and so did the
enlisted men. It was a difficult problem, or series of problems,
through which he had to steer a careful course. But he did it and
turned the tide entirely in the other direction.

He did it by always taking his share of the hard work. Object lessons
of this sort multiplied as time went on. When troops were sent out to
an engagement Wood went with them and kept in the front line. When
they camped for the night in the jungle he had the same bed--the
ground. When they had little or nothing to eat, he had the same. Once
when they came out upon the beach of one of the islands after a hard
trip Wood's launch was reported a hundred yards off the surf ready
with cooling fans, a good mattressed bed, excellent food and a bath.
He told {183} the orderly that he would stay with the men and sent him
back to the launch, taking no more notice of the matter except to
scrape out a new hollow in the burning sand in the hope of finding a
cooler spot to sleep.

Such episodes repeated again and again soon made a vital change of
views in regard to the new governor and commander. They occurred so
regularly and so often that it appeared true--this taking what came
along in the day's work with the others--not a case of trying to
produce effect now and then. Mr. R. H. Murray, in his article written
in 1912, quoted above, speaks of an officer who served under Wood at
this time and as he says quotes him as literally as he can:

"When Wood first came out in 1903, the army in the Philippines didn't
know him. There were plenty of officers who reviled him as a favorite
of the White House, and cussed him out for it. Pretty soon the army
began to realize that he was a hustler; that he knew a good deal about
the soldier's game; that he did things and did them right; that, when
reveille sounded before daybreak, he was usually up and dressed before
{184} us; that, when a man was down and out, and he happened to be
near, he'd get off his horse and see what the matter was and fix the
fellow up, if he could; that when he gave an order it was a sensible
one and that he didn't change it after it went out; and that he
remembered a man who did a good piece of work and showed his
appreciation at every chance.

"Well, the youngsters began to swear by Wood, and the old chaps
followed, so that from 'cussing him out' they began to respect him and
then to admire and love him. That's the word--love. It's the easiest
thing in the world to pick a fight out there now by saying something
against Wood. It is always the same when men come in contact with him.
I don't honestly believe there is a man in the department now who
wouldn't go to hell and back for Leonard Wood."

It was again much the same story as in Cuba. It was not only the
personality of the man himself, his personal magnetism, but the quiet
simplicity of his methods backed by knowledge and good judgment. It
was the absence of doing anything for effect, anything of the personal
{185} "ego;" the getting of things done quietly, without ferment or
conversation. And back of it all the absolute certainty of every one
who worked with or under him that Leonard Wood would do exactly what
he said he would, even though he said it quite quietly only once and
even though the doing of it meant a military expedition, a battle and
the death of many a good man who perhaps knew nothing of the real

Here again space is too limited to permit of an account of the work
done by Wood which made a group of pirates into a relatively
law-abiding community. Yet some attempt to picture the situation is
necessary in order to give a slight idea of what the problem was.

It should be borne in mind that the country over which he was made
Governor-General consisted of two-thirds of the Island of Mindanao and
the Sulu Archipelago--a long chain of large and small islands
extending almost to Borneo. The inhabitants were principally
Mohammedans, known to the Spaniards as Moros. Along the coast of
Mindanao were scattered small Philippine settlements--Christian
Filipinos. Widely {186} separated back in the islands were numerous
tribes speaking different dialects. In appearance they were not unlike
the Diacs of Borneo. Some of them were headhunters. Among some of them
cannibalism still existed in the form of religious ceremonies.

The Moros were the masters of all the seas in this vicinity. They were
the old Malay pirates so well known in books of travel. The Spaniards
had waged intermittent war against them since early in 1600, but they
never effectively conquered them. They would send down a large
expedition, win a victory and withdraw. This procedure, however, made
little or no impression on the pirates, who shortly returned to their
trade when the Spanish victors had returned home.

The Moros were all fanatical Mohammedans, intolerant of Christians or
Christian influence, and when the Spaniards arrived in Manila about
1687 they dominated all the seas about the Philippine Islands. They
were armed with all kinds of firearms, ranging from the old Queen Bess
muzzle-loader to the most modern rifles. Their artillery ranged from
the broadside guns of battleships of {187} the 18th Century to a
smaller cannon of bronze, made principally in Borneo. They were bold,
adventurous sailors, slave traders and slave hunters and successfully
terrorized the hill tribes. Indeed, they were greatly feared along the
coast of Mindanao.

Early in the American occupation a treaty had been made with the
Sultan of Sulu, who claimed the headship of Moros from the Island of
Sulu northward to the great Island of Mindanao. In Mindanao there were
different sultans who claimed headships in their own districts, and
foremost amongst these was Datu Ali, who had waged a long and
successful war with the Spaniards.

Here then was a difficult problem: to establish civil government among
these wandering hill tribes, Filipino settlements, and piratical
Mohammedan groups, each fearing and hating the other. General Wood's
first task as he conceived it was to stop slave-trading and establish
relations of tolerance, if not friendship, between the Filipinos and
the Moros on the one hand and between the Moros and the hill tribes on
the other; to stop the Christian Filipinos from imposing {188} on the
hill tribes; and to begin some method for substituting respect for law
and order, for government and authority in the place of terror and
hatred. The ending of the slave trade resulted in many heavy,
long-drawn-out fights with the principal Moro bands. The Sultan of
Sulu had not lived up to the Bates Treaty and he had to be deposed,
therefore, as a sovereign in Sulu.

The next step was to organize some form of government that would fit
the situation. To start this Wood divided the entire Moro area,
including the islands, into districts and appointed American officers
of experience and ability as governors of the districts.

He then visited Borneo and studied carefully the laws and regulations
under which that chartered colony governed the Malays within its
borders. The policy laid down by him for the district governors was to
stop slave-trading and the taking of life and property at once; to
establish next friendly relations between the people living on the
coast and the timid tribes up in the hills; to build up commerce on a
fair basis; to open up trails and lines of communication between {189}
villages; to assure to every one, no matter what his religion, a fair
deal. He also laid great stress on the necessity of bringing the
headmen of the different tribes into contact with the district
governors and of doing all that could be done to build up and increase

At the same time the new and energetic Governor-General instituted a
strong policy to stop forever the inhuman practices and customs highly
repugnant to what Americans considered humane conduct. Every effort
was made to insure better treatment of women, who up to that time had
been nothing more nor less than chattels. On the seacoast trading
stations were built and put in charge of men who spoke the dialect of
the wild people. At these stations there was always a provincial agent
who had authority to see that the hill people got fair prices for
their products and just treatment from the Malays. Little by little as
a result of this wise and sane policy they were all induced to come to
the stations and make their head-quarters there during the trading
period. In former times they had been accustomed to bring down their
heavy loads of jungle products on their {190} shoulders and rather
than stay in the neighborhood of the pirates over night they would
sell their goods for anything they could get and hurry up into the
hills again before dark. Moro, Filipino and Chinese traders had for
centuries systematically robbed them. Money was of little use to them
and therefore all trading was by barter. It was a long campaign of
education which Wood instituted to build up confidence amongst these
timid people, and he sent young American officers among them,
traveling often-times hundreds of miles on foot and practically
without any protection to help them and give them confidence.

Little by little confidence was built up; great peace meetings were
arranged among the different tribes; old grudges were wiped out;
scores were balanced and old feuds settled. It took time and brains
and painstaking patience, but it was done and done well.

At the same time, taking a leaf from his own Cuban notebook, Wood
started schools in the Filipino villages and took steps to do the same
among the Moros. It was very difficult to {191} find teachers who
would be received by these Moslems. It was at first almost impossible
to get them to send their children to school at all. Nothing but time
and sound, honest methods in dealing with these people made all or any
of this possible.

Patrol boats were put on duty in the waters about the islands.
Simultaneous with this building up went the organization of the
customs service, since the province had to be entirely
self-supporting. Native people from among the Moros and Filipinos were
organized into what was called the constabulary. Every effort was made
to turn the attention of the people from irregular and piratical
activities to the activities of commerce. School laws were put in
force, written in terms to meet the situation. Increased cultivation
of new land, cultivation of cocoanuts, cocoa, and various local
products, including hemp, was encouraged by exempting it from taxation
provided certain amounts of useful crops were planted thereon.

Communications by land and water were built up as fast as possible.
After a time taxation was {192} imposed very gradually in the form of
a cedula, or poll tax. The money so collected was spent so far as
possible in the district where it was collected. The headmen of the
tribes and sub-tribes were made officials of the province and given a
baldric bearing a brass shield with the seal of the province. In time
they were given certain police authority for the maintenance of order.
If the local headman could not handle the situation, the local
constabulary was called in. If they in turn were not sufficient, then
the troops were sent into the area.

A free man's life was worth fifty-two dollars and a half in gold; a
male slave one-half this amount; a free woman was worth as much as a
male slave; a female slave half as much as a male slave, and a modern
rifle about two hundred dollars in gold.

As the simple processes of law came to be better understood natives
were encouraged to appeal from the tribal to the district court,
consisting of the district governor and the local priests or headmen,
who advised the former upon tribal {193} customs and scales of
punishment, in order that no injustice should be done to any one.

Gradually appeals were taken from the district courts to the regular
insular courts, which were represented by itinerant judges of the
first instance. The latter belonged to the regular Philippine
judiciary and were at this time all Americans. Women were given equal
status before the law and the rights of property were safeguarded.

After the first hard fighting the need for the use of troops gradually
diminished and more and more of the policing work was done by the
native constabulary. The wildest regions became practically safe.

After the districts were in working order municipalities and townships
were established and the framework of civic organization begun. The
Mohammedan religion was left undisturbed. Religious freedom was
guaranteed to both Mohammedans and Christians. In addition to the
Catholic missionaries who had been working there for hundreds of
years, missionaries of other denominations commenced to take active
interest in the situation. The revenue was sufficient to maintain
{194} the province in good shape and there was a considerable amount
of money in reserve.

Thus in three years, with the knowledge he had acquired in Cuba
supplemented by his visits and study amongst the colonies of other
nations where similar problems existed, with his extraordinary energy
and capacity for working through innumerable subordinates, Leonard
Wood again built up a community out of nothing but land and human
beings. But in the Philippine instance he built up a community largely
governing itself upon a system of laws still in force--though three
governors have succeeded him--from a hopeless mass of Christian
Filipinos, Chinese traders, Malay pirates, Mohammedans, cannibals and
feudal tribes.

It was a remarkable instance of state building, which following upon
the Cuban episodes, stands out as the greatest achievement any man has
accomplished in Colonial history.

It is impossible to state the relative importance of this work without
appearing to overdo it. Yet if we could but collect the tributes that
have been paid to Wood upon its accomplishment they {195} would make a
volume, Richard Olney wrote: "... to congratulate you personally on
the most successful and deservedly successful career, whether as
soldier or public man of any sort, that the Spanish War and its
consequences have brought to the front." John Hay, then Secretary of
State, wrote Wood a note "with sincere congratulations on the
approaching fruition of all your splendid work for the regeneration of
Cuba," and Senator Platt, of Connecticut, wrote of his "admiration for
your administration under difficulties greater I think than have ever
had to be encountered by any one man in reconstruction work." So the
record of two statesmenlike and administrative works stands to this
day as a witness of Wood's qualities.

In 1905 after a visit to the United States he returned to the islands
and became commander-in-chief of the American forces in the
Philippines, General Bliss taking his place as Governor of the Moros,
who were now established under a basic form of government and
procedure which Wood had inaugurated.

By 1908 this work was practically completed {196} and the procedure
laid out for the future rule of that part of the Philippines. At that
time General Wood was transferred to Governor's Island in New York
Harbor as Commander of the Department of the East, strangely enough
the first command he had held within the United States since the
Geronimo days in the Southwest.

There followed in the next six years a diplomatic mission as special
Ambassador to the Argentine Republic upon the occasion of the
centenary of Argentina, where he met and talked with General von der
Groltz, the German officer, who had so much to do with the Great War
later. From this meeting Wood absorbed more of the necessity for
universal military training and more of the aversion to a standing
army such as existed in Germany. After this mission he became the head
of the American military forces under the President of the United
States and for four years held the position of Chief of Staff.

Thus beginning his army life in 1886 as an army surgeon he rose in
twenty-two years to the highest position in the regular army that any
one can hold. That, in a sense, closes a certain {197} period in
General Wood's career. For when in 1914 he was again made Commander of
the Department of the East he had already started upon his campaign of
national preparation which had been growing and growing in his mind as
he lived and served his own nation and observed and studied other
nations. The knowledge he had acquired in the four quarters of the
earth showed to him conclusively that a nation must be ready to resist
attack in order to live in peace, and yet that that nation must not
spend all its wealth and time and brains in building up a military
machine. In a strange way the attitude of this New England "Mayflower"
descendant resembled the attitude of his own native Cape Cod, which
stands at the outposts of New England with its clenched fist ready and
prepared, yet which lives on quietly in the lives of its inhabitants
who proceed in peace with their commercial occupations and their
family existence.








"There are many things man cannot buy and one of them is time. It
takes time to organize and prepare. Time will only be found in periods
of peace. Modern war gives no time for preparation. Its approach is
that of the avalanche and not of the glacier.

"We must remember that this training is not a training for war alone.
It really is a training for life, a training for citizenship in time
of peace.

"We must remember that it is better to be prepared for war and not
have it, then to have war and not to be prepared for it."

Such sentiments quoted from General Wood's many speeches and writings
might be continued until they alone made a volume--a book of the Creed
of the Patriot. For in his crusade up and down our land for the last
six years he has developed an unsuspected ability for epigrammatic
phraseology, for stating in concise, homely {202} language the
principle that no one in any successful operation has failed to get
ready. This was unsuspected in him, because up to 1913 he had had
little to say outside of his official reports. His motto of doing the
thing without talking about it had been followed to the letter by

When he finally arrived at a position which was important and powerful
enough to give him an opportunity for putting his beliefs into effect,
when he furthermore arrived at a point where there was not the
immediate necessity for feeding a starving people, or fighting a
hostile military force, or reorganizing a tumbled-down state, or doing
any of the things demanding immediate action with which he had been
employed during most of his life--then with characteristic energy he
did begin. Time could not be bought by him any more than it could be
by others and his work of preparedness had to await a period of peace
when the time was at hand. This period having arrived in 1912 and 1918
he found that in order to produce any impression, to get action upon
this plan, he must not only have a high and powerful position but he
must awaken the public {203} to its importance before he could expect
legislative or departmental action. Hence the volume of the Creed of
the Patriot.

With his accustomed energy therefore he started upon a campaign of
writing, speaking and promoting in all ways open to him to bring this
new plan before the people of this country and in doing so he
developed the hitherto unsuspected qualities of a speaker of the
highest, because the simplest and most homely order.

To him there was nothing new in the plan of preparedness for the
nation. He might have said to himself in 1913: "I have found that in
order to be a doctor a young man must study so many years; in order to
fight Apache Indians successfully a man must train for a physical
condition that permits him to walk and ride and live harder than his
already trained opponents, that he must train soldiers for that
particular job, must train and care for horses to cover that
particular country. I have found by sad experience that to have a
regiment of Rough Riders in proper condition to fight Spaniards in
Cuba the men must be taught by long training to understand military
principles, {204} subordination to military rule of procedure, the use
of guns and animals and the laws and tactics of military action in the
field; that these men must be taught to take care of themselves in the
open, that ammunition and equipment must be at hand and in use. I have
found that in order to produce order in a community where there is no
order, health in a land where there is only sickness, happiness
amongst a people where there is only misery and fear and worry--in
order to do all this laws must be made and respected, people must
learn that they owe something to their state and that they are
responsible for honest care, administration and thoughtfulness of
those who look to them as they look to their state. I have found that
where nothing but force will do the trick, force must be prepared and
ready in advance. I have seen innocent persons go under because they
were not ready to offset depredations. I have seen nations injured and
destroyed because they were not ready to resist force, whether that
force were used in a just or an unjust cause. And now I have arrived
at the place where I can prove this to a nation instead of to a
military platoon, or a military staff, or a few Cuban or Philippine

[Illustration: THE PATRIOT]


He might have said all this to himself--doubtless has done so many,
many times with much more to the same effect--but the outcome is a
witness of the fact that he has from a long and active life as
fighter, soldier, organizer, administrator, diplomat and statesman in
the West, the South, in Europe, in Asia, in Cuba, in the Philippines,
in South America, in Washington--in most parts of the earth--learned
again and again that nothing can be really done on the spur of the
moment, that everybody must prepare from school days to death. And in
1913 he had his first real opportunity to preach this nationally to
all the people of his own native land.

That within a year of that time prepared Germany should have upset the
world and found the British Empire, the French Republic and the
Italian Kingdom unprepared--to say nothing of the United States--may
have been one of the accidents--strokes of fortune--that some people
say have made General Wood. But it would seem that the only thing this
Great War did in this {206} connection was to prove by a terrific
example that Wood and those with him were right and that those who
were against him were wrong.

If the war had not come, it would have taken longer to awaken this
country to the facts and it would have delayed perhaps the growth of
General Wood's name as that of a national and international character
of highest importance. But it would not have changed the truth of his
Creed--or rather the creed of which he has become the great
protagonist. Nor does the fact that the war did come when it did give
any ground for making Wood one of the greatest citizens of our country
to-day because he preaches preparedness. General Wood stands at the
forefront of the leaders in America at this time because of his own
personal make-up and character and because of the amazing variety and
extent of his services to his country which are written upon every
page of its history during the last thirty years. It is the variety of
things done which puts him in his present position, just as it is the
variety of high qualities that has made the great men of all times
great. King David was not only the greatest {207} general of his time.
He was one of the greatest administrators of all time and perhaps the
greatest poet that ever lived. Washington was not only a fighter of
the highest order. He was one of the great generals of history; and a
statesman and ruler of a higher order still.

It might very aptly be said, therefore, that General Wood's campaign
for national preparedness was only the accomplishment of a task for
which he had all his life been preparing himself.

Upon his return trip from the Philippines in 1908 he had come by the
way of Europe studying always military systems. There was a short stop
in Ceylon, in Singapore, in Egypt, in Malta and Gibraltar and a summer
spent in Switzerland, ostensibly for health recuperation after the
tropical life in Moroland and Manila, At the same time this gave
opportunity for a closer study of the Swiss system which with an
admixture of the Australian system furnished the basis for the
training camps afterwards inaugurated by him here.

At the same time he had the opportunity by invitation of seeing the
German and French {208} armies mobilized at the time of the
Bosnia-Herzegovina episode when all Europe was on the verge of war.
The German army of maneuver was at Saarbrücken--ready. Practically the
whole of the French army of maneuver was on the Loire--ready. He saw
one immediately after the other--less than two days apart. Mr. White,
then American Ambassador to France, asked him what he thought of the
French army and his answer was that despite the fame of the German
military machine France in the next war would surprise the world by
the fitting effectiveness of her forces. He based this conclusion on
the relation of officers and men and the discipline founded on respect
and confidence rather than fear of officers.

Then followed the centenary mission to the Argentine and a couple of
years as Chief of Staff of the American army before he could
effectively begin his campaign.

The first gun was a letter sent out by Wood under permission of the
Secretary of War which proposed to many presidents of colleges and
universities in the United States the establishment of several
experimental military training camps {209} for students. These camps
were to be placed one on the historic field of Gettysburg and the
other at the Presidio of Monterey, California. The former opened on
July 7th and closed on August 15th, and the latter extended from July
1st to August 8th. In all 222 students took this training, 159 at
Gettysburg and 68 in Monterey.

It was the first trial, and it was a very small and insignificant
response. Indeed it gives a good idea of the importance in which
military preparedness was held in this country at that moment--
100,000,000 inhabitants; 222 volunteers.

Those were the days when the people of this land and many others were
hard at work upon commercial pursuits and when for amusement the world
and his wife danced tango to ragtime music. So-called alarmists cried
"Look out for war!" Major Du Maurier of the British army wrote a play
called "An Englishman's Home," which startled and puzzled Englishmen
for a while, but could not carry an audience for one week in this
country. Nobody took any interest in what his neighbor was doing, to
say nothing of what Germany or any other countries were planning.


Yet Wood was not discouraged. He was started on a long campaign and he
knew he had to prepare to prepare. Furthermore the men in the
universities who could see ahead came forward in his support and in
support of the idea. Four years later President Drinker of Lehigh
University wrote of the amazing success of the movement: "We owe it
largely to Major-General Wood's farsightedness as a man of affairs and
to his great qualities as a soldier and patriot, that our country was
awakened to the need of preparedness, and this beginning of military
training in our youth was due wholly to his initiative." [Footnote:
_National Service Magazine_.]

Small as the beginning was it was a plant with the germ of strength in
it, since at this first camp in Gettysburg the members formed then in
1913 the Society of the National Reserve Corps of the United States.
Wood at once cooperated with this slender offshoot and gave it all the
support in his power. He sent letters as Chief of Staff of the Regular
Army to college presidents at the same time that the president of the
new Corps did so--both suggesting an advisory committee to {211}
assist the government in the encouragement and practical advancement
of the training camp idea. This committee was formed and Presidents
Hibben of Princeton and Drinker of Lehigh were elected president and
secretary. The committee with these officers in charge gave assistance
to Wood in his organizing work so that out of the small beginnings in
the two camps an enormous organization arose which trained tens of
thousands of young men to be officers and made the immense expansion
of the little American army to 4,000,000 soldiers possible.

Pushing always quietly but unremittingly ahead Wood helped these
officers to increase the camps from two to four in the summer of
1914--in Vermont, Michigan, North Carolina and California--with a
total attendance of 667 students.

Then came the Great War and the beginning of the work on a large
scale. From college students, who reported on the interest and
pleasure which they got out of the summer camp, the life in the open
and the military instruction afforded by regular army men, the
movement extended to business men, lawyers, preachers and so on. Wood
{212} opened the Plattsburg camp on Lake Champlain to the latter and
started the first business man's camp. Each man paid his own railway
fares, his own living expenses while in camp and bought his uniform
and equipment, except arms, with his own money.

That year (1915) 3,406 men attended the five camps. In 1916 six camps
were opened and 16,139 men attended them. At the close of the first
Plattsburg camp the business men formed an organization for furthering
and extending this training just as the college men had done at
Gettysburg two years before. And in 1916 these two organizations
consolidated and organized the present Military Training Camps
Association of the United States.

All through this period, taking advantage of the European war, drawing
lessons from the tragic happenings just across the Atlantic, Wood went
about the country, as little "Bobs" of Kandahar had previously done in
England, speaking in halls, in camps, in churches, at clubs, at
festivals, on special and unspecial occasions of all kinds. He drove
home the subject which he knew so well and others knew hardly at all.
He met all comers of {213} every grade in arguments and debates--those
who were constitutional objectors, pacifists, people who thought
arbitration much more effective, people too proud to fight or too busy
to get ready--all comers of all kinds. And the Great War day by day
helped him. He spent his summers going from one camp to another,
traveling all over the United States.

At six in the morning he would appear in one of them ready for
inspection, and any day anywhere where there was a camp one might see
him in the early morning sunshine, or the early morning rain striding
up one company street and down another followed by new and old
officers, peering into this dog tent and that kitchen, examining this
man's rifle and that man's kit, praising, criticizing and jamming
enthusiasm in two hours into a group of a thousand men in a manner
they knew not how, nor clearly understood. It was just what he had
done in Cuba, just what he had done in the Philippines where he had
organized drilling, athletic and condition-of-equipment competitions
in each company, each regiment, each brigade, each division--one
pitted against another, all at it hot and heavy; {214} not because
Wood came along and looked them over, but because when he did look
them over he could spot any weakness in any part of the work with
unerring certainty--not alone because he could spot any weakness, but
because he knew a good point when he saw it and gave credit where
credit was due.

It is perhaps not out of place here to look back in the light of
events which occurred afterwards and are now a part of history and
secure an estimate of what this work did for this country in awakening
the people to a sense of the critical situation, to prepare an army
which should do its part in the world war, to bring that army into
line in France at what seems to have been a critical moment and to
help bring the war itself to a successful conclusion in conjunction
with the Allied armies which had held on so long against such terrific

The purpose of the camps and what they will lead to in time of peace
and did lead to in time of war is perhaps best shown in one of General
Wood's statements: "The ultimate object sought is not in any way one
of military aggrandizement, {215} but to provide in some degree a
means of meeting a vital need confronting us as a peaceful and
unmilitary people, in order to preserve the desired peace and
prosperity through the only safe precaution, viz.: more thorough
preparation and equipment to resist any effort to break the peace."

That at a time when there was no European War in sight.

Now consider General Pershing's report of Nov. 21, 1918--after the
close of the war. The first American air force using American
aeroplanes went into action in France, that is to say in the war, in
August, 1918--16 months after the declaration of war by the United
States and four years after the beginning of the war itself. During
the entire time that the United States was in the war, a little over
19 months, not one single American field gun was fired at the enemy
and only 109 had been received in Europe at all. No American tank was
ever used against the enemy in the whole war. Yet a month or six weeks
after the declaration of war troops began to go to Europe and at its
close in November, 1918, the army {216} consisted of 3,700,000 men, of
whom more than 203,000 were newly made officers. Half of this force at
least got over to the other side of the Atlantic and at least half of
them took part in the fighting at one time or another of the 19

One would have said at the outset that a commercial nation like the
United States, filled with factories, mechanics and mechanically
inclined brains, could and would have made guns and aeroplanes and
uniforms far quicker than it made soldiers and officers. Yet such was
not the case.

A French officer here in America at that time studying American
mobilization said:

"I knew you recruited over 3,500,000 men in 19 months. That is very
good, but not so difficult. But I am told also that although you had
no officers reserve to start with you somehow found 200,000 new
officers, most of them competent. That is what is astonishing and what
was impossible. Tell me how that was done." [Footnote: _National

There is only the one answer, that the officers' training camps
started in 1918 by Leonard Wood and fostered by him and the people of
this nation {217} who then and later agreed with him made the
impossible possible and made the new, raw army effective and in time.
It was what came to be known as the "Plattsburg Idea;" which, getting
really going first in May 16, 1917, as a regular part of the United
States mobilization, did its work before arms and ammunition were
ready, before uniforms could be had, before camps had been even laid
out and before the first draft had been taken. At that time 40,000
selected men were in training for officers' positions in sixteen
camps. That is to say, in 40 days 150,000 applications had been
received, 100,000 men examined and 40,000 passed as fit and ready for

It was the work in 1913, 1914, 1915 and 1916. It was the Plattsburg
idea adapted to war conditions. Without it the situation regarding men
might easily have been the same as the situation regarding guns,
aeroplanes and uniforms.

Plattsburg, being in New York State, naturally became the type of
camp, since in 1914 Wood, having been relieved of his position as
Chief of Staff, was detailed to command the Department of the East
with his headquarters on Governor's {218} Island in New York Harbor.
He no sooner took up this new work than the Department of the East,
where fifty-six per cent, of the National Guard of the whole country
was included, became a seething office of energy and work. In so far
as the training camp idea went this energy was centered in Plattsburg.

At the same time General Wood inaugurated the Massachusetts National
Guard Maneuvers--the first of their kind held in this country--and
added a water attack on Boston. He also assisted Governor Whitman in
putting through the New York State Legislature the bills creating the
State Military Training Commission, under whose management all boys
between the ages of sixteen and eighteen undergo a simple but
effective training in the rudiments of military tactics and receive
the athletic training of a short camp life each year--all involving
the inculcation of the principles of discipline, of order and of self

Thus the history of the way in which the Government of the United
States, when war was eventually declared, secured its officers is
told. {219} One might go into detail, but the main facts are not
altered by any amount of detail. They stand out clearly--the awakening
of our land in time by the energy and patriotic spirit of one man,
supplemented by the untold amount of work accomplished at his
suggestion by thousands of patriotic American citizens.

And in the midst of this work before war was declared General Wood, as
a part of his plan of preparedness, asked some ten or twelve men to
come to Plattsburg at different times to speak to the student
officers. Among these men he included the two living ex-presidents of
the United States--Mr. Taft and Colonel Roosevelt. He first submitted
the list of speakers to the War Department so that the Department
might eliminate any one of them who for any reason should appear to be

After two weeks, having had no reply, he sent out the invitations and
from time to time these speakers came and addressed the members of the
different camps.

Roosevelt on his arrival at Plattsburg handed to Wood the speech he
proposed to deliver; and {220} in view of the known critical attitude
which the former took towards the administration Wood asked two other
army officers to go over the proposed speech with him and help him to
eliminate anything which might be questioned upon such an occasion.
The address was delivered at about five o'clock in the afternoon at
the camp and when it was finished Roosevelt was heartily congratulated
personally by many men of both political parties, among them two
distinguished Democrats--John Mitchel, Mayor of New York, and Dudley
Field Malone, Collector of the Port of New York.

After dinner Roosevelt left in the evening to go into the city of
Plattsburg, a mile or two away from the camp, to take the midnight
train for New York. As he stood on the platform of the railway station
some time after eleven in the evening he was interviewed by the
newspaper reporters. No military person was present. What he said was
given out on territory not under military jurisdiction and it had
nothing to do with the Plattsburg speech. Roosevelt spoke to the
newspaper men in his usual forcible fashion:

"In the course of his speech he remarked that {221} for thirteen
months the United States had played an ignoble part among the nations,
had tamely submitted to seeing the weak, whom we had covenanted to
protect, wronged; had seen our men, women and children murdered on the
high seas 'without action on our part,' and had used elocution as a
substitute for action. 'Reliance upon high sounding words unbacked by
deeds,' said he, 'is proof of a mind that dwells only in the realm of
shadow and of sham.' Under the Hague Convention it was our duty to
prevent, and, if not to prevent, then to undo, the hideous wrong that
was done in Belgium, but we had shirked this duty. He denounced
hyphenated Americans, professional pacifists and those who would
substitute arbitration treaties for an army, or the platitudes of
peace congresses for military preparedness."

The next day Wood received a telegraphic reprimand from the Government
in Washington. "In this telegram of disapproval. Secretary Garrison
said it was difficult to conceive of anything which could have a more
detrimental effect than such an incident. The camp, held under the
{222} Government auspices, was conveying its own impressive lesson in
its practical and successful operation and results. 'No opportunity
should have been furnished to any one to present to the men any matter
except that which was essential to the necessary training they were to
receive. Anything else could only have the effect of distracting
attention from the real nature of the experiment, diverting
consideration to issues which excite controversy, antagonism and
ill-feeling, and thereby impairing, if not destroying, what otherwise
would have been so effective.' General Wood replied, as follows: 'Your
telegram received, and the policy laid down will be rigidly adhered
to.'" [Footnote: _The Independent_.]







On April 6, 1917, war having been that week declared by the United
States against Germany, Major-General Leonard Wood, ranking officer in
the United States Army--that is to say, the man occupying the senior
position in our army--being then in sound health of mind and body and
fifty-six years of age, wrote and personally delivered two identical
letters, one to the Adjutant-General of the Army and the other to the
Chief of Staff, requesting assignment for military service abroad.

No acknowledgment or reply was ever received from either source.

Early in April he received notice that the Department of the East of
which he was then commander was abolished and in its place three new
and smaller departments created, in spite of vigorous protests by
several Governors of Atlantic States. He was offered any one of the
following {226} three military positions that he might select--the
Philippines, Hawaii or the "less important post" at Charleston, South

He at once selected the post at Charleston.

On May 12th he proceeded to Charleston and began the organization of
the Southeastern Department. In the months immediately following he
had selected and laid out eleven large training camps and had taken
charge of the supervision of three officers' training camps, one at
Oglethorpe, one at Atlanta and one at Little Rock.

On August 26th he received orders to proceed to Camp Funston in Kansas
to command the cantonment there and train for service a division of
national troops designated as the 89th Division.

Towards the end of the year he was ordered to proceed to Europe to
observe the military operations of the war. Leaving Camp Funston the
day before Thanksgiving, he landed in Liverpool on Christmas Day,
1917. In London he called by invitation upon General Robertson, the
British Chief of Staff, and upon his old friend, Sir John French. He
then proceeded to Paris on December 31, and between January 2nd and
14th, 1918, {227} went over the British front with Generals Cator and
Rawlinson. On the 16th he was at Soissons with the French.

For the next few days the examination of the French front continued at
and near the Chemin des Dames sector.

On January 27th he went with some French officers and men and a number
of American officers to look into the work of the 6th French army
training school, where artillery practice was in progress at
Fère-en-Tardenois. He was standing behind a mortar, the center man of
the five officers watching the gun crew fire the mortar, when a shell
burst, or detonated, inside the gun.

The entire gun crew was blown to pieces. The four officers on either
side of General Wood were killed. He himself received a wound in the
muscles of the left arm and lost part of the right sleeve of his
tunic. Six fragments of the shell passed through his clothing and two
of them killed the officers on either side of him. He was the only man
within a space of twelve feet of the mortar who was not instantly
killed. Many were wounded, including two others of our own officers.


After a night in the field first-aid hospital, where his arm was
dressed, he motored approximately a hundred miles to Paris the next
day and went into the French officers' hospital in the Hotel Ritz.

This hospital was in the old portion of the Ritz Hotel. General Wood
was the first foreign officer to be admitted to it. It was full of
wounded French officers and men from the different fronts; some of
them from Salonika; some sent back from Germany, hopelessly crippled,
and held as unfit for further service by the Germans; and many from
the Western front.

Here he got very near the soul of the French Army and came in touch
with that indomitable spirit which made that army fight best and
hardest when things looked darkest. Thanks to an excellent physical
condition he made a rapid recovery, described by French surgeons as
found only among the very young. He was a guest of the French
Government while at the hospital and received every possible courtesy.
On the 16th of February after having talked with many of the French
officers in the hospital and called, at their request, upon
Clemenceau, President Poincaré, Joffre and {229} others, he left Paris
entirely cured of his slight wound and proceeded to the headquarters
of the French Army of the North at Vizay. There he met and talked with
Generals D'Esperey and Gourand, visited Rheims and Bar-le-duc and
spent the day of the 20th at Verdun.

During the next few days he visited the United States Army
headquarters at Chaumont and Toul and was back in Paris on the 26th,
when he received orders from the A. E. F. to return to the United
States by way of Bordeaux. On the 21st of March he arrived in New York
and was summoned four days later to appear before the Senate committee
on military affairs to report his observations.

He was then examined by the Mayo examining board, pronounced
absolutely fit physically and on April 12th resumed command of the
89th Division at Camp Funston, Kansas.

The training of this division was practically finished in late May and
the 89th was thereupon ordered abroad for service.

After seeing some of the elements of the division off for the
evacuation station at Camp Mills, Long {230} Island, New York, General
Wood left Funston himself and proceeded to Mills to see to the
reception of his division and look to its embarkation. He arrived at
the Long Island camp on May 25th and there found an order from the War
Department relieving him of his command of the 89th Division and
instructing him to proceed to San Francisco to assume command of the
Western Department. After finishing some necessary work he went to
Washington on the 27th and saw the Secretary of War. Little is known
of what took place at this conversation except that General Wood
requested that he be reinstated in his command of the 89th Division
and sent abroad, which was refused.

Wood saw the President, explained the situation and was told that the
latter would take the matter under consideration.

No consideration was ever reported.

Meantime the order sending him to California created such an uproar
throughout the United States that it was rescinded and General Wood
was ordered to Camp Funston again to train a new division--the
10th--which was ready to go {231} abroad when the armistice was signed
on November 11th.

This constitutes General Wood's services to his country during the
period of the war.

Much might be said in regard to this history. Much might be surmised
as to the causes which led to keeping the man who was the senior
officer of the army out of the war entirely. Much--very much--has been
said throughout this country in and out of print during the past two
years. The theory that he was too old for active service could not be
a reason, since he is younger than many general officers who did see
service abroad--younger as a matter of fact than General Pershing
himself. It is hardly conceivable that physical condition could have
been a reason, since at least twice in the last two years he has been
passed by expert physical examination boards in the regular routine of
army life and found sound, mentally and physically. He does, to be
sure, limp and has had to do so for years on account of an accident in
Cuba fifteen or sixteen years ago. Yet this could hardly unfit him for
service in France when it did not unfit him for service in the {232}
Philippine jungle, or the active life which he has led for the past
ten years.

There has been considerable surmise as to whether his amazing campaign
for preparedness, his speeches and his many activities in the
officers' training camps organization and administration prejudiced
the authorities against him. This again is hardly credible since it is
manifestly inconceivable that those men in charge of the prosecution
of our part in the great war, with the immense responsibility resting
upon their shoulders, could possibly have allowed personal prejudice
and favoritism to have played any part in their decision in regard to
any man--least of all the most important man in the Regular Army.

Some controversy arose as to whether Wood's friendship and relation to
Theodore Roosevelt might not have created hostility in administration
and army circles. This again is beyond credence when the importance of
the men on both sides is considered and the terrific importance of
events at the time is taken into account. Here again it is
inconceivable that any man or group of men could at such times and in
such circumstances {233} allow anything personal to sway his or their

The incontestable fact still remains, however, that the one man in the
Army who by his whole life in the United States, in many parts of the
earth, had during a period of thirty years been preparing himself for
just such an occasion, who had for four years been trying to get the
people of the country and the government to prepare, who had appeared
before Senate military commissions and other similar bodies and
registered his belief in the necessity for certain measures, all of
which were adopted by the Government as recommended by him--that the
one man who had done all this should not have been selected to do any
active service whatever at the front, but should have been offered
posts in the Philippines, Hawaii and California when he was applying
for service in France. Lloyd George wanted him; France wanted him; and
the American Army wanted him.

All sorts and conditions of men throughout the United States expressed
their opinion upon the subject during this war period and are doing so
{234} still, but the one man who has said nothing is General Wood
himself. With his inherited and acquired characteristic of doing
something, of never remaining idle, with the habit acquired from years
of military discipline and respect for orders emanating from properly
constituted authority, he put in his application again and again for
service and then accepted without public comment whatever orders were
issued to him.

Here again is the same simple, direct mind of the man who has at no
time lost his sense of proportion, who has not become excited because
his chance was not given him--the chance for which he had spent long
years of preparation--who did not let this outward
wallpaper--plaster--showy thing divert him from the essential point,
the great beam of our war preparation house--the necessity that every
man, woman and child should do all he or she could do to help the
Government of the United States carry the war--or our part of it--to a
successful conclusion when that Government finally made up its mind to
go in.

Wood declined to become a martyr. He had no bitter feelings. He was,
as any other man of {235} his prominence and character would be,
disappointed at having no opportunity to serve his country at the
front. But he took what came to him and did it as usual with
extraordinary quickness, effectiveness and thoroughness.

Indeed speculation on the subject is not likely to produce much
profit. It is only of importance in the present place as illustrating
again the make-up of the subject of this biographical sketch. He took
no steps other than those regularly and properly open to him to secure
service. He attempted no roundabout methods. He kept his own counsel
and followed his old maxim of "Do it and don't talk about it." His
requests for reasons for denying him of all men the right to fight for
his country on the battle line made through proper channels--never
otherwise--produced no answers in any case and to this day the whole
amazing episode is entirely without explanation.

Meantime the man's characteristic energy and thoroughness produced
extraordinary results in other fields.

In his short sojourn in Charleston it was his duty to select and
prepare at once a certain {236} number of camps, or cantonments as
they came to be called, within the jurisdiction of the South Eastern
Department. And this he proceeded to do with great rapidity. Not only
were all the sites he selected passed without exception, but they
proved to be in every instance safe, sanitary and sufficient for the
purpose. This was no easy matter with almost every town and city in
the South sending delegations to him to ask that it be selected as the
site of one of the camps, with the prodigious amount of political
influence brought to bear from all sides and with the necessity of
offending nobody, of making all work towards one end--the immediate
preparation for homes for the men who were to make the new army.

It was all so skillfully handled that there is not a place in the
South of any size which has not sounded and does not sound the praises
of General Wood. He selected the camps and made them with that
experience and knowledge that were his because of the fact that he was
an army officer and a doctor who had done much the same thing and had
had much the same work in Cuba and the Philippines.


One would expect something of the sort from any able man with such
preparation, but one would not expect such a man to leave the
Department with the extraordinary popularity and the multitude of
expressions of good will and affection which Wood carried away with
him after these few months of work.

In the midst of the journeyings to and fro to look over possible sites
and all the work entailed in preparing the camps he found time to
supervise the three officers' training camps already mentioned, which
were carried out upon the lines of the earlier ones with the aid of
the Officers' Training Camps Association.

Upon being transferred to Camp Funston near Fort Riley in Kansas, Wood
began in the first days of September, 1917, the training of a new
division of raw recruits from the selective draft. He had the
assistance of a nucleus of army officers and some few army men, but
the bulk of the division consisted of new men and of new officers
recently from the officers' training camps. And this work was well on
its way and the division {238} taking form when he received orders to
go to Europe.

It is difficult in this limited space to go into the details of his
work abroad, and most of it in any case was technical matter more
adapted to a military report. The results of some of his conversations
are, however, of interest now as showing the situation as it appeared
to important men, military and political, in Europe at that time.

Some one said during the summer of 1918 when asked how much the
American man and woman in the street really knew of what was going on
in Europe, that if the headlines of American newspapers were
disregarded and the actual telegraphic reports themselves read day by
day, nearly everything that anybody from commanding generals down knew
was known to that reader. There were, of course, many discussions
amongst the guiding intellects, political and military, which never
saw the light. There were, naturally, plans discussed and never
carried out which the American citizen did not hear of at any time.
But the general consensus of opinion seems to be that the {239}
American newspaper reader knew almost as much as any one of what was
happening and that he certainly knew as much of what was going to
happen as the men in the inner circle.

Much that has come out since the armistice shows a condition of
affairs almost as the man in the street knew it at the time. In the
winter of 1917-18 we knew that a huge drive was scheduled by the
Germans on the Franco-Belgian front in the spring. In the following
summer we knew the doubtful situation around Château-Thierry. In the
middle of July we knew that something was happening, that the
Americans were beginning to go in in large numbers, that the German
"push" was slowing up; and that a turn had been made. Finally we knew
that the German army was suddenly retiring, and for a month before the
armistice was signed we knew that it was going to be signed. Indeed so
sure was the American public of this last that they celebrated the end
of the war throughout this great land a week ahead of time, because of
a report which, though literally incorrect, was in essence true and
known to be true.


It is not uninteresting, therefore, to review the sentiments and
opinions which Wood found upon his arrival amongst the French and
English statesmen and soldiers between January 1 and February 26th,

In London Lloyd George, the British Premier, knew Wood as the
administrator of Cuba and the Philippines. He knew also of Wood's
experience with, and knowledge of European armies. He was anxious for
Wood to be in Europe. He laid great emphasis upon the shortage of
American air service which made it difficult for American troops to
work as a separate unit without English or French coöperation. He pled
for American troops at the earliest possible moment and offered more
transportation facilities--even though England had already transported
not only her own men but many of ours across the Atlantic.

General Sir William Robertson stated in January that there was an
impending crisis coming in the early spring; that Germany would make
an immensely powerful drive toward Paris or the channel ports or both;
and that in his opinion the Allied lines would hold until the
Americans {241} got into the war with full strength. But he made no
concealment of the fact that the next six months would be very
critical ones.

Marshal Joffre held similar views. Both officers expressed the opinion
that the summer of 1918 would be the crisis and deciding point of the
war. They, too, felt the French and English lines would hold, but they
laid heavy stress upon the importance of more troops from America.

On the French front Wood lunched and had a long talk with General
Gouraud and another at Paris later with General Pétain whom he knew
and who knew well the history of Wood's career in organization and
administration. Pétain is said to have expressed the hope that Wood
might soon be in France on active duty and to have said that when he
did come he would put him in command of an army of French and American

As Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, next to the highest rank in
that order--General Wood was naturally received by all French officers
and statesmen. This order having been conferred upon him some years
before because of his record in Cuba and the Philippines placed him in
a small {242} group of men, most of them, naturally, French, who are
the distinguished men of Europe. His reception by the President of
France, by the premier, Georges Clemenceau, and other French statesmen
came as a matter of course. But the conversations which took place
between the American soldier and these men have never, naturally, been
made public except in some of their bare essentials. Nor will any one
ever know just what was said unless one or another of the parties to
them shall some time disclose it himself.

There seems to be no doubt, however, of the very warm reception which
this senior officer of the American army was given. His record in
preparedness work, his record in administrative and organization work
were all well known to the statesmen of these two countries who were
from their experience with colonial matters so well fitted to judge of
what he had accomplished along these lines.

General Wood's opinion as the result of his trip was that the American
troops should serve by divisions for a time with the French and
English rather than as a separate army from the start, {243} because
of the fact that all matters of supply, equipment, artillery, air
service and so on which were so incomplete in the American service and
so complete by this time in the British and French services would
apply to the Americans as well as to the others and that the training
alongside the veterans of over three years of war would make the
effectiveness of the American troops quicker, better and more
definite--would in the end increase efficiency and save life.

After having reported to the Senate committee and returned to Camp
Funston he took up with immeasurably renewed vigor the work of getting
the 89th Division, which he was to take abroad, ready for its service,
and all was prepared when the order came for them to move to New York
for embarkation. This work of transportation being practically
completed and the big division ready to go on board ship, Leonard Wood
felt that at last his chance to take his part in the war at the front
had come.

It is practically impossible for any one, therefore, to realize just
what it meant to him, or would have meant to any man, to receive
notification as {244} he was almost in the act of going on board the
transport that his command of the division he had trained and
organized was taken away from him, another officer put in his place
and he himself ordered to the farthest possible extremity of the
United States in the opposite direction. It is certainly impossible to
express here what his feelings were since nobody really knows them.

Imagination, however, which plays so important a part in this world's
affairs will play its part here as elsewhere, and some estimate of
what effect it had upon the country was shown in the outcry which
arose everywhere and which created such sudden wrath that the order
itself was immediately rescinded and changed to the Funston

The character of men is exhibited in infinite ways and by infinite
methods, but never more surely than during critical periods when
passions run high and injustice seems to be in the saddle. It is
always at such times that reserve force, mental strength, and all the
sound basic qualities which make up what we call character play their
important parts in the drama of life. No one has, {245} so far as our
history tells us, shown greater strength of this nature than Abraham
Lincoln, and it is that reserve, that amazing common sense which "with
malice toward none, with charity for all" led him on all occasions no
matter how extraordinary the provocation to decline to let
personalities, jealousies, or any of the baser passions control his
actions or influence his decisions.

It would be ridiculous for any one to assume that General Wood was not
cut to the quick by this unexplained action, which took the cup from
his lips as he was about to drink, but there never has appeared
anywhere anything emanating from him which criticized, questioned or
in any way took exception to it. One may read, however, between the
lines of his short good-by to the division which he created many
thoughts that may have been in his mind and that certainly were in the
minds of the officers of the 89th to whom this simple address was the
first intimation that he was not to lead them into action in France.
It is so direct, so simple, so manly that, like all such documents, it
is only with time that its great {246} hearted spirit makes the true
impression on any reader. It will take its place in the history of
this country amongst the few documents which live on always because
they exhibit a wise and sane outlook upon life and because they make a
universal appeal to the best that lives always like a divine spark in
the heart of every man.

It makes the boy in school exclaim, "Some day when I grow up I will do
that." It lives in the dreams that come just before sleep as the
attitude the young man would like to take when his critical hour
comes. It cheers the old, since they can say: "So long as this can be
done there is no fear for our native land."

Here it is:

"I will not say good-by, but consider it a temporary separation--at
least I hope so. I have worked hard with you and you have done
excellent work. I had hoped very much to take you over to the other
side. In fact, I had no intimation, direct or indirect, of any change
of orders until we reached here the other night. The orders have been
changed and I am to go back to Funston. I leave for that place
to-morrow {247} morning. I wish you the best of luck and ask you to
keep up the high standard of conduct and work you have maintained in
the past. There is nothing to be said. These orders stand; and the
only thing to do is to do the best we can--all of us--to win the war.
That is what we are here for. That is what you have been trained for.
I shall follow your career with the deepest interest--with just as
much interest as if I were with you. Good luck; and God bless you!"






INASMUCH as the life of a state, its strength and virtue and moral
worth are directly dependent upon the character of the citizens who
compose it, and

INASMUCH as it is a solemn obligation imposed upon the Governor of the
state to promote and advance the interests and well-being of the
commonwealth in every way consistent with due regard for the rights
and privileges of sister states, and

WHEREAS, the soldier, Leonard Wood, Major General in the United States
Army and now commandant at Camp Funston, has shown by his daily life,
by his devotion to duty, by his high ideals and by his love of
country, that he is a high-minded man after our own hearths,
four-square to all the world, one good to know,

NOW, THEREFORE, I Arthur Capper, Governor of the State of Kansas, do
hereby declare the said


to be, in character and in ideals, a true Kansan. And by virtue of the
esteem and affection the people of Kansas bear him, I do furthermore
declare him to be to all intents and purposes a citizen of this state,
and as such to be entitled to speak the Kansas language, to follow
Kansas customs and to be known as


IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused to be
affixed the Great Seal of the State of Kansas. Done at Topeka, the
capitol, this 19th day of December, D. 1919

Arthur Capper GOVERNOR

[Seal of the State of Kansas] By the Governor

[Signature] Secretary of State

[Signature] Asst. Secretary of State

[End illustration]


A few days later Wood had returned to Funston and begun preparations
for the training of the 10th Division, when by executive action the
Governor of Kansas acknowledged on his own behalf and on behalf of the
State the General's services to his country by making him a "citizen
extraordinary" of the State.

The story of the Tenth Division is short but illuminating. It was
composed principally of drafted men. Its first groups began to
organize at Funston on the 10th of August--raw men from office, farm
and shop. They found there the skeletons of so-called regular
regiments--regiments which were regular only in name; that is to {250}
say, there were only a very few regular officers of experience and a
limited number of men recently recruited under the old system. On the
24th General Wood reviewed the whole division. On November 1st it was
ready, trained, equipped and in condition both from the physical and
the military point of view to go abroad. And when the armistice was
signed on November 11th an advance contingent had already gone to
France to prepare for its reception. About the middle of September the
British and French Senior Mission--three officers of each
army--reported at Funston and remained there for six weeks. And upon
their departure on November 1st after a long, rigid and critical
examination of the division they stated that in their opinion it was
by far the best prepared and trained division that they had seen in
this country.

Here again appears the same quality that made McKinley appoint Wood
Governor-General of Cuba; that made Roosevelt send him to organize the
apparently unorganizable part of the Philippine Islands; that caused
the French to award him a very high order of the Legion of Honor;
{251} that made the State of Kansas take him into its family as a
citizen; that led the generals of Europe to hope he would come and be
one of them; and finally that caused many hundreds of thousands of his
own countrymen to follow him and support him in his plans to prepare
the people of his nation for what eventually came upon them.

With the signing of the armistice and the victorious ending of the war
Wood's activities did not cease. With characteristic energy he began
the work of looking out for the soldiers who would soon be demobilized
from the army and thrown upon their own resources. He saw how changed
the outlook of many of these men would be. He saw the troubles in
which thousands--actually millions--of them would be involved, not
through any fault of their own, not through any fault of the
Government or of army life, but because they had undergone certain
mental changes incident to training, to active service, and hence
could not again return to the point they had reached when their
military service began.

He, therefore, instituted in Chicago, where as Commander of the
Central Department he had his {252} headquarters, as well as in St.
Louis, Kansas City and Cleveland, organizations to look to the finding
of employment for returning officers and men. And in addresses and all
methods open to him he urged the organization of similar bodies in all
cities to accomplish elsewhere the same object. His attitude was that
of the father of children--the rearrangement on new lines of the
American family; and he again found universal support.

"Appreciation of the work done by our Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in
the Great War can best be shown by active measures to return them to
suitable civil employment upon their discharge from service. The four
million men inducted into the service, less the dead, are being
returned to their homes. In seeing that they are returned to suitable
civil employment, and by that I mean employment in which they will
find contentment, we will find it at times difficult to deal with
them. We must remember that many of these men, before going in for the
great adventure, had never been far from home, had never seen the big
things of life, had never had the opportunity of finding {253}
themselves. During their service in the army they found out that all
men were equal except as distinguished one from the other by such
characteristics as physique, education and character. They discovered
that men who are loyal, attentive to duty, always striving to do more
than required, stood out among their fellows and were marked for
promotion. Naturally many of them now see that their former employment
will not give them the opportunities for advancement which they have
come to prize, and for that reason they want a change. They want a
kind of employment which offers opportunities for promotion. Many such
men are fitted for forms of employment which offer this advantage, and
they must be given the opportunity to try to make good in the lines of
endeavor which they elect to follow. It is not charity to give these
men the opportunities for which they strive. It is Justice. Others are
not mentally equipped to take advantage of such opportunities if
offered, and with these we will find it more difficult to deal. They
must be reasoned with and directed, if possible, into the kind of
employment best suited to their characteristics. Let us {254} remember
that a square deal for our honorably discharged Soldiers, Sailors and
Marines will strengthen the morale of the Nation and will help to
create a sound national consciousness ready to act promptly in support
of Truth, Justice and Right" [Footnote: _Address of Leonard Wood_.]

There is, with the differences patent because of time and place and
surrounding circumstances, a flavor to this plea that recalls another
address upon a similar subject more than fifty years ago:

"It is for the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is
rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before
us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that
cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we
here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that
this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom--and that
government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not
perish from the earth." [Footnote: _Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech_.]







In these days, therefore, immediately following the Great War it is
well to keep in our own minds and try to put into the minds of others
the great elemental truths of life; and to try at the same time to
keep out of our and their minds in so far as possible the unessential
and changing superficialities which never last long and which never
move forward the civilization of the human race.

This very simple biographical sketch is not an attempt to settle the
problems of the hour. Such an attempt might excite the amusement and
interest of students of that mental disease known as
paranoia--students who are far too busy at the moment as it is without
this addition to the unusually large supply of patients--but it could
not add anything either to the pleasure or entertainment of any one
else. That the simple biographical sketch can even approach the latter
{258} accomplishment may be held to be a matter for reasonable doubt.

Nor, furthermore, is the sketch an attempt at the soap box or other
variety of philosophy which one individual attempts to thrust down the
mental throats of his fellow beings. There exists a hazy suspicion
that the fellow beings are quite competent to decide what they will
swallow mentally and what they will, vulgarly speaking, expectorate

The simple biographical sketch is a frank attempt to express, as at
least one person sees it, the character, the accomplishments and the
service rendered by one man to his country throughout a life which
seems to have been singularly sturdy, honest, normal and consistent,
and which, therefore, is an example to his countrymen that may in
these somewhat hectic times well be considered and perhaps even

At the risk, however, of entering the paranoiac's clinic it would seem
almost necessary if not even desirable to apply the record discussed
to the situation which confronts us in these days, since biography has
no special significance unless it {259} brings to others some more or
less effective stimulus to better and greater endeavor on their own

If, therefore, the life and record of a man like Leonard Wood is to be
of value to others it must to some extent at least be considered in
relation to the events of his day and time. These events have been
sufficiently startling in the light of all previous history to make it
perhaps permissible to glance over them.

Roughly speaking, since Wood was born transportation has become so
perfected that, in the light of our navy's recent accomplishments with
the seaplane, it is now possible for a human being to go from New York
to London in the same period of time that it took then to go from New
York to New London. It is fair to assume then that the distance of New
York from London so far as human travel goes is or will shortly be the
same as the distance of New York from New London when Wood was born.

Roughly speaking since Wood was born intercourse between persons by
means of conversation has become so perfected that it is now possible
for {260} two people, one in New York and the other in San Francisco,
to converse over the telephone--wireless or otherwise--as easily as
could two persons when Wood was born talk from one room to another
through an open doorway. So that for practical purposes the three or
four thousand mile breadth of this continent is reduced to what then
was a matter of ten feet.

One might continue indefinitely, but these two examples are
sufficient. If San Francisco is no further away than the next room and
if London can be reached as quickly as New London, and if myriads of
other physical changes of this sort have occurred in sixty years, then
it is fair to assume that there has been an equal amount of resulting
psychological change. These changes in the relation of man to his
surroundings and the consequent changes in his relations to himself
and his fellow beings have probably done more to rearrange the world
on a different basis than all the developments of the half-dozen
centuries that preceded the nineteenth.

The elimination of distance, the making of human relation as easy for
continents as for {261} adjoining communities lessens the size of the
world and standardizes the rules that govern life. All intellectual,
political, commercial and military procedures have changed therefore
in the last half century to a greater extent than in hundreds of years
prior thereto. One race in the fifth or sixth grade of civilization
begins to discover what the other race in the first grade is doing.
One commercial country of a lower order finds what it is losing
because of another country of a higher order of commercialism. The
laborers of Barcelona discover what the laborers of New York are
receiving in compensation for the same work. The people of Russia
discover the different political conditions existing amongst
themselves and the people of England and France. The government of the
German Empire sees what a united nation backed by the biggest army on
earth might do in Europe. The men of Austria who have no vote learn
what the men of the United States procure from universal suffrage.

With the belief on every human being's part that the other fellow is
better off than he, with the education which goes on through the
medium {262} of emigration and immigration, with the immense number of
detail short cuts, with the prodigious increase in reading and the
resulting acquirement of the ideas of others, with the myriad of other
matters patent to any one who thinks--with all this and because of it
the methods and procedure of daily life have changed entirely
throughout most of the civilized world since a man who is now nearly
sixty was born.

At the same time the family remains the same; the marriage law is
unchanged; the right of private property is what it was in the days of
ancient Rome. The Constitution of the United States is what it was a
hundred and thirty years ago. Justice is the same as it was in the
time of Alexander. The Golden Rule has not been altered since the time
of Christ. Love, hate, fear and courage stand as they were originally
some time prior to the stone age.

To revert, then, to the simile of the construction of the house, it
seems true that while the plaster and the wall paper--the decorations
of its interior and exterior--change from time to nevertheless on the
whole, as a rule, in the main {263} the passage of the great ages has
not materially changed the supports of the structure--and never will.

In the matter of interior and exterior decoration periods come and go
during which those who build houses decorate according to schools of
art. It is the only belief that any sane and hopeful human being can
have that these schools of decoration for the old house of
civilization in the main steadily improve. If it is not so, then we
have nothing to live for, nothing to which we may look forward. Also,
however, there are fashions and fads running along by the side of
these great schools which are suggestive, amusing or ludicrous, as the
case may be. The cubists and the followers of the old masters paint at
the same time. One, however, dies shortly and the other lives
on--often to be sure affected in some slight way by the grotesque but
honest fad, but never giving way to it.

In the month of November, 1918, greater changes of this nature took
place in the political world than in all the years which preceded that
month since the beginning of the Christian era. {264} In that month
some scores of crowned heads stepped down from their thrones and made
haste to reach shelter as do the rats in a kitchen when the cook turns
on the electric light. At that time something like three hundred
millions of people gave up their particular forms of government and to
a certain extent have been living on since without any substitute.

Some of these crowned heads have sat on their thrones from five to ten
centuries. Some of the governments have lived as long.

It looks like a general tumble of the house of civilization. And yet
most of these millions of people go on getting up in the morning,
going to bed at night and, impossible as it may seem, conducting
commercial enterprises. The kings have gone; the governments have
gone; yet the people remain and their daily life goes on--not as usual
--but in the main the same.

At such a time amidst such stupendous changes it is natural that an
infinite number of plans for reconstruction come forward. All the
century-old panaceas crop up. All the moss-grown plans for a perfect
world are thrust forward in a new {265} dress and naturally gain
credence. And with the increased ease of intercommunication of
individuals and ideas the opportunity not only for many more but for
widely divergent theories to make themselves heard is immeasurably
increased. Thus it becomes possible for a Lenine and a Trotzky to
leave their tenement flats in the slums of New York and proceed to the
palaces of the Czar to show the hundred and twenty millions of
Russians what can be done--and, what is far more to the point, get a
hearing. Thus it becomes possible for the International Workers of the
World in Russia, France, England and America to get together in
conference in Switzerland or elsewhere and discuss how best to destroy
not only governments, but private property, law, order, the family and
all the beams of the great house at one time. Thus it becomes possible
for a host of less radical but none the less pernicious plans for the
good or evil of the world to fly about amongst unstable but
well-meaning minds.

Our country, so remote in miles from the scenes of these upheavals, is
by the development of {266} modern times so near that it is to a
certain extent affected by them.

In a population of one hundred millions in the United States there are
probably one hundred million different views entertained upon each of
the questions of this disturbed period. But a fair classification of
them could be safely made into radicals, moderates and
conservatives--Bolsheviki and theorists, slow-moving and hard-thinking
citizens and stiff-necked reactionaries--all honest and earnest in the
mean. If the Bolsheviki and theorists outnumber the others we shall
have a situation in the United States similar to that in Russia,
Austria and Germany. If the stiff-necked reactionaries outnumber the
others, we shall smother the flame for a time only to have it burst
forth shortly in an infinitely more terrible explosion. If the
slow-moving, hard-thinking citizens outnumber the others, we shall
maintain the main structure of our house so laboriously built
throughout the ages while we change to some extent the nature of the
wall paper and the plaster to adapt it to modern conditions.

Some of us want to achieve the first, some the {267} second and some
the third status; and it would be safe to say that up to the present
in this country the people of the great middle class--the not rich,
the not poor, the steady business man, the ordinary mother of a
family--are in the majority and are trying to adapt themselves to the
new conditions even if only in a slow and somewhat halting manner.

It will help them and therefore help the country to maintain
themselves and itself on an even keel until the storm subsides if they
can have some concrete standard to work by. And as standards in this
sense usually become established by example, by what each of us thinks
the man he looks up to is doing, thinking and planning, it seems fair
to say that the example of a few leading men of the strong sanity
which characterizes General Wood is having now or will have in the
future a great influence for good.

When we are all complaining at the changing conditions, when we see
apparently permanent organizations like the government of
thousand-year-old empires crumbling in a month, when we hear the new-old
theories for a new form of {268} existence, we are somewhat dazed,
somewhat influenced by the outward signs and somewhat skeptical about
our own small but to ourselves important outlook. At such a moment the
voice of one who says in substance: "Do not let superficial changes
--no matter how important they seem--make us forget the law of man and
nature; do not forget that the fittest survives; do not imagine that
wars are over because the most terrible one in history is just
finished; do not hesitate to prepare for your own duties and those of
your country; do not forget that organization and coöperation produce
peace, safety, prosperity and happiness"--when a voice in our land
announces this and its owner proves by his whole life the truth of his
statements, then it pays to listen and inwardly digest.

In spite of all we are being told to the contrary, there need be no
alarm for the future if the country contains enough of such leaders to
make themselves heard above the babel of new cries and beliefs,
notwithstanding the attractive pictures some of these theorists
present. For that reason leaders must always exist where progress is
to be {269} made and the great majority must stand behind them to back
them up.

The effective spear cannot do its work without its steel point, nor
yet without its long handle to force the point home.

This biographical sketch treats of one of these spear points and as
such represents to a greater or less degree all great sane leaders,
though it speaks of but one.

Leonard Wood's personality is one of mental sanity and physical
health. It is non-reactionary and non-visionary. It is military only
in the sense that the army happens to have been his business in life.
His business might have been that of the law, of banking, or leather,
without in the least changing in it. He once said of this:

"The officers of the Army and Navy are the professional servants of
the government in matters pertaining to the military establishment.
They are like engineers, doctors, lawyers, or any other class of
professional men whose services people employ because they are expert
in their line of work. They do not initiate wars. Nine-tenths of all
wars have their origin directly or indirectly in {270} issues arising
out of trade. The people make war; the government declares it; and the
officers of the army and navy are charged with the responsibility of
terminating it with such means and implements as the people may give

His voice raised in behalf of preparedness refers therefore to the
military, because as a Major-General in the United States Army he is
not empowered to speak of other walks in life. Yet his own wide
experience in Cuba and the Philippines in administration, very little
of which was military, is a witness of his belief in preparedness in
an life.

He founded schools where there were none to prepare citizens for the
new Cuban republic. He reorganized and built up customs laws and
regulations where there were only attempts at such in order to prepare
revenue to build roads and finish public works to make a busy and
healthy nation. He reëstablished sane marriage laws in order to
prepare a solid community resting upon the basis of the clearly
defined family. In the Philippines he instituted local government to
prepare the islands for self-government.


None of these acts, nor many others of like nature, had anything to do
with the military. They were all based on the law that a sound and
successful community, whether that community be a village, town or
nation, rests in the final analysis on personal, individual
responsibility which in the group makes a responsible government, that
personal responsibility comes only from preparation, from execution as
a result of preparation and from efficiency which is its synonym.

We study for this or that profession. We cannot practice law unless we
prepare and take a degree. We cannot enter the medical profession
unless we study and take a degree. Wood's great thesis is that we
cannot become sound citizens and, therefore, in the group a sound
nation, unless we study and prepare to be such.

It sounds so simple that one wonders why it is written. And yet for
the last two years under the guise of war necessity this country has
been moving in quite another direction. Instead of personal
responsibility we have been substituting more and more government
responsibility. Instead of individual effort we have been advancing
governmental {272} effort. Instead of natural competition we have been
substituting government regulation. Instead of advancing patriotism,
nationalism, Americanism, we have been letting all these give way to
internationalism. We have not been preparing ourselves as individuals
to assume individual responsibly, but in fact we have been giving up
that responsibility to government.

It is through the sense of the people quickened by such men as Wood
that we shall come back to sounder methods--not to where we were
before. That can never be. If it were so, the world would not be
moving forward. But we shall come back to the basic principle that
individual initiative, energy and the rewards that accrue therefrom
are and always must be the basis for collective initiative, energy and
the rewards thereof; that no collective organization such as a
government can remain virile and effective unless its component
parts--the individuals--remain virile and effective.

The appeal which Wood's life makes to us is toward this responsibility
of the individual _for_ his own work, his own affairs, his own family,
and {273} to his own country, and that has been found throughout
history to be the groundwork, the foundation upon which civilization
rests. Translated into current phrase this means that we must follow
such men as he, keep eternally at work to improve ourselves
individually, to make a good and honest living, to hand on the torch
of patriotism, of sanity and of ever-increasing knowledge by
furnishing to the world the new generations that shall carry on, and
to weld and stabilize the whole structure by building up Americanism
within our borders. In the vocabulary of General Wood this is
translated again into the words: "Prepare! Prepare! Prepare!"

Such has been the career of the New Englander from Cape Cod who has
worked in his own land, in the tropics, in many spheres, at many
problems until at the age of fifty-eight in sound mind and body he
stands firmly still in the prime of life ready for many years yet to
come of service and work for himself, his family and his fellow

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